Friday, 30 December 2011

25 Days of Manga: The Conclusion

Well, 25 Days of Manga is now officially over and this will be my last post about it. Looking back on the month it's been pretty hectic; I've spent most of the month with my head glued to my iPad devouring volume after volume. Plus, with the inclusion of working on the holiday badges for Anime-Planet, writing the 12 Days of Christmas blog posts, and doing real life preparations for Christmas (Yule Log anyone?), it feels like I haven't had much time to myself. But you know what, if I could do it all again, I totally would! Setting aside the sense of acomplishment I feel from getting to all the accepted requests, I've experienced and enjoyed manga I never would have thought possible.

So, in order to give something to look back on, I thought I'd do a round-up of the manga I've read and since the A-Level Maths nerd in me loves statistics, expect some visual aids!

Total Number of Requests Made: 38
Total Number of "Bonus" Manga Added: 9
Total Number of Manga Read: 47
Total Number of One Shots Read: 4
Total Number of Volumes Read: 76
Total Number of Chapters Read: 543

At the beginning of 25 Days, I'd have imagined the dropped slice to be a lot bigger than it was.

It turned out that I had a decent mix of middling to good series and luckily, few rubbish ones.

The two unknowns were shounen-ai titles, likely Josei but couldn't find a definite answer.

With most of the 25 Days manga being Seinen or Shounen, it's no surprise that action comes out on top.

Had to split the tags up into two charts for it to display properly.
Seems like Supernatural, Fighting, and Violence came out on top tags wise.
Favourite Manga: This is actually a bit of a toss-up between Yuki Urushibara's Suiiki and Kaoru Mori's A Bride's Story. It's no great surprise to me that these two came out on top since I love both of these authors and I genuinely can't pick a favourite. A Bride's Story showcases Mori's lucious artwork and is a gentle, easy read that focuses on 19th century customs, which adds to the interest factor as we learn about ways of life that are unfamiliar to us. Meanwhile, Suiiki is exactly the type of thing that Urushibara does best, a gentle, quiet and ultimately quite meaningful supernatural story. Well worth the read and probably the one title from 25 Days that I'd recommend most to others.

Least Favourite Manga: This award goes to Zetman (1994). While I was surprised at enjoying the main series of Zetman I was more than underwhemed by its predecessor - which incidentally got the lowest rating I gave anything during 25 Days. For me, the story was kind of naff by comparison, but luckily it was only a oneshot.

Biggest Surprise: During the last month I've read quite a few manga that I've surprisingy enjoyed, but I think the biggest shock of the lot was Vinland Saga. Not only was I not intending to find a tale of Viking revenge all that gripping, I was also utterly unprepared for just how much I got into it. I found it a total wrench to have to stop reading so that I could continue on with the other 25 Days titles. Have yet to read any more, since I've been a little... "manga-ed out", but should be great to continue on.

Biggest Disappointment: I admit that I was expecting to enjoy Kingdom Hearts more than I actually did. I figured that Disney + Manga would equal awesome, but I wasn't all that enamoured with it. had I played the games, then maybe I'd have enjoyed it more, but the whole thing felt kind of repetitive and didn't seem to like explaining things very much. Ended up powering through the entire manga franchise in the space of a day or so and am not too fussed with continuing it - though if they ever brought out another, I'd likely read it for the Anime-Planet database.

Oddest Manga: I didn't actually get too many odd manga this time, so without a doubt the award for most bizarre manga goes to Boukun Tyrano-san. A oneshot focusing on a dinosaur who wakes up 65 million years later in the body of a high school girl is pretty barmy and seems like a concoction for hilarity, and at first it is. However, the humour falls by the wayside and drifts into full-on sciency sci-fi. Ah well, I'll certainly remember this one for a while to come!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me...

Twelve Awesome Anime
Eleven Weeks of D'AWWW-ness
Ten Heaping Cow Turds
Nine Stop-Motion Wonders
Eight Slappable Arseholes
Seven Crazy Hairdos
Six Splendid Sequels
Fiiiiiive Kick-Asssssss Duuuuuuudes
Four Mindf**k Minutes
Three Shounen Timeskips
Two Crazy Whores
And A Pair of Giant Matrix Boooooobiiiiiiieeeessss!

