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Monday, March 31, 2014

Manga Review: Strobe Edge GN 8

Strobe Edge volume 8
Author: Io Sakisaka
Viz Media/Shojo Beat
184 pages
Ren opens up to Ninako, and her feelings for him escalate to the point where she wants to risk everything to become his girlfriend. But when she realizes that doing so might jeopardize Ren's friendship with Ando, will she go through with it? (Source: Shojo Beat)
Io Sakisaka's shojo series Strobe Edge is rocketing towards its conclusion, as characters realize their true feelings and new characters pop up to put a halt to all of that. In true romance manga fashion, Ando's ex-girlfriend Mao Sugimoto arrives - and she still has feelings for Ren, putting further strain not only on Ando and Ren's relationship but also Ninako's feelings for Ren. 
It's starting to look like outside forces will be keeping Ren and Ninako from confessing their true feelings for each other that much longer...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Manga Review: Time Stranger Kyoko GN 2

Time Stranger Kyoko volume 2
Author: Arina Tanemura
Viz Media/Shojo Beat
210 pages
After discovering that Sakataki is the Crystal Stranger, Kyoko continues her search for the other telepaths who can awaken her sister. Kyoko suspects that her longtime friend Karen might be one of the telepaths, but Karen is unwilling to help… (Source: Viz Media)
The middle volume of Tanemura's three-book shojo fantasy series Time Stranger Kyoko is all too aware that the end is near. It burns through plot at a ferocious speed, leading slower readers in its dust. Relationships are formed, hearts are broken, and suddenly this light and fluffy tale of a girl collecting stones has turned several shades more devious.
The focus is still awakening Ui from her frozen timeless slumber, but the battle to free her from Chronos' grip has taken an unlikely turn - with Kyoko at the heart of it. Her powers so far have already awoken one stranger and possibly identified another, but it is her identity that will shift the story away from the individual Strangers and back onto her, both as a princess with responsibilities and a young woman in love.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: You're Gonna Carry That Weight

Welcome back to Wednesday Briefs! Here comes the latest installment of my ongoing LOST fanfiction. Last week, Desmond confronted Miles about the whereabouts of Daniel Faraday and ended with a new sense of direction. If you are behind, you can read part one and part two before continuing onward!
Constants and Variables (Part 3/?): LOST, Desmond Hume-centric, PG-13, prompt - "Why are you asking me these questions?".
Canon note: Takes place during season five of LOST, albeit an AU take on said events in episode six, "316". It's actually ridiculously AU because it fucks with two major plot points, one involving Desmond and one involving Daniel, both of which will become evident as soon as the story kicks into gear. Spoilers for the rest of season five and events in season six are within. Eventual Desmond/Daniel and implied Juliet/Sawyer & Jack/Kate.
This chapter runs concurrent with the events of "Whatever Happened, Happened".

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

PR: SuBLime Titles Now Available On Kobo eBookstore

Oku-san's Daily Fantasies
© Noboru Takatsuki 2011
GLOBAL YAOI PUBLISHER SuBLime LAUNCHES EXTENSIVE DIGITAL MANGA CATALOG ON
KOBO eBOOKSTORE

Most Diverse English-Language Yaoi Publisher Gives Fans A New Way To Enjoy Its Complete Catalog Of Popular Digital Manga Titles On World's Fastest-Growing eReading Service

San Francisco, CA, March 24, 2014SuBLime, the global yaoi manga publishing initiative between VIZ Media and Japan’s Animate, Ltd. (Animate), has announced the launch today of its diverse yaoi manga library to Kobo, a global leader in eReading.

Fans are invited to access Kobo’s eBookstore and enjoy a seamless yaoi manga eReading experience with the company’s E Ink eReaders, the award-winning Kobo Arc Android tablet, and top-ranking free apps for iOS, BB10 smartphones, and Android devices.

Digital volumes are generally available for purchase and immediate download directly from the Kobo eBookstore for $5.99 (U.S. / CAN) each. Individual volumes are generally rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers. New series debuts and updates for ongoing titles will be added regularly as part of SuBLime’s regular digital release schedule throughout 2014. Please visit the Kobo eBookstore for a complete list of available titles.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Soul Eater Anime, RIP, Sorry Your Finale Sucks

Spoiler warning: So many spoilers in this post. Be careful if you haven't watched all 51 episodes yet!


Having just finished the last two episodes of Soul Eater, I am sorry to say that the ending of this BONES anime does not do the manga justice. It doesn't do anyone justice. It just stinks. Even if you don't read the original source material, the writing behind the anime's finale is laughably bad.
There is no logic to be found in the big bad battle between DWMA and Asura. This anime likes to set up shiny ideas and then let them drop without realization. The end battle, between Asura and Maka, is ridiculous and contrived. If any shonen anime needed the FMA: Brotherhood treatment, it's Soul Eater.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Novel Review: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

The Melancholy of Haruhi SuzumiyaAuthor: Nagaru Tanigawa
Yen Press
224 Pages (paperback ed.)
Meet Haruhi - a cute, determined girl, starting high school in a city where nothing exciting happens and absolutely no one understands her. Meet Kyon ­­- the sarcastic guy who sits behind Haruhi in homeroom and the only boy Haruhi has ever opened up to. His fate is now tied to hers. Meet the S.O.S. Brigade - an after-school club organized by Haruhi with a mission to seek out the extraordinary. Oh, and their second mission? Keeping Haruhi happy . . . because even though she doesn't know it, Haruhi has the power to destroy the universe. Seriously. (Source: Yen Press)
Find me an otaku who was around for 2006 and doesn't know the name Haruhi Suzumiya. You can't. It is impossible. Her image has become synonomous with popular anime. The 'Hare Hare Yukai' dance was a staple at conventions for years. The red armband with the SOS Brigade characters on it could be found everywhere. And yet - over seven years later, and I'm just now reading the light novel that launched a phenomena and created the fictional juggernaut that is Suzumiya-san.
It's too bad I really, really don't like Haruhi Suzumiya.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fujoshi O'Clock (3/22/14)

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:

  • No review 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!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Manga Review: Absolute Boyfriend GN 1

Absolute Boyfriend volume 1
Author: Yuu Watase
Viz Media/Shojo Beat
191 pages
Shy high school student Riko Izawa aches for a boyfriend but guys just won't look her way. Then one day she signs up for a three-day trial of a mysterious "lover figurine," and the next thing she knows, a cute naked guy is delivered to her doorstep--and he wants to be her boyfriend! (Source: Goodreads)
Absolute Boyfriend/Zettai Kareshi reads like a shojo fan's perfect adolescent fantasy. A knock on your door, a giant box waiting to be opened, and what's inside? A drop-dead gorgeous young man, tailored to your specifications and fancies, whose number one purpose in his artificial life is to please one person and one person only: you. But Riko, Yuu Watase's main protagonist, wants nothing to do with the world of private fantasy lovers. And yet here she is, stuck with a young man who keeps offering to have sex with her. 
What's a girl like Riko to do?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Everything Broken Can Be Fixed

Namaste, readers! Welcome to another installment of Wednesday Briefs! We are continuing our journey in the LOST 'verse, guided by everyone's favorite accidental time traveler, Desmond Hume. He's back and more determined than ever. But will he find Daniel Faraday in time? Will anyone ever make it hope alive? And what will Hurley do with all of these Apollo Bars? I hope you stick around and find out!
Constants and Variables (Part 2/?): LOST, Desmond Hume-centric, PG-13, prompt - “Do you think he's going to be okay?”
Canon note: Takes place during season five of LOST, albeit an AU take on said events in episode six, "316". It's actually ridiculously AU because it fucks with two major plot points, one involving Desmond and one involving Daniel, both of which will become evident as soon as the story kicks into gear. Spoilers for the rest of season five and events in season six are within. Eventual Desmond/Daniel and implied Juliet/Sawyer & Jack/Kate.
>>>>>>>>>>>>
There are (at least) three separate realities for Desmond Hume.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Manga Review: Pandora Hearts GN 20

Pandora Hearts volume 20
Author: Jun Mochizuki
Yen Press
208 pages
The pathetic farce that has unfolded in earnest is no more than an absurd yarn spun by the man who caused the Tragedy of Sablier by following his heart's desires. The players in his tale begin dancing with abandon, their emotions bottled up inside, as though they are marionettes manipulated by a master puppeteer . . . (Source: Yen Press)
Spoiler alert: Spoilers for the Pandora Hearts series up to volume 20 are in this review.
This month in the world of Pandora Hearts: an escape, a series of revelations, a loss, a death, a return. At twenty volumes and onwards, Jun Mochizuki seems to have yet fully invoked the true depth of the world of the Abyss and the secrets of Pandora that color the lives of her characters. This volume is heavy on character developments from small to big, and it is the final act of this one that will have long time readers cursing out Mochizuki louder than ever.

Monday, March 17, 2014

PR: Ranma 1/2 Anime Coming To Limited Edition Blu-Ray Release

© Rumiko Takahashi / Shogakukan
VIZ MEDIA RELEASES CLASSIC RANMA ½ ANIME SERIES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIGH DEFINITION IN A NEW LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY BOX SET

One Of Anime Genre’s Greatest Titles Returns This Month In New
3-Disc Blu-ray And DVD Sets That Feature The Celebrated Series, Plus An Array Of Special Bonus Features

San Francisco, CA, March 17, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, is proud to announce the March 25th release of the first of seven sets of the venerable RANMA ½ anime series as a special new Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set and also as a Standard Edition DVD Set.

For the first time, all RANMA ½ episodes will be presented in their original Japanese series order. The Blu-ray Box Set carries an MSRP of $54.97 (U.S. / CAN) and features a special 3-disc set containing the first 23-episodes of the acclaimed martial arts action comedy, presented in full 1080p High Definition resolution for the first time, taken straight from the original Japanese Blu-ray masters giving fans the original, un-cropped 4:3 aspect ratio. The Standard DVD Edition is available with an MSRP of $44.82 (U.S. / CAN). RANMA ½ is rated TV-14.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Manga Reviews: Kamisama Kiss, Strobe Edge

Today in super small manga reviews, a human-turned-kami watches her supernatural entourage grow by leaps and bounds while a young woman struggles with her feelings for a guy who is beyond her reach (or is he?).
Spoiler alert: post contains spoilers for Kamisama Kiss volumes 2 through 5 and Strobe Edge volumes 6 and 7.
Kamisama Kiss (Julietta Suzuki): Nanami Momozono is alone and homeless after her dad skips town to evade his gambling debts and the debt collectors kick her out of her apartment. So when a man she's just saved from a dog offers her his home, she jumps at the opportunity. But it turns out that his place is a shrine, and Nanami has unwittingly taken over his job as a local deity!
Where has this supernatural shojo series been all my life? Oh, right, in Japan. After marathoning through all of these volumes over the span of so many hours, I absolutely 100% adore it. I especially adore Nanami, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite shojo heroines in recent years. Meanwhile, we have Tomoe, her perfect foil, who soon becomes the object of her sudden and new affections.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Manga Review: Time Stranger Kyoko GN 1

Time Stranger Kyoko volume 1
Author: Arina Tanemura
Viz Media/Shojo Beat
200 pages
Kyoko Suomi is the princess of Earth in the 30th century. Kyoko lives among the commoners, unwilling to reveal her true identity and ascend the throne. The king will allow Kyoko to live as she pleases if she can revive her twin sister Ui, who has been trapped in time since birth.
As Kyoko's 16th birthday approaches, crowds are rioting as Kyoko refuses to present herself to her subjects. But in order to revive Ui, she must find 12 holy stones and 12 telepaths to move the clock that has stopped time for her sister.(Source: Viz Media)
Having finished Sakura Hime, I got the hankering for more Arina Tanemura, so I turned to her three-volume series Time Stranger Kyoko. Like Sakura Hime, Kyoko is a shojo manga about a young woman who is a princess with unusual powers that must use them to save those close to her and reveal her own destiny. Unlike Sakura Hime, however, it lacks true depth and is crowded with characters who have yet to reveal their usefulness. But hey, at least it's fun!
The story itself isn't terribly challenging, but it is interesting. Kyoko must use time travel to find twelve stones and twelve matching telepaths in order to awaken her twin sister? Yeah, all right, why not?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Whatever Happens, Happens

You thought it was over, you thought it was done, but this newest Wednesday Brief has only begun! I've started another multi part story for this Wednesday, and yes it's LOST, but the thing about this one is, I have no idea what direction it will take or how long it will be! But we'll have fun exploring the possibilities of this brave new LOST world together! 
I'm having too much fun playing in Abrams' fictional island 'verse to stop, really. I hope I can do the original characters due justice.
Constants and Variables (Part 1/?): LOST, Desmond Hume-centric, PG-13, prompt - "take the initiative, VW bus"
Canon note: Takes place during season five of LOST, albeit an AU take on said events in episode six, "316". It's actually ridiculously AU because it fucks with two major plot points, one involving Desmond and one involving Daniel, both of which will become evident as soon as the story kicks into gear. Spoilers for the rest of season five lie within. Eventual Desmond/Daniel and implied Juliet/Sawyer & Jack/Kate.
>>>>>>>>>>>>
There are (at least) two separate realities for Desmond Hume.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Interesting Vocaloid PV Of The Day

Heard of OSTER Project? She's a member of the always growing Vocaloid fandom, the kind that creates their own original content using the Vocaloid software and voice banks. She's been making music out of Miku Hatsune's voice since 2007 and is very active in the doujinshi music fandom. Judging by her discography, OSTER Project has been ridiculously productive, and 2014 has been no different for her.

This year, OSTER Project has released a new album, "Attractive Museum", which includes fourteen tracks of sweet Vocaloid jams. The CD jacket art is by artist Y-oji, who has become a regular contributor with OP over the years. He also made the art for the below PV of one of the songs off of "Attractive Museum", which can be watched below.

Y'all like Wizard of Oz, right? How about a 20-minute Vocaloid PV based on it?


I think I'll be checking out some of the other tracks from OSTER Project's latest album. How about y'all?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Little Aside About Doujinshi

I keep seeing the accompanying image being dandied about the Internet as why Japanese fan comics, aka doujinshi, is the greatest thing ever and totally perfectly legal or something. After seeing a 'life facts' Twitter post it, I figured it was time to say something. Not because it's wrong, but it's a bit simplified. And it's not even a matter of the 140-character digit - the image is contained in a link!

First of all, something that is not clarified with this image: doujinshi aren't being sold side by side with the materials they are inspired by. They are sold in their own marketplaces, separate from commercial fare. Some major stores do carry doujinshi, but in separate areas. The Fate/Zero fan comics aren't being sold next to the original light novel.
Second, I cannot for the life of me think of anyone who is making a profit from selling doujinshi. A lot of manga-ka use doujinshi as a springboard to launch their original content. Most doujinshi-ka do it for the love of the series their comics are based on; whatever sales they make usually go towards covering the expenses of production and probably paying any assistants involved with the comic. So companies aren't so quick to come after someone who, after covering costs for supplies, printing, assistants, convention fares, and gas money, has barely any cash left over to buy some convenience store onigiri.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Manga Review: Soul Eater GN 16

Soul Eater volume 16
Author: Atsushi Ohkubo
Yen Press
192 pages
Like the other members of the newly formed Spartoi unit, Maka and Soul undergo rigorous training, probing the boundaries of Soul's hard-won new potential as a weapon. Maka's soul perception ability has made her the enemy's next target, and she and Soul will have to kick it up to a whole new level-and fast! Noah and his followers are coming, ready or not!! (Source: Yen Press)
Ladies and gentlemen, Maka Albarn will kick your butt. It's not even a question, it's a fact. And now that the Baba Yaga Castle arc has ended, everyone can see why Maka is so awesome. Once at school, someone saw my Soul Eater bag and asked me, "Maka or Soul?" My answer: "Maka, of course. Soul is nothing without her." A weapon is nothing without their meister, and Maka is one pretty cool meister.
In this volume of Soul Eater, we see why Maka's abilities as a meister are so great - and why they've made her a target for the attentions of DWMA's many enemies. We also revisit the issue of Medusa's black blood experiments and get launched head first into a battle between ex-allies that will certainly leave lasting scars on this series. Stuff's about to get real in here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

PR: Viz Media To Publish Master Keaton Manga

VIZ MEDIA ACQUIRES NAOKI URASAWA’S THRILLING SUSPENSE SERIES MASTER KEATON

Manga Series About An Investigator With An Unorthodox Set Of Skills From The Award-Winning Creator Of MONSTER And 20th CENTURY BOYS Debuts In English In December

San Francisco, CA, March 4, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, has announced it has acquired the North American publishing rights for Naoki Urasawa’s post–Cold War suspense thriller, MASTER KEATON. The 12-volume manga (graphic novel) series has never before been available in English and is scheduled to launch in print in December under the VIZ Signature imprint.

MASTER KEATON was created and drawn by the award-winning manga artist Naoki Urasawa, story coproduced with Hokusei Katsushika and Takashi Nagasaki. MASTER KEATON will be rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens and carry an MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN. Each paperback volume will receive a deluxe treatment, including 18 pages of full-color artwork. In addition to publishing MASTER KEATON in North America, VIZ Media will also release it in print in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Open Thread: Blue Exorcist On Toonami

Here's an open thread for Monday morning: the English dubbed Blue Exorcist/Ao No Exorcist now airing on Toonami! Now that two episodes of this Aniplex licensed anime have aired on TV, what do y'all think about the dub job? Whose voices are you looking forward to? (As you can tell, this is really for folks who haven't watched the dub on Neon Alley/DVD yet, like me!)

For your reference, here are the main cast & their voice actors who have been featured so far (hat tip to ANN for the cast list):
Rin Okumura: Bryce Papenbrook
Yukio Okumura: Johnny Yong Bosch
Father Fujimoto: Kirk Thornton
Mephisto: Sam Regal


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Fujoshi O'Clock (3/1/14)

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:
  • Manga Worth Reading reviews The Man of Tango by Tetuzoh Okadaya, a story of passion and ballroom dancing. Unfortunately, it sounds like the artwork can get wonky at times. Still, Strictly Ballroom meets boys' love!
  • Experiments in Manga reviews Writing the Boys of Love by Jeffrey Angles, which examines male-male romance in Japanese literature during specific time periods. Looks very academic minded.

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!