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When the Tobi reveal was made in Naruto, what most interested me were the events that had driven the innocent kid that was Obito towards the dark path he eventually came to embrace.

And while the various reasons put forth proved intriguing to follow and slowly make sense of, when all the chips were down, all those excuses, reasons and events more or less boiled away in the face of the cause of Obito’s true downfall.

He’s crazy; simple as that, and the various scenes in which he explains himself more than support this fact.

I mention Obito and Naruto because his life and situation somewhat echoes within the warring Chaos of Alma Toran.

THE CHAPTER:

Alma Toran’s war comes to a boiling head as lives are sacrificed, rage is vented and Djinn are finally born.

MY THOUGHTS:

You could accuse Magi of making Arba’s transformation a little too sudden, turning her towards the dark side in no more than three or four chapters; yet once you accept the approach Magi is taking with this flashback, basically narrating rather than showing the story and all its intricacies, comfortable with availing a brief overview of events even while exploring one or two elements in detail, Arba’s transformation isn’t nearly as sudden.

Yet even taking into consideration the passing of time as has been shown in a few chapters, is it really rational for one such as Arba, Solomon’s most devoted servant, to turn so violently against him?

Well, Yes. She’s crazy. Seriously, just look at that face, that expression. Arba and her kin have crossed into the realm of insanity, simple as that.

What we are seeing here in Magi is a pretty extreme case of religious fanaticism; after all the current conflict began with Illah’s revelation below David’s castle. Was it the immensity of Illah’s being that most intensely affected Arba?

Or maybe it was the idea of Illah in her head, that he or it could be so grossly divested of all its glory and might. Whatever the case, it is difficult to argue against a case of insanity when one’s answer to having their god dragged from the heavens is blotting the entire world out of existence.

Alma Toran has come to its tragic end; one has to credit the mangaka for her approach to this story, basically setting up one of the greatest evils in Sheba, impressively redeeming her into a hero worthy of praise and sacrificing her life rather tragically to the last person you would have figured would become Gyokuen.

A tragedy indeed and one that is going to keep repeating itself if the events of Magi are anything to go by; it seems somewhat irrelevant now to give the Kou empire the benefit of doubt as a potentially benevolent force that might simply be striving to bring peace to the world using its own misguided means.

Not when Gyokuen, aka Crazy Arba is standing as empress, and certainly not when her blood runs through Kouen’s veins.

Suddenly the potential of Alma Toran’s tragedy repeating itself is starting to look more and more plausible with each new chapter. Al Tharmen’s particular dislike for Aladdin makes even more sense, their disgust for the so called arrogant king’s spawn and the wisdom he holds.

With so many pieces finally falling into place, one has to wonder how the events of Magi are going to play out from now on; the entire Kou family seems doomed to sink into Gyokuen’s madness.

Aladdin must possess a spark of Illah’s will within him though, considering Solomon’s position as the vessel for Illah’s rukh in the past; one wonders how it will affect his own will and whether he will descend down David’s path who, now that I think about it, didn’t differ so greatly in mannerisms from Solomon after he took Illah’s power into himself.

RATING: 8/10, these sort of sizzling chapters are why I love Magi; the manga seems to have found its stride, and permanently this time. If we are not out of flashbacks by next chapter, then it has to be the week after; after all the Arba/Solomon fight seems to have come to a sudden and conclusive end.

HIGHLIGHTS: Wahid; his story has to be the most tragic in the flashback, especially the actions he was determined to take at the very end for Falan and Tess.

If you are not reading Magi, then catch up with the anime and get to reading this amazing series.

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Welcome to the manga releases for this week! We have a large selection of manga series. The series I'm familiar and hyped for are Attack on Titan Before the Fall, Btooom! (which isn't in anime stores this week), and Monster Musume. I'm pretty interested in Food Wars. It got a colorful cover, and the summary sounds interesting. Best cover of the week would go Alice's Adventures. I just like the cover since it's vivid and reminds me of how many manga and anime adaptations on Lewis Carrol's novel.

Disclaimer: I'm just promoting the official release and the publishers. I'm not selling you anything. This is to combat piracy and get fans to support the official release. All summaries are from ANN.

Sources

Notes

  • ANN does not list Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Right Stuf, Amazon, and Comic stores all listed it this week.
  • Chi's Sweet Home Vol. 11 is only listed on Amazon and Comic stores for this week.
  • Btooom Vol. 7 is listed on ANN this week. However, both Amazon and Right listed it for August 26.
  • Comic stores list From the New World Vol. 5 this week. In contrast, Amazon, Right Stuf, and ANN listed its release back in July 29.
  • Regarding From the New World Vol. 5, the same thing applies to Missions of Love Vol. 8 as well.
  • Comic stores have Food Wars Vol. 3 this week. The anime stores do not have Food Wars Vol. 3 or Vol. 2 listed due to digital edition and print edition conflicts.
  • Anime stores, Right Stuf, and Amazon listed Monster Musume Vol. 4 on August 19 while Comic stores have it a day later.
  • ANN listed No. 6 Vol. 8 this week while Amazon and Right listed it for August 26.
  • Comic stores and Amazon (Kindle version) have One-Punch Man Vol. 4 listed this week.
  • Comic stores and Right Stuf list Trigun Maximum Omnibus 4 for August 6 while Amazon and ANN list it for August 19.
  • Oh My Goddess! Vol. 46 is listed on Amazon and ANN for this week. However, Right Stuf and Comic stores listed back in August 6.

Manga Releases

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall Volume 2
  • Distributor: Kodansha Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $10.99

The second volume in a prequel series to the number one bestseller in Japan. Humanity has learned to live in complacency behind its high walls, protected from the giant Titans. But when a Titan-worshipping cult opens one of the gates, a Titan wreaks havoc, consuming the cultists. After the rampage is over, two young Survey Corps members are shocked to discover a pregnant woman's partially digested corpse - with her baby still alive inside it! What will the fate of this "child of the Titans" be? And how will humanity learn to cope with the Titan threat?

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
  • Publisher - SEVEN SEAS
  • Suggested Retail Price: $14.99

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass is an omnibus collection that contains Lewis Carroll's original Alice in Wonderland novels with manga-style artwork.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass is a collection of stories featuring Alice and her misadventures through the curious and fantastical lands of Wonderland. As little Alice goes deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole, she meets an assortment of oddball characters, like the eccentric March Hare, the whimsical Mad Hatter, and the enigmatic Cheshire Cat, who will all become familiar faces within this strange world. If Alice is to navigate the dangerous yet fascinating landscape of Wonderland, she must learn who is friend and who is foe, and use her good breeding and wits to find a way home.

Btooom! Volume 7
  • Distributor: Yen Press
  • Suggested retail price: $11.99

Ryouta Sakamoto has overcome countless near-deaths in this survival game, while finding allies in Himiko and Kiyoshi Taira as he searches for a way out. But after Masahito Date, a former doctor who treats the injured Taira, is welcomed to the group, Ryouta begins to see the doctor's true colors! Combining his past experience of having already beaten the game once with his wicked shrewdness, this demon doctor starts to eat away at the trust between Ryouta and Himiko. How will they beat Date and his sinister scheme?!

Chi's Sweet Home Volume 11
  • Publisher: Vertical
  • Suggested Retail Price: $13.95

Chi's Sweet Home is recognized as one of the most popular cartoon properties in Japan today. Chi, this full color comic's titular cat, is beloved by fans worldwide on the Internet and mass media. A tender fun adventure focusing on the life of a newborn kitten and the young family that raises her.

Dorohedoro Volume 13

Distributor: Viz Media Suggested retail price: $12.99 In a city so dismal it's known only as "the Hole," a clan of Sorcerers has been plucking people off the streets to use as guinea pigs for atrocious "experiments" in the black arts. In a dark alley, Nikaido found Caiman, a man with a reptile head and a bad case of amnesia. To undo the spell, they're hunting and killing the Sorcerers in the Hole, hoping that eventually they'll kill the right one. But when En, the head Sorcerer, gets word of a lizard-man slaughtering his people, he sends a crew of "cleaners" into the Hole, igniting a war between two worlds.

En's murder sends his gang into chaos as Shin and Noi attempt to hunt down his killer's whereabouts. Meanwhile, Nikaido and Asu team up to locate the elusive Caiman. And the Cross-Eyes continue their quest to see their boss; unaware of his role in En's death, or that their path is taking them straight into danger themselves. A battle royale of the bloodiest kind awaits…

Gangsta Volume 3
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $12.99

Ergastulum is a tough town, the kind of place where the rule of law takes a backseat to the law of violence, and where Handymen like Nic and Worick make a living doing odd jobs for their clients, from routine deliveries to extrajudicial killings. Discreet, ruthless, and efficient, the men are respected by both the police brass and the Mafia dons, but it took many long, hard years for them to make their names. Behind those years is the hidden history of how the scion of an elite family and a boy soldier of the Twilights ranks formed an improbable, unbreakable bond.

