In Memoriam 2018

Hey all 2018 sucked for a lot of people. It really sucked because of those we lost, and for me personally as I lost someone really close to me the last day of that year. It’s In Memoriam 2018 Edition!

Stan Lee: This man made many of our favorite comic book heroes relatable and vibrant characters we all know and love. His loss is greatly felt by everyone, and it’s going to really suck when the next MCU movie after Avengers 4 comes out and it won’t have a Stan Lee Cameo. He was an inspiration for many, and a truly generous man who brightened lives around the world.

Anthony Bourdain: This man was both harsh and generous, a man who was a true world traveler he went around sampling not only the food but the cultures that so many people don’t get to experience. If you’ve never watched a show of his, you really need to do so.

John McCain: I’m not a Republican, I’m what my High School Government teacher would call a “Spineless Moderate”. But I respected Senator McCain for not only his service in the military but his service in the Senate where he made a true impact. He was never president, and I didn’t always agree with his views, but I did respect the man.

George H.W. Bush: He was the president when I was born, so I never really got to experience his policies when I was aware of the world, but he was a man who deserved respect for his service to the American People, even if his views weren’t always what I’d agree with.

Paul Allen: He was a big name around here in the Pacific Northwest and owned both the Seahawks and the Trail Blazer franchises. I’m not a huge Microsoft fan in general, but he did get my respect for his various charitable actions in the area.

R. Lee Ermey: The Sarge Hartmann, this man was a true film icon and if you’ve never seen Full Metal Jacket you need to go watch it.

Stephen Hawking: Dude was a genius physicist and that’s really all that needs be said. This man furthered our understanding of the world by decades if not centuries and we are truly less for his absence.

Now as for me and my loss. Well my family had to put our dog to sleep on New Year’s Eve at the age of 15, and while she beat the odds it hurts a ton to lose her. I’m pretty out of it at the moment and I’m writing this the day it happened as I won’t get this updated at any other time.  This post was supposed to go out in a couple weeks, but I really don’t feel like writing much more today and I’m going to be taking a break from blogging.

I won’t make a guess on when I’ll start blogging again, but it may be in a few weeks, or it might be months I just can’t tell you at the moment. I was really close to our dog and this loss hurts worse than all my recent family deaths have for me in a long, long time.  I’m in tears while typing this up so I’ll have to ask you to forgive any spelling errors that occurred in this post. There will be a regular post tomorrow, but after that it’s going to be a while until I write a blog post.

I’ll keep doing my book and game reviews over on Game Industry News’ front page so if you want to see my writing more please do go check them and the rest of my colleagues work out. That said I will not be having a book review this coming week so please don’t expect one.

I hope to write for you all soon, but for now my heart feels empty and broken so I’ll be signing off here.

End of an Era

Hey all so I wasn’t at all expecting to have to write this post. So it will be rather brief, and while I’m not taking a break from writing, I am going to have to change my columns for a while, maybe permanently.

What’s Up?: So for those unaware Bato.to is shutting down permanently on the 18th of this month. It’s a huge loss to the Manga community at large, and while some of you might say “Michael they supported Pirates” That isn’t true. Any licensed series were not hosted on Batoto.

So Why Are Things Changing?: I used Batoto almost exclusively to find obscure series for my Manga Monday and Sensate Saturday columns. Losing easy access to such a large repository of content is going to seriously put a hamper on what I’ll be able to read for material to write about in those columns.  So things are going to have to change, maybe permanently.

What’s Changing?: Well obviously my Manga Monday and Sensate Saturday columns are going to be put on hold and replaced with something else. I’ve had a backup type of content in the wings in case something like this happened, although I wasn’t expecting it to occur because of Batoto shutting down. The Sensate Saturday series has a high chance of being permanently shelved in favor of that backup, and while I have tons of content to write about for that column that’s it. I do have a temporary solution for my Monday columns, however I have absolutely no confidence in that being a permanent solution due to the nature of what I’ll be writing about and my own personal disabilities and challenges. The worst case possibility that occurs is that I have to stop writing my Monday columns permanently after I run out of material for my temporary replacement of Manga Monday. Hopefully by the time I’ve run out of material the Manga translation scene will have calmed down enough. That however is an unknown and I can’t promise anything.

What Are You Going To Write About?: Well I’ll keep that under wraps for now, though I will say that Monday’s post is going to be fiery. That’s the sole hint you’ll be getting from me. If by some miracle someone manages to guess what I’m writing about and posts their guess in the comments I’ll be shocked. And yes this is a complete and shameless attempt to get people to post more comments on my posts.

That’s it, I hope you’ll all forgive me for having to do this, but circumstances have forced me to put plans in action that I was hoping I’d never have to do.

Sensate Saturday: Hakase to Slime-chan by Isaki Nayuta

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got a more upbeat story. It’s Hakase to Slime-chan by Isaki Nayuta!

Plot Synopsis: A Professor had created what he hoped to be an artificial human, but what came out of the large holding tube wasn’t a human, but a Slime?!?

Plot: The plot is very Slice of Life and more about comedy than anything else. There is no action, no damsels to save or Demon Kings to vanquish. Just a guy who wanted to make an artificial human and got a slime instead.

Characters: Both the professor and Lime are amusing, however they are not incredibly deep character wise. This may change in later chapters of the series, but I haven’t read ahead of the currently translated material. So while they are amusing, and somewhat heartwarming, it wasn’t enough for me to want to find the untranslated chapters of this completed series.

