Category Archives: romance

Rideback

Please note: this was written in 2011 so hence things like REDLine had just come out and my recent trip to Otakon.

Usually, when you discover a new anime series, it’s a case of “Hmm, interesting, but it’s too generic and samey. Could have used a vampire.” It’s a sad fact that the bulk of shows made today pander too much to a really, really, small niche market. I’m fine with people liking whatever it is they like but once in a while, just once in a while, I like to get a show or movie that I can really start chewing on. So, I heard and then read the central premise of Rideback. I looked for fansubs of it but by the time I did, FUNimation has already licenced it and so I decided to wait for my DVD or blu ray of it. So, when I realised that I’d be at Otakon this year and FUNI would have a sales booth I decided to buy it. And then it sat on my ever widening shelf of anime that I hadn’t watched. But unemployment will make a person want to fill the spaces when they aren’t looking for a job. So, I found myself watching the show. And it might be my favourite show of the year and I’ve had a lot of candidates for the title.

Continue reading Rideback

Wandering Son Volume 2

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Wandering Son Vol.1 was an eye-opening read for me, full of opinions and options I had never considered before, and that I’ve already watched the series means nothing to how much I’ve enjoyed the manga. The first volume serves as a reintroduction to Nitori and Takatsuki, the young boy and girl who wish they were the other’s gender, and for those who’ve never seen the series, will not confused or disheartened. Looking at volume 2, we are presented with a new dilemma: now that I know how I’d like be, there’s the world to deal with. If Vol.1 was a masterclass in people not wanting to accept the status quo within their own minds, Vol.2 shows the uncertainty of the waiting world. The way that Nitori and Takatsuki fumble forward with no plan is painful and endearing. They know the two of them are better together but there’s the problem of dealing with classmates, family and teachers. It’s not easy and well done to Takako for not short-circuiting the process. It’s not easy writing characters in distress but it’s wonderful to read it. If you can recognise the character’s pain and sympathise despite your differences, it proves you’re human and so is the author.

Continue reading Wandering Son Volume 2

Kingyo Used Books 1 – 4 Overview


Finding time to read a book these days is something that I didn’t give much thought to when I was younger. I mean, bookshops had been around forever? They weren’t going anywhere. Then the Internet arrived. Bookshops shrugged. It’s the Internet, where people posted images on Geocities and browsed Usenets. Then the iPad arrived. Bookshops shuddered and when the Kindle arrived, things have never been the same since. So in the English speaking world, the power the big book chain shops had acquired was demolished, literally, brick by brick. Today I can find, maybe, five or ten bookshops in my city. Of them, I would trust three of them for recommendations. But in Japan, it’s different. The book publishing industry seems to be, er, booming? OK, that’s a lie. Japanese publishers are also feeling the pinch from eBooks and online reading services. But the used book shops do well. People always want to read the books they read when they were young. Or find that classic book they had put off but now want to read. Or even, the books that people have never heard of and that wait in the patient hope someone will read them. There must be people to read those books and they must have stories of their own, right?
Continue reading Kingyo Used Books 1 – 4 Overview

MMF: All My Darling Daughters


Fumi Yoshinaga is a name that I’d heard before. Mostly, about Antique Bakery. So when the MMF decided to focus on her, I knew that she did Yaoi and I wanted to avoid those titles if I could. Not that I have anything against Yaoi, just that I’m not really ready to review Yaoi. Hell, I have a pile of LuvLuv titles from Aurora Publishing sitting in my storage lockup that I’ve read but not reviewed because I feel I’m not ready to review them. But two titles popped up in the discussion boards: Not Love But Delicious Foods Make Me So Happy! and All My Darling Daughters.

Visiting the dealers room at Otakon, I found myself looking for these titles as I would have to special order them back home. Picking them up, I decided to read them on the plane journey home. Was I glad to have read and now review them? Between the two of them, Not Love… is more easy going and out and out funny. But AMDD, to shorten the title, was a different rhythm and therefore had a different impact on me.

