Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A special upcoming segment - Interviews with anibloggers and aspiring mangaka!

I would just like to announce to you all that I am conducting a special segment for Breaking Metal Windows in which I wlll interview anibloggers and aspiring mangaka and discuss things like what they like and not like about anime and manga, some questions that pertain only to them, as well as how their faith might effect how they view anime and manga.

Here are those who have agreed so far (in no particular order);
- Sweetpea (author of the review blog "Paper Chimes" and "Going in Blindly")
- rocklobster (author of the review blog "Lobster Quadrill")
- AngelicAlchemist93 (author of the FMA fanfiction "Truth Within All Truths" and aspiring artist/writer)
- TWWK (author of the blog "Beneath The Tangles")
- Asuka Neko (mangaka of "Square", "Etsu!", and the doujinshi "The Anti-Squee")
- Marshmellow Muffin (mangaka of "The World Stops!" and "1WishRoses")
- Ayu Sakata(writer and aspiring voice actress for the visual novel team sakevisual)
- SteeKira (mangaka of the oneshot "Broken" and hiatus "Impossigirl")
- Inkhana (mangaka on "Game Plan!" and unfinished "Steelblood")
- Lady Rushiya (author of the blog "Caught Up In The Rush")
- Sparkle Foxie (mangaka of "Advocate Voice")

Look forward to these in the future! I hope you will enjoy these interviews, as well as learn something new about some of your favorites if they are on this list ^.^

Saturday, January 21, 2012

SEND ME AN ANGEL: VOL.4: FROM THE CORAZON



Manga-Ka: Christina
Distributor: Online exclusive
Format: Left-to-right
Rating: Unrated

{I, the reviewer, give Send Me An Angel, Vol.4, 9 out of 10!}

~*~Click Here To Read~*~

COMMENTS

The fourth installment of Send Me An Angel deals with an issue probably a lot of us Christians fell at one point; feeling inadequate, like we're not good enough. April's church is going to a mission trip to Costa Rica, to help with construction and the children's VBS. Micah, as well as April's other friends, are extremely excited that they get to use their God given talents to spread the gospel in another country. April, however, is a bit nervous, not being to a foreign land, but most of all...she feels as though she's nothing special compared to everyone else.

This feeling of inadequacy effects her performance greatly. Everything seems to be going wrong while she's down there. And worst yet? A beautiful girl, Adela, has her eye on Micah, and her ambition is to "steal him away". What's worse? All the teens are matched up with volunteer housing, and guess who's family April and her friend gets to bunk with? Adela's!

What I liked about this chapter, is it explored all of April's feelings of inadequacy, and even a little jealousy. April begins to compare herself to this other girl, feeling as though she was inferior to the gorgeous and fun Adela. Nothing she seems to do feels good enough, and she feels as though Micah is slipping away from her. And most of all, she feels utterly useless, like God can't use her for anything. Basically, April feels worthless.

Many people can somehow relate to how April is feeling. I myself can admit to feeling like I'm not worth anything, like I'm nothing special, how can God use me? I mean, I've even had my own art literally insulted with a blunt "it sucks!" and almost feeling like "Why am I doing this? Will I ever get better? Am I ever going to reach someone?" So I can totally relate to how April is feeling, and I loved the Author's Notes at the end of this chapter explaining how she herself has felt inadequate, and saying such is an insult to God, for he does not make junk!

I absolutely loved how this chapter ended. It may have not been perfect, and some might find some of the dialogue a little cheesy, but all in all, this was an honest chapter straight from the heart. In fact, that's what this chapter is called, since "corazon" means "heart". It helped remind me that God loves me, and that I am not junk. Just let God step in, and He can use you to do amazing things!

Overall, this was an excellent chapter that, once again, is honest and talks about issues even Christian experience.


Recommended?
Highly recommended! If you've enjoyed the last 3 chapters, or have ever felt inadequate like April, I think you'll enjoy this!

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
None.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
Adela tries to "steal Micah" away from April. Also, another guy seems to be hitting on her. But that's basically it.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
The worst it gets is when April is hit in the face with a charging soccer ball, but no blood or injury is really shown.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
This is a Christian comic.

*CHAPTER INDEX*
Chapter 4: From The Corazon

Thursday, January 19, 2012

MILLENNIUM ACTRESS



Original Japanese Title:
Dubbed by: This is undubbed, but licensed by Dream Works.
Animation: Madhouse
Manga adaption?: No, this is an original movie.
Rating: PG

{I, the reviewer, give Millennium Actress, 10 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

Millennium Actress is an epic masterpiece that blends past experiences and movie cutscenes so seamlessly, that at times it is hard to decipher the real from the fake. This movie's unique aspect is that it's like a documentary, but this is unlike any documentary you've ever seen. Genya Tachibana is thrilled he finally gets to interview legendary actress Chiyoko Fujiwara. With him is the camera guy, Kyoji, who does not understand Genya's fascination with this "old woman".

When they reach her house, Genya is ecstatic to finally be in her presence, and even brought her something special he found of hers - a key. Now this key is very special, and will play a major part in Chiyoko's life. Now, when Chiyoko begins to tell her story for their documentary short, both Genya and Kyoji, are instantly pulled into the scenes as if it were actually happening!

The amazing thing about this experience is sometimes you don't know whether or not you're witnessing one of Chiyoko's memories, or a famous scene from one of her movies. Her life and her movies blend so well together, it's almost impossible to tell the difference, unless the time period is different. You will witness Chiyoko's happy moments, sad moments, intensity, and hopefulness as she recaps everything she's experienced. You might even be pulled in yourself, just like Genya and Kyoji, who are constantly thrown in different scenes and memories without warning!

Another thing to note is that the art and animation for this film is simply gorgeous. It's a little bit more on the realistic side in charachter designs, and the colors are just lovely and befitting for the theme. The music is just as emotional as the scenes they are backdrops of, really setting the mood for the kind of emotion that you are suppose to be experiencing.

The only problem I found with this film is that there were a couple of things left unexplained and unresolved. The ending wasn't completely satisfying. While there really wasn't much left to go on, I wish the ending could feel a bit more satisfying than it was, but it's not particularly a terrible ending, as it still works for this film. All in all, despite thoses things, it does not hinder the film enough to take away points, leaving it with the perfect score of ten.

Will you join Genya and Kyoji on Chiyoko's journey through her memories and her movies? It may not always be so pleasant, and sometimes can be painful, but it's nevertheless and amazing experience!

Recommend?
HIGHLY. This is a truly artistic and beautiful film with brilliant story telling that is rather unique, in my opinion. If you do not like sad stories, then I am afraid this is not for you. But if you don't mind shedding a few tears, and experiencing something that's sad but beautiful, you'll love this!

[VIEWING PLEASURE]

[MUSIC]
I really liked the music! It fit perfectly with the film, and was the [perfect backdrop for the emotion you were suppose to feel during the scenes.

[SUB VS. DUB]
This is only subbed. The Japanese acting was perfect. Everyone fit their characters.

[MOVIES/MANGA]
None.

[RELATED TITLES]
Other titles by Satoshi Kon.

[DVD EXTRAS]

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
Some "d" here and there.

[TOBACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
I think there was a little bit of smoking.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
The man Chiyoko seems to be in love with she met when she was a girl, so obviously he's much older than her, but other than that, there's really nothing to worry about.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
When Chiyoko first meets the man and he runs off, there's some blood in the snow. In some of her films, there are fight scenes, some involving death, but never graphic. The worst it gets is one scene where Chiyoko plays a Princess, and she points a sword to her own neck about to commit suicide (but she ends up not doing it).

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
There is one scene when Chiyoko goes to see a Fortune Teller. Also, there's this creepy ghost-like woman who curses her in one of the actress' movie scenes. However, this seems to haunt Chiyoko throughout the rest of her life.

*EPISODE LIST*
(this is a movie)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

THE TRUTH WITHIN ALL TRUTHS

THE TRUTH WITHIN ALL TRUTHS
A Fullmetal Alchemist fanfiction by AngelicAlchemist93 (Rated K)

Ten years after The Promised Day, Edward continues to wonder about the nature of the universe. Can an ancient religion give him any answers? - FanFiction.Net description.

~*~Click Here To Read

REVIEW (10 out of 10)


I must commend AngelicAlchemist93 for her boldness of faith to write this fanfiction entitled The Truth Within All Truths. What makes this fanfiction so unique compared to most fanfiction you find out there on the Internet? It's the fact that this one could actually be labeled a Christian fanfiction. What's ironic? It's based on Hiromu Arakawa's masterpiece, Fullmetal Alchemist. Yes, this is a series where many Christians have problems with, so many different opinions and views. Some stay far away from it, others enjoy it, and (surprisingly enough) some of us (and I'm admittedly one of them) finds a glimpse of God and faith in it. Obviously being the latter of the three, AngelicaAlchemist93 brilliantly visualizes this concept in words.

For those who have seen the anime or read the manga, we all know that Edward Elric has openly proclaimed to being an agnostic. The redeeming value of Fullmetal Alchemist is many of the Christian themes in it, such as making things right, defeating enemies with the names of the 7 Deadly Sins, and showing mercy. However, AngelicAlchemist93 takes it a step further. This happens after the series' ends, so if you haven't seen it yet, stop reading this review....

Okay, so you know how it ends? Good. On to the review! Ed and Winry are married with two adorable children. Alphonse right now is excavating and restoring the ruins of Xerxes and would every so often send Ed stuff. Lately, Ed has been thinking about life, if there is more. He receives a package from Alphonse with a letter to read to the whole family, and a section that is only meant for his eyes. Al has been onto something big, and he wants to share it with Ed. What he has discovered might be the answer to what Ed has been pondering on lately.

I applaud the author for being brave enough to even write this, and more so, not failing at providing a beautifully told story. The writing style as simple, yet has it's own sense of elegance. The message weaved into the story flows so naturally, this almost feels like the true ending of Fullmetal Alchemist. Nothing feels out of place, the characters remain in character, and it shows that anyone is capable of finding God and the peace that comes with it.

Overall, this was a brilliant story that was bold enough to exist, and the scenario was executed beautifully. Once again, I applaud AngelicAlchemist93 for producing such an amazing story that has obviously came straight from her heart, as well as showing some love for Hiromu Arakawa's awesome tale. I recommend this to any Christian FMA fan, as well as those who may be curious to the angelic alchemist's intergration of Christianity and the Full Metal.

RECOMMEND?

Highly. This is a must-read for any Christian anime fan of Fullmetal Alchemist, and may also be enjoyable by other fans as well who are curious as to whether or not they feel the writer suceeded in how she wove the story.

[CONTENT CARD]


[LANGUAGE]
None.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
Ed and Winry briefly show affection to each other, but it's completely innocent; nothing more than a kiss.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
None.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
Fans of Fullmetal Alchemist are aware that the story is about alchemy, but alchemy is not the focus on this story, nor is it described being used. This story talks about God, and He is shown in a postive light.

*CHAPTER INDEX*
(one-shot)

Monday, January 2, 2012

RE:ALISTAIR++


Merui loves video games, especially her favorite MMORPG, Rivenwell Online. Merui also has a very short temper, so when some JERK named Alistair steals a rare item from her, she's determined to exact revenge on him. Unfortunately, she has no idea who he is in real life. But hey, that's never stopped anyone, right?
Take control of Merui and make new friends, balance schoolwork and fun, go shopping, search for the culprit, and maybe even discover a new romance.
(sakevisual description of RE:Alistair++)

Developers(s): sakevisual
Rating: All Ages

To play, download for free here: Click Me!

{I, the reviewer, give RE:Alistair++, 10 out of 10!)

COMMENTS

RE:Alistair++ is the re-released version of the original Alistair++ visual novel that is refined, resolved crashing issues, and added more story. Thankfully, by the time I discovered this game, it was this lovely new edition. And the best part is? It's part of sakevisual's line of free games!! When you play this, it's actually hard to believe it's free. The artwork is spledid, the CGs gorgeous, you can raise stats and buy stuff, and there's even an e-mail system! With a total of 5 endings, which you need to see to unlock all the CGs, bonus scene, and character profiles, you'll get a lot of use out of it!

Our story begins with our heroine, Merui, on the battlefield with her friend, FionaWings, against this boss. She's nearly clobbered it, and with one more swipe that Blessed Stone would be hers! Unfortunately, right at the last minute, another player suddenly swoops in and steals her kill, claiming the precious item for herself. Naturally, our short tempered Merui gets angry, demanding it back. In fact, she even challenges him to a dual for it! He accepts, but then....server crash! Now we're back in the real world, where Merui furiously bangs her fists on the desk in front of the school computer during lunch break!

