Monday, December 5, 2011

On Hiatus For Finals

As anyone that regularly reads this blog, or just glances at the most recent posts, knows I haven't been the best at keeping up to date with current episodes and whatnot. The main reason for this is that I've been spending more time focusing on school. I did still try to do what I could when I had some free time, but finding myself this close to finals and with a ton more reviews piling up I've decided to make it official. I'm going to be going on hiatus until finals are over. Because of the classes I'm taking there won't be any reviewing, just a lot of paper writing and final projects finishing. This takes a lot of time and needs all my focus. So unfortunately even the series I was up to date on get to be delayed for a little bit, but don't worry, as soon as the semester is over I'll be right back to work.

The good news is that my last final project is due on December 14th. So I only have nine more days before I'll be done with all this. I can't promise that something will go up immediately, but I think I'll be able to get some work done, at least watch a few episodes right after I finish said final. So who knows, it'll only be about two weeks before I have something for you.

Hope you can all hold on until then, and see you soon.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Anime Reviews: Fairy Tail Episode 99 - Natsu vs Gildarts

Fairy Tail has a good habit of breaking up the action properly. While the majority of the episode focuses on Natsu, enough material with the other characters is covered to keep the episode from feeling monotonous.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Anime Reviews: One Piece Episode 523 - A Surprising Fact! The Man Who Guarded The Sunny!

It's one of the more satisfying One Piece episodes in a while, with some really good art. Though the animation does suffer in places. And important questions are answered.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Anime Reviews: One Piece Episode 522 - Everyone Together! Luffy, Setting Out For The New World!

The review may be short, but the episode was good. There's some painful moments for Sanji fans, and some decent comedy for everyone else.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Anime Reviews: One Piece Episode 521 - The Battle Is On! Show Them What You Got From Training!

Sometimes an episode can be hard to summarize. Not because it isn't good, but because for some reason I can't seem to write extensively about it. Is that a bad thing? Well, I know that I feel more accomplished when I write longer reviews, but maybe you like shorter reviews?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Anime Reviews: Beelzebub Episodes 16 - 43

A while back I decided to stop reviewing Beelzebub. I did this because at the time I had too much on my plate and needed to cut back on my work load a little. The excessive use of filler killed the enjoyment of the series for me as well, and while negative reviews are both fun to write and read, I needed to drop a series from my review pile. This one just happened to be the first on the chopping block.

Since then I have picked up a few more series, and learned more about how to write reviews. I've also changed my approach on how to review series I am behind on. It just didn't sit well with me to leave this series unreviewed when I'm picking up so many other series. And at the time I dropped it I had resigned myself to expecting this series to be cut short. Obviously that has not happened, so it is with great joy that I catch up with all the missed episodes, starting off a new weekly review series.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Anime Reviews: Persona 4 The Animation Episode 7 - Suspicious Tropical Paradise

What I thought was going to be an incredibly awkward episode turned out to be one of the funniest of the series. And yet, still awkward.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Anime Reviews: Persona 4 The Animation Episode 6 - I'll Beat You, and Beat You Good

Is there such a thing as 'too goofy'? If there is, I hope I never find it. Some people might be turned off from this episode, particularly in the latter half. But others might just find something that makes this one of their new favorite shows of the season.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Anime Reviews: Persona 4 The Animation Episode 5 - Would You Love Me?

In a strange move the anime decides to pull a plot thread from later on in the game to the foreground. Is it a good decision? Who knows, but it makes for an entertaining episode.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Anime Reviews: Persona 4 The Animation Episode 4 - Somewhere Not Here

Sometimes action isn't necessarily a good thing. While it may be more interesting to watch, it does tend to create episodes that are difficult to recap. This episode we get a lot of action as well as several shifts from present to flashbacks. In other words, my kind of recapping nightmare.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Anime Reviews: Persona 4 The Animation Episode 3 - We Are Friends, Aren't We?

Persona 4 The Animation continues its quest to prove it deserves to exist. Does it take full advantage of the medium, or is it just another attempt to cash in on a popular series? You be the judge! But in the meanwhile, let me tell you what you should think.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Anime Reviews: Persona 4 The Animation Episode 2 - The Contractor's Key

The stakes are raised, as a second murder hits close to home. Yosuke tries to figure out the connection between the murders and the TV world. Unaware that he will end up having to face his true self.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Anime Reviews: Fairy Tail Dub First Impressions Episodes 1-4

Four episodes of the Fairy Tail dub have been released on Funimation's simulcast. I was originally going to review each episode as it came out, but that would be too much work. Sure I could use this as a chance to review all the episodes I never reviewed, but really, who cares? Instead I'll give you a first look at the long awaited Dub, and we can see if it stands up to the original. I'll save my commentary on following episodes for when I get my hands on the DVDs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Manga Reviews: House of Five Leaves Volume 1

One of the advantages of the Manga Movable Feast that I've discovered is that it helps me expand my taste in manga. Without it I never would have given any of Natsume Ono's work a chance. And I'm glad I did try it out, because I've once again realized how narrow my tastes really are.

While I enjoy comics in general, and manga in specific, I've never been the first person to argue that they are literature. Not because I don't think they are deserving of the label, but because it's a discussion I've never felt I needed to become a part of. My personal opinion on the matter is that there's no need for arbitrarily labeling things according to their perceived worth. Everyone should just enjoy what they enjoy. House of Five Leaves is challenging that opinion in a way I cannot ignore. And so I will take my first step into this debate.

Anime Reviews: Blue Exorcist Episode 25 - Time, Stop

A battle of two brothers who fight against their father in order to protect the world they love. It's the Okumura brothers versus Satan. Who will win? All I can say is, work that swag, Mephistopheles.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Anime Reviews: Blue Exorcist Episode 24 - Satan's Spawn

Satan proves to be a rather difficult foe. He's not infamous for nothing. But the Esquires will stop at nothing to take him down.

Our heroes.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Anime Reviews: Blue Exorcist Episode 23 - Truth

Out of all the episodes of Blue Exorcist I have seen, none have puzzled me more than this one. Because this episode goes so far as to do something that just makes no sense. When I say it makes no sense, I mean it makes absolutely no sense.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Anime Reviews: Persona 4 The Animation Episode 1 - You're Myself, I'm Yourself

I've never actually played Persona 4, but I have watched a friend play it, and watched the Giant Bomb Endurance Run videos. So I'm familiar with the story and characters. I consider it one of my favorite video games, that I've never played.


Magazine Reviews: Shonen Jump October/November 2011 - Issue 9

I'm always on the lookout for new things to review, new blog posts to write. I'd been toying with the idea of reviewing the American Shonen Jump every month, but hadn't ever gotten around to it. But since this issue is a pretty important one, I figured that now was as good a time as any to try this new type of review out.

And yes, this is a little late, I was debating whether I should even write this at all, considering the magazine will be going away soon. But in the end I'd already done some work on this, and figured I might as well. It may not be as relevant anymore, but if nothing else, it'll be good for progeny or something.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Anime Reviews: Blue Exorcist Episode 22 - Demon Hunting

When Rin is woken up by Kuro, he realizes that Yukio never came back to their room. He is about to text him, only to realize that he is about to be late for class.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Anime Reviews: One Piece Episode 520 - Big Guns Assembled! The Danger of the Fake Strawhats!

Things start to pick up, as most of the crew find their way together, and the episode ends with a proper sense of progression.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Manga Reviews: Monster Hunter Orage Volume 1

If there is one thing I can't stand, it's manga or graphic novels adapted from another source. My general experience with them has been that they either lack substance, or just copy and paste text from the original source over some pictures.

Because Monster Hunter Orage is an adaptation of a video game, rather than an existing story, the danger it ran was lacking substance, rather than a lazy story adaptation. Instead of retelling an existing story, Hiro Mashima had the creative freedom to do whatever he wanted with the story and characters. And unlike many other adaptive storytellers, Mashima knows how to make a story fun.

On the surface Monster Hunter Orage is a basic shonen story. Shiki is the typical shonen hero, with the weirdness ramped up to twenty, on a quest to defeat the strongest legendary monster, that most don't believe exist. The story isn't delving into deep new territories, but considering this is a video game adaptation, I think a simple, serviceable story works to the manga's advantage.