Yukiko, a thirty something woman, lives with her mother Mari. One day she comes home to find her mother has started dating and moved in a young man, Ken, who she met at a host club. Of course, Yukiko thinks that Ken is trying to con Mari out money or God knows what else. However a revelation Yukiko discovers about herself forces her to move out into the big world for the first time. From what I saw of Ken, he seems like a nice guy who can see through Yukiko’s anger and knows that there’s more going on than her just being angry at he and Mari. And so she moves out to stay with friends. Now any other kind of manga would have the story be about Mari and Ken’s relationship developing and Yukiko coming to terms with it. But Yoshinaga doesn’t dwell on it, instead focusing on Yukiko and the people she lives with and hangs out with and their lives. From Mr. Izumi, whose student wants to give, um, “gratification” but not be in a relationship with him to Wakabayashi who tries to find a husband despite not having it in her to be discriminatory.

The stories are varied and Yoshinaga does a good job making me care about people I have literally just met. There’s something about how the casts good and bad points are laid bare and there’s nowhere to go. In Izumi’s case, his relationship with his student starts off sleazy (I don’t know how to say that she started it without it seeming like she’s at fault) and he’s not comfortable with it at all but by the end of their relationship he feels that the girl is on a better path without him. I love the story of Saeki, one of Yukiko’s childhood friends. To put a long story short, when she, Yukiko and fellow friend Yuko were all in school, they all had dreams and hopes for the future. And, well, for some life turns out as they wanted and for others, not so much. Saeki’s story could be yours and mine and it made all the more poignant by the fact that she and Yukiko don’t interact with each other during the story except for one postcard. I found myself *blinking* a lot during her story. Finally the last story deals with Yukiko as we end our journey with her. There’s a fine sense of resolution with her and I am so impressed that Yoshinaga managed to end the story with a great sense of connection between Yukiko, Mari and Mari’s Yukiko’s Grandmother.

Artwise, Yoshinaga treads a fine line between very watercoloury pencil lines for her characters to more absurdist artwork that is more frequent in Not Love… The pace of the story means that I can appreciate her artwork more as I leaf back through the book. There’s a stillness to some of the pages that makes you feel every sigh, sob and laugh. The cover and cover inlays of the book are in colour and I would love to see more of Yoshinaga’s work in colour. There’s a kind of vintage vibrancy to her colour work that I feel like.

Ultimately, the book is less about the trials of Yukiko, Mari and the others than it is about the mirror being put against our own lives as we struggle to make it in the world. You will see something of your own life in these pages and it’s nice to let it out for air once in a while. Ms. Yoshinaga’s All My Darling Daughters helps you do just that.

Psst: (Shameless promotion) If you want to buy this from Amazon, click on the image of the book and I’ll get a cut ;-D

Cyber Lesbians In Powered Armor

Fight! Iczer 1 DVD Cover




This week I have Gerald from Anime World Order join me to review Fight! Iczer 1 an anime from 1985. With angsty naked schoolgirls, high eyeliner, lesbians, giant robots, the best damn Earth Defense Force EVER and Kaneto Shiozawa as a naked, evil, blonde-haired alien child(!?!) this title has anything and everything. Check out this tribute YouTube video(thanks to Regan for the link):


Links:

Promos:

  • Anime Pacific (They’re on their last few episodes, go check them out!)
  • Anime-82 (Regan covered Iczer One on his show as well)

Direct Download

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Eeeper’s Choice Show 08 – The Pretty boys, Nerdy boys and Psycho boys Show

This latest show has been delayed but I’ve now finished up the show notes finally!
This weeks show has Densha Otoko from CMX Manga, DNAngel from ADV and Kimagure Orange Road from Animeigo which may win this hamsters vote for the best old school anime I’ve seen this year(tying into joint first place with Giant Robo) and the dodgest dancing this side of Miami Vice…….

Direct Download

Anywho if you need to contact me with hints, questions, comments, requests for reviews and anything else then drop me a line @:

Please note that all images (excluding Show Artwork included in the mp3) unless otherwise stated are the respective copyright and trademark of their respective owners and licensers. No copyright infringement is meant or implied.

News

CPM will re-release four titles with reduced prices on January 30: Black Jack DVD Collection 1 ($29.95), Ichi The Killer: Episode Zero ($14.95), Time Bokan ($9.95), and Hammerboy ($9.95).

Satoshi Kon’s next film Paprika is screening at 10 a.m. at Laemmle’s Grande 4-Plex in downtown Los Angeles through Sunday. This screening makes the film eligible to be nominated for an Oscar.I’ve checked out the ANN page on Paprika. It’s as good a synopsis as there is on the film so far.(P.S.: I know I was late with this news clip but I was too F***in’ tired to edit it out!)