So, I wholly admit that the title for the final of my 12 Days of Christmas is a bit of a copout, but I wanted to pick twelve of my favourite anime moments from the last year from the good to the bad and the just plain weird. Some are scenes, others full episodes, and there's even an entire series. So here they are, some of my favourite anime moments of 2011. Merry Christmas Everyone!


(Episode 12)


Before I started watching, everyone had told me how epic and awesome Katanagatari was. It seemed that everyone, even those who are hard to please, seemed to love it so I was a little concerned. Too much hype often leads to big disappointment. When I started watching, however, I was far from disappointed. Initially it was the art style that leapt out at me most, it's very different to most anime and utterly gorgeous. Then I got more into the story and damn, I was addicted. But, what REALLY made the series for me was the epic final episode. Following the end of the previous episode, Shichika in the castle, just OH. MY. GOD. I kind of want to re-watch it all again just to get to that last bit.

(Episodes 14 & 20.5)


I don't care how much I've raved about Shiki this year, I'm going to do it again. In particular this time I want to pick on two specific episodes. Firstly, episode 14, which contains what is, for me, one of the most disturbingly dark scenes I've ever seen. Watching Ozaki perform live experimentation on his undead wife was gruesome, cringeworthy (in the good way) and down right uncomfortable. That scene marks the distinct change between the show's quiet beginning and it's bloody, frenzied finale and boy, what a way to do it. My second pick is episode 20.5 which is actually one of the DVD specials. This particular episode depicts some of the manga content that was omitted. Set during theheight of the shiki-hunt, it focuses on the villagers chasing their prey into the irrigation pipes. It's dark, very dark, a bit on the gory side and just plain awesome viewing.




Everyone and their granny has been banging on about Redline this year, so when I got the chance to purchase the Blu-ray at Expo a fortnight before it was released tot he public, I jumped ta the chance. I have to admit, though it's generally not my sort of thing (racing + intergalactic spacey stuff) I did enjoy it. The visuals are pretty damn awesome and fall somewhere between horrifically ugly and too cool for school, while the movement is impeccable. Well done Madhouse. Do I think it's over-rated? If I'm honest, yeah, a little bit. But it's still well worth a watch, if only to make up your own mind about it.

(Ace's Death)


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCE! That's really the only way I could begin this bit. Having been up to speed on the manga for some time, I knew that this was coming and I was kind of dreading the moment when I'd st down to watch One Piece and Ace would meet his end. I cried at the manga and generally I tend to blub more at the anime (with the actual movement, sounds and music, it's hard to resist when the tears well up). However, for me, as much as I loved Ace, what upset me most was not his demise per-se but the profound effect it had on Luffy. Watching those scenes and the ones that followed were like watching his heart systematically crumble and fall apart. Heart-wrenching stuff, truly.

(Deer Fight)


Had it not been for the fact that I really wanted to mention this scene here, the principal in Nichijou would have ended up on my list of "Five Kick-ass Dudes" for this one skit alone. Without a doubt, the deer scene is the luminescent highlight of an otherwise underwhelming series. There's no particular story to it, quite simply, it's just the quite gentle-looking principal going at it in an all out battle for supremacy with a deer. Why is the deer there? WHy are they fighting? Where did that guy learn all his moves? No one knows and really, who cares, it's just awesome viewing!

(Episode 38)


I have an odd relationship with Gintama. I'm only around 40 odd episodes in, but despite the promises that it's utterly hilarious, I personally have never quite managed to get into it. Generally I've found it to be quite hit and miss, with some episodes bordering on the just plain dull, but then along comes a plotline that reminds me why I really like the series, and one of those was episode 38. The gang participating in a scnow sculpture contest was hilarity in a bucket, packed with stupid humour that had me giggling like an idiot the whole time.




Without a doubt, one of my favourite new series this year has been Hanasaku Iroha. It demonstrates some of the best characterisation that I've seen for some time and is a true ensemble piece. With the exception of a filler-esque mid-section I looked forward to each new episode with increasing anticipation. Plus with P.A. Works pulling out all the stops in the animation department, such exquisite eye-candy made it a genuine joy to watch.

(Beach Aerobics Scene)


Now, I love Shinryaku Ika Musume, but it's not one of those series where there's a laugh a minute. Mostly it's fairly gentle with some decent giggles from time to time. However, in the latest series there came the most brilliant section that had me full-on belly-laughing. Quite simply, Ika-chan is taking part in a beach aerobics session with elementary school kids and her tentacles keep hitting the kids. It sounds like dumb slapstick, and it is, but the comic timing is perfect, and it's played out in such a way that by the end it's like there's been some kind of child massacre. Genius. Absolute genius.

(Avalanche Scene)


What I love about watching the Detective Conan movies is that inevitable moment towards the end where the whole thing entirely detaches itself from reality in favour of a big flashy finale. Whether it's the tone deaf Conan singing into a faraway phone in order to dial the correct number, or two teenage girls successfully performing an emergency landing in a jumbo jet on a ridiculously short and narrow strip of land, the antics are ridiculous. Safe to say Quarter of Silence didn't disappoint with the supposedly seven-year-old Conan riding around on his jet propelled skate/snowboard in order to cause an avalanche and stop a rampaging flood from hitting a village. So dumb, so epic, so fun!

(Episode 12)


I ended up marathoning all of School Days in two days, not because it was any good - it wasn't - but because I wanted to know what the hell the infamous ending was and just how such an initially innocuous series could descend into something with such a reputation. I'd like to say that watching it was wholly worth it, but it was only half-so. It was worth watching so that I could witness first hand the insanity of the events, but at the end of the day, the entire series was shite.




This is a bit of a lesser-known and slight shock entry really. Legend of Koizumi is a short OVA that's basically political parody with mahjong. Big important political figures meet in neutral areas to play a game with high political stakes on the line. As an anime, it wasn't that great, and in truth, it was kind of dumb, but you know what... it stuck in my mind. Despite its inherently idiotic foundation, it's somehow incredibly epic. Hell it's so epic that the snivelling dude accompanying Koizumi can't help but piss his pants half the damn time.

(Any of the Supermarket Scenes)


Ben-To started out for me as a fun, throwaway series, but very quickly got to the point where I was bored of it and couldn't wait for it to end. However, the one part that still makes me chuckle like a maniac are the various supermarket battles. No matter how many times I see them, or how crappy the plot gets, the utter ridiculous notion of fighting bloody battles over half-priced lunch boxes just does not get old. Serious comedy at its best (just a shame about the rest of it).

25 Days of Manga: December 25th - The Final Day!

December 25th
Buster Keel (9+ Volumes Ongoing)
Status: Reading at 5 Chapters

Impressions: Out of the five entries I had for today, this was the one I was most looking forward to reading. It's fairly standard mainstream shounen, but it's good fun and easy enough to read. It gives off quite a Hiro Mashima vibe and I'm looking forward to reading more.

Rating: 4/5


Witch Hunter (11+ Vols Ongoing)
Status: Reading at 2 Volumes

Impressions: For some reasno I don't often tend to read manhwa, I'm not entirely sure why as the titles I've encountered have been wholly enjoyable, and Witch Hunter is no different. It's got some interesting themes running throughout, brother and sister on opposite sides, curses, familiars and fighting galore. Looking forward to reading mroe and I think that along with March Story I think I'll be checking out more manhwa in the future.

Rating: 4/5


Code Breaker (13+ Vols Ongoing)

Status: Dropped at 1 Volume

Impressions: This was an odd manga for me. I wasn't hugely fussed with the art style and while the basic concept is kind of intriguing, I'm just not sure. Having added so many series to my reading list this month, I've found myself getting stricter about what I keep and what I drop. While there's a part of me that wants to continue on and see where this goes, the rest of me would rather dedicate my time to other series that I have more enthusiasm for, and those that I have yet to discover.

Rating: 2.5/5


Black Bird (14+ Vols)
Status: Reading at 2 Volumes

Impressions: Youkai + Shoujo = a very happy Cassie. I was unsure about what to expect with this, but I've thoroughly enjoyed what I've read so far. There's a good mix of comedy and romance all mixed in with a supernatural edge, and I genuinely can't wait to read more. With several series that I've thoroughly enjoyed, it's going to be difficult to decide what to read first, but this will be near the top of the pile.

Rating: 4.5/5


Dance in the Vampire Bund (11+ Vols Ongoing)
Status: Dropped at 2 Volumes

Impressions: This was another of those series that I just couldn't get into, possibly aided by the fact that I dislike the main character, Mina. I can see how the concept would appeal to many, the idea of a vampire colony being built in the middle of Tokyo, it's defintiely more interesting than a more clich├ęd and traditional vampire story, but personally I wasn't too fussed. It ended up being more of a wrench to actually finish reading the two volumes and I wasn't too upset to add this to the dropped pile.

Rating: 2.5/5

Saturday, 24 December 2011

25 Days of Manga: December 21st - 24th

December 21st
Eien no With (1 Vol Complete)
Status: Read

Impressions: I'd already had this on my want to read list when someone requested it for 25 Days, so reading this kind of felt like killing two birds with one stone. At its heart, this is about the relationship between a young girl (Hitomi) and a dog (Eye); except the canine in question is a guide dog in training and is only staying with Hitomi for a year. The manga spans from the year the two spent together, in which time Eye completely changed Hitomi's life, and then skips forward to when Eye is too old to continue working and returs to live out her years with Hitomi. I won't go into too much detail, but this was a genuinely heart-wrenching manga that had me in tears by the end. I certainly enjoyed it way more than I had anticipated, and if anyone has even a passing interest in this, then I'd urge them to read it.

Rating: 4.5/5


December 22nd
Old Boy (8 Vols Complete)
Status: Reading at 1 Volume

Impressions: I've never seen the film of Oldboy, though I've wanted to for a while, so seeing this requested felt like an ideal oportunity to see the origins of the hit Korean film. Already, I'm fidning this quite engaging. a man has been imprisoned for the last decade with no idea why or by whom. Now he's been freed and he wants to find out who was behind it and get his revenge. Should be interesting to continue reading this one and as an already completed manga at least I won't have to wait for the tale's conclusion.

Rating: 4/5


December 23rd
A Bride's Story (4+ Vols Ongoing)
Status: Reading at 2 Volumes

Impressions: I love Kaoru Mori. Undoubtedly her artwork is some of the most exquisite that I've ever seen. Naturally, I was overjoyed when I saw a request for one her titles came up and I've not been disappointed. Mori's strength lies in slice of life period pieces that are romantic in nature and this series is no different, except instead of being set in Victorian England it focuses on a mid-Asian tribe near the Casian Sea. I love this type of manga and I genuinely had to restrain myself from devouring the rest of what's available so that I could continue on with the rest of the titles.

Rating: 4.5/5


December 24th
Coo no Sekai (2 Vols Complete)
Status: Read

Impressions: This manga was... odd. Not bad, but a bit odd. The story follows Renei, a young girl just entering middle school who continues to mourn for her beloved, deceased brother. The night before her entrance ceremony, Renei falls asleep and ends up in a bizarre dream world where she meets her dead brother, except he calls himself Coo and has no idea who she is. The first volume covers her travelling this bizarre land full of odd customs and fantastical creatures as she tries to find her way home, except it's not so simple as that. The world of Coo, is more than it seems (all of which becomes clearer in the second installment), and Renei's time there is more about her learning more about her brother, acceptiing his death andgenerally growing up. It's definitely an interesting read and if you like the idea of a sort of coming of age tale with a fantastical twist, then it's worth reading this.

Rating: 3.5/5


7 Billion Needles (4 Vols Complete)
Status: Reading at 1 Volume

Impressions: In an odd sort of way, I don't really know what to say about this. I'm enjoying it, I know that much. The concept is rather intriguing and I'm looking forward to see where it goes. Shame that the final volume isn't yet scanlated.

Rating: 3.5/5


Acid Town  (3+ Vols Ongoing)

Status: Stalled at 16 Chapters

Impressions: This was a different sort of shounen-ai series than I've ever read before, mainly because the boy love aspect isn't quite so prevalent. More than anything I'm intrigued by the storyline. There's plenty of intrigue, mafia, and troubled pasts. Looking forward to seeing where it all goes, but at the moment the boy love part seems a bit... tacked on. Hopefully it won't take over, but if it does take centre stage a bit more, it really should be a natural inclusion.

Rating: 3.5/5


Majo (2 Vols Complete)
Status: Read

Impressions: Majo is a two-volume manga consisting of several separate stories about witches during a period where the world has converted to mainstream religion and has abandoned the old ways of magic. It's an interesting read and if one of the tales doesn't tickle your fancy, then the others may well do. Though the overall tone of the manga is generally the sort of thing that I tend to like, this manga never quite gelled with me. I enjoyed parts of it, but I wasn't bowled over.

Rating: 3/5


Drifters (2+ Vols Onoing)
Status: Dropped at 1 Volume

Impressions: This was an odd sort of manga. Take a whole bunch of historical figures and plonk them in some alternate world with elves, magic and all sorts of other stuff. Can you tell I wasn't all that fussed about this? It wasn't horrible, but the story throws a whole heap of things at you all at once and I struggled to get into it. Won't particularly miss reading this one.

Rating: 2.5/5


Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas (25 Vols Complete)
Status: Dropped at 2 Volumes

Impressions: When the request for this came in, it was bigged-up as an epic tale. Unfortunately, I just never quite got into this. In the end I just read what I needed to in order to get a decent synopsis out of it. It wasn't a terrible manga, I could see certain aspects that would make for a compelling story, but the whole thing just didn't strike the right chord with me.

Rating: 2.5/5


Vagabond (33+ Vols Ongoing)
Status: Reading at 4 Volumes

Impressions: I wasn't sure what to expect with this manga. I purposely left it til last as there was a chance that I'd have to read more than the standard volume or two in order to get a decent synopsis. If I'm brutally honest, I didn't expect to like it. Luckily, this was another of those occasions where I was pleasantly surprised. While explicit violence isn't normally my thing, I can't explain, but in this case I kind of liked it. Luckily, with it being a fairly long series, I have plenty more to read, and I can't wait to get stuck in to it!

Rating: 4/5

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me...

Eleven Weeks of D'AWWW-ness
Ten Heaping Cow Turds
Nine Stop-Motion Wonders
Eight Slappable Arseholes
Seven Crazy Hairdos
Six Splendid Sequels
Fiiiiiive Kick-Asssssss Duuuuuuudes
Four Mindf**k Minutes
Three Shounen Timeskips
Two Crazy Whores
And A Pair of Giant Matrix Boooooobiiiiiiieeeessss!

Summer 2011 was a little on the meh side with very few series I wanted to pick up, and most of those that I did watch didn't particularly overwhelm. However, there was one series that managed to not only impress, but exceed all expectationsand that was Usagi Drop.



While I didn't watch week-by-week I know that if I had, I'd have been chomping at the bit for the next episode. The relationship between Daikichi and Rin was so cute and fun to watch and it struck hte perfect balance between comedy and drama. I've already praised this series to the hills in an official review so I won't bang on now. Needless to say it was one of the most adorable series that I've ever seen and certainly another shining reason why I gravitate to the noitaminA anime each and every time.

Friday, 23 December 2011

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me...

Ten Heaping Cow Turds
Nine Stop-Motion Wonders
Eight Slappable Arseholes
Seven Crazy Hairdos
Six Splendid Sequels
Fiiiiiive Kick-Asssssss Duuuuuuudes
Four Mindf**k Minutes
Three Shounen Timeskips
Two Crazy Whores
And A Pair of Giant Matrix Boooooobiiiiiiieeeessss!

I hate Yoji Kuri.

Just thought I'd start with a simple four word sentence that can sum up pretty much this entire post. I've never been a huge fan of abstract arty farty short films that apparently have some kind of deep meaning but look like someone just threw a bunch of random shit together. I spent three years of my life at art college and saw many a pretentious art film, but I don't think I've ever seen a catalogue of work that so resembles a steaming pile of cow dung as Yoji Kuri's. I concede that I could appreciate a couple of his films from a stylistic point of view (which is why Stamp Fantasia is not on the heaping cow turd list), but the rest are utter shite. Unfortunately I still have a couple more to watch at some point, but I'm saving that "pleasure" for when I'm drunk or get too pissed off at seeing the Yoji Kuri folder on my hard drive.



Yoji Kuri hates women. Now, I'm not much of a feminist, but even I have my limits. Ai portrays a woman confessing to a guy and him running for the hills. But instead of leaving it at that, the woman then goes all out to snag her man like some relentless bunny-boiler with zero redeeming features. If it's meant to be funny, it fails.



Random images of random shit. Pretention for pretentions sake. Basically, this sums up everything I HATE about arty farty film shit.



