torachan: karkat from homestuck looking bored (karkat bored)
Title: Sasurai Emanon
Author: Tsuruta Kenji & Kajio Shinji
Number of Volumes: 1
My Rating: 4/5

Summary: Emanon is a young woman with memories going back to the first life on earth. But she's not immortal, rather the memories are passed on from mother to daughter, at which point the mother forgets who she was and the daughter becomes Emanon.

Review: I read Omoide Emanon a while back and thought the premise was intriguing but was annoyed at how the story was not about her, but about this dude she met and how meeting her affected him. So I was unsure when I started this one, but it turned out to be much more what I had been hoping for. There are two separate stories in this volume, both of which are much more about Emanon herself. I especially enjoyed the one where we get a lot of her backstory for this present incarnation of her (and a deeper look at what happens when the memories are passed on).

I translated this for Kotonoha, so not only do scanlations exist, I can guarantee they're good quality!

Title: Hideout
Author: Kakizaki Masasumi
Number of Volumes: 1
My Rating: 3/5

Summary: Seiichi Kirishima takes his wife on a tropical vacation, ostensibly to reconcile after the death of their child, but his real purpose is to kill her and start a new life. But when he chases her into a cave and encounters a murderous old man, he finds that he has become the hunted.

Review: The art is great, but the story was just eh. I would have liked it more if there hadn't been so much focus on trying to make the wife seem like the badguy. (He just wanted a family, but she was a coldhearted bitch who never even wanted kids and was glad when their son died! Bleh.) Also it feels like his change of mind in the end (trying not to be too spoilery) comes too quickly. I didn't dislike the ending, but it happened too quickly.

This was also scanlated by Kotonoha, though I wasn't the translator. (It's a good translation, though. I just read it to refresh my memory of the story.)

Title: NEET Onna to Shougaku 2 Nensei
Author: Shimizu Aki
Number of Volumes: 1
My Rating: 3/5

Summary: This is a collection of six one-shots, all but two of which (the title story and its sequel) are unrelated.

Review: I can't remember how I heard about this, but I had assumed the volume was one story and was kind of disappointed when it wasn't. The title story and its sequel are definitely the best stories here, though the others aren't bad. The title story is about an unlikely friendship between a college girl who's all but dropped out and barely leaves her apartment and a second-grader whose parents are getting divorced. The sequel revisits them five years later. If I'd read this before Kaleidoscope nominations, I might have nominated it (though seeing as it's not out in English, even in scanlation, makes it kind of unlikely anyone would have written it for me!) because it's totally femslashy.
torachan: (Default)
Catching up on my reviews, here are some one-shots I've read recently. None of these have official US releases, but they have all been fully scanlated by Kotonoha (I translated Kokoro no Kanashimi myself, can't speak for the quality of the other two).

Title: Kokoro no Kanashimi
Author: Nishioka Kyoudai
Number of Volumes: 1
My Rating: 4/5

Summary: A collection of bizarre, dreamlike short stories.

Review: I really disliked Kami no Kodomo, the first manga I read by this brother/sister mangaka team, but I enjoyed these short stories a lot more. The art is unique and interesting and goes very well with the decidedly odd, often dreamlike tone of the stories.

Sadness of the Heart on Kotonoha

Title: Love My Life
Author: Yamaji Ebine
Number of Volumes: 1
My Rating: 4/5

Summary: Ichiko nervously introduces her girlfriend to her father, only to find out that her dad is gay, too, as was her (now deceased) mom. The revelation unsettles her, making her wonder if she (or her girlfriend) would ever choose a traditional life over what they have, as well as whether or not her parents really loved each other.

Review: Ichiko's questions are answered fairly early on, and the manga turns into more of just a slice-of-life story about her and her girlfriend and their day-to-day problems (not all or even mostly relationship problems, though there is that; there's also Ichiko taking steps towards realising her dream of becoming a translator like her dad, and her girlfriend figuring out what she wants to do in life). I enjoyed it overall, especially as a nice change from typical yuri manga with its gay-for-you-ness and general isolation of the couple from any other queer characters (between Ichiko, her girlfriend, her best friend & his boyfriend(s), her dad and his boyfriend, her mom, her mom's former lover & her new partner, there are far, far more queer characters in this story than there are straight (the only straight characters I can think of are the girlfriend's father and a girl at Ichiko's university who has a crush on Ichiko's best friend)). This was also made into a movie, which is available in English (region 1). I saw the movie quite a while ago and enjoyed it, too.

Love My Life on Kotonoha

Title: Omoide Emanon
Author: Tsuruta Kenji & Kajio Shinji
Number of Volumes: 1
My Rating: 3/5

Summary: Onboard a ship in 1967, a college student meets a mysterious girl, Emanon ("no name" backwards) who, after seeing him reading a novel in which memories can be passed from one person to another, confides to him that she is three billion years old mentally. Physically she's seventeen, but she has memories dating back to the beginning of life on Earth.

Review: This has lovely art and is intriguing, but I find it annoying that it's not actually about Emanon, but about this guy who meets her and how that affects him. Her story is much more interesting to me and I wish we'd actually gotten more of that. It's based on a novel (which turned into a series) and at first I wondered if the novel(s) might actually be about her, but the summary of one of the other ones on Amazon is the same sort of thing (boy meets Emanon and his life is changed by her). :-/

Memories of Emanon on Kotonoha


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