Books

Book Review of Diary of a Wimpy Kid

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid
by Jeff Kinney

Type: Comic, Contemporary, Preteen, School

Basic Plot: Greg Heffley is like the average American preteen, and lives an average life. He writes about his supposedly lame and unfair life in a journal his mom bought for him.

Quality

Plot: 3/5 Average: I think the plot is a little cliché, and not to unusual in comparison to something in any other book of this type. It had situations that could easily be seen happening in real life, like a bunch of bad childhood experiences happening to one person and all at once.

Writing Style and Setup: 3½/5 Above Average: Though the plot and graphics aren’t really special, the book is very funny. It has a lot of those situations we remember having as children that were embarrassing, seemingly not fair, and annoying at the moment. The entries were not as realistic in the sense that there were not very many per month and that there was no date ever except for what day of the week it was. I understand partially why as the first would require a lot more content and to do the seconf would be difficult to name a date as it is modern time.

Graphics 2/5 Below Average: Just fancy stick figure drawings. They are drawn orderly, though, and the graphics do change according to which person is drawing. (It shows comics from different characters, so there are a few drawing styles.)

Moral: -2/5 A Bad Influence: This book is beyond not having any good moral or moral at all, it has a pretty bad one. Greg is a bad role model. He is that kid in the neighborhood that a Christian parent really doesn’t want their kids to hang around because that friend has an attitude problem. Gregory never thinks problems in his life are his fault and often has friendship troubles because of this, and his reaction is to blame his circumstances and punishments on others even more. He suffers a little from his actions in the novel, but he never truly learns anything and sometimes even gets what he lost back to a degree from lucky circumstances. This book’s moral will only encourage the sassiness and disrespect that teenagers and preteens might already have.

Overall: 3/5 Average: I think diary of a wimpy kid is not as extraordinary as it is portrayed. The things that are most attractable about the book were the humor and that preteens can understand Greg. I think if a book of this type is done (as I have seen other books of juvenile humor) this is a good way to do it, but the book was not useful in any way and there no real purpose to the book except to get a good laugh. Now if it had had no moral really at all and was only entertainment, that would not have been so bad, but instead it had a negative moral, that teaches self centeredness, which is one of the reasons I gave this book an only average review.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 1/5 Slightly Inappropriate: A little kid brings a picture of a woman in a bikini to show and tell. The picture isn’t shown. “Hot” is used to describe some girls once. Greg says one of the things you have to have to get anyone to like you is “a cute butt.” There are pictures of boys shirtless. Greg thinks his clothes in gym are starting to slip off once.

Violence: 2½/5 An Average Amount of Light Violence: There are a lot of pictures of kids pushing each other, and there is one picture of kids getting smacked with a backpack. There is a picture of a boy punching Greg. Greg gives his friend “noogies” for using terms he thought were to childish. Greg tricks his friend and is able to smack his face against his head. Some kids throw apples at a girl, and there is a movie that shows trees doing it. For gym the boys have wrestling for a certain time. There is a picture if Greg kicking his brother’s toys. He mentions that often his Dad will throw whatever he conveniently has available when he sees Greg misbehaving. Greg pinches his friend. Greg hits his friend with a football while his friend is riding on a three wheeler and his friend falls and breaks his hand. Some kids throw snowballs at them, and there is a time when they imagine making a huge snowball and pushing it on the kids. Greg later throws a snowball at his friend. There is also a picture of them being smashed by a snowball taken from a distance. Greg and his friend get in a time when they start pushing each other. Greg thinks “Twisted Wizards” is a violent video game, and he also has several video games with violence that is not shown or talked about in detail. A comic talks about a mom that “slipped on a banana peel” and died. There is a comic of a stickman getting beheaded. Greg imagines and there is a picture of him putting a tack on the teacher’s chair. Some kids want Greg and his friend to get in a fight, but they don’t.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 1 ½/5 A Little Misuse: “Gee” is used twice and “gosh” once. When the students have a school project to make up what a robot they invented would be like they decide to make a talking one and make a list of bad words that the robot can’t say when told to. None of these words are shown.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: ½/5 Very Light Gore: Greg and his friend plan out a haunted house with blood, sharks, knives, etc. It doesn’t even get close to what they plan, though. There is a comic of a stick figure who gets his head cut off. Greg’s friend draws a comic with a man who steps in “an acid puddle,” and it shows his bone.

