Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Birthday Post: Welcome To Second Special Vehicles Division!

Or: Why everyone reading this blog should watch the Patlabor TV series right now. Yes, even you!

Mobile Police Patlabor TV
Studio: Sunrise
Director: Naoyuki Yoshinaga
Network: NTV/ImaginAsian TV
Episode total: 47 episodes
Original broadcast dates: October 1989 - September 1990

In the future, advanced robotics has created heavy robots ("labors") for use in a variety of functions: construction, fire-fighting, military, and more. However, though the robots are only machines, their operators are also only human - and humans sometimes turn to crime. Since a heavy labor unit can be a dangerous weapon, the police of the future are set to fight fire with fire, using advanced patrol labor units, "patlabors". 

This is the story of the Second Special Vehicles Division, a motley crew of patlabor policemen and -women doing their best to fight crime and live a normal life. (Source: ANN)

It's my birthday and so I'm spending today blogging about my most favorite of all anime series, Mobile Police Patlabor. I fell in love with this series from the very first episode and I would like to share with all of my followers how much I really appreciate a series like Patlabor for being so dang amazing. Whether you are a fan of mecha series or not, I'm confident any viewer would find something to enjoy in the story of Second Division's everyday antics.

Read the rest of my thoughts on Patlabor TV after the jump!

Monday, February 27, 2012

AMV Of The Week: Die Another Day

This week’s AMV is a weird choice for me, since I have never seen a single episode of Angel Beats in my life. But this fan vid may be the final push for me to grab myself a copy from Right Stuf and watch the dang thing. It's rather kick-ass and full of exciting fighting scenes coupled with (unpopular opinion alert!) one of my favorite Madonna songs, especially for AMVs.

AMV: Die Another Day
Author: KanariTenshi
Music: Madonna's "Die Another Day"
Warnings: Quickly edited scenes of moderate violence, bright flashing lights.

Also: slight heads up. Tomorrow’s my birthday! I turn 22 years old! Yeah, not as special as last year but still. So I’m gonna blog about my most favorite anime series ever and why everyone should watch it. It should be fun!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Manga Review: Black Jack GN 1 & 2

Black Jack volumes 1 and 2
Author: Osamu Tezuka
Vertical Manga
Vol 1.: 288 pages; Vol 2.: 304 pages

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. Black Jack charges exorbitant fees for his services, the proceeds from which he uses to fund environmental projects and to aid victims of crime and corrupt capitalists. But because Black Jack keeps his true motives secret, his ethics are perceived as questionable and he is considered a selfish, uncaring devil. The Black Jack series is told in short stories. Each volume will contain 16-20 stories, each running approximately 20-24 pages in length.

Black Jack is recognized as Osamu Tezuka's third most famous series, after Astro Boy and Kimba, the White Lion. (Source: Goodreads)

Spoiler warning: Spoilers for the Black Jack series so far in the following review. Read on with caution!

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.

Fujoshi O'Clock: The Doctor Tezuka Edition

What time is it? It's . . . Fujoshi O'Clock, the new weekly 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 is a little bit different from usual, since today is the last day of MMF week for Osamu Tezuka. So I thought instead of the usual news items and reviews, I'd highlight Tezuka's more boys' love friendly works for the fujoshi audience. There is not a hell of a lot but what there is is pretty significant.

Note: I'm not saying Tezuka is in anyway a BL manga-ka! He's not even close! But some of his works contain some major LGBT themes and characters to the point that there are open homosexual relationships in works made during an era where treatment of such works were novelty at best, steeped in harmful stereotypes at worst. Although even his treatment of LGBT folks isn’t perfect . . .

Don’t worry – no major spoilers for the series discussed below!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

PR: New VIZ Manga Digital Releases, Incl. WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA New Issue!

BAKUMAN。© 2008 by Tsugumi Ohba,
Takeshi Obata/SHUEISHA Inc.


Latest Issue Of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA Also Available, Featuring Exclusive Interview with BLEACH Creator Tite Kubo

VIZ Media continues to expand the digital manga (graphic novels) library available on VIZManga.com and for digital download on the VIZ MANGA App for the Apple iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch devices.

This week’s issue of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA features the latest chapters of BAKUMAN。, BLEACH, NARUTO, NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN, ONE PIECE and TORIKO, as well as a special interview with Tite Kubo, creator of BLEACH. Additional highlights include the latest installments of popular series such as BLUE EXORCIST, CROSS GAME and OTOMEN.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Greatest Robot on Earth: Astro Boy, Pluto, and the Power of Stories.

Note: Post contains some spoilers for both Astro Boy and Pluto. Read on with caution!

Back when Viz Manga was still routinely churning out volumes of Astro Boy in English (for blogging purposes I will refer to him as Astro Boy instead of Tetsuwan Atomu), I managed to get my paws on a couple of them via my local library and fell in love with the story arc known as "The Greatest Robot on Earth", which soon became one of my favorite Tezuka story arcs ever. It's classic Tezuka: a battle between robots and humanity, illustrating how humans work and feel even through the mouth pieces of robot characters.

In "The Greatest Robot on Earth", a robot named Pluto is built and sent across the world to fulfill his creator's task: destroy the world's seven most powerful robots, thus making Pluto the most powerful of them all. Naturally, the seven robots include Astro Boy, which draws Astro and his friends into a race to stop Pluto from achieving his goal. In the end, Pluto's true self is revealed, but is inevitably destroyed to save the world. It's a story arc chock full of action and drama and it is an utter enchantment to read. 

I only wish my library still had their copies of the Astro Boy manga; I would have loved to re-read them one last time before writing this post! Alas. I could go into a whole thing about libraries and their dwindling stock, but I won't because this is a Tezuka post, dang it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

AMV Of The Week: Teardrop

This week’s AMV is a little kick-off to how ridiculously Osamu Tezuka-filled this blog will be until Saturday night, due to the February MMF being about Doctor Tezuka and the massive amount of anime and manga he created. The AMV for this week is a jolly good tribute to Black Jack and Pinoko, set appropriately enough to the theme song for House. I really liked the use of scenes of surgery set alongside scenes of Black Jack hard at work with his adorable assistant.

AMV: Teardrop
Author: DevoVamp
Music: Massive Attack's "Teadrop"
Warnings: Animated depictions of medical procedures and surgeries; blood warning.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

News: Funimation Licenses Level E Anime

Remember when I begged for a licensed of Level E last year? I specifically said Funimation would do good by picking this anime series up - and they did!

ANN: Funimation Licenses Level E Sci-Fi Comedy TV Anime.
North American anime distributor Funimation announced at its panel at Katsucon on Saturday that it has obtained the rights to the comedy series Level E. The 2010 television anime adapted a comedy/science-fiction manga series by Yoshihiro Togashi (Hunter X HunterYū Yū Hakusho) into 13 episodes. The story follows a high school freshman who moves into his own apartment, only to find that it is already inhabited by a strange man who claims to be an alien, and suffers from amnesia.
Although ANN does not report on it, it has been independently reported by others that Funimation has also licensed rights for home video release, which would mean release of Level E on DVD and Blu-Ray. This also supposedly means that Level E will no longer be hosted on Crunchyroll's streaming site but on Funi's own streaming services; something I'm sure will please the fans who dislike using CR for whatever reasons.

As for myself? I'm just excited that I'll be able to own Level E on DVD in the near future. Go, Prince Baka, go!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Roman Who Lept Through Time: Thermae Romae

Thermae Romae
Studio: DLE (Dream Link Entertainment)
Network: Fuji TV
Broadcast total: Three episodes

The story is a comedy about Lucius, an architect of public bath houses in ancient Rome, who time-travels to various modern-day baths in Japan. The author explores the two cultures in the world "that have loved baths the most: the Japanese and the Romans." (Source: Wikipedia)

Spoiler warning: Contains spoilers for the Thermae Romae series. Read on with caution!

I have to say, noitaminA has done it again. The premise itself seems rather ridiculous, I will freely admit that, but the series itself is a humorous ode to two different cultures across the bridge of time and how similar they really are when it comes to their love of the bath house. It's a short series, only three episodes long, so viewers really can't feel bogged down by the series even if they hate it. Personally, I'd love a second season. It is just too much fun to keep to only those three parts!

You can read the rest of my review of Thermae Romae after the jump!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Interesting News Piece About Vocaloids Of The Day

Hat tip to An Eternal Thought in the Mind of Godzilla for this one: Hatsune Miku Goes J-Horror In "Bacterial Contamination" Clip.
Every now and then, a new VOCALOID video comes around that is destined to be the stuff of legend. The full CGI animated “Bacterial Contamination” clip goes one better by being the stuff of nightmares, too.
I have to say, it's pretty cool! The CGI work is nice and Miku Hatsune in a horror setting is always interesting to watch. You can watch the clip of Miku below:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fujoshi O'Clock (2/15/12)

What time is it? It's . . . Fujoshi O'Clock, the new weekly 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:


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!

Bringing Up Baby: Papa to Mama Hajimemashita

Papa to Mama Hajimemashita
Also written as: パパとママはじめました。
Author: Ichikawa Shou
Originally serialized in: Shoujo Comic; tankoubon published by Shogakukan.

Class rep Mochida thinks life is pretty easy, even if she has to put up with the lazy good-for-nothing Yuushi at school. But suddenly, it turns out Yuushi is her next door neighbor - and he has a surprise waiting on his doorstep. When Mochida finds herself taking care of baby with the most least likely person she knows, will it just be a babysitting affair or might it turn into something more? When the baby's mother returns, their new relationship will certainly be tested.

I have to thank my sister for this one, because she pretty much pushed me at it and ordered me to read, perhaps knowing I'm a sucker for one-volume shoujo manga like these. And let me tell you, this one is totally cute. Mochida is the kind of shoujo protagonist I love to read about, and her sudden romance with her quirky next-door neighbor Yuushi is absolutely wonderful. Add into the mix a baby left on Yuushi's doorstep with no one to look after the poor thing, and you have an instant shojo favorite, all wrapped up in one volume but still mighty tasty by itself.

Read the rest of my review beyond the jump!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

AMV Of The Week: Valentine Edition (Except Not)

This week’s AMV is for people who are already pretty damn sick of today's holiday devoted to love, for whatever reason. Let's have a video about things that aren't schlocky and overly sweet. How about a End of Evangelion video? Perfect.

AMV: Filler: Everyone Hugs And Turns Into Tang While I Play... Unfitting Music?
Author: CrazedNinja
Music:  Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice OST's "Maritsu Evil Academy Entrance Applicant Recruiting CM Song"
Warnings: Major spoilers for the Evangelion films (not the Rebuild). Other strange shit that Eva loves to do.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Manga Review: Naruto 53

Naruto volume 53
Author: Masashi Kishimoto
Viz Media/Shonen Jump
192 pages

The Birth of Naruto: Naruto faces his inner demons at the Waterfall of Truth! Can he tame the darkness inside himself while still retaining his biju's power? An important figure from his past shows up during the struggle to relate the history of his family and village, revealing astonishing new information about Naruto and Nine Tails!

Spoiler warning: Spoilers abound for the Naruto series so far in the following review. Read on with caution!

Few people do training story arcs like Masashi Kishimoto. Sure, for the longest time it seemed like Yoshihiro Togashi of Yu Yu Hakusho fame was the shonen manga-ka most (in)famous for his training arcs, which were usually very long and very multi-layered, but recently Kishimoto has shown us what he can really do with some age-old genre tropes, and what comes out of all of this is volume fifty-three of Naruto, in which Naruto fights himself and then fights inside himself, only to find some unexpected assistance from a character I did not expect to see return any time soon. This volume is not so much the birth of Naruto – though it is that too – as much as the rebirth of Naruto, in which he embraces who he truly is and uses it to his own advantage in some incredible character growth that is much needed after what seemed like volumes of the young man struggling with his own self-identity. In short, if you are a fan of the series' title orange-clad character, this is a volume of Naruto to marvel and enjoy and possible get a bit teary over.

Read the rest of my review after the jump!

PR: Highly Anticipated A DEVIL AND HER LOVE SONG Is Now Available fr. Shojo Beat!


An Outspoken Outsider With Amazing Singing Talent Tries To Fit In And Still Maintain Her Hard Edge In The Latest Manga Series From VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat Imprint
© 2006 by Miyoshi Tomori/SHUEISHA Inc.

San Francisco, CA, February 8, 2012 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, debuts the poignant shojo manga (graphic novel) series, A DEVIL AND HER LOVE SONG, now available. The new title, published under the company’s Shojo Beat imprint, is rated ‘T’ for Teens and carries an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.

Meet Maria Kawai – she’s gorgeous and whip-smart, a girl who seems to have it all. But when she unleashes her sharp tongue, it’s no wonder some consider her to be the very devil! Maria’s difficult ways even get her kicked out of an elite school, but this particular fall may actually turn out to be her saving grace... Maria’s frank nature gains her more enemies at her new school, but her angelic singing voice inadvertently catches the attention of Yusuke Kanda and Shin Meguro. Can these boys mend her hardened heart, or will they just end up getting scorched?

“Maria Kawai, an outspoken and radically honest girl who struggles to fit in at a new school, is beautiful and has an amazing singing voice, but isn’t the least bit concerned with being nice or popular,” says Amy Yu, Editor. “When she gets bullied by fellow classmates, two boys step up to aid her—Yusuke Kanda, a cheerful and popular guy who always tries to avoid conflict, and Shin Meguro, a moody outsider who tends to keep to himself. All these characters are dealing with something that we all struggle with—trying to figure out who we truly are and accepting ourselves even though the community asks us to be someone we’re not. It’s an engaging new series that offers a lot of depth, and we’re proud to have it be a part of the Shojo Beat imprint.”

Manga creator Miyoshi Tomori made her debut in 2001, and her previous titles have included Hatsukare (First Boyfriend), Tongari Root (Square Root), and Brass Love!! Her current series, A DEVIL AND HER LOVE SONG, was featured in Japan in the popular shojo magazine Margaret.

For more information on A DEVIL AND HER LOVE SONG, or other shojo manga titles from VIZ Media, please visit ShojoBeat.com.

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan's largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular monthly manga anthology SHONEN JUMP magazine and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fujoshi O'Clock (2/08/12)

What time is it? It's . . . Fujoshi O'Clock, the new weekly 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:


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, February 7, 2012

PR: Shonen Jump Titles Debut on Barnes & Noble's NOOK Tablet & NOOK Color!

NARUTO © 1999
by Masashi Kishimoto/SHUEISHA Inc.


15 New Shonen Jump Series Now Available For Barnes & Noble’s 7-Inch NOOK© Devices, Including BAKUMAN, BLEACH,

The digital manga convergence continues across North America as VIZ Media, LLC, largest distributor and publisher of anime and manga in North America, announces the launch of 15 additional manga (graphic novel) series for the Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color. Beginning today, the company expands its library of digital manga titles offered in the NOOK Store™ to include a variety of popular manga series published under the Shonen Jump and Shonen Jump Advanced imprints.

Volumes are presented in their original Japanese Right-to-Left reading format and are available for purchase and fast download in the U.S. and Canada for $4.99 -$9.99 (U.S. / CAN) each. Over 35 series and 400+ volumes are now available, and new digital manga volumes, including previews, are added weekly.

Monday, February 6, 2012

AMV Of The Week: Traumerei

This week’s AMV was recommended by a friend who just recently really got into Full Metal Alchemist and has been watching fan-based creations surrounding the series like mad. I don’t really watch FMA fanvids (no real reason, never found one that tickled my fancy) but this one is definitely worth it, whether you are a hardcore Full Metal fan or just a fan of anime music videos. It will certainly break your heart, especially if you love the Elric brothers.

Be sure to stick around for the end credits to see just how much additional anime was used in this one vid. Hint: it’s a lot.

AMV: Traumerei
Author: Umika
Music: Globus’ “Orchard of Mines”
Warnings: Flashing lights/colors, violent/bloody imagery, fast-moving clips. Some spoilers for the FMA series at large despite being an AU take on the original story.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Novel Review: The Lost Hero

The Lost Hero
Author: Rick Riordan
Hyperion Books For Children
557 pages (hardcover ed.)

Spoiler note: This review contains spoilers for this novel as well as the original Percy Jackson And The Olympians book series. Read on with caution!

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?  Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out. Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god.

Read my review of this YA novel after the jump!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Interesting News Piece About Ridiculous Dances Of The Day

So, this happened. Because Nico Nico Douga users apparently have zero taste in currently running anime.

ANN: Kill Me Baby's Dance Attempted In Real Life:
Nico Nico Douga user "Hassaku (2012 Ver.)" has posted a video of two unnamed men attempting to recreate the dance from the ending animation sequence of the TV series Kill Me Baby. The video was later cross-posted to YouTube.

I can understand why people would do the dances from series like Haruhi and Lucky Star, because they have actual redeeming factors. But Kill Me Baby? Which is not only unfunny, but the ending sequence's dance defies the laws of human motion. I guess every anime dance has to be attempted once for posterity's sake (and summarily posted to the Interwebs) - and in all fairness, these dudes aren't half bad.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Graphic Novel Review: Teahouse GN 1

Teahouse volume 1
Author: Emirain
48 pages

Warning: The work being discussed is for audiences 18+ years of age. Caution when reading!

Welcome to the Teahouse, where a motley bunch are ready to serve in and out of the bed. Enter Sir Rhys, a regular client who has turned The Teahouse upside down with his blunt put-downs and skilled moves. Will he choose shy virgin Rory, or the ladies' favorite Axis? Axis is hoping he won't have to service Sir Rhys again, but he can't get him out of his head! What will happen when these two opposites meet again in the bedroom?

If you know me and know this blog, you know I love boys' love webcomics - and that my favorite by far is Teahouse by Emirain, which I not only crow about on a regular basis through Fujoshi O'Clock but even awarded the top slot of my favorite yaoi reads of 2011. So when Emirain came to Bishiecon 2011 as our main artist guests of honor, I knew I would have to buy a physical copy of the first chapter of my favorite BL web story - and I did! My copy was even signed!

And for ten bucks? It was totally worth it. Some might think buying physical hardcopies of webcomics is a waste of money, but I would argue quite the opposite! Considering all the yummy extras Emirain put into this slim volume, it was more than worth the cost, and I can't wait to pick up the next two chapters in this ongoing series.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

PR: Announcing The Debut of SuBLime Digital Yaoi Manga Titles!


Oku-san's Daily Fantasies
© Noboru Takatsuki 2011 
Bold New Publisher Releases Acclaimed Boys’ Love Manga

San Francisco, CA, February 1, 2012 – SuBLime, the global yaoi manga (graphic novel) publishing initiative between VIZ Media and Japan’s Animate, Ltd. (Animate) and Libre Publishing Co., Ltd. (Libre Publishing), opens 2012 with a variety of notable new releases. Today, the company launches LOVE PISTOLS Vol. 1 by Tarako Kotobuki, HUSBAND, HONEYMOON Vol. 1 by Haruka Minami, OKU-SAN’S DAILY FANTASIES by Noboru Takatsuki, and THE BED OF MY DEAR KING by Sakae Kusama.

The new titles are rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers and carry an MSRP of USD $5.99 each. The $5.99 purchase price offers fans digital access to two versions of each manga volume on www.SuBLimeManga.com – a downloadable PDF that is viewable on any enabled eReader device and computer, and via the online manga viewer found on the web site.

“Yaoi fans will not to want to miss this collection of exciting releases available now from SuBLime,” says Jennifer LeBlanc, Editor, SuBLime. “Haruka Minami and Tarako Kotobuki are two of the most acclaimed creators within the genre. We invite fans to visit the SuBLime web site to take advantage of the speed and ease of digital download, and to further explore these titles.”

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fujoshi O'Clock (2/01/12)

What time is it? It's . . . Fujoshi O'Clock, the new weekly 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:


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!