From the bookshelf: Smokin’ Parade Volume 1

Youkou Kakujou is used to looking after his disabled sister who for all of her life has been restricted to a wheelchair. Everything changes though when the medical organisation, Amenotori develop a way to transplant any part of the human body – including legs. With his sister Mirai able to walk, all seems to have improved in Kakujou’s world. Little did anyone know that a tiny proportion of Amenotori patients suffer from an awkward set of side effects: a desire for grotesque violence, loss/gain of limbs and a creepy animal head – becoming what is simply known as a spider.

It doesn’t take long for Smokin’ Parade to give us all of this information in chapter 1 as the innocent, if haphazard, Mirai Kakujou transforms from bubbly party organiser into demon, limb chopping rabbit.

First though, let’s go back a bit and talk about the protagonist of this sorry affair. Youkou Kakujou enters as a bit of an oddball – jumping from a bridge onto a car only to provide the driver with the trash he dropped moments earlier. This is part of Youkou’s ‘family rules’, of which there appear to be many.

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Attack on Titan chapter 90

It seems as if chapter 90 will be the concluding chapter of the Return to Shiganshina arc as the survey corps finish debriefing with the new government, receive awards in honour of bravery from Krista and, following a extended time skip, travel beyond Wall Maria for the first time since the opening chapters (spoilers for the manga are ahead, if you’re more interested in the second season of the anime, try here instead).

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Chapter Reaction: Attack on Titan 77 [SPOILERS]

As a big fan of the anime, I’ve gradually been making my way through the Attack on Titan manga. As those of you who read the manga will know already, there have been some frankly mind blowing revelations as the manga continues on after the end of the anime.

From this point on there will be big spoilers for chapter 77 and the manga post-season 1 anime – you have been warned.

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Building the Japanese Bookshelf: Battle Royale

It’s often the case that novels that are controversial are also very good. A fantastic example of this is Houshun Takami’s Battle Royale. Released in 1999, the novel was widely criticised for its barbarity and the similarities that were drawn between Takami’s fictional state and Japan. It’s credentials as a cult classic however, were undeniable and within the first few years of it’s release critical opinion in Japan had swung.

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Battle Royale is story that needs little introduction. Every year, a middle school class from each prefecture is taken to a remote, uninhabited area and told to fight until only one of them is left alive. The story is told from a third person point of view, but focuses largely on Shuya Nanahara, a boy popular with the girls who enjoys illegal, foreign rock music. As is not uncommon in each incarnation of the ‘programme’, Shuya and his friend Noriko, harbour hopes of somehow being able to both escape alive. After they meet up with the distant Kagawa, these hopes seem to come closer to reality.

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