Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl

Sigh… for once, my brother was right. Except when he bought Midori Days. He was more right then. Still, the premise is too stupid and perverted for my tastes, and yet they handled it well. Gender-bending. Aliens. But in the end, they went the dramatic route. Welcome to Kashi Mashi.

Yes, you read it right. This manga has both aliens and gender-bending, but it’s a drama. How? Danged if I know. Is it the best manga? Not even close. But I went over to my brother and said “Okay, I’m starting the blog. I need to read Kashi Mashi.” And I did. I read all five volumes. Painstakingly. Again, readable (at more points than not), but I’ll take Ranma 1/2 any day. I think what made this so hard to read is the humor. It would’ve worked better if they played the whole series straight, but Nyamo’s (the teacher) love antics are way too… unfunny. Even more annoying? Her “I’m gonna fall out the window” gag. Please, fall out the window and get hurt for the 40th time this story. It’s not old.

The characters in general are unbearable. The protagonist’s parents prefer her as a girl rather than sympathize, the girl who can’t see men is way too into herself without realizing it (“If only you were a girl!”), and the spaceship and her captain are… probably the unfunniest aliens I’ve ever read about. We’ll get to the spaceship later.

Plot: Hazumu Azumu (or Azumu Hazuma, I’m sure it won’t matter) is such a loser! He can’t win the girl of his dreams because she can’t see men! Then he gets hit by a spaceship! And for some reason, he’s turned into a girl. Now everyone likes her better this way! And now not only is man-blind girl in love with her, so is her childhood friend, her best male friend, and the alien’s spaceship! “WHAAAA??? Now I have too many girlfriend! …And a dude. …And spaceship.” Ooh, but Azumu doesn’t have very long to live, actually! In fact, she has to choose a life partner soon, or… well, she dies. Yeah…

So that’s the plot. Now, what’s with the spaceship? Well, for some reason she falls in love with Hazumu. Oh, and when she’s not a giant spaceship, she takes the form of a cute girl. Now, why is the alien unfunny? Because there’s a difference between playing it straight and being humorless. He sees something “funny” and takes it to no extreme. “Oh,” he says, “that exists.” Azumu Hazumu Hazumu Azumu herself gives into her new lifestyle way too quickly and easily. Ranma never gave into it, I don’t know why this kid should.

The plot, despite the stupidity, is excellent. Very dramatic and touching, to be honest. But again, the aliens and gender-swapping seem a little out of place in this bearable manga. This is actually some of the best storytelling I’ve ever read in manga, aside from its humor. But for once, I’ll let that slide.

Mostly Spoiler-Free Ending: The three protagonists fall off the roof and get major injuries. Which makes me beg the question, HOW IS IT THAT NYAMO CAN FALL OUT OF A WINDOW 200 TIMES A DAY, BUT THEY FALL OFF A ROOF ONCE AND CAN’T TAKE IT?! Please, explain that to me. Sigh… But no spoilers on who she chooses. Let’s just say that it was the right choice. Also, it ends on the words “Everything is Kashimashi.” …I don’t get it. What does that mean? I don’t get the line. It’s like “Everything’s gonna be Azumanga Daioh from here on out!” or “Let’s all try to be Astro Boy!”

Overall Opinion: Just because you were right once, that’s no excuse for buying twelve volumes of Ai Yori Aoshi. You’re better than that, bro.

Rating: One Thumb Up, Three and a Half Stars, and a “B-“.

AI Love You

The basis of all harem manga can be summed up with two simple phrases:

“Oh no! I such a loser! I don’t even have girlfriend!”

Five panels later…

“WHAAAAA???? Now I have too many girlfriend!”

Yes, it’s said with that typical racist Japanese accent. AI Love You is certainly no different than other harem manga, except while most of those suck, AI Love You is adorably putrid. I know, I know… I said in my “Return To Labyrinth” review that it’s tolerable. Doesn’t mean it’s not horrible. It’s not the worst harem manga, and I do enjoy a few bits here and there, but overall it’s not worth the twenty dollars my brother spent on half the series. No, it’s not so bad that it’s four bucks a pop. He got it at a discount store. But trust me, it’s bad.

And where do all bad manga begin? Why, the plot, of course. Let’s take a journey into a bad dream.

