I really wanted to get this up yesterday but school work was too taxing. I dont want to have to wait til next week, so I’m doing it today!
I read ReLife by So Yayoi and published by Earth Star Entertainment.
Right off the bat, I really enjoyed this and I’m happy to be reviewing it so be sure to check it out afterwards.
Okay here we go!
Spoilers- Meh. They hint at some future stuff we will discuss but nothing major.
Plot- So I checked this manga out because it seemed like a change of pace. I had just done One Punch Man(Check out my review here!) and I wanted something a little more deeper than OPM. Arata is a 27 year old loser. He does not have a job, his family has little faith in him, and he’s fallen out of the loop with friends. Honestly, this is pretty much how I felt a few weeks ago, so it was very easy to put myself in his shoes. Anyway, he is selected for the ReLife program. This program leaves him 27 but gives him the appearance of a 17 year old. I thought this program was going to put him in another body or something extreme, but alas it gives him a second chance at high school. Why is this important? Arata cannot find a job, and ReLife offers to help him once his one year trial is complete. This is his story in the life of a high school body once again.
Characters- Oh boy! Normally I can only talk about one or two characters, but there’s actually a few characters in here that we get a decent understanding of who they are.
Arata- For starters, our main character. He was denied another job and now his family is no longer going to support him. He tries really hard not to connect with any of the high school students, but due to his overwhelming compassion for others and his inability to stay low-key, he ends up having several interaction with the students. He is not very good at this being younger and adjusting to school. One of the many things he fails to recall is that he can’t smoke. Not only is he now technically 17, he’s also on school grounds. It’s quite humorous how the students and teachers interact with his hmm, “forgetfulness”.
Ryo- One of the funniest character’s to a manga I’ve ever read. He is the ReLife agent who offered Arata the pills to change him. He is also Arata’s overseer. He takes the pills with him. Ryo knows how to get inside of Arata’s head and push his buttons. He is always making jokes about how dumb Arata is, or joking about Arata falling in love with the students, and is just always making Arata feel embarrassed. This interaction between the two main character’s really makes this a special manga to me. Ryo genuinely is interested in Arata as a person and is truly captivated by Arata’s interaction with his classmates. This makes the dialogue exchange between the two so honest and so welcomed. Not to mention, it’s absolutely hilarious.
Hishiro- Hishiro is the silent type. Noted as not smiling too much or ever having friends, she normally keeps to herself. She has been class president every year beforehand and looks to keep that title headed into this year. She takes a liking to Arata(or so it is lead on to believe). Which is a concept I debated on how I felt for a long time. Ryo heavily suggest Arata give her a chance. Arata’s response is no because she is ten years younger than him, despite him looking like a 17 year old. Which i agree with Arata. He still has the mind of a 27 year old. But every since they begun “talking” Arata seems more happy and lively. There’s a scene where they flirt over business emails(Yeah, email). Which ends in Arata laughing so hard. This scene is really well done, because it’s two characters who do not fit in too well with their peers, but in this moment they are letting their walls done for each other.
Rena/Oga/And the rest of the bunch- She is another female student in Arata’s grade. She is eyeing the class president spot but first must dethrone Hishiro. She finds Arata as a disturbance due to him getting busted with cigarettes and not having a pencil, but she does lend him one. Oga so far as come off as a funny smooth talker. I believe he’s only had one scene, but I very much enjoyed his personality while he was there. Ms. Amatsu is here to make Arata look bad. She is a 25 year old who is already doing more with her life than Arata. She also busted him with the cigarettes and forces him to write an essay. The last character introduced was Honoka. I believe little has been revealed about her so far, but I’m sure we will see how she ties into the loop soon.
The World- This category does not so much matter with mangas like this. It’s your every day earth much like ours.
Romance- I do not think it’s come right out and said anything. If I had to guess, Arata could hook up with Hishiro. Rena and Oga might be a thing. They appear to flirt a bit.
Plot- It feels like it’s been done before(reminds me of Case Closed which is never a bad thing). But I like the spin of seeing him adjust to high school life
Characters- Such a lovely batch of characters.
The World- Bland. But it doesnt have to be anything more than what it is.
Humor- One of the funniest manga’s I’ve ever read.
Verdict- Hilariously well done. It does not have action, which can be good. It does not rely on effects or being over the top like One Punch Man. The characters will have you in stitches. Easily one of the best manga’s I’ve read.
Score- 9.5 out of 10. Yeah. I love this manga. I did not know it existed two days ago, but much like how I fell for Food Wars, I’ve fallen for ReLife. You should too! Volume One ended hinting at the last subject before Arata who did not do so well, Volume 1 and 2 are available free on Crunchyroll, Volume 5 is coming out next week, and there is an anime coming out next month! What are you waiting for! You have no reason not to give it a try!
Noragami was made by Adachitoka and published through Kodansha Comics. It debuted in 2010 and did not come stateside until 2014.
Plot: Noragami tells the story of Yato, the shrine-less god, on the hunt to gain fame, and Iki’s struggle as a half human, half ayakashi. Something I noticed was that each of the three chapters seemed to have a new main character. Chapter 1 centers around Mutsumi. Chapter 2 centers around Yato. and Chapter 3 centers around Iki. The whole premise of the manga is that Yato is on the bottom of the food chain as far as gods go. He also has no people skills(Which could say a lot about why he has no followers). His Shinki, or divine weapon of the gods, leaves him due to his lack of compassion. The rest of Vol 1 is about his hunt for a new shinki. Iki wants Yato to fix her problem(See characters for more details). They end up fighting an ayakashi, creatures living on the middle shore. The shores are basically this story’s version of the human realm and the afterlife. Naturally, the middle shore is out of sight of humans and the creatures are not quite as strong as gods and such. In chapter 3, we meet Yuki, so I have reason to believe he will be the subject of chapter 4 in the next volume.
Characters: For now, I will only talk about the two main characters. Yato and Iki
Yato- People Skills? Nope. Compassion? Nope. Southern Charm? Nope. Shinki? Maybe. He does not have that much going for him. Even as a god he mentions an ayakashi would not even acknowledge him as a superior without his shinki. He is not the most flawed character ever, but he definitely has a ton of room to grow. That does make it interesting to see what he will end up like.
Iki- She does make the manga more interesting. She was hit by a bus. No no, this does not take an awesome Yu Yu Hakusho turn. Instead, she comes back alive without having to save her body. She is now a form of ayakashi. Randomly, she will pass out and go into a spirit form. Her spirit form has a tail. No no, this does not take an even more awesomer Dragon Ball turn. Instead, if her tail is cut, she will no longer be able to return to her human form. Essentially, this makes her a liability in combat.
Cannot wait to see these two grow.
World: Okay. So, if you are into spirits, afterlife, gods and demons, you’ll probably like this world. I am really not sure if other gods will come in or what(I do not look up spoilers or any information. Most of my reads are blind reads of books that catch my eye). But there is definitely one god floating around, Yato. Ayakashis are here too. They do not do too much from what I’ve gathered. In chapter 1, the negative stress of all the students creates a huge ayakashi that encourages the kids to bully Mutsumi. In chapter 3, one challenges Yato and they fight. The themes do incorporate supernatural mythology. I am into it.
Recap: A good story that does not try to confide itself to one genre like action or romance, but blends a lot of genres into a supernatural world.
Action: Used sparingly.
Romance: No romance or love plot lines jumped out to me so far.
Plot: Very solid. Is a good telling of gods, demons, and other supernatural matters.
Characters: Yato does not stick out to me as much as other main characters, but he is still enjoyable to say the least
The World: Standard human world with supernatural elements thrown in.
Humor: Nowhere near the funniest of mangas I’ve ever read. With that said, it still has hilarious parts thrown in. So yeah, it is good for a few laughs, for sure.
Verdict: You can recommend this book to a lot of people. There is action, but it doesnt lean on it, there is comedy and most of it is clean if I remember right. It is a solid read.
Score: 7.5 out 10. Even with all the good things I’ve said. This is volume 1 and you can tell this is just the beginning. It is a positive read with a lot of strong points, and it sets up the world right. It explains to the audience what the demons are like, what the gods are like, so on and so forth. I expect volume 2 to be even better.
