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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  • My Anime Reviews A-L
  • My Anime Reviews M-Z
  • My Manga Reviews A-L
  • My Manga Reviews M-Z
  • VAMPYBIT.ME - The official Linda Le Weblog

    Free To View Anime

  • Anime News Network
  • Aniplex on Youtube
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  • Astronerd's Anime and Manga Blog
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  • An Eternal Thought in the Mind of Godzilla
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  • Manga Review of Hikaru No Go Volume 10: "Lifeline". Story by Yumi Hotta. Art by Takeshi Obata (Death Note). Supervised by Yukari Umezawa (5 Dan). Translated and adapted by Andy Nakatani. Originally published in Japan by Shueisha. Published in US by Viz under their Shonen Jump imprint, $7.95, Rated A for All Ages.  

    Hikaru just barely managed to survive the prelims of the pro test, not because he lacked the skill but because he lacked experience playing against adults. His playing has been pretty insular in terms of variety. He had only really been playing against the formal and quite dry styles of his Go study group. So when he went up against a maverick like Tsubaki he became quite rattled and let what were simply eccentric mannerisms ruin his concentration. But he's gained a ton of confidence after Waya and Isumi took him around to different Go salons last volume. Meanwhile, Akira Toya, still feeling the fear of being beat by Shindo at the beginning of this series, wants to find out just how far his rival has progressed. To do this he wants to set up a teaching match with Ochi. What he wants to do is teach Ochi to use his own style of play so when Ochi plays against Shindo, Toya will be able to tell how his own strategies would work. Unfortunately, Ochi doesn't want to be Toya's lab rat and refuses to accept his help. While he helped Shindo in volume 9, Isumi is currently the one that is suffering from a crisis of confidence and begins to lose games after being spooked by Shindo's newfound skill.

    I'm still amazed after reading 10 volumes of this series that I still have interest in a book that is simply about playing Go! I mean, would I feel the same if someone wrote a manga about Monopoly? Weirdly enough, if the right Japanese artist and writer were doing it, I would probably give it at least a chance. I don't think a comic like Hikaru No Go could be done by an American comic book dude or dudette. I think the very foreignness of the concept is what attracts me to Hikaru No Go. The very oddity that a game could be taken so deadly serious that people become professional Go players. But really, I guess it's no different than people becoming professional baseball players or some other sport which is just a child's game really. The art by Death Note's Takeshi Obata is spot on as usual and he manages to convey a Rocky-like physicality and dramatic flourish to a game that is essentially an intellectual cat and mouse endeavour. Sorta like Death Note. I question sometimes whether I will get sick of this title. Then I find myself answering with a definite no. At least as long as Shindo and his friends don't develop superpowers and start swordfighting with demons.

    My Grade: B

    Direct download: hikaru_10.jpg
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 2:21 PM

    Manga review of Tetragrammaton Labyrinth Volume 3 by Ei Itou. Translated by Kenji Komiya. Adapted by Shannon Fay. Originally published in Japan by Wani Books. Published in US by Seven Seas under their Strawberry yuri imprint, $11.99, Rated Older Teen 16+.

    As Meg and Ann continue their mission to Germany by train, we flashback many years ago when Meg and Ann first met in Nepal. At that time Meg was just a child and traveled with her father, a missionary preacher set on seeking out unbelievers to convert them to Christianity. His wanderings had taken him to Katmandu in Nepal where Ann is being worshipped as the earthly incarnation of a local goddess. Unknown to him, some of the natives had begun to grow resentful of his presence and felt threatened by his new religion. Some of the angriest decided to take matters into their own hands and deliberately sabotaged a tall wooden pillar so that it fell and critically wounded Meg. When he learned what really happened, he snapped, completely lost his faith in God, and sought out a darker power to save his daughter and take revenge. Coming back to the present, Meg and Ann are attacked on the train by Prelati, the high ranking demon that showed up last volume, and this time he isn't alone. Thankfully, neither are Meg and Ann as some old acquaintances show up to give them aid and new weapons.

