katmic (Level 10)

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This is only the second one shot that i am reading after Kishimoto’s Mario, and i have to say how surprised i was at the quality; as an otaku i have always been skeptical about the purpose of one shots, specifically there quality in the light of their briefness. After all what are the chances that anyone can tell a worthwhile story in a scant 64 pages; but maybe that is the mark of a truly gifted mangaka.
Souten no Koumori comes from Arakawa Hiromu, famed creator of Fullmetal Alchemist.

THE PLOT:>

A young boy stumbles upon the fallen wounded figure of a young girl no older than he is, using his authority to have her taken back to his castle and nursed back to health. Upon regaining her mental facilities Hempukumaru is unnerved to find herself within the clutches of the master of Chiyozuru castle, basically enemy territory.

MY REVIEW:>


This is my first time reading anything from Arakawa and this manga was an admittedly good read. I could recognize some of the art style i had witnessed in the full metal alchemist anime, which made the experience of reading this one shot that much more pleasant.

The story follows a deadly Kunoichi that finds herself trapped in what she believes to be is the territory of the enemy. However what she encounters within changes her stance on the nature of the war she has been fighting, the enemy she had hounded after for as long as she could remember, and brings to the surface memories of a bloody and violent past, one that she struggles to qualify with the peace she comes to known in Chiyozuru castle.
Told in 64 pages you shouldn’t expect anything profoundly complex or deep within the story, and even the characters receive rather brief development-understandable in 64 pages- yet that doesn’t take away from Arakawa’s ability to bring across her message of redemption and forgiveness, using her scant time to bring the relationship between Hempukumaru and her new master to life with surprising depth.

Sufficing to say there is tragedy in the story compounded by the truth aboutHempukumaru’s past deeds, yet that only makes the finale and eventual fates of the Chiyozuru castle’s heir and Hempukumaru that much more satisfying.
The art is pretty impressive in this one shot, with Arakawa keeping the detail to a minimum with regards to fully representing the world as it was during this era, yet cranking up her skills when it comes to the actions scenes, jarring, fluid and lively.
Rating: 5/5, great one shot, the kind i would have been willing to follow as an entire series. This is a great ninja story.
HIGHLIGHTS: The final scene between Hempukuru and her former master/teacher.
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So after catching up with Magi, i have decided to give reviewing the chapters a go, mainly because Magi is that awesome. Seriously if you are not reading this manga, you should most definitely take it into consideration, especially with this most recent arc. But then again season 2 is on the way and you might be better off waiting, that is if the studio actually intends to assign a real animation budget to the series.

THE PLOT:>

Last chapter saw the end of the Magnoshtadt arc. Sinbad prevented a possible war between Reim and Kou by uniting Sindria and Reim’s interests, and Titus returned as a new Magi.
This week’s chapter began the journey into a whole new arc. Aladdin and group returned to Sindria awaiting a meeting between Sinbad and Kouen in two months during which Aladdin will inform both kings of the truth of Alma Toran, at which point the future of the land would be decided. Titus returned to Riem as its new Magi, with Sphinctus in toe as his physician.
Back in Sindria the gang met Olba, the violent kid from the Madaura arc, now older, taller, wiser and grateful to Alibab for the action he took more than a year ago. Shambal, Alibaba’s master from Riem also makes an appearance with Toto in toe.
The rest of the chapter is focused around the festivities that follow, mentioning Sinbad’s preparations for the coming meeting, but mostly focusing on celebrating Aladdin’s return and the end of the Magnoshtadt debacle.

MY REVIEW:>


I like how brief Magi can sometimes be, telling us through his diary entries rather than showing us that Aladdin had spent considerable time in the magic city afte the fight with the medium, trying to help make reparations, taking steps to ensure that the magic based caste system was stripped away and all citizens were assigned equal status. It is interesting that Sinbad and Kouen have chosen to sit down and talk about the future.
In the last chapter there was something belligerent about Kouen, almost like he was ready to smash through Riem and take Magnoshtadt now that the common enemy was defeated. And i can see how he would have done that. Riem expended itself during the initial invasion, and i do not think it has any dungeon conquerors still empowered to fight.
But the last couple of chapters gave us a glimpse into Sinbad’s cunning mind. When the seven seas alliance first appeared he was quick to point out that the alliance neither partook in conquest nor allowed itself to be conquered. In the last chapter it was inferred that he, with his alliance, had the power to eliminate the Kou party if he so wished it, what with the Kou siblings all but spent.
Yet he chose to enter an alliance with Riem, immediately stalling any plans Kou might have had to enter war immediately, and now he has acquiesced to a meeting with Kouen. Ever since Magi began, we have had a lingering suspicion about the true nature of Sinbad and his intentions. Clearly he is conniving and will use whoever he has within his grasp to accomplish his objectives.
We saw him take steps to use Alibaba, directly take advantage of one of the Kouen Princess’ feelings for him and even attempt to ensnare Aladdin. So there are a lot of doubts when dealing with Sinbad. Yet these last two chapters seem to suggest than no matter his intentions, Sinbad wants to avoid war and violent confrontation. Then again he promised to aide Hakuryuu in breaking the Kou empire apart. So really, who the heck knows what this shrewd man is thinking?
It was great seeing many of Magi’s recurring characters, now older, especially Olba, his gang and the fact that they had thrived during Alibaba’s absence. It is a shame to leave Magnoshtadt, because it will most likely be a while before we see Titus and Sphinctus again.
It is strange that in a chapter filled with suspense and foreboding about events to come, the biggest thing to occur within these 19 pages would be Alibaba’s revelation that he had found a girlfriend (Toto) in Riem, and Morgiana’s expression on that last page.

RATING:> 4/5, really, 19 pages? Magi feels so long compared to other manga that i have come across, probably because of how wordy it is. But i am surprised at how much the chapters manage to get across in such a short period of time.
Highlights: Morgiana, Alibaba…
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ANIME

I can’t say i enjoyed anime this week, really more disappointments than anything. Good thing there was manga to pick up the slack.

---Blood Lad- Blood lad follows the story of staz, a young vampire in the demon world, boss of his own territory and mauling in his obsession

over all things human and Japanese, specifically anime and manga. When a young human girl wanders into the demon world and his life, he sees this as his opportunity to inject himself into the world of humanity, forcing him down a path of adventure and Mayhem.

Blood lad is undeniably entertaining, not really mind blowing, yet it managed to keep me glued to my computer through nine episodes. As action packed as it might be, the series is more humorous than anything but that is no detriment, instead creating a comfortable fusion of shonen comedy and action.

Rating: 6/10, so far an okay series, hoping to see it evolve into something more.

---Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi- I will not mince words, this series is mostly crap, which is weird because i was hooked after the first three episodes. There was a message that the anime seemed intent on getting across in the beginning, with its

relatively small cast of two or three characters that, rather than develop, grew to bore the hell out of me; a world that i thought i would enjoy exploring only to find the series restricted to one or two very dissatisfying settings, a story with so much promise but failed to deliver anything close to a satisfying finale.

This was a crappy anime, and you would be best served by watching the first four or so episodes and then promptly moving on because, as far as i am concerned, after the business with Humpnie humbert, this series ended for me.

Rating: 4/10, i cannot believe how utterly sleep inducing these characters got. I give this 4 star rating to Humpnie Humbert, everyone else, including the story, get a 1

---Red Data Girl- Another utterly irritating anime. Again i had high hopes, especially after the first two episode. But four episodes in the anime felt like it didn’t

know what it wanted to be, running a number of utterly pointless and boring story lines, with characters that did nothing but whine episode in and episode out; as far as finales go this one did nothing whatsoever, making no attempts to satisfactorily close a story that had stopped developing several episodes ago, with some of the most underdeveloped characters i have ever seen.

And it grew confusing and nonsensical after sometime.

Rating: 1/10

---Medaka Box- I finally finished this series, specifically season 2. I will be blunt, this series is dumb. And chances are that was the point, which

means i was not the sort of audience the series was primarily aimed at. Every episode i watched came off as completely nonsensical and unnecessarily silly and not even the action ( which was pointlessly excessive) could sway me into liking it.

Rating: 4/10, yes it was better than RDG and Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi as far as entertainment is concerned, yet it was simply too dumb. I will not be watching season 1 or really following Medaka box in any way.

Highlight of the week:

Blood lad, wolf’s battle against Franken’s monster.

