Friday, September 23, 2011

BROKEN DREAMS


I wanted to draw a short comic and had no idea for a plot. It was for a contest and it was on such short demand that I didn't really have time to come up with anything, so a good friend of mine gave me a scenario she wrote a few months back. She was delighted with the finished results and says she could not have done any better, which made me feel really special. I hope you can also enjoy it and, maybe, even cry.
(Smackjeeves description of Broken Dreams)

Manga-Ka: ClefdeSoll. Originally written by Kikiine.
Distributor: Online exclusive.
Format: Left-to-right
Rating: Not rated

~*~Click Here To Read~*~

{I, the reviewer, give Broken Dreams, 4 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

This comic, as stated in the description, was created for a contest. The story was originally written by one of her good friends who gave her permission to use it. Whether or not this won the contest is not mentioned, but it's up for public view at the webcomic site known as Smackjeeves.

It's a full-color manga about two friends, Laura and Sara. Laura keeps telling Sara to keep her problems to herself, and so she does. Deep inside Sara feels useless and she clings to a silver bell that is hanging by a tattering thread. She cries, as apparently the bell is precious to her and she considers herself to useless to reattach the breaking string.

I have to say, for 10 pages, this was packed with emotion, but so much was unexplained. For example, why Sara feels the way she does and why the bell was so important. Also, some details were left out from the original written version of the story, explaining how the blue and white scarf Sara always wore was made by Laura, her friend.

When comparing the comic version and the written version, each had their own special way of conveying the emotion. The written version has a little more detail (but still lacking in explaining the bell) but less dialogue, while the comic version, being more visual, has more dialogue and packs even more of a punch since everything described is seen. I also loved the how cute the artwork is and the SAI coloring.

Overall, it was a very depressing story that lacked detail and made it a bit confusing. I wouldn't suggest reading this if you're having a bad day. I thought the ending was sad and unfair, and I also thought it was mean of Laura to tell Sara "no one wants to hear about your pathetic problems" which I didn't think helped Sara's confidence.

If you're curious about the written version, you can read it at deviantART:
Click Here To Read!

Recommend?
Unless you're really curious or like depressing stories, I suggest not.

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
None.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
None.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
(SPOILER! It's not explicity shown, but you get the idea that Sara hung herself).

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
(SPOILER! There's suicide.)

*CHAPTER LIST*
(10 pages)

THE WORDS


[NOTE: I used page two as the reference image as I think it conveys the story best than the first page]

Manga-Ka: fayedove
Distributor: Online exclusive
Format: Left-to-right
Rating: Not rated

~*~Click Here To Read~*~

{I, the reviewer, give The Words, 7 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

This Tsubasa doujinshi takes place after the 213th chapter (so if you haven't read that far, be warned of spoilers in this review that briefly references the final volume). Syaoran finds himself in a dark void and discovers Sakura there as well. He then asks her what were the words she was going to say to him as she faded away in the Dream World.

What happens here appears to be an alternate version of what happens in the beginning chapters of the final volume of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle where after the clones' death they appear in a void and meet up with Yuuko. Now they don't meet up with Yuuko in here, it's just them. And instead of Sakura finally getting the chance to tell him her feelings, she is asked by Syaoran what she was going to say before she disappeared and so she tells him.

I think this alternate version of what happens after 213 was rather cute and well executed. The artwork is on the amatuer side, but I think done fairly well considering the artist admits to having a hard time drawing them (mainly the difficulty of drawing Syaoran). With more practice, I'm sure she'll be able to master it. But you can tell she put a lot of heart and effort into drawing this, which makes it shine.

All in all, it was a short but sweet little doujinshi, well executed in only 5 pages.

Recommend?
Yes! It's cute and if you're a SyaoxSaku fan, you'll love it! Plus it's squeaky clean, which can be hard to find at times in doujinshi.

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
None.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
There is one panel focusing on Sakura's chest, but it doesn't look like it was meant to be sexual (maybe just filler?)

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
None.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
Other than the fact that this is concerns Clone Syaoran and Sakura, none.

*CHAPTER LIST*
(5 pages)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

PROPOSAL





Manga-Ka: TheWerewolfMustang
Distributor: Online exclusive
Format: Left-to-right
Rating: Not rated

~*~Click Here To Read~*~


{I, the reviewer, give Proposal, 9 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

If you're a fan of RoyAi (nickname for the Mustang and Hawkeye pairing of Fullmetal Alchemist) I think you'll love this doujinshi. Based on dialogue of the voice actors acting out a proposal at an anime con, you can easily guess by the title it's about Roy Mustang asking his sabordinate, Riza Hawkeye, to marry him.

There's no need to watch the video of the "proposal" to enjoy this doujinshi, but it is nice to see to know where the concept came from. I thought, despite only being 3 pages in length, that this little doujinshi was rather cute, ESPECIALLY the scene involving Armstrong storming in! The artwork is a little bit on the rough side, but the character designs are very recognizably them.

If you are a fan of the RoyAi relationship, I'm sure you'll get a kick out of this, especially if you have watched the video. (The link to the video is actually provided in the Author's Comments on the first page).

Recommend?
Yes! For only 3 pages, it was cute and in-character. I could totally imagine that happening.

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
One use of "d".

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
None.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
None, just (SPOILER! Armstrong hugging Mustang 'till he falls unconcious!)

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
None.

*CHAPTER LIST*
(3 pages)

Friday, September 16, 2011

SHRINKLED


You, Mandy, are an ordinary girl. However, one day, something happens that changes your life. What is it, you ask? Did you win the lottery? Nope. Are you secretly a princess? Sorry. Do you fall into a vat of radioactive waste and suddenly gain abilities that make superman weep? You wish. Unfortunately, none of these things happen. What does happen is that you accidentally get caught in a science project's misfiring range, and get shrunk down to a quarter inch in height! The student body president, Jake, is caught in the crossfire with you. Working together, you must find a way to reach normal height by the end of three days; else you remain shrinkified forever! With the help of bugs, crumbs, and possibly a grumpy old mouse, you just might find a way out in time...
(Description of Shrinkled)

Developers(s): choklit
Rating: All Ages

{I, the reviewer, give Shrinkled, 8 out of 10!)

COMMENTS

So as I browsed the list of many games created with the Ren'Py engine at their main website, I came across this title; "Shrinkled". What convinced me to download and play this game was the description. It sounded really cute and funny, plus it was rated All Ages indicating it to be most likely very clean, content wise. So, I downloaded the game and installed it into my computer and proceeded through the story.

You take the roll of high school student Mandy. After school, before you exit, you bump into Jake who requests you to show the notes you took in class. That's when you run into the first choice. Anyway, let's just say you chose the first one. You need to quickly get something back in the classroom. Accidently you bumped into this thing that was covered with a cloth. Suddenly, everything around you is bigger! And it happened to Jake, too. You've both been shrunk! The first interesting creature you meet is Andy the Ant. You explain the situation and he directs you to Morgrimm the Mouse. He's very gumpy and not of much help and the two of you try to find out how to get to your original size. Upon reading some of the notes of the one who invented the thing that shrunk you, Jake finds out a horrible truth; if you don't find a way to be normal size in 4 days, you'll both be stuck that way forever! Even with both your weight, at an insect size, you're not heavy enough to push the button. Andy the Ant comes back and suggests an idea to get Morgrimm to help you push it! To win his favor, you will need to find crumbs of crackers, cookies, and chocolate. To get it from the other insects, you must agree to taking a quiz from each of them to test your smarts and each question you get right gets you a crumb! You only have 4 days to do so.

This was a really cute, fun game. Most of the questions do deal with genuine information, such as what is the capitol of California and who was the 16th president of the United States. Others deal with knowledge of Ren'Py and the game you are playing, and there was even one interesting question about who Osamu Tezuka is (thankfully I knew, but do you?) There was ONE mathematical question I wasn't sure I would get, but I ended up choosing the right answer. I like how it tests your knowledge on some things. The artwork is so-so, with lovely character designs but with slightly cheesy drawn backgrounds. The two main characters, Jake and Many, are drawn fairly well and some of the insects are cute. My only major complaint is lack of character expressions. The characters seem stiff and basically stand in the same position. Sometimes their expressions in their face changes, but it doesn't really add much effect. Other than that I have no complaints.

Overall, it's a cute little story about a girl and a boy who gets shrunk and throughout the span of 4 days collect enough crumbs to win the favor of the mouse who will hopefully assist them in pushing the button. A random interesting fact is that the creator, choklit, apparently is a Christian (this is proclaimed in the end credit Thank You's). Anyway, it's a fun, clean visual with excellent interaction.

RECOMMENDED?
Sure! It's fun, clean, and quick to finish.

I certify this *VISUAL NOVEL NEWCOMER WORTHY* as it short but sweet, has multiple choices to give you a good feel of how a visual novel works, and is simple and easy to understand.

PLAYER'S COMFORT

[MUSIC]:
The music is very simple and relaxing, though a bit repetitive at times and sometimes didn't feel like it quite fit the mood. But otherwise, rather soothing.


[ARTWORK]:
Backgrounds are drawn a bit amatuer-ish, but the character designs make up for it.


[INTERACTION]:
Excellent interaction! You are quized by the insects you need to collect crumbs from and the questions asked are really neat. Whether it's who Osamu Tezuka is, the capital of California, or the formula for a triangle hypatonuse, you'll have fun seeing if you choose the right answer!


[CONTENT CARD]


[LANGUAGE]
None.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
Nothing beyond a kiss.


[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
None.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
It's a science fiction story about getting shrunk to insect size by a science project machine and evidently insects can talk. There's no magic, so I'm pretty sure there's no problems.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

x-My World Stops-x


Manga-Ka: Marshmellow Muffin
Distributor: Self-published
Format: Right-to-left
Rating: (not rated)

{I, the reviewer, give x-My World Stops-x, 10 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

Andor, a young staff user who's mission is to find a way to save his world by getting more time. As he's about to go off on his journey to find one of the two people who were able to use their powers without a staff, a strange souless girl shows up and puts everyone under her control.

This 21 page story is a bonus story that happens somewhere in between chapters 17 and 18 of Muffin-sama's "The World Stops!" series. It appears as a bonus in vol.2 of the manga. Though only 21 pages, this was a well written side-story that continues to show the principal's cruelty in stopping worlds for his own personal reasons. The creepy girl Breath is, for a few moments, given the ability to feel emotion when Andor uses his ability to make her see her true desire. And in this case, her desire is to have emotions.

The way the story ended is uncertain, but gives a glimpse of hope. Plus this character seems like someone that Muffin-sama will bring into the main story later. If you're a fan of "The World Stops!" you will definantly enjoy this side story, especially if you'd like to see Breath think for herself for once.

Recommend?
Totally! All fans of this manga should read this.

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
None.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
None.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
None.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
Andor is a World Keeper. He is also a "staff user" someone who has powers. There are only two people who can use their powers without a staff and Andor wants to seek them out to save his dying world. Breath is an emotionless girl who temporarily is given the ability to feel because of Andor.

*CHAPTER LIST*
(21 pages, no chapters)