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manga

Review: Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring

Jan 16 // Christian Chiok
Although meant as a prologue for the movie, and just a side story, this Gaiden wasn’t really enjoyable for many reasons. To address the elephant in the room, I feel like Cho-cho’s role felt rather forced and added no substance to story. While I understand that she was added for comedic relief, sometimes it was just executed at the wrong times and it just felt rather annoying more than anything. Another big issue was the main antagonist of this Gaiden—Shin Uchiha, who easily is one of the most forgettable villains in the series with a lackluster motive, probably a lot worse than Obito Uchiha.  His goal is to erase peace as he thinks it’s detrimental to human evolution.  The only memorable things about the character are some of his attacks, like his Kamui-like jutsu and his Weapon Manipulation Technique, which I thought it was cool.   I always thought that Kishimoto was great when it came to delivering fights, especially near the end of the series, as well as other fights such as Sasuke vs. Itachi.  Aside from seeing Shin’s Weapon Manipulation Technique, Sakura in action, and some Naruto and Sasuke Teamwork, just like the antagonist, this fight was hardly enjoyable as well. However, this Gaiden does have its highlights that made reading this tolerable, such as seeing Orochimaru, and the jokes that revolve his new body, the early interactions between Boruto and Naruto, the new generation and of course, Sarada reuniting with Sasuke and learning the truth about her family. Like I stated, in my Boruto: Naruto The Movie review, I really like that Sarada wants to follow the path of Hokage, as opposed to Boruto who wants to be more like Sasuke. While I wasn’t expecting too much out of this Gaiden, it was still overall disappointing. I felt like I was reading it for the sake of reading it every time a new chapter came up. I really thought that reading the entire Gaiden in one sitting would make it more enjoyable, but I was wrong.  I was really hoping to see something feature the new generation but maybe next time.
Naruto Gaiden Review photo
A Story of Father and Daugther
It’s been a few months since I published my review for Boruto: Naruto The Movie, so make sure to check that out as well.  It is important to note that Naruto Gaiden: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring is the...

Ultraman photo
Ultraman

Prepare to unite with Gecco's glorious Ultraman statue


Giant monsters and invaders beware!
Jan 08
// Salvador G Rodiles
I haven't gotten the chance to pick up Viz's release of the Ultraman manga by Linebarrels of Iron's creators yet, but it's hard not to notice the amazing detail that was placed into collectibles company Gecco's ...
Yo-Kai Watch photo
Yo-Kai Watch

Impressions: Yo-kai Watch Manga Vol. 1 and 2


A Spooky Adventure
Dec 24
// Christian Chiok
Ever since the first game released in Japan back in 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS, the Yo-kai Watch franchise has captivated the entire Japanese population. While the manga was published a few months before the game officially re...

Salty Thoughts: What a One Piece superfan thinks of Pirate Warriors 3

Dec 01 // Anthony Redgrave
As a quick background before diving into the game, I'm a massive One Piece fan. I do a weekly recap on the site, I've watched close to all seven hundred summit episodes of the anime including half the released movies. I spend hours on the Wikia to brush up on the lore while tip-toeing around manga spoilers and won't shut up about it whenever it's brought up in conversation. On the other hand, Dynasty Warriors and musou games are completely alien to me. My history with the gameplay style can only be described as a lazy afternoon keeping my nephew entertained at a family affair. Flashy action on a split screen with little interest in Japanese military history or strategy. Diving into One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 was an interesting affair for a guy with a mixed background such as I.  Looks like the show, sounds like an elevator lobby Presentation wise the game looks great. Like a high definition moving coloured manga, the looks and feels stunning. This is supported by having the seiyu reprise their role from the show making it feel like playing through an episode. The game captures all major set piece events from the story and animates them wonderfully. Unlike Toei's ever fluctuating animation budget for the show, this animation is crisp and detailed. The cutscenes recreate the key visuals featured in the story helping fans reminisce on the many adventures they have embarked on with the Straw Hat crew. For me, it felt like a trip down memory lane taking Luffy from his humble beginnings in Shells town to becoming a major enemy of the world government for the sake of his crew. I'm really glad they spent the time to keep as accurately as possible to the original story and try to cram as many references to the arc as possible into the 30-minute missions. A really nice touch was having the 'To be continued' end cards at the end of each mission hammering home the fact you are playing through the anime.  But it's not all there. Although the game feels like a One Piece title from the visuals, the vocals can only take the game so far. There are no familiar tracks in this game. Having the unique themes of each Straw Hat as you play as them would've really made me connect with the game on a much deeper level. After 700+ episodes, you really grow attached to the tracks. I was expecting to hear; Mother Sea for the tragic cutscenes, character eye-catch motifs for the results screen and Overtaken for the finale of each stage. They would've tied the knot on this incredibly immersive experience. Instead, the music that is provided is forgettable.  It's in the little details...and the big ones, too The game gets very bipolar about the amount of detail it would like to have with the franchise. To date, it's the most accurate One Piece video game title. It's a game that doesn't allow players to purposefully retcon the story mode. You can only play as certain Straw Hats on certain levels as long as they were participating in the bulk of the fighting in the arc. For example, you cannot play as Robin in the CP9/World Government Arc as she was being held hostage and you cannot take Franky back to Syrup Village to Strong Right Kuro in his smug face. Only the characters that fight in the show, fight in the game. That also means unlocking Nami can only be done at the Alabasta arc since she is fairly useless without her Clima-tact arts even though she was recruited in the Arlong Arc.  I really like how the game incorporates the different devil fruit abilities into the gameplay rather than just being a purely cosmetic addition. Logia Devil Fruits are considered the most powerful since the user embodies the element it possesses. This means typical sword swings and gun shots should not be able to affect them and it's shown in game by having many attacks being useless when pitted against a Logia user. It's not completely foolproof as spamming attack (like you're doing every 2 seconds) will cause the armour to break but I appreciate the extra effort they went with incorporating it into the gameplay.  All devil fruit were not made equally regardless of Oda's weird way of power boosting some of the most inane powers I've seen in fiction. There are some gameplay issues that just go against the lore of One Piece and there is two that stand out the most to me. The first is Luffy's Gum Gum Fruit. It's supposed to make him immune to gunfire and it's shown off a lot in the show from him ricocheting back bullets and cannon balls. Playing through the first level, you can still get hurt by bullets albeit really minor chip damage. But it just doesn't make sense especially when the cutscene he is shown saving Zoro by bouncing bullets back at the attackers. My second gripe is the second level that features Buggy the clown, a clown pirate that ate the chop chop fruit. By definition, this guy cannot be cut up. Not slashed or stabbed, completely immune to sharp objects. In the show, the world's best swordsman Dracule Mihawk couldn't damage this East Blue Rookie in the battle of the best. In the second level, you are allowed to take the role of Zoro, the Straw Hat's first mate and resident swordsman. As always at the end of the level you have to fight the main pirate and, in this case, it was Buggy. I was expecting a difficult fight due to my poor choice of fighter or even an option to switch back to Luffy. The game ended up letting me fight Buggy as Zoro and winning without any resistances to any of my attacks. This just shouldn't happen. His body can be sliced in any way and survive so by theory he shouldn't have been able to lose. You could apply this logic to when Luffy fought Enel but even in the manga and anime Luffy got fried a few times despite the natural advantage. Enel was able to power himself up into a electric god compared to Buggy not changing anything about himself.  And other nerdy nitpicks Like Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, Pirate Warriors 3 follows the story up until the current arc and just like the Naruto, provides an alternative ending to the incomplete arc. In this case, the Dressrosa arc is heading towards its end in the manga and finally coming to the showdown between Luffy and the big bad Doflamingo. Unfortunately, the ending in this game has a lot to be desired. Just like Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, the game plays it incredibly safe and has the bad guy escape just after defeat.....It really leaves a sour taste in my mouth especially when Law and Luffy are backed by the entire Straw Hat crew and Aokiji (yeah he's there too). Doflamingo is still able to run away into the sky without any of them giving chase. This is wrong for so many reasons. Doflamingo had so much stake in Dressrosa not only as his Kingdom but also for business purposes. Would he really run away from a factory producing artificial devil fruits to supply to one of the four emperors of the sea? Or even abandon his head scientist Caesar after bargaining and scheming to get him back from Law. Doflamingo doesn't even attempt his signature move Bird Cage trapping the Straw Hats and their allies on the island! Despite my old man ramblings about the smallest detail (the default costumes aren't even canon!) I still really enjoyed the game. Every character feels unique and unlike most games I've played recently, I still want to jump back on and mindlessly attack drones with my favourite One Piece character. A current favourite is post time skip Tashigi but it just feels wrong attacking Marines as her. It is definitely the best One Piece game I've played so far and has the most comprehensive retelling of the story outside of the anime. Any One Piece fan should try to check this out as the reviews are indicating it's better than the previous two. Just try to take everything with a pinch of salt otherwise you'll end up as a salty sailor like me. ricochet To be continued
One Piece photo
Setting sail for the virtual seas!
It's been nearly 8 years since I've started watching One Piece and it seems to be one of the only constants I have kept when transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. So you can bet your bottom beli I jumped at t...

