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.

Categories

general
podcasts
Manga Reviews
Anime DVD Reviews
Novel Reviews
News
Videogames
Video
Anime Review
Magazine Review
Blu-ray Reviews
Streamed Anime Reviews

Archives

2012
August
July
June
May
January

2011
August
July
April
March
February
January

2010
December
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2009
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2008
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2007
December
November
October
September
August
July

September 2008
S M T W T F S
     
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30

Syndication

Sesho Maru

Create Your Badge

My Review Index By Title

  • 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
  • Bandai on Youtube
  • Crunchyroll
  • Funimation
  • Hulu.com Anime
  • Viz Anime
  • Free Online Manga

  • Shonen Sunday
  • Viz Ikki
  • Free Online Games

  • Alteil
  • Battlefield Heroes
  • Combat Arms
  • Dungeon Fighter Online
  • Games Campus
  • Mabinogi
  • Maple Story
  • Neosteam
  • Ragnarok
  • Shin Megami Tensei
  • Anime and Manga Blogs

  • Anime Vice
  • Anime Genesis (podcast)
  • Astronerd's Anime and Manga Blog
  • Comics 212
  • Emily's Shoujo Manga
  • An Eternal Thought in the Mind of Godzilla
  • Flipped
  • I Heart Manga
  • JapanBlogLink
  • Japanamerica
  • Kuriousity
  • Madeleine Rosca
  • The Manga Critic
  • Manga Recon
  • Manga Xanadu
  • Mangablog
  • Ninja Consultant
  • PopKissKiss
  • Precocious Curmudgeon
  • R5 Central (Podcast)
  • Rocket Bomber
  • The Shooting Star Project
  • Simplicity
  • Sporadic Sequential
  • Tangognat
  • Tiamat's Manga Reviews
  • News

  • AnimeCons.com
  • Anime News Network
  • Anime On DVD
  • Ars Technica
  • ComiPress
  • The Japan Times Online
  • Rumic World
  • Sankaku Complex
  • Music

  • AnimeNfo Radio
  • Hikaru Utada
  • Japan-A-Radio
  • L'arc En Ciel
  • Artists

  • Kairi-Moon
  • Saelee Oh
  • SigmaRue
  • Stella Lai
  • Magazines

  • Asian Cult Cinema
  • Comics Buyer's Guide
  • Gamefan
  • GamePro
  • Giant Robot
  • Neo
  • Otaku USA
  • Wired

  • EPK
    Quantcast

    Manga & Anime Companies

  • Aniplex
  • Bandai
  • Dark Horse
  • Del Rey
  • DMP
  • Drawn and Quarterly
  • DrMaster
  • Fantagraphics
  • Funimation
  • Go Comi!
  • Infinity Studios
  • Media Blasters
  • Netcomics
  • Ponent Mon
  • Right Stuf
  • Seven Seas
  • Tokyopop
  • Udon
  • Vertical
  • Viz
  • Yen Press
  • Japanese Sights & Sounds

  • Akiba Blog
  • CuteoBento
  • Danny Choo
  • Kimonobox.com
  • Muza-chan's Gate to Japan
  • Shibuya 246
  • TokyoFashion.com
  • Tokyo Mango
  • Tokyo Times
  • Figures

  • Good Smile Company
  • How A Girl Figures
  • Yamato USA
  • Science Fiction

  • Grrl
  • Haikasoru
  • StarWars.com
  • Videogames

  • Activision
  • Aksys Games
  • Amanda Kay
  • Atlus
  • Audrey Cleo
  • Beefjack.com
  • Bioware
  • Bungie
  • Capcom
  • Electronic Arts
  • Epic Games
  • Final Fantasy XIII.net
  • Frag Dolls
  • GameTrailers.com
  • Hi Krista
  • Infinity Ward
  • IGN.com
  • Ignition
  • Jessica Chobot
  • Kotaku.com
  • Lucas Arts
  • Major Nelson
  • MelonieMac.com
  • Natsume Inc
  • NikoleZ.com
  • NinjaBee
  • Nintendo
  • NIS America
  • Obsidian
  • Playstation.com
  • Playstation Lifestyle
  • Raychul.com
  • Ripten
  • RPGFan
  • RPGamer
  • RPG Site
  • Set on Stun
  • Siliconera
  • Square Enix
  • Tale of Tales
  • Ubisoft
  • Warning! A Huge Podcast
  • Worthplaying.com
  • Xbox.com
  • XSEED
  • American Comics

