N.T. Embe

Look inside if ever you're lost on the outside.

 

There's a great deal one can say about one's self. Because of this, I'd rather sit silent and allow my interests to speak for me. They'll prove the loudest voice of my character, my values, my loves and vices both, amongst many other things. I hope you'll find our interests shared, my loves as equally respected as your own, and my vices understood if not accepted.

OMG these are beautiful! 8D

"Book lovers never go to bed alone." -Unknown
"Book lovers never go to bed alone." -Unknown

[source]

 

--Oh my goodness! 8D This cup is AMAZING. BUDDY. BUDDY YOU NEED THIS MUG!!!!

Source: http://writelaurengray.tumblr.com/post/60428166756/book-lovers-never-go-to-bed-alone-unknown
Reblogged from The Fangirl

"Fountain of knowledge?"

For truly serious book lovers...the fountain in front of the Cincinnati Public Library... 

 

 

--Dude, that is AWESOME! 8D I love sculptures like this. <333

Reblogged from Books2day

Slowly broadening the people I follow on here. I'm sure I'll come across more. But for now, think of this as me still working on settling into the new place. <3

It's one of the most amazing feelings of discovery a person can ever enjoy, and the most relished of private pursuits. <3 I daresay, the book I finally come around to after putting it off for so long, I read with the lust of a thousand deserts for a single drop of rain. <333

Reblogged from Angels With Attitude Book Reviews

A New Location

Well this transfer over to a new site was quite easy. I'm looking forward to being here. Hopefully I'll find some old buddies from GoodReads on here, and I'm sure I'll discover new ones in the change of scene.

 

With that said, hello to all, and it's a pleasure to be here with you.

 

Let's do a quickie~ My interests are writing--books and fanfiction--anime, manga, and videogames (Final Fantasy VII being my favorite), and reading, obviously!

 

So, let's have fun shall we? <3 See you all around~

XD Boy do I know what that feels like. Picky bastards. <3

Reblogged from Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Grendel - John Gardner
I must say, coming right into this book after having read Beowulf was really quite a jump initially, simply because of the change in styles. But it was such an interesting read, and it was really brilliant and tragic getting to see things from Grendel's point of view. What was even more fascinating was how much time passed before the part that we commonly know from the Beowulf poem, which gives very little on Grendel himself and focuses more on its namesake's journeys.

Still, we get a lot of backstory and insight into the Danes that Grendel was terrorizing, and it reads almost like a reinspired Frankenstein--as I kept making small mental notes about parallels between Shelley's masterpiece and Gardner's Grendel. I even saw the moment where my brain pulled out a correlated scene from the movie Megamind and Grendel, when Grendel makes the conscious decision to play his role of the bad guy since he'd so been deemed by the rest of humanity.

It was a very emotional rollercoaster, even without any tear-jerking moments. It read very much like philosophical tragedy, and it fulfilled the role of one well. Even in Grendel's most grotesque and cruel moments, his decision-making is the kind almost any reader can connect to, even if we're disgusted by what Grendel does. The reality of why he does it hits home clear as sunrise in the flatlands, and makes for a--not necessarily "predictable"--story, but one that doesn't surprise us either in the turns it takes.

I found it a very good story, and probably reading this outside of a classroom setting, I'd even say that most people will be able to relate to Grendel and the situation he's in. Especially considering that most people have in some way, shape, or form known what it's like to be that outcast or that person who's had a role thrust upon them that they don't want to fulfill, but that the world tells them they should. It has a lot of re-reading value, I think, and it definitely will speak to most readers.

It's also not shy about handling things frankly, so for some of you that might be a little thrown off by the beginning, just keep reading. It's done this way for a purpose.


On a lightly fangirly note, I must say that the additional insights to characters like Hrothgar and Wealtheow, Hrothulf and Unferth, all of them minor characters or unmentioned in Beowulf was really one of my favorite parts of reading this story. So much more about them was fleshed out, and there are entire stories that could be written about each of these characters if others so chose to focus on them. Gardner did really wonderful there, and I can't express how much interest these minor figures evoked in me as I read through this tale.

Beowulf himself, the hero of the tale that spawned this reimagination, was a strange mix of what I believed was perfectly in character, a disappointing twist (possibly even a twisting out of character, I would go so far as to say), and an overall amazing force given life like none other in the pages of this book except for Grendel himself or the Dragon. While it killed my fangirl heart to see him portrayed slightly differently than the conclusions I'd come to make about him through study in my course, it was so intriguing to read his character from a different portrayal. Gardner did such an interesting job of writing Beowulf that it hardly matters that the hero (or villain, depending on how people interpret him) shows up only when the book is about done. In the several pages that he's shown in the story, he makes up for it with a life, a presence, that is truly inspired.


Overall, I've got to say that this book turned out to really be unexpectedly good. I loved the different point of view that it provided me after I'd just finished reading Beowulf, and it brought so much more life and conflicting thoughts to a tale that already has been one of history's most debated pieces of literature. I definitely recommend people pick this book up, whether they know about the Beowulf tale or not yet. But if you've read Beowulf before, then you should definitely give this one a look too. I guarantee it'll be worth it for the insight it provides.


Anyway guys, hope you enjoyed the review! And happy reading~
Karneval, Vol. 9 (Karneval, #9) - Touya Mikanagi
Alright guys, we're almost caught up with what's been translated with the next volume. So let's go through my thoughts for Volume Nine so that we can all continue!


1. I'm very proud of Gareki, and the choice that he made. I got flashbacks myself to things involving Tseng and the Turks (from Final Fantasy VII) watching a lot of things going on here. It was painful to watch, and almost as painful to see Gareki living through his choice. But in the end, I'm proud of him, for being able to do what some of my favorite characters weren't able to.

2. I've got so many thoughts about what's up with Karoku, Gareki, and Nai, but just suspicions. I really hope we get some answers soon.

3. The panic Yogi was in.... Ugh. My heart breaks when I see him like this. And Tsukumo too. They were both... so frantic.

4. Nai is too wonderful. ;-; I love him so much.

5. ;w; The way Karoku and Nai first met........ <3

6. Finally... we're meeting the Karoku I've been waiting for. I'm glad. But... though I understand a little bit... there's still a lot that... well, we need to have revealed. I wonder if Karoku will talk in the next volume?

7. Tsubame! DX It's not your fault!!!

8. I... don't understand who that person with Nai is. We've seen them a few times before. At first I thought it was the real Karoku, but now I know that's not the case. But if that's so, then... who is it?

9. YOGI! ;W;!!!!! .......Yogi and Gareki........... vwv <3 *Sighs deeply, happily* ...they're together again. And, I think Gareki is understanding more and more how much Yogi loves him. I hope so. I truly hope so. I hope the depth of his love reaches Gareki and sinks deep into his heart.

10. Kiichi was worried about Nai. X3 She is so wonderful. <3 She tries to hide it but she's really, really become fond of him. <3

11. *COUGHS* ...Iva stripped Yogi down to his bare skin. *Smirks* 'nuff said. ;3

12. GAREKI CHECKIN' OUT HIS BOIFRAND. ;3 Oh. This was a GOOD way to end this volume. A VERY good way! XD


And that's all for now~! Let's go forward to Volume Ten, guys! 8D Onwards!!!
Karneval, Vol. 8 (Karneval, #8) - Touya Mikanagi
Quick review time! Let's run through this, everyone~


1. Jiki. is such. a troll. But the way he shows his affection for Yogi is priceless. X3 You can really tell just how much Jiki likes Yogi from the way he treats him. <3

2. The way Yogi defends Gareki even when he's not around... *Smiles warmly* He cares so much.

3. Karoku. -___- Needs. to. be. Shot. How dare he.

4. Nai never deserves to be treated like that. By ANYONE. I don't CARE who they are! D8<

5. Kiichi... is truly wonderful. And the strength that she believes Nai has... is even more amazing than that. So much is said in the subtleties, where no words are spoken, and the scene between her and Nai is particularly meaningful. I really, really have come to appreciate her a great deal.

