Lenni Reviews: “Ima Koi: Now I’m in Love” Vol. 3, by Ayuko Hatta

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

Yagyu and Satomi are still happily dating and go to a couples event at the cultural festival at school. But Tatsukawa, another student, sets his sights on Satomi, making Yagyu jealous.

It’s looking like Tatsukawa is going to be a real threat to Yagyu and Satomi’s idyllic relationship. I did wonder if any conflict would come into the story or if we would just watch the couple be perfect and cute the entire time. That’s not bad but it could end up repetitive and boring. We’ll see how this new guy factors in. 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Look Back” by Tatsuki Fujimoto

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

Fujino loves to draw manga and since she makes comics for the school newspaper, she’s popular. By chance she meets another girl in town who also loves drawing named Kyomoto, who’s a shut-in who doesn’t have other friends. They team up to make a manga for a contest but as they develop as artists, their lives take different paths.

This is beautifully done; showing the way people’s lives naturally come together and grow apart. It’s compact with plenty and the emotions and the art allows the expressions tell so much more than just the words on the page. I do think the tragic event is… Abrupt. It threw me off. Such things can happen but it blindsided me, which was likely the point. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Elusive Samurai” Vol. 2, by Yūsei Matsui

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

Tokiyuki is hiding out in Suwa under Yorishige’s protection at a shrine. But when the shrine is hosting a dog shooting competition where one of Takauji’s vassals shows up to compete while searching for anyone from the Hojo clan that may be hiding at the shrine.

While I like the art style when people are fighting or talking, there are parts of this where the characters are super-deformed and I find them unintentionally terrifying. Other than that, this series is interesting. There’s some tonal whiplash between the silly parts where everyone is laughing and putting severed heads on display. We’ve got our colorful cast of characters with all these bombastic personalities that keeps it entertaining if not completely engrossing. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Crazy Food Truck” Vol. 2, by Rokurou Ogaki

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

Gordon and Arisa are still traveling the dry apocalyptic wastelands, following the trail of various ingredients to use in Gordon’s cooking. But a former subordinate of Gordon, Kyle, is sent to retrieve them and is paired with a young woman with abilities like Arisa’s named Myna. Myna also happens to be Arisa’s little sister.

I think it’s funny that this is part post apocalyptic adventure and part cooking tutorial. There’s a good balance of the food stuff and action so one doesn’t overpower the other or grinding the story to a halt to have a random cooking session. I can tell there’s a bigger story brewing but this volume is some good, goofy fun. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Queen of Snails: A Graphic Memoir” by Maureen Burdock

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. Trigger warning for child abuse.

After being forced to move from Germany to the American Midwest, Maureen feels alone with a hyper religious mother and distant grandmother. This graphic novel is the author looking back on her traumatic childhood.

I love the art; the subdued colors with mostly black and white drawings make for a soothing look despite the somber subject matter. Maureen’s past and how it influenced her upbringing is complicated and sad but it is beautifully expressed in this book. Everything about it radiates of someone trying to deal with the weight of those who came before her and the crap she had to deal with on your own. It can be hard to read but I found it was worth it. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Rooster Fighter” Vol. 1, by Shu Sakuratani & Syu Sakuratani

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

Lethal demons are plaguing humanity but a single rooster with impossible strength is on a mission to defeat them and avenge his sister.

First off, there’s more bird sex in this than I expected or really needed. Just… Why?

Other than that… This is certainly a thing that happened. And I mean that in the best way. It’s a silly premise that manages to work since it’s played straight. You have the classic ronin character traveling around killing demons due to a personal grudge only the ronin in question is a rooster. It’s wacky, absurd, and I kinda love it. What a great ride if you just let the crazy happen and have fun! 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Levius/est” Vol. 10, by Haruhisa Nakata

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

It’s Levius versus Arthur battle in an underground arena where the secrets behind MMA are exposed.

While the action is cool, I got confused when it came to the MMA and the heart and what the steam is. I was just coasting through the volume without much investment. When I have time, I may go back and start the series from the beginning and see if I change my mind but the ending left me feeling neutral about the whole thing. My lasting impression wasn’t deep enough for me to say much about it when it came to writing down my thoughts for a review. Not a bad series overall, though, 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead” Vol. 7, by Haro Aso & Kōtarō Takata

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

The group heads to Hokkaido but they run out of gas and decide to race (on foot) to the nearest gas station. They get chased by a horde to a hotel that’s staffed by robots and too good to be true.

I like how they’re stumbling through things off their list and having these misadventures. Zombie stories can get so angsty and sad so it’s nice to enjoy these characters as they try to survive and thrive through an apocalypse. This volume feels a little too light, like our characters aren’t in real peril but I’m okay with that. I’m still having fun reading it. 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “My Love Mix-Up!” Vol. 4, by Wataru Hinekure & Aruko

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

 Prepared for rejection, Aoki confesses to Ida but Ida accepts his feelings and they start dating. Aoki wants to keep it a secret but Ida doesn’t think they should and has no issues being honest with their friends and classmates. However, Ida isn’t very good at expressing how he feels to Aoki.

This is relentlessly cute. I’m enjoying watching the story just play out and it’s written well enough that I’m rooting for them. This is a fun little romance that’s clean, fun, and has low angst (so far). 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Liminal Zone” by Junji Ito

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

This manga is a collection of four short stories that are not connected to one another: Weeping Woman Way, Madonna,The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara, and Slumber. These are Ito in his classic, creepy, bonkers form. The art is haunting and I did find a chill running up my spine at some points yet baffled in others. Definitely an example for Ito fans to appreciate and much better than the last collection of his I read. The last two stories are the weakest out of the collection in my opinion but I still enjoyed this book. 4 out of 5.

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