Shin

Your and My Secret volume 1

My very first review, sorry Raven that I kinda copied your format, but yours looked nice. Um…enjoy Very Happy


Alternative Title: Boku to Kanojo no XXX (Japanese)
Written by: Al Morinaga
Publisher: ADV Manga
Release Date: 06.22.2004 (USA)
Genre: Comedy/Love

Addtional Notes

  • Black and White
  • 186 Page Count
  • Age Group: 13+

First Volume Review

Akira Uehara, the feminine boy in high school will have life hard enough, to add to his troubles he has develop a crush on the meanest girl in school, Nanako Momoi.
Nanako Momoi, a petite and just adorable girl on the outside has a monster for the inside, Nanako in the nicest of terms is the bitchiest butch you’ll ever see, yet Akira still loves her. Unfortunately his love isn’t given the time of day by Nanako, besides in his wet dreams. ^^ Anyway, one faithful day ‘Nanako’ calls in and says she is feeling ill and won’t be able to make to school, Akira sees this as a once in a life time chance to get close to Nanako and volunteers to take her homework to her house. When Akira reaches he discovers that Nanako is being held against her will by her grandfather (a genius scientist), as a Ginny pig for experiments. Nanako’s grandfather explains in order to make progress some sacrifices must be made, unfortunately Nanako doesn’t see it the same way. Nanako being the generous person that she is suggests that Akira take her place. After he is detained Nanako’s grandfather accidentally flicks the switch too soon and both Nanako and Akira are zapped. Luckily as the grandfather explains the experiment wasn’t about human shrinkage as he first led us to believe, but rather human body switching.

Nanako and Akira now find themselves in each other’s body, and have to wait until the genius scientist returns from his vacation in Hawaii to switch them back. Nanako gives Akira a warning not to do anything ‘dirty’ with her adorable body or else she will walk outside in his socks alone in Akira’s. However, Akira being the softy that he is gives Nanako full privalages with his own, actually he doesn’t tell her anything as he is scared out of his mind of Nanako. The next day in school Akira finds out that Nanako took his body for a personal test drive if you get what I mean. ^^ Nanako (now Akira) seems to fit right in with the rest of the boys, she was already more masculine than feminine. Akira (now Nanako) has some trouble adjusting to his new body, although he does try several times to see how everything works only to be caught by Nanako.

Problems and tensions begin to arise when Senbongi (Akira best friend) falls for the new more feminine Nanako, and tries several times to do it with her (or him or whatever). Nanako begins to date her best friend Shiina; she figures since she is now a guy that she should explore all the beauties of wankerhood. Where Nanako seems to be perfectly fine with it Akira is going mad, he is still in love with Nanako (except every time he looks at her, he is staring at himself) and his best friend has the hots for him. Everyone around Akira (including his family that seems to like the manlier Akira) seems to be telling him in one way or another to just get use to his new lifestyle.

Opinion
I didn’t know what to think when I started reading this, but it got funnier as I got deeper into the pages. This being the first magna that I’ve read in a while, it was hard trying to remember how to actually read the books. The story is well done (at least for my taste), and you sometimes find yourself sympathizing for poor Akira and other times you’re saying, “Just bang Senbongi already.” This manga is full of those precious memories that we had and can remember about trying to figure out how everything works, with a twist: body switching.
The manga seems to imply that Nanako is a wanker and Akira a high school boy with his dream fulfilled: a girl’s body to himself for himself. Although you actually ever see them, the hearts coming out of the bathroom when Akira is alone, doesn’t leave much else to think. This magna doesn’t just focus on High School sex, but also about fitting in to our place in the world. I’m definitely buying the second volume to this; I can’t wait to see what happens to Akira as he continues to work at the restaurant and tries to avoid Senbongi’s advances.

Score:
8.8/9.0

By Cherubim

X-Day


Written/Drawn by Setona Mizushiro

Genre: Action/Adventure
What’s in it? Internet Chatting, Troubled Teenages (And a troubled adult), Real-Life Drama

First Volume Impression

In the mind of Rika Saginuma, the world is coming to an end: she’s been dumped, she’s been injured, and her former team mate, Kako, has taken her place in both her ex’s heart and the track team’s spotlight of admiration. Rika hides her feelings behind a bland smile, but deep inside she despairs over what she’s lost. Eager to avoid others, she goes to the school’s computer room to kill time. Joining an online chat where everyone is complaining about teachers and tests, Rika types “I wish this place called school would just disappear.” To her surprise another occupant, Polaris, agrees, and goes a step further: “Let’s blow this school to pieces.” A slight unease settles over the conversation, and other occupants dismiss Polaris’ comment as the babblings of someone secure in her online anonymity. Rika’s not sure if she believes Polaris can or will do it, but when Polaris drops hints about a special online chat, Rika finds herself wanting to join.

In a hyper-sensitised, post-Columbine world, TOKYOPOP’s newest offering is bound to raise eyebrows in America with its premise: blowing up a school. This fondest wish of schoolyard verse became a horrifying reality less than a decade ago in what was considered a safe, suburban surrounding, and American high school has never been quite the same. Metal detectors and random locker searches have become standard practice throughout the nation, and loud-mouthed bravado can result in expulsion instead of simply detention. Since August 20, 1999 there has been articles, exposes, documentaries and docudramas about the rise of school violence, and now TOKYOPOP brings us the first English translation of a manga that tackles the issue. X-Day is by no stretch of the imagination a story specifically about school violence, but I am pleased to see how Setona Mizushiro employs the subject in the unfolding of the plot.

Set in Japan, the story begins with high school senior Rika. Injured and dumped, she shows a brave face to the world, but recedes mentally. The same face that smiles at classmates becomes blank and cold when she thinks no one is watching. The little things that go unnoticed by others are eating away at her, and she withdraws from the people around her and the activities she once participated in. The more she tries to convince herself that none if it hurts, the more depressed she becomes. Well-behaved and well mannered, Rika’s not the type to expose her inner feelings for fear of being viewed as pathetic. However, when an online chat room offers her the opportunity to unburden herself without revealing her identity, Rika makes an off-handed statement that quickly spirals to darker places. Kindred spirits echo her response, and soon an improbable quartet is formed for the sole purpose of destroying what they believe is the source of their misery: the school.

I think most people would consider the transference of blame to the school a rather irrational jump, but I believe that the point of X-Day is to examine why people do things that seem totally inexplicable to others. It is an interesting and unsettling look at how things are not always as they seem, how even the popular kids can feel lonely and alienated even when surrounded by friends and caring adults, how people can miss the signs that someone is in distress, and how it’s not just teenage girls that suffer from such things.

It is also an interesting look at how technology has changed our society. In X-Day, a desktop and a LAN connection offers both heaven (a chance for an upperclassman, an underclassman, a gothic lolita and a biology teacher to join together and share their pain without being exposed to the criticism of their peers), and hell (the information they’ll need to reduce the school to rubble). What they do ultimately is left for volume 2, but there’s absolutely no assurance that it won’t be apocalyptic. The same World Wide Web that offers an outlet for frustration, inspiration, happiness and every other emotion teenagers succumb to also offers the tools with which they can hurt one another. That is the inherent freedom and danger of being only a screen-name, and I believe it is for this reason that Mizushiro incorporates a great deal of on-screen-chat into X-Day.

There’s definitely more wordage and less pictures than your average manga, but it’s not without purpose. The stingy treatment of background details reinforces the feeling of isolation, and Mizushiro effectively transitions from the smiling, hallway-façade to Rika’s true feelings with a minimum number of panels – to show that it’s not a case of split personalities, but one hiding beneath the other.

A balance of good art, fair writing, and a few twists make X-Day volume 1 worth reading at least once and volume 2 worth waiting for in my opinion. It isn’t the most fabulous translation offered by TOKYOPOP (the printing is nothing to rave about, nor are there any special manga-ka extras or interviews) but it earns my respect for being a decent treatment of a topic that most comics publishers would avoid as well as being an original storyline among all the similar ones that can be found floating around the manga industry.

By Raven

Wish

Genre: Angelic love
What’s in it?: Gender confused characters, Mild spell fighting, Romance (and sadness)

Wish is a short four manga length story by the famous manga-ka’s of CLAMP. The story is specifically by Nanase Ohkawa with accompanying artwork by Mick Nekoi published by Asuka Comics DX. The story is tender and heartfelt, which slowly unravels like one of the usagi (bunny) carried flower messages from God. The mystery of Hisui’s disappearance is eventually revealed, the wish Shuiichirou desires becomes known, and in the midst of all these mysteries is Kohaku, a kind-hearted, sweet, and prone to cry angel.

