NG Life

A manga with an intriguing plot. “NG Life”, here we come!

Plot: Sirix is such a winner! He has it all! A beautiful wife, a best friend, popularity, a rival… oh, but then Mount Vesuvius erupts. Right, this was in Pompeii. Now he’s a teenager in Japan, who has all his old memories. Oh, but it doesn’t stop there. His rival is now reincarnated as his father, his younger sister is now his mother, his best male friend a woman, and, get this, his true love is now a guy. Oh, Sirix! Well, Keidai, but I’m callin’ him Sirix.

Tell me that doesn’t make you a little curious. Well, I made me curious, and I’m glad it was as good as it was.

Wait, what does “NG” even mean? I’ve heard that acronym before. Hold on, I have the internet on my side…

Oh. National Geographic. Of course. Well, it really means “No Good”, but why make an acronym after that? It’s easy to say “no good”. The laziness gets lazier, huh?

Anyhoodle, Sirix has to deal with confusion everyday, given that his old life has become mixed up. Although, this begs the question: Why hasn’t he just given up? I mean, he’s a teenager by this point, right? He lived longer in his old life, but when you’ve already dabble in this body, why not just face reality and give up on the past?

For that matter, Serizawa, the now-female best friend, asks Sirix questions that sound like she never heard of his past life. I understand it’s for the sake of the readers, but it’s not like she just met him. Plus, why is it at no point he just says to his parents, not wisely I might add, that they were in his old life? Eh, whatever.

The now-male wife causes massive confusion for Sirix, leading to some hi-LARIOUS reactions! It is funny. What’s not so much is the interaction between Sirix and his now-father rival. I was hoping for some zany scenes betwixt the two, but no. He just tells his stuff a rival MIGHT say. Eh.

In contrast, Serizawa and Sirix have emotional exchanges. She’s in love with him (of course), so whenever he treats her like a male friend, it ticks her off. Makes her cry. And you know what? She looks adorable. She does. Oh, the Serizawa! How misfortune has been laid upon you! Oh, and Sirix.

Speaking of whom, Sirix has my favorite scenes here. While he’s a genius and an athletic savant, apparently he’s prone to crying for no reason. So his fanclub says things like “Don’t trip and start crying!” Classic. Well, funny, not classic.

Why the Universe decided to give him his old memories is baffling, but obviously if they didn’t, we’d have no plot. Same as if Sirix just let the past go: Where would the manga be? It wouldn’t, and then we wouldn’t have 20+ installments. Okay, nine, but whatever. I enjoyed it.

The Opinion, Which Is An All-Encompassing One: Funny and intriguing. Pick up a copy if you got the nerve!

Rating: HA HA HA HA HA out of HA HA HA HA HA HA! Whatever.

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Kurohime

Last time we talked about a girl who wanted to be a woman! This time, that’s not the plot! Kurohime!

Plot: Zero is self-explanatory! Seriously, “Zero”? That’s asking for trouble. He’s a Zero. A nothin’, man. But there’s this kid who’s actually a witch or something, who turns into a witch or something! How? LOVE! Why is it always love? Why not hate? I guess it’d be too easy/stupid, but still, in theory, why not? Can the Kurohime break the spell? Oh right, she’s under a spell. I thought it was kinda obvious, maybe.

Well, it’s creative, but I don’t think it is. See, it has good ideas, and artwork that I hate to love or the opposite, but it never really fleshes out much. I like how Kurohime has guns that make monsters, which totally isn’t exactly as stupid as a gun that only kills you temporarily, REBORN! But it never feels that intriguing, man. There’s one thing that holds me back:

I HATE ALL THE CHARACTERS.

Seriousness here. No one, at least, in my eye sockets, is likeable. Zero is pathetic and I thought he was a girl, which was not the artist’s intention. Kurohime as a child is as bad as Instant Teen’s Natsumi as an adult or a child, maybe put together. Meanwhile, as an adult, she refers to everyone as her dogs. I understand that she was cursed because she tried to start up with the gods or something, which is a bit… uhhh? But this is too annoying to take in. Sure, she wants to enslave everyone, but ease up, lady.

Maybe the art is ugly. I think it’s too goofy. Goofy’s fine in the right context.

Wait, this is a manga that promises the second volume will have a castle made of candy. I guess it is goofy.

Still hate the art, though.

But, anyway, if you’re into children who transform into adults, try this and Instant Teen on for size. Or any manga, really. Most of them do it at some point. Well, the newer ones. And some of the older ones. I need to add a tag for this.

Basically, I didn’t like it. While the monster guns can be cool in theory, I don’t like using the word cool so freely. The monsters? Forgettable. But they come from guns! Oh well, it’s still not that good.

