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Multi-manga Review

January 7, 2010

hah! Naming sense fail! xD Anyway, since I haven’t done like any reviews lately and I’ve bought a shit ton of manga lately, I figured I’d just post a few big bulk reviews instead of a ton of individual reviews. Here we go! :D Included today are Butterflies, Flowers volume 1, Karakuri Odette volume 1, Shugo Chara! volume 7, and the Gentlemen’s Alliance + artbook.

Butterflies, Flowers volume 1
by: Yuki Yoshihara
published by: Viz Media – Shojo Beat imprint
from the back cover: Choko Kuze is the sensible daughter of a venerable family who went bankrupt. She joins a real estate company as an entry-level office worker, but her eccentric boss is harder on her than anyone else in the company! After hearing him inadvertently call her “milady,” she realizes he was the young servant boy she knew as a child. At work he’s a tyrant, but after hours he insists on treating her like a lady of the nobility. Is romance even possible for a couple locked in such a crazy role reversal? Choko Kuze is the sensible daughter of a venerable family who went bankrupt. She joins a real estate company as an entry-level office worker, but her eccentric boss is harder on her than anyone else in the company! After hearing him inadvertently call her “milady,” she realizes he was the young servant boy she knew as a child. At work he’s a tyrant, but after hours he insists on treating her like a lady of the nobility. Is romance even possible for a couple locked in such a crazy role reversal?
My ramblings: This was a pleasant surprise. I bought it because it is supposed to be good and it did sound interesting, but it was so much more interesting and funny than I actually expected it to be! I’m not sure how many other series Yoshihara has written (I know this is her most recently finished, just this year), but if she has other series, I’m hoping this one sells well, so that more of her works will be licensed!
The one thing that confused me about the series so far, is that Choko calls Domoto “Cha-chan,” but I can’t figure out how she got Cha-chan out of Masayuki Domoto; I’m assuming it was because of his parent’s divorce (and some sort of name change due to that), but it’s not explained at all in this volume (at least, not that I caught).
On a totally random note, I very much approve of the picture of Domoto used for the inside back cover (aka the “you may be reading the wrong way” page), since he looks so intense if you had accidentally opened the book the wrong way, you’d switch really quick! xD
I say this all the time (and it’s because I almost only buy things I know I like, or will probably like), but this is definitely one series you need to buy (especially if you’re a josei fan and want more of it in English!).

Karakuri Odette volume 1
by: Julietta Suzuki
published by: Tokyopop
From the back cover: What does it mean to be truly human?…Odette is a lovely android built by Professor Yoshizawa. Curious to find out what it’s like to be human, she convinces the Professor to enroll her in high school. And thus, with a new group of friends in tow, Odette sets out to discover the true meaning of life as a human, where even the simple stuff is an adventure! A touching slice-of-life comedy, Karakuri Odette does nothing If not uncover the incredible possibilities of the “human” spirit!
My ramblings: I absolutely loved this volume. Odette is adorable and sweet and I can see why it’s getting so much attention. I can’t wait for volume 2 to come out (just next month, since I bought the first volume so late). I think I loved every single character in the book, from Odette to Asao and especially the professor! I love how the professor is obviously rather eccentric, but not obnoxious and certainly not a scatter-brain like other eccentric characters. Plus, Suzuki surprised me with how absolutely lovable all her characters are! All of the review I had read mentioned how incredible it was that Suzuki was able to make Odette one of the most adorable robots in a long time, but I don’t think any of them mention just how lovable ALL the characters are.
Tokyopop did a great job with this volume too. The paper was fine quality (this should be the last time I mention this, since they’ve supposedly fixed the problem with their supplier), the translation seemed perfectly fine to me (though granted I’m not sure how it really compares to the original since I haven’t and couldn’t read it), and the adaptation part seemed especially well done (the adaptation seemed to me to be exactly spot on and I don’t remember it being at all at odds with how the characters were responding [which I notice occasionally in manga translations]).
If you haven’t gotten yourself (or the shojo lover in your life) a copy of Karakuri Odette yet, do soon as soon as possible!

Shugo Chara! volume 7
by: Peach-Pit
published by: Del Rey Manga
From the back cover: All the time they’ve been battling the Easter Corporation, Amu and her friends have never known which side mysterious bad boy Ikuto has been on. Now Ikuto is in trouble and has only one place to hide: Amu’s house! Will Amu finally learn Ikuto’s secret?
My ramblings: This volume looks to be much more well done than previous volumes (aka volume 6), and there were many less seeming errors in the translation (I do realize that scanlations were causing a lot of the stink about the translation in volume 6, but some of the things should have been common sense [aka Lynx and not Links since Ikuto is a cat and all…]) and the quality of the translation in this volume seems to have gone way up. I did notice a random blank speech bubble on one of the earlier pages, which is strange, but overall the volume is much better than previous ones.
There was one translation error that I did notice. When Amu is spazzing over Tadase in a skirt, she says something about the “price of that skirt”, and based on the story, I’m pretty sure it is supposed to be “The prince in that skirt.” I do understand where that came from (it’s a fairly simple mistake, really), but it’s just kind of lazy, and it shows that someone who doesn’t really care about the story is the one who did the proof-reading, which is sad. In all of Viz’s, Yen’s, and Vertical’s series (the ones that I’ve read, of course) you can tell that the editors are people who actually care about the stories, because the translations and adaptations match the characters perfectly, and while this seemed to be the case in the early days of Del Rey Manga, things seem to have changed somewhat recently, and that makes me sad. I really don’t mean to bash, it’s just depressing that they pump out works that they don’t seem to care about; I would much rather their books were slightly more expensive and took a little longer if that meant that the work was better done.
Story…well, what can I say, it’s the volume where Ikuto stays with Amu, so I love it. :3 I do feel sorry for Tadase when he has his feelings trampled by Ikuto though (I really don’t understand all the Tadase bashing, I mean, I certainly like Ikuto more, but it’s not like I hate Tadase or anything…).

The Gentlemen’s Alliance +: Arina Tanemura Illustrations
by: Arina Tanemura
published by: Viz Media – Art of Shojo Beat imprint
from the back cover: A collection of Arina Tanemura’s breathtaking color artwork from The Gentlemen’s Alliance +! Included is a premium 2-sided poster and author commentary!
My ramblings: It shouldn’t come as any surprise that I bought this after Christmas (since I didn’t get it for Christmas *pout*). ;] And of course I did, and love it soooooo much!! I especially love that it comes with an extra poster that isn’t in the Japanese edition of the artbook; it makes me feel like I got awarded for waiting and buying the Shojo Beat edition that I can actually read and not getting the Japanese version when it first came out, haha. And of course I love reading the little blurbs about each piece of art. I mean, I love to even just have/see the art, but knowing about what Arina-sensei thinks of them is even more fun.
Compared to the Full Moon artbook (which Viz published about a year ago), this one is even better quality! The book jacket is more plastic-y than the Full Moon one, so it looks like it will hold up a lot better (though it’s not like I’ve trashed my Full Moon one). My copy came with the inside of the book upside down in the jacket, and I’m not sure it that’s because of some sort of printing error, or if someone was looking at it before me and accidentally turned it upside down when putting the jacket back on (I’m sure the latter is more likely), but it was just kinda strange). It wasn’t a problem though and I just turned it right-side up again in the jacket.
If you’re an Arina-sensei lover like me, or just a fan of shojo art, you need to have this book in your collection right away!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2010 12:10 am

    Hmm…the name “Odette” caught my interest (I’m reminded of the ballet which I love so much <3) but the rest sounds really entertaining. We've had a lot of robot curiosity stories before but I think this is the first time there's been one that actually asked her creator to enroll her in a school for that purpose. Also, since you mentioned you loved everyone so far, this sounds like it’s my type of manga (I want to love EVERYONE! lol XDD) so will definitely look for it next time I go to the bookstore. ^^

    …mmkay, I read “price of the skirt” first time skimming over and that just turned me SO OFF. I guess I’m too picky for my own good (but it’s Del’s fault~) but that just pretty much sealed the deal off of buying and English SC! volumes forever for me. “price of the skirt”, wtf…the boy’s wearing a skirt…price of the skirt…pfft.

    I’m glad you really like the artbook. ^^ And lucky girl, you get a poster. What illustration is it, hmm? 83
    Oh, and are the blurbs right beside their respective pictures or are they at the back of the book like the original Japanese one is? I didn’t check it yet so I was wondering.

    Thanks for the review. Can’t wait to hear more. ^^

    • warriorhope permalink
      January 8, 2010 9:02 am

      I think they’re at the back this time. (looked in a store).

    • January 9, 2010 5:11 pm

      They actually mention in the manga that her name is foreign, which was amusing. And I think it really is the first time the robot has asked to go to school (though I haven’t actually read too many robot stories, so I’m really not sure). Beware, the spine of the book is flourescent pink! The cover is cute, but the spine makes me want to be blind.
      Yeah…I’m just kind of frustrated with it not, if it weren’t for the fact that I want to support the creators and don’t want to switch to the Japanese ones mid-way, I wouldn’t be buying them anymore either. :[
      Like warriorhope said, the comments are indeed in the back, but I’ll have to check about which images are on the posters is too lazy to get up and walk upstairs to check xD

  2. warriorhope permalink
    January 8, 2010 9:08 am

    So Butterfly, flowers is worth it? I’m buying than as soon as I can find a copy at my manga store.

    Tadase bashing…I used to not like him much because of the whole telling Amu he liked Amulet Heart, even though he knew she had a crush on him. But than he got a hell of a lot of character development plus he actually apologised to her for that. Most of it probably comes from immature Amuto/Ikuto fans though. Sigh I hate people who make the majority of us look bad.

    I was kind of pissed with the translation in volume 7 due to “falling star” line and one or two others.

    I also need to get the Shinkuro artbook. Maybe I’ll buy it as a reading week/valentine’s day treat ^__^

    • January 9, 2010 5:14 pm

      I really, really liked it (but like the commenter after you said, there’s a chance it’s going to get smutty, so if that makes you squeamish you might not wanna get into the series).
      Yeah, I didn’t really like him very much when he was telling Amu he loved Amulet Heart, but he did get a lot of character development so now I really don’t mind him at all (and I like adult!Tadase in the most last chapters). And I agree, it’s a few of the crazy shippers making the rest of us look bad, which is annoying. :/
      Hmm…I don’t think I caught that line, but I didn’t read too close.
      Oh, I forgot about Reading Week! Good thing I have lots and lots of J-novels to read (since I just bought Battle Royale too, haha). And obviously I highly suggest the SDC artbook~ xD

      • warriorhope permalink
        January 10, 2010 3:58 pm

        I LOVE SMUT! (If it’s well-written/drawn and consensual) So it should be fine.

        Oh~I kind of want to read BR too (since I liked the Hunger Games I think I’ll like it). But I’ll wait to buy that. I also need to buy chobits in Feburary…

        • January 10, 2010 6:25 pm

          haha, I’m totally fine with it too if it’s consensual (and well drawn sure doesn’t hurt, but since I like the art so far in B,F I’m assuming it’ll look nice).

          I’m only a few chapters into BR so far, but I really like it. My roommate read the old edition and she said she loved the whole thing (I mean, I’m assuming there’s a reason that Viz was willing to license it and put out a new edition).

