This might be my favorite volume of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid yet. This one felt a bit different than the ones before as far as Kobayashi’s inner thoughts and realizations. Volume 4 was still full of dragon humor and shenanigans but it felt a bit “heavier” to me. Or maybe it’s just the current environment or I’m projecting and thinking Dragon Maid is deep and really it’s just the same-old same-old.
But I really did enjoy Kobayashi explaining to Ilulu, who demands that dragons and humans can’t coexist, that: “We enjoy each other’s differences…and before long, we grow to like each others’ species. Respect turns into trust, and trust causes bonds to form.”
Then again, this causes Ilulu to cast some magic on Kobayashi and she ends up in, uh, quite a “pickle” (hehe). I actually liked this little plot twist though the whole time I couldn’t help but wonder if most [North American] readers would find a way to be offended by it. But, for the record, it worked for me.
We also get some cute Takiya/Faf-kun interaction at the hot springs get-together (I do love a hot springs get-together). This volume also delves a bit into Kobayashi’s first meeting with Tohru and we get to see how Elma is blending in at the office.
I know “servamp” is supposed to be an abbreviation of “servant-vampire” but I think it might actually be a shorter term for “holy crap does everyone have the most fucked up backstory ever?!”
So in the tragic backstory department, Servamp continues to deliver. We delve deeper into the mysteries of the crew of C3 and into Tsurugi in particular. I don’t have much more to say about this particular volume other than it’s kind of painful in that heart-breaky way that damaged children incur. I was pretty excited about the appearance of Wrath and in the last few pages…well, I was super stoked about the direction Wrath was going (and Tsurugi too).
Read this book.
If you’ve looked at My Brother’s Husband on Amazon, chances are you’ve then been recommended My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness.
I can see why it draws comparisons–they’re both amazing, well-written, and deal with complicated issues in very clear ways. However, whereas My Brother’s Husband is a bit more removed, more third-person, and kind of roundabout, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness is very first-person, immediate, and full speed ahead.
So the style of delivery was very different but as with My Brother’s Husband, it only took me a few pages to know I was reading something above and beyond. Something life-changing. I would look at the world just a little differently after reading it.
The ending kind of brought me up short. But I thought to myself, “This is a story about real life. And real life doesn’t really have a tidy place for her to end the story.” So while it was almost uncomfortable at first, feeling like the end just “was there”…it was also kind of reassuring, that it fit the theme of the whole book, and like everything else it wasn’t perfect but it was good and that the author is still out there, doing her thing. Still working on herself, as we all should be.
I really loved “The Ancient Magus’ Bride” when I first started the series. However, I opened up volume seven and had absolutely no recollection of where the previous volume left off or what the hell was going on.
I caught up quickly enough but I no longer find myself getting as immersed in the story as I once did. For a couple volumes now it’s had a feeling of…meandering. Initially I didn’t mind that kind of lazy, relaxed feeling but now I feel more like, “Where are we going with this? How many misunderstandings and reconciliations do we need?”
That said, we did get some intrigue and major drama later in this volume that gave it kind of a different, more urgent vibe. More characters were smattered in so it’s not just Elias and Chise misunderstanding and forgiving each other in circles. There were even a few spots for some cute humor, which I appreciated and miss from earlier volumes. I’m hoping the cliffhanger at the end of volume seven leads to some more interesting developments.
For the first two-thirds of this book, I kept asking myself, “Why did I buy this?” (The answer, as always: it seemed like a good idea at the time.)
In the author’s introduction about mid-book she says, “After finishing my last series, I decided to write a classic shojo manga this time.” This line was interesting to me because while a few panels had the parody “shojo face” going on, and that was understandable, much of the art also had that “classic” (read: old) feel to it. The wolfboy on the cover has a way more modern look than his in-story equivalent. I’m going to get hate for saying this but flipping through once again, I’m kind of reminded of “Sailor Moon” artistically.
The plot was a bit more boring and contrived than I expected and so far the characters come off as very tropey. If I had read this at fourteen or somewhat shojo-age instead of [ahem] the age I am now, I probably would have liked it well enough.
I will say that Dario appeared at the perfect time for me; just when I was thinking the story might be irredeemable, we were saved by a queen. And I actually really liked the final scene and it gave me at least some hope for the likability of our protagonist. Those last couple pages made me think this series might have at least a little potential to be something different.
I probably won’t buy the second volume. The premise is okay, the art is okay, the characters are barely okay…but nothing is “great” about this. Then again, I am kind of a manga masochist so keep your eyes peeled for Today’s Tub Manga: Beasts of Abigaile (volume 2)
I want to wax poetic and go into intricate detail about what makes “The High School Life of a Fudanshi” so hilarious and read-worthy. But I’m not going to. Instead: TRUST ME THIS IS HILARIOUS.
If you know a fudanshi/fujoshi (or ARE a fudanshi/fujoshi) this is for you. It really feels like this story is crafted out of love and knowledge of its subject. Heh. No, it’s not deep or life-changing but it’s an immensely enjoyable and entertaining light-hearted read.
I had been getting a little burned out on Servamp after the anime. I wasn’t paying close enough attention and as a result, what was going on just ended up being kind of confusing. Plus the same over-the-top, chaotic personalities that makes many of the characters endearing is also what makes them exhausting.
That said, even though I couldn’t remember what was even going on from volume 8, I really enjoyed volume 9. It had a lot of that dark twisty brokenness that I actually enjoy from Servamp and is all the more extreme against slapstick humor and ridiculousness just panels before. For whatever reason, I finally had a feeling of “catching up” in this volume, like things clicked and I understood what was going on. Finally. Maybe?
I’m glad I’ve kept with the series and look forward to volume 10…
I can’t even tell you how much I loved the shit out of Prison School volume 6. When I first picked up the manga after the anime ended, I thought it might be just a bit too lewd for my pure eyes (ha!).
I’ve gotten over it.
There was something about this particular volume that just gave me that “this is hitting its stride” feeling. It hit a perfect balance of lewdness, ridiculousness, humor, and weird complicated dramatic high school plots. I laughed out loud several times. There was something incredibly (and perhaps uncomfortably) “true” about this volume.
I feel like girls everywhere should read this series–and this volume in particular–and know that whenever you go on a date, that guy you’re with is thinking about dropping his pants and sticking his dick into a plastic bottle. No lie.
Embrace the life lessons of Prison School.