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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Gonna Wash Him Right Out

This week on Wednesday Briefs, the stars are in alignment and sun flares are on the rise. The tides are shifting in strange ways, there are three rainbows coming out of the sea, and Damon Lindelof is riding down a mountain side on his precious Swan Hatch door/coffee table.

Why? Because I didn't write a fanfic. I wrote a piece of original fiction! The first part of a continuing series! I don't know exactly how it will play out, but I hope y'all join me in finding out how this story goes.
Washed Right Out, Chapter One. Original fiction. Prompt used: cell phone, plants, shampoo.
Samantha was wrist-deep in Riley's Medusa-esque head of curls situated over the sink when the cell phone hanging off her hip began to play a mariachi cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody", clashing with Les Belles Vagues Boutique's aesthetic of overflowing potted plants and colorful tile art.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

PR: Viz Media Hosting Manga-Ka Takeshi Obata At NYCC 2014

Wildly Popular Manga Artist and Creative Force Behind Death Note, Bakuman and
All You Need Is Kill to participate in Panels and Autographing on October 9 and 10, 2014

NORWALK, CT – July 29, 2014 – 

New York Comic Con is rolling out power-packed appearances that showcase the hottest talent from around the globe. In continuing its unwavering commitment to celebrate the vast expanse of all things pop culture, ReedPOP, the world’s largest producer of pop culture events and producers of the event, today announced that renowned manga artist Takeshi Obata will be appearing as part of autographing and panels the Thursday and Friday of the show.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Manga Review: Soul Eater Not! GN 2

Soul Eater Not! volume 2
Author: Atsushi Ohkubo
Yen Press
192 pages
Tsugumi knows firsthand how difficult it can be to find your perfect partner at Death Weapon Meister Academy. So when fellow dorm-dweller Jacqueline admits her desire to be partnered with Kim—the notorious “Witch of the Girls’ Dorm”—Tsugumi is eager to help her friend. But Kim’s prickly personality makes it seemingly impossible for anyone to get close to her, let alone a prospective partner. Why is Kim so intent on keeping everyone away?
The second volume of Ohkubo's Soul Eater spin-off series is very busy, but it's nothing this book cannot handle. Between Tsugumi's struggle to pick a partner, Jacqueline's relationship with Kim, the 'traitor' attacks on DWMA and the arrival of new employees at the local cafe, Soul Eater Not! is enjoying a surge in subplots that makes the book a quick moving read. And it is definitely an enjoyable companion to the main Soul Eater series so far.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Manga Review: Kamisama Kiss GN 15

Kamisama Kiss volume 15
Author: Julietta Suzuki
Viz Manga/Shojo Beat
200 pages
Nanami has gone back in time in order to find the fallen kami who cursed Tomoe, but the past is a lot more violent than she expected. Before she can even start her search, she has to deal with suspicious villagers and a mortally wounded Tomoe!
Kamisama Kiss dedicating an entire story arc to Nanami going back in time to save Tomoe from an age-old curse shouldn't work as much as it does - but it does. She's totally out of her element in an era without cell phones, public transporation or modern sanitation but she is ever the spunky, take charge heroine this series needs.
And while Kamisama Kiss breaks into the backstory of shinshi Tomoe's life as a delinquent yokai, it becomes apparent that Nanami's rather rosy view of yokai, tinged by Tomoe and Mizuki and other more domestic types, is about to get shattered. Tomoe's younger self is not a nice person, and his first interaction with Nanami does not put him in a very good life. Not to mention the company he keeps, which has no problem getting their claws dirty in human blood if it's convenient.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Breaking News: Nickelodeon Apparently Determined To Make Korra The Last Avatar

Edit: IGN has a full report on the Legend of Korra panel at SDCC 2014, containing details on the future of the show.

Let's be honest: Legend of Korra has had its problems, from a bumpy season two to obnoxious love triangles and low ratings, but recently fans had been falling back in love with the adventures of Korra and crew in Republic City with its newest season. Season three of Korra has been more amusing and entertaining that it's been since it's premiere. Good news, right?

Now Nickelodeon has decided that pulling in one million viewers every Friday night is no longer good enough for Avatar Korra.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Battle of Dueling Titans: Attack on Titan GNs 10-12

Spoiler note: Post contains spoilers for most major events in Attack on Titan/Shingeki no Kyojin up to chapter fifty.
With no combat gear and Wall Rose breached, the 104th scrambles to evacuate the villages in the Titans' path. On their way to the safety of Wall Sheena, they decide to spend the night in Utgard Castle. But their sanctuary becomes a slaughterhouse when they discover that, for some reason, these Titans attack at night!
I don't say this about a lot of manga-ka of popular series, since I suspect that fame can cause flustered souls to start throwing stuff at the drawingboard to see what sticks and will keep them from being cancelled, but I have faith that Hajime Isayama knows where this story is going. Isayama has a plan for the fearless soldiers of a cringing humanity hiding behind its massive walls and it obviously involves Titans - lots and lots of Titans.
At this point, around the volume ten point, it becomes obvious that Titans are all around us. They are in the ranks of the Survey Corps, they train and make merry with their associates and enjoy a drink or two at night. They live, love and betray their friends. Titans: they're just like us! After the stunning revelation that Eren is not the only human-Titan in the group with the battle against Annie, Titans keep popping up out of nowhere.

Monday, July 21, 2014

PR: Viz Media Releases 2014 SDCC Plans, Panel Events, Giveaways

©2002 MASASHI KISHIMOTO /
2007 SHIPPUDEN  All Rights Reserved.
I'm not saying I'm immensely jealous of everyone who is attending SDCC this year . . . but yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying. And man, I want to take a photo with Doraemon! 

VIZ Media Hosts NARUTO Japanese Voice Actor And Offers A Weekend Of Collectable Giveaways, Convention Exclusive Items, Fun Booth Activities, Panel Discussions And Much More At The Nation’s Largest Comics And Pop Culture Event

San Francisco, CA, July 18, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, delivers a cornucopia of anime and manga delight to fans of all ages this year at the 2014 Comic-Con International. Attendees are invited to join a fun weekend in San Diego jam-packed with special events, in-booth giveaways, informative panel discussions, and other fun activities and convention exclusives.

Comic-Con International is the nation’s biggest comic book, science fiction and pop culture event, and takes place July 23rd-27th at the San Diego Convention Center, in San Diego, CA. VIZ Media will be located in Booth 2813. Complete details on Comic-Con are available at: www.comic-con.org.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Book Sprites: Two Shonen, One Reaction

Some times, you have time to write a 1,000+ word review of a single book. Some times, you just don't. For those times, we have Book Sprites, compact book reviews for the discerning reader with no time to lose.
Spoilers for recent events in Naruto and One Piece lay beyond this point!
I've got the newest volumes of Naruto and One Piece, so this post is Shonen Jump heavy. They have two things in common: they're both from long-running shonen series in WSJ and their respective new books are decent but not mind-bendingly fantastic. Although, for two series that have handily passed past fifty volumes and still go on, it's not a bad thing to have less than awesome books.
Naruto volume 66 by Masashi Kishimoto. This volume has the much heralded return of Team Seven: Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura. And while the reunion involves a lot of epic moments in ninja technique and really shows the levels that Sakura and Sasuke have reached since the time skip, it lacks a bit of the emotional resonance I was hoping for.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Ride Together Crash Alone

Do you like grown men cycling? Weird AU fanfics? LOST fanfics? All three at the same time? Does the idea of Matthew Fox in a jersey and cycling shorts interest you? This Wednesday Brief is for you then! I'm afraid the Tour de France fever has overtaken me, thus this week's story. But enjoy it nonetheless!


Jersey Number 23. LOST. Cycling AU. In which Jack Shephard is the leader of Team Paik-Widmore and Richard Alpert is the team doctor. Prompt used: Tour de France.
***
"How would you categorize Shephard as a cyclist?"

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Manga Review: Blue Exorcist GN 11

Blue Exorcist volume 11
Author: Kazue Kato
Viz Media/SJ Advanced
210 pages
Rin and his friends continue to investigate the Seven School Mysteries. Yukio watches as the Exwires take on the Academy’s ghosts, troubled by lingering doubts about his own feelings. Rin seems to be learning to control his power more, but is tapping his inner demonic fire going to be his salvation or his doom?
In this volume of Blue Exorcist, it's all school all the time, whether it's solving the Seven Mysteries of the academy or participating in the academy festival, a fine staple of school-based manga now rearing its head in this supernatural shonen title. It's also very Yukio-centric, as the more studious and serious Okamura brother becomes concerned about his own possible demonic tendencies. It's a book with a good mix of action and character-based moments and rather hard to put down.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Doraemon on Disney: All the Way from The Future World

(Note: I use the localized versions of the characters' name when applicable. Naturally, Doraemon stays the same in English!)

If you've been wondering about the English dubbed edition of Doraemon currently airing on Disney XD, the one with episodes culled from the 2005 Japanese Doraemon series, then stop. I have watched the first week of episodes and I can say, with one hundred percent certainty, the answer is yes. Without hesitation, yes!

I've been wanting to watch Doraemon in any form since I first read about it, probably in one of the anime reference guides I checked out from the library twenty times over in the early 2000's. Watching the Disney XD cut of Doraemon (2005) has been a fun, whimsical trip through a show I've been waiting to see for over a decade, and it's been worth it.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fujoshi O'Clock (7/12/14)

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:

  • There are 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, July 9, 2014

Three Years Down, Nagareboshi Reviews!

Vocaloid fanart by artist にわ子.
July 7, 2011 is the date Nagareboshi Reviews truly started up in earnest, so every July I at least try to highlight the fact that despite all the odds, this wee manga and anime blog still lives and is still updated. So, a belated happy birthday, blog! You come a long way, baby. There's been times when I thought I would close up shop, not have time to give this blog the proper love it needs, but yet here we are, entering a fourth year. Crazy but true!

This blog has always been a labor of love and little else. I've never done it to be any great blogger, or to get review copies or anything (which is good, because on that count, I've only ever gotten one!) or even tout some kind of status as press at anime conventions. I wanted to make a space for myself to share my thoughts and fangirlish glee about Japanese media, and from that desire, Nagareboshi Reviews was born. And it's been so much fun. I dare say, I'll be saying the same thing this time next year, unless fate (or hitsuzen) decides otherwise.

Thank you for reading my blog so far. Here we go, the fourth year of Nagareboshi Reviews really starts up now!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Initial Thoughts: Space Dandy Season Two

(Please, don't point out the fact that I haven't written up a proper 'initial thoughts' post since Nyanpire in 2011. It's painful. Yikes. I really have switched to mainly manga, haven't I?)
I've been eagerly anticipating the season two premiere of Space Dandy for months, but I didn't even bother trying to guess what the first episode would be like. Space Dandy has always been unpredictable if anything, and its continuity is nonexistent; hitting the universal reset button is par for the course for every episode.
Having said that, if I had made up a list of things I expected Space Dandy season two to open with, a cow would not have been on it. And what followed the cow was one of the most clever, hilarious, and entertaining half-hours of Space Dandy since the series started.
In "I Can't Be the Only One, Baby", following the trail of a loose hair sticking out of Dandy's signature stylish pompadour leads Dandy, QT, and Meow into an alternate universe where they run into... Dandy, QT, and Meow. Only this version of Dandy and company are quite different from the versions we are used to.

Monday, July 7, 2014

PR: Viz Announces The Digital & Print Return Of Jojo's Bizarre Adventures Manga

JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE © 1986
by Hirohiko Araki
& LUCKY LAND COMMUNICATIONS/SHUEISHA Inc.
 
San Francisco, CA, July 7, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, thrilled a packed audience of fans at the 2014 Anime Expo in Los Angeles this past weekend as it announced the much heralded return of creator Hirohiko Araki’s epic supernatural/action/adventure manga (graphic novel) series, JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE.

Volumes 1 and 2 of JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: PART 3 - STARDUST CRUSADERS are now available digitally on VIZManga.com and the VIZ MANGA App for the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch as well as for Android-powered smart phones and 7” tablets. The digital volumes also may be purchased through the Nook, Kindle, Kobo, iBooks and GooglePlay stores. Subsequent editions will be released every week for a total of 16 volumes. JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens and carries a digital MSRP of $6.99 US/CAN.

VIZ Media originally published the JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE STARDUST CRUSADERS manga story arc in print in 2005. Fans at the Anime Expo panel were further delighted with the news that the company’s SHONEN JUMP imprint also has acquired JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE PART 1 - PHANTOM BLOOD and JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE PART 2 - BATTLE TENDENCY and plans to release them digital as firsts across its proprietary and partner platforms in September 2014 and March 2015 respectively.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Signal Boost: Make Your Japanese Lessons Kanjilicious


Let's be honest: learning Japanese is hard. Whether it's written or spoken, it's a very complex and layered language. A lot goes into learning the basics and building up from that, and a lot of people never move on from the basics due to becoming frustrated or not having enough resources.

Recently, I've had a Kickstarter for Japanese language students brought to my attention: the Kanjilicious mobile game campaign, which brings learning kanji to your mobile phone and makes it an interactive game. This game came into being because of the creator's son, Genji, who is currently learning the Japanese characters - over one thousand of them.

Kanjilicious will present users with a series of flashcards that instruct on things such as pronunciation and conjugating the characters (ooh, my inner high school Spanish language student just cringed a bit at the thought of conjugation). It then becomes a game, as friends challenge friends to answer a series of kanji-based prompts

Right now, Kanjilicious has fifteen days to go and is only a third of the way to being fully funded. It looks like a seriously fun way to learn Japanese characters. Consider pledging to this Kickstarter campaign; Japanese language students can always use new resources, especially when it's a swipe away on their phone!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Manga Review: Loveless GN 11

Loveless volume 11
Author: Yun Kouga
Viz Media
176 pages
Ritsuka's faith in his older brother Seimei is pushed to the limit when the unit named Moonless reveals sordid details of Seimei's horrific past deeds. Then, while Ritsuka is still reeling, the unthinkable happens: Seimei returns to reclaim Soubi.
Maybe I've grown tired of the endless psychological chat sessions that Loveless enjoys so much, because I did not completely love this volume. I didn't love the pacing and I certainly didn't love Natsuo and Youji, who continue to be terrible. But as far as the plot goes, it's an important volume, and there are moments of brilliance that manage to shine through the clouds.
The most important presence in this volume of Loveless is Seimei. He is there from the first chapter to the end, even if he does not physically show his face until later in the book. When the Moonless duo come to visit Ritsuka, it's Seimei who is the main focus - what he did and what he didn't do. And when Ritsuka and Soubi find themselves drawing closer and closer, it is Seimei who comes and breaks them apart.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Mister Eko Was Here

Hey, I wrote something different this Wednesday! Okay, it's still a LOST fanfic, because that show has effectively eaten my life. But it's not connected to the ones that have come before! So read with pleasure!
Lift Up Your Eyes And Look North. Prompt used: "Did you hear something?, have a character fall. LOST, PG. Miles and Sawyer find a man's grave. Featuring Sawyer, Miles, Aaron and Eko. Stand alone fanfic; not related to the continuing AU LOST series from earlier.
The placement of this story in canon is tricky. During the second half of season four, when Miles was part of Sawyer's group but before the helicopter and the flashes starting, is the most precise way to put it. Giving it an exact placement in the LOST time line would be impossible so just go with the flow, brotha.
>><<
Theyd been cutting down branches in their path with a pair of machetes Sawyer had found in the Dharma camp when Miles spoke up. "Dude, are we going to talk about that plane we found?"
"Nope."
"What about the grave?"
"Nope." Sawyer turned. "What grave?"

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Manga Review: Soul Eater GN 20

Soul Eater volume 20
Author: Atsushi Ohkubo
Yen Press
192 pages
Kid has been freed from Noah's greedy clutches, but The Book of Eibon remains at large. Noah was a troublesome foe, but the vast knowledge contained within the book could itself be dangerous - and information is not all that lies in its pages... Meanwhile, Crona has resurfaced in Moscow, his madness and Medusa's maternal pressure having all but consumed the friend Maka once knew.
(Keeping this one short because, to be honest, there's not much to say about this volume. Not that it's bad or anything! Also, spoiler alert for some of the events in the first two chapters of volume 20.)
I'm so glad Soul Eater jumped out of the Book of Eibon, because out of it is where all the cool, interesting things are going on. We have Crona going on a black blood rampage in Russia, the Book manipulating events behind the scenes, Death the Kid questioning his own truth, and Soul's own madness leaking out with dangerous results.