I quickly dug into the rest Fairy Musketeers. It was all in all a solid if unremarkable magical girl show. Which is not to say it was not entertaining because it was very well done and boatloads of fun but it won’t win over anyone who did not all already like magical girl shows. The characters are enjoyable, cute, and cool when they need to be. Akazukin interestingly enough reminds me a lot of Narutaki other than the fact that Narutaki only wishes he had a magical wolf companion and was the greatest dual sword fighter in the world. Highlights of the show include the evil sorcerer/playboy named Dude; Ringo saving everyone by being a wuss; a music duel worthy of Macross 7; an episode about religion; and as always Val bringing the manliness to counterbalance all the girl power cute. I was a little disappointed my theory about Cendrillon’s motivations was incorrect. It has a solid ending that does not prevent a sequel but does not beg for one. It leaves you with a warm and pleasant feeling which is all you can ask for sometimes and possibly just what you need.
Read the third book of Switch. I was of course delighted by Hal and Kai having to infiltrate a high school drug ring. It was a decent arc but seemed a bit predictable and the ending didn’t surprise me much. There was also not enough Hal in it which always takes it down a notch for me. The new arc dealing with a new section of the team that deals in information manipulation starts off really well. Looking forward to that continuing story in the next book.
After hearing a good deal of positive reviews I went back and watched Xam’d: Lost Memories from where I had stopped the last time. I was intrigued with the show but Narutaki’s interest waned so it was a matter of me getting back into the grove on my own. That this show came from Bones and its director was a man heavily involved with Eureka Seven is unmistakable. I enjoyed the tighter storytelling in the shorter Xam’d. There was less filler but there was almost no time to catch your breath. They moved quickly from important plot development to important plot development. Eureka Seven’s filler was usually enjoyable and helped you again insight into the characters so there are benefits to taking your time as well. I really enjoyed all the female characters which is a plus. Nakiami is pretty bad-arse while still being human. Haru Nishimura was my favorite character but she was the queen of making some rather foolish decisions. I will also reluctantly admit to being way to intune with Furuichi feelings and conflicts. Another good ending that leaves time to have a sufficient amount of conclusion without dragging it out. I am a little worried that all these good endings to series is setting me up for some big disappointment in the future. Another series I highly recommend especially if you liked Eureka Seven. They have to get it out there some way that is not just the PlayStation Network because while I loved Xam’d I’m not buying a PS3 to own it.
Read Naughty But Nice by Naduki Koujima. In a strange turn of events, the cover art is unappealing while the interior work is pretty nice. This book actually contains two BL stories, Naughty But Nice (which is only the first half, it continues in a book called Spicy But Sweet) and Bouquet of Love. The first one is mediocre at best going along without any real rhyme or reason. Even though I like teacher x student I just couldn’t get into it. It moves at too clipped a pace throwing us Wakasa’s past ungracefully. Though surprisingly they didn’t jump into bed. The second one was quite a bit better. Kazuki is very cute, he works at a flower shop, and when he helps a man who is allergic to flowers a bond forms. It has a little bit of contrived drama, but otherwise is a sweet story. However, since it is the shorter of the two it doesn’t seem worth picking up. You can read a preview here.
I read the first book of Queen of Ragtonia by Chika Shiomi. It is a standard fantasy adventure but enjoyable. Falna is looking for a magical sword that can slay the evil necromancer that has taken over the kingdom and killed her family. This is a hard task because the necromancer has stolen her ability to walk and one of her eyes. Cardus is a huge sword-wielding warrior who also lost an eye fighting a demon at the beginning of the book. When they fight together they can defeat even the most powerful demons and save lost souls. The book is fun but the pacing is really odd. I can’t put my finger on it exactly but it seems to oscillate between being fast and slow. Cardus reminds me of Gourry in both of them are big powerful swordsmen that are sort of goofy and slow but kindly and brave. Falna is a character that wants to be a strong female character but is hampered by her physical handicaps and her inner weaknesses. So far she has mostly strives to be stronger which is good enough for me. Chika Shiomi has tried to show the motivations behind all the characters including the demons (though we haven’t seen the necromancer yet). It does not always work but it kept the monsters from being evil for evil’s sake. Apparently Queen of Ragtonia was originally a doujinshi that has been turned into a professional work. In the afterward the author shows some panels from the original compared to the panels in the new version. You can read a preview here.
I picked up the Black Jack Illustrations Museum, pocket-sized, from Book Off! It is filled with pictures of, you guessed it, everyone’s favorite surgeon. A few of the pictures involve other characters like Pinoko but 85% are just the man himself. The book is 320 pages long with 78 color pages, which includes some writings. The rest are all black and white images and the end has some writing as well. It’s a really nice piece and quite affordable.
This weeks pic is the Haru who leapt through time: