Nana Vol. 8

nana8What’s on the back: Hachi’s happiness with Nobu is slipping through her fingers as an unexpected complication with Takumi treatens to up-end her whole life. And unlike her past romantic woes, the choice she makes now will change the lives of everyone around her.

Review: I know I haven’t posted any reviews of Nana lately, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the series. In fact, Nana is probably one of my favourites. I haven’t read a volume in a while, but now I remember exactly why I like it so much. It’s the realism that the manga represents. Hachiko is going through tough times and I can’t really blame her for making the choices that she has made. I see her logic in all her decisions.

I saw this arc coming, which isn’t to everyone’s surprise, I dreaded reading. The scene that grabbed my heart the most, happened in this arc. I almost wished it didn’t happen. From day one, I was rooting for Nobu and Hachi. I was literally jumping for joy when they got together. But now that’s all over. Hachi gets pregnant and most likely it’s Takumi’s child. It also doesn’t help that Takumi was also the one that broke the news to Nobu. Ouch. This teaches everyone to use contraceptions when having sex, or else you end up in an ireversible situation that Hachi puts herself in. Now she has to let go of love, for stability.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Takumi. I’m a fan of Nobu, but Takumi isn’t so bad either. It was nice of him to accept responsibility for the baby. Hachi, herself, was surprised when he offered to get married with ehr. The only question lies now is whether, Takumi truly loves Hachi, or is this mariage simply a ploy to shut up the papparazi?

For the other herione in the story, Nana, I felt kind of bad for her in this volume. In her eyes she views Hachi as a precious possession. As the news of Hachi’s pregnancy is dawned on her, her grip on Hachi is slowly becoming looser and looser. She blames this all on Takumi, who stole everyone that was important to her. She also realize, after a confrontation with Nobu, that she was using him to keep Hachi near her.

We get to see a glimpse of Nana’s childhood. With that, I kind of understand her reason of not wanting to have a baby. After being abandoned as a child, Nana feels like she doesn’t have the qualifications to have a child of her own. This is probably why, Hachi’s pregnancy is kind of a shock for her.

¬†Final Thoughts : There were a lot of tough situations in this volume. For a shoujo manga, this seriers is probaby the most realistic thing I’ve read in a long while. I see a lot of issues coming up in the near issues of this manga. With the way Nana is going, could it result in her downfall?

Overall Grade: A+

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Gestalt Vol. 1

GESTALT01

What’s on the back: After experiencing a crisis of faith, Father Olivier of the Valaria Order decides to go to G and find out the truth behind the legends.¬†Olivier’s journey is unsanctioned, and the head of the order engages the dark elf Suzu to stop him. As he begins his quest, Oliver encounters Ouri, a young girl from he south who cannot speak. But Ouri reveals another side of herself when Suzu catches up to them!

Review: Gestalt oddly reminds me of all the RPG games I’ve played as a kid. It’s actually kind of fun. There are stats of various skills on certain pages. It even tells us how much MP is used for each skill. Way cool.

The first thing I noticed about volume one are the coloured pages. We get to see a very pretty coloured layout featuring Ouri as its main subject. The colouring and art is a bit weird though, kind of reminds me of 80s art. This series was written in the early 90s, so I’m not surprised.

In Gestalt, we follow Olivier on his journey to find the truth behind Gestalt, who is a demon God that has betrayed the heavens. Even mentioning his name is forbidden. Messiah, the leader of he Valaria Order, sends Suzu, a dark elf, to track down Olivier. But much to their surprise, Olivier refuses to come back until he learns the truth behind the legends.

Along the way, Olivier meets up with Ouri, a mute slave. He doesn’t believe in human trafficking, but after realizing that Ouri could be sold to an evil master, he reluctantly accepts her. After dispelling Ouri’s mute curse, we learned that OUri is actually a sorceress who hails from “the newly freed island.”

As the journey continues, new characters start to join the party such as Suzu and Shazan (fortune teller) who followed them from a village. We know Suzu is trying to make Olivier go back to the Valaria Order, but in Shazan’s situation, we have no ideas about his motives/reasons on joining this journey to Gestalt.

As of right now, the story’s main points aren’t very clear. We do know that Ouri has six younger siblings, which Ouri is the strongest. To be honest, I prefer stories/manga to be clear on what direction it’s going in by the end of the 1st volume.

At the end of the volume, I was confused by Ouri’s gender. Is Ouri a man or woman? During the beginning of the volume, and even on the back cover, Ouri is referred o as a girl. It was also stated that she has D-cup sized breasts. But ath the end of the volume, one of Ouri’s siblings calls her “brother”. I don’t know what exactly is going on but, I hope that the next volume would be more clea on Ouri’s gender.

Final Thoughts: Even though this volume has many flaws including lack of clearness regarding plot and gender, I find this volume very refreshing. here are times when shoujos are too repetitive, so reading an adventure based manga is definielly up my lane. This manga is written by the famed mangaka Yun Kouga. So even if you’re not into shounen, it’s definitely worth a read.

Overall Grade: B –

Kimi ni Todoke Vol. 1

KIMINITODO01What’s on the back: Sawako kuronums is the perfect herione…for a horror movie. With striking similarities to a haunting movie character – jet black hair, sinister smile and silent demeanor – she’s mistakenly called Sadako by those around her. But behind her scary facade is a very misunderstood teenager. Too shy to fit in, all she wants to do is make some friends. But when the most popular boy in class befriends her, she’s sure to make more than just that – she’s about to make some enemies too!

Review: Kimi ni Todoke has recieved many recommendations from the many netizens. Plus, a lot of people were obsessively reading the scanlations. I decided to hold off on scanlations when I heard that Kimi ni Todoke was being licensed by Viz in North America. I got to admit, the wait was definitely worth it.

Sawako, I felt sorry for her. She just your average teenager who wants to hang out with friends. But she has a problem. Her shy demeanor, sinister smile, and haircut makes people think that she’s the heroine from a horror movie. They even compared her to Sadako from The Ring, which I admit, she does resemble. Her attempts at meeting friends were feeble at first. But after meeting Kazehaya, a popular, and positive boy in school she earned the courage to meet new friends. I like Sawako’s character. Even though her appearance is rather scary, she is a kind and thoughtful girl.

There was a chapter in the volume where Sawako saves an abandon puppy from the rain. The funny thing about that puppy, was that he looks exactly like my puppy, louis. lol Anyways, back on topic, it’s too bad that people don’t see the kind of person Sawako is. She volunteers to do class chores. She even pretend to be the ghost, when the whole class was participating in a bravery challenge. It’s great that by the end of the volume, some of her classmates are trying to get closer to her.

Kazehaya, he reminds me of other Shoujo Heros, such as Yano from We Were There (when he’s happy, and not moody), and Yoh in High School Debut ( in terms of looks and popularity). I feel kind of sorry for him because of Sawako. Poor girl doesn’t realized that Kazehaya likes her. It doesn’t help that Sawako looks up to Kazehaya in admiration, instead of love.

At the end of the volume, Sawako falls victim to another person’s wicked scheme. She may lose her friends because of this, but I believe she can go through this situation smoothly. Sawako, fighting!

This manga series is slowly become a really cute story. The story right now is a little choppy, but I heard that the story will eventually become really good. I just like to note that I like the way viz is presenting their manga now. Kimi ni todoke’s cover resembles its original cover very much. Good Job, Viz!

Final Thoughts: I will continue to root for Sawako to make friends, and become somewhat normal. Also, for Kazehaya to press on in winning Sawako’s heart!

Overall Grade: A