Mon, 25 February 2008
I haven't really mentioned this on my website or on my podcast but I actually started watching and reading anime and manga because I had such an awful job at the time. Going to work was so dreadful back in 2004 that I was looking for something new to occupy my mind. It started with Cowboy Bebop and just ballooned from that point on. Then I started reading manga as well, starting with GTO. I truly believe that without anime and manga that year I probably would have quit my job. The stories were just so interesting and the characters of the type that try to get through the trials in their lives through thick and thin and never give up.
I finally made the move to a new apartment yesterday and Saturday and what a horrible experience it has been. When I got to the new one, the door key did not work, the A/C was not working, and the phone was not working. The A/C was later fixed. I am just now able to get online after a AT&T technician came earlier today. I was supposed to get $200 of the first month's rent but they tried to say it was only $100 which is still not resolved. We rented a UHAUL truck and when we took it back, the manager said that the moving dolly that was in the truck was not theirs and that I would have to be charged $75! For an item you could buy in a store for 10-20$. Even though it was the one that was in there when we picked it up. I have boxes stacked everywhere. Man, what a mess. I'm actually going to start getting my manga out of my boxes as a first act on the long road back to sanity. I have been really run ragged this last week or so, so I apologize for not updating my blog/podcast show. I did manage to watch Volume 4 of Air Gear last night, but I just couldn't concentrate and enjoy it fully with so many things on my mind and getting adjusted to a new place. I have also started Volume 1 of the Pumpkin Scissors manga.
I still have a few items left to get from my old place which I have to formally move out of by Friday so hopefully once that is done I can get a little calmer and less stressed. This new place just doesn't feel like home right now. Moving is a pain in the butt....unless you have the money to pay someone to do it for you. I hope to do a podcast and write some text reviews very soon. I feel like I'll be reading and watching more anime and manga in the days to come just to get my mind off things.
Category:general -- posted at: 7:25pm CDT
Sun, 10 February 2008
Anime DVD Review of Phoenix Volume 1: Persistence of Time. Based on a manga by Osamu Tezuka. Directed by Ryousuke Takahashi, Running Time: 125 minutes, Episodes 1-5, $19.95.
Volume 1 is primarily taken up by a storyline set in ancient Japan as an aging queen attacks the Land of Fire to obtain the blood of the Phoenix.It is said that if you drink the blood of this mythical bird, you can gain immortality. As is often the case, when humans try to gain something that will extend their lives beyond their natural course, it usually ends tragically. One of the last survivors of the Land of Fire, a kid named Nagi, is spared and taken as a slave by the Queen's military commander, Sarutahiko. The last episode on the DVD starts a new story arc set on a far future dying Earth. Leona, a scientist trying to harness the power of the Phoenix on the Moon, ends up involved in a huge explosion. To save his life, half of his brain is replaced with cybernetic electronics. This has the weird effect of making him see humans as monsters while he perceives robots as humans!
My Grade: A+
Sat, 9 February 2008
The newest Album by L'Arc~en~Ciel, entitled "Truth", is now available for download in the Itunes store for $9.99. It has been out in Japan since November but in the US you can only obtain the physical cd by getting an import. Amazon has it listed for around $40. I'm sure you can find it pretty easily through your favorite Japan store but who can beat $10? As far as I can tell, the only other L'Arc album on Itunes is "Dune" for $11.99.
Truth features a remix of "Link", the opening song of the Fullmetal Alchemist movie.
The tracks are as follows:
1. Seventh Heaven
2. Pretty Girl
3. My Heart Draws a Dream
6. Alone en La Vida
7. Daybreak's Bell
9. The Black Rose
10. Link (Kiss Mix)
11. Yuki no Ashiato
12. Hurry Xmas
Here is the link to Itunes:
Category:general -- posted at: 1:43pm CDT
Tue, 5 February 2008
Togari Volume 3 by Yoshinori Natsume. Translated by Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt. Originally published in Japan by Shogakukan in 2001. Published in US by Viz, $9.99, Rated T+ for Older Teen.
Tobei is still getting adjusted to being human again as he hunts down more toga in his effort to escape the underworld by killing 108 sins in 108 days. Probably the hardest thing he's done is trying to understand human kindness and that there are actually people in this world that care about his welfare. The battle to understand human compassion is perhaps a more difficult conflict that battling with Toga. But even that more straightforward task is becoming increasingly more complex as he finds that some of the Toga are exhibiting more intelligence and even show the ability to merge with their human hosts instead of being ghostly shadows that only he can see. On top of all this, Detective Sawazaki is determined to find out whether Tobei is the source of all the weird occurrences occuring in the city or whether Tobei is a hero battling to end them.
I would have to say that Volume 3 of Togari is one of the fastest reads I've had in recent memory, clocking in at around 30 minutes. Just because this title is simple and direct to the point of bluntness doesn't mean it suffers in the quality department. In fact its economy of storytelling gives it a momentum and excitement lacking in other titles. The action sequences are always well drawn and always easy to understand. Even though there are lots of battle pieces, there are actually less than you would think in a series of this type. In fact, Volume 3 delves a bit into characterization by telling about Sawazaki's past when he was a junior officer working with Itsuki's dad. Togari is a title that is unfortunately looked over a bit in a market inundated with demon-slaying titles. I also really enjoy Natsume's hand painted covers.
See Podcast Episode 33 for a review of Volume 2 of Togari.
My Grade: A
Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 6:28pm CDT
Sat, 2 February 2008
Manga Podcast Review Episode 84: Harukaze Bitter Bop Volume 1 by Court Betten. Translated by Christine Schilling and adapted by Kereth Cowe-Spigal. Originally published in Japan by Mag Garden in 2005. Published in US by Tokyopop, $9.99, Rated Teen 13+.
Highschooler Chiyoharu Hasumi is not enjoying school these days. A while back, him and some of his friends started a fire in one of the classrooms. Chiyo got off with a mere suspension while his friends were punished much more severely with expulsion. They think he somehow ratted on them. His other classmates want nothing to do with him either. That's when he encounters a man that looks like he fell out of a Street Fighter game committing suicide by standing in front of and getting hit by an oncoming train. The passing Kaede Tsubaki, who is actually a Special Female High School Detective arrives on the scene and thinks Chiyo killed the dude but the supposedly dead man gets up after being pulverized and declares that he is Souza of the North Wind. Suffering from amnesia, his name is about all he remembers.
My Grade: C-