For the 40th anniversary of Shonen Jump they released three new special anime episodes on their website subtitled in English. Romance Dawn was the One Piece addition to the line up. Romance Dawn is the name of one of several prototype manga that would influence One Piece. This anime take the version with Silk instead and modifies it to be a part of the current One Piece continuum. Luffy gets separated from the rest of the crew and has to save a village from the pirate Crescent-Moon Galley. It was an enjoyable little filler story. While not amazing, it is an effective little wink to any big fans of the series which I think all of these special episodes are supposed to be. If you already knew that Eiichiro Oda made three separate prototype manga named Romance Dawn then you should have already watched this if you already haven’t.
Read Monkey High! volumes 2 and 3 and it continues to be a sweet romantic comedy that doesn’t dwell on minor miscommunications. The second book has an epically long chapter that the manga-ka talks about at the end, apparently it was for a special issue. The kids participate in a quiz show to much laughter and antics but we also saw a little more of Haruna’s home life and her strained relationship with her father. Also in the second volume there is some hilarious commentary at the end by the manga-ka depicting her reactions to the many postcards she receives. She also goes on to say that she can’t believe girls think Masaru (the main love interest) is cute. Volume 3 deals with the ever popular Valentine’s Day and as usual with this series it results in minor drama and much laughter. Both these volumes have Haruna attempting to communicate that she likes Masaru as much as he likes her amidst their ever meddling classmates. I am looking forward to the next volume, it always puts me in a good mood!
Cobra The Animation: The Psychogun is over the top, pulp, science fiction fun. Cobra is one of those so-silly-it-is-good shows that thankfully never takes itself seriously. Cobra is part bounty hunter, part space Lupin, and part Inspector Gadget. After Cobra wastes three space pirates in the intro he decides to dress as a priest to steal some diamonds. During his flawless heist, pirates attack the museum he is robbing and that means it’s Psychogun time. He eventually saves the sexy archaeologist the pirates are after. He follows her to Mars partially to hit on her and partially to kill more space pirates. Seems fine enough but it’s all the details that are crazy. The archaeologist Dr. Utopia More I like to call Dr. Space Thong. Every woman in the series is dressed in either a bikini or skin tight spandex. That is height of women’s fashion in the future. There is also the pirate commander who is a sarcophagus with arms and legs, flying skeleton robots, and a super stereotypical Mexican space pirate with mustache, sombrero, and bandoleer. Cobra himself has a sexy female android, about a dozen gimmick cigars, and his uberhax Psychogun that puts Megaman’s blaster to shame. Oh and Cobra not only tosses women around he uses Newton’s law of universal gravitation as a pick up line. Good times. I can’t wait for the next one.
I always wait anxiously for the next book of Kekkaishi, so I was very happy to finally get volume 15. At the end of the last volume we saw a small girl and were unsure of her powers. In this book she proves to have a totally cool ability to make friends with inanimate objects and specifically rope in the story. She is then able to have it do things for her and even use it as a weapon. She totally needs to take the place of lame Sen. Along with her, enter some cool villains with the power to paint boxes and make them into walls, portals, etc. We also meet the librarian for the Urukai, lots of interesting characters showing up recently. We also see characters fight that we hadn’t had a chance to yet. In addition to all of that, Yoshimori starts to pull more power into his zekkai and Tokine starts developing more of her ability to manipulate space. They are growing and the questions about Karasumori are coming to surface as well.
The Bleach: SOULs Character Book is a very pretty book. The first part is some very nice colored art and stickers. The second part is detailed character write-ups of just about everyone, locations, items, and concepts in Bleach up to the end of the Soul Society arc with a preview of the Hecto Mundo Arc. There is also an interview with Tite Kubo and Masakazu Morita who plays Ichigo. We then have an original prelude comic and the prototype comic for Bleach. I was amused that Ichigo and Orhime had crushes on each other in the original draft of Bleach. It also has palm sized Rukia for most of the story which is either super silly or super awesome depending on who you ask.
My recent obsession with the Vocaloid phenomenon has sent me to many a great fan artist. I like this person’s overall style and they happened to do a few pictures of the series as well. So this is the pic of the week: