manga

Review: Monstress Volume 1

Posted by: |

Review: Monstress Volume 1

The Shaman-Empress was the most powerful Arcanic who ever lived…and she was a Sciencemaster of the highest order. She created technology and magics that would make us look like we’re living in the dark ages.
And she buried it with her. The bitch.

After a crazy few months things are calmed down enough for me to catch up on some things, including FINALLY checking out Image’s Monstress. I’ve been hearing some buzz for a while, and I certainly thought the cover was gorgeous, but I didn’t give that too much credit, because lots of mediocre comics bring in a ringer to do a fantastic cover. But I gave it a try anyway.

And I apologize all over the place for ever doubting it. The cover is only the tip of the iceberg of how awesome this comic is.

Read On

Old Classics: Rurouni Kenshin

Posted by: |

Old Classics: Rurouni Kenshin

The 1990’s gave us enormous perms, hilariously awkward fashions, and bizarre fads.  But as many of us revel in our childhood memories of Pokémon cards and pogs, we tend to forget one of the greatest gifts that the 90’s gave us: epic and groundbreaking manga series.

Among those gems is Nobuhiro Watsuki’s riveting series Rurouni Kenshin.  At 28 volumes, this shounen series of the historical genre is a tale packed with just the right balance of action, romance, and suspense.

KaoruxKenshin-rurouni-kenshin-22082253-982-1442Synopsis:

Rurouni Kenshin is the story of Himura Kenshin, a legendary swordsman known as the infamous hitokiri battousai (battousai the manslayer).  Ten years after earning his title, Himura Kenshin is a rurouni (wanderer) who yearns to atone for his transgressions committed during the Bakamatsu (a Japanese civil war).  After having taken so many lives in the name of justice, Kenshin devotes himself to protecting innocent lives with his reversed-blade sword.

Enter Kamiya Kaoru, a 17 year-old girl carrying on the tradition of her later father’s dojo and the Kamiya Kasshin school of swordsmanship.  A man who calls himself hitokiri battousai claims that he is one of Kaoru’s father’s former students.  However, the Kamiya Kasshin style is based upon the principle of katsujinken, the sword that gives life.  This ruthless murderer is sullying the Kamiya Dojo’s good name and violating its teachings that hold life so precious.  Determined to redeem the Kamiya Dojo and its teachings, Kaoru takes it upon herself to discover the identity of this cold-blooded killer and bring him to justice.

Read On

Old Classics: Adolf

Posted by: |

Old Classics: Adolf

Adolf, written by the father of manga Tezuka Osamu, is not your basic average manga.  Rather than using fluffy shoujo plot devices or muscly shounen characters, Adolf ties together three different worlds in a political thriller both intelligent and captivating.

Synopsis

Adolf, by father of manga Tezuka Osamu, is a microcosm of three distinct societies during the 1930s and 1940s: Japanese society, German society, and Jewish society.  Using three main characters, Tezuka allows these three worlds to meet.

Read On

New Series: Rurouni Kenshin- Kinema-ban

Posted by: |

New Series: Rurouni Kenshin- Kinema-ban

Since the original Rurouni Kenshin series is responsible for my ten-year long manga and anime addiction, I was absolutely thrilled to hear that this classic series is being revisited.

Almost thirteen years after its final chapter was published in Weekly Shounen Jump, Rurouni Kenshin is back in business with the debut of Rurouni Kenshin- Kinema-ban, an alternate version of the original manga scheduled to sync up with the live-action Rurouni Kenshin film slated to premier next month in theaters across Japan.

Read On

Old Classics – Ouran High School Host Club

Posted by: |

Old Classics – Ouran High School Host Club

I’d be lying if I told you that every single thing about this manga and anime is ground-breaking or original. Let’s face it: the human race has been around for a long time, and we are running out of totally new and innovative ideas.

So what makes Ouran High School Host Club, an anime and manga series that does not present some groundbreaking, completely new and innovative plot-device, so special?

It’s a gender-bender and a romantic comedy, and it is most definitely shoujo. Neither of those characteristics are anything new.

The idea of a gender-bender wasn’t even new in Shakespeare’s time when he wrote Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice, and that was nearly 500 years ago. And romantic comedies? Please. Just go to your local movie theater and pick out the latest chick flick and 99% of the time you’ll find a romantic comedy.

So, again, I return to my original question. Why is Ouran High School Host Club, a series relying upon clichéd plot devices, such an amazing series? The answer lies in the fact that it takes pre-existing ideas and breathes new life into them.

Read On

Review: Scissors, Paper, Stone

Posted by: |

Review: Scissors, Paper, Stone

Sorry for the lag time between reviews. I’d been hoping one of the books I’ve been reading would turn out to be so amazingly awesome I’d just have to write the best review ever. Sadly, this was not the case. (Looking Glass Wars was just a little underwhelming. You too, Dead Witch Walking.) So I dug through my bookshelf, looking for something super wonderful that more people just have to read.

Why hello there, Scissors, Paper Stone, I think you’ll do nicely.

In a recent Comic Issues Podcast we talked about “gateway comics,” books that can get you hooked on a new genre, author, series…whatever. And Scissors, Paper, Stone is the perfect Adam Warren gateway comic.

Read On

Sailor Moon Returns to the US in September

Posted by: |

Sailor Moon Returns to the US in September

Kodansha USA , announced today the revival of Sailor Moon manga series.  The last edition of Sailor Moon was published in mid 2005.

Brand new deluxe editions of the acclaimed series will be released by Kodansha USA’s Kodansha Comics imprint in September 2011. Out of print for six years, SAILOR MOON re-launches along with Takeuchi’s two-volume prequel series CODENAME: SAILOR V, in print in the US for the first time-making this one of the most highly anticipated manga releases in years.

There seems to be some excitement on the blogosphere about this release, and with Kodansha’s partnership with Random House, I’m sure this release will be a hit.

You can read the full press release here.

Dragons Vs Robots

Posted by: |

dragons-vs-robots

This morning, Massiverse, Inc. is announcing the launch of their first original transmedia property for kids: Dragons Vs Robots. Dragons Vs Robots is an expansive sci-fi / fantasy narrative that will be told across a number of formats, starting today with an online battle game and the first installment of the Dragons Vs Robots: Blade Guardian manga series, both of which are available for free at www.dragonsvsrobots.com.

5 Comic Book Characters That ‘Deal’ with Cards: Who Would Win in Poker?

Posted by: |

These five characters are a cut above the rest, mostly because they all have a great hand at what they do best. But who would win if they were hit with the right cards? And if they if they weren’t given the opportunity to whip their cards into the faces of their enemies, could they hold their own? (By the way, I shuffled these into no particular order).

 

 

 

Bullseye
First appearance: Daredevil #131, 1976
Bullseye is popular from the Daredevil series and he’s more popular for his unusual precision of, um, throwing things. While he enjoys throwing sharp objects, he’s perhaps notable for his affinity of throwing playing cards. In fact, if he never decided to pick up a set of cards, we’d see him throwing other things that come in bulk — like sunflower seeds, paperclips and Costco toilet paper rolls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yugi Mutou
First appearance: Yu-Gi-Oh! #1, 1996
I know what you’re thinking. Yu-Gi-Oh is an Anime. Au contraire: the franchise began as a Manga back in 1996. And although he doesn’t use a standard set of playing cards, an absence of his deck would make Yugi nothing but — oh! — a plain kid with funky hair. Certainly his deck of cards requires fast-thinking and problem solving — perhaps the same skills can be used in a gentleman’s game of poker?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Royal Flush Gang
First appearance: Justice League of America #43, 1966
The Royal Flush Gang is suited for victory. Seeing as how these supervillains can throw down in a fight, certainly they’d have the guts to throw down in a Poker game. This gang would perhaps bend the rules while bending their cards, competing with five Poker faces instead of one. Is that an advantage or a disadvantage at hand?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joker
First appearance: Batman #1, 1940
If you try to play a Poker match with the Joker, you’ll get freaked out by his antics, creeped out by his jokes, and thrown off by his permanently-smiling Poker face. He’d be willing to insanely contrive an idea to fool you into losing not only your money, but also your appetite. Careful with the Joker — he most likely has a few wild cards up his sleeve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gambit
First appearance: Uncanny X-Men Annual #14, 1990
Gambit was originally a thief — if you’re not careful, he’ll steal all of your money (if he doesn’t steal your heart first). This Ragin’ Cajun has a seemingly endless stack of cards stacked somewhere away in his trench coat. Gambit hurls charged playing cards at his enemies with utmost accuracy. Granted, playing a game of Poker with him just might make your head explode.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think?