Mei-chan no Shitsuji: I stumble upon odd things.

Hello dear readers!

                As you may know, I have been in a Pokémon frenzy for a while, but have also found myself addicted to a manga. For those of you unable to read the large title, it is called Mei-chan no Shitsugi, which, as far as I know, translates to Mei-chan’s Butler. As you can imagine, the crossing over of these two in my mind has left me with some strange dreams (Including one where we fought with Butlers, and when viewing their states I found one had a special ability in bed). But this is in fact, not important, as neither has much in common with the other.

  Mei-Chan no Shitsugi is a story about Shinonome Mei, a 2nd year in middle school. When she was younger, she remembers being saved by a man in a suit, with a pin in his coat who claimed to be her butler, after she had gotten lost. She lives with her parents, who own a noodle shop, in a poor house. No one believes that Mei was ever saved by a butler, especially her friend Kento Shibata, a pretty boy whom she is close friends with. One day while at school, Mei is told her parents have died in an accident. Now an orphan, Mei’s world is changed when the butler with the pin, Rihito, comes to Mei and tells her she is actually the heir a very rich family, and that he has come to take care of her. But there are dangers that come with being a member of such a rich family, dangers Mei will never have dreamed of.

This manga has a lot of sheep…

This starts off as a standard awkward romance manga, where the character is thrust into a totally different lifestyle and has no idea how to deal with it. The instant Mei see’s Rhito she states that he is “Just her type”, falling in love with him despite the fact that he is in his early 20s, and she is only 13. As the story goes on however, we find out more of the reasoning for each character, and learn of their intentions (except Rhito, I still have little idea of what he really wants). The setting changes over time as well, with Mei leaving her home town behind to go to a prestigious all-girl boarding school after an attempt on her and her friends. The plot amazes me, not because it’s unique, but because it’s well crafted, as the characters are well crafted, giving the story more depth. There is a certain tension as well, never a dull moment, one character always facing a problem, often dragging down the others with them. This leads to a funny but romantic and dramatic story, with action sprinkled throughout.

By dark I mean worse then this, but it’s a sad moment…

The themes in this book however, seem less appealing. They are often dark, and depressing, sometimes even illegal, so much so that each chapter has a mature content warning, despite the fact that what is often warned about only appears in 1 or 2 chapters. The character seem almost awkward in such a dark scene, Mei is an extremely innocent and clumsy girl, but despite this she is extremely brave, and will fight for what she believes is right. Shibata is the opposite, smart but scared, he will do anything for the people he loves, even put others in danger. Rhito is mysterious, and dark, he is well aware of everything he does, and a dedicated to being a butler. These characters balance each other out, but also create their own inner chaos. This leads to both comical and heart wrench moments, and allows for a more human feel among each character.

Miyagi Riko shows skill as a writer and an artist. The art in this manga is truly amazing, each detail seems perfect, and Miyagi seems to have a way of communicating threw both art and words very well. Even the little author blurb at the beginning of each volume is often used to explain some process of making the volume, and often gives insight to what the author was thinking. I honestly believe the composition of this manga makes it run very smoothly and causes it to be quite addictive, even if just for the amazingly drawn Bishōnens.

Did I mention there were PANDAS?!?!

Over all I am very addicted to this manga, I find it enjoyable and very plot heavy, but not for those who focus solely on action or the innocent. I enjoy it very much and look forward for an English release of both the manga and the live action Japanese TV drama (which I have yet to watch, but the actor for the live action role of Sebastian from Black Butler is in it). But if you like drama, romance and comedy with dark undertones, then you’re going to love this.

Well, back to the manga for me!



The wonderful world of Pandora Hearts

Hello my good readers,

Over the summer I stumbled upon an anime by the name of Pandora Hearts. I had discovered Pandora Hearts when I noticed a friend reading it, later another fried recommend it to me, saying it was quite good, so I looked it up. I watched the anime at first, a short 25 episodes, later I picked up the manga, which currently has 77 chapters and is ongoing.

We began in the duke house of Vessalius on Oz Vessalius 15 birthday. When we meet him, he is running around the castle with his younger sister Ada and servant Gilbert (lovingly dubbed ‘Gil’), preparing for his coming of age ceremony. All seems to go well until Oz stumbles into a cave that serves as a mysterious grave. Oz sees a pocket watch sitting on a golden cross, it doesn’t seem to be ticking. He reaches for it, and sees the vision of a girl talking to him about something before attempting to kill him. He snaps out of it and shakes it off and goes to get ready for his ceremony.

And what a ceremony it was, I won’t go into too much detail, but let me say, it has quite a twist. In the end, Oz finds himself in a strange world known as the ‘Abyss’, a twisted wonderland dimension were odd creatures called ‘Chains’ live. While there he encounters a chain called ‘B-rabbit’ or Alice, who changes shape between a giant killer bunny and a young girl of around 13. After a brief introduction and the saving of lives, Alice seals a contract with Oz with a kiss, and Oz finds himself in back in his own

It’s Gil, Oz, and Ada!

world, with a twist.

Alice in B-rabbit form

The anime is lovely, I became quickly addicted and watched all the episodes in only a few days, taking breaks to play games and visit family. The plot engrossed me up until the very end, were it sadly threw me to the curb of disappoint meant in Whatnowvill (more on that later.) The characters were well thought out, some being for comical, some for plot, even some for both. Each one had a distinct personality and appearance, allowing for quick recognition and understanding. Each turn adds something new, and with that you slowly began to understand what’s going on. The story flows nicely, allowing character and plot development to take place, but not overwhelming you with too much going on at one point. The only disappointing moment in the anime is it’s obviously rushed ending, which offered little closer and was a total disappoint to the rest of the show, thankfully, the manga doesn’t end that way.

He hiding under your bed and leaving through your cupboards.

After a rather disappointing ending to the beautiful anime, I wondered how closely the series followed its manga, I found it did very well, up until chapter 32. Because Pandora Hearts is a monthly release, unless it’s already done it’s a challenge for anyone to make it an anime. At some point the weekly or so release of anime will catch up with the monthly or so release of manga. This leaves the animator 3 options 1. Put the show on hiatus so more chapters can be released 2. Make filler arcs to allow the manga to catch up (see Bleach for an example) or 3. Have your own writers write up an ending to stop the show. Pandora Hearts choose option 3, which ended terribly, so I recommend that after watching the anime, pick of chapter 32 of Pandora Hearts.

After reading the manga I must say that Pandora Hearts takes a turn for the best.

Alice in girl form, Oz, and ‘Raven’ (as far as you know)

The manga provides information that allows the story to truly blossom to its full potential, taking one of the biggest twists I’ve ever seen. The artwork is lovely, showing off a true style and a full uses of different character types. Just as in the anime, it’s seems that most intense moments have breaks of comedy between them, allowing you to relax and watch characters grow for a bit (or in the case of the wonderful Break, allow comedy with intense moments for double fun!) The action in both the manga and anime is lovely, and there is a lot of action. The creator of Pandora Hearts deserves a standing ovation for creating a story in which characters resemble those of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland but provides a whole new plot with new attitudes.

I do hope you all with give it a try,