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 39: The Fall of Geneon and a Review for Witchblade Volume 1

    First up, some thoughts on the continually expanding mess that is Geneon... Hmmm.....rhymes with Enron...hmmmm...then it's on to a review of the first volume of the Witchblade anime from Funimation.

    Six years ago Masane Amaha and her daughter Rihoko were found at the epicenter of a giant earthquake that reduced most of Tokyo to rubble and even submerged areas in the sea. She had no memories of her life before that moment when she woke with a child she had no recollection of in her arms. If not for medical records, the authorities would not have known Rihoko was her daughter. Over the past six years Masane has grown to love Rihoko and will not allow the Child Welfare Department to take her away. While languishing in a jail cell, she is attacked by a mysterious organic machine called an Ex-Con, which triggers the sentient Witchblade, an ancient weapon born to destroy and fight.

    My Grade: A-

    Direct download: Episode_39--Witchblade_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:49pm CST

    Street Fighter: Sakura Ganbaru! Volume 1 by Masahiko Nakahira

    Manga Review for Street Fighter: Sakura Ganbaru! Volume 1 by Masahiko Nakahira. Translated by Michelle Hayashi and Rie Shibazaki. Adapted by Jim Zubkavich and Matt Moylan. Published by Udon for $12.95, size: 8.1 x 5.8 inches. Originally published in Japan by Shinseisha.

    15-year-old Sakura Kasugane has a secret life outside of school that she doesn't want her parents to know about. She is a street fighter being trained by a martial artist from Hong Kong named Dan Hibiki. He  originally came to Japan to study martial arts but he has become more and more intrigued by Sakura's natural talent when it comes to studying fighting techniques. All he has to do is show her a move and she can not only mimic it but incorporate her own personal styles to compliment it. Another student at her school, the heir to the vast Kazuki business empire, Karin Kazuki, is also a street fighter. Her ancestors were great warriors who lived by the motto "In all things, be victorious!" She has translated this belief into becoming the greatest street fighter in the city. She has no equal until she encounters Sakura, and then she sets all her energy into defeating her.

    I was never a big fan of the Street Fighter videogames, even though I remember when it was strictly a stand up arcade game. There was a time when Street Fighter 2 coming to the Sega Genesis was the biggest news this side of Halo 3. I bought the game and was decidedly underwhelmed by the experience, perhaps because my best friend could beat me easily. But I like the IDEA of the videogames and the design of its characters and I like a bit of fighting manga so I decided to give Sakura Ganbaru a shot. First up, the art is awful. Nakahira's characters all look a bit plump and the two main female leads look the opposite of feminine. Even when there's a panty shot, it feels like you're looking at a guy in his underwear because of Nakahira's lack of knowledge or total denial of the female body. I would even call the art a bit primitive. While the fights should have plenty of money shots, they mostly consist of blurred drawings with what look like small explosions signifying impacts. You really shouldn't have an artist that does poor fight panels doing a manga like Sakura. The personalities of the characters were interesting, if a bit colorless, but the art was just way too ugly. Has six color plates and some bonus pages taken from the Street Fighter Alpha manga showing how Sakura met Ryu.

    My Rating: C

    Direct download: sakuraganbaru.jpg
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 11:14pm CST

    Episode 38: Hikaru No Go Volume 7 by Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata

    Podcast #38 of Sesho's Anime and Manga Reviews. A few comments on Xbox 360 failures and Naruto videogame, a manga writing relative of a co-worker, and the rudeness of ANN, then it's on to a review of Volume 7 of the Hikaru No Go manga.

    Hikaru No Go Volume 7. Written by Yumi Hotta and drawn by Takeshi Obata of Deathnote fame. Translated and adapted by Andy Nakatani. Published by Viz as part of their Shonen Jump line. Originally published in 1998 by Shueisha in Japan. $7.95, For all ages.

    Hikaru is currently ranked 18th in the Insei B League and does not appear be moving up in the ranks at all. It is three months until the Young Lions Tournament in which Insei play against rookie pros. If Hikaru hopes to play against Akira Toya, he has to at least be ranked 16th in the A League. He has his work cut out for him and the fear in his heart is keeping him from making any progress towards his goal.

