Uncategorized

The Cat Proposed by Dento Hayane

GoodReads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble|BookDepository|IndieBound

ARC was given by NetGalley and LOVE x LOVE in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (February 23rd, 2021)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Suicidal ideation and mentions of attempted suicide

“That day… I took a story by the hand.”

It’s very easy for me to fall in love with a manga and The Cat Proposed is no exception! I fell head over heels in love with the manga. Despite the dark themes of this book, I really enjoyed my time reading it. I really wish we would see more of this book or see it turned into a series. I’ve always loved the lore and mythology of the bakeneko of Japanese culture and knowing this manga exists, ugh, it filled my heart with so much warmth and excitement.

“We may be completely different, but I still want you.”

Our story follows Souta Matoi, a company worker, who’s contemplating suicide because nothing has changed, his life seems to be stuck in a terrible loop. Living the same routine day in and day out, overworked by his company, a deep exhaustion has set into his bones and he desperately wants to make a change. Then one fateful night Souta decides to change the routine by going to a kōdan storytelling. And that’s when his whole world begins to change. Starting with meeting Kihachi, the kōdan storyteller.

I really loved the way the author portrayed Souta and Kihachi. Though they seem like absolute polar opposites of one another, the chemistry between them is perfection. Souta is very timid and bashful, has a hard time expressing how they feel, declaring what they want. Whereas Kihachi is the opposite. Not only is Kahachi a bakeneko, but he’s very upfront about what he wants and direct with how things will work between one another. Also, they’re both sensitive beings who care very deeply for others. They’re both the type of people who puts everyone before their needs. And they just balance each other out so well. There’s some really hilarious side characters we get to meet as well. Yamabuki is absolutely hilarious and I enjoyed the little pokes of fun he has with Kihachi. Also, he’s a lover of stories like Kihachi is and somehow, between all their banter, you can tell they’re long-time friends!

“The light in the darkness is twinkling beautifully.”

If you haven’t guessed already, this manga involves Japanese mythology and folklore. Bakeneko appear a lot throughout Japanese history and culture. From works of literature and landmarks all the way to famous legends, bakeneko have played a role in Japan’s mythology and folklore. Most commonly found within the Endo period, but don’t quote me on that since there’s a chance they appeared during the Kamakura period with the nekomata, since they’re so similar. But I really loved how the author took that mythology and knowledge to weave their own tale. I think the author did a fantastic job of bringing to life the world of bakeneko and finding a way to encourage the reader to learn more about this mythology.

While I know it’s a dark turn of things, I want to take a moment to pause and appreciate the way the author wrote about suicide in this book. I think the author did really well at talking about what it means to be suicidal, to have suicidal thoughts, and to feel such a bone deep exhaustion that’s almost suffocating. And on top of that, I love how the author made sure to show how one person can save us from and how important little acts of kindness, endearment can truly make a difference. I thought it was beautifully and respectfully written.

Overall, I just really loved this manga. I truly wish the author would consider turning this into a series because I have no doubt that I would purchase the whole series for my manga collection. I loved it so, so much! I adored the characters, I really wanted to see more of the bakeneko community and their world. There’s so much untapped potential with this one book and honestly, I want more. I’m excited to see what this author will do next and I’m so glad I got to read an arc of this manga early.

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

|GoodReads|Instagram|YouTube|Twitch|Wishlist|Kofi

Uncategorized

Whisper Me A Love Song (Whisper Me A Love Song #1) by Eku Takeshima

GoodReads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble|BookDepository|IndieBound

ARC was provided by NetGalley and Kodansha Comics in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published after the release date (October 20th, 2020)

What a supper cute, humorous manga! Typically I don’t read a lot of fluffy manga, but in some case it really works well and this is one of those books. I adored the characters, their personalities are so memorable and easy to fall in love with. Even the side characters fit the perfect story. I’m truly surprised I haven’t heard of this manga series sooner, but I’m super excited to continue this series and watch these characters fall in love with one another.

🎶 Himari Kino – Is a cheerful, very loving first-year in high school, who ends up falling in love at first sight on her first day at school, during the open live performance from SSGirls. With her best friend Miki-chan besides her and being in the front row, when she’s suppose to check out Miki’s sister, Himari can’t help being swept off her feet by the cool singer of the band.

