Monday, October 28, 2013

Surprise Hiatus

The screen for my netbook - my main means of blogging - has been severely cracked, therefore this blog will have to be on hiatus until the problem is fixed. I'm sorry! Normal blogging should hopefully resume sooner than later.

This song by Super Junior seems apt, given the situation.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Manga Review: One Piece GN 68

One Piece volume 68
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Viz Media/Shonen Jump
192 pages
Pirate Alliance: As the adventures continue on Punk Hazard, Luffy decides to strike up an alliance with Trafalgar Law. But can he convince the rest of the Straw Hats to go along with it? And will this new team be formidable enough to take down Caesar Clown? (Source: Viz Media)
This latest volume of One Piece is all about team work. W-wait, don't click away just yet! It's team work in the sense that a bunch of people who wouldn't normally be caught dead in the same room must now work together if they want to survive the experience. That's exactly what we have when the Straw Hats find themselves in alliance with newly made warlord of the sea, Trafalgar Law, and they all end up having to work with Smoker and Tashigi and their fellow Navy cronies.
The reason for all of this? Caesar Clown, a maniacal morally lacking scientist whose experiments with deadly gases threatens to destroy all life on Punk Hazard once and for all. His gas robe makes him look like the heavily mascara-wearing cousin of a certain smoke monster, and his killer gas makes other One Piece villains look like kindergarten class goons. In other words, Luffy and his crew have their hands full saving Punk Hazard from CC's scientific antics.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Anime Review: Recorder to Randoseru Mi

The series is mainly about the Miyagawa siblings: Atsushi—an elementary student whose build and appearance is the same as a typical adult man; and Atsumi—his sister and a high school girl whose appearance is like an elementary student. They live everyday encountering misunderstandings and misadventures, most to be blamed to their ironic age/looks. (Source: ANN)
Recorder to Randoseru has always been one of those odd, quirky five-minute episode series that really shouldn't be as enjoyable as it sounds. On the surface alone, it's loli/shota bait disguised as a height difference gag series. Atsushi is in fifth grade but looks like an adult! Atsumi looks like a little girl but is in high school! For the first two seasons, RtR managed to rise above the cheap jokes, for the most part. 
Yet somewhere in the development of its third and final season, that concept of fun times with mismatched bodies got lost. Everything got a little weird - and not in a positive way. Still, it was good while it lasted.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Yui's Heart: Sword Art Online 12

Yulier, second in command of the Liberation army, has approached Kirito and Asuna for help saving her friend and the guild. (Source: Crunchyroll)
Spoiler warning: Review contains spoilers for the twelth episode of Sword Art Online.
We are now halfway through Sword Art Online, and spoiler alert: no one has cleared the game or reached the top level yet. Naturally, on the road to the final boss, many obstacles got in the way of our main protagonists, Kirito and Asuna. These obstacles have included a murder mystery, romance, betrayal, marriage and now a child in the form of Yui. But Yui so far has been more of a question mark than a character, a surrogate child for the newlywed warriors as well as another riddle to be solved in the world of Aincrad.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Manga Review: Sakura Hime GN 11

Sakura Hime volume 11
Author: Arina Tanemura
Viz Media/Shojo Beat
184 pages
Kohaku follows Hayate into the woods and finds him there with Rurijo. Enju also witnesses the clandestine meeting and confronts Rurijo about her betrayal. Rurijo, now abandoned by Enju, vows to kill Princess Sakura... (Source: Viz Media)
Sakura Hime makes my heart hurt in so many ways, it should be punishable by law. Tanemura has created a cast of characters with conflicting relationships and she's bringing them together in some very explosive ways. As volume eleven opens, the Kohaku/Rurijo/Hayate love triangle is coming to an apex but Enju isn't far behind, still determined to bring Princess Sakura back to her side. That is, if Rurijo's sudden vengeance quest against the princess doesn't get her killed first.
Funnily enough, there is not a ton of Sakura in this volume, despite Tanemura's noting it being a Sakura/Rurijo heavy volume. It does center around them, yes, but the narrative is heavy mostly on Rurijo and her issues and her relationship with Hayate. Aoba is notably absent from the main story, flitting in and out when he can manage to justify his existence. He's not the romantic male lead in this volume; Hayate has taken this role, atypical as he is to it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Arachnophobia vs Medusa!, Or Rumble At The DWMA

Spoiler warning: Post contains spoilers for Soul Eater up to volume 9/chapter 35 (or, in anime canon, episode 34/35).
After reading volumes eight and nine of Soul Eater, it's clear we've got a battle of wicked women brewing. In one corner, we have the super web-slinging goddess of spiders, Arachne. In another corner, we have the vector arrow-flinging controller of snakes, Medusa. In a series where the big baddie, the First Kishin, has been set aside while he re-cooperates, these two young women have taken control of the evil count in DWMA and are battling for control of the position of number one antagonist against Lord Death.
The real question is, which one of these women has the guts and the gall to go all the way? Will Arachne or Medusa become the number one baddie in the Kishin's absence? At this point, it is anybody's game – and they are both playing to win.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fujoshi O'Clock (10/20/13)

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!

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Girl Of Morning Dew: Sword Art Online 11

The newly married couple is enjoying their time away from the front line. But a new guest will take them all the way back to the beginning. (Source: Crunchyroll)
Spoiler warning: Review contains spoilers for the eleventh episode of Sword Art Online.
This is going to be a quick and dirty post. No, I mean, the content won't be dirty, it just won't be as long-winded as my other Sword Art Online posts. Which works, because this episode is more of a prelude to grander things on the near horizon and not many actual events occur within "The Girl of Morning Due". However, it is the first episode featuring our newly married couple, Kirito and Asuna, who are clearly enjoying their honeymoon at their secluded little cottage far from the action on the front line. But as their guild leader reminded them, they won't be able to stay away from the battle for much longer...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

PR: Viz Releases Uzumaki Horror Manga Omnibus

Sarah: Uzumaki is a really great horror manga that is utterly bizarre and unique. I'd definitely recommend it! Hopefully, Viz releases other Junji Ito titles, perhaps even re-releases Tomie.


An Isolated Seaside Town Spirals Into Madness As A Mysterious Infestation Grows

San Francisco, CA, October 17, 2013 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, has announced the release of the UZUMAKI Deluxe Edition. The new 3-in-1 hardcover version of creator Junji Ito’s inventive horror manga (graphic novel) about the gradual decent into madness of a seaside town overrun with spirals features a new cover design as well as 12 pages of new full-color interior artwork.

The UZUMAKI Deluxe Edition, now available is published under the VIZ Signature imprint, is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens, and carries an MSRP of $27.99 U.S. / $32.00 CAN.

Kurouzu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of teenager Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by a person or being but by a pattern: uzumaki, the spiral, the hypnotic secret shape of the world. It manifests itself in everything from seashells and whirlpools in water to the spiral marks on people's bodies, the insane obsessions of Shuichi's father and the voice from the cochlea in our inner ear. As the madness spreads, the inhabitants of Kurozu-cho are pulled ever deeper into a whirlpool from which there is no return!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nine Jinchuriki, Five Kage, One Neon Ninja

Reading Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto Volumes 59-62
Post contains spoilers for the above volumes of Naruto and the current story arc as a whole.
Now aligned with the tailed beasts and his fellow jinchûriki hosts more than ever, Naruto impresses the Allied Shinobi Forces with his newfound strength. But his comrades are not going to leave this final battle with the forces of Tobi up to Naruto alone. As they rush to assist their friend, Sasuke returns. And this time, he’s intent on taking out Naruto once and for all. (Source: Viz Media)
In case you haven't been keeping up with the ongoing adventures of Naruto Uzumaki and his ninja friends, here's a quick and dirty recap: the entire ninja world is at war with Kabuto's zombie army, while Madara/Tobi makes his own moves to put the world into a permanent illusion via a devious genjutsu of his. Nothing is peaceful, everything is in disarray, but good news, the kunai industry is probably making a hell of a profit keeping everyone armed to the teeth on both sides.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Better To Reign In Hell (Although Japan Is Better)

Blue Exorcist/Ao No Exorcist/青の祓魔師: The story revolves around Rin Okumura, a teenager who discovers he is the son of Satan born from a human woman and is the inheritor of Satan's powers. When Satan kills his guardian, Rin decides to become an exorcist in order to defeat his father. (Source: Wikipedia)
Oh, Blue Exorcist. Much like the flames that encompass Rin's person every time he taps into his demon powers, you burned so bright for such a short time only to sputter out awkwardly in the end. You, who kept viewers glued to the screen with your quickly paced plotting and cast of characters, ended up going the route of all so-so shonen anime and ended with a 'final showdown' between good and evil that in the end apparently did not account for much.