Impressions: Kuroko's Basketball Extra Game

Nov 12 // Christian Chiok
A couple of months after the main series has ended, Tadatoshi Fujimaki released its continuation called Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game which features Kuroko and Kagami alongside the Generation of Miracles working together as Team Vorpal Swords aiming to beat Team Jabberwock, a street American Basketball team composed of  Nash Gold and Jason Silver, who have extraordinary talents that surpasses the Generation of Miracles, as well as other three nameless players who are on the same level as the former Teiko players. The arc starts off with Jabberwock playing against Team Strky, a team composed of recently graduated third years from Shutoku, Too, Rakuzan, Kaijo and Yosen. After Jabberwock defeated Strky by a landslide, Jabberwock insulted Strky and as well as the entire country of Japan by stating that they are monkeys and they have no right playing Basketball. As that kind of person that really gets involved and engaged with stories, seeing Team Strky get humiliated made me feel a bit hopeless, as if I was part of that setting. I can't say that their arrogance and their need to insult Japanese players really affected me, but it made me dislike the characters from the start. While it may sound contradicting, in cases like Kuroko's Basketball, I consider giving me a good reason to dislike the antagonist a good way to get myself engaged in a story.  Kagetora offended (as well as the rest of Japan, of course), it drove him to form Team Vorpal Swords and scheduled a game against Jabberwock for the following week. As a result, Kagetora had to pay for their expenses as well. Ever since the original series started, I always wondered how well can the Generation of Miracles fare with American players, especially a team that has beaten some professional NBA players. As soon as I read that, I was already expecting them to get crushed, of course, to a much lesser extend compared to Team Strky. Overall, this first chapter was a good introduction on the new set of antagonists. While I think addressing Japan as “monkeys” went too far, and it gave me enough reason to immediately despise the characters, it was still a good way on showing their personalities and more reason to root for Team Vorpal Swords once the game started. Whether its a battle series, sports series or any series that features competition, I consider it important that the antagonists are shown destroying the protagonists' comrades as a way to tease their abilities and power. It may be cliche, but Fujimaki pulled it off right. With Team Strky being annihilated by Jabberwock despite Strky being composed of highly skilled players, plus the insults, it made the anticipation of the main match even harder.  The best part of the chapter was the ending, where all seven players, being Kuroko, Kagami and the rest of the Generation of Miracles met up in the gymnasium to train, as it felt like it was a throwback to their former Teiko days—before they turned arrogant and showed comradery. It was definitely one my favorite arcs in the series. While Kagami wasn’t part of Teiko of course, seeing him with the Generation of Miracles was good fan service.  If you're a fan of the original series and was left with the need of more content, I would definitely recommend that you read Extra Game. The first chapter so far starts off well featuring the Dream Team we wanted to see since the series ended.  Naturally, as stated above, before reading Extra Game, it is imperative that you watch or read the original Kuroko's Basketball series. 
Kuroko photo
Make It Flashy!
Ever since emerging myself into the wonderful world of Anime and Manga, I’ve being a fan of many sports series such as Hajime no Ippo, Captain Tsubasa, Slam Dunk, and Prince of Tennis. One of my rece...

