Anime and manga in general is pretty well filled with powerful villains turned either good or morally ambiguous rivals. Toriyama's DRAGON BALL did this on several occasions. First with Piccolo, Vegeta, Android 18, and Buu. That can even be extended to various other franchises. That's a difficult premise to pull off and keep the character's motivations. Vegeta just stands out to us, because even though he came to the side of the Z-Fighters, he never lost his rivalry with Goku.
As I began watching Trigger's KILL LA KILL series in early October, I went in with a single view of Satsuki Kiryuin. She's dominating, head strong, ruthless, and thought little of humanity that doesn't conform to her ways. That seems to be the impression we have of her for the first few episodes, then Episode 3 "Junketsu" comes along. Slowly cracks in my preconceptions started to develop. Back when Satsuki challenged the friendship between Ryuko and Mako, she walked away smiling as she seemingly failed to break the pair apart and prove the point that humanity are "pigs in human clothing" that are blinded by greed and need taming by force.
I've read some complaints that several of the story flashbacks didn't add much to developing the members of the Elite Four, but was that even their purpose? I actually thought that we learned more about Satsuki. Just through the eyes of others. From her position, she saw people from privilege exploiting others or depending on their parent's influence to avoid the consequences of being a delinquent. Is she wrong that greed corrupts humanity?
When Ryuko lost control of herself as she fought against Nui. Satsuki tried to get through to her with words before she attacked. Even when she was ready to put Ryuko down, she held Nui off to allow Mako to save her. Several days later, she was straight forward to Ryuko and admitted that it was on her orders that Nui went after her father.
With Senketsu's destruction, I'm once again left confused. Satsuki has rescued Ryuko again, but she also took away the scraps of Senketsu. Although, the closing shot shows a single shred is left in her hand, and Aikuro found her carefully covered. As I was thinking back, I started to wonder if that piece was always in Ryuko's hand.
I went back and watched the episode once more. In all the scenes showing a vulnerable Ryuko, nothing is seen in her right hand until Aikuro finds her. Only then is the piece rather obvious. This is a series that pays attention to the little details. Just look at the episode with the PULP FICTION cameo.
It could be very likely that the piece was always in her hand, and it just wasn't illustrated. Although, if Satsuki is the sort of person who would cover an enemy, isn't it just as likely that she could have left that piece with her on purpose? I'm not making the claim that she's doing this as some sort of fondness for Ryuko, but she seems to want to keep her around. Likely for some purpose of her own.
Other recent events have also suggested that Satsuki may not be the good little soldier of her mother's organization that earlier episodes had suggested. Even Vegeta played along with Frieza until he had the chance to turn. The biggest difference, Satsuki is far more competent. Think about this. For as much as Ryuko has been fighting, in the end it's only helped to make Satsuki stronger.
The above image is from the Aqua City Odaiba Shopping Mall in Tokyo, Japan. Seems they added something far better than just some run-of-the-mill Christmas tree. They have a huge Godzilla tree decorated with lights, and it even fires out a plume of smoke.
It's a shame we never seen awesome stuff like this in the US. You know if someone did, Fox News would be screaming about the War on Christmas.
On November 21, 2013, the NEW YORK TIMES, one of the best selling newspapers in the U.S., hosted an ad for the blockbuster selling manga series, ONE PIECE. This full page ad can be found on Page A15.
This was apparently partially to celebrate ONE PIECE selling over 300 Million copies of Eiichiro Oda's creation. 130 Million of these having been sold since 2009. In every sense of the word, nothing in manga or comics sells quite like this series.
To give a little perspective. Last year, Shueisha published four collected volumes of ONE PIECE and those sold over 23 Million units. It's closest competitor KUROKO NO BASUKE's five volumes of the same year sold just over 8 Million copies. That doesn't even calculate in back issue sales.
Akira Toriyama is considered a legend among manga creators. He's the man who brought us Son Goku, Vegeta, and Piccolo. It was his DRAGON BALL series that inspired many of the biggest manga writers and artists of the modern era. If it hadn't been for him, we'd likely have never had characters such as Naruto Uzumaki or Monkey D. Luffy. Toriyama has been mainly out of the game since DRAGON BALL closed back in 1995. He's occasionally published some one-shots, but nothing coming near a regular serialized story. That seems that it may be about to change this July.
In the same week that Shueisha's WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP magazine celebrates 45 years in publication, WSJ will be publishing Toriyama's latest series, JACO THE GALACTIC PATROLMAN (銀河パトロール ジャコ, Ginga Patorōru Jako). The only plot details we know so far is that the story revolves around a powerful alien police officer that is stranded on Earth.
It's unknown just how long this series will be lasting. Not ever manga series is a 50+ volume epic. Some can be remarkably shorter. I've done some reaching out to some people "in the know", and the only thing they've been able to tell me is that this is not a one-shot.
Chapter one of JACO THE GALACTIC PATROLMAN will be publishing in WSJ on July 15, 2013. What's really exciting is that this will also be published in the official digital edition that's released to the U.S. audience, which is on same day release with Japan. Adding to all the fun is the news that this week Japan's WSJ also expanded its same day digital publication to the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Much of the world is going to get to enjoy this latest manga series about an alien defending the planet.
If you want to join in on this new adventure, be sure to look into downloading the WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP App for your iOS or other devices.I'm reading on the VIZ Media app for my Kindle Fire. The U.S. has a year's subscription to the weekly series for $25.99, and a monthly subscription for all the other regions (UK £1.99 / IRL 2,69€ / AU $2.99 AUD / NZ $4.19 NZD). Single issue sales are also available.
I've been needing some practice to try and sharpen with my tablet drawing skills, so I decided to make a new wallpaper for my computer. I currently have a self made wallpaper of ONE PIECE's Nico Robin. While no one in that series will ever replace my adoration for this mature and alluring femme fatale, I've also been seduced by yet another ONE PIECE character with looks to kill. Monet from the more recent Punk Hazard Arc.
I really liked this one image of Monet from the latest ONE PIECE anime opening theme, "Hands Up". I got a screencap from You Tube, but the quality was poor and colors flat. I wanted my wallpaper to have some depth to it.
I took this captured image and increased both the size and image quality to 300 DPI. I redrew all the lines that were in the image. However, I wanted to give the picture my own sort of style of coloring. I used the original as a bit of a guide, but you can see where I took some liberties.
I hope you enjoy the picture, and I'd like to hear your thoughts.