Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Washed Right Out, Chapter Fourteen

Not only is this the last Wednesday Briefs of 2014, it'll probably be my last post of 2014. I was going to write up something pithy to cap off the year, but instead I've got this. I'll write up some kind of wrap-up post for the year later this week, though! 
In the meantime, enjoy the last 2014 installment of Washed Right Out, in which Riley makes a friend and something wicked his way comes...
Washed Right Out, Chapter Fourteen. Prompts used: have a character return a gift.
When Riley had returned to the Belle Facce office with a stranger in tow, the sleepy series of cubicles suddenly took notice of his new blond friend. Fiore quickly found himself the source of work coming to a sudden halt as everyone made a beeline to introduce themselves, and ask him how he and Riley met.
Say we're childhood friends or something, Riley said. Say you're an old school pal who just happened to run into me on the sidewalk. Say you're a visiting alien from outer space who finds our way of life fascinating. Anything but you're the random guy who saved me from my abusive ex-boyfriend and then walked me across the street because I was too afraid to do it myself.
"We literally just met!" Fiore chirped, crushing Riley's need for a cover story. Luckily, Fiore didn't mention Jonathan, or the confrontation between the three of them.

The Legend of Korra Finale Is Everything I Ever Wanted Because Korrasami

Major spoiler alert: Post contains spoilers for the series finale of Legend of Korra.
I'm a bisexual lady who loves geeky shit and I wish I had grown up watching Legend of Korra. I wish Korra had been around when I was a little kid, and not just because my rough tomboy but nerdy grade school self can identify with Korra's struggle to fit in, to not answer every problem with her fists, to see herself as part of a bigger legacy that has been in the making for thousands of years.
I'm talking about the fact that Legend of Korra gave us a no nonsense, short haired beautiful woman who grew up to be kind and generous and understanding and is also bisexual. And god damn, that matters. And that's why Korra's finale—with Korra and Asami holding hands and walking into the spirit portal together—means the world to me right now.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fujoshi O'Clock (12/27/14)

What time is it? It's Fujoshi O'Clock, a regular 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:

  • The final Right Turn Only column at ANN includes discusses a BL manga by Setona Mizushiro, Kyuso wa Cheese no Yume o Miro, which is not yet licensed in English.
  • Fujoshi-bait sports series Kuroko's Basketball is being featured at a Japanese hot spring, to promote an onsen (and probably the anime's upcoming third season).
  • Ogiue Maniax's Fujoshi Files series has been rapidly updated over the past couple of weeks: there is now Sakuraba Midori from the yuri manga Gakuen Polizi, schoolgirl Kanamori Hakata from Ebiten, and doujinshi manga-ka Saotome Haruna from the popular series Negima!.
  • Bateszi Anime Blog discusses the anime series No. 6 in the context of the 'paranoid reader and the non-sexual'.


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!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Obligatory Merry Christmas Post!

For those who celebrate it, I hope you are having a merry Christmas today! And for those who don't, I hope you are having a merry December 25 (and hopefully enjoying a break from school and work)! I will be spending the day with family, being lazy for the holidays and enjoying good food, good company, and the good feeling of not having to do anything of importance and not feeling bad about it.

See you on the other side of Christmas Day! ♥

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Manga Review: Attack On Titan GN 14

Attack On Titan volume 14
Author: Hajime Isayama
Kodansha Comics
192 pages
Commander Erwin has finally come to a decision: Putting their own wealth and position ahead of the survival of humanity, the royal government is no longer fit to lead. To execute their leader’s most audacious plan yet, Eren and Krista will have to put themselves in peril yet again, and Armin, Mikasa, and the rest of the Survey Corps will have to turn from humanity’s guardians into traitors. If they fail this time, they’ll face not a Titan’s gaping mouth, but the gallows…
Maybe this is a sign I'm slowly starting to get burned out on the Attack On Titan manga, because this volume was good, but it was frustrating at times and ridiculous at others. For a series centered around colossal human-looking beasts that tower above everything and eat people like gummy bears, you expect a certain level of the absurd but volume 14 really takes the cake.
It's not even the fact that the series has shifted its focus from fighting titans to fighting government corruption, because in such a closely collected community of paranoia and desperation as those who live behind the walls, this kind of in-fighting is bound to happen. No, it's just that some of the plot twists that Isayama throws at us with the subtlety of a quick brick that has me groaning.