    My Grade: A+

    Direct download: Episode_38--Hikaru_No_Go_7.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:47pm CST

    St. Lunatic High School Volume 1 by Majiko!

    Review for St. Lunatic High School Volume 1 by Majiko! Translated by Alethea and Athena Nibley for Tokyopop, $9.99. Originally published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten in 2004. For ages 13+.

    Niko Kanzaki and her brother Atchan have fallen on hard times. They live alone and are behind on their rent and sometimes there are barely able to keep from starving. But Fate seems to cast a favorable eye on them when Atchan gets a job as a nightschool teacher at the prestigious and elite St. Lunatic High School. The ad that he responded to said the position came along with free housing including a private bath, toilet, and garden. When they arrive on the school grounds they are shocked to discover that they will be living in a hellhole shack even worse than the ratty apartment they were in! The bath and toilet they were promised turns out to be the school restroom facilities that all the students use. The garden just turns out to be the school's landscaped grounds. As an added bonus, Niko is allowed to attend night classes with her brother as homeroom teacher. The aspect of this manga that pushes it from normal school life to the realm of the bizarre and strange is that the students that attend St. Lunatic at night are all DEMONS! And most of them are pretty funky looking. You have skeletons, human sized frogs, pumpkinheads, a walking Easter Island statue, and a penguin that looks like it fell out of Disgaea. There is one fellow student that looks human, a handsome boy named Ren-kun, but even he is a demon who can fly with the use of bone-like wings. Being the only human in the class, Niko faces a lot of discrimination from the demon children but she's trying her best to get along with them and learn at the same time.

    St. Lunatic High School was a manga that Tokyopop originally offered for sale only on their website, a fate that some titles were subjugated to because of low sales expectations. It turns out that the lack of belief in this title was justified. Relative to the writing and concept, the art was the standout of this first volume. Majiko's style and character designs reminded me a bit of Takeshi Obata's work on Hikaru No Go but with less attention to detail and backgrounds. The writing is where this book suffers the most. First of all, the concept of a demon night school, while not the most original in the world, could've worked if the characters had been anything more than voided lumps of flesh with no personality. The comedy aspects of the book were also flat and humorless. There just wasn't anything interesting going on in this manga and it became rather boring. If you read this book on a Monday, by Friday you won't remember much about it.

    My Rating: D

    Direct download: st.lunatic.jpg
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 11:11am CST

    Episode 37: The Law of Ueki Volume 7 by Tsubasa Fukuchi

    Podcast review for The Law of Ueki Volume 7 by Tsubasa Fukuchi. Translated and adapted by Yoshiko Tokuhara and Filomila Papakonstantinou. Originally published in Japan in 2001 by Shogakukan. Released in the states by Viz for $9.99. Rated T for Teen.

    Ueki has whittled Robert's 10 down to 2 but these last two members might just be the most powerful. First up is Taro Myojin, who is a cheater because he has TWO powers: the power to change whistles into laser beams and the power to change cards into saws. Then a King Candidate named Inumaru reveals that his champion, Seiichiro Sano is the last member of Robert's 10 and that he wishes to save him from the evil influence of Robert Haydn. At this point it's not clear whether Sano joined of his own freewill or he was somehow forced. Ueki and friends proceed to a showdown in Robert's underground hideout, Dogra Mansion.

    My Grade: B+

    Direct download: Episode_37--The_Law_of_Ueki_7.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:02pm CST

    Episode 36:Ah My Goddess Season 2, Flights of Fancy: Volume 3

    Reunited And It Feels So Good. After a brief overview of this series, it's on to a podcast review of the third volume of the second season of Ah My Goddess. Keiichi has his hands full when a fourth goddess, Peorth, arrives on the scene to fulfill his hidden desires. She sets about doing anything to get him alone in order to seduce him into uttering his wish. But even Keiichi is at a loss as to what that wish is. Then an ex-member of the auto club comes to town, and is shocked to see how much the club has changed since she left. Her and Keiichi hit it off and agree to race tiny motorcycles. Urd has her own romantic entanglements as an old lover called the Troubadour returns after years or centuries of questing for the mythical Golden Nightingale.

