Before I start on this review I’d like to say Happy Halloween! To those that celebrate, and to those that don’t…well, Happy Halloween either way 😛
I’m actually one of those people that don’t do anything special for the occasion and treat it like any other day (aka. I continue being a bum). Anyways, because it’s Halloween, I felt like I should upload something and so I got to reading a manga and decided to share my thoughts!
It’s not anything that screams Halloween but it is a fantasy book and that’s close enough 🙂
Today’s read is Time Killers, a short story collection by Kazue Kato, who is also the creator of Blue Exorcist. The titles in the book are The Rabbit and Me, Tomato, A Warrior Born of the Red Earth, Usaboy!!, A Guide to Princess Clothes, Highway of Life Stray Star, Nirai, Master and I, A Maiden’s Prayer, Astronerd, and The Miyama-Uguisu Mansion Incident, making this a total of 11 stories.
I actually bought this book a while back but hadn’t gotten around to reading it completely. I do remember reading the first story but that’s about it. It’s a book you can definately relate to Kazue Kato and looking through it I’m slightly afraid I’ll make connections between these characters and those from Blue Exorcist. For example, the cover features an array of characters from the collection but all I can think are Yukio, Shiemi, and Kuro.
As for why I bought this book, I recognized the art and having collected Blue Exorcist I felt it fitting to buy this one-shot as well. Another reason is because the book just looked really nice! The cover is nice and slick and the pages are glossy (I don’t really know what kind of paper this is but it reminds me of photo paper just that thinner). It also has a poster inside! (And if you know me, I’m a poster fiend, so much that I don’t have wall or ceiling space anymore…)
But anyways, let’s begin:
The Rabbit and Me
As a first story I thought this was completely adorable and I very much enjoyed it. In fact, as soon as I saw the title page my fujoshi heart went BA-BUMP (these two are ship material, haha)
This one-shot is about a high school student named Shuri Todo who works as an assassin with his ‘father’ and their bath house. One day while on his way back from a job he meets another student named Taira Futamura who upon seeing his wounds (he was bleeding from his arm) decides to patch him up quickly. They part ways with Futamura mumbling about being late for cram class.
I don’t feel like there’s anything original in this one-shot but there’s something very endearing about it. The way Futamura defends his father even after being told the family business is a front for something more sinister, and him trying to patch up Shuri even after being the cause of his injury is really something…adorable.
Both characters are drawn in a style that they contrast the other: Shuri has darker hair and a more mature look to him while Futamura is energetic and done in lighter tones. The fact that one is an assassin and the other an aspiring doctor is also really typical. But even though it’s so ordinary I was captured.
A rather interesting story that has me thinking and thinking. When I picked up this book I never thought it would get to anything gruesome but I’ve been proved wrong (even though this didn’t get into details).
Tomato is a short story about a pair of bodyguards, Usakichi and Sasuke Futamura, who are hired by a rabbit named Oka-no-An to guard her tomato field and herself. Now, from what I understand there’s this creature known as Boss (he wasn’t given any other name) who recently bought the land that Oka-no-An is living on and the only way he’ll spare her is if she hands over her fields. The setting appears to be in a land where humans are seen as lower than the creatures inhabiting the land.
Or at least it seems like it by the reaction Boss has when he finds out Sasuke is a guard.
There were a few things I wish had been explained better, such as why Boss wanted Oka-no-An’s tomato field. I imagine it has something to do with wanting to make a profit from the fruits but I don’t really buy that reason. I’m curious about the relationship between Usakichi and Sasuke, and why they’re working together if mingling with other species isn’t a common or respected act (two rabbit species and whatever Boss is are featured in the short story so I imagine there’s more).
Sasuke seems to be very attached to Usakichi and I imagine there’s some attachment the other way around but there’s just something about Usakichi that bothered me. Like the moment where he yells out ‘You really let me down, I was a fool to trust you’ and then a few pages later he’s praising Sasuke…like, what just happened?
It feels like a side story to a much bigger series that I would really want to check out. And as a random note, being named Sasuke was so wierd because all I could think about was the Sasuke from Naruto and this Sasuke and that Sasuke are polar opposites!
A Warrior Born of the Red Earth
My mind has just been blown away. I think this story was just like 8 sentences long and it was done. Unlike the first two, this story is in full color and reminds me of those Ani-Manga books that I once picked up when I was a wee-child.
It’s a very…illustrative story (if that makes sense) and I don’t really know how I feel about it. It’s like the author wants us to create a story with what’s been given. For example, we don’t get a name for the warrior (but we do know he’s Native American), we don’t know who he’s fighting or why (but he’s a warrior), we don’t know who the woman in the second to last page is (though we do know she was important to him), and we don’t know who killed him (was it the people he fought in the previous page or was it another enemy?).
There isn’t even dialogue from the actual characters, only narration.
It does tell a story but I wouldn’t say I like it (but I don’t dislike it). I guess I’d say I’m intrigued…There’s also a lot of emotion and blood for just a five page story.
At this point I’m trying to figure out what story I like the best out of the ones I’ve read so far and I just can’t pick! Another very short story that just had me laughing by the end of the five page story. It’s about a boy named Usaboy who wants to be the Champion of Justice one day but today he has to stay home alone. His mother leaves for 3 seconds and in that time he defeats an intruder who enters his home.
It’s then revealed that the intruder was his father (but he doesn’t know that). Like the previous story, Usaboy is very short and in color. The art style is completely different from the previous stories.
I really enjoyed this one-shot.
A Guide to Princess Clothes
Would you even call this a story? A one page comic where a princess complains about dressing being a hassle. Then she finds that dressing a paper doll is much easier and simpler to do. I have no thoughts on this, other than ‘what?’ Haha
I also feel like it tries to be funny (what with the nosebleed from one of the guards, the Princess ‘dressing’ herself, and the servants being hyper sensitive to the Princess’s actions) but it doesn’t do it for me.
And that is all I have for this post! Because it’s getting pretty long and I still have six more stories to go! I’ll post up the next six tomorrow night 🙂
Have you checked out this book? If so, which of the first five stories did you like best? I’m torn between a couple in terms of enjoyment and in terms of content! Do you agree with what I’ve talked about, do you have anything more to add, or maybe we disagree! And if you haven’t read Time Killers yet, would you from what I’ve mentioned so far? 😛