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Posts Tagged ‘Kekkaishi’

Kekkaishi 331

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by A-Team]

Nura is completely dominating the rank-and-file Urakai. Her control powers are so completely overwhelming that not even the sea snakes are having any effect on her ogres, and even the non-ogre allies are getting visibly affected.  Despite Tokine going down last chapter, this series always does a good job of having and showing off strong female characters. Her ogres casually knocking out guys and stacking them in a heap underscores just how much she’s steamrolling.

An ordinary Wednesday at the office

Granted, the ones Nura has been taking out have been small fries. The bigwigs are out for blood now, bringing tons of Colossus-sized firepower to bear. It will be difficult to deal with that crowd without the chance to instantly drop mind-control snakes all over.

Looks like said bigwigs are going to be a job for Shichiro. That makes sense, given that his powers are somewhat more suited for quick assassination than anyone else in the group. Raijin definitely seems to have thought out the group’s strategy. The only member of the group who doesn’t seem to have a specifically defined role is Shiromi. He is thus relegated to the minor role of slicing Kurokabuto into pieces.

Somehow the most boring job of the group

It’s fascinating how politics are entering into this battle. Raijin’s specific order to confirm the death of Meian carries a nominal logic behind it, but is at the same time pretty clearly a part of her scheme to have Nura replace him as Urakai head after the dust settles. The best planners never stop, and Raijin is really earning her stripes in that category.

Cut to Masamori, who is having trouble finding Nichinaga. Apparently, his original plan was to follow where the snakes were coming from, which might have worked had Nichinaga not lost Haruka, who, as it turns out, actually was his power source. It could be interesting if he remains in this depleted state, forced to rely on his one remaining loyal minion, Ichigo, for protection. Given how bent he sees on finding the traitors, though, I doubt this will end without him getting his hands on at least one of them.

Final Flash: Good to know that the subtle manipulations of Urakai politics aren’t stopped by a little thing like a full-scale war.

Kekkaishi 330

[scanlation by A-Team]

Well, the entire first half of this chapter is just one very elaborate charge-up scene for Nura. She takes in lots of energy from her demons and gets younger. Not really much to comment on there, so let’s move on, shall we?

The activation of the larger kekkai was significantly more notable. Containing the battle damage is one thing, but being able to see the sea snakes is a huge edge versus Nichinaga’s forces. This does a whole lot to make up for the fact that the Yagyou aren’t involved in the active battle this time around; at least they are being extremely effective as support. Also interesting is the fact that we now have proof that Zekkai isn’t the only effective in-universe sea snake counter.

Just a little bit

The battle starts with a full-out charge, which merits a few pages of dialogue-free action to give a sense of the situation. Good atmosphere, but again, very little to comment on there, and it doesn’t help that most of the combatants are nameless demons and minor Urakai members.

The focus eventually shifts to Masamori who is presumably coming close to a character defining moment, but we’ll have to wait at least one more chapter to get any serious action out of him.

Final Flash: An okay chapter, but not an exceptional one. It mainly got a lot of less important moments out of the way.

Kekkaishi 329

November 28, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by A-Team]

The big bonsai tree is evidently experiencing a bit of a growth spurt, presumably a sign that Tokine’s ongoing negotiation with Mahora has yet to produce interest on his part.

Mahora’s attacks have certainly gotten more intense, or at least thicker, over the chapter for which this front has been on the back burner. Things have clearly been escalating without much in the way of resolution, which is visibly bad for Tokine, given the time and stamina limits imposed on her by the usage of Utsusemi. What’s worse, she’s already got dark bags under her eyes, which would seem to hint at her already being near that limit.

She needs more than a cup of coffee

This is unexpected; forget worsening, the negotiations are just flat out breaking down. Tokine has resorted to threats and begging, and Mahora’s attacks have essentially become an ocean of darkness. Watching Tokine gradually losing her cool, despite still being intangible, gives a great sense of the magnitude of her situation.

The way the deep ocean motif of Mahora’s attacks transitioned into Tokine being swallowed up was excellently done, a bit more so than the fact that Tokine seems to have “lost.” It is something of a surprise to see Tokine consumed by the torrent this quickly, and a minor disappointment. Mind you, there’s no guarantee that this is the last of her; she could still be following a plan. Still, even if this were the end of the negotiations, there is an important factor which makes this an acceptable twist: in order for Yoshimori to accomplish his priority of protecting Tokine, she did need to be in danger in the first place. Being able to truly save Tokine is something he deserves to be able to do in the endgame.