Religious Issues: 1½/5 Slightly Suggestive: Greg celebrates Halloween and goes trick or treating as well as to a haunted house. They decide to make their own haunted house with lots of things such as blood and skulls (which obviously doesn’t work out the way they plan.) His teacher writes a song for the play called “We Three Trees” which is probably a parody of “We Three Kings.” Greg’s older brother wants a shrunken head for Christmas.

Magic: 1/5 Some References: The game Greg asks for Christmas is called, “Twisted Wizards.” Greg goes to a haunted house with things like vampires, headless people, and there is a picture of a man with his head on a plate. The play they act in is the “Wizard of Oz” and there are mentions of the witches, one being “good.” Greg describes his friend’s attempts to look like he’s fighting “prancing around like a leprechaun.” When Greg is wondering is wondering if his friend will be stronger than him, he calls his friend’s karate lessons “hocus pocus.”

Others: Greg’s brother is in a rock band and has magazines related heavy metal and rock music. He also listens to “parental warning” CDs. Greg has many times when he tries to listen to them behind his parents back, and it always goes wrong. Greg also has times when he tries to break the rules that his friend’s parent set up. There are a lot of crude phrases and rude humor such as flattering a person described as “kissing… (their) butt.” The kids have an anti-smoking poster contest and the winner is a boy that Greg says smokes a lot. There is also a picture of an older teenager smoking. Greg’s mom is more dominant than I would prefer and almost always gets her way when arguing with her husband.

Overall: 1½/5 Almost All Ages Appropriate: This book is not recommended moral wise, though overall it must be admitted there was nothing obscene or indecent in the book. First because of the bad moral above that is mentioned. Second because of the disrespect Greg has toward other people and how his attitude seems focused mainly on himself, and only his own desires. This book also has a “Your Parents Are Dumb and Your Neighbor’s Evil” idea, with all the adults being shown to be not very intelligent. Now some of their actions do greatly reflect worldly adults and shows the irresponsibility adults can sometimes have, especially when they are far from God, but teenagers and children should not think all adults are complete idiots. There are a lot of smart, responsible adults, though there is truth in the fact that a lot of adults now are choosing to act juvenile these days. There aren’t any evil adults that are portrayed though. The problems with this book are mainly attitude problems and the way adults are portrayed.

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Manga

Manga Review of Kitchen Princess (7-8)

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

Kitchen Princess
by Natsumi Ando and Miyuki Kobayashi (This covers volumes 7-8)

Type: Cooking, School Life, Shoujo,

Basic Plot: Najika has now gotten over her friend dying and her guilt, but not only is there a new student to become the new prodigy chef of the school, he also looks like her dead friend, though he’s opposite in personality.

Quality

Plot: 3½/5 Above Average: The plot is now an about average cooking manga as before. I do think some of the things were a bit predictable, but still not as much as when I first started reading it. The creative cooking ideas that were made were interesting to read about.

Graphics: 5/5 Excellent Quality: I like the drawings especially in this volume because she draws more food in these ones then in the last few. Her drawings of food are very well done as they have a lot of detail (just like everything she draws.) I do think there were a few awkward drawings of the boys in these volumes, but 90% of the time they were normal and natural looking.

Moral: 4/5 Good Application: This time there is a moral that can be well applied. These volumes focus a boy that believes cooking wise he knows everything and that anyone who doesn’t agree is uncultured or dumb. He later learns that maybe he’s the one that needs to change instead of everybody else, and he gets a better attitude. That is a great lesson for children to learn instead of being prideful and convinced they always know the answer, they should change their attitude and learn to be taught by other people and accept their opinions.

Overall: 4/5 Well Done: I think these volumes were done very well. I love the drawings the best, and the plot was interesting. The manga right now is at a really good point plot, graphics, and moral wise. I think age wise girls in their late preteens and teenagers will still enjoy this manga.

Moral Content

Official Rating: T

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 0/5 None

Violence: 2/5 Slightly Violent: A boy smacks a plate out of a girls hand and shoves her. Najika slaps a boy. Later she pinches his cheek while pulling him away. A boy says he is going to punch another one, but never does. A girl hits a man on the head in a comical sense and a boy lightly hits a girls head with his book bag. A boy shakes an elderly woman’s hand away. He also likes to kick things a lot when he is upset or angry.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: ½/5 A Little Misuse: “Geez” is used once and “gosh” twice.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 0/5 None

Religious Issues: 1/5 Brief Slightly Contradictory Content: There is a Halloween splash page with Najika in a witch costume and holding a wand.

Magic: ½/5 Slightly Mentioned: Magic is used as a description once, and there is a picture of Najika dressed as a witch.

Others: There was smoking in at least two chapters and in the character intros a man is smoking. In a recipe they recommend adding alcoholic drinks for adults. Rum is mentioned being in a cake. It talks about how some people think a man accompanied women to bars and clubs before becoming a chef at the school. (It does say “it’s only a rumor.”)

Overall: 1/5 Appropriate for All Ages: These volumes are very family friendly and there is nothing to worry about them moral wise whatsoever. (Well, except the witch costume.)

Books

Book Review of Ella Enchanted

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

Ella Enchanted
by Gail Carson Levine

Type: Adventure, Fantasy,

Basic Plot: Ella was given a gift/curse by a fairy that made it whenever she was told to do something she had to obey, even if it meant hurting herself or others. Afraid of the dangers it will bring her life (and hating being bossed around as a whole), Ella decides to find the fairy and get the gift/curse taken away.

Quality

Plot: 4/5 A Creative Plot: The plot was very interesting and unique. Gail Carson Levine has always had creative ideas for fairytale, and Ella Enchanted was pretty creative, though not her best book in my opinion. I loved the different languages Ms. Levine made for the different creatures and nationalities. They are all unique and follow particular rules and patterns. I also like how she gave different personality characteristics to the different races, such as giants being overly friendly and ogres having calming, convincing voices. One thing she messed up a little on was when people bossed Ella. When told to eat in one scene Ella won’t stop until told, but in another when told to stand she does but sits down again not to long afterwards. Wouldn’t she have to keep standing? The author probably did this for it would be very inconvenient otherwise, but I think some readers would get confused if they notice this.

Writing Style: 4/5 Very Well Written: The style is nice when reading it to yourself, but reading it out loud sounds occasionally awkward because of the made up languages she has and because of some of the wordings in the paragraphs. When reading it silently it is smooth and natural, though. She also uses a variety of vocabulary and expressions, so it isn’t the same old phrases and words over and over again.

Moral: 2/5 A Hard to Read Moral: The moral is not clear, but the moral seems to be that if we want something we have to try hard to get it, as Ella has to do this to no longer obey everybody. I think the idea was that if we want to do something we have to set are goal high enough. It is hard to read the moral though, if that is what it is, and could be completely ignored.

Overall: 3½/5 Above Average: The writing style and plot are both done very nicely. I think the moral was lacking, but otherwise it was a well written book. I think all women and girls that like fantasy books or fairy tale parodies will enjoy this, but especially preteen girls.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 0/5 None

Violence: 2/5 Slightly Violent: A girl tells Ella if she misbehaves she will hit. Ella punches this girl in the nose and she bleeds. Ella runs into two people, but not violently. Ella imagines her father as a puppet with a punching glove on it that punches others. Two ogres wrestle, some ogres and knights fight. Ella imagines throwing food at her teachers, and it mentions a king getting hit with a tomato. Ella is afraid that if she marries the prince she will be forced to kill him. A girl considers all sorts of violent things that may have happened to Ella when she was traveling. There is some blood mentioned, but most of it is not from violence.

Swearing and Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain: ½/5 A Little Misuse: A man does call Ella some nasty non-profane names when he believes she lied to him though, such as “minx” and “wench.” Some of those names are used at other times as well. No actual swearing though.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: ½/5 Slightly Disturbing Content: There are mentions of blood that are not associated with violence. Ella throws up when she sees the corpse of a pony. Some ogres want to eat Ella and at one time a baby gnome.

Religious Issues: ½/5 Slightly Suggestive: A woman thinks a castle is haunted, but there is no proof it is.

Magic: 3/5 Fairytale Magic: There are mentions of centaurs, dragons, elves, faeries, genies, giants, gnomes, gryphons, harpies, hydras, mermaids, ogres, phoenixes, sirens, and unicorns. About half of them actually show up in the book in character form, though. There are also magical powers that these creatures have i. e. fairies live forever, dragons breathe fire, gnomes can read the future, etc. Faeries do most of the magic in the book including transformations and travel. There are also magic items in the book such as a book that changes what’s in it depending on who reads it or a box that grows and shrinks to accommodate anything. A woman thinks some trees at an abandoned castle “had power.” There is no proof that they do. The word “bewitch” is used as a description. The book focuses around magic, as it focuses around Ella trying to break her gift/curse of always following obeying a person. There is no black or satanic magic, and there are no witches or wizards mentioned.

Others: Brandy, wine and butter rum are all drunk or consumed in the book. I had a problem with Ella’s rebellious spirit. She hates obeying anyone and will often try and find ways around it to feel better, such as when told to bring some almonds she brings only two. It even mentions her hating obedience of a free will. When ordered to be happy when given commands and later ordered to feel as she wishes again, Ella and a friend think she was a slave more than ever. Even the person who gave her the gift admits it was horrible to obey even the people that probably “meant well” such as parents. (I wonder though what are you going to do if you aren’t forced to obey people like your parents? If you were going to obey them anyway what’s the fuss over? Lack of control? Were you not going to obey them?) Though breaking that awful spell is understandable, hating submission as a whole is not a very good example for children and an awful example for teenagers.

Overall: 2/5 Child Appropriate: I think it was pretty OK, except for Ella’s rebelliousness. It could have been worse, but she was still more rebellious than preferable. I think if you want to enjoy Ms. Levine’s fine writing skills without the rebellious indoctrination there are a lot of other books she has written with less rebellious messages, such as Fairest. You or your child may also be old enough to read it without too much affect on you, though, so it is up to how well you know yourself and your child before reading it or letting them read it. There is also the option of reading it with your daughter and discussing Ella’s behavior and attitude.

Books

Book Review of Calvin

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

Calvin by Martine Leavitt

Type: Adventure, Contemporary, Self-Discovery

Basic Plot: Calvin believes he is a human version of the comic character Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. Having a childhood similar to Calvin’s and now having schizophrenia, he decides only Bill Watterson, the creator of the comic, can truly make his life better, and the only way Calvin thinks will get him help is by walking across Lake Erie.

Quality

Plot: 3/5 Average: The idea was interesting, but not as original as it could have been. I believe the character that was closest to his actual personal was Calvin. The character personalities were pretty good and pretty similar to what you may expect if they had been older, but the relationships and interactions between them were not like the ones in the comic. There was not as much fighting among them as the comic had, and I think the relationship between Calvin and his childhood friend, Susie, was the worst. I think they could have argued a lot more and that the romance between them was not presented as well as could have been presented. The original Calvin and Susie had a Rhett Butler and Scarlet O’ Hara kind if relationship, while this one is a lot more like an awkward teenage romance, and it is a little weird having their relationship like that.

Writing Style and Setting: 3½/5 Above Average: The writing style was casual, like Calvin was having an easy, everyday conversation with you. The author’s way of righting dialogue was a lot like a play’s dialogue. Instead of writing: John said, “I love playing golf!” It was:

John: I love playing golf!

It was not bad; it was not traditional though. I think sometimes it’s neat seeing how authors rewrite dialogue, as I have seen some other interesting ways its been written in. It is a little odd when you first start, though.

Moral: 3/5 A Good Moral: The book was supposed to be a self-discovery/adventure trip. I think the moral was supposed to be that some things we cannot change about ourselves and that we need to just accept. If applied to the right things than this moral can be very beneficial, yet when applied to other things it can trip us up. I think Calvin learned to balance out the things he could and could not change pretty well at the end, though.

Overall: 3/5 Average: I think age wise teenagers thirteen and older of either gender would enjoy it best. It was not as close to the comic as it could have been, but it was pretty OK in some ways as well.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2/5 Suggestive: “Babe” is used a few times, and hot at least once. Calvin also pretends that he is a “yeti” and that Susie is his “mate.” Calvin is obsesses over the idea that he and a girl he likes are sleeping in the same tent. Calvin explains the different parts of the brain, including the one that makes people reproduce. A girl tells Calvin that the part of the brain that makes him affectionate and romantic is affecting the part of her brain that was mentioned in the previous sentence. There are a few kisses, and one part there is some long ones when they were not exactly making out but close to it.

Violence: 1/5 Light Violence: Calvin punches a boy and a girl punches him once. A boy throws an apple at Calvin. Calvin’s friend mentions how religious leaders are physically persecuted. No blood is used in the violence.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 0/5 None

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: ½/5 Very Light Disturbing and Emotional Content: Calvin and Susie nearly die trying to cross the lake. Susie’s little toes are mentioned to have fallen off. Blood is mentioned in a seen where there is no injury. No actual blood shows up in the book.

Religious Issues: 3 ½/5 One or Two Very Contrary Ideas: Calvinism is mentioned, but not explained. A girl says Calvin is trying to be like Jesus for wanting to walk across the lake. It is mentioned how John Lennon claims to have seen God, and they think he wasn’t lying. “Gods” in a plural, pagan sense is talked about twice. A few things are mentioned that refer to evolution, including the idea that theistic evolution happened. The idea if God is real or not is discussed, and no real conclusion is drawn from it except for “So why doesn’t God show himself?” Calvin even gets his friend to wonder a bit about why no one sees Him except the persecuted, and why followers of religion often seem so proud.

Magic: ½/5 Slightly Mentioned: The word magical is used to describe something once. Calvin thinks his teacher is an alien and monsters are mentioned. One of the things he sees is a monster that lives on the lake (it is not real though.) No magic is done in the book.

Others: Calvin seems to be a supporter of socialist ideas, and the book seems to lightly promote the idea of their possibly being multiple realities. There are also some ideas about war I did not agree with. Susie tends to show to be a bit feministic and calls a man a “chauvinist.” Whether he was one or not depends on opinion, and mine is that she was exaggerating a bit.

Overall: 3/5 Teenage Appropriate: The most troubling things in this book are not violence, swearing, or inappropriate things, but philosophical and religious things. The ideas talked about are interesting, but do not line up with the Bible. The worst of these discussions was if God was real or not. Because of this I leave it to parental discretion to decide of they think their child or teenager could handle that kind of philosophical pressure.

Apps · Video Games

App/Game Review of Crossy Road

Crossy Road by Yodo1 Games

Type: Action, Adventure (Maybe), Puzzle

Basic Game Setup and Plot: You are a person, animal, or even an inanimate object that is trying to cross several roads, fields, and train tracks without getting run over.

Quality

Game Play: 3½/5 Above Average: You can be one of many things that are trying to cross as many roads, train tracks, fields, and rivers as you can. You must do this while trying to not be hit by cars or trains and keeping up with the pace or an eagle will carry you away. The goals of the game are to unlock characters and reach as far as you can by walking before you die.

Graphics: 3½/5The graphics are good and simple. They were like giant pixel graphics. I thought the graphics were nice, but there was nothing too extraordinary. I did like them better than graphics that are attempted to be done elaborate and end up awful.

Music: 1½/5 Almost No Music: There are a lot of times when there is no music, but when there is music it’s not bad, just nothing unique. The sound affects were nice, though.

Overall: 3½/5 Above Average: The game is one of those simple, yet so much fun games like Flappy Bird. (Though I personally hate Flappy Bird for being so hard.) I think both boys and girls of almost any age would understand and enjoy it.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 0/5 None

Violence: 1½/5 A Lot of Bloodless Cartoon Violence: The creature you are controlling can get run over by a car, hit by a train, or snatched away by an eagle. You can also drown. When you die you usually are just a flat, squished person on the ground, and sometimes something extra will happen if you play a certain character. (If you play as the celebrity, photographs fly everywhere when you die.) If you play as the character Michael Boom explosions happen everywhere. If you play as a dragon you can blow fire at things and as a wizard you can zap them. There is no blood in the game.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 0/5 None

Religious Issues: ½/5 Slightly Suggestive: Certain characters let the land look like a Halloween landscape.

Magic: 1/5 Some Reference: Some of the characters you can play are an alien called “specimen 115”, a character called “the dark lord”, a dragon, Frankenstein, a ghost, a leprechaun, a unicorn, a vampire, a witch, a wizard, and a zombie. There are also characters from other games that may or may not be associated with magic that you can play.

Others: There are also some pop culture characters like Psy, doge, and etc.

Overall: 1/5 All Ages: If you do not mind a few magic related characters and violence without blood it should be OK for children and adults to play.

 

Note: This article was last updated on January 7, 2016. This game is known to update and not all characters or content may be included form the last update.

 

Manga

Manga Review of Kitchen Princess (5-6)

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

Kitchen Princess by Natsumi Ando and Miyuki Kobayashi (This covers volumes 5-6 and the bonus stories at the end of each.)

Type: Cooking, School Life, Shoujo,

Basic Plot: Najika thinks she has found her true love and is now in a baking contest to prove she is good enough for him. It turns out there are a lot of secrets that are going to come out though about the contest, her parents, and her “flan prince.”

Quality

Plot: 4/5 Well Done: The plot has now had a big twist in it. I am disappointed to say that I did not get a shock because I had it spoiled for me, but I think if you have not been told it will get you. I also think that there were a lot more of creative and fascinating things about cooking now that Najika had to explain it in a contest instead of food just showing up when a chapter could use it. The last thing I lastly thought that at the end of volume six that what was used to move the plot was also good.

Graphics: 5/5 Excellent Quality: The graphics are still amazing, but they have gone through a change now. It started in book four actually, but now it is clear that the drawings are a lot rounder than they were before, especially the faces. I did not like this at first, but now I think it is still really good either way. I think that she also started eporamenting with the girls hair styles a lot more than she used to.

Moral: 2/5 Not To Great: Unfortunately the moral could be used as good or bad depending on how it is looked at. Najika’s friend decides to stop doing what his father tells him to a small degree because he believes it is wrong. Though we should not follow certain authorities so much we sin, I do not like seeing parents in the “bad guy” light. Also some of the things they say may encourage children to be more rebellious. It is not as rebellious as some American entertainment encourages children to be, though.

Overall: 4/5 Well Done: I think the plot is better than it was earlier and that the drawings are good, even though they are different. Sadly the moral that could be drawn from these volumes puts parents down a bit. I think the manga would be interesting to teenage girls and preteen girls.

Moral Content

Official Rating: T

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: ½/5 Slightly Suggestive: The artist describes some outfits she once saw as “sexy.” Najika sees to people kissing in public and she visually remembers being kissed, but neither is the weird, provocative type.

Violence: 2 ½/5 A Little Bloody Violence: A boy hurts his fingers while making a dessert. Najika gets shoved to the ground by someone. A boy gets hit by a truck and there is blood. Naika collapses and gets bruises. In the side story a man is described as “violent” even though no violence is shown from him. There is talk about a car accident that the manga does not show.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: ½/5 A Little Misuse: “Gosh” and “geez” are used once each.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 3/5 Quite Emotional: A major character gets hit by a truck and dies. You also see him in the hospital, and there is a little blood. There is a lot of crying, and Najika goes through some extremely emotional trauma. She also gets blamed for the death, and has to again deal with some bullying from others.

Religious Issues: 2½/5 Suggestive and Slightly Contradictory: Heaven and God are mentioned, but they are probably not the same as what the Christians would consider heaven and God. A funeral is given with incense and appears to be either Buddhist or Shinto. Najika talks to her dead family and friend in a dream and what her friend says in the dream came true. The makers talk about how more than half of Japanese children “believed that people who die will somehow come back.”

Magic: 0/5 None

Others: It talks about how “mirin” a Japanese wine was used in cooking. In one picture it looks like a man has beer. In the character intros a man is smoking, and Smoking is done in four chapters and a side story.

Overall: 2½/5 Almost Child Appropriate: The death of a major character is why the series is rated 13+. (Well, and something else coming later.) Though the death could have been shown much more dramatically, it is very emotional after he dies. I think that children older than twelve or thirteen can handle it.