Review: Alice in the Country of Hearts by Quinrose

alicein the countryAlert: Herbivores beware, rabbit discrimination! Warn your kits!

“These aren’t rabbit ears! They’re just long! I swear I am not a rabbit. I eat carrot cookies, cake, and tea. I like stuff made from carrots but I could never eat a carrot straight, so I’m obviously NOT a rabbit.”

How dare Alice group people together based on the size of their ears! This is just one of the amusing quips in the awesome manga series Alice in the Country of Hearts by Quinrose. This has to be one of my top ten manga series of all time.

The first thing that drew me to these beautiful books was the art. Illustrated by Soumei Hoshino, the detailed display of clocks, sweets, architecture, and fashion is phenomenal.

I think any Alice lover will enjoy the new twists on our most beloved story. First, Alice is not the Alice we know. Instead of being curious and following the white rabbit, he tricks her into falling down the hole and then traps her in wonderland by force-feeding her a potion through a kiss. She finds herself in a land where everyone has a clock for a heart and they are fighting a war based on reincarnation. The characters are so detailed and interesting, I’m not even sure I can pick my favorite one.

Our favorite Mad Hatter in this book is Blood Dupre, a Mafia Don who leads The Hatters in war against the other factions. He is a gothic dandy, more interested in seducing Alice than the battle at hand. In his posse are two young boys dressed in fashionable military outfits and a non-rabbit enforcer named Elliot March. Something this author picked up on from the Lewis Carroll book, that I never thought of, was the possibility of the White Rabbit and the March Hare fighting. I found this storyline beyond amusing.

Another sect of Wonderland is the Amusement Park District where Alice can enjoy all the normal sort of rides while being shuffled around the place by overly peppy park attendants. The owner of the park is Mary Gowland, an older hippie man who takes to drastic mood swings and plays the violin very badly. Gowland and Dupre are in a war because Dupre makes fun of his name, which when said in such a way, sounds like Merry Go Round. The fights between Gowland and Dupre are fun to read. Gowland can turn his violin into a gun and Dupre doesn’t even flinch when his hat gets shot off.

Boris Airay plays the part of the Cheshire cat.  A cosplay kitty boy who loves to get in scrapes. He is often found by Alice, in the woods, sometimes nude, with horrible injuries that heal when he licks them.

The Queen of Hearts is pretty much the same as in the original Alice story so far, not much is known about her yet. The caterpillar is Nightmare, a handsome, eye-patched man dressed in elegant blacks. He mainly just gives more info to Alice, explaining terms the wonderland folk use and adding a sense of foreboding as he hints at dangers unseen.

Two new characters to the Alice tale are perhaps the most interesting to me. Julius Monrey is in charge of the Clock Tower Plaza, a neutral zone in wonderland and the place where all clock hearts are repaired. Ace is a knight from Heart Castle that helps Julius recover the hearts when someone is killed. He seems a double agent, but can’t navigate to save his life. Not too smart, you might think he would fall prey to the Hatters, but he is a pro at sword fighting so that keeps him safe.

Even though this is a manga about the cheery, happy world of wonderland, the author keeps that sinister air about it so that you are just as curious and frightened as Alice. The most chilling part of this retelling is the connection between the shadow people and the servants with no face. I’ll let you unravel that one on your own.

November: Dark Fairytales

Because most fairy tales contain a dark side, the term Dark Fairy Tales is repetitive to me. The term fairy tale is defined as,

A magical and imaginary tale, usually with a happy ending.

However, I think it’s all in the eye of the beholder. A tale like Hansel and Gretel is not a happy ending for the poor little old lady that just wanted kids out of her yard.

1020150903In my opinion, fairy tales are lessons in how to treat people. The modern version of Cinderella is a lesson to stepmothers–treat your new daughter well or you’ll end up a beggar while she lives in a big house in Beverley Hills.

Stories like this have taught us how to treat each other for centuries, but they have also taught us some very dangerous ideas:

  1. The evil always get their comeuppance.
  2.  Wait long enough (or suffer bad enough) and your prince will come.
  3. There are secret pots of gold or riches granted you when you out-smart evil beings.

Well…as we know living in the real world is not so easy.

hellgirlThis month at HorrorAddicts.net, we’ll be exploring the dark side of fairy tales. How they scare us into submission, conjure false hopes, and in some cases scare the bejesus out of us.

My favorite modern-day fairy tale series is the manga Hell Girl. In it, various stories are told about evil people getting their comeuppance, but as with many of us who try to get justice, there is a catch. The innocent victim who dishes out the justice is also punished.

 

1020150914

What if you had the opportunity to send someone you hated to Hell? In this series, that dream becomes reality. All you have to do is log on to the Hell Correspondence website at precisely midnight, type “Send (insert name) to Hell”, and click send. Hell Girl will then appear and make them meet their bloody end, taking them to Hell to relive it over and over again.

In the series, the bad guys are really bad. There are thieves, child molesters, evil masterminds, twisted teachers who steal students work and claim it as their own, and even killers.

