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Manga Monday: Little Battlers Experience Volume #1 A Perfect Starter Manga

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.

LBX Manga Volume 1

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.

LBX: Little Battlers eXperience (3DS) Review - NWR | N4G

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.

Little Battlers eXperience Review | Trusted Reviews

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.

Manga Monday Haul #2

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.

Gants Volume #1, No Longer Human and Smashed

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!

Manga Monday Immortal Rain Volume #1

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.

Amazon.com: Immortal Rain Vol. 1 (Immortal Rain) (9781591827221): Kaori  Ozaki: Books

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.

Immortal Rain (Manga) - TV Tropes
Rain and Machika

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.)

Pokemon Pocket Monster’s Volume #1 Chapter #1 Review (Pokemon Week)

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.

Man, was Squirtle an afterthought or what?

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.

Manga Monday Rebirth Volume #2 First Manga Monday of 2021

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)

“Do you expect to kill me with speeches?”- Deshwitat

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.

Recapping All Our Manga Mondays for 2020!

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.

Reviewed:
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.

Amazon.com: Rebirth, Vol. 1 (9781591822165): Woo: Books

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.

Amazon.com: Rave Master, Vol. 1: Hiro Mashima: Books

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.

Read Dragon Eye chap 1 : Vol.1 chapter 1 : The Man with the Dragon Eye -  Next chapter 2 | Manga Mew

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.

Amazon.com: Jujutsu Kaisen, Vol. 1 eBook: Akutami, Gege: Kindle Store

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

Zombiepowder., Vol. 1: Tite Kubo, Tite Kubo: 9781421501529: Amazon.com:  Books

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.

Scoring Breakdown:
0-6: 0
6.1-7: 3
7.1-8: 1
8.1-9: 1
9.1-10: 1
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.

Manga Monday: Psyren Volume #1 Last Manga Monday of the Year!

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.

Amazon.com: Psyren, Vol. 1 (1) (9781421536767): Toshiaki Iwashiro, Toshiaki  Iwashiro, Camellia Nieh: Books

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.

Psyren Manga Volume 1

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.

VIZ | Blog / Psyren: Series Review
Welcome to Psyren

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.

Tavoo | Psyren Wiki | Fandom
The Awesome Looking Taboo Creature!

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.

Read or Recycle? PSYREN Vol.1 | The G.A.M.E.S. Blog
See what I mean…

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!

Manga Monday: Zombie Powder Volume #1 A Pleasant Surprise!

Tite Kubo is a household name as far as mangas go. He created Bleach, very long, previously ongoing series. Bleach ran for 74 volumes over the course of 15 years! He has since gone on to write Burn the Witch! If I sound excited, is it because we recently reviewed the anime- which I loved. Check out my review of Burn the Witch here. But, as the title suggest, this isn’t about Bleach or Burn the Witch. This is about Tite Kubo’s origin story, his debut, Zombie Powder!

Zombiepowder., Vol. 1: Tite Kubo, Tite Kubo: 9781421501529: Amazon.com:  Books

Over the summer, I stumbled upon this manga in a 2nd and Charles. I did not recognize the name because I had never experienced Bleach and Burn the Witch had yet to release. Though, reading the back revealed the author’s impressive history and a plot I wanted to dive into. Needless to say, at $3.50, I dove in. This is a book that kept on giving. 7 chapters and nearly 200 pages of sheer manga action. The second half of the book was a thrill ride much like the first half. However, the second half takes place exclusively in a bandit’s compound. Meaning, with tight rooms, black and white art, and insane energy from sword fights, sometimes the plot and even the action was hard to follow. But that really was my only complaint. The writing is borderline juvenile but hey, he was 22 years old when he wrote this and I find the childish nature of these mangas charming. The characters are perfect for this style of book. They all can be very funny, very personal, easily enraged, and eager to fight. Throw all these characters together, the good guys and the bad guys, and you have a real recipe here. Factor in the fact the setting is a Western with over the top guns and kickbutt swords with fighting scenes that do not hold back, and this is a real page turner.

Sporadic Sequential: Unfair Comparison Reviews: Zombie Powder
This man has a bazooka for crying out loud!

The story centers around two guys on a quest for the 12 Rings of the Dead which can either revive the dead or grant the living eternal life. Gamma Akutabi is the main character. He is motivated by the thought of immortality. Elwood on the other hand is on a mission to revive a dead family member. They are a very genuine duo and I think that’s what I really appreciate about the manga. There’s a lot subtly in the dialogue. Akutabki and Smith are talking about how they would never partner with someone who would get themselves killed so easily. Yes, Akutabki and Smith are addressing each other but they are saying this to Elwood, who is a young, goodhearted kid. This scene really makes it appear Akutabki appreciates and respects Elwood despite the age difference. I just really like how to two play off of each other.

John Elwood Shepherd | Zombiepowder. Wiki | Fandom
Akutabi meet Elwood.

One complaint the manga developed over time was an uninspired plot an unoriginal character designed. Personally, neither of these bothered me at all. I can get gripes if you do not like this genre or maybe even getting burned out of the genre. However, if you really like this area of manga, this going to feel like home. In fact, part of the manga felt like those old school Dragon Ball adventures. The manga only ran for about a year so it should be easy to complete and read.

Gamma Akutabi | Zombiepowder. Wiki | Fandom

This manga is perfect for anyone who wants to relive the glory days of the early 90’s into the 2000. Naruto and One Piece were beginning to make their ascension into the goliathes of manga while Kubo was starting to make a name for himself. Filled with likable characters, questionable jokes and more severed heads and disembodied bad guys than you can shake a chainsaw sword at, Zombie Powder proves to be a nonstop joyride from the first page to the end of the chapter.

I’ll give it a very solid 7 out of 10. The criticism was all about how easily forgettable and lost in the shuffle this manga was. Now, while I enjoyed the first volume, no one ever talks about this series (I’m not sure how many even know it exist). Meaning, the critics, I guess, were right. However, I would love to find volume 2 for roughly the same price one day.

Spooky Week Recap

Oh, boy. I really wanted Spooky Week to catch fire. However, between work and school, I fell behind on Monday right from the start. I reviewed Noblesse on Sunday to start. However, I wanted to read Deathnote Volume #1 for Manga Monday. I couldn’t find my manga. So, I tried to read Demon Slayer Volume #1 on Tuesday. However, between class and school. I left my house at 10am and got home at about 9pm. So, I wasn’t able to read it.

From there, my goal was to savage it Friday. I did my Top 5 Creepiest Pokemon on Friday. I wanted to do another Anime review on Saturday. Sadly, I was not able to do that.

So, I probably wont do anything really specific until after the school semester.

Either way, maybe we will try again next year.

Thank you for reading! Have a great day!

Manga Monday: Jujutsu Kaisen Volume #1

Today’s Manga Monday will examine Jujutsu Kaisen. Jujutsu Kaisen was written and drawn by Gege Akutami. It began serialization in 2018. It was brought stateside thanks to Viz Media.

Spoilers: Only regarding the first manga. Nothing series wide.

Plot: The plot centers around a young protagonist named Yuji Itadori. For the sake of not just regurgitating the story, we will paraphrase. Yuji Itadori and fellow classmates recover an ancient talisman, a cursed finger. Well, time has passed and the protection thought to be derived from the talisman is beginning to fade. With it fading, demons and curses are attracted to the negative energy school yards attract. All of this is explained by a jujutsu sorcerer to Itadori. Understanding the dire situation, and while facing very strong curses, Itadori consumes the cursed finger. With this, the super graded demon lord, Sukuna the King of Curses possess Itadori. Now, just like in Tokyo Ghoul and Parasyte, our main hero is also the antagonist.

Characters:

Yuji Itadori- As a lead character, I don’t think we’ve seen him fully developed of course. However, as a person, we have a lot to go off of. He is extremely selfless. With two of his classmates life on the line, he rushes into combat. He has no powers, yet. Still he aggressively fights high grade curses with no regard for his own life. This attitude continued through the 7 chapter volume. When he comes face to face with another high level curse, he buys his teammates enough time to escape from the curse. I cannot wait to see Itadori keep evolving into a great lead character.

Jujutsu Sorcerers- Most of the other characters we spend time with are jujutsu sorcerers. Think of these people almost as ninja’s infused with chakra in Naruto. These sorcerers can sense curses, use “magic” (I guess?), and ultimately fight the evil curses. These characters are Satoru Gojo, Nobara Kugisaki, and Megumi Fushiguro (pictured below, respectively). Fushiguro is the character with the most panel time, but I don’t remember if he got fleshed out yet. However, when the characters are together, in any capacity really, they are enjoyable. The chemistry is good, the dialogue is enjoyable, and they get to fight a good bit of curses throughout these early chapters.

The World: The world is pretty similar to ours but there is a big difference. Spirits, demons, and curses are all real and materialized. There is a Jujutsu Sorcery school where people are trained to become elite sorcerers. Personally, I hope the school and the rest of the sorcerers get more panel time as the series goes on.

Recap: Jujutsu Kaisen is the next in Shonen Jump’s signature action packed comedy realm that they just exceed at. Akin to other shonens of the past like Naruto, Jujutsu Kaisen is an easy to jump into kind of manga.

Action: Plenty. Definitely a strong suit for the manga.
Romance: None at the moment. At least I did not pick up on any.
Plot: I like it. I’ve read a few super natural mangas and this ranks with the best of them.
Characters: I really like the 4 main characters. The villains seem interesting but I’m mostly projecting here.
The World: While similar to ours, there is enough uniqueness to make the world cool.
Humor: The manga is funny, but not nearly as funny as some of the others we’ve reviewed. You will certainly chuckle at some parts though.

Verdict: It is a great time to jump in as the anime is only about 3 episodes deep as of the posting of this blog. This manga follows in the long line of epic Shonen Jump’s from decades past. A must for fans of the genre.

Score: 9 out of 10. This manga has all the makings of a classic. It has humor, action, and likeable characters. The first chapter was a little slow. The fight scenes and some of the more hectic panels are hard to follow but that can be a weakness in a lot of black and white manga. I think it assorted itself as a clear top tier manga while falling just short of some of the heavier hitters like Tokyo Ghoul. I am excited for the anime and to follow the manga closely.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

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