Beamcast – November 22

November 22, 2010 1 comment

[download link – 184min, 77mb]

In this week’s huge double-show:

News
SWOT canceled
Fake Hunter x Hunter return information
37 manga publishers to launch North American manga portal
New Shueisha magazine: Saikyou Jump
Air Gear vol. 31 bundled with anime DVD
One Piece vol. 60 sells over 2 million in 4 days
Negima‘s Akamatsu plans free site for out-of-print manga
Dragon Ball SD spinoff manga
One Piece, Toriko 3D film trailers streamed; themes by Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra

Licensing announcements
VIZ: Tenjou Tenge (unedited, 2-in-1 omnibus)
Tokyopop: The Sacred Blacksmith

Non-shonen news
Starz making live-action adaptation of Noir
“Nonexistent youth” bill to be resubmitted
4Kids reports net loss of $9.8 million in 3Q 2010
Zac Efron not starring in Akira
Satoshi Kon’s last film resumes production

Discussion / Weekly Poll
Last week’s results:

Which of these partially-scanlated series would you most like to see caught up?
1. Cage of Eden / GTO: Shonan 14 Days / Sket Dance (19%) (tie)
4. Yankee-kun to Megane-chan (18%)
5. Kuroko no Basket (13%)
6. Onidere (7%)
7. Hajimete no Aku (4%)

This week:
Which of these sidekick characters is your favorite?
Al (Fullmetal Alchemist), Don Patch (Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo), Furuichi (Beelzebub), Komatsu (Toriko), Koutarou (Mahou Sensei Negima!), Krillin (Dragon Ball), Shinpachi (Gintama), Zenkichi (Medaka Box)

This Week in Manga
0:17:14 – Soul Eater 80
0:22:19 – Donten Prism Solar Car 3
0:25:19 – Kure-nai 35-36
0:29:27 – One Piece 604
0:37:40 – Naruto 516-517
0:46:59 – Bleach 426-427
0:52:09 – Bakuman 109-110
0:58:19 – Beelzebub 84-86
1:06:29 – Fairy Tail 211-212
1:10:55 – Hayate no Gotoku! 296-297
1:16:50 – Kekkaishi 328
1:21:15 – History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 406-407
1:31:42 – AR∀GO 43-45
1:38:17 – Toriko 117-118
1:43:24 – Gamaran 70-71
1:46:38 – The World God Only Knows 121-122
1:55:52 – Defense Devil 72-73
1:57:59 – Mahou Sensei Negima! 308-309
2:05:01 – Nurarihyon no Mago 130-132
2:16:03 – Zettai Karen Children 237-238
2:24:15 – GE ~ Good Ending 59
2:27:59 – Kimi no Iru Machi 112-113
2:34:06 – Enigma 9-10
2:42:07 – SWOT 16-17
2:47:07 – Moon Walker LTD.
2:51:36 – Kintoki
2:56:20 – Gate 7 – 1 (new series!)
2:58:04 – Air Gear 294-295
2:59:26 – Code:Breaker 111
3:00:39 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 314-315

Chapters of the Week

Final Flash

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Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork
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Enigma 10

November 21, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by CXC Scans]

The group’s back together again, which makes the absence of the mascot guy all the more conspicuous. It is fairly weird that he left the infirmary, given the obvious danger of going out alone.

Using narrative boxes to skip an exposition scene is perfectly acceptable by itself, and thankfully we don’t miss Hiina and Shigeru’s reactions to the truth about the shadow. Those facial expressions are a nice transition out of the first narrative. The second narrative, which is just Haiba speculating about stuff, is less necessary.

Haiba holding onto all three passwords seems like a bad move. It’s understandable given his de facto leader status, but still, leaving all the passwords with Mr. Trusting makes the odds of them getting stolen pretty darn high.

It’s time for the reveal, set to an appropriately ominous tone. When the mask comes off, it’s quickly clear why he was wearing it for as long as he was. Turns out Mizusawa is in fact Kurisu Ryou, the guy with the creepy smile from the first password photo. He’s a flirtatious bishonen, too; I did not see that coming.

The comedy surrounding Mizusawa/Kurisu would be much funnier if this wasn’t a mystery series. Seriously, it’s hard to enjoy a character being extravagant when you know there’s going to be a serious catch somewhere in his story. That said, if this manga does get into a lighter arc or intermezzo after the e-test, scenes like this may well be worth it.

The rivalry over the harem begins

Ryou’s explanation of how Enigma was supposedly mistaken seems extremely fishy. Although it is conceptually possible for someone to avoid revealing themselves simply out of nervousness, in a head-games/mystery series like this one, that’s very unlikely to be the actual reason. On the other hand, Kurisu floating the theory that his mistaken identity was a deliberate choice by Enigma meant to create group conflict, given how little we know about Enigma, does at least raise reasonable doubt.

What uncertainty is raised, though, is not nearly enough to quell said infighting. Takemaru vocally challenging Kurisu is a fairly obvious development, given that he operates on the opposite side of the trust spectrum as Haiba. More interestingly, Haiba sticking up for Kurisu leads to actual punches thrown. The tension between those two was there from the beginning, and to have it reappear here leaves a lot of ways for this plot to play out.

Going bad cop on the good cop

While Takemaru may have left the group, Hiina and Moto following him once again precludes the possibility of the party being picked off one by one. This series seems to be actively avoiding that particular cliché, so far to great effect.

No points for figuring out that Ryou had some sort of ulterior motive. However, rather than something to do with the larger Enigma/shadow plot, it’s just the selfish desire to escape at the expense of the group. Of the available options, that was one of the better choices.

Final Flash: Ryou’s proper introduction, while not itself a fantastic scene, does provide a good starting point for the next mini-arc.

Zettai Karen Children 238

November 21, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by JS Scans]

The Children’s initial reactions to the mission briefing: more delusions. I would have been fine if Minamoto going Bond-style suave on Momiji was just the whole chapter. As it stands, there’s been a tad too little of his competent side visible lately.

Even Minamoto is curious as to how this became their job, and rightfully so. Despite the fact that level 7s have been specifically assigned to this mission, it’s true that, except for Shiho, their powers are pretty useless for this. The government is throwing espers at their problem expecting a brute force solution, but as an experienced terrorist agent, Momiji is really unlikely to be persuaded via force. Seduction as a mission is going to take other experienced hands at Babel who actually know how to handle women, which means Sakaki, pimp cowboy outfit and all.

Sakaki’s inclusion in this arc pays immediate dividends. He may be capable of hitting a sniper rifle with a thrown scalpel, but his most important job is that of the womanizing comic relief. His shift in tone from enthusiastic to evasive is quite amusing. Of course, he’s not getting out of there so easily.

Got a Death Star you want blown up instead?

Apparently, the obvious way of blackmailing Muscle is out; Robiet is claiming the ambassador is a different person from the criminal that fires Hard Gay beams. I had been wondering about why Muscle’s past wasn’t being used as leverage. If anything, it’s a testament to the competence of Babel that somebody kept that footage intact, presumably resisting the urge to burn the computer it was on.

Yet more signs of growth from Kaoru. This time she’s practicing cooking, starting from the basic omelet. This act of maturity is quite possibly the biggest step forward. Before, she was taking more responsibility for and being more conscious of the actions of those around her, but now she’s actively concentrating on self-improvement. This is such heartwarming progress she’s made from the 10-year-old who relied on her natural gifts for everything and thought that “adult” only meant 18 and over.

Though it may take a while yet

At last, we finally start to see Minamoto reacting to Kaoru’s maturity. Like a real parental figure, he’s happy for her, but immediately he starts feeling lonely. While he’s a long way yet from being an empty-nester, he’s definitely paying for Kaoru’s newfound independence with the closeness they used to share as pseudo-parent and child. Those are some very complex emotions, and the method used of displaying old memories use to depict them is very effective.

Well, it’s officially a date; Minamoto, Sakaki, and Momiji are going out to have some fun. I’m really looking forward to more exposition on Momiji, and the prerequisite comedy that comes from Sakaki trying way too hard.

Final Flash: Excellent chapter for a number of reasons, from cowboy Sakaki to Minamoto’s memories.

History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 407

November 21, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Binktopia]

Not a very convincing start of the chapter. Miu herself is not a bad character. She’s capable and fairly intelligent, and has proven that up to this point she’s at least on par with Kenichi as a fighter. In fact, the last time they fought, she was still considerably stronger than Kenichi. That said, having her serve as nothing but base fanservice cheapens her character beyond belief. It’s a bad omen for the rest of the chapter.

Forget that, what about our eyes?

The scenes with Apachai continue to be powerful, particularly with the way the point of view is being done. The shot of Apachai standing like a giant, his massive back presented to us, really gives you a feel of the enormity of the character. The parting words between Apachai and Agaard are fitting and welcome, just a confirmation of the victory that the Katsujinken has won. It’s time for Apachai to go.

What follows is the most unwelcome page I’ve ever read. I had my worries when Sakaki showed up while Apachai was still standing, but when Ma and Akisame show up, they’re confirmed. Apachai isn’t dead. He’s going to be fine. Every single bit of emotional impact we’ve received from everything going on has essentially been for nothing. A complete victory for the side of good, because with the two medically trained masters present, I have no doubt Apachai will be fine.

I can’t even begin to stress how much of a disappointment this chapter was. HSDK had the chance to do something real with the plot, something that would introduce a new element to the story, and change things forever. Instead, it opted for the easy way out of the situation. Nothing has changed, and in the bargain, pages upon pages of “death scenes” have been made ridiculous and embarrassing. Shigure shows up and there’s some more ridiculous fanservice, but I couldn’t even be bothered to find it offensive at this point. Something like fanservice couldn’t possibly be as insulting as having the past five chapters made meaningless.

Better female character than what we're stuck with

Final Flash: This chapter was utter garbage by default. I’m completely disappointed in it, and I don’t know what the series going to have to do for me to enjoy it with no reservations. Every step forward is followed by two steps back.

Mahou Sensei Negima! 308

November 21, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Animum Mutare]

Negi is still out, but the girls have a plan. I have to say I like that this is being followed through, and it’s going to be interesting to see how the girls handle the fact that they’ve basically lost the core of their plans. That said, it’s almost sure that Negi will need to come back to fight with Fate. The fight has been hyped too much at this point, and the arc conclusion just wouldn’t feel right if Negi was left out of it.

This chapter is basically going to work like a little summary of events so far, and the current statuses of enemies and allies alike, framed by the characters using the exposition to fill each other in, of course. It is a little helpful at this point, admittedly. With as many girls as Negima brings into this, we need reminders of who is still fighting, and the two enemies left by Fate’s side.

Diagrams - Deceiving Evil 101

Plan B is being laid out by the remainder of the force with Negi, and it isn’t unacceptable. The girls know they can’t go head-to-head with Fate without Negi there, so they opt for a stealth route to just snatch both the key and Asuna and run away. Sadly, the plan feels like it’s doomed to fail from the very beginning, just from the virtue of knowing that in a series like Negima, this kind of thing isn’t going to be pulled off. After all, that would mean there’s no fight with Fate, which by now is a certainty.

Everyone has their own clearly defined roles for this, further enforcing the idea this is some kind of carefully formed RPG-style party. There’s the steal group to sneak in and grab Asuna, the long range tactical group to grab the key from a distance, and the decoy/battle group to draw attention away from the others. It’s well thought out, and an indication that all of these girls had a place in the group since before they were given Pactios.

Doomsday Device calibration is a must

We’re left with a single page of Fate, and a very cryptic comment. Exactly who are they planning to resurrect? My only guess would be the Mage of the Beginning, who Nagi Springfield defeated back in his confrontation with this group.

Final Flash: Decent setup chapter, but solely setup with a little bit of summary.

Hayate no Gotoku! 296

November 21, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by [C]hán]

This chapter is definitely starting off on the right foot. Hayate naturally wants to get Luka to a hospital right away, and if that blood leaking everywhere is any indication, she probably needs to be taken there. However, she’s pretty against being taken to one, and you don’t have to guess why for very long before it’s revealed. It’s probably exactly the reason you’re thinking.

Should move to Canada

I’m easily seeing the parallels between Hayate and Luka now. She has no money, and she’s driven to get to her job right now at the expense of her own well-being. If you rewind the series back to the beginning, Hayate was in a very similar situation. He was saved by Nagi taking him in as a butler, but sadly, Luka has received no such luck.

The gags this chapter have been hilarious. Luka struggling to get to work while passing out from blood loss, and Hayate playing a perfect comedic straight man while cross-dressing as a maid. Joking aside, or maybe at the forefront, Hayate sure does work quickly. Luka is already becoming an admirer, despite the fact that Hayate is the reason she’s now seriously injured and in danger of being late for work.

Your heart is already broken

A brief respite from comedy as Housen shows up, examining the remnants of the battle between Invincible Maid Star Hayate and her robot. This serious plot has been promising, but I hope we actually learn something soon. Who is Housen working for/with, and why are they so desperate to get the picture of the mysterious “28th” from Hayate?

Luka, of course, is being carried to her destination by Hayate, because neither of them had tax fare. Suddenly, we’re reminded Luka still believes Hayate is a girl! This is going to lend itself to some great comedy later on, as we know Luka is far from gone. Nagi is still planning to meet her soon.

What kind of twist ending is this? Luka has dragged Hayate off into the bushes after he asked her for a change of clothes. Despite the ridiculousness of the situation, I can’t help but wonder what sort of wardrobe she has in store for Hayate. Perhaps the mascot outfit?

Final Flash: Great comedy between Luka and Hayate, and Housen is as mysterious and intriguing as ever.

The World God Only Knows 122

November 21, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

Excellent chemistry between Haqua and Keima continues to entertain, especially after that shower scene last chapter. Keima has to be one of the most single-minded harem protagonists of all time (TWGOK soon will be one if it isn’t already). He’s seriously so centered on the goddesses that he continues to miss the most obvious hints of tsundere coming from Haqua. I’m not complaining; it’s kind of hilarious.

Excellent use of bold text

Make no mistake about it, Keima’s focus right now is the goddesses, and he’s definitely done a good job of thinking ahead. Yes, they need the goddesses drawn out quickly, but the Vintage agent is still around, and bringing out a powerless goddess would just invite more stabbings.

Starting with Ayumi, the mass conquest plan begins. The apple on the desk is a pretty classy touch, and the rooftop confession scene is an extremely enjoyable one, all the way to the ending high-kick by Ayumi. For all the extra plot elements behind Keima’s actions now, Wakaki Tamiki never loses his touch in making romance cute. It’s also fun to see the school tabloids have not been idle.

Your source for all Idol x Geek related gossip

Keima’s plan is to power up the goddesses through copious doses of love, with the end objective of stealing first base. This plan is totally appropriate for this series. Frankly, it’s just a great excuse to see more quick romance.

A similar confession scene with Chihiro brings about a fantastic punchline: Keima not only has a script for each confession he’s going to do, but it’s the same script (albeit with a decision tree built in) for each one. That is so very like this manga. I’m loving this arc already, and we’ve still got a couple more interesting characters to go through. This series has been showing us nothing but its very best of late.

It always pays to plan ahead

Final Flash: Hilarious, fast-paced, and fun. There’s still no evidence as yet as to what part of Keima’s new plan is “demonic.”