🎶 Yori Asanagi – Is a cool, lone wolf third-year high schooler, who loves to sing and write their own in their personal time, ends up filling in for the singer of SSGirls. With the members of SSGirls begging Yori to write them songs and join their band, Yori refuses due to severe stage fright, until they meet Himari. Soon, their world changes and be a little head over heels.

Though these two are new to love, we follow their story after they confessed their feelings to one another, as they get to know each other, chat about their love for cats, and become more entranced with one another. There’s just one problem… They both have a hard time believing the other is really in love with them and keep misunderstanding one another’s words.

“I’m going to make you fall in love so hard. So you better brace yourself.”

I really loved the personality of both main characters. Yori is calm and collected, but easily gets embarrassed and has a deep love for cats. Himari is very energetic and has a very bubbly personality. When the two come together, they balanced each other out really well and have great chemistry. I also love how Yori never gets over-shadowed by Himari’s personality, as well. Himari is very much the instigator, Yori always speaks for herself, allowing both of them to be on equal footing. The process in which they grow closer is also super adorable and they have an amazing supporting cast with the side characters. I would have loved to see more of Miki-chan have a role in helping out, but the band is really fun and supportive of Yori.

This is very much a feel good story. It’s meant to be light, fluffy, and the music angle was such a good hook to make Yori stand out. There’s a lot of really cute moments throughout this book and the way Himari is so encouraging is refreshing. The way this manga leaves off, there’s bound to be drama on the horizon especially from the trope that’s being used in this book. However, I think the one issue many readers will have with this book is the clashing of two elements. You have the ‘love at first sight’ trope and then you have the ‘two people not being on the same page’ element added in. Sometimes it can feel like a bit much and I think many readers may struggle with that balance.

Overall, this was really enjoyable. I was chuckling and smiling the whole time reading this. I think the manga does an excellent job at being a feel good read. I think if readers are looking for something fluffy, charming, and just a read that’s going to leave you happy. Plus, the way this manga ends will leave you wanting to know what’s about to happen next with these characters!

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

|GoodReads|Instagram|YouTube|Wishlist|Kofi

Uncategorized

Blue Period, Vol 1 by Tsubasa Yamaguchi

GoodReads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble|BookDepository|IndieBound

ARC was provided by NetGalley and Kodansha Comics in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (October 13th, 2020)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Underage drinking and side remarks directed at a side character who crossdresses

“Here are a few tips to ensure a smooth relationship: Tell people what they want to hear. Don’t focus on yourself, make sure they are having fun in the conversation. At least that the only way I know how to communicate.”

I can’t believe how much I loved this manga and I still can’t believe I didn’t know about this series sooner! This might be a new favorite manga series I need to invest in because this story line, these characters, oh be still my fluttering soul. Going into this book, not realizing how centered around art it was, and then being blown away by so much within these pages was truly an experience. And I just really enjoyed this manga so much, with my whole heart!

Our story follows second year student, Yatora Yaguchi, who’s always gone with the flow and making sure to be practical, to stay on the path his family expects of him. He’s spent most of his time pleasing those around him, never really talking about his passions or interests because to choose those would cause trouble for those around him, or so he believes. When one day he returns to the art room, he comes across a painting that stirs something within his soul and shortly after, his thoughts begin to be consumed by art.

I really loved Yatora as our main character. Yatora’s character is such a breath of fresh air especially in the manga world. Yatora is classified or labeled as a “delinquent”, but despite the bleached hair and the terrible smoking habit, Yatora is actually an honors student and has really high marks on their grade card. And like any coming of age story, we see a light shined upon some of the inner thoughts almost every high schooler has, thoughts such as passion vs. money, hobby vs. career, follow expectations vs. make your own path, peer pressure, parents support and disappointment, etc… We see a lot of that inner monologue with Yatora and I think many readers will be able to connect with a lot of those thoughts. There’s a moment where Yatora receives praise for a class assignment and how it touched him, how good it felt, and I truly believe that scene alone will resonate with so many readers.

“And those who are true to themselves make truly great art. Because art is a language without words.”

I think the progression of the story is the biggest factor that impacted my reading of this manga. The progression of this book is very much geared towards providing information about art and the various art school in Japan. Setting that aside, I couldn’t help becoming swept up in all the hard work, the dedication, and the way Yatora’s skills were developing. Even meeting the side characters and learning about their own skills was really enjoyable. I’ve never been an artist, but this book reminded me of how much I love to draw and sketch. However, I do think some readers will feel bogged down with the amount of information that’s scattered throughout this book.

I do want to say that there were a few minor things that caused me to reread the passages to make sure I was reading them correctly. Yatora’s friends are really disrespectful and there were times where it caught me off guard or it would throw off the entire vibe of a scene. There were also one or two moments where side remarks were made towards the side character Yuka, who cross dresses. For most readers, I think this will get overlooked or no one will talk about it. However, when I caught it and then noticed it was never challenged, it didn’t quite sit right with me. And that might be my own reaction especially due to cross dressing in the past myself, but it was hard to tell what the intentions were with those remarks and hopefully in future issues this will be challenged more.

“Liking something and saying so is scary.”

Overall, I had a pleasant experience and as I said, this might be a new series I’ll end up investing in. I’m eager to see how things will play out, I’m dying to know if Yatora will tell his parents, and most importantly, I want to see more of the side characters in the art club. There’s just a really soothing and enjoyable mood when all the art club students are together. Plus, the teacher is a a true gem and she’s one of those teachers who really cares for her students. If you’re looking for a new manga series to fall in love with, I definitely recommend give this series a chance. I think many readers will enjoy the progression of this manga and be eager to find out what will happen next!

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

|GoodReads|Instagram|YouTube|Wishlist|Kofi

Uncategorized

Weathering with You, Vol. 1 by Makoto Shinkai & Wataru Kubota

GoodReads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble|BookDepository|IndieBound

ARC was provided by NetGalley and Vertical Comics in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published after the release date (September 22nd, 2020)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Homelessness, physical assault, gun violence, mentions loss of loved ones

Did I request this manga because I loved Your Name? Yes. Did I completely fall down a rabbit hole reading this manga and therefore need to know what’s going to happen next? Also, yes! I really loved Your Name. It was a very emotional, whimsical series and movie. So naturally my interest was at an all high when I saw this was available for request. And this book didn’t disappoint! It fully captured my heart and I think many manga readers are going to fall in love with this series, if they haven’t already!

We follow a boy named Hodaka, who’s run away from the island he grew up on, fleeing to the Kabukichō neighborhood of Tokyo to start a new beginning. However, Hodaka finds himself struggling to adjust to the new city and all the gloomy weather. Until he comes across a girl named Hina, who has a the special ability to bring out the sun, also known as a sunshine girl. Together they’ll turn Hina’s ability into a means of helping Hina gather funds to support herself and younger sibling, but Hodaka is keeping secrets and Hina is keeping her own.

“All this time, I think… I was chasing the light that you bring, Miss Hina.”

I loved these characters so much. They’re not your typical main characters who are fierce warriors or magical beings. They’re just two kids who come from rough backgrounds, trying to survive in the big world. I love when characters are just like everyone else, but we get to see their hardships, they’re struggles. It makes those characters feel more realistic and easier to connect to. And of course, the story line that pulls these two characters together is so beautifully woven. I loved seeing the small pieces of Japanese myths and legends tie in to the events happening and the characters.

Just like Your Name, Weathering with You has underlying themes to it. Looking at Hina’s character in this book, he character is designed to show the weight that women often carry. Women are often expected to provide warmth, comfort, and happiness, more time than most being the caregiver of the household. Now, I don’t want to spoil too much (especially for the anime), but the author does a brilliant job of showing this and how if affects women, how much energy the deplete from themselves, and the toll it begins to take on their bodies. I thought it was so beautifully done and I think this book shows the beginning of that process really well.

And of course, I have to talk about how stunning the art style is because it is gorgeous! The beginning of this arc we have one to two pages of colored art and it is everything. That alone had me gasping for breath. It so beautiful and I wish more manga had more little glimpses into colored panels. Even the black and white panels just really had an extra emphasis on the events happening throughout the book. The illustrator of this book is truly talented and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next!

Overall, I really enjoyed this manga with my whole heart. I think the story line does a fantastic job hooking the attention of the reader, pricking the curiosity of those who want to know more. It truly is a beautiful story and I can’t recommend this graphic novel enough. I hope my fellow manga readers will be picking this series up and if you haven’t checked out this series yet, please do. It truly is wonderful!

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

|GoodReads|Instagram|YouTube|Wishlist|Kofi

Uncategorized

Heaven’s Design Team 1 ([Ten-De-Bu] What a strange animal! #1) by Hebi-Zou, Tsuta Sizuki, & Tarako

GoodReads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble|BookDepository|IndieBound

ARC was provided by NetGalley and Kodansha Comics in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (October 13th, 2020)

This truly was an adorable manga! This is one of those manga series that’s unique and hasn’t really been dabbled with before (at least to my knowledge). I loved the the different personalities of the teams and how some of the characters are named after the planets of the solar system. And I think this is a great way to spread information about animals many people might not know about. Just a really enjoyable manga for a rainy day! A side note; this series has already been printed (back in 2017, I think), but I do believe this is going through a reprint because of the new anime series. You can watch the trailer HERE!

Our story follows the design team of Heaven who have been tasked with one major project, create creatures to populate the Earth. However, things are easier said than done. With their reject pile climbing higher and higher, the team fears they’ll never be able to fill all the request flying into their inbox. But even in times of doubt, inspiration can strike the most. We join Heaven’s design team on this wild adventure, literally!

I really do love the cast of characters we’re given in this book. Our cast of characters has such a diverse personality range and even though it’s never specified, a plethora of ages. I also really enjoyed each character’s interests. For example, I love how Mr. Saturn is an older gentleman who’s pride and joy project is the horse and has an obsession with all this horses (including unicorns and pegasus). There’s also Neptune who’s a gentle giant and creates some of the cutest animals. Neptune is such a cinnamon roll character and might be my favorite thus far.

I also really liked how this is more on the educational side of manga. While the design team crafts these animals, at the end of each chapter we receive a paragraph of information and facts about the animals that were created in that chapter. For those who don’t have zoology in their background or never had interests in animals in their life, this is was a unique way to provide that information to that reader base. I also think this is going to be a manga series perfect for those who are younger and just starting to discover manga.

My biggest struggle with this manga was the humor in this book. It’s not that the humor is bad or anything, it just didn’t translate on page well for me. I know there’s an anime out and I think the anime will be able to better convey the humor that this manga is trying to portray. I think for other manga lovers, this will be perfect for them to get some chuckles, but I’m very much a “slapstick” humor kind of person and to hear how the humor is trying to be expressed.

My other thing about this manga is the plot and story-line. There really isn’t any end goal or objective to this manga. I think for many manga reader, they might not like this aspect because this book really relies on the educational elements in this manga. The sole purpose of each chapter is to educate the reader on the animals the design team is creating. For me, the banter was fun and so were the conversations, but in the end, I would’ve liked to have seen more at stake (like a time limit) to make things a little more exciting or make me more invested in the story.

Overall, this was a fun little read. I think this is really going to be a manga for those who are just now discovering manga and dipping their toes into the vast pool that is manga. As I said, this is the first manga I’ve encounter that has an educational element to it. I do come from a background of zoology, so a lot of the animals and facts mentioned in this book weren’t anything new for me. However, for those who aren’t from that background, I think it’s going to intrigue those readers especially those of a younger audience. It’s just an easy going book and I think many readers will enjoy this manga. I’m definitely interested in seeing the anime and seeing how the manga compares. I think if you’re looking for a unique manga or you’re just starting out, then I definitely recommend checking this series out.

|GoodReads|Instagram|YouTube|Wishlist|Kofi

Uncategorized

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku, Vol. 1 (Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku #1-2) by Fujita

GoodReads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble|BookDepository|IndieBound

Content/Trigger Warnings: Mentions of sexual harassment, mentions of anxiety, alcoholism

Friends, this was the absolute cutest! I had a fantastic time reading this and I had such a hard time setting this down. This is such a whimsical, charming, and perfectly geeky book for those who are looking for a book to brighten their day up. And you might just laugh yourself silly like I did. This manga has also been made into an anime, you an watch the trailer HERE.

We follow Narumi, a secret fujoshi who seems to be down on her luck with relationships. Until one day, she reconnects with her childhood friend Hirotaka, a secret hardcore gamer, at their office job. This sparks Narumi suggestion they should go out for drinks to catch up with one another. And while they’re catching up, Narumi reveals to Hirotaka how hard it is to find someone who accepts her for who she truly is. To Narumi’s surprise, Hirotaka offers a solution. And this is their story.

This manga focuses on two different relationships. The main relationship this manga focuses around is Narumi and Hirotaka. Not only do they work together, but when they’re together they’re absolutely precious. Since they’ve known each other for such a long time, we see soft moments like when they can tell the other is upset or aren’t acting like themselves. We also get some really great moments where we see their personalities show a different side compared to when they’re in the work place. The other relationship this manga also focuses on is between Kabakura and Hanako, friends and coworkers to Narumi and Hirotaka. Their relationship is intense, they fight almost constantly, and the tension between them is so thick you could cut it with a knife.

“We’re together because I love you and I like seeing you doing things that make you happy.”

I really enjoyed Hirotaka and Narumi together. Their interactions with one another were so cute and wholesome, but they have a deep understanding of each other. They have some really precious moments that really show how much they care about one another, not only as couple, but also as two individuals who have been friends for such a long time. I really loved that. I also really appreciated how we see both couples in this manga on double dates. I rarely see the double dating in books. So that was a pleasant surprise that I really enjoyed. I also really adored how close Hanako and Narumi are in this manga. They cosplay together and seem really protective of one another. I’m always here for a friendship that’s positive especially between two women.

I only had two issues with this manga. The first one was with the second relationship, the one between Hanako and Kabakura. I felt like we never got to see them be soft and gentle with one another. For the majority of this book, they’re constantly arguing at each others throats, insulting one another, and there’s even a scene where Hanako tries to pressure Kabkura into cosplaying when he specifically says no. We see maybe one or two moments between them where they’re being gentle to one another, but the majority they’re fighting with one another. I’m hoping in future books, we see more moments shared between them where they’re being kind to one another or loving.

My second struggle with this manga was no solid story line or plot. It felt like there were outlines of a plot or story line, but for the most part it felt like this manga was just sharing moments between Hirotaka and Narumi. It felt very repetitive because of no solid story line or plot. With that being said, I’m hoping in future volumes we’ll see change of scenery and things won’t have a repetitive feeling to it. We’ll see an actually story form of how their love is growing, maybe we’ll see some character development, and maybe we’ll see some end goal within this book.

“If my smile could reach the person I love… I think I’d explode with happiness.”

Overall, I really did have a fantastic time reading this book. I loved how we follow two geeky people who’ve been friends since childhood form a relationship. They’re incredible sweet to one another and Fujita has an incredible way of capturing that. I also really enjoyed the art style. Fujita has a way a capturing the emotions of characters and make a panel play to the moment. And the way Fujita writes has such a subtle way of saying so much meaning with saying very little, I really loved that. It was just a really great times reading this manga. I’m really eager to give the anime a try and see how similar it is to the manga. But if you’re looking for something funny, charming, and wholesome then I can’t recommend this manga enough!

Buddy read with Kayla from Books and Blends 🧡

|GoodReads|Instagram|YouTube|Wishlist|Kofi

Uncategorized

In/Spectre, Vol. 2 (In/Spectre #2) by Kyo Shirodaira & Chashiba Katase

GoodReads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble|BookDepository|IndieBound

👹 In/Spectre Vol. 1 | Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Content/Trigger Warnings: Death, death of a parent, violence, graphic injuries, graphic human experimenting

Friends, you know how much I love my manga. Well, I’m glad that I still enjoyed the story line of this series so far. I really enjoyed the first book in this series and was interested to see where the story would lead us next. I love the story line and I think that’s why I’m still willing to continue on with this series. Plus, a disabled lead character! This manga series is also an anime you can watch on Crunchyroll.

If you haven’t read my review for the first volume, please make sure you read that.

Our story follows seventeen-year-old Kotoko, who was kidnapped by yokai as a child, turned into someone who can communicate between them and the humans, and maintains the peace. In this volume, Kotoko travels to investigate the death of idol, Karin Nanase, who seems to be terrorizing the town of Makurazaka. She’s known as “The Steel Lady”. With Kuro missing, she’ll have to team up the only person who might be able to help her, Kuro’s ex-girlfriend, Saki. Together they’ll uncover the truth about the origins of The Steel Lady’s bizarre powers.

I love the story line of this manga series. It’s probably my most favorite thing about this entire series. I love anything that has to do with yokai. And even thought we had only a few bread crumbs in the first book about Kuro, I was still excited to see Kotoko’s backstory. But when I heard there was the chance we would start learning more about Kuro’s background in this book, I was really excited. The story line keeps you very interested, though. I’m constantly wondering what the next bit of information will be.

Of course I have to talk about Kotoko for a second. She’s our main character of this series. She’s was taken by yokai as a child and when she was returned to the mortal world, she was missing one eye and one leg. So she has an artificial eye and prosthetic leg. There are scenes from both the first and second volume where Kotoko will detach her prosthetic leg when in battle with demons or monsters. While I can’t speak on the disability representation, I deeply appreciate how our main character is disabled and she continues to live her life despite being disabled. I wish more manga had disability representation and it was more normalized within them.

My biggest issues with this manga volume was two major things. The first thing is the way Kotoko announces to Saki that she and Kuro are in a relationship. In the first volume, we never see them have that conversation of becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. We get the sense that they formed a partnership to deal with demons and monsters, but the relationship was dropped out of nowhere. My second issue in this volume has been the fact the author has pinned Kotoko and Saki against each other, fighting over a boy. This is a huge problem especially since Saki has agreed to have dinner with one of her coworkers. It just seemed really unnecessary to have Kotoko and Saki pinned against one another, fighting over Kuro. It felt very petty and it felt dragged out throughout this volume.

Overall, I still enjoyed this volume despite the issues. I’ve been sitting on the fence on whether or not I want to continue this series. I truly love the setting, the story line, the back stories of the main character and love interest, and we all know I’m here for the yokai. I think if this volume didn’t have Kotoko and Saki pinned against each other over a boy, I would have loved it more. It felt too much like a bad love triangle. If this series does interest you, I highly recommend checking it out. This is one of the first manga series I’ve encountered with disability representation and I think many manga readers are sleeping on this series.

Read for The Reading Rush 💚

|GoodReads|Instagram|Twitter|YouTube|Wishlist|

Uncategorized

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil A Run by NAGABE

GoodReads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble|BookDepository

Please note, this is going to be a manga series review!

🌻 The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 1 | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 2 | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 3 | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 4 | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 5 | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 6 | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 7 | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Content/Trigger Warnings: Violence, graphic injuries, decapitation, impalement, death, talk of sacrifice, attempted sacrifice, abandonment, witch hunt themes, kidnapping, mass murder/democide, trauma/PTSD, grief, loss of a loved one, torture, and more!

After many, many requests… I am finally do a full series review of The Girl from the Other Side! Dearest readers, if you have been with me for a while then you’ve probably seen me mention this series a lot. Whether you have seen me talk about this manga series on my blog or on IG, you know that this series took me by storm. I love this series with my whole heart and soul, I recommend this series to everyone I come in contact with, and honestly, I can’t stop talking about this series. Plus, the eighth volume in this series just released in the U.S. on March 17th, 2020 so I figured now would be the perfect time to gush about this series!

The Girl from the Other Side follows two main characters; Shiva, a young girl in white and Teacher, a humanoid beast in black. Both live in a split world between the Inside and the Outside. Those who live on the Inside are told to never venture to the Outside and should they find themselves on the Outside, hope and pray the curse won’t touch them. Though our two main characters are never allowed to touch, they share a unique bond that keeps them tethered to one another. But when Shiva’s patience has finally ran out, she leaves to find her grandmother. Only in these two realms, you never know who you can truly trust.

For starters, let me say how excited I am that this is being adapted into an anime series! This manga series is very underrated and I wish more readers were picking this series up. To hear that it has been picked up for an anime series, the actual blessings! Secondly, if you’re a fan of the manga series or the anime series, The Ancient Magus Bride then you’re going to fall in love with this manga series. The relationship between Shiva and Teacher have a lot of similarities to Chise and Elias. So let this be the reason why you pick this series up!

Okay, if that didn’t convince you on why you need to pick this series up then let’s talk about the world building. Though the world may be black and white, split into two realms, the way this world is built and how the side characters are all portrayed are anything but black and white. The world is established through an old legend where the God of Light punished the God of Darkness, transforming the God of Darkness into a terrible monster. But the God of Darkness allowed his rage to consume him and turned his punishment into a curse to spread to others. So the God of Light banished the God of Darkness to the Outside, splitting the world into the two realms, the Inside and the Outside. I love a world that’s built off a legend or folklore. It just makes the world even more unique.

Then we have the way all the main and side characters are portrayed in this series. The side characters are all painted in a morally grey light, yet their intentions come off as malicious. As for our main characters, they’re the most morally grey in this series. Their personalities develop as the series continues and we really see how they mirror one another. We all know that I love morally grey characters because they are the type of characters that resemble the most realistic traits of humanity. I think this series does a fantastic job at showing all these different personalities and truly shows how complex thoughts and actions are when there’s no straight forward answer to a problem. I really loved it and I loved the way the character development is shown in this series.

And of course, I would be an absolute fool if I didn’t mention the art style. Each panel is unique and really sets the mood at times. I remember when I first opened the first volume and how quickly the art captured my attention. The tone in which every shade of white, black, and gray sets everything up to be mysterious or leave you wondering what will happen next. I truly could live within the pages of this manga series. They’re so aesthetically pleasing!

The story-line is probably one of my most favorite pieces of this series though. I found it was really easy to get wrapped up in everything happening and wanting to find out more. The author does a really fantastic job on ending each book on a cliffhanger that makes you want to pick the next volume. We also receive little bits of information that make you want to unravel the mystery of how everything will come into play later on. I’m excited for future volumes to come because I have so many questions and I can’t wait to see how everything will paint the big picture for us.

Overall, I truly hope more readers will be picking this series up. Other than myself, I haven’t heard many people talking about this manga series. It completely boggles my mind! This series is such a slow build, slow burn and I love every second of it. I think the story-line is absolutely fantastic and I think if you’re like me, you’d want to obtain the whole series in one go too! There will never be enough words to convey my thoughts and feelings about this series. I truly love it and I can’t wait to see what they do with the anime adaptation! If you’re looking for a series that’s dark fantasy, has a slow build story-line, prophecies, and little pieces slowly unraveling then you definitely need to pick this series up!

|GoodReads|Instagram|Twitter|YouTube|Wishlist|

Uncategorized

Blue Flag, Vol. 1 by KAITO

GoodReads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble|BookDepository

ARC was given by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (April 21st, 2020)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Minor bullying, death of a parent/loss of a loved one

Fellow readers, I really enjoyed this manga! I know it’s been a while since I talked about a manga, but after reading Blue Flag Vol. 1, I’m so hung up on it and waiting for the next volume. Can the next volume be out already? Please! I truly enjoyed myself and my time reading this manga. And if you’re in need of some cute, fluffy, and slow burn romance then you will like this book as much as I did.

Blue Flag follows four teenagers and their journey through high school, navigating their feelings. We follow the perspective of Sorta Ichinose who’s an average boy, but also a bit nerdy. His childhood friend, Toma is the polar opposite of Sorta. He’s charming and popular with all of his classmates, but despite all of that, he goes out of his way to remain friends with Sorta and make conversation with him. Somewhere along the way, Sorta ends up in the mist of helping a fellow classmate, Futaba Kuze. She has a huge crush on Toma and seeks out courage and help from Sorta as Toma is his friend. As the story-line develops, feelings bloom, signals get mixed, and tensions run high. When it comes to love, things can get a bit messy!

I loved so many things about this manga! I couldn’t help getting swept away as the story-line whisks you away between moments of tension to endearing moments. There are so many moments where you feel like you’re holding your breath or waiting for someone to confess their feelings. Not to mention, there are some really sweet moments shared with the characters. And as these moments bloom, you can’t help wondering what will happen next. Also, I’m not one to really like or enjoy love triangles that often. However, the way the love triangles are crafted in this book were well balanced and leaves you wonder who will end up with who.

I also have to mention the ending of this manga! That ending left me wanting the next volume immediately. The cliffhanger is so good and there are so many questions that I need answers to. I was so swept up into the story-line and the character development that when I got to the end, the ending hit like a ton of bricks. This will probably be one of my favorite cliffhanger endings ever! I can’t for everyone else to experience this ending!

Overall, I was really taken by storm with this manga. From the pleasant art style all the way to the ending of this book, this series has hooked it’s claws in me. I’m ready for the next volume and I can’t wait to see what happens to all of these characters. If you’er a lover of slow burns, love triangles, and cliffhangers that leave you wanting more then this is a series I highly recommend picking up! This manga was charming, had so many sweet moments, and I’ll say it again, that end was top tier level.

|GoodReads|Instagram|Twitter|YouTube|Wishlist|

Uncategorized

An Incurable Case of Love, Vol. 2 (An Incurable Case of Love #2) by Maki Enjoji

GoodReads|Amazon|Barmes&Noble|BookDepository

💙 An Incurable Case of Love, Vol. 1

Content/Trigger Warnings: Stalking, alcoholism

Nanase chose to become a nurse to chase after Dr. Tendo, but he’s not as he appears. Although very handsome on the outside, but he kisses her and calls it a medical treatment, he’s good at his job yet he’s incredibly strict. Despite it all, Nanase can’t stop herself from loving him or choosing him.

If you saw my review for the first volume in this series then you already know I have waited for this volume for far too long! I should have known by now that I breeze through manga, but I just couldn’t help myself. So I was left waiting until the 2020 release of the second volume in this series. And it didn’t disappoint! I flew through this volume just as quickly as the first and if you haven’t checked this series out by now, go check out my review for the first volume for a better idea of the series!

“I can’t tell him, but his smile is what attracted me to him five years ago.”

Like the first volume, I loved the tension and banter between Nanase and Dr. Tendo. I love it even more in this book because so much comes to light in this volume to their fellow coworkers. It was fantastic to watch everything begin to slowly uncoil and then there were so many moments that just leave you breathless or dying of laughter. One thing I really loved seeing between these two was Dr. Tendo becoming more reliant on Nanase because of falling ill with a high fever. In the first volume we saw Dr. Tendo take care of Nanase and make sure she was okay, but now the role is reversed in this volume. I really loved that and I loved that we got to see these characters be vulnerable with one another again.

I also really love how the importance of a smile gets emphasized throughout this entire series. In the first volume there’s an emphasis of Nanase just wanting to see Dr. Tendo smile again, but this volume really takes a smile to a deeper level that I truly appreciated. We get introduced to a new doctor and Nanase talks about how his smile makes her feel very uneasy, and how she doesn’t understand why she feels odd when he smiles compared to others when she’s had a positive reaction with them. I also love how she react when Dr. Tendo smiles for her and each reaction makes my heart flutter. Enjoji does an amazing job with showing the importance in a smile in this volume and I hope the author continues with showing the importance in future volumes.

Aside from the good, there were also some things that really bothered me that I felt needed to be addressed. For starters, there was a scene in this volume where Nanase and the new doctor were at his welcome party, and things took a turn for the cringey for me. The doctor kept pouring Nanase drink after drink and even after she told him she was trying to cut back on her drinking, he continued to pour drinks for her and her coworkers were even chanting for her to allow it, there was some cringey joke about how if she passed out or went unconscious that everyone in the room was a doctor, and after all of that it caused the main character to try to force herself to drink and made a quick excuse to leave immediately. It was a very cringey scene and you could feel the main character forcing herself to be there. It also felt a like it could have turned into a date rape situation really quickly. Needless to say, I was not a fan of this scene at all.

The other thing that really bothered me was the stalking element in this volume. Nanase doesn’t tell anyone except one person about her stalker. In my personal opinion, one should be more open especially with their friends, family, work place managers, and even neighbors if you have a stalker. That way you have a network of people who know the situation that’s happening and they can look out for you. What also bothered me was Nanase’s coworkers knew about the guy who has been stalking her and only told her about it until she mentioned something. A stalker is a threat to a person’s safety and well being, if someone is showing signs of being a stalker then the victim and management should be notified immediately. Not to mention, Dr. Tendo takes Nanse out in public and leaves her alone with the knowledge that she has a stalker. With all of this compiled together, I was immensely frustrated with the whole stalker/stalking element. It felt poorly executed and it felt like it was giving all the wrong signals especially as someone who has been stalked, this felt very triggering and frustrating to read about.

Overall, I gave this manga four stars because I truly do enjoy these characters and I love a good hate to love romance. If I had to pick between the first and second volume on which I liked more, I would probably have to say the first one. Mainly due to the first one causing less frustration than this volume. However, I really loved seeing Dr. Tendo being vulnerable and I loved that we got to see more emphasis and importance of the smile in this volume. Of course, I truly wish we had more scenes with Ryuko because she is a delight and she’s such a positive energy in this series! So if you’re looking for a manga series that has a slow burn, hate to love romance and love characters that will hook your attention from the beginning then you have to give this series a try!

|GoodReads|Instagram|Twitter|YouTube|Wishlist|