The New Adventures of Samurai Deeper Ichigo

Haha! I am a powerful villain. I defeated Ichigo. Look at him have to run away. Now look how I take out these side characters.

Arrrg! We are defeated!

Hoho! I am back and now I have a new power!

Your new power cannot stop me Samurai Deeper Ichigo!

But you are already defeated!

What are you talking about Samurai Deeper Ichigo? Your heart is weak!

You can do it Samurai Deeper Ichigo! I believe in you!

NEW POWER!

NOOOOOO!!! Your new power is too much Samurai Deeper Ichigo!

hisuiconI have enjoyed Bleach for several years now but he problem is that I have felt that the manga’s popularity has led to some padding in the manga. Due to this padding the series has truly fell into a very familiar pattern. A pattern in the same vein of the infamous shonen Samurai Deeper Kyo. One of the main problems with Samurai Deeper Kyo was Kyo never progressed as a character. Most of the time he would simply declare that he had gotten stronger and then he would use a new attack and win. The thing is  Samurai Deeper Kyo is so bad it is entertaining but Bleach has had some grace to its fights and to Ichigo’s progresses. When he leveled up you felt like he had changed as a person as well. Ichigo had to work for it and it showed in the fights. I no longer feel this is the case. I am still entertained enough to buy graphic novels without regrets but I just wanted to use these new mini posts to get that feeling off my chest.

Ongoing Investigations: Case #015

Samurai Deeper Kyo 30 was very Samurai Deeper Kyo. We got some villains named after playing cards thrown at us. I keep waiting for a group of villains named after popular fast food chains. Though we at least get some good back story on Hotaru finally. And with the return of Kyoshiro and the discovery of Kyo’s body we may just be entering the final arc of this series. I am very grateful.

GTO: The Early Years 7 and 8 are entertaining as always. I sort of miss the raunchy buddy comedy of the earlier chapters. The sex comedy parts occasionally appear from time to time to break up the action but it has mostly turned into a Bosozoku fighting manga. I had been waiting see the story of the original Midnight Angel Masaki who is so important in the finale of GTO. Without reading Shonan Junai Gumi it seems sort of random for this character to suddenly be mentioned out of nowhere and then be so important to Onizuka. Now we finally get to see who he was and how he effected Onizuka’s life. This makes his appearance in GTO a cool little nod to those who have been reading Tohru Fujisawa’s works since the beginning. Also man, oh, man could fujoshi go to town on this series if they wanted to (and possibly did). The amount of unintentional homoerotic subtext you could read into the predominately male cast interactions are hysterical if you think about it.

Ah, my shojo love is returning! I mentioned a few weeks ago I was in a bit of a shojo slump but thanks to Mixed Vegetables and now Monkey High! I feel my spirit reawakening! Monkey High! is a very funny and sweet romantic comedy about an unexpected relationship. Haruna has just transferred schools and thinks all the kids at her new school are a bunch of monkeys; they are rather loud and wild. And the ring leaders are best friend duo Atsu (tall, handsome, charming) and Masaru (short, cute, goofy). Now you are probably thinking, “Oh I know where this is going.” But you are wrong! She totally starts crushing on silly Masaru and essentially ignoring Atsu’s antics and advances. Not only that but they start dating before the end of book one. And we are off on a ride of fun, non-angsty, new love. The setting is very typical but the characters are well written and charming. I was also quite relieved to see the problems that crop up in shojo manga, like misunderstandings, not linger on for too long. They were put out there, explored, and resolved in a easy manner. Masaru is hard not to love, he remind me a bit of Otani from Love*Com, but not such a curmudgeon about his height. I’m am excited to pick up the next book in this series.

I read Del Rey’s Phoenix Wright: Official Casebook volume 1 manga. It is not the proper Phoenix Wright manga but a doujinshi anthology much like Galaxy Angel Party. So it is gag stories rather than new cases which I am sure is a disappointment to some people but just fine by me. I always like to see different artists takes on established characters. Plus the stories are short so if you don’t like someone’s art style or interpretation you are on to the next before you know it. I was overall happy and nothing was eye or brain meltingly bad. It is no substitute for a new game but it is certainly not a bad supplement while you wait. Also I am slightly surprised that there was not one appearance of Ema Skye. I wonder if this was produced before she was added as a character in the series. I am also curious if Del Rey ever plans to get the main Phoenix Wright manga. I assume they are waiting to see how well this does before they fork over the cash for the main series.

Finally got around to watching the first five episodes Code Geass and really enjoyed it. It has a great and diverse cast. So much so that I can’t dislike any of them, atleast not yet, and certainly can’t pick a favorite. Lelouch’s descriptions didn’t do him justice, I needed to experience this character. The dichotomy of his personalities is fascinating and at this point he hasn’t killed any civilians. The opposite side of the coin, Suzaku, is an equally good study of the differences in the human condition. They really are after the same things but are going about them in completely different ways. So far I am impressed.

I see why some people draw comparisons between Code Geass and Death Note but it is mostly looking at apples and oranges. They have more that is different about them than in common. It does suffer the Sunrise robot show curse of taking several episodes to get up to speed. I know everyone we were watching with was really only sold on the show after episode three. I feel everyone should give Code Geass a shot to shine or fail on it’s own merits and flaws. I can’t say that I have picked the Lelouch or the Suzaku camp as of yet if I even wind up picking either. If I had to pick anyone to root for it would be Euphemia li Britannia, if for nothing else my predisposition to support girls with pink hair. I did want to watch Gundam Seed just to see what was up with Lacus and if she was cool or not. Euphemia seems like a cool character but she was hardly in it enough for me to make a solid choice.

Ongoing Investigations: Case #006

I read BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad volume 12 and I have a feeling it is going to get the ax with the way things are going at TokyoPop. It’s a shame because we are finally getting to the story past the anime. Everyone is getting ready to tour in America and saying their goodbyes in Japan. It’s is essentially a transition book but Harold Sakuishi keeps it entertaining. BECK is such an amazing manga I can’t see why people don’t care about it. I guess music manga falls in the same category as sports anime and manga. It is one of those genres that people love in Japan but won’t give a chance in the U.S.

Watched Macross Frontier episodes 15, 16, and 17. It has certainly become a show I don’t want to miss a moment of. Obviously we are getting closer and closer to the end and it still keeps me guessing. Still haven’t seen the person who is the main villain. For a few brief moments I thought the love triangle was on equal footing, but not so much now. Sheryl and Alto have to spend some more time together in the next couple of episodes or there is no way you could convince me he would end up with her. I’m inclined to believe he won’t anyway (good!). I have taken to laughing at the karma I feel is biting Sheryl in the butt. Speaking of love, Cathy and Ozma have to be my favorites to see on my screen! It is kind of like if you ever wondered what would have happened if Roy got together with Misa.

We might not necessarily know who the head honcho of the bad guys is but we do know who his two lieutenants are. Oh episode 17 was just awesome for so so many reasons. If you were not sure that Ozma was a Fire Bomber fan this episode all but shows you his Fire Bomber fan club card next to his Mylene wall scroll. I loved the repeated use of Try Again. Even if we never get that Basara cameo we all want this was more than good enough. I want to mention more reasons why 17 was awesome but that is spoiler country. Sufficed to say more love letters to the all the Macross franchise. Oh and take that Sheryl fans! Take that! Cry while you listen to Don’t Be Late!

Finally, finally, finally picked up the first book of Vagabond. I must have been saying I was going to for over six months. Ended up being pretty good, I wasn’t totally blown away by it but it was definitely good and good enough to pick up the second (hopefully in less than six months from now). Inoue’s style seems to lend itself to this story, gives it a more gritty and real look. Also was glad to see the color pages in tact!

I read volumes 6, 7, and 8 of Mobile Suit Gundam: Ecole du Ciel recently and I have to say it’s a pretty good series that is totally falling through the cracks. It’s a Gundam series with a female protagonist. I know that is heresy but they make it work and are not consumed by the vengeance of Red Comet-sama himself. Ecole du Ciel starts after the end of the original Gundam series and is currently in the middle of Zeta Gundam. At least I think they are up to Zeta Gundam. Feel free to slog through the Universal Century timeline to prove me wrong. There are side notes to get you up to speed about certain major events but I feel they are more reminders to people who have watched the original than explanations for neophytes. Don’t be discouraged by that. This is Asuna Elmarit’s story as she fights in the Universal Century. Major events from the TV series are referenced but Asuna’s story is always her own. Characters die left and right, named characters are clearly not safe. It is a character based story but it is still a war story. Another  series that is probably getting the ax now that Tokyopop is dropping stuff left and right. It’s a shame because there is not much out there like this.

Read books 28 and 29 of Samurai Deeper Kyo. After book 28 I was like, why am I reading this? After book 29 I was like, this is why! I am so tired of groups of villains randomly showing up, now we are onto the four elders. Oh wait the girl they fight in the beginning of 28 is a EX-four elder. SIGH. Then we have three crazy magicians. UH. Oh look an elder finally! He has 10 levels of speed. WHAT? I will be glad when we are actually at the last bad guys, but I’m sure we will have to make it through more groups of villains first. Who is next? The five mahrajs? Thank goodness for all the excitement and bloody battling in 29. Plus a critically injured Yuya, spoiler you say, I think not. I mean can the girl do anything except get hurt, kidnapped, or possessed? This series is a complete roller coaster from bad to good. It is far and away too long, but it’s a shonen fighting series so why I am so surprised? But I keep hanging on because I love Demon Eyes Kyo, can’t help it.

My Heavenly Hockey Club keeps reminding be of Ouran High School Host Club if it were written by Ai Morinaga. I like Ai Morinaga but damn. The similarities are too much to be coincidence. They both have poor girls going to a school of rich kids. They both have tomboyish, sarcastic main girls. They both have a girl who is blackmailed into joining an otherwise all boys club. They both have clueless club leaders that are in love with the main girl. They both have twins that no one can tell apart. There are definite differences in the humor and the writing but you can’t even pretend that My Heavenly Hockey Club is trying to be super original.

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