Satoshi Kon's Opus (aka when the story rebels against the writer)


Satoshi Kon is best known for the movies he’s made and directed, from Perfect Blue to his final work, Paprika. You also may know him for the anime he created, Paranoia Agent, a really trippy, mindbender of a series. However, before all of that, he was a mangaka and had a few works under his belt. Before he moved to doing films, his last work, one that sadly remains unfinished, was Opus. It got translated and brought over in November 2014 by Dark Horse Comics, so let’s take a look at it together.

Here's the first chapter. 9 pages out of 27.

Read More... )
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
[personal profile] skjam2015-03-22 05:14 pm

Jump Start: Boys Over Flowers Season 2

Hi folks!

This Jump Start is a little unusual in that it's a shoujo title. Sadly, there is no online Shojo Beat magazine, so when Viz wanted to showcase "Boys Over Flowers Season 2", it had to be in their boys' manga anthology.

I have not actually read Hana Yori Dango ("Boys Over Flowers"), so this synopsis of the original series will be brief: Eitoku Academy is a private high school for rich kids, which is ruled by four obnoxious jerks who call themselves "The Flower Four" or "F4" for short. Their wealthy parents have paid off the school administration to make them immune to punishment, so they are free to bully anyone they please and make the student body go along with it.

That is, until scholarship student Tsukushi Makino finally defies the F4 when they attack her friend, and finds herself the target. She refuses to let them intimidate her, and her stubborness eventually mitigates their jerkitude, especially when their leader Tsukasa Domyoji falls in love with Tsukushi.

We pick up the story a couple of years after the previous cast graduated...21 pages of 65.

The title is a pun in Japanese; there's a saying that 'dango' (sweets) are better than 'hana' (flowers) from a girl's point of view, but 'dango' can also mean 'young men.' )

Your thoughts and comments?
Check out my shoujo manga reviews here:

And in other news, I give my icebreaker speech at Toastmasters tomorrow night!
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
[personal profile] skjam2015-03-15 05:43 pm

Jump Start: Black Clover

Hi folks!

A bit behind on the Jump Start stories--I didn't even finish reading last Monday's Shonen Jump until this morning! Anyhow, the February 16 issue had two Jump Starts, and the shounen one.

There's certain setups that keep recurring in Jump titles; this one is "idiot hero whose primary virture is never giving up." Eighteen pages of fifry-five from the intro chapter.

What lies within the fifth leaf is... )

Given the way this chapter treats sexual harrassment as comedy, and the female character introduced at the end of the third chapter likes to loll around drunkenly in her underwear in public, I don't think this story will scor points with feminists.

Your thoughts and comments?

Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (A series about delivering death letters)


Viz Media has brought over and translated a lot of good books, though I would say some of their best and most mature books they bring over often fall under their Viz Signature. That's where all the of adult, smart (well usually anyways *coughTerraFormarscough*), and dark books usually end up under. Let’s spotlight one of these mangas, which actually ended just last year. Meet Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit!

13 out of 44 Pages

Read More... )

Assassination Classroom Class 1: Killing Time in Homeroom


Hello everyone. If there was one series in recent years from Shonen Jump that just exploded with popularity, it would be Assassination Classroom. From the creator of Neuro: Supernatural Detective (a title that never reached American shores) came one of the wildest and probably most unique manga titles that I have seen in quite some time. To describe or give a bit synopsis would be pointless, so let’s take a look at the first chapter of the series to give it full context.

16 pages out of 48

Read More... )

Gakkyu Hotei - New Cases and Newer Attorneys

Hello everyone. Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment has entered a brand new story arc and is heading in a new and rather interesting direction.

The main case our hero, Abaku Inugami, is faced with this time is actually involving plagiarism! Vin Daichi (aka Class 6-2’s Da Vinci) and Hikari Takasu (aka Class 6-3’s Picasso) are claiming that the other is copying and stealing their work. They want to sue the other for the damages and slander they have been receiving. These nasty rumors have been wrecking their reputation in the school’s Fine Arts world after all. Abaku agrees to represent Takasu in the case, but only after seeing how both of the artists’ recent painting is pretty much exactly the same.

However, this is where things start changing up as we introduce a Civil Court Case...

Read More for Civil Cases and Ninjas... )

Your thoughts on these new developments?

Written by Nobuaki Enoki, Art by Takeshi Obata
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
[personal profile] skjam2015-02-22 02:28 pm

Jump Start: Kagamigami

Hi folks!

It seems such a short time since the last round of Shounen Jump "Jump Start" postings, but here we are. For those of you who joined us in just the last three months, Shonen Jump changes out non-performing manga series on a quarterly basis. The online edition now prints the first three chapters of every new series, hoping not to get caught off guard as they were by Nisekoi, Food Wars and Boku no Hero Academia.

Kagamigami "Mirror Spirit" is by Toshiaki Iwashiro, who previously did Psyren. That series was a hit for a while, and appeared in the print version of the American translation. But when they switched to the online edition, Psyren had taken a dive in the ratings, so it was dropped, and ended shortly thereafter in Japan. This first chapter of Kagamigami is nearly identical to the one-shot that ran last year--I'll talk about a key difference after the main presentation.

