Sun, 30 September 2007
First up, some thoughts on the continually expanding mess that is Geneon... Hmmm.....rhymes with Enron...hmmmm...then it's on to a review of the first volume of the Witchblade anime from Funimation.
Six years ago Masane Amaha and her daughter Rihoko were found at the epicenter of a giant earthquake that reduced most of Tokyo to rubble and even submerged areas in the sea. She had no memories of her life before that moment when she woke with a child she had no recollection of in her arms. If not for medical records, the authorities would not have known Rihoko was her daughter. Over the past six years Masane has grown to love Rihoko and will not allow the Child Welfare Department to take her away. While languishing in a jail cell, she is attacked by a mysterious organic machine called an Ex-Con, which triggers the sentient Witchblade, an ancient weapon born to destroy and fight.
My Grade: A-
Sat, 29 September 2007
Manga Review for Street Fighter: Sakura Ganbaru! Volume 1 by Masahiko Nakahira. Translated by Michelle Hayashi and Rie Shibazaki. Adapted by Jim Zubkavich and Matt Moylan. Published by Udon for $12.95, size: 8.1 x 5.8 inches. Originally published in Japan by Shinseisha.
15-year-old Sakura Kasugane has a secret life outside of school that she doesn't want her parents to know about. She is a street fighter being trained by a martial artist from Hong Kong named Dan Hibiki. He originally came to Japan to study martial arts but he has become more and more intrigued by Sakura's natural talent when it comes to studying fighting techniques. All he has to do is show her a move and she can not only mimic it but incorporate her own personal styles to compliment it. Another student at her school, the heir to the vast Kazuki business empire, Karin Kazuki, is also a street fighter. Her ancestors were great warriors who lived by the motto "In all things, be victorious!" She has translated this belief into becoming the greatest street fighter in the city. She has no equal until she encounters Sakura, and then she sets all her energy into defeating her.
I was never a big fan of the Street Fighter videogames, even though I remember when it was strictly a stand up arcade game. There was a time when Street Fighter 2 coming to the Sega Genesis was the biggest news this side of Halo 3. I bought the game and was decidedly underwhelmed by the experience, perhaps because my best friend could beat me easily. But I like the IDEA of the videogames and the design of its characters and I like a bit of fighting manga so I decided to give Sakura Ganbaru a shot. First up, the art is awful. Nakahira's characters all look a bit plump and the two main female leads look the opposite of feminine. Even when there's a panty shot, it feels like you're looking at a guy in his underwear because of Nakahira's lack of knowledge or total denial of the female body. I would even call the art a bit primitive. While the fights should have plenty of money shots, they mostly consist of blurred drawings with what look like small explosions signifying impacts. You really shouldn't have an artist that does poor fight panels doing a manga like Sakura. The personalities of the characters were interesting, if a bit colorless, but the art was just way too ugly. Has six color plates and some bonus pages taken from the Street Fighter Alpha manga showing how Sakura met Ryu.
My Rating: C
Sat, 29 September 2007
Podcast #38 of Sesho's Anime and Manga Reviews. A few comments on Xbox 360 failures and Naruto videogame, a manga writing relative of a co-worker, and the rudeness of ANN, then it's on to a review of Volume 7 of the Hikaru No Go manga.
Hikaru No Go Volume 7. Written by Yumi Hotta and drawn by Takeshi Obata of Deathnote fame. Translated and adapted by Andy Nakatani. Published by Viz as part of their Shonen Jump line. Originally published in 1998 by Shueisha in Japan. $7.95, For all ages.
Hikaru is currently ranked 18th in the Insei B League and does not appear be moving up in the ranks at all. It is three months until the Young Lions Tournament in which Insei play against rookie pros. If Hikaru hopes to play against Akira Toya, he has to at least be ranked 16th in the A League. He has his work cut out for him and the fear in his heart is keeping him from making any progress towards his goal.
My Grade: A+