Ongoing Investigations: Case #199

With Bleach and Naruto in their final arcs a lot of people are wondering what in Shonen Jump is going to take their place in terms of an internationally popular series that rakes in tons of money. If you were super curious I don’t think One-Punch Man is going to fill that void. But that said I think it is a fairly fun series that is worth checking out from the one chapter I have seen.

I was amused that the whole first chapter was essentially a shaggy dog story building up to a single joke. But anyone who knows me in real life will know that I delight in a convoluted build up to a punchline. So when this uberpowered villain who looks suspiciously like Piccolo goes on this long rampage to show exactly how overpowered he is with his various high level powers the conclusion to the chapter is fairly predictable but still amusing.

I have heard a decent amount of buzz about this series. I knew this series had a bit of a fan following so it was distinctly on my radar. So it seems like a good series that easily could become popular. It has one major strike against it. It is a comedy. And Shonen Jump comedies have historically never done as well as their action based siblings. And despite the fighting that makes up the core of the storyline the soul of this series is comedy. And that so far has condemned any Shonen Jump in America to a second tier status.

But I wonder if the new digital format has the ability to change that. I’m not thinking it will do so on any major level but I do wonder if it might give an action/comedy combination show like this a little boost it would not normally have gotten. I am curious to see how this series does in the future. Either way it seems a refreshing addition to Shonen Jump’s weekly English line up.

The weekly English version of Shonen Jump has now come day-and-date with Japan. The online magazine also premiered a new series One-Punch Man (ch. 1).

The story is about a superhero named One-Punch Man, his power should be obvious. He is a hero just for fun and he looks out of place when he goes to take down a menace terrorizing the city. The humor in this manga extends all the way to combining two art styles on its pages; One-Punch Man is simply drawn in a way you might see in gag manga, while everything else is drawn with the detailed and gritty look one might expect of an action series.

I really enjoyed when the big monster got upset that One-Punch Man didn’t have a back story for being a hero.

This first bite gives you everything you’ll probably need to know for the continuation of the series. I for one am looking forward to more.

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.

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I finally got my hands on the previously nearly impossible to see Carnival Phantasm HibiChika Special. It was originally only played at the Type-Moon Festival but thankfully it was on the new Blu-Ray set that came out for the event. While it has not been subbed when I write this it is Carnival Phantasm so I can get about 60% of what is going on just from context. The last 40% can get deciphered when I see the fully subbed version.

I had assumed it was only the alternate version of the Super Date Plan where the main characters of Fate and Tsukihime only date the main heroine. That was nice to see. I want to believe that Kohaku was secretly behind everything that happened in this episode because that is what Kohakus do.

And speaking of the evil plans of smiling Kohakus it turned out that there was much more content than just the Date Plan. We saw the animated debut of two sort of quiet parts of the ancillary pieces of the Type-Moon universe.

The first was Kei Kenchi’s Koha Ace. This is a pretty long running gag comic that sporadically appears in things like Type-Moon Ace and has very distinctive looking super-deformed versions of the Type-Moon heroines with Kohaku usually be the main center point character. They even had several Koha Ace characters running over the ending credits with a running commentary. It even allowed Red Saber to return in her full Roman glory.

But the even more monumental debut was the girls of Mahou Tsukai no Hako now appear in a full skits as opposed to just being in a silent cameo in episode 12. While Chikagi and Hibiki have been in several drama CDs they have never been animated like this before. Apparently they have a blue cell phone that harasses them but such is the Ahnenerbe. They also have three very special customers in the form of the main members of the Back Alley Alliance. That also means the return of the Manzai comedy skits for the two people who really were dying to hear Sion say, “All according to my calculations” again.

Overall it is a very nice little addition to the Carnival Phantasm series. I think it is only a matter of time before we see Fate/Zero and Fate/Extra episodes of  Carnival Phantasm. If nothing else the Tsukihime remake might get them to go back to some of the Take Moon episodes they skipped over the first time.

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Wisteria-Colored Sky Apartment is a short one-shot from Akiko Higashimura.

It is a very simple story. One day a woman noticed flowers flourishing around the apartment building which she lives, then coming home late one night meets the man who is tending to them.

Sweet, simple, calm with a nice ending.

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It seems this was the week of me watching things that were previously only whispered about between the few people lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Just in case you missed it the legendary Dexter’s Rude Removal was officially released by Cartoon Network on YouTube. It was this rumored episode of Dexter’s Laboratory that was supposedly too vulgar to ever be played on TV.

For the longest time it was pretty much an urban legend until Genndy Tartakovsky played it as a special treat at a convention. And then it went up a notch in terms of it notoriety when it was conclusively proven to exists. Seeing it was a bit of a badge of honor as the only way to see it was to be lucky enough to be a panel were a member of the staff played the episode.

After finally seeing the episode it is about as filthy an episode as a filthy version of Dexter’s Laboratory should be. Dexter makes a machine to remove rudeness which splits a person in a polite half and a rude half. As is the law of comedy both Dexter and his sister fall into the machine. This of course leads to their rude half raising hell and their polite halves having to clean up their messes and recombine them.

There was a lot of bleeped cursing, a bit of the finger, and some mooning. The more extreme stories about the episode mostly seem to come of how things always get exaggerated whenever the telephone game is the only way of finding out about something.

Still it was a cute little extra episode that works best as a little extra. I was glad to be able to see it but I know a few people are probably a little sad that now everyone can see what was usually only available to a select little club of people. But that is the two edge sword of almost everything being available on the Internet now. The special little secrets are rarer and rarer.

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I watched Initial D 5th Stage eps. 3-4. The third installment was kind of boring, both races end with a sigh rather than a cheer and didn’t keep up the momentum of the second episodes.

But where ep. 3 was blah, ep. 4 had me really pumped! Firstly, it had been a while since we had a good ole revenge battle. Secondly, the “Fujiwara Zone” is coming out in this battle, which is pretty much when we get to see Takumi be as awesome as he can be. And finally, there were hints that Ryosuke might come out of retirement to race! Bring on episodes 5 and 6!

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