Sunday, June 29, 2014

Open Thread: Legend of Korra Book Three

So Nickelodeon dropped three new episodes of The Legend of Korra this Friday. Why? Because they're nuts, that's why. And because they didn't want to air any during the upcoming holiday weekend (let's be real, no one is watching new television on Fourth of July weekend - or at least, not enough for Nick to care).

And thus, Book Three of Korra - Change - is upon us!

Love it or hate it, just say what you feel about the latest adventures of Avatar Korra. Or reminiscence upon past seasons, or the original Avatar series! Something something Secret Tunnel, right?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fujoshi O'Clock (6/28/14)

What time is it? It's Fujoshi O'Clock, the biweekly feature at Nagareboshi Review, when I bring to you the latest fujoshi-related news and reviews and various shiny BL-flavored things. Why? Because rotten girls need love too!

This week on Fujoshi O'Clock:


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, June 27, 2014

Manga Review: Attack On Titan GN 6

Attack on Titan volume 6
Author: Hajime Isayama
Kodansha Comics
190 pages
On the way to Eren’s home, deep in Titan territory, the Survey Corps ranks are broken by a charge led by a female Titan! But this Abnormal is different – she kills not to eat but to protect herself, and she seems to be looking for someone. Armin comes to a shocking conclusion: She’s a human in a Titan’s body, just like Eren!
There's something about this volume of Attack on Titan that just works. It's probably how Isayama focuses on this one event, that being the hunt for the female Titan who is acting much differently than other Abnormal Titans. It's a focus that makes every scene, big or small, more monumental than before. In this volume, we see Armin step up to the plate and watch Eren undergo some serious dramatic realization of his place in the Survey Corps, and both characters come out of these traumatic experiences changed forever.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: The Runner

Have you been reading the recent series of stories I've been writing for Wednesday Briefs? Good news: this week is another part of that series! For this Wednesday, we'll be looking at a moment in the life of everyone favorite's time traveling ex-Swan Hatch attendee Desmond Hume. Let me know if you have a favorite character so far that you wish the next story would be about!
The Runner. LOST, PG. Prompt used: "have a character jogging". In which Desmond goes running and someone tags along. Spoilers for the finales of season three and six. Takes place in the current running 'verse without a name that has been in the last two flashes.
Two days after Desmond Hume returns to the mainland and settles into his new California home with Penny and their son, two days since Desmond was able to live somewhere that wasn't surrounded by water, whether it be island or boat, he goes for a run.

PR: Viz Reprinting Naoki Urasawa's Monster Manga With New Perfect Edition

Naoki URASAWA/Studio Nuts

Story coproduced with Takashi NAGASAKI
Original Japanese edition
published by SHOGAKUKAN
New Definitive Edition Of The Acclaimed Psychological Manga Thriller Delivers A Tense Crime Drama Filled With Conspiracy, Political Intrigue And Murder

San Francisco, CA, June 24, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, is proud to announce the release of the ultimate collection of creator Naoki Urasawa’s acclaimed manga (graphic novel) suspense masterpiece. MONSTER: THE PERFECT EDITION, Vol. 1 will debut on July 15th. The new print-only oversized release will be published under the VIZ Signature imprint, is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens, and will carry an MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN.

MONSTER: THE PERFECT EDITION is the ultimate version of the acclaimed psychological crime thriller. This new release features a new translation, remastered pages, and a generous amount of full-color content. Future volumes of MONSTER: THE PERFECT EDITION will be released four times a year in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand for a total of nine volumes covering the entire series.

In Naoki Urasawa’s MONSTER, Johan is a cold and calculating killer with a mysterious past, and brilliant Dr. Kenzo Tenma is the only one who can stop him! 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Retrospective Review: Millennium Snow GN 1 & 2

Millennium Snow volume 1 & 2
Author: Bisco Hatori
Viz Manga/Shojo Beat
Approx. 200 pages per volume

Seventeen-year-old Chiyuki Matsuoka was born with heart problems, and her doctors say she won't live to see the next snow. Toya is an 18-year-old vampire who hates blood and refuses to make the traditional partnership with a human, whose life-giving blood would keep them both alive for a thousand years. (Source: Viz)

Spoiler warning: Retrospective reviews contain spoilers for the books they discuss as well as possible spoilers for later events in the series.
Before Bisco Hatori broke out onto the international manga stage with Ouran High School Host Club, she was the manga-ka of several earlier series that ran in Hakusensha magazines in Japan. And one of them was Millennium Snow/千年の雪, also known as Thousand Years of Snow. It's not her first manga—Isshunkan no Romance, her first one-shot which won a Hakusensha Newcomers’ Awards, is actually included in the first volume of Millennium Snow. But readers can see Hatori's sense of humor and drama come to life in these early works about a sickly young girl, her vampire friend, and their unlikely and dramatic courtship.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

(Bisco Hatori's) Winter Is Coming

The continuation of Bisco Hatori's early manga series of romance and vampires and werewolves, Millennium Snow, has me excited to see how the manga-ka will revive the title after taking time off for the immensely popular Ouran High School Host Club. So naturally, I will be revisiting the first two volumes, created very early in Hatori's career, which is very evident from the art style and writing.