1020150904My favorite story revolves around a vet who charges hefty fees for healthy pets that don’t need anything done. Knowing most of his customers are rich, he milks as much as he can out of them before handing back the pet perfectly well, yet not touched by a needle or knife. He claims to operate, but never does. He claims to give pricey meds, but never does. He makes a fatal mistake with one customer, though, who is not rich. She gives her life savings to the guy so he will cure her puppy. The dog in this case really is sick, but instead of operating, the vet puts it off to go to a high-society party. When the girl goes to check on her dog, he’s passed away because of the vet’s negligence. The girl is devastated, the puppy being all she has in life since her parents are dead. She tries to alert the authorities, but he claims she’s mad and no one listens to her. Heartbroken and unable to stop the vet from killing more animals in the future, she seeks justice from Hell Girl.

1020150904aThe Dr. gets his in one of the scariest scenes I’ve read. Doctors with animal heads try to operate on him!

But, before you call Hell Girl on your worst enemy, know there is a price.

To curse someone is to dig a double grave. In exchange for revenge, after death, your soul will go to Hell too.

This teaches us another lesson. Before we banish our worst enemies to Hell, we need to be sure our judgement is sound. In the case of the vet, I think we’d all agree his death is worth it, but if your just pissed about being cut off in traffic, you might want to just hang back. Chances are, they’ve done a lot worse and Hell Girl will be coming for them on her own.1020150922

What are your favorite dark fairy tales? What lessons do they teach? Share them with us in the comments or by writing to horroraddicts@gmail.com

 

 

 


Manga Review: Muhyo and Roji’s BSI by Yoshiyuki Nishi

mujiThe BSI is an agency consisting of two boys named Muhyo and Roji who at first I found childish and annoying, but they grew on me. Made for the pre-teen shonen-jump market, this manga has it’s scary moments. The boys battle all sorts of creatures from the underworld. There are monsters that look like langoliers, a scary chair that eats your shirt – and then you, and some ghosts that look like giant sorting hats from Harry Potter.

Muhyo and Roji help a host of ghost or demon afflicted clients. If you can get past Muhyo’s pint-sized Napoleon complex, you will enjoy it. Armed with his official magic book of law, Muhyo casts beings into the underworld by yelling out a law such as:

“The laws of magic, article 741- For the crime of unlawful object parasitization, I sentence you to the Night Train.”

After which a whole bunch of chugga, chugga zap happens and the ghosty with the mosty gets sucked into the Night Train to hell.

bsi2I was more impressed with volume two where they travel to the school of magic to try to see if Muhyo’s assistant can pass the magic law test. Once there, they find the school has been taken over by evil and some of the people are infected. The infection makes mouths break out all over their bodies. The artwork of the mouths all over their bodies is done really well. The fact that it starts infecting everyone there, including the main characters makes it an exciting read.

Something annoying to me was the unusual break in words. I know sometimes when the words are translated, the boxes are not sufficient and for this reason they may have to break words unnaturally, but in this case there seemed to be enough room. Words like should-ers, na-gano, prefec-ture were confusing and made me pause in the story to figure them out.

Overall, this is an interesting series and might perhaps be a little scarier for the pre-teens than I found it. Good news is, if you enjoy this series, there are tons more volumes to gobble up.

Get your copy here from amazon: Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation

Black Bird by Kanoko Sakurakoji

Black_Bird_Vol_1Black Bird by Kanoko Sakurakoji is the story of a young girl named Maiso who is tortured by demons from a very young age. When she was little, a neighborhood boy protected her, but when he moved away, the demons had free reign. Now, she’s sixteen and the demon attacks have increased. Just when the demon attacks are at their worst, the little boy moves back, only now he is a gorgeous man.
Tall, dark, and handsome, Kyo, is her knight in shining armor. What’s more, when he’s around, the demons don’t bother her. It seems like a dream come true, until he tells her he is the head of a demon clan and plans to make her his wife.

Unbeknownst to her, Maiso is the Bride of Prophecy. Kyo tells her that all demons search their lives for her and are after her for one of three reasons:

1. To drink her blood and be granted long life.

2. To devour her, which ensures eternal youth.

3. Or to bed her and make her their bride, which makes thier entire clan prosper.

There is a touch of fetish eroticism as Kyo can lick Maiso’s wounds to heal her. He poses as her teacher, so there are several scenes where she has fallen and he “tends” to her wounds by bringing her into the classroom and licking her under her plaid, schoolgirl skirt.

bb4The series is a tale of courtship, demon attacks, and innuendo. You might ask where the title Black Bird comes from? When Kyo is in his demon form, his hair grows long and straight, he has black wings, and wears a mask that looks like a crow’s beak. At no time does he exhibit the “ugliness” of the other sorts of demons that attack Maiso daily. It was interesting to me that there seemed to be “classes” of demons. The kind that constantly flew around her are almost like spirits. They are transparent, can be tiny or huge, and usually bite at her neck or ankles. The other sort (like Kyo) look mostly like humans and are normally beautiful. When they change into their demon forms, they look more like dark angels rather than the scary, ugly, demons we’ve come to expect from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Horror Addicts might find the constant girly blushing of Maiso tiresome, but for those of you who enjoy a little innocent romance in your horror, you’ll love this. Sure, there are demon attacks, clan wars, and some sexy makeout sessions, but for the most part, this is a story about a young girl dealing with her ailment (demon attraction) and the fact that her boyfriend is a powerful demon.

