katmic (Level 10)

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Thinking about it now, am starting to wonder about the point of a making top 20: i mean, who really needs to know the 20 best manga of 2013, because technically anything below the top ten is second tier, less than stellar, unimportant material.

I guess there were that many manga series that stood out last year that i didn’t want to have to leave any of them out.

Anyway, this is where the drums roll as i introduce my top 10 manga of 2013:

10. BEELZEBUB

Who would have thought that a few years after its creation, Beelzebub would evolve into such a dramatic and action packed story; this series about a juvenile high school kid that must act as surrogate father to the child of the lord of the underworld, has come a long way from its comedic routes.

And while still funny as heck, the series delivered some heart stopping, skin tingling moments in 2013 as the plot took some pretty dark turns, the stakes shooting through the roof as new foes rose to challenge the status quo of Ishiyama.

I don’t know if i have said it, but if there are two manga you need to sit down and get to reading NOW, if you’re not already, its Noblesse and Beelzebub.

Quality wise there is no denying this manga’s place on this list. And yes, it was miles ahead of Bleach in 2013. Okay, maybe not miles.

9. SOUL EATER

Soul eater has been an excruciatingly annoying obsession of mine. The anime being one of the first i ever watched seriously, i spent a few years watching this manga move from hiatus to hiatus, punctuating the silence with one or two chapter releases.

I don’t know the circumstances behind its creation but Soul Eater has been crawling for a while now; not that that actually affected the story quality in any way, because Soul eater went out with the sort of bang in 2013 that the anime couldn’t even come close to capturing.

Bringing to a close the story of the Kishin and his battle with the world, displaying moments of development in all of its primary characters, allowing the series to take another step of growth, Soul eater was a breath taking series with a pretty breath taking finale, definitely worth the recognition.

8. MAGI: THE LABYRINTH OF MAGIC

Magi is my second favourite new manga of 2013, and by new i do not mean it only began its publication in 2013, but rather i only began reading it within those 12 months; and all i can say is wow, this manga is one heck of a roller-coaster.

What makes this series so special, specifically those arc that run in 2013, Aun madaura, Magnoshtadt, the Medium, is how deep the stories are, quite surprising for a shonen series of its type, seemingly simplistic and basically battle oriented, yet infused with so many moving stories perpetrated by so many moving characters, some heroes, most villains.

There really isn’t anything like Magi out there at the moment, except for maybe Nanatsu no Taizai. Magi was absolutely phenomenal in 2013.

7. THE BREAKER: NEW WAVES

The first time i began working on these lists, a friend of mine and i disagreed on exactly where Breaker belonged, specifically in comparison to The god of High school, which my friend believed deserved this position best, while Breaker should have been assigned to a notable mention.

I disagreed of course; sure there is something to be said about how action packed The God of High school has been in the last 12 months; yet i don’t see how it can compete with the story that drivers The breaker.

Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that, rather than the Breaker, it’s Shion, its primary character, who was on fire in 2013, a character that, after 80 chapters of series one and more than a hundred chapters of series 2, finally came out of his shell and, as anime characters are fond of saying, showed us the results of his training.

The Breaker has been a thrilling ride and the fights weren’t just unpredictable in there execution; so many matches, most uneven, seemed to come out of nowhere, and that sort of blindsiding allowed each chapter to skate along the edge, entire arcs almost continuously suspended in no man’s land with regards to how they would be or if they would even be resolved.

Not only the island arc, the events that brought the school burning to the ground, the death of an elder, the unleashing of the black arts; but the presence of Goomoonryong and the mystery of his schemes allowed this Manhwa to stand a few steps above The God of High school.

There was something gratifying about watching Shion finally gain the sort of respect we’ve been waiting for him to acquire.

6. UBEL BLATT

Ubel Blatt felt like it exploded into my world this year. It’s a story of a brutal nature that i have rarely come across, not even in the likes of Claymore. And even when it seems to be cycling in a clichéd rut, its disturbing to realize just how unique the plots progress, how dark and violent the stakes can get, how deviant the characters can become in the face of very dire circumstances.

The Balestar war still ranks as one of the best arcs i read/finished in 2013, mostly because of how vibrant the aspect of conflict were, the shocking revelations that followed and the unpredictable situation within which the story now exists, with the reputation of the authorities of the land shattered, the power of the heroes broken by infighting and the held breath that is Lord Glenn and what is expected to be a vicious assault.

If only this manga was weekly instead of monthly, it would easily take number 1.

