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Posts Tagged ‘manga’

"Firefall" Web Comic Hitting Official Site, With A Big Writer To Boot

The upcoming free-to-play title Firefall amazed us all this past April at PAX East. Now they’re looking to add some extra back story in the form of a manga-influenced web comic series. Oh, and did I mention famed sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card is involved? Check out the video preview after the jump!

Be sure to visit the official Firefall site for updates on the comic.

"Magic Knight Rayearth": The Quest To Save Cephiro!

Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the very first manga to ever get me into the world of Japanese animation. To celebrate I dusted off the Magic Knight DVDs and traveled back to the land of Cephiro with Umi, Fuu, and Hikaru. Magic Knight Rayearth was one the very first magical girl series, and has defiantly stuck with me throughout the years as one of my all-time favorites.

The story starts with three high school students, all from different schools, on a class trip to Tokyo Tower, when the cries of Princess Emeraude, the pillar of the world of Cephiro, summon them from Japan into her own world, to help save it from the evil reign of the Lord Zagato.  Once there they team up with the Master Mage Clef and a small create call Mokona in order to save Cephiro and find the Princess. In this world, a person’s will-power gives them strength, and can alter the world. Evil will creates monsters, while good while creates miracles. The Princess is the pillar of the world because her will is stronger than any other, so she must pray for the world to keep it safe. The high priest Lord Zagato has her captive however, keeping her from praying for the world. The three girls are charged with finding and using the power of the ancient rune gods in order to defeat Zagato and restore order to the world.

While Rayearth may not have the shining new look of today’s manga, it still holds its own after nearly 20 years since its production. The magical girl theme may seem a bit stale in this day and age, to go back and see one of the very first of its kind is a whole different matter, but it is truly amazing to see the differences that have emerged throughout the years. It does have its obligatory cutesy moments with the girls in little chibi forms and cat ears, yet it still manages to maintain a level of gravity that most modern shows seem to forsake. The plot lines, no matter how big or small they all, are all very fleshed out and full of story. The girls meet a woman to forge their magical weapons which grow stronger with them, and find in her an almost mother figure in the harsh world of Cephiro.

In terms of honoring the story, the anime follows the manga during the first season almost perfectly, aside of the inclusion of one made-up character. The second season, however, has even larger discrepancies in terms of major plot points that can be a bit aggravating for fans of the manga. In general however, both seasons are still demanding of attention for holding to a time when the quality of shows was at a bit of a higher importance level. With modern shows sinking into more and more fan service and less and less plots, Rayearth is a classic. The classics will never be bad, just old, and they don’t suffer for it.

For anyone looking to go back in time and see what some of the classics truly are like, they should look into Magic Knight Rayearth.

FINAL GRADE:

Anime Version: 4.5 (out of 5)
Original Manga: 4.8 (out of 5)

Written by Saignement

"Combat Butler" Returns For Round Three

Japan’s funniest cartoon about butlers is making his television return!

According to the “99th volume” of Hayate The Combat Butler (which is only available to those who see the butler’s debut movie Heaven is a Place on Earth) a third season has been officially green-lit into production. The head editor of Hayate and Nagi’s adventures Takashi Kumagai had revealed in January that the next step after the film had already been put into motion, and the manga creator Kenjiro Hata had posted (in English, surprisingly) that a third season was to start production back in April.

Hayate The Combat Butler follows a boy named Hayate who must pay off a 156 million yen debt by serving as a butler for a girl named Nagi. Viz Media has licensed the manga, and Bandai Entertainment has been distributing the first season in America. Both seasons are available to view on Crunchyroll.

The Oddest Homage to Spider-Man Yet!

Sometimes you wonder just how much Jaopanese creators know about American culture. This creator, Manga-ka of the ecchi “relationship” series Yomerio Choice, definitely knows who the superhero Spider-man is.

Papaider Man

This is not a straight-up cameo from Spider-man, though. Since this is a very ero book, the male protaganist has been turned into Papaider-man, who shoots his “liquid” in the most interesting (and unnecessary) of poses. That’s sex comedy for you!

From Yomerio Choice

I won’t even get into the whole premise of this series. Let’s just say it’s VERY awkward.