Plot: And trust me, it’s a doozy. Loser, pathetic, utterly devoid of succeeding in anything scientific genius at computers guy is so lonely that he makes innovative programs that we don’t even have nowadays in the 2010s, while he’s in the early 1990s. Why doesn’t he sell his innovative ideas to science? Bad writing. Moving on. A freak lightning strike causes his AI to come to life. Um… lightning shouldn’t be able to do that. Bad writing. Moving on. Apparently she falls in love with him, and vice-versa, and they get into some wacky antics. Then the AI’s sister comes to life by an explosion. …That makes even less sense! Bad writing. Moving on. For some reason, they make a brother/sister AI that changes genders when it says the gender it’s not. …That’s stupid enough, but how does that work? And why does said AI stay in girl form mostly if that’s her/his least annoying character trait? Bad writing. Moving on. For some reason, the first AI (named Saati) eventually develops into a living human girl. How? Because she wanted it to be so. That… that… THAT’S THE DUMBEST THING I’VE EVER HEARD! How can you make yourself human just by WANTING IT BAD ENOUGH? Great job, creator of Love Hina and Negima! To his credit, he admitted that it’s dumb. But still… sigh… Bad. Writing. Moving. On. YEARSH!

What really ticks me off is Saati’s quick character change. In the first volume, she can’t get enough of the loser guy who’s a genius mastermind, but for the rest of the series, she hates his guts and becomes “Master-san, you’re such a PERVERT!”. I hate pervert-hating characters. Their answer to men is a mallet to the head. It’s getting old, especially for the creator of Love Hina.

Probably the worst translating job I’ve ever read so far is here. The jokes don’t translate well AT ALL. For example, When a character asks for a ladder, Saati pulls out a gun. Then the character says “I said ladder, not lugger or mugger or whatever you heard!” In Yakittate!! Japan, they can make any pun bearable. Here, I just want to be eaten by a rabbit. “No, the pun was supposed to be ‘eaten by a bear’ not ‘hare’ or whatever you heard!” See how annoying that is?

I have to admit while the breasts are grating, I enjoy how heartwarming the story with the loser’s overly obsessed with breasts sister is. Yes, it doesn’t sound heartwarming, but compared to the story of a robot that whacks the loser’s junk when he gets aroused, it’s one of the finest stories I’ve read anywhere.

Now I must admit, it’s one of Ken Akamatsu’s earliest works, so my criticisms are pretty unfair. But that’s no excuse. I don’t begrudge him for bringing AI Love You into this world, but I would’ve liked some better translating. Too bad I’m a decade or so too late. But it’s a relief that Mr. Akamatsu is trying to do some non-harem manga. He even sneaked around his bosses to do it! He sure has grown. I’m proud that he would go to such lengths.

Mostly Spoiler-Free Ending: It’s a non-ending. They all move to America for some reason. I heard they planned a sequel, but thank goodness that never got off the ground. At one point someone important dies, but they resolve it with “I had her back-up data” at the last second. Great. That’s not the worst writing I’ve ever read, but it’s pretty bad.

Overall Opinion: The difference between the Brooklyn and Canadian releases of this series is the title. In Brooklyn, it’s “AI Love You”. In Canada, it’s “I Love You, A”. That joke is better than any other joke in here. And more heartwarming. Skip it.

Rating: One Thumb Down, One and a Half Stars, and a “D”.

Gunsmith Cats

Whew! I just shot up a bunch of drug dealers, threw some bombs at child molesters, drove off at 256 mph, lockpicked my way into the computer room and killed a mob boss from the coast, and boy are my arms tired! Just to review Gunsmith Cats!

I LOVE Gunsmith Cats! I mean, I haven’t bought Gunsmith Cats Burst yet, but I’ll get there! With awesome action scenes, gun, explosions, cars, women, drugs, and no cats whatsoever… wait, don’t I not like this sort of thing?

Yeah, I’m not an action gun-bomb-car-babe-drug-catless sort of guy. So why did I like if? …Wait, is there pedophilia in this? Geez, Minnie May? Creepy… and there a few gross scenes of the sexual persuasion that I don’t care for… how is this enjoyable to me at all? I guess that deep down in my man genes, there something inside of me that loves this sort of thing. But it still won’t make me watch Diehard.

After that lynching, I want to address that despite that it isn’t in my particular tastes, Gunsmith Cats is BOSS. And I say that wholeheartedly. Yeah, boobs might turn you off of it, I don’t know how, but it usually does that to me. Oh, I’m being lynched again? How thoughtful.

So yeah, perverted young girls, Indian women, jackets so heavy they can crush your foot, and a whole lot more. This series has it most. I was kind of disappointed to learn that Rally Vincent, the Indian woman, isn’t black. Guess what she is? A person, you jerk. Don’t judge someone by the color of their skin. All that aside, with so much sensible senseless violence going on, you know it has to be good.

