Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

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Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha: Wrath of Konkon

March 26, 2014


(Watch Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha on Hulu for free.)

hisui_icon_4040 If you asked anyone what their favorite series from this season was you would get a wide selection of answers but Kill la Kill and Space Dandy will probably come up the most. On the other hand if you ask Kate she will say Kuroko’s Basketball because . . . well she is Kate. BUT if you ask what was the best NEW show of the season we would both pick an anime that is sadly overlooked. It is a wonderful mix of comedy and romance. A series based on a seinen manga with a shojo appeal. That show is Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha.

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha is easy to dismiss as the “spirits and humans” story of the season to fill for a lack of a new season of Natsume’s Book of Friends or Mushishi but that is selling the show short. Konkon has an infectious joy that sets it apart from the pack. Unlike some other the other anime and manga in the genre that either go for a gentle melancholy or a soft warm glow like Kamichu! and Gingitsune this show goes for the laughs first and foremost. But at the same time there are some strong romantic undercurrents and well as solid friendships to bring it all together.

narutaki_icon_4040 It is funny to use “nice” as a way to describe a show I want others to watch, but Inari Konkon Koi Iroha is nice. Nice like it wraps you up and makes you feel good while watching it. You might find yourself sighing in contentment while viewing the show even.

But that’s not to say niceness is the only quality the series has to offer. Inari Konkon Koi Iroha is a nice, hilarious, fun, and sweet story featuring wacky gods, new loves, and the bonds of friendship.

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Manga of the Month: Basara

February 4, 2014

Basara (バサラ) by Yumi Tamura

narutaki_icon_4040 Before anyone even thinks it, I know this series is woefully out-of-print. However, I was finally able to read more of it thanks to the library so I’m hoping others can do the same. And amazingly, it is available digitally!

Basara is a classic, fantasy series set in a future (yup!) Japan which has been devastated by war and environmental destruction. A loss of energy and technology has pushed people back to a simpler time and allowed for the country to be conquered by the harsh, oppressive Saffron Clan. In the desert region controlled by The Red King, there is a small village with a prophecy about The Child of Destiny that will lead the people against their oppressors.

That child is a young boy named Tatara. But unlike some other stories, this king does not let it go unchecked or laugh it off, oh no he roots out the rebellion while the child is still young. Tatara is killed when the village is attacked; the army leaves believing they have eliminated their problem. (This part, by the way, is very violent and sets the tone for much of the series.) But Tatara’s twin sister Sarasa makes a hasty decision: pretend she was killed instead, and become “Tatara” with the help of a small group who know the truth. Sarasa sets out to unite the villages and bring down the tyrants who have taken so much from her.

Sarasa becomes “Tatara” in everyday life, so much so she can start to forget herself. The exception is when she sneaks away to the secluded hot springs; on one such visit she meets a boy her age and ends up starting a distant love affair. Little did she know the man she met is The Red King whom she has sworn to destroy; and little did he know she is The Child of Destiny he is so desperately trying to snuff out.

Sarasa is wonderfully headstrong, and so fearless to the point of undervaluing her life. She has lost her identity and it shows so well as she becomes the idea of “Tatara.” Sarasa struggles with all the aspects of her life she has lost: the villages’ relief that Sarasa died instead; the constant masquerade; not being able to experience developing into womanhood in any normal way. But even if it stemmed from a lie, she is truly changing the course of her world and doing things she never thought herself possible of. She is surely a better “Tatara” than the namesake ever would have been.

The melodrama is high as the manga barrels toward revolution. Sarasa sets in motion a bloody conflict, spanning the continent, which is fraught with secrets and danger. And of course many surprises along the way, do not believe for a second The Red King is what he seems. An epic fantasy sure to satisfy.

~ kate

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Manga of the Month: Zettai Karen Children

May 1, 2013

Zettai Karen Children (絶対可憐チルドレン) by Takashi Shiina

We can blame this all on Ed Chavez as we can with so many other things. As a fan of Shonen Sunday I distinctly remember Ed recommending this title to me. That led me down the road I walk today. But in the end I have no regrets. This was the only path. My whole post is recommending Zettai Karen Children.

In an alternate history set in the not too distant future, next Sunday AD, psychic powers are a rare but not unheard of phenomenon. And while some people use their power for selfish gain, crime, and destruction the forces at B.A.B.E.L. use their gifts to defend their fellow-man and help promote the idea that psychics can be a force for good. Three of the most power psychics in the world are the extremely bratty and rebellious girls known as The Children. Can their new guardian Koichi Minamoto train them to their full potential while preventing them from taking over the world?

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Manga of the Month: Seven Deadly Sins

March 5, 2013

Nanatsu no Taizai (七つの大罪) by Nakaba Suzuki

Everyone is waiting for a new hero to arrive. Monkey D Luffy is a superstar but he is only one man. Ichigo Kurosaki and Naruto Uzumaki are close to retiring. There are some B and C level celebrities like Soul Eater Evans and Natsu Dragneel but they don’t have that top-tier of star power that classic shonen champions like Goku or Himura Kenshin had. There are a few empty seats on the round table of shonen money makers and the manga industry eagerly awaits the paladins who will fill those chairs.

Nanatsu no Taizai is a new series from Weekly Shonen Magazine that is attempting to gain membership to this illustrious line up. With a fantasy setting and high-powered knights it looks like it could be a viable contender.

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