Megaman Star Force Review


Megaman Star Force was definitely a fun follow up to the Battle Network series. There’s just a lot you can do with Megaman in a futuristic sci-fi setting. I mean, that’s all Mega titles to an extent but Star Force was really far in the future. Using wavelengths and such was a unique way to bring out some new fights. Unfortunately this manga really doesn’t compete with the average Megaman manga. Mainly because it completely overloads on crude humor which is a huge no no for any title.

The basic premise is similar to the first game. Geo’s father went missing in space one day and Geo has decided to find him. One day an alien named Omega Xis shows up and says he knows Geo’s Dad but he has amnesia and doesn’t know more than that. If the two of them merge to become Megaman and beat a lot of enemies maybe that will jog his memory. The main villain to watch out for here is Gemini Spark who wants to claim ultimate power so that he can fight the FM King and change this world. Megaman can’t let someone handle such dangerous power though.

Well, honestly Geo doesn’t really care about that but this power is a possible clue to finding his father. Also, Geo just enjoys a good fight. Lets just say this isn’t the most heroic portrayal of his character so right now he’s got more things on his mind than justice. Geo just wants to take down everyone who stands in his way. The banter with him and Omega Xis should be great since that’s usually a lot of fun but the manga messes this up with crude humor as well. What a shame…..but there is just no escape for this it seems.

Before I get more into that though, lets talk about the art in general. I would actually consider that to be a strength as the action scenes are on point. It can get a little messy at times to be sure as all of the attacks blend together but you will also get some real stand out moments. For example I feel like the series went especially all out for all of Gemini Spark’s scenes. Every time he is on screen he gets big panels to himself or extended fights.

I also like the way the Tuning power is drawn for each character. It’s sort of like a Super Saiyan mode you could say. It boosts all of the character’s attributes after all which is basically what Super Saiyan does anyway right? It’s effectively made up for the manga but I liked this as a skill. It makes sense that by tuning into frequencies you would be able to boost your abilities if you are made of waves the way the characters are. So when the series is trying, the art looks really good.

Now the issue is that it is often squandered because of all the crude humor though. Here’s the big problem, it is constant. Geo may try to have a serious conversation and Omega Xis has to suddenly use the bathroom or just puke somewhere. These moments just never stop and gets as gross as possible. The characters have runny noses for no reason and the manga just can’t take itself seriously for a moment. I’d prefer the series has tons of jokes which are never funny than spoiling things with crude humor. It especially butcher’s Omega Xis’ character since at least Geo is trying to be serious some of the time. That never happens for his partner.

Crude humor has to be the worst kind of humor to be sure. It easy took a star off of this and came close to 2. I would still call this a good manga overall since the action scenes are on point and I like the general story but it just feels so unnecessary. Without the crude humor this could have easily been a great manga. As it stands, I can see why this one didn’t last so long. It’s also a very loose adaption to be sure. Most of Geo’s friends don’t even appear and Harpnote doesn’t appear until the very end of the series.

Instead the cop Goyoda gets to appear a whole lot. He’s always chasing after Geo which is par for the course. Of course he is so outmatched here that you might just feel bad for him. At least he makes the right call at the end but for the most part he’s just here to hold Megaman back. You’d think he would be more focused on stopping the evil aliens but at the same time Megaman does openly cause a whole lot of collateral damage so you can understand more than usual. One of Megaman’s first appearances is him breaking down a building thanks to his lack of control after all.

Among others, Megaman fights with Taurus Fire and Libra Scales here. I liked Libra’s gimmick of trying to use rigged games to force opponents into submission. You’d think that they would suspect that the whole thing is rigged but I suppose they weren’t quite smart enough for that. His first victim is Cancer Bubble as well who was never the smartest one. Geo’s method of outsmarting him with a rigged game of his own was really the perfect counter when you think about it.

Taurus’s intro wasn’t ideal though. Basically some bullies are picking on a little dog for no reason other than to try and be as edgy as possible. It’s handled in more of a chibi way so it’s not like the dog gets seriously injured or anything but was this really necessary? I don’t think so.

As I mentioned, Gemini Spark’s plot is the main one. The guy gets a whole lot of development and he feels a lot like Gemini Saga from Saint Seiya. The dual personalities is handled well and this guy is a true threat with the sheer amount of raw power he has at his disposal. The fact that he even has a mentor was pretty interesting. Then there is the FM King Andromeda who is interesting. Usually the FM King isn’t Andromeda himself I’m pretty sure from the first game unless he had some kind of transformation.

I’ll give the series props for having a real climax though. It did properly have some end of the world stakes as well as a big team up so you could feel like this was really the climax to a grand journey. That’s how these things are supposed to be. The actual ending to the series is a bit much though. The whole misunderstanding leading to some near deaths ends up being a total comedic plot. Perhaps a fitting end to this title but while it’s supposed to be a subversion it just feels annoying. Even the very last page is a bit annoying with Geo’s dad going right back to sleeping on the job.


Overall, Megaman Star Force is the kind of manga that had a whole lot of potential but couldn’t seize it. The crude humor is really a deal breaker. If you like Megaman a lot then it’s still worth checking out but I would recommend virtually any other Megaman title over this one. You can just do a whole lot better than Star Force. I look forward to seeing the other one though. Even if the 3 adaption is only 2 chapters long, it still sounds like it should be more fun.

Overall 5/10

Megaman – Saga of the Mu Continent Review


Megaman has had a ton of manga titles over the years. Naturally that also includes one shot adventures here and there. This is one of those and it’s pretty fun. Naturally when you’re only 1 chapter long at exactly 40 pages, there is only so much you can do. The nice flip side of that is pretty much the entire chapter is one nonstop fight scene so that’s always fun. I’d recommend checking this out.

The continent of Mu has risen from the sea after many generations. Dr. Wily manages to dash inside and take the place over before the heroes could do anything. He then used its infinite power to resurrect every robot master he has ever created. Megaman will have to put a stop to this before the Earth takes any more damage but can he really defeat this many opponents? Dr. Light has given Megaman an unnamed power up in order to handle these guys so we’ll just have to hope that it’s enough. If anyone can get Megaman ready for this then I suppose it is up to him.

One thing you’ll notice off the bat is that Megaman seems a little more unhinged than usual. Not to say he’s crazy or anything but he’s just really angry the whole chapter which is a lot different from how you usually see the guy. Typically Megaman is all about peace. He doesn’t really like to fight but does what he has to in order to win This Megaman is constantly yelling about how he’ll destroy everyone as he ravages through the base. There is a bit of a time crunch here since Megaman has to stop Wily fast so I guess we could chalk this up to nerves and stress. At the very least that’s probably the safest bet I guess. It’s a very different portrayal for sure but also one of his more powerful ones. What other title would have Megaman beating dozens of robot masters like this right?

The art is also solid. It certainly looks a little more modern than the others I had read. There’s more detail in each of the drawings and it works quite well for the fight scenes. You can definitely feel the action in each page and it works really well. You can feel the danger the planet is in. I think part of why Megaman is portrayed so violently is to show at the end how he has accepted the peace now. See, there is a voice in his head the whole time telling him that she wants peace and things like that. Now Megaman will be able to really understand and accept this. I’d argue that Megaman is usually an expert on peace as it is…but that seems like it makes sense.

With a 40 page chapter like this there isn’t a whole lot more to talk about. There are so many enemies that they all go down before they can really have much of a personality. You either already know these guys or you don’t. Megaman is really the important character here and I guess Wily. Wily has built another pretty powerful suit of armor/robot that he can use to crush Megaman although in this case it might be more accurate to say he built a control rig for it. The suit was already there from the Mu Continent and it has infinite energy which is pretty impressive. I guess they had a genius even smarter than Wily at the time.

If it really was the Earth itself asking Megaman for help and that powered him up in the end, I guess X has company now since the same thing happened in the X3 manga. It is nice to see a defender of justice like Megaman actually get acknowledged by the planet. It seems like it happens pretty rarely but if the planet is sentient then you do hope that it can recognize that at least one person is trying to save it.