6. Tsubame and Gareki's sibling rivalry is so wonderful and priceless to see! X3

7. I love how Tsubame is noticing just how much Gareki has grown. Like Nai said, really. He's grown "warmer". <3

8. WE FINALLY GET TO SEE THE FACES OF THE GUYS BEHIND THE ROUND TABLE OF Z!

9. Tokitatsu. |8 ...that is all.

10. 100% convinced that Tokitatsu's secretary is Pepper Potts incarnate. X3

11. IVA SO BADASS SHE A GODDESS, BRO!

12. Kiichi and Tsukumo undercover? Humina humina humina humina humina! 8D

13. Haha~ Akari got in trouble~ XD

14. TSUKUMO AND NAI LOVE EACH OTHER SO MUCH! MY HEART IS OVERFLOWING WITH LOVE AND FEELS!!!!

15. Gareki totally loves Yogi. <3

16. BAD TOUCH GALORE! DX

17. ;w; Kiichi and Tsukumo. <3

18. Yogi... ;-;

19. OH NO NAI! DX<

20. OH NO GAREKI! DDDX<



And that's all you're getting out of me for this review for now. X3 I'll see you all in the next volume~ <3 On to Volume 9! 8D
Karneval, Vol. 7 (Karneval, #7) - Touya Mikanagi
This was the first volume of the Karneval manga where most of the things we got to experience weren't covered in the anime, which I'd seen first, and I've got to say: I've really been enjoying the manga far more thoroughly than I did the anime. It's been a wonderful read so far, and I'm endlessly happy that I decided to invest my time into the manga after I started to really fall in love with the characters through the anime and become invested in who they are.

But anyway~ Let's get back to the quick run-through of things that this new volume brought us!


1. Yogi is so immensely affected by things. It's almost shocking how different he is because of what's going on. It's like he's a completely different person and the light's gone out inside of him.

2. Hirato is SUCH A FREAKING TROLL! DX

3. Sleeping Akari is a sexy Akari~ *Smirks*

4. UGH. YOGI. STOP. YOU'RE BREAKING MY HEART SHOUTING AFTER HIM LIKE THAT.

5. Gareki has finally admitted to himself how he feels about things, and that means so much.

6. The return of a character I love!

7. Jiki is actually growing more and more into a character I love. And Nai's finally become comfortable around him, which in turn is warming over Jiki, too. It's very special and precious to watch, which really surprised me. <3

8. THREE NEW CHARACTERS! Ranji is BAMF! I love her. <3 Seseri is adorable and I totally love her too! Shishi makes me giggle and I love how Ranji is always cracking on him. XD

9. In which Jiki is actually a sweetheart in his own way.

10. In which KAROKU STILL PISSES ME THE FRIG OFF and we learn a little more about him. But only enough to make us ask even more questions.

11. HIRATO + TSUKUMO = WHAT JUST HAPPENED I DON'T GET IT SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN CURSE YOU HIRATO, YOU TROLL!

12. Hirato flirting with Akari 5ever.

13. Uro reveals some things about Nai and Gareki that worry me deeply.

14. Cell phones. <3


And that's all that I wanted to comment about in this one~! <3 ^__^ We'll continue in the next volume~! 8D


However, I wanted to put in a quick SPOILER FILLED section where I need to vent a bit about this volume. So anyone who wants to avoid spoilers, just skip down to the next bolded section!


**SPOILERS BEGIN HERE**
There are such huge, huge, huge changes in Yogi throughout this entire volume. With Gareki leaving, without Gareki there, you can tell that he's most of what Yogi thinks about, and the way it affects him... well... I've never seen Yogi so silent and sad. He's truly... a different person entirely without Gareki there. This entire manga shows us this one time after another. Starting with this first time when he cannot stand to sleep alone in his own room and asks to stay with Tsukumo and Nai the entire night, sleeping on the couch there. Later in the mission he's sent out on, he's morose and somber, and you can tell that even Tsukumo is worried about how down he is when we see him talking on the phone with her simply because she called to check up on him. *Shakes head* And it just endures throughout every single scene. Nai comes up to him after things with Karoku and though Yogi is there for Nai, supports him and genuinely shows concern and affection for him, Nai can still read right down through it all and sense the deep pain that Yogi is in. The fact that he actually asks Yogi if he's hurt and goes to touch Yogi to check if he's injured because he can feel the PAIN with his keen senses thanks to his Niji origins is intense. And it doesn't help that we get all these scenes later where Gareki is thinking about his motivation and desire to become a member of Circus and stand on equal footing with the Second Ship, and we get all those moments where the person that Gareki focuses on the most in his thoughts is Yogi. *Shakes head again* ...ugh. This manga is going to be the death of me with all these feels. But... it's so heart-wrenching, and so wonderful all at once. And all I can hope is that they'll be together again soon... because Yogi is in so much pain without Gareki there. It's literally changed everything about him, and even when he's happy... it's not the same without Gareki. It's not the same at all. ...it's like the very life has been taken out of him... now that Gareki is gone. ...yeah, I think I'll end it here. Thanks for listening guys.
**SPOILERS END HERE**


And with that, my review is at a close for the time being. I'm going on to the entirely new territory of Volume 8! Hope you'll all join me there! Because it's going to definitely be worth it. See you there! 8D

Karneval, Vol. 6 (Karneval, #6)

Karneval, Vol. 6 - Touya Mikanagi
Quick review time yet again, guys~! So let's run through once more!


1. Hirato and Akari are still going at it and it's priceless. XD (Look for the bonus material at the end! One word: EPIC.)

2. Everything Gareki was feeling came to a breaking point. ;-; And Yogi's reaction is heart-breaking itself.

3. The way Yogi becomes so serious after that just destroyed me! DX I can't stand it when he's unhappy!

4. Akari and Hirato made hints about that problem of Yogi's... and I'm increasingly curious about what's going on. Some of the things they mentioned... are making me suspicious that it's not exactly what I first thought it was.

5. AZANA. *SOBS*

6. Jiki's ability is cool, even though I still have my problems with him.

7. Uro x Iva x Tsukumo = BAD. ASS.

8. THEY DIDN'T SHOW GAREKI'S FACE WHEN YOGI SAID THE PERFECT THING TO MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER! DX WHY IS IT THAT EVEN WHEN THE MANGAKA DOES LET IT PLAY OUT LIKE I WANT IT TO, I STILL DON'T GET TO SEE HOW GAREKI REACTED?! THIS IS IMPORTANT, MANGAKA! AND YOUR TROLLING IS GOING TO BREAK ME AT THIS RATE! (Which is basically me saying that the mangaka is amazingly-awesome-sauce and deserves all the love because THEY KEEP DOING THIS TO ME!!!!)

9. I got to understand Jiki a lot more... watching the way he interacted when Yogi was around, and Gareki and Nai were still nearby. I've mentioned before that he was jealous of the attention that Gareki was receiving from Yogi, but... I think it runs deeper than just mere jealousy. And combined with Jiki's personality and harsher-than-what-is-normal way of expressing himself, it makes him seem like a total ass. But... it makes sense now. And even though he's STILL an ass... I can't really hate him. Because Yogi is an amazing guy, and anyone would be upset if their friend was suddenly taken with new people over them. So... v-v I guess you could say I've come to terms with him. Just a bit.

10. Ikami is awesome. ;W; <3

11. *Sobs more over Yogi; because something he said towards the end was especially heart-breaking*

12. Karoku. HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! D8<


And that's all for now, darlings~! Join me in the next manga! 8D This is the last volume that was brought over into the anime! So I'm looking forward to all the brand new things that we're going to see in the next one! *Squeals!* So excited! I'm looking forward to seeing where everything goes now that the storyline I'm aware of is ending! YAY!

See you all in Volume 7!!!! 8D

Karneval, Vol. 5 (Karneval, #5)

Karneval, Vol. 5 - Touya Mikanagi
Alright, this time around I'm going to do a super quick review. Let's do the countdown, shall we?

1. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Akari and Hirato. *Coughs; smirks; waggles eyebrows* And that's all I'm sayin'.

2. Yanari is a wonderful character and one I can relate to quite a bit. His relationship with Nai is precious and I adored seeing him and Nai spending time together.

