What I Recently Read — Mini Manga Reviews

Title: Alice in the Country of Hearts: The Clockmaker’s Story
ISBN: 9781937867645
Purchase: Amazon US / Barnes and Noble

Review — B-: For an Alice in the Country of XYZ follow on story, this is pretty good, but compared to other shoujo in general it’s quite middle of road.  This story supposes that Alice falls in love with the Clockmaker Julius.  I’ve always like Julius, so I thought this was really cute.  Where it fell apart for me was when Julius acted aggressively. It seem very out of character. As with all the Alice in the Country of XYZ books, there is some implied sex, but nothing is shown explicitly. The narration during the scene in this book is pretty bad.  The writing is quite ham-fisted. But… I have to remember that this was written for tweens and teens. If you like the Alice in the County of XYZ books, then this is a must buy.  It could also be a good buy for a teen who wants a little bit of eroticism without explicit scenes. Otherwise, this book can be skipped without missing much.

Title: No. 6 Volume 5
ISBN: 9781612623597
Purchase: Amazon US / Barnes and Noble

Review — A: Shion confronts his humanity as he and Rat carry out their plan to infiltrate the No. 6 Correctional Facility to rescue Safu. This is a grim volume filled with death and suffering. It made me feel very emotional.  There is a lot to mentally chew on in this chapter, and it is a page turner. Overall, it’s another great volume in this wonderful shoujo sci-fi series.

Title: Voice Over! Seiyu Academy Volume 3
ISBN: 9781421559728
Purchase: Amazon US / Barnes and Noble

Review — B: This series continues to grow on me. I’m not really into Hime.  I think she’s quite bland,  but I do like her manager, Yamada P, and Mizuki. This volume focuses on Mizuki’s past. I’d say the moral of Mizuki’s story maybe be a little weird to American readers. We are used to people overcoming and winning, rather than understanding their own limitations and settling for what they can do. And then there’s the blame shifting and the idea of how futile it is to encourage a seemingly talentless person. American optimism dictates that hardwork and determination always pay off and can override innate ability. Anyhow… I found myself knitting my eyebrows at times during the volume (My expectation was, of course, that the talentless character would work hard, become a success, and then kick Mizuki to the curb — but nope.). At the same time, I understand this way of thinking, because sometimes it’s better to redirect a person, rather than watch them keep hitting a wall. Anyhow, this continues to be pleasant cotton candy series. It’s nice to read when I need mental vacation.

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