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Entries in tokyopop (2)

Sunday
May152011

The AniManga Podcast Episode 2, "In the Middle of Summer"

On this episode of The AniManga Podcast, Dominic, my friend Victor and I discuss the closure of American manga publishing company TOKYOPOP, FUNimation's new beta site, and the film Summer Wars, directed by Mamoru Hosoda.

It's a brilliant and vibrant discussion that will leave you weak at the knees and your minds full of happiness and vigor.

To subscribe on iTunes to the podcast, click the podcast logo at top of the PODCAST PAGE. To just download the AAC file, click the link at the bottom of THE PODCAST POST. To download the MP3, click the link at the bottom of THIS POST.

The AniManga Podcast Episode 2 MP3

Monday
Jul262010

Future Diary, Vol. 1 Manga Review

Written by Jammer

Writer/Artist: Sakae Esuno
Age Rating: Older Teen

Yukiteru's as passive as they come.  Instead of hanging out after school with friends, he walks all by himself with his cell phone out, typing away.  But what exactly is he doing on that phone?   Turns out, it's nothing more than diary he keeps.  Literally every observation he makes gets typed down.  It serves no purpose other than to keep Yukiteru sane.  He's even grown so lonely as to have imaginary friends: a "god" named Deus Ex Machina and his little assistant Muru Muru.  Even when he's feeling most down, he can turn to them.  But Deus Ex Machina is a little bored, and decides to play a little game.  He imbues Yukiteru's cell phone with the ability to tell the future.  Anything that Yukiteru WOULD HAVE written, gets written a long time in advance.  As fun as it is at first, Yukiteru soon finds out that he isn't the only one with a special cell phone, and that he may have inadvertently become a part of a deadly survival game!

This is one of those manga I've seen in the bookstore for a long time now.  I've always picked it up and taken a look at the cover, but never really gotten around to reading it until recently.  And I can say without hesitation that I wish I had picked it up earlier, because this series is a whole lot of fun.  Admittedly, it isn't the most original of titles this side of the world.  Even from the premise I started to think "this sounds like Death Note meets Battle Royale meets Eden of the East," and based on the first volume...that's a fairly accurate description.

But let it be noted that that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  To be honest, it's all about the execution.  This manga does seem like a cross between a lot of the best anime out there, but that doesn't keep it from being entertaining in its own right.  The pacing is very fast, so fast that I began to wonder how this series would last for more than four volumes.  There are lots of twists and turns that get thrown your way, and the way he uses the characters different cell phone ability is pretty ingenious.  The coolest example of this is how Yukiteru and Yuno, a "stalker" who's had a crush on him for some time now.  Her cell phone tells her what happens to Yukiteru in increments of ten minutes.  In times of desperation, using the phones together becomes essential to their survival.  

Sometimes the different phones, their abilities, and whether or not what happens actually makes sense threw me off for a split second every now and then, but everything usually falls back into place.  Even things that aren't fully explained make sense if you take an extra moment to think about it, and that's what makes the series worth reading.  I get the feeling that I'm in good hands when it comes to the author.  I feel like he understands his world and won't resort to cop-outs or resort to solutions that aren't entirely plausible.

The art of this manga is decent, but nothing special.  It gets the job done well enough without drawing any real attention to itself.  There's nothing about it to distinguish it from any of the other thriller titles out there.  Like I said earlier, it's a title I've picked up several times before, but never got until now, so that should say something.  You won't be won over by the art.  It'll be the execution of the story that gets you.  

On the whole, Future Diary is a solid, albeit not quite original title.  But its lack of originality is more than made up for by its quick pacing, and the increasing complexity of its premise.  It keeps you on the edge of your seat, and even better, gets you trying to guess what happens next.  If you're a fan of thrillers, have already read Death Note and just want to go on a fun ride, look no further than Future Diary.

Rating: 8/10

Pros: Fast-pacing, takes full advantage of the premise

Cons: Feels like it's trying to take the best parts of more original titles