My love for Manga has grown during this past year mainly because they are such quick reads. They are the perfect in-between reads that one can ever hope for. The cure-all for reader burnout and eye candy for the soul. If you are a fan of Anime in general, Manga is the way to go when cartoons aren’t enough.
For this edition of Manga Love, I’m combining it with my Mini-Reviews theme, but doing it a little bit different as well. I’m not sticking to my usual review format, I feel that sometimes a cut and dry method for reviewing kind of makes it seem like I’m doing a book report, and I don’t want to do that. Especially for such fun reads.
Black Butler Vol. 1
Yana Toboso’s Black Butler has been adapted into an Anime cartoon series, however I find that reading the actual Manga makes the story more complete and understandable. Black Butler takes place during the Victorian Era in England, as a sort of parallel universe. The main protagonist being Ceil Phantomhive, a child who has taken over his parent’s estate and business. It’s understood that he has made a deal with a demon (Black Butler-Sebastian) in exchange for his soul. Sebastian’s main purpose is to protect Ceil and help him avenge his parents’ mysterious deaths.
In volume 1, everyone gets introduced. Sebastian’s role a sort of mystery until the very end of this book. His demon abilities are showcased fully and the reader gets the idea of the danger Ceil is constantly under. Sebastian is not just a demon to be sure. He takes his role of butler quite seriously and it’s funny how perfectly he performs his duties. I loved the food that was presented throughout the story, it made me totally crave them. Manga/Anime has a tendency to do that. (They love making food the forefront). The servants have their own personalities and are actually clueless to what is going on around them. Quite clumsy and dumb, but they lighten up the subject matter a lot.
Ceil does come off as a selfish brat at times with tendencies of temper here and there, but Sebastian is always there to help. It’s a strange yet intriguing story.
Magical Girl Special Ops-Asuka Vol. 1
This one is a little harder to explain. The way I think about it is that it’s like Sailor Moon except darker. A lot darker. So there are a group of women with special abilities who teamed up and vanquished evil monsters. Once peace was established, they went back to their former lives. Only to be brought back to fight evil again.
Asuka’s character longs to be a normal girl but her pasts haunts her. She’s hesitant to return to her magical roots but when the evil catches up with her she can’t help but do what she does best.
One of the aspects that stuck out to me and that kind of haunted me is that some of these monsters have cute appearances. The kawaii style monsters are disturbing and different than what I’m used to.
It does have the cliche’s like sexy school girl type characters and the slightly over-sexualization of such characters. However, for me, it does not detract from the storyline. Besides the darkness of the theme and the somewhat graphic violence, it’s not a bad read overall.
For all other Manga Love:
Do you read Manga? Which ones?