Author: Tia Kalla

Hipster Manga: Sekai Oni

You probably haven’t heard of it. Disclaimer: Sekai Oni is not nice or fluffy. Content at the core of its story includes rape, incest, child abuse, drug usage, suicide, sexually explicit material, and a great ol’ heaping of death. Also, spoilers. Alice in Mirrorland syndrome: a disease where the afflicted not only see the monsters and demons lurking behind mirrors, but can interact with them. For seven residents of Japan, this disease seems to bring nothing but unhappiness and disaster. However, it is also a necessary tool that allows them to fight the “world devils” threatening to destroy the...

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The Subtle Horror of Japanese Comics

I’m a horror fan, and I didn’t realize it. Although I’m a wide reader genre-wise, horror and suspense were one of those genres I never really got into. Gore was gross, but not shocking. Jump scares just pissed me off. Silent Hill and its ilk were fun to watch, less fun to play when the inevitable chase happened. Lake Placid isn’t horrifying, it’s hilarious. I just didn’t get scared! So it was a surprise to me when I started going through lists of what comics I’ve read and seeing all the ones I was listing had ‘horror’ listed as...

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10 Reasons Dark Horse Needs to Finish Releasing 3×3 Eyes

For those of us that came of age during the early anime period of the 1990s, 3×3 Eyes is a name many will recognize on the old fansub VHSes passed around among friends and local anime clubs. Based on the manga of the same name, the anime consisted of seven episodes of an OVA that crammed in about five volumes of manga. In it, Pai, a girl of a mysterious three-eyed race, seeks out the help of an ordinary boy, Yakumo, in her quest to become human. And, uh, sort of kills him early on. Not to worry, she...

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How is a Mutant Like an ESPer: Tokyo ESP and X-Men

“Tokyo ESP? What’s that about?” “Oh, it’s like X-men for Japan.” Ever have one of those fridge logic moments where you say something off the cuff and it’s so brilliant, you wonder why you never saw it before? Okay, so I only just finished up the last volume of the manga not that long ago, and it’s been a while since I got to see X-Men on Saturday morning TV. But both are comics about a bunch of people who get weird, varied superpowers, and then shenanigans happen. Like all good fridge logic moments, the more you think on...

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Review: The Seven Princes of the Thousand-Year Labyrinth

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, the emperor’s son was murdered by his seven formerly-loyal vassals. This created a lot of trust issues around the throne, so the kingdom decides on a totally foolproof and not weird at all way of deciding their next rulers. Every generation, they throw a bunch of pretty boys into a locked castle and wait until one of them takes the job. Guess whose turn it is? The Seven Princes of the Thousand-Year Labyrinth (an accurate if awkwardly long translation of its Japanese title, Sennen Meikyuu no Nana Ouji) pulls together a diverse cast of characters. We have a master detective and the famous thief he chases, a well-known activist, a superstar singer, a champion martial artist, a genius mathematician, a prominent noblewoman and … uh, some rando guy from Malé Island (which I’m going to assume is a pun, because pretty boys). The first thing I noticed while reading this is the pacing is … uh, it’s not kidding around. The first volume covers so much territory, plot-wise and background-wise, that I figured we were in for about three volumes before the series was done. (I was close; it’s four). There’s not really much in the way of subtlety. I feel like it’s not really a spoiler to say the rando, Ewan, is being foreshadowed to be the eventual winner of...

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