Friday, January 27, 2012

Bite Sized Manga Reviews #5 – Import Reviews

Titles Reviewed:
Fudanshifull #2
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia #1

As many of my loyal readers have noticed, my blog articles seem to be arriving in dribs and drabs compared to the regular release that had been the traditional norm in the past couple of months. I have been extremely busy working on graduate school, Anime Expo, and cosplay events for the Riverside Lunar Festival. I am neither omniscient nor omnipotent, my scheduling of the busy world around me came at the cost of writing as regularly as I used to. As I try to get back the regular rhythm that once had dominated my aforementioned life, I am resurrecting a not so popular segment of my blog, which is this section. Without an established following of people who reference my manga reviews, it seems to be one of the more unpopular sections of the blog. Regardless, I feel that I should still continue it since it develops the standard of excellence that this blog prides itself on.

Prepare your hiking boots and your withered topology maps as we explore mysterious outliers. In the subsequent release of Fudanshifull, we find out more about the coming of age storyline centered on the cross-dressing adventures of our protagonist. Slice of Life stories get a shot of intrigue and sexuality focusing on the misadventures of the misanthropic lead and his ghost consort in the Dusk Maiden of Amnesia.

Fudanshifull #2
Published by: SquareEnix
Cost: 552 Yen

I wrote a while ago about one of my favorite manga that was released a while ago, Fudanshism. This manga focused on the development of Amata Miyano as he traversed through the waters of Yaoi doujinshi to immerse himself in the world of the girl he loves. Fudanshifull is the time jump that transpires at the termination point of Fundanshism. Now in High School, the cast of Fudanshifull try to develop a club on their new campus. They are subsequently challenged by a team in a game of dodgeball that tests the mettle of the club members. After the overly long game, the cast of characters explore Akiba (short for Akihabara) and Ota Road.

This volume of Fudanshifull is probably one of the weakest volumes in the franchise. The cast of characters in the rival team are not so well developed and the dodgeball arc is one of the weakest storylines so far in the series. Its pacing is very uneven and there is a sense of disconnect that is hard to rebuild with the reader. The cornerstone of the franchise is the development of the relationship between him and his female interest and his adventures in the world of Yaoi doujinshi. The entire volume is bereft of the character development that had made the story interesting in the first place. The manga still has a great set of main characters, but the dynamic between them are lacking compared to the previous volume. The other cornerstone is the adventures of the lead character in the world of Yaoi and it explored very little in this volume. The next volume should be the terminating point of the franchise, so I am hoping it ends with a bang, not with a whimper.

Positives
  • Great Lead Characters
  • Wonderful art
Negatives
  • Character development grinds to a halt
  • Volleyball Arc drags the volume down
  • There isn’t much focus on Yaoi

    Dusk Maiden of Amnesia #1
    Publisher: SquareEnix
    Cost: 562 Yen

    Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is a ghost story that is very different from any ghost story out there. The story focuses on Niiya Teiichi, a student at Seikyou High School. One day he notices a beautiful girl walking around the campus. After an encounter, he becomes friends with Yuuko a beautiful buxom girl. He can touch her and interact with her, which is why he is shocked to find out that she is a ghost. After finding her skeleton, he forms a paranormal research club to find out the various mysteries regarding Yuuko to determine the cause of her death and why she continues to cling to Teiichi. The interaction between Yuuko and Teiichi are very cute, it is almost a flirtatious interaction between the two. It is saddening to know that ultimately whatever feelings they both have for each other will never be fulfilled because Yuuko is dead.

    The artist behind the story is known for his ubiquitous hentai, so it is no shock to see that he knows how to draw exquisitely beautiful female characters with proportions that would make any man or woman blush. Yuuko and the rest of the cast have a unique design that makes them very appealing. The world of Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is filled with intrigue, so the gorgeous character designs and copious fanservice, but it also has substance. The pacing of the manga is wonderful, focusing from the horror to the comedy and transitioning seamlessly back and forth. When I read this manga many years ago, I knew that it was something special. The recent announcement of an anime iteration was no shock to me since it deserves it. Here is hoping that it leads to a USA license of the franchise.

    Positives
    • Intriguing storyline
    • Awesome characters
    • Wonderful balance of comedy and horror
    Negatives
    • The fanservice is a little blatant
    • I could tell there is no happy ending

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