Manga of the Month: Bartender

Bartender (バーテンダー) by Araki Joh and Kenji Nagatomo

hisui_icon_4040 I swore at some point in time I had written up Bartender as a Manga of the Month. I just can’t find any record of that ever happening. It might have been one of the early Manga of the Month posts that were lost to the mists of time (and maybe an obscure corner of the Wayback Machine) or it just might be that I have REALLY BAD memory. Either way since the current iteration of the blog does not have any such post it is time to correct that oversight no matter how it occurred.

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Secret Santa 2010 Project Reveal

And now the part you have all been waiting for. The Secret Santas are revealed, the ancient conspiracy is foiled, and the destined couple finally consummate their relationship. This is the master list of all the participants, what they reviewed, and who gave them their recommendations. I know that several people are not going to finish on time because of various mishaps during the holiday season. So I will do my best to update this list at least once a day as reviews come in. Hopefully everyone watched something a bit unexpected and maybe learned something new about the range and scope of anime. Other than that Happy Holidays and I wish you and yours the best of luck in the upcoming year.

Ongoing Investigations: Case #102

I finally finished up Heroman which ended up being a rather unfortunate series. Things come to a head in the final 5 episodes as we learn a little more about Joey’s father, Psy’s accident, and the seemingly random episodes like the crazy monster on the island. If you couldn’t figure it out from the 2nd opening, the Skruggs role in this show were not yet done but their new forms are a surprisingly good moment in the series. Too bad much of the emotional hooks feel disconnected, but the Skruggs’ and Will’s part to play are a welcome sight. The final battle is climatic and full of friendship so it actually rounded out the story nicely if you don’t ask too many questions. But when the credits finish you see quite clearly Bones hoped to continue the series which we all assume will never happen. This hint of more to come though highlights one of the worst parts of Heroman: Dr. Minami and his minions. I could think of a number of much more exciting things to show in order to have me hope for more, but with that preview I thought to myself, “thank goodness it is over!” I was excited and full of hope for Heroman in the beginning, but it was plagued by uneven pacing and shallow characterization for its heroes and villains alike. I enjoyed the early episodes and the final ones but Heroman fell short in between. In many ways it kind of reminds me of how Ben 10 makes me feel, it is almost good but never quite makes it.

hisuiconAlso on another recommendation from mysterious voices from the Internet on the OSMcast I decided to pick up the DS game Infinite Space. That was an excellent recommendation. It is a great space opera game that has an epic story and some great characters. There are twists and turns and betrayals and alliances made all the time. There are several major decisions that can effect the plot line you travel along encouraging you to use the new game plus feature as well. The ships in the game are super customizable and anyone who ever enjoyed playing BattleTech will be in heaven. The game has two major sections. It starts of great and then the first parts ends and the game kicks everything into high gear. So much so that the game actually has and ending and then a new opening to herald in the second half. The main problem with the game is the learning curve is BRUTAL. There are many points in the game were how the game is played changes and if you don’t learn the switch you will be murdered until you figure out how to change your strategy or how a new mechanic works. This game can easily be a lesson in frustration but I think the game is rewarding enough that it offsets that frustration. It is a fun game and I am really curious how it is going to all end.

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