Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Episode 037 - February 25, 2013 - What is Seinen Manga? | Hyrule Historia

Welcome to Manga^3, your one stop for manga news and commentary, for the week of February 25, 2013. This week we talk about what exactly seinen manga is, and who it's meant for. We also discuss Hyrule Historia, but it's okay because there is a manga in the back of the book so it is completely relevant to our podcast. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Graphic Novel Reviews: Batgirl 014-017

The Story
Barbara tries her very best to end the Joker, after he kidnaps her mother and mutilates her hand. Joker proposes to Batgirl, but reveals that he intends to saw off her arms and legs and keep her in a basement. James, Barbara's brother, tricks her into believing he's freed their mother, while in fact he has made a deal with the Joker and sold Barbara out to him.

After the events of Death of the Family, Barbara works to take down the thugs that worked for the Joker. She sends their profiles to the police, but has to intervene when the supervillain Firebug gets involved.

The Review
Out of all the tie ins (With the exception of Red Hood) Batgirl has the most personal stakes in the game.  While pretty much all the members of the Bat Family, with the exception of Batman himself, vow to themselves to kill Joker, with Batgirl it makes the most sense (again, with the exception of Red Hood). For characters such as Dick and Tim it feels out of place to have them suddenly vowing to kill the Joker. Granted I can understand how this traumatic event is meant to shake up Dick's life enough to take him in a new direction, but it still feels ultimately out of character.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Anime Reviews: Oreshura Episode 001 - The Start of My Highschool Life is a Battleground

The Story
Eita Kidou is a high school freshman who wants nothing to do with love or relationships. All he wants is to study and get a scholarship to a public medical school. Anything else is just a waste of time. But everything changes when the mysterious transfer student Masuzu Natsukawa confesses her feelings for him. Only to reveal that she's not interested in him at all, she just needs someone to pose as her fake boyfriend and keep all the other boys from bothering her. She chooses Eita because she knows he shares her views about love, and she can trust him. The fact that she has some blackmail material on him doesn't hurt.

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cartoon Reviews:Gravity Falls Episode 013 - Boss Mabel

The Story
When Stan goes too far in controlling his employees and duping the customers, Mabel steps in. The two make a deal that if Mabel makes more money than Stan while he is on vacation for three days, she will become the boss, and if Stan wins Mabel has to wear a humiliating T-shirt for the rest of the summer.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Anime Reviews: Toriko Episode 92 - Climax! The Last, Most Terrible Ingredients!

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The Story
With no time left to finish preparing the ingredient, Toriko takes the Nitro Cherry from Komatsu and eats it raw. The explosion damages his organs, but thanks to his gourmet cells Toriko is able to start recovering. Coco trades for a high level ingredient, thanks to the Nitro Cherry's joker status. They overtake Livebearer, but he is able to eat the Electric Banana and take the lead again, leaving Toriko and team with no way to catch up.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Episode 036 - February 18, 2013 - What is Shoujo Manga? | Fairy Tail Vol. 6

Welcome to Manga^3, your one stop for manga news and commentary, for the week of February 18, 2013. This week we talk about what exactly shoujo manga is...with a few minor detours along the way. Such as which manga characters we would ask to be our valentines were they real, and...shut up it's just for fun! We also talk about volume six of Fairy Tail. 

Graphic Novel Reviews: Nightwing 014-016

The Story
With the Joker back in town, Nightwing has to focus on hunting down Lady Shiva before she finds her target. He is able to drive her off, but only barely. Meanwhile, Dick has no time to rest as the Joker strikes him by attacking those close to Dick. When his friend Jimmy turns up dead, Nightwing tries to get the circus out of town. But Joker's trap is too deeply laid for anyone to escape. Nightwing finds himself surrounded by drugged members of Haley's circus and beaten into submission.

The Review
Out of the tie ins that I've read for the Death of the Family event I have to say that Nightwing scribe Kyle Higgins has handled it the best. From what I've heard Higgins and Snyder work pretty closely together, so there's an organic feel to their crossovers. Rather than have just an issue or two involved in the crossover itself, the events are tied into the main plot of the book.

Cartoon Reviews: Young Justice Invasion Episodes 01 - 16

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The Story
Five years after the end of season one of Young Justice, a lot has changed. The team has a much expanded roster, many of the original team members have moved on, and aliens are invading the earth. The majority of the season deals with the team at first discovering that the earth is under invasion by a species known as the Reach. Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and the rest of the Justice League implicated by Vandal Savage had to leave to stand trial for the crimes they committed off-world.

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Most of the season focuses on the new characters, in particular Blue Beetle, with surprisingly minimal focus given to the original cast. Superboy and Miss Martian broke up during the past five years, after she tried to use her psychic powers to wipe an argument they had from his mind. Surprisingly out of character moments, compared to the first season at least, abound.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cartoon Reviews: Young Justice

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The Story
After being spurned by the Justice League, young sidekicks Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash form their own team. After discovering a clone of Superman in a secret genetics lab, they are formed into a Justice League sanctioned team. From there they are sent on covert missions by the league.

Over the course of the story they discover the existence of a league of villains only known as The Light. They deal with the aftermath of the many layered plots of this society, only to find themselves struggling to keep up before The Light can enter their endgame.

The majority of the episodes are standalone episodic, with an intertwining story connecting them. The format of each individual episode is the traditional format where each episode wraps up the important plot elements for that particular episode. This allows the viewer to be engaged in the series while also getting a complete experience every episode.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Anime Reviews: Toriko Episodes 12 - 91

The Story
After successfully beating Starjun's GT robot and harvesting the Jewel Meat, Toriko continues to go on greater adventures, and continues to grow stronger. He meets new characters, eats new food, develops new techniques and improves on his old ones. And somehow he manages to do all this with minimal filler material.

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Mostly Minimal

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Graphic Novel Reviews: Batman 014-017

The Story
With the Joker wreaking havoc on Gotham, Batman tracks him down to Arkham Asylum, where he faces the Joker, only to find himself caught in the madman's trap. When he wakes back up Batman and the rest of the Family find themselves trapped at the Joker's table and his gruesome feast prepared before them.

The Review
I've decided that I have gotten so far behind in these reviews that I need to do what I'm doing for all the anime reviews I've been meaning to write. Namely read everything and catch up and then just write a larger review for everything I read. While this goes against my preference of having one review per episode or issue, I decided that right now this blog is in a bit of a slump, and the only way to really get out of it is to just catch up on everything I've been missing. And the only way to really do that is to just cover multiple issues per review.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Episode 035 - February 11, 2013 - What is Shonen Manga? | Shinmai Fukei Kiruko-san

Welcome to Manga^3, your one stop for manga news and commentary, for the week of February 11, 2013. This week we start the first of a four episode mini series discussing the four main classifications of manga. Any fan of manga should already know these, but anyone new to manga could use a crash course on what the different types of manga are and what to expect from them. We also talk about one of the newer series in Weekly Shonen Jump that has not yet made it into Weekly Shonen Jump Online yet. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cartoon Reviews: My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Episode 64 - Games Ponies Play

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The Story
Carrying on from Just for Sidekicks, Games Ponies Play show us what happened while Twilight and friends were in the Crystal Empire. Despite preparation, everything seems to go wrong as they try to impress the inspector for the Equestria Games. Up to and including confusing a random visitor for the actual inspector. Finally, after the misunderstanding goes on for far longer than warranted, they discover their error. But fortunately the good time they showed the visitor is paid back when she tells the inspector of how good she was treated.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cartoon Reviews: My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Episode 63 - Just For Sidekicks

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The Story
With Twilight and the rest of the mane six going to the Crystal Empire to help prepare for the Equestria Games inspector, Spike takes the opportunity to earn some gems by sitting all the pets. But it turns out Spike has bitten off more than he can chew, as he finds himself unable to control the pets. Bit by bit the gems he earned dwindle down to one last one, and Spike and the pets find themselves on a train to the Crystal Empire.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Episode 034 - February 4, 2013 - Overarching Goals and The Legend of Koizumi

Welcome to Manga^3, your one stop for manga news and commentary, for the week of February 4, 2013. This week we talk about overarching goals in manga, and whether having them is a good or bad thing, and which kinds of manga need them more than others. We also discuss a series that will probably never be released in the West, no matter how much mahjong or how many Moon Nazis it throws at our faces.