Tag Archives: manga

Review: Higurashi Eye Opening Arc 3

Higurashi Eye Opening Arc 3

Story by Ryukishio7

Art by Yutori Houjyou

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Shion has gone insane. After learning of Tomitake and Takano’s murders the night of the Cotton Drifting Festival, Shion realizes the shadowy forces in Hinamizawa that have been enacting the curse the last five years have struck again, punishing the two for trespassing in the temple’s sacred storeroom, Shion realizes she’s in danger, too.

With Keiichi, Tomitake, and Takano, she also broke in. Her paranoia sending her into action, she uses her stun gun to disable her twin sister Mion and her grandmother, the head of the Sonozaki family. Believing all these murders and disappearances happened on the orders of her grandmother, including the disappearance of the boy she loved a year before, Shion is set to get answers.

But her elderly grandmother’s heart didn’t survive being stunned. Left with only her sister for answers, Shion will do anything to find out what happened to Satoshi and protect herself. But her actions have consequences. How many more people will die?

We are seeing just what happened in The Cotton Drifting Arc. All the weirdness, the manic behavior from Mion, the inconsistencies in Shion’s story, now make sense. Shion was behind it all, swapping roles, manipulating Keiichi and the village to provoke the true killers. Only it leaves so much tragedy behind and draws out a surprising confrontation.

This volume is delivering on what the Answer Arcs promise. We’re peeling back the mystery and learning that those we thought knew what was going on may be as baffled as we are. That there is something else lurking in the heart of Hinamizawa that needs confronting.

Another bloody scenario is playing out. Will Keiichi, Mion, Rena, Rika, and Satako survive this time, or will we see the same results as last time?

The art is gorgeous. It captures Shion’s madness. The story flows as we see her scrambling to react, trying to control the craziness bubbling out of her. All her years of resentment at her family for being shunned, for being put aside for Mion, are exploding out of her.

It makes for great reading!

Higurashi continues to excel as a horror/mystery graphic novel series! You have to check out this unique story!

You can buy Higurashi Eye Opening Arc 3 from Amazon.

To save the skies, Ary must die!

If you love the works of Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, R. Scott Bakker, and Steven Erikson, then check out first ever Fantasy novel is out!

You do not want to miss out on this awesome adventure!

You can buy or burrow Above the Storm today!

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Review: Higurashi Eye Opening Arc 2

Higurashi Eye Opening Arc 2

Story by Ryukishio7

Art by Yutori Houjyou

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Boy, we are getting answers now. Confused on what was going on with Mion/Shion in the Cotton Drifting Arc, you will find out in this one. Wondering why Shion freaked out in the Saiguden? Yep, see what’s up with her.

This volume picks up a year before the main story where the last volume ended. Satoshi is suspected in the murder of his aunt. To give him an alibi, Shion claims to have been with him to Detective Oishi, forcing herself to reveal her true identity and drop her charade of pretending to be Mion. However, associating with Satoshi, whose family is hated by her powerful grandmother, lands Shion in trouble.

Her family has a dark history. They have long been connected with the yakuza. To show her restitution for her actions, and to protect Satoshi from the Sonozaki’s power, Shion proves her contrition by self-mutilation.

She has to rip off three of her fingernails. It’s painful to read. It’s horrible to witness her going through such pain. But she loves Satoshi. She will endure it for him.

But, as we know, Satoshi disappears. It doesn’t matter that Shion offered up her pain to save him. It festers inside of her. She blames her family for his disappearance while trying to convince herself that he just ran away, a murderer on the run.

And then we jump to the present story. Keiichi’s arrival sends Shion’s careful world into chaos and ushers us into the events we witnessed in the Cotton Drifting Arc from her perspective.

This is a powerful volume. The fingernail scene is so hard to read. You can feel her pain. The artist captured it well. You see Shion dealing with her grief and this strange presence she feels. That extra footstep we’ve seen from others in this story.

Is it Oyashiro? What is truly going on?

This volume ends on such a dark note. We’re about to find out just how involved the Sonozaki family is in what’s going on. Are they the culprits, or have they merely been blamed for events outside their control.

The story only gets better. The art is wonderful, capturing the emotion between the twins, the anger of Shion, and her pain. It is brought to life in such vivid ink.

You can buy Higurashi Eye Opening Arc 2 from Amazon.

To save the skies, Ary must die!

If you love the works of Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, R. Scott Bakker, and Steven Erikson, then check out first ever Fantasy novel is out!

You do not want to miss out on this awesome adventure!

You can buy or burrow Above the Storm today!

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Review: BERSERK Volume 25

BERSERK 25

by Kentaro Miura

Reviewed by JMD Reid

To earn charms to protect himself and Casca from the evil spirits drawn to their brands, Guts has agreed to help the apprentice witch Schrieke in defeating the trolls threatening the village. To aid them, Schrieke hands out magical weapons to Guts companions. Guts, however, needs only his sword.

Now the trolls are attacking. Guts and his companions will have to buy Schrieke time to cast her spell before they mob of monsters overwhelm them and pillage the village. But with the fabric of reality merging with the astral realm, the trolls aren’t the only monsters lurking out there.

Guts and his companions will have their hands full.

This volume is the sort of action BERSERK is known for. Miura’s art is detailed and at once beautiful and horrifying. He captures the highs and lows of the fight as it ebbs back and forth. Schrieke’s magic evokes awe while the trolls and other monsters capture they’re mythological roots but with the disturbing twist of Miura’s imagination.

An action-packed volume of the manga that keeps you turning pages. If you’re a fan of great fantasy, you need to read this series! BERSERK numbers among the best of fantasy art out there.

You can buy BERSERK Vol 25 from Amazon.

To save the skies, Ary must die!

If you love the works of Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, R. Scott Bakker, and Steven Erikson, then check out first ever Fantasy novel is out!

You do not want to miss out on this awesome adventure!

You can buy or burrow Above the Storm today!

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Review: Higurashi Eye Opening Arc 1

Higurashi Eye Opening Arc 1

Story by Ryukishio7

Art by Yutori Houjyou

Reviewed by JMD Reid

“I dropped my beads in the desert,” the girl wept.
The girl searched the desert for a hundred years.
“Maybe I didn’t dropped them in the desert, but in the ocean,” the girl wept.
The girl searched the seafloor for a hundred years.
“Maybe I didn’t drop them in the ocean, but in the mountains,” the girl wept.
How many years will it be before she questions whether she dropped them at all?
—Frederica Bernkastel

We are launching off the second half of Higurashi. It’s time for the Answers. We pick up in 1982, a year before the main events, with Shion Sonozaki, the twin sister of Mion, escaping from the Catholic girl’s school she’s been exiled to. She’s tired of being away from Hinamizawa. She resents the family tradition of dealing with twins. Her sister is the family heir and to keep her from interfering, the teenager has to stay away.

With the help of same allies in her family and the yakuza syndicate they run, she’s heading back home. Conspiring with Mion to hide out in the nearby town, she is dreading when her grandmother, the current family head, finds out. However, bored, she finds herself sneaking out dressed as her twin sister. When she runs into one of Mion’s classmates, Satoshi, love sparks in her heart.

Soon she realizes the suffering Satoshi experiences at the hand of his abusive aunt. Knowing her family is behind village shunning Satoshi’s family, she wants to help. But how can she stand up to the head of her family?

This arc plays out just like Cotton Drifting Arc save that Shion is the POV instead of Keiichi. The events of that arc hinted that the Sonozaki family is behind the suspicious murders. Shion was captured early on by Mion, held prisoner while she dispensed the family’s justice. With the twins able to pose as each other, the liens of what did or did not happen in that arc were blurred.

Now we’ll find out what’s going on.

Even more interesting, we get to meet the illusive Satoshi, a youth implied to have beaten his aunt to death for the fourth year curse only to vanish mysteriously a few days later. Did he really kill her? What happened to Satoshi?

We’re starting to get answers to these questions as well as see how well one of the three main theories put forward about what is going on is true.

You can buy Higurashi Eye Opening Arc 1 from Amazon.

To save the skies, Ary must die!

If you love the works of Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, R. Scott Bakker, and Steven Erikson, then check out first ever Fantasy novel is out!

You do not want to miss out on this awesome adventure!

You can buy or burrow Above the Storm today!

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Review: BERSERK Volume 24

BERSERK 24

by Kentaro Miura

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Guts no longer travels alone. To protect Casca and get her to Elfheim where the broken, insane woman can be safe from the evil spirits drawn to her brand, Guts has allowed Isidro, Farness, and Serpico to travel with him. He can’t protect Casca from her madness and the darkness trying to kill them.

Worse, he can’t trust himself around her.

While traveling through the woods, the party is ambushed by trolls. Since Griffith’s rebirth, the boundary between the physical and spiritual worlds is weakening. Trolls, dwelling in the edges of the spirit realm, are rampaging through the woods and terrorizing a nearby village. Their ethereal bodies are impervious to normal weapons. Only a young witch named Schrieke can save them.