It is also, in the words of the reviewer of our lives, Mark Twain, “repetitive”. “I would,” he begins, “rather eat poison seals than go into detail why I found Kurohime repetitive. Maybe it’s because every plot has them going to some place, meeting someone, fighting a monster, Kurohime has a short crush, turns into an adult, kills said monster, and no one really cares at the end of the day.” He then went on to eat a poison seal.

There’s this unfunny “villain” that complains about a brand that Kurohime put on his back labeled “dog”. Then he follows her everywhere. Dude, I know it sounds anachronistic, but… laser surgery? I mean, this manga is a tad anachronistic what with the guns and all. Maybe lasers exist. Why not? Just stop existing.

All in all, did not like. The end. Do not read.

Overall Opinion: Why do I always end my review with my overall opinion, but not in said section? The hint is to read my opinion before this section.

Rating: I tire of this section. There’s only so many times I can give something “One Thumb Up, Three Stars out of Five, and a B-“. But that doesn’t get this rating. It gets a Zero. HA HA HA HA HA! Yeah.

Instant Teen: Just Add Nuts

I’ve been putting this one off for a while. The concept made me uneasy, but I finally set my mind on reading it. Actually, fairly readable. This is “Instant Teen: Just Add Nuts”.

Plot: Natsumi wants to get older! Being a kid, everyone looks down on her! One day, she steals some nuts that turn her into an adult! Yumpin’ Yiminy! What kind of zany (or, you know, emotionally-driven) scenarios will our plucky woman-child get into? And will her childhood friend, Asuma, get her attention?

Most important to mention, I’m so glad they avoided all the “nut” jokes. Seriously.

As mentioned, it is zany at times, but it’s typically an emotional rollercoaster, especially towards the end. We’ll get to that. It’s okay, and it does lead to some strong relationships and conflict, but I’m just saying that because I forgot how to review manga: negatively.

I’ll just mention what I didn’t like about this here:

-The translating is semi-awful. They constantly forget what gender the two doctors are, which lead me to bang my head against the floor repeatedly in confusion. Apparently, the male doctor looks like a woman, and vice-versa, but they refer to the male as “her” constantly, and semi-vice-versa. Irksome.

-The doctors, without any real human emotion involved, decide to get married. WHAT. WHY? They just surprise us with it at the start of the last volume! Jerksome!

-Natsumi, while a child, acts like one. “Well, what’s wrong with realism?” Because she’s irritating. I understand that as a child, her emotions and behaviors are undeveloped, but come on. She never learns. DURKSOME! I had to make up a word for that one.

However, Asuma is pleasant to read about. He’s levelheaded, but not boring. He’s a nice guy, but he has limits. He helped me read this when I felt like putting it down. Remember when I called it “surprisingly readable”? Well you shouldn’t. I said “fairly readable”. Anyway, he’s the reason why. Well done!

I was concerned that the jerks who fall in love with Natsumi would be recurring, but fortunately, they were not. They disappeared after her rejection. That made me calmer.

My favorite story, without a doubt, the body swapping. It’s zany, it’s emotional, it’s hilarious, it’s a pie! Well, I wish it was a pie. Then I’d be like, “Pie! Just add nuts!” Speaking of which, the cover always shows a cereal and cereal box-related stuff, but she never eats it with cereal. Plus, what food do you add nuts to? Cereal? Never seen that on boxes.

Oh… wait, wait. I’m supposed to be reviewing. Sorry guys!

Yeah, so, and, I enjoyed Instant Teen! I give it a good grade!

Overall Opinion: Yeah, it was good, no, I liked it fine! Sure!

Rating: WAIT. I FORGOT ABOUT THE ENDING. OH, ZAMBONI, THE ENDING.

Right, so the ending. Forget my “mostly spoiler-free” thing here. The rest of the review is all-spoiler. Enjoy!

Yeah, so, like, the creator got letters asking to show adult Asuma. Years ago, I skipped to the ending and recalled an adult Asuma. So I was like, “Yeah, I’ll see adult Asuma. That’ll be sweeeeeeeeet, right?”

NO. WE NEVER SEE HIM. MY MEMORY LIED TO ME. They get married, but more nuts turn them into kids, so we never see adult Asuma! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

But I do like how Asuma moved away, teaching Natsumi a valuable lesson in the fragility of friendship and nature, in that all things end some day, resulting in heartbreak and opening up true emotions for our plucky dimbulb to admit. Almost had a coherent thought there. I’m quite tired, but not enough to actually do something, like sleep.

Rating: Good. I enjoyed it. Probably wouldn’t pursue it, but if it stalks me enough, I’ll go for it. Fine, have a rating: A Cobblestone Pipe. That’s a good rating, right? Sure.