This might be my favorite volume of Fire Force so far. I like the series but couldn’t quite get invested in it. Volume 5 comes on the heels of a bombshell cliffhanger left in volume four and I was a bit hesitant that this volume would be angsty and slowly-paced in response to working that out.
But no, this volume got some stuff done. The cliffhanger was addressed, mostly, without being too drawn out and angst-ridden and for that I was grateful. I was also grateful for the fantastic backstory about how Captain Obi and Lieutenant Hinawa actually formed Special Fire Force Company 8. Fujoshi-vision aside, it was an inspiring and sweet-yet-totally-shonen backstory and I enjoyed it immensely.
I don’t want to compare this series to Soul Eater all the time but I like how it “feels” the same. Stuff happens. Sure, there’s all this weird spooky conspiracy crap behind the scenes, but in the forefront, there’s ACTION. Even if that action is propelled by convenient misunderstandings and over-the-top characters.
So, I know that this is five volumes into a series, but I think this might be the volume that actually hooked me.
Also: there is a really fun interview at the end of this volume between Ohkubo and Fairy Tail‘s Hiro Mashima. It is totally worth the read.
The first half of volume five (what would be volume nine of the Japanese edition) is all about Tsukimi’s budding love life…or it’s supposed to be. But for me, Hanamori stole the show. Maybe because the waffling of the Amars and the perpetual threat of eviction gets a bit overdone and exhausting that Hanamori is comic relief. Or maybe he’s just too strong a character and steals whatever scene he’s in.
I never really cared for the romance between Shu and Tsukimi because I felt that Kuranosuke actually knows her, whereas she can barely even talk to Shu. But I’ve rewatched the anime recently and while I still am not Team Shu, I can’t help but hear Junichi Suwabe’s voice when I read his lines. And he does do some adorably dorky and awkward things that I *almost* root for him in spite of myself.
But it always bothers me when someone is “in love” with a person they barely know. Perhaps I’m projecting but it’s a plot point that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
We’re getting into the stretch of Princess Jellyfish that has a lot more to do with the actual working side of fashion. Which is something I have zero interest in. I loved the initial dorkiness and comedy but once we get into hardcore fashion talk and try to sell dresses for real, I kind of zone out.
Aside from Hanamori being Hanamori, the upside of this volume is with Kuranosuke’s own self-examination. He could theoretically be in a lot more denial but I like that he’s willing to acknowledge he’s irritated with the romance between Tsukimi and his brother. I do like that despite everything kind of crashing down around him, he insists on pushing forward.
I never thought I would be so in love with a story about professional dancing.
In volume six, Chinatsu gets a much bigger role and we learn some juicy (?) details about her past.
I wasn’t sure I’d like this volume as much since I didn’t really care for Chinatsu’s introduction in the previous volume but I actually really liked the details about the all-girl pairs. The technical side of this volume was very interesting to me and sucked me in. The whole concept of a good lead really intrigued me (maybe because in my limited dancing experience, every partner I’ve had yells at me for trying to lead?) and I especially loved how Tatara experienced a “good lead” and also decided that is not the type of lead he wanted to be. His consideration for his partner was just heartwarming.
I’m a huge fan of Days and love the hell out of the anime so I had to pick up the manga when it was released. Volume 3 is so full of awesome.
This manga covers several of my favorite scenes from the anime. I feel like in this volume we’re getting a better glimpse of Kimishita, who might be (totally is) my favorite character in the series. Not only do I love his shop and his shirt here, but pay attention to what he’s reading…this might be important later…heh.
We meet the infamous duo of Sakuragi, Indou and Narukami. And we get to see Mizuki in action, which is pretty important and also just really cool. Days has this great habit of taking strong characters and making them really goofy; this started almost immediately when we meet Kazuma in the very first volume and Mizuki continues with this style; volume three has some great Mizuki moments.
I could go on and on about just this volume–there are so many important things that happen and so many little teasers into different characters. Even the scene with Tsukushi’s mom is moving and new. And Kazuma finding himself as he rediscovers his love for soccer (and of Tsukushi? Just ignore me, please) always gives me goosebumps.
I loved the first volume, had to make myself read the second volume, and once I buckled down to read the third volume…I LOVED IT. This felt like the best volume yet. There’s a great balance of intensity, detail, humor…and dark yakuza shit. I love the contrast in characters and I especially like what the women add to this series.
Sometimes it gets a little muddled because it seems several of the characters have the same face, but it’s still really enjoyable. It has a very different feeling from the team-sports manga (which I also love) and is worth giving a read.
I actually had to kind of gear myself up to read volumes 2 and 3; even though this manga should be totally relatable to me, it deals with a “problem” that I don’t personally care about. And since I don’t have girlfriends and don’t drink much, volume one wore on me by the end.
However, barely into volume two, I was soooo glad I’d made myself get caught up on the series. Volume two felt like it had a lot less drunken whining and blew open the story more by incorporating the stories and perspectives of the other two friends. Now that the plot has been established in volume one, volume two felt like it got to really lay into the humor that I fell in love with during Princess Jellyfish.
Originally, I planned on just blogging volume two even though I read both because I felt volume two is actually the strongest so far. However, volume three does have its charm point in that the
girls women are (I think?) becoming a bit more self-aware and having to face their issues. Or not face them, as the case may be. Volume three also gives us a new character to shake things up a bit. Heh.
Even though I’m not scrambling to get married before the Tokyo Olympics, there is something that definitely pulls at the heartstrings wonderfully and just a bit uncomfortably while reading “Tokyo Tarareba Girls.” These two volumes have really expanded on that feeling and make the reader go, “This is…too real.”
What can I even say about this? Buy it. Read it. Buy all of it, because once you start volume one you’ll want to continue straight through and not wait for the rest to be delivered.
I was addicted to Vinland Saga from the beginning. Historical fiction about Vikings is right up my alley but this proved to be something more. The art is absolutely amazing and the storytelling is a thing of beauty. With every volume I think, “I’m reading something life-changing.”
One of my favorite things in the world of manga is the author’s comments and Vinland Saga is no exception. Book Nine contains an “Ask Yukimura” section in the final pages and I love how his thought process is exposed. His attention to detail and intense consideration of the story and desire for readers to join him on Thorfinn’s journey just make me love this series even more.