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Lenni Reviews: “Smokin’ Parade” vol 1 by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou

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Youkou lives in a world where if a person gets cybernetic limb transplants, they run a risk of turning into a mindless killer called a Spider as a possible side effect. He has spent most of his time caring for his sister, who lost both her legs, and he learns the hard way how bad such a transformation can be. When his sister goes insane, a group calling themselves the Jackalopes come to save him.

I learned after reading this that Kataoka is the creator of Deadman Wonderland, which explains the creepy-cute and gory style. Our main villain, Kurama, seems over the top for me right now. GIANT breasts, bathing in human viscera… She might as well have “I’m Evil” tattooed on her massive chest. If gore isn’t your thing, you will not like this manga but so far I do like the characters and I want to know more about how the limbs are making people insane. 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Lady Mechanika: La Dama de la Muerte” by Joe Benitez and M. M. Chen

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated Mature for violence.

In this steampunk world, Lady Mechanika travels to a village called Santa Catrina and happens to arrive just in time for the Dia de Los Muertos festival. But when the Demon Riders come to the village demanding their tithe, Mechnika mounds up to stop them.

This story is my first experience with Lady Mechanika and despite it being super dark (there’s a high body count) Mechanika is an awesome character. The cynic in me says this entire side story is just an excuse to put the character in Day of the Dead makeup, however, I am totally ok with it because the art is fucking amazing! Spectacular line and color work, dynamic layouts; dear gods half the panels could be posters!

The story itself is pretty standard: a small village with robbers and such but it is so damn gorgeous, you don’t mind seeing it all again. A near perfect read, I give this a 4 out of 5 because there are some plot points dropped here that require reading the main series.

The release date for this book is currently September 26th, 2017.

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Lenni Reviews: “Happiness” vol 5 by Shuzo Oshimi

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Yuuki has left a trail of bodies in his wake and despite Nora’s best efforts, both she and Makoto are captured. Yukiko is still desperately searching for answers with Sakurane.

By the end of this volume, ten years have gone by and the only character we are certain is still alive is Yukiko; which is fine by me since she is my favorite.

I do have to take a moment to talk about the art in this volume. I’m also in the midst of reading Ajin and Tokyo Ghoul so when we get to the obligatory ‘experiment on the creature’ scene in Happiness, I love the different route of making the images trippy, twisted, and distorted. It’s exactly the sort of art I’ve come to adore from Oshimi. It’s very creative and creepy because we know that distortion is Makoto’s pain. Excellent. 4.7 out of 5.

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Kal-Elle Monthly: “Peter Pan”

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  • Peter Pan and Wendy necklace
  • Neverland Charm bracelet
  • Thimble earrings.
  • Peter Pan coffee cup
  • Peter Pan magnet
  • 2 4×6 art prints
  • Wendy Darling inspired nail polish

This month’s crate was really hyped up and it was worth the wait. The nail color is this ethereal blue, the jewelry is lovely, the mug is awesome. I wouldn’t mind other cups or mugs from this box in the future (maybe one of those BPA free water bottles?).

I am happy with all of this and with the added mug, this is a good value. Any sort of dishes with a Disney character on them can be expensive. And the design is classy. Peter Pan isn’t a fandom I’ve ever been more than passively interested in but this is some nice stuff! Keep knocking it out of the park, Kal-Elle!

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Lenni Reviews: “Conflict Management” by Rachel White

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

*This review is cross-posted at Otakus and Geeks.

When Morgan’s boss, Lawrence, makes a pass at him one too many time, Morgan tells him he will sue Law if he doesn’t knock it off. Law obliges and Morgan can finally have normal workdays. That is until Law’s brother ends up in the hospital after a suicide attempt, Morgan learns his boss is more than just a former creeper. As they get more friendly, Law’s pet project – a merger with another company – has major problems and Morgan may have to be the whistle blower that costs Law his job.

Morgan and Law are so delightfully awkward, I found myself identifying with them right away. White doesn’t make her characters overly perfect or overly evil; as evidenced my Morgan’s ill-fated relationship with Harvey and the way Law’s brother Christopher’s schizophrenia is handled. Racism and mental illness can be tricky to include without being preachy or over-exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness. The realistic way the characters are presented made reading through this book enjoyable.

Since the romance takes its time, this is not a book peppered with sex scenes. The focus is more on Morgan and Law’s feelings for each other and how the mess going on in the company impacts their professional and private relationships. The smut IS there so this book earns its 18+ status.

My only real gripe would be with Morgan’s roommate, Anita. She’s the only character who came off cartoonish to me. Luckily she isn’t as distracting as a character like that can get. She says her spiel then the plot resumes.

