Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Anime UK News Review - Bamboo Blade Part 1 Boxset.

"Excellent character development and great kendo fights are enough for me to recommend this to anyone who has an interest in the series; it’s not a perfect start, with some shortcomings, but good enough to gain a decent score."


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Reevo Ponders....Natsume Ono

In the beginning of this year, I started to build up my anime/manga collection. Every week I had the chance to spend my hard earned money; it mostly consisted of highly recommended licenses like Naruto and The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya, but like my music tastes, I want something different to watch or read, like a indie title of sorts. I knew that most (if not all) anime TV shows, OVA's and films would at least have some kind of fan base, so instead I wanted to try and find a manga that looks unique yet still giving me a great story like most Japanese authors offer.

It wasn't until a trip down Leicester City Centre and a walk round the Waterstone's manga section, that a white book with the title "not simple" took my interest, when grasping the book; its cover looked strangely different, I actually thought for a moment it was either a novel or a comic book, however the manga is supposed to be read right to left, so that answered my question. Scanning through the pages and cover art again, it felt weird that it had none of the anime traits I've come to know in manga like cute faces, insane character models or environments, it even gives the description on the back:

"Ian, a young man with a fractured family history, travels from Australia to England to America in the hope of realizing his dreams"

Australia? England? American?

To be honest manga examples like Hellsing tend also to stray away from the land of the rising sun but to be honest this was the first time for me to see a Japanese author handle a main character in this worldwide journey.

However I didn't buy it automatically since my wallet was almost dry but it didn't take me long to order it from the Internet, this gave me time to look up more information about the author. Her name is Natsume Ono and to this day I still don't know much about her, only that her works are a mixture of Drama and Yaoi and while i'm a male fan it doesnt put me off one bit.

One of my favorite manga's so far in my life

So after my order comes through I get it straight out and start to read through it, I had no idea what I was getting into, just from the brief description of the main character Ian and the tag line:

"A story within a story, a book within a book, a tale about the search for family, for an emotional home."

Its unique purposely strange sketched art and its take on today's big issues such as disease, cruelty, alcholism, family troubles all these issues gives it a very realistic Slice-of-life feel and makes the story gut wrenching at times (if not that it gave me the hand shakes with many emotions raging inside on how Ian is treated and how unfair his life is), I have done a proper review on not simple so look out for that.

A realistic world's take on manga is most likely why I like Nastume Ono so much, not that I dislike any fictional genre but to make a manga feel like it was real is a very big accomplishment and it could basically be my own view, someone is bound to find Not Simple's art ugly or depressing to look at and that's there opinion.

However not all of her works are full of sad stories, in early 2009 producer's David Productions turned Natsume's "Ristorante Paradiso" into an anime and was luckily available to watch on Crunchyroll (however it's since been removed). Again the story is set uniquely away from Japan and takes place in Italy on the streets of Rome, a popular restaurant consisting of middle aged men all wear glasses; because of this the customers find all of them charming not to mention the top class chef's that create fantastic food that bring them back to this place.

Like what "Not Simple" did with manga, "Ristorante Paradiso" feels unique and fresh with its excellent characters and colourful artwork to make it really feel like I'm in Italy and the story really builds the character development and succeeds in creating a captivating anime.

Late this year Viz has released her next manga series over here called "House Of Five Leaves" which takes place in the Japanese Edo Period, where a Shy Samurai called Akitsu Masanosuke can't find a job to protect clients, however once he encounters Yaichi who is the leader of the criminal house of The House of Five Leaves. Natsume shields this group who perform illegal acts of kidnapping in mystery for most of the first volume and its very exciting that way.

Can't wait for the next six volumes ^_^

So why did I create this blog post anyway?

Since Beez entertainment are releasing the anime version of House Of Five Leaves over in the UK and Viz licensing "La Quinta Camera " recently, it best that I get my appreciation for her out the way. I hope her fantastic stories continue to be translated so I can support her works.

Thank you Natsume Ono.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Stephenson College reviews November 2010: Reevo's Free Corner (Anime Review) - Giant Killing

Lets face it, England and Japan don't have any major sports in common and a lot of Japanese shows I've watched point to the same argument, however from time to time they try to make something feel more appealing to the western audience, this is a good time to introduce you to a Japanese animation called Giant Killing.

So why do I say this feels 'western', well did you know that the first episode starts of in England where a Japanese manager Tatsumi Takeshi takes a village football team to the last 32 of the FA Cup. This signals what the series is about, a unlikely weakling team facing the best of the best and end up winning, think the David versus Goliath of football.

The Story takes place with the struggling East Tokyo United where the Tatsumi returns to help the team by becoming there new manager, through these episodes we see him as a unpredictable, calm manager; kind of like a José Mourinho.

As we meet the team and discover there strengths in training, the football matches begin with familiar football chants, great fan atmosphere and thrilling football set pieces and goals, plus there is a diverse set of managers and players from different countries and speak there own languages not just Japanese. I can write about how good this is for pages but I'll end it here.

If you a college student who loves football or even plays it, please take this review and give it a chance, it's got everything I love about football and it should entertain you.


Stephenson College reviews November 2010: Game Review - Halo Reach

If your a gamer then you should know the Halo series, after a good nine years since the first excellent Halo Combat Evolved game, the series has become a bit uninteresting since then, not to say that Halo 2, 3 and ODST where bad games but they suffered from short campaigns and the lackluster on-line gameplay but can the prequel and the last game of the series change my opinion.

The game is based off the events before the first game, where the colonized human planet named Reach is under attack from unknown forces, you are the mute Spartan Noble Six, who joins a Spartan team to investigate this foreign entity. The story does well with its pacing and shows some great voice acting, if you know the Halo story then the end won't surprise you but its very passable.

Gameplay sticks to the old formula with some changes, Duel-welding is axed in the favour of power up items, these can range up to bubble shields, jetpacks, sprint etc. All weapons from previous games show along with some new ones like the Needle Rifle and the destructive Plasma Launcher. Using these weapons are fun to use at first but you might find yourself sticking to one weapon in future battles.

The campaign might take around 8-10 hours depending on the difficulty but Reach really shines in its multiplayer modes, a first for the series is the credit system where you complete daily or weekly challenges to earn credits to buy gear for you character.

Many modes include the basic team deathmatch's, capture the flag etc, the Firefight mode where you can face waves of enemies to see how long you can survive and Forge mode which lets you build your own levels and record your own movies.

In Conclusion

The Single Player mode is good and a massive amount of content in multiplayer is awesome, its not going to be my favourite game of the year for sure but I can safely say that this is a game worth the full retail price.


Friday, 5 November 2010

Stephenson College reviews November 2010: Music Review - Sleigh Bells - Treats

On my final year at college and at a student council meeting, one of the teachers wishes to resurrect the student letter, deeming interest into the matter I ask for a meeting to discuss reviewing various media articles, however it will be hard for me to pick the sujects i wish to review in the future being that the college has a more chav base.

Still here are my three reviews I have done for the November newletter, there short but sweet ones but it gives me a reason to start using my blog again :D

Music Review: Sleigh Bells - Treats

Since this is my first music review for the Stephenson's newsletter and its very tough to pick a music genre that you would please everyone in the college, however my taste in tunes have varied throughout these eight years ,so I wish to bring you all new albums that you might not have heard of and do I have a treat for you! (pun intended)

This is the début album from the American duo 'Sleigh Bells' who while you may think on the outside that the cover signals a very teenage sensation pop vibe, when you dive into the inside to listen to it, its like a giant suddenly arose and hits you in the face and pounds you for 30 minutes.

What I'm trying to say is this album is loud, VERY loud, its an album where you can put it in your car, turn up the bass and hear the sound punish your ears, which turns out to be the albums big strong points with track examples 'Infinity guitars' and 'Crown On The Ground' which got a nod from one of best tracks of 2010 so far.

The album also uses a lot of distortion guitar which has become one the norm in music now-a-days like auto tune, it gives the album a bit of roughness to this aggressive album which works most of the time, plus the aggressiveness continues with Alexis Krauss vocals, but she is not afraid to sound light hearted like on the track “Rill Rill” which is very good feeling song.

In Conclusion

Although its not going to be on my favourite albums of the year, 'Sleigh Bells – Treats' is a solid début and if you want a different pop album that's loud and proud then please check it out.


Reevo's Track Recommendation's : 'Crown On The Ground', 'Infinity guitars', 'Rill Rill'

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Archive: Anime UK News Reviews

I have told some people about my reviews, so I have decided to place them on my blog for your viewing, if you have watched/read any of these DVD's or Manga, feedback will be appreciated and future reviews will be posted here too, or you can check my facebook or twitter for new posted reviews!

Naruto Unleashed: Series 8 Part 2:

Naruto Unleashed: Series 9 - The Final Episodes - 7/10

Naruto Shippuden: Box Set 1: - 8/10

Naruto: Shippūden the Movie:;den-the-movie - 7/10

Naruto Shippuden: Box Set 2: - 7/10

Desert Punk: Volume 5: - 9/10

Desert Punk: Volume 6: - 7/10

King Of RPGs Volume 1:

My King of RPG's review also got a Testimonial mention on its own website (Thanks Jason!)!/profile.php?id=685591891!/Reevothemusefan