Monday 9 December 2013

Manga Box issue 1 review

Manga Box issue 1 Story & Art by Various Review

Manga Box is one of the larger attempts to simultaneously publish Japanese comics in English to date. So in that regard I think it deserves some credit. There are 22 titles in the English version of the initial issue of the magazine. Notable standouts thus far include High Rise Invasion which, In a Heartbeat, Horizon, and the Chronicles of Akoya among others. The first issue is solid as a whole though some of the 4-panel comics were weak.

The translations featured some glaring errors upon closer inspection but on a whole it is readable.  As the magazine has just launched it will be interesting to see how it evolves over time. All-in-all the first issue of Manga Box was a great read and it appears to be an ambitious project.

Rating: 7/10

Manga Box is available In English from DeNA.

Saturday 7 December 2013

Fort of Apocalypse Chapters 1-7 review

Fort of Apocalypse Chapters 1-7 Story by Yuu Kuraishi, Art by Kazu Inabe Review

                Falsely accused of murder, Yoshiaki finds himself in a merciless prison. It is not long before a zombie virus begins to spread. Along with his new found groups of friends, will Yoshiaki be able to survive in this cruel world?

Serialized in Monthly Shonen Rival in Japan, Fort of Apocalypse is a zombie series done right: the action is fast and furious and the series has terrific artwork. The series goes for a grimier more down to earth feel and it does so well. That being said the series is not without its fantastical moments which allow the viewer to use imagination. This is still a comic after all.

Fort of Apocalypse may be too dark for some people; it goes into quite graphic detail. The characters need much more development at this point as well. That being said Fort of Apocalypse is a grand old time that cannot be recommended enough.

Rating: 8/10

Fort of Apocalypse is available on Crunchyroll. 

Thursday 28 November 2013

Samurai Flamenco Episodes 1-6 review

Samurai Flamenco Episodes 1-6 Directed by Takahiro Omori, Produced by Manglobe Review

By day, Hazama is a male model but by night he becomes Samurai flamenco. With a reward out for his identity, Hazama must fight criminals while avoiding being discovered. As time goes one, he meets other people who share in his vision for justice. One question remains: just what does the future hold for Samurai Flamenco?

Samurai Flamenco manages to establish itself as a distinct series with a neat sense of humour early on. The series is a little sobering at first but develops into a more exciting series later on. The series takes it’s time developing and expanding its cast of characters. The pacing for Samurai Flamenco may be a touch too slow for some.

That being said, the writing and acting all are well done and the series is nice to look at though the color palette can be dull at times. In conclusion, Samurai Flamenco is a well-produced series worth the viewer’s time especially if they are seeking a departure from the usual fare.

Rating: 8/10

Samurai Flamenco is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Monday 25 November 2013

Limit Vol. 5 & 6 review

Limit Vol. 5 & 6 Story & Art by Keiko Suenobu Review

The series barrels towards its page turning conclusion in these volumes. The series concludes quite well and the title is different from most shojo (girl’s) comics I’ve seen to date. The title is a quick read so it is not a huge time investment.

Suennobu’s artwork is also gorgeous to behold and is a large part of what makes this such an excellent read. That being said, the series becomes quite dark so it is mostly for an older audience despite the protagonist’s age. In conclusion, Limit is well worth the reader’s time and is a real gem of  shojo comics.

Rating: 8/10

Limit is available in  print from Vertical.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

Wolfsmund vol. 1 review

Wolfsmund Vol. 1 Story & Art by Mitsuhisa Kuji Review

For those who attempt to illegally cross the blockade death is inevitable. Just what are these people’s motives? And just how ruthless is the man who blocks their path? Thus commences a chain of tragic tales.

Serialized in the seinen (men’s) comic anthology Fellows!  Wolfsmund is a dark and brutal series of interconnected tales all revolving around the titular Wolfsmund blockade. The story is an absolute page turner yet is not a safe for work type of book.

The first volume excellently portrays the brutality of the time period. For those seeking a different setting for their manga it is refreshingly set in Europe. Wolfsmund also boasts terrific artwork which gives a real feel of the setting. In conclusion Wolfsmund is highly recommended though only for an older audience. 

Rating: 9/10

Wolfsmund is available in print from Vertical.

Review copy provided by the publisher. 

Thursday 21 November 2013

Nagi no Asukara Episodes 1-4 review

Nagi no Asukara Episodes 1-4 Directed by Toshiya Shinohara, Produced by P.A. Works Review

                When Manaka and his friends must go to the surface for school once their old school closes changes are abound. How will Manaka and his friends adapt to life on the surface and who is this boy who tries to befriend them…?
                Nagi no Asukara is both poignant and tragic. The drama mainly comes from the chain of one-sided romances and it is done quite effectively. The series also boasts gorgeous animation thus far which has come to be expected from P.A. Works.
                While the series features younger characters it still feels very much geared towards an older audience. The world and mythology itself is also fascinating and well developed. In conclusion, nagi no Asukara has been a must watch series so far. I eagerly await future episodes.

Rating: 8/10

Nagi no Asukara is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Yu-gi-oh! Zexal Chapters 1-35 review

Yu-gi-oh! Zexal Chapters 1-35 Story by Kazuki Takahashi and Shin Yoshida, Art by Naoto Miyoshi Review

Yuma used to be a bad duelist. That is until the day a mysterious alien who only he can see is unlocked during a duel. Will Yuma be able to find all the number cards and help the alien cure his amnesia?

Serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump, Zexal is a mess in terms of both plot and art. The panel layout is confusing at times and the plot becomes increasingly nonsensical. To be fair it is a quick read, though that may be the series one positive point. The artwork Is nothing to write home about either occasionally feeling awkward.

The characters lack any real depth thus far and are standard clichés for Japanese comics geared towards boys.  The franchise has always basically a marketing vehicle and a shameless one at that that being said previous incarnations were at the very least decent. Although as with this one, they suffered from dragging the story out with needlessly complicated battles designed for no other excuse than to showcase the different cards for the readers to buy. In conclusion, Zexal fails in almost every way.

Rating: 3/10

Yu-gi-oh! Zexal is available on Viz Manga and in print from Viz Media. 

Sunday 17 November 2013

Void’s Enigmatic Mansion Chapter 1 review

Void’s Enigmatic Mansion Chapter 1 Story by JiEun Ha, Art by HeeEun Kim Review

Void’s mansion holds a secret and it’s tenants ought to be more careful what wishes they make. For you see, these desires may just come true…. Just what does the future hold for the tenants of this mysterious place?

Serialized in Party magazine in South Korea, Void’s Enigmatic is (if nothing else) gorgeously drawn. The story is somewhat contrived but the execution is done well enough. The characters are decent and the first chapter is nice enough to read.

If there is one thing some individuals might not enjoy it is the decompressed pacing. Little actually transpires on the pages. The artwork is where this title truly shines.  It is also worth noting that this is the rare occasion that the work is entirely in colour. In conclusion, the first chapter of Void’s Enigmatic Mansion is a decent if a touch forgettable title which is makes for a pleasant reding experience.

Rating: 7/10

Void’s Enigmatic Mansion is available on Kindle. 

Monster Galaxy Chapters 1 & 2 review

Monster Galaxy Chapters 1 & 2 Story by Paul Morrissey & Gaia Online, Art by Melissa Dejesus Review

Avery is a Moga tamer though his mom does not know. As life goes on he embarks on his adventures capturing more and more Moga. There’s even a tournament coming up! Will he be able to save up enough money for the tournament?
Monster Galaxy has got to be the most generic series I’ve read in ages. The monster designs are uninspired and the series just screams “breaking copyright infringement.” To be fair both chapters are nice enough to look at but that’s really all the series has going for it.

There is just nothing about this series that stands out from the many, many other monster battling series out there. In conclusion, this is a bland and forgettable title really not worth anyone’s time.

Rating: 3/10

Monster Galaxy is available on Kindle. 

Mysterious Girlfriend X Chapters 1 & 2 review

Mysterious Girlfriend X Chapters 1 & 2 Story & Art by Riichi Ueshiba Review

Makoto Urabe is a rather odd person when Tsubaki and her first meet. Soon afterwards, Tsubaki finds himself tasting her drool. Thus begins the relationship of a very different romance.

Serialized in the monthly seinen (men’s) afternoon, Mysterious Girlfriend X is intriguing in an almost bizarre sense. Urabe is framed as a very peculiar person, thus far it is far away from standard fair for Japanese comics. The character designs have an older, 90s feel to them.

Thus far, the comic hasn’t gone to the extremes the anime did in pandering to the particular fetish the series obviously is meant to pander to. The more grounded and realistic backgrounds certainly help the comic’s charm. The jury is still out on whether this comic is worth following for the long term but the series is off to a decent start.

Rating: 6/10

Mysterious Girlfriend X is available on Crunchyroll.

Thursday 14 November 2013

My Wife is Wagatsuma-san Chapters 1-5 review

My Wife is Wagatsuma-san Story by Yuu Kuraishi, Art by Keishi Nishikida Chapters 1-5 Review

Hitoshi was leading a rather dull existence until the day he has a time slip and encounters his future wife… the school idol Wagatsuma! Soon, Hitoshi discovers he can change the future when he returns to the present.  How will these time slips effect Hitoshi’s life?

My Wife is Wagatsuma-san is surprisingly funny. The series has a solid grasp on what’s funny and knows how to use this to its advantage. The time slip aspect adds an interesting twist to this romantic-comedy and the series knows how to use it in new and interesting ways.

                The series one fault may be its protagonist who isn’t a terribly sympathetic character. That being said, the art is decent and the plot is interesting to compel the reader to keep reading. Wagatsuma-san may not be spectacular by any stretch of the imagination but it does okay at what it does.

Rating: 7/10

My Wife is Wagatsuma-san is available on Crunchyroll.  

Sunday 10 November 2013

Space Brothers Chapters 1-8 review

Space Brothers Chapters 1-8 Story & Art by Chuuya Koyama Review

As a child, Mutta dreams of becoming an astronaut however as time wore on that dream disappeared. Hibito, Mutta’s brother, followed through on their promise as children and became an astronaut. It is Hibito who reignites Mutta’s dream of becoming an astronaut again. Will Mutta be able his dream into reality?

Serialized in the seinen (men’s) comic anthology Morning in Japan, Space Brother is off to a terrific start. In contrast to the animated television series, the original comic is a tad more realistic. That being said, the charm of the series remains. The well-written characters are what drives this series forward.

Mutta also makes for an excellent lead as readers are able to sympathize with this down on his luck protagonist. The series only flaw thus far is its pacing although it moves quicker than the TV series. All-in-all Space Brothers is a series well worth reading with a likeable protagonist and well written cast in general.

Rating: 9/10

Space Brothers is available on Crunchyroll. 

Saturday 9 November 2013

Meganebu! Episodes 1-4 review

Meganebu! Episodes 1-4 Directed by Soubi Yamamoto, Produced by Studio Deen Review

Akira Souma and his bespectacled friends are in the glasses club. As they work towards making a pair of X-Ray glasses they continue their daily life. This is a tale of their many misadventures as they go through school.

Meganebu! is a heavily stylized work featuring saturated colours. The characters are one-dimensional for the most part falling easily into various archetypes. The series has pleasant slice-of-life feel to it.
The visuals are what make this series a real treat to watch and experimentation going on. This may be shameless wish fulfillment but it at least has a visual flair. It also excels at what it does though if compared to its sibling series Free! it is by far the less accessible to those outside the series target demographic. In conclusion Meganebu!  is a guilty pleasure and while not a masterpiece by any extent of the imagination (not that it ever tries to be) it is dumb fun.

Rating: 7/10

Meganebu! is streaming on Crunchyroll. 

Friday 8 November 2013

Kyousogiga Episodes 0-3 review

Kyousogiga Episodes 0-3 Directed by Rie Matsumoto, Produced by Toei Animation Review

Koto arrives in a fantastic, bizarre world in search of a rabbit. How did she come to this world? And for that matter, how did this strange place come to be?

Kyousogiga is a fascinating series from the moment it begins with bright, abstract visuals. The cast of characters is distinct and colourful and the world itself is intriguing. The story thus far seems to be a mixture of the backstory and the plot proper.

The series is a breath of fresh air in a time where there is a glut of generic content being made. The writing is well done too which is a nice bonus with the gorgeous visuals. In conclusion, Kyousogiga is a well done, memorable show well worth the viewer’s time.

Rating: 9/10

Kyousogiga is streaming on Crunchyroll. 

Thursday 7 November 2013



VIZ Media has announced the debut of the NARUTO SHIPPUDEN anime series on Adult Swim’s Toonami programming block beginning in January 2014. North American fans can catch dubbed and uncut adventures featuring the world’s most popular ninja from the beginning with a new episode airing each week. Check local listings for specific airtimes and channel availability.

Adult Swim (, launched in 2001, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s network offering original and acquired animated and live-action series for young adults.  Airing nightly from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. (ET/PT), Adult Swim is basic cable’s #1 network with persons 18-34 and 18-49, and is seen in 99 million U.S. homes.

Created by Masashi Kishimoto, NARUTO was first introduced in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan in 1999 and quickly became that country’s most popular ninja manga properties. The manga series (rated ‘T’ for Teens, in print and digital editions) and animated counterpart (NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN rated ‘TV-14’) are some of VIZ Media’s most successful titles and have captivated millions of fans across North America, Europe and South America.

In the NARUTO manga and animated series, Naruto Uzumaki wants to be the best ninja in the land. He's done well so far, but Naruto knows he must train harder than ever and leaves his village for intense exercises that will push him to his limits. NARUTO SHIPPUDEN begins two and a half years later, when Naruto returns to find that everyone has been promoted up the ninja ranks – except him. Sakura’s a medic ninja, Gaara’s advanced to Kazekage, and Kakashi…well he remains the same. But pride isn’t necessarily becoming of a ninja, especially when Naruto realizes that Sasuke never returned from his search for Orochimaru. Plus, the mysterious Akatsuki organization is still an ever-present danger. As Naruto finds out more about the Akatsuki’s goals, he realizes that nothing in his universe is as it seems. Naruto is finding that he’s older, but will he also prove wiser and stronger?

More information on NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN is available at

Additional information on titles available from VIZ Media is available at

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan's largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at



2013 Holiday Wish List Includes New Manga Box Sets, Shojo And Shonen Manga Series, Deluxe Omnibus Editions,
And Other Exciting Gifts

San Francisco, CA, November 6, 2013 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, highlights a wide selection of novels, manga, and special box sets perfect as gifts for a range of budgets and guaranteed to delight readers of all ages and interests this holiday season.

