Steven deSelby is a Pomp, he helps those that have died move on to the afterlife(like reapers, anthropomorphic personifications of death, or JapaneseSteven deSelby is a Pomp, he helps those that have died move on to the afterlife(like reapers, anthropomorphic personifications of death, or Japanese shinigami, except these are distinctly human and their only magic power is the ability to pass souls on to the afterlife). It's a good job, despite the odd annoying co-worker - that is until a dead girl warns him he's about to be shot at, turning his life upside down by keeping him alive when all the other pomps in Brisbane are falling like flies. Who is behind this, will Steven survive and how hard is a relationship going to be between a pomp and a dead girl?
I was sort of inclined to love this book automatically because it's set in Brisbane. I really enjoy thinking 'hey I've actually been there' because unless it's in Brisbane or select places in Japan, I probably never have been there, so that's a real thrill. Of course I enjoyed the book for a lot of other reasons, but this was worth the mention.
There's plenty of action, as you'd expect from a book about death and its dealings, but it doesn't let the action do all the work, the humour is rife, and I would have slapped up so many more quotes than just the couple I did, but I wasn't always near a computer, and sometimes even when I was I just wanted to keep enjoying the story.
And lets not forget the good old fashioned doomed romance. I'm all in for them ;p The whole thing was well handled and interesting and had me genuinely rooting for them to find a way to be together.
Lots of humour and action, and well worth reading....more
Kobato is a mysterious young cutie who has absolutely no grasp on even the most basic of common sense. She has a goal however, there is a place she waKobato is a mysterious young cutie who has absolutely no grasp on even the most basic of common sense. She has a goal however, there is a place she wants to go, and to get there she must fill a jar to the brim with fragments of broken hearts she has healed - but first she has to earn the jar by proving she can survive (and blend in!) in the human world.
Anyone who has looked at my later reviews of this series will wonder why this volume has 4 stars but the others have 5. the reason is because this first volume has a very episodic feel, there was the undercurrent linking each episode, and Kobato was cute and Ioryogi hilarious (but brutal) but I wasn't deeply connecting to the story. Of course I had complete faith that CLAMP would pull it all together by the end.
While the episodic feel did keep me a little distant from the heart of the story anyone unfamiliar with Japanese culture will be delighted to discover details of daily life in Japan, like taking out the trash, hanami, and more. What is commonsense to the Japanese is slightly skewed in some situations to what is commonsense to those of us in 'the west'.
As always with CLAMP books the art is gorgeous and detailed, you could spend days admiring some panels. Also, like a few of the more recent series you can keep an eye out for old friends from series past.
Kobato is a character has that adorable, clumsy innocence that is a bit of a trope in manga, but she is so cute (and adorable dressed) that I imagine most people will over-look it (or like a lot of manga fans perhaps love her all the more for it). Ioryogi may look like a blue stuffed animal, but his impressive fire beam breath prooves rather effectively that his is not your average toy dog (like the walking and talking wasn't some hint). Both characters clearly have hidden pasts (which readers of CLAMP will know won't be fully revealed until the final volume), and the hints are tantalising enough to draw you to the next volume.
I recommend this series for all CLAMP fans and any lovers of shojo manga or those keen to try out either (or both)....more
Hana suffers from an unusual condition where whenever she touches a boy (particularly cute ones) she breaks out in super-itchy hives. Add to this herHana suffers from an unusual condition where whenever she touches a boy (particularly cute ones) she breaks out in super-itchy hives. Add to this her older sister forcing her to work in a massage parlour with two particularly handsome men and you can imagine Hana's going to have a tough time in Tokyo.
To be honest, we've all seen the 'girl allergic to boys' plot before. We all know where it's going. However a good friend gave me this book, so I wanted to be sure and read it. Fortunately while the core of the plot is a bit hackneyed the story itself lifts this manga up out of the doldrums with some nicer touches.
One of those 'nice touches' are the cool and insightful ideas Kazumi-san puts into her work. Most manga fans know every manga likes to drop some deep thinking in from time to time, and this is no exception (I love this about manga, taking a peek at other people views of the world and its workings). While a lot of the insights revolve around the nature of touch, there are some other sweet thoughts too.
