Tag Archives: manga

Review: Dangan Ronpa the Animation

Featured image

Kids killing kids? A crazy talking bear that wants you to feel… Disbear? Well count me in. Now if you didn’t know, a game series called Dangan Ronpa (Trigger Happy Havoc, Goodbye Despair, etc.), that soon got a first game anime adaptation. Trigger Happy Havoc was turned into an animated series that took what was probably 30 hours of gameplay into 12 episode of very sort of cardboard cutout characters. The anime was produced by Lerche and directed by Seiji Kishi, who is perhaps best known for his other game to anime adaptation Persona 4.

So the basic story plot is that Naegi Makoto has been accepted to Hope’s Peak Academy, where only those of Super Duper High school Level citizens may go, and he has been accepted under Super Duper High school Level Luckster. There you can truly succeed, but only if you’re a SDHL When he goes to the school entrance he enters and then promptly passes out. When he awakens he is within a classroom and told to go to the school auditorium where he is greeted with the irritated and equally confused faces of his classmates. They are then confronted by a talking stuffed bear, Monokuma, who wants them to proceed into a life of mutual killing and despair. At first all the students disagree and refuse to partake, but slowly murder begins to stain the halls of Hope’s Peak.

The characters we meet are all with a Super Duper title that makes them different from the others, from Super Duper High school Heir to S.D.H.L. Oracle. This makes for an interesting dynamic because all have vastly different backgrounds that sort of all get left out in the anime comparatively to the game. So I’m only going to focus on three of the characters, two protagonists, a jerk, and our antagonist.

First of is Naegi Makoto, SDHL Lucky student. He describes himself as pretty average and he pretty much is. He has a good heart and wants to get to know the people he’s stuck with, as well as conquer over despair. Thought the show he remains a vigilant reminder that there is still good within the ruined world. Nagei also serves to solve a majority of the cases as he’s the only one who ‘connects’ with everyone and is able to see all sides of things.

Kyoko Kirigiri is our SDHL ????. Yes, I know, what does that mean? Well, it’s a wait and find out tactic that the writers used for us to care for our calm collected character. She is mysterious and doesn’t even recall what her talent is, but she knows she has one. Kirigiri trusts Naegi to make the right choice, often realizing that he is solving the cases. She also is attempting to unravel the mystery behind Hope’s Peak and why they’ve all been trapped there.

Next is Byakuya Togami, SDHL Heir, who will take over the Togami business and essentially run the world. He literally is a huge jerk to everyone because they’re like peasants to him. He’s sort of just there to be a douche and being a minor support for Naegi, who he thinks will be of use to him later on. I’m only including him because… Well every anime needs a sort of mean and pointless character. He derails a lot to be like ‘look at me and my money’ but also helps in the possible future for the rest of the cast.

Then finally there’s Monokuma! Our antagonist who wants to bring despair to every living creature and also bring about the tragedy or The Worst, Most Despair-Inducing Incident in the History of Mankind. It’s insinuated that this incident would cause despair to ravage the land. He acts as the principle of Hope’s Peak and hopes to bring the students mutual life of killings to a start. He makes sure that all the students follow the rules as well as sets up bribes to get what he wants started.

The animation in comparison to the game is, well I suppose, and upgrade? There isn’t any actual animation as they only have sort of cardboard cut outs of the characters, so it was nice to see them move fluidly in the anime. While it does lose a lot of the harsher lines that the game had in terms of design for each individual character it isn’t that bothersome either? Honestly, it’s a clean animation that doesn’t really amaze or detract from the source material. There is also the still strange choice to this day from both game and animation, which is making all of the blood a very annoying pink, which in terms of like censorship it’d make some sense, but it just felt hokey and out of place to me as a viewer.

Sound wise considering there is no current dub of the animation the sub is actually quite good. All the Japanese voice actors returned for the animation and that includes Megumi Ogata, best known for her role as Shinji Ikari in Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Akira Ishida, best known for Kaworu Nagisa from NGE as well. The music was composed by Masafumi Takada, best known for his work in the video game No More Heroes. The opening theme is called Never Say Never by TKDzZb and is a pretty alright track but not really outstanding. There are currently dubs of the first two games released for the PS Vita, if you’d prefer to go to the source game material, and it’s alright. The dubbed games has mostly newcomers with far and few veterans. Still the dub is possibly a good place to start if the game is more what you’d want to try.

