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 clich├ęs 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.