Manhwa Review: Rooftop Sword Master

Details: Currently ongoing. Also known as 옥탑방 소드마스터

Score: 7/10

Rooftop Sword Master is a revenge story with a super powered twist.

Some spoilers ahead.

The story is about a teenage boy who is severely bullied into a coma. During his coma, horrible things happen to his family and he is traumatized upon learning of those things when he wakes up. As he is wallowing in his sadness, a massive sword appears before him and grants him superhuman powers. Now, the boy seeks to use the powers given to him to kill all those responsible for wronging him.

Like all good revenge stories, you start out with the wrong that the protagonist is subjected to. The point it to gain sympathy and motivate the audience into wanting to see the bad guys get their due. Rooftop Sword Master does a great job of doing that and portrays some good bad guys who mostly got away with their evil acts.

Then we get to the payback. Our protagonist gears up and goes on a Death Wish-like killing spree. Back in the eighties, there were a ton of American movies where our protagonist bought some machine guns and killed a bunch of bad guys. Here, our protagonist gets a magic sword. It buffs him up and pretty much makes him invincible. He goes around beating the crap out of police and military and anyone who gets in his way as he reaches his targets. It’s wild, it’s unrealistic, but it’s a lot of fun to see.

The art is very stylized and not bad. As I often say, it’s not Solo Leveling quality of art, but it’s still pretty good.

Overall, this is a satisfying revenge story, at least so far. The series is currently ongoing and is taking some interesting turns involving foreign governments and politics and a bunch of other stuff. I don’t really love these new plot points just yet. Personally, I just wanted to see evil people get beat up, but I guess that can only last so long. For the series to survive, they’re going to have to introduce some new things.

Manga Review: $1,000,000,000,000 Game

Details: Currently ongoing. I’ve read about four issues. Also known as Trillion Game and トリリオンゲーム.

Score: 7/10

I’ve only read about four issues, but I already know that this is going to be one of those stories that I will keep up with. This story is from Riichiro Inagaki, author of Eyeshield 21 and Dr. Stone of more recent fame. $1,000,000,000,000 Game is a story about two very different people and their quest to obtain one trillion dollars.

The protagonists are two young men who are very different. One is a person who lacks any interpersonal skills, but possesses impressive computer programming skills. The other only possesses interpersonal skills and can lie and speak his way through any situation. The two decide to combine their talents and we watch as they pursue their dream of being filthy rich.

What I like about this story is that it’s similar to what I enjoy in other heist movies or movies with schemes/scams, which is we get to watch our protagonists use clever, unorthodox means in order to achieve their objective. In the case of this story, we get to see the protagonists create a business and do their best to fund raise investment for it, even though they don’t really have a business plan or idea in the first place. This is a scheme that commonly takes place in real life, which lends some believability to the story. If you know anything about Silicon Valley and how many of the tech giants of today became so large, you’d know that it was from raising investment, not through providing goods or services. All this is to say is that the story is, so far, well thought out and well researched enough to keep me very interested.

The art is also very interesting. It’s an older style of art, but with the detail you’d expect of more modern works. The artist is actually well known and has worked on a number of well known manga in the past.

Overall, I’m interested. I want to see what tricks they employ and a truly clever, believable plot that leaves me in awe at how much research and planning the author did in order to produce such a story. It’s still very early, but I’m eager to see where this story goes.

Manga Review: Even If Your Mouth Is Torn

Details: Currently ongoing. I’ve read ten issues. Also known as Kuchi ga Saketemo Kimi Niwa and 口が裂けても君には.

Score: 7/10

Even If Your Mouth Is Torn is a romance and slice of life story about a spirit and a young man. It’s very cute.

Miroku is a spirit in the form of a human woman with her mouth slashed open. She goes around scaring people in hopes of spreading her legend. Kouichi is a young man who has fallen in love with Miroku. Together, they form a contract where if Miroku cannot successfully scare Kouichi within a year, she will marry him. Until then, the two live together.

This story was originally a one shot story. Then, three issues came out. Then, it apparently got picked up for a whole series. So I guess it’s achieved some success.

What was hard for me to get over at first was how nasty the spirit looked at first. Her mouth is gruesomely split open and it shows in many scenes. But after a while, you get used to it and appreciate the character underneath. The spirit is actually very cute and you get a lot of scenes like you’d expect to see in your standard romance manga.

The art is good and a fitting style for this often comedic, sweet story.

Overall, I enjoyed this twist on a romance story. Only a few issues have come out, but I’ve enjoyed watching these two characters be sweet to each other.

Manga Review: The Executed Sage Is Reincarnated as a Lich and Starts an All-Out War

Details: Currently ongoing. Also known as Shokei Sareta Kenja wa Lich ni Tensei Shite Shinryaku Sensou wo Hajimaru and 処刑された賢者はリッチに転生して侵略戦争を始める.

Score: 6.8/10

I’m enjoying this story so far, but it is very similar to the Overlord manga/anime.

The story is about a mage and a hero in a fantasy world. After defeating the demon lord, the two are executed on false charges. The mage is so distraught by what happens that he vows revenge and revives as a lich. Now this mage seeks revenge on the human world and world peace by being the greatest evil in the world and uniting humanity against himself.

Overlord was an isekai story where a protagonist was transported into the fantasy world of a video game he played. Once there, he became the big bad villain of that world and the story followed his villainy. This comic is not isekai as it starts and continues in a fantasy world with no connection to the real world. However, it does have a lot of the tropes of an isekai story as the protagonist is overpowered and defeats everyone.

Like Overlord, our protagonist is a villain and goes around doing evil stuff. He kills lots of people and takes over kingdoms and raises an evil monster army. Unlike Overlord, this is mostly a revenge story, at least as far as I’ve gotten into the plot. The protagonist wants revenge for the execution of the hero, his close friend and maybe romantic partner. So you get a combination of isekai tropes, anti-hero tropes, and revenge story tropes.

The art is fine.

Overall, it’s an enjoyable story that plays off multiple genres. Accordingly, it feels slightly new, but is mostly familiar narratively.

Fast Food Review: McDonald’s Caramel Iced Coffee

Details: More information can be found at https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/product/iced-coffee-small.html

Score: 7.2/10

Every week (or maybe every day) I get a coupon in my McDonald’s app where I can get a coffee of any size for one dollar. Usually, I get a large ice coffee with caramel flavor… for one dollar. And it tastes pretty good. I mean, it is obscenely sweet, but that’s what I wanted when I asked for caramel. I can’t think of any of other business or franchise that will sell me a decently tasting large ice coffee with heavy caramel flavor shots for only a dollar. For that reason alone, I think McDonald’s coffee is better than every other coffee place in my area, including places like Starbucks. As long as the price, size, and flavor remain the same, McDonald’s will be my go to spot for ice coffee.