Manga Review: Yakuza Lover Volume Two

Yakuza Lover Volume Two introduces a new character to the series, as well as focuses on the interactions between Yuri and Toshiomi.

Yakuza Lover Volume Two
Written by: Nozomi Mino
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: September 7, 2021

Even though I hadn’t been terribly impressed with Yakuza Lover Volume One, I decided to give Volume Two a try because I wanted to give the series a chance to potentially improve. One of the big issues I had with the first volume was that it felt like Mino didn’t quite know which demographic the series was being aimed at, because at times it felt more like a shojo manga instead of a title being aimed at an older female audience. However, with Volume Two, Mino makes it clear very early on with the sex scenes that this is a title aimed at the older female demographic. It probably helped that we only see Yuri with Toshiomi in the yakuza world in this volume. In Volume One, it seemed like the series felt most like a shojo was when Yuri was in her regular world of school and being around her friends.

As I mentioned in the teaser at the top, Yakuza Lover Volume Two introduces a new character: Semilio, the leader of another yakuza gang. He has his subordinates kidnap Yuri and bring her to their headquarters. While I had issues with Toshiomi in the first volume, I actually gained a better appreciation for him after being introduced to Semilio. While it’s established here that the Oya Syndicate goes easy on women because they don’t want to hurt them, Semilio is portrayed as being cruel and not having any hesitations like that. We especially see this cruelness in his interactions with Yuri. He only views Yuri as a pawn, and he makes it clear through his words and actions that he doesn’t see Yuri as a person. I was glad to see Yuri’s feisty nature rear its head during this scene with him, because after seeing it early on in Volume One, Yuri basically quit showing that side of herself and acted like a simpering and lovesick schoolgirl. Even though Yuri knew what she was doing could cause her to be hurt by Semilio, she decided to go ahead with this action anyway.

Fortunately, Toshiomi shows up in the nick of time and is able to save Yuri from Semilio. However, he makes her leave so he can deal with Semilio without any distractions. Toshiomi’s men have to keep a frantic Yuri locked up in the villa, because she would rush back to where Toshiomi and Semilio are and potentially put herself in danger. While it was cruel of Toshiomi’s men to lock her up, they were trying to follow their boss’s order to keep her safe at the villa. Unfortunately, Yuri is tormented because she’s wondering what happened to Toshiomi. And when he doesn’t come back in the morning like he promised, she is at first understandably upset. However, when she accepts the idea that Toshiomi might be dead, she calms down and she asks to be let out. At this point, Yuri’s demeanor completely changes, and she’s obviously putting on a brave face. When Toshiomi returns unharmed, she’s actually angry at him for what he put her through. She starts chewing him out, but he whisks her away from his men because he can’t allow her to make him look bad in front of them. Yuri’s anger doesn’t last long, but it was, again, nice to see Yuri’s feisty side come out. I hope we see this out of her more often in future volumes of the series.

While I have to admit that I liked Yakuza Lover Volume Two better than Volume One, I still wouldn’t necessarily consider it to be a great manga series. I’m still willing to continue the series, though, and to try to see it through to the end. However, if you read the first volume of Yakuza Lover and enjoyed it, then you should have an appreciation for Volume Two.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

Additional posts about Yakuza Lover:

Hulu Is Now Streaming the English Dub of the Horimiya Anime

The Fandom Post is reporting that Hulu has added the English dub of the Horimiya anime.

The English cast for the series includes:

  • Marisa Duran is Kyoko Hori
  • Alejandro Saab is Izumi Miyamura
  • Zeno Robinson is Toru Ishikawa
  • Anairis Quiñones is Yuki Yoshikawa
  • Belsheber Rusape is Kakeru Sengoku
  • Jalitza Delgado is Remi Ayasaki
  • Celeste Perez is Kono Sakura
  • Y. Chang is Shu Iura
  • Emily Fajardo is Sota Hori

The story of Horimiya is described as:

Admired at school for her friendly attitude and academic achievements, high school student Kyouko Hori has been hiding another side to herself. With her parents often away from home due to work, Hori also has to look after her younger brother and do the housework, leaving no opportunities to make friends and socialize outside of school. Meanwhile, Izumi Miyamura is seen as a brooding, glasses-wearing, otaku. In reality, he is a gentle person hopeless at studying. He also has nine piercings hidden behind his long hair and a tattoo along his back and left shoulder.

By sheer happenstance, Hori and Miyamura cross paths outside of school—neither looking as the other expects. These seemingly polar opposites become fast friends, sharing with each other a side of themselves they have never shown to anyone else.

Source: The Fandom Post

10 Years Ago Today…

Believe it or not, today marks the 10th anniversary for the blog. Ten years… it’s hard to believe that much time has already passed.

10 years ago, this blog was simply a manga blog called Lesley’s Musings… on Manga. At the time, I was writing about anime for a site called BellaOnline.com, and I launched this blog as a way to be able to write about manga. However, in late 2012, I began to incorporate some anime content by tweaking some of my BellaOnline posts and posting them here. In short order, the blog became known as Lesley’s Musings… on Manga and Anime.

In the summer of 2013, I left BellaOnline.com to focus exclusively on my blog. I spent a lot of time tweaking most of the content I had written for BellaOnline and posting that material here, as well as continuing to write new posts for the blog. As the anime content began to outnumber the manga content, the blog’s name was changed to reflect this and became Lesley’s Musings… on Anime and Manga.

Within a couple of years, though, the blog hit a temporary slump because I was getting a worn out from blogging. I let the domain name I had purchased for the blog go, and I did still make posts… but just not as much as I had been previously. But around 2017, I found myself wanting to dedicate myself to my blog again. I came up with the name the blog has now to rebrand it and bought a new domain name to go along with the new name.

The blog has had its ups and downs over this past decade, but I think it’s come so far over that time. And yet, I still have a hard time believing that a decade has passed by already.

Here’s to the future… and I hope to be able to post in 10 years that two decades have gone by since this blog started. 🙂

English Cast Announced for the Dororo Anime

The English cast has been announced for the Dororo anime:

  • Chaney Moore is Dororo
  • Adam Gibbs is Hyakkimaru
  • Blake Jackson is Tahomaru
  • James Belcher is Biwamaru
  • David Wald is Daigo Kagemitsu
  • Patricia Duran is Nuinokata
  • Andrew Love is Hyogo
  • Elissa Cuellar is Mutsu
  • Ty Mahany is Jukai
  • Antonio Lasanta is Kaname
  • Orlanders Tao Jones is Sabu
  • John Gremillion is Denkichi
  • Joanne Bonasso is Bandai
  • Kyle Colby Jones is Kanekozo and Doshu
  • Gabriel Regojo is Daigo Spy
  • Avery Smithhart is Osushi
  • Joe Daniels is Tanosuke
  • Luci Christian is Mio and Sukeroku
  • Brittney Karbowski is Take
  • Rob Mungle is Daigo Commander
  • Christine Auten is Ohagi
  • John Swasey is Yajiro
  • Kira Vincent-Davis is Saru
  • Heidi Hinkel is Oume
  • Josh Morrison is Hibukuro
  • Melissa Engler is Ojiya
  • Greg Cote is Itachi
  • Molly Searcy is Okaka
  • Jay Hickman is Lord Sabame
  • Kalin Coates is Yokai Kozo
  • Josh Grelle is Shiranui
  • Jad Saxton is Okowa
  • Jason Douglas is Munetsuna and Narrator
  • Jeremy Gee is Saburota
  • Sean Patrick Judge is Yahiko
  • Holly Segarra is Sakichi
  • Dave Harbold is Lord Asakura
  • Adam Noble is Jiheita

Additional cast includes: Julia Oliver-Touchstone, Shelley Calene-Black, Jay Hickman, Maggie Flecknoe, Carl Masterson, Houston Hayes, Shannon Reed, Allison Sumrall, Ned Gayle, Lebraska Washington, Ricardo Contreras, John Gremillion, Stephen Fenley, Joel McCray, Jovan Jackson, Blake Weir, and Christina Kelly.

Kyle Colby Jones is directing the dub.

Sentai Filmworks licensed the anime in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Latin America, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Nordic and Scandinavian countries. The company will release the series on home video, including Blu-ray and digital sell through, starting on June 29, 2021.

Colleen Clinkenbeard Announced as Guest for Anime NYC

Anime NYC has announced that English dub actress Colleen Clinkenbeard has been announced as a guest for Anime NYC.

Clinkenbeard’s credits include Monkey D. Luffy in the FUNimation Entertainment dub of One Piece, young Goku in Dragon Ball Z Kai and Dragon Ball Super, Momo Yaoyorozu in My Hero Academia, Erza Scarlet in Fairy Tail, Yuko Ichihara in xxxHolic, Riza Hawkeye in Fullmetal Alchemist, Ritsuko Akagi in the Rebuild of Evangelion films, and Akito Soma in the Fruits Basket reboot anime.

Anime NYC is scheduled to take place at the Javits Center on November 19-21, 2021.

Source: Anime NYC

Anime and Manga Blog Posts That Caught My Eye This Week (April 9, 2021)

Looking at this list, you can tell that the Winter 2021 anime season has ended and that the Spring 2021 season is underway.

Here are the anime blog posts that grabbed my attention this week:

U.S. Justice Department Extends Antitrust Review of Sony’s Proposed Acquisition of Crunchyroll

Technology website The Information has reported that the U.S. Justice Department has extended its antitrust review of Sony’s proposed US$1.175 billion acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T. The Information notes that the review, which seeks to determine if the deal would give Sony dominance over anime streaming, could delay the sale by several months and could also potentially kill it.

Justice Department attorneys are reviewing the deal to see if it would give Japanese animation studios fewer options to distribute shows in the United States. The Information adds that the review could take six months or longer, and that if the department does not approve the merger, it could sue to block it.

Crunchyroll announced in December 2020 that Sony’s Funimation Global Group will acquire Crunchyroll. Sony reported that the purchase price will be US$1.175 billion, to be paid in cash at closing. The deal is still awaiting regulatory approvals and other conditions.

Source: ANN

Anime Blog Posts That Caught My Eye This Week (March 12, 2021)

With the amount of daylight starting to increase, it’s a strong reminder that the Winter 2021 anime season will soon be coming to an end and that the Spring 2021 anime season is right around the corner. A number of this week’s featured links focus on the Winter 2021 season, but there’s also some other topics touched on as well.

Here are the anime blog posts that grabbed my attention this week:

Case Closed: Episode 997 – “Intrigue at Smile Village”

The episode opens with Conan being driven in a limousine, and being greeted by a smiling couple. It turns out he’s been taken to a retirement community called Smile Village. For some reason, Conan is surprised by where he’s been taken. Which doesn’t make a lot of sense, since he was brought in a limo, which, obviously he doesn’t own. Why wouldn’t he have questioned where he was going? I mean, he questions everything since he’s a detective.

When he gets inside, he finds a group of four old women, as well as almost all of the Detective Boys (except for Ai, and it’s never explained why she isn’t there… her existence isn’t even acknowledged). It turns out these women are fans of the Detective Boys. Apparently, while on a bus tour, they saw these four sitting outside and eating, and started snapping pictures of them with their cell phones. I’m sorry, but this is just inappropriate and creepy. Also, how do they know that they are the Detective Boys? That’s never answered. Because of this, the smiling couple that owns Smile Village invites the kids to come to the retirement community. Which again begs the question: why was Conan surprised by where he was taken?

Each of these ladies, who we learn are eccentric and wealthy, take their favorite member of the Detective Boys to their room. Creepy and inappropriate! Each one does something that they wish they could have done with a grandchild. Conan is stuck with a lady who wanted to sing a lullaby, and this woman cannot sing. She puts herself to sleep, though, so Conan can sneak out. Another lady wanted to peel fruit from around the world and feed them to her grandchild, and Mitsuhide ends up with this one. Ayumi ends up with a lady who wants to show off her collection of dentures, and then do a “ventriloquist” act with one set of them. The lady Genta ends up with pinches his butt… and that was EXTREMELY inappropriate. She then follows this up by going outside and taking off on a jet pack, which fails and she has to use a parachute. I’m sorry, but Genta’s “fan” gets a “WTF were you thinking?” award.

The other three manage to get away from their respective fans, and meet up with Conan. They stumble across the couple (named Tango and Waltz), and overhear their plan to use the money they oversee for the old ladies to buy a luxury hotel in Dubai to start a new Smile Village there. They also plan to bilk old people in Dubai so they can build a Smile Village in space. Insert eyeroll here.

Unfortunately, they discover the Detective Boys overhearing their plan, and send their bodyguard, Onda, to chase after them. While there was some bad animation in this episode (which looked a lot like bad flash animation), Onda got some of the absolute worst animation in this episode. In many of his scenes, his movements were very unnatural, which almost led me to believe he was a robot or an android or something. In one particular part of this chase, he suddenly stops, turns in a perfect right angle, and then continues his weird and janky walking. Onda’s walk animation here was so bad and unnatural that it made me laugh at how horrible it was.

Basically, three of the kids are captured, and Onda is ordered to lock them in the basement. Kidnapping and imprisonment. Looks like Tango and Waltz want to rack up the charges, huh? Conan is about to rescue them, when he is caught by Onda. Before anything can happen, the story cuts to Tango and Waltz trying to get the old women to sign contracts stating that they will not allow any other retirement center to scout them. Conan and the Detective Boys suddenly show up, and Conan uses his special shoes to kick a soccer ball. While he has done some impressive things using this trick, I think that hitting a table hard enough to make it go flying away for a long distance is more than a little unrealistic. We’re told that the Detective Boys told Onda about the plan, and he has turned on Tango and Waltz because he loves working at Smile Village and taking care of these women.

Oh, Lordy. The writing was bad, the setup was bad, the animation was bad, and there wasn’t an actual mystery in this episode. Case Closed is supposed to be a mystery series, and there was no mystery for Conan and the kids to solve. By the end of this episode, I found myself asking, “WTF did I just watch?”

There was an episode that I had previously declared to be the worst Case Closed episode that I had ever seen, but I think it’s safe to say that this episode was even worse than that one. Hopefully, this is the last episode I can ever give the “Worst. Case. Closed. Episode. Ever.” award to.

From the preview for next week’s episode, it looks like it has promise… and an actual mystery!

Additional posts about Case Closed:

Food Wars! The Third Plate Anime to Premiere on Toonami on February 27, 2021

Toonami has announced that the block will be adding the Food Wars! The Third Plate to its lineup on February 27, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

The Toonami lineup for February 27, 2021 includes:

  • 12:00 a.m. – Dragon Ball Super
  • 12:30 a.m. – Attack on Titan
  • 01:00 a.m. – Food Wars! The Third Plate
  • 01:30 a.m. – Fire Force
  • 02:00 a.m. – Black Clover
  • 02:30 a.m. – SSSS.Gridman
  • 03:00 a.m. – Naruto Shippuden
  • 03:30 a.m. – Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

All 24 episodes of Food Wars! The Third Plate will run on Toonami, with new installments airing every Saturday.

Source: Crunchyroll
Source: Toonami Facebook page