Naruto: Sasuke’s Story – The Uchiha and the Heavenly Stardust Review

When this manga came out I feel like I saw it everywhere because of how big the whole dinosaurs angle got. People were super stoked to finally see the dinosaurs getting their props and hey who could blame them right? It’s a pretty big deal for most to have the dinos around. Personally for me that’s not a big deal since I’m more here for the big battles but I can still get the appeal and they have a lot of screen time so it’s not click bait. While I have some power level issues like with the Mirai spinoff, this one has a real story with an intense plot and high stakes to cover that up.

The manga starts with Naruto getting sick again as his heart is giving him more problems. Sasuke heads off to a prison that might have the legendary particle needed to save Naruto’s life. This Heavenly Stardust will be a little difficult to acquire though as most people don’t even know it exists. It really is a mystery through and through but Sasuke is definitely the man for the job. Sasuke basically has to infiltrate a prison as a prisoner to get intel from the inmates but it won’t be so easy. Naturally a lot of them are very guarded around newcomers. There’s also one more wrinkle. This jail is built to keep people in as one of the most secure facilities in the world and there are even dinosaur guards. Sasuke may have gotten in…but can he get out?

I’m always very vocal about how I don’t like the “Lets get captures on purpose!” plans because I find them to be too risky. Sure it sounds good to get intel but while you’re in cuffs or depowered then the villains might just shoot you. In virtually every film I’ve seen about this I’ve always been very skeptical. In this manga at least Sasuke keeps his powers so it’s not as risky. When you can move faster than light and have the world’s top visual ninjutsu and teleportation techniques then I can cut you in some slack. In theory Sasuke is never in danger here but I also feel like he could have completed the mission a lot easier if he just went in and mind controlled everybody at once. Why even bother with stealth?

I see no downside to just using the Sharingan en masse here. So yeah the plot seems a bit forced in that respect but it’s not a big deal and since a lo of the info they had to find out from books and such that part still ended up helping. I’ll just get the power level stuff out of the way now too. Like I said, Sasuke is incredibly powerful to the point where he would really shine as a higher level being to the other humans in the cells. They can’t possibly keep up with his movements and he has a thousand ways around every scenario with his powers. You can’t get me to believe that he would have any trouble with any dinosaurs at any point in the story. I’m just not buying it at all.

The story tries to build up some tension and that’s always good but it’s never remotely believable. Later on Sakura gets punked by a random guy with a knife and then she is unable to lift basic rubble. Sakura may take a lot of heat from the online community but at the end of the day she is still a very powerful warrior with top fighting instincts. This just isn’t going to happen. Even if you say this takes place deep in Boruto where everyone seems a bit nerfed it doesn’t work. This is just the kind of problem you run into the more powerful your characters get. DBZ knows this problem well too. It’s not the kind of thing that would lower a title’s score for me as power levels tend to just be something I still want to point out unless it’s extremely egregious. That said, what the manga should have actually done was give us some kind of powerful Dinoaur chimera at the end. That would have been a really good idea to give a struggle because even though there were an army of dinosaurs at the end, it’s fair to say that they were still not a threat.

The art is pretty good here, it definitely looks like classic Naruto and the artist really understood the character builds all the way through. The action scenes we get are clean and streamlined. I definitely had no issues here at all. The pacing is good and the series is fairly short so you’ll be blasting through it. The story itself is good and the mystery elements were handled well. This would make for a pretty solid standalone movie if it wasn’t already adapted as a mini arc in the anime.

We even get some romance scenes with Sasuke and Sakura to try and set that pairing up a bit more since a lot of fans say they don’t show as much emotion as you would expect. It comes off a bit cheesy I have to admit because that’s just not really Sasuke’s character. He’s the kind of guy who just fights and gets the job done without worrying about the romantic gestures. You could probably tone that down a bit in this title even if the scenes are really just trying to be wholesome the whole time.

Otherwise Sasuke’s portrayal here is on point. Again just ignoring his power level since he should have easily crushed everyone in this series and not been knocked out once. You just don’t buy into him losing or getting injured at all. Likewise Sakura was good here as well. Definitely needs to keep her guard up more but it was nice to see her show up basically just to back Sasuke up and make sure he was okay. Having an ally when you’re behind enemy lines is huge.

There are a few prisoners running around but the main supporting character here was Jiji. Jiji is definitely not a likable character at all right from the jump. See he has a fiance at home but he still doesn’t mind flirting while at jail and tries to get together with Sakura. Even ignoring all of the twists and development later that already doomed his character. You just can’t root for a guy like that so he was awful and I feel like the ending lets him off easy. At the end of the day the guy made his own decisions and nobody was really holding a gun to his head. He’s a villain who really needed to pay for his mistakes. The guy also can’t really fight much so he mainly gets lucky.

The main villain here is Zansuru and he’s a good villain. The guy’s a bit convenient with how his glass eye can block the Sharingan. I don’t mind the glass pulling this off logically but Sasuke could still just knock him out. This villain was just so smug the whole time. He has his big master plans and everything so I don’t want to shortchange him. He’s a good villain and gets results but he’s not nearly as tough as he acts.

A fun supporting character was Meno. He ends up being the main dinosaur here and a solid fighter through and through. He’s someone who is easy to root for even if he also gets a bit of a cheesy scene where he resists Sasuke’s Sharingan. There’s no glass here so you can’t tell me that a living creature can just reflect it like it’s nothing. That’s not happening and they were trying a bit too hard to hype up the dinosaur. Meno is cool and I wouldn’t mind seeing him again but lets not get too crazy here.

Having dinosaurs around is also risky for animal violence. By the end most of the dinosaurs start to go poof when they are destroyed but some seem to take real injuries so I’m not sure exactly how it works. The series mainly avoids getting too crazy with this but it started to get worrisome at some points. At the end of the day you mostly do want to avoid getting animals mixed up in the action because it can be risky.

I think this is a title that ultimately reads even better as a marathon as you can blast through the adventure and enjoy all the turns. The manga is part mystery after all so that should really hook you in. I won’t exaggerate and say it’s super thrilling or anything but it’s pretty good which is all that it really needs to be. I was satisfied with my experience by the end and would be down for more Sasuke adventures like this. Just remember how powerful he is a little more often to avoid odd power leveling issues.

We also get to see a bit into how much easier life is when you have ninjutsu. Sasuke uses it when playing dice or escaping his room with some visual tricks. I’d actually be down to see a lot more of that. Just daily life and showing how useful ninjutsu can be. Considering that a lot of these villages and areas outside of the lead barely know what ninja even are, it puts the characters at a fairly massive advantage.

