Author Archives: wedbriefsfic

Saturday is Horror Day #58 – Zombieland: Double Tap, The Grudge (2004)

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Zombieland: Double Tap

Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) have banded together in the face of the Zombie Apocalypse into a family of sorts. Columbus and Wichita are a couple, and Tallahassee is like Little Rock’s protective father. They decide to take up residence, at least for a while, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, aka the White House. But nothing lasts forever. When Columbus pops the question and presents Wichita with a huge blue rock surrounded by diamonds, and Little Rock decides she’s being stifled, the sisters do what they do best – they leave.

 While exploring a mall, Tallahassee and Columbus run across another person, a ditzy blonde named Madison (Zoey Deutch), who attaches herself to the, particularly Columbus, who is nursing a wounded heart. Wichita returns unexpectedly to restock her weapons, but she also tells them that Little Rock has left her as well, stealing their vehicle and leaving a note. Karma indeed. Before she left, they’d picked up a hitchhiker, a peace-loving hippie named Berkeley (Avan Jogia), who leaves with Little Rock.

 

The group hits the road, their new destination Graceland, home of the King, hoping to catch up with Little 

Rock there.. However, when they arrive, they discover that the mansion is ruined, and they end up instead at The Hound Dog Cafe where they meet Nevada (Rosario Dawson). Nevada is more than capable of taking care of herself, and sparks fly between her and Tallahassee.

When Madison becomes infected, it becomes Columbus’ job to put her down before they head to Graceland. But now that Madison isn’t there, maybe they’ll find them at the hippie haven of Babylon.

 

The sequel to Zombieland has less emphasis on zombies and more on the relationships within the group, although there are zombies, especially at the end. And, as Columbus explains at the beginning, the zombies have changed, and some are even harder to kill. I think the narration at the beginning got on my nerves. Also, I didn’t like Wichita and Little Rock in the first film, and I’m not more inclined to like them in the second. Now there is a very annoying ditzy blonde who got on my nerves too.

The sequel doesn’t have the charm of the first film, but I’ve seen worse. It’s worth one viewing, wouldn’t watch either one again. Look for Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch as clones of Tallahassee and Columbus. Also, I recognized Avan Jogia from a show I used to watch called Now Apocalypse. I hope there isn’t going to be a third film, to be honest. I’ll give this one 3 Stars.

The Grudge (2004)

A house in Tokyo, scene of an horrific event, is the starting point for a number of mysterious deaths. Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is sent to the home to care for its stricken inhabitant, Emma (Grace Zabriskie). The regular caretaker, Yoko (Yoko Maki) is a no-show. But Karen quickly discovers all is not right in this house, including a mysterious boy. Or is he a boy? Sometimes he seems like a cat.

 

The woman’s son, Matthew (William Mapother) and his wife Jennifer (Clea DuVall) have barely moved into the house when strange things begin to happen. Jennifer sees strange things she can’t explain. Is there someone else in the house, someone who means them harm?

 

Matthew’s sister Susan (KaDee Strickland) is concerned about her mother. She also lives in Tokyo. And her brother is acting weirdly, making prank calls during which he only makes strange noises. Working late one night, she hears strange sounds and then sees a strange otherwordly woman who means her harm. She reports her dilemma to the security guard who goes to check out, and Susan watches in horror on the CCTV as the woman seemingly manifests from nowhere.

Inspector Nakagawa (Ryo Ishibashi) has been assigned to the case, and he tries to make sense of what 

Karen has told him. He realizes something foul is afoot and goes to the house with the intention of burning it to the ground. But something prevents him from carrying this out.

This Sam Raimi movie is a re-make of a Japanese film, Juon. I haven’t seen that yet, but I intend to. The story is good, but sometimes I found the acting lacking, mostly from the Western actors. Almost as if they didn’t belong in what feels like a Japanese story. I like Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I think she came off a little wooden in this role. That’s just my opinion, of course. I am going to keep watching the series and will let you know when I view The Grudge 2. I have to say that I did like Ted Raimi in his role, and I remembered Ryo Ishibashi from watching him in Audition.

 

Not a bad film, it just felt a little off. I’m looking forward to seeing Juon, and hope for better things. I will give this one 3.5 Stars.

