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ARC Manga Review: A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation by Misake, Momochi, Sando (Volume 1)

Thank you to Diamond Book Distributer (Tokyopop) and NetGalley for the e-ARC to read and review! A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation goes on sale August 11, 2020.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Manga
Series: A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation
# of Volumes: 2 (ongoing)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: When Lizel mysteriously finds himself in a city that bears odd similarities to his own but clearly isn’t, he quickly comes to terms with the unlikely truth: this is an entirely different world. Even so, laid-back Lizel isn’t the type to panic.

He immediately sets out to learn more about this strange place, and to help him do so, hires a seasoned adventurer named Gil as his tour guide and protector. Until he’s able to find a way home, Lizel figures this is a perfect opportunity to explore a new way of life adventuring as part of a guild.

After all, he’s sure he’ll go home eventually… might as well enjoy the otherworldly vacation for now!

 

My Review: A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation is an unusual but laid back read. I enjoyed this first volume a lot and feel the story thus far shows promise.

Lizel is calm, cool, and collected. He is also intelligent with wicked wits. But all in all he is a good guy with a good heart. People are drawn to his polite manner and nature. He literally behaves like he’s on a vacation until he can find a way home. There is more to this character I’m sure of it. We don’t know much about him – as he tells Gil, we haven’t asked the right questions.

I am in love with Gil. He’s stoic, calm but cautious, and sure of himself and his abilities. He is a stark contrast to Lizel, which provides a lot of comedic moments through the story. Gil, I think, is drawn to Lizel because of Lizel’s competency and how he keeps surprising him.

The world of A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation is easy to immerse yourself in. It’s world-building is pretty standard and the idea of adventurers and adventuring is explained well. The fantasy element is very appealing. You meet other interesting characters but I’m hoping that develops a bit more in the next volume.

I would continue reading this series because I am highly invested in the story. The art style is beautiful and I love Lizel and Gil together. Would recommend this series.

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Manga Review: Haikyu!! by Haruichi Furudate (Vol. 1-3)

*combined review*

Genre: Manga, Sports, Shonen
Series: Haikyu!!
# of Volumes: 39 (ongoing)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: [Vol. 1] A chance event triggered Shouyou Hinata’s love for volleyball. His club had no members, but somehow persevered and finally made it into its very first and final regular match of middle school, where it was steamrolled by Tobio Kageyama, a superstar player known as “King of the Court.”

Vowing revenge, Hinata applied to the Karasuno High School volleyball club… only to come face-to-face with his hated rival, Kageyama!

 

My Review: [Vol. 1-3] A really great start to a very heartfelt and passionate story!

I am so happy to be reading this series because I love the anime so so much! The story opens wonderfully, foreshadowing the beginning of something special. Matches were captivating the view with all the right moments captured.I really like the art style and felt every impact of larger or full page panels.

Foundations are laid as Karasuno slowly comes together. There’s a lot of raw emotion in just these beginning volumes, everyone has something to improve upon to be the best player and teammate they can be. I adore each character so much, especially Hinata and Nishinoya!

I could barely contain my joy as I was reading and now I want to start collecting all of the volumes. I enjoyed re-experiencing this story anew through the manga. It has reaffirmed my love for this story and team.

 

Images via Goodreads
Vol. 1  |  Vol. 2  |  Vol. 3

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Manga Series Review: Kamisama Kiss by Julietta Suzuki (combined review)

*this is an overall review*

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Manga, Young Adult, Romantic Comedy
Series: Kamisama Kiss
# of Volumes: 25
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: When Nanami inherits a shrine, it comes with divine powers and a hot fox spirit!

Nanami Momozono is alone and homeless after her dad skips town to evade his gambling debts and the debt collectors kick her out of her apartment. So when a man she’s just saved from a dog offers her his home, she jumps at the opportunity. But it turns out that his place is a shrine, and Nanami has unwittingly taken over his job as a local deity!

