Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Quick Manga GN Reviews

Eerie Queerie! vol. 1
by Shuri Shiozu
Mitsuo is a typical high school boy with an a typical 'gift': he can communicate with the spirits of the restless dead, and said spirits are able to possess his body and use it to communicate with the living. Of course, seeing that he's in high school, he ends up most often being possessed by the spirits of departed high school girls who use his person to confess their unrequited love for hunky boys. Thus the set-up for this bishonen manga, with the typical pretty boys who may or may not be gay but certainly have strong friendships and act the way that girls apparently want boys to act. Eerie Queerie! seems to be a cut above the typical though, in that it has a central plot that could allow the stories to be interesting beyond standard bishonen clichés. Shiozu's art is dynamic, though accasionally to the detriment of clear storytelling. There are two back-up stories by Shiozu in this first volume, one of which--wherein a high school girl worries that her twin brother may be gay like their father--is actually a rather strong offering.
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)

Ai Yori Aoshi, vol. 3
by Kou Fumizuki
In the previous volume, Fumizuki set up the status quo for the continuing series, and nothing much changes here. Taeko is still clumsy, Tina is still Brash, Aoi is still the dutiful traditional Japanese woman, and Kaoru is still, well, boring. In fact, both Kaoru and Aoi are so boring that you kind o fget the feeling that they belong together. One direction to take the series would be for Aoi to gradually wake up to the fact that a modern woman doesn't need to be constantly wanting to pelase her man--that she can have her own life. But instead Fumizuki appears to be going the opposite way, with the infinitely more interesting Tina admiting that she secretly wishes sometimes that she could be more like the boring Aoi! Gagh! So why do I continue to read this series? Simply put, Fumizuki's artwork is incredible. Especially his setting shots, background and architecture, which really succeed in giving the stories a feeling of happening in a real space. If only the love story weren't so dull.
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)

DearS, vol. 1
by Peach-Pit
Aliens have come to Earth (actually, just to Japan), they're now living among us, and they look like freakish Michael Turner women (i.e. all legs and chest) with big eyes and small mouthes! That is, unless they're being drawn in a crude six-year-old style. Our main character here is (of course) a llonely high school boy, who has one of these alien females show up one day, kiss him and move in. But she cannot speak Japanese, and appears to be a bit addled, spending most of the time in skimpy clothing and contorting her body into odd positions so as to show off the maximum amount of flesh. I made it about halfway through this volume before giving up; there are too many other things to read to spend any more time on this poorly-drawn, insulting comic. But given the amount of totally gratuitous fan service, including a busty teacher who has a tendency to strip down to her underwear for no reason, I imagine that it will be quite popular.
Rating: 1 (of 5)

1 comment:

David Welsh said...

"Eerie Queerie" sinks like a stone with the second volume. It gets decidedly creepy, and not in a "The Others" way. More in a Michael Jackson way.