While this anime was a pretty popular subject little less than a year ago, it’s a pretty okay show. It’s not outstanding and doesn’t really breakdown a lot of barriers or do anything necessarily new in terms of storytelling or animation, but it doesn’t go overboard and alienate the viewers. I found it to be a pretty fun anime to pass the time with, but overall still preferred the games in term of overall content. It’s worth a watch if you’re just looking to have a pretty easy going time. I may have a different reaction to some of the topics within the anime, so it may not be for everyone, but I found it to be pretty approachable. We are also still receiving sequels to the game which currently means there will be more content out, as well as possibly more anime adaptions.

Dangan Ronpa: 6.5/10

Dark Fantasy Manga Series Requiem of the Rose King Debuts in March from Viz

VIZ Media delivers an engrossing new series from one of the most exciting voices in contemporary manga with the launch of Requiem of the Rose King on March 10th.

Inspired by an early draft of William Shakespeare’s Richard III, one of literature’s most famous and polarizing political dramas, Requiem of the Rose King was created by Aya Kanno, widely known for her previous manga series Blank Slate and OtomenRequiem of the Rose King is rated ‘T’ for Teens and will carry a print MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. Future volumes of the continuing series are scheduled to be published domestically twice a year.

In the series, Richard, the ambitious third son of the House of York, is a tortured soul who believes he is damned from birth to eternal darkness. But is it truly fate that sets him on the path to personal destruction? Or his own tormented longings? Aya Kanno’s dark fantasy finds the man who could be king standing between worlds, between classes, between good and evil.

In the opening volume, set in medieval England during the age of the Wars of the Roses, a fierce battle rages between the House of York and the House of Lancaster. Young Richard of the House of York is determined that his family will ascend the throne…but he’s hiding a secret that could destroy everything he desires.


Claymore and Rosario + Vampire Get Box Sets

VIZ Media has released some details about two substantial forthcoming manga releases set for the Fourth Quarter that feature new complete series box sets for Claymore and Rosario + Vampire.

Both sets will be published under the Shonen Jump Advanced imprint and will arrive in time for the start of the 2015 Holiday shopping season. The Claymore complete series box set releases in October and will include Volumes 1-27 of creator Norihiro Yagi’s epic medieval action saga. Claymore is a riveting, multi-arc, character-driven action story that has been a New York Times manga bestseller. The Rosario + Vampire set debuts in November and will contain BOTH “seasons” of creator Akihisa Ikeda’s acclaimed high school vampire drama in a special 24-volume manga box set edition. Both releases also will include a collectable premium.


Rated “T+” for Older Teens · MSRP: $214.99 U.S. / $249.99 CAN · Available October 2015   

This box set contains Volumes 1-27, along with a booklet of cover images never before released in North America. In a world where monsters called Yoma prey on humans and live among them in disguise, humanity’s only hope is a new breed of warrior known as Claymores. Half human, half monster, these silver-eyed slayers possess supernatural strength but are condemned to fight their savage impulses or lose their humanity completely.


Rated “T+” for Older Teens · MSRP: 185.99 U.S. / $214.99 CAN · Available November 2015   

This box set contains the original ROSARIO + VAMPIRE and the sequel series  ROSARIO + VAMPIRE SEASON II for a total of 24 volumes, and also includes an exclusive full-color mini-comic. Average human teenage boy Tsukune accidentally enrolls at a boarding school for monsters—no, not jocks and popular kids, but bona fide werewolves, witches, and unnameables out of his wildest nightmares! On the plus side, all the girls have a monster crush on him. On the negative side, all the boys are so jealous they want to kill him! And so do the girls he spurns because he only has eyes for one of them—the far-from-average vampire Moka. On the plus side, Moka only has glowing red eyes for Tsukune. On the O-negative side, she also has a burning, unquenchable thirst for his blood

Claymore-GN01-sm Rosario+Vampire-GN01-sm

An Icon Returns in Astro Boy Omnibus Volume 1

In September, there’s a whole new way to enjoy Osamu Tezuka’s beloved Astro Boy: in omnibus form!

