Anime Vice » Blogs

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i was reading a list about really good anime and i found psycho pass and i have seen it every were so i thought it couldn't be a bad idea and it really wasn't a bad idea so watch it sometime and follow me.

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Welcome to the first conclusion to the first Tsundere Tournament in the site! I thank BigHeart711 for making the awesome banner. Upon seeing his banner, I had an idea. You seen polls and Sai Moe where folks vote on characters for their categories. I figured Anime Vice community deserves their own Tsundere Character of the year. Why not, let's do it?

Thanks to everyone who voted. I thank Vapovile for his part in setting up the tournament and randomizing our nominees. He was busy with school, so I carried out the whole tournament.

I welcome any suggestions for next year.

Shana - 1st Place

Shana is a Flame Haze contracted to Alastor, a really powerful Crimsom Lord, that helps her to defeat evil Denizens that come to our world to feed themselfs with human souls.

Haruko Amaya - 2nd Place

She is Takeru Ohyama's busty childhood friend and student at Tenbi Gakuen.

Semi-Finalists

Selnia Iori Flameheart
Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière

Quarter-Finalists

  1. Asuka Langley
  2. Taiga Aisaka
  3. Rin Tohsaka
  4. Saya Takagi
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Well, hello there, it is time for the second edition of KTC! (Yay!) Well then, today I’m going to give short descriptions of the 4, 5 and 6 Heisei Kamen Riders*

But before that let’s speak a bit about the Kamen Rider Franchise, as last time I talked about my experience with it rather than talking about the franchise itself and is for the best that you people get the proper introduction.

Shotaro Ishinomori
Shotaro Ishinomori

Kamen Rider is a series created by Shotaro Ishinomori one of the “Founding Fathers” of Anime and Manga with an immense amount of works and concepts he created as well being inspiration for hundreds of other mangakas. Among this numerous works there was one he wanted to turn into a live-action show. The show was….The Skull Man….he, you thought I was going to say Kamen Rider, didn’t you? Well then, there was a problem.

The Skullman was a bit to violent for a kids show, so Toei asked Ishinomori to alter the character a bit and make it more child friendly. Good ol’ Shotaro quickly recruited the help of a specialist…. His own son. He showed his son a group of different drafts for the main character and his son picked the one who looked like a Cyborg Grasshopper. Thus Kamen Rider was born in April 3 1971, debuting in what now is TV Asashi.

The Skull Man
The Skull Man

Kamen Rider was a smash hit and continued for a whole year, but halfway in the series the main actor (And stuntman) Hiroshi Fujioka, suffered an injury and had to be replaced. Thus Kamen Rider Nigo (2) was born. From 1971 up until 1989 the series ran with little to no interruption, taking new name every time a new rider took the helm and the enemies changed. Theses Riders are called the Showa Riders or Classic Riders and tend to share a lot of elements

Most of the Showa Riders are Cyborgs who transform by shouting Henshin and executing posses. Curiously the first Rider didn’t do the posses or gestures, as his Henshin Belt (Transformation device) was powered by wind and usually was activated when he rode his bike. Most of the Showa Riders also share the iconic Rider Kick as the finishing move, in most iterations an enemy hit by this majestic icon of Japanese culture explodes, except on Manga versions, as without the self-censoring the kicks tend to split enemies in half or punch holes through them.

The last Showa series was Kamen Rider Black RX, a continuation of Kamen Rider Black. But even if the Showa era finished there are 3 more pieces of Rider media, 3 movies in the 90’s to be precise, that are counted inside of the Showa Riders, Shin, ZO and J. We will talk more about them later.

I will explain more about the Showa Riders after I finish with the Heisei, and talking about Heisei…

Kamen Rider 555(Faiz) (2003-2004)

The 4 installment of the Heisei Riders, Kamen Rider Faiz is the obligatory “So bad is good” entry every big franchise has. Our protagonist is Takumi Inui a drifter who stumbles with a girl chases by evil monsters that consume humans as sustenance called the Orphenochs (In my humble opinion the best designed baddies of the Heisei era)

The girl, Mari, is carrying the Faiz Gear, a belt that allows individuals to turn into the really cool Kamen Rider Faiz, yet she can’t use it. Takumi can and defeats the monster. He ends up helping her and defending her as the Orphenochs attack her and the people of the town. Further down the road they meet Masako Kusaka, who holds the Kaixa Gear, another Henshin Belt.

Masako is one of the reasons this show has such a reputation. Creepy Bastard falls short to describe Kusaka; he is such a douche a whole meme holiday was dedicated to him, Kaixa Day (9/13). His antics are what make the series really bad, as nobody seems to notice he is more evil than the villains and way creepier, but it also makes the series unintentionally hilarious.

You need to watch the series to believe it.

Kamen Rider Blade (2004-2005)

Kazuma Kenzaki, member of B.O.A.R.D an organization that hunts Undead, is betrayed by his partner, Kamen Rider Garren and must find out the reason while keep the good fight against the Undead and saving people. A “neutral” Undead, Kamen Rider Chalice is also in the mix to make this cluster fuck even more difficult.

I only saw the first 14 episodes of this series. I don’t recommend it, is too damn dramatic, trying to make a really big deal out everything without any moment of character development or comedy to lighten things up. The acting is also sub-par and the designs of the suits and enemies are overcrowded with details.

Kamen Rider Hibiki (2005-2006)

Hibiki (Yes, no last name) is a member of Takeshi, a secret organization that studies and hunts Makamou (Creatures similar to Japanese Yokai, like Kappa, Bakeneko and etc) He can turn into an Oni (Yes, not a Kamen Rider) who uses pure sound, usually with a Taiko Drum, to destroy this monsters.

This series is the least Kamen Rider-ish of them all. Possibly because it was based in a non-Kamen Rider original idea Ishinomori had before he died. Hibiki is peaceful, shifts the battlefields from cities to the country side and is drenched in Japanese folklore. Hibiki could be one of the best series if not for a gross mistake Toei did.

As Hibiki wasn’t selling enough toys, even if it had even better ratings than its predecessor, the production them was fired and replaced, retooling the series halfway through, adding moronic characters, ignoring plot points and removing powers from Hibiki or the Makamou deemed to be “Scary” to children by Parents Associations.

From being a really “Metal” Rider, spewing jets of fire and releasing claws to slash down enemies Hibiki was softened, removed the tranquility and altered the story. The series finale was not well received to say the least. Yet this was a lesson Toei didn’t forget and never repeated the same mistake.

ALL HAIL MATSUDA!!
ALL HAIL MATSUDA!!

Hibiki, even with its failings is a great series, mostly because of KENJI MATSUDA…. Who I will talk more next time. This series has a really good cast, a shared protagonism between them, cool practical effects and really cool designs for the Oni. Killing enemies by piercing an electric guitar and pulling a face melting solo is epic (See it here)

Well that’s it for today, I’ll do one next weekend.

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Hello guys my name is Hana i am from greece.....

so i have a question for u....

Do u like pandora heart???

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whats up people

i am santa claus

follow me or coal i like pressijng t7rxxeeeeenter

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Hello everyone, I'm one of the wiki editors of the Fate wiki project. I have to make an announcement for the image galleries. In case, there are other Fate wiki editors out there. Since I'm the person who writes the wiki archives, it's my job to know as much as I can about our wiki editors and their projects. This is a cooperative wiki editing community. I know all of our wiki editors, solo or team, work together pretty well.

I'll be cleaning the galleries and reorganizing them each day. It's more convenient for me to do huge wiki requests and sweeps in multiple sittings.

Image Galleries

For the images, I'm going to transfer my images in chronological order. The first two were already done by previous wiki editors. I will run a check through for them.

  1. Fate/stay Night original series
  2. Fate/stay Night Unlimited Blade Works film
  3. Fate/zero
  4. Fate/kaleid season 1 and then 2
  5. Fate/stay Night Unlimited Blade Works anime series

In the Wiki Editing 101: Naming Image Galleries and Organizing Images, most wiki projects would use Anime Caps as their main image gallery. However, for extensive wiki projects who has franchises with long episode lists (such as Shonen series) and multiple story arcs and franchises with different anime remakes and spin-offs, it's best to divide the anime caps for the story arcs (for Shonen series) or by series (franchises that have remakes and spin-offs).

I'll make separate image galleries for each anime series. I have worked on Fate/zero, Fate/kaleid, and now FSN UBW anime series wiki projects' episode summaries and dealt with tons of images: deleting dupes and replacing small images.

Profile Portraits

Using Daniel Newton's project, Building a Better Wiki: Perfect Profile Portraits! [+ tutorial], I have to be careful with default images. Various Fate characters appear in main Fate series, Fate/zero series, and the spin-off series. I have to delegate profile portraits.

  • Fate/zero - Any Fate/zero exclusive characters and characters who are of the main cast.
  • Fate/stay Night and UBW - Any Fate/stay night exclusive characters and characters who are of the main cast
  • Fate/kaleid - Fate/kaleid exclusive characters

Exceptions: Gilgamesh, Kirei Kotomine, and Saber These characters appear in both Fate/zero and Fate/stay night routes.

That's all of the announcements in the wiki project for this franchise.

Please let me know if you have any questions or any suggestions.

Thank you.

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Roa P. O. V.

I ran as fast as I could, holding Luffy's hand and laughing all the way. My emerald green flying in the breeze behind me. " Go, go, go!" I yelled at Luffy to which he just laughed and pulled me into a bridal style carry towards the harbor. I pointed to a large dark ship and he grinned. In seconds, we slammed into the deck after whooshing through the air.

I hollered in exhilaration before standing and looking around. I stiffened in awareness of peering eyes and then, a rough kick was delivered to Luffy in the face. I looked over in shock immediately drawing my single long sword I had won from Mihawk, the yoru. I locked eyes with a well dressed blonde with an odd swirly eyebrow. Staring at it almost transfixed me, but I shook it off with minor odd embarrassment. His voice was softly gruff. "What are you two doing on this ship? This is the Dark Lady, not a welcome home ship to any nearby pirates. So spill, what are you doing here?" I opened my mouth to talk but was interrupted by Luffy.

"We want to join you guys! " I looked at him suddenly and glared in a mixture of rage and shock before sighing. 'Great.... Just great...'

Luffy P. O. V.

I grinned at my statement in pure friendliness. The man in front of me snorted and then broke out into laughter before sighing. " Alright, your in. I'm Sanji the first mate, the captain is off with Axel in town. You'll meet them later. Get yer ass in the lounge.... Uh.. "

I smiled wider and answered, " Luffy. Future Pirate King. And this is my best friend Roa, works best swordswoman. "

He nodded and continued on his rant, " Well Luffy, you and the ever so lovely Roa-Schwan need to get in the lounge. " I looked at him curiously, and gave him my best confused puppy look. He facepalmed and started pulling me inside the ship by my arm. I laughed childishly as Roa thrust her sword in front of Sanji's path. She made an uncommital grunt and glared at the first mate until he let go.

Then on we went inside. We sat down and began chatting happily with Sanji as if nothing happened. Over the next two hours, we ate Sanji's snacks and found out he was also the crews official cook. We met the captain Silvia and a really weird tall guy who reminded me of a demon cat. And finally, we were assigned to rooms. As I am now, its 9:00pm and I am writing by candlelight. Crap. The candles going out. Well, I hope we have fun here, me and Roa. After all, its not fun being Pirate King without a crew.

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I awoke slowly in what appeared to be a kitchen. Usually a comforting sight but not when it wasn't mine. I looked around and spotted the oddest pair of people I'd seen in awhile. Asleep at the table was a woman who had standard brunette hair and olive skin garbed in green. And staring at me from across the room was a very tall man with pale skin, blood red spiked back long hair, and glowing green cat like eyes garbed in a black cloak with a hood.

I cleared my throat to get his attention and asked somewhat rudely, "Oi! Demon! Where am I, who are you, and why am I here?!" He then pulled off the most tiger like growl I had ever heard and held up his hand, a fireball atop each fingertip. He grinned wide and sauntered over to me. " I want you, your on the Delta Pirates ship, and I am Axel. Got it memorized?" I quickly nodded and he grinned wider. "Good. Now,..." Heyo stopped mid sentence and traced a finger(from his unlit hand) through my tousled blond hair and then along my forehead. "Can you cook?"

Taken a back at the question, I stammered out a "O-of course! I'm one of the world best!" He grinned wider at this. "Your name, boy?" With a cocky smirk I stated, "Black Leg Sanji. Cook of the sea. At your service." He nodded and chuckled before burning through my ropes and setting me free. Then, the girl stood up and walked over to be in front of me. 'She was faking being asleep to spy!' She tossed her hair behind and off her shoulder before smiling gently and standing next to Axel. "Well then, you will be my cook, im your captain Silvia. This here vessel is the Dark Lady. You got all that? Better hope so." She then proceeded to walk out of the kitchen.

I turned to Axel and smirked. "So, how did she get you to join?" He looked away and answered nonchalantly, "Join or die. And my goal is to serve her until I find something very important to me. How about you? What's your goal now that you're one of us?" I hesitated before leading him to the table and sitting down across from him.

"Well.... Have you ever heard of

... The All Blue? "

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I portaled into the shadow of the small shop near the ship yard. I breathed heavily and held back a few whimpers of pain. My current situation you ask? I just got stoned for being accused of being Satan. I had barely escaped with my heartless life in tact. I had gashes all over and a twisted ankle. Joy. I limped as fast as I could to the ship yard. I found a large vessel that would do perfectly for a hiding spot. I portaled into it and ended up landing in what appeared to be a lounge. I turned around at the faint sound of....... Blades sliding on leather. 'Shit. I can't summon my chakrams or fire.'

In front of me was a woman of Standard appearance...... But I could smell her scent. It was hear less like mine. I smiled and held my arms out in indifference. As I looked at her I realized a very important lesson. All woman hate intruders, no matter the intention. How do I know that? The moment I spoke she threw knives into my chest. Fucking lovely eh? I hit the ground hard with a thud, my glazed emerald eyes closing and giving in to the spreading darkness.

I awoke on a metal table almost completely stripped save my black leather pants. Luckily, my natural body temperature of 142 F kept me from getting cold, but my head was throbbing. I looked up to see the girl from earlier glaring at me. I smiled and introduced myself, "Heyo! I'm Axel, got it memorized? By the way, its very rude to throw knives at people. And you look really angry! You need to turn that frown upside down missy." I giggled at my own joke, though I am not sure what it was. She snarled and began her angry speech to me.

"Why are you here? On my pirate ship!? " I simply couldn't stand her being mad at me! So, I did the most rational thing. I lied. " I wanna join yer crew silly! " She looked me over for a moment before smiling.

" Alright, fine. If you can still say and think that in the morning when the drugs wear off. Your in. You have a lot of gall to tempt me if you don't. " I smiled wide and giggled again." Yeah! "She just shook her head at me and walked away. Suddenly, I felt the drugs and the headache take over again, and it all faded to black.

I awoke the next morning staring the woman face to face. I smiled sheepishly and chuckled awkwardly. She nodded in return and with sudden awkwardness she asked, " Will you... Um, join my crew? " I nodded happily." Sure, ain't much else to do. Sounds like fun anyhow. "

With a smile she helped me up and said," Then welcome to the Delta Pirates. I'm your captain, Silvia. " I just nodded again. 'Well, at least I have a home this time around.'

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I ran through the streets as fast as I could. Drenched in sweat from the distance and exertion, I stopped at the docks and waved down the lead foreman. He nodded in my direction and pointed behind him revealing my beauty, my ship.

I walked aboard and admired her through and through. 4 rooms with 8 beds per room, 3 bathrooms, a large kitchen, a giant look out tower and observation house at the top, a large dining room, and tons of other rooms yet to be found and explored. I looked around the lounge by the kitchen before sitting down at the counter and sighing. "I'm filthy. Might as well try out the new luxury bath." I set my small bag of belongings on the floor and walked down the hallway leading to a large bathroom. Porcelain counter tops and gold/pearl decor. What a dream it was. I wasn't even sure I was awake yet. I was just so happy to have finally bought her.

I closed the door behind me and started to strip. I peeled off the green long coat first, then after unbuckling the straps took off my brown leather corset leaving the knives in their straps on the darn thing. Then I removed my camo tank top underneath and carefully slid off my black shorts and removed my black combat boots.

I looked into the mirror and sighed running my fingers through my long brown hair. I observed myself as a once over. Waist length brown hair, piercing green eyes, soft olive skin, and with proud smirk to boot "I ain't too bad for a souless street rat huh?" That being said, I slipped into the bath I had drawn prior to disrobing. I sank down to where only my face was above water and began to think about a name for the ship.

'This ship is my self in a way..... So it should resemble me in title'. As soon as I thought that, images from my past flashed before me. Tifa having her heart ripped out by the devil, my bleeding body atop the cliffs, my life as a souless, my self forcing men to die by boiling their blood. With a sigh and a nod, I smirked.

"Dark Lady. After all, that's what I am." I chuckled at my own joke and leaned back. "Now, to find a crew worthy enough...... To serve the queen of the living demons.... This will be fun". I licked my lips gently in anticipation of the future. "I promise Tifa....... No one will stand in my way of bringing you back".

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I sit here now by candlelight, writing now what will be my first and last journal entry. For death is upon me, well. In this life anyhow. I am the Demon of Devotion. Well, until die. I am the guardian of those who show true loyalty towards there leader. I have betrayed a friend of mine alas, so I am sentenced to rebirth at moon lights brightest hour.

I am putting down my life's story as a human and a demon until this very moment. So that I may never truly forget my journey in this immortality. I must say that when I read this again, I will certainly have a roller coaster on the way of reading it. Got it memorized?

I'll start at the very beginning, as a human. I was a frail and shy child named Lea Murphy. Son of the wealthiest family in royal garden, I was indulged with anything I could ever want..... Except love. My parents hated me for my weakness. So, I spent my life doing anything to make them love me, I lived in constant abuse and beatings at every turn for 15 years. Until, my father went to far......

He took our chakrams, the family symbol and weapons of protection and drove them through my chest and throat. Killing me violently, painfully, and slowly. Though, I still loved him and blamed myself for my own demise.

I awoke engulfed in flames, yet I didn't burn. I felt comforted and.... Loved. I had been reborn a fire demon. My body aged in the human appearance of a 23 year old. I was in a forest out side of my town of home. I was myself, older yes, In all but a few ways.

I had a red pelted firery tail and matching cat ears, also with a new enhanced set of senses, I felt powerful. Nearby me was the chakrams that had ended my old life and begun my new one. I took them and they disappeared from my hands, but I sensed them dwelling within my soul. Waiting to protect me. I smiled wide at this new life greeting it head on.

I spent the next 600 years helping those who were loyal to those they loved achieve the love they so needed and so not to follow mine own path. I loved to help these people, and I soon began to cherish certain people I met. Two of those people who did know each other were a man of 23 named Isa, and a young boy of age 7 named Zoro. I truly loved those two. And I made sure to visit them each and every day.

Until, Isa fell Ill. I tried everything I could, but nothing I knew to do would help. He was doomed to die. And I told him so, his response was that he wanted to join me as a demon and live with me forever. I of course said yes, and he and I became even more inseparable. But, I lost the will to leave isa and in doing so abandoned Zoro without explanation.

I felt awful, but isa had finally passed and as promised I met his soul in the crossroads to turn him but... He looked at me in hatred saying that he knew that I would leave him. I told him I hadn't and I changed his soul to a demons. He came back and then left the village, I grew angry and in this anger, I renounced my love and loyalty to isa by killing his wife. The other demons weren't pleased. They let me say goodbye to Zoro and wiped his memory, then brought me here. That said, we have arrived at the present. I must now say farewell to this life and hello to the next one.

Also, I am so sorry Zoro, Isa. I'll miss you......

Good bye.......

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Its my first official day of work for the young earl, and i'm so excited. I practically skipped down the stairs from my room and into the lounge. I nervously preened myself, fixing my hair, fur, and my kimono in good placement. I stood at attention when the other servants walked in wearily and almost dead on their feet. I held in my chuckles as best i could and looked up suddenly in alertness as Sebastian-Niichan walked in. He was in good attire and as alert as could be. It was to be expected though. He was "One hell of a butler.". I chuckled at my own thought of my brother favorite saying.

He clapped loudly and cleared his throat as he dished out our daily chores and duties. Mey-Rin was to clean the halls and the bedrooms, Bard was to make some breakfast and then clean up the kitchen, and Finny and I were to watch over the young master. It came to all of our great surprise when he told us, but he was going to be gone almost all day on errands. He almost never left the manor for very long unless the master was by his side. We all nodded in understanding and with that, Sebastian strided out fluidly out the hallway and only to my ability of hearing. He used his demon speed to rush out of the house.

So, over the course of today me and finny got to do all of the following:

* Help the young master get dressed

* Make A LOT of tea and snacks throughout the day

* Helped the the earl with his various different lessons

* Read to him and played chess

* Finny kept Lizzy busy while i helped young master with his manners

*and the most interesting part was at the end of the day, when i had to put master to bed by myself. (Finny also being a child still, he went to bed the same time as young master)

I had helped him get dressed into his night clothes, i had brushed his hair and teeth, and gave him warm milk before helping him into the large queen sized bed. I had shut the lights off except for the last candle, and i turned to wish him good night i saw what i never thought i would. I saw the master smiling in his sleep. I smiled in amusement and thought, ' this must be what Sebastian meant by Ciel being amusing.'. I then gently walked out of the room and defused the last flame atop of the last candle. As i made my way back to my own room, i smiled warmly having done well. I passed Sebastian on the way to my room and he gently scruffed my hair between my ears in satisfaction. He said, "You've done well for a first day.".

I am so happy to be here!

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Is there really anything to Noblesse beyond its gorgeous art?

Yes, there is a lot more to Noblesse than the impressive looking panels, chief amongst which are the great characters. But here’s the thing; if the art was all Noblesse had to offer, I would probably still read it.

Chapter 341 was just, wow. I don’t know what the heck the authors have going for them that no one else does, but Manhwa shouldn’t look this good. With the way the action scenes played out in the latest chapter of Noblesse I might as well have been watching the anime, one page at a time.

THE CHAPTERS:
Lunark and Keitan face off against the newcomers as both teams gear up to undertake their mission to capture Muzaka. RK4 continues its grueling training, that much more determined to protect their master from his own power.

MY THOUGHTS:
I love shonen manga, especially action oriented shonen manga, and Noblesse is like an overdose of shonen battle manga. The action sequences just get better with each new chapter and arc. Thinking on it, if Noblesse ever gets animated it just might end up losing this quality of art.
+The Good
Noblesse is great when its goofy, especially when it is smattering these funny elements in between the serious moments. Truth be told that is one area where the series can get campy, whenever the story gets too serious and rather clumsily attempts to display the suffering of its characters, especially for one another that results.

The last two chapters, these two chapters and the next few chapters are most likely going stick with the training; and I don’t mind, shonen gets good when allowing us to see just what our heroes must go through to get stronger.

IN Noblesse’ case its mind crushing pain as Takeo and group expose themselves to the dark spear and its soul and body consuming abilities, even as M21 confronts Karius in a fight to the death.

Where the scenes in the lab with Frankenstein managed to remain light, allowing our heroes’ personalities to shine through their anguish, M-21’s material took a more serious tone, specifically regarding M-21’s willingness to suffer for the sake of his comrades.
Again, typical shonen tropes that I none the less love reading within the Noblesse context.
+The Great
Okay I can’t emphasize enough just how great chapter 341 looked; the Noblesse secret lies, not in its crisp clean lines and backgrounds, but the way it infuses atmosphere into its scenes through subtle yet dramatic elements.

It makes for a more animated result, and Noblesse felt like it was running on all cylinders with that last chapter, especially the way it represented fluidity and motion.
+What mattered?
Well, nothing. And that is my problem. Chapter 340 was a whole load of unnecessary and very circular conversations; with characters wasting several panels saying absolutely nothing. This was most ostensible with the werewolves, with several their boisterous words and egotistical replies.

If not for Takeo’s funny scenes chapter 340 would have been a total waste; and actually it was, because the chapter felt long and yet nothing whatsoever happened, or at least not anything of note.

Chapter 341 was an action fest, so that’s something. The panels tried to remain relevant to the training theme, so much so that none of the 24 pages felt wasted, which is good. As far as story progression is concerned, M-21 has finally transformed, which means we might be done with this training business very soon.

And he looks a lot like Muzaka.

RATING: 6/10, I could have done without chapter 340; even as a means of introducing new villains, that was a lot of wasted words.
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This week's manga releases is normal size. Last week was super size! I love Deadman Wonderland, Magi, and Case Closed.

  • Deadman Wonderland is for those who can tolerate brutal violence with cool powers you see in Shonen shows. It's not for the light hearted folks.
  • Magi is a fun Shonen series with Fairy Tail fan service level that has a bit of a dark side which deals with slavery and racism.
  • Case Closed - I only seen the anime. I love it for its mystery cases and lots of romance angst.

Unfamiliar series - I still have Flowers of Evil on my to read list. It's one of the dark horse anime series back in 2013.

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.

Sources

Notes

  • Bride of the Water God Vol. 16 isn't listed on ANN. Right Stuf and Comic Stores have it listed this week. Amazon has it on Oct. 28.
  • ANN listed Magical Girl Apocalypse last week while Right Stuf has it this week.
  • Raqiya Vol. 1 and 2 are not listed on Right Stuf while ANN and Amazon has it for this week.

Manga

Ajin: Demi-Human Vol. 1
  • Distributor: Vertical
  • Suggested retail price: $12.95

High school student Kei Nagai is struck dead in a grizzly traffic accident, but immediately revives to learn that he may not be like every other human. Instead, he may be a mysterious almost immortal being granted not only the powers of rejuvination but the abilities to see supernatural beings.

Scared, Kei runs away, and is aided in his escape from society by his friend. Unfortunately for Kei, the manhunt is on and he will soon be caught within a conflict between mankind and others like him as they prepare to fight a new war based on terror.

Bride of the Water God Volume 16
  • Distributor: Dark Horse
  • Suggested Retail Price: $9.99

Life as a mortal is horrifying and hazardous for the former water god Habaek! His fragile human form has been cursed by a jealous goddess, and his vengeful mother - unaware of his sincere love for Soah - seeks to kill his human bride! While his mother wishes to pull Habaek back into the realm of the gods, another goddess simply wants to see Habaek and Soah suffer on Earth. And other envious humans and gods bring further problems to our star-crossed lovers!

Case Closed Volume 52
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $9.99

The Metropolitan Police set up a sting operation to catch a criminal who's threatened to kill a bride and groom. But before anyone can say, "I do," Conan realizes the killer is already in the wedding party...

Then, the Junior Detective League tries to solve a murder in a room where everything's a little topsy-turvy. And Rachel and Serena find a man stabbed to death at the site of a romantic scene from their favorite TV drama. Which of the hopeful lovers leaving red handkerchiefs at the scene is really a murderer?

Deadman Wonderland Volume 5
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $9.99

With their leader captured, Scar Chain's uprising is thwarted by the Undertakers. Ganta seeks training so he can learn to use his Branch of Sin powers, even though doing so will draw him further into the deadly plots brewing inside the prison. The final battle between Scar Chain and the Undertakers is coming, but who really wins when one of them loses?

Magi Volume 8
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $9.99

Alibaba's old friend Cassim has fallen to evil and transformed into a Dark Djinn that threatens everyone in Balbadd. The battle rages, and even Sinbad struggles to hold his ground as he fights alongside Alibaba against Cassim and Judar. And on the sidelines, even more enemies wait for their chance to pounce. Without Aladdin and Ugo, the forces of darkness seem to have the upper hand...

Raqiya: The New Book of Revelation Volume 1
  • Distributor: One Peace Books
  • Suggested retail price: $12.95

A truck driver loses control in the Nevada desert and leaves one family dead in an explosive crash. But there is a sole survivor, Luna Hazuki, who makes a pact with a mysterious demon to regain the happiness that was robbed from her. Seven years later she is still living with the family that was supposed to be dead. But little does Luna know that the pact she made will lead to the Apocalypse and the end of the human race. A truck driver loses control in the Nevada desert and leaves one family dead in an explosive crash. But there is a sole survivor, Luna Hazuki, who makes a pact with a mysterious demon to regain the happiness that was robbed from her. Seven years later she is still living with the family that was supposed to be dead. But little does Luna know that the pact she made will lead to the Apocalypse and the end of the human race.

Raqiya: The New Book of Revelation Volume 2
  • Distributor: One Peace Books
  • Suggested retail price: $12.95
Say I Love You. Volume 4
  • Distributor: Kodansha Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $10.99

FEAR AND BEAUTY

Surviving the first major battle in her relationship with Yamato Kurosawa, Mei feels her ties with her first-ever boyfriend are deeper than ever. But then a budding model with her eyes on Yamato moves into town, and draws the photogenic Yamato into the world of photo shoots and fashion. Now Mei has to grapple with the painful pangs of jealousy, and a creeping fear that she might be left alone yet again...

The Flowers of Evil Volume 11
  • Distributor: Vertical
  • Suggested retail price: $10.95

Bookworm Takao falls in love with Nanako, but he cannot express his feelings through words. Instead he secretively acts out in a heat of passion, which creates a huge scandal in his school. There is one person who knows his true nature, and this girl will do anything to nurture what this Charles Baudelaire hides.

Adult Releases (NSFW)

  • Amazon and Right Stuf listed Blue Morning for this week while ANN did not.
Blue Morning Volume 5
  • Distributor: Viz Books
  • Suggested Retail Price: $12.99

Still reeling from Katsuragi's confession, Akihito attends Marquise Moriyama's evening ball. There he comes face-to-face with his late father's half brother, Naotsugu. Though Katsuragi arranged the meeting with the intention of helping both Akihito and the Kuze family name, Akihito decides against giving the family over to Naotsugu, bringing Akihito to the unsettling realization that he may not fully trust Katsuragi.

Meanwhile, Katsuragi meets with Marquise Moriyama and boldly demands recompense for all that he has done.

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Welcome to the 3rd week of October! We got a small selection this week. Since Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works anime series is airing this fall 2014 season, we have the original anime series, Fate Stay Night, out this week as Blu-Ray. I definitely check that one out. For unfamiliar series, Hanasaku Iroha catches my eyes with its beautiful cover. I'm not much of a slice of life fan, but I'm willing to try anything new.

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.

Sources

Notes

  • Amazon does not list Hanasaku Iroha.

DVD and Blu Ray Releases

Fate/Stay Night - Complete Collection (Blu-Ray)
  • Distributor: Sentai Filmworks
  • Suggested retail price: $99.98

Raised by a mysterious sorcerer after the horrific death of his parents, Shiro Emiya has only just begun to help others using the small tidbits of magic that he's learned. However, when he's suddenly caught in a battle between two more powerful Magus, Shiro finds himself performing a spell above his expected ability, summoning the beautiful spirit warrior Saber to protect him! But safety is only momentary as Shiro and Saber now find themselves thrust into in a secret world of dark magic and deadly challenges: a no-holds-barred duel to the death known as the Holy Grail War!

At stake is a prize of unimaginable power, but can the inexperienced Shiro and Saber survive long enough to even enter the contest? First they'll have to withstand waves of treachery and assassination, even as Shiro scrambles to learn everything he'll need to know to stay alive as seven teams of Magus and Spirit Servants face off in mortal combat!

Contains episodes 1-24. Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.

Hanasaku Iroha the Movie: Home Sweet Home [Premium Edition] (Sub.Blu-Ray)
  • Distributor: NIS America
  • Suggested retail price: $49.99
In the days before the Bonbori Festival, Ohana's friend Yuina comes to Kissuiso for training. While cleaning up after her, Ohana discovers a logbook kept by Beans from when her mother, Satsuki, was still a youth at Kissuisso. Through the logbook, Ohana catches a glimpse of her mother's struggles, and realizes that maybe the two of them aren't so different after all. Meanwhile, the rest of the inn staff are caught up in dealing with a blackout.

This premium edition includes a 32-page, full color hardcover artbook featuring scene-by-scene director commentary, staff member interviews, concept sketches, and setting illustrations! Special Features: Original Japanese Commercials. Spoken Languages: Japanese, English subtitles.
Holy Knight (DVD)
  • Distributor: Media Blasters
  • Suggested retail price: $19.98

Shinta is a student at an elite university in Tokyo, leading an ordinary and peaceful life. One day he meets Lilith, a beautiful girl from Romania who has just transferred to the school. This encounter changes Shinta s life, as he soon finds out that he is the last living vampire slayer and Lilith is in fact a vampire, his eternal foe! In order for Lilith to live, she must conceive a child with the slayer, and then kill him. Faced with their inevitable destiny, what does the future hold?

Kill Me Baby! - Complete Collection (Blu-Ray)
  • Distributor: Sentai Filmworks
  • Suggested retail price: $69.98

Yasuna Oribe isn't your typical Japanese high school girl. For one thing, she's a little slow on the uptake, and for another, her best friend, Sonya, is actually a highly trained foreign assassin who's in Yasuna's class as part of her assignment. Though perhaps Yasuna's definition of "best friend" is a bit strange, as Sonya has the habit of regularly attacking Yasuna, especially when startled.

However, as noted, Yasuna isn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, and while Sonya knows precisely what to do with every one of those sharp objects, even she is hard pressed to deal with the day to day oddities that seem to fill their class schedule. Things like: escaped bears, voodoo curses, juggling and killer mosquitoes. And puppet shows. And just in case Yasuna's life wasn't weird or hazardous enough, there's her ninja classmate, Agiri, swarms of bees and assassins targeting just about everybody, a mysterious red-haired girl with a personal vendetta and the perils of slipping in the public bath.

Contains episodes 1-13. Special Features: Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation. Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.

Meganebu - Complete Collection (Blu-Ray) or (DVD)
  • Distributor: Sentai Filmworks
  • Suggested retail price: $59.98 (BD), $49.98 (DVD)

You don't necessarily have to wear rose-colored glasses to get a better view of the world; you just have to wear glasses! At least, that's the philosophy of Akira Souma, a high school student who breaks humanity into three kinds of people: those who wear glasses, those who don't, and girls. Akira's focus on eyewear has so framed his thoughts that he's formed a Glasses Club at Himaraya Third Technical High School with the goal of creating X-ray glasses. Fortunately, his X-ray vision inspires all his glasses-wearing (and ridiculously good-looking) friends to join as well, even if it sometimes means making a huge spectacle.

Contains episodes 1-12. Special Features: Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation. Spoken Languages: Japanese, English subtitles.

Naruto Shippūden (DVD box20)
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $44.82

As the Leaf Village prepares for war, each shinobi and clan must contemplate the role they will play in the battles to come. While Naruto's peers seek training from surprising sources, Naruto himself must confront both his biggest weakness and greatest strength – the Nine-Tailed Fox.

To reach optimum power, Naruto must learn to control the beast within him, so he seeks help from the one person who has mastered just that, Killer Bee! But the Jinchuriki of Eight Tails wants nothing to do with training Naruto!

Contains episodes 245-257. Special Features: Storyboards, Clean Opening and Endings. Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.

Naruto Triple Feature (DVD)
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $19.97
This collection contains the Naruto movies Ninja Clash, Stone of Gelel, and Crescent Moon!

Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow
Naruto and his team are sent on a mission to guard Yukie Fujikaze, a popular actress starring in the hit movie "The Adventures of Princess Gale." The crew is heading toward the Land of Snow, a land forever covered in snow, to shoot the final scenes of the film. When Yukie refuses to go and escapes from the set, she is brought back by force by Naruto and his teammates. But little do they know there are three rogue Snow Ninja lying in wait with a sinister purpose that forces Yukie to make a crucial decision and face her hidden past.

Legend of the Stone of Gelel
Naruto, Shikamaru and Sakura are in the middle of the easiest mission ever, when a young knight, Temujin, attacks them out of nowhere! Soon they are drawn into a fierce struggle over a treasure harboring legendary power – the Stone of Gelel. Temujin's master wants to use the stone's power to create a utopia, while the last of the clan who once controlled the stone wants to keep it sealed away forever. When the dream of utopia becomes a nightmare, it'll take a ninja to set things right!

Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom
Naruto, Sakura and Kakashi team up with Rock Lee to protect Prince Michiru and his son Hikaru on their return home to the Crescent Moon Kingdom. Easy enough, until the royal family becomes a royal pain! Prince Michiru can't help indulging his son, even buying him a circus along the way! Naruto has a tough time putting up with both the spoiled Hikaru and a saber-toothed tiger, but the real adventure begins when they reach the Land of the Moon and find themselves facing a villainous uprising. Does Naruto have what it takes to save an entire kingdom?

Special Features: Hidden Leaf Village Grand Sports Festival Special Footage, On-Screen Naruto Guide, Audio Commentary, Trailers.

Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX - Season 1 (Dub.DVD)
  • Distributor: New Video Group
  • Suggested retail price: $44.99
Set several years after the previous Yu-Gi-Oh! Series, GX follows a new generation of duelists at the prestigious Duel Academy, a highly competitive boarding school where pencils and books have been replaced by Duel Disks and monster cards! Still, it's not just about making the grade for these up-and-coming students - it's about becoming the next King of Games!

Contains episodes 1-52.
Princess Jellyfish - Complete Series [S.A.V.E. Edition] (DVD)
  • Distributor: FUNimation Entertainment
  • Suggested retail price: $29.98
Plain, timid and obsessed with jellyfish, Tsukimi is a far cry from her idea of a princess. Her tepid life as a jobless illustrator comes complete with roommates who harbor diehard hobbies that solidify their status as hopeless social rejects. These wallflowers run a tight nun-like ship, but their no-men-allowed-not-no-one-not-no-how bubble is unwittingly burst after Tsukimi brings home a rescued sea jelly and a beauty queen - who's actually a guy.

When threat of losing their cozy convent inspires this glamour boy to turn the neurotic entourage into a portrait of success, will Tsukimi take her chance to bloom or will she end up a hot mess?
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So, that’s it then, Clamore is done. Having waited for more than a week, putting off reading this manga for as long as possible, I don’t know if the finale was quite what I expected. 

And I doubt an extra two or three chapters would have changed the outcome by much. Whatever the case, this is the end of an era, what with so many series coming to an end so close to one another.

THE CHAPTER:
With Priscilla defeated, Teresa and Clare share their final words. With the organization now fallen, the remnants of the silver eyed warriors raise their claymore to cleanse the land of Yoma once and for all, in hopes of finding some piece after.

MY THOUGHTS:
But is it really? The end of an Era? Considering the number of cancellation news we have received in the last two months, most of which has been almost immediately rebuffed by rumors of sequels and continuations for popular titles like Tokyo Ghoul and Kuroko’s Basket, can we really truly presume this to be the end of Claymore?

Because it wouldn’t surprise me to hear of a continuation to the series in the works a month or two from now, even though the final page of the chapter clearly suggested that fans of Claymore should start looking forward to the mangaka’s next work.

After a decade or so of Claymore, I can understand the fatigue that comes with drawing the same manga day in, day out for so long, and whatever need might arise to seek out something new. But then again this is claymore. 155 chapters in early a decade is a drop in the ocean compared to most other shonen manga series.

And even if he chose to pour another 155 chapters out for us fans, we could hardly accuse the mangaka of stretching the story.
-THE END.
Satisfying? Not quite. This is how stories in manga end, with friends, family and even enemies exchanging final words of goodbye. I certainly wouldn’t compare Claymore chapter 155 to Beelzebub’s weird final chapter (although considering the series, it was sort of appropriate).

None the less chapter 155 wasn’t the most exciting or entertaining chapter of the series and frankly I expected more. I guess every manga finale aims to produce some sort of heart warming conclusion, which chapter 155 more or less tried to provide.

But…whether it was simply rushed, whether Priscilla’s end wasn’t given the consideration it deserved, whether the series could have taken the time to show us the impact the death of Priscilla and the organization has had on the island, chapter 155 will not go down in history as a noteworthy finale, not in comparison to rivals like Deadman Wonderland.
-MUST IT END?
After the events of this chapter, my answer isn’t quite a resounding ‘NO’. Certainly there is so much story that Claymore could explore with just as much thrill and excitement; however the presence of entertaining plots doesn’t mean Claymore must explore them.

The young claymore in the final panels made a point I hadn’t quite given much thought; they told the man with the dark glasses that the war with the dragons wasn’t their fight, and they had no obligations to fight and die for people and lands they didn’t know.

In which case, yes, it must end; an all out battle against the so called dragons wouldn’t be Claymore in the sense that we know it, but something else all together. As such, maybe it would be asking too much to expect the mangaka to delve into a brand new story.

Because that is exactly what would happen if we ventured across the water; it would be the equivalent of Claymore making a brand new start.

Not that I would complain; but this is more than a fair place for the series to end.

-THE FUTURE.
It would be fun exploring the claymore world in a short prologue, a few chapters to just lay out the future as it might progress, the status of the various characters and whatnot.

Two or three chapters is all it would take to satisfactorily conclude the series. And I am still holding out hope for an anime adaptation.

RATING: 6/10, as far as manga finales go, I am really not going to remember this one.
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  The one thing you have to say about kills in Ubel Blatt is that they are never simple; it’s rarely enough to lose a limb or take a strike to the chest. No, the task isn’t complete until one has been lopped into several bloody pieces.

Manga and comics are sort of like novels, in that it takes skill to represent fights, small or large; just like most novel authors simply cannot master the art of writing fights (most of which progress much too slowly when imagined using the words put on paper or simply result in a mass of confusion), it takes a truly skilled mangaka to make battle on paper as close to entertaining as would be experienced in animated format.

In that regard Etorouji Shiono is a master at drawing fights.

THE CHAPTER:
Dessida and Ascherit clash, while Ato considers crossing blades with Gunnido to get to her master’s side.

MY THOUGHTS:
It is telling that Ubel Blatt chapters almost always sneak up on me; that means I do not look so intensely forward to them as to keep a close eye on Manga sites for their appearance.

Action wise, this battle oriented chapter rocked. Story wise, well, I wasn’t bored, merely not as engaged. And that had less to do with the focus on action as it did with who was actually doing the fighting. In other words I didn’t really care for these Order of Gungnir members.

That doesn’t make this chapter a complete waste though.
-What actually Mattered?
Gurye and Koinzel; any follower of the series knew that these two would eventually meet, and that makes this chapter sort of momentous. The last two chapters hinted as much.

Just as important was the story behind the present and coming conflicts, which this chapter chose to elaborate upon; Ubel Blatt is often rarely about good and evil in its purest sense, instead choosing to emphasize the loyalties involved within each plot, typically devoid of any ties to morality. One need only look at the seven lances, that they knew of the evils of the heroes they served and still chose to maintain their allegiance because of their personal ties with their lords.

Similarly Dessida in this chapter is quick to speak of her loyalty to Glenn, showing a clear disinterest in Ascherit’s cause and whether or not it merits any consideration; she doesn’t care about who Glenn is and how righteous his goals might be, not in the face of what he did for her and the loyalty she believes she owes him.

Corruption, murder, chaos and careless disinterest in the justice of things; the Ubel Blatt story seems to hinge heavily upon these concepts in cementing the difficulty of Ascherit’s objective; even in defeating and, well, murdering the heroes of the kingdom, what does he actually expect to accomplish outside attracting the ire of their admirers?

That more or less sets the young hybrid apart; Koinzel is no hero because he doesn’t actually expect or even intend to bring about a positive change, beyond simply exacting his revenge and moving on. That makes you wonder just what he intends to do after achieving his goals. Disappear into the myth, never to be heard of again?

That would be a waste of his talents.
-What sort of Mattered?
Okay it was kind of awesome watching Ascherit cross swords with Dessida, primarily because it looked so good; each sword stroke was easy to follow, some strikes coming close enough to causing harm that they actually added tension to each panel with regards to the outcome.

That being said it was never in question that Ascherit would win this; powerful as Dessida’s body might be, that typical Ascherit expression we have come to know, lazy eyed with a hint of boredom, told all, that eventually the black blades would be loosed and Dessida would lose several body parts within the flash of a moment.

The presence of Gurye only acted to accentuate the story and elevate the stakes of the drama playing out with regards to master and teacher finally coming face to face. Not that the certainty of the outcome didn’t leave some room for doubt with regards to some hidden surprises on Dessida’s part.
-What almost mattered?
Ato. I like Ato and have enjoyed watching her grow from a truly irritating and whiny individual to Ascherit’s right hand man. I have always taken a keen interest in watching master and student relationships that actually grow, with the student finally throwing off the training wheels to stand on her own two feet.

That being said, it will suck if Ato’s conflict with Gunnido is interrupted by Gurye’s actions. Then again this is Ascherit we are talking about; he’s just as likely to walk away and leave her be, if only to allow her the opportunity to prove herself.

-Overall
This Ubel Batt chapter was long; even for 29 pages, I was surprised by how much material their was; I kept scrolling and there was always more, which I cannot complain about.

But even with the quality of chapter 127, I am not exactly screaming in anticipation for chapter 128; that doesn’t say anything about this chapter but rather arises from the fact that this chapter was sort of set up, even with the fight.

On a weekly basis, this would have been a great chapter; on a monthly schedule, these should have been two chapters.

RATING: 6.5/10

HIGHLIGHTS: Ascherit and Gurye meeting.
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I had forgotten just how humble Nanatsu no Taizai's beginnings were; because, thinking on it, that Mead story was rather cliché’, playing out at some point in most shonen series. 

That didn’t make Nanatsu no Taizai episode 2 any less entertaining, specifically in showcasing just how evil the holy knights are and the true strength hidden behind Meliodas’s small body. 

That little game of catch with Gilthunder was also quite something to see; and I can almost appreciate Elizabeth’s presence now, not because of the events in the manga currently but the role she has had to play, in her own way a hero to the kingdom, if only as the bridge between the Deadly Sins and her people’s plight. 

THE CHAPTER:
The battle against Hendricksen continues and he proves to be every bit the invincible demon he boasted of; just as the holy knights start losing against Hendy in the second bout, Meliodas launches a secret strategy. 

MY THOUGHTS:
I can’t determine what makes a good fictional strategy in anime and manga; I guess utter ignorance makes for a bigger surprise later on but I would have liked a hint or two at the exact game Meliodas was playing in this chapter, if only to enjoy the tension of trying to figure out if the plan would succeed. 

Chapter 98 was as battle oriented a chapter as they come, with the entirety of Holy knight remnants and the sins assaulting Hendy and Meliodas; not that we expected them to actually succeed against Hendricksen, not when even Diana’s Gideon proved ineffective. 

That being said, the action, while not particularly engaging, was entertaining stuff, specifically the actual choreography of the fight; I don’t know when Nanatsu no Taizai became this good to look at.

Certainly the art has never been anything to scoff at, but it is easy to forget with the less than flattering chapters of this arc. Chapter 98 however, while not quite Bleach level, was impressive to drink it, especially in displaying the rapidly evolving battle between Meliodas and Hendricksen. 

Speaking of Sins, what happened to Gowther? I feel like I should have noticed him losing his head; then again maybe it wasn’t the most prominent scene of its chapter. And the fact that the man (woman?) survived says so much about the mysterious world of the sins. 

Thinking about, that mini arc with King has to be the first and only exploration of depth we have had for any sin, that including Ban, whose own side story did little more than tell us about his love life.
With most of the sins finally assembled, there is still so much we don’t know about our heroes.
RATING: 7/10, great action, just not as engaging as the previous four or so chapters.

So far, we know that Gowther’s choice of weapon is a bow; he’s super strong, utilizes some sort of telekinesis using light and he just might be as immortal as Ban; first they punched a hole through his chest, then he got decapitated, and he’s still standing.
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This chapter was one large flashback; and I actually expected to hate it. Because all chapter 242 did was basically tell us what we already knew and had known for several dozen to a hundred chapters.

However it would be accurate to say that all this served as a great reminder and somewhat placed things into perspective.

THE CHAPTER:
The Kou empire stands at the edge of war. As Alibaba makes for Balbad in an attempt to protect his home from the oncoming chaos, Hakuryu acquires the means to wage war on his brother and mother.

MY THOUGHTS:
Thinking about it, I have no idea what the hell I even read in this chapter; parts of chapter 242 were flashbacks. But there were parts I am not quite certain about, especially when taking into account what we learnt at the end of the summit about Hakuryuu’s actions thus far.

+The Good
So, Hakuryuu is making plans to kill Gyokuen? Because I thought she was already dead. And is Gyokuen even Hakuryuu’s mother. Because everything that we learnt in this chapter suggests that Gyokuen appeared on the scene rather mysteriously and long after Hakuryuu was born.

So, what the hell is going on here? I might be confusing my Magi facts.

On the one hand, Hakuryuu could have lied about killing Gyokuen in an effort to further his rebellion, and now he plans to turn that particular lie into truth. On the other hand, chapter 242 was largely about Hakuryuu telling us what happened, in which case that last panel could have been the moment, entire days to weeks ago, when Hakuryuu took Judar’s power and ended Gyokuen’s life.

I don’t exactly understand what I was reading. And maybe I am reading way too much into the chapter. Whatever the case, the information was somewhat educational.

Considering how long it has been since we first encountered Hakuryuu and his family, I think I can proceed with a clearer picture about the Kou empire, its origins and a fair portion of information about Hakuryuu’s siblings, most of whom I can barely remember, save for Kouen and his sister.

+The bad
If my memory wasn’t so vague about the Kou empire history, this chapter would have been more or less pointless, with several pages outlining what Hakuryuu told us a long time ago. As it was, very little story progression actually took place, save for that last bit with Judar.

Maybe we needed to get a clear picture about what was happening at the heart of the empire, but the chapter could have done that in two or three pages; more importantly, without clear knowledge of who is dead and who is alive, I don’t how much of this picture we actually got, outside of Hakuryuu’s reminiscing.
+What mattered?
I guess we now understand Hakuryuu a little better; hearing the news about his actions during the summit, it was easy to jump to conclusions that Hakuryuu had gone dark and whatnot.

The character we met in this chapter was subdued, less dark and more determined; which makes you wonder if there is really any point to the upcoming clash with Alibaba. Hakuryuu is bathed in dark rukh, but really he’s no more depraved than Sinbad, merely a king that will do what it takes to bring about his vision.

And it isn’t even a bad vision. The question now comes down to where Judar falls in the grand scheme of things and what his plans for the young king might be; if it simply comes down to Judar having chosen his king vessel, then Magi is going to climax towards a fight between all the kings.

And truth be told, I want Sinbad to come out on top. Whatever Aladdin has to say, he and Alibaba are idealists whose visions of the future are largely unattainable and unrealistic; rationally speaking, Sinbad stands the greatest chance of not only winning any battle that might arise, even against Hakuryuu and Judar, but as emperor he can actually bring about peace.

+Predictions: Whatever Judar says, Al-Tharmen is no one’s puppet; and clearly they are using Hakuryuu for a new agenda; whatever his original intentions, Hakuryuu will lose himself to the black rukh and I suspect Alibaba will be forced to put him down; or at least he will try until Aladdin stops him.

RATING: 6/10, I am a little divided on this one; at a glance it was engaging, but the more I think about it, the less substance I actually see
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In this month's Monthly Shonen Gangan magazine, Atsushi Ohkubo announced that Soul Eater Not! is ending in the December issue which will be on sale, November 12, 2014. To commemorate the end of the series, there will be a special cover and a bonus clearfile. Also, the magazine is giving away signed t-shirts in a prize drawing where readers submit messages for the manga series.

Yen Press is currently publishing the series for North America with the 4th volume coming out on November 18. According to ANN, the manga series had a minor hiatus before its final chapter.

Plot

Get ready to meet the newest class at Death Weapon Meister Academy! Tsugumi Harudori and her outrageous friends make up the NOT class at this stylish school dedicated to training living, breathing weapons and uniting them with the Meisters who’ll wield them! Soul Eater fanatics will be psyched to meet these epic new characters – and catch up with all their favorites from the original series. Don’t miss a minute of the adventure as Tsugumi and her pals weave their own exciting tale of deadly life at DWMA!

Main Cast

Tsugumi Harudori (Harudori Tsugumi)
Voiced by: Haruka Chisuga
Affiliation: Magic Weapon - Halberd
Tsugumi Harudori is a young girl who enrolled at DWMA. Part of the story of Soul Eater Not! revolves around her choosing her partner (Meister) between Meme and Anya.
Anya Hepburn (アーニャ・ヘプバーン Ānya Hepubān)
Voiced by: Saori Hayami
Affiliation: Meister
Anya is from a wealthy family and a student of DWMA's NOT class. She is one of Tsugumi's roommates and possible partner as her Meister.
Meme Tatne (多々音 めめ Tatane Meme)
Voiced by: Aoi Yūki
Affiliation: Meister
Meme is a spacey, young girl who is Tsugumi and Anya's roommate at the women's dormitory. Like Anya, she is Tsugumi's possible partner as her Meister in the near future.

Sources

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