How Manga Changed My Life

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Over the last couple of years reading manga has become a really enjoyable hobby.

I’ve always struggled with reading since I was little, it’s difficult to put into words but I basically struggled to take in the information of the text which proved to be an uphill task when I was a University student. Luckily I had very understanding tutors who made my education very easy and enjoyable.

Around the time I graduated from Uni I got into manga and I must say I found it life-changing. After years of searching for reading material I found it in the form of manga. Suddenly I went from struggling to read one page to reading and enjoying literally dozens of manga and light novels.

Not only am I enjoying these stories as a fan but they’re helping me in the professional field as an artist and as an author. It may not seem much but it’s a very big deal to me and I’m very thankful that publishers like Seven Seas, Yen Press and everyone else exist to license and publish the manga that we all know and love. I’m also thankful for the Amazon Kindle, because I’m able to read and store so many manga volumes in one little device. =)

To give you a rough idea what I read, I’ll list 13 random Manga/Light Novels I’m currently reading while summarising my thoughts for each of them. =)

 

MY READING LIST

  1. Bloom into You (Seven Seas)

Volumes: 1

Yuu and Touko’s friendship started off simple but it develops deeper when they learn more about each other. They could become a lovely couple without drama but that quip made by Yuu’s Dad could be a hint of troubles to come. I don’t know why he would have a problem of Yuu having a girlfriend but the fact remains that if Yuu harbours those feelings it would put her in a tight spot.

 

2. Dragons Rioting (Yen Press)

Volumes: 4

This story is definitely unique, especially the circumstances with Rintaro. This is one of my favourite manga and it makes me sad a little that it’s never received an anime adaptation.

 

3. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (YenPress)

Light Novel Volumes: 7

Manga Volume: 6

Sword Oratoria Light Novel Volumes: 2

The first Light Novel I’ve ever read. I like reading all about Bell’s journey and how he overcomes his mistakes and trials in and outside the dungeon. I especially adore his relationship with Hestia, they’re like a young married couple.

 

4. Kampfer (Digital Manga Publishing)

Manga Volumes: 3

I liked the anime and took the opportunity to read it on my kindle. Although I’m enjoying the manga it is difficult to ignore the quality of the pages, especially when I have to zoom in to read the dialogue.

 

5. Kiss and White Lily for my Dearest Girl (YenPress)

Volumes: 1

So far the contrast of love and hate between Ayaka and Yurine is adorable and I sense it’s gradually blossoming into a beautiful relationship. Ayaka buying flowers for her “rival” is a sweet touch and proves that deep down she cares about her future girlfriend. 😉

 

6. KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! (YenPress)

Manga Volumes: 2

Light Novel Volumes: 1

An absolutely hilarious story and I like how it’s written in the books. It doesn’t go into detail it just delves right into the plot, and that’s what I especially like about it. If there’s one thing that does disappoint me, slightly unrelated, is how the anime crew didn’t adapt Wiz’s introduction scene. It doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment, just a thought that came to mind. =)

 

7. My Big Sister Lives in a Fantasy World (J-Novel Club)

Manga Volumes: 3

I’m happy that more Light Novels are being published in English. I’m currently up to the part in volume 3 where Yoriko prevented Aiko from digging her fangs into Yuichi’s neck. This is an easy to read book and like KonoSuba and Re:Zero it has that air of self-awareness of manga cliché that seems to be the modern and current manga cliché.

 

8. Oh My Goddess! (Dark Horse Comics)

Volume: 1

Reading the first book makes me appreciate the era it debuted in, I find the story and the fashion very fascinating. Belldandy is such a beautiful Goddess, if I was Keiichi I’d ask her to stay with me as well! I also appreciate the references made by KonoSuba, especially the fateful encounter between Kazama and Aqua.

 

9. One-Punch Man (VizMedia)

Manga Volumes: 11

One-Punch Man, or as my Auntie calls him, “One Punch Baldy Man,” haha. I got my family hooked on Non Non Biyori and now I got them all hooked on the anime and given time, the manga too. 😉

The concept of this manga is wonderfully different and I find it inspiring as an artist how Yusuke Murata and One met and turned the franchise into a massively well-earned product. =)

 

10. Please Tell Me! Galko-Chan (Seven Seas)

Volumes: 2

Seeing a manga with colourful pages is very refreshing on the eyes. =) The simplicity of the story is nice too. I especially like how diverse and friendly the classmates are with each other, especially Galko and Otako. =)

 

11. See Me After Class (Project-H)

Volumes: 2

I never dreamed that this would ever get a license and I’m delighted that it did. =D This story is very humorous and makes me chuckle every time I re-read the volumes. It’s a tad disappointing that volume 3 keeps getting back-dated but it makes me look forward to it more. =)

 

12. The Testament of New Sister Devil (Seven Seas)

Volumes: 5

I keep on comparing this with High School DxD, I see many similarities yet major differences.

This harem story is visually appealing but one of my favourite moments is when Basara and his group battled against the heroes that filled one whole volume. Fan-service was not needed because the story and climax of that battle was very engaging. =)

 

13. Witchcraft Works (Vertical)

Volumes: 6

I love expressionless girls like Ayaka, I think her kind of characters tend to be funnier when they deal with situations with a monotone face. Haha. I like her relationship with Honoka and I find it fascinating how he was initially a girl before the story came to fruition.

 

MY PLAN TO READ LIST (10 Selected)

  1. Akashic Records of the Bastard Magical Instructor (Seven Seas)
  2. Anti-Magic Academy: The 35th Test Platoon (Seven Seas)
  3. Flying Witch (Vertical)
  4. Grenadier (VizMedia)
  5. Hybrid x Heart (YenPress)
  6. Monster Girl Doctor (Seven Seas)
  7. My Wife is Wagatsuma-San (Kodansha)
  8. The Testament of Sister New Devil Storm (Seven Seas)
  9. To LOVE-Ru (Seven Seas)
  10. Yokai Girls (Seven Seas)

Thank you for reading. =)

Ryan.^^/

My 2017 Goals

It’s a new start to a new year and I have a mind-set that’s fresh and clear. I’m already feeling positive vibes from 2017 and I’m well underway with my goals for this year.

 

Socialising and Going Out

A lot has happened throughout my life. I always struggle with crowds but things are becoming easier overtime, especially with my new mind-set. I’ve accepted my weaknesses and limitations now but I persevere when I need to, both for myself and for everyone else. Despite my anxiety going out I do feel that I’m actually a people’s person and I often find myself putting everyone’s feelings ahead of my own.

I will try to go out more but only under the right circumstances. It’s all about dealing with each moment when it’s presented to me rather than analyse possible future events.

 

My Stories

For years I’ve been writing and making amendments for my children’s story and right now its under-going another editing process. I’ve completed the first book a good number of times but it was never quite ready to be published. As a result I’ve often lost motivation and lacked ideas to change. However, this is definitely the most successful editing process I’ve ever done for this story.

I’ve polished my writing style and grammar-correcting a lot and I have to thank reading different manga and light novels for that. The only materials I can read are manga and light novels but it really does go to show that no matter what genre you read, reading makes you grow as a writer.

 

Anime Art

I’ve changed my attitude and approach to my anime art and decided to take extra time to complete each art successfully. Last year I did get in the unfortunate habit of putting a time limit on each picture. Now I have the philosophy of illustrating at my own pace which goes hand in hand with my new mind-set for this year. You could say it’s a new beginning with a better approach and from now on I will emphasize quality over quantity.

 

My Current Works in Progress

-Requests (I’m undertaking around 10 requests and nearly completed 1)

-New Game! (This is a comic style landscape that features Aoba and Hifumi)

-Gaia: Mother Goddess (a more refined version of my own character, Gaia the Elf Goddess)

-Darkness (a single portrait of the masochist knight that could feature a few versions in different clothes)

-Valentine’s Day picture (to be revealed)

-Ai-Chan (going to attempt to shade Ai-Chan in the blue chrome shading style and see how I get on)

-Keijo x One Punch Man Comic (a crossover comic that is set in the One Punch Man universe but stars Nozomi and Non from Keijo)

 

I’m enjoying all these drawings right now and I can’t wait to see how they turn out in the end. 2017 will be a great year. =)

 

Thanks for reading. =)

Ryan.^^/

Strike the Blood Light Novel Volume One Review

Strike the Blood Cover

  1. REVIEW

This is the second Light Novel book that I read through after Dungeon Girls. I had a rough idea what Strike the Blood would be like as I have seen the anime. I really enjoyed it and it put me at an advantage when reading this book. It meant that I was able to visualise the scenarios more clearly.

 

A lot of things started to make sense when reading this volume. In the first few episodes of the anime I was under the impression that Yukina harboured some affection and feelings for the main guy, Kojou, by her actions and dialogue.

 

I really like it how there’s a manmade island with many demons as its habitants. Having demons has its pros and cons. It’s a positive thing because they are like a protective species and as long as they obey the rules on the island they are free and protected by the government. The con is that they are also required to be experimented on, which is not really a nice thing.

 

Unfortunately for Kojou, he got caught up in all of this mess when he unintentionally became not just a vampire, but the Fourth Primogenitor. Being a vampire meant that he is immortal but being a Primogenitor means that he has 12 Beast Vessels at his disposal. Well, not quite. The Beast Vessels have a condition. They will only take him seriously as their master, so to speak, if he sucks a girl’s blood. So, basically, he’s looking for a blood donor to serve his vampire urges. Haha.

 

He’s not going to get a blood donour anytime soon as the only girls he knows in real life are his sister, Nagisa, his school chum, Asagi and his Class Rep, Risa. It’s awkward as he is keeping his identity as secret from the girls he’s closest too and he’s not the type of bite random girls. There is just no blood donour out there… actually, there might be, in the form of the Sword Shaman, Yukina Himeragi.

 

I find Yukina to be very likable and she is a complete opposite to Kojou. She’s very formal, well-spoken and a bit clueless in society, to the point where she mistakes household objects as mass destructive weapons. She’s spot on when she said that a chainsaw was used as a weapon in films though. Haha.

 

I even found it cute when she got tongue tied or accidentally gets Kojou into bother when she says something that could lead to a misunderstanding. Haha. She was sent to be his “watcher” but by what I read it doesn’t seem like she does her job properly. Perhaps it would be a different story if Kojou was volatile.

 

Her weapon, Snowdrift Wolf, is very cool. It’s like a huge spear with a tear drop or a snowflake pattern to it. I think it compliments her very well. In fact, I think the weapon is actually taller than her which adds to her glowing cuteness. I can see her being a good tactical and skilful fighter but she is more than just a weapon wielder. The only thing I think she lacks is physical strength but Kojou fills that void perfectly. I really enjoyed reading their fights against that deranged priest and Astarte.

 

Before I didn’t really think that there was an evil race but I found it very interesting what the author said at the back pages. He spoke about the Japan Tsunami Disaster which ironically happened just before the Strike the Blood LN was released for the first time. He cites that the natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis were the real devils.

 

By reading his quote, it made me think about the story in a different light.

 

Was that Priest a villain or was he misunderstood? After all, he was trying to take back that arm for the good of his own church… I think. Anyway, as Kojou is the Host for the 12 Beast Vessels he is vulnerable to causing humongous earthquakes if he can’t control and harness his power correctly. Is Kojou’s power the true villain in this story? Is Kojou his own worst enemy? It might be only a few words but to me it changed my view of the whole story.

 

I really am eager to read book two and it’s perfect to read before bed time. For now, I just have to quench my enthusiasm by watching the Strike the Blood anime.

 

  1. RATING

Two Thumbs-Up.^^/ (My Rating System) (My Light Novel Rankings)

Two Thumbs-Up

 

Thanks for Reading. =)

Ryan.