Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas! (1 year of reviews)

My first post on this blog was wishing a "Merry Christmas!" along with some upcoming reviews. I created this blog awhile ago, but didn't start officially using it until Christmas, so going by that, it's been 1 year of reviews! And the stuff I listed last year, some are still on the waiting list XD!! But once again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Here's a list of upcoming reviews...

[ANIME]
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles Vol.2: Seeds Of Revoltuon
xxxHOLiC: First Collection
Fullmetal Alchemist: Season 1 Part 2
Cardcaptors Vol.3: Misdirections
Cardcaptor Sakura: The Sealed Card
Haibane Renmei Vol.1: New Feathers

[MANGA]
Kimi Ni Todoke, Vol.1
Cardcaptors Cine-Manga 4
xxxHOLiC, Vol.2
Thunderkid, Vol.1
Turbulence
Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol.2
Dream Saga, Vol.1

[MUSIC]
Tsubasa Chronicles: Future Soundscape Volume 1

Thank you to all who read my reviews, I hope they've been helpful. Here's to another year of future reviews! God Bless and Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

ROZEN MAIDEN: Ouverture [OVA]


This two-episode Rozen Maiden special was aired on December 22 and 23, 2006 on TBS in Japan. It is a brief prequel to the events of the TV series. Ouvertüre (オーベルテューレ, ōberuchiyūre), German for "overture", is set at some point during Träumend (most likely between episodes six and seven) and answers critical questions about Suigintou's past, particularly those pertaining to the rivalry she holds with Shinku. The majority of the two-episode special is told by Souseiseki and takes place as a flashback to the nineteenth century in London. Ali Project once again lends its talents for the opening song. As with the series, Kukui sings the ending theme.
(Wikipedia description of Rozen Maiden: Ouverture)
[NOTE: Since there is no DVD release here, I used this image of Rozen Miaden: Ouverture that I found and saved from Photobucket]

Original Japanese Title:
Dubbed by: Undubbed.
Animation:
Manga adaption?: Yes, "Rozen Maiden" by Peach-Pit.
Rating: Not rated.

{I, the reviewer, give Rozen Maiden: Ouveture, 10 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

This OVA takes place somewhere in Traumend and is a flashback of how Shinku met Suigintou. It first begins with Jun trying to give Shinku a broach, and she utterly refuses. This makes Jun very angry at her, because all he wanted to do was give her something nice. However, Souseiseki pulls him aside and tells her the whole story, not only of why she won't accept the broach, but also why Suigintou hates Shinku.

Suigintou remembers waking up incomplete without any clothes on. She remembers "Father" holding all the Rozen Maiden. She also remembers a long haired blond doll with a red dress whom he seemed to love and embrace the most. Despite being in pieces, her love for "Father" was so strong, she pulled herself together and dressed herself in clothes. Suigintou comes through the mirror into Sara's room, Shinku's current medium. Shinku is shocked when this poor, crying doll introduces herself as "Suigintou, the first Rozen Maiden."

To avoid any spoilers, so you yourself can find out the story, I'll just leave the description at that. But I loved this OVA because it explained so much about why Suigintou has so much hate towards Shinku, and when you watch it, it's very understandable why. You get to see the fragile side of her, realizing she never was a sadistic doll, but only wanted to be embraced and loved by "Father" like all the other dolls. The animation this time around is extremely beautiful, much better than the previous two seasons. The music is pretty much the same, but still beautiful and fitting for the series. You can easily watch both seasons and never need to watch this OVA, but if you'd like to go deeper and find out more about Suigintou, then you'll wanna watch this.

Recommend?
If you wanna learn more about Suigintou, you have to watch this OVA!

[VIEWING PLEASURE]

[MUSIC]
The opening and ending pieces are rather nice, and the musical score is the same, beautiful score as the series.

[SUB VS. DUB]
You can only watch this in it's original Japanese fansubbed. But I will say the Japanese voice cast did an excellent job!

[MOVIES/MANGA]
"Rozen Maiden" manga series by Peach-Pit.

[RELATED TITLES]
"Rozen Maiden" and "Rozen Maiden: Traumend".

[DVD EXTRAS]

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
If I remember correctly, nothing more harsh than "h" and "d" in the first episode.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
Suigintou was an incomplete doll, and when we see her lying in pieces, she was not yet clothed. However, you don't see anything. Even if for a moment, it was probably fast, and undetailed.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
There's battles between Shinku and Souseki, but they're dolls, so injuries are bloodless.
(SPOILERS!! Souseki cuts Suigintou in half, but she's a doll so there's no blood and gore).

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
Well, they're Rozen Maiden, living dolls who fight to become "Alice", the perfect girl. They make "covenants" by giving their masters rings from which they can draw energy from. Each doll has a "Rosa Mystica" inside of them, it's like a magical spirit of their energy.