Holiday selections for 2013 include a hefty new ONE PIECE Box Set: East Blue and Baroque Works and a BAKUMAN Complete Series Box Set, as well as a delightful novel and picture book commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the classic anime film MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO.

New shojo manga series that also make perfect gifts include the Christmas-themed SWEET REIN and the voice-acting romantic drama VOICE OVER!: SEIYU ACADEMY. Action fans also won’t want to miss the TIGER & BUNNY COMIC ANTHOLOGY and the 2-volume TIGER & BUNNY: THE BEGINNING manga adaptation of the hit anime superhero feature film. Horror fans should add the hardcover UZUMAKI 3-IN-1 DELUXE EDITION to their wish lists, while science fiction readers can savor the award-winning anthology THE FUTURE IS JAPANESE and the acclaimed novel SELF-REFERENCE ENGINE from the Haikasoru imprint.


ONE PIECE Box Set: EAST BLUE & BAROQUE WORKS  Rated “T” for Teens  MSRP: $185.99 U.S. / $185.99 CAN  Available Now! 
This box set includes volumes 1-23, which comprise the series’ first two story arcs, East Blue and Baroque Works. With exclusive premiums and great savings over buying the individual volumes, this set is a pirate’s treasure for any manga fan! As a child, Monkey D. Luffy dreamed of becoming King of the Pirates. But his life changed when he accidentally ate the Gum-Gum Fruit, an enchanted Devil Fruit that gave him the ability to stretch like rubber. The only drawback? He'll never be able to swim again – a serious handicap for an aspiring sea dog! Years later, Luffy sets off on his quest to find the "One Piece," said to be the greatest treasure in the world... Box set also includes a full-color, two-sided poster and booklet featuring an interview with ONE PIECE creator Eiichiro Oda, and Romance Dawn, the original ONE PIECE pilot chapter.

BAKUMAN COmplete series Box Set  Rated “T” for Teens 
MSRP: $159.99 U.S. / $159.99 CAN  Available Now! 
By the creators of DEATH NOTE! The mystery behind manga-making is revealed! Average student Moritaka Mashiro enjoys drawing for fun. When his classmate and aspiring writer Akito Takagi discovers his talent, he begs Moritaka to team up with him as a manga-creating duo. But what exactly does it take to make it in the manga-publishing world? Set also includes the bonus mini-comic "OTTER NO. 11" along with a full-color, two sided poster. A 20% savings over buying the individual volumes!


MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO: THE NOVEL  MSRP: $17.99 U.S. / $21.00 CAN  Available Now! 
The beloved animation classic by legendary Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro, is now a novel. This edition features original illustrations by Miyazaki himself, accompanying a story by veteran children’s author Tsugiko Kubo. Eleven-year-old Satsuki and her sassy little sister Mei have moved to the country to be closer to their ailing mother. Soon, in the woods behind their spooky old house, Satsuki and Mei discover a forest spirit named Totoro. When Mei goes missing, it’s up to Satsuki to find her sister, and she’ll need help from some new, magical, friends.

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO PICTURE BOOK  MSRP: $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN  Available Now! 
The full color companion book to the beloved classic anime film My Neighbor Totoro by legendary Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki. Featuring artwork taken directly from the movie, this updated edition will allow parents and children to relive Totoro's magical adventures with scene-by-scene illustrations and character dialogue.

New holiday shojo manga:

SWEET REIN, Vol. 1  Rated “T” for Teens  MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN  Available November 5th  
Sad at the thought of spending Christmas alone, Kurumi Sagara goes out for a walk. While she’s crossing the street, a boy bumps into her, and a rein suddenly appears that binds them together. The overjoyed boy tells her she’s his master and that she’s a Santa Claus. Kurumi dismisses him as a crazy person, but then he transforms into a reindeer?!

VOICE OVER!: SEIYU ACADEMY, Vol. 1  Rated “T” for Teens 
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN  Available Now!  
Hime Kino’s dream is to one day become a voice actor like her hero Sakura Aoyama from the Lovely Blazers anime and being accepted to the prestigious Holly Academy’s voice actor department is the first step in the right direction! But Hime’s gruff voice has earned her the scorn of teachers and students alike. Hime will not let that stand unchallenged, however. She’ll show everyone that she is too a voice acting princess, whether they like it or not!!


MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN each  Available Now!
In the city of Stern Bild, superpowered heroes known as NEXT fight crime while promoting their corporate sponsors for the hit show HERO TV. Veteran hero Wild Tiger has years of experience fighting crime, but when his ratings slip he’s forced to team up with Barnaby Brooks Jr., a rookie hero with an attitude. This 2-volume manga adaptation of the Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning animated film (also available from VIZ Media) introduces you to the exciting world and characters of Tiger & Bunny!