Overall, This was a pretty solid one shot. It really just threw us right into the action and worked as a complete story. Naturally if it were a few more chapters we could have fleshed out more of the battles and maybe gotten some big characters like Protoman in, but as it stands this was a satisfying adventure. It also shows that Megaman was definitely not playing around at all this time. He was just determined to completely obliterate anyone who stood in his path. I really think Wily caught Megaman on a bad day, perhaps he should have postponed his invasion of Earth. If you like action and/or Megaman then you should definitely read this. Not to mention that you’ll have it finished in under 10 minutes anyway so it’s not like it’ll take a lot of time.

Overall 7/10

Megaman 4 Review


After wrapping up that last Megaman manga it was time to dig deep and check out the next one. Once again this is only one volume so it makes for a pretty quick read at only 5 chapters. It’s a fun enough story that throws you right into the action and does the game justice. It’s always fun to be able to jump back into the world of Megaman.

The story starts off with Megaman beating up Wily again and heading home. He’s just in time because Roll is going shopping to grab stuff for Dr Light’s surprise birthday party. Megaman offers to go with her and even saves a kid from getting hit in traffic. Unfortunately that’s when a bunch of robots start attacking the cities and the whole world is in peril. This time it’s not Wily, but Dr. Cossack who is the big bad. He has control over 8 robot masters and doesn’t intend to stop his mad quest for power. Megaman is forced to suit up once more to take this guy down but is he really ready to defeat such an opponent? Hopefully because he likely won’t get a second chance if he is defeated here.

Since 8 robot masters have to go down in under 5 chapters as well as giving us enough time to deal with the extra levels, Megaman really mows them down. The first few fighters like Pharaohman and Diveman do well enough but after that Mega Man basically no sells them. He essentially beats every robot master within 5 chapters before giving one for Cossack and one for the final boss. It’s not surprising though because Megaman should be completely crushing these guys. He’s just on a different level and has enough raw power to destroy just about any opponent who gets in his way. He’s earned the Mega part of his name after all.

Megaman often gets compared to Astro Boy because they share a lot of similarities. I’d say that this is one such occasion as this Mega Man in particular feels a lot like Astro Boy. He’s a very nice guy living a day to day life but gets serious when the going gets tough. Like with Megaman X, the classic version doesn’t care for battle but he gets less emotional about it. Megaman just takes down the villains and keeps it moving. It’s just the way he handles these guys. Megaman’s a very streamlined fighter after all, nobody gets in his way for very long before he packs them up.

The artwork is also pretty solid. It looks a little more modern than the last adventure so the fight scenes are a bit better but it stays very clear. All of the character outlines are good and the layout is on point. As a result you’ve got a manga that you can read through very quickly. The writing is on point and the action is good so there’s really nothing negative to say here. Especially if you played through the game then you’ll probably be feeling pretty nostalgic when you read through the title. It’s always fun to see the familiar robot masters trying to get in Megaman’s way.

Naturally you can always expect Wily to make an appearance as well. That was definitely a lot of fun to be sure. Perhaps it was not unexpected because he had to show up sooner or later though. Protoman also got to appear for a change which was fun. The one thing is, he didn’t get to fight which is a shame. I feel like by having Protoman in, you just expect that he would at least get 1 action scene to himself. What’s the point if he doesn’t get to throw out any blows except to look cool. He saves someone which is hype but I think they should have added a scene where we see Protoman beating up some bodyguards or something.

The volume ends pretty suddenly when Megaman beats Wily so don’t expect an aftermath. Megaman just showed up to clean shop and that was the end of the battle. Presumably after that he will finally get to enjoy the Birthday party that everyone had been planning so nicely. Due to how direct the volume is with Megaman just running from battle to battle, there’s not a whole lot extra to say about it. The robot masters don’t appear long enough for any true discussion with them either since they appear and then get blasted without mercy by Megaman. They get their quick rematch with Megaman at the end when he has to fight them all again but they barely even get to talk before they’re shut down. It just goes to show how strong he is.

I suppose the emotional moment here would be Cossack’s plot since it’s not like he is exactly thrilled to be going up against Megaman. Still, he’s got to do what he’s got to do. Hostage situations always get tricky. I would have liked to have had some banter with the various doctors though. Seeing them all debate the classic question of robots would be fun and how they should be used or not used in society. Even if it’s a super simplified version that would have been fun too.


Overall, Megaman 4 is a very solid adaption. These one volume titles are always very easy to read. Personally it’d be fun if the series could be longer since you could really expand on each fight and give a little more story in between the battles. That said, you’d probably need to change the format of the story a bit if you wanted to add a lot of other scenes just because of the way there is typically no break in the attacks. It’s not like Megaman can just choose to stay home sometimes either. So until we get a more adventure styled Megaman manga like that, I’m definitely content to get a bunch of these smaller volumes. At the very least we got to have a giant Mettaur show up out of nowhere at one point which was definitely a blast. If you haven’t checked this one out yet, I would recommend doing so now.

Overall 7/10

Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge Review


After reading through all of the X titles it was time to finally take a look at the Mega Man 2 adaption. When you have a title like “Dr. Wily’s Revenge” you know things are about to get epic. Naturally the manga is a lot calmer than the X titles which makes sense since the classic era was known as a peaceful one next to X. To an extent the writers would need to be careful whenever doing a classic title since if they make things too explosive, it may seem a bit off. (Gigamix handled this exceptionally well though as they just went all out anyway and made the definitive Mega Man experience possible) This manga one shot plays it pretty safe and by the books so it’s an enjoyable experience too.

The manga starts with Mega Man finally having some relaxation time, but unfortunately it is cut short when Wily appears on the T with his new robot masters. They taunt Mega Man and dare the blue bomber to try and stop him. Mega Man is eager to rise to the challenge so he jumps in. These robots are tougher than the original ones though so Mega Man is going to have to fight smarter this time since he can’t just win with brute strength. It’s actually a theme throughout the volume about how fighting smarter is the way to go. It’s a pretty nice theme for sure although I like to think Mega Man’s specs should be better than some of these guys but maybe Wily really is the better inventor.

There are 8 chapters in this series and basically each chapter has him defeat around 2 of the Wily robots. Sometimes it spills over to the next chapter but by the end of the first 6 he has taken care of business. Then we get the climax of the series where Mega Man goes after the dragon and Wily’s final robots. One opponent I was surprised to see was Guts Man only he is now in a new form where he is some kind of vehicle hybrid. If he was in the game then I have to say I really don’t remember him. It was a nice way to acknowledge the original title though that’s for sure.

Mega Man has solid action in the volume and the artwork is good. It’s not nearly on the same level as X though with that series being a whole lot more detailed throughout but this one is going for more of a retro feel with the simpler character designs. It’s fitting for the original series and it’s easy to read so I’ll give it some kudos there. The fight scenes are on point and you’ll be blasting through the volume with ease. The story is pretty simple but to the point.

Thanks to the format of the game that this is adapting, you could say that this one shot is really just nonstop action throughout. It never lets up as Mega Man takes on challenger after challenger. Anyone who gets in his way is promptly shut down immediately. Nobody’s about to get one up over Mega Man even if they all start out strong. I will say there’s no way Mega Man should have been able to stop the guy who could literally stop time though. Now that’s an incredibly broken ability if I’ve ever seen one. I don’t see how you can think your way around such a power. Quickman’s speed was definitely impressive although time stop is a bit of a perfect counter to it which makes things pretty tough for Mega Man.

The writing is on point with Mega Man being portrayed as a lot more gullible than X. Both of them have similar ideals about world peace but Mega Man here is willing to take Wily at his word that he will just turn over a new leaf and immediately become a good guy after losing. Keep in mind for context that he made the exact same speech after the first adventure and it turned out he was lying. Why should this time be any different right? Mega Man chooses to see the best side in everyone even if it doesn’t always pan out. At the end of the day that’s just his style.

There was one twist I liked near the end of the volume that the manga had some fun with. When cornered, Wily turned into an alien and revealed that he was never an Earthling to start with. Of course this isn’t true, but it did allow us to have a proper battle scene where Mega Man has to go up against this mysterious looking alien and it was a fun way to handle the climax. You couldn’t help but feel that if this was real it would have been a pretty amazing twist. You certainly wouldn’t look at Wily the same way knowing that he was holding back so much power and pretending to be weak the whole time. It’s quite the crafty move.