This is one of Kuri's more "comic" offerings that focuses on the consequences of various actions. Of course there's plenty of Kuri's trademark woman hating thrown in for good measure.



Oh look, a woman with her husband on a leash! Yep, plenty more hating on those with the boobies in this look at the more animal-like tendencies of humans.




Did I already mention that he really hates women? Oh I did, well it should come as no surprise then that this is yet another film about a poor guy being hounded by a stalker-like woman. Misogynistic prick.



Random sketch comedy Yuri Koji style - meaning that it's bloody odd and not all that funny.



Oh look, a train! Yeah, that's basically about it. The entire three minutes of this film simply shows a train chugging along some naff abstract landscapes. Whoop-de-fucking-do.



I have to commend the mix of cel animation and what I can only describe as live action stop motion, since it is an interesting concept, but that's as far as it goes.



Really random shit happens in a room. It's freaking dull. The end.



The line has a mind of it's own and weird crap happens all around it. Yeah, that's about it.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me...

Nine Stop-Motion Wonders
Eight Slappable Arseholes
Seven Crazy Hairdos
Six Splendid Sequels
Fiiiiiive Kick-Asssssss Duuuuuuudes
Four Mindf**k Minutes
Three Shounen Timeskips
Two Crazy Whores
And A Pair of Giant Matrix Boooooobiiiiiiieeeessss!

Early this year I discovered the work of Kihachiro Kawamoto. Now out of all the methods of animating out there my favourite above all else is stop motion, so when I found all these stop motion films I had myself a nerdgasm! With the exception of a handful of titles, Kawamoto's work just oozes traditional Japanese storytelling, which is a big part of what I love about it. Another thing I like is how creepy is all feels. Most of his work is created using traditional puppets, and puppets can be damn creepy!



This is one of the more comical offerings from Kawamoto, if I'm brutally honest, I just love the drunk monk.



A tale of obsessive love gone about as bad as it could go. As much as it does the woman no favours whatsoever, I couldn't help but enjoy it.



This film had some really nice filming techniques and when looking at the age of it, I'm astounded at how incredible the animation is. This is possibly one of the more inherently Japanese of his films, and with the tragic tale it almost gives off a sort of... Kabuki theatre vibe.



You know what, I can't quite put my finger on why I loved this particular film so much, I just did. It just felt like a wholly traditional tale of a young archer training to become the world's greatest. With beautiful animation to boot, I couldn't really complain.



Out of all of Kawamoto's films, this is possibly the one that creeped me out the most, mainly because of the old woman as seen above. Sorry, but that is a face that's ready to haunt nightmares.



Self Portrait is a short little film about a guy making a clay model, which then turns into some messed up demon thing. Not a bad little film, certainly better than the Tezuka short of the same name.



Unlike Kawamoto's other films, this is much longer. At sixty nine minutes in length, making this must have been a labour of love. Plot wise it certainly wasn't my favourite and I confess to getting a little bored throughout, but this is certainly a bloody good example of stop motion animation.



This is a somewhat different sort of take on the tale of Sleeping Beauty. Mainly, I was impressed with the animation in this, the actual plotline was a bit odd to be honest.



As a film, I wasn't actually all that keen on Kenju Giga. It possibly didn't help that it was all in French so I only had a basic understanding of it, but even if it were in English, I doubt I'd have liked it. However, animation wise I still couldn't help but be impressed.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me...

Eight Slappable Arseholes
Seven Crazy Hairdos
Six Splendid Sequels
Fiiiiiive Kick-Asssssss Duuuuuuudes
Four Mindf**k Minutes
Three Shounen Timeskips
Two Crazy Whores
And A Pair of Giant Matrix Boooooobiiiiiiieeeessss!

This year, as has been the case in many years, I have encountered many characters that have irritated, angered and full on enraged me. Some have been previous additions to the list of hate that have continued to piss me off, while others are new additions worthy of my most potent vitrol.


This guy is one of Anime-Planet's most hated characters, and with good reason. Makoto is a dick. And not just any dick, a proper pustule-coated, disease-ridden dick. Among his many "qualities" the guy is selfish, a coward, a serial cheater, manipulative and wholly unreliable manwhore.


I think out of all the School Days asshats, Sekai pisses me off the most. Sure, Makoto should be castrated for his behaviour, but to a degree he was at least driven by his cock, Sekai was conscious of what she was doing at (nearly) every step of the way. She gives girls a bad name.


