Category Archives: Manga / Manhwa / Manhua

The Re-Read Challenge Review ~ Update 4

THE LIST of Books I Re-Read Last Month (April)

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Haito Diamond 1 Haito Diamond 2 Haito Diamond 3 Haito Diamond 4

  1. Songs of the Earth (Sumeria’s Sons, #2) by Lexi Ander  [Review]
  2. Ikenai Otoko by Hiroi Takao  [Review]
  3. Ore ni Koi Shite Dounsunda by Kou Yoneda [Review]
  4. Jigoku Meguri #1 & 2 by Siam Kuju  [Review]
  5. Dark Prince (The Dark Earth manga, #3) by X. Aratare & T.Wolv  [Review]
  6. Haito Diamond #1-4 by Mika Sadahiro  [Review]
  7. The Abyss: Upon A Midnight Clear by X. Aratare  [Review]
  8. The Erl-King: Jealous Sons and Mistletoe by X. Aratare  [Review]

WHAT I Remember

About Songs of the Earth… that everything was STILL NOT OKAY, NOT OKAY MAN!

About Ikenai Otoko… nothing actually. XD That is until I saw the cover and then one thing led to another and I ended up reading the whole thing in one go. No joke – the title does NOTHING to jog my memory of the story. Only the cover art brings the comedic escapades back in full swing.

About the Jigoku Meguri series… that I… I read it before… but somehow I felt like I hadn’t finished reading it or something? It’s possible that I started this series when it was being scanlated and never got back to it, which could very much so explain away why at least the ENTIRE SECOND BOOK and, maybe… the second-to-last chapter in the first book was such a blank to me.

Either that, or I have shit memory.

S’toss up between the two, fer sure.

About Dark Prince… that I had read most of it when it was being serialized but hadn’t finished it because 1) wasn’t completed yet and 2) membership ran out. Now that both of those things have been rectified, I decided it was about time to catch up on my favourite series.

About Ore ni Koi Shite Dounsunda… that… once again THE TITLE GAVE AWAY NOTHING TO ME. xD Just like with Ikenai, the only thing that helps is the cover art. Once I got a glimpse of that I had the same sort of feeling as I did with Jigoku, knowing that I HAD read it, but not ALL of it, so… yeah. *needs to get a physical copy of this one SOON* Anyone know where I can get one? xD

About the Haito Diamond series… that it will forever be one of my favourite fucked-up series that will live on in infamy till the end of time, because

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About Upon A Midnight Clear (A short holiday tale from The Abyss)… that it was fuckin’ cute and I wanted to re-read it. END OF STORY.

About Jealous Sons and Mistletoe (A short holiday tale from The Erl-King)… that it was EVEN MORE FUCKIN CUTE, AND I WANTED TO FUCKIN’ RE-READ IT. GOD 

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read

I think I made myself clear with Jealous Sons and A Midnight Clear, so I won’t reiterate.

For Haito Diamond, I was actually dusting off my ATF (All-Time-Favourites) bookshelf and ended up picking up one book, dusting it off, reading it. Picking up the rest of the books, dusting them off, and reading all of them one after another. Then upon putting down my dusting cloth, went over to my computer and looked through my scanlations of all four books to compare and contrast the horrible “translating” to the original raws.

It was a gloriously entertaining afternoon. ❤

The rest were basically spurred on by random, “Oh! What’s that title? I don’t remember reading this—OHHH. Yes I do. Yup. Yes, I doo~ooh——fuck, I’m actually already halfway through this one, aren’t I? Might as well finish reading it. 8DDDD”

Only Songs of Earth was re-read again for the sake of refreshing myself for the next book.

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading

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And I think that was pretty much for each and every book on this list. Nothing disappoints. XD

WOULD I Re-Read Again

I think the answer for all of them would be…

can i get a hell yeah

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The Re-Read Challenge Review ~ Update 3

THE LIST of Books I Re-Read in March

   

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  1. The Antique Bakery by Fumi Yoshinaga  [Re-read Review]
  2. Twin Flames (Sumeria’s Sons, #1) by Lexi Ander  [Review]
  3. 19 Days by Old Xian  [Review]
  4. Under Grand Hotel v.1 by Mika Sadahiro  [Review]

WHAT I Remember

About The Antique Bakery… not as much as I’d thought I would. o__O I actually remembered the anime in more detail.

About Twin Flames… that everything was perfect and I needed the next book immediately. xD

About 19 Days… that EVERYTHING IS PERFECT and EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A BEST FRIEND LIKE THIS GUY. XDDD

About Under Grand Hotel… little bits and pieces. I was actually looking for a scene that I wanted to compare another book I was reading against, but I couldn’t remember if it was in the first or second book so… one thing led to another. Next thing I knew I’d re-read the whole thing. XD

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read

I think what triggered me wanting to read The Antique Bakery again was because I heard the theme song and it got me all nostalgic and shit. XD Which sort of plays along to why I re-read Under Grand Hotel, the first book… and ONLY the first book. I heard a song that reminded me of it, and wah-la! The instant, “MUST READ NOW!” trigger was switched.

I ended up reading 19 Days again because it made local online news, and I just couldn’t help myself. xD It’s so ridiculously funny that once you start – you can’t stop until you’re done. This is just one of those books. It’s also kinda funny (but in a different way) because the last time I’d read 19 Days there wasn’t as many strips yet, so seeing that an entire book was finished was quite surprising!

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Twin Flames got another re-read because I got my hands on the next book, so REFRESHER TIME! HERE WE COME!

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading

For all of them it was either refresher, “OH that’s right. THAT’S what happened. Right, right.” I didn’t feel any differently about the books than I did the first time reading them. Only love them all over again.

Under Grand Hotel and 19 Days won out though. Because after anothe re-read, I just love them ALL OVER AGAIN WITH GUSTO.

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WOULD I Re-Read Again

Definitely for all of them except The Antique Bakery. I really have nothing against it, it’s just… well… some books you like to AND CAN re-read again, and again, and again, with no problem and no possibility of ever getting bored of it. And then there’s The Antique Bakery, which – while being a good manga – can be a bit… eh… it’s not re-read worthy. That’s all I’m saying, y’know?

Books ‘N Tunes #5: The Specific Heat Capacity Of Love

Welcome back to another installment of my Books ‘N Tunes Reading Challenge!

So this week, we’ve got something really fun in store: AN ENTIRE PLAYLIST. Yes you read right. This… this… ASDFGHJKLKJHGFDSASDFGHJKJ book… LITERALLY CONJURED UP A WHOLE LIST OF HEARTBREAKING SONGS THAT COULD MAKE A HEARTLESS WRETCH CRY.

So I hope you enjoy! 😀 😀 😀 😀

Oh yes, AND BY THE WAY — My review is more rant than review. BUT IT’S NECESSARY. Read it. You will understand.

The Specific Heat Capacity Of Love
by Old Xian & Moss

Publisher: —
Publication Date: 2012
Format: electronic, ebook
Pages: 35
Genre: Tragedy, Romance, Slice of Life,
Shounen Ai, “Male” Friendship, M/M Friendship
(Possible Romance), Love, Trust, Nature,
Environment, Unlikely Friends, Separation,
Survivor, Major Character Death, Hurt/Comfort,
Animals, Brutal and Senseless Killing, Slashy,
Fantasy-esque/Surrealism, Wish-fulfillment,
Manhua, Full Color, Animal Characteristic,
Drama, Sweet’n’Cute But SAD ASS Story
Age: OT / Young Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Click here to read.
Challenges: 2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (42),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge (SA),
Read A Million PagesEthereal 2015Books N Tunes,
105 Reading Challenge (Category: 2, 3, 4, 9, 10),
2015 Graphic Novel and Comic Reading Challenge
,
2015 New To You Reading Challenge (New Work)

SUMMARY

(synopsis taken from Publisher)

A girl goes to the seaside on her class field, accidentally meeting a mysterious boy who tells her a tale of transcendence and love.


Summarize in a word?:

HEARTBREAKING.

RATING

This one gets 5 Stars++++++++++++++++++.

THOUGHTS & REVIEW

 

MUST STAY STRONG - WHAT A TERRIBLE DAY FOR RAIN - DID YOU JUST

MUST STAY STRONG – AH, WHAT A TERRIBLE DAY FOR RAIN

MUST…. STAY… STRONG!
I… I just… Usually I don’t get emotional over anything but this—!
ASDFGHJKL:”:LKJHGFDSXDCFVGHJKLMJNHGFD

 

original (3)

 

Just leave me to die.

 

original (4)

 

The Specific Heat Capacity of Love,” or as I like to call it “The Most HORRIFIC, TEAR-JERKIN’, TEAR MY HEART OPEN WHYDONTCHA Book That Has Ever Existed” will forever be the bane of my existence. Because that — is its real title. I think something DIED IN ME after reading this short, 35-pager… something I doubt I will ever recover again.

The art is exquisite. It’s in gorgeous full color too, so there is SO MUCH MORE DEPTH AND GLORIOUSNESS TO EACH PAGE. It leaves you breathless. The story itself is sadly quite short, but that’s actually the point. It’s so… tragic, and overpowering. You will not know what to do with yourself afterwards.

When I finished reading this horrid little asdfghjkl;’lkjhgfdsadfghj back in March (I think… the 13th? or something…) I was just in shock. I STILL have NO WORDS for what I read, or for HOW I didn’t know about the inhumane topic the story talks about in great detail.

HEADS UP Y’ALL. THIS IS NOT ONLY A REVIEW BUT AN INSANELY IMPORTANT TIL (Today I Learned) WHICH Y’ALL SHOULD BE MADE AWARE OF:

I just learned about some horrible because of a manhua I was reading: shark finning.

Pictures are of a graphic nature. Proceed at your own discretion.

The cost of this disgusting act.

WHAT THEY *DO* TO THEM.

