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Weekly Power Rankings: 9/26 – 10/2

October 13, 2010 Leave a comment
Rank
Change
Series
Chapter
Score
1 +1 Beelzebub 78 80.00%
2 -1 Bakuman 102 78.27%
3 +1 Hayate no Gotoku! 290 75.22%
4 -1 Kimi no Iru Machi 107 73.35%
5 Nurarihyon no Mago 124 71.69%
6 +3 Toriko 112 70.15%
7 +5 Gintama 325 70.01%
8 +3 Psyren 136 68.89%
9 +1 AR∀GO 38 67.45%
10 +6 History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 400 66.71%
11 -4 Code:Breaker 106 66.70%
12 -6 Naruto 511 66.48%
13 Abs Gamaran 66 65.91%
14 -6 Kekkaishi 323 62.62%
15 Fairy Tail 202 61.53%
16 +1 The World God Only Knows 115 61.51%
17 -3 Defense Devil 67 57.94%
18 New Enigma 3 56.66%
19 -6 Mahou Sensei Negima! 52.76%
20 Air Gear 289 45.94%
21 -3 Kyoukai no Rin-ne 67 45.64%
22 -3 GE ~ Good Ending 53 44.47%
23 -2 Zettai Karen Children 233 41.69%
24 -2 Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 307 25.41%
25 -2 MiXiM☆11 113 23.46%
26 -1 Bleach 421 20.89%

New: Enigma (Sakaki Kenji)
Absent: Bloody Monday: Season 2, SWOT
Hiatus: One Piece
Removed: Hajime no Ippo

Series Roundup: 10/3 – 10/9

October 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Mini-reviews for all the series without full individual posts.

Code:Breaker 106-107

[scanlation by ShinraTensei]

(106) Finally, Yuuki is back to normal. He’s easily at his most enjoyable when he’s this straightforward. Even if he was acting pretty evilly in the last few chapters, he’s still the adorable kid we remember.

Maeda saving Yuuki from judgment is nice, but the follow-up speech is less desirable, and the Nyanmaru dialogue is ridiculous.

The Emperor’s appearance and insistence on sacrifice is a chance to make this character mean something significant, instead of simply keeping him as a mentor-type character.

(107) Rei having to lose senses for each level of power he gains is a completely appropriate “sacrifice” for him to endure.

The Emperor is taking Yuuki’s sound just after he gave it to Rei? That’s hugely disappointing. It’s not like I wanted to see Rei use a variety of powers — he’s not a power-collecting type of character — but this is far too immediate of a turn-around from Yuuki giving all his remaining power to Rei. Yuuki’s trust in Rei now seems cheapened.

Uesugi isn’t the Revenger, but a member of the Code:Names? I guess that’s fine, but it’s not much of a plot twist, considering he was only really developed in the last couple chapters. This does allow for the Revenger to be someone more interesting, though.

Defense Devil 68

[scanlation by I Eat Manga]

Fanservice. Jody taking pictures of the girls was decently funny, the waterslide-plant was amusing, and the punchline with Kucabara was pretty good. Otherwise, very forgettable chapter.

Enigma 4

[scanlation by CXC Scans]

Sumio’s cheerful attitude is clearly setting up for a rift in the group. It may be able to win over a few of them, but at least one of the guys in the group that split off are obviously put off by it.

It’s Hiina’s turn to be developed. Her personality is pleasingly strong, and her ability nicely complements her fierce sense of independence.

After some excellent, creepy scenes with black backgrounds and deformed text bubbles in the first few chapters, seeing the same setup for a joke about the girls showering is a great touch.

It would make sense for Hiina to have to solve this puzzle, given that her ability has just been introduced, but it seems unusual to rely on a fairly weak manipulative power to save three people from a room filling with water. I’m curious to see whether her ability is used in an unexpected fashion, or whether yet another character steps in and reveals their own power.

Gamaran 65

[scanlation by Overload Scans]

I know this is hot-blooded shonen manga, but lines like “I’ve trained hard… to kick your ass!!” are pretty tired at this point.

Zenmaru’s brother is creepy and imposing just through his facial expressions alone.

It’s strange that the author feels another explanation of Narukami is necessary. It hasn’t been all that long since we’ve seen it.

Ranmaru is absolutely demolishing Gama. It’s one thing to have the protagonist suffer a loss; it’s a humanizing process that refocuses the character and the plot. It’s another thing entirely to so completely overshadow the protagonist that the reader is left to wonder exactly how he can even begin to improve to reach the level of the opponent that defeated him.

Even worse, Zenmaru was defeated by the mere hilt of his brother’s sword. This is a complete humiliation of the Ogame school.

GE ~ Good Ending 54

[scanlation by iMangaScans]

Seiji must be the stupidest protagonist in all of manga right now. This is setting new lows for main character obliviousness.

Izumi is the saving grace of this series. It’s a pity the author doesn’t have the courage to simply have Izumi tell every character who loves him/her.

Seiji’s speech to Yuki is decent, and he even came out and alluded to his feelings for her. Plus, at least the fireworks had context in which to make sense this time.

Hayate no Gotoku! 291

[scanlation by [C]hán]

Nagi is depressed enough to go to school of her own volition? This is some intensely depressing plot for such a gag-oriented series.

The reactions from all her classmates and teachers are somewhat darkly humorous, but mostly help to further the sense of malaise.

Even the test score praise backfired completely. Again, there’s some humor to be found in the twisting of readers’ expectations, and in the reactions of the other characters around Nagi, but this is seriously depressing.

The mood of the chapter makes the punchline on the final page that much more unexpected and hilarious.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 309

[scanlation by Binktopia]

So, the message of the first several pages is that Katou Julie is a sexual predator? I’m not impressed.

Not only that, but he also acted violently towards Adelheid. Lovely.

The Vindice guarantee that this entire arc will continue to lead towards an increased awareness of Vongola Primo. Amano still hasn’t learned.

Gokudera’s readiness for Lambo’s complaints is both amusing and a rare glimpse into character development. It’s a pity characters don’t receive this kind of focus anymore.

This entire chapter was a setup for a Lambo fight? What a waste of a week. I love Lambo, but he doesn’t exactly require preparation.

Nurarihyon no Mago 125

[scanlation by reddevilshn]

Sadly, these Onmyouji don’t stand any chance against Hagoromo Gitsune. They’ve been interesting, but they’re nowhere near “main character” status enough to make a sizable difference in this fight.

The misdirection and hidden intent of the Onmyouji is well done, though.

Tsuchigumo’s return to save the Nue is an unusual choice. It makes sense with the will of the character, and the Nue is still defenseless at this stage, but it does little to help Hagorome Gitsune as a credible villain.

Finally, Nura and Hagoromo Gitsune face off. This may not be the climax of the arc, given that the Nue will surely be ready soon, but this is the fight we’ve wanted to see for months.

The World God Only Knows 116

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

Kanon’s confession scene, in the middle of an exam, is a fantastic development with regard to every element of the plot.

It’s good that Apollo now has enough power to be able to switch places with Kanon, but her stubbornness in refusing to allow Keima to help is irritating, especially when Apollo doesn’t yet have all of her powers back.

The name “Vintage” for the group from old Hell is a great choice.

Some of these developments have been appreciated, but Fiore outright stabbing Kanon/Apollo through the stomach is absolutely too far. This is still supposed to be a fun, formulaic comedy series, and while long-term plot elements are necessary, they should not completely eschew the tone of the entire series. What a horrendously disappointing event.

Zettai Karen Children 233

[scanlation by JS Scans]

The exchange between Yuuri and Hyoubu might mean something more to me if I were at all invested in Hyoubu as a villain, or at this point, as a character whatsoever.

Perhaps the author has enjoyed Inception recently? Not that Nolan invented the concept, but this seems highly reminiscent so soon after the film.

The play is still completely uninteresting, but Minamoto being given a voiceover is pretty funny.

Feel that one or more of these series should be getting full-review treatment each week? Show your support by participating in chapter discussion in comments. Actively-discussed series will be considered for full reviews.

