Cheeky Angel 20

Well.  Most of this volume was spent wrapping up the running storyline, but like I said, it felt good that everyone had their purpose.  Every single one of the characters, even the ones who are normally useless and only help in insignificant ways, played a significant role.  Most of the spotlight in this volume is on Meg and Genzo, both of whom are actually pretty cool while they’re trying to rescue Miki, each other, etc.  There’s scenes of actual, genuine emotion from all characters involved, too!  They register care and concern where before they registered only over-the-top fake, comedic emotions.  And while, yes, they are still pretty concerned with manliness, they do actual awesome, commendable things.  Hooray for that!

And… well, the ending.  It was not at all as I had imagined it.  In fact, I want to say it cheated.  It cheated me out of all the time I spent reading this series.  On the other hand, the flashbacks were really cute, and there was even a Genzo flashback that I thought was adorable, so I can let those things slide.

Also?  We finally, FINALLY get some payoff between Genzo and Meg.  Nothing substantial, but it was enough.

Yeah, I kinda hated this series, but at least I liked the past couple volumes okay.

Cheeky Angel 19

I had problems accessing the site last night.  This may be because WordPress finally realized I hadn’t paid for domain mapping in about 14 months.  I didn’t realize I had to since I didn’t get a renewal notice until last night.  It’s been taken care of now, though.

Oh, Cheeky Angel.  I’m so glad there’s only one volume left.  I was kind of hoping that there would be a plot leading to the characters tracking down the genie, except this time it would work and Meg would turn back into a boy.  No such luck.  The entire volume is dedicated to the Miki kidnapping story that carried over from last time.  While I would prefer the genie story, it was impressive to see the story stick with a plot for so long.  They’re still not anywhere near Miki as of the end of this volume, but lots of cool stuff happens in the interim.

Another thing that impressed me was that almost all the characters were useful, including Ichiro and the little one with glasses.  Both serve important functions that help out everyone else in the story.  I was very impressed.  The gang also gets Miki’s bodyguard back, though he is a bit worn out after his ordeals.

There’s also a lot more Meg/Genzo hints, more than usual.  Meg seems to be… breaking.  After all I’ve had to sit through, I hope Meg’s situation and her relationship with Genzo are handled well.  Or else I’ll just cry after reading 20 volumes of this.

Cheeky Angel 18

I had a book fair this weekend, so unfortunately I don’t have that much to talk about manga-wise.  Particularly since I’m getting down to the bottom of the stack in my recent orders and… am left with things like Cheeky Angel.

So the characters are kidnapped yet again by Miki’s spited fiancé (or something, it could be someone else whom I’ve forgotten).  It gets a bit more hardcore this time around though, someone gets hamstringed, which is pretty weird.  The attackers try to put the characters against each other, including putting Meg against Miki.  I got into it a bit, even though I was strenuously opposed to another plot like this.

Let me also say there is FINALLY some substantial hints about Meg and Genzo.  Nothing concrete.  Nothing to indicate that they could be a couple.  Just some hints from Meg.  With two volumes left, I don’t have high hopes for that going anywhere, but it’s there all the same.  As much as we have been beat to death by this couple over the course of the series, this is seriously the only substantial “more than friends” hint we’ve ever gotten.  Hell, Meg shows more affection to Miki, so maybe it isn’t a “more than friends” hint.

I’m just saying.  I’d better be blown away by the end of this series.

Cheeky Angel 17

OH MY GOD! I just realized Anime Central was this weekend! I wanted to go! I’M FORTY MINUTES AWAY FROM THE CONVENTION AND FORGOT TO GO.

To follow up that sadness, I was reading this instead of going to Anime Central. Have we covered how much I hated this series already? No? Well, this series is pretty stupid. It’s just not for me, as I hate kind of silly comedy manga like this, I think. I also realized this volume that this series would’ve worked much better as an anime (which it was made into, Tenshi no Konamiki), as a lot of the gags are sight gags that just don’t work in manga.

There was a really clever sequence at the end of one chapter where everything for three pages was without dialogue while Genzo and Megumi tried to fix something they broke. It was amazing, and I really wish the entire series was like that, because it would be much better.

The only things that happen in this volume are that the samurai decides he likes Miki, and Miki’s old fiancee comes back to terrorize her. I give the series lots of credit for finally moving forward in character relationships with Miki and the samurai.

I think my other problem is that this series is more episodic where I think it’s an actual advancing plot… I have trouble seeing it as episodic for some reason, and it’s probably much better when viewed as a comedy episode kinda thing.

But yes. Bad once again. The end is coming up soon, and it’d better be good.

Cheeky Angel 16

Now I have a mildly disturbing Dorian avatar! Hooray for that, now the floating box at the top of all my edit windows begging me for one will go away. Anyway, I had meant to read three manga last night before going to bed, but I barely got through this one before it put me to sleep. Marathoning this series in 3 or so volume chunks is probably a good idea, and maybe I will with the last four volumes, but it’s hard to convince myself to read it. I just don’t like it.

One thing I should mention, which I haven’t yet but is very important, is the manly man jokes. These started off rather tiresome, but persist ever since… well, forever. The characters, including Miki and Meg, judge each others actions by how many they percieve them. Sometimes their judgements don’t make much sense, but the judgements literally come after everything each character does. As I said, it is rather tiresome, but now it’s become funny through persistence. It cracked me up everytime the judgement was pronounced in this volume.

There’s some light spoilers in the next section, but nothing that’s going to ruin the plot too badly for you.

Once again, spoilers.

The plot is getting a bit better, too. They’ve found another magic book to try and counteract the effects of the wicked clown, and that so far has made it much better, mostly because we get a little Kappa now. I have no idea where the plot is going or what the Kappa will have them do, but the story leading up to the Kappa and the story that seems to be coming after are definitely a step up. Otherwise, this series is still tiresome, thank God it’s winding down soon. Maybe it’ll do something awesome in the end.

Cheeky Angel 15

And with this volume, I’m once again caught up with Cheeky Angel. Five more volumes to go until the end of the series! I’m looking forward to Meg turning into a boy before the end!  Maybe!  Possibly!  Hopefully, if I’ve been following this series all this time, I’ll get some payoff.

Speaking of, there’s a really weird scene with Miki right at the beginning of this volume where she seems pissed that Meg is doing all this because she’s a girl. This is annoying because Meg has been fighting her own fights for fifteen goddamn volumes, but this particular one seems to set Miki off because she says Meg is a girl. What the hell? Since this was the only serious gender musing for the entirety of this extremely long arc, I forgave it, though. Hitomonji seemed to muse over it, though, and they DID get the evil clown in on that scene.

Speaking of, what the hell? Why did he keep appearing sporadically? Why suddenly randomly introduce the fact that he may have a roll for no particular reason? It’s not necessary!

Anyway, the end of this story arc is very good. I was quite satisfied with the toughness of the entire gang. Including Yasuda. What wasn’t so good was the Rival’s forefit, as she just seems to be a pure, undiluted bitch, but whatever, we already knew that.

The prince crap at the end of the volume was kind of a one-off story and not so good. Two bonuses were that we got to see Yoriko and Miki girl out together and Genzo took off his shirt. That’s about it.

Ooh, now I have to wait for the next volume. Since this good arc has finished and there’s no cliffhanger, it’s not a particularly long wait, so I’ll probably just save up the volumes again until I have a big chunk to read *coughfivecough*

Cheeky Angel 14

I may have covered some of the stuff from last volume in this volume.  I know I did.  Forgive me, Cheeky Angel 13 is a pretty damn good volume, and the terrible inn scene is in this volume, actually.

Lots of action starts happening here, too.  We get the wrapup of the first round where Megumi fights the white-haired guy.  After the inn stuff, the white-haired guy comes back with a vengeance and somehow manages to jump every single one of the parties except the Rival and her partner… and only because they were in completely the wrong place.  Yasuda takes a beating, Genzo takes a beating, Hitomonji takes a beating, they capture pseudo-Miki and try to capture Miki, and… well, things don’t fare so well for Meg, either.  Of course, most of the beatings and capturings are temporary, but that is a LOT of stuff crammed into one volume of Cheeky Angel.  Most importantly, none of the characters stop to reflect for more than one panel whether or not what they do is manly.  Hooray!

The most surprising thing, really, is Miki.  Granted, what she does comes out of nowhere, but this series is so erratic it’s not that big a shock… but it’s a shock nontheless, and awesome to watch.

Speaking of erratic, there were several points in this story arc where it seemed like a page was missing.  I had to flip back and forth several times to understand what was going on because characters talked about actions that just took place that you didn’t see… it’s really, really weird, even for this random series.  It happened about three or four times for me.

Cheeky Angel 13

So the “Womanliest Woman” contest is the best thing that ever happened to this series. This storyline incorporates all the characters and stretches through the first half of volume 15. It brings out all the good things in the characters without forcing it, and most importantly, there’s no room for their waxing poetic about what makes a man or what makes a woman.

Miki, Megumi, Megumi’s rival, and Megumi’s Rival’s Miki all get drawn into the fray and are paired with the four members of Meg’s gang since the men that the rival brings are all too scary for the contestants and the judges.  One of the funniest things that’s happened in the series so far is that the Rival draws a bad name… twice.  The first time was what was the funniest, because the force of her disappointment made the contest start over again.  Of course, Genzo works out a deal with the evil clown to be paired with Meg, but you saw that coming.  Otherwise, we get a really touching scene with those two and some children for the first leg, and a really disturbing one with the rival and children for their first leg.   Decidedly unwomanly.

The first half of this volume is definitely a high point for the series so far.  The second half is okay barring the terrible scene with Meg and her rival in the hotel.  Meg and Genzo have to deal with some thugs in the most ladylike way possible, and they do,  but of course the thugs come back for more, and that’s where the volume ends.

I like Genzo.  A lot.  Not only have I more-or-less liked him from the beginning (though I’m sure I’ve complained plenty about him, because he is annoying), he’s somehow turned into a better character lately.  All the “manliest man” stuff floating around was taken to heart, I think, and he’s awesome because of it.  He doesn’t overreact every three seconds, he doesn’t annoy Meg as much, and he’s pretty level-headed in almost all situations now.  Very cool Genzo, know that I’m rooting for you.

Cheeky Angel 12

While pulling this one off the shelf, I noticed it was the last volume I had without the big “V for VIZ!” logo on the spine.

This one was much better than the last.  When Genzo’s old girlfriend appeared and Meg asked her to be her friend, I wondered what had happened to Meg’s rival who was introduced several volumes ago.  She comes back here, and cancels out the Manliest Man contest for the Womanliest Woman contest, which is why Meg begins to get back to her old self.

Genzo is, unfortunately, a more womanly woman than Megumi, and when someone suggests a “serving and preparing lunch” contest to decide, Meg decides to train with Genzo as a rival even though Genzo offers to help her to learn how to cook.  The results of this contest are rather funny, because you kind of expect both of them to be bad cooks, but only one of them is, really.  As a light spoiler, the loser cries when they lose, which is also very funny.

The last chapter is actually kind of nice, where Meg’s maid takes her out to show her what modern girls are like.  I actually really like that character.  I don’t know if anything is learned from that chapter, but it’s nice all the same.

Cheeky Angel 11

Unfortunately, the way the last volume ended did not go well here, which I was really hoping for.  Again, unfortunately, this has a negative effect on Meg, and things take a turn for the worst in this volume as Meg begins acting like a jerk.

There’s an overarching plot where everyone, including Miki, is having a contest for who can be the manliest man.  Thankfully, only Meg thinks that being a man means being a jerk, and it actually makes a better character out of Genzo.

With the contest holding everything together, there’s a bunch of other stuff that happens off to the side.  Meg stages an elaborate scenario to scare a subway groper is the one that comes to mind immediately.  It wasn’t that good.

I dunno.  I can’t deal with Megumi like this, she begins to get back to normal in the next volume, so I’m hoping it’s a continued progression.


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