Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Novel Review: Spice & Wolf Book 3

Spice & Wolf book 3
Author: Isuna Hasekura
Illustrator: Jyuu Ayakuya
Yen Press
256 pages

Review warning: Post contains spoilers for the third light novel in the Spice & Wolf series. Read with caution!

Having narrowly escaped financial ruin, Lawrence turns his attention to helping Holo find her ancient homeland in the North. But how long can a traveling merchant afford to wander the countryside looking for a village that he suspects may have ceased to exist long ago? When a rival merchant sets his sights on Lawrence's beautiful companion, though, can Lawrence truly be confident that Holo will remain by his side? Has the time come when Lawrence must ask himself whether his relationship with the Wisewolf is business or pleasure?

You would think that after squeaking out a victory in Ruvinheigen with the armor racket that Lawrence would think twice about getting into a risky financial maneuver – but this is Lawrence we're talking about, and the stakes aren't just for financial gain but for the hand of his own traveling companion.

Yes, for the first time, Lawrence is in serious jeopardy of losing Horo’s companionship forever. But what is Horo to him, actually? It’s this question that dominates this volume of Spice & Wolf and makes it a memorable one.

Monday, May 28, 2012

AMV Of The Week (Sort Of): You're Walking In The Woods...

I'm really stretching the definition of AMV for this week. But hey, I've seen people use the phrase AMV for non-anime fan vids before! And - um - okay, no. There is no excuse except you know you love it. And if you didn't see Tumblr lose their collective minds over this - well, here's your chance.

And take care of yourself when lost in the woods.

AMV: Actual Cannibal Shia LaBeouf
Author: namefriend
Music: Rob Cantor's "Actual Cannibal Shia LaBeouf"
Warnings: Blood, cartoonish gore, cannibalism.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Temptation: Accel World 8

Spoiler warning: Spoilers for the eighth episode of Accel World beyond this point. Don't read if you have not watched!

Accel World episode 8: Haruyuki comes home one day to find a cute young girl greeting him with a smile. (Source: Hulu)

Today is apparently a day for baths! Let's all have baths! With our 'cousins', with our friends! Wait - no, that's a terrible idea. Anyway, Accel World has finally gone done the route of an episode that is mostly fan service. Thank God there's more to this bath house panic that meets the eye, or I'd lose it. If I wanted to watch two teenagers in towels flail about in hot water, I'd watch Ranma. And I'd probably see more boobs, too!

Read the rest of the review after the jump!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Just In Case You Were Wondering . . .

Sorry for the unannounced leave of absence; I'm currently vacationing in Indiana and have spent the last couple of days settling into my sister's house. Regular blogging schedule will resume tomorrow with the weekly Accel World episode review. Thank you for your patience!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

PR: Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha - Now With Rebooted Rurouni Kenshin!

by Nobuhiro Watsuki/SHUEISHA Inc. 


Digital Manga Updates for 2nd Half of May Include Continuation Of Monday 40% Promo on Select Volume 1 Titles, HONEY AND CLOVER Debut

VIZ Media rounds out the month of May with big news for WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA members as it debuts in today’s issue the new RUROUNI KENSHIN manga (graphic novel) reboot – RUROUNI KENSHIN: RESTORATION.

RUROUNI KENSHIN: RESTORATION will be serialized once a month in WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA. To celebrate the upcoming live action movie, Nobuhiro Watsuki, the original creator of RURUNI KENSHIN (published by VIZ Media in North America, rated ‘T’ for Older Teens) reinvented his classic manga with all-new twists and turns. Action, romance, and historical intrigue abound in RUROUNI KENSHIN: RESTORATION, the tale of a wandering swordsman during Japan’s chaotic Meiji Restoration. Join Kenshin, Kaoru, Yahiko and others as they take up their swords once again!

Fujoshi O'Clock (5/23/12)

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:


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, May 22, 2012

Manga Review: Naruto GN 55

Review warning: Post contains spoilers for Naruto volume 55. Read with caution!

Naruto volume 55
Author: Masashi Kishimoto
Viz Media/Shonen Jump
200 pages

The Great War Begins: Evil masterminds Kabuto and Madara instigate a skirmish with Naruto and friends on Turtle Island. The Allied Shinobi Forces prepare to attack, but are they ready for Kabuto's horde of reanimated dead ninja?!

This feels like the volume that should have came after fifty-three, quality wise. After a rather lackluster and spotty as hell fifty-hour, this latest volume brings back the story-telling and action that marks Kishimoto’s skills as one of the best shonen manga-kas in Weekly Shonen Jump today. With the return of many supporting characters to the main arc and the start of what looks to be a multi-volume ninja war, it’s clear that Naruto is finally back to form.

Monday, May 21, 2012

AMV Of The Week: Shadow of Cells

This week’s AMV is a tribute to an anime I actually never got around to finishing – Serial Experiments Lain. However, this fan vid has me wondering if I should pick it up again. CharoManga has done a great job mixing together clips from this show to a fitting track. Plus, the imagery is absolutely stunning.

AMV: The Shadow of Cells
Author: CharoManga
Music: The Servant’s “Cells”
Warnings: Scenes of violence, psychotic/grotesque imagery, flashing lights/strobe effects, quickly edited clips. Spoilers for the Lain series.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Restoration: Accel World 7

Spoiler warning: Spoilers for the seventh episode of Accel World beyond this point. Don't read if you have not watched!

Accel World episode 7: Haruyuki hires a bouncer known as Aqua Current to guard him until he can regain his lost Burst Points. (Source: Hulu)

It's a duelin' episode! Dueling friends! Dueling partners! Dueling banjos? No, not today, thank God. Anyway, I find it interesting that the name of this week's episode is "Restoration". What is being restored in this episode? So far, it seems it is links that are being rebuilt – links between people.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Manga Review: One Piece GN 61

One Piece volume 61
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Viz Media/Shonen Jump
200 pages

Spoiler warning: Review contains major spoilers for the Paramount War arc as well as events of volume 61 of One Piece. Read on with caution!

Romance Dawn For The New World: Determined to become stronger and challenge the toughest seas in the world, Luffy and his crew decide to go into training. When they finally reunite years later, they will meet brand new enemies and adventures!

It’s the official start of a new era, a new story arc. This feeling of fresh beginnings is evident in every scene in this latest volume. It’s understandable; consider how the Paramount War arc ended. Several major players dead, our hero in emotional shambles, and our fearless team of Straw Hats disbanded across the globe. The only way to go from there is up.

That is exactly what Eiichiro Oda does with the opening of the New World arc. After issuing his mysterious challenge to the whole world, meant for his beloved nakama, Luffy has reclaimed his purpose and sense of self. He has come back from the brink of despair and loss to become the captain his crew – and the world – needs, if he is to be the king of all pirates. And with his return, the gears of the world of pirates and the Navy and everyone else start turning again. In the words of Doctor Horrible, it’s a brand new day.

PR: Viz's Haikasoru Imprint Releases Sci-Fi/Fantasy Anthology

© 2012 VIZ Media


New Literary Release Features 13 Innovative Stories From And About Japan By An International Collection Of Some Of Sci-Fi Fiction’s Most Acclaimed Authors

San Francisco, CA, May 16, 2012 – VIZ Media’s Haikasoru imprint announces the release of THE FUTURE IS JAPANESE, a new fiction anthology featuring science fiction and fantasy stories from some of today’s greatest writers from both Japan and the English-speaking world. The book is now available from the company’s Haikasoru imprint and has a MSRP of $14.99 U.S. / $17.99 CAN. An eBook edition will also be available for the Amazon Kindle, Apple’s iBooks Store, the Barnes & Noble’s Nook Books Store, and the Sony Reader™ Store.

Haikasoru publishes some of the most compelling contemporary Japanese science fiction and fantasy stories for English-speaking audiences, and is the first imprint based in the U.S. dedicated to Japanese science fiction and fantasy in translation.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Servants and Masters: Relationships in Fate/Stay Night

Spoiler alert: Spoilers for volumes five through ten of the manga beyond this point! Please do not share any spoilers past this point in the series, please!

In my last Fate/Stay Night post, I cut it short to keep things simple and vowed to post about the wonderful relationships in this series later. So here I am, later, talking about the relationships in the Fate/Stay Night manga! I hope I do not bore you. Personal relationships in manga, whether romantic or friendship or otherwise, always intrigue me – and F/SN has been doing a really good job of keeping them developed and three-dimensional.

Especially Saber and Shirou. Oh, I adore them so much. But I’ll get to them in a second.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Breaking News: Toonami Is Back. No, Really.

Citizens who spent their after-school weekdays watching a block of dubbed anime like Sailor Moon and Gundam Wing hosted by a sassy blue robot on the TV box, rejoice. Your beloved has returned.

ANN: Adult Swim Brings Back Toonami Starting On May 26

Yes, apparently the #BringBackToonami campaign from April Fools' Day succeeded. Remember that? Adult Swim brought back Toonami for one night and Twitter anime fandom rose up to take the bait, starting a massive hastag campaign to make it permanent? Rock on, fandom. You did good this time.

Naturally, the buzz is now centered around this bit of news:
The network has not yet announced its lineup for the new block.
So - what do y'all want to see on this new Toonami? I'd personally would either want a return of the old block, or as many of the shows they can bring back without legal issues (Sailor Moon being one particular title that will be hard to air again), or a new schedule of shows that maintain the spirit of old school Toonami. So, weird wacky action anime that can entertain teens and adults alike.

Also, I'm officially throwing my hat in favor of Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt being on any new Toonami line-up, if not [as] in general. It truly belongs. And if they can partner it with programs like Baccano! and Accel World, then that would be doubly awesome. But I guess an otaku can dream, right?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Signal Boost: Talking 'Bout OEL Manga

If you have any interest at all in original English-language manga (or OEL manga) and how to become an American manga-ka, you should definitely be reading the current series of posts by Deb Aoki at Manga, starting with Making A Living In Manga: Part 1.

As usual, Deb Aoki examines the issue with lots of delightful insight and intelligence. In her first post, she gives a list of reasons as to why the American manga-making economy is broken, including the fact that many American readers see OEL manga as 'fake' manga, thus ignore it. Which is a shame, because there's a lot of quality OEL manga titles out there! Like Dramacon and Teahouse and The Dreaming and Off*Beat and so many more!

(Speaking of Off*Beat, I can't wait for volume three to come out! It would be great if someone reprinted the first two books but I ain't holding my breath.)

Monday, May 14, 2012

AMV Of The Week: Climbing Up The Walls

This week’s AMV is a tribute to one of my favorite series that deserves more love, Texhnolyze. It’s an odd, deep, dark series and this fan video couples it wonderfully with Radiohead. If this makes even one person interested in the Texhnolyze anime, than it’s a success in my eyes.

AMV: Climb Up The Walls
Author: Crow0
Music: Radiohead’s “Climbing Up The Walls”
Warnings: Spoilers for the first episode of Texhnolyze. Violence, blood, limb loss, nudity.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Retribution: Accel World 6

Spoiler warning: Spoilers for the sixth episode of Accel World beyond this point. Don't read if you have not watched!

Accel World episode 6: The battle between Silver Crow and Cyan Pile ends with Silver Crow’s victory. Having reconciled with Takumu, Haruyuki now focuses on training to level up in Accel World. (Source: Hulu)

Well, that was interesting! It was really more about the characters than Brain Burst, although the opening sequence with the Blue King was certainly intriguing. We’re finally seeing more of the Level Nines of the game! Although I have to admit, Kuro’s avatar is cooler looking. But then Kuro is awesome.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Story So Far: Fate/Stay Night

Fate/Stay Night volumes 5-10
Original story by Type-Moon
Adapted by Dai Nishiwaki
Published in English by Tokyopop

The story takes place in an ordinary Japanese town, Fuyuki City. Hidden from society, there has been a deadly war going on in this town. Seven sorcerers known as "Masters" summon a powerful familiar called "Servants" and they all fight each other till the last one. The last one is said to attain the Holy Grail which will grant them a wish. Only a few knows when this War started and what the Holy Grail is, but the war was about to begin again this year. 

The main character is Emiya Shirou, who lost his parents in a fire and was adopted by a man who called himself a sorcerer. Admiring his step father, he has been training himself to be a sorcerer. However, he had no talent and he could barely use one type of sorcery. His step father has already passed away, and today he's a sorcerer without any skills or knowledge. He is involved in the War of the Holy Grail when he accidentally summons Saber, who is said to be the strongest servant of all... (Source: Wikipedia)

Spoiler alert: Spoilers for volumes five through ten of the manga beyond this point! Please do not share any spoilers past this point in the series, please!

Last time I blogged about my reading adventures with the Fate/Stay Night manga, I had just finished the fourth volume and the battle against Caster had ended - for now - while a new shift began to form in Shinji, Emiya Shirou's old friend who apparently has some dark secrets of his own. I was also wondering where the heck this Holy Grail War would go from here.

And boy did I find out. Because it seems like these five volumes really bring some serious story and character development, especially if one is a fan of Shirou and Saber. Which I am!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fujoshi O'Clock (5/10/12)

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:
  • Digital Manga continues to dominate the licensing game with six new manga titles, including a handful of BL manga.
  • Ogiue Maniax continues its Fujoshi Files with #42: Alexia Cole from Kiddy Girl-and, who has a stash of BL manga at her desk at work.
  • The Reverse Thieves hold a Yaoi reading day IRL and end up reading several well-known titles as and voices their frustrations with how companies mark the explicit content within the books.