The artwork in this manga is beautifully done and reminds me more of the Bride of the Water God in some places. It has a very traditional side, with men wearing long warrior robes and long hair tied in back, but it also shows these same males in modern street clothes.

news_large_blackbird18Later in the series, Maiso grapples with the decision to become Kyo’s bride and sleep with him, even though it may cause her death. There is big drama in whether they should sleep together or not, and when they finally do, if they should do it again and if she gets pregnant will she die. In fact, every time she experiences a pleasurable event with Kyo, the next thing you know, her life is in danger. It begs the question, is the Bride of Prophecy ever allowed to be happy?

Although this manga series is more romance than horror, I still enjoyed it immensely and thought it might appeal to those of you with more classic macabre tastes.

Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

vampire_kisses-v1The Vampire Kisses series by Ellen Schreiber has been a staple of the YA horror community for quite some time and now, you can read it in manga form.  Though I have not read the books in this series, the manga can stand on it’s own as a work of art.

Vampire Kisses #1: Blood Relatives is a cute, teenage romance about an adorable goth girl named Raven and her gorgeous vampire boyfriend.  Raven reminds me of a young Death from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics.  They added just a dash of chibi to make you forget you are reading an American produced manga.  The art, by REM, is gothic and modern with a beauty all it’s own that will have any gloom cookie loving it from cover to the last scene.

This is the first successful book adaptation turned manga I have seen.  The art is well done, the story is edited well, and it accomplishes what it is meant to, which is encourage you to read the book series.  I can say confidently that this team “gets it” and I give them credit because not many trying to break into the manga market do.

We manga fans have come to expect extras in the back and we are not to be disappointed here.  They have included some cool behind the scenes sketches of all the characters.  I adore the goth-loli-punk sketches of Kat.

My only complaint with this little book is that it is too short.  It is a measly 98 pages while most mangas run 150-200.  Considering the novel this manga represents is on the slim size, I suppose they didn’t want to stray from the series format and make it larger.  I am, however, hopeful for an all-encompassing omnibus of these mangas like TokyoPop did with the Princess Ai series.

I have high hopes for this series to continue in like style.  If you’re looking to move from traditional manga into book-inspired manga, this is a great way to start.

 

Alice in the Country of Hearts by Quinrose

alicein the countryAlert: Herbivores beware, rabbit discrimination! Warn your kits!

“These aren’t rabbit ears! They’re just long! I swear I am not a rabbit. I eat carrot cookies, cake, and tea. I like stuff made from carrots but I could never eat a carrot straight, so I’m obviously NOT a rabbit.”

How dare Alice group people together based on the size of their ears! This is just one of the amusing quips in the awesome manga series Alice in the Country of Hearts byQuinrose. This has to be one of my top ten manga series of all time.

The first thing that drew me to these beautiful books was the art. Illustrated by Soumei Hoshino, the detailed display of clocks, sweets, architecture, and fashion is phenomenal.

I think any Alice lover will enjoy the new twists on our most beloved story. First, Alice is not the Alice we know. Instead of being curious and following the white rabbit, he tricks her into falling down the hole and then traps her in wonderland by force-feeding her a potion through a kiss. She finds herself in a land where everyone has a clock for a heart and they are fighting a war based on reincarnation. The characters are so detailed and interesting, I’m not even sure I can pick my favorite one.

Our favorite Mad Hatter in this book is Blood Dupre, a Mafia Don who leads The Hatters in war against the other factions. He is a gothic dandy, more interested in seducing Alice than the battle at hand. In his posse are two young boys dressed in fashionable military outfits and a non-rabbit enforcer named Elliot March. Something this author picked up on from the Lewis Carroll book, that I never thought of, was the possibility of the White Rabbit and the March Hare fighting. I found this storyline beyond amusing.

Another sect of Wonderland is the Amusement Park District where Alice can enjoy all the normal sort of rides while being shuffled around the place by overly peppy park attendants. The owner of the park is Mary Gowland, an older hippie man who takes to drastic mood swings and plays the violin very badly. Gowland and Dupre are in a war because Dupre makes fun of his name, which when said in such a way, sounds like Merry Go Round. The fights between Gowland and Dupre are fun to read. Gowland can turn his violin into a gun and Dupre doesn’t even flinch when his hat gets shot off.

Boris Airay plays the part of the Cheshire cat.  A cosplay kitty boy who loves to get in scrapes. He is often found by Alice, in the woods, sometimes nude, with horrible injuries that heal when he licks them.

The Queen of Hearts is pretty much the same as in the original Alice story so far, not much is known about her yet. The caterpillar is Nightmare, a handsome, eye-patched man dressed in elegant blacks. He mainly just gives more info to Alice, explaining terms the wonderland folk use and adding a sense of foreboding as he hints at dangers unseen.

Two new characters to the Alice tale are perhaps the most interesting to me. Julius Monrey is in charge of the Clock Tower Plaza, a neutral zone in wonderland and the place where all clock hearts are repaired. Ace is a knight from Heart Castle that helps Julius recover the hearts when someone is killed. He seems a double agent, but can’t navigate to save his life. Not too smart, you might think he would fall prey to the Hatters, but he is a pro at sword fighting so that keeps him safe.

Even though this is a manga about the cheery, happy world of wonderland, the author keeps that sinister air about it so that you are just as curious and frightened as Alice. The most chilling part of this retelling is the connection between the shadow people and the servants with no face. I’ll let you unravel that one on your own.

