Thursday, April 30, 2015

Dispatches From LLSIF World: Come Back, Hanayo-san!

I truly did not want to care about the latest, biggest Love Live game event - aptly titled Why Do I Get So Hungry? - but that was before I saw the special edition of Hanayo that was up for grabs. Hanayo, not the one on the right, but in her special sailing outfit, all shiny and sparkly.

After that, all I wanted was her, and all I could think about was rice. Lots and lots of rice. You can't win the game without lots of rice, y'all. Apparently, Hanayo is hungry but her tastes aren't very eclectic. Make her a dozen riceballs and she's good.

The event ended today. I have no Hanayo to show for my efforts - for the constant song playing, occasional usage of love gems to finish hard songs, the gathering of rice for event points and those smaller, lesser awards meant to push me to the end. But the end never came. My event ranking got me two love gems for my final prize, not the adorable sailor suited idol I really wanted.

I've never been so disappointed in a video game in all my life - especially in a handheld smartphone game! Geez!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Movie Frame Of Mind: Perfect Blue

Content warning: Discussion of the rape scene, as well as stalking and major spoilers for Satoshi Kon's Perfect Blue film.

Mima Kirigoe, a member of a pop-idol group called "CHAM!", decides to quit singing to pursue a career as an actress. Some of her fans are displeased with this decision though, particularly a stalker named Me-Mania. As Mima progresses into her new career, those close to her are violently murdered one by one, and Mima begins to lose the ability to distinguish reality from fantasy. (Source: MAL) 

Somehow, I have until this month avoided watching Satoshi Kon's possible magnus opus, Perfect Blue (and I only say 'possible' because the ultimate judgment on his legacy is still up in the air as more of his works are released postmortem, even if they're all manga titles). That has been a really dumb decision on my part, since Paprika is one of my favorite anime and one of my favorite films, ever, and Paranoia Agent has been one of my top Adult Swim hits since it started. Not to mention Millennium Actress and Tokyo Godfather, both terrific titles!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Eisner Noms for 2015 Yield Nods To Manga Field

The 2015 Eisner Awards Nominations have recently come out - and hey, it looks like manga is once again getting some recognition! A full list of the nominations can be found at the Comic Con website, but the most important category of nominations for manga fans can be found below:

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
All You Need Is Kill, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Ryosuke Takeuchi, Takeshi Obata & yoshitoshi ABe (VIZ)
In Clothes Called Fat, by Moyoco Anno (Vertical)
Master Keaton, vol 1, by Naoki Urasawa, Hokusei Katsushika, & Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ)
One-Punch Man, by One & Yusuke Murata (VIZ)
Showa 1939–1944 and Showa 1944–1953: A History of Japan, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki, by Mamoru Hosada & Yu (Yen Press)
I'm torn between the Moyoco Anno and the Sakurazawa/Takeuchi/Obata/ABe titles, to be honest. And then there's Master Keaton! And a Shigeru Mizuki title, from a publisher not as well known for manga as the others, which is pretty awesome. I don't think there's a dull title in the bunch.
Looking at the other titles, briefly, I see that the new Ms Marvel (Kamala Khan) got some nods too. Awesome! I've only read the first trade paperback but I adore Kamala and her series. I'm kinda frumpy over MIND MGMT not getting any nominations, but I'm hoping it has gotten some recognition through the Eisners before? I don't see how it couldn't.
Some other favorites of mine getting noms through Eisner this year: Matt Fraction's Hawkeye, Lumberjanes by Stevenson et al, Seconds by O'Malley (YOU GOTTA READ SECONDS RIGHT NOW, SCOTT PILGRIM FANS), Noto's Black Widow (which will win best cover artist if there is any justice in the universe).
I don't read as many U.S. comics as I do manga so what titles in this list should I be looking at?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wednesday Briefs: Still Alive (Part 2)

Another week for Wednesday Briefs? It must be a real banner month for me then. It's part two of my new Lost story, in which a character who should be dead is certainly not and it is causing a lot of confusion for everyone involved.

In this installation, we see a bit of how our intrepid physicist came to get off the island and perhaps understand a little more of the strange powers of the island over its inhabitants, temporary or otherwise. As before, spoilers for the series finale and the major events leading up to it.

Still Alive, part 2. Lost, AU, post-series/series 6 alt take. Prompts used: plane; long day's journey into night.

Two months ago.

Daniel Faraday ran through the jungle, grabbing at vines and branches that crossed his path, throwing them out of the way. He could hear a plane's engine starting, the mechanics crankily kicked into life. His clothes were torn, he was covered in blood, and his chest felt like it wanted to cave in with every step he took, but he kept running.

PR: Viz Media Releases Activity Book Based On Pendleton Ward Series

© 2015 Frederator Networks, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

BRAVEST WARRIORS: THINGS TO DOODLE AND DO! Features Games, Activities And Drawing Tutorials Based On Pendleton Ward’s Smash-Hit Animated Series

San Francisco, CA, April 20, 2015 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga, graphic novels and anime in North America, expands its catalog of BRAVEST WARRIORS titles with the release of a new activity book – BRAVEST WARRIORS: THINGS TO DOODLE AND DO! – on May 5th.

Set for publication under the company’s PERFECT SQUARE imprint, BRAVEST WARRIORS: THINGS TO DOODLE AND DO! contains a collection of games, activities and how-to drawing prompts inspired by the hit BRAVEST WARRIORS animated adventure series created by the Emmy Award-winning visionary Pendleton Ward.

BRAVEST WARRIORS: THINGS TO DOODLE AND DO! will be released exclusively in-print and features artist Fawn Lau, who has worked on all of Perfect Square’s BRAVEST WARRIORS titles, along with a cover illustration and select interior artwork by renowned comic book artist Alan Brown. BRAVEST WARRIORS: THINGS TO DOODLE AND DO! will carry an MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN.

Monday, April 20, 2015

On Living the Love Live Life

Forgive me. I have fallen into a hole, and that hole is Love Love School Idol Festival. My days have now been taken over by live shows, special events and deciding which is best girl out of my current posse of wannabe idols.

Is it any surprise though? The Love Live anime and smartphone game have been incredibly popular lately; my Twitter feed has been inundated with updates on LLSIF special events, fan art of school idols and friend IDs. Everyone seems to have their favorite song and girl and understand the game so much better than I do, someone who has yet to finish a single song in Hard mode. I've been playing for less than a week, though, and I also attend school and work so it's not like I have time to play Snow Halation every hour until I beat it across all difficulty levels.

I actually thought I wouldn't be using my iPhone for games - ha! LLSIF is the main reason why I keep having to recharge my battery (well, that and the 5C has a crappy battery life out of the box). I haven't gotten very far in the story and it's been difficult training my idols - I haven't managed to unlock a single girl's storyline! - but I'm gonna keep playing and keep trying and hopefully score a Hanayo before the week is over.

Look for more updates on LLSIF as I progress through the songs! PS: Rin is best girl, obviously.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fujoshi O'Clock (4/17/15)

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:


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, April 14, 2015

Wednesday Briefs: We Can Never Go Back

It feels like it's been forever since I wrote something for Wednesday Briefs. I'm gonna tick off all the readers of the Washed Right Out series when I admit that this time, it's not about original fiction. Maybe Riley will show up next time?

For the latest edition of the Briefs, I've gone back to now-familiar stomping grounds - Lost - specifically, the characters Hume and Faraday, who have become my two favorite people to write about from the Lostverse. Hopefully, y'all agree and enjoy what is the opening to a new story that will be finished sooner than later!

Spoiler alert: Spoilers for up to the season six finale of Lost. Takes place post-series, AU in many regards.

Still Alive. LOST AU. Characters: Desmond Hume, Daniel Faraday, references to other characters. Prompts used: island, shadows.
He woke up with a mouthful of dirt, clawing at what should have been the sky, desperate to be free of this prison. He was dying, now he was dead, he had just been shot, and now a man with ageless eyes was burying him underneath a tall, tropical tree—

Monday, April 13, 2015

Manga Sprites: Video Games and Time Travel

In this edition of Manga Sprites, super short reviews of recently read books, I look at the first volume of No Game No Life and the latest volumes (or near-latest) of Kamisama Kiss, Library Wars and Blue Exorcist. Spoilers for the last three series!

No Game, No Life volume 1 by Yuu Kamiya, Mashiro Hiiragi: There was an urban legend that there was a legendary, undefeated gamer called [ ], but in reality he was just a NEET brother and sister called 空 (Sora) and 白 (Shiro). These hikikomori siblings who both refer to the real world as a worthless "Kuso Game" are one day summoned to a different world by a boy calling himself "God".

I tried to enjoy this manga, since it is a favorite of my best friend, but wow it is so terrible. I found the main characters grating, especially the brother's arrogant and lack of empathy towards other human beings. There is a lot of ridiculous fanservice and the amount of panty shots, breast shots, and sexy poses in unsexy scenes had me wondering if NGNL is a h-manga in disguise. There are so many other series about people being pulled into MMORPGs and series about NEETS/hikkikomori as main characters that I don't see how NGNL can be seen as original. I'll probably not be picking up the second volume unless it drops into my lap and I'm so bored I can't help but flip through it.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Ebook Is Now Available Online: Did You Leave Any For Me

Good golly gosh, remember last year when my first published piece of fiction, Did You Leave Any For Me, premiered in Wayward Ink's anthology, Stranded? Now you can buy just that story in a stand-alone ebook - and it's available starting today! I am excited to share this story with an even wider audience than before, and I hope y'all are excited in turn to read it. I think you'll like it, if you like stories about second chances, bottles of champagne, and questionable bathroom etiquette. And that just covers a small part of this ebook!

