Manga Monday: Pochi Kuro by Matsumoto Naoya

This week for Manga Monday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Pochi Kuro by Matsumoto Naoya!

Plot Synopsis: A human girl falls into the demon realm and can’t seem to communicate with the local demon, Kuro, who found her. Humans are rare in the demon realm and many would love to eat a human…

Plot: The plot of this first chapter is pretty great, especially since Kuro and the girl can’t seem to communicate at all except through gestures. We never do get her name though in this chapter. I assume we’ll learn it later.

Characters: Kuro is a pretty hilarious male lead, as it’s pretty obvious he’s got no idea what to do when it comes to “cooking” a human. The girl is also pretty funny, although not being unable to understand her is a pit disappointing for us readers it does add to the humor of the chapter.

Art: The art is great as one would expect from a series that’s been published by Shueisha.

Overall: This looks to be an enjoyable and humorous series, definitely worth a read if you are looking for some laughs and a good plot.

For those who like: Fantasy, Drama, Romance?, Great Plot, Excellent Lead Characters, Fantastic Artwork.

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

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TNT: Tips on How to Enjoy Web Serializations

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m back with some tips and tricks. It’s some Tips on How to Enjoy Web Serializations!

Web Serializations?: What I generally cover in these columns are Web Serializations, what is known more commonly as Web Novels.

Ok so tips?: Yep I got a few really easy tips to get the most out of every Web Novel you read. This can hold true for any piece of written work, but I find that they are really great for Web Novels in particular.

Tip #1 Stockpile!: Let any Web Novel you read get a good amount of chapters built up before beginning to read. Give yourself at least 3 whole days worth of chapters to read, and by whole days I mean days where you would do nothing but read those chapters. For me that means I often have to wait for at minimum a stockpile of at least 250 chapters worth. I read much too quickly, and if I don’t stockpile at least that much I’m liable to just go through it too quick.

This is for chapters that come out to at least 2,000 words per chapter on average. If they are shorter that means I’ll need to increase the amount of chapters I stockpile. The same is true in reverse, if they are incredibly long chapters I can get away with less chapters.

Another way to stockpile is to do it based on Arc or Volume, if there are Arcs or volumes indicated in the table of contents it’s totally doable to just stockpile chapters until an arc or volume is completed. This allows the author to go through a relatively self contained plot thread from beginning to end.

Tip #2 Binge!: Once you’ve stockpiled enough chapters to get a few days worth of solid reading, binge read that story and it alone. Don’t read anything else, unless you are like me you’ll probably confuse yourself if you are reading more than a single story or if you’re really skilled two, at one time. So go through those chapters and enjoy the story.

Tip #3 Once Caught Up Stop Reading!: If you are reading a Web Novel you’ll come to realize that most of the story is so splintered into  small chapters that it’s really hard to appreciate the story if you continue reading every time a new chapter is released. Don’t do this, it’ll ruin the stories for you. Seriously it sounds counter intuitive, but absolutely do not continue reading once caught up. Follow Tips #1 and 2.

Tip #4 Rotate!: In order to allow all the above tips to occur I rotate stories I’ll read. Assuming all series release with similar amount of chapters per week, it’s easy to set up a rotation of different series to read in order to really get the most out of stories. In reality this can’t happen due to how different authors, and by extension translators, work. So you’ll need to build a vast library of different series in order to really get a solid rotation. This might end up being 20+ series, but you’ll be able to get a good amount of chapters stockpiled for binge reading for each series if you go through the rotation.

For me I’ll constantly add new series to my rotation and drop those which I’ve found to be not worth reading in comparison to other stories. I’ve stopped reading stories due to many reasons, sometimes I just find they are inferior to other similar stories and so I’ll drop them in favor of the other. There are plenty of other reasons as well, but the biggest is the one I just mentioned.

That’s it for this week’s Translation Necessary Thursday! Hopefully this helps those fellow enthusiasts of Web Novels, and other media, enjoy the stories more!

