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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: The Scot And The Pendulum

It's Wednesday which can only mean one thing: another Wednesday Brief! For now, this will be the last part of Constants and Variables that will be posted on this blog. I'll be taking some time to finish the whole beastie, edit it as one piece, and eventually link to it off-site. Look forward to the conclusion, and in the meanwhile, enjoy the newest island adventure of Desmond Hume!
Constants and Variables (Part 7): LOST, Desmond Hume-centric, PG-13, prompt - “The world is a circle without a beginning, running out of time”
Canon note: AU take on seasons five and six, with an emphasis on Desmond Hume and Daniel Faraday. Endgame ships: Desmond/Daniel, Juliet/Sawyer, Jack/Kate. Turns AU during the events of "316". Spoilers for the entire series of LOST, mainly the last two seasons. In these recent chapters, events will run concurrent with the events of "Whatever Happened, Happened" and "Dead Is Dead" in season five.
Plus: Eloise Hawking gets a scene in this one! Namaste!
Previous chapters: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six
>>>>>>>>>>>>
"Jacob!"

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Manga Review: Toradora! GN 1

Toradora! volume 1
Author: Yuyuko Takemiya
Artist: Zekkyo
Seven Seas Entertainment
192 pages
Meet Ryuuji. He'd probably have more friends if his face didn't make him look like a juvenile delinquent. In fact, Ryuuji is pretty nice! But his looks throw people off and make them afraid of him. Ryuuji has one friend, Yuusaku, who is pretty popular despite his bespectacled nerdy exterior. He has a crush on Minori, the girl in his class, and has for a while. It's the first day of his new year of high school. Certainly nothing could get worse?
That is, until he meets Taiga, the 'palmtop tiger'. Their unlikely first encounter will change the course of their lives. How will the dragon and the tiger exist together, especially when they live next to each other and Taiga the tiger is best friends with Ryuuji's crush? This first volume sets up what is sure to be a series of comedic hijinks as these unlikely protagonists explore school life, romance, and friendships while figuring out each other in the process.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

VOCALOID News: Miku Moves To The Cloud

Thanks to Vocaloidism for the link: Yamaha Announces VOCALOID NET Cloud Services Platform.

VOCALOID NET - and yes, it is officially in all caps, obnoxious as that is - will be a members-only service that will turn their users into creators of Vocaloid tunes. The official press release (link text in Japanese) doesn't mention any specific voice banks by name, but if I had to guess, Miku and the Kagamine Twins will be three of the core banks available for usage at the beginning.

From the Vocaloidism link:
 At launch, the platform will feature two services — VOCALODUCER, an automatic music generator service previously only available to commercial partners, and VOCALOSTORAGE, in-the-cloud storage allowing seamless transfer of song data between applications. VOCALODUCER will allow a user to create a song simply by entering lyrics and selecting a melody and singer. An advanced mode will allow selecting of musical genre, accompaniment style, and chord progressions, etc. VOCALOSTORAGE, meanwhile, will allow enabled applications to directly save and load files via the cloud.
VOCALOID NET is free to join, but like many online services, paying users will get a lot more benefits, including extended online cloud storage for songs.

You can watch an official promo video for VOCALOID NET, via YouTube.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Link Spam: Spring Into Josei And Robots And More

I've been sitting on some really great links from other blogs. So many good writers, so little time. I continue to be amazed at the amazing content y'all are creating on a regular basis. It's Thursday, so let's share some of those links!

What have you been reading lately?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Dust In The Wind

Was your mind blown by last week's Wednesday Briefs? Good, because there's more of that this week! In this latest installment of our LOST tale, Desmond and his mysterious benefactor goes against the dreaded fence. Who will win, man or electricity? Let's see...
Constants and Variables (Part 6/?): LOST, Desmond Hume-centric, PG-13, prompt - “What time did you say it was?, a character running late”.
Canon note: AU take on seasons five and six, with an emphasis on Desmond Hume and Daniel Faraday. Endgame ships: Desmond/Daniel, Juliet/Sawyer, Jack/Kate. Turns AU during the events of "316". Spoilers for the entire series of LOST, mainly the last two seasons. In these recent chapters, events will run concurrent with the events of "Whatever Happened, Happened" and "Dead Is Dead" in season five.
Previous chapters: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five
>>>>>>>>>>>>
"Okay, so how will we know that the fence is down?" Desmond cannot see any obvious marker that the fence is active or not. If he hadn't known any better, the space between the towers looks clear and safe to walk through—and he would have turned to dust.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Manga Review: Strobe Edge GN 9

Strobe Edge volume 9
Author: Io Sakisaka
Viz Media/Shojo Beat
192 pages
Ren decides to tell Ninako his feelings for her after the Sports Festival, but he's afraid she may have already moved on! Meanwhile, Ando and his ex, Mao, keep crossing paths... How will Ando react when he hears her shocking revelation? (Source: Shojo Beat)
I'm taking solace in the fact that the ninth volume of Strobe Edge is the second to last, because I know everything will be resolved in the next and final book. I wanted more resolution in this volume, but it didn't happen! But it did set up the stage for a volatile but inevitable emotional confrontation between the series' main players - Ninako, Ren, and Ando. Which is good, because I think waiting for these kids to realize how they feel about each other and say it aloud is making me prematurely gray.

PR: Sentai Filmworks Acquires Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? Anime

©2014 Sentai Filmworks, LLC
HOUSTON, April 21, 2014 – Cat cafes beware: there’s a new contender for cute hopping its way over, and the order of the day is fluffy, white and full of bite in Sentai Filmworks' latest acquisition, Is the Order a Rabbit? This slice of life comedy series is directed by Horiyuki Hashimoto (Angel Beats!, Devil Survivor 2) with series composition by Kazuyuki Fudeyasu (Kämpfer, Princess Resurrection), character design by Yousuke Okuda (Kuroko’s Basketball, Tari Tari) and animation production by WHITE FOX (SoniAni – Super Sonico the Animation, Tears to Tiara).

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fujoshi O'Clock (4/19/14)

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!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Kamisama Hajimemashita: Why Nanami Momozono Is My Queen

When I grow up, I want to be like Nanami Momozono. There, I said it, it's true. After finishing the tenth volume of the Kamisama Kiss manga, it's an undeniable fact that Nanami is the coolest human kami in the history of supernatural shojo. And there is no better story of a down on her luck homeless teen girl who turns into a capable and fearless homegrown deity than hers.
First of all, there's something remarkable about the shojo manga Kamisama Hajimemashita aka Kamisama Kiss. It's a supernatural story, an inter-species romance, a human drama, a comedy of errors, and a fantastical action tale all rolled into one, but it is never fully overwhelmed by one of these elements alone.
And it's safe to say that Kamisama Kiss has quickly become one of my top favorite shojo titles. Not in recent years, but ever, because it's doing everything right and has a fantastic heroine to boot. Nanami Momozono is a gift from above, a queen in ability who deserves the crown, a local deity worth worshiping. In a genre where it seems a lot of heroines are an unfortunate shade of milquetoast, Nanami is assertive, energetic, and willing to make herself heard to protect the ones she loves and strengthen her position as the head of her shrine.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Supernatural Man of Mystery

Let's dispense with a lengthy intro to this week's Brief story! As our LOST bonanza continues, our hero Desmond finds himself in some unlikely company. Will this stranger be his savior or his destruction? Read and find out!
Constants and Variables (Part 5/?): LOST, Desmond Hume-centric, PG-13, prompt - “Do you know what you’re doing?”
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.
In these recent chapters, events will run concurrent with the events of "Whatever Happened, Happened" and "Dead Is Dead" in season five.
Previous chapters: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four
>>>>>>>>>>>>
"So you must be Desmond."
Desmond Hume stops, one foot out in front of the other. He doesn't know the voice, but somehow, the voice knows him. He has the feeling that the other person, a man, has a gun trained on his back but he has no proof. So he keeps his back turned, lest he be greeted with a bullet in the chest.
"You've got me, brotha. You know me, but I don't know you. Have we met?"

Monday, April 14, 2014

Manga Review: Soul Eater GN 17

Soul Eater volume 17
Author: Atsushi Ohkubo
Yen Press
192 pages
The enemy of my enemy is...still my enemy?! As the madness of the Kishin continues to threaten the world, Noah and Medusa race to find Asura and ally themselves with him. With Noah reliant on demon tools and Medusa on her experimental black blood, DWMA must devise ways to combat both evils while trying to seek and destroy Asura themselves! (Source: Yen Press)
Atsushi Ohkubo, you lewd manga-ka you. Somehow, in the middle of the struggle to rescue Death the Kid, fight Crona, and destroy the First Kishin, you managed to make a pivotal volume teem with enough fanservice to make Maka's father blush and spurt blood. And while it's not to the point of overwhelming the whole thing, it can at moments blur what is going on at this point in the series. The DWMA is being pulled in multiple directions as it fights to survive, and it'll be up to Maka and her crew to keep it together.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Manga Review: Naruto GN 65

Naruto volume 65
Author: Masashi Kishimoto
Viz Manga/Shonen Jump
189 pages
Hashirama and Madara: As the battle against Obito and Madara continues to heat up, Sasuke has Orochimaru revive the previous four Hokage! In order to learn the truth, Sasuke will listen to First Hokage Hashirama's tale of how the village was founded. But what will Sasuke's next move be once he gets what he wants?! (Source: Viz Manga)
Spoiler warning: Review will contain some spoilers of events in volume 65 as well as recent volumes leading up to this one.
Recently, every time I open up a new volume of Naruto, I'm worried that it will return to the slump it was in about five books ago. Thankfully, this latest book is not in any slump at all. In the sixty-fifth volume of Naruto, Kishimoto returns to what he does best, integrating the past and the present through flashbacks, and showing how in the world of shonen, he is really underappreciated as a talented storyteller. You think Naruto and think fights, right? This book has fighting, yes, but it has a heart that can be seen through its characters that battles just can't convey.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

PR: Viz Media Brings New Digital Manga Titles Into Spring

Sennen no Yuki © Bisco Hatori
1998/HAKUSENSHA, Inc.
VIZ MEDIA WELCOMES APRIL BRAND NEW DIGITAL MANGA

Catch The Launch Of Vampire Drama MILLENNIUM SNOW Along With Exciting Updates To 26 Other Fan Favorites

VIZ Media welcomes the beginning of Spring with a fresh round of digital manga.Shojo fans will not want to miss the launch of creator Bisco Hatori’s acclaimed wistful romance, MILLENNIUM SNOW, available now.

Notable updates to a variety of other popular ongoing series also include the latest volumes – available now – for: BLEACH (Vol. 60), DRAGON BALL Full Color (Vol. 2), DEADMAN WONDERLAND (Vol. 2), SWEET REIN (Vol. 2), NARUTO (Vol. 65), TORIKO (Vol. 21); HAPPY MARRIAGE (Vol. 5) is also available (only on VIZManga.com and select partner platforms). 

All of these editions launch digitally the same day as print. April 15th will also see the debut of the latest digital-exclusive edition of the hard-hitting superhero action series, ONE-PUNCH MAN (Vol. 2).

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Ships Passing In The Night

It's Wednesday, and Wednesday Briefs is back with the LOST flavored goodness you may or may not be reading! I took a week off to figure out what direction the story is going in, so hopefully it'll really start moving along in these upcoming weeks! This week, Daniel and Desmond are unknowingly drawing closer to each other...
Constants and Variables (Part 4/?): LOST, Desmond Hume-centric, PG-13, prompt - "Sometimes I feel like I'm trapped in time..."
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. Like the previous chapter, this one runs concurrent with the events of "Whatever Happened, Happened".
Previous chapters: Part One | Part Two | Part Three

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Manga Review: Library Wars GN 11

Library Wars volume 11
Author: Kiiro Yumi
Original Concept: Hiro Arikawa
Viz Manga/Shojo Beat
188 pages
Fighting censorship at her hometown art museum, Iku Kasahara and her fellow Library Forces team members are involved in a fierce skirmish in which several ranking officers are severely injured. The damage is far reaching, causing a rift in the Library Forces management that makes Iku question her place in the organization. In the midst of this controversy, Iku’s relationship with her direct supervisor, Dojo, grows more intimate when a long-discussed tea-date begins to sound more like a romantic liaison! (Source: Viz)
Dearest fellow Library Wars fanatics: run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore. Pick up a fresh copy of volume eleven of this series. Pay for it, for goodness' sake. Immediately sit down and read it. Don't even bother reading the book's back blurb, just crack it open as soon as possible and read. This is top notch Library Wars, a series at its peak, a perfect combination of action and drama, humor and romance, struggle and triumph.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Novel Review: Paprika

