Posts Tagged ‘Seo Kouji’

Series Roundup: 10/31 – 11/6

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment

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

Code:Breaker 110

[scanlation by ShinraTensei]

Sakurakouji’s comedy on the first page is totally unnecessary and ruins much of the suspense and interest built up from last week’s major cliffhanger.

Heike’s account of power users in the Meiji era is interesting. This series has answered some of the questions regarding characters and identities, but this is the first time it’s really delved into its own history. World-building is fundamental, and while this is very nice, it should probably have been addressed sooner.

The Emperor used to be terrifyingly strong. I can accept that he’s somehow contained in Ogami’s body now, but it’s a pity he’s lost all of his edge and become cute.

Heike has always had the power of light, but this is the first time I can recall him explicitly using certain aspects of such an ability, such as speed and refraction. He’s become a legitimate opponent.

Despite everything going on with Heike and the Emperor, Yukihina could have provided the most interesting moment in the chapter, but he is stopped right before the Emperor steps in and handles matters. I still want to know what those markings on Yukihina allow him to do.

Defense Devil 71

[scanlation by I Eat Manga]

The cover page depiction of the priest is pretty exciting, but is this really the time for more backstory? There is no plot to propel the series forward right now.

Father Selma had some pretty awful hair back when he was Kanto.

It’s great to see Elimona brought back in to the story in a more directly involved role. Certainly, it always seemed as though she had a part to play in the overall story, but I appreciate that we’re finally getting to see some of her behind-the-scenes dealings. Handing a second chance to Kanto is an interesting choice.

Little Idamaria is cute, and having her visibly being possessed by this legendary demon makes for a strong scene. Not only does this further raise questions about the motives of Elimona, but this is also enough to bring the entire story back to its main focus, provided that this flashback mini-arc is the last bit of sidetracking the plot takes.

GE ~ Good Ending 57-58

[scanlation by iMangaScans]

(57) Yuki stood up for herself! Stop the presses! Alert the internet!

It’s sad that Shou has to be the one to pull away from more-than-casual interaction from Seiji, but as long as someone is doing it, I’m satisfied.

“If I die […] please burn the porn magazines in my bag…”? You carry them around with you at all times? That’s dedication.

This surprisingly deep conversation is tarnished a little by our idiot protagonist trying to sound wise. No amount of false bravado or humility can make up for all his actions over the last several months.

Cue stereotypical romantic comedy situation. This time, at least, it involves the right people.

(58) Yuki’s fear of ghosts is an amusing trait that I wish we’d seen sooner.

Seiji trying desperately to be manly and climb up to the second floor is funny as well. This is a way that his stupidity can be applied in a positive manner.

Finally, a beautiful, rewarding, drama-free scene of romantic development between Yuki and Seiji. I can’t even complain that Yuki had to take the initiative, negating the chance for Seiji to finally grow a backbone, because Yuki’s expectation of a proper confession gives Seiji such an opportunity, yet with added incentive. I still worry that Seiji will be distracted by other girls along the way, but future concerns aside, this moment was excellent.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 313

[scanlation by I Eat Manga]

Further illustrating how terrible Amano’s idea of cliffhangers is, the Lambo/Rauji fight ends in the first four pages. Without the slightest hint of exaggeration, I can safely say that her style of twist-cliffhanger (showing the pose/form of an attack on the last page, only for it to connect in the following week’s chapter) is worse than Bleach twists. As pitiful as many Bleach twists have been, at least Kubo has had the decency to show actions in full within the same chapter.

As bad as these fights are proving to be, equally terrible is knowing that after every one, we have to suffer through another boring flashback. I cannot possibly overstate my disdain for Vongola Primo and constant references to him.

At least Lambo provided a decent line to end this fight. Tsuna really should be the “brother”-style of leader, instead of the dull, uncharacteristically suave leader he has been for a few arcs.

… no. I refuse to accept that Byakuran, the character at the root of the ruination of this series, is here. He was defeated, and has absolutely no reason to exist, not that he ever should have been conceived in the first place. Now, he’s back to interfere with the first arc after his own miserable one? No. This is practically grounds for dropping the series, and it certainly cements Reborn as one of the five worst series currently publishing.

Kimi no Iru Machi 111

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

I’m a bit tired of references to Antonio Inoki. They were amusing at first, but why not change the wrestler being referenced? It’s like calling every strong person Hulk Hogan.

I know the Japanese education system tends to push through masses of students in the same manner, but I find it a little naive of Haruto to immediately assume that Shiori is the same age he is.

Mishima deserves so much better than the drama she’ll inevitably receive thanks to the unnecessary plot interference of Shiori.

There exists such a thing as a “Hot Spring Circle.” If ever there was a reason to wish you had been born in Japan, I think that’s it.

Takashi is making this chapter irritating. He is a walking stereotype of “annoying buddy.”

Unsurprisingly to anyone but Haruto, apparently, Shiori is older than him. The brief explanation of her age in relation to her schooling year is actually rather interesting, as an attractive young woman with an active interest in studying makes for a decent character, but it’s not enough to redeem her from being the “wrong” choice girl, particularly because she was introduced far too late.

Wow. She’s pretty direct. I’ll give this character credit for one thing, at least: She is decisive, and decisiveness is a trait not often found in love interests in romance series.

Nurarihyon no Mago 129

[scanlation by ShinraTensei]

Seimei is reviving? This is so abrupt that I had to double-check to make sure I hadn’t missed a chapter. I suppose this cements how repetitive and subpar last chapter was.

Lovely imagery as the memories of Hagoromo Gitsune are displayed on the shattering fragments of the Nue’s shell. For all of the faults of the anime, this scene would adapt wonderfully to animation.

As expected, Hagoromo Gitsune is unable to strike the decisive blow, because of the flood of memories from her human side. While this is demeaning for Rikuo, it does help the long-term future of the series that he wasn’t strong enough to defeat her on his own, and that he will (presumably) only attain a circumstantial victory.

I still have no emotional attachment to any of the onmyouji except Yura. This far into the story, I don’t think there’s any rectifying that.

The conceptual design of the invocation of the Hagun is solid, but the overly-stylized skulls take away from the scene. They’re far more warped and comical than scary or impressive.

father?! Rihan is her father? That would make Rikuo her brother. Is this right? I’ve re-read it several times, and I keep reading it the same way, but it keeps seeming to be wrong. If that’s true, that’s an excellent shock.


[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

Perhaps a little MacGyver music will inspire us to overcome the challenge of reading this chapter. I could use an elaborate contraption, though.

Manabizaki is the worst tsundere ever, and the scene is made even worse by his hard-hatted lackey stating the painfully obvious in an internal thought bubble.

What the hell is this? Good Ending? SWOT can’t even stick to its own terrible storyline; it has to continue to try to steal ideas and themes from other series. Give it up, author; you’re getting canceled.

Pages and pages of woeful attempts at romantic comedy. This is painful.

After a brief interlude of the main plot of the entire story, we’re right back to harem idiocy. This chapter may not have been as overwhelmingly awful as chapter 14, but it was still thoroughly putrid. I genuinely cannot fathom how anyone can write a story this terrible.

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.

Kimi no Iru Machi 106

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

That cover page is… suggestive. Ahem.

It’s great that everyone is planning on heading back to Tokyo this soon, because that means we’re likely in for some immediate plot development, but this small town has easily been a better setting than the big city. Plot advancement would be welcome; a return to drama would not.

Haruto’s memories of Mishima are amusing. She has certainly stood out since her introduction.

Uh-oh. “We need to talk” is rarely a good sign.

Men, this is a red flag. Learn it well.

There goes another romance series love interest deciding things all on her own.

Fortunately, Mishima’s anxiety isn’t at all a lead-in to unwarranted drama. Seo has quite a gift for impactful panels.

Excellent scene

Fantastic last few pages. This is exactly the right step for the series to take.

Final Flash: Pleasantly nostalgic chapter with a wonderful ending.

Kimi no Iru Machi 105

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

Kanzaki finally makes her appearance, and it will be a vital one. She’s the defining line between harem and single-relationship focus.

More breast humor. Mishima is keeping things enjoyable and light.

Calvin would not be proud

Kanzaki is playing a sad role in her conversation with Haruto. She obviously still has some feelings for him, but she can tell that he is currently most comfortable around Mishima, whether or not he realizes his feelings for her.

I wonder if Haruto really is “too late” for Kanzaki. She wasn’t terribly convincing.

Uh, wow. More disregard for any form of censorship. I hate to make a fuss out of it, because I’m personally against censorship, but I’m surprised at just how blatant Magazine has been recently.

Final Flash: A pleasant but unremarkable chapter.

Kimi no Iru Machi 104

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

It’s a little disappointing that Haruto presumably asked Kiyomi to tag along, rather than Kiyomi herself having wanted to have come.

Mishima continues to be amusingly entranced by snow.

That is one characteristic of snow, yes

It’s great to see Akari. She’s been sorely missed throughout the Tokyo arc. Mishima doesn’t seem as happy as I am to see her, though.

Mishima confronts Haruto over the kiss with Akari. Her immediate jealousy is doubly interesting, as it not only clearly shows her feelings for Haruto, but also forces Haruto to consider his ties to Akari.

Wow. Censorship has certainly become increasingly lenient over the years. Hot springs scenes have always been gratuitous, but they haven’t usually featured such depictions of nudity in shonen.

Mishima was most jealous about her comparative breast size? That’s actually a slight relief. While such a silly plot point can be tacky and overused in other, more “harem”-style series, here it’s a nice change of pace from the drama.

Final Flash: Good combination of jealousy and comedy, making for a nice chapter.

Kimi no Iru Machi 103

September 6, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

Another fan-colored page. Disappointing.

Kiyomi is back! I’d be very happy if she helped form a new love triangle with Haruto and Mishima. Kiyomi is too interesting of a character to leave out of the picture. (I still wish Nagoshi was involved somehow, though.)

Kiyomi is even intervening on behalf of Mishima. What a great addition to the cast she’s been.

Amazing character evolution shown by Haruto. His serious and mature explanation of his feelings for Eba is an unexpected positive, and a huge one at that.

Fantastic growth

Two fan-colored pages in a row, for the same scene. Red Hawk, this is embarrassing. Leave this stuff in your forums.

Haruto invites Mishima back to his town… but had already asked Kiyomi. Good mix of emotion and comedy.

Final Flash: Superb chapter. This feels much more like the Kimi no Iru Machi of old, before the overwhelming drama.

Kimi no Iru Machi 102

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

Mishima is going to eat at Haruto’s place “again.” Is she now transitioning into a love interest? With Eba obviously out of the picture for a while, Nagoshi sadly relegated to comic relief, and Kiyomi too focused on Kazama, Mishima makes perfect sense. She’s always gotten along well with Haruto, and it wouldn’t be much of a romance series without any active love interests for the protagonist.

Completely undeserving of her secondary role

Mishima reading Magazine feels a little forced. Meta can be fun and cute if it feels natural in the midst of the story, but this just feels like a plug for A-Bout!.

Akari’s phone call makes me nostalgic for the days when this series was set in Haruto’s hometown, and was so much better than it presently is.

Excellent interaction between Haruto and Mishima. The deadpan comedy is funny, the talk about Eba is appropriately serious, and Mishima shifting the focus on the future is promising.

Fantastic two-page confession scene. I do have to express my disappointment in Red Hawk Scanlations for inserting a fan-colored version of the page in question, though. It’s shameful enough to do that at all, but to insert it before the original version destroys the impact of the scene as intended by the author. Fan-colored pages are fine for message boards and icons, but they have absolutely no place in an official chapter release. This is the first time I’ve seen Red Hawk do it, so they’re certainly not the worst offenders (iMangaScans practically have one per Good Ending chapter), but this is too important of a scene to cheapen. Very disappointing.

Final Flash: Really enjoyable chapter. Mishima is such a positive love interest, and all positivity is welcome after recent events.

Kimi no Iru Machi 101

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scans]

Haruto and Eba back-to-back on the cover. Prepare for more awkwardness.

That’s pretty direct from Eba. Anyone could have delivered Kazama’s helmet to Haruto.

As usual, Haruto is saying and doing all the right things, and Eba is putting him through hell. It’s almost like this series is the antithesis of GE ~ Good Ending. If we could have the love interests (and the awkwardness-relieving humor) from Good Ending, only with Haruto from Kimi no Iru Machi instead of worthless Seiji, we’d have a hell of a series.

What an unusually pleasant outing for these two. The funeral for his rival in love / her boyfriend was yesterday, and she’s leading him to a sightseeing spot? I know Seo well enough to know this isn’t ending well.

There it is, a string of words no person ever wants to hear. “Maybe we shouldn’t see each other anymore.”

There is no appropriate response

Final Flash: Sad chapter, but this was to be expected. Whether or not it’s easy to read, this is ultimately the plot direction that best allows for Eba’s character integrity. It would have cheapened the entire series if she started focusing on Haruto so soon after Kazama’s death. It looks like Seo is going to put us through hell before we arrive at any kind of resolution.

Kimi no Iru Machi 100

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

Great cover page. The colors are vibrant, and it’s nice to see these girls. They’re reminiscent of when the series was just plain enjoyable, without any angst-riddled qualifiers on such a statement.

Kazama’s surgery is already over? That seems incredibly abrupt.

The conversation between Haruto and Mishima seems far too cheerful. I expect a punch in the gut shortly.


Seeing that sign made my blood run cold. He’s dead. The surgery was a success, but his body was too weak afterward. This is rather stunning. To be frank, I didn’t think Seo had the courage to kill off Kazama. I mean, I actually don’t prefer this outcome, because not only does “winning” Eba back now lose any meaning, but it also presents the opportunity for even more angst, as Haruto will inevitably second-guess pushing Kazama to have the surgery.

For once, it’s completely appropriate that Haruto and Eba have no interaction. As an unfortunate consequence, Kazama’s death sets unprecedented levels of awkwardness in this series.

Poor Kiyomi. Since her introduction, her honesty and attitude have been a breath of fresh air. It’s terrible to see her in this state.

The reserved space on Kazama’s helmet is no mere punch to the gut; it’s a full-fledged Heartbreak Shot. Through all the twists and developments in their rivalry, Kazama still intended to remain Haruto’s friend for life. While I’m still disappointed that Haruto will now never have the chance to decisively redeem himself and “win” back Eba, this is a powerful tribute to friendship and a genuinely moving scene.

Final Flash: Major credit to Seo for having the conviction to take such a huge step with the story. This is a proper milestone chapter.

Kimi no Iru Machi 99

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

Amusing scene with Haruto choosing pork.

Kiyomi has ended up adding great chemistry to the cast. She’s a good love interest for Kazama, she’s a great rival for Eba, and her own sharp personality is cute.

Great conversation in the kitchen between Haruto and Eba. This is so much better than the bitter, awkward angst the series had fallen into for a while.

Eba has lost herself in the moment and gotten close to Haruto again. That’s an important moment.

Key sign of Eba's true feelings

Wow, Kazama is pretty thick not to notice Kiyomi’s obvious feelings at this point.

… well, Kiyomi has certainly taken care of that. Great declaration from her.

Kazama is trying to hook up Haruto with Kiyomi? That’s actually pretty disappointing. The rivalry between Haruto and Kazama has thus far been fairly respectful and honorable; this feels a little underhanded.

Time for Kazama to undergo surgery. It seems obvious that things will proceed smoothly enough, but Seo could throw a major twist into the story within the next few chapters.

Final Flash: Overall good chapter with a minor note of disappointment. Major plot advancement should be forthcoming.

Kimi no Iru Machi 98

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

Nagoshi is terribly cute in the way she’s completely misunderstanding all of this. Again, it’s such a pity she wasn’t around earlier to be part of the “real” possibilities.

More series should have "big failure" signs

Eba was smiling last chapter because she was talking about Haruto! That’s some fantastic progress.

Excellent two page spread of Kazama announcing his intention to have  the surgery.

This is setting up brilliantly well. My main concern in the entire Tokyo trip has been that Haruto could potentially end up with Eba again without actually “winning her back,” which would completely demean Haruto (and, by association, the entire story).

Final Flash: This chapter is hugely reassuring for the future of the series.

Kimi no Iru Machi 96

[chapter link]

Haruto not only saw the excellent opportunity to stand up for Eba, but he showed the decisiveness to act on it. Well done.

