Monster Tamer Girls Review


It’s time to look at a very obscure manga. I’d definitely not heard of this one before and as it was only 2 volumes it’s definitely not one that you will likely see in stores much. It’s definitely an interesting take on the monster genre. It’s sort of a mix between Yotsuba and Go Go Monster. While I can’t say that this manga was all that interesting there was certainly nothing wrong with it either. It’s a good way to spend some time, but at the end of the day it’s a manga I would recommend reading for free at the library as opposed to buying it.

The manga takes place in a world where Kaiju are now commonplace. They are numerous and run around across the planet. Fortunately they are all basically mindless but the bad side of this is that they cause trouble without meaning to. As a result the world has started opening up schools for kids to train on how to tame these creatures. The Tamers will take the Kaiju to safe spaces where they can relax without disturbing people. That’s the way it’s always been and how it must remain in order to build a stable society. The manga follows the adventures of 2 girls who are tamers in training. They’ll soon learn that this job is easier than it looks.

There’s not really much of a plot once you get beyond the initial synopsis which I dare say is a problem. So many cool things you can do with a Kaiju defense force! Most of the manga is introducing you to the cast and then by that point the series is basically over. There are several main humans, but only one main Kaiju who is around for the whole adventure. His name is Blue and he’s a huge Kaiju who just wants a friend. The Monster tamers are fortunate to have him as he helps give them a boost when needed. He definitely makes travelling a lot more convenient for sure.

There are 4 main characters with 2 supporting ones thrown in there. One of these characters is Koto. She is a professional but doesn’t care much for the monsters. She thinks they’re all mindless and the job seems to bore her, but by the end she learns that the monsters have a little heart at least. Then there is Sora who is the co-main character along with Ion. Sora likes messing around and hitting people with the water horse while Ion is just focused on being the best tamer she can be. Tsukiko is the quiet one who doesn’t like to admit that she likes the Kaiju. She has a reputation to uphold after all and she’s always been proud of it. Still, pride comes before a fall and eventually she learns to play nice with the monsters.

None of the characters are bad, however there isn’t much to any of them. They’re all just going through the motions and enjoying their daily adventures, but nothing really comes of this. They get some basic character development like Tsukiko learning to be more open, but that’s about it. There’s really no time for anything else. Length isn’t an issue as you can have a great series in 2 volumes, but I think this is one title that could have used a bit more time. As it stands it is over before you can properly identify with any of the characters and that’s a bit of a problem.

The art is pretty solid, but the problem that the artist has is how similar all of the characters look. It’s easy to mix up Sora and Ion as well as Koto and another one of the characters. Some characters share the same hairstyles and others share the same personalities. Their ages are all pretty close as well so after a while you’ll just find yourself mixing them up. I had to dig up one of the volumes just to remind myself of their names.

I think one thing that could have added some more interesting elements to the story would have been to have some actual monster action in the series. I don’t think that would be unreasonable as surely some of the monsters would try attacking the planet right? The series hints at this and develops a world that should have many interesting elements, but we are stuck at the school with the nice monsters the whole time. You’ll very quickly find yourself wishing to see the outside world. The closest thing we get to these discussions is one kick from Blue to another Kaiju, a flashback where there’s some kind of battle going on and a Kaiju saves someone from a burning window, and a ghost. Beyond that the series is mainly just the kids learning how to feed animals and have fun.

Overall, Monster Tamer Girls isn’t exactly for me. I dare say that Yotsuba has a little more depth and excitement contained within. You really need some sort of gimmick to take the manga to the next level. A slice of life series can live on for quite some time with a good character cast, but you need them to have real personalities. You don’t really get that vibe from this series and even the monster designs aren’t all that great. This doesn’t leave you with a whole lot of options and as a result I’ve got to give this one a middle grade. I wouldn’t say to stick away from it, but I would hardly recommend it either. It’s a manga where you’ll finish it and not have much of an opinion on it. The series isn’t hurting anyone, but you could always find something else to read.

Overall 5/10

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Cardfight Vanguard Review


It’s time to look at the manga adaption of one of the greatest anime of all time. This one takes a lot of liberties though and diverges early on. This is a great decision if you ask me. It’s an interesting debate on if the following media should adapt the original. I do think that when the manga comes out first the anime should adapt it pretty straight, but if it’s vice versa then I prefer for the manga to do its own thing rather than try to copy the anime. Not sure why, but when the manga tries to copy the anime it usually just doesn’t feel as real or the artwork can’t really capture the animation in the powerful moments. When it does its own thing then it really begins to excel. In fact, the manga was so good that the anime did a reboot that followed the manga so that tells me even the company saw how good this new storyline was. Nothing will beat the original anime version of the arc, but I really did like the manga’s take on it.

The general plot revolves around a kid named Aichi Sendou. He used to get bullied a lot when he was a kid, but things began to look up for him when a kid known as Kai showed up and introduced him to the world of Cardfight Vanguard. We then skip ahead a few years and Aichi is ready to begin playing in earnest. This soon gets him new friends and rivals, one of which is Kai although the kid has gotten a lot more stern over the years. He no longer loves the game as he once did. Aichi will have to show him how much fun the game can be again. Also, a villainous organization known as the Foo Fighters have shown up and they are forcing everyone to play the game in a painful way. Their methods threaten to wipe Cardfight off the map so Aichi will have to stop them as well, but in doing so he may unlock a dark power.

That’s arc 1 and there are really only two arcs in this series. Lets talk about this one and the characters before going on to the second arc. It’s definitely pretty similar to the anime version here. With the Foo Fighters taking over various schools we are quickly introduced to the VF Gloves which allow you to feel damage in the duels. It’s a quick way to raise the stakes and it works well. It’s also a good introductory arc for expanding the cast since most of the main villains here would end up becoming supporting characters in the second arc. It’s not quite as large scale and exciting as the second arc, but it’s a great way to get the ball rolling.

The main villain is Ren and he’s one of those aloof leaders. He doesn’t even care much for the organization’s methods and just lets Tetsu do whatever he wants. Ren just wants a challenging card fight, but the problem is that he has become too good at the game. He has the ability of Psyqualia which allows him to know the ending of a match as soon as it begins. He can also talk to his deck and basically control the whole flow of the game. No wonder it became boring right? He’s a fun character although I’d definitely say that he’s more enjoyable as a rival than as the villain. Both versions work pretty well, but with his very laid back demeanor he just never really felt like a big villain.

In comparison it is the opposite with Tetsu. He feels like a villain through and through so even by arc 2 it’s hard to trust the guy. You could try to say that he’s just a super curious fellow, but I don’t think that really excuses him shocking everyone constantly with the gloves. He’s a good villain, but I can’t say that I ever got around to liking the character. The final member of the big 3 is Asaka. She is only in the group to support Ren and her strong bond has helped her elevate her Cardfight skills. Asaka has quite a few big duels in the series and her biggest one is likely in arc 2 where she is forced to fight Ren. It’s definitely a pretty emotional duel since neither one of them really wants to take down the other.

There are other members of the villains of course, but I’d say that the only other important one is Kyo. He also gets a pretty big role in the series. He acts as one of Aichi’s friends for the most part and the main character seems to believe him the whole time. Even once Kyo shows his true colors nobody takes him seriously enough to actually get upset. In a way you could say that this is the ultimate disrespect. As for the heroes, there are quite a few of them of course.

For the main group we should start off with Aichi. He’s basically the same as his anime version. He starts off as a pretty timid kid, but gradually he becomes more confident as the series goes on. By arc 2 he is still quiet, but in a more confident way and he isn’t afraid to speak his mind. He’s definitely an expert by then as he even managed to win the big national tournament. Aichi definitely looks very good here. Kai also has a great role even if he isn’t quite as overpowered as he was in the show. By arc 2 he has been surpassed by quite a few characters and just seems very relaxed. He may have found his happiness again, but it seems to have come at the expense of his hype.

Kamui’s a pretty good ally as well although he only gets a small handful of duels here. His main role in the show is to offer Aichi vocal support. Then you have Misaki who takes the leadership role in arc 2. Even in arc 1 she is usually the first line of defense against the villains. while her abilities aren’t quite on the upper echelon as Aichi and friends she is always able to put up a really good fight. She does have some solid wins under her belt as well. Leon and the Gundam kid get to show up as well in what I’d say are basically guest star appearances. It’s nice to see them even if they don’t do much.

This next saga starts off with Aichi heading off to a new school. I believe it’s high school. This school doesn’t have a Cardfight club and even worse, most people there don’t seem to have even heard of the game which is completely uncanny. Aichi decides to start the club and while it takes a little while to find members he eventually gets a full squad with the additions of Shingo, Kourin, Misaki, and red hair. They don’t have a lot of time to relax though as it turns out that a mysterious being known as Takuto shows up and has decided to conquer Earth and the world of Cray. The 3 idol singers are his captive minions and anyone they defeat in a duel turns into a Psyqualia zombie. Slowly they are conquering the city and Aichi may even need to take down his friends along the way. A wild card is a man named Ibuki who is going around erasing Cardfighters. If you lose to him you lose all of your feelings and memories of Cardfight. You simply don’t want to play anymore.

This arc is definitely what transforms the series from being great into being amazing. I always loved this arc’s plot with everyone turning into zombies because it really raises the stakes of losing a duel. Additionally, since having Psyqualia instantly makes you a better cardfighter it is also a good way to make the old characters relevant again. The series gets to turn a lot of people in a pretty short amount of time. It also does a good job of introducing Naoki and the other characters very quickly. Throw in Ibuki’s role and the arc has everything.

Speaking of Ibuki, he’s actually the best character in the series. This is also impressive since I wasn’t his biggest fan in the original show. This one handled him a lot better as he is introduced as a big threat and has a solid origin story. Even by the end he is definitely one of the strongest Cardfighters around and he makes his presence felt. It’s rare to get a true wild card character who deals damage to the heroes and villains, but he does this perfectly.

From the 3 members of Ultra Rare Kourin definitely gets the biggest role and is certainly more likable than the other two. The other two are basically just your average villains while Kourin gets a lot more depth. While her original goal may have been to spy on the gang she quickly became a valued teammate. Things don’t go too well for her here, but she made the hero call when it counted. Meanwhile Takuto is the ringleader here of course and he goes through a few changes. Either way I consider him to be a villain though so whether or not he is the conductor it doesn’t really change things. He makes for a fun villain, but he isn’t quite as intimidating as Ren or Ibuki.

For the new heroes, I’m still not a fan of Shingo. He never becomes much of a duelist and could be written out of the manga without changing anything. Naoki is a great addition though. He immediately jumps up to being one of the best heroes here and his skills are definitely the real deal. It’s always good to have a more aggressive character like him in the works to spice up the main cast. He gives the group a whole lot of energy that they didn’t have before his arrival.

The art here is definitely quite solid so you don’t have to worry about it feeling second rate or more like a tie-in level quality. The artists here definitely put in the work and the duels feel very intense. It’s quality throughout and we even get some fight scenes during the cardfights. Of course they’re playing with cards but since it’s so imagination based they are able to take some liberties and throw in some action scenes from time to time which is always appreciated.

Cardfight managed to get a little over 10 volumes in so that’s definitely time for a lot of quality Cardfights. Both arcs were excellent and this is definitely a title where you will walk away satisfied. I’d actually say that it beat all of the Yugioh spinoffs except for possibly Zexal and R. As I mentioned earlier this is definitely a fresh take on Cardfight so whether you’ve seen the original show or not you can definitely check this one out and get right into the thick of the action. Who doesn’t like a good card fight right? The only unfortunate part is that the series couldn’t keep on going longer. That definitely would have been great.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how good this manga was. Don’t get me wrong, it was always going to be pretty solid and a 7 at the worst to be honest since I really enjoy these card fighting titles. That being said, it went above and beyond my expectations and turned into a super memorable experience. It sets a pretty high bar for future card game titles to try and beat and definitely did live up to the original anime version. It was concise, but still long enough where we got a lot of action. You’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t check this one out.

Overall 9/10

Yugioh Arc V Review


Yugioh Arc V certainly lasted a while but every Yugioh series must end at some point and 7 volumes is a go to number for the franchise. As with the other Yugioh titles this one opted to go for a completely original plot which is always a good idea since you don’t need to experience the same story twice. That being said, It wasn’t quite as engaging as the other spinoffs and from the manga sequels it is probably the weakest. I think it will probably make for a stronger read in volume format but monthly it could feel a little scattershot and rushed at times. As always you can look forward to having nonstop duels though.

Yuya is the main character and he has the spirits of 3 other people inside of him. Like Yugi he can body switch with them at any given point and they help a lot with the duels. Yuya is trying to stop a bunch of time travelers and enemy groups from using the G.O.D. card to wipe out humanity. He then runs into the main heroine Zuzu. She is determined to be his agent so she can make a lot of money. Certainly not the most noble of goals but at least she is trying for an honest living and not exploiting his skills. Can Yuya save the day or will this turn of events prove to be a distraction?

As with most Yugioh titles Arc V starts off rather low key with the stakes and by the end the lead is engaged in cosmic duels. It’s always fun to look at the progression there. I may be getting ahead of myself with the skipping here but the climax is excellent. We get a battle between two G.O.D. cards. Naturally both of them are comically OP with how their special abilities are basically all powerful. Landing a crazy infinite combo is basically all you can do to stop him. All of reality is at stake here since if Yuya loses then it’ll be like nothing ever happened the way he remembered it. Making an alternate reality is always an interesting idea but as the hero will always point out, it’ll always be “alternate” and not the real deal.

The art is pretty solid. It can get a little chaotic at times but not to the point where it would hurt your enjoyment or cause you to get confused. The action is captured pretty well by all of this. The character models are on point as well which is always important. There isn’t much to say about the writing as it is quite good. The name changes from the show can take a little getting used to, as with the characters’ new personalities. There isn’t a lot of time for most supporting characters. They show up for a duel and that’s about it. Technically I suppose that’s probably the case for most of these spinoffs. You only have so much time for duels after all.

The big villain of the series is Eve and she makes for a great final boss. It seems to be a bit of a trend with the final villain being a cosmic lady but I guess having it happen twice in a row may not be enough for a trend. Regardless she has a cool design and a great ace monster in G.O.D. The manga titles have always been on point with the original villains and she is no exception. Her right hand man was also pretty good. He definitely never felt like a big time threat the way that she was though. He was just there to stall the heroes a bit and was successful at his mission.

I do have to question the Adam guy though. He feels like a total villain even though I think the manga was a little ambiguous on that part. He basically goads Decklan into fighting Yuya one last time in the end. The thought was barely in his mind before that happened. I do think that Yuya deciding to destroy the god power right away may have been a little hasty but with how often power corrupts it was likely the right move. Likely the right move…but I was a little more on Declan’s side in the end. He wasn’t going to use the illusion but was hoping he could learn something from the power. It’s something that is worth doing. Imagine the technological innovations such a power could produce. It could be magnificent.

Meanwhile, Declan was pretty good here. I think he was more likable here than in the anime. Technically his character isn’t all that different, but maybe having him be the big final boss here made him feel more like a threat. His plans also seemed more well thought out here as opposed to the anime where it felt like he was on the losing side for a good part of the mental battle between him and the Professor. It goes without saying that Yuya’s dad is better here than in the anime because Yusho was terrible there. He’s one of the few characters where the anime probably dropped the ball a bit.

Meanwhile Yuya is definitely a solid protagonist. He has a goal right from the start and stays on the course til the end. He’s a little more serious than his anime counterpart and I dare say that he’s a better duelist at least in the start. That being said, he doesn’t have all the cool rage moments that his anime version had so he loses out there. The manga made the interesting decision to have him share a body with his other universe selfs and dropped the whole universe thing entirely. This was the part I wasn’t a huge fan of, but the whole plot is built around it so for better or worse it was here to stay. It’s interesting having Yuri act as a hero here. All of the personalities were pretty solid, but I’d say that Yugo takes the win here. He was definitely ready to take charge and made the hard calls.

I think Shay and Sora got the shortest end of the stick from all the characters. Shay is nowhere near the calm and collected guy he once was. He’s basically just a crazed lackey here. Sora isn’t much better. He’s at least a bit of a spy and still has skills, but after getting wrecked that’s basically it for him. Silvio’s pretty much the same. I think even if I hadn’t seen the show first I would have had a hard time liking Shay here. Suffice it to say the supporting character roster wasn’t amazing. Zuzu’s pretty decent though. Her decision to become Yuya’s manager is a pretty smart one since that’ll put her in a position to get fame and glory once he saves the multiverse. As for it actually turning out that way…well I wouldn’t get my hopes too high.

As far as the Yugioh spinoffs go Here are my current rankings. The best one is still Zexal then GX then 5Ds then this one. I think the VRains one has a good chance of beating Arc V as well. Again, this is still a great manga but it just wasn’t quite as much fun as the others. The other Yugioh titles simply set the bar a little too high I think. In particular it’s tough for Arc V since it was following Zexal which had an intense climax and around 3 different rivals. Against that, Arc V didn’t even really have a true rival character. Declan was more of an enemy than one after all.

On a more positive note, the manga did fix most of what I didn’t like about action duels in the anime. In the anime it all felt luck based as cards would just happen to be around to save the day. In the manga you know exactly how many cards are on the field from the start and you can only use 1 per turn. This prevents crazy strategies like in the anime where one guy picked up like 6-8 cards in a row and kept on using them. We also get a good amount of normal duels and even one turbo duel to keep it varied. At the end of the day this is still a Yugioh manga so you can expect a lot of amazing duels. Card duels are why I love the franchise so much in the first place and so long as the writing is solid (Which it was) then the manga is destined to be quite excellent!

The ending of the series may come across as a bit rushed. This is mainly due to the fact that the final events come out of nowhere and the ending isn’t really all that satisfying. It’s certainly nowhere near one of the worst endings though. Some aspects of it are pretty hype like the lead-up to a fight that likely won’t ever occur. The timelines possibly being rearranged and people not remembering the characters can be more annoying though. We won’t know any of this per say since the series ends so abruptly, but there’s a chance that things really didn’t go well for some of the heroes here.


Overall, Arc V is definitely another great Yugioh title to add to the collection. It delivers with a lot of great duels and maintains a pretty epic feel throughout. It reminds you why the Yugioh franchise is just so much fun. Arc V is a complete manga containing pretty much every positive element that you would want to see in such a title.. You’ll be sad to see it go and hopefully the next Yugioh manga starts up soon. I would highly recommend checking this manga out and if you buy the new copies you can even get a rare card. Now that’s a steal!

Overall 8/10

Mutant Turtles 3 Review


It’s time to take a quick look at another TMNT manga adventure. This one is a bit longer than the first title although it looks like all of the chapters were still compiled into one volume. This one is certainly not quite as impressive as the first manga though. It’s definitely got a much stronger comedy base and additionally the art isn’t as good. It’s a reasonable adventure of course, but there isn’t much replay value and it won’t leave much of an impression on you either.

The basic plot is that the turtles are relaxing at home when April storms in. She has found another trinket to give to the turtles even though they are tired of getting this stuff. Unfortunately this new item is a magical scepter and it transports her and the turtles far into ancient history. The turtles must now find the scepter and rescue April so they can return home. It’ll be difficult though as Nobunaga rules the country with an iron fist and there are villains at every turn. Still, the turtles have trained for this so they are ready to leap into action!

Being a comedy isn’t a bad thing per say especially as the turtles are known for this. At the same time, it’s just hard to go into this title after the first one because it is a definite downgrade. The turtles no longer strike fear into the hearts of their opponents. They’re just here to have a good time. The artwork even makes them seem a whole lot younger. That’s more style than anything else, but it’s still not that good. This artwork doesn’t work for fights or anything like that. It feels like the equivalent of a movie tie-in game. There just isn’t quite as much effort put in here as you would see in the average manga. It’s not as if you’d expect a lot for this title though.

One gag that was pretty reasonable is when Leonardo seemingly destroys Nobunaga. It definitely seemed too violent to be real and naturally there is a plot twist to it. It definitely made you rethink a lot of the earlier scenes featuring the legendary Nobunaga. Beyond that I can’t say that any of the gags particularly worked. This style of humor just doesn’t really cut it for me. In general I think it works better once the characters have been established a bit more. With these turtles they try too hard to be funny right from the start.

That is what dooms many comedy titles. When you’re a series with more than one genre you can usually throw comedy in while having some kind of story structure. If you’re just a comedy then you’re probably in trouble. You could make the case that this is a comedy/adventure so it does hit the two genres, but it’s clear that comedy is the most important genre for this one. Art also plays a huge factor in all manga titles, but it is especially key for comedy titles since a lot of gags tend to be visual as well. This one couldn’t get a laugh out of you for anything!

I suppose that having such a different setting is a reasonable gamble on the franchise’s part to spice things up. It’s just one of the worst locales they could have picked though. It would have been immensely more satisfying to see the turtles hang out in the city and fight the Shredder. The classic enemies are where it’s at, especially compared to fighting old guys from history who actually do exist. I would say that the manga should have showed off what was happening in the human world a little bit more, but at the same time the scenes we do get there are pretty painful so maybe this is actually for the best.

Nobunaga is a reasonable villain even if he is a bit generic. I’m not sure what the manga was going for in the end with how his character acts though. Was his fighting spirit completely broken or was he never all that brave to begin with? He’s basically begging for his life at the end and has no dignity left. Then we have a secret final boss of sorts as another villain decides to make his move, but he’s even less intimidating than Nobunaga. There’s definitely no reason why the turtles should bother worrying about him.

Overall, Mutant Turtles 3 is definitely a turtles manga that you’ll only want to check out if you are a really hardcore TMNT fan. There really isn’t any other reason to read it and you may as well just watch the movie if you’re curious about the plot. There are some decent ideas here like the mecha turtle and I also did enjoy Nobunaga’s top two lieutenants who were actually pretty tough. It just isn’t nearly as interesting and creative as it could have been because the art isn’t very good and the writing is definitely sub par. That’s a bad combination if I’ve ever seen one. I still wouldn’t call the manga bad, but it’s just not very interesting.

Overall 5/10

Fairy Tail Blue Mistral Review


It’s time to finally check out one of the only good Fairy Tail spinoffs. Blue Mistral follows Wendy around on some adventures. As this manga is aimed more at her fans and she is just a kid it manages to stay away from most of the negatives that plague the franchise. It’s not amazing or anything as it naturally lacks the fights as well, but I’d say that it is a pretty solid series overall. It’s short and to the point.

The series is a bit episodic. There are 4 volumes and typically each adventure lasts for one volume. I’d say that there are maybe 5 main stories tops. I guess this approach works fairly well for spinoffs and as each story is pretty long it feels more like an ongoing story than an anthology. One thing you’ll notice right away is how nerfed Wendy is though. She is one of the Fairy Tail members so in theory she could end the whole island in an instant, but usually the villains still end up spooking her. I suppose she doesn’t want to hurt them though.

In one story Wendy arrives in a village where a girl believes that she is an angel. The reason for this is that there was a prophecy/spell that said a angel would soon be arriving and since Wendy arrived with wings (Her partner Carla flies her around which to the untrained eye looks like a pair of wings) the connection was made. Wendy decides to humor her since the girl’s had a rough past, but this town could be tougher than it looks. It seems like Wendy may need the help of Natsu and the other members of Fairy Tail to make it out of here alive.

The series does try to not use the other members as a crutch and succeeds at it. Natsu only steps in during one story so that’s pretty impressive. Naturally having them around would be pretty cool and would certainly add to the epic tone of the series, but it would probably defeat the point. It’s time for Wendy to prove that she can handle her own series and the quality of this title proves that she is ready.

In another story Wendy and Carla find themselves in a haunted house. This house has a ghost living in it and now the heroes are unable to live. They find out that this is actually a more tragic case than what it seemed like initially though. For starters, there is a witch in the town who turned this guy into his ghost like state and then all of his friends were turned into trees. Fairy Tail does like going for the emotional spins for moments like these so there are a bunch of twists and turns. The story isn’t quite as emotional as the other one, but I suppose it works well enough.

So you’ve got a general gist of how the stories play out. Typically they involve a friendship problem and then Wendy is able to save the day with her wind abilities. The fights are typically quick and Wendy sometimes needs help, but if you’re worried about there being no action then worry no more. The series does make sure to shake things up. The stories are all pretty interesting and as long as you treat this title as more of a slice of life than an adventure you’ll be fine.

I can’t say that I was too thrilled with the artwork though. It’s considerably weaker than the other Fairy Tail titles. It’s just ever so slightly harder to read when compared with the rest and that can slightly take away from the title. Still, it’s not bad art and isn’t enough to really take away your enjoyment of the title. At 4 volumes it’s also not as if the artist could immediately start drawing a lot better compared to the beginning.

There isn’t really anything negative here which is good. At the most, like I said I think Wendy was a little too nerfed for drama. She should really have been clobbering these guys. Otherwise, the only way you’re liable to be disappointed here is if you expected a big action series. It’s just not that type of title. As far as the Fairy Tail titles go it definitely beats Fairy Tail, The 100 Years sequel, S, and Fairy Girls. I’d probably put it under Ice Trails and Zero though. In terms of story this one’s a little lower though as the plot aspect isn’t quite as interesting as it could have been. Of course then the manga would have had to try and juggle between being very interesting and not suddenly becoming an end of the world plot. Of course that would be hype, but then you’d be worried about the other issues in case Natsu and the gang showed up.

Naturally the characters are always changing, but Wendy and Carla are always around. Carla’s a pretty decent sidekick. She’s a lot better than Happy and always does her best in trying to look out for Wendy. She’s a sidekick that you can count on. Meanwhile Wendy is a good protagonist. She may not be the smartest character out there and tends to not keep her guard up, but at the end of the day she means well. She wants to finally be able to contribute more to the group and so setting off on her own is a good way to get that experience.


Overall, This was actually a pretty fun spinoff. It’s definitely always interesting to see characters you know drawn in a totally different style. It’s a pleasant read and one that would have worked well as a spinoff or as a completely original manga. If you need to read some kind of Fairy Tail manga so you can say you’ve joined the fandom without having to check out the main manga I would certainly say that this is a good one to read. You don’t need prior knowledge of Fairy Tail to immediately get involved with the plot. Plus, Wendy does add some plot details when the series first starts which will bring you up to speed.

Overall 7/10

Mutant Turtles Gaiden Review


It’s time to look at a quick TMNT one shot that came out a while back. Unlike the last two titles I read this one is a full volume so there’s more of a story to tell. Each of the 4 stories are fairly stand alone but there is continuity here. It’s a fun enough TMNT story and one that fans should enjoy as it’ll definitely remind you of the 80s cartoon. The turtles are ready to fight, but they’re really just interested in the pizza. Meanwhile Shredder is up to his usual schemes.

The first story gives us the quick introduction of the turtles. April managed to find out about the Foot Clan, but naturally this means she is on Shredder’s hit list now. The Turtles save her from being kidnapped, but the Shredder hasn’t given up yet. At this point in the game the turtles are pretty confident about their skills and I suppose they should be since they handle the underlings with absolute ease. The Shredder still appears to be above them though.

The second story has the Turtles framed as a new group of turtles appear and are stealing gems. It turns out that Shredder built 4 turtles of his own that have copied the skills of the real turtles. This made them into perfectly deadly copies who seem to be stronger than the main ones. Fortunately Splinter shows up with a pep talk to whip the turtles into shape so they start to make a comeback. It’s definitely clear why Splinter is the leader of this group. Without him the turtles would be doomed.

Next up is probably the story with the highest stakes. Shredder is finally ready to unleash his doomsday weapon on the world. It turns out that this is in the form of a giant robot. The Turtles almost immediately give up once they see it so it’s lucky that Splinter was in the neighborhood. While the actual robot’s design may not have been amazing, it was nice to see Shredder come to close to world domination.

The final story is probably the oddest one of the bunch. That’s because it’s a total comedy while the others tried to be serious. It also decides to have Japan be a stereotype as everyone has buckteeth. It’s certainly out of left field and I don’t know what the author was going for here. Then we find out that Shredder’s big plan it to use the Muramasa sword to turn April evil, but by mistake he gives it to her best friend who decides to beat Shredder up. If you ever wanted to see him running for his life while asking for mercy this is the one for you.

So, that’s the TMNT collection. The art is pretty sound throughout so that’s good. It’s a pretty pleasant read as a result and it’s easy to go through the chapters. As far as the writing is concerned, I suppose it’s good. Ignoring the final story which was a full comedy, the others did a good job of capturing the 80’s turtle vibe. The action scenes are fun when they happen even if they tend to be short. Shredder and the Foot always have a presence here.

If anything, fans of the turtles may just not like how quick they are here to give up. Also, the turtles don’t really have much of their respective personalities as they all tend to act the same. Mikey’s probably still the turtle who is the most into pizza and stuff, but we don’t see Raph being rebellious or Leonardo doing anything particularly as a leader. He’s just along for the ride like everyone else. Meanwhile the villains are all pretty generic to bad. I guess the only solid one would be Shredder’s boss and the volume ended before he could actually appear. If only the series could have kept on going.

A risk of the anthology format is always that you’ll run into some weak stories in the mix. Fortunately TMNT manages to avoid that. While the final story is the weakest, it’d not like it impacted the score or anything. I still think having a full ongoing adventure is always your best bet, but when the title succeeds I suppose I can’t have any real complaints. Each story was fun and had a fight scene. At the end of the day you can’t ask for much more than that.

Overall, there may not be a whole lot of memorable moments here that you’ll look back to down the line, but it’s still a fun volume that I’d recommend checking out. I still have two more TMNT titles to check out so we’ll see how those do. I expect they should be pretty good. With the exception of the Michael Bay movies, TMNT is typically a consistent franchise. The best version of it was back in the 2003 show, but the rest are still pretty fun. As long as you are ready for this then there should be no problems.

Overall 7/10

Klonoa: The Adventure Begins Review


It’s time to look at another quick video game manga adaption. This one takes a look at the very beginning of one of the games. There are two chapters and when combined they become about as long as the average weekly chapter. It’s another nice preview to a game and really shows you what to expect with Klonoa. The art is good enough where you start to wish that this had been a long running series. Fortunately there is another Klonoa title for that, hopefully it is as solid as this one.

The basic plot is that Klonoa is having a good ole time when danger strikes and he goes in to investigate. It turns out that a master villain has shown up and is bent on taking over the world. Klonoa must now stop this guy and show the world why he is a hero. Klonoa isn’t the strongest guy on the block and does get nervous quite a few times in this short manga, but the important thing is that he never gives up. He slowly realizes the gameplay mechanics at play here and then as the series ends he is ready for more action.

Klonoa is the kind of lead who can really hold his own adventure. He’s just a fun guy and the art is also on point so he looks like a classic main character. You kind of get a Beyblade or Pokemon Adventures type feel from the artwork. The battle scenes are solid and everything feels like it is taken right from the game. Certainly a good manga adaption to check out if you really want to know what to expect in the game. The minions/suction gameplay gimmicks were definitely pretty enjoyable in the games so it’s nice to see them here. I also like the design of the main villain. He’s the kind of antagonist who lets you know that there will be real stakes here.

Overall, Klonoa is a fun one to check out. It’s only about 15-16 pages so you’ll blast through it. I’d also recommend the video game while you’re at it. It’s a solid platforming series with a good plot to accompany the gameplay. It’s just a solid all around package and I can say the same for the manga. It’s always nice to have a bit of supplementary content so the fact that this was released at all is pretty neat. Of course there isn’t much else to say about it. You could probably read the title in the time it takes to read this review. Just know that Klonoa is the kind of hero that you want in your corner.

Overall 7/10

Mario’s Picross Review


It’s time to take a look at a short tie-in Mario manga that accompanied the Picross guidebooks. This one’s super obscure but to the best of my knowledge the 3 chapters that have been uploaded online conclude the mini stories. Combined the 3 chapters are shorter than the average monthly chapter so that makes for a quick review. It’s a fun little collection of Mario stories and they do get you properly hyped for the actual Picross challenges.

The first story is a classic adventure as Mario, Luigi, and Peach travel through some ruins and free Yoshi from his cage. It’s a pretty fun journey and shows that Mario has an adventurous side to him. The other two stories feature Wario. In one of them he kidnaps Peach so Mario and Luigi have to try and save her. In the final story he turns Mario back into his 2D form so our hero has to harness the powers of the N64 to turn 3D again and foil Wario’s dastardly plot.

I enjoyed the art for these stories. They’re pretty well detailed and colorful. The pictures really pop out at you right away and help enhance the overall experience. Of course by the same token it means that you’ll be blasting through each of the stories very quickly since they’re so easy to read. There isn’t a lot of dialogue on any of the pages which helps even more. The writing is on point here and Mario is suitably heroic. You’ll feel bad for Luigi here since naturally things don’t really go his way. Of course, Peach and Yoshi both got captured at different points so really Mario is the only one who was always coming out on top. Surprisingly Bowser didn’t make an appearance. I guess he’s not really into puzzles.

Wario was a fun pick for the villain spot. His plan to use 3D against 2D was actually pretty brilliant. It’s safe to say that it was my favorite story of the 3. Still, all of the stories were fun and at the end of the day that’s part of what has made the Mairo series to good over the years. It provides you with consistent entertainment through thick and thin. You really couldn’t ask for much more out of a short one shot manga like this one.

Overall, Mario’s Picross is pretty fun. You’ll have the whole series read in about 5 minutes or less so it’s a short experience though. It does remind you that there is a lot of potential in the Mario series as a whole. Honestly it’s still surprising that Super Mario Kun has not been licensed yet. While there may not be a big overlap in manga readers who are big Mario fans, I can’t help but think that there would be enough to still make this sell well. Maybe I’m over calculating this one. Regardless if you’re a Mario fan then I recommend checking this one out. It’s not every day that you can get to see Mario explore a cavern right? Just watch out for Yoshi’s facial expression when it shows up, it’s probably one of the scariest visuals in all of Mario!

Overall 6/10

Fairy Tail S Review


It’s time to look at another Fairy Tail spinoff. Naturally when you’re dealing with this franchise you always want to keep it at arm’s length. The main series was utterly terrible. It’s a shame because it had great art and solid fight scenes, but the fanservice was absolutely through the roof. The spinoffs have ranged from awful (Fairy Girls) to decently good. (Wendy’s series, Gray, Zero) So there was at least a little hope for this one. Unfortunately it did not meet expectations and ends up being very bad. it’s pretty similar to Fairy Girls actually.

First warning bell here is that there’s no plot. The two volumes are a compilation of short stories. That wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing in itself (Although it typically is) but none of the stories are combat related. They’re pretty much just all here for fanservice. Yes, Fairy Tail S takes away the plot and fights of the main series and just focuses on the comedy and fanservice. You can see how this would be a problem. Pretty much every story is guaranteed to have at least one moment with someone’s clothes being torn or a trip to the hot springs. The series never manages to stay classy during its run. Considering that there are only 2 volumes the series does its best to keep on bringing itself down. It’s not even being subtle here. Fairy Tail S just does its best to be absolutely terrible.

Lets get the one positive out of the way first. The art here is still pretty good. The character designs are all on point and there is a lot of detail to the art. When a punch or attack is thrown it’s always easy to see. Some titles have trouble with action scenes as they clutter up the screen but that isn’t the case with Fairy Tail S. So, the series did at least manage to get that part right, but it’s really not even a consolation victory at this point. S was already doomed long before this even came into effect.

Fairy Tail S thinks it is a lot funnier than it actually is. When the gags all revolve around fanservice or putting the heroines in embarrassing positions it’s pretty hard to actually accept it. Even though the series is only two volumes it will feel like a whole lot longer by the end of it. That also means there isn’t a whole lot to talk about with this title because there’s nothing left. I can’t really discuss the characters since it’s not like there’s a plot for them to partake in and with no plot I can’t talk about the story either. I already talked about the art and the series main issue so what else is left? At this point all I can do is warn you to stay away.

I guess one story that’s worth mentioning is the crossover one. We see Natsu meet up with the main character of an older series by the author. Naturally the Fairy Tail characters look pretty bad here. Not only is one of them committing crimes, but Natsu is completely reasonable. Even after the other lead warns him to back off Natsu keeps on threatening the guy’s friend. Naturally the real main character is the original one and Natsu’s no hero. I was definitely rooting for Natsu to lose although he probably would have won had the fight kept going. I’m always up for crossovers so it was nice to see the other cast (even if I haven’t read the series they’re from yet) but even here the author couldn’t help but make part of the dialogue fan service based. The author just can’t help himself.

Overall, Fairy Tail S is definitely a failed experiment here. Short stories belong at the end of a volume in the main series. There’s no real reason to just compile them into a spinoff series although I guess it does earn more $ this way. If there were good stories here then that would be one thing, but as it is these feel like stories that just couldn’t make it into the main title and so they were shoved aside. They just lack a certain level of quality. It’s quite telling that the spinoffs which distance themselves from the main series as much as they can tend to be quite a bit better. Still, I think Fairy Tail as a franchise is likely just doomed and I don’t think that will change.

Overall 1/10

The Promised Neverland


Well, this series has been getting quite a lot of hype lately so it’s nice to finally start it. It’s definitely got a pretty unique premise so that’s good. I’m wondering how this plot can be stretched out for very long though and I’m hoping for a big time skip. Still, a solid start and I’ll review the series once it’s over.

Overall 6/10