Book Review: Skip Beat! Vol 9 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Skip Beat! Vol 9   

Author: Yoshiki Nakamura

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: September 4, 2007

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Shojo Manga//216 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Kyoko has an ongoing role as a giant chicken named Bo, but very few people know that, thank goodness. What are the chances that the same bratty child who said that Moko’s career is done should be the guest on the show? Kyoko sees it as her chance to find out what happened, but ends up being told her career is done too! Kyoko refuses to be intimidated by the child. Even when he threatens to out her to the world as Bo! (Unfortunately clever that one is!)  Kyoko engineers a meeting between Hio and Moko in order to find out what really happened, and why this brat is so vindictive. Turns out that on the set, Moko threw Hio, who claims to have suffered grievously at her hands. Why would she treat a child like that? And why doesn’t she see anything wrong with her behavior? In order to clear up the mystery, and explain why she did what she did, Moko takes Kyoko and  Hio to her home. Kyoko is excited to see Moko’s family, but she is in for quite the shock!

Ren is called to an early morning meeting with Lory, who is curious about the reason Ren’s phone was broken, assuming it had to do with a woman. But Ren denies that. Ren becomes confused when Lory brings up the lack of romantic gossip concerning Ren, like that’s a bad thing. But Lory finally comes to the point and tells Ren that “his acting of love sucks!” Ren is shocked as Lory explains that he’s hidden it so far because his roles haven’t called for it, but it’s obvious he’s never really loved. Ren tries to deny that, but can’t prove it and is dismayed at the way their conversation is going.

Kyoko and Moko have finally figured out what Hio’s problem is. Well, mostly. And Moko confesses to Kyoko what she has been doing for extra money, which is simply acting and nothing horrible at all. But Moko calls Kyoko out for not telling her own secrets, despite having confessed to her. Kyoko is terrified that Moko won’t like her anymore and she’ll lose her only friend! So Moko walks away!

Kyoko is shocked to learn she is being offered a part in a drama! She was even recommended for the role by the producer of Sho’s video! The drama is the remake of one that was very successful twenty years before. And oh, the lead actor is going to be Ren! She tells them she has to think about it, suddenly terrified of being around Ren like that. Meanwhile Mr. Yashiro is trying to find out what is bothering Ren, and for some reason he keeps linking Ren’s bad mood to Kyoko.

Kyoko meets Moko at a karaoke box and confesses her past relationship with Sho Fuwa. Moko is shocked, having believed Kyoko to be a mega-fan of Sho’s. They discuss Kyoko’s options regarding her acting and the offer of the drama. And then Moko drops a bombshell when she dares to suggest that maybe Ren actually likes Kyoko.

Ren is disturbed after leaving Lory. Maybe the man is right, maybe he shouldn’t accept the role. But a familiar scream draws his attention. And yes, it’s Kyoko, who has just read the script and realized she is not being cast as a rich nice young girl but a disturbed one. She has just run into the director of the drama, who is pleading with her not to change her mind, that she is the one he wants ever since he saw her play the angel in the video. Ren is caught unawares by the knowledge that Kyoko is to appear in the drama as well. And suddenly he accepts the offer to be the star!

So much going on in this volume! At least the mystery of Hio has been solved (even if he is still somewhat of an entitled brat) and also we learn a lot about Moko’s home life (egad, that would drive me crazy!). Now on to the drama! Both the series and the behind-the-scenes drama! I wonder how Lory would react to the knowledge of Ren as Corn, and his past relationship with Kyoko. After all, his current one is very complicated. I think he would not only understand, he would see through both their protestations. Of course, Kyoko doesn’t know Ren is Corn, and the longer he waits to tell her, the bigger the explosion, I’m sure. Especially if they manage to draw closer in the meantime.

Love, love, love this series, so awesome!  Until next time!

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 57 by Tite Kubo

Bleach, Vol 57   

Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: April 2, 2013

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Word spreads throughout the Seretei – Ichigo Kurosaki is on the way, and his bankai cannot be stolen by the Quincies!  Everyone rejoices until Akon notices that Ichigo’s presence in the Garganta is gone, and Ichigo has to inform him that he has been trapped in a cage and is currently unable to escape. Unfortunately, his message doesn’t get through. Things are really starting to go haywire now!

Byakuya is facing Quincy Äs Nödt. Renji wants to attack but his captain warns they need to identify his ability first. Byakuya begins to feel an unfamiliar sensation, as if his arms and legs are freezing. Although he fears poison, the Quincy tells him that it is only fear that he feels, an unaccustomed sensation indeed. An indignant Renji attacks when the Quincy steals Byakuya’s bankai and dares to use it on him. Renji is put out of commission just before he is about to use bankai by an overzealous Quincy who assumed only Captains could do such things, irritating Äs Nödt.

Just after the so-called Majesty learns of the death of the Captain, Kenpachi arrives, carrying three Quincies he has defeated, and he’s glad to tell how he did it. Kenpachi announces he wants to battle His Majesty, even as things are falling apart for the Soul Reapers, and Ichigo is still contained in the cage, put there by Quilgie Opie J! Apparently, J stands for Jail!

In an unexpected twist, things are looking bleak for Kenpachi, when Captain General Yamamoto steps in to face the so-called majesty, whom he addresses as Yhwach. Turns out he’s known him for a thousand years and foresaw this day. But can he defeat this megalomaniac?

Things are only getting worse. In fact they’re downright horrifying. First Kira, now Byakuya. Where will this madness end? Is no one safe? I fear even more for my Shunsui. There is a great deal of back story here for the Captain General, which has been a long time coming, as I think he’s the least known of the Soul Reapers. Gives a lot more dimension to his character. The ending threw me off a bit, and I admit to being a little confused, but hopefully that will be cleared up in the next volume. I know this fight is far from over, as this thousand year bloodwar arc has just begun. I am afraid to find out who will be lost next.

Looking forward with trepidation to the next volume!

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 56 by Tite Kubo

Bleach, Vol 56     

Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: April 2, 2013

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

An army of Quincies known as the Stern Ritter (Star Knights) has attacked the Soul Society. Meanwhile, one of them, Quilgie Opie, is facing Ichigo in Hueco Mundo. Ichigo went there, along with Orihime, Chad, and Urahara, after Nel informed him that it was under attack. When Ichigo tells Quilgie that his arrows are stronger than Uryu’s, the Quincy is confused and begins to say something but decides that silence is golden instead. What was he about to say? And what does he know of Ishida?

The Quincy keeps talking about His Majesty, but when Ichigo presses him for information, he just tells him that His Majesty has said Ichigo must die. Quilgie changes into his Holy Form and the battle continues, while the others search for Nel’s companion, Dondochakka. Their fight is interrupted by three female Arrancars and their monster, Aon, who was created using their three left arms. Since their fight is not with Ichigo, they tell him he can go so he doesn’t die. Like that would ever happen.

Back at the Soul Society, pillars of light have descended upon them, leaving the captains and lieutenants to wonder what is going on. Captain General Yamamoto announces he is stepping out and leaves the defense to his third seat, Genshiro. Sensing spiritual pressure, some of the Soul Reapers attack, and they suffer a devastating loss in the death of one of their own, a lieutenant. The newcomers announce they have orders to kill everyone, and it’s time for the purge.

Each Stern Ritter has a letter after their name which corresponds with their ability. The Soul Reapers are quickly dismayed to learn that the enemy can seal their bankai so they are unable to use them. They determine to find a way to break the seal. Byakuya is the first to realize the bankai haven’t been sealed, they’ve been stolen! The order goes out to not use Bankai. But this is a problem, because the Bankai are their only means of defeating the invaders. What to do? “Then how are we supposed to fight them?” Renji cries. Akon realizes they need Ichigo, and on his own he determines to contact the Deputy Soul Reaper.  But he is surprised to learn he is not in the Land of the Living, but in Hueco Mundo. He gets through to Ichigo and explains the situation, and tells him he needs to come immediately. Ichigo agrees, but things don’t go exactly smoothly. What’s he going to do now? As things stand, he can’t possibly get to the Soul Reapers to help them, and without him, they are doomed.

Things just got real. One Captain and one Lieutenant dead? Just devastating. No access to Bankai? And Ichigo contained in a cage, prevented from reaching the Soul Society. As usual, he is their only hope, but unless he can free himself, they are doomed. A heartbreaking volume. I fear for my Shunsui, who was injured during the battle. He’s alive, yes, but who knows what will happen next? Nervously looking forward to the next volume.

Wednesday Briefs: April 20, 2022

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

The Garret Farm: Part 28 by J Ray Lamb

Trent kept driving towards Flat River but was just meandering towards it. He didn’t have a specific destination in mind. His mind was replaying the earlier conversation with Sandy over and over.

How did I get so lucky? Trent thought to himself as he kept driving, Don’t count your chickens before they hatch!

As much as Trent was enjoying the throb of Sandy’s crotch in his hand, he felt that he needed to move it. Sandy had put his hand there, but Trent wasn’t comfortable with it after a few minutes. He was smitten with Sandy, the sex this morning…

Click here to read the entire Brief:

Continue reading

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 55 by Tite Kubo

Bleach, Vol 55     

Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: February 5, 2013

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Hollows are beginning to disappear at an alarming rate. This is especially bad news to those in the Soul Society who monitor such things because of the delicate balance that exists between the Soul Society and the World of the Living. Should this balance be disrupted, well, the result would not be pretty. And Kurotsuchi has an idea who is responsible for this imbalance.

It’s Yuki’s first day on the job but he’s very tired, having been too worried to get much sleep the night before. He is yelled at by Shino, who tells him he has nothing to fear while she’s around and to pull his act together! They travel to Karakura Town to begin making their rounds. Yuki is dismayed that they are patrolling separately, especially when he runs into his first Hollows! And oh dear, they’ve got Shino on the ground, unconscious. What’s a new guy to do? Luckily for him, the Deputy Soul Reaper arrives to save the day!

Yuki awakens a day later to learn he missed the battle. While Ichigo is trying to get the new Soul Reaper out of his bed, other people assemble – Orihime, Chad, Uryu and some guy named Ebern. Ebern? Who the heck is that? Ichigo realizes this new guy, who he believes to be an Arrancar, has come on account of him so he decides to handle him quickly. Except Ebern is not an Arrancar, not at all. And what he is is surprising.

Meanwhile a situation is developing in the Rukongai. Entire villages of people are disappearing.  Even as the Soul Reapers investigate, Captain General Yamamoto is visited by a contingent who have come to declare war! Even as he faces them down, Ebern taunts Ichigo to use his bankai and defeat him. However when Ichigo does as he wishes, Ebern seems frustrated that Ichigo’s bankai doesn’t disappear. What does that even mean? He departs in a huff, leaving a confused Ichigo.

Tragedy strikes the Soul Society with the death of one of their own, although the Captain General is safe. Yuki receives the news and relays it to Ichigo and the others. Suddenly, Ichigo spots something hurtling toward the earth and hastens to catch it, only to discover it is none other than Nel! Hueco Mundo has been attacked!  Naturally, Ichigo feels the need to help, as do Chad and Orihime, and even Kiskue. But Uryu has to sit this one out because he cannot conscience saving Hollows.

There is a new villain on the scene, and he has subordinates who seem to be as evil and crazy as he is!  They call themselves the Vandenreich, the Invisible  Empire… and the most surprising thing about them is that they are an army of Quincies! Now Soul Society and Hueco Mundo and the World of the Living are all in danger. These guys have a trick up their sleeves – they don’t just seal the Soul Reapers’ bankais – they can steal them! How does that even work? And why does Ichigo seem immune to that? Will Ichigo once again be the key to everyone’s survival?

I’m reminded of that old saying – be careful what you wish for. I wished for the end of the Fullbring arc and the arrival of the new arc. Well, it’s here, and I have a feeling we’re in for a bumpy ride!

Saturday is Horror Day #57 – Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire, Evil Dead (2013)

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire

Nine years after the tragic events that transpired at the Abaddon Hotel, the hotel is slated to be torn down. But the last minute intervention of billionaire Russell Wynn (Gabriel Chytry) saves the hotel. He has decided it’s to be the site of his successful audience-interactive show Insomnia.  He invites journalist Vanessa Shepherd (Elizabeth Vermilyea) to bring a crew and film a behind-the-scenes documentary of the grand opening.

Russell’s team sets up as Vanessa’s crew films. Everyone has been given cameras which they are encouraged to use for additional footage for times when the crew isn’t around. Of course, everyone is familiar with the stories surrounding the hotel. But they’re just stories, right? And stories can’t hurt you.

 

It begins not with a bang, but a whimper. Glimpses of half-seen figures. Movement where none should be. And of course, everyone is scared of the basement, where the horror occurred. Not to mention the creepy clown mannequins, which are still there and still creepy. Russell has given explicit instructions that no one is to go into the hotel at night. But some of the crew get to drinking, and dare each other to go into the basement. The only one brave enough (or is that drunk enough) to accept the challenge is Jane (Bridgid Abrams). But she quickly learns what a foolish mistake that was.