The Ao No Exorcist show was never boring (which is a feat in itself) and it always stayed entertaining to the very end, but some of the late series plot twists bordered on outright silly. Plus, it had a finale that did not feel like a finale so much as the lead to a second season that seems destined to never come into being. At least we'll always have True Cross Academy, right?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Manga Review: Bleach GN 58

Bleach volume 58
Author: Tite Kubo
Viz Media/Shonen Jump
207 pages
The Fire: As the Soul Society struggles against the mysterious group of warriors calling themselves the Vandenreich, Captain General Yamamoto joins the battle. With his Bankai finally revealed, Yamamoto takes down the Vandenreich’s king. But is the battle really over…?(Source: Viz Media)
Spoiler alert: Review contains spoilers for the sixty-eighth volume of Bleach and major events leading up to it. Read with caution!
This latest volume of Bleach literally came out of nowhere, but it had to happen sooner or later. It's one of those events that throw the series' respective universe into absolute chaos for the greater good, and actually succeeds at it. It's on the same level as Aizen's initial betrayal of Soul Society and major character deaths. As certain characters go head-to-head, the result of these fights rock every resident of Soul Society and beyond. This is a must-read volume of Bleach for so many reasons.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tanjoubi Omedetou, Naruto Uzumaki!

Put on your Village of the Hidden Leaf headbands and eat all the bowls of ramen you can find: October 10th is Naruto Uzumaki's birthday! Naruto, for the few people not in the know, is the star of the Masashi Kishimoto manga by the same name. Uzumaki Naruto is a loud orange-clad ninja whose dream is to become Hokage and kick the ass of anyone who says otherwise. His dreams, however, have been temporarily put on hold due to a great ninja war, his best friend defecting from his village, and the fact that he's still too young to be Hokage. Y'know, minor quibbles.

Naruto is arguably the most well-known shonen manga hero from the past ten years, up there with Ichigo Kurosaki of Bleach and Luffy from One Piece. Viz Media corners the U.S. market on Naruto in both manga and anime form, and today they are celebrating Naruto above all social media platforms with contests and giveaways. Go and check them out!

I wonder how Masashi Kishimoto has spent Naruto's birthday in the past? Knowing the schedule of a manga-ka, probably working on pages for the next chapter of the series! Wait, how old is Naruto now...?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Crimson Killing Intent: Sword Art Online 10

Kirito has agreed to a duel with the head of the Blood Alliance Knights. If Kirito wins, Asuna is free to leave the Knights and if he loses... (Source: Crunchyroll)
Spoiler warning: Review contains spoilers for the tenth episode of Sword Art Online.
Sometimes, I wonder how many of my dear readers who have already seen all of Sword Art Online chuckle to themselves when they read this in my previous SAO review: "I'm looking forward to the duel between Kirito and Heathcliff to see who wins; the final result could possibly shift the current dynamics of the show in an all new direction - for better or for worse." Because, oh boy, the aftermath of this one duel is a doozy - and that is putting things lightly. Kirito is known for getting into oddball situations on a regular basis, but this latest one makes every other situation look like kindergarten-grade material.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

You Can't Be Neutral On A Moving Polar Bear Dog

Legend of Korra: "Peacekeepers"
Spoiler alert: Post contains spoilers for the latest episode of Legend of Korra's Book Two.
In Republic City, tensions between Southern and Northern Water Tribe people rise as a Southern Water Tribe cultural center is bombed. Mako, back in the police force, tries to track down the culprits while Varrick produces anti-Northern propaganda movies starring Bolin. (Source: Wikipedia)
So the Southern Water Tribe and Northern Water Tribe are officially going at it. Between the Republic City-based acts of terrorism and President Raiko's reluctance to put Republic troops into the mix, it's no wonder Korra is tense. Hell, it's no wonder anyone is tense - everyone from Korra to Mako and even Asami are feeling the pressure of an oncoming war. So when the mess hits the fan, things quickly blow up in Korra's face in ways that she may never recover from.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Manga Review: One Piece GN 67