*EPISODE LIST*
1. Eternity
2. Vanity

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Avatar The Last Airbender: Water, Vol.1


The Avatar returns to the world searching for excitement, adventure and a good time! New friends, celebrity status, and the ruthless Fire Nation on his tail...can Aang face his destiny to save the world?
(From the backcover of Avatar The Last Airbender: Water, Vol.1)

Original Japanese Title: There isn't one.
Dubbed by: English is the original audio.
Animation:
Manga adaption?: No, this is an original show.
Rating: Not rated.

{I, the reviewer, give Avatar The Last Airbender: Water, Vol.1, 9 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

If there was ever such thing as an American anime, "Avatar The Last Airbender" would be it. With beautiful animation and an engaging storyline, it's one of the best American-made cartoons I have seen in awhile that has an anime quality to it, which is why I have allowed myself to review it here!

It's a story about four nations: Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. They all once lived together in peace, until the Fire Nation decided to attack. A war broke loose, lasting years upon years. What's worse is the Avatar, the only one who can control all four elements, vanished. A hundred years later since the war started, a brother and sister named Sokka and Katara from the Water Nation find a boy named Aang frozen in an iceberg. He is an Air Bender, and apparently the last of their kind. But not only that, they later find out he is the new Avatar, wielder of all elements, destined to save the world! Of course, being just a kid, he's still got alot to learn and training to do before he can do that. Not only that, but Prince Zuko from the Fire Nation, who has been looking for the Avatar for 2 years, has finally discovered him!

This is something the whole family would enjoy watching. It's extremely clean that has enough humor and fun to keep younger viewers happy, but an engaging storyline deep enough for older viewers to get into. It serves as a good alternative to alot of anime that is too violent and/or confusing, or the horribly dubbed edited versions of anime. Anime puriests would look at me as crazy to even call this "an anime", but whether or not it's a true anime, it's still an amazing animated series with lots of action and fun that people of all ages can enjoy. Plus the animation is actually beautiful, unlike most of the modern "cardboard" looking series we have today with lame or random, disgusting storylines. Give this one a try; I think you'll like it!

Recommend?
Yes, yes, and did I say yes? If you're looking for an amazing anime-quality series that the whole family can enjoy, watch this!! You won't regret it!

[VIEWING PLEASURE]

[MUSIC]
It has a pretty good musical score that fits the show nicely.

[SUB VS. DUB]
This show was originally in English to begin with. The acting is done pretty well. Where there were parts where the acting could of been better, for the most part it's excellent. It also comes in French and Spanish dub, but I cannot comment since I have not watched it in those languages.

[MOVIES/MANGA]
The live-action movie based on the animated series entitled "The Last Air Bender".

[RELATED TITLES]
None that I can think of, other than the live-action movie.

[DVD EXTRAS]
"Behind The Scenes Kung Fu" Featurette

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
None.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
Nothing.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
In the fourth episode when Sokka asks for some female warriors to teach him how to fight, they agree as long as he agrees to follow ALL their traditions, which includes wearing their warrior outfit and make-up, which obviously is for girls only. This is for comical purposes, however. Other than that, nothing. The most revealing clothing gets is when someone is swimming (in swim clothes) or when two male fire benders fight shirtless.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
There's some fighting, but no one gets seriously hurt. There are mentions of events where people have gotten killed, such as the exstinction of the Air Benders and Katara's mother. The worst it gets is at the Air Temple when Aang finds out the Fire Nation did attack and sees the skeleton of one of his friends (and I think there were other dead bodies, but not extremely graphic).

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
There are four nations: Water, Fire, Earth, and Air. Within these nations are people called "Benders" those who can "bend" a certain element, meaning control it and use it. The Avatar is someone from either one of these nations who can wield all four elements. There's something called the "Avatar Cycle" where the Avatar is reincarnated into the next nation in the cycle. This time, the Avatar was reincarnated as a boy named Aang who is an Air Bender.

*EPISODE LIST*
1. "Chapter 1: The Boy In The Iceberg"
2. "Chapter 2: The Avatar Returns"
3. "Chapter 3: The Southern Air Temple"
4. "Chapter 4: The Warriors of Kyoshi"

Angelic Layer: Complete Series


From Shojo manga superstars Clamp comes an anime classic. 12 year old Misaki builds her own Angel, a robot competitor for the hit arcade game Angelic Layer. She soon begins winning battles where will and determination count far more than size and strenth. It's a heartwarming story with a message-and a great low price collection!
(Amazon.com description of Angelic Layer: Complete Series)
[NOTE: There are two boxsets of the complete series, this image is one of them, but I have a different boxset with different cover art, but it's probably the same thing].

Original Japanese Title:
Dubbed by: ADV
Animation: BONES
Manga adaption?: Yes, "Angelic Layer" by CLAMP.
Rating: 13+


{I, the reviewer, give Angelic Layer: Complete Series, 8 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

This title was one of my recommendations when I asked people for a good clean anime series. Plus, it was available for streaming in full, for free, on the Anime Network's YouTube channel in English, so I thought "Might as well try it out! The worst that could happen is I won't like it". And the worst did not happen, I absolutely really liked this anime!

Based on yet another CLAMP manga, and in the same universe as Chobits, "Angelic Layer" is about a 12-year-old girl named Misaki Suzuhara who comes to Tokyo to attend school there and live with her Auntie Shoko. For awhile, she's been living with her Grandparents in the country while her mom was always away at work in Tokyo, so she hasn't seen her since Kindergarten. As far as her dad is concerned, it's not mentioned in the anime, but in the manga it is mentioned he had passed away. When Misaki arrives and leaves the station, on a huge TV she sees Angelic Layer, instantly falling in love with the pretty white angel that won, even though she was small! Then a strange guy in a lab coat appears who calls himself Icchan and he introduces her into the world of Angelic Layer, where she can her very own angel!

Throughout the series, Mr. Icchan helps Misaki with how to play Angelic Layer. After winning a non-official match at Piffle Princess without any experience or practice, Mr. Icchan sees potential. After she learns how to practice and wins yet another unofficial challenge, he gives her an angel card, and there she enters the Official Games of Angelic Layer, where she's up against some tough players! Every angel has their own special patent ability. For example, Suzuka's "Rolling Thunder", Ranga's "Dance Of Death", and Blanche's "Hyper Mode". The little miracle kindergartner, Hotoko, also helps Misaki, and they made a promise that Misaki would lose to no one but her. And Hotoko teaches Misaki to believe in herself and Hikaru (her angel) too, and that age and size does not matter in Angelic Layer. And besides the drama of the games, Misaki longs to see her mother. Little does she know her mother is closer to her than she thinks!

I simply loved this anime. The character developement and lessons learned was really well written. You see Misaki make friends, even with rivals, and her longing for her mother, as well as wanting to meet the white angel she saw in battle. It gets even more emotional as the series comes to a close, with alot of things unfolding and Misaki getting closer to finding out where her mom's been all this time. Watching the battles are also intense, and you'll be rooting for Hikaru all the way! Even when it seems impossible, there is always a way! I have watched this series 3 times straight! The first time by myself, the second with my mom, and the third with my brother. I'm even planning on running it through again for the fourth time! The characters are loveable with their own personalities, the "angels" amazing with their special skills, and the storyline and ending quite satisfying. I wish this was a real game! I mean, an angel doll that is controlled by your thoughts to battle other "angels" on the layer? That would be so cool to play! I've even drawn a design of my own angel if I could ever play in real life! But anyway, highly good series with great animation, story, and characters!

Recommend?
Totally! If you're looking for a really good anime that's relatively clean, has some action, and character developement, watch this! You'll wish Angelic Layer was a real game, too!

[VIEWING PLEASURE]

[MUSIC]
The music fits the series perfectly! Nothing I would call spectacular, but perfect for the show. The opening "Be My Angel" is cute and the first closing "The Starry Sky" is beautiful. The second ending is a nice piece, but not as good as the first.

[SUB VS. DUB]
I've seen little of the sub, and what I saw was OK, but I'd have to watch more of it for a better analysis. The dub starts out OK, but gets better as the episodes progress and the voice actors start to really get into their characters.

[MOVIES/MANGA]
"Angelic Layer" by CLAMP.

[RELATED TITLES]
"Chobits" and "Kobato"

[DVD EXTRAS]

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
Nothing objectionable. (Based on the dub translation).

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
There's a scene where Shoko is drinking an alcoholic beverage, but this is shown once, maybe twice in the whole thing.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
When Misaki first opens the angel egg, she does it in the bath, but is submerged in the water, so you don't see anything. The same goes for Kaede and her angel. Both Misaki's aunt and Tamayo makes jokes about marrying her, however, they are only joking. Ogata has accused Mr. Icchan of being a pervert, but of course is incorrect. There's a scene where Mr. Icchan is looking at how well designed Misaki's angel is, including looking underneath it's skirt, but he tells her he was just analyzing it scientifically. Ogata accidently bumps his bottom against a female co-worker's when they are trying to fix the layer, and she accuses him of sexual harrasment. When a hamster goes missing, Kotarou goes to look for it and Misaki tackles him 'cause he was going into her room, and Hotoko says what a dirty boy he is for trying to go into a girl's room. Other than those few minor incidents (most of them more comical if anything), it's rather a clean series.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
Angelic Layer is a fighting game where one's "angel" battles it out on the layer. There's alot of the dolls getting injured and thrashed around, but since they're dolls, it's nothing serious.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
Other than the dolls being called "Angels", none.

