Month: August 2017

Today’s Tub Manga: Assassination Classroom (volume 17)

So Volume 17 brings us to the battle between Karma and Nagisa and their respective Kill Koro Sensei/Save Koro Sensei groups.

I don’t actually have much to say about this except I was kind of surprised because I remembered this scene being relatively short in the anime yet it took up most of this volume. I didn’t expect this battle to be quite so beefy in terms of the manga.

…Though now that I’m thumbing through again, I apparently forgot entirely about this ridiculous and perfect Colonel Sanders snuggling with Ronald McDonald title page for chapter 143. And Ronald’s button says “KILL.” I think it’s worth buying this volume just for that one picture.

Anyway, I do like the weird friendship backstory we get as a result of the Nagisa/Karma battle. So it’s only fitting that those two go together to hijack the Space Station…which is an arc that to this day makes me kind of frown and shake my head and ask, “Really? They went that route, huh?” But most of that is saved for Volume 18…

For a story with an ultimately very dark plot, I’m always amazed at how funny it can be. Though the humor for me comes in the little side-things and end-of-volume author’s notes and whatnot. It’s all very well done. I loved the final page pitch from The Offices of Koro, Attorney At Law.

Not to be maudlin but reading Volume 17 felt just a little weird and a bit sad. The final volume is near; we know this. So with each volume we read, we continue marching toward the bitter (?) end.

Today’s Tub Manga: Horimiya (volume 8)

I love(d) this series. I did not love this volume.

There was a sports festival, which I’m usually all about, but this kind of fell flat. Then there was something with dead rabbits that I didn’t remember and kept wondering where it was relevant.

I did wonder halfway through if this was a series better read in one go; there were too many characters I did not remember at all and trying to puzzle out the people and their relationships was a bit distracting. Admittedly, that is my fault more than the mangaka’s.

I will buy Volume 9 and hope that it regains the hilarity and cuteness I fell in love with.

Today’s Tub Manga: Haikyu!! (volume 14)

In the interest of full disclosure, I actually read most of this volume while on the stairstepper and not in the tub. I found this to be a pretty efficient way to make a wonderful manga not really enjoyable and do not advise it.

Volume 14 picks up with Daichi on the floor…and soon Daichi spitting out a tooth. As a result, our steadfast captain has to go to the infirmary, leaving a gap in on the court bigger than the one in his mouth…

So this is the volume where we reallllly get to know Chikara and he’s given his chance to shine. We get a better feel for his character and a peek into his history, as well as insight into what his teammates think of him. All of this hits us in the middle of a game against the wanna-be Little Giant of Wakunan–a game that Karasuno has to win to give Daichi a chance to come back. Who wants to end their high school volleyball career in the infirmary?!

This volume is full of intense action and dare-I-say cute exchanges. I couldn’t help but smirk at Asahi’s & Tanaka’s exchange after Nishinoya compliments Chikara on a save. Asahi saying, “Yeah, a compliment from Nishinoya on a save will get anyone pumped” while drawn with that goofy (lovey?) expression warms my heart every time. As does Noya chopping Asahi in the ribs. One of my other Top Ten Heartwarming Scenes in this volume is Suga’s enthusiasm when he sees Daichi is alive and intact…

We also get a bit more Yamaguchi in this volume and at the risk of killing poor Yamaguchi, I love what the mangaka does with him. He gets a bit of spotlight and then ends up tormented again, but I really enjoy his path of personal growth. I also enjoy him announcing he’s going to the bathroom and Hinata’s troubled comment of, “Wow, he sure looked serious about going to the bathroom.” Tsukki’s expression in that panel is priceless.

A couple other notables: Volume 14 contains the results of the Second Annual Character Popularity Poll. Anyone who watches Gintama knows how important these polls are. Anyway, Tanaka’s older sister isn’t happy with her brother’s standing in the rankings. Also, at the end of this volume, we get the cute Nisekoi x Haikyu “Nisekyu” chapter.

Haikyu!! is always great. It’s just better in the tub and not on the stairstepper.

Today’s Tub Manga: My Hero Academia (volume 9)

I sometimes wonder if I will ever get enough My Hero Academia.

That said, it’s starting to get a little tricky reading it in Jump and watching the simulcast and then reading the manga volumes as they’re released. My brain is getting all scrambly.

But that’s okay because this is a great volume. The kids are at training camp, which is a lot more entertaining than I remembered when it originally ran in Jump. Horikoshi-sensei mentions in the opening author’s comment that this volume is “still pretty gloomy” and we get a reminder that while his heroes are creative and awesome, his villains are just as eerily skin-crawly to match.

Training camp chaperoned by the Wild Wild Pussycats (hilarious) gets interrupted by some villains (not hilarious). We get some great inspirational Deku-leveling-up-as-a-hero this volume. And you can’t beat an attack name like “Delaware Detroit Smash.” And one thing I had totally forgotten was Tokoyami’s rampaging Quirk and I kinda loved it.

My Hero Academia is always so well-written and brilliant. So much so that I’m blown away every time I read it, even if I’ve read it already… O.o

“Memory” is obviously not my Quirk.

Today’s Tub Manga: Kuroko’s Basketball (volume 7/or 13 & 14)

I knew this had to be a great volume because, well, all volumes of Kuroko’s Basketball are great but in this particular case you can judge a book by its cover. And a stern Aomine standing there all ominous is the sign of an awesome volume of manga.

This volume opens with one of my favorite scenes ever–the hot spring scene! Woo! Not only do I love the antics in the hot spring, the meeting and interaction between Kuroko, Aomine, and Kagami at the vending machine always makes me smile.

It’s training time and Kagami is off to secret training back in the states via Murican Airlines. O.o Then, after that famous, scissor-excessive meeting with the Generation of Miracles, it’s time for Seirin to face those black-jerseyed badasses of To-oh! If you can’t tell already, this is probably my favorite game in all of Kuroko’s Basketball. So although I admit to loving every volume of Kuroko’s, this volume kept me smiling and my heart racing (just a little) the entire time.

And I have to admit, I just love the stupid after-chapter bloopers. They’re brilliant.

Today’s Tub Manga: Kaze Hikaru (volume 25)

I WAIT ALL YEAR LONG FOR THIS ONE DAY! KAZE HIKARU RELEASE DAY!

If you haven’t read it and you’re looking at that “25” number…buy all 25 volumes now. It’s totally worth it. You’ll want to have them rather than starting with one or two and waiting for the rest to arrive.

If you have read it, rejoice: here is another blissfully wonderful volume of Kaze Hikaru. This volume picks up where 24 left off with Hijikata’s flashback to his youth and meeting Kondo. It’s fitting that this volume was released on 8/1 aka “Yaoi Day” because volume 25 gave us some really smirk-worthy but so sweet Hijikata/Kondo panels. (We’ve seen how flustered Hijikata gets when people stay stuff like this, though, so please don’t tell him I said he and Kondo are adorable together.) Later in the volume we have some financial shenanigans in the Shinsengumi and as usual, Sei is a bit too naive and straightforward. But that’s what makes her lovable, right? Just ask Soji… heh. (And Saito, wherever he’s presently lurking…)

I have been reading this manga for a long time and I attempted to learn Japanese JUST to read this manga because it’s only published ONE VOLUME PER YEAR in English. I had to laugh at the author’s note in the back of the volume, specifically: “After all, the story is gradually reaching a climax, so perhaps it’ll be ending by around volume 28..? Then again, I also have the feeling that this series is nowhere near its end (haha)!”

“Haha” indeed. Volume 40 was released in Japan in late May of this year. So at one [English] volume per year…I might spend the rest of my life reading Kaze Hikaru.

AND YOU SHOULD TOO.