If you go onto the Yen Press website, it suggests this manga is similar to Azumanga Daioh, and that's a very apt comparison - but at the same time it'If you go onto the Yen Press website, it suggests this manga is similar to Azumanga Daioh, and that's a very apt comparison - but at the same time it's not. Whilst Azumanga Daioh focuses on the students and has a couple of teachers, S.S. Astro focuses almost exclusively on the teachers.
It is, above all else, a fairly immature manga and I don't think it has the same level of self-awareness that similar slice-of-life comedies can have, and it ends up coming across as pathetic at times. This is a shame because it starts off really well, with the first pages being funny and well-drawn. As it goes on, however, jokes and situations are quickly repeated and the amount of unnecessary and blatant fanservice (one example is the main character bends over in her swimsuit, with a panel giving more than enough detail than is needed to show how tight it is), and it even comes across as making fun of fairly creepy/inappropriate things with some regularity - perhaps it's more the Japanese sense of humour than anything.
As it progressed, I found myself less and less interested, less amused and even more confused as to what was going on. there were multiple times where I really just didn't understand who was talking and what they were trying to say.
After reading it, it's not hard to see why it's only had one volume translated - it's not as funny as it thinks it is, and it relies on too many repetitious or unoriginal jokes for its humour.
Side note: I want to give credit to Yen for including translation notes that provide some extra information. Always great to see them included....more
Honestly? It's not that good. We've had some post-Book IV comics, then Book I, and now they've moved onto Book II and whilst Eddie was a great charactHonestly? It's not that good. We've had some post-Book IV comics, then Book I, and now they've moved onto Book II and whilst Eddie was a great character in the books, I really just didn't feel this mini-series. The art was okay, but it's come off a run that had a lot of superb art (especially people like Lee, Isanove, Maleev, etc.) so it looks fairly normal rather than special, and I just didn't feel excited going from issue-to-issue. Marvel really should have quit whilst they were ahead....more
I've watched maybe half of the anime based on this series, and the majority of this book is adapted (well, expanded) into that first half.
If you don'tI've watched maybe half of the anime based on this series, and the majority of this book is adapted (well, expanded) into that first half.
If you don't know what it is, the titular Seki spends every class goofing off in spectacular and bizarre ways. He uses erasers as dominos, he brings cats into the class room, he creates a note mailing system and many other distractions, all of which bother the series' narrator, Yokoi. All Yokoi wants to do is focus on her classwork, but Seki's constant and frequently strange actions always lead her to losing focus, and sometimes getting in trouble.
I had very slight issues with this, though. Whilst Takuma Morishige's art is pretty good and consistent throughout the volume, there are occasional panels where he puts in some unnecessary fanservice, or at the very least draws Yokoi in slightly provocative or strange poses. It's not so much about the schoolgirl thing in this instance, more they really just don't fit in with the rest of the panels. The art style/approach changes for no reason, it seems. My other main issue is the way Yokoi sometimes reacts to Seki, and the terms/phrasing she uses. She occasionally calls Seki's masculinity into question because of what he's doing or how he's doing it - even simply for doing origami at one point.
But on the whole I really enjoyed this and got a good few laughs out of it, and the translation reads really well....more
Probably the least-good Murakami I've read (out of... um... five), but it's still really good. My only problem is it doesn't really feel like it ends.Probably the least-good Murakami I've read (out of... um... five), but it's still really good. My only problem is it doesn't really feel like it ends. I expect that's what was intended, but it doesn't feel like even a hint of a conclusion was present - but I did want to know more, so perhaps it worked....more
I don't know how much I agree with my own four stars and 'favourites' tag. I wasn't really too sure how much I liked this volume - it was good, yes, bI don't know how much I agree with my own four stars and 'favourites' tag. I wasn't really too sure how much I liked this volume - it was good, yes, but after the *amazing* end to Volume 2 I was a little disappointed. It's not so much that it has filler material, but more it has periods where it's not entirely clear what the relevance of some parts to the story is. Some once-important characters get pushed towards the back, others come towards the front, and it feels (almost) pointless.
But... then you get to the last chapter of the book and it just all comes together so amazingly perfectly, and the 'final' scene between the two main characters is just so gorgeously done. I felt my eyes sting a bit - it's not hard to imagine people being in tears over it. Ikeda rounds it off with a lovely and hopeful scene set in the near-future for the characters, and a few plotlines are tied-up in a couple of bonus comics towards the end.
I don't know if I would say Whispered Words was the best manga of its type, but Ikeda is able to write and draw a passionate story with great characters, but also isn't afraid to be a bit silly with it. He really surprised me with how tasteful the series was at its start, and he didn't betray that quickly-formed trust. Twice now volumes have ended on really emotional notes, and I'm just sad that this was the final volume. I would pay this price *again* just for a chapter or two showcasing the future of the characters....more
I'm not entirely sure I liked this, though I can't say it was outright bad - just a combination of a lot of questionable things.
The main female characI'm not entirely sure I liked this, though I can't say it was outright bad - just a combination of a lot of questionable things.
The main female character (who plays a support role, at least in the first volume) is fun, but her design really stands out as she's dressed differently (i.e. wearing a skin-tight bodysuit) to any other inmate. The female warden is drawn with huge breasts (that occasionally dominate the panel), and a character asks how big they are and she responds they're a G Cup without missing a beat. Um. Two or so instances of the violence seem to be censored a little towards the end, unless that was some odd visual trick. A lot of the 'busier' panels are nearly impossible to comprehend in black-and-white.
I liked the idea behind the story and how it was developing, but at the same time it feels like it's just... yeah....more
So, let's get a few things sorted before I go into this:
1. The new edition boldly states on the back it's set in Westeros. This is never mentioned inSo, let's get a few things sorted before I go into this:
1. The new edition boldly states on the back it's set in Westeros. This is never mentioned in the book (though it could certainly be Westeros), and is contradicted by the yearly cycle being different to in the Westeros we know now. 2. This book's original release predates Game of Thrones by about 16 years, hence the errors - so if it is Westeros, this is a proto-Westeros. 3. Luis Royo is not an artist I am a fan of. I don't like art by people who see women as only being able to be drawn with clothing malfunctions.
The story: Well, it's GRRM, so it's good. It's simple, but it's also quite heart-warming as it reaches its conclusion. It also has a few mature themes for what is a children's book - we have childbirth mentioned, death, war, violence and some of the action sequences are fairly graphic. But it is an easy, enjoyable read that works as a nice diversion for an evening.
The art: Some of Royo's art in this is pretty good. He details things nicely and many of his illustrations compliment the text well. My biggest issue is the way he drew the protagonist, Adara. She's a pouting princess of a girl and it felt a bit too much like I was watching Little Miss Sunshine again when she was shown in detail. Not entirely sure it was appropriate. This also is contrasted by how gruff everyone else looks. I don't think, somehow, the daughter of a poor farmer would be so... "presentable".
On the whole this is an enjoyable book, and with its implied ties to Westeros it may be of interest to fans of Game of Thrones or A Song of Ice and Fire, but as far as I'm aware there's no official bridge between them contained in either set of texts, so take the link with sixteen years' worth of pinches of salt. And if you go for this edition and wish to read it to children, don't forget to read through it alone first - some of the art is surprisingly graphic....more
The manga is pretty accurate in terms of capturing the over-the-top wackiness of the game series. Chances are you won't see the 'answer' coming - becaThe manga is pretty accurate in terms of capturing the over-the-top wackiness of the game series. Chances are you won't see the 'answer' coming - because it's just so completely out there. This may put some people off (especially those not familiar with the game), but those who have played at least some of the cases will appreciate how accurate the manga is.
It also has to be said that the characters from the game are nailed brilliantly in this, each acting as you would expect.
Not many faults, really, but it only gets 4 stars because the cases do stretch the plausibility a bit far, and the second is perhaps a little too close to a case from the first game....more
Pretty much more of the same from the second volume, though Zelda seems to have been given a slight kick up the backside, which is good. Nabooru alsoPretty much more of the same from the second volume, though Zelda seems to have been given a slight kick up the backside, which is good. Nabooru also enters this volume, and she's a joy to read.
Best of all, it comes with some bonus chapters - two cement the link between Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask (though I believe it's still non-canon) and a third involving a new race called the Watarara, similar to Wind Waker's Rito people (again, non-canon!) - and they're quite enjoyable as snapshots into Link's life outside of the game's story....more
Despite being licensed, the manga titles for Zelda are non-canon. And it's not hard to see why, although it has to be said they're still pretty good rDespite being licensed, the manga titles for Zelda are non-canon. And it's not hard to see why, although it has to be said they're still pretty good reads.
The game's dungeons barely get a look in during the manga, with it essentially being Link goes in (usually accompanied by another character), a brief bit of development, then the showdown with the boss. There's also little explanation - or decent explanation - of how Link gains the weapons he uses, and those that do exist contradict the game (e.g. Mido doesn't give Link the Kokiri sword).
The strength of the manga, however, lies in its characterisation. They don't just give Link a voice, they change around the exposition, give characters like Impa and Sheik much more depth and agency, and on the whole it just flows better (except the brief dungeon sequences peppering the story). Even some of the bosses are fleshed out a bit, and it works quite well.
The art isn't bad - in fact it's pretty good, but it is a little inconsistent at times. Some improvements are made, such as Impa's outfit, but for the most part it's simply just the game's characters drawn (at some points they're suspiciously close to looking traced) in a neater fashion.
I do recommend this for Zelda fans - even manga fans who don't game who like Zelda - but it has to be taken with a pinch of salt....more
Whilst I enjoyed Susan's story (to some degree), I don't think this really worked for me. Aside from Death's own story again being somewhat disappointWhilst I enjoyed Susan's story (to some degree), I don't think this really worked for me. Aside from Death's own story again being somewhat disappointing and the Wizards going through roughly the same motions, I'm not sure the inspirations and ideas behind it are something I'm wholly familiar with. I only understood some of the jokes because I'd seen them discussed elsewhere.
Not bad by any measure, just not - for me - one of the better Discworld novels....more
Strangely, for a Death novel, Death seemed to have very little to do for most of the book, though the last parts of his story are easily amongst the mStrangely, for a Death novel, Death seemed to have very little to do for most of the book, though the last parts of his story are easily amongst the most emotionally powerful things that Sir Pratchett has written. As for Windle Poons' story, I thought it was generally pretty funny (albeit bordering on the too-ridiculous-even-for-Discworld) and Ludmilla has entered my list of Favourite Discworld Characters.
Aside from a few stumbles, this could be one of the better Discworld novels....more