5. CLAYMORE

Its true, Claymore hasn’t really been hitting all the right notes lately, and with the latest chapters the battles are starting to feel like they are dragging on, which is quite rare for this manga.

So how does such a manga rank so highly? Well, its Claymore, and the first half of Claymore’s 2013 was nothing short of CHAOTIC, the good kind; it isn’t just the revelations made about the source of Claymore and Yoma that saved the latter half of Claymore in 2013, but the events that followed the awakening of the former number 1’s, the RIDICULOUS BATTLES that ensued and Raki’s necessary involvement in the conflict.

And who could forget the Priscilla/Clare/Destroyer situation and the exciting events that led to its resolution, the introduction of male era Claymore, the revelation of Priscilla’s true power…good days, bad days, it doesn’t matter, Claymore is always Claymore, simply awesome beyond words.

4. NOBLESSE.

What have i said about Noblesse in these past three or four months that needs repeating? If any review i have written in the past finally convinced you to read Noblesse, then you should have a basic idea why this Manhwa should be in the top 5 of any 2013 manga list worth its while.

And the premise seems so simple: a vampire awakens from an 800 year convalescing sleep, to a new world, meets Frankenstein, the servant that so feverishly searched for his whereabouts after his disappearance, after which he instead poured his efforts into building a school in his master’s memory, the same school his master chooses to enrol into while he tries to get his bearings.

Little genius there, loads of genius in the execution. Any year where Raizel finally steps up to the plate to show us just what makes him the Noblesse is worth the hype i heap over this manhwa.

Noblesse should have been number 1 for 2013, if not for the presence of my Top 3 manga of 2013, which are listed below.

3. DEADMAN WONDERLAND

How long has it been, since Ganta first woke to find his entire classroom slaughtered by the red man, since he was tried and found guilty of murder, since he was marooned on the cruel prison island, Deadman wonderland, since we first began to explore this vicious theme park?

Well, its been quite a ride, one that i think couldn’t have been wrapped up any better. It was quite the sad finale, if you think about it, seeing these fast friends, old friends, Shiro and Ganta, finally tear their chains and enter into a brawl, understanding just how cruel the sweet white haired Shiro had been to Ganta, how dreadfully the world had treated her, and how she had in turn aimed her wrath towards her only friend, Ganta.

The art only accentuated that final clash, which, despite the spectacular blood manipulation occurring, was more talk that fighting, during which Shiro laid her soul bear and Ganta absorbed her rage.

Poignant stuff.

2. VINLAND SAGA

VIKINGS ROCK…need i say more: and if i do, where the hell have you been where they don’t have Vinland Saga?

Considering how irritating the little runt was when Thorfinn first set out on the high seas to find and murder his father’s killer, then joined him in an effort to achieve this fruitless goal, its heartening seeing just how far he’s come, transforming into a more rounded character; then a little depressing realizing that this new found warmth and peaceful persona is going to get him and all he knows and now loves killed.

One might point to 2013 as the year of Canut’s rampage, though maybe rampage isn’t quite the word considering how calm the new king is. Still, its a shame how low he’s fallen. But i guess it matters that all he does is in the name of justice.

Am really hoping Thorfinn’s new friend survives 2014. With the way events left off everything seems to be balancing on a knife edge in Vinland Saga.

1. SHINGEKI NO KYOJIN A.K.A ATTACK ON TITAN

Really, SNK? On another top ten manga list? Again?

Yes, again, because, whether you like it or not, Attack on Titan is that damn popular, and almost deserving of the hype its received from the Otaku world. And yes, there is more to its success in 2013 and position as number one than those massive revelations about the large and armoured titans.

Then again what do you expect from a story following humanity as it employs Spiderman type abilities to battle a horde of mindlessly violent giant naked human beings with some of the oddest running poses i have ever seen anywhere.

SHINGEKI NO KYOJIN IS MANGA AND MANHWA KING OF 2013.

And that’s my list of the top 10 best manga of the year 2013. Comment below and agree with me.

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February is just around the corner, so that would make a post about the best manga of 2013 quite late.

This list proved difficult to craft, because even though i was able to fairly easily list down the 20 best manga i had read in 2013, placing them in a specific rank was a whole other matter, specifically choosing the number 1 best manga of 2013.

Time didn’t help either, because just when the list seemed to make sense, certain events that occurred during the first half of the year floated to the top of my brain, causing me to reconsider several lower ranked manga series.

I made the decision to exclude Naruto and one piece from the list, because based on what i know about what happened, i couldn’t determine which was superior; and considering my adoration for Naruto, my decision to place Naruto at the top would have probably elicited cries of bias.