Hana herself is cute and plucky, with a slightly unusual image compared to a lot of shojo heroines. I quite liked her, both visually and personality-wise. Haru has an intriguing back story which adds some good drama to the tail end of the story. The other primary characters are interesting, and you can't help but feel bad for poor Nakajima-san.
The art is sweet and shojo and reminds me slightly of Chica Umino's style (cute and light-hearted but with a poignant, emotional touch).
The story does however leave me asking a few questions that I shouldn't have to be, like, (view spoiler)[ how exactly does Hana suddenly end up cured of her condition in relation to every boy except Haru? I get that Haru remained an issue because she was into him, but how did she suddenly become unaffected by any other guys? Furthermore near the start there's vague reference to the fact 'something' set her off with this allergy, but then it's never explored. I'd like to know what started it all.
On the plus side I was grateful that up to the end she still suffered the hives whenever he touches her, so it wasn't just a 'oh look, the magic of love cured her' like a few other stories with the same premise have ended. I appreciate the more realistic touch to the end. (hide spoiler)]
Overall the series (omnibus in the Tokyopop release's case) is worth reading for fans of the shojo genre, despite the done-before premise, because I feel that the characters and insights save the manga from falling into a been-there-read-that pit.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
If you enjoy his movies it's hard to pass by Kevin Smith's book Tough Shit. By the way, if you can't handle discussions of sex or cussing then this miIf you enjoy his movies it's hard to pass by Kevin Smith's book Tough Shit. By the way, if you can't handle discussions of sex or cussing then this might be a book to avoid since Smith doesn't beat around the bush. In fact the first few pages are a discussion of how we all come from cum, so you've been warned. BTW he does manage to turn all that talk of cum into something inspirational - I'm certain there are few people who could manage such a feat.
Smith gives a lot of information on his entrance to the film industry, walks you through his films and other developments (like SModcast), with a chapter to cover the horrible 'too fat to fly' debacle. Written with the power of hind sight Smith reveals his mistakes for us. He likewise does not hold back on his opinions of people he has worked with, both those he likes and those he does not.
Funny and informative and inspirational. I recommend this book for creative types (who can take the language) and any fan of Kevin Smith's....more
**spoiler alert** Poor shy Yaya is so retreating she can't stand up for herself. Lucky for her hiding inside her is another personality. Strong assert**spoiler alert** Poor shy Yaya is so retreating she can't stand up for herself. Lucky for her hiding inside her is another personality. Strong assertive (or perhaps more accurately aggressive) Nana fights Yaya's battles for her, but in this final volume she has a chance to be the dominant personality.
After Moriyama's ex forces Yaya into awareness of Nana Yaya retreats into herself leaving Nana as the only personality. While Nana enjoys her chance to pursue her own aspirations she also worries about Yaya. Finally Yaya emerges and she Nana share the same body and work towards a singing debut facilitated by Shohei. Slowly Nana realises Yaya is gaining the ability to stand up for herself and thus the need for Nana is disappearing.
I was glad to finally see Yaya grow as a character. She finally became able to stand up for herself in her own way. It was interesting to watch them co-exist, but I also knew it was not a sustainable solution.
The conclusion is sad, satisfying and even a little humourous.
I recommend this series to any lover of shojo manga....more
Poor demure Yaya is almost surrounded by bullies, but within her resides the strong and aggressive Nana who will fight the battles Yaya can't.
Just whePoor demure Yaya is almost surrounded by bullies, but within her resides the strong and aggressive Nana who will fight the battles Yaya can't.
Just when it seems things might be looking up for Moriyama and Yaya deepening their relationship up pops an ex-girlfriend who quickly discovers Yaya/Nana's secret and reveals the fact to the still oblivious Yaya. You'll need to read it to see how Yaya reacts when she can no longer run away.
Nana shines more and more and you can't help but pray that Yaya will find her own strength. Moriyama is such a good guy and I must say I am rooting for him more than the protagonist herself.
I recommend this book/series to any shojo manga fan....more
Poor shy Yaya is a bully magnet who can't stand up for herself. Luckily(?) hiding inside her is the boisterous Nana who will do 'justice' on her behalPoor shy Yaya is a bully magnet who can't stand up for herself. Luckily(?) hiding inside her is the boisterous Nana who will do 'justice' on her behalf.
In this volume Hano-chan kicks her evil up a gear with a sky-diving tag match and Nana faces down a serial train molester.
I recommend this book/series for fans of shojo manga....more
Yaya is a shy, sweet girl who is a bully magnet (probably because she can't even try to stand up for herself). Hiding inside Yaya is Nana, a super strYaya is a shy, sweet girl who is a bully magnet (probably because she can't even try to stand up for herself). Hiding inside Yaya is Nana, a super strong and sassy girl who does 'justice' to Yaya's bullies.
Hino-chan (Yaya's latest bully and rival for Moriyama's affections) is a piece of work. She uses awful tricks and manipulation to try and destroy Yaya (and just about any other girl who walks by too). Nana shows more growth by showing she won't just protect Yaya with her fists but by working hard for her and reveals more of her own personal preferences. Yaya seems to have less and less of a clue as to what's going on in her own head.
I recommend the series for shojo manga fans....more
Poor bullied Yaya is a shy, gentle girl who can't say a word back to any of her bullies but hiding inside her, waiting for a catalyst, is Nana. Nana iPoor bullied Yaya is a shy, gentle girl who can't say a word back to any of her bullies but hiding inside her, waiting for a catalyst, is Nana. Nana is tough as nails and does Yaya's vengence. Unfortunately Nana's 'help' often isn't.
Yaya gains a rival for Moriyama's affections and Moriyama's brother wants Nana bad. Plenty of kooky fun in this volume complete with pet alligators. Nana is becoming more than just a character who comes out to protect Yaya, becoming her own person with her own aspirations. Yaya herself isn't doing a lot of growing yet, though she is becoming increasingly aware of her blackouts.
I recommend this book/series for any shojo manga fan....more
Quiet sweet Yaya puts up with bullies for friends, surviving the school week just to make it to Sunday when she can go to Harajuku and cosplay with heQuiet sweet Yaya puts up with bullies for friends, surviving the school week just to make it to Sunday when she can go to Harajuku and cosplay with her true friends - fans of her favourite band Juliet. Yaya can't stand up for herself, but hidden inside Yaya, ready to come out when the stress is too much (and a catalyst like a bump to the head or a look at her reflection) is Nana. Nana is brave and strong and serves justice to those who prey on Yaya. Nana's 'justice' tends to make Yaya's false friends only nastier, but luckily cute classmate Moriyama seems to be there to try and help Yaya.
It seems Yaya is starting to notice the gaps in her memory from when Nana takes over, and this only adds to the poor girl's stress. Moriyama invites Yaya to an outdoor concert his band is having, read the book to find out if Nana is going to crash the party!
Moriyama is a seriously sweet guy, the one you totally wish had existed in your high school. Yaya is so sweet and gentle but you do wish she'd stick up for herself just once, not need Nana for it. Nana herself is starting to develop a bit of her own 'personality' too.
I recommend this book/series for any shojo manga fan....more
Poor Yaya struggles through high school with only bullies for friends, living through each week for Sunday when she can finally dress up in homage toPoor Yaya struggles through high school with only bullies for friends, living through each week for Sunday when she can finally dress up in homage to her favourite band, Juliette. Yaya reaches breaking point on a group date when her so-called friends force her into singing whilst mocking her taste in music and clothes (they're multi-tasking bullies). When Yaya snaps out comes another girl from within. Strong, sassy Nana is the polar opposite of Yaya and quickly shows the whole room who's boss, but that's really not going to help Yaya when she wakes back up.
Othello is a hilarious tale of split personalities and all the things that made high school awesome and awful. It's hard not to root for sweet little Yaya but you can't help but wish she didn't need to become Nana to deal with her problems.
Plenty of cultural references are explained in the back for those less familiar with Japanese traditions and the fact they leave in these details is something I appreciate.
I recommend the book/series to any shojo manga fan....more