 

My Review: I am more in love with Kamisama Kiss than when I started reading this manga. This was such a fantastic series and I’m so sad to have finished it.

Nanami is a kind-hearted but stubborn girl. She really adjusts to all the supernatural happenings very well for a human. There were times I didn’t like her – when she’d act without thinking things through. But I like her and could imagine anyone else for this particular role.

Tomoe I love a lot. He’s so brash but sure of himself. He’s dedicated and mysterious. He’s gone through so much but that doesn’t stop him – maybe stall a bit – from doing what must be done. I enjoyed his character development most of all.

Really all the quirky characters are lovable in their own way! Mizuki is adorable and contributed a lot of comedic moments. Kurama is cool in everything he does. Ami and Kei, Nanami’s best friends, were the perfecting supporting characters and anchor to Nanami’s human side.

The final volume was really emotional for me. Things wrapped up so nicely and with such finality but much hope and happiness for the future. I could not have asked for a more perfect ending. I’m so happy for Nanami and Tomoe! This is a bittersweet goodbye to these characters and series but I can honestly say I am one happy reader.


My Review of Volume 1

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Manga Review: Nabari No Ou by Yuhki Kamatani (Volumes 1-3)

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
Series: Nabari No Ou
# of Volumes: 14 / completed
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: [from Vol. 1] Apathetic schoolboy Miharu Rokujou is content to meander through life in the sleepy village of Banten. But his quiet existence is shattered when the Grey Wolves of Iga, a powerful ninja clan, attempt to kidnap him in broad daylight. Only then does Miharu discover that the ultimate power of the hidden ninja realm — a power that can do both great good and great harm — is sealed within his body. As battles erupt among rival ninja clans seeking to control him, Miharu must overcome his apathy and learn the ways of the ninja if he wants any shot at survival!

 

My Review: Nabari No Ou is a good manga/anime. The volumes I’m reviewing cover seem to cover the first 8 1/2 episodes. I’d only seen the anime before now but I’m glad to have finally gotten around to reading the manga.

I wasn’t super blown away by these volumes but I was still enjoying the story. I was invested in Miharu and what was happening. I loved the artwork, especially all the action scenes. There wasn’t much character growth but it may be too soon for that. We know the stakes and (kind of) who opposition is early so we’re set for more action and tension to take off in volume 4.

I adore Miharu. I don’t mind that he’s apathetic most of the time because his big heart and sense of humor shine through on several occasions. He’s not as weak as others may perceive him to be. He can defend himself for the most part.

It’s a compelling story overall that I’d recommend to others.

 

 

 

 

Images via Goodreads

Vol. 1https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5422179-nabari-no-ou-vol-1

Vol. 2https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6406020-nabari-no-ou-vol-2

Vol. 3https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6867945-nabari-no-ou-vol-3

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Manga Review: Days by Tsuyoshi Yasuda (Volumes 1-7)

*review modified from what I wrote on Goodreads to give an overall review of volumes 1-7*

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novels
Series: Days
# of Volumes: 18 / ongoing (English translation)
Rating:
Recommend To Others?: Yes

ABOUT: [from Vol. 1] During his last spring break before starting high school, Tsukushi Tsukamoto meets Jin Kazama, who invites him to a pick-up soccer game. Their chance meeting, and his first-ever experience with soccer, move kind-hearted, timid Tsukushi to enroll in his new high school’s soccer club, which is among the strongest in all of Japan. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, there’s something amazing hidden inside Tsukushi’s heart…and through the trials and tribulations of his time in the soccer club, it’s beginning to blossom!

 

My Review: Days is such a great sports anime. Like other in the sports genre, Tsukamoto, the MC, is lovable and often underestimated and the team is full of adorkable weirdos. So when I found the manga for purchase I was ecstatic and eager to read. Seiseki is one of my favorite manga/anime sports teams!

The first volume was an ok introduction to the story. It was missing the high energy level that the anime has but was still cute.