    First up, this manga should definitely be rated Mature 18+ because it has some pretty graphic violence. There are scenes of dismemberment and even bodies torn in half with their guts hanging out. Even though the title is marketed by Seven Seas as yuri, it has practically no girl on girl entanglements or romance. So if you're into that sort of thing exclusively, you should probably skip this book. The relationship between Meg and Ann is one of friendship. Very intense friendship, but not romantic. Both girls need each other not because they lust for each other, but because they need companionship. In the last volume, Meg was complaining that there were no "normal" people in the organization that they work for and Ann had to put her in check by replying that Meg herself was not normal. The true extent of that statement is fully revealed in this third installment. The fact is that the two girls cling to each other because each is a bulwark against solitude and loneliness. Tetragrammaton Labyrinth's style is more like that of Bleach or Chrono Crusade without as much humor and a better feel for horror. In fact, the author acknowledges his debt to Crusade and even recounts a conversation he had with the creator of that series, Daisuke Moriyama, and got his ok that his own work wasn't a ripoff. Moriyama even contributes a drawing of Ann for this volume. While I enjoyed the first half of Volume 3, the second half has me worried. When two characters from previous volumes show up to help Ann and Meg, it almost plays out like an American superhero comic, and the work suffers for it because it loses its hardwon sense of creepiness. Hopefully, volume 4 will get the series back on track.

    My Grade: B+

    Direct download: tetra_3.jpg
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 5:40 PM

    Podcast Episode 125: Manga Review of Sola Volume 1. Art by Chaco Abeno. Story by Naoki Hisaya. Character Designs by Naru Nanao. Translated by Azusa Hatori. Adapted by Jan Suzukawa. Originally published in Japan by Media Works. Published in US by Broccoli Books, $10.99, Rated 13+.

    Yorito Moriyama, a 15-year-old orphan, doesn't have the ideal life. His parents are dead and his older sister, Aono, is hospitalized with an unknown sickness. So he pretty much has to look after himself and make sure he keeps his sister's spirits up. While his life to some onlookers might seem a bit tragic, he seems to deal with the responsibility pretty well. Things turn a little weird when he meets Matsuri Shihou, a girl who looks Yorito's age, but is really a Yaka, an immortal being. She is actually about 350 years old. Hot on her trail is a swordsman named Takeshi, who wants to kill her and use her blood.

    My Grade: B+

    Direct download: Episode_125--Sola_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00 AM

    Manga Review of GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka Volume 8 by Tohru Fujisawa. Translated and adapted by Dan Papia. Originally published in Japan by Kodansha. Published in US by Tokyopop, $9.99, Rated Older Teen 16+.

    Tohru Fujisawa starts Volume 8 of GTO out pretty cleverly by doing a whole chapter from Onizuka's first person point of view. In fact, we never even hear him talk. All the dialogue comes from Saejima, one of his old motorcycle gang buddies that holds an even more surprising job than GTO. Saejima is a cop! But he's not above swiping seized drugs and hiring call girls. He's probably not the best guy to go to in times of moral crisis. But Onizuka is desperate. He's being driven crazy by Urumi Kanzaki, the legendary school terrorist that GTO almost buried alive last volume. She's basically made him her slave by threatening to tell the authorities about the incident. GTO is looking for a way out of the situation or to reach Urumi and turn her to the good side. Or to at least make her value her life. You see, Urumi lost her faith in not only teachers, but in humanity and life in general back in the 6th grade. GTO and some other students, including Urumi, run into Ms. Fujimori, her 5th and 6th grade teacher. Back then, Urumi was recognized as being gifted and talented with a genius level IQ, and she never caused any trouble. Ms. Fujimori did something pretty horrible to her due to her lack of maturity and teaching experience that has caused a wound inside Urumi that continues to fester to this day. It's up to GTO to heal her soul and, as he quite eloquently states, "open up her butthole", to let out all the crap that she's been holding inside of herself.

    The cool thing about GTO besides all the great art, vulgarity, and humor, is the fact that it takes up some pretty powerful issues that continue to be argued about in education and probably always will be. This volume takes up the debate about whether teachers coming out of college with no experience are equipped to deal with gifted and talented students. Fujisawa appears to give a big NO as the answer to this question. Everyone can probably recall a classmate sometime during their school career that always seemed to have the answer to a teacher's question. You might have also encountered someone that seemed SMARTER than your teacher as well. Some of them would even argue with the teacher when they found something wrong with their reasoning or a fact they found erroneous. The fact is that a lot of really smart kids are BORED in a typical public school. In the best case, these kids should be placed in more advanced classes, or if they must stay in a regular class, the teacher has to give them more intellectually challenging activities. Ms. Fujimori found herself ill equipped to serve Urumi's needs and started to resent her because she began to fear that maybe Urumi was smarter than her because she came from a second rate college. A teacher should never belittle a student because of their own insecurities. Tohru Fujisawa continues to crank out volume after volume of comedy, drama, action, outstanding art, and great theses on what is wrong with the current state of government run, assembly line education models. Excellent series.

    My Grade: A

    Direct download: gto_8.jpg
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 10:49 PM

    This is the start of my manga review index page covering titles that start with M-Z. Simply click on a title and it will take you to the review. Reviews that are in podcast form will say podcast. Otherwise, the reviews are text. If a review is a podcast, you can click on the pod button or click on the direct download located underneath the show notes.

  • Maison Ikkoku Volume 13
  • Maison Ikkoku Volume 14
  • Mar Volume 15
  • Monkey High! Volume 1 (podcast)
  • My Dearest Devil Princess Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Naruto Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Naruto Volume 2 (podcast)
  • Naruto Volume 3 (podcast)
  • Naruto Volume 4 (podcast)
  • Naruto Volume 5
  • Naruto Volume 14 (podcast)
  • Naruto Volume 22 (podcast)
  • Naruto Volume 28 (podcast)
  • Naruto: Innocent Heart, Demonic Blood
  • Negima! Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Negima! Volume 2
  • Orfina Volume 1 (podcast)
  • The Other Side of the Mirror Volume 1 (podcast)
  • The Outcast Volume 1
  • PhD Phantasy Degree Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Pick of the Litter Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Psycho Busters Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Psycho Busters Volume 2
  • Pumpkin Scissors Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Puri Puri Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Puri Puri Volume 2
  • Rose Hip Rose Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Rose Hip Rose Volume 2
  • St. Lunatic High School Volume 1
  • Samurai Commando Volumes 1-2
  • Sand Chronicles Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Shiki Tsukai Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Shinshoku Kiss Volume 1
  • Sorcerer Hunters Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Sorcerer Hunters Volume 2
  • Sorcerer Hunters Volume 3
  • Sorcerer Hunters Volume 5
  • Space Pinchy (podcast)
  • Strawberry 100% Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Strawberry 100% Volume 2
  • Street Fighter: Sakura Ganbaru! Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Sunshine Sketch Volume 1
  • Tetragrammaton Labyrinth Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Tetragrammaton Labyrinth Volume 2
  • Togari Volume 2 (podcast)
  • Togari Volume 3
  • Uzumaki Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Welcome to the NHK Volume 4
  • Wild Ones Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Yen Plus, August Issue, Part 1 (podcast)
  • Yen Plus, August Issue, Part 2 (podcast)
  • Yggdrasil Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Yotsuba&! Volume 5 (podcast)
  • Zombie-Loan Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Category:general -- posted at: 2:28 AM

    This is the start of my manga review index page covering titles that start with A-L. Simply click on a title and it will take you to the review. Reviews that are in podcast form will say podcast. Otherwise, the reviews are text. If a review is a podcast, you can click on the pod button or click on the direct download located underneath the show notes.