One Piece volume 67
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Viz Media/Shonen Jump
219 pages
Cool Fight: Now that they’ve reached the New World, the Straw Hat pirates are up against things they’ve never seen before! Dragons, centaurs and deadly samurai are just the tip of the iceberg compared to the true dangers of Punk Hazard! Can Luffy and his mates uncover the dark secrets of this mysterious island?! (Source: Viz Media)
It's a given that One Piece is a bizarre series. Of the triumvirate of titles that make up Weekly Shonen Jump's main trio, Eiichiro Oda has managed to create the manga which bests both Naruto and Bleach in terms of expansive world-building and strange new civilizations and creatures. Of course, after sixty-plus volumes, Oda has become a master at keeping things fresh and interesting. He pretty much has to in order to keep his loyal and monster-sized following reading and buying every new installment of Luffy's adventures.
This latest story arc, however, really takes the cake. I mean - dragons? Centaurs? Samurai, with or without torsos? Giant kids and talking smoke-liquid people and weather-defying islands - oh shoot, is this an episode of Lost? No, it's still One Piece, and somehow it all makes sense when you read it.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Support The Mystery Shack; Buy Gravity Falls!

One of the strangest, fantastical shows that have popped up on American television in the past couple of years is Gravity Falls, a Disney program that has pulled in a solid, dedicated viewership on a station that usually props up its live action tween shows and more Disney-like properties. To the surprise of everyone, Gravity Falls has survived long enough to be reviewed for a second season - surprise because Disney enjoyed yanking the show around on its schedule and has never treated it as fairly as its other programs.

So when Alex Hirsch, the show's creator, hits Twitter to tell everyone to order the first ever Gravity Falls DVD, it's kind of a big deal. After all, if this DVD - a collection of six episodes - does well sales-wise, Disney will be more inclined to release the first season on DVD. Considering that Gravity Falls is a mystery series with various developing plot-lines, in-series references, and enough hidden symbols to make JJ Abrams' head spin, it's the kind of show you want to watch from start to finish, not just random episodes. So let's make this happen!

The Gravity Falls "Six Strange Tales" DVD comes out October 15th. Season two of Gravity Falls is currently in production and is set to air sometime next year.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

FMA Day: What Could Equal The Value Of A Human Soul?

All fans of Hiromu Arakawa's Full Metal Alchemist series - okay, a lot of them at least - know that in the FMA 'verse, October 3rd is a very special day. It is the day when our fearless alchemist Elric brothers set off on their journey to conquer the very art that had cost them two limbs and a body as well as their mother. Their journey would take them across unusual terrain, fascinating characters, and have them facing down the sinful homunculi and their mad creator.

Today's date is seen engraved inside the fob watch that Edward carries around, reminding them to never forget why they are doing what they do, why they set their childhood home on fire and walked away from it forever so they can get their true bodies back. It has become Full Metal Alchemist day for fans, an unofficial fan holiday in its own right.

I remember first interacting with the story of Alphonse and Edward when I caught the first episode of the original anime on Adult Swim (when [as] still showed anime in their regular programming block!). I was utterly entranced by the story of these two young men, and I ended up starting to read the manga because I was too impatient to wait for next week's episode. It has spawned two series, several films and OVAs/specials, and has become a classic series in a seemingly short amount of time.

I'll be spending some time today reflecting upon one of the best manga/anime series I've had the pleasure of reading/seeing - how about you?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Blue Eyed Demon: Sword Art Online 9

To save a group of players and Asuna from from a Boss character, Kirito is forced to play his trump card. (Source: Crunchyroll)
Spoiler warning: Review contains spoilers for the ninth episode of Sword Art Online.
In the cliffhanger ending for the previous episode, Asuna and Kirito were facing down the 74th level boss Gleam Eyes and for all intents and purposes looked not so ready to clear the floor's final enemy. And if you guessed that the battle wouldn't happen so soon in the episode - well, you would be right! The ninth episode opens with our fearless Aincrad heroes running for their lives from Gleam Eyes. It would almost be cowardice if being killed by Gleam Eyes did not mean a permanent 'game over' for the both of them.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pokemon Origins Airs November, Will Be Awesome

It's only a month away! The latest Pokemon series, Pokemon Origins, is set to premiere on November 15th and there is no way it won't be awesome. Finally, an anime based on the first Pokemon video games, Blue and Red! It's a big ol' nostalgia bomb for people like moi, who grew up playing Red/Blue and getting involved with this mammoth of a franchise.

To make it even better, the anime will be streamed for North American viewers via the Pokemon TV website. Although PO will only be four episodes, there just might be a chance that they will continue the series later. I'm also assuming the stream will be subtitled, hopefully.

You can watch the trailer for Pokemon Origins below: