I know a few times before I have mentioned I read manga, for the most part I stay lazy and just follow what I currently have filling my bookcases or bookmarked on those dark websites we don’t speak of but are our only way to read many of the titles out there for manga. But of course every once in awhile I branch out and get something new as well along with what I am currently reading.
Anyway so my plan is every once in awhile, maybe once or twice a month, is to kind of give an update on things I am reading. Such as introducing a new manga I found (whether it is ACTUALLY new or not is debatable) or one I have already and am rereading, giving a little synopsis of it and what I think of it so far, or I will go with a manga I am currently caught up with and when a new volume or chapter comes out I will talk about it a little bit, and even another possibility, though slightly less likely, is talking about a series I personally have already finished, this is much less likely to happen because… well I don’t have many series I have finished… or if I did finish them I didn’t like take note anywhere that I did actually finish a series…
So without any further rambling let us see how this works out starting out with a title I have touched on before.
For Honor and Vengence
As a child, Thorfinn sat at the feet of the great Leif Ericson and thrilled to wild tales of a land far to the west. But his youthful fantasies were shattered by a mercenary raid. Raised by the Vikings who murdered his family, Thorfinn became a terrifying warrior, forever seeking to kill the band’s leader, Askeladd, and avenge his father. Sustaining Thorfinn through his ordeal are his pride in his family and his dreams of a fertile westward land, a land without war or slavery… the land Leif called Vinalnd.
Vinland Saga is a manga series written by Makoto Yukimura and published by Kodansha that is based loosely on actual historic fact of Leif Eriksson’s discovered route to Vinland (present day Newfoundland) from Europe. The series protagonist is based off the Icelandic explorer of the same name, Thorfinn, who followed in Leif’s footsteps to this new land.
It has honestly actually been awhile since I have read the first volume and it is actually the only volume of the series I have read of the five volumes I actually own, so I have recently started to reread it in what little spare time I have given my reading. Unfortunately for this series and the amount of time I give it, it takes awhile to get through it as the size of one volume is roughly the size of 2 to 3 regular volumes, or at least what I consider regular volumes…
But putting that aside for right now my memory of Vinland Saga and what happens in the series is actually… pretty small I guess? What I did read hooked me instantly but it was fairly easy for it to do that because of the Norse/Viking representation in the series itself which I have always been a big fan of. Now I did say this was loosely based off actual facts. I honestly don’t know how loosely it is or is not based on actual fact other than some names and such though. I know it is primarily based in England, rather than Greenland and Iceland where Thorfinn and Eriksson originated from. It also has many other historical figures such as King Sweyn Forkbeard during his conquering of England.
That unfortunately is about as far as I am right now and about all I can find on the series itself without spoiling myself too much and it is a slow process as I said since the books are like this:
For reference here… 2 and 1/2 Yotsuba&! volumes fit in one volume of Vinland Saga, and on that note our next manga today shall be…
Hello! This is Koiwai Yotsuba, Yotsuba Koiwai… um, YOTSUBA! Yotsuba moved with Daddy to a new hourse from our old house waaaaaaay over there! And moving’s fun ‘cos people wave! (Ohhhh!!) And Yotsuba met these nice people next door and made friends to play with. I hope we get to play a lot. And eat ice cream! And-and-and… oh yeah! You should come play with Yotsuba too!
Yotsuba&! is an amazing little slice of life series of the adventures of energetic, cheerful, constantly curious, odd and quirky 5 year old titular character Yotsuba Koiwai. It is also one of the biggest plagues of deserves an anime but does not have one that I can personally think of myself. Why Kiyohiko Azuma?! Why do you not want this glorious thing to have an anime?! I will even take just some OVA’s! I don’t need a full series!
Anyway… though considered still ongoing I believe, I am not aware of anything past volume 12 and the last time I heard anything I believe the author said they were taking a break from the series, and that has been long enough that all 12 volumes have been translated into English already. So I have no idea if there is or ever will be more but I sure hope there is honestly. I love slice of life series and simple ones like this one are just even more amazing I think. At first I thought I wouldn’t like a series about a 5 year old, having raised four of them myself, but everything Yotsuba did was so damn cute and innocent I just couldn’t not love it, and before I knew it I had all 12 volumes.
The title goes as Yotsuba&! due to the chapters going as something like Yotsuba & Moving or Yotsuba & Television. Honestly I don’t know how one could dislike such a light-hearted series such as this, but I am sure there are some monsters out there. But that aside I would definitely recommend this series if you love slice of life series or love seeing the antics of a 5 year old and their innocence. But if you are looking for anything much past that… this won’t be a series for you.
I will round this post up with a series I am currently actually caught up with and know is currently ongoing, it happens to be one of those annoying series for me, and many of its fans, where we can say how much we hate it and how much of a whole lot of nothing happens in it, but we still read the damned thing like we are missing our weekly dose of a drug fix.
Yes I am clearly talking about…
It’s hate or first sight – or rather a knee to the head at first sight – when Raku Ichijo meets Chitoge Kirisaki. Unfortunately, Raku’s gangster father arranges a false love match between Raku and their rival gang leader’s daughter, who just so happens to be Chitoge! Raku’s searching for his childhood sweetheart from ten years ago, however with a pendant around his neck as a memento… but he can’t even remember the girl’s name or face!
Now for those who don’t know Nisekoi essentially the plot is… is… yeah I don’t remember the plot anymore, it got thrown out the window along with plenty of other things as the series has progressed. Essentially the series is a harem with the protag having at least… five? six? girls around him who he likes, sorta likes, or refuses to admit he likes, and all of whom like him in some form or fashion.
Out of the 160 chapters currently released… I would say probably half of them are just fluff chapters without really anything going on at all during them. Despite this though I still love the series to be honest. Especially now that something is actually HAPPENING in the last few chapters with the rival gang preparing to leave Japan, taking Chitoge and Tsugumi with them, and the false relationship between Chitoge and Raku crumbling down as the fathers say they no longer need to be together, since you know they are leaving.
It is actually interesting to see actual development since now it seems we are coming to either a conclusion of the series (which I honestly doubt unless Komi is just tired of doing the series) or at least a decent chunk of something happening until the next round of who knows how longs worth of fluff chapters (the more likely of the two choices). With Chitoge wanting to tell Raku her true feelings, and Raku being forced to admit to himself (or rather… he should admit it) about his true feelings for Chitoge and reconsidering his feelings for Onodera, also needing to figure something out with Haru… and Marika… and… you know what fuck it Raku just start your damn Harem already, you bastard.
Putting aside my hate for Raku’s luck though, it is honestly hard for me to say whether I could recommend Nisekoi or not. On one hand I love the series a lot for some odd reason, especially the characters, but on the other there are so many chapters of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING happening when it would be a whole lot better if something WAS happening that I just can’t justify telling someone that they should read about 80-90 chapters of decent to great quality with the other 70-80 chapters making you wonder why the hell you have been reading this series for so long without dropping it out of frustration.
So that ends this post. As I said at the beginning I may do this again, maybe once or twice a month or every other month, just to kind of have something to talk about. Also it will give some people an idea of what I am reading when I get around to more series I am following.