Monthly Archives: December 2012
Have a great New Year’s Eve!
Have a great New Year’s Day!
I wish you good luck in completing your resolutions if you are making them. If you are not, then just enjoy your year.
Eve is for partying while the Day is for visiting family, lol. Well, at least it is in my family. Let’s keep it a small secret.
Title: Death Note Vol. 2: Confluence
Author: Tsugumi Ohba
Artist: Takeshi Obata
Series: Death Note Vol. 2
Genre: Supernatural thriller manga
Source: Public Library
Pub. Year: 2003
Purchase: Amz/ B&N/ TBD
Blurb from Amazon:
Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects – and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal…or his life? Light thinks he’s put an end to his troubles with the FBI – by using the Death Note to kill off the FBI agents working the case in Japan! But one of the agents has a fiancee who used to work in the Bureau, and now she’s uncovered information that could lead to Light’s capture. To make matters worse, L has emerged from the shadows to work directly with the task force headed by Light’s father. With people pursuing him from every direction, will Light get caught in the conflux?
Random: I love how I know what is going to happen yet it still as exciting as the first time I saw the anime.
An excellent continuation of the first volume and more intense than the last one. It is not as philosophical as the first because the manga is moving forward with the investigation into Kira.
The character cast is still the same with the added addition of Naomi Misora, the fiancé of Raye Penber. Raye and Naomi played an interesting part in this volume because Light ends up using both of them.
There are three main events in this volume. The first deals with Raye Penber and the FBI. The previous volume allowed Light to gain access to Raye’s name which is crucial if he wants to kills someone. Raye introduces the reader to Naomi whom he has a condescending attitude for. He is like “Be a housewife only, you can’t be a housewife and agent and don’t intervene with my case.” What a little chauvinistic man. We learn through a flashback how Light tricks Raye into writing down the names of the agents and later kills all of them. Light made sure that L could not track him to a specific agent but Light dealing with Naomi gave him away in the end.
Naomi comes into the picture because she is a former FBI agent and believes that Kira killed Raye so she wants to try to bring him down as well. She is a very smart person who figures out more about Kira’s methods of killing which places Light in danger if she can get the information to Kira Task Force. This leads to the most intense cat-and-mouse game ever… at least on Light’s part. It is so intense because he is desperately trying to gain access to her real name and how he convinces her, it’s pretty awesome. At the same time, I feel like Naomi was underused. She is a smart and strong woman and Light just kills her because she is a threat (which I understand) but there is no strong women in this series. I wish she had a longer or a more important role other than to make Light feel threatened. I really liked her character.
L or Ryuzaki as he would like to be called by the Kira Task Force is now dealing face to face with the task force. He is extremely logical and is well-prepared with neat gadgets like GPS belts for the task force. Naomi’s disappearance tips L that Kira had contact with Raye Penber because he believes that Naomi would never have committed suicide over Raye’s death. It leads to Ryuzaki placing cameras on the two families that Penber was investigating; the Deputy Director General and Detective Superintendent Yagami (Light’s father and head of the Kira Task Force). The cameras showed just how paranoid (or cautious, take your pick) Light truly is. Having little tricks that show if anyone enters his room.
The artwork is fantastic. It’s the same as in the previous manga. Light still has a somewhat innocence face. Ryuzaki looks childish in certain pages which hides his real age.
My favorite part of the volume is Ryuk panicking over the loss of his apples because apples are like cigarettes, very addicting. He is like “I’m not on your side but I will help you because I need apples.” Best source of motivation. I also did not know that he likes to play Mario Golf, that is so random that it is awesome.
Overall, this is a 5 Black Butterfly rating because it continues the excitement of the first manga and it is just as intense. Ryuk and Light are still my favorite characters.
79th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: Serial Killer, TV Addict, Second in a Series, M/GN/VG
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you.
I hope you have a pleasant day and enjoy your evening.
There is no blurb for this book so all I will say is “The epic conclusion to the search for Paradise ”
Random: Different ending in the anime and a different Blue. Watch the anime instead, it did come out first.
Wow. I thought the first book was fast-paced but it doesn’t compare to the second and final volume of the story. It is overloaded with information and action. It really should have had at least two more volumes.
No new characters were really introduced (except a few minor characters) but there is more background on the motivations of the characters. We learn why Quent hates the wolves and it has to do with his family. His background was well-executed for being a minor character. Darcia wants to open paradise for Hamona who was cursed by Paradise or the quest to find Paradise placed her in a coma. He wants to awaken her using Paradise but the manga doesn’t say how she entered a coma state. As a villain, Darcia has the interesting look but without knowing the story about Hamona, he is not a fantastic villain. She is driving force behind Darcia so it is necessary to learn about her in order to understand him. Cheza’s past is also reveal and she has a tragic story behind her but at the same time, it’s not her story as it is the story of those who created her. She didn’t suffered through the fates that they did but it is still very sad. I wish there was more details on Cheza’s creation and her powers. She is a creation of the Nobles to open Paradise but there is so much of Paradise that is left unanswered. What is Paradise exactly? How did Darcia obtained that special eye of his?
The elements of tragedy were poorly executed in this manga. There is not enough of a background on the characters for the readers to feel truly sympathetic. Quent’s background and Kiba’s background are the only stories that have a well-placed empathy trigger. Another well-placed trigger is Blue but that might be an anger trigger because Blue’s story follows a different path than the one she followed in the anime. It’s the complete opposite of her anime path so that is interesting and honestly, it’s a little hard to believe in…if the reader has a knowledge of how the anime goes.
