Assassination Classroom

Tweet The Assassination Classroom Japanese manga series by Yusei Matsui is quirkily endearing and only somewhat misogynistic.  The setting is a rigidly hierarchical, private Japanese junior (?) high school with Classroom E at the bottom of the pyramid.  Classroom E, the class for students with low grades and/or disciplinary problems, is physically segregated from the…

iZombie

Tweet Manga The iZombie Omnibus written by Chris Roberson, art by Michael Allred, and color by Laura Allred, collects all 28 issues of the iZombie manga series.  Though shelved in the adult section, this series doesn’t include sex, drugs, or non-monster related violence and would be fine down to tweenies.  The bad guys do get…

Jack Frost

Tweet Jack Frost : The Amityville by JinHo Ko is a Korean manga series full of violent clashes set in a dystopian parallel universe.  Based on Volume 3, I don’t recommend the series: too much fighting and too little motivation and plot.  Aside from overly curvy, scantily dressed women; schoolgirl crotch shots; and S&M soft…

Crescent Moon

Tweet Crescent Moon, a graphic novel series by Haruko Iida based on a story by Red Company / Takamura Matsuda, as represented by Volume 1 wasn’t very engaging.  Admittedly part of my issue with the story were flashback scenes: the tiny, loopy, serif font was literally difficult to read – especially when on low contrast…

Bleach

Tweet A rich source of somewhat futuristic, quasi religious outfits for cosplay, Bleach by Tite Kubo is a popular Japanese manga.  While it doesn’t veer as widely between the intense and the juvenilely silly as does Naruto, it does share a fascination with overly endowed female fighters.  The central characters start as teens who refine…

One Piece

Tweet The Shonen Jump One Piece manga series by Eiichiro Oda is translated and publish in English by Viz Media.  The series has a dedicated English-language wiki.  Though created in Japan and possessing distinctly Japanese sensibilities, the characters and settings are for the most part definitely not Japanese.  As with many Japanese manga, characters not…

Background and Glossary

Tweet Manga / Graphic Novel ‘name’ (nah-may) is the Japanese term for a storyboard, a rough sketch of a few manga (graphic novel) pages.  A storyboard is used to visualize describe a story proposal to editors and others involved in approving story concepts for creation and publication. A ‘gi’ is a martial arts uniform.  A…

Eva Ibbotson

Tweet A predecessor of J.K. Rowling’s, Eva Ibbotson wrote 16 children’s books and 7 adult / young adult books.  Best known is The Secret of Platform 13 due its parallels with Rowling’s Harry Potter series (published three years later).  On the plus side, The Secret of Platform 13 features a strong, assertive heroine; on the…

Searching for Dragons

Tweet Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede is a cheeky sequel to Dealing With Dragons (second book in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles series).  Princess Cimorene, who has found a way around the restrictions constraining princess behavior by providing service to Kazul, King of the Dragons, is paired with Mendanbar, who, as the King of…

The Witches

Tweet The Witches by Roald Dahl was not one of my favorite Dahl books; perhaps it was the physical overlap between the story’s evil witches and breast cancer and diabetes patients – the hero is told by his grandmother that witches (all evil; all female) wear wigs to hide their bald heads and cram their…