Tag Archives: Julie Lynn Hayes

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 5 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 5     

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: March 5, 2019

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

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

While on their way to Mt. Natagumo, having been summoned there, Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu find themselves battling a family of spider demons in the forest! Although not actually related, Rui binds the family together through fear because of his desire to be part of a family. The largest spider demon is the father, who acts on orders from his “children”.

As Inosuke faces down the father, Tanjiro tells him to hang in there, he’ll be back as soon as he can. But Inosuke has doubts he will last that along. However assistance arrives from an unexpected source, and Inosuke is impressed by the skill of the newcomer. Tanjiro has problems of his own, though, when his blade breaks.

Rui captures Nezuko and tells Tanjiro he will let him live if he gives up his sister to him. Of course, Tanjiro won’t agree to that. The daughter spider demon sees the relationship between Tanjiro and Nezuko and longs for something like that for herself. Will Tanjiro be able to rescue his sister when the web these demons weave is so very strong?

Another member of the Hashira arrives, Shinobu, who is adorned with butterflies. Admittedly the only Hashira who cannot cut off a demon’s head, she has her own methods of defeating them. Namely through the use of poisons. Shinobu is determined to rid the world of all demons. And she makes no exception for the demon that Tanjiro is protecting. Will she kill Nezuko?

Most of this volume is about the demon spiders and the fight against them, but we do gain two new characters – Shinobu and Tomioka. I liked seeing the backstory of the demons, and how they came to form a “family”. That just goes to reinforce what Tanjiro says about demons all having been human at one time. We also see how Muzan insinuates himself into a situation in order to make new demons.

On an aside, I love the colors of Tanjiro’s outfit, as well as his earrings. I read that patterns from Demon Slayer have now been trademarked.

Another good volume, looking forward to more.

Saturday is Horror Day #31 – Summer of Sam, Candyman (1992)

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Summer of Sam


It’s the summer of 1977, a long hot summer in New York City. Disco fills the air when a series of murders terrifies the inhabits of the city. A serial killer is on the loose, one who uses a .44 caliber weapon. And no one knows where he’ll strike next.

 

 

 

Vinny (John Leguizamo) is a young married hairdresser who loves his wife Dionna (MIra Sorvino). Even so,  Vinny has an eye for the ladies, including his wife’s cousin. When the cousin wants to go home, Vinny graciously offers to drive her, and they end up in carnal knowledge in the car, outside her house. Rudely interrupted by a driver leaning on his car horn, Vinny leaves, not realizing until later that he narrowly avoided becoming a victim of the serial killer.

 

Vinny has a group of friends he hangs around with, including Richie (Adrien Brody), Joey (Michael


Rispoli), Brian (Ken Garito), and Bobby (Brian Tarantina). Richie stands out in this group because of the way he dresses and acts, always reinventing himself. He’s an aspiring punk rock musician, but he leads a secret life that his friends would never understand – he dances in gay bars, and participates in pornos, and has sex with men for money.

 
As more and more people die, with no clues to the killer’s identity, New York is petrified with fear. Rising temperatures only serve to exacerbate the situation. Everyone is on edge and looking at one another askance, even the people they really think they know. How long can this situation go on before something has to give?
 
This film is Spike Lee’s commentary on that summer of 1977, although after an initial outcry from Son of Sam survivors who didn’t want to see the killer glorified, the director turned the film’s focus to the people and their perception of what was going on in their lives. It must have been frightening, to say the least. In the film, women began to wear blonde wigs, since it seemed he was targeting long haired brunettes. John Leguizamo is wonderful as Vinny. I’ve always liked him and think he is underrated as an actor. Adrien Brody, who I admit haven’t seen very much of, excels as Richie, who marches to the beat of his own drummer, and who becomes the brunt of his friends’ anxiety-fueled suspicions.
 
Just a side note, but look for a couple members of the Sopranos cast here – Michael Rispoli, who played Jackie Aprile, and Michael Imperioli, who played Christopher Moltisanti, and was one of the writers of Summer of Sam, besides playing a character named Midnite. I will say that although a good film, it could have been tightened a little bit and did drag a little at times. It ran almost two and a half hours. But it was worth it. Interesting glimpses of David Berkowitz. I think the film captured the feel of that summer pretty well. I’ll give it a solid 4 Stars.

