This week for Manga Monday I’ve got a Quick Review for the longest Manga, by a long shot. It’s Kochikame by Akimoto Osamu!
Plot Synopsis: The story, as its name indicates, focuses on the adventures and misadventures of a police station where we meet a cast of characters located within the park front of Kameari in Katsuhika Ward of the Tokyo Prefecture in Japan. Among the characters is the protagonist Ryotsu, his colleagues Nakagawa and Reiko, and his boss Bucho, who have appeared the most frequently.
Plot: This first chapter was very slapstick, which is pretty much the same for the entire series. This series ran for 40 years starting in 1976 and ending just last year. So while you may not be really interested in the series as a whole, you ought to give at least a chapter a read just for the fact that it ran for over 1,900 chapters and spanned 200 volumes.
Characters: Ryotsu is pretty much a jerk, while Nakagawa the only other character we get introduced to in this chapter is the standard noob cop, although he obviously comes from a very wealthy family as he’s always dressed up in some ridiculously fancy suit.
Art: The art is very old style, but given that it started in 1976 can you really expect anything different?
Overall: Worth reading at least a chapter, just to appreciate how long this series ran.
For those who like: Slapstick, Comedy, Slice of Life, Long Running Series.
Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, especially that last one.
This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering an topic I find amusing and disappointing at the same time. It’s Long Running Series’ Issues!
What do I mean long running series?: I mean any series that airs weekly (minus any holidays that would preclude them airing) and has been doing so for more than half a year. This may mean that they have been running since they first aired, or it’s just a full years worth of episodes. Either way they often run into the same problems, although the latter is less likely to have one of them.
Filler: As any diehard Anime fan will tell you, filler is the bane of all long running shows and is the reason why One Piece is consistently at the top in terms of suggestions. That isn’t to mean One Piece isn’t without it’s faults, but it doesn’t do filler anymore and those arcs it did were short and sweet and weren’t bad. One Piece has another issue entirely which is almost the complete opposite of filler, it has a Chapter to Episode ratio of 1:1 which leads to episodes taking things cut from the Manga which leads to a slowdown in terms of action and plot pacing which leads to people feeling it takes forever.
Animation Gaffs: Pictured above is one of the more well known animation gaffs from Naruto, a show which has tons of them. One Piece does as well, if you compare the Manga to the Anime the quality in backgrounds is generally very noticeably different with the Manga having much crisper and more quality backgrounds. Bleach when it aired had it’s shares of gaffs as well. Any Anime will probably have a gaff or two, but they aren’t nearly as frequent or bad as long running series.
That’s it for this week’s Anime Sunday? What are some of your favorite Animation Gaffs or most hated filler arcs? Leave a comment below!
This week for Manga Monday I’m covering a series that is funny, but also makes me groan in agony at the sheer ridiculousness of it. It’s Gintama by Hideaki Sorachi!
Plot Synopsis: The story is set in the late Edo period. Humanity is attacked by aliens called “Amanto” (天人, “Sky People”). The samurai of Japan join the battle against the aliens, but when the Shogun realizes the power of aliens, he betrays the samurai and surrenders to the aliens. The Shogun writes an unequal contract with aliens which allows the aliens to enter the country and places a ban on carrying swords in public. The swords of samurai are taken away so they can no longer resist the aliens. After that the Shogunate becomes a puppet government.
The plot is focused on an eccentric samurai, Gintoki Sakata (aka Odd Jobs Gin) who helps a teenager named Shinpachi Shimura save his sister Tae from a group of aliens who want to make her part of a brothel.
Plot: This isn’t a super serious series, in fact it breaks the fourth wall so often that I got fed up with it. That being said it’s not bad, it just is too much for me personally sometimes.
Characters: Kagura is probably my favorite character, but the entire cast is great.
Art: This is serialized in Shonen Jump so it’s definitely top tier.
Overall: If you can stand the silliness you’ll love this series.
For those who like: Comedy, Action, Decent Plot, Great Cast of Characters, Amazing Artwork.
This week for Manga Monday I’m covering a series that has run for an incredibly long time. It’s Hajime no Ippo by George Morikawa!
Plot Synopsis: Ippo Makunouchi was an extremely shy high school student who never had the time to make friends because he was always busy helping his mother run their family fishing charter business. Because he kept to himself, a group of bullies led by Umezawa got into the habit of picking on him. One day, these bullies gave him a rather serious beating. A middle-weightprofessional boxer who was passing by stopped the bullies and took the injured Ippo to the Kamogawa Gym (鴨川ボクシングジムKamogawa Bokushingu Jimu), owned by retired boxer Genji Kamogawa, to treat his wounds. After Ippo awoke to the sounds of boxers training, the boxer who saved him, Mamoru Takamura, tried to cheer Ippo up by letting him vent his frustrations on a sandbag.
Plot: The plot is pretty standard, but if the fact that the series has been running weekly since 1989 and is still being published don’t clue you in that this is a good series you need to go back to school.
Characters: Ippo’s a pretty nice kid, and is a great main character. He’s my favorite, because he reminds me of myself when I was younger. The rest of the extremely large cast is great as well.
Art: It’s gotten much better over the years, but it’s easily one of the better series in terms of Artwork even in the beginning.
Overall: This is a huge series, even longer than One Piece with over 1,000 chapters.
For those who like: Sports, Boxing, Long Running Series, Action, Great Cast of Characters, Amazing Plot.
This week for Manga Monday I’m covering a series that is one of the longest running ever. It’s Detective Conan by Gosho Aoyama!
Plot Synopsis: Shinichi Kudo is a high school detective who sometimes works with the police to solve cases. During an investigation, he is attacked by Gin and Vodka who belong to a syndicate known as the Black Organization.
Plot: The plot for this series is pretty good, although it does get pretty childish at times, for some very obvious reasons that I won’t spoil because it’s the great mystery of the entire series.
Characters: Shinichi is a pretty bad ass high schooler, and he uses his brain to do some pretty amazing things. The rest of the cast is good, although a few of them annoy the hell out of me personally for the first hundred chapters or so. Ran on the other hand being the female lead is pretty cool, while her father Kogoro Mori is a riot because he’s a terrible detective.
Artwork: The artwork for a very long time is pretty retro, but considering this series started in 1994, so I’m okay with it. Besides it gets better as the series goes along.
Overall: This is a classic, but honestly don’t read the official English version. How they decided to absolutely ruin the names by bastardizing them for the localization is beyond me.
For those who like: Mystery, Really Long Series, Shonen Series, Great Cast of Characters (except for a certain trio), Retro Art.