TIGER & BUNNY COMIC ANTHOLOGY 2-In-1, Vols. 1 & 2  Rated “T” for Teens  MSRP: $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN each  Volume 1 Available Now,  Volume 2 Available December 10th!  
The Heroes of Stern Bild City are larger than life when they appear on Hero TV, but when they take off their costumes, their lives are just like anyone else! Or are they?! Why would someone impersonate Barnaby to work at a host club? Dragon Kid is a Hero but still has to struggle with homework. What will happen when Barnaby meets Kotetsu’s family? And is it possible for Origami Cyclone to ride into battle on a kite, or is he just going to break his neck? Dozens of stories take you deep into the world of TUGER & BUNNY!


THE FUTURE IS JAPANESE  MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $17.99 CAN 
Available Now!
A web browser that threatens to conquer the world; the longest, loneliest railroad on Earth; a North Korean nuke hitting Tokyo; a hollow asteroid full of automated rice paddies, and a specialist in breaking up virtual marriages; and yes, giant robots. These thirteen stories from and about the Land of the Rising Sun run the gamut from fantasy to cyberpunk and will leave you knowing that the future is Japanese! Also features the Hugo Award-winning short story, "Mono No Aware," by Ken Liu.

SELF-REFERENCE ENGINE  MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN 
Available Now!
This is not a novel. This is not a short story collection. This is Self-Reference ENGINE. Instructions for Use: Read chapters in order. Contemplate the dreams of twenty-two dead Freuds. Note your position in space/time at all times (and spaces). Keep an eye out for a talking bobby sock named Bobby Socks. Beware the star-man Alpha Centauri. Remember that the chapter entitled “Japanese” is translated from the Japanese, but should be read in Japanese. Warning: if reading this book on the back of a catfish statue, the text may vanish at any moment, and you may forget that it ever existed. From the mind of Toh EnJoe comes Self-Reference ENGINE, a textual machine that combines the rigor of Stanislaw Lem with the imagination of Jorge Luis Borges. Do not operate heavy machinery for one hour after reading.


UZUMAKI 3-in-1 DELUXE EDITION  Rated “T+” for Older Teens 
MSRP: $27.99 U.S. / $32.00 CAN  Available Now! 
Savor a special new hardcover edition of Junji Ito’s acclaimed manga classic that now features 12 additional pages of full-color artwork. Kurouzu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of teenager Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by a person or being but by a pattern: uzumaki, the spiral, the hypnotic secret shape of the world. It manifests itself in everything from seashells and whirlpools in water to the spiral marks on people's bodies, the insane obsessions of Shuichi's father and the voice from the cochlea in our inner ear. As the madness spreads, the inhabitants of Kurouzu-cho are pulled ever deeper into a whirlpool from which there is no return!

For more information about these and other titles from VIZ Media, please visit:

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan's largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at

Wednesday 6 November 2013

UQ Holder! Chapter 1 & 2 review

UQ Holder! Story and Art by Ken Akamatsu Chapter 1 & 2 Review

Tota and his friends plot an ambush of their teacher. Their reasons for doing so are simple: they are told if they beat her they may go to the capital. It appears their teacher is a magic user; she has deeper secrets than this however…

Serialized in the shonen (boys’) comic anthology Weekly Shonen Magazine, UQ Holder! does little to establish itself apart from the many shonen battle manga. That’s not to say the story is bad per se. It has some creativity put into it and it has a decent funny bone. However, the plot is predictable with a plot twist which could be seen from a mile away.

The character designs are also not terribly distinct especially for the genre. The supporting cast is also terribly underdeveloped for what time they have on-page. All-in-all UQ Holder! Really is not worth the readers’ time unless  you really enjoy the shonen battle genre. Skip it.

Rating: 6/10

UQ holder! is available on Crunchyroll.

Thursday 31 October 2013

Servant x Service Episodes 8-13 review

Servant x Service Episodes 8-13 directed by Yasutaka Yamamoto, produced by A-1 Pictures Review

See the review of the first half for the plot summary.

The second half of servant x Service continues in a similar manner to the first half. There are a few notable changes, these episodes feel more plot driven than earlier episodes which seemed more aimless though it was clear they were building up to something. It should be noted that these episodes see a sitcom level of plot so comedy is still the series’ main focus.
The comedy also feels more effective towards the series end. In the final few episodes is where the series really hits its stride. The characters have always been a high point of the show for me and they continue to be generally likeable. The animation is decent though nothing ground-breaking is being done here save for the colorful imaginative opening sequence. In conclusion Servant x service is a pleasant little series. It may be a tad banal but it has a real funny bone.

Rating: 7/10

Servant x Service is streaming on Crunchyroll. 

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Miss Monochrome the Animation Episodes 1-4 review

Miss Monochrome the Animation Episodes 1-4 directed by Yoshiaki Iwasaki, produced by Sanzigen Animation Studios and Liden Films Review

After she loses her mansion, Miss Monochrome pursues her dream of becoming an idol. She soon meets her manager and sets out on her journey. Thus begins the misadventures of Miss Monochrome and her friends.

