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Who knew video games rots you brains.Who knew you had more than one brain? See its not just some bone head at Fox who says this egotistical ignorant arrogant myth that video games cause what ever social ill at the moment.

Never mind studies that show other wise. " Research says video games can prove to be extremely conducive for boosting our critical thinking skills as well. According to Dr. Brian Glass, of the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary University of London, “Previous research has demonstrated that action video games . . . can speed up decision making, but the current work finds that real-time strategy games can promote our ability to think on the fly and learn from past mistakes.” from http://www.gearfuse.com/video-games-can-help-improve-mental-skills/

Now that might be why they don't want you to have better critical thinking skills. Because if video games does help in that regard then you just might stop thinking these talking heads are experts on what they claim to be. Or that they have your best interest at heart. few years ago even in Entertainment weekly the question was asked "Video games vs. Movies: Have games replaced films as the modern popular narrative medium?" http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/08/18/movies-videogames-inception-red-dead-redemption/

Expect more of this as the summer season for movie under preforms.

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I have nothing to tell you

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Welcome everyone to another week of manga releases! This week has a fairly huge amount. The manga titles that came up and surprise me was D-Frag! Having watched the series with and the gang in winter of 2014, I'm curious to see how the manga was like. Fairy Tail had a Blu-Ray release this week, and now, it has a manga release, too. Missions of Love is a manga series my sister is currently reading. I haven't read it, but it doesn't seem to be my type of manga to read. Having seen Knights of Sidonia, I wanted to see another Sci-Fi and horror manga series. Terra Formars looks like it fit that desire.

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

The Mission of Love, Lone Wolf Club, Fairy Tail, and What You Eat Yesterday manga covers come from Right Stuf while the rest come from Amazon.

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

Sources

Notes:

  • Right Stuf has Terra Formars listed this week.
  • Comic Book stores don't have What You Eat Yesterday? Vol. 3.

Weekly Manga Releases

D-Frag! Volume 1
  • Distributor: Seven Seas Entertainment
  • Suggested retail price: $12.99
Kazama Kenji thinks he's a delinquent. He's got the look, the style, and the attitude to match; he even has a second-rate entourage of sorts. Deep down, however, Kazama is a good-hearted kid who finds himself and his loyal gang in over their heads when they stumble upon the Game Creation Club. The club's formidable members, Chitose, Sakura, Minami and Roka, are four girls who he might actually be attracted to if they weren't so freaking weird.

The girls claim to have otherworldly powers which they use to defeat Kazama's gang and force him to join their offbeat club. Can Kazama resist the girls' bizarre charms and return to some semblance of a normal, everyday life... or is it "game over" for our hapless hero?
Devils and Realist Volume 2
  • Distributor: Seven Seas Entertainment
  • Suggested retail price: $12.99
Devils and Realist is an all-new supernatural manga series that pits a young, suave nobleman against Hell’s princely demons.

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. 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?—and besides, he’s got bills to pay.
Fairy Tail Volume 40
  • Distributor: Kodansha Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $10.99
Summary is not available.
Missions of Love Volume 8
  • Distributor: Kodansha Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $10.99
Shigure's plan to get close to Yukina by helping her overcome her weakness gets off to a good start, but runs into trouble when Yukina meets into an old acquaintance–the preschool teacher who traumatized her in the first place. Can Shigure keep Yukina's old wounds from reopening?
Monster: The Perfect Edition Volume 1
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $19.99
Johan is a cold and calculating killer with a mysterious past, and brilliant Dr. Kenzo Tenma is the only one who can stop him! Conspiracy and serial murder open the door to a compelling, intricately woven plot in this masterwork of suspense.

Everyone faces uncertainty at some point in their lives. Even a brilliant surgeon like Kenzo Tenma is no exception. But there’s no way he could have known that his decision to stop chasing professional success and instead concentrate on his oath to save peoples’ lives would result in the birth of an abomination. The questions of good and evil now take on a terrifyingly real dimension. Years later, in Germany during the tumultuous post-reunification period, middle-aged childless couples are being killed one after another. The serial killer’s identity is known. The reasons why he kills are not. Dr. Tenma sets out on a journey to find the killer’s twin sister, who may hold some clues to solving the enigma of the “Monster.”
What Did You Eat Yesterday Volume 3
  • Distributor: Vertical
  • Suggested retail price: $12.95

No summary available.

World War Blue Volume 6
  • Distributor: Seven Seas Entertainment
  • Suggested retail price: $12.99
World War Blue is an all-new fantasy manga series inspired by the “console wars,” the historic struggle for market share between manufacturers in the video game industry. In World War Blue, this conflict is represented by satirical versions of famous video game characters, who fight each other in a sprawling RPG-like world.

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.
Terra Formars Vol. 1
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested Retail Price: $12.99

In the late 26th century, overpopulation on Earth is reaching the breaking point, and humanity must find new frontiers. The terraforming of Mars has taken centuries, but is now complete. The colonization of Mars by humanity is an epoch-making event, but an unintended side effect of the terraforming process unleashes a horror no one could ever have imagined...

After humanity's first manned mission to the Red Planet was lost, a second expedition arrives. The explorers prepare to exterminate the cockroaches that were used to transform the Martian environment. They are shocked to discover that the insects have mutated into giant, aggressive humanoids with one overriding goal: exterminate the humans! But this crew of explorers has each undergone the "Bugs Procedure," terrifying experimental surgery designed to make them more than human...

  • Distributor: Dark Horse Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $19.99
Separated from his son while battling Yagyu assassins,​ Itto Ogami’s mission of retribution heats to a boil as he cuts through any obstacle to find his missing child.​ But little Daigoro,​ though a mere toddler,​ is the son of the most formidable and resourcefull samurai in the land.​ Though alone in a cruel world,​ Daigoro has the heart of a warrior!

Collects two stories from volume 10 and volumes 11-12 in an omnibus format.​
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The internet diesI Dsl was out for me yesterday. So what does a anime fan do? Pray? Curse the fates an panic? Why yes an then I started watching some anime I had saved for just such a emergency!

1st up finished off on blue ray Soul Eater was down to the last disc any way, but never really seen it all the way threw. Think Excalibur stole the show for me tho. Probably because I would like to yell Baka! as much as he does.Ok that killed a few hours. I use http://www.arcsoft.com/totalmedia-theatre/ as my player on my computer an skiling the intros an end songs an crits were never easier.

Then with no internet an to sick to play any comp games off line I drowned my sorrow in more anime! Black Lagoon + Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage have on blue ray dvd combo an a bloody marathon was off to a high body count start. Seen more an caught more of the subtle use of dialogue an action in the series. From the 1st episode it tells you straight up it knows what it is. Which is to say self aware an does not care. It takes shots at its own dialogue as well as hollywood.

It sets the mood so well with its opening an closing music. A high energy almost metal song at the start to a down sober tune at the end. Kind of telling us when the adrenaline rush has passed whats left is dull remorse an regrets. Which sum up the shows bloody ride. Then I started on Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail . Never watched all of the series back to back an it flows fairly well. You see character evolution done with insight an history when watching it all together.

This was the MADHouse Studios that I love. Over the top action an animation. None of this over color saturation haze blur style they have had last few years on an off. Clear crisp style an lines all presented with no blur to hide the mistakes. Brutal gore unhindered by lens flair an unapologetic.

For me no time was wasted watching these discs of blue. A satisfying us of time to entertainment ratio. But it does beg the question.... What would you watch anime wise in a situtation similar to this? What anime do you have stored for just such a emergency?

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to yuki she is the key to evolution. to michiru she is a distortion of time and space. to koizumi she is a god. I haven't watched the whole series so I was wondering

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Welcome! This week has a large selection. I'm interested in Kill la Kill, but I have to wait until they have the complete collection. They're selling about 4 episodes a piece. Fairy Tail dub got to the Key of the Starry Sky arc. I'm curious to hear Michelle Lobster's dub voice.

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

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

Notes

  • Right Stuf has Deadman Wonderland, Fairy Tail, Gurren Lagann, Majestic Prince, and Silver Spoon listed.
  • One of the thumbnails, Momonoke, couldn't be enlarged for some odd reason.

Sources

DVD and Blu Ray Releases

anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day - [Collector's Edition] (Sub.Blu-Ray + DVD)
  • Distributor: Aniplex of America
  • Suggested retail price: $79.98
Jintan, Menma, Anaru, Yukiatsu, Tsuruko, and Poppo - six grade-school students who were the best of friends. As the "Super Peace Busters," they always played together at their "secret base" until Menma died in a tragic accident. Five years later, Menma appeared before Jintan, now a high school freshman. No one could see her but Jintan, and Menma told him that she wanted the Super Peace Busters to grant her a certain wish. But not even Menma herself remembered what that wish was. Having been traumatized by Menma's death, the five had drifted apart, but after giving vent to their bottled-up feelings in an emotionally-charged moment, they gradually went back to being the "gang" of years past. And then Menma said goodbye, leaving letters to everyone of the Super Peace Busters. One year later - once again, they gather at their secret base, each of them with a letter to Menma in hand.

This special collector's edition includes a compilation music CD (including the theme song "Circle Game" by Galileo Galilei), a memorial postcard set, a double-sided Menma poster, and a deluxe booklet, all housed in an artbox illustrated by character designer Masayoshi Tanaka!

  • Special Features: Textless Opening (Special O.A. Version), Theatrical Trailers, TV Commercial Collections.
  • Spoken Languages: Japanese, English subtitles, Spanish subtitles.
Kill la Kill (DVD or Blu-Ray 1 of 5)
  • Distributor: Aniplex of America
  • Suggested retail price: $49.98 (BD), $39.98 (DVD)
Honnouji Academy - where the school is ruled by students clad in special outfits called Goku Uniforms. Deriding the student body as "pigs in human clothing," Student Council President Satsuki Kiryuin, along with her loyal underlings, the Elite Four, has the academy under their absolute control.

One day, a vagrant schoolgirl named Ryuko Matoi appears and tries to get Satsuki, who recognizes her Scissor Blade, to talk. Was their encounter a mere coincidence or fate? The clash between the two will soon consume the whole academy!

  • Contains episodes 1-4.
  • Special Features: Textless Openings, Web Version Previews.
  • Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles, Spanish subtitles.
Mononoke - Complete Collection (DVD)
  • Distributor: New Video Group
  • Suggested retail price: $19.95
In feudal Japan, evil spirits known as mononoke plague both households and the countryside, leaving a trail of fear in their wake. One mysterious person has the power to slay the mononoke where they stand; he is known only as the Medicine Seller, and he vanquishes the spirits using the power of his Exorcism Sword. However, in order to draw his sword he must first understand the Form, Truth and Reason of the mononoke. Armed with a sharp wit and keen intellect, the Medicine Seller wanders from place to place, striking down the evil spirits in his wake.

DISC 1 (Episodes 1-7): Zashiki Warashi / Zashiki Warashi Part II / Sea Bishop (Sea Bonze) Part I / Sea Bishop (Sea Bonze) Part II / Sea Bishop (Sea Bonze) Part III / The Faceless Monster Part I / The Faceless Monster Part II

DISC 2 (Episodes 8-12 & Bonus): Nue–The Japanese Chimera Part I / Nue–The Japanese Chimera Part II / The Goblin Cat: The Opening Act / The Goblin Cat: The Second Act / The Goblin Cat: The Final Act / Bonus
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 1: Beginnings (DVD)
  • Distributor: Aniplex of America
  • Suggested retail price: $39.98
Madoka Kaname is an eighth-grader who leads a peaceful, fun-filled life as a student, surrounded by her beloved family and her best friends. One day, a transfer student named Homura Akemi arrives in Madoka's class. She is a dark-haired beauty with a somewhat mysterious disposition. Soon after meeting Madoka for the first time, Homura goes on to issue Madoka a strange warning.

Madoka also meets Kyubey, a mysterious looking white creature. He says, "Make a contract with me and become a magical girl!" To make any wish come true – Madoka didn't know the meaning of this miracle nor what its cost may prove to be. An impending loss triggers a drastic change in her destiny...

Special Features: Textless Ending, Theatrical Trailers, TV Commercial Collections.

Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles, Spanish subtitles.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 2: Eternal (DVD)
  • Distributor: Aniplex of America
  • Suggested retail price: $39.98

The young girls have discovered the truth... the cruel fate of a magical girl. Madoka's best friend, Sayaka Miki's Soul Gem turns pitch-black as its owner falls into despair and it is transformed into a Grief Seed. Upon seeing this fate, Kyoko tries to save Sayaka, and ends up sacrificing her own life. One magical girl after another is destroyed.

Throughout it all, there is one magical girl who continues to fight alone - Homura Akemi. All this time, she has been acting with one goal in mind. "I promise... I'm going to save you, no matter what it takes." Homura renews her vow. And then it happens - a miracle powerful enough to sway the fortunes of the universe...

Special Features: Textless Opening, Theatrical Trailers, TV Commercial Collections.

Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles, Spanish subtitles.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie DVD/Blu-ray (Hyb) Limited Ed. (Parts 1-2)
  • Distributor: Aniplex of America
  • Suggested retail price: $79.98

This limited edition includes a deluxe booklet housed in an artbox designed by character designer Junichiro Taniguchi!

Special Features: Textless Opening and Ending, Theatrical Trailers, TV Commercial Collections
To Love-Ru Darkness (Blu-Ray or DVD)
  • Distributor: Sentai Filmworks
  • Suggested retail price: $59.98 (BD), $49.98 (DVD)

As close encounters of the twisted kind between the residents of the planet Deviluke (represented primarily by the female members of the royal family) and the inhabitants of Earth (represented mainly by one very exhausted Rito Yuuki) continue to escalate, the situation spirals even further out of control. When junior princesses Nana and Momo transferred into Earth School where big sister Lala can (theoretically) keep an eye on them, things SHOULD be smooth sailing. But when Momo decides she'd like to "supplement" Rito's relationship with Lala with a little "sisterly love," you know Lala's not going to waste any time splitting harems. Unfortunately, it's just about that point that Yami, the Golden Darkness, enters the scene with all the subtleness of a supernova, along with an army of possessed high school students! All of which is certain to make Rito's life suck more than a black hole at the family picnic. Unless, of course, a certain semi-demonic princess can apply a little of her Devilukean Whoop Ass to exactly that portion of certain other heavenly bodies!

  • Contains episodes 1-12.
  • Special Features: Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation.
  • Spoken Languages: Japanese, English subtitles.
Yu-Gi-Oh! - The Complete Set (DVD)
  • Distributor: New Video Group
  • Suggested retail price: $229.64
Based on the wildly successful playing card franchise, YU-GI-OH! follows the adventures of a boy named Yugi and his friends who love the newest card game that is sweeping the nation. This complete set includes all five seasons of the YU-GI-OH! classic collection, as well as the movie single, YU-GI-OH! Bonds Beyond Time.
Deadman Wonderland - Complete Series
  • Publisher: FUNimation
  • Suggested Retail Price: $34.98

Ganta is the only survivor after a mysterious man in red slaughters a classroom full of teenagers. He's framed for the carnage, sentenced to die, and locked away in the most twisted prison ever built: Deadman Wonderland. And then it gets worse.

At Deadman Wonderland, convicts are forced into brutal deathmatches for the amusement of the masses, the cheers of the crowd drowning out the screams of the dismembered. Even when Ganta befriends Shiro, an unusual female inmate, his dark fate crushes all hope – until he discovers the strange ability to wield his spilled blood as a weapon. Ganta learns his new skill might be related to the murderous man in red and uncovers disturbing secrets that could expose those who stole his freedom. He's determined to see justice served – but first he'll have to fight for his life in a prison that holds a million ways to die.

Contains episodes 1-12 plus the OVA "The Red Knife Wielder."

Special Features: Episode Commentary (6, 12), English Video Commentary, Promotional Videos, Textless Opening Songs, Textless Closing Song, Original Commercials, U.S. Trailer, Trailers.

Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.

Fairy Tail DVD/Blu-Ray Part 11
  • Publisher: FUNimation
  • Suggested Retail Price: $32.98

When a mighty dragon attacks, Fairy Tail's most powerful members go missing for seven years. Once they finally return, they find that much about the Fiore Kingdom - and their guildmates - has changed. With the guild's headquarters and reputation in shambles, it's up to Natsu and the others to get Fairy Tail back to its former glory by accepting any jobs that come their way - like being dancing guards at a fancy magic ball and taking on the infamous Butt Jiggle Gang.

Meanwhile, a mysterious girl appears with a strange item from Lucy's father - a relic that a secret order of wizards will stop at nothing to obtain. Will this artifact ultimately prove to be Fairy Tail's undoing?

Contains episodes 121-131.

Special Features: Episode Commentary (130), Todd Haberkorn at Otakon, Textless Opening Songs, Textless Closing Songs, U.S. Trailer, Trailers.

Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.

Gurren Lagann The Movie Double Feature Blu-Ray (Childhood's End/Lights)
  • Publisher: Aniplex of America
  • Suggested Retail Price: $70.98

This double-feature set includes the Gurren Lagann movies Childhood's End and The Light in the Sky Are Stars on Blu-ray!

Childhood's End
This is the story of a man who has yet to realize what destiny holds in store for him... Far in the future, humans have lived underground, quietly and restlessly, for hundreds of years, suffering from frequent earthquake and land subsidence. In Giha Village, one such underground community, live two young men. Simon is shy and naive, while Kamina believes in existence of a "surface" world above their heads.

Their destinies start moving drastically when the ceiling falls and a gigantic "Gunmen" and a beautiful girl named Yoko with a superconductive rifle come from the surface. Kamina, Simon and Yoko get on the "Lagann" that Simon digs out from the ground, and jump out to the surface! However, the surface is not such a dreamland as Kamina imagined. The world is reined by the Spiral King and his army. Kamina and Simon, along with their comrades challenge the Spiral King to change the desperate world to the one with hope for the future by Gurren Lagann!

The Lights in the Sky Are Stars
"When the heavens are pierced open, the young man sees a path to the future..."

Valiantly persevering through the traumatic aftermath of previous events, Team Dai-Gurren finally reaches Teppelin, the royal capital, where Simon battles the Spiral King, Lordgenome. Seven years pass after the battle of Teppelin, and humans reclaim the surface of the earth and enjoy an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity. However, humanity's increasing population growth triggers the sudden emergence of an unknown, powerful enemy.

Majestic Prince DVD - Collection 1
  • Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
  • Suggested Retail Price: $50.98

In the not-so-distant future, the people of earth have expanded their frontier into the solar system. And now, we're under attack! Advances in physics and genetic engineering have created astonishing new flying war machines and pilots with a wide array of enhanced abilities.

Young Izuru has been chosen to lead the hapless Team Rabbits into battle against the sinister Wulgaru forces. Spearheaded by the cold and savage Prince Jiart, these dark invaders possess both superior firepower and technology, as well as an unwavering thirst for earthly destruction. It will be up to Izuru and his brash band of misfits to vanquish the enemy and save us all... if they don't kill each other first.

Contains episodes 1-12.

Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.

Silver Spoon DVD Complete 1st Season
  • Publisher: Aniplex of America
  • Suggested Retail Price: $74.98

The only reason why Yugo Hachiken decided to attend the Oezo Agricultural High School (a.k.a Ezono) was simply because the school had a dormitory. Entering Ezono was a way for Yugo to run away from the stifling academic pressures in the city, however, it didn't take long for him to realize that life is not that simple.

Yugo is soon forced to face more hurdles in his new environment surrounded by all the farm animals and the magnificent Mother Nature. He also begins feeling a different kind of pressure as he deals with his classmates who, unlike him, all have a clear view of what they want for their futures.

Even so, as Yugo overcomes one challenge after another at Ezono and deepens his bonds with his classmates, he begins to grow stronger both physically and mentally. This is a coming-of-age story filled with sweat, tears, and literally a lot of dirt!

Contains episodes 1-11.

Special Features: Textless Openings, Textless Ending, Commercial, Trailers.

Spoken Languages: Japanese, English subtitles.

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I needed to take a break from my job and my work on Anime Vice. Today, I receive the first part of my order from Right Stuf.

There was a Kondansha sale off at Right Stuf when I was doing Quick Picks last month. I'm not much of a big spender due to the wage I earn working at the family business. While I tend to buy manga that I'm familiar with, I didn't see much new titles that grabbed much attention excluding Vinland Saga. I previewed first before buying, but it was too late when the sale off ended midnight. I ended buying Vinland Saga at Anime Expo via Kodansha booth.

Got Vinland Saga at Anime Expo
Got Vinland Saga at Anime Expo

The Missions of Love books are for my little sister who loves that series. Haven't read it yet. It doesn't seem like the type of manga I'm into. I bought three Attack on Titan manga: Attack on Titan No Regrets, Before the Fall, and Junior High. I used to read Attack on Titan manga via Crunchyroll's simulpub before I decided to postpone it for the anime's return. I didn't buy new volumes since I'm paying for the subscription. I'm excited to read manga in physical copy since I usually read online. I'm curious to see Levi's back story as well finding out what's Before the Fall is all about. Junior High seems fun to read after two drama heavy Attack on Titan books.

Purpose of this thread is to not show off manga collection or what I bought. Part of this is promote buying manga and anime legally to promote the industry and to encourage folks to show off their collection, too. I write the Quick Picks every week, telling everyone to not resort to piracy if possible. You have folks in Anime Vice outside of the states where licensing of anime and manga titles are scarce or not available. Giving them hope and motivation to support the industry. Also, this is part of 's project called "My Collection." Back then, I was asking my teammates for new ideas to boost the forum activity. Kelleth suggests doing blogs showcasing collection of anime, manga, and memorabilia. Kelleth loves showing off his collection on Twitter. I haven't done a proper blog for that project.

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Anyone that keeps suggesting that originality has ceased to be, that there is no such thing as a truly unique anime and manga clearly hasn’t taken the time to actually look into the various anime and manga series on offer.

I don’t think I have encountered a series as unique as Shinazu no Ryouken in a long time, a concept that, more than simply flipping a few well known scripts over, actually attempts to tell a creative and different story.

Admittedly this might come down to my own ignorance in the realm of anime and manga; that being said though Shinazu no Ryouken is proving to be my favorite new manga of 2014.

THE PLOT:

In an immortal world, in which the power of resurrection has granted the human race complete control over death, a single enemy occupies the various law enforcement agencies and governments of the world; that abomination of nature, fiend amongst fiends, known as the mortal man.

MY REVIEW:

Where it to ever make the leap from manga to anime, Immortal hounds stands as that one series likely to repeat Attack on Titan’s explosive popularity.

The premise is rather odd and presents a world in which humanity controls a power known as resurrection which allows man to return to life from any and all fatal injuries, free of all previous ailments; the ability is presented as a natural attribute of humanity and one that has changed the world as we know it.

Most of us have encountered various manga tackling the true nature of death and its place in the world. I don’t think I have encountered a story that tackles what it would mean to humanity where death to be removed from the equation (not merely postponed in some intermediate undead format but completely removed).

And Immortal hounds does just that. One of the very first scenes in the manga introduces to us some random girl; bedridden, struggling with the flu, she is driven to the very edge of her endurance and asks her boyfriend to shoot her. And he does just that, a bullet to the head.

And with that most natural of human traits in this universe, she revived without the slightest traces of injury, the very flow of time seemingly having reversed, returning human flesh and blood to what it was, only free of all previous physical and mental ailments.

And that, my friends, is the key to physical wellness in the world of Immortal hounds; are you sick of that irritating rash? Jab a pencil through your eye and you will revive seconds later, free of unrelenting skin ailments. And how about that headache? A walk into traffic will bring your immediate relief.

If there is one task this new series accomplishes, it is building a vivid image of this new and rather strange world, where death is just that pesky thing that no one pays any attention to.

And the enemy? RDS, Resurrection Deficiency Syndrome, an infection that strips one of their ability to resurrect and hence makes them susceptible to death; more importantly though are those individuals that stand as its carriers, these being that tiny portion of humanity that does not have the ability to resurrect, a strange mutation whose very existence must be eliminated immediately lest they blemish the perfection of humanity.

Immortal Hounds chronicles the lives of a special unit charged with locating and arresting mortal humans for execution; it is upon the shoulders of these fine men and women that the future of immortal mankind lies, sometimes supported by the UN.

And mortal man? Theirs is a miserable life; hunted merely because they exist even while contending with the difficulties of a world that knows no sickness or death. The world of the mortal man in Immortal hounds is prone to a million dangers, where many mortals fall to diseases as common as the cold. After all, where humanity is immortal, what purpose is there in training medical professionals, building hospitals or investing in a pharmaceutical industry.

And the escape artiest? Hero to mortal man, bane to law enforcement, using her destructive skills to guide the frightened to safety, where they have the choice of escaping to secret sanctuaries or gaining immortality for themselves, usually by utilizing their position as RDS carriers to bring harm to the immortal and in return earn points.

+VERDICTI:

Have I mentioned just how brilliant the art in this manga is? Well let me say it then, Immortal Hounds is gorgeous, better drawn than any manga I have encountered in 2014.

Beyond the aesthetics each chapter of Immortal hounds is an action packed bonanza, punctuated by poignant conversations about what it truly means to be human; you can also expect a diverse cast, with unique and easily recognizable characters.

The plot portends so much potential, especially taking into account all the mysteries surrounding the world of Immortal hounds. The same question always echoes through each chapter.

Mortal man and Immortal man, one of these is an abomination, not of this earth; and the key to achieving a semblance of peace lies with understanding the origins of the world as it is known and the abomination that is running amok through it.

One can expect violence and a modicum of gore, expected in a world of immortals. Barely 15 chapters long, this manga is more than worth the read.

Focusing primarily upon the escape artiest Rin, aka Windchime, Kenzaki, leader of the Anti vector (mortal humans) squad and his sister’s former lover, Immortal hounds is described as Seinen, Mystery, tragedy

+RATING: 8/10, I am already anticipating the next chapter.

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Guillermo Del Toro has many planned projects to do many projects. As well as The Strain, he has recently announced he is interested in doing a Gantz movie. The full comment can be read here.

I also think that I am very influenced by Japanese game designers. I am friends and a big friend of Hideo Kojima, and I have been lucky enough to be friends with Otomo-San. But the series I think would be FANTASTIC to adapt, but I would love to adapt live-action GANTZ. I love the books, I love the book i don't know if you're familiar with it, called BLAME - it's a really surreal, beautiful book, but I don't know if you know it. But it's written by Tsutomu Nihei. And I love the work of Katsuya Terada. But I tried my best as an anime fan to try to do the first live action anime movie with Pacific Rim. And that was one of the reasons why I wanted to achieve an almost superpure color palette of super-saturated colors. I was hoping to make the movie feel as dynamic and as vibrant as anime.

This doesn't mean he will make a Gantz movie however, just that he thinks it would be a great manga to adapt. Del Toro is working with HBO to create an adaption of Naoki Urasawa's Monster. The first script has already been done. An animated series for Pacific Rim has also been confirmed, with at least 13 episodes and possibly done as an anime.

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This is going to be a short blog since today would be very busy. I'm behind in two weeks worth of episode summaries due to finals from last week and Anime Expo last weekend. Plus, I had the battle interview for Low and Summer 2014 Anime Guide on top of things.

After summer school ends, I am heading back into the workforce, working at the restaurant or volunteering at Church. It's not bad because I still have time to work on Anime Vice. School is more problematic, not only I have to attend classes and I have to put in time to study and work on problems.

Accomplishments

Goals

  • Finish the Summer 2014 Simulcast Guide
  • Finish the Wiki Recognition Article
  • Write some reviews for WayBig's Anime Survey and Reviews (Summer 2014).
  • Finish the Tsundere Tournament ♀ with Vapovile
  • Finish Walking Dead season 4 with Acura Max. The project was postponed when we were busy with school during the summer.
  • Clear Spring 2014 Wiki Tasks. While some mods cancel their wiki tasks, I finish mine up if no one takes it. That's my style.

Summer 2014

Aldnoah.Zero
Part of the wiki mod's role is to help expand pages that the front page focuses on. That's why you see me working on Kill la Kill, Attack on Titan, Gargantia, Stardust Crusaders, and Blade & Soul. Whatever Tom and his gang reviews, I upload images or edit the wiki pages.

This title might be reviewed weekly since Tom Pinchuk is a big fan of Gen Urobuchi's work. I have to be on stand by if that happens.
2. Akame ga Kill
The pilot episode in this one really pulled me. Despite DocHaus's heavy warnings, I guess I'll be heading down the dark road of anime.
I have been desensitived to violence and other taboo things in the industry. I haven't seen the worse yet since I haven't seen Gantz and Elfen Lied.
3. Sword Art Online II
Since I completed Sword Art Online's episode summaries, I'll be carrying my work over.

Small Projects

These are minor projects where I just add characters and images.

Current Spring Projects that are still on my plate

Chaika - The Coffin Princess
I'm almost with the episode summaries. Just need to finish 4, 5, and 12. I did went into character pages when Sidapa needed help writing and formatting the pages.

My teammates are Sidapa and AgentFakku. They became inactive along the way. For me, wiki editing is done at everyone's own pacing. I don't force or push them to complete stuff. That's not how I work with my teammates.
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
I jumped in a bit late in the episode summary. I still to complete Ep. 13-15 and Ep. 1-5 summaries.

My teammates are Toxin45, ForgottenOne, and SpeedForceSpider. ForgottenOne and SpeedForceSpider are the character writers. Toxin45 deals with creating episode and volume pages. Sometimes, he makes mistakes a lot and tends to pages bare without leaving general information like publisher and author on the volume pages, so I have to watch his back.

There was another teammate called MrWhiteX who works on the wiki tasks. Since he hasn't developed his writing enough, I told him to avoid text heavy wiki submissions. I did moderate his wiki in the past, and he has trouble with spelling and grammar to an extent that articles he wrote was unreadable.
One Piece
I'm currently working on episode summaries, but I got behind as well. Dekken, my teammate, is uploading images. Sometimes, I see MrWhiteX adding characters to the newer episode pages that I haven't got to yet. He's not on our team officially. I have to talk to him.
Fairy Tail
This is my solo project since my old teammates are quite busy. I'm behind on this as well.

Old Projects That are Still on My Tasks

  • Seven Deadly Sins
  • Magi
  • Toriko

For Toriko, I just write character pages. I still have Rin, Match, and Tina's pages to do. I don't think I can do episode summaries. Seven Deadly Sins is a manga project. I work on volume summaries. I think I finished 2 volumes so far.

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I am starting to notice this common trope in many manga and anime series, especially shonen series, where the villain is seemingly beaten, only to make a miraculous recovery at the end, away from the prying eyes of the hero, then preparing to launch some devastating counter attack.

It’s nothing worth complaining about and allows the villains of each series an opportunity to enjoy that little bit of luck that only favors those heroes known for taking a beating but always rising at the end.

THE CHAPTERS:

Vivi’s attempts to thwart the sins are countered by an unexpected and superior foe. Hendricksen prepares to reveal his true nature, even as the truth about the sins finally sees the light.

MY THOUGHTS:

It is a little intriguing to compare Nanatsu no Taizai with its somewhat close cousin, Ubel Blat.

Both series revolve around heroes having taken upon themselves the title of villain, even as they work to save the world from great evil. It is interesting to note though, the pace at which they progress.

Ubel Blatt might be little more than 30 chapters ahead, following considerably more years of publication that Deadly Sins, but it has covered a heck of a lot of ground, throwing its hero, Ascherit, through all manner of chaos and war.

Yet even with the world falling apart around them, and known heroes causing all manner of chaos, it is interesting to note the amount of hostility Ascherit and his kith still attract, this as a opposed to the Seven Deadly Sins, who have more or less reacquired their status of hero, no more than 80 chapters into the series.

Not that I am complaining; but these chapters seemed to treat some of this major revelations rather flippantly, from Dreyfus’ admission of murder to Merlin’s arrival.

I don’t think anyone was fooled regarding the identity of Arthur’s secret teacher; yet she made quite the dramatic entrance, following an enjoyable sequence that showed her teleporting Vivia all over the known realm.

A clear difference in power indeed; I find myself liking Merlin almost immediately, not only because of her power and arrogant attitude but the mystique that surrounds her being.

There are still many secrets to be told; despite Dreyfus’ admission that he indeed murdered his brother, the previous Great Holy knight (for as trivial a reason as envy) we have been led to be believe for a while now that Merlin played an important role in Sin’s eventual fall, placing her in a dangerous position.

That being said, we have so far gathered six of the seven deadly sins; I suppose that the set will soon be complete; once that happens, I envision the story undergoing a great shift, for better or worse.

RATING: 6/10, I wasn’t terribly excited while reading both chapters. But you don’t gather so many friends/enemies in a single location without a plan to initiate some epic twist in the story.

So I suppose the next chapter portends some interesting material.

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A couple of things come to mind reading this chapter of Fairy Tail. Firstly, is it really that simple to become a slayer? Because I thought one needed contact with an entity steeped in a specific element to gain control over its magical form.

Like a dragon slayer training under a dragon. And why bother? For what purpose did Deliora determine to gain slayer magic, a demon so powerful as to have laid to waste several cities, now cowering against a mere ice mage.

THE CHAPTER:

Gray Vs. Silver officially commences with Gray immediately pushed to his limits against a superior foe.

MY REVIEW:

A lot of action in this chapter and yet it felt a lot like set up for some breakthrough Gray will probably achieve in the coming week.

Not complaining, I liked this chapter, and the action was pretty well choreographed to display Gray’s full range of attacks. I appreciate Hiro’s attempt to make this battle about more than mere power levels.

Gray actually applied himself in displaying the dynamism of his magic, using ice make in various unique ways, from the Gatling guns to the giant hammer and the sword. Pretty impressive art as well.

I have always found Hiro’s art to peak when drawing Gray’s ice magic in action; as opposed to the various hazy panels that are Natsu’s dull battles. Maybe fire doesn’t translate as well on paper.

Whatever the case, I actually found myself entertained by this chapter. That isn’t to say that I am not still apprehensive about what is to come next. The fact that Deliora was so afraid of Gray as to resort to using slayer magic is nonsensical, seeing as not even Ur could match his capabilities.

More importantly, this is starting to mirror the Mardgeer situation; Deliora placed an entire village under ice with a single wave of his hand. Why is the fight against Gray still moving a this pace?

Not only should he have murdered Gray a long time ago, taking into account how helpless Gray is against him, but even if we are to believe that Deliora is more interested in causing more pain than actual killing, he spent most of this chapter standing about and letting Gray unleash a barrage of attacks against him.

As it is we have yet to see an actual fight between Silver and Gray. For pits sake Deliora froze the entire battlefield for no logical reason. Why worry about a few non ice projectiles if he could have simply placed Gray himself on ice.

+Predictions: Yes, Gray is going to master ice slayer magic; at the very least expect him to eat Deliora’s ice at some point, probably on Ur’s advice.

RATING: 6/10, yes pretty entertaining. Fairy Tail is best when it maintains an air of unpredictability, even though I am pretty sure I know how this is going to progress.

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Welcome everyone! We had a large selection today. The weirdest covers this week has to be Case Closed for its cat on the cover and In Clothes Called Fat. I still have Sherlock Bones and UQ Holder on my to read list. That's all I'm interested this week.

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

It's thanks to PikaHyper for uploading the English manga covers for Seven Deadly Sins Vol. 3 and UQ Holder Vol. 2. The rest except Sherlock Bones are from Amazon.com.

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

Sources

Notes:

  • Right Stuf had Moe Maniax for this week while Amazon and ANN listed it for last week.

Right Stuf has a few adult releases which I forgot to add, but I have to leave for a wedding dinner tonight. I'm working at the restaurant.

  • Fruitful Body
  • Coffin of Cerebrum
  • Work for Pleasure
  • Hey! Class President
  • Nyotai-ka! Vol. 3

Weekly Manga Releases

Case Closed Volume 51
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $9.99

Plot:

Digging for clams at the beach, the Junior Detective League digs up a mystery instead. Did a depressed beachgoer commit suicide, or was he murdered by one of his friends?

Then, detective Richard Moore faces a challenge beyond his crime-fighting abilities: taking care of his ex-wife's new kitten! But the pesky furball leads him to the clues he needs to solve an impenetrable code. Could there be a new detective in town - one even cuter than Conan?
Fullmetal Alchemist Omnibus 8
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $14.99

Plot:

With the Day of Reckoning at hand, war breaks out in Central City. On one side, the homunculi and corrupt military; on the other, the Elric family, Ishvalan refugees, and a ragtag alliance of soldiers loyal to Major General Armstrong of Fort Briggs and Roy Mustang.

While Hohenheim confronts the homunculi's "father," Mustang finally learns the truth about Hughes's murder. Will he be consumed by hatred and do the unthinkable?

Collects volumes 22-24 in an omnibus format.
In Clothes Called Fat
  • Distributor: Vertical
  • Suggested retail price: $13.95
Plot:
Noko appears to be living a great life, she's got a good job and a loving boyfriend, but beneath a thin veneer is a young woman who is struggling with her self-image and self-confidence as she fights to keep her weight down. To Noko, being 5 pounds overweight means being miles away from happiness in her lovelife and in her work-place.
Ranma ½ [2-in-1 Edition] Vol. 3
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $14.99
Chinese Amazon warrior Shampoo hasn't given up on Ranma yet - only instead of killing him, she now wants to marry him! There are just a few obstacles in the way of their future happiness, though, starting with a childhood phobia of Ranma's and followed by Shampoo's suitor, Mousse, martial arts master of hidden weapons. Can Ranma escape Shampoo's soap opera? Or a better question might be, does he even want to?

Collects volumes 5-6 in an omnibus format.
07-Ghost Volume 11
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $9.99
Plot:
The paths of one evil god, two rival empires, three unlikely bishops and seven brave ghosts converge in the destiny of Teito Klein, a boy who vows to master a powerful artifact known as the Eye of Mikael in order to lay bare the secrets of the world’s and his own murky past.

Bishop by day and something sinister by night, Frau has managed to hide his “real job” from Teito…until now. On the Hawkzile race that will take them to Hoburg Fortress, Frau loses control and pulls Teito ...
Rin-ne Volume 15
  • Distributor: Viz Media
  • Suggested retail price: $9.99
Plot:
Ever since a strange encounter when she was a child, Sakura Mamiya has had the power to see ghosts. Now in high school, she just wishes the ghosts would leave her alone! When her mysterious classmate Rinne Rokudo shows up, Sakura finds herself following him into the amazing world between life and death!

The damashigami Renge has moved into the room next to Rinne’s in the old club building. Renge has been giving away lucky cell phone charm straps for free, and as a result, Rinne’s losing business! With everyone around Renge getting caught up in her affairs, Rinne has his work cut out for him!
Sherlock Bones Volume 6
  • Distributor: Kodansha Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $10.99
Plot:
THIS JUST IN: MURDER IN LONDON TOWN

With Takeru settling into his new job as a police officer, he and Sherdog take on their latest mystery in a case that involves the murder of a famous newscaster’s wife. But as Takeru tries to pin this grisly murder on the newscaster, he finds himself in conflict with Kento Munakata, the hot-shot, genius detective in charge of the case. Takeru and Sherdog will do all they can to solve this case, even if it means going above the detective’s head to get things done, but will Takeru’s rash actions hurt or help him in the end?
The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat Volume 2
  • Distributor: Digital Manga Publishing
  • Suggested retail price: $12.95
Plot:
Yoto finally has a date of his dreams with Azusa! But it's a date like no other! This is their first date and they are already talking about marriage and family...?!
The Seven Deadly Sins Vol. 3 - "The Sin of Greed"
  • Distributor: Kodansha Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $10.99
Plot:
When they were accused of trying to overthrow the monarchy, the feared warriors the Seven Deadly Sins were sent into exile. Princess Elizabeth discovers the truth - the Sins were framed by the king's guard, the Holy Knights - too late to prevent them from assassinating her father and seizing the throne! Now the princess is on the run, seeking the Sins to help her reclaim the kingdom. But the first Sin she meets, Meliodas, is a little innkeeper with a talking pig. He doesn't even have a real sword! Have the legends of the Sins' strength been exaggerated...?
UQ Holder Volume 2
  • Distributor: Kodansha Comics
  • Suggested retail price: $10.99
Plot:
Negi Springfield, the boy wizard of the hit manga Negima!, fought and won many battles. Now it is decades later and Negi's grandson(!), a little boy name Touta, dreams of leaving his quiet village and heading to the City. But first he must defeat his teacher... the immortal vampire, Evangeline!
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Figured I'd cover this in case no one has gotten word of it. The Weekly Shonen Jump manga publication has announced that the manga series, Assassination Classroom, will be getting an anime adaptation that will air on Fuji TV late night in Japan every Friday starting in January. A commercial commemorating the new anime series will be hosted on the title's web site in the near-future and Weekly Shonen Jump will be releasing a still of the characters in the series in anime form at Fuji TV's headquarters.

The anime is based on Yusei Matsui's popular and ongoing comedy manga series of the same name focused on a middle school that has a classroom full of misfit students whose teacher is an alien octopus with psychic powers. Said alien has destroyed the moon and plans to destroy the Earth unless his students can succeed in killing him by the end of the year. The Assassination Classroom manga series has been licensed by Viz Media, who plan to release the first volume of the series for American readers in December.

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You know you really like a story when a whole lot of nothing happens in a chapter and you find yourself none the less entertained. That is how I know that I like a book, that I can take so much enjoyment out of characters simply mingling and conversing.

So it’s official, I really like Noblesse.

THE CHAPTER:

Muzaka has disappeared and his absence breeds chaos among his subjects. Rather than engage with his pack upon his return, Muzaka turns his attention towards a

more interesting entity.

MY THOUGHTS:

Reading this chapter of Noblesse, I was reminded of just how much drama the manhwa tends to squeeze into its various scenes; and that isn’t a bad thing, because reading noblesse feels a lot like watching an anime, with the panels arranged to flow with with the same dynamic fashion as animated scenes.

I don’t if i am imagining it, or Rai is actually displaying all the emotion that I believe him to be bringing to the fro in his many silent posture.

Thinking on it, it seems like that was all that happened chapter in 328, Muzaka and Rai finally coming face to face, Muzaka proving to be every bit the cool Lord that Rai is.

Rather than waste panels on more comedic fun with Shion and crew, as brief as this chapter was it was an enjoyable peek behind the curtain, a chance to watch the initial sparks of friendship fly between these two current enemies, making mention of the underlying political tensions, the potential cause of future Noble/werewolf clashes.

+RATING: 7/10, it is not surprising how little happened; it is surprising how much I enjoyed the chapter none the less, especially the subtle comedic elements, this including Raskrea and Rai’s silent moments.

+HIGHLIGHTS: Rai and Muzaka’s meeting.

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I was anticipating this chapter and am not even sure why; it’s the typical rule of most manga that the end of a massive conflict is immediately followed by some downtime, though the purpose of this chapter revolved around that final revelation, which wasn’t much of a revelation truth be told.

THE CHAPTER:

The various species are glad for their free and begin to emerge from the shells. The magicians however express doubt over their victory and ask whether freedom and equality achieved were a worthy cause for the sacrifices they suffered.

MY THOUGHTS:

Magi is at its best when its asking all these difficult questions and giving few answers. There was hope in chapter 231, watching as the various species finally emerged from hiding and enjoyed the sun, free from the oppression of the orthodox magicians.

However there was also despair from the magicians that had fought for decades and centuries to bring equality to the other species, only to achieve their goal and lose their families as a consequence.

The first half of this chapter was dark; there was less doubt in Solomon’s leadership than I expected and more raw anger, with most of the magicians coming to accept the fact that Solomon wasn’t to blame.

He bounced back rather quickly, Solomon, putting his mind to the task of figuring out what David intended in massacring his friends and family and then gifting him with the stave.

Following previous revelations about David’s intentions to capture god, it was of little surprise what the crew discovered at the end. Yet one has to wonder what David had in mind.

I cannot even begin to ascertain where this story is going. We know David has foreknowledge of the future. Which means all his actions where intended for a very specific purpose and not merely meaningless violence.

And now we have Illah, stuck in another dimension, leaking magoi; this has to link back to the great Alma Toran disaster and what Al tharmen has in mind for the present world.

+Predictions- We can presume that the Father is Illah corrupted into a black rukh form, and is probably responsible for Alma Toran’s destruction. Solomon’s friend's are still on track to becoming Al Tharmen.

With this chapter I am now even more certain that Sheba will become Gyoukuen. She is clearly mesmerized by Illah whereas Solomon is curious. He’s probably going to find something that deems Illah in his current state too dangerous to be set free.

David will probably prove to be righteous, with his previous actions intended for the greater good, and in her attempts to set Illah free at all costs, even with the potential destruction of reality, Sheba will turn against Solomon.

And she did call Illah father after all, the same thing Al Tharmen called that black thing that fell out of the sky.

+RATING: 7/10, This Magi flashback is gearing up for quite the epic finale.

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CLAYMORE CHAPTER 151-152 REVIEW: SHARINGAN TERESA/ THE TRUE FORM OF HATE.

NOOOOOOO! Those words at the end of the chapter, I simply refuse to believe them. The end cannot be approaching.

The end of this arc maybe, but not of this great series. I want more, and I am willing to believe that the mangaka has a lot more in store for the manga. We cannot go out before seeing the dragons.

THE CHAPTERS:

Teresa hits the battlefield, challenging the former number 1s absorbed by Priscilla to show the pride of their ranks and challenge her in direct combat. Seemingly weakened from the internal rebellion, Priscilla’s hate for Teresa rises to the surface, granting her great power.

MY THOUGHTS:

It’s odd, I hated chapter 151 when I first read it last month; something about it seemed less than the usual Claymore quality. Reading it a second time though gave me pause and a chance to appreciate it for a great battle chapter in contrast to chapter 152.

Great chapters all round; I wanted to see Teresa in action, and these two chapters reminded me of the awe I first felt watching her in action against the Priscilla and Irene, shortly before her death.

I won’t call her a beast, but she is, defeating Cassandra even while faced with a rather odd fighting form and then standing up to chaos that is Priscilla.

Thinking about it though, chapter 152 shined largely due to the emotional aspects of the story, specifically Teresa’s attempts at gaining an understand of this new world and Clare’s friends, allowing them and us an opportunity to understand her place among the ghosts as she saw it.

Some of what she said was a little surprising'; I personally rarely give Yuma any thought and I will sometimes forget her existence; even when she makes an appearance I struggle to remember what she’s all about.

But it would make sense that Clare would find her most endearing, both having struggled with their weak ranking and stature. Surprisingly, I am found these conversations between Teresa and the ghosts quite fascinating to read, even more than the battle scenes, this including Raki’s account of his time with Isley.

Though, I think we all knew that Isley had changed his tune during his days with Raki, becoming less murderous villain and more fatherly figure to two interesting individuals.

Speaking of Isley, it has been eons since we last laid eyes upon those undead things that brought the so called Limitless Isley down; one needs to ask why the organization never considered launching those monsters (and even by Yoma/awakened being/abyssal one standards, those things are monsters) at the juggernaut that is Priscilla. That is a clash I would like to see.

+I thought Priscilla was all about Yoki reading, and that availed her all the advantage she needed against any and all opponents. But she showed superior brute strength as well, on top of speed and an ability to adapt new skills. One has to wonder what the greatest number 1 can truly do when unleashed.

+The art in these chapters lacked some of the finer details of typical claymore, precluding that Teresa/Cassandra fight, which was pretty amazing. I love the effort Norihiro Yagi pours into creating these intriguing claymore and their even more intriguing fighting styles.

RATING: 7/10, watching Teresa finally engage Priscilla was quite exciting, observing as she maintained her usual calm demeanor even in the face of Priscilla’s rage, executing the sorts of techniques others termed ‘special’ with little effort.

One cannot dispute the fact that this fight was simply destined, between the strongest claymore ever and the greatest awaken being in existence. This being Claymore I cannot even begin to guess who will come out on top.

Priscilla is already raging but Teresa is still taking things easy.

These last few chapters do beg the question though. Is Teresa actually Clare’s awakening? Because then one has to wonder if Teresa herself can actually awaken. And if she can’t, then that would be a shame.

Keeping Abyssal Teresa from us is like Bleach’s Zaraki Kenpachi never revealing this bankai (and knowing Kubo that is a possibility).

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Welcome to this week's DVD and Blu-Ray releases. For this week, it's a small selection. Out of the three, I did watched Sasami-San and Naruto Shippuden. For Sasami-San, it's a strange show. I can't really explain it well. If you're going to watch it, be prepared for some incestuous moments and bizarre, confusing story. I think our Anime Vice's expert can fill you in. For Naruto Shippuden, it's the sequel to Naruto, and for many young folks, this is a popular Shonen anime that served as a gateway drug to anime besides Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z. The series isn't for everyone if you are not a Shonen fan because the series has a lot of pacing issues.

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

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

Notes

  • None

Sources

DVD and Blu Ray Releases

Flowers of Evil - Complete Collection (Blu-Ray or DVD)
  • Distributor: Sentai Filmworks
  • Suggested retail price: $59.98 (Blu-Ray), $49.98 (DVD)
Darkness lurks everywhere, in every human heart, and sometimes it takes just a second of weakness for it to take root. For Takao Kasuga, that germination begins when his obsession with his beautiful classmate Nanako meets the opportunity to "borrow" her used gym clothes. Unfortunately, his loathsome act of laundry theft is witnessed by Nakamura, the strange girl who sits behind him in class. Soon, Nakamura's own dark obsessions begin to hook their twisted tendrils into Takao's miserable existence.

Blackmailed into a "contract" under the threat of having his guilt revealed to his entire class, the former bookworm who could spend hours reading Beaudelaire's "The Flowers of Evil" now finds himself entwined in Nakamura's growing fantasies as she leads him down the garden path to damnation. As their blossoming relationship becomes ever darker, even the seemingly innocent Nanako is pulled into the nightmare.

Just what are Nakumura's ultimate plans, and will the increasingly trapped Takao really be willing to carry them out? What you sow, you must ultimately reap, and there's certain to be a harrowing harvest ahead!

  • Contains episodes 1-13.
Naruto Shippuden (DVD box19)
  • 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 232-244.
  • Special Features: Storyboards, Clean Opening, Clean Endings.
  • Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.
Sasami-san@Ganbaranai (DVD)
  • Distributor: Sentai Filmworks
  • Suggested retail price: $49.98
In Japan, the term hikikomori is used to describe people who've become so socially withdrawn that they refuse to leave their homes for weeks and even months at a time. For Sasami Tsukuyomi, a shut-in attempting to pass her first year of high school, it's more than just a word. Fortunately, she lives with her older brother Kamiomi, who just happens to be a teacher at the exact school Sasami is supposed to attend.

With the help of her "Brother Surveillance Tool," Sasami is able to view the outside world via her computer, theoretically allowing her to readjust to interacting with people once more. In reality, it reveals her brother's interactions with the three very odd Yagami sisters, whose looks and motives are deceiving, and have various types of interest in Kamiomi. That's when things start to get really weird...

Magical powers? Everything turning into chocolate? Has life via the web warped Sasami's brain, or is it the universe that's going crazy? It looks like Sasami will have to take off her pajamas and go out into the real world to set things straight!

  • Contains episodes 1-12.
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I don’t know if it’s because of the amount of anime I have watched over the past few years, but very little impresses me these day. That’s not to say that every anime I come across is little more than garbage.

However one might say that I rarely flinch at anime that could be described as good, instead always on the look out for something that could be called great.

In other words, every once in a while, I want to be completely blown away, and it is probably because of how rarely I encounter true gems within anime that when I run into a masterpiece like Now and Then, Here and There, it so excessively impresses, to the point of shocking or even startling.

Maybe it’s because of the several months that have passed since I last watched a truly breathtaking anime series that Now and Then, Here and Now feels like one of the best written series I have ever watched.

THE PLOT:

Shu is a typical Japanese boy with an unbeatable, optimistic and determined attitude. However, after seeing a mysterious girl with strange eyes named Lala-Ru up on a smokestack, he is soon pulled into a strange desert world. soon comes discovering the true terrors of war, the brutality, torture, hunger, thirst, and child exploitation.

Determined to save Lala-Ru as well as his hard earned, and often reluctant, new friends from the insane dictator, Shu mu triumph against the insanity of the tyrannical Hamdo, even while trying to maintain his positive view of life in a difficult world.

MY REVIEW:

I find it difficult to refer to Now and Then as a masterpiece, mostly because it is a relatively simplistic story, compared to those more popular anime such as Death Note and FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood.

A boy is snatched out of present day earth and thrust into a post apocalyptic future, where a manic tyrant is intent on using his flying fortress to unleash unholy hell upon the remnants of the planet.

A simple sci-fi series, one that plays out rather directly, the story moving from point A to point B as would be expected from a story that follows a young hero suddenly thrown into a dangerous world.

Yet Now and Then is anything but typical, and for two primary reasons:

+The story behind the story- on the surface, Now and Then is an adventure story chronicling Shu’s attempts at returning home, and hence initially presents as a considerably more innocent and lighthearted series.

However a closer look immediately reveals a darker underbelly. At its core Now and Then is a war story, that presents a picture of the uglier sides of conflict, sprinkled with heart ache and chaos.

Rather than a young adventurer afforded the opportunity to explore the new world, Shu is inducted into a military force under the hand of a wicked tyrant; and what follows is less fun and more child torture, more or less obliterating the already blurry line between good and evil.

There was something disturbing about listening to Hamdo, steeped in a disturbed psyche, put his second in command to the task of replenishing the dwindling military he had single handedly crippled.

That disturbance grew as it became clear the means through which the military fortress maintained its military might, essentially raiding villages and relieving them of their strong; even more disturbing to learn that there were less strong able bodied men waiting to go to war and more innocent male children, waiting to be inducted into a military force that meant to lay to waste all they had grown to love.

Even more disturbing to actually watch an army of soldiers descend upon a village and rather violently pillage it of all its children, the boys to be transformed into fighting machines, the girls utilized for the purposes of breeding.

And the chilling elements? The fact that the tyrannical army was little more than a menagerie of scared, confused and largely unwilling boys, themselves once torn out of their homes to fight in a war, a now, mere months to years later, turning their weapons against other innocents, and doing to other boys and girls what was done to them.

-Is Now and Then Dark? Yes, and in the most irritating manner; beyond the typical good Vs. evil, Now and Then creates quite the dilemma. Bad things happen. People die, but it is difficult to determine if justice is ever really done by the time the story wraps up.

Because that requires that those responsible for wreaking havoc, the villains, are punished; yet, in watching some of these events play out, the various characters rise and fall, you would be hard pressed to find a single reason within which to take joy.

Because it is that difficult to actually hate anyone; and I have always vocalized my hate for those myriads of anime and manga always too quick to redeem their villains, many of them usually hell-bent on selling to us some silly sob stories meant to somehow draw sympathy for their antagonists.

Most times, all that such plots elicit from me is irritation, at what seems to me to be an obvious attempt at insulting my intelligence.

Now and Then juggles its villains brilliantly, never interested in developing sappy backstories, but rather simply placing focus upon building strong characters supported by a pithy past, with each action complimented by a very rational understanding of the events that created some of the monsters in the anime.

Even watching some of the massacres playing out on the battlefield, one is forced to question the logic of the vengeance related plots that are perpetrated in some of the story arcs; watching some of these kids, on opposite sides of a divide, make war against each other, there is clearly no right or wrong, no rationale for either party to execute its desires, neither Hamdo’s forces needlessly burning villages to the ground, nor the rebel elements seeking to obliterate (in vengeance) an enemy merely continuing the cycle of hatred and violence perpetrated against.

And maybe that’s what drew me to this anime, the conflicting arguments it raises, almost simultaneously; with the rapidly shifting sides and tides, Now and Then makes for some of the quietest, yet most thrilling episodes I have watched in a while.

+The characters Behind the characters- yes, Now and Then begins as a lighthearted story that grows rather dark. But maybe that isn’t completely true; because, despite initial assumptions, this anime is no wolf’s rain.

Rather than an endless barrage of sadness, Now and Then preaches a message of hope, one that only proves endearing in the face of the amazing cast, a rather small character base that proves to be the most interesting I have encountered in a long while.

I have heard people speak of the inspiring elements of shonen anime and manga; and quite a few will speak of the messages of hope and triumph that shine through some of these stories.

But truth be told, I would choose Shu over Luffy any day of the week as far as lists of greatest anime and manga characters are concerned. I don’t even understand the excitement over listening to Luffy make some awesome speech in the face of overwhelming odds, possibly rising from an awe inspiring defeat.

Because really, as awesome as Luffy’s better moments are, it is difficult to cheer for any specific strength of will he seems to display against indomitable challenges. Even when faced with death and failure, one needs to question if Luffy has ever really felt despair.

I mean, I am sure he has; but is it truly inspiring watching him eventually overcome these hardships? Is it not expected, not because of One Piece being shonen, but because of the nature of Luffy’s life?

If you think about it, Luffy has everything going for him as far as action heroes go; and even in his darkest days, past victories against other seemingly overwhelming odds should give him the confidence he needs to overcome no matter the situations he faces. In fact I would be surprised if he actually failed to find the strength to rise following past victories.

This isn’t an attack against Luffy, merely an example of the typical anime and manga hero. And as epic as they might appear in their own right, I found Shu to stand above most of these characters.

Why? Well, because of how realistic Now and Then was; we are talking about a series devoid of overt supernatural elements (besides Lala-Ru), where heroes do not have the luxury of hidden powers and special skills, where the determination to protect your friends and nakama doesn’t stop them from being murdered right in front of your face.

Where children are children, weak and incapable, where even quickly mastered capabilities do not change the frailty of their little bodies; this is the world that Shu has to deal with, and watching the young boy undergo all manner of violence, witness the evil being perpetrated around, usually helpless to do much about it, yet maintain his positive demeanor, that is something I found intriguing.

It is one thing to spout speeches of hope when you are one unlocked power away from achieving victory. Shu has nothing. His words, his beliefs about pacifism and kindness and hope are tried and tested in the worst conditions.

And when he comes through to the other end, ever so determined to maintain his positive outlook, well, that is a message that doesn’t feel as cheap and forced as most anime tend to feel.

-Not that Shu completely carries the series on his shoulders, but rather his interactions with the various characters and the relationships he builds. More intriguing are the difficulties those persons around him undergo, and who do not have the benefit of a hope crafted by Shu’s peaceful upbringing.

You will love these characters, and hate them, then struggle with the sympathy the show is so brilliant at creating for some of its antagonists, throwing terms like hero and villains aside. Now and Then is populated with survivors; be it pitiful Nabuca, committing atrocities even while constantly muttering those words that Hamdo said to him the first time he was inducted into the army, that he would return home once the war ended, this goal driving him towards darker paths for a dream of future peace.

Or Boo, too young to understand the purpose of war, too ready to forgive and show mercy, ever at the hands of those comrades determined to transform him into a true machine of war, this being his only means of surviving the chaos to come.

And Sara, wisped away from America, like Shu dreaming of home, but staring at a bleak future, purposed for breeding Hamdo’s army. There couldn’t be a better cast of characters to manifest the brutality of war, each concealing several layers of depth.

+VERDICT: You know what, it is important to remember that Now and Then is dark, but not brutal; and that is a surprise, one that only cements the show’s quality in my eyes.

Anyone can create darkness and despair using blood and gore; just watch Afro Samurai or Berserk, and you are bound to flinch at the flying heads and pouring entrails.

I love the subtlety of Now and Then, whose core revolves around hinting at the messages beneath each action, every word of dialogue steeped in depth and revealing volumes about each character and situation.

Truth be told I was surprised about how miniscule the bloody elements were in the anime, most people simply dropping to the floor when shot, presenting little more than a little red dot in manifesting the results of gunfire.

And I like that; I have nothing against gore, but most anime and manga utilize blood for the aim of creating shock; a series that can bring across the darkness of its story without resorting to meaningless violence is a story I can get behind.

Released in 2001 and most definitely presenting a rather dated look, be it the animation or art, Now and Then, Here and There is none the less miles ahead of 99% of all the anime I have watched in the past two years.

That might sound like an exaggeration, but that is how impressed I am with this anime. And I expected to hate it. I can rarely stand to watch anime this old, mostly because I find the dated production values way too distracting, this not even taking into account the use of countless tropes, novel back then but considered clichés today.

Not Now and Then; the last anime I watched and liked, that was this old was Noir-not great but decent.

Now and Then is a must watch, for any anime fan, that is if you are interested in indulging in a simple yet intriguing story with endearing characters and a strangely positive message about the future.

+RATING: 10/10, certainly there were flaws, but most of them so negligible as to have no impact on what is essentially a masterpiece of an anime. Watching Now and Then, Here and There, I can understand what Hayao Miyazaki said recently, about the pithy anime of old, now replaced by what he generally described as meaningless fluff (only true to an extent).

Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku is a 13 episode that ran from October 1999 to January 2000, directed by Hakitaro Daichi (Kamisama Hajimemashita, Fruit Baskets) and written by Hideyuki kurata (HandXRed, Tokyo Ravens, The World God Only Knows, Hellsing OVA, Read or Die, Excel Saga).

HIGHLIGHS: Boo and Sarah, Abelia’s final moment with Hamdo, Shu and Lala-ru’s last sunset.

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Here are HULU and Daisuki's Summer 2014 simulcast. This blog will be continually updated.

Here in Anime Vice, users are encourage to watch anime legally whenever possible. Territories are listed below. I will continually update this blog. Later in the first half of July 2014, I will have a comprehensive Simulcast guide for all legal anime streaming venue for the community. It will be on the front page.

HULU and Daisuke Summer 2014 Simulcast

1. Aldnoah.Zero

Genres & Themes: Mecha, Drama Plot: In 1972, a hypergate was discovered on the surface of the moon. But then, humankind came into contact with beings from Mars, leading to war.

2. Persona 4: The Golden Animation

Genres & Themes: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Mystery, Slice of Life Plot: In the spring when the cherry blossom petals fall, Yū Narukami moves to Yaso Inaba to live with his uncle and cousin due to his family's circumstances. He transfers to Yasogami High School, where his event-filled school life begins. However, when serial murders begin occurring in the peaceful town, Yū is awakened to the power of his heart turned to physical form: A Persona. Within these new mysteries is Marie, a resident of the alternate world, the Velvet Room, who has no memories of her past. Together with his friends, Yū must solve all the riddles set in front of him and save Yaso Inaba from further violence.

So far, these two companies shared Aniplex's simulcasts.

Sources

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