 

Anime Sunday: Ballroom Episode 01 Impressions

Hey all I’m back with another new series of the Summer 2017 season for this week’s Anime Sunday. It’s my Ballroom Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis:  An aimless Japanese youth named Fujita Tatara, is heading back home after school when he recognizes someone from his school entering a building. While looking at the sign outside he’s accosted by delinquents.. However after a person on a motorcycle comes to his rescue he’s suddenly thrust into the building….

Plot: The plot of this first episode is pretty great. It had enough of a hook for me to watch every available episode at the time back to back (5 at the time). While I won’t say that it’s bad to watch  on weekly basis, I found the enjoyment of the story was better for me if I binged watched the series. Ballroom is a 2-cour series, so it’ll have two seasons of episodes to watch if you want to hold off on watching it till everything is aired.

Characters: Tatara is a pretty typical kid, but I really enjoy him as a main character. Hanaoka Shizuku is one of the female leads, and while she’s the first we encounter I actually don’t like her all that much. She doesn’t really give off much emotion so it’s hard to relate to her. Sengoku, Tatara’s mentor is a pretty hilarious guy, and fairly intense as well. The rest of the cast is good too.

Art: The artwork is pretty awesome, and while it may seem a little off at first, it will quickly grow on you. It’ll make more sense as you continue watching the series.

Music: The score definitely fits perfectly for the series. Even the opening and ending themes quickly grow on you.

Overall: Definitely worth a try and while there are some awkward moments for the most part this series won’t make you cringe.

For those who like: Ballroom Dancing, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Great Artwork, Awesome Musical Score.

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

Sensate Saturday: Hitogatana by Onigunsou

This week for Sensate Saturday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Hitogatana by Onigunsou!

Plot Synopsis: Crimes commited using manned combat-androids dubbed “Katana” run rampant. In an effort to maintain order, the government has organized the AKCD – “Anti Katana Crime Division.” Togusa of the 8th squad of the AKCD, continually casts himself into battle while holding existential doubts….

Plot: The plot of this first chapter was pretty interesting, and while I will be adding it to my huge backlog it’s not going to be high on the list. One thing I do want to note is that this first chapter had no massive amounts blood, but this is just the first chapter. There may very well be more later on in the series and given that it’s a Seinen series, that probability isn’t small.

Characters: Togusa is a pretty interesting male lead, but there is a bit too much mystery to his character for my tastes in this first chapter. While there are some curtains drawn back, there aren’t nearly enough to really grab my attention. Just a one or two more would’ve been great, but it just didn’t hit that sweet spot for plot hooks. Yachiyo his sister, I think it’s his sister at least, is a laid back and pretty carefree person for the most part. She is a drunk though.

Art: The art is pretty good, but it’s very much focused on characters and not at all on backgrounds, if there is any in any of the panels at all. So while the movement is great, the lack of backgrounds in most of the panels is a bit disappointing. That being said it was sort of refreshing to have little to no background in panels. Take that as you will.

Overall: Hitogatana is looking to be one of the dark brooding series that seems to be popular with older teens, but personally I found it to be more than a bit lacking in plot hooks. While I’ll be getting around to reading it, it won’t be any time soon.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Action, Drama, Androids, Good Artwork.

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

TNT: Breakers Arc 02 by Chwiryong

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m back with the continued adventures of In-gong. It’s Breakers Arc 02 by Chwiryong!

Plot Synopsis: Having been transported into the world of his favorite game Knights Saga, In-gong is now the Ninth Prince and one of the children of the Demon King. But he had never played as Shutra before, because the only playable characters were Zephyr, the Second Demon Prince and Locke the Human Hero. Now armed with knowledge of the game he loved, he’s begun to change the story so he can prevent the massacre of all his new siblings by one of their own. The strongest and most powerful being after the Demon King, The Second Prince Zephyr… He only has a little over two years to change the world to prevent ending up a corpse.

