Review: Hoshi no Samidare (The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer)


Hoshi no Samidare (The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer)

by Mizukami Satoshi


A giant hammer floats in the sky, ready to destroy the Earth. A princess and 12 knights are selected to prevent it. But these people, most of them, are just normal ordinary people, not warriors or such.

The twisted thing is, Samidare the princess has her own secret agenda to destroy Earth by her own hand. And there’s Amamiya Yuuhi the lizard knight, an anti-hero who resents the world because of his past. The only reason he fights is because Samidare’s resolution to destroyed the Earth moved him.

What memorable from this manga is not the battle, but the characters. This manga spends a lot of time in characters development. To the point where you can empathized with them. If you are fan of slice-of-life story, I’m sure you will enjoy reading it.

While for the most part it’s focusing on Amamiya, other characters have their own moments. Their back stories. How this whole battle affecting them. And there will be tears, manly tears (one in the middle part of the story is one of the best moment that hard to beat). All that which eventually in my opinion leads to a satisfying ending.

On the other note, the battle scenes are not that exciting at the beginning. You can’t expect cool techniques there. But towards the end, there will be a turning point where it will be getting more interesting. The knights can fight better, and the enemies become more formidable. And the final battle is quite epic and really fun to read.

To be honest, at first I don’t have much expectation from this manga. The title is silly, the art is not inviting, and it started slow. But as the story moves forward, I found this manga is actually a gem. One that easily going to the top list of my all time favorite.


Review: Hyakkiyakou Shou (Selected Pandemonium)

Hyakkiyakou Shou (Selected Pandemonium)

by Ima Ichiko

Ritsu is a high school student with unfortunate gift of supernatural sense inherited from his grandfather. Either it’s an unfinished business of his late grandfather or simply those who are attracted to his supernatural prowess; his life is surrounded with supernatural beings almost every time and everywhere. With the aid of his youkai subordinates and his cousins, he tries to make ends meet between his normal life and otherworldly life.

In a sense, I would say this is a “slice of life” of the horror genre, as it goes in chapters that could be read as standalone stories. This is not a manga in which the hero has certain mission to accomplish. This manga describe a very down to earth approach on how people with such ability live, and how their ability affects their way in interacting with other people. In each story, Ritsu is not always the hero that saves the day. He could be the unlucky passerby who happens to interact or attract the other being, and even in some stories his sole purpose is how to escape the situation intact. To me, “The Ceremonial Guests” – the prologue story – is a story that summarizes and sets the tone of the whole volumes. I like that the horror does not lie in the thrill of exterminating youkai, but more in the unpredictability of the situation itself. The boundaries between worlds are so blurry sometimes that before you know it you have already step your feet on the other world.

As a story with surrealistic theme, it has very realistic characters. Ritsu’s portrayal as somewhat secluded (if not creepy) person and lacking in real-life achievement is very normal. I mean, how would you expect to be able to concentrate if every 5 minutes there seems to be youkai diverting your attention, asking you to do this-and-that or simply trying to lure you to their tricks? The youkai character is also interesting. They are depicted with as little sentimental attachment to their human masters. Their bond is simply based on the fact that the certain human is able to defeat them, so in order to not to be killed they devoted themselves to the human. My personal favorite is Blue Storm (Ritsu’s guardian). When being asked by Ritsu if Blue Storm ever wanted to kill him despite his oath, he answered: “My pact is with your grandfather, so if there is anyone I want to kill, it’s him”.

As always, Ima Ichiko never fails me with her thorough characterization. Though in Hyakkiyakou Shou there might be little development, since there is no grand plot in which to put the chapters in a specific conclusion. But I would not mind if this goes on, since Hyakkiyakou Shou is a enjoyable manga to read. If there is any downside, it is the art. Having read many of her manga, her characters is hardly bishounen and bishoujo. As avid manga reader, I admit not finding a handsome guy/girl on the cover of manga is quite a turn-down for prospective readers. Again, Ima Ichiko is classified as “josei”, so the lack of bishounen is forgivable. Anyway, the overall background illustration – the house, the kimono, the youkai – is very nicely done.

It has been years since I’ve been reading this manga, but due to my personal preference not to review ongoing series, it stayed on my shelf as “to be reviewed” until very recently. Partly because I think if it is still ongoing after 23 volumes or so in Japan now, I think not much of the storyline will change so it is safe to review it as it is. If you like horror manga and are tired of over-prolonged manga with grand plot that does not seem to be finished anytime soon, Hyakkiyakou Shou is a good distraction.