THE HELL PEOPLE! WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?! Listen. I understand if you want to eat the fucking fish. I GET that. But why the hell can’t you just kill it properly and put the poor thing out of its misery first?! Why oh WHY would you LEAVE IT ALIVE AND IN PAIN TO DIE THROUGH SUFFOCATION AND DROWNING VIA A SLOW AND GROTESQUELY PAINFUL DEATH?!?

Assdffgghjjkkllllkjoiuuttfds Jfc Jfc jfc JFCCCCCCCCCHRIST what the hell is wrong with people? I don’t know if I’m more horrified I didn’t know about this or simply disgusted with humanity as a whole.

PLEASE. FOR ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY IN THIS WORLD: STOP. SHARK. FINNING.

As to any warnings I would give…

DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU WISH TO LOSE PART OF YOUR SOUL.

Because that is the price you will pay for reading the most tragically moving short I’ve ever laid eyes on.

You’ve been forewarned.

Would I recommend?

I DON’T KNOW!! I feel like EVERYONE should read this because it has such an important message (alongside an incredible beautiful and heartbreaking tale)… Yet at the same time, this book is PAINFUL. There is SO MUCH PAIN. I don’t want to send people to their early graves yet either…

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ZE PLAYLIST & LYRICS

(Because one song just isn’t enough.)

1. Gorillaz – On Melancholy Hill

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

Are you here with me?
Just looking out on the day of another dream

Well, you can’t get what you want but you can get me
So let’s set out to sea, love

2. Aqua – We Belong To The Sea

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

Come on into my waves
You can sleep in my caves
Let me know that you will hold me
Till the tides take my soul
.
We belong to the sea
To the waves you and me
Living in the ocean so blue
We belong to the sea
Open wide being free
A minute everlasting with you
3. Rie Fu – 2cm

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song works, but these lyrics in particular…)

We’re only 2cm away now, I’ll be home again
I’ll be home again to a place that might have been
Where people in the past times thought they were waterfalls around the edge of the sea
Catch a drop of tear for me and tell me who you’d be
.
Cause our love is deeper and believer of the sea
Cause you’re the waves of my ocean
You’re the waves of my ocean
4. Bic Runga – Heal

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

Don’t forget me
Bring me down
Don’t let me promise you
Things I cannot do
This infection adds to my collection
Hoard my pain
And show it to you one day
You alone indeed
You sing so adamantly
And it fills my mind with thoughts so fine
Don’t ask too much of me oh Heal me now, heal me now
Heal me now, heal me now Don’t erase me
Cut me out replace me
I’m still here
I’m not going anywhere
You alone indeed
You sing so adamantly
Let it free what ever’s locked inside
Don’t ask too much of me
5. Assemblage23 – Lullaby

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

May you find solace in the gentle arms of sleep
Despite the wolves outside your door
In time you will see them all as harmless
And their idle threats easy to ignore

And if ever fate should choose to smite you
Stand your ground, never walk away
Please don’t ever let the world defeat you
Don’t get buried in its decay

Read more…

6. Mae – The Sun & The Moon

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

But when worlds collide,
and all that I have is all that I want.
The words seem to flow
and the thoughts they keep running.
And all that I have is yours.
All that I am is yours.
Ohh…
Painted skies.
I’ve seen so many that cannot compare
to your ocean eyes.
7. Radiohead – How To Disappear Completely

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

That there
That’s not me
I go
Where I please
I walk through walls
I float down the Liffey
I’m not here
This isn’t happening
I’m not here
I’m not here
In a little while
I’ll be gone
The moment’s already passed
Yeah it’s gone
And I’m not here
This isn’t happening
I’m not here
I’m not here
8. Mirah – Archipelago

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

So goodbye my love,
I’ll miss it when it’s gone.
Goodbye my love,
the ship is shipping on.
Goodbye my love,
I’ll give it up into the fog.
Goodbye my love,
I think I knew it all along.
9. Keane – We Might As Well Be Strangers

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

I don’t know your face, no more
Or feel the touch that I adore
I don’t know your face, no more
It’s just a place I’m looking for
We might as well be strangers in another town
We might as well be living in a different world
We might as well
We might as well
We might as well
10. Idiot Pilot – Strange We Should Meet Here

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

A moment we die
Our souls will re-allign
A murder so divine
We’ll heaven hell
Everything is fine, everything is fineCome on, I killed you anyway
You remind me
Come on, face the gun
Of someone I used to know
Come on, I killed you anyway
You remind me
Come on, face the gun
Of someone I used to know.
11. Keane – Somewhere Only We Know

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete

Oh simple thing where have you gone?
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I’ve been dreaming of?

Read more…

12. Cat Power – Sea of Love

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

Come with me my love
To the sea
The sea of love
I want to tell you
How much I love youDo you remember
When we met?
That’s the day I knew you were my pet
I want to tell you
How much I love you

.

