Sesho's Anime And Manga Reviews
My main focus is reviewing manga and anime, but I also review Japanese literature, movies, and videogames. Basically, if it has anything to do with Japan, I'll talk about it, along with a dash of Korea and China.

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  • Well, I've developed a bit of a cold so for the moment my voice sounds like that of Darth Vader crossed with a prepubescent gopher so I probably won't make any podcasts for the next couple of days....but I will post some written reviews.

    I should be posting a review for the 1st volume of the anime FLAG tomorrow, but in the meantime, I would advise not wasting your time watching it. It is pretty awful. More on that later.

    Just to mention two websites, or actually two retailers that I've been using ever since my only anime/manga source in Houston, Anime Avalon (See podcast Episode 10--The Death of Anime Avalon) went out of business about 2 months ago:

     www.rentanime.com

    I've been renting anime from them the past two months are so. They're kinda set up like other mail order rental places like netflix, but they specialize in anime. You pay like 20$ to have 3 dvds out at a time, and after a period of around 90 days you can upgrade to 5 dvds for 30$. It's pretty cool and saves a ton of money. I used to buy anime dvds all the time, but a lot of the time I wouldn't like them and it would be money down the drain. Now I can rent, then buy the titles I really like.

    Another problem I had after Anime Avalon closed was trying to buy manga from one retailer. I still haven't found one store where I can buy ALL my manga but

    www.justmanga.com

    is the closest to fulfilling that role in my life. They discount almost all their manga but the only drawback is that your order has to total $39.99 for you to get free shipping. Actually sometimes, the discounts pay for the shipping even if you order less than that. I was glad to see that Seven Seas had finally released the second volumes of Venus Versus Virus, The Last Uniform, and Tetragrammaton Labyrinth today and ordered them very quickly. I find that the podcasts I do about Yuri titles are the most popular for some reason. The biggest ratings for my podcasts have been for The Last Uniform Volume 1 and Simoun Volume 1....and Hayate the Combat Butler Volume 4 (That's not Yuri, but I'm glad so many people like Hayate...brilliant lovable comedy, like Hare + Guu) The cool thing I like about Justmanga is that they always put a written message like "Thanks for the order" on the receipt in the box and they put a piece of Japanese candy in there too. It just seems a bit more personal than dealing with Amazon or another online retailer.

    Hey Seven Seas! Where the Hell are the rest of the Boogiepop novels??!! Is Amazing Doofus Luna really more important?? And what happened to the rest of the Light Novels you were bringing out?

    Speaking of Anime Avalon, I had kinda put off going by the place after it was closed, but sometimes felt I should go lay a wreath at the doorway or something. I drove past it a couple of weeks back after visiting a nearby bookstore and the windows are tinted so you couldn't even see inside it. It's still kinda sad.

    Maybe the fact that it was freezing cold here in Houston (well, cold for Texans anyway, it was like 39 degrees) and my workplace didn't even turn the heat on, didn't really help my health the past two days.  It was actually colder inside the building that it was outside. Or was it perhaps due to the fact that I was outside of Best Buy on Friday around 4:30am with a light misty rain that was a bigger factor? No, it HAS to be my cold job! Yeah, that's the ticket!

    Category:general -- posted at: 10:02pm CST

    Strawberry 100% Volume 2 by Mizuki Kawashita

    Manga Review for Strawberry 100% Volume 2 by Mizuki Kawashita. Translated and adapted by Yuko Sawada. Originally published by Shueisha in 2002. Published in US by Viz as part of their Shonen Jump Advanced line. Rated T+ for older teen with a "Mature Content" label on the cover, $7.99.

    You would think that Junpei would be quite satisfied with his life these days because his girlfriend, Tsukasa, is the prettiest girl at school and also the owner of the mythical strawberry panties he glimpsed back in Volume 1....or is she?  Even though he really likes Tsukasa and has slightly pervy urges towards her, Junpei is taken aback when she invites him to her house to cook dinner for him and study. Things get even more interesting when he finds out her parents are not going to be home anytime soon! But even in this situation, the poor boy finds himself thinking about Aya Tojo. One of his friends, the studly Okusa, told him that Aya had a thing for Junpei, but he thinks its just because he wants him to break up with Tsukasa so he can hook up with her. While Junpei doesn't know the truth, he does find himself falling for Aya. While all this is going on, he still has to find time to study for high school entrance exams so he can realize his dream of becoming a film director.

    While the second volume of Strawberry 100% was enjoyable on its own terms,  it's starting to slant dangerously close to becoming a harem comedy, especially with the entrance of a new female character in the closing pages of this book. I just don't see how the storyline can sustain itself UNLESS it keeps on adding characters to distract from what is otherwise a very simplistic setup. I really enjoyed the first volume because, for once in this type of book, the main character had no problem getting the pretty girl. Now Junpei realizes that the girl of his dreams is the wrong girl of his dreams. This is what happens when you fall in love based on seeing someone's panties. You have to see the soul and the face to truly judge a person's worth. An aspect of this manga that seems a bit goofy is the fact that Aya can't be recognized by Junpei when she isn't wearing her glasses, a la Clark Kent/Superman. So when he catches a glimpse of Aya without her glasses, he recognizes her as the girl with the strawberry panties, but does not recognize that she and Aya are the same person. It was a bit of a surprise that glasses wearing cute girls are repeatedly categorized as unattractive and plain in Strawberry 100%. I though bespectacled cuties were a common weakness of otaku the whole world over?  I still like the characters and the art is quite good so I hope my fears about it becoming some type of Love Hina castoff are wrong.

    My Grade: B

    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 7:17pm CST