*EPISODE LIST*
1. "How Do You Do? My Very Own Angel!"
2. "Let's Try Our Best, Hikaru! The First Fight"
3. "Who Are You? Misaki's Nervour Lesson"
4. "The Day The Angel Descended"
5. "I Don't Want To Lose! I'm Believing In Hikaru!"
6. "Light-Speed Suzuka! Hotoko's Declaration Of Rivalry!"
7. "Fight To The Limit - Misaki's Last Chance"
8. "Misaki vs. Misaki? A Dangerous Classmate"
9. "Sing Misaki! Is The Dues An Idol?"
10. "Mean Sisters! Hikaru The Target"
11. "The Match! Hikaru and Mao Really Fight"
12. "Misaki and Kotaro - Exciting Date"
13. "Pure White Blanche - Kaede's Smile"
14. "Never Give Up! An Angel Was Born"
15. "Shirahime vs. Suzuka! Secret of The Ice Machine"
16. "The Final Match! Hikaru's Last Attack"
17. "I Choose You! The One Misaki Selected"
18. "Many Formidable Opponents - The National Games Of Everyone's Dreams"
19. "System Down? A Battle On a Ship In a Storm!"
20. "Icchan, the Enemy? The Puzzling Second Game"
21. "Summertime At The Sea! Someone's In Love With Someone"
22. "Suddenly Just The Two Of Us - Secret Double Dates"
23. "Break The Magical Wall! Misaki vs. Oujiro"
24. "Reach Out To Misaki! This Feeling Goes Over The Rainbow"
25. "Fateful Reunion - An Angel Soaked With Tears"
26. "Angel Wings! Please Guide Me and Hikaru"

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Silver Kiss


Zoe's life is falling apart, her mothers in the hospital with bone cancer and her best friend is moving away. Then one day mysterious beautiful Simon shows up with almost the same loneliness as Zoe and a friendship between the two is form.
What Zoe doesn't know yet, is that Simon is a 300 year old vampire who wants to avenge his mothers death and is trying to find this serial killer who's been murdering people around town. No matter what he is Simon is the only thing that Zoe can hold on to when everything else is falling apart.
(SmackJeeves description of The Silver Kiss )

Manga-Ka: Story by Anette Curtis Klause, Art by XXPAXX.
Distributor: Online exclusive.
Format: Left-to-right
Rating: Not Rated
~*~Click Here To Read~*~

{I, the reviewer, give The Silver Kiss, 8 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

This is an unofficial manga adaption of Anette Curtis Klause's novel entitled "The Silver Kiss". This adaption was actual a school project of XXPAXX's, and thus in order to get it finished in time, she had to omitt several part from the actual book. Whether or not she got a good grade on this project is uncertian, since she never tells us, but she has it uploaded at SmackJeeves for our enjoyment. Now, as someone who has never read or heard of this book, I cannot make a fair comparison to the original. However, according to the fans who were reading this, it sounds like it stayed true to the book it was based upon.

It's about a teenage girl named Zoe going through alot in her life. She's mostly alone all the time at home. Her mother's in the hospital and isn't allowed to see her that much. To make matters worse, her best friend tells her she's moving to Organ. And now...there's a string of strange murders happening. Can things get any worse? She then meets a strange guy named Simon, who later reveals to her he's a vampire and that the killer that is on the loose is the same one who killed his mother. Zoe decides to help Simon in catching this killer.

At only 84 pages, this was a really emotional story, it actually made me shed tears as I read it. You really felt for Zoe as she went through so much pain. The art in here is absolutely beautiful, though because of the mangaka needing to get this project done before the due date, had several pages that was nothing but screentone and dialogue. Despite that, it was an excellent read and makes me actually want to pick up the book and read the full version! The ending was bittersweet, however, but yet beautiful, especially Zoe's line on the final page. I'm usually not a huge fan of vampire stories, but I seriously enjoyed this one and I think you will, too!

Recommend?
I extremely recommend this! Even to those (like me) who have not yet read the actual book, but I am sure people who have read it would enjoy it more.

I certify this *MANGA NEWCOMER WORHTY* because it is a manga adaption of a novel you may have actual read or heard of, and it's easy to understand the plotline.

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
3 "d", 1 "h", 1 "b", 1 other "b" word, and God's name taken in vain once.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
Nothing more than a kiss.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
There's a string of murders going on. The actual murder is not shown, however, there is a little bit of blood.
(SPOILER! Zoe kills Simon's brother, but it is not shown.Simon decides it's his time to die, so he and Zoe waits for the sun to come up. He vanishes, but we don't see him actually burn).

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
Well, there's vampires in this story, beings who live forever and never age.
(SPOILER! Simon's brother is killed by the cross necklace Lorraine gave to Zoe).

*CHAPTER LIST*
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6

Friday, December 17, 2010

HEROIC AGE: The Complete Series


Long ago, the advanced Tribe of Gold vanished from the vast universe. In the void left by their departure, the tyrannical Tribe of Silver ascended to rule, forcing mankind – the Iron Tribe – to the brink of extinction.
Now humanity wanders the cosmos in search of a savior. Prophesy has foretold of one who will labor for their freedoms, and on a planet of ruin, a champion is found. A feral boy named Age holds the destiny of their species in his hands and the untold power of the Tribe of Hero within.
(Amazon.com description of Heroic Age: The Complete Series)
[NOTE: This cover image is not of the complete series box set, but of the part 1 of 2 boxset].

Original Japanese Title:
Dubbed by: Funimation
Animation: XEBEC
Manga adaption?: No, this is an original anime.
Rating: TVPG


{I, the reviewer, give Heroic Age, 10 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

If you're an Amazon.com customer, I'm sure you're aware they often give you recommendations based upon the things you purchase. Well, my discovering "Heroic Age" was actually because it was recommended to me via based on my anime purchases or viewing. The premise of the show sounded interesting, people gave it good reviews, and it appeared to be relatively clean content wise. With that said, I decided to give "Heroic Age" a shot and so I streamed it on Funimation's YouTube Channel. And since then, I've been in love with this anime!

"Heroic Age" is an epic space opera about four tribes; Silver, Bronze, Iron, and Heroic, who answered the Golden Tribe's call. Once they had answered, this tribe left our universe for another. The Iron (humans) discover the fifth Nodos, who ends up being a boy named Age raised by The Golden Tribe. He must carry out the 12 labors, a binding contract with the Iron Tribe to defend them.

A Nodos is a person who carries within them one of the last five surviving mecha race known as The Heroic Tribe. These five survivors were punished by the Golden Tribe because of how powerful they were and destructive they were, destroying entire worlds. And so, they were put into a chosen five, to carry out whatever labors they are contracted with to a certain tribe.

This anime is both extremely intense and engaging, as well as very emotional. The battles scenes and action sequences are so epic, you'll be gasping. Like when Dhelianelia's brothers plan to blow up a planet within their own solar system, when a Nodos goes into a "frenzy" because they fought too long and become so consumed in their maddness they become more powerful and destructive, when several fleets are under enemy fire! And as far as the emotional side of it goes, there were several times in this anime I've actually cried! This show is never too over-the-top with it's emotion, it is done very well and believeable. I don't think I ever remember a cheesy moment that would make you roll your eyes and go "oh brother".

At 26 episodes, it was an intense ride, one I'd like to experience over again. The animation is crisp, clear, bright, and beautiful. The voice acting on either audio track is done breath-takingly well. The story is well written, never seeming as though it's trying too hard. Plus the ending was rather satisfying, it doesn't leave you feeling cheated or disappointed. This is an anime that sure deserves more recognization, I almost feel like I have found a rare gem among all the anime that is out there. Okay, maybe not a "rare gem", but a gem none-the-less. You'll gasp at Dhelianelia's idiot brothers, agree alot with Mobeeto and Nilval, cry or feel sad when Dhelianelia is, and even laugh or smile at Age's goofiness at times. And of course, cheer on our heroes as they strive to claim their destiny and move towards the future!

Recommend?
Looking for a good space opera with lots of action, a good plot, mecha, hints of romance, emotion, and intensity? Then go...watch this...now! It's absolutely amazing.

[VIEWING PLEASURE]

[MUSIC]
The opening "Gravitation" is energenic and the closing "Azurite" is beautiful, both wonderful fitting songs for the show. The actual score is rather nice, a bit repetitive at times, but hard to get tired of.

[SUB VS. DUB]
Equally great! It's an excellent dub, but the original Japanese is also done well.

[MOVIES/MANGA]
No movies. This is an original anime series. However, I have heard of a manga adaption of it. Whether it is licensed is unknown.

[RELATED TITLES]
None.

[DVD EXTRAS]
I watched this at Funimation's website, so for the moment I cannot comment.

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
The words "d" and "h" are used a few times in many of the episodes. In the first few, God's name is also taken in vain a few times, but only in the first few episodes it seems. In the sub, I remember one "s" word.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None that I remember.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
It seems Dhelianelia and Age have feelings for each other, but it's very cute and innocent, nothing objectionable happens. There are two characters very well-endowed and the top they where is quite revealing, you can see down the whole cleavage line, but that's about it. Alot of the women wear skin-tight uniforms, but it is conservative. There's one scene where Age and the female twins Mail and Tail are in the shower together, but their clothes are still on (they are just washing off paint).

