Category Archives: slice of life

A Bride’s Story, Vol.2

Before we begin the review for A Bride’s Story vol.2, if you would like a better grasp of the book’s characters and it’s setting, please read my review of volume one. For returning readers, thrills and adventure abound!

Amir’s journey continues with Karluk and it’s time for the problems with her family to come to a head. While outside the village, Amir and Karluk come face to face with her brother, cousins and uncle. Of course, her family think Amir will just come home. Fair play to Karluk, because he stands up to them despite being completely outnumbered. This is a different Karluk than the previous volume. He, once he realises what their intentions are, just stands in front of Amir, protecting her. Too bad he gets overwhelmed, though it turns out alright in the end.

Amir is the focus totally in this volume. I know that the series is supposed to be about Amir but Mori focuses on Amir and her feelings in this volume. I feel sorry for her when she realises her sister is dead. After she hears that from her brother, she just stops dead in her tracks. After it’s all over, Grandmother Eihon simply comforts her and in one line puts a protective cloak around Amir. For Amir, I try not to think how it felt to hear such news. I have all brothers so I’d be destroyed if anything ever happened to them. Plus if thinking about her sister wasn’t enough, her brother and cousins return to the village to take her back. The entire village goes to repulse their scheme but I focused on was Amir. Poor girl goes through a gamut of emotions. One one hand, its her family and she doesn’t want to upset them because she loves them. But if they loved her in return they wouldn’t be doing this to her. So as the town rallies against the Halgals, she sits in her home with Karluk, fidgeting. Should I go help the villagers? Should I help my family AGAINST the villagers? I can tell she’s thinking those things thanks to Mori’s direction in those scenes.

Pariya is a girl that I’m curious about. Younger than Amir, a bit brasher, yes, but still I see traces of Amir’s character DNA in Pariya. She sits, in many ways, in a tighter noose than Amir. Amir is older than a new bride should be but she lives her life as she sees it and is happy being with Karluk. Pariya isn’t able to find a husband because people perceive her as being cheeky and not marriage material. I know in our day and age that sounds strange but in her world, that is a virtual social death sentence. So I hope that Amir takes Pariya under her wing and helps her to blossom. I don’t mean I hope Amir helps Pariya become acceptable to her culture, I mean I hope that Amir shows Pariya the parts of her character that she hasn’t had a chance to discover for herself.

I’ve noticed that Amir’s character could be perceived as a very subservient person. The way she tends to Karluk’s every need and the way she and the other women do, and I hate this term, “women’s work”. But this behaviour is part of their culture so I can’t say that this is anomalous behaviour. The men in this story who are part of Amir’s new clan treat their counterparts with dignity and respect. They do speak of other clans as being totally disrespectful of the women in the clan. Indeed, Amir’s sister was sent to such a clan. I guess what I’m trying to say is that in every society there are complete wastes of space and then there are good examples of the male gender. So, Amir is lucky to be in such a loving group. She shouldn’t have to feel “lucky” but that’s the world she’s in. Her family loves her for being her and that’s all that matters in the final analysis.

Kaoru Mori’s art continues to draw me in and I like where she takes me in terms of narrative structure and art design. Read the part where the women of the clan explain their family patterns in the embroidery they sew. As you see the fine work on Mori’s art, you also get a sociology lesson. We in Ireland have ways of passing memory from generation to generation so I feel a resonance with Amir’s people in their ways of doing so.

A Bride’s Story continues to plumb new depths for development and emotion. Try it yourself, you might be surprised.

A Bride’s Story, Vol.1

I’ve decided to tackle A Bride’s Story because the fourth volume’s release is only three months away and more people should be reading it. Now, I’ve spoken before about A Bride’s Story but hey, it’s not a bad thing to keep talking about it.

