Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Shōjo and Shōnen Manga Reviews from Seven Seas

Dreamin' Sun: The story of a teenage runaway who ends up living with a group of attractive guys is another earlier work from Ichigo Takano the Mangaka behind Orange. Dreamin' Sun's protagonist Kameko is equal parts mousey every girl content to crush on the seemingly cut from a template of perfect romantic leads in Asahi Tatsugae who is kind and considerate but gives off an aloof gloomy aura at school. While also wondering if her family really cares about her while also forming a relationship with her other tenants the hard drinking Landlord Taiga Fujiwara and Zen Nakajou a classmate that Kameko has what could best be described as a stand offish relationship with. For a first volume it sets the universe of the fictional world makes for an engrossing story that very much has a oddballs thrown togtehr kind of sitcom vibe. While never feeling to forcedly humorous of the characters oddly Zen came off as my favorite of the male characters as while he is very much a male Tsundere he has this goofy little kid personality that makes him funt to see react off of Kameko or his backhanded attempts at being nice. All the characters have interiority and feel like real people without devolving into bland archatypes. While the art is a beautiful almost print club like menagerie of backgrounds and screen tone with busy panel layout. This looks to be another series that has human warmth and feels fulfilling as if a lot of thought went into how this story is structured while never feeling formulaic or cliché. My Monster Secret Volume 6: In a review of an earlier volume I said that this series is more a Gag Manga with romantic elements than a Romantic comedy. This volume does nothing to disprove that a small arc about Asahi being unable to confess his feelings to Youko and Nagisa worrying if confessing her own feelings will ruin the friendship she has with them. It is mostly oddball humor like Asahi's time displaced grand daughter living in a Dragon that she rents for $650 a month or the continued existence of the world resting on Akane being able to eat chocolate. This is what keeps me reading as sweet and as awkward as the main romance is it is the weird admixture of absurd gags and romance that continue to keep the series fresh and the ugly cute artwork helps as well in letting the series give it's own voice. Species Domain Volume 1: Set in a world where folkloric and mythical creatures exist but have none of the mystical abilities associated with their folkloric ancestors. Overall it's a rather chatty series that likes to spend a good portion of it in the inner life of Kazamori an Elf who has no ability to use magic and a standoffish personality that she feels makes her more "Elvin." She quickly forms an almost adversarial relationship with Ohki a science obsessed high school inventor. While also collecting not quite friends from a dwarven girl with a full beard to an Hanei an Icarus (an kind of winged humanoid). IT's oddly interior for a Shōnen Manga but captures a world that is grounded in it's own reality while also having an ethos of friendship being important as well. Wther this will eend up simply being shenanigans with a group of note quite friends or something more I don't know but it is an enjoyable addition to the spate of Monster Girl titles that have been coming out as of late for it's interesting dynamic of a hard psotivist inventor and a girl who is so married to her image of being a magical creature. Makes for an interesting mixture while the page layout is busy without being cluterd and nicely full and emotive charcter design that makes everything from the wind effcts to the feel of a punch at the end of the series.

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