Boasting nearly seven hundred pages of content for only $19.99, Dark Horse ComicsAstro Boy Omnibus Volume 1 features Tezuka’s most popular and influential work, detailing Astro Boy’s jet-powered, superstrong, evil-bashing adventures. Exciting, whimsical, and touching, Astro Boy brings back a classic era of comics and animation, featuring tales that readers both young and old will enjoy.

Collecting rare and out-of-print material, the oversized Astro Boy omnibus collection is the first in a series that brings back Tezuka’s beloved character for a whole new generation to enjoy.

Astro Boy Omnibus Vol. 1

VIZ Media Acquires My Hero Academia

MyHeroAcademia-Vol01-KeyArtVIZ Media has announced the acquisition of its newest title with the addition of My Hero Academia to its extensive manga publishing catalog.

My Hero Academia is a new breakout hit by Kohei Horikoshi, the creator of  Barrage (also published by VIZ Media). His new series is rated ‘T’ for Teens and will launch in North America in August in print and also digitally across all territories serviced by VIZManga.com and the VIZ MANGA App. The title also will be available internationally from select VIZ Media content partners’ proprietary digital platforms.

My Hero Academia is presently serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, which is published in Japan by VIZ Media parent company, Shueisha, Inc. The ongoing series also appears in the latest digital English editions of Weekly Shonen Jump, which is published by VIZ Media on the same day as the Japanese counterpart with simultaneous, multi-territory global release.

What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested extraordinary superpowers called “Quirks” at age four? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Becoming a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? U.A. High’s Hero Program of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?

Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn’t got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all gives him a chance to change his destiny…



Ultraman Comes to Viz Media

VIZMedia-RectLogo-NoTMVIZ Media brings the action-filled adventures of one of Japan’s greatest superheroes to English readers later this summer as it announces the acquisition of the Ultraman manga (graphic novel) series.

Ultraman depicts a new story inspired by the original classic Japanese superhero TV show that ran in the late 1960s. The Ultraman manga series was created by Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi and launches in print on August 18th under the VIZ Signature imprint. In Japan, the series currently appears in Hero’s magazine.

Decades ago, a being known as the Giant of Light joined Shin Hayata of the Scientific Special Search Party to save Earth from an invasion of terrifying monsters known as Kaiju. Now, many years later, those dark days are fading into memory, and the world is at peace. But in the shadows a new threat is growing, a danger that can only be faced by a new kind of hero – a new kind of ULTRAMAN… Shinjiro is an ordinary teenager, but his father is the legendary Shin Hayata. When he learns that his father passed on the “Ultraman Factor” to him, and that he possesses incredible powers, nothing will ever be the same again.

For more than 40 years, Ultraman has been Japan’s quintessential sci-fi superhero and has enjoyed massive popularity around the world.



Viz Media Expands their Shojo Manga Rosters with 2 New Series

ShojoBeat-Logo-smVIZ Media has expanded its shojo manga (graphic novel) catalog with the announcement two new titles – Idol Dreams, by famed creator Arina Tanemura, and QQ SWEEPER, by creator Kyousuke Motomi.

Both of the new series will be published under the company’s Shojo Beat imprint and will launch in print and also digitally via VIZManga.com and the VIZ MANGA App. The titles also will be available from select VIZ Media content partners’ digital platforms. QQ Sweeper is set to debut in October; Idol Dreams will launch in November.


Rated ‘T’ for Teens

MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN · Debuting November 2015

At age 31, office worker Chikage Deguchi feels she missed her chances at love and success. When word gets out that she’s a virgin, Chikage is humiliated and wishes she could turn back time to when she was still young and popular. She takes an experimental drug that changes her appearance back to when she was 15. Now Chikage is determined to pursue everything she missed out on all those years ago – including becoming a star!

Creator Arina Tanemura began her manga career in 1996 when her short stories debuted in Ribon magazine. She gained fame with the 1997 publication of I•O•N, and ever since her debut Tanemura has been a major force in shojo manga with popular series such as Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, TIME STRANGER KYOKO, FULL MOON, and THE GENTLEMEN’S ALLIANCE. Both Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne and FULL MOON were adapted into popular anime TV series. I•O•N, TIME STRANGER KYOKO, FULL MOON and THE GENTLEMEN’S ALLIANCE are published in English by VIZ Media.


Rated ‘T’ for Teens

MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN · Debuting October 2015

Kyutaro Horikita, the tall, dark and handsome cleaning expert of Kurokado High, is about to meet a sleeping maiden at the school: transfer student Fumi Nishioka! Fumi’s going to learn how to rid the school of nasty spirits with Kyutaro’s help, and her heart will surprisingly be “cleansed” too…! In the old campus of their school, a mysterious room has a door that beckons Fumi, even though she shouldn’t even be able to see it! Kyutaro goes in after her, but will he be able to save her before she gets devoured by otherworldly creatures?

Manga creator Kyousuke Motomi debuted in the Japanese shojo manga anthology, Deluxe Betsucomi with Hetakuso Kyupiddo (No-Good Cupid) in 2002. She is the creator of Otokomae! Biizu Kurabu (Handsome! Beads Club) as well as the popular series, DENGEKI DAISY and BEAST MASTER (both are published in English by VIZ Media).

VIZ Media Debuts Yu-Gi-Oh! Omnibus Manga Editions

YuGiOh_Omni01_3DVIZ Media triples its dueling power as it announces the launch of Kazuki Takahashi’s Yu-Gi-Oh! manga series in a new 3-in-1 omnibus on February 3rd.

Published under the Shonen Jump imprint, Yu-Gi-Oh! 3-in-1, Vol. 1 is rated ‘T’ for Teens and will carry an MSRP of $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN. It is the latest title to join VIZ Media’s extensive roster of 3-in-1 omnibus releases for some of manga’s greatest series. Future Yu-Gi-Oh! 3-in-1 editions will cover the entire 38-volume series and will be published quarterly for a total of 13 volumes.

Tenth-grader Yugi always had his head in some game – until he solved the Millennium Puzzle, an Egyptian artifact containing the spirit of a master gambler from the age of the pharaohs! Possessed by the puzzle, Yugi becomes Yu-Gi-Oh, the King of Games, and challenges evildoers to the Shadow Games…weird games with high stakes and high risks!

The games begin in the opening Yu-Gi-Oh! omnibus volume! Meet Seto Kaiba, master of the world’s most dangerous collectible card game. When Kaiba discovers that Yugi’s grandfather owns the incredibly rare “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” card, he will stop at nothing to get it…even if he has to duel with Yugi’s dark alter ego Yu-Gi-Oh! Then, out of the sands of Egypt, the mystic Shadi has come to test Yugi’s powers, which will give Yugi his greatest challenge yet. If he loses, his best friends will die!

Around the Tubes

The long weekend is almost here! Hope everyone has a good one.

Around the Tubes

Kotaku – ‘Swatter’ Gets Five Years Jailtime – Good.

The Beat – Marvel: Heed the cry—we need a new swimsuit special – Who wants to see this happen?

Kotaku – Manga Offers Smart Commentary on Modern Video Games – Might need to check this out.

The Outhousers – Not Satire: Jason Aaron to Write Comic Starring Thor’s Hammer – Well ok then.


Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Astro City #19

Comic Vine – Captain Marvel #11

Comics Alliance – Conan/Red Sonja #1

The Beat – Fables: The Wolf Among Us #1

CBR – Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen

Talking Comics – Star Wars #1

VIZ Media Acquires Junji Ito’s Fragments of Horror

VIZSignature-LogoVIZ Media expands its catalog of horror manga (graphic novel) titles with the acquisition of Junji Ito’s Fragments of Horror.

The title marks the creator’s return to the horror following an eight-year break from the genre, and it will receive a deluxe hardcover treatment for the North American release. Fragments of Horror will debut in the Summer of 2015 under the company’s VIZ Signature imprint, and is rated ‘T+’.

Fragments of Horror is the brand-new collection of delightfully macabre tales from the celebrated master of Japanese horror. An old wooden mansion that turns on its inhabitants. A dissection class with a most unusual subject. A funeral where the dead are definitely not laid to rest. Ranging from the terrifying to the comedic, from the erotic to the loathsome, these stories showcase Junji Ito’s long-awaited return to the world of horror.

« Older Entries