Tag Archives: manga

A New Winx Club Omnibus from Perfect Square

WinxClub_MagicCollection_3DVIZ Media brings the exciting fairy adventures of Winx Club to readers this month with Winx Club: Magic Collection, a brand new omnibus edition scheduled for release on September 16th that bundles all 9 full-color volumes of the hit original graphic novel series.

Winx Club: Magic Collection runs more than 800 full-color pages and will be published under VIZ Media’s Perfect Square imprint, is rated ‘A’ for All Ages, and will carry an MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / CAN.

Winx Club is based on the smash hit property created by Iginio Straffi and inspired by the animated series that is widely seen on Nickelodeon Junior. The graphic novels follow the magical adventures of best friends – Bloom, Stella, Flora, Musa, Tecna and Aisha – who attend Alfea, a school for fairies in the amazing dimension of Magix. With powers drawn from sunlight, science, music, nature and flame, the girls learn together even as they regularly battle their rivals, a trio of witches known as The Trix.

Before Bloom became part of the Winx Club, she was living a normal teenager’s life. All that changed one day when she discovered she’s actually got magical powers! Between enrolling in Alfea School for Fairies and learning to control her newfound powers, Bloom’s life is anything but ordinary now. Luckily, she’s got special fairy friends who encourage and support her – and help fight against wicked villains!

Iginio Straffi is the founder and CEO of Rainbow Group, as well as creator of its most famous property, the Winx Club. Born and raised in Italy, Straffi initially began as a comic book artist for Italian publishers Comics Art and later Sergio Bonelli Editore, where he worked on the Nick Raider series. At the age of 27, he moved to France to work on production and storyboarding and went on to direct several animated TV series and feature films. Following that, he returned to Italy and founded the Rainbow Group animation studio. Winx Club debuted in 2004 and became a worldwide success, now broadcast in over 130 countries and available in all major markets in the U.S. on the Nickelodeon network.

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Time Killers Manga Collection by the Creator of Blue Exorcist, Out Now!

VIZ Media, has delivered a noteworthy new manga title to fans with the release of Kazue Kato’s Time Killers. The manga was released on September 2nd.

The single-volume standalone collection of manga shorts from the creator of the bestselling Blue Exorcist manga series is published under the Shonen Jump imprint, is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens, and carries an MSRP of $14.99 U.S. / $17.99 CAN. Time Killers also features 13 pages of full-color artwork as well as a fold-out, full-color gatefold poster.

A digital version of Time Killers was launched digitally on September 2nd for $10.99 (USD/CAN) from VIZManga.com and through the VIZ MANGA App for the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, Android-powered smart phones, as well as through the store fronts for comiXology, Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay.

Explore fantastic realms of imagination in this stunning collection of short stories by Kazue Kato. With her amazing and distinctive art leaping from the page, Time Killers includes Kato’s first work, Boku to Usagi (Me and the Rabbit), and also features the stories and character designs that would become her breakthrough series, Blue Exorcist. Take off on a flight of fantasy with Time Killers!

Manga creator, writer and illustrator Kazue Kato was born in Tokyo in 1980. In 2000, at the age of 19, she won the prestigious Tezuka Award for her work Boku to Usagi (Me and the Rabbit), which was published in Akamaru Jump. From 2005 to 2006 her series Robo to Usakichi, a sci-fi adventure featuring a rabbit (again!), was published in the monthly magazine Shonen Sirius (Kodansha). Her latest series, BLUE EXORCIST, began serialization in Japan Jump Square magazine in April of 2009 and is also published in North America by VIZ Media.


Viz Media Announces New Pokemon Manga Box Sets

VIZ Media delivers Pokemon fun and adventure to fans and readers of all ages as it prepares to release a pair of new manga box sets early next month along with a third box set scheduled to debut in early October.

The Pokemon Adventures Ruby & Sapphire Box Set and the Pokemon Black and White Box Set 2 are scheduled for release on September 2nd under the company’s Perfect Square imprint. A new Pokemon Adventures Diamond & Pearl/Platinum Box Set will be available on October 7th. Pokemon manga are rated ‘A’ for All Ages and each of the forthcoming sets also features a collectible full-color poster.


MSRP: $59.99 U.S. / $79.99 CAN · Rated ‘A’ For All Ages ·
Available Sept. 2nd

Ruby’s father Norman is the new Gym Leader of Petalburg City. But Ruby doesn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps – he wants to win Pokémon Contests! Sapphire’s father Professor Birch is the local Pokémon researcher. But Sapphire is tired of gathering scientific data – she wants to win Pokémon Battles! When Ruby and Sapphire meet, they’re more likely to hit each other than hit it off. But then Sapphire challenges Ruby to a competition! Which of them will achieve their dreams in just eighty days?! The box set contains the complete Ruby & Sapphire arc (Vols. 15-22) of the bestselling POKÉMON ADVENTURES series and a collectible color poster!


MSRP: $25.99 U.S. / $29.99 CAN · Rated ‘A’ For All Ages
Available Sept. 2nd 

His entire life, Black has dreamed of winning the Pokémon League! Now he embarks on a journey to explore the Unova region and fill a Pokédex for Professor Juniper. White has an exciting career as the Trainer of a talented troupe of performing Pokémon. She dreams of making her Tepig Gigi a star! Together, Black and White continue on their journey… What surprising new Pokémon – and people – will they meet along the way?! The manga set includes POKÉMON BLACK AND WHITE Volumes 9–14 and a collectible color poster!


MSRP: $89.99 U.S. / $115.99 CAN · Rated ‘A’ For All Ages ·
Available Oct. 7th 

The box set contains the complete Diamond & Pearl/Platinum story arc (Vols. 1-11) of the bestselling POKÉMON ADVENTURES series and a collectible color poster! Pokémon Trainers Pearl and Diamond are starstruck! Their goal? To perfect their Pokémon comedy act. So how do they wind up as bodyguards to a pampered little rich girl on a quest to reach the peak of Mt. Coronet? Thrills and laughs are guaranteed as the POKÉMON ADVENTURES series continues with POKÉMON DIAMOND & PEARL/PLATINUM.

PokemonAdvRS-BoxSet-3D ADKG-NEW3media-SB

Otakon 2014: Second Time, And Still Overwhelmed

PIC_5336Thought it’s been going strong for 21 years, this was only my second attending Otakon which took place August 8-10 in Baltimore, Maryland. I made my way North to see if I can put what I learned after my first year to good use, i.e. be a bit more productive than last year. It was just me and over 30,000 individuals for the day.

Much like last year, you’re immediately hit by the shear amount of people attending as they flowed down the streets into the convention hall, many dressed in cosplay (and I think this is the most cosplay heavy show I attend easy year). This year was a bit different for me as well, since the Baltimore Orioles also had a game, adding those there to see baseball into the mix. Pretty much, downtown Baltimore was hopping.

Blocks away the crowds gathered in the scenic plazas and skywalks perfect for taking photos. The positive vibe filled the area as folks chatted costumes and what brought them to the show. What strikes me about this convention is it’s for fans, by fans. While many conventions are about the creators, publishers and product, this was all about the fans. This was truly a convention that celebrates fandom, exactly the otaku culture the convention is named after.

The convention was filled with dozens of events, official and unofficial. Video games, anime, photo shoots, workshops, autograph signings, art shows, music and more. I was again bombarded by geekdom, most of which I knew little to nothing about. I was absolutely out of my element. Would I go to panels this year (something I don’t do often enough at any convention)? Would I just check out all of the cosplay again? Should I play some games? Wander the floor? I know little about this culture, so I thought it best to again wander the floor, chatting folks up and seeing what I can learn. Though show is packed with panels, more than enough to keep one busy, but for me walking the floor, I was overwhelmed.

After picking up my pass from the press office (very professional and friendly) I made my way to the convention center. I’ve been to shows there before, but nothing like this. Where crowds have gathered for other conventions to get to the hall floor, instead was a mass of individuals celebrating each other’s cosplay, snapping photos in flashmob like opportunities. Again, I’ve seen cosplay, but nothing on this level or in one location. The costumes were so varied too. Anime, manga, comic books, movies, video games, television, cartoons, toys and more were represented by the fans and many of the costumes were amazing to look at.


I learned my lesson from last year at the different layout of this show than I’m used to. I headed straight to the dealer room, thinking I’d chat with folks working booths and checking out the cosplay on the way.

Just making that walk, one is bombarded by costumed individuals meeting with friends and showing off their creative talents. Out of all of the shows I attend, this one to me is the most focused on cosplay.

The dealer room was as big as other conventions I’ve been too, with an intelligent layout that allows you to wind your way up and down the aisles and space enough that you weren’t forced to squeeze your way through. The fact I was out of my element and comfort zone again became more apparent. I really know little about this world, having only read some manga and watched maybe a dozen anime movies. Comics, art, cosplay, prints, it was all there and the convention had something for everyone. I checked out the art showcase and auction and found beautiful works that I wish I could buy. And took a spin around Artist Alley, seeing the untapped talent that you can usually find in this area at conventions.

From there, I decided to check out the whole cosplay aspect of it all. I decided to seek out the crowds of folks gathering to snap photos, and the numerous professional photographers covering the convention and photographing the talent.

This is something I’ve never experienced, crowds of individuals lined up in a “U” shape waiting for folks to get together so that photos can be taken. It was really efficient, and fascinating to watch and be a part of. If only we could set this up for all cosplay photography.

After a few more hours of stumbling around, I decided to head home, planning out what I could do differently next year, and how to make it a more productive convention. But, most importantly I walked away wanting to find out more about this world. And that’s what struck me the most about Otakon. This is a show that’s truly about fandom, and all that’s positive about it. The kids attending (and it seemed to be a lot of kids) showed an excitement and level of enthusiasm that is missing from many other shows. They love what they love, and want to discuss it and share it with others.

I found that over and over from everyone I chatted with. When I was asked numerous times what I was there to check out, I couldn’t name anything other than the convention itself. When I was asked what anime, manga or cartoons I liked, I stumbled for an answer, saying I was a comic book fan. But instead of the conversation ending, I was engaged with enthusiasm and warmth that’s missing from so many jaded fans. They wanted to tell me what they enjoyed and why they enjoyed it. The fact that the people doing this were so young made me walk away with a positive vibe about the next generation of geekdom.

I had heard many stories about Otakon going into it, but coming out of it, sign me up for next year. I have many months to brush up on my manga and anime, so that next year I can hopefully share my enthusiasm with someone else.

Review: Fruits Basket

Fruits.Basket.full.224169 Shojo anime has a bad habit of being either really well done or just… Sort of cheesy bad. Furuba (Fruits Basket) falls somewhere in-between that line and I’m not really sure if that’s good or bad. I mean I certainly enjoyed the show growing up and that hasn’t really changed since last I watched it, but I feel like I don’t enjoy it to the same extent. At the time it had a relatively refreshing plot line when it was released and I was new to the whole anime scene as well. I have fond memories of it but I also realize its faults as a story, though at the same time I’m amazed at how many tough topics it spoke on. From parent loss to child abuse it covered a lot of tentative subjects that many writers still have trouble bringing up. It also was subject to one of the better anime adaptions, though it did stray from the original manga, which was unfinished at that time.

So basic storyline our main heroine is Tohru Honda who recently lost her mother and has been residing in a tent in the woods, as to avoid inconveniencing anyone, and is soon found by two Shomas: Yuki and Shigure. She is invited to live with them if she agrees to be their housekeeper, which she accepts, though at this point she doesn’t know the curse placed upon the Shoma family. After an encounter with Kyo Shoma she finds out what that curse is. They are cursed by the Chinese Zodiac and turn into their respective zodiacs when hug by someone of the opposite gender. Note that it’s only a select 13 of the Shomas, including one for the cat from the legend. Basically it’s a story of Tohru finding her place and meeting all those affected by the curse, hoping to find friendship in all of them despite their pain. It remains to be a very endearing story about heart, love, and not giving into your own despair because someone out there cares about you.

Now for the characters: Tohru Honda is our main female lead and seen by a many few as the mary-sue, who doesn’t let her own problems get in the way of things, and always seems to say the right thing to the right person. She is our ongiri (Rice ball) and I always found her to sort of be the type of person I wished I personally was. Even with the loss of her mother she doesn’t let it get to her, well not too much anyway, and she loves with her entire heart. Though it is heavily implied she may have depression from the loss of both her parents, but not that she’d let that show. Yuki Shoma is Tohru’s classmate and roommate. He is one of the most popular boys in school, often referred to as a prince, and finds it very hard. Well it would be considering he is the rat from the Shoma curse and it’s hard to avoid females embracing you without coming off as rude. Now Yuki was always hard for me personally to like, as he was sort of standoffish, and there’s reasons for that. But anyway the more time he spends with Tohru the better and happier a person he becomes, which was something I liked as character growth. Mentally abused for years he wants to live free from the chains of the Shoma house. Kyo Shoma is the black sheep of his family, as he is the cat from the legend and curse, and therefor is seen as an abomination. He is basically mocked by his family and others, but is constantly trying to prove himself. Hot headed and a martial artist Kyo was easier for me to like because his issues were laid out bare the moment he stepped in. He had an inferiority complex and it shows in a lot of his actions, he also knows that he gets way too angry sometimes but he doesn’t always know how to stop it, and he obviously wishes to become an actual member of the zodiac despite it being impossible. He genuinely wants and needs someone to love him for who he is despite his faults. Then we have a whole slew of other characters that I can’t even begin to get into as that would take up a lot of time and probably would be extremely boring, despite the fact that I could carry on for probably hours about all the characters. So those were the far most important of the cast. So we actually meet all of the zodiac members in the manga whereas we only get almost all of them in the anime which ended far too soon in my opinion.

Anyway so it’s sort of a meet a character and help them with their problems sort of story but in the best sort of ways. It was always endearing to me and I suppose it still is. Anyhow there is that issue of there being a short anime. It had the same issues many did at the time it was made: The manga was nowhere near done. Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, and many other series I could name off the top of my head had fallen victim to this. But with the release of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood there’s hope for a new version that is pretty much faithful to the manga. Now the actual anime was never really bad… I mean it’s subpar to things now a day but still it was a good honest shojo when I was growing up.

The animation was… Not the best, but alas it was a part of its time, and was awkward. Not in an annoying sort of way more in the way that you know you’ve seen better animation. The art in then manga, drawn and written by Natsuki Takaya, started off very typical style of its given genre, and it looked to be very inspired by certain style choices seen in Sailor Moon. But over time it grew into an art of its own and much better in my opinion. It had a lot longer proportions than before, which may bother people, but hey if you can make it through xxxHolic without cringing then this manga is nothing. Honestly I enjoyed the growth of this artist, though it wasn’t quite the leap other mangaka had made, but it was great none the less. It has characters that you can distinguish from one another which is something that’s very important for artists.

I suppose next is sound, which oh… Okay so I’ve never seen the anime subbed, I grew up with the dub and just generally prefer to keep it that way. I mean it has great actors like Laura Bailey, Eric Vale, and Jerry Jewel, who all have outstanding records of roles, though this anime might not be the shining example of that. Though I do enjoy it as one of those animations that sort of helped these actors get out there, considering we now have all three of them as some of the most accomplished actors of animation… But I digress; the sound is nice and light overall, and boy does it work with the type of story it’s working with. Literally both the opening and ending are so nice and quiet that I could fall asleep to them if they were lullabies…  Though the dub did a big no-no in my book by doing a dubbed version of the opening, which has always been a bad move in my personal opinion, because then we end up with things like Sakura Kiss from Ouran… But it actually wasn’t that bad of a dubbed song; in fact it stayed pretty true to the original.

All in all this series remains good in my book and is worth a look. It has a lot of heart that many series don’t have, you feel for these characters and you want them to get those happy endings. I still enjoy this series and think it’s worth a look. “Because even the smallest of words can be the ones to hurt you, or save you.” This anime while short ended where it needed to and is sort of like Fullmetal Alchemist’s first anime ending where everything flowed well and as a story it worked.

Anime: 7
Manga: 8.5

Otakon 2014 in Pictures

Otakon took place this August 8 to 10. It brings together over 100,000 individuals to celebrate anime, manga, cosplay… all things otaku. Here’s some photos from the convention, and some amazing cosplay.

NYCC 2014: Manga Artist Takeshi Obata to Appear

new york comic con logoNew York Comic Con has been rolling out power-packed appearances that showcase the hottest talent from around the globe. In continuing its unwavering commitment to celebrate the vast expanse of all things pop culture, ReedPOP has announced that renowned manga artist Takeshi Obata will be appearing as part of autographing and panels the Thursday and Friday of the show.

New York Comic Con is taking place October 9-12 at the Javits Center in New York City.

Obata is the artist of the wildly popular Shonen Jump title Hikaru no Go, which won the 2003 Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize: Shinsei “New Hope” award and the 2000 Shogakukan Manga award. Obata is also the artist of Arabian Majin Bokentan Lamp Lamp, Ayatsuri Sakon, Cyborg Jichan G, and the smash hit manga Death Note.  Following the hugely successful series Bakuman。 Obata’s latest work is All You Need Is Kill, a 2-volume adaptation of the novel which was also the basis for this year’s Tom Cruise blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow. Hikaru no Go, Death Note, Bakuman。and  All You Need Is Kill are all published in North America by VIZ Media. Takeshi Obata is appearing at New York Comic Con with support of VIZ Media and the Japan Foundation.

In addition to Obata’s appearance at New York Comic Con, he will also participate in a special signing outside the Javits Center as part of New York Comic Con’s Super Week.


Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday! What’d everyone get? What have you read so far and what do you think?

Around the Tubes

Bleeding Cool – Mark Millar Explains How All The Millarworld Books Tie-In Together – Wanted, Kick Ass, Jupiter’s Legacy, Superior, Nemesis, MPH, Supercrooks And More – But No News Yet On The Unfunnies – Good, because I’ve been wondering about this.

Publishers Weekly – Japanese Manga, Anime Firms Debut Latest Antipiracy Project – I’m biting my tongue.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Action Comics #34

Comic Vine – Big Trouble in Little China #3

Comic Vine – Black Widow #9

Pop Matters – Bodies #1

Comic Vine – The Bunker #5

Comic Vine – Clone #19

Comic Vine – Earth 2 #26

Comic Vine – Green Arrow #34

Comic Vine – Green Lantern #34

Comic Vine – Harbinger: Omegas #1

Comic Vine – Imperial #1

Comic Vine – Kick-Ass 3 #8

Comic Vine – Lazarus #10

Comic Vine – Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #4

Comic Vine – New Avengers #22

Comic Vine – RoboCop #2

Comic Vine – She-Hulk #7

Comic Vine – Spread #2

Comic Vine – Superior Foes of Spider-Man #14

Comic Vine – Superior Spider-Man #32

ICv2 – Thanos: The Infinity Revelation

The Beat – Thanos: The Infinity Revelation

Review: Kagerou Project

KagePro-Wallpaper-kagerou-project-37017335-2000-786Okay let me tell you this much, I have not yet read the novels, so I’m a bit uninformed on certain things about the series, but I’ll give as much as I can.

So! Kagerou Project was made by Jin and his use of the computer music program Vocaloid. He made some fun catchy songs and along the way he joined forces with Shidu, who made music videos for them. Further down Jin had a story plot that interconnected all of his songs, making for one big hit! And it caught on.

It’s the story about people with eye powers, who went through a happening on August 14th, and were given these abilities by the medusa Azami within the Heat Haze. Each character has a different power, based upon a wish they had at the time, whether it was to hide the injuries, to be noticed, or to just understand another person, they all are good and bad. And these powers are all based around eyes, each character’s eyes becoming red when the ability is used. This is their story and how it goes round and round.

Now this is an interesting thing as the entire rise to mainstream is sort of out there. From Vocaloid music videos, to novels, to a manga, to an anime, Kagerou Project is really far from the norm of adaptations. Jin, let me just say, is an amazing song writer, as all the songs are full length with catchy tunes, and have deeper meanings than meets the eye. As someone who has yet to read the novels, as I am unable to read Japanese but I am looking for translations, I don’t really know the quality of those. The manga: Kagerou Days, still going, is quite good so far, showing just enough for you to get a taste. The anime: Mekaku City Actors, produced by SHAFT, recently ended its slotted twelve episodes, and… Could have been better, but also could have been a lot worse. Now if that isn’t something new, well I don’t know what you people want, because I think it’s brilliant.

Okay! Light spoilers under the cut!

Character time!

Our main character is Shintaro Kisaragi, a hikkimori NEET, basically a major recluse who believes he will die without his computer. Not exactly main character makings right? Well there’s a reason for his reclusiveness and it’s a mix of guilt and despair for something he believes he could have stopped or rather something he thinks he caused. Now the entire story plot starts when Shintaro is forced to leave his home for the first time in two years because his keyboard died. Because of this he is thrown into a whole new crazy world of eye powers.

Next is the pretty cyber girl Ene, otherwise known as Takane Enomoto, a highschool student who was given the power of Opening Eyes, essentially making her immortal and a computer program. She found her way to Shintaro’s computer, where he then downloaded her, and prompted to annoy the ever-living fuck out of him. She is always trying to prompt Shintaro to leave the house and become a healthier person, though he may not realize what she’s doing. She loud and humorous, but is also cranky and mean.

Momo Kisaragi, Shintaro’s sister, is an unlucky idol. Always in the background growing up she wished to be seen, and was once she gained the Captivating Eyes. Because of her power she was able to become a famous pop singer, though now she hates it. This is because she can’t seem to live a normal life. Huh, who would have thought being famous would make it hard to go to the store? Anyway, she’s upbeat and near the exact opposite of her brother, who she now sees as an embarrassment.

Tsubomi Kido, known as Kido, is the leader of the group Mekakushi Dan (Blindfold Gang). She is our tsundere character, who grew up in a rich family as a disappointment child, and so she wished to disappear and be able to hide away. She later gained the ability Concealing Eyes, able to make herself disappear and appear at her own will. Kido is actually quite timid, but comes off cold and harsh, though she’s a sweetheart. She also has the best control over her powers.

Shuuya Kano, known as Kano, is a member of the gang. From an abusive home Kano wished to hide away the injuries he was giving, but he also wanted people to believe his lies. He is a trickster character who is meant to appear as a possible bad guy character. He has the Deceiving Eyes, resulting in him being able to make elusions with himself, but only himself.

Kousuke Seto, known as Seto, is another member of the gang.  He basically grew up alone and because of that was unable to communicate very well, though he had a lot to say. His power is Stealing Eyes, almost making it as though he can read people’s minds, though it’s more him just reading information about a person. A good hearted person, Set only really sees the good in people, despite what he may hear. Next to Momo and Kano, he has the worse control over his power.

Mary, or Marry, is a ¼ Medusa. Because of this she is able to make people stop with her Staring Eyes, but only temporarily, and is unable to turn people to stone as the myth goes. She grew up with her mother until tragedy took her mother away, so instead she lived alone, until Seto brought her to the outside world. She is now a member of the MekakuDan, where she finally has friends and is not just dreaming about it.

Hibiya Amamiya is the youngest member, and only just received his powers. His story is sort of the first view we get into the actual events of the Heat Haze. He’s sort of a brat and a creep, always trying to win the love of his crush Hiyori. He grew up in the sticks basically and it shows as in the events of the story it is his first time in the city. His power is Focusing Eyes, basically making him able to see things from far away. What a loser.

Konoha, or Haruka Kokonose is our resident android. Like Ene, he used to be a highschool student, but was given the power of Awakening Eyes, which gives him his dream body. He, however, has no memory of his life before being an Android, so you know mostly squat unless you’ve seen any of the material. He’s gluttonous and a bit slow, but he also is a skilled fighter. Like his human counterpart he is kind and just wants friends.

Ayano Tateyama, who believed that red, was the color of heroes, left a mark on all the characters, whether they knew it or not. Now it’s no surprise that Ayano is a character long since passed away, but not in the sense that you would get. She was a character who wanted to save what little happiness she had and had to ‘died’ in the process.

Now here’s where the spoilers become a little heavy.

Basically to enter the Heat Haze and receive an eye ability you have to die. Often times with another person, though this isn’t always true. You are placed into an endless loop of your death until you emerge from the Haze. So basically all those happy chipper songs and ideas you had about this story? Nope, it’s only despair from here on out. You see because the powers being given are actually snakes, which possess the dead bodies, granting their final wishes, which then begin to gather around the Queen snake.

See, what did I say, misery.

But anyway, on to the next bit since characters went on for a long time (Sorry there was a lot of them and their all really important.)

The art style I personally think was much better in Shidu’s hands, as they really loved the characters. You can see this in the music videos, which are just stunning at times. They also got many of these videos done in less than 3 weeks, which is impressive. The manga is well done as well, each character pretty much standard, though some of the anatomy is… Not mentionable, but that’s normal. Now the anime, which had a whole new art staff, because no one bothered to hire Shidu, the bastards. This was good and bad. SHAFT has a string of very good animation, see Madoka Magica, but it also has that very bad habit of getting things just barely done before it airs, often still fixing things. Basically if you want quality, wait for the dvd/bluray, because then it will all be much cleaner, also see Madoka Magica. It shines in places, like the opening is very clean, whilst some scenes in the actual anime are just funny from how cringe worthy they are.

Okay so warning right now, if you are going to watch Mekaku City Actors, there is an episode… Where the animation just changes to 3DCGI, which… Dear lord I watched it right after the subbed version came on and it scared me at first. Episode nine be prepared for it.

Now onto music. This is really where the whole thing shines most because this is what made Kagerou Project so big. Now for those who don’t know Vocaloid is a Japanese computer program that makes music. You guys know Hatsune Miku, yeah, that’s Vocaloid. Anyway a lot of these songs are just fantastic, from the loud drum solo of Yobanshi Decieve to the soft guitar of Ayano’s Theory of Happiness, to the haunting lyrics of Toumei Answer, to the upbeat sound of Yuukei Yesterday, and to the final notes of Summertime Record. I love all of these songs. Now be warned that the originals are sung by a computer automated voice, and not everybody digs that, it took me a long time. Not all of them have music videos made by Shidu, some were fan animated, which just shows the pulling power. In the anime they took advantage of this and a lot of the best parts of the episodes is where the audience got an amazing cover of a song we had come to love and it always fit just right and felt like a music video in ways. I think, personally, that’s where the anime shined best itself, when it showed the roots of this entire story. Because without that music it wouldn’t even be here.  And I guess the most important thing is that Jin, who made a lot of this himself, sang that final song for that final episode.

This is a story about eyes and the people who are affected by it, but for me, I see as a story about growing up. Summertime Record, the final song, is about moving forward but promising to meet each other again. I think that’s why I personally love Kagerou Project, because it’s that final story before things become normal, but it’s only boring if you let it be. Tell the story over and over so people don’t forget, so you yourself don’t forget. “The lonely kids will take a stand.”

I say look into this, I know it isn’t for everyone, but try it out. People do English covers of the song every day and I think a lot of people could connect with the characters, just as I do with characters like Shintaro. But for now I’ll just give a rating based on my enjoyment of each individual piece. The novels will get a proper rating once I’ve read them.

Kagerou Project (Music/Videos): 10/10
Novels: ???/10
Manga: 7.5/10
Anime: 7/10

VIZ Media Releasing a New Millennium Snow Volume

On June 3rd, VIZ Media will release a new volume from Bisco Hatori’s hit manga series – Millennium Snow – as well as the release on the same day of a new 2-in-1 omnibus print edition.

Volume 3 of the romance about a handsome young vampire and an ailing teenage girl will be published under the Shojo Beat imprint, is rated ‘T’ for Teens, and will carry a print MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. The new release marks the return of the critically acclaimed series after it had been put on hiatus by the creator and has never before been released in English.

A digital version of Millennium Snow, Vol. 3 also will debut on June 3rd for $6.99 (USD/CAN) on VIZManga.com and through the VIZ MANGA App. Volumes 1-2 are available now.

Fans also can catch the two earlier volumes of Millennium Snow with a new 2-in-1 omnibus print version that also releases on June 3rd and bundles Vols. 1-2 into a handy single edition. The 2-in-1 omnibus edition is rated ‘T’ for Teens and will carry an MSRP of $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN.

In Bisco Hatori’s acclaimed series, seventeen-year-old Chiyuki Matsuoka was born with heart problems, and her doctors say she won’t live to see the next snow. Toya is an 18-year-old vampire who hates blood and refuses to make the traditional partnership with a human, whose life-giving blood would keep them both alive for a thousand years.

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