New Anime PV From Key For Charlotte, To Air 2015

So kill me, I've never actually sat down and finished an entire Key series - I gave up on Kanon pretty quickly, never got around to finishing Little Busters even though I enjoyed the first episode, and Clannad and its myriad sequels has been on my To Watch List for ages.

Charlotte, however - an upcoming collab between Key, Aniplex and PA Works - looks pretty dynamite and has been added to be To Watch List already. You can find the official PV below:

First of all, that piano is banging. I want that song! I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't feature in the Charlotte series, either as part of the OP or in the score. The animation in the PV is very polished and dynamic, which is hopefully the overall aesthetic of Charlotte.

For some reason, the main female character reminds me of Rin Tosaka from Fate/Stay Night, albeit a little younger and with a lighter hair color.

Are you planning on watching Charlotte when it airs next year? Or are you going to wait until another PV and some plot/cast details come out until you decide?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Open Thread: Legend of Korra Series Finale

Technically, the Korra finale airs tonight on NickToons - which is how I plan on watching it - but I know it was released online beforehand, so there's no point not having an open thread about the dang thing now. Drop all your Korra-related feelings and thoughts here!

Note: to avoid spoilers, I won't be able to read comments until tomorrow morning. Try and keep it civil if you do comment.

Psst, here's the official release schedule of the Korra finale from Bryan Konietzko's Tumblr, just so everyone knows the full details.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Washed Right Out, Chapter Thirteen

Hey hey! New Wednesday Briefs update before the Christmas vacation! In this installment of Washed Right Out, Riley gets a cold welcome from an ex and an unlikely hero arrives to save the day. There will be danger! There will be intrigue! There will be blood! Actually, I have just been informed there will not be blood. But you'll still like it!

Washed Right Out, Chapter Thirteen. Prompts used: we need to talk, have a character take a sick day.
"Riles. You're here."
A hand—Jonathan's hand—set itself on Riley's shoulder. He’d been trapped. The usage of his nickname—Riles—had once thrilled him, but now it terrified him. The other man's hand felt cold through his shirt, and Riley immediately regretted not bringing his overcoat.
"It's okay," Jonathan continued. "You don't have to say anything. You don't even have to look at me."

PR: Viz Promotes New Digital Manga Titles, End of Year Sale

Vampire Knight © Matsuri Hino
Round Out The Year With The Launch Of 4 New Manga Series And A Special Year-End Promotion Offering Up To 70% Off On All Digital Manga Titles

VIZ Media completes December with a final digital manga update for the year. Fans and readers can wrap up 2014 and accent their holiday season with a wide variety of new manga (graphic novel) volumes as well as catch the launch of a trio of exciting new series from the VIZ Select imprint and new Shojo title.

VIZ Media also ends the year with its annual digital manga sale. For a limited time only – from December 15th to January 15th – readers can dive into scores of new series or catch up on continuing favorites for up to 70% off the regular digital MSRP on digital manga titles featured on VIZManga.com and the VIZ Manga App

Some titles will be available for as low as $1.99. Special sale pricing also may be available from a variety of partner’s digital platforms. Check partner sites for details and specific pricing.

New Digital Manga Series Debuts:

YUKARISM, Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens ·
DIGITAL MSRP: $6.99 (U.S. / CAN) · Available Now!
In this new series from the creator of YURARA and RASETSU, Yukari Kobayakawa, an accomplished author at the age of 17, writes with amazingly accurate details about historical Japan. As it turns out, he has the ability to slip into his past life in the Edo period—as a beautiful, renowned courtesan named Yumurasaki!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sunshine and Murder, Or When Another Goes To The Beach