Eighteen pages of fifty-five from last week's chapter. (Two weeks ago on Monday.)

What do you want to be when you grow up? )

Your thoughts and comments?
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
[personal profile] skjam2015-02-15 08:28 pm

Superheroes need school too

Hi folks!

Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academy) by Kohei Horikoshi is one of the series that the online Shonen Jump edition skipped when it first came out, for two reasons. One, it didn't hit exactly when a previous series ended, and two, the artist's previous series, Barrage, had not done at all well and was cancelled after two volumes.

But surprise! It's been doing very well indeed in the Japanese market, so now it's getting a shot in America.

The series is a homage to American superhero comics, so you will see a lot of familiar tropes in action; this is very much for those of you who miss fun teen hero comics/wish there were more of them.

Eighteen of fifty-five pages of the first chapter. Please enjoy!

What if House of M had been an optimistic premise? )

Your thoughts and comments?
SKJAM! (see my Batmanga review!)
penguinzero: (Default)

Valentine's Day 2015: Chocolate Kiss Kiss

Japan, as one might expect, has its own set of traditions revolving around holidays. Valentine's Day, for instance, has been imported from the West, but the rituals around it have grown very specific. Only girls give gifts on Valentine's Day, and that gift is almost never anything but chocolate. They give simple store-bought 'obligation' chocolates to any boy they'd consider a friend, and those aren't considered to mean much at all. But for that special someone, they're supposed to go to more effort -- buying fancy, expensive chocolates, or for the ultimate touch, making something at home from scratch.

Boys are expected to return the favor exactly one month later. March 14 is a holiday known as 'White Day,' when boys give white chocolate to any girl who gave them chocolate on Valentine's, and maybe fully begin a relationship with one. (You will be unsurprised to learn that White Day was invented entirely by the Japanese candy industry.)

Nowadays, though, there's a growing awareness of people who don't fit the mold -- especially in anime and manga. What do non-straight couples do on Valentine's Day? Some authors have answered that question, sometimes even drawing on their own personal experience...

7 pages out of 21 )
kamino_neko: Kamino Neko's default icon... (Default)
Entry tags:

Valentine's Day 2015 - Honey & Honey

Honey & Honey is an autobiographical manga by Sachiko Takeuchi, which, among other things, follows her relationship with her girlfriend, Masako. I find them a truly adorable couple, so...I R Share. >_>

A taste of honey.... )

1-2 pages each from chapters of 5 and 6 pages.
skjam: (Jazz)
[personal profile] skjam2015-02-10 08:29 pm

School Judgement--"Now I may be just a simple country lawyer..."

Hi folks!

The three-part Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgement story about the Masked Dude has ended this week.

I'm not going to spoil the mystery element, but one of the epilogues ties back into the drugs theme. The equivalent of two pages from this week's story.

What are drugs? )

Your thoughts and comments?
skemono: I read dead racists (Default)
[personal profile] skemono2015-02-09 06:30 pm

When you're a Jet, you're a 'bot all the way

So I started reading Cyborg 009 recently, and the introduction of one of the characters who would become a cyborg seemed... familiar.

*snaps fingers* )
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
[personal profile] skjam2015-02-07 07:13 pm

Drugs are bad, M'kay?

Hi folks!

The Gakyu Hotei (School Judgement) series continues, this time with a hard-hitting story about a major problem in today's elementary schools.

Would you buy a used car from this man?

How about a magical white powder that makes you feel reeeeeal good?

Part one of three in this storyline, 6 pages of 19.

I think they're pushing the 'G-Rated' part of 'G-Rated Drug' a little hard here. )

Your thoughts and comments?
SKJAM! (new reviews up!)
skjam: (fanfic)
[personal profile] skjam2015-01-20 08:24 pm

One Punch Man's Latest Villain!

Hi folks! How's 2015 treating you?

It's been a while since we checked in on One-Punch Man.

As it happens, Saitama's taking this chapter off to play video games, and we are introduced to a new villain, Garo.

Four pages from the most recent Shounen Jump issue.

Garo's Secret Origin )
[personal profile] lego_joker2014-12-17 07:32 pm

31 Days of Scans - Favorite Legacy Hero: Kaitou Kid

To call Magic Kaito's Kaitou Kid a "hero" would be somewhat stretching the term, but the guy's heart is in the right place and he's got a no-kill policy, so I suppose that's good enough. More importantly, I'm lukewarm at best and outright hostile to most other legacy heroes in comics, and I've already covered one of the few exceptions in yesterday's post, so...

Ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

A torch of thievery, passed from father to son. )
skjam: (Garcia)
[personal profile] skjam2014-12-13 09:39 pm

Jump Start--School Judgement

Hi folks!

And now we look at the third Jump Start series for this quarter.

This one has the advantage of the same artist as Death Note and Bakuman, but sadly not the same author. 18 pages of 55.

Despite the title mentioning 'Dismemberment' this post is Safe For Work. )

I suspect this will be the Jump Start title that gets picked up purely on the strength of the art.

Your thoughts and comments?

(See my annual Shonen Jump update at my blog: