Author Archives: Demelza Ward

Reading Log: November 2019

November went by in a total blur and I don’t feel like it should be almost Christmas again. I still have books from my birthday to read and that was March! Anyway here’s what I’ve read this month. Rules I set for myself and these posts can be found here.

Manga:

  • Tokyo Tarareba Girls volume 9
  • Himouto! Umaru-chan volume 7
  • Sweet Drop
  • Daytime Shooting Star volume 3
  • Ao Haru Ride volume 7
  • Cells at Work! volume 5
  • An Incurable Case of Love volume 1
  • My Hero Academia: Smash volume 2
  • The Unwanted Undead Adventurer volume 2
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable volume 3
  • Arata Primal: The New Primitive (Manga +)
  • Nicola Travelling Around the Demon’s World volume 1
  • If It’s For My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord volume 4
  • The Wize Wize Beasts of The Wizarding Wizdoms 
  • Hitorijime My Hero volume 5
  • Combatants Will Be Dispatched! volume 1
  • Crazy Fruits volume 1
  • A Lotus Flower in the Mud volume 1
  • Tomo-chan is a Girl volume 5
  • The Beautiful Greeness volume 2
  • Boys Love! volume 1
  • Sneaky Red volume 2
  • One Room of Happiness volume 6
  • The vacation in Love volume 1
  • Shinjuku Lucky Hole volume 2
  • Shortcake Cake volume 6
  • Yui Kamio Let’s Loose (WSJ)
  • Double Taisei (WSJ)
  • Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction volume 7
  • Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro volume 1 – review
  • Demon Lord, Retry! volume 1
  • Our Dreams at Dusk volume 3
  • The Love of Calendula volume 1
  • Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest volume 2 – review
  • Anonymous Noise volume 17
  • Dreamin’ Sun volume 10
  • Classmates volume 3
  • Ten Count volume 2
  • Haikyu!! volume 35

Light Novels:

  • My Hero Academia: School Briefs volume 3 – review
  • Cooking with Wild Game volume 5
  • Sexiled volume 2
  • The Miracles of the Namiya General Store – review
  • Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? volume 4

So it turns out I’ve been majorly slacking on reading light novels in November. I’m going to blame playing the new Pokémon game… I finished the month with 39 manga read and 5 light novels, compared to 24 manga last month and 15 light novels. Gotta up my game next month!

Pile of Shame:

So I made a deal with a good friend of mine that once she visited if I was still writing these reading logs I’d include pictures of the pile of shame instead of a list, so gonna start doing that this month!

Currently reading: Decapitation.
Pile:

Reading Log: October 2019

The end of the year is approaching surprisingly fast and somehow the pile of shame is still not decreasing but I’m still reading a bunch of stuff… Funny how life works. Anyways here’s what I’ve been reading this month. Rules I set for myself and these posts can be found here.

Manga:

  • Cells at Work: Code Black volume 1
  • Blank Canvas volume 2
  • Teddy Bear De Cheri
  • Marginal Operation volume 2
  • Demon Slayer volume 9
  • Cooking with Wild Game volume 1
  • Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles volume 3
  • As Miss Beelzebub Likes volume 7
  • The Ancient Magus Bride volume 11
  • Lust and Love in the New Academy
  • A Very Fairy Apartment volume 3
  • The Brave-Tuber volume 1
  • Bakemonogatari volume 1 – review
  • O Maidens in your Savage Season volume 4 – review
  • Granblue Fantasy volume 1 – review
  • Yozakura Quartet volume 3
  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable volume 1
  • Trial
  • Beastars volume 1 – review
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime volume 11
  • Konosuba: An Explosion on this Wonderful World volume 2 –review
  • The Stranger by the Beach
  • The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind volume 4
  • The Way of the Househusband volume 1

Light Novels:

  • Infinite Dendrogram volume 10
  • Torture Princess volume 1
  • Full Metal Panic volume 4
  • I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse volume 16
  • In Another World with my Smartphone volume 17
  • Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash volume 14.5
  • Spirit Chronicles volume 7
  • Sword Art Online: Progressive volume 6
  • Durarara!! volume 13
  • The Combat Baker and Automation Waitress volume 2
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm volume 4
  • An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride volume 8
  • The Greatest Magicmaster’s Retirement Plan volume 3
  • Altina the Sword Princess volume 1
  • The Ancient Magus’ Bride: The Silver Yarn

