Today, we have a themed Manga Monday. Each manga is a volume from one franchise. That franchise is The Legend of Zelda!
If you follow the blog or the Youtube channel, you know I love the Legend of Zelda. So when I stumbled across a store that doesn’t really sell mangas, I could not pass them up! Check out this sweet haul!
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So to recap, we scored:
Ocarina of Time Volume #1.
Ocarina of Time Volume #2.
Four Swords Volume #1
Four Swords Volume #2
Oracle of Seasons
Oracle of Ages
And Minish Cap
Want any of these mangas in your collection? Pick them up on Amazon here!
These are some of my favorite video games from the franchise, so they were welcomed additions to my manga collection.
So what Mangas have yall read or bought here recently?
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Hey guys, life update post here. So much has been going on since my last run of blog posts. Quite honestly, it has mostly been just living life. Nothing major or dramatic. Of course there’s always the stress of saving up money and trying to find our dream house we want to move to. But that hasn’t played a major role in hindering the blog. It certainly has played a role in effecting the Youtube Channel however.
#1 Seeing Friends and Family. Jessica and I know that soon, we wont be able to hang out with people nearly as much as we have been over the summer. As a result, our Tuesday Nights have turned into Game nights with our Co-Workers. Our last two Saturdays have been spent having Game Nights with family. We were going to stream tonight, but my Step Brother is home visiting the family so were all having dinner tonight. He is in the military and right now, if you follow any news outlet, you know that the military and foreign affairs are a sensitive subject to many, including my Stepmom. So tonight, were going to have dinner and just enjoy his company as he might get deployed for the first time in his military career. Of course, nothing is certain, but we want to make the most of tonight.
#2 Crunchyroll has been a pain in the butt. Jessica and I have not been watching a lot of anime because Crunchyroll refuses to load our episodes half the time. This is a big reason we stopped watching Tokyo Revengers even though we loved the first 3 episodes. We’ve switched over to Funimation for the time being. As a result, Random Wednesday is coming back as Random Thursday next week. This is because I’ve started showing off my comic hauls on Wednesdays! Read those here! Anyway, I am excited for it to come back.
#3 I will do a major life update when we move. I haven’t been fully transparent with everything going on in my life, but I will open up more when we move. Trust me, Jessica and I cannot wait to move. However, our last 4 living situations have not been ideal, so we really want to make sure we get this right.
#4 I’ve been gaming in most of my free time. Yes, this is hurting reviews because I’ve been putting so much time into video games when I do have free time. Though, soon enough, I will make time for the bread and butter of the blog here.
So, that’s all I’ll get into now. The blog may seem comic or video game heavy at times in the coming weeks. That is mostly because animes and mangas have not been working out for me lately. But if you enjoy the content you’ve read. Make sure you follow the blog!
Thanks for reading. Have a great day.
The Manga hauls at this point have gotten completely out of order. So, again, this is one of my newer hauls (It might be the newest haul in fact.)
As you can see we scored 4 new mangas! 3 ongoing ones in Boruto, Dragon Ball Z, and Eden Zero. These are some of our favorite mangas to read. We also have 1 new comer to the collection, Black Torch.
Here’s the description straight from Amazon “Ninja and animal lover Jiro Azuma’s life is changed forever when he finds himself in the middle of a war of ninjas vs. demons. Jiro Azuma is descended from of a long line of shinobi, and he also can talk to animals. One day, he rescues a very unique black cat named Rago, a supernatural being, and is dragged into a secret supernatural war. Although he may appear rough-and-tumble, Jiro Azuma’s compassionate side emerges when it comes to the furry critters he can communicate with. But Jiro’s soft spot for animals gets him in major trouble when a suspicious stray cat fuses with him, granting him exceptional power but also dragging him into humanity’s hidden battle against powerful Japanese spirits, mononok“.
The cover and description honestly kind of leave a little to be desired, but as I was flipping through it I thought the art looked very solid. Sometimes I feel like I’m taking on more #1’s than I can handle. In recent memories I’ve taken on Jujutsu Kaisen, My Hero Academia and Eden Zero. I’ve enjoyed them all a lot and wanted to keep reading them. If I like Black Torch enough to justify getting more, I’ll probably have to cut something. Oh, well. Let’s wait and see how the book is before we make any rash decisions.
Thank you guys for reading and let me know what mangas you’ve picked up recently!
I was at my LCS a few weeks back and found this manga among their relatively small section. Little Battlers Experience has been like finding a small new world. I read the first volume and wondered why I had never heard of the series because it seemed like a perfect mainstream series to make into a million offshoots. Upon further research, that is pretty much the case.
Littler Battlers Experience, LBX for short, came out in 2011 (a decade ago!). However, it is pretty tough to say what the initial idea was. Wiki claims the series is based off of a game developed by Level 5 (one of my favorite video game studios). The first game came out on PSP in June of 2011. The manga predates that by 5 months. But maybe Level 5 wanted a manga out to introduce kids to the series before the game’s release? The anime came out in March of the same year, both predating the original game. By my calculations, there’s no ongoing anime, but a series called LBX Girls just wrapped up their first season. It has spawned several video games, spin off mangas and anime adaptions.
So, what is Little Battlers Experience? This game came out late in what I call the “kids anime” genre. Think Pokemon, Digimon and even Bakugan. A lot of those animes came out in the late 90’s and early 2000s. Most kid animes did not take off after that time period. Bakugan is probably an exception, coming out in 2007. And it just missed the DS/3DS revival. Yokai Watch kind of became the next generation’s Pokemon in a way. The DS and 3DS helped give a lot these made for kids animes a place to branch off into games. LBX tells the story of how little robots were built for kids to battle with. They’re customizable robots and the stages are cardboard dioramas. Our main character’s, Van, father was a creator of LBXs. He would die in a tragic airplane accident. 5 years later a woman holding a mysterious briefcase shows up being chased by 3 men. She hands the briefcase to Van and tells him to run. The briefcase is revealed to have an LBX created by Van’s father. Later it is also discovered that Van’s father hid a blueprint to an unlimited energy source in the robot. Van’s father is also alive and being held captivate by the evil organization introduced earlier. Van must win a tournament to claim the key needed for the infinite energy machine. For exchange of the key, the organization will release Van’s father.
The story is nothing special or groundbreaking, but it does not need to be. The manga is mostly for kids and to help sell the video game. On that front, I think it does a fine job. The art is good, the characters are likable but not really unique and the story doesn’t drag on. In fact, one of my complaints is the story progresses pretty quickly. Another knock is that, for now, the characters are only passable. The good guys are heroic with reckless abandonment and the villains are corny levels of cliché. This won’t matter to kids who are just enjoying robots killing each other. Volume 1 is fine as far as the setting, the scope, and grand scheme of the story. I feel like volume #2 may help in those departments as the LBX tournament is about to start.
But on the plus side, this is a great starter manga for kids. It only ran 6 volumes so it should be easy to collect. It is pretty action pack to keep the kids’ attention. The battlers are similar to Pokemon or any of those kind of mangas. There’s no foul language, no blood and guts, no perverted comments or degrading of women. It is just a good, clean fun manga.
Recap: To reiterate, this a fun manga if you are into series like Pokemon, Zatch Bell or anything that seems similar to those. If you like those adventures, you’ll feel right at home with this one.
Action: This manga has action in every chapter. And its robot action too!
Romance: No hints of romance currently.
Plot: Again, this is a kids series. The plot is deeper than say Pokemon, but it is not the main draw here.
Characters: I like the characters. Right now, they are all pretty stereotypical. We have the stubborn hero, the jaded grandson, the cartoon villain, the buddies through it all pals. But they are likable and well written for what they are.
The World: The world is like ours, but with mini fighting robots.
Humor: This isn’t your typical edgy humor Shonen but it has moments of being funny.
Verdict: 7 out of 10. It is not perfect but I enjoyed my time with it. My LCS has 2-4. I’ll probably pick them up at some point. I recommend checking this one out for sure if it sounds interesting to you.
