Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Deku & Bakugo: Rising Review


It’s time to take a look at a quick manga prequel to the recent My Hero Academia movie. It’s two chapters long and each one’s about 15 pages so it’s like 1 monthly chapter. It’s a fun little story about Deku & Bakugo going after their first ever villain. It underscores why you should be able to use your powers if you need too. The series isn’t totally explicit on how this works but I assume you are allowed to use your abilities in self defense. If that’s the case then we’re good although I am glad to see Bakugo just charge in anyway.

The basic premise is that Bakugo and the bullies are walking around town and having a good time. Deku shows up reading one of his superhero magazines so they pick on him for a bit. Bakugo is surprisingly the nicest one of the group as he gives Deku the magazine back. That’s when a cloud villain shows up and tries to flee the scene. Bakugo realizes that this is a good chance for him to finally be a hero and get into UA so he gives chase. Deku is worried about Bakugo because he has figured out that there is more to the villain than the cloud abilities. The only trouble is, how can he gives Bakugo a heads up about this?

Since this is a prequel and we know that the two still don’t get along at the start of the series this one naturally ends with the rift continuing to grow. Bakugo is pretty upset that Deku was able to figure things out so quickly while Deku is impressed that Bakugo was ultimately able to figure it out as well. It’s a fun dynamic between them and one that has been solid since the start of the show. You can definitely point out that their dynamic isn’t nearly as friendly or healthy as other rivals but the sheet animosity from Bakugo to Deku makes it pretty unique.

As far as one shot stories go this one was also pretty good. We got a little fight scene and the art was pretty solid. The plot twist about the guy’s powers was pretty neat although I do feel like they should have figured it out a little sooner. The sheer difference in element is pretty big so it’s something that you should be able to determine both visually or physically. That’s just how it goes I though I suppose. They were still kids when this happened. We also got to see a pro show up which was pretty neat. We don’t usually get to see a lot of the more obscure pros engage in a fight so when that happens it’s pretty neat.

This one incorporates the villains from the movie for a quick page at the end but this definitely isn’t their story. It’s really about connecting more details from Deku and Bakugo’s past. It accomplishes this goal rather well. The artist does a good job of making this feel like it could have been a chapter from the main series and the writing is on point. You’ll definitely read through this adventure in a breeze.

Overall, Deku & Bakugo Rising is definitely worth checking out. If you’re able to then you should read it before watching the movie. It’s always nice to have a little more context on the manga. Hopefully Viz puts this story at the back of an upcoming My Hero volume or something. I always think it’s a shame to lose these stories to the remnants of time. Every one shot should get put into physical form at some point. I’m definitely up for more My Hero Stories. I’ll be starting the My Hero Team Ups soon so that’ll be a good way to get some more My Hero action. There’s certainly a lot of different team combinations the series can try out.

Overall 7/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

The Promised Neverland Review


It’s time to look at a manga that ended pretty recently. The Promised Neverland is a very different Shonen Jump title. It’s a lot darker than most and is going for a full horror vibe. Don’t expect to find big super forms or hyper fights running around in this title. It’s more of a slow burner with the heroes trying to escape the demons, at least for most of the series. The series peaked rather early on with the final arcs getting to be a bit much with the plot armor. It’s an interesting series but one that I’m not really a fan of.

The plot starts by introducing us to Emma and the other kids who currently live at an orphanage. They have to take many tests each year which gives them various scores. The 3 smartest kids by far are Emma, Norman, and Ray. They are geniuses at this point. Unfortunately their lives are turned upside down when they find out that one of the kids has been murdered. It turns out that their home is actually a breeding ground for demons and they murder all of the kids. Emma now needs to find a way to save everyone but that will naturally be a difficult task. Can she accomplish this mission along with Norman and Ray?

You can already see how this series will be pretty dark. The heroes literally live on a farm where they are the meals. You also have to live with the knowledge that there are other farms out there with kids who won’t be quite as fortunate as the main characters. We get some pretty interesting mental battles between Norman and Ray during this arc which are typically the highlight. They’re definitely the smartest characters in the series after all. Norman is definitely a bit smarter than Ray though and tends to come out on top.

The second arc changes things up a bit as they finally escape the place. They manage to make it to another farm where Lord Bayon has trapped a bunch of other kids. The rules of this farm are different as it is a pure survival game. Everyone already knows that they are the prey in this case. Every day a few more kids are lost. Emma decides to help their commanders Oliver and Lucas take down the demons. The heroes are through with running and this time they’ll be taking the fight to the villains. Can mere human kids really take these guys down though?

We get quite a bit of solid action here and the heroes learn how to fight back against the demons. It’s definitely the best arc in the series. Granted, this is also where the power levels initially start to get a bit wonky. So the demons have a weakpoint that can be shot. It’s good since that lets the heroes do something but half the time they only win because the demons barely move. There’s no way they could hope to defeat these demons in a straight fight even with a weakpoint. The battle with Leuvis was great for sure, but it’s one that he definitely should have won. That was one reason why it was fun to throw the adults in here, you can definitely see them doing a bit better.

I’d say the third arc is probably protecting the base but it’s almost more of a transition arc. I’d say this could basically lead us to the final arc. We’re introduced to the concept of metahumans who have been developed to stop the demons. The problem is that they are still outnumbered. If they can murder the Demon Queen then this long fight will finally be over. The problem is that Emma doesn’t really want to murder the demons. She wants a world of peace and her inaction threatens to jeopardize the heroes. Will they have to take her down to ensure a better tomorrow?

This final arc definitely added quite a bit of new elements to the series. One of those things was an alien/god who would show up and it all got very meta. It’s an interesting angle even if it doesn’t feel like it’s from the series. A positive element was the metahumans. These guys have actual powers in the form of strength and speed so now this was a group I could see actually taking down the demons. I also liked that Norman’s group was taking a more active approach. They were shutting down farms left and right in what was a very effective campaign during the war between humans and demons. They were really doing just fine on their own so the whole time it felt like they absolutely did not need the main group. If anything it felt like Emma and Ray were holding them back. If they had stuck to just the metahumans running around and fighting I think it would have helped with the power levels.

Lets talk about Emma. She’s a character who changes quite a lot as the series goes on. Unlike the other kids she is not willing to make any sacrifices. She wants to save everyone without a doubt. It’s a noble cause even if the others give her grief about it. She’s a little more unhinged than most leads and the manga does a good job of showing this with the various zoom ins. The art really knows how to get very dynamic. That said, her resolve starts to get a little shaky in the final arc. Suddenly she doesn’t want to destroy any of the demons either? At some points it’s really a decision of whether you save the kids or the demons but you couldn’t possibly do both. This request is a bit more unreasonable on her part. I can’t fault it morally because it’s good to be able to save everyone but it does ruin all of the plans. Without plot armor her decisions would have definitely destroyed the rest of the group.

It just seems like a very different perspective on her part. The demons ruined everything for the heroes and they all couldn’t stand them. A big part of what changed Emma were the two nice demons who helped her out but even so, it was pretty surprising to see. Her final decision was also pretty selfless although it definitely did totally go against what everyone else would have wanted. A selfish choice to help out others, that’s one I can agree with. So Emma’s a good character, but a little too extreme at times. Of course all of the main characters tend to be extreme in some way or another.

Norman gets a really big role in the series. At his core he’s more merciless like Ray but he always tries to help Emma out as much as he can. He’s the brains of the group and does a good job of making sure Emma succeeds in whatever she wants to do. He looks pretty great throughout the series. If anything, if Emma hadn’t shown up I feel like he probably had everything under control. I can also see why his subordinates were pretty upset at the change of character. Then we have Ray who is the best member of the 3 if you ask me. He’s definitely got solid ambition. He’s easily the most rational of the 3 even if Norman is the smartest. Ray always goes for the highest chance of success even if it means sacrificing some people. Ray still does his best to be heroic though and Emma helps change him on that. He has no problems eliminating the demons though.

Then you have Isabella who is the first big villain we see. After all, she’s looking after the children and getting them set up to be eaten. She’s rotten to the core. So you can probably guess how her character arc will go during the series and all I can say is that it isn’t really earned. She did break Emma’s bone intentionally and that’s not even counting the people she actively delivered. While she can make for a good villain, it’s hard to see her as a sympathetic one. Then we have Krone who shows up early in the series. She’s pretty intimidating and also has some good tactics up her sleeve. She can’t compete with Isabella in terms of wit but does a good job regardless.

After the main 3 kids, most of the others weren’t particularly solid at least from the first house. Don and Gilda always felt like they were just getting in the way. They would ignore the wise advice from the main 3 to go ahead and do their own thing. Just because it works out doesn’t mean it was the right move. They’re always a few steps behind. Phil is another kid who gets a roll although he’s one of the youngest so he’s not exactly out in the field. Mostly his character was fun out of universe as there were many theories about him. None of them ever actually happened though so his role is extremely small. It makes sense though since having him fight would be odd.

Mujika is one of the two special demons that meets up with the main characters. She’s not much of a fighter as she is typically known as more of an intelligent demon. She tries to stay ahead of things in that sense so that she won’t even need to fight with the others. Her partner Sonju is the main fighter. Sonju is able to take down several demons at once. The guy’s pretty shady and doesn’t mind murdering humans either. He comes awful close to taking down the kids at one point. He’s not as bad as the rest though so that’s definitely a start. I thought he was one of the more interesting demons and a solid rival to have around. It would have been cool if he could have gotten a few more fights.

Then you have Leuvis who is a solid villain. he likes to have a good fight and I always like that about a villain. He’s willing to let the kids get prepared or whatever they need to make things interesting. It does make for a lot of plot armor on the heroes’ side but that’s to be expected. Regardless it was probably one of the better fights in the series. That arc also introduced us to some new kids and even two adult characters who would go on to be some of the best characters in the series. It reminds me that if the series was based around the adults it probably would have been quite a bit better.

First off is Yugo who initially doesn’t like the kids but gradually gets used to working with them. While he eventually mellows out I can’t say that he starts as anything less than a full villain. He actively did try to murder one of them after all. His fight scenes with Lucas against the government were quite solid. One thing’s for sure, Yugo was never the kind of guy to go down swinging. He went full blast from the jump. Lucas is just as solid if not more so. He never gave up the fight and kept on going the whole way. He’s not quite as skilled as Yugo, but it’s close and he definitely is very good at planning.

Then we have Oliver who is probably the most experienced member of the new kids. He’s a solid fighter and is also a bit older than the others which helps him stay ready for what’s about to come. He’s not on the same level as the metahumans who pop up but that’s okay. He’s strong enough. For the metahumans who appear we’ve got 5 main ones. First up is Vincent who is all about following the plans. He does whatever Norman says. After all, it tends to work out. He’s not really a fighter but he makes sure that all of the characters are in the right spot. I suppose it makes him a little redundant since Norman is smarter but it’s always good to have a backup.

Cislo is pretty fun. There’s not a whole lot to him but he loves murdering demons just like the others. He’s pretty strong and a capable guy to have around. Same for Barbara only she is even more zealous about this. She just loves destroying demons to the point where she eats them. I thought she was definitely the best member of the group. She was always right there on the front lines and could put up a great fight. Finally there’s Zazie who is also strong although he’s a bit more on the mindless side. The powers came at a huge price for him which was pretty unfortunate. He definitely made sure to come through when it counted though.

Ayshe had a sad backstory where she was raised by wolves and definitely does not like Norman or the metahumans. She doesn’t really care for demons either though so she doesn’t really have any friends. She’s a solid fighter though. Ayshe probably gets a smaller role than most of the other characters but the scenes she is in are quite solid. Finally we have the Queen who is of course the strongest demon. She gets a few super forms and looks good. Unfortunately she is way too powerful for this series though. The instant she appears you know that there is no way the kids will be able to do much of anything here. There is no realistic way they could hope to take her down so the final battle gets a little interesting. Either way I did like her as a final boss though. She did a good job of leading the demons even if she should have stepped in sooner to crush the humans.

The art for the series is pretty good. There’s quite a lot of detail in all of the shots. As mentioned earlier, the author did an especially good job of drawing Emma. For some reason Emma became less and less sinister as the series went on though. I don’t think she got any “evil” shots after arc 2. It seems like the author maybe had a different plan for her but ultimately decided to make her more of a hero in the end. I liked the more morally dubious Emma who was willing to blow everyone up to make a point. It did make her look a bit sketchy but that was the point. I can’t be the only one who feels like the Emma in the final arc is a completely different character right? Emma not dishing out veiled threats to people just doesn’t feel right.

Neverland can get pretty dark though so definitely keep that in mind if you start the series. Not only is there a considerable bodycount here but a lot of the people who die are kids. That’s ultimately what holds this series back. When people die it’s pretty fine if they’re main combatants. Context is key of course, but in general having a kid die is a pretty tricky element. Especially a series based around that whole fact. The whole farming thing is about as grim as it gets. You’re unlikely to find another series quite so dark. Attack on Titan’s up there though. It’s in a different way but I would say that it’s pretty comparable.

The series definitely stays pretty interesting throughout. There’s quite a lot of suspense built into it with twists at every corner. As with most mysteries you’ll have to see what you preferred, the build up to it or the payoff. A lot of times the best part of a mystery is the opening act because it’s fun to not know anything. I wouldn’t say any of the twists are bad though. I would have gone in a very different direction with the ending though and added 1 more arc but I suppose the series definitely didn’t want to drag itself out. At least like this people can point to it as a series that’s complete so you can now marathon it from start to finish.

Overall, The Promised Neverland delivers on being a very different kind of manga title. It’ll probably go down as the definitive horror title in Shonen Jump. That said, as horror is already not my genre it’s not surprising that it lagged behind the other manga titles. I’d be down for a sequel series that’s more of a sci-fi thriller with everyone trying to move forward in the new world. I think that could be pretty interesting. That said it’s not like the franchise needs to continue. The ending ties everything up. There are open plots that could be continued but if they don’t you can easily assume what happened on your own. So if you like horror titles then check this one out, otherwise I’d say to go and check out another modern Shonen Jump title like One Piece.

Overall 3/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Seven Deadly Sins Review


It’s time to look at a manga that at this point finished quite a while ago. It’s a very long series though so the review would be pretty long too so I held off on it for a bit. This is one of those titles like Fairy Tail that is quite tragic. It has a terrific climax and a lot of hype moments. Unfortunately it is held back by fanservice issues which prevented it from being the next big thing. It’s a manga I will have fond memories of though even if it could live up to its full potential.

The series starts off with Elizabeth searching for help. The knights have become corrupt and the only ones she can turn to are the Seven Deadly Sins. Despite the name they used to be Britain’s finest warriors. Unfortunately the group has been split apart and they are all wanted for capital crimes. She runs into Meliodas who now runs a tavern. He agrees to help her and while the guy is incredibly sketchy, Elizabeth figures she will need his help. The first arc is mainly about gathering all 7 of the members to stop the Knights and bring Britain to peace once more. This won’t be an easy task, but if anyone can pull it off, it is Meliodas and his merry crew.

The second main arc involves the return of the Ten Commandments. These guys are some of the deadliest villains to ever walk the planet. They also seem to have ties to Meliodas. The Sins may be strong, but all of them are weaker than the weakest Commandment. It adds a nice sense of danger to the whole mix since the heroes all have to get massively stronger. It’s cool because the series started on the premise that the heroes were the strongest people around and now you’re throwing in villains who are way more powerful than them. Needless to say, the series’ power levels start to get pretty insane the more the series goes on.

Finally we get involved with the holy war. The Angels have returned to slay the Demons. The only problem is that they appear to be just as evil and corrupt as the monsters they fight. This forces Meliodas and the others to wonder who to ally with. Meliodas also has to come to terms with his demonic past as everyone is trying to control him. The Demon King also shows up for a pretty intense final battle that also became a bit of a running gag among fans. Let me tell you, reading this weekly was a blast because of that. The comments are just so much fun and they just never miss a beat.

So lets rewind a bit and talk about the series as a whole. For starters, the art is excellent. It’s one of the clearest manga I’ve read and I would consider it to be top tier in that respect. You can really follow along with the fight scenes and the character designs are on point as well. This makes for a pretty great mix at all times. Solid artwork is half the battle after all and it helps you get across the epic scenes a lot better than it possibly could if the art wasn’t all that good. The series is also quite long with a good amount of replay value and plots to keep you interested.

The character cast is quite strong with a lot of solid villains in this case. I’ll talk about the characters more in depth later on. The fight scenes are particularly intense and the series is known for them. My favorite fight in the series was Meliodas vs the 10 Commandments. There’s one fight early on where he takes the whole group for a spin which was pretty neat. He also came so close to winning that it cemented him as being the fiercest fighter in the group. Unlike many titles where they try to keep the main characters balanced at first, Meliodas was always head and shoulders above the other members of the team. He consistently shows why he is the leader and it all makes sense.

Now where the series goes wrong is the fanservice. It’s unfortunate because it mainly stops after Arc 1. It’s something that would occur less and less frequently as the series went on. Depending on the scale of it the score wouldn’t have been totally crippled but as with violence, fanservice has tiers to it. Quick camera angles and unfortunate tripping is one thing, but Meliodas tends to get pretty physical with Elizabeth which is the real problem here. It’s played off as a comedy plot which I could never believe the series would even attempt to do. She never gives him any kind of consent and always gets embarrassed by his advances. He pays absolutely no mind to this. It would be a far darker plot if taken seriously and we learn some twists that are supposed to make this better. Basically they are destined to be together and Meliodas has been together with many different versions of her. So he’s skipping the formalities since he considers them to be a couple already.

That’s just not how it works though and those scenes are really tough to get past. Eventually they do get together but by then the damage to the series is done. Ban’s romance with Elaine is also pretty bad. The series tries to make it more wholesome by the end but it just doesn’t work. I’ll take that over the Meliodas stuff though. So regardless, that’s what holds the series back. The series is long and the plot doesn’t occur all that often but I still cannot overlook it. It’s something that the series chose to do and now it must live with the score.

The series does a good job of fleshing out the world and the characters within it though. We learn a lot about Britain and it’s fun how the series uses actual characters from the legends like King Arthur and such. It sets up a sequel series pretty well since we should be getting pretty close to the knights of the roundtable now. The series also had a pretty good job messing with the readers during the ending. It pretended to be ending and then threw in a few extra fights for good measure. Part of why it worked so well is because now there was no way to know when it would end. If anything I was expecting the Light god to show up but sadly she never did. Now there’s a character who has been getting a lot of hype but has yet to really do anything yet. I expect her to get a big role in the sequel to make up for this.

Seven Deadly Sins also keeps up the intensity with each volume. There’s never really a dull moment. I’d say it rivals Fairy Tail with how enjoyable each volume can be. It’s certainly at a higher level than Toriko for example although that series may still have the best climax. It’s tough because most SJ titles like to end with a huge climax. It makes sense because that’s a good way to ensure that the journey was worth it. You didn’t read all those volumes for nothing. A series should always have a very climactic finale and that’s exactly what this series did.

Ok, so lets look at the characters. First up is Meliodas who is the leader of the group. He’s one of those guys who is so powerful that he has a hard time taking anything seriously. At times this can end up being pretty risky for him because he can lose before he has a chance to go all out. As a hero he’s only okay. His whole plot with Elizabeth holds him back and he can be pretty meant to Hawks the whole time. I actually liked him best when he was in his dark mode. Not the part where he was being mind controlled, but dark of his own control. The scene of him walking into the base and taking down both Estarossa and Zeldris was masterful. Again, Seven Deadly Sins really knows how to pile on the hype and really take everything to the next level. You’re guaranteed to see some big stuff in each adventure.

Then you have Diane who is unfortunately known as the weakest member of the Sins. Technically Gowther would be far weaker physically but she has a number of hax at the ready. Diane is a pure physical fighter. She can manipulate the Earth which helps her evade attacks as well as amp up her abilities. She’s a bit of a tragic character as she likes Meliodas but doesn’t stand a chance from the start. She’s a fun fighter to have on the group though. I feel like she should have gotten another powerup though. I think it would have helped to balance things out quite a bit.

Next up is Ban who serves the role as the rival in this one. He isn’t nearly as solid as most rivals though. What holds him back is that he can be a little too crazy the whole time. He’s always trying to murder Meliodas and doesn’t even seem heroic the way the others are. His whole regeneration thing is pretty cool though and I’ll miss that one. If anything he feels a little weaker when he doesn’t use that ability towards the end of the series even though he is technically more powerful. Sometimes you really just need to try and stick with your classic abilities to really stay at your best.

King isn’t much better and now you can see why I consider the villains to be the main strength of the cast. King’s true form is pretty bad so he usually uses a made up one. I like his fighting style though as he zips around at super speed and his projectiles definitely mean business. It’s hard to get past his defenses at all. He gets a lot of development but for the most part I couldn’t take his character too seriously. His final form is pretty neat though and was definitely a solid upgrade for the character.

Then there is Gowther who has a complicated backstory. There are a lot of twists and turns related to her character. You can also throw some betrayal in there as well. She is okay but half the time she ends up making things a lot tougher for the heroes. She rarely seems to contribute quite as much in a battle sense and I ended up growing tired of her pretty quick. If you want a solid character who’s unpredictable, that’s Merlin’s job. Now she is a great member of the team. Her abilities are basically absolute and she has a plan for everything. Next to Meliodas she probably is the strongest member of the group. Her barriers are incredibly durable and she appears to have a spell for every possible contingency. As a result you just can’t catch her off guard. The ending to her arc feels a bit forced but overall she was a fun character. I dare say that she ended out as one of the best heroes.

Finally there is Escanor who is the final Deadly Sin. His character is a bit like Hulk and Bruce Banner. By night he is a very meek guy who can’t fight for beans. He’s as scrawny as they come and will run from a fight. During the day he becomes more of a Superman type persona with absolute confidence. The brighter the sun, the stronger he gets. At his best he was even able to give Meliodas a good fight. Escanor is definitely a very fun character. His character’s end was also pretty forced considering that the heroes were absolutely wrecking the villain before he decided to use a forbidden move. Still, he does like to show off so this was his chance to outshine everyone once more. He always brought the hype with him and his fight with Estarossa was definitely a blast.

Elizabeth is the main heroine of the series and definitely gets to appear quite a lot. She doesn’t really tend to fight for most of the series although towards the end she got a new title that was meant to evoke fear into everyone. For the most part nobody took it very seriously since even after all of that she didn’t do much but it was still a cool thought. I do like her angel mode as she does get a big power boost from that. It’s also good to see her being more assertive since prior to getting her memories back I always found her to be way too passive. She also shouldn’t have put up with Meliodas’ antics.

Hawks is the main comic relief character of the series and I’d say that he does pretty good in that role. He knows how to help run a tavern quite well and does help out on occasion. He never really gets any respect but deep down they’re all friends. That said, Hawks is only good in those short doses. As a main character he just can’t hold his own. Not the way that Arthur could. King Arthur is one of those characters who you would expect to look amazing here but surprisingly he doesn’t do a great deal. He finally starts to unlock more of his power at the very end of the series but it’s more of a tease than anything. That said, he quickly became one of my favorite characters in the series. He’s certainly my favorite hero. The guy tries really hard and is always earnest in his attempts to learn more. I fully expect he will continue to improve.

Dreyfus is one of the original villains and I remember him being pretty fun. It can be easy to mix him and Hendrickson up a bit though. Ultimately I preferred Dreyfus as he seemed to have more willpower to me and was also more powerful. Hendrickson tended to get in the way and was a virtual hostage at times. That really doesn’t help his case much at all. Gilthunder was another early villain and part of why I remember him so well is the famous lightning throw scene. Meliodas was able to catch a throw that went across whole towns. So even though Gilthunder was taken to school there it was a pretty hype scene for sure. Guila was also a fun villain. I feel like she ultimately didn’t really live up to her own hype, but it was nice that she got some closure to her story and even had a bit of a redemption arc going for her.

Chandler and Cusack were pretty powerful demons which makes sense since they were the mentors of Zelris and Meliodas. I remember being surprised when they showed up since it was pretty last second but right away they showed why they were to be feared. They aren’t really meant to be very well liked villains but I liked their designs and they were pretty loyal to their masters. Chandler could be a bit shady since he wanted to murder Elizabeth but at least he was rooting on Meliodas to take down Zeldris. It’s also a bit funny there since their power levels apparently even surpassed that of those two.

The Demon King is the big villain of the series as you would expect. He steals a whole lot of bodies and fights the heroes in a variety of different ways. Never have I seen a main villain get quite so mocked chapter after chapter. It is definitely a very different approach much like the series as a whole. Typically you would expect the big boss to be cleaning shop and the heroes just barely manage to defeat him after a lot of friendship speeches and stuff like that. Not so with this fight as the heroes were completely wrecking him from the very beginning. If anything they weren’t even taking him seriously as they chatted while beating him up. The Demon King begged for his life on multiple occasions and people just lost respect for the guy. I still like him though. He may not have been supremely powerful, but at least he talked tough and was pretty manipulative. You can’t get much better than that.

Derieri has a pretty cool power. Every hit increases the gravity against you and it stacks as well. That makes for a pretty dangerous combo. She reminded me a bit of Caulifla. She certainly enjoys a good battle. Derieri may not be the strongest member of the 7, but I found her to be one of the most enjoyable ones. Typically she would teem up with Monspeet who had some pretty good abilities involving changing places. Honestly he was doing very well in his fight. Derieri ended up holding him back to an extent there but it was a worthy effort. He also seemed to not be quite as evil as the rest and was willing to live a quiet life away from all the violence. He didn’t quite manage to get that wish though.

Drole is another villain who was in a partnership. He tended to work pretty well with Gloxina. They didn’t really get as much character development as the other members although they got to be in the flashback arc which helped. They weren’t bad. In general I wouldn’t say that any member of the 10 Commandments were bad, but these two were less memorable. Galand was one of the best members though. For starters, he had a great design. He was also the first member to attack the heroes so we really got to see what he could do. He reminded me a bit of Berserker from Fate Zero only this guy talked a lot more. Unfortunately this did mean he would end up being the weakest member of the group but you can’t forget his entrance.

Estarossa gets a massive role. It’s hard to forget him taking down Meliodas in one hit. That’s definitely an intense way to make a debut in a title like this. He’s easily one of the most powerful villains and he gets several super forms. He has some twists involving Mael of the Archangels as well which was pretty interesting. I liked Estarossa for a while but once he became obsessed with Elizabeth he did drop down quite a bit. Meanwhile Mael was reasonably fun although he definitely didn’t seem very heroic. Not very surprising considering the Arch Angels were so extreme though.

Then we’ve got Zeldris who is one of my favorite characters in the series. his wind abilities are quite impressive as they were able to keep the whole cast at bay. While he isn’t as strong as Meliodas, he does keep their battles close and does keep improving on his own terms. He is on the side of the villains, but at least he has a good reason for doing so. He wants to bring Gelda back to life and since the heroes won’t help with this he was forced to turn back to the villains. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to bring her back even if it means stopping the heroes. I always like a character motivation like that and Zeldris was just a lot of fun.

Finally we have Ludociel who is the leader of the Angel unit. He’s a pretty powerful guy but also a very corrupt one who isn’t above sacrificing a bunch of humans to get his way. He’s really not the kind of guy that you want to have on your squad. He may get you the win but it’ll come at a tremendous cost. After a while, the cost for victory is too high and it’s simply not worth it. I did like having another faction though. I’m always a fan of having more than 2 groups because it makes for some pretty exciting battles.

Overall, Seven Deadly Sins definitely had a lot of adventures in it which is why this review was so long. It’s a series that you will definitely get quite invested in as you read through it. Without the whole Meliodas stuff this would be an easy 8. Unfortunately it is present. If you think you can get past that whole plot then I’d definitely recommend this series. It’s got a lot of action and hype scenes so there’s definitely no reason to skip out on it. Each arc really starts off with a bang and the art is just so high quality. It’ll also help you be prepared for the sequel which should come out at some point. Once it does I’m definitely expecting big things. If you aren’t able to get past the iffy stuff, then I’d recommend checking out Black Clover instead as a really solid action series with a lot of moving pieces.

Overall 4/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Sword Art Online Progressive Review


It’s time to take a look at one of the more well known Sword Art Online spinoffs. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Progressive over the years and how it brought the series back to its peak. Being back in Aincrad from Arc 1 was definitely pretty cool since I did think that those had the best stories. Unfortunately the manga takes the easy out of adding in a bunch of fanservice during the second half of the series which does ultimately hold this title back. It’s a shame since it had started out pretty well. Apparently the manga adds quite a bit and changes the story/personalities as well so it’ll be interesting to see how the novels stack up. That said, if you’re a mega SAO fan then you’ll probably still want to check this one out.

Mainly this series is adapting Arc 1 all over again but doing it very slowly. The castle has 100 floors and the only way to beat the game is to clear them all. Naturally in the main series they weren’t quite able to go through all of the floors so the goal of this manga is to show them to us one by one. As a result, after the 7 volumes of this series the heroes are still only up to volume 3. That’s a pretty good amount of pacing I’d say. We’ll see if they can continue to use up so much time. It’s fun though and helps make the series more about the fantasy setting and slice of life aspects. We still get fights of course, but Progressive is more about the character interactions.

We see Kirito start out as the loner he always was with Asuna being a bit of a newbie to the game world. Gradually she grows more experienced and he learns what it is like to be in a team. It makes for a pretty good dynamic between the two of them. We see them train up and gradually improve their abilities. While there isn’t much of an ongoing plot for the most part, the final 3 volumes give us a mini arc of sorts that was completely not in the original story. It’s a quest arc. Basically Kirito and Asuna run into a group of elves who are duking it out. They are given the option of joining either the light or dark factions. Kirito lets Asuna pick and she decides to help the Dark Elves. They help the leader (Kizmel) take down her opponent.

The full quest is a bit on the longer side. They have to help her deliver a key, find the traitor and take down the opposing army. The tricky thing is that some other players have taken the light side and of course if they die in the game they die in real life. This means that the heroes are going to have to tread carefully here. You’ve also got a shady Sword Art Online player who wants to challenge Kirito and possibly eliminate him from the world. It’s nice to see Kirito going all out here and it makes for a pretty nice fight. It’s probably the most intense battle in the series with a lot of back and forth with good swordplay. Kirito rarely finds a challenge for himself so this guy did pretty good in managing to match him.

As for Kizmel, she’s a pretty solid character. It’s a shame that the series uses her for fanservice almost constantly. The series throws in multiple bath scenes which is pretty forced. She’s portrayed as a big sister figure to Kirito and Asuna. She is pretty advanced for an A.I. as well since she can understand human phrases and adapts rather well. It further shows just how advanced Sword Art Online was as a game in this universe. The A.I. systems were already pretty adaptive and this is only arc 1. Her skills were also far above Kirito and Asuna’s at the time. It makes sense since they are still in the opening floors I suppose. At this point nobody really had a whole lot of levels yet and this is the kind of quest where you are mainly playing as support.

It’s also interesting to see a time where Heathcliff had not yet formed his own group. At this point there are only two main attacking squads and neither of them are particularly helpful. They have numbers but not a whole lot of power. This was one of the more interesting points in the game because it’s fun to see Kirito and Asuna teaming up and clearing a bunch of quests on their own. It shows that they really don’t need the army and are prepared to handle everything on their own. If you were ever trapped in a game it does make sense to train a lot solo or in a small party rather than joining an army. It would be a lot harder to level up with so many people around.

Really the series is at its best when it’s letting the characters just enjoy the SAO environment. Learning new skills and having fun in the world is what the arc is all about. While Kirito and Asuna are both great characters, the supporting cast is a bit weaker so you don’t really want the focus to be on them. I could never really get behind the rest of the characters but fortunately each arc would add at least one good character so the series as a whole has a solid cast. It’s part of why Kizmel was a good addition here since she’s easily one of the better characters. I was also glad that she could fight at such a high level. Arc 1 will definitely always be nostalgic.

I was also glad that Asuna got a pretty powerful rapier here. It helped close the gap with Kirito and for a while near the end she was the power hitter. It’s what makes them such a dangerous combo. Asuna can land hits with lightning speed and then Kirito finishes the job with a crispy combo. As they said, it’s almost unfair for the rest of the players who are still struggling with the basics. Still, they’ll learn the ropes eventually. You just can’t hope to match up against the main characters. I wouldn’t mind if the series took some queues from the games and started adding in future characters. The series would have to completely be known as an AU after that, but I think it would be worth it.

The art is pretty solid and definitely one of the best for SAO. It has a pretty simple design set up like an online manga or Bleach. This allows the character designs to be pretty smooth and we also get a lot of great fight scenes. It’s all very clear and lets you read through the adventures with ease. You can clear all of the volumes in no time at all. At 7 volumes the series is a reasonable length although I always think you should aim to be at least 10 volumes long. That’s when you know that you’ve made it to the big leagues.

Overall, Sword Art Online Progressive is a series that is a lot of fun but does get bogged down by the fanservice. To an extent you can certainly block it out, but the series goes pretty overboard with how often it occurs. After a point it can’t help but lower the score of the adventure. It’s a shame that SAO tends to fall into this trap because the series is so awesome otherwise. Where else are you going to get a main character quite like Kirito? It’s really tough to match a guy like that. From what I’ve heard you are better off reading the novels for this part of the franchise. The original adaption of the first arc is also better as it plays the concept pretty straight even if the art isn’t that good. I’m ready for the sequel though and hopefully that one will fix some of these issues. After all there are still plenty of floors left to conquer and I want to see them all!

Overall 5/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

The Brave-Tuber Review


It’s time to look at a quick manga that I was definitely not familiar with before reading. This one’s pretty short at 2 volumes long so it probably makes sense why I had never heard of it before. It’s an interesting parody about stopping the Demon King but trying to get popular at the same time. It’s a pretty fun gimmick and I definitely enjoyed the manga. It would have been cool if it could have gone on for a few extra volumes though. As it stands, it ends before they could really go all out with the concept. Still, if you’re looking for a fun little manga this is a solid one to check out.

We start out by being introduced to Zane. He saved the world from the Demon Armies and is the strongest in the land. He hasn’t gotten around to destroying the Demon King yet but doesn’t see a reason to do so since the villain has yet to really make a move against the world. The reason for this is that Youtube and Witter have gotten really big in this world. It got invented out of nowhere and now everyone uses these services to have fun. Zane’s goal is to become mega popular so he can get rich off of his videos. Unfortunately even with the help of his holy sword Kuku they only have a handful of subscribers and nobody likes them. Can Zane find a way to get more people to watch his videos?

It is a pretty emotional battle for him because getting your Youtube account to be big does take quite a lot of work. It’s very rare that you can suddenly get big without doing any of the legwork. Unfortunately that is pretty much what Zane is doing. All of his videos are just about him beating up demons real quick which is not what people want to see. Additionally it seems like there are more demons than humans using these services so naturally they want to see themselves win. What probably hurts the most is that one of the only characters to follow Zane and Kuku’s account is the Demon Lord himself. He usually leaves comments with some quality smacktalk and posts of that nature. It makes the heroes feel a little bad about the whole thing. Still, they are determined that they’ll get big someday.

Zane reminds me a lot of the main character from Barakamon. He tends to get excited about any and everything. The guy has a lot of spunk and motivation in the moment although he loses it as soon as things go wrong. Then he reverts back into being emotionless. While he can be a little desperate to be rich he ultimately tends to do the right thing in the end. It may not always be for the right reasons but the important thing is that he is helping out right? That at least gives him a little credit I’d say. His fighting skills are also the real deal. In his burning form he effortlessly defeats even the strongest of demons and that’s not something that just anyone can do.

Kuku is his loyal partner and she is the one who usually tries to think of stuff they can do. She is the true brains of the operation. Although, to be fair most of her plans don’t actually end up working but at least she is actually trying. Zane’s strategy seems to be more like he’ll just wait and hope that success comes to him. Not exactly the most pro-active strategy right? It makes for a good dynamic between the two of them. Then you have Hellheit who joins the cast for volume 2. She’s a nice enough monster who has always just wanted to have some true friends. While I don’t think she ultimately added much to the dynamic, I suppose it made sense to add her so their subscriber count could jump a little. It adds a little subplot where Zane is annoyed since the viewers are only watching for her. It seems like things just never go his way.

The Demon Lord is probably the most wholesome character in the story. He’s always encouraging up and coming streamers to be the best that they can be. He leaves comments right away and is always on social media. You just can’t respond faster than this guy and is also good at provoking others. It’s one of those things where if he wasn’t evil and trying to destroy the world you could see him being a pretty good friend. The guy just seems dependable and like a solid character all around. The cast in the series is pretty small though. Effectively these are the only 4 characters who matter. It’s not a bad idea when the series is so short though. Keep the cast small and that way you can really expand on them rather than having a bunch and then nothing happens.

Brave-Tuber does a good job of not really rushing any of the character arcs. It’s only two volumes but I feel like the series succeeds at what it set out to do. The premise is a lot of fun and I could see an enjoyable anime out of this with a solid budget and all. The invention of social media would definitely change the RPG landscape in one of these retro adventures quite a lot. This is a parody done right as it can all be quite crazy but all of the characters take it in stride. Part of what makes a parody good is everyone acting like this is all normal. The writing here is pretty impressive. Additionally I enjoyed the artwork quite a bit. It’s all very clear with memorable character designs. If this series had decided to take itself seriously I believe that would have worked out as well. That’s the hallmark of a solid series.

Overall, I’d recommend checking out The Brave-Tuber. It’s a pretty good series that balances a pretty solid tone of comedy and adventure. While each chapter is effectively a standalone story the series manages to tackle more of the core topics you would be waiting to hear about in a world like this. The characters try all kinds of videos in order to become popular. They may not ultimately have worked but the important thing is that they tried. Who knows, maybe we’ll get some kind of sequel to this someday. It’s the kind of series where you have to be careful not to overuse the gags, but I’m confident this series will be safe. The writer showed that he is able to balance the humor and think of a good variety of jokes to keep things fresh.

Overall 7/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

RWBY: The Official Manga Review


It’s time to look at the recent RWBY manga that ended. The series has now had a few different manga titles although it has yet to have a breakout hit. Unfortunately while the series is still the greatest TV show of all time it has had mixed outcomes to the other mediums. The video games have ranged from pretty good to super low budget and the manga titles before this one were very short and didn’t have solid art. The comics at least sound like they’ve been really solid although I haven’t checked them out yet. This manga covers the first two seasons so it was a shame that it didn’t get to go further. I’m always up for a re-adaption as this could hopefully get the show on people’s radars. That said, the art for this one was also pretty sub-par and while it had some interesting changes, there was nothing to really hook you.

The basic premise of the series is that the world of Remnant is inhabited by a ton of monsters known as the Grimm. The people who fight these creatures are known as Hunters and Huntresses. As a result, each country trains them up through school so that we will have a solid army of people ready to take back the land. This introduces us to our 4 main characters, Ruby, Yang, Weiss, and Blake. Together they make up Team RWBY and will put their effort into stopping Grimm. They’ll have to overcome many hardships but they’ll also make some new allies along the way. Are they ready to save this planet?

RWBY’s main story arc wouldn’t really start until the second half of Volume 3 so this is what I’d consider to be pre-arc. We do get to the first big boss though so that was good. It’s always nostalgic to see the characters in the original adventures. The manga also has the benefit of knowing what’s going to happen in the future so it can always add some foreshadowing or change a few things. There are a lot of little changes in the manga but nothing really major until the final two chapters as we shuffle some fights a bit. We now know that it’s because the series was ending so in a way this helped to close things off a bit more. Arguably anyway, season 2 had a pretty resolute ending either way.

I’ve already touched upon it, but I should get my main negative out of the way here. After all it’s really my only qualm with the series, it’s just a pretty significant one. The art is just really bad. It’s easily one of the weakest I’ve seen in a very long time. Most of the manga titles that I read have very solid artwork. It’s a bit rare to see titles where it’s a little hard to see anything or where the character models are all wrong. Usually you just see that in cash-ins/tie-in manga. Unfortunately that’s at the level where this one is and it feels like the title was thrown together to get some sales as with all the rest. I’m just surprised that RWBY couldn’t get a bigger artist. Perhaps it’s because the series already exists so almost by default it wouldn’t get the same budget as a brand new idea. Either way it’s always a shame because I think the series had a ton of potential to be far better with real art. After all, the series is a 10 star title so with good art I don’t see why the title couldn’t at least get a 9.

Part of the problem is that RWBY got to be amazing in part because of its great humor and solid fight scenes. The art isn’t really able to capture any of that which leaves the series in a bit of a pickle. There’s only so much you can do if the art isn’t up to snuff because even the best scenes falter a bit. It can’t capture the same intensity. For example, all of the fights are still present but none of them are particularly exciting. I dare say that they would be even lower if I didn’t already know the series quite well. I think with Season 3 the series could have still jumped though, it just wasn’t meant to be. I really hope we get a sequel soon because I don’t get how you can just suddenly end like this.

For the positives, Team RWBY is still fun. Ruby is a solid leader who doesn’t compromise in her sense of justice. She always does the right thing and helps out those in need. Towards the end of the series Torchwick tries to mess with her through a bunch of mindgames and Ruby doesn’t buy into them for a second. I can always appreciate that level of determination. When you’re click to waver then it means that your convictions simply weren’t that strong. If you are absolutely confident in yourself then nobody should be able to shake you so easily and also not for long.

The rest of the team are also solid. Yang’s still my favorite member who’s always up for a fight. Weiss hasn’t gotten to most of her character development yet, but she’s still solid. I always like that she has a bit of edge to her. Blake is also pretty good and I consider these volumes to be when she’s at her best. She’s a bit of a vigilante, but Blake’s fighting the good fight and trying to stop the criminals since nobody else is doing much to stop them. Team Jaune is also around to provide backup support even if they don’t get quite as much focus as Ruby’s group. The series has to move fast so we mainly skip to the main chunks of plot and fights. As an abridged series you should definitely be able to get a good feel for all of the characters and the writing is still solid.

Overall, I was expecting this RWBY manga to adapt at least the first 6 volumes, but to hopefully keep going alongside the show. It would have been cool to have gotten the whole series in manga format to hopefully draw new viewers into the series. Unfortunately that didn’t end up happening which is pretty unfortunate. The actual story is good but it really feels lifeless the whole time. The characters aren’t really able to save the series. It’s a decent read and you should find it entertaining, but I don’t think it’s a series that you would ever end up re-reading. For that you can just watch the show which is way better. Hopefully Rooster Teeth learns from this and gets some really good art for the next series.

Overall 6/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Kurozakuro Review


It’s time to look at a manga that I had definitely never heard of before. It seems pretty obscure to me, but it lasted for around 7 volumes so I suppose it must have had a fanbase back when it existed. It’s pretty fun and it’s a bit of a shame that it ended so soon. The series had enough going for it where it could have been a few volumes longer. That said, at least we still did get all of the big fights in the end. The series really picked up once the lead character got his act together. This is a pretty traditional action series that will give you a good amount of fun. I’d recommend it.

The series starts with introducing us to Mikito, a pretty ordinary guy. He is definitely a bit of a pacifist and really prefers not to fight but the guy gets bullied quite a bit. The heroine at school encourages him to stick up for himself. Well, one day Mikito does just that and beats the bullies up quite violently. His power seemed greater than a normal human’s and this is actually the case. The legendary being known as Zakuro has implanted himself inside of Mikito. He lives in the character’s psyche and once Zakuro’s powers have completely returned he aims to take control of the world once more. Mikito is now a danger to himself as well as the rest of the world. This sinks in when a monster comes close to murdering his sister. Mikito decides to run away from home while he is still in control of himself but aside from the villains who want to murder him, the various monster hunters are also after his head. Can Mikito keep them all away or is this the end for him.

When it comes to the idea of a demon residing within the main character pretty much every character has taken a shot at it. To an extent this is pretty much mandatory for the main character because it ensures he will always be very powerful. Naruto, Ichigo, Yusuke, Toriko, pretty much all of the big characters have it. Then the leads who don’t like Goku, Gon, Kenshin, have a darker persona within themselves that can grant them extra power when needed. It’s always a pretty nice idea. That said, Zakuro himself is considerably less interesting than most of the monsters and to me he is one of the weakest (not physically but as a character) characters in the series.

At first I wasn’t a big fan of Mikito but he did really improve as the series went on. For starters, his decision to leave home early enough was pretty solid. A lot of characters seem to hesitate about that kind of thing but it is the safest way to ensure his family stays safe. Mikito’s monster genes seem to attract monsters and they certainly attract the hunters as well so he does need to put some distance. The brief scenes of him working for the hunters right under their noses was pretty fun though. It was an interesting dynamic to be sure. Around halfway through the series Mikito finally starts to talk with Zakuro more. Once they’re on the same page Mikito gets more confident in his abilities and that’s when he’s at his best. He dons a cloak and starts to be one of the heavy hitters. I’d have liked the series to go on longer in part because we could have seen him more.

Zakuro never really went up though. He has an interesting backstory and he gets a lot of character development but I just never found him all that cool or entertaining. He got overshadowed by the rest of the cast and villains for sure. The guy can fight though which is always good. Kugai is one of the main characters here and the first hunter we meet. The guy’s a pretty sharp fighter and he’s managed to stay totally human instead of becoming a hybrid. As a result his power definitely does have its limits to be sure, but he isn’t planning on surviving this either way. He does a good job of being the mentor in the series who grudgingly helps out Mikito most of the time. Kugai is pretty solid and definitely one of the better supporting characters.

Gogyo is one of the elite squad members and gets a pretty great entrance. The guy can really fight and is the best hero if you ask me. The guy comes in clutch on many occasions. Ultimately by the end of the series the power levels get too high for anyone who isn’t named Mikito to help but Gogyo manages to keep up with the heroes better than most. He was also a lot more reasonable than the other hunters who would just follow orders no matter what. Thinking for yourself is a critical ability to have.

Then we have Hagi who is another government higher up. This guy is definitely more about following orders until he doesn’t. His scenes near the end of the series are a bit interesting in that respect as he defies orders to try and make a grab for extra power. It’s hard to say what his motivations are most of the time but I would consider him to be a villain. He willingly uses people as sacrifices to get his way so no matter what nice things he tries to do by the end you just can’t buy into it. This guy’s only looking after himself. He is a solid fighter though and holds his own against Gogyo. He made for an interesting villain to have around.

Suguri is one of the first big villains that the heroes fight. You can think of him as a super ogre that is stronger than most. Most ogres are fairly mindless and all they have going for them is a bit of super strength. The Super Ogres have all of their stats amped up further while keeping their human intelligence in check. Then they continue to eat more and more monsters to grow stronger. As with most series this was part of the turning point. By introducing this elite level ogres it ensured that the characters would need power ups to deal with them and that was fun. As far as the villain group goes, Suguri is definitely one of the most memorable members.

Seri didn’t get to do much next to the other White Claw members but he got at least one big fight which is still solid in a 7 volume series. He’s the classic kind of character who really likes to fight and puts his life on the line in each battle due to how risky his combat style is. It all just works out quite well. Azami is one of the members who gets a much bigger role. The others always treat her like a kid and give her little weapons that won’t hurt her as much as the stronger ones. She resents this and is determined to get everyone to really see her true abilities. She is decently skilled but not to the point where their worry isn’t unwarranted. When Azami does manage to fight she tends to get herself in trouble. She did a good job with the sword at the end though so I’ll give her some points there. She was quick to turn on Mikito though even if I suppose everyone was at the time. She wasn’t bad, I think Azami’s final battle helped to solidify her as a solid character.

The rest of the villains in the series are pretty solid. In general I don’t think that any of the super Ogres were bad. They each got a quality fight against the heroes and had interesting ideas. Quen ends up being the final boss and he gets a super form so that’s always cool. He wants to destroy the world and gives them all a hard time. I’d definitely give him a passing grade as far as villains go and the group was pretty neat. I would also call the White Claw (Government group) villains as well with how eager they were to destroy everyone. Especially with the twist of who the leader was since it all ends up throwing you into a loop. It was a pretty cool twist though.

The art is pretty solid. It can be a little rough at first but the art improves rather quickly and by volume 3 or 4 it’s definitely holding its own with the rest. The action scenes here are pretty solid as well. The villains have a lot of creative abilities and they’re all pretty different. It never gets too chaotic on the page either so you can always tell what is going on. That’s always important for any series. The writing is on point as well with each character being pretty reasonable. The story is also engaging and some of the concepts are pretty original even if the general story is basic.

