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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Manga Review: Sakura Hime GN 9


Sakura Hime Volume 9
Author: Arina Tanemura
Viz Media/Shojo Beat
184 pages
Princess Sakura has been staying at the estate of Fujimurasaki, the future emperor. Fujimurasaki tells Sakura he loves her and keeps her hidden from Aoba. Sakura yearns to be reunited with Aoba, but he's to marry Princess Yuri... (Source: Viz.com)
Spoiler warning: Review contains slight spoilers for the latest English translation of Sakura Hime.
Even when it's ridiculous, this series never gets boring. The latest volume of Arina Tanemura's Sakura Hime runs the complete gamut of what has made this such a popular Shojo Beat title: love triangles! Silly misunderstandings! Swords! Magic! Tastefully covered nudity! Sparkly shiny pretty artwork! 
All that and a sudden plot twist at the end of the volume relating to everyone's favorite talking frog makes number nine a book to remember. Read on after the jump for the rest of my review!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Initial Thoughts: Twin Spica


Spoiler warning: The following post contains spoilers for the first two volumes of the Twin Spica manga.

When Kamogawa Asumi was just a baby, her mother was grievously injured when a rocket crashed to the ground. Five years later, having been in a coma all the time, Asumi's mother finally dies, and the little girl struggles to come to terms with the death of a mother she barely remembers. In the midst of her turmoil, she meets "Lion-san", a strange figure wearing a lion mask and claiming to be a ghost. Lion-san helps Asumi to bury her mother's ashes, and finally, Asumi reaches her own decision: "When I grow up, I'm going to be a rocket pilot." (Source: ANN)
Twin Spica is not new in its focus on characters who love outer space and want to discover the stars. Planetes, a personal favorite of mine, as well as Moonlight Mile and Space Brothers, all follow the same path. What separates Kou Yaginuma from this distinguished pack is that his series centers around a young girl named Asumi Kamogawa, who despite her size and personal tragedies wants to pilot a rocket into space. Like the protagonists of Space Brothers, Asumi has the dream to be an astronaut; arguably, she has a lot more obstacles in her way to get there.
There is nothing fast-paced or particularly action/adventure about Twin Spica; it is the Aria of astronaut manga, content to explore characters and settings than quickly push ahead any major plots. What plot twists there are slowly unravel over the course of each volume until they reach their peak emotional impact. Once you realize this, you'll find a greatly enjoyable read in the pages of Twin Spica.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays From Nagareboshi Reviews

Hopefully, you are spending today in the company of your loved ones, eating delicious food and watching corny holiday films (or anime!). If you receive gifts today, may they all be quality and of the otaku variety! Speaking of which, share what you got in comments! Personally, my swag included Black Blood Brothers and season 2 of Dollhouse on DVD, a vanishing TARDIS mug, Genshiken Season 2 GN 1, and an extremely detailed guide on the TV series M*A*S*H. Not that it's all about presents, mind you!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Note that Connects Dreams: Tegami Bachi and the power of letters


It's been snowy and winter is officially here and everyone is probably sick of the cold by now, so clearly this is a fantastic time to talk about a series that seems permanently stuck in winter mode: TegamiBachi/Letter Bee. Yes! It's a surprisingly sincere and engaging series, considering it's based around a kid who works for the postal service.
For those who haven't read this series yet, a brief primer: the story is set in the world of Amberground, where night is perpetual and artificial light only reaches so far, leaving much of the outer world in permanent darkness. Lag Seeing is a Letter Bee who delivers packages on a regular basis with his partner/Dingo, the strange girl Niche. 
Lag became a Letter Bee because his life was saved by one, a mysterious man named Gauche who ended up having disappeared by the time Lag made it to Amberground's capital. The series main story revolves around investigating a mysterious organization called Reverse, the search for Gauche, and the issue of Lag and Niche's collective pasts.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

PR: Viz Media Gets Into The Holiday Spirit With Digital Gifts

NISEKOI © 2011
by Naoshi Komi/SHUEISHA Inc.

NR: So jazzed that the Viz Manga app is now available for Kindle Fire, which is my tablet of choice. I've used it a few times already. Hint: it is awesome! Manga looks so slick on the Fire's screen; one can only imagine what it looks like on the HD version.

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES DIGITAL GIFTING OPTIONS NOW AVAILABLE ON VIZMANGA.COM

Manga For Every Taste, With Over 1,000 Digital Volumes And WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA To Choose From

VIZ Media provides an easy way to give the gift of digital manga accessible via VIZManga.com for desktop and laptop computers. Gift a single volume or an entire shopping cart simply by clicking on the present icon, and when the order is complete, choose to send an email or print out a card with a special message that includes a unique URL and code for redemption through VIZManga.com. Once redeemed, manga may be accessed through VIZManga.com as well as the free VIZ Manga App for the Apple iPhone®, iPod® touch, iPad® and supported Android-powered smart phones and tablets (including the Kindle Fire).

Gift an entire series which readers can enjoy from the very beginning, or make them the envy of their friends by getting them the latest or digital-first volumes from top series, including BAKUMAN, BARRAGE, HUNTER X HUNTER, NARUTO, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION, NISEKOI, VAMPIRE KNIGHT, and more! WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA, the nation’s leading digital manga magazine, is also available to gift either as a single issue or an annual membership.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rebuild of Blog 1.0: We Are (Not) In Hiatus!

Hey guys, guess what? A new post? Yes, that's right: Nagareboshi Reviews is back in business! Did you miss me? Fantastic. I missed y'all too. School wiped out all my free time but now that winter break is here, it's time to wipe the dust off the good blog and bring it back to life - albeit looking a little differently than when it went into hiatus.

As of now, Nagareboshi Reviews is a manga-focused blog. Does this mean no anime ever? No! It's just that the main focus of the blog will be manga, light novels, and related materials. This does, however, mean I'm retiring the AMV Of The Week feature. Sorry! The next one you see will be the last one. It's been fun but it actually takes a bit of time culling together AMVs from a website filled with 'em. Hopefully, the last one will be awesome enough that you will forgive me for shutting the feature down. 

Having said all of that, I look forward to blogging again! Manga has always been my passion, as is blogging, and I intend to honor both passions the best I can with this particular blog. Nagareboshi Reviews is a labor of love. I hope you stick around a bit longer and see what it's capable of when up and running. Thank you!

Please use this post as an opportunity to tell me any concerns or ideas or whatever you have about the blog. Comments are always open so feel free to drop me a line!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hiatus Update: Nope, Still Away!

I'm not sure if when I'm coming back. It's almost finals time at my college and I need to concentrate super hard to finish all of my assignments and pass all my tests. I miss blogging but studies come first, sorry.

I apologize, readers of Nagareboshi Reviews, for being away for so long. Unfortunately, my hiatus must continue for a few weeks longer lest my grades suffer. I will quite possibly return some time after the 14th of December, which is the date of my last final for fall 2012.

I am also considering making this blog manga-only. As much as I love anime, I find it more time consuming to blog about compared to manga. I could probably get more posts done if I did manga-only but I'd lose folks in the process. If you have any thoughts or feelings on this switch, please let me know!

If it makes you feel better, above is a picture of Alton Brown with the guys from Mythbusters. Happy holidays, everyone!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Notice of Hiatus


Due to studies and other real life obligations, Nagareboshi Reviews will be on hiatus until December 2012. Thank you for reading and be patient - I'll be back before you know it!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fujoshi O'Clock (11/2/12)


What time is it? It's . . . Fujoshi O'Clock, the biweekly feature at Nagareboshi Review, when I bring to you the latest fujoshi-related news and reviews and various shiny BL-flavored things. Why? Because rotten girls need love too!

This week on Fujoshi O'Clock:


Reviews:

  • GAR GAR Stegosaurus reviews Flutter by Momoko Tenzen, a salarymen BL manga, and finds themselves enjoying it despite some troublesome trope usage.
  • Connie at Slightly Biased Manga reviews Dry Heat by Yugi Yamada, in which there are lots of relationships to unfold and some of them are questionable at best.
  • Melinda and Michelle at Manga Bookshelf post their BL Bookshelf column, including reviews of Bonds of Dreams, Bonds of Love and the latest est em title in English, ULTRAS.

Am I missing your blog? Got some awesome fujoshi-related news and reviews you think deserve a shout-out? Poke me with a link and a bit of description over at my Twitter: @theseventhl. I'm always on the look out for more BL love!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rebuild of Evangelion 3.0 Teaser Now Online

Below is the latest teaser for the third Rebuild of Evangelion film. The subtitle for this one is You Can (Not) Redo, falling in the same titling scheme as previous films - You Can (Not) Advance and You Are (Not) Alone.

The film is scheduled for Japanese theatrical release on November 17.


Hat tip to the AnimeNation Anime News Blog for sharing the video.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

PR: New Evangelion Manga Premieres In Print & Digital With Viz Same Day As Japan


VIZ MEDIA DELIVERS DOUBLE-DOSE OF
NEON GENESIS EVANGELION MANGA, INCLUDING PRINT & DIGITAL DEBUT OF LATEST VOLUME THE SAME DAY AS JAPAN
© kharaGAINAX

Volume 13 Of The Legendary Sci-Fi Action Series Debuts November 2nd; New 3-In-1 Omnibus Launches November 13th And Features Full-Color Bonus Pages

San Francisco, CA, October 30, 2012 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, delivers an exciting double-dose of NEON GENESIS EVANGELION to manga (graphic novel) readers in November with the release of the series’ newest installment – Volume 13 – as well as the launch of the first volume of a new 3-in-1 omnibus edition of the venerable sci-fi action saga.

NEON GENESIS EVANGELION, Volume 13 is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens and will be released on November2nd with an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $13.99 CAN. The volume will also be available digitally for $4.99 U.S. / CAN through VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga App for iPad®, iPhone®, iPod® touch, Android-enabled devices, and Kindle Fire. A free preview of the series may be read at http://www.vizmanga.com/reader/479.

The opening volume of the NEON GENESIS EVANGELION 3-in-1 omnibus series bundles Volumes 1-3, is also rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens, and will debut on November 13th with an MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN. Each volume will feature stunning full-color artwork.

Monday, October 29, 2012

AMV Of The Week: Håll Om Mig


This week’s AMV is a bit of a classic. It's probably one of the best Princess Tutu fan videos ever. It even won an award at Anime Boston 2006. It's a mash-up of the classical and the fantastical. Need I say more?

AMV: Hold Me (Håll Om Mig)
Author: Marisa Panaccio of Tidirium Studios (reuploaded by ElhaymVanHouten)
Music: Nanne Grönvall's "Håll Om Mig Nu"
Warnings: Spoilers for the Princess Tutu anime. Moments of violence and sexuality.