Beamcast – October 11

October 11, 2010 Leave a comment

[download link – 172min, 75mb]

In this week’s show:

News
The World God Only Knows anime second season listed for April 2011

Licensing announcements
Dark Horse: Kekkai Sensen (USA: Bloodline Battlefront), Drifters, Shinjuku Azul

Weekly Oricon rankings (9/27 – 10/3)

New releases

[manga]
Case Closed (vol. 36) $9.99
Cross Game (vol. 1) $19.99
Hyde & Closer (vol. 2) $9.99
InuYasha (vol. 53) $9.99
Kekkaishi (vol. 23) $9.99
Yakitate!! Japan (vol. 24) $9.99

Discussion / Weekly Poll
Last week’s results:

What is your favorite Naruto arc?
1. Chuunin Exam / Invasion of Konoha (44%) | 2. Invasion of Pain (22%) | 3. Land of Waves (11%)

This week:
Which of these Fall 2010 shonen anime are you watching?
(Bakuman, Shinryaku! Ika Musume, To Aru Majutsu no Index II, The World God Only Knows)

The Great Shonen Tier List

Characters added:
Aokiji (One Piece)
Temari (Naruto)
Mephisto Bart Kucabara (Defense Devil)
Apachai Hopachai (History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi)
Kid Buu (Dragon Ball)
Shimura Shinpachi (Gintama)

Anime Discussion
Legend of the Legendary Heroes (ep. 15)
Nurarihyon no Mago (ep. 14)
Shinryaku! Ika Musume (ep. 1)
To Aru Majutsu no Index II (ep. 1)
Bakuman (ep. 1)
The World God Only Knows (ep. 1)

This Week in Manga
0:58:49 – Soul Eater 78
1:05:43 – Naruto 512
1:16:09 – Bleach 423
1:26:12 – One Piece 599
1:41:27 – Bakuman 104
1:46:32 – Beelzebub 80
1:51:49 – Fairy Tail 204
1:54:07 – Hayate no Gotoku! 291
1:57:29 – History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 402
2:05:54 – AR∀GO 38
2:08:38 – Toriko 113
2:13:55 – Gamaran 65-66
2:17:32 – The World God Only Knows 116
2:22:02 – Psyren 138
2:26:00 – Defense Devil 68
2:28:14 – Zettai Karen Children 233
2:30:37 – GE ~ Good Ending 54
2:33:24 – Kimi no Iru Machi 108
2:33:57 – Enigma 4
2:39:21 – Bench!
2:44:49 – Deadman Wonderland 38b
2:46:27 – Air Gear 290
2:47:39 – Bloody Monday: Season 2 – 42
2:48:45 – Code:Breaker 107
2:50:02 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 309

Chapters of the Week

Final Flash

Comments / questions / additions? Email the show.
Want to share with friends? How kind. Have a shortlink: http://wp.me/pJOZe-Mg

Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

Weekly Power Rankings: 9/19 – 9/25

Rank
Change
Series
Chapter
Score
1 Bakuman 101 84.09%
2 Beelzebub 77 78.45%
3 Kimi no Iru Machi 106 75.43%
4 +3 Hayate no Gotoku! 289 73.15%
5 +4 Nurarihyon no Mago 123 71.92%
6 -1 Naruto 510 71.85%
7 -3 Code:Breaker 105 70.57%
8 +2 Kekkaishi 322 69.43%
9 +2 Toriko 111 68.68%
10 -4 AR∀GO 37 66.85%
11 -3 Psyren 135 66.72%
12 +5 Gintama 324 64.50%
13 -1 Mahou Sensei Negima! 303 60.59%
14 -1 Defense Devil 66 59.15%
15 +1 Fairy Tail 201 57.48%
16 -2 History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 399 57.31%
17 -2 The World God Only Knows 114 56.10%
18 +1 Kyoukai no Rin-ne 66 46.54%
19 -1 GE ~ Good Ending 52 45.28%
20 +1 Air Gear 288 43.28%
21 -1 Zettai Karen Children 232 40.37%
22 +1 Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 306 27.82%
23 -1 MiXiM☆11 112 26.96%
24 SWOT 11 22.61%
25 Bleach 420 21.47%

Absent: Bloody Monday: Season 2, Gamaran, Hajime no Ippo
Hiatus: One Piece

Series Roundup: 9/26 – 10/2

Mini-reviews for all the series without full individual posts.

Air Gear 289

[scanlation by SSA Scanlations]

We’re actually kinda supposed to root for Sarome? That’s helpful; I was doing so anyway. Anything to get Onigiri out of the picture.

He still won. Sarome disrobing herself was just fanservice after all, and not ridiculous Oh!Great logic.

Once again, I have no attachment to Sarome, so seeing her scrapped (then later saved) does nothing for me. Authors shouldn’t attempt to place emotional importance on brand new characters.

Even more Onigiri fighting? Surely he’ll lose this next one, but having to read more of him is tiresome.

Code:Breaker 105

[scanlation by ShinraTensei]

That’s a pretty weak flashback. Yuuki deserved a stronger driving force in his past than this.

“[The fight is] merely starting” — and all variations of that phrase — is too overused to seem cool, even if I care about these characters and this situation.

I appreciate that Yuuki’s last resort isn’t intended to kill Ogami, but instead to give Ogami his remaining power, but Yuuki dying here feels cheap.

Thankfully, Sakurakouji is here to stop him. I sometimes tire of her preaching, but I’ll tolerate it here if it means Yuuki lives.

Morse code? Yuuki’s comatose friend just happens to know Morse code and have a telegraph. Ridiculous.

D.Gray-man 199

[scanlation by Binktopia]

Wait, I just barely understand why Alma is exploding, but why is Kanda crumbling? I need CliffsNotes for this series.

This just in: Alma is a girl. … sort of. There might be some kind of bizarre pseudo-reincarnation stuff going on here. I have no idea.

Alma turns into a giant-living-bubble-statue-thing, Kanda is somehow still alive, the Earl and the Noahs get wrapped up in something (literally), and Allen uses the Ark to teleport Alma and Kanda away somewhere to supposed safety. Did I get that right? I seriously can’t follow what’s going on. I promise that I’m trying, but I can’t really analyze and evaluate something that makes absolutely no sense to me. The one thing I take away from this is that Allen can freely control the Ark, which makes him pretty damn powerful. That aside, I’m totally lost, and I’m pretty sure the blame for that lies with the series and not me.

Defense Devil 66-67

[scanlation by I Eat Manga]

(66) … what the hell, cover page?

I’m not terribly interested in Y’s past, actually. Her introduction is too recent and her actions and motives are too trite for her to get this much attention.

Y stupidly frees herself from Kucabara’s rescue and chooses to fight (and lose to) the Naive Devils, forcing both Kucabara and Bichula to drop down and use full power (granted from Idamaria) to protect her, thereby nullifying the last couple chapters. I don’t mind the action at all, as it’s a welcome change, but I do mind that this plot choice means that all that pacifism just wasted our time.

(67) Is it possible to be tsundere about sniping?

Kucabara is the warrior/tank, Bichula is the scout/thief, Idamaria is the cleric/support, and now Y will be the rogue/sniper. (I’m not counting the damn talking/flying car.) When did this series become so formulaic?

When Luffy is oblivious and stupid, it’s classic. When Kucabara is oblivious and stupid, it’s cliché.

Her name is Samus? Seriously? How is that not on the international list of Names Never to Use?

Enigma 3

[scanlation by CXC Scans]

At first glance, Hasekura seems only to fulfill the role of the mandatory group coward, but his exact interpretation of such a role is amusing.

Excellent scene in the hallway, with Hasekura revealing his power to escape the incoming shadow. That was pretty thrilling for a scene in the third chapter.

Hilarious bad photo of Hasekura in his flashback, too. I’m enjoying this character so far.

Sumio is a decent protagonist, and his optimism and attitude clearly have him set up for an integral leadership position, but his “Mayday call” catchphrase just doesn’t cut it.

Wow, what a creepy moment. The man in picture changed from wearing a serious face to one with a horrific grin. I’m truly impressed.

Appropriately intriguing cliffhanger for the next chapter, too. Chapters like these give the series great hope for the future. Very well done.

Gamaran 64

[scanlation by helz0ne]

I was hoping for something a little more imaginative and exciting than “I will conquer the the country” for Jinsuke’s backstory. After tremendous hype for the 63 chapters leading up to his introduction, something this straightforward and overdone is a letdown.

It’s also unfortunate that so much of Jinsuke’s imposing aura is being built up by his subordinate’s internal monologue, rather than through Jinsuke finally taking action himself.