Screentone: Not always a good choice.

My poor eyes

Bizarre conversation between Kiyomi and Haruto.

Two characters in a romance series simultaneously realizing and agreeing that they are stupid generally leads to romantic hints between the two. Please, do not let this happen.

Kiyomi’s “apology” is quite funny, and she follows it up with an outright declaration of war over Kazama. My fears over her introduction have been relieved.

Final Flash: In comparison to the last few months, this is an uncharacteristically direct chapter; no coincidence that this is one of the better chapters in recent memory.

Kimi no Iru Machi 95

[chapter link]

Another girl? The main trio needs to stay intact. Haruto must win Eba back from Kazama on his own, without any kind of interference.

Despite this, Kiyomi presents an interesting side to Eba that the audience hasn’t been shown. Surely, Kiyomi is altering things slightly because of her own feelings, but these claims can’t be entirely unfounded.

A meeting with both girls? Seems like an intervention, even. This can’t end well.

Indeed, it hasn’t. A slap is a pretty strong way to announce yourself as part of the main cast of the series.

Hello, I am relevant

Final Flash: Kiyomi’s introduction elicits mixed feelings from me. On one hand, she’s instantly cultivating development in Eba’s character. On the other hand, she provides a possible resolution to the love triangle (Haruto/Eba, Kazama/Kiyomi) that would feel cheap compared to Haruto being able to win back Eba through his own efforts.

Kimi no Iru Machi 94

[chapter link]

Ah, the Beef Stroganoff Trap. The deadliest of traps.

Kazama, like any reasonable person, is rightfully incredulous that Haruto actually made food for his love rival.

P8, top panel: Very hungry now.

There sure has been a considerable focus on Eba disliking tomatoes. I realize it’s a cute way to show Haruto knows Eba well, but it shouldn’t be the only example.

As if it wasn’t already awkward enough that a dying man is having dinner made by his love rival, both in the presence of the girl they love, the dying man just now finds out that his girl used to live with the love rival? Redefining awkward, this.

Haruto might be taking his new, happy approach a little too far at times, but it’s still a tremendous improvement in comparison to the angst earlier this year.

Finally, a crack in Eba’s cold facade. We’re getting somewhere.

Final Flash: Awkward yet cheerful chapter. I’m actually excited for progress again. Pity there’s no chapter next week.

Kimi no Iru Machi 93

[chapter link]

Always nice when magazines remind us how super popular a series is.

Amusing first two pages. That’s the kind of small touch this series has missed.

So, if Haruto freaks out Eba, Mishima is going to beat him with a bat? Brutal. Actually, that’s excellent.

Kazama certainly isn’t helping his own cause. It seems as though he’s trying to set Haruto and Eba up again, knowing he’ll soon be gone.

Beef stroganoff? It’s a bit odd to hear that used in the context of haute cuisine. Perhaps Chef Boyardee has tarnished the name of good food.

He’s actually going to make it. Our protagonist, ladies and gentlemen.

Final Flash: Unsettling turn of events. It’s nice that Haruto is being persistent, but it will feel like a shallow victory for Haruto (not to mention a colossal waste of time for the series) if Kazama continues to practically hand over the girl he’s supposed to be fighting for.

Kimi no Iru Machi 92

[chapter link]

Aftermath of the declaration of war. This series could finally be going somewhere.

As heartless as it might seem in the moment, Haruto is absolutely doing the right thing. It would be more demeaning (both to Kazama as a character and to the readers) to hold back because Kazama is sick. Furthermore, it would be far worse to see Haruto and Eba reunited after Kazama dies.

As expected, Kazama is up for the challenge.

Nagoshi’s flustering is so cute. It’s a pity she wasn’t in the series when she could have been a significant love interest.

On the same note, Mishima is fantastic. She’s easily my favorite character of the series right now.

Nagoshi! How adorable. Sorry, young lady, but Haruto is busy spending time with the girl he should end up with. You’ll have to wait. (Please feel free to continue being appallingly cute in the interim.)

Final Flash: A glimmer of hope! This series is finally starting to progress the main storyline and move out of pure angst. I’m fine with a little angst, as long as its relevant, but we’ve had to endure far too much angst for too long.