Ongoing Investigations: Case #129

So I stumbled upon the first two translated chapters of the that latest installment of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Part 8 in the series has been named Jojolion and it lives up the amazingly to the high standard of insanity set by the previous iterations of the series. I mean the panel above sums it all up rather well just in case you never read a JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga before. It is set just a little after the March 11 Earthquake and Tusnami disaster in Japan. Yasuho Hirose lives in a town that was hit by the tsunami and since that day has had strange unexplained pillars called Wall Eyes popping up all over. One day Yasuho is walking by a cluster of these Wall Eyes when she stumbles upon amnesiac, only wearing a sailor’s cap, with a VERY unusual body. She eventually agrees to help this peculiar man discover who he was and what caused him to lose his memory. This manga has all the hallmarks of a proper Jojo’s manga including an odd but captivating art style, unusual almost inhuman poses, strange and inventive powers, off kilter and amusing humor, and off course musical references. If I go too much into the plot it would ruin some of the fun surprises (like what is so unusual about his testicles) so you should check it out for yourself. For all the hardcore Jojo’s fans it seems that the main character’s name might be Yoshikage Kira which is also the name of the antagonist in Jojo’s part four. Whether this is red herring, just a nudge and a wink, or a connection to part four has yet to be seen.

I finished up World’s Greatest First Love with much jubilation! This was an unexpected treat for me this spring season. It is not a mind-blowing new take on romance, in fact it is incredibly predictable, but that didn’t prevent it from being fun and charming. With the multiple couple perspective it takes on as the series goes on, it helped keep things from becoming too two steps forward one step back for Onodera and Takano. I especially liked the editor who meets the younger bookseller. The resolution for Onodera to stay a manga editor as well as his realization that he has feelings for Takano is acceptable but could easily continue. Since I liked the other couples too, I hope there is another season still to come. Looking forward to the second OVA as well.

In my recent Slayers manga run I decided to tackle the two book long Slayers: Light Magic next. If Hourglass of Falces was hyper sexual than Light Magic is totally the kiddie version of Slayers. We start is a world where there is no magic but there are mazoku that have wiped out most of humanity. All that is left is a band of rag-tag children in the last remaining floating city called the Arc. Light Inverse, a young fighter pilot, inadvertently summons Lina and Gourry to his world. So Light and Lina must team up to drive off the mazoku and find Lina a way back home. The story is sort of “I’m a kid who totally gets to team up with Lina” wish-fulfillment but it is entertaining. Even the art style totally gives off this is a series for kids as opposed to teenagers. I must say the best thing about the fights is that every important mazoku they fight has some sort of gimmick that makes it so they have to overcome that trick before they Lina blow it away. This makes the fights more interesting than just a matter of WHEN is Lina going to use Dragon Slave. Gourry is a bit more a punching bag than usual with Linda hitting him in ye olde “I punch they boy when I’m mad” fashion. We get some vital cameos of the most important characters in the last chapter but they don’t get tons of screen time. It is hardly required reading in the Slayers continuum but it is light fun in a very different mold than the normal Slayers story.

I finished the second season of Tono to Issho which has somehow managed to be more bizarre and absurd than the first. Most of these sadly don’t focus on Date Masamune and his eye-patch focused tomfoolery. But in any case more fun poked at Japanese history is still hilarious, even if I don’t understand most of it.

I was playing with the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine recently and I stumbled upon the earliest ANN page they had cached. In there was a review of a fan made animation called No Enemy But Time by Running Ink Animation Productions. I could not find a copy of  No Enemy But Time but I did find their Anime Expo 1993 opening animation called Conscience. The first thing that stuck me about this was, ‘Wow! Someone really liked the Daicon IV opening animation.” They both have a very similar feel in 80s animation style, story telling without words, and they both use Electric Light Orchestra songs. The story is mostly just an excuse to get a red-headed warrior woman to be a hot-shot space pilot. The tale of star-crossed lovers is mostly window dressing. It is a neat little fan made product that reminds you what fans can do when they put their mind to it. If anyone has other Running Ink Animation Productions I would love to see them especially No Enemy But Time since it started me on this wild goose chase in the first place.

Got a recent shipment of Kekkaishi. In volume 23 we see the resolution of Tokine and Yoshimori fleeing the island. But more importantly, there is a breakthrough in their relationship and we see progress for both. It gives me hope that we’ll actually see a full conclusion for them. More of the prophecy is starting to come to fruition but things are becoming more muddled because of it. And the whole “the Shadow Organization is crumbling” adds another layer. The introduction of Saito, or rather the reintroduction, feels Gen-like but thankfully the cast also acknowledges this.

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