Review: Velveteen and Mandala by Jiro Matsumoto

cover of the manga Velveteen & MandalaVelveteen & Mandala by Jiro Matsumoto
Vertical (August 2011)
344 pages; $16.99 paperback; $13.99 digital e-book
Reviewed by Danica Davidson

Velveteen & Mandala opens with a young woman named Velveteen waking up in the crowded tank where she lives. With her is another young woman named Mandala. They live in a dystopian Japan, where fighter planes fly overhead and zombies (called corpses or deadizens) roam. It’s never fully explained how the world came to be this way, though there are some references to how humans have messed up the environment. At any rate, these two young women have a job to do: kill the zombies.Continue Reading

Review: Mieruko-chan by Tomoki Izumi

copy of Mieruko-Chan volume 1

Mieruko-chan by Tomoki Izumi
Yen Press (November 17, 2020)
146 pages; $13 paperback, $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Danica Davidson

Mieruko seems like an average high school girl, but she keeps seeing hideous monsters wherever she goes. She’ll be standing out in the rain waiting for the bus when she’s joined by a monster with socket-less eyes, a gaping gut, and faces staring out from its insides.

“Hey, can you see me?” it asks her. “You can see. Can you see?”Continue Reading

Review: Sadako at the End of the World by Koma Natsumi and Koji Suzuki

cover of Sadako at the End of the WorldSadako at the End of the World by Koma Natsumi and Koji Suzuki
Yen Press (November 17, 2020)
146 pages; $15 paperback, $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Danica Davidson

Sadako, the vengeful ghost villain from The Ring franchise, gets a new twist to her story in the manga Sadako at the End of the World.

The Ring started out as a 1991 novel written by Koji Suzuki (and is available in America from the publisher Vertical), and that spawned off into more books and then movies. Japan made two movie adaptations and South Korea made one before the franchise made its way to America with a 2002 Hollywood movie adaptation starring Naomi Watts. In America, “Sadako” was changed to “Samara Morgan.” The obsession with Sadako and The Ring franchise continues in Japan, where their most recent movie in the franchise (called Sadako) came out in 2019.Continue Reading