katmic (Level 10)

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Another short fairy tail chapter.

Really, only three things happened:

---First we learnt that the eternal flame hadn’t disappeared but rather it had simply shrunk to a size so small that it might disappear. Natsu was needed to reignite it.

---Secondly Natsu continued his battle with the black bird, ending things on the alter of the eternal flame and using some powerful flame attacks to defeat the creature and ignite the flame.

---Thirdly, the flame grew to a healthy size and we realized that it was Atlas flame.

MY REVIEW:>

A lot of this chapter was irrelevant, though entertaining. The fight with Natsu took up most of the pages but it was actually worth the panels in showcasing some of Natsu’s new moves.

Atlas flame was the primary attraction here though, and i have to say that though i considered this particular option, it was none the less a surprise. Now i am curious as to how he ended up in his current state. This is Nastu’s chance to finally learn what happened to the dragons 14 years ago. I suspect that a lot of next week’s chapter will be dialogue, but that isn’t a bad thing, either that or we will finally get to Erza Vs. Minerva.

RATING:> 3/5, pretty entertaining chapter, though little story progression.

Highlight:> Strangely enough it was the fight with the bird that i most enjoyed.

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So I came across this show while looking into [Magi the Labyrinth] of Magic on Wikipedia, Adventures of Sinbad being a spinoff of the highly popular Magi series. I have no idea how long it has been running, but with nine chapters i have to say that i was both pleasantly surprised and disappointed.

THE PLOT:>

Before Sinbad was the great king of Sindria, leader of the seven seas Alliance, he was just a young boy, innocent, ordinary, naive in the ways of the world; living under the auspices of the Partevia Empire during its time of war with its neighboring empire Riem.

Before he was a warrior, Sinbad was a beloved child, son to veteran soldier Badr, spending most of his days assisting his village and providing aid to his ailing mother, taking life and its hardships one day at a time, that is until it arrived, the first dungeon Baal; a treasure trove of secrets and riches, rumored to contain within it a power that could make kings of men, a power that many had raided the dungeon to claim, men and women in the tens of thousands from both Partevia and Riem, none ever returning from the horrors within.

It is with a desperate heart and a courageous will that Siinbad sets out on his journey, with the aid of the Magi Yunan, to find the path to his destiny and conquer the very first dungeon…

MY REVIEW:>

This particular manga is still quite young in its run, though i am curious as to whether Ohtaka, Magi’s mangaka is also responsible for this particular series. I immediately took steps to read this manga the moment i learnt about its existence mainly because of how amazing Magi is; i was curious to explore the life of Sinbad, the wondrous light as Aladdin described him in Magi, to understand how he began his journey and became the famed dungeon conqueror with a whopping seven Djiins in his possession (Alibaba is still struggling with just one).

On the one hand i will say that this manga is quite an impressive work and, despite what you might assume, it is just as good as Magi, a manga with nearly 200 chapters under its belt. The story is sad and tragic and chronicles the difficulties of life in a time where war and the thought of war has consumed all aspects of human life.

Sinbad couldn’t be more different from Aladdin, though really since Aladdin is a Magi, a more logical comparison would be Alibaba and Sinbad. As a child Sinbad is every bit as emotionally bound and fiery tempered as Alibaba has proven himself to be in recent times, displaying a level of bravery and daring that Alibaba has only displayed in one or two rare moments.

Both characters could, in a way mirror each other, except that Alibaba grew under the mentoring of a wise Magi over a considerable amount of time before developing his particular brand of temperance and courage. Sinbad seems to have come into the world strong willed and stubborn, showing a willingness to risk his life at the slightest inkling that it might save another, unmoved or unthreatened by any power and ready to stand up to any authority that doesn’t conform to his form of justice.

He is basically a born ruler and it is great fun to watch him evolve, not really developing but manifesting qualities worthy of a king under the guiding eye of Yunan.

Sinbad’s story isn’t particularly pleasant, and while the hook of the series is watching him try to overcome, this manga only thrives until about chapter 5. Without giving away particular spoilers, we get the entirety of Sinbad’s origin, at least from his genesis as a child all the way to the end of his conquest of Baal, the first dungeon within the first five or so chapters. We are treated to five extremely fast paced chapters with a fluid and steadily narrated story.

What comes after this could pass for filler, basically a waste of four chapters. What the first five chapters do is that they provide us with a brief but action packed overview of how Sinbad came to enter the dungeon and, along with his rival at the time, the means through which he conquered it. After this we pretty muchreverse and go through the whole thing from the start, seeing exactly what led Sinbad and his rival to consider this particular quest, their lives prior and a blow by blow of exactly how they pushed through each and every level of the Dungeon.