So 24 manga this month, down from 26, and 15 light novels compared to 10 last month. Not bad given I’ve even been to SLA…

Pile of Shame:

Currently reading: My Hero Academia: School Briefs volume 3, Decapitation

Snow White with the Red Hair volume 4
Umaru volume 7
Daytime Shooting Star volume 3
Tokyo Tarareba Girls volume 9
Cells at Work volume 5
An Incurable Case of Love
My Hero Academia: Smash volume 2
Hiorijime My Hero volume 5
Suspension
The Miracles of the Namiyama General Store
Torture Princess volume 2
I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed out My Level volume 5
Reincarnated into Sword volume 1
Strangulation
Classroom of the Elite volume 2
Arifureta volume 1
Tokyo Ghoul: Re volumes 8-11
Re:Zero volume 8
Log Horizon volume 4
Re:Zero EX volume 2
Strike the Blood volume 4
The Devil is a Part Timer! volume 11

I’ve bought a lot of manga this week so the pile is looking even worse than usual. Hopefully improvements next month. ^^;

Reading Log: September 2019

September came and went in a flash, I’m not even sure where the time went this month! I feel like I read quite a lot of good stuff this month, so lets take a look:

Manga

  • Graduate volume 1
  • Eromanga Sensei volume 3
  • Record of Grancrest War volume 4
  • It’s Fine, Even if It’s Just a Dream volume 1
  • Demon Slayer volume 8
  • Jinjin Jingisukan
  • Haikyu!! volume 34
  • That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime volumes 9-10
  • To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts volume 9
  • My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom volume 1
  • Motion Emotion volume 1
  • Infinite Dendrogram volume 3
  • Shortcake Cake volume 5
  • Silver Spoon volume 10
  • Snow White with the Red Hair volume 3 – review
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Full Metal Edition volume 6
  • Magus of the Library volume 2 – review
  • Bungo Stray Dogs volume 12
  • Discommunication volume 2
  • Candy Colour Paradox volume 3
  • The Golden Sheep volume 1
  • The Secret Between Two
  • I’m Sorry, God
  • Become You volume 1
  • Mood Indigo volume 1

Light Novels

  • The Night is Short, Walk on Girl – review
  • Koyomimonogatari Part 2 – review
  • Sexiled! volume 1
  • The Reprise of the Spear Hero volume 1
  • Konosuba volume 9
  • Restaurant to Another World volume 1
  • Kokoro Connect volume 7
  • How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom volume 10
  • Outbreak Company volume 11
  • Combatants Will be Dispatched! volume 1

So 26 manga this month and 10 light novels, compared to 40 and 13. September was a relatively quiet month for new releases and so I managed to get through my pile of shame a little bit instead. Speaking of, here’s how that’s looking:

Pile of Shame:

Currently reading: Torture Princess volume 1

Reincarnated into Sword volume 1
Decapitation
Strangulation
Classroom of the Elite volume 2
Arifureta volume 1
Sword Art Online: Progressive volume 6
Tokyo Ghoul: Re volumes 8-11
Re:Zero volume 8
Log Horizon volume 4
Re:Zero EX volume 2
Strike the Blood volume 4
The Devil is a Part Timer! volume 11

Reading Log: August 2019

August has been a fairly hectic month for me. I started a new part-time job, which has eaten up a lot of my time and energy, but things are beginning to calm down now. Here’s what I read this month:

Manga:

  • The Beautiful Greeness volume 1
  • Elevator Strategy volume 1  
  • The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess volume 5
  • Konekokawa and Koinumaru
  • An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride volume 2
  • Himouto! Umaru-chan volume 6
  • F-Ken
  • Pornographer volume 1
  • The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind volume 3
  • Tomo-chan is a Girl! volume 4
  • Secretly, I’ve been Suffering About Being Sexless
  • Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san volume 1 – review
  • Chi’s Sweet Home volume 1*in Japanese*
  • So I’m a Spider, So What? volume 6
  • The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life volume 1
  • Haikyuu!! volume 33
  • Flying Witch volume 7
  • Witch Hat Alteier volume 2
  • Our Dreams at Dusk volume 2
  • Dreamin’ Sun volume 9
  • Anonymous Noise volume 16
  • Daytime Shooting Star volumes 1-2
  • Ao Haru Ride volume 6
  • Komi Can’t Communicate volume 2
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime volume 8
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm volume 2
  • Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest volume 1 – review
  • Hitorijime My Hero volume 4
  • The Last Saiyuki (was following in Weekly Shonen Jump)
  • O Maidens in Your Savage Season volume 3 – review
  • Phony World
  • Animeta! volume 3
  • I Shall Survive Using Potions volume 2
  • What’s Under his Clothes is Outrageous!
  • Kaguya-sama Love is War volume 2
  • How to Treat a Lady Knight Right volume 1
  • Nichoume Days Lives of the One-Room Residents
  • Sleeping with the Stallion
  • Tokyo Tarareba Girls volume 8

Light Novels:

  • My Hero Academia: School Briefs volume 2 – review
  • I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse volume 15
  • Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? volume 3
  • An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride volume 7 – review
  • Der Werwolf: The Annuals of Veight volume 5
  • 86 volume 2 – review
  • Fullmetal Panic! volume 3
  • Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki volume 1 – review
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm volume 3
  • Last Round Arthurs volume 1
  • Cooking with Wild Game volume 1
  • Bungo Stray Dogs volume 1 – review
  • The Combat Baker and Automation Waitress volume 1

So this month I only managed 13 light novels, but a lot of my J-Novel titles have been on hold – which is what usually bulks out the numbers. However I did manage 40 manga, so I’m doing pretty well there… Finally, here’s what I’m currently reading and what’s in the pile of shame (which has grown because I got a job):

Currently reading: The Night is Short, Walk on Girl

Pile of Shame:

Record of Grancrest War volume 4
Haikyu!! volume 34
That Time I got Reincarnated into a Slime volumes 9-10
Decapitation
Strangulation
Classroom of the Elite volume 2
Classmates volume 2
Eromanga-Sensei volume 3
Snow White with the Red Hair volume 3
Torture Princess volume 1
Arifureta volume 1
Sword Art Online: Progressive volume 6
Restaurant in Another World volume 1
Tokyo Ghoul: Re volumes 8-11
The Reprise of the Spear Hero volume 1
Re:Zero volume 8
Log Horizon volume 4
Re:Zero EX volume 2
Strike the Blood volume 4
The Devil is a Part Timer! volume 11

At this rate I should probably make a separate pile of shame for manga.

Brothers Conflict Review

Originally posted on Tanuki Bridge:

 

It’s difficult to know how to start this review. Usually I’d open with a paragraph of how much I like a series or my previous experiences, but in this case I’d never heard of this anime before or the visual novel it’s based on. I’d gone into it totally blind and perhaps if I’d had prior knowledge I never would have bothered.

Brothers Conflict is a reverse harem series that tells the story of Ema Asahina who moves in with her 13 step-brothers after her father remarries. Ema also has a talking pet squirrel called Juli, who disapproves of Ema putting herself in a situation surrounded by so many boys. Meanwhile, with the arrival of Ema the brothers now struggling with having a lady in the building and adjusting how they go about their day to day lives.

Normally when I review anime I dedicate more than a single paragraph to a show’s plot, but in this case I find it impossible. I’ve already mentioned that this is a reverse harem series and that comes into play by most, if not all, the brothers having feelings for Ema or teasing her as though they do. I’d normally be okay with this kind of thing but overall I just find Brothers Conflict terrible. 

Brothers Conflict is very generic in how it handles its characters and plot. For example, within the first episode Ema faints from a fever and then later on when she goes for a bath she stumbles on one of her brothers who is wearing nothing but a towel. Things only get worse when she overhears two other brothers (twins), seemingly confessing their love to one another (it turns out they were just rehearsing a script). Despite all this and the fact various brothers make a move to kiss Ema, all our main character actually does is apologise and stutter in speaking. She doesn’t have a personality to speak of, really, and even among the 13 boys their personalities are just very generic and in-line with what you’d expect of their jobs/designs/attitudes.

