Yugioh Arc V Review


Yugioh Arc V certainly lasted a while but every Yugioh series must end at some point and 7 volumes is a go to number for the franchise. As with the other Yugioh titles this one opted to go for a completely original plot which is always a good idea since you don’t need to experience the same story twice. That being said, It wasn’t quite as engaging as the other spinoffs and from the manga sequels it is probably the weakest. I think it will probably make for a stronger read in volume format but monthly it could feel a little scattershot and rushed at times. As always you can look forward to having nonstop duels though.

Yuya is the main character and he has the spirits of 3 other people inside of him. Like Yugi he can body switch with them at any given point and they help a lot with the duels. Yuya is trying to stop a bunch of time travelers and enemy groups from using the G.O.D. card to wipe out humanity. He then runs into the main heroine Zuzu. She is determined to be his agent so she can make a lot of money. Certainly not the most noble of goals but at least she is trying for an honest living and not exploiting his skills. Can Yuya save the day or will this turn of events prove to be a distraction?

As with most Yugioh titles Arc V starts off rather low key with the stakes and by the end the lead is engaged in cosmic duels. It’s always fun to look at the progression there. I may be getting ahead of myself with the skipping here but the climax is excellent. We get a battle between two G.O.D. cards. Naturally both of them are comically OP with how their special abilities are basically all powerful. Landing a crazy infinite combo is basically all you can do to stop him. All of reality is at stake here since if Yuya loses then it’ll be like nothing ever happened the way he remembered it. Making an alternate reality is always an interesting idea but as the hero will always point out, it’ll always be “alternate” and not the real deal.

The art is pretty solid. It can get a little chaotic at times but not to the point where it would hurt your enjoyment or cause you to get confused. The action is captured pretty well by all of this. The character models are on point as well which is always important. There isn’t much to say about the writing as it is quite good. The name changes from the show can take a little getting used to, as with the characters’ new personalities. There isn’t a lot of time for most supporting characters. They show up for a duel and that’s about it. Technically I suppose that’s probably the case for most of these spinoffs. You only have so much time for duels after all.

The big villain of the series is Eve and she makes for a great final boss. It seems to be a bit of a trend with the final villain being a cosmic lady but I guess having it happen twice in a row may not be enough for a trend. Regardless she has a cool design and a great ace monster in G.O.D. The manga titles have always been on point with the original villains and she is no exception. Her right hand man was also pretty good. He definitely never felt like a big time threat the way that she was though. He was just there to stall the heroes a bit and was successful at his mission.

I do have to question the Adam guy though. He feels like a total villain even though I think the manga was a little ambiguous on that part. He basically goads Decklan into fighting Yuya one last time in the end. The thought was barely in his mind before that happened. I do think that Yuya deciding to destroy the god power right away may have been a little hasty but with how often power corrupts it was likely the right move. Likely the right move…but I was a little more on Declan’s side in the end. He wasn’t going to use the illusion but was hoping he could learn something from the power. It’s something that is worth doing. Imagine the technological innovations such a power could produce. It could be magnificent.

Meanwhile, Declan was pretty good here. I think he was more likable here than in the anime. Technically his character isn’t all that different, but maybe having him be the big final boss here made him feel more like a threat. His plans also seemed more well thought out here as opposed to the anime where it felt like he was on the losing side for a good part of the mental battle between him and the Professor. It goes without saying that Yuya’s dad is better here than in the anime because Yusho was terrible there. He’s one of the few characters where the anime probably dropped the ball a bit.

Meanwhile Yuya is definitely a solid protagonist. He has a goal right from the start and stays on the course til the end. He’s a little more serious than his anime counterpart and I dare say that he’s a better duelist at least in the start. That being said, he doesn’t have all the cool rage moments that his anime version had so he loses out there. The manga made the interesting decision to have him share a body with his other universe selfs and dropped the whole universe thing entirely. This was the part I wasn’t a huge fan of, but the whole plot is built around it so for better or worse it was here to stay. It’s interesting having Yuri act as a hero here. All of the personalities were pretty solid, but I’d say that Yugo takes the win here. He was definitely ready to take charge and made the hard calls.

I think Shay and Sora got the shortest end of the stick from all the characters. Shay is nowhere near the calm and collected guy he once was. He’s basically just a crazed lackey here. Sora isn’t much better. He’s at least a bit of a spy and still has skills, but after getting wrecked that’s basically it for him. Silvio’s pretty much the same. I think even if I hadn’t seen the show first I would have had a hard time liking Shay here. Suffice it to say the supporting character roster wasn’t amazing. Zuzu’s pretty decent though. Her decision to become Yuya’s manager is a pretty smart one since that’ll put her in a position to get fame and glory once he saves the multiverse. As for it actually turning out that way…well I wouldn’t get my hopes too high.

As far as the Yugioh spinoffs go Here are my current rankings. The best one is still Zexal then GX then 5Ds then this one. I think the VRains one has a good chance of beating Arc V as well. Again, this is still a great manga but it just wasn’t quite as much fun as the others. The other Yugioh titles simply set the bar a little too high I think. In particular it’s tough for Arc V since it was following Zexal which had an intense climax and around 3 different rivals. Against that, Arc V didn’t even really have a true rival character. Declan was more of an enemy than one after all.

