The Glass-Winged One novel

 

Bottom-of-the-barrel slapstick shônen romantic comedy. Yukinari, a “wimpy, short, goofy, dull, stupid and clumsy” boy who breaks out in hives from contact with women, is teleported to an alternate world with a 90 percent female population, from which he escapes and brings Miharu, an agreeably clueless woman who somehow doesn’t trigger his gyno-allergy. Other visitors from Miharu’s world follow, as well as stock characters such as a handsome narcissist who has the hots for all the girls, and several women with crushes on Miharu. The plot aims for random one-shot adventures (a treasure hunt, a fake Miharu, duplicate Miharus, etc.), but the punch lines are nonexistent and the sexual content is equally bland and uninteresting.

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Against the gods

 

Overwrought, fantasy-themed goth comics with stiff but appropriate art; the characters’ childlike faces and enormous eyes are framed by chains and lace, and sometimes by bleeding sores. In the title story, a boy with toxic blood is kept in a mansion by a noblewoman, like a tainted bird in a gilded cage. In “Firefly” a rogue member of a cannibal race falls in love with a human woman. In the interesting “Jion Princess” the main character is a sort of scapegoat, a magical double of a princess created to protect her mistress from sickness and bad luck. The stories are varied, although the interior art doesn’t live up to the cover.

Read Tales of demons and gods

 

The further adventures of Victorian dilettante Earl Cain Hargreaves, Godchild is the continuation of Kaori Yuki’s The Cain Saga. Accompanied by Riff, his faithful butler, and Merry Weather, his ten-year-old half sister, Cain solves crimes and has run-ins with the evil secret organization Delilah and his wicked half brother, Dr. Jizabel Disraeli. The names indicate the over-the-top feeling of the proceedings, but to its credit Godchild rarely degenerates into intentional distracting humor. The ornately drawn gothic plots involve séances, sinister nursery rhymes, sadism, and murder, and the heroes are as seductive and destructive as the villains. The art overcompensates in detail for what it lacks in clarity, and the storytelling is sometimes confused. Best line: “It’s not really love when you kill people or make them living statues!”

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