BONUS TRACKS:

13. Tracy Chapman – You’re The One

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

Some say you’re bitter
Think you’re mean
Uncouth untamed and unrestrained
But I think you’re sensitive and sweet
Stay as you are don’t change a thing
.
Let’em talk you down
Call you names
My mind’s made up
It ain’t gonna change
I’m sure in my heart
Happy and free
You’re the one you’re the one
You’re the one for me
14. Ben Jelen – Give It All Away

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

But with demons sitting at my side,
An angel’s come to ask me why
And slowly I give up inside to say
To feel alive, I’d give it all away
15. Nine Inch Nails – Something I Can Never Have

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

I still recall the taste of your tears.
Echoing your voice just like the ringing in my ears.
My favorite dreams of you still wash ashore.
Scraping through my head ’till I don’t want to sleep anymore.
.
This thing is slowly taking me apart.
Grey would be the color if I had a heart.
.
In this place it seems like such a shame.
Though it all looks different now,
I know it’s still the same
Everywhere I look you’re all I see.
Just a fading fucking reminder of who I used to be.
.
I just want something I can never have
16. The Features – The Idea of Growing Old

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

We can talk all night, we can talk all day
We can play charades when there is nothing to say
You turn me on to the idea of growing oldNow it won’t be long
No, it won’t be long
Whoa, whoa, whoaYou turn me on to the idea of growing old
Turn me on to the idea of growing old
We can lay around and count the number of times
I’ve acted foolish and you’ve rolled your eyes
You turn me on to the idea of growing old

Reason for choosing these songs

Each one has it’s own special attribute that somehow resonates with me.

I could go into exact detail, but that would be giving too much of this story away, and it’s short enough as is. You need to read it for yourself to see what I mean, and then listen to the songs.

IT’LL JUST MAKE SENSE THAT WAY.

However, if you still want some vague reasons, we can do that too… (Just be prepared for some spoilers, even out of the highlighted areas.)

Track 1: From Bird’s POV. A song from Bird to Fish.

Track 2: Alternating between Bird and Fish’s POV. A song to each other.

Track 3: From Bird’s POV to Fish as he contemplates joining him once again in the ocean.

Track 4: Fish’s last theme song (but can also be seen as both Fish & Bird’s song, from the time of their separation)

Track 5: From Girl on the Beach to Bird & Fish as she reunites them together. Or even from Bird to Fish, or Fish to Bird… a death song. A requiem.

Track 6: Bird & Fish’s first meeting, and probably every one thereafter

Track 7: Bird’s theme song.

Track 8: Bird coming to terms with [HIGHLIGHT FOR SPOILERS] Fish’s death[/HIGHLIGHT]

Track 9: From Bird’s POV after so long being alone, missing Fish, missing what they once had and mourning what was lost

Track 10: Yet another death song, but this one more specifically from Bird’s POV. How he feels [HIGHLIGHT FOR SPOILERS]it’s his fault Fish died, and how he wishes someone would just end his life too so the two of them can be reunited, and “the moment we die, our souls will re-align.”[/HIGHLIGHT]

Track 11: From Bird’s POV. Life without Fish, and how he came to be on the beach in the first place. All his endless wandering finally brought him back here. To this place, where he lost Fish forever.

Track 12: Friendship/Love theme song; from Fish to Bird, from Bird to Fish.

Track 13: How Bird probably saw Fish / Probably also how Fish saw Bird (but we’ll never really know since we don’t get any of the story from his POV — still I think it can be inferred seeing his reaction to Fish whenever they were together)

Track 14: From Bird’s POV. The “angel” is the girl on the beach, the “demons” are mankind in general and the horrible memories of what happened. He’d “give it all away” to “feel alive again” by [HIGHLIGHT]ending his life so he can be with Fish again.[/HIGHLIGHT]

Track 15: From Bird’s POV at the start of the story, he’s sitting there, remembering, dying, crying, wanting something he can never have.

Track 16: Though this one doesn’t completely fit the story, somehow… every time I hear it now I think of them. I think of it from both of their POV when they first met and however long a time they were together. Before meeting each other, they must have both been very lonely creatures, sort of shunned from their own kind. But after meeting and knowing one another… they… sort of “turned each other on to the idea of growing old” AKA “living a long, happy life”, so long as they had each other. So long… as they were together. And… uggghhuu… T________________T *UGLY SOBBING*


[Manga Review] Silver Diamond (v.21)

Silver Diamond

(Silver Diamond, #21: Puppet)

Sugiura Shiho

What rating would you give it?
5 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Synopsis by Publisher)
Believing in their strengths and bonds, Rakan and the others head to the capital. Watch as they gallantly step inside the battleground to save their comrades and the world in the midst of the rain which is believed to be the prelude to the prophesied “storm”!! This is the must-see volume 21, with 5 pages of the extra story “Puppets II” included!!

What did you think of the book?

The plot thickens! And we are pulled right along for the ride~~! There are such great moments in this book between Rakan and Chigusa, like one right at the beginning:

“Rakan. These circuits… They’re the same as mine.”

