Irregular Hunter X Review


Mega Man X has had quite a few different manga titles over the years. This one seems to be one of the less popular adaptions but it’s definitely a very strong manga. I liked that we actually got to see a matchup of two Reploids fighting each other who weren’t X, Zero, Axl, Sigma, Vile, or someone big like that. It makes for a pretty fun outside the box matchup. In general the manga is just very strong with solid artwork, a good story, and solid pacing. It’s a great adaption of the first game and it’ll definitely keep you wanting for more.

The story starts by introducing us to the world of Mega Man X. Reploids are now used to help in just about every area of life. There are some who have gone crazy though and believe that Reploids should be at the top of the food chain. They become Mavericks and are put down by the Maverick Hunters. The Hunters are led by Commander Sigma and his top warriors are the S Class hunters like Zero and Vile. X is the main character and he’s solid but at a lower ranking. His physical abilities aren’t quite as good as the others but he wants to be S rank someday. More and more mavericks have been popping up every day so this is X’s chance to prove himself.

In a lot of ways X is very similar to the classic Mega Man. He’s all about peace for the future and only taking down villains when there are no other options. Mega Man has been through many incarnations over the years and the same goes for X but the main constant is that he is usually the most emotional one. He is known to cry as he slays the enemies because he values life so much. It pains him to take down the Mavericks but he knows that not doing so would lead to even more casualties long term. So he does what he has to.

X is also very loyal to his friends. Even once Zero is stated to be a maverick X refuses to believe this and opts to let himself be destroyed instead of going and taking Zero down himself. Of course it would have been even better if he suspected Sigma but part of X’s character is that he believes in the best for every character. Naturally that includes Sigma as well. X is shown to be a very capable fighter here though and he consistently improves throughout the manga. I think fans will definitely be satisfied with how he looks here.

Zero definitely looks great here. He is definitely known as one of the strongest hunters of all time for good reason. With his Z Saber at the ready he just goes ahead and lays waste to all of the enemies in his way. He’s very quick to notice Mavericks causing trouble even when they weren’t on the official list to watch out for. Zero’s a very pro-active hero and one who always stays alert. He’s definitely the best character here. Vile’s also a fun S rank Hunter although of course he is one of the big villains here. In a fair fight it’s fair to say that he wouldn’t stand a chance against Zero though. He’s more of a ranged fighter which doesn’t match up so well against Zero’s up close and personal fighting style.

Sigma is also a pretty fun villain. The guy definitely has a lot of plans for the future. This was all really just the opening gambit for him but either way it was a solid plan. He’s an iconic Megaman character and I would consider him to be an improvement over Wily. This guy just feels like a huge threat in part because of how powerful he is. We get to see that briefly when he fights with Storm Eagle and easily dispatches him. I really liked that fight as Sigma did a good job of maintaining his cover this way. It just fleshes out the events of the game a lot. That’s really one of the big things that the manga did so well. It just takes the story of Mega Man X1 and really adds a lot of detail to everything. All of the mavericks are given some extra character development here like the rivalry with Snow Penguin and his fire counterpart as well as Storm Eagle’s absolute confidence. You like to see that because it changes them from just being another robot to be defeated. The Mega Man X games already did have extra detail compared to the classic games and this just took that to the next level.

Whenever you go through a Mega Man X adventure it always makes you wonder how we got to this point from the classic days. A lot certainly happened and this is far enough in the future where Dr Light and the others are long gone by this point. In a lot of ways the world feels like it’s at peace more compared to the classic one but then the Mavericks keep on spreading more and more until by X8 it feels like the world isn’t doing so well. It’ll be interesting if the manga titles also give off this feel. In this game at least I feel like things are still pretty hopeful right now.

The artwork is definitely really good here. The character designs are on point and the action is really solid. You really feel the weight of each battle and it all just flows together really nicely. I also liked seeing X with Zero’s buster even if it was brief. Zero was definitely right that this wasn’t a good idea though. You can’t just switch out weapons and expect everything to go over very well. It does seem like Zero’s weapon was a lot stronger though so no wonder he is always winning matches. X started to even things out with his various upgrades though. Once he has all of those he probably is the strongest Maverick Hunter. The adapting tech Dr. Light gave him certainly paid off quite nicely.

Overall, Irregular Hunter X is a very solid manga and I would highly recommend it. It’s over pretty quick so you’ll feel like the adventure ended as soon as it began. Still, you couldn’t ask for much more than what you got in these two volumes. Every character is given their chance to shine. The writing is on point and this should definitely get you interested in the original Mega Man X story. Soon I’ll be checking out a bunch of other Mega Man X manga adaptions so it’ll be interesting to compare them directly. It’s hard to picture them beating this one but they do have the advantage of having some bigger scale stories coming up. This one set the ball rolling for all of the other stories so they can just jump right into the action instead of introducing the characters.

Overall 8/10

All You Need is Kill Review


It’s time to look at a pretty interesting story about time travel. What if you could keep on redoing a day until you had perfected it? It’s an interesting idea for sure and if you could master the concept then I could see why anyone would want to do it. Keep replaying the day where you took a test to get the right answered or entering a tournament until you won. There are no limits to what time travel can help you do and that’s why it has always been such an amazing concept. One difference here compared to most that it isn’t exactly all fun and games for the main character. The time travel is quite serious.

We open up the story by being introduced to a very different world. We have been at war with aliens for decades now. They’ve always been one step ahead of us so no matter how many improvements we make to our mechs they always win. There is only one soldier who has been doing well against them lately and her name is Rita. She is able to take down dozens of attackers with the greatest of ease. The rest of the soldiers just watch in awe. Well our lead here is Keiji and he is promptly murdered as soon as he sets foot on the battlefield. The only issue is that he then wakes up back to the start of the day. He then repeats the day and dies again, which sends him to the beginning of the loop. He can’t find any reason as to why this started or how to get out but he suspects that it has happened for a reason. Can he now find a way to win this war and save humanity?

Of course you gotta take it one fight at a time but winning this battle would be huge. Keiji quickly realizes that every action that he takes a little differently affects quite a lot. The only worrisome part is that the aliens never act the same way so it seems like they are aware of what he is doing. Well, no matter. Keiji still aims to win this fight and he may need Rita’s help for that. It’s effectively Groundhog Day but in the middle of a war so the stakes are pretty high and it’s not like he can just have fun. Of course, living the same day over and over again for too long in any circumstance would get old quickly.

Keiji definitely makes for a good main character. He may not be thrilled at what’s going on but what I liked is that Keiji gets with the program right away. He quickly sees the benefit of this and trains as hard as he can to be the perfect soldier. He’s a very determined main character and doesn’t get distracted so easily. At one point in one of the timelines someone offers to “console” him and Keiji quickly turns down the random 1 night affair. Even though he could have done so and just went back to business the next day he kept his eye on the prize. Keiji wasn’t going to walk away without getting more knowledge on the enemy. It seems like he went through the loop hundreds if not thousands of times and never lost his sanity. For sure it did take an emotional toll as he would look terrible but he always said and did the right things anyway.

When a plan would fail Keiji would try the next best option. I definitely had no issues with him here. He fought til the end. There isn’t really much of a cast here. There are supporting characters of course but the only other important one would be Rita. She’s definitely a very solid character as well. As the ace fighter of the whole army her abilities greatly exceed those of anyone else. The only one who is able to keep up with her later on is Keiji thanks to all of the looping. Rita is a very no nonsense character who is always ready to fight. Even when the aliens try surprise attacks she doesn’t fall to those and just regroups. At the same time, she would like to have someone she could talk too, but just doesn’t see the point. It’s not like anyone can keep up and most are too scared to even talk to her. Her quiet confidence and overwhelming talent makes her quite memorable. If the army did not have her around then even with all the resets in the world I wonder if Keiji would have ever been able to make any real progress here. Perhaps, but it would take such a long time that his psyche would be in even worse shape.

The idea behind the story is just excellent. The idea of being able to keep on trying over and over again until you can solve things is brilliant. The manga also touches on other aspects of this. For example, even if you can figure out how to win that’s not enough. You then have to keep on going until you find a method that can save the most lives. If you assume that you have endless tries then you don’t need to worry as much but that’s also a big assumption. You have to ultimately figure things out as fast as possible so you don’t risk too much. Make the wrong call and it could blow up in your face. The writing will definitely remind you of something like Death Note where you have to consider all the implications that a single action can have.

The artwork is definitely excellent. There’s a lot of detail put into each of the pages. The characters really stand out and the artist does a good job of helping you feel the dread they experience when they get out into the field. This isn’t the kind of series where you can expect everyone to have a happy ending. There’s a war going on after all and the humans are just trying to survive as best they can. The ending is very solid though and you could reasonably continue with a sequel at some point. I would say that there is still as lot more you can do with the concept although I suppose the series was trying not to be redundant. It’s the kind of ending where you can easily picture how things will go either way. Whether the heroes or aliens win the war is up to you.

Overall, All You Need is Kill is definitely one of those titles that you’ll probably need to take a second look at to make sure you read it properly. The grammar might not really make sense but you’ll still get the idea right away. At the end of the day the kill is really the important part to the characters here. This is a very well crafted story with a fun premise that the writer takes advantage of. Everything is executed well and it’s a title I could recommend to anyone. It can get a bit violent as it’s in a war with aliens stabbing people to death but it’s nothing too crazy I’d say. The alien designs were definitely intense and the manga did a good job of showing how fierce they could be while highlighting that there is no room for hesitation there. You either land the first blow or you won’t be around to see the next one.

Overall 7/10

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale Review


It’s time to look at the manga based on the Sword Art Online movie. It’s always fun to read manga based on previous media to see if it’ll follow things 100% or change things up. Other times you have to worry about the quality of artwork since they typicallydon’t put quite as much effort into it compared to brand new manga. Fortunately this one was definitely in a good position and really gave a satisfying recap of the events. I think the movie is still the definitive way to experience this story but the manga is a solid alternative. It’s reasonably long so you really feel like they kept everything in.

The plot begins with Asuna and friends trying to get Kirito to play the Ordinal Scale game. He’s not a big fan of it since Kirito has always preferred VR to AR. The main difference is that in VR it’s all in your head while in AR you have to actually move around and perform the actions. I guess it’s like thinking about Pokemon Go which is AR vs one of those VR Megaman games. It all depends on your preference. Once both styles are perfected I’d definitely say that I’ll prefer VR no question. Still, AR is a lot of fun too and since you actually feel the action it should benefit some genres more than others. A racing game would definitely feel exhilarating although I wonder how they will be able to handle the recoil effects. In my mind AR will always be more dangerous than VR.

Back to the plot though, Kirito isn’t particularly impressed with the game. He’s just not buying into the hype at all. He’s forced to take it more seriously though when Asuna is defeated in a battle and loses her memories. It seems that a man by the name of Eiji is behind this. He wants to take the memories of all the SAO survivors and aims to do it through this game. Kirito will have to take him down but while he may be the world’s greatest gamer, he’s not exactly known for being super fit. He’ll train with Suguha a bit and then go back in the ring. Time’s not on Kirito’s side but there’s no person more reliable to have your back.

Pretty much everyone gets a little something to do here which is always nice. Klein may have gotten stomped but we briefly got to see how his team was able to fight and do well in SAO. Klein, Leafa, Lizbeth, and the others also get to come in. None of them have particularly big roles though except for maybe Sinon who was able to back Kirito up when everyone was out of commission and landed a good hit on the final boss. She’s definitely more of a fighter than most of Kirito’s crew so it’s certainly not very surprising. Her gun skills also make her a very good partner to have since Kirito likes to get up close so this way she has his back.

Asuna looks good here as well. She’s definitely ready to re-enter the fray despite being in a pretty tough spot with her memories gone. The film really tests her courage a lot and she always passes with flying colors. I was also glad she remembered Yuuki’s final combo move and used it to great effect. It works as a very solid power up to be sure. Then you have Kirito who is pretty awesome as always. He may not take things too seriously at first but that’s because there’s no danger. How do you get back into the groove of things for a game with no stakes when you’re used to fighting for your life? Well, that certainly changes once Asuna is in trouble. After that Kirito just takes care of work and puts everyone down. He’s definitely one of the greatest main characters out there and continues to improve with each arc.

As for the villains, I’d say that mileage will vary on this. Eiji is a pretty solid one. At least he has good motivations which makes sense and he can fight. He regrets his inaction in the past which caused his best friend to die so now he’s working on fixing things. This fix would murder a lot of people in the present so it shouldn’t be forgotten that tihs guy is a big villain. He’s not a hero by any stretch of the imagination. The guy is just looking out for himself and at the end of the day that’s really all there is to it. He has a cool design and solid fighting skills. At the end of the day when you mix that together with his character motivation then that’s why I will end up giving him some props. He made for a good foil to Kirito since they were both fighting for the person most important to them.

Yuna is a fun character. She may not really know or agree with what is going on for the most part but she does her best to have fun. There are effectively two Yunas at this point anyway. You’ll see the context of that once you watch the movie or read the manga. I definitely have no qualms with her and in the past she definitely appeared to be a very selfless fighter who always did her best to continue improving her abilities. She may not have been a great fighter but she never let that stop her from doing the right thing and helping where she could.

There’s also a scientist villain but he’s not nearly as memorable as Kayaba. Here’s my problem with the guy, based on how we just need the memories to fulfill his goal, wouldn’t it have been possible to do so without straight up murdering everyone? With how advanced the Sci-Fi mechanics are here, I find it hard to believe that he couldn’t just do that very easily. Maybe it would take longer and he just didn’t want to risk it. Usually I would also question if this was even possible or if it would work but based on the fact that her soul is clearly still around, I think there would be a great shot at success. She just hasn’t moved on yet and that’s a very good sign for the plan. It’s too bad that the plan will basically eliminate the game though since that’s the second controversy in a row related to online gaming in Sword Art Online.

As I mentioned earlier, the art is excellent here. The fight scenes are very detailed and the character designs are on point. You can tell that a good amount of effort went into every bit of the adaption. You could easily not even know that this was a movie first and just assume that it was a really solid spinoff story. The quality is certainly there so I wouldn’t blame you. It’s a few volumes long so it definitely works well as a mini series. It’s 100% accurate to the movie so the experience should be very similar.

Overall, Just like how the movie was pretty close to being perfect I would say the same for the manga. The story itself is just very compelling. Kirito and Asuna have always made for very solid partners and this story shows how nothing will be able to keep them apart. They both do their best to stay strong around each other and keep on pressing forward. Whether you’ve seen the original Sword Art Online or not you should be able to quickly tell what’s going on here and get invested into the story. It never gets slow and there is quite a lot of action. Being able to see the final boss of the original SAO for the first time is also great and all of the guest stars at the end make this feel like a great wrap up to the series. The War of Underworld would ultimately go on to pass it with how huge the cast got, but at the time this really couldn’t be beat.

Overall 9/10

Megaman 10 -Extra F Review


It’s time to look at a very obscure Megaman one shot from back in the day. It’s only 16 pages so this is also just a very quick story in general. It’s cool to have a story that is focused on Bass though. That alone makes it a pretty notable entry. This is a pretty fun short story and the art is reasonably good. You should be able to knock this out in a few minutes but it’s a few minutes of your life that you’ll be glad you used.

The plot is that there is now a Robot flu thanks to Wily messing up on an invention. Mega Man is tasked with finding pieces of the cure so that he can make everyone better. Meanwhile Bass wants to find Mega Man for a rematch but gets his directions mixed up so he ends up going against most of Wily’s new and updated robots. This doesn’t faze him as Bass easily crushes those robots but he is no closer to finding Mega Man. Gradually he realizes that this is still fun though and even gets his revenge on Wily. So the story is pretty comedic in that sense although the action scenes are pretty fun. There’s only so much you can do in 16 pages of course.

I like the idea of Bass taking everyone out simply because they were in his way. It’s definitely something I could see him doing. He has often been overshadowed by his EXE counterpart so it’s easy to forget that he’s a pretty hype character in his own right. I think Mega Man and Proto Man would have had a hard time with him. The guy also acts heroically at times like with how he made Treble take the only cure they had. On the outside he acts like he did it for himself of course but we know better. I don’t disagree with the logic though. What can a mere flu do against someone as mighty as Bass? He would definitely just laugh it off and that makes perfect sense. He’s the ultimate robot in the series after all.