Manga Reviews: Hellsing Volume 1

Hellsing is one of the earliest anime and manga I ever experienced. I don't normally count it as the first manga I ever read, since I never did buy the volumes. I read it back when manga scanlations were still new, and I didn't realize they were illegal.

I'm not the biggest fan of vampires, especially now that it's a craze. But I've loved Dracula for a long time, and Hellsing is a fairly good companion piece for that classic. When I think vampires, I expect a lot of bloodshed and awesome carnage. I'm a little squicky on the drinking part, but when it's in black and white I can handle it well enough.

Volume one starts with an entire police squad being massacred by a single vampire. The lone survivor, Ceras Victoria, tries to flee from her zombified former comrades, but is ultimately captured by the vampire priest. Before said priest can suck her blood, he is interrupted by Alucard, a vampire who hunts vampires for the Hellsing Organization.

Anime Reviews: One Piece Episode 519 - The Navy Has Set Out! The Strawhats in Danger!

The reunions continue, as more of the Straw Hats find their way together. Even Chopper finally stops being an idiot and gets a clue. Can you tell he annoyed me in this episode? Don't get me wrong, I love all the characters, but this joke is getting murdered here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Anime Reviews: One Piece Episode 518 - An Explosive Situation! Luffy vs. Fake Luffy!

At the time I watched it, this episode did not frustrate me. But thinking back on it I realized that the pacing in some of these episodes really does get pretty bad. Which is a shame, because it overshadows some otherwise pretty awesome moments.

Welcome to the Matrix.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Anime Reviews: One Piece Episode 517 - A New Chapter Begins - The Straw Hat Crew Reunites!

One Piece is easily my favorite manga and anime series ever. Up until now I haven't written any weekly reviews for the series since I was already writing too many, and felt I would rather watch the series for pure enjoyment. But with the time skip giving me a good place to start, I decided I should start showing my love a little more.

Movie Reviews: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I came to this one a little late, since I usually try to wait for movies to come out in the dollar theater. So my opinion on this one isn't the timeliest, but I'll try to make it valid.

This movie suffered from schizophrenia. For the first two acts it was a character driven drama about one man's drive to not lose those close to him, and one ape's struggle to find where he belongs.

I can't believe I just wrote that sentence.

For the third act RotPotA devolves into Hollywood stereotype. Often movies like to play it safe for the third act by making it all action, all the time. Sometimes this works, but as anything else, it becomes tiresome when overdone. Most of the time it comes across as lazy.

News: FUNimation Entertainment Acquires ONE PIECE – SEASON FOUR

Flower Mound, Texas (October 28, 2011) – FUNimation® Entertainment today announced it has acquired the U.S. home video rights to Season Four of the action adventure anime series—ONE PIECE
Season Four opens with episode 206 in classic 4:3 format, episodes 207-263 will be featured in HD 16:9 and contains the Water 7 Saga. 
This extremely popular series is based on the manga by Oda Eiichiro and follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his band of Straw Hat Pirates. The series is currently into its 520thepisode. Fans can watch the simulcast episodes Saturdays at 10:00 pm EST on
FUNimation Entertainment will release the DVD in summer 2012.
Original News Post found at 

After so long with no news on the status of One Piece in the states, this is great to hear. So much time has passed since the last set of season there was released, with no news about season four that a lot of people were worried One Piece was going the way of Case Closed.

For those not familiar with the episode numbers, this season will cover all the way up to the beginning of Enies Lobby. Which either means that it is almost definite that there will be a season five, or the FUNimation Dub will end at a very unfortunate place.

I'm not entirely up to date on all the DVDs, but this gives me time to pick up all the released sets before the summer of next year.

Monday, October 17, 2011

News: Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha

Last Friday Viz announced the cancellation of their Monthly Shonen Jump magazine. In its place they are planning a weekly digital magazine, Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha. While I was disappointed at the cancellation of the physical magazine, I think what Viz has in store more than makes up for it.