Based on the vocaloid Miss Monohcrome, this series of shorts is charming in a way. That being said there’s very little compelling the viewer to continue should the viewer not have an interest in vocaloids. The show is pleasant enough if a tad forgettable.

At a length of 4 minutes the episodes rarely drag. At other times, however, the series is dull and the viewer finds themselves simply waiting for the ending credits with their baffling, doll-like CG sequence. In conclusion Miss Monochrome thus far is a pleasant if at times dull series. There’s certainly worse out there but there is certainly much better.

Rating: 6/10

Miss Monochrome the Animation is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Tuesday 29 October 2013

Carn review

Carn directed by Jeff le Bars Review

A boy finds himself lost in a snowstorm but meets a wolf. The wolf makes the boy an offer: he may take the wolf’s life and use their fur if he takes care of the wolf’s pups. Will the boy agree too or not and what will be the consequences of his actions?

This gorgeously animated short has a very distinct style to it and at the same time it has a weight to it. Carn manages to delve into the darkest corners of the human psyche. In general, it is a well-crafted short film animated in France.

Despite a 5 minute run time the film manages to reach a satisfying (though admittedly dark) conclusion. The pacing is next to perfect and the characters are simultaneously sympathetic and alien to the viewer. All-in-all Carn is a very nicely done short film well worth the viewer’s time.

Rating: 9/10

Carn is streaming on Vimeo. 

Paperman review

Paperman directed by John Kahrs, produced by Walt Disney animation Studios Review

A man and woman fall in love at first sight but soon find themselves separated. One day, the man sees  the woman again in a different building. He attempts to catch her attention with a paper airplane. Will his plan succeed?

Paperman is a pleasant short film.  At only six minutes, the short is a nice, simple story about romance. It attempts no grand feats nor does it need too. The film relies on very little sound outside of music and is largely black and white.

The music is whimsical and the lack of colour most of the time is a neat touch. The animation is very well done: nice and fluid. The character designs are appeasing as well. In conclusion the film is a nice, fluffy little piece sure to capture hearts.

Rating: 9/10

Paperman is available on iTunes.

Sunday 27 October 2013

Gurren Lagann the Movie- Childhood’s End review

Gurren Lagann the Movie- Childhood’s End directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, produced by GAINAX Review

Born and raised in an underground city, Simon finds himself on the surface with his best pal Kamina. The duo sets out into a brave new world with a new friend— Yoko. The path they follow may be treacherous and just how will they survive in this foreign landscape?

Childhood’s End is both a compilation film and what the series could have easily been— an incoherent mess. While the film starts off on the right foot, it soon begins to flounder. This is not helped by squishing what was in the series a decent introduction to the supporting cast into a montage. Much of the series’ charm was in its supporting cast and for the film to cast that aside with a quick brush  is frustrating to say the least.

The second problem arises in the last 30 minutes: the film’s climax. It can easily be summed up in a few words: a bright, colourful bunch of gibberish. It is pretty to look at but makes next to zero sense. The film spends far too much time on the early episodes of the show and rushes through far too much of the series’ first arc. In conclusion, Childhood’s End fails as both an compilation with how unfaithful it is to the original and makes too little sense to stand on its own.

Rating: 4/10

Gurren Lagann the Movie- Childhood’s End is available on iTunes. 

Attack on Titan Episodes 1-25 review

Attack on Titan Episodes 1-25 directed by Testuro Araki, produced by Wit Studio and Production I.G. (Collaboration) Review

When titans destroy the wall that humanity had been living behind for the past 100 years in relative peace, Eren finds himself without his parents. With only Mikasa, a girl who had been living with his family, left beside him along with his friend Armin: Eren sets out on a quest to destroy the titans. The road he will travel will be fraught with peril. Will Eren survive? 

Based on a shonen (boys’) Japanese comic, Attack on Titan is filled with blood and gore from the word go. With that in mind, the show is really well done. The action is thrilling and there are twists around every corner. Attack on Titan in general is very well written. That being said it is not without flaw.

The series relies heavily on stills, particularly in its first half, and has an abrupt change in pace part way through. However, the series when it chooses to do so is well animated and the show more than compensates for its flaws artistically with its excellent writing. In conclusion the show is a seriously addictive dark fantasy series that is easy to become invested in.

Rating: 8/10

Attack on Titan is streaming on Crunchyroll and  

Friday 25 October 2013

Eden of the East Episodes 1-6 Review

Eden of the East Episodes 1-6 directed by Kenji Kamiyama, produced by Production I.G. Review

Akira finds himself in front of the White House without any memory of who he is or how he got there. He soon meets a woman named Saki. When the two of them return to Japan, Akira must unravel the mystery of just who he is. Will he succeed or is what happened in the past better left forgotten?

Spawning a trilogy of films as well as some novels, the first 6 episodes of Eden of the East are filled with twists and turns as Akira slowly pieces together his past. The show moves at a slow pace akin to live action dramas. The show boasts distinct character designs courtesy of Chika Umino.