Trust me, it gets boring fast, especially when you consider the cliff hunger the manga left us on following Sinbad’s exit from the Dungeon. This is the only complaint i have to raise about this series and i hope the author breaks from this pointless two or three week old flashback (though the events with Sinbad’s dad were pretty dark).

Speaking of which, I remember reading about Yunan in Magi as one of the three Magi in existence. I believe he is the one that goes around randomly creating Dungeons.

RATING:> This should be a 4/5, but considering how irritating those last chapters were, this is more of a 2/5. None the less if you loved magi, i recommend you read this series. If you are not a magi fan, i still recommend this as an independent series.

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When it comes to live action movie adaptations, comic book fans can be a bit frustrating sometimes. Most times i cannot understand why they have to nitpick at each and every little detail of a comic movie, not because of any particular failing displayed by the movie but because of some unfair and unnecessary comparisons they keep making with the comic book.

These so called failings are almost always non existent and will usually come down to a particular comic book fan’s presumptions about what the movie should have been like. It can be frustrating interrogating a comic book fan, attempting to understand the primary reason they would choose to cast a fairly impressive comic book movie in such bad light, only to get a rather loose description of the movie’s failings, not in relation to other movies but the comic.

These kinds of explanations can exasperate me, most because most of these movies will kick off with a ‘Based on comic book’ message at the start. which doesn’t mean that the producer is literally going to transfuse the comic book to the movie, but rather the directors are going to take the general concept of the comic book and maybe even its characters, but beyond that can choose to do what they want with it.

I have had this argument many times before, and my answer to such complaints about comic book movies is usually the same; that while comic book fans and their zeal will determine whether or not a movie gets to production, they only form a small fraction of the target market that the directors and writers are aiming for; and Holly wood knows that the wider population of movie goers will only judge the movie as just that, a movie, without making biased comparisons to the comic. And most times this pays off, with comic book movies raking in hundreds of millions.

Anyway, if it seems like i am rumbling on off topic, i am not. I am saying that i get exasperated when comic book fans fail to separate their vision of what a comic book movie should look like from what the producers choose to create. I am saying that it is important to watch a comic book movie as though it were independent of the comic book, allowing for a more objective view of the movie’s quality.

What i am also saying is that there are instances where i can understand the complaints comic book fans raise about live action adaptations.

Why? Well i am an anime and manga fan, and if there is one sector where comic books shine while anime and manga languishes in the dark, it is live action adaptations. Let’s face it live action anime adaptations have proven to be rather abysmal creations time and time again.

Something isn’t clicking in this particular industry, and while recent movie releases might call for a more sanguine outlook on the industry, it is none the less difficult to deny how much of a disaster the live action anime adaptation industry is.

To put it simply, these movies are horrible-most of the time anyway- whether it is an original Japanese adapted story or a western attempt at bringing an anime story to life. And the reasons for these failures will vary depending on the circumstances.

So first and foremost, let’s look at this situation from the anime point of view. Does anime actually play a part in live action adaptation failure? Yes it does, and here is why.

ANIME:>

Let’s not beat about the bush, the problem with anime is that it is quite a complex entertainment medium. You just need to watch enough anime to realize this as fact. I wrote a post about [what makes a good anime] recently, and while i do believe that all those points about characters and story line and the whole lot matter, their is an X factor that is necessary to bring anime to life.

Anime is anime because it is anime, and by that i mean Anime stands out from every other media because it has a look about it, a feel to it that is different from your average cartoon. Anime is…well, different. And that is the problem with live action anime adaptations, bringing this X factor to the screen. I will use two well known examples to illustrate; dragon ball evolution, and the reason i might not watch Shamalayan’s After earth, The last air bender.

Last air bender was a terrible movie, both as an live action anime adaptation and a standalone movie. But think back to the months before its release. Sure we all loved avatar because of its stellar storyline, and that is what the movie screwed up most, completely shredding the series’ story. But that wasn’t what we where fretting about when we first heard the announcement that the series would be coming to the big screen.

Most of us didn’t even fathom the possibility that the director could mess up story wise, after all most of the work had been done for him. What scared us was whether or not the movie could capture the feel of avatar, those sinuously trance inducing movements that made the action scenes so great, the fluid motion of the bending and the demonically fast yet logically structured nature of the bending.

That is what many of us cared about, that the bending wouldn’t be up to par. Because most people that haven't watched the series would dismiss the importance of the concept, after all, how many characters had they come across in movies that could throw fire and water around? That wasn’t important to them, and it was simply a matter of great CGI.

