When volume one of Frau Faust came out, all I saw were comparisons to Yamazaki’s other series The Ancient Magus’ Bride. I guess it’s to be expected being the same author, but from the get-go, Frau Faust reminded me way more of Black Butler with a dash of xxxHolic. And I mean that in the best of ways.
I really enjoy Johanna as a protagonist; she’s comfortable as herself (as she should be after a hundred years), smart, and independent. Her personality is a breath of fresh air. I suppose that’s why it’s up to Marion to be the wayward, unsure, angsty teen–a role he plays well without being so wishy-washy as to be irritating.
In volume two, the search is on for Mephisto’s right leg. In the meantime, we get a very informative flashback to Johanna’s childhood and why she made her deal with the devil. I also couldn’t help but love the bit of banter and male bonding time between Lorenzo (I can’t read the name “Lorenzo” without thinking of Cuticle Detective Inaba, though) and Vito. By the end of the volume we’re eyeballs-deep in a mystery that feels like the lovechild of Blue Exorcist and Vatican Miracle Examiner.
I feel like I’m unintentionally name-dropping way too much in this post.
In the author’s note at the end, Yamazaki-sensei apologizes for the slow pace of the story, but I think it’s just right. Everything is coalescing in an enjoyable, natural way.
So, I’d seen a tweet advertising this and thought, “Oh, I need to check that out!” However, when I looked it up…I’d already preordered it. >_<
But I’m glad I did! This first volume got right down to business, no pun intended. There was a very xxxHolic vibe to much of the volume, which I enjoyed because I love xxxHolic. The whole thing had a feeling of “new yet familiar.” Or maybe “familiar yet new”?
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised at how rapidly things escalated in the final pages; I wasn’t expecting a dramatic twist + cliffhanger this early in the series. Now I can’t wait for volume two!
I knew nothing about this series going in; I preordered it because a) it was by the same mangaka as Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer and b) twitterer @to_aru_Oni’s excitement about it was too effusive to ignore.
I liked Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer and I expected to “like” Spirit Circle as well, but instead I absolutely loved this first volume. The whole reincarnational drama/simultaneous lives thing is right up my alley and I can’t wait for the next volume.
I can’t believe it’s been twenty-five volumes! This is really the only way it could have ended; after the last page, I just felt like, “Yep. That was the ‘right’ ending. That’s the way it had to be.”
For anyone reading the series but hasn’t finished it yet, I do recommend buying the limited edition and getting the Kamistravaganza booklet. It’s totally worth it as the epilogue/extra story/final-final chapter included in the booklet really ties things up nicely. That last story was really necessary for closure after twenty-five volumes.
I’ve said in recent posts that I don’t read as much shojo as I used to, but back when I “used to” Kamisama Kiss was one of my favorites. While my love for the genre has waned a bit, I still think this is a very solid shojo series and I loved it till the end.
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.
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).
Okay, this one’s been out for a while but I’ve just gotten around to reading it. In just the first few pages I got a very Gun X Sword/Trigun kind of vibe…and I mean that in the best of ways. The beginning was a bit more slapstick and light-hearted than I anticipated, considering the setup. However, “To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts” delves into serious territory soon enough.
Volume one was an interesting combination of silly and serious, violent and thoughtful. Several times I found myself thinking, “I like this way more than I should.” Much of it felt very predictable but I didn’t care; I still enjoyed the story. I do think the two main characters are mostly responsible for that–our girl has the desirable trait of being not-annoying and our guy is a badass, which is hard for me to pass up.
Can these two characters carry the series and make a predictable plot interesting or will the series ultimately collapse in on itself? I’ll report back after a couple more volumes…