January 3rd, 2013

shoes are nice


One of my "resolutions" this year was to review more of the manga I read. It is so easy to read and read, and then just start the next one, not really considering, or mulling over what you have read.

For some that is fine. But I know I like reading reviews, so here is my efforts to contribute to that!

Title: Dokuhime
Genres: Drama, Horror, Romance, Josei
Authors: Mihara, Mitsukazu (Story & Art)

Dokuhime (or Poison Princess) is set in a feudal fantasy world, where kings and queens rule the land. One kingdom is ruled by an Evil Queen. well, I think she is evil. She is self centred, and ego centric, and thinks the world revolves around her. And hurts others to get what she wants. Ok, ok, so in some ways she is a typical monarch... but I digress. This queen maintained power and gained influence through the use of poisons.. selling, creating, and her greatest commodity, which she uses for her own ends, are her Poison Princesses. Babies, and children picked for their beauty and turned into creatures whose touch can kill.

From bakaupdates: It starts with poisonous herbs under the cradle. Then under the sheets. And inside the clothes. Even mixed in the milk that they feed the newborn. This way the child gradually gets used to poisons and becomes the perfect assassination tool - the “Poison Princess” whose every kiss, tear, and even touch bring death. Her only chance of survival is to fulfill her duty as an assassin and find a way to live on in the enemy land she is sent to…if her heart is strong enough.

One such Princess, Lycoris is one such princess. she is sent to kill a king, and instead meets three very twisted brothers. Brothers who, truth be told, are not so disimilar to her.

There are so many complex plots going on through here - about family, about trust, about honour. It is set in a medieaval type period, so torture is consistant. And shown as well. Lots of blood and bits.

Ahhh.. I don't know what to say. Dokuhime is dark - very dark. I don't do stressful very well, and I read this with a tension headache!! But I could not look away. I needed to know what happened next.. (at the time of reading this I still have a volume to go). The art is good. In that shouojo kind of way - big eyes, the princesses themselves wear a lot of lolita inspired clothes, with ruffles, and frills, and the like.

But what keeps me coming back is an intense story line, and great characters. Hal, Mao, and Kait are three brothers whose pain is apparant. Each chapter we learn more about them. It is convoluted, and confusing, but it also makes for great reading. I am hoping for a happy ending for them all, but I don't think I am going to get it. With the blood, and the death, and the pain, and the being ignored by family, and then ughhh *tears* I find it pretty wrenching stuff.

So if you like dark, complex stories, this might be one for you. I can't say that I am enjoying it, but I also really want to know how it turns out.

Miss Mayples Afternoon Tea Time

The story opens several years after a devastating war, where incredibly strong 'mechanical dolls' slaughtered many, many people. These robot weapons, which look exactly like humans, are still feared and hated. During a storm, Craw finds one of these 'dolls.' She is nothing like the weapon he would expect, but is instead gentle, cheerful, and very eager to be of use to the people around her. She claims her name is Mayple, and she seems to be programmed as a maid and cook.

Soon, Craw has set up a cafe for Mayple to run, where she can cook sweets and tea for everyone in town. It's going to be a rough road ahead of her, as many townspeople hate her on principle and will not shrink from violence against her. But maybe Mayple, who always keeps a sunny attitude, will be able to find a way through the prejudice and make a place for herself in the post-war world. [tethysdust]

Genres: Drama, Sci-Fi, Seinen
Authors: Aoi, Kuuta (Story & Art)

And now for something completely different!!

Ms Mayples Afternoon Teatime was a really nice read! Sure, it touches on issues of acceptance, fear of the unknown, and dystopic futures, but it was delightful. The main protagonists - Mayple and Craw-san are really likeable characters. Mayple, as the robot who doesn't really have human emotions but kind of does, is done well. Craw-san is just a nice guy!!

I think what I like about this is that there is no attempt to make it a romance. And it could have been - Mayple wears her maids outfit, looks cute, dresses up other robot dolls. But it isn't about that - it is about family and acceptance. I could see the need for the story with the military - but it felt kinda like it didn't fit in with the rest. It didn't detract, and it was over and done with in a flash, which may have been part of the problem. It was there to move the story to its completion, but it didn't really add anything to the overall story.

Despite that, I really enjoyed it!!