The characters are all written pretty well too. Wily’s a crafty villain as always while Dr Light always shows up out of nowhere to quickly drop off an invention and provide some insight. His upgrades do come in handy. I was surprised to hear the giant dragon talking but he had some solid lines as well. The series also does a good job of explaining the video game mechanics as well so you can treat parts of the manga a bit like a walkthrough as Mega Man offers tips and tricks which can better help you navigate the obstacles in the actual levels. I thought that was pretty clever the whole time. After all, some people may be reading the manga because they weren’t sure how to complete the game so Mega Man points out every boss’ weakness as well as the best way to get across the invisible blocks and areas where you should use the hoverboard.

Overall, Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge is a fun manga. It’s not exactly going to light the world on fire with how great it is, but not everything needs to be the next big title. This manga is content to be a fairly standard action title featuring everyone’s favorite robot. It encompasses the game really well and provides a well rounded mech experience. I didn’t have any complaints with the title and look forward to reading the next installment. Hopefully we get Proto Man or Bass coming up but I always forget when those characters debuted in the games. Proto Man at least should be close I think.

Overall 7/10

Megaman X3 Review


Megaman X has had a pretty good run with the various manga titles. The author really knows how to expand on the general plot and put in ew details where it would help enhance the story. I wouldn’t quite put this above the second X adaption but it’s a good way to kick off the first three stories. In a way this one has the most climactic end of the 3 so far as you feel the whole series could have ended here. There are no loose ends and X has finally mastered his abilities to their fullest.

The series kicks off with Megaman admitting that he is retiring yet again. He doesn’t want to fight anymore and has even deactivated his Mega buster. He is confident that the world has no need of violence. Unfortunately he is betrayed by his own men once more and gets kidnapped by the mad scientist Doppler. Zero shows up to save him but now there are 8 robot masters running around causing havok. Megaman X is forced to suit up once more to stop these guys. Can he really come up with a way to stop them or is it gonna be game over for him this time?

You do have to feel bad for X because every time he has conquered a challenge, a brand new one takes its place. X seems doomed to never truly have a moment’s peace. Every time he even attempts something so bold he is quickly put back in the arena. I do think it may be a bit naive of him to fully expect that no more battles will be needed though. Getting kidnapped was pretty tough. The series does delve into his psyche a bit here. Being betrayed so many times and having to fight has naturally taken its toll on him. This is the series where X finally cracks to an extent. We get a sub plot where X is metaphorically turning into a demon which is a big plot point towards the end of the series. It’s a pretty intense plot to be sure.

It does make for some epic battles as well although I do have to say it hurts X’s character tremendously. Not so much that he is using the power since he is using it to help everybody but he also starts snapping at the main heroine and anyone who tries to help him. He completely goes off the deep end. It’s clear that X has become desperate but I think this was a bit too much. You’d think he would have been able to control himself a bit better. The final chapter has him back to normal though so I think he’ll be okay going forward but it was quite the change in personalities.

The ending is definitely interesting though. Without going into specifics, X gets a huge power up that makes him very hard to stop. He’s essentially life itself. I’ve never seen a portrayal quite like this for X before so that was definitely a twist. It feels a bit like plot convenience rather than something that should have happened but I suppose it’s unique at least. Just felt like it was like robbing the victory at the end since it wasn’t earned quite as hard as it could have been otherwise.

Zero gets a pretty big role here compared to the other titles since for once he isn’t presumed dead this time around. He has the perfect entrance here since he saves X and uses up so much power that everyone is in awe of him. How can you possibly top that right? I was surprised to see even Zero get overpowered near the end when he had to fight his opponent but it just goes to show how powerful some of the new villains are. Zero even got some character development from the previous titles. as he was more willing to spare his opponents.

Meanwhile the artwork here is definitely on point. The action scenes are intense and you feel the weight of each blow. It can get a little busy at times during the more high-end fights like with Vile and Sigma but you can still get what is happening. The heroes are just fighting at such a high level that there is naturally a lot more power involved at this point. The scale is handled well for sure and then you’ve got the subtle effects like X’s eyes not being shown when he’s in his demon mode to show just how much he has changed from his peaceful self. Even if it hurts his character a bit by the end.

While most of the normal bosses were a bit forgettable this time around, we did get two fun opponents in Bit and Byte. These guys are a cut above the rest of the mavericks and were actually overwhelming X and Zero with ease when they battled. Not just any opponent can do that. The opening fight was definitely one of the standout moments of the manga series because it’s just so rare to see Zero and X on the defensive like this. Particularly Zero who to this point was pretty much unbeatable in 1 on 1 battles. Nobody was really giving him such a difficult time prior to this battle. It makes sense that eventually there would be mavericks who could surpass him in ability though. While these guys may not have been super brave in the end, they definitely left a lasting impression. It was X’s last battle before going into the next stage too so it’s hard to forget that.

For the other robot masters, most of them just come across as rather insane this time around. They’re following the orders of their master but partially this is because they are being controlled like Doppler. It’s not about choosing the side because they wanted to like in the first two games. Only one of them is really able to stay strong. He was an aerial fighter who is sort of like Storm Eagle so he always wanted to surpass Zero in strength. I don’t think that’s going to happen but it’s always important to have lofty goals after all and why not at least aim high right?


Overall, Megaman X3 is definitely a great manga. The ending in particular is really solid. It’s the longest of the X adventures to this point so there was time for a lot of extra scenes and development to the individual battles. Despite this I would say the first two games had the more memorable villain cast. Maybe that’s because I’ve been through the original adventure in so many ways already though. Either way this one really upped the stakes with the grand finale and getting all of the robots to unite for once. I also enjoyed the beginning with X getting kidnapped since that was just such a different way of starting things off compared to usual. Typically you definitely would not expect things to start like that. X3 remains rather grim and somber a lot of the time with things always turning out tragically for the heroes. The ending is no exception, in some ways its the saddest ending yet so we’ll see how X deals with this in his next adventure. Will he retire yet again or this time will he stay in the front lines?

Overall 8/10

Demon Slayer Review


It’s time to finally take a look at another review I’ve had on the backburner since 2020. With this one done I’ll finally have everything caught up to 2021 for the first time in well, I can’t even recall how long it’s been since I was caught up. Demon Slayer finished a while back with a pretty solid run of 200+ chapters. Whenever a big Shonen Jump title ends you can always look back at the series and appreciate how much it accomplished. Demon Slayer is definitely a solid title that I would definitely recommend.

The series begins with Tanjiro heading down the mountain on a pretty routine supply run. Unfortunately when he heads back up the mountain he finds out that his family have been murdered by demons. Only his sister Nezuko was able to survive and she has now been turned into a demon. She can no longer be out where there is sunlight and survives on humans. Fortunately she is an exception to the last part of the curse and is able to regain energy by sleeping. Unfortunately the Demon Corps don’t trust her and so Tanjiro has to take special care to protect her from all harm. His only chance is to find Muzan, the king of the Demons and get the cure from him. Can Tanjiro save Nezuko?

Along the way that does mean he will need to hone his skills and become a true Demon Slayer. The opening part of the series really doesn’t hold back with showing what a long process this is. He spends almost 2 years just training on using a sword and the opening breath techniques before going out there to fight with the demons. The opening storylines give us some opening battles and introduce Tanjiro into the grisly world of demons. From the start Tanjiro is a very likable main character. He’s determined to save Nezuko above all else.

He’s typically more of a peaceful guy but if anyone attacks her then he cuts loose. He’s also sympathetic to the people who have been turned into demons without hesitating at a crucial moment or doing anything that would put other people in danger which I think is important. It’s always pretty annoying if someone hesitates and then everyone gets injured as a result. Tanjiro never makes that mistake. His abilities continue to improve throughout the series and he always balances himself as a powerhouse who never forgets how he got there or his kind hearted nature. You can always count on him to be a solid lead.

Nezuko’s a very solid heroine. As Tanjiro’s sister she is always ready to step in and protect him. Her ability to resist the urge to eat people is also impressive especially considering how much a bunch of characters try to press the issue. As a demon her physical abilities are also very impressive and she comes in handy for a bunch of the fights. She may not be able to talk as a demon but she still has a lot of character just appears to be very heroic. She was always a lot of fun to have around.

Then we have the main villain Muzan. As the king of the demons you can imagine that he’s very powerful. He’s an interesting villain as he doesn’t tend to show malice towards humans as much as other demons. In a way you can say he’s always a lot harsher towards the demons as he destroys them with ease. For the humans he just does so automatically without thinking about it much. There’s a scene early on in the manga where he was even trying to walk away without destroying any humans but naturally they attacked him and kept bothering so eventually he just destroyed them. Muzan has a presence throughout the series and always looks very powerful right through to the end. He’s definitely a stand out character who has an intimidating presence.

The first really big battle I would say is with Susamaru, the soccer demon. She stands out with her superb strength. At the time it was pretty hard for anyone to stand against her. We also got to meet two demons who are actually good people in Yushiro and Tamayo. Tamayo was a solid healer and a good quality character. Yushiro may be a much meaner character but I do understand his life debt to Tamayo and why he is so dedicated to protecting her all the time. Susamaru’s partner is less memorable since the guy mainly didn’t do any up close battling but I do have to say that his ability to control movements through arrows is pretty great. If anything it’s almost a broken ability with how good it was. If the guy trained more then I think he would have done quite well here.

After that we get our first big arc with all 3 of the main characters. Tanjiro meets up with a scared soul named Zenitsu in the middle of the road and then heads into an ever changing mansion where a demon is going around murdering people. A fellow demon hunter named Inosuke has been trapped in here for a while as well. The three of them manage to beat the demons and we get to see all of their respective personalities. Inosuke is extremely into battles, Zenitsu avoids them like the plague, and Tanjiro fights because he has to, but not because he wants to. In that sense they all have a contrast there.

Inosuke is a fun character to have around. He’s always ready for a fight and is very confident in his own abilities. His unpredictable style also comes in clutch. He may not reach the heights that Tanjiro achieves and it’s rare for a rival to not be able to keep up from the start but he still fights well. He gets his share of hype battles and his final battle was also really solid. You can always root for this guy. The other main ally Zenitsu isn’t quite as spectacular. He’s always afraid of everything and can’t even fight until he’s asleep. He flirts with everyone and is the show’s main comic relief character so for the most part you can’t expect too much for him. He does get his moments by the end of course but he can’t keep up with most of the characters.

With the introductions out of the way the first big arc takes place in the forest. A group of spider demons have been causing general mayhem to the point where whole squads of demon hunters have gone to investigate but quickly vanished afterwards. It’s no surprise because these spiders are all pretty difficult. Effectively they form a very twisted family full of abuse and injury. Each character gets their own fight and we also get to see the Hashira fight seriously for the first time. You could say this definitely felt like the springboard to the rest of the series since we see what powers the heroes could hope to unlock in the future.

The Spider demons don’t seem to have names which is surprising with how big of a role they got, but they do leave an impact. They’re all quite twisted though. You’ll probably feel bad for the mother demon if anything since she seemed like the nicest one. I still get the feeling none of them could be trusted of course, but the son and father demons are definitely the most twisted of the batch. This was certainly the darkest arc at its time with all of these elements going on. I’m thinking it was to really contrast how different Tanjiro’s family dynamic is here. So I don’t like any of the Spider demons but their powers were solid.

Giyu is one of the Hashira and one of the best characters in the series. He suffers from low confidence at times despite his great skill but he consistently comes through when it counts. I appreciate that he is one of the only people to stick up for Tanjiro initially and always seemed a lot more heroic than the others. He also did really well in the final battles. I would rank him as one of the more powerful fighters. While I would say Rengoku is the strongest Hashira, Giyu has to be quite up there after him. He’s also my second favorite character in the series behind Rengoku. Giyu showed that the water breathing techniques are still very solid on their own since Tanjiro ultimately left the style.

Shinobu is another Hashira member. She’s far more ruthless than Giyu and goes all in with trying to murder every demon that she comes across. Ultimately this is the mission of the Demon Slayers of course and she has strong reasons to oppose them from her origin story. She was quite clever in deciding to use poisons to take down her opponents since her raw power was slightly under that of the other fighters. She has a lot of great moments throughout the series and with her steely resolve was also one of the better characters in the series.

From there we get to the next big arc involving a train. Technically there’s a little training arc before that which is good for development and such but no big fights there. Basically a lot of people have been vanishing from a train so Rengoku is sent along with the main 3 to put a stop to this. This demon won’t go down easy though as he’s one of the lower moons and can manipulate dreams. As solid as the main arc is, the ending part is definitely the highlight here as we see the first big upper moon fight with Akaza. Can the heroes stop him?

This arc is definitely a big standout one. For starters the Akaza vs Rengoku fight may very well be the best one in the series. It’s just an excellent fight between two of the best characters in the series. There’s a whole lot of back and forth here and it’s such a high level fight that nothing could compare with it for quite a bit with the skill levels here. Everyone got a part to play in the arc although Tanjiro was definitely a standout character for doing a ton of the legwork. Nezuko also has to take a lot of the credit because without her the heroes definitely would have been doomed.

Kyojirou Rengoku really made a name for himself in this arc. I would go as far as to say he became the best character in the series. His fire fighting style is epic and his personality is also very solid. He did everything he could for the Demon Corps and always handled his duty with pride. The guy was a tough fighter through and through. He had to go through quite
a lot of emotional battles in his origin but he always managed to pull through and also remain as a beacon of inspiration for everyone else.

After that Tengen gets his arc. Once again there are a lot of people vanishing. This time it’s at a nearby village so the 3 Demon Slayers go undercover to get to the bottom of this. The villain is another top member of the Upper 6 so the heroes will have to find a way to win this time around. Additionally the fact that the heroes have to go undercover will make things pretty difficult as well. While not nearly as good as the last arc we do get some solid fights here. I just remember thinking that I feel like going in disguise to the village seemed rather pointless. Was there really a reason they needed to do this to track intel instead of just rushing in there? I feel like that would be more efficient especially since we have a few members like Tanjiro and Inosuke who can sense demon’s presence when they are around. So that whole part felt like it was stalling for time and just putting people’s lives in danger. Fortunately they eventually see why this isn’t a good idea and jump into action.

So the arc got a lot better once the action went through. Daki was a powerful villain and easily one of the strongest at this part in the series. Her fighting style using clothing to block attacks was impressive. She has a prolonged battle with Tanjiro that also helped set the stage for Tanjiro to finally get on Hashiro level by using the fire arts. They really went back and forth a lot before Daki used her trump card of summoning her brother Gyutaro to help her out. It was nice to see a pair of demons with an actual bond this time around and this also gave the heroes multiple fighters to deal with. This also felt like one of the longer fights in the series for sure.

Tengen wasn’t one of the better Hashira though. He puts people into dangerous situations and just waits it out a while. His sheer strength also seemed to be on a lower level from Rengoku’s but to be fair it’s hard to reach that level. His resolve was lower than some of the others as well since he ultimately didn’t stick on the path. He’s a decent character and not the worst Hashira or anything like that but he definitely can’t compete with the best ones.

In the next arc we get some more training with Tanjiro as well as character development for Genya when the demons strike again. Hantengu is the next opponent and he has the ability to split himself into 6. Fortunately for the heroes they have several Hashira at the ready this time such as Muichiro and Mitsuri. Tanjiro has also improved his skills quite a bit so he is ready to help out as well which is good since this is certainly one of the more powerful demons.

I like that the arc really starts off quickly and from there the battles don’t cease. There is a ton of action in this one and all of the characters are pushed to the brink. It makes sense that the demons would take the offensive. If anything if they were to all attack at once then the Demon Slayers would have gone down really easily. They can’t hope to compete thanks to their limitations on stamina and such. By attacking all of the various swordsmen around the demons also did some lasting damage to the ability to summon backup. If anything it’s lucky for the heroes that the series was nearly over or else they would have really been feeling the pain. The arc essentially gets us over to the final one.

