Manga Monday: Halcyon Lunch by Samura Hiroaki

This week for Manga Monday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Halcyon Lunch by Samura Hiroaki!

Plot Synopsis: Gen, a recently bankrupted and now homeless guy, meets an unusual and hungry girl named Hios who can eat anything with her chopsticks.

Plot: This is another Gag Manga, something I typically don’t enjoy, and this was not an exception. It was way too random to make me laugh like it was intended. I’m guessing others felt the same way as this series only lasted for two volumes before ending.

Characters: Gen is an oddball main character, but he is completely normal compared to Hios who is just plain bizarre. I’m unsure if the rest of the cast we meet in this chapter was even going to stick around, but given the short nature of the series I suppose it really doesn’t matter.

Art: The art is decent at least, but it doesn’t make up for the lack of story or plot direction.

Overall: Skip this, it’s just too out there for most people to understand I think.

For those who like: Slapstick, Comedy.

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

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Sensate Saturday: Shishunki Bitter Change by Masayoshi

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Shishunki Bitter Change by Masayoshi!

Plot Synopsis: The elementary schoolers Yuuta and Yui had their body swapped when Yuuta fell down from a tree. It’s already been three years, and now they’re in middle school. How will they co-operate in dealing with this as they grow up?

Plot: The plot is pretty interesting, as it deals with the question of a body swapping incident that never gets solved. I enjoyed this first chapter quite a bit, and I actually ended up reading a few more chapters before stopping so I could write this up, but that’s beyond the scope of this post and review.

Characters: Yuuta and Yui are typical kids, with Yui being the more serious of the two, and Yuuta being much more outgoing. We don’t really get introduced to the rest of the cast in this first chapter, but that’s okay.

Art: The art isn’t super detailed, but it’s not terrible either. It’s got a simplistic quality that works amazingly well for this series.

Overall: A great read, if I didn’t have to write this article I’d be reading every chapter I could, so that should be a hint towards what I think of it.

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

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

Manga Monday: Kochikame by Akimoto Osamu

This week for Manga Monday I’ve got a Quick Review for the longest Manga, by a long shot. It’s Kochikame by Akimoto Osamu!

Plot Synopsis: The story, as its name indicates, focuses on the adventures and misadventures of a police station where we meet a cast of characters located within the park front of Kameari in Katsuhika Ward of the Tokyo Prefecture in Japan. Among the characters is the protagonist Ryotsu, his colleagues Nakagawa and Reiko, and his boss Bucho, who have appeared the most frequently.

Plot: This first chapter was very slapstick, which is pretty much the same for the entire series. This series ran for 40 years starting in 1976 and ending just last year. So while you may not be really interested in the series as a whole, you ought to give at least a chapter a read just for the fact that it ran for over 1,900 chapters and spanned 200 volumes.

Characters: Ryotsu is pretty much a jerk, while Nakagawa the only other character we get introduced to in this chapter is the standard noob cop, although he obviously comes from a very wealthy family as he’s always dressed up in some ridiculously fancy suit.

Art: The art is very old style, but given that it started in 1976 can you really expect anything different?

Overall: Worth reading at least a chapter, just to appreciate how long this series ran.

For those who like: Slapstick, Comedy, Slice of Life, Long Running Series.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, especially that last one.

Sensate Saturday: Pika Ichi by Mochida Aki

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Pika Ichi by Mochida Aki!

Plot Synopsis: “Pika Ichi” is the story of two painfully shy teens who love yakuza movies. An incident at school pushes them over the edge, and they decide to drop their mousiness in order to dispense some “justice”.

Plot: The plot is okay, but where the lack of presence was endearing in a series like Kuroko’s Basketball, in Pika Ichi it’s just annoying. It might be because I don’t get the whole Yakuza movie subculture, and that is probably a big reason, but I just felt like the series was really boring.

Characters: Tarou and Hanako are our leads, and they are so average it’s painful. Frankly the rest of the cast isn’t much better except for the oddball school doctor.

Art: The art is okay, but again nothing really amazing either.

Overall: Like it’s main characters Pika Ichi is very average, it’s not terrible, but it’s not interesting either.