But we otaku knew better. We knew that elemental bending wasn’t the simple concept of throwing elements around. No, bending was more than that, and it was its infusion of elemental manipulation with martial arts along with the dance like movements that allowed it to excel and in some instances drive the series. That proves how important the look of an anime is.

Most of us were quick to proclaim the movie a success the moment we saw the avatar trailer. Why? Because the bending looked perfect, exactly as we had pictured it. This is in contrast to DB Evolution. Forget about what you thought of the silly story line, the characters or the general execution. The fact is this dragon ball movie failed first and foremost in infusing the element of dragon ball into the live action setting.

This is why, unlike most people, i do not disparage dragon ball evolution as garbage. It was a bad dragon ball movie, but as far as i am concerned it was entertaining as a plain old martial arts movies. The moves were choreographed okay and the CGI was pretty good at that time. It was a martial arts movie, not dragon ball.

That is a fact difficult to explain to a non otaku. After all the characters were named accurately as they would be in the dragon ball anime and the concept of the dragon balls reigned within the movie; so they do not understand what we mean by this not being a dragon ball movie. They do not understand that what they watched wasn’t anime, that there is an element of dragon ball sorely missing from this movie.

Basically anime is difficult to capture on screen, to bring it to life. Here is the thing about anime; imagine a scene where an average character barges into a room and stares down at another character; that in itself doesn’t sound like a complex enough scene to try and explain why anime is so difficult to capture. But a similar scene in a normal cartoon wouldn't have the slightest similarity to the same scene in the anime.

Sure both have two characters staring at each other, but anime has a unique approach to its scenes and stories, the way it uses the lighting, the angle of the cameras, the shots….there is a reason we otaku do not accept a comparison between anime and cartoons. The fact is these two are so different at their core,

not merely in plots and characters but the…i have no other word to use but ‘feel’.

This is what most live action adaptations simply cannot convey on screen, the feel of anime is always missing. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that anime is simply too unique, and while one or two adaptations might somehow manage to capture it, most miss the mark by a mile. Its the reason i love super sentai; it is the closest thing to anime coming to life that i have ever encountered.

Actually pacific Rim is the closest thing to anime i have ever watched on the big screen. Whether he meant to or not, Guillermo captured the essence of anime in this movie. Of course none anime fans wouldn’t get, but so many scenes in this movie had me smiling because of how anime like they were.

Anyway, i had two more points to make about this topic but this post has already run too long, so i will tackle what the directors themselves do wrong in adapting anime to the big screen in the next post.

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Another week has come and gone anime and manga and what is chronicled below are the series, anime and manga that i came across in these seven days and what i thought of them. Feel free to tell us about your week in anime and manga, how far you have gone in whatever series you follow and so on. I for one would like to know what to avoid or pursue.

ANIME

---Kamisama No Inai Nichiyoubi- This is the best anime i have watched this week. The story follows a world where people no longer die. Sure you can kill them, but once dead they revive as the undead, not zombies i might add, simply not dead. As one of the characters, the awesome Humpnie Herbert said, all blowing off their heads and limbs does is make them immobile.

Think Torchwood, which i don’t watch but heard that they did a similar story line. Grave keepers are beings with special shovels. They are the only ones capable of giving the dead ‘peace’; in other words an undead buried by a grave keeper finally finds rest. The conflicts arise from those that wish for death, despising themselves, and those that accept freely given immortality and hence seeking to murder the basically innocent emotionless grave keepers.

It is an intriguing story, not merely because of the setting, but the characters and their personal stories. They drive this show. While i was still doubtful of its quality in the beginning, i was sold on the very shocking episode 3. It wasn’t ATTACK ON TITAN mind blowing but it was none the less mind blowing, enough for me to start taking this series seriously.

From where i left off a new arc was about to begin, with the gang preparing to enter Ortus, a city of undead, stupid when you consider that two of them are grave keepers.

Rating: 5/5, great show, i applaud that third episode, totally didn’t see that coming, well, i didn’t see both of those things coming.

---Red Data Girl- RDG confused me somewhat this week, not that the story faltered in quality. But the genre seemed to change a little too suddenly, like i thought it was one type of story; then the series moved to Tokyo and it seemed to be something completely different. And that is what i saw this week, Sagara andSuzuhara agreeing to move to Houjo academy in Tokyo, the school their parents have wanted them to go to all this time.

We find out the reason why pretty quickly, that the academy is no normal school and that the students can get quite vicious and competitive. Cleary this is an opportunity for Suzuhara to find herself as vessel to a goddess and for Sagara to make himself worth his task as a mountain monk and her servant. The relationship between these two still keeps me entertained. I am still acclimating to the sudden change in the story though.