By the story’s end you are left with a bittersweet warm and fuzzy feeling. The story has a lot of the charm and soul that Clamp’s Suki Dakara Suki had, and an art style closest to Clover of all of Clamp’s work. The manga covers are a bit pastel and fluorescent. Not necessarily the best colour combinations, but the artwork is both at times cute, at others beautiful with a simplistically executed art style. A hidden treat of the series are the coloured manga pages at the start of each volume.

It is necessary to toss out gender pronouns when reading this series. Angels are technically gender-less, in fact CLAMP like they did with Ashura in RG Veda uses a non-gender specific way of referring to certain characters. As much as a character may resemble a male or female, if they are an angel they do not possess a gender. This leaves room for some homosexual subtext in the manga to the happiness of many yaoi-lovers.

At the heart of Wish are the tensions between demons and angels, heaven and hell, and God and the Devil, with the human world trapped in between. An angel named Kohaku is given a mission to track down the missing Angel Master of the wind, Hisui. In quest of Hisui, Kohaku who at night chibifies and is weaker, is saved before sunrise from a hell-originated bird attack summoned by the devil Kouryuu by a kind-hearted and taciturn doctor, Shuiichirou Kudu. Kohaku is extremely grateful to the doctor, and wants to recompensate and reward the kindness Shuiichirou displayed towards Kohaku. However, there was no wish that the doctor desired. Kohaku distressed and earnestly desiring to grant this human a wish ends up staying living with Shuiichirou hoping to find a wish he can grant. This effectively puts a halt in Kohaku’s search of Angel Master Hisui which leads to a lot of problems among Heaven (and Hell too when Hisui is found on Earth with Satan’s son *wink*).

This is a story about Angels and Devils and about human dreams that cannot be realised alone.

A few Manga Scans taken from the first volume (to be read right to left – and I apologise in advance for badly scanned pages…i’ll try and get a few more up including the beautifully coloured ones)

By Raven

Visitor volume 1


(Manhwa)
Author: Yee-Jung No
Published by: Tokyopop
Release Date: 12/04/05
Genre: Horror, Drama and some what of a Comedy
Age: 13up

Volume 1 Review:
Hyo-Bin Na is the new girl in school, and all the boys (and jealous girls) have their eyes on her. However, boys seem to be getting the wrong signals from Hyo-Bin, as she is from distant from them. It’s not that Hyo-Bin doesn’t find them attractive, it’s just she has a little secret, a secret that seems to bring nothing but pain to those that get close to her. She’s hunted by terrible dreams of people that are close to her getting hurt, only thing is that her dreams do come true all to often.

Hyo-Bin plans to keep herself for the school year, no friends means no one will get hurt. Unfortunately Ye-Won Kwan won’t hear none of it, she decides to befriend Hyo-Bin whether she likes it or not, really, whether Hyo-Bin says “yes” or “no”.

When Ji-Hwan Choi, the high school boy toy, puts Hyo-Bin on the top of his list and is brushed off my Hyo-Bin in a second it just seems to make her even more attractive. Hyo-Bin has no choice, he’s the boy she say getting hurt in one of her dreams.

As Hyo-Bin gets adjusted to the new school she starts to have another, even darker, dream. A dream where she’s in the room of one of her class mates, and there is nothing but dead mutilated bodies on the floor. Unlike most of her dreams this one is different: the girl in her dreams can actually see and talk to Hyo-Bin.

All the while, Ji-Hwan Choi, can’t seem to get Hyo-Bin out of his mind he decides to set up a sneaky plan with his brother to get Hyo-Bin to just come walking into his arms.

Hyo-Bin decides to find and talk to the girl she met in her dream. The girl’s name is Mi-Soo Kim, and she’s known for keeping to herself totally! Mi-Soo tells Hyo-Bin that the dreams seem to be a regular thing, but Hyo-Bin being in them is something new to both. Hyo-Bin wants to help Mi-Soo get to the bottom of this, but Mi-Soo doesn’t want her to get involed, in fact either does Mi-Soo she just wants it all too go away.

Unbeknown to Hyp-Bin Ji-Hwan Choi has made a deal with his little problem to break Hyo-Bin’s heart, only for Ji-Hwan to catch her on the rebound. They make the arrangements with Ye-Won to double date (with some other guy that collects porn), knowing that Ye-Won is desperate enough to take anything.

The plan goes as predicted–unfortunately Ji-Hwan’s brother didn’t know Hyo-Bin was such a hottie–and Ji-Hwan sets he plan in motion. Hyo-Bin doesn’t have any of this on her mind though; she still worries about Mi-Soo’s condition. And she should be, since they have only been getting worse. Mi-Soo says everything only started to get worst when Hyo-Bin came to Mi-Soo’s school. This just reaffirms Hyo-Bin belief that she causes nothing but trouble, but she is determined to help Mi-Soo; however, when Mi-Soo doesn’t show up for school, Hyo-Bin can only blame herself. Hyo-Bin is determined to find out what why Mi-Soo has been afflicted with his curse, and what connection it has to Hyo-Bin.

Opinion:
The manga wasn’t very scary, in fact it wasn’t scary a lot. The best part of this manga is probably the comedic parts with Ji-Hwan and Ye-Won. If you are a horror manga buff, I wouldn’t recommend this as you’ll feel disappointed afterwards. I thought there was room for true horror potential here, but instead much of the appeal is in the drama parts. I got the really the manga was trying to be funny and a horror manga at the same time, which you can’t do–well I guess you could but you’ll have to be really good at it. Much of the “graphic”, and I do use those terms likely, scenes are seem to be just randomly inserted, just to classify it as a horror manga. The manga simply isn’t scary enough. (There I said it!) The only good thing in terms of horror is that the manga leaves you on a mystery, and maybe volume 2 will be more graphic and gruesome than this. With all that said, overall the manga is pretty good. The artwork is wonderful, really dense and a lot of work given to character detail; however, not much was given to scenery. The high school drama side is probably the greatest attraction to this manga, and probably the only reason to buy it. If you are looking for a Horror manga try something else, as Visitor failed to even nudge me, but if you are looking for a funny high school drama give it a shot it ain’t all that bad.

Score
8.0/9.0*

Only because I graded it as a Drama, you wouldn’t want to see what it would have gotten for a horror manga. ^^ All I can say is don’t buy it if you want horror.

By Cherubim

Vampire Game

Story and Art – JUDAL
English Publisher – Tokyopop
Released Date – 06/2003
Format – Right to Left
First Volume ISBN – 1-59182-369-2
Genre – Comedy, Fantasy
Age Rating – Teens

Long ago, in an epic battle of might, King Phelios defeated the Vampire King Duzell. And as both lay dying on the battle field, Duzell swore that his reincarnation would find King Phelios’ reincarnation and exact his revenge. A hundred years later, the moment of reincarnation has arrived… The only problem is that Duzell has been reincarnated as a harmless house cat. And to add to his frustration, he can’t find the reincarnation of King Phelios. Luckily, he has been adopted by Phelios’ grand-daughter, the teenage princess Ishtar, through whom Duzell may be able to track down who in the Phelios tribe is host to the great king’s reincarnated soul.

Princess Ishtar has a very hairy pussy… His name is Duzell, named after the Vampire King who was defeated by Ishtar’s grandfather in an epic battle long ago. The thing is though; ironically Duzell is the great Vampire King of old.

Vampire game is an intriguing mix of comedy, adventure and romance following the tale of Duzell the Kywal, who happens to be the reincarnation of the Vampire King of the same name and his quest to track down and kill the reincarnation of his Nemesis King Phelios who lurks somewhere within the blood line of his ancestors. Aided willingly by the rebellious and difficult Grand Daughter of his foe who, as a high ranking royal, has access to everyone in his bloodline the pair cross the world in pursuit of royal blood for Duzell to taste and thusly rediscover his nemesis.

To be frank when I first picked up Vampire Game I almost put it back, it looked a little too bishi and cute for my tastes (This coming from someone who reads Tokyo Mew Mew), the plot sounded a little muddled and as a big strong macho guy (Yea right) I’m not really into romance, but I thought “Hey why not”. The first thing I noticed about Vampire Game is how wrong my preconceptions about it were, much of it revolves around comedy, not irreverent and insane comedy like “Excel Saga” or “Those who hunt elves”, but intelligently constructed and played out situation comedy, that is the comedy actually runs through the story rather than the other way around.

The plot itself is rather unusual, out of what seems to be boredom, discontent of Royal protocol, teenage rebellion or perhaps all three Ishtar agrees to take Duzell throughout the kingdom visiting the barons, countesses and princes and princesses who make up her family and conceive ways for her loveably pet who happens to be a shape shifting vampire taste a few drops of their blood. This naturally starts off simple of course as Duzell does as most cats do and bites and claws his way through Ishtar’s close family, however further into the story events start to over take the pair and as they balance the need to keep Duzell’s identity secret, continue on his quest and try and settle family feuds with the sinister arrival of another powerful vampire, one the scenes who seems to despise both Duzell and Phelios but believes them both to be dead and gone.

Graphically Vampire Game is somewhat formulaic but very pretty none the less. Many of the characters and the style as a whole is very reminiscent of clamp, but here in lies a problem, many of the characters look the same, granted that some are actually related to each other, but other times it is sometimes easy to forget a face and find yourself having to backtrack through the series.

Other than some slight problems with characters presentation Vampire Game has few problems other than perhaps that some of the sub stories can feel a little slow paced and not wanting to sound petty but the first book in the series is a different colour than the others (Damn you Tokyopop) there is very little to complain about.

To conclude Vampire Game is a fun and interesting journey through what is perhaps a slightly formulaic fantasy land. The characters are intelligently conceived, well drawn and compliment the style of the story being told very well, resulting in a well put together and enjoyable fable about revenge, friendship and the futility of war.

Characters

St. Phelios – A revered monarch and the Kingdom of Pheliosta’s namesake. Phelios is famous for defeating the Vampire King Duzell in an epic battle that cost Phelios his life. As they died, Duzell vowed that they would meet again, leading people to believe that Phelios will be reborn into one of his heirs.

Duzell – Feared throughout the kingdom of Pheliosta, Duzell is a vicious vampire king who once slaughtered hundreds of men in a bloody battle for the kingdom. He was defeated by Phelios, but before he died he promised to return and once again face King Phelios in battle, next time emerging victorious. Now, 100 years later, he has been reborn as Princess Ishtar’s pet cat.

Ishtar – A precocious princess who finds herself in the centre of a century-old prophecy, Ishtar is the granddaughter of Phelios and the heir to the kingdom of Pheliosta. Although Ishtar is expected to live the life of a lady, and marry a proper suitor of royal blood, she would much rather spend her time infuriating Sir Keld and Darres by ditching her magic lessons and pretending to be a knight. It was on one such excursion that Ishtar found her pet kyawl, who just happens to be the reincarnation of the vampire king Duzell. Ishtar not only is aware of this, but is, perversely, more than willing to help Duzell in his search.

Darres – The captain of the royal guard, Darres is also Ishtar’s noble, but rather dim-witted, bodyguard. Although Ishtar frustrates Darres to no end, he does care about her and deeply respects King Phelios. Perhaps Ishtar’s most closely-guarded secret, however, is that she also cares deeply about Darres.

Sir Keld – Princess Ishtar’s caretaker and instructor, Sir Keld may have been a great knight at one time, but he’s now a laughingstock. Nicknamed the ‘Old Fart’ by everyone in the castle, Sir Keld, at the very least, means well.

Tuxedo Gin


Artist/Writer: Toshihiko Matsuura
Publisher: Viz
Volumes: Currently 8
Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance

Tuxedo Gin is a love story with a penguin as the main love interest. Don’t look at me like that because you know I’m telling you the truth, baby, although the storyline is a little more ‘in-depth’ than it first seems.

Ginji Kusanagi and Minako Sasebo, his best friend’s cousin, meet when Ginji almost runs her over with his motorcycle. Oddly enough even with this terrible first impression, the two fall in love instantly. Ginji asks her out on a date and Minako accepts. As they are manga characters things go wrong almost instantly. After Ginji’s professional boxing debut, he has an accident the night before his date with Minako and tragically dies as a result. An angel floats down and tells Ginji that his spirit hadn’t reached its expiration date yet. Ginji of course, doesn’t want to die; he wants to live so that he can meet with Minako the next day. There is one way that he could have a chance to reunite with Minako – he can come back as an animal and hope to be reincarnated as a human when his life as an animal ends. The catch is that he can’t intentionally kill himself. Ginji takes the risk and chooses to come back as a penguin, because Minako mentioned that she really likes penguins. Thus, Ginji begins his life as the penguin, Tuxedo Gin. Will he get his old body back? Will he meet up with Minako again (what do you think?)

