Phase 1: Nightmare – Preludio
Yashiro Mai is just your average office worker—that is until she receives a video game console in the mail and is forced to play a game called ‘nightmare’. Participation refusal results in the death of your loved ones. Real world body parts cease functioning as a penalty for in-game deaths.
I thought it would be a boring sort of manga as gambling it’s not something I’m personally interested in. However, the gambles taking place at Hyakkaou Private Academy are not ordinary. You might loose your status and be subjected to cruel bullying, or you might just have your nails ripped out in some sadistic bet against a rich schoolmate. What is interesting about this manga is not just the absurd and sometimes inhumane bets but the opponents themselves. They have all gone through extremes in order to cheat, even to the point of piercing their own hands to keep the trick going.
The manga is titled Kakegurui or Compulsive Gambler for a reason as the main focus of attention, Yumeko Jabami is an impulsive gambler. Sharp and astute, she relies on pure intelligence and madness to win. When she first transferred, she was challenged by Mary Saotome as tradition. She was to become a house pet which is the title used for those who loose in gambling and can not pay back their debt.
The manga revolves around gambling but the games are always changing and so are the rules. The women in this manga go from cute and attractive to downright frightening, often reduced to sobs or rage. Yumeko rarely looses her nerve and unlike her opponents, she relies on pure tactic and luck, and the thought of loosing a considerable sum or even remaining fingerless for the rest of her life is exciting for her. Perhaps, the most dangerous person the main character encounters is Yumeko herself who is shown not only to be an astute gambler, but also sadistic.
This manga falls under psychological, shounen, drama and school life. The art is detailed. The women are well endowed and there are plenty of panty shots but that’s just fan service. The focus is the game and how much a person is willing to risk and loose.
This is an ongoing manga but this was my first impression based on what I’ve seen so far.
I was browsing through the horror manga collection and I came across this little gem. It’s an adult malexmale (yaoi) web toon called Killing Stalking Manhwa.
Our main characters are Sangwoo And Yoon Bum. There is blood, adult scenes, violence and gore. There is plenty of psychological abuse and horror.
Yoon Bum is an awkward, obsessive stalker but fortunately Sangwoo is no better.
The manga starts out pretty tense, with Yoon Bum, our main stalker attempting to break into Sangwoo’s apartment. Yoon Bum tries a combination each day, and by now he has a few patterns figured out. What he finds inside, however, is not the precious Sangwoo he knows or thinks he knows. [Read more…] about Killing Stalking Manhwa – First Impressions
My late manga recommendation this Monday is Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii otherwise known as ‘ The World is Still Beautiful.’ This manga falls under shoujo but I’ve throughoutly enjoyed myself. You must first get past the fact that the main character’s (17/18?) love partner is an 11/15 year old boy king. Though awkward at first, this manga will make you see the world they live in. King Livius, does not see with the eyes of a child. Bloodshed was required to rise to the top and become king of the world. Princess Nike comes to meet her fiancée under demanding but interesting circumstances. King Livius I. wishes a wife that can summon the rain. Nike Lemerchier is chosen for the task after she looses in an official matters-resolving rock, paper, and scissors game. She is packed and sent to the sun kingdom where she is denied entry to the palace because not only does she look like a beggar but she beats up four guards.
The pair starts up on a rough patch as king Livius is cold, dry and arrogant toward his wife to be. Princess Nike in return fights back as she refuses to be bossed around by a child. Thus, their strange but endearing adventures take place.
Additional Notes based on things I enjoyed about this manga:
There’s just something touching about the way Nike summons the rain. She needs to understand the desires, the suffering, and the beauty of the world. Often times when she sings, the citizens of the country feel that intense and powerful sentiment she conveys through song. Her compassion and regard for other people is what usually lands her in trouble. Nike is straightforward, persistent, kind and honest. She is brash as a princess and doesn’t measure her words.
Contrary to her, King Livius is dark. Witty and charming but harsh at times, possessive and jealous and cruel as a ruler in order to ensure peace. Princess Nike begins to melt that darkness away but there are times when it still shows. Often times King Livius doesn’t punish offenders by decapitation or other torture methods not because he can’t or feels sorry for the offenders but due to princess Nike’s interference. Aside from evident elements of war, he is a respectful and supportive companion. He deeply cares for his wife’s to be opinion of him and becomes heavily unstable when Nike isn’t beside him.
The children in this manga (not all) do not behave like real world children. Although they are young, they have a very heavy burdens on their shoulders, responsibilities and arranged marriages. One wrong word or action could mean war between nations. Although we’ve forgotten, this is history. This was exactly how children from royalty were (aside from the magic aspects of the manga.)
Let’s discuss the magic aspects of the manga. Rain summoners have been talked about since ancient times. What is known as a /witch/ could easily have been a woman that specialized in medicinal herbs that were unknown at the time but useful in curing certain ailments. At times, the manga does an awesome job at demystifying certain legends or beliefs.
I’m not exactly certain which era it represents because modern day terms such as ‘otaku’ at times are used yet they lack technology such as cellphones. That’s the beauty of manga, however, it doesn’t have to be historically/politically correct or even make sense.
The art style is simple but non-awkward. It’s not tainted by weird shadows or complex inking, but it also doesn’t fall into the flat/ stick figure category either. If something is visually unappealing, sometimes it’s difficult to get into the story at all.
This manga has kept me interested since the day I picked it up, I have not been able to put it down. It is still ongoing but within 2-3 days, I’ve devoured all the chapters!
Note: I have just started watching the anime and so far it is rather enjoyable!