I wasn’t too happy about how they wrapped up the Wamiya storyline, though. But i am excited about the revelation the goddess makes to Sagara about her purpose and the plea she makes to him.

Rating: 3/5

---Medaka box- I only began watching this series because of the praise i remember my brother heaping upon it. I have actually started with season 2 because it is what i have, and i cannot say i am completely sold on the idea. The series comes off as rather silly, and on the one hand that makes it funny, but on the other hand, nothing really draws me to watch it.

Like i said, it is funny, especially where i am, with Zenkichi the destroyer fighting the newly created abnormal (i think her name was best pain), and the contention between Kurokami Mugoi and her successor (blackwhite? these names are silly). But…i don’t know, i will finish it but with little conviction to do so.

Rating: 2/5

MANGA

I have had some fun with manga this week, probably because i have had a bit more time on my hands to read it.

---MAGI THE LABIRYTH OF MAGIC- I am loving the magi manga, whether or not it exceeds the anime in terms of quality as i have heard from many i am still to make my mind up. Either way the considerable number of chapters i have read in the past few days attest to just how amazing this story becomes in the future, which is why i am not sure i am excited about the supposedly anime only second season of the magi anime i have been hearing about.

Mori continues to shine for me as an awesome character, though proving to be more intriguing at the moment is the mysterious Hakuryuu. I have just finished the Aum Madaura arc, and the transformation the prince undergoes in a period of 15 or so chapters is astounding. i am quite excited to see where this particular story line with his mother and the Kou emperor goes.

Sinbad has managed to seem more conniving than i remember him being in the anime, though to be fair all he does is to protect the kingdom of Sindria. None the less it was good to see that Aladdin saw through his schemes to tie him down.

Seeing the group split up and go off on their own separate adventures reminds of Hunter X hunter, where Gon and gang split up after saving Killua. I am curious as to how the manga will handle their respective adventures.

Rating: 5/5, magi has been a stellar manga for me this week; the visions we saw of Aladdin's ‘village’ forebode an interesting yet dark future.

---Divine Bells- if Magi hadn’t been so good, Divine bells would have been the best manga (manhwa) i had read this week. I am seriously surprised at how fast this story moves. last week i was reading about the divine bells taking new forms and the king learning to contend with new enemies threatened by his kingdom’s recent show of strength.

The few chapters i read this week were already revealing to us what happened three hundred years ago when the god like beings were sealed into the bells, what led to the sealing and the ruling emperor who not only oppressed the priestess Gabi into taking action but might be responsible for manipulating the current emperor in the vicious actions he has undertaken lately.

Already the story is moving into a new arc, with the king summoning his secret corps and preparing to begin the journey to search for Gabi. I am intrigued by the underlying drama of the story, the politics regarding the king’s step brother’s current kingship, a step mother that might have initiated the plotting of his downfall, and the actions being taken by the various kings to control their god like divine bells.

This series has proven itself more than interesting to me, especially the revelations about the the fact that the king’s current state of weakness might be a facade, that despite her evil ways, there is more to the intentions of his step mother than mere envy due to her son being passed over for king, this young ruler’s continuous doubts over the loyalty of his step brother…this series is fascinating.

Rating: 5/5, i like the considerable number of mysteries that are littered across this manga and how quickly but steadily they are revealed while bringing about new questions.

---Deus Ex Machina- just when i thought i was out of chapters, another one, chapter 22, was released. I need to figure out if this manga is weekly or monthly. Either way, while i am still on the fence about this series, this week’s chapter was pretty impressive, giving use a glimpse into Machina’s past, what she went through as a little girl, the death of her father, mistreatment at the hands of his widow, her step mother, a wicked woman hell bent on using the Exequia name to prove the potential and usefulness of clock workers to society despite the casualties involved.

It was an interesting insight into the cold somewhat cruel character that is Machina, especially how she met Deus. This chapter seemed to forebode that Deus, despite his peaceful demeanor was designed to be a powerful tool of conquest. I am curious as to where this is heading, especially in the context of chapter 21, during which the villain of the story stumbled upon a secret within the Exequia mansion.

Rating: 4/5

---Beelzebub- I loved this week’s Beelzebub chapter. Just when i thought the arc was coming to a close, events suddenly explode into a whole new realm, with both the Solomon Company and Akaboshi making a move during Oga’s fight. With each new chapter i become that much more curious as to what objective these mysterious figures are trying to accomplish.