Manga Review -Pandora: A Death Jr. Manga by HAI!

pandoreThis is the story of how Pandora from the Death Jr. comics falls down a hole and uses her magical key to open a gateway to the future.  She appears in the future as a teenager only to find out that all her friends aren’t friends anymore.

Being a fan of Death Jr. and falling for the glossy art on the cover, I purchased this item on faith.  I should have known not to because of the announcement on the cover: “Based on the hit video game.”  I’m not saying books about video games are all bad, but it’s rare they get them right.

A few things bothered me about this tale:

  • She’s using a time machine that also happens to age her the precise number of years she’s traveling into the future?
  • Apparently teenagers in the future all talk like Snoop Dog and I quote:  “Yo the teach got pwned!” “Fo shizzle, dawg!”
  • In the past, Death Jr. and Pandora are a couple.  In the future, Death Jr. is attached to this preppy girl in a school uniform.  The preppy chick says, “Stay away from that crazy goth chick.”  And Pandora says, “It takes one to know one.”  What does that even mean?  The preppy chick is clearly not goth and no goth chick would yell a comeback like that.
  • Later on in the book, we find out that the preppy girl is an evil snake woman.  She says a phrase that I thought was outlawed because it had been over done in 1950’s cartoons.  “I’m gonna teach you meddling kids a lesson you won’t forget.”  Pandora responds by kicking her and saying, “Class dismissed.”

Moral of the story? Don’t be fooled by glossy art work and claims of cool darkness inside. My advice is to pass this one by and purchase more Death Jr. in comic format instead.

Haunted House by Mitsukazu Mihara

Haunted_House_MiharaHaunted House is a great graphic novel about a “normal” boy who lives in a house with horror enthusiasts. Poor Sabato.  He just wants to fit in at school and have a girlfriend, but his family tortures him by scaring off girls and making him appear a freak to his classmates.  His mother is the reincarnation of Morticia Addams.  His father is the stereotypical Dracula figure with black slicked black hair and a full suit with cape.  His two sisters are goth-loli’s from hell.

“Your mother and I fell in love at first sight.  We met at a movie theater.  It was a beautiful movie.  Bloody Bayou: A Hoedown In Hell.”

Even though all you gloom cookies out there may love to live in such a house, poor Sabato hates it!  And with good reason.  His family is evil!

First they pretend they will play nice when his new girlfriend comes over, but when she walks in, his father has a bullet hole in his forehead that is dripping blood and his mother is butchering a live chicken.  Another day, Sabato wakes up late for school and rushes there, only to find everyone staring at him because he has blood on his face, zombie makeup, and a chilling message scrawled across his forehead: DEAD MAN WALKING!

My favorite part is when Sabato sleeps in one day.  His father says,

“Trying to become completely nocturnal are we?  At this rate you should just become a vampire.  That’d be nice.”  Sabato scowls.  “No! That would not be nice!”

This is a fun read for any horror enthusiast.  You will love the tricks the family play and the reactions Sabato gives.

Manga Review: Deus Vitae by Takuya Fujima

deus_coverDeus Vitae first called to me because of the awesome cyber art on the covers.

In 2068 A. D., one of the last humans on earth, Ash, destroys a great city full of androids and saves an android named Lemiu from destruction because she shows human emotions.  This is not a manga for your young niece or nephew. It’s rated 16+ and for good reason. There are many erotic scenes, body shots, and adult themes.

The story starts with a sort of android bible excerpt talking about the ultimate weapon, Leave, being created by the Argus Computer, programmed to protect humanity. Leave is now the mother of all androids.

“…and Argus said to Leave, go forth, and manufacture.  Leave begat four parent bodies- our blessed mothers, free from defect.  Free from impurity. And thus followed the era of a superior mankind, a being of higher intelligence and greater strength.”

Deus Vitae is a sexy, erotic, trek through a post apocalyptic landscape.  The art is so detailed it’s almost as if the work of H. R. Giger came alive with color. This manga features extremely intricate battle drawings that you could spend hours studying.  The fashion is very high-octane, video game-inspired, space station fun.

Extras: Volume 1 has a four pages in full color on glossy paper.

All three mangas are a fun read, and #3 is an extra thick edition.

Manga Review: Doors of Chaos by Ryoko Mitsuki

doorsofchaosI happened upon Doors of Chaos by accident while on vacation in Los Angeles, visiting a store called Anime Love. This manga by Ryoko Mitsuki is about twin sisters who control the four doors that protect their world from descending into chaos. Clarissa is the key to open the doors. Mizeria is the key to close the doors. On their “coming of age” day, their guardian and teacher, Rikhter, kidnaps Clarissa and begins to open all the doors through which demons pour through. Mizeria, the sister left behind, is suddenly introduced to a race of people who have been sent to protect her. She is completely confused. She thought she was the less powerful sister and that Rikhter was noble. She soon finds he is using her sister Clarissa for his own gains and that Mizeria is the only one who can stop the destruction of her world.

This manga’s art stays true to the intricate goth-loli style. The girls are clad in multiple petticoats and long hair in ribbons with elaborate tattoos trailing all over their pale skin. The men of this world are clothed in a mix of traditional Victorian frock coats with ascots and French Renaissance breeches with knee boots. The other worldly creature that comes to protect Mizeria is more of an anime waif with bandages like Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion. He wears what looks to be animal skins, chains, and sports the same sort of tattooing the girls do. There’s also a freaky guy cloaked in what can only be called a trenchcoat length straightjacket.

The art in this manga is top shelf. If for no other reason, pick this up to stare at the excellent artistic style of this manga. It doesn’t have much of those annoying reiterations that some anime books have when the chapters switch. The story is good and the dialog makes sense. There is a touch of the slave fetish in this book as well as very mild nudity. Demons are a touch gorier that normal, but violence is nothing out of the common way.
I recommend this manga for any anime reader and one of the few I would read a traditional novel about.

Clocks, keys, demons, and an excellent story, what more can you ask for in a manga?

Manga Review: The Qwaser of Stigmata by Hiroyuki Yoshino and Kenetsu Sato

1427816743.01.LZZZZZZZWhen I first saw these books on the shelves, I got excited. Qwaser (even though spelled differently) brought up images of space and the Red Dwarf episode (Waiting for God) when Rimmer mistakes the garbage pod for a quazar warrior. Stigmata is of course the legendary story of the bleeding wounds of Christ on humans.

This story has shades of that, but is so much more. I enjoy religious conspiracy as much as the next guy, but this tale was a bit much even for me. If you are sensitive to sexualized stories, especially mixed with religion, you will not enjoy this series.

Not only is there the normal large boob and crotch shots that come with most manga of this kind, there is religious meaning to breast feeding and feeding people much older than babies going on.

The story goes like this…

There is a Russian Orthodox kind of religious sect that are sworn to protect a girl and there are others coming to kill her. Every time the baddies come to kill her, her protector must suckle power from her breasts to defeat them. Sasha, the warrior protector is pretty cool. His weapon of choice is a scythe, he has a large scar across his face, and is not the worst guy to have drinking your breast milk.

Although I liked the general concept, the breastfeeding got old really fast. I also didn’t like the shots of young girls being tied up, tortured, and raped against their will. Even Sasha, who is portrayed as this hot young guy, has no interest in the girls sexually… he just uses them for their milk and otherwise ignores them.

If you are in to S&M, you might want to check it out, although I think it may have too much back-story to be enjoyable to you. If you are in to religious conspiracy, you may want to skip this one.

While the warrior, priest, and baddies can be cool sometimes, it wasn’t enough for me to want to go past Volume 2.

Mangas NOT To Waste Your Money On

Some of you might think I like all manga.  The reason that I don’t usually review mangas I dislike is because I’d rather not give them the attention.  I feel like they don’t deserve my time if they have not done their job and entertained me.  In this post, I’m going to warn you about three books I did not enjoy.

bizBizenghast, Volume #1 by M. Alice LeGrow
I was first attracted to this manga by the spooky gothic artwork on the front of a girl whose body is a violin.  The cover stopped me in my tracks as I perused the manga aisle.  The artwork inside is just as breathtaking, but with such beautiful artwork, you would assume the story would be just as chilling.  Sure there was a graveyard, lost souls, riddles, and keys, but somehow it wasn’t as scary as I had hoped.  I may, in time, decide to return to this series and give it another chance, but at this time it will stay on my shelf.

darkhungerDark Hunger by Christine Feehan, Illustrations by Zid & Imaginary Friends Studio
I have not read any of Christine’s novels and  am sure they are good by the reviews I’ve heard from some of her fans.  This book seems like a mistake made by the publishing company.  It was overly illustrated, not like a manga at all.  I felt like I was reading some 1980’s comic out of the back of my mother’s Redbook.  This was definitely a stab by the publisher to try and get in on the manga market, but it was done very badly.  The underlying plot was very interesting, so I don’t fault the writer.  I think it was probably just made by people who have never read a manga before in their lives.  Perhaps it will interest Christine’s fans to own a copy of the manga just to say they have the whole collection.  I doubt it though, as the fans I’ve talked to have said things like, “I don’t read those weird manga things.”  So, if the publishers were trying to corner the manga market, they missed it by a long shot.  I’m glad I only paid a dollar for it from the sale aisle. For a book-to-manga translation done well, check out Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

luvhalloweenI Luv Halloween, Volume #1 by Keith Griffen & Benjamin Roman
I really wanted this to be a great book.  Halloween is my favorite holiday.  The art promises greatness when you see kids dressed in costumes and spooky jack-o-lanterns around.  How can you get that wrong?  Well, they did.  I think perhaps you would love this book if you were a ten-year-old boy who likes boob jokes and farts with the intention of grossing out friends.  Reading this manga is like being trapped in a station wagon with pre-teen boys all the way across the Great Salt Lake.  No one wants to do it and once you reach Nevada, all you can think of is leaving them at the pitstop so you don’t have to listen to their nonsensical chitter chatter any longer.  I pitched this book out of my house the first chance I got.

GhostTalkersDaydream1Ghost Talker’s Daydream, Volume #1 by Saki Okuse & Sankichi Meguro
I almost bought this book, but thankfully for a long line at the register, was saved from the disappointment I was sure to experience if I had purchased it.  This cover was so beautiful, I was about to be fooled again!  If there is one thing these manga companies are getting right, it is the glossy cover art.  If you get a chance, check out the cover at a store because the photo online does not do the cover art justice.  When I saw the cover, it reminded me of spooky Japanese movies I’ve seen where there is some sort of ghost presence in the closet waiting to kill you.  Something I awe at when reading manga is that the artists are able to redraw the characters in so many different moods and poses, but they still look like the same character.  This manga’s art was very inconsistent and the characters even sometimes ugly.  The lead girl pictures were sometimes so different, I had trouble knowing it was her.    There was a parental guidance label on the cover, which was warranted because of the strange “up the skirt” shots the artist chose to depict at weird angles.  At times these shots were awkward and not in pleasant proportions. The reason I finally put it down was that although they had the parental advisory, talked about the lead having a job at an S&M club, and showed various vulgar shots of her womanhood, they didn’t allow her to say the name of her body parts.  Perhaps they thought is is more x-rated to PRINT the word than to see it displayed on the page in art?  I have no idea, but didn’t want to find out.

If you’ve read these mangas and have another view, I’d love to hear it.  I’d like to know if there is something I missed.  Feel free to comment here and let me know.

Manga Review: Book of Friends by Yuki Midorikawa

bokNatsume is an orphan who sees spirits called yokai. In Japanese folklore, Yokai are a class of monsters that are mostly portrayed as humans, but can shape shift into other forms. In Book of Friends, they are interchangeable as demons or spirits.

Not only can Natsume see them, but he has been tortured by them all his life. One day, Natsume meets a demon named Nyanko who is trapped in a lucky cat statue. Nyanko can also change into his natural form which is a giant cat three times the size of Natsume. It’s pretty scary when he stands over Natsume while he sleeps, wondering if he should eat him. Gives new meaning to waking up with a cat on your chest!

Nyanko tells Natsume his grandmother used to play games with demons. She saw the supernatural too and for reasons he is yet to understand, she locked hundreds of demon promises in a book called the Book of Friends. Whoever owns the book may call the demons and they have to obey their orders. Nyanko follows Natsume and kind of helps him because he wants the book himself to control demons. Natsume tells Nyanko he can have the book when he dies.

Just like any good hero, poor Natsume doesn’t want to own demons. He just wants to get rid of them so they stop trying to kill him. By calling the demon’s name, stuffing the paper with their name on it in his mouth and clapping, the demon promise is released from the book and therefore, the spirit is free to live their life without fear. However, if Natsume tears, burns, or in any other way destroys the page with their name on it, the demon will tear, burn, or die in whatever means the paper did.

During Natsume’s quest to free the demons, he meets many different, strange spirits. They remind me of the minister creature at Beetlejuice’s wedding. One spirit he meets (and eventually frees) is Tsuyukami, the God of Dew. Once worshipped by many, he has only one worshipper left, an old lady with little time to live. As his worshipper’s dwindle, Tsuyukami gets shorter and smaller until he is now just the size of Snap, Crackle, and Pop. He peeks around Natsume’s bowl one morning and asks him to be free.

Each spirit is different and I enjoyed finding out who Natsume will meet next! Some are sweet, like the one who used to be a swallow bird, and just wants to see the man who picked her off the pavement and put her back in her nest, but others are horrifying. This is a fun read for anyone into demons or spirits.

This manga is available at Amazon, for Kindle or print.

Manga Review: Anima by Dany & Dany

Before I go into this review, I’d like to bring up the subject of Yaoi. Yaoi (pronounced Yowie) is a form of manga that features male to male romantic stories usually written by women, for women. Often erotic, these tales can be little more than porn, or they can be truly beautiful stories of love that transcend race, sex, and even species. The best Yaoi I have ever read is the topic today.

ddfanart

Anima was written by Dany & Dany, two women from Italy who write and draw all their own comics. Daniela Orrù and Daniela Serri are known as paranormal manga creators by those in Japan and around the world. They work as instructors at two major comic schools in Italy. Dany & Dany are also Vampire Chronicle fans and because they have an interest in portraying Louis and Lestat in a Yaoi light, you may sense a vampire feeling in their work. Some of their works have characters that look so much like Louis and Lestat, you may find yourself looking twice to see if it is our beloved vamp boys. For those of you that like the idea of Louis and Lestat being lovers, you will be excited to know Dany and Dany have done some fan art that can be found sprinkled across the internet. If you find a well done fan pic of Louis, Lestat, or Claudia in manga style, it is usually theirs.

anima_500The cover of Anima shows just a glimpse of the coolness you will find inside the book. Anima features crisp, clean art in a steampunk setting. On a ship like the Titanic, a beautiful love story ensues between a gorgeous writer and an angel-like ballet dancer.  The beautiful android dancer, Danya, is injected with “Anima” to allow him to feel human emotions, but what his creator doesn’t realize is that the injection also allows him to fall in love. Patrick, a cynical journalist and admirer of Danya, just happens to be there as Danya’s emotions are released. They fall in love, but Patrick doesn’t know Danya is an android. Though Patrick is an android sympathizer, will he be able to over look the fact that his new love is one? And once Danya’s creator finds he loves another, will he be able to let him go?

Anima is an erotic love story that may not be for everyone. Parental guidance is suggested.

Extras:  The Terrible Plot Demon is a one page, silly, chibi cartoon where the characters torture the authors.

