Lenni Reviews: “Smokin’ Parade” Vol. 4 by Jinsei Kataoka & Kazuma Kondou

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Midari has been captured by a kid she once saved and Youkou is determined to flush out the Spiders to save his sister.

This volume, once the fight is over, is about getting the appropriate pieces into play. And it does it well! There’s just a LOT happening all at once, switching from one story to another then another, so it’s paced strangely. It’s good but it felt scattershot. There’s all this drama and gory mess surrounding Midari and of course the angst with Youkou and his sister… Finding a way to summarize it all without spoiling some twists (because YIKES, there’s some twisted shit in this volume) has made my summary pretty gosh darn short. I like this series and the fights are drawn amazingly well but this volume, like I said, feels confused. 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “No Guns Life” Vol 5 by Tasuku Karasuma

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

In a vicious battle with Victor, Juzo’s dark past comes to light and we learn who Mary’s brother really is and what he’s been working on while he’s been missing. Meanwhile an old “friend” of Juzo’s returns along with Tetsuro, who was just let go from his captivity with no explanation.

This volume is really juicy. A lot is revealed, there’s some treachery afoot, another gun head is running around, and we get some really interesting Extended designs and abilities. All these twists and turns are written really well. It keeps the stakes high, the action interesting and clear, and the characters are diverse and entertaining. There’s very little in the way of fluff and there are enough funny moments to keep the overall story from being too bleak and depressing. This is a great series. 5 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “No Guns Life” Vol 4 by Tasuku Karasuma

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

Juzo is hired to guard a young girl named Rosa who hates Extended because she believes one is responsible for her parent’s deaths. She believes she is haunted by a ghost but what Juzo and Mary uncover puts them in the cross-hairs of the Spitzbergen – the anti-Extended terrorist organization that currently has Tetsuro in their clutches.

Ok, gonna spoil a bit of plot here but I have to say this: Victor is fucking nightmare fuel. Very creepy character design there. So far, this has been the first volume I had to sit and read in one sitting with no breaks. It’s fast paced and heavy on plot twists while still keeping up the action. I also really enjoy how Juzo isn’t afraid to be silly sometimes. Very cool. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Review: “No Gun’s Life” Vol 3 by Tasuku Karasuma

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

With Tetsuro and Mary still in custody and Chief Olivia forced to step down, Juzo battles the fugitive, Gondray, and uncovers a conspiracy hiding the truth about a ten year-old massacre. Juzo’s meds are fading, his control is slipping, and famous hero Armed Sai isn’t about to let the truth be known.

I am loving this world. If you need some good techie sci-fi along the lines of Battle Angel Alita, this manga fits the bill perfectly. It’s got me hooked. I love to see the different types of Extended and how such a technological marvel is used in so many different ways. I am most curious about the anti-Extended group lurking in the background and what their ultimate goal is because, to me, they seem unfocused. But it’s only the third volume. There’s time to build them up. 4.6 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “No Guns Life” Vol 2 by Tasuku Karasuma

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

With the Beruhren Corp choking his resources, Juzo is running out of ways to protect the boy Tetsuro on his own. The Extended Management Squad comes calling for a favor to bring in the first non-compliant Extended, Gondry; a violent murderer on a rampage.

This volume has a better pace for it’s world-building than the first. Because a rogue soldier is on a killing spree, we get some insight as to how the military used – or perhaps misused – the Extended in the great war and after it. Staying focused on Juzo and his task, we get an action-packed adventure. Also, if you want some cheesecake, Chief Olivia provides it in spades. She may be fan service, but she’s a good character on top of that; very strong and capable so I like her. 4.7 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “No Guns Life” Vol 1 by Tasuku Karasuma

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Ex-soldier Juzo Inui, who has no memories of the war or what compelled him to have his body augmented to have a gun for a head, works as a Resolver for other cyborgs like him called the Extended. When another Extended shows up in his office with an unconscious boy, Juzo runs afoul of the Beruhren Corporation who is performing strange experiments in order to control the Extended.

This is a highly creative tech-noir but it throws a LOT at you all at once while it’s building its world. We do have some great characters with interesting designs, our titular evil corporation and conspiracies, a terrorist group, and a hard-boiled protagonist with an unknown past. Couple the great story with some great art for the Extended and you’ve got yourself a great read. 4 out of 5.

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