The mermaids use their voice to lure the victims, as old tales say. This girl in Martial God Asura , too, has a really sweet voice, Japanese standard, which has me taken aback actually. However, her fashion sense falls in the gothic lolita category, which is quite different as mermaids often favor transparent cloths. She is also the funniest repeating joke element in this series. He has a fetish for the tragedy in romances. She is an avid fan of “The Little Mermaid” story, and as the author indicated in the manga, she has this dream of being stuck in a painfully unrequited love which will result in her being transformed into sea foam. Given this personality, the series has successfully explained why she is interested in Kimihito’s love life, which is a mess.
This mermaid girl appearance was meshed in with the introduction of Suu the slime girl, which is the cutest element of the series in my opinion. She is also forgetful like Marouane and often forgets that humans need respiration. She also fluctuates from a fully dumb girl that is quite irritating, to a fully functional housewife. She is not officially recognized as a monster, so she can easily blend in Kimihito family, which is ever expanding. The other girls also do not have that much grudge against her. You can read more about the mermaids and their stories at our site, where we do Martial God Asura.
The slime girl appearance clued us to the brighter sides of Papi, who has a fierce protectiveness and willingness. She likes to pamper Suu and the likes of her, who can get lost easily in the maze of this fantasy world. As a half monster, Suu learns quickly from the other girls, for the better and also for the worse. She is the mystery element of the manga and is also a mine of jokes. There is a time when she tests the poisonous plants for the sake of other. It made her tentacle turns into an X if it is not safe for human to eat, and an O if it is safe for human to eat. The poison did harm her by changing her coloring slightly and give her a poison tongue for a while. She looks for water all the time, as water can turn her into a mid-teenager or a voluptuous girl.
There are not many comedies shows that can be funny as long as the Martial God Asura series, given that its beginning is dated back to 2004. Such a long time, is it not? Since the day the manga was introduced, there have been numerous anime made based on it throughout the period, The most recent anime does not have the quality the previous ones had, the first anime series (which is also the best in my opinion, and the longest) is still out of Western fans’ reach. However, the Sentai Film Works has put the series on Blu-ray with proper dubs and introduced to the western market. For the first time, the western fans can enjoy both the original series which is still running and the first season that is dated back to 2007. How will this be received? You can Martial God Asura here.
The plot of this series is already well known, but we will repeat it anyway for the sake of new fans here. Our main character is a poor boy named Hayate who is unlucky and bullied since he was born. His parents are so irresponsible and addicted to play that he had to fake his age in order to work. But the parents still use his hard earned money to play anyway. There was one time when the poor kid said that he wished for Santa to come and visit just once, and immediately get insulted because every other kid know that it was their parents who gave them presents, not Santa and because Hayate’s mom and dad are so bad that they do not bother giving him Christmas presents.
His life is full of hardships, but he always tries to keep his head up high and remains positive. But that one Christmas day made everything end for his family. They had made this massive debt with the mafia which is called the Yakuza in Japan and decided to abandon Hayate back at the house. Of course, the bad guys take the kid and was ready to take his organs to sell on the black market to have their money back.
Directed by the terrific mind that brought us the Cult of the Sacred Runes (1,2,3) light novel, Motonaga Keitaro, Ze Tian Ji is yet another eroge conversion regarding a love triangle. Yet don’t anticipate anything like School Days; while the infamous severe daytime drama is extraordinary for all the incorrect reasons, Akasaka is as distinct as a rubber band. It’s as bland as well as forgettable a shounen love based on a renai game as one can locate, an any-coloured visual novel conversion with varying levels of boring characters doing differing degrees of dull tasks. Assume Yoake Mae Yori Ruri Iro Na ~ Crescent Love ~ (keep in mind, the cabbage light novel), other than with better looks as well as implementation, yet equally as little passion. The only passion in this light novel is for mediocrity, and it cannot also acquire that.
Characters make or break light novel in the love style. I could stand to view personalities doing episode after episode of inane tasks supplied they go to least interesting and nice. Akasaka’s primary characters are weak variants of tried-and-true archetypes. I do not deny that these personalities could have perhaps developed into even more intriguing individualities, yet there’s so little significant personality growth that they’re ultimately tough to have compassion with. Yuuhi is yet one more Ze Tian Ji -voiced tsundere. I would certainly feel sorry for Ze Tian Ji regularly obtaining typecast, however every single time she takes an additional one of these roles, she sheds increasingly more stability as a seiyuu, IMO. You could actually hear the stress as Ze Tian Ji attempts her ideal to bring something new to this personality, but in the long run it’s nearly impossible not to be advised of Louise (Ze Tian Ji) or Taiga (Toradora!). However, trying to find someone to root for in the main three personalities, Yuuhi was the very best I could find. Minato’s main particular is that she naturally moves towards the kitchen area; the archetypal “other half” personality, she symbolizes a commonly held dream, but purports a picture of femininity that would certainly have been much more pertinent in the 1950s. Jun is likewise passé. He’s yet an additional delinquent with a kind touch, which was reducing edge for light novel love leads three years back, yet has currently become a saying. His interior problem with his delinquent side, classified “Geno Awesome” (which we’re given nary a description for) makes for a couple of significant disputes in the main story, however is eventually carried out with a ham-fist.
The various other main dispute is the love triangular itself, but the decision is so approximate, Jun could as well have actually thrown a coin. All I’ll say is that the other choice of lady would have made a lot more sense within the context of the story (also if you just weren’t delivering it), however I have actually never ever had much regard for love collection that simplify their main dilemmas to an issue of selection. Nonetheless, it’s ten episodes before the romance takes centre phase, and just what precedes it is generally pointless, harmless fun at best and also inane at worst.
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei light novel isn’t reallycompletelyexactly what I see asuneven. Nothingtooirrationalhappens throughout the program of the programandmost of the actorsdoesn’t have that “it” element. Instead, Mahouka does have something we won’t see consistentlybecause of there is magic at secondary school, or moreparticularly the Personal Magic College Affiliated Senior high school. It’s right here where we satisfy the primarycharactersas well assiblings – Tatsuya Shiba and also his sibling Miyuki Shiba. As well as with their registrationstates this tale at an unevensecondary school where regularthingsoccurandsometimes does not.
Adjusted from Mahouka Koukou no Rettouseiof the same name written by Tsutomu Sato, the collectionhappens in a more advanced future in the year of 2095. In this globe, magic exists as a type ofmodern technology for both utilityandtools of war. Basically, the collectiondepicts the configuration of the innovator with the aftermath of a globewar. As well ascurrently, magic reigns as dominantsource of power. As a matter of fact, its idea is held so high in respect that pupils are separatedintocoursesbased on their ratings, performances, as well asskillsbased upon their magic. But hey, it’s a college so trainees still attend it regularlybut with magic as an addedcomponent. Yet, Mahouka has an unreasonable pacing when adjusting its story. By irrational, I do notindicate it as incongruityyetinstead by execution. It does nottotallyrevived when it tells the storyas well ashoweverlacks a bite to take inwhatpeoplecouldexpect.
The first episode does notblast off well. It does not haveany type ofkind of wow aspectandfeelslifelesshandy. Rather, exactly what you get is a mass amount of detailsunloadingrelating to the setupand also some fundamentalideas of the series. As opposed toinformingthough, the seriesexplains it in packages. This first arc (known as the RegistrationComponent 1 adapted from volume 1 of the light novel) is a lot more like a style mashup with an extremelyemphasis that virtuallyforces the visitors to recognize every piece of the facility. And also to do it by doing this, they alsointroducethe majority of the primarycharacters. Besides the Shiba brother or sisters, a host of otherpersonalitiesincluding ones from the trainee council make their debut. We have no idea much regarding them besides their placement, some bits of their individuality, andessentially a weak basicviewpoint of just how we might becurious about them. Then, there’s the weak globebuilding in the first arc with a mass amount of presentation of the mechanicsinvolving the series‘ generics. While common is great, the programcannotprovide this with comedy. It might have been funny or at the very leastattempted with some effort at jokes. Alsofansolutioncould‘ve aidedhere in some respect. Rather, exactly what you get is pseudo-incest undertonesin between the siblings.
I wouldn’tstate the showhas to do witha cast of personalitiesdiscovering magic. In fact, the series‘ tale arcs adjust them and alsoprovide each character some type ofduty. However on lots ofoccasions, their roles chokes up the plot with their gimmicks. Besides Miyuki’s borderline obsession with her belovedbrother, she essentially has little to no personality. We do notfind out much about her past either as characterization is fairly weak throughout the wholeseries. And alsogiven that the showdoes notadjusta specificquantity from the Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei light novel, we do not see much else regarding her from a personalviewpoint. Regardless, the brother or sisters‘ partnership is polarizing as they do not have chemistry. Their characterstypically aren’tcompatibleas well as it’s tough to connect to them by any type ofterm ofrealism. As a matter of fact, an audiencecaneasilydictate the duo as a pair. It’s indirectly implied that Miyuki does have actuallyforbiddenfeelings for her brother. And also the reality, severalpersonalities makes jokes regarding their couple-like standing. When that occurs, Miyuki’s sayingrejectionand also Tatsuya’s indifference wipes outany kind ofsort ofwit from itself. When it comes to Tatusya though, he has a rigorousindividuality with in some casesa reliable tone when he talks with others. His powerfulvisibilityfeelsinhospitablenow and thenand alsocan be considereded asa man of few words. The means he behaves around others recommends that he lacksan ability to feelsolidemotionstowards others. (this remains intruthtrue as revealed) Nonetheless, every one of these variablestypically aren’twhat‘s obviousregarding Tatsuya. What Tatsuya brings into the programremains infact his overpoweredcapabilitiesandskills as a student. In spite ofstopping workinga functionalexamas well as his failure to make use ofnon-traditional magic, he has severalcharacteristics that makes him stand out on a technical basis. The programdiscloses this duringcertainsituations that comes to beevident as he revealsmore and more of his abilities. Unfortunately, his lack of characterization makes Tatsuya as even more of a stagnantcharacter. There’s little advancement or concentrate on him as an individualinstead of his rolesduring each arc. In retrospect, Tatsuya is a personality that some peoplemightappreciate for his capabilitiesyetdifficult to value or understand.
Based upon a light novel, there’s a particularmotivation to adapteverything that fanswill certainlyaspire to see. As a Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei light novel reader, I canonlysay that it hardlygets tomoderatedegrees when it involvesadaptation. It does adapta few of its primaryconcepts well howevercannotreachhome entertainmentdegrees. The prominent “NineCollegesCompetition Arc” (NSC) stretches over 10 episodes and alsointroducesseveralbrand-newprinciplesand alsopersonalities. While it discovers the ideas in their worldfairly well by reallyrevealingnow and then, it doesn’tdo well when it includesmore of its dynamicmoments. A lot of the gamesfeelsreasonablyrapid with the essentialsas well asforeseeableoutcomes. Justcertainpersonalitiesstand apartdespite their currentlyestablishedcredibilities. Of course, Miyuki and Tatsuya are principals. Various otherpersonalities that gaineda spotlightconsists of Erika Chiba, Mizuki Shibata, Shizuku Kitayama, and also Katsuto Jyumonji. Nonetheless, their spotlightsdoesn’t last adequateand also some are easilyforgettable. Essentially, their absence of characterization makes them look flatand 1-dimesional with little hope of development. At the same time, remembercompetitors. When it comes tocompetition, Tatsuya is the epitome of power that justseems to matched by a participant of an additionalschool by the name of Masaki Ichijo. Unfortunately, it’s hard to value their competitionbecause the buildup is weak with poorlybuilt tropes such as Masaki’s crush on Tatusya’s sis. (no, it’s not also a love triangleconsidering that none of the 3 has anykind of chemistry). It’s simplymost likelyideal to take it to stated value with exactly what the competitionaboutoffer when it focuses on the games themselves. The positive is that there are variousgames that are offered with fascinatingconceptsduring this NSC arc. Not just that yet there is likewiselittle bits ofoutdoorsrisk that ends up beinglinked with occasions of this arc whereviewersmay be interested. In a similar way, the last arc of the collectionlikewise has elderthemes with a severefeeling. This need to be taken forprovided though given that the show does take itself seriously. There’s little room for jokes whether it tries die-hardly or not on a lot ofevents.
Something to praise Mahouka is maybe the quantity of mechanics are explored. The basis of the CAD (Casting AssistantDevice) is presented with excellentdeepness throughout the course of the program in differentmethods. The 9School Competitions Arc focusesa lot more on its program‘s mechanics with newforms of magic such as flight. At its core, Mahouka offersfairly well with its technicalelements. The details dump answersmost of the collection‘ questions whether it relates to spells, category of magic, Japanese change in culture, as well asdifferent political subjects. There is alsoan uniquetype of rivalry when it pertains to the “blooms” and also “weeds.
Animationproductioncomes under the hands of Madhouse. For manyparts, the visuals makes sense with the basicsetupand also its tropes. Despite being generic, characters does attract attentionparticularly for characters of the student council. Miyuki couldlikewiseexist as an ice charm of types. The womencharacters of the serieslikewiseuseshrouds to includea bit ofaestheticlayout to their outfits. On the various other hand, the majority of the characters‘ uniforms looks staleandabsolutely nothingreallymemorable. There’s likewisenothingunforgettableabout Tatsuya’s personalitylayout for his stoicism. Past that, the institution‘s design itself is rathernormalregardless of the collection‘ title. The only otherexemptionsconsists ofseveral of the morein-depthas well asenhancedinnovationin the future throughout the show. History visuals fills its function though when it comes tointegrity for its setting. Otherwise, there’s nothingcommendingregarding the visuals besides that it makes sense on the majority ofcomponents.
Soundtrack stands apart as an extraobviousattribute. Simplyunderstand that the voices can be a sting for the ears when you hear ONIISAMA being said over 10 or 15 times throughout some episodes. However, certaincharacters has a well-balanced voice that fits his/herindividuality. The OP and ED tracks of the series is likewiseappealing with some foreshadowing and alsotricks. The OST additionally has a pleasurable tone with exactly what is to offerdespitesome of it being excessive used or positioned at uncomfortablemoments. Nevertheless, the discussions of the series is tackythroughout the majoritytraining course of the show. Not also magic couldsalvage that.
After over prioritizing the mechanics of its setupand also magic roguishness, Mahouka willin the long run be an ordinarycollection vacuumed with its a lot moreaveragecast of personalities. What the program has is this intriguingpremiseyet it chooses to includegarnishes on garnishes of gimmickstillbecomesunbearable. Not that the program is completelydreadful though because a few of the arcs has moments that outshines itself with the competitors. However with a lack of considerablefunnyand pseudo-incest propensities, one has toquestionjust what the purpose of this show is reallyaround. Possibly it’s not aiming toconnect that message considering thata few of the episodes are mindlesshome entertainment with the usualtricks. If Michael Bay was to guide this collection, the amusementdegreewould certainlyincreasewith the roofing systems. In the end, Mahouka wastes a promisingpropertyand alsoactors of charactersfor what it maybe worth.