Among the boys we have the twins who are able to finish each other’s sentences. We have the jealous one who is resentful that Ema is now living in his home. We have the mature one, the bishi one who works as a hairdresser, the cute younger one, the distant one and somehow also the very plain one who probably has the most genuine feelings. Among this large cast not a single one of them has an interesting personality and it’s difficult to care about them at all. This is again not helped by Ema, whose interactions with them boil down to standing there blankly and being kissed or talked at. There is no chemistry at all and so it’s hard to care when, frankly, even the characters themselves don’t.

If there was a plot to speak of then maybe I could have overlooked Ema and the boys as almost fatal flaws to the show, but actually this show is nothing more than a collection of the groups day to day lives and I can’t help but feel nothing interesting ever happens. There is absolutely nothing worth your time in this whole show, and that’s not something I’d usually say. I am a firm believer that every anime has a reason for someone to like it, but Brothers Conflict is just bad.

The series has been adapted by Brain’s Base who you’ll probably know as the studio that worked on Baccano! and Durarara!!. While the animation for Brothers Conflict isn’t really bad it’s just also not interesting in the slightest. The colors are fairly bland and backgrounds, while detailed, didn’t really grab my attention either. I guess sometimes bland animation can be just as hurtful as outright badly done animation. Unfortunately the music (handled by Takeshi Nakatsuka) doesn’t stand out at all, so can’t redeem the series either.  Brothers Conflict is both dubbed and subbed but neither track is that good. None of the voice actors really do anything wrong, but when they’re playing characters with personalities about as interesting as watching paint dry – well, it’s no surprise I’m not leaping out of my seat with praise.

This release has been brought to the UK thanks to Funimation and is only available on Blu-ray after the DVD version was cancelled. The set includes all 12 episodes of the series both subbed and dubbed, as well as the two OVA episodes and episode 12.5. The only other extras to speak of are commentaries for episodes 9 & 12 as well as textless opening and ending tracks.

Overall I find myself at a slight loss for words. I truly believe that Brothers Conflict is one of the most boring and generic series I have ever seen and one I never wish to revisit. I can’t think of a single way to recommend it to you, so instead I’ll close this review out by suggesting you go and handle some household chores, or read a book or basically anything that isn’t watching this show.

Reading Log: July 2019

Now truly into the depths of Summer I return for my July reading log. Somehow I’ve avoided melting into a puddle. As usual here’s a link to my rules and here’s what I’ve been reading in July:

Manga:

  • To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts volume 8
  • Candy Colour Paradox volume 2
  • Anonymous Noise volume 15
  • Classmates
  • Demon Slayer volume 7
  • As Miss Beelzebub Likes volume 6
  • Lover 
  • If I Could Touch Your Heart 
  • Reversible Friend
  • Witch Hat Atelier
  • My Servants and I
  • Komi Can’t Communicate volume 1
  • Vampire Knight: Memories volume 3
  • Now Loading…! 
  • Dead Dead Demon’s Dedede Destruction volume 6
  • Love Love Chu Chu
  • When that Day Comes 
  • Magus of the Library volume 1 – review
  • Love in Focus volume 3 – review
  • Record of Grancrest War volume 3
  • Kaguya-sama: Love is War volume 1
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime volume 7
  • When We Were in the Rose Forest
  • Sneaky Red volume 1
  • Lofty Flower, Fall for Me!! (followed the simulpubs)
  • The Master of Ragnarok volume 2
  • My Hero Academia: Smash!! volume 1
  • Shining Stars in Line 
  • At 25:00 in Akasaka 
  • How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom volume 2
  • Moja and I
  • Science vs Magic (one shot)
  • Dive!! volume 3 – review
  • Shinjuku Lucky Hole 
  • Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles volume 2
  • Snow White with the Red Hair volume 2
  • Connect Us
  • Flying Witch volume 6

Light Novels:

  • I Shall Survive Using Potions volume 3
  • Woof Woof Story: I Told you to Turn Me Into a Pampered Pooch not Fenri volume 2 – review
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: On the Side – Sword Oratoria volume 9
  • Middle-Aged Businessman, Arise in Another World volume 1
  • Outbreak Company volume 10
  • In Another World with my Smartphone volume 16
  • Koyomimonogatari Part 1 – review
  • Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles volume 6
  • The Greatest Magicmasters Retirement Plan volume 2
  • JK Haru is a Sex Worker in Another World: Summer

So this month I’ve managed 38 manga and 10 light novels. A lot of single volume manga this month, which pushed the numbers up. A new BL service called Futekiya opened up, which is where a lot of these came from. Now for the pile of shame!

Pile of shame:

Currently reading: My Hero Academia: School Briefs volume 2

Kaguya-sama: Love is War volume 2
Daytime Shooting Star volume 1
Eighty-Six volume 2
Arifureta volume 1
Sword Art Online: Progressive volume 6
Restaurant in Another World volume 1
Tokyo Ghoul: Re volumes 8-11
The Reprise of the Spear Hero volume 1
Re:Zero volume 8
Log Horizon volume 4
Re:Zero EX volume 2
Strike the Blood volume 4
The Devil is a Part Timer! volume 11

Because there are quite a few manga in the pile I decided to italic them to make reading through it easier. I’ve been buying a lot of stuff lately, so I need to start making my way through the pile again….

Reading Log: June 2019

Now we’re officially halfway through the year and I can say that my ability to keep up with manga and light novels has been going well this year. Here’s what I got through in June and if you’re a first time visitor you can read the rules I set for myself here.

Manga:

  • Fullmetal Alchemist Fullmetal Edition volume 5
  • One Room of Happiness volume 5
  • Queen’s Quality volume 7
  • A Very Fairy Apartment volume 2
  • I’ve Been Standing on a Million Lives volume 1 (reread) – Review
  • Noragami volume 20
  • Ao Haru Ride volume 5
  • Maiden Railway
  • I Shall Survive Using Potions volume 1
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm volume 1
  • The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind! volume 2
  • Sweet Reincarnation volume 1
  • Red Sprite
  • Marginal Operation volume 1
  • Our Dreams at Dusk volume 1
  • O Maidens in Your Savage Season volume 2 – review
  • Food Wars! (was following in WSJ)
  • Discommunication volume 1
  • Love Rush
  • The Unwanted Undead Adventurer volume 1
  • Animeta! volume 1 (reread) – review
  • Bungo Stray Dogs volume 11
  • Konosuba: An Explosion on this Wonderful World volume 1- review
  • Little Miss P
  • Blank Canvas: My So Called Artist’s Journey volume 1
  • Tokyo Tarareba Girls volume 7
  • Silver Spoon volume 9
  • Hi-Fi Cluster

Light Novels:

  • I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out my Level volume 4
  • Wolf Children: Ame and Yukireview
  • Classroom of the Elite volume 1
  • An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride volume 6 – review
  • Cooking with Wild Game volume 3
  • Side by Side Dreamers
  • Kokoro Connect volume 6 – review
  • Full Metal Panic volume 2
  • Log Horizon volume 3
  • Welcome to Japan, Ms Elf volume 2
  • Strike the Blood volume 3
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm volume 2
  • Seriously Seeking Sister! Ultimate Vampire Princess just wants Little Sister volume 1
  • Record of Wortenia War volume 1
  • The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious volume 1 – review
  • My Next Life as a Villainess All Routes Lead to Doom! volume 4
  • If It’s For My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord volume 8
  • Katanagatari volume 2 – review
  • How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom volume 9

A fairly bumper month for reading with 28 manga down and 19 light novels, up from May at least! Here’s the pile of shame:

Currently reading: Woof Woof Story volume 2

DanMachi Sword Oratoria volume 9
The Reprise of the Spear Hero volume 1
Re:Zero volume 8
Log Horizon volume 4
Re:Zero EX volume 2
Strike the Blood volume 4
The Devil is a Part Timer! volume 11

Down a bit from last month, thankfully, although it has also seen some newcomers arrive…

Reading Log: May 2019

We’re now five months into the year! Time is going by too fast for my liking and I feel like I’ve read a lot less than usual, but let’s take a look. As always the rules I set for myself can be found here. Bold shows a completed series while italics means dropped. Now let’s see how I’ve done this month.

Manga:

  • Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction volume 5
  • Animeta! volume 2
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 1 – Phantom Blood
  • Silver Spoon volume 8
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: The Complete Four-Panel Comics – reviews
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 2 – Battle Tendency 
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 3 – Stardust Crusaders
  • Black Torch volume 4
  • Shortcake Cake volume 4
  • Anonymous Noise volume 14
  • Demon Slayer volume 6
  • Hell Warden Higuma (Weekly Shonen Jump)
  • Haikyu!! volume 32
  • Dive!! volume 2 – review
  • Emanon volume 1 – review
  • Love in Focus volume 2 – review
  • Yozakura Quartet volume 2
  • Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World volume 2
  • Natsume’s Book of Friends volume 2
  • Hitorijime My Hero volume 3
  • Blood Blockade Battlefront volumes 9-1

Light novels:

  • Sherlock Holmes: A Scandal in Japan – review
  • My Hero Academia: School Briefs volume 1 – review
  • Der Werwolf: The Annals of Veight volume 4
  • Konosuba volume 8
  • Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash volume 14
  • Tsukimonogatari – review
  • Seoreo Gensokui Spirit Chronicles volume 5
  • Penguin Highway – review
  • Outbreak Company volume 9
  • A Sister’s All You Need volume 4
  • Infinite Dendrogram volume 9
  • I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse volume 14
  • In Another World with my Smartphone volume 15

This brings me to 22 manga and 13 light novels for the month, so around the same as May (which was 23/16). I buzzed through a lot of JoJo this month, so I guess that’s where a lot of my reading time went…

And here’s the pile of shame for the month:

Currently reading: I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out my Level volume 4

Snow White with the Red Hair volume 1
I’m Standing on a Million Lives volume 1
Fullmetal Alchemist Fullmetal Edition volume 5
Wolf Children
Classroom of the Elite volume 1
Log Horizon volume 3
Strike the Blood volume 3
Re:Zero volume 8
Log Horizon volume 4
Re:Zero EX volume 2
Strike the Blood volume 4
The Devil is a Part Timer! volume 11

The pile of shame has, shamefully, grown this month! Everything from Wolf Children down is a LN. I’ve been stalling Wolf Children, I’m Standing on (…) and Snow White for awhile because I’m behind on reviews for AUKN and didn’t want to read them and then forget things before I could review them. So I should be able to knock those off pretty fast once I get through my current backlog. FMA also only arrived yesterday, so just haven’t had a chance to touch it yet.

Bizarre Adventures with JoJo

Last week Viz Media added the first three parts of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure to their Shonen Jump vault. Despite how famous the series is, I’ve never actually read it. The most I’ve done is watch half of the 2012 anime adaption of Part 1, but I never got back to it because I’m pretty bad at watching anime when it’s not for work or simulcasts. So with this in mind I decided I’d read parts 1-3 and having completed them I wanted to put some of my thoughts down in a post.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood was a fairly straightforward shonen story. I liked how the story progressed and changed the relationship between JoJo and Dio, his adopted brother turned evil vampire. At 44 chapters it’s a fairly easy read and doesn’t hang around on any one battle too long. It was a great starting point for such a long series and by the end of it I was excited to continue.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 2: Battle Tendency’s didn’t get off to a great start, with a new unlikable JoJo at the helm. This part started to lean a little more heavily into ‘monster of the week’ elements but also managed to keep the plot moving without wasting too much time on meaningless fights. It was difficult to enjoy it as much as Part 1 given how fond of that JoJo I was, but by the end I didn’t hate Part 2. I admit I was starting to wonder if I’d be able to stick JoJo out if Part 3 was similar, but I didn’t want to just drop it there. With the whole idea of each new Part bringing with it a host of new characters, I was confident that I’d find something to like in the future.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders was a fairly mixed bag in the end. I enjoyed it a lot more than Part 2, but it also spends the majority of its 152 chapters on monster of the week battles and that took away from it. It was nice to have a JoJo where both the current and previous JoJo were still alive and could spend time together (and actually Part 2’s JoJo was a lot better in this Part than previously), but on the other hand the Part goes on too long. I have a feeling it got extended in the middle because it was doing well because JoJo manages to fight off all the enemies coming after him and then Dio mysteriously makes several more. The plot moves incredibly slowly because there is always a new enemy causing an accident of some sort and waylaying the casts progress. If you like battle of the week manga then this is by no means a bad thing and hey, some of the fights were great, but personally I wanted more of what we saw in Part 1 with a more defined story in mind. Part 3 doesn’t even give that much time to wrapping up its story! It just shows the two joJo headed back home together (and that one character is okay having defeated Dio). It’s not quite what I was hoping for, but scratched the itch for more JoJo and has kept me interested in reading Part 4 (which Viz are just starting to release and haven’t added to the vault yet).

So having dived into this JoJo rabbit hole I’m happy I now understand what the fuss is about. I might not adore it as much as many of my friends do, but I can certainly appreciate it for what it is. Reading so much of it at once also gave me the opportunity to see how its popularity and how that changed it, like the progressively amping up of the random weekly enemies. I’m really interested to see if it does even more of that going forward or if it starts pulling it back a bit. I don’t actually know if we’ll see Dio more either or if Part 4 will skip that particular encounter. I feel like Dio works best as the ‘big bad’ of the series, so I’d certainly prefer he not be cast aside again. For such a popular series I’ve managed to stay surprisingly uninformed about what happens in the story, which is probably for the best.

Overall I guess I come away from this with an appreciation for JoJo even if it’s not outright like yet. I certainly like it enough to binge through each part, but I feel like a lot of that is born out of curiosity. I certainly won’t be seeking out volumes of it to own, that’s for sure. It’s a wild ride that leaves me with a lot of different feelings, but I guess in the end the overwhelming feeling is that I had fun and that’s what matters.

Here’s hoping I won’t have to wait too long to delve into more!

Reading Log: April 2019

Another month, another reading log. I’ve managed to keep these going for four months now so I’m feeling pretty proud of myself. As always the rules I set for myself can be found here.  Bold shows a completed series while italics means dropped. Now let’s see how I’ve done this month.

Manga:

    • Clockwork Planet volumes 1-5
    • Nano Hazard volumes 1-3
    • Candy Colour Paradox volume 1
    • As Miss Beelzebub Likes volume 5
    • Hitorijime My Hero volume 2
    • Eromanga Sensei volume 2
    • Fire Force volume 2
    • Tokyo Ghoul:re volume 7
    • O Maidens in your Savage Season volume 1 – review
    • Lofty Flower, Fall for Me volume 7
    • If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord volume 3
    • Himouto! Umaru-chan volume 5
    • Yozakura Quartet volume 1
    • Ne0;Lation
    • Tokyo Tarareba Girls volume 6
    • Ao Haru Ride volume 4
    • Pumpkin Scissors volume 1
    • The Master of Ragnarok volume 1

Light Novels:

  • An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride Volume 5 – review soon
  • The Unwanted Undead Adventurer volume 4
  • Durarara!! volume 12
  • Campfire Cooking in Another World With My Absurd Skill volume 1
  • Kokoro Connect volume 5 – review soon
  • 86 volume 1 – review
  • Full Metal Panic! volume 1
  • My Next life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! volume 3
  • Re:Zero volume 7
  • In Another World with My Smartphone volume 14
  • I Shall Survive Using Potions volume 2
  • The Devil is a Part Timer! volume 10
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm volume 1
  • Vampire Knight: Fleeting Dreams
  • The Greatest Magicmaster’s Retirement Plan volume 1
  • Re:Zero EX volume 1

So my counts for this month are 23 manga and 16 light novels, which is down for manga from last month but also up in light novels. Light novel reading raises and falls a lot depending on when J-Novel Club finish books, so I’m not as interested in how that number raises and falls as my manga reading does.

Also worth noting that my count for manga is off by one because I don’t count Ne0;Lation as a volume, I was reading it simulpub’d but I didn’t want to give it its own header for finishing. It’s always a shame to see a WSJ series come to an end, but no real surprise with this one either.

To finish off, here is what’s sitting in the pile of shame:

Log Horizon volume 3
Strike the Blood volume 3
Re:Zero volume 8
Log Horizon volume 4
Re:Zero EX volume 2
Strike the Blood volume 4
The Devil is a Part Timer! volume 11

It’s not growing at least!