Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bite Sized Manga Reviews #1

Titles Reviewed:
Fujimura-kun Mates (Import) #3 and K-On #3

I am really busy with Finals coming up in Grad School, so instead of posting my regular epic 2,000 word reviews or articles will post something a little shorter. I have a huge collection of manga, so this format would actually be a good way to get my thoughts online without spending countless hours writing detailed reviews on everything. Without further ado, here are my short reviews of Fujimura-kun Mates #3 and K-On #3.

Fujimura-kun mates #3 (Import)
Published By: SquareEnix
Cost: 456 yen

The volume starts off with the girlfriend competition between Eriko, Subaru, and Shizuru to be Fujimura’s girlfriend. Not surprisingly, one of the funniest moments in the manga was the interaction between Fujurmura and student council president Shizuru, which results in her falling in a crazy pit. The manga is known for its tsukkomi-style humor, and volume 3 is strong with it. Eriko’s perverted sense of humor is the perfect foil, and she elicits the strongest laughs in volume 3. Her nosebleeds and her perfect comic timing makes her shine in the volume. They also have sections where Shuzuru interacts with Himura, the student council vice-president. It uses the same tsukkomi interaction, but isn't as funny and doesn't feel as genuine as the interaction between Fujumura and Eriko. The short chapter lengths mean that the series moves really fast. The humor in the series is hit or miss, with a lot more hits than misses. It is probably one of the funniest manga not released in the USA. The drawings are simple and consistent, with each girl having an iconic item making them easier to spot. Eriko is the short haired girl with the flower in her hair, Subaru is the well-endowed girl with long hair and a huge ribbon in her head, and Shuzuru has a ponytail and thin eyebrows. The only downside I see is that the volume ends right in the middle of a beach arc, have to wait for volume 4 to finish it. The manga is great, the humor is top notch and the comic timing is wonderful. I don't remember laughing this much in a long time reading a single volume of manga.

Positives
  • Funny as heck
  • Strong cast
  • Moves Fast
Negatives
  • Ends in the middle of story arc

K-On #3
Published by: Yen Press
Cost: $11.99

In my review of the K-On Blu-ray, I talked about how I enjoyed the series and I felt that the anime was stronger than the manga; this volume pretty much confirms that. The manga of K-On is in done in 4 panel comic style. The previous volume might as well be called K-On Volume 2, starring Azusa since she had such a strong presence in the second volume. The third volume spreads the characters out more, with each of the main 5 girls getting the same treatment. It was really interesting because entire episodes of the anime were based off of just a chapter of nine pages. The short chapter’s means that the story flows fast, in fact it flows a little too fast. The girls of K-On don’t get enough character development and there really is little sense of resolution to events that occur. One of the best chapters in the volume was when Mugi hung out with Ritsu. Those two really are not in the same panels together, so having them interact and hang out is a real treat since it is a totally different dynamic than the rest of the series. The drawing of Kakifly is nice, they are simple but they distinctly show off each character well. What I love about the USA release of K-On is that all the color pages of the Japanese release are all there. The translation of the K-On manga is top notch, with no spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. If you like K-On, this volume will be a great addition to your current collection.

Positives
  • Nice Art Style
  • the Mugi and Ritsu Chapter
  • Wonderful Yen Press Translation
Negatives
  • 4 panel comics move too fast
  • Not enough character development
  • Anime version flows better

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