It’s been more than two years since I left this blog and personally it’s been months since I read any manga. Some time ago I stumbled upon Y+M a.k.a. Y10M. Turns out this manga was made by the author of Basilisk; one of my all-time favorite manga. I just had to read it –and then I decided to post a new review for this blog.

Y10M is a bit far from what I expected. In the 5 volume Basilisk, you can feel the tension immediately from the start. In Y10M, however, it takes 3 volumes for me to actually feel the thrill from reading this manga. The biggest difference between Y10M and Basilisk is that in Y10M, the two groups that are destined to kill each other are not equal enemies. We have to super-ninja groups in Basilisk, while in Y10M, we have 7 (seven) ordinary women going against trained bodyguards –or perhaps assassins?– called the Seven Spears of Aizu (Aitzu). This is the point that made Y10M worth the read. It is definitely interesting to see how these women manage to kill the Seven Spears.

Because of the huge difference in martial art skills between the two groups, the story in Y10M tends to have more “strategy” and less head-to-head fighting. Having a skilled warrior, Juubei, by their side to train them, the 7 women still don’t have the slightest chance of defeating the Seven Spears head on. It’s the strategy which Juubei and the 7 ordinary women devised to defeat (and ultimately kill) the Seven Spears that made this manga interesting.

As I said before, it starts from volume 4. This is the point where things that was going smoothly for the 7 women started to crumble. Well, you can’t expect things to go so smooth when you’re going up against 7 trained assassins, right? Starting from volume 4, the Seven Spears finally made their moves. This is when things get really exciting. To see both groups devising their plans and counter each other’s plans made it hard for me to stop reading.

As the plot progress, the clash escalates with the Ashina clan (whom the Seven Spears belong to) entering the picture. Juubei and the women are now facing more than just the Seven Spears –or what’s left of them. The scope of the story grows broader from taking the lives of the Seven Spears into taking down the Ashina clan and the Aizu castle along with them. This is yet another big difference from Basilisk.

That being said, there are a lot of things that made this manga a recommended piece. The fact that the main protagonists are 7 ordinary women already made this manga interesting. Even though the plot starts a bit slow, the tension builds up perfectly making it less boring and stayed interesting throughout the story; especially with Ashina clan entering the picture. Apart from killing and devising strategies, this manga is also about bravery and making sacrifices. This is indeed a recommended manga to read –if you don’t mind some vulgar scenes getting in the way.

Review: Emma

“I just hate tradition simply for the sake of tradition. That’s just being stubborn.”


Kaoru Mori

Personal Rating


Personal Opinion

Emma is a story of a maid living in Victorian-era England who falls in love with a man named William Jones. Her encounter with William Jones is a trick of the fate. Nevertheless, it was love at first sight. Both Emma and William Jones loved each other. However, their different social background got in the way. The Jones family does not allow William to love a mere maid.

A typical love story might not be interesting, but it’s not the romance that interests me. The thing that made me eagerly read this manga is the fact that the story took place during the Victorian-era where lower class people are not entitled to associate with upper class people. How will Emma and William struggle to unite their love?

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Review: Tomie



Junji Ito

Personal Rating


Personal Opinion

What do you feel if a girl in your classroom showed up late for class? No big deal, right? But what if your class was currently mourning because that girl was found dead the day before? That would be surprising and or even scaring the pants out of you. Nevertheless some of you might be thrilled to see the girl alive and well and develop certain curiosity towards the girl.

That was actually how the manga Tomie started. When all her classmate mourn over her dead, she decided to come back from her grave to attend her class. That was the start of the mysterious events occurring around Tomie which is unfortunately also took the live of the people around her.

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Review: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni – Watanagashi

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni - Watanagashi

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni – Watanagashi


Ryukishi 07

Personal Opinion

At last I have finished reading the second mystery (question) arc of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Not just that, I have also re-read the fourth and the first story arc, Himatsubushi and Onikakushi. Even though I only skimmed through the last two, it was still exhausting.

Reading psychological manga such was never a walk in the park, especially when you’re reading the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series. Throughout the second arc, I kept trying to connect the plot of Watanagashi with that of Himatsubushi and Onikakushi. Some are connected, some simply made the overall storyline much more confusing.

Watanagashi is not strongly connected to Himatsubushi. I see Himatsubushi showing the big picture of what’s going on in Hinamizawa village without any details. On the other hand, Watanagashi has a strong connection with Onikakushi. Both arcs could be view as the same plot but from a different character’s point of view.

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