I may not know a lot about art but I recognized a fatal flaw in the artwork. There is a specific scene where the original flower maidens died and formed a skeleton mountain. It’s supposed to be a beautiful but tragic death. The mountain looks nice but it lost the full affect of the beautiful tragedy when the mountain was split in half because the center of the mountain is the book bind. Only one side of the mountain is visible so it’s not as grandiose as it could be. That mountain should have taken up both pages or one full page where the magnitude and the tragedy of the deaths could excel.
While the tragedy aspects of this manga fall short, it is really great at wondering what Paradise can mean to anyone. Quent feels he lost Paradise with his family but then questions whether Paradise means humans helping each other. Not just humans but also wolves and humans helping each other. He is a character that has a complete transformation cycle. Darcia’s Paradise would leave everyone else behind so he has a darker view of Paradise. Tia, the flower girl that Toboe met, believes that Paradise can be created anywhere, that it is not a specific place. Her line of thinking is in like with Quent’s. One thing is clear that the majority of the character agreed that Paradise is about unity. The ending is quite nice (and different than the anime); there is a sense of hope that everything will work out. There is a final battle between Kiba and Darcia which is not as epic as in the anime but it’s still a nice battle.
In the end, this manga should have used a few extra volumes to hash out the details and the background of the characters. The artwork tends to have great facial expressions, especially the eyes, but there are just certain scenes that did not work. The majority of the artwork is solid and pretty good though. Read this manga as a companion to the anime but not as a standalone. Quent’s background and the idea of Paradise are what makes this manga worth reading.
78th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: M/GN/VG, Second in a Series, Science Fiction, Dystopia, TV Addict
Blurb from Amazon:
As an anime series, Trigun gained a multitude of fans across the otaku landscape before gaining a huge mainstream manga audience. Now, Trigun goes beyond the storyline laid out in the anime and the first two volumes of the manga into brand new territory! Our hero Vash the Stampede disappeared for two years after blasting a crater onto the moon orbiting the desert planet he saved from annihilation. But, with good and bad people alike trying to track him down he won’t stay lost for long! Count on more crazy gunslinger action, new dastardly villains… and a new outfit to boot!
Random: Again, I’m a huge fan of the anime , Trigun, that I had to pick it up and it’s a little different than the show.
First off, the manga doesn’t start with a bang but it does start with something similar because it is extremely fast paced. It feels like it’s the second or third volume of the series which makes sense since the series was cancelled previously and picked up by another company. Now, I have watched the anime before so I wasn’t as confused but even I was like “Whoa, this is dropping way too much information without the appropriate background info.”
Let’s meet the character cast. Vash the Stampede is the lovable blond who wants to lead a peaceful life but he is prone to causing massive amounts of destruction. He is an expert gun marksman and not quite human. Nicolas D. Wolfgang is a traveling priest who is a bit of a pessimist and carries a large (human-length) cross that is actually a gun. Meryl and Millie are insurance investigators who have a connection to Vash. The main antagonist of the series is Knives who is the brother of Vash and a ruthless murderer.
The relationship between Vash and Nicolas is quite interesting. Vash, according to the world is a trigger happy gunman, yet it is Vash who tells Nicolas “not to kill people” which is ironic because Nicolas is a priest. They are further contrasted in their beliefs about humanity; Vash is optimistic about humanity whereas Nicolas is cynical and doesn’t believe that they should help everybody that stumbles their way. Their conversations tend to be about morality and choices.
This volume sets up the future volumes of Vash and Nicolas searching for Knives but it also introduces Legato who is interested in Vash as well. The main event of the manga is a hostile takeover of a train between rival families who are seeking to control a plant. The Earth is essentially a wasteland and plants provide the energy for life on Earth so whomever controls the plants are powerful individuals. Vash becomes involved because that’s the type of person he is; he is the type of to intervene in problems in hopes of solving them a little more peacefully.
It further showcases two different perspective on Vash. There are those who see Vash as a destroyer of humanity but there also those who are friendly with Vash and understand that he is actually keeping them safe from his homicidal brother. Vash also shows his different sides, one as a funny and very cheerful guy. He is singing “La-la-la, Oceans of Blood” ( pg. 148) right before entering a hostage situation. His other side is the serious and deeply scarred emotional man that agonizes over the death of any human.
In terms of artwork, I like it. I love the funny faces and small caricatures. There is great detail on Vash’s red outfit. The majority of the solid black comes from clothing and hair. Overall, the art is well done. There is a sense that the Earth is a barren wasteland.
In the end, I’m looking forward to the next installment and seeing the reunion between Vash and Millie and Meryl.
77th in 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: Science Fiction, 1st in a Series, M/GN/VG,
Well, it has certainly been a long time since I posted a review or even updated this site. Life left me behind and I’ve been playing catch-up and that is why I have not updated the blog. I’m so sorry that I did not keep contact with any of my followers and that I fell behind on my reviews. That is so unprofessional of me (not that I’m a professional reviewer, I just do this for fun but not reviewing makes me seem like a slacker).
On a very sad note, I will not be able to finish the 150+ Reading Challenge since I’m only at 76 books right now. I honestly cannot bust out over 50 books in less than one month so I’m just going to aim to reach 100 (and that might not be possible either). As for the other challenges, it may be possible to finish some of them. My long extended break really hindered me.
I also cannot believe that I miss my own blog anniversary. It was December 3. It’ so funny because I was planning something special but now, it’s like worthless. I guess next year, I better not miss it, lol. I’ll just do something special for New Year’s Day or something in January.
With that being said, let’s finish 2012 and start getting ready for 2013 and the challenges ahead.