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ThePatches

  • Sillver Spring, MD
  • Joined Jun 11, 2009
  • 33 / M

Gokinjo Monogatari

on Jul 15, 2010

Story 8/10Completely entranced by Paradise Kiss, I sought out the work's prequel manga, Gokinjo Monogatari because I was so interested in Happy Berry designer Mikako Kouda. Why was her last name different from Miwako? How did Happy Berry come to be? Fortunately, the mangaka's earlier work proved that, even in a more traditional shoujo setting, she can bring a novel look at romance and high school awash with delightful characters.Though it takes place in the same setting as its sequel, Yazawa Arts Academy, it kicks off with a more straightforward and less surreal arc that focuses on the relationship between... See full review

8/10 story
6/10 art
8.5/10 characters
8/10 overall

Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl

on Jan 13, 2010

Story 7.5/10 Sometimes, the source material really is better than the anime. In the case of Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl, this statement rings true. As I stated in my review of the anime, this straightfoward gender-bender love-triangle offers both a touching love story, and a feasible look at gender identity (as feasible as a story involving aliens and overnight sex-change could be). Instead of re-hashing my review of the anime, I'll point out why I think the manga does a better job. To put it simply: pacing and plausibility. Where the anime... See full review

7.8/10 story
7.5/10 art
7.3/10 characters
7.5/10 overall

Bio Meat

on Dec 4, 2009

Story 7.6/10 Zombies are all the rage these days. The combination of transmitable infection and the inevitable onslaught of mindless horrors provides an easy source of thrills and the proper context to show people at their worst. Good thing Fujisawa Yuki could care less about popularity. It's one thing to overrun a country with running or shuffling undead or even to fill its landscape with creepy fish creatures, but if you want to see all the way into the dark depths of human nature, destroy Japan with a commodity. The whole mess starts when some bio-meat--a genetically engineered food... See full review

7.6/10 story
7/10 art
7.5/10 characters
7.6/10 overall

Metro Survive

on Oct 29, 2009

Story 8/10 On another of sothis' recommendations, I picked up this manga hoping to be unimpressed. After reading Gyo, Alive, and Uzumaki cover-to-cover in one sitting, I prayed that I'd get something that wouldn't glue me to my seat so that I could finally get some homework done. WRONG. Execution and attention to detail define disaster stories of any kind, and Metro Survive is no exception. Fujisawa painstakingly seals every escape, removes every option, and crushes every hope in turn, daring the audience to wish for a happy ending. His brutal narrative works, as each... See full review

8/10 story
7.5/10 art
9/10 characters
8/10 overall

WANTE-D

on Oct 27, 2009

Story 4/10You could take one look at the "shoujo" tag on this manga and see it coming from a mile away. Nearly everything that's here seems painfully familiar, and I'm not that well-acquainted with the genre as a whole.Much like a sushi sampler, Mizuto-san offers up a standard assortment of shoujo heroines in a standard set of high school situations: the first story focuses on a strong-willed transfer student who follows her heart when her morals are challenged; the second tale offers a look at a girl harboring a decade long crush on a boy who showed her kindness; and the final yarn recounts the... See full review

4/10 story
4/10 art
3/10 characters
4/10 overall

Zashiki Onna

on Oct 14, 2009

Layout. Zashiki Onna is a masterclass in how layout can carry an otherwise straightforward manga. While I found the story a traditional urban legend with a distinctly Japanese flavor, the suspense that Mochizuki injects into the work through clever scripting and shot composition pulls the viewer into Hiroshi's plight.While initially put off by the otherwise ugly artwork, I found the tight plotting and grim end worth the ride. Any fans of horror and suspense should check out this quick little number if merely to see how powerful suspense can be developed in a comic book. Just be sure to read this one as... See full review

7.5/10 story
6/10 art
6/10 characters
7/10 overall

School Ningyo

on Oct 11, 2009

This bite-sized horror story offered nothing new to the table, but proved a fun distraction. Sadly, any fan of the horror genre will be able to guess where the whole this ends up about halfway through, but given the quick pacing, that in and of itself doesn't ruin the outing.The mangaka's attempt to marry the innocent visuals of the mermaids (all cast as girls in school swimsuits) with the horrific behavior of the characters only succeeds halfway. The impressive images of gaggles of girls swimming through the air and between the walls of the class rooms certainly adds an other-worldliness to the work, but I... See full review

5/10 story
5.5/10 art
5/10 characters
5.5/10 overall

$100 is Too Cheap

on Oct 15, 2009

Story 8/10There's something to be said for complete consistency. $100 is Too Cheap sticks to its principals on every page, from the opening splash to its final twist. Simple, direct, and ultimately charming, this little one-shot should creep on to anyone's reading list because the price of admission is so low.The entire manga traces the course of one conversation between two adorable protagonists. Consequently, each twist and turn of thier discussion recieves some page layout. From the drink recipie cards to the rendering of each character's analogies or explanations, each of the thirty-one pages of this... See full review

8/10 story
6.5/10 art
7/10 characters
7.5/10 overall

Uzumaki

on Oct 12, 2009

Story 7.5/10Now, I haven't read all that much manga in comparison to the anime I've watched, but I love horror in all its forms. On sothis' recommendation, I picked up Uzumaki and could not stop until I reached the grim, grim end. One of the delicious differences between Japanese and American tales of this type is the pervasion of atmosphere so integral to the Asian concepts of fear, and Junji Itou brings it in spades.Through its escalating set of vignettes, Uzumaki paints a picture of a town and population descending into madness. Nearly all of Itou's little stories could be considered fables, as each one... See full review

8/10 story
9.5/10 art
6.5/10 characters
8.5/10 overall

NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind

on Nov 29, 2010

Story 7/10
My best friend frequently complains when great writers shun editing. He argues that by stripping your message down to its juciest part, it becomes inherently better. With Miyazaki, the jury is out. Most western audiences know him for sumptuously animated movies with simple fairy tale plots that say so much by attempting so little in a narrative sense. But when reading the source manga for Nausicaa, you have to wonder how much of his great vision and ambition he leaves on the cutting-room floor when he makes a movie. Epic in scope, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind quickly... See full review

7/10 story
9.5/10 art
9.9/10 characters
9.2/10 overall