As I mentioned, the art isn’t bad. It’s not super detailed or anything but I would say that it’s a solid step above cash-in art that you see from time to time. The final page has Bass drawn in a rather odd way where I’m not sure what the intent was but every other page and instant is pretty good if you ask me. The action scenes while brief are also pretty good. I definitely would have liked it if this could have gone on for longer than a single chapter. There’s a lot you can do here if you really think about it.

Overall, This is a short review but that’s because this is a very short story as well. There’s only so much you can talk about to cover 16 pages. At the end of the day you’ll enjoy this story if you like the Mega Man series. If you haven’t followed it then you’ll probably just be lost here or wondering what the point of the story is. There’s not much of a focus after all so it all really just rides on whether you like the Mega Man series or not. It’s always fun to see them in extra little adventures here and there. This was the last classic Mega Man manga on my radar though so next up it’s time to enter the world of Mega Man X. That should definitely be fun. His stories have already been more plot based than the classic lineup and a manga should delve into that even further.

Overall 7/10

Mega Man: Battle & Chase Review


It’s time to look at a quick Mega Man title from a while ago. The fact that Mega Man got a racing title was always pretty cool. Franchise racers like this always have a lot of potential because it’s just fun to throw the characters into a crazy situation like this. Of course, we will be looking at the manga adaption of the game so we’ll see just how well it fares. Personally I thought it was pretty solid. It’s not a series that you will remember long term but it’s a fun adventure through and through which is what counts. Mega Man does appear to be a little rude at times though.

The manga starts with a piece of the Sigma ore dropping onto the planet. A group decides they can quickly use this to host a Grand Prix since it’s so rare. Dr Light and Wily are both a little upset that a relic of such power is being used in this way but each one needs to get it before the other. Wily signs up all of his robot masters including the mighty Bass. Bass doesn’t care what kind of event is on, if he enters he plans to win. Meanwhile Dr Light reconfigured Rush into a car so Mega Man can enter. Roll wants to join as well but is given a harsh no from the heroes. She decides to enter in secret as the Masked Racer. Finally the mysterious Proto Man has entered as well, what are his true aims here?

The series is very short and it’s all over in about a volume. There’s a lot of racing to be had within the chapters though as there are no real subplots. It’s just about the racers really doing their best to get to the finish line. There are several races within the race as this is a cross country type of experience. You take a break after hitting various checkpoints until you get all the way to the end. There really aren’t any rules in the race as well. Weapons and explosives are all okay here and due to Mega Man’s timid nature that puts him at a bit of a disadvantage. The robot masters are all too happy to use what they’ve got to take down the blue bomber but he is always very hesitant. Is it really okay to attack the others? These thoughts hold him back a lot. He gets saved by Roll, Bass, and Proto Man on different occasions. The guy wouldn’t have been anywhere close to winning without them.

Of course as I mentioned earlier this isn’t Mega Man’s nicest appearance. I don’t think the author really knew how to write the dynamic between him and Roll. The Mega Man I know doesn’t insult her in literally the first page of this adventure. It seemed like the group really didn’t believe in Roll at all to the point where they acted like she was just an issue holding them back. It got to the point where Bass had to actually show up and criticize Mega Man for being harsh on her. Proto Man was also more supportive. I don’t know what was up with Mega Man here but by the end of the adventure he has seemingly learned his lesson so that’s good.

Bass has a satisfying role here. He does get mind controlled at one point which is unfortunate but he’s portrayed as a very mature villain. He wants to beat Mega Man fair and square without any cheap gimmicks or things of that nature. All he really seeks right now is a fair fight where he can really go all out. He helps out Roll on one occasion since cheating was going on. Bass has a solid honor code and it’s why he’s a pretty great bot. Wily should have believed in him and maybe he would have been able to take Mega Man down in the end. Then you have Proto Man who looks pretty great here as well. The guy is as mysterious as always but does like to troll the heroes such as when he gave Mega Man a broken down car as thanks or his scene with Roll at the end. Proto Man’s always been a wild card that’s for sure.

A lot of other characters appears with smaller roles. It was nice to see all of the classic Mega Man foes. Pretty much everyone got involved in this race. Quick Man definitely looks the best from them all and that’s no surprise. When it comes to a race who is possibly going to try and stop him? The guy lives up to his name and I like his confidence. A minor villain from Mega Man X1 also shows up which was interesting. A fun little cameo for the fans I suppose. I’m definitely all for it and since the main object everyone is racing for is related to Sigma I suppose there was a connection here right from the jump.

The art is pretty solid. All of the characters look to be on point and the racing is very easy to follow. This is definitely a title that you’ll miss once it’s over. The Mega Man franchise is just a very interesting one and I’d love to see more adventures with the crew. I do have a few more Mega Man titles lined up to read soon though so there won’t be a shortage. We’ll see if Mega Man himself looks a little more in character though. From all of the characters he was the only one who sorta missed the mark here but at the end of the day he still helped out in stopping the villains.

Overall, Battle & Chase is a pretty obscure Mega Man game so it’s neat that it got a manga. The adaption seems pretty solid to me. You really get to focus on the race which is the important thing here. Fans who like to see Proto Man as a very serious character the whole time may be concerned that he is used for comedy at times but I like to think that this is Proto Man later in his career where he has mellowed out a bit. He may not call himself a hero quite yet but for all intents and purposes he is. The guy is now set on helping Mega Man behind the scenes even if he will never get recognition for it.

Overall 7/10

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days Review


After quite a while it’s time to look at the next Kingdom Hearts adventure. I enjoyed the 358 game quite a bit back in the day. The gameplay was definitely a bit simplified but it was all very smooth. The story was also pretty intense and it was interesting to see the organization’s side of things. Roxas as a tragic story right from the start since you know things aren’t going to end well for him. It’s easily the most underrated game in the series. The manga is a pretty solid adaption of this. I’d say that it goes for a bit of a lighter tone but all of the events still happen and we even get some extra development on Xion’s side.

The manga starts with Roxas joining the organization. He is a “Nobody” a shell of a person who died long ago. Nobodies don’t have souls and thus can’t feel human emotions although they can emulate them based on their life experiences. They don’t have memories of who they used to be although they will occasionally get flashes. The mission of the organization is to gather a lot of hearts to open up Kingdom Hearts. Once they do that the goal gets a little more vague but opening up the gate will take a while as it is. Roxas doesn’t feel one way or another about the goal, he just goes ahead and does it. Things change when he starts to become friends with Axel and Xion. He begins to see the organization’s true nature and wonders if he is really in the right place at all.

Of course it is a little difficult to betray an organization when they are all that you knew. Since Roxas has a difficult time with emotions he also isn’t sure how he should feel. One thing’s for sure though, Roxas does develop a real heart by the end of all this. His adventures and emotions are too real for that not to happen. Ultimately he does choose Xion over the organization which was the right call. He’s definitely a solid character for sure. It’s neck and neck between him and Sora for who the better lead is but of course Sora will appear a whole lot more during the franchise. Roxas’ role was brief in comparison, but memorable all the same.

I get the feeling that the author really liked Riku because he looks quite solid here. No complaints from me because I do think Riku is top tier. At this point in the series he has really become accustomed to using the powers of darkness so he even wears a blindfold to increase his abilities. In this series he was actually able to take on the vast majority of the organization members at the same time which is pretty impressive. He’s definitely a fighter who doesn’t do down easily. Roxas gave him a good fight but even this guy couldn’t win in the end. It’s nice to see the original characters looking so solid.

Part of why the struggle is pretty personal here is because both Riku and Roxas are fighting for good reasons. Roxas wanted to save Xion from her deadly fate. Xion’s death would result in Sora’s resurrection but not only does Roxas have no reason to allow this to happen, Xion’s his friend. He can’t just let her throw her life away. The scales are reversed with Riku since Sora is his best friend so he mainly just wants him back no matter the cost. At least they do give Xion the choice although it’s a very pressured one so it’s hard to say how much she got to influence this. Also, Sora’s soul is large enough where Roxas had to go eventually as well.

When you think about it the plot here is actually rather dark. Perhaps that’s why the manga tries to squeeze in a lot of lighter moments to help balance it out. Otherwise this could get rather grim pretty fast. Definitely makes for an engaging read the whole time though. The manga throws you a lot of hints about Xion and her fate from early on. The organization isn’t exactly subtle about it to the point where you think they probably could have hid their intentions a bit more from Roxas so he wouldn’t stand in their way. I’d have liked to see Roxas take down the whole organization which he maybe would have done if he escaped from Riku. I could definitely see him wanting revenge here.

As for Axel, I’m not a big fan of his. At the end of the day he stood down when it counted and his secrets played a large part in dooming Roxas. If he had been more open about what was going on then perhaps they would have been able to think of a plan to escape with. Axel’s decision to keep to himself was a poor one and it’s hard for his character to rebound from it. Xion also made a lot of bad calls. She also didn’t trust in her friends enough. If she talked to Roxas more then she could have had a better chance. I have more sympathy points for her though because she’s living with a ton of veiled threats against her. She also doesn’t want to get him into further trouble. Still not a great reason to keep secrets but it’s better than Axel’s. I always thought Xion was pretty fun and it’s too bad she couldn’t appear more.

The art is pretty solid. It’s not quite Shounen looking in the sense that you shouldn’t expect any big fight scenes here. Most of the time the fights are over in a bit or two even if they are serious battles. The series juggles comedy and action so the art also fluctuates based on that. At this point the artist is pretty experienced so the characters are all looking sharp and the style is refined. I’d like to see longer fight scenes at some point but that’s more of a writing decision as opposed to having to do with the art. From the cuts we get I think the fight scenes would work out pretty well.

The manga isn’t very long so you should blast through it pretty quickly. If anything I wouldn’t have minded a longer bit based on the final act. Once Roxas finally leaves the organization for good it’s one of the more intense moments in the series. His fight with Saix is an example of a fight that could have been extended. Roxas may be relatively new to the Keyblade game but since the manga takes place over the course of a year it’s possible he even has more experience than Sora now. I’m not sure how much time passed during the first two games. Either way my money would be on Roxas to take Saix out and that would be a really grand battle. The final chapters are intense either way so you better enjoy them.

I imagine it would be pretty interesting to start with 358. There are a lot of references to older events and such so while it would increase the mystery angle it also means you will have less reason to root for Sora and friends. It would probably up the tragic angle of the series. It’s always rare to get a video game about the villains so it can be interesting to see their side of things. Especially in a case like this where the organization is evil but the younger members don’t really know better. After all, as Nobodys they don’t have a heart or any emotions so it’s a slot tougher for them to choose between good and evil. At least Roxas and Xion proved that you can get past this and generate a real heart eventually.

Overall, Kingdom Hearts 358 is definitely a solid title and I’d recommend checking it out. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it beats the adaption for 2 or anything like that but like the game it makes for a pretty intense story. By the end of it you will feel like things are pretty unfair for the main characters. There really weren’t many options available to them and even the heroes wouldn’t try to save them. Makes it a little harder to get out of an evil organization when that’s the case. Roxas and Xion were really left to their own devices. I think if they could have convinced Axel to run away with them the 3 could have been ok for a while but at the same time they would spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders so in a way it’s not like they would have been living on Cloud 9 or anything like that.

