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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!