RWBY: Official Manga Anthology Review


It’s time to look at RWBY’s recent manga anthology. This one got 4 volumes, one for each of team RWBY. It’s definitely nice to see more RWBY material even if so far it hasn’t taken advantage of the manga format as well as it could have. The current ongoing RWBY manga has a lot of potential, but the original one was basically an anthology as well as it retold each character short. I’m not a huge fan of anthologies and part of the issue is how not much of a story can happen in those. This one has that issue as well along with some stories having good art while some do not. Ah well, I’ll still take what I can get.

Of course, I usually start off by talking about the plot, but that won’t work here. I’ll start with the artwork. As I mentioned, it really varies depending on the story. Some of them look quite good with nice character designs and details while others aren’t really all that solid. It makes for an up and down reading experience. Each volume is a good size though so there is space for quite a lot of content.

On the other hand, this is still RWBY. As a result the characters can hold their own story with ease. It’s just nice to see them around in more stories. Due to the limited length per episode it’s not as if the writers can show us a whole lot of bonus material in the show. That’s sort of the point of the current RWBY manga as it will allow us to see more of the characters than the show could. For example in Yang’s volume there is a story where she beats up on a bunch of fake Neo dolls to exact her revenge. Then Neo sees this and is quite disturbed.

If anything, I’d say that the series plays out like a RWBY Chibi episode. Think of all those shorts and then packing them into a manga. So there’s certainly nothing bad about the series. I definitely enjoyed reading all 4 volumes. They’re fun and make for solid reads. It’s also a decent way to get someone to check out the RWBY series if they haven’t seen the show yet. The volumes are all about character interactions after all.

As each character gets her own volume they each get a lot of screen time. Yang’s definitely still the best member but each of the 4 bring something to the table. With Weiss’ glyphs she could probably give Yang a good fight if she was trying. Meanwhile Blake and Ruby are also quite skilled so it’s not like they would lose very easily. I suppose if we had gotten another volume it would have finally been time for Jaune and his team to show their stuff. They show up in these volumes of course, but it’s different being a side character versus a lead.

On a side note, I definitely do like the artwork for the volume covers. They really stand out and have a lot of detail. If that’s how the art looked inside then this series would have been even better. The actual volumes are quite high quality and as I mentioned they are bigger than the average volume. As a result they feel a bit like an omnibus. It’s a style that I wouldn’t mind becoming the norm. It’s not big enough where the volume would be awkward to read, but big enough where it feels special.

Overall, The RWBY Anthology is good. It’s hard to really discuss it much due to the style of the manga though. The current ongoing will likely end up being the definitive RWBY series though since it has an ongoing story. It’s a shame that the ongoing’s art is also a little below average though. Maybe RWBY characters are just really hard to draw or something. It could be a while before those stories come out in America though so now it’s back to the waiting game. I don’t know when the RWBY comics are coming out, but maybe those will be close. I’m wondering if those will also adapt the show or if they go for something totally different. I’m hoping the latter as we don’t need two adaptions. Maybe have the comic writer take their own spin on the franchise. That’d be pretty cool.

Overall 7/10

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Tokyo Mew Mew A La Mode Review


It’s time to look at the quick sequel that came out after the original Tokyo Mew Mew. In omnibus form it’s only one volume so it definitely doesn’t take too long to go through it. It’s a fun sequel but one that does end way too fast. It feels as if the series was cancelled with how abrupt it all is. It doesn’t have the depth of the first series, but it isn’t bad. It’s just uninspired and hits a lot of the beats from the original without the needed length to make the whole thing flow.

After the Mew Mew team destroyed the villains’ ambitions the world probably thought they would enter an era of peace. Unfortunately that was not to be. Monsters continue to spawn in the streets and the heroes are having a much tougher time than normal due to Ichigo moving away. Without their leader the team is lost. We are then introduced to a girl named Berry. She was an ordinary teenager until one day she accidentally receives Mew Mew powers. The cafe owners who run Mew Mew behind the shadows think she has a lot of potential and tell the old heroes that Berry will be their new leader. Ichigo also comes back home temporarily to help the team until all of the monsters are down for the count. The team is pretty stacked now so surely they can win right?

If you think that the whole Berry thing sounds rushed…you’d be right. She basically becomes leader of the team overnight. It’s fortunate that the rest of the team are so understanding of this. Berry is a nice enough protagonist. She’s very similar to Ichigo, but maybe a little bolder and more willing to jump into action. It doesn’t really help the romance angle any more than the first series though. I definitely have no complaints with Berry. I think she is able to hold her own series pretty well. She’s certainly the best of the Mew Mew members at this point. Meanwhile the main guy this time is Tasuku. Tasuku is definitely better than the guy from the first series as he actively does his best to protect Berry and help her get through her personal problems. The guy is pretty selfless and he can even fight a bit. He does fall for mind control pretty easily though and the resolution to that plotline doesn’t help his case either with how quick he snapped out of it. That means the mind control couldn’t have been all that strong. While mind controlled he definitely doesn’t make for a particularly good villain either.

It kind of goes without saying, but naturally I wasn’t a big fan of the romance here. It takes a long time to really go anywhere and the dynamic was better when they were childhood friends. No reason why they couldn’t have just stayed that way. Still, I’ll say that the romance was better than what we got in the first series. That one had way too much back and forth with all of the different guys going after Ichigo. At least this time Berry was only with one guy the whole time.

Now lets talk about the new villains. Or at least most of them. The villain group was fairly big, but some members didn’t get to do anything like Sweet Juliet or Blue Bayou. They’re around to fill out the ranks, but the series ends before they can do anything. Happy Child has an interesting design for sure but he definitely isn’t much of a threat. Really, one of the only tough villains here is Royal Highness. He strikes using mind games and deceptions. That may not sound too impressive but it’s relaly all you would need to take down most of the cast. For the ones that remain all you need are some quick energy bolts. I can’t say that he was an interesting villain though.

Duke is effectively the leader of the group and she even has a hat that looks like something out of the Ku Klux Klan. Right away you can tell that she’ll be one of the big bads here. That being said, she doesn’t seem to have all that strong of a resolve to be honest. She is very quick to re-think her whole plan and that’s part of what hurts the ending to A La Mode. After all of the destruction and nationwide terror her group basically just calls it quite. In a matter of pages they go from trying to destroy the world to just walking away. It’s way too rushed and just hard to believe in general.

The series ending so quickly also didn’t let us properly explore some of the subplots. One example of this is Ichigo who begins to lose her powers for some reason. As a result she can only transform for a few minutes. It’s actually a pretty interesting idea but I’d like an actual reason for it. The rest of the members don’t seem to be affected, but at the same time they are barely characters here. They each get like 2-3 lines of dialogue, but for the most part are just in the background. It’s a shame since having them interact more with Berry could have been fun.

The art is pretty good though. It’s always pretty clear so you can see what is happening during a fight scene. The characters are all drawn differently so you won’t mix them up either. It’s definitely the strongest part of the manga. Not to say that the rest is weak or anything, but the art is just very solid. You won’t have any problems with it as you’re reading through the volume. There’s no problem with the writing either. The dialogue is good and the characters do a good job of saying what they mean. There are never any big misunderstandings because the characters are trying to be vague.

A La Mode’s concept is good and it’s nice seeing the old characters again. I’d definitely be up for more one shot sequels for other titles with a new main character or just bringing back the old cast more like what Fire Red did. Either way it’s fun to see how they’ll make the new villains a threat. In A La Mode’s case I’d argue that they never were much of a threat though. At most they could challenge the heroes when it was one on one, but whenever the teammates would show up it was over. There just wasn’t much that the villains could do at that point.

Overall, A La Mode is a sequel that feels like filler for the most part. It doesn’t really add much to the story, but I’m sure people were probably hyped when it started back in the day since the original Mew Mew ended with a big cliffhanger. I think keeping Berry’s more mysterious personality (Okay, she only had one line but I got that vibe) from the ending would have made her a more interesting character here. It would have also been very unique for sure. I definitely recommend checking this sequel out if you read the original. The series definitely has pacing issues, but overall I would put it above the first series. The plot does start right away so that’s always good.

Overall 6/10

Astra Lost in Space Review


It’s time to look at a space exploration manga that is pretty unique compared to the other manga titles I’ve read in the past. I haven’t actually read a classic sci-fi adventure like this one before. It’s a pretty fun premise and I don’t think the series ever overstays its welcome. It’s just a solid series all around. There are a lot of twists and turns along the way, but I don’t believe any of them would hurt the series upon a re-read. If anything you’ll probably just examine all of the interactions even more.

The series starts with a group of kids getting ready to go to camp. It’s a planetary style camp instead of a traditional summer one as this series takes place in the future. The leader of the group is a guy called Kanata. He’s a very outgoing guy who is always filled with confidence and he is determined to make this the best camp experience yet. Everything he planned goes out the window though when a portal appears and swallows everyone up. They all appear millions of light years from their planet and nearly die, but fortunately they put their helmets on first. They manage to get onto a nearby space ship and must now try to make their way back. Unfortunately the ship is low on fuel so they’ll have to make many stops along the way. This will be a very dangerous journey and none of them were exactly prepared for this, but they’ll try their best.

Kanata must lead the group and get them all to team up. On his team he has an airhead, a sullen teen with a bad attitude who has a gun, a super shy girl, a really mean girl, an overconfident genius, a rich guy, and a mild mannered being who transcends human limitations. This would be pretty easy, but Kanata has to keep one more thing in mind which forces him to keep his guard up. The controls to the ship were sabotages which is partially why they have to make so many stops. Someone intentionally caused the portal to send them into space and then someone sabotaged their ship after they got one. Clearly one of the students in the group is a traitor who intends to destroy them all and Kanata has to find out who it is before they’re all space food.

Kanata makes for a pretty good main character. He’s definitely very gung-ho and is always giving the other characters good lessons in life. They may seem obvious at first, but they’re all true and it works as a great morale booster. I think it’s fair to say that without him the crew would have absolutely been doomed. They just wouldn’t be able to make it ahead without his natural leadership skills. At first he and Aries have a gimmick where they mishear things or say something that’s a little off from what they mean, but fortunately this vanishes pretty quick. There’s pretty much nothing not to like about Kanata. If anything he probably forgives people a little too quick which is definitely a quality most leads tend to have.

Aries is a reasonable heroine. Her perfect memory is definitely a good skill to have and comes in handy more than once. Like Kanata she can be a bit of an optimist which sometimes works like a weakness. When the characters are trying to get to the bottom of some truths and plot twists she always tries to stop them so the atmosphere doesn’t get too tense. I can understand that but at the same time this is information that they really need to know sooner than later. She can also get a little upset at Kanata even when the lead didn’t mean to do anything. He just has no time to worry about personal dramas when he’s saving the ship.

Quitterie starts out as the rather mean/arrogant member of the group, but she quickly mellows out. It’s probably just the biggest switch for her going from being a rich girl to suddenly trying to make ends meet in space. It’s like going from a 5 star hotel to a random motel. Still, she’s always a fun character to have around and is one of the better members. Funicia is Quitterie’s younger sister and she’s definitely good. Despite being a kid she’s never actually annoying and tends to be quite wise for her age. She’s patient with the rest of the characters and even when she doesn’t get the approval that she was hoping for from Quitterie, Funicia takes it pretty well.

Then you’ve got Zack who is basically Kanata’s right hand man. As he is able to fix the ship several times the group would have been absolutely doomed without him. On a long term mission like this one you really need an engineer. He makes sure that everything is running correctly and is typically the first to notice when something suspicious is happening. His romance with Quitterie isn’t the best though. I don’t blame her for being rather upset since he constantly acts like she is a nuisance and doesn’t want to be involved with her despite him suddenly claiming obliviousness by the end of the series. No one was buying it.

Luca definitely likes trolling the characters quite a lot due to the fact that he keeps changing gender identities whenever he feels like it. It’s certainly an interesting development. Unlike the others he has already overcome a lot of personal demons and so the twists don’t hit him as hard as they do the others. He probably has the least amount of slumps out of all the characters because he always tries to see the silver linings. Meanwhile Charce is a rich guy who really loves animals and plants. He enjoys travelling on these planets just so he can see all of these new things. He tends to keep to himself more than some of the others, but he’s always ready to run onto the field and help out however he can.

Ulga gets a lot of focus early on in the series. After all, he makes it clear that he doesn’t want to be friends with the others and he has a gun. It’s hard for anyone to trust him and in a small ship like what they have, a gun is a very powerful advantage. As the series goes on Ulga opens up more, but he simply isn’t as chatty as the rest of the characters so he always sticks to himself to an extent. Likewise, the same can be said for Yun as she just doesn’t talk much. She’s very timid and we find out the cause to this through her backstory. Naturally all of the kids have some kind of emotional origin story and the series does a good job of spacing them out. Typically you can expect 1-2 per volume. As such, each volume gets some story developments in the past and the present.

The vast majority of the series is about the kids in space, but occasionally we get a few scenes back on Earth where we follow the adults and see what they think of this. After all, a bunch of kids just vanished off the face of the Earth. You can bet that people are a little panicked back home. It’s always nice to see these meanwhile scenes but they are very rare. I feel like we only got 2 in the whole series. There just wasn’t much time I suppose with only 5 volumes to work with. As I mentioned, we get a bunch of twists during the final two volumes of the series. I’ll admit that at first I thought the series was going to get real crazy. We were going to get some dimension hopping, time travel, aliens, and stuff like that. Instead the series decided to stay pretty realistic so all of the twists have some logic behind them. One involving history will still feel like a big stretch to be honest, but I guess it could work. You just gotta assume that there are a few more things behind the strings as well. At the very least you can’t say that the series was playing it safe with these twists. It was all handled pretty well. I do wish we could have gotten something a bit different from the classic “flash forward to when everyone is an adult” endings though. Especially as the designs just aren’t great. You’d think that the characters would have resisted their fates.

I also thought the humor for the series was handled fairly well. As I mentioned, quite a bit of it involves Kanata’s random fun facts. The scenes can be pretty funny but it isn’t forced. The series is pretty light in general even though it can get serious when necessary. You might rarely feel like the characters are ever in any real danger, but you’ll still be interested from start to finish. It’s a real page turner. This is a good example of a solid manga that didn’t need action to take it to the next level. There are only a small handful of action scenes, the rest is all about adventure. The Godzilla netflix series could have taken a page from this one’s playbook on how to do a proper survival story.

Naturally I won’t say which student is the traitor, but I will say that it was game over for that character. It’s hard for me to regain any respect for that character after pulling such a stunt, especially so late in the game. You just can’t make such a mistake like that and just apologize. The series does a good job of putting the traitor plot in the background though. It’s easy to forget that the plot is even still going towards the end of the series so it makes the whole thing even more unexpected.

Overall, Astra Lost in Space is definitely a fun manga. The premise is good and the execution was on point. The pacing is solid and the characters are enjoyable enough to hold their own stories. There’s really not much to dislike here and it really captures the thrills of a space adventure. It’s a shame that it was so short, but this is the kind of plot where if it goes on too long then it would probably turn into a whole different kind of story. If you haven’t read this manga yet then I would recommend changing that. After all, an anime is coming out soon so you’ll want to be ready for that.

Overall 7/10

Pokemon Horizon Review


It’s time to look at a fairly unknown Pokemon manga. Horizon is so unpopular that almost no images come up when you google it. It’s not all that surprising as the series is only 2 volumes long and Pokemon is so huge that you can’t remember every part of it. It’s a decent manga, but one that does enhance the injuries a bit too much. You can sort of see the anti-battle point here as Pokemon battles don’t appear to be any fun for the Pokemon. On the contrary, they appear to be quite painful.

The series starts off with a boy named Akira. He’s ready to take the world of Pokemon by storm, but doesn’t yet have one that he can use. He meets up with a girl named Mana who isn’t a big fan of Pokemon fights herself. As a result she is a little alarmed when a Rockruff appears and seems to be a battle fanatic. Rockruff just wants a good fight and is willing to do whatever it takes to get that. Akira quickly realizes that being this Pokemon’s trainer won’t be like a usual arrangement. Rockruff is going to do his own thing no matter what. Akira can assist him or not. Akira decides that he might as well tag along and he’ll give his Pokemon advice from time to time in the hopes that the Pokemon will listen. Of course there is an evil organization out there as well so Akira will have to be careful. Rockruff may be more special than he knows.

We’ve gone through the rebellious Pokemon type before, but never as a whole series so that’s a unique spin for this title. Even by the end Rockruff definitely has his own personality. He’s definitely not a yes man who will do whatever Akira says. It does tend to backfire on him quite a bit though. He’s reasonably intelligent but against a trainer/Pokemon combo it’s just not enough. You effectively have to out think two opponents. Mana tries to break up the fights many times, but Akira sticks up for Rockruff’s decision to fight. This is where things get tricky.

Akira believes that as Rockruff’s trainer he has to support whatever he does. Even if both of their lives will be in danger for no real reason, it’s a risk that he is willing to take. Naturally I don’t agree with this. If your friend is making a mistake, then it’s your job to stop it. Rather than cheering on Rockruff the whole time he should have been trying to stop this madness. Stepping in and knowing when not to fight is just as important as fighting. This never actually happens during the series. No matter what Akira is just there in the action and so I can’t say that he is a great trainer.

The art is certainly good though. It can feel a little Shonen-esque with how intense the battles are. This is a double edged sword of course. While the battles are sharp and the character designs are on point, it goes back to how brutal it can be for the Pokemon. They take real injuries here for sure. I think it could have been toned down a bit while still keeping the intense action. It’s just a style that would work better for something like Bleach or Yu Yu Hakusho.

Also, the manga just isn’t as memorable as it could have been. It’s almost scary how much you’ll forget by the end. The problem is that there isn’t much world building or even character building. The manga just starts right away with the fights and continues to the end. Fights are all you need of course, but as mentioned above it got a bit tricky in this case. I will remember the fights, but the characters and setting probably won’t last in the long run.

There isn’t a whole lot to distinguish these characters from the others. You’ve got Akira who is basically protagonist 101. There’s Mana who is a nice heroine, but doesn’t have an abundance of character beyond that. We have a rival of course who seems to be a little shifty so you wonder on whose side he is really on. His character worked pretty well. The whole ending is extremely rushed with how his arc is resolved though. It’s like you go from fighting to the death one minute to a high five in the next. It’s not that extreme, but it’s the kind of character arc that you simply can’t do in one volume.

Even if it may have backfired most of the time, I’ll still throw Rockruff a shoutout for fighting hard to the end every time. I do always like it when a character is always eager for a fight. Combat can be fun and aggressive characters like that always end up being quite memorable. It does work a lot better when you can talk though as we can only understand to a certain degree what Rockruff is feeling. Saying something like “I’m not done yet!” completes the message a lot more than any non-verbal queue could.

The climax was definitely pretty intense though. We got some solid fight scenes and storming the villain base is always a good way to end the series. As this one was only two volumes, the fights basically take up all of the second. I think this title would have had quite a bit of potential if it was an ongoing series. I think it’s just hard to contain a lot of ideas in two volumes, but I suppose the series did a reasonable job within the time constraints that it had to follow.


Overall, Pokemon Horizon won’t be remembered. It probably deserves a little more recognition than what it will get, but considering the competition it’s hard to argue for it. Pokemon Adventures is the flagship of Pokemon manga and you can’t compare the two. For lesser known Pokemon titles we have Pokemon Reburst to bring up. Still, there will always be a spot for Pokemon Horizon somewhere in there and you just have to find it. If you’ve always wanted to see a very intense Pokemon battle manga then I’d recommend checking it out. It’s like taking a look at what it would be like if Pokemon battling was an underground sport. If you want something that’s a little less dark, but keeps in the intense action then you should check out Reburst.

Overall 5/10

Delibird’s Present Review


It’s time to look at a quick Pokemon manga one shot that came out. This one is extremely short, but technically a lot of one shots are. The average one shot either ends up being about as long as a monthly chapter which is preferable or it just ends up being a few pages. I don’t think I can say much about this one’s length as it is technically reasonable, but of course there is only so much that you can do in a one shot. I think it’s a pretty nice manga and worth a read.

The plot involves a Delibird as the title suggests. Pikachu and his Pokemon pals were playing around in the snow when they accidentally bump into Delibird and cause the package he is carrying to be sent down the hill. They feel a little guilty about this and decide to go and help him retrieve it. The only problem here is the fact that the package won’t stop rolling. It turns out that the content inside is a Lucky Egg that is being delivered to a sick Pokemon so he can light the Christmas Tree. The stakes have never been higher and Pikachu is determined to help, but what if the electric mouse is simply too powerful for such a peaceful mission? Time to find out!

Most of the one shot is the chase scene which makes sense. You feel the intensity behind Pikachu when he’s trying to grab the egg. He also uses some quick thinking to make the best of a situation that almost got very dicey. He reminds me of why I’m such a big fan in the first place. Pikachu gets the job done. The art looks pretty good for this title. You can always tell what is going on which is ultimately the purpose of art. It’s naturally not ready for the big leagues, but it’s considerably better than it could have been.

Overall, This makes for a fun little Christmas story. It’s always nice seeing all of the Pokemon hanging out without any trainers around to hold them back. Pikachu and the gang make for good main characters. Seeing the Christmas tree light up at the end was also a good epilogue to this fun story. I have another quick Pokemon one shot review coming up so expect that one soon as well. This will help us wait for that promised Pokemon Switch title. Slowly but surely it draws closer.

Overall 6/10

Megaman X5 IF Review


It’s time to take a look at a quick one shot that came out recently. It’s extremely short, but still gives us a quick battle so that’s always good. I can’t say that I remember X5 in particular too well as they all start to blend together from X5-X8 for me, but the Nightmare Zero saga was always fun with the cool boss theme that we got. In this manga, Zero has been turned over to the dark side and is trying to destroy X. X has to fight back, but can he save the partner that he once had? It’s a pretty emotional 8 or so pages.

As this is an IF title you can probably imagine that it went in a different direction than what happened in the actual game. Here, X manages to defeat Zero, restoring him to normal. Unfortunately X seemed to die at this point so Zero used his own parts to rebuild X. Essentially they are now one and the same although then the ending rewinds time a bit and we see that they will both survive. I’m thinking that the latter part is what actually happened in the game with the first ending being the IF that this manga is named after. If that is the case, then I do think that the IF path would make for a reasonable spinoff although I think getting rid of Zero like that would be a dicey move. Having both X and Zero around is part of what makes the series so fun in the first place.

The art is definitely quite good. The character designs are on point and the action is pretty intense. You will find no problem with this part of the story. The pacing is also fairly good considering the length. I do think the one shot should have been longer, but maybe this will inspire the team to make a true Mega Man X manga at some point. We’ve had a few in the past, but having a nice ongoing series would definitely be a good way to revitalize some more interest in the series. Not to mention that it would just be a lot of fun.