Plot: Rally Vincent and Minnie May are two girls running a gun shop, but that’s just a hook to get you to read, like “HOT GUYS! They’re even hotter than the girls!” or ‘Eriko Takahashi plans to make this girl’s high more feminine!” or “My Girlfriend’s A Geek!” (but more on that some other time). Really, the plot is that they’re bounty hunters using the gun shop as a side job, and they basically shoot, explode, exploit, race, and overall act heroic even though they kill people for a living. It’s good, clean fun and I just love it! And who’s this Bean Bandit, helping bad guys get away? A hero or a villain? Okay, he’s neutral, like someone who puts your cat to sleep. It’s his job, he has to do it, not because he’s evil. Why would he take a job to save animals by killing them?

…Anyway, perverted aspects. Don’t want to talk much on this, as I’m sure you’d vomit like I always do. Minnie May… is 17. she’s in a… relationship… with a 34 year old guy. Um… sexually. Yeah. That’s as unperverted at the perverted parts go. Look, the worst thing I can think of it that Rally spits on a vile woman’s… crotch… and then makes a guy lick… okay, this is too nauseating! Look, I’m all for broadening your horizons, and I love this series! But I don’t want you to read this. I’ll recommend it in my Overall Opinion, but just you ignore it. Save your brain! …It’s not the most perverted thing in the world, but as far as manga goes, I can’t stomach it.

OH! This manga takes place in Chicago! That’s right! AMERICA! Finally, a manga about America, not just putting one of us in American flag bandanna, panties,or making us blonde and stupid. We have feelings you know. The art is stunning. The author really cares about how he draws guns and cars (and the female anatomy, obviously). I don’t think I’ve ever seen a manga with such great car art, nor have I ever cared prior to this title. Almost makes me want to get my license.

Favorite Character: Rally Vincent, the only sane person here. Everyone else thinks they’re sane, but they’re wrong. I also enjoy Bean Bandit, a not bad guy who is unbelievably strong. And he makes driving fun! I can’t wait to drag race against an evil druglord who stole my profits and left me for dead! Minnie May, on the other hand, creeps me out. Now let me tell you, I invented NhuNhu Nada, a character in my comic with both genders, a strong sexual history with every species, and no censor-switch. Even Minnie May creeps me out. I guess because she’s not “my child”, it bothers me more. I don’t know.

Overall Opinion: Dude, you HAVE to read this series! And for once, don’t ignore me!

Rating: Two Thumbs Up, Four out of Five Stars, and a “B”.

Return To Labyrinth

I hate you, Tokyopop.

Kind of a harsh statement, I know. But it’s true. They’re too successful, yet they’re so… ARGH! The manga they send out falls into these four categories:

1. Good manga – 10%. I can only think of Chibi Vampire, but I’ll get back to you.
2. Tolerable manga – 20%. This includes such okay series as King Of Bandits and AI Love You.
3. Bad manga – 15%. I think Comic Party was put out by Tokyopop. It was pretty bad, so I don’t remember.
4. Not manga – 55%. Yes, that seems a little too high, but they dared make Cinemanga.

Yes, Cinemanga. Not a manga since it has no other qualities of manga than being a comic. There’s no good excuse for using the word “manga” as a suffix for this purpose, nor for any reason. Not Animanga, not iManga, not even Azumanga Daioh. Well, maybe that. Anyway, it’s just an episode of something (or maybe a movie, like Spy Kids) put into a comic, rendering it 90% less funny. Why do you do this to poor manga?

Although the other subgroup of “not manga” is this. Return To Labyrinth. It sucks.

I never saw Labyrinth, although I kind of want to. It has DAVID BOWIE! AND MUPPETS! Two great tastes that taste great! Ooh, let’s put a sequel in manga format! It sucks.

I’m not complaining about anything like “why is David Bowie really mean here and not giving us one more chance?”. No, it’s my fault for not seeing the movie. The only good thing about (some) sequels is that you get to see familiar faces (if they haven’t been replaced by Freddie Mercury, that is). This is not one of those sequels, since I’m seeing drawings of familiar faces, not them theirselves. It sucks.

Plot: David Bowie wants to get the young boy he tried to steal years ago with granting bad wishes than kidnapping. But alas, even with this boy’s bad life, he justs wants not to deal with David Bowie. He deals with David Bowie by following him into the Labyrinth. Eventually, he becomes the new Goblin King. And for some reason, even though humans are outcasts, the goblins have David Bowie as their king. Well, he’s hardly human.

Yeeeeaaaahhhh… no. I don’t care for how bad this is. It’s not interesting, not funny, not magical, and not manga. Yeah, yeah, “the authors aren’t Japanese”, I don’t care about that. But look at the cover. It’s drawn really well! But alas, the inside art… it sucks.

OH! Saber Marionette J! That was made by Tokyopop! …Right, that’s even worse than this. I’m still thinking what they did right. It hurts to remember things that aren’t there. Moving on.

So why did they make another not manga, especially one that reads like… a comic? Yeah, it’s left to right. Like a weirdo. The normal people (Japanese and Israelis) do it right to left, but they wanted to be different. But let’s talk characters. They suck. I don’t know if Toby (the protagonist) is supposed to be whiny since his sister was in the original movie, but he’s annoying. Everyone else is meanspirited or dumb or both. It’s aggravating. I much prefer my protagonists cute, brave, wise, or not annoying little whiners. Only David Bowie is anywhere near likable in this not-a-manga world. The muppets don’t appear since they only exist in real life.

Basically, Tokyopop, as bad as Yen Press is, you just put out what you want to. It could be “War And Peace” and you’d still call it manga. It’s not a good idea to tell that to Tokyopop since they might actually go for it.

Overall Opinion: Wait, hold on. They did put out Neko Ramen. Now I’m conflicted. Oh, don’t read this on any terms, except for your own review or to explain to me who these people are.

Rating: No Last Chances, Two and a Half Starmans, and a “D”. I couldn’t think of anything for that one. I don’t even think the chance thing was good. Does David Bowie sing a song about thumbs? I don’t know.

Ugly Duckling’s Love Revolution

…What went right?

I… I don’t understand. This had nothing going for it. The cover art is ugly, the title is moronic and wordy, the plot on the back cover shouts “I SUCK!”, and, most important, the dethroning moment of suck for this series…

It was published in the states by YEN PRESS. Yeah, I know!

So why… WHY DID I LIKE IT?!

When you judge a manga by its cover, you should specifically judge it by the art, the title, the plot paragraph on the back cover (like how Yen Press’ back cover of Yotsuba says very elegantly “YOTSUBA’S GOING TO A FARM! WITH COWS AND MIIIILK!!!” fifty times), and, of course, who published it in the states. Translators can make all the difference.

So I bought this with the intent to hate it, but a strange sensation arose inside me. My heart… it was… being warmed. Huh? In this kind of manga? WHY DON’T YOU SUCK?

Maybe it does suck and I’m just biased by how they dealt with this plot the best way they could. And art isn’t as good as humor. No, this isn’t hilarious, nor is it really funny. But like a child’s opinion of a bad kid’s movie, it isn’t unfunny. The heartwarmingness really takes over any anger I’d have had at this… manga. I think I might have even laughed once or twice.

So, what’s this horrible plot that was dealt with decently? Read on.

Plot: HOT GUYS! They’re even hotter than the girls! But that’s not the focus, even though both front and back covers suggest so. A large girl (I mean fat, but I can’t really criticize with my weight, so I don’t) wants to lose weight, and rather than expect all the hot guys to be too busy with a Large Marge (sorry) like her, they’re supportive and are her friends. She goes through some antics such as helping clean up the school grounds and finding her brother’s old journal, swimming to lose weight with the help of a jerky teacher, and (my favorite) she gathers some friends to build a reading space so this kind fellow can have a place to read in peace. And he ends up inviting them to read with him. I tell you, they don’t make friendships in manga like this anymore!

Now you may be expecting a followup sarcastic remark like “oh wait, they do it all the time”, but you’re wrong. Sure, when times are tough they support each other through crises, but when times are good, they beat each other up, make fun of them, hit them with a mallet, ignore them, steal, lie, cheat, and throw them into portals where they have to use their wits in order to survive the new dangerous world. I’ve never read anything in the last category, but I imagine that it exists. Here it’s so relieving that no one is using each other to, let’s say, get with another character of the opposite gender, like every manga with men and women together (I’m excluding manga like Toriko, which HAS NO WOMEN. WHY?).