Genya got a lot of development here. He definitely wasn’t one of my favorite characters but I’ll say that he looked good here. He was certainly quite determined to help the Demon Corps out. So despite not having a lot of talent he found a way he could help through eating other demons. That’s definitely a lot of dedication and his backstory was certainly tragic as well. Kanao is another member who isn’t quite a Hashira yet but she does really well. From the start you can tell that her abilities are above that of an average fighter’s. She effectively trained Tanjiro and friends for a while after all.

She gets a full character arc to herself, a big battle in the final arc and even helps out in the climax. Kanao’s definitely a quality character so it’s always good to see her doing well here. By the end I would definitely rank her quite highly. Mitsuri also plays a role here. She’s decent but I would say she never really stands out. As a character Mitsuri is heroic and does her best to help out but doesn’t have a whole lot of depth beyond that. Her strength is also rather standard among the Hashira. She does have her moments to be sure but does end up getting outshined most of the others.

Muichirou also gets a big role here and he’s one character who had a solid arc. Initially he is more of a space case who can’t concentrate on anything going on but eventually Tanjiro helps to show him a more heroic path. From there he manages to reach enlightenment and becomes a real power hitter. He looks consistently good throughout the rest of the series and I would also say he proved himself to be one of the stronger members as he awoke before a lot of the others. The series does love to have its characters start out rather emotionlessly but in a world filled with despair and demons it’s easy to see why a lot of characters take that approach. Muichirou also has some memory loss as well so it makes sense that he wasn’t fully awakened for a while.

Then we make it to the final arc. Muzan finally unleashes a full assault against the Demon Corps. It’s him and the final members of the 12 Kizuki against Tanjiro’s crew and the remaining Hashira. The whole arc is essentially nonstop battles and I remember weekly liking the fact that it all started so suddenly. One second Muzan was just having a low key confrontation and the next second the whole cast was there ready to act. The stakes were high and of course the heroes know that if they take down Muzan the whole war is over. There’s no reason to wait. Of course Muzan is the strongest demon so they need the sunlight to beat him. Part of the tension is that they effectively have to fight all night.

The series does a good job of increasing the tension here as the heroes keep having to dig deeper and deeper to try and dredge up the strength to keep on fighting. It’s definitely difficult when your opponent can keep regenerating like this. That’s why poisons really came in handy here. In particular one character was instrumental in helping save the day. Sometimes brawn isn’t all you need to win in a fight after all.

Obanai is one of the Hashira who didn’t really get a full arc before now. He’s sort of like the one dragon slayer in Fairy Tail who didn’t get to do much. I wouldn’t say I particularly warmed up to this guy though. He’s one of the less impressive Hashira in general because he never really gets to show off his abilities. In the end it’s like he never ended up winning a really big battle. I was definitely glad when Gyu basically pushed him away from Tanjiro to show where that guy stands.

Then you have Sanemi who has to be the meanest of the Hashira. I’d put him as the worst one. He goes quite far. Now, I understand the case for destroying Nezuko since she is a demon but he goes as far as to try and murder Tanjiro as well as severely injure his brother Genya. By the end of the series he explains his rationale for this but it’s still way too drastic for you to buy into. He just takes things way too far. Still, the guy is undoubtedly a very strong member of the Hashira. He doesn’t get a whole lot of fight scenes but he makes his moments count to be sure.

Finally you have Gyomei. He is always crying which didn’t help him stand out for me. You can cry for emotional moments absolutely like Mega Man X or Naruto, but this guy is constantly tearing up which could be a bit much at times. I do like his unique fighting style though. Using the wrecking ball and scythe makes it difficult to predict his movements. He was even said to be the strongest Hashira. While I wouldn’t go that far, he does get a whole lot of hype during the battles which is well deserved.

One character who never gets to appear in the present but got a lot of hype was Yoriichi. It’s too bad because even by the end of the series it’s clear that he was the strongest character in the verse. He defied the very natures of reality and was able to take just about anyone down in a clean strike. You can see a lot of similarities between him and Tanjiro to be sure. He did get a proper flashback story and everything though so we learned all we needed to about him. He was definitely a fun character.

His story ties into Kokushibo’s. Koikushibo is one of the more impressive Kizuki members. His sheer swordplay and talent is quite crazy. While I would still say that Akaza was the most impressive fighter despite his lower rank, this guy would be my next pick for strongest. Not only was he holding back multiple Hashira members at once but he was doing so quite easily. I was definitely a big fan of this guy. He may have been one of those villains who ultimately ended up cracking but he definitely left an impact.

The second ranked fighter Doma is definitely a lot more on the twisted side. He doesn’t have an honor code like the others. In fact he has no emotions so he doesn’t even realize how twisted he is. I didn’t like the guy in the slightest. At least he did give us some pretty intense battles though. The guy was not an easy foe which makes sense since he got such a good rank. Then there’s Nakime. She isn’t really a fighter but her spatial abilities are so fierce that she still got a very good rank. She’s not someone you can hope to defeat very easily. I wasn’t a big fan but at least she was one villain so loyal to Muzan that he never even thought of destroying her. His whims change a lot though so I doubt she was ever truly safe.

Finally there is Kaigaku. He sort of comes out of nowhere but it made sense to have him so that every character would have an emotional matchup at the ready. His skills weren’t bad either but I have to say that he was easily the weakest from the upper Kizuki members. The fact that he could barely hold his own in a 1 on 1 fight definitely did not help his case. He had a great design though, certainly a memorable one.

Well, that takes care of most of the characters. There is quite a big cast here which is not surprising in the slightest. The series did last over 200 chapters after all. It’s a strong cast we got here. The writing is also on point and a really good thing is that the series really avoided fanservice pretty much entirely. There’s like one page out of the entire series which is exceptional. At the end of the day the series has really strong fundamentals.

I’d say the only thing holding it back from being in the upper echelons of Jump is that the series can get pretty over the top violent and dark with some of the backstories and events here. Because the series is about demons and demon hunters that means there is a lot of regeneration going on here so the wounds end up cutting pretty deep. Characters are constantly sliced to bits, even the humans tend to get pulled through the ringer. Some of these demons are quite demented as they behead each other for fun or go around ripping faces. Doma’s big entrance scene in the final arc for example is one of those disturbing moments along with his preference for eating. While the series is able to effectively create a very desperate environment for the heroes so you constantly feel the stakes, this is usually a side effect of that. A common theme here is you can win the day, but it will certainly come at a price.

Still, the overall epic nature of the series and quality fights keep the series at a solid level. You will have a blast reading through the arcs with all the battle scenes and wide range of characters. There’s a good amount of replay value here and it’s the kind of series you can definitely binge. It seems unlikely that we would get a sequel series unfortunately but at the same time I’d say there’s always a possibility for it. I’m sure Shonen Jump wasn’t happy to lose one of their big hitters that’s for sure.

The artwork is pretty solid here. The author isn’t afraid of having prolonged action scenes and keeping the quality of the art up. The characters are fairly distinct. The only times a character could be mistaken was Kanao with her two sisters but they are meant to look similar and they all have different head pieces to help distinguish them. The battles are top notch and the character designs are very memorable so the series did quite well here. The art for the humor scenes is also handled pretty well. The facial expressions the characters make is always memorable and distinct. The series is always able to shift gears rather quickly.

Overall, Demon Slayer was definitely a very intense title. It’s one of the few series where you really have a hard time knowing which characters will be safe by the end. Naturally you do expect a good chunk of them to live of course but where most characters might take out 1-2 big characters by the end this series wasn’t afraid to throw a few more in. At the very least I was surprised by 2 of the characters who didn’t make it out. With the whole regeneration angle the series is able to get a little more violent than a lot of the other big Jump titles and is closer to something like Titan than Bleach but a lot of times it is in a combat context. If you’re looking for a serious action title to read through with high stakes then this is definitely the one to check out.

Overall 7/10

Megaman X2 Review


Megaman X returns for another adventure in this sequel. It was also pretty fun playing through it because right now I’ve been playing through X2 on the Gamecube collection release. The manga really has a lot of incredible attention to detail here with the boss attack patterns and even a lot of little things about the levels like minions and such. It’s really cool what they have done with this series and I would even say X2 surpasses the original here.

The basic plot is that with the mavericks down for the count X was hoping he could rest a bit. Unfortunately that is not the case as more and more robots as going crazy. It would appear that either Sigma has returned or a new puppet is pulling the strings. X really doesn’t want to fight anymore. He leads a squad of maverick hunters but refuses to take out his buster or fight at all. When his squad is brutally murdered X is forced to step back into the fray. He intends to destroy all of these mavericks so he can bring us back into a world of peace.

You have to feel bad for X because it feels like no matter what he does, the world continues to grow worse and worse. As soon as X has saved the world it only takes a moment for things to go off the rails. Additionally the villains insist on making it personal. In the first chapter we have a maverick pose as a friend and then slaughter everyone before X can stop him. Part of why X is always wracked with guilt is because it seems like he is never in time to save everyone. This incident is really no different. Once again, everyone is being destroyed here. Just in the X2 manga there are at least 10 different people who get murdered before X can save them. You can add a few hundred to that if you count background characters when the mavericks are blowing up cities.

The manga continues to go all in with the disturbing visuals as well. X gets taken to a mystical graveyard at one point where he has to watch reanimated corpses of the X1 bosses just walking around. You have a trippy dream where X’s legs disappear and then reappear while Zero’s upper body is floating around. Then there’s the fact that X even sees his future death. Naturally these visions aren’t real and it’s all just here to psych X out and get him too shaken to fight back. X does a good job of seeing through these attempts. By now X has really come to terms with his mission as a hunter. He still does get very emotional and there’s at least one time where he thinks about giving up but ultimately he’s always someone you can count on.

X is put through the wringer here with a ton of injuries so it’s good that he was built to always be able to power up. Otherwise I don’t think this would have gone very well for him at all. X is really the only main character this time. Dr. Light appears as a hologram a lot to give pep talks and such but it’s not like he’s around to really help. Zero was presumed dead after the events of the first game although of course if you’re familiar with the game’s story then you’ll know if this is true or not right away but the villains quickly take this out into the open since they brainwashed him. I will say the villains are ready to use everything at their disposal here as always and are familiar with reanimating corpses. One of the big 3 villains is even presumed to possibly be Dr. Wily but that was never confirmed.

The three generals make for a good villain group to give X some trouble outside of the main villains. It was also a really good fight. You don’t get to see a whole lot of 3 v 1 fights so they’re always a lot of fun to see. That means X would need to have a lot of good strategies at the ready or he would be blown away. Each of these fighters are quite tough. Compared to the first game adaption it is fair to say that these villains get a little less character. Most of them are just straight up evil so they are just here to toy with X. In the first manga some of the mavericks either weren’t evil or were getting manipulated so this time they’re a little more one note. The villains are all still pretty fun though. I like how they handled the Moth maverick’s transformation here. As a junk bot the maverick was still tough but naturally transforming made a pretty huge difference.

Sigma’s role here is fairly brief but he looks good. I always liked the Wolverine type design they were going for here with the claws. He has a lot of speed so this makes for a pretty climactic battle with him, X, and Zero. His final plan was actually quite good. If not for some last minute magic which was a bit cheesy, he would have really had this one in the bag. Better luck next time I suppose but X and Zero are always ready. Zero also looked pretty good here. He lasted quite a while against great odds. He may not have been in his right mind for most of the series but he struggled quite well to regain control. Additionally his evil form also looks quite sharp. Zero works well as either a villain or hero. I do look forward to him supporting X from the start in X3 though.

It goes without saying but the artwork here is quite excellent. The battle scenes are very dynamic and the whole time you are pretty hyped for each battle. With 3 volumes here there is a good amount of time given to each battle. Expect each maverick to put up a fair fight so nothing is done with too quickly. The pacing is really on point here and the series also has a lot of replay value. It’s all just done really well and I look forward to checking out X3. So far each series continues to be one volume longer and this one is no exception as it will be 4 volumes this time around. All I can say is the more the better so this sounds really good to me.


Overall, Megaman X2 makes for a great adventure. it’s not surprising in the slightest though since the X games were always known for having a pretty good plot. Right from the start those games would always add a lot to the lore. In that sense the series always differentiated itself from the classic incarnation. X will always rank as one of the best versions of the franchise for that reason because the whole thing is just very grand scale. If you haven’t checked this one out yet then I would definitely recommend it. Where else are you going to get such quality Megaman action?

Overall 8/10

Spider-Man: Fake Red Review


When this Spider-Man manga first came out I was pretty pumped. The premise was interesting and the artwork was solid. It had all the makings of being the next big hit and possibly the definitive comic book manga adaption. Unfortunately this one got cancelled pretty early. The author managed to wrap up all of the loose ends so that there is no cliffhanger here but you wish this could have gone on longer. Well, it definitely works as a solid one shot so I would definitely recommend checking it out if you’re looking for a solid action title.

The story starts with Yu having a pretty tough time of things. He doesn’t have any friends at school and he’s also not very brave. When someone is literally getting bullied and beaten in front of him Yu chooses to look the other way. It’s just how he’s always lived his life. He skips school to practice his mountain climbing as well but is too afraid to talk to his classmate/mountain climbing expert Emma. One day he finds Spider-Man’s costume in the trash. Spider-Man has been missing for a while now and the costume appears authentic. Yu ends up putting on the costume for fun but is quickly mistaken as the genuine article.

As “Spider-Man” Yu’s life is really changing. He is finally able to hang out with Emma, get caught up on his studies, and most of all Yu finally feels like his life is great now. There is really only one problem here…he has no super powers. When fighters like Jackpot and Slik show up, will Yu really be able to stand strong and help defend the city or will he escape as soon as things get tough? Additionally we have the mystery of what exactly happened to Spider-Man.

This may just be one volume but it does feel like quite a lot happens. We get a few chapters solely for Peter Parker as we find out what happened to him even if Yu is still the lead overall. I think fans of Peter will be very satisfied with his portrayal here. He is really shown to be the ultimate hero throughout the adventure. He makes all of the right moves but of course the Parker luck continues to drag him down. Whenever he saves someone, it seems like he has to sacrifice something from his life. The guy really can’t catch a break and naturally Jonah gets involved as well.

Mary Jane and Aunt May don’t get to appear much here but it was nice to see how they were handling his disappearance as well. As for Yu, well he’s a decent main character I’d say but not one of the better ones. It’s hard to look past the opening scene where he literally lets someone get completely beaten up just so he can stay safe. That was really rough. From there he does his best to act like a hero though. He’s a bit over the top with how awkward he is around Emma though. By the end of the series Yu has done a good job of being a hero in his own right. He may still not really have many friends and will take some time getting back into the school routine, but at least things are looking good for him.

Emma is a fun heroine though. She’s got a nice sense of humor and is pretty dedicated to her craft. She’s apparently quite well known in the mountain climbing circuit due to her efforts while also maintaining high grades in school and having a ton of friends. Emma is even nice enough to watch out for Yu even though they barely know each other and she helps him out when he’s in a jam. Emma’s final scene also cements her as a quality character as she continues helping out even when nobody knows it.

Silk acting as Spider-Man’s main ally here was a pretty interesting call from the manga. She’s not the first person you would think of but it’s good for variety. In this series they apparently met early on and have been like family for a long time now. Silk’s shown to be a very dependable fighter with solid reflexes. Her ability to read waves and energy signatures is cool and the opening fight with Venom was intense. The battle is fairly short but does quickly introduce Venom as a powerful adversary while also showing how well Silk fights. If Silk was always like this I dare say she would be the best heroine in the Spidey-verse.

Naturally we have Venom as one of the big villains and he looks great. His design is absolutely on point and the guy fights like a true monster. He’s not someone you really want to have to deal with that’s for sure. Especially as the series gets some pages in full color you have some really dynamic moments. Other villains pop up as well such as Scorpion, Jackpot and the mysterious mastermind behind all of this. Scorpion leaves less of an impact than Venom but he also looked good here. His design was on point and the guy radiates power. As for the mastermind, he’s a bit whiny but a decent villain I suppose. Jackpot’s definitely more of a troll than the other two but a very dangerous one with all the lives she puts at risk when they panic.

The artwork is really top notch here. There is a ton of attention to detail in each page. The character designs are air tight and the battle scenes really flow well. Near the end of the series we get a big group fight and you can feel the intensity. The Venom battles are also intense with a lot of property damage in the background. I would easily say it’s the best artwork for a comic adaption I’ve seen in manga. This could hold its own with any mainstream manga title in this regard. the art seems like it’s styled on the 90’s-early 2000s look for Spider-Man and it suits him well.

Fake Red balances out the action with solid character development and interactions throughout. The pacing is very solid and each chapter is over in the blink of an eye. It’s definitely a real shame that this story could not have continued longer. I suppose it just wasn’t to be. Perhaps someday the author will get to do some kind of sequel story though. I feel like we could have Peter as being the full lead again though since Yu’s plot really feels over and done with. There is clearly a whole lot you could do with a story about Peter dealing with the fallout from his disappearance though and then from there just introducing a lot of new villains and even some more heroes.

Overall, Fake Red is a really solid volume. It succeeds thoroughly at being an impressive hero story. There’s a lot of different plots going around that all get wrapped up by the end. All of the characters get their moments to shine. I would say the art is part of what rises this story to the next level but the writing is also on point. It just makes for an easy and fun read. I basically got to read through it twice as I prepped for the review to make sure I remembered everything. If you haven’t checked this one out yet then I’d definitely recommend giving it a read.

Overall 8/10

Animal Land Review


Animal Land is a very unique series. It’s essentially going for a bit of a Tarzan vibe at first but then throws in time travel, chimeras, world ending threats, magical fruits, and more. By the end of the series it’s clear that it was able to attain a full Shounen feel and is as out there as any other series on the block. Unfortunately due to the nature of the series that means there is a ton of nonstop animal violence. Animals are taken down for the count left and right and it’s even a main part of the plot. The series has some good ideas but ultimately falls far short of its potential due to the premise itself. If this had all been done with robotic animals then things could have been different.

The series begins with a little boy named Taroza being discovered by a Tanuki named Monoko. He decides to bring Taroza into his village and take care of him. Taroza initially starts the series as a little kid which is true for a good chunk of the series until we get a time skip and he becomes more of a classic Shounen hero. He slowly learns how to talk but doesn’t have a big need of it because he can speak through the mind. Taroza has the unique ability of being able to communicate with all animals across the planet. Because of this he can also hear the voices of animals pleading not to be eaten.

Taroza has 2 main goals. The first is to find a mythical fruit which is said to be so good that even meat eaters can enjoy it. He aims to develop this fruit enough so that no animals are ever eaten again. His other goal is to stop the animals from fighting in the meantime and so he continually builds up his army to establish such a set of rules. It goes against animal nature though so this is a very difficult task to accomplish. There are also just so many animals in the world that it’s hard to keep up with all of them. How can he ever hope to meet them all?

You also can’t have a big series without some villains and we have two main villains here. The first one is Jyu and he’s certainly a standout character. He enjoys things the way that they are. The idea of a survival of the fittest concept being front and center here is exactly what he was looking for and he thrives in it. He’s a chaotic wildcard as well since he’ll still prefer to help Taroza and the others over the other villain that shows up. His little computer is also very handy and they make a good team. Jyu certainly set himself up well in this series and it’s all the more impressive because he had no allies who were there to help him aside from one trusted partner.

Then you have Giller who is the true mastermind here. He is a powerful man with science far beyond what anyone thought was possible. As a result he is easily able to cause a whole lot of damage and even builds an army of Chimera. This is one time where you can say he maybe got a little too powerful here. His Chimera are absolutely massive and it’s hard to see the animals really being able to take them down. Taroza links the minds of the animals to coordinate their attacks and it also gives a slight power boost but even then I definitely remain skeptical. Some of those chimera were absolutely huge and had so many special abilities. Giller never quite gives up even in the end and makes for a very memorable character. He was definitely a lot of fun and a really solid villain.

Capri is a human raised by lions. She’s certainly not on board with Taroza’s plan at first but makes for a solid ally when the chips are down. She plays the field a bit initially but as the Lions would have taught her to hunt other animals right away, his plan would have definitely been a foreign concept to her. Caperi is definitely a solid fighter. She doesn’t get power ups like the rest of the humans but does already know how to fight so that’s important. She’s a better fighter than Reimu who is the final main human around. Reimu is from the gorilla tribe but tends to be more of a pacifist by nature. She’s probably one of the first human allies to really help Taroza as much as possible. Reimu’s a decent character although I wouldn’t say she stands out much until the end. Then she gets a pretty big role as she’s quite critical in keeping morale up and supporting Taroza.

Finally we have Taroza and after the time skip he is a pretty solid character. He’s resolute in his goal to save the world to the point where it has definitely been breaking him on the inside. While he was super cheerful as a kid, he barely ever smiles once he is grown up. He’s just seen too many animals suffer over the years and so until his goals are fulfilled he doesn’t seem to find enjoyment in anything anymore. Taroza can’t quite fight physically with these villains anymore but with his telepathic abilities he makes for a great commander at all times. I’d definitely say that he is a solid main character and his goals are certainly good.

Quo is a mysterious character who orchestrated all of this to an extent. You certainly find out a lot of interesting things about him once he appears. The guy makes for a solid character even if he definitely makes quite a few mistakes as time goes by. He has a tendency to lower his guard. His overall master plan is pretty great though. You definitely see why he went to all the trouble of doing this even if it definitely did not work out all that well for him.

One character who showed up near the end is a lady named Elaine. Despite not appearing for very long she is very integral to the plot. Her fire abilities are also incredibly handy and she was a very memorable character as well as a powerful one. She stands out as one of the cooler characters. If she kept her guard up a little longer that would have certainly helped but even without that she was a fighter to be feared no doubt. In effect, being introduced so late into the game helped her in a power sense because she started out as a super powerful fighter and did not need to evolve into one.

Monoko is one of the main supporting characters from the early part of Animal Land even if she wasn’t quite able to keep up with the others later on. She’s a nice character and really helped kick the series off. Without her things could have been very different. Taroza’s other best friend was a cat named Kurogiri. Kuro is a solid fighter and helped Taroza out of a lot of pinches. During the initial volumes of the series he was the strongest ally to have around and came in handy many times. Things definitely would have gotten tricky without him around to help out.

There are a number of other animals that help Tarozo out over the years. You’ve got members of almost every different species helping out and they’re certainly quality characters. Some don’t do much til near the end but their presence is felt. One such character is Dougen. He’s one of the most powerful Lions in the series and he even gets a cool powered up mode near the end. His fight is a very intense one that lasts multiple chapters and the fact that he was fighting one of the Chimera basically 1 on 1 was very impressive. He was a standout character to be sure.

There are quite a few Chimeras here but the most notable ones are the members of the Babel Three. Belheim is one of these guys. He’s a fairly powerful villain with a star shaped head and takes down quite a number of the animals sent out against him. He talks a big game and certainly thrives on being a villain. It’s part of what makes these guys a big deal as a lot of them didn’t have any character prior to this. Clover was another such member who was crazy strong and hard to deal with. Each of the 3 members were pretty hype villains though and some of the best characters in the series.

The best Chimera of the group though is Robin. He’s the final member and easily the most powerful. He likes to have a good fight and has more honor than the rest. He gives what is probably one of the most impressive battles in the series. The final battle with Giller has to be the best one but this fight can really compete. The stakes are high and he’s just a very interesting/engaging villain to go up against. He’s also able to resist his programming to an extent which is always a good sign to me because then he’s no puppet. Same goes for Luke who was an A.I. partner to Giller who realized that things weren’t quite right.

Ultimately as mentioned earlier, what holds the film back is the nonstop animal violence. The series is certainly one of the more violent ones I’ve read with characters really being torn to shreds. It holds nothing back and then when you consider the fact that it’s the animals being crushed, it hits that much harder. It’s not something that you’d expect to have been avoided just considering the name and all, but it is the definition of a series crushing negative. No matter how strong the other aspects could be, this is something that persists in every volume and pretty much every chapter so it continued to drag the series down into the abyss time and time again. If only Taroza could have achieved his dream of world peace sooner so that no animal had to be injured.

It’s impressive how the series started out as a very realistic title and by the end of it we’re completely into planet busting abilities. I’d say the series did a good job of slowly escalating things. At first the big threat was when a fully grown Lion would show up. Later on the characters face off against a villain as tall as a building without blinking an eye. The final boss is around the size of a small city. The amount of escalation here was intense.

That said, it does mean that the power levels are very wonky throughout. No matter how you slice it, there’s no way that ordinary animals can be dealing with these kinds of threats. No matter how much teamwork they use I’m not really able to buy into it. These monsters can even regenerate and move at hyper speeds. So you do have to really just look the other way here and accept that the fights are likely not going to be all that realistic. I think the only way to make this work would be to have given Taroza the ability to turn the animals into chimera’s as well or simply powered them up to a point that would not be possible to reach. His current ability takes them up to 100% of what a body can pull off but you would need to go further than that.

Outside of the power levels the writing was pretty solid though. The characters all have a lot of great dialogue. The villains are well developed and so are the heroes. A lot of the animals also make valid points about why there’s a need for meat eaters and plant eaters. Of course I’m with Taroza on finding a fruit so that no animal ever has to be eaten again. It’s tough to get used to though and there are a lot of quality debates on this throughout the series. Ultimately until an animal is able to hear the true language of another it would always be tough to just hold back but once that bridge is crossed then there is really no limit against a world of peace. Especially as there aren’t many humans left in this world at the moment. Once more of them pop up then I suspect that things will get a lot more chaotic in the world. With regard to the time travel themes I’ll let you read more of that so you can see for yourself the impact of it. The time everyone comes from is a twist to an extent. There are multiple time periods at play and the fact that the humans are each from different eras is important because it does factor into their actions and why they all have different viewpoints.

Animal Land’s art is quite fantastic though. It’s got an incredible amount of detail and that’s absolutely necessary considering just how many big characters are running around. The fights are always intense and awe inspiring with the various zoom ins and big character spreads. You won’t be forgetting the character designs and such anytime soon. I would go as far as to say that this is the manga’s greatest strength even if it does still help to hurt the score by highlighting exactly how badly the animals are being affected. These battles can hold their own against any of the big Jump titles and then some. If you just switched out the animals for humans the whole time then this series could have really jumped up a large number of scores. It wasn’t to be I suppose. Even the character designs themselves and each member’s powered up modes are incredible. You can feel the fear of the characters as the Chimeras get more and more unbelievable with each transformation. By the end of the series you could almost say it’s part horror in some respects.

Overall, Animal Land has a lot of interesting ideas and the art is quite good but it serves as a double edged sword with all of the animal injuries that occur afterwards. If you’re a big animal fan and don’t want to see them being taken out left and right then this is definitely a series that you’ll want to pass on. That aspect of the series is just impossible to overlook and so in a sense you could say this series was doomed from the start. If you want another action series to check out which dodges this pretty well then I would say it’s time to check out Bleach instead. Now that one’s an old classic.

Overall 2/10

Giant Spider & Me: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale Review


A while back I would have said I hadn’t read a whole lot of slice of life adventures like this one where it’s about a girl and her companion but now I’d say I’ve got a decent amount of those at the ready. This one ended up finishing sooner than most though as it’s only 3 volumes. It’s a fun little story that even throws in some cooking. There’s a solid story to be had here with fun enough characters and so it works well as something to read on the side. The cast is quite small so it is easy to see how it could do everything it wanted within the 3 volumes although of course I’d have been game with the series going on for a while longer.

The story starts by introducing us to Nagi. She is on her own own in an apocalyptic future and often gets lonely at her cabin. One day she meets up with a giant spider monster. For a brief moment she is afraid but quickly realizes that it means no harm and invites the Spider over. She names the creature Asa and gives her some Hot Chocolate/Coffee to try out. Asa is a big fan of drinks like this and so the two of them quickly bond over food. Nagi now has someone to cook for and Asa has a safe home on the inside. Their lives would be fairly perfect here except the townsfolk aren’t thrilled about having a giant monster around. Can Nagi convince them that Asa is friendly or are they going to attack anyway?

Since Nagi lives alone in a wood cabin on the outskirts of town it’s not like the civilians play a part immediately. That said, she does need to go into town to get supplies from time to time and that’s when they start making a fuss. Asa does look pretty scary to be sure but they take things too far as you would expect. We do get to meet some supporting characters as a result though and Nagi even gets to make a few new friends.

The first main supporting character would be the Carpenter. I’m not sure if her name was ever confirmed but she owns a little cafe that’s in a boat in the wilderness. As a result nobody ever visits the shop which discourages her but she tells Nagi that she does not want to move no matter what. Even if the place completely bombs she refuses to leave. It’s certainly a determined stance to take but Nagi agrees to help her out. In a way this is perfect since Nagi gets to cook a little extra now and practice on her technique. The carpenter is also quick to accept Asa as well.

Then you’ve got Belle and her father. Initially her father is definitely very concerned about Nagi’s pet spider but he gradually gets with the program. From all of the adults here I’d say that he was the most reasonable about this. Belle was also a tough customer to get on board but not so much because of the spider but just because Belle has a hard time just acting nice to people. By the end of the series though she’s probably Nagi’s best friend outside of Asa. She’s definitely a good ally to have.
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Then we’ve got Godot who’s the mayor of the town. After some convincing he is also on board with the heroes and someone that they can count on so that was fortunate. The only real obstacle in their way was a guy named Oleg who goes as far as to use Nagi as bait to lure out Asa and destroy him. It’s hard to ever like that guy even by the end because his steps were so drastic. if Asa was dangerous then he definitely put Nagi in harm’s way there. If Asa wasn’t dangerous then his whole plan was incredibly unnecessary as well. So no matter how you slice it, Oleg did not look very good here. Putting a kid in danger is just not the right play.

Meanwhile the cooking is always pretty fun. The manga really goes into detail on the meals that Nagi makes to the point where you could easily recreate these recipes on your own. A lot of them are classic meals you could make for lunch or dinner so you could even implement them right away. The author clearly likes Pumpkin a lot since most of the desserts use that in mind. I’m not a huge pumpkin fan but I would definitely give them a shot as well. The cooking angle is pretty fun and gives another layer to the general premise of the series.

While the term “Apocalyptic” is in the title the world doesn’t seem to be in very poor shape. We don’t see a whole lot of the world though since Nagi always stays at home or heads into town for supplies. The town looks good but it could also be that as soon as you leave the town then everything suddenly becomes bleak. The series isn’t really about this of course but it’s still a nice element to think of. After all, having your story take place during an apocalyptic time does at least subtly affect the context.

The art’s decent although I wouldn’t say it’s a standout or anything like that. It’s a little on the rough side but it’s going for a detailed look so all of the characters do look distinct. There’s a lot of effort put into the backgrounds and such. It may not make for the flashiest art to look at but you do get the gritty feel of the heroes trying to survive in a tough era. The foods also still look good. I could see the artist being really good at more of a horror title as well given that some of the visuals where Asa looks menacing tend to turn out really well. It’s also a nice way to show how scary Asa would look to an outsider.

You’ll definitely be blasting through this series pretty quick. Due to its nature of not having a big ongoing plot or many characters there isn’t a whole lot more to say about it. Asa’s design is pretty solid though. You can’t really go wrong with a giant spider like this. I definitely wouldn’t say there are even any negatives about it. The series serves its job well as a nice series in the day to day of Nagi’s life. It’s all about how a spider helped to turn things around and by the end of the series you know that she’s in good hands.

Overall, Giant Spider & Me is a fun little story. If you’re looking for a nice slice of life story to check out then this is a good one to read through. It’s a pleasant series about being able to make friends with a creature that most would find dangerous. The townsfolk are nice at the end and it’s good that Nagi has such supportive allies all around her. It reminds you that any animal can be an ally so long as you treat it right. Some pets definitely don’t seem as friendly as others of course but especially when they’re young any animal can be tamed. This doesn’t seem like the kind of story that would get a sequel but it would be fun if that ended up happening.

Overall 6/10