Released by Sentai Filmworks, Maria Holic is a Shaft series from way back in 2008. The series takes place at the all girls Ame no Kisaki academy where Kanoko has just transferred in hopes of finding her one true love. Yes, sh...
As long as Kosuke Fujishima's most celebrated manga has been running, it wasn't actually around during Benjamin Franklin's time. We can discern this because if it had been, his famous quotation would have stated that the only certainties in life were "death, taxes and Oh My Goddess!" That's how inevitable each new volume feels.
The series has been slogging along for something like 25 years, and though there have been some plot twists here and there, the fundamentals seem set in stone: Keichi and Belldandy love each other, but Bell's two meddling sisters make trouble for them. Keichi and Belldandy love each other, but their relationship will never advance beyond the hand-holding, kindergarten level for some reason; presumably because Fujishima is a pretty classy fellow and has no interest in sullying his premiere series with dirty Goddess/human sex. Keichi and Belldandy love each other, but the plot will never really progress, and so on and so forth.
Or at least, that's what we thought. The last few volumes of OMG! have turned what we thought we knew about this series on its head, and I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it yet.
When I dream of becoming God, these fantasies usually don't involve a white-haired pretty boy with fox ears who follows me around and does my bidding; clearly, I've been doing it wrong. Now that Kamisama Kiss has taught me the error of my ways, my visions of deity will probably contain more sexy fox men and less sending other drivers to burn in eternal hellfire when they forget to use their blinkers. It's probably healthier this way.
Have your own delusions of Godhood been too full of wrath and too light on supernatural boyfriends lately? Then you too could probably use some Kamisama Kiss in your life.
Magi is an interesting fantasy work in that familiar, if comfortable context of shounen manga adaptations. The story takes on a One Thousand and One Nights motif, as protagonists Alibaba, Aladdin and Morgiana find their way out of poverty and slavery in a world disturbed by magic and conspiracy. This TV anime adaptation is now on its fourth cour, second season, currently airing in Winter 2014.
To me, the unusual setting is already a big selling point. Much can be said about ninjas or samurais, but what about plain, old fashion fantasy but inspired by mixes of far-East and near-East motifs and concepts, as themes cross between typical character development and international politics and nation-building? Magi is not something you find everyday.
However, strengths aside, Magi is a very long series. So really, the question is, will this series be worth the capital investment both in time and money?
I've got some major love for One Piece. On top of keeping up with it on a weekly basis for about eight years, I've spent a good amount of money on merch. Figures, manga, art: I've sunk a lot of hours into getting all that stuff into my room. The only thing that I haven't really been satisfied with are the One Piece games. In general, they've been sub-par experiences that seem quickly pushed out to make a quick buck on the backs of fans.
The only one I've enjoyed at all was Unlimited Adventure for the Wii. It was a straightforward action game with a stand-alone story that was fun for a while. Unfortunately, it eventually outstayed its welcome with boring level design and little else to do besides run around, switch characters, get lost and punch things.
With some hesitation, I was looking forward to the release of Romance Dawn, an RPG for the 3DS. Hey, I love One Piece and I love RPGs. That's sure to be a great combination, right? Uh, well, let's just say that it leaves a lot to be desired. Hit the jump to find out why.
When Fate/Zero Set 2 starts off, we're thrown right in the middle of a major battle. Caster has created a huge monster and it's up to Saber, Lancer, Rider and Archer to defeat it before it can cause major damage to the general populace. After he is dispatched, it's back to the Grail War and tons of talking, plotting, planning and backstabbing.
To make it clear, I enjoyed the second half of Fate/Zero but there are flaws within it which the audience should be aware of before picking it up. Just how big are the flaws? Join me after the jump to find out.
I'll be honest with you. Before playing Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc for the first time, I had to dust off my PS Vita, charge it up for a few hours and install a stack of updates. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time I've gone through these motions in order to play a game on this handheld, as the software library just hasn't been that appealing to me. To give you some perspective, the last game I played was Persona 4: The Golden. According to my Backloggery page, I finished it on April 5th, 2013.
Of course, this is just how I've fared, and I'm sure there are loads of games out there that many others have had a good time with. Saying that, there are a fair few titles coming out soon that have my interest, including Mind Zero, Project Diva F 2nd and of course, Danganronpa.
But would this odd-looking bear and his devilish personality ultimately win me over, or would my Vita find itself banished back to a dark corner to patiently await the next game? You're just going to have to read on and find out.
Before we take a look at the latest volumes of Fairy Tail, let’s take a look at where we’re at in the story. The members of Fairy Tail are in the midst of the Grand Magic Games. Held to determine which guild is the strongest, Fairy Tail has been at the bottom of the rankings for the last several years due to all of the strongest members being shifted through time in prior volumes. In order to restore their reputation, the time-displaced members gather together and challenge the world, though things are quite a bit different from when they last were around.
After barely squeaking by the first portion of the competition, the members of Fairy Tail have not been performing well in the one-on-one fights. Lucy and Mystogan both lost their matches, leaving both Fairy Tail teams dead last. They’re going to have to make some points quick or they risk falling too far behind to catch up. However, if there’s one thing you can bet on, it’s that Fairy Tail will find some way to come out on top.
Don't worry, you're not suffering from a case of deja-vu! In a trend that is becoming increasingly common, we have a Game of the Year equivalent for Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, rolling up the DLC and re-releasing it to those of us that passed it up the first time around. Or the fans that are happy to double-dip, I suppose.
Unlike most other games, Full Burst actually comes with some new content that wasn't made available as DLC, so there's incentive for owners of the original game to check this out. You can either upgrade your current copy for a small fee, or go all-out and purchase a physical copy at a lower price than your typical game. Not bad.
But I've already talked about Ninja Storm 3, so this review is going to focus on what Full Burst brings to the table. Hit the jump to check out what I made of it, but let's just say that the $9.99 upgrade is pretty reasonable indeed.
The first volume in the Hello Kitty (reviewed) series published by Perfect Square was all about travel, and it didn't disappoint; we went all over the world and beyond. This second volume promised to have our mouths watering, and once again, it didn't disappoint; I think I have cavities.
Jacob Chabot and Jorge Monlongo return and are accompanied by Ian McGinty and Stephanie Buscema for a whole new set of adventures featuring Japan's favorite feline (move aside, Maru). All of the stories are food-related, though that isn't a stretch in Hello Kitty's cake-filled world under regular circumstances.
Nisekoi turned out to be one of those happy discoveries you sometimes stumble upon when you aren't looking for anything particular, read a silly synopsis, and think, "Why not?" I wasn't too sure what to expect from this coming in, except that it was probably a romantic comedy.
And it is.
It's a romantic comedy that's apparently published in Shonen Jump, and the first volume which comprises the first seven chapters had heaps of fighting in it -- between the lead male character and a girl he has to pretend to date in order to appease the rival gangs they belong to.
Let's have a quick look at the copy before I move on with my thoughts:
It’s hate at first sight—or rather a knee to the head at first sight —when Raku Ichijo meets Chitoge Kirisaki! Unfortunately, Raku’s gangster father arranges a false love match between Raku and their rival gang leader’s daughter, who just so happens to be Chitoge! Raku’s searching for his childhood sweetheart from ten years ago, however, with a pendant around his neck as a memento...but he can't even remember the girl’s name or face!
Oreshura, or Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru, is an elaborate reimagining of a simple idea. Short for "My girlfriend and my childhood friend argue a lot," the shortened name makes marketing and looking up the show on search engines easy, but more importantly it curtly sums up a really messy premise. Let's not beat around the bush: It's a harem anime. If that alone turns you away, I won't think any less of you.
But being the postmodern animals that we are, saying an anime is a harem is like saying air smells like something that you can breathe; it doesn't convey or express the quality (if it's smoky, fresh, or stale) or if you would like more or less of it. More importantly, have you had an Oreshura experience before? How do you compare this harem anime with the countless before it? How does this light novel story with a childhood friend and his girlfriend shed light upon the adolescent condition? Is it worth your time, for those of you who care to discern the dancing angels on the animated pin?