Manga Monday: One Punch Man by ONE

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This week for Manga Monday I thought I’d do one of the weirder Jump series, One Punch Man by ONE.

 

Plot Synopsis: The story takes place in a the fictional metropolis of City Z, Japan. The world is full of strange monsters that mysteriously appear and cause many disasters. Saitama, the protagonist, is a super powerful hero who easily defeats the monsters or other villains with one punch. However, after becoming too strong, Saitama becomes bored of his powers and is always trying to find stronger opponents who can fight him.

Plot: This series doesn’t take itself very seriously at all, and that is to it’s benefit. It establishes that the hero Saitama, can literally beat anything with a single punch. So it uses comedy to get around the fact that the hero is always going to win, by making him lose in other ways.

Characters: The characters are pretty funny, I particularly like Genos. Genos is Saitama’s protege, who tries to become as powerful as Saitama.

Art: The actual series was a web series before becoming published and redrawn by someone else, so it’s art depends on the series you are reading, for the redrawn stuff it is amazing with it’s linework showing real skill. The original series has terrible art however.

Overall: If you want a laugh go ahead and read this series, it’s worth it.

For those who like: Comedy, Lots of action, A hero who is the single most powerful being ever yet still is a loser.

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

Video Game Tuesday: Mass Effect

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This week I’m doing one of the greatest Sci-Fi games ever made, that doesn’t have the words “Star” or “Wars” anywhere in the name! It’s Mass Effect and I’ll talk about it’s strengths and weaknesses and why I loved it for the most part.

 

Story Synopsis:   The game focuses on the protagonist, Commander Shepard, and her or his quest to stop the rogue Spectre Saren Arterius from leading an army of sentient machines, called the Geth, to conquer the galaxy.

Plot: Pretty great, and the way it gut punches you emotionally multiple times towards the end is great.

Characters: I played a FemShep, or a Female Shepard, because Jennifer Hale just sounded so much better than Mark Meer did as a Male Shepard. Other than that some of my favorite characters were Wrex, an alien whose race is known for their brutality, and Garrus, a space cop who takes justice in his own hands a bit too far sometimes. I didn’t like Kaidan or Ashley very much however and found that Tali’zorah and Liara were much more fun to have in my party to balance out my Shepard who had no tech skills or ESP to battle with.

Gameplay: I loved the gameplay, it plays a bit like Gears of War in that you look for cover and use it to peek out and mow down any enemies who come to you before ducking back down. However there were some parts of gameplay that I just hate and prevented me from really exploring the side quests and replaying this game. They were the Lockpicking and Hacking mini-games. If you messed up you couldn’t redo it and it was really easy to mess up on an Xbox 360. I got around it by making a save prior to opening any door or locked container, but that was a work-around that really just made the problem even more apparent. The moral choice system was great however and I loved everything else about the game except for it’s stupid mini-games. I went Renegade for my playthrough if people are curious. Special mention goes to the sequels in that choices you make in this game affect both Mass Effect 2 and 3 in different ways.

Music: Pretty good, for a game that came out 2 years after the Xbox 360 launched. Nothing spectacular, but nothing terrible either.

Graphics: Same comments I made about the music apply to the Graphics.

Overall: If you love Science Fiction you should play this game. Just be prepared to deal with stupid mini-games.

For those who like: Tactical shooters with a bit of RPG mixed in, Moral Choice games, Sci-Fi, Sequels that take your choices from the first game into account.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or stupid mini-games that are necessary to 100% the game.

Manga Monday: Iron Knight by Yagi Tomohiro

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Sorry for the above picture being a cover of Weekly Shonen Jump, but I figured that’d be the best cover since there hasn’t been a Tankobon, compiled volume of a certain amount of chapters of a manga series published together. Anyways I thought I’d go over one of the better series I’ve seen from Weekly Shonen Jump in a while, Iron Knight! It’s only got 10 chapters released so far, but I love it already.

Plot Synopsis:  The story of Iron Knight revolves around the life of Teppei Ushizume. Teppei is a normal boy that lives a normal life. He goes to school, and has friends like every other 10-year-old boy. Although he doesn’t live with his parents, because his mother died and his father has to be away from home for long periods of time because of his job, he stays with Tsubasa Himegami, a very close friend of his, and her family until his father returns. But everything changed when the Goblins rose and the Era of Chaos began.

Plot: It’s a typical shonen series so far, but I have great hope that it will morph into something better and there are suggestions of this happening in later chapters.

Characters: In an age where authors love to tease out character romances, it’s stated fairly early that Teppei and Tsubasa have a thing for each other and are going to get married; In fact other characters already call them husband and wife. That said I love how Teppei is so very ideological and instead of being beaten down into the ground by his ideals gone wrong he backs it up with badassery!

Art: It’s pretty standard shonen fair, but it’s very pretty and well drawn! Can’t say much more yet, since it’s barely three months serialized, but I’m looking forward to watching the art improve.

Overall: A great series, and one anyone who likes post-apocalyptic should read for sure.

For those who like: A badass kid hero who can uphold his ideals with his badassery, Post-apocalyptic series, lots of violence and destruction.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or romance that is already pre-determined.

Anime Sunday: Kyokai no Kanata

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This week on Anime Sunday I thought I’d go over one of the more beautiful series from last season’s list of anime, Kyokai no Kanata!

Plot Synopsis: One day, high school student Akihito Kanbara instinctively goes to save his fellow schoolmate, Mirai Kuriyama from committing suicide. Following his pleas, Mirai suddenly stabs Akihito with a sword formed out of her own blood and is shocked to discover that Akihito is an immortal “half-youmu”—the offspring of a supernatural creature called a youmu and a human. After learning that Mirai is a Spirit World Warrior (異界士 Ikaishi)—specialists who protect humans from being affected by youmu—and the last surviving member of her spirit hunting clan, their lives become intertwined as Akihito seeks to help Mirai gain the confidence to kill youmu so that she may stop attempting to kill him as practice.

Plot: I found it to be a bit lacking, maybe I prefer a bit more action in my anime series, but I still haven’t finished watching all the episodes yet. Maybe it picks up in later ones. I watched it for other reasons though and that is the art!

Art: This was easily the best looking anime series of 2013, hands down no contest. Everything was beautifully rendered from the opening sequence to the ending sequence.

Music: I loved the music in this series nearly as much as I liked the artwork. The opening in particular was my favorite piece of music, but the insert song in episode 6 was pretty good too.

Characters: Here’s where we get to the lacking part for me, I found the characters to be rather boring. Mirai is just annoyingly like an emotionless rock except when she gets frustrated with someone. For a female lead that we are supposed to care about, I surprisingly didn’t care all that much for her. Kanbara was also just weird to watch. The rest of the cast was alright, but I couldn’t help but feel let down by all the pretty animation when I couldn’t care about the main characters at all. Guess that’s why One Piece is so successful to me, it’s art has never been particularly amazing except for the details that come back into play 5-10 years later down the road.

Overall: If you want to watch pretty anime go ahead and watch Kyokai no Kanata, but don’t expect to be riveted to your seat by the plot.

For those who like: Pretty animation, fantasy, some fight sequences without it feeling like a battle series.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or shows that don’t have a really catching plot.

Shoujo Saturday: Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino

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This week for Shoujo Saturday, I’m reviewing one of the very first Shoujo manga I ever read, and wished I didn’t.

Plot Synopsis: Yuuki’s earliest memory is of a stormy night in winter, where she was attacked by a vampire… And then rescued by another. Now 10 years later, Yuuki Cross, the adopted daughter of the headmaster of Cross Academy, Kaien Cross, has grown up and become a guardian of the vampire race, protecting her childhood crush, Kaname, from discovery as he leads a group of vampires at the elite boarding school. But also at her side is Zero Kiryuu, a childhood friend whose hatred for the creatures that destroyed everything he held dear leaves him determined never to trust them. This coexisting arrangement seems all well and good, but have the vampires truly renounced their murderous ways, or is there a darker truth behind their actions? Because in this world of secrets, nothing is as it seems. And the price of misplaced trust may even be worse than death.

Plot: It quickly gets very convoluted and strays into sappy romance between the female lead and the two male leads. I guess this is how Twilight got popular, I’d rather gouge out my eyes than read that series for more than a page.

Characters: Yuuki is probably the most likeable character until the Wham Episode occurs and than she quickly becomes annoying.  Kaname is a brooding overdramatic person who I can’t really say I like all that much. Zero is the most likeable of the 3 leads, but he’s also a jerk ass. Guess I can’t like every story I read.

Art: The only good thing going for this series is the artwork, which is beautiful and almost worth the hell of reading the words that go along with it.

Overall: I suppose if you like Twilight, you’ll probably like this series.

For those who like: Vampire Romances, Drama, Angst, Twilight.

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