i've been feeling deeply, awfully, and horribly under the weather recently, so absolutely nothing is getting done. i haven't finished my gift exchange art, i haven't started on commissions, and i am still (Still!) not done coding that layout. i lay in bed miserably with a headache, and then when i get up i eat food and miserably look for geoculous in genshin impact, and then i go lay back down. between doing all of that i open clip studio paint, stare at my work, and then i close clip studio paint. sometimes i also play splatoon. i'm actually doing pretty good in splatoon. it's hard to be miserable when you're a squid, and also a kid.
but what, you may ask, am i doing while i'm miserably laying in bed? i am reading manga, dear reader. specifically i am scrolling through the manga plus by shueisha website and consuming all their freely available manga like some sort of wretched beast. i read pretty quickly- it's my one talent. i'll go to the park and knock out a good six hundred page book in a couple of days, one day if i get Really into it and don't leave the park until 6 pm and then my parents get worried and start texting me but anyways i read books quick and i read manga quicker. so while i've been miserable in bed i've decided i will review some of the manga i've been reading for you all. as a treat. this isn't a christmas present though i'm muslim. it's an uh. actually we don't have any holidays going on right now. it's a fun lil treat for you guys.
1.) kabushiki gaisha magi lumiere/magilumiere co., ltd.
starting off with a bang, this manga is unreasonably good. it follows kana sakuragi, a young woman straight out of school who's looking for a job. but after a streak of bad luck in interviews, she suddenly finds herself employed as a magical girl in a small startup called magilumiere.
the art is firstly adorable. it's got a really cute rounded feel to it. the character designs are great, but my favorite has got to be shigemoto.
look at him. this is the ideal man. he's a gnc legend. he's got impecable fashion sense. he pays his workers well. the long hair. the ribbons. the eyebags. he knows every precure opening by heart. he's perfect.
other favorites include nikoyama the engineer and koshigaya, a senior magical girl. koshigaya especially always seems to have a lot of energy in her poses, and nikoyama's messy hair, big glasses, and deep eyebags is like bitch, me too. personality wise, the characters are all very charming in their own ways- i've already talked about how much i love shigemoto, but it's explained in his flashbacks that he wants to make the industry better and more efficient, as well as protecting magical girls and civilians from dangerous magic. nikoyama is able to put his obsessive love of detail and magic to good use in the company, finally receiving the positive feedback and constructive criticism he needs, rather than just criticism. sakuragi is also very endearing, and makes for a great main character. watching her grow in confidence over the course of the manga is an absolute treat. i find myself really excited to learn more about each new character, and how they got here. except for the ceo guy. fuck him.
i also really love the magical system in this. it's shown, not told- nikoyama and shigemoto are magical engineers, in that they create magic spells using their pcs, which is then sent to the magical girls through their brooms. it's this really interesting combination of technology and magic. in the latest chapters, they even show us one of the beasts they fight that's been captured onto a usb stick. there's also this cool theme of collaboration through technology- in the expo arc, they definitely would have failed if nikoyama didn't have the courage to ask for help. and that collaboration brings fame to magilumiere, and then they're able to bring the system they've been working on to the whole industry.
there is also of course a lot of criticism of capitalism, mostly manifested in the ceo guy who i mentioned earlier and one of the magical girls who works under him. he's a great villain, i can't wait for him to get his ass handed to him. seeing him not care about anything other than profit and treat others cruelly while keeping up that bored expression. i can't wait for him to eat shit.
this manga is fascinating. i can't wait for more chapters and i really hope more people get into it. i don't even have any criticisms, it's just great.
2.) kuchi ga saketemo kimi ni wa/even if you slit my mouth
following a decline in her powers, the urban legend of kuchisake-onna, the slit-mouth woman, is arranged to marry koichi, the child of a formerly powerful family who can keep her legend alive. miroku (her real name), however, would rather use her own strength, and so establishes a contract with him: if she can scare him once before their wedding, the engagement will be broken. if she fails to scare him however, they will get married. this is complicated by the fact that he's unscareable and also madly in love with her.
i do like the art style for the manga. it's got great line weight, and i've been taking screenshots of the hands for future art reference. however i wish they went a little harder on the horror aspects- it's just not scary enough. i want more body horror, goddamn it. if she's a scary urban legend she should be scary!! i don't want her to be a cute anime girl all the time!!
the romance is very cute but in a very generic way. miroku is very easily flustered, koichi proclaims his love frequently. there's a group of troublemaking friends, there's a younger brother that hates his older sister's love interest, there's some strange parents. honestly, i think it suffers from twilight syndrome, where i'm a lot more interested in some of the side characters than the main couple. uda and sayo's story, for example. the two of them are very sweet, and it's so heartwarming to see them grow old (kind of) together. the younger brother's story of his previous life actually made me cry a little. satoru and mary's story of trying to find her mother too. it's not that i don't like miroku and koichi, i'm just a little impatient for them to get to her backstory.
but it also has twilight syndrome in another way and that's the kind of weird age gap between miroku and koichi. miroku is, as all urban legends are, frozen at a certain age- it's never said, but in one chapter when buying a pass for an amusement park, the park worker gives her an adult pass. she has also been around since at least 1979, making her 43. koichi, on the other hand, is explictly 17 years old. it gives me very bad vibes. maybe it's just me, but i don't think marrying straight out of high school is a good idea. like i thought that mike, his cousin, was older than him, because they show her wedding, but then she shows up again and she's a high school student still. that's just weird to me. i don't like that.
it's fine, i guess, i just wish it was more. it feels like most conflicts get fixed in a few chapters, and the characters are fine, but i wish they were a little more intense. it's like the lack of the horror aspect in the art carries over to the writing. i wish it was scarier. that's all.
3.) chainsaw man
unfortunately everyone was right and this is really good
i want to like this series so goddamn bad. i love learning about obscure art forms and ikebana does interest me. and i like the protagonist liking flowers because of a flower themed gacha game franchise! bitch me too! i can't act like i haven't ever gotten into a craft because of fandom! do not ask me about the embroidery incident of summer 2020! the joy and passion of connection through loving the same thing is something that i am very familiar with and that i love deeply. i think the idea of essentially making fanart through ikebana is a really cool one. but at the same time, i feel myself becoming very bored with the tournament setup that the manga is going for. like i understand that they're doing battle manga but with flowers, and i am essentially doing the equivalent of being mad that there's food in the grocery story, but the idea of the tournament just seems so boring to me. i had also really hoped there would be more focus on the other girls in the club, rather than just the two main boys- this may be something that happens in later chapters, but i don't have much hope, honestly. i don't even remember the other girl's names other than bucho-san. hopefully this series will grow (ha) on me more.
so, overall, two Very Good manga, one Ok manga, and one Better Shape Up manga. as i write this, i'm feeling a little bit better- the worst of the illness is gone, and the worst thing i'm feeling is a stiff neck and a bit of a headache. much like modern streaming services, i think websites like manga plus or jump plus has become a place for the unconventional to flourish, with titles like chainsaw man or spyxfamily or magilumiere doing a lot better on there. they're not exactly titles that you would find in mainstream shounen jump, but they can reach a wider audience than they would in there. i especially hope magilumiere gets more love and attention- it's such a fantastic series with the love and joy that i feel has been missing from the magical girl genre recently.
anyways, see you next time? or something? how am i supposed to end these? they're just me rambling for a while and then leaving for two months...