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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rough Sketches and Blueprints: Another Episodes 1-2

When Kouichi Sakakibara transfers to his new school, he can sense something frightening in the atmosphere of his new class, a secret none of them will talk about. At the center is the beautiful girl Mei Misaki. Kouichi is immediately drawn to her mysterious aura, but then he begins to realize that no one else in the class is aware of her presence. (Source: ANN)
Spoilers for the first two episodes of the anime adaptation of Another. No manga or light novel spoilers are in this post.
Another being slightly disappointed by the Tsukihime anime, I've finally started watching a series from the poll that y'all voted on, which means Another. Sorry for taking so long to covering one of the anime actually on the list! But this one has been worth the wait.
Compared to Tsukihime, it's more genuine horror than any amount of vampires can deliver. Claustrophobic small town? Check. Haunted class with possible ghost girl? Yup. Creepy dolls, questionable animals and shadowy shops? Got it. Between the haunting atmosphere and the slow build of a mystery, it's hard not to be drawn into this oddball short series.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Shonen Duet: Naruto GN 67 and One Piece GN 72

Today, I'm tackling two Weekly Shonen Jump titles at the same time: the newest English releases of Naruto and One Piece. 
I would have had Bleach in the mix, but as far as I can tell, volume 62 hasn't been released yet. Which is a shame, as the cover for that book looks great.
Naruto volume 67 by Masashi Kishimoto: Obito has shocked the ninja world by absorbing Ten Tails into himself and transforming into the ultimate jinchuriki. But what is the extent of Obito’s power, and can he even control it? Naruto and Sasuke will have to team up with the revived Hokage to even stand a chance!
This volume is basically more fighting between the allied ninja forces and Obito, who has now become a bigger threat after becoming Ten Tails' schizophrenic jinchuriki and putting his plan of destroying the known world. In response, Naruto and Sasuke and the once dead Hokage make the most unlikely team as they pull out all the stops with improved techniques, pausing occasionally to bicker as they often do.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Final Thoughts: Tsukihime Lunar Legend

Above: I Can't Believe My 900-Year-Old Vampire
Girlfriend Can Be This Cute!!
Tsukihime Lunar Legend/真月譚 月姫: Shiki Tohno sustained a life threatening injury as a child, and due to that incident he was sent away from the Tohno household and was given to a relative to be raised. Years later, when Shiki is in high school, the head of the Tohno household—his father—dies, and he is ordered to move back in by his sister Akiha, who is the new head of the household. However, Shiki holds a huge secret. Ever since that injury, he has been seeing lines on objects, and only with a special pair of glasses is he able to stop seeing them. (Source: ANN)
Spoilers for the entire Tsukihime anime. No manga or visual novel spoilers.
I called Tsukihime's anime adaptation a Type-Moon primer, which still holds true, but after finishing all twelve episodes, it's clear that the title is also a primer for the original visual novel it is based on. I have so many questions about the obscure points of Tsukihime that I'm yearning to play the VN or at least read the manga, which must go further in depth with its ten volumes than a 12-part series ever could.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fujoshi O'Clock (10/24/14)

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. There is also a focus on trans and bisexual anime/manga. 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, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Washed Right Out, Chapter Nine

Part nine of the ongoing flash fiction series Washed Right Out is now up! You can read the previous parts at the following links: part one / part two / part three / part four / part five / part six / part seven / part eight. This week, Riley considers dark doings and a proposition is made. If you are enjoying the story so far or have some criticisms that need airing out, please feel free to leave a comment! I would really appreciate feedback on Washed Right Out as it stands now.

Washed Right Out, Chapter Nine. Prompts used: give me a kiss, now see that's a problem.
The idea came to Riley later that night, long after Sonia had cleared out with her bag of legal papers (but not before she ordered him dinner and then stood watch for the delivery person, as if expecting Jonathan to sneak in under the guise of a Korean restaurant employee). In retrospect, he should have seen it coming, but he’d been distracted up until that crucial point.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Manga Review: D.Gray-Man GN 24

D.Gray-man volume 24
Author: Katsura Hoshino
Viz Media
183 pages
Spoiler warning: Review contains spoilers for the D.Gray-man series so far. Read on with caution!
Allen, now joined by two companions, is still on the run and trying to deal with his demonic alter ego, the Fourteenth. This means avoiding erstwhile allies as well as overt enemies. He also has to prevent one of his companions, fellow Exorcist Kanda, from trying to destroy the Fourteenth while keeping the Fourteenth from destroying his other companion, Johnny, whose zealous devotion to Allen is gratifying but not much help in a fight!
In a way, it's almost a blessing that D.Gray-man was on hiatus and came back from break with a fresh face. In its renewed vigor, it's really been steamrolling through the plot, as thrilling and haunting as ever. In its latest volume, Allen Walker struggles with his runaway status, now accompanied by the scowling Kanda and the enthusiastic Johnny, all while figuring out how to contain the slowly awakening Fourteenth. But the Fourteenth won't be content on staying inactive for long...

Monday, October 20, 2014

I Didn't Know My Horror Anime Could Be So Short!

Commitment-phobes, take heart: Claymation Japanese artist Takena Nagao has something for you and they don't last longer than seven minutes! If you've ever wanted to see blood and guts put to life in the form of colorful clay, served up with a bit of morbid humor, you're gonna love these animated shorts.

Warning: take the content advisories to heart! They are filled with explicit violence, gore and terrifying imagery. Consider these videos NSFW!

In Maid of the Dead, one man's wish for an omelette with ketchup writing goes horribly wrong when the maid cafe he is eating at is hit by a zombie infestation.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Manga Review: Soul Eater GN 22

Soul Eater volume 22
Author: Atsushi Ohkubo
Yen Press
202 pages
The remaining Death Weapons, along with Kid, gather to stage their assault on the moon. As they approach the Kishin’s hideout, Stein and Justin clash in a violent, madness-fueled battle. Stein struggles to maintain his grip on sanity while Justin draws power from the Kishin’s inexhaustible aura of madness. Everyone knows there will be casualties on the road to restoring “order”-but will Stein become the first?
We're still in that uneasy break between the start of the end and getting there, and even though this volume is filled with a lot of action scenes and amazing fights, it doesn't advance the main plot as much as it would have you think. Between the confrontation between Maka and Crona and the introduction of several plot points that haven't paid off yet, it's middling on progress but rich in character development.
As the 22nd volume opens, Maka has latched onto Crona's wavelength and is openly questioning the order to execute them via the Spartoi unit. Meanwhile, Stein gets into an all-out fight with Justin while Death the Kid fights the Kishin's soldiers while unlocking further levels of his own powers. While DWMA is distracted, Noah and his faithful second-hand servant Gopher try to sneak into the Kishin's base but are caught by meister/weapon duo Clay and Akane, who should both look familiar to Soul Eater NOT!'s readers.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

PR: Viz Media To Publish Resident Evil Manga, Offer Free Preview Of Series

© CAPCOM © 2012
NAOKI SERIZAWA / AKITASHOTEN 
Discover The Source Of The Outbreak Of The Deadly C-Virus In The Gritty Manga Prequel To CAPCOM’s Popular Resident Evil® 6 Game Property

San Francisco, CA, October 16, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, gives gamers and action fans a special FREE sneak preview of its forthcoming RESIDENT EVIL: THE MARHAWA DESIRE manga (graphic novel) series as part of the company’s participation in 2014 Halloween ComicFest.

The terrifying 5-volume apocalyptic action thriller was created by Naoki Serizawa and serves as a prequel to the storyline of CAPCOM’s bestselling Resident Evil® 6 game property. The manga series is rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers and will launch on November 18th under the VIZ Signature imprint. RESIDENT EVIL: THE MARHAWA DESIRE Vol. 1 will carry a print MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN.

Held each year, Halloween ComicFest is celebrated at scores of comic shops and retailers nationwide on the Saturday before Halloween. On this day, participating shops offer fans and visitors a special FREE Halloween ComicFest sampler filled with previews of scores of exciting upcoming titles. For additional information and a list of participating retailers, please visit: www.halloweencomicfest.com.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Shiki Doth Protest Too Much: Lunar Legend Tsukihime Episodes 4-6

Spoiler warning: Post contains spoilers for Tsukihime's anime adaptation up to episode six. No visual novel or manga spoilers.
Shiki awakens in the Tohno household, and is scolded over breakfast by Akiha for being late the previous night. At school, Shiki is relieved to see that Yumizuka is safe. Shiki is given a party by Akiha, who formally welcomes her brother into the Tohno household. Later that evening, Shiki has a dreamlike sequence where Arcueid comes, craving for his blood. The next day at school, Arcueid arrives, calling for Shiki, much to his embarrassment. (Source: Wikipedia)
Last time on Tsukihime Drama Island, we met our star cast—the flat-faced Shiki, the mysterious Arcueid, the overbearing sister Akiha, the pink-haired maid twins Kohaku and Hisui, and the sword-wielding weirdo Ciel. In the next three episodes, relationships begin to advance and a new enemy is named, but not many of the questions from before get addressed. Also, there is the sinking feeling that this series is heading into a major bro-con direction and I get vivid flashbacks to the horror days of blogging NakaImo every week and no I DON'T WANT TO GO BACK THERE, OKAY.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Doctor Is In: Tezuka's Black Jack and Horror

Spoiler warning: Post contains spoilers for Osamu Tezuka's original Black Jack manga up to volume 3, as published in English by Vertical Inc./Vertical Comics.
Black Jack is a mysterious and charismatic young genius surgeon who travels the world performing amazing and impossible medical feats. Though a trained physician, he refuses to accept a medical license due to his hatred and mistrust of the medical community's hypocrisy and corruption. This leads Black Jack to occasional run-ins with the authorities, as well as from gangsters and criminals who approach him for illegal operations.
Content warning: The Black Jack manga contains explicitly drawn scenes of surgery and medical procedures. If you are sensitive to these things, you should probably avoid this series.
Black Jack is a medical drama. It is a weird freaking pick to review during October, which is supposed to be all about spooky horror titles. Of all the Doctor Tezuka titles to choose - Don Dracula would have done it, even though it's a comedic take on horror, or the stories of The Crater, or even MW and Ode To Kirihito and Book of Human Insects, which are psychological horror.
But damn it, I just wanted to talk about Black Jack again, outside of my post for the Osamu Tezuka MMF from two years ago (geez, has it been that long?). Because in several ways, Black Jack is very much a Tezuka-style horror story. Black Jack himself even looks like a horror character, with his large flapping overcoat, scarred two-tone faced and shocked black-and-white hair.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Retrospective Review: Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service GN 1

The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service volume 1
Authors: Eiji Otsuka, Housui Yamazaki
Dark Horse Comics
208 pages
'Your body is their business!' Five young students at a Buddhist university, three guys and two girls, find little call for their job skills in today's Tokyo... among the living, that is! But all that stuff in college they were told would never pay offyou know, channeling, dowsing, ESPgives them a direct line to the dead... the dead who are still trapped in their corpses and can't move on to the next reincarnation.
Content/spoiler warning: Review contains spoilers for some of the plot points in the first volume. Review also discusses the more dark/twisted aspects of Kurosagi, including dismemberment, incest, assault, suicide and death. Read on with caution.
Re-reading the first book of this ongoing Eiji Otsuka horror series is like playing a game of How Absolutely Macabre Is This Series, Really? and losing every time. Somehow, through the fog of memory, I forgot how far Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service goes in showing what kind of explicit and horrible ways people can kill other people, the unending ways it finds to illustrate the darkest, most desperate side of humanity.
Not the kid with the talking hand puppet, though. I'd never forget Yata and his crude backtalking puppet who can channel the dead. But in this book, Yata seems almost normal compared to the cases that the Service investigate every chapter.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Washed Right Out, Chapter Eight

This week on Wednesday Briefs and the Washed Right Out series: creepy stalkers, talk of disappearing acts, and neon colored sports drink. And Sonia! Hey, I like Sonia. All in all, it's another typical day for Riley and friends. You can catch up with the series so far via the original fiction tag.

PS - The Stranded fiction anthology comes out on the tenth! I've got a story in it! It's gonna be awesome! More hype!

Washed Right Out, Chapter Eight. Prompts used: Gatorade bottle, is that really you?.
Riley was never one to make dramatic announcements. When he said something, he kept to the point. So when he told Sonia what he wanted, what he really wanted, it was serious.
"I need to make Jonathan disappear."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Initial Thoughts: Lunar Legend Tsukihime (Episodes 1-3)

Shiki Tohno sustained a life threatening injury as a child, and due to that incident he was sent away from the Tohno household and was given to a relative to be raised. Years later, when Shiki is in high school, the head of the Tohno household—his father—dies, and he is ordered to move back in by his sister Akiha, who is the new head of the household. However, Shiki holds a huge secret. Ever since that injury, he has been seeing lines on objects, and only with a special pair of glasses is he able to stop seeing them. (Source: ANN)
Before there was the multimedia behemoth that is the Fate/Stay Night franchise, a game company by the name of Type-Moon gave us Tsukihime, a story of vampires and life lines that would later become an anime series, missing a lot of the more adult/eroge aspects of the original visual novel. I can only imagine how the anime would have benefited from more eroge material. 
Nonetheless, as a primer to how Type-Moon operates pre-FSN, it's not a bad way to spend your time. It's a charmingly dark and strange vampire story that will keep your attention based on its endless series of mysteries and puzzles.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Manga Review: Attack on Titan GN 13

Attack On Titan volume 13
Author: Hajime Isayama
Kodansha Comics
192 pages
At great cost to the Garrison and the Survey Corps, Commander Erwin has managed to recover Eren from the Titans who tried to carry him off. But during the battle, Eren manifested yet another power he doesn't understand. As Eren and Krista find new enemies, the Survey Corps faces threats from both inside and outside the walls. And what will happen to Ymir, now that she has decided to make herself the Titans' prize?
Spoiler alert: Contains some spoilers for earlier volumes of the manga as well as plot points in volume 13.
As the thirteenth volume of Attack on Titan/Shingeki no Kyojin opens, Erwin and Levi's groups are recovering from the battle of the human Titans. Ymir is still with Bertolt and Reiner, Historia is back with the Corps, and Eren is struggling to understand a new aspect to his own Titan abilities. It seems like a slower volume at first, but there's a lot going on as Hajime Isayama turns the series towards more political-based drama as well as delving into the past of Historia.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fujoshi O'Clock (10/3/14)

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. There is also a focus on trans and bisexual anime/manga. 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, October 1, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Washed Right Out, Chapter Seven

Listen, y'all. Here comes the latest installment in my Wednesday Briefs series, Washed Right Out. In this chapter, Riley receives an unwelcome surprise. I hope y'all like your flash fiction tense cos this is t-e-n-s-e. Enjoy!
Washed Right Out, Chapter Seven. Prompts used: tall building, a character making a promise.
The next time someone envied Riley his job at an adult magazine, he’d have to add that Thursday morning to his growing stack of disaster work days. On the bright side, he didn't think about Jonathan or his own inevitable kidnapping the entire time.
All that changed the moment he came home.
He was sitting on the steps leading up to Riley's apartment building. His figure seemed small set against the towering levels of the complex. Judging by the several overturned empty coffee cups and crumpled fast food refuse, he’d been sitting there for a while. His dark chinos were heavily creased, one pocket out-turned, and his dress shirt was untucked at several points.
Riley's body felt heavy. Around him, the world was moving, but he wasn't. He couldn't.