Sailor Moon photo
Sailor Moon

Tie the knot with Sailor Moon Marriage Certificates


Perfect for the cosplay wedding
Oct 24
// Anthony Redgrave
Boring old marriage certificate forms can now be made a lot prettier with the Sailor Moon inspired designs. Konin Todoke is an online certificate service that provides legislated documents for marriage and family registration...
Himouto! Umaru-chan photo
Himouto! Umaru-chan

Popular Himouto! Umaru-chan character gets spin off manga


Akita girl in Tokyo city
Oct 20
// Anthony Redgrave
Creator of Himouto! Umaru-chan had recently announced the publication of a spinoff manga to his popular series about the perfect high school girl turned slacker whenever she is at home. The main star of this new ser...
Nichijou photo
Nichijou

Nichijou's HUGE announcement is pretty normal


Oh Mai-chan that was a good joke~
Jun 24
// Anthony Redgrave
Nichijou (My Ordinary Life) is a lot like Cartoon Network's Regular Show, it's anything but. It takes the tried and true school girl slice of life comedy formula and treats every punch line as a road down to ludicrous-ville. ...
Costco Manga photo
Costco Manga

Shopping at Costco becomes a manga


Costco meets Manga
Jun 17
// Anthony Redgrave
There's still so much going on at E3 it's hard to escape the gravitational pull towards writing about video games. But outside of the hot Los Angeles convention centre news is still happening, specifically doujin news regardi...
Memoirs of Amorous Gents  photo
Memoirs of Amorous Gents

Animator Expo's 23rd short adapts another Moyoco Anno manga


Gentlemen can be perverts too
May 23
// Salvador G Rodiles
We're getting close to the Japan Animator Expo project's final stretch, and the latest piece ends up being another adaptation (slightly NSFW) of a manga by Moyoco Anno. Just like the previous piece that adapted her work, "Mem...
Crunchyroll manga photo
Crunchyroll manga

Crunchyroll adds PARK Harajuku: Crisis Team! original comic


Original manga to debut in end of May
May 21
// Soul Tsukino
Crunchyroll has announced the latest offering from their “Crunchyroll Originals” manga/comic line with PARK Harajuku: Crisis Team!, an all-new, full color digital webco...
SCANDAL photo
SCANDAL

SCANDAL manga recommendations


Even rockstars like manga
May 21
// Anthony Redgrave
J Rock Girl Group SCANDAL have just finished performing in Mexico with their next stop being on the other side of the world, Hong Kong. But despite this busy lifestyle they still have time for Japanator's favourite literature...
Bakuman photo
Bakuman

Live action screens from Bakuman movie


Manga on the big screen
May 18
// Anthony Redgrave
Movies based off anime/manga have faired much better than their geeky partner video games. The Death Note movie may have faltered a little due to the massive change in story but all the characters looked great and i...
Your Lie in April photo
Your Lie in April

Feel emotions again with Your Lie in April OVA


Get Rekt, Emotions. AGAIN
May 15
// Red Veron
I know many of you are still trying to get over the ending Your Lie in April and the wound still fresh in your hearts, why don't take a look at a more simpler time? News of a 23rd anime episode just hit and instead of an epil...
Attack on Avengers photo
Attack on Avengers

Behold, the Attack on Titan and Marvel crossover nobody asked for


Titans Assemble?
May 12
// Josh Tolentino
I've been getting back into reading comic books of late, the fabled "ame-comi" from across the Pacific, and one fun part of American comic book culture is the practice of "Free Comic Book Day", when comic stores and publisher...
Himouto-Umaru-chan photo
Himouto-Umaru-chan

Himouto! Umaru-chan Anime Details Revealed


Coming July 2015
May 07
// Nicole Helmeid
Gag manga Himouto! Umaru-chan is receiving an anime adaptation set to air during the Summer 2015 season.  The series, produced by by Sankaku Head centers around a high school girl named Umaru and her older brot...
One Punch Man photo
One Punch Man

Studio MADHOUSE winds up for One Punch Man anime


Fingers crossed!
Mar 21
// Josh Tolentino
[Update: Check out a hot cam promo for the show below, straight from the AnimeJapan 2015 show floor!] I must say that as hyped-up as I am about the prospect of a hot new anime adaptation of One Punch Man, the skeptic in ...
Araki Hirohiko photo
Araki Hirohiko

Learn the secrets of the trade with Jojo author


Joestar's Secret Manga Technique!
Mar 17
// Anthony Redgrave
From years of watching high school slice-of-life anime, there should always be a friend wanting to get into the manga/anime industry. Usually they would be the megane character; if it's a female she may be shy about...
Viz Media photo
Viz Media

Start off your Spring Break with Viz's upcoming digital manga titles


March is about to get crazy
Mar 04
// Salvador G Rodiles
I may be more of a fan of reading things physically than digitally, but Viz's March digital manga roster contains some interesting titles, since they resurrected a few Tokyopop titles. On top of that, Tokyo Ghoul and Spell of...
My Hero Academia photo
My Hero Academia

Rejoice: My Hero Academia to be released physically


It's time for us to don our capes and cowls
Feb 22
// Salvador G Rodiles
I don't know about you, but it seems that Viz Media is in a super good mood this week. Aside from their unexpected acquisition of the 2011 Ultraman manga, the company has plans to release My Hero Academia, the latest manga by...
Ultraman photo
Ultraman

Licensing GET: Viz grabs the 2011 Ultraman manga


It's time to witness Viz's special transformation!
Feb 19
// Salvador G Rodiles
It looks like Viz Media's tapping into their toku side, as they've licensed the Ultraman manga that's written and drawn by Linebarrels of Iron's Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi. Honestly, I'm still very surprised ...
Gundam: The Origin photo
Gundam: The Origin

Watch 7 minutes of the Red Comet in Gundam: The Origin


Watch the veritable Red Comet in action!
Feb 17
// Red Veron
Fans of the Red Comet, rejoice! We finally get to see Char Aznable in action in this new trailer for the upcoming first part of the OVA adaptation of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin. The trailer features Char Aznable laying w...
Urasawa photo
Urasawa

Naoki Urasawa joins the 21st Century and gets a Twitter account


Wrong century?
Feb 17
// Hiroko Yamamura
Acclaimed mangaka and all around cool dude, Naoki Urasawa has finally made a Twitter account! The news might not be all that exciting for everyone, but being that he's pretty much my favorite, it's huge news for me! The man i...
Golgo 13 photo
Golgo 13

Golgo 13 is officially Too Old For This Sh*t


The OG hitman retires soon
Feb 09
// Josh Tolentino
Indeed, like a certain police officer, the legendary assassin Golgo 13 is just a few weeks from retirement...literally! After nearly forty-seven years in serialization, the longest-running currently published manga is set to ...
Twin Tail Day photo
Twin Tail Day

Twin Tails day is upon us again and let us celebrate!


Twin Tail Day is Best Holiday
Feb 02
// Red Veron
Today is February 2nd in Japan, which is the officially designated day to celebrate the iconic hairstyle: The Twin Tails. The day "2-2" was chosen because of how the 2's look like two bunches of hair on both sides much like t...
One Punch Man photo
One Punch Man

It takes just one man to make a One Punch Man anime


Well, a prototype of one, anyway
Feb 02
// Josh Tolentino
If there's anything I've learned over the years of writing about the things I enjoy, it's that making those things - in this case, anime - is very hard work, often done by large numbers of very talented people. That makes th...

Annotated Manga: Bleach chapters 610-613

Feb 01 // Josh Tolentino
Of course, "movement" and "things happening" doesn't always have to equate to people getting punched or cut, and in these chapters, we not only see what passes as an explanation of big boss Ywach's powers (but no explanation of his Mutton Chops, sadly), but also the death and rebirth of Ichibei, leader of the Royal Guard. Oh, and the Soul King gets stabbed, too. But first things first: Ichibei, namer of names in Soul Societ and a guy who gets to define what's what when it comes to powers, gets himself blown the hell up. Why? Even six weeks on, I'm not entirely sure. Ywach's power as the "Almighty" Quincy seems to be some kind of omniscience, an ability to know pretty much everything with his eyes "closed", and even more than everything now that they're "open". In this case "open" eyes mean revealing that they're really really weird. Like, with four pupils, each poking their way into the whites like he's The Undertaker. He's a literal "four-eyes" (or rather, with two sets, an "eight-eyes"), though not nearly as nerdy as the moniker might imply. I'm not sure how knowing all that would necessarily equate to the monk getting blown up, but with references to "raw power" being made, I'll just assume it's because he's too much for it. That fits the Bleach pattern, in any case. Interestingly, the Soul King also seems to have himself a set of extra pupils as well. Months ago, when his eyes were first shown, I had thought the extra pupils were just dark, and that he had the "star-shaped eyes" thing going that Nia from Gurren Lagann had. I was wrong, and the implications of that seem to be that, alongside Ywach addressing the King as "Father", Quincy and Soul Reapers are far more closely related than anyone suspected. Remember back when they just used to be the guys that used bows? Ah, youth. Speaking of youth, all our favorite protagonists, the humans (hah!) finally come face to face with Ywach, after getting a quick briefing from the suddenly resurrected Ichibei. As for how he got back to the land of the sorta-not-dead (I just now remembered that Soul Society is technically the afterlife), just calling his name does the job. It's like he's a Kamen Rider or something! And reinforcements are on the way. The remaining Captains, as well as Rukia and Renji, are gathering with Urahara to make their way up to the Royal Palace, now that the fight's over on the ground. Hopefully the humans will be able to put up a credible fight before they arrive to steal the show again.
Bleach photo
A Long Time Coming
While it's been at least six weeks since the last time we checked in with Bleach, various publishing breaks and delays have given us just four-odd chapters to work with, and given the pace Bleach tends to move at, it fee...

Crunchyroll photo
Crunchyroll

Level Up: Crunchyroll's Premium Members now have unlimited manga access


Magma for Everyone!
Jan 18
// Salvador G Rodiles
I may be late to the party again, but I thought that it was worth noting that Crunchyroll has granted their Premium Members the ability to access their magma... um, I mean manga library. In other words, the anime subscribers ...
Yen Press photo
Yen Press

Licensing GET: Yen Press grabs Durarara!! light novels and more


It's time to rejoice to the max!
Jan 10
// Salvador G Rodiles
Alright, people! I might need someone to wake me up from my eternal slumber, because Yen Press' latest announcement is too freaking good to be true. In other words, the company has licensed the original Durarara!! light novel...
Spider-Man photo
Spider-Man

Japanese Spider-Man always saves the day!


Best Spider-Man ever
Jan 09
// Josh Tolentino
All us normal everyday folks know to call their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man when they get into a jam, but what happens when Spider-Man gets into a jam? If Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott is to be believed, ...

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