Arisu and his friends are slackers who couldn’t care less about high school or even what comes after it. Arisu is especially bored with how his life is playing out, and he often wishes to be swept away into another world. He soon learns to be careful what to wish for, because he and his two friends are mysteriously pulled into a future dystopia. The city is starting to be reclaimed by nature, but what's happening in this place is far from natural. Arisu, his two friends, and a mysterious girl are forced together into a team and must play twisted games in order to stay longer in this world. The failure for playing is instant death, so they're damned if they do, damned if they don't.
Illustrated by Pius Bak and Roman Titov
Warning, this review contains spoilers, but then again, so does the title.
Joey and her boyfriend, Astor, go to Astor’s family home for the summer - Crestfall Bluffs. Astor is worried about coming back home as a recovering alcoholic, so while Joey is apprehensive about meeting his family, she pulls it together to help him keep it together. She also wants to make a good impression as she may land an internship at a prestigious law firm owned by one of the many affluent families of Crestfall Bluffs. But, when she sees Astor’s father murder a man and the rest of the rich eat him, she has to come to terms with what is expected of people in this world. She decides to do the unthinkable in order to be accepted, and it comes with an even bigger price - those who start eating human flesh can no longer be satisfied with other foods. Joey befriends and later falls in love with the nanny of Astor’s much-younger brother. The two work together to turn Crestfall Bluff on its head and instead of eating the poor, they eat the rich.
Vol 5: A Game of You, illustrated by Shawn McManus, Colleen Doran, Bryan Talbot, George Pratt, Stan Woch, Dick Giordano, lettered by Todd Klein
Barbie, who we first met in A Doll’s House, is back again - this time as a long absent princess of a small realm within The Dreaming. Joining her on this adventure are Wanda, her neighbor and a trans female, Thessaly, who is apparently centuries old and a witch, and the lesbian couple of Foxglove and Hazel. Barbie is called back to her dream realm when one of her faithful subjects crosses realms and ends up in the Waking World looking for her. The Cuckoo, the villain of Barbie’s dreams, has also stationed an agent in Barbie’s building who tries to manipulate the other occupants into attacking Barbie in her sleep, but Thessaly is stronger, and she forces the agent to give up the Cuckoo’s plan. She then barters passage for herself, Foxglove, and Hazel to enter into Barbie’s dream to save her.
This volume takes over from volume two with the video that Ushio and Ushioh made to explain how they have been working together to stop the shadows. Ushioh then remembers everything that happened from the moment she copied Ushio, and she shows Shin and Sou from her own memories what happened to Ushio. Ushioh then remembers all the practice she did in using her special shadow powers, and the three go to an abandoned medical facility on the island to investigate further. Several paths lead to this facility, and before long, the pairs of Mio and Tatsu, and Master Negume and Ginjiro also enter the medical facility. They all learn much more about the shadows’ plans, but are once again unable to stop everything bad from happening, so Shin loops back for a fifth time.
Illustrated by Natsuko Uruma
Kiyoharu Saeyama is currently posing as a high school biology teacher, but that's only because he's really a Curse Breaker on the hunt for the next Curse Killer. He's contracted to find those who make pacts with Curse Gods, and break their contracts before too many people die. He has some special abilities that help him trace Curse Killers - he's able to ask the dead one question about their contractor in the hopes of narrowing down the suspect pool. Curse killings also come with several unbreakable rules, and they're not exactly spelled out for the Killers. So, while they're busy making sure they meet their quota of kills per month, Killers must also find out the rules and make sure their kills go off without a hitch. If they successfully fulfill the terms of their contract, the Curse Gods will bestow on them immense power.
Adapted by David M. Booher, illustrated by Zoe Thorogood, colored by Chris O'Halloran
Honeysuckle and her girlfriend Yolanda are so excited to be finally moving in together. As they pack up the car with all of Yolanda’s things, the dark storm clouds over Boulder open up and let down a deluge - of razor sharp, nail-like crystals that pierce those out in the open. And this isn’t an isolated incident. Over the next few days, the sky drops more crystals all over Colorado, and other parts of the world. Honeysuckle traverses the somewhat post-apocalyptic landscape for survivors and for some answers to what has happened to the clouds.
Mao comes across yet another of his fellow apprentices who should not be alive after 900 years. It seems no one remembers every detail of what happened so long ago between all of the apprentices and their master, so Mao keeps searching for answers. Mao and fellow apprentice Hakka take out several water shikigami with the help of Nanoka, who has an affinity for earth spells and can take on water monsters with ease. Many bad guys are looking for the “taizanfukun” spell that Mao's master was guarding, the most powerful onmyoji spell said to grant long life. The last Mao saw of it, Byoki was devouring it, so now everyone's sending shikigami after Mao to see if his connection to Byoki can restore the taizanfukun spell.
Illustrated by Werther Dell'Edera, colored by Miquel Muerto
Erica hones in on the source of the monsters, which is actually a person who willed them into existence. She brings James to where Bian is staying and asks them about the first time they knew about the monster. Meanwhile, the Order of St. George sends another team to Archer’s Peak to contain the spiraling situation. As they try to figure out what to do with all the witnesses at the school gym, Tommy comes up with a story that will potentially keep everyone safe and hopefully stop the bloodshed.
Vol 4: Seasons of Mist, illustrated by Kelley Jones, Malcolm Jones III, Mike Dringenberg, Matt Wagner, Dick Giordano, George Pratt, P. Craig Russell
We open up on the Garden of Destiny, who is visited by the Three Fates. He is unsettled by what they reveal, so he calls the rest of his family to a meeting: Despair, Desire, Delirium, Death, and Dream. The family chides Dream for his short temper, particularly in the case of his former lover, Nada, who he condemned to torment in Hell for not agreeing to become his queen. He eventually sees their side, and decides to re-enter Hell to free Nada. This might be the end of him, as Lucifer told him so on their last encounter. He says his goodbyes and readies his kingdom, but when he enters Hell, he finds it eerily empty. Lucifer meets up with him and tells him he’s let all the demons go, he’s released all the tortured, and the dead have gone back to wherever they came from. He gives the Key to Hell to Dream and peaces out, knowing the possession of the key is going to make Dream’s life miserable. Shortly thereafter, hosts of deities show up at Dream’s castle, all with a claim to the Key to Hell.
With Migi’s cells now infused all throughout Shinichi’s body, is he becoming less human? Murano, the girl he likes, is starting to think he’s changed in a bad way — he’s colder, more violent, and maybe starting to become a punk. While Shinichi and Migi try to figure out what he’s doing to give off this vibe, another parasite comes to the school: Shimada, who claims that he isn’t eating humans and he’s come to learn how to co-exist with them. Neither Shinichi nor Migi trust him for a second, and it turns out that Tamiya, the parasite posing as a teacher who crossed paths in previous volumes, is the one who set Shimada on Shinichi’s path! Another classmate tries to find out more about Shimada and accidentally sets off another murder-spree at her school. But, thanks to this incident, the authorities have finally started to crack the code on these alien invaders.
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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