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Author Topic: Legomaestro's Manga Reviews  (Read 319 times)

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Offline legomaestro

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Legomaestro's Manga Reviews
« on: March 08, 2017, 09:38:35 AM »
Legomaestro's Manga Reviews

To avoid double posting I'll just bunch all my manga reviews here. If it's an ongoing shounen manga or the like I'll just work with a dedicated manga topic, otherwise if it's sufficiently obscure or spaced out in its updates I'll be reviewing it in hopes that it garners some interest for said manga.


« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 03:49:12 PM by legomaestro »

Offline legomaestro

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Legomaestro's Manga Reviews
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2017, 07:11:17 PM »

Short Review for Fire Brigade of Flames

Fire Brigade of Flames is a story about pyromancers who subdue humans who suddenly turn into 'flame humans'  and lose their sense of self. Shinra is a team member of the 8th Brigade Fire Fighting Division, an unconventional team with unconventional members.

Like Soul Eater, Ookubo Atsushi makes a shounen manga with a great unconventional feel to it.
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Yes, the protagonist Shinra is an orphan, yes, he is ostracized and is trying to become a hero, but beyond that, the manga constantly defies expectactions.

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I didn't know it was possible, but Atsushi's art has levelled up. Sometimes his backgrounds are just too beautiful for a shounen that shouldn't concern itself with such level of detail. It's really a treat to see.

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While the characters tend to have very similar designs reminiscent of Soul Eater characters, they actually have a nice individuality to them.

Shining at the forefront is Shinra: He's powerful.
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He's actually powerful, such that a problematic villain said he was too fast for him. When he fights, his actual battle instincts affect the way the battle goes, rather than what he shouts out or believes in. You get the feeling like you can really rely on him.
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Not that every battle is easy for him. His teammates actually have a use. His character foil Arthur Boyle is someone who prides himself as a knight. However he's an idiot. A legitimate idiot who forgot that he was right handed for a moment.  Whether it's for a plot vital battle or some banter, he makes for quite an interesting comedic character, and his action scenes are amazing.
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So far every side character they've met has been interesting as well. From a serial killing  ex-fire brigade officer to Tamaki, a bungling fan-service girl with the unnatural ability to end up in ecchi moments. She's a nekomimi too, so it's quite heavy (for me) sometimes.
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Every single character has their own motivations that you can trust stay more or less accurate throughout, and you find yourself getting a certain rhythm for how the main cast acts and support each other. By the time you're done with an arc you almost feel at home with them in the van as they deploy to stop yet another fire person.


An interesting thing about this story is how all the abilities revolve around flame. We all love different elements in a story, but Ookubo sensei just says 'to hell with it, there's plenty of abilities that can come from fire alone'. It's truly interesting stuff.


I also love how the story doesn't info dump you to hell. Naturally, for the first chapters Shinra goes through some narrative spiel, but as far as the world itself, you only learn bits and pieces until it dawns on you that the world isn't as simple as you once thought. When the revelations started coming clearer, it was quite interesting to feel that 'Whoa. So that's what happened.' It's like a slowly opening curtain to a play, a slowly revolving door that reveals what you only had suspicions about.
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One thing that is hard to describe but also adds to the story: Not every single meeting and dialogue is tied up. You see a clearly hilarious moment happen, and the characters just move on with their life, instead of bringing up signs in your face saying, "Something funny happened here! Look! Look!" Like how a laugh-track plays during a sitcom. You'll see dark thoughts and hilarious moments played out straight - Because the characters are living in their universe, and they don't need to spoon feed your reaction to your face.


And last but not least: There are consequences. Not only do flame humans die by default, so far character deaths have been played straight. The serial killing ex-fire brigade member burnt innocents and the manga didn't end because of this: It's a dangerous world, these things happen. In flashbacks and in some arcs, when people are defeated there is rarely a deus ex machina that solves the situation completely, and that's what I love about this manga.


I love gruelling, harrowing reading experiences, but it's really not my goal. I've enjoyed sports-manga and manga about making manga equally as much - Because they take consequences seriously. If you put the rules forward, don't change it or use it cheaply for some hijinks! Ironically, Hiro Mashima from Fairy Tail interviewed Ookubo Atsushi, and the topic of death came up as well. Atsushi mentioned that Soul Eater hadn't had enough consequences, so he really wanted to drive that home this time around.

I'd say, a job well done.
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All in all, I'd even recommend even singular characters for review. Fire Brigade of Flames is unique - You won't find a comfortable quick read of a shounen experience here, but a veteran mangaka trying something different. At the very least, you should be sure to enjoy some of the art, at the very least, you should find it refreshing.

I hope you give this manga a chance.

My two cents.

« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 03:49:04 PM by legomaestro »

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Legomaestro's Manga Reviews
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2017, 07:20:49 PM »
Hero Union BBS



Hero Union BBS is a manga about heroes who are summoned to different worlds and have completed their quests and decide to set up a forum of sorts to share their experiences, give advice to people in their situation and generally screw around.

If that synopsis doesn't grab you, then I'm glad, because I'll have to be very careful in reviewing this manga. I can't reveal any of the characters without spoiling their charm, so I'll have to be very round-about when it comes to reviewing this.

Hero BBS is a tongue-in-cheek manga about the whole 'Summoning Heroes to an Alternate Dimension' stichk that is so popular with todays' manga and anime, and it pulls it off quite well.
Hero BBS is a rare case of a manga that works quite well because of an interesting plot. You'd seriously have to try hard to not make such a situation interesting, and fortunately, the author is quite careful to make it an enjoyeable read.

You're not getting into this manga to gain some great message or be blown away by the story: It's a gag manga and quite a refreshing read because of that, but if you're looking for a plot that'll reach an eventual end or a single protagonist to root for? It's not that sort of manga.
It is such a fun read , and if you're turned off by the first chapter it's probably not for you, so I'd definitely recommend giving it a shot just for that simple fact.

(Excuse me while I'm summoned to save the fantasy land of Nekomimia from the evil empire of the Inuoniss )