Aniplex of America began streaming a five-minute video interview with Sword Art Online and Accel World creator Reki Kawahara on Friday. Kawahara will be attending Sakura-Con in Seattle on March 29-31. In the interview, Kawahara discusses the popularity of Sword Art Online outside of Japan, what he is looking forward to during his visit to Seattle, and he also commented on some pictures of North American cosplayers. The interviewer mentions the show's simulcast in the U.S., and noted that the series is "approaching 10 million views."
Kawahara's Sakura-Con appearance will mark his first trip to North America.
Sources: ANN, Aniplex
Reki Kawahara is known for his Accel World and Sword Art Online novels.
In 2046, people can access a virtual network known as the Neurolinker via their cellphone terminals. A perpetual victim of bullying, middle school student Haruyuki spends his time absorbed in games in a corner of his local network. One day he is approached by the most famous girl in his school, Kuroyukihime (Black Snow Princess). She gives him a strange program called Brain Burst that has the power to "accelerate the world."
The players of a virtual reality MMORPG, Aincrad Online, are trapped and fighting for their very lives. After it is announced that the only way to leave the game is by beating it, Kirito—a very powerful swordsman—and his friends take on a quest to free all the minds trapped in Aincrad.
Well, it's been a fun ride, guys :) Unfortunately, the ride is over for me. And the thing is, I've had a difficult time convincing myself this. You see, when you care about something so much, you find it difficult to let go-- to say goodbye. Like Comic Vine, this place has served its purpose. I must now continue my journey. To those I knew in the Rping community(while some have left, but will never be forgotten), I had pleasure rping with you and getting to know you guys as my friends. You've helped me become more confident in my writing. But most importantly, you've helped me become more confident in myself, during a troubling time for me. Whether you believe it, or not. As I vented my emotions through words, you guys helped me turn them into wondrous and beautiful stories. So, really, I turned to people like me. People who enjoy doing the things I like to do, which is what I really love this place. You guys made me feel special, seriously.
As corny as this sounds lol....talking to you guys-- despite being miles apart from one another-- never felt like I was too far away. It was as if you guys were right in front of me xD So, to all of my friends: Thank you for being a part of this experience.
I especially want to thank UsachanMaN, for all your help and all those time we spent time babbling every night xD But it wasn't just all nonsense. The conversations I will remember the most, will be the ones where you inspired me. Your jolly, funny, and optimistic outlook on life was medicine to my somewhat cynical heart, that opened up the inner kid inside me that I had forgotten still existed. For that, I'm grateful :)
Again, thanks you guys and goodbye. You all have a special part in my memories. Who knows, maybe it's not goodbye. Maybe I'll be back, someday :p But until then, keep chucking at life. Because behind every Vicer, there's a story-- and behind that, there's a person. If you're going through hard times, turn to each other to lend a voice and an ear.
Peace out, Anime Vice! :D
It’s funny, when I make the conscious decision to act like last week’s fairy tail chapter didn’t exist, things quickly begin looking up. Now that we are finally out of the Daimatou Enbu, the story has began to pick up, and answers are revealed
Fairy tail has won the Dimatou Enbu, it’s all cheers, with many surprised and happy that the guild has returned to its former glory as Fiore’s number one strongest guild.
Elsewhere, Arcadios has tracked the princess down, matters are quickly settled regarding Arcadios’s betrayal of the kingdom, who immediately confronts the princess. Arcadios makes a speech about how a knight cannot doubt his monarch, and he proves this by drawing his sword, placing the handle in the princess’ hands, and the blade against his neck.
Apparently if his doubts are allayed and the princess’ words prove to be true, he will take his life in penance. Stupid. Arcadios knows that Lucy wasn’t lying, yet her prophetic words of what is to happen next completely contradict what the princess has been saying the whole time.
At that point, we get a shot of Jellal, who just suddenly realized the anomaly in the story. Lucy had claimed to have come over from the future on the fourth.The eclipse gate was created using the book of Zeref, which is why Jellal sensed zeref’s power around Lucy; his energy would have wrapped itself around her when she went through the gate. More importantly, Jellal first encountered the hooded figure wrapped in Zeraf’s magic at midnight on the third, the day before Lucy is said to have returned. So if Lucy wasn’t lying about that little detail, then it wasn’t Lucy that Jellal encountered on the third.
It is at this point that the princess, who had claimed that they would be launching Eclipse2, instead of eclipse one which was designed to stop Zeref, informs Arcadios that the man that told her about the future and what she needed to do was male, not female.
Natsu and wendy are murdering the Garou knights in the tunnels, when they are all, along with the soldiers, suddenly swallowed up by a wave of shadows. And who should suddenly show up at the end of the tunnel but Rogue Chenney from the future. This is a different looking rogue, one that is in control of the shadows.
What could he want? If Lucy is here to save Fiore, then what is Rogue after?
Really, sometimes I think Hiro is in the wrong genre of manga, because the way he works and twists the mysteries is truly masterful and impressive. I mean really, who could have ever thought that we would be seeing such intrigue and mystery in a manga like fairy tail.
After last week’s chapter, I can’t help but approach fairy tail cautiously, sure things seems like they are getting quite good; but this is Hiro, the king of setups. We have seen just how easily he can knock fairy tail down. None the less this was a pretty decent chapter.
While not a whole lot happened, we got answers, and any chapter that tears away at the burning questions introduced earlier in the arc usually works for me.
The first half of this chapter was unnecessary and uninteresting. We see the joy and elation, fairy tail has triumphed and all its defeated foes are accepting the news with grace; even sting and rogue, this arc’s biggest losers.
We knew fairy tail would win,but I hated the way they won and I would be the first to say I have no interest in seeing these celebrations. But a tiny part of me was slightly touched, barely, but still; the first half of this arc introduced to us a totally defeated fairy tail, that had lost all its past glory and power.
It would be a rare fan that was happy to watch the fairy tail name booed and degraded by the less informed members of Fiore, and most of us fans were routing for the moment the guild would finally rise and unleash some serious payback against all those that had stomped on it, raven tail and saber tooth being chief amongst them.
This is surely something we wanted to see, sting and rogue, put in their place and Minerva punished, but Hiro just executed it rather badly. So I can’t really knock the celebrations, as I also wanted to see the guild regain its name.
If I ever see the Garou knights again, I am going to…I really don’t know what I will do, but enough of them already.
Things changed in this chapter story wise; we know that rogue from the future has been at the Daimatou enbu for sometimes. That was a great surprise, heck it was an awesome reveal, and only goes to show how good Hiro is at playing with mysteries and misdirection.
We know that Lucy isn’t up to anything bad. But we also know that just like current Lucy she is completely useless and stands no chance of stopping the coming disaster. Rogue on the other hand is a different story. The question is what is his goal?
We can guess that he was the shadow that enabled current rogue to fight Gajeel, and that could have been mere fun. More importantly, what is the shadow power that he is controlling and where did he get it. How could he change so much in just four days time?
Because he really looks like a completely different person. I heard a hilarious idea that Rogue and sting probably fused, but that seems unlikely. Either way we know he has been working for/with the princess. We will just have to wait to see his end game.
Arcadios surprised me; actually this manga surprises me. Whatever its rating, I have always thought of fairy tail as a kid’s manga, sort of, but some of its themes have surprised me, such as raven tail’s master stripping and brutally beating (Hisana?) for failing at her task.
Now we have Arcadios ready to take his life, effectively committing suicide, to assuage his honor. He’s surprising me. Now we know that he is no villain, but that doesn’t mean the princess isn’t being played by Rogue. He can’t be working alone, not with his shadow powers.
This was a good fairy tail chapter. it doesn’t make up for last week, and if I put that into consideration, this chapter seems more okay that anything. But if I ignore last week, this was pretty good. This mystery is really intriguing, and I have never been intrigued by fair tail tail.
It is truly a new sensation, and one that I like. I have been energized to keep following fairy tail. But I have also learnt to keep my expectations low as far as hiro is concerned.
MY RATING:> 3.5/5
MY HIGHLIGHTS:> Rogue’s appearance, Arcadios’ decision to take his life
Technically Lucy is the primary protagonist of fairy tail but she is so irrelevant most of the times, kind of like a sakura of sorts, that most of the time it is Natsu at the helm of the show rather than her.
Natsu is a dragon slayer. AS an infant he was adopted by the dragon Ingeel who, other than raising him, taught him fire dragon slayer magic, a magical power capable of channeling the power of the dragons and which can be used to fight dragons. Igneel disappeared seven years ago and it has been Natsu’s goal to find and locate him.
Natsu is a member of fairy tail, and one of its strongest. He came to live at the guild as a child after Igneel missing. There he came to know many of the friends and team mates that he fights along side with.
Natsu spent a large amount of his child hood obsessed with the idea of locating Igneel and returning him to their home. Little is known of what Natsu’s actual feelings are as to whether Igneel abandoned him or was forced to leave. Though most times it seems that he has chosen to believe that Igneel had a good reason to leave.
Natsu is for the most part, carefree and reckless in nature. He enjoys battles as much as any other fairy tail member; his good nature is such that he never holds grudges against those that he fights, not even when Laxus attacked and pulverized his own guild for the sake of forcing his father to resign.
Natsu did show resistance to forgiving Jellal over what he did to Erza and her friends during the tower of heaven arc. But when it came down to it, when the council of magic acted to imprison Jellal for life for his crimes, Natsu was first to move to defend him, and was quickly to consider him an ally.
Natsu rarely holds negative feelings towards any one, and has been known to show compassion to his enemies, such as cobra, after Zero, his own comrade betrayed him just minutes after cobra had attempting and nearly succeeded in killing Natsu.
Natsu is a very direct mage, in that while he has shown great wit and strategic abilities in battle, he will tackle all problems and fights in a straight forward manner.
Natsu believes that most problems can be solved with pure force, though he has shown an uncanny ability to judge, ascertain and take advantage of enemies weaknesses in mid battle. Natsu will also never admit defeat.
He has, on many occasions, challenged Erza, Laxus, Mirajane, and even Gildartz, all of fairy tail’s S-class mages to battle, and been defeated thoroughly with little to no effort in each and every case. None the less he has shown now signs of giving up on his quest to prove himself a superior mage.
Natsu has, along with gray, shown an unhealthy fear of Erza. The first time her name was mentioned, the two immediately cowered in fear. And in the Edolas arc, natsu was ready to march ahead to the throne room of the king and challenge him head on, until he ran into Erza and Edolas Erza fighting, at which point he immediately retreated and ran off, screaming that he had just encountered two monsters fighting. Even after challenging her so many times, Natsu has never been afraid to admit that Erza is stronger than him and truly worthy of his respect.
During the S-class test, Natsu learnt to fear Gildatz when he showed the dragon slayer his power, teaching natsu a lesson that there was something to be learnt from fear, and that Gildatz was truly the strongest in the guild
Natsu and another mage, Gray have a great rivalry, most likely because they control fire and ice, opposing elements.
Natsu has always been especially close to Lissana, mirajane’s sister, and the two spent most of their child hood days running around, having grand adventures. Lissana seemingly died at one point and Natsu was never the same.
Natsu seems to have taken a special liking to Lucy and on more than one occasion, shown himself to have a lot of faith in her none existent abilities as a mage. This has an effect of pushing Lucy to do more than she is usually capable of, and place her self in danger against foes and challenges she has no business taking on, just to meet natsu’s expectations as her nakama.
Which kind of reminds me of Hinata and what she does to prove Naruto’s faith in her a reality.
Natsu is a key element in all fairy tail arcs, as it is usually his adventures and the jobs he takes with Lucy that lead to the problems they face. On more than one occasion, natsu will undertake missions he is not allowed to take a a result of his rank (such as the time he and happy executed a plan to steal a job request from the S-class floor) which will usually prompt the likes of Erza to follow them in concern. Usually Natsu will prefer to take on the fatal challenges facing him and his team in these instances than face Erza’s wrath.
On the occasion that Lucy, Natsu, Erza and Gray have teamed up for a mission, Makarov has said them to be the strongest team of mages in Fiore, with news of the team up sending shockwaves of fear among the members of the council of magic at the level of destruction and damage this team will most definitely unleash when it makes a move.
The council has made attempts to impede the actions of this team, and their reputation has been justified in terms of the victories they have amassed through out the series.
Because of Natsu’s zeal for battle, he doesn’t know how to hold back, and will unleash untold damage to win a fight, something that cause Makarov endless nightmares because it is his and the guild’s money that pays for damages when it can be proven that a mage of fairy tail was responsible (usually natsu runs away before the soldiers show up).
Natsu’s scarf is made of dragon scales and has defensive abilities.
As a dragon slayer, Natsu can control fire. He can eat it to acquire strength and he has developed a myriad of fire techniques each of which is more destructive than the other. Natsu can enter dragon force mode, but only by feeding on etherion and the flames of rebuke. Dragon force is the pinnacle of dragon slayer magic and will boost the slayer’s magic by two or three times, whilst also manifesting and making visible their magical aura
Natsu also has access to Lightning flame mode, where he fuses both lightning manipulation and fire manipulation, an ability he gained when he ate Laxus’ lightening on two occasions.
Natsu has also displayed God flame abilities, but only when he ate the a god slayer’s flames. He could fused yellow dragon flames in one hand and black god flames in another into the Dragon God’s brilliant flame, a devastating attack.
Natsu can control fire with all parts of his body; he can also use streams of fire as extra arms, as displayed with Elligor, when he, thrown off the bridge, pulled himself back up with a flaming claw.
As with all dragon slayers, Natsu’s strongest attack is his dragon roar, though with the lightning flame mode, he might have upgraded. AS with all dragon slayers, Natsu has motion sickness, and is in possession of an exceed, an talking cat as his companion
I wouldn’t say that I hate Natsu. He is generally fan to watch for a quirky series like fairy tail. But I would be lying if I said I was a fan of his. The problem with natsu is that he is too much of a cliché to be interesting, even when you consider his life story.
Natsu is every bit as cliché a shonen hero as they come. He is basically Luffy, Goku, and Naruto with a hint of ichgo. He has a gluttonous appetite and will weaken if not fed. He will smile through everything, and he somehow manages to find the bright spots in every dark day.
He is fiercely loyal, and more than willing to give his life for his friends, the friends here being every stranger that he might have met no more than an hour ago but whom he is suddenly swearing loyalty to and ready to defend at all costs.
Then there are his battle skills. He is somehow able to learn very complex moves and techniques that he will have only seen once, used by his enemy, before using them only minutes later. There is no opponent whose weakness he can’t decipher, because basically he learns as he fights.
So no matter how strong the enemy is, with time, Natsu will rise to there level and even surpass them. And let’s not forget the arbitrary and rather random power ups, usually for one time use that happen to occur to Natsu at just the right time.
What pisses me off the most is how the system will cheat for Natsu at the right time. Like Luffy he will always, and I mean always, be the one to fight the main villain. At the end of the day, while everyone else deals with the minions, no matter which mage of whatever power is around, it is natsu that delivers the final blow.
Just look at hades, arguably the strongest villain to date, outside of Zeref and Archnologia. Granted, without the other team taking out his heart, fairy tail would have never ever defeated hades, but for Laxus to come into the scene, be the first mage in the battle to actually damage hades, and one strike later, he is on the floor offering Natsu his magic to continue the fight.
Wow, that really infuriated me. We could all see that Laxus was far from beaten; he was fresh and energized unlike the worn out fairies, and there is no way that one hit could have weakened him to the point that he couldn’t fight; and yet we see him, a panel later, offering Natsu his magic as if he couldn’t continue. Why? The system cheated in Natsu’s favor, that’s why.
I am still pissed off about the Natsu, gajeel, Laxus fight. Personally I would have been fine if Gajeel and Natsu took Laxus down. But no, it had to be Natsu single handedly beating Laxus, with no tangible reason as to why Laxus was taking the hits as hard as he did.
One of the worst examples of this is the Zero Natsu fight during the Oracion Seis arc. personally I enjoyed that battle; it was the first time I had seen Natsu fight so hard against an opponent. Even with Jellal’s assistance, he still stood no chance.
But that doesn’t stop me from complaining that Jellal could have fought Zero and, with all the magic he knows, stood a great chance of winning. But no, he chose to give his magic to Natsu while he took a direct hit from Zero. it is so infuriating that I can’t even think about it anymore.
And of course Natsu will get up no matter how much of a beating he gets, or even if he falls unconscious, he will fight; not even a bullet to his mouth can stop him.
The fact is Natsu is a one dimensional character, and unlike typical shonen heroes like Luffy and Naruto, he hasn’t found a way to beat it (we all know ichigo is as flat a character as they come).
We had some fan with Natsu’s origin story, but that lost flavor quickly when Hiro chose to ignore it. The first time we saw Natsu, he was searching for Igneel. That was also the last time. Sure it comes up from time to time, but really, Hiro chose to ignore an other wise intriguing plot to explore.
If I look at Natsu, I can kind of see the appeal fairy tail has for so many fans; it is a familiar concept and so they can more easily endear themselves to it.
RATING:> ON a scale of A-E, Natsu gets a D. His antics and games can be fun, but at the end of the day, Lucy is actually the protagonist and deserves to be because she has more dimensions to her than Natsu. In fact she is a more atypical protagonist than natsu.
I have my own travels blog, but two post are for this kind of site.The blog is on Croatian, but you can always translate, plus I decided to post it here for the pictures.
First is about Anime and Manga Event in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Second is all about cosplay at this event.
Mouse was a 12-episode adventure/ harem comedy anime aired on Japanese TV from January 5 to March 23 of 2003, with each episode airing for 15 minutes a piece. The anime was animated by Studio Deen and based on the manga series written by Satoru Akahori and illustrated by Hiroshi Itaba for the seinen magazine, Young Animal, from April 28, 2000 to October 29, 2004. A rather interesting fact about Mouse is that the series actually aired on a children’s channel called Kids Station during the time of its broadcast in Japan.
The series is currently licensed in America by Media Blasters under their Anime Works distribution line, with the series still in print by the company.
A young college art teacher named Sorata Muon takes on the secret identity of Mouse, a professional thief whose exploits have been passed down through his family for 400 years. Assisted by his three highly devoted and attractive assistants, Mouse is able to successfully elude capture by authorities and steal whatever valuables he declares he will steal, no matter how secure and protected they are.
The major low point of Mouse comes in the form of the three assistants that assist Sorata with his thefts. Clearly being the selling points of the series, their roles are seemingly only being sluts content to serving Sorata and wishing to have their way with him with their suggestive attires and behavior, as well as the prominent large busts found with Mei and Yayoi. While their sexual advances on Sorata are not frequent in Mouse, the three girls still aren’t too appealing on the eyes thanks to the title’s subpar animation as their details look rather crude and rough
Beyond the assistants, Mouse is focused on a number of storylines throughout its run that involve Sorata’s various thefts, how he met his assistants and crossing paths with an enemy syndicate wishing to kill him and his assistants off for their thievery. While there’s enough substance in the series for some semblance of a plot, all the show’s characters are stuck with whatever character archetype they are tacked on with and don’t do much of anything to grow out of it. The thievery of Mouse and his crew isn’t even too interesting of a plot element to be hooked on as the plans for his thefts are too ridiculous to take seriously, with a couple instances where he literally steals entire buildings.
Calling all Evangelion Fans. I have some news for you. I have heard from the televison that toonami will premiere Evangelion 1.11 you are [not] alone on march 17th at 1:00am. watch this url below for more info. this is Aarionf saying Animevice units, "Move out!"
Every year when the cherry blossoms bloom, the internet holds an online film festive where everyone watches a film(s) by Makoto Shinkai. This year, Crunchyroll will once again stream all of the Shinkai films excluding the one that's about to be released. This event will start on Friday, March 15 and will end on Sunday, March 17. The films that will be streaming are: 5 Centimeters Per Second, Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, and the Children Who Chase Lost Voices. All of the following summaries are provided by Crunchyroll. You can access all the movies tomorrow using this link.
Voices of a Distant Star
It is 2046 when a mysterious alien force begins their annihilation of the human race. Leaving behind the one person she loves, Mikako joins the interstellar battle as a pilot. As Mikako flies further into space, her only connection with Noboru are text messages sent from her mobile phone. And so - while Mikako risks her life to save mankind - Noboru waits. At first days, then months, then years for each new message that will let him know whether Mikako is still alive. And, while she barely grows older in the timelessness of space, Noboru ages. The two lovers, worlds apart, desperately strive to remain connected as the gap between them widens at a frightening pace.
The Place Promised in Our Early Days
In school, they were best friends. And they shared two passions: the plane they built together, christened Bela Cielo, and a girl. Sayuri.
Oblivious to the tense internation environment, the three form an indelible bond and it seems nothing can ever come between them and their dream. The boys believe that someday they will reach the distant tower - and touch Sayuri's heart- however far away it may be.
But time passes. War esclates. Alliances are changed. Friends become enemies. And Sayuri falls into a dreamlike state that seems inexplicably linked to the mysterious tower of their youth. At the brink of a World War, Sayuri seems to be the key to a new world peace...or a frightening and bitter end to life as we know it.
5 Centimeters Per Second
Tohno Takaki and Shinohara Akari are two classmates in an elementary school. During their time together they have become close friends. Their relationship is tested when Akari transfers to another city because of her parents' jobs. Both of them struggle to keep their friendship alive as time and distance slowly pulls them apart. When Takaki finds out that he is moving farther away, he decides to visit Akari one last time.
Children Who Chase Voices
When she hears a strange song from a crystal radio, Asuna tunes into more than just a magical stream of music. Soon, she is transported to a mysterious world where mythical beasts roam and brave warriors fight for their lives. Agartha is a land of breathtaking beauty and unimaginable danger - a place where, it is believed, even the dead can be brought back to life. But at what cost?Every year when the cherry blossoms bloom, the internet holds an online film festive where everyone watches a film(s) by Makoto Shinkai. This year, Crunchyroll will once again stream all of the Shinkai films excluding the one that's about to be released. This event will start on Friday, March 15 and will end on Sunday, March 17. The films that will be streaming are: 5 Centimeters Per Second, Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, and the Children Who Chase Lost Voices. All of the following summaries are provided by Crunchyroll.
I haven’t thought about concept in relation to manga for quite a while now, It has been years since I first thought of manga, looked at a couple of books and wondering aloud what the hell the authors expected me to do with a series of black and white images.
As a manga novice I admit to being one of those people that was completely turned away from manga at the idea of a colorless illustrated story. It simply didn’t make sense to me, and it wasn’t until my anime craze kicked in that I finally decided to check out its close cousin, mostly because I wanted to see if naruto was as awesome on paper as it was on screen (those were the days when I would spend sleepless nights watching volume after volume of naruto part 1)
I only recently considered the notion that if I as an anime fan, encountered a serious struggle with the notion of black and white comics, then chances are this is an even bigger problem for comic obsessed fans trying to get into the anime and manga craze.
More than that though, besides the crazy eyes, big hair and ridiculous muscles, the biggest difference that separates western comics and manga is color.
We know that a comic is a comic because when we open a page, our eyes can more easily leap from panel to panel, instantly absorbing information without the strain of having to focus in on specific scenes and analyzing and reanalyzing them just to get a basic idea of what is going on.
There is no denying that color makes a big difference between these two and that if manga could only deal with the coloring part of production, we would see an instant world wide manga craze, and here is why.
BAD:> The fact is the lack of color in manga is a big disadvantage, most none manga fans will most likely never pick a manga volume off the shelf because they just can’t understand the concept of a black and white comic
And why should they? Because in a way, it just doesn’t make sense. Comics provide a fully realized world, and that doesn’t mean that manga doesn’t, but we simply cannot see it. it all comes down to the imagination, and those little descriptions in the margins describing the color of hair, auras and magical blasts involved in any scene.
I recently wrote a review of the Gamaran manga. Afterwards,I ran off to Google to find some images to use, and you won’t believe my shock at the number of colored Gamaran pictures that I found online. The shock wasn't the number as I just insinuated, but the fact that Gama’s samurai outfit was blue and Zenmaru’s was yellow.
It caught me off guard that everything from hair to weapons was nothing like I had pictured it. And it makes a difference when you see the color, because suddenly you can finally understand the mangaka’s mind and what he meant to illustrate.
Who would have known that ichigo’s bankai mode produced a reddish aura with a black edge within his reitsu, because if you have watched bleach, then you will know that all of those little details make a different to the aesthetics that make bleach such a visually amazing series.
Manga is all about the excesses, colored hair, red eyes, glowing skin, all those little quirks that manga heroes and characters possess to better set them apart from your average comic character. But how the hell does that translate in a black and white manga?
I see this every time I come across the rare first or last colored page of new manga that I begin to read; they elaborate on the specific traits of characters, color wise, and I am always shocked that everything I imagined in the last thirty something chapters was nonsense; sometimes the reveal is positive and other times it can be negative.
My point is, manga loses a lot of its defining and shining traits in the colorless world it treads in, and leaves too much of the world designing to the reader, and since we are all influenced by what we have already seen and read, it is easy for the mangaka’s unique idea to get lost in our muddled and ambiguous preformed ideas.
I cannot stress how much manga is losing out with the color thing. We are talking about Asian industries that could contend with giants like marvel and DC for the minds of the western and African world; because most of us have grown up with comics and the idea of a colored book, and if manga made the jump, all those resistant minds wouldn’t pause to explore a whole new world of ideas, trends and concepts beyond anything they may have read in any comic or imagined in their craziest dreams.
THE REASON:> While I hated the black and white concept for the longest time, before finally finding my footing within the manga world, I have come to understand the necessity of uncolored comic books. It will explain it in two reasons.
1. Finances---The manga and comic industry markets are somewhat interesting. At first glance, it doesn’t seem possible to compare them; the comic industry has a massive fan base with several ongoing titles, along with a myriad of animation and movie deals; while manga industry is only beginning to distend beyond the shores of Asia.
But it might be a surprise to realize that, on the whole, these two are moving in different directions; while the manga trade is slowly rising, with expanding target markets in all parts of the world (America mostly, which has of recent discovered a veracious taste for all things Asian and animated), the comic industry is all but grinding to a halt, and while that doesn’t seem nearly as bad as actual falling numbers, it does matter in the grand scheme of things.
Alan Moore, famous comic writer and the author of watchmen spoke, in a recent BBC interview (as well as other articles), of how the comic book industry had all but shriveled up around the world, except for the Comic book industry USA; and even within those borders, Moore complained about how the centralized domination of Marvel and DC titles were leading to a massive decline in the industry in America.
Basically because other books were not allowed to grow, with the kind of publicity and prioritization given to Marvel/DC books, it was stifling the rise of new fresh talent and ideas exogenous to the Marvel/DC world, ideas and concept that could revolutionize the comic industry, and allow a new generation of writers and artists to carry the industry to the coming generations. He basically believed that Marvel/DC’s domination had stagnated the growth of comic book concepts to the ways and workings of the past generation; and while that could be chocked up to other companies’ inability to compete, the domination of these two so drastically affected the sales of other less publicized titles, that new unknown titles would eventually get cancelled before they had a chance to show what they could do.
And other than stifling talent, Moore saw this as the major reason numbers had been falling so drastically; the drop in numbers here obviously refers to a general outlook on comic book sales across a period of 10-20 years. IN other words, yes the revitalization the Marvel/DC universes has brought sales up, but it isn’t really comparable to the figures of earlier times. Not that many are reading comics as they used to, which is why these two universes are starting over,to bring in new readers like me who WILL NOT go back to read issue one of anything.
This is in contrast to manga. The manga industry has been around ages longer than the comic book industry, stretching back to the 1800s where images were drawn on canvas. But the concept had always been a predominantly Asian one, with stories and ideas developed solely for the Asian audience.
AS of recent however, manga (and anime) has began to find a serious audience in parts of Europe and Africa. Sure, some will speak of the anime explosion during the Robotech, gundam, Astro boy eras, but most of that hype was limited to America
Not to say that America is exempt from the current manga explosion. The reason the argument of One piece being the best manga in the world doesn’t work is because One piece is primarily massive in japan. Yes it sold more than a million copies in one month, in Japan. More than accepting it grudgingly, large parts of foreign audiences have shunned it, though recent marketing strategies might change that (such as its arrival to the new toonami schedule along with Naruto…showing sometime after midnight, the idiots).
Naruto is big world wide, and it has been foreign markets that have allowed it to evolve into such an enormously popular franchise. And my point is, foreign markets now play a major role in the future of manga.
But I am getting lost here; my point here is one of the reasons manga is so profitable an industry is because it is in black and white. Basically it is cheap. How many skilled staff do you think is required to produce an average comic book, and that doesn’t even include the studios involved in the actual work.
it is a lot of expensive work. when a manga is dropped due to ratings, it is usually because it is competing with another manga that the company believes would attract more readers to the magazine.
A such, Asian companies are looking at how much more money they can make. With comics, they look at how much money is being lost on producing and printing multiple copies of a comic that simply isn’t selling.
I really hope you understand how cheap it is to create a manga. Because they are dealing with illustrations of pen and pencil, most manga volumes will be printed on the cheapest possible paper you kind find. Same thing goes for an average 300 page weekly shonen jump; sure it is a lot of material, but at $6 dollars a copy, you should know that it didn’t take them much to print those 300 pages.
Comparing costs incurred to sales, it is easy to see how much money can be made with a successful manga. At the very least, even if a manga series tanks, you are not losing as much money for the 1000 copies printed, as opposed to a comic book that prints 1000 comics that don’t sale. I am not saying it is little money, but compared to the costs of creating a comic, the ink, coloring, quality of material, basically it is a lot of money.
2.Feasibility---The reason I always regret getting into series like Claymore and Breaker is that they are monthly, and I have to wait ages to find out what happens next in the plot. I don’t like that, and comics are like that, and sometimes a month might be too generous.
But most successful manga are weekly, and really, how feasible is it that you would expect a mangaka to draw and color 20-35 pages of content in a week. These guys have deadlines to meet, so if one has had the opportunity to have their manga serialized, each chapter will be one of 15 or so released in a weekly manga magazine.
So if it takes 8 hours or so to draw a page, you are looking at over 130 hours spent each week, designing and illustrating a manga chapter. That excludes the coloring, and as such, it is illogical to include the coloring; even with assistants, it isn’t possible for mangaka to color their work on a weekly basis.
That kind of time would take them into monthly releases, and even then, some monthly series like witch hunter have chapters in the 45-60 page mark; so even then it doesn’t seem feasible.
So basically, in order to continue receiving the kind of service and entertainment quality that manga has been providing to us for years now, it is necessary that manga retains its black and white format, if only we can keep getting weekly naruto, one piece and bleach.
Imagine you could get your naruto and one piece colored, but you would have to wait a whole month for each chapter. Would you really prefer that outcome? Because personally, if I want to see some color in my favorite manga, I can wait for the anime. After all, that is the point of anime, to show us the moving colored illustrations of usually static images.
But from what I have heard, it can be done personally. There is this guy called Zarasaki that inks and colors naruto chapters. But he is some ways behind current chapters, after all it is hard work. But I looks amazing. So go color a manga if you feel that strongly about it, though of course you won’t be selling it for a fee…I think I would be illegal but that is a guess.
THE GOOD:> The lack of color is a tradition when it comes to manga; you could even say that it is what separates manga from every other similar art form. And I can’t really say that it is that bad once you get used to it. As far as the good, I can only think of two
1. The first is as stated above. Because of black and white manga, we get to have our stories delivered on a weekly rather than monthly basis. The story remains fresh in our minds and we receive constant entertainment. I would take that over any colored manga.
2. STORY—as far as I am concerned, manga is and has always been about the stories. I have read this reason before on several occasions, that mangaka don’t have time to worry about little things like coloring because they would rather focus on telling a fresh, unique and mind blowing story. The fact is as long as the story is intriguing and amazing, I am more than willing to ignore everything else, so long as the art is at the very least okay
I don’t know if this is true, and I might be a little young as far as comics are concerned, but I have always found manga stories more intriguing. I would say that I don’t mind them sacrificing the art for the story, but I would add that in most good manga, so long as they can get there clear point across, it is an awesome story and intriguing characters that hook a reader rather than mind blowing art. The key is learning to get one’s point across in such a limited spectrum.
And admittedly, I have ran into comics that display page after page of beautifully drawn and amazing art, but with little to no story, like the author wanted to show off his art skills rather than focus on the story. Actually if I think about it, black and white comics force the reader to focus primarily in the story rather than the aesthetics.
Impressively drawn manga are fine, so long as the story takes precedence. It kind of reminds of the terrible anime released in 2011 (that I watched), with mostly brilliant graphics but crap stories.
3. TALENT--- I have always admired the work that mangaka do, especially the difficulties involved. Because as far as I am concerned, they have the tougher challenge.
Imagine that a comic artist and a manga artist are given a challenge. They have to draw a battle scene; two shinobi are tearing across a rocky land mass at incredible speeds, whilst unleashing terrible earth jutsus at each other.
All the comic artist has to worry about is making the scene look cool, However the manga artist has to think of how he will make the scene look cool, but more importantly that the scene looks understandable. Because with the limitations of back and white, an artist has to work extra hard to differentiate between different elements, and to represent a complete, wholesome picture,even without the use of coloring to make distinction.
A mangaka has to illustrate in a away that even without the blue you can tell that the sky is indeed the sky, and that the reader can distinguish between a rush of air and an energy blast, with one look.
It is no easy feat, and I have seen things go awry, when I read a manga and I can’t really differentiate the elements. And as such, I drop what could have been an amazing work, but the mangaka simply couldn’t put his vision to paper.
It takes some inventive art and imagination to create a clear cut image of an action on paper without color, and I admire the successful mangaka for it. Fact is, I appreciate a magaka’s talent so much more than a comic artist because of this reason.
It is a grueling task, especially when it is no longer a matter of simply drawing objects on paper. It becomes about creating the right tools to use on paper to make certain actions visible and for certain factors to be more easily distinguishable in scenes.
I have read comments from comic fans that speak of how a manga will make their eyes hurt after prolonged reading, because of the focus required to read and understand some manga. And when reading manga becomes a chore, you know it is time to stop and move on.
On this topic, I can’t really tell if the colorless thing is a plus or minus for manga. Certainly it wouldn’t make sense for comics to adopt this concept. From what I see, manga will always be black and white because it is an inherently Japanese thing. it is tradition and it works for them.
I would encourage all non manga readers averse to the black and white concept to give it a try; but I would actually understand that many of you aren’t really able to adapt to such an idea, black and white comics. For some people, this is a deal breaker, which is a shame.
These days we are seeing and hearing of more collaborations between comics and manga, especially Stan lee’s first foray into the world of the mangaka. I wonder if that is an appropriate title; since he created Ultimo, a manga, then technically and practically, Stan Less is now a mangaka.
Hm… interesting notion to consider. I would be interested to here you views on the matter.
So whenever I deal with comic related topics and there relation to manga and anime, I will consult Kenny. Kenny is my comic crazy expert. He knows everything there is to know about all things comic related. So in this case I thought I would consult him on this topic, especially since, while it has been his objective to pull me to the dark side of comics (which is why he is my source of all things comics, in terms of not only providing me with soft copies of the latest comics, but doing what he can to give the material context by catching me up on important details and history regarding the heroes in question) I have been doing my best to introduce him to the wonders of manga.
As such his perspective as a manga novice can be helpful in making comic/manga comparisons.
So I asked Kenny what he thought about manga, comics and the color issue:
Kenny:> Well, IMO(In My Opinion)...i believe color adds a sense of richness in terms of texture or visual 'feel' in comics in contrast 2 black and white which appears very abstract. However, this heavily depends on the artists, style or type of comic- for instance if the art style &/or comic is very cartoony(Tom & Jerry, Dennis the menace, Tin tin, Snoopy- types) then the color issue is indifferent; whether colored or not it doesn’t take anything away from d story. But with action heavy hyper-detailed type art common to superhero & superhero affiliated comics, color then compliments & accentuates such art to the benefit of the reader.