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, May 9, 2012

PR: The Bakuman Finale & A Special Yu-Gi-Oh! Card In WSJA

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


This Week’s Issue of North America’s Leading Digital Manga Magazine Features Series Conclusion Of BAKUMAN。 And Interview With Manga Creator Takeshi Obata

Leading manga publisher VIZ Media continues to offer a plethora of fan-favorite, must-read manga (graphic novel) content along with exclusive creator interviews and a special collectable trading card premium for WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA members throughout the month of May.

Current WEEKLY SJ ALPHA members, as well new subscribers that secure an annual membership to North America’s premier digital manga magazine, are encouraged sign up at before June 22nd, 2012 to receive a special limited edition collectable – a Slifer the Sky Dragon YU-GI-OH! promo card! Fans of the print SHONEN JUMP magazine have already been treated to two previous God Cards (Obelisk and Ra), and the trilogy is now complete with this release. Just like the other God cards, each Slifer the Sky Dragon has Kazuki Takahashi Sensei's printed signature!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

AMV Of The Week: Accelerate Your AMV

Look! I found an Accel World AMV for this week! W-w-what, it’s not like I’m obsessed with this show or something. Geez! It’s more of a musical summary of the first episode than an AMV proper, but with a show that only has five episodes out, I’ll gladly take it.

AMV:ACCEL WORLD | アクセル・ワールド
Author: Lucifer Lockhart
Music: Kirin’s “Effulgence”
Warnings: Quickly edited clips, occasional flashing strobe, blood.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Aviation: Accel World 5

Spoiler warning: Spoilers for the fifth episode of Accel World beyond this point. Don't read if you have not watched!

Accel World episode 5: The identity of Cyan Pile is revealed to be one of Haruyuki’s closest peers, who has been consumed by the power to accelerate. (Source: Hulu)

So, Accel World continues its tradition of having half-and-half episodes. Half of this episode was your typical frustrated young men fighting out their problems. The second half was a dramatic reawakening of Haruyuki’s avatar that would turn the tide of the battle permanently. I only wish it did not take a contrived plot device to fuse these two halves together.

Having said that, the second half was pretty tasty. You just had to get through a painfully typical battle scene to see it.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Manga Review: Naruto GN 54; Bleach GN 38; One Piece GN 60

It seems like fate (or perhaps hitsuzen) that I should get volumes of the holy trinity of Weekly Shonen Jump titles at the same time, right? So naturally, I’ll review them all in the same post!

Review warning: Post contains spoilers for Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece's latest volumes. Read on with caution!

Naruto volume 54
Author: Masashi Kishimoto
Viz Media/Shonen Jump
192 pages

Viaduct To Peace: Naruto and his team engage in an intense battle with the Akatsuki organization as both sides seek the power to determine the future of their land. Internecine fighting weakens the Akatsuki, but will their dark forces sideline Naruto?

Maybe the previous volume set my expectations too high, but this latest book was only pretty good. Considering how much is going on at this point in the story, however, ‘pretty good’ isn’t good enough. 

For a story that should be going full-steam into an oncoming ninja war, it’s being hampered by a bloated cast and too much going on at once. Kishimoto is having a hell of a time juggling all his characters and plot threads, and it shows.

Free Comic Book Day 2012!

Oh, sweet sweet Free Comic Book Day. How I love thee! What a perfect way to get exposed to comics I might have missed any other time and read samples of my favorite series! I went to my local comic book shop, the Fantasy Shop, which had a limit of five per customer this year. That's fine by me, but it did make choosing just five a little tricky.

Here are the five I picked up:

  1. Mouse Guard: Labyrinth And Other Stories. Publisher: Archaia Entertainment. Pretty handsome book - hard cover! And the art looks absolutely delightful. Probably the best free comic I've picked up yet, quality wise.
  2. Yo Gabba Gabba!. Publisher: Oni Press. So cute! I'm not the biggest YGG! fan but I watch it occasionally and the comic is a fun read.
  3. My Favorite Martian. Publisher: Hermes Press. You guys. You guyssss. I can't even. They're re-releasing the original My Favorite Martian comics and this is awesome. Now I want to re-watch the original TV series. Good job, Hermes Press!
  4. Adventure Time With Finn & Jake. Publisher: Kaboom! This is really the comic I've been waiting months for. I can't wait to devour it wholly, then buy the comics ASAP. Look, there's BMO!
  5. The Stuff of Legend. Publisher: Th3rd World Studios. I love this series - I even reviewed the first volume of comics - so this is a good reminder to keep reading the series. Plus, it looks like they'll be releasing the first two graphic novels in omnibus format soon. Can't wait to pick that up!
Also, my mom picked up an Avengers comic. I only flipped through it, but it looks excellent. A lot of characters that won't be in the new film, I'm sure.
So, what did everyone else pick up at their local shops? Did y'all pick up different comics? Let me know! Especially if your comic book shop gave out more than just free comics!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

PR: The Shonen Jump Alpha Trivia Sweepstakes Is Open!


by Hiroshi Shiibashi/SHUEISHA Inc.

Everyone Is Invited To Enter Contest For A Chance To Win A Pair Of 4-Day Passes To 2012 San Diego Comic-Con

VIZ Media invites manga fans to test their knowledge of the nation’s leading digital manga magazine with a just-announced new online SHONEN JUMP ALPHA Trivia Sweepstakes Contest, running exclusively at through May 23rd, 2012.  No WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA membership is required to enter the contest.

Contestants simply have to correctly answer 3 trivia questions on WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA to be entered into the sweepstakes drawing. The Grand Prize winner will receive two (2) 4-day show passes to the 2012 Comic-Con International, the nation’s largest comic book, science fiction and pop culture event. Comic-Con takes place July 12th-15th at the San Diego Convention Center, CA. (**Note: Prize package includes show passes only; winner is responsible for hotel, transportation, and other ancillary costs). The Second Place winner will receive an annual Membership to WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP ALPHA, North America’s premier digital manga magazine.

Winners will be selected by random from all valid entries on May 24th and notified by email following the drawing.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Declaration: Accel World 4

Spoiler warning: Spoilers for the fourth episodes of Accel World beyond this point. Don't read if you have not watched!

Accel World episode 4: Haruyuki suspects that Cyan Pile is challenging Kuroyukihime within Accel World via access through Chiyuri’s neuro-linker.  (Source: Hulu)

So here is the resolution to the “Who Is Cyan Pile?” story line. It took Haruyuki rather longer than it should have to figure it out, to be honest. Most bloggers had figured out Cyan Pile’s true identity pretty soon after the third episode aired, but it took Haruyuki a whole other episode to put two and two together to get four. Still, he got it! And just in time – because shit has gotten officially serious.

The first half of this episode was like something out of a high school romantic comedy, complete with flustered misunderstandings and schoolyard gossip. The second half, however, veers sharply into the desolate and dramatic as a character’s life hangs in the balance. A shift in atmosphere like that could give you head lash but that seems to be Accel World’s prerogative.

After School Midnighters PVs

Thank goodness for the blogosphere; it exposes me to anime I would have never read about on my own. Like the film After School Midnighters/Houkago Midnights (放課後ミッドナイターズ), scheduled for release on August 25th of this year. Thanks to Cartoon Brew for the hat tip on this oddball of a movie.

It seems to be the story of a group of young kids who explore their school after midnight and make an adventure after meeting a human body model who comes alive at night. That body model is straight-up nightmare fuel. This can't be a kids' film, right?

The animator is Hitoshi Takekiyo and the studio is Koo-Ki. Never heard of that studio, but their style remind me of Studio 4°C and also the online series Charady no Joke na Manichi (but in a good way, Charady was terribly unfunny).

You can watch a second trailer for After School Midnighters after the jump.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

PR: Right Stuf To Rerelease HETALIA AXIS POWERS Manga

Right Stuf, Inc. is pleased to announce that, through a special arrangement with Japanese publisher Gentosha Comics and TOKYOPOP, manga fans will be able to purchase HETALIA AXIS POWERS, Vol. 3, in English-translated, book form for the first time ever, in addition to reprints of the manga series' first two volumes, exclusively through Right

The first print run of Hetalia - Axis Powers, Vol. 3 will be available in late June 2012.

- This initial print run will feature an eight-page color insert from the original Japanese print edition of the manga. (The future print-on-demand edition of this volume will include these pages but reproduce them in black and white.)
- Quantities of the first print run will be limited, and pre-ordering is highly suggested.
- For a limited time, fans can pre-order Hetalia - Axis Powers, Vol. 3 for $10.99 per copy. (This is a savings of more than 30% off the $15.99 SRP.)

Hetalia - Axis Powers, Vol. 1 and Hetalia - Axis Powers, Vol. 2 are each available immediately.
- These print-on-demand editions will feature a color cover and black-and-white printing on high-grade, 70-pound, bright white paper. (Pages that were originally presented in color will be reproduced with black-and-white printing.)
- Each volume has a retail price of $15.99.