Food Wars Volume 3
  • Publisher: Viz Media
  • No Suggested Retail Price Yet

The "teamwork and friendshipbuilding" camp from hell begins! While most students are already petrified by the threat of instant expulsion for low marks, the unveiling of the teachers responsible for judging their dishes ratchets their fear to a whole new level! Just which anxiety-inducing teachers hold the culinary futures of Soma and the rest of the Polaris crew in their hands this time? Includes the one-shot "Your and My Romance Counseling"!

Haganai: I don't have many friends Volume 8
  • Distributor: Seven Seas Entertainment
  • Suggested retail price: $12.99

And then there were nuns...

Kodaka's life hasn't been easy since joining the Neighbors Club. Getting dragged into conversation by another strange nun was the last thing he needed. Then again, her advice seemed sound, until he discovered she was seriously twisted. Now her close ties to another member of the club will make it even harder for Kodaka to escape her.

At this point, however, Kodaka is used to not being in control of his destiny. Whether it's studying with Sena (and discovering an unnatural obsession!), or having Maria invade his home to fight with Kobato, Kodaka's learned to go with the flow. Of course, this may not be the best approach to life, especially when it seems like other people are calling the shots for him!

Ikigami The Ultimate Limit Volume 10
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $12.99

Congratulations! You have been randomly selected by the government...to DIE in 24 hours! Dear Citizen: Thank you for your loyalty. You've no doubt noticed that the world is a troubled place. People are apathetic, lazy, unmotivated. You've probably asked yourself WHY ISN'T ANYTHING BEING DONE TO STOP THIS SYSTEMATIC DECLINE? Rest assured that measures are being taken. Beginning today, we will randomly select a different citizen who will be killed within 24 hours of notification. We believe this will help remind all people how precious life is and how important it is to be a productive, active member of society. Thank you for your continued attention and your cooperation and participation... Episode 19 : Entrusted Words Episode 20 : The Phantom Country One more time… Live as if you’re about to die.

The Heroic Legend of Arslan Vol. 1
  • Distributor: Kodansha Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $10.99

In the prosperous kingdom of Pars lies the Royal Capital of Ecbatana, a city of splendor and wonder, ruled by the undefeated and fearsome King Andragoras. Arslan is the young and curious prince of Pars who, despite his best efforts, doesn't seem to have what it takes to be a proper king like his father.

At the age of 14, Arslan goes to his first battle and loses everything as the blood-soaked mist of war gives way to scorching flames, bringing him to face the demise of his once glorious kingdom. However, it is Arslan's destiny to be a ruler, and despite the trials that face him, he must now embark on a journey to reclaim his fallen kingdom.

Monster Musume Volume 4

Distributor: Seven Seas Entertainment Suggested retail price: $12.99 Orcs, Werewolves, and Mermaids, Oh My!

So far, Kimihito’s been lucky. The monster girls living with him have been cute, curvaceous, and have never tried to kill him on purpose. But now, the dark side of liminals rises to the surface. Piggish orcs run hog-wild over Japan to satisfy their perverted desires. And the team that the government assembles to combat them is every bit as strange and inhuman as the criminals they’re fighting.

Meanwhile, Kimihito has to contend with adding the lovely and elegant mermaid Mero to his ever-growing menagerie of monster girls. How will the possessive Miia, the noble Centorea, the bird-brained Papi, and the slime-girl Suu react to the newest addition to their household—and yet another contender for Kimihito’s heart?

One-Punch Man Vol. 4 Giant Meteor
  • Publisher: VIZ Media
  • Suggested Retail Price: $6.99 (Amazon Kindle)

Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem-he just can't seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on! Saitama is now a certified hero! And with that title comes great responsibility-he's required to perform one heroic deed per week. While Saitama makes the rounds to meet his quota, and incoming threat from outer space is screeching toward Earth...

Trigun Maximum Maximum Omnibus 4
  • Distributor: Dark Horse Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $19.99

While Vash the Stampede, "The Humanoid Typhoon," fights to stop his evil brother, Knives, from wiping out humanity on the planet Gunsmoke, advanced warships from Earth arrive to rescue the long-lost human colony. Can they avert the impending genocide if Vash fails, or will the homicidal Knives escort everyone to the last roundup? Collects volumes 10-12 in an omnibus format.

Oh My Goddess! Volume 46
  • Distributor: Dark Horse Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $12.99

Somewhere inside the Judgment Gate, the minstrel learns the sad truth about the lady of the lake. Happiness can defy their fate for a time... but in the end, it will only turn to sadness again. So Keiichi and Belldandy are told by the power above them - but a couple who've prevailed on Earth and in Hell aren't about to give up their love... even against Heaven!

Strike Witches: 1937 Fuso Sea Incident Volume 1
  • Distributor: Seven Seas Entertainment
  • Suggested retail price: $12.99

Strike Witches is a highly popular dieselpunk franchise that spans manga, light novels, video games, and anime. The series reimagines World War II as a confrontation between the allied human forces and an invading alien menace. Most of the battles featured are fictional recreations of actual World War II dogfights, but in this alternate history, teen girls with advanced weaponry and magic powers perform aerial combat against alien aircraft.

It has been nearly twenty years since the last Great War, and while smaller skirmishes are still taking place across the world, peace is mostly the norm. In the Fuso Empire, Sakamoto Mio is about to join the war effort against the Neuroi alien invaders. She will have to distinguish herself among the other hardworking cadets if she is to become a full-fledged Strike Witch. Soon, she will have the chance to prove herself in battle, as the Neuroi launch their latest brutal attack.

Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE
  • Distributor: Kodansha Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $19.99

Childhood friends Princess Sakura and Syaoran, the son of an archaeologist, become entangled in a series of events that forces them to traverse through alternate realities on an action-packed adventure!

In the Kingdom of Clow, an archeological dig unleashes an incredible power, causing Sakura to lose her memories. To save her, Syaoran must follow the orders of the Dimension Witch and travel alongside Kurogane, an unrivaled warrior, Fai, a powerful magician, and Mokona Modoki, a curiously strange creature, to retrieve Sakura's dispersed memories! But first, there is a price to be paid... Collects volumes 1-3 in an omnibus format.

Adult Releases

  • In the comic stores, its release date is August 20, 2014. For Amazon and Right Stuf, it's September 2, 2014.
A Strange Kind of Woman Volume 2
  • Publisher: Eros Comix
  • Suggested Retail Price: $14.39

Eros proudly presents a sequel to the wildly successful STRANGE KIND OF WOMAN. Mamaru has landed the love of strange and sexy Shion (and her menagerie of vibrators), but after getting caught in a fight between Shion and the hot and aggressive Yuki he's got amnesia! Mamaru is racing to find his way back to the woman he knows he loved. Meanwhile, a teacher who broke the school doctor's heart when she was a student has returned and offers Yuki a love potion to best Shion and win Mamaru and the price is only- Yuki's body! All presented in the traditional Manga right-to-left style.

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Welcome to the 2nd to last week of DVD and Blu-Ray releases for August! It's a small selection. I'm not familiar with either A Certain Scientific Railgun nor Mayo Chiki! Based on the summaries and DVD/BD covers, Railgun is right up my alley. I do like action, sci-fi series, and I haven't had enough series.

I would love to hear your recommendations on these series. All comments are welcome. Thank you.

Disclaimer: I'm just promoting the official release and the publishers. I'm not selling you anything. This is to combat piracy and get fans to support the official release. All summaries are from ANN.

Notes

  • None.

Sources

DVD and Blu Ray Releases

A Certain Scientific Railgun S - Part Two (DVD)
  • Distributor: FUNimation Entertainment
  • Suggested retail price: $59.98

A sadistic program has been creating duplicates of the level-5 esper Misaka, then murdering her sister clones in the name of science. Now that the electromaster knows the truth about the organization, she'll stop at nothing to bring it down - even if that means facing the power-hungry Accelerator in a fight that only one of them can walk away from.

Elsewhere in the city, an adorable young girl named Febrie is brought into Misaka's circle of friends. As they begin to learn more about Febrie's past, they discover that she, too, is a victim of scientific forces in the city - and that's something Misaka and the girls of Judgment simply won't stand for.

  • Contains episodes 13-24.
  • Special Features: Episode Commentary (15, 19), Textless Opening Song, Textless Closing Song, U.S. Trailer, Trailers.
  • Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.
Mayo Chiki!
  • Distributor: Sentai Filmworks
  • Suggested retail price: $59.98

When you've got acute gynophobia,​ even a pretty girl can be like a malady,​ and as the sparring partner for his family of female wrestlers,​ Sakamachi Kinjiro has the worst case ever! Just one touch makes his nose bleed,​ so school's a bloody nightmare even before Kanade,​ the principal's twisted daughter,​ deduces both Kinjiro's "feminine issue" and that his name contains the sounds "Chi" and "Kin" back to back.​ But Chi-Kinjiro's female troubles don't totally redline until a wrong turn in the men's room exposes the secret Subaru,​ Kanade's manservant,​ has been hiding in the water closet.​ (Well,​ to be fair,​ SHE is still a servant.​)

If Subaru's cross reactions concerning her cross-dressing aren't enough of a drag,​ Kinjiro's girl problems also include a haunted martial artist (with ghosts), a cat-eared fetishist (meow!), and his own sister,​ who's interest in "wrestling" a certain incorrectly packaged butler may result in an unexpected ending!

