Review: Anne of Green Gables (Manga Classics)

Title: Anne of Green Gables (Manga Classics)
Author: Crystal Chan, Kuma Chan (illustrator), L.M. Montgomery
Genre: Manga
Publisher: Manga Classics
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert were planning to adopt an orphaned boy to help out around their farm, Green Gables – instead, they got Anne Shirley. A plucky redheaded girl with a vibrant imagination, Anne turns first Green Gables and then the rest of Prince Edward Island on its ear. 

Manga Classics® is proud to be the only authorized manga adaption of Anne of Green Gables by the Heirs of L.M. Montgomery, with a foreword by Kate McDonald Butler – granddaughter of the original author! 

This volume presents a faithful recreation of this classic kids novel, from the Lake of Shining Waters to the Dryad’s Bubble!

Review:

Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert are adult siblings who wanted to adopt an orphaned boy to help around their house. When Matthew goes to pick up the boy, he finds a girl named Anne instead. They aren’t sure if they want to keep her, but they soon realize they can’t send Anne away. Anne’s imagination keeps them on their toes, but they eventually become a loving family.

I haven’t read Anne of Green Gables since I was a child. It’s a fun Canadian classic. Reading this as an adult, I appreciated Anne’s carefree attitude. There were a few scenes which seem absurd for a children’s book today. One of Marilla’s friend told Anne she was ugly when she first met her. Then Anne had to apologize when she snapped at the woman. I can’t imagine an adult being that rude to a child when they first meet them. There was another scene where Anne accidentally gets her friend drunk when she comes over for tea. This was a funny misunderstanding, but not appropriate for a modern children’s story.

One interesting part of this book was that it had a foreword from the granddaughter of L.M. Montgomery. Her heirs authorized this adaptation of the story, which makes it extra special. I’m glad that they appreciated the way this book has been adapted into a new form.

This is a great Anne of Green Gables adaptation!

Thank you Manga Classics for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Pride and Prejudice (Manga Classics) by Stacy King, Po Tse (artist), Jane Austen

Have you read Anne of Green Gables (Manga Classics)? What did you think of it?

Review: Fangirl, Vol. 1: The Manga

Title: Fangirl, Vol. 1: The Manga
Author: Sam Maggs, Rainbow Rowell, Gabi Nam (illustrator)
Genre: Manga, Young Adult
Publisher: VIZ Media
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: October 13, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The manga adaptation of the beloved novel by #1 Bestselling author Rainbow Rowell!
New York Journal of Books

Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, everybody is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath just can’t let go. Now that they’re in college, Cath must decide if she’s ready to start living her own life. But does she even want to if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Cath doesn’t need friends IRL. She has her twin sister, Wren, and she’s a popular fanfic writer in the Simon Snow community with thousands of fans online.  But now that she’s in college, Cath is completely outside of her comfort zone. There are suddenly all these new people in her life. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming boyfriend, a writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome new writing partner … And she’s barely heard from Wren all semester!

Review:

Cath writes fanfiction for her favourite fantasy series about Simon Snow. When she goes to university, she brings her favourite Simon Snow memorabilia. Her twin sister also started at the same university, but she wants them to have some distance and meet new people at school. Cath misses her sister and she lives with a grumpy roommate. Her roommate doesn’t understand her obsession with Simon Snow and has a boyfriend who is always around. Cath starts to feel settled in her writing classes when she gets a writing partner. Though Cath loves writing fanfiction, she soon finds out that that kind of story won’t work in her creative writing class.

I loved Fangirl when I read the novel a few years ago. Anyone who has been involved in any kind of fandom can relate to Cath’s obsession with Simon Snow. She uses her Simon Snow fanfiction as a way to express herself. She even has a fan base of her own, with thousands of people reading each of her chapter updates.

This is a great adaptation. At the end of the book, it said that it was part one of four, so I’m hoping there will be three more parts in this series. Since this was a manga adaptation of Fangirl, it was almost like a kind of fanfiction, even though it’s an official adaptation.

I really enjoyed this manga!

What to read next:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Have you read Fangirl, Vol. 1? What did you think of it?

Review: Spy x Family, Vol. 2

Title: Spy x Family, Vol. 2
Author: Tatsuya Endo
Genre: Manga
Publisher: VIZ Media
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

An action-packed comedy about a fake family that includes a spy, an assassin and a telepath!

Master spy Twilight is the best at what he does when it comes to going undercover on dangerous missions in the name of a better world. But when he receives the ultimate impossible assignment—get married and have a kid—he may finally be in over his head!

Twilight must infiltrate the prestigious Eden Academy to get close to his target Donovan Desmond, but does his daughter Anya even have the academic prowess to get in to the school? But perhaps the truly impossible mission is making sure Anya becomes a school scholar and befriends Donovan’s arrogant son, Damian!

Review:

Twilight is a master spy who has created a fake family to infiltrate an exclusive private school. Twilight’s daughter, a secret telepath, was sent to the private school so she can become friends with his target’s son. However, she has a big fight with the boy on the first day. This mission is much harder than Twilight expected.

This was another fun spy story in this series. This story jumped right into the action, since all of the characters were introduced in the first one. The story in this book seemed to have a faster pace than the first one, probably because the action began right on the first page.

Twilight’s daughter, Anya, was adorable. She can read people’s minds, but her parents don’t know that. Sometimes she would get overwhelmed by listening to her parents’ thoughts and their conflicting feelings. Though she had these complex thoughts, she was still just a little girl. When she got her new uniform she had to run around the park and show it off to everyone there. She was a sweet little character.

This is a great story. It ended with a cliffhanger, so I’m excited to see what happens next.

Thank you VIZ Media for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Komi Can’t Communicate by Tomohito Oda

Not Your Idol, Vol. 1 by Aoi Makino

Other books in the series:

Have you read Spy x Family, Vol. 2? What did you think of it?

Review: Not Your Idol, Vol. 2

Title: Not Your Idol, Vol. 2
Author: Aoi Makino
Genre: Manga
Publisher: Viz Media
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A psychological suspense series about a girl who has given up her life as an idol after being assaulted by a fan.

After that day, she stopped being a girl. In the wake of an assault, Nina Kamiyama, a former idol in the group Pure Club, shuns her femininity and starts dressing as a boy. At high school she keeps to herself, but fellow student Hikaru Horiuchi realizes who she is. What secrets is she keeping? The shocking drama starts.

“This is exactly why she got herself stabbed by a fan.”

Heartbroken Nina Kamiyama is a former idol. She’s decided to live her life by keeping her past identity a secret, but her situation intensifies when another discovers who she really is. Who can she trust?

Review:

Nina Kamiyama is a former pop idol, who left the group Pure Club after she was attacked by a fan. She disguised herself as a boy and started attending a regular high school. At the end of the last volume, someone threatened to reveal her identity. Her friend Hikaru had some photos of her in his bag, so Nina’s friends think he can’t be trusted. Another student at their school, Miku, is also threatened with someone sending her secret photos of her walking down the street. Miku doesn’t feel safe walking by herself, so she gets Hikaru to walk her home. However, he can’t protect her all the time.

This was an intense story. The themes of sexual assault were introduced in the first volume, but they became much more prominent in this volume. Nina is still recovering from the post traumatic stress of being attacked by a fan. Hikaru’s sister was sexually harassed by her teacher, but when she spoke up, she wasn’t taken seriously. Other students were randomly attacked as well, but they were shamed into keeping it a secret. This is a disturbing reality for many girls.

The sexual exploitation of girls was also an important part of the story. When Nina was in the pop group, Pure Club, they had to pose for lingerie photos to give out the male fans. They were young girls and it was extremely inappropriate to put them in these revealing outfits and positions. This has happened to many young female performers, and still happens today. These kinds of photos also make men think they have permission to do whatever they want to the young women. This story showed the aftermath of putting girls in these kinds of situations.

This is a great story!

Thank you Viz Media for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Idol Dreams, Vol. 1 by Arina Tanemura

Komi Can’t Communicate, Vol. 1 by Tomohito Oda

Other books in the series:

Have you read Not Your Idol, Vol. 2? What did you think of it?

Review: Komi Can’t Communicate, Vol. 2

Title: Komi Can’t Communicate, Vol. 2
Author: Tomohito Oda
Genre: Manga, Contemporary
Publisher: VIZ Media
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 13, 2009
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The journey to 100 friends begins with a single conversation.

Socially anxious high school student Shoko Komi’s greatest dream is to make some friends, but everyone at school mistakes her crippling social anxiety for cool reserve! With the whole student body keeping their distance and Komi unable to utter a single word, friendship might be forever beyond her reach.

It’s time for the national health exam at Itan High, and the excitement of eye exams and height measurements have fanned the flames of competition for the unremarkable Makeru Yadano. She’s determined to beat the class idol Komi in the health test, and Komi’s total obliviousness to their impassioned duel just feeds Makeru’s determination. As the epic battle heats up, how will Komi handle her first rival when she’s barely made her first friends?!

Review:

Komi is still on her quest to have 100 friends. She also still can’t communicate with others, so making new friends is a challenge. Komi is idolized by other students, such as Makeru who wants to “beat” Komi in the health exam at school. Along with her few friends, Komi goes outside of her comfort zone to meet new people and have new experiences.

Komi does a variety of things she’s never done before in this story. She goes to a ramen restaurant, where she faces the challenge of having to order her food without speaking. She also goes shopping for clothes, which she has never done before. Even though these outings were outside of Komi’s comfort zone, she was still open to trying new things.

It’s interesting to see how other people interpret Komi’s lack of communication. Most people thought Komi wouldn’t speak to them because she was entitled and popular. They didn’t realize that she can’t speak to them. Komi is actually extremely shy and can’t speak. She didn’t think she was better than everyone else, which is what they interpreted from her silence.

I enjoyed this manga!

What to read next:

Komi Can’t Communicate, Vol. 3 by Tomohito Oda

Not Your Idol, Vol. 1 by Aoi Makino

Have you read Komi Can’t Communicate, Vol. 2? What did you think of it?

Review: Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo

Title: Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo
Author: Stacy King, Alexandre Dumas
Genre: Manga
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 1, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A Conspiracy and a miscarriage of justice turn the gentle Edmond Dantès into an implacable agent of fate: The Count of Monte Cristo . Obsessed by vengeance and empowered by providence, the Count avenges himself on whose who have wronged him – but is this justice, or is this hubris? In the end, does even the Count know?

Alexandre Dumas’ skillful narrative combines intrigue, betrayal, and triumphant revenge into a powerful conflict between good and evil. Now this exciting saga, rich and diverse, takes on an entirely new life in this Manga Classics adaptation!

Review:

Edmond Dantès gets the exciting news that he will become captain of the ship he has been working on. When his adversaries find out, they make sure he will not be captain, and put him in jail. After being in prison for years, Edmond becomes friends with a fellow prisoner who gives Edmond his personal fortune. With this newfound wealth, Edmond reinvents himself as the Count of Monte Cristo. It takes a few years, but the Count devises a plan to bring justice down on all of the men who made him suffer.

I found it funny that the characters didn’t recognize Edmond as the Count. It had been years since they saw him and they assumed he had died, but I still think they would have recognized him. This created some dramatic irony, since the reader knows that he is Edmond, but most of the characters don’t recognize him.

I liked the illustrations in this manga. I find that sometimes the characters end up looking alike in some manga comics. Each character had a distinct style and looked different, so it was easy to tell them apart. I also found the story very easy to follow with the illustrations. The Count of Monte Cristo is a long novel that I’ve never read, but I could understand the story, and read it much quicker, in this format.

This is a great manga adaptation!

Thank you Udon Entertainment for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Manga Classics: Les Misérables by Stacy King, Victor Hugo

Manga Classics: Great Expectations by Stacy King, Charles Dickens

Have you read Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo? What did you think of it?

Review: Spy x Family, Vol. 1

Title: Spy x Family, Vol. 1
Author: Tatsuya Endo
Genre: Manga
Publisher: VIZ Media
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 2, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

An action-packed comedy about a fake family that includes a spy, an assassin and a telepath!

Master spy Twilight is the best at what he does when it comes to going undercover on dangerous missions in the name of a better world. But when he receives the ultimate impossible assignment—get married and have a kid—he may finally be in over his head! Not one to depend on others, Twilight has his work cut out for him procuring both a wife and a child for his mission to infiltrate an elite private school. What he doesn’t know is that the wife he’s chosen is an assassin and the child he’s adopted is a telepath!

Review:

Twilight is a master spy. His latest mission involves infiltrating an elite private school. However, he will need a family to do that. He knows the school will want him to have a wife, and a child to send to the school, but he is single. Twilight adopts a child from an orphanage. He doesn’t know her secret, that she’s a telepath. The woman he finds to act as his wife, Yor, is a secret assassin. Twilight has to train his new wife and child to get used to their new life, while they both have their own secret identities.

This was an intriguing plot. Twilight had an important mission, but he had to make some major changes to his life to complete it. It was kind of absurd that he needed a wife to be able to send his child to the school. It was even more suspenseful since the wife and child were hiding their secret identities from him as well.

There were some sexist parts of the story, which I didn’t like, but they were so extreme that they weren’t realistic. The idea that a man would need to have a wife to enroll his child in a school is crazy. Yor’s friends teased her for not having a boyfriend before she met Twilight. There were also some inappropriate questions that were asked during their private school interview about the mother and father’s roles in the household. I didn’t like these sexist parts of the story, but I don’t think they were meant to be offensive to the reader.

I’m curious to see what happens in the next book!

Thank you VIZ Media for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Spy x Family, Vol. 2 by Tatsuya Endo

Have you read Spy x Family, Vol. 1? What did you think of it?

Review: Not Your Idol, Vol. 1

Title: Not Your Idol, Vol. 1
Author: Aoi Makino
Genre: Young Adult, Manga
Publisher: VIZ Media
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 5, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A psychological suspense series about a girl who has given up her life as an idol after being assaulted by a fan.

After that day, she stopped being a girl. In the wake of an assault, Nina Kamiyama, a former idol in the group Pure Club, shuns her femininity and starts dressing as a boy. At high school she keeps to herself, but fellow student Hikaru Horiuchi realizes who she is. What secrets is she keeping? The shocking drama starts.

Review:

Nina Kamiyama was a pop star in a popular group. They did meet and greets with fans, but one day Nina was slashed by a male fan. She quit the group and cut her hair, then started attending a regular school. Soon after school begins, there are reports of an attacker near school. The girls are restricted on when they can go outside to try to prevent more attacks. A student is attacked, but she brushes off the incident. Meanwhile, a popular boy at school has discovered Nina’s secret, that she was in the pop group. She has to witness these sexist acts at school while dealing with her own trauma.

This story shows the double standard between boys and girls. The girls are told they aren’t allowed to do after school activities anymore because of an attack, rather than prevent attacks or catch perpetrator. The city even creates a special train car just for women, so that they won’t be attacked. Instead of protecting women by punishing the attackers, they isolate them and make them appear more afraid if they choose to use that train car.

The boys were sexist and inappropriate, but it was realistic. The boys asked why the girls wear short skirts if they don’t want attention, as if that’s the reason they were attacked. They said the girls should wear pants if they don’t want to be attacked. The response that girls are “asking for it” when they are attacked is insane. It’s a crazy explanation that needs to be changed in society.

The ending of this book was very exciting. I’m looking forward to reading the next one!

Thank you VIZ Media for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Komi Can’t Communicate, Vol. 1 by Tomohito Oda

Have you read Not Your Idol, Vol. 1? What did you think of it?

Review: Prince Freya, Vol. 1

Title: Prince Freya, Vol. 1
Author: Keiko Ishihara
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Manga
Publisher: VIZ Media
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

To save her kingdom, a simple village girl must live a royal lie.

The powerful kingdom of Sigurd has slowly been conquering all the lands that share its borders, and now it has turned its voracious attention to the small, resource-rich Tyr. Tyr cannot hope to match Sigurd in strength, so in order to survive, it must rely on the intelligence, skill and cunning of its prince and his loyal knights. But should their prince fall, so too shall Tyr…

Freya thinks of herself as a simple village girl, but her idyllic life is shattered when she is caught up in the aftermath of a treacherous Sigurdian plot. She bears a striking resemblance to her country’s beloved Prince Edvard, who lays dying from poison. Without its ruler, all of Tyr will quickly be engulfed by Sigurdian violence. Now Freya must take Prince Edvard’s place and lead his valiant knights in defending the realm!

Review:

Freya is a girl who lives in a small village with her sick mother. Her adoptive brothers work with the prince in the kingdom. They visit one day and Freya finds out that she is needed to impersonate the prince. Prince Edvard is dying and Freya looks exactly like him, so she has to become the prince. Freya has to leave her own life behind and transform into Prince Edvard.

This story was fast paced. I found that there was so much happening that it was difficult to process the information. Even the characters had to move along quickly to new changes, without really thinking about what happened. There were deaths and changes, like Freya becoming the prince, which they didn’t really have time to think about.

There wasn’t enough background on the story. I had so many questions about the world and the history of the characters that weren’t answered. We didn’t find out much about Prince Edvard and why they would need Freya, a country girl, to impersonate a prince who was dying. There wasn’t a reason that a young girl looked exactly like the prince, enough to be able to fool all of his friends. This background information wasn’t given, so I was left with a lot of questions about the story.

Freya was also an unlikeable character. She cried constantly. The other characters even told her to stop crying because people would guess that she wasn’t the prince. The way she was always crying and whining made me question again why she was chosen to impersonate the prince, since she didn’t behave like him at all.

This story was a little disappointing and cheesy. I don’t think I’ll be continue with this series.

Thank you VIZ Media for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Not Your Idol, Vol. 1 by Aoi Makino

Have you read Prince Freya, Vol. 1? What did you think of it?

Review: Komi Can’t Communicate, Vol. 1

Title: Komi Can’t Communicate, Vol. 1
Author: Tomohito Oda
Genre: Young Adult, Manga
Publisher: VIZ Media
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Timid Tadano is a total wallflower, and that’s just the way he likes it. But all that changes when he finds himself alone in a classroom on the first day of high school with the legendary Komi. He quickly realizes she isn’t aloof—she’s just super awkward. Now he’s made it his mission to help her on her quest to make 100 friends!

Review:

Tadano meets Komi when he starts attending an elite prep school. Komi is the most adored girl in school, but she can’t talk to others. Tadano makes an effort to try to communicate with Komi, and he learns that she wants to make friends. Her goal is to make 100 friends. Tadano helps introduce her to people and encourages her as she makes new friends.

This story had a unique school dynamic, with Komi being very popular but also socially awkward. Everyone at school adored her and thought she was the prettiest girl, yet they didn’t realize she couldn’t communicate with them. They all thought she was just too cool to talk to them, which elevated her status even higher. This was a unique way of showing how someone’s appearance may give off one feeling, yet inside they feel very uncomfortable.

This was a great manga graphic novel. I’m excited to read the rest of the series.

Thank you VIZ Media for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Komi Can’t Communicate, Vol. 2 by Tomohito Oda

My Hero Academia, Vol. 1 by Kohei Horikoshi

Have you read Komi Can’t Communicate, Vol. 1? What did you think of it?