Selector Infected Wixoss – Peeping Analyze Review


It’s time to finally check out the Wixoss manga which shows Kiyoi’s journey across the seasons. In the anime she was typically just a supporting character until season 4 where she would effectively take the lead route. So this manga really details what was happening with her through the first 2 seasons and pretty much ends before her mission in season 3. It’s a fun spinoff and I like that it adds a lot of details to her journey. Kiyoi certainly ended up with one of the more confusing story arcs with how many times she body swapped.

The manga starts out by introducing Kiyoi as a rather happy kid. She was brimming with hope and everything so you know something bad is going to happen since in the shows she was never particularly happy. Sure enough she is betrayed by her childhood friends and bullied relentlessly. She has carried this trauma with her even into high school and is unable to believe Sakaguchi when the girl attempts to be her friend.

Sakaguchi ends up being hit by a car as she throws Kiyoi out of the way and enters a deep coma. She is seemingly going to die at any point now. The only way to save her is for Kiyoi to risk her soul and join the Wixoss game. Her LRig “Remember” tells her that if they win enough matches Kiyoi’s wish will be granted and all will be well. If Kiyoi loses….well, Remember figures they don’t need to worry about that because they won’t lose of course. They will just keep on winning.

The manga is able to go into a little more detail on exactly how the wishes work which I liked. So here’s the general gist of it. If you win a certain amount of games as well as unlocking your own personal condition (This depends on the heart of the user) then you will be able to become an Eternal Girl and get your wish granted. Not all wishes are possible though as an LRig can only grant something within their power. Keep in mind that they are only human (Outside of special cases like Tama) so you can’t wish to gain super powers or bring back the dead.

That said, the wording of your wish is important. Your LRig can still go through with the contract if they believe that they are completing your wish or that they can do so. So if you wish to be rich, they can still complete the contract because they’re probably confident that they can pull it off. If they are unable to meet the conditions, then the LRig will vanish and the whole thing becomes void. That is the winning condition.

When losing, your wish reverses itself. So if you wished to be rich and lose, you will then become poor. This reversal is decreed by Mayu, the goddess of Wixoss and so her ability has no limits. She can warp reality itself so this is a very important thing to keep in mind. While wishes have limits, punishments do not. If you lose 3 times, then your wish will be reversed.

Then there’s the whole concept of the franchise as well which is the truth about the Eternal Girls. When you win, you body swap with your LRig and the LRig will live out the rest of your life. It’s why you have to be careful with your wishes and even then, you can never truly enjoy the results of your wish. Clearly there is quite a lot to think about here.

This manga is two volumes and it goes by really quickly. The dynamic also changes right off the bat since Kiyoi’s quest to save Sakaguchi ends in a few chapters. See, Remember is an LRig and a rather devious one at that. She ends up fulfilling Kiyoi’s wish to “save’ Sakaguchi in her own way. It’s one of those literal word fulfillments that will have you feeling rather dubious about how it can be allowed. Nevertheless, this leads to Kiyoi’s quest for revenge. The bulk of this manga is about Kiyoi trying to find a way to murder Remember but it’s tough since she is currently stuck as an LRig and cannot affect the real world. She needs to get a human body again, but is it worth it if she has to trick someone else through the same path?

While in the anime it seemed like you would be punished if you mention the trick about winning and the hidden truths of the game, the manga makes it explicit that you can actually do whatever you like. LRigs just don’t tend to tell their owners this because deep down they want to be human again and doing so would lower the chances of that which does make sense.

Wixoss is always about testing your own morality and seeing how far you would go on your personal dreams. Each match is a clash of ideals as the only way to get closer to your goal is to knock someone farther from theirs. Additionally, when you defeat someone and it’s their third loss, then you’ve just doomed them. The very first chapter deals with that as an opponent begs Kiyoi to throw the match. It does come off as a desperate ploy to get Kiyoi to lower her guard though since that’s not something you just tell the opponent like that.

The cast is fairly small so we’ve mostly just got the core members here. Mayu is still around as the ruler of this establishment of course, but I’ve never been a big fan of hers. She really likes to throw a lot of tantrums when things don’t go her way. She has a lot of power but tends to lose control of the situation a lot as well. Ultimately that just doesn’t make her look very strong.

Aki shows up for a bit since she owned Kiyoi at one point. She was always a very fun character in the show so it was nice to see her here. She was quite powerful back in her day and we see her defeat several opponents in her brief screen time. Aki really knows how to make the most of Kiyoi’s special ability to see the wishes of her opponents. Nobody in the series was better at mind games than she was.

Sakaguchi doesn’t appear a whole lot for obvious reasons but she was a nice character. She did her best to help get Kiyoi out of her shell and never gave up. It’s a shame that things didn’t work out for her. Then you have Amika who is very similar personality wise and to Kiyoi’s shock she looks absolutely identical. You’d think that the two of them had to be twins without a doubt.

Amika has her own reasons for entering the Wixoss fight which was to save her mother who is in critical condition. It’s a story that hits pretty close to home for Kiyoi which makes their partnership rather rocky since Kiyoi is hiding a lot from her. Ultimately Amika proves to be a really selfless individual and always tries her hardest to do the right thing. Kiyoi couldn’t ask for a better partner.

then you have the main character Kiyoi who is a lot of fun. She is not one of the more emotional main characters so it can be quite different to see how she was back in the day before all of the betrayals. It’s hard to get over something like that so it’s easy to see why she acts the way that she does. Kiyoi starts to lose herself the more that these tragedies add up until eventually she meets up with Amika. Kiyoi’s plan near the end of the series was brilliant and cements her as one of the smartest characters in the series.

Kiyoi is tough and that’s a very important character trait to have in a world as rough as Wixoss. You can’t exactly trust a whole lot of people here since they’re all fighting for their own wishes after all. It’s why talking just doesn’t help since lives are at stake. Two fighters can’t come to an agreement when they’re both trying to save family after all.

Finally you have the main villain, Remember. She certainly jumpstarts a lot of the issues that the characters all have. She does a good job of acting innocent initially and playing it off like she’s completely innocent. By all accounts, Remember is a very intelligent character as well since she is able to lead different fighters to victory. It doesn’t matter who it is, her fortune telling is always on point. The only time Kiyoi lost with her was when the girl decided to go against the predictions after all.

Remember is a very memorable villain and leaves an impact on the story. She certainly gets a lot of closure here as well. Her methods were as sinister as they get but I would say she was a good villain. Ultimately Remember had a mission/goal and took steps to achieve it. She was careful all the way through and never wavered. If not for Mayu trolling a lot it’s not like anyone would have figured out what she did either. Remember was always very careful to cover her tracks.

The art is very solid here. The character designs are on point and you can follow the action with ease. It’s fun seeing how all of the characters from the show look and the artist knew how to draw them on model. It all looks like it’s directly obtained from the anime which is good for consistency. We even had a cameo for the season 1 cast. Otherwise they miss out on Kiyoi’s adventures but that makes sense since they were busy. It’s part of why it’s fun to see Kiyoi’s scenario since you may have wondered what she was doing the entire time.

Overall, This is a great Wixoss spinoff. It really captures the essence of the game and tells a complete story. The ending is satisfying and it feels like a whole lot happens during the two volumes. Naturally it’d be nice if we got more volumes but I suppose at that point you would just be looking at a Wixoss sequel. Kiyoi had her story so now it’s time for the others to get theirs. We still don’t get almost any explanation on the Wixoss game itself. Don’t expect any rules to be explained or for the turns to even make a lot of sense. This manga is much more focused on the story outside of the game rather than on specific matches. So you can come into this as a Wixoss veteran or completely fresh and will still be able to get a lot of enjoyment out of this one.

Overall 8/10

Anonymous Noise Review


It’s been a little while since I reviewed the Anonymous Noise anime so it’s time to take a look at the manga. The events between the two titles are pretty much the same except that the anime stops a whole lot earlier while the manga throws in all of the extra drama. Anonymous Noise is one of those titles that’s surprisingly long so prepare for a whole lot of rebounds and constant romances. Nobody ever ends up with their original pick.

I’ll never not find it a little humorous how Nino effectively has two origin stories here. So first she has a next door neighbor named Momo as a kid and together they sing songs and hang out. He is always ready to stick up for her when the bullies show up and enjoys her company. Well, one day he just vanishes out of the blue and Nino gets depressed. Fortunately she meets a boy named Yuzuriha who starts writing music for her. Perhaps if she sings loud enough she will be able to reach Momo some day. Unfortunately one day Yuzuriha vanishes as well so Nino gets depressed all over again.

Fast forward a bunch of years and Nino is now a teenager who always wears a face mask since it contains her need to scream. She has been psychologically scarred by her childhood at this point and so that’s her last safety measure. At her new high school there is a music club so naturally she intends on joining. It turns out that this group is also the secret metal band that has been taking the world by storm. Nino will need a disguise as well and shall be called Alice while performing.

Both of her old friends have really come a long way over the years. Momo is a super successful music writer who works with another band and is acknowledged as a prodigy considering that he’s also still in High School. He no longer wants anything to do with Nino though and treats her quite harshly. Then you have Yuzuriha who also tries avoiding Nino but to no avail as they attend some of the same classes and are in the same club. Nino needs to find out why they are avoiding her and in the meantime she will have to improve her singing voice. Ultimately that is how she will reach the top. She wants Momo to be with her but is it possible that she may like Yuzuriha as well?

The classic love triangle is a plot as old as time. Momo is the mean guy who’s always insulting Nino and yet you know that he has a great chance of winning in the end as a result. Then you have Yuzuriha who is the nice guy in comparison and who gets to spend the most time with Nino. As a result you feel like he is doomed from the start. Who knows maybe the series will surprise you in the end with who Nino chooses….

As a main character I would say Nino is decent. One part of her character that is fairly unique is how she completely ignores the other characters even when they’re talking to her. Deflecting is her chief conversation tactic so if things are starting to get serious she’ll bring up some nonsense to throw the conversation to the side. While you may think this is coincidental, I think it’s far too exaggerated for this to be anything but intentional. Nino knows exactly what she is doing the whole time.

She gets quite a bit of character development as the series goes on. For starters, while she always had a lot of volume, her actual singing ability wasn’t all that great until we got to near the end of the series. She had to approve a lot with different coaches but always put in the work. Where she falters though is in the romance. You really need to be decisive in this kind of thing. Can’t have two guys fighting over you forever. While she does make a choice at the end of the series, it feels like both guys are in the mix for way too long.

She has moments and affairs with both of them at times and while Momo is the only guy she’s ever serious about, she is never fast enough to stop Yuzuriha when he makes a move. He manages to get her while her guard is down several times and it’ll just make you shake your head. Nino always does her best to try and act normal afterwards but she really should have shut the guy down a lot earlier. It’s something that deducts points from all 3 characters throughout the series. It’s one of the reasons why some of the supporting characters tend to be the real hype members.

As for Yuzuriha, well you’ve already heard why I don’t like that guy. The ole Shojo trope of stealing a kiss from the heroine and playing it off like it’s no big deal definitely doesn’t work. He pulls this several times even when he knows that Nino already likes someone else. Sure, you can keep trying to win someone over until they actually start dating someone else but it’s got to be with good discussions, not with just making a move like that.

Yuzuriha also handled their initial reunion rather poorly. I don’t think he or Momo had good reasons for avoiding Nino and being so antagonistic at first. Yuzuriha has an extended plot with his mother as well which at least gives him something to do besides chasing after Nino. Their father died in a crash a long time ago but his mother never truly accepted that fact. So the home situation is a little rough and they’re still trying to battle through that. It’s a pretty serious plot to be sure.

Then you have Momo who is basically an antagonist most of the time. He goes really far with insulting Nino as well as her music. There’s no way to actually sympathize with the guy even after we learn his origin. He also has a situation with his mother but in this case she doesn’t oppose music the way that Yuzuriha’s does. She enjoys it because she wants the money. Basically she uses Momo as her piggy bank to get rich. This doesn’t really cover the Nino aspect though. Effectively Momo wanted to keep her at a distance so his Mom wouldn’t try anything but that always seemed like an overreaction at best.

Momo is also quite successful in his own right and is supposed to be some kind of genius. If he really wanted to then he definitely could have found a way to talk with Nino and explain things. He also chooses the worst possible moments to throw big twists at her like a certain break up scene during the concert. His rivalry with Yuzuriha with Nino thrown in the middle can be a bit much as well.

They fight over her throughout as they keep bragging that they will be the one to claim her voice. It’s certainly a unique dynamic as they both want her to only sing for them. It’s different than the usual fights you would have for the heroine but at the same time I wouldn’t say it puts either one of them in a positive light. I should say this isn’t in a literal sense as they still want her to do concerts and such but they want her to only think of them during the songs. That’s a rather tough order to fulfill though.

