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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  • VAMPYBIT.ME - The official Linda Le Weblog

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  • Podcast Episode 119: Rose Hip Rose Volume 1 by Tohru Fujisawa

    Manga Podcast Review of Rose Hip Rose Volume by Tohru Fujisawa, writer and artist of GTO, GTO: The Early Years, and Rose Hip Zero. Translated by Emi Onishi. Adapted by Michael French. Originally published in Japan by Kodansha. Published in US by Tokyopop, $10.99, Rated Mature 18+.

    While this is billed by Tokyopop as the sequel to Rose Hip Zero, this series actually came out first, so in fact it is a prequel. Aiba Shohei is a kid not very interested in the elite high school he attends or the life his father has laid out for him. You know, the whole go to a good school, go to a good college, get a good job, have a good life, or face being a loser speech! Shohei would rather be a criminal than live such a life. Him and his friends have been profiting from an internet site they run in which they offer panty shots of unsuspecting girls they photograph on the train. But one of these girls is about to change his pathetic life. Her name is Kasumi Asakura. She catches him trying to take a picture of her and steals the memory card out of his cell phone camera to hold over him as leverage. Little does he know that this sweet looking girl is actually the ace police agent Rose Hip, the Angel of Mercy. He will soon be caught up in her hunt for the homicidal Goldilocks Killer, who has been murdering and mutilating women in Tokyo.

    My Grade: A

    Direct download: Episode_119--Rose_Hip_Rose_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:14pm CDT

    Obama and McCain Become Comic Book Stars

    Well, here we go, it seems John McCain and Barack Obama are going to be the subject of comic book biographies in early October. IDW, the comic book publisher, says that they are going to stick to the facts (Yeah, right). I wonder if any of the crew from Air Gear are gonna be in it? They also say that comic books are a more effective teaching tool than other media. I guess what they mean is any dummy can look at pictures, even if you can't read, and get some idea of a message. The article also says that the comics can already be preordered and will also be available for cell phone download. Here's the link to the full article:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080730/ap_en_ot/presidential_comic_books

     

    Direct download: Presidents.jpg
    Category:News -- posted at: 10:00pm CDT

    EGM Does Japan, Naruto, and an Angry Suicide Woman

    Electronic Gaming Monthly is doing a 38 page Special on Japanese videogames and features Soulcalibur 4 on the cover. The game was released yesterday. The cool thing about the next-gen consoles, at least Xbox 360 and PS3 (Wii doesn't count), is that you usually have the option to change to the Japanese voice acting with subtitles on a lot of the titles developed there. It's always cooler to me to play an RPG in the original language. Right now I'm playing Naruto: Rise of a Ninja on 360 and it's cool because you have the option of playing it with the English dub actors or the original Japanese actors from the anime. Speaking of, that will probably be the first videogame review I do for this site. There's another Naruto game in development for the PS3 as we speak (or sorta speak).

     I got Soulcalibur 4 yesterday and have been playing it a bit. It features an online element as well as a custom character option where you can modify existing models of characters. There was a thread on the 360 forums asking whether anyone had tried making any Inuyasha characters. There wasn't any replies so I guess that was a no. But it got me thinking.....

     There was an article in the Houston Chronicle, you know, just one of those little throwaway stories in a far column. It said that a woman had flipped out at a train station in Hiratsuka, about 43 miles southwest of Tokyo. Apparently, she tried to cut her wrist with an army knife, but when she was trying to do it, someone bumped her, and she got pissed, so she stabbed seven men before a crowd held her down. For once it was good that a Japanese train station was crowded! Or was it? I mean she didn't kill herself because she got bumped, but if she had been alone, she wouldn't have stabbed anyone. I think if you try that type of thing in a crowded place, you want to be stopped.

    On the lighter side of things the second Naruto movie came out yesterday. The cheapest I saw it for was $17.99. I was wondering why it was so expensive but it comes with two dvds in a hard case, almost like a hardback book. Pretty cool. Ok, I'm a Naruto nut but I'm a bit behind on the anime. I've read all the manga volumes and also some that have been translated. I've bought all of the uncut boxed sets as they came out, but I think I've only watched through the fourth set. So, yeah, even though I have both movies, I haven't watched either. Maybe I will watch one tonight.

    Direct download: egm.bmp
    Category:general -- posted at: 7:38pm CDT

    Podcast Episode 118: GTO Volume 7 by Tohru Fujisawa

    Podcast manga review of GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka volume 7 by Tohru Fujisawa. Translated by Dan Papia. Originally published by Kodansha in Japan. Published in US by Tokyopop, $9.99, Rated Older Teen 16+.

    Well, it looks like Onizuka has foiled the plans of Teshigawara and Mrs. Oda. He's become quite the celebrity after rescuing Oda's daughter, Hidemi, from some thugs who had kidnapped her to blackmail Hidemi's father, an important politician. But GTO got shot in the process. Can you believe he not only took the National Scholastic Achievement Test before going to the hospital, but also scored the highest in the country? So his job seems safe for the time being, but a new enemy rears its pretty head in his class. Her name is Urumi Kanzaki, a legendary classroom terror that had dropped out of school, much to the delight of the Holy Forest faculty. Now she's returning with the express purpose of torturing GTO.

    My Grade: A

    Direct download: Episode_118--GTO_Volume_7.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:06pm CDT

    Podcast Episode 117: Elemental Gelade Volume 1 by Mayumi Azuma

    Manga review of Elemental Gelade Volume 1 by Mayumi Azuma. Translated by Alethea Nibley. Adapted by Jordan Capell. Originally published by Mag Garden in Japan. Published in US by Tokyopop, $9.99, Rated Teen 13+.

    Cou has been trying everything he can to fit in with the Red Lynx Sky Pirates but he can't get his fellow crewmembers to respect him or take him seriously. It probably has something to do with the fact that he can't even pilot a plane by himself. Still, things begin to change when he opens a ancient sarcophogus-like object in the ship's treasury and finds a beautiful young girl inside it. At first he thinks it is a doll but then the girl opens her eyes. Her name is Ren and she is an Edel Raid, a living weapon that bonds with another person. She wants to go to a place named Edel Garden and Cou agrees to accompany her. Just then, the Red Lynx is attacked by a trio looking for Ren.

    My Grade: B+

    Direct download: Episode_117--Elemental_Gelade_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:02am CDT

    Podcast Episode 116: Beck Volume 2

    Podcast Anime DVD review of Beck Volume 2 and a general introduction to the series that will be released as a box set tomorrow from Funimation.

    Koyuki didn't have too much interest in school before but now that problem is compounded by his increased interest in playing guitar. But his schoollife becomes a bit more complicated when he chips a piece off of Rikiya Kitazawa's Fender Jaguar guitar by accident. Kitazawa is the resident bad-ass of the school and the number one thug. Luckily, he wasn't around when it happened and Kitazawa's friend, Hyodo, promises to keep it secret. That is, IF Koyuki becomes his personal gopher and errand boy, and is willing to loan him money whenever he asks. Yes, that's right...BLACKMAIL. But things are looking up outside of school as Ryusuke's band, which he has dubbed Beck, seems to be fully formed, and Koyuki might even become a member.

    My Grade: B+

    Direct download: Episode_116--Beck_Volume_2.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:09pm CDT

    Podcast Episode 115: Eden Volume 1 by Hiroki Endo

    Podcast manga review of Eden: It's an Endless World Volume 1 by Hiroki Endo. Translated by Kumar Sivasubramanian. Originally published in Japan by Kodansha. Published in US by Dark Horse, $12.95, Rated Mature 18+.

    A viral pandemic has ravaged the Earth and killed off a lot of the population. Enoah and Hannah are two of the lucky few who are immune to its spread, and along with Professor Morris Layne, continue to eke out a living at a ruined research facility. They are the only survivors out of a group of scientists and their families who once walled themselves in the biodome type environment in an effort to find a cure for the virus. Now it is in ruins, and Layne is slowly dying. Nobody knows for sure if anyone else on the planet is still alive or whether a cure was ever found. But the arrival of armed troops in helicopters is going to change their little Eden forever.

    My Grade: A+

    Direct download: Episode_115ver2.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:42pm CDT

    Podcast Episode 114: Appleseed Ex Machina

    Podcast Blu-ray review of Appleseed: Ex Machina. Directed by Shinji Aramaki. Produced by John Woo. Based on the manga by Shiro Masamune. Published by Warner Brothers, List Price: $34.98, Rated PG-13.

    In a post-apocalyptic world in which war killed over half the world's population, mankind has started rebuilding out of the ruins. Olympus, the shining city on the hill, serves as an example of what humanity can achieve. But there is always someone who wants to throw a wrench into things, isn't there? A lot of the city's inhabitants have cybernetic enhancements or are dependent on a super Blackberry device called a Connexus. A terrorist element is able to send out a signal that can control cyborgs and Connexus users and make them kill, rob, pillage, or whatever strikes their fancy. It's up to Deunan, a human, and Briareos, a cyborg, to hunt down who is behind it all. But a conflict arises as Deunan is forced to partner up with a combat Bioroid named Tereus, who is a clone of her former lover Briareos, and sports all of his former bishonen handsomeness.

