Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mushishi: Volumes 1~10 (completed)

Author: Yuki Urushibara
Summary: THEY HAVE EXISTED SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME. Some live in the deep darkness behind your eyelids. Some eat silence. Some thoughtlessly kill. Some simply drive men mad. Shortly after life emerged from the primordial ooze, these deadly creatures, mushi, came into terrifying being. And they still exist and wreak havoc in the world today. Ginko, a young man with a sardonic smile, has the knowledge and skill to save those plagued by mushi . . . perhaps.
My Review: This is one of those more simple manga series and I loved it for that. There was never anything nasty or inappropriate. The story was simple and easy to follow along with, the characters and circumstances they constantly found themselves in strange, but interesting. The art style wasn’t too complex but it wasn’t terrible either, and after a few volumes I didn’t find it hard to boost it to four stars. It was a manga series that would probably never be that popular, but that’s what I liked about it. The simplicity.
These strange entities, the mushi, are what plague this manga’s world as the antagonists. Ginko, a mushishi, is able to spot and usually save the people tortured by these little creatures. Usually...
Art: I have to say, the art was rather simple, but it was also rather unusual. I guess original is the best term for it here. It wasn’t sharp nor was it extremely rough. The texture had a gentle feel to it, very nice to look at, nothing extraordinary. But it’s that simplicity that makes it stand out so well.
Characters: We truly only follow along as Ginko wanders through his world, unable to stay in one place for very long. While he does have a select few people he comes into contact with more than once, he really only ever stays long enough for a misadventure and then off he goes again. With each chapter it’s own story, the set up itself reminded me of The Nightmare Inspector, with all it’s strangeness and plot hopping.
Plot: The plot was easy enough to follow along after since it's such a simple story. No kick-a** battle scenes, nothing disturbing or gruesome. I liked that. Now for those who need more action, I can expect a few yawns, but this was a nice break for me in my manga reading, hence I enjoyed it alot more than most people probably would. Either way, I found it interesting.
Disclaimers: While it has been some time since I first picked up the first volume, I can recall barely anything to disclaim about in all 10 volumes. If there was profanity, I hardly even noticed. If there was violence, there wasn’t much blood and gore. There wasn’t any sensual material to worry about so it’s a perfect manga for younger readers. Though the plot isn’t too complex, sometimes their conversations may drag on and bore those with small attention spans.
Favorite Character: Ginko
Favorite Quote: N/A
Recommended: Young teens & up
Over-all Rating: ★★★★☆
~ Darkitty
***Next ~ Chi’s Sweet Home: volumes 1~8 (ongoing)***

DAC II ~ February: The Vanishing Game

Author: Kate Kae Myers
Summary: Jocelyn’s twin brother Jack was the only family she had growing up in a world of foster homes—and now he’s dead, and she has nothing. Then she gets a cryptic letter from “Jason December”—the code name her brother used to use when they were children at Seale House, a terrifying foster home that they believed had dark powers. Only one other person knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn’s childhood crush and their only real friend among the troubled children at Seale House.   But when Jocelyn returns to Seale House and the city where she last saw Noah, she gets more than she bargained for. Turns out the house’s powers weren’t just a figment of a childish imagination. And someone is following Jocelyn. Is Jack still alive? And if he is, what kind of trouble is he in? The answer is revealed in a shocking twist that turns this story on its head and will send readers straight back to page 1 to read the book in a whole new light.
My Review: I hate to say this right off the bat, but I’m rather disappointed with how this one turned out. It’s one of those books I was willing to give a higher rating, mainly because it was “ok” and I was willing to overlook things because the plot was over-all interesting. But nearing the end, I just felt like the writing style wasn’t completely up to par, the plot was a bit too confusing, too unrealistic, unbelievable, and ended lacking...

Characters: I felt like the main character(s) were alittle too reckless and the plot trailing along behind is just so random and strange, that it's rather hard to actually relate to them. I kept comparing the style to other books I've read, bad habit, and it's just not something I could easily recommend. Nice quick read, but if you can't really concern yourself with the characters, is it worth it? Everyone just felt a bit unstable, like they'd snap with the least amount of pressure. I was more anxious to see if they ever found Jack than anything else...
Plot: It's like it's trying to be creepy, but there was just not enough time to build up to it. I think if the author had spent more time on it, it may have ended better. The plot has some surprising plot twists at the end, and while I do like suspense, I really don't enjoy surprises like that. If you can't even imagine something vaguely like the ending earlier on, there's something wrong. She throws in psychological elements but since you don't see it coming very well, it just seems out of place.

Disclaimers: There's a bit of violence, a mix between some rather disturbed kids trying to kill each other and some nut after them. I don't think there's really every any discernment between the male and female, so Jocey gets attacked alot, between knife wielding gothic punks and those who long to strangle her. There's a couple deaths throughout, but it's never actually gory. There isn't too much language and the interactions between the two main characters are pretty clean, thankfully.
Favorite Character: Noah
Favorite Quote: N/A
Recommended: Teens
Over-all Rating: ★★★☆☆
~ Darkitty

*Next ~ The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man & Everneath*


I wasn’t as active as I would have liked to have been last month. I know that I sometimes contradict what I say I’m going to review but it’s truly only a vague idea of what I would like to review next. I’ve also noticed with manga you could review each individual volume instead of the series as a whole, so I’m considering doing that soon, perhaps re-reviewing some series I’ve already done. I’m still experimenting with this whole blog thing. Sometimes I feel like my ratings change after I review a book and sometimes my reviews feel too vague for me. I’m still working on it all. I don’t think I’ll ever review a manga series as long as say Bleach or Naruto, (plus you can’t pay me to reread them) but we shall see. I’d also like to just stick with reviewing completed series or if it’s ongoing, one at a time, unless there’s like over 10 volumes already or it’s relatively short or I dunno, because I’m indecisive like that. So I’ll be starting with Chi’s Sweet Home next month since I think it would be very easy to reread through and they’re short enough to combine the review... After that though, I’m just not sure at this point what I want to review next... I may re-re-read through either Black Butler or Pandora Hearts, and review them one volume at a time for starters. I’ve got a nice pile of novels to read next month so hopefully I can squeeze in more reviews after Finals. I’d like to have at least one manga volume and one novel review every week, or every other week at the least. :)
~ Darkitty
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