  • Aspen Comics
  • Babs's Blog
  • Boom Studios
  • Comic Book Resources
  • Comic Vine
  • DC Comics
  • Dynamite
  • IDW
  • Image
  • Marvel.com
  • Oni Press
  • Radical
  • Top Cow
  • Podcast manga review of Vampire Knight Volume 1 by Matsuri Hino. Translated and adapted by Tomo Kimura. Originally published in Japan by Hakusensha. Published in US by Viz Shojo Beat, $8.99, Rated T+ Older Teen.

    Cross Academy, an elite boarding school, holds a hidden secret. Namely, at night it is attended by young and beautiful vampires. I'm not just talking bishojo, I'm talking girl fantasy bishonen as well. Since this book is shojo, there is a heavier focus on the guys. The students that attend class during the day are human and have no idea that the Night Class is composed of vampires. And it's the job of Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu, acting members of the Disciplinary Committee, to keep it that way. They're also there to keep the vampires in line with their Bloody Rose pistols, which are harmless to humans, but dangerous to vampires. Yuki is indebted to the Night Class president, Kaname Kuran, because he saved her from a hungry vampire 10 years ago. She might even be in love with him. Kaname seems to show a special interest in her as well, which drives Zero up the wall. Zero doesn't have much love for vampires because their hated race killed his parents 4 years ago, not to mention the fact that he might have a crush on Yuki as well.

    My Grade: B+

    Direct download: Episode_132--Vampire_Knight_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:29 AM

    Good news for anime fans, both subbed and dubbed. Two online video services have announced free streaming anime episodes, completely legal and on the up and up.

    First there is www.hulu.com which is featuring the following series:

    1) Naruto Episodes 1-20 (English subtitled)

    2) Death Note Episodes 1-37 (English subtitled)

    3) Mushi-Shi Episodes 1-12 (English dubbed)

    In addition they have episodes of Speed Racer and Astro Boy. They promise that they will be adding more series in the near future. Here is the direct link to their anime page:

    http://www.hulu.com/channels/Animation-and-Cartoons/Anime

     

    The other site launching free anime today is Joost.com which is featuring the same Naruto, Death Note, and Astro Boy episodes as Hulu, plus these other series:

    1)Blue Dragon, Zatch Bell, and Mar (all dubbed)

    2)Cosmo Warrior Zero

    3)Gun Frontier

    4) Ikki Tousen

    Here is the link to their anime page:

    http://www.joost.com/epg/shows/animation/anime/o/1/

    Of the two sites, Hulu seems to be much more user friendly and is very easy to find shows and does not require registration unless you want to share it with a friend. From what I see so far of Joost, the site does not have a very good index and makes you waste time browsing to find shows. But who cares, these shows are free to watch and fully authorized by their publishers, so enjoy!

     

    Category:News -- posted at: 6:14 PM

    Podcast manga review of Goth. Story by Otsuichi and based on his novel. Art by Kendi Oiwa. Translated by Lori Riser. Adapted by Anthony C. Andora. Originally published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten. Published in US by Tokyopop, $10.99, Rated Mature 18+.

    Itsuki Kamiyama is a high school student that has always been a bit weird, if not dangerous, but he's been able to conceal his true nature with a fake smile and a charming personality. It's his inner life that is pretty twisted. Lately, he's been following the infamous wrist-cut case, a tabloidesque series of mutilations in which a psycho has been cutting off the hands of what appear to be random victims. The person is so crazy that even animals are not safe. Itsuki admires the wrist-cut perpetrator and even secretly longs to have some hands himself. Actually, he wants the hands of one girl in particular: Yoru Morino, a girl who is infamous throughout the school for having scar marks on her wrists. Things get even weirder when Itsuki begins to suspect that one of his teachers might be the wrist-cut case perp. This is only the first of four cases that Ituski and Yoru get involved in.

    My Grade: B-

    Direct download: Episode_131--Goth.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:31 PM

    Manga Review of Rave Master Volume 2 by Hiro Mashima. Translated by Amy Forsyth. Adapted by James Lucas Jones. Originally published by Kodansha in Japan. Published in US by Tokyopop, $9.99, Rated Y for Youth Ages 10+.

    Haru, along with Plue, has sailed to the main continent of Song after spending most of his young life living a carefree existence. Now he is the Rave Master, the only person that can defeat the evil Demon Card organization with its Dark Bring users. But before he can start an offensive against them, Haru must repair the 10 Powers Sword after breaking it in battle last volume. The only craftsman capable of fixing it is the legendary blacksmith named Musica. Their main problem is that they have no idea where to find him. The first city they reach is Hip Hop Town, which is controlled by Demon Card. It's easy to get into the city but you can't leave unless you pay Demon Card a high fine. In other words, the city is like a prison, and you have to bribe your way out of it. It doesn't take long for Haru to get into a jam when Plue is kidnapped and entered into a dog race run by Georco, the main rep of Demon Card in Hip Hop Town. While trying to rescue Plue, Haru makes a new friend, a girl named Elie, who bets all of her money on the most unlikely candidate to win a dog race....Plue!

    The main thing that stuck out about this second volume of Rave Master was the wickedly awful job James Lucas Jones did with the English adaptation. There was just too much ghetto eubonic rapper language spread throughout this book. Haru's favorite phrase seems to be "Aw, Snap!". "Dawg" gets used way too much, "Ain't no thang" makes an appearance, and "You goin down" and other phrases bring "down" the language even worse. Of course, I've listed only a few phrases. Oddly enough, a 1950s "Daddy-o" even slips in. Even the backstory and preview page are written in horribly rhymed rap lyrics capped off by a "Word to your mother!". Oh my Lord, the attempt at appealing to street culture comes off as so pathetically bad. This language was cliched and goofy even back in 2003 when this book was first printed. It's even goofier now. The funny thing about Rave Master is that it uses  musical terminology heavily without being in the least about music. None of the characters introduced so far play an instrument or sing. So I'm wondering why there is so much emphasis on musical words without music being an important part of the story. In fact, it's non existent. If you can get past the bad English, Volume 2 is a bit more entertaining that the first volume, and also a bit funnier. Elie seems like she's going to be an interesting character. In fact, the oveall characterization seems a bit better than such a book deserves. I checked out the first two volumes of this series from my local library. I can read these books but Rave Master isn't good enough to spend money on...at least so far.

    My Grade: C

    Direct download: rave2.jpg
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 7:26 PM

    Manga Review of Zombie Powder Volume 2 by Tite Kubo, creator of Bleach. Translated by Akira Watanabe. Originally published in Japan by Shueisha. Published in US by Viz Shonen Jump, $7.99, Rated T+ for Older Teen.

    Volume 2 opens with the aftermath of Gamma's battle and ultimate defeat of Ranewater Calder, the leader of the Ash Daughter Bandits, and owner of a Ring of the Dead. Calder left Gamma and the others a present before he died, namely of rigging the entire hideout to explode skyhigh! Then it's on to the town of Alcantara, where rumor is that a Ring of the Dead is housed at the local hospital. Of course, Gamma isn't the only person interested in finding the Ring. A powerful super villain named Balmunk the Mystic arrives on the scene to look for it, sporting magical abilities that let him go toe to toe with Gamma's armor encased limb. Adding to the mix is a crusading investigative reporter named Wolfina Getto who feels it his her duty to protect the hospital from Balmunk. She is a champion of justice, but she also wants to protect her comatose brother, who is housed there.

    While not as polished or as funny as Bleach can somtimes be, White Powder is nonetheless an interesting and entertaining debut work from Tite Kubo. Wolfina has quickly become one of my favorite characters with her personality stolen from Captain America and boobs supplied by Dolly Parton. She also serves as good comic relief. The art style is nothing new to fans of Bleach even though the character designs are a bit boring in this series. Kubo makes up for this with excellent panel layout and carefully choreographed action sequences. This volume also includes Kubo's very first attempt at writing and drawing a manga, called "Ultra Unholy Hearted Machine". It concerns a mercenary hitman, uncleverly called a "deleter",  and his android TinaTina (a young female right out of the 1980s) who are hired to take down a major drug cartel. That's about all I can tell you about Unholy since it was so dreadful, I didn't make it past the first few pages. One interesting thing about it was the art, which was much more generic and lacked the characteristic Kubo look.   

    My Grade: B

    Direct download: zombie_powder_2.jpg
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 8:29 PM

    Podcast anime dvd review of Emma: A Victorian Romance Season 1, Episodes 1-3. Directed by Tsuneo Kobayashi. Written by Mamiko Ikeda. Box Set published by Right Stuf, List Price: $49.99.

    Emma is a maid in the household of ex-governess Kelly Stoner where she keeps the house spic and span and runs errands for her mistress. It's not a hard life but it's not a good life either. Her room is in the attic and it's pretty spartan. She has a bed and a dresser. That's it. She's beginning to want more. Enter William Jones, the heir of a rich merchant family that was raised by Mrs. Stoner and has to come to pay a visit on his old governess. He's instantly attracted to Emma and begins to court her, even though he would never admit that is what he is doing. After all, his parents want him to marry some noblewoman to bring prestige to their business, not a poor maid! Hakim, an Indian prince and friend of William, arrives on the scene looking for a wife and he also sets his sights on Emma. Uh Oh! A love triangle develops...or actually a quadrangle, because there is a young noblewoman named Eleanor Campbell who is in love with William as well.

    My Grade: B

    Direct download: Episode_130--_Emma_Season_1_part_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:42 PM

    Podcast Manga Review of Rave Master Volume 1 by Hiro Mashima. Translated by Amy Forsyth. Adapted by James Lucas Jones. Originally published in Japan by Kodansha. Published in US by Tokyopop, $9.99, Rated Y for Youth 10+.

    There is a war raging on the continent of Song, but Haru and Cattleya Glory know very little about it, living on isolated Garage Island. The brother and sister have been on their own for the past 10 years after the death of their mother and the disapperance of their father 5 years before that. The war is being waged by Demon Card, an organization in control of the Dark Bring, a demon stone wielding the power of darkness. The only force that can oppose it is Rave, a sacred stone imbued with the powers of good. But it needs a new wielder. Could Haru be the new Rave Master?

    My Grade: C+

    Direct download: Episode_129--Rave_Master_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:45 PM

    Manga Review of The Law of Ueki Volume 10 by Tsubasa Fukuchi. Translated and adapted by Kenichiro Yagi. Originally published in Japan by Shogakukan. Published in US by Viz, $9.99, Rated T for Teen.

    After battling their guts out for 9 volumes, imagine the surprise of Ueki and pals when they find out that their battles were just the FIRST round of the Celestial King Tournament! Something that is different in the second round is that the fighters can form teams of up to 5 people. It goes without saying that Ueki's team consists of himself, Rinko, Seiichiro, and Mori. So all that's left to do is find a fifth member. Rinko remembers hearing of a fearsome combatant named Hideyoshi Soya. The only solid info she can give is that anybody that ever fought against him never wanted to go through the experience twice...oh, and that Soya looks like a gorilla. When they finally do meet him, Ueki and company find out that they are not the only team looking to add Soya. Another team, led by a thug champion named Zack wants Soya on HIS team. Unfortunately for both Ueki and Zack, Soya has decided to set this round out and has no interest in fighting. During this recruitment period leading up to the second round, king candidate champions are allowed to fight each other without penalty. So, technically, you can force someone to join your team...after you beat the snot out of them!

    I've always enjoyed the wacky nature of this series, with all its dementedly sad super powers, but Volume 10 takes ridiculousness to a new height. For example, one of Zack's goons has the "power to turn beautiful hair into a drill" while another has the the "power to turn rubber balls into acid". I don't want to tell too many of the powers since finding out what they are is half the fun of The Law of Ueki. The character designs are as over the top and gaudy as the powers they wield. Zack, instead of looking the part of the evil villain, looks like someone pressed his head into a point, pulled and extended his eyebrows, and played makeup doll with him. I still enjoyed this volume but it goes a little too far sometimes in terms of goofiness. It is written as a semi-parody of shonen battle manga instead of trying to lay claim to that already cluttered genre. As long as Ueki continues to battle for justice, I will continue to read this series. Just make sure you don't take it too seriously.

    My Grade: B-

    Direct download: ueki_10.jpg
    Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 6:00 PM

    Well, I went to sleep last night around 11pm and thought I might not even wake up when Ike came through. Boy, was I wrong! I woke up around 5am with no power and the sound of cyclonic winds hitting my apartment. I've never been through a tornado but the winds were so strong and so loud that I quickly got all of my stuff like flashlights, radio, and batteries into the bathroom. I called my brother and mother and learned that this had been going on since around 2am, so it was nothing new to them. So when I figured out I wasn't going to die right at that moment I felt a little relief. But not much. I laid down on the floor away from the window (which I had barricaded with boxes of books) and tried to get some rest. But it's kinda hard when you're listening to a radio which is declaring that your city hasn't even seen the worst of the storm yet.

    It was pretty harrowing to sit in the dark and hear just all kinds of weird and unsettling noises like trees splitting, windows shattering, and then you hear the weird ghost sound of something rolling back and forth on top of your roof. And this wasn't a flat roof either. It was sloped and something kept rolling back and forth, back and forth. Who the hell knows what it was. I don't really say "I'm scared" but early this morning I have to admit I was. The last hurricane that hit Houston full blast occurred back in 1983 and I was here for it, but I was a kid and I didn't remember much about it. The really scary thing is that Ike was only a Category 2 storm. I can't even comprehend the damage it would have done if it was a Category 5.

    With the sunrise, you could really get a sense of the devastation of the storm. My apartment was fine (I had a little water drip from the ceiling), except no power and no running water. But some of the other apartments in my complex suffered a lot of damage. Chimneys had fallen over, entire walls had been ripped off, windows had been shattered. The worst damage was to the roofs. The parking lots and walkways are covered with shingles that blew off during the night. I think the last estimate was something like 3 or 4 million people had no power in the Houston area. Cities closer to the coast suffered even more severe damage.

    Now I'm at my mom's place. She's the only one among my friends and family that has power and running water. And I've talked to many people in different areas of the city. My workplace has been closed since Friday and is also going to be shut down on Monday. Who knows when I'll get power and water back. But you know what? I count myself lucky. Because a lot of people have lost houses, cars, valuables, and sometimes even their lives. What is my minor inconvenience compared to that?

    I did manage to read a little manga today on my patio. It kinda helped my get my mind off things. So hopefully, I'll be posting a review later on tonight. Text only, mind you. I didn't bring my microphone.
    Direct download: ike.JPG
    Category:general -- posted at: 11:51 PM

    Podcast manga review of xxxHolic Volume 1 by CLAMP. Translated and adapted by Anthony Gerard. Originally published in Japan by Kodansha. Published in US by Del Rey, $10.95, Rated Teen 13+.

    Kimihiro Watanuki has always been able to see spirits that regular humans can't see. Unfortunately, the spirits can see him as well, and are always annoying him. For some reason they are drawn to his blood like moths to a flame. Sometimes Watanuki can't even walk down the street without being crushed by gigantic amorphous spirits. But there's hope for him yet when he meets Yuko Ichihara, a time space witch that can fulfill his desire to be rid of his power forever. Yuko runs a shop that specializes in granting wishes. But nothing in life is free. In return for the wish you must give Yuko something of great personal value. If the exchange is not even, the laws of the universe are upset and those involved will suffer great calamities. In other words, the more difficult your wish, the more sacrifice you will have to endure. What Watanuki is going to have to give up is his time. Yuko demands that he will have to work part-time at her shop, mostly doing menial work like cleaning, until he has paid off his wish debt. Of course, Watanuki becomes more involved in the business end of Yuko's shop than he wants.

    My Grade:A-

    Direct download: Episode_128--xxxHolic_Volume_1.mp3
    Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:35 PM