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Posts Tagged 4 Koma

Review: Aron’s Absurd Armada (Vol. 01)

Aron’s Absurd Armada (Vol. 01)

Manhwa-ga: MiSun Kim
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: November 2012

Synopsis: “On a whim, Aron Cornwall decides he wants to live a pirate’s life of thrills, sailing on the high seas in search of distant lands and buried treasure. And when you are the son of a duke, you generally get what you want. Accompanied by his reluctant manservant, Robin, Aron scrounges up a crew—including a cook who cannot cook, a transvestite assassin, and a boy (girl?) genius—and sets off on the craziest pirate adventure you’ve ever seen!”

I’m not overly familiar with the works of MiSun Kim, and if this series is an example of their work I don’t want to be. Ugh. Aron’s Absurd Armada is a yon-koma (4-panel) gag style comic series where the jokes are frequent and the story is virtually nonexistent. Most of the gags were weak or in poor taste and it felt overall like I was reading really bad roleplay logs from when I was in junior high school.

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Review: K-ON! (Vol. 04)

K-ON! (Vol. 04)

Manga-ka: kakifly
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: December 2011

Synopsis: “As the second school term begins, so do preparations for the upcoming school festival! The Pop Music Club starts working on some fresh lyrics as they tune up their act for their live show. But the third-year girls find themselves practising for a performance of another kind when Ritsu and Mio are selected to play the lead roles in their class production of Romeo and Juliet! With the rest of the girls tied up in play rehearsal, Azusa spends her afternoons alone in the clubroom … Will the show be ready to go on?!”

The synopsis for this volume is a bit misleading. While the themes it raises are present for the entire book, the plot surrounding the play is actually resolved very quickly. The rest of the volume is concerned mainly with the older girls of K-ON! as they face their imminent graduation and the challenges of getting into university.

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Review: Azumanga Daioh Omnibus

Reviewer: Shannon Fay
Azumanga Daioh Omnibus

Manga-ka: Kiyohiko Azuma
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: December 2009

Synopsis: “This four-panel comedy chronicles the everyday lives of six very quirky high school girls. Meet the child prodigy Chiyo, the animal-loving Sakaki, the spacey out-of-towner Osaka, the straight-laced Yomi and her best friend Tomo, and the sports-loving Kagura throughout their high school lives.”

Azumanga Daioh’s anime is a rare case where the original pales in comparison to the adaptation. While the manga is cute and funny, it’s hard to recommend it knowing that the funnier anime version exists. However, the manga is still charming in its own right. Having the whole series collected in one big volume is dangerous, as the stripes get more and more addicting as the book goes on.

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Review: K-ON! (Vol. 01)

Reviewer: Marsha Reid
K-ON! (Vol. 01)

Manga-ka: Kakifly
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: December 2010

Synopsis: “When their high school’s pop-music club is about to be disbanded due to lack of interest, four girls step up to fill the membership quota. Unfortunately, lead guitarist Yui Hirasawa has never played an instrument in her life. Ever. And although she likes the idea of being in a band, standing in front of the mirror posing with her guitar is a lot easier than actually playing it. It’s gonna be a while before this motley crew is rocking out, but with their spunk and determination cranked to 11, anything is possible!”

It’s not easy to write and draw about music. Adding in little music notes and speed lines just doesn’t cut it when you can’t physically hear the music. Luckily K-On isn’t really about the music, it’s about the girls who play the music, so the complete and utter failure to explain what they sound like is both forgivable and understandable. They’re cute, they’re excited, they’re in high school and they’re building a friendship that will definitely last a life time.

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Review: S.S. Astro (Vol. 01)

Manga-ka: Negi Banno
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: August 2008

Synopsis: “There are many manga out there about school life, but those are mostly about the students. Here is the first about the young female teachers. S.S. ASTRO follows the adventures – romantic and otherwise – of a group of young teachers working to make ends meet. Fun doesn’t have to end after high school!”

There are two new homeroom teachers this year at Asashio High School, and even though they’re supposed to be teachers, they’re almost as lazy and irresponsible as the students! Japanese teacher, Nagumo Yoko, can’t seam to stop stuffing her face and the gym teacher, Maki Izumi, is either sleeping or playing video games. Both alumni of this school, they do take their jobs seriously but it’s what they do on their down time which makes them questionable candidates for teachers.

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