Without blithering on further, I enjoyed the premise and the slow burn romance. I give it a solid 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Britannia” by Peter Milligan, Juan Jose Ryp, Frankie D’Armata

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated mature for violence

After losing his mind, Antonius Axia had his mind rebuilt by the Vestal Virgins who gifted him with fantastic deductive abilities. So when the sons of Rome’s elite are found gruesomely murdered and the Vestal Virgins are suspected of the crimes, their Chief Vestal Rubria calls upon Detectioner Antonius to solve the mystery before Emperor Nero has the Vestal Virgins killed. At the same time, a captivating female gladiator named Achilla is close to winning her freedom by dominating in the coliseum and she knows something about what people now believe is a curse on Rome.

Despite feeling rushed, this wasn’t a bad read. I liked the mystery, the setting is impressive, and the characters are fun but I don’t feel all those things don’t get enough time to develop and become more memorable. Nero has issues with Rubira, Achillia has history with some rich guy, Antonius is estranged from his son then suddenly not anymore… All of this flies by so fast, it’s difficult to get invested. The art is amazing to look at but I think this should have been longer. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Batman The Dark Knight: Master Race” by Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert, Klaus Jansen, and Brad Anderson

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*This comic was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated Mature for violence

*This review is cross-posted at Otakus and Geeks

This collection continues Frank Miller’s Dark Knight saga with Batman dead after the defeat of Lex Luthor. Superman is on ice and Wonder Woman has returned to Themyscira. But when a cult of insane Kryptonians lead by Quar attack the Earth and demand humanity worship them as gods, who will rise up and stop them?

This is set in a not far future where our heroes have children. Frank Miller’s signature gritty, dark, and scratchy style is in full glory and perfectly sets the tone for what is a rather dismal look at the future of the heroes we know and love.

The writing and art are expertly done and I love the nostalgic feeling the art gives me I get since I read Dark Knight years ago. There are mini comics, which are interesting supplements to the main story but aren’t necessary and I found myself skipping them on my first read through so I could get back to the main plot. Compelling, entertaining, but depressing, I give this a 4.9 out of 5 since it was a downer. A great way to end this series, though. The release date for this book is September 19th, 2017.

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Lenni Reviews: “Higurashi: When They Cry” vol 26 by Ryukishi07 and Karin Suzuragi

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Oh, you thought this story was over? Apparently not…

Rika has an accident and wakes up in an alternate timeline where there is no Hinamizawa Syndrome and the dam project was approved so the town will become a lake. Her friends are now virtual strangers and her parents are still alive. Rika must find the secret in this world and destroy it so she can get back to her preferred fragment.

This feels like a What If story rather than something that fits in with the overall story. It is an interesting way to see how the characters would have been different if they didn’t have to go through all the terrible things they did in the main story. Rika’s choice boils down to who’s happiness is more important; her own or her friends in that alternate world. This volume got a little preachy but not enough to put me off or derail the story. For what it is, it’s a decent diversion. But can this series be done now, please? 3.5 out of 5.

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July’s J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Loot Crate: Defence Against the Dark Arts

  • Piertotum Locomotor Bookends
  • Severus Snap wand pen
  • Dumbledore’s Army journal
  • Counter Curse shirt
  • Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring Pin

They must be listening to my suggestions in the surveys because YAY! They sent a journal and a cool pen. Those seem like must have items for a box themed around Harry Potter.

It is also fortuitous that I got some bookends. I’ve been needing some but could never quite find ones that suited me. And they have some weight to them; they are not cheap plastic ones (which I will break…) so they will likely be able to stand up to those huge (pretentious) classic literature books I keep around because I’m an English geek.

The design of the t-shirt reminds me of Bioshock in art style. Fine be me, those games are amazing. I have noticed the fabric of the shirts; they are very soft and comfortable. A lot of shirts can be stiff but these are comfortable enough to sleep in.

As for the pin, I think it will go amazingly well with the scarves I’ve gotten from previous crates. I love how the stuff I’m getting is slowly building a nerdy wardrobe. Those scarves, the dress and purse, all the jewelry I’m getting from Kal-Elle, and all of it even fit for me to wear to work! I absolutely love it.

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July Loot Crate: Animation

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  • Rick figure flipping the bird
  • Bob’s Burger’s pin
  • Slurm can cozies from Futurama
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt
  • Bob’s Burgers Burgher of the day recipes

I don’t have a photo of it (mostly because I usually don’t care about the box) but this month came with a nifty display side for the burger recipes.

On that note; THIS BOX CAME WITH RECIPES! 😀 I only recently got into Bob’s Burgers (I was watching it while I was in the hospital) so I think that’s a super cool item. Not as cool as that shirt because I’m a shameless nostalgic fangirl for the original TMNT cartoon.

As for the Rick figure… Is it bad that I expected WORSE than just a middle finger behind that huge red bar? I thought he’d be dual wielding dildos or something. From what little I’ve seen of the show; flipping someone off is the LEAST Rick has done. It’s a nice figure and reminded me that I do need to give that series another try but only after I’m done with Bob’s Burgers and Black Mirror.

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