Mad Love Chase Vol. 1

MADLOVCHA01What’s on the back: Meet Kujou Yamato. Sure, on the outside, he appears to be your average teen, pursuing love and happiness in his school’s hallowed halls… The problem is on the inside: Kujou is really Kaito, the prince of the demon realm, who has escaped to the human world to avoid a marriage he wants no part of. Kaito’s dad, furious, sends a clumsy trio of demons to retrieve him, and a mad love chase ensues…And it’s going to take a lot of luck and cleverness to avoid being dragged back home.

Review: I have no idea why this manga is called Mad Love Chase. Majority of the people chasing Kujou are guys and they are definitely not in love with him. Regardless of the name, this manga was so silly that it was quite funny.

Prince Kaito along with his cat, Rebun, runs away from a marriage that he does not want, and escapes to the human world to find himself a lot smaller than his usual self. With this disguise no one can tell that he was the former prince of the demon world, unless, they strip him and reveal the tattoo on his back.

Kuyou, formerly Kaito, finds himself enjoying his new lifestyle, where he lives freely and can fall in love with any girl wants to. Funny thing is that his taste in woman is quite bad. He befriends one of the demons, Asakura, but he doesn’t realize that Kuyou is the prince he’s looking for. Along with Asakura, there are two other demons disguised as a janitor and a student on the lookout for the prince. Along with his fiance and her goons, this manga is packed with comedy.

I enjoyed this manga for it’s comedy aspect, but that’s about it. To me, there’s no real plot to this story. Sure, Prince Kaito is on the run from a potential marriage, but that’s about it. I don’t really see a development in the story. All the characters are just too silly, especially the Janitor, who’s really an old pervert. Regarding, Kujou’s fiance, I can see why he’s running away from her. Even the King of the demon world knew that he can’t upset that woman, unless he wants to be killed. I wouldn’t want to marry her as well.

The art reminds me of Yaoi, which is because the author has produced other Yaoi works. I like it, except for the fact that at times I find the drawings a little busy. I tend to prefer artwork that are clear and easy to understand.

Final Thoughts: This manga is passable, but, in the long run it has nothing to offer except it’s comedy. The summary in the back got my attention, but in this volume it doesn’t really deliver. Hopefully, in the next volume we see an improvement in terms of plot.

Overall Grade: C-

 

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Skip Beat! Vol. 19

SKIPBEAT19What’s on the back: Koo and Lory can’t stop meddling in Kyoko’s and Ren’s lives. Because while Koo is impressed with Kyoko’s talent he knows that she will never be a great actress unless she can overcome her fatal weakness. And Lory knows that Ren’s acting is likewise affected by his refusal to face his past. Can the two old-timers give their young proteges a much needed kick in the pants , or will their plans blow up in their faces?!

Review: Three months is too long of a wait for Skip Beat. Especially since it reigns as one of my all time favourites in terms of shoujo manga. We don’t get to see much of a development between Ren and Kyoko, but, we do get to see a lot of Ren’s past and an improvement in Kyoko’s acting career.

First off, I was shocked that Ren is not Japanese. Maybe it’s because I have forgotten or I missed it in the past volumes. But it was quite interesting why Ren chose Japan as a place to develop his acting and career. At first I thought that Ren’s father was probably a bad guy, since, it was hinted in earlier volumes that Ren disliked his father. But in reality, Ren doesn’t dislike his father. He only wanted to reach his goals without the help of his father’s career in showbiz. I applaud Ren’s determination, since it takes a lot of willpower and effort to leave your parents for the past five years and not speak to them once. With his video letter that he has sent to his mother, Ren let go of his past, and is able to preform to his full potential.

I got to admit, I liked the relationship that Kyoko had with her sensei, Koo. Koo saw that Kyoko has a problem, that would probably hinder her rise to stardom. She is way too picky with what kind of roles she wants to protray. A successful actress would take on all roles, and make it her own. Koo was trying to let her know her potential and that if she become less fickle with her choices of roles, she would definitely shine. I felt something special between Koo and Kyoko’s relationship. Koo saw his long lost son in Kyoko, and Kyoko saw a father figure she never had. It was quite touching at the end when Kyoko called Koo her father in the airport.

The only thing I have to complain about this volume is where the heck is Sho? lol, I thought he was suppose to be a contender in the game to win Kyoko’s heart. I guess it doesn’t really matter since, this volume was not set on Kyoko’s relationships. I also love Kyoko’s reacting to Ren when she knows she disobeys him. Ren is a nice guy, but Kyoko thinks that Ren is evil behind that smile of his.

Final Thoughts: What I’m expecting next volume is more Ren x Kyoko x Sho conflicts. I would also like to see Ren and Kyoko utilizing the advices that were given to them. This volume met my demands, and delivered quite an entertaining read.

Overall Grade: A

Shinobi Life Vol. 1

SHINOBILIFE1

What’s on the back: Beni is a privileged girl, who could get anything she wants, except…she wants to die, to spite her father. But one day a mysterious man named Kagetora fell down from the sky. He turns out to be a ninja who has sworn his loyalty to Beni, as her bodyguard. Kagetora comes from the past, and spent his life protecting Beni-Hime who he would risk his life for. But Kagetora mistakens Beni as the princess from the past. Can true love and honor survive after centuries-long time warp – in a crazy modern world?

Review: Beni lives a life full of hatred for her estranged father due to the death of her mother when she was younger. She jumps at any chances that would endanger her life. For example, getting kidnapped, or living recklessly. Kagetora, a man who strangely dresses as a ninja, dropped down from the sky, and turns Beni’s life plans upside down (not that it’s a bad thing). Kagetora is in fact a ninja who has traveled to the future and believes that Beni is the Hime-Sama who he was sworn to protect. As time passes on, Beni falls for Kagetora, but she doesn’t have the heart to tell him that she’s not his princess.

I heard a lot of great things about this manga. But honestly, it’s only mediocre. It seems to fit into you’re perfect senario of a shoujo. Eg. Strong-will/depressed heroine rescued by a hero, who then changes her prospects on life. I’m not complaining about it though. I love myself some good shoujo. I only wanted something new and fresh. Nevertheless, Shinobi Life was still a very decent read.

What I like best about the story, was probably the problems the main characters have to deal with, such as social standings. Kagetora (even if he’s from the past) strongly believes that social standings is a rule that should be followed closely. Which leads to Beni’s problems. Beni, even though she’s not a real princess, is still a young wealthy heiress. She finds herself falling in love with Kagetora, but it’s impossible for Kagetora to fall in love with her because it goes against his upbringing.

The second half of the manga was probably the better half for me, since it deals with time traveling. Here we meet a plethora of new characters including the real princess, and also Kagetora’s arch enemy. We also see Kagetora and Beni kind of getting together. But the presence of Beni’s father probably means that the couple is probably going to go through more hardships before they are together officially.

I didn’t mention this before, but the way Kagetora sees and treats Beni is somewhat hilarious. We have to remember that Kagetora comes from the past, where modesty is very important. Beni is raised in the 21st century where bare shoulders, and bikini tops are normal. It’s cute when Kagetora begs Beni to wear more appropriate clothing.

I got to admit, even though the story is mediocre, the art is what caught my attention. I’m a sucker for pretty artwork, and Shinobi Life seems to have been drawn in a very visual pleasing way. I love the way Kagetora looks. Also, Beni’s character design wasn’t so bad as well. My only complaint is the publisher. Tokyopop, I love you but your paper quality sucks. I always get disappointed when a good manga gets crappy paper. It takes away from my enjoyment factor.

Final Thoughts: Even though this is just a typical shoujo, I found it to be a very fun read. I would love to see how Beni’s and Kagetora’s relationship develops and what kind of obstacle is Beni’s father trying to throw at them. I’m guessing that Beni has a fiance she doesn’t know about lol, the curse of a typical shoujo, you’ll always know what will happen next. I want to see more of the new characters, especially Kagetora’s arch enemy, Hitaki. Another time traveling chapter wouldn’t be so bad as well! =D

Overall Grade: C+