Buuuut that won't be until tomorrow. Until then, please enjoy this AMV (MMV? Manga Music Video?) I've found based on Millennium Snow's manga. And then wonder what kind of anime this title would make. If the same team who brought Ouran to life worked on the story of Chiyuki and Toya, that would be fine by me!

Y'know, for a manga that up until recently only had two volumes worth of material, there are a fair amount of fan vids about it on YouTube! I'm sure the number will rise when fans realize the new Millennium Snow chapters are being put out in English by Shojo Beat now. And maybe there will be less Avril Lavigne songs on the Chiyuki/Toya vids.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Can You Make A Pair With Three People?": Reading Soul Eater Not! GN 1

Soul Eater Not! volume 1: Ding-dong! DEAD-dong! Class is about to begin, and you don’t want to be late on your first day of school! Join Tsugumi Harudori in the NOT class at Death Weapon Meister Academy, a school dedicated to training transforming Weapons like Tsugumi and the Meisters who will wield them.
During the serialization of the original Soul Eater series, manga-ka Atsushi Ohkubo had an idea: a spin-off of sorts, focusing on the NOT (Normally Overcome Target) students of the DWMA. Maka and Soul and the sorts are not the stars here. The series puts its entire weight upon the personalities of Tsugumi and her friends Anya and Meme, her two possible Meisters. In Not!, we are shown how the other half of DWMA lives. Except that the other half of DWMA aren't exactly superheroes and world savers.
Let me tell you a story: once upon a time, the TV show LOST almost shot itself in the foot with two new characters that pissed everyone off. Now, at this point in the popular ABC series, the story and main cast had been established. There was a proven chemistry between people. And then, in an attempt to show the lives of the 'other' Oceanic plane survivors, Nikki and Paulo were introduced. And everything quickly went to hell.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Manga Review: Tegami Bachi GN 16

Tegami Bachi volume 16
Author: Hiroyuki Asada
Viz Manga/Shonen Jump
200 pages
After years of searching, Zazie is on the trail of the Gaichuu that devoured his parents' hearts. But the hunt will force him to learn more about himselfand his pastthan he ever imagined. And Emil, the kindly blind girl who runs the nearby inn, has a terrible secret... (Source: Viz)
Spoiler alert: Spoilers for the 16th volume of Letter Bee/Tegami Bachi are within this post.
Reading how other fans reacted to this volume, I feel a little cruel saying that my reaction to the latest volume of Tegami Bachi was not pure, unadulterated affection. And to be truthful, this sixteenth book did nothing wrong per se. But something about the pacing of it and the way it crams two major plot points together to make them relevant to each other took a toll on my enjoyment of it all.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fujoshi OClock (6/13/14)

What time is it? It's Fujoshi O'Clock, the biweekly feature at Nagareboshi Review, when I bring to you the latest fujoshi-related news and reviews and various shiny BL-flavored things. Why? Because rotten girls need love too!

This week on Fujoshi O'Clock:

There are no reviews this week.

Am I missing your blog? Got some awesome fujoshi-related news and reviews you think deserve a shout-out? Poke me with a link and a bit of description over at my Twitter: @theseventhl. I'm always on the look out for more BL love!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: A Day In The Life

This week's Wednesday Briefs might not make much sense unless you read the previous Brief, the LOST fanfic Whilst Dreaming - and that won't make sense unless you've watched all six seasons! But this fanfic is, in a word, mundane. Well, as mundane as a house occupied by a con man, a medium, a pilot, a runaway, and an ex-immortal can be. If you think that sounds cool, then read on...

Playing House: LOST; PG. Post-series AU. In which Richard and Miles spend a thrilling afternoon together paying bills. Prompt used: "have a character pay bills".
When it came to paying the bills in what was now known colloquially as Casa Desde Desmond, since the Los Angeles home had once been a property of Hume's bitter father-in-law, Charles Widmore, the duty fell upon the shoulders of Miles and Richard. They were expected to sort everything out.

Manga Review: Natsume Yuujinchou GN 16

Natsume's Book of Friends volume 16
Author: Yuki Midorikawa
Viz Manga/Shojo Beat
192 pages
Natsume's human friend Taki can only see yokai if they walk through one of her spell circles. Although many yokai see her spells as aggressive traps, putting her at risk of their retaliation, the latest yokai to pass through her circle may have something other than revenge in his heart. But is that any better...? (Source: Viz)
Spoiler alert: Review contains spoilers for this volume of Natsume Yuujinchou/Natsume's Book of Friends.
It's no small secret that Natsume Yuujinchou is a slow burning story that prefers to explore its characters through multiple stories over time rather than punch up every volume with explosive plot twists. And it has worked well for the series over these past volumes. This latest volume continues the trend but also brings new dimensions to Natsume's relationships, whether it's with his human friends or with the yokai world. When his human friends are drawn into the supernatural and he's the only one who can help, how will Natsume respond?

Monday, June 9, 2014

PR: Viz Media Releases Ranma ½ Volume 2 Limited Edition Blu-Ray Box Set

© Rumiko Takahashi / Shogakukan
San Francisco, CA, June 9, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, delivers the next installment of the celebrated return of the classic RANMA ½ anime series in new, digitally restored, High Definition Limited Edition Blu-ray and Standard Edition DVD Box Sets with the release of Volume 2 – covering Episodes 24-46 – on June 24th.

VIZ Media is releasing the revered gender-bending martial arts action comedy, based on the popular manga series created by Rumiko Takahashi, in its original Japanese series order across seven Limited Edition Blu-ray and DVD Box Sets. Each contains a wealth of special bonus features and other extras that fans will not want to miss. RANMA ½ is rated TV-14.

The RANMA ½ Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set, Volume 2 carries an MSRP of $54.97 U.S. / $66.15 CAN. The set features 23 episodes on 3 discs, presented for the first time ever in full 1080p High Definition resolution with the series’ original, un-cropped 4:3 aspect ratio. The Standard Edition DVD set is available with an MSRP of $44.82 U.S. / $43.24 CAN.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Put This Sailor Moon Crystal Promo Into Your Eyeballs

Of all the anime premiering this summer, Sailor Moon Crystal is the one most anticipated. It's the Sailor Moon anime every manga fan has always wanted - and now, a promotional video with actual animation from the series is now online so you can watch it ten times a day if you wish.

The character design is definitely inspired by the manga - especially reflected in Usagi's design for Sailor Moon - and the animation is very much different from the 90's anime. But it's hard to accurately judge something that barely has a minute's worth of clips from the upcoming series. Still, it's something to get excited about!

Who else is hyped for Sailor Moon Crystal airing this year?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Manga Review: Strobe Edge GN 10

Strobe Edge volume 10
Author: Io Sakisaka
Viz Media/Shojo Beat
184 pages
Ninako loves Ren, but seeing Ando get hurt while protecting her makes her feel sad and confused - to the point where she turns Ren down when he confesses his love for her! Has Ninako lost her chance with Ren? Or will they find a way to be together? (Source: Shojo Beat)
With this volume, the story of Strobe Edge comes to a close. What this story has been since the beginning is the relationship between Ninako and Ren, the evolution of it and the possibilities between them. And for many readers, it's been an enjoyable but slightly frustrating ride, watching them grow closer only to fall back and letting the cycle repeat several times. 
But the series finale puts to rest the indecision. You will walk away from this volume knowing their fate, no questions about it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

PR: Digital Manga, Inc. To Launch Captain Ken by Osamu Tezuka Kickstarter

Gardena, CA (June 3, 2014) Digital Manga, Inc. has launched a new project on crowd-funding site Kickstarter to translate and publish Osamu Tezuka's shonen title Captain Ken volumes 1 and 2 for ages 16+ in English for the first time. From June 3 until July 3, fans will be able to pledge for publication of the books and receive Kickstarter exclusive rewards including early release copies of both volumes, the digital companion with featured translation notes, decals, bandanas, messenger bags, and a handmade plush of Captain Ken's horse, Arrow.

If fans pledge a total of $13,000 or more by the deadline, both volumes of Captain Ken will be released simultaneously for Kickstarter backers to receive in February of 2015, before hitting bookstore shelves in March of 2014, through DMI's Platinum Manga classics imprint. Swallowing the Earth, Barbara, Unico, Triton Vol. 1 & 2, and Atom Cat were all successfully funded in previous Kickstarter campaigns, but Captain Ken will be first young adult fiction to add to Digital Manga’s Tezuka collection.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hentai Review: Knock Me Up

Knock Me Up
Author: Kuon Michiyoshi
Digital Manga Publishing/Project-H
200 pages
After silencing her parents' objections with the lie "I'm carrying Shu's child!" Hime and Shuichi were left with no choice but to make that lie into the truth. But day after day and night after night love making is causing Shuichi's baby batter to dry up!! (Source: DMP)
Content warning: The following post is a hentai review, covering a manga meant for 18+ audiences. Although hentai reviews will not include images, they will be about materials that involve explicit scenarios and may go into detail about certain H scenes. Please read with caution!
I am often surprised when a hentai manga has a halfway decent story. A lot of hentai – and I do mean a lot – use whatever dredges of a storyline they muster up to hang a lot of smut on. And I'm not here to argue that Knock Me Up is a piece of fine literature in the world of manga, because that would be a foolish errand. But it manages to be smutty and sweet at the same time and deliver a rather amusing story that would make for a decent non-H manga by itself.