Ongoing Investigations: Case #129

So I stumbled upon the first two translated chapters of the that latest installment of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Part 8 in the series has been named Jojolion and it lives up the amazingly to the high standard of insanity set by the previous iterations of the series. I mean the panel above sums it all up rather well just in case you never read a JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga before. It is set just a little after the March 11 Earthquake and Tusnami disaster in Japan. Yasuho Hirose lives in a town that was hit by the tsunami and since that day has had strange unexplained pillars called Wall Eyes popping up all over. One day Yasuho is walking by a cluster of these Wall Eyes when she stumbles upon amnesiac, only wearing a sailor’s cap, with a VERY unusual body. She eventually agrees to help this peculiar man discover who he was and what caused him to lose his memory. This manga has all the hallmarks of a proper Jojo’s manga including an odd but captivating art style, unusual almost inhuman poses, strange and inventive powers, off kilter and amusing humor, and off course musical references. If I go too much into the plot it would ruin some of the fun surprises (like what is so unusual about his testicles) so you should check it out for yourself. For all the hardcore Jojo’s fans it seems that the main character’s name might be Yoshikage Kira which is also the name of the antagonist in Jojo’s part four. Whether this is red herring, just a nudge and a wink, or a connection to part four has yet to be seen.

I finished up World’s Greatest First Love with much jubilation! This was an unexpected treat for me this spring season. It is not a mind-blowing new take on romance, in fact it is incredibly predictable, but that didn’t prevent it from being fun and charming. With the multiple couple perspective it takes on as the series goes on, it helped keep things from becoming too two steps forward one step back for Onodera and Takano. I especially liked the editor who meets the younger bookseller. The resolution for Onodera to stay a manga editor as well as his realization that he has feelings for Takano is acceptable but could easily continue. Since I liked the other couples too, I hope there is another season still to come. Looking forward to the second OVA as well.

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #122

If there are two current Shonen Jump properties that would easily integrate into one another, they are One Piece and Toriko. What with Luffy and crew’s constant island hoping, and penchant for eating large quantities of food, meeting Toriko is right in line with things. So just when the Strawhats find their cupboards bare they spot an island. Luffy, Chopper, Nami, and Sanji head out to find food and run into giant pigs that while still alive already have that yummy barbecued smell and flavor. This is also where they meet Toriko who mistakes Chopper for another piece of rare cuisine. Let the fighting and eating commence! This was actually my introduction to Toriko and it was a lot of rambunctious fun! And that’s all it is, though I don’t know if there is any over arching plot beyond discovering these foods to worry about later on, it just doesn’t need it.

Before we kicked off watching Toriko for the season preview we decided to watch the one hour One Piece/Toriko cross over special. The purpose of the cross over is simple. Toriko is new and they want to build an audience for the show and One Piece is insanely popular so it will draw viewers by default. Despite that cynical reasoning the two shows cross over easily in a very organic fashion. It begins with the One Piece pirates and the Toriko gang landing on the same fantastical island of food. Since both groups are gluttonous little gourmands the fact that they would team up to get delicious but dangerous dishes the logical conclusion of their meeting more than a forced plot device. They have to do the prerequisite fight that is quickly broken up to turn into a team up rather quickly. After the initial misunderstanding is cleared up Toriko and Luffy band together to take down some tasty monsters and rescue their weaker party members when they are kidnapped. I did notice that the Strawhats got a bit of the short end of the stick. Half the pirate crew was on the boat most of the special and Luffy seems to be underpowered in order to let Toriko shine. But this was really made to hook people on what a manly man Toriko therefore if Luffy is destroying everything he meets than people will forget Toriko before they even get a chance to know him. But that does not diminish this fun little side quest. It is recommended for fans of either series or anyone who likes humorous shonen fighting shows.

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Spring 2011 Anime Guide Part 1: Melpomene and Thalia

┬áIt is time for Hisui and Narutaki to tackle another season of anime and hopefully help separate the gold from the dross with the new shows coming out. This season we decided to focus on the positive so we go into depth about the shows you should watch and just give you a quick heads up on everything else. We will be doing the season preview in 2 parts like we did at the beginning of the year mostly because Narutaki and I enjoyed doing it that way. With the season release dates being all over the place due to all the tragedy in Japan that might be for the best. As always let me lay down a few rules for our season preview guide. First off the bat we don’t review sequels. Most of the time if your opinion of the new season will be pretty close to you opinion of the second. If anything is shocking in its increase or decrease in quality we usually mention it in the ongoing investigations. Second we don’t review anything we are sure is going to be dreadful. While this means we occasionally sell a good show short I think it really prevents burn out. Plus Loli Sister Harem Panic!! Flash is probably not going to be our cup of tea. Then again I really liked Toaru Majutsu no Index II so maybe you should take my opinions with a grain of salt (although I just think some people are just tsundere for that show.)

Another reminder that these impressions are based on first episodes only, will we live to eat our words? There is always that risk. Since we’ve divided everything up into Watch, Hold, and Drop navigation is easy. But I want to say that just because we say a show is watch worthy, doesn’t mean we are watching it, or that a show is hold worthy doesn’t mean we aren’t continuing on. We’ll let you know in part two what we are personally keeping up with this season.

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