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    • More +
      21.08.2014 00:07

      Advantages

      • "Affordable fun fair for kids"
      • "Take the safari park at own pace"
      • "Great picnic area"
      • "Good family fun"

      Disadvantages

      • "Could be a better playground"
      • "Don't go through the monkey enclosure"

      Good family day out but give the baboon enclosure a miss!

      We decided to visit Knowsley Safari park as we were able to purchase a discount voucher through a local deal site. The family ticket allowed entrance for 2 adults and 2 children for a total of £29 instead of the regular family ticket price of £55.

      Upon arrival at the park we waited approximately 10 minutes to reach the entrance booths, although there seemed to be a mass of cars waiting the lines were moving steadily and we were processed through efficiently. A cute little detail here was that you are given a map as well as a sheet of stickers with the varying animals to spot on your travels, our son enjoyed peeling these off and sticking them in the correct locations. Even though the park was busy there are 2 lanes for the safari drive. You can take the drive entirely at your own pace and pull over where ever you spot anything interesting. As we entered the lion enclosure we were suprised at how many of the 'big cats' we were able to see. There was a large group of them lounging very close to the through road, we didn't feel unsafe though as there were clearly rangers about. Here is a handy tip-stay out of the baboon enclosure if you value your car. We loved this section of the park, in fact we had a very entertaining half hour as we pulled up outside the baboons and watched them mischievously jumping on unsuspecting cars and pulling at anything they could get hold of.

      There is a great little picnic area for those who go prepared. We parked up the car and took the kids to enjoy the rest of the park on foot. There are around 15 small rides that children can go on if they purchase tickets or a wristband. A wristband was £10 which we were happy to pay as we had saved on the entrance price. The rides are only really suitable for children up to the age of 8, any older and I think they would struggle to enjoy what was on offer. Our son aged 5 enjoyed them all although we had to queue for about 15 minutes for the busier ones. also in this section of the park is a cafe, ice cream parlour, gift shop and other kiosks. As a family we enjoyed ice cream before taking in some of the other animal attractions including the bird show, sea lion show, elephant and giraffe enclosures . We found that there was plenty to do to fill the best part of the day, my only slight criticism would be that after paying for entrance fees and ride wristbands it would have been great to see a better playground that children could use without further costs being incurred. overall a good family day out!

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    • More +
      20.08.2014 23:56
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "lasts pretty well"
      • "natural looking"
      • "dewy finish"

      Disadvantages

      • "not sure it's special enough for the price"
      • expensive

      For a dewy look

      Clarins Skin Illusion Nature Radiance Foundation SPF10 is a light-reflecting, oil-free and hydrating foundation which combines mineral and plant ingredients to create a naturally radiant complexion with light to medium coverage. It's priced at £27 for a 30ml bottle.


      My thoughts
      The packaging is lovely, as usual with Clarins it looks classy and expensive, and the weight of the glass bottle makes it feel high quality too. The pump applicator makes it easy to get out the right amount and saves on waste. There are only 9 shades to choose from but the second lightest one, called Cream, is a good match for my pale skin.

      The foundation has a mid consistency, not too runny and not too thick. It has a smooth and creamy texture which make sit very easy to apply. It doesn't dry too quickly so it blends easily too.
      The finish it gives is quite natural, it doesn't look caked on or really obvious that I'm wearing makeup. It has a slightly dewy finish to it without looking oily or greasy. I would agree that the coverage is light to medium. It covers my minor imperfections well, but it doesn't sufficiently cover acne scars or other more major imperfections.

      It feels quite light on my skin when I apply it, but I do find the longer I'm wearing it the heavier it starts to feel, and I become much more aware that it's there. It lasts fairly well, it stays on my skin for a good 7 hours, but it does start to look a little less than perfect after about 4 or 5 hours. It is very easily removed at the end of the day with any cleanser or makeup remover.

      Recommended?

      I'm not really sure if I would recommend this foundation. I do like it, I like the way it looks and it lasts pretty well, but I'm just not sure it's worth the price tag.

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    • More +
      20.08.2014 23:54
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Sturdy and good quality"
      • Realistic

      Disadvantages

      • "None "

      A sturdy, well made tractor toy from the leading manufacturer playmobil

      The playmobil tractor and trailer set is a must for any would be farmer, or for any children who enjoy playing with playmobil. It is part of a wider range of the farm themed products.

      As always playmobil delivers on quality. The plastic used is high quality and rarely breaks. The colour of the plastics used is realistic and does not rub off like with the cheaper plastic toys.

      The tractor itself comes with a fork and bucket attachment, the playmobol people need to be slotted into the seat of the cab. They easily for into the cab.

      There are three hay bales that come with the tractor which can be carried using the bucket scoop.

      The trailer is of similar high quality in design and material. You can fold the sides of the trailer down. It is very realistic in functionality. You attach the trailer to the back of the tractor with a lock mechanism which is well made and doesn't come apart easily, unlike other such toys.

      This toy is going to be a form favourite for years to come, the age range is four plus but I would say this is suitable from 3-9. It can be played at different levels of interactive play, dependent on the child's ability and imagination.

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    • Ikea Antilop High Chair / Highchair / 1 Reading / 1 Rating
      More +
      20.08.2014 23:46
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Easy to clean "
      • Cheap

      Disadvantages

      • "Doesn't look comfy"

      Functional , durable item that is good for a spare highchair

      This is a no nonsense, easy to clean, plastic high hair from the Swedish brand ikea.

      Like with the majority of Swedish design, straight lines are important here. The seat unit is angular, with a square seat base and a rounded backrest. They come in a range of colours, ours is red, but they are also available in blue and white.

      The seat unit cones with a grey strap which enables you to secure the infant in the seat effectively.

      The legs of the high hair are removable which means it is a great chair to take on holiday or for occasional use at other homes. The only problem we had with this is the legs slot into the plastic chair seat unit and then a little metal clip ejects into the slot. One of ours got stuck which made it very difficult to them disassemble, this problem wasn't insurmountable, but meant you did need to use some brute strength to take the legs in and out.

      The high hair was stable and with the four legs was level on the ground. I did not have any issues with tipping or collapse as I have had with some other high hairs.

      The high hair is very well priced at under £10 which is fantastic value. The additional tray which can be purchased is a must in my opinion. Without the tray, the high hair can be brought right up to the table, but with the tray on this provides an additional surface which is most handy if you take the chair to a relatives for use and their table is too high.

      I did find that my son was unable to use the high hair past 20 ,months as his chunky thighs prevented him for sitting in the seat comfortably. I think the leg holes on the seat unit are quite small, so the product is better for those with smaller sized children.

      The seat would not be suitable for long periods of time as has no real neck support. The majority of high chairs should only be used from six months, but I would say this one should only be used from 12 months as it is not very comfortable looking as is made of hard plastic.

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    • More +
      20.08.2014 23:35
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Lovely colour pictures "
      • "The bible of Emma B"

      Disadvantages

      • None

      A must for any collector of Emma Bridgewater products!

      I have been an Emma Bridgewater fan for years and a fellow fan recommended buying 'the bible' which is how it is referred to in the Bridgewater collectors community. I ordered this book off amazon. It was a good price and delivered quickly.

      The front cover is very eye catching with a teapot and milk jug of the figs design, this is an older pattern that is no longer available.

      The book documents the heritage of Bridgewater pottery from its inception. It details the How the Company was started as well as focusing on the background of Emma Bridgewater, it's founder which is a early interesting read. You learn about the pottery industry in Stoke and how this has changed over decades as well as learning about the Bridgewater brand.

      There are pictures which catalogue the designs throughout the years, they also detail collaborations with different Companies such as Laura Ashley. The book gives information about the shapes of pottery available in each of the designs and gives some thought to the brans cult status.

      It is interesting to see a pictorial history of the brand. There are pictures of the factory where the products are made and the book also details how they are made.

      The book follows the brand from 1986-2006 and details what happened each year.

