ANIME AND MANGA THIS WEEK: 25/05/2014, APOCALYPSE NO TORIDE, HELLSING, HAJIME NO IPPO
It’s been a while since I did one of these posts; you could say I have been on an anime and manga break for sometime now, not necessarily separating myself from the medium altogether, simply restricting myself to the weekly titles I was already reading, and even then not regularly following them.
It’s odd; it didn’t think it was possible to watch too much anime and read too much manga. Not that I got sick of it at one point. Rather I just found myself bored with everything. Anyway, I have been watching a few things this week, reading some new manga, so I thought I would pick these posts up again.
This is my week in anime and manga. I am interested in hearing what your week has been like, what you’ve been watching or reading, if you have encountered any of these titles, whether they are worth pursuing or better off dropped.
Anime has always been my problem, for a few months at least. I am looking for something to simply blow me away, and that has yet to happen.
+Hajime No Ippo- Following the story of a young high school kid who, after several years under the thumb of his local bullies, learns to box, Hajime No Ippo has simply made my last two weeks.
My first taste of Ippo was New Challenger, the second part of the anime; and only now have I finally returned to the beginning, to watch how the story started. And wow, I have said this before (at least I think I did), I am not a fan of sports. I just don’t get the appeal, yet if real sports was anything like anime sports, I would probably become the biggest fan.
Because I have never thought of the exciting aspects of what I always thought of as the boring sport of boxing until I watched Hajime no Ippo, a ridiculous thrill in displaying matches round by round, up close, in the ring, availing a glimpse into the minds of two individuals seeking to put each other down within a limited time period.
Oh, and Takamura is simply awesome. Seriously, something about these matches can keep me glued to the screen for several hours on end, at the edge of my seat, trying to figure out who will finally win a match that my mind recognizes as fiction.
RATING: 10/10, not even a question. My anime week has been made because of Hajime no Ippo, especially Ippo Vs. Sendo. Hajime no Ippo: The fighting is a must watch.
+Blast of the Tempest- Its strange; this is one of the first anime I ever watched in 2013, and only now have I gotten down to wrapping up with its second part. Following the story of Hakaze, the most powerful mage of the Kusaribe clan, stranded on an island in the past, attempting to prevent her clan, now gone rogue, from reviving the murderous tree of Exodus, which would prove detrimental to the source of her power, the tree of Genesis, I remember initially picking interest in this show because of crazy Mahiro and his friend Yoshino, two kids chosen by Hakaze to save her and prevent the revival of the Exodus tree.
Mahiro was crazy and would have destroyed the world if he felt it necessary.Yoshino was calm and kept his best friend in check, as they tried to save earth from the fruits of Exodus. Both only cared about solving the murder of Mahiro’s sister (and Yoshino’s secret girlfriend) Aika.
It was an intriguing working formula. The second part of this series is proving to be anything but intriguing, a little too convoluted for my liking, and with oddly dumb characters. Seriously, I liked Hakaze, why did they have to ruin her. I remember someone writing a post about how romance can kill the plot of some anime.
Blast of the Tempest is an example, with the way it is progressing.
RATING: 4/10, more meh than anything.
+Hellsing Ultimate OVA- Here is what you need to know about Hellsing. Dracula is now called Alucard and he works for Van Helsing’s daughter to destroy vampires and other such monsters.
The original Hellsing anime was okay. Two episodes in, this OVA is starting to annoy me; there is way too much drama preceding the action or twists in the story, too many minutes wasted on everyone telling use how dark and evil they are, especially Alucard; too much damn time wasted on Alucard laughing manically.
Too much waste at this point.
RATING: 2/10, there are more monologues than there is dialogue in this series, too many people taking too much time talking to themselves, usually about themselves. Very little character development.
All in all, not the most interesting week in anime; not with irritating disappointments like Tempest and Hellsing. Of course Hajime managed to keep me entertained.
+Noblesse- Noblesse has a lot of these chapters, especially after a great arc, random villains sent to the city to investigate recent defeats, only to encounter the less impressive portion of the heroes, who must take a beating and either ran back to Frank, or wait for Rai’s appearance.
I was starting to tire of the werewolves, until The Lord made his appearance last week. This week, it was M-23 finally flexing his muscles that allowed the chapter to take on a more exciting form. Finally someone in the RK4 is rising to become something more than a punching bag.
+Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic- As someone who was initially ecstatic about learning of Alma Toran’s history, these flash back chapters are starting to irritate me. I get the need, learning intimate details about Solomon and all the djinn when they were still human, but I am losing patience with the dragging pace of the chapters.
This week simply solidified the pace at which the darkness was spreading across the land, with all those species that Solomon and company had saved from the Orthodox magicians now turning and starting to fight each other.
I guess there is a message somewhere there, about the belligerent nature of all living things, that former slaves would now turn against each other and even Solomon. But I don’t have nearly as much interest in Sheba and group, despite the fact that this week’s chapter probably set her up to be Aladdin’s mother, with Solomon as his father.
+Nanatsu no Taizai- An intriguing chapter; I wish other manga would do this more, give me something to think about at the end; The Seven Deadly Sins this week brought Diana, King, Gowther, Hauser, Geera and Dreyfus together, the holy knights and sins combining forces after determining the threat of the demon clan and choosing to enter a truce to stop its revival
Gowther keeps surprising me; one can never tell what his limits are, considering the nonchalant way in which he shrugged off his previous injuries. Because I don’t like Elizabeth that much, there is little tension in the question of whether they will save her in time.
More intriguing is the goddess clan relic. Ban, offering his life for Elaine’s return? Well, I guess it isn’t much of a surprise, considering what we know of him. But that brings into question just how powerful the goddess clan are to bring about such an occurrence, and why Ban’s so desperate to resurrect. Because even King found a way to exonerate him of fault regarding her death.
Further chapters need to devote some time to Meliodas’ conflict; with two powerful sides clashing, it does require that some focus.
RATING: 6/10, decent, not mind blowing.
+Fairy Tail- These days I don’t have too many great things to say about Fairy Tail, mostly because the manga makes it too easy to root for the bad guys, because the good guys a way too strong.
None the less Chapter 385 was kind of entertaining; Hades and the spirit king began their battle and it seems like they know each other, which is another interesting mystery.
Lucy got a power up but one I could accept. The idea that she was going to use Urano Metria to obliterate her enemies always infuriated me, especially after the savage beating she had taken. Hiro took the time to replenish her magic in a way that I can accept, which makes her use of Urano Metria alright.
It wish she could quit the whining about her bloody spirits, which are perfectly alive and which she can visit anytime. Hiro’s attempt to spin a tragedy out of last week’s chapter is annoying.
RATING: 7/10, strangely decent chapter. This arc has had way too many irritations, that good chapters such as this really surprise me. And the action was pretty cool.
+Until Death Do US Part- A young girl with psychic powers, on her way to a life of incarceration, in the hands of criminals intent on using her powers for profit, runs into the arms of a random blind man with a cane.
A blind man that she dreamt of as her only salvation.
It’s been a day or so since I picked this manga up. Following a blind swordsman fighting crime with his hacker partner, there are two things I can say about it after only ten chapters.
The art is awesome, the fights displayed in surprisingly fluid and easy to interpret ways.
Watching Mamuro (I think that is his name) cutting gangsters down on the streets using his futuristic samurai sword has proven entertaining enough to keep me glued to the manga, especially his clashes with gun wielding thugs.
However that isn’t going to last long. I still don’t know what the manga is about, what direction its main plot will follow, and whether or not I will like it will depend on how the story take shape.
RATING: 7/10, a decent start to a manga, focusing largely around the action.
+Apocalypse no Toride- Meada is thrown into a juvenile academy, with other vile and sometimes murderous delinquents for a crime he didn’t commit. A virus turns everyone in the city (and possibly the world) into zombie like mutations. Meada and his friends struggle to survive in the new world.
I am only 12 chapters in, and truth be told, all I can see is High school of the dead, but with no fan service or female characters. There is this one naked fellow with three pupils who likes to sit at the peak of towers made up of zombies, using them as his personal chariot as they wreath about like one giant monster.
RATING: 3/10, still not convinced.
All in all, not a terrible week in anime and manga for me, not horribly exciting either, but acceptable. That was my week, how was yours? Read anything new? Anything interesting? Or have you encountered one of these titles in the past or present?