Buy it here: Buy Noragami Vol 1
Today on I am reviewing Blue Exorcist Vol 1 by Kazue Kato released through Shonen Jump Advance and Viz Media and started in 2009. Blue Exorcist made it stateside in 2011.
Spoilers– Only spoilers that set up the plot(nothing in the long run)
Plot– Rin Okumura is living at his father’s monastery. Suddenly, his demon form awakens when a gang of other demons attack him. His father, Fujimoto, rescues him and informs him he is actually the child of a human woman and none other than Satan. Satan takes control of Fujmoto and Rin runs away from the monastery. Once he runs away, he meets Mephisto(Mister Faust). Mephisto enrolls him into True Cross Academy. It’s here his adventure as an exorcist begins!
Characters– The characters are wonderful. Rin and his twin brother Yukio work really well together. Yukio is very smart and a great exorcist, whereas Rin is lazy, but is very driven to protect those he cares for. Mephisto does not really shine too much. He is in a minimum amount of scenes, but is well respected and talented. He also runs True Cross Academy. Father Fujimoto is a great character. I only wish he could have seen more action than one chapter, but he is the ignition for Rin.
World– The world has demons all around it. Most of the demons need to trick humans to roam the Earth. The exorcist are their counterpart. Rin is the first exorcist to also be a demon, or as he says “I am not a demon, but im not exactly human either”. The world will be filled with epic battles between the demons and the exorcists. Pretty exciting!
Verdict: Solid action, good humor, enjoyable characters. My only complaint is I dont have Volume 2 to keep reading. Guess I’ll have to change that soon!
Score– 8.5 out of 10. Not quite as good as The Seven Deadly Sins, but still very awesome. I read it one sitting. I definitely recommend it.
Havent read it yet? What are you waiting for? Buy Blue Exorcist Vol 1!
Looking for more Manga Monday? Check out More Manga Monday!
I went to the book store last week and picked out a few mangas. The first one was Deadman Wonderland Vol 1. This book is written by Jinsei Kataoka and illustrated by Kazuma Kondou. Vol 1 was released in Japan in 2007 and came to the states in 2010.
Plot: Ten years ago an earthquake hit japan and sank about one third of the mainland. There is only one prison left in area and it is know as Deadman Wonderland, a very fitting title. The main story starts with Ganta, the main character, in school with his friends. Ganta looks out to see a figure and then suddenly the figure appears in the room. The figure, named the Red Man, kills everyone except Ganta. He shoots him with a red crystal. When Ganta looks around he smells blood and sees everyone of his classmates dead. He is the sole surviver. He than is sentenced to Deadman Wonderland on Death Row. Which we find, technically everyone there is on death row but I will explain that later. Upon arriving to the prison Ganta slowly learns the twisted rules DW has. He also learns that he must compete in intense life or death challenges to earn CPs, the currency here. He meets too fellow Deadmen, Shiro and Yo. There is a link between Shiro and Ganta. They were friends when they were little, but outside of maybe two brief flashbacks, this substory line has not been developed yet. The red crystal seems to give Ganta powers to launch projectiles when he feels his life is endanger.
Setting: The setting so far has been my favorite part of the series. The prison uses the money it raises to help rebuild Japan. All the prisoners have a lethal poison in them which they must eat a piece of candy to neutralize. The candy has the antidote in it. The candy is sold at high prices throughout the prison. So if they want to live, they must compete in challenges to earn CP. Ganta gets a taste of one of the events, the dog race, which forces the players to try to make it to the end of the race alive. I am really looking forward to learning all the ends and out of the prisons as well as seeing all the challenges it holds.
Characters: I like most of the characters so far. Ganta is pretty cool and is only getting cooler as the series goes on. Shiro is a nice mystery that I cant wait to see explored. Yo is not my favorite character and hasnt done too much, but Vol 1 ends with me believing he will play a much bigger role for later Vols. Some other characters worth mentioning are Makina, a the chief guard of DW, she is pretty legit.
Score: I am giving vol 1 an 8. It did what I want a manga to do, not make me want to put it down. You will really pull for Ganta who is making the best of his situation and you will be dying to learn more about the characters and the prison itself. It definitely has me ready to go buy vol 2. I recommend giving it a try and seeing if you like it too.