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Dark Souls - Limited Edition (PS3)
Dark Souls - Limited Edition (PS3)
Offered by smeikalbooks
Price: £19.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice product, but is actually (partially) superseded by the "Prepare to Die" edition., 7 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Dark Souls as a game is absolutely stellar and there are enough other reviews to convince you so. What I want to warn prospective buyers though is that this edition DOES NOT include the DLC which is inclusive with the new "Prepare to Die" edition. On the other hand, that one does not include the nice artbook that you get with this one (afaik). Since they both cost about equally much on Amazon right now, decide whether that artbook is worth the cost of the DLC. (For me it was at any rate.)

Knights of Sidonia, Vol.1
Knights of Sidonia, Vol.1
by Tsutomu Nihei
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.89

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vertical has done this manga justice, 7 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent release. Vertical has matched and exceeded my expectations. In particular I have taken a liking to the more compact dimensions used with the tankoubon, which are closer to the Japanese format also used in French and Italian releases. They show dedication to their craft, evident from their relentless eye to detail. Sole (rather major) letdown is the rate of releases, where the English releases are barely at volume 3, while other European languages are already at 7 and the original Japanese already at 10. This is not being helped by releasing only once per two months. At this rate, we'll only be at where the French are today in Februari 2014 and the Japanese half a year later. This makes it impossible to discuss it with people who read it in those other languages.

As for the manga itself, it's absolutely stellar. Nihei draws a minimalist but realistic science fiction world, taking into account many things other authors conveniently ignore. He shows us humanity which has departed from its God-given form with new genders and photosynthesis; a massive seedship, once one of many but now an orphan in an endless black sea where location has lost meaning; an alien race which is truly alien, but appears to share a relationship with more than meets the eye. He does this without losing control over the story, managing to consistently focus on the narrative without needing to halt to explain things. In-universe mechanics, history, order and other elements come naturally while he takes us through a surprisingly rich world. He manages to convey complex situations using a deceptively simple-looking drawing style, seemingly effortlessly transitioning to show more detail when the situation calls for it, doing so without ever breaking convention and culminating in the rare but exquisite coloured pages. So, too, is the dialogue, which is relatively sparse but functional, letting the art and writing engage in beautiful symbiosis to tell a tale that gracefully walks the tightrope between serious events and Nihei's clever, trademark comedy.

Literally the only element that leans toward being a downside is that the art style tends to cause a bit of sameface, and with the equally minimalistic dialogue this can cause a bit of confusion who's who, especially in the earlier volumes. From those same reasons stems also the fact that the plot heavily relies on the reader actually being concentrated, which may be an issue if you're used to manga which make a point of explaining everything multiple times. This leads to situations where a poorly understood story element is expected to be explained in the near future, which doesn't happen because it actually was already explained in an earlier chapter. Due to the fact that you should probably get used to Nihei's style first, I advise re-reading the first three volumes as soon as you're done with the third, this should shed some light upon a few questions you've probably asked by now. It's also be easier since you're better able to distinguish between the faces by now.

I should probably note that this manga is due for anime adoption in 2014 and is expected to become one of the major hits that year.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 5, 2014 9:20 AM BST

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