Read Gamerz Heaven


            Suzuki, a teenager obsessed with video games (specifically RPGs), finds a mysterious CD that takes him and his friends into Gamerz Heaven, a sort of parallel universe that looks almost identical to ours, only inhabited by “area masters” (boss enemies) and video game versions of his real-life classmates. The art is attractive, but the plot is confusing and dull, and the opportunities for RPG parody are generally wasted (although you do get to see Suzuki take multiple bloody sword wounds without really minding it, evidently due to high hit points).
            People call Yuri a slut, but she’s actually innocent in her own way; every time she’s dated some total loser, she really loved him and thought it could work out. Her best friend, Motoko, is a butch girl who’s as cynical and manipulative as Yuri is idealistic and good-natured. When two guys—Yabe, a seedy slacker, and Hirao, the shy but passionate school president—start hanging out with the girls, who will end up with whom? Starring some atypical character types for a shôjo manga (where heroines have rarely kissed anybody), Gatcha Gacha is an above-average, occasionally unpredictable teenage romantic comedy. The title refers to the gatcha gacha sound of something switching back and forth (in this case, presumably Yuri’s boyfriends). Not to be confused with Hiroyuki Tamakoshi’s shônen True martial world light novel .
                   
            Four male friends are at ground zero when Shibuya is struck by strange lightning bolts from another dimension, causing them to be possessed by the four beast-gods of Chinese legend: Genbu, Suzaku, Seiryu, and Byakko. In true shônen light novel superhero style, the heroes learn to befriend the haughty spirits inside them, then use their occult powers to fight evil ghost-type creatures. The art is attractive, but the plot is little more than bishônen platonic eye candy, with each character getting his own short story. Unfortunately, the English edition ends before all four characters are even introduced.
Gakusen toshi asterisk light novel
            Light novel adaptation of the anime of the same name. In 1969 Japan, the A.E.G.I.S. organization is in charge of recruiting powerful psychic teenage students, also known as Gatekeepers, in order to help defend Earth from an alien invasion. Although the concept is nothing new, Gatekeepers refuses to take itself seriously, making it a fun read. (For example, one Gatekeeper has the power to summon a giant panda spirit to fight for her.) A glimpse of emotional depth to the main characters contrasts nicely with the overall silliness. Unfortunately, the manga ends abruptly, leaving several plot threads dangling.