Review: Akame ga Kill and Kill la Kill (Anime version of both)

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It was the anime that turned me off from Netflix being quite honest: It always pissed me off how Netflix only has this Anime subbed despite other Toonami alumni being released on Netflix dubbed.

Moving on, anyone who’s done the convention circuit this year knows about the runaway popularity of this particular anime. Fan Service aside, this is actually a pretty interesting anime. The series follows the story oj Ryoko Matoi, whose quest for vengeance pits her against Satsuki Kiryuin. They use the power of symbiotic Life Fibers to make Kamui, uniforms that give them supernatural abilities. The two go Bleach on each other for the first half of the series.

Things get interesting in the second half when it’s revealed Satsuki and Ryoko are actually sisters: After Satsuki’s failed attempt to assassinate her mother Ragyo, it’s revealed Ragyo merged with Life Fibers to become something else altogether. The problem is she wants all of mankind to become slave to the Life Fibers. Things get even more interesting when it’s revealed due to the experiments performed on the then newborn Ryoko, she’s not quite human herself and is the only being who can slay her estranged “mother”. Each episode is action packed and has its share of laughs. Ryoko’s friend Mako does a masterful job as the comic relief and comes into her own when Ryoko loses herself a few times throughout.

Overall, I give the series a 9/10. The only thing missing is a followup story. There’s definitely stuff they could explore there. I watched the dub on Toonami when it aired but you can also watch it on Netflix and Crunchyroll.

…And now, the other anime. to review:

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Here’s the main reason I flipped the order of the reviews: This series is currently airing on Toonami. I watched it in full on Crunchyroll last month and let me tell you, it’s gonna have a huge fan following if it doesn’t by now. That said, everyone in the above picture except Najenda and Akame will die by the time the final episode is done. I know because I watched the whole thing subbed on Crunchyroll: Sheele died in last week’s episode and Bulat will die in next week’s. Tatsumi dies in the second to last episode but he inherits Bulat’s Imperial Arms Incuriso. Najenda recruits Chelsea and Susano–the latter being an organic-based Imperial Arms–to replace Sheele and Bulat.

General Esdeath and Akame are involved in the final battle but the main villain is the Empire’s Minister for much of the series. The minister manipulates the child emperor but he gets what he deserves in the end. Tatsumi, who is the main protagonist was the Night Raid member I thought would have been shipped with Akame. He dies after taking down the Emperor’s Imperial Arms. All of the other members of Night Raid die fighting the empire’s best, often taking her opponent with them.

Overall, I give the series a 9/10. I didn’t like how rushed the last 8 episodes were. They tried to do too much at once and it showed. It was clear they wanted to cram the whole thing into one season. If there is a season 2–which I doubt–there would be a whole new cast as well. Akame ga Kill is airing on Toonami but if you don’t wanna wait, you can watch the whole thing on Crunchyroll subbed.

Sword Art Online Season 2 wraps up on Toonami, Parasyte premiering next week

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…Have to admit I’m surprised Cartoon Network greenlit this one. Like I noticed with the U.S. release of Akame ga Kill (review coming soon), expect heavy editing. Parasyte -The Maxim- (Just Parasyte in the U.S.) is about Parasitic alien life forms that infest human, usually taking over the host’s mind and body. This anime focuses on the exception to the rule: Migi (Japanese for Right) and his host, high school student Shinichi Izumi. Migi is only able to take over Shinichi’s right hand, hence its given name. It’s your textbook Invasion of the Body Snatchers in Anime form.¬† If you don’t want to wait on the dub, you can watch it in full on Crunchyroll. That’s what I did with Akame ga Kill.

Speaking of AgK: This is a major spoiler but another member of Night Raid is going to die in the next episode.

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Yuuki’s final moments with Asuna in the SAO Season 2 finale, Mother’s Rosario.

Now that SAO season 2’s English dub is done, the wait is on for Season 3. A few years passed between Season 1 and Season 2 though thr wait between Season 2 in Japan and the English dub was about 7 months. The Anime was presumably being dubbed while it aired in Japan. Click here to see the review I wrote for SAO Season 2. The events of what will be Season 3 have already happened in the light novels and from what I’ve heard, it’s alot of content being covered.

I don’t read the novels myself but from what I’ve heard from those who do, most of Season 3 takes place in the real world and happens a few years after the events of Season 2. New characters are introduced and it takes place in a new virtual world. I don’t know much more than that other than speculation and I’ll resist the urge to entertain that here.

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Michiko and Hatchin is set up wrap up soon as well. There was alot of buzz at Anime Boston 2015 on the Sailor Moon franchise, which Viz Meida generated alot of hype around. Sailor Moon Crystal, which wrapped up in Japan over the summer. It is also rumored to be the frontrunner to be the next series to start airing on Toonam soon. The Viz Media reps did say at Anime Boston Sailor Moon Crystal is being dubbed so…yeah. Not too unbelievable given their licensing deal with Hulu. If it does come to Toonami, it would fit in nicely with Dragonball Z Kai.

 

Thinking of Cosplaying at Anime Boston 2016…

I thought about doing it last year but due to how crazy things were for me around that time, those plans were put on hold. Seeing as pre-registration for AB2016 could come as early as late October, it’s worth thinking about now before things get crazy in the first 3 months of 2016. I originally planned to announce this as a video but didn’t feel the efort would have been worth it.

So who or what would I cosplay? I’ve narrowed it down to these:

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Or this:

 

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Or even this:

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Or finally, this:

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In all four cases, I would be buying the costume. I wanna throw that out there before folks get too excited. For those who don’t recognize the second one, it’s Izanagi from Persona 4. I’m pretty muscular though not ripped though regardless, I’m expecting a tight fit: I’m 6’1″ and weigh 230 lbs. Don’t let my weight fool you: I’m more muscle than body fat, believe it or not.

Even so, I’m leaning toward Attack on Titan or Robin from Fire Emblem since they’re ambiguous and would require the least amount of alterations. For example, I don’t necessarily need to buy a wig for either cosplay. While yes canonically Robin has white hair, in-game it doesn’t really matter since you can customize his (or her) appearance. I also say that because I will be bald and a wig won’t matter =D

Since this will be my first time cosplaying, I will only buy one costume. I plan to buy all the components between December and March: Halloween is next month and that means the prices will go up until after it’s done. It’s called being a smart shopper. LOL. Of course, I COULD just buy the components at Anime Boston but I’d rather take care of things in advance.

Review: Kodomo no Kodomo (Manga + Movie) [Updated 9-24-2015]

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Kodomo no Kodomo (Child of Children in English) is controversial in Japan almost 10 years after its release. It’s the story 10-year old Haruna Mochida, who becomes pregnant. You read that right. It’s one thing for a 15, 16 or 17 year old but this story is about a 5th Grader who becomes pregnant. The way the story’s set up, the sex act is an experiment between her and one of her classmates. It also happens off-screen so you don’t have to worry about seeing anything sleezy. Remarkably, she manages to keep her pregnancy hidden from the adults with the help of her classmates and gives birth to a boy.

I’ll pause for a moment and say while this is a pretty sick plot element, not too long ago in Texas a 12-year old who became pregnant with twins made headlines when her mother was threatened with excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church for wanting to take her 12-year old daughter, who’d been raped to get an abortion. The thing that needs to be said is while more girls in western countries have been getting their periods at younger ages, their bodies are still growing. A 16 year old may be strong enough physically to bear a child but definitely not emotionally.

A 10 year old is definitely not strong enough to have a baby physically, let alone without medical intervention. For the Manga, some rules were ignored for the sake of storytelling. The big thing for the Manga was once Haruna confirmed she was pregnant, it was kept a secret from the adults until a few days after she gave birth. The only person who figured it out–Haruna’s grandmother died minutes before she was planning to tell Haruna’s mother a few days before she gave birth.

As for how the 10-year old’s pregnancy was kept secret, the Manga took the “in plain sight” approach. The adults noticed she was gaining weight and eating more than usual. Given her age, you can’t fault them for jumping to the conclusion the weight was from all the snacking and and larger portions she was eating–this is a Japanese 10 year old, we’re talking about. Like I said, alot of stuff was overlooked to make the story work,

Haruna getting pregnant actually brings the class together: Their antics put them at odds with their teacher, Yagi-Sensei. The second-most powerful moment after helping Haruna give birth was she participated in field day, running a relay race and participating in a cavalry battle. Remember, everyone who didn’t know just assumed she was getting fat.

It isn’t until after Haruna gives birth to her son–assisted by some of her classmates–a certain incident happens that Yagi-Sensei wins the trust of her class. She is also the first adult other than Haruna’s grandparents to find out Haruna was pregnant. Her grandfather, whose dementia worsens after her grandmother dies mistakes Haruna for her mother (who never had a son) and wanders off with the baby. When word gets out among the adults, the adults band together to support Haruna and her baby due to the circumstances.

The story ends with a reunion 12 years later. Haruna is a model and her hair is now brown (the color pictures of her as a kid shows her with brown hair so I assume that is her natural hair color). The kids are now young adults. It’s never said in the story’s epilogue if Haruna told her son she gave birth to him when she was 10. The interesting thing that felt like a retcon earlier in the story is Yagi-Sensei, who is now the school principal is pregnant when they meet up outside the shack where Haruna gave birth. You’re led to believe early on Yagi-Sensei was pregnant and didn’t know it throughout the story but it looks like the idea was ultimately scrapped yet left in for some reason. No other reason for her throwing up while Haruna was dealing with morning sickness was ultimately given. On the other hand, I can see how cliche it would be to have Haruna and her teacher pregnant at the same time.

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The movie adaptation¬† came out in 2008 in Japan. Haven’t actually seen it but from what I’ve read, it sticks to the source material. Haruna is portrayed slightly out of character and is a year older but everything is more or less the same.

Overall, I give the manga a 6/10. The subject matter isn’t something I’m willing to overlook. The story is also strictly adults only for the subject matter alone. It’s nothing sleezy with how it was approached but that doesn’t make it any less controversial in Japan, which is pretty open-minded with alot of things most Western Cultures shy away from. Like I said, alot of real-life issues around a preteen getting pregnant is overlooked so…yeah.

Update 9-24-2015:

I watched the movie on Daily Motion a few days ago. Only the raw video (no Subtitles) is available online but it looks like they just used the the dialogue from the Manga. The movie is 2 hours long and crops the side stories to focus on Haruna.

Two major changes from the Manga are instead of field day, her class does a play. During a rehearsal Haruna collapses and blacks out, likely due to the strain the pregnancy is having on her body. The movie also cut the 10 years later chapter from the Manga, likely due to time. Overall I give the movie a 5/10 due to the lack of subs.

 

 

Review: Spotted Flower (Manga)

Ok so after dropping $14 on 3 different Manga Readers on my iPad, I was finally able to read this manga in its entirely. Like most of the stuff on Manga Readers, Spotted Flower’s English translation is fanmade but accurate. What’s also true is almost all of the stuff on Manga Readers is either yet to be released in the U.S. or never gets an official English translation. I assume Spotted Flower will be the latter.

Spotted Flower is about a recently Otaku married to an ordinary woman who is now pregnant with their first child. His wife is ok with him being an Otaku and even looks the other way when he brings home adult-oriented material. The problem is they haven’t had sex since she became pregnant due to his being a wimp (yet he managed to get her pregnant as she reminds him, LOL). This is how the short of how the volumes of this manga play out: She tries every trick in the book to get him to have sex with her. The most recent chapter ended with her realizing her big plan to finally get him to have sex with her coincides with her due date. She figured out in the previous Chapter he gets turned on by her being embarrassed.

The Manga is actually still in progress and new volumes get released a few times a year. I did some looking around and the next volume should come in October. I assume the English Translation will come shortly afterward. I rate it so far a 7/10 for the comedy but it’s strictly adults only due to the subject matter partial nudity. Manga 360 is the Manga Reader I used in which I was able to read it.

That reminds me: There are rumors there may be an Anime adaptation coming sometime next year. Should it happen, I will announce it here XD