You might be saying to yourself, “Mr. Benjy, aren’t you overreacting a little? I mean, it could be okay, and not suck as you said it didn’t. But is it possible that you’re just praising it since you expected it to be worse than Gamerz Heaven?” I then slap you and respond thusly: “First, I never expected it to be worse than Gamerz Heaven. By the way, this manga IS based on a videogame, unlike Gamerz Heaven. Anyway, with so many bad points, it would only be natural to expect this to be bad. I doubt this will be the next mainstream title. But the fact that Yen Press published something that I didn’t hate, it still deserves credit. They botched up My Girlfriend’s A Geek (but that’s for another time), my brother refuses to read Sumomomo Momomo, and Spice & Wolf doesn’t reach the sky because it’s tethered to Yen Press. So with nothing going right for it, when it manages to charm me, I have no choice but to love it.”

Favorite Character: Yeah, it’s been a while since this category arose, but here it is. Anyway, my favorite is “Number Three” (named since he’s third hottest at school), who I mentioned as being kindhearted and a avid reader. I also like the large girl’s innocent demeanor, as well as jerk teacher’s caringness. I’ll change the names to their real ones once I get to a blogable computron.

Overall Opinion: You done good enough, Yen Press. Now hand Yotsuba over to Del Rey, and no one gets hurt.

Rating: Two Thumbs Up, Three and a Half Stars, and a “B-“.

Library Wars

You know what I love? When I buy a manga that I expect to hate but I love it (or, at the very least, tolerate it).
You know what I hate? When I buy a manga that I expect to love but I hate it (or, at the very least, tolerate it).

This is the latter. And on this ladder lies a book. A manga, if you will. This is an epic series about freedom fighters trying to stop an evil terrorist organization from destroying books and libraries all over the world. I’m sure to love this manga, this masterpiece, this brilliant, well-put-together, wonderful… SHOJO?! What the… how is this a SHOJO??? With such an epically nerdy plot (reading’s not nerdy, but this plot sure is), how could they go the shojo route?

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy shojo. Well, not really. Kimi Ni Todoke is one of my top favorite series, I liked Mixed Vegetables up until volume eight, and in general I love love stories. (By the way, Midori Days is worth checking out, too.) But shojos usually have the same format that sucks. “Girl likes guy. Guy doesn’t show it except he’s either her mortal enemy or he’s too shy to admit his feelings and just blushes. Or a combination.” Well, maybe Library Wars has a different sort of plot. Maybe they don’t hate each other and openly admit their feelings in a reasonable adult way.

They don’t.

Geez, was I disappointed. It doesn’t even look like a shojo with its coloring on the cover! It looks like a boss action manga! But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. No, they wanted to make it a romantic comedy. I love romantic comedies, but really, don’t you think that a story about a group of library rebels trying to restore order in a world gone mad against libraries is better than another romantic comedy? Especially since a) it’s not funny, and b) it’s not heartwarming.

Plot: A rebellious group of librarians try to uncensor books that were irrationally decided at “inappropriate” by some lame anti-book group (really, who goes around banning books just because they’re “dangerous”? Does ANYONE do that? I bet religious fanatics are too sensible to do that). But that plot is thrown aside for the antics of a precocious girl who excels in her training, but she just HATES that mean old instructor who possibly saved her life and book years ago; she doesn’t remember. And he’s shorter yet older than her! HAR HAR HAR! Man, they sure hate each other! He SURE doesn’t have a crush on her and is too shy to admit it, and she SURE isn’t in love with the man who saved her, who ISN’T the jerk! …You get the idea.

Way to go, Library Wars. You made another unfunny unromantic book into our lives. It’s one thing if you’re funny. People enjoy reading you. It’s another if you’re romantic. I enjoy reading you. It’s quite another if you’re a funny romance. People, me, and lizards (don’t ask) enjoy reading you. But a failed romantic comedy? Only lizards (don’t ask) enjoy reading you.

It’s just… such a failed idea that could’ve been awesome. This happens far too often in manga. My Girlfriend’s A Geek could’ve been a romantic comedy, but it’s just sad. Or, at least, not funny. Disturbing is the right word. Women don’t act like that in real life, except for the ones that do. In our world we call those “perverts”. But I’ll get to that some other review.

I often buy manga in groups. This group I entitled “All New Risky Choices For Spending Money On Manga” group. In it, listed from Classic to Gamerz Heaven, was:

1. D. Gray Man – Classic
2. Spice & Wolf – Right Up My Alley
3. Ugly Duckling’s Love Revolution – “Wow, this is the third on my list? That’s pretty good.”
4. Library Wars – That’s… way too depressing. You should be better than that.
5. Return To Labyrinth – Not A Manga.

So yeah, it’s even worse than the manga that I expected to hate. It only barely manages to succeed since it is, at least, a manga. But do we need another manga that refuses to offer something new? I don’t think so. Go read Midori Days.

Overall Opinion: If they come to your house asking which books you want to burn, don’t send them away. Give them this.

Rating: One Thumb Down, Two and a Half Stars, and a “C-“.

From Far Away

My God, this is the MOST mediocre manga I’ve ever read. I don’t think I’ve ever read something so balancedly okay in my life! The title is well suited for my situation, though. “From Far Away” is right, as I’m writing this review the furthest away I’ve ever done before. Although the second most suited manga title I’ve owned is “My Girlfriend’s A Geek”. But that’s for another time.

This manga has none of the qualities that make it better or worse than other series. It’s not as funny as Azumanga Daioh, not as political as Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei, not as confusing as FLCL, not as gay as Millenium Prime Minister, not as straight as Train*Train, not as surprisingly not suck as Ugly Duckling’s Love Revolution, not as simple yet “beautifully drawn” as Ai Yori Aoshi, not as breadliious as Yakitatte!! Japan, not as boring as Read Or Die, not as famous as Dragonball, not as obscure as 888, not as fake as Sunn, not as surprisingly readable as Happy Hustle High, not as fun as Neko Ramen, not as beautiful as Kimi Ni Todoke, not as disappointing as My Girlfriend’s A Geek, not as EPIC as D.Gray-Man, not as annoying as Rosario+Vampire (and Season II), not as horrible in every sense of the word as Gamerz Heaven, not as bloody as Gantz, not as life-lessony as Gals!, not as Gothic as xxxHolic, not as old as Mai The Psychic Girl, not as selloutish as Rin-ne (Rinn-e?), not as cliffhangery as Captain Nemo, not as perverted as High School Girls, not as wise as VulfundSchpice, not as biographical as A Drifting Life, not as delicious as Toriko, not as Degrassi as Mixed Vegetables, not as AWESOME as Gunsmith Cats, not as dogtastic as Inubaka, not as parodyish as Dokkoida?!, and not as mediocre as From Far Away.

That’s right. It’s so mediocre, it’s not even as mediocre as itself.
So after all that, you’re probably thinking, “Mr. Benjy, don’t you think you’re being hard on the only manga you have in your entire collection of books that you bought in Israel? I mean. isn’t it a blessing that you could FIND this after so long without good manga?” And I’m like, “No, it’s not. It’s okay. I could’ve bought Blame! while I was there too, but I found it to be too grungy and I didn’t want to waste my money on something not even possibly in my taste. So instead, I bought a pipe.”

It’s a lovely little pipe. Stunning wood, delicate shape. I’d be too scared to put tobacco inside and ruin the quality. And my lungs, for that matter. I got quite a lot of compliments for it, especially while wearing my spa robe and/or my bowtie. But enough about its dazzling charm.

From Far Away is… only a little weird. The first panel has different vegetables in the background for some reason. Later on, when the protagonist decides to learn the language, the author states that she’s changing her speech bubbles because of this monumental occasion. Whatever, weirdo… that’s about as interesting and “standoutish” as it gets.

On with the show.

Plot: A girl (I don’t remember her name. I could get the manga, but that’s all the way in my dorm) is sucked into a mediocre fantasy world after a rubber ball hits a paper bag with explosives in it (not as non-mediocre as it sounds). She’s protected from danger by Izark (better looking than his name provides imagery for), who fears her since she’ll cause some kind of evil or something, I don’t know. It’s like every story where a loser kid (except she’s not a loser) is brought into a fantasy world to stop an unspeakable evil (except she IS the evil). Nothing new.

This series isn’t new, actually. It seems to be from early 2000s or earlier than that. Still, very mediocre. I can’t say that it’s the worst thing that I’ve read, since, as I’ve said, it’s balanced in its mediocrity, but I don’t recommend it much. Not much else to say. I mean, I only have, like, one other manga here, and that’s BORING, aside from the Tezuka parts, and did you know, that, I like commas.

So while you’re all comfortable with Train*Train, Yakitatte!! Japan, and Neko Ramen, all fine series that I’m sure you’ve picked up by now, keep in mind that sometimes it just remains to be mediocre. And that’s the reason it was handed to the bookstore.

Overall Opinion: It was okay. But if you want okay looking monsters and not too unfunny dialogue that sucks but still isn’t funny and a reference to The Penguin for no reason, this is for you out there. Please buy me manga.

Rating: A Thumb, Three Stars, and a C.