Monday, July 25, 2005
SHOJO BEAT COMPILATION, Vol. 1
I picked up this compilation, containing chapters of all of the Shojo Beat GN/digest line of series. So I could tell which ones I might want to give a longer look to.
Full Moon O Shagasite - When I first heard the premise for this series, dealing with a young girl who needs a surgery to remove a growth from her throat. Yet refuses because it will mean the loss of her voice, and thus the end to her planned life of a singer.
I thought it sounded dumb and a bit creepy, especially with two agents of death intervening to make sure she doesn't do anything that might help save her life.
Yet the whole thing works somehow, in a way that is cute and yet very emotional impacting. With an ending that does the best job of them all to make me want to find out what happens next.
Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden - I really enjoy Yuu Watusi's art, as it has such an energy and intuitive sense that makes it a pleasure to read. That is in evidence in abundance here, as well as just a beauty that had me admiring the figure work and backgrounds.
Yet not having reading any of the prior Fushigi Yugi series that this is a prelude to, just had me wondering if I was missing something important here.
It is a fantasy story about a young girl who feels lost after her mother's death. (due to consumption) Whose father's preoccupation with a mysterious book leads her to try to destroy it, only to apparently be sucked into another world.
I couldn't tell if this would be a series I'd like or not, as it just didn't have enough to get a feel for what the series will be like. The art is certainly nice to look at though.
Merupuri - I like the lead character here, a young woman who is obsessed with not being late. Because of a strange legend that says the longer you go with out being tardy, the better boyfriend you'll get. Which just makes me chuckle as of all things I look for in women, punctuality isn't very high on my list.:)
Yet she has a good heart, and when she finds a strange young boy in the street who seems lost. She takes him in for the night in order to help him.
Yet the last page revelation, and how the kid is apparently from a fantasy world just has me wondering if it'll be a book I'll like or not. Given my disinterest in fantasy as a genre.
Ouran High School Host Club - The worst story in the bunch, with art that felt claustrophobic with its almost entire lack of space. Not to mention a panel flow that was all across the board.
Even getting past that, the characters are all 1 dimensional wretches, who have yet to show any redeeming values. I'm glad I didn't waste any money on this series.
Tokyo Boys & Girls - I love the creator's Hot Gimmick series, and while this doesn't live up to that level of quality. It is still an interesting start to the series about young people's internal personal politics. As they try to find ways relate to each other in life as friends, classmates or potential lovers.
The art needs a bit of work on defining the looks for the characters though. There were a few times I found myself questioning who I was looking at, especially in regards to two rival boys after one girl's affections.
Still a good start, and I'm glad to have bought volume 1 of the series.
Ultra Maniac -Witchcraft has gone modern, as the cool and popular Ayu helps a clueless classmate Nina find what turns out to be her pocket computer/spellmaker.
While Ayu doesn't think it a big deal, and moves on with her life as a tennis player and tries to get ready for an upcoming tennis match her friends signed her up for against the best boy's tennis player. (with the fate of whether the boys or girls got access to two or 1 tennis courts to practice on)
Nina decides that Ayu must be her best friend in the world, and tells her about her life as a witch and grants her a wish. Which is a way to be stronger and faster than her male opponent, resulting in an ending that had me laughing and wanting to see what happened next.
While the witchcraft looks to be a big plot device, the first chapter here seems to point to it being much like television's Sabrina show. With it being used for laughs and backstory. While the heart of the story is about school life, popularity and first crushes.
So that's three of the 5 series that I want to try more of, and one that I'm curious enough about to at least look through the volume in stores. Not too bad for the launch of a new line of series.