Wednesday 2 April 2014

Summer Wars Vol. 1 & 2 review

Summer Wars Vol. 1 & 2 Story by Mamoru Hosoda, Art by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto & Igura Sugimoto Review

Math genius Kenji quickly finds himself being passed off as a fake fiancĂ©e and going to meet his friend’s family when things take a turn for the worse. A virus called Love Machine causes mass havoc in the virtual world of OZ which in turn affects the real world. It’s up to Kenji, his girlfriend (?) and her family to stop it! But will they be able to in time?

Serialized in the seinen (men’s) comic anthology Young Ace in Japan, Summer Wars adapts the film of the same name into comic format. It works surprisingly well: the characters resonate regardless of the medium and the artwork is nice enough though it may not be on the same level as the film. The manga adaptation does an excellent job of portraying the world seen in the film while still doing enough to establish itself as its own thing.

That being said the manga still has one thing that annoyed me in the film the comic relief/mascot characters do nothing beneficial but unlike other series where they’re simply superfluous they hinder the plot at crucial points. That being said, the characters are very likeable and neither book contains much in the way of offensive material. In conclusion the manga adaptation is a welcomed companion to the film and comes highly recommended!

Rating: 8.5/10

Review copy of volume 2 provided by the publisher.

Summer Wars is available in print from Vertical Inc.

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Pink review

Pink Story & Art by Kyoko Okazaki Review

Living her daily life with her pet crocodile and moonlighting as a prostitute, Yumi’s life is anything but ordinary. One day, she meets a young man who turns out to be her mother’s much younger lover. As the two become entwined with one another just how will their lives change? And will it be for the better or the worse?

Pink is a rather fascinating tale riddled with intriguing characters. Perfectly paced, Pink is easy to become sucked in to. The art is probably one of the book’s weaker points though I am not sure if that is so much the fact the book is 25 years old or not. The ending alone makes the book well worth the read however the book also has a great sense of humor.

Pink’s art may not have dated well but its story has, ringing just as true today as when it was written. At one volume, this series is not a huge commitment which also works to its advantage. In conclusion, Pink is a nice read well worth the reader’s time.

Rating: 9/10

Review copy provided by the publisher.

Pink is available in print from Vertical Inc.



Online Anime Streaming Brand Offers New Free On-Demand Options Also Available With Hulu And Hulu Plus Including Episodes Of BLEACH, NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, RANMA ½ And More!

San Francisco, CA, March 31, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, is officially relaunching April 1st as the new home and consolidated online destination for FREE streaming anime content in the U.S. The new will deliver the hottest in subbed and dubbed digital series, simulcast world premieres, exclusive on-demand access, and a massive legacy catalog of new as well as classic favorites (in HD when available).

The new Neon Alley streaming destination will be available on demand to U.S.-based fans for FREE at It will also be available anytime, anywhere across many different devices, including PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Roku, Chromecast, and a variety of other mobile devices through the subscription-based Hulu Plus Video-On-Demand service. Additional details on Hulu Plus-enabled devices can be found at For a limited time, fans who visit can receive a free 2-week trial to Hulu Plus – please check out the site for details.

“VIZ Media begins a new era for fans across the U.S. as we present the all new free Neon Alley online destination, focused on delivering the best in compelling digital anime content,” says Brian Ige, VIZ Media Vice President of Animation. “Supported by our media partner Hulu, Neon Alley offers a variety of rich programming combined with the ease and flexibility of on-demand access, with web and mobile device interoperability across all major platforms. We look forward to delighting new and veteran fans alike with even more exciting new programming announcements in coming months!”

VIZ Media invites anime fans to join the Neon Alley launch celebration with a special “Raven’s Watch and Win” contest running from April 1st to April 6th.  Sign up for a FREE membership (current members are also eligible) and watch each day’s “Raven’s Pick of the Day” episode. Just leave a comment after the show ends and be automatically entered to win fun anime prizes that include Neon Alley gift bags, DVDs, assorted collectables and other premiums. The previous day’s winners will be announced each day. For full details and rules, please visit:

Each month, fans can look forward to limited time, specially curated Neon Alley selections of full-length anime feature films, and April kicks off with an exciting double feature. BERSERK: THE GOLDEN AGE ARC I – THE EGG OF THE KING and BERSERK: THE GOLDEN AGE ARC II – THE BATTLE FOR DOLDREY will be available on Sunday, April 6th for one-week-only, until April 12th, presented with easy-to-use selections for dubbed and/or subbed dialogue options.

Neon Alley will host over 1,200 subtitled and dubbed episodes of smash and fan-favorite shows, including BLEACH, BLUE EXORICIST, RANMA ½, MAGI, VAMPIRE KNIGHT, with new episodes added each week. Don’t miss the Neon Alley subtitled debut of GARGANTIA ON THE VERDUROUS PLANET on April 15th. The premiere of the dubbed version of the sci-fi action adventure anime will follow later in the year. April is also a great time to watch the subtitled versions of BLOOD LAD and COPELLION in preparation for the forthcoming dub episode debuts. The new Neon Alley will also bring fans entire seasons of dubbed series on-demand at the same time – perfect for marathoning at your leisure – starting with the April 1st launch of Season One of both BLEACH and INUYASHA, with subbed options available as well.

Other Neon Alley Weekly Programming Highlights Include:

NARUTO (dubbed)
Starting April 8th, catch the original from the very beginning with a newly added episode every week

BLEACH (dubbed)
The fan favorite Soul Reaper adventures continue with 2 new episodes weekly

RANMA ½ (subbed)
Catch 4 newly re-mastered premiere episodes of the classic anime comedy action series in stunning HD.

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Simulcast Premiere (subbed)
Don’t miss the latest new adventures of the world’s most popular ninja to fans on the same day as the Japanese premiere! New episodes premiere each week.

RANMA ½ (dubbed)
Dub fans can catch 2 HD episodes of the martial arts comedy each Friday

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Exclusive Dub Premiere
Catch the world premiere of the newest ninja adventure presented with dubbed English dialogue!

Additional information on Neon Alley is available at:

For more information on anime 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.