So, the list; this top 20 list is fairly general and consists of all manga that were published during 2013, whether weekly or monthly, and isn’t restricted to series that premiered in 2013 because…well, i haven’t read everything-or even a quarter- 0f all the manga that was first published last year.

Even more importantly this list is restricted to manga that i have read, which is obviously a small facet of what’s actually out there. So, without further adieu, the top 20 best manga of 2013:

20. ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM

I am still holding somewhat of a grudge towards this manga; even though it isn’t at fault for Hungry joker getting cancelled, i cannot help but remember how high it was flying at a time when Hungry joker was sinking.

None the less Assassination Classroom is clearly worth the mention, this manga following the story of a powerful alien that threatens to destroy the world, then postpones this action, enrolling as the teacher of a troubled class and assigning to the students, and hence the governments of the world, a year to kill him.

The manga makes the threat quite real, creating a time line of 12 months within which the world must bring to an end the life of this alien, lest it annihilates earth; yet there is also mystery, with regards to why this same alien would train a classroom of students in the art of assassination, assisting them in murdering him before he can destroy the world in 12 months.

The hook is obvious, each chapter focusing on a new attempt by the class of outcasts to destroy their favourite teacher; somewhat funny and charming, watching the large octopus contend with the educational need of his classroom.

19. AREA D

In a world where a few must contend with the hate of mankind after acquiring special powers following a mysterious incident years ago, Area D follows a group of convicts assigned to a special prison at a point in time where terrorist activities among the ‘special’ have forced governments to take drastic action against the majority of the population of powerfully endowed humans.

I will admit to not being particularly into Area D initially, despite its beautiful art; giving it a second chance has allowed to me appreciate the manga quite a lot though, specifically Jin as the S class prisoner whose actions years ago-murder on a massive scale- led to the persecution of a group of people the world had initially come to accept.

Area D has strived to prove itself in 2013, quickly progressing the conflicts on Area D, with Jin forced into a position where he must do the bidding of a terrorist organization and take on the four bosses that rule the island to allow his friends a chance at salvation.

While just as pointlessly fast paced as the first time i read it- and the reason i dropped it- the series has potential; and the powers look simply awesome when unleashed.

18. TORIKO

Toriko isn’t the easiest manga to get into; yet there is more to this muscle bound series than meets the eye, most people that refuse to grant it a chance unlikely to enjoy the evolution the series has undergone in recent times, the quality story telling we have been enjoying for the past 12 months, introduction of some really amazing new characters and villains and some epic battles with some of the best finales we have seen in 2013.

It is difficult to explain Toriko’s place on this list without spoiling it, only that the gourmet world is proving to be a destructive, dangerous and interesting place, both in the anime and the manga. If you haven’t given this series a shot you have no idea what your missing out on (with the series still running in the 200s of chapters it would be wise to start now before that number doubles).

You really cannot go wrong with a series about buff men and women traversing a quirky land to try and locate rare ingredients in their attempts to create the finest dishes. The premise is so dumb and outlandish you simply have to check it out just so you can try to work out just what the author thought could be so entertaining about the idea.

17. BLEACH

2013 wasn’t the greatest year for bleach, and that isn’t to say that it was terrible or anything close, simply taking into account how explosive it was in 2012 and how much more luck luster its run in 2013 was.

Maybe it was the long break, or the lull following such a thrilling invasion, or the endless training chapters that followed; whatever the reason though, there is still a spark in bleach, one that’s allowing this arc to shine as the series’ greatest.

And whatever its problems during 2013, Bleach closed out the year quite well as the shiningami began to fight back, Kubo allowing us a deeper glimpse into the story of each captain that either rose and fell.

Something has to be said about the body count that Kubo’s racking up; i wish Fairy tail would take a leaf out of the Bleach page.

16. TOWER OF GOD

So i just found out that we are going to be reading TOG for a while, because apparently its only the first story in the talse uzer story verse-no idea what that is. But it make sense, considering how many mysteries the series hasn’t even began to touch considering how far we’ve actually come.

If you haven’t read the series, it takes place in a massive tower consisting of a self contained world within which millions gather to defeat its many tests, traverse its 134 floors and the guardians that rule its domain, all in hopes of reaching the top, achieving the treasures proffered to the winner.

Though this series is more than contests and fights, with lots of scheming and treachery, as those residents of the tower continue to live their lives amidst all the turmoil.

