A few weeks ago, my brother saw this magazine on my shelf.  He picked it and asked, “Which way do I read this one?”  I told him both ways.  The look he gave me was priceless.  I do wish that they had thicker tabs separating each story or colored pages like Shojo Beat.  Oh, well.

Yen Plus 3
Yen Plus 3

I really, really wish I could subscribe to this magazine.  There are two reasons why I can’t:

1) I can’t afford the subscription (right now)

2) The number of titles that I enjoyed don’t outnumber the ones I disliked.

Quick overview:

  • Black Gods – (preview – n/a)
  • Jack Frost – no, ick
  • Maximum Ride – nope
  • Soul Eater – very much no
  • Nabari No Ou – no
  • Sumomomo Momomo – funny, but no…
  • Bamboo Blade – not for me
  • One Fine Day – wha-?
  • Higurashi When They Cry – maybe
  • Pig Bride – probably
  • Sarasah – yes
  • Nightschool – yesyesyesyes

Black Gods by Dall-Young Lim & Sung-Woo Park

Type: action

Story: Keita is trying to develop a video game and gets mixed up with inhuman warriors.

Art: Nice artwork – especially the action scenes.

Conclusion: Not really for me  but nothing wrong with it.

Jack Frost by Jinho Ko

Type:  horror

Story: A girl named Noh-a gets involved with Jack Frost and crew who are fighting for some reason.

Art:  Well, it is nicely drawn – the action sequences in particular.  The battle bursts were especially appealing because they made it easy to follow the path of battle.

Conclusion: I am intrigued by the just-a-head protagonist.  That’s different.  But I disliked it that, before misplacing her body,  she was just a dumb, helpless heroine whose only power is to take abuse.  I know that that is essentially Wolverine’s power but the guy also has claws.  Makes a difference.

Maximum Ride by James Patterson & Narae Lee

Type: SF

Story:  Genetically altered teens (they can fly) decide to go back to the facility that held them prisoner to rescue a lost member.  They fight about who should go.  And then things get ugly.

Art: The art style didn’t match the story.  All the characters were such slight, gentle-looking characters and they were in such a rough and tumble story-line.   The final panel at the end of the story – the artist’s aside – was delightful.

Conclusion: Definitely a North American comic vibe.  It wasn’t even trying to be manga-flavored.  I think it was the individualism of the characters – play my way or get out of my face.  To me that’s not a typical manga attitude.  The characters looked different but they all seemed to be energetic and gung-ho.  Perhaps if I had read chapters 1 & 2, I would have gotten into it.

Soul Eater by Atsushi Ohkubo

Type:  fantasy

Story: Death the Kid and his guns/sidekicks have a mission in a pyramid.

Art: The art was appealing to look at and the Egyptian mummies and decorations were fun to look at.

Conclusion:  The protagonist’s obsession about symmetry was not interesting and the regular doses of fan service were not entertaining to me.

Nobori No Ou by Yuhki Komatani

Type: fantasy

Story: Miharu has great powers and everyone is trying to get him to use his powers.  He aims to be indifferent, uninvolved,  passive.

Art:  OK.

Conclusion: He’d better get some kind of motivation soon.  Maybe the class rep, as a likely  disposable heroine, will be slaughtered.  That’s probably all the motivation he needs.

Sumomomo Momomo by Shinobu Ohtaka

Type:  action

Story: Koushi is a reluctant heir to awesome martial arts powers. Moreover, a cute girl named Momoko wants to bear his child and she has tons of  ineffectual ploys to bring this about.

Art: The artwork on this comic seems a little amateurish.  Maybe that’s not the right word.  The hands are especially cramped looking.  Anyway.

Conclusion: The potential mother of his child Momoko amuses me.  The best part was her conversation with the psychotic Tenka Kogane.  Vows on a soccer ball, that’s so romantic.

Bamboo Blade by Masahiro Totsuka & Aguri Igarashi

Type: sports

Story: Tama faces off against a bully named Toyama

Art:  Adequate.

Conclusion: It took me a little while to become engaged by the story.  It’s pretty straight forward but I feel indifferent about it.

One Fine Day by Sirial

Type: fantasy

Story: When their owner is out of commission, pets decide to procure their own lunch.  And later, they eat candy.

Art: Cute and the wispy artwork fits the non-story very well done.

Conclusion:   I think I need to read more of it to get in the mood.

Higurashi – When They Cry by Ryukishio7 & Karin Suzuragi

Type: horror/mystery

Story: Keiichi moves to small and pleasant town which is hiding the secret behind a series of brutal murders.

Art: Suitable to the tale.

Conclusion: It’s kind of  a harem story crossed within a wicked village story.  I like the high creepiness factor of nice people turning into malevolent creatures without warning.

Pig Bride by Kookhwa Huh & Sujin Kim

Type:  fantasy/romance

Story: As a child, the hero Si-Joon is wed to a girl in a pig mask.  She comes back for him when he is in high school.

Art: I enjoyed the look of the artwork – everything is well defined and easy to scan.  The confession of love scene between Si-Joon and Doe-Doe was lovely and was  seen to advantage on the large sized page. The appearance of the hideous reptile women in the closet was appropriately creepy.

Conclusion: Arranged marriages appear to hold more importance in Korea than in Japan but that’s just an uninformed impression. The warrior maiden eating the whole cake + plate during a pause in the battle: equal parts cute & funny. This title shows promise.

Sarasah by Ryang Ruy

Type: historical/romance

Story:  Ji-Hae goes back in time and is mistaken for a princess.  She is still befuddled and asks enough questions to make everyone suspicious about her mental well being.  She encounters a dashing young warrior along the way, getting lost in history has its perks.

Art: Another Korean comic with all objects well defined (no wispiness).   The more realistic art of the wild boar surprised me but it did make the danger more palpable.  The hero’s hair style is not just straight, it’s vertical. It makes a good contrast to the the flyaway hair of the heroine.

Conclusion: I enjoyed this one a lot.  Fish out of water tales are an easy draw for me.  I liked the heroine – spunky without being heedless.  Her face of happiness while riding in the carriage was endearing.

Nightschool by Svetlana Chmacova

Type:  horror

Story:  A gang of vampire hunters visit a graveyard to destroy some ‘rippers’ who are degenerative vampires on the level of leeches.

Art:  Lots of angular faces and grey tones which usually annoy me but I like it here.  Also, I didn’t quite follow some of the action but it looked too cool for me to care.

Conclusion: I adored that even the mindless rippers were kind of pretty.  I loved that nobody was right or wrong, and that everyone felt emotional about everything and that there were lots of  tough girls and level headed boys on the team.  I have no coherent thoughts on this one.  If the whole magazine was filled with stuff even close to this title, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

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