Sunday, 11 March 2018

Aposimz chapters 1-5 Review

Tsutomu Nihei’s Aposimz is a grand science fiction epic set in a bizarre world. The artwork is gorgeous, hauntingly portraying the horrific events of the story. The setting is fascinatingly somber. The world of Aposimz is perpetually snow covered. The one issue I had is that the narrative is holding its cards close to its chest so far.

There are so many aspects of this universe which would be fascinating to understand more about but Aposimz is through and through a Tsutomu Nihei work. Nihei’s narratives dive into the surreal worlds with the reader often being swept along for the experience. This almost always leaves it up to the reader to pick up and interpret the narrative themselves and Aposimz is no exception to this rule. Even Nihei’s arguably most reader friendly work, Knights of Sidonia is still obtuse at times. Aposimz is another intriguing work from an exceptionally talented manga creator. I cannot recommend this experience enough!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Alice in Murderland volume 4 Review

Kaoru Yuki’s body of work translated in English is considerably larger than many mangakas’ and it is fascinating to see how the tone of her work has changed over the years. That being said, while there is a greater sense of self-awareness in her more modern works the biggest problem for long-time readers of her works is easily the fact it always comes across as a touch homogenous. The biggest theme in a lot of Kaoru Yuki’s works has always been the dark reality behind fairy tales. A world which once looked like it was rose tinted is actually horrific once given a closer examination.

Alice in Murderland volume 4 follows this long tradition. The heroine becomes more and more aware the Alice in Wonderland influenced world she lives in contains layers upon layers of dark secrets. Everyone in the cast is not who they seem to be at first glance. The heroine herself has an alternate murderous personality. Even her wealthy adoptive mother she once thought to be kind reveals herself to be the cruelest member of the manga’s cast thus far. Alice in Wonderland is the perfect theme for a Kaori Yuki work and Alice in Murderland’s continued descent into madness makes for a fascinating read.

While Alice in Murderland is certainly a nice addition to Kaori Yuki’s body of English translated work there still is very much the issue with the series that it feels like Alice in Murderland is once again just Kaori Yuki simply going through the motions of creating a series. The formula she seems to have developed for creating her work is nevertheless an effective one even if she is once again reusing the themes and issues from her previous work. It still is nice every once in a while to sit down with a Kaori Yuki manga and cleanse the palette from the tropes of shojo manga in general.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Our Precious Conversations volume 2

Compared to volume 1, volume 2 of Our Precious Conversations continues the trend of being an enjoyable read. The characters are still the dorks you know and love. Robico's artwork is as lush as always. Now I'm just excited to read the simulpub chapters.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

A Perfect day for Love Letters volume 1 Review

With George Asakura's manga being finally released in English again in roughly 2 weeks I thought I would take a brief look at one of her previously translated works that I'd forgotten I had sitting on my shelf unread for so many years. 

A Perfect day for Love Letters volume 1 is an anthology of sorts which compiles various George Asakura short stories themed around love letters. The first 3 chapters follow an oddly specific narrative structure while chapters 4 and 5 more or less break away from the framework the book establishes in wildly different ways. The storytelling is strong in each of the short stories, While I had been curious about her much longer Drowning Love, known in Japan as Oboreru Knife, manga and her other works. A Perfect Day for Love Letters makes a perfect entry point into George Asakura's works even if it is sadly incomplete and out of print in English. 

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Chihayafuru volume 1 review

I was debating whether to blog again yet here I am! With that out of the way let's dig into Chihayafuru, shall we?

Much like the Chihayafuru anime, volume 1 of the Chihayafuru manga is a deeply moving experience. Chihaya is a compellingly written strong lead herself but the supporting cast is just as strong filled with colourful characters who immediately leave a strong and loving impression. Volume 1 is more of a prologue but it establishes many core elements for the series as well as the emotional core of the manga. When I finished reading I desperately wanted to read more right away. The artwork is also gorgeously expressive. It's impossible not to be swept up in Chihaya's infectious positivity. It's a small story there are no cheap narrative gimmicks just really solid writing complete with characters who feels very real yet at the same time lovable. The series also focuses very little on romance for readers who that might be an issue for going into it. This is a very moving manga about a Japanese poem game. 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Comic Corrale: Winter 2016 Anime Premieres Part 1

Comic Corrale: Winter 2016 Anime Premieres Part 1
This season I see a lot of “what should I watch this season?” As someone who watches anime premieres for funsies, I thought I’d give my two cents on the premieres I’ve seen if it helps at all.
Lupin III Part 4 Ep. 1-5: Technically not a show to premiere in Japan this season. This series has had a bit of an odd release schedule. It was actually scheduled to air in Spring 2015 in Italy but got delayed until late August. It premiered in Japan in October before FINALLY premiering to English speaking audiences a few days ago. If you haven’t  check it out yet, I highly recommend you do!
Myriad Colors Phantom World 1: This series had a colorful start only to give way to the light novel clichés which it fails to even do well. The animation is fluid but that’s really all it has going for it. It’s self aware that it’s bad and continues to be despite that. You can probably give this one a pass.
Ojisan to Marshmallow 1: It’s about an overweight man who loves marshmallows and a woman who wants to do the diddlydoo with him. That’s literally all there is to this. At 3 minutes I found it entertaining enough.
Oshiete! Galko-chan 1: If you have the humor of a 5 year old you will likely enjoy this. Needless to say, I was laughing the whole way through.
Pandora Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn 1: It is trash that I have no intention of returning to. It’s somewhat watchable at least, in that way watching a train wreck unfolding would be. Really though, there are so many other things in this world you could be watching other than this.
Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R 1: I admit, once it got rolling, I was entertained if only for the references to classic anime. Before it does entertain, though, it feels the need to mock every cliché from this type of show which bored me to tears.
Haruchika 1: The surprisingly positive representation of the LGBT community at the very end of the episode caught me off guard. It’s rare to see a protagonist who’s gay/bi/pan/etc. in animation who isn’t either meant to inspire fanfiction or to be mocked. In fact, I’ll likely continue watching simply to see where it goes from there.
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 1: I’ve already seen this 48 minute premiere twice. Once alone and once with a family member and enjoyed it both times. Far and away the biggest standout, thus far, this season, I cannot wait for more.  
Erased 1: This made some good use of minimalism in some shots. That being said, the protagonist is grating with his internal monologues. Really, it’s the supporting cast that made this premiere shine. The plot is certainly compelling as well to an extent. I can kind of guess how it’ll unravel but given the more grim nature. I think waiting for it to finish and then having a marathon would be the best way to watch this show.
Tabi Machi Late Show 1: This series has by far been the least talked about on social media. It has Comix Wave’s practically trademark limited animation. The story is touching in the premiere. It manages to cover a lot of ground in its 7 minutes. This series is only going to be 4 episodes and will apparently be part of the “Comix Wave Omnibus.”
Sekko Boys 1: For lovers of guilty pleasure shows, Sekko Boys with what appears to be either very detailed or photoshopped statues is the go to show this season! It’s part of the Ultra Super Anime Time block in Japan which has produced some very entertaining comedies since it debuted last July and this certainly follows in that tradition.
Norn9 1: Complete with a name a ten year old would come up with, Norn9 has surprisingly detailed backgrounds. That’s really the only highlight of this first episode. Otherwise it is very much a copy and paste video game anime adaptation.
Prince of Stride Alternative 1: This series has some talent behind it, surprisingly, and it makes the end product look super stylish. Honestly, both writing and visually I was impressed by this premiere and am very much looking forward to more.
Bubuki Buranki 1: The character CG is laughable but the story is more than enough to carry this premiere. This is probably more a series for more mainstream anime fans and I feel it will succeed to that end. It really isn’t my cup of tea though I feel it’d be best watch with friends as it feels like a Hollywood flick.

Before I finish this I feel it’s worth mentioning there were a few shows that premiered that I couldn’t even finish: Girls in the Wastelands is probably the most painful premiere thus far this season. Phantasy Star Online 2 the Animation comes from the school of thought that it need not put in an ounce of effort and still succeed and needless to say it fails dismally for it. I will write up other premieres I watch at a later point so I guess that will be a part 2.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Comic Corral #3

Comic Corral #3: Jolly Jojo New Year!
By Geordi Demorest

Happy New Year to all! Here’s another spree of meandering writings about what I was reading and watching over the holidays.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure seasons 1-3: After my Black Butler marathon I thought I would follow it up with another homoerotic shonen series and sunk my teeth into Jojo. With Diamond is Unbreakable start in a few months which was certainly being a motivator. With Jojo being the series it is of course they kill my beloved Iggy the dog. At least they give him and the other characters that kicked the bucket in this part a Lion King send off. Stardust Crusaders is my least favorite of the Jojo parts to date, with how long it is and its less than stellar finale, though it too is a really good series in its own way. There are lots of creative ideas and cheesy moments in the third part so it certainly has its positives. Part two Jojo is rather frustrating as a character but again that’s probably more of a personal taste for protagonists.

Cuticle Detcetive Inaba vol. 1 & 2: I was surprised by how much I liked this series. I admit to not being the biggest fan of the anime with how it rushes through scenes but the source material never feels rushed despite the episodic nature of the first volume or so. I think the clincher was when they finally introduced the true antagonist who gives the series more of an overarching and somewhat compelling plot.

Nanbaka vol. 1: It takes the volume forever and a day to truly introduce the cast much of the book meanders from gag to gag only at the end revealing the protagonist’s motivation. There isn’t a whole lot else to bring up about this series apart from the bright, vivid colors which compelled me to continue.