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?

Review: My Hero Academia, Vol. 1

Title: My Hero Academia, Vol. 1
Author: Kohei Horikoshi
Genre: Manga
Publisher: VIZ Media
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks” at age four? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?

Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn’t got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all, gives him a chance to change his destiny… 

Review:

I’ve seen this series around for a while, so I was excited when I saw it available on NetGalley. I loved this book!

In this world, there are many real superheroes. They each have a unique quirk, which they use to fight villains. If someone is going to have a quirk, they usually exhibit it by the age of four. Izuku has always wanted to be a superhero, but he doesn’t have any powers. When he meets one of the heroes, named All Might, he trains him to follow in his footsteps.

I love it when authors give some information on how they created their work. At the end of each chapter, there was a character profile, where the artist talked about how he created the character and what changes the character went through before publication. This was some great insight into his process. I also liked the page at the end of the book, which gave a shout out to the assistants who helped create the book. It was nice to see those people, who also worked hard on the book, get credit for their work.

I enjoyed this story. It moved along quickly, and was entertaining. I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this book. It lived up to the hype! I’m so glad I have many more volumes to read next!

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

What to read next:

My Hero Academia, Vol. 2 by Kohei Horikoshi

Have you read My Hero Academia, Vol. 1? What did you think of it?

Review: Manga Classics: Macbeth

Title: Manga Classics: Macbeth
Author: Stacy King, Crystal S. Chan, William Shakespeare, Julien Choy
Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: ebook
Release Date: September 1, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Macbeth, the Thane of Cawdor, is a loyal subject to Duncan, the King of Scotland. At least, he used to be. With tempting words and treacherous images, three witches and his own wife inspire Macbeth to a terrible act of treason and murder. As one murder follows another, Macbeth begins to lose his grip upon both his sanity and his hard-won kingdom – but what could possibly unseat him from his bloody throne?

Featuring lush visuals and the FULL, ORIGINAL TEXT

 of Shakespeare’s brutal Scottish tragedy, Macbeth is the second title in Manga Classics ‘ Shakespeare line, an unflinching version of this classic tale! 

Review:

I read Macbeth in high school many years ago. I don’t remember all the details of it, so I wanted to read this Manga Classic graphic novel as a refresher. It was a great adaptation.

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s madness was illustrated very well in this graphic novel. Macbeth start out as a fairly good, ambitious character. As he grows in status and kills people, he developed shadows on his face and aged a lot. I liked the way his madness changed his appearance.

I also liked the way the metaphors were illustrated in the pictures. There were many animal metaphors, including snakes and bears. When they were mentioned in dialogue, they were accompanied by an image of the animal. This reinforced the written text.

I love these Manga Classics! They are great adaptations of classic plays and novels!

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

What to read next:

Manga Classics: Romeo and Juliet by Stacy King, William Shakespeare

Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo by Stacy King, Alexandre Dumas

Have you read Manga Classics: Macbeth? What did you think of it?

Review: Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The Magic Within, Vol. 2

Title: Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The Magic Within, Vol. 2
Author: Tania del Rio
Genre: Young Adult, Manga
Publisher: Archie Comics
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The magic continues in SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH: THE MAGIC WITHIN!

Sabrina Spellman’s life is intense. On top of the usual stresses of being a teenager, she’s a witch! And that means two schools and twice the work, from her Mortal Realm high school and the Magic Realm’s Charm School.

It should be simpler. But in addition to a regular spelling bee, she has to study for a magical spell-ing bee. She’s finally dating her childhood Sweetheart—but he doesn’t know she’s a witch! She also has a crush on a cute young wizard—but he’s dating her best friend! On top of the drama, Sabrina keeps being dragged into the middle of strange and dangerous events in the Magic Realm. 

Written and illustrated by acclaimed artist Tania del Rio, THE MAGIC WITHIN 2 is the second collection of Archie’s critically praised American manga!

Review:

I love this series! It’s a lot of fun. It isn’t like the other Sabrina the Teenage Witch comics or shows I’ve watched before.

There are a lot of fantasy elements to the story. The magic realm plays an important part in the series. Sabrina and her friend discover that the Mana Tree is dying, which represents the life of their queen. They also travel under the sea to the world of merpeople. I love these fantasy elements of the story. Rather than seeing a witch in the real world, which is what the other series are usually about, we get to see the magical world that Sabrina comes from.

One part that I found surprising with this series is Harvey. I can’t stand him in these stories! He can’t make up his mind about liking Sabrina. He likes her, but once they get together, he changes his mind. I was rooting for her and Shinji to get together (even though he is dating her best friend).

I highly recommend this series for fans of Sabrina! It’s a refreshing look at the teenage witch!

What to read next:

Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The
Magic Within, Vol. 3 by Tania del Rio

Have you read Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The Magic Within, Vol. 3? What did you think of it?

Review: Romeo and Juliet (Manga Classics)

Title: Romeo and Juliet (Manga Classics)
Author: Stacy King, Crystal S. Chan, William Shakespeare
Genre: Manga
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A classic Shakespearean tragedy, Romeo and Juliet is the tale of two star-crossed young lovers who dare to defy their feuding families, put aside all obstacles, and find happiness together – but at a tremendous cost. This grimly beautiful tale, set in the Renaissance Italy, follows Romeo and Juliet from their hateful first meeting to their last.

Manga Classics ™ brings you this incredible new manga version of William Shakespeare’s most popular play, featuring the unaltered original text in its entirety!

Review:

I love the collection of Manga Classics! I was so excited about the Romeo and Juliet manga because it is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays.

I have fond memories of this play because my class performed it in grade 5. It was the first Shakespeare play I ever read. I can still remember parts of it off by heart.

This was a great adaptation of the play. My favourite part was Juliet’s nurse. She was such a funny and dramatic character. She would ramble on about things without getting to the point. Her character in this story was a large woman who screamed a lot. She was overly dramatic, which added a lot of humour to this tragic story.

This is a great adaptation of Romeo and Juliet!

What to read next:

Pride and Prejudice (Manga Classics) by Stacy King

The Scarlet Letter (Manga Classics) by Stacy King

Have you read Romeo and Juliet (Manga Classics)? What did you think of it?

Review: Battle Angel Alita Vol. 1

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Title: Battle Angel Alita Vol. 1
Author: Yukito Kishiro
Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Kondasha
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In a dump in the lawless settlement of Scrapyard, far beneath the mysterious space city of Zalem, disgraced cyber-doctor Daisuke Ido makes a strange find: the detached head of a cyborg woman who has lost all her memories. He names her Alita and equips her with a powerful new body, the Berserker. While Alita remembers no details of her former life, a moment of desperation reawakens in her nerves the legendary school of martial arts known as Panzer Kunst. In a place where there is no justice but what people make for themselves, Alita decides to become a hunter-killer, tracking down and taking out those who prey on the weak. But can she hold onto her humanity as she begins to revel in her own bloodlust?

Review:

I chose this graphic novel on NetGalley because I saw a preview of the upcoming movie adaptation. I was curious about the story, because it looked unique.

The story was good. I liked that Alita was a strong fighter. Depending on the body she is given, she has different abilities. But she was always strong. The villain, Makuka, was so creepy and gross. He was often just a head that rolled around, but the face was disturbing.

Some of the pages in my copy were in colour. I loved the art on these pages. The other pages were just black and white, so it was sometimes hard to tell what was happening. There were a lot of elaborate fight scenes, which were enhanced by the colours, but difficult to decipher when in black and white.

I liked this story, so I’ll have to check out the movie when it comes out.