Overall, Sasuke and Sakura finally got their big team up so fans will be pleased with this. It’s not often that you get to see them going up against a villain without being backed up by Naruto. The plot starts to crumble when you really look into it so for the most part you’ll have to suspend a lot of disbelief. The romance is also a bit shaky but the series delivers on the action scenes and mystery. If you’re a Naruto fan or just want a fun adventure then you need to make sure that you don’t miss this one.

Overall 7/10

Naruto: Konoha’s Story – The Steam Ninja Scrolls Review

It’s time for us to jump back into the world of Naruto with a spinoff that ended recently. You may be wondering how any villain can possibly hope to give the heroes a hard time when Naruto runs the world with a wholesome fist. Well, with lots of power level shenanigans but we’ll get into that later on. My main issue with the series is it feels like 90% of it is just the characters messing around until we get some brief plot at the very end before the series ends. This is a miniseries so it isn’t trying to be super grand or anything like that but at the end of the day I still think it could have done better. Still makes for an entertaining enough read though.

The series starts by introducing us to Mirai who is the daughter of Asuma. She has been trying to prove herself for a long time now but the tough part is that the village has been at peace for so long. She feels like she was never given a fair shot to show what she can do and never will at this rate. So she’s thrilled when she is added as a bodyguard to Kakashi and Might Guy’s mission…before getting saddened again when she sees this was just a cover for them to visit hot springs and have fun. Things just aren’t going her way but she needs to be careful what she wishes for because danger might be just around the corner.

There are 15 chapters here and the story is basically weekly sized so you can probably guess that the adventure will be quick. As I mentioned the first 2/3 of the series really are just slice of life adventures with little hintings of a plot before we get to the big battle at the end. You can absolutely execute well on such a story with the Naruto characters because in theory they are well rounded enough to still be entertaining. The main problem is that the characters aren’t particularly funny. In large part this is because Kakashi and Might Guy are always great in a serious context but I was never too impressed with their rivalry. They aren’t exactly op tier contenders there and since Might Guy can’t fight very much anymore…that doesn’t help things.

Mirai tries a little too hard throughout the series to prove herself and as a result she tends to hold them all back. They needed a very well reasoned veteran to help out and she was too eager to the point of embarrassing them at times. At least she could make potato chips and yes we get a full chapter of that. It isn’t until the end where she finally proves herself but it was a tough road to get there and she fell for one of the most basic traps out there. I do think Mirai has all the makings of being a good character but if you just read this series then I don’t imagine that you will have a very high opinion of her just yet. She’s still got a ways to go.

In terms of fighting ability she seems okay though. She’s hard to scale though because everyone scales quite poorly in this adventure. So lets use that as a diving board to talk about the power level issues. First off, Kakashi and Might Guy are now so weak that they can’t even break a boulder. It felt like gameplay mechanics for a minute there as the villains drop a boulder in front of the heroes so they can’t proceed. There is clearly a lot of room to go around or over the boulder but they can’t for some reason. It doesn’t make any sense but it’s even worse that they just can’t break it.

So they call in Choji but I guess old age has hit him rather harshly because he needs constant food to use his power at even a basic level. So that’s why Mirai had to make him some potato chips and then he was ready to go. That whole part of the plot will definitely make you groan because it makes no sense. It’s like a poorly written filler episode. The mini arc with Kiba showing up and our seeing a dog vs cat civil war was also more on the petty side. You’ll definitely be rolling your eyes a bit on that one.

Things pick up once they actually bring back the cult of lord Jashin. Jashin was always a character that I felt was underestimated by the Naruto fandom because in theory this is another cosmic being on the level of Kaguya. He seems like he’s definitely real because of the fact that the rituals work so maybe one day he will appear. I’m still banking on that even if the odds aren’t great because it just makes too much sense. He’s the one villain that all of the heroes will really need to watch out for or else they are going to be doomed.

His minions here are fairly generic though. They can’t fight a whole lot and use hostages to get in the way. The fight is only close because Mirai messed up. I really don’t buy Kakashi thinking he wasn’t fast enough to step in though. The nerfs to the OG characters in Boruto land definitely hits hard I guess. At least it was an excuse to see Mirai fight though and while she performed poorly against the hostage, we got some decent moves against the villain himself.

The art is on point here and I definitely have no issues there. All of the characters are on model and it’s very easy to read. On a technical level it certainly adopts the style of the original Naruto very well. With the short length there is no real downside to checking this one out because it’s so short and it’s also nice to see some of the characters again. Does it hold up in terms of story? Eh not really but it’s still not a bad title. You just wish more had happened.

I feel like there isn’t a whole lot to say even after 15 chapters. Mirai basically goes through the same character arc as Shikamaru in learning about who the King represents but without all of the hype action scenes and danger around it. Now granted, I do like that things are mostly peaceful under Naruto’s reign because it wouldn’t make sense if everything was super dangerous. That said, few stories manage to properly explain why Naruto isn’t running around taking names. Even if he’s sick I don’t see that holding him back. This is Naruto Uzumaki after all!

Overall, I’m always up for a classic spinoff. This story probably would benefit from a marathon read more than weekly since you’ll get to the action part a lot sooner. The review may have sounded fairly negative because there were a lot of areas to take shots at here but it’s not bad. Ultimately it ended up squarely in the middle. It was looking like a 6 for a while but in the end it just couldn’t quite make it. Another fight or two would have been good or some kind of hype cliffhanger but in the end I don’t think the story was executed nearly as well as it could have been. It’s not the kind of title that has any kind of replay value so you should check it out once if you’re a Naruto fan but that’s it. Hopefully next time Kakashi and Might Guy will look a lot better. (I also don’t buy their explanation that nothing can bring his leg back. There are so many spells and ninjutsu in the world of Naruto that should be able to do this easily…..)

Overall 5/10

Shaman King: Red Crimson Review

It’s time to jump into the world of Shaman King. This has really turned into quite the franchise with several manga titles in addition to the main one and more than one how. Who’d have thought that it would be so big right? Most of the manga titles are also building up to a whole new Shaman King fight that will be the biggest yet. I love the ambition but hope we will get there before long. This is a really solid setup manga to that event and it’s nice to see the characters and how their lives are going. I may have some power level issues here but we’ll get into that.

The title starts off with Horo Horo getting ready to visit his pal Ren to get some money. Ren is rich and Horo Horo is not so this makes sense. He hitches a ride but the driver turns out to be an evil shaman who tries to murder him. Horo Horo survives the encounter and Tao Jun shows up to take care of the villains. Basically the Red Crimson group wants to destroy the Tao family before the next tournament begins. They want revenge for years of oppression under the might of the Tao Family and this seems like the quickest way to do it. Can Tao Jun protect their family legacy?

