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Dead Tube

on Feb 23, 2016

A manga for fans of the "Saw" and "Hostel" films, this is torture porn at its most self-referential. But in spite of potentially compelling material (and clearly no qualms about depicting violence or nudity graphically), the execution seems almost unforgivably amateurish. The authors plunge bullishly into their climaxes, completely ignoring that people read horror for the suspense, the slowly building pathos. In the end, this read is too much pay off, not enough work, to be satisifying on anything more than a superficial level.

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6/10 story
7/10 art
5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Onani Master Kurosawa

on Sep 11, 2014

Masturbation as a form of social action?  It's a promising premise.  Certainly original. (Not to mention every adolescent boys wet dream.)
The problem here is execution, and it is aproblem from the outset.  The most immediately striking feature of this manga is the artwork: it's terrible.  It looks supisciously like the sketches of an art school student, so much so that I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that this is where this piece originated (particularly given the premise).  It is not just unimpressive; it is distractingly bad. The characters are equally... See full review

3/10 story
1/10 art
2/10 characters
2/10 overall

Yotsuba&!

on Sep 9, 2014

There are no words to describe the simple, sumptuous, innocent joy of Yotsuba.  Completely out of genre for my usual reading interests, I find myself drawn constantly to this adorable comic delight.  The characters are alive and real without being caught up in the kind of psycho-analytical development that comes with less episodic stories.  The art is incredibly engaging with a simple yet deliberate style. Okay...that was a lot of words, and there could be more obviously.  But this manga deserves the highest possible recommendation for fans of any style, any genre, fans of any age or... See full review

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

Sundome

on Mar 23, 2014

It took me more than a little time to work up a love for this manga, and had I not been in a situation that left me with a lot of time on my hands and nothing else to do, I probably would have dropped it after the first chapter. With that said, this is a really wonderful manga.  Erotic, cringe-worthy, poingant, and occasionally even funny.  The story leaves more questions unanswered than I would like and the art took some getting used to.  The "humor" had a tendency to interrupt some of the most emotional moments in a way that was off-putting.  But I don't know that I have... See full review

8/10 story
7/10 art
10/10 characters
9/10 overall

System of Romance

on Mar 10, 2014

This story (~spoiler alert) is about a man who rapes a teenage girl, but it's okay because he doesn't kill her and, upon reflection, she probably liked it anyway.  I realize that kind of rape-victim-wants-it pathology might actually be an attraction for some people, but I just felt dirty after finishing it.  Because it's a one-off, there is no place for further development of the lead character and how she comes to terms with what happened (although, I don't know that I'd be satisfied with how the author would answer the darkest questions being proposed here), so the result is a story that feels... See full review

1/10 story
5/10 art
1/10 characters
1/10 overall

Reset

on May 3, 2013

I read this based on a rave review and a love of high risk game stories.  There is no high risk game here, so don't be drawn in by that.  The connection between the game and death is tenuous at best, and never really explored.  The characters are never developed, even in a superficial way.  The manga is short (its one redeeming quality) which means they rush through the story, leaving it thin and full of wholes.  There is some random rape and violence and gore that is supposed to shock and titilate but it is very poorly executed.  I wouldn't recommend even wasting the short... See full review

2/10 story
4/10 art
2/10 characters
2/10 overall

Doubt

on May 3, 2013

A classic take on the murderer in a locked room story.  This is fairly well executed and very well drawn.  There is some rushing at the end to wrap up the story and some of the inevitable "twists" are a little farfetched, but overall this is a very well told story.  The characters could have used some more development, but if you only care about the whodunit aspect of the story and not about any human qualities of the lambs being led to slaughter, then this is a great one to read.  I highly recommend it.

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

Sugar Dark: Umerareta Yami to Shoujo

on Apr 26, 2013

It's really a shame, because this is one of the most beautifully drawn manga I've read in a long time (if you can call graphic depictions of dismemberment beautiful).  There is a lot of compelling imagery here, and the story starts out with some really intruiging set up and characters.  About halfway through, however, it becomes confusing, rushed, and predictable.  All the best plot elements, all the most ominous characters, just sort of fade into the background.  You get some hastily conceived back story, some more or less useless revelations, and then a shallow effort to tie... See full review

3/10 story
8/10 art
6/10 characters
6/10 overall