The first time I tried to read this series by CLAMP last summer, I wasn't sure where the story was going. My only conclusion was that the heroine, KobThe first time I tried to read this series by CLAMP last summer, I wasn't sure where the story was going. My only conclusion was that the heroine, Kobato, was darling.
Well, after watching and falling in love with the anime, I decided it was time to give the manga a try again. My conclusion this time, having read through the 5 volumes out, is that Kobato is still darling and that the manga and the anime make nice companion pieces for each other in telling this story. The anime focuses more on the external events surrounding Kobato, which gives life and direction to the story. The manga focuses primarily on Kobato's internal development, which is why when I first read the story, I didn't know where it was going. It was as directionless as darling Kobato! But, having both to refer to (which, I suppose, is a drawback if you are a manga-only type person), I absolutely love this story.
Final volume in June!
(Volume 1 first read July 2011, reread April 2012)...more
The librarian at my library forced me to check this series out. She literally went to the bookshelf and came back with the first three volumes of theThe librarian at my library forced me to check this series out. She literally went to the bookshelf and came back with the first three volumes of the series. Talk about being assertive!
That said, I wasn't as keen to check it out, so it's probably a good thing that someone did it for me or I might never have given the story a chance - the reason being that the cover art bugs me. I told my husband that and he asked me what series cover art do I actually like and that made me pause for a moment. Out of the nearly 40 series that I've read, only a few came to mind. Anyway, talk about not judging a book by its cover...it's just that when it comes to manga, you do judge a story by its art and if the cover art bugs me then, well, enough on that. I chose to make my review on volume 4 because out of the 5 volumes out now, I can tolerate volume 4 the best.
So, Dengeki Daisy. As with a lot of (okay, most of) shoujo manga, Dengeki Daisy is peppered with cliche after cliche. I actually don't mind the cliches so long as the characters are likeable and there's an actual plot that actually goes somewhere. In this cliche set up, we've got Teru, who is an orphan. Before he died, Teru's older brother left her a person that she can contact when she needs someone to talk to. This person is DAISY. Teru is able to contact DAISY through text messages on her phone. By talking to this person electronically (dengeki could probably be translated as electric), Teru finds the emotional support to help her through bullying and loneliness as she navigates high school life on her own.
What follows is a cute romantic comedy that has some tragic undertones. Dengeki Daisy might be considered a high school version of "You've Got Mail" which was a modern day version of "The Shop Around the Corner". The humor is witty, the characters are extremely likeable (especially our spunky heroine, which is an absolute must), and the art is nice and clean. This series is pure fun - no deep philosophies about life found here - but that's its intent and it does it well. Recommended for those who have a weakness for cute romantic comedies....more
I have to admit, this story is frustrating me. I felt like this entire volume was stalling, and I really don't enjoy volumes that have that stalling fI have to admit, this story is frustrating me. I felt like this entire volume was stalling, and I really don't enjoy volumes that have that stalling feel to me. That said, I know that it picks up again soon, and I'm anxious to continue the story. I just felt that Sawako was out-of-this-world completely and unreasonable dense and I wanted everyone around her to sit her down and spell it out for her. Instead, they all tiptoe around her hoping that she'll figure things out for herself, but she's so dense that it's going to take forever. Okay, rant over. Next volume, please! (September can't come soon enough!)...more
Mushishi follows the story of Ginko, a wandering mushi master who helps those affected by mushi, creatures that fall somewhere between animal and planMushishi follows the story of Ginko, a wandering mushi master who helps those affected by mushi, creatures that fall somewhere between animal and plant life. The series is episodic in nature, although as the stories progress, the reader learns how Ginko came into his work and more about the mushi themselves.
The artwork is exquisite - simple, calm, and often understated, yet compelling in the way it tells the story. The story itself can be haunting at times, using the mushi as a vehicle to tell Japanese folklore, which I have always found to be so intriguing.
Mushishi is a 10 volume series, and it has a 26 episode anime based off of it (which is stunning). I watched the anime a few years ago and I have been curious about the manga ever since. It looks to me that the anime only covers about half of the manga, although I have only read through volume 4, so I have yet to encounter new material. Either way - whether the material is familiar to me or new - I look forward to reading each new chapter. Highly recommended....more
When my husband was in law school, one of his professors asked him to give a presentation about the Japanese confinement camps from both a personal anWhen my husband was in law school, one of his professors asked him to give a presentation about the Japanese confinement camps from both a personal and a legal perspective. This gave us a wonderful opportunity to sit down with my husband's grandmother and ask her about her experiences. She has never been very forthcoming about her life during that time, but for one long intriguing afternoon we listened to her speak. She talked about how her husband (my husband's grandfather) was a gardener and how after the bombing on Pearl Harbor, one of his clients came outside and told him to get off the property and never come back. She spoke about vandalism of property in the Japanese-American neighborhoods and shopping districts. She said that once they were in the confinement camps, she felt safer in the camps than outside them. What a pitiful time in our nation's history that such a thing could happen to Americans. And, it saddens me to this day that even after the war and after the families were 'free', that they felt so forced to assimilate to "American" culture that much of that beautiful Japanese culture is lost in my husband's family to this day. One of the things that makes America great is that we take all cultures and make them our own, that we are a nation that adopts from many different races and cultures. Sadly, we fail at this at times and want to shut out anything that is different from us or that we don't understand.
I think this novel did a fairly good job of capturing the feeling of that time. I could see my husband's family in so many ways as I read this novel. I think that some of the events and feelings are sugarcoated, but maybe a time will come when we can candidly admit full out that what we did to innocent people was wrong and not to let it ever happen again. If we fear what we don't understand, maybe we need to make an effort to understand....more
The art of Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE is stunning. The second half of the series, which this art book covers, is especially poignant at times. TsubaThe art of Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE is stunning. The second half of the series, which this art book covers, is especially poignant at times. Tsubasa ALBuM De REProDUCTioNS 2 isn't released domestically as of yet in the United States, so I imported my book from Japan. But, because the book is comprised almost entirely of artwork from the series, lack of translation is not an issue except for the illustration comments and two omake chapters at the back of the book. Highly recommended for anyone who loves this series....more
One of the reasons behind my love for manga is because, at its best, manga truly is a work of art. The drawings become the story just as much as the wOne of the reasons behind my love for manga is because, at its best, manga truly is a work of art. The drawings become the story just as much as the words do, if not more.
There were drawings in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle that truly took my breath away - heart-wrenching depictions of amazing story-telling that pull me into the story and into the characters lives, gorgeous illustrations of both characters and setting, quiet drawings that say more than words ever could - so there wasn't ever any question that I would love the collection of art from the series. This first art book covers the first 14 volumes of the series....more
Another CLAMP title, Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE was next on my list of series to read as it has some significant cross-over to xXxHolic's storyline.Another CLAMP title, Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE was next on my list of series to read as it has some significant cross-over to xXxHolic's storyline. The publisher says that you don't need to read one to enjoy the other, but that's not entirely true. In order to fully understand both stories, you should read both. So, I did.
Despite both stories merging at various points, Tsubasa has an entirely different feel from its sister-story xXxHolic. The target demographic is not the same (it's geared toward a younger age group), but as the story progressed, I quickly understood that it did not necessarily follow that the story would be simpler. In fact, for as elaborate and intricate the artwork is in xXxHolic, the story in Tsubasa is just as elaborate and intricate. Some of the concepts and plot twist elements will probably not appeal as much to a Western audience, but the translator/editor's notes are extremely well done by Del Rey and help to explain much (but not all) of the cultural nuances. Of course this issue with cultural nuances (even such a 'simple' thing as the way people address each other by name) holds true in most manga, but I think it's pivotal in Tsubasa.
The first half of the series could easily be discounted as lightweight and of not much significance, but as volume 15 and volume 16 shift the story to a more serious darker tone, those early chapters show their importance by providing a solid foundation for characters and relationships as events suddenly throw everything upside down. Nothing is predictable in this story, and after reading many a cookie-cutter story (both in manga and in traditional literature), this aspect of true unpredictability was welcome.