          And I don’t even know when Chobits is coming out anymore; Dark Horse’s site says March 10th for the first volume and May 26th for the second one, and Amazon has February 17th for the first one and the second one isn’t even listed yet….I’m getting worried. D: (though, I do know that Clover got pushed around for a while before finally coming out, so I guess I shouldn’t be too worried…)

  3. Emily permalink
    January 9, 2010 1:16 am

    I like these series, so your taste = Thumbs up. :)
    ‘Butterfly, Flowers’? The name sounds strange… I liked the Japanese version better… But hey, I’m warning you: Yoshihara Yuki’s works tend to have a bit of smut. They’re adorable, but nontheless, felt you might want to know. Well, you probably already did, but still. Lol. :P
    I like this artist. :)

    ‘Gentlemen’s Alliance Cross Art Book’, I’ll buy it… Last time, I was going to, but it was expensive. So I’ll get it next time. This’ll be my first art book by Arina-sensei, so I’m excited. <3
    I like her too! ;D

    And as for your other two:
    I really need to get to reading Shugo Chara. I really want to. But I was spoiled for it, so… I've been putting it off. It looks really cute though. It's sad how it's not translated properly. ):
    And the other one, I haven't heard of. But it sounds really fun, so I may decide to try it… Reminds me a bit of Chobits, nee? <3

    There's my post. Aha.
    Ignore my rambling. ;D<3

    • January 9, 2010 5:21 pm

      haha, well thanks~ :D
      It does sound kind of funny, but since it actually has meaning in English, I totally understand why they didn’t leave it in Japanese (things like Karakuri Odette sound better, since that means Mechanical Odette and that just doesn’t flow in English). Ah, thanks for the warning; I figured since it’s josei it might have some, but I wasn’t for sure. :] If it’s still adorable, along with smutty, then I’m still totally for it. :D

      It is kind of expensive, but it’s really not a terrible price for an artbook. You’ll love it though, especially if it’s your first Arina-sensei artbook! :D

      Shugo Chara! was fantastic in the beginning, but got a little funny near the end, I’m really hoping the sequel brings back the awesome.
      Odette is very similar to Chobits, but even more adorable and without the blatant fanservice (seeing as Chobits was orginally intended for guys and all and Odette for girls). Plus I think Odette is even more adorable than Chii~ <3

      No, no, I love comments!!, so thanks for your ramblings!! :D (and obviously I like rambling too, haha)

  4. January 9, 2010 5:32 pm

    Good to see Butterflies, Flowers get such a good review from you :D
    Ever since I saw the cover, it’s been poking at me, demanding to be read XD

    I’m behind on Shugo-Chara XO I got lazy and stopped at volume 4 (I’ll get started back soon though!).
    I’ve never really cared much for Tadase (no offense, good prince XD). It’s just when I saw Ikuto, my inner romantic shoved Tadase got kicked to the side. It must be the cat ears ;)

    • January 9, 2010 5:39 pm

      It really was fantastic. haha, the cover and all the good reviews did the same thing for me. xD

      ha, I can’t really blame you for getting behind on SC!, since it’s rather weird in there for a while. That’s pretty much what happened to me too, lol, I saw Ikuto and saw how much he cares for Amu that I just had to back him and not Tadase. :D Dnd the cat ears definitely don’t hurt~ ;D

  5. Rebecca permalink
    January 20, 2010 6:34 pm

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Butterflies and Flowers-its on my manga wishlist now :D. I’m glad to see more Josei manga hitting the market and I hope the thrend continues. I love Kakakuri Odette! I read the scans so I was super excited when it got licensed in the United States.

    Aww the IkutoXAmu volume ^_^. I don’t dislike Tadase and I do see connections between the two, but I don’t like it nearly as much as Ikuto and Amu. I absolutely love Ikuto, especially his cat ears hehe.

    • January 20, 2010 7:37 pm

      Yeah, I definitely suggest it~ :D I really like the josei offerings too!

      And I’m absolutely in love with Karakuri Odette now, it’s just so adorable! Since you liked it too, you should keep an eye out for Suzuki’s next work, Nice to Meet You, Kami-sama which Viz is publishing this November (so far away!).

      Yeah, I completely agree on Tadase.


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