Animal Academy 2 and Takeru 2

Animal Academy Volume 2 by Moyamu Fujino

I’m liking this series about a human girl attending a high school for shape shifters more with the second volume. I previously reviewed volume one. The second volume shows Neko continuing to settle in at her strange new high school, with just enough mysterious happenings to keep the reader wondering what will happen during volume three. She finds out that one of the boys in her class is another undercover human. There’s a mysterious portal to the outside world that randomly appears in the forest surrounding the school. The student handbook seems to predict the future, especially Neko’s club selection – just what is the “Ninja Club” for anyway and how can she find it?

There’s slightly less interspecies friction as Neko’s cat-roommate Miiko settles down a little bit and is less antagonistic towards the other students. Neko still can’t figure out the human identity of the mysterious snake she previously encountered. The only student who is a snake, Sasuke, claims it wasn’t him. Sasuke also appears to have a similar looking brother named Yasuke who also appears around Neko often. The only thing that I find to be a little off about the book is the way the high school students are all drawn to look as if they are in fifth grade. Still, Animal Academy is a light, undemanding read with plenty of cute drawings of animals, and the day to day life of the students attending the mystical high school was entertaining. It is very tough to find manga suitable for the 10+ age range, so I’m glad Tokyopop is publishing this series.

Takeru: Opera Susanoh Sword of the Devil Volume 2 by Nakashima Kazuki and Karakara Kemuri

I previously reviewed the first volume of this fantasy saga about three men named Takeru who come together in a quest to find a legendary sword. The second volume is much more frenetically paced than the first, with plenty of battles, plot twists, and revelations. After being hailed as three legendary heroes by the Jagara, the amazonian society that protects the legendary sword of Susanoh, the Takerus find themselves in a frantic battle that involves hang gliding and an airborne blood coagulant that hampers the Jagara’s legendary blood based fighting powers.

The revelations keep coming as the reader learns that the Jagara have a graveyard for their missing breasts, and Takeru Oguna is actually the long lost prince of the enemy Amamikado. While the action scenes could be a little more coherent, there was something about the non-stop nutty revelations and the energy of this manga that appealed to me. This is the type of series that I’d be perfectly happy reading from the library, but I might not go out and spend my own money on it.

Review copies provided by the publisher