Saturday, March 1, 2014

Our New Location!

To everyone that has been following this blog, I thank you all. I apologize for not updating more often, work and life just got in the way. I've also been working on getting a new site set up. It doesn't look like much, but I'll be posting reviews at the new

Burning Lizard Studios

Reviews will be somewhat the same, with some minor tweaks here and there. I hope to see you there!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Episode 057 - July 22, 2013 - Why Aren't There More Fantasy Manga? | Fairy Tail Vol. 13

Episode 057
(MP3 | M4A)

Welcome to Manga^3, your one stop for manga news and commentary, for the week of July 22, 2013. This week we ask the question, "Why aren't there more western themed fantasy manga?" In the end it comes down to immersion, and what the writers themselves are most comfortable writing. We also discuss Fairy Tail Vol. 13, the beginning of the Fighting Festival Arc. Warning: Due to certain events in this week's issue, this episode is a bit on the graphic side.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Episode 056 - July 15, 2013 - The Top Five Fathers in Manga | Fairy Tail Vol. 11 - 12

Episode 056
(MP3 | M4A)

Welcome to Manga^3, your one stop for manga news and commentary, for the week of July 15, 2013. This week we celebrate Father's Day a couple weeks late by listing our top five fathers in manga. We finish up the Tower of Heaven arc in Fairy Tail by discussing volumes 11 and 12. If you've ever had a problem with the ending of that arc be sure to listen to this episode, because we go a bit in depth and explain why certain events happen the way they do, and what they really mean.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Episode 055 - July 8, 2013 - The Top Five Old People in Manga | Fairy Tail Vol. 10

Episode 055
(MP3 | M4A)

Welcome to Manga^3, your one stop for manga news and commentary, for the week of July 8, 2013. This week we talk about a staple of manga, badass old people, and we rank which are the most awesome. We also discuss Fairy Tail Vol. 10 in our continued effort to catch up with this series.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Episode 054 - July 1, 2013 - The Portrayal of Overweight People in Manga | Fairy Tail Vol. 9

Episode 054
(MP3 | M4A)

Welcome to Manga^3, your one stop for manga news and commentary, for the week of July 1, 2013. This week we discuss the portrayal of overweight individuals in manga, is it good? Is it bad? And why exactly are things the way they are? We also continue our discussion of Fairy Tail, this week with volume nine.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Manga Reviews: Fairy Tail Volume 9

The Story
In the aftermath of the war against Phantom Lord, Fairy Tail is investigated by the government. They are found innocent, but remain under heavy scrutiny by the magic council. While the guild is being rebuilt, Lucy slips away to confront her father about his actions against her guild.

With everything wrapped up the team is able to start going on jobs again, in a one off chapter they put on a play for a failing theater house, and in another Lucy finds herself embroiled in the mystery of Loke's past.

The Review
While volume eight was all about action with a little bit of comedy, volume nine has little action, and rather focuses on the aftermath of the previous arc and comedy. It's important because it gives readers a chance to breath in between the larger arcs. I was a bit surprised, however, that we only really get one single chapter story before moving on to another multi-chapter story. Granted there's no big bad to defeat in Loke's story, but it's still an important character moment for him, much like how the last two arcs had been important character moments for Lucy and Gray.

The followup to any action packed story is the most crucial part of any manga. Most readers will stick around if the action is really good, but the chances of keeping readers is increased when the non-action chapters are well done. And in this case we not only get to see the beginning of Juvia stalking Gray, we also get what I consider the funniest bit of comedy in the entire series.

In regards to Juvia, while stalkers are a serious matter, and I could see why some would use her behavior this volume against her, I can't help but just be entertained. It's cute and funny, and I really can't ask for more out of a breather chapter.

The Frederick and Yanderica story is by far the funniest thing to come out of Fairy Tail. Even after multiple rereads I find myself chuckling and even laughing out loud.

Loke's story, which takes up exactly half the volume, wasn't my favorite story the first time I read it. I confess that at the time I was a bit of a shipper, and seeing Lucy spending so much time with a character that wasn't who I shipped her with annoyed me. But, that would be a silly way to judge a story, so instead I'm glad that I have since locked my inner shipper deep away and can approach this from a rational standpoint.

After this reread I must say that I enjoyed Loke's story a lot more than I did initially. What strikes me most is how it gives Loke his own little arc, without there being some kind of demon from his past to defeat, something that Mashima has done quite literally in previous arcs. In Loke's case his big bad is his own sense of guilt, and rather than defeating this demon through brute force that acts as a metaphor for friendship, in this case Loke is literally saved by the power of friendship.

Though, I will always be wondering what exactly Karen had Aries do for those men. I most definitely know what I thought back when I first read this story-I was reading a lot more of the pulpy seinen variety of manga back then and my mind kept jumping to the worst assumptions-and it certainly contributed to why I didn't like this story at first. Since then I've actually gotten a bead on what Mashima's writing style is, and I think I can definitely say that he didn't intend for us to assume the worst. Or at least I hope he didn't. Otherwise I might start hating this story again.

Nonetheless, I highly recommend this volume not only as a followup to the last volume, but for the comedy and a rather well written bit of back story for a character that had until this point been mostly incidental.

The Grade


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Manga Reviews: Fairy Tail Volume 8

The Story
Fairy Tail is in dire straits as their guild is destroyed by Phantom Lord. Even though they've managed to defeat all the Element Four, Natsu and his friends are still faced by Gajeel and the master of Phantom Lord, Jose.

With all enemies, even the formidable Gajeel, taken out, Erza is the only one standing before Jose. That is, until Makarov's miraculous recovery.

The Review
The nice thing about this volume is that not only is it more or less the end of an arc so I can discuss the storyline as a whole, but it's also clearly divided into several different fights, which allows me to separate my review into digestible pieces. Say what you will about shonen action series, they can make for some pretty easy reviews. Unless of course one wants to actually sound intelligent during the discussion of said manga. Which is what I hope to do, so please, let me know in the comments how well I succeed in that aspect.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Episode 053 - June 24, 2013 - The Top Five Manga We Want Licensed | Fairy Tail Vol. 8

Episode 053
(MP3 | M4A)

Welcome to Manga^3, your one stop for manga news and commentary, for the week of June 24, 2013. This week we discuss manga series we've read through certain..."clandestine" means and would really love to put down some cold hard cash for. We also continue our discussion of Fairy Tail with a review of volume eight of the manga.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Episode 052 - June 17, 2013 - The Top Five Sexiest Manga Characters | Fairy Tail Vol. 7

Episode 052
(MP3 | M4A)

Welcome to Manga^3, your one stop for manga news and commentary, for the week of June 17, 2013. This week we indulge in a bit of fun and discuss which are our top five favorite sexy manga characters. We also discuss volume seven of Fairy Tail. For now the MP3 is not available due to technical difficulties. I'm working to resolve it.

Manga Reviews: Fairy Tail Volume 7

The Story
After the attack on Phantom Lord ends in disaster, Makarov is left near death, his magic power drained. Natsu discovers that Lucy has been kidnapped, and rushes off to save her. He arrives just in time to save her from her own escape attempt. After the insult Lucy serves Master Jose, Phantom Lord's guild building attacks, turning into a giant transformer capable of using a powerful magical cannon and the Abyss Break spell.

Natsu, Elfman, and Gray infiltrate the guild to take it down from the inside. There they confront and take down two of the Element Four, while Gray's battle against Juvia begins.

The Review
This arc marks a high point in this series for me. It was the first really big arc that had consequences that stretched beyond any individual job. Up to this point the aftermath of any given arc was contained to that arc alone. But in this case, with the near complete destruction of the guild the fallout cannot be contained to this arc alone. For many long running shonen action and adventure series that focus on an arc by arc structure the tendency to keep elements of each arc contained to said arc is fairly common. I'd say this is the moment where Fairy Tail's willingness to work outside the initial constraints work to make it one of the more worth while long running series.