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.