Plot: This second arc is short, only a few chapters long, but it really sets up the rest of the series and builds off the first arc wonderfully. I won’t spoil what happens, but it’s the beginning of ripples that will affect the story Shutra knows that is suddenly his new reality.

Characters: We don’t really get introduced to any characters in this Arc, but that’s okay because we get more interaction between Shutra, Carack, Caitlin and Chris.

Overall: This is an excellent second arc, and although still a foundation arc, it’s not at all boring.

Retro Game Friday: Jet Force Gemini

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game I’m shocked I never covered before. It’s Jet Force Gemini!

Plot Synopsis: Jet Force Gemini begins with the three heroes, Juno, Vela and Lupus in orbit around the planet Goldwood after barely escaping the destruction of the entire Jet Force fleet at the hands of Mizar, who has been capturing and enslaving a race of survivors known as the Tribals. When they are attacked by several drones, the three decide to abandon their ship and go off on their own separate paths to stop the invasion.

Plot: The plot is okay, not amazing, but it’s better than Destiny’s non existent story.

Gameplay:  The three heroes all play slightly differently, but there are some things that are the same like the targeting and general movement. However Juno can walk through lava, Vela can swim indefinitely and Lupus can hover for a short period of time. The gameplay itself is actually pretty good, however the fact that you have to rescue every Tribal to beat the story is more than a bit annoying, especially since you can accidentally kill them with friendly fire. Or on purpose if you’re just in a mood for destruction and mayhem. The game also has local co-op where the second player can play as Floyd, a robotic drone that hovers above the characters and can open fire on enemies.  The multiplayer was okay, but really not that amazing compared to now a days.

Art: The art has definitely aged poorly, but it was pretty freaking awesome back when it released.

Music: I don’t remember a whit of it, sorry.

Overall: If you get the chance to play this, give it a whirl it’s pretty fun. That being said it does require a lot of effort to actually finish the story which is more than a bit frustrating.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Third Person Shooters, Action, Adventure, Drama, Decent Plot, Great Gameplay.

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

Anime Sunday: Isekai Shokudou Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering another series from the Summer 2017 Season. It’s my Isekai Shokudou Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: At the bottom floor of the building with a dog signboard, in the shopping district near the office street, there lies a cafeteria called “Youshoku no Nekoya,” that has an illustration of a cat on the door. It’s been open for fifty years and has satisfied various salarymen from nearby offices. Despite it being called a Western cuisine cafeteria, it also provides other varieties of menus. For the people of this certain world, it’s their one-and-only special cafeteria. There is, however, one secret to “Nekoya.” The cafeteria is closed to the public every Saturday in order to make way for special guests. When a bell rings, customers from different places of birth and races appear who ask for mysterious and delicious dishes…

Plot: The plot isn’t action packed, if you are looking for an action filled adventure, you are going to be disappointed. Now if you enjoy Slice of Life crossed with Fantasy and Cooking, Isekai Shokudou is right up your alley. This first episode introduces us to the resturant Nekoya and it’s customers from the other world. It’s quite interesting and while it’s not action packed and really not my usual genres I genuinely enjoyed my time watching this first episodes.

Characters: This episode also introduces us to our main character who everyone calls Owner. We’re also introduced to the Red Empress Dragon and Aletta as well. Frankly I enjoyed all the characters we were introduced to, and can’t wait to see even more introduced.

Art: The artwork is excellent, which is good because it truly conveys how good the food must taste.

Music: The musical score fits the series perfectly, and even the opening and ending themes are pretty appropriate for the series as well.

Overall: If you love food and don’t mind not having a bunch of action this series will be right up your alley. If you want high tension and plenty of action you won’t enjoy as much, probably. Isekai Shokudou has it’s own kind of charm that just makes you enjoy watching it, or at least that’s how I felt after this first episode.  However if you are hungry I suggest not watching this, as it will just make it worse.

For those who like: Fantasy, Isekai, Food, Slice of Life, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Awesome Artwork, Great Musical Score.

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