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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  • My Anime Reviews A-L
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  • VAMPYBIT.ME - The official Linda Le Weblog

    Free To View Anime

  • Anime News Network
  • Aniplex on Youtube
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  • An Eternal Thought in the Mind of Godzilla
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  • Episode 70: Wild Ones Volume 1 by Kiyo Fujiwara

    Podcast Episode 70: Wild Ones Volume 1 Manga Review. Written and drawn by Kiyo Fujiwara. Translated and adapted by Mai Ihara. Originally published by Hakushensha in Japan in 2005. Published in US by Viz under their Shojo Beat imprint. $8.99, Rated T for Teen.

    In this romantic comedy, 15-year-old Sachie Wakamura is in a bit of a tight spot. Her mother has just died, leaving her with no living relatives. At least that is what her mother had told her. She's about to be kicked out of her home when a black limousine pulls up and an old man named Raizo Asagi steps out, claiming to be her grandfather. He offers her a place to stay but Sachie is shocked to find out that her grandpa is a Yakuza big shot with plenty of criminal thugs living at his home. A young man named Rakuto is assigned to be her personal bodyguard. He even attends her new school, where he is the student body president and is uber popular. Rakuto and Sachie finds themselves falling for each other, but Rakuto feels that he cannot start a romantic relationship with her because his duty to her grandfather outweighs any personal feelings he has.

    My Grade: B-

    Direct download: Episode_70--Wild_Ones_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:12pm CDT

    Episode 69: Zegapain Volume 1

    Zegapain Volume 1 Anime DVD Podcast review. Directed by Masami Shimoda. Series Composition by Mayori Sekishima. Released by Bandai Entertainment, Episodes 1-5, 125 minutes, $29.98.

    High schooler Kyo Sogoru has no academic interest except swimming, if that counts as an academic subject. He's still able to ace his classes though. His current problem is finding a way to attract new members to the swim team. As of now, he is the only member. His former teammates don't want anything to do with him because a couple years back, he lost his temper and caused an incident at a swim meet which disqualified his team. Bigger events begin to shape his world as a mysterious girl draws him into another world where he is a mecha co-pilot battling against the Gardsorms. Who knows which world is real, or are they both? All he knows is that if he fights, the mysterious girl will consent to be in a film promotion for the swim team!

    My Grade: C

    Direct download: Episode_69--Zegapain_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:37pm CDT

    Episode 68:Naruto Volume 4 by Masashi Kishimoto

    Podcast Episode 68 Manga Review: Naruto Volume 4 by Masashi Kishimoto. Translated by Mari Morimoto. Adapted by Jo Duffy. Originally published in 1999 in Japan by Shueisha. Published in US by Viz under their Shonen Jump imprint. Price: $7.95, Rated T for Teen.

    After apparently seeing Sasuke get killed by Haku, Naruto flies into a rage, releasing the power of the demon sealed inside of him. Meanwhile Kakashi is locked in his own battle with Zabuza even as Inari tries to marshal the people of his village to rise up against Gato's legions of rogue ninjas and help his new found friends. Even if Cell 7 survives the battle, they will have to face an even tougher test...the Chunin Exam. If they pass, they will progress to the next ninja rank.

    My Grade: A+

    Direct download: Episode_68--Naruto_Volume_4.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:26pm CDT

    Solty Rei Volume 2

    Anime DVD review for Solty Rei Volume 2. Directed by Yoshimasa Hiraike. Script by Noboru Kimura. Funimation, $29.98, Episodes 7-10, 100 minutes.

    Things are getting shaken up in the Roy Revant household as the outlaw Rose moves in after her hideout is raided by the authorities. Roy has already had a difficult enough time adjusting to living with Solty so to put it mildly, he's not overjoyed at the prospect of a new guest. In fact he tells Rose that he never agreed to let her stay and wants her out. It turns out that Rose is there for an ulterior motive. She wants Solty to join her criminal gang. Ok, they're really not that bad because like Robin Hood, Rose and her two brothers steal to pay for medicine for the poor. If Rose gets a kick out of as well, who's to say whether she's bad or not? But she does have a bit of a dark past that is revealed when she passes the man that murdered her family on the street. It's not all bad news for Rose though as she hooks up romantically with a handsome RUC agent, complete with a silver plate covering part of his face Phantom of the Opera-style.

    A big complaint I have about this show is that its characters are design challenged. For example, Rose has a big hunk of hair that falls in front of her face that looks like a plastic electric circuit. Her boots are too big and look like they would fly off the first time she ran. Solty's large green substitute cat/goat ears look like someone stuck a steel bar through her head. Roy Revant goes the opposite way and is probably one of the most boring looking anime characters of all time. The second volume of Solty Rei finds the show a bit adrift as Roy's job as a bounty hunter seems to have taken a back seat to the drama that is Rose's life. We hardly even see him battle one Resemble thug and that's not all bad. The writers seemed to want to focus more on the relationships and the personalities of the characters, mainly Rose. Sadly, Solty suffers the most within this focus because she has the mind of a elementary school kid and is playing the "blank slate" stereotype. Still, this second volume was entertaining in its own way if you were getting tired of all the tough guy posing from the first volume.  The animation is decent, but the CG can be jarring at times, and the character's faces lack a lot in the expression department.

    My Grade: B

     

    Category:Anime DVD Reviews -- posted at: 1:46pm CDT

    Episode 67: Naruto Volume 3 by Masashi Kishimoto

    Podcast Episode 67: Manga Review for Naruto Volume 3. Written and drawn by Masashi Kishimoto. Translated by Mari Morimoto. Adapted by Jo Duffy. Originally published in Japan by Shueisha in 1999. Published in US by Viz under their Shonen Jump label. $7.95, Rated T for Teen.

    Instead of waiting around doing nothing while they rest up for a second confrontation with Zabauza, Kakashi prepares a new training exercise for Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura. To teach them how to focus their Chakra, he wants them to climb trees...without using their hands! When they express disbelief at their assignment, Kakashi proceeds to walk up the side of the tree, crutches and all, and hang upside down while he talks to them. Sakura gets to see firsthand what Gato's grip has done to the city as she accompanies Tazuna through its depressing streets filled with people who have lost all hope of things getting any better. Naruto's team hopes to change all that.

    My Grade: A+

    Direct download: Episode_67--_Naruto_Volume_3.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:10am CDT

    Episode 66: Hell Girl Volume 1

    Episode 66: Hell Girl Volume 1 Anime DVD review. Directed by Takahiro Omori. Volume 1 has Episodes 1-5 and runs 125 minutes. Funimation, $29.98.

    There is an urban legend that tells that if you want revenge against someone you can log on to Hell Link at midnight and ask Hell Girl to accept your request. It is true that she use her powers to take revenge on those that are making your life miserable and can send them straight to Hell. The catch is that you too will go to Hell in the end. Are you filled with such hate and anguish that you would give up your own soul to see your tormentor suffer an eternity of pain and agony?

    My Grade: A-

    Direct download: Episode_66--_Hell_Girl_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:23pm CDT

    Episode 65: Ai Yori Aoshi Volume 17 by Kou Fumizuki

    Podcast Episode 65: An overview of the series Ai Yori Aoshi  and a review of Volume 17 by Kou Fumizuki. Translated by Alethea and Athena Nibley. Adapted by Jamie S. Rich. Originally published in Japan by Hakushensha in 2005. Published in the US by Tokyopop, $9.99, Rated Mature 18+.

    Aoi is still being held by Kaoru's half-brother, an odd sort of doppleganger, who wishes to take Kaoru's place as head of the Hanabishi and become Aoi's husband. He's been holding her captive but Kaoru has arrived on the scene to free her. But even if he does the two lovers still have to get the approval of Aoi's parents if they ever hope to make peace.

    My Grade: B
    Direct download: episode_65--ai_yori_aoshi_volume_17.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:51pm CDT

    Episode 64: Naruto Volume 2 by Masashi Kishimoto

    Episode 64: Manga Review for Naruto Volume 2 by Masashi Kishimoto. Translated by Katy Bridges and Mari Morimoto. Adapted by Jo Duffy. Originally published in Japan by Shueisha in 1999. Published in the US by Viz as part of their Shonen Jump, $7.95, Rated T for Teens.

    Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura have passed their Genin exam with a bit of hardship and now they are all primed for their new duties as junior ninjas. Unfortunately, they get all the crap assignments like hunting down a pet cat for an important government official. Naruto convinces the Hokage to give the team something a bit more challenging. Amused at Naruto's passion and lack of restraint, he gives them a mission a bit out of their league. Naruto's team must escort a bridgebuilder named Tazuna back to his home in the Land of the Waves. They're supposed to protect him from any dangers on the road like bandits, but they quickly find out that a very influential crook wants Tazuna dead, and he's willing to send out some very skilled ninja to do the deed!

    My Grade: A

    Direct download: Episode_64--Naruto_Volume_2.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:34pm CDT

    Episode 63: The Law of Ueki Volume 8 by Tsubasa Fukuchi

    Podcast Episode 63: Manga Review for The Law of Ueki Volume 8 by Tsubasa Fukuchi. Translated and adapted by Yoshiko Tokuhara and Filomila Papakonstantinou. Originally published in Japan by Shogakukan in 2003. Published in the US by Viz, $9.99, Rated T for Teen.

    Volume 8 picks up mid-battle in a contest between Rinko and Kabara as they battle in the Cat Field. Basically what this means is that have been shrunk down inside a normal house inhabited by hungry cats. The first one to get eaten by a cat loses the match. In addition, you can turn your opponent into a mouse by touching a cat's nose. Then it's on to one of the main events of volume 8 as Ueki faces off against the seemingly treacherous Sano, who for some inexplicable reason has joined Robert's 10. Can Ueki find out why he switched sides and free him from the clutches of Robert Haydn?

    See Episode 37 for an overview of the series and a review of Volume 7.

    My Grade: A

    Direct download: Episode_63--The_Law_of_Ueki_Volume_8.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:37pm CDT

    Manga Sisters by Saori & Misato Takarai

    Book Review for Manga Sisters by Saori & Misato Takarai. Translated by Mieko Kurosawa. Published by Manga University, $9.99.

    First up, Manga Sisters is not a manga in the normal sense of the word. Saori and Misato Takarai are sisters that illustrate and draw manga but this book is really about celebrating sisterhood, both its highs and not so lows. Saori is known in Japan for being one of the rare manga artists that works with color but this is Misato's first published work. They grew up in Gunma Prefecture, which is about 60 miles northwest of Tokyo. This hardback book is about two thirds the size of a regular tankoban and is labeled a "gift book" on the back. What it consists of is about 95 pages, half with little Hallmark sayings about sisters in both English and Japanese, with a color manga illustration of the saying facing it. Some of the words and pictures are heartwarming like " A sister's shoulder is the world's most comfortable pillow" that shows a girl asleep on her obviously loving sister's shoulder. Others can be quite humorous. For example, one caption says "She ain't heavy, she's your sister" accompanying a picture of a sister cringing in pain as she lifts her sibling up to see a tall sunflower. There's also a few pages in the back that list hiragana and katakana Japanese characters that gives you help in recognizing and pronouncing them.

    Manga Sisters is obviously intended to be a book that would make a good gift between two sisters, especially if one of them is an anime or manga fan. I mean it even has "To" and "From" blanks following the title page. Does it have any worth to a manga fan in general? I guess I would have to go with "not much".  I mean the pictures are cute and pretty and in combination with the phrases can be amusing, but this is probably a book I will put on the shelf and never open again. Unless you're an absolute nut about moe, you should definitely spend your 10 bucks on a real manga and just glance through this in the bookstore...unless you have a sister that would appreciate it.

     

    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 8:58pm CDT