The Earl and the Fairy Review


This is one of those manga titles that I certainly had not heard about before reading. It’s sort of like an old school Sherlock Holmes title only with a lot of supernatural fairies running around. It’s a quick 4 volume read that roughly covers two arcs. There’s always a lot going on and there’s a rather big cast of characters running around although I suppose not all of them get a super big focus or anything like that.

The series starts by introducing us to Lydia. She is a Fairy Doctor. Unfortunately, most people don’t believe in fairies so she has a reputation for being rather crazy. She doesn’t let this bother her though and just continues about her business as usual. Lydia is tricked into getting onto a ship where there are a lot of different factions after her. There’s a gentleman who says he needs her help since a bunch of troublemakers are on the ship and they may even have her father captive. Then you have a guy called Edgar who was getting beaten up but admits he is actually the Legendary Blue Knight, Earl Edgar. Lydia doesn’t know who to trust.

Both of these guys seem extremely suspect and her father never really shows up in time as it is. If she chooses the wrong side she will likely end up dead. Hopefully her fairy abilities will lead her in the right direction. She does have a fairy cat named Nico but unfortunately he isn’t much of a fighter so if the humans attack there isn’t really much that he can do. The first arc is mainly about this quest which is around 2-2.5 volumes. Ultimately she does side with Edgar who goes on to become the main guy of the series.

Then you have the second arc which is a little more low key. The heroes make it to a more formal part of society where a girl is really after Edgar. His flirty nature takes over so Lydia runs off to sulk. Unfortunately she ends up losing in a battle against one of the fairies and gets her soul stolen. Edgar must now find her before it’s too late. Her body can’t live for long without a soul after all so if he is too slow then she will cease to exist. The stakes are naturally quite high here but on more of a personal level.

While the final chapter feels like it has to move quite rapidly there was enough time to tell both stories here. The second one feels a lot smaller but it’s still pretty solid. Edgar finally starts acting a little more like a good guy since even by the end of the first adventure you’ll probably be quite skeptical. Even here I wouldn’t buy into his excuses about needing to be flirty to stay in character. If he likes Lydia then he should stop messing around.

Due to that, I wouldn’t say I ever ended up liking the guy. He can be a bit rough also and was willing to sacrifice Lydia on several occasions. Those aren’t the kind of things you can just look over so you feel like there should be no way they can possibly end up together. Surely she will remember all of that clear as day right?

As you can guess, I didn’t buy into the romance here between Lydia and Edgar. There’s also Ermine who likes Edgar as well but you know from the start that she is absolutely doomed. While Lydia’s skills as a fairy doctor are good, she does make quite a few mistakes when dealing with Edgar. It’s a shame that Nico can’t fight since that would at least even up the odds. Lydia’s a nice character who means well but ends up being completely out of her depth.

The best character would probably be Raven. He’s rather emotionless so he doesn’t always know how to act but he is the best fighter in the series. When needed he can take down as many opponents as required to give Lydia and Edgar safe passage into the next room. He’s a trained assassin from when he was a kid so he’s borderline super-human in the present.

Ermine doesn’t get a huge role but she was a good character as well. Things just never really seem to go her way but from Edgar’s main team she certainly had more compassion than the others right from the start. She actually felt human while the others would focus on just doing the most logical thing at the time.

Then from the second arc you have the main princess who chased after Edgar and was cursing her friend with the fairy. Of course she pulls the whole “I didn’t mean it tho” speech but she was easily the weakest character of the second arc. You can’t just put your friend in mortal danger and then not do anything about it. Even by the end she didn’t want to go and help since it would hurt her reputation. Yeah, you definitely can’t come back from a string of scenes like that. I was surprised that even by the end she wouldn’t do the right thing. If she said it was because she was scared that would be (a tiny bit) better.

As for the art, I’d say it looked pretty good. Edgar and the other guy from the first story do look rather similar but that may have been intentional to make it a little more difficult to determine who Lydia should go with. This is hardly an action series so don’t expect a lot of fights but the action scenes we do get are pretty solid. Whenever a character brings out a gun you can bet that there are going to be a lot of intense panels around that.

The series really flies by since it’s so fast. On one hand that means we don’t really get to finish a lot of the lore and concepts brought up in the series. Don’t expect to really get to any truths behind the Blue Knight lore or meeting up with the King of the Fairies. In general the manga feels more like an introduction to the series which makes sense since there are many more novels than there are manga volumes. In theory I suppose this would help you go to read them next.

I could see this going for a Natsume’s Book of Friends kind of vibe long term once the characters mellow out. Perhaps not quite as laidback as all that but with episodic stories about the fairies and such it could have that kind of vibe. We’ve seen an evil fairy that could fight so next I want to see a heroic one that can flaunt his powers. Giving Nico a huge power up would also be great.

The writing for the series is on point even if none of Edgar’s inner monologues really help me sympathize with the guy. We do learn a lot about his past as well as Raven’s and Ermine’s. The trio definitely didn’t have a great time of it and had to commit a lot of crimes in order to get out of there. It’s part of why they won’t hesitate very much in the present either since they’ve really been hardened at this point.

Overall, The Earl and the Fairy is a good manga. It’s one of those titles where I definitely couldn’t buy into the romance though. As the “mean” guy, Edgar goes a little too far so you just can’t root for him. The art is good though and the base stories are on point. The heroes definitely live in a very corrupt world but fortunately they don’t dwell on it compared to something like Black Butler or things could get dicey. If I were Lydia I would have just gone home after the first arc but hopefully as she goes on more missions she will be able to gain more fairies and maybe even get some power ups along the way. That would definitely help her in future situations like this. If you end up reading the series and liking it then you’ll probably want to try and find an English scanned version of the novels to continue the saga.

Overall 6/10

Starcrash Review


Whenever you see a film about aliens, action, and outer space you know that things are about to get real. This is definitely a film that is quite solid as a result. You can expect a lot of good battles and fun dialogue with lightning fast pacing. It’s a good all around movie that has withstood the test of time and it actually does end up beating the majority of Star War titles and even some Star Treks.

The movie starts off by introducing us to the greatest pilot in all the cosmos Stella and her ally Akton. Together they commit a lot of crimes and have fun doing it. They end up getting cornered by the police though so when they escape they end up being captured by the Police. The police end up breaking them out of jail though to stop Count Zarth. They will be accompanied by the police robot named Elle and an alien known as Thor. This all seems rather trust worthy so now they need to find Prince Simon so he can assist the Emperor in stopping the Count. Can they find him? Also, what if he didn’t survive the plane crash?

There is a whole lot going on in this film right from the start. One thing you’ll definitely enjoy if you’re a sci-fi fan is all of the action. The characters are using their blasters to wipe everyone out and they even get a light saber at one point. There are a lot of hand to hand fights where Stella even gets to beat back legions of adversaries. This is a movie that knows how to get a good rumble going.

As for the visuals, they’re on point as well. It’s definitely got that Star Wars/Trek vibe to it with the spaceships all around and a lot of space fights. The pacing is on point and I’d say the writing was pretty good. You’ll always be engaged as the characters exchange tough talk and try to size each other up. Thor openly mocking the heroes was certainly fun after he took over the ship.

Now, one very forced element in the film though is that Stella’s uniform doesn’t seem to be standard procedure. It’s extremely noticeable when the heroes are taken to the villain base that everyone has super weapons grade combat suits at the ready while she’s wearing more of a Red Sonja type costume which she keeps for pretty much the whole film. It’s definitely a “really?” kind of moment.

Still, beyond that she is a fun character. Technically she is the captain of her ship and a top notch hand to hand fighter after all. It would be surprising if she couldn’t deal with this level of opponent. The trouble is that she has no real defenses though. What that means is that if the villains catch her she will be yelling for help almost immediately. Despite being the tough heroine in the film she does get captured quite a bit.

Then you have her partner Akton. He is one of those guys who is so powerful that we never even learn his full abilities. He seems to be able to manipulate vectors, fire energy blasts, see the future, use energy weapons nobody’s ever heard of before, and that’s just for starters. He can do just about anything but still gets knocked around from time to time. Still, if you need someone to have your back he’s probably the best pick you could ask for.

Elle is another standout character here. He’s a very upbeat robot who is always yelling and having a good time. While he does get nervous a lot, he is always ready to jump into the fray to save lives. It’s why he makes for a good cop and why he never gave up when going after Stella. There’s clearly a lot of history there and it makes for some good banter. He added a lot to the dynamic.

Next up is Simon who doesn’t show up until near the end. He seems like a good character though and is definitely a heroic one. Without him the heroes would have been in a sticky situation by the end. He’s definitely not very necessary though as you could certainly have not had him appear and things wouldn’t change much. Thor was a more interesting character with how confident of his skills he was. The guy was even able to take down Akton in their first fight which is no small feat.

As for The Emperor, his time control tech is super impressive to be sure. You have to wonder why he was so helpless before Stella and Akton got rid of all of the obstacles. Surely he could have done more against the Count right? The Count was definitely a fun villain though. He has a cool costume and a very classic villain laugh. This guy had a tendency to get amused quite often after all.

The minion designs are also fun. As the film goes on we meet a giant robot like something out of Ultraman that shows up to step on the heroes. Then you have a pair of robots who wield swords that can even turn into energy blades. All of this helped to really show how dangerous the army of the count was. It’s also fortunate that Elle was around with his blasters. The robot was not taking any prisoners and must have disintegrated dozens of opponents throughout the film. Ultimately the sheer numbers were just too much for him to stop.

Overall, Starcrash is a very good film. It’s definitely a blast to watch and the kind of film you really don’t see anymore. It’s a relic of its time and a reminder of the good ole days of sci-fi films. The only element of the film anywhere near a negative would be that Stella should have had a proper battle suit like everyone else. Beyond that, the film delivered with showing us various planets and introducing a lot of concepts. The contrast of Stella being extremely confident but losing most of her fights while Elle was always scared but kept beating everyone he fought made for a nice dynamic as well. With a few sequels this could have easily become the next big Sci-Fi series. I guess it wasn’t to be this time but any fan of the genre owes it to themselves to watch this.

Overall 7/10

The Great Race Review


It’s been a while since I saw a film that was nearly 3 hours. Out of all the films I wouldn’t have guessed that a comedy like this would be one that would have such a long run time. It just would have struck me as a bit unlikely. Still, it does accomplish a lot in the time that it has. It probably could have trimmed some of the scenes a bit to be honest but at the very least it won’t be a film that you forget anytime soon. The Great Race really did feel like a huge ordeal that went past a whole country.

The film starts with introducing us to the contrast between Leslie and Professor Fate. Leslie is one of those guys who is a complete star and succeeds in everything he does. Everyone throws themselves at the guy and he is able to escape from a balloon in mid-air while tied up. He’s an ace driver and is talented at all he does. Then you have Fate who is incompetent at everything he attempts and everything turns out badly for him. No matter what he tries, Leslie is always one step ahead of him. It’s at the point where even if he isn’t outright mocking Fate, the villain takes it personally. When he finds out that Leslie has decided to have a race from New York to Paris, Fate knows he has to join. If he is able to defeat Leslie here in front of the whole world then he will have finally gotten his revenge. Can he really pull this off though?

Yes, the race does actually last for the duration of the movie. This is due in large part to the fact that nobody can possibly go this whole distance without breaks though. They stop at many different towns along the way ranging from Kingdom revolt to a small town where they want to show off their hospitality. Leslie is always ready to waste some time since he’s sure that Fate is no threat and Fate always ends up stopping as well. After all, he can’t win due to Leslie lowering his guard. He wants to defeat the guy fair and square.

There is one other big player in the film and that is Maggie. She is very vocal about being the first female reporter ever. She forces the head of the paper to let her into the race and to cover it that way. You have to give her this, she is definitely very confident in her abilities. She is willing to challenge anyone on anything to prove that she can hold her own. Of course, challenging Leslie isn’t the best bet since this guy is already more advanced than most characters. She was a fencing champion for example but so was he so that didn’t go well. He’s just too skilled.

We get a lot of good back and forth between the characters though. Maggie tends to lose out on these exchanges but she does put up a good effort each time which is the important thing. Then finally we have Fate who gets wrecked by everyone throughout the movie. He’s usually the punch line for each joke so as you can imagine things don’t go particularly well for him. He is a genius to an extent as he can build just about anything but always finds a way to mess it up. His character arc can be rather tragic but then you remember he’s a villain so you can go back to chuckling at him. He does help give the film a lot of energy though because he is a big part of what makes the film fun.

Of course, it all depends on how much you enjoy this humor style. It’s a very retro style with the heavy emphasis on slapstick and physical gags as characters get blown up and beaten left and right. We even get a wild west type bar fight where the characters are knocking each other around. This part definitely felt like a parody of the usual kind of fight with how over the top it was. The characters were literally tearing the place down as they fell through windows or into the stairs. It’s an extended fight that definitely worked really well. There’s also a big pie fight that happened later on but nothing can beat the fisticuffs.

There is even a sword fight later on or I guess it may be more effective to say a fencing battle. Part of the fun in having such a long run time is that you can take time to do all sorts of things. Now, if one plot had to be shortened though, I would have reduced the length of screen time for the King in the plot where he switched places with Fate. I have to be honest, the King wasn’t that amusing. His whole gimmick is using his crazy laugh over and over again but he doesn’t have much personality beyond that. You’ll feel like rolling your eyes at the guy by the end.

The movie is at its best when it’s straight up acting like a parody. Fate infiltrating Leslie’s board of directors meeting was pretty hype since his disguise almost held up. Using a race to finally end the various car rivalries was nice as well. Fate’s plans all blowing up in his face was always amusing as well. Perhaps it could have been repetitive if the same gag as used over and over but it was always a different thing that stopped him. This is one area where the Beach films could learn a thing or two as the motor gangs there could be very repetitive. It shows what a good difference in writing ability can achieve.

In a film that is as over the top as this one it makes sense that not all of the jokes would land though. On the whole I would say this one got more right than it got wrong. It’s just a pleasant film that is fun to follow along with. The movie sets up the dynamic with Leslie and Fate very quickly which is effective since it stays in place for the rest of the film. We also have a subplot with the newspaper agency trying to survive as the Woman’s Rights movement takes over the building. At one point the leader is even taken down and forced to plead insanity as he vanished. Now, none of this is outright stated on how it happens but one moment the leader is there taking names and the next he is at Happy Farms and his wife now owns the company. I was not expecting that so it was a good gag.

With a movie going for as humorous a tone as this you can expect that it would have some fun with the ending. It’s a bold one to be sure but in universe I think everyone would be absolutely livid with the main character. The race is quite important after all so messing with it is definitely not a good idea. We get one last big explosion for the film as well which was pretty neat. The writing was on point and at the end of the day that is crucial for any film.

Overall, The Great Race is a very fun film. We get a lot of great banter between the characters like Maggie and Leslie. I could have done without their romance there as it definitely felt rather rushed though and it also felt like Leslie would try and dodge the debates by pulling the moves on her. I’d have preferred they stayed insulting each other the whole movie as that would have made for even more great dialogue. It’s also ironic that she is the one plan of Fate’s that actually worked rather well but in this case that was not a good thing for him. There are a lot of other events that happen throughout the film as the race has numerous pitstops but you’ll have a good time checking them out as they arrive. This film is very much a relic of its time but one that works in every era.

Overall 7/10

Weathering With You Review


Lately it seems a little rare to see one of these anime rom-coms where one of the characters doesn’t just die tragically. This time the plot’s still emotional but not going for quite as much of a traumatic kind of story. It’s a very solid all around title and one that has a fantastic ending. Honestly the ending’s so good that I almost threw it an extra star because it wraps up the product so well. Either way this is a very good film.

The movie starts by introducing us to Hodaka who is in a bit of a rough patch. He can away from home and is trying to tough it out in Tokyo. Since he is a minor with no ID and running out of money, this isn’t easy though. Fortunately he does end up meeting a local CEO named Suga who offers him a job. It doesn’t pay much but now Hodaka has somewhere to live. He also meets up with a nice girl named Hina who has the power to generate sunlight over a limited area. Since Tokyo has been experiencing rain for months on end, Hodaka has an idea. They can charge people money for Hina’s services. She will make it sunny on special occasions as per the requester in exchange for the fee. Everything seems to be going well but can it possibly last?

Weathering With You definitely throws a lot of trials at the main characters. Usually whenever they get out of one situation then another one is quick to pop up in its place. Still, as long as they have each other they are able to get through it. In a way I would say Hodaka’s toughest trial was the intro scenes since not having any money and being in a strange new place has to be tough to overcome.

I’d say this is a pretty upbeat movie though. It helps that Hina is definitely an optimist who always sees the bright side of things. As a Sunshine girl that is certainly to be expected. She’s a good cook and is just very talented. Bringing good fortune to the people around her is definitely something to keep her emotions up as well. Throughout the movie Hina is always thinking of everyone around her and doesn’t mind making sacrifices if it’ll help everyone else out so she’s definitely a star character.

Her little brother Nagi also means well but he definitely flirts a lot so I wouldn’t say he is quite as fun as the little sibling in other films like A Silent Voice. Nagi is smart though so he does come in handy several times. He’s also good at tackling when needed which was helpful in the climax. Then you have the supporting characters from the job. First up is Natsumi who wants to get more of a real job but in the meantime she throws herself into her work. She may buy into all of the supernatural elements a little too easily but at least this makes her interviews with the various people quite genuine.

You can also tell she is the responsible member of the household since Suga tends to be a lot sloppier. Suga is mainly focused on trying to win a custody case but still tries to do the right things along the way. He can be a little dense in the second half of the film though as the writing is on the wall but he’s still slowing everyone down. I think to a reasonable extent you can see why he was trying to put distance between him and Hodaka though. Perhaps he could handle it a little better but that was a tough spot to be put in. The scene of stopping him on the skyscraper though? Nah…I can’t get behind that one.

As for Hodaka himself, I would say he’s weaker than some of the other characters. For starters, while he likes Hina, he gets distracted way too easily. Hodaka didn’t exactly handle himself very gracefully when he first met Natsumi or even later on when they were chatting at the park. Those scenes keep him from being a better character as he doesn’t seem like the most loyal of guys around. That said, he is able to ultimately recover his character a good deal by the end.

The ending is really one of the best parts of the film. See, a lot of times you have characters make the “tough” calls where they decide that they have to put the good of the world above the few. You’ll see a character willing to make a sacrifice to save everyone and the characters either half heartedly agree or don’t really try doing anything about it. Hodaka made a clear choice that he would save his special someone even if it means that the world has to go back to a time of peril. It’s the right answer. Characters like the Flash (coughshouldhavesavedhismothercough) could learn a thing or two from him. It was a spectacular move and he didn’t have any doubts about it or start regretting the move.

No, Hodaka just went in and made the right call without a split second’s hesitation. That’s what I like to see in a main character. So I had some issues with him but that was just such a good scene that he had to rise up a bit there. The film even dealt with the fallback from this and it was handled really well. At the end of the day, you can never let someone make the ultimate sacrifice if you can stop it.

The animation here is great as expected. The character designs are on point and the animation is very smooth. One character even grabs a gun at one point which made for a powerful visual. There are less supernatural elements here to get you a lot of impressive visuals but at least as far as going for a more slice of life look went, this one got you everything you could need. I had no issues with the graphics. The soundtrack was also solid. The best theme was the brief rock theme that played during one of the motorcycle chases at the end. There are also a few lyrical songs of course and those were good as well.

While the movie doesn’t go in this direction I started thinking we were going to meet some rain girls who were causing the current downpours and that would lead to some kind of fight scene. In the end that didn’t happen but it would have been fun. I did enjoy the nonstop rain though because that’s where the animation got to focus its attention. The rain is different from pure water like in the recent anime film I saw so they got to go for different techniques. Watching a heavy rainstorm out your window is always an incredible sight and the movie captures that pretty well.

The food also looks good as expected. It’s always a lot of fun seeing how the dishes look in the movies. For example, here we had Hina make a solid ramen infused with potato chips and that did look pretty good. I’ve messed around with potato chips a lot in my day like for mac n cheese or pizza, but I haven’t tried it in a ramen. It does look really good though so I could definitely see that working out well. The fast food at the hotel was also good. With solid writing and pacing throughout, you could say that this film started off on the right foot and just kept on going that way.

Overall, Weathering With You is definitely a film that I would highly recommend. It’s just a lot of fun and while the characters go through their share of challenges, they handle them rather well. McDonalds even gets its due respect as a character has one of their burgers and realizes that it’s the best meal he’s had in years. This isn’t surprising, McDonalds has always had some of the best food on the planet. Most people don’t realize this but they have the best burgers. Mix in the excellent ending and you definitely have a winner here.

Overall 7/10

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: Rimuru’s Glamorous Life as a Teacher Review


That title’s definitely a mouthful isn’t it? In theory I could have taken out the franchise title since you don’t always need to have that as part of the intro but in this case it did make sense. This one’s a 3 episode special about Rimuru’s days as a teacher. It’s a fun little adventure and works well in this universe where Rimuru already does get to have a lot of down time between battles. You can picture him hanging out at the school for a while to flex and show why he’s a better teacher than the rest. It’s a solid adventure that goes by in a flash.

The special starts with Rimuru slacking off at school as per usual when Jeff shows up. This teacher has always had something against Rimuru. Rimuru doesn’t know if it’s because he’s always slacking off or the guy is just jealous that he transformed the most problematic class into the most powerful one. Either way Jeff lets him know that a big protection test is coming up at the school and as always Rimuru’s class won’t be invited since they don’t have equipment. Rimuru quickly changes that so now his class can in fact enter. The rules are simple, the kids will drive a van/wagon past the mountain plains and into town where they will drop off the teacher unharmed. They will all then participate in a cave challenge fighting monsters.

To keep things fair, the students will be guarding different teachers. So for example Jeff’s students will be guarding Rimuru and his students will be guarding another teacher named Tiss. Your points are based on how quickly you make it to the castle along with how smooth a ride it was. Rimuru’s not particularly concerned since his kids are far more powerful than your average class. They each have spirit animals and basic offensive magic skills at the ready. Still, this trip may be more dangerous than they had expected.

The special does deliver on the action as the kids are inevitably attacked by bandits. They handle them rather well and then even have to fight off an actual demon. They don’t look quite as good in that battle but I don’t think anyone would have been quite prepared to handle this guy. Not only does he have regeneration but he is also very fast and powerful. Such a foe is completely outside the limits of a usual school test. Fortunately we had Diablo show up to clean things up by the end. The guy continues to prove why he is one of the best characters in the series which is why it’s almost a bit funny that he hasn’t technically appeared in the main show yet outside of a cliffhanger, a prequel episode, and now an extra episode.

You can tell he will definitely make a splash when he gets a proper role. There’s also a bit of an epilogue as Rimuru helps cure a fatal illness because he’s just that good. One thing you figure out very quickly while watching the slime adventures is that there isn’t much that Rimuru can’t do. Thanks to Great Sage he is a super genius and he has so many extra abilities that he is also a whiz at combat. This makes him pretty much untouchable to at least 90% of the cast which is no small feat. He’s a fun character and definitely looks good in these episodes.

Then you have the rival Jeff who is fun. I mean, you know he is completely and utterly out of his league in the fight but it doesn’t take away from his being a rather amusing character. It’s always fun seeing these characters give the lead a hard time, particularly when like here it isn’t overdone. He’s not trying to frame Rimuru or do anything drastic, he just throws out a lot of insults.

Then you have the third teacher Tiss. She’s a nice person but you feel like she should be a lot stronger than she is. My main issue is that she looked up to Shizu as a great role model and aspires to be as powerful as her. You would expect that she would have started training then right? Unfortunately she acts like she has never held a sword a day in her life. How does that work out? It just doesn’t make any sense no matter how you slice it. I’m hoping when she next appears she would have gotten a lot stronger.

Meanwhile the kids are good, they continue to defy expectations and actually appear as very solid characters. I would say the weakest of the group is Gale mainly because the guy barely seems to have any character next to the others. Kenya is a blast though and is always ready to charge the enemy. With his sword and design he looks like someone out of Dragon Quest. Then you have Chloe who is also always ready for battle. Her chosen weapon may not be the best one but she makes up for it in hidden talent. Then you have Alice who is quite possibly the most powerful of the kids. She is a little more on the timid side but definitely fights when it counts. Ryota is also a fairly quiet kid so you won’t see him make a name for himself, but he is there ready and willing to help at all times.

While the special is a fairly light hearted endeavor, the action scenes are pretty serious. Kenya actually sliced off one guy’s arm which was unexpected but of course the guy had a potion to regenerate it. I’m glad Kenya had been prepared for this though. The kids put up a brave stand against the demon as well which was nice to see and of course this led to Diablo stealing the show as always. It was a great climax and the perfect way to end the special. If you merge the three parts this works quite well as a mini movie. It’s got a complete plot and while Rimuru doesn’t get to do a whole lot in terms of fighting here, he’ll have plenty of chances in the main series anyway. This one really focuses on why he is known as such a great teacher. He may be rather hands off in his approach but his sheer genius makes up the difference.

The animation is on par with the main show. It’s a very solid display for the character designs and backdrops. I definitely have no complaints with how anything looked. The soundtrack is also taken from the show so this is good as well. It is able to really capture the feeling of just being another pair of episodes which is good. It’s a seamless transition. The pacing is on point so this will also keep your interest all the way through.

Overall, This was a fun trilogy of episodes. I wouldn’t say there is a ton more to discuss since it’s a rather straight forward plot. It’s a quick challenge to see which class is best and we all know that Rimuru’s absolutely destroyed the others no matter what Jeff says. Of course, they all have super powers and spirit boosters so it may not be super fair, but that’s neither here nor there. I’d be cool with Jeff returning in the main series for more of a rivalry with Rimuru from time to time. The kids also still want to visit Rimuru’s village so I assume that is probably going to happen soon. If you want a fun little adventure to see the old characters again this is definitely a good special to check out.

Overall 7/10

Tower of God


With the anime review out now I figured I’d also post the web toon post. Of course this series is still going to I’ll have a review up for it when it ends. It’s definitely shaping up to be the most elaborate universe I’ve seen since One Piece with how many different factions are running around. The cast is huge at this point with a huge variance in power levels so I look forward to seeing how this concludes. It’s my first manwa/manhua and paints a very impressive picture of them to be sure. The art is really nice and it goes without saying that the characters are spectacular.

The Terror Beneath the Sea Review


When you think of creature features you’re probably thinking of something along the lines of The Creature from the Black Lagoon or something like that. Well, this one definitely holds its own with those and even beats a lot of the classics. The monsters are actually pretty impressive here and the main character can really fight well in hand to hand combat. Mix those things together and you’ve certainly got a winner on your hands.

The movie starts with the Navy demonstrating their new torpedo’s to a bunch of reporters and government workers. It’s a torpedo that hones in on a target and has amazing power. It’s 99% accurate which sounds pretty impressive. During the demonstration they see what looks to be like an alien life form. Of course the government doesn’t want to confirm this so reporters Ken and Jenny decide to check things out for themselves. Unfortunately they’ve stumbled upon something that may be bigger than they could have dreamed.

In a way the film is blending your usual creature feature type film with more of a martial arts adventure. To an extent this feels more like a classic Godzilla film than the creature that couldn’t die or any number of films like that. The writing is excellent here with a lot of solid lines and characters. You may not remember a lot of the specific character names (I had to look them up for the leads) but they are solid characters. Just seeing Ken go out and start fighting these creatures instead of just falling over was a nice improvement from the usual lead in these films.

Ken’s a very solid main character. As I mentioned, he isn’t afraid to go out and fight these guys head on. He’s brave throughout and was also quick to go to Jenny’s defense when the admiral was taking shots at her. He’s a standup guy and someone who isn’t afraid to risk his life for a good story.

Jenny is also pretty solid here. Dropping the camera was pretty unfortunate but she was always willing to go with Ken on the dangerous diving tasks to find the cave. Even when the admiral was basically insulting her to her face like asking if she had seen a psychiatrist or saying that she was hysterical. Jenny took this in stride and continues to back up that she had seen something down there. The government also basically knows that she is right but can’t admit it in case of bad PR. I’m not even sure what the government’s plan was long term since the truth was going to come out at some point anyway.

Now it’s a rather small thing but there’s a scene near the middle/end of the film that drags on a lot. It’s when the movie is showing us the process of creating these creatures. It’s a bit of a grotesque transformation as they turn from humans into these aquatic beings. It’s certainly a rather unfortunate fate for these poor guys. Sometimes earning powers feels like it’s worth it but not in this case especially since it’s not like you can change your appearance back to what it used to be.

The actual design for the creatures is great once you get past the transformation though. They look sort of like the Gill Man. They have a design that allows them to fight rather well and the film takes advantage of it with some real fight scenes. Both hand to hand action scenes as well as gun fights. It’s a solid mix so you’ll be engaged from start to finish. Even the final climax gets more intense than you’d expect with a last run for safety and a big battle against high odds.

There’s one plot in the film that feels rather pointless though to be honest. So after the subs locate the monsters from the opening scenes…they don’t do anything. The navy basically tells the captain that they are not allowed to make a move. So throughout the film the captain says he’s going to go down anyway and the guy reminds him that he is not allowed to make a move. This scene is effectively repeated 3-4 different times with variations of the same conversation. By the end the guy still hasn’t done anything so I just wonder what the point was. If it was meant to be a humor plot…I don’t think it really worked.

This movie’s just a little over an hour so it’s a very short one. It makes for an easy watch and that’s why it’s impressive that it stood out so much. I dare say that you will remember this film a whole lot more than your average creature feature. The main villain is also pretty memorable and leaves an impression. He’s one of those guys who always wears sunglasses, even when indoors and in a bright room. He does let his guard down rather easily at the end of the film which is pretty much fatal though. Just a few more minutes and he would have made it to the end.

Overall, The Terror Beneath the Sea is a film that certainly surpasses expectations. I’d say you can look forward to a very fun experience here when you check out the film. It’s got a good story, a solid cast, and great writing. Throw in the good battle scenes and this movie has everything you can possibly want. The line delivery is always on point and it’s a film with high replay value thanks to the length and battles. This is the kind of film I’d like to see more of nowadays. The title is also a keeper because it’s just so direct so right away you get the right idea about what is going to happen here. If we could have actually had some progression on the whole captain plot in the sub that would have been ideal though. I still find it hard to believe that the plot didn’t go anywhere and wonder if there were some extra scenes that didn’t make the final cut.

Overall 7/10

Spider-Man Review


Spider-Man has had a whole lot of shows and movies over the years. He is Marvel’s most popular character of all time after all so you would expect nothing less. The character tends to churn out a lot of quality content. Ultimate Spiderman may not have set the world ablaze but it was definitely a solid show with good animation and a lot of guest stars. This show tries to take the character back to its roots as more of an origin and then slowly starts to build things up. It definitely had a solid run and I’ll look forward to seeing what’s next.

The show starts off by getting the usual origin out of the way with Peter being bitten by a radioactive spider and then allows Uncle Ben to be murdered. We then cut forward to Peter being accepted into Horizon High on scholarship. It’s a very prestigious school, one of the top ones in the entire country for technology. He’ll now be surrounded by other geniuses at the school and Aunt May is naturally very proud. He’ll continue to work as Spider-Man on the side but this school is hiding more secrets than Peter would have initially suspected. Can he continue to hide his double identity while also keeping his grades up and uncovering the school’s mysteries?

For people who grew up with the Spider-Man comics from the 60s, they’ll feel pretty nostalgic. It’s fair to say that we haven’t had a proper Peter Parker story in a TV show since the 90’s version and that was quite a while ago. Ultimate Spiderman while fun, was absolutely a Spider-Man story first and foremost. It was about him constantly teaming up with other heroes and even working as an instructor. That show was going for a team up approach while this one is going for a more personal feel.

It’s like comparing Batman the Brave and the Bold to the classic 90’s Batman story. Both have very different approaches. Now I’m more of a team-up guy personally but that doesn’t mean a solo story will lose. You’d have a hard time finding people who prefer Brave and the Bold to the 90’s show or saying that Ultimate Spider-Man beats the 90’s version. Solo stories can be a blast as well and then when they have their guest stars it feels like a bigger deal. With constant team up series you do run into the issue of how to increase the threat each time or how to make the individual stories feel threatening after having end of the world stakes.

Ultimate Spiderman had that issue to an extent at times as it’s hard to go from Spider-Man taking on the Beyonder to stop the universe and then going back to Paste Pot Pete. This Spider-Man show starts out with far more street level threats for Spider-Man to take down which then leads up to the season 3 finale where he has to defend the Earth from Venom. Now lets talk about where this show ranks real quick. Naturally it does not beat the 90’s show but I would put it above Spider-Man Unlimited, The Amazing Friends, the original cartoon, and the CGI show. Pitting this one against Ultimate Spider-Man is tricky. Ultimately I would give that one the slight edge. It’s close but ultimately that one does win in animation and it had a healthy episode count with a lot of solid adventures. Who can forget the mobile game adaption right?

So that would still put this on the higher end for Spider-Man shows. If you look at the show on its own then it absolutely stands out quite well. I thought the show handled the approach of seeing Spider-Man slowly mature and become his own hero really well. An interesting angle is also how it introduces the other Spider characters like Gwen, Miles, and Spider-Girl early on. In a way it’s like a look at the 60’s Spider-Man if he grew up in the modern day where there are just so many heroes. Now, while it may have been even more interesting to have kept Spider-Man by his lonesome to really start off small, it is kind of nice to have other characters trying to hide their secret identities for a change. It’s like a big game of cat and mouse as nobody knows what the other is doing. I always like that kind of tension.

For the animation, it’s not nearly as vibrant as Ultimate Spiderman was, but it does look very clear. I think once you get used to the more pale colors, the actual flow of the animation is quite solid. The hand to hand action is really good and the choreography even for the energy attacks is always on point. You can follow along with the action really well. The soundtrack is less noticeable but unfortunately that is really the norm for most shows. Really if you look at post Justice League there aren’t many comic book shows where you can point to a really vibrant soundtrack. (Ignoring the animes) The only one I would name would be Avengers Assemble as to this day I say they ripped some of the themes straight out of Justice League. It was always cool to hear them of course. That said, there is one theme I really liked here. I would unofficially call it the Cloak & Dagger theme since it always appears in an episode where they show up. That can’t be coincidence right?

Season 1 is mainly episodic but with a lot of plot lines being foreshadowed. This was a nice touch because it’s one of those things the original comics did so well and any superhero show starting out should absolutely do this. Yeah it can be risky if you don’t get future seasons but it’s worth it. Early on in season 1 the show already starts to foreshadow the Jackal, Spider-Gwen, Doc Ock, Norman, Alistair Smythe, and many more characters. you have all of their human personas walking around so you know what’s going to happen to them even before the characters themselves do. For some characters the payoff is quick while for others it takes a very long time.

One of the big sagas in season 1 was the big Spider-Island adaption. I remember when that arc was still going on in the comics and the show handles it pretty well. Suddenly every character has spider powers and you can imagine how society would go absolutely nuts at this point. If everyone is super then nobody is or at least that’s how the saying goes. Spider-Man would just have a lot of competition in standing out. Doctor Octopus also gets several episodes to himself as he is introduced. This guy would go on to have a pretty massive role so that makes sense. The first season does a great job of setting the stage and getting all of the characters introduced.

Season 2 starts to ramp things up for Spider-Man from street level threats to more high end villains. First off, Peter gets a job at the Daily Bugle so we’ve got that iconic storyline now. Meanwhile Doc Ock is trying his best to work as a hero but can Spider-Man really trust such a guy? It’ll really test his whole motto about giving everyone a second chance. Venom also finally merged with Eddie Brock, leading to the most famous version of the character. Even the Avengers show up and get kidnapped so Spider-Man has to save them. Yes, Spider-Man is a rookie no longer. Now he is a full hero and people are counting on him.

The Venom two part saga was pretty hype. Eddie definitely makes for a powerful villain and it add some tension since he knows who Spider-Man is and how to reach him. When someone like Aunt May is put into a dangerous spot naturally Spider-Man isn’t going to take that well. The Avengers episode is admittedly a little cheesy that they were captured so easily. By the way, it was A.I.M. that captured them so…I’m having a hard time buying it.

Season 2 doesn’t end there with the big events though. Next up we have a saga where a bounty is put on Spider-Man so every villain wants a crack at him. This leads to many episodes where Spider-Man has to deal with many villains back to back. It was a good way to show off his stamina and really illustrate that Spider-Man is not an easy guy to bring down. This all leads up to the whole Superior Spider-Man event where he trades bodies with Doc Ock. Now that was an intense storyline both in the comics and the show.

You do feel bad for Peter though because Ock puts his life through the wringer. It’s the kind of thing where no matter what Peter does or says later on about someone else being in his head, people will never trust him quite the same way again. Ock does a great job while trading places though and shows Spider-Man several ways he can improve. Now, he’s not an improvement in every way of course as he’s more of an anti-hero but he does make some valid points about Spider-Man installing better web equipment and having tech around to monitor the city. Ock took the whole job very seriously.

This also helped introduce Cloak and Dagger who would never become main characters in the show but looked good whenever they showed up. I rather like that duo so it’d be cool to see more of them. Their great theme song helps as well. If anything you might miss Otto when he’s gone. Although I didn’t really care for his possible romance plot though. The show mainly stays away from any romance which is probably for the best since in a school setting that could get overly dramatic pretty fast.

With Peter back we get the Avengers getting kidnapped again which is always fun. Beyond that the final episodes are all about the Goblin War. Norman’s making his big play..or is it Norman? Either way Spider-Man and the other wall crawlers will have to try and take down this army of goblins. Fortunately most of them are just grunts with a costume but it is concerning that so many have appeared to spread chaos.

Definitely a solid way to wrap up season 2 for sure. The stakes were increased and it was nice to get a change of pace here with the whole body swapping thing. The Avengers admittedly looked very bad in this season and it would continue to an extent in season 3. I guess that’s the one thing with having a lot of guest stars here. To show off how powerful the new threat is it can be tempting to have them lose so Spider-Man has to save the day but you have a hard time believing that the Avengers would lose first to A.I.M. and then to Regent.

Finally we make it to the final season which is easily the shortest one at 6 episodes but at least each episode was double length. The title of the season is Maximum Venom so you can imagine who the big villain is. So Venom is coming back and this time he has brought an entire planet of symbiotes with him. Together they manage to take over the planet, the Avengers, and just about every supporting character there is. Characters like Aunt May have to form a resistance and we even get Moon Knight on the team. For many of the heroes Earth is already lost so they plan to fight back a little bit here and there or wait it out in the sewers.

Now I’m not going to say this is executed quite as seriously as it all sounds on paper but I wouldn’t say it’s comedic either. The show actually plays this out pretty straight and Venom is really shown to be a fierce opponent. We also get Mary Jane introduced to the season at long last. They may play up how awkward Peter is around her at times though especially with baby Groot messing with him during their appearances. You feel like Mary Jane would make herself scarce after the opening scenes but at least she took it all pretty well and just seems like a very nice person the whole time. I suppose she just barely made it into the show before it ended since she showed up for the final episodes of the series.

Season 3 ended the show off pretty well. We got to close out a lot of the big plots here. All of the heroes are on good terms now and they’re pretty much ready to leave the school. I still don’t like Max but at least he should have less things to hide now though. Spider-Man is also ready to become an Avenger so things are looking up. If we got a season 4 then I’m guessing everything would go sideways again on account of the Parker Luck but at least like this things went well for him.

Lets talk about some of the characters. Peter is the main character of course and he’s really good. He may make his share of mistakes but throughout the show he is portrayed as a nice guy who does what he can to help out. Balancing his work as a superhero and an everyday student is naturally pretty difficult as it is. While it takes him some time, he does live up to his reputation for giving people a second chance when he forgives Otto Octavius which is pretty tough after all the things that guy did. The show also takes time out to show what a genius he can be as well which is something we don’t always see a lot of lately. The school setting and expanded take on his origin days helped to give him time to show this off instead of just overwhelming opponents with his physical power.

Then we have Harry who gets a pretty big role and character arc here. At first he starts out as Peter’s best friend and then of course things get pretty heated once he learns more about the Goblin heritage. He also gets a bit jealous when Otto enters the picture as well. It takes a while for all of them to really form one close unit but I liked him and the cool fire sword he got as Hobgoblin. It helped to make him more of a threat and not just another one of the friends. Since Peter’s friends all had super powers here that may have easily overshadowed him.

I definitely did not like Max though. I found him to be one of the most ungrateful characters in the series and he was always quick to go against Peter despite how much the lead did for him. Peter had his back every step of the way and the guy never did anything to try and help him. The worst of it was in the final season when Peter tried to save his job twice including disclosing his secret identity and Max just slammed the door in his face. Mix that in with all the dubious experiments and Max is just not a good guy.

Anya is one of Peter’s best friends in the show and she becomes Spider-Girl. Anya’s a fun addition to the cast and from the main members I certainly haven’t seen her as much as the others so it was nice to see her get some extra screen time here. She doesn’t really have any big personal plots compared to some of the other characters but she’s always ready to fight and help out.

Miles gets the biggest role from the friends as he helps Peter a lot and they share secret identities pretty early on. He also has the plot with his uncle/father (I forget which but I think it’s his father in this version) being a super villain so that adds a personal element to things. Surprisingly it’s a bit of a smaller role than you would expect. He’s typically the comic relief member of the group and tries to make sure everyone is having fun.

Then we have Gwen and naturally she has a big role since the Jackal is always around. Surprisingly Captain Stacy doesn’t show up as much as you would expect. Gwen’s a solid friend and may be the most fleshed out character from Peter’s inner circle. This family development definitely helped a lot in giving her things to do aside from just fighting the villains off. Her battles with Jackal definitely tend to get pretty intense. The Jackal’s also a fun villain. I’m always up for seeing more of him as I consider the guy to be a far more compelling evil scientist than Otto. It also opens up the door to the Spider-Clones although the show didn’t get into that yet.

Aunt May is solid as always. I did like that she was able to fight here like when she took her giant gun out. It shows that she was ready to rumble which is always important. I like to think that she knows Peter is Spider-Man as well even if she doesn’t say anything. Jameson’s role here is small but he does look good in the Venom episodes when he puts his life on the line to buy his staff some time. It shows that while he is a pretty gruff fellow he’s ultimately still a good guy. He’s a solid boss who thinks of his employees first.

Otto gets a really big role in the series since he starts out as a hero, turns evil, turns good, turns evil again, then he turns into Spider-Man, then he turns good again. He had a whole lot of things going on that’s for sure. I never really became a fan of his though. I guess the character just never really interested me but he’s better than in Ultimate Spiderman so I’ll give him that. While I usually didn’t care for his episodes much next to the other characters, I did like the Superior Spider-Man story arc quite a lot so that one worked out really well. At the very least his fans should be happy with how he looked.

Likewise, Norman gets a lot of props here. He’s the big mastermind behind a lot of the villains which is very fitting to his character. He’s always been the kind of guy who manipulates others from the shadows. He seems to return over and over again throughout the series. Harry finally got some closure from his character by the end which was a good way to wrap up the cycle. Norman’s always been one of the most compelling Spider-Man villains and the show did him justice.

Sandman doesn’t appear much but his opening episode was very memorable. It actually gets rather tragic by the end of it too. His powerset is always fun to watch and he does make for a pretty sympathetic villain the whole time. Speaking of minor roles, the Avengers look decent at best but most of the time they come across as pros who talk a good game but really can’t back it up. Being kidnapped and having to be saved by Spider-Man multiple times isn’t the best look after all. As the Superior Spider-Man Ock was also able to defeat them rather easily.

Finally there is Venom and naturally he looks pretty great here. He has several hosts during the series and in each one he is able to dominate pretty quickly. I’m still not a big fan of the whole twist that he was one of the weaker symbiotes on the planet though. That always seemed a bit cheesy to me. I like to think of Venom as one of the tougher ones. That’s just how I’ve grown up with him after all. Seeing him be humiliated and mocked by the others doesn’t feel right. Beyond that he does have his own sense of pride though and makes for a pretty intimidating villain. He was a fitting choice for the final boss.

Spider-Man definitely had a good run. There were a lot of solid adventures here and characters to meet. It’s not quite a great show as it would need that extra boost to reach the next level but it was quite consistent. As the seasons went on the show just kept bringing more plots forward and it felt like a pretty strong continuity was established here. Whether something happened a season ago or two the show would remember. If it had kept on going it would have been nice to see how everything else was adapted. Alas, all shows must end at some point.

Overall, Spider-Man is definitely a show that all fans of the character should check out. In general if you enjoy superhero shows then this will be a good one to check out. The story is sound and you have a good blend of action and adventure. It’s a pretty light hearted show and you can also expect some decent comedy. The jokes don’t tend to drag on for the most part or anything like that so you’ll be able to focus on the story. The show doesn’t really have any weaknesses so it makes for a pretty fun experience from start to finish.

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