Manga Reviews: Bunnies, Alice, and Vampire Boys

Graphic novels and manga are not just for teens or anime fans. There are so many great stories and wonderful artists out there for you to discover, so why not try something new! Below are three popular manga series that could appeal to just about anyone.

bunny

Bunny Drop is one of the most unique and unusual manga series I have ever encountered. It is a perfect choice for those wanting to give manga a try and haven’t read anything else or watching much anime before. It is in the slice-of-life genre, meaning that it portrays the real life of the characters, with no fantasy, science fiction, or supernatural content.

Bunny Drop is the story of Rin Kaga, that little girl pictured on the cover, as she grows up with her adopted guardian, Daikichii. Rin is the daughter of a manga artist/author mother who abandoned her to Daikichii’s grandfather, who is the father! Daikichii does his best to raise Rin, while Rin unknowlingly makes Daikichii into a better person in her own way. Bunny Drop is unbelievably sweet and addicting.

Get your copy from KCPL by going to the catalog here!

I personally am not a fan of the original Alice in Wonderland or Alice Through the Looking Glass or even the classic animated “Alice in Wonderland” movie. There is something unnerving about it. Despite that, I absolutely loved Alice in the Country of Hearts by QuinRose.

The main character is, of course, the one and only Alice Lidell. Alice is feisty, but she isn’t mean, and she stands up for herself and stands her ground when it comes to things she feels strongly about. The male characters are so varied and different, and their character designs are incredible detailed; they have so much depth as people. Readers will enjoy meeting and making friends with all of them! The plot is impeccable in its forward motion by using short yet captivating story arcs. The introduction of new characters is seamless and smooth. The author reveals secrets and mysteries slowly, but without too much teasing. It is all just so good.

So go out and read it. Start with Alice in the Country of Hearts omnibus volume 1, then move on to volume 2. Then move on to Alice in the Country of Clover. And then finally on to Alice in the Country of JokerThere are volumes for each of Alice’s possible suitors, so you’ll get to explore the possibilities of each story arc and relationship.

Blood Lad, Vol. 1

I just discovered Blood Lad, and I loved it so much that I bought the first volume for my personal collection. It is so original, yet so familiar to many manga and anime fans. There’s a demon world, a human ghost, vampires and werewolves, monstrous creatures, and damsels in distress. The protagonist, Staz, is so loveable yet absolutely weird. He’s a demon, and a mafia boss, but he loves human culture, especially Japanese stuff, and he collects it like a hoarder.

I really enjoyed the style of art that the author, Yuuki Kodama, has. There is a ton of detail, the characters’ expressions are awesome and full of feeling, and the character designs themselves are just very unique and appealing. Readers will love Staz’s crazy fashion sense, and wonder what strange outfit he’s going to toss his human ghost girl into next. Another great thing about the art are the color panels! There are several full color front and back pages in the front and middle of each volume. Each volume is simply enormous for a manga volume. It encompasses almost 3 normal sized manga volumes. There is so much content, so much story, so much cool art and quirky characters and awesome action and demon world shenanigans.

Right now there are 5 volumes of Blood Lad published in English. KCPL has the first 3 on order, and you can put them on hold by going to the catalog right here!

This week’s entry was written by Eden Rassette, the Young Adult Programmer at Erlanger. You can see what she’s up to and what she is reading by following her blog: The Cosplaying Librarian.

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Magic, Manga, Gaming, Baking, Zombies = New Teen Librarian

Eden, the new Young Adult Programming Librarian at Erlanger

Hi, my name is Eden, and being a Young Adult Programmer is my dream job.

I’m still a teenager at heart. Okay, I just turned 25, but really, I enjoy all of the same things that your teenager does. I’m an otaku: that means I’m obsessed with anime, manga, and Japanese culture in general. I’m a gamer: I can talk gaming systems and the latest Mass Effect, I play Magic: The Gathering and have a collection of Yu-Gi-Oh cards at my work desk. I love reading: Young Adult dystopian literature, science fiction and fantasy, and cookbooks are my favorites (see Library catalog to put items on hold). I’m a cosplayer: : I love designing and sewing anime and video game costumes and crafting props and accessories. I’m a baker: I will make dozens of cookies to relieve stress.

I started as the Young Adult Programmer at the Erlanger branch on October 8th. It’s been a crazy month since then! I have to give some thanks to Jessy Griffith from the Durr branch for being a super cool mentor and helping get me into the swing of things. I am also very excited to work with Erin DeSantis, the YA Librarian at the Covington branch, starting next year. Those two have some awesome programs and do really great things for their branches.

Recently some of my program regulars have been asking about what I do at work besides run Teen Space. I just can’t even describe it all. When I leave for work in the morning I have a unique checklist: Harry Potter lunchbox, YA dyslit to check-in, Magic decks, anime magazines, keys, nametag, manga posters. Seriously, I have the best job ever. Most of what I do involves planning and running programs for teenagers and preteens and overseeing the development of the YA collection.

Teen Space is my regular program; it runs every Monday and Wednesday from 4-6 pm. We play video games, card games, board games, look at manga and magazines , use laptops, and just hang out! Once a month we have ErlAnime, Erlanger’s anime club, Teen Movie Night, and a craft program. Chess Club is every Tuesday from 3:30-5:30, and my teen writing group, The Word Processors, meets two Thursdays a month. These are just the regular programs that always happen.

There are a ton of new programs and special events coming up that I am super excited about.

Beyond the Book is my new teen book club. All pre-registered teens for January will get a free copy of the month’s book, “What’s Left of Me,” by Kat Zhang!

Manga Club will start in January, it’s basically a book club focused on manga.

RPG Game Night is also beginning in January, where we’ll play card and board-based Role-Playing Games.

There will be a Magic: The Gathering Free Play Tournament on January 25th: All pre-registered attendees will receive a free deck to play with.

A Zombie Survival Seminar on January 4 will teach you how to survive a Zombie Apocalypse or other disaster situation.

Visit the website or Teen Facebook page for more details about teen programs at Covington, Erlanger or the Durr Branch in Independence. Teens and their parents are encouraged to get to know the teen programmer at their Library. Feel free to ask to meet Erin, Jessy or Eden while at the branch or shoot her an email.  

What is your favorite teen program or YA book?

Dare to Read for the Fun of It!

It’s Teen Read Week – Oct. 14-20! Teen Read Week is a time to celebrate reading for fun and encourage teens to take advantage of reading in all its forms —books and magazines, e-books, audiobooks and more — and become regular library users.

I have a teen in my house who loves attending library programs and reading young adult books. I’m not a librarian (public relations coordinator) nor did I work at the library when she was little. I did read to her a lot when she was little so I do have to take some credit for her love of books. My 13-year-old, Andi, enjoys the popular books like the Hunger Games and Twilight trilogies and “Divergent.” I hope to introduce her to some of the classics like “The Outsiders,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Catcher in the Rye” soon.

As a 37-year-old mother, I still love YA books. My favorites are “Hunger Games” and “To Kill A Mockingbird.” My fifth grade son is starting to find a passion for YA books. He also loves the Hunger Games trilogy and is finding that he enjoys sci-fi quite a bit. Joey is anxious for the day he can attend teen programs at the library, which are for those in grades 6-12.

The Kenton County Public Library offers teen programs at all three branches – Covington, Durr in Independence and Erlanger.  The branches offer Anima and Manga clubs, crafting programs, movie and book discussions, chess club, writing groups, movie nights, gaming events, jewelry making and much more. All of the programs are free. Each branch also has a teen space (Covington is currently being renovated) just for teens to hang out. They can play games, read books, have discussions, flip through magazines and socialize in this area that’s just for them.

So if you are a teen or know a teen interested in hanging with other teens and reading young adult materials check out our teen website or become a fan of our Teen Facebook page.  Check our catalog or  Good Reads for young adult books.

So what is your favorite YA book? Why?

This post was written by Gina Holt, PR Coordinator

Gina.holt@kentonlibrary.org