On-Site At Anime Boston 2011: Day One

With a mere five-minute wait in the pre-registration line I was given access to Anime Boston 2011. As soon as I walked in the insanity didn’t just walk into me, it punched me square in the jaw. Cosplayers, steampunk, random dancing and the nonstop Marco Polo filled the air, hallways and panel rooms as the annual crazy otaku weekend began at the Hynes Convention Center. And the day hadn’t even started.

At around 10:30 the convention officially opened with the Opening Ceremonies. The Ayers Brothers (Chris & Greg) were there, as they have become the unofficial godfathers of Anime Boston guests, as were J. Michael Tatum, Spike Spencer and Trina Nishimura. Brina Palencia had not yet arrived, as her flight was delayed. Tom Wayland, the Yankees lover, once again made a great intro video, which poked fun of 4Kids TV’s bankruptcy, how he gets a lot of parts since he’s the voice director and the little mention of his now-infamous Hentai Dubbings showcase (as he is the magical man known as Dick Tripwire). The Japanese guests stereopony and girugamesh appeared, along with Mari Ijima, who said that she almost had to cancel on account of her sick bunny. (I originally thought that was a pet name for her boyfriend/husband, but she actually has a pet bunny back home in LA that’s been sick, so hopefully he feels better soon.)

As soon as the Opening Ceremonies were finished I took off to roam around to see who else people were dressing up. Some costumes caught my attention, including a poorly-made Gundam costume made out of beer boxes, a human-sized Pac-Man, a very well-done Jack Sparrow and a couple of Master Chiefs. I do have one beef, though: what’s with all the Lady Gagas? For one she’s not even related to anything anime or game-related, and the only comic they have of her was that horrible one Linkara recently reviewed. The J-ROCK costumes I get, but this I don’t. Still I guess there’s not much you can do about it, and if I can allow someone to cosplay as the Dresden Dolls, then this should be okay.

I next walked into the Artist Alley, where all the fanbased and original creations are showcased to hopeful buyers. Sitting at The Devil’s Panties table was our old friend Tater Tot, who was working for Nigel Sade (a pirate-based artist) right next to her. Much of the fan-made creations were very well-crafted, though there were a few people selling stuff that were both expensive and poorly-made.

Soon afterwards it was time to take part in a press panel interview with Brina Palencia, best known for her roles in such anime as Sgt. Frog, Black Butler and School Rumble. Here everyone (including myself) asked about her background, favorite series and if she prefers directing over voice acting. I was very surprised at her honesty, especially when I asked her the same question regarding fan-service and storylines that I did with Mamoru Hosoda, the director of Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. (A full article will be coming soon.)

After the press interview I went to check out Anime Unscripted, Anime Boston’s version of the TV series Whose Line Is It Anyway?, which features some of the top American voice actors like Palencia, Chris Ayers, Tatum and Sean Schemmel partaking in improv games. All four voice actors did an amazing job playing such skits as Let’s Make A Date, Party Quirks and Weird Newscasters. The biggest highlight of the show was the Slideshow game, where Schemmel did a hilarious Hindu accent and talked about an archaeological dig involving huge people, explosive puppies and the Pop Tart Kitty. The three-headed professor bit felt flat, unfortunately, but much of this can be blamed on audio difficulties.

The final event I checked out before hanging it up for the day was the girugamesh concert. Opening band Acey Slade & the Dark Party was quite the crowd pleaser, as many ran up to the stage to rock out like crazy. They premiered two new songs: “Shinigami Eyes” and “Cyclone,” both of which got the crowd really going. In short: they sounded like Stone Temple Pilots in their prime, so a good future can be seen for this band if the cards are played right.

Finally the time had come for girugamesh to hit the stage. This being their second time in America the pressure for them to gain a following wasn’t there, as everyone in the Auditorium was in hot anticipation for them to appear beforehand. For an hour the floors had become a massive screamfest, as girugamesh had run through a vast amounts of their hits, as well as a couple of tracks from their new album GO. Satoshi had the crowd at his fingertips, and his fellow band members Nii, Shou and Яyo smashed and bashed their way through the loud and crazy set. Had it not been for fire hazard rules the floor could’ve easily become a massive mosh pit; alas, it was not to be. Still girugamesh gave an amazing show for a captivated audience.

All in all, a good first day of events and interviews. Let’s see what’s in store for Day Two with the Masquerade and stereopony.

Episode 240: Never Judge an Anime By Its Cover (Unless It’s Hentai)

Mortal Kombat Tournament Edition Shot

Mortal Kombat Tournament Edition

This week’s episode starts off with Anime (Rin Daughters of Mnemosyne and Mirage of Blaze) before it turns the corner and heads down video game lane with a bit more Mortal Kombat (2011) coverage in the form of PS3 demo play-through reaction.


This week, Pandalicious starts off the show talking about some new anime she’s been watching on Netflix which includes the short (but oh so brutal) series Rin Daughters of Mnemosyne where the lead character Rin is an immortal woman who is made to suffer some serious bodily harm, and ludicrous sexual situations. Then Ninjasistah chimes in adding the yaoi-esque Mirage of Blaze series currently streaming on Hulu which follows a weird “through-time-and-space” relationship between the main protagonist Takaya Ohgi and love sick vassel, Nobutsuna Naoe.

Then it’s on to video games as the ladies discuss their reactions to playing the upcoming Warner Bros. reboot of the video game classic – Mortal Kombat.

Yes, it’s S&M, man-rape and fatalities this week on the ESH Podcast…would you have it any other way? Grab a cold beverage, maybe even grab a pair of headphones because this episode is definitely not kiddie (or work) safe and enjoy ESH Podcast Episode 240: Never Judge an Anime By Its Cover (Unless It’s Hentai)

"Combat Butler" Hits The Big Screen

One of the best-written manga and funniest anime series of all-time is getting its dues, this time in the form of a full-length movie.

In an upcoming issue of Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine it will be announced that a theatrical film adaptation of Kenjiro Hata’s beloved manga Hayate The Combat Butler (or Hayate no Gotoku!, as it’s known over there) has been put into production. The story of a debt-ridden high school kid Hayate, whose hired as a butler for the young Nagi, has in the past been adapted into two successful anime series, a few drama CDs and an upcoming live-action Taiwanese drama.

The movie will be helmed by Hideto Komori, who in the past has worked as an animation director for such series as Darker Than BLACK, Ergo Proxy and House of Five Leaves. Studio Manglobe (Samurai Champloo, Michiko to Hatchin) will be producing it, and Yasuko Kobayashi (Casshern Sins, Claymore) has adapted the screenplay. No word on a release date, though one may guess at a late 2011 or early 2012 Japanese release.

Viz Media is currently releasing the original Hayate manga in the states, Bandai Entertainment is handling the anime’s distribution and Crunchyroll is streaming the both the first and second season on their website. No word on whether or not Bandai will be licensing the film, though many can only hope.

Gyakushu! becomes a motion comic

First and foremost, Gyakushu is not an Manga, as in Manga with a capital “M.” It is currently a motion comic, though.

Gyakushu!

Ohhh, now here’s where I actually tell you what Gyakushu is. Gyakushu is a story of vengeance, about a bandaged man who goes about a bloody rampage, taking many wicked and soulless men down along the way.  If I could compare the art style to anything, I would say the art of the Genndy Tartakovsky cartoons is somewhere in the right ballpark.

I still feel that is an unfair reference, because Gyakushu is very much its own animal. It’s not just some Japanese art influenced book either. Check out the motion comic for yourself on Hulu and see if you like it. It may even get you to read the actual books.

Live-Action "Moyashimon" Loses Luster, Despite Heavy Laughs

I’ve been a fan of Moyashimon (or Moyasimon, depending on which company spells it) for almost three years now. I’ve watched the entire anime series, read the manga and even own an A. oryzae plushie. When I heard that there were plans to do a live-action version I was stoked, and then when I read that FUNimation was to stream the show soon after each episode airs I got excited. Then I watched the show. Needless to say it left a bittersweet taste in my mouth.

Moyashimon follows the life of Tadayasu (Nakamura Yuichi), a student at an agricultural college with a unique gift: he can see microbes and bacteria with a naked eye. His ability catches the ear of Professor Itsuki (Kurosawa Toshio) and his grad student partner Hasegawa (Kato Natsuki), who use Tadayasu to help in their studies. Unfortunately it also reaches the ears of Takuma (Kimura Akihito) and Misato (Nishida Kato), who use their knowledge of bacteria to try to turn a buck; and as soon as they meet Tadayasu they (forcefully) bring him into their schemes. Female students Hazuki (Haneyuri) and Aoi (Chisun) also catch wind of Tadayasu’s abilities, and soon come to respect and befriend him. All goes well, until a childhood friend (Okamoto Azusa) appears…

When it comes to adapting manga or anime into live-action J-DRAMA, the same issue always arises: condensing the material to fit the show’s scheduled timeline. Surprisingly Moyashimon manages to to do that well, focusing on the main aspects of the original source without having to slice off anything important. Unfortunately this leads to one of the main characters to be left out of the series until the end of the fourth episode (unlike in the manga and anime, where the character appears in the first chapter/episode). Granted it helps to keep the character hidden until then so as to not spoil the surprise (which I will not tell you, so as to make you actually watch the show), but there could’ve been at least a flashback or two to showcase the character in the first episode.

Each episode connects to one another, and the plotlines are well-written. I can’t talk about the writing without having to mention Episode Five (“Love Potion”), which features some of the best and funniest moments on any TV series from around the globe. The reactions and outcomes to the characters after talking the aphrodisiac is too priceless for words, and can be compared easily to the most recent of Todd Phillips movies. I would be lying if I said it didn’t make me laugh uncontrollably, and the added commentary from the microbes brought a strong sarcastic wit to the series.

Speaking of the microbes, props must be given to the people who had to animate them. Not only do they look fantastic, but the work to put them into the scenes is as spot-on as the most recent Hollywood blockbusters. One scene where this is done perfectly is in the first episode, where Tadayasu is brought into the now-destroyed sake containment room. When Takuma and Misato open the containers the microbes swirl around Tadayasu as he tries to brush them off. The camerawork showcases a one-shot where in one moment we see the microbes from Tadayasu’s point-of-view to that of the other two students (i.e.: them being invisible). Whoever edited that one scene together should seriously be considered for a good-paying editing job for the next big Japanese action flick. Of course we can’t forget about the voice acting of the microbes, which easily manages to outshine the acting of the real human actors. (Sadly, I couldn’t find out who does it here, but it’s strongly possible that it’s the same people who voiced them in the anime.)

This, sadly, leads us to the weakest part of the live-action Moyashimon: the acting. While in the similar vein of such classic J-DRAMAs as Great Teacher Onizuka and Gokusen the acting here sometimes doesn’t work. The blend of realism and laughably-bad acting got annoying in parts, especially in regards to the UFO Club in Episode 3. Whoever taught these four people how to act should be stripped of their credentials, as the UFO Club was eye-gouchingly bad. (It does lead to a funny moment involving Professor Itsuki, but they still got on my nerves.) The other characters bring forth many hit-and-miss moments, and at times they, too, got bothersome. That said sometimes these sorts of reactions manage well in Moyashimon, whereas other times they don’t.

If you can get past some of the acting, however, Moyashimon can be a real treat to watch. In fact it’s also quite educational, especially when the microbes come onto the screen to introduce themselves. If one were to splice these moments together they would have quite the handy educational video for microbiology classes in high school and college. Not to mention the show can be very humorous. I do advise, however, that you view only an episode at a time, as the acting probably will get to you if you marathon it.

*** (out of five)

By the way, if you don’t believe the part about me owning a Moyashimon plushie, I advise you to look below.

Let’s brew!

The ESH Magazine Is A Go!

Attention Bastards, Bastettes and Wenches! ElectricSistaHood Magazine is ready to be viewed with your very own eyes!

Starting right now you can buy the very first issue of the hopefully-soon-to-be-popular-in-the-indie-sense gaming, anime, music, sports and pop culture magazine in America! Check out original never-before-seen articles from the B3 crew, as well as from their sistahs in ESH and brothers in Geek Aggro. Plus get exclusive previews and interviews from top gaming companies and people in the entertainment world. If you want to check out a taste of what to expect, click here! If you want to see more, click on the icon to your left to buy a copy of the first issue (or just click here). Once you get the premiere issue in your hands, sit down, crank some Deadmau5 and prepare yourself for what we hope to be an exciting magazine written by down-to-earth people that speak your vernacular!