End of an Era

Hey all so I wasn’t at all expecting to have to write this post. So it will be rather brief, and while I’m not taking a break from writing, I am going to have to change my columns for a while, maybe permanently.

What’s Up?: So for those unaware Bato.to is shutting down permanently on the 18th of this month. It’s a huge loss to the Manga community at large, and while some of you might say “Michael they supported Pirates” That isn’t true. Any licensed series were not hosted on Batoto.

So Why Are Things Changing?: I used Batoto almost exclusively to find obscure series for my Manga Monday and Sensate Saturday columns. Losing easy access to such a large repository of content is going to seriously put a hamper on what I’ll be able to read for material to write about in those columns.  So things are going to have to change, maybe permanently.

What’s Changing?: Well obviously my Manga Monday and Sensate Saturday columns are going to be put on hold and replaced with something else. I’ve had a backup type of content in the wings in case something like this happened, although I wasn’t expecting it to occur because of Batoto shutting down. The Sensate Saturday series has a high chance of being permanently shelved in favor of that backup, and while I have tons of content to write about for that column that’s it. I do have a temporary solution for my Monday columns, however I have absolutely no confidence in that being a permanent solution due to the nature of what I’ll be writing about and my own personal disabilities and challenges. The worst case possibility that occurs is that I have to stop writing my Monday columns permanently after I run out of material for my temporary replacement of Manga Monday. Hopefully by the time I’ve run out of material the Manga translation scene will have calmed down enough. That however is an unknown and I can’t promise anything.

What Are You Going To Write About?: Well I’ll keep that under wraps for now, though I will say that Monday’s post is going to be fiery. That’s the sole hint you’ll be getting from me. If by some miracle someone manages to guess what I’m writing about and posts their guess in the comments I’ll be shocked. And yes this is a complete and shameless attempt to get people to post more comments on my posts.

That’s it, I hope you’ll all forgive me for having to do this, but circumstances have forced me to put plans in action that I was hoping I’d never have to do.

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Sensate Saturday: Hakase to Slime-chan by Isaki Nayuta

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got a more upbeat story. It’s Hakase to Slime-chan by Isaki Nayuta!

Plot Synopsis: A Professor had created what he hoped to be an artificial human, but what came out of the large holding tube wasn’t a human, but a Slime?!?

Plot: The plot is very Slice of Life and more about comedy than anything else. There is no action, no damsels to save or Demon Kings to vanquish. Just a guy who wanted to make an artificial human and got a slime instead.

Characters: Both the professor and Lime are amusing, however they are not incredibly deep character wise. This may change in later chapters of the series, but I haven’t read ahead of the currently translated material. So while they are amusing, and somewhat heartwarming, it wasn’t enough for me to want to find the untranslated chapters of this completed series.

Art: The art is okay, not super amazing and nowhere near Shueisha level of quality, but it’s in full color which is a bit of a rarity when it comes to Manga, although this technically is a Webtoon or Web Comic where such things are much more commonplace.

Overall: If you’re bored this might be worth a quick read.

For those who like: Slice of Life, Supernatural Stuff, Decent Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Sensate Saturday: Otonari Complex by Nonomura Saku

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Otonari Complex by Nonomura Saku!

Plot Synopsis: Kuji Akira and Ninomiya Makoto have been neighbours and friends from childhood. Akira is handsome and Makoto is pretty.  Their feelings for each other are growing more complex just as they are finding themselves the focus of romantic interest of their friends and acquaintances…

Plot: The plot is pretty good. I’ve probably read a few series with similar if not exactly the same plot device as it’s core drive, but I can’t remember them right now (still sick and I’m writing this in advance due to holidays), however I enjoyed this quite a bit even if I think I may have read something similar before. Or I might not have, doesn’t matter to me, I enjoyed Otonari Complex quite a bit.

Characters: Akira and Makoto are our two leads and they are pretty awesome, but still wasn’t expecting that to occur. Either way I really enjoyed their characters. So I’ll probably end up reading this series in full one day. Once it’s fully completed probably.

Art: The art is very good, it’s comparable to Shueisha levels of work, if not meeting that standard.

Overall: A great read, definitely worth a shot.

For those who like: Slice of Life, Drama, Romance, School Life, Interesting Plot, Great Lead Characters, Excellent Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Sensate Saturday: Mikkakan no Koufuku by Miaki Sugaru

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Mikkakan no Koufuku, or Three Days of Happiness in English, by Miaki Sugaru!

Plot Synopsis:A twenty-year-old with little hope for the future discovers a shop that buys lifespan, time, and health. This is a story dealing with the ensuing consequences.

Plot: I’m not really a fan of this, it’s the typical “Deal with the Devil” stereotype and frankly I don’t think these stories really ever end happily. Plus if you’re going to sell your lifespan you’d do it for more than $1000 per year sold right?

Characters: Our main character, whose name I’ve completely forgotten since I read this first chapter ten minutes ago (Gimme a break, I’m still sick), isn’t really all that likeable. In fact I pretty much hate this kind of person. I’ve got a pretty depressing life myself, so when someone else just throws theirs away without really trying it sickens me. It’s the same sort of thing I hated about Unbound Deathlords for those who read my Wednesday columns.

Art: The art is okay, but frankly wasn’t enough to keep me reading this story.

Overall: If you can stomach these kinds of stories, I guess this might be interesting, but personally I just find them depressing and enraging.

For those who like: “Deals with the Devil” Plots, Romance (Or so the genre tags told me).

Not for those who don’t like: Either of the above, or just depressing stories in general.

Sensate Saturday: Witch’s Hammer by Miyamarun

This week for Sensate Saturday I’m covering a series I came across recently. It’s Witch’s Hammer by Miyamarun!

Plot Synopsis: The chivalrous thief Chloe spends her days and nights acting on behalf of those in need, resulting in her being seen as the hero of the poor, but Chloe herself feels guilty thinking of how a mere thief like her is regarded so highly. However, meeting the witch named Meifa will change her fate…

Plot: This is a fairly creepy series, and while there are only two chapters out thus far, I was thoroughly hooked. I won’t go too much into detail since that’ll take away the fun of reading the chapters for yourself, but I’ll say that everything is not as it seems.

Characters: The entire cast is pretty interesting, with the Guard Captain being a stickler for the rules even if he does sympathize with the masked woman thief, Chloe. Chloe on the other hand seems fairly shallow thus far, but that will probably be taken care of in future chapters. Meifa is just plain creepy. Monica on the other hand is kind of a bitch, although whether she is right in doing so or not remains to be seen. That is pretty much the entire cast in a nutshell.

Art: The art is great, easily reaching Shueisha level of quality.

Overall: While there aren’t many chapters out as of right now, in the future this should prove to be a very interesting series. Definitely worth a read.

For those who like: Fantasy, Chivalrous Thieves, Great Plot, Amazing Cast of Characters, Fantastic Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Sensate Saturday: From Maid to Mother by Yuzuki Seiya

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got a Quick Review of an adaptation from a Light Novel. It’s From Maid to Mother by Yuzuki Seiya!

Plot Synopsis: A high school girl reincarnates in another world as Lily Ruzsa. While she occasionally reminisces about her past life, she is now known as “the Maid of the Royal Family,” after helping to rear the lady who eventually married the crown prince. One day she gets a sudden and unexpected request from the Court Magician….

Plot: The plot of this first chapter is more amusing than heartwarming, though I will say I took a peek at the second chapter and it does become rather heartwarming. This isn’t a series full of action and adventure, it’s decidedly Slice of Life and that isn’t a bad thing.

Characters: Lily is our main character and she doesn’t have any cheats, or special abilities from reincarnating into another world. All she has is her knowledge as a motherless child from Japan who had to take care of her younger brother and sister while her father worked. It’s a refreshing change of pace from the cheat level characters that so often happen in Tensei or Isekai stories. Leonard, the male lead, isn’t a bad character just really blunt and socially awkward. I like him quite a bit, if only because I see parts of myself in him.

Art: The art is excellent, which makes me really want to read the original Light Novel, however said Light Novel hasn’t been translated past the first few chapters.

Overall: A great read if you need something to warm your heart up on a Winter day.

For those who like: Slice of Life, Fantasy, Magic, Drama, Romance, Excellent and Heartwarming Plot, Great Cast of Characters, Awesome Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but how can you hate all that?

Sensate Saturday: Blue Flag by KAITO

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Blue Flag by KAITO!

Plot Synopsis:  Three students in their third and final year of high school meet during a time when they are worried about paths for their futures. Waiting for them are sweet, painful, and heartrending days.

Plot: The plot is so stereotypical that I really don’t find the series all that amazing. It’s not that much of a surprise that it’s relegated to the online publication of Jump.

Characters: Taichi is our main point of view character, while Touma and Kuze are our other two leads. Frankly I hate them all, Kuze is the stereotypical clumsy and shy girl, Touma is the energetic and outgoing extrovert that everyone loves and Taichi is the loner. It’s so cliched that I just can’t bring myself to read another chapter.

Art: The art is great, as you’d expect from a Shueisha publication, but it’s not enough to save this from getting put on my don’t bother to read list.

Overall: Skip this unless you are really, really desperate for a Slice of Life series to read.

For those who like: Slice of Life, School Life, Drama, Romance, Mediocrity.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.