Sunday, July 01, 2007

Manga Monday 37

Quite a few reviews this week...

La Corda d'Oro (Volume 2)
Yuki Kure

The characters in this book are pretty straight-forward and generic. Maybe that's why I kept putting this book down and reading other things for awhile. But now that I've read the whole volume through, I see that Kure is at least attempting to do some interesting things and turn our perceptions of these generic characters around a little bit with some depth. The most interesting new development is between the protagonist Kahoko Hino and the jock from Seisou Academy's Gen Ed division, Ryotaro Tsuchiura. Not that it's completely original, but the tension that the creator piles around it with the musical competition forthcoming makes the situation of much more immediate concern. Great pacing all around, but some of those supporting charcters have got to be flushed out soon. B-

Monster (Volume 8)
Naoki Urasawa

Nothing particularly exciting happens in this volume of Monster, but there's quite a bit of set-up for the next volume which is sure to be pretty explosive. A lot of dialogue moves this chapter along to the next phase of the story. Loose ties are about to be tied up, and a creepy element is introduced from an unexpected source, getting a reaction out of Johan. B

Emma (Volume 4)
Kaoru Mori

The tension that has been building over the past few volumes of the series comes to a head at the end of this volume that proves to be a really suspenseful read...for what it is. In the afterward, the author mentions how someone described her work as "going at top speed, not in a car or on a motorcycle, but on a bicycle." And that's kind of accurate actually. It's a slow read with a lot of quiet moments of emotion, but there's a certain amount of tension underneath the surface that propels it all along and ultimately makes it quite a thrilling story. A

Hana-Kimi (Vol. 11 - 12)
Hisaya Nakajo

Oh, Hana-Kimi. What a wonderful series to discover. In these two volumes, Mizuki gets closer to her crush, Izumi, than ever before as she navigates her way through a school dance and a visit back home to the states, where an unexpected surprise is waiting for her. Funny, nerve-racking and lovely as always. A-

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