MANGA

---Noblese- it is seriously disturbing how awesome this manga is. Having began reading it two or three days ago i can honestly say that it falls in my top ten list of most awesome manga, at least as far as shonen goes. There is something…ridiculously entertaining about Noblese, and the scenes that end each chapter are hilarious.

If you haven’t read it, Noblese follows the story of an ancient vampire who, having been in slumber for

centuries, awakens from his coffin rather randomly in an empty apartment. Venturing out into the new world, he finds his servant, Frankenstein, now principle of a school and together they try to piece together the mystery of his awakening.

Along the way they tangle with a mysterious organization manufacturing mutations, the creatures that most people believe to be vampires. Little is known of their end goal, except that their activities always bring them to the door step of a small group of high school friends, whose tumultuous adventures consume a considerable portion of Frankenstein and his master’s lives.

For a silent character i am surprised at how much i love Rai, not only in his highly comedic element but when he switches to badass Noblese vampire mode. And the way his character counters with Frankenstein and his adoration for his master. These two along with the failed experiment M-21 make his series for me. I just hope Shinwoo and the other kids get to have a deeper role to play in the series beyond the continuous damsel in distress parts they keep falling into. They have so much potential.

Rating: 10/10, this series is a must read, i went through 136 chapters in just three days (mostly nights) that is how addictive this series is, the art superb, the colors vibrant and the action is simply amazing. And of course it is funny. Rai reminds of Luffy from one piece (but much cooler) the way he keeps picking up strays. This is the best series i have read this week

---A Fairy tail of the Demon lord- I am shocked at how much enjoyment i could squeeze out of this series, because before this week i was all but ready to delete its existence. Yet after the half way mark something kept me reading. I will not lie and say i was hooked, because i wasn’t, or maybe hooked simply isn’t the right word to describe it.

This story is ridiculously confusing, yet it is also amazing, especially when you get to the last hen chapters and certain elements you came across at the start suddenly begin to click into place. I wouldn’t even call this a fairy tale series because it incorporates elements of Greek mythology and the Norse gods, but the way it handles the fairy tale portion of its story will surprise you. Like i said, it is the end that did it for me. It wasn’t mind blowing, merely poignant, leaving you with quite a lot to ponder about what you had just read, specifically who was the true demon lord, the knight in shining armor, and most importantly who was the real damsel in distress in the group.

Rating: 6/10, you would expect a higher rating for a series second on my list, but the series had problems and it is only because the end tied into earlier plots and stories so well and so unpredictably that i rank it so highly. I am not really sure if it is over though.

---Fairy tail- This week’s fairy tail chapter was awesome, mostly because of how much excitement it generated in me for things to come. It has been a while since a chapter was this good. If you didn’t read it basically Atlas flame unfroze the village of the giants, told the fairy tail team about a magic called E.N.D, Zeref’s strongest magic that Igneel tried to defeat a long time ago, also introducing a Tartarus mage called Silver, a devil slayer responsible for freezing the village in an attempt to destroy Atlas whom he mistook for a demon.

Basically a lot of teasing but setting up for some interesting events in the future. I just hope Hiro knows what the hell he is doing

Rating: 8/10

---Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic- Pretty tame chapter this week, which makes sense because we have had more than ten chapters of ABSOLUTE MADNESS.

Gokuen mentioned that the dead magi had a number of cloned bodies around and even dead, Solomon (thought he was long dead) could revive her. However within the palace, when Ugo (or at least his head) gave her the chance to return to earth in one of her bodies, she declined, sending Titus instead.

So we saw the birth of a new Magi in this chapter, and the fall of another. Okay Judal was already fallen, but seeing him absorb all of the Medium’s dark rukh in this chapter forebode a greater fall, and this time it seems he is taking Hakuryuu with him ( a shame, i like Hakuryuu, but it seems his desperation to kill his mother is going to lead him into depravity).

Kouen is finally going to learn from Aladdin the truth about the old world, it is going to be interesting to see what he will do with that knowledge. All in all it wasn’t as dull a chapter as i initially assumed.

Rating: 8/10, great chapter, it seems Magi can do not wrong.

----Beelzebub- This week’s chapter took a break from its recent action packed route, focusing mainly on the more comedic elements of the Beelzebub world, trying to locate all the Furuichi’s, the trio’s war against each other, and a few hints about Fuji and Akaboshi’s reasons for aiding Oga. Strange that baby Beel barely appeared in this chapter.

