Tuesday, February 24, 2009

All Quiet on the Eastern Front

Not much to report on the anime front. Another Katsucon has passed, which was time well-spent (even if I couldn't get my mind off of work without a beverage or two or three). I wish I had something important and anime related to report from it. Unfortunately, Katsu was pretty much a bust on all fronts this year, except for the part where I got to spend a weekend with my friends. No guests, no bands, no artists I wanted to see. I'm done with buying merch, too. The rampant capitalist fever that used to get me no longer works in the dealers' room. This year I found a big bag of strawberry-flavored Kit Kats from Japan and that was enough to satisfy my money-spending urges. Mmmmmm....Kit Kats.

New Review on MR!

Just reviewed Emperor's Castle for MR. It was the first manhwa I've read and, man, was it a piece of work. Worst graphic novel I've ever read:


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Xam'd: Final Thoughts

There was only one show I picked up over the summer, and that was Bounen no Xamdou (Xam'd: Lost Memories). It recently came to a close and--despite my highest hopes--wound up relegating itself into the pile of series I have labeled "What the hell was that ending?"


For almost half a year I found myself smiling whenever the opening theme would begin. It was not until the final 5 episodes that everything fell apart. My gripes?

01. What was everyone fighting for?

Throughout the series, a war is raging between the South and the North. No reason (that I could discern) was ever given. There simply is a war. I figured that there would be an eventual explanation, but nothing ever surfaced.

02. Why was anyone following the Hiruken emperor? How was he giving orders?

The leader of one of the sides of the war (I have no idea which, really) was a stone face sealed in a test tube filled with bubbly water. He has no spoken lines, his name is rarely mentioned by ANYONE at all, and yet the final episodes focus on attempting to destroy him and bring an end to his rule? He was never ruling over anything. Ugh.

03. Why was it that in order to create more Xamd's, the albino children had to become suicide bombers?

No answer ever given. We just have to swallow it and move on.

04. If there were others creating Xamd's, why was it that only Akiyuki showed up at the end?

If you are trying to create creatures to fight off the impending apocalypse, it might help to have more than 4 in the entire series.

05. What process turned Midori into a monster?

This is a wildly unresolved plot point. She is hooked up to some tubes and a green stone and becomes a giant egg? Really? That's all the explanation you have?

06. Where did all of the religious fanatics come from?

The entire series, it seems like the only people who follow religion are shut away in a remote mountain village. Yet, at the end, thousands and thousands of brain-washed devotees make their way to a sanctuary so they can die. Where were they hiding the entire time?

07. What was up with Haru's mind-reading ability and hallucinations from earlier in the series?

Nothing is ever truly revealed. Especially regarding her ability to see the giant eyeball tower.

08. How is it that Nakiami was one of Lady Sannova's appointed, yet she clearly has red hair when EVERY OTHER SERVANT IS AN ALBINO?

A little continuity would have gone a long way.

09. After traveling forever and claiming she never wants to be lonely again, Nakiami seals herself in a state of suspended animation for 1000 years.

Her actions are not even heroic. Akiyuki had completely defused the situation. The whole idea of the Quickening Chamber is never explained. Was it just a place for people to commit suicide? We'll never know.

10. The complete lack of Akushiba after the postal ship crashes.

When you have a compelling side character, one of the biggest atrocities that can be committed is ignoring him. Akushiba was (to me) the most intriguing character aboard the ship. With that in mind, his influence on the story completely disappears during the second half.

Whew. That's all I have for now. I'm sure there are a lot more points I could raise up. If only I had written them down as they popped into my mind yesterday.

Bottom Line: I loved the first twenty episodes. The show has a very distinct charm to it, and for a while it reminded me of everything I like about anime. And then the last six episodes reminded me of everything I dislike about anime.

Next up on my review list: Casshern SINS

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

That 25 Things... chain spam that's going around facebook

Since I'm going to refuse to do so on Facebook, I figured at the very least I could put up five things here.

01. When creating a numbered list, I have to use "01" instead of "1" because once I reach 10, the numbers stay lined up.

02. I had a professor tell me that Times New Roman was a tired font. I agree.

03. Professor Michael Olmert at UMD was the single most influential teacher I had in college. He was curious about EVERYTHING and taught me more about being human than anyone else.

04. I have always wondered why so many people are jerks when it's so easy to be pleasant, instead.

05. Hummus is my favorite foodstuff. I could eat it with a spoon.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My First MR Review!

Here's a link to my VERY FIRST OFFICIAL MANGA RECON REVIEW of Berserk Volume 1:


Leave me some comments!

Really Cool News!!!!

After getting a few write-ups published on Anime News Network this year, I'm SUPER excited to announce that I'm now part of the Manga Recon review team! I can't even begin to say how happy this makes me. Although, as a writer, I guess I should be able to say EXACTLY how happy it makes me. Let's just say it's the best thing that's happened to me so far this year.

I'll be putting up at least 4 reviews a month. Here's a link to the site: