Sunday, June 30, 2013

Manga Reviews: Fairy Tail Volume 8

The Story
Fairy Tail is in dire straits as their guild is destroyed by Phantom Lord. Even though they've managed to defeat all the Element Four, Natsu and his friends are still faced by Gajeel and the master of Phantom Lord, Jose.

With all enemies, even the formidable Gajeel, taken out, Erza is the only one standing before Jose. That is, until Makarov's miraculous recovery.

The Review
The nice thing about this volume is that not only is it more or less the end of an arc so I can discuss the storyline as a whole, but it's also clearly divided into several different fights, which allows me to separate my review into digestible pieces. Say what you will about shonen action series, they can make for some pretty easy reviews. Unless of course one wants to actually sound intelligent during the discussion of said manga. Which is what I hope to do, so please, let me know in the comments how well I succeed in that aspect.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Episode 053 - June 24, 2013 - The Top Five Manga We Want Licensed | Fairy Tail Vol. 8

Episode 053
(MP3 | M4A)

Welcome to Manga^3, your one stop for manga news and commentary, for the week of June 24, 2013. This week we discuss manga series we've read through certain..."clandestine" means and would really love to put down some cold hard cash for. We also continue our discussion of Fairy Tail with a review of volume eight of the manga.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Episode 052 - June 17, 2013 - The Top Five Sexiest Manga Characters | Fairy Tail Vol. 7

Episode 052
(MP3 | M4A)

Welcome to Manga^3, your one stop for manga news and commentary, for the week of June 17, 2013. This week we indulge in a bit of fun and discuss which are our top five favorite sexy manga characters. We also discuss volume seven of Fairy Tail. For now the MP3 is not available due to technical difficulties. I'm working to resolve it.

Manga Reviews: Fairy Tail Volume 7

The Story
After the attack on Phantom Lord ends in disaster, Makarov is left near death, his magic power drained. Natsu discovers that Lucy has been kidnapped, and rushes off to save her. He arrives just in time to save her from her own escape attempt. After the insult Lucy serves Master Jose, Phantom Lord's guild building attacks, turning into a giant transformer capable of using a powerful magical cannon and the Abyss Break spell.

Natsu, Elfman, and Gray infiltrate the guild to take it down from the inside. There they confront and take down two of the Element Four, while Gray's battle against Juvia begins.

The Review
This arc marks a high point in this series for me. It was the first really big arc that had consequences that stretched beyond any individual job. Up to this point the aftermath of any given arc was contained to that arc alone. But in this case, with the near complete destruction of the guild the fallout cannot be contained to this arc alone. For many long running shonen action and adventure series that focus on an arc by arc structure the tendency to keep elements of each arc contained to said arc is fairly common. I'd say this is the moment where Fairy Tail's willingness to work outside the initial constraints work to make it one of the more worth while long running series.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Episode 051 - June 10, 2013 - Why Doesn't Oda Kill Characters? | Bakuman Vol. 1

Episode 051
(MP3 | M4A)

Welcome to Manga^3, your one stop for manga news and commentary, for the week of June 10, 2013. This week we discuss why exactly Eiichiro Oda never kills any of his characters. We can't really know in the end, but I think we get close to a general idea of what his reasoning could be. We also discuss the first volume of Bakuman, easily one of my favorite shonen series around. Prior evidence aside.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Anime Reviews: Toriko Episode 102 - Toriko Finally Defeated?! The Delicate and Dynamic Power of Honoring the Food!

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The Story
Shu shows Toriko the Bubble Fruit in the courtyard, but Toriko's hunter's instincts disturb the fruit and cause it to pop. Shu has Toriko fight him to demonstrate what honoring the food can do even with very little energy. Toriko is worn down and unable to defeat the much weaker Shu. Shu then demonstrates how honoring food can help Komatsu by defeating him in a cabbage shredding competition.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Episode 050 - June 3, 2013 - When the Main Characters Sucks! | Toriko Vol. 6

Episode 050
(MP3 | M4A)

Welcome to Manga^3, your one stop for manga news and commentary, for the week of June 3, 2013. This week we celebrate our fiftieth episode. It's amazing that we've managed to come this far at an almost perfectly consistent weekly release rate. Sure early on we had some weeks where we couldn't make it and had to do a double episode the following week. But for the most part we've been doing this completely consistently. This week we get to talk about what happens when the main character sucks, and how it can be fixed. We also discuss Toriko Vol. 6.

Anime Reviews: Toriko Episode 101 - People Without Gratitude Aren't Welcome! Terrifying Chowlin Temple!

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The Story
Toriko and Komatsu learn about the vanishing forest disappearing when faced with threats. They reach the temple and discover that it is more violent than the forest, attacking those it feels aren't honoring the food. Criminals are brought here to be taught how to honor the food and rehabilitated. Chin Chin-Chin tells them they will learn from the assisstant instructor Shu.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Anime Reviews: Toriko Episode 100 - Put Your Hands Together and Bow! National Treasure, Chin-Chin, Appears!

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The Story
Toriko and follow the fortune roll where it falls, into the vanishing forest. However, before they reach their destination, they find that the roll has been broken where a huge chunk of the forest has been scooped out. They chase who they think is the thief to the ten star Vanishing Japanese Cuisine Restaurant. When they try to enter it disappears, but a voice tells them to clap their hands together and bow. The restaurant reappears and the owner Chiru serves them a meal. But the ingredients are so delicate that they are barely able to eat any of them. After their meal the only other customer in the restaurant, and the one that helped them enter in the first place, reveals himself to be the master of Chowlin Temple, Master Chin Chin-Chin.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Graphic Novel Reviews: Justice League of America 004

The Story
The JLA tracks down Catwoman and the Secret Society's location and break in. Meanwhile Catwoman breaks free from her restraints but is recaptured. The leader of the society, a very Joker-esque looking fellow, puts a gun to her head and shoots her. In the backup Martian Manhunter remembers the event that lead to the death of his whole people.

The Review
It's been said before, but it needs to be said again. If you're a fan of Catwoman you need to be reading this book. I won't say this is the best she's ever been written, but considering her own series right now I will say it's the best she's been written in a long time. Though I do find that her constantly name-dropping Batman is a bit odd. It's almost like the readers need to be reminded that she was a supporting character of Batman's. Which I suppose works for new readers, but for literally everyone else we don't particularly need the reminder. Though I did enjoy seeing how in this issue trying to use Batman's name backfired on her.