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Posts Tagged ‘Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai’

The World God Only Knows 124

December 12, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

For all that fuss that was raised over the renovation of the library towards the climax of Shiori’s arc, it doesn’t seem to have changed too much. Her desk is a bit different, no longer cluttered with a giant stack of books.

Shiori’s still stuttering out some words, but she seems on the whole to be more stable and talkative than she was in the past. The way she belts out the location of every Osamu Kawabata (actual author, by the way) is a great reminder of her detail-oriented personality. Understandably, the male student she’s helping only wants the easiest to find books, the ones at their current location. What follows is a great scene, as Keima was hiding behind the bookshelf in question.

We meet again

Immediately after seeing Keima, Shiori reverts back to silent “…” mode. That reaction might just be a combination of her inherent shyness with her being a bit flustered, but it seems to be a bit more than that, given her subsequent efforts to specifically avoid Keima while helping other patrons. More importantly, it’s no coincidence that a magazine about Kanon is next to her desk. She’s definitely in the gray area at least.

Avoidance in no uncertain terms

Hmm, that’s a surprise. I didn’t expect Yui to show up here at all, and certainly not to pull what she pulled. Introducing herself to Keima makes it almost certain she doesn’t remember, but her getting him down on the couch makes it just as certain that she does. In the proud tradition of the Yui arc, Keima’s the one being seduced this time. Shiori watching makes it very clear that this is a pivotal moment for her as well.

Final Flash: Very cute first half, very dynamic second half. This series is splendidly playing its characters off one another.

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The World God Only Knows 123

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

Chihiro seems to be responding less favorably to Keima’s conquest plan than Ayumi did. At the very least, she’s putting in a fair bit of effort to shrug it off, to increasingly less polite degrees. Indeed, Keima appears to have done less well with her than with Ayumi, but he still seems to think he did well enough.

The Haqua/Keima partnership continues to be fraught with physical abuse. Haqua isn’t missing any chances to be violently tsundere. She really pulls no punches (or footstomps, in this case).

Whether or not the “corrected-misunderstanding” kiss is in fact the best way to finish off a dating-sim, a point which could be debated to no end, it is probably the best that could be made of the current scenario. Keima certainly seems to think it is; his impassioned speech-making on the subject is fun as usual, and opens the way for a fantastic bit of straight-manning by Haqua. Her snarky reactions to Keima’s lecture are an excellent example of a type of entertainment we miss out on with Elsee being Keima’s only partner. I really hope Haqua sticks around after this arc is over.

Buzzkilling for fun and profit

Now that Keima’s dealt with the two girls known to be in the gray area, he moves on to the real challenging ones, starting with Tsukiyo. For all the confidence he had with Ayumi and Chihiro, he’s immediately thrown off balance by Tsukiyo’s appearance and trademark distant personality, hesitating to start saying his lines. Seaking of good deadpan moments, Tsukiyo’s immediate response to said lines takes the cake.

Of course, Keima’s not immediately giving up on Tsukiyo. Instead, he follows her out to the roof, eventually cuing in on the fact that she’s putting the carpet back out again. That could be just another piece of evidence that she is one of those who forgot, but kudos to our hero for noticing.

Ayumi’s arrival on the rooptop triggers an amusing sequence of events. In his desperation to not turn his 4 love triangle conquest plan into a dodecagon plan, he ducks behind the couch and somehow manages to still peg Tsukiyo as in the gray area, before pulling off an ingenious escape from Ayumi… all while hiding under a blanket.

This guy regularly outdoes Solid Snake

Next up on the gauntlet of girls Keima has been running: Shiori, the library assistant. It really has been a while since we’ve seen her. I wonder if she’s learned to talk normally in the interim.

Final Flash: Happy to know that Shiori’s up next, but also sad that, with Elsee being absent, her scene will involve no fire trucks.

