Lenni Reviews: “Crazy Food Truck” Vol. 1, by Rokurou Ogaki

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

A food truck owner named Gordon laments his lack of customers in the apocalyptic landscape around him. While changing locations, he finds a naked woman sleeping in the middle of the road. When he takes her in, an armed militia is hunting her down.

This is an interesting way to tell a post-apocalyptic story. Gordon’s a classic grumpy protagonist with a secret and Arisa is the one to come into his life to give him something to care about again. With humor and some cool action, this is a fun volume and is perfectly paced to make me want to the next one. 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Mao” Vol. 5, Rumiko Takahashi

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

More people from Mao’s past confront him in the present while Byoki is able to follow Nanoka to modern day.

This volume is bringing every one together so we almost have a complete backstory on what went down with Mao. Byoki clearly has some major keys to the puzzle but in the meantime, this volume has a fast pace and we get a lot of information. None of it feels like an info dump since the characters are so interesting and fun to experience on the page. I do wonder how the past and modern worlds will play into each other but we shall see. 4.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Ragna Crimson” Vol. 3, by Daiki Kobayashi

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

Ragna and Crimson are hunting Ultimatia, the Winged Monarch with Crimson giving strict orders to follow her plans but will Ragna’s powerful hatred for dragons ruin everything? Meanwhile, hunter Leonica takes up her sword again.

While I like this series and the characters, I’m kinda waiting for the point. Crimson’s chuckling and mustache twirling were intriguing before but I’d like it to start paying off. I just didn’t feel like we made any progress towards whatever Crimson’s penultimate goal is in this volume. It’s still entertaining with some great character moments to keep things lively but I’d like things to move forward. 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Mao” Vol 5, by Rumiko Takahashi

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

This volume dives into Mao’s past and the other people who trained with him to become exorcists, but after all these years, they should have been dead. We also get more information about Nanoka, who travels home with an unexpected and dangerous visitor.

This is a packed volume. So much happens and we get so much information but nothing feels rushed or crammed. Its perfectly paced to tell the story, move things forward, and still be exciting. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t go into too  much detail but I will say Byoki has some secrets and there’s something up with his connection to Mao. I can’t wait to see what happens next! 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Night Cry” by Borja González

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

Teresa runs a book store and when an interesting book crosses her path, she ends up summoning Laura, a demon who cannot leave until Teresa makes a wish. Too bad she can’t think of one.

For such a minimalistic art style, this book is pretty expressive; giving it all a dream-like, magical feel. There is a general malaise and unease in the story but the characters make things interesting and keep the pages turning. However, the ending killed me and I want more of this. Everything is so intriguing and mysterious but the cliffhanger ending leaves me unsatisfied. I hope this has a follow up! 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “I Am a Cat Barista” Vol. 1, by Hiro Maijima

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Instead of a traditional cat café, this manga has a supernatural café run by an actual cat.

If you remember way… WAAAAAYY back with Pet Shop of Horrors, this has the same vibe of the owner having the ability to give his patrons exactly what they need. But this series isn’t a horror, it’s a light, slice of life, soothing read with some fantasy elements. If you’re looking for something breezy and positive with some beautiful looking food, this is a great read.

The thirst trap of the anthropomorphic cat at the end was confusing, though… 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Home Sick Pilots, Vol. 1: Teenage Haunts” by Dan Watters, Caspar Wijngaard, Aditya Bidikar & Tom Muller

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

Ami and her friends have their own band called ‘Home Sick Pilots’ and in 1994 California, have dreams of getting out of their town to make it big. One night while hanging out, Ami gets the idea to play a gig at the local haunted house and they go to check it out only for Ami to disappear.

This has some cool concepts with the haunted house and the ghosts and how it all functions but it all feels disjointed and crazy. I don’t know if that was deliberate but, I found myself saying “Wait, what?” often. I like the art and the story is cool overall but it’s lacking something to really hook me. Not a bad read though. 3.2 out of 5.

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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: “Burn the Witch” Vol. 1, by Tite Kubo

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

Set in the same universe as Bleach, dragons and magic are real in Reverse London and the agents of the Wing Bind are the only people able to fight them. Noel and Ninny are witches and Wing Bind agents who battle dragons in secret. But they risk being exposed when Noel’s classmate, Balgo, is targeted by a dragon.

This volume has just the right balance of fantasy, humor, magic, and intrigue. Our audience stand-in, Balgo, is just goofy enough without getting annoying (yet, we’ll see how it goes) and Ninny’s high energy works well with Noel’s deadpan nature. I see potential in this and I hope there’s much more. While I haven’t read Bleach, I am familiar with the series and I wonder if this series will take a similar path. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Mao” Vol 1, by Rumiko Takahashi

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

Nanako is a seemingly normal high school girl being raised by her grandparents after her parents died in a tragic accident. One day while she walking, she goes through a portal and finds herself in Taisho era Japan (the 1920’s) and is able see auras and demons. Here, she meets Mao, an exorcist on a mission to kill the demon that cursed him.

This is classic Takahashi and I love it. There’s great lore and tons of it, fun fantasy, intrigue, cool characters, and a mystery that will keep you coming back. I look forward to more after a strong start to this fantasy series. 4.9 out of 5.

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