Tag Archives: tokyo-pop

Manga Review: Kasane by Daruma Matsuura

Published Dec. 2016

Kasane is a girl with a disgusting face, almost deformed … Because of this, she suffers the harassment of her classmates. One day, in the midst of despair, she remembers what her mother, a famous actress of great beauty, said to her before she died: “If you ever stay alone and you can not take it anymore, put your lips together, get close to what you want. .. and kiss it! “ -Goodreads

As a desperate act to fully getting what she wants and to stop the harassment, Kasane listens to her mother’s advice and it completely changes her world.

When I began this manga I was like is she ugly by beauty standards or does she have a deformity that people make fun of her for. I would call it a deformity but she was born that way and there are some other things that can suggest it is family trait. However, I gave a little bit too much away.

This manga is unlike anything you have read. Not only is plot completely original but it is creative. You can maybe compare it to Cinderella but it isn’t Cinderella. It isn’t even a fairy tale. This manga is strictly stand-alone content within its own world and it is purely amazing.

Kasane has it bad. Between the harassment, her mother being dead and her abusive Aunt stealing her inheritance, Kasane has reason for being the way she is and for making the choices she made. However, at a certain point you begin to think is she the bad guy? I loved that aspect of this manga. It makes you question Kasane, her intentions and how you feel about her.

But beyond that this manga is deep. Beauty standards are huge and the series touches upon being beautiful and being able to do your job, your passion, your career.

The story move flawlessly and the pace was great. My only issue was I wanted to know more about Kasane before her life changing decision and also during. Who was she beyond beauty and the decision she made to get it.

Overall, a must read.

4.5 Pickles

Manga Review: Bizenghast, Volume 1 (Bizenghast #1) by M. Alice LeGrow

Tokyo Pop Published Aug. 9, 2005 184 Pages
Tokyo Pop
Published Aug. 9, 2005
184 Pages

A forgotten town named Bizenghast gets an expected visitor when a sad young girl moves to the town. Here she discovers a collection of lost souls looking for a way to end their nightmare. It is up to her to set them free or else she will likely join them. 

I always passed this book when it was suggested to me on goodreads. I got tired of seeing it and decided to pick it up. To say the least it is a lackluster read.

This young girl is just a sad individual that walks around as if she knows nothing in this world. She is scared of everything and has no issue crying about it. Her friend on the other hand does everything for her. . .  because if she doesn’t complete the missions she will dye a horrible death for all eternity.

It actually is quite sad.

What I liked about this manga is the idea that there are souls, good and bad, who are trying to get out of their circumstances. I liked the mystery surrounding them; it reminds me a bit of like clue because they have to find items or find certain aspects of the dream in order for them to succeed. I thought that was really cool and I wish the author played more on that.

I also loved the Gothic style of drawing. In the beginning it was hard to decipher the time period because only the girl and her friend wear these type of clothing but I got it.

But overall I read to Volume 2 and plan on reading #3. My issue with this book is it doesn’t bring enough to the table for me to fall in love with. The main character is what really knocks this book down and she is pretty much the same way in volume 2.

2.5 Pickles

Manga Review: Princess Ai: Destitution (Princess Ai #1) by Courtney Love, Misaho Kujiradou, D.J. Milky


TokyoPop Published July 6th 2004  192 Pages
Published July 6th 2004
192 Pages

Ai is the only royal princess of Ai-Land, which is a magical kingdom going through a revolution. Princess Ai wants out and escapes to planet Earth more specifically Tokyo. 

Ai has no idea where exactly she is at but knows that Tokyo (or Earth) will be able to help her find secrets about herself and her home land. Ai uses her looks, brains and her voice to not only move up on the social latter but to find the truth. 

At first I was extremely skeptical of this Manga. . .  I mean it is written by Courtney Love. However, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I actually really liked it.

Ai isn’t cheesy and she isn’t drawn in the cliche Japanese Manga. A lot has to do because this is an American Manga but none the less the cliches aren’t there. However, the story is not really complicated at all. Yes, it has its tensions, battles and issues but it isn’t stop the world dramatic.

Love wrote what she knew and that was a punk princess rising to the top. The fact that Ai was from another planet that was going through a really bad battle was a twist that I enjoyed. It added dramatics and it took away from the silliness the Princess could have been into. There was a reasonable plot and the ending was good enough for me to read the second one.

So if you are expecting a manga in which this goofy princess is in a unknown world, this is not the book for you. Ai is actually pretty intelligent, maybe a little gullible but I am willing to look pass that.

The artwork, as stated, isn’t the overly showy Japanese chick or the perverted boy. Ai is extremely fashionable, which I am okay with. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and give it 3.5 Pickles