During the rest of the school, we are introduced to 3 male character, these three being our possible obtainables in the story. At the end of school, you (Merui), head back to the computer lab to log back on Rivenwell Online to make sure that jerk Alistair wasn't hacking away at poor RuiOfTheSword (your knight avatar) if it wasn't a clean disconnect. FionaWings is there and wonders what happened. Evidently, Alistair as well is gone, which makes Merui think; what if their connections both dropped because they were on the same network? This is later confirmed to be true when Merui and Fiona are face to face with Alistair again, then making a bet - "If you can find out who I am in real life in a month's time, I'll give you your Blessed Stone. If not, you must fork over all the gold you make for a month!"
And with that said, you accept his challenge. Four people were on the network during the crash at lunch; you of course, Travis (Computer Games Club president), Shiro (your partner for a school project), and Derek Nevine (School Vice President). You know one of these guys has to be Alistair, and by the end of a month, you have to confront one of them as being Alistair.

I found this game to be really fun! I actually was lucky enough to guess who Alistair was right off the bat! I really enjoyed the game play. When you're at the mall, there's three stores you can buy all kinds of stuff with the money you get from allowance or the school's work program. These items can increase or decrease states, so be sure to read descriptions carefully. Every night, you get to check your e-mail, and raise one of your stats by either studying, watching television, or surfing the net. At school, you can have lunch in three areas, and in each area you're most likely to run into one of the three guys. How you spend your time, or how much time, you spend with any of the guys will determine whether or not you fall in love, or you may obtain neither of them.

Overall, I LOVED this game! It's my very first stat-raising Dating Sim that's free, beautiful graphics, lots of things to do, and a fun storyline! My favorite ending was Shiro's Endings, and due to spoilers, I won't say why, other than the fact he's so sweet! Another cool thing about this game is that it's super clean, which is an excellent plus. So if you're girl who's never tried or dating sim, or looking for a fun and clean storyline, you'll love this! If you fidn yourself stuck in getting all the endings, the RE:Alistair++ sakevisual page has a detailed walkthrough on how to obtain them.

RECOMMEND?
Highly! It can be difficult to find clean visual novels that have beautiful graphics, a good storyline, and not to mention FREE.

I certify this *VISUAL NOVEL NEWCOMER WORHTY* as it introduces you into the world of stat-raising dating sims. It's not that long of a game (and you can save anytime anyway), so it shouldn't take you too long to finish.

PLAYER'S COMFORT

[MUSIC]:
The music is very fitting for the game. The songs used when you play RivenWell Online suits the mood perfectly, it really feels like you've logged onto the game! The rest of the music is not exactly memorable, but works for it. I really like the song that's played when you discover who Alistair is and have obtained one of the two other guys.

[ARTWORK]:
Beautiful! I love the colors and character designs iboth the in-game and out-of-game world. The CGs are vibrant and gorgeous. The backgrounds fit and don't look odd when the sprites are in front of them.

[INTERACTION]:
There's a lot of interaction in this game, aside from your typical choice menus. You can raise stats when you study, watch TV, or surf the net. You can earn money by gonig to the school's work project. You can buy stat-raising items at three different stores in the mall. You even can receive e-mail!

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
No actual language in the story. The only time there appears to be language is when Merui first meets Alistair on Rivenwell Online. It is shown she typed in cuss words in the chat, but it's complety censored, so whether or not the words are harsh or tame is up to your imagination.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
There is none.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
There's one scene when Merui accidently falls on Shiro, but it's mainly a scene of embarrasment. If you get close enough to Shiro, there's an instance when you invite him to your room to work on the project, and since he feels uncomfortable you tease him saying "were you planning to do something bad?". Another scene involving Travis is where he pins you to a wall, but it's nothing sexual (he's just telling you to get over this Alistair stuff, but I felt it's worht mentioning considering how it may look). There's also (depending on the ending) a kiss or a hug, but that's it. Very clean and sweet. Oh, and...
(SPOILER! If you obtain Shiro, you'll learn that on Rivenwell Online, he plays a girl, your friend FionaWings! If you play MMO's, a guy playing a girl is quite the common occurence, and so it shouldn't be very shocking)

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
On Rivenwell Online, the beginning of the story you try to take down this huge boss (but no fighting is shown). There's once instance where Merui goes to have lunch while watching the guys practice basketball, and she gets hit with a basketball. It's not really shown, though. Also, Merui accidently falls on Shiro in another instance (but no one is hurt, just embarrased).

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
Other than Rivenwell Online being a fantasy game that include killing strange creatures and including classes such as Angels and Demons, none.