The hunters all use weapons that slowly destroy themselves every time they use it. This is a pretty heavy cost and it shows how desperate they are to beat the villains. It feels like a losing battle for the humans the whole way through because as their numbers continue to shrink and the hunters grow weaker, the villains keep on getting stronger. By the end of the series we learn a lot about all of this and it’s supposed to be a balance, but I think the odds are stacked in the villains favor. They can keep expanding their ranks at any time with the hollow monsters and they’re all pretty powerful which doesn’t bode well for the heroes. Without Mikito they would be totally doomed so it can be annoying when some of the hunters are so insistent on murdering him. It’s not like D-Grayman or Seraph of the End where the humans are completely doomed either way. In this series the humans have a shot if they team up with the main character but that’s really their only chance.

Overall, Kurozakuro is a pretty fun series. It’s a tale about demons and demon hunters so you sort of expect it to be pretty good right away. There are a lot of different plots which is always good and the cast is surprisingly strong. The series may be short but it still gets to use quite a few different backgrounds and settings. They’re all pretty enjoyable and even the school days were pretty good too. The writing in general is solid and I think that ends up helping the series in all areas. It’s a quick read and I definitely recommend checking the series out. It’d be pretty cool if this ever got an anime someday. I think there’s certainly a lot you can do here and the premise would be easy enough to market to the general audience.

Overall 7/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

We Love Pocket Monsters Review


It’s time to look at a super short Pokemon series. This was a small 4 koma with two chapters of around 3-4 pages each so you can see how it doesn’t take very long to read. It seems like a small advertisement of sorts for the latest Pokemon season. Ash and Go make a quick cameo as well as they help one of the girls try to catch a Pokemon. It’s nice enough, but there seriously is only so much you can do in that amount of time. 4 Koma does make sense in this respect since you can certainly get a lot more work done that way than with traditional pages. In a sense each page can have 2 really tiny stories. So this was a fun read but it’ll only last you around 5 minutes and probably less since a minute per page is pretty generous.

So the basic premise is that there are two girls who are really excited to get a Pokemon. They look a bit younger than 10 but it can be hard to guess age and I always thought you didn’t really have to be 10 to get a Pokemon outside of the main trainers. We see little kids with Pokemon in the anime all the time. A lot of the time they’re more for being pets as opposed to in actual battles though which makes sense. In the pages we quickly see their personalities. One girl is very energetic and loves just jumping into situations. Unfortunately her aggressive personality does cause Pokemon to end up running away from her which can be sad. Even Pikachu panics and zaps everyone which is something you don’t see him do much anymore. The other girl is the more laidback/reserved member who is still excited about Pokemon but does so with more restraint. Both of the characters are fun enough.

The art is all right. It’s definitely nothing amazing but it still looked good enough to me. It’s not as if it would be distracting or anything like that. It’s bright and you can follow what is going on which is ultimately what you’re hoping for here. There isn’t enough time for any fight scenes or anything like that so we don’t get to really test the artwork. Maybe someday we’ll get a full fledged story with these characters. I’d be up for that although admittedly the odds of something like that happening are incredibly slim. I just gotta face the facts that this is pretty much just a one shot though. Hey, the more one shots the better right?

Overall, This is an extremely short review but it’s an extremely short manga so I’d say that makes sense. I basically wrote 100 words per page if you break it down. There’s literally no reason for me not to recommend this because of how short it is. If you happen to see this story online then you may as well give it a read. You can’t really go wrong here and I’m always up for more Pokemon content. After wrapping up all of the Mystery Dungeon and Ranger games recently they just get me more and more hyped for the upcoming episodes in the anime. I’m hoping Ash is able to claim victory in the tournament.

Overall 5/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Burn The Witch Review


It’s time to take a look at the new title that Kubo is working on. Currently it is just a one shot so I took a look and figured I’d review this one. Bleach is one of the greatest manga of all time so I’m expecting similar quality from Burn The Witch. It’s hard for a manga to start off being a masterpiece though and this one will clearly need some extra time to work things out. The one shot was not nearly as good as I had been expecting thanks in large part to an annoying character who seems like he’ll be one of the main cast.

The special starts by introducing us to Noel. She is one of the two leads and is always pretty deadpan about everything. She works in the London branch of Soul Society and her mission is to destroy all dragons. She has to deal with constant harassment from her best friend Balgo though who is as shameless as they come. After losing him she meets up with her teammate/superior Spangcole and they are given a new assignment. It turns out that some dragons are near Noel’s home. Balgo may be in danger now so the heroines head over to save them. The question is….should she save Balgo? The guy’s pretty cheap so they may want to re think that.

Balgo is really my main problem with the series. Every scene with him is pretty brutal. He’s only got Noel on his mind and only in a very superficial way. While this is supposed to be comedic it definitely falls short of that and becomes irritating almost instantly. There is just no way you can root for the guy or even feel bad for him. The dynamic that the series is going for completely falls flat and it will heavily limit Burn The Witch’s potential. I’m hoping that he will ultimately get written out and was just made up for the opening pilot. They’ve gotta get rid of him.

His best friend Selvie in comparison seems a lot more reasonable. He’s always pretty tired of Balgo’s antics and just wants to live a normal life. He gets a pretty big role in this chapter and is a solid character. I’d like to see more of him. From the main two, Spangcole’s my favorite character so far. She’s definitely the loud character of the duo and is constantly talking big. Skill-wise I assume she is a little stronger than Noel, but it’s far too soon to say. Confidence does go a long way though and I think that should help her out a lot in the long term.

Then Noel’s a solid character as well. She’s a lot more of the quiet type than Spangcole, but she gets the job done when they need to fight so that’s what counts. Interestingly it’s still hard to really nail down Spangcole and Noel’s characters though. You get their basic personalities, but the title goes by so fast that they haven’t shown you too much yet. That’s a good thing in that it means they won’t be two dimensional. The plot with the dragons is also interested. Despite being called that, most of the enemies don’t look like dragons. They are basically shape shifters who take over the bodies of the dead. If you get hit by a train for example one will hop in your body and pretend that you just barely rolled out of the way. There’s no real way for humans to tell the dragons apart from the actual person so it does put them in a lot of danger. I could easily see the series becoming part horror due to that.

There’s a lot of good potential to the overall premise so I can definitely see this becoming a long running title. The artwork is definitely solid and should remind you of Bleach right away. I’m hoping we can see the regular Bleach cast make guest star appearances at some point though. We’ll likely need to hold off on that until the main characters get a power up though because right now they are far too weak to have many real interactions with that group. There’s plenty of time to buff them up though so I would hardly even call that a real concern. Eventually characters always power up.

Overall, I’ll be interested to see where Burn The Witch goes from here. I’m hoping that the movie is able to correct the weaknesses of the manga though. There isn’t really any fanservice so it’s not like that’s an issue but every scene with Balgo is just super annoying. It takes away from moments where the other characters could be shining instead and that is always preferable. If you’re a huge Bleach fan then you should check this out, but just know that there isn’t really even a connection to Bleach yet besides the universe. I expect we’ll have to wait a while for a true crossover which makes sense because you can build the characters up more that way.

Overall 5/10