The World God Only Knows 122

November 21, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

Excellent chemistry between Haqua and Keima continues to entertain, especially after that shower scene last chapter. Keima has to be one of the most single-minded harem protagonists of all time (TWGOK soon will be one if it isn’t already). He’s seriously so centered on the goddesses that he continues to miss the most obvious hints of tsundere coming from Haqua. I’m not complaining; it’s kind of hilarious.

Excellent use of bold text

Make no mistake about it, Keima’s focus right now is the goddesses, and he’s definitely done a good job of thinking ahead. Yes, they need the goddesses drawn out quickly, but the Vintage agent is still around, and bringing out a powerless goddess would just invite more stabbings.

Starting with Ayumi, the mass conquest plan begins. The apple on the desk is a pretty classy touch, and the rooftop confession scene is an extremely enjoyable one, all the way to the ending high-kick by Ayumi. For all the extra plot elements behind Keima’s actions now, Wakaki Tamiki never loses his touch in making romance cute. It’s also fun to see the school tabloids have not been idle.

Your source for all Idol x Geek related gossip

Keima’s plan is to power up the goddesses through copious doses of love, with the end objective of stealing first base. This plan is totally appropriate for this series. Frankly, it’s just a great excuse to see more quick romance.

A similar confession scene with Chihiro brings about a fantastic punchline: Keima not only has a script for each confession he’s going to do, but it’s the same script (albeit with a decision tree built in) for each one. That is so very like this manga. I’m loving this arc already, and we’ve still got a couple more interesting characters to go through. This series has been showing us nothing but its very best of late.

It always pays to plan ahead

Final Flash: Hilarious, fast-paced, and fun. There’s still no evidence as yet as to what part of Keima’s new plan is “demonic.”

The World God Only Knows 121

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

I love the job Haqua is doing filling in for Elsie. Her disguise is flawless, except for the fact that she gets questions right in math class.

Specially mentioning Akari now is a bit odd. It is true that Keima still doesn’t know her true identity, but she does feel a little out of place when talking about the other conquests. While her arc was an interesting one to read, it seems more out of place in hindsight.

Akari’s also eliminated from consideration by virtue of the now-defined borderline: only girls Keima could plausibly encounter in a regular school day could have goddesses. This category includes Chihiro and Ayumi, as well as Shiori (the library girl), Tsukiyo (the doll girl), and Yui (the body-swap rich girl). Chihiro and Ayumi are fairly obvious at this point, but as for which of the other three are going to be in there, I can’t be sure; all of them feel equally important at this juncture.

The montage of girls who have been systematically been eliminated from the plot disappointingly includes some very interesting ones, particularly Sumire and Nanaka. At least they earned a mention.

Seriously, the shop could have been a sweet hangout spot

Of course, knowing where the goddesses are is exactly half the problem. The key point of this search is that they have to be dragged out from hiding. I expect this necessity of the arc to shift Keima’s focus from analysis to action.

Haqua’s sleeping over? Excellent. The evolving chemistry between her and Keima as partners is becoming increasingly fun to watch as she gets more and more dragged along by him.

The mention of Kanon is being used a lot to prompt serious mood swings. I do get that Keima regrets what happened, but there’s a limit to how much that point needs to be hammered home. We could do with a little less of that at this point.

Haqua’s shower was a fairly obvious setup for what happened next: an oblivious Keima walking in on her. While this situation is as old as it comes, the author still gets props for avoiding the pitfalls Kimi no Iru Machi has encountered of late by not stuffing the shower scene with full frontal. He gets even more props, however, for this:

A sound effect to define the decade

Haqua provides a typical Tsundere reaction, prompting a peculiar statement from Keima. Now he’s going to be a demon? Does that mean he’s going to start acting like a Black Rainbow protagonist? The impact of this statement is only magnified by the fact that he delivers it buck naked. Gotta love this guy.

Final Flash: Serious development at the end aside, this chapter got good results out of deepening the chemistry between Keima and Haqua.

Series Roundup: 10/10 – 10/16

October 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Mini-reviews for all the series without full individual posts.

