Tag Archives: Comics

Toriko – Typical battle shōnen…but with cooking!






Title:  Toriko

Author:  Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro

Summary:  Super-powered genetically engineered warriors working for rival companies fight over the best ingredients and search for the ultimate ingredient, “god.”

Gut reaction: Typical battle shōnen.

Why: eh characters, developed setting, eh battles, eh plot, eh

At least the setting is quite expanded upon.  Although the summary sounds interesting, the story follows the gourmet hunter Toriko and his chef sidekick Komatsu as they fight the evil Gourmet Corporation over delicious flora and fauna.  It’s not that bad, but it doesn’t stand out. Toriko starts out very powerful and grows through hax cells in his body to defeat all his opponents.  His friends are semi-interesting people and the villains are suitably villainous, but it’s too generic.

The battle tactics are pretty well-thought out, but they take too long and the winner is always the good guy.  The plot seems to be heading toward some goal, but right now Toriko is just getting hired to get ingredients or going for personal interest and he isn’t truly working towards some higher purpose.  It’s definitely a good series, it’s just that you can find any number of series just like it.

Who would like this book:  Any shōnen or cooking fan would like this, although the cooking bit is admittedly lacking.  I’ll probably keep reading this until it gets boring.

–Lexie, 15, West Seattle



Lexie loves Cheshire Cat Waltz

AINTCOFTitle:  Alice in the Country of Clover: Cheshire Cat WaltzAuthors:  QuinRose & Mamenosuke Fujimaru

Summary:  Alice’s adventures continue in a new country where she gradually begins to fall for Boris, the Cheshire cat, while struggling over the option of returning home

Gut reaction: Shoujo with Alice and bloodshed.

Why:  This is a continuation of the Alice in the Country of Hearts series, adapted from a otome game. In the second game in the series, an Alice who chooses Boris’ path has adapted to her new world and decided to stay, and other forces are conspiring to ensure that she never leaves. The follow-up to the setting was spectacular. The setting is amazingly detailed and explained. Alice is a character who never bores me, although I’ve read many portrayal of this particular Alice, and Boris is surprisingly deep. I enjoyed the characters. The love was a bit annoying to start out with, and as they grew closer nothing really changed. I feel like the character development played a huge role.

Who would like this book:  Shoujo fans and those who have already read series inside the wider “Alice in the Country of” series will enjoy this one. As the theme is of acceptance and many characters are exceedingly violent, any ok-with-romance seinen fans might also enjoy it. I can’t stand there being a series I haven’t finished, so I’ll finish this one up and move to the next Alice.

–Lexie, 15, West Seattle


Manga Reviewed: Real

RealTitle:  Real

Author:  Takehiko Inoue

Why I started reading?  It was a manga.  I think I’ve read almost every manga in the system. Besides that, I kept hearing mentions of how serious it was, which is rare for a sports manga.

Review:  A violent basketball player drops out of high school and becomes connected with the star of a wheelchair basketball team when he’s involved in a crash and his sort-of girlfriend ends up in a wheelchair. Sort of complicated, but basically the plot revolves around him cleaning up his life and the player in the wheelchair moving forward in society.

In a yearbook, the main character would be voted Most Likely to: Become a Gangster.

This book reminds me of…  I’m going to have to say Whistle! although not much, because they’re both realistic sports manga.  However, Whistle! is more generic.  I think the point of Real is to differentiate from the genre.

–Lexie, 15, West Seattle



Manga Reviewed: Hayate the Combat Butler

HayateTitle:  Hayate the Combat Butler
Author: Kenjiro Hata

Summary:  Extremely unlucky yet skilled boy works as butler to eccentric otaku rich girl.

Gut reaction: Good comedy, great for otaku.

Why:  Although lately it is taking a more serious tone, the story’s strengths lie in its constant comedic interactions between characters and casual allusions to otaku culture.  The characters are all very funny in their struggles, although most are girls, and the sheer randomness of poor Hayate’s misfortunes never ceases to amuse.  Recently the plot has become more serious and I feel that it’s losing its appeal.  I am very far into the series now and I cannot give it up so this is quite disconcerting.  The first 20 or so volumes are hilarious.

