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nathandouglasdavis

  • Joined Feb 23, 2019
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Guyabano Holiday

Jan 31, 2023

This is a collection of stories unrelated to one another, all written by the same author. They all involve the same protagonist character, who (in at least the guyabano story) represents the author femself. I appreciate the tone of this manga, which I would best describe as absurdist-educational. And my favorite stories are those with the most pungent absurdist-educationalness. Specifically, my most favoritist stories are the one involving the homework-doing contraption and the one involving the harvesting of sweet potatoes. Absolute bangers, those ones. Beyond those two, I also... See full review

7/10 story
4/10 art
7/10 characters
7/10 overall

Ito Junji Kyoufu Manga Collection: Namekuji no Shoujo

Jan 26, 2023

As is the case for many Junji Ito oneshots, many of these ones struggle from having interesting ideas with a slightly lackluster execution. Sometimes all that they would've needed to be improved would've been slight tweaks, but often they have too much contrivance with the plots and/or weak characters. Ito relies a lot on the intrigue of the unexplained and on cool aesthetics for appeal. There's a story about a girl transforming into a slug, a story about a gross deep-sea creature and what its eaten, a story about a moldy house, a body-horror story with gaping holes and a curse, a story about a... See full review

5/10 story
5/10 art
3/10 characters
4/10 overall

Valentine's Day and White Day

Jan 25, 2023

This was quite cute. It was definitely a bit exaggerated and I think the way the story was framed around the two days like it was came across a bit corny, but the overall sentiment and way the awkwardness of the characters is portrayed was still cute. The second chapter gets kinda abstract, but it's also cute. 

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6/10 story
7/10 art
8/10 characters
7/10 overall

The Age of the Flying Boat

Jan 22, 2023

It is common knowledge that the most standout and iconic Miyazaki film is...Porco Rosso. And this here is the manga which that movie was based upon. Let us peruse its pages for pleasure. The fourth wall is broken several times, usually (though not exclusively) by the narrator commenting on details being condensed because of page and panel constraints. The story itself is fine enough. I found the first two chapters to be the most engaging. I will say that I was disappointed that the story's ultimate ending didn't even involve piloting skills or anything, especially considering that the entire... See full review

4/10 story
7/10 art
3/10 characters
4/10 overall

Ryokan

Jan 21, 2023

This oneshot is structured in two halves. The first half shows Mitsuyo's father's strange behavior--specifically, feir drive to dig a hot spring within their home and to convert the home into an inn. The second half is set ten years after those events and shows Mitsuyo's boyfriend going to visit that childhood home to see whether or not the father was still treating it as an inn. My biggest complaint is that the last page and a half don't flow with the rest of the story in a way that creates for a satisfying story. The first interpretation is that the preceding events all actually happened... See full review

6/10 story
6/10 art
3/10 characters
5/10 overall

Umeku Haisuikan

Jan 20, 2023

This story starts out built around the premise of germophobia taken to an extreme level, and has a horror factor sorta built around the exaggerated grossness of an unhygenic person. Then the story shifts partway through and has the obsessive hand-washing no longer be solely tied to germophobia, but also reflect a guilty conscience (Lady Macbeth type of thing). And then there's a final shift involving the titular groaning drains and the absolutely absurdist and creepy cause behind that groaning. Structure-wise, the story feels a bit wobbly and the way the various elements got connected together didn't... See full review

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

The Game Devil

Jan 19, 2023

This has been fine. But I don't really find the way Roku wins fights against opponents who have much higher levels to be very interesting. It's possible that such a thing could be interesting if it felt like Roku was winning because of some sort of strategic choices to help offset the power difference, but as is, it just feels like Roku has cheat abilities granted to fem that allow for this sort of overpoweredness. Basically, it makes it feel like Roku's level is just nominal and doesn't actually reflect Roku's power, which then makes the winning against stronger opponents aspect not feel like Roku is... See full review

6/10 story
8/10 art
5/10 characters
6/10 overall

Korisu no Pokko-chan

Jan 18, 2023

This was sorta cute, I guess. Pokko-chan is helping out at a local sporting goods shop, and we see the shop owner sorta poaching customers from a general store next door by selling them "comparable" items. This happens twice and then we see Pokko-chan sorta flip the sitch by selling something from the general store to a customer of the sporting goods store (specifically, by making a golf club out of an earpick). There's also an ending scene involving some rollerblades which also involves what I assume was intended as another sitch-flip, but it honestly didn't feel nearly as cohesive... See full review