Overall 7/10

Kimetsu no Yaiba: Tomioka Giyuu Gaiden Review


It’s time to look at a quick prequel that takes place pretty early on in the Demon Slayer series. Based on some flashbacks here I’d say its probably around season 1 of the show. I still haven’t reviewed the manga yet so in a way I’m reviewing another spinoff before the main thing like with Sakura Wars. Unfortunately this prequel was pretty bad. It’s the kind of event that might happen in the main series but without the length and positives that an ongoing has to try and counter this kind of thing. This prequel is only two chapters long and squeezes in some animal violence which is definitely not a good thing. It means that this title was doomed from the start and just wasn’t able to pull ahead.

The adventure starts with Giyu murdering some more demons. Unfortunately it does seem like he’s murdering civilians so the cops try to take him in. Fellow pillar Shinobu shows up in time to rescue him. The two of them agree to team up briefly as there appears to be a demon on a nearby mountain. Unfortunately the only witness is a young girl who refuses to talk. She claims there is nothing here but the heroes know better. Will the Slayers be able to stop the demon or will it claim one more victim before they can stop it? It’s always rough when you have to deal with demons in an isolated area like this since they can hide just about anywhere.

Ultimately they just have to follow the girl and eventually find the demon. The story is going for grim dark right from the start. See, here’s how it plays out for her tragic origin story. Her father became a demon and murdered everyone except for the girl and her dog. He was able to control himself enough to escape but instead of telling anyone the girl vowed to destroy him herself. She trained for years and finally thought she was ready. Unfortunately that was not the case and the dog ends up getting murdered. The pillars show up and save her but it feels like too little too late. After beating the demon they head off.

So this is really just a quick story about taking down another demon. Why did it have to be to grim dark though? It seems like this tends to happen a lot with demons but for a quick one shot (Technically 2 chapters) this wasn’t a good move. Especially having the dog die the way that it did. There’s no reason for that. The art is good at least. It looks like the main series and the action scene isn’t bad. Of course, it’s not much of a fight because the two heroes here are pillars and this is just a random demon. It’s not like it would have been able to do much of anything against them.

Giyu is one of the more reasonable pillars. He’s not quite insane the way a lot of the others are and at least seems to have some compassion and empathy. He’s also one of the more skilled fighters if you ask me. Then you have Shinobu who is pretty fun. She’s definitely quite ruthless when it comes to demons but with other humans she is nice enough. She doesn’t really get to fight here as she mainly watches but would be able to destroy the demon in a hit if needed. I guess having both of them double team the demon would have felt like overkill.

There’s not a whole lot more to say about this one because it’s so short. I’m always up for expanding the series with different prequels and side stories. This one may have fallen flat but I still appreciate the idea behind it. The final page had an afterward hinting that we would get a bunch of others but either that fell through or they just haven’t been scanned yet. I’m confident that we could get some stories that are way better than this one so I’ll just keep on looking forward to those. The world is vast and the main series only covered part of it so there’s still a lot they can do.


Overall, This was a short story that was pretty bad. The plot is paper thin and the adventure relies on a ton of shock value. It’s a shame because the art is god and the two main characters have some decent banter. A good idea would have been to have the whole story be a clash of ideologies or something. A day in the life of the pillars would be fun and we don’t necessarily need demon slaying here. If you do have it in, just have the characters fight them in the background while talking. Keep the pets out of it and you’re good. Ah well, better luck next time. Even if you like Demon Slayer I recommend skipping this one. There’s really no point to the story and as a result there’s no reason to ever read it.

Overall 2/10

Danball Senki Wars Review


It’s time to look at the manga adaption to the Wars series. It’s a pretty short one which makes for a pretty easy review. While you can tell that this is one of those adaptions that’s more of a tie-in than anything it still has a good story and I thought the art did step up whenever a fight scene would occur. It’s not exactly going for top tier, but I’d still say it’s pretty solid and that’s how I would describe the manga in general. It’s not something you may particularly remember but it doesn’t really do anything wrong either.

The manga starts with Sena finally making it into the elite LBX school. Now he can finally play the game as much as he wants and it even counts as part of the curriculum. The battles are for teams of 3 so he is paired with a former 1 on 1 champ named Hikaru and a strategist named Haruki. Together the 3 of them will do their best to win the big tournament and become the best in all of the land. To do this they will need to get past the legendary fighter known as Muraku. That guy is known for being pretty much impossible to stop in a fight due to the fact that he can beat most opponents in a single instant before they have a chance to react. Hopefully Sena knows what he is getting into.

Sena is your standard protagonist. He loves to eat and fight. Sena also believes that you can become friends with just about anyone just by having a friendly battle. He certainly isn’t afraid of Muraku and why should he be? Sena came here to fight and naturally that means he wants to go up against the strongest fighters that this school has to offer. His confidence also isn’t without justification as the guy does manage to win most of his fights. The only part about Sena that can be a bit much is in the climax when one guy’s trying to explain how he grew up in a war zone and had to fight to survive. Sena barely seems to care and just points out that they’re friends now.

In general the climax felt a bit rushed. You throw in the big antagonist in the form of Kouji who hints at a greater plot but there’s no time to really go into any of this. The show had time because of how long it is, but in this series almost the entire thing is the tournament. We get a quick fight near the end but that’s about it. At that point it’s all over so Sena just has to beat this guy and keep it moving. I like the concept of how he handles it though. All of the characters pool their resources together and create an ultimate LBX of sorts. If you’re going to win against a strong opponent like that then this is definitely the most logical way to do so. I just would have liked for this plot to have been a little longer but Kouji was a solid villain.

As for Sena’s partners, they don’t get to do a lot. Haruki never did much in the show either so it’s not too surprising. He’s not bad, but definitely comes across as super nervous next to someone as brave as Sena. The guy is never ready to just jump in and try his best. It’s why he ends up staying behind the others. Then you have Hikaru who is an LBX expert. I remember being really disappointed with this guy in the show because a big deal is made about his strength during his intro and then that vanishes completely. The guy doesn’t get to do much of anything so…..he shouldn’t have had any hype. It’s hard to believe this guy was the champion of anything and in the manga he really gets nothing to do so that doesn’t help matters.

Muraku is still pretty cool here though. He’s definitely a very solid rival and one who pushes Sena to the brink. He reminds me of Chaud and Protoman. This guy’s a classic rival and he has the confidence down. At the same time, he’s not super antagonistic or anything like that. The guy still enjoys a good fight and if anything is glad that Sena is around. It gets lonely at the top. It would have been nice if he could have gotten a rematch against Kouji since their first scuffle had a cheap shot involved. Still, Muraku makes his presence known.

Then you have the other rival Gendou and you may feel bad for him. The guy is actually incredibly strong but ultimately just gets held back because his partners are so weak. The manga even addresses this with Sena surprisingly targeting them. It’s a very effective strategy in combat of course but it’s not something you typically see the main character do. If this guy had solid partners then I dare say that the main characters would have been doomed. Gendou is definitely a good sport about all of this though so I’ll give him props for that. I always appreciate it when a character can take a loss since that’s pretty important.

As I mentioned, the art isn’t anything particularly impressive but during the action scenes I feel like a real effort was made. The LBX designs are solid and you do feel a good amount of weight behind each of the swings. It’s definitely important to have that in a fighting manga so this title delivers. The series may be short but that’s why it’s good that we kept the character roster small. You’ll remember the characters more than in some other titles even if it naturally isn’t as impactful as the main title.

Part of the issue when it comes to stakes is that this adaption basically ended while the series was still in pre arc. It would have been a lot of fun to have seen the series keep going and adapt a lot of the bigger fights that were coming up. Of course, here the power creep happened a whole lot quicker than in the show so it’s hard to see how the supporting characters would have been able to do much of anything. They’d definitely need new LBX machines at their disposal and very quickly if they would want to remain relevant in the battles. There are a lot of ways to write around that though.

Also, the series ends with Kouji possibly having some valid points. At the end of the day he still comes across as a villain because he is so he undermines the points themselves. Still, if apparently LBX are being used for war outside this facility then maybe the kids should be doing something about it. In the show this actually does become a main focus so the manga was certainly heading in that direction. This works great as a preview to the show itself. Sort of something to get you interested and then have you check out the full anime. If anything you can skip the first few episodes and start near the end of this one if you want to directly continue although the reason you should start near the end is because the manga does diverge a bit.


Overall, Danball Senki Wars is a solid title. I do think everything should get a quick manga tie-in so even if it’s short it’s always nice to see this one. How I see it, a franchise should expand as much as it can. It may not get a ton of fans but as long as you get some then it’s a win. If you like action titles or Megaman in general then this is a good one to check out. It’s really quick so you’ll finish it in a flash but that doesn’t take away from the quality here. We get quite a few battles since the series goes full blast into them. The fights all have some strategy to them and as I mentioned, they’re drawn pretty well. I look forward to getting more manga for Danball Senki in the future. It’s a series that really shouldn’t end because there’s so much more you can do with it.

Overall 7/10

Your Name Review


It’s time to take a look at the manga version of a film I watched a long while ago. It’s definitely a very straight adaption so if you liked the movie then you would definitely like the manga and vice versa. If you haven’t actually checked this one out in any form before then I’m confident you will still like it. The story here is pretty good and I always like the body swapping plot. Of course you have to handle it with care but if done right then it opens up a lot of possibilties of what you can do. The premise here is also pretty original in how the two main characters switch bodies every few days as opposed to it being permanent for a while.

The manga starts with a teenage girl named Mitsuha remarking that her small town is rather boring. She wishes she were a guy in a big Tokyo city where more interesting things happen. One day she wakes up as a guy and has one of the best days of her life. She figures it was a dream but then Mitsuha starts to notice signs that this wasn’t. Writing in her notebook and people commenting that she was odd the other day. She also has no memory of the days in which she “acted off”. We then meet the other main character named Taki and his situation is really the same as hers. He wakes up one day as a girl and then this continues to happen. After some experimenting they find out that they exchange bodies every 2 days and this goes on for weeks. They try and give each other signs so they don’t mess up each other’s life but something’s bound to go wrong. Will they ever discover why this is happening?

A lot of the fun naturally comes from seeing the characters operate outside of their element. Who handles the other situation better? Well, it’s hard to say since both of them improve the life of the other but I’d have to say that Mitsuha ends up being the MVP here. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each. Mitsuha managed to score Taki a date, she made his father the best chopped potatoes ever, improved Taki’s job performance, and even got people into thinking he was a nice guy. The main con is that she had a bad habit of spending all of his money. While that may sound dismissive, it is a pretty big deal. He ends up being fine with it but imagine if he was saving up for something. That would have been pretty disappointing for sure.

Then you have Taki. Well, for the positives he got the bullies to stop messing with Mitsuha and made her a popular star among all of the sport teams. He even got a bunch of people asking her out. On the other hand, he doesn’t even try to act like a normal girl and puts Mitsuha in a bunch of embarrassing situations. Additionally, he definitely oversteps his bounds quite a bit by taking advantage of the fact that he’s a girl. While it’s played off as a comedic subplot that he is always acting rather pervy, it really makes you lose respect for the guy. They’re supposed to be friends and yet he keeps pulling this off and even at the end of the series in an emotional moment he lies to her face about this. Taki’s just not a great guy no matter how much the film tries to play him off as a good guy. Nah, I’m not buying it.

I also have to dock some more points for Taki not bothering to write his name down so she would remember him. The whole plan was to write their names in each other’s hands and he broke that on a whim. Yeah, Taki can be pretty selfish and a lot more petty than Mitsuha. In case you haven’t guessed, I thought she was the much better character. She really did her best to improve his life and I also thought she was ore sympathetic. The manga goes out of its way to show that she’s really not happy in her town while Taki was having a pretty fun time in his. Even if they hadn’t switched bodies things were going pretty well for him when you think about it.

The ending’s not very good but of course I can’t go into details on this. All I’ll say is that it’s just not very satisfying. Even if things turn out well in the long run, it’ll never really be the same without the history behind it. The ending could have been far worse though like if Your Name had opted to go for the whole destiny can’t be changed thing. I never bought into that so it always makes for a pretty bad ending. You just can’t let that happen and fortunately this series did not.

I’d say part of why the adventure works is because it’s always easy to think of what it would be like to experience a day in someone else’s life. New scenery, new experiences, etc. Of course a whole month is a bit much though, halfway through you may be wishing to go back to your own life. The risk of having someone else in your body during all that time would add an extra layer of stress as well. Who knows how your social reputation may be by the end of that right? There’s no going back depending on how some of the actions go down. It’s definitely something you’d probably say no to in real life although if it’s a magic comet then that’s another story.

The technology being wiped towards the end felt like a bit much though. The characters were pretty rational in how they planned for things to work out. Usually I’d critique the characters for not thinking of something but they actually did which is the worst part. Everything vanishing was just messed up. Of course this is all fantasy but that part didn’t really make sense. I suppose we needed that to be a part of the drama of course. A lot of these choices just come down to me writing things a little differently if I was directing the story but it’s still a solid adventure through and through. Take away some of Taki’s dicier moments and this is a pretty great story. We need more solid body swapping titles like this.


Overall, Your Name is a pretty fun adventure. I’m still not a big fan of the ending though and the first part of the adventure is the best bit. It’s still hard to believe that even though the whole premise of the adventure is the body swapping, it only really happens a lot during the first volume or two. Then the big plot starts and this quickly begins to fade as Taki tries to uncover the truth behind this. I think they could have focused more on the first bit and also switched up the ending, but either way this is a solid adventure. The character cast is small but pretty focused. If you haven’t seen this yet then you should check it out. Since the experience is about the same you can check out either the manga or the movie. As they say, you never get the first experience back so choose carefully on which version will be more emotional for you.

Overall 7/10

Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01: A New Courage Review


It’s time to look at a quick one shot that came out for Digimon a while back. It’s been ages since I read the original V-Tamer manga so I need to give that a re-read someday. Still, it’s nostalgic to see Tai and Zero once again. Those two definitely made for a good combo and the Veemon digievolution line is pretty fun. Since the Tai from the show is pretty early on his Agumon can’t quite compete but the story finds a way for them to be equals this time around.

The story starts with Tai (TV) suddenly falling into a parrallel world. He has entered the Digi World of the manga universe. Tai (Zero) quickly fills him in on what’s going on. After the world was saved, a new digimon has appeared. This Digimon is alive to an extent but effectively it’s a large portal that can spit out a bunch of other Digimon. Zero’s been holding them at bay but the Digimon appear to be endless. Also, an unfortunate side effect of saving the world is that Veemon can no longer access his Mega forms. As a result it’s an uphill battle. Agumon can only go to Greymon form so that doesn’t help either. Can these two really save the Digital Planet?

Since this is just a one shot at 30 pages they do have to find the answer to this pretty quick. It’s a solid team up though with both characters getting their respect. The Zero version is pretty serious as always and I still love the cape. He does a lot of the heavy lifting here. Meanwhile the TV version is very optimistic and ready for action. He’s able to compensate for being the weaker fighter here by showing his courage and allowing the Digimon to shatter their limits. We get a pretty solid final blow as well.

Most one shots have a fun enough story where I feel they could have been a whole series or at least a volume. This is one of them since they could have had a lot of cool interactions if it lasted longer. The writer did what he could with what he had to work with though and it works out well. It’d be nice if they ever licensed V-Tamer 01 in America someday. Then they could tack this on to the end of the volume or something.

The art is definitely solid. The artist does a good job of making the two Tais look a little different. Aside from the outfit, it’s worth noting that the manga version is a little older so he’s also drawn as being taller. This is done consistently during the chapter so the attention to detail is on point. This definitely isn’t a chapter that was just thrown together at the last second. It’s also a good way to tie in to the new show and raise a bit of hype. I can never turn down a crossover so that’s definitely a good thing.

Overall, A New Courage is an appropriate title as it ties in to what is going on here. Magna Angemon’s predictions ultimately ended up being right on the money. If you’re a Digimon fan or just like some good action then this is a good chapter to check out. It’s got that nostalgic beat to it which is always good and even without that it’s just a good story in general. Nothing to dislike here that’s for sure. Hopefully we get some more Digimon manga in the future. I feel like it’s definitely been way too long since we got another title.

Overall 7/10