Rating: 7/10

---Divine Bells- Can’t say i was that impressed by Divine bells this time around, and i am still not sure if it is weekly or monthly, just happened to stumble upon this chapter by accident. It was all just explanations. Hung Ryong solved the misunderstanding between his master and divine bell, but it was too late. Gang Hui had used his powers against the mysterious man, alerting the two agents sent by Dae Hui to find Ga-Bi.

The only interesting bits were seeing Dae Hui’s divine bell (can’t remember his name, which is why i sometimes detest manhwa, the names are way too complicated) squirm, having sensed Gang Hui’s magic but unsure as to what to do about it. Because hiding it would mean endangering the life of his partner, who the emperor conveniently held back from the mission.

Rating: 5/10, not boring but more funny than exciting.

----Bleach- An okay chapter, nothing too exciting. Soi Feng continued her battle with the her enemy and it doesn’t look like she has any chance of winning,

especially since, even with her strongest move, she couldn’t even scratch her foe. And of course she has no bankai, which makes thing worse for her.

Seems like Toushiro is dead, which would be an interesting development.

I enjoyed watching Kiritsuchi ( don’t think i spelt that right) and his interaction with his enemy. Over all, i wasn’t particularly excited; considering how epic the first invasion was, i do not see how Kubo can make this interesting; and we all know Toushiro isn’t dead.

Rating: 6/10

Highlight of the week:

Rai’s battle against Krantz in Noblese; its been a while since i felt the sort of excitement from a manga that i experienced from Noblese this week, when Rai said ‘Kneel’. Seeing this sort of …elegant power executed the first time was awesome, seeing it the second time, specifically when used against the mighty Kranz and the rest of his crew, all at the same time was….well you just have to read it for yourself.

Overall anime bored the hell out of me this week. The manga on the hand, especially Noblese, made my week. Fairy tail was decent enough, but Bleach was more ‘meh’ than anything. I will just have to wait until next week and see what happens with Toushiro.

Anyway that was me this week in manga and anime, what was your week like?

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This was a strange chapter specifically because of how it ended, and i am not referring to the foreboding of Tartarus but the fate of the giants. Because if you think about it this arc is pretty much over. Or at least it seems like its over. I actually doubt it but if it is this is probably one of the shortest arcs in fairy tail; but none the less great chapter.

THE PLOT:>

Starting off where the last chapter left off, Atlas flame emerges from the the eternal flame, only he isn’t himself. Questions over his presence are raised, Atlas revealing that he is more memory than actually alive. Wendy mentions using her Milky way magic, hence making Atlas something akin to Zirconis.

The ice seems to have left the dragon’s mind jumbled because he can barely remember his own name. The few times he regains his sanity, he reveals the cause of the village’s fate, a man, a devil slayer of ice that, mistaking him for a demon and in an attempt to annihilate him, froze the entire village. Atlas uses his flames to purge the village of the ice, returning the giants to life, but extinguishing his existence in the process, but not before revealing the existence of E.N.D the strongest magic in the book of zeref that Igneel stopped 400 years ago.

Erza and Minerva are confronted by a giant.

We catch a glimpse of Tartarus’ ice devil slayer mage at the end of the chapter. He has been summoned to attend a meeting.

MY REVIEW:>

Devil Slayer? Really Hiro? Not that i have a problem with that particular revelation (it was actually pretty awesome), but a few hundred chapters later and we barely know what god slayer magic even is; clearly Hiro is in no hurry to elucidate on the intricacies of a magic that, despite its name, has clearly proven itself inferior to dragon slayer.

Wait, maybe that isn’t so true, after all Natsu was all but beaten by a black god slayer, and even Wendy lost to Chelia’s wind god slaying magic despite her upgrade. But i cannot forget that saber tooth lightening slayer’s pathetic one punch defeat. Anyway, i digress, my point is we barely know anything about god slayers and Hiro already feels the need to create more slayer type magic.

But like i said, this was one amazing revelation. It almost made sense why Gray, despite all this attacks, could not defeat Doriate without relying on the devil ice. But then again that is another battle that Hiro executed rather badly. After all devil slayer magic would be all the more impressive if we had seen Gray throw everything he had at Doriate and fail, kind of like how the mages threw everything they could at the dragons during the games and completely failed to make a difference.