To find out more about Dany & Dany, go to their website at: danyanddany.com

HorrorAddicts.net 095, Shana Abe’

Horror Addicts Episode# 095

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini

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shana abe’ | jenn vix | masque of red death

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

39 days till Halloween!

| halloween music | masque of red death | mimi williams |

| artistic license | the fool’s illusion | holes for faces |

| interrupt | best in blood | shaunessy ashdown | jenn vix |

| free fiction friday: kindred | the sweetest dark | black magic |

| the company of wolves || manga | the national psychic academy |

| princess ai | werewolf movie list | the deepest night | shana abe’ |

———————–

Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…

horroraddicts@gmail.com

————————

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

Sapphire Neal, David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz, Mimielle

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email horroraddicts@gmail.com

c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

http://www.horroraddicts.net

m u s i c

http://www.graveconcernsezine.com

Manga Review: Psychic Academy by Katsu Aki

pacdemyThe National Psychic Academy: A place for psychically gifted youth to expand their powers, be hit on by frisky co-eds, and meet talking bunnies. Poor Ai doesn’t even believe that he has psychic gifts. How can he be expected to survive at a school where his brother is a hero and his talking bunny keeps pushing him into embarrassing situations?

This manga is rated 13+, and reads like a schoolboy locker room chat. With many racy shots, young girl’s bathing, naked little fairies, and several “accidental” boob grabs, this book seems written by a young boy, for young boys.

The bunny, who claims to be Master Boo, speaks like Andrew Dice Clay and seems to want to pick up girls more than help Ai learn his skills.

“Now watch an’ learn as I pluck a coupla young, unsuspecting, ripe tomatoes.”

Ai’s brother, Zero or “The Vanquisher of the Dark Overlord”, is over the top with his two page intro where the artist paints him like an old-time comic book hero, metal codpiece, cape blowing in the breeze. It get’s worse later, when Zero fights off a bully, using the clothes vanishing technique and tells the bully,

“That’s terrifying coming from a fool with his wee wee hanging out.”

Ai’s roommate was portrayed as the “stupid foreigner”. I think he is supposed to be Middle Eastern and the way they treat him I find offensive. He wears robes, sleeps like some sort of Kama Sutra pretzel, has a symbol on his head, and is always doing dumb things.

If you’re not a male pre-teen, you’ll probably hate this one. For me, it was slightly entertaining because of the few magic fights involved, but not worth reading more volumes.

Extras: None. But you do get to see a preview of the next volume. Featuring… another accidental boob grab!

Manga Review: Princess Ai by Courtney Love, DJ Milky, and Mishaho Kujiradou

Princess-AI-Volume-1-9781591826699Princess Ai is a girl with a slammin’ body who finds herself lost on the streets of Tokyo.  Her clothes are in shambles and all she has as a clue to who she is and where she came from is a heart shaped box.  The scantily-clad bombshell meets a young innocent student named Kent who attempts from that day forward to help and protect her.  Ai soon becomes a singing star, has tons of adoring fans, and sprouts wings! The secret of Ai’s origin is one that unfolds so well in the books, that I wouldn’t dare spill it.

kurtandcort

If any of you know anything about Courtney Love or her late husband Kurt Cobain, you can surely see the connection between them and the story.  Ai means “love” in Japanese and it is said that Ai is loosely based on Love’s life story.  Her heart-shaped box, which is prominent in the story, was a hit song by Nirvana and referred to a present Courtney gave Kurt.

It is interesting to see the evolution of fashion in these musically inspired books.  The first volume starts with simple shredded outfits and ends with an almost Playboy Halloween costume Lolita dress.

princessai2

Volume two adds some cosplay elements and ends with an even more Bo Peep-ish Lolita dress.  There is also a vampire-like adversary who is dressed like a succubus vixen, reminiscent of Morrigan Aensland from Darkstalkers.  Volume three brings in a lot of Victorian elements as well as kingdom and Edwardian styles.  The art in all of the books is the kind that you can stare at for hours, whether you are inspecting AI’s costumes for inspiration, or her body for pleasure.

Special features in the books include:

Volume 2: An article about the making of the Princess Ai dolls.

Volume 3: Ai paperdolls, an afterward by DJ Milky, and a cosplay Ai look a-like-contest review with pictures of the fans.

For those hard core Ai fans, you might want to invest in the Princess Ai Roses & Tattoos art/poetry book.  This book does not have any more story in it, but it does have plastic sleeves with 16 full color pin-up pictures of AI.  Each pin-up has poetry on the back.  There are also 12 pages of AI stickers that you will never want to use because they are just so cool.

aicolorI also own these other volumes:

  • Princess Ai: Rumors From The Other Side, which is a fan art manga with different stories drawn by really good fan artists. The art ranges from traditional manga, to some that looks like Archie cartoons, to comic book vixen style.
  • Princess Ai Color Me Manga Coloring book, which contains about 60 one sided coloring sheets of Ai and Kent.
  • Princess Ai The Prism of Midnight Dawn, Volume 1 by Christine Boylan & D.J. Milky.  This is the first of the trilogy and my copy came with a music CD of Ai songs, though I am not sure all copies do.  I found it enjoyable, but not as good as the first series.

Princess Ai successfully combines a love of art, music, and fashion into a series that will have you occupied for hours.  Happy reading!

