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Friday, January 31, 2014

Initial Thoughts: Pupa, Muromi-san

Pupa/ピューパ: Having seen the first two episodes of Pupa, I couldn't begin to tell you what's going on. A young girl on her way home from school is visited by a mysterious witch who tells her to go home before she sees the red butterflies. Naturally, she sees the red butterflies and bad stuff starts happening. Much to her brother's dismay, this young girl is transformed into something horrible that still carries her consciousness. And then more chaos and vague words of wisdom from the witch.

Aside from a flashback sequence that showed that the siblings come from a house of spousal and child abuse, there has been no real effort to bring any further depth to these characters. The story itself is non-existent at this point beyond "what is going on?". This was a highly hyped series so what's the deal? Why isn't this series better and more coherent?



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fujoshi O'Clock (1/30/14)

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:

No reviews this week.

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, January 29, 2014

PR: Viz Media Releases Dragon Ball Manga In Full Color

DRAGON BALL © 1984
by BIRD STUDIO/SHUEISHA Inc.
GOKU RETURNS TO NORTH AMERICA AS
VIZ MEDIA RELEASES DRAGON BALL FULL COLOR MANGA EDITION

Experience Akira Toriyama’s Bestselling Martial Arts Action Adventure In Vivid Color

San Francisco, CA, January 27, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, brings Akira Toriyama’s classic manga (graphic novel) series DRAGON BALL back to fans in an entirely new way with the release of DRAGON BALL FULL COLOR Volume 1 on February 4th.

The new edition from the Shonen Jump imprint features a special full-color treatment of the first DRAGON BALL Z manga volume in a larger 6 5/8" x 10 ¼” size. The volume is rated ‘A’ for All Ages and will carry an MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN / £12.99 U.K. Future volumes will be published three times a year.

DRAGON BALL FULL COLOR Vol. 1 also will be available for digital download for $12.99 (USD/CAN) from VIZManga.com and the VIZ MANGA App for the Apple iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch, Android-powered smart phones, as well as through the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay stores.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Manga Review: Kamisama Kiss GN 1

Kamisama Kiss volume one
Author: Julietta Suzuki
Viz Media/Shojo Beat
198 pages
Some girls have all the best luck in the world - but not Nanami. Having been bullied by her classmates for being poor and left homeless by her gambling addict father who runs out on her and his skyrocketing debt, there's no way her life could get any worse. That is, until a kind looking man leads her into an unusual set up: becoming the tochigami for a rundown shrine populated by a trio of yokai, including a very arrogant fox-eared man who would rather drink and carouse than serve Nanami's will. What's a girl to do?
Okay, so maybe Nanami does not live the most charmed life. But after reading the first book of Kamisama Hajimemashita/Kamisama Kiss, I could see why being the tochigami could be a good life. Having an attractive powerful demon at your beck and call is pretty sweet, even if you have to spend your days weeding the yard, reading prayers, and practicing magic. But hey, magic!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Manga Review: The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame

The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame
Author: Gengoroh Tagame
PictureBox Inc.
256 pages
Provocative to say the least, Japanese comic master Gengoroh Tagame’s gay BDSM stories are legendary for both their virtuosic drawing and their unparalleled passion. PictureBox’s oversized omnibus includes ten English editions of short stories dating from the late 1990s to 2012. (Source: PictureBoxInc.com)
Content warning: This review covers a very sexually explicit manga that has scenes of rape, torture, BDSM, and related issues that can be triggering/upsetting to readers. Feel free to skip this post if those things aren't cool for you.
Technically, this book is yaoi. But I would never suggest it among titles like Love Mode and Wild Rock and the Finder series, although the Finder series can get pretty brutal. Gengoroh Tagame's works are a different beast all together: explicit, violent bara manga - also known as "men's love", m/m manga specifically targeted towards men. No uke/seme dynamics here, just grown burly men in sexual scenarios. Except that Tagame doesn't play nice and neither do his characters.
In other words? Hide this one far, far away from young, innocent eyes. Don't let your parents even see the cover. When it's good, it's good, but when it's bad, it's nasty. But if you can handle a plethora of muscles and non-con situations, then The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame should definitely be on your bookshelves.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Suguha's Heart Is A Secret: Sword Art Online 21

As Kirito and his friends continue their journey for the Grand Quest, they arrive at Central Arun, the biggest city in Alfheim, which is situated at the foot of the World Tree where they hope to come to the culmination of their labored mission.
Spoiler warning: Post contains spoilers up to episode 21, "The Truth About The Alfheim".
This was a really frustrating episode to watch. At some parts, I felt like yelling at the television screen, I was that actively irate with what was going on. Up until the very end scene, it feels like it's been walking in circles, trying to keep the drama up while still keeping everyone in the same place. On the other hand, Kirito looks like he's finally doing something definitive about Asuna, so there's that?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Agni Goes To Market

As of this week, Nagareboshi Reviews joins the ever-growing circle of bloggers who participate in Wednesday Briefs. It's pretty simple: write flash (short) fiction based on prompts that are made available each week, post and share. Boom! Done.
This week, I've been inspired for my first brief to write a little Black Butler flash fiction, featuring everyone's favorite Indian butler, Agni. No major spoilers for the manga besides knowing who Agni and Soma are. Enjoy!
Spice and Butler: Kuroshitsuji, Agni-centric, G, prompt - "spices in an Indian market"

Monday, January 20, 2014

I Wasn't Going To Complain About Soul Eater...

And then I realized that, no, I'm gonna complain about it. So here we go!

Apologies for those who like what direction the anime has been going in lately, because no. Naturally, I'm talking about the Toonami broadcast of Soul Eater and I haven't seen past episode 43, so no spoilers past that point!

It's no great secret that around mid-way, Soul Eater falls into that storytelling trap that all longform shonen anime series eventually meet at least once: the filler arc, where anime splits away from manga to make its own trail, usually to the consternation of its viewers (except for One Piece, who so far has had really good filler arcs, an exception to the rule). For Soul Eater, this comes around the point at which DWMA fight Arachnophobia for the magical tool Brew, about episode 36/37. And then things start going awry.

Friday, January 17, 2014

PR: Boys' Love Imprint SuBLime Celebrates 2-Year Anniversary

HIS FAVORITE © 2008
Suzuki Tanaka/Libre Publishing
GLOBAL YAOI PUBLISHER SuBLime CELEBRATES
2-YEAR ANNIVERSARY WITH SPECIAL MANGA SALE AT LEADING ONLINE RETAILER RIGHT STUF

Diverse Yaoi Imprint Marks Second Birthday With Up To 50% Off Selected Yaoi Manga Bundles And Individual Volumes


San Francisco, CA, January 17, 2014SuBLime, the global yaoi manga publishing initiative between VIZ Media and Japan’s Animate, Ltd. (Animate), marks its 2-year anniversary with the announcement of a special sale on print editions of a variety of celebrated yaoi manga titles from its catalog at leading anime/manga online retailer/distributor Right Stuf.

For a limited time through January 20th, yaoi readers can take advantage of 50% off select SuBLime manga bundles. This is an ideal opportunity to enjoy a specially curated selection of acclaimed SuBLime series for half-off their regular print MSRP. 

Access the complete list of SuBLime sale titles at RightStuf.com. For our global readers, RightStuf does ship internationally.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Salamander: Sword Art Online 20

Kirito and Leafa have made it to the meeting and Kirito’s bluff as an ambassador has been called out. If he can survive in a fight against the Salamanders General Eugene, his plan to prevent a war might work. (Source: Crunchyroll)
Spoiler warning: Post contains spoilers up to episode 20, "General of the Blazing Flame".
Well, they did it. They dedicated an entire episode to a subplot I simply do not care about: the Salamanders. I know I should, but it's just not compelling enough for me. Especially when this great subplot about Kirito and Leafa and Asuna is also right there, waiting to take the spotlight again. 
I'm sure the Salamanders' plot will end up playing into the endgame but at this point, it's putting me to sleep.

Fujoshi O'Clock (1/16/14)

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:


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, January 14, 2014

Manga Review: One Piece GN 69

One Piece volume 69
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Viz Media/Shonen Jump
200 pages
S.A.D.: Things are looking grim on Punk Hazard as deadly gas set off by a mad scientist envelops the island. Luffy and the rest of the Straw Hats are on a mission to both take down Caesar Clown and escape to safety before the gas can get them! (Source: Viz Media)
The Punk Hazard story arc could have easily been an all-for-nothing waste of an arc, inconsequential at the end of the day and with no real effect on Luffy and his crew. At this point, such an assessment would be totally wrong! If anything, Punk Hazard - and this volume - may turn out to be one of the more important turning points in the series. And for a manga quickly coming upon the big 7-0 in terms of volumes, the fact that it still has so many twists yet to be pulled shows that Oda knows exactly what he's doing.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Three Things William Zinsser Taught Me About Anime Blogging


I expected, after reading William Zinsser's incredibly helpful On Writing Well, to learn a thing or two about writing non-fiction. That's what the book was written for, after all. What I did not expect were tips on anime blogging.