Tsukamoto slowly – very slowly – grows into his own in a way only he can. He’s such a lovable character who almost everyone keeps underestimating just because of his personality and the way he looks. He is a precious gift from above! But it’s an uphill battle for him as he struggles to learn how to be an effective soccer player and member of Seiseki.

Seiseki goes through several emotional highs and lows that only serve to make the team stronger. The players are very determined to win and uphold the team’s legacy. Seiseki has a top tier soccer program.

Mizuki is a beast! He’s one of my favorite characters. What he lacks in words – which most cannot understand – he makes up for in his skill on the field.

Some of my favorite parts take place when the team goes to training camps. I think it is there where you start to see character growth not just from Tsukamoto but from other members on the team.

Big things are happening. I left off during a crucial tournament for Seiseki, so I’m looking forward to seeing how far the team will go and if they can make their dreams of representing Japan come true.

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[ARC Manga Review] Not Your Idol by Aoi Makino (Volume 1)

Warning: Includes topics of physical and sexual assault, and gender discrimination. Reader discretion advised.

Thank you to Viz Media and NetGalley for the e-ARC to read and review. Not Your Idol by Aoi Makino Volume 1 goes on sale May 5, 2020.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel, YA
Series: Not Your Idol
Rating: 3 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Maybe

 

ABOUT: A psychological suspense series about a girl who has given up her life as an idol after being assaulted by a fan.

After that day, she stopped being a girl. In the wake of an assault, Nina Kamiyama, a former idol in the group Pure Club, shuns her femininity and starts dressing as a boy. At high school she keeps to herself, but fellow student Hikaru Horiuchi realizes who she is. What secrets is she keeping? The shocking drama starts.

 

My Review:
Warning: Includes topics of physical and sexual assault, and gender discrimination. Reader discretion advised.

I’m ambivalent about this first volume of Not Your Idol. I don’t dislike it but I don’t necessarily like it.

Most of the characters in this story I either strongly dislike as a character or disagree with their point of view on what’s happening within the story. However, the story’s biggest strength is the variety of opinions (the good, the bad, and everything in between) on the important issues of physical/sexual assault and gender discrimination. This I think brings an apt realism.

The art was good, one of my favorite art styles in manga. A few transitions between scenes or past/present were jarring. But each time I was able to reorient myself within the story.

The ending was great, leaving off on an emotional high. But I think I would have to read volume 2 to really know if I want to continue this series.

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[Manga Review] An Incurable Case of Love by Maki Enjōji (Volume 1)

*review of vol. 1 only*

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
Series: An Incurable Case of Love, Vol. 1
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT: Nurse Nanase has striven to once again meet the prince of her dreams, so how is it he’s become such an aggravating doctor?!

After witnessing a handsome and charming young doctor saving a stranger’s life five years ago, Nanase Sakura trained to become a nurse. But when she meets the doctor again and they start working together, she finds Kairi Tendo to be nothing like the man she imagined him to be!

 

My Review:
I wanted to read An Incurable Case of Love because it seemed like it would be a funny rom-com story. I bought Volume 1 – the only volume in English published at the time – on optimism alone. I’m so glad I found this series because it was an enjoyable read.

Volume was super cute. Nanase studies to become a nurse so she can one day work with a guy she met five years ago who helped her save someone’s life. It’s a frivolous reason to become a nurse. But when she finally reunites with the handsome doctor, things go sideways fast. I knew then – from the way these stubborn titans constantly clashed – that I was going to fall in love with this series.

Five years is a long time. I’m curious to learn what changed for Tendo that he’s now so gruff and unapproachable a person that no one wants to be assigned to his department. He’s a great doctor but not easy to work with. I predict this is because of possibly a bad relationship, the stress of his profession, or perhaps mental trauma from losing a patient.

All the characters you meet so far are great and compliment the two main characters. Sparks are already flying in volume 1, so I’m eager to continue the story.

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[Manga Review] Kamisama Kiss (Vol. 1) by Julietta Suzuki

Review of Volume 1 only

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
Series: Kamisama Kiss
# of Volumes: 25
Rating: 4 out of 5

 

ABOUT: Nanami Momozono is alone and homeless after her dad skips town to evade his gambling debts and the debt collectors kick her out of her apartment. So when a man she’s just saved from a dog offers her his home, she jumps at the opportunity. But it turns out that his place is a shrine, and Nanami has unwillingly taken over his job as a local deity!

Nanami has all kinds of new responsibilities she doesn’t understand, dangers she’s unaware of, and a cranky ex-familiar who’s… actually pretty hot. What’s a new-fledged godling to do?

 

My Review: This was a great start to the story. I’ve only watched the anime so this was a nice re-introduction to the story. Reading was a nostalgic experience.

Nanami is alot different than I remember. She is an eh character as of this first volume but I’m sure I’ll grow to like her character more. She’s vocal when she needs to me. She doesn’t allow Tomoe to walk all over her or scare her.

Tomoe is like any other of my favorite white-haired main character. You can tell how deeply the betrayal has affected him. He doesn’t think much of Nanami because she’s human. But I also think he’s projecting his anger onto her. I like his character the most because of his cool attitude.

I can’t wait for more characters to appear. I think they will add a lot of color and humor to the rest of the story.

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Book Review: Library Wars: Love & War by KiiroYumi

Story & Art by Kiiro Yumi, Original Concept by Hiro Arikawa

 

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
Series: Library Wars: Love & War
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

Vol. 1 Summary (via Goodreads):
In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves–the Library Forces!

Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she’s finally a recruit, she’s finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it in for her!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Review:
I liked Library Wars more than I thought I would, which is good because I am definitely aimed to read the entire series.

The title peaked my curiosity first. With a word like “library” in the title, how could I resist? I read the summary and became more curious but still wary. I was sold on the idea but not completely sold, so I only took out volume 1.

Kasahara is very head-strong and sometimes doesn’t look before she leaps. But all her actions are always in good faith. She is also a fellow bookworm so that makes her okay in my book (no pun intended). She’s kind of an air-head with a heart of gold. I expect she’ll do many great and surprising things in this series.

I liked that the conflict, though in the background at the moment, is censorship of books (and by extension any typed of media deemed “harmful”). But censorship is on a whole different level and I really like that aspect of the story. That the world has come to military actions to protect books is intriguing.

In the foreground at the moment is Kasahara and her place in basic training for the Library Forces and the introduction of other main and secondary characters.

Also, there is heavy romance in the air clearly between Kasahara and her instructor, Sergeant Atsushi Dojo. It’s so obvious they like each just as it’s obvious to all the other characters.

Still, I enjoyed volume 1 a lot and will continue with this series. The writing is pretty solid and the story captivates me. Plus, I have to know if Kashara’s dreams come true.


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Book Review: The Demon Prince of Momochi House by Aya Shouoto (Volume 1)

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel, YA Fantasy
Series: The Demon Prince of Momochi House, Volume 1
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

Summary (via Goodreads):
On her sixteenth birthday, orphan Himari Momochi inherits her ancestral estate that she’s never seen. Momochi House exists on the barrier between the human and spiritual realms, and Himari is meant to act as guardian between the two worlds. But on the day she moves in, she finds three handsome squatters already living in the house, and one seems to have already taken over her role!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Review:
I am loving this series. It’s like a cross between Fruits Basket and Kamisama Kiss with a sprinkle of Inuyasha. So of course I adore all of the characters. Himari is a nice girl. She’s kind of a flat character but I hope that we learn more about her in the next volume. Aoi I am crushing on because he is so goofy and sweet. His story so far is sad and I feel for him. But I’m hoping that Himari will be his salvation. You learn hardly anything about Yukari and Ise, Aoi’s companions and shikigami. But again we’ll just have to wait and see. I have a strong feeling The Demon Prince of Momochi House is going to become a favorite series of mine.


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