 

Candyman (1992)


Grad student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) and her friend Bernadette Walsh (Kasi Lemmons) are working on a joint thesis involving urban legends. To her dismay, she learns that her professor husband Trevor (Xander Berkeley) has been lecturing on that very topic to his students, despite her request that he not do so. But then Trevor seems to do as he wants, despite the fact that Helen is very devoted to him. When she drops in on his lecture unexpectedly, she senses a little something something between Trevor and a student named Stacy. A something Trevor is quick to deny.

Helen runs across a story of a man known as the Candyman, who has a hook where his hand should be, and terrorizes people to this day. According to legend, he can be summoned by looking into a mirror and repeating his name five times, which Helen does, although nothing happens. Deciding to delve into this myth, Helen discovers that the projects where Candyman is said to have been seen is a mirror to the apartment building she lives in. The difference, other than economics, is that a woman died n the projects, supposedly at the hands of the Candyman.

 
 

Being rather outspoken and bold, Helen persuades Bernadette that they need to investigate this new 


lead, despite the fact that these projects are more than a little dangerous. This fact is emphasized by the harassment they receive on their arrival. It doesn’t help that they are dressed like cops. Once inside, they find the empty apartment and look around in the hallway first, photographing some of the colorful graffiti that lines the walls, such as Sweets to the Sweet. Helen insists on looking behind the bathroom mirror. Against Bernadette’s advice, she enters the next apartment. Did she just see something?

 

The two women are caught red-handed in the apartment by a young mother Anne-Marie (Vanessa Williams) who lives next door. Helen takes advantage of this to question her. On returning later, she meets a young boy named Jake (DeJuan Guy) who is frightened of the Candyman, and doesn’t want to get into trouble with him.

About this time everything begins to go wrong. After an encounter with the Candyman in the parking garage, Helen finds herself in Anne-Marie’s apartment, covered in blood, next to the severed head of a dog. And the baby is missing! Anne-Marie is screaming at Helen, who has picked up a knife from the floor, and that’s what the police see when they break in.

Now that she has been labeled as not only a killer but crazy, who will ever believe that the Candyman is real?

I took a class on urban legends a few years ago (it was a fascinating class and actually fulfilled a requirement. Where else can you get to read and watch The Exorcist for college credit?) As I watched this, I wondered if Candyman was a variation on the urban legend of the Hook Man?. Just a thought.

At any rate, the theme of this film is definitely urban legends, in particular Candyman.  Candyman’s story is a tragic one. He was condemned for his relationship with a white woman, his hand cut off, then tortured and killed. Now he only cares about killing, and being feared by people, lest he cease to exist. 

The premise is interesting, but I wasn’t  overly impressed with Virginia Madsen in the lead role of Helen. In fact, she often got on my nerves with her limited range of expressions and emotions. And why is it that people, when they come upon a murder scene, insist on picking up the murder weapon?  Seriously? The best thing about the film is Candyman, played by Tony Todd. He is elegant and menacing, evil and yet almost human and it’s hard not to feel sorry for what happened to him, even though he takes revenge to a whole new level.


There is a second Candyman movie that came out this year, done by Jordan Peele, also starring Tony Todd. In this version, the baby is grown up, and I am guessing that Candyman enters his life somehow, maybe through his mother. Should be interesting. I recommend watching this one first, and I’ll give it a solid 3 Stars.

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 4 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 4     

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: January 1, 2019

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

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Zenitsu awakens to find himself outside of the house of monsters, with no memory of what happened or how he got there. He’s too grateful to question that, though. Until the guy with the boar’s head comes charging out, exclaims he smells demon, and heads straight for Tanjiro’s box! What else can Zenitsu do but defend it, because this is more precious than life to Tanjiro, no matter the cost? Tanjiro himself arrives just in time to defend the battered Zenitsu from being beaten any further. Turns out the guy with the boar’s head is Inosuke, and he’s a Demon Slayer too.

Tanjiro’s crow arrives and leads the three Demon Slayers to the house of the Fuji Family, who have a wisteria crest, where they can heal. In the middle of the night, Zenitsu is upset to find that Tanjiro’s box seems to be moving. When Nezuko comes out, Zenitsu becomes angry because Tanjiro’s been keeping this cute girl all to himself!

Once healed, the three receive an urgent summons. They must head to Mount Natagumo as soon as possible. En route, they run across another member of the Demon Slayer Corps, who seems to be badly injured, and begs for their help. Suddenly, the young man is picked up and pulled back into the forest. Tanjiro and Inosuke decide to go in after him, while Zenitsu waits for them. They meet another member of the Corps who is disappointed to see them since they are such low level Slayers. He explains that he is part of a group of ten Hashira level slayers who, once they arrived at this place, began to kill one another! They have all fallen under the spell of a powerful Demon!

It seems that some of the Slayers have become hideous hybrid spider creatures! And the demons who are doing this to them are part of some evil Family. How will Tanjiro and Inosuke combat them if they get caught up in their spider strands?

This volume of Demon Slayer finds the boys getting into trouble while on the way to Mount Natagumo. This family of demons is very creepy, and a great challenge to both Tanjiro and Inosuke. It will be interesting to see how they fight their way out. I love how Zenitsu has become totally devoted to Nezuko (even though he knows she is a demon). We get a little of his back story in this volume, and I have to admit I like him better than I did before, especially when he’s sleeping lol. The jury is still out on Inosuke, although I might change my mind about him later, but as of right now, he’s given me no reason to and I find him very annoying. Not much of Nezuko this time, but hopefully more in the next volume.

Looking forward to the next one!

Book Review: Monster, Perfect Edition Vol 5 by Naoki Urasawa

Monster: The Perfect Edition, Vol 5   

Author: Naoki Urasawa

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: July 21, 2015

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Horror/410 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer:  Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Tenma is hiding on top of a bookcase, rifle in hand, waiting for the moment when he can kill Johan, and end the life he never should have saved all those years ago. Dr. Reichwein has gone to see Herr Schuman, to warn him about Johan, fearful of what Tenma might do. But Schuman insists on going to the ceremony at the library anyway. Once they arrive, he tells Karl he has forgotten something and sends him home to retrieve it. Dr. Reichwein suddenly realizes where Tenma is and rushes out, but he can’t shake Dieter. And the persistent Detective Lunge, who still believes Tenma and Johan are the same person, heads to the library as well to talk to Herr Schuman.

Nina is shocked to learn that Lotte knows Johan and realizes she is a dead ringer for him. And what is this book that scared Johan so?  A Czech picture book about a monster with no name? Meanwhile Tenma has Johan in his sights. All he has to do is squeeze. So why can’t he? And who is this strange woman who has just set the library on fire?

Tenma receives a message, brought to him in the park on behalf of Herr Schuman by his son Karl. He says the mother of the twins is alive and living in Prague. A journalist named Grimmer is seeking information on the East German Kinderheim. He runs into Tenma on a train, and they become traveling companions. But when the authorities stop the train, he reveals his knowledge of Tenma’s identity and tells him to run. Afterward, Grimmer finds the former director of Kinderheim and learns, to his horror, that he has a number of young boys in his home. What is he doing, recreating experiments of the past? Can Grimmer stop him?

The more we know, the more I want to know, as these plots become more and more entwined.  I didn’t think Tenma would be able to shoot Johan, and yet I feel he has to die somehow. I think Nina can do it. Unless of course, there is more to her than meets the eye. I’m not even sure of that anymore.

Did Kinderheim create a monster, or was Johan always that? If he was, what about Nina? Grimmer’s alto ego is pretty amazing, I have to say. And Lunge is so delusional, I can’t wait to see his face when he learns the truth about Johan – that he is a real and horrible person who is not Tenma.

Another great volume of Monster, can’t wait for the next one!

Wednesday Briefs: October 6, 2021

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 9 by J Ray Lamb

Jason had forgotten what he was going to say to Trent and Trent was silent with shame and guilt.

They both shrugged and went back to eating. Colin was busy hustling around the kitchen and returning calls from builders to get quotes on the new mess hall for the farm.

