I wanted to write my review of the latest ONE PIECE chapters much sooner, but the original translation that was available was god awful. It looked as if it was written by people who only had a rough idea of how to speak English. Then the rest of the week got busy.
Luffy has made his not so grand appearance right in the middle of the battle field of Smoker's G-5 and all the pseudo-minotaurs and he's out to kidnap Caesar Clown to help out Law's plot to take down the yet unnamed member of the Four Emperors. in the chaos of Luffy clashing with Tashigi/Smoker and Smoker/Tashigi, Caesar's pet monster Slime appears.
Oda really flexes his ability to entertain and explain exposition in this chapter. Explaining plot detailed to the audience can be a heavy task for any writer. You have to both entertain and inform. I have to image that's even more important in manga when you have a chapter once a week. As the fodder characters are running down what are obviously not the weaknesses of Slime, you can't touch it, can't cut it, and certainly don't set it on fire. Luffy brings the laughs as he fights with Tashigi in Smoker's body. He's easily the savior of this chapter. He's such a loveable dope who has no ability to read the situation. Just as Caesar is trying to play the role of the grand villain lording his superiority over the masses, Luffy puts him in a bear hug to catch him. It's the manga equivalent of playing AZURA'S WRATH and hitting the "Shut Him Up Button".
What wasn't talked about what that we can see that Luffy's Haki has developed to the point where he can now grab Smoker, even while in his less corporeal form. That's always been Smoker's biggest advantage against Luffy in a fight. A rematch between these two would be far less one sided than it's ever been.
For being such a grand master, Caesar is also kind of an idiot. You make this creature who can't be touched or set on fire, you go to such elaborate lengths and risks to not let your enemies know how to stop it, then he stands there and tells a an entire crowd how Slime doesn't like water. At lease when Luffy drops his weakness to enemies he's got the excuse of being a dope.
Oda, for some reason, is always so cruel to Tashigi. One of her biggest insecurities is that she feels weak, and over and again he has characters pointing that out to her face. We know she's become stronger since she was in Alabasta, but we've yet to really see any evidence of that. I just hope this is all a build up to something down the line for her.
This is not a stellar chapter by any means, but I got enough laughs out of this from Luffy goofing around. His sudden realization that Tashigi is actually Smoker is great. Law's mind switching ability has been a never ending source of entertainment for Luffy and the rest of us as readers. More character interaction and less Slime would have been welcome. This is a 3 out of 5 chapter, and I do look forward to next week.
How can you turn down free anime?!
The English anime distribution compant FUNimation has been offering the subtitled PANTY & STOCKING anime series for their paid Elite members for a few months now, and on July 10th they'll be releasing the dubbed version on DVD. Still, if you've been itching to know how this American inspired anime out of GAINAX sounds in English. FUNimation now has something nice for you.
Last week, FUNimation began hosting the first two English dubbed episodes of PANTY & STOCKING on their website for free and completely uncensored. You can watch these episodes on their website FUNimation Video HERE. Since this content is rates as mature, you may have to register an account with FUNimation first, but a standard account is free. I've watched these two full episodes, and it really seems as if they had some fun dubbing this anime.
The entire series is available for pre-order on both Rightstuf,com and Amazon.com. Rightstuf is offering a limited time gift for pre-orders of a replica Heaven Coin for pre-orders. It's a while supplies last kind of deal, so, get in on that while they're available.
Source: FUNiamtion HERE
It's started on June 9th of this year that a very limited release of a PERSONA 4 movie opened in Japan. The title is PERSONA 4 THE ANIMATION -THE FACTOR OF HOPE-. Now, understand that the term movie is a rather loose definition here. What is actually airing in only ten theaters across all of Japan is a 90 minute re-edit of the PERSONA 4 THE ANIMATION anime series, but will also include some new cuts of footage. It will also be including the as of yet un-aired 26th True End episode "No One is Alone".
The film's official website includes a list of the time of swag moviegoers will receive depending on the cost of their admission through advanced ticket sales. All attendees will be given a special PERSONA 4 sticker sheet that has art from the movie. The purchase of the ¥2,000 ($25 USD) advance ticket gets a movie poster adorned with a printed signature of Daisuke Namikawa, the voice actor for Yu Narukami. The ¥1,500 ($19 USD) advance ticket purchases receivea a set of two postcards adored with Persona 4 art work.