Schrieke and her mistress are the only hope for the village in destroying the trolls, and helping Guts and Casca. But will they stir from their protected home? Or will Guts and his companions stumble on without their aid?

BERSERK is shifting more and more into the pure fantasy story, but the grimdark brutality still exists. The trolls are horrible creatures, squat and brutish. It will take the aid of magic to allow Guts and his group to continue on. Miura’s world develops more and more in this chapter as he dives into not only the metaphysics of his world, but whether the Godhand’s belief that causality controls all is the truth.

Perhaps man has a choice when presented with their fate. But can they resist taking it? Griffith couldn’t resist sacrificing the Band of the Hawk to achieve his dream, but way back in Volume 3, the count did resist.

BERSERK continues to be an exciting read as Guts and his group deal with the trolls while Guts is beginning to remember what it was like to belong again. They’re not the Band of the Hawk, but has he found a new family to protect? A way to escape his destructive path of vengeance?

If you’re a fan of fantasy, you need to check out BESERK!

You can buy BERSERK Vol 24 from Amazon.

To save the skies, Ary must die!

If you love the works of Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, R. Scott Bakker, and Steven Erikson, then check out first ever Fantasy novel is out!

You do not want to miss out on this awesome adventure!

You can buy or burrow Above the Storm today!

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Review: Higurashi Beyond Midnight Arc 2

Higurashi Beyond Midnight Arc 2

Story by Ryukishio7

Art by Mimori

Reviewed by JMD Reid

In the ruins of Hinamizawa, twenty-three years after the disaster, a group of strangers realize there is a murder among them. Takumi, the boyfriend of Yae, was found strangled and left in the shrine. Who among them is the killer? Did Otobe really “lose” his friends and how did his cell phone break? Is Mion Sonozaki really who she says she is since she was reported killed in the school terrorist incident twenty-three years ago? Is Ryunosuke really a journalist working on a reporter?

Something strange is going on tonight. The dead are bleeding over into the living as the strangers have to reveal their pasts to survive the night. Because they are not alone. Another will is moving against them and if they don’t work together, none will live to see morning.

This is quite the exciting volume to read. The mysteries are mostly resolved early, along with showing the supernatural is a real thing in Hinamizawa. Theories are bandied about, giving clues on what may or may not happened to village along with some hints for the Answer Arcs to come.

For those who know this series, there were some poignant moments. We’ve seen that these arcs end with at least a few of the main characters dying. Now we get to see the effect the story has on the survivors. There are a few clues to what needs to be done to succeed, a line from the dead that will help ensure the summer of 1983 can be defeated.

If you like mystery/horror manga, or those stories in general, Higurashi is one of the best. It’s engaging and intriguing in turns. The art is great in this one. The action is exciting. The characters have to make choices and face the consequences of their actions.

You can buy Higurashi Beyond Midnight Arc 2 from Amazon.

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REVIEW: BERSERK Volume 23

BERSERK 23

by Kentaro Miura

Reviewed by JMD Reid

For two years, Guts has spent his nights battling the demons and evil spirits drawn to the brand on his neck. It pushed him to his limits. Now he has to protect Casca, too. Her brand and his only draws more spirits while her shattered mind doesn’t understand what is going on. To protect her, he only makes her hate him.

The evil spirits pray on his wounded emotions. He loves Casca, and they use it. Seeking to feed on his passions, the spirits will drive him to acts that will only frighten her more. How can he defend her while protecting her happiness?

Perhaps allies is what he needs. Has Guts’s solo war finally come to an end?

In Midland, the Kushan invasion continues to devastate. A young noble named Mule has to choose to defend his people or live to fight another day. Rumors, however, persist that Griffith and the Band of the Hawk have been reborn. Are they Midland’s salvation?

Miura jumps between the two stories, showing the desperation of Guts’s situation contrasted with the reborn Griffith. His powers have never swelled so fast. Everything seems to fall into Griffith’s place like fate itself has been manipulated to ensure his success. Delving into the nature of casualty and free will, Miura explores what happens when you’re able to change the odds and ensure every toss of the dice lands your way.

The Godhand have put their plans into Griffith’s shoulders. They are inspiring the world, allowing Griffith to achieve his dream of his kingdom. But what will happen when he has it? Why are such evil beings seemingly so altruistic?

On the other side, we have Guts struggling to protect Casca. His emotions are raw, bleeding. She’s right there, but she can’t stand his touch. Her trauma has scarred her so badly and the evil spirits haunting them only exasperated matters.

Miura’s characters come to life as always. The art is great. This continues to be an amazing fantasy tale!

You can buy BERSERK Vol 23 from Amazon.

To save the skies, Ary must die!

If you love the works of Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, R. Scott Bakker, and Steven Erikson, then check out first ever Fantasy novel is out!

You do not want to miss out on this awesome adventure!

You can buy or burrow Above the Storm today!

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Review: The Archmage Unbound (Mageborn Book Three)

The Archmage Unbound (Mageborn Book Three)

by Michael G. Manning

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Mordecai has to deal with his fallout of rebelling against King Edward to protect his people from the enemy invasion. He needs a way to find peace with the king and stop civil war to break out. He has his pregnant wife, Penny, and his friends to think about.

He also has to understand his own powers. He has rejected the method of control to keep mages from making pacts with dark gods and going insane. He has defied the king doing this just as much as his refusal to abandon his lands to the enemy forces. If he can’t understand what it means to be an archmage, all will be lost.

Can he do it while dealing with the political maneuverings of the King Edward and the realm? Will he prevail or will his naivety cause his undoing?s

This series gets better and better. Manning has some nice twists and turns that keeps the story flowing fast. It’s exciting and tense in turns with the characters still being a standout. Fans of indie fantasy have to give this series a try. He explore some nice themes and conflicts between his characters as they debate the ethics of ruling, of power, and what it means to be a good person. Great stuff.

Having fun with this series. Eager to read the next book!

You can buy The Archmage Unbound from Amazon.

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Review: Higurashi Beyond Midnight Arc 1

Higurashi Beyond Midnight Arc 1

Story by Ryukishio7

Art by Mimori

Reviewed by JMD Reid

In 2006, twenty-three years after the Hinamizawa Disaster, a group of strangers find themselves meeting up in the ruins of the city. Each has their own reason for being there. Can they actually even trust each other. One claims to be Mion Sonozaki, a resident of the village; another is Ryunosuke, a tabloid journalist writing a story on the haunted village; Yae and her boyfriend Takumi who just happened to drive out to this village; and Otobe, who got out of the car with his friends to relieve himself only to find them gone when he returned.

It’s a stormy night as these strangers gather. Are they telling the truth about their motivation? Is the spirit or entity that caused the mysterious murders in the past still around? Or is it a human agent that lurks in the darkness.

Because it is clear that these characters are not alone. Something still haunts the ruins of Hinamizawa.

This scenario is a version of The Atonement Arc. We get a tease of what happens in this arc in the talk of a terrorist incident at a school and the students who were killed before the disaster. If you’ve read the series, Mion Sonozaki present won’t be a surprise. There are some other hints to the true cause peppered about.

However, if you read this story knowing what is going on, the tension is a little lacking. It’s interesting. The art is drawn in a way to accentuate the tension of the story. The angular look to the characters is effective at the task. It’s several mystery tales all rolled into one and the ending leaves you wondering what will happen next.

For an additional arc, it gives you a taste of the Answer arcs to come with those little tidbits that make sense when you know the entire story. Higurashi keeps being an excellent mystery/horror series. The tension builds great in this arc.

If you’re a fan of these type of stories, check out this series!

You can buy Higurashi Beyond Midnight Arc 1 from Amazon.

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Review: BERSERK Volume 22

BERSERK 22

by Kentaro Miura

Reviewed by JMD Reid

Guts has rescued Casca and returned her to Godo’s place only to learn that the old blacksmith has died. Rickert and Erica are excited to see Guts’s success while Guts is wondering what to do next. He’s rescued Casca while he suspects Griffith has been reborn in the chaos of Albion Monastery.

When a mysterious, silvery-haired figure has come to visit, Guts learns his suspicious are true. Griffith is back in the flesh, apparently human once more. Will Guts finally have his chance for revenge? Will Guts once again throw himself down the path of vengeance?

While Guts faces Griffith, the Kushan army’s invasion worsens. They are butchering the peoples of midland. But there are those who have faith that the White Hawk will save them. Will Griffith be these peoples’ saviors, or the damnation?

Miura shifts gears into the third part of Berserk, and the longest. This part still isn’t done. The art continues to be amazing. The characters emotions continue to shine as their passions collide. Miura’s storytelling continues to expand his world-building, laying the foundations for the new story lines to come.

If you’re a fan of Fantasy, you should be reading BERSERK! It only gets better and better!

You can buy BERSERK Vol 22 from Amazon.

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