Ongoing Investigations: Case #059

In honor of Yoshiyuki Tomino coming to NYAF there is only one thing to be done. Gundam Sousei has to be reviewed because it was a documentary, and the events were drawn in real time. Alright, that may be an exaggeration. Gundam Sousei is actually an over the top dramatization of the creation of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series. This manga does not reflect events as they  happened. It reflects events as they should have happened. All the actors look remarkably like the characters they portray. All the production staff looks like you would imagine them to look. Tomino does not just yell at Toru Furuya to get him into his role. He Bright Slaps the performance right out of him. Shuichi Ikeda does Char so masterfully that when he is recording people see Char Aznable in the booth. Tomino masterfully schemes in ever step of the creation of Mobile Suit Gundam as if he were the Red Comet himself. Things just don’t happen in the manga. They are moved into place by the unalterable hand of destiny as the prophets that are the production staff will it to be. If you are a fan of Gundam and/or epic drama then you should check this manga out.

I picked up this One Piece pin set which is all the emblems that the crew came up with for the flag design. I had seen this set of pins before but when they presented themselves to me on the cheap and in person, I couldn’t resist. Colorful, fun, and unique.

Flower, Sun, and Rain is best described as, what if Goichi Suda made his own version of the Professor Layton games. So instead of being a cheery cartoon puzzle game it is a more realistic looking bizarre and moody puzzle game. This game has somewhat of a retro feel due to being a PlayStation 1 game imported to the DS. Sumio Mondo is a professional detective that find lost objects know as a Searcher. He has been called to a resort island to find a bomb before it can explode. Every time Sumio tries to solve the case he is interrupted by some strange event that makes him take another case instead. He is then so delayed that the bomb blows up. But soon the bomb explodes he finds that time has reset to the morning of the incident so he can try again. So Sumio must not only find out why he is stuck in a time loop but also who keeps setting off the bomb and stop them. You go through the game using you laptop named Catherine to interface with various objects to solve puzzles and progress the plot. There are also bonus lost and found puzzles you can solve as well. Where as Professor Layton has a universal appeal Flower, Sun, and Rain has a distinctly more niche appeal. It has strange characters like a girl with a pink alligator as a pet, a fraudulent psychic, and an insane soccer obsessed system’s engineer. Unlike Professor Layton all the puzzles are number puzzles. While there is a good deal of variety to the types of puzzles they can turn into puzzles that have numerical answers they are still all number puzzles. It’s a bizarre game but one worth checking you if you like puzzles games or Goichi Suda’s odd sense of style.

After hearing so much about it, it finally came time to watch the Giant Robo OVA. So far I have watched up through episode 4 and find myself fully enjoying what I see on my screen. Since I have no experience with this series or any of the past ones, I can’t play the game of picking out characters but its quite obvious that many of the are from different stories or completely different genres! What is especially fun in this OVA is the very serious tone of the series but its mixture of over-the-top and sometimes hokey characters and fights, it is done pitch perfect. As I’ve heard, the show looks amazing and some of the Giant Robo scenes are just spectacular! I can’t say I am as enamored with the series as so many others, but I’ll reserve that verdict till I’ve seen the whole thing.

Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Burned is a manga re-imagining of Imagawa’s Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still. The spirit and concept are the same but the plot is complete different. We still have a story that revolves around Daisaku Kusama and Giant Robo being the stars in a manga made up with side characters from various Mitsuteru Yokoyama manga. You still have way cool physic powers, mystical mayhem, and steam punk technology all participating in awesome fights. Once again there is a plot so horrible it just might destroy the world and only Daisaku can stop it. But now we start with Dazzling Cervantes having to protect Daisaku from the Experts of Justice that are trying to kill him. Heck that fact alone that the series starts with Dazzling Cervantes should tell you that everything is completely different. The art and character designs are  not really my style but it’s still well done and they definitely tell the story well. And that is the most important thing. If you watched the original Giant Robo OAV and wanted more then this is the manga to start reading. It has everything you could want with new story to draw you in.

Finished up volumes 6 to 8 of Swan. The melodrama seems to be a on consistent incline as Masumi returns to Japan for ballet school and the 2nd Annual International Ballet Competition. We see the reappearance of friends and rivals in these three volumes as well as the appearance of new challengers. Masumi’s new roommate helps us and Masumi learn a little more about her mother’s past. And while attending to her mother’s grave, we see a man who could only be the mysterious Russian dancer from her mother’s career in ballet. Of course I am under the impression that he is also her real father, soap opera style! The school holds a competition in which the 1st and 2nd years face off. As the pressures builds there is an explosion of romantic feelings revealed. Once again I am impressed at the pace of this series, while these relationships aren’t resolved, rather they have just gotten that much more complicated, there is continued progression. The excitement continues!

Since we are both talking about different iterations of Giant Robo I decided to go with a powerful picture of Alberto the Impact:

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