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Lenni Reviews: “Higurashi: When They Cry” vol 22 by Ryukishi07 and Karin Suzuragi

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Miyoko Tanashi loses her parents in a tragic train accident and she’s dumped in a terrible orphanage where the children are starved, beaten, tortured, or even killed. Vowing to escape, Miyoko longs to return to a house filled with love like it was with her parents, but may end up with a fate worse than death.

The summary on the back of the volume doesn’t do this volume justice. It doesn’t stop at Miyoko’s childhood but carries all the way through her life until she becomes Nurse Takano and the ruthless researcher of the Hinamizawa Syndrome.

This volume also confirms the presence of a parasite unique to the Hinamizawa area which causes the victims to have psychotic breaks. And Miyo isn’t out to cure anyone, she just wants to become a god. Completely reasonable, of course. /sarcasm.

Now, that more parts to the puzzle are coming together, it’s making much more sense and is more entertaining. These seem pretty reliant on the violence against children now, which is bothersome but if you can get through that, the mystery behind the syndrome is interesting.  4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Higurashi: When They Cry” vol 21 by Ryukishi07 and Hinase Momoyama

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The day of Rika’s murder dawns and Rika makes one final desperate move: confessing the truth about the Hinamizawa Syndrome to her friends. So they all band together to help Rika survive the night.

Despite how much it pissed me off to see how long it took for the kids to save Satoko from her abusive uncle; it did build the sort of friendship between them all that resulted in them rallying around Rika to help her despite what she says to them being pretty farfetched. Watching that relationship form and grow over the last two arcs has been the best part of this series so far. I’d get the next volume for that alone. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Higurashi: When They Cry” vol 20 by Ryukishi07 and Hinase Momoyama

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Keiichi is still trying to get someone to help save Satoko from her abusive uncle but the old grudge from the dam project still lingers, so the adults are ok with leaving this child in a dangerous situation in order to get in good with the government and keep getting funding.

Wow. I don’t even care if the kids managed to change the adult’s minds; they are assholes and fuck them. The village elders are worried about how Satoko’s dead parents opposed the dam project in the past so dealing with the family may give them a bad reputation but knowing a child is being abused and may die won’t ruin their reputation? Seriously? UGH!

Anyway, Rika is still trying to avoid her murder and it turns out (and I’ll try to be as spoiler free as I can) Rika ends up protecting someone who should have died since they want the Hinamizawa Syndrome to become a full on outbreak. As to why? We’ll find out in 21 I guess. I give this one a 3 out of 5 because saving a child from being abused shouldn’t take 200 pages to convince adults is the right thing to do.

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Lenni Reviews: “Tokyo Ghoul” vol 12 by Sui Ishida

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This review is spoilery!

The investigators are intent on clearing the 4th Ward no matter how many ‘doves’ they lost to the ghouls. An undefeated Special Investigator Arima leads the charge but the CCG is hiding human/ghoul experiments and puts Anteiku in their crosshairs.

Kaneki has changed a lost as a character and it was nice to have him dial it back from wanting to protect everyone alone and now he’s joining with his friends so they can be stronger together. With such an OP character like Arima coming for them, they’re gonna need every available pair of hands – or kagune -on deck so they don’t get slaughtered.

And well, shit! Rize is back! She’s not her usual sultry, smart-ass self but, she’s around. I’m betting she’ll have some kind of role in the upcoming battle. The timing is just too good to leave her on the sidelines. I give this volume a 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “MAD About Trump: A Brilliant Look at Our Brainless President” by Various

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

This is a collection of satirical cartoons about the election of 2016 and the president himself. In true MAD Magazine style, some are one page and some are several page long comics. Some jokes land, some jokes miss, and some are kinda gross – also MAD Magazine’s style – but humor can be very subjective. I personally wasn’t too keen on some of the art styles but that’s cause I didn’t find them pleasant to look at; not because they were poorly done.

If you’re an overly sensitive person and will trash this just because it’s making fun of Trump, feel free to skip this. MAD Magazine is not a publication for people who can’t take a joke and they to NOT hold back. I found that absolutely refreshing but others may not.

All the parodies are here; Beauty and the Beast, La La Land, Suicide Squad, Civil War, and while I may not have laughed out loud, I did chuckle at the cleverness of a lot of them and the publication as a whole is a welcome bit of levity among the absolute mess American politics has become. I’ll have to give it 2 or 3 more reads to catch all the little jokes (seriously, some of them are like those Highlights Magazine hidden picture pages but for adults) but I had fun reading this. 4 out of 5 for it’s unabashed and scathing honesty.

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Writing Update and Recovery Update

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Obviously, since I’m in recovery, I’ve been “blessed” with ample time to write. I have a short story that’s been giving me WAY more trouble than it should be and editing on Lost Brother to do. Other than trying to keep as active as I can (as the advice on this site said to do), there is no excuse not to do it.

I really am grateful for that recovery link because I was NOT informed to leave the steri-strips on my stitches until they come off on their own. Of course, I haven’t touched them but I did wonder what the heck I was supposed to do about them. Other than keeping the wounds dry and clean, I have not been messing with them.

It’s also good to know that there will still be some residual pain in my left shoulder as the air that’s left behind moves around and eventually goes away. For a second there, I was freaked out there was another hole and I’d have to go back.

I’m a week out from the surgery now and I’m back to some solid food. Ice cream and really soft pasta stayed down without any problems and I’m able to walk decent distances before I feel like my stitches are pulling.

To me, that’s the worst part of this; the helplessness. I’m so used to doing everything myself and being laid up and unable to walk at more than a snail’s pace, is KILLING ME.

And the itching. Gods, do the healing wounds ever itch.

Why am I posting about this? Well, there was a lot of information I had to dig out of forums and medical sites that I didn’t learn directly from the doctor or nurses. Of course recovering from surgeries like this is very individualistic but the things I find out may benefit someone else.

I will try not to be too gross about what I find out.

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Lenni’s Hospital Adventure

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If you’ve been on my Instagram, Facebook, or Tumblr; you may have noticed I’ve been in the hospital after emergency surgery. Here’s the full story.

After my workout on Sunday night, I started having epic stomach pains. I thought it was really bad gas at first but the pain got so bad that for a moment there, I really thought I was having a heart attack. The pain was shooting up and down my left side almost like being stabbed. Since I am too stubborn for my own good, I thought I’d just deal with the pain and if it still felt bad in the morning, I’d head to the doctor after work.

Monday morning I felt fine! I went to work but as the day went on the pain got worse and worse. It got to the point where I couldn’t walk upright, bend over, pick anything up… At one point I was balled up on the floor in a cold sweat. I hung in there till it was the end of my shift, drove my kid to the doctor to have her PPD checked and on the way to the pharmacy after, the pain got to the point where my child was helping me walk. She insisted I go to urgent care to get checked out. That little girl very likely saved my life.

Due to the extreme pain, I was transported to the emergency room. I was given an x-ray and the doctor said I had air in my abdomen under my diaphragm and I needed a CT scan to find out where the air was coming from. Turns out it was a perforated ulcer in my stomach and they were getting me into the operating room right away.

I had never had surgery before. I’ve had a few stitches, I sprained various things, and obviously, I’ve given birth. But I have NEVER been put under for anything so I was freaked out. The doctors were pretty shocked that before this I had never had any major stomach issues such as acid reflux or heartburn. When the doctor got in there, he saw the ulcers were caused by overuse of anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). Long story short, all those Advil I was popping burned a hole in my stomach.

They did the surgery laparoscopically, and I was in the hospital recovering until Friday afternoon. I’m at home now. I can’t lift anything, I’m still on a liquid diet, I’m not allowed to drive for two weeks, and I’m on prescription strength antacids. I have three healing wounds on my stomach (two from the surgery, one for the drain) that are itchy as hell and I have learned several painful lessons:

  • Easy on the Advil, you moron
  • If it hurts, go to the doctor, you moron
  • Getting healthy does not mean breaking your body, you moron

Those insults are intended for myself and I deserve them. I scared the crap out of a LOT of people because they know I’m the type to power through anything so if something lays me out, it’s serious.

I will be more careful in the future; less pain meds and I’ll voluntarily keep up with some antacids to let my stomach heal. And if you’re wondering how I kept posting while I was in the hospital; those were scheduled posts. They would have gone up, surgery or no.

Sadly, no running for me for at least a month. I had a virtual 5k that’s supposed to be done before the end of the month and if I’m feeling feisty, I’ll walk it. I really miss moving around and eating actual food.

I used to always joke that I could eat gravel and it wouldn’t upset my stomach. It appears that’s not the case.

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Lenni Reviews: “Heart in a Box” by Kelly Thompson and Meredith McClaren

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Recovering poorly from a bad breakup, Emma wishes away her heart to avoid dealing with the pain. She realizes without her heart, she can’t feel anything but it’s too late; her heart has been split into 7 pieces. The being she wished away her heart to can return one, but its up to her to find the remaining pieces and restore her heart.

I liked this story. It takes the story of a broken heart and healing from it to it’s literal extreme; searching for those missing parts through a life changing journey. Some of the stories are very sweet and Emma is a flawed but easily relatable character and the not-so-neat way things play out will touch your heart in a real way; even if its broken. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Higurashi: When They Cry” vol 19 by Ryukishi07 and Hinase Momoyama

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I’m gonna forgo the usual synopsis to say: HA!! I was right! All these different arcs were time loops and Rika is the only character currently aware of what’s going on. With her demon friend, Hanyu, using her ability to rewind time, Rika has been trying to solve her own murder. As a result, she has been trapped in the summer of 1983 for hundreds of years. Trying to solve the riddle, Rika has reasoned out three rules:

  • x: one person will succumb to paranoia that leads to murder
  • y: Tomitake and Takano are killed
  • z: everyone thinks the Sonozaki family is behind the murders

But Hanyu can’t keep up the time jumping forever as after all these years, Rika ends up closer and closer to the date of her death; leaving less time to try and solve the mystery.

As a whole, this volume is amazing. Seeing Rika do all she can to save her self and her friends is inspiring and it’s cool to see how characters make a come back from the previous arcs and how the memories from those arcs are creeping into this one. It makes the 18 volume slog to get here worth it. 4 out of 5.

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Loot Anime: “Unnatural”

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  • Noragami hat
  • Mob Psycho 100 shirt
  • Death Note mug
  • Parasyte manga
  • Poster & Phone Charm

I’m not gonna lie, the cup is super cool but I have so many now, I’d rather some other item. XD

Out of this whole box, Death Note is the only fandom I’m familiar with. I’ve seen a bit of Parasyte here and there, I’ve read Noragami, but I have no idea what Mob Psycho is. I’ll have to look into that…

Of course, I’ll review the manga and possibly get to watching the anime in the future. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it even if the stretchy art style gives me the creeps (blame Uzumaki for that).

I do think I’m getting less individual items lately; despite the items themselves being cool. It’s far from feeling like a rip-off, just leaving me wanting more.

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