I think this is our second manga haul. These are some of our newest pickups and I’ll do some later ones that are like retroactive pick ups. So let’s get right into it.
These mangas are Gantz Volume #1, No Longer Human and Smashed. No Longer Human and Smashed are both from the mind of Junji Ito, one of the most respected horror mangaka. Gantz sounds like a trip and a half. I’m just going to quote Wikipedia on this one, because, honestly, they said it best. “It tells the story of Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato, both of whom died in a train accident and become part of a semi-posthumous “game” in which they and several other recently deceased people are forced to hunt down and kill aliens armed with a handful of futuristic items, equipment, and weaponry.” Like what!? This manga sounds insane. Smashed seems to be a collection of stories by Junji Ito including I Don’t Want to be a Ghost, Death Row Doorbell, and Smashed.
AOI House is an original English Manga about two guys that start living in a dorm with girls who are fans of yaoi. Blade of the Immortal follows the story of Manji who kill 1,000 evil men to become mortal again. It sounds kick butt and I bet my brother would enjoy it a lot. The Promised Neverland is a book Jessica has been looking for for a while now. The story revolves around orphaned kids as they learn the truth behind their purpose. I assume there is some level of magic elements in it.
So there you have it. These books were traded in to our work so we picked them up while we could. Be on the look out for more Manga Monday reviews and hauls!
I picked up my copy of Immortal Rain Volume #1 last year for $1.50. I finally decided to bust this bad boy out. Immortal Rain originally came out in 1999, came stateside in 2004 thanks to TokyoPop and ran for 11 Volumes.
Plot- Rain Jewlitt is immortal. He has lived for 624 years. He is now known as Methuselah, which to my understanding is the longest living person recorded in the bible. Needless to say, his body is highly desired by many because it holds the secret to immortality. However, the secret of immortality is not the motivation behind Machika Balfatin. A young want-to-be assassin. Rain is the one bounty her, her being Machika, grandfather could not slay. Her grandfather was known as the Grim Reaper. I could see some similarities to Rebirth (Read our review of Rebirth #1 here), a couple in fact. For starters, the male leads are immortal. The female leads want to kill the male leads to avenge their fallen family members. Both the male leads want to die. I’m sure there’s more, but those are the ones that jump out to me. Rain, for someone who is immortal, keeps getting taken captivate. Machika bails him out of his captivity twice, yet Rain saves Machika from potential assailants twice. By the end of the first volume they have formed a team in order to reverse Rain’s immortality. This would allow Rain to finally die and for Machika to be the one to kill him.
Characters– We really addressed the two main characters already, so I am not sure how much time we will spend here. I’ll dive a little deeper though. Machika’s character is rather simple, yet very admirable. She fights hard and has a big heart. She just wants to honor her grandfather. Rain, however, is a very deep, well written character. It is not that his character is really original, again he is the same as Deshwitat from Rebirth, but he is done to near perfection. He openly warns all the characters that want his immortality that they should dread the curse instead. This is a classic grass is not greener. So many characters are either scared of death or are looking to revive dead family members. Rain cautions that if they or their loved one gain immortality, that that person will live a lonely, bitter existence, implying they outlive their loved ones. Also, adding to the complexity, Machika’s grandfather and Rain also had a brotherly rivalry. When her grandfather passed, Rain would place flowers on his grave. At times this is a pretty surface level, typical shoenen level of mindless and fun adventure. At other times, there are deep, provoking dialogues, relationships, and moments that make it more memorable than the average adventure manga.
The World– The world is like Dragon Ball Z in that I cannot truly nail the setting. At parts, this feels like a premodern civilization manga and then there are fully realized cities. Outside of that, angels may play a part in the larger story. Which is atypical. Of course, one character is immortal. These are just a few outliers for an otherwise normal world.
This is a book I have to just suggest you read on your own. Warning, the language is the most harsh out of any manga we’ve reviewed so (If that is a concern for you or anyone you know.). It does have the F word and the B word which is bit more harsh than the usual D or H words. Outside of that, there is violence, but nothing graphic. There are certainly moments where the manga feels like just another fantasy novel. Sometimes the characters, the dialogue, and the settings feel uninspired. Other scenes really come together. I bought this book for less than 2 dollars and will gladly buy following issues for that much.