Manga Reviews: Love Hina Omnibus 1

Love Hina is the story of Keitaro Urashima, a two times Ronin with aspirations for Todai. When he finds himself without a place to stay, he turns to his Grandmother's traditional Japanese style inn. However, as he soon discovers, the inn has been converted to an all-female dormitory. After a failed attempt at cohabiting with the eccentric residents of the Hinata Inn, Keitaro tries to leave. Only to receive a letter from his Grandmother, naming him the new manager of the Hinata Inn.

Love Hina is part an examination of the stress the importance of making it into a good university places on modern Japanese youth. But mostly it's complete and utter chaos.

There are two things I like in manga, comedy and a straightforward romance. Love Hina provides a mixture that is just about right. While the comedy can be forced at times, and the same old joke gets recycled far too often, the romance makes it a series worth considering for fans of the genre. There is no doubt as to who the romantic couple is, and while that may not be for some, for others it provides a love story that doesn't ask the reader to suspend their disbelief that the two could ever not be together.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

News: Fairy Tail Movie Announced

I've seen the news spread around a few sites I frequent. Not much is known, other than that it will be coming out on August 18, 2012. The information was announced last Wednesday, through Kodansha's Comic's Plus newsletter.

While we know next to nothing, such as what the plot will be—none of that really matters. It doesn't even matter if the movie is any good, though I would much prefer it if it is good, because pretty much all anime movies suck, or at least the early ones do. What's important is that Fairy Tail is getting a movie. I predicted a while back that we should be getting a movie soon, the series has been running for a while, and has already passed the hundred episode mark.

Getting a movie is a landmark for the series, it's becoming one of the "legitimate" long running series, like One Piece, Bleach, and Naruto.

Whether the movie is good or not, I do know that Fairy Tail has often proven capable of handling filler in an entertaining way. And since a movie is nothing but a good two hours of filler, I think we'll at least be able to enjoy it.

I'll keep you updated as I find more information, and since I know about the movie now, I'll keep my eye open for more news. If anyone has any good Japanese sites to check out, let me know, I want to keep an eye on them.

What do you hope the movie will be like? Do you have any plots that you think would make a good movie? Let me know in the comments section.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Anime Reviews: Blue Exorcist Episode 21 - Secret Garden

Blue Exorcist has gone the filler route, but episode 21 has made me want to stick around. Even though this is the only series I will be reviewing for a while, I am having more trouble catching up than Derek is with his own reviews which consists of this entire blog. I'm still trying to get used to this new lifestyle.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Anime Reviews: Blue Exorcist Episode 20 - Mask

This episode is the first part of a filler arc. Right now though, it looks just like any other kind of filler episode but if any of you have paid attention to what has been going on with Yukio, be prepared for a surprise at the end. I'm still getting used to this so bear with me on the plot summary.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Anime Reviews: Blue Exorcist Episode 19 - An Ordinary Day

Finally, a filler that's nothing but true filler, as opposed to trying to have a larger story. For those who may have been spinning from the last episode, this episode will be a relief to you. For those that think I was harsh in my last review, that is just how I felt about it. This episode's title sums up what it is, just an ordinary day.

An ordinary day of hilarity. -The Editor

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Anime Reviews: Blue Exorcist Episode 18 - Friends

Having regained his confidence, Rin is attacked by a strange black demon spirit. This episode is the first of many in a series of filler.

Editor's Note: Yay...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Anime Reviews: Blue Exorcist Episode 17 - Temptation

The trial of Mephisto Pheles is interrupted by Amaimon coming to attack Rin. While other exorcists try to stop the King of the Earth, the Grigori's only hope may be that which they seek to condemn.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Anime Reviews: Blue Exorcist Episode 16 - The Wager

At the beginning of act two tensions run high after the shocking reveal of Rin's powers. It is a nice change of pace from hiding the protagonist's powers until the near end of the series.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Anime Reviews: Fairy Tail Episode 98 - Who's The Lucky One?

And finally we are caught up to the current episode. Enjoy more timely reviews from this point on. I may not be the most analytical reviewer, a lot of my recommendations are based off how entertained I was by a show. Which is how I am approaching this episode. There are bits that could be complained about, but in the end it was entertaining, and that's all I'm asking for.

You can never have too many of these screenshots.