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Archive for October, 2010

Xxxholic Manga #16

Yuko really is gone. Only those with magic themselves or magic items remember her. Watanuki decides to run the shop in Yuko’s place and wait there until he sees her again. He becomes like Yuko, unable to leave the shop and granting his customer’s wishes. But granting wishes and knowing the right price to charge is no easy matter. Thankfully, Maru and Mono and Mokona are still around, and Domeki regularly does the grocery shopping for Watanuki. Actually, most of this volume takes place a good five years later or so. Watanuki hasn’t changed, but he has learned to use his abilities to effectively run the shop, thanks to some tutoring from Haruka. Watanuki gets an interesting customer who in some ways looks a lot like Yuko. She brings an instrument that will no longer allow itself to be played . . .

Yeah. Let’s just say that Rou or Cage is the perfect addition to the title for the start of this part of the series.

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This week’s episode is: The Newspaper Club Assault ☆ Interview.

So Duke and Bianca still don’t like each other. Duke isn’t very helpful. Bianca’s advice actually does help Vanilla out. Vanilla is regularly getting orange hearts now. As for Chocolate, she is determined to get an orange heart She also has a new admirer! It is Nishitani from the newspaper club. Chocolate catches him taking her photo, and after that he has a crush. When the newspaper club can’t decide what to make their next issue about, Nishitani decides to take over and interview Chocolate. When Akira finds out about this, he tries to warn Chocolate off (Akira still thinks she is an alien), but Nishitani sees this and he gets into a fight with Akira. Akira quits the newspaper club. The good news is that Nishitani’s heart is orange. The bad news is that Chocolate keeps forgetting to take it. (The first time, during the interview, she is distracted by Pierre.) Chocolate determines once and for all to take Nishitani’s heart, and Nishitani has something to show her: an edition of the school paper devoted solely to her. The other members of the newspaper club are not happy about this and quit. Nishitani’s heart turns from orange to pink and Chocolate takes it. She does some magic to try and help Nishitani make up with the other members of the newspaper club, but it turns out Nishitani doesn’t need any help doing that after all.

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This week’s episode is: The camera thieves.

I don’t know about Marcel teaching the Barron tricks (has he given up on that yet), but the Barron seems to like Marcel now and considers him one of the family. Our travelers are off to the next town, but they get passed by the other photographers. The two photographers are very upset when Perrine’s group arrives and they loose all their business. They start calling Perrine’s mother a fake photographer. Perrine challenges them on this, and even says they should compare photographs. It turns out the photograph the two provide is slightly out of focus. The photographer at least can see the difference and he tears up his. The two photographers leave town, much to Perrine and Marcel’s delight. After dinner that night, Marcel decides to go for a walk. Perrine is about to go with him but her mother wants to speak with her. Mother knows Perrine is cleaver and strong, but she is worried that Perrine is loosing her kindness. Is what the two photographers said right? No, but that should not mean they have to respond in kind. Perrine’s mother would rather turn the other cheek. While Marcel is out, he spots the assistant photographer and follows him back to their wagon where he hears them plot to steal their camera. Marcel hurries back to the inn to warn the innkeeper and he sets a trap for them. The two photographers are indeed trapped, but Perrine’s mother helps them. The two decide to take a different road now. Perrine is very impressed with her mother.

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This week’s episode is: The Love Battle between the Frog and the Mouse.

Chocolate and Vanilla decide now that they have wands and are in the human world, they are going to summon familiars. Only one turns up, though – a mouse named Blanca. She is Vanilla’s familiar and has a very dim view of Chocolate. Even she has no idea where Chocolate’s familiar might be. The girls go to school and they see Pierre arrive. They also run into members of his fan club, who seem a bit hostile when Chocolate acts her usual self to Pierre, though their leader Yuriko is not mean. It turns out that Pierre is not only student body president, he is a top student and athlete as well. Only the prettiest, talented girls are allowed to join. Pierre decides he is going to target Chocolate. A boy named Mimura also targets Chocolate when she does a spell on him for teasing one of the girls. He finds a frog and sticks it in Chocolate’s desk. Things don’t go quite as planned though – Chocolate loves the frog! During break she takes him out to a pond to let him go, but it turns out this frog is Chocolate’s familiar Duke. Blanca is not impressed. The two familiars decide to have a contest who can help their candidate for queen get the most hearts. The next class is PE. Chocolate excels in this, but this doesn’t get her any hearts. Vanilla doesn’t do so well, partly due to Blanca, but she does get five orange hearts out of it. Later after some investigation Duke helps Chocolate with a spell that has unexpected results – the whole building starts to fly! He quickly puts it back and does a spell so no one will remember, but Chocolate still has no hears. Robin is impressed with Vanilla’s work that day, not so much with Chocolate. Chocolate is a bit discouraged and doesn’t think much of her familiar, but she is going to keep on trying. Oh, and Akira still thinks aliens are involved^^;

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Natsume and his friends are back! This time we get a Yokai who wants Natsume’s help, Natori returns with interesting consequences, and a painting causes Natsume some problems. I think we are starting to see Natsume change here – he is starting to contemplate actually telling his foster parents his secret – some day. With Natori, we see how both of them have become so used to lying they still lie even though both of them can see Yokai. We also get three specials – a story about when Natsume meets a fox, a story from Natsume’s earlier years, and a day in the life of Nyanko-sensei^^; It is nice how in this volume Yuki Midorikawa is starting to link stories a bit more, and I look forward to more of the same.

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Pig Bride #1

Yeah, I know, this isn’t manga it is Korean Manwha, but it is still interesting. In Korea, there is the legend of the Park Bride – a girl so virtuous and good that her husband came to love her in spite of her looks. When Si-Joon Lee is about eight, he gets lost in the woods and runs into a girl with a pig mask. Her family talk Si-Joon into becoming married to her. Eight years later, Si-Joon runs into the girl again, Mu-Yeon Park. Yes, she still has the pig mask on. Mu-Yeon and Si-Joon are the reincarnations of the Park Bride and her husband, and once again she must get her husband to love her for herself and not for her looks. Si-Joon of course doesn’t want anything to do with Mu-Yeon, but fate seems to say otherwise because weird things are happening . . .

So far this is just a fluffy story. Since Si-Joon is a bit of a jerk, he is very realistic, and I like how persistent Mu-Yeon is.

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Letter Bee Reverse First Impressions

So I finally earned enough to watch the first two episodes of season two of Letter Bee. In some ways, it is more of the same – the same characters we have grown attached to, the same interesting world. However, all of this has built up to this moment – Gauche has finally been found by Lag, but he has no memory of being Gauche at all. He calls himself Noir, and he now works for marauders who steal things from people – and lately they have been stealing letters. Actually, this part isn’t drawn out at all. Instead, the focus is more on everyone’s reaction to the news about Gauche, which is probably where it should be. We get to see how everyone feels about the news, but it is Lag and Niche who end up being most affected. In Niche’s case, she feels she failed to protect Lag and has to deal with that. This alone has made all the build up to this point worth it. I hope the creators can use everything up to this point and the rest of this season to make even more of an impact when the finale comes.

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