Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Marx at the Arcade: Consoles, Controllers, and Class Struggle by Jamie Woodcock

I received my copy of Marx at the Arcade: Consoles, Controllers, and Class Struggle from the publisher through Edelweiss+.

I grew up on video games and now all I do all day is watch Twitch lately, so this book is for me. I found the discussion of the role of the gaming industry in the modern economy to be interesting and well-written. I knew GTA V was big, but I had no idea just how big. And I knew EA was a trash company that makes trash games, so that was also fun to read about. The part about e-sports predicts figures for 2018 and this book comes out .. today. It came out today, May 14, 2019. Maybe that should have been updated.

I was more into the second half than the first half of the book though it was pretty funny to see which games Woodcock discussed. I won't fault him for being into bad games like Assassin's Creed because at least they didn't ruin his ability to think and write a decent book.

Imagine an entire section devoted to role-playing games in a book about Marxism that doesn't include any mention of the largely classless, communist structure in place in much of the world of Final Fantasy VIII. You don't need to imagine it because it's real, and it's this book.


Saturday, April 27, 2019

Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan by Hildi Kang

I received my copy of Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan from the publisher through NetGalley.

This was a charming and fun adventure; great for kids. It has a cool ending.


Friday, April 5, 2019

Saint Young Men, Vol. 1 by Hikaru Nakamura

I received my copy of Saint Young Men, Vol. 1 from the publisher through NetGalley, which was kind enough to engrave my name into the .pdf file! So I have my own little copy, and no you can't have it; get your own!

This is wacky: Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha are roomies and besties. They dress up and go to festivals together, ride the trains, etc. in modern day Japan. And silliness happens.

Reading the first chapter, I was thinking, "Well, at least this isn't very long. It's not bad, but I'm not into it." But by the end, I was in fact into it, which surprised me.

If you're religious, it might offend you. I don't know; a lot of things seem to offend religious and it's nearly impossible to forecast what those things might be.

If you're expecting Jesus to bleed while wearing the crown of thorns, you'll be disappointed. I thought that was a little weird, but maybe not as weird as the premise of the series. It's fine though. You'll probably like it, so you should read it.


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Urusei Yatsura, Vol. 2 by Rumiko Takahashi

I received my copy of Urusei Yatsura, Vol. 2 from the publisher through Edelweiss+.

More madness and fun from Lum and Ataru, so what's not to love? I especially liked the chapter where Lum logs into a computer to check her compatibility with Ataru and it turns out she's the most compatible with someone else whose birthday is April 1. Maybe I've been reading too much Delany lately, but was that a nod to Stars in My Pockets Like Grains of Sand? It couldn't be, right? Wasn't this volume of Urusei Yatsura serialized long before that book came out? Anyway, it was interesting.

This was a good installment in the series and I'm looking forward to the next one.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Candy Color Paradox, Vol. 1 by Isaku Natsume

I received my copy of Candy Color Paradox, Vol. 1 from the publisher through Edelweiss+.

It's a story about two guys who work together as journalists but act more like high school students. First Onoe likes Kaburagi, then Kaburagi likes Onoe while Onoe refuses to acknowledge that he likes Kaburagi. This volume seems complete in itself, but there are two other volumes so now I wonder what else happens.


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Love in Limbo, Vol. 1 by Haji

I received my copy of Love in Limbo, Vol. 1 from the publisher through Edelweiss+.

It's a cute love story: Calen has died and is now in Limbo, where he meets Makoto/Golem, his assistant who's made of clay. Naturally, they're perfect together. So far there's no real conflict other than the fact that Golem is stuck in Limbo and cannot be reincarnated, as Calen eventually can be. I thought it would be free of any gratuitous sex scenes, but there's one toward the end.

It's not a bad series so far. I'd like to read the next one to see where it goes.


We Never Learn, Vol. 3 by Taishi Tsutsui

I received my copy of We Never Learn, Vol. 3 from the publisher through Edelweiss+.

True to its title, the girls in this series never learn. They're all interested in their tutor, Nariyuki, whose selflessness seems somehow irresistible to these characters. High school drama ensues.

This wasn't as bad as the second volume was.


Platinum End, Vol. 8 by Tsugumi Ohba

I received my copy of Platinum End, Vol. 8 from the publisher through Edelweiss+.

This was an emotional volume. The battle that lasted I don't remember how many chapters finally closes, Mukaido passes on, and a kid starts controlling Kanade. What will happen next?

I think this was one of the better volumes of this series after the last few have been, in my view, weak.


One-Punch Man, Vol. 16 by ONE

I received my copy of One-Punch Man, Vol. 16 from the publisher through Edelweiss+.

Saitama sits this one out, opting instead to play video games with King. The action is with Garo, who takes on more than ten of the heroes. Genos doesn't become inoperable this time, which surprised me.

Like the rest of the series, this volume is great. The artwork is fantastic and, although the story didn't move much, it's exciting throughout. I tried watching an episode of the anime, but it's definitely not for me. The manga series is far superior. I want volume 17 already!


Friday, February 15, 2019

My Footprints by Bao Phi

I received my copy of My Footprints from the publisher through NetGalley.

A cute little story about finding inner strength in the face of adversity, it's imaginative and has excellent art work.  It's a little thin on material and impact, but it works for the intended age group.