Gamaran 66

[scanlation by helz0ne]

If there’s anything worse for Gama than being demolished by his opponent, it’s being allowed to live “because that is Jinsuke-san’s will.”

The compassion shown by Zenmaru’s brother contradicts the rest of his character… until he then offers to “let him off” with only one arm lost. That’s reassuring in the worst way.

Naoyoshi may not be right about everything because his fault, but he is right to finally act.

It’s shocking enough that Naoyoshi’s mother was waiting for him at the castle, but her revelation that Naoyoshi is to become the next Daimyo is a complete surprise. It’s a great one, though, and one that helps the series transition from the previous long-term plot (Grand Tournament of Unabara) to new material.

Hayate no Gotoku! 292

[scanlation by [C]hán]

Six years is an impressive milestone. It’s been a quality journey throughout.

The concept of Nagi doing image training for a doujinshi convention is hilarious, and the Kamen Rider 555 reference is even funnier. Great comedy chapter thus far.

Housen has some kind of connection to the picture Hayate found of “the 28th.” We seem to be in store for some serious plot, which makes the backdrop of the doujinshi convention even more striking.

The gym teacher punchline (and subsequent “introduction”) is absolutely priceless. What a great choice.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 310

[scanlation by Binktopia]

I don’t recall Lambo being shown naked before. Has Amano taken influence from Baby Beel?

Of course the geological structure is exactly the same as where Vongola Primo did something. All this series cares about is what Vongola Primo did, probably because Tsuna is Vongola Primo in some stupidly convoluted time loop.

For as terrible as this series is, it’s still fun to see Lambo strut around confidently. Remember these few pages of comedy, as they’ll probably be the last bit of enjoyment to be derived for the next 50 chapters.

Obviously, it would have been too creative and fun to have young Lambo somehow stumble his way to a victory, so as always, here comes 10-years-older Lambo to save the day. Will that be enough, or are we in for 20- or even 30-years-older Lambo? Frankly, I don’t care, and it takes effort by Amano to make me stop caring about Lambo.

Mahou Sensei Negima! 304-305

[scanlation by reddevilshn]

(304) … why is Dynamis getting naked?

Excellent action scenes throughout this chapter. This is a case where manga action may actually trump what an anime adaptation would produce, since each scene would be focused on longer and lose the frenetic pace.

Ako’s 1.8cm syringe artifact presents a rather comedic (if awkward) scenario, yet also produces some impressive results.

(305) It’s no surprise that Asuna has been taken away, given both that Fate was here and that such an act is par for the course for such a fantasy storyline.

Kaede is as impressive as always. Her fighting is such a joy to watch.

Great reaction from Negi not to become intangible, but it was a bit naive of him not to take Dynamis seriously.

Nurarihyon no Mago 126-127

[scanlation by reddevilshn]

(126) The more we learn about Rikuo’s father, the better. The lack of information regarding him has effectively built up tension for any plot involving him.

The past between Hagoromo Gitsune and Rikuo’s father is being made deliberately unclear. Rikuo claims she killed him, but the small flashback vision she sees could indicate a misunderstanding.

Kurotabou’s plan hints at a mid-fight development of Rikuo’s powers of some kind. Meanwhile, is the Nue hatching already?

(127) The colors on the cover page are nice, but I would appreciated a scene even moderately related to the current action.

Finally, some concrete information regarding Nura’s father. His name was Rihan, and he invented Matoi. Those tidbits are nice, but the most exciting knowledge is that Matoi is a technique specifically designed for youkai-human hybrids. Considering Rihan’s implied strength and the fact that he was only half human, Rikuo stands to be established rightfully as even more powerful, considering he is three quarters human. This is a great way to explain the strength of the protagonist.

Amid the excellent action, Rikuo poses a fascinating question to Hagoromo Gitsune. If she is indeed partly human, it would prove an interesting twist in the story.

The Supreme Commander’s words and Gyuuki’s presence indicate some ominous and fun plot ahead. The Supreme Commander’s face at the bottom of page 18 is particularly well drawn, too.

If that huge eyeball-having youkai is indeed the character pulling the strings, I give tremendous credit to Shiibashi for setting him up properly. His lunge at the elder Nurarihyon when Hagoromo Gitsune was close to giving birth was an action befitting of an underling, so I never gave this character second thought. Well done.

Psyren 138-139

[scanlation by Muda Scantrad]

(138) Wonderful little scene with Marco, especially with the proud parent boasting afterward.

Miroku’s final intended action is impressive, and the facial expression Mithra gives in reaction is haunting. She may have been introduced far too late in the game to be a great character, but judging each scene on its own merits, that is a great shot.

So… this is just Chrono Trigger now? Time travel and Lavos? I know Iwashiro is probably trying to wrap things up far earlier than he intended, but this is a considerable reach. Knowing this and Mithra’s relation to Quat Nevas is also hugely disappointing in terms of missed opportunities: In Chrono Trigger, Lavos was just a huge alien being. Introducing Mithra as a speaker and representative of such an alien being could be fantastic, but she would have had to have been introduced much, much sooner. In fact, if this Quat Nevas business was a legitimate storyline option before a couple months ago, the groundwork should have been laid far earlier. It’s a shame.

(139) I can’t say I found the death of Kusakabe moving whatsoever. He’s never been any more than a completely minor character.

Old enemies are now allies by way of a common enemy! Well, they’re not all old; some just met for the first time mere chapters ago. Old and new enemies are now allies. Sort of.

The world is practically ending, and Nemesis Q appears, making a pseudo-closing statement. Are we in line for a “bad end,” with the world being consumed and destroyed? I can’t say I’d find that horribly out of place, frankly. It would still be jarring, considering we only just met Quat Nevas, but it would be a creative approach.

SWOT 12

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

What old TV theme song will make SWOT tolerable this week? Let’s try Starsky & Hutch.

This new bad guy is wearing his pants way, way too low. At least quit freeballing there, Murderface.

Sophomores! Run away!

… seriously though, of course the next class up is the next level of strength. It’s SWOT. Everything is predictable and bad.

The big guy can do E. Honda’s attack from Street Fighter II. If you’re going to rip off video game attacks, couldn’t you at least pick something interesting?

Wait, if his head is impervious to damage, how is he defeated after landing on it? It doesn’t matter if he fell from higher; the tiny establishment we got of this character was that he can’t be hurt on his head. This is idiotic.

Frankly, the delayed Resolve slash idea is actually pretty cool, but it’s being wasted on a dull character in a horrible series.

Oh good, it’s Yamikura. That’s all we needed: Bleach-style fight interruptions. Putrid.

Feel that one or more of these series should be getting full-review treatment each week? Show your support by participating in chapter discussion in comments. Actively-discussed series will be considered for full reviews.

Series Roundup: 9/19 – 9/25

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Mini-reviews for all the series without full individual posts.

Air Gear 288

[scanlation by SSA Scanlations]

I would like to casually remind you that the girl you see on the first couple pages with practically nothing on is, in fact, body-swapped President Obama.

The color cover page is another example of fine artwork (despite some fanservice) from Oh!Great.

Am I the only one who finds absolutely zero interest in anything involving Onigiri?

Sarome not being a Gravity Child isn’t much of a revelation, considering how new of a character she is.

Rika at risk of being brainwashed into becoming the Thorn Queen is a much better and more urgent reason for Kogarasumaru to rescue her than a simple kidnapping.

Defense Devil 65

[scanlation by I Eat Manga]

I suppose it’s been a little while since the last blatantly fanservicing cover page. Acceptable.

Kucabara’s plan may be working, but it’s not doing much to promote him as a credible hero. It’s fine to rely on intelligence, but a protagonist in this style of series really needs to support that with at least a small display of power.

This is a decent time for Y to reveal her true motive, but it’s not at all a good time to reveal her troubled past, much less through a flashback.

Kucabara, suffering greatly from poison, still manages to save Y. This is far too straightforward.

Enigma 2

[scanlation by CXC Scans]

Our group of protagonists has cleared the first suspense/thriller hurdle, at least: Don’t split up. Never split up.

Poor Shigeru. Even when faced with only one female adversary, Sumio’s attention doesn’t fall on her.

In such a completely modern trap, a typewriter-lock on the door is a nice anachronism.

The secret “emergency evacuation” broadcast code is an excellent and realistic touch.

Matsurigi is the first casualty of the shadow. (Lower case, mind you. I don’t see Interceptor anywhere… yet.) The art depicting the abduction is effectively scary.

The focus of Sumio’s Dream Diary is obviously the prediction it generates, but the accompanying artwork is amusing.

We’re set to see a new power, as Hasekura apparently must “erase” the person in the photo blocking the necessary name tag. Without yet knowing the exact nature of this power, the initial concept is already suitably interesting. Good chapter and a good sense of intrigue heading into the next one.

Gamaran 63

[scanlation by helz0ne]

Funny exchange between Gama and Zenmaru, and great artwork of their faces.

What an incredible difference in power between Gama and Ranmaru. I could have expected Gama to be at a disadvantage because of his recent fight, but this sheer gap in class is surprising.

Jinsuke already had much to live up to, but our anticipation is made to increase even further with the news that he is behind literally everything that has happened to Gama recently. With this much riding on his shoulders, let’s hope Jinsuke’s introduction lives up to the hype.

Zenmaru’s reunion with his older brother is both suspenseful and shockingly informative, with the news that the grand tournament of Unabara has ended.

This underling of Jinsuke looks as close to Two-Face as a samurai-era character could reasonably get.

Finally, Jinsuke himself. Not much in the way of plot-related introduction, but his appearance alone is monumental. Nakamaru has done a good job of drawing him to look similar to Gama.

GE ~ Good Ending 51

[scanlation by iMangaScans]

It was about baseball.

… seriously, if the author can’t be bothered to write a chapter that has any relevance to the plot, then I can’t be bothered to review it.

Hayate no Gotoku! 289

[scanlation by reddevilshn]

The summary of Important Detective is riotously funny.

Ayumu’s ignorance regarding manga is proving useful for multiple solid punchlines.

Plenty of meta mangaka humor here. It’s like if Bakuman tried pure, nonsensical comedy.

Hilarious face-off between Ayumu and Azumamiya.

Amazing realization by Nagi on the last page. It takes a seriously excellent moment to overshadow such a strong comedy chapter, but this is worth the praise.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 307

[scanlation by Binktopia]

P3, top-right panel: Pitiful art. I can see he’s against the spiked barrier, and that he’s bleeding, but what the hell is that black mass by his waist supposed to be?

Ryohei needs to charge up to full power to defeat him? No kidding. Thanks for pointing out the obvious flaw with your ridiculous power: Every fight of yours from now on will be an endurance test until you’re fully charged.

Speed lines around the characters, in the projectiles, and in the physical attacks themselves. I derive more enjoyment from looking at graph paper.

He’s fully charged. Yawn.

Kekkaishi 321-322

[scanlation by A-Team]

(321) Interesting and pleasantly brief exposition on Shiromi’s family life. That, combined with the knowledge that he has two powers, could set him up to be an interesting character.

Bizarrely direct conversation between Masamori and Hazama, consider their complete lack of any relationship.

Tokine! Finally.

(322) Yoshimori’s dad is… unique.

Wow, Tokine is flooding Yoshimori’s thoughts. This series hasn’t handled their relationship too much until now; this is a pleasant change.

Tokine’s job as a diplomat is perfectly suited to her. She’s strong enough to support herself, yet not quite strong enough to take on a role akin to Yoshimori. This is an effective differentiation between the two main characters.

The embrace between the two is just what anyone could have hoped for. It provides just the right amount of connection between the two, without over-developing their relationship at this stage.

Mahou Sensei Negima! 303

[scanlation by reddevilshn]

It would have been amusing if Koutarou had just taken out Fate here.

This “meeting” is really just Akamatsu’s roundabout way of cementing Fate as a colossally strong character. I’m not entirely convinced Fate didn’t notice and ignore Koutarou’s group, either.

Setsuna’s fights are always a good source of action. The art complements the action nicely, too; speed lines are used in such a way as not to overpower the characters or attacks, and the most important scenes have no speed lines at all.

That teacher in Setsuna’s flashback seems far too similar to Tsuruko Aoyama, Motoko’s older sister in Love Hina, just to be a coincidence.

Tsukuyomi wielding a cursed sword is a minor disappointment. I’m frustrated at the ever-growing trend of evil characters having a particular reason why they are so evil, therefore redeeming them. Why can’t evil characters just be evil sometimes?

Psyren 135

[scanlation by Muda Scantrad]

It makes sense for Vigo to be killed off, considering Vigo has had his moment of spotlight, but it’s unfortunate that he’s being replaced by someone as unknown as Mithra.

No, Marie! You’re able to contact Shao, so get out of there! Don’t sit around with dying Vigo! Don’t pull a Vivi!

Mithra’s flashback regarding Miroku is decent enough, but the wolf/sheep metaphors make no sense whatsoever.

Some nonsensical turns of events later, Ageha arrives, right behind Miroku and poised to attack with Melchsee’s Door. It’s a pity that the preceding backstory made such little impact, but I’m ready for what could be the series’ climactic final fight.

SWOT 10

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

It’s confirmed, then: This is no longer a terrible delinquent series. It’s now a terrible supernatural delinquent series.

Manabizaki has a “99.9% chance of losing.” Could this series try any harder to be generic?

Reverse resolve. In one chapter, our semi-realistic protagonist learned a perfect counter to a newly-introduced supernatural element. Absolutely pathetic. This series has managed to evoke the same feelings that I typically reserve exclusively for Bleach, except that SWOT has managed the feat about 200 chapters sooner. What a thoroughly putrid series. Nothing deserves cancellation more than SWOT right now, Bleach included. That statement isn’t even exclusive to Jump, either; I’d cancel SWOT sooner than MiXiM☆11, too.

The World God Only Knows 113-114

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

(113) Keima’s attempts at building his own perfect human are amusing but obviously futile. This seems hopeless.

What a strange series of panels, featuring awkward, pseudo-philosophical dialogue. I’m not exactly sure what the author was trying to achieve, but unless the goal was to alienate me, I think the objective wasn’t quite met. I don’t see how any of the points raised in these pages couldn’t have been better addressed through ordinary storytelling. There’s no need to over-complicate the narrative.

Keima was unable to win from the very beginning. This teacher is rather interesting, but she needs to proceed with whatever she’s planning. This is the second time she’s been teased as a major behind-the-scenes character; best to capitalize on the existing anticipation before it’s lost.

(114) Not only is Kanon back, but she has a goddess! This is a refreshing change, particularly after the previous chapter.

Apollo is certainly less reliable than Diana, but that better suits Kanon.

Fairly sad last couple pages focusing on the distance between Keima and Kanon.

Zettai Karen Children 231

[scanlation by JS Scans]

The brief comedy of Kaoru holding a cherished maid cafe ticket is considerably more interesting than anything the preceding or following pages have to offer.

The maid cafe mixup is amusing.

Thanks, Shiina, but I haven’t forgotten that Kaoru is in love with Minamoto.

Good dialogue in the last panel. The wordplay works well with Hyoubu’s current double-natured character.

Feel that one or more of these series should be getting full-review treatment each week? Show your support by participating in chapter discussion in comments. Actively-discussed series will be considered for full reviews.

Weekly Power Rankings – 6/6 – 6/12

June 19, 2010 2 comments