Wednesday, May 30, 2012

International Sandwich Day

Would you believe there isn't a day celebrating the most versatile, and delicious, of foods? Trust me, I looked. Sure I didn't look beyond a quick google and wikipedia search, but if it doesn't pop up immediately it clearly isn't as popular as it needs to be!

So I've taken it upon myself to create one. This June 1st will be the first ever anual International Sandwich Day.

Yes, that's a little bit soon, I'm really impatient and couldn't wait to celebrate sandwiches. I was going to celebrate it on my own last Tuesday, but decided I should give the rest of everyone some time to get on the bandwagon.

I've got a Facebook event open to promote the holiday, so go on over there and join in on the fun.

How do you celebrate it? Easy, make the most awesome sandwich ever, for every meal. Nothing but sandwiches all day! The bigger and more ludicrous the better. Will you put an entire farm's worth of meat between two pieces of bread, or will you dump the produce section there instead? Anything goes. Join us on our facebook group and post your sandwiches this Friday, June 1st.

And don't worry, we'll keep celebrating until it becomes an official holiday. Even if it doesn't, let's keep celebrating anyay! So join us and have a great International Sandwich Day, June 1st.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Anime Reviews: Medaka Box Episode 08 - I will crush Kurokami Medaka!!

Plot Summary
This episode starts off with the guys in the Student Council getting reprimanded for violating the school dress code. Onigase Harigane also known as the Handcuff Knuckle, a member of the Disciplinary Committee (DisCom) manages to get Zenkichi, Akune, and Kikaijima to get changed into proper school uniforms.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cartoon Reviews: The Legend of Korra Episode 07 - The Aftermath

Plot Summary
Act 1
Korra invites Mako and Bolin to stay with her at Air Temple Island, but the two have already been invited to live at Asami's mansion. Asami invites Korra over to visit the next day, and while Korra initially refuses, she is quickly convinced by "Pabu".
It's Nightmares and Daydreams all over again!

Cartoon Reviews: The Legend of Korra Episode 06 - And the Winner Is...


Plot Summary
During training for the final pro bending match, Korra and her teammates hear a broadcast by Amon on the radio. He gives the council an ultimatum, close down the probending arena, or there will be dire, unspecified consequences.

"You WILL fear my ambiguity!"

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Graphic Novel Reviews: World's Finest Issue 001

PhotobucketSo apparently I need to read Mr Terrific because Karen Starr was a character there all along, and she is actually Power Girl. I'll save comments about the events of that book for whenever I review that series, but let me make one comment about what I do know.

Stop pairing off my comic book crushes, writers! It happened with Storm, and now apparently Power Girl gets involved romantically! Stop crushing my fragile nerd heart!

That being said, I do have a point to make with this. I've noticed that there are certain characters that are better off not paired off romantically. And they seem to occur in serialized media more often than not. I think part of the phenomenon is that readers form connections with the characters. And when one of the characters are single and of the prefered gender, something of a crush can develop. So when the character is paired off later, it damages the reader's enjoyment of the series. I'm not saying the writers are doing anything wrong, or even that the readers are doing anything wrong (general society may disagree with me, but screw you my pretend girlfriends can throw lightning or are bullet proof!), it's just something I find interesting enough that more people should be aware of. If a certain character hasn't had a romantic interest over the course of years of publication, it might be a good idea to consider the impact giving them one will have on the readers. It would be easy to say the readers should grow up, or stop being infatuated with fictional characters, but that's not a writer's job. A writer's job is to consider their audience, and how what they write affects said audience.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Anime Reviews: Medaka Box Episode 07 - Does Everyone Do This? // My own tune!!

Plot Summary
Kikaijima is trying to make a friend in the Student Council after becoming Treasurer. She and Zenkichi are left behind to watch over things while Medaka and Akune go off to handle some requests together. Both Zenkichi and Kikaijima are unable to start and continue a conversation. This leads to some hilarious moments. Kikaijima makes Zenkichi pay for the few acts that have happened between them.

How to not compliment a girl.

Cartoon Reviews: The Legend of Korra Episode 05 - The Spirit of Competition


Plot Summary
As the opening narration says, apparently Korra and Mako are crazy for each other. Except Mako has a girlfriend now! How will this completely foreshadowed, and absolutely crucial development resolve?


Anime Reviews: Medaka Box Episode 06 - I don't expect you to understand.

