Board 8 > Tom resumes reading all the Bolo Household Manga Collection (spoilers)

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Tom Bombadil
05/24/19 4:11:59 PM
#1:


So since I work primarily at a school, every year I have had a tradition of having B8 help me pick a summer project to help fill out the extra time, and settling on something that takes me way longer than a summer to complete. (still working on my Stardew Valley LP from 2017 lol) Last year I started reading through all of my and Wifebolo's combined manga stash in alphabetical order, got as far as "Demon," and ran out of time to update regularly. I bet I can get significantly farther this time! I'll be aiming for about five books a week, roughly. You'll get plot summaries, a rating, and maybe some pics.

@5tarscream was the main one reading last year

so I have picked up a few manga in the last 9 months or so, but not many of them come before where I had gotten in the alphabet. One that DOES however, is

The Ancient Magus' Bride Vol 1 of 1
Story and Art: Kore Yamazaki
qGAYpGa

Chise Hatori is a 15-year-old who is bought at an auction. Off to a good start. >_> Her purchaser is a magus- magic and monsters and stuff are apparently rare but existent in this world, and she is one of the few who can see creatures and stuff. She was ostracized and abandoned by everybody up until this Elias Ainsworth guy bought her. She is a "sleigh beggy," which I'm assuming means "human who can see creatures" or possibly "weird localization." Elias teleports them home, frees Chise from her manacles, and takes her on as an apprentice.

We take a bath and meet some fairies, which Elias calls Ariels. A Sleigh Beggy is actually like a queen bee for faeries, or something. One tricks her into a walk in the woods and tries to get her to come to the Fairy Kingdom. She decides against staying with them because she was welcome in Elias' home. She goes home with him and by the way he's going to marry her later.

We go into town and meet Angelica: a craftswitch and mom. She tries to teach Chise her first magic, but as a Sleigh Beggy, Chise has soaked up so much magic that she can only use it in large bursts, so she overdoes the spell. We also learn that Chise's mother is dead.

Simon Cullum, the priest, has a few favors to ask, in exchange for some sort of continued smoothing-over with the church. To Iceland! We meet some dude and some Earth Dragons. We bond with the eldest, who is about to pass on and become a tree. We get to bond with him and think about death and life and stuff.

Now we're on a train, being summoned to see the King of Cats. They get smarter with each of their nine lives, don'cha know. Apparently Elias taking an apprentice is a big deal, because by now we've had like five different minor characters react strongly to the news, having learned about it previously through the grapevine. King Molly needs some help with a seal on a blight- the Kings of Cats have been keeping some ickiness sealed there for a long time after they killed a guy who murdered them. Some dude grabs Chise and chucks her in the lake around the seal, and she has a flashback to the cat-killer's life. He and his wife seem perfectly normal, and his wife asks Chise to purify them.

I am having a really hard time pinning down the time frame of this setting- the faeries were calling America the New World and we haven't really seen tech of , but we also have trains and Elias just mentioned computers. Elias puts Chise in charge of purifying the thing because it's not his strong suit...but she gets kidnapped by Dude in a Suit and Dude From Before!

My rating: 6/10
I dunno, I wanted to get more exposition faster, but they are going the "main character doesn't know anything and neither do you" route. I saw a bit of the anime and liked it, but I think it started further along in the story? This didn't do a whole lot for me. :\ And the relationship kinda creeps me out since she is way younger and not necessarily on board.
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Tom Bombadil
05/29/19 8:53:17 AM
#2:


whoops forgot to track this

updates SHOULD start in earnest today but they def will in a week when school is actually out
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Maniac64
05/29/19 8:55:12 AM
#3:


Huh. I saw a commercial for the anime of that on crunchyroll yesterday
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Tom Bombadil
05/29/19 8:58:26 AM
#4:


we watched an episode or two of the anime and liked it

I think it started after she was already kinda settled in maybe?
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Maniac64
05/29/19 9:08:35 AM
#5:


No idea. Wife and I are watching one piece and it is one of the shows advertised.
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Tom Bombadil
05/29/19 12:31:54 PM
#6:


Demon Diary Vol. 4 (of 5?)
Story: Lee Yun Hee
Art: Kara
BAoDKlq

This is (approximately?) where we left off last time! Let's see how much I can remember of the plot: this kid has become the next big fancy demon lord, but he is a male moeblob, and everybody is confused why his badass big-deal mentor is wasting his time with him. Vaguely yaoi vibes ensue in a Disgaea-ish setting as the kid tries to live up to the expectations, and now he's actually starting to develop his demon side or something and his predecessor is getting mysteriously involved despite being dead. There's a rather incompetent female demon hunter that has wound up as his vassal, a young priest or something, some seer lady, and I wanna say an evil book that corrupted the kid? Something like that OKAY THUMBS UP LET'S DO THIS.

The particularly fabulous Demon Lord Krayon has come to challenge our boi Raenef V, or at least complain about his stupid name. He zots Raenef and the sidekick squad into some demon's dream and has cryptic backstory chats with Eclipse the Strong Mentor Guy. I think I read this one but I can use a refresher anyway. Krayon allows Eclipse to visit Merushae the seer for help, which is a last resort for him since he can't handle her very well. It turns out to be HER dream they're stuck in, but they need Krayon's permission to leave because dreams are his thing. Also, Raenef IV shows up in the background for what I believe to be the first time.

It's time for a showdown with "Demon Lord Fancy-Pants!" We're on his home turf though, so Raenef's fledgeling powers don't even work. Eclipse shows up to tank, but here even he can't hold up for long. Raenef IV freezes time and tells Krayon to let everybody go, and he does so. Apparently Raenef IV doesn't want V to "awaken" yet. Dude's supposed to be dead, so Merushae and Krayon decide they should have some sort of demon council. Raenef V is getting frustrated that he is just a liability and an embarrassment to Eclipse, and wants to be a true demon lord....which is the perfect cue for a friendly little book to offer to awaken that power. Well that couldn't possibly be a bad thing, so sure. Raenef is now all cocky and tyrannical, which is kinda what we all wanted but also kinda weird and suspicious. He's going to crash the council.

Nice little appendix on how magic works. (and why IV could do stuff when V couldn't)

My rating: 8/10
I do like the characters and the setting, even if I'm not that into what I presume is going to become the canon ship of Raenef and Eclipse.
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Tom Bombadil
05/30/19 9:59:56 AM
#7:


upon closer inspection I brought volume 3 with me, not volume 5

no update today then I guess lol
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Tom Bombadil
06/06/19 7:45:29 AM
#8:


Today starts more frequent updates! Probably!
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Tom Bombadil
06/07/19 6:41:32 PM
#9:


well I guess I didn't say it would INCLUDE one of said updates

So upon further review I can find volumes 1-4, 6, and 7. 5 was probably stashed somewhere weird last time I tried to make progress on this, and I'll find it in like a year. Ah well I hope nothing super relevant happened!

Demon Diary Vol. 6
G0Lso8u

From what I can tell from the barely-legible summaries, what we missed is
-Raenef V (the one we know) is IV's time-displaced son. Oh okay.
-Raenef IV was hit with a curse that killed him (I guess he got better?) and was supposed to wipe out his line.
-Krayon has a thing for Erutis the girl knight.
-Chris is probably important now because he has a longer bio than even the main characters. ...But not more space, so the SUPER KEWL FONT is too hard to read.
-Heaven is attacking trying to finish what they started with IV. They were behind the personality switch I guess? IV has told the rest of the demons to butt out, and now wants Chris to call on his god and attack V.

As a Cleric, Chris is uniquely tired to wear down Raenef (I'm going to call the main character Raenef and the ancestor one IV), and that needs to happen so that one of his personalities can overcome the other. I notice that IV hasn't specified which one is going to win, but Chris is assuming it'll be the good one. It appears to be an evenish fight once Chris takes on god-level powers. Meanwhile IV explains to the peanut gallery that he forfeited his life to bind his spirit to the Raenef name, thereby bypassing the curse and allowing him to continue on as a spirit, or something like that. He wanted to give Nice Raenef more time alive to get an advantage over Mean Raenef- if they'd woken up at the same time they would've just killed each other.

Chris finally ekes out a win by summoning MagnaAngemon. IV heals Raenef back and now the personalities are harmonized so he can be nice AND not an idiot at the SAME TIME. Whoops this was all part of IV's master plan and he attacks so he can take back over. Eclipse is bound to IV I guess? so he can't help until it's dramatically appropriate, and we're also in IV's realm, so this ain't good. Erutis tries to buy Chris time to prep a spell to exorcise IV, but she's way out of her league. Raenef steps up, but his power comes from IV, so that doesn't go so hot.

Oh, it's already time for Eclipse to take Raenef's side! It's his turn to slow down IV, with the idea that Raenef is gonna do some sort of Magic Manipulation thing that will accomplish something. He's gotta destroy the part of IV that's inside him. After some yaoibait, Eclipse joins the battle and gets dunked on. Erutis accomplishes absolutely nothing, but IV doesn't bother killing her, for Krayon's sake. Raenef pulls off the Magical Manipulation right as IV is about to black hole the place. IV is on the ropes, and Raenef stops him from taking Eclipse down with him. IV turns into a shota and poofs away so I guess we won? Chris shows back up, ready to exorcise, and Erutis yells at him for ruining the shipping moment.

My rating: 7/10
I've liked it up to this point, but this battle was kinda less than satisfying. Kinda a telling more than showing fight, if that makes sense- the "you gotta do that one thing we talked about" "oh okay" "I will buy time" "okay I did the thing" "alas I am slain" sequence just kinda felt rushed.

Last volume on deck!
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Tom Bombadil
06/08/19 2:05:32 PM
#10:


Demon Diary Vol. 7
FLY2BQ4

Read this one on the road but I'll see what I can do for a recap. Raenef has gotten amnesia and wandered back to his old human haunts to reconnect with his old band of thieves and urchins. The sidekick brigade splits up to find him, and of course Eclipse is the one to find him. Raenef is mostly back to his pre-shenanigans self, but we're told he has a bit of new edge and intelligence to him. After a few encounters with Eclipse, Raenef starts remembering him and all the other stuff. Things come to a head when some clerics attack, and then Raenef has a little internal monologue where he re-absorbs Edgy!Raenef and IV to become complete, or something. Now he's still a nice dude but he has some idea what he's doing in demon lord society, and can turn on the edge when he needs to. But we never get hawtt makeoutz.

Also some epilogue stuff- Krayon hitting on Erutis by preventing her from getting jobs and then blowing up some bad guys that screw her over when she's trying to do a mission. I am glad she is not responding well to these advances because it's one of those things that is played for comedy and kinda cute until you think about it for a half second. Still, it's nice to see her get focus for a half second because she was probably my favorite but I am about 95% sure you could have skipped her character and not changed the story at all. Also Chris has now risen to head of his order, but he's still a derp so he gets immediately busted back down a rank.

My rating: 6/10
We had everything kinda nicely tied up after last volume, so having Raenef temporarily revert all his development made this whole book feel kinda like a filler episode, which is an awkward way to end a series. And man they ramped up the EclipsexRaenef bait towards the end and then didn't really pay it off satisfactorily. I don't even ship it but c'mon don't leave it hangin' as a particularly close master-servant relationship wink wink after all that.

Overall: 7/10
I think I liked the first half more than the second half, but since I went about a year between the two, maybe that's not really a fair evaluation lol. There were a lot of things I liked about the worldbuilding and characters, but I feel like it kinda went the shounen-ai direction instead of fleshing that out as much as it could've, and then didn't really resolve that tension that much anyway. Still, it was a pretty good time.

Discussion question: I have compared this guy to Disgaea a few times. What's a manga/anime that has reminded you of a completely unrelated IP like that?
Hint for next: We're not past the "Demon" section yet.
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Tom Bombadil
06/10/19 6:37:57 PM
#11:


The Demon Ororon, 1 of 4
By: Hakase Mizuki
Whose fault is this: Wifebolo
9m7vTdM
Today's BGM:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kq7cQNO0gYc" data-time="


Going in completely blind on this one- all I know is that it's one of those multiple-volumes-in-one-book compilations. Not only is it 4 instead of the usual 3, but it's hardback, which I think qualifies it as a bludgeoning weapon. I'm doing this as four volumes because it does not look like my thang and I don't have the motivation to power through it in one sitting.

A boy named Chiaki was just out looking for a sweater that would cover BOTH his shoulders when he finds an injured seme. Chiaki nurses him back to health and it turns out this is the demon Ororon, who senses that Chiaki is half-angel and pledges him one wish and kisses his hand before leaving. There's a girl too but where we're going we don't need girls.

Speaking of girls having cooties, here comes a dead girl. Chiaki extends his neck to rougly nope.avi proportions and exorcises her or something. He seems mostly unaware or unwilling to accept his lineage and/or powers, which Ororon now thinks are more like those of an archangel. Chiaki is a lonely dude so he uses his wish to have Ororon stay with him always and be his friend, and Ororon has nothing better to do I guess. The next page they are hanging out in bed and Ororon is trying to get a kiss when he is attacked by Chiaki's cat. The girl from earlier is gonna come over and Ororon disappears and CHIAKI'S CLASSMATES ARE USING FEMALE PRONOUNS FOR CHIAKI I was certain she was just a shota.

Chiaki's parents are MIA and grandpa is dead and we're just a sad little two-dimensional waif child. Some demons or something show up (Ororon had mentioned earlier that people would wanna eat Chiaki) and Ororon comes back to make the save and be identified as DEMON KING ORORON. Ororon enslaves the gang of whatever-they-ares, and reveals that he had just gone to fetch his maid because Chiaki sucks at cooking.

Shiro and Kuro are two of the monsters that are now living here, and I am not sure what happened to the rest of that gang. Ororon has figured out that Chiaki's dad is probably the Archangel Michael, who should have been executed by now for doin' it with a mortal but probably escaped somehow since we haven't heard about it. The older one of Shiro/Kuro (black and white for those of you less far down the rabbit hole of weebery) killed a cat that the younger one liked. This is probably just an excuse for Ororon to exposit that he can resurrect creatures, but only if he is the one to kill them and they're not too far gone. That's apparently what happened to Shiro and Kuro's friends.

Meanwhile, Chiaki's aunt is in charge of her inheritance, and she's kinda a jerk. Shiro and/or Kuro show up to tell her what for. We make it a point to identify that the jerk aunt and...uncle?...are Christian, super. Somebody gets a cross in the back. I legit am already having trouble distinguishing the two catboys from the heroine, let alone each other. Shiro is the one who is down, apparently. The jerk angels who dun it also can't figure out Chiaki's gender, so at least I'm not alone. Angels always kill monsters (ie Shiro/Kuro) and children of the fallen (ie Chiaki) and Chiaki is upset by this state of affairs. Action looking things happen and I think Chiaki gets giant angel wings and Ororon kills the bad guys maybe.
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Tom Bombadil
06/10/19 7:19:18 PM
#12:


Ringleader angel-chan can't take a hint that this is the let-the-cool-guy-show-how-cool-he-is sequence, and tries one last attack, so she gets eaten by a giant Dopefish on crack. It be like that sometimes. Chiaki don't like the fighting and killing and such.

Ororon's big brother Othello is here now I guess, and hitting on Best-not-sexy-demon-Friend-chan (whose name is Lika). Ororon's actually the youngest of seven half-brothers, and the ruler for some reason, so his absence is causing a stir back home. Also some dead lady is talking to Ororon (I think?) and we get the line "You look like my mother when she died...mad from poison. It's sexy." He re-kills her or maybe she kills him or something and a buncha little spirit dudes come out and some other people are talking about stuff we already know. I guess God, the creator of the world, is the child of an angel and a mortal or something because that's how that works, and has hecked off to go do God somewhere else.

Ororon comes back all bloodied and tries to have his way with Chiaki so she bonks him with a rock and runs away. Goggles McGee and Hoodie Kid are hunting the bounty on Ororon so Goggles McGee can go back to his season of Digimon. One of our two main characters apologizes to the other for the sexual assault incident but we don't believe in putting stems on our speech bubbles so who knows. Ororon confesses his love to Chiaki and explains that it's kill or be killed for him but he's not a JERK about it but Chiaki still doesn't like it and wants him to stop. Chiaki says she'll never speak to him again, and catches a fever from hanging out in the rain.

A malnourished angel (even by this manga's standards) with unbuttoned pants tells Chiaki to break up with him because it could unseal the power sealed inside her by her dad. This dude's body is dead so he can't do a whole lot.

Flashback to Ororon backstory- his mom hated him and his dad and got poisoned. (presumably going mad and dying [sexily???] shortly thereafter) Ororon seems to have been into that. Also his dad stole the angel dude's eating-disorder-and-no-shirt-and-unbuttoned-pants look, but he has different hair and wings so he's probably a different person. After both his parents died, Ororon became king because why not, didn't have any interest in ruling, and dealt with a long string of deaths and assassination attempts until getting sick of it and taking his baggage to the human world with him, and that's when Chiaki found him.

Mitsune "Goggles" McGee gets another scene- btw he has a third eye and a missing arm I guess. Did you remember that he's a bounty hunter. Because he's a bounty hunter. He kills people. It's his job. Because he's a bounty hunter. Just FYI.

Ororon is nursing Chiaki and Othello teases him for a bit. Othello doesn't want to be king either, so he wants Ororon to come back and take back over. Ororon is being angsty by the school when the GOGGLES GANG shows up and shanks some random kid. Wifebolo is home and wants to watch stuff so it's time for a reprieve.
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Tom Bombadil
06/10/19 8:24:35 PM
#13:


There's a big fight scene at the school. All I can tell you is that Mitsune cares about civilian casualties but his dudes don't. Also I think people are getting MORE elongated as this manga progresses. There's more fighting and people saying things- I think Othello wants to buy Mitsune and Mitsune isn't about that, and another dude gave Ororon some trouble because he's trying not to kill, and some other dudes are going after kids and teachers, and Chiaki is running from a rapey one. And Lika is there. Don't quote me on any of that all these people look the same.

My rating: 1/10
Okay so Wifebolo and I have pretty divergent tastes, but usually with her stuff I can find SOMETHING I like- characters, art style, music, setting, a ship, humor, SOMETHING. I got nothing this time. I can't tell what's happening or who it's happening to half the time, not even the heroine appeals to me, and the setting I knew going in wasn't going to be my cup of tea. It doesn't seem to have made a big impression on Wifebolo either, so I suspect after I slog through the rest, it's gonna find itself on the next Half Price Books run.
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Tom Bombadil
06/10/19 8:46:30 PM
#14:


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Tom Bombadil
06/10/19 8:51:11 PM
#15:


also: wifebolo found an advertisement for the ororon complete collection....in our copy of the ororon complete collection
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Tom Bombadil
06/11/19 6:27:38 PM
#16:


The Demon Ororon Vol. 2 of 4
Qlo6WMV
(that's Chiaki on the right and Othello on the left. Probably.)
Today's BGM:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQHx_GPKccY" data-time="


We return to the land of speed forme deoxyses (deoxes? deoxysae?) with chins, where we are still involved in some big climactic fight between people we're supposed to care about and the Digi-Destined. Lika goes all ECW on Rape Guy, saving Chiaki but not before we get a boobshot nobody wanted. Some of the bad guys want to give up but the leader guy doesn't. Othello licks Goggles' shoe for an extended period. Ororon is done being Mr. Nice King Of Hell and starts wrecking people and summoning golems, but are his wounds too great at this point? (spoilers: probably not) Sexy Angel Man (who is god, maybe?) warns Chiaki to get out of Dodge, but just then one of the golems squishes....somebody, but I think everybody in the room is accounted for in the following panel? Maybe Kaworu Nagisa got a cameo- the hair's about right. Oh, it's a random little girl I guess.

Meanwhile, a whole bunch of dudes show up back at the ranch, interrupting underwear!catboy #2's chat with the cat. They appear to be Othello's underlings, and are annoyed that there's no magic barrier for this brouhaha. One of them is one of the brothers, I guess? Hoodie Kid gets decapitated by a golem. We hardly knew ye. Ororon has to kill Matthew (his ex-most loyal retainer that he fought right before coming to our world) a few more times. Matthew turns into Sheila the Mom. Othello hits on Goggles a while longer, trying to get him to live and hate him. Othello's army buddies show up now that I think most of the fighting is maybe over. One of them has a chin thicker than some of the torsos I've seen in this manga. The one I thought was one of the brothers is not, and his name is Charles.

Chiaki wakes up and decides now is a good time to go looking for Ororon. Catboy#1xLika is teased. Ororon kills his mom a few more times. We finally have the Chiaki and Ororon reunion and talk about death and killing and suicide and stuff. Romantically. Ororon tries to push Chiaki away. The surviving bounty hunter dudes show up and take her hostage so that Ororon will die quietly. Ororon solves this classic moral dilemna by punching them. Chiaki still won't let him kill the dudes though. He still wants to kill the dudes instead of them killing him though.

Flashforward- apparently Chiaki caused an earthquake and wiped out the city in a fit of pacifism. Kyoya Ootori is annoyed by this hassle. We're calling Chiaki the Savior now, and she's passed out. Scary Maid Lady shanks somebody who was trying to bother Ororon. Ororon teleports the party to somewhere that didn't get nuked. Some demons are gonna eat an angel, so it's time to think some more about killing and living and dying. We're about to leave them be when one of them tries to attack Ororon gets asploded. Meanwhile, Othello continues to torture and/or nurse and/or rape Mitsune, whom I can't call Goggles any more because he has lost his goggles, along with the rest of his clothes And that's the note on which we're ending the volume today!

My rating: 2/10
At least I could mostly follow it this time!
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5tarscream
06/11/19 9:25:51 PM
#17:


How did I manage to miss this tag. Dont worry Tom Im here. You are not aloooooone.
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5tarscream
06/11/19 9:26:04 PM
#18:


I do have to catch up a lot though
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Eerieka
06/11/19 10:03:45 PM
#19:


I love The Ancient Magus's Bride so much. I like the slower pace it takes, and the episodic adventures. You may have watched the OVA, btw, which came out before the anime but starts further in (and then consists of flashback sequences before the series).
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5tarscream
06/12/19 9:55:17 AM
#20:


Im not sure if Im glad that I caught up. That seems like something I dont want to read. Mainly because it just sounds like a fucking mess
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Tom Bombadil
06/12/19 6:31:55 PM
#21:


5tarscream posted...
Im not sure if Im glad that I caught up. That seems like something I dont want to read. Mainly because it just sounds like a f***ing mess


....that's fair!

Eerieka posted...
You may have watched the OVA, btw, which came out before the anime but starts further in (and then consists of flashback sequences before the series).


that sounds about right- maybe I'll give the main anime a shot!

but we have some nonsense to deal with first

The Demon Ororon Vol. 3 of 4

Today's BGM:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cXjcKTRWcg" data-time="


We return to Chinland, where Ororororororon was fine the last time we saw him but now he is collapsing from mortal wounds in front of Kuro and....Lika, maybe? Flashback to Chiaki losing control and blowing up the city- Ouran High School Host Club wanted to save her but since she was the one doing the exploding he got overruled and teleported out. We got her later. Now Chiaki is recovered and Auron is dying because he's dying. Chiaki looks a little smug about wiping her hometown off the map before having a breakdown about it. That means it's time for Sexy Angel Man to show up and try to encourage her to keep living but also offer to have her gloriously killed if she'd prefer. There's an attack on wherever it is that we are these days! Da Doo Ron Ron is going out in Unit 02 despite being on death's door. Lucy the Scary Maid is the first line of defense and Chiaki is running around worried for her of all people. The attacking force is attempting to avenge the death of the demon kid from the end of last volume.

O-Ren Ishii reminds us that he is injured and weak, then one-shots the attacking group. Lucy has also bloodlessly subdued the group attacking her offscreen. Some angel lookin' dude rallies them. More action things happen- I thought they were flashbacks because they have black background, but it appears to mostly fit what is currently happening, or, I dunno, and I don't really care anymore. Nyoro~n continues whining about his wounds and beating up everybody while simultaneously having a heartfelt talk with Chiaki. A kiss happens and we continue kicking around the dad that is trying to avenge his son.

Chiaki is the same kind of horrible kill-doing person as Oro~ because she has been killing monsters with her talisman (mentioned in vol. 1 but didn't seem functional, or otherwise important enough to mention in my writeup) since she was little. blah blah killing dying living forgiving blah. The Jobber Brigade has gotten tired of being a Jobber Brigade, and summons Ganimaaru, which is apparently really bad news.

Meanwhile in an office building, people are looking for Othello but he's probably busy with his new plaything. We've finally found O-Ron Swanson! (look the Oronron puns can't all be winners ok) We barge in on Othello to tell him we're shipping out, but there's blood all over the bedroom and one of them is stepping on the other one and there's an extra eye. I just love this subplot it's my favorite and really relates to anything else happening, ever.
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Tom Bombadil
06/12/19 6:54:04 PM
#22:


izEzE7X

Ganimaaru turns out to be...a big Flying Man from Earthbound, but it's very scary you gotta believe me, even though he looks like a Persona you'd get at like level 8. Ororon is way too wounded to be fighting but one shots him with a really big fire spell that his body can't handle. Continuing to no-sell, Ororon prepares to nuke the jobbers once and for all, but Ganimaaru blocks the shot and calls out Ororon for holding back. Ganimaaru is a girl(?) now: "Garo Garon Ganimaaru- Holy Spirit of the Highest Rank and Office."

Meanwhile Othello (bleeding from an eye socket) and the rest of the Fun Times Demon Jamboree finally show up. Othello breaks the magic barrier, which seems to be a big deal. We receive a report that some dude is besieging some city.

My rating: 1/10
https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/424/991/822.png
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5tarscream
06/12/19 8:43:03 PM
#23:


No Ron Weasley joke. I'm disappointed.
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Tom Bombadil
06/12/19 9:00:48 PM
#24:


I knew I forgot somebody
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Tom Bombadil
06/13/19 8:15:40 PM
#25:


Tonight, the "grand" finale of Oronald Mcdonald! I don't drink very often, but tonight we're bringing in reinforcements in the form of moscato in a disneyworld glass. I never claimed to know anything about how you're supposed to wine, but I need something to get me through the last round of anorexic stretch armstrongs.

The Demon Ororon Vol. 4 of 4

Today's BGM:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlpLYBuTN04" data-time="


I think maybe the following sidestories are actually part of Volume 3? Oh well. Othello is 10, but you wouldn't know from looking at his face. He beats up some rapists and stuff then meets one of his present-day army subordinates (Futaba, the then-general of the army) for the first time. Turns out she's a girl, which is news to me as much as it is Othello. He repeatedly proposes marriage to her, and she agrees on the condition that he beats her in a duel tomorrow. That being established, Othello wanders off with a prostitute. He beats her and marries her in the course of a page, and they have a son (Yotsuba) on the next page who is another one of the army gang I think. Whoops, Futaba is going to be executed for disobeying an order, and Othello has to do it or the army's going to be wiped out. CLIFFHANGER ENDING~~~ I coulda sworn she is still alive but the narration says she dies. I guess it could be both.

Mifune is 12, and has two arms, three eyes, and no goggles. Standard-issue hated-by-everybody tragic backstory to follow. The village blames him for a plague and that's what happened to his arm. He's missing fingers from it too, apparently- I never noticed. Thus he became a professional murderer, with dreams of killing the king of hell. Somebody finds him and offers him a reason to live! I'd be lying if I professed an ability to tell who that is, but I'm guessing Othello even though this seems to be before Mifune became his love slave.

Alright, back to the main story. It seems that the mystery eye is Mifune's third eye, and he wants it back. Oh that line from the backstory WAS Othello- he's giving Mifune a reason to live, and that reason is hatred or maybe wanting his eye back or maybe just torture fetishization. Anyway this is all pretty funny to the army dudes because Othello makes an attempt at a joke or two. He also swaps out the Mifune eye for one of his own. Yotsuba the Son is one of several to question if Mifune is worth this level of....whatever it is. You see, Othello is a real softie who plays the bad guy to I don't even know anymore why is this subplot a thing.

I'm not sure what is going on the next couple of pages but it looks like some of the as-yet unimportant people have caught up with Ororon. Oscar is here! He's another of the 7 brothers. We're running out of time to meet the other four, man. Ororon accuses him of trying to kill him and of poisoning mother dearest, but Oscar denies it. Orga is leading a rebel army against Klan Blue, which doesn't mean anything more to me than the last time somebody said it, but I guess they're rebelling against Ororon? Oscar appears to be on Orga's side, and Othello on Ororon's, and I guess Orga is another brother. Ororon and Othello don't even WANT the kingship so I dunno why we're supposed to be upset about a coup.
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Tom Bombadil
06/13/19 8:50:23 PM
#26:


Bird-Garo apologizes to Girl-Garo that he could only save one of the jobber demons. Maybe I was wrong that they were the same person? Othello intercepts Oscar's finishing blow, allowing Ororon to vamoose with Chiaki. Except he gets stepped on by Bird-Garo. Wait no, they're talking about Ororon, so maybe this is Othello. We have an attempt at a heartwarming moment where Ororon and Chiaki contemplate breaking up so they don't hurt each other any more or something but only they understand each othe-OH NO IT'S A GIANT BLORPY HUMANOID OOGA BOOGA. Oh no it killed Ororon, allegedly.

Oscar takes Chiaki hostage against the Tertiary Character Alliance. Oh no the ooga booga guy is gonna destroy Ororon but oh no he is accidentally gonna get Chiaki too. Ororon gets better and we have a tearful reunion but Oscar starts getting mad and slapping Chiaki around. I am not sure what happened to Ororon, or the ooga booga for that matter. The rest of the Z fighters look on in horror, unable to compete with Oscar's powers of, uh, glasses wearing and girl slapping? One of the catboys has had enough, and boldly steps forward to...do nothing as we cut back to the main characters. Ororon is dying oh no.

Meanwhile in hell, there's a cool guy with glasses, and some explosions. I'll hazard a guess that this is Orga conquering the capital. Kuro and Jobber Demon guy argue over whether this is a good thing. Oscar and Othello and Ororon trade witty quips as Ororon continues to bleed out. Orga is named Olga now. Did you know he was attacking Klan Blue? Oscar disembowels Ororon. Lovely. Ororon wants Chiaki to look away, but she doesn't wanna. Some dude, probably a good guy, kills some other dudes, probably bad guys.

Mifune shows up and calls Oscar "four-eyes." ...I gotta admit, I chuckled. Othello tries to get girl-Garo to save Ororon and Chiaki despite her having been summoned there to kill him. She doesn't know what's happening. Same, tho. Oh no Oscar has the Senior Counselor who is the most important entity in hell. I'd tell you who that is if I remembered or saw him, but he's probably one of that squad of people whose names didn't seem important enough to note.

Backstory: Ororon was the only one to oppose the whole Othello-executing-his-wife sentence, and Othello has been loyal to him ever since. She agrees to help and they have a celebratory frick frack. Nobody's really got anything to do right now anyway, just a big climactic fight and a civil war. Mifune decides this is a good time for a sneak attack, but just gets punked again. Othello sends him off to train and come back to have an actual fight to the death when it'll maybe be a challenge. What a swell dude isn't he great. Othello wanders off to fight Oscar, telling Garo he'll try to make it painless because those two used to date. She has a boyfriend now too btw but that didn't seem to stop either of 'em. Garo wanders off after flirting with Mifune and some dudes are gonna kill him.

Ororon is even more almost dead than he has been for the last two books oh no it's so sad. Lika sneak attacks Oscar with an axe, gaining enough bonus from the backstab to pierce his damage reduction. Sexy Angel Man looks on. Ororon is almost dead oh no it's so sad. Oscar chucks the axe into Lika's side. Shiro joins in for what looks like a suicide attack. Lucy the Scary Maid appears out of somewhere to lead Chiaki to safety. Oh no Oscar got her too.
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Tom Bombadil
06/13/19 9:16:49 PM
#27:


Somebody does a Kewl Pose with a jacket. Girl-Garo (I think?) confronts a guy summoning head monsters. A dude is standing by some windows. Somebody has a gun to somebody's head. Some of the minor characters are talking about Ororon. Somebody's pleased with the hallway full of corpses behind him. Something happens with a gun and some guys.

Chiaki's down, Ororon's up, and the axe suddenly has a much longer handle. Okay I think I have figured out the previous paragraph: we saved the (very pretty) Important Politician but most of us got wiped out. Othello checks in and departs with the coolest looking survivor, leaving Yotsuba behind with Politics Bishonen. Ah heck looks like all of these people are gonna wind up being worth mentioning after all okay. Charles the Politics Bishonen reprimands Tachibana the Stripey Guy (who did NOT actually follow Othello out the window) for protecting him when his loyalty should be to Ororon. Yotsuba accuses Tachibana of being a puppeteer behind everything.

Bg19KuG
There's a dragon! It looks better than anything else I've seen in this manga so far. Come to think though I think the art has gotten slightly better over time. We have a bad case of sameface still, but the necks are no longer outrageous and this is one of a few panels this volume that....actually succeeds in looking kinda cool.

Anyway I think Ororon summoned this dragon with the last of his strength. We're having dramatic internal monologues and he's down again. It is heavily implied that the dragon is killing Oscar. Ororon died. The end.

My rating: 3/10
SOME of the stuff we were trying to do actually landed this time- it was a reasonably written climax, just not adequately built to over the previous 3.9 books. It's still not my thing even at best, and we really left some stuff dangling like Mifune and Tachibana and Sexy Angel Man, and, y'know, the entire coup of hell. The story kinda just ends with a couple pages of Chiaki's internal narrative explaining that Ororon died- no resolution, no explanation of what happened next, no room for it to breathe. It almost works. Almost.

Overall: 2/10
I can kinda see what we were going for in a few things. I feel like a remake could turn this into something pretty cool- chill with the Mifune torture, give the three main characters distinguishable faces, flesh out all these secondary and tertiary characters, resolve the storylines. The seeds are there, I think. But boy this was not particularly enjoyable in its presented form, and it wouldn't have really appealed to me even if it was done better.

Discussion question: What's the worst piece of media you have finished?
Hint for next: We have survived the word "demon" but it seems we're not quite out of the bishonen woods yet.
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5tarscream
06/13/19 11:42:15 PM
#28:


Worst piece of media was the first sookie stackhouse book. It was part of a trilogy and I finished book 1 and never opened it again. I am a completionist and it still bugs me that I didn't read the other 2 but it was absolute dog shit.
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Tom Bombadil
06/14/19 6:19:25 PM
#29:


Descendants of Darkness, Vol. 3 (of 6)
By: Yoko Matsushita
Whose fault: Wifebolo
GVDdfap
Today's BGM:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyPsn4fK5kc" data-time="


The previous volumes have been lost to the sands of time, I'm told, but I'm also told that this is a fairly easy one to pick up even without context. Something about dealing with corpses. Fortunately, as ever, we have our handy dandy plot recap and character gui- just kidding this manga is too cool for that.

We're at some sort of processing center for the dead. Tsuzuki Asato is a shinigami and he's pigging out on sweets, to the chargrin of co-worker Hisoka Kurosaki. They're called into Chief Konoe's office, where they are met by him and Tatsumi the glasses character. They're being sent to sort out some missing people from Hong Kong, that we suspect are being smuggled. Folks are supposed to be dead but they aren't turning up.

Our two bishinigami board a Kakyoin Corporation passenger+cargo ship that is suspected of being connected. We have a weirdly drawn little bird sidekick thing (a Gushoshin?) to tell us stuff. Hisoka is going undercover as a VIP while Tsuzuki is going to be a card dealer. Here's a dramatic entrance by Muraki, who we're supposed to know probably. He greets Tsuzuki all creepy-like. Hisoka is not enjoying the VIP party life, and meets a med student, the Mr. Kakyoin himself, his mistress, and a politician. There is one more VIP we haven't met. Hisoka has some sort of episode/flashback/psychic attack, resulting in a meet-cute with Camille Kakyoin. She has heart problems but she's okay thanks to her super great doctor, Muraki. (dun dun dunnnnn, probably)

Muraki shows up to elegantly mock Hisoka and not be dead like he's supposed to be. He is indeed our villain, having previously killed Hisoka, and he does the whole vaguely sexual mind games thing while warning Hisoka to behave. Camille kisses Hisoka and tells him to feel better.

Kakyoin and Politics Man have one of those important but vague conversations. Actress lady hears a noise. Our heroes regroup. Ladies and gentlemen I regret to inform you there has been a TERRIBLE MURDER! Politics man has been deprived of his heart, and locked in his room holding a candle with a tarot card under the door and vampiric puncture wounds. This apparently fits Muraki's M.O. INVESTIGATION START.

Muraki identifies poison as the cause of death. The floor is a closed room, so the culprit must be among the people we've already heard of. Actress Lady accuses Kakyoin. Our boys accuse Muraki. Also our radios are out, so we have to proceed to Hong Kong instead of returning to Hakata. Muraki says that blood was NOT lost from the vampire-bite-lookin' wound, and claims that Med Student can back him up. Also, Camille vouches that he was tending to her at the time.

Camille brings our dudes a creepy love letter that is presumably from the culprit, containing a tarot card and implying that we're gonna get more murders. Her internal monologue doesn't sound like she's guilty, but she has an idea. A sidepanel confirms that Muraki is bi and has a girlfriend but he hits on Tsuzuki anyway. Now we're playing poker for Tsuzuki's body. Meanwhile, there was a girl who used to work here named Eileen who disappeared. Oh hey btw there's an extra passenger named Eileen. Also passengers are complaining about the sound from somebody dragging something around. Welp, those are probably all random unconnected bits of info, nothing to see here.
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Tom Bombadil
06/14/19 6:54:03 PM
#30:


Camille shows up with another letter from Beatrice but no time for that Muraki is dead! Med Student identifies the same cause of death as Politics Man, but nobody ripped his heart out this time. Our little mascot dude is being blocked from contacting the home office, so we send a messenger pigeon instead. The tarot cards we have are from two separate decks, oddly. (and Muraki's was ripped in half) Camille is chillin' with Muraki's corpse to give us some exposition- Muraki tended to her mom as well, for the same heart condition. (cough cough poison cough) She liked Muraki but he was taken. She and Hisoka have a little moment. Later we hear Actress and Kakyoin squabbling, then we find Actress dead in a box with the usual letter. Meanwhile, the home office has figured out that they can't contact us, so they're sending a team.

Actress has the bite marks and missing heart like Politics...wait there's two cards in there and Kakyoin is also dead. Muraki snaps out of sleep. Hisoka has some sort of nightmare relating to what Muraki did, which also involved putting some sorta mark on him. Also rape. There's a bracelet that has been changing hands throughout the story, and it has a microchip with the layout of the ship. Camille and Hisoka have a little chat about our mutual friendo Muraki. Muraki murdered Hisoka and now Hisoka is....a shinigami, I guess, because he's not alive. Tsuzuki meanwhile is checking out a room that was marked on the map. Hisoka explains more stuff to Camille, which is convenient for those of us joining this manga in progress. Hisoka has a powerful healing factor now, and was chosen from among the dead with regrets to become a shinigami. Tsuzuki has been ambushed by...Muraki, with weird stuff coming out of his eye!

Hisoka finishes bringing Camille up to speed (including blowing his cover identity) and asks her about Eileen. Eileen was a childhood friend who sold Camellia flowers (it's a REFERENCE y'all) and got hired to work on the boat. Then she disappeared. Meanwhile, Muraki explains that he's been pulling a Princess Bride and working on his poison tolerance for years, allowing him to put himself in suspended animation so he could....sexually assault Tsuzuki, I guess. Also, he has a glass eye, Camille gets around, and Actress and Politics were blackmailing Kakyoin into rigging high stakes gambling. Okay byyyyyyye.

We find a secret chamber in that one room, but before we can investigate it, there's a scream. Camille is choking out Med Student...but she's not Camille, she's Eileen! Camille murdered her, y'see. She was one of several victims harvested for parts and kept alive in that secret chamber, and Camille got her heart. She killed Politics because the blackmail made Kakyoin more desperate for cash, Hojo was in the wrong place and saw the murder of Kakyoin, and Muraki was the one to take the heart from her. But the real mastermind behind it all was....whoops, Muraki shot her before she could finish that thought, but yeah it was him. Kakyoin had wanted to back out of the whole heart-stealing thing, but Muraki went through with it and used drugs to convince Camille that she was Eileen because it was her heart.
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Eerieka
06/14/19 6:54:25 PM
#31:


Tom Bombadil posted...
Discussion question: What's the worst piece of media you have finished?


Tough question. I usually quit reading/watching/playing something if it doesn't hold my interest anymore. I guess I'll say School Days, since it was torture up until the satisfying finale. I knew what the ending was about; I only suffered through the whole series to enjoy the ending.

Yami no Matsuei is pretty bad in hindsight, but it was one of the first anime I watched not counting stuff I watched as a kid when I didn't know the difference between anime and cartoons. Muraki was one of my first bishounen crushes. Also Hisoka is voiced by Liam O'Brien in the English dub and it was my first exposure to him (I have a crush on his voice lol).
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Tom Bombadil
06/14/19 7:02:34 PM
#32:


Muraki wanted to lure all his enemies to one spot, because hey the ship's about to sink from a bomb BTW. Camille still loves the doctor even though she knew he was using her, and asks Hisoka to finish her off. Muraki gets away, still taunting/hitting on Tsuzuki. We've got everybody off the boat safely, but there's no evidence left. Hisoka did wind up killing Camille, and ain't doin' too well. He needs a comforting hug from Tsuzuki.

My rating: 8/10
Now we're talkin'! We've got some husbandos for Wifebolo, and some good ol' closed-room murderin' for me. I figured it was Eileen once that was brought up, but I didn't expect her to be a split personality, and before that I suspected Med Student. I wonder if he survived, actually! What made him a VIP? Anyway. Solid stuff. I could reeeeeaaaaally do with out the sexy rape~~~ angle, especially after the previous manga more than depleted my tolerance for such, and that brings it down a bit, but otherwise it's straight up my alley. I even actually ship the dudes I'm supposed to ship, which might be a first in my dark-and-broody-bishonen experience!
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Eerieka
06/14/19 7:04:25 PM
#33:


(deleted my previous post and reposting it here since I didn't realize I was posting in the middle of your posts and it kinda bugged me lol.

Tom Bombadil posted...
Discussion question: What's the worst piece of media you have finished?


Tough question. I usually quit reading/watching/playing something if it doesn't hold my interest anymore. I guess I'll say School Days, since it was torture up until the satisfying finale. I knew what the ending was about; I only suffered through the whole series to enjoy the ending.

Yami no Matsuei is pretty bad in hindsight, but it was one of the first anime I watched not counting stuff I watched as a kid when I didn't know the difference between anime and cartoons. Muraki was one of my first bishounen crushes. Also Hisoka is voiced by Liam O'Brien in the English dub and it was my first exposure to him (I have a crush on his voice lol).
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Tom Bombadil
06/16/19 8:30:46 AM
#34:


Descendants of Darkness, Vol. 4
08rumbu

This was a car ride read (will be another today) so you get the short review instead of the liveblog. This volume kicks off with a couple of filler stories- first we go on a trip to Hokkaido and hit our quota of onsen episode tropes. The Ice Queen is missing, so her furry underlings enlist us to track her down! She stole some food Tsuzuki made, sneaked out to the woods to eat it, and passed out because he sucks at cooking. This one also featured some thots from another branch that were pretty into Hisoka.

Next up, we're in an New Year's archery competition with another another branch, with their own scary women.

Alright, time for a more serious story before we run out of volume. We head out to an all-boys Catholic school to try to unravel a really complicated and fast-paced tale of murder and teh gay and intrigue and guilt and demons and exorcists. I think the pacing kinda hurt it, but it boils down to a demon came to the school under disguise, played a bunch of closet gay dudes against each other, and got most of them to kill themselves or each other in order to lure our dudes there. Tsuzuki has stumbled into the position of King of Hell by beating the previous one, so now there is a big target on his back for guys like this. The like only surviving named character from the school is secretly A) an exorcist and B) a girl, so we beat the demon with her help.

My rating: 7/10
The fun stories were fun, but forgettable, and I was hoping for more mystery genre stuff. The serious story just needed some room to breathe, I think- it felt like we were going from murder to twist to murder to murder to climax without time to digest any of it. It was fine but didn't meet the bar set by the previous one, for my tastes at least.
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Tom Bombadil
06/18/19 12:50:43 PM
#35:


Descendants of Darkness, Vol. 5
ohsTeZM

AFK review today and probably for anything else that I get to this week. This one is a bit more serious kinda sorta maybe, or at least the story fills a whole book. We visit the Count (an invisible dude who's into Tsuzuki- he made a cameo during the archery competition and presumably was more thoroughly introduced previously) and learn that he's been getting into writing. But he has special books that will write themselves if supplied with basic info about characters and plot, which is one of the cooler ideas I've seen in a while.

Tsuzuki manages to get himself sucked into one of them- a period drama populated entirely by thinly veiled expies of the "real world" cast. Victorian AU shenanigans ensue as Tsuzuki tries to save a girl version of himself from the evil count and his scheming butler, played by Tatsumi. It's all quite silly, but actually serves as a vehicle for both Tsuzuki and Tatsumi to examine their relationship and unpack some baggage from before the series started. Tsuzuki had a rough time starting out, and Tatsumi went from trying to protect him as partners to pushing him away because of guilt over his mother. They eventually split up but now we're back on cordial terms after saving Tsuzuki from the book.

My rating: 7/10
This was pretty fun but I keep waiting for this series to be like the first one I read and it keeps being not that.
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Tom Bombadil
06/18/19 5:37:41 PM
#36:


Descendants of Darkness, Vol. 6
NUZNYHg

(EDIT: I forgot the short one about how we finally re-opened the library from a previous Tsuzuki-related incident, and then he blows it up again while fighting with the cranky guy from the archery contest)

Most of this volume regards a business trip to Okinawa, where Tsuzuki and the two girls from a bit ago (they've toned down their thottiness and so will not be referred to as such) get roped into helping out at a local inn. Brought in by a (dead) (cute) aspiring lady cop who is friends ("friends"?) with the owner, they need to drum up some business and also figure out what is going on with rumors of ghosts, all before the local EVIL CORPORATION (with ties to Muraki?) buys it out. We figure out that the source of the confusion is a shiisaa that has wandered into our world, who winds up staying on as a pet. Meanwhile, Hisoka in his work as a fortune teller has convinced one of the higher-ups in the corporation that they need to get rid of their terrible CEO. The newer, kinder evil corporation chills on the whole takeover bit, the dead lady goes back to...wherever she actually came from, and everybody's groovy.

There's also a short gag story where the science guy comes up with a sex change potion, but it instead de-ages him and Tsuzuki. We've gotta go deal with the Count again and get some belladonna for the antidote. But we got the wrong belladonna so it turns them invisible! Cue laugh track, roll credits.

All of the author sidebars in this volume are protocol for sending fanmail. Maybe that's a culture thing but it seems kinda picky to me- don't use pencil, include a return address, use a real name, use a greeting (that's fair), and stuff about what kinda paper and ink and folding to use.

My rating: 7/10
Overall rating: 7/10
I've said it three volumes in a row now- it's perfectly fine as a derpy, ambiguously gay, supernatural comedy. If I had started with 4, or if I set aside my expectations, I'm cool with it. After the cool murder mystery in 3, though, I really wanted more of that, but we have not really come close to matching that genre or even that tone since.

Discussion question: What's the biggest bait and switch you've come across?
Hint for next: I wasn't exactly sure where in "D" to alphabetize this one.
Additional hint for next: Hey we're switching from brooding bishonen for Wifebolo to cute girls doing cute things for me!
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5tarscream
06/19/19 7:52:01 AM
#37:


Yeah I think the series seemed a lot more interesting after the nursery mystery story and then sort of rolled along aimlessly after that. Shame. Bait and switch in manga or any media?
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Tom Bombadil
06/19/19 8:15:05 AM
#38:


I'll say any media I think- manga/anime seems kinda narrow for a lot of my questions
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Eerieka
06/19/19 8:55:36 PM
#39:


Biggest bait and switch for me is probably Gakkou Gurashi, although I went into it knowing about the twist (I wouldn't have had any interest in it otherwise).

Narutaru had something of an unintentional bait and switch because the animators of the anime OP thought the show was some kind of cute and kid-friendly Pokemon knock-off. Though it was never the author's intention to deceive the audience.
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Tom Bombadil
06/24/19 8:14:30 PM
#40:


Double overdue AFK recap!

D-Frag Vol. 1
Whose fault: Tombolo
This is a particularly silly moe comedy where a wannabe delinquent gets mixed up with a "game developing club" consisting of four particularly weird cute girls. Ya got the cute/dark loli, the sadist (complete with M guy), and two others that....didn't stand out as much. They all have an elemental type, which is a kinda fun idea for chuunibyou gags if you haven't gotten enough of those already. There's also a rival club that, like, actually develops games once in a while, but is still just the comic relief rival team in a comedy manga. Shenanigans ensue! They ensue so much.

My rating: 6/10
A little strange but otherwise pretty forgettable. I've already forgotten whatever amount of plot there was! There was a competition and we find out that we stole the loli from the "real" gamedev club for...whatever our reasons were IDK. None of the girls hit my strike zone either (unless you maybe count the crossdressing boy?), which is an accomplishment unto itself for a moe comedy. Didn't really have anything to do with video games either.

Di Gi Charat, Vol. 1 (of 2+)
Whose fault: Tombolo
Doing outlandish moe comedy before it was cool! Perhaps it's because it had a decade plus of head start for me, but I feel like this is just generally better executed and more memorable than D-Frag. I'm a bit confused on the canon- I've gone through at least part of like four different iterations of this IP (you've got another one on deck), the tone varies quite a bit, and I have no idea how the timeline fits together or if that's even really a thing we care about. Enhancing that confusion, this is one of those compilation books where a bunch of different manga-ka get together and write a couple episodic short stories each.

Basically you've got three girls working at Gamers, an otaku store in Japan. (it's a real thing that I actually managed to find and blow money on when I went! :D) So I think this nonsense originated as just a set of mascot characters for the store and then blew up. One of 'em even shows up in Neptunia! ...Sorta! Anyway you've got the titular Digiko (or Dejiko, depending on who's on localization duty) who is a derpy space princess, her withdrawn but snarky loli sidekick Puchiko (who as far as I can tell is the fandom's favorite by a wide margin), and Rabi en Rose, a tsundere straight man who somehow manages to always come out on the losing end of her rivalry with Digiko. Shenanigans ensue, frequently resulting in blowing up the store or other wide-scale chaos.