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

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

Sensate Saturday: Suki ni Naranai yo Senpai by Hatsuharu

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Suki ni Naranai yo Senpai by Hatsuharu!

Plot Synopsis: Falling in love with a painting while at a school’s festival, Iku is able to meet the gentle high schooler who created it. She falls in love at first sight and with that feeling in her heart, decides to enroll in that high school! But, what happens when she joins the art club and discovers her gentle prince has disappeared and a sleazeball has taken his place?!

Plot: This is a pretty stereotypical story. Frankly I’m not interested in continuing to read it. However it is completed in Japan so maybe I’ll read it if I ever get desperate enough and lack something else to read. The likelyhood of that is fairly low though.

Characters: Iku is a pretty normal girl, in fact she’s pretty damn average in just about everything. Nagaike on the other hand is more than a bit of an ass. However that’s fairly normal for high school aged boys, so again nothing new.

Art: The art at least is good, but it’s not enough for me to continue reading the series.

Overall: A fairly average series, if you are super desperate for a Romance to read it would do in a pinch, but there are better series out there. It’s still a better love story than Twilight though.

For those who like: Romance, School Life, Drama, Good Artwork.

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

 

Manga Monday: Mr Fullswing by Suzuki Shinya

This week for Manga Monday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Mr Fullswing by Suzuki Shinya!

Plot Synopsis: Saruno Amakuni is a 15-year-old student of Junishi High School. As a teenage boy, he desperately tries to find a girlfriend. Being fed up with seeing all the girls fall in love with high school athletes, he decides to join a sports-club himself. He starts looking around at the different sports clubs with the guidance of his friend, Sawamatsu Kengo. They go to check out the weight lifting club (of which there is only one member, a large, frighteningly buff guy), only for Saruno to see a girl that he assumes to be the manager of the club and show off for her. After sufficiently hurting himself, he helps the girl, Torii Nagi , carry some weights off somewhere, and while talking to her finds out that she is actually a manager for the baseball club, not the weight lifting club…

Plot: The plot of this first chapter is full of gags, and it gets more than a little bit annoying. Frankly I’m really not interested in continuing to read this series. Maybe it gets better later on in the series, but basing my judgement off this first chapter (which is the whole purpose of my Quick Reviews) I’m not going to count on it.

Characters: Frankly I don’t like Amakuni, he’s a perverted brat who continuously makes a fool of himself. The rest of the cast isn’t that great either, in fact the only semi likable character is Nagi, but she’s pretty shallowly represented in this first chapter so I can’t get a good read on her as a character.

Art: The art is the only good thing about the series, which shouldn’t be a surprise as it’s published by Shueisha.

Overall: Based on this first chapter it’s an easily skippable Sports series.

For those who like: Sports, Baseball, School Life.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above and/or Mediocrity.

Sensate Saturday: Hana Michi Otome by Hamasin

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Hana Michi Otome by Hamasin!

Plot Synopsis: When Mikoto was little, she first heard the voices of plants. She also gained flower markings on her face and body, as a sign of her connection to them. Unfortunately for her, she was brutally teased and bullied, both for the markings and her claims that she could hear flowers talking. By the time she was in high school, Mikoto took to wearing clothes specifically designed to cover everything, but she still couldn’t escape her classmates’ bullying. One day, a strange and exuberant transfer student, Aozakura Yuji, appears and takes an interest in Mikoto. He’s determined to start a flower arrangement club, but with a twist: he wants to photograph beautiful girls arranged with flowers…

Plot: The plot sounds more like some poorly done Harem Anime, although we haven’t met any girls other than Mikoto in this first chapter. That all being said I actually was interested in the plot, because it resonated with my own past experiences receiving bullying, although I wasn’t marked by flowers except the constantly runny nose from allergies.

Characters: Yuji is a pretty straightforward male lead, and I frankly am seriously happy with that. Mikoto is the much more reserved character, but with her past that is to be expected. We haven’t really met any other characters in this first chapter so I can’t comment on anyone else.

Art: The art is pretty awesome, I’d say it was a Shueisha publication if I didn’t know better, but it’s actually published by Square Enix.

Overall: Frankly I’m interested in seeing if the romance of the series actually gets good. So I’ll be reading this series more once a really sufficient stock of chapters piles up. That may take a while though.

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

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