Set in the Caspian Sea region in the 19th century, it follows Karluk, aged 12, and his new bride Amir, aged 20, as Amir joins his clan, the Eihon’s, and their new married life together. Along the way, we realise that Amir’s family wants her back and decides to do anything to get her back. We also get slowly introduced to Karluk’s family through Amir’s eyes. I missed Kaoru Mori’s previous manga, Emma, so I wanted to pick this up from day one.  While the setting is different from anything I’ve read before, the story simply picks you up and carries you with it.

First and foremost, the story is such a layered affair. It’s about two people being newly married, that’s what you tell people. But it’s also about the family that lives with them, the clan they’re in and the society they’re all in. Initially the family, Karluk’s mother and father, struggle to find common ground with Amir as she’s a little unsure of herself and wants to make a good impression but she’s such a gentle spirit so after some early mishaps, they treat her as part of the family. This is demonstrated completely succinctly when the Halgal clan (Amir’s family) decide to get her back when another of their family who was married off dies. Their logic being that while that family member (Amir’s sister) is dead, Amir is still alive. Of course, they thought the Eihon’s would be a pushover and just hand Amir back. After they are rebuffed, they go away but their threats will not (note: Amir and Karluk are not present for any of this and the Eihon choose not to say it to them). They come across as seeing this as necessary for this clan’s survival. It’s literally nothing personal. The Eihon clan, however, see it as personal because they have recieved Amir into their lives, have become family to her and now her family just turns up and says “Er, sorry. We need our sister back. Deal’s off.” So this is an affront to them. Interesting dilemma, I think. Amir’s age is constantly brought up by her new family and strangers alike (always out of earshot, you understand?) as being a hindrance to the newlyweds having a big family. I keep having to remember that this is not my world, not my morality so statements like this must be viewed in the context of the time and place it’s set in.

Amir’s character is different to Karluk’s. While she clearly loves her husband, because he is so young, he sometimes gives the impressions that he feels she minds him like a mother. He, for his part, tries to treat her as his wife but that age gap makes his task difficult. People are always looking at him with something akin to pity which he must be able to pick up on. But then, we see him watch Amir as she does things like hunt with a bow and arrow or sing while she sews and his expression makes him look older than he is. Such little things make such a complex relationship as theirs make a smidgen bit more sense but not completely explain everything. That would ruin too much of the mystery for me.

I wanted to avoid for as long as from talking about the art in this book for fear of gushing too much about it. In a word, it is amazing. Mori’s art is elegant, and moreish, as in you want more of it! The detail is costumes and patterns is great with the two page spreads being of particular note. But the little details, they are worth it. Like the old carver in the village and young Rostem, talking about carvings and houses and architectural structures (I’m paraphrasing here), we see the detail in the man’s work. Or the fox that Amir tracks and kills. Just before Amir strikes, the animal snaps its head around and the detail in the creatures face is astounding. The images in the book are good enough to be photos, they are that detailed.

One warning before the end: this is a very slowly paced book. All the details I’ve mentioned take time to unfold, so if you’re going to it looking for an instant fix, forget it because it’s not here. Instead we have an excellently researched, beautifully drawn and written by a person clearly in love with her subject matter. The main characters are compelling and their world is intriguing and complex. I would put it onto any reading list.

walking

Jiro Taniguchi MMF: The Walking Man

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Jiro Taniguchi is a wonder to behold. You could read one of his books, marvel at the artwork and not even have to read the dialogue. I’m not saying you will follow every window but you could get by without them. The man is a modern wonder. He hasn’t written a magnus opus (well, I think he has but I’m not everyone) but there’s a world in all of his books. I’ve written before about this effect in his books where you try and peer around buildings and people because you want to see more. I am happy to read and write about Taniguchi for as long as I can keep reading his stuff. With that, I commend to you, The Walking Man.
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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?
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Kingyo Used Books with Ed Sizemore


Today we’re talking with Ed Sizemore about Seimu Yoshizaki’s Kingyo Used Books. Released by VIZ under their SigIKKI line, and also part of their Signature line as well, I really enjoyed this series and wish more people read it. Ostensibly about the goings on in a used manga shop, it’s more about the people who come and go and also gives a crash course in famous and obscure manga.