Gin’s character design is so incredibly cute that it’s bound to rot your teeth with its sweetness. You really root for this little guy because he is trying so hard to accomplish his goals, stuck in this little tubby penguin body. The number of expressions that Gin has is very impressive. Who’d think that penguins could be so expressive? The artist, Toshihiko Matsuura, really has an eye for detail. While Gin is permanently stuck in SD mode, the other characters are drawn very well – Minako is a beautiful young woman with a pure heart and is shows in her design as well. (Although she has a nasty tendency to end up in really bad situations). Establishing shots are drawn in detail and oftentimes give more insight into the character – as seen in Minako’s room for example.

While experienced manga readers may draw comparisons to Rumiko Takahashi’s portrayal of P-Chan the Pig and Akane Tendo in Ranma 1/2 to Tuxedo Gin (animals in the same room as naked women, anyone?). This isn’t an incorrect comparison, Tuxedo Gin does share some of the mini-pervert moments, and the comparison really ends there. At least P-Chan can turn back into Ryoga. Ginji doesn’t have that luxury.

Viz has printed this manga in the original right to left format. The only downfall that I’ve heard people mention is that Viz don’t translate the sound effects and leave a glossary at the back of the volume. Personally this doesn’t really bother me as you can probably tell from the picture in front of you what sound effect is in effect. However, if you don’t fancy flicking to the back of book all the time to check the glossary then be warned that this can be an annoyance for you.

Other than that Tuxedo Gin, as a manga, is equal parts humour, romance and adventure. It’s a good manga for anyone to read and I guarantee that you will feel sorry for poor Ginji!

By Raven

Traveling

Author: Piyoko Chitose
Genre: Yaoi Comedy
Status: Doujinshi of Prince of Tennis
Published Outside Japan: No
Published by: N/A
Release Date: N/A
Age Appropriateness: 18+

Presented by: Datenshi Blue [www.datenshi-blue.net] & Secret Haven [www.yuki-buta.com]

Review

The big tournament is coming up soon and Tezuka is at the hospital. The team is handling it well, Tezuka said he’ll be back before the tournament so there isn’t much to worry about. Someone should have told that to Fuji, who is freaking out that Tezuka didn’t call him yet. Fuji throws a fit when he finds out that Tezuka called Oishi but not him. Fuji says enough is enough and decides to make a little trip to the hospital where Tezuka is staying. But he wants to do it incognito, because he doesn’t want Tezuka to think that he’s a baby–which he so is.

So how does he do it you ask? Fuji goes to the hospital in a bunny body suit not to be suspicious–love makes you do stupid things. Even though Fuji is there just to see Tezuka he gets out of hand and starts knocking over anyone that comes close to Tezuka–even the nurses. Things turn for the worse when the combination of the costume and Fuji dramatic ways makes him faint. Fuji wakes up with Tezuka next to him—he’s got a lot of explaining to do. Tezuka admits that he too wanted to see Fuji but had to wait. Tezuka decides that Fuji has to be punished for not being able to wait until he can make it back to Tokyo. This is where the hot steamy sex takes place–finally!

After the moment of passion Fuji promises to stay in Tokyo and wait for Tezuka to return. Coincidentally a few days later there is someone in a Spirited Away costume at the hospital and Fuji is no where to be found in Tokyo.

Art

One thing I noticed about the art in this manga was that a lot of attention was paid to on the eyes. The rest of the art is “okay”. There really wasn’t much detail in it and the pages looked very bland. The characters looked like something from a coloring book. Don’t get me wrong it isn’t bad just kind of boring. But the story is short so spending and might to be light hearted so I guess it all balances out in the end.

Opinion

Yet again another Prince of Tennis yaoi doujinshi that captured my heart and eye movements for a good twenty minutes looking at them doing “stuff”. This story doesn’t differ from the many others though. Fuji’s the hyper active emotional type and he’s with Tezuka the seemily quiet but yet very kinky lover. It’s funny to read about their adventures together from one artist impression to another.

This story is pretty funny. The few moments that we see Fuji in the bunny outfit were quite funny. This manga did a good job of balancing sex and humor. The high point of this story was of course the sex, which you can’t complain was pretty damn good.

I am disappointed that it was so short. But it was sufficient for the point that the story wanted to get across, which was that some people are just love sick puppies.