Colin wasn’t sure why Murphy was wanting a mess hall for the farm as the farm wasn’t that big. Just over 50 people made the place run like a well oiled machine. Not exactly an army battalion but enough people that Murphy had decided he wanted a mess hall.

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Book Review: Twentieth Century Boys, Vol 19: The Man Who Came Back by Naoki Urasawa

Twentieth Century Boys, Vol 19: The Man Who Came Back   

Author: Naoki Urasawa

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: February 14, 2012

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/230 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Friend’s right-hand man, Manjome, has approached Kanna and Otcho with a shocking proposition—he wants them to kill Friend. Furthermore, he believes Friend is not who he says he is and that Fukube is actually and really dead. That’s a lot for them to take in.

Chono is fishing on his time off and he is joined by the newcomer, the guy with the guitar. He keeps trying to get this Yabuki Joe to admit that he is really Kenji, but so far that hasn’t happened. Meanwhile, Maruo and Namio and an assistant producer at the TV station turn to Kamisama, looking for a way to get the producer to safety as he has seen too much. Koizumi is still at the bowling alley, and she is utterly bored. She even hates bowling!  But when she picks up a bowling ball just to show someone how it’s done, Kamisama realizes she might be the key to revitalizing the dying industry!

Chono travels with “Joe” toward Tokyo, but they’re stopped outside a great wall with a fortress, unable to pass. A town has sprung up there, filled with people trying to cross over to get to Tokyo. Forging travel permits is a big industry there. The trouble is that the fakes are quickly spotted for what they are, and the people carrying them are shot on the spot. Still, people try. A man in Western cowboy garb, who goes by the nickname of Ichi the Spade, catches some of the people leaving the bad forgery shops and convinces them not to try it, but to use his bus service to reach the other side through an underground tunnel. Can he be trusted?

Ichi runs into Joe and Chono, and admits that he knows Chono has a bounty on his head. He tells Joe about a man who used to be a really good forger but who isn’t in business anymore. They go to see him, and he turns out to be one of the manga artists who used to live next to Kanna. His partner was trapped on the other side, so he has had to go solo. He doesn’t make forged passes anymore because he doesn’t want to be responsible if people get killed because of him. Joe persuades the manga artist to make him an ID and agrees to take his pages to his partner inside of Tokyo, at the same time that Chono finds himself betrayed.

Joe takes his forged pass and not only gets inside the gate, but he comes back and tells the manga artist to make enough passes for everyone in town. It’s time for everyone to leave. But Kenji/Joe is about to meet someone from his past, someone who is the epitome of evil.

All right, it’s out in the open now, let’s say it all together.  KENJI IS ALIVE!  I’ve been saying that for some time, and I am finally vindicated!  Huzzah! Okay, back to business.

I can feel everything winding down, the beginning of the end. Everybody and everything are falling into place, wherever they are meant to be. Kenji is headed toward Tokyo, and nothing and no one can stop him. He has the strength and courage of his conviction, and he has the immoveable force which has sustained him for all these years—his music. I can’t wait for him to connect with Kanna and the others again! And to finish what was begun so long ago.

Now the mystery remains as to who Friend is, since we know Fukube is really dead. And has been for some time, apparently. We still need to see the Holy Mother make her appearance. Although I once doubted her, now I suspect her arrival will be on the side of good, and hopefully she and Kanna can have a chance to have a real relationship.

This series just gets more and more exciting. Only three volumes left, can’t wait for the next one!

Saturday is Horror Day #30 – The Family I Had, Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

The Family I Had


On February 5, 2007, the Abilene Texas 911 operator took a call from a sobbing 13-year old boy who said he had killed someone – his 4 year old sister. The operator tried to get the boy, Paris Bennett, to attempt CPR on his sister Ella, even though he assured the woman his sister was dead. Spoiler alert: she was. The children’s mother was called at work, at a local Buffalo Wild Wings, and told to come home immediately.

