Writer, blogger-er and twitter-er
I got this book from Apex via their Apex Minions program in trade for an honest review
Diversity: Kapera is black as is her parents. There are a few side character that are Asian? Maybe. It's hard to tell their true culture as the author seems to have mashed this culture with that culture.
The first thing that put me off to this book is the piles of jargon they dump on you. We have hab-rat, mears, cuys, kweez and a ton others. While there is some explanation for some of them, you forget it by the time the next one has come up.
Another thing that majorly put me off was the rape part later on in the book. It's basically "we have to rape you to repopulate stuff". This is due to the Facer religion who have "face bindis" on their heads. Not sure if it's cultural appropriation however it made me face palm. A face bindi is a tiny face on the head that usually shows the true emotions of the wearer.
So these Facers basically want to go back to Earth and start some colony or something, I was confused about where they were going but it was going to take 100 years to get there.
So of course Nanoannie, one of our heroes, has to be forcibly married to someone so he can rape her and she can get pregnant. Fortunately she's married to a guy that doesn't have an interest in her as she has no interest in him. However it implies both with the men leering at the unwilling women in the church and later with just mentioning the other women, that they are raped.
I should mention that Nanoannie is around 14 years old. Yeah.
Next is Kapera. She has leukemia so a good portion of the book she is unconscious. The only black character with a major speaking part is devoiced for a good portion of the book. I rally can't recall why she's important to the book other than having a micro disc and her relationship to her parents who are the research scientists.
She's also not "African" but the jargon term "Kiafrican" which is not explained how that came about.
Overall I'm not really sure what the major plot is as the duo is kidnapped and escapes capture many times. It really isn't until the middle of the book the plot seems to appear. Given the many names and corporation name drops it's really hard to follow who is with who.
What really killed any final interest in this is when Nanoannie has Kapera wrist-com and types out in bad phoneticish words. It was hard to read, and with the "hic" when she has hiccups in the cuy ball every line,I just stopped caring.
It doesn't really strongly establish it's characters from the start so trying to remember what's going on is hard. It also like to borrow and mash up different cultures and has a good portion that is a rape plot.
So we start off pretty good with Gareki going to school and Karoku and then we fall into the the trope of Gareki having to be better than Tsubame in just days, because man. Then we have Tsukumo and her partner needing saving by a man for what happens to them.
Overall the story is brought down by it's misogyny.
The thing I hate most about this is that there is a lot of forced characterization in this one, probably because this was going to be a three book series and then was cut short to two, because that's the way TokyoPop did things.
Another thing is all the panty shots. However seeing as the writer is a dude, it explains a lot. That being said the ending is very lackluster and had this been part of a bigger series it would have been good however being only two books long, it's very unsatisfying.
I really wanted to like this book more, but it's starting to pull out the calling everyone 'bitch' and suddenly having Nanoannie tap into her sexual side to react to pheromones just so she can be caught.....yet again. This book kind of feel like a Nano project and the author just ran out of ideas for plot, so the character keep getting caught and tied up and have to get out.
No only that we indeed have the black character with 'hoodoo' that she is using to 'just know things'.
Not only that i kind of lost what was going on in the plot and it seems very disconnected at this point other than a Facer died and now they want to freeze everyone and go back to Earth.
Also I think there might be some pedophilia going on and I think Nanoannie says she's only 14yo and the guys she's getting with are much older.
So with this book we have the return of the predatory lesbian trope as well as the "gay men are crazy" AS WELL as the "bury your gays".
Really this one just felt forced, we have what we assume to be a man that was just really in love with his wife, so when she killed herself he got a bit obsessed. However it turns out he love Sakura his assistant and he murdered his wife. Where then he kills himself. In the middle of all this are some dolls added for a supernatural element.
We also have a story where Sunao plays the part of an angel to force two people to get together. It's not a very good story.
The final story is a one shot original where a girl has to battle some youkai. It's honestly a more compelling story than what is going on with the rest of the plot.
this book feels a lot more rushed and... cheaper than the first book. there are a number of panty shots, not the ecchi style where it's like "whoah" with the wind but just a camera and short skirts. would think since this sports has you flipping around and stuff that you'd either wear some kind of leoptard or not wear skirts at all. That being said, this is a typical literal round combat narritive that they'd stick in a shounen anime. Not really one for good character building. Taylor even has a super quick moment of "Is this how i treat people?" and that's it. it feels forced and obvious.
Overall the art so far has not been of a higher quality that you'd see on a published work form Tokyopop.I am thinking that htey rushed this out hte door as Ithink this came at the end of TP's lifespan. What sucks is that I know that TP owns the rights to this work.
I want to say the main character is gender fluid, but It's not really stated. She doesn't seem to mind being gendered as a boy, but also doesn't mind a girl either. She also seems to be bi, if not aromantic and playing at stealing people girlfriends and such. The manga is kind of confusing on what Sunao is really feeling as the other characters seem to take main stage.