December 9, 2006
Bah, I’ve been sick all week. Perfect for reading manga, but bad for actually getting on the internet and writing about it since I’ve been sleeping a lot. I’m better in time for the weekend though, hooray!
This series is definitely winding down for me. I haven’t liked any subsequent volumes as much as volume one, and quite frankly, some of the Octopus Girl stories are getting a bit too disturbing for me. The cute/freaky factor I liked so much seems to have abated, as things are less cute and more WRONG here. For instance, one of the more embarassing stories in the volume is where Takako can’t stop dancing due to red ballet slippers, so she has to… defecate on them while dancing to make them not red. There are a lot of ramifications for this. Similar gross shit happens throughout the Takako/Sakae stories.
Not all of the volume is bad, though, and I still really really liked it. Last volume introduced stories that had nothing to do with Takako and Sakae, and this one is almost 1/3 these types of stories. These stories all range from horrible to touching, but many do have quite the soft ending, which is extremely bizarre since Sakae/Takako stories rarely do. The independent stories also have really good plots and the kind of cute and naieve characters that drew me to the series in the first place.
And yeah, there are still some good Takako stories here. I only wound up liking half of them, though. None of those stories stick in my mind, but I think the best story in the volume for me was the Slit-Mouthed Woman story at the end, one of the independent stories.
Though I still love it, I still like reading it, and it’s still a favorite of mine, it becomes harder and harder to recommend the series past the first volume. I’d like to see what the last volume’s like, maybe something awesome will happen.
No extras at the end of this volume, like photos of the adorable Toru Yamazaki.
July 14, 2006
Yay! Octopus Girl! I think this series is only four volumes long because there’s only so many gag chapters you can write. No plot emerges, but Sakae makes a deal with the sea-witch for a body, so now both girls are on land and get various odd jobs that land them in wacky situations.
It’s still funny as hell, but somehow it’s not as charming as the first. I sort of miss the scenes in the sea, as we don’t get nearly enough of Octopus and Eel girl. There are many notable chapters to make up for it, though. One of my favorites involved a school for the damned, where Sakae winds up in a pit with some friends. Another chapter involves a fiancee who only has eyes for Sakae… or at least, his mother does.
Not as good as the first, but yes, still very good and VERY funny. I would’ve liked to see a plot that would eventually wrap itself up, but this is the one and only series I forgive for complete inanity with no effort at some sort of cohesiveness.
April 16, 2006
Yay! I was really looking forward to this release! I was a bit thrown because it’s actually more of a comedy than it is a horror manga, but there’s plenty of disturbing stuff there as well as violence to fill my quota, so I’ll let that slide.
The volume sort of degenerates into nonsense after having an episodic semi-plot going at the beginning, and I liked that coherency, but I guess it’s still got a plot (Takako tries to find a part-time job to try and fix Sakae’s Moray Eel teeth?). It’s really weird and hilarious, to say the least. Takako changes back and forth from octopus to girl is perfect in many situations, as is her change from cutesy girl to really violent maniac. There was a story that mimicked The Little Mermaid that I was a bit worried about, but it ended in a funny, if not a little predictable, way. I really want the second volume, because I’d like to see if the nonsense holds up or if it needs a plot to back it up.
But let’s just say I like most of the nonsense. “What color are flowers? Takako colored!”
The art’s also pretty good, too. Very cutesy, which is awesome when it slips into horror mode. It also mentions Hideshi Hino, which is another plus.