3. Tsukumo and Nai are precious! DX SHE CARES ABOUT HIM SO MUCH! HNNNNNNG!!! MY FEELS!

4. YOGI AND GAREKI! *SOBS 5EVER*


Let me rant a little here: I love this mangaka. I adore her. And I've already come to the conclusion that if I she's written any other manga, I'm tracking them down and reading them because she's just HNNNNNNNNNNNG! Perfect!!!!!! But she has this talent... this INFURIATING AND AMAAAAZING TALENT! ...where she just PULLS ON MY HEARTSTRINGS LIKE I'M A FREAKING PUPPET. Because: Every. Single. Time. that Gareki and Yogi are about to finally UNDERSTAND AND CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER ON A DEEPER LEVEL..........!

"YOINK!

SORRY, NOPE.

LOL~

*SKIPS OFF ON HER MERRY WAY*"

I SWEAR. I'M GOING TO DIE BECAUSE EVERY SINGLE TIME THAT YOGI'S FEELINGS ARE CLOSE TO BEING UNDERSTOOD BY GAREKI, SOME FREAKING WELL-PLANNED PREVIOUS THING COMES IN AND MESSES IT UP AND SFGSYFGUSKFISUGFIDFSLIUGFSF I CANNOT HANDLE THIS TORTURE! *Flips table!*

And contrary to the ranting above, I'm loving this manga so much and I go through it thinking to myself HNNNNG GAREKI TOTALLY DOESN'T KNOW HOW MUCH YOGI TRULY CARES ABOUT HIM AND HOW MUCH GAREKI AFFECTS HIM AND IF HE KNEW THEN SFBDSHGFBDGFDKYUGDDF


Totally. Worth it.


AHEM ANYWAY.

6. .......totally don't remember what I wanted to say for number six....


So I guess that's the end of my review! XD

OH WAIT.


6. Kiichi is hilarious and I love her.

7. Jiki is still a piece of shit.


THERE WE GO. ALL DONE~!

On to the next volume, my darlings~! 8D OFF WE GO!

Karneval, Vol. 4 (Karneval, #4)

Karneval, Vol. 4 - Touya Mikanagi
This was a volume that was full of painful, heartbreaking moments in its beginning. So many things went wrong in the last volume, and this volume didn't skimp out on how everything unraveling affected our main characters. Without getting into too many spoilers, I will also say that even through the pain that this volume brought us through, it still maintains that beautiful ability to refresh our hearts and minds with those moments of much-needed humor and light-hearted play, and it comes full circle in the end when things are resolved to bring about a very tearful and beautiful feeling to the ending parts of the chapter. Though, as Mikanagi Touya has shown to be an expert so far, we've come away from this volume with a much more... silent threat. And it's going to unfold slowly but surely in the next volumes, I'm certain. It's going to be heartbreaking... that's for sure.

But enough with my rambling. Let me get to some of the relationships and characters I wanted to address in this volume!

In this volume, we get to see a lot more of three characters that we really haven't seen much of yet: the people of the First Ship-- Tsukitachi, Kiichi, and Jiki. Let's put it this way~ When I watched the Karneval anime, it only gave me so much of the picture when it comes to most of the characters I'm meeting in the manga again. I liked Tsukitachi in the anime, but I didn't like either Kiichi or Jiki. Well, surprise surprise, I found my thoughts on them changing when I got introduced to them in the manga.


Tsukitachi really surprised me with how much more energetic, playful, and even joyful he is! He has such an enthusiasm and carefree nature about him, and he just naturally draws people into whatever mood he's setting! It was a great relief to have him come into the story at the time that he did, because he showed another side to himself that I didn't think came off as well in the anime. He was... remarkably understanding... and I even said this to my best friend-- he probably gave the best piece of advice to a character in this volume out of all the things that have been said in the series so far. His level of empathy, and his deep understanding of the situation that Nai, Gareki, and the others had been thrown into was profound, and I came away from this volume looking at him in an entirely different light. He surprised me, and I've come to truly love him--yes, I can say that--I've come to truly love him because of who he's being revealed to me as, and how gently, patiently, and wonderfully he handled one of the most painful situations in the series so far. I'm very glad to have read the manga, because the anime version really, really didn't do this man the justice that his original form did. And I'm happy to have seen the real him.


