Ongoing Investigations: Case #205

This week I decided to highlight some first chapters of series that were new to me.

xxxHOLiC Rei is obviously CLAMP realizing by getting rid of Yuuko Ichihara as a part of the ending of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle might have made a serious mistake. So in xxxHOLiC Rei she is back. It is not entirely clear why she is back. It could be that this is an alternate time line, it could just be stories set before the end of the original, or it could just go unexplained. But I have a feeling that with a title like Return, and knowing that CLAMP is CLAMP, I have a feeling it is much more likely there is some more roundabout explanation that might tie into that xxxHOLiC: Rō episode. But that is only something that will be clear as the series goes on.

The story is pretty simple in that it mostly establishes that Yuuko is alive, Watanuki is her cooking servant and assistant, and Doumeki can enter the shop which was not always the case in the original series. Other than that it is a little comedy and mostly set up for the first costumer for the shop. If anything hints to something major going on its Watanuki’s strange headache which cannot be random especially considering the scene that immediately triggers it.

The series still has a vibrant mixture of sexiness, comedy, and mystery. I’m sort of hoping being freed from being linked to Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle that xxxHOLiC might be able to better spread its wings. It always seems a bit caged in when it was the sister story to Tsubasa. I want to see where it could go on its own. Plus it is always nice to have Yuuko back.

sep-comics

 I read issues 1-3 of Cyberforce (2012) a revamp of the 90s American comic series which was funded through Kickstarter. The story takes place in a future where an evil corporation, CDI, with machinations of altering the world for their own purposes has taken to experimenting with cyber implants. A rogue group of soliders from said experiments is attempting to take them down and exact revenge.

Things really begin when Carin daughter of the heads of CDI learns of a dangerous plan called Aphrodite Protocol and runs away to seek out the help of Morgan Stryker along off the grid soldier. I of course love that Carin has a dog named Ninja who is a cyber enhanced badass, but he was captured and being treated badly!

So far the book is high on laying out the world and plot rather than fleshing out the characters. But there are explosions! And crazy cyber people! Also no one wears shirts? Anyway, it has been an entertaining read so far.

I super love the cover of issue 3.

You can read Cyberforce for free on Comixology.

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

A Season of Friendship

I don’t know if I can pin down other season of anime as having a theme. And it probably isn’t intentional, but nevertheless this season has a lot of shows that seems to fit together in a special way. This season celebrates friendship in so many different ways that it heightened my awareness to it in each show. From new friendship (Tsuritama) to teammates (Kuroko’s Basketball), from unexpected connections (Kids on the Slope) to brothers (Space Brothers).

The Internet keeps telling me that friendship is magic and so it seems that this season of anime is here to reenforce that notion. It is not as if anime is unfamiliar with the power of friendship. Most of  modern Japanese society is almost obsessed with the harmony of the group and working together so shows emphasizing solidarity among peers is not unheard of. But I think Narutaki was inspired by this season because even the common place can seem extraordinary if done correctly. This seasons shows have been very good and the bonds of comradery have been shown superbly as well. This article will look at relationships beyond the standard shonen “I beat you up so now we are blood brothers” but at people who form real bonds.

Continue reading

S.W.A.T. Reviews: Spring 2012 Pt. 5

The premise of these reviews is simple: watch the first episode of a series and then immediately sit down to record a review mini-podcast. The reviews are five- to ten-minutes long and entirely off the cuff. As always we only review new shows (so no sequels or continuations) and try to avoid anything that just looks outright awful. Here are 7 more from the new season:

RSS Feed     –     iTunes Feed

Listen – Episode 1 of Natsuiro Kiseki from Sunrise with the opening “Non stop road” by Sphere.

Listen – Episode 1 of Kids on the Slope from MAPPA and Tezuka Productions with the opening “Sakamichi no Melody” by YUKI and is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Episode 1 of Eureka Seven: AO from Bones with the ending “Stand by me” by Stereopony.

Listen – Episode 1 of Tsuritama from A-1 Pictures with the opening “Tsurezure Monochrome” by FUJIFABRIC and is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Episode 1 of Jormungand from  White Fox with the opening “Borderland” by Mami Kawada and is streaming on Funimation.

Listen – Episode 1 of Dusk Maiden of Amnesia from SILVER LINK with the opening “CHOIR JAIL” by Konomi Suzuki and is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Episode 1 of Ginga e Kickoff!! from TYO Animations with the opening “Across my world” by knotlamp.