Technically the three characters are actually friendly with each other at times by the middle-end of the series but you can never think of it as a true friendship. How can it be when both characters have already told Nino that they don’t see her as a friend? As a result they are quite envious of each other as well so it ends up being more toxic than anything.

Miou is one of the main supporting characters and while her role was greatly diminished in the show, she does a whole lot in the manga. She originally liked Yuzuriha but of course that didn’t quite work out so well for her. Miou ends up rebounding with Haruyoshi with the added twist being that they both acknowledge this is a rebound. Haruyoshi is just confident that he can eventually get her to like him for real.

So they go along with this as an experiment but despite Haruyoshi’s tough talk he is soon not satisfied with being the rebound which causes him to be upset a lot. I didn’t care for his character in the end. He likes goofing off and messing with Miou a lot while hiding his true feelings inside. The guy is often a lot more serious than he appears but the contrast just didn’t work for him. I may have liked him more if he had more patience with Miou but considering that they both knew the terms of the deal, I didn’t think he was very consistent.

Back to Miou, one aspect of her character that was particularly strong is how she would tutor and assist Nino throughout the series despite knowing that Nino was effectively taking over her spot on the team and even stealing her man. It proved that Miou was really a good person as not many people would have been able to do that. She always took the high road and had a very consistent character arc. I wasn’t on board with the rebound plot at all to be honest but at least she was someone you could root for.

Kuro is another member of the band but he definitely has the worst plot out of the whole group. So basically he and his brother both liked the same girl back in the day. Kuro was slow to make his move though so his brother confessed and they got married. Fine, good show. Well played by the bro. Kuro should now move on since the girl is no longer an option right? Wrong and that’s the cringe part. Kuro still likes her and even asks her out at one point and confesses his feelings.

That’s a big no no. One of the most basic rules of romance is that as soon as someone is married that’s game over. Honestly, even while dating that person should be off your radar but even more so when marriage has occurred. This was easily the worst romance in the entire series and I couldn’t wait for it to be gone. Of course that inevitably means it had to be replaced with a rebound story arc.

A new girl joins the band near the very end of the series who ends up liking Kuro. It’s certainly convenient for the guy since he needed a rebound at this point. She doesn’t have a lot of character beyond just being added in to finish the romance plots. Her personality is that she tends to play things very cool and not show much emotion but bottling it in like that ends up hurting her on quite a few occasions. A running theme in the series is definitely not to hold everything in and to cry as needed otherwise the characters always end up breaking down.

There are also two adult characters who get a decent sized role here. First is Yana who is the manager for the main band. He’s definitely very good at his job and is always busy booking lots of different gigs for the heroes. Without him they would definitely be quite lost. He’s also got a competitive streak against him and always responds when Momo’s team challenges him. Then you have Kuze who effectively has the same role for Momo’s team. She’s always ready to psychoanalyze him and stay one step ahead of Momo. She’s the only one who consistently flusters him because everyone else is too scared of the guy to talk tough.

There are a few side characters as well like a group of up and coming music stars who also get involved. They made for decent rivals even if I wouldn’t say I was a huge fan of them. We did have a fun duel between Nino and one of the singers near the end of the series as she tries to keep up with them in a pretty meta battle about proving that she could sing with the best. She has the volume for it but this is in more of a tempo sense. She can’t just sing loud but has to be able to create an opening and take the lead.

Anonymous Noise definitely treats its music very seriously. It was fun to hear the actual songs in the anime while of course the manga is limited by trying to visually show what it would sound like. You can picture the metal aspect though based on the costumes and how her voice is always supposed to be eat splitting. Quite a few times her voice ends up breaking down so she is simply shouting into the audience but the fans seem to love this so it works out.

Now while the series is very serious, I should mention there can still be light hearted moments and some humor now and again. These scenes are just easy to forget with all the drama going on but this is still a light hearted series at its core. The main characters laugh a lot and get to really enjoy their youth. They make the most of their experiences abroad with the singing careers and even develop solid bonds with each other. By the end of the series everyone is really on good terms with each other.

The series probably could have just lost a few volumes in order to cut out some of the extra drama though. Some characters seem to go back and forth a whole lot before settling down so you could easily cut out a few of the fake outs and that would get things to the point quicker. A certain break up involving the main heroine always comes to mind since it still feels like that was completely unnecessary. So the weakest element in the series is the romance itself.

Now you may be wondering, was this a good series overall though? I would still say yes, the writing is on point and you are engaged with what is going on. While I wasn’t on board with the romance, it also wasn’t bad enough where I would deduct serious points away or anything like that. Kuro’s plot is the only one that would be enough to shave a star off because that was just crazy. You’ll still be blasting through each volume as you arrive at the end of the series. The competitions are always a blast and if anything you wish we could have had more of those. Battle of the Bands is always worth the wait. So in the end, Anonymous Noise is a journey that is worth experiencing. It isn’t the best Shojo or anything like that but it holds its own.

The artwork is also pretty solid. The artist is good at giving everyone a lot of expressions and from letting the characters look too similar. The only time it can be hard to recognize the characters is when they’re in the disguises since a lot of those look so similar. It’s part of the point of having the disguises in the first place though so I’ll cut the series some slack there. I would say the art does the job.

Overall, Anonymous Noise is a good series that gets bogged down by some unnecessary plot lines. We really didn’t need nearly as many romances as what we got. There were rebounds all around so I wouldn’t trust any of the characters. You would never know if you were the first choice or just the runner up. Just about every character in the series had to settle for their second option which is not a very satisfying place to be in. I will say that the final pages of the series were solid though. At least one character dynamic was really solid there and it’s the kind of closing relationship I’d like to see more of in these titles.

Overall 6/10

Whistle Review


At this point it’s been around 10 years since I started Whistle but I’ve now reached the end of the series. It was certainly an emotional journey filled with a lot of great matches and character moments. I would not put it in the same league as the more intense sport titles like Prince of Tennis, Haikyu, or Kuroko but it’s definitely a solid title in its own right. We even get a physical fight at the end of the series.

The manga is about a kid named Sho who really wants to be a great soccer player. It’s his favorite sport in the world and the guy is always living and breathing soccer 24/7. Unfortunately he’s fairly small which makes it difficult to power his way through against the bigger kids and he’s just not super gifted at the sport. He’ll have to train and practice much harder than the other kids in order to catch up to them but he’s not afraid of the effort. Sho needs to first make it on the team and then he needs to earn his way into a starting position.

The opening volumes of the series really showcase how much distance Sho needs to cross in order to be one of the very best. He does train quite hard each day so it’s not like he’s slacking off but it’s just hard to keep up with the others. Just look at the range for example, they can kick the ball from double the length which is naturally a big advantage. Additionally, it’s harder to body slam someone who’s a lot bigger than you are and while you shouldn’t target players in Soccer, there is a lot of physical contact.

What Sho has for advantages is his speed and determination. It is a little easier for him to maneuver throughout the field and steal the ball if someone lowers their guard. Additionally his stamina is quite good and he’s usually the last player to go down. That works as a good morale boost to the other players when they are starting to weaken a bit. By the end of the series Sho is surprisingly still one of the weaker players. Whistle is definitely going for a higher level of realism than most of the other sport titles and while Sho kept training, so did the rest of the cast. So in the end he didn’t make nearly as much progress as you would have assumed otherwise relative to the others.

The best character in the series was Shigeki though. He’s one of Sho’s rivals and you could also call him the final boss of sorts. He’s one of the guys who helped get Sho into soccer and continued to inspire the lead. He ends up leaving the series for a few volumes but returns better than ever. He’s got a very confident demeanor to him which is important and the guy is an ace in soccer.

Additionally, he is able to fight physically. This comes in handy as he has to save someone from getting bullied. Even when he was outnumbered 8 to 1 the guy held his own. Shigeki never ran from a challenge and only continued to get better and better at the series went on. That’s why he was my favorite character, he left a real impact here.

Tatsuya is the other rival but he doesn’t hold his own quite as well as Shigeki. The main reason for that he that Tatsuya tends to lose sight of what’s really important a few times. He gets jealous of Sho and tries to show up Shigeki on a few occasions. Things never work out for him so he inevitably gets upset and starts playing rather sloppy. It’s not a trait that’s good for the rival since you can’t take him nearly as serious after that. It also happens to Tatsuya more than once which is always a bit worrisome.

I still liked him in the end but those scenes really did a number on the guy. Now that he’s more confident in his own abilities I expect he would look a lot better in the sequel. Then there’s Tsubasa who has a run rivalry with Daichi. Both of them are goalie/keepers for the team so naturally each one wants to be the starter. Interestingly even by the end of the series it’s hard to say who the better player is. I would give the edge to Tsubasa because I found him to be more consistent but it’s really close.

It’s not as decisive as you would expect and due to that both of them get big roles in the final match as they alternate. Tsubasa did start for more periods in the match though so take that as you will. Tsubasa is a very fiery character who is very loud and outspoken. Daichi is more of a quiet guy who tends to speak his mind rather than mincing words. So in their own ways they are both very confident in their abilities but go about showing it in different ways.

Technically Whistle’s cast is a fairly large one but it’s also large to the point where it’s hard to develop them all as much as in other titles. For example Haikyu is the sport title with the closest comparable cast I would say but the series really took the time to develop all of them. Granted, Haikyu is almost double Whistle’s size but by volume 20 I would say they already had more personality.

In Whistle if you weren’t one of the two keepers or rivals then you were most likely not a very notable player. The other kids were good enough to keep Sho out of the starting roster for a while but that’s about it. You wouldn’t really expect them to do much in an actual match though aside from yelling at Tatsuya at times when he would steal the spotlight. Usually they’d start losing points for the team which is when Sho would have to be called back in.

There are some supporting characters outside the team though like the various coaches in the series. They tended to be solid even if they didn’t make too much of an impact outside of the main one. The main coach always chose to believe in Sho and support him when it counted. She did take a bit of a risk near the end of the series but when it’s the main character it’s never a bad idea to try and let him surpass his limits. There was a pro player who happened to be in Sho’s neighborhood. That guy was nice he always helped give Sho some quality advice and told the kid not to give up.

Then you have Sho’s brother Ko who doesn’t do much for most of the series but he does come through when it counts at the end. Whistle goes for a rather emotional ending to be sure but one that has a satisfying ending. If the ending had been fully sad with no recovery at the end then that would have been more on the fishy side. As it stands, it works pretty well as a way to close things out.

Whistle’s artwork does look fairly old. It reminds you of something like Saint Seiya only without the fight scenes of course. It doesn’t hold up to a lot of newer titles but it isn’t bad. You can still recognize all of the characters pretty easily and the soccer games have a proper amount of intensity. The manga isn’t actually as old as it looks but it could be an intentional style choice I suppose or it’s from an artist who grew up drawing in that style so he just stayed in that style.

With 24 volumes at the ready you can expect a whole lot of matches throughout the series. It also gives the author time to let the characters just have some fun and dialogue outside of the matches too. We have time for the heroes to enjoy some good food and hang out. Some titles don’t have a whole lot of time for that so it’s a pretty balanced set up. With this many volumes over 10 years it can be easy to forget some of the early opponents though but the you won’t forget Sho’s struggles.

Part of why the main characters are all so memorable is because they got such strong character arcs. Each of them had to deal with something. Sho had to deal with his lack of skills, Daichi had to deal with improving his skills and not relying on only hunches, Tsubasa had to deal with everyone always underestimating him, Tatsuya had to deal with self confidence, and Shigeki had to deal with his rich father who owned another soccer club. There was definitely a lot going on here so even if you don’t remember some of the specific matches it was a lot of fun.

Overall, Whistle is definitely a very good series that I would recommend. It’s a very easy read and like with most sport titles there is a ton of replay value here. There may not be anything super deep or genre breaking going on here but you know that in each volume you can expect some high quality soccer content. It would have been nice to perhaps have seen a time skip where Sho is now one of the best players out there but I guess that will be a job for the sequel series. It would be nice to see Sho’s hard work pay off at some point since so far he has only made some progress. If you like sports or a good story then you should definitely check this one out, the writing is always consistent.

Overall 7/10

Megaman Battle Network: Runaway Protoman Review


The Megaman Battle Network manga continues to be my favorite manga of all time. I think it’s fair to say that it will likely never be surpassed. It’s just way too good. Well, after all this time the author came out with a quick side story for it that’s pretty fun. It’s fairly quick at around 25 pages but it’s nostalgic seeing the old cast again.

It starts with Protoman showing up and letting Megaman know that he’s leaving Chaud. He claims that the Net-Op has been acting a lot different lately like telling Protoman to let the villains go or slowing him down intentionally to get more credit. Protoman wants a new operator who is super heroic. Lan and Megaman decide to find him a new owner but is everything as it seems?

The whole gang pitches in to help and you quickly see what good friends they all are. Not just anyone would step in like this without a second thought. Of course, sometimes that’s not always a good thing since you should hear out both sides. Things are not exactly as they seem of course.