Score
8.0/10

By Cherubim

Tramps Like Us volume 1


Written by: Yayoi Ogawa
Published by: Tokyopop
Release Date: August 10, 2004
Genre: Romance Comedy
Age: 16up


Volume 1 Review:

Sumire Iwaya is a strong and independent women living and working in a man’s world. She went to America to study and came back to work at a local newspaper. She did work in the foreign news department but she was demoted because she knocked her boss’ tooth out for hitting on her. She now works a less adequate of her educational background job at the news paper. Her educational background makes her the talk at her job as everyone treats her differently. Not to mention her track record with men isn’t a pretty picture. She dumped her fiancée when she discovered he cheated on her and was having another kid with his mistress. Sumire’s co-workers believe he couldn’t put up with her personality and the fact as she thought she was better than everyone else. She earned the nickname “Sumire the Ice Princess” at her job, after all if you make a person break into tears for not putting the “Mr.” and “Mrs.” on a letter you kind of deserve it. Sumire too believes her education, strong sense of individuality, and her height (as she is taller than most men) played apart in her relationship going down the drain. Sumire set a standard of the kind of men she’ll be dating from now: he must be taller and make more money than she does, this is to make sure that men’s inferiority complexes doesn’t become a problem in their relation, relationships Sumire has had to deal with for while.

Well it goes without saying that Sumire is single at the moment, but she’s a strong woman and can fend for herself. On her way home to her cozy apartment one day, Sumire comes across a large cardboard box, that she thinks some moron left in there; when she looks in to see what’s inside she finds a young man who’s body looks as if it’s ready for trip down under. Sumire takes the young man in and feeds him back to health; the young man complements Sumire on cooking such a good meal. Sumire leaves the young man stay the night to rest up. To her the young man resembles her pet dog as a child. However, Sumire is stunned when she comes home and sees the young man still in her house. He doesn’t have money for the train and his gay landlord is hitting on him and he’s afraid something might happen, plus he loves Sumire’s cooking. Trying to let the little guy down easily, Sumire gives him an alternative, he could go back to his gay landlord and be…um…or he could become Sumire’s pet. Sumire jokingly offers the option to get him out of her apartment, but what’s even more shocking is that the young man decides to stay and become Sumire pet.

Well what’s the first you do when you get a new pet? Give it a name, duh. Sumire chooses the name “Momo”, after her female dog that she had. Now that Momo is staying with her he needs to take a bath, but his hand is injured (possibly from his gay landlord (O.O) ) so Sumire has to bath him.
Momo keeps Sumire entertained–not that way you sick pervert—and her headaches seemed to have vanished since she brought him home. *hehe* Sumire only told her girlfriend, Yuki, about her new pet’s species, everyone else at work thinks it’s a dog or cat. Yuki is just amazed that Sumire could have kept Momo so long without sex.

Sumire can’t stay home and cook for Momo all day and night, she’s young, sexy, and her biological clock ain’t slowing down for nobody. She started dating the president of the newspaper’s son, he fits all the requirements (income and height) so Sumire doesn’t think anything would be a major problem. However, Sumire realizes that having a pet human in your apartment might not be the best way to introduce someone to your humble living quarters, so most of her dates never go pass second base (for you desperate singles out that haven’t had a date in so long (me) that’s where the date ends at the front step). All the while Momo has invited Sumire to his performance at the Dance Theater (he’s a part time dancer). Sumire doesn’t want to admit that she’s dating someone. She’s becoming more and more annoyed by mister president’s son as he seems a bit demanding, for example while having sex he wants Sumire to talk. “Jesus, the nerve of some people always wanting more and more. How many things do they expect you to do at once?” Anyway, a fake orgasm on Sumire’s part took care of that.

At home Sumire and Momo are getting closer, to the point that where she’s thinking of him while faking it. Sumire thinks it’s getting out of control and her feelings are becoming deeper than master-pet-relationship, she asks Momo to leave and walk out of her life. However, she can’t seem to him out of her mind even if he was just a pet. Plus mister president’s son is becoming they bit of the stalker type, luckily Momo comes back in the picture. Sumire opens her arms to her pet Momo again.

Sumire still doesn’t consider them a couple and is on the search for another man to keep her busy. This time it’s Senpai Hasumi, a guy she went to college with that working at the newspaper also—small world indeed—and Sumire seems interested, again he fits the requirements–you’ve got to love a girl that’s consistent. Sumire now has to find a way to balance her three loves: work, Momo, and Senpai Hasumi.
No matter how Sumire tries to rationalize it her feelings Momo are getting stronger, but can high class news reported handle all of it, and where will Momo fit into her life?