Overall, IF is a nice little manga. It’s not one that will really be remembered though and I can’t blame readers for that because it will be over in the blink of an eye. The best way to think of this is to look at it as a little short story that can be placed at the end of a manga. If you haven’t checked it out yet then I’d recommend doing so. Particularly if you remember X5 a little more than I do, you’ll be able to appreciate this alternate route more. I do think it’s nice that the title addresses how Wily created Zero. That’s an angle that the X games never went into and I think it would be pretty interesting. Likewise with Light building X. Times must have been quite dire in those days and that would be the perfect plot for a big budget movie. Have it start out with Mega Man being defeated and the world falling into ruin until X shows up to save the day. Boom, that could be film of the year!

Overall 7/10

Tokyo Mew Mew Review


It’s time for an old school Shojo. This one is fairly similar to Sailor Moon in many respects. It’s a classic story of 5 magical girls who fight evil in the name of justice while also trying to get through their human drama. The art’s a big improvement over the former, but aside from that it actually ends up feeling a bit weaker overall. The manga has its share of issues. It’s a fun read, but it’s hard to call it a good one.

The story starts with a girl named Ichigo. She’s been leading a normal life up til now. Things are actually going fairly well for her as well, she is finally on the verge of being happy with Aoyama. Then she is transformed into a magical girl and the two responsible for this (Shirogane and Keiichiro) let her know what is going on. She is one of the chosen warriors who must defend the Earth from aliens. There are 4 other magical girls, Mint, Lettuce, Pudding, and Zacro. Ichigo must find them and enlighten them as to the responsibility they now have to protect the planet. They have to find the Mew Acquas and stop the demons from destroying the planet. Little does Ichigo know that this will be the easy part. Staying together with Aoyama while keeping all of these secrets will be much more complicated.

It’s definitely a very classic kind of story. There aren’t a lot of twists and turns that you haven’t seen before although I do applaud the series’ attempt to mislead you by throwing in red herrings. Trust me, there are a whole bunch of them in here involving who the Blue Knight is or who a mysterious cat appears to be. Your first instinct in both cases will likely be correct but if the series causes you to question yourself then I suppose you could count that as a win in its book.

Lets get right into why this series didn’t work so well. It’s unfortunately the romance and the fact that every character is in on it. Ichigo is one of those characters who is so charming that everyone wants her. Aoyama, Shirogane, Blue Knight, and Quiche all want to be with her. Keiichiro may also belong in that category. It’s definitely not the best way to get the romance going. Now, it could work if Ichigo just immediately denies all of them except for 1 and straightens things out. At the very least she could be like Kirito and pretend to be oblivious the whole time. Instead she always gets flustered around all of them which is a problem. She has to constantly talk to herself in order to strengthen the resolve needed on not cheating on Aoyama. Keep in mind that these two are together for most of the series so going with anyone else would definitely be cheating.

Quiche is a villain so his attempts to get Ichigo are naturally some of the trickiest. He pulls a Xellos with how quickly he’ll appear and steal a kiss. Ichigo is never able to bounce back from these moments and they seem to keep happening to her. When she is turned into a cat then another cat comes to try and steal her away several times. Ichigo just never shows any real strength or willpower to keep these characters at bay which can be pretty annoying. The scenes certainly do bring the series down without a doubt. So the romance was definitely one of the weakest ones I’ve seen in a while. It just couldn’t hold up.

At least the artwork is quite good though. It’s very clear and the characters don’t look too similar so you won’t have to worry about mixing them up. We even get some nicely drawn fight scenes as the Blue Knight took on Quiche. Most of the magical girl fights are less impressive since they tend to be one hit KO moves, but it just shows how strong their food powers are. As long as Ichigo is around you never feel as though the villains even have the slimmest of chances. They are simply outmatched and they know it.

Beyond the romance, I suppose Ichigo isn’t a bad character but even then I have to say that she is relatively weak next to most other Shojo leads. She simply doesn’t have enough confidence of charisma. Everyone walks all over her. Then when she turns into her super form she quickly turns a 180 and starts talking about peace and food. Sometimes the change is so abrupt that it’s almost alarming. I think the manga maybe dials up the cheerfulness of the characters a little too much in these moments. Especially given the circumstances at times.

As for Aoyama, he definitely wasn’t all that good either. My problem with him is that he always seems upset at Ichigo. You could say that this is because he has a hard time showing his emotions. After all in his side of the story towards the end we find out that he was never upset. Maybe it’s just how the author likes drawing him. Aoyama’s eyes appear to be glazed over and lifeless quite often. He wants to play along with Ichigo’s scheme, but just admitting that he knew would have saved a lot of grief. If he didn’t want to go that route, then just acting more cheerful would have helped. Instead he tends to be very quiet and sulky all the time. Ichigo does ditch him a lot, but if Aoyama has made peace with this then he should be fine.

The Blue Knight is definitely pretty cool though. He’s very powerful and determined to save the day. He always listens to Ichigo’s wishes even if they are quite dangerous at times like sparing one of the villains. It would have been nice to have seen more of him although I suppose his screen time was pretty reasonable. His name is also good since it’s hard to guess who is he in universe compared to Ichigo whose cat name is Mew Ichigo.

As for Shirogane, I have to give him a thumbs down as well. You can probably tell that I don’t consider the cast of characters to be a big strength for the series. He’s the classic mean guy who is constantly taunting Ichigo but it’s only because he cares. He teases her quite a bit and uses his car form to secretly still be her friend. It’s pretty deceptive and no matter how heroic they try to make him appear it is hard to sympathize with the guy. Then you have his partner Keiichiro who really doesn’t do much in the series. Honestly his role could have been erased entirely and I don’t think a whole lot would have changed. That’s how inconsequential he was in the series.

Next up is Mint who is probably the best of the cat members even if she basically stopped appearing by the end. It may be for the best since she started falling off pretty hard once Zacro showed up. Mint is also one of the slightly meaner characters as she has a rich upbringing and isn’t afraid to mention it a lot. It’s good to have a member on the team with a lot of spunk like this though and she was fun enough. At the very least she isn’t constantly distracted by romance like Ichigo is which is always good.

Then there is Lettuce who isn’t really my favorite member of the group. She’s very timid and always has a tough time doing anything without the others. In the grand scheme of things that is true for all 4 of them since they can’t seem to do anything without Ichigo. It just seems even more drastic for Lettuce. I’m thinking that having this member is another staple of the team so it was bound to happen sooner or later, but Lettuce never got much character besides that. I think the reason is that ultimately none of the members got a huge role after they joined since Ichigo began to steal all of the screen time. That’s why it is tough not being the main character.

Pudding is the worst member of the group. She can’t take anything seriously which is always a bad character trait. Comic relief characters can work, but surely you have to get serious when your life is threatened. Pudding takes this to the extreme as she could be held at knife point and talk about cake. She thanks the villains and acts super oblivious to everything. It just gets real annoying and the heroes should have kicked her off the squad for being too young anyway. Then we have Zacro who was pretty solid and if the series had went on much longer she would have probably passed Mint. She seems to be a lot more capable than the rest of the members aside from Ichigo. She already has experience using her abilities and is also a bit older than the other characters. This helps with her agility and physical skills. Zacro never really warms up to the others nearly as much as you’d expect and stays relatively mysterious even by the end.

Then we have the villains. There are a few of them, but lets just talk about the big 3. Deep Blue is the big mastermind and he’s certainly the best villain. He’s a very no nonsense kind of character and is efficient about achieving his goals. He’s crazy powerful and if not for some very specific circumstances I definitely think he would have easily won the fight here. It would have been nice if he could have appeared a little more though. Seeing him take names a few times each volume or so would have really ramped up the intensity. Then we have Quiche who is the villain with the most screen time. Unfortunately he is probably the worst villain. As I mentioned earlier he is always trying for Ichigo to no avail. It just doesn’t make for a particularly captivating motive. He’s also very skilled so if he had taken his task seriously then it would have been all over for the main characters. There just isn’t much that the heroes could really do against him and his speed.

Then we have Tart who is the counterpart to Pudding so you can probably imagine that he isn’t very good. He gets charmed way too easily so you have to wonder just how loyal to the cause he was in the first place. You can’t allow yourself to doubt your mission so easily. That’s just a big ticket to disaster 100% of the way and he knows it. A villain who was pretty solid is the stoic second in command, but his name escapes me at the moment. He’s always talking about percentages and how he’ll have to increase the dose if he wants to win. He never does and basically goes out without a fight but I still liked his personality.

Going back to the art, the fact that it is so good does help the series immensely. If its art was at the same level as Sailor Moon then the series would have likely dipped into the negative score range. As it stands, at least the manga volumes are real page turners. You’ll be blasting through the series at top speed once you start. Even if it’s a title that doesn’t ultimately hold up when you really think about it, at least it’s a fun ride in the meanwhile. I do think it’ll probably make for a fun 4Kids dubbed anime though. They can take the concept and really run with it.

Overall, Tokyo Mew Mew is a fun story with good ideas, but the romance really does bog it down here. It would have helped the series so much if Ichigo was just more independent and able to defend herself from her many suitors. As it stands, she always has to be rescued or simply succumbs to their whims until they end up running off. Playing the series straight as an action comedy would have easily made the series a lot more engaging. The drama is fine and all, but going the other route would have won the day. If you like an old school romance type manga like this one then by all means I recommend checking it out. Otherwise, I think you’ll have a better time checking out a different manga like Angelic Layer or something. That title has a bunch of action without worrying about romance.

Overall 5/10

Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter Review


It’s time to look at a Monster Hunter manga. This one made it all the way to 10 volumes and has some cool cover arts so how does it rank? Well, it’s a pretty good premise and I wouldn’t fault its pacing, but the manga does fall short in some areas. Mainly the art and the characters are what brings it down. Salvaging the manga though is the amount of fights we have on deck and the fact that it’s still interesting. It pales in comparison to many other titles but I wouldn’t call it bad either. It just takes a while to get going and by then it’s basically over.

The series starts with Raiga as a kid. He looked up to his local Monster Hunter (A guy who hunts monsters) but unfortunately this guy got scarred after a tough quest and changed into a violent person. He is now bent on getting revenge and ditched Raiga’s village. The hero and some townspeople survived, but Raiga swore that he would find this hunter one day and get payback. He decides to be a hunter and a few years later he has finally attained his goal. The problem is that his bark is bigger than his actual skill. He teams up with Keres, an arrogant archer who panics quite often and Torche, a navigator who isn’t particularly skilled. Can these three heroes become legendary Flash Hunters?

Lets address the elephant in the room. That is to say, the terrible character known as Raiga. It’s obvious what the series is going for from the start. Raiga’s the hot headed main character who jumps into action and thinks about the consequences later. That’s fine, I’d actually consider that to be a positive trait most of the time. A lot of my favorite characters are like that as with Vegeta and Ichigo. The problem is that Raiga never improves enough where he can afford to act this way. All he ends up doing is putting everyone in harm’s way. Time after time he rushes at an enemy and nearly gets the group destroyed. It always works out one way or the other, but always because someone saves him and not because he ends up beating the monster. Raiga doesn’t care about teamwork and will always choose to pursue the monster.

You’d expect some kind of character arc for him somewhere down the line but it never, ever comes up. Even in literally the last volume he makes the same mistake. A monster has been forced back into the ocean and the town is calling in a bunch of hunters. Once there are enough of them then the team will go in to finish the monster. The problem is that Raiga wants to prove that he has surpassed Bexel (The rogue hunter who betrayed his village) and goes in alone. Naturally he gets beat up as always and Bexel is forced to save him. Then the rest of the team arrives and Raiga is saved, but our young hero ends up taking most of the credit. What he did was completely unnecessary. He does something like this in every volume and you can see why Keres kept ditching him. Raiga is a man who puts his own adrenaline needs above the lives of his teammates. Such a character won’t go far.

Raiga was just annoying the entire time and I’m still shocked by how he never got better. Unfortunately his teammate Torche is almost as bad. Her personality quirk is that she’s pretty clutsy and isn’t good at anything besides being a scout. She can pick out monster weak points, but this almost never comes in handy. She defends Raiga a lot which isn’t good either. The worst part is that she never really becomes a fighter. I get that not all team members need to know how to fight, but at least getting better armor and superior weapons would help her case a lot. She just ends up being more of a non character than anything.

Finally we have Keres. He’s a mixed bag because on one hand his constant need to run away is annoying. He gets nervous a lot to the point where he even retires for a while and is forced back into the hunt. On the other hand, he is often right when Raiga is involved. Why go to hunt a monster that isn’t bothering anyone when they can wait for reinforcements? He isn’t constantly addicted to fighting the way Raiga is. Still, he can be annoying in general so since all 3 main characters are annoying you can see why the characters is an angle which holds the manga back.

I also think the art may have something to do with this. The artist isn’t great at drawing facial expressions so everyone tends to have the same grins, frowns, etc. They all look the same after a while. Different character designs, but the same postures and expressions. Then the artist gets completely lost with regard to the fight scenes. You really can’t tell what is happening half of the time because it is too chaotic. Everyone is using a huge attack and the same goes for the monster so all of the action lines intersect to the point where it’s too muddled to make anything out. The art never gets better unfortunately and this would certainly be one of the weakest art that I have seen for a series.

Then we’ve got the main rival character Bexel. You could also call him an antagonist I suppose, but Raiga definitely exaggerates when talking about him. If you think about it, Bexel never actually hurt everyone. He decided to distance himself from everyone, that’s certainly true. At the same time I think it’s a little iffy for Raiga to basically act like he’s a monster. Bexel single handily saves many villages because of how crazy strong he has gotten. He may not be a hero, but he certainly is the best hunter in the series so just let him do his thing. Even by the end of the series nobody is even close to being as strong as he is. That’s pretty impressive.

There are also a few supporting characters, but given the series we are talking about none of them are all that memorable. You have another pair of hunters who do their best to support the main 3, but they aren’t all that powerful. One of them has his big hero moment which is basically Raiga’s fault so when he doesn’t return from his fatal battle we have the lead to thank. Then there is another heroine who shows up from time to time. She’s way better than Torche, but never feels too important. Honestly, nobody feels that important aside from the main 3 and you could basically just call them a distraction if anything.

I will give the manga a lot of credit for how it handles the monsters. This could have easily gone the animal violence route, but the manga is very classy with how it treats the battles. The monsters don’t get all that injured or when they die it isn’t super graphic. So while I do think the title failed in a lot of ways, this was a very important element and it handled this part very well. After all, better a 6/10 then getting the rest right and still dropping to a 4/10 with all of the creatures getting wrecked right?

I still think Bexel didn’t really get a fair shake, but I’ve already spoken a lot about the characters to lets start to wrap this up. Why is this manga still good when everything before this in the review was pretty negative? Well, as I mentioned before the premise of the manga is still good. I like a good adventure title as much as the next guy and the Monster Hunter world has always been pretty interesting. I liked the armors that the characters wore and while the fight scenes could be hard to read at least they were present. They were also rather long the whole time so you can’t say that the manga forgot that part. It does a good job of making the danger feel pretty real to the heroes.


Overall, Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter could and should have been a lot better than it was. The characters should have been more interesting and likable. I can also dig the concept of the main 3 constantly bickering and all that, but even that isn’t handled well. We also get some random time skips, but the status quo didn’t change much so they ultimately feel pointless. You go from having the whole cast feeling outmatched against one monster to suddenly nothing can stop them in the ending. I’m fine with the main characters being the best since that’s inevitable, but you’re telling me that the whole region is basically out of hunters so without the main 3 they are doomed? How did they all live for so long then? Read this manga if you want a good action/fantasy title but prepare to get a little irritated.

Overall 6/10

Super Dragon Ball Heroes Dark Demon Realm Review


It’s time to look at a pretty different manga. This one is a short spinoff manga about the Super Dragon Ball Heroes adventures. This part of the franchise has always been cool because it pairs together fighters from various Dragon Ball eras including Super, GT, and the movies. It’s pretty cool but naturally with so many characters running around the power levels can get a bit iffy. Typically GT fans will be very pleased here though because Super Saiyan 4 gets a lot of respect. It’s a blast for sure and you’ll wish this series could have kept going.

The plot involves a group of Demons who have decided to change the past. They are augmenting past DBZ villains to untold heights with the Dark Dragon Balls and then aim to collect all 7 to resurrect their king. (The king is still alive, but heavily weakened at the moment) The Time Patrol can’t let that stand so the Kai of Time summons Future Trunks to help out. He’s a little outgunned on his own though so she also brings in Xeno Goku who is basically end of GT Goku. The two of them may need more backup though as the villains here may be even stronger than Omega Shenron. Fight hard Z Fighters!

The manga never stops to let you catch a breath so you feel like one of the heroes. They have to adapt on the fly because you never know who is going to pop up next. From Super Saiyan 3 Bardock to Super Saiyan Black King Vegeta, there are a bunch of powerful fighters here. Both Vegito and Gogeta make an appearance along with a bunch of other fusions like Gohan and Trunks and classic Gotenks. The pacing is quite excellent and the fights are all a blast. The artwork is great as you’d expect and feels like a classic DBZ story. I won’t go as far as to say it looks as good as DBZ, but it still looks great in its own right.

If the manga has any problems it is the fact that there is so much happening that no individual fight lasts very long. As soon as one matchup is just getting good then the manga has to switch to another one. There’s also the power levels issue I mentioned earlier where some characters look a little stronger or weaker than they ought to. The manga does its best to get around that by being as vague with the power ups as possible, but it’s still tricky. Basically when a character gets infected with the dark Dragon Balls they get a huge boost. So huge that a character like Kid Buu can suddenly match up with the current Gogeta. Then you’ve got the demons who are all absurdly powerful.

So…these demons in their natural forms are able to keep up with Super Gogeta? I mean, it’s not really a bad thing as the more powerful villains the better, but it is just a little hard to believe. The king of evil also gets a lot of hype as it is hinted that he would be the strongest being in the cosmos. Without even being powered up he was looking pretty impressive. It makes for an excellent climax though as we see all of the Z Fighters engaging in multiple battles as they frantically try to reach him. A shame that we couldn’t see that fight, but maybe in a sequel.

That’s right, the manga ends on a big cliffhanger. It looks like the villains from Xenoverse 2 might be showing up. Of course, it’s going to have to wait since the manga then transitioned into the Prison Planet arc and it’s unknown if it will go back to this one afterwards or if you’ll just need to play the arcade game. Either way I hope they keep up these Dragon Ball Heroes stories since there is just so much that can be done with them. I’d also like to see all of these arcs animated since that would just be a blast.

I mean…we even get Super Saiyan 4 Broly to show up! That was hype even if his appearance was rather small. I’m not sure about him only being on par with SSJ4 Goku and that demon guy. In theory Broly should be the strongest one in this place. I do like the manga’s excuse for Goku not going SSJ4 from the start being that it is simply too powerful and that it even corrupts time itself. According to the manga, SSJ4 Goku is even stronger than Vegito which is really something. Makes you wonder what a SSJ4 Vegito would be like. In theory that would be absolutely crazy. That’s also why this manga is so good, it’s absolutely bonkers.

I don’t know the demons very well as I never played Xenoverse, but from what I can see here they seem like fun villains. They all have a lot of personality and good designs. The kid with the scythe is cool as I can’t think of any other Dragon Ball character who uses that weapon to fight. It’s a little unorthodox but it definitely still gets the job done. As for the Kai of Time, the fact that she can fight a little is certainly cool. She may not be a powerhouse or anything, but her barrier spells are very handy.

Overall, This is an amazing manga. I can’t stress enough how hype it is. It’s very short and basically nonstop fights so there isn’t a lot to say, but it’s something that DBZ fans will really be able to appreciate. It’s only around 2 volumes long so it won’t take very long to read but has high replay value. It would work as a sequel to DB Super if they don’t announce anything in the near future I’ll have a review for the Prison Planet manga out when it finishes, but I suppose that could still be a little while away. Also, I have to admit that it can’t quite match how cool this one is, but it’s still excellent as well.

Overall 9/10

Mega Man 11: The Gears of Fate Review


It’s time to look at the one shot manga that was created to hype up the game. This one’s a little longer than the last one shot I reviewed as it’s around 20 pages. That’s a good thing since it allows for a fight and that’s one of the reasons why this artist has always been so solid. It’s nice to see Mega Man back in manga and it would be awesome if he could get a full length series again at some point. The character has had a great track record so far and I have no doubt that a sequel would fare just as well.

The story starts with Wily wrecking havoc on the world once more. This time his robots have been equipped with the Double Gear system so even Mega Man is basically helpless to stop them. Fortunately Dr. Light has one as well so he gives it to Mega Man. Still, he warns the robot that if he ever uses both gears at once he will probably die. Mega Man agrees not to use it unless necessary and hops into battle. He’ll have to go through Fuse Man though and this may be his most dangerous task yet.

The author perfectly gets across how serious of a threat this is. Since robots run the world in the future every time they turn evil it is a catastrophe. No matter how many times this may occur, there isn’t much that the humans can do since their whole economy depends on them. Fuse Man in particular is difficult to stop since he controls all electricity in the area and can turn it all off on a whim. The only way to stop his ability is to destroy him which also forces Mega Man to make some tough choices. At his core Mega Man is always a hero though and so he does what he can to find a better way.

The battle between Mega Man and Fuse Man is top notch as you would expect from this artist after the brilliant Megaman NT Warrior series. He does a good job of showing off Mega Man’s speed and then also keeping Fuse Man at a higher level. He did have to rush the ending a bit as Mega Man never quite gets past the speed advantage but secures the win anyway though. I assume that had he been given more time then the fight would have been even more satisfying. Still, the art was fantastic and the action was amazing. This manga already has a more interesting environment and atmosphere then the rest of the Mega Man series. Imagine if Mega Man 11 actually played out like this. Full disclaimer, I think Mega Man 11 looks like a lot of fun so no shots at it, but imagine it in the art style of something like Sonic Forces. That’s basically what this manga looks like and it works pretty well. I’d love to see a third person shooter for Mega Man at some point or even a beat em up. The lore of the universe would work pretty well around that, especially if we get a proper robot invasion kind of story.

Overall, Mega Man 11 is definitely a real page turner. The pacing is almost too good since the story ends so quickly and you are left wanting more. Hopefully the fan response to both the manga and the game is positive enough where the franchise gets completely revived and we see a whole lot of extra material. That would just be a lot of fun. If you haven’t checked this manga out yet then you definitely need to do so. It really shows you why Mega Man is still considered to be one of the most likable of the original video game icons and his character has stayed consistent through the years.

Overall 8/10