Plot Summary
The swim team have proven themselves to be reckless beyond all doubt. Zenkichi and Akune compete in the second event consisting of a two-person three-legged race underwater. Yakushima and Tanegashima from the swim team took first place by storm with their reckless actions.

Free as flying fishes.

Anime Reviews: Medaka Box Episode 05 - Win Your Earnings!

Plot Summary
With too many clubs requesting budget increases, the Sandbox Academy Student Council finds itself in a bind with which clubs they should give money to. In order to better handle their money, the Student Council realize that they need a treasurer. As Akune suggests using a social event to better distribute the money to a single club, Zenkichi brings up a request asking for the new school pool that was built to be used. Medaka decides to use the school pool to host a aqua club meet so that one of the participating clubs have a chance to earn prize money for their club.

You sure didn't mind going to a lot of them a while ago.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Anime Reviews: Medaka Box Episode 04 - Make your choice!! / If you're going to make a wish...

Plot Summary
Zenkichi and Akune begin their duel to decide each of their fates. Medaka, Nabeshima, and the rest of the judo club members watch as Akune flawlessly defeats Zenkichi each time.  Eventually Medaka is fed up with Zenkichi losing and pleads with him to win. That moment of support is all Zenkichi needed to get a point on Akune who decided to concede defeat. The judo club team’s new captain ends up being Jounan. Zenkichi comes to the student council the next day to find Akune has become the Secretary.

So much sparkling.

Anime Reviews: Medaka Box Episode 03 - None of your business!! / As you wish, Medaka-san!!

Plot Summary
Zenkichi has been nicknamed the "Club Crasher". He has been going to clubs to build up his reputation.

Kanoya was once a candidate for the student council president position but lost without fail against Medaka. Kanoya won't submit a request in the submission box. Zenkichi meets Kanoya on the school rooftop and is told to come to a meeting to discuss how to beat Medaka.

Anime Reviews: Medaka Box Episode 02 - Are you the culprit? / But of course, it's me!

Plot Summary
The first half of this episode starts with the Student Council meeting with a girl whose spikes have been sabotaged. Soon, Medaka catches the culprit who denies that she had sabotaged the requester's spikes despite the belief that she really had. Medaka believes that the culprit had nothing to do with the spikes being sabotaged and Zenkichi tells the truth about why Medaka did not believe the culprit's lies. The next day, the girl returns to thank Medaka and Zenkichi, showing them her brand new spikes and a letter of apology.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Graphic Novel Reviews: Earth 2 Issue 001

PhotobucketThis month has seen the release of the second wave of New 52 titles. Among said titles are two books that finally answer my most pressing question, "Where the balls is Power Girl!?!?!" And while this book does not feature Kara in her Power Girl persona, it does introduce the character. But more on that in my review of World's Finest Issue 001.

The plot of this issue centers around an ongoing war against Darkseid's forces that has devastated the world. It is almost suggested that this is the aftermath of an invasion similar to the one in the first six issues of The Justice League. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman have a plan to take down the towers controlling the Para Demons, but it ends up costing all three of them their lives. Batman is able to take down the towers, and in the aftermath Helena (Robin) and Kara (Supergirl) end up going down a boom tube that takes them to places unknown (unless, of course, you read World's Finest). The rest of the issue focuses on the beginning of Jay Garrick's origin story.

Graphic Novel Reviews: Avatar the Last Airbender - The Promise Part 1

Right after the defeat of Ozai, Zuko, Aang, and King Kuei of the Earth Kingdom, start making plans for removing the Fire Nation colonies from the Earth Kingdom. Zuko makes Aang promise that if Zuko were ever to lose his way, Aang would end him for the good of the world. A year later Zuko is having trouble sleeping, as he worries about assassins. His fears are well founded, as he is attacked by a girl, who turns out to the be daughter of the mayor Yu Dao, the oldest of the Fire Nation colonies. Zuko takes the girl back to her home, where he confronts Mayor Morishita. Morishita compares Zuko unfavorably to his father, causing Zuko to flashback to an extended version of the scene where he confronts his father.

Aang later gets news, while taking Fire Nation colonials back to the Fire Nation, that Zuko has removed his support of the Harmony Restoration Movement. When Aang confronts Zuko, Zuko explains how he learned about the Fire Nation colonials and the Earth Kingdom natives in Yu Dao had become so entwined that removing the Fire Nation colonials would destroy families and the city itself. Katara wonders if perhaps Yu Dao could be an exception. Aang and Zuko agree to meet with King Kuei to discuss the matter.