 

This documentary takes place ten years later, and is told through a series of interviews, primarily with Charity Bennett, the mother. Having lost her daughter to her son, she forgave him and remains in touch with him to this day. Her mother, Kyla, does as well. Charity became a mother at a young age, being only 18 when Paris was born. Interestingly, Charity lost her own father at an early age, a death for which her mother was tried and acquitted.

 

Paris loved his sister from the moment she was born, and they were very close. A very intelligent boy, he has an IQ of 141. That didn’t keep him from committing this horrendous crime.

The directors of the film try to present a balanced picture without placing blame. But from what I can 


see, there is plenty of that to go around, and not just with the actual murderer, Paris. Watch the interviews with Paris and see how emotionally detached he is. He is an actor as well, as we learn that the whole sob story he gave to the 911 operator was a lie. Plus when she thought she had him performing CPR on his sister, he wasn’t. In fact, before he called 911, he called a friend and chatted for a few minutes.

There are details that the documentary fails to mention that I read afterward. The night of the murder the two children were being babysat while their mother worked. But Paris talked the sitter into going home early (she doesn’t even appear in this film, and other than the one mention, nothing is said, so I wonder if she was questioned as to why she would take her charge’s word that she could go home when the mother clearly wasn’t there). Apparently Paris was watching violent porn for some time (I assume even before the sitter was dismissed by him). At some point in the night, he went into his sister’s room, sexually assaulted her and repeatedly stabbed her as he did. According to him, “it felt like stabbing a mattress or a marshmallow”.

 

Prior to this crime, Paris was diagnosed as having homicidal tendencies, as well as sexual aberrations. And yet no one thought to do anything about it? I have a problem with that, as well as with the “forgiveness” of the mother, who at the same time fears him. Since this happened, she had another child, a boy she named Phoenix, and she doesn’t want the brothers to meet, although they do speak over the phone, but with her in control.  I couldn’t help but notice that she seems to treat Phoenix as a replacement Ella, even putting his long blond hair into a hair tie or barrette of some kind.

To be honest, I find both Charity and Kyla to be narcissists, and while the film is about Ella in that she is the subject, it is more about them, and how they claim to not be at fault for what happened. The reason we are given for what Paris did was sibling jealousy. He wanted to hurt his mother because he wanted to be the sole focus of her attention. His grandmother is in denial that her grandson is a sociopath, but I think that much is obvious.

It’s a tragic situation which I see as becoming worse if they ever let Paris out of prison. He only received a 40 year sentence, because of his age, and will be eligible for parole when he is 33. Charity is afraid of what he might do to Phoenix, and I think her fears are justified. She claims he isn’t getting the help he needs. I hate to say it, but not every illness can be cured. And I don’t think that leopard can change his spots. If anything, I’d be afraid he’s learned more about the subject while he’s been incarcertated.

This was an interesting documentary. The only person I feel sorry for is Ella, whose life was cut so tragically short.  Watch it for yourself and see what you think. I give it 3.5 Stars.

Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride


Twas the night before Christmas in Cleveland, Ohio, and four young women are completing their compulsory community service. Only a few more hours and they’ll be free. They’re stuck assisting at a shelter which is feeding the poor and homeless. The girls are less than enthused about the situation and don’t take it as seriously as they perhaps should. When they duck out to a bar, one girl finds her boyfriend there with another woman. And during the ensuing discussion, they end up in his car having sex. Another girl, Lady Athena, who is a transvestite, plies one of the other girls with drink. None of them are in particularly good shape.

When they finally return, the frazzled manager of the shelter asks them to deliver meals for the seniors on her route. What else can they do but say yes? The three girls cover for the fourth, who is still with her boyfriend. They’ve been instructed to spend half an hour at each stop, to spread Christmas cheer. Their efforts are met with less than great enthusiasm, which matches the effort they put into it.

 

One house, though, is different. Unbeknownst to them, someone has come into the house and killed the inhabitants and is now playing like she is the woman of the house. And she is their next stop.

Okay, where to start with this one?  First, how about the title. Despite what it says, there is not a Krampus in sight, and no mention of one. So right away, we have false advertising. The film starts with a masked figure who comes upon all the inhabitants of this house and murders them one by one.Why? We don’t really know. Later in the movie, she tells the girls she’s lived there all her life, but if there is a backstory, it’s never told.

 

The movie is only about an hour and a half long (but seems longer), and some of that time is taken up with sheer stupidity and gratuitous nudity and near nudity. Why one of the girls changes into a very very short red dress with a plunging neckline is beyond me. Then she sneaks her boyfriend into this stranger’s house and has sex with him in one of the upstairs bedrooms, after which the girl feels free to take a shower, while he watches cartoons on the TV.

The acting is tolerable, I’ve seen worse. The pacing is uneven, the writing not particularly good. You know from the beginning that this woman is nuts, so it’s just a matter of time until she goes after the girls and the supervisor who comes to give them Christmas presents on their last day of service. Honestly, the only halfway interesting character in this is Lady Athena. There is a lot of gore and badly down bloody make-up. The ending makes me wonder if there could be another one.

I sincerely hope not. I’m going to give this 1.5 Stars and call it a day.

Wednesday Briefs: September 29, 2021

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.

An Unholy Alliance #18 (5.2) by Julie Lynn Hayes

 

So much for making a stealthy exit.

If there’d only been one of them, I could have ended the matter quickly and efficiently and been on my way. Four, however, was a bit trickier which I realized as his friends came rushing up, no doubt to see what was going on.  Not that I couldn’t handle them, but I was loathe to make a fuss. And I had things to do that didn’t include going toe-to-toe with a group of drunken rednecks. I eyed them all suspiciously while calculating my next move.

“Who the hell’s this guy?” 

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Book review: The Way of the Househusband, Vol 6 by Kousuke Oono

The Way of the Househusband, Vol 6     

Author: Kousuke Oono

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: September 21, 2021

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Comedy/168 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

One of Miku’s friends confides to her that she and her husband have a problem with budgeting, as they tend to spend everything they make. So Miku, in order to help her friend, brings in an expert on the subject—Tatsu! He shows her the tricks he has learned, but couches them (as usual) in a way that makes her think he is referring to his Yakuza roots! Should she be afraid of what he wants to show her?

A member of a women’s organization approaches Tatsu. She thinks it’s time to open up membership to men. She invites him to attend the meeting of their board members, known as the Eight Dragons, to plead his case. However, when he does, one of the ladies objects. It’s up to Tatsu to win her over!

The creators of Policure, which Miku loves, are running a special promotion. Go to one of the participating toy stores and say this phrase “You’re not getting away. Coming to catch you” and you can received a special DVD. But Miku has to work, so she begs Tatsu to go for her. He agrees, but manages to forget the catch phrase before he can say it. He is saved through the intervention of a friendly guy, who then tells Tatsu another store has a different special promotion, but it requires two people to participate. Would Tatsu like to team up with him? For Miku’s sake? Of course he would!

Tatsu agrees to help out one of his contacts by bringing his Shiba, named Kotetsu, into the family on a temporary basis. When he posts pics of the cute dog, the pics are immediately noticed by someone who becomes jealous. He and his dog meet up with Tatsu and Kotetsu to compare dogs. And then he steals them away…

The owner of Café Jingi Tei wants to expand his menu to draw in women and the younger crowd. So Tatsu takes him to another café he knows of, Creamy Café, to show him how they do it. The two men compete to see who isn ‘t afraid of being less than manly by ordering some of the feminine-sounding dishes. Afterward, Tatsu makes a couple of dishes for the owner, and he is pleasantly surprised by the memories they invoke.

When Tatsu suspects Masa has a toothache, Masa lies, so he won’t have to go to the dentist. How long can he fool Tatsu?

Tatsu and Miku watch Top 100 Ghost Videos before bedtime. Miku is creeped out, but Tatsu says that’s nothing. Until he can’t sleep. Everything he tries to count becomes a violent Yakuza reference. So he decides to get up and make a little snack, which quickly becomes a meal. Will this work?

Faced with a table loaded with bread, Tatsu asks Miku what’s going on? Apparently there is a spring bread festival being sponsored by Yama Bread. You can collect the tickets to enter their sweepstakes in their products. Ten thousand lucky winners get Policure plates! Tatsu enlists Masa’s aid, but how much bread can three people really eat? Or can Tatsu do something to change it up?