My rating: 7/10
...It wasn't AS great as I remember it, to be honest, although maybe that's a byproduct of the wide variety of tones and art styles and stories inherent in this format. Puchiko still the best but I have a lot more appreciation for Rabi than I used to. She's just a normal girl trying to get by, man. Anyway it was mostly a good time and I can actually name some of the characters if pressed. Kinda tough luck for D-Frag getting lumped into the same writeup, lol. Still, I'll be curious how well further entries have aged with me. I expected this to be more of an 8 or even 9.

Discussion question: What's something that you didn't hate, but just kinda got rendered obsolete by something in the same genre?
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Tom Bombadil
06/25/19 6:46:27 PM
#41:


Di Gi Charat Vol. 2

I was gonna summarize all the stories as I went but a bunch of them are like two pages and I ain't about that life. >_> This time I think there were more Puchiko-centric stories, which suits me fine, and artwork tending more towards my preferred styles. We also introduced Piyoko, the (self-proclaimed) evil mastermind.

My/overall rating: 7/10
I am finding it really hard to comment on a load of really short stories, but this was cute and fun. But not life changing.
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5tarscream
06/26/19 12:55:14 AM
#42:


I need to catch up on this but Im sooooo busy at the moment
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Tom Bombadil
06/26/19 9:48:09 AM
#43:


I can't imagine with what
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Tom Bombadil
06/26/19 6:31:39 PM
#44:


Di Gi Charat Theater Vol. 1 (of 2)
By: Yuki Kiriga
Original Concept: Koge-Donbo

Hey, we've got continuity this time, sorta! Dejiko and Rabi blow up the store while fighting, so Mr. Manager sends them on a quest to retrieve the Treasure of Prosperity to rebuild the store. But they also need to still bring in some money while they're doing that. We have a story where Dejiko winds up working at a bakery to pay off all the food she ate- she tries to sabotage the place so Gamers can take over the building, but it backfires and the store becomes really popular. We also investigate a shrine and deal with a possessed Rabi. After that we switch to a 4koma format and do some AU silliness. I'm a sucker for 4-panel (Azumanga Daioh you may recall is my all-time fave and established my taste pretty well in the early days) as well as alternate settings, so that's up my alley. You've got school (Dejiko is the transfer student), Edo Japan (Dejiko and Gema get in trouble for prizefighting), and pirates (which has the best costumes obv).

Back to the main story, sorta. We're having a picnic when Puchiko has a little isekai adventure with weird versions of Dejiko and Rabi trying to adopt and detain her. Next up, we accidentally summon the Black Gema Gang (I think?) from another dimension, and face off in a battle of puns off of Dejiko's signature "Laser Eye Beam." The localizers tried. The Black Gema stick around to compete in a beauty pageant next episode- Puchiko and Piyoko win while they're all fighting. And hey continuity, we win tickets to a hot spring resort, setting up the next chapter! Not as fanservicey as it could have been, which is for the best since I think they're 10, 5, and...14? Course two of them are aliens but still. Anyway, a fun one where they keep actively avoiding hints to the treasure so they can keep hanging out at the resort.

...And then there's a murder mystery at a haunted inn! Except for the part where nobody is actually dead but we're still ON THE CASE. We do manage to parody several mystery and ghost tropes at the same time, but alas my murder mystery appetite remains unsated from Descendants of Darkness. Really just gotta bite the bullet and get all 230948209348 volumes of Detective Conan at some point.

More 4koma, in which Gema dates some balloons. Did I mention he's a circle with a face and arms? I'm mentioning it now. We also get a Journey to the West parody. One of these days I need to actually read(?) the original since everything references it. Also Momotarou. Anyway we also get a sentai bit! And finally a hospital/nurse one.

Rabi goes on a pretty dang cute date with her fanboy while Dejiko tries to stalk them, and that's it for this one's main body. We also get a garden variety couple pages of the author talking to us (she has pets!) and paper dolls for photocopying! That's a new one on me. Also a cardlist for a Di Gi Charat CCG? O_o I appear to be missing out on Wrestler Rabi. I will have to track down this max rarity card from a game I didn't know existed that probably never came to the US but was mentioned in this book from about 2004.

My rating: 8/10
A bit more coherent than the previous iteration (...but not by much) and with a consistently appealing artstyle. I like the non-chibi art in particular but that doesn't show up often. Good stuff.
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5tarscream
06/29/19 10:18:29 AM
#45:


Journey to the West is surprisingly hard to find here. Like seriously Ive managed to find the other 3 big classics in English but not JttW.
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Tom Bombadil
06/29/19 12:09:02 PM
#46:


Computer's gonna be out of commission for a week or two so it will be a while before you get pics again. Bad news for today is you get AFK versions, but hey you get two!

Di Gi Charat Theater: Dejiko's Summer Vacation

So I though the "Theater" ones were 1 and 2 but that doesn't appear to be the case. This is a standalone like the first two, with mostly short episodic summer-themed stories by an assortment of authors. What's cool about this one is it has tons of bonus content- you've got extensive translator notes, a timeline of the franchise, a bunch of the original Gema Gema comics where these folks originated, character art and profiles, and illustrations from a calendar. The main content is about the same thing we've been getting for the rest of the books, but I appreciate the crash course in the history of the fandom and stuff!

My rating: 8/10
The bonus content is enough to get that extra point.
Overall rating: 7/10
It's fun, it's cute (sometimes), it's classic, it's just...not earth-shattering. It kinda reminds me of a prototype, PG-rated Excel Saga or Pop Team Epic- tons of irreverent humor and references, and making no bones about appealing straight to the otaku audience. I think it's one of those that maybe has aged unfairly poorly since we've had other series expand on the formula that (to my knowledge) Di Gi Charat pioneered. Maybe. IDK. But I am feeling 7 about this.

Bonus Question: How do you feel about your early fandoms now?

Digimon, Vol. 1 (of 5)
By: Yuen Wong Yu
Whose fault: Tombolo

Speaking of early fandoms, this was pretty much my second exposure to anime. (hot on the heels of Pokemon) Still like Digimon's worldbuilding and anime and stuff better, although Pokemon generally kicks its butt on actual games. Anyway. I remember not being super impressed with the manga, but I apparently bought (all?) five volumes of this anyway! On a reread, it holds up pretty ok- I like the artstyle, and offhand seems extremely faithful to the anime. My issue is that the pacing is kinda frenetic. If you know the show, we've already gotten to everybody's champion forms (except Angemon) and are probably going to be well into Etemon by the end of next book. It reminds me of the Dangan Ronpa (1) anime- it's fine if you're already familiar with the source material, but I feel bad for anybody trying the IP for the first time because nothing is given space or time to breathe or digest. HERE'S WHERE WE ARE OH NO IT'S THE MON OF THE WEEK OH WE DIGIVOLVED A NEW DUDE TO BEAT IT OK NEXT ONE WE'RE ON A SCHEDULE PEOPLE. I would not care about these characters if I didn't already know them. But I do, so it's kinda a fun nostalgic romp instead! Much like the dub, it is kinda heavy on vaguely cringey, super 90s-y, heavily localized humor that doesn't hold up that great to modern tastes. Dunno if the original manga was like that or not! But that is what I am (originally) used to with Digimon so it's not as grating to me as it would be to somebody who grew up on the subs.

My rating: 8/10
Fun if you're a fan. Skip it if you ain't. I imagine we're gonna be doing like 10 anime episodes a book.
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Tom Bombadil
07/01/19 4:21:02 PM
#47:


Digimon, Vol. 2

...Yep, more of the same. Good stuff, but rushed. The climactic arc-ending battle with Devimon was like 14 pages. Etemon's up now and we have the tags and one crest, so we're warming up for SkullGreymon. This is gonna be a really hard series to write up because I don't imagine anybody's gonna care who doesn't already know the story, and the story...is pretty much exactly the same as the anime. Just faster. And I can only say that so many ways. >_> But I'm at the computer for today's installment, so maybe that will help somehow.

Digimon, Vol. 3

We pick up a signal from Joe's crest in a stadium but it's A TRAP Etemon traps most of the gang in a soccer goal except Agumon. Tai has been overfeeding him to try to get him to reach Ultimate so now he's fat and slow. A different Greymon shows up and kicks our Greymon's ass. We find Joe's crest and teleport out of the goal for vague reasons. Tai charges into danger in a misguided attempt to trigger another evolution, and what he triggers is....the particularly terrifying SkullGreymon, who blows everything up in a berserker rage. Presumably the other Greymon is included.

Cockatrimon (I grew up with Kokatorimon and this makes way more sense but I DON'T LIKE IT) shows up and gets rekt in the space of four pages. Mimi crest get. Piximon (a personal favorite of mine) saves us from a Kuwagamon because Tai is still getting over the whole SkullGreymon thing and won't evolve Agumon. Dunno why the others couldn't have handled that but ok. Piximon trains the fear of failure out of Tai and also helps the others in a three page training montage. Now we understand the difference between Courage (Tai's crest) and recklessness. Glad we fixed that! Matt and Izzy crest get. A Tyrannomon jobs to Greymon. We learn what our crests stand for. We get signal!

It's a distress signal from an upside down pyramid, and they say they have Sora's crest. TK crest get. We find Datamon imprisoned in the pyramid. We release him and he kidnaps Sora to fight Etemon. Etemon wipes the floor with Datamon and the half-team we brought with us. (why not everybody? who knows) Datamon sucks Etemon into the Dark Network (don't know what that is? too bad) and blows up the pyramid but all that does is power Etemon up via merger. Time for MetalGreymon to be a thing- he takes Etemon out in a page in a half but a wormhole sucks him and Tai into the real world.

Tai and Koromon go home to Kari, who recognizes Koromon (smells like PLOT TWIST) and mentions that Tai just left for camp this morning. Oh no Digimon are wreaking havoc in the real world now and for yet-to-be-explained reasons Tai and Kari are the only ones who can see them. We get sucked into another wormhole while fighting Ogremon (not sure if it's the one from before or not). We have to leave Kari behind because it's not time for her to be relevant yet. ;_; The different DemiDevimon shenanigan episodes get about a panel each. (WereGarurumon and MegaKabuterimon are things now btw) The team has split up for no provided reason and Sora's still missing, and DemiDevimon's SHADOWY MASTER is disappointed in his performance.
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Tom Bombadil
07/01/19 4:35:25 PM
#48:


Sora DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO LOVE so she can't get her crest of love to work (Sora crest offscreen get btw) and is emo. It'll be interesting to unpack why she feels that way and figure out how we'll get pa-MYOTISMON IS HERE HE HURT BIRDRAMON GARUDAMON SMASH YAY. Come to think of it, how is Garudamon able to do that well against Myotismon but he's such a struggle for the whole team later?

There's an eighth kid Myotismon is going to earth to find them we should find them first! His goons buy him enough time to get his troops through the door and lock it behind us. We regroup with Gennai for an exposition dump, and for once I feel like we are actually given time to catch our breath. Gennai explains how he has some cards that will re-open the portal, but we have to be careful to figure out the puzzle correctly with them. Also the Digiworld is a computer program. Izzy gets enough info to narrow the puzzle down to a 50-50 shot, and Tai guesses correctly. Back to the real world!

hai guyz we all grew up in the same orphanage apartment complex, where there was a "terrorist attack." Garudamon d. Mammothmon (5:31, Wing Blade). The explosion triggers Tai to remember that the "terrorist attack" was from Greymon fighting Parrotmon. Probably Kid #8 is somebody else who was watching that night, like the rest of us. On a SUPER UNRELATED note, Tai and Kari's cat is playing with a Digivice and it falls onto a truck. Kari remembers the fight but doesn't recognize Tai's Digivice. Izzy finds the signal from the extra Digivice, but so does Raremon. Kabuterimon and Izzy d. Raremon and DemiDevimon (8:27, countout). Wizardmon swipes the digivice though.

My rating: 7/10
The pacing is getting worse I feel like. There was a lot of good character stuff that we missed out on, even if it was kinda fillery. Tone has definitely gotten more serious as things escalate, which means less dub humor but also less cute art. In the Nostalgia Critic review of Last Airbender, there's a line where he calls it (IIRC) "Chessboard storytelling." You have this cool world and memorable characters and epic plot, and what you've done with it feels like a dry recap. Knight to Queen's 7. I'm not doing it justice, but that's kinda what this reminds me of. We just barely have enough time to figure out what is going on and how, but we have zero time for why. We get a bare minimum of character development or motivation or emotion, and that was always a hidden strength of Digimon. I'm a lot more tolerant of that kinda fault than most people are- a lot of my own attempts at storytelling focus more on the mechanics of the plot than fleshing out details of the characters and setting, but....geeze. Digimon (at least this season) has cool creatures, a crazy isekai setting before that was cool, and more depth and pathos and character development than you'd expect from a kids' show. None of that is given any time to happen here- we've got a long list of plot points to check off and only so many pages to do it. And Digimon (especially up to this point) is not a show that can be boiled down like that well. If there aren't character arcs leading to new Digivolutions at key points, mechanically it becomes "oh it's that guy's turn to hit Ultimate."

It's still a 7 because it's still Digimon, but it's just kinda missing its soul, and for me just riding off the association. I care about all of this because the anime made me care. I'd be bored if this was my only exposure to the story. There is no love, and as any of the Umineko topics will tell you, without love it can't be seen.
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Tom Bombadil
07/01/19 4:55:26 PM
#49:


An interesting variation [of Abridged Series] is the Tokyopop translations of the Manhua adaptation. The Manhua adaptation compressed the story considerably, skipping over and rushing minor and sometimes not-so-minor events. With added humor by the English writer, the Manhua gave the effect of an Abridged series.

tvtropes agrees!
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Tom Bombadil
07/02/19 6:38:02 PM
#50:


Digimon Vol. 4
Today's BGM:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7Pi6F_3MC8" data-time="


The hunt is on for Kid #8! Sora and Mimi run afoul of SkullMeramon, who was always one of my favorite one-off baddies. Sora can't be arsed to evolve Garudamon I guess, so Tai and Izzy make the save. Kari finds Gatomon and takes her home, where Gatomon doesn't have the heart to off her and runs away instead. Wizardmon has been vague before, but he straight up tells Gatomon that Kari is her partner! Tragic backstory: Gatomon was waiting for someone who never came, had to fend for herself, befriended Wizardmon after saving his life, and wound up mind-wiped and working for Myotismon while Wizardmon watched over her. Now she has to fulfill her destiny! Wizardmon takes her back to Kari, where they also meet up with Tai. He hands over Kari's digivice and sets off to steal her crest, with Tai and Agumon tailing.

Tai bumps into Matt and TK, who have befriended Gotsumon and Pumpkinmon. Myotismon has somehow foiled whatever Wizardmon's plan is, and beats on Gatomon and knocks Wizardmon into a lake. Boy I hope that is not how they handle Certain Plot Points. The Tai group catches up, and Gotsumon and Pumpkinmon take a hit and it is perhaps heavily implied that they die, maybe. What is even the point of them appearing for two panels before that moment. Myotismon grabs Gatomon and skedaddles instead of just, y'know, wiping out half the good guys when he has the chance.

Now Myotismon has Gatomon in chains (you're welcome, furries) and a dark shroud over the city, messing up electronics. He wants to capture children, eat their parents, and force Gatomon to identify the eighth child by parading them in front of her. Meanwhile, our heroes are posing dramatically. Kari is bummed that she's gonna miss fish night, and Matt is shipping her with TK. Really sets the tone for the final showdown with the supervillain that has Totally Not Killed several of our friends and potentially a whole lot of civilians.

Lilymon d. what I think is a DarkTyrannomon (2:31, Flower Wreath). Zudomon doesn't even get to evolve onscreen, but he's facing MegaSeadramon as TK supervises. Phantomon, Snimon, and...DarkTyrannomon again? d. WereGarurumon and presumably Garudamon (13:27, submission) when Kari admits that she's the eighth child so Myotismon will stop hurting everybody. Zudomon has defeated MegaSeadramon offscreen, but I still don't know why they're split up from the group. (or where Tai and Izzy are) Joe and TK find Wizardmon, who hands over the crest.

I guess the Kari fight is not happening where Myotismon is, because DemiDevimon reports in that she is captured. Gatomon refuses to ID her, but takes a hit for her, giving it away. The gang (minus Joe and TK) show up for a Big Damn Heroes save that is spoiled first by Tai calling Myotismon "Dorkula" and then by Myotismon no-selling their attacks and one-shotting the group. Joe and TK show up and toss Kari the crest and Digivice. Myotismon tries to shoot the Digivice, but Wizardmon takes the attack and dies, in a moment approximately 9% as impactful as in the anime.
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