Say one thing about Tower of God, say its consistent, the story always unpredictable and dynamic, and the characters this year, the entire massive cast of the series, all colliding together in some of the cleverer plots i have seen used in the series, yet allowing for so many mysteries to remain unsolved.

Most major series make use of very large casts; most such series have never utilized their casts the way Tower of God uses them, so quick to discard the best of them only to pick them up at the most unpredictable moment.

And of course this series wouldn’t be nearly as addictive if not for its primary protagonist, Viole, so humble yet lacking in the self sacrificing whiny personalities most shonen heroes possess.

And with the events of the past year that saw Viole take a step further in completely discarding 25thbaam, FUG stepping up its game to bring the fight to King Hazard, the slayers moving independent of Viole or FUG’s instructions, there’s no way Tower of God was going to miss out on this list as one of the best manga of 2013.

15. ONEPUNCH MAN

Onepunch man is a story about a man that defeats his opponents with one punch. The end. Seriously, that’s it, the totality of the premise, which should leave you curious as to why this is one of, if not the best manga of 2013 according to some people.

Maybe its the bald head.

14. GAMARAN

Dare i weep, that an anime that so thrilled me over endless Saturdays suddenly exited the otaku world? The first few weeks after i saw the posts on Facebook i didn’t believe it, mostly because i thought Gamaran was set to conquer the manga world as the next big thing.

Oh well.

This story, following youthful gama and the only four members of his dojo on his quest to kill his father, the thousand man slayer, the strongest swordsman in the land, who betrayed his son in the most dastardly way, isn’t unique.

Not at the core of its premise; what’s unique is the execution, the level of realism injected into each new arc, conflict and battle, the casualties numerous, the fancy sword techniques surprisingly grounded in reality.

Did Gamaran go out well enough? Well…am still ambivalent here and all i will say on the matter is the mangaka did a wonderful job in setting up that climax, allowing us a glimpse of the true man slayer, creating some of the most epic samurai clashes we have seen on paper and rationally bringing the story to a close.

It might have been sudden, but the fated meeting between Gama, Iori and the man slayer Jinsuke was more than worth the 200 chapter wait, and more than enough to cement Gamaran’s place on this list.

And who can forget the art displayed in this manga, the clarity of the sword fights, truly epic.

13 HUNGRY JOKER

Yes, i know, Hungry Joker was disappointingly luck lustre in its finale, but who can blame it; the series was meant to survive beyond its 24 chapters and only the low ratings forced its successful run to come to a premature end.

For all its failings though, Hungry Joker was gold, a potential star in the making, the story of a young genius endowed with telekinetic powers each time he takes a bite out of a black apple, learning of the presence of somewhat divine beings intricately linked to the only image of his past, that of a battle field and a shimmering man.

I only wish the series had survived another 2 years to really unleash its true potential; but i guess the manga business is tough. And the series did quite a lot in the few chapters it gave us.

12. NANATSU NO TAIZAI A.K.A THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS

Nanatsu no taizai is the new kid on the block, not quite found its feet but getting there, with its stories evolving satisfactorily each week to allow for darker plots to take root, characters engaging and charismatic and the art surprisingly fitting for a story of this nature.

In the more than 50 chapters we have received this year, Deadly sins is showing signs of a true super star, maybe the next big thing. God knows it has everything it needs to take its place once Bleach and Naruto slide aside.

The story takes place in the kingdom of Lioness. Once the holy knights rose to defeat the Seven deadly sins, a team of powerful knights that turned against their king. Now the princess of Lioness rides out into the wild lands to find the deadly sins, her only hope against the holy knights who have now usurped the power of her father.

In the light of a prophesied holy war, Meliodas, captain of the sins, might be her only hope.

11. THE GOD OF HIGHSCHOOL

GOH was the furthest Manhwa from my mind when i first considered this list. I remember a friend of mine mentioning it to me, but i didn’t really think of it as a serious contender until i ruminated on all the events that transpired in the past year.

GOH brings more than color to the table when it comes to 2013 manga; it also consists of great art, the most inventive i have come across, and an explosive collection of battle scenes.

And 2013 was the year that The God of high school chose to take its training wheels off, basically letting loose as the general plot that began a while back when the Manhwa first started came full circle, characters clashing in gargantuan battles, mysteries being revealed, demonic pasts returning with a bang and ancient personalities finally beginning to crack through.

It wasn’t just the birth of a god that allowed this Manhwa to impress so immensely, each chapter so creative and designed to leave you wailing for the next one, it was the injection of so many previously passive characters into the equation, the abilities growing in scale, martial arts taking on some interesting aspects.