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
There's practically a space battle between the tribles of Bronze, Iron, and Silver in every episode. Mostly just lasers and explosions. Also, the Nodos get into battles quite a bit (so much they have a high risk of getting into a "frenzy"). It's bloodless until about the final few episodes. When a Nodos squeezes Belcross' arms, some blood squirts out. In the battle between Kervious and Belcross, Kervious really gets damaged and it's hard to tell if there's an unrealistic amount of blood splatter or if it is just it's black-hole making power going heywire ('cause it is also dark red). Rom Ror, when crashed on a planet, has blood on his face.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
It's about 4 tribles; The Silver (humanoid-looking emotionless people), The Bronze (insect race), The Iron (humanity), and The Heroic (mecha race) answering the call of The Golden Tribe. This "Golden Tribe" is said to have the powers to create worlds, so it's almost like they're some sort of gods. The 3 of the 4 mentioned tribes are seeking the lost power of The Golden Tribe. There are 5 people called Nodos, each from a different tribe (not all tribes answered the call so there is more than just 4), that have a "Hero" inside them (a living mecha), whom they can turn into at any time for battle, and they all have "labors" goals they must carry out for the tribe they have a contract with. Belcross, Age's Nodos, is known to be the most powerful. There's a Nodos who can jump time and space, one who can heal, one who can create black holes, etc.!
(SPOILERS! Age tells the other "Nodos" that they are all Nodos so they can give the Hero inside them a heart. Each Nodos represents something; Life, Existence, Time, Light. There's a portal they need to open to the other universe that the Golden Tribe left to, Kervious is the Door and Belcross is the Key).

*EPISODE LIST*
1. The Ruined Planet
2. The Forgotten Child
3. The Tribe Of Hero
4. The Planet Titarros
5. The Nodos
6. The Cemetery Belt
7. The Agreement
8. The Flashing Nodos
9. The Return
10. The Hero Of Solitude
11. The Star Of Brilliance
12. The Torch Of Destruction
13. The Battle In The Space-Time Continuum
14. The Raging One
15. When The Lights Fall
16. Overcoming the Fates
17. The Retributive Troops
18. The Victorious Day
19. The Invansion Between the Planet Systems
20. The Nodos of Darkness
21. The Planet Codomos
22. The Agreemnt of Death
23. The Four
24. Elysium
25. The Final Labor
26. Age

MOONLIT DEAD LOVE


Magical girl finding love again even if they are dead......Yay! 8D I fail at descriptions like mad crazy. >__>
(Smackjeeves description of Moonlit Dead Love)
Manga-Ka: Marshmellow Muffin
Distributor: Self-published
Format: Right-to-left
Rating: All Ages





{I, the reviewer, give "Moonlit Dead Love", 8 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

After you have finished reading volume 1 of the printed version of Muffin-sama's "The World Stops!" you will then come across a bonus one-shot story called "Moonlit Dead Love". An interesting thing to note is this one-shot was drawn all in one week, concluding at 17 pages in length.

It's about a magical girl named Moonlit whose mission is to light up the night sky. Sky Stone, a revived dead person with modifications, was brought back so he could stop her. However, when he sees Moonlit's alter-ego visiting a grave of someone she loved who died, Sky soon realizes why he's been unable to hurt her this entire time!

Despite how short it is, it was a cute love story. I actually almost cried at the part when Moonlit talks about Kith and her true feelings for him. Even though it was all drawn within a week, the art is as nice as ever and was a lovely bonus story to be included with "The World Stops!". Is it over for magical girl Moonlit's adventures? Well, Marshmellow Muffin is already in the works of "Moonlit Frail Love" the prequal to this one-shot, that shows what happened before Sky Stone showed up. So stick tight and be on the lookout for that one!

Recommend?
If you're looking for a quick short, but sweet, clean shoujo magical girl story, you might like this ^.^

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
I don't remember any.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
Nothing.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
Sky Stone is a revived dead body that's been modified, similiar to the Frankenstein monster. There's a scene with the mad scientist guy adding more modifications on him, and you see him lift his head off, but it's not gross or gory. In Moonlit's final battle with Sky Stone, she gets injured, but nothing serious.
(SPOILERS! With Moonlit's magical beam, the mad scientist vanishes, but it isn't graphic).

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
Well, like I said before, Sky Stone is a revived dead person with modifications, something sort of like Frankenstein. Moonlit is a magical girl who fights anyone stopping her from lighting the night sky.
(SPOILERS! Sky Stone gets his memory back and remembers he is Kith, Moonlit's friend whom she was in love with that died. Some readers may not like the fact it seems Moonlit and Kith will be together again, considering his condition of being formerly dead and all.)

*CHAPTER LIST*
(Chapterless, it's a oneshot).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Joseph & Yusra: Volume 1


After Yusra lost her parents in a military conflict in the Middle East, she was sent to America to live with her aunt. It was there that she found Joseph, a Jewish boy. They discovered that they were able to talk through telepathy and through that they were able to stay close friends.. However, there is something more to them than just telepathy..or their friendship.
(Lulu.com description for Joseph & Yusra, vol.1)
[NOTE: This cover art is for the webcomic version and is not the cover for the printed version of vol.1]

Manga-Ka: Monique Blaize
Distributor: Self-published
Format: Left-to-right
Rating: Not rated.

{I, the reviewer, give Joseph & Yusra, 6 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

Joseph & Yusra, a complicated friendship. And it's a very complicated friendship indeed. I saw this comic at SmackJeeves advertised, and since it was uploaded there, I decided to give it a try. Something about it drew me in, even though the plotline may seem a bit controversial. Despite that, I was surprised how much I ended up liking it. Once I started reading it, it became very hard to stop.

It's about two friends, a Jewish boy and a Muslim girl named Joseph and Yusra. The first chapter focuses on when they first met as children. Yusra lost her family in an attack in the Middle East and yet it was as if by some miracle she was protected and lived. She is then sent to America to live with her aunt. One day, when her aunt takes her to the playground, she is on the swing feeling sad. That is where she meets Joseph. However, at this time Yusra couldn't speak English, yet they were still able to converse. How? Through telepathy. And they made a pinky promise to be friends forever, and because of their telepathy, they were able to stay friends. But as they grew older, it only started to become more difficult.

Then there's Joseph's long lost cousin Mary. She happens to be a Catholic...who is training to be a nun! Nothing wrong with that, HOWEVER! She's no ordinary nun. She's a bit....psycho. No, actually she's completely insane. When Mary is at a bakery to buy Joseph something, there's a robber who storms in! Mary tries to "convert" this man to give his heart to the Lord, and he of course refuses and points a gun at her. That's when she becomes a psychopath. She takes the gun and points it at him and continues to try and convert him. Almost like a "Jesus or die" situation. This entire scene made me so on edge that I almost stopped reading, I was debating on dropping this comic. This scene disturbed me so much that even the cute relationship between Joseph and Yusra almost wasn't enough to redeem it. Everything in this comic concerning religion on all three ends seemed to be handled well until she showed up. However, according to the author, Mary has "mental issues" which is said to be more revealed down the line. Well, that explains it!

The story is pretty light-hearted until you reach near the end of volume 1, where it begins to take a dark turn once you hit the carnival arc. There's a secret organization involved in "observing" the two because they detect supernatural powers from them. It's a mystery who they are. The man Yusra's aunt is dating goes into such a violent fit he starts to become violent. By this time, you get so engaged in the story you can't help but want to keep reading and stick with the series to find out more about what's going on. Of course, this is only volume 1 and the second is yet to be created.

Overall, it's a start to a rather interesting story about love and friendship and faith. Though this isn't a "Christian" comic, there have been times when the characters talk about how important prayer is and that God is love, which was nice to see. However, Mary's act in the bakery has forced me to drop some points on how much I liked this comic. I'm still debating on whether I want to own it as part of my manga collection. But I won't lie; I still want to follow the story, as I am curious to where it leads, and how Joseph and Yusra's friendship will endure. The art is absolutely adorable and the storytelling is done well. Let's just hope we won't have any more scenes like the bakery in later volumes.

If you decide to start reading this, you'll probably be instantly drawn in. Even after the Mary incident, you might be so pulled in you'll continue it anyway. Though that scene was almost enough to make me stop reading it. What is it about this story that just pulls you in? Is it Joseph and Yusra's complicated friendship? Wanting to know more about these strange powers? Seeing how each of them will endure and if they can make it to a happy ending? Whatever the reason is, I hope for our two main characters to have a happy ending when the time for the story's climax.

Recommend?
If you can overlook Mary the crazy nun and just focus on the cute relationship between Joseph and Yusra, then you might enjoy this ^.^'

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
There was a few "h" used and about 3 or 4 "a".

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None i can remember.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
The worst it gets is this one scene in the bakery when Mary tells the robber how jail is a "pain in the butt" and she meant it literally. Other than that, none. The relationship between Joseph and Yusra is cute and doesn't go far. There's a scene where her hijab is blown off in the wind and we see her hair, then she quickly puts it back on and tells Joseph "you didn't see anything!" but it's more comic relief, if anything.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
There's an attack in the Middle East and we see an explosion, but not the aftermath. When Mary is at the bakery, a robber comes in with a gun. Mary then takes the gun and points it at his head.
(SPOILERS! When Joseph and Yusra are on the Ferris Wheel, Mary who works for the secret agency, snipes at them and they fall. The man dating Yusra's aunt punches Joseph, and he starts bleeding from his nose. When this same man tries to harm Yusra by smashing her guitar on her, Joseph comes to the rescue, and in this conflict becomes badly hurt and there's quite a bit of blood).