    ADV Films, $29.98, 100 minutes.

    My Grade: B

    Direct download: ah_my_goddess.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:52pm CST

    Best Student Council Volume 5: Special Talents, Crazy Times

    Pucchan isn't the only puppet on the block anymore. Izumi finds a puppet named Lance in a box in an alley that has the same abilties of sentience as Pucchan. Lance actually knows Pucchan as well. It seems they are old friends and both used to serve Rino's mom back in the old days. His arrival ushers in the fact that Rino has a far more important role to play at the school than was previously thought, even though it's pretty mysterious at this point. There are many mentions of her awakening that leaves the viewer a bit confused as to what Rino is. Rino's friend, Ayumu, takes centerstage when she is enlisted to become a pop idol, being marketed under the slogan My ordinariness is what makes me special. It brings some unwanted attention from her ninja clan family who see her as a traitor because she turned her back on the martial arts in the pursuit of a normal life. Her brother is sent to bring her back or kill her! The last episode concerns a Yu-Gi-Oh type trading card game which uses the Best Student Council as its characters. Most of the students play it and it's also a big revenue source. But some of the Council are not happy with their stats on the cards and want to revise them to be more flattering.

    This is one of the weaker volumes in an otherwise very funny series. The addition of Lance to the cast for a brief time is the prize catch in my view. When he first meets Pucchan, they engage in a slow motion Matrix-like battle that is hilarious. The great thing about Best Student Council is that beneath the humor and zaniness, the characters have depth. For example, Ayumu's battle with her brother ninja is a little goofy on the surface, but the emotional context of it is a very human thing. She wants freedom to do what she wants and her family is stifling her. Even the whole pop idol facet of it is a satire of a Japanese industry that takes young girls and uses them for a time and casts them aside when they are no longer hip. That's the trick for this kind of show. To not only make you laugh at and with the characters, but to make you care for them as well. A funny and sometimes surprisingly touching anime.

    My Grade: B

    Category:Anime DVD Reviews -- posted at: 11:40am CST

    Episode 35: Kamiyadori Volume 2 by Kei Sanbe

    Episode 35: Manga Podcast Review for Kamiyadori Volume 2 by Kei Sanbe. Translated by Ray Yoshimoto and adapted by Mike Wellman. Published by Tokyopop for $9.99. First published in Japan in 2004 by Kadokawa Shoten. For Ages 18+.

    Vivi and Rady are trapped in the Deep Isolation Temple, unable to move against Yotsume and the Infected Liberation Front because they have no weapons. That doesn't keep Vivi from assaulting them kamikaze style, exposed rear end and all. The whole thing appears suicidal because Yotsume seems to have the power of a Right Arm, which no human can beat. Meanwhile, Jillald and the other Scudra forces try to force their way into the complex to help Vivi and Rady before it's too late.

    My Grade: A

    Direct download: Episode_35--Kamiyadori_Volume_2.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:36pm CST

    Episode 34:Pick of the Litter Volume 1 by Yuriko Suda

    Podcast review for Pick of the Litter Volume 1 by Yuriko Suda. Translated by Alethea and Athena Nibley. Adapted by Kristin Bailey Murphy. Published by Tokyopop. First published in Japan in 2004 by Kadokawa Shoten. $9.99

    Riku Fukagawa has no memory of ever having a family. He was discovered walking the streets alone five years, knowing only his name. He lived in orphanages for the next couple of years and it was there that he decided his life would be spent helping others. Now, he's living in school dorms and is heavily involved in student life. That's when some weird street vendors show up claiming that he is their lost brother and that Riku was not even born in this world! Maybe that's why one of his brothers has rabbit ears? They take him back to their land through a dimensional gateway to see if it will jog his memory.

    My Grade: C-

    Direct download: Episode_34--Pick_of_the_Litter_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:07pm CST

    Episode 33: Togari Volume 2 by Yoshinori Natsume

    Togari Volume 2 by Yoshinori Natsume. Translated by Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt. Published by Viz. First published in Japan in 2001 by Shogakukan. $9.99. Rated T+ for Older Teens.

    Tobei has been roasting in Hell for around 300 years, ever since he was executed at the young age of 16 for innumerable crimes. In those 300 years of torture and pain he has never once renounced his crimes or felt remorse. Now Lady Ema, the overseer of Hell, offers him a deal. If he can destroy 108 sins, called Toga, in 108 days, he can get out of Hell. He is given a wooden sword called Togari and sent to Earth. One of his guards, Ose, also accompanies him, mainly staying in the form of a dog. If he even thinks about committing a sin, his old execution wound opens. He is also not allowed to hurt the human host of a Toga. If he does, his head is in danger of falling off his body! Will human kindness be able to turn him away from his dark past of killing and stealing?

    My Grade: A-

    Direct download: Episode_33--Togari_Volume_2.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:19pm CST

    Puri Puri Volume 2 by Chiaki Taro

    Puri Puri Volume 2 by Chiaki Taro, published by DrMaster, Originally published in Japan in 2005 by Akita, Translated by Daniel Sullivan and Asako Otomo,$9.95, Ages 15+

    When Kamioda transferred to the St. Sophia school, he assumed that the faculty and the principal knew he was doing so in order to become a priest. Imagine Kamioda's surprise when he finds out his adopted father neglected to tell the principal about his goal. The principal tells him that the priest track was deleted from the school curriculum once it became an all girl school. Besides, St. Sophia is moving more and more towards becoming a regular private secular school. In fact, the principal has been sent to accelerate this process. He thinks that that the conservative nature of St. Sophia is actually holding back the intellectual growth of its students. He does agree to reinstitute the priest course track for Kamioda though. The usual length of study is three years, but Kamioda only has two! He must join all the Monastic Order Clubs and participate in them enough to where the president of each club will give him a stamp in a booklet. The first two clubs he joins are the Choir Club and the Exorcist Club. He's quite shocked to find out that the Choir Club is actually a rock band led by the cute Ririsu Mamiya who enlists his aid to seduce her crush, a male teacher! The Exorcist Club has only two members, counting Kamioda. The other is Ayumi Soma, who only did her first exorcism last volume. She and Kamioda are sent to exorcise a ghost with a pit stop at a hot springs resort.

    This second volume actually improved on the first volume. I guess what I like about it is its irreverent take on Western religion. When the principal says he's going to reform the school and allow more self-expression, his nun assistant is the first one to take off her habit and split the side of her dress to show more leg! An my god, Kamioda, a PRIEST? The guy has absolutely no control over his desires or his attraction to girls. In fact, we never see any religious instruction whatsoever in these first two volumes. If you didn't know it was a divinity school, you would never realize it, except for a few nuns here and there. Most of the characters are ones you see in any high school comedy manga. The one thing that sets this title on a higher level is the gorgeous art. Without that, all the fan service and titillation would mean nothing. The girls are sexy. The writing very witty and fast. Very funny.

    My Grade: A

    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 5:19pm CST

    Episode 32: Red Garden Volume 1

    Podcast review for Red Garden Volume 1 anime DVD directed by Kou Matsuo. Series composition by Tomohiro Yamashita. Episodes 1-4, 100 minutes. ADV Films $29.98.

    4 girls from the same private school in New York City have two things in common. They have all lost their memories from last night and all of them were friends with a missing student named Lisa Meyer whose dead body was recently found. At first glance, it appears she committed suicide but two police investigators suspect some sort of foul play. The four girls, Rose, Claire, Rachel, and Kate begin to see mysterious butterflys which lead them to a meeting with a mysterious woman named Lula who tells the girls that they are dead! She tells them they were brought back to life, that she tried to save Lise as well, but couldn't secure her body. To continue the pseudo life they are living they will have to fight. Just at that moment a man approaches them with glowing eyes, and running along on all fours making dog noises, his legs deformed into the shape of canine back legs.....Lula tells the four that they have to kill him...

    My Grade: A-

    Direct download: Episode_32--Red_Garden_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:10pm CST

    Episode 31: Atelier Marie And Elie Volume 1 by Yoshihiko Ochi

    Atelier Marie and Elie: Zarlburg Alchemist Volume 1 by Yoshihiko Ochi manga podcast review. Published by Tokyopop. Originally published in Japan in 2001 by Enterbrain. Translated by Althea and Athena Nibley. $9.99 For Ages 13+. This title is based on a pair of videogames released for the Playstation and Playstation 2 that were only released in Japan back in the 1990's and 2005. Marie, a world-travelling alchemist has decided to return to her hometown, Zarlburg, after spending years adventuring. She doesn't adjust too well to the trappings of normal life and is a bit antsy until she meets Elie. Elie is a recent graduate from the Zarlburg Academy and practically hero worships Marie. After all, Marie did save her life when she was a kid. Elie talks Marie into opening a shop with her in town to use alchemy in a practical fashion to help people. First up, a skyscraper sized monster called a Puni Puni, a hideous globular smiley face that crushes everything in its path, which might include Zarlburg!

    My Grade: C-

    Direct download: Episode_31--Atelier_Marie_and_Elie_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:24am CST

    Episode 30: Shiki Tsukai Volume 1 by To-Ru Zekuu and Yuna Takanagi

    Episode 30: Shiki Tsukai Volume 1 Manga Podcast Review. Story by To-Tu Zekuu and art by Yuna Takanagi. Translated and adapted by Mayumi Kobayashi. Published by Del Rey for $10.95. Originally published in Japan in 2006 by Kodansha. For ages 13+. Akira Kizuki does not like to fight or confront people but he finds himself drawn into a battle between rival Keepers of the Seasons, the Shiki Tsukai, magic-users that can control the seasons, who are fighting amongst themselves about the best way to restore the Earth's climate to its normal state. One side thinks that killing off part of the human population will heal it! Akira is being sought out by the more anti-population faction because they believe him to be the Shinra, a Tsukai that can control all the seasons and bring about their victory. Will Akira gain the ability to defend himself and the strength to make a choice about whose side he is on?

    My Grade: F

    Direct download: episode_30--Shiki_Tsukai_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:43pm CST

    The Drifting Classroom Volume 5 by Kazuo Umezu

    Viz Signature, $9.99, Rated M for Mature. Originally published in Japan in 1974 by Shogakukan. Translated by Yuji Oniki.

    In the last volume of Drifting Classroom, after many students had died fighting a bizarre and horrifying creature that looked like a cross between a scorpion and a centipede, we were introduced to a concept right out of Forbidden Planet. The monster was an exact reproduction of a drawing one of the students had made. Somehow, this monster had come to life from the mind of the student Nakata, and disappeared when he lost consciousness. Now, miniature versions of the creature are swarming around the school, ripping and eating the flesh off students in a matter of seconds! Of course, the first thing the students do is blame Nakata and some of them even want to kill him in cold blood. Will Sho, the elected leader of the school, be able to hold back a bloodthirsty mob that just might have the only solution for their survival? As if this wasn't bad enough, a strange sickness is spreading across the campus, a sickness that the only student with any medical knowledge recognizes as the Black Plague! Oh man, are these kids having a bad day or what?

    I'm getting really curious as to why and how these kids have been transported across time seemingly only to suffer and die. I'm sure I could find some online resources that would tell me the ending and explain everything but I don't want to do that. I'm ALMOST perfectly content to find out in this manga's own good time. Sometimes I think that they are not in the future, but in Hell. How else could so many horrible things be happening to them? I hope it's not just some alien experiment to see how humans react to adverse conditions or the like. The horror at times seems a trifle over the top and sadistic, especially since all this is happening to innocent kids. Well, I don't know if they're quite innocent. They have killed and been killed. This volume underlines the fact that humans are prepared to go on a witchhunt at the drop of a hat. Witness the Twilight Zone episode The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street. I have faith that these kids, at least some of them, are going to make it back to their parents. A great read if at times a bit implausible.

