Dr. Stone: Terraforming Review

The Dr Stone manga may have ended a little while ago but the franchise lives on with the anime special, future seasons, and now this one shot. There are certainly a lot of other stories to tell here in the verse and I was glad to see that the one shot takes place after the series. It’s sort of like a speed run of readapting the first arcs but with the whole gang already around. It goes by quickly and captures the classic charm of the series.

The story starts with Senku lost at sea and no memory of how he got there. Gradually he remembers and basically the cast was on a plane when lightning struck and knocked them all down. They were able to use the revival formula to turn into stone but Senku fumbled the grab and so he revived himself by mistake. Now he is all alone in the middle of the ocean and has to try and survive now. Can he really pull this off without freezing to death? He may be the mighty Senku, but this is no easy scenario.

The reason why I say it’s sort of like a speed run version of the actual series is because from here Senku works on reviving the rest of the characters one by one and getting to safety. If not for the subplot with Dr. Xeno and the others, you could easily play this as an alternate take on chapter 1. What if Senku warped back but with his current knowledge? In a way it probably wouldn’t change a ton but he would have had an easier time of it. Sure enough, Senku does really well here and gets everyone up to speed.

I wouldn’t say any important developments happen here and that’s the norm for special chapters. This is really just a chance to get to see your favorite characters one last time. After all, there probably won’t be any other Dr. Stone manga chapters for a long while so you have to savor them as they come. It’s a fun adventure that definitely ends quickly but makes for a good all around story. We get some more inventions as well as the formulas for how to make them. For example, making sails out of fish skin definitely seems like a very obscure tactic that you probably wouldn’t think of right off the bat.

The characters are all around to help but for the most part Senku is really the one pulling the strings. Suika and Chrome get to help out with one idea though and as always Kohaku is good as actually doing the manual work. She may not succeed in getting Senku flustered but completes all of her other missions. I’d say the chapter is the author trying to really re-confirm to everyone that Senku is still a man of science who doesn’t have time for the more emotional moments. So anyone hoping that would change here probably will be in for a bit of disappointment but the series had been setting this up for a very long time at this point.

The artwork is as good as always. The series has a lot of detail and there’s just a whole lot of ways that it enhances a story like this. The oceans look good and all of the background details as well. It’s definitely the way to go. This artist certainly has a lot of skills so I look forward to him doing more stories whether it be Dr. Stone adventures or some more One Piece stories. Either way works.

In a way the story also sets up for a bunch of other sequels as well. There’s a lot of materials that the heroes need to get after all on their way to building the time machine. What I’m most interested in is how this will play out. What are the time travel rules that this series will use? Additionally, it may be easier said than done to actually prevent the whole stone event from happening. Senku has enough clout where maybe he could convince someone like Xeno to help him in the past but he would have to handle it very interesting. That could easily be enough for a full oneshot volume or something like that. I think it’s the next logical step in the Dr. Stone mythos.

Overall, This was a fun story. It just goes to show that no matter what kind of situation you put him in, Senku will be just fine. It helps that the revival fluid can help you cheat death at any time. A series about how this affects society would also be interesting. The fact that there’s a substance which can heal you indefinitely has to have had a major effect on the world right? It changes the way everyday life would be played out, particularly for risky kinds of situations that would be more standard now. If you enjoyed the main manga then you should certainly read this oneshot. It’s a very solid self contained adventure.

Overall 7/10

Just Listen To The Song Review

Time for another Shonen Jump oneshot but this one is surprisingly short. It’s barely longer than your average weekly chapter so there isn’t time for much. It’s got an interesting enough premise here that could have been for a longer story so it’s a shame that it ends so quickly. Ultimately it feels like more of a writing prompt than a full adventure and so I don’t think you will really remember this one much in the future. It does show how tough classmates can be.

The series interestingly decides not to name any of the characters. I assume this had to be an intentional choice so I’m curious on why. Is that supposed to be something to ponder during the chapter? Well, either way the story starts with the main guy deciding to confess to a girl that he has liked since middle school. She’s clearly not interested in him so he has one last ditch effort. He uploads a video to Youtube proclaiming his love and asks her to watch it. Unfortunately she sends it to the entire school body and this guy is now a laughing stock. What’s worse is that the video states that God is not real, takes shots at gun laws in America, and there are ghosts in it. This kid’s video is now a global phenomenon and everybody is watching is. What can he possibly do?

Surprisingly there is no big twist at the end, no crazy ending or any of that. I suppose you can call it more of a sad ending or a happy one depending on how you interpret it. Personally I’d consider it a sad ending. I don’t think the girl is going to suddenly fall in love with him or anything like that. She just doesn’t like the guy and things like that don’t really change overnight. Even if she does suddenly decide to get with him, would it be because he’s famous around the world now? There will always be some doubt but I’m going to take the ending at face value here. He looks dejected as she says that the videos are everywhere so I think he’s doomed. She’s just listening to it again to really rub this in his face.