On a more positive note, the manga did fix most of what I didn’t like about action duels in the anime. In the anime it all felt luck based as cards would just happen to be around to save the day. In the manga you know exactly how many cards are on the field from the start and you can only use 1 per turn. This prevents crazy strategies like in the anime where one guy picked up like 6-8 cards in a row and kept on using them. We also get a good amount of normal duels and even one turbo duel to keep it varied. At the end of the day this is still a Yugioh manga so you can expect a lot of amazing duels. Card duels are why I love the franchise so much in the first place and so long as the writing is solid (Which it was) then the manga is destined to be quite excellent!

The ending of the series may come across as a bit rushed. This is mainly due to the fact that the final events come out of nowhere and the ending isn’t really all that satisfying. It’s certainly nowhere near one of the worst endings though. Some aspects of it are pretty hype like the lead-up to a fight that likely won’t ever occur. The timelines possibly being rearranged and people not remembering the characters can be more annoying though. We won’t know any of this per say since the series ends so abruptly, but there’s a chance that things really didn’t go well for some of the heroes here.


Overall, Arc V is definitely another great Yugioh title to add to the collection. It delivers with a lot of great duels and maintains a pretty epic feel throughout. It reminds you why the Yugioh franchise is just so much fun. Arc V is a complete manga containing pretty much every positive element that you would want to see in such a title.. You’ll be sad to see it go and hopefully the next Yugioh manga starts up soon. I would highly recommend checking this manga out and if you buy the new copies you can even get a rare card. Now that’s a steal!

Overall 8/10

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Digimon Adventure Tri: Coexistence Review


We’re now nearing the end of the Digimon Tri series. It was definitely fun to see the heroes back again in these adventures. That being said, with this film the series is really turning into more of a total seinen as opposed to a shonen. It was always like that to an extent with the more faded color scheme and theatrical animation approach as opposed to the vivid hype of the average anime, but at least the plot was super engaging and we did get hype fights. Coexistence does throw in a fight at the end, but most of the mysteries are starting to lose their allure and this installment has the slowest pacing. It’s still a good film, but mainly because it’s part of the franchise.

Last time Meicoomon went on a rampage and the Digidestined were unsure as to what to do. Fortunately the Digimon runs out of there and the heroes are run out of the Digital World shortly after. Now that they’re back in the human world they know that they need to get back to the Digital World to end this once and for all. Until then though they have to try to reconnect as a team and remind Meiko that she is one of them now. Can their bonds be forged anew or is it too late for the team?

As I mentioned, this film is really mostly about the dialogue. That’s not a problem as this is true for most of the Tri films. I think what works against this film more than with the others is that a good amount of the dialogue isn’t all that interesting. Ironically the worst scenes are typically the ones with the Digidestined as they all try to cheer up Meiko. She spends a great deal of the film crying and feeling sorry for herself. She ultimately comes up with the wrong decision as well as she tells the group to destroy Meicoomon. So much for being friends forever right? Meicoomon is going off the deep end, but even so she needs to hope until the end.

Then we have Tai still being scared and afraid to fight. I’m ready for him to finally get past that. By the end of the film he’s maybe changed, but we won’t really know since the next film will have them back in the Digital World and he doesn’t care about the collateral damage there. At least he did agree that they won’t destroy Meicoomon so that’s a start. Matt is still the main voice of reason here and he should be the leader. Meanwhile Kairi gets a bit of a bigger role as Homeostasis uses her as a vessel to talk to the heroes. It is one of the main factions in the film and finally steps in here. I’ve been waiting for it to show up so that was pretty neat. It has a good voice for sure.

The best part of the film is naturally when all of the factions finally meet up in the end. You’ve got Omnimon from the Digidestined side, Alphamon from back in film 1, Jesmon, and Meicoomon. Alphamon had a great fight in the first film so it’s definitely great to have him return. Jesmon’s been in the background throughout all of the films as well so him stepping in was definitely appreciated. Then Meicoomon’s been getting stronger as well so it makes for a very satisfying final fight. It is a little sad that the other DigiDestined can’t even really contribute at this point, but only super mega Digimon can really do anything at this point. It’s definitely a great way to start wrapping up the film since you always want to have at least one big fight in the film.

This war of factions is also the most interesting part of the film. The King of the Digital World is at odds with Homeostasis and then you’ve also got Meicoomon. This is the part that I want the series to focus on. It’s also interesting that nobody’s really worried about the 02 cast yet. I’m wondering if they’ll appear in the next film or if they’re just doomed at this point. It would be sort of funny in a way if they just don’t appear or even get referenced in the next one. It’s a bit dark, but really shows how the fandom just moved past them. The Adventure 01 cast is what everyone wants.

We’ve also still got the subplot of the government lady who lost her partner a while back. I feel like her plot may have ended here although it’s a bit ambiguous so she could still return in the next one. She definitely really cracked on the way to trying to see her old Digimon again though. At least she packed a gun. It’s a pretty interesting scene that is a bit tragic, but at the same time it’ll likely bring her to the reunion she was hoping for.

With kids still being missing from across the planet I’m waiting for the news to hit the public. By this point I’d expect the armies to start mobilizing and for the armies to step in. That’d make for a pretty cool development although that may end up being too many plots to have juggling around. Right now it’s all been left to the task force but with Digimon appearing all around the world it can only be so contained. It looks like the next film will be in the Digital World so either we’ll have a subplot with that or when the heroes take out the threat at the source it’ll knock the rest out.

The animation is pretty consistent with the last ones. The fight scenes definitely look really good. The rest of the aspects of this animation aren’t quite as solid as it’s all just very washed out, but it’s good enough overall. I also think the soundtrack is fine. The best theme from the first few films doesn’t return here unfortunately, but we’ve still got enough energy to go through the action moments. Hopefully in the final film we get to see the Dub Evolution theme as a nice tribute or something like that.

Overall, Coexistence does suffer a bit from the series fatigue here. It’s the second last film so the writers are saving all of the big events for the next title. As a result this one is really biding for time compared to the last few. I’d consider this the weakest of the Tri series, but overall it’s still a good film. Parts of it may drag a bit (Meiko breaking out her southern accent and then dropping it again) or even come close to being boring, but the final fight does help to raise the film back up and I do think the final part should give a more satisfying conclusion. Hopefully we get a longer fight in the final battle as there should be a lot of action. Quite a few villains/factions are still on the loose so I’m expecting them all to pull out everything they’ve got left. After all, they won’t get a second chance to do so.

Overall 6/10

10 Cloverfield Lane Review


The original Cloverfield was an intense monster film. The hand held camera filming technique was a bit jarring and the party scene ultimately crippled the film, but at the very least you couldn’t say that the film didn’t try hard. This sequel completely throws all of that out the window though. The monster barely appears and for the most part this film has nothing to do with anything. Definitely not a title I would recommend.

The film starts off with Michelle driving away from home. She has decided to leave her family for good after having a disagreement with her boyfriend. Unfortunately, she takes her eyes off the road and someone slams her off the track. When she wakes, Michelle finds herself the captive of a crazy man who believes in a bunch of conspiracy theories. This villain is very possessive so she is going to need to find a way out and fast. The problem is that the only other inmate here broke his arm and also believes that Howard is just here to help them. Becca will need to convince him otherwise.

The film breaks quite a few cinematic rules right from the start. First off, the film opens with the lead crying and we get a lot of dramatic scenes where her sadness goes on. This isn’t good because the film has only just started so we haven’t been given a reason to care about her yet. Moreover, Becca’s family plot never becomes relevant so this makes the scene even more out of place. She could have just been driving out to the market or something and it wouldn’t have changed the plot. Giving her some drama like this without any kind of purpose in the story doesn’t really help it. Naturally, it’s hard to be too harsh on how she takes the whole situation at first since being a captive is pretty scary, but it’s also more crying and such. I think the film tried too hard to make her just an “ordinary” person to the point where she is too passive.

That’s hardly what really holds the film back though. The whole plot is about Becca being kidnapped by Howard and the whole film is them being stuck in this house. It drags on considerably and of course she has to defer to the villain for the majority of it in the interest of self preservation. A good and realistic move on her part but still one that isn’t any fun to watch. Howard just keeps getting the last laugh for most of the film. Then the movie doubles down by making the film way darker for no reason as we learn about another victim from the past. There’s enough implications here where it destroys whatever was left of the film. If you’ve got an iffy plot and decide to go for being dark, there’s not much else the film can do to save it.

Once we finally leave the house we do get an alien monster fight scene. It’s definitely an “about time” kind of moment for sure. That being said, the monster has been considerably weakened. The film is operating on a tiny budget so they try not to show the monster much but from what I can see it didn’t look like Clover. I’m thinking it’s a different monster or maybe these aliens arrived to try and fight Clover while destroying the humans. I’m sure there’s some mind of reason but it’s not like the film would explain that. It makes for an exciting climax but even this part gets fumbled as Becca is able to take down a huge Kaiju with a single bottle of wine. Are you kidding me? If the monster is this weak then we’ve got problems. She hit it through the weak point but monsters can’t resist the urge to roar so it would be easy for others to replicate the feat.

The character roster is pretty small so it’s easy to talk about the main three characters. First off we have Becca of course. She’s not a terrible character, but I admit that she is one of the weaker leads that I have seen as of yet. Again, I’ll refer back to where I wrote about her earlier. The film makes her too nervous and just not pro-active enough. She makes too many “General Audience” type decisions which come back to bite her. She had a few opportunities to really take Howard down for the count but always opted to flee. Granted, Howard had quite a bit of plot armor to help him.

There’s one scene that involves a pot of acid and somehow he manages to tank it. I didn’t believe that for a second, it’s a bit much considering that guy is just human. It’s not like he’s a super bodybuilder or anything like that either. Naturally there is nothing to like about Howard. He’s just another crazy villain out to destroy the world. Then you have the other guy named Emmett who is extremely naive and just plain annoying the whole time. He’s slow to believe anything and conveniently he had his arm broken so he can’t help Becca fight back. When you factor all of that in he just isn’t all that helpful and half of the time is just annoying. It’s that gray area where some of this isn’t the character’s fault but it’s hard not to blame him at the same time.

Overall, 10 Cloverfield Lane is definitely not a film that I would recommend. It really does its best to completely ignore the original Cloverfield movie and that’s not a good thing. The film could and should have just called this movie something else and it would have been a lot better. You just can’t make a sequel and not have the monster be one of the main characters. It’s just not going to work. The scenes at the end don’t save it, especially given that the monster looks so bad the whole time. If the monster had won or something then it would have been fine, but since it ended up losing it defeats the whole purpose. The film seemed to hint that the radiation is turning people into zombies or something so having a zombies and aliens vs humans plot would have been infinitely more interesting. We don’t even get to see how the army reacts. Avoid this film at all costs and you’ll be fine. It’ll ruin your memories of the first film…even if I wasn’t a big fan of that one either.

Overall 2/10

The Mummy’s Shroud Review


The Mummy has returned to usher in a new era for horror films. At least, that’s likely the intent here, but the series has made some mistakes in the past so we’ll see if this film can really take home the gold. While it does ring more true to the classic Mummy mythos than the previous film, it does make its share of mistakes. I don’t think you’ll be bored though. We have a pretty colorful cast of characters here and at least one character does try to fight back against the Mummy.

The film starts off with a flashback about how an Egyptian king was overthrown and everyone got murdered. We fast forward to the modern day where Dr. Basil and the rich Stanley have broken into the tomb. They steal the coffin and head back home to show it off. Unfortunately it appears that the coffin had a curse within it that has begun to affect everyone who walked into the tomb. There is now a murderous Mummy on the loose and the bodies are starting to pile up. Stanley wants to leave, but the cops are keeping everyone in one place. Can he get out alive?

Stanley may be a predictable character, but he sure is an entertaining one. He’s the classic rich guy who doesn’t care about lives. He just wants to turn a profit and let everyone else take the fall. This is especially evident when he tries to discredit Basil and throw him away for life. Stanley ultimately only seems to care about his family, everyone else is considered expendable. He’s certainly an antagonist, but a fun one nonetheless. You’re still rooting for him against the Mummy. He did make a lot of big mistakes though. If you’re trying to flee the country you probably shouldn’t wait in a dark alley for someone to come and help. Especially when you’re rich and the locals know it. Ah well, Stanley tried.

Then you have Dr. Basil who is reasonable I guess. He was annoying in his final scenes, but I guess that makes sense since he was poisoned. Still, it makes for a scene that drags on quite a bit as an old lady makes fun of him and then he’s taken out of the picture. Speaking of which, the old lady was annoying as well. She’s basically just here to rub the deaths in the faces of the victims before they perish. She doesn’t have much point here except to egg everyone on and get them into trouble. I mean, she performs the role quite admirably of course, but cutting out the drool in her scenes would have helped me take her seriously.

I consider Stanley to basically be the main character here, but Paul and Maggie get big roles as well. Paul is the son of Stanley and unlike his father he wants to work his way to the top. He doesn’t want to be drunk on power and sets his sights on stopping the Mummy instead of fleeing. Meanwhile Maggie knows how to read Egyptian and was against going into the tomb in the first place. Still, now she may be the only one with the power to stop this situation. It puts her in a tricky spot. Both characters are pretty reasonable. I do think Maggie made a big mistake in going to some random fortune teller to try and dispel her fears though. Even if the fortune teller wasn’t evil, did she really think anything could be done at that stage in the game?

I also have to give the cops some credit here. They were on point for the most part even if they didn’t really uncover much in their investigations. At least they were trying to help out and they certainly managed to be a thorn in Stanley’s side. The chief finally even relented in the end so at least he could try and save some victims. He maybe should have done that a bit sooner, but I think he just wanted to axe Stanley. Not the most heroic move of course, but it is what it is. Stanley’s wife also looks pretty good here. She’s always being passive aggressive and really enjoys the fact that she never went into the tomb.

So, most of these are positives, but what are the negatives? Well, pretty much the usual Hammer stuff. The film can be a bit violent here with everyone getting bumped off. People are strangled, burned to death, crushed, etc. The Mummy makes sure to take everyone down at some point or another. The Mummy also doesn’t make for a particularly good antagonist. He’s slow and you can’t believe that he is beating everyone the whole time. Even if he is bullet proof you can at least out run the guy. The only one I can’t blame is Basil since he was sick. At least the photographer tried fighting back though. You’ll feel bad for Stanley’s right hand man though since the guy gets the short end of the stick throughout the film.

The movie’s humor and writing were on point though. This one actually was a step ahead of most of the other Mummy titles. It could have definitely been a lot worse. At least it’s entertaining throughout and has a quick pace. If you’re going to do a Mummy film then you can definitely take a lot of cues from this one. It knew how to properly develop the characters after all.

Overall, The Mummy’s Shroud is actually decent. The shroud itself is actually important by the end so it’s also a title that makes sense. That’s always a good idea as opposed to just having that in the title to sound cool. The slasher elements we could have done without, but it’s handled in a less graphic way than it likely would nowadays. I won’t give the film a positive score, but it’s not bad either so it lands smack in the middle. If this film sounds like your cup of tea then you should check it out. At the very least, this film will keep you guessing as to who will get bumped off first.

Overall 5/10

Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost Review


It’s time to take a look at the movie sequel to the classic 13 ghosts show. This one finally shows us the 13th ghost and how he stacks up against the first 12. It’s a fun movie as they all tend to be although the writing was lacking somewhat here which does prevent it from being nearly as good as it could have been. It’s more or less what you’d expect but the lack of a supernatural twist does hurt it somewhat.

The film starts off with a flashback where Vincent and Mortifer are running away from some demons. Mortifer is unfortunately caught and destroyed (Someone dying in a Scooby Doo film? Immediate red flag) while Vincent escapes with the box. Together with the Mystery Inc he recaptured 12 ghosts. However, Scooby, Shaggy, and Daphne decided to pretend that they did not know who Vincent was and threw the magic ball in a closet somewhere. Well, in the present the gang are having a garage sale as they were forced to stop being detectives after messing up a case. They need some quick cash. Fortunately, that’s when the crystal ball pops up and Vincent begs their help in stopping the final ghost. Velma and Fred are confused so now Daphne will have to step up and lead the team. Is she ready for this?

Unfortunately this is where the film is at its weakest. Rather than make Daphne a good leader it chooses to make Fred a bad one. Suddenly he doesn’t know how to set up a trap and the film goes out of its way to make him look bad. Daphne has to set up the traps because he forgot how to do so. He also can’t drive stick for some reason so he has to let Daphne drive the whole time. She basically takes control of the team away from him and part of the moral is that she was always the better leader. Fred even admits in a rather heart warming scene that he was never a leader, that’s just what they had thought. He’s a Cheerleader and decides to start cheering for everyone. He just looks really bad the whole time and it must have been a rough time for his fans.

Meanwhile, Daphne looks hardcore of course. To make up for Fred she has to double down in how effective she is. Daphne does give up a bit easy, but for the most part I’d say that this is still one of her best appearances. At least she is ready for this fight. You can’t say the same for Velma. Naturally she is still sticking to her story that there are no such things as ghosts. The film does its best to make her fairly justified in this by the ending though. Who knows, maybe it was all mass hallucinations or something. It would have been better if she didn’t keep flipping back and forth though.

Shaggy and Scooby are the same as always. They constantly panic and eat so not much else to say there. The scene of them meditating with the villain goes on a little too long I’d say as well. No way he would actually buy into that I’d say. The rest of the humor is pretty good though. Vincent makes for a fun supporting character. He’s a bit more helpless than I had expected but I did like all of the puns he would make. If he actually can’t use magic either though, it does give Velma’s theory a little more weight. There’s also a local teenager around. I won’t say who he is, but I think you’ll know immediately who he is. This isn’t the kind of film that has a bunch of suspects so if a new character is introduced you can start narrowing down who he must be.

The animation looks pretty solid as always. The team has this franchise down to an art. It’s looked good all the way back from when it first started all the way through the current days. The animation could fool you into thinking this was a DC film at times. The animation styles always look really similar and I suppose that makes sense as well since Warner Bros is involved. There isn’t much of a soundtrack though, but the series isn’t exactly known for that. The movie’s fairly short, but the pacing is good so it never gets boring or anything like that.

Once the final twist occurs some things won’t seem particularly realistic though. Lets just say that one character has to be an absolutely fearless racer with superb driving skills. This villain shows up everywhere and has quite a few skills. I dunno, I’d like to have seen the heroes challenge the evil car a bit more rather than running away the whole time. I suppose that almost may have been out of character I guess, but the team’s been through a lot so they shouldn’t really fear anyone at this point.

Overall, Curse of the 13th Ghost is not a film that will leave a lasting impression on you. It’s just a lot weaker than some of the recent films like the Wrestling ones, Cooking challenge, the outer space one, blue falcon, etc. It’s not so much that this film is bad because it isn’t. It earns a pretty good score. It just feels more like an average adventure compared to the rest and part of the problem could be the fact that there is no actual mystery here. That’s sort of the main focus of the series. You can get around that at times with a compelling premise of course. This one had a good premise, but simply didn’t follow up on it. That’s what held the film back.

Overall 7/10

Tokyo Mew Mew A La Mode Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 6/10

Need For Speed Underground 2 Stats and Records

Stats time!

Game Complete 70%
Bank 221,031
Race record 155-3
Circuit Wins 35
Sprint Wins 28
Drift Wins 25
Drag Wins 17
Street X Wins 26
URL Wins 24
Magazines Won 6/20
DVD Covers Won 10/10
Hidden Shops Found 18/18
Parts Unlocked 100%
Stage 1 Reputation 1,600
Stage 2 Reputation 5,100
Stage 3 Reputation 7,700
Stage 4 Reputation 12,500
Stage 5 Reputation 13,900

Dragon Ball Super: Broly Review


The new Dragon Ball Z film has been getting a lot of hype so far and with good reason. It brings back the ultimate Saiyan known as Broly and re-imagines his character under the Super banner. As the first two movies came out before Super was even a thing, this is effectively the first film in the series. It’s certainly an excellent starting point as this makes my top 3 films for the franchise. It pretty much does nothing wrong.

The film starts off with a long flashback showing how Broly escaped Planet Vegeta along with Goku, Raditz, Nappa, Vegeta, Paragus, Beets, and other Saiyans. With how these saiyans lived it is feasible that more could pop up at some point which would be hype. Of course you ultimately know how this part of the film is going to end. Frieza wipes everyone out and then we cut back to the present. Pargaus and Broly have survived on their desolate planet for decades until two of Frieza’s bounty hunters show up and recruit them to the cause. Frieza may not like Saiyans but even he will admit that they are useful in combat. He decides to use Broly to finally destroy Goku and Vegeta, but can this Saiyan accomplish such a feat?

Naturally the film excels because of the present era scenes. The flashback part is fun and all, but the whole time you’re just waiting for the big fights. Still, I’ll quickly get this part out of the way. There’s been a lot of talk about how different Bardock is here compared to his original version. That one still has more personality and heart but this heroic one works well enough I suppose. He’s just not going to be the Bardock that you’re used to. King Vegeta is the same as always, he’s as scared and fearful as ever.

In the flashbacks, Paragus is actually the best character. He really wants to save Broly and does a good job of rebelling away from the Saiyans and getting to him. It’s a shame that he ultimately goes kind of crazy and starts resorting to shock treatment. That’s the point where you definitely can’t root for him anymore. He’s simply too far gone by that point. Still, he was cool while he lasted I suppose. There’s not much more to say about the intro. It’s handled as well as a flashback can be.

The film really starts once Goku and Vegeta arrive at the ice continent. Of course Broly is there with the gang and he quickly starts the fight with Vegeta. Here’s where the power levels start coming into play. It’s a good thing that the scanner broke since it seemed to be stopping at a power level under 100,000 for Broly’s base mode which would make absolutely no sense. Considering that his base mode seemed to be above Super Saiyan God level, it would be in the billions/trillions. Throwing out the scouters is always a really good idea if we’re being honest.

So, Broly is so strong that in base form he’s fighting Super Saiyan Blue. You can see how crazy this is. You almost feel like by the time he goes Super Saiyan he should be way above the others. It’s hard to say, but his Super Saiyan does still seem to be different from the normal levels like in the original films. With the way it taps into his primal form it acts like Super Saiyan 4. It’s hard to say what the multiplier on it is, but to be safe we can say it’s a 50X boost like with SSJ1. It makes perfect sense that Goku and Vegeta even while teaming up can’t handle that. It would have made no sense if they could so I’m glad they were getting steamrolled. Throwing in fusion is always a good way to remedy this since it multiplies your abilities which still makes it the strongest option.

As of this movie, it’s fair to say that the power levels play out like this. 1. Vegito/Gogeta 2. Final Form Broly 3. Mastered Ultra Instinct Goku 4. Jiren 5. Broly 6. Kefla 7. Vegeta Super Saiyan Blue Beyond 7. Goku Kaio Ken Blue 8. Toppo, then from there it gets tricky. I think it’s fair to put Beerus somewhere to close out the top 10 I guess. If not, he at least cracks top 20. I’d say that the angels should be around 5-6 level. Still, it’s cool that not counting fusions Broly is the strongest being in the series. This isn’t counting spinoffs like Heroes where he does have some serious competition. I’m sure Broly will only get stronger here although based on the ending I don’t think we’d see Broly at this level again for quite some time.

His sheer durability with how many times he would just get up again was most impressive. The guy just wouldn’t stay down and showed a lot more determination than the other characters. In particular Vegeta didn’t really treat the fight with as much seriousness as you’d expect. He very quickly bowled out of the ring once he was knocked down. I like to think he would be fighting harder if the stakes were higher, but I suppose he doesn’t care quite as much since Beerus and Whis are still here so they could handle things if worse comes to worse.

While Vegeta was ultimately no match it was still nice of him to help Broly get into fighting shape to take on Goku. As always they show that Vegeta seems to be a little weaker in each of his forms in comparison to Goku. Goku just seems to know more hand to hand skills and even other energy abilities that Vegeta does not have a handle on. Since Goku has no Ultra Instinct anymore (At least he can’t activate it at will) I’d give Vegeta the overall edge since I’d consider Super Saiyan Blue 2 to be superior to the Kaio Ken since it has more stamina, but it is close. Vegeta will need a new form if Goku ever masters Ultra Instinct. Overall, Vegeta was pretty solid here. Still the second fiddle and all, but he puts up a reasonable fight.

Of course Goku also does pretty good here. While he’s definitely outmatched, Goku actually does start to hold his own once he enters Super Saiyan God mode. The rest of the forms are so much weaker than Broly’s base that there isn’t much point in using them for long. I also do like that he tries to enter Ultra Instinct even if it didn’t quite work. Had he tapped into that and ended the fight quickly he probably could have won. I think Super Saiyan Broly would be too much for him, but the base mode he could handle. Goku did a good job in realizing that something was up with Broly the whole time. Even if he was a little naive about Frieza, Goku definitely looked solid here.

While Broly stole the show, his two sidekicks were pretty reasonable as well. Cheelai and Lemo are these two characters. Lemo is an old pilot who’s seen his fair share of action. I don’t tend to be a fan of the old character whose only trait seems to be his age, but the guy was pretty reasonable here. Cheelai is also solid as she steals the zapper with ease and is supportive for Broly the whole time. He definitely managed to find two pretty good friends so I wouldn’t mind if they continue to show up. I do hope they don’t get taken hostage in a future film though, that would just be annoying.

Of course Frieza also gets a big role here. He didn’t plan to attack the heroes just yet, but Broly changes things. Still, since Frieza hasn’t trained yet he has still fallen behind the main heroes in power by a considerable amount. He’s honestly not a threat to them as he is now. Still, I don’t get why he didn’t jump in to try and finish the heroes while Broly was fighting. Taking on a weakened Vegeta would have made sense, especially since they had no senzu beans handy. It just seemed a bit odd that Frieza was watching the whole time. I almost feel like it would have been better for Frieza to never have made it to Earth and to just send Broly and Paragus there. It would have made a little more sense. Still, it was cool to see him get to fight Broly a bit so I’m glad that was included.

Of course the animation is top notch. It’s all very smooth and the fights operate at a high speed. I was certainly concerned when the first animated teaser came out for the film because it all looked very off, but the rest of the film looks a lot more traditional. Once the full trailers came out I knew it was going to be hype and the action delivers. It’s all very high end and you can tell that a lot of work was put into it. I’m still not sure about the CGI stuff, but as little clips here and there it’s not bad. I think it would be great if the video game attacks could all look like that. It’s a CGI style that I do like and I wouldn’t mind watching a whole film that way. The hand drawn parts are vastly superior but the CGI is pretty solid.

So there is one slight negative here. It’s not quite something that would hurt the score, but a little noticeable nonetheless. The soundtrack here is considerably weaker than the last few. Battle of Gods had the fun Flow song, Resurrection F had a ton of themes that were all amazing. This one….fell flat by the end. I liked the trailer themes, those were hype when they showed up. Mainly the one from the original trailer is very epic and fits the suspenseful tone. Then for the climax we get an odd rap type song which really doesn’t work.

The lyrics are painful as it’s just the main character names being repeated over and over again. It won’t take you out of the fight as it’s too well animated for that to happen but it doesn’t enhance the fight. A good musical theme should make a fight scene pop out even more or at least keep up the tempo. This one is almost Pokemon level (for some parts of the series) where you just want to mute the music so you can enjoy the fights more. It was really just this theme that fell flat, but since it played for the final fight you’ll remember it a lot more than you would like to.

Considering that this is the only negative you can already see how the film is in a good spot. The writing is on point and the film’s pacing is excellent. While we get some comedy it’s handled pretty well as opposed to the iffy Roshi/Oolong type of scenes. Frieza’s wish is probably stretching it quite a bit, but the sooner we all acknowledge Frieza as more of a comic relief type villain than a serious threat the more it’ll start to make sense. He just can’t hang with the big boys right now, he’ll need some kind of big power up to do that.

Overall, This is exactly what you want to see in a Dragon Ball film. Broly fighting the Saiyans is excellent and the fights are basically nonstop by the end. Keeping Whis and Beerus on the sidelines is always a good idea so they don’t get in the way of the real fighters. As always, it’s going to be very tough to top this one. If anyone can do it, DBZ can but it’ll still be a tough order. How do you top someone like Broly? Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long for the next film/TV series.

Overall 9/10

Incredibles 2 Review


It’s time to look at the second Incredibles film. It’s naturally been a long time since the first one so the question was really whether this sequel would go for nostalgia or just pick up where the first one left off. I think it did a good job of getting some nice nostalgia in the opening scene and then just going for the plot. Of course, you can do both and nostalgia is often a good thing, but with this method it’ll make watching both of them back to back very easy.

After the Incredibles save the day once more we find out that times have changed. Heroes are now illegal so helping save the day is considered a crime. It’s related to the whole vigilante argument. The heroes come in and save the day but usually with a lot of property damage of which they aren’t exactly held liable. Heroes must go underground or be arrested. Mr Incredible doesn’t like this and wants to keep on being a hero while Elastigirl believes that they have to follow the law.

Fortunately their debate is postponed when a rich guy named Winston shows up and declares that he will make heroes legal again. Of course, it’s going to be tricky to do so. First he thinks Elastigirl is the key as she can stop minor crimes and do so with no actual damage. He’ll even give her a camera so that the public can see how heroic she is. A new villain even shows up which is convenient for her. Maybe…too convenient. Is this guy hiding something?

With the way the plot is set up you can probably guess right away that something is shifty here. Still, while you may guess part of how this will go down, it may be difficult to guess it completely, at least for a little while. It’s a good plot set up so it definitely works well. I do think the film did a good job of making Winston fairly likable. He’s a rich guy who is actually using his profits for good. He’s a slick business man but one with morals. That’s always nice to see. His sister Evelyn is a genius and is the other half of how the two became so rich. She does tend to bring up how Mr Incredible used to overshadow Elastigirl quite a lot though even when the heroine tries to debunk it. I’m glad that Elastigirl didn’t fall for the bait each time.

Going back to the opening scene, it was definitely a solid way to start the film. Seeing the situation from this random kid’s perspective was pretty hype and worked to make the opening a little more suspenseful. It was also great to see the memory manipulator as it not only destroyed a possible romance plot before it even got started, but it felt like a homage to Men in Black. That’s definitely what you want to see.

Meanwhile the animation still looks pretty nice as always. The character costumes are cool and the battles are fun. I don’t really think the first film had any big fights since there were no other heroes so it was cool to see them here. Lucius did a good job in the house where it was basically just him against a bunch of opponents. His ice abilities are very useful for such confrontations and I think he could have easily claimed a full win if he had just been a little more careful in the matchup. The soundtrack is less impressive as I can’t recall any really memorable tunes, but it wasn’t bad.

Mr Incredible is good for the most part even if he does get pretty jealous of Elastigirl almost immediately. I would have thought he would be a better sport about the whole thing. I did agree with him on the moral debate of following a law though. They can’t just follow every law the way Elastigirl was saying they should. If a law is bad then it’s bad. You can’t quite follow it at that point. Still, Incredible did his best to look after the kids and did a good job there. He may not have done very well in the climax at times, (Losing in a battle of super strength to a random hero) but at the end of the day he did what he had to.

Meanwhile Elastigirl was good. She used her powers very strategically throughout the film. This is particularly evident when she has to stop a train as that is pretty tough for someone with her powers, but she is able to maneuver very well. Her fight scene against the guy with the mask was also pretty solid. I like how he would throw in cheap shots while they were running. It’s the kind of thing you would expect a villain to do.

Violet and Dash aren’t quite as solid. Considering that Violet knows about the memory manipulation I feel like she should have realized what was happening a lot sooner. It would have made more sense if she didn’t know that the heroes ever did that. Her barriers are handy though so I’d like to see her get in more fights. She just happened to fight someone that was a bad matchup for her. Portals are hard to defend against. Dash is still too young to be of much help in a fight which is a shame since his power is probably the best of the bunch. No way you should lose when you have super speed.

As expected, Jack Jack doesn’t add much to the plot as he is just a baby. Still, he could have been worse. At least he doesn’t get too many scenes to himself. Meanwhile, Lucius continues to excel and is certainly the best character in the film. He does a good job during the house fight where it was 1 vs around 6 and shows a lot of natural leadership skills. He’s definitely the kind of ally that you want on your team. He seems more skilled and competent than Mr Incredible if we’re being honest.

I do have some questions about the superheroes becoming illegal bit though. How are the heroes able to hide in plain sight so easily? Is this one of those laws that the government doesn’t really care about? Sort of a “look the other way” kind of deal because that’s the only way I can see them not arresting the heroes by now. Especially with how active they are. Maybe they would get fined the next time or something. It is taken to the extreme for humor of course like showing how they would rather the heroes not even try to stop the villains, but of course some media try to seriously make that case as well. The bottom line is that the citizens and government in these things don’t usually appreciate the danger of a super villain. It’s only once they blow up a city or something that they see why heroes are needed.

Overall, Incredibles 2 is definitely a fun sequel. It brings back everything you enjoyed about the first film and even manages to improve upon that. This is certainly a success in my book. While Mr Incredible himself may not be quite as impressive as he was in the first film, he’s still a fun lead at the very least. Hopefully by the third film he’ll be back to being the heroic lead that we’re used to seeing. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I’d say that it’s time to change that.

Overall 7/10

The Ghost of Frankenstein Review


It’s time to look at another Frankenstein film. This one brings back the classic monster for another round. It’s a pretty uninspired sequel that doesn’t have much going for it, but I suppose it wasn’t quite as terrible as some of the other Frankenstein films. It would have probably worked a lot better if there was actually a ghost rather than Frankenstein;s monster just showing up like normal once again. After all, it’s just like any other Return of Frankenstein type film in this scenario.

The film starts with the villagers still living in fear after the reign of Frankestein. They tell the mayor that he needs to let them burn down the old house so they can be rid of his curse once and for all. He gives them permission but the explosions and fire help wake the monster from his slumber. Ygor manages to help him escape and decides that it is finally time for revenge. To this end he locates a scientist by the name of Ludwig and blackmails him into co-operating. Are the villagers about to go through another dark age? (Well, Frankenstein’s monster isn’t quite that tough so this may be a little overly dramatic.

It’s a little hard to know who to root for here since all of the characters are a bit iffy. While at first Ludwig seems a little reasonable, his mad scientist nature starts to overpower him by the end as he makes some dicey decisions. Even considering dissecting the monster shows that he is not on the heroic side here. His assistant is no better and may be even more corrupt. Then you have Ygor who wants the monster’s power for himself so he can destroy the townsfolk. Even Frankenstein the creator shows up as a ghost to suggest brain transplants. Basically, the monster is just a means to an end for most of these characters. They barely care what happens to him, they just want to achieve their own goals.

That could have ended up being an interesting plot point. Maybe try to get us to sympathize with the monster more than the townspeople that he was supposedly terrorizing. After all, they seemed to be the actual corrupt ones most of the time. In almost every situation in the movie they were in the wrong. Take the early scene where some kids are picking on a little girl. The monster steps in to break it up and also gets her a balloon. The problem is that the townspeople were afraid of him and so they try to stop him. One even comes close to shooting the monster while he was holding the girl. Even if he didn’t hit her directly, the fall would have certainly finished her off. The other people tried to wrestle him to the ground and again…this wouldn’t bode well for the kid. They’re on top of a roof after all.

Naturally the monster doesn’t handle this well and destroys the humans but they put him into a lot of bad spots. Then even once they promised not to hurt him they beat him up as soon as the girl was away. It’s just a very rough film for the monster. Then he ends up effectively being mind controlled by the end. The film gave him a pretty bad hand and it’s just hard to figure out how much of that was intentional. I think it’s fair to say that we aren’t supposed to like Ludwig and the other scientists. The whole town though? It gets tricky.

Ygor also makes for a pretty annoying main villain. He stands out so much, how do the people not realize that he is one of the villains on the outside encouraging the monster the whole time? He has the blackmail on Ludwig, but I feel like the scientist should have been able to turn the tables on him very quickly. Why should anyone believe such a crazed man? That would have been Ludwig’s defense and I think it would have worked.

There’s a lot of story here and yet there isn’t a whole lot of compelling elements. What we do get is pretty by the books without anything to really help it into the next level. There are just no characters to root for and that’s the problem. Even if Frankenstein’s monster isn’t evil like the others, he isn’t particularly interesting either. As a result you end up being by the sidelines as opposed to actually choosing a side.

Overall, I’d give this film a pass. In general I tend to say that for all of the Frankenstein movies. They all suffer from the same issues. Frankenstein’s monster doesn’t have enough going for him to make for a good villain and doesn’t have enough character to be a good hero. The supporting cast are typically pretty annoying and the whole thing ends up being unfair for the monster. It’s not like he can even defend himself in most versions vocally since he can’t speak. As a result, every character can lie or gang up against him and he never even has a chance to prove his innocence. That’s the worst part of this whole arrangement. What helps this film a bit is that it isn’t quite as violent as the early Frankenstein titles. There isn’t really any action until after the court scene and by then you’re around halfway through the film. That actually works in its favor and the first half of the film does beat the second. Still, it ends up falling through the usual Frankenstein plots.

Overall 3/10