Thursday, June 21, 2018

Manga Reviews: A Strange and Mystifying Story, Vols. 1-3



A Strange and Mystifying Story, Vol. 1
(A Strange and Mystifying Story #1)
Tsuta Suzuki
Release: November 14, 2017
Akio Yamane’s bloodline is cursed! Will his hot guardian deity break the curse…or merely his heart in the process?

Akio Yamane falls terminally ill, presumably from his family’s curse. Remembering his grandfather’s final words about their family protector, he follows the old man's instructions out of desperation and accidentally summons a god who promises to cure him—albeit in a rather odd and intimate manner!

Akio Yamane’s bloodline is cursed! Or at least that’s what his relatives would have people think. Now feverish and delusional from a terminal illness, Akio accidentally summons his family’s guardian deity. Little did he know this sinfully hot god would appear naked, sporting ears and a tail. Wait until Akio finds out the unconventional and rather intimate manner his protector plans on using to cure him!

Review:
I picked this manga up because I found the premise intriguing and was sold by the synopsis! A cursed bloodline and a hot guardian deity? Yes, please! Unfortunately, I didn't like the execution as much. I was much more taken with the side characters than I was the main two. I've definitely read worse yaoi first volumes and this one ends on a good enough note that I'm interested enough to read the next volume to see where the story goes.

About a third of this volume is actually two short stories not associated with the main story. The first is one is about a student/teacher relationship, in which the teacher comes to care for the shyest boy in class. The second is set in feudal Japan and has a carver helping a sex slave escape his master. They both felt a bit rushed and I liked them but they're not my favorites.

  
  3 / 5 Stars


A Strange and Mystifying Story, Vol. 2
(A Strange and Mystifying Story #2)
Tsuta Suzuki
Release: February 13, 2018
Akio Yamane’s bloodline is cursed! Will his hot guardian deity break the curse…or merely his heart in the process?

Akio Yamane falls terminally ill, presumably from his family’s curse. Remembering his grandfather’s final words about their family protector, he looks to where his grandfather pointed and finds a tooth. Upon holding it, he accidentally summons a god who promises to cure him, albeit in a rather odd and intimate manner!

Now that Akio Yamane’s guardian deity has cured him of his illness caused by a family curse, it’s time for him to come to terms with this new furry roommate he’s named Setsu. Although their relationship got off to a rocky start, is it possible what he’s feeling now are the first stirrings of love?

Review:
It was better than the first volume and I liked getting more of Setsu's backstory. The stories of Setsu's past were nice but they also made the story feel like it was all over the place and we didn't see much progression in each character's story arc and in the romance. 

In fact, the bulk of the book is a flashback telling how Akio's family line became cursed which was interesting. But I didn't realize the story had jumped back to the present for a bit because Akio and his ancestor look identical (especially when they were both wearing yukata and living in the same family home) until he complained about Setsu watching TV in the middle of the night. Overall, it still was interesting but also kind of meh. I'll probably give the series one more volume before I decide to give up on this one.

  
  3 / 5 Stars


A Strange and Mystifying Story, Vol. 3
(A Strange and Mystifying Story #3)
Tsuta Suzuki
Release: May 8, 2018
Akio Yamane’s bloodline is cursed! Will his hot guardian deity break the curse…or merely his heart in the process?

Akio Yamane falls terminally ill, presumably from his family’s curse. Acting on his grandfather's final words, he accidentally summons a god who promises to cure him, albeit in a rather odd and intimate manner! Thurs begins the story of certain cursed families' strange and mystifying relationships with supernatural protectors.

Tsumugi Shirota is your typical high school student. He’s handsome, kind, and for some strange reason, surprisingly adept at household chores. On his sixteenth birthday, a rather unusual but special guest comes to meet him—Master Kurayori, the guardian deity of the Shirota household. Imagine Tsumugi’s surprise when he finds out this deity is also his fiancĂ©!

Review:
This volume was better than the first two for me. I think it was because it focuses on the relationship between my favorite two side characters, Keiichiro the museum director and Hatoki Tetsu. While I enjoyed learning more about them, this volume also kind of drove me crazy because everything is progressing so slowly!

I was also kind of surprised by how PG this volume was as well. Most Yaoi isn't this far into a series. The story is more focused on the growing affection between the characters than the physical interactions. And as much as I appreciate that, I really would like things to move a bit faster between all the couples involved.

The rest of this volume introduces two new characters and their story and I'm intrigued to find out more about them and see how their story shakes out. I thought I would be giving up this series with this volume but it surprised me and renewed my interest in continuing on. I hope we get more of Keiichiro and Tetsu as well as Tsumugi and Master Kurayori in the next volume.

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.

   1/2
  3.5 / 5 Stars


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