Get it in as many sexy, shiny formats as your e-reader can handle, from PDF to Kindle's mobi files. Lots of purchase links are included at the bottom of the post. Further details on the story itself below!

Did You Leave Any For Me: Two ex-lovers, one hotel room, and a random act of technology. Will they fall out, or will they fall back in love? Ollie and Shay are on-again, off-again boyfriends who have performed the "one last fling" dance so many times, it's become routine. This time, however, their last fling might just become the start of something new.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

4/8/15: Happy Lost Day (Again!)

Somehow, it feels like I only recently celebrated 815 Day, which is another major day for Lost fandom. Now, we are celebrating a day that will only occur once in our lifetimes: a day when, for literally one second, the date and time become 4/8/15 16:23:42.

Those numbers, of course, are the major driving mystery of the show Lost - from Hurley's lottery ticket to the code imputed into the Swan Hatch computer and gobs more examples I can barely begin to list - so when the calendar and the clock reflects said sequence, we gotta celebrate the occasion!

Funny thing: I didn't watch Lost when it was first airing. I only started watching it seriously in 2013/2014, so I could impress my best friend who is a Lostie, the one who I now refer to as Daniel Faraday for reasons that are only obvious to me and anyone who has ever met IRL Faraday. I did not think I would love it as much as I came to do, but gosh darn it, I did. I laughed, I cried, I wanted to punch certain characters in the place (also known as why I curse at the TV screen any time William Mapother shows up in any other show, eff you Ethan you know what you did).

People Magazine has a worthwhile post on Lost Day and why it's so important in the show's canon. Now go watch some episodes!

Monday, April 6, 2015

PR: Viz and Perfect Square Acquires Yokai Watch Manga

Japan’s Massive Hit Action Series About A Boy That Can See Japanese Yo-kai Launches in the U.S. This Fall

San Francisco, CA, April 6, 2015 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, has announced the acquisition of a new manga (graphic novel) property – YO-KAI WATCH.

The supernatural comedy adventure series is inspired by the explosively popular YOKAI WATCH video game created by LEVEL-5 for the Nintendo 3DS and launched to wide acclaim in Japan in 2013. The YO-KAI WATCH manga will be published under the company’s Perfect Square imprint, written and drawn by Noriyuki Konishi under the guidance of the LEVEL-5 team. This September, the phenomenal franchise is finally coming to North America with the launch of the YO-KAI WATCH manga series, fueled as well by the debuts of anime and toy products around the same time.

Yo-kai, inspired by the yokai of Japanese folklore, are not ghosts or monsters or creatures. They can’t be seen by the human eye, but they’re everywhere, and whether they're phantoms or everyday objects discovering their higher purpose, Yo-kai personalities are distinctly humanlike!

The YO-KAI WATCH manga will be rated ‘A’ for All Ages and will be available exclusively in print on a bi-monthly basis. In Japan, the series originally appeared in Coro Coro Comic magazine, published by VIZ Media parent company Shogakukan, and won both the 60th Shogakukan Manga Award in 2015 and the 38th Kodansha Manga Award in the Best Children’s Manga category in 2014.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Maka Vs Chrona: Brief Thoughts On Soul Eater 24

DWMA braces for the final showdown as the Kishin awakens from his slumber at the heart of the moon. Unable to contain his rage, Noah is the first to attack, the Book of Eibon and "BREW" fueling his assault. Despite his formidable efforts, though, Noah is overcome not by the Kishin, but by the sudden appearance of Crona. With the world hanging in the balance, DWMA can only wonder who will prove to be the greater foe--the Kishin...or Crona...

This was just a really good volume of Soul Eater. Is it okay to leave it at that? I can't even explain why: it's literally an entire book of Chrona and Maka duking it out on the freaking moon. Actually, yeah, that says it all. It's a big ol' MOON FIGHT, with bonus full-blood-madness Chrona and Maka/Soul really hitting the soul resonance ability with their best efforts since they first partnered.

I am usually bored by so much fighting but this time, I was incredibly entertained. Maybe it was the striking visuals of Chrona's madness, partnered with their abilities in motion and the mirrored calmness of Maka and Soul's wavelength against the darkness. Perhaps it was the fact that one of the moon's teeth is knocked out from Chrona's powers; that scene was both horrifying and hilarious, and it's that combination that pretty much best defines Soul Eater at its best.

I was glad for so many things in this book: the team efforts from Maka and her back-up squad; the usage of Maka's dad as both a paternal figure as a weapon; the callback to Medusa and the horrible psychological damage she did to her own child; the fact that the Kishin is still among them and still a tangible threat. The art was on point, the pacing was fast but not ridiculous, and it ends on a surprisingly badass moment from Death the Kid which just has to be seen firsthand.

I haven't gotten my hands on the final volume of Soul Eater, which I know is already out yet via Yen Press - libraries, man, I don't think manga is high on their priority list! - but judging by this book and the preview for the finale, I already know it's gonna be a doozy. Hopefully, it'll make all of the waiting worth it.