4/10 story
5/10 art
4/10 characters
4/10 overall

Age of Adventure

Jan 17, 2023

There are two hooks to this manga that serve as sources of entertainment: There are several allusions to various films and actors, so it creates something of a mash-up parody. That said, I don't know how clever the references are, since I'm not very familiar with the movies being referenced. I'm probably missing some, but from what I've been able to glean, some of these chapters either reference or are inspired by Wild Bill Hickock (1923), The Thief of Bagdad (1924), Morocco (1930), Dracula (1931), Arsene Lupin (1932), The Count of Monte... See full review

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

Sazanka

Jan 16, 2023

This manga made me think of my mom, who struggles both with self-hatred and with social interactions. It also made me remember the sorta "coming out" type of conversations (the sort of conversation like what Tatsuki had with feir boyfriend or later with feir friend from middle school) that I've had with various people, and how meaningful it's been when people respond with acceptance or especially when they don't think it's a big deal at all. So I appreciate how this manga both emphasizes the tragic downsides that can happen when you have to deal with jerks and assholes and also... See full review

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

Koisuru Sugar Cotton

Jan 14, 2023

I was very wary going into this, because I've seen such a large number of lolicon elements within various manga that I've grown to expect manga to develop in that sort of way whenever it gets anywhere near those sort of elements. But it turned out to be a very wholesome story with a very empathetic tone. The child character, Chiaki-chan, might perhaps have a crush on the adult character, Kiyoka-san, or it could be that Chiaki-chan just looks up to Kiyoka-san. And the most important thing is that even if we are supposed to interpret Chiaki's feelings as a crush, the adult character definitely... See full review

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

Daikenja no Manadeshi: Bougyo Mahou no Susume

Jan 14, 2023

I'm not sure how long this manga can remain interesting, considering that what makes it work is seeing all the weird and unexpected ways that Reese uses defensive magic and an unattributed state. Eventually, I assume the author will run out of ideas for novel things that Reese can do and, at that point, I suspect that this manga's ability to entertain me will fall off a cliff. But at the moment, I have to admit that I have found this manga entertaining. Reese could be seen as an overpowered main character--because fe's so much more powerful than many of the people around fem--but the overpoweredness feels... See full review

7/10 story
4/10 art
8/10 characters
8/10 overall

Kabi

Jan 13, 2023

The way the characters act doesn't make much sense. And the story leans far too heavily on the mystery and draws things out too long, when it could've probably spent that time delving into things more deeply or deepening the world-building in some way. I will say that the aesthetics of the deteriorating hallways and general mold-ery is pretty cool-looking, though I don't really understand why piping ending up developing. I think this manga mainly falls into the gross-out type of horror story.

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3/10 story
7/10 art
1/10 characters
3/10 overall

Grand Doll

Jan 12, 2023

The biggest problem with this manga is that it's propaganda in support of maintaining the status quo written in response to real-life protests that were going on at the time that this was written (which you can read about in this Wikipedia article). You know how some people will accuse protests of being filled with paid protesters as a way to ignore the complaints of the protesters? Or how some people will latch onto any sort of infighting or disagreements within the protest... See full review

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

The Most Notorious "Talker" Runs the World's Greatest Clan

Jan 11, 2023

I've enjoyed this series. It's very possible that Noel is being overly dick-ish, but I still enjoy seeing the schemes that fe comes up with. I'm also not entirely sure how I feel about the harem-y way we get several female characters fawning over Noel, but that annoyance is largely alleviated by the fact that there are also quite a few male characters who fawn over and idolize Noel (so it's not so much a harem fantasy as just a general power fantasy...which I guess could also be kinda annoying to some...). I will say that I very much appreciate how Noel has a lot of limitations to how overpowered fe is and... See full review

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

Yami no Zesshou

Jan 10, 2023

So the singular idea which Junji Ito has decided to build a story around this time is basically a combination of a song being stuck in your head with tinnitus (the medical condition where there's a constant ringing in someone's ear). The cause is verified to be supernatural in the middle and then it turns just straight-up weird during the climactic final moments. I find the artwork quite nice and I especially appreciate the singer's singing face. This is decent, but not great. 

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5/10 story
8/10 art
4/10 characters
5/10 overall

Pick Me Up!

Jan 9, 2023

This story has been pretty alright, largely just because the premise of having video game characters be actual people with lives and thoughts of their own is a decent enough premise. I think this manhwa does a decent job of portraying the fear and more negative emotions, which definitely does help to add to the tone. My biggest complaint is probably that it feels like Han isn't doing much of anything to get out of this situation. Like, Han accepts the idea that fe's stuck within this world very readily (and those who spend time trying to find ways out are seen as cowards who just don't want to... See full review

7/10 story
8/10 art
6/10 characters
7/10 overall

Wreckage X

Jan 8, 2023

The adorable character design for this cat feels wasted on a four-page gag comic that's barely even funny. I don't think I'd recommend reading this if you're looking for any sort of engaging storyline or characters, but if you're just wanting to look at some pretty artwork then these pages could probably satisfy that desire.

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1/10 story
9/10 art
2/10 characters
2/10 overall

Seishun Survival

Jan 7, 2023

This is a collection of four oneshots. The synopsis is only describing the first oneshot. I liked the first oneshot a decent amount. I'd probably rate it as a 6 or 7/10. It's a pretty low-stakes survival story, but that does make it feel a bit more relatable. I liked the moral of the story, as it were, that you shouldn't label people as "useless" and instead it's better to recognize and appreciate their strengths. The second oneshot is possibly my favorite. I'd probably rate it as an 8/10. The premise for this one is that a girl overhears a guy presumably agreeing to a bet with... See full review

6/10 story
6/10 art
8/10 characters
7/10 overall

Clevatess: The King of Devil Beasts, The Baby and the Brave of Undead

Jan 6, 2023

Whenever I find a series like this one that immediately hooks me and makes me fall in love with it, it makes me feel like all the time I spend sifting through mediocrity and crap is actually worth it. I think what sets this manga apart for me is the characters. The storyline also feels kinda distinct--it has the childrearing element (which feels like it should be in a wholesome manga instead) mixed with the fighting and gore--but the characters still easily outshine it. The motives for the characters are distinct from one another and actually mesh together in such a way as to create natural tension... See full review

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

Turning the Tables on the Seatmate Killer

Jan 6, 2023

The artwork is crappy. There are weird and ugly decisions made with the eyes. There are far too few details in the backgrounds and the characters are also quite simplistic and generic in their designs. The characters are...better than the artwork, I guess? But they are still within the "crappy" range, I'd say. The main characters are the dead-eyed boy, Yuuki, and the "seatmate killer" girl, Yui. Yuuki doesn't let things bother fem and basically has nerves of steel. Yui was given the nickname "seatmate killer" because fe is friendly with the people sitting next to fem. Yui... See full review

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

Mimi Kosuri Suru Onna

Jan 5, 2023

Synopsis: Mayumi feels extreme option paralysis, to the point that fe doesn't even feel able to blink without somebody assuring fem that blinking would be a good action to take. So helper are hired to follow Mayumi around every waking hour and guide fem through everything. Uchida Mitsu is the first such helper who seems to be able to actually stand the job and Mayumi has been able to live a relatively normal life because of Mitsu's help. My Opinion: I think that taking something that is generally relatable (like option paralysis) and dialing it up to an absolutely absurd degree is a good starting point for... See full review

7/10 story
9/10 art
6/10 characters
7/10 overall

Isekai ni Kita Mitai dakedo Dou sureba Yoi no Darou

Jan 4, 2023

I read through these eight chapters a few years ago and then sat on it, passively waiting for me chapters to come out. I didn't write a review at the time because I try not to review things until there are at least ten chapters available, to try to make sure they've had a chance to develop at least a bit. So the marriage aspect is obviously the aspect which sets this manga apart from other isekai stories. On the one hand, that marriage aspect is kinda awkward because of the age difference and the fact that Liz is still in the midst of adolescence. On the other hand, since this aspect is what makes it... See full review