QN: Is black and white a plus or a minus for manga?
Kenny:> Uhm...from the different manga I have seen i think it comes down to shading, inking & detail which makes some manga stand out better than others visually & i do believe that manga would indeed benefit from color but that might perhaps take away the aura of speculative imagination manga provides its readers by not revealing everything visually whereby the reader can imagine the colors that suit his/her likes or preferences ...at least till the anime adaptation is released.
NOTE: Although color tends to bring a certain richness to art, the application of the right colors in the right places in the right shades &/or variations can either compliment the art if done very well(referring to the colorist here) or totally destroy the visual appeal.
QN: SO which do you prefer? If you could get a batman issue every week with no color, and a batman issue every month with color, which would you choose?
Kenny:> I settle 4 colored.
QN: But you are getting a monthly instead of a weekly issue. You choose to wait?
Kenny:> Different comics come out every week even though each is on a monthly basis so by picking up Batman once a month, it allows me to read other comics without being overwhelmed.
QN: Wait, I thought comics were monthly?
Kenny:> They are monthly but they don’t all come out on just 1 day a month....different publishers release different comics on different days.
QN: So you would wait for a month to get a comic, instead of weekly? madness
Kenny:> But EACH comic issue is released once a month...although there are some exceptions that are released bi-weekly(every 2 weeks). You are not getting it...DC releases at least 52 different comics monthly, Marvel at least 55 comics, then there are other publishers like Dark horse comics, Image comics, Top Cow comics, Boom comics, Archaia comics, etc....all releasing several individual & different monthly comics.
And they release different comics on different dates of the month; for instance sum comics are released monthly every first week of the month, others monthly every 2 weeks, etc.
QN:That makes sense if you read all 55 comics. But if you read only four for instance, then you might be waiting four weeks for an issue, and it isn't even that many pages.
Kenny:> Perhaps in that situation ...but the comics do not all come-out on the same week so you get to enjoy a different comic each week of the month for some one reading only 4 comics, unless of course that person is unfortunate to have all his comics released on the same date.
Which is Very rare. Anyway every comic book reader probably get at least 10 issues a month, & that’s just for starters.
How many different manga books do you read weekly?
ME:> If i am reading one piece, bleach and Naruto manga, then those are three chapters in one week, if i am reading 6 manga, then 6 chapters a week, and 24 chapters a month. Do you see the difference?
Kenny:> Yeah. How many issues does each chapter have?
ME:> 22-34 mostly
Kenny: Kool…that is the equivalent of two comic books
QN: SO is the black and white thing a barrier to you getting into manga?
Kenny:> In a way, yes but I'm kinda easing my way in2 it.....slowly.
QN: Are u saying if it was colored you would read manga?
Kenny:> It was certainly b a faster transition....anime already has me conquered
hmmm an i was just thinking the other day how capital hill would benifit from masks.
The 3rd Arc of the 1st season focuses around the shitennou Zoicite. Zoicite is the weakest of the shitennou, and so relies on his intelligence more although he is still more then capable of matching the senshi in a fight. Zoicite was originally assinged to Europe. Zoicite's youma were the Seven Great Youma, the strongest youma in the dark kingdom who were reincarned as humans with one of the seven rainbow crystals (a shard of the ginzuisho everyone is after) inside of them tethering them to their humanity. These humans often manifested powers in their civilian form although unlike the powers gifted by Nephrite these people are accustomed to them, having lived all thier lived with them. The Seven Great Youma are more powerful then your average youma,or even a promoted youma. However, having just awakened they are not at their full power.
Movement: Sailor Moon gets a few more speed feats in this arc. Movement wise in episode 28 (Illustrations of Love, Are Usagi and Mamoru Getting Closer?) Sailor Moon shows that she is faster then Zoicite or the youma Binah by getting to the construction site faster then them. She also has a few more reflex feats, in episode 25 (Jupiter, the Brawny Girl in Love!) she manages to dodge the fast hammer strikes of the youma Gesen's hammer strikes. Also in episode 32 (Umino's Resolve! I'll Protect Naru!) she manages to dodge the immobilizing green balls of the youma Akan, which shows that the Senshi's powers are increasing as she was unable to dodge a very similar attack from the youma Tesuni in episode 21 (A Powerful New Enemy! Nephrite's Evil Crest!)
Attacks: This is where Sailor Moon gains the most feats for this season. In episode 25 she recieves the Moon Stick which gives her a new power known as "Moon Healing Escalation" which elimantes negative energy and was mostly used to purge the Seven Great Youma and revert them back into humans. However it showed much greater offensive power later. When the Moon Stick was combined with the ginzuisho and Sailor Moon used the Moon Healing Escalation not only did it stop a negative energy attack from an enraged Kunzite (the last Shitennou, you'll see) but it severly wounds him and it vaporizes a skyscraper-sized building made mostly of negative energy. This was without any experience with it whatsoever.
There are also a few things to note about the Moon Tiara Action, in episode 28 (Illustrations of Love, Are Usagi and Mamoru Getting Closer?) Sailor Moon uses it to destroy a rock shard thrown by Zoicite at Tuxedo Kamen, this shows that it does work on non-evil entities since a rock is not particularly evil (there seems to be confusion where people thinks her powers only work on evil people.) and also shows that the stock footage they show is just for show as if it actually took that long the stone shard would have hit Tuxedo Kamen. While it's not very important to note I will also mention that Sailor Moon can tell the Moon Tiara Action to do less damage so it will only stun her enemies as shown in episode 32 (Umino's Resolve! I'll Protect Naru!) which means that even in an in-character fight she won't hesistate to use it.
Other Powers: Quick note, in episode 26 (Bring a Smile to Naru's Face! Usagi's Friendship!) it is shown that the Moon Stick can detect evil presences.
When Sailor Moon recieves the ginzuisho she transforms into her super form, Princess Serenity. Princess Serenity is around for a very short time during the Zoicite arc but she shows a few very powerful feats during that time. As of the Zoicite Arc she cannot turn into this form at will, only from certain circumstances so it would have to be enabled to be used in a fight.
Note: all of these feats take place in epiosde 35 (Memories Return! Usagi and Memoru's Past!)
Physical: Princess Serenity effortlessly resists the attacks of Zoicite.
Mental: Has been trained her life to be Moon Royalty, which includes the usage of the ginzuisho.
Attacks: With an extremely casual blast she almost kills Zoicite.
Physical: In episode 35 (Memories Return! Usagi and Mamoru's Past!) Resists for a short amount of time Kunzite's dark energy blast.
Mental: In the same episode she figures the way of the hyper dimensional building that the Senshi had been lost in. Also in episode 27 (Love for Ami?! A Boy Who Can Predict the Future!) it is confirmed that her IQ is 300.
Movement: In episode 29 (Total Chaos! The Messy Sqaure Relationship!) she, along with Sailor Mars, manages to find Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter very quickly despite the fact that she had to search across the entire city.
Physical: In episode 35 (Memories Return! Usagi and Mamoru's Past!) she survives being hit with a powered-up version of her own Fire Soul.
Movement: In episode 29 (Total Chaos! The Messy Sqaure Relationship!) she, along with Sailor Mercury, manages to find Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter very quickly despite the fact that she had to search across the entire city.
Attacks: In episode 28 (Illustrations of Love! Are Usagi and Mamoru Getting Closer?) her fires completely incinerates the snakes of the youma Binah.No turning into liquids first, they go straight to being gases. Also in episode 35 (Memories Return! Usagi and Mamoru's Past!) it is shown that she can extend the length of her fire soul to keep going on if she wants which she uses against Kunzite.
Physical: Sailor Jupiter's civilian power is Super-Strength which she complements with years of street-brawling and martial arts training. In episode 25 (Jupiter the Brawny Girl in Love!) before even receiving her powers she was capable of casually out-meleeing three street-gang members. In the same episode she fought evenly in melee combat with Zoicite, still before receiving her powers. Then she manages to pick up and hurl the great youma Gesen, still before receivng her powers. Her powers serve to amplify her physical strength. In episode 25 (as above) and in episode 26
Movement: Sailor Jupiter is roughly comparable to the other Senshi in terms of speed and reflexes. In episode 25 (the same episode as above) she superjumps over the attack of the youma Gesen.
Attacks: In both forms Sailor Jupiter is capable of using her rose-shaped earrings as a distraction-based projectile which was used to good effect in her melee fight with Zoicite.
Her Senshi attack is Supreme Thunder, where she calls down a huge amount of electricity and sends it flying in all directions. In episode 25 (as above) and in episode 26 (Bring a Smile to Naru's Face! Usagi's Friendship!) it shows the ability to even break the weapons of the great youma where it respectively breaks Gesen's hammer and Boxy's boxing glove. Although it can desstroy much more then that, in episode 34 (The Sparkling Silver Crystal! The Moon Princess Appears!) the Supreme Thunder destroys a wall to a building made mostly of negative energy, which is a very durable substance.
Note: Sailor Venus has been a senshi for a few years before the other senshi and as a veteran is notably more powerful.
Physical: It is unknown what Sailor Venus's civilian power is although it is likely to be either super-agility, grace, or beauty giver her astrological planet. However she is adept at melee fighting and is an experienced soldier due to her being a veteran of several years. In episode 35 (Memories Return! Usagi and Mamoru's Past!) she tanks her Kunzite reflecting her Cresent beam and Sailor Jupiter's Supreme Thunder back against them.
Mental: As Stated she has a few years worth of experience fighting the beings of the Dark Kingdom.
Movement: Sailor Venus is more agile then the other Senshi and has a greater jumping ability,able to easily leap from large building to large building.
Attacks: Sailor Venus's attack is called Cresent Beam which is her firing a beam of concetrated light and positive energy from her extended finger. In episode 33 (The Last Sailor Warrior, Sailor Venus Appears!) she shows the ability to use the Cresent Beam very accurately and to be able to signifigantly wound both Zoicite and Kunzite, the latter to the point where his concentration is broken and the dark dome he created shattered.
Artemis is Sailor Venus's cat advisor much like Luna is to Sailor Moon, however he is also Luna's superior and as such has comparable abilities to Luna in most regards, if not greater.
Physical: In Hand-To-Hand Tuxedo Kamen displays the ability to fight Zoicite to a standstill in close-quarters in episode 29 (Total Chaos! The Messy Square Relationship). Tuxedo Kamen also shows great profiency with his cane. In episode 26 (Bring a Smile to Naru's Face! Usagi's Friendship!) at a long range he was able to block three of the great youma Boxy's Lovely Punches. In episode 32 (Umino's Resolve! I'll Protect Naru!) at close range he manages to use his cane to stop Zoicite's dagger rain at close-range.
Tuxedo Kamen also shows great durability in this arc. Even as a child before receiving his powers he survived the blunt trauma of being in a car that crashed off a large cliff shown in a flashback in episode 34 (The Sparkling Silver Crystal! The Moon Princess Appears!) In the same episode he survives having two gaping wounds in his chest region. In the previous episode (The Last Sailor Warrior, Sailor Venus Appears!) he tanks Zoicite's blast point-blank.
Movement: Tuxedo Kamen can move and react faster then Sailor Moon. This is shown both in episode 26 (Bring a Smile to Naru's Face! Usagi's Friendship) and episode 28 (Illustrations of Love! Are Usagi and Mamoru Getting Closer?) where he saves Sailor Moon from a youma attack too fast for even her to dodge. He is also faster then Zoicite as he dodges a long-ranged attack from him in episode 29 (Total Chaos! The Messy Square Relationship!) and blocks a melee lunge from him in episode 33 (The Last Warrior, Sailor Venus Appears!) But how fast can he react? In episode 30 (Grandpa Goes Crazy, Rei's in Jeopardy!) in the brief moment after the blue rainbow crystal leaves Grandpa Hino's body he manages to hit the crystal with his rose before it telekinetically comes to Zoicite's hand.
Besides this in episode 33 (The Last Sailor Warrior, Sailor Venus Appears!) he manages to jump very high into the air to free Zoicite (who was disguised as Sailor Moon) and in the next episode (The Sparkling Silver Crystal! The Moon Princess Appears!) despite the fact that Sailor Moon was behind him and the shard of rock Zoicite called forth was behind her Tuxedo Kamen reacts and moves fast enough to shield Sailor Moon from the stone shard.
Attacks: It should be noted that Tuxedo Kamen's roses are powerful enough to harm a Shitennou as seen in episode 30 (Grandpa Goes Crazy, Rei's in Jeopardy!) He later manages to harm the same shitennou (Zoicite) with a rose while in civilian form in episode 34 (The Sparkling Silver Crystal! The Moon Princess Appears!)
Other Powers: Tuxedo Kamen has psychic dreams in episode 26 (Bring a Smile to Naru's Face! Usagi's Friendship!) and he can turn invisible in episode 27 (Love for Ami?! A Boy Who Can Predict the Future!). The latter feat is ambigous however and caution should be used before using it.
Zoicite is the weakest, albeit cleverest of the Shitennou. He does seem like a weaker version of Jadeite or Nephrite power-wise until the very end where we see what the true power of a Shitennou is like.
Physical: Zoicite is pretty weak physically and dosen't really have the physical feats of his fellow shitennou although notably he is still in on the level of Tuxedo Kamen as seen in episode 29 (Total Chaos! The Messy Square Relationship!)
Mental: Zoicite is the cleverest of the Shitennou and this is seen with his expert manipulation of the Black Crystal and ability to reshape plans on the fly (pretty much every one of his episodes.)
Movement: Like all Shitennou Zoicite can float easily. As seen in episode 25 (Jupiter the Brawny Girl in Love!) Zoicite can jump faster then the eye and in episode 30 (Grandpa Goes Crazy! Rei's in Jeopardy!) there is no acceleration neccesary as Zoicite goes directly from normal floating speed to faster-then the eye. Zoicite is also noticably agile as in episode 28 (Illustrations of Love! Are Usagi and Mamoru Getting Closer?)
Besides this Zoicite, as can be seen in nearly every episode he is in, can teleport in a flurry of flowers.
Attacks: As seen in episode 28 (Illustrations of Love! Are Usagi and Mamoru getting closer?) and several episodes afterwards Zoicite can telekinetically call forth shards of rock and launch them at his enemies, this can be used with his other attacks as well. In episode 33 (The Last Sailor Warrior, Sailor Venus Appears!) he uses effectively uses one of these rock shards as a melee weapon against Tuxedo Kamen. The same stone shard also showed the ability to cut straight through walls in the same episode. Zoicite also has manipulation of other piercing weapons as well, in episode 32 (Umino's Resolve! I'll Protect Naru!) he calls down a rain of daggers upon Tuxedo Kamen. In episode 34 (The Sparkling Silver Crystal! The Moon Princess Appears!) he covers the roof of the room Tuxedo Kamen and Sailor Moon were in with ice (complete with icicles) and telekinetically shoot the icicles downwards at them.
Besides piercing Rock/Ice weapons Zoicite also shows fire manipulation. In episode 34 (The Sparkling Silver Crystal! The Moon Princess Appears!) he conjures huge pillars of flame and in episode 29 (Total Chaos! The Messy Square Relationship!) he conjures a ring of flame . Also Zoicite shows some basic energy attacks. This is seen in the same episode. It is alsos hown in that episode that the beams can be used effectively in close-quarters.
Zoicite also has a few other powers. His signature attack is just saying "Zoi" which sends out a pure blast of force knocking back his opponent. Zoicite also possesses a magic boomerang as seen in episode 33 (The Last Sailor Warrior, Sailor Venus appears) which he uses when he is disguised as Sailor Moon.
Other Powers: Zoicite can levitate things such as the dark crystal as seen in episode 25 (Jupiter, the Brawny Girl in Love!) He displays the ability to teleport other suchs as when he teleports Usagi and Mamoru in a red teleportation ball in episode (The Sparkling Silver Crystal! The Moon Princess Appears!). Like his fellow shitennou Zoicite has the ability to create the illusions such as when he creates the illusion that he is Sailor Moon in episode 33 (The Last Sailor Warrior, Sailor Venus Appears!) These are the abilities bound by his concentration.
Besides this Zoicite has several abilities that do not require concentration on his part. In episode 25 it is shown that Zoicite (Jupiter, the Brawny Girl in Love) can turn himself into a shadow to keep from being seen and in episode 33 (The Last Sailor Warrior, Sailor Venus Appears!) he is shown to be able to put more dark energy into stone shards to give them more power (the feats listed above for them are non-powered up versions.) As of episode 31 (Kitty Chaos! Luna's Worst Day Ever!) Zoicite also has command over rats although it is unknown if this extends to other animals and which it would. Also Zoicite has a fairly powerful healing factor as he quickly regenerates from a blast from Princess Serenity in episode 35 (Memories Return! Usagi and Mamoru's Past!)
Kunzite is Zoicite's lover and the last of the Shitennou. He is also the most powerful of the Shitennou and it shows. While this isn't Kunzite's Arc he shows up in this arc to aid his love and as such I will put his feats from this arc here.
Physical: Kunzite has had no need to engage physically at any point in this arc but it is known to be at least equal to Nephrite's. It should be noted though that Kunzite laughed off the attacks of the senshi in episode 33 (The Last Warrior, Sailor Venus Appears)
Mental: Kunzite is mentally comparable with the other Shitennou.
Movement: As is probably obvious by now Kunzite can fly episode 33 (The Last Sailor Warrior, Sailor Venus Appears!) and can teleport episode in the form of light particles in the same episode.
Attacks: In the same episode Kunzite calls forth through willpower a building-sized dark dome to trap the senshi and enclose them in. It absorbed all their attacks. He also calls forth a rain of grenade like-projectiles inside the dark dome. In episode 35 (Memories Return! Usagi and Mamoru's Past!) he knocks back all the senshi with a hand gesture.
Other Powers: Kunzite has notable energy manipulation. In episode 33 (The Last Warrior, Sailor Venus Appears!) he actives electronic devices by willing it. In episode 34 (The Sparkling Silver Crystal! The Moon Princess Appears!) he drains the entire city of Tokyo of all it's electricity, without moving, just by willing it.
Kunzite also shows notable space-time manipulation. In the same episode he uses the city's energy to reality-shift a skyscraper-sized building filling it with negative energy, causing lots of space-time distorions to appear for positive-energy beings like the senshi and surrounding the building with a tornado. Even casually, in episode 35 (Memories Return! Usagi and Mamoru's Past!) he traps the senshi in a pocket dimension and shows notable dimensional manipulation.
Besides this Kunzite shows a few other miscellaneous abiltiies. In episode 33 (The Last Sailor Warrior, Sailor Venus Appears!) he creates illusions of himself just to mock the senshi. In episode 35 (Memories Return! Usagi and Mamoru's Past!) he teleports Tuxedo Kamen to Queen Beryl. In the same episoe it is shown that he has a forcefield that absorbed all the Senshi's attacks which he then threw right back at them.
Gesen is one of the seven great youma, he appears in episode 25 (Jupiter, The Brawny Girl in Love!)
Physical: Gesen tanks being thrown by Sailor Jupiter and then hit with Supreme Thunder with only one of his many weapons arms being busted.
Movement: Is on par with the Senshi.
Attacks: Gesen has a number of arm weapons that he can call forth at will, these include a mallet, a grappling crane, and a blaster, all of which are fast enough to give Sailor Moon trouble in dodging them.
Boxy is one of the seven great youma, he appears in episode 26 (Bring a Smile to Naru's Face! Usagi's Friendship!)
Physical: Boxy has the strength, endurance, and skill of a professional boxer.
Movement: Boxy can move at similar speeds as the Senshi.
Attacks: Boxy can use dark energy to shoot a boxing glove off his hand at incredible speeds which creates a small explosion upon impact. New boxing gloves appear on Boxy's hands afterwards.
When angry Boxy can spam three lovely punches at once called the Triple Punch.
Bunbo is one of the seven great youma, he appears in episode 27 (Love for Ami?! A Boy Who Can Predict the Future!) unlike the other members of the seven great youma Bunbo was prepared for the change beforehand (due to his civilian form having the ability to see the future) and so he was not disoriented upon re-emerging and should be taken as the levelof what a great youma is usually like.
Physical: Bunbo is incredibly physically powerful for a youma as he tackles Zoicite and proves to be more physically powerful. He is also notablly durable, resisting the Moon Healing Escalation and tanking the Moon Tiara Action.
Mental: Bunbo has the intellect of Urawa, his civilian form. Urawa, for reference, is almsot as intelligent as Sailor Mercury who has an IQ of 300.
Movement: Despite his size Bunbo has impressive speed and agility. Bunbo can run as fast as Sailor Mercury. Besides this he can superjump and perform impresive aerial maneuvers.
Attacks: Bunbo can melee his opponents with his giant scissor hands.These scissor hands can also be launched from his hands. These scissors can be launched rather quickly and cut straight through tree trunks.
Besides this Bunbo can launch energy blasts from it's mouth which turn into shurikens which similar destructive capacity as it's scissor hands. It can be spammed.
Other Powers: As can be seen from the picture Bunbo can make itself grow. It is unknown what the maxmium is but the largest shown was about three times the size of the senshi.
Binah is one of the seven great youma, she appears in episode 28 (Illustrations of Love, Are Usagi and Mamoru Getting Closer!)
Movement: If it is not obvious from the wings, Binah can fly. She can move at around the same speed as Zoicite and somewhat slower then Sailor Moon.
Attacks: Has magical quills which draw outlines of rocks in the air that become rocks which fall and smash the enemies (I am not making that up.) These rocks are difficult for Sailor Moon to dodge and are controlled by Binah. She later uses the same feather quills to draw ropes which becomes snakes. Itis unknown what the extent of these feather quills are.
Rikoukeidar is one of the seven great youma, she appears in episode 29 (Total Chaos! The Messy Square Relationship!)
Attacks: She throws smoke bombs which each create a little explosion. Out of each of these come "primal protozoa" that cling to positive energy and immobilize those who have it. These bombs can be spammed.
Other Powers: She has a magical flash that captures ranged attacks which she can send right back.
Jiji is one of the seven great youma, he appears in episode 30 (Grandpa Goes Crazy! Rei's in Jeopardy!)
Physical: Jiji can smash large stone with physical strength easily.
Movement: Jiji can superleap even greater distances then most Sailor Moon characters due to his apelike build.
Attacks: Jiji mostly attacks with his sheer ape strength amplified through his extendable claws. Besides that he canalso roar which creates a supersonic tunnel of pressure.
Bakene is one of the seven great youma, he appears in episode 31 (Loved and Chased! Luna's Worst Day Ever!)
Physical: It's a giant cat beast.
Movement: Can likely move quickly but merely due to being very large (probably slightly larger then full-size Bunbo). Is not particuarlly agile although does have fairly good reflexes as it was able to catch Luna when she was almost out of his grasping range.
Attacks: Attacks with brute force and catlike claws and fangs.
Akan is not one of the seven great youma. He was created when Zoicite shot a beam that would turn humans into monsters with the dark crystal, missed his intended target (Naru) and instead hit a Super-Sentai parody called Redman. As such he is very sentai-like is his actions.
Physical: Has enhanced strength,although the extent is unclear.
Attacks: Liking good fights Akan mostly uses super-strength enhanced punches and kicks. Akan also has the ability to use green balls that trap the person they hit and slowly suffocate them.
The one thing that really endears me towards gamaran is simply this, it isn’t pretentious. I have ran across so many different anime and manga in the world, that pretends to be more than it really is, which is just a bunch of men and women with a variety of really cool powers and costumes that find reasons to fight.
That in itself isn’t a bad thing; gamaran is a battle manga and it knows it. What so many of these battle manga will attempt to do is force some deeper meaningful story into the rather basic plot. That in itself isn’t a bad thing either, but the problem is it usually fails.
Goku and Frieza where always going to fight, because Frieza was the big bad and Goku was the ultimate good guy, we didn’t really need to know what deep dark insecurities drove Frieza down his path of destruction, because it doesn’t matter.
I haven’t been a fan of mindless manga or anime for ages now, which is why I have never really watched DBZ beyond the frieza arc. I reached a point where it all became rather silly; so I chose to follow and complete the story through the various DBZ games (which are the very best fighting games I have ever played; seriously if only Mortal Kombat and tekken could take a leaf out of the Budokai setting , with an entire world to fight in instead of a restrictive 2D ring, I might finally regain my interest in what has become a very monotonous and repetitive gaming experience)
I haven’t watched an anime or read a manga just for its action for so long now, as I find that there is more to anime and manga to enjoy than just cool fights. So I will appreciate a series’ attempt to inject some story into its usually flat plots.
But like I said above, so many of them fail hard. What the writers think is a fine plot is usually a very shallow and lame excuse for the different characters to fight and in the end, all the crappy story telling just gets in the way.
Ask any bleach fan why they have tuned into bleach for the last decade (before the current arc but after the soul society arc). if they are truthful they will say that it was to see the latest battle against whatever (usually unique and cool) villains Kubo has introduced onto the setting. But more than that, the fans have flocked in to see the latest bankai and shikai releases.
While this isn’t an accurate statistic, I can bet that at least half of the bleach fans that stuck to Kubo’s stories all the way through to the thousand year blood war did so with hopes of finally seeing Yamamoto, Shunsui and Ukitake’s bankai as well as Kenny’s shikai.
Fact is bleach was good when it knew what it’s best moves where, the cool swords and power ups. Then I think of the abysmal arrancar arc during which Kubo not only had us read every single battle against every single one of the 20 something arrancar, but before each arrancar died, we would be treated to an unwanted flashback about their sad sad lives; basically an attempted at adding depth and remorse to a simple action crazy scene.
it was wasteful and unnecessary and bleach paid for it with all those lost fans.
So what is my point, you might wonder. Gamaran isn’t pretentious, it knows exactly what it is, a battle chronicle; and it does nothing better when focusing on what it is already so good at, which is throw battle after battle after battle of action packed madness at the reader, in the most imaginative ways.
In the middle Edo Period, one state has become the gathering place for sinful martial arts who believe in nothing other than power, and a wild life of continuous battle. That powerful state is Unabara, The haunt of demons (the demons here being the monstrous martial artists within its walls)
Naosata Washitzu, the Daimyo of Unabara, is searching for a successor from among his 31 sons. So he sets about tasting their ability and resolve in an attempt to determine who among them possess the will and talent to rule the haunt of demons.
Each son is tasked with searching and acquiring the services of the strongest martial arts style in the land. Once these 31 powerful styles have been chosen, 'the ‘Great Tournament of Unabara’ would be held, in which the 31 sons of Washitzu would be pitted against each other in combat, vicariously through the bodies and abilities of their chosen styles, out of which one style would emerge victorious.
The winner would take the title of strongest fighter, while the son sponsoring the style would be named Daimyo successor.
Naoyoshi Washitzu has come to the dojo of the ‘Ogame Ryu’ (Giant Tortoise style) in the mountains of Unabara in search of the legendary swordsman Jinsuke Kurogane, the man known as ‘The Thousand man Slayer’. To his dismay, on arrival, he discovers that Jinsuke disappeared and hadn’t been seen for several years now.
Instead, in his place, Naoyoshi encounters Jinsuke’s son, Gama Kurogane. Gama is quick to prove possession of advanced skills way beyond his age, at which point he accepts Naoyoshi’s invitation to partake in the upcoming tournament as naoyoshi’s subordinate.
Gama desires to grow stronger, for only after he attains the title of strongest of all can he achieve his true goal, in eliminating his greatest enemy, and a force beyond anything he might even begin to understand at his amateur stage.
So is set the stage for the greatest clash of beasts among men in the land, a bout that will most certainly attract the strongest of the strong and those most lustful for power; for, other than attaining the title of strongest, comes the title of commanding the respect and gratitude of the future most powerful man in the land…
Chances are, with those few paragraphs of a plot description, many of you have formed a judgment about what to expect from gamaran, and here is what I would say to that. Gamaran is more impressive than the grim picture you might have conjured up, as good as it sounds, and even better than the awesomeness you might be envisaging.
Seriously, Gamaran is really and unexpectedly good. I say unexpectedly because I was late to the train, trying the manga out a while back, dropping it, before finally forcing my way back into it in the middle of last year when my search for good manga had produced no results.
It took me no more than the first 15 chapters to be absolutely blown away by it. And that is when I realized that all those anime forums singing its praises weren’t as crazy as I had imputed them to be ( and I now take forum suggestions seriously, and will visit a forum to find out what I should read or watch next)
Rather than blab on aimlessly about how good this manga is, I will break it down to the core factors that stand out starkly as far as I am concerned. It is because of these four of five reasons that you must absolutely start reading gamaran if you haven’t already.
First, IT IS FUN:>
A wile back, some guy in my face book anime group suggested that reading gamaran might be more fun that reading one piece. Now because I watch rather than read manga, I would be illogical of me to make an argument on either side, but I will ignore logic and choose to believe this fact, because gamaran is a hell of a ride. And don’t misconstrue ‘fun’ for ‘better’.
I can remember days where I would struggle to remind myself that I had promised that I would stop reading gamaran ten chapters ago, then twenty chapters, then thirty chapters, and at forty chapters, after I would remember that it was two O’clock and that sleep had greater importance than reading manga, I would finally give in.
I can (almost) guarantee that no matter what tastes and interests you may have as far as manga is concerned, at the vey worst, you will find gamaran mildly amusing. Each page of every chapter is designed to rip your arm from your side and force you into turning page after page.
If you find yourself tired and lethargic on one hot afternoon, as you struggle to find the strength to get up and get some work done, just read a little gamaran. The sheer excitement created will endow you with the mental and physical energy required to rouse one from a slumber.
Second, THE BATTLES:>This isn’t even worth mentioning, because, as I mentioned earlier, gamaran is a battle manga, so what you can expect is loads and loads of action, but it isn’t nearly as tedious and irritating as It might have sounded in you head. The battles aren’t merely the center piece of Gamaran, but they are one of the best executed I have seen in a manga.
I have no choice but to keep referring to bleach, as it is the closest thing to Gamaran that I can think of right now . The comparison is logical one since, despite its futile attempts, bleach is essentially all about the fights (the final arc precluded). At any one point in time, you might find yourself flipping through ten chapters of gamaran, and within, you would most likely encounter five to seven different battles, with each ending or beginning with each new chapter.
Rather than compare that to a similar series of Beach chapters, consisting of multiple battles, coming one after another, taking into consideration a single battle occurring over a series of chapters will do just fine. What you will eventually notice with bleach is that no matter how exciting the battle is, by half way, things will start to get stale, and in most cases, you will find yourself praying for the battle to come to a close as soon as possible.
This is one pitfall that most long running manga out there suffer from, including the mighty one piece. What I have found surprising is how gamaran has somehow managed to stay ahead of its readers, by constantly keeping things fresh and un predictable, to the point where you could read five battles, one after another, even within a space of five chapters, and you would still be blown away with each and every single battle.
As far as I am concerned, Nakamaru Yousuke has unlocked some long hidden secret regarding the execution of normally tedious battles, and with Gamaran, has managed to utilize it to the fullest. The dynamics of gamaran battles, the elements of its success, can best be described as such:
1. Uniqueness- Like I said above, you could read five different battles, each following the other in succession, and each and every single one of them would have you at the edge of your seat. I have read 150 something Gamaran chapters and experienced between 50-100 battles (probably more) within the series, and I can tell you right now that there hasn’t been a single dull moment that I can point to right now.
And the reason for that is that Yousuke sensei has developed a method of somehow keeping each and every single fight unique in its flow and execution. Once more I point to bleach; how many times have you found yourself yawning in the past, or even sighing as Ichigo performs his 100th getsuga tenshou along with some other mundane task that has already ultimately proven useless.
After a while, after most fight’s fifth chapter, the process of watching the different struggles in the battle that have enabled it to last so long (usually ichigo is much weaker and slower than his opponent and must somehow overcome it over a period of one to three hours, during with he loses buckets upon buckets of blood) become tedious and uninteresting .
While characters within Gamaran will engage in difficult battles, not once do things get so boring that you can’t help but wonder when they will end. There is not wondering when luffy will realize that his pistol and bazooka attacks are ineffective so that we can finally see something new happen.
Yusouke knows how to mix things up, to make each fight different from the next, and a battle with insignificant minions as amazing and impressive to watch as a battle with a powerful heavy weight, and that’s probably because the managaka knows that we read manga to be entertained, and if we must sit through mundane but necessary events of the manga, such as fighting endless nobodies, we might as well be entertained doing it.
2. Realism—Okay it is hard to talk about realism in a manga about fictional samurais in a fictional world, performing fictional and superhuman feats.But none the less, there is a level of realism to the fights. Just imagine this; one misty morning in ancient japan. Two samurais meet to engage in battle, they draw their swords and begin to leap, jump and dash around each other at fast speeds whilst continuously smashing their swords against each other.
One hour later, they are reaching the end of their strengths, and either one of them will go down first, losing the fight with his body first, or one of them will take that opportunity to unleash the secret technique he had been hiding all this time.
If that conjured some really cool scenarios in your mind regarding whatever samurai shows you have been exposed to in you anime watching, manga reading past, and that if that is a picture of what a gamaran battle is, then you will definitely read the manga, you are obviously missing the point of what I am trying to say.
Because everything I just described there is bogus. As in there is nothing in that scenario that is anywhere near realistic, because actual battles, now or back then did not occur in such a manner.
Gamaran acknowledges that and will do what it can to keep events believable. First of all samurai fights couldn’t have lasted more than a couple of minutes. If the intent was to kill, the action was executed quickly, to see that objective met immediately. And even with battles lasting several chapters, you are never in doubt that what you are reading is a 2-3 minute battle.
And that is only possible because samurai in gamaran are intent on killing. Each blow and each strike is executed to the best of the samurai’s ability to kill in one blow. There is no such notions as keeping the best techniques for last, or toying with opponents to see what they can do, or any of that common shonen nonsense. If Gama comes up against an opponent, and he things he can take him out in one go using one of his lightning katas, he will do it with out hesitation.
Even while an enemy is unleashing the most basic swing as his initial move, Gama has no qualms with going all out with his most powerful strike, and that is because these samurai know and understand that the purpose of their moves is to kill, and to kill efficiently; as such their isn’t any of that hubris, where warriors make claims of a technique being too powerful for use against one opponent because he is too weak, or that a special technique is being prepared and held back for a specific opponent.
To Gama and the rest, a fight against a mere peasant gate guard will require as much focus and dedication as a fight against some supreme fighter somewhere. If you can take out an enemy instantly using you strongest attack, rather than waste precious time against less than impressive foes, why not go for it. More than that, why wait a whole hour before using your prized special attack. It is silly if you think about it, and gamaran does well to forego any of that nonsense. A fight is a fight, I have seen gamaran use every single technique in his arsenal against a group of less than a dozen barely average foes, because he figured that to fight them normally would sap precious energy better spent fighting their stronger captain ahead. As such he took them all out instantly, and it made sense.
Besides that, just think of the time. What warrior fights for several hours on end. I get the idea of being evenly matched, but even that shouldn’t force the fight to last beyond 15-20 minutes, not when it is between basic human beings. After several minutes of vigorous battle, one warrior eventually has to drop in form, and Gamaran shows this, that when one warrior begins to slow down, he doesn’t merely begin acceding vicious slashes and damage to his body, he could die instantly, with the wrong foot forward or back, or in that once second that he pauses to catch his breath.
These battles are that tightly wound, that one mistake ends it all. More than that though, the swords, the life line of a samurai, play a huge role. You cannot smash two sharp pieces of metal into each other for an hour and you expect to use them effectively after. In fact history will reveal that the knights of old avoided aimlessly smashing their swords together, because not only would the swords dull after less than a dozen fights, but they would even break.
Gama and his team will lose swords in battle. When a foe’s sword is shown to slice through rock with pure strength, then logically a dozen collisions with his opponents sword will lead the blade to break. And on the several occasions that Gama immaturely clashes with the opponent’s sword, he will lose his sword. These characters have no special swords with long histories that they can’t let go of.
Rather they will prudently travel with multiple swords which they will replace over and over again within the arcs, and they don’t bother denying the difference a broken sword makes. Normally characters with superior abilities in manga will annihilate any foe, given a small stick or a ruler.
Gama, even if he was dominating a fight, will show immediate strain, the moment he must face off against a long sword with his three inch broken blade.
Basically Gamaran keeps reality in mind when executing its battles. It considers what the normal human would do in a normal battle against foes with superhuman abilities. Gama will not have a health wrecking fight one day, then be read to fight a day or two later. In fact, a week after a devastating fight, Gama will be shown keeping a low profile, so as not to attract attention, because while other manga heroes shrug off stabs to the gut, Gama takes it like a human being would, which is realistically. So if you are tired of reading barely believable manga, with characters that overcome everything through sheer will (and nakama power), then Gamaran is for you.
3. Practicality—Now this is hard to believe, when you are dealing with a shonen series about samurai with superhuman sword skills. But it is actually true, to an extent. Sure, a samurai will slice through a thick stone (rarely, unless you want to lose a sword), but the mangaka does his best to explain the mechanics behind it.
You might be thinking that every shonen series worth its salt will try to explain the mechanisms behind each fight, but if you think about it, those explanations will only make sense within the universe they were created in.
Think about it, who here can really tell me how Kenshin’s Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki works, other than the fact that he takes an extra step and leads with his left instead of his right foot (and that it is the coolest sword technique done by a person in anime). That barely makes any sense but you accept it because it gives you some bit of information to work with.
Gamaran treats you like an idiot, and it will break down what are ultimately very practical and very realistic moves. In the beginning, we can already see that human beings cannot move at stupidly impossible speeds. The first time Gama crosses the distance between him and his enemy faster than the enemy can see, we get a long detailed explanation about gravity and how Gama’s muscles make use of it when he imitates the move by simply letting himself fall forward like a board, letting the gravity take him before pushing off with powerful muscles.
Same thing goes for when Gama uses a move so powerful and fast that it cuts right through an enemy’s blade. You will get little scribbled lines about the human body, as well as diagrams of the skeleton and how Gama is using his elbow as a pivot to do who knows what.
Basically you get it, and it kind of enhances your enjoyment of the fight, because you understand what will work and won’t. And when Gama fuses and mixes his moves up, you know exactly why the result will be explosive, forcing you to quickly jump to the next chapter, ignoring whatever plans you might have had for the hour.
Fact is, when I read a chapter showing a warrior slicing an enemy into two from the ground up, I can believe that it could exist. Someone out their could master this technique and execute it accurately as described. it adds a whole other level of excitement to the fights.
Put all these factors together and the fights alone should be more than enough to keep you hooked to this manga. But even if that wasn’t enough (which of course it is), there is more.
I rate the battles in this series with a perfect 5/5
So I mentioned in the beginning about how pretentious fighting anime try so hard to inject meaningful story into meaningless fights, and the result is a shallow series.
Gamaran doesn’t do that, in that, rather than simply creating excuses for different characters to fight, the story flows hand in hand with the fights. I have always thought of Gamaran as a soap; except that while in the present day, the silly drama that makes up a basic soap is settled through words and endless weeping; all the middle ages know is the sword and every facet of Middle Edo drama is settled through violence and killing. It is simply the way of life.
You have Gama, whose infancy was lived on the road with his father, The thousand man slayer, Jinsuke, until the day he finally came to the Ogame doujo. There the slayer took up tutelage under Kensei, the Ogame style master, while Gama made himself a home and a life among the battle crazy students of Ogame, young and old, each determined to become the best they can to bring glory to the style.
And Gama, taking his kind father’s words to heart, and working to become a shining star to his father’s ideals. Then came the events following the succession quarrel, his father’s radical ideas and the true nature of his intentions for coming to the Ogame doujo; and Several years later, the Ogame Ryu doujo, once full of life and hope in its several dozen students, is now empty, with no more than four remaining students.
Gama is haunted by the past, by his father’s actions, on that day he set off to create the Muhyou school, a collection of the strongest and most powerful martial arts styles around; that day when Gama stood up to his father, and Jinsuke spared him his comrades’ fate, but urging him to grow stronger so that the next time they meet, he would be worthy of the Muhyou school that Jinsuke would invite him to join.
Gama has thought of nothing else for the longest time. His father had warned him that even if Gama was his son, all those that didn’t join Muhyou would be considered enemies if they were in possession of great skill, and if on that day Gama didn’t join him, Jinsuke would kill him.
Gama has lived life before Naoyoshi dreaming of avenging his fallen comrades, and nothing other that his father’s head and those members of the Ogame style that joined him during the massacre years back will satisfy him.
Gama and Naoyoshi’s relationship is an interesting one. Naoyoshi’s mother is a common woman, born of an affair during one of the Daomyo’s less memorable days, and as such Naoyoshi has never known the love and respect of his brothers, all of whom have done nothing more than make his childhood hell.
Naoyoshi chose to partake in the tournament, not for himself, but his mother, who has received only hate and abuse for so long as he could remember. She always encouraged him to reach for the stars, that he was special and given an opportunity, would live to exceed his father’s expectation. It was with the ambition of living up to this belief that he set out to locate the strongest swordsman in the land.
To Naoyoshi, this is nothing less than the fight of his life. Both recognize (Gama and Naoyoshi) that they need each other. Gama believes that in Unabara, not only will he become stronger, but that with the title of strongest, he will get the chance to meet his father. and kill him. Naoyoshi has the means to get him to the upper echelons of power. Naoyoshi needs Gama’s skill to overcome his destiny in the eyes of his family.
They are however quick to recognize the challenge of the tournament. Naoyoshi knows that his brothers have acquired the services of more prosperous styles. That means several dozen students within each school of varying skills, not considering the master of each style.
Gama on the other hand is the only available member of his school, and as such Naoyoshi wonders the possibility of surviving the first round against fully stocked schools.
That simple dilemma forms a large part of the reason the first chapters of the series will immediately hook the reader to this manga; seeing the adventures of this one boy and his master, in his attempts to survive the claws of schools that will most likely make a line to him, the weakest of the first round schools.
Through out the series, several other characters make an appearance, each adding a little something to the story, but primarily focusing on Zenmaru, member of the Ichinose family, the country’s Daimyo’s chosen guard, and arguably the most famous and strongest samurai family in the country, and the youngest son, Zenmaru, whose weakness has never allowed him to live up to expectations, and whose decision to join Ogame style left a bitter taste in his family’s mouth; Shinnoujo, who only joined the Ogame style to take revenge on the monsters that massacred his entire first school, only to find himself powerless when another monster massacres the second family that he had sworn to protect; Ranmaru, Junsuke’s only other student apart from Iori, who can’t get over his insecurities with regards to his master’s son and his belief that Jinsuke cannot respect him until he proves himself stronger than the son of the man that taught him everything he knows.
There are so many more characters that make an appearance in the manga. Even Jinsuke himself wastes little time in turning Unabara on its head. With his Muhyou school, the most powerful school ever, because of its collection of the most powerful styles, he cannot help but be intrigued at the idea of who is stronger, his son or his student. Does blood trump training, or can upbringing overcome inherited talent?
It is a question that both Ranmaru and Gama are determined to settle before they can overcome their personal limits, and on more than one occasion, Jinsuke (ranmaru’s teacher) and Iori’s (Gama’s teacher) styles will clash in a test of supremacy.
As the events unfold, it is soon clear to all that there is more than meets the eye; and rather than worry about whether or not he has the strength to kill the very brothers that hated him for so long, Naoyoshi quickly realizes that he might have to make the decision soon, as to whether he will have the strength to protect Unabara when his mother’s actions and beliefs over what is right and what vengeance really means in relation to her secret relationship with Jinsuke, threaten the continued existence of everything around them.
Trust me, there is as much explosive story to follow in Gamaran as there is action. Every battle changes the land scape of the plot and serves to further the overall plot.
It’s funny, I haven’t come across any other series (that I can think of at this moment) that were made by individual characters within their respective series, and while Sengoku Iori isn’t the sole reason that Gamaran is such a good series, he forms a large potion of the awesomeness that results.
it is hard to describe Iori’s role in Gamaran. He was Jinsuke’s student. The thousand man slayer saved him from death when he was a child and, seeing something in him, took him on as his first student. As such Iori has the privilege of being The thousand man slayer’s one and only student, the one person that Jinsuke saw as worth his tutelage. Someone might mention ranmaru, but really, to compare the powerhouse that is Iori to little old Ranmaru is to do injustice to all things Gamaran.
Ranmaru doesn’t even begin to measure up to the talent that Iori possesses; Iori’s power is such that he is the only man believed capable of contending with the monster that is Jinsuke.
Iori, rather than accept or deny Jinsuke’s offer years back, when Jinsuke massacred the Ogame students who wouldn’t join him, Iori chose to leave the school and as such, his cowardice, his inability to choose one group of students against another, has haunted him for years.
Because of his decision, and because of the souls of his comrades that died that day he chose not to fight against his master, Iori has made it his mission to defeat Jinsuke.
Iori, other than being Jinsuke’s student, is also Gama’s master, having taught him sword skills from a young age. Iori’s return occurs at a time when Gama’s abilities are reaching their peak. With Iori having left the school along with Zenmaru and Shinojjou (though not together) years back to search for Jinsuke, Gama’s skill level had stalled, and iori took it upon himself to bring him up to par, and complete his training in lightning kata.
But more than simply improving Gama’s skill, Iori turns the scales in the tournament, as his very presence brings about a shift in the haunt of demons.
But enough spoilers, I would encourage anyone that hasn’t read it to check out Gamaran if only to bask in the awesomeness of this monster of a character. Iori is the Hiko Seijuro of Gamaran, and if you know your Samurai X, you know what I mean; he has a presence that will charge any battle and drastically change the fate of any situation he is planted in.
He is simply, for lack of a better word, cool. The way he deals with his opponents, his overwhelming and shocking power, the rather funny comments he will make to those foes that stand up to his more basic attacks and impress him. Iori has the ability to both amuse and amaze.
It would be rare to find a gamaran fan that doesn’t know that the final battle with the Muhyou school and Jinsuke will be settled with Iori, and there can’t be anyone that has read Gamaran that isn’t looking forward to that charged battle. To fully understand Iori would require actually seeing him in action.
It is really hard to really elucidate on the factors that favor Iori’s presence in the manga without giving away too much in terms of what actually happens in Gamaran, most of which will leave you awed.
Anyway, gamaran is also UNPREDICATBLE:>
I like reading manga and watching anime where I can’t guess what is going to happen.So much of what I watch might entertain me in execution, but it is rare that I will watch anything that will completely catch me off guard. It is a rare series, such as Claymore and gamaran that manages to create at atmosphere by which most if not all of my expectation will be blown straight out of the water. And I like that, that I might think about a situation and things some how fail to turn out the way I expected, or even when they do, that the story somehow manages to fool me into thinking that something different might happen.
With Gamaran, it is all about the deaths. I wouldn’t be over exaggerating to say that in the last five chapters of gamaran before the one year time skip, Yousuke killed more characters (during the storming of the castle, Iori’s finest hour) within that short hour or two than most mangas’ entire cast of characters.
This series will kill off characters as fast as it will create them, and I am not talking about nameless minions, but fairly well fleshed out characters, with special weapons, styles and prominent presences. The man isn’t afraid to kill off some of the most uniquely designed and armed characters I have ever come across; and when I say you won’t see it coming, I mean you won’t see it coming.
This comes back to what I said earlier, about the uniqueness and dynamic nature of the fights. Life and death are a part of the samurai life, and as such you rarely come across miraculous saves that aren’t deserved.
If anything that I have said doesn’t hook you or maybe this simply isn’t your cup of tea, then at the very least you can expect the unexpected.
Admittedly, this manga’s art is the sole reason that I took so long to read Gamaran. The first time I attempted to read gamaran, something about the illustration seemed off to me, and for some reason I just couldn’t follow the fights. The action wasn’t fluid enough that I could follow it with a glance. So I dropped what I believed would be a good manga, because it took too much time and focus to understand each fight related panel.
Later when I picked it up, this problem persisted. But it wouldn’t be until forty or so chapters later that I realized that this was no longer a problem. While Gamaran art is far from breath taking, Yousuke definitely knows how to draw sword fights. I have began to really appreciate it, especially the several close ups that he will do in each chapter, providing intricate detail of the move being executed and their brutal consequences. So as far as the art goes, I would give Gamaran as B-.
This series is brutal. Gama and his comrades have so far shown little to no thought about killing, and they will take lives, as brutally as possible without any qualms whatsoever.
The styles of each newly introduced foe are unique in look and execution and each weapon will have a varying operation when manipulated along the instructions of each individual style. Sometimes I wonder how much time Yousuke puts into researching the intricate details of these fighting styles, each of which manages to seem even deadlier than the previous one.
When a series has so many unique characters, with unique fighting styles, weapons and objectives, it isn’t hard to see why Gamaran is such a good read. I of course haven’t read it for at least two to three months, since I rarely read manga on a weekly basis, and prefer to let them build to at least ten chapters that I can devour at once.
I am torn on the anime thing. Gamaran would be an awesome anime, but I fear how the studio would butcher it in terms of filler. Gamaran’s selling point is how fast and continuously changing the story is. Filler will change that, and once the entire concept comes crashing to a halt (after a season of filler) it will be hard to restart the spark that Gamaran held to none manga readers. And gamaran filler would simply be terrible.
So I am currently on the fence on whether we should see a Gamaran anime soon. But there is no doubt that this manga has changed the very face of the Samurai genre, and injected a new life force into it. This is a must read.
MY RATING OVERALL:> As if it would be anything other than a 5/5.
My favorite moments as of chapter 158 are: Gamaran’s first match in the first round against the first school he went up against, if you read it then you, like me, didn’t see that entrance that Gama made coming; followed closely are the events that came after that, with the archer that can curve his arrows; then there is Zenmaru and Shinoujjo’s appearance, that first night when the ambush comes and Iori happens to make an appearance; Jinsuke’s first appearance, Gama’s appearance and new look after the time skip, when he took on that guy with the rapier; but of course most epic of all is Iori and Shinnoujo’s ‘contest’ and Iori’s invasion.
Gamaran is a Japanese shonen manga series written and illustrated by Nakamaru Yousuke. Gamaran has been continuously serialized in the Japanese manga anthology Weekly Shonen Magazine since May 2009, and has so far produced a collection of 19 volumes as of January 2013
No not from the U.S.A. ...
"Sevastopol, Ukraine (CBS Seattle) – Three elite Ukrainian commandos have gone AWOL.
The dolphins are highly trained, intelligent, and can strike anywhere.
Ukrainian media reported earlier this month that three military trained dolphins didn’t return to their base in the Crimean port of Sevastopol. The dolphins were reported to be out during a training exercise.
These particular dolphins are trained in the use of special knives and firearms to kill enemy divers. They are also adept in the use of explosives to sink enemy ships.
It’s unknown if the three missing dolphins had such equipment on them when they went missing, but it is believed that they are out seeking mates.
The Ukrainian dolphin program has its roots in the Soviet era. During the cold war, the U.S.S.R. trained the dolphins to attack enemies and detect underwater mines.
The U.S.S.R. handed over the program to the Ukrainians after its break-up.
Dolphins are used in militaries across the world. The United States has such a program although their dolphins are not trained to attack and are used for intelligence purposes.
Those dolphins were used for the war in Iraq."
So their from back in the U.S.S.R.
On Pokemon TV, Meloetta's Moonlight Serenade is available for free and legal streaming until March 24, 2013.
The short is released internationally since February 15, 2013.
Now, this may be old news, but I want to remind some Pokemon folks who haven't heard about this yet.
Meloetta is available for Pokemon Black, White, Black 2, and White 2 at Gamestop from March 9, 2013 to March 24, 2013 in the U.S.A.
Meloetta is level 50, and her moves are Round, Teeter Dance, Psychic, and Close Combat. Its ability is Serene Grace, and it carries PP Max. It can change into Pirouette Forme using Relic Song that it can learn in Castelia City.
Source: Marriland, Serebii.Net
Thank you. Please enjoy the show.
This is a recap article on manga series that were on hiatus for a long time.
It was on hiatus since May 2010. In the February 2013 issue of Sunday GX (ANN says it's January), the manga will resume on January 19 with its The Wired Red Wild Card story arc. Also, "Greenback" Janet Bhai and the introduction of People's Liberation Army hacker Li Xinlin will make another appearance.
Synopsis: Okajima Rokuro is a Japanese businessman…in a town full of Japanese businessmen. His normal day consists of social drinking with clients and being kicked around by his bosses. He finally gets a break though, as he’s sent by his company to the tropical seas of Eastern China to deliver a disc…only his boat gets hijacked by a band of mercenaries that were hired to steal it. “Rock” (as he is newly dubbed by his captors) catches the interest of the only female merc “Revy” as she thinks he’s worth a ransom, taking him hostage. However, the disc turns out to be more trouble than its worth, and complicates things both for Rock, and the mercenaries known as Black Lagoon.
It was on hiatus since 2010. It will resume its run in the May issue on April 12.
Synopsis: In the future, Japan is a wasteland. In the Great Kanto Desert, scattered humans eke out a living in the hot sand. Among them, a short-statured man they call "Sunabozu" makes a living as a bounty hunter. Like a demon of the sand, he seems unbeatable. Yet, like all men, he has a particular weakness for the opposite sex...
It was on hiatus since January 2011 (ANN says it's March 2011). It will resume its run on April 9.
Also, the Yen Press's HOTD Omnibus 2 (full color edition)'s release date has been pushed back to Dec. 17. Its original date was October 29.
Synopsis: The world is over taken with a deadly "disease" that turns people who get bitten into the living dead. In Japan, a group of students and the school nurse stick together and try to survive the widespread chaos.
Note: I hope to see Deadman Wonderland would resume its publication someday. Oh, sorry for the bad pun.
after much delay and a few months, Yu-Gi-Oh is finally on nicktoons. it will be there every Monday through Friday at 8:00pm through 9:00pm. In other news, new episodes of Monsuno is coming up soon.
This is Aarionf saying "Prepare to Duel."
At Momocon in Atlanta, Toonami has announced that they have plans to air One Piece. No date is given. Also, Toonami will be airing Neon Genesis Evangelion movie (Evangelion 1.11 cut of the Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone) on March 17th. Finally, the staff has unveiled Tom's new looks.
Before he was executed, the legendary Pirate King Gold Roger revealed that he had hidden the treasure One Piece somewhere in the Grand Line. Now, many pirates are off looking for this legendary treasure to claim the title Pirate King. One pirate, Monkey D. Luffy, is a boy who had eaten the Devil's Fruit and gained rubber powers. Now he and his crew are off to find One Piece, while battling enemies and making new friends along the way.
After the second impact, all that remains of Japan is Tokyo-3, a city that's being attacked by giant creatures that seek to eradicate the human kind, called Angels. After not seeing his father for more than eight years, Shinji Ikari receives a phone call, in which he is told to urgently come to the NERV Headquarters, an organization that deals with the destruction of the Angels through the use of giant mechs called Evas.Shinji's objective is to pilot the Eva Unit 01,while teaming up with the Eva Unit 00 pilot, Ayanami Rei.
Lasting until Tuesday, Marvel will be giving away 700 comic books for free on comixology as part of their Marvel First event. Right now the servers are experiencing with problems due the sheer volume of people rushing in to claim their comic books. However, it has lessen significantly since last night; so there's still a chance to grab your comic book.
Welcome to the new series of blogs called Family Time! I had this weekly idea of doing Moe Monday, Tsundere Tuesday, and such, but I scrapped the idea. I didn't watch a lot of anime to keep the writing mojo going. This family time theme I'm doing will put some love in this community. Family is more than blood. Some of you folks are watching with friends, neighbors, co-workers, and etc. They're family, too. I was inspired by Sam Weller who wrote articles about watching Madoka Magica with his girlfriend to do this blog.
A little background info:
Watching anime on Saturday mornings with my brothers and sister was a pastime back then. Now, with the age of the internet, my family and I are watching new shows on Youtube (mainly Funimation's) before settling down on Crunchyroll and HULU. I never thought myself as an anime fan, more like a casual watcher. During my Anime Vice years back in October 2010, I tried a lot of anime series, and the main one that my family and I have watching since 2010 was Fairy Tail. It has been almost three years, and when Hiro Mashima had told the fans that the anime is going to end on March 30, I was a bit sad. All good things come to an end sooner or later. I thought it would be a good time to start this thread on Fairy Tail and share some nostalgic feelings that my siblings had.
Before I talk about the fun times that my family had with Fairy Tail, here is a synopsis of the show for those who are new to this franchise:
Fairy Tail revolves around Natsu Dragneel, Happy, and Lucy Heartphilia who are members of a guild called Fairy Tail. The three go on missions seeking adventure and end up making a big mess of things. Fairy Tail is known for causing lots of havoc and getting into fights with those who seek to hurt their guild members.
*Don't worry, I didn't put any spoilers.
I got started on Fairy Tail when my little sister came home from the public library and checked out first volume. She mentioned that she picked it out because the cover reminded her of One Piece due to the drawings. I was surprised that the man who did Rave Master was behind Fairy Tail. After reading the first volume together, we were hooked on Fairy Tail with its humorous shenanigans and its lovable characters. For my little brother, he loved Happy so much especially the parts where Happy teased Lucy. My sis loves Freed because of his cool ability with Runes. When we're done reading all the volumes that the public library had on the shelves, my sister found out that Fairy Tail had an anime. I had no expectations on the voices or music, so I was open to anything. When watching the first episode, I enjoyed the voices for Natsu, Lucy, and Happy along with everyone else. Also, the first opening theme song still remained in my head for these past years just like Bleach and Pokemon.
What Fairy Tail appealed to my little siblings and me was the comedic scenes and misadventures of Natsu's guild and the whole fighting for your Nakama themes. Back then, I didn't mind the shonen cliches of one fighting for loved ones. I find Natsu's speech when he fights tough opponents for the sake of his friends admirable. Makes his big fights all emotional. Erza and Gray had great chemistry in Natsu's group. These guys always gave some good laughs and fights. As the years gone by, Fairy Tail was starting to lose its appeal by the Edolas arc. My older brother didn't enjoy how Fairy Tail brings someone back without any real place for the character. It makes their back story meaningless. With the recent filler arc, it is hard to look forward to Fairy Tail. At that time, Sket Dance was the most popular thing in my household. Though, Fairy Tail outlasted Sket Dance when Sket Dance came to an early end in August 2012. The last arc, the tournament, for the anime kept us watching the anime. Some fights are awesome while the others are disappointing. The only one who enjoyed the Fairy Tail the most up to this day was my youngest brother.
Folks who read Fairy Tail hoped the anime has blood and lose some censorship. I didn't mind those changes neither did my siblings. Though at some point, scenes that has characters exhausted and coughing looks strange without blood. As for fan service, manga has a lot of it. Anime has them too but in small doses. Even though my youngest bro is 10 years old, I had no trouble with Fairy Tail. It's pretty tame; however, the OVAs are a different story.
In the end, Fairy Tail will still have a place with my family because we can't forget Natsu and his lovable gang who brought us some laughter and tears.
Hope you enjoy this blog! I hope it motivates you guys and gals to share about watching anime or reading manga with family and friends.