One Piece: Vivi’s Adventure Review


One Piece has been getting quite a lot of different one shots and specials to celebrate the 1000th episode coming up. It’s definitely fun to see a series get so much content and last for so long. One Piece has lived through many powerful Jump titles and continues to tell its tale. I thought it slowed down quite a bit after the timeskip because you can’t really compare masterpiece arcs like Water 7 and Marineford to Punk Hazard or Fishman Island. I thought Whole Cake Island was fun though and while Wano started out slow, we’re definitely in the payoff part now. So things are on the up and up all around. This special chapter rewrites Vivi’s iconic farewell with a new art style. It’s a fun revisit although personally I would have picked more of an action chapter here.

Since this is just one chapter stretched out to more of a monthly sized one, there isn’t a whole lot that happens. The chapter opens up with Vivi being forced to make a tough call. She can ride out with the Strawhats and officially become one of them or she can stay home and rule her land as a Princess. Her land would be devastated without her, but on the other hand if she doesn’t join now then she may never see the Strawhats again. What is the right decision? She only has 8 hours to decide at which point Luffy and the gang have to skip town.

Vivi was a fun character back in the day and everyone thought she had a fairly strong chance to join the crew. Ultimately she did not but perhaps one day when she reappears she will still be considered as one of Luffy’s mega crew. Sort of an extension of the main crewmates at least. Vivi’s still in the arc that is happening off screen so everyone’s looking forward to seeing how that plays out. Vivi would have made a good addition to the crew as she has a nice personality that would bounce off of the others pretty well. I would definitely take her over Franky or Brook in a heartbeat after all. She would need to learn a few more fighting moves though. Ultimately if I were her I would have chosen to leave but I won’t fault her for deciding to stay home.

As for Luffy and the gang, it definitely feels weird to see them being overwhelmed by normal enemies. Random marines with iron spears are absolutely decimating the ship and there’s just nothing the heroes can do about it. Effectively it is the weakness of not being able to fight much at sea. The gang of pirates are always at their best when fighting on land which can be ironic but that’s just the way it is. Zoro and Sanji at least don’t have devil fruits so they would be able to swim around and fight but it’s still hard to out maneuver whole ships in the meantime.

There are some pretty strong friendship messages in this chapter like Luffy and the gang arguing with Mr. 2 but as soon as they explain they are staying here for a friend he is quick to jump on their side. After all, risking your life for a friend is definitely fair game. Luffy and the others also take it pretty well when Vivi decides to stay. There wasn’t a lot of yelling for her to come aboard or anything, they just rolled with it and hoped for the best and had the iconic X pose.

It’s a very self contained chapter so it works really well as a one shot. Of course, I would like to have added a final scene at the end showing modern Vivi or something like that as a stinger into the future. Maybe show her entering the Reverie or something. It would be a pretty good way to build hype if you ask me, but I’m definitely ready to see what’s next on the One Piece spinoff list. This one as drawn by the artist of Nisekoi and it was impressive since I wouldn’t have otherwise recognized the art style if I didn’t already know about it. Granted, I haven’t read Nisekoi in a little while which probably would have helped a bit.

Overall, Vivi’s Adventure is a pretty good story. The good thing about choosing this chapter is that it works very well even if you don’t know much about One Piece. You can still understand what is going on with the story. The large scale context doesn’t matter much as the main story is really just about the emotional choice between friends and your family duty. In that sense you can immediately understand the stakes and what is going on here. So definitely give this one a read and as it’s only 1 chapter long you’ll have it completed really quickly.

Overall 7/10

Bleach: No Breathes From Hell Review


Bleach has always been known as one of the greatest manga series of all time. Whether you’re looking for a quality action series, a deep look at the supernatural, or just want a cast of fun character then Bleach would be the place you turned to. It was the best member of “The Big 3” but had nothing ongoing once it ended. Well, this one shot seems to spell good things for the future of the franchise so I’m pretty hyped. The title may not sound quite right and fan translations switch it up a bit but I’ll go with the official translation on this one. Interestingly Viz cuts out the mention at the end that this is the Hell Arc which is in the other versions. It’s part of why I’m 100% confident this is starting a new arc since the raw seems to use that term but only time will tell I suppose.

It picks up well after the end of the series. Ichigo has become an editor now and is trying to support his friend’s cafe when he gets a call from Renji. The Soul Society is holding a barbaric ritual where they slaughter some Hollows at a specified place in honor of the fallen Ukitake. Ichigo points out that this seems suspect at best but decides to tag along. Pretty much all of the big shots will be there and so it’ll be a fun way to catch up with his old friends. What Ichigo doesn’t realize is that there is more to this ritual than it may seem at first glance.

It’s hard to talk about plot much beyond that because unlike a stand alone one shot, this one is meant to lead up to a new series/arc or at least it plays out that way. A good chunk of the chapter is about the supporting character chatting as we see a lot of new and old faces. Things are going pretty well in the Soul Society but can peace ever last? Then we learn the dark secrets about this ritual.

See, since Soul Society is completely corrupt, whenever a Captain dies in battle, they hold this ritual to send him to hell. Granted, most of them don’t actually know that this is happening but I’m not surprised that the Soul Society implemented this. The World Government, Hidden Leaf Village, and Soul Society are all corrupt but you could easily make the case that the Soul Society is the biggest culprit of the 3 in terms of being caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

They torture and run live experiments on their prisoners of war, they murder their own people, they have aristocratic families who have literally paid off the justice system and sweep murders under the rug, They intentionally segregate the world into an area for the rich and one for the poor, etc. The Soul Society are consistently portrayed as evil if you ask me, but the main thing is that they aren’t as bad as the Hollows which is why you’re supposed to root for them. They were even going to seal Ichigo away at the end of Bleach after all so you can’t trust these guys.

So when this chapter brought in more twists about them I can’t say that I was surprised. It was the natural conclusion to their overall actions. Still, since it is now coming to the forefront I would like to see some change within the system itself. There’s a lot of potential here for an arc in Hell. It also seems like things may be dicey for the Captains. As the one shot explains it, all Hollows go into Hell of course but beyond that, any Soul Reaper with the power of a Vice Captain or higher that dies goes in there are well. So the Hollows likely outnumber the Soul Reapers since they are going to have a lot of Espada and Vasto Lords in there. I’m pretty excited for those fights once Ichigo steps in.

Unlike some series endings, Ichigo didn’t lose any of his power at the end of Bleach. It seems like he’s back to having one sword but I wouldn’t assume that makes him weaker. So when he goes into Hell I’m expecting him to take some big names. He’s definitely not going to take this lying down. The one shot ends with a pretty direct cliffhanger so I’m hoping we get a formal announcement soon. There’s just so much to look forward to.

The chapter itself doesn’t have much fighting since this is mainly set up. We do get a quick skirmish though and I was glad that Ichigo was able to hold his own. Renji got speedblitzed but when is he not getting wrecked right? It made sense that he would go down rather quickly because that’s how it always is with him. There’s a reason why Renji hasn’t really risen up the ranks much. If the villains were able to beat Ichigo then I’d be a little more doubtful since that would be a huge power jump. A weakened Ichigo after fighting 4 Espada fights back to back was Captain level in Arc 2 so right now he should be stronger than the combined might of Soul Society.

The art is pretty good as always. Kubo always had top tier talent in that area and it really looks like he has not missed a beat. The writing was solid and the whole chapter really flew by in the blink of an eye. It’ll take a long while to get used to all of the new characters’ names though. The cast was already considerably large and it looks like that will continue with this series.

Ichigo and Renji’s kids haven’t done a whole lot yet. I expect them to get decent roles but it does look like the grown ups will still be the main characters and I’m definitely all for that. Let these guys grow up a bit more first and then I think they will be ready for the main spotlight. Until that time they can just wait it out on the sidelines. There’s nothing wrong with being on the bench after all.

Overall, It’s good to have Bleach back. Not just for the memes and “We’re back guys!!” posts everywhere but because the series was just a blast. If this new series/continuation can keep on going with the consistency of the original series then I’d say we’ve got nothing to worry about. I suppose it’s a good time to relive your favorite fights as we gear up for this.

Overall 8/10

Saint Seiya: Episode Zero Review


Saint Seiya has always made it clear that most of the Gold Saints are either evil or complacent. They don’t help when it counts and usually avoid fighting entirely so Athena never really had a lot to work with. This quick one shot expands what happened with Aiolos into 3 chapters and shows us just how much he had to go through to keep her safe. It’s a fun prequel and I always like seeing more of this guy since he is easily the best Gold Saint and one of the best Saint Seiya characters in general.

Episode Zero starts off with the Pope getting ready to choose which Gold Saint will succeed him in the position. There are really only two candidates who are close to the position though and they are Aiolos and Gemini Saga. Aiolos believes that Saga would be the best man for the job since the guy is revered as really being a great person and his abilities are second to none. Little does he realize that Saga is currently dealing with a lot of inner doubts and believes that Aiolos should be the man for the job.

The time table is sped up though when Saga goes missing and the Pope seemingly goes insane. Aiolos needs to keep baby Athena safe but where can he go? The other Golden Saints all want Aiolos dead since the Pope claims he is trying to take Athena and they have enough power to rend the whole solar system into oblivion. Somehow Aiolos needs to escape them and get Athena to safety but this won’t be easy.

All Saint Seiya mediums have one thing in common, they make sure to show that the Golden Saints are absolutely the biggest jerks around. I don’t want to hear that they’re supposed to be heroes or anything like that because they really aren’t. They actively do everything they can to help the villains and don’t listen to reason. Now, we already knew this because this 3 chapter prequel is effectively expanding on what we saw near the beginning of Saint Seiya. So you know how it ends but this really gets into the specifics.

I’d say it’s also taking a few liberties here as Aiolos refuses to fight back while he’s usually shown to be fighting against the Golden Knights. My favorite part of the mobile game was when he knocked out 3 of them in the opening level. Given that Aiolos is one of the strongest Golden Knights it makes sense although I suppose this manga would probably have more weight as canon material than a mobile game. Not really sure.

Regardless, Aiolos shines through as a great character here. Since he knows that the war with Hades is approaching (I think he may have underestimated how long it would take for Hades to show up since that was the final arc of the series) he has decided not to injure any of the Golden Knights since they will need to all be ready to fight soon. That part can be a little frustrating as these villains are pounding away at him and he decides not to fight back. I think it’s the wrong call but I admire his drive.

Aiolos manages to complete his mission with flying colors and never looks back. As for the other Golden Knights, well they get 0 points to be honest. So you’ve got the main 3 who are after him, Aphrodite, Shura, and Death. Usually I see him called Death Mask but in this manga they just call him Death which is a cool title anyway. These guys are pretty bad. At least Death has the excuse of actually being evil which makes a lot of sense on why he wouldn’t mind carrying out this mission.

The other two have no such excuse and they look awful when they try attacking Aiolos and basically say that they won’t listen to anything he tells them. Must be easy to trick someone when they won’t hear the other side of the story. They just look so petty ganging up on Aiolos when he won’t even fight back. Not minding the fact that their attacks will put Athena in danger is also really suspect.

The entire goal of the Golden Saints (Or any Saint to be honest) is to protect Athena so when they put this mission on hold or try to attack her then that means they are failing in their entire purpose. It’s just a really bad look and it’s why I never liked the Gold Saints. Aiolos is the only exception and that’s why he had to get bumped off early.

Gemini Saga also looks pretty bad here. He is overwhelmed by his dark side with such ease that it’s disgraceful. When you have a split personality you’d like to think that both sides are pretty evenly split but the evil one is clearly a lot more powerful. How did that ever happen? It means that the good side was definitely slacking in his mental defenses. He only ever whines when he is on screen which isn’t a good look anyway.

Athena actually gets a pretty intense scene where she glares at one of the Golden Saints and stops him in his tracks. Yeah it’s a little cheesy I’ll grant you that but at least Athena is doing something. That’s more than what she tends to do in the main series after all.

The art is pretty solid. It’s definitely got the vibe of the original series within it that’s for sure. There isn’t really a chance for a lot of fight scenes here which is unfortunate but I suppose it would be hard to incorporate more into this prequel. I still defer to the mobile game since it did add the extra fights to this part of the saga.


Overall, This was a fun prequel. It’s always good to see more of Aiolos since he doesn’t get to appear almost at all in the main adventures. That’s why I would have liked to have seen him fight more. Since it’s only 3 chapters, the series goes by in a flash but it was certainly a fun ride. If you enjoy Saint Seiya then this is definitely a good special to check out. Hopefully one day they bring Aiolos back into more of a starring role. I’ve still got a lot of different spinoffs to check out so maybe he’ll be in one of those.

Overall 8/10

DC3 Review


Manga one shots can always be a fun test of seeing how quickly an author can grab an audience. You only have a certain amount of pages at the ready in which you need to establish a concept, new characters, and resolve some kind of situation. It’s a lot of ground to cover and really tests your writing chops. Well, I liked this one shot so I’d say the author did a good job. I’d be interested in seeing how an ongoing for this series would fare.

The series starts by explaining that the whole world is after a girl named Saho Kisaki. Why is she being hunted? Well, she narrates that in the near future (Still 2020s) her father invented a monumental breakthrough in technology. Androids out of a sci-fi novel can now be mass produced and are helping the world in every facet of life. (This is basically the premise to Mega Man) Many people do not like this though. You have the usual crowd saying robots are stealing their jobs, a group who believes Saho is a demon threatening their life, you have people who believe that she is a god, and those who want to kidnap her for money.

Fine, but why blame her and not the father? Well, her father gave her all of the credit saying that the invention was a complete accident and only happened because as a toddler Saho was messing around on his keyboard which got to the right answer. Currently as a teen she is a genius so is it possible that as a baby she was able to solve the code? Either way, that is why the world wants her gone right now.

Saho is fine with this though and believes that she can protect herself. As a result she does not want to have any body guards since there was a tragic incident involving one she had as a kid. Still, she is nearly defeated by an angry mob when she is saved by a robot known as DC3. He explains that her father assigned him as her bodyguard and he has the power of 100 others. Saho is not thrilled about this at all but after he stops more threats and saves her a few more times she is on board with this. Now she will have to get used to having a bodyguard around.

There’s more that happens here but I’m not going to give you a full summary of the chapter. Read the rest of the one shot for the extra details. So here’s why it’s got potential. First off, the art is pretty good. I could even say really good especially for a pilot. The character designs are strong and the artist is able to handle the fight scenes well. At most you can say that there may be a few panels during the battles with too much detail so it gets scattered all over the place but on the whole I’m definitely liking how it looks.

I like the futuristic setting as well. Like I said, this is basically Mega Man. We’re in a world of robots now where a lot of humans resent them. DC3 is built to be a heroic bot (Although there’s a twist involved so he isn’t actually a robot) and is far stronger than all of the other androids on the market. He’s pretty serious all the time about guarding Saho so his character arc will probably involve him not being as ruthless and learning how to take a joke. He’s more literal than someone like Genos so he has a ways to go.

I also like DC3 already. He’s got a strong personality here as someone who really wants to save Saho and is very business-like. Now, he does murder a ton of people in this opening chapter and thinks of all human beings who aren’t Saho and her father as trash but that’s more part of the humor than a serious plot development. Saho’s father also thinks all humans should just die so there’s a lot of resentment going around.

Low-key though since this is always played for laughs. Even when the characters discuss how a lot of people died they literally laugh it off. As one person notes, the father owns the entire block and all other blocks leading up to the school so anyone attacking Saho on those premises is not an innocent civilian anyway. They have no qualms about murdering all of those guys. Saho is a little bothered by it but not really although I do expect if this becomes an ongoing they will scale back on that front unless this becomes a gag manga or something. Destroying people on the regular might be going too far.

As for Saho, she’s a good character. Right now she doesn’t want to open her heart up to anyone since she thinks they’ll just die but should come around pretty soon. She’s fairly dependable on her own with the various gadgets she has so that’s good. I think there’s a good amount of potential here. Just don’t have her try to tell DC3 to go away at critical times for drama since I like to think they should already be getting along pretty well after this one shot.

Saho’s father is pretty great as well. He never loses his cool even when held at gun point and tends to take things in stride. He was smart enough to have a backup plan after DC3 as well so the guy is ready for action. The father isn’t exactly a hero but he wants to protect Saho at all costs which is a great trait for a character. As long as she is safe he doesn’t care about his reputation.

So there’s a lot of green flags all around. Now, what are the red flags for the series? I think red flag is too strong a term since I liked this one shot so lets say yellow flags. There are several upskirts here as the characters all fight in school uniforms while performing flips. In this case they have shorts so it’s nothing crazy but I hope that’s not the artist testing the waters here. I would say in recent years Jump has been especially good with not having fanservice in their titles so I want this one to continue the trend.

Just in terms of series length, DC3 is already starting off as incredibly powerful. He’s stronger than 100 androids combined and is built by the greatest genius on the planet. That means the series can either go down the road of immediate power escalation with someone even stronger or it can go in a more casual direction as a school comedy. I’d say the cast is strong enough where you could go that route and make it good but my preference will always be with the fighting. Additionally, the action is already extensive enough where I think it has to play a part but you can still survive without going into city busters too quickly. (DC3 was already able to blow up a full city block range so the firepower is going to be intense here) Focus on the assassins and also give Saho a chance to fight off some with her inventions as you slowly build up the threats. I don’t see her staying relevant power-wise for very long on her own but as a genius surely she can invent an exo-suit for herself or something to stay in the game. The quick fights we did get here were exciting so I’d look forward to the next battles.

Overall, there’s not much more to say considering that this is only a single chapter. My verdict in the end is that this has a ton of potential. I’m a big Mega Man fan so seeing a manga try to tackle that concept is exciting. The main characters are likable and it looks like the dynamic with the main two should be entertaining. It’s also different enough where maybe it could be a hit among Jump readers. Feels like a while since we got a true technological title here based around androids. If you haven’t checked this one out yet, I’d recommend reading through it. It’s currently free on the Viz site so there’s not a whole lot of effort involved in giving it a read. Only time will tell if it’s picked up.

Overall 7/10

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

Spirit Photographer Saburo Kono Review


It’s time to look at a one shot that recently came out from the Promised Neverland author. In theory if it does well enough then this will get picked up for a whole series. I can already see the kind of vibe they’re going for so this would be something like Neuro or Hell Girl. Based on how the first chapter goes I’m sure we’ll have quite a few tragedies occurring here on the regular before we transition into the more antagonistic spirits. I can’t say that it grabbed me though. This isn’t a series I’d be particularly interested in but due to the anthology format it is going for some volumes would likely be better than others.

The story here is about a boy named Sota who has been rather depressed as of late. His next door neighbors are always moving out every few months because of a ghost that supposedly resides there. One day a suspicious guy named Saburo shows up while Sota’s mother is out. He says he is a photographer and forces Sota to accompany him to the haunted apartment. He then has Sota give him the full history of the place which is basically that a lady used to live there until she committed suicide. Sota asks why he’s needed anyway and that’s when the ghost shows up. It is the lady and for some reason she is after Sota.

This is just a one shot so I feel like there’s no such things as spoilers. Either you read it or you didn’t. So if you haven’t then skip the next few paragraphs or just go and read it before reading the review. Not much point in reviewing a one shot but skipping the plot right? So here’s the plot twist. Sota tried committing suicide so the lady stopped him but ended up slipping due to the rain and fell out of her apartment. Sota then kept quiet and let everyone believe she simply tripped. The ghost was just the lady saying she didn’t blame him so Saburo took a picture and she moved on. See, Saburo is a spirit photographer so he takes pictures of the spirits when they get to finish their business. He makes it a point to say that he’s not an exorcist so he doesn’t handle evil spirits or anything like that. I think this already implies that they will appear soon. I have a few problems with the story though.

The first is rather superficial but I feel like Saburo will need some work before he becomes the main character here. Granted, if this is like Hell Girl then he will show up in every story but won’t really be the main character. Still, the dynamic doesn’t work as well. He is portrayed as very shady and he did completely force the kid to go to the haunted hallway under the implied threat of violence. This is going to be our main character? The guy’s design and actions scream villain. You can certainly have a character like this to subvert expectations but I really don’t see him working well as the lead. Certainly he has less charisma than almost any other lead I’ve seen. Seriously, read chapter 1 of almost any other manga and I bet they’re a better character. So he needs work.

Next, the whole anthology string of tragedies isn’t going to work for me either. So we’re already starting with a indirect murder/suicide attempt? The whole thing’s pretty tragic for the lady who was just trying to help out. It doesn’t do wonders for Sota. He’s just a kid of course and I expect he would never appear again but this just isn’t a strong first chapter. Aside from being tragic there just isn’t much to this. There’s no big incentive to keep on watching because the premise itself just isn’t very interesting. What helps Hell Girl out a bit is that she acts as the punisher and sees that vengeance is carried out. Now, that’s a series that I doubt would get high marks if I reviewed it because of how dark things get, but at least it’s an interesting angle. Then Neuro quickly went full on action which was exciting at least.

There’s no way to guess how this one would progress so I can only go off the pilot. Suffice it to say, this is not a pilot that would really get me interested. There’s not a whole lot more to say beyond that. I wouldn’t say the art is particularly good but it’s basically the same as the Promised Neverland so if you liked the art there then you should be good here. It works well enough for the horror atmosphere I suppose but it doesn’t flow as smoothly as a lot of the other titles on the block. I imagine the author will continue to improve as the series goes on though.

Overall, We’ll see if this ends up becoming a series. I’m not really pulling for it, but if it happens it happens. It’s not like it’ll be a bad thing if it does, but I’m hoping for more action type titles. A lot of the other recent jump titles look more interesting so I’d be hoping that those continue to go strongly. Pilots usually end up being quite different than the actual series though so we’ll see how it’s restructured. My personal recommendation to the author would be to change the main character’s design and for the camera stories either go for more of a Yotsuba type of adventure with the spirits or have Saburo take a more active role in the adventures rather than scaring people for kicks. If you start out with smaller cases first that would make sense. Due to the nature of unfinished business though, I imagine a lot of the would turn out rather dark like this.

Overall 5/10

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

Deku & Bakugo: Rising Review


It’s time to take a look at a quick manga prequel to the recent My Hero Academia movie. It’s two chapters long and each one’s about 15 pages so it’s like 1 monthly chapter. It’s a fun little story about Deku & Bakugo going after their first ever villain. It underscores why you should be able to use your powers if you need too. The series isn’t totally explicit on how this works but I assume you are allowed to use your abilities in self defense. If that’s the case then we’re good although I am glad to see Bakugo just charge in anyway.

The basic premise is that Bakugo and the bullies are walking around town and having a good time. Deku shows up reading one of his superhero magazines so they pick on him for a bit. Bakugo is surprisingly the nicest one of the group as he gives Deku the magazine back. That’s when a cloud villain shows up and tries to flee the scene. Bakugo realizes that this is a good chance for him to finally be a hero and get into UA so he gives chase. Deku is worried about Bakugo because he has figured out that there is more to the villain than the cloud abilities. The only trouble is, how can he gives Bakugo a heads up about this?

Since this is a prequel and we know that the two still don’t get along at the start of the series this one naturally ends with the rift continuing to grow. Bakugo is pretty upset that Deku was able to figure things out so quickly while Deku is impressed that Bakugo was ultimately able to figure it out as well. It’s a fun dynamic between them and one that has been solid since the start of the show. You can definitely point out that their dynamic isn’t nearly as friendly or healthy as other rivals but the sheet animosity from Bakugo to Deku makes it pretty unique.

As far as one shot stories go this one was also pretty good. We got a little fight scene and the art was pretty solid. The plot twist about the guy’s powers was pretty neat although I do feel like they should have figured it out a little sooner. The sheer difference in element is pretty big so it’s something that you should be able to determine both visually or physically. That’s just how it goes I though I suppose. They were still kids when this happened. We also got to see a pro show up which was pretty neat. We don’t usually get to see a lot of the more obscure pros engage in a fight so when that happens it’s pretty neat.

This one incorporates the villains from the movie for a quick page at the end but this definitely isn’t their story. It’s really about connecting more details from Deku and Bakugo’s past. It accomplishes this goal rather well. The artist does a good job of making this feel like it could have been a chapter from the main series and the writing is on point. You’ll definitely read through this adventure in a breeze.

Overall, Deku & Bakugo Rising is definitely worth checking out. If you’re able to then you should read it before watching the movie. It’s always nice to have a little more context on the manga. Hopefully Viz puts this story at the back of an upcoming My Hero volume or something. I always think it’s a shame to lose these stories to the remnants of time. Every one shot should get put into physical form at some point. I’m definitely up for more My Hero Stories. I’ll be starting the My Hero Team Ups soon so that’ll be a good way to get some more My Hero action. There’s certainly a lot of different team combinations the series can try out.

Overall 7/10

Burn The Witch Review


It’s time to take a look at the new title that Kubo is working on. Currently it is just a one shot so I took a look and figured I’d review this one. Bleach is one of the greatest manga of all time so I’m expecting similar quality from Burn The Witch. It’s hard for a manga to start off being a masterpiece though and this one will clearly need some extra time to work things out. The one shot was not nearly as good as I had been expecting thanks in large part to an annoying character who seems like he’ll be one of the main cast.

The special starts by introducing us to Noel. She is one of the two leads and is always pretty deadpan about everything. She works in the London branch of Soul Society and her mission is to destroy all dragons. She has to deal with constant harassment from her best friend Balgo though who is as shameless as they come. After losing him she meets up with her teammate/superior Spangcole and they are given a new assignment. It turns out that some dragons are near Noel’s home. Balgo may be in danger now so the heroines head over to save them. The question is….should she save Balgo? The guy’s pretty cheap so they may want to re think that.

Balgo is really my main problem with the series. Every scene with him is pretty brutal. He’s only got Noel on his mind and only in a very superficial way. While this is supposed to be comedic it definitely falls short of that and becomes irritating almost instantly. There is just no way you can root for the guy or even feel bad for him. The dynamic that the series is going for completely falls flat and it will heavily limit Burn The Witch’s potential. I’m hoping that he will ultimately get written out and was just made up for the opening pilot. They’ve gotta get rid of him.

His best friend Selvie in comparison seems a lot more reasonable. He’s always pretty tired of Balgo’s antics and just wants to live a normal life. He gets a pretty big role in this chapter and is a solid character. I’d like to see more of him. From the main two, Spangcole’s my favorite character so far. She’s definitely the loud character of the duo and is constantly talking big. Skill-wise I assume she is a little stronger than Noel, but it’s far too soon to say. Confidence does go a long way though and I think that should help her out a lot in the long term.

Then Noel’s a solid character as well. She’s a lot more of the quiet type than Spangcole, but she gets the job done when they need to fight so that’s what counts. Interestingly it’s still hard to really nail down Spangcole and Noel’s characters though. You get their basic personalities, but the title goes by so fast that they haven’t shown you too much yet. That’s a good thing in that it means they won’t be two dimensional. The plot with the dragons is also interested. Despite being called that, most of the enemies don’t look like dragons. They are basically shape shifters who take over the bodies of the dead. If you get hit by a train for example one will hop in your body and pretend that you just barely rolled out of the way. There’s no real way for humans to tell the dragons apart from the actual person so it does put them in a lot of danger. I could easily see the series becoming part horror due to that.

There’s a lot of good potential to the overall premise so I can definitely see this becoming a long running title. The artwork is definitely solid and should remind you of Bleach right away. I’m hoping we can see the regular Bleach cast make guest star appearances at some point though. We’ll likely need to hold off on that until the main characters get a power up though because right now they are far too weak to have many real interactions with that group. There’s plenty of time to buff them up though so I would hardly even call that a real concern. Eventually characters always power up.

Overall, I’ll be interested to see where Burn The Witch goes from here. I’m hoping that the movie is able to correct the weaknesses of the manga though. There isn’t really any fanservice so it’s not like that’s an issue but every scene with Balgo is just super annoying. It takes away from moments where the other characters could be shining instead and that is always preferable. If you’re a huge Bleach fan then you should check this out, but just know that there isn’t really even a connection to Bleach yet besides the universe. I expect we’ll have to wait a while for a true crossover which makes sense because you can build the characters up more that way.

Overall 5/10

Death Note One Shot Review


It’s been quite a long time since the original Death Note came out. Who’d have thought that it would ever end up getting a one shot sequel like this right? Light was one of the most ambitious main characters of all time and definitely a pretty awesome one. His descent from being a guy with good ambitions and ideals to a total mass murderer by the end was interesting. He was the kind of villain who had a fairly reasonable goal which made him fun to watch. Ultimately he could not win though. Can Minoru have better luck?

The one shot takes place many years after Light used the Death Note but was stopped by L. The Death Note is thought of as more of a hoax than anything nowadays. Ryuk has grown bored since without a human to play with he has no source of apples. He decides to bring the Death Note back into the real world and meets up with a man named Minoru. Minoru agrees to accept the Death Note, but he really doesn’t want to murder anyone. Instead he decides that he’ll sell the book and get rich that way. The book will go for an astronomically high amount of money so of course you can’t just tell it down the block. How can Minoru sell the book without being tracked by the cops or L? That’s the main plot of the story and the problem that he has to try and work around which makes for a pretty interesting adventure.

Right away one thing I liked about this series is the modern setting. A lot of good stories from back in the day would be fun to have re-done in the modern times because of how tech changes the equation. Minoru even mentions how most of Light’s plans wouldn’t work nowadays because of the increase in technology although he also concedes that Light would have simply come up with a different plan. It’s cool to get this epilogue to the original series as well. I certainly miss the original L as Near isn’t nearly as solid but it’s still nostalgic to see him. Near fans might not be happy at the fact that he is getting completely dominated for the entire chapter. There is never a page where he has the upper hand on Minoru and I will admit that I was a bit surprised at this. I expected him to do way better.

As for Minoru, I definitely liked him as a lead. He did a good job of not letting the power corrupt him. In the end his decision to part ways with the Death Note may not have been completely selfless, but he did a good job of spreading the wealth and ultimately allowing almost everyone to win. His ending really isn’t fair in a sense since he planned things out perfectly. There was absolutely no way for him to avoid the fate that he ended up receiving so I really can’t take anything away from him there. His bond with Ryuk may not have been as strong as Light’s due to the fact that Minoru seemed to think of him purely as a business partner, but I think they would have gotten along much better had they gotten to team up for longer.

Ryuk is fun as expected and we even get to see another Shinigami here which was nice. Death Note isn’t the kind of series where we are likely going to see all of the Shinigami since that would be for more of an action title, but the more we see the better. We also got to see other countries weigh in like the USA which was cool. The President also handled the situation pretty well here which involves a high stakes bluff. Sometimes all you can do is play the bluff and hope that it ends up working out.

The artwork is top tier as per usual. There is a lot of detail on every page and in general you can see the amount of effort that went into the story. The plot is well thought out and it could have been a good ongoing series if the author had wanted to do that. Hopefully this story is included as a bonus story in a manga he writes or something because it’d be sad if most people never end up hearing about this. It’s probably too short for an OVA, but maybe they could add some extra details. The Death Note franchise should continue in some capacity, there is still so much that they can do with the premise.

Overall, The story is only one chapter so there’s only so much that can be said about it. Still, I had no issues with the story at all. The characters were good and it had a nice blend of easter eggs and new plot developments to keep things interesting. The way that Minoru handled the sale was quite clever and while reading the story the first time you will wonder how he will be able to pull this off. I think the main morale here is not to be greedy. If you try to get too much at once then you will ultimately end up failing but if you settle for a bit then things will work out. Ironically the ending destroys that moral to an extent, but everyone else gets to have a good time so there’s that.

Overall 8/10