ADV Films has officially announced their license to SGT Frog, which includes merchandise and gaming rights as well as other areas (everything but the manga). Separately, Diamond Distributors has relayed that ADV has announced that Volume 1, which is listed in the December Previews for a February release, has been rescheduled for later in 2007.

A new trailer for Makoto Shinkai‘s upcoming Byousoku 5 Centimeter movie trilogy is now online. The films will be released next spring in Japan.

The official site for Gonzo’s Master of Epic anime series is now online. The show premieres next January in Japan.

With grateful thanks to the ANN

Reviews

Densha Otoko

Densha Otoko or Train Man is supposedly based on a true story but with all things Internet related I’ll let you decide. I found it to be a nice read while commuting so if you like your heroes nerdy but not Harem Heroic then this could be the title for you. It doesn’t have a UK based publisher as far as I know so you’ll have order it State-Side for now.

DNAngel

DNAngel was the title I got back into Anime and Manga after an almost ten year absense. And I know what some fans and listeners will say ‘He chose That Title to come back to!?!’ but it’s the perfect title to show some who’s been away from the Crusade for a while. Not terribly bad, not great just a little bit non-engaging. The manga is longer but has way more Shoujo elements to it than the TV series.

Kimagure Orange Road

KOR is fast becoming a favourite of mine but it’s purely an acquired taste. If you can’t stand 80’s anime this may not be your bag but then if you never watch 80’s anime then you’re not being a true Otaku are you? If you don’t like it then you don’t like it. Animeigo did a fantastic job translating it but they recently lost the license by that I mean that is that the Japanese label that controls it just recently brought out their own boxset in Region 2(Japan) land with better image and sound quality. In other words We’re not letting you produce any more of this DVD while we bring out our outrageously priced version that the fans in Japan must buy rather than pick up your nice, cheap
version…..

As I said before Animeigo did a fantastic job. Here’s the web page
for their liner notes on the TV series. Animeigo regularly bleed for their customers and so many of us ignore the fact that back in the day they were the ADV and Funimation of their day. They just announced their next license here.

Eriko Hara‘s(Hikaru) ANN page

Hiromi Tsuru‘s(Madoka) ANN page

Tohru Furuya‘s(Kyosuke) ANN page

Finally here’s some images from KOR (Please note ALL images taken from Kimagure Orange Road are for review purposes only and no copyright has been taken away from the owners or implied)

Madoka. The Heroine of the story.I think..

Kyosuke. Our Hero. Poor unlucky bas*&!d

A quiet moment between Hikaru and Kyosuke. It can’t last.

Told ya.

Kyosuke getting the job at ABCD from Master. Good Times. Good Times…..

Promos This Week:

I’m going on a short break to recharge the batteries so the next show won’t be out for two weeks. But on the next show I’ll be reviewing two manga titles, Infinite Ryvius based on the series by SUNRISE and Legal Drug by CLAMP and the truly awesome OVA series Giant Robo! Chuala Boola or what!?! Eh, eh!?! Ah, I don’t know why I bother…

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Eeeper’s Choice Show 05: A hookers, space kids, libel action and other kinds of softness sorta show

This week I’ve joined the internet revolution of making myself appear smarter than I actually am.This week it’s thriller/comedy(!?!) manga Remote from TokyoPop and on the anime side I finally review a series in it’s entirety in the form of Stellvia of the Universe in the firing line. If this keeps up I’ll actually sound like a professional soon!….NOT THAT KIND OF PROFESSIONAL!….In the news Bandai threatens to tie up fansubbers with piano wire, The Anime Network continues to delude itself that it’s the Cartoon Network, Edward Alric whores himself out to MySpace and the UK contniues to rub my nose in the ground with FilmFour’s Miyazaki season. Oh, Lord! Why do you hate me so!

Direct Download

Anywho if you need to contact me with hints, questions, comments, requests for reviews and anything else then drop me a line @:

Please note that all images (excluding Show Artwork included in the mp3) unless otherwise stated are the respective copyright and trademark of their respective owners and licensers. No copyright infringement is meant or implied.

stellvia_box.jpg

Links:

Remote_vol_8.jpg

street Fighter.jpg

Promos This Week:

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