Lenni Reviews: “How Do We Relationship?” Vol. 2 by Tamifull

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is recommended for mature readers.

Miwa is trying to become more confident not only in her relationship but in telling others she’s gay while Saeko is struggling with her own jealousy. While they grapple with their feelings, a guy named Kan joins the band club too and starts fishing around in their relationship and hates Miwa for some reason.

We also get a little backstory on their friend Usshi who doesn’t feel like it’s possible to get a boyfriend. It’s enjoyable save for Kan, who is seriously creepy and I hope he doesn’t hurt our main characters. I do want to see what happens next, though. And again, this is mature but not overly explicit. 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “How Do We Relationship?” Vol. 1 by Tamifull

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

Miwa is an introverted college student that has trouble making friends or finding a girlfriend. When she meets an outgoing and out of the closet Saeko they become fast friends but Saeko suggests they date each other. They join the music club together but Miwa is scared to come out to any of them.

They are both so cute together as they figure things out. Miwa had never been in a relationship before so Saeko has to be patient with her. And this isn’t very graphic; focusing more on our main characters’ emotions. The art is soft and expressive, perfect for these two as they grow closer. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Manga Yokai Stories: Ghostly Tales from Japan” by Sean Michael Wilson, Lafcadio Hearn, Inko Ai Takita

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*This is a collection of stories based on the work of Lafcadio Hearn who  moved to Japan in 1890 and married a Japanese woman, Setsu. He not only collected stories from her, but many folktales from villagers he met.

The art is really simple but gets the point across. It also reads really fast since some of the stories are so short; like a book of fairy tales you’d get for your kid. They don’t stick in your mind for very long but I can see this being very re-readable. 3.8 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Remina” by Junji Ito

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

Set in future Japan, a new planet is discovered and the scientist names the planet after his daughter, Remina. While uncomfortable being in the spotlight, Remina slowly accepts her newfound fame. But the tide turns against her when it’s revealed planet Remina is moving closer to Earth.

I remember this story from one of Ito’s previous collections I’ve read. This edition is really nice, though.

Much like the planet bearing her name, Remina just sort of drifts along without much agency of her own. As everyone around her descends into homicidal chaos, one would think she would say or do… Something? Other than crying and apologizing for being a bother?

Anyway, this is a story highlighting the worst of humanity as it’s railing against it’s certain destruction. The art is classic Ito greatness but the story didn’t grab me. Remina is just so blah and everyone around her is either dead or terrible for most of the book. It’s more dull and hopeless than scary. 2.9 out of 5 for me.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Unknown” by Anna Sommer

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is recommended for mature readers.

This graphic novel tells the story of Helen, who finds a baby in her clothing store dressing room as well as Vicky, who is having an affair with one of her teachers. Their very different lives converge in unexpected ways.

This is a strange little book. It never does quite what you expect and is about as random and twisting as real life can be sometimes. Helen is a bit of a ditz but she’s sweet and Vicky is clearly a young woman with some issues to work through before she really grows up. It’s alright but kind of a spark that fades away fast. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Dollhouse Family” by Mike Carey, Peter Gross, Vince Locke & Chris Peter

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Through generations of a family, a dollhouse with mysterious powers manipulates people right up to six year old Alice. She receives the house from an estranged aunt and voices inside help her deal with her rapidly degrading family life. But Alice resists the promises of the house as it is clear even as she grows to adulthood, the house has sinister intentions.

Basically this is a Lovecraftian story of how a curse follows a family for generations until Alice fights to end it. I love the creature designs and I was hooked watching Alice grow up. The backstory with the family is revealed in-between Alice growing up and the time jumps were a little jarring, I’ll admit. But you get used to them as you read.  I hope there’s a sequel to this because it is clearly set up for one. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Crow: Lethe” by Tim Seeley, Ilias Kyriazis, Katrina Mae Hao, Samuel Murray, Meredith Laxton & Will Cook

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In this comic, we get two stories continuing The Crow mythos.  The first is Null Narcos, a sideshow performer with no memory of who he is. The second is the story of Brandi, getting revenge on those who murdered her and her father.

If The Crow was to be continued, I like the idea of showcasing different people in the role. I am one of the few who enjoyed The Crow: City of Angels but the tv show was a disaster. I don’t think anything can capture the magic of the original (which I’d bet money would never get made today… The 90’s were a special time) but the stories in this are good and the art style suits each story and their completely different tones. If you’re curious to see what other writers would do with this property, I’d give it a shot. It’s short but decent. 3.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Daphne Byrne” by Laura Marks & Kelley Jones

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

Still mourning the loss of her father, fourteen year old Daphne Byrne doesn’t get along with her rich classmates and sees things others don’t. While her mother continues to see a charlatan medium in a desperate attempt to contact her deceased husband, Daphne’s visions get stronger and even talk back to her.

While the creature design is fantastically horrifying, some of the panels with the human characters are wonky. I get what the shadows are trying to convey in terms of emotion but the end result is blobby and unfinished. Thankfully, this isn’t a lot of the book. The rest of the art is perfect for a Victorian horror. And Daphne’s story is cool but I wanted more. I want to know where her abilities are coming from and the demon world clearly connected to her. I do hope a sequel is in the works for this one. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Basketful of Heads” by Joe Hill, Leomacs, Riccardo La Bella, Dave Stewart & Deron Bennett

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June Branch has a carefree life with her police officer boyfriend Liam, on Brody Island, just enjoying the last days of summer. But when come escaped convicts come to the small town, she uses a strange Viking axe to defend herself. But the heads severed by the weapon don’t stop talking.

While I thought this was fun and clever and I could totally see this as a Tales From the Crypt episode or horror movie short, I (spoilers, I guess) found it almost comical how many assholes are surrounding June. I liked the plot and June is a badass character that I really rooted for; her journey is what makes this book entertaining rather than the bad guys surrounding her. If you’re looking for a gory horror comedy with a kick ass female lead, I say check this out. 4.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Prey of Gods” by Nicky Drayden

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

Set in a futuristic South Africa where everyone has a personal robot and designer drugs are a frequent past time; we have a seemingly unconnected cast of characters slowly drawn into what could be a cataclysmic series of events.

I really can’t say too much more about the plot without spoiling the experience of how a young man named Muzi, his layabout friend, Elkin, a nail technician named Sydney, a superstar singer named Riya, a politician named Sydney, and a young girl named Nomvula are all connected to the end of the human race. You just need to read this. It’s ruthlessly creative, character-driven, thrilling, and almost perfect except for some aspects of the ending I didn’t like; which I won’t spoil. I loved it and highly recommend it if you’d like some futuristic sci-fi in a unique setting. 5 out of 5 and I hope there is more to come.

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