HorrorAddicts.net 091, Greg Chapman

Horror Addicts Episode# 091

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini

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greg chapman | unveil | suck

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

| corb lund gravedigger | craft: horror collage | suck |

| travis heermann | marc vale parsecs | best band season 7 |

| unviel | fff thirst | books solitude sumiko saulson | freaks |

| paranormal bookstore | black magic | mortal instruments |

| nyx cosmetics | princess resurrection | mental ward |

| events | dead mail | emz graveyard cake | writing advice |

| horror games | greg chapman |

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Corb Lund – Gravedigger

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79llXVDWbCQ

Corb Lund – Gothest Girl I Can

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa4EOtwNKT0

Travis Heermann

http://www.travisheermann.com/

Greg Chapman

http://darkscribe.wix.com/gregchapman

Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…

horroraddicts@gmail.com

————————

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

Sapphire Neal, David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz, Mimielle

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email horroraddicts@gmail.com

c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

http://www.horroraddicts.net

m u s i c

http://www.graveconcernsezine.com

Manga Review: Princess Resurrection by Yasunori Mitsunaga

Hiro

Contrary to what the cover and write up leads you to believe, the star of this manga is not Princess Resurrection.  The true star is Hiro, an abandoned boy who is resurrected to be a slave for the princess. Poor Hiro wakes up in a morgue unaware that he is now undead and wanders to the Princess’s house.

Princess Resurrection is nonchalant and uncaring of his life or what becomes of him. As the daughter of the king who stands above all monsters, I guess she has the luxury of being jaded about death.  She wields many weapons such as stakes, swords, jackhammers, and her favorite, a chain saw. Despite the many monsters she massacres, her dress is never damaged. Now, this is a girl we can look up to!

So, let’s see… we have a hell-bent princess, an undead boy, a robot maid, is there someone missing?  Ah yes!  Let’s add a rebellious werewolf girl into the mix.

These books are great. No matter how many times Hiro is “accidentally” killed by the Princess’s weapons or the robot maid says her only word “Hooba”, this story never gets old.

What you’ll find in Volume 1:princessr

  • Hiro wakes up dead and finds the Princess battling a horde of werewolves.
  • Insane hospital employees attempt to make Hiro their savior and then try to kill him.
  • Werewolf girl saves Princess Resurrection from a battalion of squidmen.
  • Extras in the back include a four page spin-off comic and two pages of translation notes explaining the significance of certain scenes along with a sneak peek at Volume 2.
  • Favorite quote: “You think Hiro’s alright?”
    “He only drowned for one night.  There shouldn’t be a problem.”

What you’ll find in Volume 2:

  • The Princess’s evil little sister visits and infects the house with triffids.
  • A sexy vampire girl wants Hiro for her own and attempts to steal him from the Princess.
  • The Princess battles another horde of werewolves.
  • The robot maid finds an android who she cares for.
  • The Princess kills an eyeball squid creature with a jackhammer.
  • Extras in the back include a five page spin-off comic and two pages of translation notes explaining the significance of certain scenes along with a sneak peek at Volume 3 which looks to include a mummy army.
  • Favorite quote: While most of the crew is fighting for their lives against triffids, the maid is cleaning up. “It’s a little noisy upstairs… Oh well. I need to vacuum!”

The art in this manga is not pretty and frilly, but it is very well done. Monster art, gory blood, fighting, and a girl who cuddles her weapons? What more can a horror manga fan want?

HorrorAddictsCon: May Favorite Things – Emz More Favorites

My Favorite Things

By Emerian Rich

Manga:

  1. Black Butler / He’s just one hell of a butler
  2. Godchild / Awesome Victorian gentleman battling crime and studying poisons.
  3. Death Note / One word… Shimigami.
  4. Rozen Maiden / Dolls come to life and order you around.
  5. Alice in the Country of Hearts / Clock hearts?

Books:

  1. Bloodchild by Andrew Niederman
  2. Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steven Hockensmith
  3. Pandora by Anne Rice
  4. Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite
  5. Underwood and Flinch by Mike Bennett (when it comes out)

Spooky Locations I Want To Visit:

  1. The Sedlec Ossuary – church of bones
  2. The Tower of London
  3. Oak Alley – Plantation near New Orleans
  4. Sleepy Hollow, NY 
  5. Translyvania

Makeup Tricks/ Tips:

  1. NYX (not to be confused with NYC) shadows and powders
  2. Liquid black eyeliner art – don’t be afraid to paint outside the lines
  3. Glitter plunger – to spray a favorite glitter onto wet eyeliner– instant glitter glue
  4. Prosthetic glue – to glitter up your eyes without worrying about it coming off
  5. Sparkle nail polish to add small dots on eyeliner dots – not directly on face and not too close to eye… that hurts!

Clothing Items:

  1. Stripey knee socks (black and white are kinda out, choose another color or go with a non-striped pattern)
  2. Wrist warmers or fingerless gloves
  3. Scarves – all different textures… but must be soft to the skin
  4. Awesome boots of all kinds
  5. Layered, multi-textured skirts of all lengths
“Emz has her own unique style. I’ve known some very fashion conscious people, but they’re usually dressing to impress others. Emz dresses to express herself. I especially noticed the creativity of her eye make-up. The two siides were deliberately coordinated but not identical. They were unique– like Emz.” ~Heather Roulo

Now tell me about your favorites!