I give the book a 7.5 out of 10. The book lacks consist greatness nor is anything completely original. Still, it is done in an enjoyable manner that has very strong moments that redeem it as a whole. (It is kind of like this review.)
Full Disclosure: This is just a review of chapter #1 of the Pokemon manga, not the full volume. I could not find the book before Pokemon Week started and as you guys can see, I’m still running behind. So yeah, I found the first chapter online.
Throw out a lot of what you thought you knew about the Pokemon anime when you read this book. A lot of the characters, Pokemon and people, look really different than their anime counterpart. The manga also seems more gag dependent than plot or even character centric. All in all, from what I’ve read these seem to be concerns, not sure if criticism is the right word or not, for the manga. Personally, I don’t really mind it. It is almost like waking up in an alternative universe.
Here’s a picture that sums up the point about art.
I don’t mind the art being different, but the art is also simply bad.
It is also worth noting that every Pokemon can talk. Quite the deviation from where only Meowth can talk in the animes. Again, I do not mind this either. It gives the Pokemons some added personalities which is nice.
This chapter is so weird when compared to the anime, games or any other form of Pokemon media, but being a reader of late 80’s and into the 90’s manga, this didn’t feel thaaat weird. I’ve read some of Dragon Ball, Seven Deadly Sins, Naruto and plenty of other gag influenced manga. So, I quite enjoyed this for what it is. I love 90’s Pokemon. I will definitely being exploring this manga more. Apparently the books have been translated to English but were not released in the U.S. So I will have to resort to online means if I cannot find these bad boys out in the wild.
Either way, I enjoyed my time with this chapter and look forward to more. I cannot recommend this to kids or parents with little kids as it is probably too much for younger viewers. So bare that in mind if you find a way to read this.
My intentions were to have a few Manga Monday’s out at this point, but oh well. Here we are with our first review of the year. We return to Rebirth. If you have not read my review for volume #1 you can find that here!
Spoilers: There are mostly just spoilers for the individual characters and not so much the plot or anything major.
Plot- Following the events of volume #1, our motley crew of a cast, Deshwitat, Remi and Millenear set out to teach Deshwitat the ways of light magic. However, Millenear is set that she cannot be the one to train him. She informs the group that there are some monks in Hong Kong that can teach him. Long story short, the monks have other plans. We meet several new characters at the temple and some great black and white fight scenes captivate the pages.
New Characters– Just to touch base, nothing new is really discovered or advanced on the behalf of our 3 main characters. Not that they are completely static or boring, just nothing groundbreaking for them as characters occurs. However, we are introduced to a handful of new characters. The first is Rett.
Rett- Now a lot of his backstory is told through flashback and not exposition per se. This means while we see his eventual defeat, his complete relationship to Deshwitat is not fully explored. I also do not think they explained how he got to the temple. Despite this, we see how a “mere human” like Rett, who knew Deshwitat 300+ years ago, would still be alive. Kalutika, the baddie of the series, and his army defeated Rett very easily. Still, they “gifted” him with eternal life so he could witness the end of the world. He honestly does not do much but I am sure he will be a welcomed part of the series moving forward
Beryun– She is a really cool character. She is devout servant to the third character we will meet soon. She comes across rather boring at first. However, she goes toe to toe with Deshwitat fairly impressively. They have one of the cooler fight scenes I’ve seen in a manga to date. And their fight gave birth to one of my favorite quotes. (Ignore how ghetto my picture is below)
Ultimately, neither kill each other, but the fight is pretty darn good. Obviously, she is short on words, quick to the punch kind of monk. So her origins remain shrouded in mystery.
Master Tae- This section will be short. She shows up for a few pages and surprisingly beats Deshiwatit in one shot. We know nothing else of her except she most likely runs the temple is probably going to play a huge role in the series to come.
The World- The world remains relatively the same as last issue. We already knew about magic, vampires and demons. So nothing really new here.