Ed’s Twitter page

Comics Worth Reading (Johanna Draper Carlson’s site and an excellent resource for manga)

Ed’s entries on Comics Worth Reading (Ed used to have a regular column there and still writes for it)

Caleb Dunaway’s Twitter

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Please buy Kingyo Used Books through our Amazon links. It helps maintain the podcast.

Amazon UK:

Kingyo Used Books, Volume 1

Kingyo Used Books, Volume 2

Kingyo Used Books, Volume 4

Kingyo Used Books, Volume 4

Amazon US:

Kingyo Used Books, Vol. 1

Kingyo Used Books, Vol. 2

Kingyo Used Books, Vol. 3

Kingyo Used Books, Vol. 4

Side note: I’m now writing almost all the time now for Otaku News with news and review pieces. Check it out and look for my handle in the headers and see else I’ve screwed up on. I’m also writing a monthly column for MangaBookShelf called Shoujo I’m Scared Of.

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

Wandering Son Volume 1 review

WARNING: CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS!

I always strive to find new things in anime and manga. Sometimes, they hit you like a bolt out of the blue. I’ll wouldn’t be the first person to say that growing up in Ireland, you realise as you discover the internet and people from other countries, their experiences and how they live their lives, just how much you were sheltered. I will not go into the societal structure of Ireland in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, suffice to say that we really were socially unprepared for the onslaught of the concept of the “different lifestyle”, that is to say anything the Catholic Church did not view as morally wholesome. You would surprised the things that you’d never consider if you didn’t know they existed. There was, of course, homosexuality in Ireland way before I was born. But consenting intercourse between two males was illegal and a criminal offense until 1993! Imagine being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (as people identify themselves now) in Ireland? God, I can’t begin to grasp how, well, dangerous it was. You could actually be arrested for trying to show your affection for someone you were attracted to! Thankfully some other countries are further down the road in how they observe, treat, interact with and get along with other people who don’t fit into the society “norms”. In Japan, from what I can ascertain, LGBT people have an easier time in society. Mark you I said easier, as everyone has problems in the society they live in. But I’d never paid any attention to the mechanics of actually being in that group until very recently, as I said at the beginning. So with that in mind, I began searching out for manga or anime that addressed this demographic (can you call it a demographic group?) group. I’ve found some I think fit the bill. But I came across an upcoming manga alert and in it, there was one that I was immediately drawn too. Mostly because I was waiting to watch the anime version of it. So, the focus for today’s review is on the idea of wrapping your head around the fact that you are different. Different from everyone else (every adolescent believes that they are going through tough times on their own) and different enough to not know what to do.

Wandering Son by Shimura Takako is a heartfelt story of two people who I desperately feel for and for their families and friends. Shuichi Nitori is a nice lad who has a loving family and somewhat bossy sister. Yoshino Takatsuki is a girl with a similar, if slightly larger, family situation. But there’s one thing else that the two children share commonality on: they both want to be the opposite sex. Shuichi wants to be a girl and Yoshino wants to be a boy. And they are painfully making their way through the steps of both of them discovering their idenities, sexual or otherwise.

The main thing that drew me to this book was the fact that unlike a lot of western media that plays off the fact that a transgender teenager would have to deal with their friends and peers ostracising or bullying them for being different, Wandering Son goes straight for the heart, tackling the more important idea of how the person in the story feels. Reading the first volume, I can feel their awkwardness at them coming to the decision that they are different from other people and that they need to do something about it.

