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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

J LHLS Archives: August 2005

Friday, August 19, 2005

Girls Bravo 1
by Mario Kaneda
Published by TOKYOPOP

Review by Tom Good

Yukinari Sasaki is a high school boy who is literally allergic to girls. He breaks out in hives when they touch him. Then one day, he meets Miharu, a beautiful girl from another world called Siren, where women outnumber men 9 to 1 and constantly fight over men. She falls for Yukinari, and he discovers that she does not trigger his allergic reaction, although she does have a strange obsession with food. But Yukinari remains attracted to Kirie, an Earth girl with a hair-trigger temper who keeps hitting him over real or imagined offenses. And Risa, a girl who uses magic, believes that a fortuneteller's prophecy shows that Yukinari is destined to be her mate. [more]

Posted by Tom Good @ 10:35 PM PST [Link]

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, Volume 1
by Harold Sakuishi
Published by TOKYOPOP

Review by Tom Good

I once asked a Russian friend whether it bothered him that Russians mainly appeared in American movies as the bad guys. "It doesn't bother me," he said. "In fact, I don't even think of those characters as Russians: they usually don't speak very good Russian, and I know we are not really like that." I remembered this while reading Beck, because the Americans in the story are either drunken bullies, obnoxious guys who sexually harass Japanese women on the streets, or rich, stuck-up students. The only friendly "Americans" are Ryusuke and his sister Maho, who are actually Japanese, but have just returned from living in New York. [more]

Posted by Tom Good @ 10:24 PM PST [Link]

BLAME! Vol. 1
by Tsutomu Nihei
Published by TOKYOPOP

Review by Tom Good

I used to have nightmares about wandering around lost inside a giant office building. Reading BLAME! made me thankful that at least those nightmares were not quite as creepy as this story. BLAME!'s hero Killy explores a huge techno-industrial complex full of cyborgs, insectoid monsters, deformed creatures, robots, and vicious, unpredictable humans. It is not clear what this building is or even whether it is on Earth, but he searches it for genetic samples of the "Net Terminal Genes," whose purpose remains a mystery. [more]

Posted by Tom Good @ 10:21 PM PST [Link]

Monday, August 15, 2005

Daphne in the Brilliant Blue, Vol 3
Published by Geneon, 2005

Review by Kelly S. Taylor

Margaret Cho has said that girls tend to travel in groups of three consisting of: the sweet one, the pretty one, and the 'ho'. The Japanese must believe that young women travel in groups of five: the nice one, the cute one, the smart one, the quiet one, and the wild one... And they all like to dress as the 'ho'. Following in the girl team formula perfected in titles as diverse as Bubblegum Crisis, Silent Mobius, and Sailor Moon, Daphne in the Brilliant Blue explores the adventures of nice girl Maia. She joins a team of female bounty hunters, who strip down to tiny, bikini-like strips of cloth when they go to work.... Oh, silly S.W.A.T. teams bundling up in all that stuffy body armor! What are you thinking? [more]

Posted by Kelly S Taylor @ 10:52 PM PST [Link]

New Getter Robo, vol. 3 - The Hell on Earth
Published by Geneon, 2005

Review by Kelly S. Taylor

Usually in anime review, I try to attach the series I'm reviewing to an established Western genre to help the viewer establish expectations. You know, that "If you like romantic comedy, you'll love..." stuff. Not here. No use. To like New Getter Robo you need to like... anime. Despite the "new" in the title,
New Getter Robo
is as old-school as you can get. If you've ever thought, "I wish Transformers had more blood, more battles, more cursing, and less plot" then.. happy birthday, Bucky! They made this one for you. [more]

Posted by Kelly S Taylor @ 10:35 PM PST [Link]

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Worst, Vol. 2 and 3
by Hiroshi Takahashi
Digital Manga Publishing

Review by Tom Good

Worst presents an interesting artistic puzzle for Hiroshi Takahashi. This manga features a very large cast of characters -- the "character introduction" pages at the beginning of Volume 2 show 18 different characters. But all of them are male, and almost all are close to the same age and height. So how will the reader be able to tell them apart? Takahashi gives these bad boys of Suzuran High School a striking variety of hairstyles and facial features. The tough country boy Hana Tsukishima is completely bald, with thick eyebrows and a broad, innocent smile. Other characters have mohawks, tight perms, dreadlocks, slicked-back hair, Pompadours, and many other styles. Their faces are not the faces of conventionally cute manga heroes. Instead, they often glare and grimace at the reader, an effect enhanced by Takahashi's style which uses a lot of facial close-ups. Over all, this style, perhaps born of necessity, creates a look that sets Worst apart from anything else in manga today. [more]

Posted by Tom Good @ 03:51 PM PST [Link]

His Dark Desires
by Jennifer St. Giles
Published by Pocket Books

Review by Betsy Phillips

This is not a very good book. The characters are flat and the red-herrings don't feel like potential clues, just distractions. The romance is predictable and the two main characters are instantly attracted to each other for no reason.

That being said, I wish it had been longer.

St. Giles really knows how to put together a plot and how to keep it moving along at a brisk pace, but the setting -- post-War New Orleans and the characters -- the young widow Juliet Boucheron and her lover and potential enemy Stephen Trevelyan -- cry out for a story that unfolds slowly, for a passion between them that builds up bit by bit. Some characters, like Mr. Hayes, the leader of the White League, seem to really pop off the page, and yet others just lay there, languishing, and not just because they're being poisoned. Too much happens -- is the theater troupe really a theater troupe or are the members searching for Boucheron's dead husband's gold? Is there a ghost or an intruder? Who is poisoning Ginette and why? Is Boucheron's dead husband actually dead? -- in too short a time for you to really feel invested in what the answers to the questions turn out to be. And yet, I stayed up late to finish it.

So, oddly enough, I liked this book, I just felt it wasn't fully formed yet.

Posted by Betsy Phillips @ 03:29 PM PST [Link]

Lions, Tigers and Bears (Issue 4)
By Mike Bullock and Jack Lawrence
Published by Image Comics

Review by Kathryn Ramage

This fourth issue of the childrenís comics series continues the adventures of a little boy named Joey and his feline friends, and concludes the first phase of their story.

Previous issues of Lions, Tigers and Bears introduce the set up: one night, Joey is drawn into a magical world where his stuffed animals--Pallo the lion, Minerva the black panther, and two tigers (one orange, one white), named Venus and Ares--become huge jungle cats who do battle against grotesque ape-like ogres called the Beasties who are threatening the animalís world. The Beastiesí nefarious deeds also include the kidnapping of a little girl named Courtney. [more]

Posted by Kathryn L Ramage @ 12:11 PM PST [Link]

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