Manhwa has been gaining considerable ground in the past few years, and The God of High school bares a portion of responsibility for this proliferation of an undervalued entertainment format.

And that’s it for the lower ranked 10 most awesome manga of last year. See you at the top 10

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Okay, i will admit it, this was a good chapter, sort of, depending what your thoughts about Fairy tail are and what you can guess will happen next week. I will admit, my opinion of fairy tail is still quite low, considering its train wreck run in 2013.

But maybe, just maybe, we might see a resurgence in quality in the series, maybe Hiro is actually taking steps to remedy the situation he has placed the manga in; because i really want to get back to the days of getting actually excited about the series.

THE CHAPTERS- Natsu is undressed and tossed in the cell with Lisanna; the pair fail to struggle free. Kyouka continues to torture Erza over Jellal’s position. Elfman returns to Fairy tail to execute his dark deed.

Jellal’s battle with Oracion Seis comes to an unfortunate end.

MY THOUGHTS-

So the word is Hiro has began working on a new manga series, or rather he’s began taking steps to develop the new series. Apparently he spent a few months a while back intricately developing a new idea for a manga, only to come across an anime that mirrored his exact plot.

So he scrapped it and went back to the drawing board, and soon intends to launch an entirely new series, running alongside fairy tail. In other words, despite recent assumptions that Fairy Tail might be ending, rumours logically launched by Hiro declaring his intentions to start a new series, it seems that this new manga will be running concurrently, alongside Fairy tail.

I guess that says something about Hiro, that he has the ability to draw two manga at the same time each and every week (we still don’t know about the timeline of its release). The mangaka already proved himself skill wise in 2013, releasing nearly 120 pages within a period of two weeks, each of which was drawn spectacularly..

I might also point out that Oda (one piece) needs to put in 21 hours of work each day of each week to produce an average of 21 pages every seven days. I guess Hiro somehow makes things look easy.

Looking at this news, one has to wonder if Hiro might be bored with Fairy tail- which is an acceptable attitude, drawing the same manga and writing the same story for all those years- and is simply searching for something different to excite him as a mangaka.

Then again if that was the case all he would have to do is end Fairy tail, which isn’t happening soon- i think it was early 2013 or late 2012 when he declared that Fairy Tail was actually only halfway its run, so yes, we have a ton of Fairy tail left to read.

-Anyway, if it seems like am getting distracted, am not, its just that there isn’t much to say about these two chapters. Now am almost certain that Silver is future Gray, with the way he treated Lisanna and the comment he made about Natsu.

This would be the second time a considerably powerful being that had no connections with Natsu was acting with a sense of familiarity with him, the first being Zeref. Which begs the question if Silver and zeref aren’t connected somehow.

The mystery doesn’t really intrigue me all that much, unless the revelation turns out to be something completely out of this world. And Erza’s torture session is running on a little too long, maybe necessary to allow us a glimpse into how twisted the demons are, but not worth all those pages.

And as would be expected i have no intention of getting excited about how chapter 368 ended, not with Fairy Tail’s track record. If the finale of the Daimatou enbu negatively affected the quality of the arc, the events of Gray’s demise shot it through the sky, then almost immediately sunk it to the depths of the ocean.

Am i supposed to believe that Hiro has the guts to suddenly kill a character off? There is no way for Jellal to survive his current injury, not when his team is one time manipulator short. Not that its beyond Hiro to suddenly reveal Urtear as the old lady that had been trailing them from the shadows and will now burst onto the scene to to rewind time by a minute one last time, before being obliterated by her own spell.

I will admit to being pretty entertained by Jellal’s story after the time skip and i was curious to figure out what he had in mind for Oracion seis; i presume when he spoke of saving them he was actually referring to destroying the dark spirit over their lives, stripping away there intent to return to a life of crime, probably pull them into his little crime fighting guild.

Whatever the case, it is difficult to believe that he could have survived, because everything the chairman said made it seem like the third seal had been broken and that Face was coming online.

Am a little ambivalent about the situation in the manga? Should i really jump in excitement over the direction the series is taking? Sure i was caught off guard by Zero’s revival, yet haven’t we seen enough of Fairy tail to know where this is going?

And really, do we believe elfman will actually go through with his plans? Sure, everything Sayla said in the last scene we got seemed to suggest that this wasn’t a matter of blackmail, that elfman was probably being controlled, maybe even possessed- all that talk of souls and deals.

