Monday, May 30, 2011

Anime Reviews: Fairy Tail Episode 81 - Fireball

Lucy, Fairy Tail's current strongest, and the rest of the group manage to escape from the guards.  Lucy explains how Mystogan found her, after Horologium saved her from anima.  Mystogan then gives Lucy something to eat, and sends her through anima.  After a scene where Scary Lucy shows exactly how identical the two are, Scary Lucy leaves to try and convince her guild to help the Earth Land characters fight against the kingdom.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Anime Reviews: Toriko Episode 07 - A Threat Appears! The Turbulent Gourmet Coliseum!

After Toriko manages to intimidate all the monsters attacking the battle wolf, people start betting on him.  Toriko is able to confirm that the reason the wolf isn't fighting back is because somehow, despite being the only clone, is pregnant.  He lets Mansom know that something is wrong, and Mansom tells Rin to shut off the machine.  Rin tells him that the machine is broken, so she has to go herself and dose the beasts in person.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Anime Reviews: Blue Exorcist Episode 05 - Child of the Cursed Temple

While in his dreams Rin is a hero, praised by all his classmates, the reality is far from his imagination.  Rin's slacking off during class starts to get on the nerves of one of his classmates, a straight A student who may not look like it, but is in fact the inheritor of a temple.  Ryuji Suguro thinks Rin isn't taking becoming an exorcist seriously, and when Shiemi doesn't do well on a test either, Ryuji thinks that the two of them are just goofing off.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Book Reviews: Paradise Seekers

I don't normally do this, I haven't really gotten into the indie book scene that much.  But I have been intrigued with the idea of selling directly the the kindle store.  I'm still a supporter of traditional publishing, but it seems like something worth trying.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Anime Reviews: Fairy Tail Episode 80 - The Key of Hope

The first part of this episode is exposition heavy, as Natsu explains where he and his friends are from, and asks how to get to the capital so he can save the rest of his guild.  The Edolas Fairy Tail guild explains that since magic is a limited resource the king claimed all of it and outlawed mage guilds.  Because of this they are hunted.

Anime Reviews: Fairy Tail Episode 79 - Fairy Hunting

Lucy recognizes Natsu, and asks him where he was, sharing a touching hug with him before proceeding to repetitively torture him.  Even though the guild recognizes Natsu, it becomes quickly clear that something is not right.  Not only is everyone acting weird, but there's an adult Wendy, and Lisanna is alive!  Charle quickly figures out that the people they have found are not their friends at all, but are in fact a guild that has been in Edolas all along.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Anime Reviews: Toriko Episode 06 - The Strongest Wolf That Ever Lived! The Battle Wolf Is Reborn!

The top members of the IGO discuss the mysterious creature that appeared in the cavern lagoon.  They say that it is a new model of GT Robot, employed by the Gourmet Corps.  This corps has already attacked several of the other biotopes, and now are most likely after the Regal Mammoth in biotope one.  Fortunately they've already sent Toriko to go after it himself.

Anime Reviews: Toriko Episode 05 - The Knocking Master! Time to Taste the Puffer Whale

The gourmet hunter that kidnapped Komatsu throws him towards the devil python as a distraction.  But instead of going after Komatsu first, the snake attacks and kills the murderous gourmet hunter.  Komatsu searches through his backpack for the self defense firecracker/noise maker and ear plugs Toriko gave him.  He gets knocked around and drops the ear plugs, so he is forced to set off the cracker without protecting his ears.  The resulting bang shatters his ear drums and stops his heart.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Book Reviews: Dead Beat

Since I started writing for as a speculative fiction examiner, I've decided to start posting all my book reviews there.  Because of editorial guidelines the reviews will be 400 words max, and written in third person.  So quite different from how I normally write reviews.  I think this will be good practice for me, learning how to write neater, more succinct reviews.  Would be nice if examiner had a spell checker though.

Also, I've heard that they're a little iffy about how they pay their examiners, but it's not like I make more money of this blog...yet.  And since I'm going to be writing these reviews anyway, I might as well post them there.  Who knows, maybe it will end up being worth it somehow.

With that out of the way, head on over to check out my review of Dead Beat.  And when you're done with that, don't forget to pick up your own copy from my amazon link here.  My bookie would be most appreciative.  So would my kneecaps.

If you liked my review, Buy The Book Here:
Dead Beat (Paperback)
Dead Beat (Kindle Edition)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Anime Reviews: Fairy Tail Episode 78 - Edolas

Charle tells Natsu, Wendy, and Happy about Edolas, where she and Happy came from.  She explains that Edolas, an alternate dimension, is losing magic power and to combat that the king of Edolas created Anima, to suck magic out of the real world.  But someone has been going around closing the anima.  She also says that she and Happy were sent on an alternate mission, which Happy can't remember for some reason.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Manga Reviews: Toriko Volume 3

The best part of any Toriko story, so far, is the eating scenes.  Which is why volume three is a must have for anyone that enjoyed the second volume.  After several amazingly tense pages, they finally manage to remove the poison sack from one of the ten puffer whales.  They have just enough time to enjoy the spoils of their hunt when a strange figure emerges from the lagoon.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Anime Reviews: Blue Exorcist Episode 04 - The Amahara Garden

Rin convinces Yukio to take him along on an assignment.  Before going there, Yukio goes to an exorcism supply store to restock on supplies.  He tells Rin to wait for him, but it doesn't take long for Rin to wander off.  He finds a garden behind an elaborate gate and sees a girl planting flowers inside there.  When the demon ward on the gate goes off, Rin has to explain that he isn't a demon...sort of.  The girl, Shiemi, tells him about the garden of Amahara, where all the world's plants grow.  Her mother and Yukio come to check on her legs, which Yukio suspects might be infected by a demon.  After Shiemi faints she has a dream of when her grandmother died, and she talked to a garden sprite that promised to help her save her grandmother's garden if she never left.  Rin confronts her about her actions, and after realizing that the guilt she carries is the same as the guilt he feels over Father Fujimoto's death, he decides to help free her from it.  By smashing her plants.  After Rin promises to cut the demon out, Yukio comes and tells them that the demon is small-fry, and he can exorcise it in a moment.  The demon turns out to be more powerful than thought, and it takes Shiemi hostage.  Rin and Yukio work together, and are easily able to dispatch the demon.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Top Five Favorite Manga

If there's one thing that I've learned in my time on the internet, it's that it doesn't matter if I think something is the most amazing thing since the last most amazing thing, other people aren't going to get into it just because I like it.  Which is why it's so important to be able to explain exactly why something is worth someone's time.  Basically it's my entire purpose as a reviewer, bringing new series to people that haven't experienced them yet.  And like everyone else on the internet I have a certain number of manga that I consider my absolute favorites.  Unlike a good chunk the internet however I've been practicing explaining why the things I like are awesome.  So here is my tribute to my top five favorite manga, and why they should be in your top five too.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Manga Reviews: Toriko Volume 2

Unlike volume one, volume two of Toriko is one ongoing story throughout the whole volume.  The ending extends over into volume three by two chapters, but the meat of the story is entirely in volume two.  Except for the actual meat, the kind they eat, that's in volume three...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Anime Reviews: Fairy Tail Episode 77 - Earthland

With this episode we are now officially starting a new arc, and it's something quite a bit different from the usual Fairy Tail fare.  Will it be as good as the past arcs?  Well, anyone that keeps up with the manga can give a basic answer to that question, but there's no guarantee the anime won't either be better or worse than the manga.  That's why I'm here, to give weekly updates on the Fairy Tail anime, so that fans can read episode for episode how good any given arc is.  Or you could just watch the show.  But read my reviews anyway please.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Book Reviews: Monster Hunter Vendetta

Last week I took a look at Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia.  This week I'll be looking at the sequel, Monster Hunter Vendetta.  Compared to its predecessor, this novel shows marked improvement in all aspects.  Characters are further developed, the action is bigger and better, the plot is more inventive than the first book, and I even got teary eyed towards the end.  The last one is not something I thought would happen, even after I loved the first book so much.  But I'm starting to think Larry just loves to take preconceptions and twist them around.  In fact he's said as much during conventions I've seen him talk at.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Anime Reviews: Blue Exorcist Episode 03 - Brothers

Since I like being as relevant as possible, I decided to bite the bit and get this review done earlier, that way I can have a review out for episode four just a few days after it airs.  Earlier today I gave a good review for the second episode.  Let's see if the anime can keep it up and successfully adapt the part of the manga that showed considerable improvement over the first chapter.

Anime Reviews: Blue Exorcist Episode 02 - Gehenna Gate

In my review of Blue Exorcist Volume 1 I said that the first few episodes of the anime are better versions of the story.  Now that I've actually seen the second episode I can verify or renounce that statement.  So the question now remains, was I right, or did I speak too soon?  Well let's take a look and see.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Movie Reviews: Thor

I'd actually given up writing reviews for movies, since I really don't go to see that many in the theater.  But I made that decision back during the fall of last year, when nothing came out, so I figure I could try my hand at doing some more reviews now that the Summer blockbuster season is starting, which is when I go to see movies the most.  It also doesn't help that I have my reviews scheduled several weeks in advance, and I don't like posting more than one review per day.  And since I can't really plan exactly when I'll be going to the movies (more like I don't plan, I suppose I totally could plan when to go) I don't like writing these because they break my schedule.  But since I already have a double Toriko anime review planned for next week, I might as well reschedule my Blue Exorcist review to make it a double review on Monday, when I would normally review Beelzebub.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Manga Reviews: Toriko Volume 1

 The gluttonous hero is a fairly common trope in shonen manga.  From the classic example of Goku, to the more modern Luffy, it's always played for laughs how much the hero can eat.  But never before has it been taken to such lengths.  Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro, along with having one of the longest names of any manga artist, has taken the old trope and based an entire manga around it.  The hero eating a metric ton of food is no longer a gag, but instead is the entire point of the manga.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Anime Reviews: Toriko Episode 02 - The Well Mellowed 7-Colored Fruit Juice! Pick The Rainbow Fruit!

Usually it takes me a few listens to get used to a new anime opening theme.  That was the case with Guts Guts!! by Akira Kushida.  Except this time I was not only used to it by the second listen, I was in love with it.  I don't know why, but it's just so catchy and fun to listen to.  And if awesome opening themes are any indication of how well a series will do, then we won't be seeing the last of Toriko for a long time.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Anime Reviews: Fairy Tail Episode 76 - Gildarts

Gildarts, the guild's strongest member, has returned from a hundred year quest, named so because no one has completed it in the past hundred years.  After reporting back to Makarov that he failed the quest he tells Natsu to come visit him, he brought something back for him.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Book Reviews: Monster Hunter International

Every once in a while you come across a book that sounds so gloriously stupid that it absolutely must be read, if for no other reason than that it will be a goofy way to spend some free time.  But you never think that it will amount to anything more than some light fun, possibly something you can poke fun at.  But there's no way it could be anything of quality.  That's what it was like for me going into this book.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Anime Reviews: Beelzebub Episode 15 - The Delinquents Have Changed Into Swimsuits

Is there anything worse than a bad joke?  How about a predictable, bad joke?  I won't give it away, but here's a hint, it involves the tired old, "Someone's taking a bath, is it a sexy lady?  The music says it's a sexy lady!  Oh wait, it' isn't a sexy lady.  It's a dude.  Oh look!  Is that a sexy lady?  No, no it is not.  It's a mustachioed muscleman...WHY DO THE ANIMATORS THINK I WANT TO SEE HIM NAKED!?"

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Book Reviews: Sourcery

If Terry Pratchett has a weakness, at least in his early books, it's that it takes some effort to get into the story.  I'm a huge Pratchett fan, but I've found that certain of his books are just plain difficult to get into the flow of.  Sourcery was one of those books.  I guess this can be attributed to several things, for one that it's one of his earliest books, and hence his skill had not yet reached its peak.  He hadn't yet developed all the characters I've come to love, such as the Ridcully and the faculty, so I had to deal with the usual throwaway wizards that populated his early books focused on the wizards.  He had not yet developed his ability to tie comedy and story as flawlessly as he managed to in later books.