Cheeky Brat Vol. 1 – Manga Review

About

Basketball club manager Yuki has a secret-she’s in love with the team captain! But when Naruse, her cheeky kouhai, discovers her big secret, she’s in a tight spot! Just how long is he going to keep teasing her about it!? Stupid pretty playboy… — Goodreads

Thoughts

This book was recommended to me by a handful of people, so I thought I’d check it out. It was super cute! I really enjoyed Yuki, and all of the characters in this manga, including the random unnamed members of the basketball team.

I’m not sure why, but the artwork reminded me of a two series I liked when I was around 11 or 12, Monkey High and Lovely Complex. I should note, that I was a few years too young for these series, but I borrowed them from my local library, and I don’t think they themselves understood the manga age ratings at that time. I still go back and watch the Lovely Complex anime every now and then haha.

The character designs, and the relationship dynamics definitely gave me a nostalgic feel, so when the series was recommended to me by a couple of high school kids I was assisting at work, I figured, “Wow I rarely get book recs from customers! I should give it a shot!” and I absolutely loved it.

I’m fighting myself not to buy the next volume just yet because I’m trying to save money, and I have a bunch of ARCs to read this month for books releasing May – August, but once I’m halfway through my pile I’m jumping on it!

I’ve thankfully been super lucky with my reads recently, nothing’s disappointed me or fallen short of my expectations, and for that I’m super grateful. There was a while there previously, where I was in a bit of a reading slump because I read a handful of books that I had high expectations for that just weren’t my cup of tea. I’m also so happy because this was recommended by a group of kids who frequent my work when school lets out, and I’m usually recommending them my favourite new series haha.

I wish more customers would recommend books to me. Well, actually, I have gotten lots of good recommendations from our younger customers, around 3 and 4. It’s almost always Peppa Pig, but I appreciate it.

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Check out my other manga reviews and recs!

Ima Koi Vol. 1 – Manga Review

About Sometimes the greatest romantic adventure isn’t falling in love—it’s what happens after you fall in love! After missing out on love and dating because she […]

Anonymous Noise Vol. 2 – Review

About Nino Arisugawa, a girl who loves to sing, experiences her first heart-wrenching goodbye when her beloved childhood friend, Momo, moves away. And after Nino […]

Ima Koi Vol. 1 – Manga Review

About

Sometimes the greatest romantic adventure isn’t falling in love—it’s what happens after you fall in love!

After missing out on love and dating because she was too shy to confess her feelings, high school student Satomi blurts out how she feels the next time she gets a crush—and it’s to her impossibly handsome schoolmate Yagyu! To her surprise, he agrees to date her. Now that Satomi’s suddenly in a relationship, what next?

Even though she can hardly believe it, Satomi is dating Yagyu. Being in love as part of a couple is now Satomi’s everyday reality. With how fast everything has gone and with Satomi still clueless about how dating is supposed to work, can she actually enjoy being in love?

Thoughts

This manga was incredibly cute, and totally worth the wait. I’d seen Shojo Beat advertising for it for a while, and had been desperating trying to get my hands on an ARC, but ended up buying it on release day at the store!

I fell in love with the character’s instantly, and I can’t wait until the second volume comes out!

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I thought I posted this review in March, and realized today that I saved it as a draft versus scheduling the post…oops! Anyway, I highly recommend checking it out, especially if you’ve read manga like Honey So Sweet.


Check out my other manga reviews and recs!

Living-Room Matsunaga-san Vol. 2 – Manga Review

About

With the help of her housemates, high schooler Meeko begins to adjust to her new life away from her parents. Even the initially frightening Matsunaga-san helps her out—and between one kind act and another, Meeko finds herself falling for him. After an accidental kiss while enjoying takoyaki, Meeko ends up confessing her feelings!

Thoughts

In my review of the first volume back in Dec. 2020, I said that I’d be “giving this series another chance is because the supporting cast of character’s were incredibly charming” since I’d only given the first volume a 3 star rating. I didn’t really connect with Miko in the first half of the book, but volume two definitely made up for what I felt was lacking with her character in that first volume. I can’t believe it took me until 2022 to get back into the series! I’d read some very meh shojo around the same time, so I believe that’s why I was hesitant to jump back into this series too quickly. I like to give books a fair chance…and I’m thrilled that I waited because I really liked Miko in volume two! She seemed more fleshed out here, and wasn’t as flat. I was happy to see that the other characters were more present as well because it was fun seeing the dynamic between all of her roommates, her friends from school, and Miko and her mom. I had high hopes that this series would be something I’d enjoy, and I’m glad I decided to give it another shot.

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Anonymous Noise Vol. 2 – Review

About

Nino Arisugawa, a girl who loves to sing, experiences her first heart-wrenching goodbye when her beloved childhood friend, Momo, moves away. And after Nino befriends Yuzu, a music composer, she experiences another sad parting! Luckily, she reunites with Yuzu in high school, but Nino still yearns to see Momo again. In a bid to get Momo’s attention somehow, Nino strives to improve her singing skills. She soon lands an audition that’s being held by a “Momo Kiryu”—could he be her Momo?!

Thoughts

I read volume one way back, (it took me forever to get my hands on the second) and I really enjoyed it. My review of book one was 4 stars (really 4.5) because I thought the character introductions, mainly the parts about Nino’s childhood with Momo and Yuzu were very lengthy, and I would’ve liked to have seen those parts split up here and there throughout the series…kind of like little reveals.
Now, reading volume two, I can completely understand why all of that exposition was added in so early on, especially in Momo’s case. Without having that there, it wouldn’t have given either of the boys equal footing when it comes to Nino, and wouldn’t have allowed for the big reveals in the second volumes! Of course, I won’t give any spoilers…but I’m looking forward to completing this series, and I wish Yuzu all the luck in the world while collecting his milk points…since I too was a short high schooler…and I stayed short lol.

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My other manga reviews…

Check out my other manga reviews and recs!

Laughing Under the Clouds Vol. 1 – Review

About

Under the curse of Orochi, the great demon serpent reborn every 300 years, Japan has been shrouded in clouds for as long as anyone can remember…

The era of the samurai is at an end, and carrying swords has been outlawed. To combat the rising crime rates, an inescapable prison was built in the middle of Lake Biwa. When brothers Tenka, Soramaru and Chutaro Kumo are hired to capture and transport offenders to their final lodgings in this prison, they unexpectedly find themselves faced with a greater destiny than any of them could have imagined.

Thoughts

I really liked this first volume, and definitely had a few friends in mind who I knew would enjoy this series. My favourite thing about this volume was the relationships between all of the characters in this story, both past and present, and I’m excited to see these relationships grow throughout the rest of the series.

I find it a little funny that this is listed as shojo on Goodreads, because it gives me more of a shonen vibe given the art-style and tropes. This has happened with a handful of shonen series listed on Goodreads, which makes me wonder if it’s possible that they’ve been shelved this way accidentally? If this is in fact actually a shojo due to the minor romance subplot of the story, then I apologize, but also like that’s awesome, because I’ve never read a shojo like this in my life. I know this might be a weird comparison but I liked this, the way I loved Beyblade and Yugi Oh growing up…because the bond between these characters was already so strong from the beginning, and there are overlapping storylines that help build the world. I’d compare the romance subplot to something like Ray and Mariah (Rei and Mao in the Japanese version) in Beyblade. It’s just enough where it doesn’t pull the reader away from all the other things happening in the story. It raises the stakes! Plus the story was cute. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll leave it at that.

I had so much fun with this story, and loved the world building and characters so I gave it a full 5-star rating!

I think a better comparison than Beyblade would be a film like 47 Ronin, since it has that romantic element to it but it’s an action, adventure with fantasy thrown into the mix. So if you’ve seen that film, you’ll definitely like this manga.

I can’t wait to check out the rest of the series!

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Check out my other manga reviews and recs!

October book haul

A bunch of the books I ordered arrived this week, on top of the ones I’d purchased in store. I am so excited to read […]

September Manga Reads

This month I’ve been trying to catch up on my manga TBR…and I actually got through it last night which now means I can order […]

Vampire Dormitory Vol. 1 – REVIEW

About

Mito has no family to rely on. She lives on the streets, disguised as a boy. Ruka is an otaku vampire interested only in 2D girls. After Ruka saves Mito from a perilous situation, he makes her an offer: “Become my subservient thrall and let me drink your blood whenever I wish! In return, you can live with me—in the boys’ dorm!” But to stay with him, Mito must hide the fact that she’s a girl. Every day is a new danger—to say nothing of that bloodthirsty vampire!

Thoughts

I decided to read this book because of the Boys Over Flowers reference on the back. It was actually really funny, although I’m not sure if it was supposed to be? Either way, it was an enjoyable read, and I’m looking forward to checking out the other volumes.

I have to admit, with the introduction, I actually expected this book to be a little more serious…although the blurb suggests otherwise. It’s just how Mito is introduced in that first scene, and because I’d never heard of this series before, I didn’t know what to expect. The illustration on the back of the book with the tagline “Blood over flowers” which caught my eye, and the next thing I knew I was reading and then buying the book. I was surprised I had fun reading it when the story began to get a little goofier. I think what made me laugh was how ridiculous the situation was, and how off the bat series like Boys Over Flowers, Ouran High School Host Club and other popular shojo’s were being referenced in one way or another within each chapter.

Despite giving this a high rating, I am a little concerned that I may not like the series in its entirety mainly because so many of the references being made in this first volume. I appreciate them and most were subtle, but having that there for a good chuckle may not be enough to hold readers attention throughout an entire series. I think 4 stars is fair seeing as how I laughed a lot, and I actually like the main character, Mito…plus vampire stories are fun sometimes, and I don’t mind a fluffy vampire comedy every now and again.

I think I was expecting a Vampire Knight story, and instead I got a Vampire who is secretly obsessed with anime, who adopts a human…which is definitely not the vampire story I expected, but regardless I think the series has potential. It was silly and dumb like The Simpson’s. It didn’t take itself seriously, and that’s probably what made it so fun. Sometimes you need stories like that. I hope the future volumes hold up.

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Check out my other manga reviews and recs!

Disney Manga: Beauty and the Beast – Belle’s Tale (Full-Color Edition) ARC Review

About

In Disney’s live-action film “Beauty and the Beast,” Belle, a bright, beautiful, and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince inside. Soft, warm, bright colors show Belle’s optimistic view of the world in this full-color manga-style graphic novel, which explores Belle’s innermost thoughts as she learns that true beauty comes from within.

Thoughts

Just as lovely as The Beast’s Tale. I found this one leans in more towards the live-action films dialogue and plot points versus how The Beast’s Tale blends both films together, but it was still enjoyable to read.
What I loved about both stories is that the reader gets insight into what both Belle and the Beast are feeling in each of these scenes. It’s really sweet, especially when they’re read back to back.
Gaston seemed like more of a jerk, if that’s even possible? He was almost comedically irritating, which was fantastic because I really think that was needed without Le Fou singing his praises throughout like he does in the films.
Pulling attention away from his character in the last book was a bit confusing, mainly because of have the films memorized, but I almost wish that in Belle’s version they kept the scene where he ends up face down in the mud after his failed proposal. He’s a character you love to hate.
Overall I really liked Belle’s narration, and seeing the progression behind her and the Beast’s growing relationship. Oh, and the iconic “I love you” scene, I was so happy it was included!

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disney Manga: Beauty and the Beast – The Beast’s Tale (Full-Color Edition) ARC Review

About

In Disney’s live-action film “Beauty and the Beast,” Belle, a bright, beautiful, and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince inside. Dark, cool, muted colors show the Beast’s pessimistic view of the world in this full-color manga-style graphic novel, which explores the Beast’s struggle as he tries to move on from his past and learn what it is to love.

Thoughts

I liked how the manga blended both versions of the movie, animated and live-action, and managed to keep and pull together many of my favourite scenes. Beauty and the Beast has always been a favourite of mine, and I think this manga is an excellent introduction to the story for those who haven’t watched any of the films yet, or a great gift for readers who are, like myself, absolutely obsessed with Disney.
I enjoyed the artwork, and thought the backgrounds were really lovely. It’s unusual for me to read a manga in full colour, and I really enjoyed it. I’m not sure if it’s because the story is set in France but the way the Beast’s half of the story is set up, made me think of the popular anime The Rose of Versaille, which is also a favourite of mine.

I felt a few key, or iconic scenes and characters being absent pulled me away from the story a bit, but I realized that because this is the beasts perspective, he wouldn’t have known about Gaston or the towns people until they arrived at the castle. So I think if I were to go back, I would read Belle’s story first and THEN the Beast’s.
Overall well done, and I can’t wait to read Belle’s half of the story.

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you Disney Manga and Tokyopop for giving me the opportunity to review this series. I was absolutely thrilled when I found out I was accepted to review both books in the series. Thank you so much!

The Beasts Tale is set to release in March 22.

Falling Drowning – ARC Review

About

Honatsu just started her second year of high school, and already rumors are floating around that she’s dating her childhood friend, Toma. While Honatsu isn’t totally opposed to the idea, she’s not sure what she feels for Toma can really be called love. But when aloof transfer student Shun Tachibana appears, the waters get even muddier… How does Shun connect to the past she can’t remember? And can Honatsu decide what she truly wants, when her head and her heart are pulling her two different ways?

Thoughts

I fell in love with this manga by the end of the first chapter! It was absolutely perfect. I loved the dynamic between each of the friends, along with the smooth character introductions, and how I was instantly introduced to the plot without too much backstory or exposition.
I loved the art, and character designs as well. I was drawn to the book based on the title and cover art, was incredibly pleased to find that this was both a romance and mystery. I liked reading about the authors creative process in between the chapters, and had fun imagining what this first volume would’ve been like had it followed the original mystery-drama idea. I’m super glad that’s still in there because it is a genre I absolutely adore!
I don’t want to give any spoilers but I’ll definitely be buying a copy of this book once it’s available at my local bookstore!

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thank you Netgalley for providing a copy of this ARC. Falling Drowning is currently available for purchase at book retailers as of Feb. 8, 2022.