Art: The art is okay, not super amazing and nowhere near Shueisha level of quality, but it’s in full color which is a bit of a rarity when it comes to Manga, although this technically is a Webtoon or Web Comic where such things are much more commonplace.

Overall: If you’re bored this might be worth a quick read.

For those who like: Slice of Life, Supernatural Stuff, Decent Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Sensate Saturday: Otonari Complex by Nonomura Saku

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Otonari Complex by Nonomura Saku!

Plot Synopsis: Kuji Akira and Ninomiya Makoto have been neighbours and friends from childhood. Akira is handsome and Makoto is pretty.  Their feelings for each other are growing more complex just as they are finding themselves the focus of romantic interest of their friends and acquaintances…

Plot: The plot is pretty good. I’ve probably read a few series with similar if not exactly the same plot device as it’s core drive, but I can’t remember them right now (still sick and I’m writing this in advance due to holidays), however I enjoyed this quite a bit even if I think I may have read something similar before. Or I might not have, doesn’t matter to me, I enjoyed Otonari Complex quite a bit.

Characters: Akira and Makoto are our two leads and they are pretty awesome, but still wasn’t expecting that to occur. Either way I really enjoyed their characters. So I’ll probably end up reading this series in full one day. Once it’s fully completed probably.

Art: The art is very good, it’s comparable to Shueisha levels of work, if not meeting that standard.

Overall: A great read, definitely worth a shot.

For those who like: Slice of Life, Drama, Romance, School Life, Interesting Plot, Great Lead Characters, Excellent Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Sensate Saturday: Mikkakan no Koufuku by Miaki Sugaru

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Mikkakan no Koufuku, or Three Days of Happiness in English, by Miaki Sugaru!

Plot Synopsis:A twenty-year-old with little hope for the future discovers a shop that buys lifespan, time, and health. This is a story dealing with the ensuing consequences.

Plot: I’m not really a fan of this, it’s the typical “Deal with the Devil” stereotype and frankly I don’t think these stories really ever end happily. Plus if you’re going to sell your lifespan you’d do it for more than $1000 per year sold right?

Characters: Our main character, whose name I’ve completely forgotten since I read this first chapter ten minutes ago (Gimme a break, I’m still sick), isn’t really all that likeable. In fact I pretty much hate this kind of person. I’ve got a pretty depressing life myself, so when someone else just throws theirs away without really trying it sickens me. It’s the same sort of thing I hated about Unbound Deathlords for those who read my Wednesday columns.

Art: The art is okay, but frankly wasn’t enough to keep me reading this story.

Overall: If you can stomach these kinds of stories, I guess this might be interesting, but personally I just find them depressing and enraging.

For those who like: “Deals with the Devil” Plots, Romance (Or so the genre tags told me).

Not for those who don’t like: Either of the above, or just depressing stories in general.

Sensate Saturday: Witch’s Hammer by Miyamarun

This week for Sensate Saturday I’m covering a series I came across recently. It’s Witch’s Hammer by Miyamarun!

Plot Synopsis: The chivalrous thief Chloe spends her days and nights acting on behalf of those in need, resulting in her being seen as the hero of the poor, but Chloe herself feels guilty thinking of how a mere thief like her is regarded so highly. However, meeting the witch named Meifa will change her fate…

Plot: This is a fairly creepy series, and while there are only two chapters out thus far, I was thoroughly hooked. I won’t go too much into detail since that’ll take away the fun of reading the chapters for yourself, but I’ll say that everything is not as it seems.

Characters: The entire cast is pretty interesting, with the Guard Captain being a stickler for the rules even if he does sympathize with the masked woman thief, Chloe. Chloe on the other hand seems fairly shallow thus far, but that will probably be taken care of in future chapters. Meifa is just plain creepy. Monica on the other hand is kind of a bitch, although whether she is right in doing so or not remains to be seen. That is pretty much the entire cast in a nutshell.

Art: The art is great, easily reaching Shueisha level of quality.

Overall: While there aren’t many chapters out as of right now, in the future this should prove to be a very interesting series. Definitely worth a read.

For those who like: Fantasy, Chivalrous Thieves, Great Plot, Amazing Cast of Characters, Fantastic Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Sensate Saturday: From Maid to Mother by Yuzuki Seiya

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got a Quick Review of an adaptation from a Light Novel. It’s From Maid to Mother by Yuzuki Seiya!

Plot Synopsis: A high school girl reincarnates in another world as Lily Ruzsa. While she occasionally reminisces about her past life, she is now known as “the Maid of the Royal Family,” after helping to rear the lady who eventually married the crown prince. One day she gets a sudden and unexpected request from the Court Magician….

Plot: The plot of this first chapter is more amusing than heartwarming, though I will say I took a peek at the second chapter and it does become rather heartwarming. This isn’t a series full of action and adventure, it’s decidedly Slice of Life and that isn’t a bad thing.

Characters: Lily is our main character and she doesn’t have any cheats, or special abilities from reincarnating into another world. All she has is her knowledge as a motherless child from Japan who had to take care of her younger brother and sister while her father worked. It’s a refreshing change of pace from the cheat level characters that so often happen in Tensei or Isekai stories. Leonard, the male lead, isn’t a bad character just really blunt and socially awkward. I like him quite a bit, if only because I see parts of myself in him.

Art: The art is excellent, which makes me really want to read the original Light Novel, however said Light Novel hasn’t been translated past the first few chapters.

Overall: A great read if you need something to warm your heart up on a Winter day.

For those who like: Slice of Life, Fantasy, Magic, Drama, Romance, Excellent and Heartwarming Plot, Great Cast of Characters, Awesome Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but how can you hate all that?