  • Contains episodes 1-13.​
  • Special Features: Clean Opening Animation,​ Clean Closing Animation.​
  • Spoken Languages: English,​ Japanese,​ English subtitles.​
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Noblesse is at its funniest when its not trying to be funny, which it achieves with almost every chapter.

I don’t know how funny these chapters where, considering how aware the humor seemed of itself.

THE CHAPTER:

Gejutel goes crazy in Frankenstein’s kitchen. It is up to Takeo and crew to save the day.

MY THOUGHTS:

40% of my enjoyment of the average Noblesse chapter emanates from the artistic representations of the story. Another 20% I assign to the characters and the rest goes to the actual plot.

It all comes together pretty nicely, taking into account the fact that the best manga and manhwa stories are crafted by various elements, including art and character plots.

As such these two chapters generated about 60% worth of interest from me. You cannot go wrong with Noblesse and its many dramatic posses.

Thinking on it, this sort of stuff tends to irritate me in Bleach and only because Kubo tends to waste entire panels on the fancy posses and artistic displays of his characters and their weapons, new and old, during crucial, mostly action packed moments, basically stalling rather than pushing the story.

Noblesse can inject artistically awesome moments, panels dedicated to highlighting the dramatic forms of various characters even while allowing the story to progress.

More importantly, Noblesse art tends to pop, its panels feeling almost lifelike, probably because, unlike Kubo and his anti background habits, Noblesse provides fuller environments.

If it looks like some of this Noblesse review is wasted on Bleach talk, well, nothing really happened these past two weeks. Normally I wouldn’t think much of it, and would simply sit back and enjoy watching RK4 panic over Frankenstein’s wrecked kitchen, except these chapters literally came out of nowhere.

Two weeks ago we were in flashbacks, following Muzaka and Rai’s story; suddenly we revert to the present, the flow of the previous month’s story suddenly broken.

What the hell is going on? I expect chapter such as these to emerge in between major arcs and events, of which the flashback were indeed major; except they aren’t even over.

RATING: 5/10, it is always a fun experience, reading 30 or so pages of Rai, his servant and noble guests living their everyday lives. And even with the lackluster comedy attempts, these chapters weren’t exactly a snooze.

However…I have no idea why we are even reading this.

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The term hiatus usually refers to a temporary break in an anime or manga’s run (though in Hunter X Hunter’s case, that is more of a semi permanent break).

Hiatuses are an appropriate element in anime, even encouraged as an acceptable substitute for filler. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Not so with manga; few elements are as irritating about manga as hiatuses; and the reason is less about the anticipation that results and more to do with the story continuation issues that arise.

When I finally sat down to read Zetman a month or two ago, following its resumption after a more than three year hiatus, the first thing I took note of was the fact that I had absolutely no idea what the hell was going on.

And it took a few chapters and several guesses to find my place within the story and even that is an assumption on part. Chances are I only think I know what is happening.

It is probably for this reason that I can find some excitement over Otogi Matsuri’s return; it hasn’t even been more than a year since I caught up to its 66 chapters, and that was less than two months after it went on its break.

No, not excited; I am ecstatic about Otogi Matsuri’s return; and if you have read the manga then it should be clear the reason for the surprise. Dark offering, as it translates, couldn’t be more typical as far as shonen is considered.

If you wish to encounter true shonen in its raw essence, then look no further than Otogi Matsuri, a story that doesn’t even try to do anything really that new or different, but which more than exceeds at doing the same old thing better than most.

THE PLOT:

Yousuke is your average high school student, living peacefully in the town of Miyakono, until he accidentally breaks a shrine belonging to the Guardian of the South, the phoenix. He then unwillingly sacrifices his future, in return gaining the bow of the Suzaku. Now, to regain his life energy and protect the innocent people of Miyakono, he must battle against monsters called the Kenzoku using his new found power.

MY REVIEW:

If I were to use visual relations, I would compare Noblesse to a hand glider descending over verdant lands; most other manga and Manhwa are content to simply show us the glider, mostly from above but sometimes sneaking a shot from below.

Noblesse places you in the driver’s seat, allows you to almost feel the sensation of traversing through the air, the world blurring about you, the wind whipping your face silly.

Otogi Matsuri is keen to bring to your senses the impact of a devastating collision, its art that clean and striking in portraying what is a rather chaotic and disturbing world.

+STORY:

As mentioned above, Dark Offering doesn’t try to do anything overtly different; you have a fairly typical ancient betrayal turning into an ancient grudge morphing into an ancient evil that was then sealed away by four guardians.

Powerful guardians taking familiar forms such as Byakko, Suzaku, Seiryu and the like; and as would be expected, a fault in the seal, a threat regarding the Rukujou clan’s return and their bereaved, vengeful and somewhat justified rage makes for a union of four heroes who will sacrifice greatly to the four guardians to wield their power, standing to fight the approaching evil.

Okay, the element of sacrifice makes for surprisingly riveting reading, at least with regards to the depths of drama it sometimes infuses. But again far from riveting stuff.

Where Dark Offering manages to stand apart though is the way in which it actually tales its typical shonen story.

And this somewhat harks back to Gamaran; the manga wasn’t always the riveting samurai epic I perceive it to be today; and even after coming to an end, i wouldn’t place Gamaran within the same ranking as greats such as Samurai X.

Yet Gamaran managed to reach such incredible heights of entertainment because of its thrilling approach to the story.

MINOR SPOLIERS AHEAD: Considering its weak beginning i was surprised to find myself hooked to Gamaran within the first 15 chapters. The manga made efforts to create the setting for the core of its clashes in crafting the tournament that would choose the next great leader of the demon’s haunt.

And my expectations weren’t particularly out of this world; of course Gama would descend to the city as champion warrior to a leader in the making; of course he would briefly encounter many powerful foes. The final battles would approach steadily, Gama cutting his way through various unique enemies to achieve easy victory.

Admittedly the manga did a great job in stoking my expectations shortly after that. The opponents were more than strong. They were intimidating. And this wouldn’t be an all out brawl between the best of the best.

Rather the tournament intended to pit entire schools against one another; that allowed a sense of strategy to enter the equation as different schools began planning about who would fight who, when and how in a battle that would constitute multiple rounds, and in which victory would come to those schools that maintained the strength of their greatest fighters until the final round.

Immediately things were falling into a strange place because Gama’s school had long since lost its student save for one; Gama couldn’t possibly challenge entire schools in combat over a period of several rounds. And while my initial assumptions created images of our Hero obliterating entire schools per afternoon to get to their leaders, the manga had already proven mere chapters earlier that Gama was barely of equal skill to some of the lower ranked members of various schools.

This wasn’t a fair fight by any means; and certainly I was expecting Gama’s supernatural power up to come in future arcs, when we would learn of his demon half and whatnot. None the less I was on the edge of my seat with regards to the events to come.

Then we met the first school that would contend with out young hero, watched them plan their strategy, walk out the door to prepare for their oncoming challenge only to meet Gama, on their front porch, waiting, already on the offense.

This wasn’t a kid boasting of so much confidence as to walk into enemy territory on his own; Gama understood his own short comings and executed a rather flawed plan that, in catching his opponents by total surprise, would allow him to cut his enemy’s three top students down in a single move, immediately leveling the playing field and allowing him a chance to catch a win before the first round went underway and gravely turned the tide against him.

It was in those few pages that I went ‘Whooooooooooa’; that surprise, the understanding that Gamaran not only presented very grounded situations but avoided easy solutions to them. It was always refreshing knowing that Gama had a killer move in his pocket, one that could finish a difficult fight immediately, but which he couldn’t unleash due to a wounded ankle, bleeding stomach or whatever was impairing his physical abilities, forcing him to utilize less than effective skills and basic cunning to overcome.

This as opposed to all those Bleach conflicts that see the hero unleash an all powerful strike after two hours of health crippling punishment.

SPOILERS OVER

That is what this manga brings to table; if it must take you down a familiar road with familiar attractions, then it is going to blast through at 300MPH, making certain that you still get a kick out of it.

That is Otogi Matsuri in a nutshell; it doesn’t surprise as much as thrill. The story is slow at the start and doesn’t pick up until the supernatural elements begin to bleed into the public domain. I personally didn’t really get into it until 30 chapters in, during the so called Madara arc.

And thinking about, that was just about a giant rampaging snake; basically Anakonda but with intelligence. Yet it managed to ramp up the chaos to a point where excitement had to be my only reaction.

+CHARACTERS:

Otogi Matsuri fails miserably in the character section; take its cast out of the explosive nature of the Otogi Matsuri story and they aren’t really worth the attention.

Yousuke couldn’t be more cliché as far as shonen heroes are concerned; standing at the head of his crew, ready to sacrifice himself even while irritating voices moan about his selflessness.

And let’s not even bother with his school life, which is not only very reminiscent of Ichigo and Bleach but receives way too much unnecessary attention considering how irrelevant it is to the story.

Of course Yousuke is going to have to make awkward excuses to escape his friend's company to fight monsters. Of course he will have to protect his classmates from assaults occurring either as a coincidence or because of his presence even while keeping his friends oblivious of his role in the matter.

Of course their eventual discovery of his true identity will create more problems regarding his role than it actually solves; the romantic elements are a forced and badly executed element. Really, this is the reason I am not a great fan of high school settings for anime and manga stories. The plots, characters, everything is always the same; way too predictable for my tastes.

And then there is Irori, not quite your typical female heroine considering how young the master guardian wielder is. I am glad they avoided the cliché child prodigy angle, instead choosing to follow a more dramatic path with regards to Irori’s mastery over her powers.

Kenji is…a pretty intriguing character, the flaws of his past, the demons and decisions that chase him shaping the curses that make his heroic duties little more than a life threatening activity.

Thinking about it, Dark Offering’s cast is pretty decent; I mean, Enzo, the oldest of the bunch and their history teacher, has to be my favorite, especially this conniving ways, his determination to achieve victory no matter the cost, the enormous guilt he carries and the sacrifices he keeps making to keep his secrets hidden.

Okay, I am starting to think my negative perception of these characters largely comes down to Yousuke, who’s unfortunately very meh as far as main protagonists are concerned; but even Yousuke is fun to watch once the action begins.

The limitations of his Suzaku bow, restricting him to three arrows per hour means every battle, and I mean every battle, with him has to be strategic in nature. And it is a restrictions that persists throughout the various power ups, forcing this strategic approach to battle to persist through out even the most dangerous conflicts.

Okay, I have to admit; Otogi Matsuri has done more with its cast in a few 60 chapters that I was giving it credit for.

+ART:

If you seen one gorgeously drawn manga or manhwa, you have seen them all. That is what I used to think. Yet even today, I encounter new series whose aesthetic offerings still manage to impress me.

Otogi Matsuri is no different; it isn’t interesting because it avails the crispiest, cleanest and sharpest images in manga, even though the panels are pretty crisp. Rather Otogi Matsuri allows its unique narration to manifest through its art.

While it took the Madara arc to truly sell Otogi Matsuri to me, my curiosity was immediately piqued following the first demonic appearance in the first chapter. And truth be told I expected gross, grotesque and twisted designs.

Yet there was something even more ridiculously disturbing about watching a giant spider with the giant head of a vicious cat scuttling down the hill side.

Every thrilling chase, explosive battle and heart rending scream somehow resonates through each panel of the manga.

It is manga like Otogi Matsuri that deserve monthly releases; their work reflects the care and time injected into providing the perfect images.

+VERDICT:

No, this isn’t the greatest action, supernatural or shonen series in the world. It most likely wouldn’t make it into my top ten. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t that good.

It doesn’t do anything new, true; but it doesn’t do anything old either. Rather it does the old and familiar in a manner more explosive than most. In a way one need not bother investing in truly unique stories when mangaka like this have the guts to take something old and make it worth the read.

RATING: 8/10, the fact that Otogi Matsuri has resumed its run, and with a whopping four chapters for my consumption, has made my week.

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It's a short blog because I know myself well. I tend to be scatterbrain and distracted with many things. Using my status bar helps, but it doesn't plan out things.

  • Introduce Akame ga Kill wiki teammates
  • Add Falbium and IndridCold's Manhwa series to the wiki database
  • Write reviews for WayBig's project, Anime Survey and Reviews (Summer 2014)
  • The Best Battle User of August 2014 is having issues since Girugamesh is inactive. So Flashback180 will take over as soon as I get word from him, too.
  • Continue the Tsundere Tournament ♀. Vapovile is doing the semi-finals. Haven't receive word from him either. I might do it without him by Wednesday.
  • Add the Fall 2014 Anime Series to the wiki database. I have to prepare for September when we start adding trailer/discussion threads for the new anime season, fall 2014.
  • Start the Gdoc program for sickVisionz's Top Anime and Manga of 2014. It's important I get a head start because when fall starts, I won't have time.
  • Plan out a wiki schedule for Fall 2014 anime season.

I believe Fall 2014 has the most sequels and Shonen series that were part of my wiki projects.

  • Chaika Season 2
  • Fate/Stay Night Remake (2014)
  • Seven Deadly Sins
  • Akame ga Kill (It's 2 cour)
  • One Piece
  • Fairy Tail
  • Stardust Crusaders (rumored to be 4 cour)

I have teammates to support, but I have to make some sacrifices later on in order to balance school, family work, and Anime Vice moderation roles.

Current Community Projects

  • Assist Daniel with Caption Contest
  • Issue the Weekly Manga and Anime DVD/Blu-Ray Releases
  • Moderate Wiki
  • Post the monthly Megami and Nyantype posters at Ecchi Club
  • Assist WayBig with his AMV project
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Welcome everyone to the Chaika Wiki Recognition blog! With recognition blogs, I give out recognitions for my teammates who worked hard in the wiki projects. My teammates are working to improve the site. With wiki pages, we help create pages for folks to attach blogs, reviews, and discussion topics too. It helps folks meet up with folks and bond while sharing their favorite anime and working together in the wiki community.

That's how we roll in Anime Vice.

First off, let me introduce my teammates.

Team Members

AgentFakku
He's from Brooklyn, New York. His favorite anime series is Sword Art Online, High School DxD, and Blazblue Alter Memory. He enjoys spending time in Ecchi Club and Hentai Club. He's a strong advocate of a hentai site called Fakku. Finally, he's a Hentai wiki specialist, adding new Hentai pages for the Hentai Club monthly. Though, he feels he's still inexperienced but grateful to have me moderating his wiki pages and guiding him to become a top wiki editor soon.

He aspires to be the best Hentai wiki editor in Anime Vice with the most hentai pages created.
Sidapa
He is a new wiki editor who works at Anime Vice, and he originally a Wikia member who used to work at Chaika Wikia.
Unfortunately, I don't have Sidapa's intro since I lost contact with my teammate. This is all I have for now.
Takashichea
I'm a sixth year student of Asian American Studies, a resident of California, and a 3rd year member at Anime Vice. I currently serve as a wiki mod in Anime Vice since September 12, 2013. I'm currently a retired Admin at Sket Dance and Btooom Wikia since I have to stop due to being a new mod in Anime Vice. I still kept my account semi-active at To Hollywood and Beyond Wikia because it's Screened's second home.

I'm an episode wiki specialist, but I do work on other types of wiki pages. My strong skill is gathering groups of editors from across communities and building great wiki pages with them. My goals in Anime Vice is to build a strong, tight knit and balanced community by working with key users of various niches.

For those who are new to Chaika, here's a summary my teammates and I prepare for you. We hope you try out Chaika - Coffin Princess!

Chaika - The Coffin Princess revolves around a trio: a young female wizard named Chaika and the Saboteur siblings, Toru and Akari, who assist Chaika in retrieving her father's remains. Chaika wishes to give her father a proper burial. Her father is Emperor Gaz who had been slain by the eight heroes, and as a result, his empire had been dismantled. Individual countries are now managed by the Kliemann Organization during the post war period. There are individuals who will stop Chaika and her gang from her goals while there are others who compete with her in taking her father's remains.

Our Accomplishments

In the Chaika wiki project of Anime Vice, my teammates and I work in different pages. Sidapa was mostly a light novel and manga editor who also works on concept pages while AgentFakku works on concept pages and attaching things to character and misc pages.

Our work is not done given how difficult it is to obtain light novel and manga data because Chaika isn't available legally, forcing us to resort to other means in order to fulfill our tasks. Though, the light novel text is an issue still.

Best Works

  • Sidapa has written a great page on Fayla.
  • I have written a great page for Chaika Travant. I left the story arcs blank since that's reserved for original source material, the light novel.
  • I prepared a good season 1 wiki page for Chaika - The Coffin Princess's anime page.

Accomplishments

  • August 17, 2014 - I finished all episode summaries for Chaika season 1.

Thank you everyone for reading this blog. Please give my teammates a round of applause for their hard work.

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Welcome everyone, I just picked up a strange idea after working out coding in the community projects I worked with.

For those knew me well, I have this habit of picking up strange ideas when I'm stressed and working hard. I do weird blogs all of the time to relax and have fun with folks in the community while introducing new anime and manga or new ideas and patterns my folks and myself notice.

I was reading Senyu while recalling Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei yesterday. Both are comedic manga series that are crazy and ridiculous. I never notice it had some dark humor in it. This is where the "dark chocolate" idea came in. It's bittersweet comedy with a twist at the end. These two series are in my strange list.

Senyu is a bit an oddball at first. Watching the anime, it never got to the dark twist in the manga. I won't spoil it for folks who haven't tried it. Just don't judge a character by their looks and silly antics. One of the characters has a brutal past which is involved with the whole world going down. I recommend Senyu if you like comedy and want to kill time with silly slapstick and nonsensical humor. If you want to get deep in the story, be sure to try the manga.

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is one I never got far in. I first tried it when Superevil225 started a Weird Or What? - Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei - Episode 1 blog on this series. I got curious about this Shaft produced anime. Speaking of Shaft, I never knew this anime was my first Shaft show after seeing Nisekoi and Mekaku City and bugging sickVisionz if he's a Shaft fan. Shaft actually did a better job with Sayonara Zetsubou than the two recent shows I watch this year because the surrealism works with Sayonara well.

For my recommendation on Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, if you like a show that is rich in Japanese culture and makes tons of parodies and jokes while set in a school by a pessimistic, suicidal teacher and his class of unique and mostly composed of girls, then this show is for you. The dark twist I heard from folks who finished the series. It is a surprise twist which I tried to forget, but I never notice it. I won't spoil you. Just don't judge this series by its book. It's pretty dark humor this series has.

Thank you everyone. I hope you try these two manga series out.

Your Dark Chocolate Manga

Senyu
After a hole in the world is releasing demons, the king has sent out descendants of the great hero to stop the invasion. The story focuses on one hero named Alba who is journeying with Ross. The two encounter Ruki, the daughter of the demon king, who is responsible for accidentally unleashing the demons in the world.
Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei
Nozomu Itoshiki is not very happy with his life. More accurately, he is depressed, and wants to end it as soon as possible. However, no matter what he does his suicide attempts never seem to work out. So, he's stuck with his ragtag class of crazies. No, they don't band together and learn life lessons. Yes, they get into all sorts of trouble and just become progressively weirder and weirder. And it goes on... and on... AND ON...
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Wanna be the Strongest in the World was a 12-episode ecchi sports series that aired from October 6 to December 22 of last year and was animated by Studio Arms. It is based on the ongoing shounen manga series written by ESE and illustrated by Kiyohito Natsuki for Comic Earth Star magazine since December 2010.

The Plot

She can't make you humble. But she can at least break your back and choke you out.
She can't make you humble. But she can at least break your back and choke you out.

Sakura Hagiwara is a 17-year old pop idol who is the lead vocalist of the idol group Sweet Diva. She impulsively decides to enter the world of women's professional wrestling to avenge the beating that one of her members took at the hands of a wrestler.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

  • Sakura Hagiwara- The lead vocalist of Sweet Diva who decides to enter the world of pro wrestling who maintains a cheerful and bright persona through any ordeals she presses through.
  • Rio Kazama- A mid-class wrestler part of Berserk Wrestlers who is responsible for attacking one of the Sweet Diva members.
  • Misaki Toyoda- The top pro wrestler among Berserk Wrestlers and a former pop idol who trains Sakura in improving her skills as a wrestler.
  • Moe Fukuoka- A karate prodigy who joins up with Berserk later in the series to train in professional wrestling.

Why It Sucks

Like you would expect out of many Studio Arms titles, Wanna be the Strongest in the World's sole purpose of existence is to pander to otaku and ecchi fans with its desperate attempts to get gratuitous shots of T&A out of much of its female cast. A good amount of these shots come from submission holds that get applied to female wrestlers during their matches and the camera offering up-close shots of boobs, crotch and butt, as well as the occasional shower scenes and random service shots.

Fifty-plus losses to a Boston Crab? So why are we supposed to care for you again?
Fifty-plus losses to a Boston Crab? So why are we supposed to care for you again?

Outside of its desperate attempts to milk T&A, there's little else to get hooked into with this series. The pro wrestling element of its premise is lazily implemented as the first half to the series is quite painful to press through with Sakura's ridiculous losing streak she racks up and losing to the same submission hold in each match. The second half gets slightly better with Sakura being more competent in her in-ring ability, though the in-ring action still borders on ridiculous with a good chunk of action reserved to submission holds for the mentioned T&A shots and some wrestling maneuvers shown at camera-angles that are supposedly painful to look at (with moves like piledrivers and powerbombs that cause harm to the head, neck and back). However with the latter, the wrestlers are conveniently able to get back up to their feet like a shounen action hero refusing to stay down when just about crippled or near-death.

Don't go expecting to connect with the characters in this series either as they are mostly paper-thin archetypes and have little in the way of depth or dimension to make them relatable to more than just otaku and ecchi fans.

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Welcome to this week's manga releases. We have a large selection this week. I'm hyped for Magi and Fairy Tail, being a long time fan of these franchises. Fairy Tail and Magi are both Shonen series with plenty of fan service. Fairy Tail is a bit light hearted than Magi in terms of content. If you are a Shonen fan and want a break from the HST (One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach), give these two series a try.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on what manga releases you're interested in this week. Thank you.

The covers are from Amazon and Right Stuf.

Disclaimer: I'm just promoting the official release and the publishers. I'm not selling you anything. This is to combat piracy and get fans to support the official release. All summaries are from ANN.

Sources

Notes:

  • Right Stuf has Project H Books and Digital Manga Publishing manga release this week. Comic book stores already had these adult manga releases on the week of July 9, 2014. For Amazon, the adult manga were released on the week of July 15, 2014. These are Blue Sheep Reverie, Disciplinarian, How To Get Dumped in Style, Kinokoinu Mushroom Pup Vol. 1, Nurse's Sweet Naked Truth, One is Enough, Splash to Love Vol. 2, and Teach Me a Lesson.
  • Les Miserables and Pride and Prejudice were release last week on Amazon, and they are listed on Right Stuf's release for this week.
  • Samurai Executioner Omnibus isn't available in comic book stores or Amazon this week. Amazon has it on August 26 while ANN and Right Stuf listed it for this week.

Manga Releases

Deadman Wonderland Volume 4
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $9.99

Ganta is recruited into the Scar Chain, an antiestablishment group planning a mass prison escape. After a brief meeting with Shiro, he stands at a crossroads, but Nagi persuades him to take part in the escape. However, a traitor has already leaked the plan to the Undertakers, a unit specially formed to stamp out the rebels.

Fairy Tail Volume 41
  • Distributor: Kodansha Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $10.99

Fairy Tail visits a town of giants frozen in magical ice that Gray can't dispel and Natsu can't melt! At its heart is supposedly an Eternal Flame.​.. but how can a flame be frozen?​ And they're not the only ones after the town's secrets.​ Three treasure hunters block their path,​ while an old nemesis lurks in the shadows.​ To top it off,​ a magical trap makes all the Fairy Tail wizards' problems seem much bigger!

Itsuwaribito Volume 12
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $9.99

After a fierce battle,​ Utsuho and his friends manage to foil the plot of a group of assassins to take the life of a southern monarch.​ Will this earn them the Kokonotsu treasure they've been after?​ That question aside,​ they add some new members to their group and set out on another journey,​ finding that the village they visit on the way is a little strange.​..

Loveless Volume 12
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $9.99

When Seimei refuses to fight alongside Nisei against an enraged Moonless, it cuts the final tie in the web of manipulation that binds the dirtiest Fighter to his heartless Sacrifice. Meanwhile, while looking at his brother's photo album, Ritsuka discovers new information about his old self that doesn't match up.

Magi Volume 7
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $9.99

Alibaba, now in possession of a new power, plunges forward. But even after this fierce battle, fresh challenges await him.

Monster Soul Volume 2
  • Distributor: Kodansha Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $10.99

A group of monsters known as Black Airs come across of pair humans who are looking to make some money hunting monsters with bounties on their heads. The Black Airs make quick work of the bounty hunters who fail to learn their lesson as they become overly ambitious and attempt to hunt the Black Airs. This proves to be a terrible mistake and we get to see just what makes the Black Airs so special: enormous power and even stronger friendship.

Wolfsmund Volume 5
  • Distributor: Vertical
  • Suggested retail price: $12.95

It is the 14th Century and as the Swiss begin to initiate their movements toward independence a fortress in the Alps known as the Wolfsmund continues to strike fear amongst the German and Italian communities that dare threaten Hapsburg (Austrian) rule!

Adult Releases

Crimson Spell Volume 5
  • Distributor: SuBLime
  • Suggested retail price: $12.99

On his quest to find the one behind the curse on his sword, Vald manages to sneak into the empire’s capital. His target is the greatest sorcerer in Zenedoura—Asterdol. However, in the midst of his search, Vald is captured by servants of the emperor. Fortunately for him, his capture brings an unexpected boon—the very sorcerer Vald is looking for comes straight to him! What will Vald do when he discovers that the man behind the curse looks exactly like Limris? And now that he’s facing his greatest danger yet, will Halvir come to Vald’s rescue?

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Welcome everyone, we have a small selection this week. I'm pretty familiar with Beyblade and From the New World. I'm not interested in BeyBlade since it hasn't aged well on me. I definitely recommend From the New World if you like dystopic anime series with strong themes of human values such as individual vs the community and exploring the ugly side of human nature.

For this week, I included Batman: Assault on Arkham since I saw it on Right Stuf this week. It's on my watch list, and I have high expectations for this film.

I would love to hear your recommendations on these series. All comments are welcome. Thank you.

Disclaimer: I'm just promoting the official release and the publishers. I'm not selling you anything. This is to combat piracy and get fans to support the official release. All summaries are from ANN.

Notes

  • Right Stuf does not list Beyblade Vol. 1 DVD.

Sources

DVD and Blu Ray Releases

Beyblade: The Classic First Season (DVD)
  • Distributor: New Video Group
  • Suggested retail price: $69.98

Tyson Granger, a young boy, and his friend Kenny enter the Japanese Regional Qualifying Beyblade Tournament. There, Tyson meets new players and organizes a team called the Bladebreakers in order to win the Beyblade World Championship. They compete with spinning tops called Beyblades (which hold beasts inside them), forge friendships and create opponents along the way.

  • Contains episodes 1-51.
  • Spoken Languages: English.
Beyblade: The Classic First Season - Volume 1 (DVD)
  • Distributor: New Video Group
  • Suggested retail price: $14.93
Fantasista Doll - Complete Collection (Blu-Ray or DVD)
  • Distributor: Sentai Filmworks
  • Suggested retail price: $59.98 (Blu-Ray), $49.98 (DVD)
No one ever knows what life has waiting in the cards for them, but for Uzume Uno, the surprises aren't just in the cards but also in what comes out of them! Through a strange quirk of fate, this typical junior high school student finds herself in possession of a mysterious deck of cards from which five magical girls known as the Fantasista Dolls materialize! By playing the cards in different combinations, Uzume can equip the "Sistas" with an amazing variety of costumes and weapons. That's going to come in extremely handy, as a new danger that only the Dolls can stop is coming to threaten the Earth!

Will Uzume be able to deal with both the Dolls' odd demands and the fate of mankind resting on her shoulders? Or are the odds hopelessly stacked against her? With the future of everyone she knows and loves riding on her, Uzume's going to have to learn how to play the hand she's been dealt pretty quickly, because while she may know when to hold them, folding them isn't going to be an option with the world at stake!

  • Contains episodes 1-12.
  • Special Features: Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation.
  • Spoken Languages: Japanese, English subtitles.
From the New World - Collection 2 (Blu-Ray or DVD)
  • Distributor: Sentai Filmworks
  • Suggested retail price: $69.98 (Blu-Ray), $59.98 (DVD)
Still reeling from the deaths of her friends and the revelations of the Ethics Committee's machinations, Saki returns to the village expecting the worst. However, what she's learned so far barely touches on the edges of an even vaster conspiracy. As she discovers the fate the committee intends for her personally, she realizes that her own mind is being turned against her.

With her memories of Shun fading, she and Satoru find themselves in a race to find Maria and Mamoru before the Committee condemns them to destruction. But the clock is turning against them in more ways than one, as the smoldering conflicts between the rat colonies threatens to erupt into open warfare. As pivotal pieces in a deadly endgame designed to wipe an entire species from the face of the planet, it's not going to be enough for Saki and Satoru to merely survive. To lead the best laid plans of both rats and men astray, they'll have to uncover the final secrets to two hidden worlds and turn them against their makers!

  • Contains episodes 14-25.
  • Special Features: Japanese Promos, Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation.
  • Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.

Non Anime

Batman: Assault on Arkham

  • Distributor: Warner
  • Suggested Retail Price: $24.99 (DVD/Blu-Ray), $19.98 (DVD)

When the government teams up a group of supervillains with the code name Suicide Squad and forces them to break into Arkham Asylum to bring back top secret information the Riddler has stolen, Batman soon becomes involved. But things go from bad to worse when one of the Squad (Harley Quinn) frees the Joker, who has the means to not only blow up the asylum, but most of Gotham City as well.

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Based on Astrid Lindgren's Swedish novel, Ronja Rövardotter.

  • Producer: Ghibli
  • Release Date: October 2014
  1. Text: Goro Miyazaki's first TV series!!
  2. Text: Ronia the Robber's Daughter
  3. Text: That fantasy literary work has been completely adapted for the screen!
  4. Narrator: Ronia the Robber's Daughter. Starting its broadcast in October. I want the children to be able to see this.

Plot

The story revolves around Ronia, the only daughter of Mattis, the chief of a tribe of bandits who live in a large castle in a forest. Ronia studies the ways of the mysterious creatures who live in the forest.

Related Threads

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Here are three different franchises with dub news.

Ghost in the Shell Arise

FUNimation announces a dub trailer for Ghost in the Shell Arise's two OVA episodes, Ghost Pain and Ghost Whispers. The release date for these two OVA episodes are not announced yet.

Ghost Pain

Set against a backdrop of international arms dealers, exploding cyborgs, and murdered prostitutes, this origins story plays out with a futuristic flair for the destructive. When cyborg hacker Motoko Kusanagi is hired to investigate a devastating bombing, she must fight her way through a maze of phantom memories to unlock her mysterious past – and track down the evil mastermind behind the attacks.

Ghost Whispers

Witness the formation of the legendary Public Security Section 9. When a clandestine organization hacks every car in the city, Kusanagi recruits a lethal team of cyber operatives that includes a badass brawler with Special Forces training, an explosives expert, a technology specialist, and a chain-smoking jack-of-all-trades with a sordid past. Together this ruthless gang of enforcers sets out to clamp down on the chaos and make the city safe again.

Via FUNimation

Cast

  • Elizabeth Maxwell as Motoko Kusanagi
  • John Swasey as Aramaki
  • Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as Kurutsu
  • Christopher R. Sabat as Batou
  • Eric Vale as Tsumugi
  • Alex Organ as Togusa
  • Jason Douglas as Paz
  • Bill Jenkins as Sadamoto
  • David Wald as Raizo
  • Jad Saxton as Logicoma
  • Brian Mathis as Mamuro
  • Chris Rager and Ibachi

Ghibli

The three movies are When Marnie Was There and Ronia, the Robber's Daughter. No dub cast is announced, just that these three films will be dubbed soon. Geoffrey Wexler listed himself as the English-language dub and subtitle producer for both films.

Summary for When Marnie Was There:

Anna hasn't a friend in the world - until she meets Marnie among the sand dunes. But Marnie isn't all she seems...An atmospheric ghost story with truths to tell about friendship, families and loneliness. Anna lives with foster parents, a misfit with no friends, always on the outside of things. Then she is sent to Norfolk to stay with old Mr. and Mrs. Pegg, where she runs wild on the sand dunes and around the water. There is a house, the Marsh House, which she feels she recognizes - and she soon meets a strange little girl called Marnie, who becomes Anna's first ever friend. Then one day, Marnie vanishes. A new family, the Lindsays, move into the Marsh House. Having learnt so much from Marnie about friendship, Anna makes firm friends with the Lindsays - and learns some strange truths about Marnie, who was not all she seemed...

Summary for Ronia, the Robber's Daughter:

The story revolves around Ronia, the only daughter of Mattis, the chief of a tribe of bandits who live in a large castle in a forest. Ronia studies the ways of the mysterious creatures who live in the forest.

Gatchaman

Sentai Filmworks announced the cast and the release date for their Blu-Ray and DVD, September 2, 2014.

Summary

A secret war rages in the shadows of Tachikawa City, where every day its unsuspecting citizens fall prey to the unseen and unfamiliar foes around them. With the citizens powerless to stop their erratic and indefensible attacks, a new kind of hero emerges to push back the encroaching darkness: enter the Gatchaman! Gifted with alien technology the likes of which the world has never seen, and imbued with a much needed jolt of whimsy and adventure from its latest oddball recruit, Hajime Ichinose, the Gatchaman's mission is to protect in secret, to defend unnoticed. Meanwhile, a new online sensation is exploding within the city: Rui Ninomiya's massive social networking hub known as GALAX is taking hold of the populace, turning every day “GALAXters” into heroes in the making.

Unfortunately, a new yet familiar foe known only as Berg Katze sees an opportunity to create chaos in the streets, coercing the techno-prodigy Rui with thoughts of social justice while secretly bending the GALAX Network to his will! Unable to understand his motives, the Gatchaman will have to rely on their energetic new member to figure out the puzzle laid bare by the former Gatchaman as his army grows stronger by the minute. An explosion of bright lights and pulse pounding rhythms comes together for an unforgettable, action packed experience as Hajime and the rest of the Gatchaman try to update the world together in Gatchaman Crowds!

Cast

  • Kyle Jones - Director of the Dub
  • Jessica Calvello as Hajime Ichinose
  • Corey Hartzog as Sugane Tachibana
  • Ty Mahany as Joe Hibiki
  • Carli Mosier as Utsu-tsu
  • Luci Christian as PAI-MAN
  • Clint Bickham as O.D.
  • Shannon Emerick as Rui Ninomiya
  • David Wald as Berg Katze
  • Jenni Strader as President X
  • Leraldo Anzaldua as J.J. Robinson

Sources

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I saw this on Amazon and Danbooru. Every month, I upload posters from Megami and Nyantype, magazines that features posters from current anime series and done by different artists in very risque poses and post at the Ecchi Club. This magazine, Girls Mate, is a new one I haven't seen. I seen magazines aim towards women, Pash!, while others aim for both genders, Animedia and Newtype. Girls Mate is like the normal and doesn't show any bikini or skin like Megami and Nyantype. It also features current anime series with the exception of Kinmoza which aired in summer of 2013.

I couldn't find a place to showcase this magazine and their posters. It's not risque enough for the Ecchi Club.

Thanks to Danbooru for uploading the images and thank you everyone for reading. Hope you enjoy the posters.

How I got into posters, blame Daniel Newton. He got me to help with him in the Megami and Nyantype magazine. I spent some of my break time in Amazon.co.jp looking at magazines for some odd reason.

Anime: Jinsei

Characters Featured: Rino Endou, Fumi Kujou, Ikumi Suzuki, Ayaka Nikaidou

Anime: Bladedance of Elementalers

Characters Featured: Claire Rouge, Ellis Fahrengart, Fianna Ray Ordessia, Rinslet Laurenfrost, and Terminus Est

Anime: Locodol

Characters Featured: Yukari Kohinata, Yui Mikoze, Mirai Nazukari, Nanako Usami

Anime: Rail Wars!

Characters Featured: Haruka Koumi, Aoi Sakura

Anime: Glasslip

Characters Featured: Hina Fukami, Touko Fukami, Sachi Nagamiya, and Yanagi Takayama

Anime: Kinmoza! Kiniro + Mosaic

Characters Featured: Alice Cartelet, Yoko Inokuma, Aya Komichi, Karen Kujo, Shinobu Omiya
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For a list of all their shows, please visit Hanabee.au's website, link to their shows. No dates or times are given for their simulcasts.

Summer 2014

Aldnoah.Zero
Plot:

The story features inhabitants of Earth and Mars waging in an interplanetary war. The story touches upon the effects wars have on a country’s government and its people.

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei!
Plot:

Illyasviel von Einzbern is an ordinary middle school student in Japan who becomes a magical girl after the magical Kaleidostick Ruby deems her a more suitable master than the sorceress, Rin Tohsaka. Unable to dissuade Ruby, Rin forces Illya to collect the mysterious Class Cards in her place. Illya's own mysteries may have unknowingly attracted Ruby to her.

Rail Wars!
Plot:

Takayama Naoto is a high school second-year who dreams of being a train conductor. In hopes of getting a job with Japan National Railways, one of the most stable businesses in Japan due to government support, Naoto has applied to an on-the-job training program for students.

RWBY Volume 2
Plot:
RWBY is a new animated series from Rooster Teeth, directed by Monty Oum. The story focuses on a group of four girls in their first year at a legendary academy where they will learn to fight monsters.

Latest Acquisitions

For August 2014, Hanabee releases the entire series of The Familiar of Zero and Watamote for free. You have to sign up to watch the shows.

The Familiar of Zero

Louise Francoise Le Blanc de La Valliere has it tough, a poor little rich girl who has zero ability for magic which makes it incredibly difficult to study at the Tristain Academy of Magic. But when "Louise the Zero" summons her familiar, instead of summoning a fierce mythical creature she ends up pulling in Saito Hiraga, a normal everyday Japanese teenager. With no-other choice but to accept Saito as her familiar, Louise must learn to get along with Saito as he might just be the key to unlocking her abilities and saving the country.

The original series was released on May 7, 2014 on DVD and Blu-Ray.

WataMote
The slice-of-life gag comedy centers around Tomoko Kuroki, a girl who thought she would be popular when she went to high school. However, she was in for a rude awakening, for cruel reality is not like the otome games (romance games for female players) she played.

The series will be release on October 1, 2014 subbed and dubbed on Blu-Ray and DVD.

Related Threads

Sources

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Free to Air

Online Streaming

All bold titles are new additions this week.

Editor's Note:

I saw this on ANN. With Anime Vice being an international community, I copy and paste ANN's list to give more exposure to legal access to anime series in the summer of 2014.

For North America and other countries, please see Summer 2014 Simulcast Guide. Thank you.

Sources

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Buddy Complex had me worried at the start, mostly because it reminded me of Valrave the Liberator and I have nothing good to say about that show.

Thankfully Buddy Complex managed to rise above that particular image; though ‘rise above’ is too strong a statement to use with regards to this anime. Buddy Complex is commendable for being an entertaining mecha anime, nothing more, nothing less.

THE PLOT:

On the first day back after summer break, high-school student Aoba is attacked by a giant robot that appears out of the sky. As he's pursued through the city, his classmate Hina appears in a robot of her own. She rescues him, and tells him cryptically that "Dio is waiting for you", before she disappears. This begins Aoba's new life as the pilot of the Free Treaty Alliance against the Great Zogilia Republic.

MY REVIEW:

I am not the biggest mecha fan; not that I don’t enjoy watching giant robots doing combat on screen. But it can get pretty repetitive. Once you have seen one giant mech battle, you have technically seen them all.

Which is why I couldn’t see the Buddy Complex appeal when I first considered watching it. And I still don’t. Buddy Complex stands upon the base of pure entertainment value alone, in which the characters are inherently likeable and fun to watch but nothing more.

Aoba is an innocent boy that finds himself cast into a war seventy years in the future between two warring parties; he finds, to many a surprised persons, that he possesses the ability to utilize the newly invented coupling system better than any other pilot ever trained, allowing him to connect minds with a second pilot, combining strengths and knowledge to bring forth a new power.

Basically Pacific Rim within a world war context. And maybe that is all Buddy complex has to offer, a fun ride in which we get to follow Aoba’s exploits.

Stranded on a alien earth, he has to come to terms with his fate, the nonexistence of all he knew and the hostility of a seemingly evil foe. Along the way, he makes connections, with Dio, his coupling partner, and the various members of the Alliance he encounters.

If that sounds mildly entertaining, that is because it actually is; and that is the problem. Buddy complex never advances beyond this rather typical premise. The World war is a pretty bland affair, the political complications and conflicts that constitute the various battles proving to be quite boring.

Buddy complex plays out as a typically good vs. evil scenario, in which the Zogilia empire seems intent on ruling earth and an alliance of nations rises to stop them. I say ‘seems’ because very little effort is injected into explaining the purpose and reasons driving the different sides.

Zogilia is a fashioned in darkness, typically donning and armored in darker tones; its cast ever frowning or exuding a sense of negativity, that as opposed to the light surrounding the Alliance.

Certainly some effort is placed into actually fleshing the Zogilia force. Well, I say ‘fleshed out’, but all the anime does is allow us to meet these young men and women, does almost nothing to actually elucidate upon their role in the war, perspectives and reasoning.

+I don’t want to call Buddy Complex cliché, because it isn’t. It is a story that fails to be what it wants. And I believe it knows what it wants, unlike so many other failures, taking into account the way the plot develops.

The attempt to create a sense of personal conflict, to show that both warring parties are indeed human beings with personalities and goals and beliefs that they fight for just about fell flat. Zogilia wasn’t interesting enough, its soldiers just random faces that the author felt the need to name for purposes of depth.

Maybe if we knew a little more about this war than the shallow briefing we were provided near the start, but the anime more or less ignores the war as a whole. And truth be told Buddy Complex would be perfectly fine without all this complex and layered stuff; probably even better. It is the fact that it tried and failed to achieve its intended level of depth that the anime falters and loses a few points.

Buddy complex is the Dio and Aoba story. Their various conflicts were a source of entertainment, as was the coupling system and related elements. Though the conflicts between Cygnus and the higher ups over the coupling system seemed so silly and utterly forced.

Little reason was given for the Alliance choosing to ignore and even debase a weapon as powerful as the coupling system beyond a cheap attempt at creating conflict.

Same thing goes for the way the battles were staged, somewhat ridiculously and forced.

Every time Aoba needed to learn one thing or Dio wanted to prove another or a new mech or attack was in play, it was silly how a Zogilia attack would occur almost immediately after.

I couldn’t overlook the convenience; it was like the author intended to craft an engaging set of battles but couldn’t quite figure out how to lead into them. Considering all the talk about stealth and cloaking technology and secrecy, it felt like Zogilia could find the Alliance forces and ships anytime it felt like it.

+VERDICT:

I found it fascinating that the power ups behind Buddy Complex were essentially an interesting variation of the power of friendship common in most shonen series, in which the relationship between two individuals and its strength determined the levels of power achieved.

Now admittedly we have seen these settings before, where synchronization of some sort requires a specified level of compatibility on a mental or emotional level.

That being said most such scenarios occur between man and machine and are rarely a matter of two human beings combining metal prowess.

I can summarize Buddy Complex as such:

The Good:

The character interactions were pretty good and engaging.

Aoba was a decent hero, not too dumb as to ignore the obvious, never too unrealistically emotional, not so suddenly capable as to render better trained characters useless.

Certain characters received a healthy level of exposition and development, Dio most of all.

The Mecha battles were entertaining and never repetitive.

The Bad:

There were way too many coincidences, and that doesn’t even include the worm hole’s sudden appearance.

The antagonists were all forgettable, just random individuals with names we didn’t even need to know. All but Hina and her loyal pet.

Little effort is injected into explaining the war and the motives behind each party. I don’t need my antagonists to be deep and layered; I simply would have liked to know a little more of what Zogilia wanted.

All in all, an entertaining 13 episodes from Sunrise, worth the watch but nothing so impressive as to be mind blowing or even memorable. IN other words, if you choose not to watch Buddy Complex, you wouldn’t be missing much.

RATING: 6/10, not the best of mecha but not the worst. It would have worked better if not for the subtle attempt to inject depth, and the endless coincidental attacks.

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This idea pop up in my head when I was working on the wiki today. Figured this will help unwind folks and bring back the fun. We have a large amount of harem shows this year.

Below the harem list, I share my thoughts on the best harem show for this year. Feel free to share what harem show in 2014 you believe is the best and most enjoyable.

Have fun everyone!

Harem Series of 2014

Let me know if I miss anything.

1. Nisekoi

As a child, Raku Ichijo made a secret promise with his childhood sweetheart, keeping a pendant as a memento while his love took the key. He dreams of one day meeting his past love, but years later, reality smashes his hopes when Chitoge Kirisaki accidentally knees him in the face... Though Raku's a normal high schooler, his family heads the notorious yakuza gang the Shuei-Gumi faction! And he's dragged into family affairs when he's forced into a relationship with Chitoge, the daughter of a rival gang's boss! Despite their constant spats, the two somehow fool everyone with their false relationship. Raku then discovers that Chitoge has a mysterious key from her past, which she can't remember... Plus, two other girls appear with keys as well—Kosaki Onodera and Marika Tachibana! Caught in the midst of this love maelstrom, even more complications arise for Raku when his class decides on Romeo and Juliet as the class's play for the school festival. Can the two false lovebirds pull off the impossible and make the play a success?

2. Maken-ki! Two

Takeru Ohyama, a young normal yet perverted minded guy, got accepted and now goes to a school that, unknown to him, was where combat and magic is used. On the first day, he meets again after three years: Haruko Amaya, his childhood friend, Inaho Kushiya, a girl who says she's his fiance, and Kodama Himegami, a blonde who wants to kill him. Finding out that there are many girls there that just don't like him, he is told that everyone there uses a special magic ability while using an item or weapon called a Maken. Later, he finds that no Maken is acceptable for him and doesn't know what to do, since in this school the students get into duels that showcase their magic and combat power, of which he seemingly has none.

3. Brynhildr in the Darkness

When he was a child, Murakami was infatuated with a girl he called Kuroneko. She insisted on knowing about aliens and having met them, but no one believed her, even young Murakami was skeptical. One day, she decides to show him the aliens, but an accident occurs and Kuroneko dies while Murakami is left seriously wounded in the hospital. Years go by and Murakami obsesses on finding proof of the existence of aliens because of a promise he had made with Kuroneko. Then, one day, a new transfer student comes to his class, who not only looks a lot like Kuroneko, but is named Kurohaneko. And even though she insists on never having met Murakami before, the girl has superhuman strength and seems to even be able to predict the future.

4. Dragonar Academy

Learning to ride and tame dragons comes easy to most students at Ansarivan Dragonar Academy—except for first-year student Ash Blake, who is known by his fellow classmates as the “number one problem child.” Poor Ash is the laughing stock at school because, despite his unfashionably large star-shaped brand that marks him as a future dragon master, he has nothing to show for it. His dragon has never appeared. Until now, that is. One fateful day, Ash's dragon awakes in full glory, but appears different than any dragon ever seen before—in the form of a beautiful girl! What's worse, Ash soon discovers that this new dragon has attitude to spare, as she promptly informs him that she is the master, and he, the servant. Ash's problems with dragon riding have only just begun.

5. If Her Flag Breaks

Takei's original romantic comedy light novel series revolves around Sōta Hatate, a boy who has the unique ability to see "Flags" above the heads of other people. The "Flags" mark critical crossroads in people's lives — when the choices they make will determine love, friendship, victory, and even death. He transfers into Tokyo's elite Hatagaya Academy, but instead of living by himself in the boys' dormitory, he ends up living with five beautiful girls under one roof.

6. Date a Live II
Shido Itsuka, who used to be a normal high school student at Raizen High, meets the first Spirit, Tohka, and awakens his power to “seal the Spirit's power”. Though they may be feared and hated beings due to their immense power, Spirits were always alone and knew only combat and death. Shido, the only one in the world with the power to seal the Spirits' might, hurls himself into life-threatening dates with the beautiful Spirits in order to save them.
7. The Comic Artist and His Assistants

A life description about the mangaka Aito Yuuki and his assistant Ashisu Sahoto. Aito doesn't understand the feelings of the characters in his stories so he asks Ashisu to help him. Ashisu would do anything for the work—she will even let him touch her breast so he will know how it feels like.

8. INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA!?

Due to his family’s financial circumstances, young Koutarou is forced to live in a small apartment (Rokujouma means 6-tatami, which is about 99 square feet) on a budget of 5000 yen a month (~$55US). On the plus side, he lives rent free, but on the minus side, that’s because room 106 of Corona Apartments is cursed. As is the norm in these supernatural high school comedies, the ghost is a cute young girl, and hijinks ensue when she tries to drive him out. Between the haunting, Koutarou’s nosy neighbors, and a self-styled magical girls flying to the unneeded rescue, there’s way too much for the impoverished young man to handle.

9. Bladedance of Elementalers

In the "elemental fantasy" of Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance, only a pure girl may enter into a spirit contract. At Areishia Spirit Academy, the daughters of nobility are assembled to take elite classes and become spirit elementalists. A boy named Kamito happened to be peeping on a student named Claire while she was taking a bath, and he accidentally makes a contract with a spirit instead of Claire. Now, Kamito has become something once thought impossible in this world — a male spirit elementalist.

My Fave

Out of all the harem shows I watched, I didn't not finish Dragonar Academy, and I did start Date a Live or Maken-Ki Two.

Best Harem Show

For my most favorite and best harem, I would go with Brynhildr in the Darkness because it was unique. I haven't seen a harem series with horror, Sci-Fi, and action all in one package. It reminds me of Rosario Vampire a bit, my all time favorite harem manga series.

I don't want to spoil folks, but this harem did something no other harem did: kill a love interest. Brynhildlr has its flaws with its drastic tones of light hearted scenes, fan service, and gore all mixed together.

Weird Harem Show

Weirdest harem series of 2014 would be If Her Flag for Me. I have never seen a trap and a robot in a harem before. That's pretty much it. Also, there is a bit incest surprise.

Funniest Harem Show

I would choose The Comic Artist and His Assistants because of its awkward and unpredictable humor. The protagonist is dumb but gifted with drawing, and his antics borders on sexual harassment. It's might be a hit or miss with folks.

Thank you for reading! Please share your most favorite harem show of 2014!

Stay tuned for the Reverse Harem edition.

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A bit surprised I didn't cover this yet, but here we go. As of this writing, all the industry panels have taken place thus I'll cover any new announcements that distributors had to report:

Viz Media

Viz announced that they have acquired home video licensing rights to the anime series Coppelion and will release the series early next year.

Aniplex of America

Aniplex announced that they will be releasing Nisekoi in a Blu-Ray box set on November 25. The set will come only with Japanese audio and English subtitles and will include the following physical extras: collectible ending card pin-ups and a deluxe poster and box designed by chief animation director and character designer Nobuhiro Sugiyama. Aniplex is accepting pre-orders of the series now.

Crunchyroll

Cardcaptor Sakura will be streamed in its entirety on the site in both subbed and dubbed formats starting on Tuesday.

Vertical Inc.

Vertical announced the acquisition of another artbook with artwork from Makoto Shinkai called A Sky Longing for Memories. The artbook will have 160 pages and will be released in May 2015, being priced at $34.95.

Funimation

Mandatory Network

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