  • 10,20, and 30 Volume 1 (podcast)
  • 10,20, and 30 Volume 2
  • Ai Yori Aoshi Volume 17 (podcast)
  • Alice on Deadlines Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Alive:The Final Evolution Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Angel Cup Volume 5
  • Arm of Kannon Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Atelier Marie and Elie Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Batman: Death Mask Issues 1-2 (podcast)
  • Chibi Vampire Volume 5 (podcast)
  • Chunchu the Genocide Fiend Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Color of Rage (podcast)
  • Coyote Ragtime Show Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Cromartie High School Volume 12
  • Eden Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Dance in the Vampire Bund Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Dark Metro Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Dragon Eye Volume 2 (podcast)
  • The Drifting Classroom Volume 7
  • The Drifting Classroom Volume 8
  • Eden Volume 9
  • Elemental Gelade Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Gakuen Alice Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Gantz Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Gon Volume 2 (podcast)
  • Gon Volume 3
  • GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka Volume 1 (podcast)
  • GTO:Great Teacher Onizuka Volume 6
  • GTO:Great Teacher Onizuka Volume 7(podcast)
  • GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka Volume 8
  • Guardian Hearts Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Gunslinger Girl Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Gunslinger Girl Volume 2
  • Gunslinger Girl Volume 3
  • Gunslinger Girl Volume 4
  • Gunslinger Girl Volume 5 (podcast)
  • Gunslinger Girl Volume 6
  • Harukaze Bitter Bop Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Harukaze Bitter Bop Volume 2
  • Heavenshield Volume 1 (podcast)
  • High School Debut Volume 1 (podcast)
  • I, Otaku Volume 1
  • In Odd We Trust (podcast)
  • Inuyasha Volume 22
  • Kashimashi Volume 4
  • Kashimashi Volume 5 (podcast)
  • Koi Cupid Volume 1 (podcast)
  • The Law of Ueki Volume 8 (podcast)
  • The Law of Ueki Volume 9
  • Love Attack Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Category:general -- posted at: 2:22 AM

    This is my anime dvd review index page of titles starting M-Z. Simply click on a title and it will take you to the review. Reviews that are in podcast form will say podcast. Otherwise, the reviews are text. If a review is a podcast, you can click on the pod button or click on the direct download located underneath the show notes.

  • Mar Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Maria Watches Over Us Season 1, Episodes 1-3 (podcast)
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Mushi-Shi Volume 1
  • Naruto Uncut Box Set 3 (podcast)
  • Peach Girl Volume 4 (podcast)
  • Phoenix Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Red Garden Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Red Garden Volume 2 (podcast)
  • Rescue Me: Mave-Chan
  • Simoun Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Solty Rei Volume 2
  • Step Up Love Story Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Tekkonkinkreet (podcast)
  • Tokyo Majin Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Tweeny Witches Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Venus Versus Virus Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Welcome to the NHK Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Witchblade Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Witchblade Volume 2
  • Witchblade Volume 3 (podcast)
  • Xenosaga: The Animation Volume 1 (podcast)
  • xxxHolic Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Yo Yo Girl Cop (podcast)
  • Zegapain Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Category:general -- posted at: 2:15 AM

    This is the start of my anime dvd review index page. Simply click on a title and it will take you to the review. Reviews that are in podcast form will say podcast. Otherwise, the reviews are text. If a review is a podcast, you can click on the pod button or click on the direct download located underneath the show notes.