Opinion:
I only picked up this manga because I had the extra cash on me, and like most great discoveries it was all on accident. I’m saying this from the start if you love a good realistic romance story pick this up, although the premise of having a human as a pet is pretty out there the story itself is pretty realistic. The target group is obviously women, but I have to say I still laughed a lot; none of the jokes were out of male comprehension (i.e. the monthly visitor). It funny to see things Sumire would do to get a boyfriend, and even though she seems tough on the outside she’s really fragile on the inside. It’s kind of like desperate housewives, except Sumire isn’t married, fused with Sex and the City, except there isn’t enough of the sex. It’s really funny to see this high and might women knocked off her pedestal and falling in love with her pet but resisting the fact that she is. The artwork is different from what I’m used to, but it only helps brings a sense of realism to the story has everyone is drawn unique and their faces seem to present a certain quality or characteristic, and has there gestures change you could see that.
If you’re a lover of a romantic comedy this manga will certainly pull to in.

Score:
9.0/9.0

By Cherubim

Tokyo Renaikitan

Author: N/A
Genre: Yaoi
Age: 18+

Review:
Amano Chizu is a High School teacher, at what could be the worse high school on earth. Not only are teachers stabbed and sent to the hospital in this poor but poor Chizu is sexually asualted by the administrator and other students. The only reason why he works there, and allows himself to be used by the admistrator, is because he finally found a job and can’t afford to loose it. His life was pretty in the dumps, until one day he saw someone outside his apartment. When he went to work, and was told to meet the admistrator in a hotel and was kissed by one of his student, and came back the person outside his apartment was still there. Chizu did what any good person would and fed the guy. The guy was obviously starving he ate an entire meal of KFC in a matter of seconds.
Before the mister mysterious leaves he ask Chizu his name and says that his name is Natsume and that one day he’ll return the favor.

Well Chizu can’t stay long to think about what Natsume meant, he has to go meet the admistrator for meeting in a hotel room. (Oooooh!) However, this time is different, Chizu can’t seem to let himself be used this way anymore, and when he calls out for help who else but Natsume (with wings) comes to his rescue. He sends the adminstrator to another dimension to keep him busy. Chizu is in total shock, a few hours ago Natsume was a starving kid outside his apartment and now he’s sprouted wings and can send people into bad places.

Natsume doesn’t waste anytime and tries to make a move; however, Chizu refuses–and while Natsume points out that he was about to let some old fart do it Chizu still refuses. When Natsume tries a not so polite approach he realizes that Chizu has a barrier around him. Natsume is now intrigued even more by Chizu; he believes that meeting outside his apartment wasn’t just a coincidence. Natsume decides to leave, but promisses to return (and claim what’s “his”).

Chizu can’t seem to get what happend and Natsume out of his mind. Things only get stranger when the administrator, who can’t remember what happend to him, ask Natsume for another whack at it. XD (I’m sorry I just had to say it.) But before he could complete his proposition the school trouble boy, Takemi, pulls him away. Takemi makes a troubling revalation, telling Chizu that he’s the one that placed the barrier around Chizu when he kissed Chizu in class the other day. Then Takemi says that Chizu will be his. This obviously won’t sit still with Natsume who plans to find the person that placed the barrier and get rid of them.

Opinion:
It’s an interesting story, not just a sex sex sex story but at the same time it isn’t too story driven, more mystery that anything. So far from what I have on my computer there hasn’t been much sex, especially nothing hardcore. ::sigh:: The story is pretty much the mysterious-demon story we are accustomed to with a dash of yaoi. I wouldn’t expect much of a “Wow!” from reading this, nothing out of the ordinary–besides: demons, student/teacher, teacher/principle, bats with heads etc. The story has a few twist but no stunning revalations that shock you (too much).
The quality of the artwork is alright, no “Wow!” there either. The characters are kind of predictable, except that administrator, he creeped me out. Basically there isn’t much of a I-must-have-this-yaoi felling present for this title, it’s really up to you whether or not you want to get into this title. You won’t gain or lose anything (well besides time) for reading this. So I’m not saying it’s good but it ain’t super-duper either.

Score:
7.5/9.0

By Cherubim

Work in progress... not home!
Trying to get all/most of the new code working before I start on the eyecandy.