More manga reviews…eventually

March 6, 2006 at 2:26 am Leave a comment

My computer seems to hate me this week.  I had finally installed the WordPerfect Office software that came with my computer and it screwed up my cd/dvd burning defaults.  There’s nothing worse than presumptuous computer programs.  To make it worse, the new programs weren’t working properly.  A friend at work gave me a solution to the problem (go reset my computer defaults to an earlier day) which worked (tho a trial program I had previously deleted showed up again and is resisting a second deletion).  Now my Hotmail account won’t work.  sigh.  It was fine last night the first time I checked my email and then started giving me a page cannot be displayed/cannot find server message.  It works at another location, though.  Must…check…email!

Yesterday was a lovely day at work.  No shoplifters, got a lot of work done, and heard a couple of interesting/good pieces of news.  It was also a three manga day!  The same person who helped me with my computer is also the one who makes me feel good about my manga habits.  :)  She let me know that next month Ouran High School Host Club is starting as an anime, and that they’re doing a live action series for Saiyuki.  The first made me squeal in delight, the second made me laugh.  I just can’t see it as a live action.  She also gave me a site for Asian dramas (D-Addicts) that she uses a lot.  It looks pretty cool, but since I still have the end of Meteor Garden, most of the live action Mars and all of Full House to watch, it’ll probably be a while before I get to go play. 

My three manga:

Zatch Bell! 1 & 2 – Kiyo is a brilliant but angry young man who’s father sends him a strange little boy for his 14th birthday.  Zatch Bell’s been asked to help Kiyo make friends and help improve his attitude.  Zatch has a mysterious red book that no one is able to read, which of course piques Kiyo’s interest and he works to dicipher it.  Meanwhile, Zatch follows Kiyo to school and finds out that Kiyo has become progressively bitter over time since he’s teased and bullied because of his intelligence.  During a fight with a bully, Kiyo discovers that Zatch has magical powers that can be used by reading spells from the red book.  As time goes on they learn that Zatch is actually a mamodo – one of a hundred children from another world that have been sent to Earth to win the title of king by fighting each other until only one remains.  The mamodos need humans to help them fight by using spells from the magic books each one owns.  If the book is destroyed the mamodo disappears from Earth to return to their own world.

I wasn’t sure about this at first.  It seemed like a fairly standard “kid pairs up with a mysterious creature to compete” story.  I was reminded of Shaman King pretty strongly while reading it, although there was a bit of role reversal.  Instead of shamans using spirits to become Shaman King, the mamodos were using humans in their quest for kingship.  I actually did get caught up in it though, and quite enjoyed it.  One thing that I found odd/slightly funny was the emotion!  Kiyo is a very angry young man.  The art got quite dark when he was in the middle of an emotional storm, and even the usually chipper Zatch gets his moment of angst when he finds out that he has magic powers.  (Zatch has amnesia and finds out about his powers and alien nature after Kiyo does)  Reading about Zatch’s plots to get Kiyo some friends (he decided Kiyo should be a defender of justice to show everyone his good side) and Kiyo’s attempts to abandon Zatch mid plot was pretty funny.  The story got a bit darker with the revelation that some of the mamodos aren’t just fighting each other for the kingship, but are also revelling in the amount of damage and pain they can inflict with their human partners.  It’s also revealed that not all of the children are willing participants in the competition, but they’ve been altered in ways that force them to fight against their will.  I don’t think this is something I’m going to commit to buying right now, but I’m definitely interested in reading further volumes or checking out the anime if it ever becomes available in Japanese.

 

Gorgeous Carat 1 – A boys love manga.  Florian is a young impoverished aristocrat who is sold to distant relative Ray Balzac Courland to help pay family debts after Ray sees Florian at a ball and is entranced by his beautiful amethyst eyes.  He doesn’t just want the young man for his beauty though – Florian’s family is guardian to a famous diamond and Ray is also the notorious jewel thief Noir!  Noir hopes to discover the location of the hidden diamond and will use any means available to get the information.  No, it’s not what you’re thinking!  Noir actually tortures Florian (with a whip!) for the information but Florian manages to keep the secret safe.  Unfortunately Noir isn’t the only one after the diamond… The second story in this volume has a mysterious little boy Florian saves from some shady characters.  There are more jewels in this story, so I’m guessing this will be a recurring theme.  :) 

This was actually a pretty cute manga.  Florian is pretty but not a pushover, and while Noir seems smooth and in control you find out he’s actually only 18 (two years younger than Florian) and not quite as cold as he seems.  I’m not quite sure why Florian doesn’t exact horrible revenge on Noir for the whole torture thing – especially since the attraction doesn’t seem to go both ways yet – but I guess it’s also pretty common in manga to let things like that go.  Crazy.  I did really like this though.  It’ll be interesting to see how their relationship progresses, especially after such a rocky start.  (I was going to say “torturous” but I dodged the lure of the easy bad pun)  I’m going to try to pick up this volume eventually, but the next one isn’t coming out until June.  I guess I have time.

Side note: it looks like BLUmanga’s next book to come out is Shout Out Loud! which I believe I’m obligated as a Canadian to read since it has a hockey player in it.  :)  I’m actually kind of impressed with the titles I’ve read from BLUmanga so far.   Um, all three of them.

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Entry filed under: manga, rambling.

More anime on YTV The honeymoon is over

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