Manga Review: The Qwaser of Stigmata / Hiroyuki Yoshino

The Qwaser Of StigmataThe Qwaser Of Stigmata

by Hiroyuki Yoshino

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

There’s just so much going on in this comic, and unfortunately it’s too much. Would this be resolved and ironed out in subsequent volumes? I’m not sure, but I’m also not interested in reading further.

Plot-wise, I’m not entirely sure what’s going on. There’s a strange combination of religion and science. Which in modern-day are two things at odds with each other. It’s no wonder that they don’t work in this comic either.

From what I gather, there are a number of “Qwasers” who have the power to manipulate certain chemicals. Yoshino takes this idea and runs wild with it, adding in explanations based in chemistry to explain how the powers work, and why certain effects were reached. In a way, I appreciated this, but also… *snore*.

The series sits on the foundation of western religious symbolism, reworked for Yoshino’s purpose with a particular fascination with women’s (or more particularly, Mary’s) breasts. yeah. I’m often interested in the reworking of religious symbolism, but that particular fascination with Mary just goes a bit too far. He could have cut that bit out completely.

There is a potential underlining story under all of this “stuff”, but it is so weighted down by Yoshino’s ideas, in an attempt at combining all of his ideas into one comic, that it is lost.

The art is fair. I did like the character design of the blond-haired Russian, Sasha. The one bleeding eye was a clever reference of certain icons. But, overall, it wasn’t impressive.

If it wasn’t obvious by now, you can be sure that I didn’t like this comic, and I definitely won’t recommend it to anyone, especially if you’re offended by fan service or belong to certain religious groups. This will be nothing but offensive to you.


Manga Review: Paradise Residence, vol. 1 / by Kosuke Fujishima

Paradise Residence Vol. 1Paradise Residence Vol. 1

by Kosuke Fujishima

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An a-typical seinen slice-of-life comedy about high school girls dorm residents. A-typical in that most of the jokes used in this book can be found in any comedy series about all-girls schools… But, they are all fun situations.

You may find this a bit frustrating if you’re looking for a “story”, or “character development”. This is complete situational comedy. Fujishima has taken his own stock characters, rebranded them, and thrown them into a relatively new location. It’s basically “You’re under arrest”, except the girls are students instead of cops. Each situation is resolved within a chapter making this an easy book to dip in and out of. Actually, you will probably enjoy this more if you take breaks between each chapter.

There are drawbacks to the episodic nature. It allows the author to publish works out of order, or to captalize on origin stories, compiling them at a later date. It appears that this has happened here, where some early situations are published later in the volume… a volume 0?

Art-wise, all I can really say is this is soooo Fujishima. This is not your typical art of modern manga. Especially not of manga featuring young girls whose target readership is men… Yes, there is some nudity (aka fan-service), but it serves a function as a mode for comedy and not so much for titillation. I’m usually put off by fan service, because it’s not targeted to me… this I didn’t mind so much.

Generally the character design is stark. Girls are drawn as girls with as realistic shapes as you can expect in comics. Rendering and shadowing is clean, but simple. And screen tone use is purposeful, but limited. The art still has the flavour of 90’s manga, which I really respond well to.

Overall. I enjoyed this title and would recommend it. If only to get a wider view of what manga is.

Manga Review: School Judgment: Gakkyu Hotei, vol. 1 / story by Nobuaki Enoki & art by Takeshi Obata

School Judgment, Vol. 1: Gakkyu HoteiSchool Judgment, Vol. 1: Gakkyu Hotei

by Nobuaki Enoki and Takeshi Obata

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am incredibly disappointed with the lolita element to this title. I get that there’s a whole genre,and some people “like” it, but it is completely out of place here. It was absolutely unnecessary and frankly very offensive. To use nudity and sexual attraction to young children (even in its minutest form) as comedic titillation (in a comic for children, no less), there is something wrong here! For that alone, I don’t recommend this title.

I thought that the story struggled to establish itself. It was a bit too extreme and obnoxious too quickly, and the main character too unlikeable. It didn’t help that his introduction to the series (as a genius arguer) was done through a barrage of nonsensical and poorly established argument. It was the argument of a whiny child… Which I guess he is. But, I believe he’s supposed to exhibit greater mental faculty which was just failed to be established from the first chapter.

However, after the pacing and scenario were fleshed out, I did begin to enjoy the title. But, I’m just not sure if I am willing to read more.

Obata’s art is the star of this title. His style is versatile; moving from the incredibly cute to the horrifyingly grotesque. But never too much of either, and always the right amount at the right time!