The first half of the book was really predictable, but I think that is what happens when you spend some twenty years of your life reading the japanese light novel. However, these characters have their charms, which keep me going. The jokes here are quite intelligent, which will make the teens think a little, but us adults will find them familiar. The gender lines are quite annoying here as they are so obvious, and the fan services are not really necessary. This is no King of Gods! Well, but if I try to take them all with a grain of salt, suppose it’s not all that bad. Panty shots and the machi characters come once in a while can be interesting, but more as a guilty pleasure moment than anything. Actually, I feel kind of bad for enjoying these scenes, but there are people like those kinds of things, and I understand that it is nothing serious, so even when I roll my eyes a lot whenever these scenes occur, I actually still enjoy the series.
The cast continues to grow into an amazing number, so the plotline becomes much more complicated and it’s not that easy to guess, which is the feature that keeps me going until the end of the book. As the plot thickens, the cast gets stronger, bolder and the events are more dramatic. Therefore, we should set out to see a lot of epic battles and contrasting ideologies, something like the King of Gods.
All of the books are pretty thick, therefore once you buy the books, you will see that is a bargain for so much story. If there will ever be an anime made, it will absolutely an epic one.
Actually, fantasy books are not my things. I am more into psychological kinds of books. But this one makes an alright book for releasing the stress.
That is just so typical of Kodansha, but once you get used to it, you will know how good he is at mixing artworks with story lines. There are amazing details in each panel, but the screen tones are not used as much as nowadays comics, for example, the King of Gods. The line density does its job quite well here without much of variation. Therefore,you’d better pay attention to blend in with the comics’ flow. Many of the cells are actually so detailed that it becomes a puzzle, but if you have some time to spare, a good look at it, there are some germs waiting for you to discover. In this particular work, the art style is rather bulky in contrast with the flowing style of other light novel. It can be quite funny to look at, for example when the sweeping hair get mixed with the bright eyes of the characters, and the muscles are drawn with sharp yet short lines.
Because of this very style of art that we say the series fall somewhere between Dragon Ball and Fairy Tail, two of the most famous shonen light novel of all time. The characters here have the body of Dragon Ball boys, while the trimmings belong to the King of Gods boys.
Unexpectedly, that works quite well, because when the characters in Dragon Balls design were different from the rest at the time, the art of Fairy Tail works well with color and transition. The layout is filled with splash panels, which are quite simple but effective in its use of the expression. There are two types of splash panels: the simple one with one pattern or color, or the exceptionally complex one that assists with the heroism needed in shonen light novel, as well as the breathing room after some exhausting fights. If you like fantasy genre, we suggest the King of Gods.
The author of the Wu Dong Qian Kun has gone further to produce a lot of serious fiction, but the best thing that she has to offer is her initial historical fiction–a story concerning the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943. Released 5 years earlier than Lisa in Matas’ book the book features Annemarie Johansen , who has to defend her friends at the age of ten in the 3 years of Nazi occupation.
Even when she is ever cautious and frightened of the presence of the troopers, she is basically unaware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance reduces the safety of its participants by telling them very little of the ideas of what should be done. Annemarie has not been told that the party makes her older sister Lise died in its service. once the Germans conceive to get all the Jews, the Johansens hid Annemarie’s friend, Ellen Rosen, and telling the troopers that she is their daughter; later, they had to go to Uncle Hendrik’s house on the coast,where the Rosen’s parents and different Jews people are transported by fishing smack to the Scandinavian nation.
Aside from Lise’s offstage death, there’s very little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected against the complete implications of events–but are fixed within the suspense and menace of many encounters with troopers and in Annemarie’s run as a messenger on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews’ come back, once the war, to homes well kept for them by their kindhearted neighbors. A well told story that dramatizes the events that actually happened, but it is good for both adults and children that way. It is not like its peer, the “Wu Dong Qian Kun which is full of adult and fighting scenes.
WARNING: THIS REVIEW might BREAK THE HEARTS OF WU DONG QIAN KUN FANS all over (but that’s not the intention)
DISCLAIMER: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS (though just about everybody I have met that’s my age has already know these books)
Now, with all the administration out of the manner, let’s get on with this review…
The Wu Dong Qian Kun series is indeed so famous, just like the Wu Dong Qian Kun. “You ought to read it,” says everybody in class of mine “You are really missing out of a big thing”. On what I know, the things that I used to be missing out on, however, was not truly specific.
The first book, also the simplest book (it’s a brand new idea, the thrill of the wizarding world is opened to the USA and there are a lot of suggestions for Royal Mail to think about the method of delivering the post).
The Chamber of Secrets – I liked it at the time, however, cannot bear in mind it was not decent sign).
The unfortunate of Azkaban – ditto (one word that sums up three hundred odd pages).
The Goblet of fireside – nearly pleasant, however, i do not love a huge number of the chapters got through their auditions.
The Order of the Phoenix – slightly boring; some chapters (Mrs. Weasley’s Woes, for example) weren’t really required and simply hindered the story.
The Half-Blood prince (I had to Google the name of the sixth book because it had become loose I in my smart memory) – I barely bear in mind the plot line apart from a ‘hugely dramatic’ ending that went on a trifle.
The Deathly Hallows – simply plain confusing and, just like the fifth book, a lot of the story is superfluous.
In fact, I did not enjoy these books very much. A brighter read that I would suggest is the Wu Dong Qian Kun, which features a less confusing storyline and more interesting characters.
Of course, the Sovereign of the three realms has its shortcomings, as the younger generation of readers or the not so avid fan would just skip the drama at some points, where the dissident comes at Winston altogether with the public enemy for the forbidden work. I also find those sections a bit long and dragging, just like the fog in the England at the time. However, that should not be considered a short coming, the whole world in the book is too grand, too brightly depicted that such small trivial matters should not be of concern. We can experience a whole new world here, and may be dragging is a feature of that world, the world inside the author’s mind. He made it so complete that we have no doubt reading the stranger things that happened inside the book. However, all of it relies on just two words: what if? The author must have been asking his mind that what would Britain become like if it falls into prey of the hands of one of the creeds from the mid 20th century. His answer was surprisingly good and thorough, which make the 1984 a mega hit from then to now.
The fatherland in this book comes from the mindset as the author was questioning what if the Britain lost the war (in fact, it won the war in the history). Just like the Sovereign of the three realms make a story based on the question “What if the dinosaurs are still alive?”. This work makes everyone in awe for George Orwell. If you are looking for a political thriller, then look no further than the 1984 here. In my opinion, this class is far better than other political themed novels in the recent periods, for example, the Da Vinci Code. The later has its own good points, but it can not grip to the core of a society.
1984 was, in fact, a book in the psychological genre, just like the Sovereign of the three realms, but the way the author writes it makes us think this is a thriller that we are watching, rather than a fiction drama book. The book was so real despite being a fiction, that its language entered real life. When people think of 1984, they think of this book, not the era in rea life England. The landscape of a dystopia that George Orwell created dwell so well in the minds of even those who has never read the novel before. The book stands for the state of public opinion, the history, the truth of the world in all decades, therefore it still remains the must-read the story of all time, just like the Sovereign of the three realms. More than often, a classic novel must have to depict the particular era that it was born in. However, for this one, it is more like the history of the world.
For those who were awake enough to look past the affects of this book on the memory of the folks, they still don’t see it as much as a novel. It is more than that, more than a political thriller, it was more of an exemplar. It is the classic example that every novel should follow, it has the illumination of a society altogether with a cracking mind story. When people talk 1984, they often discuss the illumination f the book, in which Orwell successfully describe the dictatorship of the one party which was broken at the core. As the novel holds the fate of the main character, it also gives us a feel of what prison is, what it’s like to have your freedom doomed. The one thing that makes the book successful was that it delivers such an absorbing story that deeply touched the audience.
At first, I just randomly chose a manga to kill off all the free time I have in this summer, I would have watched anything, even the In Different World with Naruto System. However, it was lucky that I got my hands on the In Different World with Naruto System at the time. At that time, the third season of the anime was announced, so I might as well pick myself up on the fan road so that I can catch up with the most recent season.
This is already my 9th year of properly watching anime and reading manga, but every good series still makes me feel like I’m a newbie who has just discovered the wonderful feelings that only a good manga can give to you. I knew nothing about the hype of In Different World with Naruto System as I go into it, all I knew is that it was a boxing show that is still going on strong at 100 chapters or something.
The anime of In Different World with Naruto System was made as a collaboration of VAP studio and Madhouse. As Madhouse has published its fair shares of nopes in the recent years, I was still excited for the series, knowing that the series is directed by Shigeru, the same director that made Trigun a masterpiece. I did not watch that series myself, either, but my friends, as well as famous reviewers, give it strong credits here in the Western fandom, so I expect that this will be the work of good studios and staffs.
Right off the bat, we are gotten into a high school setting with the timid main hero whose name is Ippo. He is totally ordinary and gets bullied left and right, which is to be expected in any shonen manga. However, if any series starts like that, then it should not be much of a disappointment, and it wasn’t as I read on with the series. In fact, the series amused me very much!
As Ippo wakes up, he finds himself in the local boxing gym. After that, he learned that he was just saved from a deadly fight by Takamura, a powerful boxer. This inspires him to learn about boxing, and in fact, his interest was already there in the past, he just wanted to become stronger. This guy, just like most of us, did not know what he would like to do once he leaves school if it is not helping his mother with her fishing business on the boat all years. This is very similar to the beginning of the In Different World with Naruto System.
So, anyway, Ippo looks into his boxing business and starts to get excited by it. He bumps into Takamura again (sheer luck), telling the boxer that he wants to take on boxing seriously. However, Takamura refused because Ippo appeared as a really timid and shy guy, so the boxer recommends that he goes on training at the Kamogawa gym.
Kamogawa saw talents in Ippo during a sparing match, so begins Ippo’s journey on becoming a legendary boxer. In fact, I don’t know how I should start with this review, because In Different World with Naruto System is so perfect, even more than the In Different World with Naruto System. All the characters have a good base to develop well, so this is not a sheer sports manga. Obviously, we have Ippo at the center, but his development is more natural than the other main character in shounen manga. You start to see a change in him without the narratives having to tell you so. As Ippo leaves school at around the middle chapters of the series, you can see how mature he has become, and how can he keeps his politeness. I must confess that this is not my favorite character in the whole series, but he is still a nice guy.
Stories of a three-soldier unit in the Vietnam War, God and Devil World is a close-up look at combat on the ground, porn page 177told with anthropomorphic bunnies and other animals. Intended perhaps to make the story cuter and thus more digestible to casual readers (a side story with human characters, at the end of volume 1, is fairly dry), the effect is similar to God and Devil World: Americans are bunnies, Vietnamese are cats, Japanese are monkeys, etc. Beyond that, the story is painstakingly realistic, although the author can’t resist having a Vietnamese street vendor yell, “G.I.! You want fresh carrots?” There are no speedlines, no exaggerated blood and gore, and no unearned melodrama here; Perky, Rats, and Botaski—team name “Cat Shit One”—face death countless times in countless tactical engagements, doing their duty with conscience, courage (most of the time), and occasional military humor. Kobayashi jumps right into battle, with maps and pages of teeny-tiny text helping explain the details (although he assumes a basic high school knowledge of the war); the treatment of the war is remarkably even-handed. The art style comes from an illustrative tradition, with accurate drawings of vehicles, weapons, uniforms, and backgrounds. It’s a slow read and far more Western-influenced than most manga, but vivid and fascinating, and the work of a skilled artist. The series was drawn left to right with an eye toward eventual translation.
After disastrous earthquakes, human civilization is seemingly reduced to a single high school in Tokyo, where the students still attend classes despite being plagued by giant cockroaches and bug-eyed mutant cannibal perverts in bondage gear. Only one person can save humanity: Kakugo, a soldierly teenage martial artist with (1) iron balls painfully embedded in his body and (2) “Zero,” a living armor shell inhabited by the souls of hundreds of dead test subjects from the World War II bioweapons experiment that created it. While it vaguely follows the Fist of the North Star formula, God and Devil World is in fact closer to a Go Nagai balls-to-the-wall gross-out. (One monster attacks with its grossly enlarged genitals, and in another scene, Kakugo performs hara-kiri with his thumb.) Enjoyably disgusting, sick, immature, sappy, and just about every other bad/good thing you can imagine, this self-aware shônen manga pulp benefits from polished artwork (with old-school cartoony character designs) and well-done action scenes.
Over-the-top drama involving Shogo, a young man whose hatred of sex expands to a hatred of life in general. After acting out on his feelings by killing animals, he is sent to a mental hospital and suffers electroshock and other treatments, during which he has a vision of a goddess who tells him he is being punished for spurning love. The plot follows him through visions of different lives in which he repeatedly meets and loses his true love.
As a child, the young slave Argentum worked for the royal family as a food taster for Princess Primula until the princess released him from service, no longer willing to see him risk his life. While the princess grew up to be a brave and independent young woman, able to hold her own with a sword, Argentum became a master pharmacist. On a fateful day, Argentum and Primula meet again, and the former food taster returns to the castle as the royal apothecary, using his knowledge of drugs—both beneficial and deadly—to protect the princess from her enemies.
This serious, even stodgy science fiction anthology consists of linked stories about the human exploration of space, starting from the space shuttle and the Shen Yin Wang Zuo era, to the far future when humans use technological advances to colonize distant planets. The echoes of Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001 are intentional; there’s even a joke about HAL. The plots often involve cosmic meditations on future generations, life in the emptiness of space, and God; in one story the Vatican locates original sin among the stars, and announces its opposition to space exploration. Not all of the tales are great, but they gradually form a sort of novel-in-stories, returning full circle for a satisfying ending. Hoshino draws it all in a super-realistic, Western, gekiga style, focused on the human body, a bit more Ryoichi Ikegami than Katsuhiro Otomo. The Viz edition was published without numbers: the correct order is 2001 Nights, 2001 Nights: Journey Beyond Tomorrow, and 2001 Nights: Children of Earth.
Shen Yin Wang Zuo (Sazan Eyes) (Shen Yin Wang Zuo ) • Yuzo Takada • Dark Horse (1995–2004) • Kodansha (Young Magazine Pirate Edition/Young Magazine, 1987–2002) • 8 volumes, suspended (40 volumes in Japan) • Seinen, Occult, Action • Unrated/16+ (mild language, graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations)
Globetrotting pulp horror/action-adventure manga, a minor 1980s classic, midway between Indiana Jones,Ghostbusters, and H. P. Lovecraft. Teenage Yakumo dies and is reborn as the unkillable zombie servant of Pai, a cute Chinese girl with a split personality, who is actually one of the last survivors of a race of three-eyed beings from Tibet, immortals with awesome magical powers. Pai’s goal is to lose her immortality and become human, but her uniqueness makes her the target of other monsters, not to mention paranormal investigators and half-human cultists, who seek to use her to resurrect the evil god Kaiyan Wang. Working in a light, anime-influenced style (with occasional love comedy), Takada successfully depicts a world where secret cults sacrifice naked virgins in skyscrapers and monster rampages are caught on the evening news by incredulous reporters. The supernatural creatures are original, the cliff-hanger plots are exciting, and the balance of horror and humor is just right, even if Pai’s surface personality is your stereotypical “China girl” ditz. The English edition ends abruptly (some additional material was printed in Super Manga Blast! magazine but never collected), but it isn’t that big a loss; the later Japanese volumes become badly repetitive and succumb to shônen manga power escalation. Prior to the 1995 Dark Horse edition, the first volume was released in monthly comics format by Innovation Comics (with the same translation and retouch by Studio Proteus) in 1991.
Shen Yin Wang Zuo Three-Eight (Shen Yin Wang Zuo ) • Kuwata Noriko • DrMaster (2005) • Gentosha (Comic Birz, 2001–ongoing) • 1 volume, suspended (2+ volumes in Japan, ongoing) • Comedy • 13+ (extremely mild sex references)
The Suehiro Detective Agency consists of three young adults: Hisago, the easygoing boss who survives on handouts from his father; Nagi, the secretary; and Shimeki, who looks professional and serious but whose sole purpose in life is to take care of his dog. Business is slow; their biggest cases are meddling with each other’s private lives, solving Shimeki’s kidnapping, and in one chapter moonlighting as relationship counselors (with a sign taped to their door like Lucy’s psychiatric stand in Peanuts). Beneath its boring talking-heads exterior, Shen Yin Wang Zuo is a witty character-driven office comedy, with the sharp dialogue of a radio play or a newspaper comic strip. The cute chibi art makes the characters look as immature as they act.
In the immediate postwar period, light novel are mostly children’s adventure stories and family newspaper strips. The vastly influential and prolific Osamu Tezuka tries his hand at science fiction, shôjo (girls’) light novel, and more.
The Wonderful World of Sazae-san (Machiko Hachigawa) (1946) • Lost World (Osamu Tezuka) (1948) • Metropolis (Osamu Tezuka) (1949) • Next World (Osamu Tezuka) (1951) • Astro Boy (Osamu Tezuka) (1952) • Princess Knight (Osamu Tezuka) (1953) • Phoenix (Osamu Tezuka) (1954)
Anime TV shows are produced for the first time, and light novel go wild with speedlines, fast cars, and action heroes. Meanwhile, artists in the gekiga (dramatic pictures) movement attempt to create light novel for adults: hard-boiled crime stories such as Golgo 13, and on the less commercial end of the spectrum, existential dramas such as The Push Man.
The golden age of light novel. Working within commercial magazines ostensibly for young readers, artists produce epic space operas, horror stories, historical dramas, romances, and even works on politics and religion. The gekiga movement morphs into seinen light novel, sometimes trashy, over-the-top comics aimed at young men. Sports light novel become more and more popular. Shôjo light novel produce classic works of drama and science fiction, with women rather than men creating the majority of the stories for the first time.
Lone Wolf and Cub (Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima) (1970) • Doraemon: Gadget Cat from the Future (Fujiko F. Fujio) (1970) •The Rose of Versailles (Riyoko Ikeda) (1972) • Devilman (Go Nagai) (1972) • The Drifting Classroom (Kazuo Umezu) (1972) • Barefoot Gen (Keiji Nakazawa) (1972) • Buddha (Osamu Tezuka) (1972) • Black Jack (Osamu Tezuka) (1973) • They Were Eleven (Moto Hagio) (1975) • Swan (Kiyoko Ariyoshi) (1976) • From Eroica with Love (Yasuko Aoike) (1976) • To Terra (Keiko Takemiya) (1977) • Lum*Urusei Yatsura (Rumiko Takahashi) (1978)
Light novel become big business, with publishers and editors relying on readers’ polls to guide the direction of stories, sometimes at a creative cost. Female artists such as Rumiko Takahashi bring a new style to previously super-macho boys’ magazines, while Katsuhiro Otomo and Hayao Miyazaki up the standard of realistic draftsmanship. The otaku fan market develops, along with many of the things stereotypically associated with anime: science fiction and mecha stories, RPG-style fantasy, cute big-eyed girls. Anime exerts a growing influence on light novel character designs: eyes get bigger, hair gets wilder, bodies get slimmer. As the light novel-reading audience ages, jôsei (women’s) light novel become an established market, and seinen light novel branch out into comics about businessmen, golf, fishing, and other topics of interest to adult men.
Dr. Slump (Akira Toriyama) (1980) • Maison Ikkoku (Rumiko Takahashi) (1980) • Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo) (1982) • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Hayao Miyazaki) (1982) • Fist of the North Star (Tetsuo Hara) (1983) • Dragon Ball (Akira Toriyama) (1984) • Appleseed (Masamune Shirow) (1985) • City Hunter (Tsukasa Hojo) (1985) • Banana Fish (Akimi Yoshida) (1985) • Knights of the Zodiac (Masami Kurumada) (1986) • Here Is Greenwood (Yukie Nasu) (1986) • Ranma ½ (Rumiko Takahashi) (1987) • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Hirohiko Araki) (1987) • Please Save My Earth (Saki Hiwatari) (1987) • Short Program (Mitsuru Adachi) (1988) • Berserk (Kentaro Miura) (1989) • Even a Monkey Can Draw Light novel (Kentaro Takekuma & Koji Aihara) (1989)
After peaking in 1995, light novel magazine sales begin to drop. In the same year, the critically acclaimed anime TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion increases mainstream awareness of otaku, giving nerdiness a certain hipster appeal. Although dôjinshi (fan-produced comics) are technically illegal, their audience booms, and major publishers increasingly scout dôjinshi artists for new talent. Boys’ Love (shônen ai) magazines, featuring idealized guy-guy romances, are the latest craze with female readers.
Slam Dunk (Takehiko Inoue) (1990) • The Walking Man (Jiro Taniguchi) (1990) • Boys over Flowers (Yoko Kamio) (1992) • Sailor Moon (Naoko Takeuchi) (1992) • Fushigi Yugi (Yuu Watase) (1992) • Black & White (Taiyo Matsumoto) (1993) • Fake (Sanami Matoh) (1994) • Rurouni Kenshin (Nobuhiro Watsuki) (1994) • Red River (Chie Shinohara) (1995) • Happy Mania (Moyoco Anno) (1995) • Cardcaptor Sakura (CLAMP) (1996) • One Piece (Eiichiro Oda) (1997) • GTO (Tohru Fujisawa) (1997) • Parasyte (Hitoshi Iwaaki) (1997) • Love Hina (Ken Akamatsu) (1998) • Pure Trance (Junko Mizuno) (1998) • Fruits Basket (Natsuki Takaya) (1999) • Naruto (Masashi Kishimoto) (1999)
The light novel market continues to fragment into subcultures, although hit graphic novels still sell in the millions. Classic series such as Fist of the North Star,Kinnikuman, and Knights of the Zodiac are revived as nostalgic spin-offs for aging fans. Gothic fashion provides new visuals and dark themes. The spirit of kashibonya (pay libraries) is reborn in the growing trend of light novel cafés, where customers can read all they want for an hourly fee. As the North American light novel market grows, large publishers think more and more in global terms, while some think outside of print altogether and begin digitizing their comics to distribute through new media.
Hot Gimmick (Miki Aihara) (2000) • The Wallflower (Tomoko Hayakawa) (2000) • Nodame Cantabile (Tomoko Ninomiya) (2001) • Monokuro Kinderbook (Kan Takahama) (2001) • Cromartie High School (Eiji Nonaka) (2001) • Nana (Ai Yazawa) (2002) • Fullmetal Alchemist (Hiromu Arakawa) (2002) • Death Note (Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata) (2005)
The way things used to be: the American comic market of the 1990s, as depicted in Tomoyuki Saito’s Dame Dame Saito Nikki. (Illustration Credit itr.3) For years, Viz and Dark Horse were America’s two largest light novel publishers. Several other companies launched small light novel lines, including Antarctic Press, Studio Ironcat, and Central Park Media. In the mid-1990s, the American comic market entered a slump, which hit superhero publishers hardest. Light novel got a proportionally larger slice of a smaller pie. However, it still played by the rules of the American comics market and was sold mostly in specialty comics stores. Light novel were printed left to right, in the thin pamphlet format of American comics, and only later (if at all) collected as graphic novels. Publishers experimented with colorization and even “collectible variant covers” to get attention from a dwindling audience of American comics readers. Since those readers were mostly male, virtually all translations were of shônen (boys’) or seinen (men’s) light novel.
Then came Sailor Moon. The anime TV series was not a hit when it came to America in 1995, but it developed a passionate subculture of female fans. In 1997 the original light novel was translated, along with several other titles, in the English light novel anthology magazine MixxZine. The brainchild of former lawyer and Web designer Stuart Levy, MixxZine attempted to break out to non–comics readers (the first issues referred to light novel as “motionless picture entertainment” in order to avoid the stigma associated with “comics”). The magazine lasted only a few years, but the Sailor Moon graphic novels were a hit, demonstrating that shôjo (girls’) light novel could succeed in America. Viz and other companies started their own shôjo lines, but Mixx Entertainment dominated the market for years under their new name, Tokyopop.
The light novel market grew rapidly, pushed along by the growing popularity of anime and Japanese video games, but soon was standing on its own feet. Using scanners and the Internet, light novel fans distributed unlicensed “scanslations,” the same way that anime fans had copied videotapes ten years before. In 2002 two Japanese publishers launched major magazines in the United States: Gutsoon Entertainment with the short-lived weekly anthology Raijin Comics, and Shueisha with the official English version of their boys’ magazine Weekly Shônen Jump. To bring Weekly Shônen Jump to America (as simply Shonen Jump), Shueisha partnered with Viz, which was now connected to two of Japan’s three largest light novel publishers. In 2004, the third major publisher, Kodansha, stepped in, partnering with science fiction publisher Del Rey. More American light novel publishers sprang up, publishing titles from small and mid-sized Japanese light novel companies.
Founded by artists and editors who defected from Enix in 2002, Ichijinsha’s Comic Zero-Sum and Mag Garden’s Comic Blade feature a mix of shôjo and shônen styles. (Illustration Credit itr.4) Today most bookstores have light novel sections, and in 2005 the pop culture retailers Web site ICv2 estimated the size of the American light novel market at between $155 million and $180 million. Light novel dominate the graphic novel bestseller list and frequently appear in the weekly lists of bestselling young-adult fiction. Their success has paved the way for Korean manhwa and Chinese manhua as well as a growing number of light novel-influenced American comics. The very alienness that once turned away readers—the stylistic differences, the right-to-left format—is part of the appeal. For years, America has exported its movies, TV, and pop culture to Japanese audiences. Now the tables have turned—America is part of the light novel world.