From the minute I saw Megumi, I hated her. Actually, that's not true. When I saw her mincing around I had a feeling I'd dislike her. As soon as she opened her mouth, I knew I hated her. She's a vengeful, selfish, materialistic tart and I was damn pleased she died at the end of the first episode - less so when she freaking came back from the dead though.



Masao. What a simpering git! He's selfish and believes that he should be adored and receive adulation and attention for being the poor put upon teenager. This alone is enough to make me dislike him, but it's his snivelling and wimpish demeanour that really takes the biscuit. I do admit to cheering at his end in the manga.



While everyone was wetting themselves with how awesome Nichijou was this year, I was merely sitting back going... "eh". It took me a very long time to get into the series, and I eventually figured out one of my biggest problems with it: I hate Yuuko with a passion. She annoys the hell out of me, and while most boke characters tend to have some kind of charm about them, Yuuko doesn't, she's just an annoying attention whore. Sure, I like seeing her get the short, dog-shit covered end of the stick at times, but to be perfectly honest, it's much better when she isn't on screen at all. Hakase grew on me, Yuuko didn't.



Yeah, yeah, I know, "how can you hate a little kid?" Well, quite easily. Sure, when she's cute she's adorable, but most of the time, Fumi is a right little bitch. She's the perfect example of everything I hate about certain types of women. She's just a kid and yet all she cares about is marrying a RICH guy, she isn't interested if they can't buy her shiny, expensive things. Add to that her manipulative streak and frequent use of crocodile tears and I find myself wanting to smack her round the head so hard that she'll be breathing out her arse for years to come. Jealous, selfish, money-grabbing little cow.



I didn't like Iwase much when she briefly appeared in the first season of Bakuman. I thought she was an uptight bitch who should have stuck that pole up another hole to loosen her up a bit. However, when she turned up again in the manga she ventured into full-on irksome bitch mode.



Oddly enough, this guy doesn't earn quite as much of my hatred as the others on this list, mainly because he's not as prominent as some of the other characters. However, that doesn't change the fact that he's an evil shitbag who deserves to die a horrible, gruesome death.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

25 Days of Manga: December 16th - 20th

December 16th
All Rounder Meguru (7+ Vols Ongoing)
Status: Reading at 2 Volumes

Impressions: Another day, nother mixed martial arts manga. When I started reading this, I couldn't help but compare it to Teppuu since I'd not long read that. Generally I think I'm enjoying this a little more than the aforementioned series, largely because Meguru is a far more amiable protagonist than Natsuo. All Rounder Meguru is an easy read, and there are already the signs that he has some kind of inherently amazing ability despite his seeming lack of talent. I can't necessarily see this becoming one of my all-time favourites, but it's certainly a decent read and worth continuing with.

Rating: 3.5/5


December 17th
Omoide Emanon (1 Vol Complete)
Status: Read

Impressions: I had absolutely zero idea what to expect with this manga and I was quite pleased with what I found. The basic premise is that a student meets a mysterious girl on a boat trip back home and she reveals that she has an inherited memory that's passed down her bloodline, meaning that she can remember everything that has ever happened since the beginning of the world. Omoide Emanon makes you question the merits and pitfalls of having a three billion year old memory and it's that ability to make you think that I liked the most about it. As much as I likea nice easy read that I can simply sit back and enjoy, when I encounter manga that can provide more mental stimulation, I can't help but appreciate it.

Rating: 4/5


December 18th
Dengeki Daisy (9+ Vols Ongoing)
Status: Reading at 1 Volume

Impressions: Another decent dose of shoujo that's just as detached from reality as so many others I've encountered. A girl's brother dies leaving her with no family and only a cellphone connected to the mysterious "Daisy" who will always be there to help her out. Now, I'm sorry but in that situation I'm buggered if I'd trust some complete stranger who only communicates through text messages. But of course our naive protagonist, Teru, not only trusts this guy implicitly but has seemingly fallen in love with him. Naturally, Dengeki Daisy is infused with the standard sorts of shoujo humour and a good old hate becoming love relationship between Teru and cranky janitor Tasuku who just so happens to be the illusive Daisy. But you know what, I kind of don't care that it's unrealistic because I enjoy reading it, and really, that's what manga is all about.

