Archive for the ‘Manga’ Category

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Manga of the Month: Birdmen

December 8, 2014

Birdmen (BIRDMEN -バードメン-)
by Yellow Tanabe

narutaki_icon_4040 After the initial chapter of Birdmen, I found myself scratching my head. Nothing was clear in chapter one (which is a prologue), I didn’t know what the story was going to be about at all. But there is a hook: a repeated rumor about a mysterious man with wings. Then, we get a glimpse of him at the end of chapter two (also the prologue) just as a bus containing all our main characters goes careening off a cliff. Then, chapter three returns to seemingly normal life, but something is just off as glimpses of memory and powers begin.

The way Yellow Tanabe constructs the beginning of Birdmen creates the tension and unease you might expect from a horror story, which it somewhat is, but Birdmen is more like Ms. Tanabe’s version of superheroes.

Two sets of friends, Karasuma and Kamoda, Tsubame and Sagisawa, who have only just met find themselves on the verge of death as their bus crashes. The Birdman saves them which endows them with the same powers as he. Just as the group starts to realize their abilities, a portal in the sky drops a monster into their town.

Yellow Tanabe takes these elements and combines them with a good sense of humor, popping up only at the appropriate times. There is even a classic superhero moment as Karasuma realizes he doesn’t need his glasses anymore after gaining his powers.

The entire first volume is an origin story which sets up everything that is to come. We have a five person team, each with a distinctive personality but so far it hasn’t felt like the well trodden path you might expect. Karasuma attitude feels downright out-of-place as he feels the world just doesn’t measure up and has no appreciation for his intellect. Kamoda’s shaved head and mean face make him an odd bestie for reserved and sheeple-hating Karasuma. None of the cast are particularly keen on their powers. So far everything feels right without feeling over done.

Birdmen has a winning combination of superheroes, humor, and horror. The more I read, the more I want to read.

~ kate

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All the Titles Fit to License, 2014 Edition

December 1, 2014

As is now a must post for us, here it is, the license list for the year. We are posting early in hopes it can be helpful to people making year end lists and the such. We’ve included all anime, manga, artbooks, light novels, and successful crowdfunding projects for the U.S. on our list. We have not included anything that is available only streaming.

In an odd, and rare we’d say, turn of events there has been the same amount of manga licenses as anime licenses so far this year!

We’ll update the list as the month goes on in case companies have some holiday surprises in store. As always, let us know if we missed anything.

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The November 2014 Line-Up

November 30, 2014

narutaki_icon_4040 I’m really liking the new VIZ Jump First Initiative releasing the first few chapters of all these new manga titles. I’ve been surprised to see so many sports titles, but so far none of those have stuck.

hisui_icon_4040 I have been liking Twin Star Exorcists but when we will get Binbougami ga? But Yamada-kun and the Heroic Legend of Arslan are getting anime so it is all good.

The Line-Up is a monthly rundown of new anime, manga, light novel, artbook licenses, streaming/broadcasting announcements, crowdfunding projects, anime/manga projects, and live-action anime/manga adaptions.

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The Speakeasy #059: 5 Lovely Senshi, Sailor Moon

November 24, 2014
Drink #059:  5 Lovely Senshi
Sailor Moon

We discuss the first arc of Sailor Moon which has been remastered and rereleased. We follow this up by talking about the original manga arc of the story and Sailor Moon Crystal.

(Listen)

And now your helpful bartenders at The Speakeasy present your drink:

5 Lovely Senshi

Sailor Moon’s Super Pink Vodka Tonic

First rim the glass with sugar. Add a shot of raspberry vodka (we used Smirnoff’s) and then pour in tonic water. Use only one drop of red food coloring and stir. Garnish with a lemon

Sailor Mars’ Fiery Red Rum Punch

For this we used V8 Fusion’s Strawberry and Banana for some real flavor (and vitamins!) Add a little more than a shot of Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced Rum for that extra kick! Garnish with a straw and grapes.

Sailor Venus’ Vivacious Orange Mimosa

Rim the champagne flute with sugar. Pour in half a glass of champagne. Fill the rest with orange juice and a little bit of V8 Splash’s Mango Peach for a little more fruitiness and orange color!

Sailor Jupiter’s Electric Green Vodka Shot

Make lime green Jello as directed on packaging. Pour in vodka (Smirnoff’s again!). Separate into shot glasses. Allow to cool. Pretty self-explanatory!

Sailor Mercury’s Cool Blue Gin and Tonic

Add one shot of gin and fill the glass with tonic water. My favorite gin is Bluecoat American Dry Gin! It also comes in a neat dark blue bottle! (A plug for our local gin makers!) For that cool color in your drink, spritz in just a bit of blue Kool-aid! Garnish with a lemon slice.

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