Interesting Blog Post Of The Day

For those interested in learning how to read Japanese, earlier this month Anya at the blog Forty-Four Fennecs posted How I Learned Hiragana and Katakana in a Few Hours. It is based on their experiences during their Japanese 101 class and the method that made it all stick. Hint: it involves music!
"About the only things that are regularly translated to romaji are lyrics, since everything else is directly translated to English for the people who don’t know Japanese, and the ones who do know Japanese can read in the original kanji/hiragana/etc. But songs are for singing so you need to know how they’re said, hence the giant surplus of romaji that’s in relatively random (for this purpose) order."
Hopefully, someone learning Japanese finds Anya's own hints helpful. I personally would love to learn Japanese, which is luckily a language my community college offers (although I won't be able to start until fall of next year, sob).

Friday, October 26, 2012

False Minoshiro / Bloodstained History: Shin Sekai Yori 3 & 4


Spoiler Warning: Post contains spoilers for episode three and four of Shin Sekai Yori. Read with caution!
Episode 3: The group has rowed past their designated safe place in search for monsters. What they find is much worse.
Episode 4: As the library continues to explain the history of the world, a danger looms in the background. (Source: Crunchyroll)
And Shin Sekai Yori said "let there be plot development", and yea, so it was. And it was good. Thus is the third and fourth episodes, in which questions are answered and then asked and then answered again, and a bit of young romance gets a chance to spring to life. Saki even gets to pretty much prove how she is the most competent person in her group despite her parents' earlier trepidations over her skills.
Plus, the first two minutes of each episode continue to be rather "what the hell just happened?" in nature. Talking libraries! Killing emperors! Other stuff! All together, it's more of that same great flavor SSY has come to be known for.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

PR: SuBLime Announces Yaoi Titles For 2013


GLOBAL YAOI PUBLISHER SuBLime ANNOUNCES ELEVEN NEW MANGA TITLES FOR RELEASE IN 2013 INCLUDING YOUKA NITTA’S EMBRACING LOVE

Publisher Delights Fans At YaoiCon 2012 As It Details Multiple New BL Manga Titles Scheduled To Debut During The First-Half Of Next Year

San Francisco, CA, October 24, 2012 – SuBLime, the global yaoi manga (graphic novel) publisher, thrilled fans during its packed panel discussion at the recent YaoiCon 2012 with the announcement of eleven new manga (graphic novel) titles the imprint plans to release throughout 2013.

The forthcoming new titles are rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers. Select releases will be offered as either print-only editions with an MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN, or as digital-only releases with an MSRP of $5.99 (U.S. / CAN). Other titles will be made available in both formats.

For digital releases, the $5.99 purchase price will offer readers digital access to two versions of each manga volume on www.SuBLimeManga.com – a downloadable PDF that is viewable on any enabled eReader device and computer or via the embedded online manga viewer found on the web site.

Signal Boost: The Kick-Heart Kickstarter

Production I.G. and Masaaki Yuasa's Kickstarter - a project in order to fund their 10-minute wrestling romance anime short, "Kick-Heart" - has been receiving a lot of attention in the anime/manga blogosphere. With six days to go, it has already reached its target goal and already has stretch goals (for when the amount of money reaches beyond the initial target), including an English dub and a half hour of extra animation. The story and the animation are well outside of the norm of current anime trends. 

Some bloggers have even gone so far as to say that the success of this Kickstarter could very well be what saves the current anime industry. That's a whole lot of expectations for such a short film! I can only imagine the pressure Masaaki Yuasa might be feeling after reading something like that.

Monday, October 22, 2012

AMV Of The Week: Shut Up & Ride


This week’s AMV is a Rideback fan video. Remember that series? I loved it to pieces when it first came out, and this year it's gotten the Funimation home video treatment. The fact that folks are making AMVs of it makes me incredibly pleased. The fact that it's a Rideback AMV that works with the chosen music? Even better.

AMV: Shut Up And Ride
Author: wmeunier87
Music: Rihanna's "Shut Up And Drive"
Warnings: Some spoilers for events in Rideback.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Initial Thoughts: Kamisama Kiss


Kamisama Hajimemashita: Abandoned by her father, Nanami finds herself homeless when she meets a man who offers his own home to her. His home turns out to be a shrine where his supernatural household awaits the return of their lord and master after a 20-year absence.(Source: Hulu)
Spoiler warning: Review contains spoilers for the first episode of Kamisama Kiss. Read on with caution!
In the first ten minutes of its premiere episode, it is clear that Kamisama Kiss/神様はじめました wastes no time in setting down what's going on. Nanami goes from homeless and in despair over her errant father's gambling habits to the girl living in a shrine and becoming a land god in the blink of an eye. And she gets acquainted with an incredibly handsome (albeit arrogant) wolf familiar named Tomoe and his oddball yokai attendants Kotetsu and Onikiri. So, definitely not your typical shojo romance. Good: typical is boring.
Read the rest of my review of Kamisama Kiss after the jump:

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Vanishing Children: Shin Sekai Yori 2


Episode 2: Another student is removed from the roster and Saki uses her powers outside of class. (Source: Crunchyroll)
"The Vanishing Children" is another brilliant episode of Shin Sekai Yori, where the pieces of the story just keep coming together slowly but surely. Everything seems innocent but once the layers start falling away, the true nature of this show's world starts peeking out between the cracks. In this episode, Saki's class engages in a little psychic game, the children continue to disappear from class, and Saki does something she's told she shouldn't to help someone else. It's a series of seemingly unimportant moments that have all the markings of being something much bigger in the long run.
The rest of my review of Shin Sekai Yori episode 2 is beyond the jump.

Fujoshi O'Clock (10/19/12)


What time is it? It's . . . Fujoshi O'Clock, the biweekly feature at Nagareboshi Review, when I bring to you the latest fujoshi-related news and reviews and various shiny BL-flavored things. Why? Because rotten girls need love too!

This week on Fujoshi O'Clock:

  • Ogiue Maniax keeps on with the Fujoshi Files series with two new entries: Buraidaru Marie of Codename Sailor V and Gen'ei Ryou of Suzaku: Kabukicho Mahjong Legend.
  • ふう子 at Hazukashii Kedo has started posting top 5 series lists for sub-genres of boys' love manga. The two that are up cover romance BL series and incest BL series.
  • YaoiCon 2012 brought new BL licenses from Viz's yaoi imprint SubLime; these include titles from manga-ka such as Youka Nitta, Kano Miyamoto, and Yaya Sakuragi.
  • For the first time in what seems like foever, Yaoi911 has updated their blog with info on their latest webcomic "The Young Protectors" and a new (somewhat NSFW) yaoi wallpaper free for download.

Reviews:

  • ANN's Rebecca Silverman reviews In These Words by Guilt/Pleasure and gives it an overall positive rating, while warning for disturbing material inside.
  • Bill Sherman of Blogcritics Book also reviews In These Words. His review talks mostly about how explicit and disturbing the content is.
  • Connie at Slightly Biased manga reviews Flutter by Momoko Tenzen and finds it a pretty fantastic story about salarymen in love.
  • A Library Girl's Familiar Diversion reviews Part-Time Pet by Reno Amagi; they found it fluffy but overall the relationships were too taboo for their tastes.

Am I missing your blog? Got some awesome fujoshi-related news and reviews you think deserve a shout-out? Poke me with a link and a bit of description over at my Twitter: @theseventhl. I'm always on the look out for more BL love!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Manga Review: Library Wars GN 8


Library Wars volume 8
Authors: Kiiro Yumi, Hiro Arikawa
Viz Media/Shojo Beat
200 pages
The Media Betterment Committee’s inquiry into Iku’s role in the so-called book burning continues, and an evil conspiracy comes to light. Someone on the team is deliberately manipulating Iku, and even her attraction to Dojo becomes fodder for the fight! Will Iku ever understand Dojo’s feelings for her? (Source: Goodreads)
Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the eighth volume of Library Wars, as well as events in the series leading up to it. Please read on with caution!
I love this series so very much, and I think volume eight is the best volume of the series so far. It is, without a doubt, absolutely brilliant. But before I start fawning over its every minor and major quality, let me tell you why: it's explosive. It's jammed packed with plotty stuff and emotional drama and Iku/Dojo material galore. Plus, it's a very character-driven book; fans of folks like Shibazaki and Tezuka will not be disappointed.

Monday, October 15, 2012

PR: Viz Media Original Monsuno GNs Coming in Spring 2013


VIZ MEDIA DEVELOPS A NEW ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVEL SERIES BASED ON THE HIT BOYS ANIMATED ACTION ADVENTURE SERIES MONSUNO, AIRING ON NICKTOONS
™ & © Pacific Animation Partners LLC “Monsuno” ™ &
© 2013 Jakks Pacific, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Licensed by FremantleMedia Enterprises

New VIZ Kids Series Debuts 2013

San Francisco, CA, October 15, 2012 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, continues to expand its library of original graphic novels as it announces the acquisition of the North American publishing rights for MONSUNO, an epic boys action adventure where kids discover, command and battle creatures with destructive potential. 

A race to harness the power of Monsuno ensues between this group of heroic kids and the evil forces focused on destroying the planet. The MONSUNO publishing series will debut with a graphic novel, written by Brian Smith with artwork by Erwin Prasetya, delivering all new, original adventures beginning late Spring 2013 under the company’s VIZ Kids imprint. MONSUNO Volume 1 is rated ‘A’ for All Ages, and will carry an MSRP of $7.99 U.S. / $9.99 CAN.

AMV Of The Week: Lights In NERV


This week’s AMV is a mash-up of two of my favorite things: Ellie Goulding and the Evangelion Rebuild films.  This vid is less like a fan vid and more like a promo/music video that happens to be set to a Goulding track. It's well edited and well executed, and that's good enough for me.

AMV: Lights
Author: LuftPyrite
Music: Ellie Goulding's "Lights"
Warnings: Spoilers for Evangelion 2.22; flashing quick images and moments of violence.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Initial Thoughts: Little Busters!


Riki was a child when his parents died, leaving him hopeless and depressed. What saved him was a group of four kids calling themselves the Little Busters. They took Riki out and played with him during his time of need. He really enjoyed being together with them, and his grief gradually faded away. Now in his second year of high school they still hang out, fight and live together, and enjoy their school life. (Source: MAL)
Spoiler warning: Post contains spoilers for the first episode of the Little Busters! anime. It does not contain spoilers for the visual novel the anime is based on.
Confession time! I have never played a visual novel by Key - not Clannad, nor Kanon, or Air and especially not Little Busters. Hell, I've never even seen an anime version of any of these games (sorry, Clannad fans!). But the hype from its fan base over an anime adaptation has gotten me excited in turn, so this program is the one of the new fall season I've really been looking forward to. So is it any good? In a word: yes. In two words: hell yes.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Initial Thoughts: Shin Sekai Yori


From The New World/Shinsekai yori: Five children living in the future are the protagonists. The story begins when they are 12 years old and starting their lives at an advanced school to learn the ‘cursed power’ of telekinesis. (Source: Crunchyroll)
Spoiler Warning: Post contains spoilers for the first episode of Shin Sekai Yori. Read this post with caution if you haven't watched it yet!
I'm not sure what I can say about this program. It's deep but not beyond comprehension. It's complicated and slowly unfolds from scene to scene. There is a mixture of fantasy and human-based reality I haven't seen since Madoka Magica. Everything about this first episode is, quite frankly, a bit of a blessing. SSY isn't an explosion of action and plot but rather a slow burn of exploring a future of magic and mystery.
I may not fully understand everything that is going on or why certain things are even happening to begin with, but I adore everything I've seen so far and I expect it to only get better from here on.
Read the rest of my thoughts on Shin Sekai Yori's premiere after the jump:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Manga Review: Sakura Hime GN 8


Sakura Hime Volume 8
Author: Arina Tanemura
Viz Media/Shojo Beat
200 pages
Enju and the followers of the moon are nowhere to be found after the destruction of the hidden palace. Sakura has returned with Aoba, but the lovers may soon be parted again. The emperor has asked Aoba to take another bride... (Source: Viz/Goodreads)
I'm really excited to be up to date with the Shojo Beat English language release of Sakura Hime - because now I can review it! And lately, Sakura Hime has been a series for me which started off bumpy, got bumpier, and has been steadily increasing in quality. Volume seven seemed so top-notch, so good that I had my doubts about volume eight matching it, especially with a new story arc starting up. Now that the 'action arc' of recent volumes has concluded, what will Sakura Hime do with its transformed set of heroines and heroes now?
Oh, a love twist. Once again, someone tries to break up Sakura and Aoba. Damn it, and here I was hoping for more fights, supernatural plot twists and Sakura kicking ass with her sword Chizakura! Well, we can't always get what we want, especially with a shojo manga. If you have a Shojo Beat, eventually you have to take a break for love triangles. And that's exactly what Sakura Hime does in this volume.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Final Thoughts: Who Is Imouto?


Abiding by his father's will, Shougo was transferred into an academy where many young girls attend. It appears as though his younger sister (separated from him at birth) also attends this academy, and that she is trying to get closer to him without letting him know who she actually is. Problem is, Shougo seems to be popular with the other girls as well! Can Shougo "properly" reunite with his little sister and while making a girlfriend at the same time?! (Source: M-U)

Spoiler warning: Spoilers for the entirety of Who Is Imouto?/NakaImo are beyond this line. Read with caution!
Once upon a time - and by that, I mean the first of July, which seems like a long time ago - I asked readers to pick which show of the then current season I would review. The singular response to this poll was clear: I was to be punished by the powers of incest roulette. And by incest roulette, I am naturally referring to One Of Them Is My Younger Sister! aka Kono Naka Ni Hitori Imouto Ga Iru. The ultimate irony of this situation? The person who had me review NakaImo is my own sister, albeit an older sister. And so review it I did. Every. Bloody. Week.
Have I learned my lesson? Nope. I'm going to be blogging about this season's latest sis-con fest as well: "Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne", which translates into "As Long as There's Love, It Doesn't Matter If He is My Brother". Yeeeep. This should be fun - for y'all, not for me. But what does this have to do with NakaImo? Not a lot. Except that when it comes to imoutos, NakaImo has taken a hold of me in the worst way possible. As in, I still want to blog about it!

Monday, October 8, 2012

AMV Of The Week: Be Yourself


This week’s AMV was the the contest winner in the Fun category for DoKomi 2012 - and it deserved it, truly. It's a Denpa Onna fanvid combines a lot of fun, fast action with clever and flashy video editing/effects along with a really great track to create a vid that even has me wanting to watch this anime. Great job!

AMV: BE YOURSELF;
Author: CazyBunny
Music: Marina & The Diamonds' "Oh No!"
Warnings: Quick edited clips, flashing lights/flashing movements, moments of light fanservice

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Initial Thoughts: Lychee Light Club


Litchi De Hikari Club/ライチ DE 光クラブ: A short, comical anime adaptation of the psychological-horror manga, LitchiHikari Club. The story is about nine boys who are members of the Hikari Club and their self-made AI robot, Litchi. They are lead by their leader Zera, and keep a kidnapped girl named Kanon. (Source: MAL)
As someone who has read the original Lychee Light Club manga by Furuya Usamaru which this new anime is based on, a quick question to Kachidoki Studio: the hell is this? They've taken one of the most demented, psychologically screwed-up manga I've ever read and turned it into a gag-based farce on the same level as Nyanpire or Poyopoyo - but unlike those two series, this comical shortened format for Lychee Light Club does not work at all.
The first episode is rather forgettable, as it is just a vehicle in which to introduce the main cast. The only characters that stand up so far are the leader Zera, their robot Litchi, and the girl Kanon. I can barely remember the names of the other boys in the Light Club. None of them really made a solid impression on me, which isn't surprising given how little time each boy gets on screen.
The humor itself is flat, almost non-existent. This show is trying so hard to be funny, it's on the verge of straight telling the audience that a line of dialogue or goofy graphic is part of a joke and that they should be laughing. The so-called 'punchline' of the episode with Kanon's answer to Zera's question is just the last gasp of an over-extended bad joke gone sour. 
So far, there's nothing visually stunning or funny about Lychee Light Club - but the episodes are so short, I'll probably end up watching it for another couple of weeks before I decide to drop it or not. Perhaps it will get better sooner than later - or keep to its low-brow 'humor' and awkward art.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Manga Review: Stepping On Roses GN 8


Stepping On Roses volume 8
Author: Rinko Ueda
Viz Media/Shojo Beat
200 pages
Sumi asks Nozomu to stop buying the land where she and Soichiro currently reside, and he agrees on one condition—Sumi has to leave Soichiro and become his wife instead! Faced with the possibility of eviction, Sumi must decide whether she’ll live in poverty with Soichiro or take Nozomu up on his offer… (Source: Goodreads/Viz Media)
It should come to no surprise that this blog would eventual review the latest volume of Stepping On Roses, the most recent shojo manga series by Rinko Ueda to be released in English (her previous work including the ninja-centric Tail Of The Moon). There's just something about the Edo-era melodramatics and soap opera style plot twists that have kept me glued to each volume. It also helps that Ueda's artwork is lush and inviting to the eye, and she doesn't skimp on the period-appropriate costumes. Yeah, it's that kind of manga - and if that kind of manga is your kind of manga, Stepping On Roses' latest release will not let you down.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Yet Another News Round-Up (Now With 100% More TYPE-MOON)

This week has been very exciting, especially if you are a fan of visual novels turned anime. This latest round-up proves that Sentai loves me very much and so does Dark Horse Manga.

PR: Barrage GN 1 To Be Released Digitally Same Day As In Japan

SENSEI NO BARRAGE © 2012
by Kouhei Horikoshi/SHUEISHA Inc.
Wait, why is the digital coming out March 2013? That's a heck of a gap between digital and manga, especially for the first title to be cancelled in Shonen Jump Alpha. At least it'll be available for Android tablets!


VIZ MEDIA INVITES FANS TO CATCH THE FIRST SALVO OF SPACE BATTLE FANTASY MANGA SERIES BARRAGE ON VIZ MANGA APP AND VIZMANGA.COM

VIZ Media brings the new hit WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA manga series – BARRAGE – to VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga App on October 4th. Volume 1 of the action series, created by Kouhei Horikoshi, is rated ‘T’ for Teens and debuts today, the same day the graphic novel launches in Japan. Digital MSRP will be $4.99; the print edition is scheduled to debut in March 2013.

BARRAGE is a space battle fantasy series set on a planet called Industria, which is in a state of chaos, and its fate lays in the hands of Astro, a kid from the slums! Please visit VIZManga.com/barrage for a free chapter 1 preview of BARRAGE, as well as to purchase and view Volume 1.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Manga Review: Secretary's Job?


Secretary's Job?
Author: Miki Araya
June/Digital Manga Publishing
200 pages
Takase is a legendary secretary. He'll do anything to make your day easier and efficient. Some say he's a miracle worker. As per the President's request, Takase has been assigned to his lazy son, Honjo, to become Toshiaki Honjo's secretary. As always, Takase is doing his best to support him, but Honjo makes a move and kisses him at work What does this mean? Sounds like business is getting mixed up with pleasure. (Source: Goodreads)
If the name Miki Araya sounds familiar, it should; I reviewed a title by her earlier this year called I'll Be Your Slave, an oddly delightful book about Moriya and his favorite model who he ends up falling in love with. On the heels of that we have Secretary's Job?/秘書のお仕仕事?, based around secretaries and the stubborn men they work for that end up - wait for it - falling in love with their assistants. Opinion for this one doesn't seem to be as divided which is good, because Secretary's Job? is a surprising gem of a one-shot that will please any fan of BL office romance/humor.

Monday, October 1, 2012

AMV Of The Week: We're All Idiots


This week’s AMV is a full-out hilarious blast and a really great tribute to a shonen that deserves more love, the 60-episode series Beelzebub. It's cleverly edited, fits great with the music (which is in Dutch), and highlights a lot of reasons why Beelzebub is one of the most goofy high octane series in the past decade.
 
(Also, it's a good reminder to myself that I'm only 1/6th of the way through the anime. Whoops!)
 
AMV: Idiots!
Author: CharmingIceDS
Music: New Kids - Turbo
Warnings: A lot of madcap violence and some blood, possible spoilers for the Beelzebub anime.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Sister Was Always Beside Me: NakaImo 12


Episode 12: With the help of Ikusu, Shogo has finally put the clues together on who his real sister is. (Source: Crunchyroll)
Spoiler alert: Spoilers for the entire Who Is Imouto?/NakaImo series can be found in this entry. Read on with caution!
So, I was wrong. I think? That's the problem; I over thought this damn series and now all my theories and thoughts about WHO IS IMOUTO have gotten mashed up in my head so I don't even know who I had hypothetical money on for Imouto #1 - but I think my initial gut reaction turned out to be the right one. So because the episode itself was rather by-the-numbers for a finale and managed to wrap up everything pretty plainly, let's go through some theories and talk about what stuff this episode exposed as a whole.
Also, let's talk about traps because we can and because traps are always relevant.

Attention: New Poll For Accel World Fans

If you have been following my Accel World posts, please consider answering the latest poll which can be found on the right side of the blog. I'm asking if you would like to read reviews of the series' OVAs, which would include those bundled with the video games and those based on the 4-koma manga.

Note: everything depends on the - ahem - availability of the OVAs with English subs as well as if the North American release has any solid plans on including these OVAs with their DVD/BR packs, which will make my decision a hundred times easier - but no one's said anything on that front, yet.

As usual, thanks so much for reading and thank you those who participate in the poll! Your opinions really do matter and make a difference in what's covered on this blog. Especially since it was reader influence that led me to keep blogging about Accel World in the first place! ♥

Friday, September 28, 2012

Interesting Anime Article Of The Day: Patlabor Edition

Anything having to do with Patlabor always catches my eye so AnimeNation's anime news blog's latest Ask John feature certainly did as it is answering a reader question on if Patlabor is still a viable franchise, like Gundam and Evangelion.

John's answer traces the multimedia history of the Patlabor franchise, starting with the 1998 manga by Masami Yuuki, and examines the fundamental traits that have made Patlabor so popular. He even points out Patlabor's influence in recent series, including a current favorite of mine - Toshokan Sensou/Library Wars.
Tonally, the influence of Patlabor also seems evident in the Toshokan Senso franchise, which got an anime feature film last June. In appearance and personality, Toshokan Senso’s protagonist Iku Kasahara could almost be a sister to Patlabor’s protagonist Noa Izumi. In terms of series construction, very reminiscent of Patlabor, Toshokan Senso revolves around a small, quirky team of law officers who spend most of their time on mundane activities and interactions, only occasionally launching into militaristic action.

Overall, if you have been waiting for a signal - any signal - that people are still interested in watching a series about police Labors and the loveable goofballs that pilot them, AnimeNation has you covered. Personally, I would just love a re-release of the Mobile Police Patlabor 1989 series with an affordable DVD package; currently, they all cost an arm and a leg for 15+ DVDs each only holding about 4-6 episodes!

Also, I could definitely see a live action Patlabor going down if the studio doing it could make the necessary CGI look good as well as keep the original camaraderie of the Second Special Vehicles Division as it is in the series.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Graphic Novel Review: The Supernaturalist


The Supernaturalist: The Graphic Novel
Author: Eoin Colfer (original story), Andrew Donkin
Artists: Giovanni Rigano, Paolo Lamanna
Hyperion
128 pages
Unwanted by his parents, Cosmo Hill is put to work by the state, testing highly dangerous products. Cosmo realizes he must get away, and escapes with the help of the Supernaturalists, a group of kids who have the same special abilities as Cosmo--they can see supernatural Parasites, creatures that feed on the life force of humans. The Supernaturalists patrol the city at night, hunting the Parasites in hopes of saving what is left of humanity in Satellite City. But soon they find themselves caught in a web far more complicated than they'd imagined, and they discover a horrifying secret that will force them to question everything they believe in. (Source: Goodreads)
I've pretty much read almost every book author Eoin Colfer has put out so far (with the exception of his grade school lit) so naturally, I have to read the graphic novel adaptations of his works. At this time, only two of his series have gotten the graphic treatment: Artemis Fowl and The Supernaturalist - which, although is only one book, has already been confirmed for at least one sequel, thus it's a series in my eyes. Naturally, my expectations for someone turning Colfer's vibrant prose and lush world-building into illustrated form were pretty darn high.
And then this 128-page thin volume came and buried said expectations deep into the ground, like they had been left there by an unfortunate and stinky digging expedition via a certain dirt-chomping dwarf. Which, okay, wrong series but some of the same people who adapted Artemis Fowl into graphic novel form - and did a pretty good job of it - were involved in the Supernaturalist's GN. So how did everything go so splendidly wrong so fast in such few pages?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

PR: Viz Media Holding SJA Fan Meetup During NYCC!

NARUTO © 1999
by Masashi Kishimoto/SHUEISHA Inc.
 

VISIT VIZ MEDIA AT NEW YORK COMIC CON, BOOTH #2042

VIZ MEDIA INVITES MANGA AND ANIME FANS TO A SHONEN JUMP ALPHA
MEET-UP AT 
NEW YORK CITY’S KINOKUNIYA BOOKSTORE

Meet TIGER & BUNNY Character Designer Masakazu Katsura And Catch The Debut of New SJ ALPHA 2013 Yearbook At FREE Event Coinciding With 2012 New York Comic Con

VIZ Media invites manga and anime fans of all ages to join the company for a very special SHONEN JUMP ALPHA Meet-Up, taking place Friday, October 12th from 5:00pm – 8:00pm at the Kinokuniya Bookstore, located at 1073 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue between 40th & 41st Streets). The meet-up is FREE to attend, and coincides with VIZ Media’s appearance at the 2012 New York Comic Con taking place October 11th-14th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. VIZ Media will be located in Booth 2042.

Making a special in-person appearance at Kinokuniya will be legendary creator and character designer Masakazu Katsura (I”S, VIDEO GIRL AI, ZETMAN, TIGER & BUNNY), who will meet fans and sign autographs from 7:00pm-8:00pm. A variety of door prizes will be given away, and visitors are also encouraged to take advantage of many Kinokuniya manga and anime products that will be specially discounted during the duration of the meet-up event.

Monday, September 24, 2012

AMV Of The Week: Eden Me Baby


This week’s AMV is a really adorable, sweet, and totally funny East of the Eden fanvid, set to a hell of an earworm that I'm sure 90% of the Internet is already sick of hearing. But in this context, it's not so annoying, promise (and it's not the full song)! Plus, it's another Natsucon 2012 AMV contest winner!
  
AMV: Eden Me Baby
Author: StarTrinity009
Music: Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe"
Warnings: Spoilers for EotE; some moments of nudity, fast edited clips.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Reincarnation: Accel World 24


Episode 24 (Season One Finale): Silver Crow is determined to settle his score with Dusk Taker once and for all. (Source: Hulu)
Spoiler warning: Post contains spoilers for episode 24 and all episodes leading up to it. It's a series finale, folks! Read with caution!
Here it is: the finale for Accel World. And it's just as explosive, dramatic, and wonderful as I'd hoped it would be. It's a gem of an episode that covers all of the series' strength, including its battle scenes, humor, and impressive characters. This is Silver Crow versus Dusk Taker, the one battle I think everyone has been waiting for, mainly to see Nomi get socked in the face hardcore. And those folks will not be disappointed.
Read my lengthy review on Accel World's finale after the jump:

Micro Manga Review: Naruto GN 56


Naruto GN 56
Author: Masashi Kishimoto
Viz Media/Shonen Jump
200 pages
Team Asuma, Reunited: Naruto and the Allied Shinobi Forces battle Kabuto’s hordes of reanimated ninja soldiers. In the process, they come face-to-face with old friends brought back from the dead…plus enemies and weapons more fearsome than any they could have imagined!
So the first half of this volume is a write-off in terms of story and plot. I know that's a mean thing to say about what I suppose is a pivotal battle during the current arc but considering it's all based around characters that are either new or mostly periphery, you can hopefully forgive my blah behavior towards the whole thing. At least the artwork throughout the volume is consistently amazing, showing howKishimoto's strengths truly shine through during moments of action.
This is not to say that the Kinkaku/Ginkaku vs the Allied Shinobi Forces bits were boring. Actually, they were pretty well choreographed and very interesting, especially with the sealing techniques. Plus, it highlighted the ninjas' awesome mind-to-mind communication system, something I've been really loving in this recent story arc. It's like a shinobi mind meld coupled with a psychic walkie-talkie!
The star part of this volume is highlighted in the book summary: the bittersweet reunion of Team Asuma. I'm trying to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, so I'll just say that the arrival of a certain character will certainly tug at readers' heartstrings in the worst way possible. But let us appreciate for a moment how much Shikamaru, Ino, and Choji have grown and matured into their respective roles. I don't know any jonin or kage who wouldn't be proud of the ninja they've become.
My second favorite part is actually the cliffhanger involving Naruto. He's not as clueless as folks would like to think, and considering the nine-tails inside of him that's very dangerous. It's because of his actions that I am very much looking forward to volume 57; good thing it's out already!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Blooming Sisters/My Sister's Trap: NakaImo 10 & 11


Episode 10: When all of Shogo’s potential wives are invited to the same party, things do not go as planned. Especially when he finds a trusted member is planning to overthrow his inheritance of the company.
Episode 11: With all the lies, conflicting stories, and people trying to ruin his inheritance, Shogo is breaking down. To add to his worries, Kannagi is making outrageous demands. (Source: Crunchyroll)
If I did not know the next episode would be the series finale, nothing about these two episodes would telegraph that point at all. If any, NakaImo is moving at a snail's pace towards its conclusion, seemingly content to waste time in the hijinks and contrived romantic tension than the storyline behind the title of the show itself. But that's NakaImo for you; it hops between screwball comedy, romantic drama, and incest roulette-related suspense so much it can't be bothered to find a comfortable place in-between all of these various aspects of itself.
You can read the rest of this review after the jump:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fujoshi O'Clock (9/21/12)


What time is it? It's . . . Fujoshi O'Clock, the biweekly feature at Nagareboshi Review, when I bring to you the latest fujoshi-related news and reviews and various shiny BL-flavored things. Why? Because rotten girls need love too!
   
This week on Fujoshi O'Clock:

  • Via ANN: JManga has added another BL manga title, this time My Dear Prince by Fumi Tomoe. There will be at least four volumes of the series. There also seems to be an Eiki Eiki title coming up on their schedule.
  • A bit of an older link, but helen_damnation has put together a list of what she calls 'non-creepy yaoi manga' - BL manga that does not have issues with dubious consent and non-con romance. I believe Mr Convenience was recently licensed, and Bond(z) has been out for some time now in English.
  • Ogiue Maniax's Fujoshi Files goes onwards with File #54: Kiryuu Yuuzuki of Kissxsis, a high school teacher who has a samurai hug pillow in her house.
  • ふう子 at Hazukashii Kedo talks about the tenth anniversary of Kusame Sakae, a BL manga-ka who is probably very prolific by now. The Twitter interview has passed already but past tweets using the event's hashtag should still be readable.
  • Over at The Beautiful World, they blog about trans* and intersex representation in manga; it's not yaoi related, but it is LGBT related and therefore is probably pertinent to readers of BL/yuri materials. It also seems to be part three in a series of posts, so please check out the two previous parts!

Reviews:


Am I missing your blog? Got some awesome fujoshi-related news and reviews you think deserve a shout-out? Poke me with a link and a bit of description over at my Twitter: @theseventhl. I'm always on the look out for more BL love!