I found this issue to be slightly better than the first. It is always nice to add more characters and dive deeper into old ones, even if just slightly deeper. The writing of the characters feels a little off but I think the characters are just being natural which makes the dialogue awkward. Remember, Deshiwatit just killed Remi’s dad and now they have to travel together. Every moment is high stakes and tensions are high. As a result, the room is always hostile. I don’t really like aggressive dialogue but I think it is how the characters would naturally react, too. At least, to a certain extent anyway.
With that in mind, I’ll give it an 8.25. There’s a pretty good chance we review 2 or 3 more volumes of this series before the year is over. So stay tuned if you want to hear more of my thoughts.
Don’t forget we have a whole section here on the blog dedicated to manga reviews. Check more out here.
As discussed, this last Monnday was the last of the year. Meaning no more Manga Mondays for 2020. I thought it would be fun to recap what all we read.
Read But Not Reviewed: Eden Zero Volume 1-3.
Rebirth Volume #1. Reviewed January 6th. Last Christmas my brother got me the first 22 volumes of Rebirth. We reviewed the first one to start the year off. It scored an 8 out 10. It wasn’t groundbreaking but it was just very solid for what it was. Read the full review here.
Rave Master Volume #1. Reviewed May 11th. This manga was a bit more up my alley as from as the genre. It plays out like most action orientated mangas of the late 90’s. Staring a teenage male who comes into possession of mystical, world saving weapons and items. This was the manga that helped jumpstart Hiro Mashima, writer of Fairy Tail, into the world renowned Mangaka he is today. It scored a 7.5 out of 10. Read my full review here.
Dragon Eye Volume #1. Reviewed June 8th. Take the same description from above. Boy comes into possession of a mystical, world saving weapon and item. Only this manga felt a lot more gritty and serious kind of in the same way Naruto could be really serious compared to One Piece. We gave Dragon Eye a 7 out of 10. Read my full review here.
Jujutsu Kaisen Volume #1. Reviewed October 19th. Maybe my favorite manga I reviewed this year. That’s very tough to call. However, this really felt like you were reading the next big thing. I did thoroughly enjoy this manga. This is backed up by the fact I scored it a 9 out of 10 stating it had all the makings of a classic. Read the full review here.
Zombie Powder Volume #1. Reviewed December 22nd. Again we find ourselves retracing roots. This was the debut manga from famous Mangaka Tite Kubo, author and creator of Bleach. The writing can be weird at times but if you enjoy early Dragon Ball mangas, you are going to love this manga. I scored it a 7 out of 10. Read the full review here
Psyren Volume #1. This manga started off all over the place and almost lost me several times. By the end of it, I was glad I stuck with it and finished it. I actually enjoyed it a lot. This book feels like it might have a lot going for it as the story progresses. Definitely worth the read. I rated it 7 out of 10. Read the full review here.
Average score: 7.583
Honestly, the main reason so many scored 7’s is because I felt like I enjoyed them a lot but the general public might not as much. Honestly, Rave Master might be my favorite I reviewed all year, but I know it got lost in the shuffle of the Narutos, One Pieces, and Bleach of the world. All in all, I liked every book I read. It is amazing how many mangas I bought this year and just how few reviews I did. It is really indictive of how hard momentum could be to keep this year.
Let me know what mangas I should review next year! Thank you for reading and have a great day.
Psyren is a pretty obscure manga here in the states. In fact, unlike a lot of books we have reviewed, I had never heard of it before. However, I assume it was at least somewhat popular in Japan as it ran for 3 years and was collected into 16 volumes. Wiki tells me, “Volumes from Psyren have commonly appeared in Japan’s best-selling lists of manga volumes” stated here.
The first chapter was a bag of mixed goods. The art was off-putting at first but quickly grew on me. The main characters and some of the side characters shined enough for me to enjoy them. However, the story was set up like a mystery and the cuts and jumping around were fast and furious, making it hard to really understand.
The second chapter did not really help matters as our main character, Ageha Yoshina, was whisked away into the fantasy world of Psyren. In it, we leave the familiar scene of the Japanese cityscape and bustling schoolgrounds, for a savage wasteland.
Monsters of all shapes and sizes could emerge at any second. Some winged beast patrolling the air. Others, centipede like foes devouring those who walk on land. And the coolest of all, a Taboo humanoid relentless hunter. The interesting design and sheer ruthlessness of these creatures helps make up for the somewhat bland ravaged landscape the story now unfolds in. The lovable sister, the deranged occult researcher, and Ageha’s friends have now been left behind in the regular world. I was bummed at first as I wanted to get to know those side characters more.
The one character from the first chapter to accompany Ageha was Sakurako Amamiya. I was a little let down at first. She is dubbed the Ice Queen because she is cold and keeps to herself. She spends most of the second chapter and maybe even the third, incapacitated with a fever and battle wounds. However, as the chapters go along Amamiya really begins to steal the show. She is drawn in a creepy yet charming manner complimenting the eerily foreboding and often cryptic dialogue she shares with the other characters.
Amamiya has been playing the Psyren game by far the longest out of any of the characters. As a result, she knows far more than Asage, a random man they meet in the world of Psyren, and Ageha could ever hope to know. Regardless, by the end of the volume presumably all 4 of the remaining contestants escape from the world of Psyren and return to present day Japan. “Present” is a pretty big modifier here as the big reveal is Psyren is just Japan set in the future. A future where, for undisclosed reasons, Japan has been devastated. All that remains are destroyed buildings, taboo creatures, and the promise of a painful death. Psyren has a pretty big emphasis placed on future uncertainties, unavoidable calamities, and the undeniably, impeding destruction of the world. However, all this fear is addressed in the first few pages and then dismissed. In fact, other than being the reason Psyren is said to exist, most of these problems are never even addressed again. I might be speculating here, but with such a big deal made in the early pages, it being the motivation behind the world organization, and the future Japan being nearly unrecognizable, I’m guessing all these issues will become factors as the story unfolds.
Recap: This was an enjoyable read. I am a big fan of school yard animes so I enjoyed the early scenes and was a little saddened when the story veered in a different direction. To be fair, as the story progressed in Psyren, it felt a lot more focused and less all over the place. Amamiya began to get a little more fleshed out. The characters as a whole got more detailed. The fight scenes pick up a lot. And the Taboo creatures got a lot of the spotlight as the main characters tried to survive their onslaught.
I purchased this book over the summer when I was gathering a lot of mangas for less than 4 dollars a piece and do not regret it. If fantasy worlds, albeit a ravaged one in this case, some cool main characters and secret world organizations sounds like something you would enjoy, then I highly recommend this manga, especially if you find it in the budget section.
Action: There was plenty in this issue and I am sure plenty more where that came from.
Romance: It is hinted he has a crush on a girl in their class. However, Ageha and Amamiya might end up developing a thing as the series continues.
Plot: The plot is probably the most up in the air thing at the moment. It has the makings of a great story but it has been jittery at times to downright all over the place. But at its high point it is an interesting and engaging mystery.
Characters: A lot of the characters are in that “mysterious phase” or “undeveloped phase” but most are fun or interesting enough on the surface that you want to see more of each. Agenha is a really cool main character and Amamiya and Asage compliment him very well.
The World: I find the world interesting solely from an environmental standpoint. Take that away and the future world is meant to be a world gone wrong.
Humor: This is another one of those Shonen Jump mangas that is nowhere near peak comedy but has enough humor in it to make you laugh from time to time and break up the bleak, dire situations the characters find themselves in.
Verdict: I never know how to rate mangas like this. I think 7 is a solid score so I’ll go 7 out of 10. It is another series where I feel how the story ends could boost the overall score or really hinder it. As it stands on its own, it is very pleasant and makes you want to read volume 2. Which I will be on the look out for.
This probably the last manga review of the year! Wild. I might do a overview post in the coming days or even tonight. Just got to see. If I manage my time well, you should an anime review or two to close out the year. Follow for blog post just like this.
Thank you for reading and have a great day!