Sunday, November 11, 2018

Review: KANNAZUKI NO MIKO

Sadly, for every quality mecha manga like last week's example, there are plenty more like today's selection: one where it is merely an accessory to a lot of nonsense and bad ideas.

KANNAZUKI NO MIKO: DESTINY OF THE SHRINE MAIDEN, by Kaishaku.  First published in 2004 and first published in North America in 2008.



PLOT:

Himeko is a passive, insecure young girl who is not only friends with the class idol Chikane, but is secretly admired from afar by the handsome and mysterious Souma.  Her quaint life and happy friendship is broken when a strange eclipse lets loose demonic forces and powerful robot suits in order to try and kill her.  Himeko is saved by a combination of Chikane's kiss and Souma switching sides and fighting back the demons.  Now their fates are tied together by an ancient prophecy where the girls must seal the evil away...if it doesn't tear them apart first.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Review: PATLABOR

Well, in the past I've dedicated this month to both Evangelion manga and Gundam manga.  I might as well keep up this trend and explore some of the other mecha manga out there, starting with a beloved franchise from the olden days.

PATLABOR (Kido Keisatsu Patlabor), by Masami Yuki, based on the series created by HEADGEAR.  First published in 1988 and first published in North America in 1998.



PLOT:

In the near future, Tokyo is full of powered robotic suits called "labors."  Most of them are used for construction and other forms of industry, but there are those who would use them for crime.  To combat this, the Tokyo Police creates a labor force of their own under the guidance of the laid-back Captain Goto.  Goto assembles a ragtag crew of cadets to pilot these labors, ranging from the loud, thuggish Isao Ota to abrasive Asuma Shinohara to tiny, eager Noa Izumi.  Together they must prove their value to their superiors and the city at large...at least, as soon as they learn to work together.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Review: MY MONSTER SECRET

We return from hiatus with a monstrously good selection of manga to review this month. Our first review may be the most unnerving thing we'll see all month: a harem manga that's actually good!

MY MONSTER SECRET: ACTUALLY I AM... (Jitsu wa Watashi wa...), by Eiji Masuda.  First published in 2013 and first published in North America in 2016.



PLOT:

Asahi can't keep a secret to save his life.  Even when he tries, his complete and utter lack of poker face gives everything away in no time.  That's why it's no surprise that his friends quickly figure out that he's crushing on Youko, the cool-tempered beauty of the class.  When Asahi finally musters up the courage to confess his feelings, he discovers Youko's secret: she is a vampire.

Asahi swears to protect her secret at all costs so she can keep going to their school, but how long will he last when he has to struggle not only against his own feelings, but the efforts of his snooping classmate Mikan?

Friday, August 31, 2018

Review: HYPER DOLLS

Just because it's an old-school manga doesn't mean that it can't be derivative and muddled, as today's review demonstrates.

HYPER DOLLS (Rakusho! Hyperdoll), by Shinpei Itoh.  First published in 1995 and first published in North America in 2002.



PLOT:

Everything starting going wrong after Hideo Akai wished on a shooting star.  He didn't get a wish, but instead had his town invaded by bizarre alien monsters.  He's saved by a pair of pretty lady warriors calling themselves the Hyper Dolls, but they swear him to secrecy or else they will rip his head off.  Now the girls, Miyu and Miaka, are trying to lay low at Akai's high school, but dark forces from both Earth and space are conspiring against them...

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Review: STEAM DETECTIVES

Today's review is not only a blast from manga's past, but also one that strives to recapture the style of older comics and pulpy sci-fi in one place.

STEAM DETECTIVES (Kaiketsu Joki Tanteiden), by Kia Asamiya.  First published in 1994, and first published in 1999.




PLOT:

Somewhere between the past and present is Steam City, a fantastical city powered entirely by steam.  The downside is that the constant clouds of steam allow all sorts of nefarious folks to roam the streets and evade the law.  The only person who can stop their plans is Boy Detective Narutaki.  With the help of Ling Ling the nurse, the sentient automaton Goriki, and his ever-present butler, Narutaki vows to clean up the streets of Steam City and find the answers to his own mysterious past.