Russell’s show Insomnia is a modern-day rendition of Goethe’s Faust, which a man sells his soul to the 

devil by making a bargain with him. People make such deals all the time, for different reasons. Does Russell Wynn have such a reason? Does it have anything to do with the horrific car crash he survived just a couple of years previously which left him with the large vertical scar on his face?

As the night of the opening of Insomnia nears, some of the cast and crew back out, afraid of what they have seen. But Russell is determined that the show must go on. However, at what price?

This is the third installment in the Hell House trilogy. Again, it consists of found footage from various sources chronicling the events leading up to one particular night. Compared to the first two films, it doesn’t have the same level of bloodshed (at least not until the end). But the creepiness factor is definitely there. Also, look for some by now familiar faces. I think the actors did a good job. All in all, it was worth watching. Is this the end of the series? I would think so, but you never know. I’ll give this 4 Stars.

Evil Dead (2013)

Mia (Jane Levy) has a problem with drugs, one her friends intend to help her with. Mia’s brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) and three other friends all take Mia to a remote cabin in the woods. Unbeknownst to David, they are determined not to let Mia leave, even if she wants to go home. They plan to see it through until the end. David doesn’t like that idea but he isn’t being given a choice.

 

The cabin hasn’t been used in a very long time. From the moment she enters, Mia complains of a bad

smell that no one else can smell. But then David’s dog scratches at a rug. They move it only to discover bloodstains and a trap door leading to a basement. And yes, something smells. They go into the basement only to discover that some sort of Satanic ritual was performed here.

As the friends predicted, Mia wants to back out shortly after arrival, but they aren’t having it. Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) discovers a strangely bound package in the basement. Cutting through the wire that binds it, he discovers a book, bound in what seems to be human flesh. Opening the book, he makes out a few words, which he reads aloud. Huge mistake on his part. Now the trouble begins.

Enter the demons!

 

Mia is battling her inner demons, outside in the rain, when the summoned demon arrives and ends up possessing her. But her friends can’t tell the difference from Mia suffering from withdrawal issues and Mia possessed by a demon. And so people begin to die…

Let me start by saying Sam Raimi did it better. His movie was campy, sure, but it was funny, and you had to root for Ash (Bruce Campbell). I didn’t care about any of these people, to be honest. Now, if you like your horror filled with blood, then this might be for you. It’s full of it. In fact, I’d say this is not for the squeamish. At the same time, I have to ask how people keep losing limbs and never seem to go into shock or die from blood loss or anything, and in fact seem to take each amputation in stride.

Watch through the end of the credits (if you’re still watching by the time the credits roll) for a ten second cameo. All in all, I hope they don’t make a sequel. If they do, I don’t think I’ll watch it. I’ll give this 2.5 Stars, and a Razzie for worst performance by a demon.

Book Review: Spy x Family, Vol 7 by Tatsuya Endo

Spy x Family, Vol 7   

Author: Tatsuya Endo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: April 5, 2022

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Action & Adventure/200 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Twilight engineers a meeting with Donovan Desmond under the guise of apologizing for Anya’s violent behavior, but the father does not seem upset about it, and brushes off Loid’s suggestions he bring a gift to the manor. Even so, it’s a beginning, and Loid has gained some insights regarding his target.

Damian Desmond may be a spoiled brat, but the truth is what he really craves is his father’s attention, affection, and especially his approval. Hearing him praise his son for his good grade has become an impetus to do even better. Having been late to morning muster, Damian must help the dorm mother with chores. His friends have no wish to leave him to this fate, so they contrive to be punished as well. The headmaster decides to give all three boys a new punishment – they must accompany Mister Green on a field research trip!

The precognitive dog Bond has a vision of darkness that he doesn’t know how to interpret! Every scenario he envisions is worse than the one before!  Afraid that Yor is trying to poison him, he seeks out Loid, who is on a mission. This could either be a huge mistake or a blessing in disguise for the spy.

Yor’s brother Yuri is a member of the secret police. He receives a new assignment which involves books that have been appearing in Ostania recently denouncing the East. His job is to follow the alleged author and find out who is publishing this trash!

At Eden Academy, students whisper about the fabled pastry of knowledge. It has been rumored that those who partake of this pastry go on to become Imperial scholars. So of course every student wants to have one. But no one knows when the mysterious patissier will show up to make these delicacies. And the competition to get them is fierce, as there are only so many to go around when he does show up. The news flies through that the school that the pastry is there and this time it’s macarons. Everyone races to get one. Anya and Desmond are neck and neck. But George is the last person to receive the prized pastry. They persuade him to gamble for the macarons in a game of Old Maid!

