Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Manga: The Royal Tutor 8

The Royal Tutor Vol 8
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Kai makes a friend at school and invites him over to the palace for tea. He asks his brothers for help in making conversation, but is that really such a good idea...? Then it's a battle of wits when Heine joins the princes (and princess!) for a game in the courtyard. After all the time they've now spent under his tutelage, can the students finally overcome the master? 

Well...things have definitely gotten interesting this volume! The Princes threw down the gauntlet to their older brother, Eins, last volume and we're seeing a continuation of them working hard and pushing themselves because of that. 

Leonhards had a bit of a rough ride being mocked last volume and struggling, so it was nice to see him shine at fencing and get praised and just generally have his confidence boosted. Until Maximilian  that is...although it was nice to see more of him too! He and Ludwig are always lurking in the background and I do love it when they interact with the Princes! 

We get a new character this volume, Elmer, who's Kai's first friend! I honestly felt just as proud as the palace staff at this development. The new volume starts off with some entertaining chapters before digging in for the serious stuff in the final two. 

It was a matter of time before someone found out about Licht, let's be honest, and we see one of his brothers become suspicious about his activities. Not to mention Eins and Rosenberg showing up to stick their noses in too. 

I'm really intrigued by Licht and how his story arc is going to go, he's had his eyes opened to the way things can be and he's looking at different options he can have and different things to aspire to be, and he's actually having a little bit of a crisis this volume. Not to mention he clashes with one of his brothers. He goes on quite the journey of self discovery, basically. 

The part that had me screaming was the final page, because of course Rosenberg as to show up, shady AF like "let me help you my dude, one less person in the way for Eins". We all know Rosenberg helping Licht will not end well at all, and we're left on that cliffhanger. 

The plot is moving forward with the Princes determined to challenge Eins, and working out what exactly it is that they want for themselves and their futures in some cases. We also get to examine the Princes and their feelings in more detail, and they've all come such a long way since the first volume, and think about things more. This volume is obviously focused on Licht though, it's pretty natural that he's the first to really think about his options for the future when he's been exposed to a different way of life! 

Monday, 13 August 2018

Manga: Akame Ga Kill 15

Akame Ga Kill Vol 15 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

The battle for the Empire rages on, with huge losses on all sides. While the Emperor's monstrous Supreme Teigu pummels Tatsumi-and anyone else unfortunate enough to be in its path-Esdeath makes her final stand against Akame and the Revolutionary Army's last regiment of teigu wielders. Terrible sacrifices have been made to give Night Raid this chance, and more will be demanded before the battle is through. With the hopes of the people resting on Night Raid's shoulders, the future of the Empire will be decided in the final volume of Akame ga KILL! 

This is it folks, it's finally here....the FINAL volume of Akame ga Kill, and it's hugely chunky! There's even some special illustrations, and honestly it's been a long road with this one and considering how the anime ended...I knew things would end differently in the manga..but I wasn't sure what was going to happen! 

This volume picks up right when we left off. The Emperor has gone full psycho and honestly, I never liked the kid. I thought he was a total idiot but I didn't think he was fully capable of what he's done. Kurome however, has surprised me pleasantly this volume with her little speech to Wave, she's changed quite a bit, and I really cheered for him because I'm so here for the Tatsumi/Wave team up! 

I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through as one by one, each of the bad guys was taken down and  have never been more satisfied with a characters death as I was with the death of Minister Honest. He came to a brutal, bloody and well deserved end and I loved it. 

Honesty this volume is action packed right up until the last chapter, with brilliantly drawn fight scenes and there's still a few twists left to keep us on our toes. The death scenes are brutally and gruesomely drawn, but you can't say the characters didn't have it coming. Well...the bad ones anyway. There's a few character deaths I was hoping we could avoid but nope. The one thing I will say, is that while there's fewer character deaths than the anime, there's still barely any of our group left, and some of them do hurt a little bit. 

I enjoyed the way the series was wrapped up, we find out what happened to the characters after everything went down, and how the Empire ended up and it was actually a really satisfying end. 

Volume 15 is a wild ride of a final volume, I laughed. I cheered. And I even choked up a little bit at what happened to some of my favourite characters. 

Friday, 10 August 2018

Manga: Wake Up Sleeping Beauty 5

Wake Up Sleeping Beauty Vol 5
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Every moment spent with friends who care has gradually brought Shizu Karasawa out of her shell. So when her father plots to isolate her in a hospital, Tetsu has no choice but to take Shizu and run. With no place left to go, the two head to the beach where Tetsu's maternal grandfather runs a lodge. But Tetsu's rash decision dredges up a former tragedy that could tear his family apart, and even drive Shizu away... When the Karasawa family's fraught relationships catch up to her, a surprising enemy may become Shizu's most-needed advocate. 
After the events of last volume, Tetsu and Shizu have run away to the beach, or specifically to Tetsu's grandfather and his B&B. This volume has a really nice pace to it, and I actually thought it was kind of an emotional volume too. Shizu and her mother have a lot of issues that they deal with in this one, and Tetsu and his family deal with theirs. There's also a mind blowing, yet heartbreaking reveal about Tetsu's mother. I feel like I should have seen it coming! 
After some intriguing flashbacks I kind of get where Shizu's father is coming from...but it doesn't make his actions any less wrong. I'm hoping we'll see him sort himself out next volume. With this volume it seems we're steaming towards a happy ever after for our two main characters, with issues being resolved left, right and centre. Although it seems things with the ghosts will be resolved pretty soon too, and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that. 

Manga: School of Horns

School of Horns Vol 1
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

In a world where horns are the defining trait of magic beings, larger horns mean more powerful magic! Eru, a freshman at a school for magic, is self-conscious about how tiny his horns are compared to those of his new classmates -- Not only is his magic so weak it is barely noticeable, but things have a habit of going awry when he is around. He is the complete opposite of Rihito, one of the top students of their grade with exceptionally strong magic...who is Eru's roommate!? And already seems to hate him!? 
With their continued encounters, will Eru continue to discover just how inferior his strength is? Or maybe, he just might find some power of his own... 
I had to pick this series up you guys, I had to. It sounded so fun and I couldn't resist the art! The colour pages are totally gorgeous and the character designs and pastel colour palette are equally so.  
The magic system was intriguing, with different horns having different powers, and I was fascinated by the world of the book and how it all works! I'm still eager to learn more about it and explore it and the powers a bit more! We have such an interesting bunch of characters too!
 I have to say, I felt so bad for our main character Eru, with his little baby horns! As for Rihito....why so mean dude? He's like Grumpy Cat when it comes to Eru, and he takes everything so seriously! In contrast, Mone is cute and she's going to be a much needed friend to Eru! Reo was equally as cute, and was bright and cheery and offset grouchy Rihito nicely. He also happens to be a twin, and he's quite positive about Eru and mildly supportive like Mone. Then we have Noin who's power is alchemy and he's the quiet and mysterious one of the group. The characters come together brilliantly, and provide a fun cast, and plenty of intriguing and humorous interactions. 
We do have that one not nice character though...Haruto. He has a few issues, shall we say. I don't particularly like him. 
I have to say, I got some serious Harry Potter vibes from this. The school reminded me of Hogwarts, there's four different horn types and you get a different power for each one (heart, space, diamond and club), plus Haruto was a little bit like the Malfoy to Eru's Harry! 
School of Horns is a lot of fun, it made me laugh, cackle, and it's hugely entertaining with the world to get to know and all the ins and outs of it, plus the characters that populate it who are quite the eclectic bunch. This first volume introduces us to the world, the characters and how everything works with a brilliant pace because once we're adjusted to the school and Rihito's loosened up a bit, we get thrown an interesting mystery that heralds the arrival of the Bad Guy. It's successfully caught my interest and piqued my curiosity about it, and I'm actually quite excited about this one!

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Manga: Kiss Me At The Stroke of Midnight 6

Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight Vol 6
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Hinana prizes her reputation as a serious high school student, too focused on getting into college to pay attention to boys. But she's a secret fairytale romance freak, sneaking away from her studies to see A Roman Holiday and tucking pop idol magazines into her textbooks. When her celebrity crush comes to her school to film a TV episode, she has to pretend to be totally uninterested even as she desperately tries to get close to him. However, she's not the only one who's not what she appears... her dreamboat isn't just a pretty face either! 
I'm not going to lie...I was anticipating a lot of drama being wreaked by Shū but in actual fact that little plot thread is wrapped up pretty swiftly at the beginning of this volume, after the two girls spend some time together. I can't decide if I'm disappointed about that or not. But I did end up actually quite liking Shū and the fact she's on Kaede's side could come in handy because his ex bandmate Mitsuki isn't going to let things go. 
As Mitsuki tries to make Kaede's life miserable once again, we get more hints and clues as to what happened as we see more of Kaede's past with Funny Bone. At this point the mystery is kind of driving me crazy and I'm not sure what to expect, but they dropped a pretty big bomb to do with it. 
We also see a somewhat different side to Ayami this volume...which was interesting. So far we've seen Kaede and Hinana's relationship start, build up and develop over the course of the series as well as being tested, and now it looks like we're about to get the story behind Funny Bone and Kaede's falling out. Seriously...Kaede's all ready to spill everything at the end of this volume and then it's like "lol see you next volume", which is completely unfair, leaving us hanging like that!

Manga: Akame Ga Kill Zero 7

Akame Ga Kill Zero Vol 7
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Mera's carefully guided tour of the Empire has opened Akame's eyes to the suffering of its people. However, the Oarburghs' loose alleigance to whoever pays them is an even less-palatable philosophy than that of the Rebel Army. Up until now, Akame has resisted Mera's advances--professional and intimate--but with her captor's patience running thin and her sword out of reach, Akame will have to rely on a whole new set of skills if she wants to survive! 

I think it's safe to say Akame's eyes have been opened to the Empire now, but that doesn't mean she wants to hang about with Mera so she's still hellbent on escape. The Oarburgh's basically work for whoever has the money, unlike the Rebel Army, so despite what Mera says and has shown her...they aren't the best people either. 

This volume see's this particularly story arc moving forward as it's finally time for the others to break out Akame and Kurome....who are perfectly willing and capable of escaping themselves. Akame is totally ready to go up against Mera too! As is usual with this spin off, we see some familiar faces which is always fun! Especially now the main series has come to an end!

With an excellent pace, Vol 7 builds up the tension throughout until the battle finally kicks off. Akame herself kind of...evolves as an assassin. She watches Mera, puts her full trust in her instincts that she honed, and her thoughts, beliefs and mental state in general are changing. 

While the volume starts with tension and builds it up, the remaining chapters are full of action and really intense battles. Despite the fact that you know Akame basically can't die in this series, there are plenty of other characters who can so it still has you on the edge of your seat. We all know this author isn't shy about killing characters off brutally. I'm really loving putting all the pieces together, and seeing what exactly happened to make Akame turn, and when she started to turn. We're also starting to see glimpses of the Akame we know from the main series! 

Things are really starting to good, after the events of this volume...it's going to be interesting to see what Akame is going to do next! 

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