We get a quick fight between Megaman and Protoman with the art getting you ready for a hype clash but unfortunately it’s over as soon as it’s begun. I suppose drawing a big action scene would probably take a while but you can tell that the artist has not lost his game. He’s drawing as clearly as ever. Capcom should approach him for more stories like this eventually and some kind of ongoing story. It’s been a minute since I read the series so I should probably re read at least the Bass fights again soon.

You’ll probably feel bad for Chaud here as he gets beaten up quite a bit. Everyone’s so quick to believe all of the charges against him as well so maybe Chaud does need to reflect on how he acts. Everyone turning against him can’t exactly be a coincidence now can it? Meanwhile Lan and Megaman may be a little out of sync compared to usual. Out of practice may be a better way to put it.

It’s hard to say when this takes place but in his prime you wouldn’t catch Megaman getting completely dominated like this. Lan also went in without a plan. I want to say it takes place a few years after the Beast saga which would explain why they have become so complacent. It was fun seeing a quick cameo of Searchman here though since he effectively missed the original series. Having a few of them show up would have been fun. If the story had been longer I think that could have made for a great plot.

All of the navis have to team up to take Protoman down which would make for a ton of excellent battle scenes. At this point in the story only Megaman and Bass would be able to take him down but seeing the others put up a good fight would certainly be pretty fun. There’s not a whole lot more to say about it since this is really just one chapter but the bottom line is that it’s a lot of fun. Even seeing the little kid who used to be a villain was nostalgic because he had a pretty big role back in the day.

Overall, This was a fun side story. It’s not like it’s got huge stakes or anything like that but we do get a quick fight and that’s about all you would expect from a side story. Of course it would be awesome if we ever got a full fledged sequel series. Now that would be pretty awesome to be sure. It could easily rise up there as one of the premiere titles. The art is just fantastic so you really can’t go wrong. If you enjoy the Megaman series then you should definitely check this one out.

Overall 7/10

Devil Survivor Review


A while back I saw the anime adaption of one of the Devil Survivor games. Now it’s time to check out the manga for the very first Devil Survivor title. It’s a pretty intense series to be sure and adapts the content rather well. The plot also ties in perfectly well with the title because it really does feel like a full survival story even more than the anime plot. I like the idea of everyone being trapped as they get more and more desperate.

The series starts with Kazuya and his friends enjoying a normal day at Shibuya. However, the day is about to be anything but normal. Kazuya’s cousin Naoya shows up with some rather cryptic words about the day of reckoning coming close. He gives Kazuya, Yuzu, and Atsuro a mini computer each and walks away. Suddenly the city goes into lockdown and demons start flooding the streets. The heroes are able to summon demons out of their computers to defend themselves but it’s a dangerous gamble since the demons can also attack you if your heart isn’t strong enough.

The heroes needs to find the answers to a few question. Why is the lockdown in place and how do the heroes escape the city. Is the city the only place being attacked or is the whole world under siege? Does Naoya hold the answers and why is the government shooting anyone who attempts to leave the city? There are a lot of mysteries and not a whole lot of time to solve them. Additionally, a message is received each day which predicts the future. The future usually involves some deaths but maybe the heroes can defy destiny.

So there’s a lot to take in right off the bat. I definitely enjoyed the whole mystery angle quite a bit since we don’t really know anything so you’re going in blind the whole time. You find out the answers along with the characters but there is always a lot of tension since being stuck in a city with a bunch of powerful demons isn’t exactly the most peaceful thing in the world. Additionally, the people in the city are quickly becoming more and more corrupt which is only making things worse.

As the main character Kazuya is pretty solid. By the end I would even call him a great character because he really makes all of the right decisions. You can always count on him to step in and save the day as needed. He has a lot of determination to get to the bottom of things and tends to keep himself together more than the rest. Most of the other characters tend to panic or crack a little as things go on but Kazuya rarely even bats an eye. He also has more natural talent than the others which certainly comes in handy. Kazuya slowly improves more and more as the series progresses.

Then you have the main heroine Yuzu. She’s a nice character but in a way may have been the least ready to deal with this. Yuzu tends to get stressed out a lot and also ends up worrying for Kazuya quite a bit. At times the characters even talk about trying to keep up a strong front when around her so as not to make her worry even more. She really needed a powerful monster to help her out which would have also made her braver.

Atsuro is the tech guy which does come in handy here since he may be able to crack Naoya’s computer codes and figure out what’s going on here. Naoya’s always been impressively difficult to defeat in anything but Atsuro won’t give up. Atsuro does encounter a lot of difficult emotional obstacles during the series though since he takes it pretty hard when other characters fall away.

Midori is a character who always believes in the goodness inside people’s hearts. As a result she uses her demon partner to fight off the evil ones and protect as many people as possible. The problem is with the demons attacking everyone, the tamers aren’t trusted a whole lot as it is. The main characters even warn Midori about how things are going to get a little dicey since one of the predictions said that she will be murdered by humans going forward. Midori is not someone who listens to such things all that much and ultimately can’t risk anyone getting hurt.

That said, I do think she didn’t look great in the final scenes. I always think you have to do things within reason. So she wants to be a great hero who always protects the humans? Fine that’s great, but you also have to defend yourself. Where you draw the line is when they’re attacking you but you still stand down. Her demon partner Jack Frost could have handled those guys but she told him not to fight back. It’s hard to applaud her as being super just and unwavering when she is being unrealistic like that. You do have a right to defend yourself after all and if anything it’s something you absolutely need to do since now there will be people that aren’t saved since she isn’t there.

Keisuke is another pretty interesting character. He’s very timid and isn’t as gung ho as the other characters. That said, the demon world absolutely takes its toll on him and he becomes a bit more extreme. A character who believes in absolute justice and punishes anyone who opposes him. The issue with this is of course the cycle of violence. Even the worst criminals have some allies somewhere and as they all line up to fight Keisuke, this eventually includes heroes as well.

It’s a rather difficult thing about trying to enact such measures when the whole city is in lockdown. It’s not like you can arrest any criminals but of course destroying them takes away any moral high ground you might have had. Ultimately this puts Keisuke at odds with the other characters. I thought his character was handled really well though.

Then you have Kaido who’s on the other side. He was a part of a gang but he always tells the characters they have to do things the right way. They’re not going to be a mob that goes around murdering everyone. Unfortunately his gang wasn’t full of the nicest guys in the first place so once they were all lined up in a tricky spot then things ended up getting messy. It’s always rough when you are allies with a villain because you may feel honor bound to avenge them but then are you going to even take on the good guys? Kaido is a man who evens up all his debts so it doesn’t matter what side you’re on.

