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Even Even Even More Shoujo Manga!

Found an old post of manga reviews, mostly Shoujo, that I typed up back in the day but never posted. I've reviewed a couple of these again since - I read one twice and reviewed it twice, and thought I'd forgotten to review the other one when I read it. Whoops. Marked those with (x) below.

Here we go though, five old reviews and a couple new ones at the bottom... you'll find the previous shoujo manga post right here.

Fullmetal Alchemist (x)

You already know this one right? It's the story of Alphonse and Edward, two brothers who lose their mother at a young age, but make the mistake of trying to bring her back with alchemy, resulting in a far more tragic loss. Ed loses an leg, Al loses his entire body, and Ed sacrifices an additional arm to bind Alphonse's soul to a full suit of armor they happen to have nearby.

Years later it's time to embark on a search for the ultimate truth, and a way to get his body back, all the while working as government alchemists, and in time uncovering a strange organization working in the shadows; maybe sitting on those ultimate secrets they wish to find...

I've seen the anime, but this is my first dive into the manga, and I need more now. This was just the one book. Need to get my hands on the remaining 27.

Rans Magiska Värld

I haven't read anything this imaginative in way too long! It's the kind of book you can get lost within the images of.

The details are impressive, but it's the fluidity and charm of it that's the greatest appeal. It's just so fun to look at. It's the kind of world you might've had in your mind when you were smaller, and reading this makes me want to bring it back. To start imagining again. To make the stuff of dreams the world that surrounds me.

Also just read one book here, but it was a real pleasure. An innocent, fun, charming and dreamy surprise. There's a story too... somewhat. Of Ran (a little girl who becomes an adult when she puts on her shoes) and of magic.

Wonder what lurks beyond the gate. Wonder how Ran might grow up. Because she's not really grown-up yet you know...

The title translates to: Ran's Magical World.

Nana (x)

Here's the story of two girls with the same name, who happen to run into each other a few times and decide to become roommates. One's in a punk rock band and the other one's a normal and kind girl... but they're both kind, really. This is the story of their trials and tribulations, and relations, and everything that goes on in the somewhat adjoined life of theirs.

I'm really not the target audience here. Focus: romance. Girl stuff. But the comedy, and characters, and the way they express themselves... I think this one has me hooked after all. Gotta read the rest of these too.

The style's quite different from similar manga too, and though it took a chapter or two to get used to it I end up loving it. It's just so expressive.

Apart from being fun, but also at times tragic and overly dramatic, the story also seems to shed some light on a foreign element: the female mind.

You'd think any Shoujo manga would, but this just really puts things in perspective somehow. It make you go "aha". Little bits of wisdom. Little bits of revelation. Personality traits, relationships... it's like it's both a soap opera and a 101 guide. I feel like I'll learn things if I keep reading this...

Don't get me wrong now. I'm not totally oblivious as to the differences between genders. But this was surprisingly clear-sighted. That, the expression, and character charm, are what make NANA really stand out.

Demon Diary

Here's a manthwa for a change. A Korean manga. It's about a Demon Heir who's all too kind to be a demon heir, who doesn't feel like killing humans and what-not, and ends up keeping a couple as companions instead.

The idea's not bad, but the comedy feels somewhat predictable, and just not strong enough to make you laugh. Maybe it's the wording. Maybe it's a fault in translation.

I also feel like the drawing style's all too basic, the exceptions being occasional backgrounds, and the story overall, and plot progression... it's basic.

Even if there are girls involved it also almost has a yaoi-like vibe to it, which had me a bit skeptical during the first chapters, and I guess I still am.

Not sure I'd enjoy reading this all the way through. Maybe I should, but first impressions aren't so great I'd want to get the rest of the books for $$$. Not my style.

Make Love & Peace

Wasn't expecting to stumble into a dose of softcore porn for the ladies amidst this particular bundle of Shoujo Manga books. There's a particular genre for this apparently, named Josei, and this is a part of it.

It's the first release within this particular genre aimed at a US audience, and considering the whole book's like a superficial soap opera with an abundance of sex scenes to bridge any other events... I wonder how it went. Is this what females like, really? There's no depth. No twists. No continuity regarding the story.

A cop (the guy) and an eighteen year old girl meet, she falls in love with him, and here we go. He's at work, she's worrying, and then they have sex, and then she gets attacked, and he saves the day, and then they have sex.

I wouldn't think I'd ever say this but: there's too much sex. It breaks the build-up. The chemistry feels superficial and lacking because of it.

Maybe it's also the drawing style that's all too soft and plain, but whatever it is this kind of content just doesn't turn me on at all, and the story quickly feels plain and unnecessary. They're just not getting anywhere... there's some fun, some exciting bits, but it has that feeling like it was just made to sell. Like it lacks soul and substance. Hopefully it's not a valid representation of the genre after all...

.hack - Legend of the Twilight

It's the third and final part of the trilogy! I'm pretty sure I read the first part earlier... or one of the parts at least, but not this one. Or maybe I was just skimming through this same book earlier...

Either way it's the story of two siblings who venture into an online VR multiplayer game world (Ready Player One inspired by this maybe?) and get in trouble with the system administrators, but they make friends and meet people and it seems almost like the world has a mind of its own, because the admins can't delete them even if they want to.

It's a story full of turmoil and happy/emotional moments, and though it feels a bit too childish sometimes, and weird with the so close sibling bond and all, it's a feelgood story... not bad after all.

The after-text bits were so small I could barely read them though. Might need to do something about that.

Chrono Crusade

Just read the four first books of this one and daaaamn I need to read more!

It's the story about a demon, Chrono, and an exorcist, Rosette. Only they have a contract, where every time he uses his power it saps a bit of her soul, and shortens her life.

It's a story all about time. Using time to the fullest. Taking each day that comes your way as the best thing ever - and though Chrono's a somewhat melancholy kind, Rosette fully embraces that style of life.

It's fun, it's crazy, it's sad, sometimes. It mixes the elements in a great way, captivates and entertains and keeps you going.

Naruto was exciting too, but this one kept me up a bit too late sometimes... it's that kind of reading material. Perfect for a long night.

Can't wait to get the rest of these books. Also this one's probably Shounen. And I guess .hack was too, and Ran...? Also FMA. The title seems a bit misleading now but there you go. That's the latest of what I've been reading now.

I'm done with Naruto too. It was great. I'm not sure it needs to be reviewed at all. The Wallflower though, up next...

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