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
Religion plays a huge part of the story, since Joseph is a Jew, Yusra a Muslin, and Mary a Catholic. The only thing that would set readers on edge might be Joseph and Yusra having "supernatural powers" such as their ability to communicate through telepathy. But that's all pretty tame compared to Mary the nun. In the bakery she literally puts a gun to someone's head to "accept Jesus". Though I heard the author saying "Mary has mental issues" so it doesn't appear to be the author saying all who believe in God are insane, but it is hard to look over. Also, when Yusra is at school during "the Christmas gift exchange" her name was not put in the box because they assumed since she was Muslim she did not want to participate in a Christian holiday. Despite all that, there have been positive parts of the story promoting prayer, faith, devotion, and God being love, which was nice to see in a story like this.

*CHAPTER LIST*

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

DEATHBED


[NOTE: There is no cover for this manga, so the image is of the first page]
A man is brought to the LORD on his death bed. (ChristianManga description of Deathbed).

Manga-Ka: Calbhach
Distributor: Online exclusive
Format: Right-to-left
Rating: PG
~*~Click Here To Read~*~



{I, the reviewer, give Deathbed, 8 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

After hearing that Calbhach had decided to cancel her ongoing series, "Heaven Bound", I felt quite disappointed, as Cal-sama appeared to have great manga-making talent and I was hoping to see more from her. Then one day, logging onto the CM site, she posted a quickly drawn, 10-page oneshot entitled "Deathbed".

Now when I say "quickly drawn" I do mean quickly. You can tell the art looks a bit rushed and that ot was inked digitally, as there are many lines that haven't been cleaned up. But art aside, at 10 pages, this is a very moving manga. It's about a man in the hospital about to die, his wife had died before him. A pastor comes in to tell him about the Lord and how he can be saved. The last page of this almost made me cry, it was a beautiful, short piece.

An interesting thing to note is that this was all made in one day. Cal-sama had said it just hit her that morning, and she knew she had to draw it all out on paper. The world needs more Christian manga, even if they are just short pieces such as this. Though Heaven Bound has been canceled and whether or not it'll ever be resumed is uncertain, I hope Cal-sama will continue to contribute more to the manga world with great Christian-themed pieces such as this one.

Recommend?

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
None.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
Other then mentioning it, not at all.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
Zero.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
The man is in the hospital, why is never mentioned, other than he is dying.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
It's a Christian manga, and I don't think you'll find anything offensive.

*CHAPTER LIST*
(This is a one-shot, chapterless)

OSHIETE KUDASAI "Please Teach Me"


Sara Uehara is a girl who really hates studying and depends on her father's money. One day she noticed some guy working for a delivery company early in the morning when she went to school. Later in school she met a guy really similar to the one she saw earlier, but with a different hair colour and style. She also found that her school does not allow students to work part time jobs. Sara followed the guy, who is the president of the Students' council and discovered about his secret...
(From the SmackJeeves description of "Oshiete Kudasai")

Manga-Ka: Ki Hiwatari
Distributor: Online exclusive
Format: Right-to-left
Rating: Not rated
~*~Click Here To Read~*~

{I, the reviewer, give Oshiete Kudasai, 7 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

"Oshiete Kudasai" (Japanese for "Please Teach Me") is Hiwatari's most recently finished one-shot manga (or at least, most recently uploaded). It is a 52-page story about a girl named Sara Uehara who absolutely hates homework and goes to a school for rich kids. They're class system is rather unique, to say the least. The class you are in is determined by how good your grades are, so they have classes from A to F. Naturally, Sara is in the F Class. She meets a boy named Shin Kitashima and asks him to privately tutor her for 1500 yen an hour, so he takes the job.

There is more to the story than Shin tutoring Sara. Shin's having problems at home, for instance, her mom being engaged to a man he absolutely hates, and that man's daughter, Hanaka, is quite an annoying one. Though Hanaka doesn't come into the story much, so there really isn't any character developement with her at all, in fact, she seems to disappear without mention as the story reaches it's conclusion. Her presence is more in the first half of the story, though I will admit those were the most entertaining scenes in the entire manga. And despite this manga being called "Please Teach Me" the actual tutoring sessions between Shin and Sara are more of a side story, in fact, we only see their study session once throughout the whole story. But, being a one-shot, there is only so much you can show on your limited amount of pages.

Though I wouldn't say this is Hiwatari-sama's best one-shot, it was a rather decent read, with splendid art as usual. And as always, when the story is finished, we get a look at some draft pages and beautiful color artwork. It's obvious Ki Hiwatari has an amazing skill at shoujo slice-of-life one-shot stories with some kind of interesting theme.

Recommend?
If you want a quick amusing read that's free of objectionable content, this should help you pass the time.

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
Other than the stronger version of "ticked", none.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
None.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
Hanaka slaps Sara across the cheek, and there is mention of someone dying in a car accident.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
Nothing.

*CHAPTER LIST*
(Oneshot, chapterless).