Next up is Kiichi! When I first met her in the anime, frankly and to put it bluntly, I couldn't stand her. She pissed me off to no freaking end. The sooner she left the screen, the happier I was. -___-;; THAT'S how much she annoyed me. Her attitude, her impatience, everything about her just turned me off! And I couldn't STAND her! ...but reading the manga, she still has the same attitude, still has the same demanding nature, and still comes off with her gripes and her flippant nature. Yet somehow, I think the translation from manga to anime ruined or compressed who she really was into just some of who she is. Reading about her in the manga, I found the attitude that she flaunted to be more entertaining and badass than in the anime. I even found myself bursting into laughter when she ordered people around and got pissy when she didn't have her way and righteous fury consumed her! She ended up being a FAR more likeable character in the manga, and it's not because she's nicer, but just because I feel we got to see the authentic ways in which her demanding and outspoken nature was truly meant to be portrayed. She acts with reason, and demands with reason, and when she has her unique moments of attitude, you can understand better why they're coming out and why she's directing them in that way at the person in question. I was very surprised that I liked her as much as I did in this manga, and I'm glad that I was turned around, because she went from a character that was badass with a personality that I didn't like, to a character that was badass all around! I'm really happy that I got to see that.


Last up on the list for this volume is Jiki, and let me get this out of the way: To avoid spoilers, I'm going to talk about things in general here, so don't worry about being spoiled even if I use examples from the volume. Ahem. Anyway. So, I didn't like Jiki in the anime. And...! I don't like Jiki in the manga either. -___- First off, he's one of those kinds of people that goes out of his way to ruin the fun or enjoyable time that people are having just because they're having it without him. And not to be seen as ridiculous here, but DUDE. WHAT THE FUCK'S YOUR PROBLEM?! People aren't friends with you, then don't fucking butt in and break up their circle! What the HELL gives you the right to mess with people just because YOU'RE not included! You little shit! On top of that, this little brat doesn't even CARE about making an authentic friendship even when he DOES break up said friendships and force people apart! What the hell, man?! He literally only separates them JUST BECAUSE HE DOESN'T LIKE IT, and then he NEVER tries to put in the effort to become friends with them anyway! He doesn't want to be friends! He just doesn't want to see THEM being friends! WHAT A SELF-RIGHTEOUS ASSHOLE! To top it off, he goes out of his way to make sure that the moment someone is feeling comfortable or close to a semblance of happy in a strange and unfamiliar situation, to go in and instill new fears and worries and doubts in the minds of that person. He literally goes. Out of his way. To make people DOUBT THEMSELVES, and LITERALLY. LITERALLY! TELLS THEM IN EVERY FUCKING WAY. TO LEAVE. I swear to God, I hated him in the anime, but I want to rip his FREAKING HEAD OFF JUST AS FREAKING MUCH in the manga! He does NOT get better! If anything he only gets WORSE. The way he treats people is UNFORGIVABLE! And I essentially can't wait to see him get STABBED THROUGH THE FUCKING EYE. So yeah. No surprises there. -_- Just pissed off.


So that's the wrap-up of new characters introduced into this manga! But before I close out this review, I want to take a moment to talk about some of the relationships in this manga that I saw were expanded on in some extent.


First off, Yogi and Gareki. Man, if we've been seeing things growing between these two boys, it really takes a huge step here. MANY huge steps. If this was a romance manga of any sort, the stage we'd be in is in that stage where the feelings of the one character that doesn't know his ship exists start coming into the light. Let's just say, without any spoilers, that Gareki makes a lot of steps in realizing things about Yogi, and recognizing how he's beginning to feel about Yogi. It's very apparent, and if you read this manga for the ships, you're going to be full of feels from beginning to end for those two. **MINI SPOILER; SKIP TO AFTER THE ASTERISKS IF YOU DON'T WANT SPOILERS** What's even more prominent is that after the main story ends in this volume, our beautiful mangaka, Miss Mikanagi, gave us a one-page short that showed Gareki teasing Yogi. Now if this boy making the first playful move between the two of them isn't character/relationship development, then I don't know what is! **MINI SPOILER, END** Read it all the way through, guys, cause when you get to that mini-story in the end, it'll be all the more significant for you.