  • 009-1 Volume 2
  • 009-1 Volume 3 (podcast)
  • Ah My Goddess: Flights of Fancy Volume 3 (podcast)
  • Air TV Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Air TV Volume 2
  • Air TV Volume 4
  • Appleseed: Ex Machina (podcast)
  • Aquarion Season 1, Part 1, Episodes 1-5 (podcast)
  • Aquarion Season 1, Part 1, Episodes 6-9
  • Area 88 Volume 1
  • Batman: Gotham Knight (podcast)
  • Beck Volume 2 (podcast)
  • Best Student Council Volume 5
  • Black Cat Volume 6
  • Bleach Volume 7: The Entry
  • Buso Renkin Box Set 1, Episodes 1-4 (podcast)
  • Buso Renkin Box Set 1, Episodes 5-8
  • Buso Renkin Box Set 1, Episodes 9-13
  • Eureka Seven Volume 7 (podcast)
  • Flag Volume 1
  • Galaxy Angel AA Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Glass Fleet Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Gunbuster 2 Volume 3 (podcast)
  • Guyver Volume 3
  • Hell Girl Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Innocent Venus Volume 1 (podcast)
  • Innocent Venus Volume 2
  • Category:general -- posted at: 12:38 AM

    Hey, everybody! I hope everybody is enjoying their summer. Mine ended this week. I had to go back to work on Monday, but I hope to keep on writing and recording reviews. It seems that right when I get into a groove, summer ends. But, anyway, what I wanted to say is that I'm fixing to begin making some sort of index system on the site for all the different anime and manga titles I've reviewed. The little search box on the right side that Libsyn has up pretty much sucks. So I'm gonna try to put a category over there that says something like "Index of My Reviews" or something so you can look them up by title. I won't be able to do it in a day, so I'll probably start with the most recent reviews and work backwards.

    I'm computer incompetent and illiterate so I basically have to figure out things as I go. I had no idea how to write HTML code until I started working with my blog and podcasting. Libsyn is pretty cool and cheap but they only give you the barest bones on how to set up your site. I've been meaning to change up my colors on the page for a decade now. They only give you about 3 templates or so and they aren't very good. So you basically have to teach yourself how to make a webpage if you want to do anything unique, which I guess is good and bad at the same time.

    Category:News -- posted at: 5:17 PM

    Tetragrammaton Labyrinth Volume 2 by Ei Itou. Translated by Kenji Komiya. Adapted by Shannon Fay. Originally published by Wani Books in Japan. Published in US by Seven Seas under their Strawberry imprint, $11.99, Rated Older Teen 16+.

    Angela needed a new weapon after her previous scythe was broken during the intense fighting we saw in Volume 1. The scythe she wants now is held at a Church research facility under lock and key. It is a weapon so powerful that it could kill that which could not be killed, a heavenly angel! In fact, the scythe is still stuck in the fossilized remains of the angel. Many people have tried to wield it, but in the end they were all killed and their spiritual power was added to the scythe. So, every person that has died trying to get their hands on it has made it even more deadly. Not only do Meg and Angela have to deal with the ghosts that haunt it, things get a bit crazier when they remove it from the dead angel and it comes back to life...as a fallen angel, with murder on its mind. After that, the duo are called to Germany for unknown reasons and encounter Hugh Williams, a demon's servant who uses the shipping lanes between England and the mainland to offer sacrifices to his master.

    The biggest surprise I got from this second volume was the fact that Angela is around 400 years old. Just looking at the two girls from a purely physical standpoint, Meg looks much older, like around 18-20, while Angela looks about 12 or so. What we find out is that it is Angela who is the big sister figure and that even though she says she only exists because Meg needs her, it is Meg who leans on her most of the time instead of the other way around.  Something else that is revealed about Angela is that she has no compunctions about killing innocent people if it serves a greater good. For example, when Hugh Williams takes hostages on the boat, Angela takes out at least 3-4 of them to take away his bargaining chips. Let's just say she takes the Keanu Reeves option from his film Speed of "Shoot the Hostage" to a whole 'nother level. She seems a little inhuman in her dealings with anyone but Meg but it is that very relationship that gives her humanity. It is Angela who reigns as the star in this second volume. It closes with the promise of revealing how Angela and Meg first met in the next installment.

    My Grade: A

    Here is my link to my podcast review of the first volume:

    http://sesho.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=241904

    Direct download: tetragrammaton_2.jpg
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 4:40 PM