Paprika
Author: Yasutaka Tsutsui
Vintage
342 Pages (paperback ed.)
When prototype models of a dream-invading device go missing at the Institute for Psychiatric Research, it transpires that someone is using them to drive people insane. Threatened both personally and professionally, brilliant psychotherapist Atsuko Chiba has to journey into the world of fantasy to fight her mysterious opponents. (Source: Vintage)
Some spoilers for the novel's story are within.
Scientists are finding new ways to treat mental illnesses every day. Some treatments border on the science-fiction. So what about a device that enters the dreams of a patient, can let the person treating them directly access the other's subconscious world and alter it? When the line between reality and dreams blur, where will science stand? Paprika, the basis for the Satoshi Kon film of the same name, tackles these massive issues and somehow manages to come out on the other side intact. If anything, Paprika is a battle to control reality as we know it.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Open Thread: The Winter Soldier Has Arrived

Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers everywhere! If you haven't seen the latest Marvel film, turn away now!

I can't even write a coherent post. The Winter Soldier was over two hours of everything that makes a great Marvel Cinematic Universe film! If you love Captain America, you will love this film. I already know people who have seen it multiple times - and it only opened in the States this Friday!

Let's talk about Captain America and the Winter Soldier, the Falcon and Black Widow, Nick Fury and Maria Hill, and everyone else. Let's talk SHIELD and other factions, let's talk secret bases and talking computers, let's talk best friends and new friends and girls that Steve should totally ask out on a date one of these days. Let's talk about that Stan Lee cameo - and if you love Community, let's talk about that Danny Pudi cameo! And if you watch Agents of SHIELD, let's talk about how this changes everything on that show.


And don't forget about the mid-credits and post-credits extra scenes! Never leave a Marvel movie until after the end of the credits! It's not a throwaway gag scene like at the end of Iron Man 3, I promise!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Manga Review: Umineko When They Cry GN 1

Umineko no Naku Koro ni volume 1
Author: Ryukishi07
Artist: Kei Natsumi
Yen Press
512 pages
In the summer of 1986, the Ushiromiya family is called to Rokkenjima for a family meeting dealing with the head of the family's will. After they arrive a typhoon hits the island and traps them there. Soon afterwards, people start dying mysteriously. In order to figure out who is causing the murders Battler Ushiromiya must solve the witch's epitaph before everyone is dead, including himself. (Source: ANN)
Yen Press was correct to release the manga version of Umineko no Naku Koro ni (aka Umineko When They Cry) in massive 500 plus page omnibus formats. It's a series best read in bulk, because the building suspense and nerve-wracking drama will have readers flipping through the pages at supernatural speeds to see what happens next. As the first half of the Legend of the Golden Witch arc opens, the stage is being set for even more chaos and blood in this supernatural game of cat and mouse.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fujoshi O'Clock (4/2/14)

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!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Final Thoughts: Pupa

Pupa/ピューパ: The "life-and-death sibling" story follows Utsutsu and Yume Hasegawa, a boy and his little sister who find themselves all alone. One day, Yume sees a mysterious red butterfly and her body undergoes a strange metamorphosis—into a creature that eats humans. Utsutsu struggles to find a way to restore his sister. (Source: ANN)
Spoiler warning: So many spoilers, so little time. If you haven't finished the Pupa anime, turn away until you have!

Content warning: Pupa the anime is very NSFW. Do not watch the attached episodes in mixed company.
It will take you less than an hour to watch all twelve episodes of Pupa. It will take you less than the length of one episode to realize that this series just doesn't work. Nothing makes sense and the only thing holding it together is the fact that the manga just has to be better than this mess. It started as one of the most anticipated titles of its season. It ended as possibly one of the most despised titles in recent memory.
Just look at the synopsis from Anime News Network! The show goes against its own basic premise. It claims that Yume turns into a monster because of the red butterfly, or maybe it's the strange virus 'Pupa', but then the series goes on to describe Yume's birth and how her own mother tried to kill her. So obviously Yume was a monster long before meeting the butterflies and mad scientist Maria with the big hat. Right? I don't know! They never explain it!