Lenni Reviews: “Sensor” by Junji Ito

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

Kyoko Byakuya comes across a strange village almost as if it was calling to her. The Kiyokami village is covered in what they call heavenly hair or Amagami; which seems to have mystical properties. Made from volcanic glass, these hairs allow the villagers a type of cosmic sight but also herald dark and terrible events.

This was… Strange. Usually, I’m on board with Ito’s signature weirdness – which this is chock full of – but something about this story feels unfocused and incomplete. This is one of the first offerings from this author that I will say I would pass on it if you’re not a huge fan of the creator. It’s ok but nowhere near other Ito works I’ve read. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Fist of the North Star” Vol 1 by Buronson & Tetsuo Hara

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

Ken wanders the post apocalyptic landscape in the year 199X, facing vicious marauders and desperate survivors.

Yup. Shun me. I’ve never read this manga or seen the original anime. So, now that this classic has been reprinted, I decided to check it out. And I am not disappointed. This is classic 90’s and feels nostalgic even though this is new to me. I’m glad I finally got around to reading this. It’s action packed, well drawn, and compelling to read. If you’re a fan or new to this series like me, I encourage you to check this out. 4.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Gray” by Arvind Ethan David, Eugenia Koumaki, Diana Greenhalgh & Joana LaFuente

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

Detective Hank Wutan is investigating a series of violent robberies of bankers by a pair of women. As he gets closer, he discovers it all connects to a mysterious woman who appears to not have aged in decades.

I can see some readers being put off by the politics or triggered by the sensitive subject matters so trigger warning if you are anti-choice or don’t want to read about sexual assault, female circumcision, gun violence, drugs, or spousal abuse, I suggest you skip this one.

If you’re still with me, this book is very in your face about all the above subjects but I didn’t mind since I found the overall story interesting. I would like to know what the endgame is for all of this, how the next installment (this ends on a cliffhanger) plays out, and how this connects to Oscar Wilde. 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Bad Boys, Happy Home” Vol. 1, by SHOOWA & Hiromasa Okujima

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

Akamatsu has energy to burn off so he picks fights with random people at the local park. One day, he comes across Kanzaki; who proceeds to kick his ass. Repeatedly. When it becomes clear to Akamatsu that Kanzaki is living in the park, he offers Kanzaki a place to stay until he finds his own place. 

I like this duo. Both of them are brash and standoffish; keeping their feelings bottled up and expressing themselves through fighting rather than talking. They have good chemistry together and while this is clearly a set up for a relationship of sorts and has some smexy times, this volume has just the right amount of humor to make me want to keep up with the series. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol. 13, by Paru Itagaki

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

After being arrested, Legoshi is no longer allowed to attend school. He finds a job in a noodle shop and is visited by his grandfather Gosha; a Komodo Dragon. There is also a new drug on the streets and Gosha has history with the current Beastar.

In this volume, we are also introduced to The Marines; water animals with even their own separate language and culture. Legoshi lives in the same apartment as a spotted seal who is trying to learn more about land animals. To be honest, I’d never given any thought to marine life. Incorporating them is cool and I like how Itagaki is using the fact Legoshi now lives on his own to introduce all these new concepts and characters. Legoshi’s neighbors are a trip. I love watching them interact and play off one another. And of course Legoshi is still the type to want to be a hero so he runs afoul of those drug dealers. I hope he never changes. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Asadora!” Vol. 3, by Naoki Urasawa

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

Asadora meets a scientist who is studying large creatures like the one that caused such destruction when she was a child. The Japanese government wants her help as the Olympics will be held in Japan and they don’t want some monster causing trouble.

Asa is the glue that holds this all together. She’s just a great character and grounding force in what looks like is amping up to some craziness. I’d bet there’s gonna be some giant monster battles but I think I’m going to stop expecting things with this series and just go along for the ride because it’s cool! 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Forget Me Not” by Alix Garin

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

As her grandmother’s health deteriorates; Clemence realizes how miserable she is in the nursing home so, she decides to take her grandmother on an unauthorized road trip to her grandmother’s childhood home.

Oof… This hit in all the feels. It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking, beautifully drawn, and covers a wide range of topics and emotions. It’s hard to watch a loved one go through memory lose and have the cared for and caregiver roles reverse. This book is so emotional but amazing from beginning to end. 4.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Call of the Night” Vol. 2, by Kotoyama

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

Ko is still roaming about at night and feeding his vampire friend, Nazuna in hopes of eventually being turned into a vampire himself. When a schoolmate of his, Akira Asai, also happens upon Nazuna, she makes Ko give more thought into his mission to fall in love so he can become a vampire. We also learn how Nazuna makes her money; as a professional cuddler.

For me it makes total sense for Nazuna to be a professional cuddler. She’s a go with the flow type person so it makes sense she would have a job where she can make money on her own terms without set hours and her clients wouldn’t want people to know they see her. And we also get to meet one of her clients; who has much the same feelings about being out at night and just being able to be alone with your thoughts. I like that Nazuna being a vampire isn’t really the main focus; it’s the freedom of being out at night with out the pressures of the day. It’s interesting. 3.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Something is Killing the Children” Vol. 1, by James Tynion IV, Werther Dell’Edera & Miguel Muerto

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In Archer’s Peak children are going missing; never to be seen again. One boy who escaped tells tales of horrible monsters living in the shadows. A mysterious woman covered in blood seems to know these creatures and is prepared to do battle with them despite the adults believing the children are lying.

The main character, Erica Slaughter, could easily slip into the mysterious tough gal stereotype but she’s got enough personality to set her apart – even if her name is a little on the nose. This is a gory, action packed story with all the great trappings a series like this needs: badass hunter, evil creatures, and a shadow organization lurking about with their own agenda. This was cool to read and I look forward to the next one. 4.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Ice Cream Man Volume 5: Other Confections” by W. Maxwell Prince, Martín Morazzo & Chris O’Halloran

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This volume dips it’s toes into a range of stories from a parody of superheroes, how to be a ghost, and features the Ice Cream Man reading a bedtime story to children.

The series is still suitably creepy and twisted but where previously we were getting hints of what the Ice Cream Man is, that just stops in favor of these short scary stories. I was excited for that reveal but I suppose keeping us in the dark is part of the suspense and fear. I still would like more of a follow through instead of just continuing with the short story format. 3.7 out of 5.

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