Alarmed at reports of a groper in the neighborhood, Miku wants Tatsu to teach her self-defense. But what he tries to teach her isn’t quite what she had in mind. Leaving late from work one day, she finds herself accosted by a man, and begins what she perceives as a fight for her life… not recognizing poor Masa!

Another wonderful volume! I never get tired of Tatsu, or of seeing what he’s up to. Already pre-ordered the next volume, can’t wait for it to come! Please keep writing Tatsu forever! Look for bonus stories at the end. You can see it on Netflix too, both the animated comic and a live version. I prefer the animated comic, to be honest, as the other is too short and is really just Tatsu’s household hints minus the story.

Book Review: Demon Slayer, Vol 3 by Koyoharu Gotouge

Demon Slayer, Vol 3     

Author: Koyoharu Gotouge

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: November 6, 2018

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

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

After a near encounter with the demon Kibutsuji, Tanjiro and Nezuko end up in the home of a demon doctor, Lady Tamayo, and her besotted assistant Yushiro. There they are attacked by two of Kibutsuji’s demons, Susamaru and Yahaba. Tanjiro has met his match with Yahaba, the arrow demon. The disdainful demon cuts Tanjiro’s opening thread, and refers to him as a dirty child. The two demons decide to take back both Tanjiro’s head and Tamayo’s, as she is a runaway, hoping to please their master. Tanjiro finds himself helpless against the manipulation of Yahaba’s arrows, but he has to succeed, he can’t afford to lose. In the meantime, Nezuko is fending off the temari balls that Susumaru is throwing at her. Tamayo finds Nezuko’s growing strength—without consuming human flesh—to be amazing.

Afterward, as they prepare to leave, Tamayo offers to keep Nezuko with them and out of harm’s way. But Tanjiro can’t bring himself to leave his sister behind, especially after seeing the look in her eyes. Together forever, that’s what they are.

Tanjiro receives another mission immediately, and on the way there, he runs across an odd fellow in the middle of the road who is begging a woman to marry him. The woman looks horrified. Tanjiro helps her out, only to discover that the whiny guy is a fellow Demon Slayer named Zenitsu. Zenitsu is a pitiful excuse for a Demon Slayer, and loudly proclaims just how weak he really is. They travel on together and encounter two trembling children outside of a house. Turns out that it’s a house of monsters and their brother is inside! Zenitsu complains of the noise coming from the house, but Tanjiro can’t hear anything.

Tanjiro leaves the box with Nezuko with the children for their protection, and takes Zenitsu into the house. But the children follow unexpectedly.  Tanjiro and the girl, whose name is Teruko, become separated from Zenitsu and the boy. Tanjiro begins to realize that the rooms change. He sees a large demon, whose smell is the strongest in the house. Meanwhile another player has entered the scene, a bare-chested fellow with a boar’s head over his head, and he’s wielding nichirin swords.

One of Demon Slayer’s strengths is its great characters. It’s hard not to like and root for Tanjiro and Nezuko, even if she is a demon. Not like it’s her fault or anything. And she goes against the grain in that she doesn’t want to hurt humans and wants to protect them instead. Ditto with Lady Tamayo, even if Yushiro is a bit of an ass.  Muzan Kibutsuji, although not seen in this volume, is a fascinating and rather charming demon – my weakness!  Now we have Zenitsu, who I find utterly whiny and spineless, but my kid assures me he has redeeming qualities, which I shall discover. I have to admit the very last scene caused me to tear up, and that involved him. The jury is still out on Mr. Boar’s Head (at this point I don’t know his name but I figured out he’s my kid’s favorite character, so I imagine I will find reason to like him too, in time).

I liked the introduction of Tamayo’s cat, who definitely serves a purpose. The demons in the house were very imaginative, especially with the moving rooms in the house, and I enjoyed that part, although I grieved at the death of one of the demon, who was actually very creative and not wholly evil.

I’m also watching the anime at the same time, and I think I am only slightly ahead of the volumes I am reading. I would recommend that too. You can find it on Crunchyroll, and I believe on Netflix too. Looking forward to the next book!