Ongoing Investigations: Case #217

Just when I thought I would have no new Type-Moon manga to talk about I found the first 2 chapters of Tsuki no Sango. Tsuki no Sango is an interesting little project that had Saizensen pair together Kinoko Nasu and Maaya Sakamoto for a short story. It started as Sakamoto reading the story while animation was played in the background. It was popular enough that it has been spun off into several different mediums.

But as a Type-Moon fan I enjoy getting all the Nasu I can. Therefore it is a real boon when a story like this is converted into manga form as that is far easier to see translated than something that usually gets overlooked like drama CDs. (It is not like I’m tripping over Starlit Marmalade translations.) This was drawn by Sasaki Shonen who also did the Shingetsutan Tsukihime manga.

Kinoko Nasu is clearly no stranger to using The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter as in inspiration for stories. Tsukihime means Moon Princess although Arcueid is a much looser adaptation of Kaguya-hime. And in that vein Tsuki no Sango in set in the year 3000 where a princess descended from lunar inhabitants lives on an island on the now stagnating Earth. The Prince of Arishima wishes to make this Storyteller Girl his bride but so far she has asked impossible dowries for her hand in marriage from all her suitors. What is the tale of the Storyteller Girl that made her how she is today?

So far the Storyteller Girl is the biggest hook to the story. She seem to be a proper princess on the outside but overall she seems a spunky Arcueid complete with short blonde haircut and energetic bursts of activity mixed with contemplative melancholy. She also has twin maids that remind me of another similar pair.

This is a far more subdued story that we are used to seeing from Nasu. So far at least. There are no magical orders steeped in blood soaked conspiracies. It seems more a mixture of character study and love story like Notes rather than something like Fate/Stay Night. And I am perfectly fine with that. Can’t wait to read more of it.

Also have to find out what the deal with Small Person is. 

sep-comics

 The Wake is a new mini-series from the Vertigo line. I was originally curious because Scott Snyder was writing, but I remained unsure. Then I saw the art by Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth and it totally blew me away. The first issue came out this week.

The story centers around Dr. Archer, a cetologist, who is approached by a government organization looking into some strange phenomenon in the ocean around Alaska. She meets a team already selected who were told various other stories about what they are investigating. The mystery setup is classic. We also get glimpses into the distant future and the ancient past implying this manifestation is long reaching.

The art takes the story to another level. The heavy black lines and stark shadows create the perfect atmosphere for this tense, evil in the deep, mystery. The color choices give it a pulpy feel that I just love.

One thing I’m not crazy about is the cover, it really doesn’t do justice to the interior art and doesn’t pull you in.

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.

Continue reading

Your Fate is Mine to Decide

UCHUU KITAAAAAAA!!

While I am hardly Mike Dent when it comes to tokusatsu I do keep my eye on it. So when everyone was talking about how cool Kamen Rider Fourze was I had to check it out. It turns out they were right. It is pretty out of this world (thankfully I do not constantly make puns like that in the podcast.) When the series was about half done Patz from Insert-Disc mentioned we had to get together and do a podcast on this. We then teamed up with Dave Cabrera as he was periodically talking about the series on his own blog, Subatomic Brainfreeze.

In the premiere episode of the Cockpit podcast we discuss exactly what makes Kamen Rider Fourze so darn super cool. We also go into a bit of the general Kamen Rider franchise as well as the newest entry called Kamen Rider Wizard. So if you like Kamen Rider, tokusatsu, or just campy but awesome things in general you just might want to check this out.

“Space…a wondrous world, filled with infinite cosmic energy. Using the Astro Switches, these young people will open the door to the future of space. Space on your hand! Reach out and seize the universe!”

The Cockpit – Episode 1 – It’s Space Time!

Ongoing Investigations: Case #183

And so ends Kamen Rider Fourze or as I like to think of it Kamer Rider Diamond Is Not Crash. Having never seen a full Kamer Rider series this certainly was a treat. The last 21 episodes (28-48) put a nice cap on everything. The series ended things pretty much how would expect them to end with a few nice little twists to make it all feel unique.

Without giving away too many spoilers I will say the best part of the writing in the series is the way they pull off reveals. They make a good use of what amounts to 2 stage method of pulling back the curtain. They set up certain mysteries fairly early on and tease you with the answers. Then when they finally give you the solution I found nine times out of ten I had figured out the answers from the clues they left. But then they usually followed it up with a secondary reveal just after that which is nowhere as easy to predict. It is a strong one-two punch that helps nicely in giving impact to the story.

I will note after a certain point they really began to focus much less on the Rider Club than in the first half. They never disappeared but their overall screen time dropped from where in was in the first half of the series. For all the trouble they have over keeping Miu and Shun in the club they don’t do a good deal after they graduate. How many times was the Powerdizer really that important?

Still it was a fun show that really never took itself too seriously. It could hunker down when it needed to but it never lost sight of how silly its overall premise could be. It remained earnest while still being fun. It also helped the somewhat hokey production vales go down a bit smoother.  In many ways I think this could be the HeartCatch PreCure! of Kamen Rider for me. While I may enjoy other Kamen Rider series this one will take a truly spectacular show to beat.

Seriously Dark Horse, I hate you for putting Blade of the Immortal on a once a year release schedule. Blade of the Immortal vol. 25 is, as always, a beautiful piece of violence. There are some really exquisite page sequences in this volume. Samura amazes me with his artful blood spatters.

It has been a while since we’ve seen Shira in action; he had mostly been slinking around once he appeared again. The confrontation between him and Manji is sooooo what we’ve been waiting for for a long time. It certain had some surprises, though it isn’t over yet, but I was glad to see paths crossing again that I didn’t expect at this point. I kind of forgot that most of the characters don’t know Shira is still alive since we the audience have known for a number of volumes at this point.

We are finally privy to some insights on Manji’s immortality and vulnerability that we could only speculate on before. Although I don’t trust the information fully yet since it is only the doctor’s theory; this might be Shira’s big mistake.

At the end of this installment are some pretty hilarious joke comics parodying characters and situations in the series. I especially laughed when Rin needed bait to fish with so she cut off Manji’s arm.

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.

Continue reading