"But he didn't even mention anime!", those dear readers of mine who have actually read Zinsser's book might say. Well, yes, he didn't. But he did talk about reviewing the popular arts, and last time I checked, anime falls under that category with film, television, and books.
Note: I'm not saying these should be absolute rules about anime blogging, since everyone blogs their own way. And some of them are more refresher points than brand new revelations. But these are pointers that can be helpful to the process. Although you might think this post rather rich of me since I do not blog anime as often as others ...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Manga Review: Pandora Hearts GN 19

Pandora Hearts volume 19
Author: Jun Mochizuki
Yen Press
192 pages
Pandora, now under the control of Leo and the Baskervilles, bears witness as the truth of the being known as Oz Vessalius is exposed for all to see. Amidst the warped tragedy that plays out mercilessly, one who has lost everything catches a glimpse of the ridiculous fairy tale contrived by a living ghost as though a forbidden box has just been opened. (Source: Yen Press)
Spoiler warning: Spoilers for the Pandora Hearts story up to this most recent volume are in this review.
This review will be slightly incoherent at parts, emotionally heated at others. This is because Jun Mochizuki, whether through a pact with a witch or a contract with the Abyss itself, has the unmatched ability to metaphorically pluck out the reader's heart and squeeze it dry before putting it back, leaving the person in a pool of their own tears.
Do I speak too strongly? Perhaps, but it only begins to describe the emotional roller coaster that Oz, Gil, Alice, and the rest of the Pandora Hearts crew have been on for the last couple of volumes. Volume nineteen is the breaking point, an explosion of drama and revelations, and much like any explosion, it's so very hard to look away.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Titania In The High Tower

Leafa is making enemies leaving her area and group to team up with Kirito. On their way to neutral Territory, they speak more of the rules and areas of the ALO. / Something isn’t right; Recon has sent Leafa a message “I was right. Be careful. S." What does he mean and will Leafa and Kirito have the time to figure it out? (Source: Crunchyroll)
Spoiler warning: Post contains spoilers up to episode 19, "The Legrue Corridor".
It's been a while since I've visited the series Sword Art Online, mainly because Toonami has been pre-empting its usual schedule as of late with feature-length films, putting SAO on the back burner until recently. Despite the gap between episodes, fitting back into the world of Kirito and Asuna was an easy one, although not the most pleasant. Coming back to Sword Art Online after so long is like revisiting an old friend from high school you haven't seen in years; you still like them very much and enjoy their company to a point, but after a while you realize just why you haven't visited them in a month.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Favorite Anime Fandom Moments of 2013

Relevant photos be damned.
Have a random and very pretty Pet Girl of Sakurasou image!
I honestly don't finish enough anime series in a year to warrant any sort of 'top 5 anime' list, unlike other animanga bloggers who can polish off series on a monthly basis and have a great, diverse list. So I'm looking back at moments in anime fandom from 2013, where industry and otaku have come together to make everyone happy (or, in the case of moment number one, is just an event that made all otaku happier - and safer- because it happened).
Feel free to include your own favorite moments in the comments!

Friday, January 3, 2014

PR: Naruto Shippuden Coming To Adult Swim This Weekend

(OP: Datte-freakin'-bayo! Excited to see post-time skip Naruto on the new Toonami line-up - although it's gonna take forever to catch up with Viz's DVD releases of the series, if ever.)

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES THE LAUNCH OF
NARUTO SHIPPUDEN ANIME SERIES ON
ADULT SWIM’S TOONAMI IN 2014

VIZ Media has announced the debut of the NARUTO SHIPPUDEN anime series on Adult Swim’s Toonami programming block beginning in January 2014. North American fans can catch dubbed and uncut adventures featuring the world’s most popular ninja from the beginning with a new episode airing each week. Check local listings for specific airtimes and channel availability.

Adult Swim (AdultSwim.com), launched in 2001, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s network offering original and acquired animated and live-action series for young adults. Airing nightly from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. (ET/PT), Adult Swim is basic cable’s #1 network with persons 18-34 and 18-49, and is seen in 99 million U.S. homes.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Manga Review: Tegami Bachi GN 15

Tegami Bachi volume 15
Author: Hiroyuki Asada
Viz Media/Shonen Jump
200 pages
To The Little People: Searching for the truth about Amberground, Lag heads home to the little town of Campbell. There, a woman named Sabrina Mary holds the secrets he seeks. But can he handle what he learns about his world, his government ... and his own mother? (Source: Viz Media)
It's rather fitting that my first manga review of 2014 would turn out to be Tegami Bachi's latest volume. After all, Tegami Bachi is a title I never expected to enjoy as much as I do now, and it continues to surprise me with every book. This book is truly no exception. We're kicking off the new year with a journey of self-discovery as Lag goes to Campbell in order to find the truth about his mother and the world around him. But what he finds will change his life forever, as well as the lives of those around him.