Category Archives: Manga

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Arc – Revival of a classic Magical Girl

We ended the original series with an embrace, maybe they'll end it with a kiss this time

As the quintessential Cardcaptor Sakura fanboy around the blogosphere, I felt it was only right for me to start writing about my thoughts on this at some point. A continuation of the series after 20 years is a pretty big thing, after all. You could mess around with Digimon Adventure tri. or Dragon Ball Super to my dismay all you want, but if a new Cardcaptor Sakura storyline isn’t done right, I’d go apeshit.

Continue reading Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Arc – Revival of a classic Magical Girl

Support Kodomo no Jikan

Support Kodomo no Jikan

About six days ago, the Kickstarter for the Kodomo no Jikan English localization successfully raised enough money to officially bring this manga series to the English-speaking world for the first time ever, since Seven Seas’ failed attempt to bring it over to the US as Nymphet in 2007.

I’m familiar with the series, and honestly, beyond the surface it’s actually a good read/watch. Personally, I think the controversy is overblown, but rather than jumping into my usual rants, I’ll just point you to an article that I feel is pretty much right on point. If you feel like you’re an open-minded individual and aren’t too sensitive to “objectionable subject matter”, I say pick it up when it’s released and give it a good ol’ college try.

Books, no, plenty of stories in general tackle controversial topics and issues. It’s one thing to say no and not buy it, but if you’re actively against the existence of publications containing ideas and subject matter you find uncomfortable, then I honestly don’t know what to say. As a college student, I’m no stranger to the presence of emotional infancy among my own generation, but of course, I never really know how to respond to it because anything people like me say seems to go nowhere.

Back with new content and a new PC

大学生の人生は大変だろう

Alright then… first post of 2016. Sorry about the sudden disappearance of new posts. What was supposed to be a month-long break from the blog for school turned out to be a disaster.

You see, I was going to write a Christmas/New Years post about my 2015 weeb highlights for 12 Days of Anime, but apparently my blog was hacked (hence the new layout you see before you, my old customized Pool theme was infected and had to be replaced because it was no longer supported by WordPress). Based Maestro thankfully fixed the blog for me, kudos for the great service even after all these years. But by then, it was no longer Christmas nor New Years Eve, so I decided to scrap that post entirely and the disappointment made me go on an indefinite break. I did spend some time to rework a newer theme to my liking, but… that was basically it. I think I have an idea as to why my blog was hacked, but I’m not going to get into it. Not worth it.

Here are some of the anime/manga/video game titles you may have seen if I was able to write the post on time: Owarimonogatari, One-Punch Man, Non Non Biyori Repeat, Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu, Shenmue III, and others. I might probably just give them individual articles one day, however.

But yeah, what have been up to since my last post? Well, my typical normie life aside, I managed to save enough to build myself a new PC during Black Friday, of course for my Design major, digital fan art, HD/1440p PC gaming, console emulation, and XTREME!!111 animu viewing. Here are the build specs.

Processor: Intel Core i7 4790k @ 4.00GHz (with overclock later when I get a better CPU cooler)
Motherboard: MSI Z97 Gaming 5 (the psuedo-sound card audio quality provided by the motherboard is sextastic out of the box)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB Superclocked ACX 2.0
Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury Red 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866
Local Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive
Secondary Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (should have gotten the 2TB version, but I was a dumbass and got scared by Backblaze’s circumstantial failure rate statistics)
Case: Enermax ECA3253-BW ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair CSM 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B3ST/BLK/G/AS DVD/CD Writer (reused, the case leaves room for me to add in a Bluray player, but I already have a PS3 in the meantime)
Case Fans: 1 Stock (Bottom-mounted), 1 Thermaltake Pure 12 LED 41.0 CFM 120mm Fan (rear)
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Drawing Tablet: Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch w/ Clip Studio Paint Pro
Monitor: Dell ST231​0 23″ Full​ HD Widesc​reen LCD
Speakers: Altec Lansing ATP3 3-Piece Speaker System

Once I get my gaming keyboard/mouse combo and a new mouse pad, I’ll post pics of my setup. Very recently, I also received my copy of The Fruit of Grisaia along with the Grisaia series display box from Sekai Project’s KickStarter (the side I have on display vs. the other side). Can’t wait for the other two to come out.

Anyways, I’ve planned to start off a new year of Mahou Zenkai ~The Otaku Spot~ with a new series of posts called Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies, where I take a piss on extremely asinine localization/translation decisions and mishaps that happen in Official English versions/subtitles of the anime, manga, and games that come over here. Quality Control can be really bad on the translation side because of editors (people taking the translated text and making it sound natural in spoken English) not being familiar with the source material. Generally though, it also probably happens because they weren’t really thinking period or they’re just simply the type of people that like to smear their shit all over foreign works because they think they’re more creative than the original creators. With video games, it also isn’t limited to translation, but also handling the UI and typesetting as well. This series will generally consist of shitshortposts unless the subject matter happens to be really, really stupid.

Just as always, I’ll also continue to update my series of Cardcaptor Sakura posts and continue my recap of the Suzumiya Haruhi light novels. I must say, I am absolutely hyped at what CLAMP has in store for Cardcaptor Sakura‘s 20th anniversary. Cheers to an upcoming fun year.

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei Herz! – Final Impressions

Best Illyas

This particular season of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya was something I was looking forward to. Somewhat-different-but-still-best-girl, it premiered on my birthday month, for one, and I honestly couldn’t wait to see Ko-Gil in action coming off from the manga.

Unfortunately, as enjoyable as it still was for me on its own, Silver Link did a mediocre adaptation job here compared to previous seasons. A lot of it isn’t their fault, but at the very end they kind of wrote themselves into a wall, terribly so, especially compared to how the manga version of 2wei flew seamlessly into 3rei.

Continue reading Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei Herz! – Final Impressions

Oversensitive people shouldn’t indulge in creative media, ever

OH GOD, NO, RIN

Rin’s look of disgust.

Get your hands off her!

Shinji being a sicko.

AW, HELL YEAH!

The justice served by Lancer (and more).

Fuck ANN

This was from an ANN review of episode 19 of Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works, and no, I’m not going to link to it. If you really want to read that review, look it up yourself, although I suggest not to. I’m not helping these clowns get revenue by linking to them on my blog.

What, so basically “bad guys shouldn’t do bad things because bad things are bad”? Shinji, who is clearly a sicko and desires Rin, should have baked her a batch of cookies instead?

Continue reading Oversensitive people shouldn’t indulge in creative media, ever

Happy New Year!

Happy New Years!
Image Credit: あきのん from Pixiv

よいお年をお迎えください!

It’s finally 2015 on my side of the world, guys! I didn’t do a “12 Days of Anime” countdown for the end of 2014, but I’m still up to share some blurbs of my Japanese-related highlights of 2014 all in one post (excluding Fanime, you can see that post here).

Continue reading Happy New Year!

Franchise Rant: Possibly the worst MANGA anniversary out there (Yuu☆gi☆ou/”Yu-Gi-Oh!” King film)

Black Magician Girl Best M&W

Best M&W

Recently, there’s been quite a few revivals of my favorite old school weeb Japanese franchises, mostly connected to special anniversaries. To name a few, Cardcaptor Sakura (North American license rescued, new merchandise and artwork celebrating CLAMP’s 25th anniversary), Digimon Adventure (upcoming Digimon Adventure tri.), Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon Crystal), Dragon Ball (30th anniversary = various goodies), etc.

I’m in a pretty happy place right now – most of the anniversaries are proving to be sweet, but there’s one anniversary that I’m particularly dissatisfied with. A shounen gambling manga series called, 遊☆戯☆王 Yuu☆gi☆ou by Takahashi Kazuki, otherwise probably translated as “The☆Game☆King” or “King☆of☆Games” (but nonsensically rendered as “Yu-Gi-Oh!” in the west, which you’re all familiar with for being popular snark bait) is receiving rather shoddy anniversary treatment, at least for the people who have actually… well, read the original manga (all 36 volumes, not just the first seven).

Continue reading Franchise Rant: Possibly the worst MANGA anniversary out there (Yuu☆gi☆ou/”Yu-Gi-Oh!” King film)

Cardcaptor Sakura 【HD Rewatch】 24

Tomoyo you are the definition of good ideas

はにゃーん

Nothing much happens in this episode in terms of development or character establishment (if there wasn’t a Clow Card in these types of episodes, I would call them [good] filler), but it was extremely fun nonetheless. The episode title is “Sakura’s Little Adventure” – which is a great title, I see the pun there – but if I were to rename it, Honey, I Shrunk Sakura would be it.

Continue reading Cardcaptor Sakura 【HD Rewatch】 24

Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen Manga/Anime comparison (term paper by Johnny Nguyen)

Balls to the wall academic chinese cartoons

Wassup everyone. As I’ve stated here, I’ve been taking a Japanese Animation class this quarter at my community college, and as the quarter is coming to a close, there’s so many final assisgnments that I have to do. For Japanese Animation class, I have to write a term paper regarding one of the animated features we’ve watched in class. The topic I chose was a literary comparison between an adaptation and its source material, and since I’m a lazy man, I chose something I’ve seen/read a dozen of times and know by heart to save me the trouble: Rurouni Kenshin. To be specific, the first OVA.

And I’ve decided to post it here as well, because it seemed like it would make a good anime review for the blog. Note that since it’s supposed to be five pages long and I tend to be total poop when I’m writing under academic conditions (c’mon, everyone procrastinates on their homework!), it may seem a bit rushed in places.

Continue reading Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen Manga/Anime comparison (term paper by Johnny Nguyen)

Pupa 01 – Why, Studio DEEN?!

Good thing this is censored! Durrr

I’m very saddened that one of my most anticipated anime horror series turned out to be a big disappointment. The premise of the source material sounded interesting and creepy enough, and it’s a horror story that definitely has promise. But the adaptation turned out to be way too short. Four minutes per episode? Please. It felt like so much of the plot was missing because of the short length – and I was right, I checked out the first chapter of the manga and there’s so much more exposition and substance to the plot compared to this four-minute first episode. Honestly, the way the sequences of events played in the anime, it honestly gives the viewer a “what the fuck just happened?” reaction instead of being legitimately and psychologically horrified. It’s such a damn shame.

Not only that, but they could have made up for it with at least the shock value… but much of the shock value was lost because it’s censored for TV. Why couldn’t they have made this an OVA, or an online stream, instead? This was a real kick in the ass after the October 2013 delay (I really wanted a scary anime for Halloween, dammit!).

I’m honestly just going to read the manga from here on out (I was hoping for an anime that was on-par with the source material so I could watch the horror in motion). Unlike particular anime fans, when the source material is available to me, I will check it out if there’s a chance that it’s reasonably different – it’s the true essence of the story, after all. It’s not fair to an artist if they get criticized for someone else chopping up their paintings, for instance. I will continue to watch the anime, but I probably won’t be blogging much about it (instead, I’ll probably do more of the manga). It’s such a shame – the music and animation are really atmospheric, but the length just ruins it. Why, Studio DEEN? There’s nothing wrong with anime shorts, but the premise of Pupa was *not* made to be a short.

Fairy Tail x Rave Master

Oh my god... Elie. <3

ELIE. NUFF’ SAID.

Here’s one way to get me to watch Fairy Tail! I gotta say… I really miss Rave. That manga has to be one of my all-time favorite shounen manga series, and it’s a shame that the anime adaptation was cancelled before it got to the really good bits of the manga. I love the fact that the original seiyuu from the 2001 anime reprise their roles as the Rave Warriors here. And they looked so good with modern animation and their finalized designs from the manga. Man, I *really* want a reboot of the Rave anime…

As for Fairy Tail, I’ve read the manga and watched some episodes of the anime. I really like the characters, but everything else seems to be so… shallow compared to Hiro Mashima’s previous work, which is disappointing. That isn’t to say that the OVA didn’t inspire me to catch up with the series regardless, if only for Wendy’s cuteness and Natsu’s badassery.

Continue reading Fairy Tail x Rave Master

Fanime 2013 Cosplays

Mirakurun~

One of the things I love about anime conventions (or any convention for that matter) are the invasion of cosplayers. It was awesome seeing Downtown San Jose being infested and taken over by cosplayers and my fellow geeks and weebs. People might have been pissed by the traffic we caused and the endless lines we induced at restaurants, but we felt dominant! Made the city as “nigiyaka” (so to say) as San Fransisco is every night. It just made those four days and three nights so fun, and now that everything’s quieted down and returned to normal, I’m having post-con depression. 😛 I want Downtown Weebland again, dammit!

That being said, there were many great cosplays this year. I stopped to take a picture of almost every one of my favorite characters and shows whenever I came across them, but this is basically a list of my very favorite ones during the weekend. To those who didn’t make it into this blog post, I’d like to say that you definitely all made it to my Facebook albums. Just very wonderful memories overall.

Continue reading Fanime 2013 Cosplays

Fanime 2013 Haul

Sweet dreams to ME

I now have a huge Ore Imō wallscroll hanging over my bed.

Hey guys! I’m back from school, and raring to post coverage on my experiences at Fanime 2013. Fortunately (or rather, unfortunately?), Fanime is the time of year where I stop giving a shit about college in favor of catering to the weeb inside of me, so I’ll start posting more often on my own damn blog again and talk about shows I’ve finished and started. At least before Wahfuu gets tired of giving my blog respiratory aid. Ahem.

Anyways, I’ll begin the Fanime coverage by talking about the awesome swag that I acquired during my trip at Fanime. I made a decent amount of money this year, and therefore I bought a lot more merchandize from the Dealer’s Hall compared to last year. Of course, it was limited to stuff I couldn’t find anywhere else otherwise, as Region 2 DVDs and the like tend to be pretty cheap when ordered off of sites like Right Stuf, so I limited myself to buying mostly imports and merchandise that are hard to come by normally.

Beware: Photos were taken from my crappy 3DS camera.

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Recent Purchases (Kinokuniya is AWESOME)

Madoka and Pocket Monsters

Excuse the shoddy image quality, the photo came from my 3DS

Recently, I’ve decided to improve my Japanese by owning more Japanese-language reading material. Luckily, when I went to go eat with my friends at Mitsuwa Marketplace San Jose, I noticed that there was a Kinokuniya Book Store right next to it. Remembering that a merchant at Fanime recommended it to me for manga, light novels, and whatnot (God bless him), I decided to go there after feasting on tsukimi udon and takoyaki.

Continue reading Recent Purchases (Kinokuniya is AWESOME)

Criticism vs. Hate

No matter how much I criticize KyoAni, I love most of their works to death

Image Credit: a-ka

“I found the romance somewhat lacking”, “the animation in this scene was horrible”, “good god what were they thinking while making this”, etc.

Sometimes, when you’re listening to a person’s opinion on a particular subject (say, a certain anime or maybe manga/VN), this person seems to go on long tangents about how a certain aspect of the story didn’t meet their expectations and continue by picking apart other qualities that the writers did wrong in their eyes, and seem to have more to say about the negative aspects than the positive aspects of the story. Jesus, this person must FRIGGIN’. HATE. THIS ANIME.

And then you realize: “No, wait… what? This person likes this anime? Not just like, it’s their favorite? Well hell, how the heck was I suppose to know that when they kept on talking down on it!”

Continue reading Criticism vs. Hate

12 Days of Anime, Final Day: Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Image Credit: sky (freedom) from Pixiv

Merry Christmas to all my readers and everyone in the anime blogosphere! Hope you’re having fun with holiday festivities and such.

This post will conclude my “12 Days of Anime” posts, but I will continue to reflect upon 2012 once New Years rolls around.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Continue reading 12 Days of Anime, Final Day: Merry Christmas!

Hiatus manga series are the bane of me

Minnie remains hopeful of her lazy writer

A few days ago, I decided to catch up on D•N•Angel thinking, “It’s been a year already, surely Yukiru Sugisaki picked it back up!

It shouldn’t be surprising that my expectations were shot down. In typical Sugisaki fashion, the latest chapter of D•N•Angel in 2012 is exactly the same one I left of at during the beginning of 2011. Apparently she is really focusing on Ascribe to Heaven (which hasn’t gotten a translation past the first chapter) or she’s just lazing around and disappointing her fans. I mean, so far I like Ascribe to Heaven and find the art scrumptious, but I don’t have high hopes for it going anywhere seeing as Sugisaki has a track record of not finishing manga. This may sound hypocritical coming from a blog that might as well have been renamed to The Hiatus Spot in the past, but there is truth in what I’m saying here.

Sugisaki may be the worse offender of this, but there have been other manga groups like CLAMP that (despite having a number of completed works) also have quite a few unfinished works that are put on hold. Even then, they at least make an attempt to update sporadically and see it through(picking up Legal Drug again as Drug and Drop is a good example). Sugisaki, not so much. While she did pick up D•N•Angel, is putting it on hold RIGHT AT A CRUCIAL PLOT TWIST (just to focus on a NEW MANGA instead of updating her previous ones) a good strategy? Unlike me, some fans aren’t as faithful and persistent.

This is why I think mangaka should go with Kyoto Animation’s “one series at a time” philosophy, especially since it’s really just one person on the workforce plus a few assistants and editors. An advice to mangaka: Move onto a new project AFTER you’ve finished the one you’re working on now. It doesn’t matter if the art is delicious or if the writing is superb, all of it just becomes a downer if you’re going to deprive fans of it for most of the run… for nearly a decade, only for you to drop it again soon after picking it back up. For fans in places other than Japan, it hurts us even more since licensors will stop being interested in localizating their works because of their reputation of hardly finishing anything.

Do you guys agree with me on this stance? Should manga writers be limited to making one series and see it through before making a new one? If not, if you were to give the writer any suggestions on how to handle more than one series at a time, what would they be? Do you have any other examples other than the one mentioned in the post? Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Gate 7 (Chapters 0-1)

Myouhou modoridori~!

Myouhou modoridori~!

Weary due to the complete mess of an ending TRC had (and still weary to finish up ×××HOLiC because of it), I finally got around to reading CLAMP’s latest series, Gate 7! I mean, Kobato was still very good, in my opinion, so I haven’t lost hope in CLAMP.

As always, CLAMP manages to intrigue me from the very first chapters. The artwork is very pretty and the personality quirks of the characters are highly amusing. Especially Hana’s love for noodles, rivaling Yuko’s penchant for alcohol and Kero-chan’s obsession with food in general. xD

Gate 7 seems to be the most Japanese-inspired out of all of CLAMP’s works. Enthusiasts of Japanese culture will relate to Chikahito’s fondness of Japanese relics and Kyoto. I guess if you’re not savvy with Japanese culture, you might be left a little confused with the constant Japan-oriented terms they use.

I’ll wait until I finish the first volume before I decide to buy a copy from Dark Horse (bless their awesome souls).


slitherslither

RE: The roots of our fandom

One of my first anime

Yumeka of Mainichi Anime Yume wrote an article where she harkened back to her childhood and examined the origins of when her love of anime first began and, of course, why it still persists in her heart today. She asked her readers if they could trace any instances of early “nerdom” within their childhoods that may have contributed to their love for anime today and if there were any obstacles in regards to the indulgence in these hobbies (home environment, parents, peers, etc.)

Instead of sharing my own story as a comment on her blog, I decided to reply to it as a post of my own.

Continue reading WALLS OF NOSTALGIA AND TEXT LOL…

A way for studios to avoid bad fillers

Show your anime some love

It’s common knowledge within the anime fandom that series based off of on-going manga or light novels resort to producing original episodes, which serve as padding, in order for the anime’s story to maintain a certain distance from the original story.

However, there’s somewhat of an inherent problem with fillers or anime-original episodes. Half of the time they’re bad, sometimes they’re decent, and very rarely are they ever as good as the genuine articles. More on this after the jump.

Continue reading A way for studios to avoid bad fillers