Rating: 4/5


December 19th
Tough (31+ Vols Ongoing)
Status: Stalled at 1 Volume

Impressions: I seem to have had a fair number of manga requests that are based around mixed martial arts and considering that my only experience of this type of manga so far has bee History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi, it's been a bit of an eye-opener. So far, this is definitely the most brutal of the MMA manga I've experienced, and surprisingly, I'm rather enjoying it. Certainly, 25 Days has opened my eyes to genres that I'd not normally have bothered with, and its definitely teaching me more about my tastes in manga.

Rating: 3.5/5


Bonus: Kokou Tekken-den Tough (42 Vols Complete)
Status: Stalled at 1 Volume

Impressions: Since I had the requet for Tough, I thought I may as well fill in the rest of the franchise. This part is actually the prequel and focuses on Kiichi when he was younger, and boy, is the tone different. Granted I'm not too far in, but where Tough is darker and all together more serious, Kokou Tekken-den Tough has more humour, and crude humour at that. The fights still have the same sort of vibe, though so far they're not as brutal.I'm intrigued to read on a little more, but this part of the franchise seems to have less direction than its successor.

Rating: 3/5


Bonus: Oton (2+ Vols Ongoing)

Status: Stalled at 1 Volume

Impressions: This is possibly the most bizarre of the Tough franchise. This part focuses on Kiichi's father and is an episodic (or chaptersodic) manga that follows the day-to-day life of Seiko as he uses his immense strength to help people. It's kind of ridiculous to be honest and at times stupidly far-fetched. In chapter one the guy not only trains himself to pluck a speeding bullet out of thin air, but he also cures a paralysed man through a hand massage. Seriously. Since there are currently only two volumes I will likely read the other one, and decide what to do after that. I oddly like it's outlandish stories, but the sensible part of me thinks I should quit while I'm ahead.

Rating: 3.5/5


December 20th
Dorohedoro (15+ Vols Ongoing)
Status: Reading at 1 Volume

Impressions: I was a litle anxious starting this one as I wasn't sure it was going to be my cup of tea, but I can say with certainty that I like Doroheodoro. It's got fantasy, magic, curses, and a guy with a lizard's head. But it's not a fluffy sort of series by any stretch of the imagination, in fact it's pretty damn dark. Humans live in a shithole city and are live experiments for wizards who do all sorts of messed up crap to people, such as completely disfiguing their faces, turning them into insects and all sorts. Plus there's a fair amount of brutality. The main character has to bit the heads of magicians to find the one who cursed him, and if they're not the one he kills them in some pretty vicious ways. Mixed in with this is the odd little bit of humour that makes the whole thing go down smoothly. Definitely looking forward to continuing this one.

Rating: 4/5

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me...

Seven Crazy Hairdos
Six Splendid Sequels
Fiiiiiive Kick-Asssssss Duuuuuuudes
Four Mindf**k Minutes
Three Shounen Timeskips
Two Crazy Whores
And A Pair of Giant Matrix Boooooobiiiiiiieeeessss!

While watching Shiki one of the main things that struck me were the crazy-ass hairstyles of half of the cast! But while I oddly liked them in the manga, the anime just looked wrong, mainly die to lack of movement or exceptionally dodgy movement. Anyway, with such a variety of oddball hairstyles, I just had to pick seven for today's post.



What happens when a ponytail gets rebellious and goes on a rampage? Well, this apparently.


Those are some pretty serious bangs for a guy. No doubt they're the result of hours of styling in the morning.




Not to be outdone by Natsuno's father, Seishirou's hair seems to have more width than anything else.


There's one scene in the early episodes where Sunako is in a church with Muroi and she starts spinning around. Her hair genuinely worries me in that scene. I half expect it to be revealed that she's some kind of Medusa.



Ever been to the shop and found they've run out of the hairspray you want? Chances are this tarty bint has probably bought out the whole shop's supply. There must be some pretty hefty product in her barnet to get it so stiff.



Seriously, what brand of hairspray do these women use?! It must surely be industrial strength.




This guy may be bald, but he deserves some kind of award for the epic nature of his facial hair. Beard, mustache and eyebrows, each part of this guy's facial topiary is freaking wild. Congratulations Tomio, you are the King of Facial Hair!