ASDFGHJKLLJJGFCJFUFUFYDTVJVFD !!! TAT IM DYIN

Also… HAKUBIIIIIIIIIIII and ZAKUROOOO! 😀 😀 😀

So much went down in this book. Easily one of my favourites thus far in the series. I think it also had my favourite “Extra (Story)” which — honest to goodness — I don’t know how I didn’t catch this reveal in the first place. @_____@

Because OMFG KURO FLSNAKFNDLKANDKGNADLNGKAL HOW DID I NOT REALIZE THAT THING WITH HER NAME. HOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW?!???????

SPOILER (HIGHLIGHT TO SEE):

KURO = (ZA)KURO??? Poor babies didn’t realize what was going on until they nearly killed everybody, Hakubi in particular. TAT

sherlockicantfallsover

*EHEM*

Always with my cryptic answers, hur hur~~ :3

Not to mention, pretty much everything that’s been happening to Narushige is breaking my heart. BREAKING IT I SAY! They need to get him back ASAP. This puppet-ing thing is starting to scare me, too. o__o

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

None that I could think of.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

As per usual, so many xD

Would you recommend this book?

kidding

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and— oh. Did I mention, YES?!

 

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Tosuisha
Publication Date: September 2010
Format: electronic, scans
Pages: 164
Genre & Themes: M/M Romance, War,
Love, Twins, Trust, Science Fiction,
Fantasy, Isolation Issues, Psi Abilities,
Alternative Worlds, Telekinetic Powers,
Survivors, Betrayal, Telepathy, Puppets,
Dying World, Plants, Nature, Environment,
Genetically Engineered People & Creatures,
Family, Friendship, Manga, Shounen Ai,
Slashy, Lost Memories
Age: OT / Young Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Scanlations by Amato Empire
Challenge:   2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (30),
52 Books in 52 WeeksEthereal 2015,
You Read How Many Books?105 Reading Challenge
2015 LGBT Reading ChallengeRead A Million Pages,
2015 Graphic Novel and Comic Reading Challenge,

[Manga TBBR Review] The Antique Bakery v.1

Antique Bakery v.1

(Antique Bakery, #1)

Fumi Yoshinaga

What rating would you give it?
4 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Taken from Goodreads)
Ono has come a long way since the agonizing day in high school when he confessed his love to handsome Tachibana. Now, some 14 years later Ono, a world-class pastry chef and outed playboy has it all. No man can resist Ono’s charms (or his cooking skills!) but he has just found a new position under a man named Tachibana. Can this be the only man who resisted his charms, and if so, will the man who once snubbed the “magically gay” Ono get his just desserts? And how in the heck did a former middleweight boxing champion wind up as Ono’s cake boy?

What did you think of the book?

First off – I’d like to mention that this is a RE-READ. I originally read this book back when it first came out in the US in 2005 (and the rest of the series thereafter). I think having seen the anime – which did a fabulous job capturing the nature of the manga – really helped with this secondary read-through. I followed the story better this time, laughed at their antics and the idea of someone being “magically gay” (such people do exist, ya know! I’ve met a couple of ’em xD), and even picked up some things I didn’t catch the first time (which are later revealed in the following books or focused on in the anime).

It’s a light, fluffy, entertaining story with surprisingly deep characters (as will be revealed later on as the series progresses). I think the major reason I originally picked up volume 1 was because I was finished with everything else and needed another yaoi/shounen ai book to read. The fact that it was a foodie manga really didn’t cross my mind until I started reading it and it dawned on me that I was beginning a new series… entirely about food.

And gays.

But mostly food.

These-Things-Happen-Calligraphy-l

Now I’m generally not a “foodie” by any standard. I think this book may very well have been one of the first I ever read where the plot or featured story/setting revolves around food. I was already watching an anime called Yakitate!! Japan…. which is about bread. Yes, you read right: BREAD. Only MasterChef style with competitions and crazy challenges and competitors and shit. And comedy. DID I MENTION COMEDY?!

So naturally I figured, “If I can watch a show about BREAD (THAT’S IT, MAN! That’s ALL THE SHOW IS ABOUT), then I can definitely read a book about pastries. And demonic gays—WTF.”

It was probably a good thing that I already had Yakitate!! Japan under my belt because Antique Bakery definitely went off on an entirely different tangent, one that – while being interesting, amusing to all hell, and mellow at the same time – would probably not have held my interest as much Yakitate!! did. I’d never once considered the thought that food books would be something of interest to me. So starting off with Antique may or may not have worked for me otherwise.

Some things that resonated with me quite strongly though, was the character’s struggles to be accepted for all their reasons. At the time when I first read this book, a lot was going on in my own life that – strange as this sounds – paralleled the situations of the main cast.

Thankfully no one was magically gay.

Okay so that might not be true.

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As it was now, I felt quite a bit of nostalgia reading volume 1. I kept thinking back to the crazy antics of my own mates and I, and how hard it was for us to be accepted for the things we did or liked to do. Breaking stereotypes or living up to them. Both very difficult feats to accomplish, if you ask me. So I, once again, applaud the cast of Antique Bakery for sticking to their guns. Even if it cost them dearly.

In the end, everything works out. And that’s something to celebrate. 🙂

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Not that I know of. I mean… there’s some domestic violence stuff that happens later in the series, but… this book is pretty clean. It’s just really spazztastic, or downright silly, at times. XD

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

OH yeah. Waay more than I originally thought. xD I was really just re-reading this one again for the 2015 The Eclectic Reader (#6 Fiction For Foodies) reading challenge, but it ended up also fitting all of these challenges as well:

Would you recommend this book?

Yeah. I would say so. I don’t see why not!

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Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Publication Date: July 2005
Format: Paperback
Pages: 200
Genre & Themes: Love, M/M Romance,
QUILTBAG / LGBTQUI, Food, Pasteries &
Desserts, Bakery, Homophobia, Domestic
Violence, Manga, Shounen Ai / Yaoi, Drama,
Sports (Boxing), Josei, Comedy, Culinary
Age: It’s a Josei manga so… New Adult? Adult??
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Bought
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (32),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge, Read A Million Pages,
105 Reading Challenge (Category: 1, 3, 4, 8, 13),
The Eclectic Reader (#6 Fiction For Foodies),
2015 Graphic Novel and Comic Reading Challenge,
The Re-Read Reading Challenge

The Re-Read Challenge Review ~ Update 2

THE LIST of Books I Re-Read This Month

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  1. Silver Diamond v.20 by Sugiura Shiho  [Review]
  2. Unhinged by A.G. Howard  [Review]
  3. The Elf and Shoemaker by M.L. Rhodes  [Review]

WHAT I Remember

About Silver Diamond v.20… that some pretty weird shit was starting to go down. o_O

About Unhinged… that Miss Howard left us readers off on one hell of a shitty cliffhanger. :/

About The Elf and Shoemaker

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WHY I Wanted to Re-Read

The both Unhinged and Silver Diamond, my reason is simple: I got my hands on the next volume/novel in the series. Needed a refresher. 🙂

As for The Elf and Shoemaker, I make it pretty clear in my review (which I’ll be posting… maybe tomorrow) why I sought this little treasure out again. ❤

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading

After re-reading volume 20 of Silver Diamond, I was definitely “wtf-ing” quite a bit. Because Hoshiminokoto-sama was doing his do, and all I could do was watch and growl and try to calm my twitching eye. Same can be said while re-reading Unhinged. Although, I was reminded of some fonder moments between Alyssa and Morpheus which sort of made my day. :3

But the real winner was – but of course – The Elf and Shoemaker. This book never disappoints. ❤ ❤ ❤

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WOULD I Re-Read Again

Definitely to both Unhinged and The Elf and the Shoemaker.

Well… I might not completely re-read Unhinged. I know I’ll go looking for my favourite spots and read again from there… but from start to finish? Naw… I doubt that very much. There were some really tedious and irritating (Jeb) moments in that novel which just… ugh. @___@ I don’t want to think about it again.

Favourite parts? Yes. Whole book?

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Furthermore, I don’t know if I’d specifically re-read volume 20 of the Silver Diamond series, but the series as a whole? You can count on it! I’m sure to want to read it all over again one day when I’m finished with all 28 books.

[Manga Review] Aniki Joutou (complete series)

AnikiJoutou10792Aniki Joutou (complete series)

(Aniki Joutou series, Volume #1 & 2)

Kano Shiuko

What rating would you give it?
3.75 (maybe 4) of 5 Stars

Is this series known by any other name(s)?

Yeah! A few! Yaizu Brothers is the most common, but others include: Yaizu Brothers Fuckin’ Cool, First-Class Big Brother, and even Gentle Green.

How did you come to read Aniki Joutou and what did you think of the series as a whole?

Well… hopefully you took a look at the themes (or in this case warnings) that I posted in the book details below, so you’ll know what to expect from this review. (If not, head on down to the bottom of this post to see them listed under the “genre” section.)

Speaking frankly, I… really didn’t know what to expect when I first picked this up. I knew there was going to be incest themes and such, so that wasn’t a problem (it was actually the reason why I picked it up/was recommended it in the first place). Prior to picking up this title, I had been compiling a masterlist of any and all yaoi/shounen ai/shota manga, manhua, and manhwa featuring incest (in any form or shape of the word) as a primary or minor theme. It was partially for my own reference, and partially because a list as such needed to be made somewhere in the universe, so why shouldn’t it be me making it? (P.S. – And since the list is STILL NOT DONE, I am just sort of holding onto it for now until I can sort it out further.)

And – because I needed to make sure that the books I added to the list actually belonged there – I then went about hunting down all titles I could find, so I could read them for myself.

Many I own. Many I “own” only as scanlations.

Then, as I was adding another name to the list, a title popped out at me: Aniki Joutou.

I was almost sure I had read it before… or at the very least owned it… Somewhere.

As it turned out, I did have a copy of it, although I hadn’t gotten the chance to read it yet. Thus… Aniki Joutou became the first of several “re-finds” I found in a batch of miscellaneous manga I had saved on my computer (from some time ago) with the explicit intent of reading at a later date.

crickets

*EHEM* AWWWWKWAAAARD.

