Lenni Reviews: “Deserter: Junji Ito Story Collection” by Junji Ito

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

This is a collection of short stories by the horror manga super star, Junji Ito. These are Ito’s early work and you can tell the moment you look at it. The art isn’t as detailed and the stories – to completely date myself here – give me Tales from the Crypt vibes. People messing with or doing things they shouldn’t be doing and getting a comeuppance. It’s good for some quick and creepy tales but not as good as his later work. 3.5 out of 4.

But hey, if you wanna do a remake of Tales from the Crypt with Ito as the Crypt Keeper, I’d watch that. Or maybe not considering how Ito’s anime turned out. I didn’t enjoy that as much as his printed work.

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Today’s Workout: Quick Strength Training

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Not that I think I’ll ever develop six pack abs without having some kind of skin removal surgery; I’d like to have a smaller belly. I know cardio is best for fat burning but I’ve focused too much on straight up calorie burn in general and need to build up more muscle. Besides, I hear it’s not good to run every single day at my weight and age. It’s hard on the knees and I barely make enough money to make ends meet, much less be out of work and pay for knee replacements.

And given the issues I’m STILL having with my Saxenda prescription, I don’t trust my insurance company to do the right thing at all right now. I don’t blame my doctor but for some reason, the insurance company doesn’t think this weight loss drug should be prescribed for weight loss and keep asking for all this extra authorizations! I’m technically medically obese, that’s a diagnosis. This drug is to treat that diagnosis. There’s no reason other than to be petty to deny me this prescription and these games are fucking annoying.

I do see my doctor this month and I’m hoping that the around 20 pound weight loss since I started this will be some leverage to stop this nonsense.

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Lenni Reviews: “Fist of the North Star” Vol. 3, by Buronson & Tetsuo Hara

 

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

While we know Ken as a master of Hokuto Shinken, he is not the only one with some powerful martial arts skills. Rei, a master of Nanto Suichoken, is searching for his sister who has been kidnapped by a gang called the Fangs, and teams up with Ken to find her.

Despite a disappointing feeling regarding the few female characters for me to latch on to (I know that’s not the point of this series but still), Ken’s journey is dated but interesting. You can tell this is series is old and it may be some nostalgia creeping in but I’m enjoying this. I wonder what younger readers would think about this series. 4 out of 5.

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Today’s Workout: Week 2, Day 1

With my knee back to normal, I’m back to running! It felt great and in fact, 30 minutes felt too short. I’m glad, it would be so demoralizing to feel overwhelmed after running for so long. I did take breaks but I still should retain some of my endurance.

And you know I’m diggin’ the werewolf angle of this story. One of my most loved characters in my books is a werewolf so, I have a soft spot.

I’m hoping to get in all three runs this week and so some weights but with the round robin of random body aches, I slept on my arm wrong and it hurts. Seriously, this is stupid. I want a refund on my adulthood, please. I am severely dissatisfied with my experience.

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New Release! “Sanctuary”

This is the story I was working on for NaNoWriMo! It will be released on January 20th but if you want a preview, the first chapter (as well as an early cover reveal) is available to my patrons over on Patreon. This story is a clean lesbian romance where the focus is on Makayla and her desire to help younger witches in trouble. I had a lot of fun writing this one and I hope you will have fun reading it!

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Lenni Reviews: “Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead” Vol. 4, by Haro Aso, Kōtarō Takata

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

Akira is still working on his bucket list and in his travels to his parent’s home to check on them and meet some interesting characters on the way.

Ok, Beatrix is amazing and I wanna be her best friend. She’s a great addition to a cast that is a mix of action, humor, and drama. This volume has a great balance of those three and has some plot bunnies I hope are fully realized in later volumes. There wasn’t much here that dragged and I can see Beatrix getting on some people’s nerves but for now, I think she’s great! 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Komi Can’t Communicate” Vol. 16, by Tomohito Oda

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

In this volume, there is the Sports Festival and Cultural Festival. We also have some side stories with the parents but the main conflict here is Manbagi’s crush on Tadano and her realization Shoko has feelings for him, too.

I like that we have Shoko talking more. She’s still quiet but her progress is showing. This volume could have benefitted from putting the side stories either at the very end or the beginning. I found them to be an interruption from the main story instead of being a cute break and it messed with the flow. I still enjoyed it because this series is fantastic but this was something I noticed. 4.5 out of 5.

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Today’s Workout: Feeling Better

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I had to moderate the meditation over Zoom at work today and the way I clear my head is to workout. Since my knee was all messed up earlier this week, I figured the under desk peddler that I keep at work would be a nice, low stress, low impact way to see how my knee is fairing. I am happy to report that I got through the 30 minutes without so much as an ache! I’m going to wait till Monday to make sure I’m ready for the treadmill but I wanted some easy calories burned.

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Lenni Reviews: “Mao” Vol. 2, by Rumiko Takahashi

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

After the story of Priestess Shoko and her prediction of the end of the world, Nanoka is doing research on the accident that killed her parents and how it connects to the portal she is using to travel through space and time. She knows something isn’t quite right at home.

I can tell this is starting to get dark and I’m here for it. I know something up with those shakes she’s forced to drink and those powers she has. And not to be forgotten, Mao is dealing with not being able to heal as well but still has to fight some creepy blood drinking nun demon things so, I can’t wait to see how this affects his mission to defeat the demon that cursed him. I do wonder if this is going to get as dark as the Mermaid Saga or try to retain some lightheartedness as the series progresses. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol. 15, by Paru Itagaki

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

In this volume, while we do get some wholesome moments where Legoshi meets Haru’s parents, we also get to know Melon; a gazelle/leopard hybrid who is a gleeful poacher. Yaha wants Legoshi to help hunt Melon down.

We also meet Utsugi, a jackal who refuses to eat meat and uses alcholo (and Eyes Wide Shut type parties) to supress her desires for meat.

If you’re underage, don’t watch that movie…

It’s cute to see how Legoshi is still so innocent that the mask sex drug parties embarrass him. I adore how this series keeps enough of this innocence without him being overly naive. He’s aware how serious things are around him and is trying to still be himself; not walking around with blinders on thinking everything is sunshine and roses.

Oh, and spoiler alert… Spoiler…

Still a spoiler…

We get to meet Legoshi’s mom.

4.9 out of 5. Almost perfect but I wanted more of Melon and the threat he poses.

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