Another ship that had some beautiful and prominent features is the relationship between Hirato and Tsukumo. When fans of the manga were saying that the anime portrayed that one particular scene much more significantly in the manga, they weren't kidding. And any fans already know the scene so I won't get into details. If you don't know it, you will when you read it. What really struck me are the parts before the scene with Tsukumo in the forest, and then afterwards, the way that Tsukumo and Hirato both acted... throwing themselves into their work like they did. It's very prominent and when you read it, it definitely gives you reason to think about what more must be backing up the relationship between these two. Personally, I can't wait to find out, because, already, it's so very beautiful.


Last of all for this volume, I wanted to talk about Nai and Gareki. These two are the fellows that we started out with in the first place in this manga, and though I haven't talked about them much, there's a deep, profound level of beauty in the relationship that they share. The way that Gareki worries about Nai, and the way that he doesn't even fight showing his attachment anymore... it's precious. And Nai. *Shakes head in wonder* Nai only continues to impress me with how much he's growing, how much he's learning, how much he understands and how much more than human he is. The scene where he thinks about all those things he can sense in Gareki, the things he's never brought up verbally but always knows are there... it's heartbreaking. It's truly heartbreaking. The fact that he would go to such lengths to find a way to help Gareki, even though he doesn't have to... He's a beautiful, beautiful boy. His heart and soul are precious beyond belief. And countless times I've said it, and I'll probably say it countless times more, but Nai is the best thing that could have happened to Gareki. And I truly believe that he still is. And when we get further along in this series, you'll see exactly how much that's true. I'm sure of it.


So, alright. That's the end of my thoughts for this volume. I'm looking forward to seeing you all in the next volume! Keep reading guys. I know it has it's heartbreak and painful moments, but this manga series is going to be awesome through to the very end. I know it. <3 After all, it already is~

See you guys in Volume 5!

Karneval, Vol. 3 (Karneval, #3)

Karneval, Vol. 3 - Touya Mikanagi
There's a lot of pain that we go through in this volume. For me at least, it was probably the most painful volume yet. We delve much deeper into Gareki's past, and it just... breaks your heart. What's more is that this just continues on throughout the entire volume. We start off that way, and we end that way. Our wonderful mangaka though, Mikanagi Touya, knows exactly what she's doing. She gives us some respite from the heaviness that we go through by putting a more cheerful story in the center of this volume to break up the darker, interweaving storylines, and it really helps give you that breath of relief that you need when going between such heavy subjects.

The first part of the volume concludes the information that we were starting to get introduced to at the end of the first. Basically we come full circle with Gareki's past and kind of get to learn why he lives the type of life that he does. It's a touching and heart-wrenching journey though, and it left me in a mess of emotions that the first time I saw it I was in tears because it was so sad and beautiful at the same time. The lengths that Gareki would go... *Shakes head* It's something that you really, really need to experience for yourself. It's too special and meaningful to be talked about openly. Just in forewarning, be prepared for the heartbreak, because there's a lot of it when you first get into this volume.

After that we have the lighter little arc, and it's truly entertaining. It's endlessly cracky but badass also, and I found myself laughing more than a few times at the chaos that our main cast was getting involved in. Plus! We get a chance to hang out with more of the First Ship's crew. So we get to know a little bit more about characters like Jiki, Kiichi, and Iva. And boy oh boy, are Iva and Tsukumo badass in this little bridge point in the volume! You'll definitely find a lot of fun in it, and probably be more than a little pleased with the slight ways that Mikanagi unveils more and more about her characters. (Hint! The scene with Tsukumo and Jiki. Yogi during the play. Iva and Gareki. Yogi and Gareki, although that's too obvious.)

After the fun scenes are over and done with, things get heavy again, and I won't say anything about it. It's something that you need to see for yourself. All that I'll say is that it starts off with some adorable moments, and they're precious. In particular, pay attention to the moments between Tsukumo and Nai. They're very special. The rest I'll leave up to you guys to experience for yourselves. I have only one warning: Be prepared for FEELS!

And with that I leave you all. I'll be seeing you in the next volume! This is going to be painful, but I have to know what happens. I hope you'll all join me there. See you!

Karneval, Vol. 2 (Karneval, #2)

Karneval, Vol. 2 - Touya Mikanagi
I've got to say that the things that were impressed on me the most in this volume were the various levels of depth that we got to experience on the parts of all of our characters. In the first volume we started to see the edge of this mystery that's drawing everyone from their various places all together into one group, and we got a good grasp on the possible depths of the plot. We even got a fair introduction to all these people, enough to make us want to see more of them beyond their casual exteriors.

I think this is where Volume 2 of Karneval began to really shine for me. The plot continues to move on, sometimes steadily, and sometimes rushing forward all at once--like during the ending chapter, for instance. But I'll admit what personally grasped my attention more than anything else were the small clues and insights we got to see into the characters that I've grown used to seeing from the anime.

Let me just say that since I watched the anime first, I came into this manga expecting to learn more. It still, however, took me by surprise just how much more I've been given, and it sometimes comes from the subtlest of additions in the manga that weren't included in the anime. I'm starting to realize that the way I viewed and knew each and every character when I watched the anime was almost like taking who they really were and all their unique characteristics, and generalizing them. They all fit one clean mold or another. Coming into the manga, those molds are broken or changed slightly, and there's a lot more depth to each of the characters. And it's not that I didn't expect the depth, but that I didn't expect what I would find or the levels of that depth.

Hirato surprised me for instance. He was always so calm and cool, collected even, in the anime. He really came off as that all-knowing type of parental leader figure. In the manga, I couldn't even count the number of times I jaw-dropped at the crack he used to pull! He's definitely a LOT more mischievous in the manga, and looser! More himself. He's still the same guy, but there's an entirely new side to him in the manga that I didn't really get to see in the anime.

Yogi is another one that shocked me. We already know him as the playful, caring, bouncy guy that he is, with the twist of badassness that comes with anyone who's a member of Circus. But in the manga, the joking manner in which he portrayed was counterbalanced by the small ways in which a deeper, far more parental side came through. It's funny because by the end of this volume, I had mentally switched my thoughts on who was the more parental out of Hirato and Yogi, deciding that Yogi showed more of that "familial concern" whereas Hirato displays his protectiveness in other ways entirely. It was a really unusual change in that I didn't expect my thoughts to rework themselves that way, but at the same time, I'm really pleased to have been shown enough to do so!

Tsukumo is another one that really caught my attention. Her quietness in the anime is part of her nature in the manga as well, but she comes off as a lot more outspoken here. And she's keen. Boy, oh, boy is she good at picking up on people and things. I mentioned it in the first volume, but even here, Tsukumo reads people like a book. Her levels of intuitive knowledge about others are amazing. Considering how complex the people around her are as well, it shows just how brilliant this girl really is.

I would even go so far as to say that my opinions of Kiichi and Karoku (some of you long time fans know what I'm talking about) are actually in the middle of being worked out. Whereas I was not a fan of Kiichi's personality, although I do freely confess her capabilities in battle and think she's a valuable ally to have in Circus, I found it intriguing that she referred to Tsukumo as politely as she did, and although she still treats Yogi like crap (Jerk.) I wonder if I'm not missing more to her personality than I first thought. And the same goes for Karoku. Getting to see those little parts where Nai brought up memories of his time with Karoku, I feel like there's so many things that I'm still missing that the anime never explained, because when Karoku interacts with Nai directly in current time, trust me. I'd rather punch him face in. There's a discrepancy there, and I'm really eager to see more of it.

A part of me also wants to talk about the amazing relationships and how they all developed in this volume. The ties between Akari and Hirato, for instance; that special moment that Hirato and Yogi shared that suddenly opened my eyes to the first signs of why people shipped those two; the DEPTH of attachment that Tsukumo has to Nai and how special her relationship is with him; the inevitable weak point that Nai continues to increasingly become for Gareki; and boy oh boy, my favorite: the HUUUUGE hints from the mangaka about Yogi and Gareki's relationship. Talk about blazing arrows of significance. *Laughs*

But this review has rambled on long enough. My advice though: if you want to see more about all these awesome people and more of the little hints that I'm talking about, definitely pick up this second volume. It seriously continues to hold up well, and there's no lull in the interesting parts as long as you're enjoying the characters you're reading about. And boy are they awesome. <3

So I'll be seeing you in my next review! And maybe there we'll have even more of these relationships to talk about~ ;3 See you then!

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