So, of course, remembering NOT A THING about this series outside of the fact that it must have interested me at some point in time and that it was an incest related manga, I opened the folder and began to read.

And then laugh. [And then repeatedly “WTF???!” throughout most of the pages because – really now – WHAT THE FUCK. XD ]

The story is… captivating in its concept and its choice of focus, to say the least; different, though a bit confusing, too… although that may have been due to bad translation (Note to self: Get raws or print copies of books ASAP.); and wholly, hilariously entertaining.

The Yaizu brothers (our protagonists) consist of Ichirou (30) eldest brother and owner of a night club for women clientele, gays, and cougars; Gou (24) second oldest, middle brother who freelances and part-times here and there and seems highly unreliable as a human being; and then there’s Ryuusei (15), the youngest brother still in high school and madly in love with Ichirou – though he has yet to realize it at the start of the first book. Their lives together are unconventional at best, and certainly traumatizing, in some respects to their – ehem – morality and sense of right and wrong, but strangely enough they all seem to be… pretty normal (considering), at least as families go. (Don’t look at me like that! I’m not weird. And they’re perfectly fine in their fucked up way!)

I generally don’t read these kinds of books for the sex that may or may not occur between the brothers sisters, cousins, or whatever – but more so on how the author deals with the family dynamics when one or more members are romantically or sexually involved with one another and in a relationship that most consider immoral and wrong.

I’ve seen the good. I’ve seen the bad. I’ve seen the comedic almost crack-spoof approach, too. I’ve seen the “let’s use this to our advantage and FANSERVICE (with or without a shred of substance behind it). I’ve also seen the “one is the manipulator, the other their willing or unwilling victim.” And so many others.

This one definitively followed the comedic, almost crack-spoof like approach with a hint of let’s use this to our advantage of FANSERVICE.

I’m really not complaining in the least. XD

Of the two books, I’d say the second one was better and more my favourite as it actually had substance and more of a plot.

All in all, it was a good read. My absolute favourite characters were Gou and Ga-chan (Gaku) because they were both such random characters XD So anything that featured them sort of ruled for me. 😉 The concept was an interesting one that I think was handled well, especially since it was meant to be at least part comedy. The twists of several revealing truths throughout the books also kept me interested and would keep any reader guessing.

Would you recommend this book?

Yeah, I think so! Read it, you know you wanna try!

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Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Biblos
Publication Date: 2002-2004
Format: electronic, scans
Pages: est. 366+
Genre: Drama, Yaoi, Romance, Smut,
QUILTBAG / LGBTQUIA, Playboys / Hosts,
Manga, Actual/Implied Incest / False Incest
(“Father”/”Sons”, “Brother”/”Brother”,
“Uncle”/”Nephew”), Family Dynamics,
Brother Complex, What It Means To Be
A Family, Adoption, Host Club, Gigolo/Male Escort,
Night Club, Unconventional or Alternative Families,
Cougars, Age Gap/Age Difference,
Misunderstanding/s, DILFS, BILFS, Mature/Erotic
Age: Adult (MATURE)
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Downloaded scanlations by Obsession
Challenge: 2014 Good Reads Reading Challenge (100)

Repost “Kinda” Mini Review – KONOYO IBUN (March 25, 2014)

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Supernatural, Yaoi

Volumes: 7 (complete)

Released in English?: Only up to Vol. 3

In the immediate family of the story’s protagonist everyone seems to die early, and other relatives talk about a curse. When soon after his grandfather’s death he comes down with an incurable disease, and is overwhelmed by grief and loneliness, in desperation he remembers his grandfather’s last words — that somebody was watching over them. He can only find an odd fossil tooth where his grandfather had pointed, but when he picks it up and accidentally gets some of his blood on it, that summons a guardian spirit, who promises to cure him. Maybe he should be pleased, but said guardian has some strange methods for healing.

Side Story (about director Keiichiro & Tetsu-chan): “Konoyo Ibun Sono no San”

Source: MangaUpdates

Alternative Names:  A Strange and Mystifying Story (English); My Demon & Me (French)


My thoughts: I have always loved this story from the very first book. Sadly, however, it would seem that whoever the publisher was here in the States publishing it decides to bail and leave us all hanging at the 3rd book – which, by the way, I thought we were merely up-to-date and waiting for the managaka in Japan to finish making the next book already! @A@;;; I really don’t know what the say in terms of how I’ll get the rest of this series, but somehow or another I will. Basically I’m stuck with either buying it in French – since they finished their publication of it eons ago – or in the original Japanese. I’d probably want it in the Japanese since it’ll be in its completion that way, but I have very few options on where to purchase it. I’ll probably check out BookOff and YesAsia and even Amazon.jp but… I get the feeling I’m going to be hunting for this one for awhile. -A-;

That aside, I really loved this series. Don’t ask me why. It had something to do with the strange nature of the story being told, the genuine yet still fanciful qualities to the characters and their problem/solution to said problem. I’m 100% on how they eventually decide to work things out though. That much is entirely okay by me.

Rating:
5 Stars (for the 3 books I’ve read thus far)

[Manhwa Review] Roureville (Vol. 3)

f0736a71b83910e2d464aa4b7c56dadaRoureville (Vol. 3)

(Roureville series, #3)

E. Hae

What rating would you give it?
3.5 of 5 Stars

So, what did you think of the book and the series as a whole?

Ugh. This series is weird as fuck.

Granted – I like weird, and I like this book.

But still… WEIRD, man. O____o

To be clear, this is a review of a reread, not a first-time reading. I originally read this book (last one in the series) when it came out in 2008? 2009?, and found it quite… odd. But intriguing, nonetheless! The trilogy (can I call it that??) focuses on a mysterious urban legend about a strange, small town called Roureville and a man who lives there… although “lives” might be the wrong word as he’s supposed to be a ghost! Evan Price, a famous New York Times reporter with a sixth sense and moderate ESP, decides to hunt down the facts behind this legend, while also attempting to evade multiple attempts on his life. (Hey! It’s not like everyone appreciates his “exclusives” on some of the world’s most notorious figures of his day! Of course a guy’s gonna make enemies…)

I won’t spoil anything from the other two books, but basically lots of bad things happen in this final volume, all leading up to the conclusion… which – while not being horrible, wasn’t exactly what I was expecting either.

I don’t know why I had such an urge to read this book, but I did. I think it was because I saw the first two books on my bookshelf, and vaguely remembered what happened in them… but then…couldn’t for the life of me remember a single thing about the final volume! I vaguely remembered there was sex… and someone nearly died… or did die,or maybe it was just a premonition, or—

You get where I’m going with this.

I should have remembered how it ended. It should not have been this hard for me to figure out what happened and when, and who and how. So, I figured it was time for a refresher.

I had to do some searching to find this book to reread again (the English language publishers, NetComics, never published it in print, so scanlations, here I come!). I’ll say this much – it makes more sense reading it again xx years later. I understood it then, even AGREED with it, but… doesn’t mean I really… remembered it, y’know? Almost like Jayce himself, fading away to nothingness… this story did as well. Memorable, but only in the vaguest sense, and then, just… ultimately forgettable.

I can only hope it sticks this time.

Would you recommend this book?

Oh gods, I’m so on the fence about this one. I mean… on the one hand, I do still like it and everything, but on the other, I’m just… blah about it, ya’know? :/

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I think I would recommend it to someone who doesn’t mind books that leave that sort of feeling behind after you’ve finished them. And anyone who likes a good mystery. This book is definitely an utter mystery to me. Even now. (Not sure if I mean this in a good way, either. XD)

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: NetComics
Publication Date: 2008-2009
Format: serial release on publisher’s
website
Pages: unsure / 10 chapters
Genre: Shounen Ai, Manhua, M/M
Romance, QUILTBAG / LGBTQUIA,
Mystery, Suoernatural, Ghosts, ESP,
Romance
Age: Young Adult (I guess?)
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Bought chapter per chapter since a print
copy was never published in English (to my knowledge…)
& downloaded
Challenge: 2014 Good Reads Reading Challenge (100)

 

[Manga Series Review/TBBR] Claymore (27 volumes)

297960Claymore (27 Volumes)

(Claymore series, #1-27)

Norhiro Yagi

What rating would you give it?
5+++++++++++++++++ of 5 Stars

What did you think of the series?

WARNING: Some spoilers ahead… can’t be helped!

Right now I’m reviewing this long-ass series as a whole, but MAYBE at a much MUCH later date, I’ll review it individually… book by book.

For starters, can I say: WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW! O__O What an incredible run that was! I started reading this series back in high school man. HIGH SCHOOL. That was over a decade ago! (Man am I dating myself here… @__@;;; ) The first book came to the U.S. in 2002, right when I started my first year. The first book blew my mind and the last one broke my heart (just a little). Besides the unforgettable (though slightly unsatisfying) ending, it was also ME saying goodbye to an era. This was one of those series I thought would never end, and hoped never would.

Unrealistic, I know, and I knew it every time I finished reading a chapter, waiting for the next serial to publish and the next, and the next, believing there would always BE a next.

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I’ve pretty much grown up with characters. Claire, Theresa, Miria, Deneve, Raki… and yes–even Priscilla. I can’t imagine what I’m gonna do now that they’re all… gone.

*already has a plan in motion to reread the whole thing from start to around the time of Isley and then stop so I can pretend that everyone survived this tale and they’re all still out there fighting somewhere… oblivious to the truth, BUT ALIIIIIVE!*

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“Yup. That’s the plan!”

What can I say? The characters, plot, world-building, delivery, GORGEOUS FUCKING ART–the whole shebang was impeccable, flawless, phenomenal! I haven’t a complaint to give (except that it’s over T________T)

This entire series is just filled with artpron. I mean… Continue reading