2/10 story
8/10 art
5/10 characters
4/10 overall

The Grand Mudang Saga

Jan 3, 2023

This series entertains me in a similar way as Volcanic Age. It's based in the Murim world, with the large number of sects and the evil groups self-identifying as evil (or "unorthodox") and all that jazz. Our protagonist, Jinmu, has the life experience from a previous life (where fe was a powerful evil dude). In this life, Jinmu has taken over the body of a disciple of the Wudang sect. The humor and intrigue within this series largely comes from seeing Jinmu acting brazenly and self-centeredly, but still being interpreted as a decent member of the righteous ascetic sect where fe... See full review

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

The Butterfly Inside

Jan 3, 2023

This manhwa is also known as "Love Limit Exceeded" in some translations. And while it is definitely a high-quality work that I'd probably recommend to anybody looking for some erotic content, it should be noted that this work has been on hiatus for over a year (I believe because the author is recovering from surgery?) and this story was still in the build-up stage of its narrative arc. We had the characters and the relationship dynamics all laid out and the beginnings of some drama, but things hadn't really developed fully and definitely hadn't reached any sort of climax. It's still... See full review

7/10 story
9/10 art
5/10 characters
7/10 overall

2015: Space Series

Jan 2, 2023

This is a collection of fourteen oneshots about space travel and aliens and arks finding new planets for humanity to live on and loneliness and self-sacrifice. The majority of the artwork ranges from bad to mediocre, with only a few pieces being actually on the good end of the scale. Similarly, the majority of the stories within this collection are pretty underwhelming and even bad. The constant of gravity shifted within our universe and caused life on Earth to become unfeasible, so an ark has been traveling with its crew members in hibernation to try to find a new habitable planet. The crew members... See full review

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

Lit a Light

Jan 2, 2023

The twist in this story was fine, I guess, but I think it went a bit too far with the coincidences and it just felt more contrived than compelling. I think this could've been avoided in two ways: it could've either done some foreshadowing in the earlier part of the story or it could've been a bit less specific in how Takahashi was connected to the things going on (like by having a different family background or something). I'm also not convinced that the twist actually added much to the meat of the story at all. Like, I feel like there could've been some other way for Takahashi to have shown that... See full review

5/10 story
8/10 art
6/10 characters
6/10 overall

Martial Wild West

Jan 1, 2023

Review start now: This manhwa doesn't have a strong overarching plotline; it's moreso episodic. The first story (ch. 1-3) has Jang Geon fighting some peeps in a saloon and members of an evil sect. In the second story (ch. 4-8), Jang Geon is traveling through the desert space and fights a bandit group whose leaders have learned demonic arts while helping some peeps get to a town for a doctor. The third story (ch. 9-16) gets into some fresh narrative space and involves Jang Geon fighting some peeps from some sort of clan. And the fourth story has just begun, so I know not what it will be about. Possibly a... See full review

4/10 story
8/10 art
6/10 characters
6/10 overall

Tomodachi no Neechan ni Koi shita Hanashi

Dec 31, 2022

This doujinshi starts out with two hooks that help draw the reader in: 1) Rio is the sister of Haruto's best friend, and 2) Rio is five years older than Haruto. Now, let's ask ourselves "why do these function as hooks?" And it should be immediately clear that the author is playing into the abnormality of their dynamic. Abnormalities can function as hooks in two basic ways: They can feed into a desire to gawk at things which are different. Think circus sideshows. But I don't think this manga is really playing into this gawking sort of enjoyment (partially because the age gap isn't visually... See full review

1/10 story
5/10 art
2/10 characters
2/10 overall

Ending Maker

Dec 30, 2022

This has been pretty cute. Specifically, the romance element and watching the teasing and awkwardness from the two of them having to pretend that they're in love with each other.  I will say that I would've preferred if this story actually had two solid protagonists who each contributed to the strategizing and whatnot. Or at the very least, where Cordelia didn't just largely come across like a sidekick and romantic interest for Yuder. I mean, the whole hook is that there are two people who've both been transmigrated into the bodies of their game characters, so it feels like it would've been... See full review

5/10 story
6/10 art
4/10 characters
5/10 overall