Ultimately he was my favorite character in the series. There is no defending what his gang did though so it was hard to be with him on that one but of course he probably figures that the whole gang shouldn’t pay for one member’s demise which makes sense. It’s just too bad he wasn’t a part of a better group.

Yoshino is a singer whose songs are able to summon demons. It’s not exactly an ability you want to have when the demons are always around just waiting to spring into action. It also attracts a lot of unwanted attention which puts her in a tough spot. She’s a solid character but she probably should have stopped singing a lot earlier than when she actually did put this on pause. The bartender Gin does his best to assist her as needed too. He’s reasonably tough with his demon although his role is pretty small.

Mari is a local teacher who is possessed by an angel. Hey, if there are demons around then why not angels right? Unfortunately there is also a demon trying to take her over so her psyche is quite busy. She’s an interesting character to be sure as she has ties to just about every character in the series. she may not usually be a big fighter but she is useful in finding out more about what happened.

Amane is one of the chief members of a religious organization founded by Kuzuryu as they try to liberate the city from the demons. While that all sounds good, the organization is quite distorted. Amane uses her demon to help people out and convert them to the group but of course that isn’t necessarily a good thing. She’s definitely a quality character who is doing her best throughout all of this but it’s not like she has a ton of options. Additionally, Amane is constantly fighting with an angel/demon who her thoughts aren’t always her own. Her character arc has a good conclusion.

Kuzuryu is definitely crazy but he did a good job of building his organization up. Effectively he chooses to sacrifice his soul to the demons so they can wipe out the humans and angels. Definitely a bold play but it’s not like he’ll be around to see it even if it would work. So probably not the most satisfying plan out there.

Finally we have Naoya who is a very mysterious figure in the series. He’s fun and reminds me a lot of the brother in Spiral. This guy is always one step ahead of all the other characters in the series and clearly has big plans for everyone. He doesn’t appear much until the final volumes but still has a big influence the whole time.

The art for the series is really good although it can also be chaotic. It’s the kind of manga that takes you a bit longer to read than the average volume because you have to spend some time deciphering the panels. Still, it’s worth doing as the attacks are fun to watch. As the characters are based on famous myths and such you may even recognize all of the demons. It’s fun when you know who they’re talking about but if not, the series gives most of the notable demons a write up between chapters so you can learn about them.

Now based on the atmosphere of the series and with the demons around you may be surprised that there’s less of a body count than you might think. Personally I actually thought a few more characters were going to die along the way. I wonder if they died in the game or if it was more or less the same. I know there are quite a few different ways to end Devil Survivor after all. A lot of side characters still die of course like the poor old lady and other people running around. Either way the city certainly wasn’t save.

Now it’s time for some spoiler territory to talk about the climax of the series and a little more about the battles. If you haven’t read the series yet you can skip to the final paragraph since we’ve pretty much wrapped up all of the non spoiler items. If you like the concept then this is definitely a good one to pick up. All right, so lets talk about what the actual situation is then.

The Angels have enclosed the city supposedly on orders from their god that humanity needs to be tested. They allowed the demons to run rampant here and are giving the citizens 7 days to eradicate all of the demons. The governments have decided to take this place out entirely with some bombs if needed but the main characters will be given some time to clear things out before such drastic steps are needed.

Kazuya was chosen to participate in a tournament of sorts since he possesses one part of a legendary demon. Whoever gains all of the parts will have power comparable to the god and can potentially rewrite the universe. Kazuya isn’t thrilled about this but doesn’t really have a way out. Additionally, it turns out that Kazuya is the reincarnation of Abel while Naoya is actual Cain from the original days of humanity. Naoya was cursed to forever reincarnate along with Abel and now he wants to dethrone the current status quo as a result.

You can actually see why Naoya is frustrated because the angels are presented as being absolutely evil the whole time. They want to murder the humans just for kicks pretty much and don’t really seem to be helping anyone. The angels and demons are really presented as just being two sides of the same coin. It’s definitely a rather different interpretation of them to be sure. Neither side is really Kazuya’s ally so he has to be careful.

A lot of interesting angles here to be sure. Loki even steps in as part of the demon side while Kazuya summons Cu, the legendary spearman of legend who is a main character in most of the Fate titles. It’s part of what makes the title so ambitious. There is just so much happening in the city at all times as the heroes fend off the demons and now have to worry about the angels as well. It certainly gets really high tier by the end since Kazuya effectively becomes a god as well.

The ending was also very satisfying. There’s a lot of ways this could go after all but the route it choose was really satisfying. Not only is there some sequel bait but Kazuya really got to dictate his terms. A lot of times you have to accept a rather bittersweet ending as the main character couldn’t get things the way that he wanted them but this time it did work out at least for now. It may be hard to believe how the whole incident seems to have been swept aside but that’s just how it goes I suppose.

Overall, Devil Survivor was a very interesting series. It dabbled with a lot of cool concepts and the idea of everyone effectively being locked in a cage as they try to survive was executed very well. It’s easy to see how the franchise has gotten so big since the suspense is very impressive. It’s also easy to replicate this in sequels with different circumstances just due to the nature of the series. Either way if you like a good action title with a lot of tension and thriller aspects along with some undertones of horror then this is the title for you.

Overall 8/10

The Earl and the Fairy Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 6/10

Attack on Titan Review


It’s finally time to take a look at Attack on Titan. It’s certainly a series that made it into the record books and shall never be forgotten. At this point you can make the case for it being in the top 10 most recognizable anime/manga of all time with how big it got. The series ended recently and while there is an 8 page extra coming to the volume format, we more or less know how things went. Unfortunately the original manga ending is the worst manga ending of all time. It’s unbelievably bad but for obvious spoiler reasons I can’t talk much about that just yet.

I would say we can divide the series into two main parts. Part 1 introduces us to a world where 80% of humanity has been wiped out by Titans. The few survivors live behind 3 walls where they have learned to live as a smaller part of the food chain. Among these people are the Survey Corps, a group of fighters who still resist the Titans. They scout the outside world and slay Titans when possible. After many years they have made almost no headway so most people don’t even want to join the team.

Fortunately the main character Eren Yeager is not afraid. He wants to be a Survey Corp member without a doubt. He doesn’t have a lot of physical skill but fortunately has the ability to turn into a Titan. Perhaps now humanity finally has a chance to survive? His best friends Armin and Mikasa are also here to help as needed. Armin’s the main strategist while Mikasa is the best fighter of the 3.

That’s a rather simplified version of Part 1 of course as a whole lot more happens. It does serve to at least cover the Pre Arc though. This is where we are introduced to all of the main characters or at least the ones for Part 1. There are a lot of characters running around so it takes time to get to all of their names.

Attack on Titan is a very serious manga so don’t expect everyone to survive. Part of what helped make it big is the sense of danger that the manga has. You always feel like someone could die at any moment. There may be some characters who feel really safe but a lot of the others certainly seem to be in danger when the Titans show up.

The art was quite rough when it first started but by the end it’s improved a great deal. Initially I would say the art was slightly below average compared to most other titles. It still had a lot of intense moments but felt rather rough around the edged. The artist clearly continued to improve his craft the whole time. If you see a comparison picture between the beginning of the series and the ending it is a world of difference. By Part 2 this was looking very clear and quite solid.

While the dark/grim tone of the manga may be part of what helped it get big, it’s also what limits the series. Even before the ending it’s not like this series was going to get a high score. It’s way over the top with the violence. Characters are eaten alive, dismembered, and even tortured. One of the worst scenes in the series was definitely when Levi and Hange tortured this one guy who wouldn’t talk. A big theme in the series is “relative morality” where you have to become a monster to defeat other monsters.

By the end of the series there aren’t any real heroes because everyone has compromised on their integrity at one point or another. It’s certainly a cynical view on the world but more on that later on in the review. The series is always going for as dark a vibe as possible though. Before dying the characters will beg for their lives or yell about how they don’t wanna die. All for that maximum emotional punch of course.

A lot of horses die in the battles as well since this takes place in a more old fashioned world. Whenever the titans show up you can expect that the horses aren’t going to make it which is unfortunate. All of these factors just kept on beating the series into the ground. I would also say with confidence that this has to be the most violent series I’ve read. It never really lets up.

As for Part 2 of the series. We finally see what lies beyond the walls. It turns out that the whole “80% of humanity being wiped out” was all a lie. The rest of the world is just fine and are having wars against each other as normal. Eren infiltrates these places and realizes that the whole world wants to destroy Paradis. He decides to destroy them first and gathers up his own faction. Back on the island Armin and the others can’t accept this outcome so they mobilize to stop him. Can they defeat Eren and ensure that Paradis is obliterated once and for all or will they be stopped, resulting in their island being saved?

Part 2 is definitely very ambitious to the point where it almost feels like a different series entirely. The idea of expanding the world like this is certainly good. It allows us to see the action from a different point of view to really see if you’re still rooting for Paradis or not. Eren’s big personality change is also intense since he is really acting like a different character. Whether you agree with him or not will definitely be a big deal.

So lets talk about Eren as a whole. I liked him a lot in both Part 1 and 2. In Part 1 he is your classic main character who is really determined, yells a lot, and wants to accomplish his goal. He wants to destroy all of the Titans since they destroyed his Mother and that will allow him to finally be free. The villains try for sympathy points a lot of the time but Eren never buys into it. The guy’s just a stellar main character through and through. If he doesn’t have a skill he makes sure to quickly develop it.

Then we have Part 2 Eren. For context, he finally gained the power of the Founding Titan and after making contact with Historia at the end of Part 1, he now has access to Paths, the Future, and the Past. Effectively he’s mind melded with every possible Titan owner from all timelines so like Dr. Strange he can see every eventuality. Eren decides that the only way to save his friends and to be free is to wipe out the rest of the world with the Rumbling.

That’s basically an ability where he will have Titans flatten the rest of the planet. This is directly going to murder every living being on the planet aside from his island. Right from the start you may think he has to be stopped but keep in mind that the rest of the planet aims to nuke Paradis off the face of the planet. This is due to a long tragic past history where the world believes they are all demons.

Attack on Titan shows many times that peace is quite impossible. I’d say the reason why you would likely go with Eren is because the heroes have no other plan. More than once characters explain to the heroes why this can’t work any other way. For starters, Eren gave them around 6 months and the heroes did nothing with that time. Later on when someone asks what alternative there is if they stop Eren, Hange says she has no clue.

So it’s a bit of a contrived situation you could say but it’s written in a way where Eren’s Rumbling really is the only option. Okay, here are the other two options presented in the story. You have Zeke’s idea which is to force every Eldian to not be able to have kids. This means their race will die out so Paradis will die eventually but perhaps peacefully since the other countries won’t have to murder them anymore. I think that’s an easy alternative to explain why it’s a horrible idea. The other countries will blow up Paradis anyway and they would be going down in a really awful way.

Alternative 2 is to just blow up a small part of humanity and call for a truce. I doubt humanity would really listen to that. Another idea brought up by Hange is to just ask for peace from the get go. Considering that the other countries have been attacking Paradis for years and destroying innocent people the whole time…that wouldn’t work either. If the heroes had an actual idea about how this would go down then it’d be easier to root against Eren but every time he would ask them for a plan they would just dodge the question or run off like Hange.

All right, time to talk about the ending so skip these next two paragraphs until you have finished the series. Spoilers start. In the final chapter I think the author realized too many people were on Eren’s side so it was time to assassinate his character. For starters, we find out that Eren murdered his mother. Yes that’s right….he controlled the Titan to eat her. This would start the cycle of him hating the titans and becoming the current him. The logic is that there was no other way for him to start on this path so using his mastery over time he made the events happen. You can see how awful that is right? If you can see and control events across the past, present, and future then you could surely do something else right? Ah man that was bad.

Next, at least we all knew Eren had a concrete plan for destroying all of humanity right? He wanted to be free and to save his friends. He had a ton of dialogue to support this including inner monologue. Well, no he admits to Armin he has no idea why he did this and only destroyed 80% of humanity. Armin’s happy about this at least since not everyone was wiped out. The chapter ends with Mikasa hinting that they’re all going to get slaughtered anyway but it depends on your interpretation. The final 8 pages haven’t come out officially yet but based on those it looks like it was confirmed that Paradis was obliterated so I like that my head canon was validated there at least. It also underscores why Eren’s plan was the only one that could work. I could talk about the ending for a very long time but let me quickly wrap this up. Eren gets reincarnated as a bird so he is now free but can’t enjoy it. Historia ended up marrying a random farmer which really came out of nowhere. Reiner looks pathetic and is trying to go after a woman who’s already married. Mikasa may have married Jean out of pity but still clearly loves Eren so Jean knows he was just the rebound. Oh yes and Eren cries because he doesn’t want Mikasa to like anybody else. Yes…this ending was baaaad.

Spoilers end Attack on Titan was certainly a grand journey. While it had a ton of faults I can at least say this for the series, it did have a lot of good world building. The fact that there is so much to discuss definitely speaks to that. It lasted for quite a while as well and had a lot of high moments. When it wasn’t focusing on being as gritty as possible we got some really iconic scenes and panels. Eren fighting the Armored Titan/Female Titan or when he got ambushed by the Jaw Titan were all great moments.

The series delivered on having a lot of action as well. It could transition pretty well between high action arcs and other stories which were more about mind games and taking things slow. I did get invested in seeing how things would go at least. The series had a long slump during the political arc but the final arc got pretty intense. If we really are getting a sequel series I’ll be interested in how that goes. Just massively tone down the violence and it could be quite good.

Now lets look at the characters. I’ve already spoken at length about the best character in the series known as Eren so we can skip him. Armin’s another big character. He certainly has a lot of moments to shine with his plans but he isn’t nearly as likable. Armin’s the kind of character you could see going over the edge way sooner than Eren and causing a lot of trouble. Armin always tries to claim the moral high ground as well even though I would say he’s never earned it. The guy annoys me the more I think about it actually.

Mikasa was a great character though. She’s an expert fighter who is quite loyal to protecting Eren. Aside from Levi she is likely the most talented human fighter in the series. By the end of Titan she can fight one on one against shifters thanks to the electro spears. Outside of the main 3 I suppose Levi would probably be the biggest character. The guy definitely gets a lot of hype and has the skills to back it up. The way he fights you would think the guy is not human at all. Technically as an Ackerman he is superhuman so that does explain a lot of things. I’ll never agree with him beating up Eren or assisting in torture though which does hurt the guy quite a bit.

Then we have Zeke. I just never liked the guy and there are a lot of reasons for it. I couldn’t sympathize with his backstory. He’s meant to be a rather aloof guy who says crazy stuff for kicks but it was never all that amusing. His plan was also complete nonsense so all of these things added up and I could never like the guy. It doesn’t help that he is absolutely traumatized by Levi and gets nervous whenever he appears.

I didn’t care for Reiner with how he keeps trying to guilt trip everyone and not take responsibility for what he did. The whole dual personalities thing wasn’t going to save him. He tends to beg and whine a lot and Eren shut down all of his arguments real quick. He was a very intimidating villain initially but by the end of the series he’s really a pushover.

Annie was a fun villain though. As the Female Titan she was able to use her hand to hand skills rather well to even give Eren a run for his money. Annie was also quite a sadistic villain so stopping her wasn’t easy. She didn’t really get to have a true character arc by the end but since she had her own arc I think fans should be satisfied.

Bertolt doesn’t get to do a whole lot next to the other shifters but I wouldn’t say there’s much to know about him anyway. He’s always acting rather nervous and definitely doesn’t have the confidence of the other members. Without them he would be absolutely and completely lost the whole time. So much for having the Colossal Titan right? It definitely would not be enough to help him.

Gabi is one of the new characters introduced in Part 2. I actually liked her from the start. She reminded me of Part 1 Eren although she was without powers so she could never be as useful in a fight. Gabi doesn’t have any honor in a fight so she’ll try any kind of cheap shot to win but that’s just the way the characters were brought up on her side. Meanwhile Falco also gets a big role in Part 2 although he isn’t nearly as good since he isn’t decisive the way she is.

Back to the main group we also had Connie although he never really stood out. The guy complains quite a bit and doesn’t do a ton in the action scenes so he is always doomed to be a side character. Then there’s Sasha who is the main comic relief character. The series is usually quite serious but she tries to add in a bit of levity here and there.

Commander Erwin was a big character for a while. As one of the acting captains in charge he would come up with a lot of plans. He kept the Survey Corps going for as long as they did. It would not have been possible without his plans. In fact, Armin never quite caught up to the guy.

Hange is easily the worst character in the series. She acts completely evil with her titan experiments and just about every scene with her is nutty. It’s wild that she tries to act like a hero with absolute morals by the end of it. Cmon, you just can’t buy it at that point because of how much she had done. She refused to even think of a plan which is why Eren had to go.

As for Historia, I liked her in Part 1. She’s an example of a character who did get ruined in part 2 though. She doesn’t really do anything throughout the whole series and really just gets manipulated. Not a great way to go considering her whole character arc of becoming brave and defying fate in Part 1. Her friend Ymir also got wiped from the story rather quickly. I liked that she would talk tough even if she was on the wrong side of the debate with Eren and Reiner.

Then we have a second character called Ymir and to this day I wonder why we got two characters with the same exact name. They could have changed it up a little bit right? Well, this Ymir’s pretty awful. She has a lot to do in the Paths dimension but the more you learn about her the worse it gets. Just wait until you read that final chapter.

So I wouldn’t call the character cast great but at least there are some very memorable characters. Eren really helps to carry the series a lot all by himself. Throughout Part 2 you are always waiting for him to appear so we can see more from his perspective. That’s where all of the hype comes from after all. If anything it would have been nice to have seen him talk/think a bit more in the final arc.

As a final note I’ll say the best scene in Part 2 was definitely the betrayal on the rooftop when the opposing army decided to try and capture Eren. Using the Jaw Titan teaming up with a bunch of others was a smart play. In Part 1 the best scene had to be Eren going up against the Armored Titan in what would be their decisive battle. Seeing Eren finally put his martial arts into play for the first time was a moment worth remembering.

Overall, Attack on Titan is definitely a pretty bad series which wrapped up with a terrible ending so I suppose that was fitting. The final 8 pages if the leaks are true still sound bad but in an extremely minor way do help the ending a bit since it would confirm one of my theories. At least we got a lot of great memes out of it though and even a fan character. The violence is too extreme and it consistently tries to be as gritty as possible. Get out of here with the heroes literally torturing people. It does force you to think about some rather high concept arguments though like a character resorting to committing genocide on 99% of the planet to save his friends. Is it worth it or is he just insane? You can have a lot of discussions on that which is good. If you like The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones for their elaborate universes and constant sense of danger then you will like this series. If you want something with a really expansive story but toning down the violence then I would recommend checking out Tower of God.

Overall 2/10

Megaman Star Force Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Overall 5/10

Megaman – Saga of the Mu Continent Review


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Overall 7/10

Megaman 4 Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Overall 7/10