Saturday, July 25, 2015


This is a review of Gangsta volume 1 by Kohske.
I gave this book ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5 stars, I loved it.

In the city of Ergatstulum there are three mafia families that keep the peace.  Everyone is free to go about their shady business as they wish but the three families keep all out gang war from happening.  It is a dark city with a nasty underbelly full of dirty cops, murder, prostitution, violence, bloodshed and mercenaries.  There are also the mysterious enhanced humans called "Twilights" or "Tags."

Nic Brown and Worick Arcangelo are the Handymen.  They do jobs for the three families, the police and anyone who pays them.  They take the jobs that no one else wants or can handle.  Like taking down a fourth gang that is trying to mess with the peace or protecting an unaffiliated doctor from thugs.

Nic & Worick aren't saints by any means but so far they seem to have a sense of justice that they follow.  Nic is deaf and the way they treat that in this book is great.  No one treats him special or like he isn't capable of doing things for himself.  Worick is an interesting character.  He is funny, cheeky, flirtatious, handsy and a strange mix of noble.  He chose not to kill someone that he was supposed to and saved them instead.  He is violent and shoots people but he also reins Nic in and stops him from killing too many people.  Both of them have an unexplored past but hints have been made about it and I am interested to see what is revealed later.

This is being published as part of Viz Media's "Viz Signature" line.  It is a larger trim size and has some cool extra touches.  The gold foil on the cover is nice and I like the matte finish.  There is a color page at the beginning and some special extras at the end.  This book is rated M and it definitely deserves that rating, blood, violence and prostitution are very prevalent in this series.

I highly recommend this book.  If you enjoyed Black Lagoon, Cowboy Bebop or Jorgmungand you will enjoy this.  If you like a story with rich complex characters and violence doesn't turn you off this is a great series.  I am interested to see how the rest of it plays out.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Alice in Murderland

This is a review for Alice in Murderland by Kaori Yuki.
I gave this book ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5 stars, I loved it..

Stella and her eight siblings have all been adopted by the incredibly wealthy and powerful Kuonji family.  One of their traditions is a monthly "Mad Tea Party" where every sibling must attend.  At this Mad Tea Party their mother makes a strange announcement "I'd like you children to now fight one another to the death."  Chaos erupts, shots are fired, Stella falls into a pit and everyone screams.  In the midst of the chaos a new Stella appears complete with blond hair, blue dress and machine guns and she is ready to play!

Stella is a fairly average high school girl.  Her family is a little strange and she has a big brother complex but her life is happy and she and her siblings get along well.  It is funny how fast those things can change when your mother pits you against each other in a life or death struggle to be the next head of the family.

I am absolutely an Alice in Wonderland junkie.  I love all the various versions and I especially love to see new takes on the source material and unconventional interpretations of the original.  This version is a unique interpretation, one I haven't seen before.  We have all seen the madness takes over and everyone is crazy and killing each other versions of Alice in Wonderland.  There are tons of those.  This version goes beyond that with a twist that I found really interesting.  I won't tell you want that twist is, you will have to read it for yourself!

I found the cast of characters to be interesting and well rounded.  There are some you like, some you hate and some that are just there.  Each one is harboring their own little secret and Stella is a great medium to discovering them.  Stella is a tad naive and trusting, she just wants her life back, her eight loving siblings and a mother who doesn't start war games at a tea party. 

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  I am looking forward to the next volume of this series.  The hardback cover and vibrant slip cover are wonderful touches.  I really like the high quality release that Yen Press did with this.  It is a great addition to my bookshelf.

If you enjoyed Pandora Hearts or the American McGee's Alice video game series this book will be right up your alley.  If you are looking for a unique take on the classic Alice story you should definitely check this one out!