Kase-san and Morning Glories Manga Volume One Review

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In the Victorian language of flowers, morning glories are known as representations of love, affection, and mortality because they bloom and die in one day. Kase-san and Morning Glories definitely adopts many of these meanings for this flower to use in the background of this manga, with budding romance and affection being the forefront of this series. If you’re looking for a sweet yuri romance for Pride Month this June, then look no further than this series. While I will say it feels very typical of a high school, shoujo romance when it comes to story, characters, and certain plot elements, but it is also a great starting point for people looking to get into the yuri genre. I don’t have much experience with the yuri genre myself, and have been very critical in the past of popular series like Citrus, so it was nice to pick up a yuri series like this with a calmer and more wholesome atmosphere. After this first volume I can see myself picking up the next four in the series.

Kase-san and Morning Glories follows the life of Yamada, a shy and clumsy high school girl who spends her time tending the gardens at school as part of the Greenery Committee. But watering the flowers out by track bring her to the attention of Kase-san, the star of the track team. Though both of them don’t seem to have much in common, their friendship blossoms quickly and starts to turn into something more. The boyish and athletic Kase-san and the small and shy Yamada now have to figure out how to make their budding relationship work. The story and art for this manga is by Hiromi Takashima and it’s currently being localized in English by Seven Seas. Continue reading

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Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (6/3 – 6/9)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. I hope you all are enjoying Pride Month so far. I have some plans for more rant reviews coming up in the next few weeks as well as finally finishing our Fruits Basket read-through. Anyways, for highlights this week: the United Nations is considering a proposal to ban all questionable depictions of minors in media which would include anime and manga; DC’s Vertigo imprint may be shutting down soon; and Marvel is reconsidering how it handles the death of its characters in future comics. Be sure to also check out the articles and videos down below, there are a ton of great Pride Month content. As always, let me know if I’ve missed something important, and have a great rest of your Sunday! Continue reading

Fruits Basket Manga Read-Through: Collector’s Edition Volume Ten

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Grief and how one deals with the loss of a close loved one has always been a major theme running in the background of this series, often brought to the foreground as characters are forced to make decisions that put them face to face with their own memories and loss. We see this the most in the characters of Kyo, Tohru, and Akito as all three of them are forced to come to terms with their grief and the guilt and turmoiled emotions that surround it. But I think Fruits Basket is primarily a manga that centers around how life moves on and how people’s feelings, grief especially, change over time as we grow older. I like to think that this is one of the core messages Natsuki Takaya was trying to write about when she made this series. There are so many different stories, threads of overcoming loss, guilt, and the fear of being left behind that all fit so well into this overarching theme of growth and forward progress.

Volume ten continues where we left off with Tohru desperately trying to hide and push aside her feelings for Kyo as graduation gets ever closer and the curse hasn’t been broken yet. Shigure is claiming the curse will break on its own eventually, but eventually isn’t soon enough for Kyo who will be locked away for life after graduation and seems to be resigned to this fact. But has Tohru becomes ever more desperate, she can’t deny her feelings for Kyo any longer and they begin to bubble to the surface despite her best efforts. However, it looks like the death of Kyoko has touched more people than just Tohru, with Kyo and Kakeru both feeling the lingering effects of her passing. Back at the Sohma main house, Akito is having her own battle with grief, a battle between her mother and her for the soul of her deceased father, Akira, as well as the very real possibility that this may be the last zodiac banquet as one by one the curse begins to break. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (5/27 – 6/2)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. June in Pride Month and I’m thinking of reviewing a bunch of queer and LGBT comics and manga along with finishing my Fruits Basket read-through, so you can hit me up down below in the comments or on Twitter with your favorites. In terms of highlights for this week: the Japanese government is looking into new guidelines for the anime industry to improve working conditions; Akira Toriyama has been knighted in France; and Robert Pattinson has been officially confirmed as the new Batman. Check below for more interesting articles and videos. Youtube was down for a while this afternoon, but videos should now be linked below. As always, if I missed something important, let me know in the comments and have a great rest of your Sunday! Continue reading

Fruits Basket Manga Read-Through: Collector’s Edition Volume Nine

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The last couple volumes that we’ve read have all been about seeing the kinds of scars children can develop when they’re abandoned by their parents and how they can slowly begin to recover through the support of loving friends and found family. Volume nine continues this theme but in a different direction, showing the kind of destructive mental and emotional issues that can arise from poor parenting and lack of emotional support. We’re shown these kind of life progressions through the lens of Akito and Machi’s differing ways of reacting to the pressure and issues that arise from their parents lack of support. Their two very different stories, but in a way tell a similar narrative of stunted emotional growth and destructive tendencies. There’s always so much to talk about with this series, and with every volume I feel like I find some new psychological concept to really dig into. I’m really hoping you all are enjoying what are turning out to be short almost essays of Fruits Basket. We’ve got three volumes left and the story is starting to move fast towards the conclusion.

Volume nine continues the story of the previous volume with the examination of Kureno’s relationship with Akito and the fall-out surrounding him finally watching the DVD of Uo in the school play. The story takes us into their past and present relationship and the reasons why Kureno feels like he can never leave as well as a look at the tension that exists between Kureno and Shigure, all revolving around Akito. But in Tohru and the younger Sohma’s world, graduation is fast approaching for all the third years at the school which means a flurry of preparations, many of which centered around the student council. In the background of all of this, Tohru can’t help but have a bad feeling because she hasn’t seen Rin in a while and no one seems to know where she is. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (5/20 – 5/26)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. I know I’m a little late this week, but it’s just too nice outside right now to stay inside all day writing. I hope you all are having similarly nice weather this weekend especially those of you in the US who have tomorrow off like I do. Anyways, highlights for this week’s news are as follows: Warner Bros has released more information and a release date for the live action Akira movie; Controversy is brewing on twitter among the Unionize Comics crowd over the recently deceased Marvel colorist Justin Ponsor; and tons of new anime are coming to Netflix next month including the second season of Aggretsuko. Make sure you also check below for a ton of cool articles and videos from this week, and, as always, have a great rest of your Sunday! Continue reading

Fruits Basket Manga Read-Through: Collector’s Edition Volume Eight

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In the first volume, Fruits Basket presents itself as this semi-wacky comedy shoujo about a girl who discovers that the family she’s living with can all turn into animals, but as the story progresses we begin to see this for what it truly is: a mask, a facade if you will. Fruits Basket’s true story lies within the family’s it follows. The shame, guilt, and abuse that sometimes hides behind closed doors, or in some cases is right out in the open. But it also speaks to us about the families and relationships between people who care and have cultivated a space of love through struggle and personal growth. I talked about this a bit last volume in how Yuki and Rin’s family dynamics shaped their current personalities and character growth arcs. Yuki especially we see yearning for any kind of parental and motherly love to the point of gravitating towards Tohru, seeing her as someone who can fulfill this emotional hole in himself. In volume eight, we see a bit of a continuation of this, but with more of a focus on the steps he’s taking to grow past it. We also delve deeper into both Kyo and Tohru’s past by taking a look at Tohru’s mother, Kyoko.

Volume eight continues where we left off last time with Yuki recounting and remembering his childhood and relationship with Tohru to Kakeru. We see more of his nonexistent relationship with his mother, the abuse he faced from Akito, and finally the mystery of the baseball cap Tohru keeps with her is solved. In true shoujo fashion, the story moves on to feature the activities of the culture festival, with a play performed by Tohru and gang to the sort-of story of Cinderella. With Kyo as Prince, Tohru as evil step-sister, and Hana as Cinderella, it manages to be both amusing and entirely relevant to the story and characters. For the rest of the volume, we get a look at Kyoko’s past and how Kyo winds up knowing her and then the beginnings of a look into Machi and Yuki’s slowly growing relationship. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (5/13 – 5/19)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know. I’m writing this on Saturday night so I apologize if I miss anything that has been announced on Sunday. The anime and article sections are also a little sparse for news and content this week, but I expect more news will be forthcoming closer to the end of the anime season. In terms of highlights for this week: Penguin Random house is teaming up with Square Enix to release a new line-up of English-language manga; new developments are revealed in the Oni Press/Lion Forge merger; and Shinichiro Watanabe has directed a cool new music video with Flying Lotus that looks pretty great. Be sure to check out the other items and videos linked below and let me know if I missed anything cool this past week. As always, have a great rest of your Sunday! Continue reading

Fruits Basket Manga Read-Through: Collector’s Edition Volume Seven

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How do children relate to their parents? What do they look for, want, or need from a family? What happens when that dynamic breaks down, when children no longer have someone to look up to or a stable place to call home? I think in a way, Fruits Basket has been slowly exploring these questions throughout the story, leading further and further into the worst possible scenarios. But it’s also a series that focuses heavily on recovery from trauma and the search for stable relationships. And it’s in this exploration and character growth that I think we get to see some of the most interesting aspects of the story. Volume seven takes us closer to exploring these questions, pulling out the family histories of Yuki and Rin into the forefront of discussion. In Yuki especially I think we begin to see his slow progress to maturity.

Volume seven picks up where we left off in the parent-teacher conferences at the end of the last volume. This time it’s Yuki’s turn to face both his future and his mother who thinks she has everything planned out for him already. But Yuki has his own ideas as the story moves on to his experiences with the Student Council and the kind of rag-tag family he’s been developing there. The volume then switches to Tohru’s quest to get in contact with Kureno for Uo’s sake and her run-in with Momo, Momiji’s younger sister who has no clue about their relationship. The other large story this volume centers on Rin and her struggle to find a way to break the curse and her personal struggle with physical and mental illness. We get a full introduction to her past and how her relationship with Haru came to an end. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (5/6- 5/12)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. I have returned from my short hiatus and am feeling much better, so I’ll be hopefully going back to a Wednesday/Saturday schedule of reviews with our regular Sunday news for the following weeks. If anything changes or I feel the need for another short break, I’ll let you all know. For now, the highlights of this week are: Lion Forge and Oni Press have merged leading to a bunch of layoffs in the industry; Funimation has hired ex-Crunchyroll exec to be their new GM; and Marvel topped 50% marketshare last month for the first time in nearly a decade. Be sure to check out the articles and videos I linked to below as well. There’s some good stuff this week, especially from Twitter. Let me know if I’ve missed anything, and as always, enjoy your Sunday! Continue reading