Oddly, a scene of the noncombat members of the Sumimura and Yukimura houses doesn’t include Shigemori or Tokiko. It seems as if they’re going to be involved in the ensuing action which, given their ability levels, is a foregone conclusion. It would have been nice to see some hint before now, but it very clearly sets them up for an appearance later down the road. I have no idea when or where, but they’ll be there somewhere.

Masamori’s observations on Nichinaga and Haruka, the girl who might be his power source, ring true, given what we’ve seen of Nichinaga’s uncharacteristically emotional reaction to Zerogou spiriting Haruka away. Watching characters formulate theories about things we, the readers, know already produces an interesting dynamic. The mustache guy does remind Masa to go for the kill as opposed to seeking a non-lethal means of victory, but given his past actions, somehow I doubt Masa is a character that needs reminding.

The interaction between Yoshimori and Chuushinmaru very quickly gets serious when Yoshi reveals the truth of Chuushinmaru’s seclusion and vast power. The reaction to this should be quite something.

Are we there yet? And so on...

Final Flash: The focus seems to be squarely on Yoshimori now. Sad to see Tokine go, but the main character needs a chance to show his stuff.

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

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

Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

Kekkaishi 328

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by A-Team]

Kekkaishi’s getting the Shonen Sunday cover for once. Excellent.

Shichiro and Raijin are up in the sky, sporting some sweet new banchou-style outfits. Also, talk about a large-scale kickoff to the festivities. The giant storm that they whip up should certainly be some effective camouflage, which is kind of a necessity given the nature of what’s about to start. Certainly, any storm large enough to cause school closures will keep normal people from noticing large scale paranormal warfare.

Free at last

Surprisingly, our cool new outfits get a bit more exposition. Apparently they’re what Raijin and Shichiro’s father used to wear. The way this comes up in conversation is a reminder that Shichiro still has outstanding family issues of his own, as do most of the side-characters in this series. This little chat doesn’t exactly add much to the plot at hand, but it does continue to contribute to the richness of character background that this series thrives on.

Cut away to the Yagyou, who are prepping for the support role they’ll have to play in the upcoming battle. This is probably one of the last times we’ll get to see Sen, and he seems more committed now than ever to the background role of information gatherer. Given his abilities, it was the job that most suited him; his acceptance of that is a sure sign that he’s matured.

Especially compared to a certain someone

In rather ironic contrast with his squad, Masamori does actually have a critical role on the front lines, and he’s visibly feeling it. For a long time, he actually was the strongest character that we knew, before others such as Shichiro and Mrs. Sumimura started showing up. Once he wasn’t the strongest, we saw increasingly visible signs of an inferiority complex. All of this buildup gives his excitement at having finally gained a chance at the spotlight completely understandable.

Pressure he's always wanted, that is

The plan Zerogou mentioned last chapter is revealed: Suigetsu and Nichinaga’s companion girls are in hiding, stored away in a magic room that will presumably be quite difficult to find. Nichinaga is as pissed as we’ve ever seen him. At least as far as psychological warfare goes, Zerogou’s plan seems to have worked excellently.

Final Flash: We got see a couple of nice moments from the allied forces, and Zerogou chose the correct way to hurt Nichinaga.

Beamcast – November 1

November 1, 2010 3 comments

[download link – 135min, 57mb]

In this week’s show:

News

Weekly Oricon rankings (10/18 – 10/24)

Discussion / Weekly Poll
Last week’s results:

Which of these 100+ chapter series is most deserving of an anime?
1. Psyren (49%)
2. Yankee-kun to Megane-chan (26%)
3. Bloody Monday (9%)
4. Code:Breaker (8%)
5. Kimi no Iru Machi / MiXiM☆11 (4%) (tie)

This week:
Which sport do you prefer seeing depicted in anime/manga?
(Baseball, basketball, boxing, soccer, tennis)

The Great Shonen Tier List
Character re-tiered:
Arago Hunt (AR∀GO)

Characters added:
Foxy (One Piece)
Yamato (Naruto)
Kousaka Shigure (History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi)
Sango & Kirara (InuYasha)
Death the Kid & Liz/Patty (Soul Eater)
Scar (Fullmetal Alchemist)

This Week in Manga
0:28:14 – Mirai Nikki 57
0:29:33 – Donten Prism Solar Car 2
0:33:00 – One Piece 602
0:38:49 – Bleach 424
0:44:10 – Bakuman 107
0:48:25 – Beelzebub 82
0:56:14 – Fairy Tail 207-209
1:04:22 – Hayate no Gotoku! 294
1:08:59 – Kekkaishi 327
1:14:25 – AR∀GO 41
1:19:29 – Toriko 116
1:24:23 – Gamaran 69
1:28:42 – The World God Only Knows 119
1:32:04 – Defense Devil 70
1:34:30 – Mahou Sensei Negima! 307
1:42:01 – Psyren 140
1:45:55 – Nurarihyon no Mago 128
1:49:07 – Zettai Karen Children 236
1:51:51 – Kimi no Iru Machi 110
1:55:10 – SWOT 14
2:01:35 – Enigma 7
2:08:39 – Deadman Wonderland 39a
2:10:42 – Air Gear 293
2:11:59 – Gintama 328
2:12:53 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 312

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-S1

Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

Kekkaishi 327

[scanlation by A-Team]

Mahora keeps wordlessly lashing out, and Tokine keeps phasing out. This interplay oddly reminds me of the relationship between Grineed and his assistant from Beet the Vandel Buster; this dynamic, with the powerful one pounding away while the invincible one tries to calm him down, feels quite similar. In any event, Tokine definitely seems to be showing a bit of stress despite her invulnerability as Mahora continues to throw wild attacks at her.

Making it a little hard to concentrate

I do like the way this confrontation is being set up as a mental battle of attrition, with Tokine trying to avoid snapping until Mahora decides to stop attacking and listen to her. This kind of struggle fits her character quite nicely.

In the course of trying to persuade Mahora, Tokine’s arguments turn towards Karasumori, and her thoughts turn towards her late father. Going virtually unmentioned for 300 chapters or so, the way her emotions are shown at the bottom of page 8 is absolutely perfect. One of the ways that Kekkaishi really hooked me was its unique approach to showcasing grief; it’s never something Tanabe hits you over the head with, and it’s rarely at the forefront of anything, but that makes moments like these so greatly impactful.

Cue up the Mother 3 love theme

Souji’s back up and about. Far more interesting than that, though, is Zerogou, coming to him with a job offer and making a roundabout allusion, which Souji misses, to a coup d’état. He’s clearly attempting to overthrow, or at least stop, Nichinaga. How he plans to do so should be interesting.

Prisoner #536’s transparent attempt to get away from Ichigou is a nice little bit of light comedy. I did not expect he’d be this fun when he was introduced two chapters ago.

It's important to put ranks in Bluff

Tokine’s continued speeches are getting a reaction from Mahora. Unfortunately for her, he’s not talking, but rather bringing to bear a raging tempest that gets felt by every powerful character in the Shinyuuichi. You have to wonder if she gets found out because of the tangible commotion her negotiations are causing.

Nichinaga waking up to find himself alone has the potential to go in very interesting directions. He may be a strong villain, but his ability is entirely people-dependent; all he himself can do is brainwash, which is meaningless without subordinates to play with.

Final Flash: This chapter continued to deliver with Tokine, and introduced an interesting new element with Zerogou’s plan.

Beamcast – October 25

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment

[download link – 157min, 68mb]

In this week’s show:

News
Sket Dance anime adaptation set for Spring 2011
One Piece has 200 million books in print
New shonen magazine, Sakura Hearts

Licensing announcement
Viz: Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist)

Non-shonen news
Fruits Basket, Pluto live action adaptations

Weekly Oricon rankings (10/11 – 10/17)

New releases

[anime]
Fullmetal Alchemist – Second Season Viridian Collection (DVD) $49.98
Naruto – Season 4 Box Set 1 Uncut (DVD) $49.95
One Piece – Season 3 Part 3 (DVD) $49.98
Trigun – Complete Series (DVD) $49.98

[manga]
Kuroshitsuji (vol. 3) $10.99
Cirque du Freak (vol. 7) $10.99
Code:Breaker (vol. 2) $10.99
Hero Tales (vol. 4) $10.99
Negima! (vol. 28) $10.99
Pastel (vol. 15) $11.99
Soul Eater (vol. 4) $10.99
Zombie Loan (vol. 10) $10.99

Discussion / Weekly Poll
Last week’s results:

Which among the Jump “Super Legends” is your favorite author?
1. Toriyama Akira (Dragon Ball, Dr. Slump) (46%)
2. Sorachi Hideaki (Gintama) (20%)
3. Kishimoto Masashi (Naruto) (17%)
4. Konomi Takeshi (Prince of Tennis) (10%)
5. Akimoto Osamu (KochiKame) (5%)
6. Usuta Kyousuke (Sexy Commando Gaiden: Sugoiyo! Masaru-san, Pyuu to Fuku! Jaguar) (2%)

This week:
Which of these 100+ chapter series is most deserving of an anime?
(Bloody Monday, Code:Breaker, Kimi no Iru Machi, MiXiM11, Psyren, Yankee-kun to Megane-chan)

The Great Shonen Tier List
Characters added:
Oars (One Piece)
Akimichi Chouji (Naruto)
Dio Brando (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
Jirou (Toriko)
Sasagawa Ryohei (Katekyo Hitman Reborn!)
Son Gohan (Dragon Ball)

Anime Discussion
Nurarihyon no Mago (ep. 16)
Legend of the Legendary Heroes (ep. 17)
Shinryaku! Ika Musume (ep. 3)
To Aru Majutsu no Index II (ep. 3)
The World God Only Knows (ep. 3)
Bakuman (ep. 3)

This Week in Manga
0:41:57 – Donten Prism Solar Car 1 (new series!)
0:47:18 – Naruto 514
0:54:42 – One Piece 601
1:03:11 – Bakuman 106
1:11:31 – Beelzebub 81
1:17:12 – Fairy Tail 206
1:21:27 – Hayate no Gotoku! 293
1:24:51 – Kekkaishi 326
1:31:27 – History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 403-404
1:38:23 – AR∀GO 40
1:44:07 – Toriko 115
1:50:23 – Gamaran 67-68
1:55:22 – The World God Only Knows 118
1:58:49 – Mahou Sensei Negima! 306
2:04:19 – Zettai Karen Children 235
2:08:33 – GE ~ Good Ending 55-56
2:12:35 – SWOT 13
2:16:44 – Enigma 6
2:26:27 – Bankara-san ga Tooru
2:31:49 – Air Gear 292
2:32:48 – Code:Breaker 108-109
2:34:17 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 311

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-Qa

Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

Kekkaishi 326

[scanlation by Binktopia]

Tokine’s dive to the center of the earth continues. She’s still using the Kekkai for makeshift stairs rather than just freefalling, a cautious approach that makes perfect sense in light of how much Mahora’s power has been built up.

As Tokine closes in on the center, we’re treated to a bunch of appropriately otherworldly imagery. When she actually reaches him, she wastes no time waking him up. Typical no-nonsense Tokine.

Interesting negotiating tactic

Well, Mahora’s awake now. Diplomacy commences with all the necessary formalities, and Mahora immediately responds by spearing her through the chest with a mass of shadow. This is a pretty neat development. I certainly wasn’t expecting the negotiations to be any kind of easy, but there’s no way Tokine’s done now. How exactly she copes with this will be an interesting measure of her training while she was out of the main story.

Spearing for a spearing

Leaving off at that ideal cliffhanger, the focus switches to Shichiro, whose land god makes a passing comment to the effect that whatever Mahora just did was significant. This is more reaffirmation that land gods are interconnected somehow.

Yoshimori’s mom shows up to ask Shichiro for help with the sealing. Interesting banter between the two, but most of it is just her continuing to to be supremely confident. As little as we’ve seen of her, she feels like an overpowered character already.

Either extremely powerful or extremely arrogant

We come back to Tokine fairly early. I was expecting to have to wait until the next chapter to see more of her.

… not that I mind at all. The panels that depict Tokine sliding out of a skewer are on the high end of fantastic. Her power-up, Utsusemi, is full-on intangibility, something that goes such a long way towards legitimizing her as a capable diplomat. She now has the technique necessary to stand against the worst of demons, nicely complimenting the levelheadedness she’s always had. Without there being some specific limit on how long or how much she can use this one, I sense a significant shift in her Tier List position.

Final Flash: Awesome Tokine chapter, period. Her character was lagging behind Yoshimori’s in power for the longest time. Here, she survives a situation that would likely have killed him, perfectly reestablishing her as a relevant character.

Kekkaishi 325

[scanlation by Binktopia]

Tokine chapter coming up. After being mostly absent for half a year, it’s about time.

Since this Shinyuuichi is, for all intents and purposes, the “ultimate” one, it makes sense that it’s as vast as it seems. Should make it easy for Tokine to evade any pursuit from Oumi’s people.

Tokine’s conversation with Yuugami shows she’s still as serious about her Kekkaishi job as ever. Makes me wonder exactly what she’ll do if if the lord is sealed.

Being able to read a Shinyuuichi isn’t a very flashy power, but it fits Tokine’s analytical style.

Oops, she’s been found! One of the most effective ways to escape any guard is the ability to phase through solid walls. The guard is appropriately flummoxed.

Snake never had it this easy

This guard does seem to have some tricks up his sleeve, using his pipe to conjure up a whole bunch of hunting birds. The subsequent series of panels of Tokine repeatedly escaping is a fun one.

When the guard catches up, he seems to have an offer for Tokine. Apparently he’s one of the many pawns Oumi brought in unwillingly, and is eager to get out.

She finds out that Mahora is directly beneath the tree she encountered earlier. Interestingly, though, she keeps the exit location she was asking for to herself, promising to tell him once she’s done with Mahora. Yoshimori would have told the guy straight off – her not doing so is another indication that she still knows when to reserve trust.

Suddenly there’s a whole lot of intimacy between Zerogou and Suigetsu. I don’t remember these characters being significantly close before.

Either an embracing pose or a kidnapping one

Zerogou seems to be the latest addition to a list of characters with his own separate agenda. This conflict is going to contain a ton of separate plotlines whenever it starts in full.

We leave off with Tokine diving towards a structure that looks a lot like Uro’s bed did way back when. Meeting with Mahora is imminent.

Final Flash: Tokine’s first limelight chapter in a while was well populated by moments reaffirming the type of character she is.  More than anything, though, this was a prelude to negotiating with Mahora.

Beamcast – October 18

October 18, 2010 Leave a comment

[download link – 124min, 55mb]

In this week’s show:

News
Level E to be adapted into anime by Studio Pierrot
Saijou no Meii live action adaptation

Weekly Oricon rankings (10/4 – 10/10)

New releases

[anime]
Hayate the Combat Butler (Sub.DVD 7) $39.98
Naruto Shippuden (DVD box 4) $49.98
Naruto Shippuden Special Edition (DVD box 4) $69.98

[manga]
Rin-ne (vol. 5) $9.99

[non-shonen]
20th Century Boys (vol. 11) $12.99
Vagabond (vol. 33) $9.95
Vagabond – VIZBIG Edition (vol. 9) $19.99

Discussion / Weekly Poll
Last week’s results:

Which of these Fall 2010 shonen anime are you watching?
1. Bakuman (50%)
2. The World God Only Knows (25%)
3. To Aru Majutsu no Index II (15%)
4. Shinryaku! Ika Musume (10%)

This week:
Which among the Jump “Super Legends” is your favorite author?
(Akimoto Osamu, Kishimoto Masashi, Konomi Takeshi, Sorachi Hideaki, Toriyama Akira, Usuta Kyousuke)

The Great Shonen Tier List
Characters re-tiered:

Kurosaki Ichigo (Bleach)
Yoshina Ageha (Psyren)

Characters added:
Magellan (One Piece)
Hyuuga Neji (Naruto)
Black Star & Tsubaki (Soul Eater)
Sannomiya Shiho (Zettai Karen Children)
Senji “Crow” Kiyomasa (Deadman Wonderland)
Yamamoto Takeshi (Katekyo Hitman Reborn!)

Anime Discussion
Nurarihyon no Mago (ep. 15)
Shinryaku! Ika Musume (ep. 2)
To Aru Majutsu no Index II (ep. 2)
The World God Only Knows (ep. 2)
Bakuman (ep. 2)

This Week in Manga
0:41:20 – Soul Eater 79
0:46:30 – One Piece 600
0:57:27 – Naruto 513
1:03:44 – Bakuman 105
1:09:31 – Fairy Tail 205
1:13:41 – Hayate no Gotoku! 292
1:18:18 – Kekkaishi 325
1:20:45 – AR∀GO 39
1:24:11 – Toriko 114
1:27:33 – The World God Only Knows 117
1:30:36 – Defense Devil 69
1:32:29 – Mahou Sensei Negima! 304-305
1:37:32 – Psyren 139
1:40:51 – Nurarihyon no Mago 126-127
1:46:35 – Zettai Karen Children 234
1:49:30 – Kimi no Iru Machi 109
1:52:08 – SWOT 12
1:54:52 – Enigma 5
1:59:07 – Air Gear 291
2:00:41 – Bloody Monday: Season 2 – 43
2:01:18 – Gintama 326-327
2:02:27 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 310

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-Nk

Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

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

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Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

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