Now you may figure that this should be an easy win for the heroes right? Horo Horo and Ren are both 2 of the 5 legendary warriors who went up against Hao. They should steamroll! Well it’s not quite that easy. See the villains have a lot of strong new members like Yohsuke, Yonhon, and Dehon who look suspiciously like characters from the Ultimo series. More on that later but they are really setting this up to be a fight where the villains have a massive advantage. Additionally Ren has turned into a bit of a pacifist. He will fight when the time is right but doesn’t want to get mixed up in fights that he doesn’t have to. Horo Horo has no excuse though and doesn’t look great here.

One of the overarching themes here is about not getting revenge. It’s a great moral of course but the series takes this to a bit of an extreme where I couldn’t buy it. Basically Ren’s wife, Lady Jeanne is a god class shaman with incredible abilities. In theory she can defeat most of her opponents but she willingly allows herself to be murdered by the villains so that they don’t get punished for failing their mission. Really now? I can’t get behind that and in a way she is trying to atone for her past as well but that’s just an awful way of doing this. It’s always sad when a character just ends up swinging too far on the pendulum when trying to be a hero now. So it wasn’t her best appearance.

I also think Ren should have absolutely gone for revenge there. That was the time to do it. I get that he doesn’t want to restart the cycle of violence but when your wife is attacked like that then you absolutely have to step in. There’s really not an option at that point. He still does have his rage moment but he doesn’t go through with it. It’s hinted that he may have lost to be honest but lets at least see him try to fight. Horo Horo shows more emotional and still gets to cut loose which isn’t always portrayed as a good thing but at least I like that he just goes forward with his feelings and doesn’t hold back. I just wish he would look more powerful because the guy has been through a whole lot over the course of the series. His mana and experience should put him at a really high level but he doesn’t worry anyone.

A good chunk of the series focuses on Tao Jun though and how she is also trying to escape her past. She used to be a rather cruel villain and got Pairon murdered so he could be her cursed spirit. It’s pretty messed up when you think about it. Keep in mind that he had a family too so any shipping here also feels very iffy by default. Fortunately I don’t think a romance will ever be fully in the cards there but even hinting at one is annoying. I like Pairon, he’s a standup guy who is trying to do the right thing. That’s very admirable and you like to see it. I’m glad he doesn’t hold a grudge and he is looking out for her but it better stay as just looking out for a friend.

Meanwhile Tao Jun is definitely very genuine in trying to be a better person. She definitely has to put up with a whole lot and it feels like the villains will keep giving her a tough time but she is trying to make sure that Ren doesn’t have to deal with the family darkness. I hope he does show up more often to directly help out because I like to think he’s not too oblivious though. They should have a really solid dynamic going right now. I feel like she’s not strong enough to really get a part in the tournament but should be a good support fighter.

Then we have Hon Hon who is one of the main villains here. She desperately wants revenge on the Tao Family but the more she thinks about it, the more this starts to feel a bit like manipulation. Hon Hon isn’t completely sure of herself as the series goes on and of course that will make her weaker since the series is all about having strong connections with your spirit that take you to the next level. Even so she puts up a great fight though and I look forward to seeing more of her. She is a solid addition to the series.

Now as for the Ultimo characters. I feel like the series is strongly going for a multiverse approach here. They seem really similar to the Ultimo cast but is seems clear that they are still different people. Of course it could just be the author having a little fun but then I don’t think the title would tease about their energy feeling like it’s from a different universe. Why would you bother with that right? No I think this is some multiversal kind of action where Ultimo is actually canon and there are things happening across all universes. If this is the case then I can actually see the main cast showing up at some point too and maybe even that Stan Lee villain will appear. There’s a whole lot of potential here.

It can be a trick thing to balance of course because multiverses are really ambitious but I’m ready to see how it pans out. I did mention the power leveling concern earlier though and the one thing the author needs to watch out for is the Ultimo trap. See one of the issues there was that the villain was too powerful to the point where the heroes couldn’t win. This is quickly starting to happen here as the pyramid villain working directly for the Yvs god can completely stop time to the point where even a god class shaman can’t resist. The main Ultimo guy also has time manipulation and if even the minions can beat the 5 legendary warriors then what hope do the heroes have?

It feels like the villains are quickly reaching unreasonable levels of power while the heroes are stagnant. Of course you can still write the heroes to get more power ups and win but that needs to happen soon. Otherwise you could do the whole plot of the villain winning again and everyone meets in the everafter but that feels like the kind of twist that can only happen once. Doing it again would feel like a whole retread. of course this series is essentially a spinoff/tie-in kind of adventure to the main tournament so we’ll see what happens once it is the main plot.

Overall, I feel like Shaman King is in a very unique spot right now where it is almost like DC or Marvel as a big umbrella franchise with a ton of tie-in adventures going on that are all leading up to a huge event like Secret Wars. This is just one more stone in the journey leading up to the road. It works both as a stand alone story because of Tao Jun’s character arc but also as an ingredient in the future adventure. I definitely had fun with it and would recommend reading the series. Because of the tie-in part though you’re looking forward to a lot of fights here that just don’t get to happen and so you really want to read the next installment which just isn’t around yet. If you enjoy big cliffhangers then that should definitely make this title even more appealing to you.

Overall 7/10

Yuzu the Pet Vet Review

Yuzu the Pet Vet is definitely one of the most emotional manga titles around. It deals heavily with animals appearing in every chapter since that’s a big part of the plot so you can probably guess where this is going. The series is meant to be a fairly light hearted, but cautionary tale on how hard it is to raise pets but unfortunately that means showing us examples of lots of bad owners and so there are a lot of dogs that get injured in this one. I’d definitely say to give it a skip if you have a pet or even in general to be honest since there are just too many pets in harm’s way here.

The series starts off with Yuzu moving to her uncle’s place because her mother is very ill. Yuzu’s mom has been in and out of the hospital for a while now but it seems extra serious this time so Yuzu’s not in a great mood. Her uncle is an animal doctor and he treats all kinds of patients. He wants her to help out while she’s around the house but the problem is that she is terrified of animals. The more she helps her uncle, the more she starts to get comfortable around them though. Who knows, maybe she can even become a proper pet vet someday?

The cast is very small here because this really is an episodic kind of series. The only constant characters are Yuzu’s uncle, mother, and the dog Sora. Even Yuzu’s best friend only appears for around 2 pages in the whole series which is pretty crazy. It’s too bad because she seemed like a high quality character and yet there isn’t anything to say about her because that was just way too short of a period. What can you really talk about with a character who has appeared so briefly? I’ll tell you…nothing! That’s all there is to say there. Definitely a wasted opportunity.

As for Yuzu, well of course she’s not great when starting out but she does improve as the series goes on. She gradually learns how to be nice to animals and by the end of the series she is the one with the wise sayings keeping the other kids in their place. She really came very far by the end and I can definitely appreciate that. That being said, as a kid there’s still only so much that she can do to help. At the end of the day the Uncle still has to take center stage when the going gets tough. Once Yuzu is grown up I’m confident she will really be helping in the pet vet business.

I can’t ask much more out of a kid for now and it’s better to be scared of animals than to be mean to them. Even during the pre arc she never tried anything like that so I appreciated this. Her uncle is a solid character. He can definitely be a bit short tempered with the kids and gets super strict but considering how high stakes a pet’s life is, it’s the right move. I can definitely respect that extra fire he has. You need that in order to convince people that you’re on the right side. His advice is always correct to so that’s an important thing to keep in mind. Without him the town would definitely be finished since it seems like there are no other big pet doctors around.

Meanwhile Yuzu’s mom is a solid character. Her main issue is that she can try a little too hard to do everything at once and it often ends up with her getting even sicker. There comes a time where you have to know your limits and that’s her moral by the end. She still helps Yuzu out around the vet once in a while but makes sure not to over tax herself which is important. It’ll be nice to see her as a main character once she’s all better.

I should note that the uncle has a pet dog named Sora who is always around. He’s a bit of a mean pup though as he is always trying to bite Yuzu and cause problems. Not the best first experience for someone who is already scared of animals. Sora gradually becomes nicer and less violent as the series goes on. By the end I would say that they really are good friends.

The art is very clear here. I would say the quality is surprisingly high overall and there is never any moment where you are wondering what is going on. The artist does a good job here. Sure, there are no action scenes so it’s not going to be as difficult to keep things clear as with another manga but it still deserves some good props for pulling that off. It makes going through the volumes real easy.

Of course the only thing that makes going through them hard is how sad most of the stories are. Basically how things play out is usually the owner is being an accidental jerk and neglecting the dog. The dog gets sick so then they head over to the uncle’s place where he fixes up the dog. On a high level that’s usually how this goes and so the rough part is always the first half. For one reason or another the owner will usually say that he or she doesn’t want to go through with any operations or see the doctor. Usually the owner is convinced that his puppy will be okay and so the dog has to put up with a lot until he’s at the doctor’s.

The series also tries to teach us about loss so lets just say that not every animal survives here. Another big no no when you think about it. I don’t want to see any animals dying or even hearing about it. Again the series may be about animals but you don’t have to go this far with it. Having animals get injured or get super sick is just way too sad. The manga should have been about healing them before they get sick. Like have one of them get the ability of foresight and that would have been cool. Sure, the manga is slightly not realistic but you can still teach a lot of lessons to the kids reading the series. I think that would work really well and there aren’t many alternatives. Sure you could make the series about robotic animals I guess…but I feel like that would probably be a hard sell. I don’t see it working as smoothly as you might assume even though I would be all for it.

At the end of the day one of the biggest issues here is that you just won’t have any fun. Sure the chapters usually end on a positive note but only after you’ve been completely beaten emotionally. It’s hard to enjoy the payoff by that point. It’s like when you fall off a bike and injure your knee. Sure, it feels good when you get up and make it home, but the bump still stings. That’s what every chapter is like here and since having fun is one of the main objectives here, there’s just no way this would end up being a quality title. There isn’t really any good reasons to check this one out at the end of the day. I would recommend a ton of manga way higher.

Overall, The series is fairly short at 7 volumes and since it’s episodic by nature that makes it feel even shorter. The volumes are mainly all stand alones and even most of the adventures stop at just one chapter. So it’s not like the sagas are long either. Whether you like the series or not will depend completely on how much you enjoy the premise and the stories that are included here. Ultimately they didn’t do the trick for me. Even though the stories are about helping the animal in the end, the animal always had to go through a lot first which was no good. That’s what the series really should have avoided even if it means changing the premise of the series altogether. At the same time I think you could have pulled this off without injuring any animals. Have the missions be a little more low stakes and it all could have worked out.

Overall 1/10

Horimiya Review

I finished Horimiya up quite a while ago but now it’s time to really dive into this one. The romantic comedy manga lasted quite a long while and it’s always impressive to see since you just tend to associate long running titles with the classic Shonen Jump action. Well this one had a fairly big cast so they got to set up a lot of romances here. Mainly what holds the series back a bit compared to other romance series is that the main two are rather weak next to other Shojo heroines/heroes and their dynamic might just be the weakest out of any pairing within its own series. Well we’ll have time to tackle all of that in a minute.

Hori is a very popular girl at school. She’s outgoing and doesn’t back down from any challenge but the big secret she hides from her classmates is that she has to watch after her little brother Souta after school. She transforms into a completely different person once she’s home since she can relax and it’s almost like a disguise so nobody recognizes her. One day she is caught though, by the really quiet, timid guy known as Miyamura. Nobody really approaches that guy because he keeps to himself but in private he actually enjoys tattoos and piercings. The guy looks completely different and rather fierce outside of school but it turns out he’s actually a real softie but doesn’t want to hurt his image. So the two agree not to say anything and now they can actually be good friends who are relaxed with each other. This will also make it easier if Hori needs to sneak out since Miyamura can cover for her. That said…can they really remain friends??

Yes! Not a chance! This is a romance series after all but that would have been a nice change of pace. That said, the series does have a lot of actual boy/girl friendships that don’t transform into something more so I give the series props there. For example Hori’s best friend Yoshikawa is very outgoing and gets along with Miyamura pretty well once he’s a part of the friendship circle and the two have a fun dynamic that never has to become anything more than that. I would include Hori and Ishikawa but he actually did like her and just ended up losing out so not sure that counts. At least they stayed on good terms though.

So lets jump into two of my main issues with the series before we go into the positives. The first one is the art which I think can be really hit or miss. Sometimes the pages will really pop out with a great double spread or a really detailed shot of the characters. The artist can clearly do a great job when needed but it’s the average panel where things get tricky. I constantly would mix up Sengoku and Ishikawa because their designs are so similar. Then once the cast expanded to include other students it got really confusing. All of the girls are distinct but the guys feel like they all have the same look and only the hair can help you tell them apart. Even that isn’t easy since the series is in black and white after all. Having distinct designs for all of your characters is a must for any series and this just felt like a big weakness as a result. You should never be in a position where you are regularly mixing up characters or I always have to say that goes squarely on the artist.

Then my other issue is as I mentioned before of the dynamic between Hori and Miyamura. The problem is that it’s never all that funny and they seem like better characters when they’re apart. So Hori has this whole thing where she gets real excited when Miyamura is upset and constantly encourages him to hit her. Because he is a pacifist and also a decent person he never wants to do this so she’ll end up sulking for a while. It’s a rather bizarre dynamic and of course part of the point is that Hori is a bit strange when she’s not putting on her school mask but even for her it’s a bit much. I’m thinking the attempt is to be like a reverse tsundere where you have the guy constantly blowing up at the girl but it just doesn’t work.

It also makes their relationship a bit one note since that gag is a constant. Ironically Souta helps out since at least when he’s causing trouble you have Miyamura defending him while Hori gets upset and that can always be more entertaining. The series absolutely has good humor throughout but it just lands better when they’re apart. Whether it’s Hori threatening the rest of the student body or Miyamura having to try and choose the option that causes the least amount of trouble when debating with friends, there’s a lot to enjoy there. The romance is just a weak link which is a bit rough considering that this is a big romance series at heart. You have shipping being done constantly throughout the series after all.

Where I will give the series some points is that it does have the characters talk about a lot of normal everyday stuff without always having to throw some drama in there. This could be boring for some but I think it makes sense to emphasize that this is a fairly small city where not much happens. So Hori and Miyamura will sometimes just hang out at home doing nothing except talking about nonsense or watching a movie. In that way they’ve already been together long enough where it’s not like every day has to be some kind of big event. Just being in each other’s company is calming enough and it’s a fairly mature take on how the relationship would be like.

Additionally, because they get together fairly early on in the manga, that gives more time for the relationship to develop. They go from being good friends to dating and keeping that same vibe. So while their dynamic may not be my favorite, I can’t say that the author rushed it. For some positive things about the dynamic, I like that Hori is a super direct person so there’s never any beating around the bush in their conversations. There’s no arc about her getting jealous and tailing him across the city to see if he’s cheating or trying to see if he’s interested in going out by asking a series of Jeopardy style questions. When she wants to do something she just blurts it out and if she wants to eat something she just does. Miyamura works at a family bakery so he’ll just bring along some good snacks and she’ll eat them. Being direct like that is definitely a plus.

Now the series is 16 volumes long so with the main romance out of the way, what else really happens here? Well, you have two other main pairings with Ishikawa and Yoshikawa as well as Remi and Sengoku. These were sort of set up early as well, maybe less so for Yoshikawa but the end game pairings are clear from the jump. This just gives them more of a chance to set things up and think about their next steps. For the most part is works well enough. You should be suitably engaged in what’s going on. You may not be on the edge of your seat like with Nisekoi or Kaguya Sama but you won’t be bored and that’s the important thing.

So I’ve already talked about Hori quite a bit. She’s a really fun main heroine although with how outgoing and direct she is, I do wonder in hindsight why it was really a big deal about the others seeing her with Souta. Honestly I get the feeling that they really wouldn’t care at all. Her best friend certainly wouldn’t and her childhood friend used to hang out with her all the time so he wouldn’t have a problem. Outside of the inner circle the rest probably wouldn’t bother her much. It’s the kind of thing that you question a bit more in hindsight but hey school reps are really important for people so it could just be that simple. Could just be a quirk of hers like how she can get real possessive of Miyamura even though she completely trusts him. She’d still just rather he not be hanging out with anyone else too often although in this case the gag is that she doesn’t care when he hangs out with other girls but other guys for too long is a no no.

The series does have a lot of annoying “guy talk” at times though so they probably aren’t the best influence around him anyway. The characters can be rather desperate at times and that’s why Miyamura needs to keep them at arm’s length. In a way he already does which some of the characters don’t like but you gotta do what you gotta do. Miyamura’s a good main hero. I do think that he goes a bit over the top with the tatoos and piercings though. He drops that entirely as the series goes on which I’d say was a good thing since his character design is much better without them. Ultimately of course fashion is up to the wearer so if he prefers that look then he should go for it but it just felt like something more out of a horror manga when he would pop in at times.

I was always glad that he held firm to his ideals and wouldn’t relent to Hori when she wanted him to get upset at her. I like how chill the guy is. It’s hard to get under his skin but if he is upset then he would let you know . He can be firm with the other friends when needed like if they took things too far at any point. It’s also cool that he works at the cake shop. It had to be so convenient to be able to bring home a cake whenever you want. Would be easy to start gaining weight of course but that would just be so convenient.

Then we have Souta who in a way does a lot of matchmaking since he is one of the main reasons why the two get together. He’s just young enough to still be oblivious about all of this though which is nice since a kid trying to interfere is always annoying. Soura’s too young to do much of anything really but he’s okay. As far as kids in these titles go I didn’t find him super annoying or anything like that.

Next up is Yoshikawa and she’s another quality character. She’s always got a brave face on even when things aren’t going her way and that’s commendable. She’s someone that Hori can lean on and vice versa when things are going tough. Her romance gets a little less time to really develop here though and she was on good terms with everyone so just ending p as a good friend would have been a solid end for her character arc. Either way she added a lot to the school dynamic and her character arc about being more confident was one of the most serious ones in the series.

Then there is Ishikawa who is a bit of a punching bag for a while. The guy isn’t super talented and definitely has confidence issues with how Hori had him in the friend zone for so long. The guy liked her for a while but she barely even sees him as a guy which is rather sad for him. Of course that’s why his next romance would be an automatic rebound since he only moves on because she made it clear that he would never have a chance. That’s pretty tough to handle when you think about it. I’m glad that things go up for him though because otherwise it was just a sad adventure for him.

Remi is a lot of fun and almost feels out of place among the other students because she’s a lot more gimmicky than the other characters. She talks about herself in the third person all the time and definitely cries a lot. Remi really gets super emotional at times which makes her really contrast with the very serious Sengoku. Naturally you can probably guess who gets paired here. Ultimately I did like Remi though. She was fun to have around but even though she was a main supporting character, I felt like she didn’t interact with Hori quite as much as you’d expect. I guess it’s a case of their both being in the same room a lot but never really having much to do at the same time.

Finally Sengoku is your classic by the books kind of guy who is really strict and has no fun. Naturally I don’t have him anywhere all that close to the other characters. I prefer characters who just have fun and go wild. I suppose you need a by the books guy sometimes but very rarely and Sengoku usually was more of a hassle to everyone than an actual help. That’s why he ends up lagging behind the others.

Honoka shows up later on as a fun little side character. She’s a bit younger than the rest of the characters so Hori and Miyamura tend to treat her like a kid which annoys her. She doesn’t mind when this ends up resulting in free food though so she’ll be a kid when it’s convenient to her. She adds some extra energy int the series so I appreciated having her around. Then you have Shindo who was Miyamura’s only friend back in the day and he’s one of those characters where you feel like the series is mean spirited against him for some reason. The guy is always just trying to be nice and helping out but gets treated like dirt most of the time.

Miyamura never wants to acknowledge that they were friends and is the only person that he bullies. Miyamura is typically super nice all the time but Shindo seems to bring out the worst in him. The worst part is that it rarely even starts off because of Shindo doing something wrong. In fact Shindo is usually just being a nice guy when Miyamura attacks him for no reason. This is another one of those comedic plots that just didn’t land for me since I would feel bad for Shindo in the end.

Yanagi was more on the forgettable aside. Apart from constantly breaking his glasses I’d have a tough time telling you much about his personality. He was around and nice enough but yeah he definitely got overshadowed. Then you have Hori’s parents. Her father gets more of a role and he always takes Miyamura’s side. In that sense the good part is that Hori doesn’t have to worry about her parents not liking him. That’s probably a huge relief when you think about it, but of course it does also mean that Hori will always be outnumbered in debates. It evens out since Hori is easily the toughest person in the room though as her father will usually shrink in the corner when challenged.

In some ways the manga is best when it’s just letting the two main characters just be cute for a while. A solid hug goes a long way compared to any shenanigans and one thing the manga shows a lot of is that Hori is a very clingy person. Once she is together with Miyamura she will end up grabbing him all the time for no real reason except to feel contact. It’s the little things like that which are fun and they both get a lot of inner monologues about how much better their lives are now that they have met each other. It also helps the comedic moments by extension since you know the characters more. Like Hori asking for Miyamura’s phone to do an inspection.

In another series that may feel like a bit of a jaded move. She doesn’t trust him or something but instead you know it’s just because she’s curious on what she’ll find and to mess with him a bit. They both trust each other but Hori being the aggressive heroine she is always likes to push things to the max. Then Miyamura is always calm enough where he will say yes to any of her demands/requests. No matter how inconvenient he would say yes to anything she asked him to do and so that makes for a good bond between them.

Overall, Horimiya is a good manga. I’d say what really keeps it from being a very good/great one is the character cast is a bit weaker than the other big Shojos and it’s just not as funny. For a long series like this of course there will be plenty of good jokes that land as well but there are also some more dull kind of lines that don’t really work. The manga has a bit more dead time than other similar titles and of course my mixing up characters from time to time doesn’t really help matters either. These aren’t the kinds of things that will feel too bad while binging though and ultimately the test of a manga is if you had fun and I’m confident that you will here. It’s still a very wholesome series throughout so if your local library or bookstore has the series then you should pick it up and give it a read.

Overall 6/10

Megaman Dash Review

Megaman Legends is probably the only part of the Mega Man series that I’m not much of an expert on. So it’s always interesting seeing more adventures in that verse but at the same time titles like this don’t really do it any favors. Megaman Dash is more of a comedy manga than a serious adaption and so it’s not going to reach the heights of NT Warrior of Gigamix. I’m glad that the series finally finished getting translated of course, that was definitely great. Because that means now I get to dive into this one and tell you why it didn’t quite work. I will give it this, the series does avoid throwing in a lot of crude humor or anything like that which I appreciate since so many comedic titles run right to those jokes.

The series is rather short with only 5 chapters so it’s really more of a one shot than a series. Basically Megaman Volnutt is a treasure hunter of sorts. He goes to different caves and mines minerals and resources. Despite his antics he seems to be reasonably good at this, enough so where he, Roll, and doctor Barrel can live a comfortable life at least. Well, he isn’t the only one after the treasure and also has to contend with the likes of Tron Bonne and her crew. They may not be all that formidable but the same can be said for Volnutt so he can’t let his guard down. Eventually he even meets a man named Megaman Juno who has plans for world domination. Can Volnutt really stop this guy?

It’s a fairly basic plot that we’ve got here. Volnutt is your classic explorer who likes having a lot of fun but also really enjoys goofing off the whole time as well. He’s definitely not the kind of guy who takes things all that seriously but he can be tough when needed. I’d like to see more bravery out of him though. I get that it’s a comedic title so that may not be in the cards but it would just do a world of good to see him talking tough and getting serious when the situation calls for it. It’s why he severely lags behind the other Megamen on all sides. It was fun recognizing some of his signature attacks from the Tatsunoko vs Capcom game though.

I can also give the manga this, the artwork is actually pretty good. You can see how the fights would actually be really solid if that was the intent of the manga. The choreography is on point and the character designs are good. Clearly this artist is really being misused having to work on a more gag manga type adventure like this one. It certainly makes for an easy read nonetheless. Particularly now that it’s all scanned you can blast through the whole thing really quick. Perhaps it will read better as a marathon although I have my doubts.

As the heroine Roll doesn’t actually do a whole lot here. She yells at Volnutt constantly since he’s always messing up but that’s really her only role here and he doesn’t really take her all that seriously. Doctor Barrell has even less to do here. You may forget that the guy exists at times. Then there’s Tron Bonne who is a comic relief villain but at least she is doing a lot of things. She builds robots to take Megaman out and is also instrumental in helping him out later on. If you were a fellow villain then you would probably be annoyed at how she changes sides and all but for the heroes it works out quite nicely.

The only character that I can say was solid all the way around was Megaman Juno, the final boss of the adventure. An evil Megaman is always a very intriguing prospect. Whether it’s Copy X from the Zero games or Dark Megaman from EXE, they tend to be standout characters. This one is certainly ambitious as well and he does put the heroes through the wringer. I think he’s probably a really cool character in the games as well, I just got that vibe from him.

I appreciated the series ending with a serious climax against this guy. While it may not keep that tone for long, I’ll take what I can get. Ultimately I don’t think Megaman always has to be super serious but you can do humor in a fun way where it’s less of a gag type approach. Megaman EXE and classic certainly have a lot of humor to them and it works well, I’d say the only thing holding this one back is that the jokes often aren’t funny. It just goes too far overboard with the characters yelling and making all kinds of faces. That kind of thing just isn’t funny when you spam it.

The kind of humor you’d like to see is with the script. Some kind of really great line that you remember or a particularly solid burn that leaves you with a big grin on your face. Things like that are what would leave more of an impact. Or if you have to do this, have it be a lot of gags during the normal scenes but when the fights happen you go all in. That would have worked a lot better as well. If you haven’t played the game you will probably be wondering just a bit what the actual game’s plot is like since you figure it’s probably way different than what we got here.

Overall, Megaman Dash makes for an interesting read. It’s certainly unique and I do think a good amount of effort was put into it, the style and direction it went in just wasn’t the right one. If the idea of a sillier Megaman adventure sounds right up your alley then you should enjoy this one. If you want something more intense then I would redirect you to just about any of the other Megaman adventures. Whether it’s X, classic, or exe you will have a better time straight up. One positive for this one is that it is very short though so it’s not like it’s a big time investment. You can finish this one within 20 minutes easy so what’s the harm right? I’d also say while I had my share of negatives with it, I still wouldn’t call this one bad per say. It’s right in the middle for me where it’s not particularly good but it’s not like I had a tough time reading it either. There’s a certain gag manga I’m reading right now that is actually painful. Just wait until that series ends!

Overall 5/10

Shangri-La Frontier

This one’s a pretty interesting title with how it handles the video game worlds. Unlike Sword Art Online or .Hack where death means complete obliteration, this one is actually playing it out normally for now. You log in and have fun. It’s already got good action though and a less intense story could work out here. I’ll be interested in where it goes and it’s off to a fun start. I will have a review up as soon as I finish the series.

Overall 7/10

Fire Emblem Engage

Probably thought this was for the game for a minute there right? I’ll have a review up for that one soon too but in the meantime the manga has started and it’s off to a good beginning. I’ll have a review up once it finishes but the art is good and the story is on point so I see this being a smooth journey.

Overall 7/10

Aliens Area Review

I finally checked out Aliens Area which sure got cancelled awfully quick. It’s a shame because it did sound pretty fun from the premise although after reading through it I can see why it was cancelled. Ultimately it doesn’t deliver on the action you’d be expecting and while it’s not a bad thing to try and be different from the usual action experience, it didn’t feel like the series really knew what it wanted to do. You end up just being really confused by the end and wondering what the whole purpose was. The ending is rushed due to being cancelled of course so that part doesn’t really count but even before that it didn’t really have a focus.

The basic story starts with Tatsumi taking care of his siblings. His parents died a while back so he’s on his own but he’s done a pretty good job of raising them so far. Money is real tight though and then one day he is attacked by an alien. He manages to fend it off with his mysterious arm which worked out really well because otherwise he was definitely going to be in a true jam there. Somehow his arm was able to stretch as if he was Monkey D. Luffy. A guy named Hajime appears and explains that he is the leader of a group that looks into aliens. He wants Tatsumi to join and it pays well so his family will be looked after now. Tatsumi agrees to this but can he keep his new job a secret from the kids and is he really ready for this?

The core premise is solid enough. It’s sort of like Men in Black, this organization deals with aliens. Often times that is done through force but sometimes they will let the aliens know that they are breaking the law and that’s that. What makes things more complicated is that there is another group known as A3 and their mission is to simply destroy all aliens. They figure it will save more people in the long run and in some ways they think it’s more just as the main org will deal with aliens peacefully but they rarely help out on the follow-up. So often times if they provide housing for example, if the alien bombs out then he is exiled anyway. It seems like the manga was going to run with this as a fairly big subplot because Tatsumi had his share of issues with the organization. They do seem extremely shady. They aren’t straight up murdering everyone like A3 but it would be a stretch to fully call them heroes.

The series ended with 20 chapters so there wasn’t time for a whole lot of missions. After the first chapter we have Tatsumi accompany Hajime on a mission. This one had them protect an alien princess from the greatest assassin in the universe. I may as well add now that this is already a mistake. You can’t have the best in the universe appearing this early in the story unless he is going to win. The problem is that Hajime defeats him rather easily….so just like that the power creep has gone absolutely crazy. It does work well as an initial battle to teach Tatsumi the rules of how to fight and all. It’s just the context of knowing that they just defeated the greatest assassin in the universe that is a problem. You can’t convince me that this was a good idea, it just doesn’t make sense. The assassin loses all of his hype immediately.

Of course he returns later as an ally but by that point you still don’t think he’s nearly as strong as his reputation once was. It’s still a solid intro arc and shows Tatsumi more of what the aliens can be like and what their missions are but it wasn’t executed quite as well as it could have been. I do like Tatsumi’s arm since he seems like it would have a lot of uses in combat. He uses it here to block a blast that was aimed at the princess. This leads to my next issue though…he doesn’t get to fight. Aside from the punch he landed in chapter 1, he never gets another fight after that. 20 chapters should absolutely be enough for the main character to do something.

Instead he ends up feeling like a side character in his own manga. Maybe Hajime would have ended up becoming the main character but the way the manga presents him is as the mentor figure. Tatsumi even went through some training so they were gearing up to some fights and took too long. This is a pacing issue that you have to blame on the actual manga because there was no excuse not to have him fight earlier. Just throw in some minions for one of the bad guys and we’re set.

To an extent the series wanted to be subversive with how Tatsumi was always ready to fight but then sometimes it would be a peaceful thing like a parking ticket. I think that’s good for a few gags but it wouldn’t be enough to cover the series longterm. This one wasn’t built to be a slice of life adventure even if the author wanted to pull that off afterwards. You have to learn into the battles because that’s what everyone is looking for here. Having another group was already a good start and you could do a lot with the aliens but the series just wasn’t preparer to do that.

Right off the bat I think what the series should have done was skip to the next arc first. Basically the heroes head into a bar where a girl there knows about aliens which shouldn’t be possible since the heroes mind wipe everyone after a mission. Well, she has been taking care of aliens and so Hajime wants to remove her memories and take the aliens while Tatsumi isn’t a fan of this. As payment for staying free the lady gives them intel on the other group but ends up getting murdered by a high ranking member of A3, Yutaka. This leads to Tatsumi being upset but Hajime saying they can’t make a move due to their job descriptions. This would have been a good way to introduce the hero group from the start and have Tatsumi quit for a while or declare that he will change the group. Give us a good reason to root for him like that and then the whole series would get more emotional.

That doesn’t happen though and the problem here is that every arc gives us more and more reason to dislike Hajime and his group. The whole group just looks incredibly shady and unlikable so why would we root for them? It feels like Tatsumi has to work for them or they will erase his memory so it’s not like he wanted to be here either. The biggest red flag though is when Hajime introduces us to the heads of the group. These are the most powerful members in the whole organization and most of them have completely disposable designs. You know those random characters in any show who don’t stand out and you know they are background characters immediately? That’s the kind of design I’m talking about here and that’s crazy because these are supposed to be the top tier epic characters. It just didn’t make any sense at all. Maybe by then the author knew the series was over but it didn’t feel like a ton of effort was put in there.

Even when Hajime introduces Tatsumi to his squad, the characters don’t really stand out there either. They’re okay designs I guess but you won’t remember any of them. Despite that, the art is actually really good. This feels like a very experienced artist who knows how to draw a good action scene. It’s just the designs that need work but otherwise this one is solid all around on the art front. The fights are good which is what you are reading the series for, it’s just a shame that the rest wasn’t quite as solid. Then this could have had a really good future.

Ultimately Tatsumi is a good main character. He can be a bit too passive and follows orders without making enough complaints but he is new to the alien world so I’ll cut him some slack. Give him a little extra time and he should end up doing a lot better in the long term. His overall motivation of wanting to protect his family is a sound one and so I wasn’t bored when he was on screen. He should have held his own easily enough. Then you have Hajime who is good at what he does. In terms of personality I find him to be a little too shady to the point of being a villain. Some characters act tough but you know it’ a bluff. With this guy I didn’t get that impression. Instead he seemed really serious about what he was saying and that’s a bit concerning. This is definitely not the guy you want to have your back.

The way he uses the gravity powers was interesting. Basically the way the power set works in this world is that the humans have manipulated the alien tech in a way to simulate super powers. Each person can use 3 equipments at once and Hajime opted to use 3 gravity sets at the same time. This lets him attract objects, negate gravity, and jump around using that as a way to propel himself forward. The fighting style with this was fun and he uses a cane which is a rare weapon for any fighter. Just make him a little more heroic and we’re in business.

There is a whole group of people working with the heroes but most are totally forgettable so we don’t need to get into those. Yumeko is the only one with a fairly big role as she ends up being a tough mentor for Tatsumi. She believes in using power to get her message across and definitely beats Tatsumi up quite a bit. The guy can never catch a break when she is there but she is also quick to help him out when needed. She’s a fun character and I expect her role would have only grown bigger as she appeared more.

Finally you had the main villain Yutaka but he is a character who gets hurt big time by the series ending fast. Basically in the final arc he decides to randomly take down all the villains on his own and cause a giant explosion to wipe out a bunch of aliens. Naturally this would wipe himself out as well and more aliens would still exist so it’s like he’s finishing his goal halfway. They do give us a reason foe why he suddenly made such a drastic move and it was a sad plot twist that he learned about. It still doesn’t make this feel any less rushed though. The final arc is the big invasion as the heroes rush the villains but it doesn’t feel earned and we don’t know almost anyone yet so it’s hardly emotional either. In the end Yutaka goes out like a chump and just isn’t cool at all.

I had a lot of issues with the series so this one probably came across as rather harsh. It’s because this should have been a really good title but ended up fumbling the bag almost immediately. In a lot of ways I dare say it was trying to be like Kaiju No 8 but without a lot of the things that made the other title so successfully. If you see this one in stores if it gets a physical release then I would recommend checking it out. You’ll still be entertained without a doubt even if you do see the lost potential floating around throughout the adventure. There is just so much that they could have done with this series but ultimately didn’t.

Now if the series did want to go for less of an action angle while still being serious throughout, then the only option would be to be more of a horror/suspense title. You saw that octopus image from earlier? The series has its jump scares like that and part of the tension is that aliens can be anyone. Some wear human puppets so you can’t tell and they can jump you at any time. Having the main character infiltrate different establishments while looking for them could have been a good idea. It’s absolutely an angle that the series could go for but it is fairly incompatible with huge power levels so again I would say that you remove the whole best assassin in the universe getting immediately defeated in the pre arc aspect out as soon as possible.
Overall, Aliens Area should have focused more on the aliens and the combat. Ultimately this one didn’t last very long but at the very least the art is good and the action scenes are fun when we get them. The series also has some crazy horror visuals that come in from time to time so it is trying to do a whole lot but never finds its footing in the end. sometimes you have to go slow and just knock one thing out at a time. If they ever brought this manga back I’d still be interested in seeing it continue. It is good…it’s just not Very good.

Overall 6/10

Kid Icarus: Uprising The New Myth of Light – The Mirror of Pathena Review

That title’s definitely a bit of a mouth full. You probably don’t need to write all of that out since part of it is almost like the full title that usually doesn’t make it over but I wasn’t 100% sure either way so I figured I would just do it like this. It works well enough anyway and what’s more important either way is the actual manga. The story and art here are definitely on point. You’ll definitely have a good time with this one although as a oneshot that means it is really over as soon as it has begun since it’s only around 20 pages or so.

Basically Pit had defeated the forces of evil a long time ago but for some reason monsters have started popping up again. The only way to stop them is to take down the leader. Palutena believes that it may be a powerful dog like creature which has popped up. It looks like the Cerberus but only has two heads. Is Pit really going to be a match for this guy? Also, he seems strong but is this creature really the leader or is there more to this battle than meets the eye? The chapter mainly focuses on this battle and then ends with a solid cliffhanger to keep you going to buy the game. It’s definitely handled well and gets you excited.

The artwork is pretty solid here with some real action all around so it’s easy to read. Granted, the scanlated version uses that blue tint that seems to happen when you turn a color chapter back into black and white so it can be a bit more difficult than it should be but you could see that the art underneath that was very solid. This is a title that definitely goes all out with the pages that it has. Realistically though I suppose you won’t remember this one for too long before you have finished it. That’s just the way that these things go because it’s really short but I like to think that this hopefully convinced at least a few people to buy the game.

The lore around Kid Icarus was always fun. You’ve got a lot of monsters and gods fighting it out and it’s like Nintendo’s take on the old Hercules myths. With Nintendo’s seal of quality it’s also not surprising that it’s so good. They never really give you anything sub par and I wish they would do more serious manga. The Mario and Kirby gag titles are an exception to this. When they bring their A game then you have great titles like with the various Legend of Zelda ones. You could absolutely do a good Kid Icarus ongoing story as well. I’d say that they shouldn’t even feel like they have to follow the game and can just do their own thing. There is so much to explore with the world and so many characters to introduce. It would be a whole lot of fun.

Overall, there isn’t much more to say here because of how quick the manga is. You’ll be breezing through this one in no time and I’d say that’s just a good thing. The story is on point and it never drags on. The characters are likable so oneshot or not, it covered every base here. The fundamentals are sound and it’s why I can confidently say that this would have been an ongoing. The ultimate purpose of a oneshot is to draw you in. Whether it is to sell a video game or just to try and get an ongoing from the oneshot, it has to grab you quickly because there aren’t very many pages. I would say that the game definitely succeeds in that.

Overall 7/10