But Gray was in his child like state, we didn’t see him really try to fight Doriate; wasted opportunity to really make a point about devil slayer magic’s power.

But i keep returning to the irritating bits about this chapter, of which there were quite few. This was an awesome chapter. I knew Hiro wouldn’t allows Atlas to reveal everything to us with regards to the dragons, but i was waiting for him to use some pretty lame excuse, like Atlas promising to tell them after they beat the devil slayer and dying before delivering the message.

I liked the plot regarding Atlas’ befuddled memory, allowing him to reveal only enough to entice us before giving his life to restore the village. Now i am doubly curious about what happened 400 yeas ago. Atlas said he founded the village, but how and why? And how did he reach that static flame state anyway?

The most exciting parts were the revelation regarding the E.N.D magic, Igneel’s fight to stop it 400 years ago and Minerva’s warning about how she would finish her fight with Erza on a grander stage, all foreboding some epic events that will overshadow most of the world. Clearly fairy tail has room to expand and develop the universe.

Predictions: I just had a thought. Obviously we knew that Zeref was around 400 years ago but i didn’t really think about it till now. Exactly what was he up to as the humans and dragons waged war against each other. I wouldn’t be surprised if Zeref was friends with Achnologia back when he was a human; actually it would make a lot of sense if Zeref was responsible for Achnologia’s transformation into a dragon, or maybe it was an experiment gone wrong; either way we know that these two know each other at the present so something must have happened between them centuries ago.

Fairy tail still has some juicy mysteries that it is yet to unwrap; let’s just hope Hiro knows where he is headed and he isn’t just making things up as he goes.

Zirconis called Achnologia the king of dragons. Atlas calls Igneel the dragon king. Clearly one of these two is confused. I figured that maybe Igneel was merely the king of fire dragons, but Altas would have called him the fire dragon king rather than just dragon king. Now i am triply intrigued about the history of the fairy tail universe.

Going by what we saw at the end, it doesn’t look like Tartarus is completely evil, after all as devil slayers they must clearly fight devils and demons, which means they will prove useful in the battle against Zeref and wherever Doriate came from. Which makes me wonder though, what kind of guild is succubus eye if they can house a real live demon?

The fact that the devil slayer, silver, could unleash ice magic that neither Natsu nor Gray could melt is fascinating, like a controlled iced shell.

RATING:> 4/5, great chapter, i hope Hiro elucidates on how Devil magic came about. We still do not even know that basic fact about god slayer magic and clearly Chelia didn’t receive training from a god.

The art in this chapter was superb, especially the shots of the unfrozen village. But seriously, this arc started with the fairy tail team receiving a mission to unfreeze the village of the sun. They just did that so this arc should be over.

HIGHLIGHTD: Learning about E.N.D and devil slayer magic.

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Seems like Beelzebub is taking a short break from the action packed route it had taken in the past several chapters to return to its initial comedic mold, which isn’t a bad thing actually.

The Plot:>

Fairly tame chapter, last week saw the min Furuichis escape Oga’s custody. Time was running out for the real Furuichi and it came down to Oga and group to try and track the trio down. This week gave us a glimpse into strategic Furuichi’s escapade at Nene’s home. We also found out that evil Furuichi had made an alliance with some Solomon Company goons.

My Review:>

Really, little happened in this chapter worth talking about. Like i said this is Beelzebub returning to its original comedic mold and its a testament to the series’ ability to humor and entertain that i wasn’t actually bored. As far as story progression goes, we learnt that Akaboshi, like Takamiya, had his eyes set on this mysterious Fuji.

It seems the purpose of his appearance on the roof top wasn’t as much to save Oga as it was to prevent Solomon Company from taking Takamiya which would have apparently benefited Fuji. We can then assume that the reason Akaboshi is so friendly with Oga, going so far as to help him find Furuichi has less to do with goodwill and more to do with preventing Solomon Company taking Oga.

This goes back to my initial prediction that Solomon company has been cultivating demonically empowered humans for Fuji’s sake.

Rating:> 3/5, decent chapter, pretty funny.

Highlights: Nene’s new outfit.

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