    My Grade: B+

    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 7:55pm CST

    Episode 29: Kashimashi Volume 3 by Satoru Akahori and Yukimaru Katsura

    Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl Volume 3 Manga podcast review. Story by Satoru Akahori. Art by Yukimaru Katsura. Character designs by Sukune Inugami. Translated by Adrienne Beck. Published by Seven Seas. Originally published in Japan 2005 by Media Works. $10.99 Rated Older Teen (16+). After being killed by a malfunctioning spaceship, Osaragi Hazumu is resurrected as a girl which leads to much romantic confusion with Tomari, his childhood friend, and Yasuna, the girl that rejected his declaration of love. Even his male friend, Asuta, develops a crush on Hazumu now that he's a girl! In this volume Yasuna and Tomari decide that their love for Hazumu will see them through this tough situation and that they don't have to be rivals, but allies.

    My Grade: B

    Direct download: Episode_29--Kahimashi_Volume_3.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:52pm CST

    Guyver Volume 3 Anime DVD Review

    With the help of Guyver Unit 3, Sho has managed to destroy the Japan branch of Chronos, and also gotten Guyver Unit 2 out of the way. With its leader, Guyot, presumed dead in a helicopter explosion, Sho thinks it's finally time to kick back a bit and return to his normal life. Boy, is he wrong! Agito, who is secretly Guyver 3, knows that the tendrils of Chronos spread over the world like so many spider webs and that the job is not finished quite yet. The plans of both young men go seriously awry when Guyot shows up alive and well. He now plans to destroy the very life that Sho wants to return to. He kidnaps not only Tetsuro, who knows all about the Guyvers and Chronos, but also the innocent Mizuki, and even Sho's father! They have been taken to Relic's Point, a vast underground island base of Chronos, where the Guyvers were first found. It also doubles as a mass production factory of Zoanoids rights out of Attack of the Clones. Sho heads for the island, along with a mysterious reporter who packs a custom made pistol that can kill Zoanoids.

    Volume 3 is notable for answering some questions that viewers had about the series and its characters. We finally get some clues, or at least one explanation of why Agito is helping Chronos on the surface but secretly working to destroy it from within. Even though he seems seriously in danger of becoming that which he hates. Even though he appears heroic at the moment, we know he's going to go bad because at the beginning of Volume 1, Sho was preparing to do battle with him. What we are watching now is an long flashback on how things got to that point. All the emotions of this show seem real and immediate, namely because Sho is fighting to save his friend, his love, and his dad. What more noble things are there to fight for? The monster designs are the weakest link in this show, but I've seen so many goofy-looking Zoanoids at this point, I've gotten used to it. A great show. Now if we just convince Viz to reprint the manga!

    ADV Films, Episodes 9-12, 100 minutes

    My Grade: A-

    Category:Anime DVD Reviews -- posted at: 2:28pm CST

    Episode 28: Puri Puri Volume 1 by Chiaki Taro

    Puri Puri Volume 1 by Chiaki Taro manga review podcast. Published by DrMaster. Originally published in Japan by Akita Publishing. Price: $9.95 Ages 15+. The students of St. Sophia Girl's School have fallen off the correct path of what is morally right. They fight, they are slovenly, and they do not take care of their personal hygiene. The principal thinks that what the school needs is a boy to change the attitudes of the girls. Masato Kamioda is the first lucky/unlucky boy to be admitted. He has always dreamed of being a priest but it is going to be pretty hard to complete his studies with there being so much animosity at his arrival.

    My Grade: B+

    Direct download: Episode_28--Puri_Puri_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:52pm CST

    Episode 27: Kurohime Volume 1 by Masanori Ookamigumi Katakura

    Manga review podcast for Kurohime Volume 1 by Masanori Ookamigumi Katakura. Published by Viz under their Shonen Jump Advanced line of books. Originally published in Japan by Shueisha in 2000. Price $7.99. For Older Teens. A do-gooder gunslinger named Zero searches for the legendary witch-gunslinger named Kurohime, the woman that saved his life 10 years ago. He's also in love with her but he might change his mind when he meets her in the flesh. It seems that shortly after she saved his life she was cursed with the body of a young girl for daring to aspire to be a god. The only way to break the curse is for her to fall in love!

    My grade: D

    Direct download: Episode_27--_Kurohime_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:33pm CST

    Episode 26: Naruto Uncut Box Set 3

    Anime DVD Review podcast for Naruto Uncut Box Set 3. Viz Video $49.98. 3 DVD set containing Episodes 26-38 of Naruto. 325 Minutes. Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura enter the Forest of Death to attempt the second part of the Chunin Exam. Half of the three man teams are given Heaven scrolls, the other half Earth scrolls. To complete the test, you must defeat another team and take their scroll, then make your way to the tower in the center of the forest. First up for Naruto's team is a criminal ninja named Orochimaru who was disguised as a examinee, but whose real purpose is to win over Sasuke as a disciple. Extremely tight fight choreography, great animation, and evolving characters make this a sure thing. My Grade: A

    Direct download: Episode_26_Naruto_Uncut_Box_Set_3.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:13pm CST

    Episode 25: Naruto Nation A few thoughts on Naruto and Shonen Jump anime versions vs. manga versions  Month by month releases of the Naruto Nation media blitz starting this week. Movies, dvds, manga, trading cards, art books, novels, ani-manga, reference works, and games are just some of the Naruto items coming out in the next 4 months. If you're a Naruto fan, please prepare to go without food for a couple of months!
    Direct download: Episode_25--Naruto_Nation.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:28pm CST

    Episode 24: Innocent Venus Volume 1 Innocent Venus Volume 1 Anime dvd Review. ADV Films $29.98. Episodes 1-4. 100 minutes. After a series of hyper hurricanes kill off half the Earth's population, nations have to find ways to rebuild. Japan develops power suit and mecha technology that gives them a military advantage over their neighbors. It also gives the Logos, the inhabitants of the cities, power to control the Revinus, the inhabitants living in the slums outside the cities. Jin and Joe are trying to whisk Sana Nobuto out of the reach of Logos and their bloodthirsty extreme ops force, Phantom. My Grade: A-
    Direct download: Episode_24--Innocent_Venus_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:27pm CST

    Maison Ikkoku Volume 13 by Rumiko Takahashi Maison Ikkoku Volume 13: Game, Set, Match by Rumiko Takahashi. Let's get old school for a moment. I've bought Maison Ikkoku over the past couple of years and am about to finish up this excellent series. This review is for the out of print first edition published in 1999 by Viz. Manga came in a much bigger format back then and came flipped. It was also more expensive. This volume retailed for $16.95. Viz ended up reprinting the series in the more standard tankoban size at $9.95. I have read volumes of both and the only difference that sticks out besides the flip/unflip is page count. The old editions wrapped up in 14 volumes while the newer versions took 15. With only one volume to go, things are rapidly coming to a head. At least one of Godai's problems seems to be solved as Coach Mitaka debates proposing to Asuna under the assumption that he made her pregnant while in the midst of a drunken stupor. He also begins to realize that he might just care for her. But Godai still has problems of his own as his teaching exams are rapidly approaching and he's on the skids with Kyoko. She's angry at him for not exerting any self-discipline to get ahead in life. She's also mad because he always gets into compromising situations with women because of his wishy-washy nature. Because of this, Kozue comes around again after she gets proposed to by a guy she's been dating. She tells Godai she doesn't know what to answer because she wants to be with him! With all the mess going on at Maison Ikkoku, Godai decides to move out and live at the Bunny Club until his exams are over. Of course, all of the residents don't think he's going to be able to stay away, much less pass his tests! But if he doesn't pass, he won't be able to ask Kyoko to marry him. Finally, after 13 volumes, we're coming to the end and getting to see how this love triangle works out. That's not to say Maison Ikkoku wasn't an enjoyable series. It's a classic. I'm just looking forward to seeing what happens in the last volume. There's a point in this volume where Godai says that if only him and Kyoko would just talk and listen to each other, they could have avoided a lot of misunderstandings and pain. Misunderstandings are what comedy is made of though, and a large part of our daily lives. While keeping the comedy level high throughout its run, Rumiko Takahashi has also put in a layer of complexity dealing with the striving to be accepted by the one you love and the acceptance that there isn't just one love in your life. You can begin again. My Grade: A
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 3:52pm CST