But really? Fairy tail has biased me quite a bit towards the way its plots progress and usually end. There’s never anything close to a payoff from placing faith in this manga. So i think i will reserve judgment till next week. That will tell me how epic or how lame these two chapters were.

RATING: 3/5, i won’t deny it that 368 was pretty excitement. I always make the mistake of reading fairy tail almost immediately after reading Beelzebub. And Beelzebub is almost always so awesome that fairy tail comes off as pretty bland.

Yet 368 managed to hold its own this time. Now we can sit back and see how far Hiro will take this story.

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Finding good manga on the internet isn’t really that difficult, not if you take the time to really look. What is difficult is finding good manga that’s weekly and still on going-because as i have mentioned before, i find the waiting Monthly series put me through tiresome.

That makes Nanatsu no Tazai a very rare find indeed, not only weekly, but quality shonen, both in art and story telling, indeed a contender for the top spot once Bleach and Naruto finally wrap up.

THE PLOT:>

The "Seven Deadly Sins," a group of evil knights who conspired to overthrow the kingdom of Britannia, were said to have been eradicated by the Holy Knights, although some claim that they still live. Ten years later, the Holy Knights have staged a Coup d'état and assassinated the king, becoming the new, tyrannical rulers of the kingdom. Elizabeth, the king's only daughter, sets out on a journey to find the "Seven Deadly Sins," and to enlist their help in taking back the kingdom.

MY REVIEW:>

Nanatsu no Taizai is set to take the otaku world by storm because it hits all those points that make shonen action series so awesome, and is accomplishing so much in such a short period of time.

1. The Art- Nakaba Suzuki brings a pretty interesting and unique art style to his story, not quite fluid, not quite crystal clear, yet cohesive, flowing logically from panel to panel, the action scenes so masterfully presented, somehow always creating this complete picture of mayhem and destruction.

And let’s not forget the backgrounds, not quite rich, yet alive none the less and present. I always appreciate that, an author that could do black and white walls of background but chooses to take the time to draw a tree here, a hill there, a boulder way over there.

Nanatsu doesn’t hold back artistically, and the characters are quite lively even in black and white.

2. The adventure- The first time i read Fairy Tail, part of what drew me to it was the potential for adventure, following the cast as they trekked to new lands, engaged with new characters and enjoyed an action packed quest or two.

Sadly that is far from what Fairy Tail actually is today; The Seven Deadly sins on the other is nothing but one great adventure after another, each of the arcs short, precise and allowing the story to progress to new territories, such that 62 chapters later we have gone further in the story, seen more of the Sin universe than most weekly on going series dare to reveal.

Even One piece moves at a fairly snail pace compared to The Seven Deadly sins, which is showing no signs of slowing down even with what we have seen so far. And that’s largely due to the mysteries it presents.

3. The mystery- The Seven Deadly Sins is one large awesome mystery. 62 chapters in and all we know is the known narrative of what happened years back, when the Sins were betrayed and fell prey to the evils of the kingdom.

And because we don’t really know anything, not even who the seven primary characters are, each new chapter and each new story arc is chock of revelations to questions we were asking or didn’t even think to ask. That allows the series to progress dynamically, always feeling new and refreshed, never stagnating like most weekly on going series tend to do.

The thing with such a large mystery like The Seven Deadly sins is that even a tame largely dialogue heavy chapter is bound to reveal something intriguing that builds upon the story.

4. The cast- Really, where would this manga be without such an awesome cast. First of all the series began with a single main character, who’s still as shrouded in mystery 62 chapters later as he was when we first saw him.

What that means is with each new arc we are treated to the excitement of getting to meet a new sin. Secondly each sin is so mysterious a character that each new story arc allows us an opportunity to unwrap them further, their powers, now and in the past, the nature of their treasures, their origins and relationship with Meliodas, their captain.

Each character brings a new dimension to the manga, that allows the series to shine with regards to the interactions between the sins, enabling even the dullest characters to entertain immensely. In a way this reminds me of One piece, which can survive on the interactions and shenanigans of the straw hats.

Ever character in this cast is blessed with a deep story that as readers we can only anticipate to unravel.

5. The action- This is a battle shonen manga, so really it would lose a portion of its soul if it didn’t deliver on the action front, which is does brilliantly. Any series that boasts a large cast, each with its own unique abilities is bound to impress with a diverse showing of explosive abilities.

Nanatsu no Taizai more than succeeds in this arena, probably more so than Bleach or any other series of the type because the battles are so unpredictable. There is no one primary character that gets to take on the big bosses each and every time (which irks me immensely about one piece).

In fact its disturbing how many fights in the series see Meliodas on his ass, largely on the losing side, only to have one of his subordinates sins ride in, not only save the day but completely decimate the opponent.

That aspect allows the battles to keep you engaged, because there is no one character that is too strong to be defeated. Even the Immortal Ban can barely hold his own sometimes.

I guess the credit in that case goes to the villains, the holly knights, each of whose powers is always so unique that each fight doesn’t come down to which hero is stronger than which villain, but which villain has an ability that is largely skewed against the attributes of another character that no matter how strong they are, they stand no chance.

It’s a brilliant system of battle, perfectly complimented by the style of the art, which shows the abilities off perfectly. Diana is the one sin that has most impressed me so far, though Meliodas and King never seize to amaze me.

VERDICT: Great series, without a doubt worth investing your time into. The battle lines aren’t always so clear and the plots are always complimented by the demons each character is always struggling with.

The conflict in the order of holy knights, specifically Hendricksen and Dreyfus’ factions, allows the story to shine even further, taking a different perspective of the coming holy war.

If you’re finding your mind occupied with thoughts of what you will do once Naruto, One piece or Bleach end, need something to reel you in, give The Seven Deadly Sins a read.

If i had one criticism, it would have to be Elizabeth, whose character is quite cliché, boring and largely unnecessary to the entire plot. Strangely enough the revelation about Meliodas didn’t bother me. I often roll my eyes whenever i am reading a manga or watching an anime in which the primary protagonist undergoes some sort of demonic transformation, which is overdone as far as i am concerned.

Something about this series makes Meliodas’ revelation work.

RATING: 4/5, pretty impressive so far.

HIGHLIGHTS SO FAR: Ban Vs. Meliodas (really that entire tournament), Helliobram, Mother Catastrophe.

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Freezing is like nothing i have watched before, in that no other anime has yet to try my patience as much as Freezing and Freezing Vibration.

I watched the first Freezing anime in one night, well, really, less than a night; more like a few hours of my night. Am not even sure what kept me glued to the screen, except the fact that it was two in the morning before i finally closed the chapter on an anime i hadn’t plan on pursuing further.

The question here becomes why i would bother watching an anime that kept my hand stuck to the first forward button. Some episodes i watched more of, while others were a mere blur; whatever the case if i am going to give this anime one compliment, it will be that i was that determined to finish its first season, to know what happened at the end, and that didn’t change for Freezing Vibrations-which i blew through in under two hours.

THE PLOT:>

Ever since the 10th NOVA clash, the Chevalier concluded that the NOVA were appearing at an accelerated rate; Pandora were dying faster than could be created. Their solution, E-Pandora, a project which involved normal humans without a predilection for stigmata being given the power to become Pandora. Pandora from all around the world are invited to the Alaskan base to witness the unveiling of this new project, these including Satellizer, Kazuya and Rana.

However as the trials commence, suspicions begin to rise about the true nature and efficacy of the E-Pandora project.

MY REVIEW:>

Freezing is pointless, as an anime, and i presume as a manga. It’s one thing to describe an anime as good, mind blowing even. Its another thing describing an anime as bad, terrible at that. Both descriptions say something about the anime, that it actually had elements that had an impact in some way.

Great anime leave you cheering, bad anime encourage you to rage. Pointless anime are a third category for me; if i was involved in the creation of an anime series or movie, i would rather it was bad than pointless.

Because at least a bad anime mattered, enough for me to curse its crapiness. A pointless anime doesn’t matter. It’s existence is negligible, in other words had this anime never been made, the consequences would have hardly differed, as opposed to anime that’s so bad it serves as an example of how terrible an idea can get.

-I cannot recommend Freezing for watching, i don’t think its good anime, yet i can’t say i hated it. And that’s because the series as a whole felt…unworthy of contemplation once i finished it. Three primary elements stuck out to me that sunk the show, at least in my eyes:

--Claymore- yes, Claymore, as in Freezing me reminds me a heck of a lot of Claymore. I watched a video recently on YouTube where a reviewer was expressing disinterest in watching Hunter X Hunter not because it was bad but because it reminded him too much of Naruto.

Now he admitted that the two shows likely had nothing to do with each other, no plagiarism had occurred in creating either stories and at their core both stories were different. Yet he simply couldn't get over those elements of the story that so repeatedly regurgitated memories of Naruto (which the reviewer is a big fan of).

Now am pretty sure this particular reviewer managed to overcome this confusion as the last video i watched from his channel was raving about the Phantom Troupe arc.

Good for him, bad for me, because Freezing isn’t anywhere near as good an anime as Hunter X Hunter and the similarities seem so much more egregious that i couldn’t help mentally pausing scenes to point out action A or character B who was nothing if not a direct facsimile of some of my favourite characters and moments in Claymore.

Now i cannot say whether or not Freezing actually took any cues from Claymore; people like to use terms like inspired. But really, how can anyone who’s read claymore enjoy this show. I spent the last hour of Freezing season one wondering why the invasion reminded me so much of the war in the north, why the act of several super powered girls going crazy from a deluge of energy suddenly seemed so familiar, specifically that one scene at the end where Satelli has to transform (sort of) to defeat a superior enemy, only to come under threat of losing her self to transformation, moments before her limiter came to her rescue, pulling her back from the brink of destruction with a few sweet words. (Let’s see, Clare, Raki, awakening, Lion king…no, i won’t say rip off).

I want to say that i have come across such situations before, where anime seemed to bleed into each other. But even as comparisons with Naruto threatened to ruin my enjoyment of Brave 10, the series managed to stand above those similarities.

If i could have flash backs, then that’s what so many scenes, characters, fights, plots in Freezing Vibration triggered in me.

--Petty- Seriously i cannot be the only one astounded by the pettiness of Freezing. The first time i watched Muv Luv i was fascinated by how nationalistic beliefs could push people to act in ways that threatened humanity’s survival, if only to benefit the purposes of their races.

Freezing leaves me astounded at how so many of its characters will expend energy, life, fighting ability to engage in petty fights in the light of an actual threat beyond the borders of the academy.

Now granted this was a much more egregious occurrence in the first season, which left me fascinated at the idea of a school spending considerable resources to train what are supposedly rare Pandora's only to permit them to murder each other within school grounds for silly reasons.

Am sure there are Otaku out there enjoy that, but the irrationality of it all simply irritates me. As a result most of Freezing as a series feels largely petty; it seems like any Pandora/Alien battles are restricted to the end of each season, which leaves me questioning the idea of a plot summary that promises super powered girls Vs. alien battles, instead delivering multiple and extremely petty Pandora Vs. Pandora fights.

If you must have an anime that has to have its girls fight each other repeatedly, do not set it during an Alien invasion; because for all intent and purpose, if Satelli and company are what pass for their last line of defence, the earth is all but doomed.

--Fan service- I am apathetic to fan service, in most cases it neither positively nor negatively impacts my anime viewing experience. Fan service is a problem in anime that choose to over emphasize its presence at the expense of story.

I have probably complained about this somewhere with regards to fairy tail, which has ruined its last two or three arcs because of badly placed fan service completely ruining scenes that should have been much darker.

Demon king no Daimyo had some potential, could have been a great anime, at least in my eyes; but it was ruined by pointless ecchi and fan service. Freezing had 12 episodes in which to put its best foot forward and tell a great story. It instead chose to pour most of its energies into fan service, which took up nearly half of all viewing time. And they are surprised that the fickle story they had in mind played out even more half assed than planned?

-I will admit to sticking with the original Freezing anime for action’s sake, but even that did little to interest me in Vibration; the characters felt…flimsy and fickle, the plot contrived, and have i mentioned before just how DUMB the name Satelizer is, only matched by the dumb primary protagonist it was assigned to.

VERDICT:>

As far as i am concerned Freezing has nothing praiseworthy to offer, which leaves me confused as to why i watched it all the way to the end. Season 2 pretty much reworks and reproduces the events of season 1, with one or two nuances, primarily the characters, new and old.

I might afford a compliment for Satelizer and the pseudo character development she achieved, but even the revelations of her past were more odd than intriguing, with a disturbed villain of a half brother that somehow managed to receive forgiveness and redemption at the end of the short arc.

With Freezing Vibration, i would say, Why bother? Watching the series isn’t likely to affect you negatively, but you will not miss much if you never pick this up.

RATING: 2/10, that was one lame finale. What the hell was Kazuya’s role in this season? And here i thought he was the main character. I still don’t understand the title Freezing; which is something that irks me, anime whose titles have absolutely nothing to do with the story, more like randomly chosen, awesome sounding names.

Freezing Vibration is the second season of the Freezing anime, aired from October 4 to December 20 of 2013. The 12 episode anime was produced by Funimation entertainment, Media Factory and A.C.G.T and is categorized as Action, comedy, drama, ecchi, martial arts, romance, Sci-Fi, Harem, Military, Seinen.

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