Compared to most embarrassing videos though, I wouldn’t say his rates that high. If anything he should be feeling a little happy about all of the attention. Sure, in the moment it’s kind of sad that everyone got to see you be rejected but once that moment passes then it feels like everything should be goo right? He can turn monetization on and rake up a bunch of cash. Even if he can’t recreate the magic of the videos, he can cash in through other means and quickly stockpile some cash. That’s the best way out of this for him and also the best method of turning this into a positive experience.

It was rude of the heroine to upload this for everyone to see which is also why the guy needs to move on. Perhaps she thought it was harmless fun but it was a big blow to his trust. I was glad that the school was not overplayed with the reactions though. Sure, they definitely poke fun at him and there’s a lot of teasing but it doesn’t go too far. Perhaps that is just due to the length of the oneshot but I thought the reactions were on the normal side. They made sense and were fairly realistic here.

In general this is a fairly laidback oneshot. It’s all a bit sad for the main character while not being too dramatic. The video has a lot of weird things happen to it which is strange but played out as if this was not a big deal. It’s almost like a Twilight Zone episode. You never actually expect that the story will get into how his video could be defying reality by saying something different in each language. You just sort of roll with it and how that affects his life.

The art is fairly good here. The character designs are all clear and you could always tell what is going on. Of course with no action scenes that is not as difficult but it’s always worth mentioning when the art is good. I think the writer should take my advice and make this into a full ongoing. I think there’s a whole lot you could do with this premise that there just isn’t time for in a short story like this.

Overall, It’s always fun reading oneshots like this because it’s cool to see all of the unique premises out there. I’ve read a lot of short stories when I was a kid, but far less manga titles. I’ll always be more partial to long running titles as my favorite since you can then get attached to the characters and setting but a solid oneshot will always hold up well. I think this one was a little too short for its own good and so there’s nothing to latch onto but it’s not bad. It’s just a title that you won’t really think about afterwards, there isn’t much to ponder here compared to the last one.

Overall 5/10

Rockman.EXE Operate Shooting Star VS Review

It’s always fun to see Megaman EXE getting some more content. In this case it was in the form of a good ole oneshot. It’s also based on the real life game of Megaman Battle Network this time which is a different approach. I always like the game based titles like Beyblade so I think you could do a whole lot with this premise. In the end it was only a single chapter so in a way it’s over just as soon as it has begun but I had a good time with it. The art is solid and it shows why you need a balanced deck of battlechips.

The chapter starts with Raito playing in a battle against in friend. Unfortunately Raito gets absolutely crushed because he always just picks whatever chip he has on hand without actually thinking of a full plan or how to counter attack. This puts him in a rough place right from the jump. Still, it’s a friendly fight so there’s no harm. That is..until a grown up shows up and takes offense to Raito saying that he could eventually become the strongest. This guy wants to show that there is a big gap between kids and adults in the wide world of Megaman. Can Raito take him down or is it going to be game over for him?

It was intense to see this random adult show up to try and beat a kid at Battle Network. I mean it’s not that serious right? You’d expect the guy to just walk away but instead he really doubles down on how emotionally invested he is to the point where he even slugs Raito during the fight. Yes, there’s a point where he walks over and punches him before going back to the game. That was really crazy because of how random it was. I guess there’s not much that Raito could actually do to stop him though.

In the game Raito quickly learns how to use advanced combos as well as the new Star Force card and pulls through but considering that he was dueling like a beginner at first, it may be a turnaround that’s a little too quick for some. At the very least I feel like the other guy had a stronger strategy. His cards were also better with how he had the various navi chips at the ready. It’s hard to deal with those. I can’t say that I played too many multiplayer matches in Battle Network but with the way the gameplay is set up, having a lot of those navi chips is a must.

It was nostalgic to see the oneshot accurately show off the gameplay mechanics though. That’s definitely the right way to handle this if you’re not going to do a story about the actual characters. It was also neat seeing Star Force show up. I never ended up getting the crossover so I’m less familiar with the new mechanic but if you’re actually controlling two Megamen at once that sounds intense. Definitely opens up the door for a lot of new strategies. The Program Advance was also suitably powerful here and really did a number on the opponent.

Overall, there’s not a whole lot more to discuss because ultimately this is a quick adventure. It’s only around 30 pages or so and it’s a pretty straight forward duel. As this was to promote the crossover game I’d say they did a good job with it. I would be interested in playing the game after reading this. I’d like for more titles to get promotional manga like this, it helps really take you to the next level and of course I just want more Megaman content. If you’re looking for a fun little title to read then this is definitely the one to check out. It won’t take long to read and it just makes for a good time.

Overall 7/10

Nami vs Kalifa Review

I know what you may be thinking here…DReager1 is reviewing individual fights now? Well, that would be interesting but also a little overwhelming with how many there are so that’s not the case this time. this is another one shot by Boichi which adapts a part of the One Piece manga. This absolutely would not have been my first choice from the CP9 arc but a fight’s a fight I suppose.

Basically the plot is that Kalifa just absolutely devastated Sanji in their battle. He has a rule about not attacking women which is nice enough. I never hold that against him and won’t fault him for sticking to the rule but at least get out of there right? If you can’t fight back then you have to leave or keep dodging with speed. Instead he ate every attack and got wrecked so now Nami has to try and avenge him. Can she really beat someone like Kalifa though?

One issue with this fight has always been that Nami is absolutely no match for Kalifa. I mean it’s not even remotely close. Nami only has the speed, strength, and durability of a normal human. Her main weapon is the clima tact which can simulate weather conditions but takes a lot of time to work. She doesn’t have any real close combat abilities either. Then we have Kalifa who is a professional government agent who knows the 5 methods of death. (Shave, Sky walk, Finer Bullets, Hardening, and the 5th one I always forget) Her speed alone means that she should be able to dodge every single attack from Nami and one well placed finger pistol would end the match in an instant.

That’s not even counting Kalifa’s devil fruit ability which allows her to make people really smooth so they slip and slide while also becoming rather chibi. It’s not a very good devil fruit to be honest but that’s still more than enough to defeat Nami. Now, why pick on this fight out of all of them? Well, it is what I would argue to be the most lopsided fight in all of One Piece. I just don’t see any scenario where Nami should have had even a ghost of a chance. Particularly since this was a 1 on 1 fight with no interference or third parties getting in the way. Nami should have absolutely lost and there’s no way around that.

Now with the power level concerns out of the way, the only real issue here is that the fight is also an excuse for a lot of fanservice. Unfortunately rather than cutting it out, Boichi only serves to enhance this part. The characters are quite exaggerated during this fight with their reactions when the blows aren’t even all that powerful. The chapter is definitely trying to go in a fanservice direction which hurt the overall experience. It’s a shame since I’m sure you could have made the fight more interesting with that effort instead.

Boichi’s artwork is quite detailed so he can do really well on the fights like with Ace and Zoro. There was less hand to hand here but it would have been a good addition. I think he’s worked on Dr. Stone for so long that it has been ingrained into his artwork now though. While the first pair of oneshots looked fairly more like One Piece, lately his characters all completely have a Dr. Stone look to them. It’s a bit on the surreal side. Not a bad thing since the Stone characters have good designs but it feels like they are really barely One Piece characters at times.

The chapter goes by quickly even though it’s so long and you have to give the artwork credit there. The fight may be fanservicey but the action we do get is good. While I don’t buy into the plan working at all, Nami does incorporate strategy into her fighting style. Her illusions really make Kalifa have to work for the victory.

Overall, if you’re a big fan of One Piece then you’ll enjoy this one shot. It’s pretty cool how the series is so big that it can have chapters remade by different authors. I’d like these one shots to keep on coming since it is nostalgic. I like to think the next action chapter will be for a better fight but even if not, I am pleased to have more content to read. Even more than the normal illustrations each artist gives in appreciation of One Piece, seeing a whole chapter/fight redrawn by someone else gives you a good feel for how the series would look if they were in charge. I’m not sure this would be a fair way to gauge the series if you hadn’t read it before though so I would read one of Boichi’s other one shots to start off with. If you’re a One Piece fan then you should definitely check this one out though.

Overall 5/10

Goodbye Eri Review

It’s time to look at a one shot that just came out recently and it’s a very interesting one. It gets rather meta to the point where it’s hard to interpret just how it ended although I’ll throw my take in there later on. The one shot is 200 pages long which is crazy but at the same time there are so many pages that are recycled or just don’t have art in them that I can see why it was so long. I’d say the ending goes a long way to making the story as it helped make this one real memorable. Even as I type this I’m still sorting out exactly how good it was in my head but by the end it’ll be clear.

So the story starts by introducing us to Yuta whose mother is terminally ill and will be dying soon. She has asked him to start recording her daily life and eventual death so that she can be remembered. Yuta does this but at the last second he doesn’t have the heart to record her death and storms out. Fast forward many years and he has decided to show the video at school but edited in a scene where the hospital explodes as she dies to make up for the fact that he doesn’t have the footage. The entire student body and faculty are furious at how he handled his mother’s death and he grows suicidal until he meets a lady named Eri.

Eri says that she liked his movie but that he wasn’t very professional in how he crafted it so she will train him to make a new one. They’ll meet every night and weekend to watch a bunch of movies at an abandoned building she hangs out at. Yuta agrees to do so and now he will be recording her but will this really give him peace and is she really just trying to help him out or does she have some kind of ulterior motive?

To be honest if she had an ulterior motive then Yuta was probably doomed from the start since he went along with her plans anyway. At its core this is a fairly emotional story about overcoming loss and grief while trying to restart your life. The story is self contained in this adventure so there is a beginning, middle, and ending. The cast is very small though with Yuta and Eri being the only real characters with a big role. Yuta’s father does get some solid scenes near the middle though which I thought were handled well. He comes across as a very understanding guy and one who made his share of mistakes but does his best to make things right.

So onto the positives, I thought Eri was a solid character. Whatever her reasons may have been, she did stop Yuta from taking his own life which is massive as a start. From there on she helped give him courage and drive to keep on going and find a new path. Even when she was sick she handled it well and ultimately was the kind of character who helped make a difference in the world. To combat that, I did not like Yuta. The explosion at the end of the video was fine enough, I can see how it would be a scandal but apparently that’s how he usually tends to end his videos. He likes putting a fantasy element in it.

My real issue with him is that he’s not a very classy guy. He throws in some crude humor here like filming himself using the bathroom. Really? That’s just taking things way too far and he’s also not very classy about the kinds of movie scenes that he likes. He’s so obvious about it that he even has to comment on those moments. So yeah Yuta’s not a very stand up guy and probably not someone that would be super easy to get along with. I think he could have toned down these parts of his personality. It’s probably to show how comfortable he is with Eri but it doesn’t make him look any better.

The story can be rather dark although you probably guessed that by the subject matter. Even towards the end we get some sad twists about the mother and it all plays into the theme of how people can be very different in real life than they are from the recordings. Even though Yuta is recording these characters himself, it is only a small part of who they really were and anyone can fake things in front of a camera. I thought the twist about the mother was a bit much tbh, particularly as it doesn’t directly impact Yuta all that much. It’s more of an effect for the reader at this point.

As for the artwork, it’s okay. It’s not one of the better art pieces that I’ve seen but it does the job. I’d consider it slightly below average but you always know what’s going on. It’s also partially the style as it’s trying to be very live action-esque which often does not translate quite as smoothly into manga. I also think you shouldn’t even strive to look as realistic as possible. There’s a fine line between coming close in a stylized way like One Punch Man and then just not being visually appealing.

Now I was mixed on how much I should put a spoiler warning for a one shot because either you’ve read it or you haven’t but I’ll throw it in just in case. Skip the next 5 paragraphs if you haven’t read the one shot because there are a lot of twists at the end. As I said earlier, the twists are what make the story after all so you probably don’t want to know them ahead of time or it’ll take part of the fun away. It is the kind of story that could change a bit when you know the twists though so either way you may want to re read parts of it.

Okay so in the end Yuta makes his new movie about Eri as he is able to film her all the way to her dying breath this time. The movie is received very well by the school this time and Yuta goes on to have a family and live a good life. The life has its ups and downs but then his family is in an accident one day and they all die so he is the last survivor now. He decides to take his own life once again and goes to where Eri used to hang out except she is still there and hasn’t aged a day. She mentions that she is a vampire and will never die but her brain resets so she had him create the video so she could remember her old life and never be sad anymore. This gives Yuta a new lease on life so he heads out…and then the building explodes.

So what does this mean? Was the entire adventure actually a part of his movie? If so, when did the movie start and was any of this actually real or was it a video the entire time? Did he actually blow up the building because he was that insane? There’s a lot of ways to read this and you could have fun bouncing it around in your head for a long while. To be honest this was probably going to be a 4 or a 5 without the twists at the end because it would have been relentlessly sad if Yuta survived all of that only for his whole family to have died. If he also died in the end the score would have been lowered even further without a doubt.

Instead, this actually ended things on a more positive note. Whether you think it’s real or not, it’s at least a little upbeat that he got to walk out and the explosion was a nice touch. Still, I’m not going to cop out on you here so I’m going to give you a real answer on how I interpreted this. I was on the fence about the two so real quick here was my runner up theory. At the end Yuta really did blow up the place so this way there would be fantasy in his story again. There really was no vampire (Is what he would rationalize in his head) and the ending would have been true from his story. It’s an interesting theory but I don’t think it’s right.

So what I think is that everything until he meets up with Eri is completely real. Yuta recorded his mother’s life and then he made a movie which was shunned by the school. He met up with Eri in the shed and they watched a ton of movies together. Eri got sick and then she died. This is the turning point. At this point Yuta started recording the extra scenes including the fake ending. The fantasy angle that he always talked about is why he added a vampire at the end and the big explosion. He didn’t actually grow up and have a family. That was all narration from him inside the film. So every scene after Eri dies is a part of the actual movie. It would be easy to fake his being older with special effects and since he discussed with Eri the whole film before hand, they would have filmed the scene in advance.

To me this makes the most sense. I feel like the constant mentions of his wanting to add a fantasy edge to it were all leading up to this. The strongest counter argument to this is how strongly you believe the narration that isn’t within the film panels. Alternately you could just say that the whole thing is a movie to be extra meta but I think doing that weakens the story as a whole. If nothing was real then it’s all a bit pointless. I also just don’t think that’s even a possibility. I’m sure there are a lot of other fun theories you could come up with after this one shot, but this is the one I stick to at least. Eri’s death was the final real scene here and the rest was within the film that everyone was watching. Of course if you play it straight and everything was real including the explosion at the building that would be a really intense way to go. It’s why I was torn on which option to go with and that ended up being my runner up.

Overall, Goodbye Eri is one of those stories teetering on the brink of total destruction and being a good story. I was even a bit stressed for it the whole time because it was hard to tell just how it was going. Fortunately the ending pulls through and in the end this would be a story that I would recommend. It’s sad without throwing this in your face the whole time and while none of the characters are particularly noteworthy, they all accomplish their tasks well enough. The writing is solid enough to hold this all together and so overall it holds its own. It’s long enough to be collected into volume format one day so I wonder if this would ever get printed over here. Who knows, maybe one day it’ll turn out that this was actually the pilot to an ongoing story.

Overall 6/10

Megaman X3: Defeat the Doppler Army! Review

Time for another Megaman adventure. This time X is really put through the wringer as the situation gets a lot more personal. The story to X3 is really solid so I’d love a modern remake with full animation and cutscenes. That said, I want X9 even more so we can skip all of that if we can just get the games to continue. There’s so much more to do here!

The story starts really quickly as Zero calls Megaman and explains that everyone has gone maverick and the city is attacked. It really seems like every robot folds immediately to mind control in this universe. Well, Megaman heads over and is quickly betrayed by his old friend Mac. Zero destroys the guy and tells Megaman to keep his guard up at all times. It seems like the nice scientist who joined up recently (Doppler) may actually be a traitor but Megaman likes to think that he is just being manipulated.

Well, lets just say that he wasn’t at least based on this oneshot. There isn’t really time for that kind of twist right now at least. Still, Mac worked well as the opening traitor and while we only knew the guy for a page in this version, it showed how once again Megaman’s friends let him down. He took the Doppler part hard as well so Megaman even has to cry a bit here. It’s nothing new for the hero to get emotional. The one downside to having emotions in a world where nobody else does is that Megaman is often betrayed by everyone and there’s nobody he can really have help him out in this area.

Sure, Zero’s a great friend but as he admitted on multiple occasions, he doesn’t have emotions either so while he can try to console Megaman, it may not be very effective. It’s the thought that counts but in this version Zero doesn’t appear after he saved Megaman in the opening scene anyway. Vile gets to appear briefly which is fun although he’s called Vava for some reason. I assume that was just something up with the translation because I’ve never heard of that translation before.

It was cool to see him and I’d say this is what puts X3 above the other oneshot adaptions. This felt like more of an ensemble cast with the big characters like Zero and Vile showing up. The traitors helped to raise the stakes and make this personal for Megaman as well. So ultimately this was just a fun adventure and I don’t really have much negative to say about it. As always you’re lucky if you are the first robot master to appear. The ice fighters get a full battle here but most of the rest of the mavericks really don’t get more than one panel to them. Megaman even beats around 3 in a page which was impressive.

It makes sense so you can cover as much as possible though. Considering that we got to have Bit and his partner as well as their fused super form too, I would give the manga a lot of credit for including all of the key parts here. I would say that even without any prior context you can really keep up with the flow of what’s going on. You may not get some of the finer details on why everyone’s being mind controlled or being a traitor but that won’t stop you from enjoying the adventure.

Of course the art is pretty solid here as well. The character designs are on point and you can always feel a lot of action during the battles. The pages are easy to read through so you end up blasting through the whole thing right away. We also got the quick Dr. Light cameo and the classic power ups again. I feel like Megaman should just keep those upgrades on all the time but maybe they drain a lot of energy. It would at least spare him the effort of having to go and track them all down every time.

