Tag Archives: comic books

The Stellar Six of Gingacho – Please bring the good old days back!

ssog1Title: The Stellar Six of Gingacho

Author: Yuki Fujimoto

Summary: A girl tries to reunite her childhood friends

Gut reaction: I love this!

Why: As a nostalgia addict, I can deeply connect with Mike’s struggle to get her friends back together and into a close group once more. The desire for things as they were is both impossible and human nature. The characters are mostly solid, although a few are flimsy, and the setting is very heart-felt. I immediately empathized with the characters and cheered them on in their struggles. I hope it ends well, because I’m too focused on the past to predict where it’ll end up in the future. Please bring the good old days back!

Who would like this book: shoujo fans, slice-of-life fans, shounen fans, other nostalgia addicts. I, of course, will doggedly follow it until the end.

–Lexie, 16, West Seattle

WTS

Three in Love – high school threesomes?!

Three in loveTitle: Three In Love

Author: Shioko Mizuki

Summary: High school threesome

Gut reaction: We’re allowed to have polygamy in media now? Why wasn’t I told before?

Why: The story is actually pretty tame and simple, but I do like it. The main girl, Machiru, and her love rival decide to date their love interest together and Machiru is really fond of the other girl as well. Unexpectedly, the characters are deep and complex, insofar as shoujo goes, and the story isn’t predictable or boring. A grounded shoujo is so rare these days that upon discovery I become inconsolably happy.

Who would like this book: Shoujo fans, manga fans in general, people in threesomes? I’m happy and will follow it until it ends.

Lexie, West Seattle

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Sugar Sugar Rune: Two witches get mixed up in ancient racial politics.

sugarsugarrunecoverTitle:  Sugar Sugar Rune

Author:  Moyoco Anno

Summary: Two witches compete for the title of queen by seducing boys but get mixed up in ancient racial politics.

Gut reaction: Cutesy, magical girl, handled really well, pretty original.

Why: The characters are deep, the back-stories cliché and the story only semi-predicable.  There are definitely some unexpected turns and I do think I know how it’ll end, but I won’t spoil it for you guys since it went to the effort of being so well-developed.  The character development is superb, the setting in half-unexplored in the best of ways, and the system of magic is really detailed and thought out.  What at first glance seems to be a cutesy styled shoujo turns into a darker coming-of-age story about emotion and acceptance.

Who would like this book: Shoujo fans, maybe Chocomimi fans because the art is also stylized, maybe more mature fans as well.  It’s hard for me to read because of the immense styling, but once I pick it up I can breeze through it, so I’ll read it through.

–Lexie, 15, West Seattle, Teen Blogger

WTS

 

Bloody Monday – hacker boy & friends fight terrorists

bloody mondayTitle: Bloody Monday

Authors: Ryou Ryumon & Kouji Megumi

Summary: High school hacker boy and friends fight terrorists after police dad is framed.

Gut reaction: Ugh characters, hackers are cool, overpowered high schoolers, biological terrorism, Russia, conspiracy

Why: The characters are all two-note, ability and character center. For example, one of the high schoolers, a kid called Kujou, pretty much has only two things going for him: his ability to take down armed terrorists with a freaking bow and arrow, and his obsessive hatred of terrorists which no normal high school student should have. So the characters aren’t developed.

I do like that the main character has potential to develop into a kid who is reckless and doesn’t understand that it isn’t a game which will lead to character development, but the manga is too focused on showing off the awesomeness, so I don’t think that’ll happen. The students are all overpowered. I’m sorry, I don’t know what world you live in, but in mine teenagers can’t hack into the government’s most secure database in, like, five minutes. The story is gearing up for a conspiracy and the high school students are going to end up taking it down in a suitably dramatic way, I can tell.

Who would like this book: Shounen fans, conspiracy fans, hacker fans, shock factor fans. I’ll keep reading ‘cause hackers are freaking awesome to read.  What does this say about me…

–Lexie, 15, West Seattle

WTS

 

Venus in Love – friendship, love, confusion?

venus in loveTitle: Venus In Love
Author: Yuki Nakaji

Summary: A college girl looks for love and will probably end up with her crush’s best friend, her gay neighbor, but don’t ask me how that works.

Gut reaction: grounded, un-obnoxious, college instead of high school, mature people for once.

Why: The characters are realistic, and although they aren’t especially deep, they aren’t shallow at all.  The strange portrayal of LGBTQ+ is strange, but I guess he’s bi-sexual?  I’ll be interested in how they pull this off.  However, they deserve credit for a realistic homosexual character instead of the derogatory okama stance.  The heroine, Suzuna, has no tragic back story or Mary-Sue qualities whatsoever.  The story plays out like real life without bathos and it’s possible, although not likely, that it’ll end with the friendship ending.

Who would like this book: realistic LGBTQ+ fans (not an LGBTQ+ story though), shoujo fans. I’ll read until the end because I’m curious and it’s good so far.

–Lexie, West Seattle, Teen Blogger

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Teen Reviewed: One Piece

One PieceTitle:  One Piece

Author:  Eichiro Oda

Why I started reading?  It was so long ago I can’t even remember.  The cover looked interesting?  😀

In a yearbook, the main character would be voted Most Likely To:  charge in headfirst without thinking!

This book reminded me of Dragon Ball because they’re both manga, they are the same genre, shonen, which is action-adventure that isn’t too mature.  The main characters are similar in personality and they both are written by the same formula of “story arcs,” so they have similar progression.

One Piece is very popular.  It’s aimed towards a younger teen audience.  The main character has an interesting ability and is very charismatic and distinctive.  It’s fun to watch him work towards his goal, and it doesn’t ever get too confusing.  It’s a series, and the first half of it is pretty straightforward, but as you get more into it, the plot thickens and the setting becomes more and more complex.  The main theme seems to be camaraderie, but there are other minor themes such as equality, justice, government oppression, and dreams.

— Lexie, 15, West Seattle

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Cracking the Hub: My Friend Dahmer

reading challenge logo - finisher

Last week I finished The Hub Challenge just before the deadline elapsed.  Stay tuned to see if I win any prizes. 

Back to the books.  The twelfth book I finished for this challenge was My Friend Dahmer by Derf (Backderf).

My Friend Dahmer was honored by the Great Graphic Novels, Alex Awards, and Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. It is a graphic novel about the infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and the author who was Dahmer’s friend during high school.
 
The artwork is notable.  It imparts meaning, despair, suspense, and an overwhelming creepiness.  We know what Dahmer ended up doing, but in those carefree days of high school Backderf and his friends had no clue of what their “mascot” Dahmer would do as an adult.  The reader sees a young man isolated from society and enduring a difficult family situation while trying to restrain and dampen the disturbing urges emerging from the recesses of his mind.  His friends saw an increasingly strange and self-medicating Dahmer withdrawing from high school life.
 
This was a quick read.  It was a fascinating read, and ultimately it will be an unforgettable read.  For those of our readers who are on the queasy side of things – don’t worry, most of the disturbing events happen off the page and are merely alluded to in drawings and text.  When you read this graphic novel – don’t skip the Sources section where you learn more about how the author researched the book as well as more details of Backderf and Dahmer’s adolescence and adulthood.
 
What do you think – should the author have included more detail about Dahmer’s crimes in this graphic novel?