For me Takako is a great storyteller as she’s imbues her characters with a sense of self. Shuichi keeps having these nightmares, that’s all you can call them right now as they give only scary insights, where he’s interacting with Yoshino and suddenly he’ll be attacked by a loved one and wake up. This is something that informs his character, in what way I can’t say, yet I know these dreams are not just for show. If there is a trigger for Shuichi, it’s a dress that through a mixture of Takatsuki and a girl called Saori Chiba, a girl who goes to class with him. Yoshino gives a dress to Shuichi, making an off-hand remark that Shuichi would look good in it, and then offers it to Shuichi’s sister who gladly accepts. But seeing the dress hanging in the sibling’s bedroom triggers something in Shichi and one day when no one’s around, he tries it on. He answers the door to a stranger and they mistake him for a girl. Then he answers the door to Saori. And she doesn’t even blink. For Yoshino, it’s the fact that she can’t stop biologically being a girl despite how much she wants to be a boy. And when the boys tease her about needing sanitary napkins, she batters them. Just like a boy. I’m not one for violence but there was something satisfying about seeing them slightly bloodied. The leads feel alive, full of doubts and hopes. I feel for them every time they seem close to busting out and suddenly retreat. I can’t figure out though, how much is specific to be a transgender person and how much is run of the mill adolescence. I must admit that some of the trials the children face, I can identify with having been there myself. No, I’m not gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender but I’ve been five inches tall in my classroom hoping that I find some way of not suffocating surrounded by people who couldn’t grasp what I was feeling. I know what it’s like being this close to your family and being unable to talk with them about your problems but that when you finally do, it’s like the nicest wave to crash over you and cocoon you, ever. I want to tell Shuichi and Yoshino that these trials they face, like all things in life, will pass. That the greatest strength lies in their ability to look beyond the mountain in front of them.

I can’t figure out some of the characters, though. Shichi’s sister, Maho is coming across in a kind of duality. On one hand, she’s treating her brother as any sibling would (bickering and so on) but on the other, she’s seen in dreams as a more hateful figure. Maybe I’m reading too much in this here. Also, Saori. Saori is a likable, if a little weird, girl. She’s completely accepting of Shuichi and all. She helps Shu by suggesting that the class put on a play for their group project where the boys dress as girls and the girls dress as boys. She hopes that this will allow Shu some breathing room.But when she buys him a dress, Shu seizes up and can’t accept it from her. She, in turn, burns the dress in front of Shu and Yoshino. She then is seen praying to God for forgiveness. Now, I’ve skipped over the parts in between this behaviour but you get my drift. I can’t tell if Saori will be a good or bad influence on the two lead characters. Only time will tell.

The two children, Shu and Yoshino, have an interesting relationship. On the surface, Yoshino seems the stronger of the two with her daring attitude and pushing and teasing Shu to go out in a dress. And she has the courage to travel away from her home to dress as a boy. She wants to be a boy more than anything. But under stress, Yoshino sometimes cracks and Shu finds in himself strong support that in the initial pages is not immediately evident. The book ends with Shu making the observation that the “other” him is something that he knows can’t be bought. All the money in the world can’t buy the feeling being the other him gives to him.

The artwork is done in a kind of pastel, almost children’s drawing book kind of way. Takako is to be commended for such a deceptive look to the work. The artwork looks rough as if the author was rushed but it’s all a smoke screen and at times feels like it’s half done. It plays out in such a childlike way that you don’t notice that she’s wrapped you up in a blanket from which there is no escape.

And I don’t want to escape from this story. I want to be alongside these characters as they discover who and how they are. I want to see them triumph in ways that many of us never get to. Most of all, I want to be there at the end even if it ends in failure. My heart breaks when I see people suffer for no good reason except they only want to be themselves. All the “there, there’s” in the world can’t make up for a person who feels they are not and will never reach their full potential.

Matt Thorn must receive a pat on the back for the translation work he’s done here. Some translations askew the need for Japanese honorifics but here Matt explains the need to use it in Wandering Son. If you’re in the mood for more of his work then I suggest you pick up a copy of A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio also by Fantagraphics. Plus Fantagraphics get high marks for such an excellent job, in particular the design work by Alexa Koenings. Such a stellar job, I hope Fantagraphics continue with their manga endeavours.

Finally, I must stress that any missteps I made in regards to LBGT persons in my review, I do so apologise. I try in my reviews to be as inoffensive as possible and as I prefaced at the beginning, my worldview is slightly rustier than most as it hasn’t had time to develop fully. Give me some time, I’m getting there.

Let me leave you with this thought, dear readers: My online dictionary defines potential as:

1. possible, as opposed to actual

2. capable of being or becoming

3. a latent excellence or ability that may or may not be developed.

With that in mind, let me further posit this amazing idea. This is not the story of two children with the potential of becoming fully grown transgender people. It’s the story of two children with the potential of becoming fully grown people, full stop. I submit to you that’s all we as human beings can only be convicted of if we truly honest with ourselves.

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies” - Andy Dufresne

As always you know how and where to contact me. If you would like to follow Shimura Takako and you can read Japanese, here’s her twitter page and likewise for Mister Thorn. If you want to help my website out and get a copy of Wandering Son for yourself for the not unreasonable price of $12.69, click on the cover for Wandering Son at the top of the page.

P.S. Want to have a look inside the book? Check out this video Fantagraphics posted on their website:

May MMF: Cross Game #1

I’m not a big fan of Shonen manga. I read it in the course of my day to day but I kind of stay away from it. But I don’t shy away from it by any means. I heard about Cross Game from Ed Sizemore, I believe, and decided to just cover it for the MMF. I had heard Mitsuru Adachi from his work on Touch (which I still haven’t gotten through) so I thought “it’s another baseball manga from Adachi!?” The phrase One Trick Pony came up, I can tell you. But the good news news is that I don’t feel of what I’ve read of Adachi that he’s in danger of being stale.

I found myself liking what I was reading by something I thought of after getting through the first part of volume 1. It was this: there are people with degrees of potential. There are the people who seem to burn bright but are cut down, the people who take a while to burn bright and the ones who seem to burn bright but really are dull on second glance. It’s been said that I give too much away in my reviews so in an attempt to not completely spoil everything I will censor some of my review. You have been warned.

Ko Kitamura, in his third year of Junior High (seriously, I don’t get school ages in Japan/US), and works at his family’s sports equipment shop. He is friends with the Tsukishima family who run a local baseball batting centre, specifically Wakaba and to a lesser degree Aoba. He and Wakaba are the same age with Aoba being a year younger. Because of them being extremely close and friendly, people assume that Wakaba and Ko make a good couple. Ko and Aoba don’t get on but they are not hostile with each other. Life is good with Ko and the Tsukishima’s [spoiler effect="simple"]until Wakaba drowns at summer camp[/spoiler]. We then see as Ko and the Tsukishima’s grow up together and they enter high school. Ko is an excellent batter and Aoba is a great pitcher. Wakaba states that Ko could be really good. Aoba doesn’t believe her, per se.

Now I’m going to stop “plot-ising” here. The main thing that has me ordering the second volume of this series is the fact that Adachi completely gets the idea of the impermanence of life. People go about their life not knowing what could be around the corner. But they treat each day as best they can. I can’t tell you why but when the story is joyful, the author knows where to break and tell a joke, or give you something to feel light and good. But when things are bad, oh Lord, it’s absolutely heartbreaking. [spoiler effect="simple"]I knew seeing that drawing near the end of chapter 8 of the river was, I don’t know, too nice. Something about it screamed “You’re not ready for what’s coming.”[/spoiler] On page 187-189, I’ve been there. Not specifically that situation, but the feeling of being lost and not knowing what to “do”. But life goes on. Horribly, painfully, it goes on. Where Adachi gets it right is that people cope with loss as best they can. We know they are hurting. But they try their best to meet each day.

The artwork is amazing. When the boys and Aoba play baseball, there’s a fluidity to the proceedings that is really buzzing. I know when they throw things, that they (the baseballs) are travelling fast. Unfortunately when they talk about scores and runs, I still don’t understand baseball. Oh well. The tranquillity of the scenes of daily life is really amazing. I could really feel that summer heat belting down on me. I found myself looking at all the details in the backgrounds to see if I could peer around covers and over buildings!

The characters are lovely, with the main leads getting the most development but the background ones are good too. Daiki Nakanishi, who is friends with Ko, serves as baseman ( I do know what everyone in baseball does, I just don’t know about scoring in baseball). Senda, a shortstop on the high school team, is an eejit. There, I’ve said it. Other than the Tsukishima sisters there aren’t that many female characters but towards the end of the omnibus things do improve at that end. Ko especially, I feel for. He’s not trying to be a great baseball player but he can’t help it. And it’s the Tsukishima sisters that make him want to be better, if only on a sub-consisous level.

All in all, I love this series. I can’t recommend this enough to people. The back of the book states “[the] story will change your perception of what shonen manga can be.” Yeah, that sounds about right in my case.

2011 Winter Season Picks

OK, so the Winter season is on us. So with that in mind, for the first time in the history of the site, myself and Oni will be tackling some of the shows. I’ve decided to only tackle stuff that’s streaming legally. Here are our choices for the season:

Eeeper:


Hourou Musuko – Wandering Son

Oh, boy. I am looking forward to this. I don’t think I’ve been this excited about an anime or manga since I read A Drunken Dream. Boy meets girl in school. Girl wants to be a boy. Boy wants to be a girl. It’s not played for laughs. Lordy, I can feel the hope on the streets with this title. Please, please, watch this. Convince Japan to make more of this stuff. Wandering Son starts simulcasting January 13th from Crunchyroll


Rio – Rainbow Gate!

From the wiki entry on it: In an island casino called the Howard Resort, Rio Rollins is a popular casino dealer with an uncanny ability to bring good luck to gamblers just by walking past them, earning her the nickname “The Goddess of Winning”. Mint Clark, a young child, comes to the Howard Resort with her grandfather and encounters Rio, and the two become the best of friends.

However, Rio’s life suddenly changes when she obtains one of the 13 legendary cards called “Gates”, and gets involved in a tournament for the title of “Most Valuable Casino Dealer” (MVCD). With her reputation on the line, Rio must compete against the world’s top gamblers to become MVCD.

I know exactly what I’m letting myself in for here. I don’t care. I must balance high stuff like Hourou Musuko with Rio. Just roll with me on this one. Rio – Rainbow Gate! is streaming right now on Crunchyroll.

Oni:


Dragon Crisis

Boy finds girl. Boy likes girl. Girl needs to protected from shadowy forces. Boy offers to protect girl. Girl turns out to be a Dragon Girl. Who knew? Dragon Crisis will start simulcasting on Crunchyroll from the 11th January


Beelzebub

OK, guy rescues baby, finds out he’s the pick to protect the child, who happens to the son of the demon king. Oni will love this. Yeah, this is going to be goooood. Beelzebub is currently streaming in North America and Europe from Crunchyroll

And that’s your lot. What do you think? Would you add something to that? Take something away? Tweet us or leave a comment!

I can hear the ocean…and my co-host crying

Today we tackle Ocean Waves (or I Can Hear the Sea) from Studio Ghibli, our first review from that studio. I hope we did ok with the review but you lot can me tell other wise. While talking about Ocean Waves, Oni makes a connection in the roles of Liam Neeson of late.

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From this:

to this:

and this:

finally:

Sense a pattern forming here?

We briefly touch off the passing of Robotech producer, Carl Macek. We will talk about Mr. Macek on another show but Oni does share some opinions on the man. In the meantime check out the tributes to Carl on Robotech.com.

We also tackle the thorny issue of what will Oni review for the next show. We had a fair few suggestions. Which one won? You’ll have to watch it and see!

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Promos played:
Up A Paddle
Ani-Gamers

The email address to send the request to Oni!

If you’re wondering what I’m chewing on during the show it’s a yoghurt desert.

1) Get a glass, like a whiskey glass, fill the base with fruit preserve.
2) Fill in with fresh yoghurt (flavoured or not).
3) Top with crushed biscuit.
4) Leave in fridge (uncovered) for two to three hours.
5) Enjoy!

Now see, you do learn something new!

Apologies for Oni’s poor audio. Mic change soon.

And Oni can be found on Twitter here