The one downside to this series thus far is that the slow pacing can occasionally work against it and the series can feel a tad dull. That being said the show thus far has plenty of things going on both visually and plot wise to keep the viewer invested. The animation is also solid as come to be expected of works animated by I.G.     

Rating: 8/10

Eden of the East is streaming on Netflix Canada and Funimation’s website and is available on home video from Funimation. 

Thursday 24 October 2013



Eight New Manga Series Launch This Month Along With Updates To More Than 35 Additional Ongoing Series

VIZ Media welcomes Fall with a brand new digital manga update that features more than a dozen new titles on and available for digital download through the VIZ MANGA App for the Apple iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch, Android-powered smart phones, and also for NOOK tablets and devices.

New manga series debuting this month from VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump and Shonen Jump Advanced imprints include COWA! (one-shot), MUHYO & ROJI’S BUREAU OF SUPERNATUAL INVESTIGATION, NORA: THE LAST CHRONICLE OF DEVILDOM, and YU-GI-OH! MILLENIUM WORLD. From the Shojo Beat comes AISHITERUZE BABY, BOYS OVER FLOWERS, and VOICE OVER: SEIYU ACADEMY. The first volume of the venerable X also debuts in a 3-in-1 edition.

More than 35 additional acclaimed manga series also have new volume debuts. Don’t miss notable multi-volume weekly updates for acclaimed fan favorites such as CASE CLOSED, THE LAW OF UEKI, SKIP BEAT!, TAIL OF THE MOON, WHISTLE!, YU-GI-OH! DUELIST, and YUYU HAKUSHO.

New Titles Available Now Include:

AISHITERUZE BABY, Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Kippei Katakura is a 17-year-old playboy who spends his time chasing girls, careless of their feelings. But when his 5-year-old cousin Yuzuyu comes to live with his family after her mother's sudden disappearance, Kippei is put in charge of taking care of her. As Kippei gets to know Yuzuyu and starts to understand how she feels, he also begins to realize that all girls were like Yuzuyu once...

COWA! (One-Shot) · Rated ‘A’ for All Ages
Paifu, a half-vampire half-werekoala, is always getting into trouble with his best buddy, José the Ghost. But when the Monster Flu sweeps through town, the fun and games are over. If the monsters don't get the medicine soon, everyone will die! With all the adults sick, it's up to the kids to save the day!

Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Are you a victim of unwanted spirit possession? Is there a ghost you need sent up and away...or down to burn for all eternity? If the answer is yes, then you need Muhyo and Roji, experts in magic law. Serving justice to evil spirits is their specialty.

VOICE OVER: SEIYU ACADEMY Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Hime Kino’s dream is to one day do voice acting like her hero Sakura Aoyama from the Lovely Blazers anime, and getting accepted to the prestigious Holly Academy’s voice actor department is the first step in the right direction! But Hime’s gruff voice has earned her the scorn of teachers and students alike. Hime will not let that stand unchallenged. She’ll show everyone that she is too a voice acting princess, whether they like it or not!!

X 3-In-1, Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · $13.99
Their Destiny Was Foreordained… The fate of the world is at stake in this gorgeously illustrated masterwork from the four-woman artistic team CLAMP! Kamui Shiro is a young man who was born with the power to decide the fate of the Earth itself – a destiny he can barely bring himself to believe. But as other players involved in the prophecy begin to gather around him – the "Seven Seals," with the power to protect the Earth, and the ""Seven Harbingers," who are fated to destroy it – he has no choice but to come to terms with his fate.

New Series Launching October 29th:

BOYS OVER FLOWERS, Vols. 1-2 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Although Tsukushi Makino is from a poor family, she attends an elite school for the super rich, where her life has become intertwined with the "F4," the ruling boys of the school, in a whirlwind of love and confusion!

NORA: THE LAST CHRONICLE OF DEVILDOM, Vols. 1 · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens
Nora, an unruly demon, has defied his superiors one too many times. For the sake of his "education," Nora is sent to live among mortals and enters a bond of servitude with cool-as-ice star student Kazuma Magari. Kazuma is about to learn the ways of the underworld... and Nora will learn more from the "real world" than he ever thought possible!

YU-GI-OH! MILLENNIUM WORLD, Vols. 1-2 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens
The final saga of the YU GI OH! epic! After many deadly duels, Yugi has collected the three Egyptian God Cards, the key to remembering his own past life as an Egyptian pharaoh. When the cards take Yugi's soul back in time, can he defeat the villains of the past and achieve his ultimate destiny?

The free VIZ Manga App continues to be the top application for reading digital manga and features a massive library of the most popular series in the world. Through the innovative VIZ Manga digital platform, registered users are able to use one account to view their purchased manga across more devices than ever.
The platform features a massive library of the most popular manga series in the world, with over 1,500 volumes across more than 160 different series, and new series and volumes added every Tuesday.

All manga volumes are generally available for purchase and download in the U.S. and Canada within the application starting from $6.99 (U.S. / CAN) each and readers can also explore all titles with free Chapter 1 previews of every series. For more information, please visit or

Download the free VIZ Manga App for your Android and iOS devices at

To learn more about VIZ Manga, please visit

Reflections review

Reflections Directed by Alon Ziv and Bosmat Agayoff, Produced by Bezalel academy of art and design Review

A man follows his reflection much to the irritation of those around him. Soon he finds he is forced to conform to a brutal, unforgiving world. Will he regain his imagination or will the conformation be permanent?

Animated in Israel, Reflections is rather poignant film. The viewer quickly becomes attached to the protagonist. The film does an excellent job portraying the brutality of the world. The animation is distinct and the short film is paced perfectly.

The film does it all entirely without speaking opting for silence aside from the music which makes the film much more impactful. If there is one complaint I have it’s that the character designs are rather simple and the film itself felt it could have gone for longer. That aside though Reflections is a pleasant 5 minute short well worth watching.

Rating: 8/10

Reflections is streaming on Vimeo. 

Wednesday 23 October 2013



Ben Tennyson And Partner Rook Investigate A Distress Call Aboard A Stranded Spacecraft In A Full-Color Original Adventure Series Based On The Emmy-Winning Animated Kids Program

San Francisco, CA, October 22, 2013 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga, graphic novels and anime in North America, takes readers on an action-packed adventure in its new full-color original graphic novel series – BEN 10 OMNIVERSE.

BEN 10 OMNIVERSE, Vol. 1: GHOST SHIP features artwork by Alan Brown with story by Cory Levine and is now available under the company’s Perfect Square imprint. The title is rated ‘A’ for All Ages, and carries an MSRP of $7.99 U.S. / $9.99 CAN. A digital version is also currently available for $4.99 U.S. / CAN from the Perfect Square App, which has titles available for the Apple iPad® and iPad® Mini. The Perfect Square App is available from the iTunes store.

The BEN 10 OMNIVERSE graphic novels are inspired by Cartoon Network’s hit original animated series Ben 10 Omniverse, which is currently airing new episodes on Saturday mornings at 9:30 a.m. (ET/PT). Ben 10 Omniverse is the latest installment of the hit Ben 10 franchise and was developed by Men of Action, a Development/Production House dedicated to writing, conceptualizing, and developing work of exceptional quality, commercial viability, and explosive creativity.

For more than five years, Ben Tennyson has been saving the universe with his Omnitrix, which allows him to use the DNA of aliens to take on heroic new forms. But he’s never encountered a challenge quite like this! Teamed up with a new partner, Rook, who seriously needs to relax, Ben investigates the mysteries of a hidden underground alien city and has to battle a new enemy, Khyber, who has only one thing on his mind: hunting down Ben 10!

In the opening volume of the graphic novel series, Ben and Rook investigate a distress call that lands them on a stranded space ship with a secret... and puts them right where Khyber wants them, trapped with no way out while he and his shape-shifting dog hunt them down. Now Ben’s got to get off an abandoned vehicle that’s falling out of space, save himself and his partner from Khyber’s alien pet (who can turn into the natural enemy of any of Ben’s alien forms!), and figure out the mystery of the “Ghost Ship!”

“It’s truly an honor to welcome these new original BEN 10 OMNIVERSE graphic novels into the Perfect Square print and digital catalog,” says Editor Joel Enos. “The Ben 10 animated series has received international critical acclaim and won three Emmy Awards, and the OMNIVERSE stories build on and expand the mythology of the series in new ways while staying true to the series’ visual art style and tone. Our comics feature original adventures with some surprising cameos from past Ben 10 comics and cartoons, as well as some all-new characters created exclusively for the new Perfect Square corner of the Omniverse!”.

BEN 10 OMNIVERSE, Vol. 1: GHOST SHIP artist Alan Brown has a love of comic art and cartoons that led him to a career as a storyboard and concept artist for a busy London agency, working for clients such as Lego and Ford. As a freelance artist and designer he has also created a variety of licensed artwork for Disney, Warner Bros. and the BBC, while continuing to provide comic art for small press and independent comics publishers. 

BEN 10 OMNIVERSE, Vol. 1: GHOST SHIP writer Cory Levine is a former editorial staffer for Marvel Comics where he edited hundreds of collected editions of comic books, encyclopedic handbooks, special edition magazines and foreign-licensed comics including the company's well-received line of Soleil graphic album adaptations. In 2010 he founded First Edition Publishing, Inc., an end-to-end publishing solutions firm offering editorial packaging, graphic design and pre-press production services.

VIZ Media’s Perfect Square imprint focuses on delivering original comics, manga (graphic novels) and other children’s books with an emphasis on strong storytelling, eye-popping graphics, empowering themes, and a dash of irreverence, that captures the imagination of a whole new generation.

Additional information on titles published by Perfect Square is available at

For more information on other manga titles from VIZ Media, please visit

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan's largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at