Gama’s rage upon hearing part of Jinsuke’s plan is good. Even if he is completely outclassed here by Ranmaru, his hatred of his father needs to be made evident from time to time.

There will be an actual demonstration of technique from Ranmaru next chapter, apparently. That should be more interesting than this chapter.

GE ~ Good Ending 52-53

[scanlation by iMangaScans]

(52) No more baseball, please.

In addition to “summer festival,” “natsu matsuri” also translates directly into “mandatory yukata fanservice opportunity.”

It’s logical for Oonuma to be at the festival as well, but it’s disappointing that she had to join with this group. There aren’t nearly enough moments alone between Seiji and Yuki anymore.

Yuki had her moment alone with Seiji many chapters ago, and Shou had hers recently, so now it’s Oonuma’s turn. Yawn.

(53) Finally, Seiji shows a little backbone. I don’t expect him to suddenly be a likable protagonist, but judging each important moment on its own worth, this is a good one.

… and that’s followed up with a pratfall and a sudden lack of clothing. Way to ruin a positive moment.

Oonuma is certainly taking her time in covering herself back up, too. At least she’s been written consistently since her character transformation, I suppose.

Once again, Izumi’s observations are spot on. His exchange with Oonuma was direct and provoked an interesting response from her, too.

Nice conversation between Eri and Kouno.

Yuki sees Seiji and Oonuma flustered and starts forming a reasonable assumption about what they were doing. We’re headed for more drama. I know that the “right” girl in a harem series always has the bulk of her romantic development saved for the end, but can’t Yuki have any?

Hayate no Gotoku! 290

[scanlation by reddevilshn]

Nagi’s thoughts are surprisingly complex. We knew she thought highly of herself, but “needing” to be a genius is a revelation about her character.

What a devilish cover page.

Ashibashi-sensei’s facial expression and Nagi’s reaction are both excellent. This is a surprisingly serious chapter.

The fact that Ashibashi only read one page of Nagi’s manga makes his earlier long pondering that much more telling. Excellent delivery.

Appropriate ending to a very nice chapter. The manga part of this storyline probably won’t matter too much longer, but I hope Nagi’s realization about her place in the world affects future storylines.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 308

[scanlation by Binktopia]

“It looks exactly like the sun!” Please feel free to stare directly at it for extended periods of time, then.

“Maximum Sunshine Counter” is about as bad of an attack name as Amano could have come up with.

A draw. This fight ends in a draw. This colossal and unprecedented waste of time and effort doesn’t even have the decency to end in a way beneficial to either side. Pathetic.

More Vongola Primo stuff. Moving on.

Somehow Katou Julie had the silhouette of Mukuro. That’s fractionally more interesting than the fight that just ended.

Kekkaishi 323-324

[scanlation by Binktopia]

(323) Raijin’s conversation with the earth god is an interesting one, and one that continues to portray her as a fascinating character.

Kakeru not only is resisting Oumi’s mind control, but also plays a vital role in Oumi’s plan. That’s a good twist for a character who shouldn’t be neglected.

Oumi’s ultimate plan is immensely disappointing. He’s gone from an intricate villain to yet another with a world-destruction plan.

(324) It’s so nice to finally see Tokine in action again.

Yuugami is a good character, and I like his interactions with Tokine, but something about the way his hair sits on his forehead irks the hell out of me, especially in the scene when he offers his help to Tokine. Weird.

Everyone receiving precisely designated tactics is a huge positive. The author has done an excellent job establishing unique characters, and here she is taking full advantage of their specific strengths and abilities. That said, my excitement is wholly reliant on each character following through with their assignments, the most important of which being Masamori killing Oumi.

Nurarihyon no Mago 123-124

[scanlation by ShinraTensei]

(123) Beautiful color page.

Nura’s masterful use of this new Matoi is impressive. It’s also a relief that it doesn’t seem like we’ll have to endure a training arc where he learns to use it properly.

The new Matoi enhances Nura’s existing Fear (and its related techniques), rather than replacing them. This is a very strong power, but I have to wonder how much of its future development relies on Nura improving, rather than just finding new members of his Hyakki Yakou to do it with.

(124) Of course they’re too late. The party is always late in stopping the cataclysmic event from starting, and stops it after it’s at full strength afterward. This is obvious, really.

A gigantic dark matter-baby is floating around and destroying buildings. If this was One Piece, I’d be begging for this to be cover story material after this arc ends.

Surely the Onmyouji are here to serve no purpose greater than losing to the Nue to make it look strong.

Psyren 136-137

[scanlation by Muda Scantrad]

(136) “There are billions of stars in space. For us to meet again on one of them, it sure is fate.” Well… maybe, but you did sort of kill billions of people on this planet, the planet where the two of you met. The chances weren’t exactly infinitesimal.

Nemesis Q and Amagi Miroku are siblings. I suppose that’s not as shocking as it seems; it’s a fairly common plot twist, and their hair color is rather similar.

I cannot overstate how much I appreciate the small comedic moment between Nemesis Q and Ageha (saving her when it was unnecessary) not being overdone. So many other series would have accompanied Ageha’s “Ah… my bad” with a ridiculous facial expression that would have been horrible out of place.

On the other hand, I’m not so sure I appreciate Ageha flying off into a rage as he activates his new Nova power. He hasn’t been written as that kind of a shonen hero; it’s a bit late to make him the temperamental type. At least his Nova looks cool, though.

(137) The way the new Melchsee’s Door is being drawn really accentuates its increase in power nicely.

Yes yes, dark is good and light is bad. You’ve switched them around. I see that.

The amount of dialogue in this fight breaks up the pacing of the action.

Miroku is dead within two chapters. I know Iwashiro is moving quickly towards the end of the series, but it took two chapters to kill off the only substantial villain of the series. Now we’re stuck with whatever aftermath results from his death, including the massive overflow of energy, whatever “new life” will be born that Miroku alluded to, and Mithra.

SWOT 11

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

It’s time to read SWOT! Put on the Magnum P.I. theme song or something; we need anything moderately exciting to get us through this.

Toudou was aiming for the top for a dead friend. Even this shoddy villain gets the “he was just misunderstood” copout. Leave evil characters evil! I’m going to have to turn this into a campaign.

“I– It’s not like I did it for you or anything” has just cemented SWOT as the worst series of the year. More anti-accolades are forthcoming, I’m sure.

A maid café. Wow. Apparently all it takes to get a series published these days is a large enough hat to put every shonen stereotype in, to later pull out a few per chapter.

There isn’t even the pretense of this series being bound by natural laws anymore. If people can transform weapons and command nature in this universe, why didn’t we find out about it until now? For anyone who may try to answer that rhetorical question, “the author is hopelessly grasping at straws, trying to keep his series alive” is not an acceptable answer.

Apparently every girl in this series works at this one café.

The World God Only Knows 115

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

It’s been fine for a couple chapters, but this blond devil working for the “old Hell” needs to take action soon or face irrelevance.

Thank goodness for Diana. Now that Keima is aware of the specific presence of a Goddess, the plot should move more quickly.

Kanon’s paranoia is excellent to watch. This series has disappointingly moved away from its strengths (short arcs featuring Keima capturing spirits) to uncharted territory with a long-term serious plot, but the tone of the series hadn’t yet made the switch. Apollo warning Kanon of constant imminent danger helps to legitimize the current plot.

Finally, the antagonist acts. This is about as genuinely scary as this series gets, and it’s an enjoyable change.

Kanon directly confronting Keima and confessing to remembering everything is fantastic. It saves us the time and agony of chapters of miscommunication.

Zettai Karen Children 232

[scanlation by JS Scans]

The heart attack medicine omake was hilarious.

This confrontation between Hyoubu and Yuuri, on the other hand, is less than exciting.

It makes sense for Kugutsu to control a fake Yuuri to cover up what’s happening, but I like that he’s been caught in the act.

Yuuri tricks her opponent’s brain into thinking that she has been wounded, and the body reacts as though it’s in pain… but the art shows a real wound with real blood? That’s a bit much to chalk up to artistic license. Representative artwork is fine, but that usually is done more effectively without the accompaniment of lengthy logistical explanation. Then again, representative artwork in general is a bit problematic (see Air Gear).

Feel that one or more of these series should be getting full-review treatment each week? Show your support by participating in chapter discussion in comments. Actively-discussed series will be considered for full reviews.

Beamcast – October 4

[download link – 132min, 57mb]

In this week’s show:

News
One Piece, Toriko 3D movies
CLAMP one-shot Gate 7 to appear in Jump SQ
Kodansha USA to take over Del Rey titles
New Berserk anime (seriously)

Weekly Oricon rankings (9/20 – 9/26)

New releases

[anime]
Linebarrels of Iron – OVA Collection (DVD) $14.98
Linebarrels of Iron – Part 2 (DVD) $49.98

[manga]
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo (vol. 5) $9.99
Eyeshield 21 (vol. 33) $9.99
Naruto (vol. 49) $9.99
One Piece (vol. 55) $9.99
Reborn! (vol. 17) $9.99
Slam Dunk (vol. 12) $9.99
The Prince of Tennis (vol. 39) $9.99

Discussion / Weekly Poll
Last week’s results:

What is your favorite One Piece arc?
1. CP9 (43%) | 2. War (34%) | 3. Skypiea (10%)

This week:
What is your favorite Naruto arc?
(Bridge, Chuunin Exam / Invasion of Konoha, Search for Tsunade, Sasuke Retrieval, Kazekage Rescue, Sasuke and Sai, Hidan and Kakuzu, Itachi Pursuit, Invasion of Pain, Five Kage Summit / Confining the Jinchuuriki)

The Great Shonen Tier List

Characters added:
Buggy (One Piece)
Inuzuka Kiba (Naruto)
Roy Mustang (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Oumi Nichinaga (Kekkaishi)
Uvogin (Hunter x Hunter)
Nicholas D. Wolfwood (Trigun)

Anime Discussion
Legend of the Legendary Heroes (ep. 14)

This Week in Manga
0:29:02 – Mirai Nikki 56
0:30:34 – Sankarea 10
0:32:13 – One Piece 598
0:46:34 – Bleach 422
0:52:34 – Bakuman 103
0:55:58 – Beelzebub 78-79
1:03:41 – Fairy Tail 203
1:07:42 – Hayate no Gotoku! 290
1:11:21 – Kekkaishi 323-324
1:16:54 – History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 400-401
1:23:27 – AR∀GO 37
1:26:22 – Toriko 112
1:30:14 – Gamaran 64
1:34:43 – The World God Only Knows 115
1:38:21 – Psyren 136-137
1:42:48 – Nurarihyon no Mago 123-125
1:47:18 – Zettai Karen Children 232
1:49:29 – GE ~ Good Ending 52-53
1:54:18 – Kimi no Iru Machi 107
1:56:30 – SWOT 11
2:01:01 – Enigma 3
2:06:45 – Air Gear 289
2:07:34 – Code:Breaker 105
2:08:38 – D.Gray-man 199
2:09:30 – Defense Devil 66-67
2:09:45 – Gintama 325
2:10:25 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 308

Chapters of the Week

Final Flash

Comments / questions / additions? Email the show.
Want to share with friends? How kind. Have a shortlink: http://wp.me/pJOZe-Lt

Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

Beamcast – September 27

September 27, 2010 5 comments

[download link – 127min, 63mb]

In this week’s show:

News
Oh My Goddess gets new OAD
Genshiken II announced

Weekly Oricon rankings (9/13 – 9/19)

New releases

[anime]
Bleach – Season 6 Uncut Box Set (DVD) $49.95
Fullmetal Alchemist – 1st Season Viridian Collection (DVD) $49.98
Nabari no Ou – Complete Series (DVD) $59.98

[manga]
Deadman Wonderland (vol. 3) $10.99
Fairy Tail (vol. 12) $10.99

Discussion / Weekly Poll
Last week’s results:

How do you prefer to read manga?
1. Online scanlations (67%) | 2. Localized volume releases (29%) | 3. Original raws (4%)

This week:
What is your favorite One Piece arc?
(East Blue, Baroque Works, Skypiea, CP9, Thriller Bark, War)

The Great Shonen Tier List

Characters added:
Rob Lucci (One Piece)
Nara Shikamaru (Naruto)
Vegeta (Dragon Ball)
Sagara Sanosuke (Rurouni Kenshin)
Lenalee Lee (D.Gray-man)
Kujo Jolyne (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)

Anime Discussion
Highschool of the Dead (ep. 12)
Seitokai Yakuindomo (ep. 12-13)
Legend of the Legendary Heroes (ep. 13)
Nurarihyon no Mago (ep. 12)

This Week in Manga
0:40:17 – Bleach 421
0:48:35 – Naruto 511
0:53:39 – Bakuman 102
0:57:04 – Fairy Tail 202
1:03:21 – Hayate no Gotoku! 289
1:06:31 – Kekkaishi 321-322
1:11:54 – AR∀GO 36
1:15:56 – Toriko 111
1:20:30 – Gamaran 63
1:24:54 – The World God Only Knows 113-114
1:28:47 – Mahou Sensei Negima! 303
1:32:15 – Psyren 135
1:35:03 – Zettai Karen Children 231
1:40:51 – GE ~ Good Ending 51
1:43:19 – Kimi no Iru Machi 106
1:46:56 – SWOT 10
1:53:10 – Enigma 2
1:59:18 – Air Gear 288
2:00:18 – Bloody Monday: Season 2 – 41
2:01:19 – Defense Devil 65
2:02:05 – Gintama 324
2:03:48 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 307

Chapters of the Week

Final Flash

Comments / questions / additions? Email the show.
Want to share with friends? How kind. Have a shortlink: http://wp.me/pJOZe-Kv

Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

Series Roundup: 9/19 – 9/25

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Mini-reviews for all the series without full individual posts.

Air Gear 288

[scanlation by SSA Scanlations]

I would like to casually remind you that the girl you see on the first couple pages with practically nothing on is, in fact, body-swapped President Obama.

The color cover page is another example of fine artwork (despite some fanservice) from Oh!Great.

Am I the only one who finds absolutely zero interest in anything involving Onigiri?

Sarome not being a Gravity Child isn’t much of a revelation, considering how new of a character she is.

Rika at risk of being brainwashed into becoming the Thorn Queen is a much better and more urgent reason for Kogarasumaru to rescue her than a simple kidnapping.

Defense Devil 65

[scanlation by I Eat Manga]

I suppose it’s been a little while since the last blatantly fanservicing cover page. Acceptable.

Kucabara’s plan may be working, but it’s not doing much to promote him as a credible hero. It’s fine to rely on intelligence, but a protagonist in this style of series really needs to support that with at least a small display of power.

This is a decent time for Y to reveal her true motive, but it’s not at all a good time to reveal her troubled past, much less through a flashback.

Kucabara, suffering greatly from poison, still manages to save Y. This is far too straightforward.

Enigma 2

[scanlation by CXC Scans]

Our group of protagonists has cleared the first suspense/thriller hurdle, at least: Don’t split up. Never split up.

Poor Shigeru. Even when faced with only one female adversary, Sumio’s attention doesn’t fall on her.

In such a completely modern trap, a typewriter-lock on the door is a nice anachronism.

The secret “emergency evacuation” broadcast code is an excellent and realistic touch.

Matsurigi is the first casualty of the shadow. (Lower case, mind you. I don’t see Interceptor anywhere… yet.) The art depicting the abduction is effectively scary.

The focus of Sumio’s Dream Diary is obviously the prediction it generates, but the accompanying artwork is amusing.

We’re set to see a new power, as Hasekura apparently must “erase” the person in the photo blocking the necessary name tag. Without yet knowing the exact nature of this power, the initial concept is already suitably interesting. Good chapter and a good sense of intrigue heading into the next one.

Gamaran 63

[scanlation by helz0ne]

Funny exchange between Gama and Zenmaru, and great artwork of their faces.

What an incredible difference in power between Gama and Ranmaru. I could have expected Gama to be at a disadvantage because of his recent fight, but this sheer gap in class is surprising.

Jinsuke already had much to live up to, but our anticipation is made to increase even further with the news that he is behind literally everything that has happened to Gama recently. With this much riding on his shoulders, let’s hope Jinsuke’s introduction lives up to the hype.

Zenmaru’s reunion with his older brother is both suspenseful and shockingly informative, with the news that the grand tournament of Unabara has ended.

This underling of Jinsuke looks as close to Two-Face as a samurai-era character could reasonably get.

Finally, Jinsuke himself. Not much in the way of plot-related introduction, but his appearance alone is monumental. Nakamaru has done a good job of drawing him to look similar to Gama.

GE ~ Good Ending 51

[scanlation by iMangaScans]

It was about baseball.

… seriously, if the author can’t be bothered to write a chapter that has any relevance to the plot, then I can’t be bothered to review it.

Hayate no Gotoku! 289

[scanlation by reddevilshn]

The summary of Important Detective is riotously funny.

Ayumu’s ignorance regarding manga is proving useful for multiple solid punchlines.

Plenty of meta mangaka humor here. It’s like if Bakuman tried pure, nonsensical comedy.

Hilarious face-off between Ayumu and Azumamiya.

Amazing realization by Nagi on the last page. It takes a seriously excellent moment to overshadow such a strong comedy chapter, but this is worth the praise.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 307

[scanlation by Binktopia]

P3, top-right panel: Pitiful art. I can see he’s against the spiked barrier, and that he’s bleeding, but what the hell is that black mass by his waist supposed to be?

Ryohei needs to charge up to full power to defeat him? No kidding. Thanks for pointing out the obvious flaw with your ridiculous power: Every fight of yours from now on will be an endurance test until you’re fully charged.

Speed lines around the characters, in the projectiles, and in the physical attacks themselves. I derive more enjoyment from looking at graph paper.

He’s fully charged. Yawn.

Kekkaishi 321-322

[scanlation by A-Team]

(321) Interesting and pleasantly brief exposition on Shiromi’s family life. That, combined with the knowledge that he has two powers, could set him up to be an interesting character.

Bizarrely direct conversation between Masamori and Hazama, consider their complete lack of any relationship.

Tokine! Finally.

(322) Yoshimori’s dad is… unique.

Wow, Tokine is flooding Yoshimori’s thoughts. This series hasn’t handled their relationship too much until now; this is a pleasant change.

Tokine’s job as a diplomat is perfectly suited to her. She’s strong enough to support herself, yet not quite strong enough to take on a role akin to Yoshimori. This is an effective differentiation between the two main characters.

The embrace between the two is just what anyone could have hoped for. It provides just the right amount of connection between the two, without over-developing their relationship at this stage.

Mahou Sensei Negima! 303

[scanlation by reddevilshn]

It would have been amusing if Koutarou had just taken out Fate here.

This “meeting” is really just Akamatsu’s roundabout way of cementing Fate as a colossally strong character. I’m not entirely convinced Fate didn’t notice and ignore Koutarou’s group, either.

Setsuna’s fights are always a good source of action. The art complements the action nicely, too; speed lines are used in such a way as not to overpower the characters or attacks, and the most important scenes have no speed lines at all.

That teacher in Setsuna’s flashback seems far too similar to Tsuruko Aoyama, Motoko’s older sister in Love Hina, just to be a coincidence.

Tsukuyomi wielding a cursed sword is a minor disappointment. I’m frustrated at the ever-growing trend of evil characters having a particular reason why they are so evil, therefore redeeming them. Why can’t evil characters just be evil sometimes?

Psyren 135

[scanlation by Muda Scantrad]

It makes sense for Vigo to be killed off, considering Vigo has had his moment of spotlight, but it’s unfortunate that he’s being replaced by someone as unknown as Mithra.

No, Marie! You’re able to contact Shao, so get out of there! Don’t sit around with dying Vigo! Don’t pull a Vivi!

Mithra’s flashback regarding Miroku is decent enough, but the wolf/sheep metaphors make no sense whatsoever.

Some nonsensical turns of events later, Ageha arrives, right behind Miroku and poised to attack with Melchsee’s Door. It’s a pity that the preceding backstory made such little impact, but I’m ready for what could be the series’ climactic final fight.

SWOT 10

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

It’s confirmed, then: This is no longer a terrible delinquent series. It’s now a terrible supernatural delinquent series.

Manabizaki has a “99.9% chance of losing.” Could this series try any harder to be generic?

Reverse resolve. In one chapter, our semi-realistic protagonist learned a perfect counter to a newly-introduced supernatural element. Absolutely pathetic. This series has managed to evoke the same feelings that I typically reserve exclusively for Bleach, except that SWOT has managed the feat about 200 chapters sooner. What a thoroughly putrid series. Nothing deserves cancellation more than SWOT right now, Bleach included. That statement isn’t even exclusive to Jump, either; I’d cancel SWOT sooner than MiXiM☆11, too.

The World God Only Knows 113-114

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

(113) Keima’s attempts at building his own perfect human are amusing but obviously futile. This seems hopeless.

What a strange series of panels, featuring awkward, pseudo-philosophical dialogue. I’m not exactly sure what the author was trying to achieve, but unless the goal was to alienate me, I think the objective wasn’t quite met. I don’t see how any of the points raised in these pages couldn’t have been better addressed through ordinary storytelling. There’s no need to over-complicate the narrative.

Keima was unable to win from the very beginning. This teacher is rather interesting, but she needs to proceed with whatever she’s planning. This is the second time she’s been teased as a major behind-the-scenes character; best to capitalize on the existing anticipation before it’s lost.

(114) Not only is Kanon back, but she has a goddess! This is a refreshing change, particularly after the previous chapter.

Apollo is certainly less reliable than Diana, but that better suits Kanon.

Fairly sad last couple pages focusing on the distance between Keima and Kanon.

Zettai Karen Children 231

[scanlation by JS Scans]

The brief comedy of Kaoru holding a cherished maid cafe ticket is considerably more interesting than anything the preceding or following pages have to offer.

The maid cafe mixup is amusing.

Thanks, Shiina, but I haven’t forgotten that Kaoru is in love with Minamoto.

Good dialogue in the last panel. The wordplay works well with Hyoubu’s current double-natured character.

Feel that one or more of these series should be getting full-review treatment each week? Show your support by participating in chapter discussion in comments. Actively-discussed series will be considered for full reviews.

Beamcast – September 20

September 20, 2010 4 comments

[download link – 125min, 56mb]

In this week’s show:

News
Fairy Tail anime second season confirmed
Shonen Jump running one-shots by six legendary mangaka
Imamura Norio fined 500k yen
City Hunter receives live action Korean TV series

Weekly Oricon rankings (9/6 – 9/12)

New releases

[anime]
Bleach (DVD 32) $24.92

[manga]
Black Jack (vol. 13) $16.95

Discussion / Weekly Poll
Last week’s results:

Multiple choice – Which of these shonen genres do you enjoy?
1. Action (32%) | 2. Comedy / Mystery (tie) (22% each) | 4. Sports (13%) | 5. Romance (11%)

This week:
How do you prefer to read manga?
(Localized volume releases, online scanlations, original raws)

The Great Shonen Tier List

Characters added:
Boa Hancock (One Piece)
Konan (Naruto)
Kagura (Gintama)
Ogami Rei (Code:Breaker)
Sano Seiichirou (The Law of Ueki)
Mikura “Kazu” Kazuma (Air Gear)

Anime Discussion
Highschool of the Dead (ep. 11)
Seitokai Yakuindomo (ep. 11)
Legend of the Legendary Heroes (ep. 12)
Nurarihyon no Mago (ep. 11)

This Week in Manga
0:41:07 – Kure-nai 34
0:45:41 – Naruto 510
0:49:35 – Bleach 420
0:55:58 – Bakuman 101
1:01:20 – Beelzebub 77
1:05:24 – Fairy Tail 200-201
1:11:29 – Hayate no Gotoku! 288
1:15:12 – History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 398-399
1:20:40 – AR∀GO 35
1:24:12 – Toriko 110
1:29:05 – Mahou Sensei Negima! 302
1:31:39 – Psyren 134
1:34:05 – Nurarihyon no Mago 122
1:38:52 – Zettai Karen Children 230
1:43:42 – GE ~ Good Ending 50
1:46:44 – Kimi no Iru Machi 105
1:49:46 – Enigma 1
1:58:48 – Deadman Wonderland 38
1:59:38 – Air Gear 287
2:00:13 – Code:Breaker 104
2:01:02 – Defense Devil 64
2:01:44 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 306

Chapters of the Week

Final Flash

Comments / questions / additions? Email the show.
Want to share with friends? How kind. Have a shortlink: http://wp.me/pJOZe-Ju

Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

Series Roundup: 9/12 – 9/18

September 19, 2010 12 comments

Mini-reviews for all the series without full individual posts.

Air Gear 287

[scanlation by SSA Scanlations]

Beautiful color page. This is a perfect example of quality art and a tiny bit of fanservice easily trumping over-the-top gratuitous fanservice.

Ringo has every reason to feel like she’s at fault about this. Regardless of where the blame lies, though, Ikki’s Regalia must be repaired quickly, or else not only will he be unable to win his fight, but also the plot will be unable to progress.

This is mostly setup after setup for each fight. I suppose it’s acceptable as a way to refresh the audience’s memory, after six weeks of no Air Gear.

Ikki demonstrates some strong leadership qualities by getting everyone back on track. Between the Regalia hunt and the various battles, the next few chapters should be exciting.

AR∀GO 35

[scanlation by Trinity BAKumA]

Cute cover page.

Interesting nod by Arai towards boxers, and lightweight boxers specifically. It’s true that this training should help Arago’s evasiveness.

I’ve finally figured out the secret behind the worst arc of Hajime no Ippo: Woli had Brionac.

The reactions from Rio, Coco, and Seth to Arago’s request are as funny as they are vastly different.

Captain Tsubasa now? This is an oddly sports-themed chapter.

Arago’s idea of a duel (and the werewolf’s immediate acceptance) is fascinating. The two-page spread of them exchanging blows is great, as well.

Code:Breaker 104

[scanlation by ShinraTensei]

Not that I could put a face to the name, but Dekasugi going missing right after Yuuki drops the hint points to Code:Revenger having been closely watching everything all along.

Ogami’s new flame is incredibly powerful and far more versatile than the first flame. It’s also more bizarrely supernatural, perhaps even spiritual.

Once again, Ogami’s unique sense of justice, where he continues to quietly burden himself with others’ problems, is enjoyable to read.

Yuuki is obviously torn over having to fight Ogami, but chooses to turn to his trump card, in the form of some pills in his collar. I hope Yuuki doesn’t die in all of this action.

Defense Devil 64

[scanlation by I Eat Manga]

Kucabara’s focus on pacifism is a bit out of place. He has been established as a “good” character, but this feels more like time-wasting than personality establishment.

Several pages later, and Kucabara has exactly the same stance. It’s taking far too long for anything to happen.

His brilliant plan was to shoot out the lights? That’s a bit childish.

The naive devils throw the “soccer” field into chaos, and Kucabara drops in like Batman to save Idamaria. Sadly, the spurt of action at the end of the chapter doesn’t redeem the time wasted at the beginning.

Enigma 1

[scanlation by CXC Scans]

Love to see a brand new series get scanned right away. I hope CXC will keep up with this one.

The main character has a “Dream Diary” that predicts the future. A future diary. In Japanese, one would call that a Mirai Nikki.

Sumio’s flirting is a decently enjoyable character trait, but not one that stands out too greatly.

The skull with the reversed jawbone is an appropriately scary symbol. Good design.

The way Sumio’s mother panics provides some intrigue as to exactly why Sumio saw the symbol.

Sumio’s larger panel poses are too generic.

Sumio and six others wake up in a gymnasium, unable to exit or contact the outside world. Then, the Enigme symbol appears on a screen and gives them an objective. So, this series isn’t just Mirai Nikki; it’s also Gantz. Wonderful.

Based on only one chapter, this series has far more potential than recent Jump newcomers (Lock On!, Yotsuya, SWOT, etc.), but its success will depend entirely on the execution of the premise introduced in this chapter. Sadly, the two major concepts the series is built on are far too derivative of other, existing series.

GE ~ Good Ending 50

[scanlation by iMangaScans]

Yuki’s farewell smile to her mother and attendant is creepy as hell.

Evidently Yuki’s family is aware of whatever horrible business went down between Yuki and Touru. I appreciate him being unwelcome there; I don’t appreciate the focus being on him running around trying to find her. This series needs less drama.

This bald guy being on a Koushien-bound baseball team comes out of nowhere. How odd.

Oonuma finally snapped at Seiji! That’s exactly what needed to happen. Finally, a little positive progress.

Never mind. It’s all undone by some ludicrous fireworks and a statement that reflects just how right Oonuma was about Seiji’s superficial kindness. Seriously though, fireworks?! Fireworks.

fireworks.

Kure-nai 34

[scanlation by JAC Scans]

It’s finally sinking in to Shinkurou that Kirihiko is an assassin. To be fair, she’s right in pointing out that she said that when they first met.

She stabbed him, with no effect. Is she taking it easy on him, or is has his Houdzuki training again rendered him impervious to blade attacks?

Interesting competition proposed by Kirihiko. It’ll be good to see how Shinkurou reacts to her when she’s in a killing mindset.

I can’t accept Yuuno’s explanation of the manner in which Kirihiko cut Shinkurou. A time-delayed cut? This makes absolutely no sense.

Strangely comedic ending. Saving someone from suicide does not tend to immediately lead into a job offer.

Hayate no Gotoku! 288

[scanlation by reddevilshn]

Nagi’s “plans” are hilarious. Her obliviousness is always great, but she’s so certain here that she can succeed.

Excellent meta comedy! The Jump joke is apt, and the Sunday praise is fun.

Ashibashi-sensei may have been a completely minor character, but he was very funny in his limited role as the author of the successful series “This or That Depresses Me,” which clearly does not parody any real life series whatsoever. He should provide great interaction with aspiring mangaka Nagi.

Brilliant punchline from Ashibashi, and an even better reaction from Hayate and the girls. What a funny chapter.

I love that Ayumu had no idea how successful Ashibashi was.

Mahou Sensei Negima! 302

[scanlation by reddevilshn]

Excellent detail in Akamatsu’s drawing of the various magic attacks.

Negi is trying to be everywhere at once. He should rely on the girls more. He’s obviously far more powerful than any of them, but they’re far from incompetent.

Dragonfolk? I thought it was Demonfolk. The Dragonzord joke is catching on… sadly.

Nodoka is ridiculous. Time manipulation is one of the most potentially broken powers in any setting, and she just crashes into the user. Wasn’t she supposed to be the shy one?

Very nice affirmation of the girls’ abilities over the final pages.

Nurarihyon no Mago 122

[scanlation by ShinraTensei]

Multiple ways to perform Matoi should eventually both solidify Rikuo as a seriously strong protagonist, and also keep the more prominent members of the Hyakki Yakou involved in the main plot. This technique is a fantastic idea.

Kidoumaru is a legitimately strong enemy with some good techniques of his own. Ouka is impressive.

Kurotabou’s pride is nice to see. Rikuo really has grown considerably since the beginning of the series.

Beautiful full-page art of Rikuo using the new variation of Matoi.

Rikuo is wearing Kurotabou in a far more literal sense than his previous uses of Matoi. Does this mean Rikuo will become the type of character who routinely uses other characters’ powers? While this version of Matoi is interesting, I hope Rikuo doesn’t rely on it too much. Members of the Hyakki Yakou need to stand out on their own, rather than be relegated to pure supporting roles for Rikuo.

Psyren 134

[scanlation by Keishou Scans]

“Now, the battle between Matsuri and Grana–!!” … and two pages later, we switch focus to Kagetora. Amusing.

Kagetora has always been fun to watch fight, but he’s even more interesting here in the future, surrounded by those with flashier abilities.

Back to Matsuri/Grana, and this fight is far more of an exchange of psychic abilities. Grana’s admittance that Matsuri has more battle sense is what keeps this fight balanced and interesting.

Ageha and Amamiya chase after Miroku, and the chapter ends. Some fun fighting, but not too much plot progression.

Zettai Karen Children 230

[scanlation by JS Scans]

Great omake page. Of course Hanzo is a Naruto fan. … oh, pardon me. Maruto.

Kiritsubo’s overprotective nature has grown tiresome.

Hanzo’s Naruto fandom extends within the chapter! He even has the Mangekyou Sharingan. Good comedy.

I’m pretty sure the shirt worn by the character on the last page is intended to represent a browser’s Refresh function. The shirt says “F5” (the keyboard shortcut for Refresh), and has circular arrows above and below the lettering. Amusing. That said, the comedy of this chapter far outweighs the attempt at engaging serious plot.

Feel that one or more of these series should be getting full-review treatment each week? Show your support by participating in chapter discussion in comments. Actively-discussed series will be considered for full reviews.

Beamcast – September 13

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

[download link – 121min, 53mb]

In this week’s show:

News
One Piece Strong World tops DVD/BD charts for second week

Weekly Oricon rankings (8/30 – 9/5)

New releases

[anime]
Dragon Ball Z – Season 4 Dragonbox Set (DVD) $59.98
Dragon Ball Z Kai (DVD 2) $49.98
Dragon Ball Z Kai (Blu-Ray 2) $54.98

[manga]
Arata Kangatari / Arata: The Legend (vol. 3) $9.99
Hayate no Gotoku! (vol. 16) $9.99
InuYasha (vol. 52) $9.99
Oh My Goddess! 2nd edition (vol. 15) $10.99
Rin-ne (vol. 4) $9.99

Listener Mail

Discussion / Weekly Poll
Last week’s results:

1. Beelzebub (38%) | 2. Gintama (22%) | 3. The World God Only Knows (15%)

This week:
Multiple choice – Which of these shonen genres do you enjoy?
(Action, Comedy, Mystery, Romance, Sports)

The Great Shonen Tier List

Characters re-tiered:
Nura Rikuo (Nurarihyon no Mago)

Characters added:
Portgas D. Ace (One Piece)
Uchiha Itachi (Naruto)
Yuki Onna (Nurarihyon no Mago)
Komatsu (Toriko)
Nougami Neuro (Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro)
Father (Fullmetal Alchemist)

Anime Discussion
Highschool of the Dead (ep. 10)
Legend of the Legendary Heroes (ep. 11)
Nurarihyon no Mago (ep. 10)

This Week in Manga
0:48:51 – Bleach 419
0:54:17 – Naruto 509
0:58:51 – Bakuman 100
1:05:01 – Beelzebub 76
1:10:18 – Fairy Tail 199
1:13:05 – Hayate no Gotoku! 287
1:15:55 – Kekkaishi 319-320
1:20:29 – History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 397
1:25:32 – AR∀GO 34
1:28:33 – Toriko 109
1:35:21 – Gamaran 62
1:40:07 – Mahou Sensei Negima! 300-301
1:44:51 – Nurarihyon no Mago 121
1:49:25 – Kimi no Iru Machi 104
1:52:24 – SWOT 9
1:55:25 – Bloody Monday: Season 2 – 40
1:57:12 – Code:Breaker 103
1:58:10 – D.Gray-man 194
1:58:46 – Gintama 322-323
1:59:25 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 305

Chapters of the Week

Final Flash

Comments / questions / additions? Email the show.
Want to share with friends? How kind. Have a shortlink: http://wp.me/pJOZe-I3

Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

Series Roundup: 9/5 – 9/11

September 9, 2010 1 comment

Mini-reviews for all the series without full individual posts.

AR∀GO 34

[scanlation by Trinity BAKumA]

Great action in the fight between Arago and the werewolf. Arai’s art style makes even speed lines feel new and interesting.

The werewolf has regeneration similar to Arago’s Brionac and unbelievable speed and strength. Arago defeat is unsurprising, but the process reveals two interesting notes: the seam in the werewolf’s fur, and the fact that the werewolf didn’t kill Arago.

Joe reveals a variation on the now commonly-accepted werewolf legend, and his version is absolutely fascinating. This is a brilliant writing choice.

Code:Breaker 103

[scanlation by ShinraTensei]

This is becoming bizarrely metaphysical. Granted, this series isn’t restricted by any sense of realism, but Ogami entering “the hell of darkness within [his] heart” is still jarring.

The physical incarnation of the Emperor is disappointing. Even if this form is supposed to be a weaker, limited version of the character, this character type is overdone.

After a rather cliché test, Ogami is granted the second of seven flames. Suddenly, Flame of Recca comparisons are completely appropriate. Ogami’s use of Belphegor of the Dark is interesting and well-drawn, though.

Gamaran 62

[scanlation by helz0ne]

Iori seeming like he’s in control of his situation while at a numerical disadvantage makes some sense, as he’s been established as an incredibly strong swordsman, but seeing the same poise from Ranmaru is unusual.

Wow. Ranmaru’s killing blow this time is at least as brutal as his last one. Jinno serving as the setup for it is a little disappointing, because it does little to explain Ranmaru’s confidence, but the scene is still strong.

If the teaser is true, Gama vs. Ranmaru should be thrilling.

Hayate no Gotoku! 287

[scanlation by reddevilshn]

Hugging someone of the opposite sex is the universal symbol for “I’m here to rent a room.”

Why does “Gundam” need to be censored in text bubbles if the word is left intact on the box?

After a series of individually amusing jokes, “She was quickly kicked out” is a great punchline.

The mystery girl was behind the fireworks incident after all, but the name Housen Yozora doesn’t ring a bell, and her motives aren’t yet obvious. Interesting.

Kekkaishi 319-320

[scanlation by A-Team]

(319) Lovely atmosphere as Masamori is led towards the castle.

Hazama certainly is demanding, but his sudden meeting with Masamori finally helps to tie his actions directly to Yoshimori’s. Also, it’s interesting to see Masamori simultaneously shot down in comparison to Yoshimori, yet also reinforced as important because of his own particular skills and connections.

(320) A little too much time is spent on Shichiro remarking on events. If so many interesting things are happening, the author would be better served just showings those events directly.

Raijin may have ended up being introduced as a seemingly devious woman, but she has both the power to legitimize herself and superior connections than Masamori, considering her ability to bring Nura into the fold. Also, her claim that Masamori is to defeat the founder is an intriguing one.

Mahou Sensei Negima! 300-301

[scanlations by reddevilshn: 300 | 301]

(300) After so much preparation and so many chapters of diversion and side characters, it’s fun to see Negi himself firing off some of his devastating magic.

No matter how impressed Anya is by Negi’s display of power, I can’t accept her statement that he could be as strong as his father.

Haunting panel at the bottom of page 13. The stark lack of background combines well with Negi chasing after his barely-visible father.

Unusual timing for Asuna to be so moved by Negi’s determination. Nothing has been accomplished yet.

(301) It’s difficult to reconcile the serious side of Dynamis with the one that jokes with his young female subordinates.

Very little to comment on, as this chapter is mostly setup for the next fight for Negi’s group. The bit with Koutarou’s covert group is amusing, at least.

Nurarihyon no Mago 121

[scanlation by ShinraTensei]

Rikuo’s reasoning is perfectly befitting of someone in his leadership role. Great speech, and an excellent full page pose.

Beautiful art as Kidoumaru invokes Rajoumon.

Kidoumaru being able to prevent Tsurara and Rikuo using Matoi presents interesting complications for that ability in the future. Even if Rikuo presumably wins this fight, he’ll certainly fight tougher opponents in the future. Rikuo could stand to adapt a new way to use Matoi, such as perhaps being able to use the fear from his Hyakki Yakou through the markings on his back, rather than needing his followers to physically cast their fear on him in person.

Kurotabou and Kubinashi are a welcome sight. They should provide some interesting complexity to the fight next week.

SWOT 9

[scanlation by Red Hawk Scanlations]

The fighting maniac’s special move is called “Chaos.” Was he not generically counter-culture enough already?

“Pray that Manabizaki will defeat this monster” is the kind of senseless, idealistic comment from an onlooker that I would expect from someone watching Ichigo fighting in Bleach. That scenario is already bad enough, but at least Bleach has the publishing length to back up such a statement. Why should the audience be invested in the fate of a one-dimensional protagonist in a series that hasn’t yet reached double digit chapters?

Manabizaki’s opponent suddenly has glowing hands. I wasn’t aware it was possible for a series to “jump the shark” within 9 chapters, but I am ready to declare that SWOT has not only done so, but that it also holds absolutely no reading value.

Feel that one or more of these series should be getting full-review treatment each week? Show your support by participating in chapter discussion in comments. Actively-discussed series will be considered for full reviews.

Beamcast – September 6

September 6, 2010 2 comments

[download link – 137min, 60mb]

In this week’s show:

News
Beelzebub anime adaptation
One shots for Watsuki and Arakawa
To LOVE-Ru Darkness premieres in Jump SQ #11 (Oct. 4)
Shonen Shikku Canceled; Enigma to Debut
Light Wing to Debut in Jump
Hayate no Gotoku! gets Taiwanese live action adaptation
One Piece DVD/BDs earn 2.16 billion yen in one week
Moonlight Mile author, Eyeshield 21 artist collaboration
Golden Boy II

Weekly Oricon rankings (8/23 – 8/29)

New releases

[manga]
Hoshin Engi (vol. 20) $9.99
Naruto (Chapter Book 15) $4.99
Oh My Goddess (vol. 36) $11.99
Shaman King (vol. 30) $9.99
Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee (vol. 3) $9.99
Toriko (vol. 2) $9.99

Discussion / Weekly Poll
What is your favorite currently-running comedy series?
(Beelzebub, Gintama, Hajimete no Aku, Hayate no Gotoku!, Onidere, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Sket Dance, The World God Only Knows, Yankee-kun to Megane-chan)

The Great Shonen Tier List

Characters re-tiered:
Asakura Yoh (Shaman King)

Characters added:
Edward “Whitebeard” Newgate (One Piece)
Hoshigaki Kisame (Naruto)
Amamiya Sakurako (Psyren)
Nogami Aoi (Zettai Karen Children)
Saitou Hajime (Rurouni Kenshin)
Kenshiro (Hokuto no Ken)

Anime Discussion
Highschool of the Dead (ep. 9)
Seitokai Yakuindomo (ep. 10)
Legend of the Legendary Heroes (ep. 10)
Nurarihyon no Mago (ep. 9)

This Week in Manga
0:58:27 – Mirai Nikki 55
1:00:28 – Naruto 508
1:07:07 – Bleach 418
1:11:40 – Bakuman 99
1:18:57 – Beelzebub 75 + extra
1:24:07 – Fairy Tail 198
1:28:22 – Hayate no Gotoku! 286
1:31:24 – History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 396
1:36:28 – AR∀GO 33
1:38:58 – Toriko 108
1:43:41 – Gamaran 61
1:47:03 – The World God Only Knows 112
1:49:17 – Psyren 132-133
1:52:43 – Zettai Karen Children 229
1:54:42 – Hajime no Ippo 906
1:59:24 – GE ~ Good Ending 49
2:02:43 – Kimi no Iru Machi 103
2:07:24 – Bloody Monday: Season 2 – 39
2:08:36 – Code:Breaker 102 (new series!)
2:10:29 – Defense Devil 63
2:12:05 – Gintama 320-321
2:14:17 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 304
2:14:59 – Nurarihyon no Mago 120

Chapters of the Week

Final Flash

Comments / questions / additions? Email the show.
Want to share with friends? How kind. Have a shortlink: http://wp.me/pJOZe-Fg

Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

Beamcast – August 30

[download link – 136min, 58mb]

In this week’s show:

News
Director Satoshi Kon passes away
Arata Kangatari to receive anime adaptation in 2011
One Piece sells over 20 million volumes in 2010
Shueisha reports first ever annual loss
Gintama movie DVD to bundle bonus new animation

Weekly Oricon rankings (8/16 – 8/22)

New releases

[last week]
Naruto Season 3 Box Set 2 (DVD) $49.99
One Piece Season 3 Part 2 (DVD) $49.98

[this week]
Bleach (vol. 32) $9.99
Elemental Gelade (vol. 12) $10.99
Suzuka (omnibus, vols. 13-15) $21.99

Discussion / Weekly Poll
What underlying power system concept is the most interesting?
(Alchemy, Changing A to B, Devil Fruits, Gourmet Cells, Nen, Stands)

The Great Shonen Tier List

Re-tiered this week:
Allen Walker (D.Gray-man)

Introduced this week:
Might Guy (Naruto)
Ishida Uryuu (Bleach)
Enel (One Piece)
Sani (Toriko)
Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail)
Kurama (YuYu Hakusho)

Anime Discussion
Highschool of the Dead (ep. 8)
Seitokai Yakuindomo (ep. 8-9)
Legend of the Legendary Heroes (ep. 9)
Nurarihyon no Mago (ep. 8)

This Week in Manga
0:42:23 – Bleach 417
0:47:21 – One Piece 597
0:58:36 – Naruto 507
1:04:54 – Bakuman 98
1:11:55 – Beelzebub 74
1:15:48 – Fairy Tail 197
1:18:55 – Hayate no Gotoku! 285
1:21:46 – Kekkaishi 317-318
1:25:08 – History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 395
1:28:09 – Toriko 107
1:33:26 – Gamaran 52-60
1:39:22 – The World God Only Knows 111
1:42:07 – Psyren 131
1:46:54 – Zettai Karen Children 228
1:50:12 – Hajime no Ippo 903-905
1:55:51 – AR∀GO 32
1:59:22 – GE ~ Good Ending 48
2:03:48 – SWOT 8
2:06:23 – Bloody Monday: Season 2 – 38 (new series!)
2:08:44 – Defense Devil 61-62 (new series!)
2:10:29 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 303
2:11:53 – Kimi no Iru Machi 102
2:13:08 – Nurarihyon no Mago 119

Chapters of the Week

Final Flash

Comments / questions / additions? Email the show.
Want to share with friends? How kind. Have a shortlink: http://wp.me/pJOZe-C4

Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

Beamcast – August 23

[download link – 138min, 57mb]

In this week’s show:

News
One Piece volume 59 sets first-week sales record of 1.85 million copies sold
Dragon Ball Z Kai premieres on Toonzai
Love Hina one-shot in September
Pyuu to Fuku! Jaguar ends

Licensing announcement
Viz: Nurarihyon no Mago (Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan)

Weekly Oricon rankings (8/2 – 8/8; 8/9 – 8/15)

New releases

[last week]
20th Century Boys (vol. 10) $12.99
Vagabond (vol. 32) $9.95

[this week]
Bleach (DVD 31) $24.99
FMA: Brotherhood Part 2 (Blu-ray) $54.98
FMA: Brotherhood Part 2 (DVD) $49.98
Genshiken DX (DVD) $34.99

Discussion / Weekly Poll
Which ending of these manga series did you enjoy the most?
(Cross Game, Death Note, FMA, Love Hina, Rurouni Kenshin, Shaman King, Slam Dunk)

The Great Shonen Tier List

Discussion (Freiza vs. Bleach characters, Orochimaru vs. Jiraiya)

Re-tiered this week:
Kuchiki Byakuya (Bleach)

Introduced this week:
Namikaze Minato / Fourth Hokage (Naruto)
Urahara Kisuke (Bleach)
Brook (One Piece)
Hiei (YuYu Hakusho)
Cell (Dragon Ball)
Giorno Giovanna (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)

Anime Discussion
Highschool of the Dead (ep. 6-7)
Seitokai Yakuindomo (ep. 7)
Legend of the Legendary Heroes (ep. 7-8)
Nurarihyon no Mago (ep.6-7)

This Week in Manga
0:47:52 – Soul Eater 77
0:54:25 – Kure-nai 33
0:56:59 – Sankarea 9
0:59:55 – Naruto 506
1:02:49 – Bleach 416
1:08:35 – One Piece 596
1:18:10 – Bakuman 97
1:22:09 – Beelzebub 73
1:26:35 – Fairy Tail 196
1:29:22 – Hayate no Gotoku! 284
1:32:39 – Kekkaishi 316
1:34:56 – History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 394
1:39:36 – Toriko 105-106
1:43:51 – The World God Only Knows 110
1:45:40 – Mahou Sensei Negima! 299
1:49:10 – Psyren 130
1:51:11 – Zettai Karen Children 226-227
1:54:07 – AR∀GO 31
1:56:15 – GE ~ Good Ending 46-47
2:01:27 – Metallica Metalluca 11
2:04:34 – SWOT 6-7
2:09:15 – Deadman Wonderland 37
2:10:36 – Gintama 319
2:12:21 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 302
2:14:14 – Kimi no Iru Machi 101
2:15:39 – Nurarihyon no Mago 117-118

Chapters of the Week

Final Flash

Comments / questions / additions? Email the show.
Want to share with friends? How kind. Have a shortlink: http://wp.me/pJOZe-AI

Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork