Sesho's Anime And Manga Reviews
My main focus is reviewing manga and anime, but I also review Japanese literature, movies, and videogames. Basically, if it has anything to do with Japan, I'll talk about it, along with a dash of Korea and China.

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  • Episode 23: Strawberry 100%  Volume 1 by Mizuki Kawashita Strawberry 100% Volume 1 by Mizuki Kawashita manga review.  Published by Viz under their Shonen Jump Advanced line. Rated T+ for Older teen with a parental advisory for Mature content. Price: $7.99 Originally published in 2002 by Shueisha in Japan. Junpei is in his last year of middle school and wants to become a movie director. When he goes onto the roof of his school to watch the sunset, a girl falls from above him and lands on the roof. Junpei becomes captivated by the strawberry panties she is wearing. He doesn't even know who the girl was but when he finds a notebook with the name Aya Tojo on it, he begins his quest to find out who she really was. Smacking more of shojo than shonen, this first volume is an innocent comedy with erotic fixations. My grade: B+
    Direct download: Episode_23--Strawberry_100_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:09pm CDT

    Episode 22: Hollow Fields Volume 1 by Madeleine Rosca Hollow Fields Volume 1 by Madeleine Rosca manga review. Published by Seven Seas for $9.99. Winner of International Manga Award. Rated All Ages. Lucy Snow gets lost in the woods as she takes a shortcut to the St. Galbat's Academy For Young Ladies. What she finds is Hollow Fields, a school that does not charge its students for tuition,food,board, or books. Everything is free as long as you sign a contract to live up to your academic potential. Lucy signs the contract but soon begins to regret her decision when she finds out that the curriculum is designed for the sons and daughters of mad scientists! The student with the lowest grades each week is sent to detention and is never seen again. Will Lucy be able to make the cut, and will she be able to make a friend? My Grade: A
    Direct download: Episode_22--_Hollow_Fields_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:44pm CDT

    Episode 21: Kamiyadori Book 1 by Kei Sanbe Manga review for Kamiyadori Book 1 by Kei Sanbe. Translated by Ray Yoshimoto and adapted by Mike Wellman. US edition published by Tokyopop in December 2006. Japanese version published in 2004 by Kadokawa Shoten. $9.99. Rated M for Mature. Contains nudity and graphic violence. Kei Sanbe fashions another apocalyptic world after leaving the CMX series Testarotho with a very awkward ending due to it being cancelled. A virus of tenacious contagion spreads across the world, changing its victims, be they plant, animal, or human into grotesque monsters called kamiyadori. Only a special forces unit of the police known as Right Arms, imbued with the power of the Kamiyadori, can battle on equal terms with the monsters. Their job, to exterminate the infected without mercy or pity. Jillald, a Right Arm, has begun to doubt his purpose and the reason why he has killed so many. His partner, Vivi, an uncivilized Rojek, has no such doubts. My Grade: B
    Direct download: Episode_21--Kamiyadori_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05pm CDT

    Inuyasha Volume 19 by Rumiko Takahashi Inuyasha Volume 19 by Rumiko Takahashi. Translated by Mari Morimoto. Published by Viz. Originally published in Japan by Shogakukan in 1997. Price: $8.95.  For Older Teens. It seems like Kohaku, Sango's little brother, has been freed from Naraku's control, even though he has lost his memory. He doesn't know that he killed his father or even that Sango is his sister. Maybe it's because he doesn't WANT to remember. But Naraku has sent Kagura and a legion of demons to bring him back. Inuyasha is at a disadvantage because he has not adjusted to the heavier weight of Tetsusaiga after it was reforged with one of his fangs. In the heat of battle Inuyasha has to leave Kagome and Kohaku alone, but he soon begins to regret that decision. Meanwhile, Sesshomaru tries to find out how the scent of Inuyasha's blood changed to that of a full demon the last time they tangled. He soon finds out about the true power of Tetsusaiga and how it factors into controlling the demon blood in his half-brother. Some say that blood is thicker than water and it's true in the case of Inuyasha Volume 19. Even though Kohaku killed their father and contributed to the extermination of their entire demon hunting clan, Sango's love is strong enough to still want to redeem Kohaku's life. It wasn't his fault anyway because he was being controlled by Naraku, but some people still wouldn't be able to forgive him for what he's done. But Sango is of sterner stuff. She even states that if Kohaku is just deceiving them, she will kill him with her own hands if necessary. That's a pretty strong declaration. I guess you can never truly give up hope in those you love. Another stroke of Rumiko Takahashi's genius is that you can never truly figure out the character of Sesshomaru. At times, it seems like he wants to kill Inuyasha, at others he seems to be engaging in a form of brotherly competition, and sometimes it seems as if he has a tiny bit of respect for his younger brother. This book continues its great run. My Grade: A
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 8:30pm CDT

    Episode 20: Hikaru No Go Vol. 6 by Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata Episode 20: Update on the closing of Anime Avalon in Houston. 40% off everything in the store. 5$ rental anime dvds. General overview of the series Hikaru No Go for readers that have not read any of the previous volumes. Then it's on to a review of Volume 6. Story by Yumi Hotta and art by Takeshi Obata, who also worked on Death Note. Supervised by Yukari Umezawa, a pro Go player in Japan. Price: $7.95 Published by Viz under their Shonen Jump line. Rated: All Ages. Hikaru takes the insei exam to rise up another notch in his quest to beat Akira without Sai's help. Akira has a test of his own as he enters the Shinshodan Series, in which new pros take on veterans as a sort of coming out ceremony.
    Direct download: Episode_20--_Hikaru_No_Go_Volume_6.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:40pm CDT

    Episode 19: Gunbuster 2 Volume 3 Gunbuster 2 Volume 3 anime dvd review. Bandai Visual $39.98. Ages 13+. Directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki from a screenplay by Yoji Enokido. Animated by Gainax. Supervised by Hideaki Anno. Nono and Lal'c have reversed roles from the early episodes. Nono has been revealed to be the super powerful Buster Machine #7 and Lal'c has been cast aside as a useless and dangerous tool. But she will be called back into service as even Nono's godlike powers are not enough to fight alone against the planet sized Exelio Fluctuating Gravity Well! Visually stunning romp that leaves you with lots of questions but still in awe of what Gainax TRIED to do. Email: seshos@hotmail.com My Grade: B+
    Direct download: Episode_19--_Gunbuster_2_Volume_3.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:33pm CDT

    Episode 18: Peach Girl Volume 4 Peach Girl Volume 4 anime dvd review. Released by Funimation, Price: $29.98. Peach Girl is based on a popular Japanese manga series released in America by Tokyopop. It is pure unadulterated shojo school romance at its finest. Momo is finally in a stable and satisfying relationship with Kairi but trouble soon develops when she meets his brother, Ryo. Ryo has made a habit of stealing all of Kairi's girlfriends and Kairi tells Momo that he is a female version of the treacherous Sae. But in a role reversal, it is Momo who fails to heed the warnings from someone she loves. Sae becomes involved as well when she falls for Ryo. Why do the characters in this series always trust the wrong people? Even though it becomes a bit redundant, you still can't help liking this show. My grade: B+
    Direct download: Episode_18--_Peach_Girl_Volume_4.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:56pm CDT

    Episode 17: Eden Volume 8 by Hiroki Endo Eden Volume 8 by Hiroki Endo manga review. Translator: Kumar Sivasubramanian. Published by Dark Horse. Price: $12.95. Ages 18+. Originally published in Japan by Kodansha in 2003. Elijah prepares to settle the score with Pedro as he is assigned by the government to assassinate him at an airport as he attempts to leave the country with his brother. Then things heat up as Elijah and Helena begin to delve into a more intimate relationship. Graphic sex, violence, emotions are all on display in this volume. But the emotion of love runs as a invisible but powerful undercurrent beneath all the spectacle. Also, I comment on the recent controversy about Eden's rumored cancellation. My Grade: A
    Direct download: Episode_17--Eden_Volume_8.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:22pm CDT

    Episode 16: Alive Volume 1 by Tadashi Kawashima Manga Review for Alive: The Final Revolution Volume 1. Story by Tadashi Kawashima. Art by Adachitoka. Published by Del Rey $10.95. Ages 16+. Translated and adapted by Anastasia Moreno. Originally published in Japan 2005 by Kodansha. High school students have to deal with an intelligent alien virus that causes its victims to commit suicide. My Rating: C-
    Direct download: Episode_16--Alive_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:25pm CDT

    Episode 15: Gon Volume 1 by Masashi Tanaka Manga review for Gon Volume 1 by Masashi Tanaka. Published by CMX, $5.99 Rated T for Teen. This first volume chronicles the adventures of the last little dinosaur left on Earth as he fights against those bigger in size but weaker in spirit and power. Story is told completely with art. No dialogue or sound effects. A pure manga experience. My Rating: A
    Direct download: Episode_15--Gon_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:23pm CDT

    Episode 14: Air TV Volume 1 Air TV Volume 1: ADV Films, $29.98, Episodes 1-4, 100 Minutes, Ages 14+. Directed by Tatsuya Isihara. Animation by Kyoto Animation. A down on his luck puppeteer named Yukito comes to a strange little town searching for a winged girl that lives beyond the sky. Instead he meets a bevy of cute girls who all seem to harbor strange secrets. A strangely surreal dreamlike take on harem anime that soothes and perplexes instead of titillates. My Grade: B
    Direct download: Episode_14--Air_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:04pm CDT

    Episode 13: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Volume 1 The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Volume 1 anime dvd review. Bandai Entertainment.Ages 13+. 100 minutes. Episodes 00-3. Directed by Tatsuya Ishihara. Animated by Kyoto Animation. High schooler Haruhi Suzumiya is bored with the normal world and only wants to meet aliens, espers, and time travelers. The guy that sits in front of her in class, Kyon is able to make a connection with her and together they form the SOS Brigade. They recruit bookworm Yuki, big boobs ditz Mikuru, and mysterious transfer student Itsuki to investigate mysterious phenomena at school and throughout the city. My Grade: B
    Direct download: Episode_13--_The_Melancholy_of_Haruhi_Suzumiya_Vol.1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:05pm CDT

    Episode 12: 10,20, and 30 Volume 1 by Morim Kang Manhwa review for 10,20, and 30 Volume 1 by Morim Kang. Published by Netcomics $9.99 Ages 16+. Translated by Jennifer Park. 10,20, and 30 follows the adventures of three female characters as they feel their way through life and come to terms with what they want out of a relationship. Rok Nah, 16, is not interested in dating boys yet, even though her childhood friend wants to be her boyfriend. Her mother, Krum Yoon, a rising fashion designer, cannot forget her dead husband, even when the president of the company starts to become fond of her. Belle Woo, Krum's niece, is locked in a dead-end relationship with a man who satisfies her sexually, but brings her no closer to happiness. This is a comedy romance drama that looks at life through female eyes from the perspective of three different age groups. Volume 1 was funny, truthful, and authentic. Does contain cartoony nudity and sexual situations.
    Direct download: Episode_12--1020_and_30_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:02pm CDT

    Episode 11: Chunchu The Genocide Fiend Volume 1 Manhwa review for Chunchu the Genocide Fiend Volume 1. Written by Kim Sung-Jae and illustrated by Kim Byung-Jin. Published by Dark Horse Manhwa: $10.95, Ages 16+. Chunchu was cursed from birth with the spirit of a demon. Even though he was the son of the Yoong chief, he was cast out and given to the Mirmidon, a tough and severe clan, where it was thought that he would soon perish. Now Chunchu is all grown up and thirsting for revenge. Or is he merely wondering why he was born? Solid award-winning action title from Korea with lots of violence, characterization, and a tiny smack of romance. My Rating: A-
    Direct download: Episode_11--Chunchu_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:04pm CDT

    Episode 10: The Death of Anime Avalon. No, this is not a new anime. This podcast is actually a reaction to the closing of  Anime Avalon, the ONLY store specializing in anime and manga in Houston.  They said they could not compete with the big chain stores anymore. This is a disturbing trend that not only touches manga and anime, but also general independent booksellers and music stores.  Who is right, who is wrong?
    Direct download: Episode_10--Death_of_Anime_Avalon.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:33pm CDT

    Episode 9: Heroes Are Extinct!! Volume 1 by Ryoji Hido Heroes Are Extinct!! Volume 1 by Ryoji Hido. DMP , $12.95, Ages 13+. Originally published in Japan 2003 by Shinshokan. Translated by Melanie Schoen. The Bazue Empire has sent its three greatest Grand Galactic Generals along with a starfleet to conquer Earth. Cassiel, its leader, has watched too much anime and thinks that the earthlings possess superheroes and giant mecha defenders. When he finds out his image of Earth is wrong, he sets out to train his own Power Rangeresque team called the Earth Force Terra Rangers. My Rating D-
    Direct download: Episode_9--Heroes_Are_Extinct_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:09pm CDT

    Episode 8: Eureka Seven Volume 7 Eureka Seven Volume 7. Bandai Entertainment $24.98. Directed by Tomoki Kyoda. Written by Dai Sato. Animated by Bones. Holland awaits the anticipated attack of Charles and Ray, while Renton has to decide if he has the strength to defend Eureka. Dominic investigates Renton's past and meets up with Renton's grandfather. Every aspect of this anime puts it among the elite titles. My rating: A+
    Direct download: Episode_8--Eureka_Seven_Volume_7.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:39pm CDT

    Episode 7  Coyote Ragtime Show by Ufotable Episode 7-- Manga Review of Coyote Ragtime Show Volume 1 by Ufotable. Art by Tartan Check. $9.99 Broccoli Books;Ages 13+. The planet Graceland is going to be destroyed in seven days. Hidden somewhere on Graceland is a lost treasure of ten billion space dollars, left by the deceased Pirate King, Blues. Mister and his pals want to claim the money for the Pirate King's daughter, Franca, but Madame Marciano of the Criminal Guild and her 12 Sisters, android assassins in maid uniforms, want to get their hands on it as well. Email:seshos@hotmail.com
    Direct download: Episode_7__Coyote_Ragtime_Show.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:25pm CDT

    The Drifting Classroom Volume 4 by Kazuo Umezu

    Viz Signature Line -- $9.99-- Rated "Mature"

    When Volume 3 of Drifting Classroom ended, Sho had returned from the wastelands to find a juvenile delinquent girl gang leader, dubbing herself  "The Princess",  in control of the school.  Volume 4 picks up right where it left off as Sho tries to convince his schoolmates of the weird forest he and the others saw in the desert....and of the fearsome centipede/scorpion creature that lived in it. He's afraid that the monster will come to the school next!  He has a more immediate problem in front of him though:  Trying to organize the student body into a semblance of government to keep things from becoming more chaotic than they already are. A lot of kids, especially the younger ones, are beginning to come apart at the seams, and exhibiting weird, even psychotic, behaviors. Sho knows that if they continue down the road they're on, none of them will survive.  It is decided that he and The Princess will be candidates in an election to choose the leader of Yamato. Meanwhile, the terrible nightmare out in the desert wastes could be creeping closer...

    Even though this series was first printed in the early 1970's, its terror is timeless. There's just something incredibly moving and horrible about an entire school of young elementary and middle school students being cast into a world where everything they knew and cared about has been destroyed. Umezu does a unsettling job of creating a setting where it would be easier to deal with things if you went insane. In fact, by this point, all the adults at the school have been gotten rid of and the series can focus on the true heroes and villains: the kids!  Just like the great writers of literature, Umezu shows just how hard it is to be good when it comes down to the matter of one's very existence. Even Sho is beginning to hit the limits of what his rational mind can take. It's especially poignant to see these kids trying to organize themselves into a governable body. What it tells me is that the school hasn't given up hope. This is powerful stuff and is becoming more intriguing with each volume.

    My Rating:  A

    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 8:50pm CDT

    Episode 6: Galaxy Angel AA Volume 1 Galaxy Angel AA Volume 1 is a continuation of the Galaxy Angel anime series and contains lots of laughs, familiar characters, and zany situations as the Angel Brigade continues its lackadaisical quest to find Lost Technology. $24.98 Bandai Entertainment. Podcast correction: Bandai Visual is the Japanese fist in America that is charging too much for anime dvds, not Bandai Entertainment.
    Direct download: Episode_6_--Galaxy_Angel_AA_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:59pm CDT

    Episode 5  TetraGrammaton Labyrinth Volume 1 by Ei Itou Tetragrammaton Labyrinth Volume 1 is a horror manga published by Seven Seas under their Strawberry line. For older teens 16 and up. Sister Meg and the apparently immortal Angela team together to fight occult menaces and evil humans in an effort to keep London safe from the forces of darkness.  Plenty of action and gore and scary designs with a tinge of tragedy. Translated by Kenji Komiya and adapted by Shannon Fay. $11.99  Email  seshos@hotmail.com
    Direct download: Tetragrammaton.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:16am CDT

    Episode 4 -- Gintama Volume 1 by Hideaki Sorachi

    This is a podcast review for Gintama Volume 1 by Hideaki Sorachi published by Viz under their Shonen Jump Advanced line of manga. Rated for Older Teen $7.99.  Japan's Edo period is ended by the arrival of the Amanto, aliens from outer space, who insinuate themselves into all facets of Japanese society and disenfranchise and outlaw the samurai. Gintoki, Shinpachi, two samurai,  and Kagura, one of the last survivors of an alien warrior race, try to make ends meet any way they can in this adventure comedy that suffers from a bad translation and too much self-awareness.

    My Rating  F

    Direct download: Episode_4_Gintama_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:07pm CDT

    Just wanted to post the links for the Mangacast and Mangablog sites:

    http://community.livejournal.com/mangacast/

    http://www.mangablog.net/

     

    I highly recommend these sites for news and views on manga. You can also find the Mangacast podcast on Itunes as well.

    Direct download: Sesho_Episode_1__Space_Pinchy.mp3
    Category:general -- posted at: 3:52pm CDT


    If you want to hear one of the podcast episodes, don't click on the title of the episode to download it. Instead, click on the word "Pod" to the left of the episode title. I just thought it might confuse people because the title lights up when you pass the cursor over it. Or you can click on direct download under the shownotes. I'm also now officially on Itunes as "Sesho's Anime and Manga Reviews" so you can always just subscribe to the podcast portion of my page there.


    I just wanted to say hello to everyone and give a thank you to Ed Chavez over at Mangacast for graciously mentioning my fledgling podcast show and website I just started two days ago. I guess it was about a year and half ago that I got my first Ipod mini (it was a hand me down) and discovered the world of podcasting. Of course the first thing I looked for were podcasts about anime and manga. There were some about anime, but they were boring. They mostly consisted of people talking about anything BUT anime, or they were just reading a review they had pre-written.  I subscribed to a couple of shows but after a few weeks I cancelled all of them. As for manga the only show was the Mangacast. Imagine my relief when I actually found a living, breathing person that was not reading from a script in a dull monotone and a person that was passionate enough about manga that his words could come from the heart instead of a script. Listening to his show made ME want to talk about manga as well, but when it comes to the nuts and bolts of technology, I'm pretty much a nitwit!  So it took me this long just to scrap up the resources, the knowledge, the time, and the will to make a show happen. After going through making just a couple of podcasts, I have even more respect for what he and Jack are doing over there at the Mangacast. It takes time and effort to make these things, and also a bit of courage.  I'd also like to give a shout-out to Brigid over at Mangablog.net for getting interesting and important information about the manga community out almost each and every day. I'm a big fan of her site.


    I will be doing podcasts on manga AND anime but I really don't have any predetermined quotas on how many of each I'm going to do each week.  My site will also be a mixture of podcasts and written reviews. Don't know how often I'll be doing shows either. I'm on summer vacation right now so I can almost do a show every day, but when I go back to work in about three weeks, I imagine I'll do at least two podcasts per week and maybe a written review or two as well. So check back often. As for subject matter in anime and manga, I pretty much read and watch everything except yaoi, so other sites will have to do that duty. It's just not my thing. I'll also be looking at manhwa and world manga from time to time, though I haven't found many non-Japanese manga titles I like yet. I have high hopes for Hollow Fields though, which should be coming in the mail this week.


    So thanks everybody for checking out my website and podcasts. Some of the stuff up for review soon are two manga titles: Gintama 1 and Tetragrammaton Labyrinth 1. Also dvd reviews for Galaxy Angel AA Volume 1 and the last volume of Speed Grapher. If you want to contact me you can email me at:   seshos@hotmail.com

    Category:general -- posted at: 4:02am CDT

    Episode 3 --  Mar Volume 1 dvd -- Gateway to Mar Episode 3 is a review of the first dvd volume of Mar,  the story of Ginta Toramizu who is able to travel to the fantasy land of Marchen that he has been seeing in his dreams for 102 nights.  In Marchen he makes some new friends and harnesses Babbo, the most powerful Arm, on his quest to find a way back home. Innocent and harmless kid entertainment. This dvd was released by Viz and has a list price of $19.99.
    Direct download: Episode_3__Mar_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:37pm CDT

    Black Cat Volume 6 DVD Review: Cat's Nine Lives

    Creed and the Apostles of the Stars have been thoroughly routed and defeated by the combined efforts of the Sweeper’s Alliance and Chronos so everyone is feeling a bit relaxed. Sven is feeling so relaxed that he even mentions to Eve that maybe it’s time to give up the life of a Sweeper and  live more like a normal kid, maybe even start school. Without realizing it, he hurts her to the quick because he promised her a while back that she would always be by his side. What hurt her so much was that Sven, Black Cat, and Rinslet are the closest thing to family that she has. When she runs away to sulk, Eve falls into the hands of  the Zero Numbers,  a group of  rogue Chronos agents and Apostles of the Stars that are determined to bring about peace and order to the world  through the Eden Project.  If they are allowed to carry out their plans, every human being on the planet will have their bodies and lifeforce absorbed into one universal mind.  If Black and Sven do not act fast, Eve will fully merge with the Eden core.  They  join forces with the Sweeper’s Alliance, Chronos, and the Apostles in an effort to save not only Eve, but the entire human race.

     The final dvd  of Black Cat is what I like to call a Royal Rumble volume. By that, I mean that most of the characters that have appeared in the show come together in one last giant climactic battle with a winner take the world outcome.  The characters in Black Cat are written extremely well. Even Creed got a chance to show a sane side to his personality last volume! The storylines and personalities of the cast run a long way deeper than most Shonen Jump titles.  You would think it would be really exciting to see the final battle but there’s one aspect of this anime that has always held it back from being a great show:  the inconsistent animation quality. During most of the battle scenes, Gonzo really wimps out and presents them as still frames with very little motion, if at all. This has been a problem throughout the entire run. If you’re not going to show action in an action show, then don’t even bother making it! I mean, at least shake the camera or something on the still shots!  Or insert manga pages. While the barely adequate battle sequences weaken the show,  I still liked Black Cat  a lot and definitely recommend it.

    My Rating: B+

    Category:Anime DVD Reviews -- posted at: 6:41pm CDT