As a final note, I still enjoy Megaman’s confidence here. While he is usually known more for being dramatic and trying to talk every opponent down, Megaman can jump into action as needed. Due in part to the fast pacing of this manga adventure, Megaman usually jumps right into action. He’s shown to have good battle experience as he immediately figures out each maverick’s weakness and ends the fight quickly. So in a way, the fact that everything is sped up just makes him look even more impressive as a fighter.

Overall, Megaman X3 the oneshot reminds me that the game had a really fun story. It’s not a surprise as I did read the X3 full manga adaption not too long ago but it’s always nice to see it presented in different ways. The games really had complete stories and I can see why they were so well liked. We really need them to return at some point and that would be extremely hype. In the meantime, this is a oneshot I would definitely recommend checking out. At around 30 pages the size is good so you get to see all of the robot masters. We don’t cover the full game as there is a cliffhanger at the end but this way you can go and buy the video game to see how this really ends.

Overall 7/10

Megaman X2: Get Those Special Weapons! Review

Megaman X certainly gets a lot of manga adventures. in this one we get to see him speed run through the X2 adventure in under 30 pages. It’s a pretty fun oneshot and the page count is good so there is time for him to go up against every maverick. I was glad about that, it ends up really helping this feel like a complete story although there is a cliffhanger. Probably for the best so they didn’t have to squeeze the final fight in.

So the story starts with a reploid turning Maverick and then we find out that this is widespread. Megaman must quickly head back onto the field to stop these guys. Unfortunately, the mavericks are quite powerful this time around and there is also a group of Counter Hunters who are here to put Megaman down. He will have to find a way to take them down as well as all 8 mavericks and find out who is pulling the strings here. Surely…Sigma could not have found a way to return right??

The art here is very good and captures the Megaman X style well. It was nice to see all of the old villains show up and get their time to shine. The first 3-4 mavericks to appear get the best deal as they go back and forth with Megaman for a bit and even land some good blows. It’s only the final few who are completely helpless to do anything and have to lose in a panel since the story was almost over. It doesn’t change the fact that the series got every maverick a chance to appear which I thought was really grand.

Dr. Light even has his little cameo as he helps to get Megaman his powerups to fight off these attackers. Even after death the guy kept on building things. Zero’s a no show here so it’s all up to Megaman to save the day. He’s up to the challenge though and as the oneshot ends he is ready to go and take down the next opponent. Megaman X’s not the kind of guy to back down in a fight though so that’s hardly surprising. It’s just the way that he rolls.

The Counter Hunters are a nice faction to have since they help to change up the usual format. The fact that they were even able to defeat X the first time was impressive. Its rare that someone is a match for him at all. The 3 also had some actual teamwork on their side although they forgot this in their rematch which played a big role into why they lost. They probably would have lost anyway with Megaman’s new upgrades but I’d be willing to bet that it would have been a whole lot closer. It’s a nice concept to have a whole evil group specifically designed to take Megaman down so I’d definitely be cool to see more of that in the future.

While I would like to see Zero show up, this title does a good job of showing that Megaman is really always on his own against all sorts of opponents. When there is nobody to back you up or help you out during a big battle you really have to be on guard all of the time. One change from the longer Megaman X series is that this time he usually gets to save everyone. Of course the real answer to that is because there isn’t enough time to show all of the destruction but it’s nice to see Megaman gets to end the adventure in a really hopeful kind of spirit compared to most adventures which completely break him from start to finish. Even as a true hero there are only so many times you can watch the cities being blown up before you lose some of that confidence.

Overall, This adaption of Megaman X2 was pretty solid. It summarized the events of the game pretty well and the Counter Hunters made for solid villains that shook up the format a bit. All in all, that made this a pretty fun experience from start to finish. Whether you’re a Megaman fan or not I expect you’ll get a lot of enjoyment out of this one. Who doesn’t like a classic Megaman story right? There’s not a whole lot more to say about the story because it is very direct in its nature. It’s just a high quality action story that anyone can have fun with.

Overall 7/10

Megaman the Comic Review

This is a very short comic with only 4 pages so there isn’t much to say but I’ll quickly run you through what goes on here. It’s a classic origin story for Megaman as we see Dr. Light turn him into a fighting machine. The comic starts with them seeing on the news that many robots have been going crazy. Megaman is determined to put this right and quickly because he’s just a nice guy. Light figures that the only way this will work is to give Megaman a transformation from a peaceful robot into a combat one. The procedure is apparently quite painful and even seems to turn Megaman’s hair white (Although that could just be the electricity). Megaman has now been born and is ready to take down evil!

That’s about it. There’s only so much you can really do in a short amount of time like that. I appreciate seeing a look at Megaman’s origin but I absolutely think this should have been a few pages longer so we could have seen some action. Maybe have Megaman go up against a squad of powerful villains or something like that even if they’re just minions. It would put a nice cap on the adventure and really give you hope that Megaman could save us all. If you do that, then the adventure immediately becomes a lot more memorable and hype.

At least you can quickly get a feel for all of the characters’ personalities. Roll is shown to be very cautious so naturally she gets worried when Megaman decides to embark on this adventure. He may not make it back alive after all. You have Dr. Light who halfheartedly protests but has the equipment on hand so he turns Megaman into the hero right away. It didn’t feel like he was as reluctant as you’d expect. The danger was rapidly taking out the town so he made the hard calls here.

Finally you’ve got Megaman who will be taking all of the actual risks. He did well to volunteer for such a dangerous role right away. You can sense his heroic spirit here and it’s easy to see how he would end up becoming the ultimate champion of Earth. He was willing to take all of the risks and never looked back. Ultimately he would lead the land to an era of peace.

The art is good here. The character proportions are all right and it’s easy to follow along with what’s happening. The colors are vibrant and so I had no issues on that front. The writing/dialogue is also good so the comic really made the most of its 4 pages. It would work well as the pilot to a true ongoing but I think you could also make the origin a lot longer and that would be cool. There’s a lot to explore there.

Overall, This was a very short review but at only 4 pages I would have to really stretch things out to talk about it longer. It’s a fun little comic and I would definitely check it out if you’ve got a minute to spare. I’m always glad to see Megaman content of any kind. It feels like the franchise just hasn’t gotten a whole lot of attention lately outside of X Dive with regards to new content so I’d like to see Capcom step up there. At least the fans are quite dedicated and keep translating so many of the older works though. It all helps to keep the brand alive.

Overall 5/10

The Legend of Zelda Gaiden: Quark and the Fairy Queen Review

Now this is a very unique oneshot because this time Link isn’t the main character. Or I guess he technically is in a sense but they call him Quark here. I found that a bit odd myself but I figured I shouldn’t question it. It’s a fun story, I don’t see what the point of not calling the lead Link was, but this would fit in well with the LoZ mythos for his younger days.

The story starts with Link walking around when he meets a fairy and an old man in the forest. Whoops…I meant “Quark”. So Quark is on a quest to grab the 3 legendary artifacts so that he can awaken the Master Sword. Once he has that then he will be able to save Zelda from Agahnim, a powerful sorcerer who has taken over Hyrule. Unfortunately Quark isn’t able to pull the Master Sword out yet and literally cries to these two people about it. The guy is introduced as Lepton and the fairy is called Ellie. They explain that there’s another villain on the loose named Graviton. Perhaps Quark could practice his skills by defeating that guy and saving a great deal of lives? Lepton will even throw in some free lessons so Quark agrees to the terms.

Right off the bat you can tell that this Quark is a little whinier than the others. Of course he is still a rookie here but even so it’s just odd to see Quark not be more of a leader kind of guy. At one point Lepton asks Quark why he’s fighting and the hero responds with “For myself” which was not the right answer. After getting beaten up by the villains for a bit, Quark remembers that he’s fighting for Zelda and the kingdom. Better late than never I guess?…..and Quark’s sword skills aren’t great yet either as he has to be saved by Lepton. By the end of the oneshot it’s safe to say that he’s back to being more courageous.

So this isn’t the best portrayal of Link I’ve seen, but Quark’s an okay main character. I wasn’t a big fan of Lepton for most of this story because it felt like the guy was making things hard on Link for no reason. He already explained that Graviton is quite powerful but then tells Quark that he has to fight on his own against him? Why? This inevitably leads to Lepton getting stabbed and things could have been different otherwise. There’s a plot twist at the end that makes all of this meaningless anyway but it’s still not a good look for him regardless.

The idea of the character’s not bad though and if Lepton would just let go of his ego a bit more then I think he’d be a much better character. Ellie’s nice enough as the sidekick. She is looking out for Lepton and tries to make Quark polite at all times which is good. As for the villain, there’s not a whole lot to say about Graviton. He has a really solid design but the guy is partially comic relief so I wouldn’t say that you can take him all that seriously. The guy even wants to go to sleep at one point because the wait to get his power up was too long.

The humor is done well enough in the story though. It all flows together pretty well and the fights are good when they happen. There is a lot more dialogue than I was expecting initially though. The oneshot really makes sure that you have on your reading glasses at all times. If you take them off then that’ll definitely be game over for you right off the bat. It’s not boring at any point though and the oneshot is of a decent length at 30+ pages. There’s enough time for the plot to settle and this feels like a legitimate sidequest. Something that would help Quark in the long run.

The art is solid here and it’s a quality story so there’s not much more you could ask for. Quark feels out of character but I know there are a lot of different Link incarnations. I am completely used to the more serious version from Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess at this point so it’s hard to go back to the spunky, younger versions. Still, I will say that Quark stepped up when he had too which is the important thing. I’m surprised Ganondorf didn’t appear but I suppose he can’t show up every time.

Overall, This was a fun story. Graviton had a cool design even if his personality wasn’t quite up to par. It’s always nice to see Link (I’ll just call him Link at this point. Quark just doesn’t feel right) having some help along his quest. It always feels like he has to do just about everything by himself when you hope that someone will step in to help him eventually. This was finally that moment even if Lepton didn’t want to directly help too much. I think there’s a time for training and a time for action but Lepton messed this up. If you want to see a fun little story about Link as he prepares to save the day, this is a good one to check out. You’ll definitely be blasting through it in no time.

Overall 7/10

Megaman: Future Planet Voldos Review

Time for the next Megaman oneshot. I have to give this one some major props for being what I would consider a true oneshot. It’s over 60 pages long and tells a complete story from start to finish. It’s not over in the blink of an eye and as a result it gets to really be remembered a little more easily after finishing it. The new villain Geist is definitely solid and I like the idea of giving the old robots some new moves. All in all, this is a solid story.

The oneshot starts off with a mysterious figure named Geist appearing and he kidnaps Roll and Dr. Light. All of Megaman’s old foes have returned as well with Geist granting them new abilities to take Megaman down with. That means their old weaknesses are no longer applicable either so Megaman will have to adapt quickly or he is going to be taken down. Can Megaman really defeat these fighters or is it all over for him and who is this mysterious Geist fellow?

I won’t spoil his identity but Geist is definitely fun. The guy is quite smart to be able to use a new gravity stone to give the robot masters their new abilities. For example, Gutsman can now move his blocks after throwing them which makes it harder to dodge or repel. Then you have Elecman who has a super thunder strike now. honestly I’m not sure how gravity factors into that but we can roll with it. Of course a robot like Gravityman would benefit from this but ironically he is one of the robots who is taken down the quickest. I suppose Megaman had enough practice fighting through gravity by that point in the story.

With 60 pages, Megaman is properly able to go up against a lot of fighters and even navigate the enemy castle. This is the level of detail that would be missing if this was a quicker story. So all of the extra pages really had a lot of good use here. We also get to see Megaman strategizing throughout the fight and wondering what’s going on. You could easily turn this into a nice little OVA and then extend some of the fights a bit. Due to just how many villains there are here, the fights themselves are still small for the most part.

After all, Megaman’s taking on fighters from the first Mega Man game and then others as well. The two longest fights would have to be the battle against Gutsman as Megaman learned about the gravity upgrades and then the battle against Geist. Both of those battles were definitely a lot of fun so that worked out pretty well. The structure is also in line with how it would be if this was an actual game adaption. Maybe Capcom should take a note from this manga and make a game where you fight some familiar faces but they have new abilities. No need to always be making new villains right?

The artwork here was definitely solid. The character designs are on point and I did like how the battle scenes were drawn. I think a good amount of effort was put into this adventure and it ultimately helped ensure that the villains felt like real threats here. Even Mega Man had to acknowledge their skills as he said an older version of himself would not have had a shot. It’s nice to see that he has been getting stronger after each adventure which makes sense.

As a final note, it’s only too bad that we didn’t see Proto Man step in. I guess he doesn’t always have to appear but of course it is fun when he does. Megaman barely made it through some of these fights so I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded the backup. In a way Geist is ultimately making more trouble for future villains though as we see that Megaman absorbed the upgraded robot master abilities so now he is stronger than ever. Talk about arming your enemies right? That’s the risk when fighting a hero who can copy abilities with a single touch. There is just no safe way to fight him.

I wonder if Megaman can copy abilities from minions too. We’ve never really seen him do that, but it could be because he just isn’t tempted. What could a minion have that he would really want right? We see that even the minions here got power ups which is handy and rather nice thinking of Geist. It feels like minions are usually left out but it’s important to power them up too since they are the first defense against Megaman. So if you make them nice and strong then you can potentially slow the blue bomber in his tracks.

Overall, The actual planet Voldos may not be explored all that much here but it is responsible for the new gravity stone. That is central to the plot so it all evens out in the end. It’s a good way to jump start a new story like this. Why be constricted to the games when you can come out with original plots right? I’d love to see an ongoing Mega Man title right now that’s story based with a lot of big battles. In the meantime these oneshots do the trick though and I would definitely recommend checking it out. There are no real negatives to be had here.

Overall 7/10