Shonen Jump Alpha

Welcome to Kuriousity

News, reviews and features with a focus on manga, self-published works and a Canadian perspective. Enjoy fulfilling your Kuriousity!

SITE RETIRED - Thank you for the years of support and readership!

Posts Tagged ANN Reviews

ANN Review: Pet Shop of Horrors Tokyo (Vol. 08)

ANN Review: Pet Shop of Horrors Tokyo (Vol. 08)

Missed this one! My review of Pet Shop of Horrors Tokyo (Vol.08) can be read over on AnimeNewsNetwork. The review was originally posted back in February.

Pet Shop of Horrors is one of my favourite manga so it was tough writing my review for this volume which was very… meh. Not bad, but not all that great in comparison to those before it. Several issues on Tokyopop’s end were also really disappointing and stood out a lot. Saddest of all though, it all pales in comparison to the fact this is likely the last volume of Pet Shop of Horrors (or perhaps even Matsuri Akino) that we’ll see in English because of Tokyopop’s shut down.

None the less I still highly recommend this series. The original series, Pet Shop of Horrors, is notably for horror fans while the sequel series, Pet Shop of Horrors Tokyo, takes a much more light-hearted, character driven turn. Fingers crossed we somehow see the end in English someday!

Also a note that I’m no longer writing manga reviews for AnimeNewsNetwork effective this past May 22nd. We may still see some reviews of mine pop up on there (which I’ll continue to link to from here) but I won’t be submitting new material. That being said, ANN is looking for a new manga reviewer! If interested, you can check out their listing for the credentials and how-tos of applying.

ANN Review: Dengeki Daisy (Vol. 04)

ANN Review: Dengeki Daisy (Vol. 04)

For my most recently posted review over at AnimeNewsNetwork, I revisted a series I’d previously reviewed over there – Dengeki Daisy (Vol. 04).

“Amusing as they may be, Teru and Kurosaki are still facing the same problems they were one, two and three volumes ago. These stories have their charm but don’t feel worth the postponed plot.”

It’s such a relief to have the big secret finally completely out in the open! Then again… it hasn’t changed much. Teru knows who her hacker-protector DAISY is at least yet no one’s really talking about it. Everyone’s still doing the same thing they were before! At least there’s some subplot working its way to the surface and I look forward to seeing how these more sinister story directions play themselves out.

ANN Review: Clean Freak – Fully Equipped (Vol. 01)

A rather unfortunately timed review of mine was posted over on AnimeNewsNetwork this weekend for Clean Freak – Fully Equipped (Vol. 01).

“A quirky plot will only get you so far and Clean Freak may keep up the ethanol-enthusiasm to the end, but it does so at the expense of developing characters readers will truly care about.”

Overall, I didn’t really like this book – I didn’t dislike it per say but it was a total throw away once done (er, donate or sell but you know!). I did like the lead’s over the top problem with germs and cleanliness because it was pretty entertaining but the unpolished artwork and multitude of underdeveloped characters being rushed in and out the whole time made it really hard to give a care. Kudos though to the graphic designer for the lovely packaging! That was the entire reason I picked it up in the first place.

Gengerally unless I find it heinous or incapable of finishing, I always try to give a new series two books to prove themselves to me. It’s too bad however that with Tokyopop’s sudden shutdown it’s very unlikely Clean Freak will have a chance to prove itself again.

ANN Review: Toradora! (Vol. 01)

ANN Review: Toradora (Vol. 01)

AnimeNewsNetwork has posted another of my reviews, this time for the first volume of Toradora!. It’s recently been released by Seven Seas.

Overall I thought the book was fun, though also a little dull. This was because it felt predictable and rather cliche as far as otaku-targeted material goes. I don’t tend to read works like this so it was an interesting change of pace; plus I felt like on a site like ANN of all places, someone who has never seen an episode of the anime series (and very likely never will) was a fairly worthwhile angle. I’ve got friends who rave about the series though so I’m curious to see if volume two offers up a little more entertaining substance. A notably plus was I really liked Seven Seas work on it. It had a very complimenting adaptation which is something that stands out more often than not to me from the publisher.

ANN Review: Black Bird (Vol. 07)

ANN Review: Black Bird (Vol. 07)

It’s more trashy shoujo time (which is not always a bad thing!) as I review volume seven of Black Bird over at AnimeNewsNetwork.

Oh, Black Bird. Seven volumes in and I still keep buying and reading. Rarely reviewing though since I don’t find I have anything new to say past creepy. Sometimes it manages to be endearing, and there’s always that ‘what’s going to happen next?’ vibe to keep you reading, but the voice in my head telling me to give up on it just keeps screaming louder and louder. I can fully admit I can gloss over some non-con in manga (The Tyrant Who Falls In Love was my pick of the month for January after all), but in Black Bird there’s so much emotional and mental manipulation. It actually bothered me more rereading the series again before this review. Watching the lead character get slowly molded into this weepy docile dependent on her demon-‘lover’ is so… geh.

On another note, one of the comments on the Black Bird review also got me thinking how people perceive the way reviewers post things on ANN. While I can’t speak for everyone as,well, I’m obviously not them, I can say that I choose what I want to buy, read and review for ANN so there’s no ‘choosing the right critic’. I read Black Bird, had something to say, and said it – so… yeah? Just thought it was worth clearing up that I’m not assigned books or anything. The more you know!

ANN Review: Peepo Choo (Vol. 03)

ANN Review: Peepo Choo (Vol. 03)

New review of mine up on AnimeNewsNetwork, this time for the third and final volume of Felipe Smith’s Peepo Choo.

“This final volume doesn’t make up for the series’ often slapdash execution, but it does bring Peepo Choo’s stronger points to a predominantly satisfying finish by continuing to explore the culture shock they share.”

In my look back at 2010, I named Peepo Choo as the title I had the most Love-Hate relationship with and that’s definitely accurate to how I feel about it, though leaning more to love than hate. I really loved what Felipe Smith did to tell the tale of culture shock to the extreme but I found the overuse of violence and sex, while not anything much worse than what I’ve read elsewhere before, still too over the top in context of the story. What really got me in this final  book though was how quickly the yakzua plot line was wrapped up though. It didn’t feel very satisfying and was too rushed, feeling like the story was forced to a close instead being given the chance to play itself out.

Peepo Choo was memorable for all its own reasons, to say the least, and while I think despite how unfortunately rushed the ending felt, it still did well to end at three volumes. It was definitely a fun ride at parts but one I was good and ready to get off.

ANN Review: My Bad!

ANN Review: My Bad!

New review of mine posted over at AnimeNewsNetwork for a one-shot boys’ love called My Bad!, published by June manga:

“This book’s title speaks for itself like an apology from the artist. Either stagnant and predictable, or unnerving and unpleasant, there’s little to recommend about this boring batch of tropes that falls short of even making fun of itself.”

I’ve often found boys’ love one-shot collections mediocre but this one took it to a new level because even when it did try to step out of BL-bounds and be quirky, it was just gross or poorly executed. And some of the artwork, on the chapter illustrations in particular, were so disproportionately drawn! I get to wonder how those make it past editors sometimes. I’ve heard good things about the manga artist, Rize Shinba, so I hope My Bad! is an anomaly.

ANN Review: Ouran High School Host Club (Vol. 15)

ANN Review: Ouran High School Host Club (Vol. 15)

New review of mine over at AnimeNewsNetwork this afternoon, this time for the newest volume of my newest manga-love, Ouran High School Host Club (Vol. 15).

I marathoned the entire series (released so far) in about a week leading up to reviewing this newest volume and I’ve easily found one of my favourite manga series. I’ve already seen the anime a few times (for which Funimation and all the VAs did amazing work, by the way) but I never felt compelled to read the manga. Thank goodness for the cheap up-to-date set that I was able to buy from Strange Adventures!

The series overall is really cute and silly in the best of ways, and I was really glad to see the art improve so much over the duration of the story. The amount of character development slipped in over time was impressive, though it did start beating readers over the head by around volume twelve. How can people be so in love with someone but not realize they’re in love?! It boggled the brain. But in the fifteenth volume, a lot of these emotional elements are resolved and now it’s up to the final few volumes to show us what comes of it. I’m eager to find out!

ANN Review: Ghost Hunt (Vol. 11)

ANN Review: Ghost Hunt (Vol. 11)

One of the more disappointing books I’ve read lately, I reviewed the eleventh (and possibly last) volume of Ghost Hunt for AnimeNewsNetwork.

This book was disappointing for a number of reasons but acting as pinnacle for the issues I’ve had with the series in this later half would be the jist of it. The art looks lazy and the word bubbles are haphazardly tossed around and the cast of characters feel so… flat. Mai was alright which is good since she was the only one really relevant in this one. Alas this wasn’t how I wanted my last manga-experience with this cast of ghost hunters to go.

Regarding the existence of a twelfth book, I really don’t know what to expect for the fate of this series’ final volume. Del Rey marketed this volume as the last but there is one more out in Japan, with this volume’s cliffhanger leading into it. Of course I’d love to read it – it looks like it would go into Naru’s backstory – but I’m not holding my breath. I am looking pleadingly at Kodansha Comic’s direction though. Please give the series one last chance to remind me why I loved it so much before, okay?

ANN Review: Genkaku Picasso (Vol. 01)

ANN Review: Genkaku Picasso (Vol. 01)

Boxing Day already? Amazing how long we plan, purchase and pace waiting for Christmas and then it’s over in a flash! I hope everyone who celebrates it had a Merry Christmas and enjoyable time spent with family and friends. Maybe even some manga under the tree perhaps?

With the new year coming up in a little under a week, it’s a good time for me to get caught up on posting to my AnimeNewsNetwork reviews here on Kuriousity (which as a reminder you can now find at!).

Back at the end of November my review for the first volume of Genkaku Picasso was posted. Overall I liked reading it, having fairly high expectations of all the things I’d heard of and read of Usamaru Furuya’s works before. The premise is really interesting – a boy granted the ability to help others by manifesting their inner-selves in his artwork – but it suffers from a very cut-and-dry episodic execution. A neat plot and generally entertaining characters balanced out with the tedious pacing well enough to make me look forward to the next volume, which should be out early February. More creepy in-story artwork and their androgynous artist to come!

Take me back to the top!