    My Grade: C

    Direct download: Episode_114--Appleseed_Ex_Machina.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:21pm CDT

    Podcast Episode 113: Future Anime Magazine, Manga Bums and Guardian Hearts Volume 1 Manga Review

    I take a look at the new Anime Insider and a new magazine, Future Anime, which seems more style than substance and way too expensive, and comment on manga bums, which seem to infest bookstores, and are very hard pests to remove. Then it's on to a review of Guardian Hearts Volume 1 by Sae Amatsu, a new manga from Tokyopop which should be published under a new imprint called Tokyoslop!

    Guardian Hearts Volume 1 by Sae Amatsu. Translated by Monica Seya Chin. Adapted by Erin M. Blakemore. Originally published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten. Published in US by Tokyopop, $9.99, Rated Older Teen Ages 16+.

    Hina has been sent by the Planet of Light to be the superpowered guardian of Earth. But her track record at beng a superhero isn't too great and this is her last chance to redeem herself. She is advised to not do anything stupid like reveal her secret identity. She says she won't but when she turns around, there is a guy that had been standing there the whole time. His name is Kazuya and he has instantly blown her cover. To make sure Kazuya doesn't reveal her secret, she moves in with him and his mom and also enrolls in his school. Pretty soon, other strange alien girls begin to move in to the house as well. There's Kurusu, who can absorb abilities through clothes, Ooba Maya the space ninja, Chelsea the magical princess, Koto the space Miko, and a little cat girl named Daisy.

    My Grade: F

    Direct download: Episode_113--Guardian_Hearts_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:12pm CDT

    Manga Review: Negima Volume 2 by Ken Akamatsu

    Manga Review of Negima volume 2 by Ken Akamatsu, creator of Love Hina and A.I. Love You. Translated by Douglas Varenas. Adapted by Peter David and Kathleen O'Shea David. Originally published in Japan by Kodansha. Published in US by Del Rey, $10.95, Rated OT ages 16+.

    Negi sees a lot of students really putting pressure on themselves studying and wonders why his own Class 2A seems to be going about their usual business. When he asks one of the girls what the deal is, she tells him that in 3 days the school will be taking the all-important high school exam. 2A always has the worst average so none of the girls even bother getting upset about it, especially the Baka Rangers. They get a bit more serious when they hear rumors that Negi might be fired or their class might be dissolved if they don't improve their class ranking. The truth is that if Negi can somehow get his class out of last place, he will "officially" become a teacher at the Academy (up to this point he's been in a probationary type position). He starts to come up with some sort of magical solution, but Asuna talks him out of it, saying that the girls should fail or succeed on their own merits. Negi even goes to drastic lengths by taking away his own powers in the 3 days leading up to the test so he won't be tempted to use his magic. Asuna quickly changes her tune when she hears the rumors going round the school and enlists the Baka Rangers to help acquire a mythical book in the school library that supposedly makes you smarter if you read it. The Mahora Library is the largest library in the world and contains millions of books, with a lot of them being rare and irreplacable. Due to the nature of the tomes inside it, there are lots of traps on its first floor to keep out would-be robbers. Traps which Negi and company are going to have to deal with minus his magic.

    The two things that instantly grab you just flipping through this manga is its beautiful art and sexy fanservice. Akamatsu is pretty much at the top of his form doing harem comedy. But the fact that Negi is so young eleminates some of the horndog nature that you find in some male protagonists of this genre. Instead of being a perverted male surrounded by pure and innocent girls, Negi is the pure and innocent one being played on by females that find him cute and irresistible, especially Ayaka, the class rep. Of course this wouldn't be Akamatsu if the writer didn't find a ton of ways to get the girls bathing naked, have their clothes blown off, or bend over for various reasons for panty shots. It's just the nature of Akamatsu's game. While he focuses a lot on comedy, he is not afraid to draw epic background environments pulled right out of Kurosawa's vast shot forte. This is something a lot of manga artists lack nowadays, the use of wide shots. The character designs are great. I never have trouble recognizing any of the 31 girls of class 2A. They are distinct enough, at least in outward form, so you don't confuse them very easily. We haven't really got to know them all as personalities but then again, this is only the second volume. I look forward to learning more about the characters. Negima is really funny and is a very entertaining adventure.

    My Grade: A

     

    Direct download: Negima_2.jpg
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 5:00pm CDT