Tag Archives: shonen

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

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

 

Toriko – Typical battle shōnen…but with cooking!

toriko

 

 

 

 

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

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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

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Check out Endrias’ review of Naruto!

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