Spoiler alert: Post contains spoilers for Another episode 8, "Hair stand", and other plot elements from the rest of the series.
A melon that looks like it's been murdered?
Yep, it's Another.
I knew I wanted to blog again about Another, now that I have finished the anime, but I had been visibly torn over whether to blog about the series' use of whispers and gossip throughout all twelve episodes or just concentrate on the beach episode and how great it was.
Eventually, I decided. Bugger it, beach episode of Another all the way. Why not? It's the holidays. Let's talk about girls in bikinis on the beach and bloody, bloody murder. 'Tis the season to talk killer curses.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

December Link Post: Saturday Night's All Right For Link Spam

Here are some of the great and interesting items I've read since the last link dump:

  • Lauren at Otaku Journalist is kicking off her 2014 edition of Twelve Days of Anime, something she took part in last year and was great to read every day. I'd participate as well but I didn't even watch enough anime this year to cover twelve days of talking about it.
  • Smart Bitchy, Trashy Books talk about the latest attempt by mainstream television to cater to geeks and nerds who love adventure shows, the TNT program the Librarians. I dunno - it sounds like a brainless version of Warehouse 13.
  • The Asahi Shimbun talks about the Westernized Doraemon and how it was brought over to America via Disney XD. I didn't realize his "yummy buns" were actually cut down in amount, yikes!
  • My fave music blogger and IRL friend Gaosalad has introduced me to a new J-Pop group, Color-Code, whose "I LIKE DAT" music video pleases me on so many levels. They're like a cross between Capsule, Saori@Destiny, and Ayu herself.
  • [CW: racialized slurs, anti-Chinese slurs] It's more about Chinese-centric racism than Asia in general, but it's worth a read for anime fans who interact with Asian culture on a regular basis: s.e. smith writes on Chop Suey, Ching Chong and Asia in pop culture.
  • Lastly, at the Hungry Bug Diner, ABCBTom writes about Sayo Yamamoto and her use of charcoals for anime art, in series like Attack on Titan, Psycho-Pass and Eureka Seven.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Manga Review: Kamisama Kiss GN 16

Kamisama Kiss volume 16
Author: Julietta Suzuki
Viz Manga/Shojo Beat
200 pages
Back in feudal Japan, Akura-oh is getting frustrated with his best friend and rampage companion Tomoe. He correctly guesses that Tomoe is lovesick, and decides the best way to deal with it is to kill the object of his affection--Yukiji! And to make matters worse, when Nanami wears historical clothes, she looks an awful lot like Yukiji! Can she manage to preserve the past, save Tomoe, protect Yukiji and keep from getting killed?!
I am really digging the current time travel arc in Kamisama Kiss. I'm a big fan of shows which incorporate time travel into their stories and have near-time paradox situations that actually work out (with a little in series explanation, of course) – LOST did this very well in seasons four and five – and Kamisama Kiss' own "rescue Tomoe with the past" arc is coming along well.
In this volume, Nanami works harder than ever to find a cure for Tomoe's curse, determined to find Kuromaro of Mount Ontake, wherever that may be. Her mission gets slightly sidetracked after escaping from Akura-oh's company and falling back in with Yukiji, but it looks like Nanami's more than passing resemblance to the other woman will become a useful tool to ward off a couple of mischievous, dangerous demons.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Washed Right Out, Chapter Twelve

It's been a while, but I've finally written a new chapter of Washed Right Out for Wednesday Briefs. If you need a refresher course on what's already happened - and I wouldn't blame you! - you can check the Wednesday Briefs or the original fiction tag, found at the bottom of this post. 

In this installment of Washed Right Out, Riley wrestles with seeing his ex Jonathan again and there is an unusual confrontation.

Washed Right Out, Chapter Twelve. Prompts used: have your character buy something.
Riley truly wanted to follow Karen's thoughtful, learned advice of staying in his office and waiting to be kidnapped, but there was something he had to do. He would have to talk to Jonathan, once and for all. He could end the situation all by himself.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Another Music Video - Now With 200% More Chibi Misaki

I have to give the Flash animated music video Another: Misaki Mei - Shizuka ni major props. It made a short video about a stoic-faced eyepatch wearing schoolgirl absolutely adorable. It's not the most exciting video ever, but it's nice to watch. Plus, it feels like the song really fits Misaki's character: a girl who has accepted being lonely and being alone, only to find hope in an unusual source (which could easily be Kouichi).

According to the Another wikia, it's no wonder "Shizuka ni" fits Misaki Mei as a character. It is actually Mei's character song - sung by Mei's own VA, Natsumi Takamori. She has a really nice, pleasant voice and probably sounds familiar to fans of Houkago no Pleiades and the Pet Girl of Sakurasou, as Takamori performed the opening song for both series.

Considering how dark and bloody the main Another series can get, it's nice to see that at least one aspect of it can turn from gruesome to darling. Chibi Mei makes everything better.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Return The Dead To Death: Another The Complete Series

Another/アナザー: 26 years ago, in a third-year classroom of a middle school, there was a student named Misaki. As an honours student, also good at sports, the charming guy was popular with his classmates. When he suddenly died, his classmates decided to carry on as if he was still alive until graduation. Then, in the spring of 1998, a boy named Sakakibara Kouichi transfers to that class, and he grows suspicious of the fearful atmosphere in that classroom. (Source: AniDB)

Spoilers for all twelve episodes of the Another anime series.

I've seen people describe Another as the anime equivalent of the Final Destination films, those teeny bopper horror films where young people are routinely made the victims of horrific deaths made to look like accidents, hunted by a mysterious and dark entity. It's an apt comparison but it sells Another short.

Final Destination as a series became contrived and dragged on towards its own eventual demise, and Death is a literal villain to be cheated out of its rewards. Another is a perfectly contained story of human-created horrors and the terror of death, not as an overbearing spirit but as the inevitable fate we all fight to avoid on a regular basis, some more violently than others.

A better comparison might be made between Another and the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series: both take place in small, near claustrophobic villages; both deal with the regular, almost annual deaths of its citizens and a local mythology that haunts those who survive; both tackle human tragedy and drama as the characters of each series stumble towards their inevitable fates while trying to solve the mystery of their respective villages.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

PR: Viz Media Acquires Junji Ito's Fragments of Horror Manga

Brand-New Terrifying Short Story Collection By The Celebrated Creator Of GYO And UZUMAKI Is Set For North American Release In Summer 2015

San Francisco, CA, December 3, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, expands its catalog of horror manga (graphic novel) titles with the acquisition of Junji Ito’s FRAGMENTS OF HORROR.

The title marks the creator’s return to the horror following an eight-year break from the genre, and it will receive a deluxe hardcover treatment for the North American release. FRAGMENTS OF HORROR will debut in the Summer of 2015 under the company’s VIZ Signature imprint, and is rated ‘T+’.

FRAGMENTS OF HORROR is the brand-new collection of delightfully macabre tales from the celebrated master of Japanese horror. An old wooden mansion that turns on its inhabitants. A dissection class with a most unusual subject. A funeral where the dead are definitely not laid to rest. Ranging from the terrifying to the comedic, from the erotic to the loathsome, these stories showcase Junji Ito’s long-awaited return to the world of horror.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Manga Review: Bleach GN 62

Bleach volume 62
Author: Kubo Tite
Viz Media/Shonen Jump
200 pages
Heart of Wolf: Unable to use their Bankai special abilities, the Soul Reaper captains are at a severe disadvantage against the invading Quincy army. Urahara has a plan to turn the tide of battle, but will it be enough as the Quincies continue their onslaught?!
I found the previous volume of Bleach a bit mediocre and middling, so volume 62 either caught me in a good mood or is a genuine step up in quality. It's not the best volume in the Quincy War arc so far, but it does something the manga hasn't managed to do in a while - they make the newly introduced antagonists interesting. There are a few narrative missteps in this volume, but between the science antics of Seireitei's finest, Kurosaki's return to the main stage, and Hitsugaya rocking the zanpaktou, there's enough to forgive Bleach for its recent faults.
In book 62 of Bleach, Ichigo Kurosaki has finished his training and is all ready to return to Soul Society. Good news for his shinigami colleagues, as the Quincy army is quickly making mincemeat of their captains and vice captains. That is, until the combined brainpower of Urahara and Kurotsuchi fix the biggest problem facing our shinigami army: their lack of ban kai. Or have they?