At the Tokyo's Shinjuku Wald 9 midnight showing, Daisuke Namikawa, Showtaro Morikubo, and Kappei Yamaguchi appeared for an onstage greeting. This screening priced at ¥3,000 ($37 USD) included a select airing of Persona 4 The Animation episodes after the movie.
PERSONA 4 THE ANIMATION is currently being hosted online by The Anime Network - HERE or HULU - HERE. Sentai Filmworks will also be distributing the series later this year on DVD and Blu-ray with a full English dub. Cast announcements still pending.
Since this movie has already started airing in Japan, there has been a lot of word of mouth that a trailer shown after the PERSONA 4 movie teased about a PERSONA 3 movie. It's hard to find much confirmation outside of random Twitter feed of movie goers, but everyone knows that audiences love to chat about what they just saw. Viewers of this teaser describe it as showing a calendar that slides backward a total two years to the very beginning of the PERSONA 3 game timeline, and an image of the P3 protagonist (nicknamed Kitaro in Japan) appears.
If these rumors turn out to hold some weight, we may finally be getting a real anime adaptation of the PERSONA 3 story. Not counting the PERSONA -TRINITY SOUL- that tried to act as a sequel to the game's events.
One of the reporters for the gaming website Siliconera.com was able to speak to Aram Jabbari, a representatives of Atlus USA, about the PERSONA 4 ARENA fighting game that was shown at this year's E3 2012 convention. Mr. Jabbari not only confirmed that both Chie Satonaka and Teddy will be voiced by new actors in the English dub of the game, but that these voices will be carrying over into the coming PS Vita PERSONA 4: GOLDEN, which is expected to have up to 40% more voice work than the original. P4 GOLDEN will be released later this year.
Chie Satonaka was originally voiced by Tracey Rooney. Both her game and anime credits are limited past her role as Chie. The job of stepping into her lethal shoes is put to Erin Fitzgerald. She's had various roles in video games and anime, but usually smaller parts. In BLEACH, she's voiced the Arancar Mila Rose and Mizuho Asano, Keigo's sister. In the realm of video games, you may have heard her in CATHERINE as Trisha and Erica Anderson.
Teddy was originally voiced by Dave Wittenberg. Now, he's a voice that I'm sure many of you know if you are even generally involved in anime. He's been the voice in various series, and his most prominent role to date has been NARUTO's Kakashi Hatake. He is being replaced in the game by Sam Riegel. Anime fans will know him has the voice of GURREN LAGANN's beast-man Viral. He actually isn't new to PERSONA 4 and had an uncredited role as various students for the original PS2 game. He also has numerous credits in both ADR direction and script writing for anime.
It's still unknown how these new voice credits could effect the PERSONA 4 THE ANIMATION series. A couple months back, it was reported that Sentai Filmworks, the company that will be developing the English dub for the PERSONA 4 THE ANIMATION, had hired the entire returning cast, but many of the actors stated that they had no idea what Sentai was talking about. It doesn't seem like a far leap in logic that these same actors could be voicing the anime.
Be sure to check out this trailer from E3 to get a tiny sample of the voice work to come. And anyone interested in watching the entire anime (minus the True Ending episode) online for free should check out either The Anime Network - HERE or HULU - HERE. If you haven't already. I highly recommend you at least check out the first episode.
Persona 4 Arena Trailer - (English Cast)
Persona 4: Golden Trailer
Source: siliconera.com HERE
VIZ Media's publication of the Tite Kubo's BLEACH series may be trailing behind when compared to ONE PIECE and NARUTO, but VIZ has been releasing two volumes a month all this year to catch up. Seems like fitting time seeing how the series is entering the finale in Japan. With the change comes a brand new cover design. They are replacing their original red lower border with a black design as the story enters the time skip.
The BLEACH story will be reaching the close of the Fake Karakura Town story arc as Aizen faces Ichigo one final time. In that same month, readers wont have to wait to see the beginning of the series first time skip, the beginning of the Lost Shinigami Substitute Arc, and the introduction of the Xcution.
All of these volumes are currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com.