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I had every intention of waiting for this particular flashback to end before taking steps to review its intricacies, mostly because a number of the earlier chapters were so uneventful.

However this is starting to feel less like a basic flashback and more like a mini arc of its own, which isn’t a bad thing, granting us the opportunity to understand and follow the progress of this character formally presumed to be the god of the Magi world.

And besides, the past few chapters have been quite action packed, going about laying open all the secrets of the Magi world, so many little details that we (or at least I) paid little heed to but which are suddenly proving to be quite important to the structure of the Magi universe.

THE CHAPTERS:

Young Solomon attempts to break away from the evils of his Father David, in his attempts to unite the world under the teachings of Illah, resisting the campaigns of the orthodox authorities with the assistance of a select few helpers, magicians in their own right, whose names later take on greater significance as the various DJinn of the current Magi world.

MY THOUGHTS:

I have to say that Shinobu Ohtaka’s art has faltered somewhat in some of these recent chapters, especially during battle scenes, where some panels came off as somewhat messy, making very little sense in others. And while I have come up against these faults before in Magi, they have never affected my enjoyment of the series as they did with this flash back.

A flash back that is actually so much more fleshed out than I thought it would be; if these past few chapters have achieved one thing, it has been to allow us a true glimpse into life as it was before the great catastrophe of Alma Toran, presenting the various Djinn as they were before acquiring their current status.

Does this really change events on the ground though? I would say, yes. After all we see what humanity was like before acquiring magic, that they were little more than insects to be hunted by the monsters that roamed Alma Toran, that they were granted power by Illah because they more than anyone else knew what it felt like to be weak and would know best how to temper their greed; that these same humans went about doing to other species what was done to them.

Looking back on those events, the current stand off fares no different; you have two rulers in Kouen and Sinbad, one seemingly righteous and another evil, but both wanting the best for their world and both doing whatever it takes to achieve peace, even bringing about great war.

Aladdin stands in the place of Solomon, a true seeker of peace, one that will see the races united on an equal playing field, with no interest in ruling, but only looking for the best in his comrades and enemies; well, maybe comparing Aladdin to Solomon is a bit of a stretch, because Aladdin is indeed much more innocent and pure than his comrades.

Yet only because he doesn’t have the power that Sinbad has; which Solomon also possessed, so greatly endowed with skill and magic that many around him where ready to worship him; just like Sinbad who dazzles everyone he meets. And while Solomon saw his own short comings and gathered people around him to keep him in check, Sinbad seems to have lost his way a long time ago.

So maybe Sinbad is truly Solomon’s incarnation; because we know things went wrong in Solomon’s utopia; he too must have fallen. And why wouldn’t Aladdin then reveal these events to the most powerful persons in the world, if he can see them slowly starting to repeat the mistakes of Alma Toran.

+The primary goal of this flashback seems to be to flesh out the grand characters of the current magi world, and it is doing a hell of a job, laying out the secrets of the world’s creation, the various beasts that inhabited the planet before humans, the source of the DJinn equip theory, the mechanisms behind Magoi and rukh control, even providing a glimpse at the early life of what must only be Gyokuen.

I mean, we all agree that Sheba is Gyokuen, right? Who else could she be? And why place so much focus around her if she is not growing up to be the great evil of the Alma Toran world? We saw just how nasty she was as a child. That genocidal hate doesn’t go away after just a few years and even Solomon commented on seeing that rage hiding about behind her eyes.

Will she be the one to bring Solomon to his knees? Or does his downfall connect somewhat to the works of his father, David, in bringing about the death of their god, who we can guess will become the source of black rukh and that ‘father’ thing we witnessed in the previous arc.

So many questions littered among so many answers being provided in these chapters. Following the conclusion of Aladdin’s little show and tell, I cannot wait to witness the reaction among his guests, Kouen and Sinbad most of all.

IS this really the beginning of war? Will Alibaba really betray Sinbad? Because for all his deviousness, we know Sinbad stands as the more righteous of the two. Is Yunan a descendant of the mother dragons? And how about the Fanalis and their connection to the red lions, one of the two earliest inhabitants of Alma Toran?

Note: Has anyone read chapter 222.5 of Magi? Because I think Hiro Mashima needs to have a read of what is essentially a five page chapter special, which somehow manages to drastically progress the Magi story .

Hiro, this is how you do a manga special, one that takes an already complex story and further entangles it, allowing David’s time line to intertwine with the current world, giving us a glimpse at the master plan of his intentions, an inkling of the insight he possessed in foretelling the events of the current Magi world and taking steps to manipulate events to his own end.

Five pages; and all Hiro presents us in his 20 something page specials are stories about missing cats and the like. Really, Hiro?

RATING: 6/10, The Alma Toran Arc has been all but flawless, introducing a wealth of well developed and highly entertaining characters; and if not for the sometimes wonky art, these chapters would have had a higher rating.

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THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS CHAPTERS 73.5-74 REVIEW: THE BOND BETWEEN FAIRIES.

Wow, as skeptical as I was about this particular flashback, King’s story turned out to be quite impressive, not only in the manner in which it was told but its implications and how it all finally came to an end.

Nanatsu No Taizai is fast becoming one of my favorite weekly manga series.

THE CHAPTERS: Harlequin and Helbrum come face to face with human nature and are forever changed.

MY THOUGHTS:

That one line more or less describes what Deadly sins tried to accomplish in these two chapters, bringing forth the negative and positive sides of humanity, each of which goes on to shape the lives of these two ancient characters.

Admittedly it took me a while to wrap my head around chapter 73, mostly because the representation of time didn’t make sense to me. Only after some thought did the pieces finally fall into place, regarding what happened when.

What allowed both chapters to stand out so was how they both finally came to a close, or rather the decisions King made at the end of each chapter, both ending with a confrontation between two good friends, in which King took a most difficult decision.

One might say that the chapters allowed King to finally blossom, at least in the eyes of the readers, finally revealing the royalty within him, not only through the sacrifice he finally had to make but the difficult decisions he swallowed for the sake of the his friends and subjects.

I will say this, that King hasn’t looked more regal than he did in these chapters, finally delivering royal punishment; and even with this battlefield finally wrapped up, it doesn’t seem like we will be retreating back to Meliodas’ side anytime soon.

But I can’t say that I mind; I for one still hold some curiosity over King and the events that brought him, Diana and the rest of the deadly sins together. Clearly he didn’t actually serve out his 1000 year sentence.

It is disturbing how little interest I hold in Elizabeth and her fate; truth be told she has never been the most interesting character.

RATING: 5/5, The Seven Deadly Sins seems to have found that perfect balance of insane action and depth of story, sort of like Magi, now that I think about it.

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Hello everyone and welcome to this week's manga releases. This blog was one of Sora_thekey's project back in Anime Vice where he informs folks about weekly manga releases in the states. This is our way of encouraging folks to support the industry.

For this week, I'm only familiar with Watamote after seeing only the anime version. I love the anime. The manga is on my wish list. Other manga series I'm interested is Animal Land, Bunny Drop, and Flowers of Evil. Being a big fan of Zatch Bell, I didn't know Makoto Raiku did another series. I'm curious about Animal Land. I chose Bunny Drop because it was an anime series that Sora loved. I'm not much of a slice of life fan, but there are some series in the genre I loved, Sket Dance and Pet Girl of Sakurasou. Of course, Flowers of Evil was the dark horse anime series back in 2013. I still haven't seen the anime or read the manga, but it was popular back in my community. I seen the anime screenshots with the infamous retroscope.

All comments are welcome. I would love your two cents on these series. What series are you interested in? Thank you.

Sources

Note: This time, I posted in Comic Vine first since Anime Vice's image uploading is lagging. Plus, it would be interesting to see how the list looks like from being pasted from CV in AV. I did the opposite way for the last Quick Picks.

Thanks to PikaHyper for uploading this week's manga releases.

For the Light Novels, I have to add them in AV's database later.

Manga

Animal Land Vol. 9
  • Distributor: Kodansha Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $10.99
With the fate of the entire animal kingdom at stake, Taroza and his friends tackle the dreaded Tower of Babel and its cohort of monstrous chimera guardians. They were prepared for a fight, but were they expecting to see... humans?The tragic past behind the tower's purpose is brought to light, and Taroza's leadership ability is tested when he must choose between the greater goal and the lives of his friends...

Bunny Drop Vol. 10

  • Distributor: Yen Press
  • Suggested retail price: $14

As Rin and Daikichi embark on a new kind of life together, this collection of vignettes takes a trip down memory lane: Snapshots of Daikichi's chaotic life immediately after taking in Rin, his evolution from bachelor to parent, and his growing understanding of his duties not only to Rin, but also to his parents. Kouki's childhood with Rin, his time as a young delinquent, and the story behind his scar. Masako's struggles with the decision to give up her child, and her fateful meeting with her future husband. Like looking through an old photo album, these unique stories of the unlikely pair of Rin and Daikichi and their friends and family are colored into exquisite detail in this final volume of Bunny Drop!

Higurashi: When They Cry - Festival Accompanying Arc 4

  • Distributor: Yen Press
  • Suggested retail price: $18.99

At last, after countless failures, Rika has exposed Takano's mad plot to destroy the village of Hinamizawa for the sake of her and her grandfather's research. Barricading herself in Irie Clinic, Takano draws her allies in close even as Rika and her friends organize a siege outside the facility. Takano's cleverness has allowed her to elude capture in every other world. Will Rika find a way to defeat her would-be murderer and reclaim her life beyond the Cotton Drifting? This final confrontation will decide ...

Inu x Boku SS Vol. 3

  • Distributor: Yen Press
  • Suggested retail price: $11.99

The residents of Ayakashi Hall decide to make a time capsule and bury it on the grounds, so everyone writes letters to their "future selves" to be included within. As Ririchiyo composes her letter, she reflects on her time with Soushi, realizing how much she has grown with the fox at her side. But when those heartfelt feelings are accidentally delivered not to her future self but to Soushi, Ririchiyo's budding social skills will be put to the test! Is she ready for a face-to-face confession of her true feelings?!

Watamote Vol. 3

  • Alias: No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!

  • Distributor: Yen Press
  • Suggested retail price: $11.99
Mokocchi's second semester of high school has only just begun, but already it's taken a turn for the worst, as the dreaded tradition of seat changing lands her smack-dab in the middle of the cool kids' action. As if dealing with their not-so-subtle barbs wasn't bad enough, this time in the school year is overflowing with social events, including the most notorious and legendary of them all: the cultural festival! How will poor Mokocchi survive?!

Umineko When They Cry Episode 3: Banquet of the Golden Witch

  • Distributor: Yen Press
  • Suggested retail price: $21.99

Determined to secure a place of respect within the Ushiromiya family, Eva stretches her wits to their limit and successfully solves Beatrice's riddle! There is more than enough gold in the family fortune to ease everyone's financial woes, but Eva has no intention of sharing her findings with her siblings.

Eva has claimed more than Beatrice's gold - she has claimed also the role of "Beatrice the Golden Witch" for herself! And there are still nine nights that each demand a sacrifice be carried out...

Bride of the Water God Volume 15

  • Distributor: Dark Horse Comics
  • Release date: 04-23
  • Suggested retail price: $9.99

Mui and Soah's attempts to live happily in the human world are complicated by Soah's former fiance and his sister, who quickly falls in love with the powerless Mui and vows to steal him from Soah! What's worse, Mui's curse makes him revert to his childlike form whenever Soah is near!

Light Novels

Spice & Wolf Novel 11 (Side Colors II)

  • Distributor: Yen Press
  • Suggested retail price: $8.99

Side Colors II departs once more from Lawrence and Holo's travels north, taking the reader off the beaten path to explore three exquisite side stories. Remember, it's not so much about the destination as it is the journey...

Sword Art Online Novel 1: Aincrad Part 1
  • Distributor: Yen Press
  • Suggested retail price: $9.74
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I'll finish this QP tomorrow. Sorry everyone, AV is glitching pretty badly with the images.

Eureka Seven - Part 1 (Blu-Ray)
Eureka Seven - Part 1 (Blu-Ray)
  • Suggested retail price: $44.98

For Renton, every day's the same. Nothing happens, nothing changes. He goes to school, he goes home. The only thing that keeps him happy is lifting on his ref board. Then one day, a giant mecha called an LFO comes crashing down on him - literally. Inside is the most beautiful girl he has ever seen!

The thing is, the girl is on the run from the military with her stolen mecha, and she's brought trouble with her. Renton will have to summon up all his courage to face his childhood hero; get the girl he's hopelessly smitten with to like him; and - oh yeah - live up to the legacy of his father who saved the world. But hey, at least it's not boring anymore.
Special Features: Episode Commentary (see list), Interviews with Japanese Voice Actors Yuko Sanpei (Renton) and Kaori Nazuka (Eureka) Parts 1 & 2, Interview with Japanese Voice Actors Keiji Fujiwara (Holland) and Michiko Neya (Talho) Part 1, Interview with English Voice Actor Stephanie Sheh (Eureka), Interview with English Voice Actor Johnny Yong Bosch (Renton), Interview with English Voice Actor Crispin Freeman (Holland) Part 1.

Episode Commentaries:
Episode 1: Yuko Sanpei (Renton) & Kaori Nazuka (Eureka)
Episode 7: Yuko Sanpei (Renton), Kaori Nazuka (Eureka), & Mamoru Miyano (Moondoggie)
Episode 13: Yuko Sanpei (Renton), Kaori Nazuka (Eureka), & Shigenori Yamazaki (Dominic)
Episode 15: Yuko Sanpei (Renton), Kaori Nazuka (Eureka), Akio Nakamura (Matthieu), & Mayumi Asano (Hilda)
Episode 20: Yuko Sanpei (Renton), Kaori Nazuka (Eureka), & Keiji Fujiwara (Holland)
Episode 20: Yuko Sanpei (Renton), Kenichi Yoshida (Character Designer), & Masayuki Miyaji (Storyboard Artist)
Eureka Seven - Part 1 [Limited Edition] (Blu-Ray)
Eureka Seven - Part 1 [Limited Edition] (Blu-Ray)
  • Distributor: FUNimation Entertainment
  • Suggested retail price: $49.98
hghghSpecial Features: Episode Commentary (see list), Interview with Japanese Voice Actors Keiji Fujiwara (Holland) & Michiko Neya (Talho) Parts 2 & 3, Interview with English Voice Actor Crispin Freeman (Holland) Parts 2 & 3, Interview with English Voice Actor Kate Higgins (Talho).

Episode Commentaries:
Episode 27: Yuko Sanpei (Renton), Kaori Nazuka (Eureka), Jurota Kosugi (Charles), & Aya Hisakawa (Ray)
Episode 32: Yuko Sanpei (Renton), Kaori Nazuka (Eureka), & Ami Koshimuzu (Anemone)
Episode 36: Yuko Sanpei (Renton), Kaori Nazuka (Eureka), Eriko Kigawa (Maeter), & Fumie Mizusawa (Gidget)
Episode 39: Yuko Sanpei (Renton), Kaori Nazuka (Eureka), Yasunori Matsumoto (Stoner), & Taro Yamaguchi (Hap)
Episode 43: Yuko Sanpei (Renton), Kaori Nazuka (Eureka), & Koji Tsujitani (Dewey)
Episode 50: Yuko Sanpei (Renton), Kaori Nazuka (Eureka), Kazuhiro Wakabayashi (Sound Director), & Tomoki Kyoda (Director)
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Matsutaro is an asshole. That's all i can really call him at this point because the show doesn't wan't to show him any other way. I can understand an opening episode where you see this jerk character but slowly you start to learn why he's a jerk or at least find something appealing about him that makes you want to learn more about the character. You know, something to make you actually care about the person you're watching. But three episodes in i don't know why i should give a crap anymore.

So the story behind Matsutaro is that he's this 30 something year old guy whose still in middle school (No seriously, middle school) who just acts like the biggest jerk. He starts off with some simple stuff, cheating on a test, assaulting a teacher, hitting on a teacher. But then it ramps up into some really douche bag stuff, kicking a dog, splashing some old ladies with water, he even steals some candy from an actual baby. At that point i could have sworn this had to be some kind of joke, he has to get his butt kicked at some point to give him an attitude adjustment. Which does happen in episode 2 where he literally gets slapped in the face by a sumo wrestler.

And then in the next episode he immediately fights and beats a professional sumo wrestler.

What even more unbelievable is how other characters act around him. We get a feel from the first episode that folks just deal with his shenanigans since he doesn't seem to bother anyone beyond acting like a jerk, but then by the end of episode he crashes a car into a bath house and gets arrested. By the next episode he's bailed out of jail by one his teachers who then resigns because she feels responsible.

How is she responsible, she didn't crash a car into a bath house. But whats even weirder is that one of his other teachers goes out of his way to get Matustaro a job which takes up the whole episode and through the whole thing he doesn't take any of them because he doesn't like them. And then by the third episode, after beating the sumo, he gets offered by several different sumo managers to go work for him and give him anything he wants. It's by this point i should be actually caring about what happening in the story but the main character is so legitimately bad that it makes me question why i even want to keep watching.

But for some reason i do, i actually want to see what happens next.

Maybe its because i want to see if this show could get any worse or at least see if their isn't anything a little redeemable about this. But it wouldn't suprise me if it didn't.

My judgement: Ignore it. There isn't enough here to put the effort into it, but i'm going to keep watching, since i'm already in the thick of it.

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Every season, folks like you and me are going around the net looking for what the must see anime of the season. You don't want to waste your time on something that may turn out to be crap, its understandable. But i personally believe you can't judge a show based on it first episode. Some may be amazingly impressive or just lackluster, but sometimes that's because things haven't been ramped up or you haven't seen all the characters yet, there's only so much you can fit in 30 minutes. So i thought i would give my 2 cents, if its worthy any, on the first three episode of an anime i'm watching and give my opinion on it. I'm not a personal critic nor do i have the tact to give objective opinion on something beyond "Well this sucks or this is cool". But if you feel up to reading some random dribbles of a guy who watches anime. Then give it a shot.

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I have been meaning to create a guide and a hub thread for new wiki editors because I get PMs from new wiki editors from time to time. This is more effective way of answering questions rather than talking person to person each time.

Note: I'm at school, and I still have papers to write. I'll complete this project soon. Right now, I'm laying down the links as foundation. I'll flesh out an article at the end of the day.

Staff's Resources

  • Animevice FAQ - wiki, forums, mods - Created by Ethan
  • Site FAQ - Created by the former Whiskey Media staff
  • Wiki Main Image Rule - Created by Ethan - It's outdated due to the current policies that wiki mods enforce. There is a current gridlock between old and new wiki mods. There will be a new image policy soon.
  • New Rules: No Hentai Images - Created by Ethan to prohibit images with explicit sexual content. However, I did had a misunderstanding at first until Daniel cleared it up for me. We do allowed nudity on the site if it doesn't have sexual content (IE: sexual intercourse). It's up the mod's call to moderate said images. Nudity is only allowed in the episode pages but not the character pages, forums, and anywhere else.
  • Plagiarism

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These links below here will direct you to place a request in regards to wiki editing.

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Plot

Rei Ogami doesn’t have a problem with killing. As a Code:Breaker—a super-powered assassin employed by a secret government organization—he works outside of the law, existing in the gray area between right and wrong. When Rei gets an assignment, criminals are cremated in a blaze of blue fire. That is, until a classmate named Sakura witnesses his fatal flames in action and makes it her mission to keep him from killing again.

As Sakura becomes entrenched in Rei’s world of cruelty, mayhem, and violence, the line between good and evil begins to blur. When another Code:Breaker goes rogue and the remaining assassins assemble, murder might be the only way to make things right.

Cast

CHARACTER – ACTOR

SAKURAJackie Ross
OGAMIMicah Solusod
AOBAJād Saxton
SATOAaron Roberts
KANDALydia Mackay
PRIME MINISTERBen Phillips
HITOMIDavid Matranga
TOKITodd Haberkorn
GOTOKUSonny Strait
YUKIJerry Jewell
MOTHER YUKIMorgan Garrett
NENENECherami Leigh
YUKIHINAEric Vale
HACHIOJIJessica Cavanagh
HEIKEJ. Michael Tatum

CREW

ADR Director – Colleen Clinkenbeard

ADR Engineer – Stephen Hoff, Alyssa Galindo

Sources

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It has been quite a few weeks since I last read Fairy Tail; and I can’t say it was a bad decision, reading a large chunk of this arc in one go. Admittedly previous disappointments by Hiro continue to persist; but I guess it is still difficult to read Fairy Tail without admitting how entertaining it can be.

THE CHAPTERS: Having survived elfman’s treachery, the fairies invade Tartaros, engaging in a battle for their friends, their guild and the future of magic on their continent.

MY THOUGHTS:

Reading these ten chapters of Fairy Tail resulted in some mixed feelings on my part. On the one hand I was certainly thrilled and entertained. On the other hand, there were SO MANY MOMENTS that irritated the hell out of me. And these issues go back to all those complaints I raised about Nakama power in a separate post.

Like I said, it irks me how fairy tail will basically cheat in favor of the good guys in order to hand them an undeserved victory. There was one moment when Natsu and Lucy were fighting that Hades look alike; and as they were screaming about how they wouldn’t let the demon steal their souls, despite the fact that he was doing just that, I couldn’t help but think about how well that scene exemplified Fairy Tail’s problem.

Certainly it was Lucy that eventually came to the rescue; yet if she hadn’t we both know Natsu would have spouted some nonsense about willfully forcing his soul back into his body, despite the strength of his opponent’s power. Even having broken away from Fairy Tail for a few weeks, that side of the series still irks me.

A manga starts a story by laying down the law of its land; where power ups at least attempt to overcome those rules in the most linear way possible, stories like Fairy Tail flout them. Certainly it was stated at a certain point in the story that action A isn’t possible, but this is Fairy Tail we are talking about. They can do what they want with magic no matter the restrictions; after all they are the indomitable invincible giants of their series.

With that precedence in mind, where exactly does Hiro expect to draw his tension from?

And that is the crux of my problem with these ten or so chapters. No matter how awesome some of these moments got, at no point in time was I at the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. Because we all knew Wendy wasn’t going to die-someone was obviously going to swoop in at the last moment. We all figured Natsu wouldn’t be losing his soul, and obviously MIrajane wouldn’t fall to her opponent’s tricks.

So here are the simple facts; having fought against THE MOST POWERFUL DARK GUILD IN THEIR WORLD, Fairy Tail is going to somehow come out of that battle WITHOUT A SINGLE CASUALTY. Then again, how can I be so surprised. We are talking about a guild that fought seven dragons and came out more or less unscathed.

It is for this reason that the tower of heaven is still his best arc yet, and he has yet to do anything as good. And that is because none of Hiro’s stories every really have any payoffs. And at least Tower of Heaven managed to introduce some depth to the series, some semblance of a payoff (but with none the less zero character development).

+Highlights: Dragon Force Wendy was awesome. I cannot be the only one who was pleasantly surprised that Hiro actually allowed Wendy to shine, without having Natsu ride in to the rescue. Admittedly that same chapter would have been a great opportunity for HIro to introduce some casualties to this conflict but… like I said, no pay offs.

-Almost every battle in these chapters was structured impressively, quite dynamic in not only displaying the resilience of the fairies but the strength of the demons. And that had been the greatest failing of this arc since its beginning, presenting Zeref Demons that were, in all honesty, ridiculously weak.

For all intent and purpose, I can say that Hiro redeemed most of them; and truth be told I really cannot complain about Wendy’s victory, or even Natsu and Lucy’s win, not even Gray taking down that one demon with one strike.

If there is anything these chapters failed at, it was instilling in me any level of anxiety, and that comes down to all that Hiro has done in the past; Fairy Tail has become too predictable for me to truly invest myself into its progress. Hence, you take away that nail biting anxiety one gets from a really good story, and Fairy Tail loses a large chunk of its credit in my eyes.

RATING: I will break this singular rating down into categories, because my overall rating isn’t that flattering.

-Action- 8/10, dynamic, fast paced, well choreographed.

-Art-8/10, while bland in some places, quite amazing in others.

-Character Development- 1/10, typical sappy Fairy Tail, replacing actual solid character development for worthless tearful speeches about Nakama.

-Story-5/10, a little torn on this one; like I said, Fairy Tail is now way too predictable.

Overall Rating: 4/10

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After wrapping up with Freezing: Vibration, Strike the blood was really the worst anime to follow it up with, not really as bad as Freezing but far from stellar viewing.

But maybe i should have expected this. There are certain genres of anime that simply turn me away, the first being slice of life, which i almost never bother with, except for that one anime whose name i forget about some guy that adopts his grandfather’s daughter from an illicit affair-and up to this day i have no idea how it happened that i ever sat down to watch it even knowing what it was, despite the fact that i enjoyed it immensely.

Slice of life series just turn me off completely, stories i know i will not enjoy and always reject watching or reading. Shoujo and Harem come in a close second. Shoujo i might touch once in a while, depending on the story, but Harem i ignore almost completely, mostly because anime and manga in this genres is always predictable, almost like all the writers are following a similar blue print.

Strike the Blood is harem, and the moment i saw that description, i knew what to expect, so maybe i shouldn’t have been too disappointed with what i watched.

THE PLOT:>

The Fourth Primogenitor—the world's strongest vampire, should be no more than a legend. Yet once, long ago, rumour has it that this being of myth manifested in Japan, accompanied by twelve Kenjuu and spreading calamity, a phantom of destruction.

It’s with this knowledge in mind that the government and the Lion organization decided to dispatch the Sword Shaman, this special attack mage, chosen for a mission of observation and then possibly obliteration taking the shape of the apprentice Himegari Yukina.

In possession of the anti-primogenitor spirit spear, Yukina is said to have arrived in the Demon District, Itogami City. What is the true identity of the Fourth Primogenitor, Akatsuki Kojou, whom she encountered over there?

MY REVIEW:>

Is this really what all harem series are about, a male protagonist who might or might not be clueless about his objective in life, slowly but surely attracting the attention of every strong female character that he encounters, each of whom then spends the rest of the series vying for his adoration?

I don’t get it? What’s the appeal? Because STB pretty much followed this formula. Not that Koujo didn’t exactly deserve the female attention he was garnering…actually that was just it, it didn’t really feel like he was doing anything to deserve it.

And that isn’t the only thing turned this show off for me. Strike the Blood had potential, i think; truth be told i remember coming across this anime and thinking the title sounded cool, so maybe i wasn’t too discerning in choosing the anime in the first place.

Anyway, Strike the blood:

+ The primary protagonist- irritated me, and not in that obvious manner that you would find in someone like Shiro from Fate/Stay night. I mean, i don’t need my main characters to be super humanly flawless in all that they do, but koujo felt like the only ordinary fellow in a group of extra ordinary individuals.

He was ordinary without being bland, his existence characteristic of some random support character in any other anime series, a supposedly all powerful immortal vampire that spent a considerable amount of time getting his ass kicked, very passive, continuously stumbled upon situations rather than wilfully getting involved, spouted a lot of cliché shonen lines in trying to justify any unnecessary anger he displayed and… okay all these are starting to seem like rather insufficient reasons for me to dislike him.

So let’s just conclude that Koujp was largely lacking as the main character of an anime series.

+The concept- was kind of dumb to me, a series about a super powerful fourth progenitor that was barely average in ability, vampires that didn’t possess anything characteristic of the undead; a number of very vague reasons to engage in unnecessary combat.

Strike the blood wasted way too many opportunities, introduced a ton of would be intriguing elements that it made no attempts to elucidate upon or inject into the story in any meaningful way, like the Lion something something Organization, the church, war dancer something, the witch of the void.

And did i mention that this show was about the fourth progenitor. They could have placed some effort into really exploring what that meant, at least allow us a glimpse of the other progenitors in action, to enable us to understand just what set a progenitor apart, because at least then we could allow Koujo the excuse of being an premature progenitor, maybe explaining why he was so weak.

And what was with those brief flash backs we got at the start that supposedly explained what happened to Koujo and how he became what he is now, which they did nothing what so ever to explore?

Basically, what was with all those unexplained unexplored elements of the story? Maybe Strike the blood is a sequel to some anime i didn’t know about which explained most of these elements, because that would explain the vagueness.

+Characters- the cast was largely unnecessary to the story, existing only to create the illusion of real life; and real life must be filled with all sorts of unimportantpersons surrounding a core essential individual, which Koujo wasn’t by the way.

I get the One piece message, when it tries to explain to me why people seem to flock around Luffy. Koujo comes off as a random piece of meat that is important for no logical reason (again, i don’t think they explained the threat of the fourth progenitor well enough).

--Positives- i will admit, i normally hate the female leads in anime of the genre as STB. But Yukina was okay, if not a little irritating during her mini spurts of jealousy.

And…okay i wanted to say something positive about the action, but i can’t. Now Strike the Blood’s action scenes i can call bland, nothing special, which is an area where i thought the anime would excel. Again, no serious attempts to explain the concept of familiars, homunculus and the nature of characters like Astarte.

VERDICT: lazy, that’s what Strike the blood was, not nearly as interested in explaining itself as it should have been, and as a result a lot of the dialogue was gibberish, with characters spouting all sorts of nonsensical terms and words regarding concepts they hadn’t bothered to explain, mother system this, angel faux that…

Does that mean it was total crap? No. It was entertaining; i can’t say that i was having a great time watching it; rather it passed the time well enough, worth checking out in fact, because i think there are some people out there that might enjoy it.

But its far from quality anime.

RATING: 5/10, i really wish there was more vampire to Koujo, because, minus the blood sucking, he was just another Pokémon summoning high school kid.

Anyway, what did you think of Strike the blood? Worse than i described it, or better than am giving it credit for? Leave your comment below. I personally place it miles above Freezing.

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FUNimation announced a BD/DVD combo set on July 8.

Plot

Every day an epic struggle rages in grocery stores across Japan—the battle for half-priced bento boxes! Once the discount stickers go on, ravenous brawlers start throwing punches in a knockdown, drag-out war over who gets to take home the cheap eats. When a young, broke high school student named Sato joins the Half-Priced Food Lovers Club, he proves to be a rising talent in the world of insane food fights. But does he have what it takes to become the king of clearance cuisine? From the director of Black Cat comes a very different type of hunger games. Welcome to the world of Ben-To,where chopsticks are lethal weapons, the supermarket is a battleground, and there's nothing more delicious than a deep-fried win.

Cast

Lead Cast

  • Sato – Austin Tindle
  • Shaga – Morgan Garrett
  • Yarizuri – Trina Nishimura
  • Oshiroi – Felecia Angelle

Supporting Cast

  • Shiraume – Tia Ballard
  • Nikaido – Ian Sinclair
  • Endo – Chris Rager
  • Uchimoto – Keith Kubal
  • Yamahara – Josh Grelle
  • Dando – Patrick Seitz
  • Aburashin – Christopher R. Sabat
  • Kaneshiro – Marcus D. Stimac
  • Asebi – Lindsay Seidel
  • Matsuba – Caitlin Glass
  • Goatee – Scott Freeman
  • Sawagi President – Kara Edwards
  • Sawagi Vice President – Anastasia Muñoz
  • Heracles – Clifford Chapin

Sources

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Plot

Something sinister is growing in Academy City. The shadows are filled with whispers of a project to clone one of the super-powered students known as espers. High-ranking master of electricity Mikoto Misaka laughs off these stories until she comes face to face with a copy of herself. The duplicates are real, and are being mass-produced from Misaka's DNA, making each one of them a little piece of her.

These clones—her sisters—are being systematically murdered in a series of experiments designed to turn a sadistic killer into the strongest esper in history. Misaka vows to save her copies and destroy the project, but this might be one fight she can't win alone. High-energy battles and intense action explode in this continuation of the Railgun series from the creator of A Certain Magical Index.

Cast

CharacterFUNimation
Shinobu NunotabaMariela Ortiz
Misaki ShokuhoTeri Rogers
Frenda SeivelunLeah Clark
Shizuri MuginoLydia Mackay
Saiai KinuhataApphia Yu
Rikou TakitsuboMegan Shipman

Sources

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  • Producer: TYO Animations
  • Release Date: March 21

Plot: A TV special and anime anime adaptation of Samurai Warriors, a franchise produced by Tecmo Koei. The anime will cover the Siege of Ueda Castle.

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  • Producer: Studio DEEN
  • Release Date: March 15

Plot: The film will play with a new "Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi ~Valentine-hen~" anime short. The short will tell a brand-new story about how four couples (including Masamune Takano/Ritsu Onodera and Zen Kirishima/Takafumi Yokozawa) spent Valentine's Day.

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Producer: Anpro

Release Date: March 26

Plot:

In the original manga by Kazuya Minekura (Saiyuki), a young gang leader named Makoto Kubota (Morikawa) takes in Minoru Tokitoh (Ishikawa), a boy with a mysterious past. Minoru has been exposed to the drug "W.A." which has transformed his right arm into a monstrous limb. The two investigate the origins of the drug that is devastating the city's underground.

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Ever since World is Still Beautiful aired, and I watched it and pick up a few things. I was pretty shocked it was adapted from a Shoujo show. What's even interesting was the couple: a young dude and a older gal. I can't help but think of shows with this type of couple. Alas, I couldn't come with any shows without looking up on the web.

With finding requests for certain "fetishes" in the The Hentai Club, compiling a list of Dudes in Distress!, and making a list of Anime Series Set in College, it would be cool to make a list of this couple since it's rare. Plus, it's a lot of fun to do while a few folks can benefit from it.

World is Still Beautiful

Plot: Nike, the fourth princess of the Rain Dukedom and one who holds the power to call forth the rain, travels to the Sun Kingdom to marry Sun King Livius for her country, despite her own reluctance. She soon discovers that the King, who conquered the world in only three years after his ascendance to the throne, is still a child!! Furthermore, for trivial reasons, he has demanded that Nike call forth the rain…!?

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  • Producer: Kyoto Animation
  • Release Date: March 13 (Episode 6)

Plot: I, Ex-Middle Two Syndrome sufferer (“Chuunibyou”) AKA Yota Togashi and current MTS sufferer Rikka Takanashi, have happily exchanged the vows of truth (we’re going out), and I am enjoying life IRL to the fullest... Or at least, I should be. Yes, I really should be. If it wasn’t for the game-changing appearance of my best friend from my previous middle school, super powerful MTS sufferer Sophia Ring SP Saturn VII AKA Satone Shichimiya! What in the world should I do now?! And thus, the battle of The Devil VS The Evil Eye begins!

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Greetings everyone, sorry for the late Quick Picks. Been working on the Movie and OVA guide after submitting the Spring 2014 Anime Simulcast Guide article to Tom this week. For this week, we have a large selection. I'm psyched for World War Blue, No. 6, and Fairy Tail. For series I haven't tried, I'm interested in Love in Hell, and Missions of Love. World War Blue is a parody of the console wars between Sega and Nintendo. I love picking up video game references. No. 6 is my favorite dystopian themed series next to Shin Sekai Yori. However, I like Shin Sekai Yori anime more than the manga due to the manga having too many fan service scenes. Fairy Tail is one of my favorite Shonen series. I'm glad to see the anime come back for this spring season.

All comments are welcome. I would love your two cents on these series. What series are you interested in? Thank you.

Sources: All plot summaries and data are from ANN's Manga Releases page. Thanks to PikaHyper for uploading the English covers. He's a cool wiki editor who contributes a ton in Comic Vine, but he also helped us Anime Vice folks back then.

Past Quick Pick Manga Threads

A Certain Scientific Railgun Volume 9
  • Distributor: Seven Seas Entertainment
  • Suggested retail price: $12.99

Welcome to a world where mysticism and science collide, and supernatural powers are derived from either science or religion. At the heart of this world is Academy City, an advanced metropolis whose population is comprised mostly of students. The majority of students are enrolled in the city’s "Power Curriculum Program," where they must learn to master their latent psychic powers. Out of several million students, only seven are deemed powerful enough to have Level 5 status.

Meet Mikoto Misaka, the third most powerful Level 5 esper in Academy City. Together with her best friend Kuroko Shirai and the other members of Judgment, a student-run law enforcement agency, Mikoto delves deep into the dark heart of the scientific sprawl she calls home, and uncovers secrets she wishes she hadn’t!

Afterschool Charism Volume 9
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $12.99

St. Kleio Academy is a very exclusive school: all of the students are clones of famous historical figures such as Beethoven, Queen Elizabeth I, Napoleon, Mozart, and Freud. All of them, that is, except for Shiro Kamiya. As Shiro struggles to adapt to this unusual campus, St. Kleio’s first graduate, a clone of John F. Kennedy, is killed. Are the clones doomed to repeat the fate of their genetic progenitors, or can they create their own destinies? And how does a normal boy like Shiro fit in?

Devils and Realist Volume 1
  • Distributor: Seven Seas Entertainment
  • Suggested retail price: $12.99

William Twining has it all: a sharp intelligence, dashing good looks, and a noble station in life. There's only one problem: he's broke. Distributor: Seven Seas Entertainment Suggested retail price: $12.99 With no way to finance his prestigious education, William decides to search through his uncle's mansion for something of value to sell. But William's logical worldview is about to take a hit, when he comes across a mystical seal which he unintentionally uses to summon a demon.

The demon's name is Dantalion, a Grand Duke of Hell, who informs the young nobleman of his destiny - that he is the new "Elector," whose sole responsibility is to appoint the next ruler of Hell in place of Lucifer. Such news might drive a lesser man mad, but not William Twining. He's a realist whose views don't allow for the existence of demons, even when scores of demonic candidates begin to knock down his door and seek his favor. None of this can possibly be real, can it? Besides, he's got bills to pay.

Dorohedoro Volume 12
  • 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.

Fairy Tail Volume 37
  • Distributor: Kodansha Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $10.99

To the surprise of no one, Natsu hasn't really thought through his plan to rescue Lucy. Along the way, they face a death trap, a team of magical executioners, and... another Lucy?! Meanwhile Erza struggles through a three-way free-for-all with the world's two other most powerful women wizards! Will the world survive Fairy Tail's attempts to save it?!

Love in Hell Volume 3
  • Distributor: Seven Seas Entertainment
  • Suggested retail price: $11.99

Love in Hell is a hilarious and irreverant new manga series that takes place in a setting that is endlessly fascinating—Hell. For fans of supernatural comedies like Rosario + Vampire, Love in Hell is sure to entertain those who like their stories devilishly naughty. Rintaro Senkawa is a regular guy in his mid-20’s who got a little drunk one night and fell to his death. But that is just the beginning of Rintaro’s story, as he finds himself unexpectedly in Hell where he meets his guide, the painfully sexy devil Koyori. Can Rintaro take his situation seriously enough to repent for the sins of his former life, or is he fated to be eternally tempted, teased, and tortured by scantily-clad devils with iron spiked clubs?

Missions of Love Volume 7
  • Distributor: Kodansha Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $10.99

Faced with the knowledge of Mami’s true feelings for him, Shigure has a choice to make...can he reject the girl who loves and needs him? When Yukina realizes the future of her missions is in peril, she decides she may have to make up his mind for him.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Shinji Ikari Detective Diary Volume 2
  • Distributor: Dark Horse Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $9.99

First rule of finding yourself in a hole: stop digging! Too bad Shinji can't seem to take that advice - not while he's in debt to the Kaji Detective Agency, while doing all the work of its lazy proprietors! And what should be a relaxing break with Rei at the aquarium turns into an embarrassing encounter with a rival.

No. 6 Volume 6
  • Distributor: Kodansha Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $10.99

In an underground cavern connected to the Correctional Facility, Shion and Rat meet the mysterious Elder, who promises to reveal the secrets of No. 6. But it turns out the grotesque origins of the Holy City are intertwined with Rat's past. Meanwhile, as No. 6 lurches to life for the Holyday, more and more citizens begins to exhibit strange symptoms...

Wolfsmund Vol.4
  • Distributor: Vertical
  • Suggested retail price: $12.99

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!

World War Blue Volume 5

Distributor: Seven Seas Entertainment Suggested retail price: $12.99

In the continent of Consume, an endless war rages between bitter rivals: the Segua Kingdom vs. the Ninteldo Empire. Upon his dinosaur steed, the stern Emperor Marcus has led the Ninteldo Empire to near-victory. Now, with the majority of Consume under its control, Ninteldo has Segua up against the ropes.

Enter a fleet-footed lad named Gear, who seeks vengeance against Ninteldo for his brother’s death. After joining Segua’s Army, Gear is enlisted in the Special Forces, due to his amazing speed. Yet the inexperienced, hasty youth may not be ready for the realities of war—or he might just become the Segua Empire’s last and greatest hope.

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... Dear lord... This is messed up! I thought this were suppose to be about card games for children!
... Dear lord... This is messed up! I thought this were suppose to be about card games for children!

Originally posted on comicsin5panels.blogspot.dk

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Welcome everyone, it's a small week of releases. Out of the 4 series, I'm looking forward to From the New World (Shin Sekai Yori). I didn't know it had a English dub. I'm curious about how the dub played out. For One Piece, I'm still waiting for them to reach Marineford, one of the best arcs in One Piece.

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.

Sources

Past Articles

DVD and Blu Ray Releases

Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent (Blu-Ray) and (DVD)
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $24.98 (Blu-Ray) $19.98 (DVD)

It's been a year since Griffith's imprisonment by the Kingdom of Midland. Once praised as the saviors of Midland, the Band of the Hawk is now on the run and on the brink of breaking apart. Much to everyone's surprise, Guts returns to the Hawks, and the search for Griffith begins!

Special Features: Production Art Gallery, Ending Theme, Japanese Trailer, Japanese TV Spots, Japanese Teaser. Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.

Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! - Season 1 Set [Premium Edition] (Sub. Blu-Ray)
  • Distributor: NIS America
  • Suggested retail price: $64.99

Mahiro Yasaka finds his quiet life thrown into chaos when he's attacked one night by a fearsome demon. Luckily for Mahiro, Nyaruko, the Crawling Chaos, has been sent by the Planetary Defense Agency to protect him. It turns out all of the creatures from Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos are in fact just aliens! Soon enough, Kuko, the Ravenous Chaos, and Hasuta, the Deity of Wind, have entwined themselves in Mahiro's life as well.

Follow Mahiro and gang as they fight for their lives, learn about love, discover intergalactic video games, and perhaps even save the world!

Contains episodes 1-12 plus a full-color artbook with episode guides, character info, and illustrations. Special Features: Clean Opening & Ending, Japanese Trailers. Spoken Languages: Japanese, English subtitles.

One Piece - Collection 9 (DVD)
  • Distributor: FUNimation Entertainment
  • Suggested retail price: $34.98

When Luffy and his mates drop anchor at the bizarre island of Long Ring Long Land, they're challenged to a Davy Back Fight by the fast-talking Foxy Pirates! The Straw Hats are no strangers to squabbles, but the sacred code of pirates decrees that this contest could cost Luffy his crew!

Next on the horizon for the Hats, it's a case of missing memories as everyone but Robin forgets they ever knew each other. Usopp is quick to claim the title of captain, and Zoro does the unthinkable by attacking Luffy! Can Robin recover the crew's lost recollections before disaster strikes?! She'd better work fast, because far greater foes lie ahead, and the Straw Hats will need all hands on deck if they hope to survive the return of Captain Foxy – and the icy arrival of Admiral Aokiji!

Contains episodes 206-229. Special Features: Episode Commentary (211, 215, 218, 229), Textless Opening & Closing Songs, U.S. Trailer, Trailers.

From the New World - Collection 1 (Blu-Ray) and (DVD)
  • Distributor: Sentai Filmworks
  • Suggested retail price: $69.98 (Blu-Ray) $59.98 (DVD)

Born into a world a thousand years in our future, Saki and her friends Satoru, Maria, Mamoru and Shun have lived their entire lives in what seems to be a perfect utopia. Not only is their small, idyllic community overflowing with clean rushing water and abundant green foliage, but almost all technology has been rendered irrelevant by the magical power of "Juryoku," the psychic ability to materialize anything one desires. But when Saki discovers a long-lost artifact from the past, the facade of their world is shattered and the cracks that split the foundation of their reality threaten to swallow them whole!

Faced with a bloody secret history of how their world really came to be and thrust into a nightmarish new paradigm, Saki and her companions are confronted with dangers they never knew existed and a series of choices that may change the fate of every intelligent creature on the planet - human and otherwise! S

pecial Features: Japanese Promos, Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation. Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.

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