A Chapter a Day Keeps the Doctor Away Bonanza: Will Someone Finally Kill Bellamy for Real?

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hisui_icon_4040 A Chapter a Day Keeps the Doctor Away is my little video series were I look at a chapter of manga everyday and give a few thoughts on what I read. This is a roundup of what I have recorded this week on the blog so you can just pick what you want to listen to from a convenient list.

A Chapter a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Introduction

This week’s selections:

Bleach Ch.561
Genshiken Nidaime Ch.093
Genshiken Nidaime Ch.094
Hayate the Combat Butler Ch.433
One Piece Ch.731
Seven Deadly Sins Ch.058
UQ Holder Ch.015
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches Ch.090
Zettai Karen Children Ch.367

Ongoing Investigations: Case #229

hisui_icon_4040 And so another season of the larger Index series ends with the conclusion of A Certain Scientific Railgun S. Kate and I were recently discussing the series as a whole and she found it odd that despite how big the whole Index thing is in Japan it never seems to have caught on here in the US. It always just seems like a franchise that happily chugs along in Japan season after season doing very well with almost no real vocal fanbase in the States. Just one of those cases where it clearly shows the difference in tastes between the two fanbases for the same medium.

The first part of this story was interesting as we finally got to see what Misaka Mikoto was doing during the Sisters Arc. It was clear from A Certain Magical Index that Misaka was already neck-deep in trying to stop the Level 6 Shift experiment by the time Touma got involved. Here we get to see how she became aware of the Sisters and tried to stop Accelerator from killing any more of them. Eventually the plot caches up to what was presented in Index and then it is just the original Sisters Arc with some new perspective as it is all from Misaka POV instead of Touma.

After that there is the original Silent Party Arc that builds on a lot of the themes presented in the Sister Noise Arc and at the same time resolves what happened to Nunotaba Shinobu, who was recently introduced. The Chemicaloid Project seems to once again prove that Academy City is just filled with some of the least ethical scientists who ever lived. But I guess that is what happens when you put Aleister Crowley is charge of a city of research.

In the original Sisters Arc Misaka Mikoto comes off as an aloof loner. Someone who knows lots of people, is known by even more, but does not have any real friends other than maybe Kuroko. But as the Railgun series has come into fruition it has given Mikoto a small circle of dedicated friends and well as some rather constant allies. Therefore they had to go out of their way to explain why she would specifically not ask for their help and therefore why we never see anyone like Uiharu or Saten. It does add to Mikoto’s gloomy martyr complex that was present, but nowhere near as prominent, in the Index version of the story.

Thankfully the Silent Party Arc helps balance out her character again so that Uiharu, Saten, and Kuroko can be more than cameos in the show again. It also lets Misaka teach this same lesson to Shinobu. Kongo, Wannai and Maaya also make a pretty prominent appearance. It even had a cameo with Haruue Erii and Edasaki Banri actually be critically important.

But all of that is sort of pat the course for the end of a Railgun season. There was one event that was almost “a unicorn high fiving a dragon in the middle of Times Square” rare: Anti-Skill and Judgment were actually useful. They got stuff done and where not just the useless army guys in a monster movie. It is crazy talk but it was true. Anti-Skill and Judgment members who were not main characters were actually effective. Insanity.

Side note: For as much as Kiyotaka Haimura says that Shutaura Sequenzia looks almost exactly like Fukiyose Seiri I have to say Kongou Mitsuko is far more a dead ringer for her.

They really made Nunotaba Shinobu much more attractive in the anime. She is a really strange-looking woman in the manga. They go out their way to show her extra freaky fish-eyes in the manga while she just looks a little dead eyed in the anime. I guess they wanted to cute her up for figures.

I did find it a little odd that Shokuhou Misaki was so prominently in a few scenes for the small amount that she did. I know that she eventually becomes very important but for now she seems disproportionately significant. I think it is partially to have her be established so she does not seem to pop up out of nowhere when she does become important. Also she does seem to have become rather popular so they might have just had her show up for her fans to be happy. But I never read the manga so she might have also just shown up his much in the manga as well.

It is also interesting to see how much we get to see Frenda Seivelun in this series. As someone who is almost completely later defined by her death later in the series it was a little nice to see her before she was Fre nda even before the whole Mami Tomoe craze.

I wonder how long until they adapt the Accelerator manga. You know it is coming. So it will just be another turn in the cycle between seasons of Index and Railgun. But I’m glad just to see more of the franchise as a whole.

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narutaki_icon_4040 I read the first two chapters of the new Saint Seiya manga Saintia Sho. It is written by the original manga-ka of Saint Seiya Masami Kurumada with new artist Chimaki Kuroi. This series is going to follow the women Saints who are guarding Athena after a civil war.

Shoko’s older sister Kyoko left five years ago to attend an elite school but hasn’t been in contact since. More recently, Shoko has been having a recurring nightmare involving an apple and a warrior dressed in golden armor. Things come to a head when her dream starts to come true at school and who but her missing sister is the golden saint. It seems like Shoko may be the descendant of an evil entity which will certainly complicated the story.

Shoko is a strong martial artist and smart from what we’ve seen so far.

I liked what I read so far, it is pretty straight forward Saint Seiya in the Prologue. And then the first chapter is all setup so we’ll see where it goes. Even the artwork seems like it is from a past era which is a nice touch.

The Ongoing Investigations are little peeks into what we are watching, reading, or playing outside of our main blog posts. We each pick three things without much rhyme or reason; they are just the most interesting things since the last OI.

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Manga of the Month: Genshiken

Genshiken (げんしけん) by Kio Shimoku

narutaki_icon_4040 Convention season always puts Genshiken back on my mind. This year though, Genshiken is officially back in the spotlight with a currently airing anime. Plus, here in the states we are slowly getting the new class’s story in manga form, and to top it off, Kodansha USA has also releasing omnibus editions of the original story.

Simply put, Genshiken is about the geeks that we all are and know, albeit a bit exaggerated. The story is centered around an otaku club in college where we encounter various personalities, relationships, struggles, hijinks, and, of course, geekery. From cosplay to doujinshi, from figures to eroge games; everything and more is referenced, discussed, argued over, and loved within the pages of Genshiken.

Genshiken truly begins when new student Sasahara joins the club as a freshman. It follows him over four years in the club as he gets to know its members, learns a lot about himself, and even becomes more of an otaku in the process. But Genshiken is truly an ensemble story that shines brightest when it is about the group dynamic of the club. Sadly (though not really), characters must graduate and move forward but that doesn’t mean Genshiken ends as new students are always knocking on the door of the club room looking for a friendly place to share their fandom.

In Genshiken, sometimes the stories are strange, sometimes the stories are very poignant, and these stories are always told with big dose of humor. The appeal of Genshiken is that you are part of the club. You may or may not see yourself as one of the characters, but you always see yourself within the context of their lives.

~ kate