If I knew Fables started with a murder mystery, I’d have picked up vol. 1 ages ago! Seriously, why does no one try to sell me with the important things? Any way, now that I have read it I am ready for much more. The series is set in modern-day New York City which Fabletown lives within including having their own government. Everyone has been displaced from their fairytale homes by a mysterious figure we know only as The Adversary so far. Heading things up in their current home is Snow White serving as Deputy Mayor (King Cole is really just a figurehead as Mayor) and Bigby The Big Bad Wolf as acting Sheriff. Snow is sharp and cold and her relationship with Prince Charming, well let’s just say they aren’t together anymore. Bigby gruff and observant and is perfectly in the vein of noir detective. The series is a delight from the Fable world within our own to the rebranding of the characters we know so well. It is an adult version but not in a mocking way, it just pushes things to after the “happily ever after.” Certainly people would get divorced or have marital problems after being together for hundreds of years! Feuds, friendships, affairs, alliances it is all here with all of the fairytale characters which there looks to be no limit of. Fables is playful, smart, and has a great hook. I can’t wait to pick up more in the series.
Hayate the Combat Butler is finally back. I really missed reading the manga when it was on break. It was a rough 6 weeks. I never did find out what Kenjiro Hata was doing when he took off. I wonder if and when he will reveal what he was doing on the hiatus. But while he was gone they at little mini articles about super rare Hayate merchandise. The bag looked super cute. I wish I could read the 4koma on it. It is just more things that I wish I had to money to track down. But Hayate is thankfully back up to steam with Hayate fighting illness and trying to get Yakiniku. I always sympathize with Hayate’s mixture of poverty and misfortune. Also I would love to eat some Yakiniku. My favorite part of the newest batch of chapters since the hiatus has been the stories of heart breaking disappointment. I did not realize that the Japanese were hit by the Sea Monkey craze as well. I had assumed it was an exclusively American phenomenon but apparently that was not the case. If nothing else I have noticed that Maria is much more active in the plot lately. This is always a good thing. I am glad to see Hayate is running at full speed again. It is always a high point of my week.
I checked out the first chapter of Dorohedoro. The art style I can only describe as that hyped-detailed ugly. This is a city of mutants, experiments, and the sorcerers who create them. In general everyone has a rather grotesque look about them. Our main character has a reptile head and another person inside of him, but Caiman has no memory of what happened to himself. When we first meet him he is eating a guy. His partner who looks visibly normal and he are hunting sorcerers and looking for a specific one. That is about all I learned from this first chapter, but I have to say I’m intrigued.
After reading the fifth Fate/Complete Material I decided to go back and look at the rest of the Fate/Complete Material artbooks. The first book is rather standard. It just focuses on the CG from the original Fate/Stay Night PC game. It is essentially a glossy print version of the CG gallery from the game. It was a nice trip down memory lane to look over all paths of Fate/Stay Night. It made me wonder if we would ever get an animated adaptation of Heaven’s Feel. It is the only path left that has not been adapted and it seems like it is only a matter of if more than when it will be done. There are also some promotional materials and additional art work. That is probably the freshest material in the books. Anyone who had looked for Type-Moon art has probably seen most of it but it is nice to have all in one place. Of the 5 released books this one is probably the least essential of all the books. It has the least amount of notes and the has the most easily found material outside of the book. It is on the other hand the only book with all the erotic scenes in it. Can’t have a Fate/Stay Night artbook without some Saber butt. I am sure some people would pick it up just for that. It is a nice book for die-hard fans but everyone else can skip onto the later books as they have a bit more meat.
I started reading another Brian K. Vaughan series, Ex Machina which blends politics and superhero (not plural since The Great Machine is the only one) leaning more towards politics in this first volume. Our superhero isn’t actually a superhero anymore, instead he is newly elected Mayor of New York City. We see flashbacks throughout of everything from his childhood to gaining his superpowers to his actions as a superhero. Michell has the ability to communicate with almost any type of machine; ha can hear them talking. He is currently trying to not use his power and go about helping the city in a non-vigilantly way. Ex Machina has some stunning alternate history thrown in since the current timeline of the story takes place in 2002. Again this is mostly a political story with Mitchell dealing with an impending snowstorm on the city, a killer on the loose, and a painting that is causing controversy. The combo is unexpected but you get a decent amount of superhero fix with the looks to the past.
Time for more live action Josuke Higashikata! We are now a little past the half way mark with Kamen Rider Fourze. The biggest change has been the addition of Ryusei Sakuta who is the second Kamen Rider in the series. His Bruce Lee inspired fighting style and planet based attacks were obviously too cool alone for a secondary Rider so to prevent him from overshadowing Gentaro Kisaragi they made Ryusei a real jerk. He is a secretive agent that is working for the mysterious Tachibana. He does bring an interesting dynamic to the group as he is the only one with his own agenda. With episode 27 it seems like Ryusei’s identity as Meteor will come out and he will formally join the team as himself and not as his facade. I was a little surprised when they had graduation half way through the series. They keep Shun and Miu in the series but I was still a little impressed they had important main characters graduate half way through the series. It does help give a distinct feeling that time is actually passing which is nice. I have noticed that they are playing with the identities of the Zodiarts a bit more. In the beginning it was obvious who the Zodiart was that week. But they have been mixing it up so there are more red herrings. Haruka Utsugi is a prime example of this. Still a fun series that is oddly addictive. It has an infectious energy and an earnest spirit that you have to love. Come on, switch on!
The Ongoing Investigations are little peeks into what we are watching and reading outside of our main posts on the blog. We each pick three things that we were interested in a week and talk a bit about them. There is often not much rhyme or reason to what we pick. They are just the most interesting things we saw since the last Ongoing Investigation.