Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Eyeshield 21

Story: Inagaki Riichirou
Art: Murata Yuusuke

Short Synopsis:
Eyeshield 21 is a story that revolves around the American football experiences of Kobayakawa Sena. Sena is a small guy who has been bullied in school and as a result has gained amazing running speed to keep himself from being beat up. As he begins school at Deimon High, he meets Hiruma and Kurita, the only two members of Deimon's American football club. Their ultimate goal is the Christmas Bowl ¡V Japan's American football high school championships. They convince Sena to become their team's secret running back and play under the name Eyeshield 21. Sena and his new friends struggle towards their goals, encountering new teammates and rivals along the way.

Storyline: 10/10
The storyline for Eyeshield 21 was created by Inagaki Riichirou. Because it is a sports story, Eyeshield 21 carries many sports themes and follows a sports tournament timeline, but is unusual in its main character choice, with a seemingly weak character as the focus of his story. This changes the impact of the story and also lends itself towards the team dynamic that Inagaki focuses on, giving each character a change to explore their strengths and weaknesses. 10/10

Characters: 10/10
The character designs for Eyeshield 21 are quite good. Inagaki works to come up with unique characters while Murata Yuusuke creates artwork to match each character's personality. The designs of each team are also interesting as Murata has many athletes reflect their respective team mascots.

Artwork: 10/10
The artwork for Eyeshield 21 is done by Murata Yuusuke. Murata is especially skilled at drawing from multiple angles and giving the reader a sense of the action and movement that takes place in the story. Even the backgrounds and peripheral characters of the manga are drawn with detail. Murata's attention to the characters also brings out a lot of the emotion in the story.

Overall: 10/10
Eyeshield 21 is a great manga with an interesting mix of humor and serious storyline. An obvious read for fans of sports manga and even enjoyable for those who know little about the sport, as most of the athletic focus is on individual skills and explanation is provided throughout the story. With many likable characters and a compelling storyline, I highly recommend Eyeshield 21.

This manga review was taken from here

20th Century Boys

by Naoki Urasawa

To be the greatest superhero you have to understand one thing and thats how to be the greatest supervillian. Kenji runs a former liquor store that is now refurbished into a convience store. Running on hard luck, Kenji has had to fumble with his duties to his convience store and his niece, left in his care by his runaway sister. All these pressures pale in comparison to the coming of a conspiracy that only he and his childhood friends will have to face. Will he be able to figure out the mystery? Can he stop what is to happen in time? Can they really prevent what is foreseen to happen? It really seems impossible.

The story begins with Kenji and mostly centers around him with his childhood friends. I'm not going to give every character since there is way to many to describe. I will say that each character has his/her own personality. You will start to feel as if you are these character's friend and not just reading a manga... more like you are part of the story trying to save the world along with them.

Drawing Style
I was really amazed by this style. At first I was skeptical thinking it was just another typical style, I was completely wrong. I truly appreciate the characters that exist in this manga and the detailed backgrounds. Urasawa Naoki doesn't do the sexy girls/guys. If you are hoping to find busty girls this manga doesn't have your ecchi intentions in mind. You will find scenes that will give you goosebumps and make your hair stand on the back of your neck as you read on.

Enjoyed isn't capable of describing what I felt about this manga. I spent 8 hours one night trying to finish this series off. I couldn't put down the volumes even if I had wanted to. The complex and always changing storyline keeps you wanting more. Even if you aren't a fan of mystery which by chance I'm usually not, you will most likely appreciate this one. May turn out not to be a favorite but I have a feeling you will still enjoy reading. When I do finally finish this manga I truly believe I'll be satisfied but at the same time begging for more.

Excellent story, great artwork, and this all adds up to be one of my all time favorites. I've read lots, lots, lots, (this could go on for a bit) of manga. In the end I always mention 20th Century Boys as a manga someone should pick up or download. Every person I've passed this manga along to has become a radical fan as I have. Nothing more to say than I hope you will join the fan ranks as well.

Story/Plot - 5 out of 5
Characters - 5 out of 5
Drawing Style - 5 out of 5
Enjoyment - 5 out of 5
Overall - 5 out of 5

This manga review was taken from here

Sunday, October 21, 2007


story: Nobuyuki Fukumoto
artwork: Kaiji Kawaguchi

Old school buddies Asai and Ishikura are out hiking the 3,200-meter peak of Mt. Obari when they get lost in a storm. Ishikura falls and injures himself and is ready to die then and there in the snow when he confesses to having once murdered someone. Then, miraculously, the two manage to find a lodge, and their lives are saved. Ishikura begins to regret his confession. And Asai, who senses this, begins to panic.

Might Ishikura kill him, too?

CONFESSION is pure horror and suspense, all on a snow-capped mountain top. This is a one series manga. The story is thrilling and very high paced, you will be impatient when you are turning the pages and I think you will definitely like the ending. The art is average, nothing special but it is still nice to watch.

Review Score:

Story : 9 / 10

Art : 8 / 10


by Naoki Urasawa

The bright white cover of Naoki Urasawa's Monster (VIZ Signature) belies the subject matter of this gloomy suspense series: a serial killer story centered around a gifted Japanese surgeon who may have saved the life of a nine-year-old murderous psychopath.

Set in Düsseldorf, Germany, both before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Monster's hero, Dr. Kenzo Tenma, is introduced as a young brain surgeon on his way up in the highly politicized world of Eisler Hospital. He's engaged to the beautiful and acquisitive daughter of the hospital's director and appears to have it made until a young boy and traumatized girl are brought into the ER. Their parents, a former East German advisor and his wife, have been murdered while the boy Johan has been shot in the head.

Our hero, still smarting over the death of an Arab laborer from the night before, saves the young boy, but at significant cost to his career. He refuses to leave the operating theater when a politically important patient is also brought into the hospital ("No life is worth more or less than another," he states more than once, but as the story progresses, this belief will be severely tested), and the politico dies. Fast-track Kenzo is quickly relegated to a less prestigious position in the hospital; his promised promotion to director of surgery is taken away from him and his fiancé quickly dumps him for a new rising star. In frustration, Kenzo vents his anger to the seemingly unconscious Johan. And before you can say, "Careful what you wish for," both the director and Kenzo's rivals are slipped some poisoned hard candy.

The story quickly moves forward to 1995 – where Kenzo is once more firmly established in Eisler Hospital. A series of murders is in the news, and they look to be duplicates of the killings that originally brought Johan and his sister to the doctor's attention. Investigating both sets of slayings: Inspector Lunge of the Bundeskriminelamt (the German equivalent of the FBI), who looks to be this series' Javert. Sharp-eyed and with a fully catalogued memory that he accesses by tapping an imaginary keyboard at his side, Lunge is sure that Kenzo is connected to the still-unsolved hospital killings. This suspicion will doubtless be compounded when a potential witness to the serial slaying dies while under Dr. Tenma's care.

Throughout the first volume, there are hints that the boy and his sister are connected to something larger. The candies that were used to poison the hospital director, for instance: were they meant for their final victims or for Johan himself? Our serial killer is described by one of his henchmen as a monster, and his ability to show up from one place to the next borders on the preternatural.

Too, throughout the book we're regularly reminded of the first killings' political dimensions. "I thought the world would be a better place with the fall of the Berlin Wall," one disgruntled cop observes as he contemplates the city's escalating crime rate, "but nothing good has come out of it." As with Kenzo's moral decision to save the life of that helpless boy, what seems to be a positive act has possibly led to negative consequences.

Urasawa lays this potentially murky morass straightforwardly. If at times his characters speak more bluntly and thematically than necessary, in part this can be seen be seen as characteristic of the diagnostic world in which they live. Urasawa's art is clean and immediately accessible to Western eyes, while his page layouts frequently can be quite compelling (he's especially strong setting up silent suspense sequences, but can be equally striking just building up to a significant conversation between Kenzo and his flighty fiancé).

Rated for "older teen" readers, Monster has its bloody murderous moments (not to mention a few overhead brain surgery shots), but it's nothing that a CSI fan can't see any night in pre-prime time reruns. Me, I wonder how many teen readers will get caught up in this well-mounted serial's moral ambiguities which, in best noir fashion, are effectively designed to make the reader question what at first seem fluorescently lit moral certainties.

Review Score:

Story : 8,5 / 10

Art : 8.5 / 10

This review was taken from here

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Death Note

Story by Ooba Tsugumi
Art by Obata Takeshi (The mangaka of Hikaru no Go)

Story & Characters

In short, the story, as already said, is mainly about a notebook which is a tool of the gods of death to, as the name of the notebook already says, causes death in people. This book falls into the hands of a high school student, who has his own idea of an ideal world. However in his journey of achieving it, he faces powerful adversaries who try to stop him from reaching his ideals, or tries to take the note. I shall stop here in case i provide too many spoilers.

The story is very deep, with well-created characters with unique personalities. The thing i like about this book is that the characters are all very human like (apart from their unbelievably strong analytical thinking) and each of them have a unique personality.

Light, the main character, for example, is illustrated to give a very clear image of a high-school genius who has surpassed most of his peers' academic abilities, and is bored with his routine life, and yearning for something new. He also gives us an image of a person who will go the distance to get to his ideals (why not, since he has the ability to kill).

even Ryukuu and Remu, the gods of death in the story, are given well-described personalities, and the gods of death are different themselves. Indeed it is a great addition to the already deep human characters.

The story by itself, is also full of twists and turns. Frankly, i myself have not completed the manga, but the story is such that one will never expect what will happen, except that he/she will expect that whatever that happens will be unexpected. The prospect that anyone will suddenly die also will lead a reader to be very much interested in the book, and will yearn for the next book after the current one. The twists in this story is so unexpected that, somewhere in the story, the reader faces an almost complete change of characters and roles. Indeed, the plot-thinking skills of Tsugumi Ooba cannot be under-estimated. The only bad thing is that, somewhere the changes are so sudden that i myself have no idea how the writer is going to end his story.
Great plot indeed. i give it a 10.

10 (excellent)


The characters are rather lifelike as compared to other artists like clamp, where everyone looks almost the same. Not that i do not like stuff by clamp, but the art of deathnote is indeed very well drawn.

Characters also have faces which match their personality and backgrounds. The image of Light for example, being of a respectful, middle-class, background, gives the air of a gentleman. Misa, being a young and innocent girl is also depicted very well, with her blonde hair(or white in the manga) and large eyes, is exactly what you expect to see while viewing a teen idol.

The gods of death are also drawn very well. They are in no way pretty nor handsome, but pretty much the opposite. They are scary looking, with tentacles as hair, sharp teeth and sometimes rotting parts of bodies. However it really gives one the image of a 'god-of-death'. The realism in the art shows us that indeed, there is ugliness in the world, and this realism really fits in well with the dark story.

Expressions are also very well depicted. Expressions of shock, hopelessness, and agony are common in this story, and all of them are very well drawn, and kind of makes the readers feel exactly what they are feeling too.

Settings in the story are well drawn too. say, in a certain room, much attention is given to the details, such as the stuff on a table, being well arranged or messy. Indeed takeshi obatataks much pride in his work, and gives absolutely no nonsense. There are not much action scenes however, so theres actually not much chance for the artist to show off his skills in drawing such scenes.

8 (good)


haha there is obviously no sound, as already said this is a manga review. I shall just review on the dialogues.

The dialogue takes up pretty much of the manga, as this is mainly a story about a person's mind and his ways to achieve what he wants. This can be a good thing as it makes each book worth its money(since the reader takes so much time to read the dialogue). However the dialogue may be a bit too much for some people and they may deem it boring. I myself slept while reading book 1 halfway, not because it is boring, but rather i got tired from reading the large amount of words in the book.

The thing i like best about the dialogue is that, there are NO STUPiD CaTch phrases. Characters in the book talk and think like normal people, which is a very very good thing...

7 (above average)


Overall a very nice presentation, totally worth it.

The only bad thing was jus that there are too many words in the book. Not that it is anyone's fault, as the words are necessary to tell the story well. This happens in the chinese version of the comic, at least.
The presentation of the comic itself is clear cut, and different situations, for example flashbacks are well represented by a black border.

Desperate situations, scenes of suspense, etc are also very well presented, and in such a way that the reader may realise his heart is beating quickly and his hands are starting to swear(at least in my case).

Though this is mainly a serious story, there are few times of humour, not too few such that the book will be boring and droning, but also not too much as to make this story a complete joke. The use of humour in places are certainly appropriate, as it does lift up the readers' spirits in the process of reading such a suspense-filled story.

In conclusion, it is a very good mangas that teenagers and certain adults will enjoy. It is indeed a good read.

9 (very good)

Final Verdict

8.83 (very good)

This manga review was taken from here

Friday, October 19, 2007

One Piece

Manga by Eiichiro Oda

One Piece tells a story about Luffy, a young boy that want to become a sea pirate because he admires a pirate that once saved his life, Shank. Luffy then begin his adventures by gathering his crew, a bushido swordsman named Zoro, a cunning navigator named Nami, a playboy chef named Sanji, a stupid sharpshooter named Usopp and a deer doctor named Chopper. Luffy recently got new crews named Robin and Franky later in the story. With his crew, Luffy went through many tough battles in order to be the king of the pirates while chasing to meet his idol pirates, Shank. Luffy ate a Gomu-Gomu devil fruit that made him a rubber man. Along his journey, he and his crew fought other characters that have interesting ability too because they also ate the devil fruit.

The manga story itself is very intense, it took place from one island to another. The story may got too overwhelmed (the fiction is too excessive) sometimes but still understandable. Eiichiro Oda seems to have a good sense of humor too, I can’t remember reading One Piece without laughing. The characters are very loveable and catchy, you will love it when each of them do their thing, especially Luffy of course.

The manga art is very nice to watch, it is quite dense yet beautiful, amazing detail if I may speak but sometimes maybe you will find it confusing. I must say that Eiichiro oda has done a very good job in designing the characters, they are all unique (read the manga, you will know what I mean). Some of the characters design may have ‘gone too far’ but I think it is still fun too watch.

Review Score:

Story : 8.75 / 10

Art : 8.5 / 10