Bookish Wednesday: Otherlife Awakenings by William D. Arand

Hey all this week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with the third book in Runner’s adventures. It’s Otherlife Awakenings by William D. Arand!

Plot Synopsis: Runner and his team managed to bring peace to Tirtius, successfully log the crew out, and have begun settling in to make a home on the isle of Vix. North Wood fort itself. Fate isn’t going to let them go that easily though. She clearly hasn’t decided on what to do with him. Plots are in motion. Threats local, outside of the ship, divine, and abroad in game scheme to exterminate Runner and the threat he represents. The possibility of what he could become. To top it all off, the server is clearly ramping up towards a full awakening. What does one do with an entire world of “living” beings who are aware? It all comes to a head when an assassin attempts to take his life in his own home. Now comes the true test. What is he willing to wager to build the future he wants, both in game and out? Or rather, who?

Plot: The plot is awesome, with plenty of revelations all around about the world Runner has come to inhabit. It also deals with Runner’s severe depression after the events of the last book, which I won’t spoil. There’s more “idiot plans” and new additions to Runners group of close followers.

Characters: Of all the new characters I found Satomi to be the best, though that may be slightly affected by the soft spot I have for the name as that was one of my teacher’s names in my Japanese High School class. That said Runner still was great to live the world through, even if Scott and Linda weren’t as present in this book as I would have liked. The rest of the cast was great, but truly the female leads were awesome in this entry with plenty of screen time for Grace, Sparky, Minxie, Brighteyes, Angel, and Bell.

Overall: An excellent ending to the trilogy, but not the end of the series apparently. The series will continue in the future, hopefully by the end of the year.

Manga Monday: Vector Ball by Raiku Makoto

This week for Manga Monday I’ve got a Quick Review for a rather interesting series. It’s Vector Ball by Raiku Makoto!

Plot Synopsis: After a series of bizarre incidents in his school, student Kometaki Okaka decided to investigate the cause of it. What he discovers will turn his world upside down…

Plot: The plot of this series is really out there. It is full of really odd gags, least of all being the belly hair song…. Yeah I really just wrote that. I was actually laughing my head off the entire time I was reading, but after finishing this first chapter I found out that the Mangaka axed the series by his own request after 44 chapters. So while I’m really intrigued by the series I don’t know if I’ll continue reading it.

Characters: The cast is just plain odd. I can’t stress how odd this series is. Kometaki was an interesting lead character, if really strange, but that can be said about every character. My favorite side character was Mouryou (spelling is probably wrong, but oh well).

Art: The art was great, it’s not got the high detail level of a Jump work, but it’s still quite good. And it fits this series perfectly.

Overall: If you don’t mind the series being axed prematurely and enjoy really oddball stories, you’ll love Vector Ball.

For those who like: Bizarre Things, Action, Comedy, Interesting Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Great Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or a series that ends abruptly.

Sensate Saturday: Twin Role by Harumi Hitsuji

This week for Sensate Saturday I have another Quick Review. It’s Twin Role by Harumi Hitsuji!

Plot Synopsis: Azuma Izumi goes to a school that involves art and music but both sides compete against each other to win awards. Online, Izumi goes under the name Iz and creates the images to music videos created by a user named Kanon who is listed as a 21 year old female.  However, this user has a secret! Turns out Kanon is really the new transfer student Sagami Kaoru – the son of a famous musician and someone whom Izumi dislikes at first glance. Kaoru quickly puts two and two together and figures out Izumi is Iz, much to his chagrin and consternation.

Plot: Twin Role really shows how awkward Love Triangles can get, almost hilariously so. I’ve never been a fan of Love Triangles in general, but I have to admit that Twin Role handles it amazingly well.

Characters: Izumi and Kaoru are actually pretty well done lead characters, in fact I was really intrigued by them so I’ll probably continue reading this series when I get the chance.

Art: The art isn’t Shueisha level work, but it comes really close.

Overall: If you want to read a really awkward Love Triangle series that isn’t handled poorly, Twin Role is the best I’ve seen in a long time. For those who want action, look elsewhere, this is a Shoujo Romance/Slice of Life Series.

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

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

Bookish Wednesday: The Secret of the Dark Forest by Vasily Mahanenko

Hey all, I’m back with the third entry to the Way of the Shaman series for this week’s Bookish Wednesday. It’s The Secret of the Dark Forest by Vasily Mahanenko!

Plot Synopsis: The Virtual World of Barliona is a place of rest and entertainment – but not for everyone. It has become a survival arena for Daniel Mahan after he was sentenced to 8 years in its virtual jail. Mahan has been through it all: the back-breaking work in the mines, betrayal by other prisoners, and finally, the retrial which has released him into Barliona’s common world. What more could one want? Mahan could have kept a low profile and enjoy relative freedom while serving the rest of his time. But being a Shaman, he can’t help himself…

Plot: The plot of this entry is pretty good, and while there were a few annoying parts I didn’t mind it all that much. That being said if you weren’t a fan of the previous books this won’t change your mind on the series.

Characters: We get introduced to a few new characters, but really the stars of the show aside from Mahan are Anastaria and Plinto, both of whom were pretty awesome. The newcomers were good, but the character we had already met are better. That being said if I had to choose a newcomer as my favorite it would be Barsa.

Overall: If you enjoyed the previous two books, The Secret of the Dark Forest will be just as enjoyable for you. Otherwise you’ll probably not enjoy it all that much.

Manga Monday: Golden Kamui by Noda Satoru

Hey all, this week for Manga Monday I have another Quick Review. It’s Golden Kamui by Noda Satoru!

Plot Synopsis: In Hokkaido, the far northern lands of Japan, Sugimoto survived the Russo-Japanese war of the Meiji era. Nicknamed “Sugimoto the Immortal” during the war, he now seeks the riches promised by the gold rush in hopes of saving the widowed wife of his now deceased comrade from the war.

Plot: The plot is pretty awesome, I was pretty much instantly hooked after this first chapter, hopefully I’ll get to read all of it sooner rather then later. I do want to point out one more thing about the series, it is award winning, so take that how you will.

Characters: Sugimoto is a pretty interesting guy, it’s pretty obvious he’s dealing with serious issues from the war he fought in, despite all that he’s a pretty stable fellow. The rest of the cast we’ve met are pretty much nameless, but they look fairly interesting from this first chapter.

Art: The art is amazing, but once I looked up who the publisher was I wasn’t surprised to find it was Shueisha. That being said it is very graphic, so those with squeamish stomachs should probably not read this.

Overall: This has me hooked, so I’m going to give it the go ahead. Plus it’s an Award Winning series, it can’t be super terrible if it’s received an award.

For those who like: Historical Fiction, Military, Drama, Action, Adventure, Romance, Excellent Plot, Amazing Cast of Characters, Fantastic Artwork.

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

Sensate Saturday: Nanairo Kakumei by Yuzuhara Mizuka

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Nanairo Kakumei by Yuzuhara Mizuka!

Plot Synopsis: Ever since primary school, Nana has never been able to refuse the wishes of her friend, Yuyu, even if they were unpleasant things like matching outfits and hairstyles. She wanted to change…

Plot: The plot of this first chapter is pretty great, actually I’m really intrigued by this series so it’s definitely going to be something I’ll read, as I enjoy the premise of the story being about someone learning to stand up for themselves and making their own decisions.

Characters: Nana is our main character, and she’s a pretty decent lead, although a little whiny. The rest of the cast is good as well, although Shioka is probably my favorite character overall.

Art: The art is excellent, which is no surprise since this is published by Shueisha.

Overall: If you want a story that deals with what it’s like to be pressured into decisions, Nanairo Kakumei is a perfect fit for you. For those expecting action, you will be disappointed.

For those who like: Slice of Life, School Life, Drama, Great Plot, Excellent Cast of Characters, Fantastic Artwork.

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

Sensate Saturday: Samon the Summoner by Numa Shun

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Samon the Summoner by Numa Shun!

Plot Synopsis: Class-president Teshigawara Sakura tries to get the new transfer student Samon Shosuke  to join a club or found his own as he is always alone in class. He got off the wrong foot with the class after claiming that his favorite Hobby was “summoning Demons”. Samon becomes interested in her after he learns of her being a “good person” including her image as an Angel. So he invites her to the roof to talk about something. Thinking he is about to confess his love she gets excited. At least at first….

Plot: The plot was fairly interesting, I have to admit I wasn’t expecting it to be so interesting before reading this first chapter. Hopefully we get to see lots more comedic action as the series progresses.

Characters: The lead pair are both fairly interesting, with Teshigawara being the epitome of a goody goody two-shoes, and Samon being pretty apathetic and uncaring towards the world as a whole. I hope to see them both grow as the series goes on.

Art: The art wasn’t quite as detailed as I was expecting from a Shueisha publication, not that it was bad it’s just the art style wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

Overall: I’m interested to see if this gets better, or if it just continues the same antics without really going anywhere. Hopefully it’ll be the former, because if it’s the latter I’ll probably stop reading it.

For those who like: Comedy, Drama, Action, School Life, Fantasy, Magic, Great Lead Characters, Interesting Plot, Good Artwork.

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