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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Lenni Reviews: “No. 5” Vol. 1, by Taiyo Matsumoto

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

Post apocalypse, humans created a race of super humans and called them The Peace Corps Commanders. One has gone rogue and needs to be hunted down.

Reading this is like trying to remember parts of different dreams you had the night before. I kept turning the pages thinking “I’m sure this will all come together and make sense soon” but I read this twice and all I can tell you is that there’s things that happened. I like the art butI don’t get it. I like to think I’m smart and can interpret well but this is just madness. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Levius/est” Vol. 8, by Haruhisa Nakata

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

As the battle between Levius and Oliver continues, Levius pushes not only his body but his sanity to the brink in order to attain victory.

I’m a bit baffled. So far, I’d felt the steam and arms were mechanical and scientific in nature and now there’s mystical elements to it. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’m still rooting for Levius and the fight scenes had me hooked but demon steam? Uh, sure. Why not? I’ve seen nuttier things in manga. 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Ragna Crimson” Vol. 2, by Daiki Kobayashi

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Now that Ragna has paired with Crimson, they begin their mission to destroy all the dragons starting with Tempest Cell; a dragon that uses a tornado as a weapon.

In addition to Tempest Cell, we meet the first seat of the dragons; Ultimatia. Her and Crimson are pretty damn unnerving to me but that’s a plus, not a minus for the volume. It’s all just the right amount of crazy for me. The pacing is fast and seeing as how there’s just 9 volumes released, I am so curious as to where this will go. It’s certainly atypical for this genre but I like it. 4 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: “Ragna Crimson” Vol. 1, by Daiki Kobayashi

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Ragina wants to be a better dragon hunter in order to protect his friend, Leonica. Leonica is a master level dragon hunter; at only 12 she is the most respected and feared in the country. While others may mock her for keeping a ‘weakling’ like Ragina around, she’s more than happy to have him around. But when a new threat nearly kills Ragina and puts Leonica in danger, Ragina makes a dangerous choice with his newfound abilities.

There are some interesting time travel elements to this that I did not expect. In fact, there’s a lot done with this premise that I didn’t expect and it was a pleasant surprise! I’ve been looking for a new high fantasy manga to read and this is a great start to a series. It has some humor, great action, and an interesting twist. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol. 11, by Paru Itagaki

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

I trust this isn’t spoilers for you at this point so, in this volume, Legoshi and Riz have their final showdown and Legoshi will have to pray the training he’s been though will help him stand up to a bear twice his size.

I like the way this panned out. It makes sense given the personalities and characters involved in all this mess. I also have to assume it’s not spoilery to say, it’s about damn TIME the police got involved. A student was murdered and eaten! I’m shocked Legoshi didn’t have regular run ins with a police investigation in progress. That would have made for some interesting conflict… But, as is, this was good. Great art in the fight scenes and even in battle, Legoshi is his goofy self. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol. 9 by Paru Itagaki

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

While this volume starts with the mundane Winter Performance for the Drama Club. But the real meat (no pun intended) of this volume is Legoshi finding out who killed Tem WAY back in volume 1. Which, honestly, I thought they forgot about.

Somehow, I expected the reveal of Tem’s murderer to take longer and be a big battle but I respect how this volume handled it. It makes sense that Legoshi would have to train hard to face a killer and since his side gig helping Dr. Gohin is making him stronger, it makes sense that he would have to keep doing that in order to get his skills up. It also makes sense that Legoshi’s little side job would land him in Louis’ path. It was great to see them interact again.

Juno also got some focus with her bonding with Haru for a bit of girl time. And I need to perhaps spoil a bit here when I flat out rejoice in the discarding of the generic “mean girl” trope and they come to terms. It’s so refreshing.

Yet again, I love this series and I can’t wait for more. 5 out of 5.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol. 8 by Paru Itagaki

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

Vowing to protect his friends and fellow students, Legoshi has Gohin train him to control his desire for meat. Meanwhile, Louis wants to cut ties with school and his father and in his mob dealings, he meets an herbivore stripper named Cosmo. The final story features Sheila, a predator who is tired of being used as a social media prop for herbivores wants a real friend.

I keep ending these volumes wanting more. One day, I’m sure the omnibus editions will fly off the shelves. Haru pops in to remind us how adorable she is, Legoshi is on his way to being a cute but badass wolf, and Sheila’s shopping trip with a sheep names Peach is sweet and genuine. I hope the series keeps on getting better in the future. 5 out of 5.

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