Later, when Zuko returns home, Mai confronts him about not letting her know when he left for Yu Dao. She tells him that she contacted the Kiyoshi warriors to provide him with proper body guards. Later that night Zuko still wakes up in a cold sweat, afraid of assassins. Despite the assurances of Suki and Ty Lee, Zuko can't shake the feeling that someone is coming after him. He goes for a walk, to meet with his father, who he asks for advice.

Anime Reviews: Medaka Box Episode 01 - Why Not?

I will come right out and say it: I have long been wanting to review this series before it had an anime adaptation. Medaka Box is a series like none I have read. When I found out that the anime of it was coming out, I promised myself I would make this the series I start reviewing as my official debut.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cartoon Reviews: The Legend of Korra Episode 04 - The Voice in the Night


Plot Summary
While Korra has nightmares about being attacked by chi blockers, Tarrloh of the Republic City Council proposes a task force to take out Amon. Tarrlok later visits Tenzin's home, to try and recruit Korra into his task force. To the surprise of all she refuses, and while she does not explain herself, it is very clear that she is afraid of Amon.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Manga Reviews: Fairy Tail Volume 2

Lucy, Natsu, and Happy infiltrate the mansion of the Duke of Everlue. While there they face off against two mercenaries, and the Duke himself. They are able to complete their mission and retrieve the book Daybreak. Once back at the guild Natsu and Gray, an ice mage and Natsu's polar opposite, are recruited by Erza, the guild's strongest woman, to accompany her on a mission. Lucy is asked by Mirajane to tag along. They discover that a dark guild, Eisenwald, have gotten their hands on a magic flute, Lullaby, that will cause any that hear its music to die. Erza and the rest chase Eisenwald down to a train station, where they believe the guild's leader, Erigor, plans to use the station's PA system to broadcast Lullaby's song. But Erigor seems to have a different endgame.

Now we're in the phase of the manga where we start to get slightly longer stories. Generally shonen manga starts off with a few shorter arcs, and then moves on to the longer stories. While the Daybreak and Lullaby arcs are longer than the rescue mission in the first volume, they're still very much the short, self contained arcs. This is an important phase because it helps the manga find its feet, and gives the reader a few short examples of what the rest of the manga will be like, before adopting a similar formula, but stretching it out over several volumes.

Graphic Novel Reviews: Batman and Robin 008

Not that much happens this issue as far as action is concerned. Bruce gets Damian home, after it is confirmed that Damian killed Nobody. The two of them have a heart to heart about Bruce's principles vs how Damian was raised. It's a necessary moment, that provides necessary closure for the past few issues. Seeing the three of them, Alfred included, going out to do "something mundane" is a good closing scene for this arc. At the end of which we move on to the Court of Owls storyline.

First issue I feel needs bringing up is, when exactly is this supposed to be taking place? I know I keep bringing it up, but now more than ever it's really bugging me. The ending suggests that the Court of Owls takes place right after the end of the Nobody storyline in Batman and Robin. But that would make absolutely no sense, since Bruce can't both be missing and saving Damian from Nobody. Unless...Hush?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha Recap April 30 and May 7, 2012

Derek: So, we never did get around to doing last week's commentary, did we?

Monorum: No, we haven't.

Derek: Yeah… wonder why that happened.

Monorum: I have no idea but as that saying goes, "Better late than super late."

Derek: Mh, yeah, it couldn't possibly have anything to do with both of us being horribly lazy slackers, would it?

Monorum: Err, let's cut to the chase. So, how about you summarize what's happened in One Piece?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cartoon Reviews: The Legend of Korra Episode 03 - The Revelation


Plot Summary
During training Korra, Mako, and Bolin discover that there's a 30,000 Yuon buy in for the championship pot. None of them have the money to pay the entry fee, and so it looks like they will be unable to compete. While Mako works at his factory job, Bolin uses his trained fire ferret to try and earn some extra cash. He is approached Shady Shin, a member of the Triads, who offers him a job working as an enforcer for an upcoming job.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Graphic Novel Reviews: Justice League 008

Apparently Green Arrow has taken Aquaman's place, because the post New 52 Justice League wants nothing to do with him. Instead of the tired old, "Aquaman can't do anything away from the water" we now get to hear, "Green Arrow is just a guy that shoots arrows, he doesn't even wear a bat costume!"

The plot, as far as it goes, is basically several vignettes of Green Arrow trying to get the Justic League to let him in, and just like the nerdy kid nobody ever wanted on their team, the Justice League come across as a pack of pricks when they ditch Green Arrow every single time. This must really be pissing Green Arrow fans off.

There's something to do with the Martian Manhunter, but I'm not clear when it was supposed to take place. Not much to say this issue really. There is a little bit of a crossover with the Court of Owls storyline, but that only lasts for a page or two before the story moves on. So I guess the rest of the story takes place after the Court of Owls?

There were some funny moments, I'm particularly liking Green Lantern and Batman's interactions. But other than that there's not much I can say. I feel inadequate to really comment on this issue, because I really can't say anything about the plot. As the months pass, chances are I might drop, or pick up, some series depending on whether I feel like I actually have anything to say. Sometimes I can't really say more than, "meh, it was a thing."

So yeah, this was a thing. A fun thing, just not a particularly eventful thing. Yay things.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Graphic Novel Reviews: Nightwing 008

This issue is interspersed with the story of a young boy that made it big as a circus performer, and Nightwing investigating one of his weapons in a police evidence locker. He gets the call from Alfred, and goes to city hall to fight off an attack by the Talons. The story switches between the two narratives, leading up to the final pages of the issue, where the two combine quite elegantly.

This is the first of the non-Batman books to dive into the Court of Owls storyline. And it's a fair treat. It's always nice when a writer whose recent work has been satisfactory at best manages to really capture your attention. And the way the two stories are tied together shows that Kyle Higgins knows what he's doing. Since previously I'd been ambivalent towards the Nightwing series, I'm pleased to see how this crossover is breathing new life into the series.

Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha Recap April 23, 2012

Derek: Hey there folks, in our ongoing effort to provide content for this blog, we're starting a brand new weekly segment, Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha Recap or WSJAR for short. In it we'll summarize the events of the most recent chapters published in WSJA, and provide a little commentary on said chapters. I'm Derek...

Monorum: And I'm Monorum.

Derek: And we're two lazy hacks that need to force ourselves to actually update this website.

Monorum: I'm not a lazy hack, I just have a lot on my plate besides writing itself.

Derek: Sure… So anyway, why don't you tell the good people how this column came to be?

Monorum: Well Derek and I happen to frequent a forum on A One Piece forum, mind you. Ever since I bought my subscription for Weekly Shounen Jump Alpha to show my support for making digital manga more fruitful, I had to cut down on reading manga online. Which also meant that I had to avoid any spoiler threads on forums. At first I was reluctant to stop, but I wanted to provide my input on the recent chapters of series I enjoy reading so as to enjoy them more, even if I am just expressing my own heartfelt opinions on them. Derek here, happened to catch on to that and decided that since we both are subscribed to WSJA, why not do the WSJAR together and that is why this article is here.

Derek: Mostly I figured that if he was going to be sharing his opinion on the chapters, he might as well do it on the site. And since I wanted to do the same, I decided that we could try out a conversation kind of piece. Now, here's how it's going to work, one of us will summarize what happens in the chapter, and then we'll both give our opinions. Starting, this week, with Bleach

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Graphic Novel Reviews: Catwoman 008

Catwoman and Spark break into the home of a collector of antique weapons. They realize that the set of daggers they were going after is missing the fifth dagger. They determine that the Penguin has the fifth dagger, and they'll need to steal it from him. While staking out the Penguin, they come across a prostitute being abducted. They save the woman, and later learn from her and two of her friends that prostitutes have been going missing all over the city. Catwoman and Spark continue forward with their plan to steal the dagger.

If there's one thing you can count on Catwoman for, it's that there will be more shameless fanservice than an Oh!Great manga. Though Catwoman has the considerable advantage that the book doesn't make me want to punch the country of Japan. So I think I can live with the plot required swimsuit and cleavage shots, safe in the knowledge that it could be so, so much worse.

Graphic Novel Reviews: Batman 008

In this issue the Talons attack Wayne Manor, and make their way into the batcave, where Batman confronts them with a suit of powered armor. In the meanwhile Alfred manages to find all the Talons' targets on the disk drive they took from the dead Talon. He discovers that all the important members of high society are being targeted. Alfred sends out a distress signal to all members of the Bat Family, alerting them to the threat, and sending them to the nearest targets.