Who would like this book?  Any fan of shoujo, parody, or comedy would enjoy this. Also, hardcore otaku will get many references and gain satisfaction.  As I’m stuck with it for the long haul, I hope it returns to its token comedy soon…

–Lexie, 15, West Seattle


Manga Reviewed: Naruto

Title:  Naruto

Author:  Masashi Kishimoto

Why I started reading it?  It’s common, it’s America’s idea of manga, I was young and impressionable.​

In a yearbook, the main character would be voted Most Likely To:  Fail while smiling obnoxiously.

Review:  Naruto follows a middle school-aged ninja who is alone except for his teacher and has a demon sealed inside his stomach that almost destroyed his ninja village the night that he was born.  It’s surprisingly not angsty until much later.  Naruto will be considered a classic once it finishes, slated for this year.  He has to gain the trust of his ninja comrades and navigate his world all while trying to become the leader of his village and the strongest ninja there.  The theme here is protecting friends and making everyone in the world your friend.   It gradually gains politics, battle action, mythology, psychology, various traumatized pasts, and, eventually, what being a soldier, a scapegoat, a leader, and a friend really mean.

This book reminded me of O-Parts Hunter and Hunter X Hunter because they’re all shonen.  O-Parts Hunter was written by Kishimoto’s little brother and it really shows.  They have similar premises and art styles, as well as character styles.  Both are distinctive and good on their own; they aren’t copying each other.  Naruto has been accused several times of stealing concepts and characters from Hunter X Hunter, which in my opinion is much better, but they aren’t that similar.

Websites of Interest:  Narutopedia; Watch Naruto Free @ Hulu!

–Lexie, 15, West Seattle




Check out Endrias’ review of Naruto!

Jump in the way back machine to check out Oliver’s manga suggestions…complete with visual aid!

Ballet in Brief


Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.”

Winter and the ballet are a few of my favorite things. It might be PNB’s classic rendition of “The Nutcracker,” a small production of “Steadfast Tin Soldier,” or the wonderland that is “Swan Lake”–’tis the season. Ballet originated in Europe during the 15th century Italian Renaissance, where the merchants and nobles acted as patrons of the arts, stimulating a new culture in which artists became respected members of society. Le Ballet Comique de la Reine is accepted as the first ballet; it was performed in Paris, lasted over five hours, and centered around a Greek goddess. After this, dance schools were established in France and the five classic ballet positions were developed. In the 19th century, pointe shoes and tutus lead to the concept of floating, heavenly beings and the “prima ballerina.”

I never made it past my weekly dance classes as a six-year-old, but I have friends who spend every day after school dancing for hours. It takes years before they can go “on pointe,” and after that it takes weeks to master each difficult pirouette and jeté. It is an art of perfection and that is no easy feat. What are the dancers in Degas’s paintings really thinking?

As I attend the ballet this winter and settle into my plush seat, out of the cold, I’ll remember the dancers in the 15th century, creating the art. I’ll think of the aspiring ballerinas of today, putting in four hours daily to perfect the moves. There’s so much more than what we see on the stage.

Black SwanA dark portrayal of the ballet world: Black Swan

Documentary following young dancers looking to enter the professional ballet world: First Position 

A graphic novel memoir of a dancer (a children’s book but incredibly sweet): To Dance

– Greta, 16, Teen Center Adviser



Teen Review: Big Nate

Big NateTitle:  Big Nate
Author:  Lincoln Peirce
I started reading it because I had read the other books in the series, and wanted to read the new addition to it. 
I kept reading because I found the book humorous.
If Nate were in a yearbook, he would be voted Most Likely To: Come Up With Clever Business Methods.
Six Word Recap: Nate tries to find enough money.

This book reminded me of Diary Of A Wimpy Kid because of the situations the main characters get into and the comic-like visuals that are incorporated into the book.

–Maddie, Ballard Teen Blogger