Twilight picks up some pictures from Franky that he needs for his mission. When he asks for more, Franky says he will, but in exchange, he needs Twilight’s help – to find a missing cat! The cat belongs to a server at his favorite café and she has been sad ever since her feline went missing. Franky is determined to see her smile again.  But Twilight seems less than interested, so Franky has to do it himself!  When he runs into Yor and explains the situation, she offers her assistance.

Yor receives a phone call pertaining to her alter ego as Thorn Princess and receives an assignment – to protect a woman and her young child after her husband and sons were killed in an internal dispute. She is seeking asylum in a foreign country and is sailing there. Yor is to accompany her. How to explain her absence to her family?

A bonus story is about Twilight’s handler, Sylvia Sherwood, and the things she has to go through in order to meet with him safely!

This volume brings to the fore the characters who normally don’t take center stage in this series and gives us a chance to get to know them better. I’m learning in my manga reading and anime watching not to make assumptions about characters you think you have pegged, because you’ll often find out you’re wrong about them. Each book is generally made up of short stories about the family, and this one is no exception. Except that it does end on a cliffhanger which I presume will be continued in the next book, and a very interesting one it is too!

The anime recently began playing on Crunchyroll. I watched the first episode and loved it! I would recommend it if you enjoy this series.

Another great volume, can’t wait for the next one (although I’ll have to lol)

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 14 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 14   

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: June 2, 2020

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Tanjiro is finding it difficult to cut the thick neck of the demon he is battling, and the effects of Nezuko’s blood seem to have worn off. A sixth demon appears, one who insists on referring to the demon slayers as villains! Genya believes the newcomer to have been summoned by the demon they are fighting, and this one is the demon of joy and of pleasure. The new demon berates Tanjiro and Genya for picking on the small demon. He seems to grow stronger the harder they fight him.

The demon Gyokko is searching the village for the chief and comes across Haganezuka, who is engrossed in sharpening a blade. Gyokko becomes enraged when he cannot gain the swordsmith’s attention, too focused on what he is doing. Meanwhile, Tokito is sure his life is about to come to an end and reflects on his childhood while Kotetsu racks his brain for some way of helping the Hashira. When Haganezuka gives Tokito the blade he was sharpening, his strength and purpose are renewed, and so the battle with Gyokko continues!

Tanjiro’s battle with the upper rank demon is not going as well as he’d like when a sudden appearance by Kanroji, the love Hashira, saves the day. She is deeply offended when the demon refers to her as a tramp! But does she have what it takes to defeat him?

This volume of Demon Slayer contains a lot of back story for Hashira and demons alike. I find that interesting, as it gives more depth to the characters. Even the demons have redeeming qualities (well, most of them).  I’m hoping if they defeat this level 4 demon, they’ll be able to get some of his blood to use to find the cure for Nezuko!

Another great volume, looking forward to the next one!

Book Review: Bleach, Vol 54 by Tite Kubo

Bleach, Vol 54     

Author: Tite Kubo

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: January 1, 2013

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/192 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

The battle with the Fullbrings continues. Ginjo baits Ichigo, to get him to react, but Uryu warns him to be cautious, that Ginjo probably knows all the same attacks that Ichigo does.  As they battle, each of the Fullbrings remembers how they came into their own powers, and how much they owe Ginjo. Byakuya has a similar problem to Ichigo’s in his fight with Tsukishima, in that he knows all of Kuchiki’s moves. So how to handle that?

As the various members of the Soul Society end their battles, they gather together. But one battle is still ongoing, and Yukio claims he cannot close that particular arena, due to a promise made to Ginjo, and that it cannot be broken. So now they wait to see who will emerge the victor. Meanwhile, within this particular box, Ginjo is trying to sow the seeds of doubt within Ichigo, in relation to his being a deputy Soul Reaper and what it actually means. Will Ichigo rise to the bait and believe him?

Finally, we bring the Fullbring arc to a close. I’ve been wanting this for some time. Is it surprising that the right side won? It would be surprising if they didn’t. Although seeing the backstories of the Fullbring was interesting, I won’t miss them. I’m more curious to find out what Ichigo has to say to the Soul Society, now that he has his powers back. Will it be anything they want to hear? What will his role be now?

Looking forward to the next volume!