Clearly their is a link with Lucifer but i am starting to think that she isn’t at the center of their plan. Then there is this mysterious Fuji who will apparently bring about order.

Rating: 4/5

---Fairy tail- Surprisingly entertaining chapter this week; i wasn’t blown away but i enjoyed the experience of reading the 19 pages. The fight between Natsu and the giant bird was awesome, the mystery at the end of the chapter, with the eternal flame disappearing only intrigued me further. We are back in unpredictable territory, unsure as to what is going to happen next or where this arc is going. According to the title of next week’s chapter, we are probably going to find out who the voice Natsu has been hearing belongs to.

Now that i think about it, the eternal flame probably didn’t disappear as much as it did transform into another most likely human form. I still think it is Igneel or Atlas flame or someone connected to them.

Rating: 3/5, decent chapter, i want to see a great Erza Vs. Minerva fight though.

---A fairy tale of the Demon lord- This manga is strange, i am not really sure what to say about it even after 15 chapters of reading. There is a demon lord, a princess he captured, the several knights that have come to save her that he has killed, the nameless night that is to be his final opponent, who has fought thousands of dragons, defended something called Yggdrasil, receives some sort of mission from Odin and…a lot of it doesn’t make sense.

Yet because it is colored, i will read further; besides the nameless knight has this really cool sword that changes shape and powers.

Rating: 2/5, i am not impressed, okay i am impressed with the pretty amazing art work. But the story makes little sense to me.

Seriously though, this manga looks amazing.

---Bleach- I wasn’t amazed by this week’s bleach chapter. I like Toushiro and Rangiku and i was looking forward to their fight with Bazz, and it wasn’t executed badly. I simply wasn’t too sure as to what the hell was going on.

Rating: 2/5, i am still quite excited about this war.

Well that is it for this week, i am curious as to what your week was like in terms of anime and manga, what you watched, read or discovered. If any of the series above do not have synopses, it is because i spoke about them LAST WEEK.

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Okay Fairy tail is officially back in my good books; I have been on the fence for a few chapters, unsure as to whether or not i had any interest in where this was going. This chapter gave me some hope that we might be in for a really interesting ride. Not that the chapter was mind blowing or anything.

It's just that....i was entertained while reading it and it has been quite a while since 19 pages of a fairy tail chapter excited me.

THE PLOT:>

Natsu meets up with Lucy, Wendy and Flare, and together they head to the eternal flame, which turns out to be the entire frozen mountain. Just then Gray, Charlie and Happy arrive on the scene, fleeing the giant bird that ate Doriate. Gray believes he can melt the ice now that he knows how to conduct it through his body.

While he accomplishes this mission, Natsu takes on the bird, engaging it in a short but intense fight that bring the bird to its knees.

Natsu then joins Gray as he attempts to the melt the ice.

He melts the ice indeed, but the flame within disappears the instant it is freed.

MY REVIEW:>

This chapter was more action than anything, with the only progression in the story occurring at the end. But i liked it. For one thing the art was better than what we saw last week. And the action sequences with the bird were actually well choreographed and interesting to read.

Like i said, the battle was short yet intense enough to illicit some excitement. We didn't get any shots of Erza but maybe that is good. Hopefully Hiro dedicates the next chapter to their fight.

Though now that i think about it, Natsu and company will most likely interfere. After all without the mountain to obscure the way, i wouldn't be surprised if Erza and Minerva were just a few hundred meters away.

That doesn't sound so bad actually, since i do not think we have seen Natsu Vs. Minerva yet.

The eternal flame is a mystery. I was surprised at how MASSIVE it was, and i have to wonder how the heat waves of a roaring mountain high flame didn't cook everything in the vicinity, the village included.

I have a feeling all that happened is that on melting the ice, the generated water simply quenched the flame.

It is possible, though it is a strange wonder that ice could freeze a flame in place. We now know that the voice Natsu heard was emanating from the flame. I still think this is related to Igneel. I cannot think of anyone fire related character that could be within or connected to the flame.

I am starting to enjoy the mystery shrouding this arc, so many questions yet unanswered while raising new

ones. Seeing Leon on the cover made me wonder how the hell he lost to Gray and Juvia in the tournament. After seven years of growth he should have been miles ahead of both of them.

RATING: 4/5, this was a decent chapter, with great fights and an intriguing mystery at the end.

Highlight: Finding out that the mountain was the flame.

Predictions: There is every chance that the reason the village was frozen was to protect the flame. Maybe it was already on the verge of disappearing for one reason or another and someone took steps to prevent that. I wouldn't be surprised that Gray unleashed a disaster when he melted the ice.

Ooh, atlas flame.

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