      It is only available in hardback which is good as makes the book durable as is the type of book that would be regularly consulted by collectors.

      The book is well written and very descriptive in tone.

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    • London & Country Mortgages / Mortgage / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
      More +
      20.08.2014 23:08

      Advantages

      • " information was great from advisors"
      • "So easy"

      Disadvantages

      Very professional, expertly handled

      From my initial enquiry, the complete service was professionally handled to my exact and specific requests. Billy and the other advisors kept me up to with every step of the application process.
      I would recommend London and County anytime

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    • More +
      20.08.2014 23:05
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "The foam is comfortable"
      • "They are high quality "

      Disadvantages

      • "They are too large for my hands "

      Good exercise for your hands and your wrists

      WHAT ARE THEY?

      Hand grips for improving the strength of your hands or you can use them more if you are building muscle in your forearms.

      THE DESIGN

      These are made by Golds Gym but I bought them at my gym (it is not owned by Golds). They are a big spring with handles, you squeeze the handles with one hand grip in each hand and it is the resistance that makes your hands stronger.

      The handles have got a foam cover so they do not hurt your hands but the handles are long and I think they are made for the hands of a man. I bought them for my husband but I use them also because they are in our shared gym space at home.

      HOW DO YOU USE THEM?

      You do as many repetitions of squeezing the hand grips and releasing them as you would like to. The resistance is very strong and I am going to buy a smaller set for me because I like to use them but they hurt my hands after I have used them for a short time. My husband has told me that they are comfortable for him to use and he does slow repetitions and speed squeezing also for his stamina.

      They are harder to use than you think and they make your wrists ache, I think you have to have strong hands to use these hand grips and I know they make the muscles stronger because I can feel it when I use them at regular times.

      WHAT I THINK

      I think these are very good hand grips and I am pleased with the quality of them, the spring is very solid and there is no damage to the foam and that is good because my husband uses them every day and I have used them alot also.

      They are too large for my hands and it is recent that I have realised this but I am happy I have used them because I know if I invest in a smaller pair that I will use them. I would like to get them in black also because I do not like the pink and purple ones that are available for ladies.

      ANYTHING ELSE

      The hand grips cost £7 and I think that is value because they have been used by both of us and are effective for exercise.

      4 Dooyoo Stars.

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    • More +
      20.08.2014 22:53
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Beautiful

      I wanted a new watch and I really like rose gold so I decided to get a rose gold watch!

      I purchased this online from the watchshop.com when it was on offer for nearly half of its original price. I got it for £97.50 down from £195.00, which was a great saving! I know that this is quite a lot but I really liked this watch and I was in the mood to treat myself! Also, with a watch I am happy to spend this much as I will probably be wearing it quite a lot, so I will be getting my moneys worth.

      I really like this product as it looks so great. The dials of the watch are very sleek and plain which makes the watch look of really high quality. It is such a stunning piece of jewellery that ties your outfit together and also I have had many compliments on it. I really like this watch, it is one of my favourites.

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    • More +
      20.08.2014 22:27
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Nice results

      So I received this product from a friend as part of a gift set that contained many other Nicky Clarke products. I decided to use this one first because, to be honest, my hair needed some tender loving care. It was a bit dry and really needed some rescuing so I decided to go for this.

      I used it by applying it to the ends of my hair, as that part needed the most care and the rest was fine, for about 5 minutes, as it suggested. I was not sure what I was expecting from this product but I have to say that I was pretty impressed by it. It made my hair feel a lot more fresh and lighter. It was less knotty, dry and the general dullness had disappeared, and this was all after one use! So the results from this product are instant, so if you need your hair to look its best at a moments notice then this is definitely the product for you!

      I looked up the price of this product for this review and found out that on its own it costs about £13.00, even though this post says it is £22.00! Either way I find that it is quite over priced, as there are many other products out there that can do exactly the same job but for a much cheaper price.

      I would recommend this product but I as I have said there are many similar products like this for a fraction of the price. But all in all a good product.

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    • More +
      20.08.2014 22:02
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Good finish

      I bought this epilator after my previous one broke after having it for a very long time. I did not purchase this epilator immediately after my original one broke, I decided to just use a razor and what not instead. I soon began to realise that I definitely needed to buy a new epilator, as it made everything so much more easier and convenient. It meant that I did not have to shave nearly every day which can be so annoying. Also, by buying an epilator I was not just saving time but money too, as I would not have to be purchasing razors or shaving cream every week, which can add up.

      I bought myself this after doing some research and finding out that this was probably the best one for me. I purchased this online from Amazon for around £70.00. It might sound expensive but this is only one purchase that will last a very long time and you do not have to ever buy any shaving or waxing equipment again.

      So the product itself is pretty good. As you would imagine, it does hurt a bit but you do get used to it if you use it regularly. And if you don't try to because using an epilator makes everything so much more easier!

      I only use this machine on my arms and legs and I feel like it does a great job. The results are very impressive and it always leave me with a smooth finish. I would recommend this product!

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    • Asus X550CC XO281H / Laptop / 5 Readings / 4 Ratings
      More +
      20.08.2014 20:09
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Fast Processor"
      • "Long Battery Life"

      Disadvantages

      • "Windows 8"

      Not bad but could do better for the price.

      After my rabbit decided to eat the charger on my previous laptop thus rendering it unusable I decided to treat myself to a new one.

      I was looking for a laptop with a large memory and a lot of RAM as I have an extensive music collection and I am a keen photographer so needed something fast enough to run Photoshop. I have not been disappointed in this respect. I can run multiple applications at the same time without detriment to the performance and the storage capacity of the hard drive is fantastic.

      I also like to play games on the laptop and previous PCs, desktops included, have struggled to keep up. Not so with the ASUS. I currently have 2 large games on here plus my large music and photo collection and, touch wood, it hasn't crashed once.

      The battery life is brilliant. Due to the aforementioned bunny having a penchant for cables I need a laptop that I can use for long periods without being plugged in. This does the job nicely. I can watch an entire film off charge or play games for 2-3 hours with the settings on high performance.

      My main bugbear is Windows 8. Although this is no fault of the laptop I just cannot get on with this version at all. It's clearly designed to be used with a touch screen device and I find it quite frequently has a mind of its own.

      Another complaint is that the graphics card could be better. Although a vast improvement on my previous laptop it still doesn't look as good as I would like, particularly for photos.

      Overall I am very happy with this computer but I suspect there may be better ones out there in the price range.

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    • More +
      20.08.2014 19:46
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "One of the best 80s comics"
      • " excellent story"
      • "Fantastic art"

      Disadvantages

      • "The cover art isn’t very good"
      • "Perhaps a bit simplistic"

      An iconic graphic novel that is still very readable

      This is one of the iconic graphic novels of the 1980s, when a new, more adult-oriented approach crept into American comics. As it happened, it was a bit of a false dawn, but the great comics from the era are still worth reading.

      Writer-artist Frank Miller rose to prominence on Marvel's comic Daredevil, where his tough, streetwise plotting and manga-influenced artwork had made a superhero no one had really liked into a best-seller. Miller was poached by rival company DC, for whom he created this epic about Batman's twilight years.

      The ageing Bruce Wayne is retired. But increasing levels of crime in Gotham City lead him to don his bat costume again to try to bring peace to the streets. Batman's return also inspires his arch-enemy the Joker out of retirement. Batman's friend and protector, Commissioner Gordon, is himself retiring, with his replacement far less bat-sympethetic. Meanwhile Superman, now a government stooge, is instructed to put a stop to Wayne's bat shenanigans…

      It doesn't sound very promising, and in anyone else's hands it probably wold have been rubbish. But Miller gives the hoary old characters and situations a genuinely epic feel - up to and including having nuclear war break out. The tension builds and builds and for once when it's released it doesn't feel anticlimactic. Famously, he uses small panels along the tops and bottoms of pages to add humorous talking-head comments on the action, creating a rich and varied tone. Batman’s own snarling dialogue is film noir parody – Miller later created Sin City, which took that to self-defeating extremes.

      While the other famous comic of the era, Watchmen, brutally deconstructs the whole notion of superheroes, Miller's Batman doesn't. Sure, it plays little tricks with our expectations - Robin is now a girl, Two-Face has had plastic surgery - but you never get the feeling that we’re being asked to question whether a bodybuilder dressed as a bat kicking people's heads in is a good idea.

      Still, it works, and it's something that any comic fan should read. A lot of the machismo is so over-the-top that it's funny. This is a black comedy above everything else. The artwork is amazing - the Japanese influence is heavy (the Joker looks like the mask out of Onibaba) and this is very stylised for a superhero comic. Most people probably know enough about Batman's supporting cast (Alfred the Butler, Gordon, the Joker etc) from the old TV show that the references are easy to pick up. The nuclear paranoia and roving street gangs are very 80s, but much of it feels timeless. The moment where Batman and his followers swarm into Gotham on horseback is one of the most stirring in any comic.

      A lot of Frank Miller’s subsequent work has been disappointing (the sequel to Dark Knight is terrible). But this is essential reading, and even works if you think that superheroes are a bit silly. They are, but done properly, anything can work.

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    • More +
      20.08.2014 19:04
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Doesn't stink!"
      • "Easy to apply"

      Disadvantages

      • "Didn't work at all for me!"

      I'd rather pop a pill!


      I suffer with lots of random aches and pains. I suffer with M.E and along with that I get Sciatica and I also suffer with Arthritis and just general random aches and pains in general.

      The Packaging:

      The tube of product comes in an oblong red and silver box and on that we are clearly told what it is and who it is by and that it is 100g in size and that it 'Relieves pain and information in conditions such as backache, rheumatic pains, muscular pains, sprains, strains, lumbago and fibrositis', the ingredients are listed on the box, directions for use are given and contact details for the manufacturer are stated. Inside the box there is a leaflet and on that lots of warnings and further information is given. The tube is designed to look the same as the box and contains the same information on it and its squeezy with a red twist on/off lid to the top of it.

      Using It:

      This gel is suitable for people over the age of 14 to use (you do need to test a little out first just to check for allergic reaction of course) and you can use this every 4 hours but no more than 3 times a day.

      The gel is clear in colour and of good consistency not being too thick and not at all watery. You only need a small amount and you are meant to rub it gently into the sore area. It has a very slight alcohol scent to it and when applying it, it feels a little sticky however both the scent and feeling of stickiness vanish quickly.

      A little of this goes a very long way however I don't find this to help with any of the issues I have used it on.

      I have applied this to wrist where I have joint pain, on my back, on my ankle (I suffer with a sore tendon there) and more recently I bashed one side of my body as I fell down my staircase and banged my shoulder and pulled muscles in my arm and by no means did this help me at all.

      I don't know if this would help at all with minor issues but all the pain I have described really is very painful indeed at times and usually pain killers don't touch it even!

      Yes its simple to apply and doesn't stink or be sticky but really....I notice no difference when I've applied this so its a waste of my time using it.

      Not recommended from me for someone with a lot of pain but maybe on minor issues this could be of help and for less than 3.00 a tube it isn't a huge loss if it doesn't work!

      Available from all good chemists etc.

      This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.

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    • More +
      20.08.2014 17:41
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Old familiar friends"

      Disadvantages

      • "Too many weak story lines"

      Mrs Ali's road to nowhere

      I loved Farahad Zama's first book `The Marriage Bureau for Rich People', quite enjoyed the second and started to wonder if the series was getting lost around the third. The fourth is `Mrs Ali's Road to Happiness'.

      Mr Ali's bureau is doing well, his assistant Aruna is heavily pregnant, his son Rehman has regular if poorly paid work and his niece Pari is installed in a flat nearby with her adopted son, Vasu.. All seems to be well with the world but of course it can't last.

      A series of trials and traumas lined up to entertain us. There are the petty little every day annoyances; worshipers pinching Mr Ali's blossoms as they passed on their way to the mosque or the temple and the odd stroppy customer who's not happy with the service provided by the Bureau but it's nothing Mr Ali can't handle. There's a strange excursion to visit relatives who accidentally explode some eggs in a microwave. These are the amusing little stories of Mr and Mrs Ali's world. There are more impactful inconveniences like Mr Ali getting his electricity cut off and Mrs Ali finding out that there's a plan to widen the road on which they live which will slice through the Alis' home

      Then there's the really big racial issue around young Vasu and his adoptive mum Pari. The local mosque threaten to excommunicate Mr and Mrs Ali and the local Hindu activists threaten to take the boy away and put him in and orphanage. And of course it's all taking place during Ramadan to add a bit more tension.

      The book reads like an episode of a soap opera - one which you need to have been following for years in order to keep track of the plot. Repeatedly the author has to remind readers of things that happened in the previous three books. Here are the folk who got kidnapped by the Naxalites in book three, here's the girlfriend from book two and so on. Could you follow ‘Mrs Ali's Road to Happiness' if you hadn't read the previous three books? Maybe but not without quite a lot of irritation.

      The work of the Marriage Bureau takes a minor role to the religious wranglings over Vasu and the machinations of the town's politicians who are caught up in the road building plans. Both issues are solved in ways that didn't - for me at least - satisfy or ring true.

      Farahad Zama can and must do better than this.The story rambles and drifts around, few matches get made and the balance between the sweet but slightly banal life of a retired couple and the outrageously over the top situations they face, just doesn't work this time. Plot lines don't complete, characters head off down blind alleys and when I reached the end I was left with a dissatisfying sense of `Is that all there is?'

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    • More +
      20.08.2014 17:35
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Well bound"
      • "Decent adaptation"
      • "Nice art"

      Disadvantages

      • "Source material feels jaded"

      A mature manga adaptation of a famous novel.

      No Longer Human is a Japanese comic book drawn by Usamaru Furuya, based on the classic novel of the same name by Osamu Dazai. The plot follows Yozo Oba, a young man who gradually becomes alienated from society, following closely to the extremely depressing semi-autobiographical source material.

      Famous novels are subject to many adaptations, but I believe this is the first manga version of No Longer Human. Usamaru Furuya is one of my favourite manga authors, as he has a strong, pleasant looking art style, tends to deal with more obscure topics and has an awful sense of humour. Sadly, the latter doesn't particularly shine through here as the original book isn't exactly a barrel of laughs.

      This manga is read left to right, like a "normal" book. According to Vertical, the publisher, the work isn't flipped or edited, but prepared that way by the author with Western translations in mind. The binding is lush and literally shiny. I can't fault the book's copy-editing either. It's a competent piece of work from Vertical.

      Though this adaptation is loyal to the original novel, there are some slight changes. For one, the manga takes place in the present day, framed by Furuya's self-insert discovering the blog of the main character. This is a really nice touch that brings the story, originally published in 1948, to life.

      Unfortunately, this manga has its limitations. Like many teenage boys Yozo deals with his anxieties by acting the class clown. This disparity between his behaviour and his inner turmoil gradually becomes worse and worse until he starts dabbling in sex, drugs and... joining a union. As confessional and fresh this story must have seemed in the late 40s, as a semi-autobiographical work by an already prominent author, it really does seem rather jaded now. There isn't really a way to get around that when youth alienation and rebellion is now ubiquitous in media as in real life.

      However, as a spin on a classic story, it's at least interesting. The art is gorgeous. I especially like the stylised interludes denoting Yozo's inner-thoughts. These are often very detailed, and I think drawn in charcoal, which is not something I see a lot in Japanese comic books. There are excerpts from the novel before and after every chapter. They fit in well, with a nicely chosen font for the English translation, and the Japanese alongside.

      Overall, it's an enjoyable read, something a bit more mature to the usual manga offering. This is volume 1 of 3, and I brought them all for around £5 each from Amazon.

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