Hand of Death Review


Sometimes when you turn a film on you know right away that things are going to get pretty deadly. The title itself can be a pretty good indicator of that after all. Well, this film’s definitely pretty solid and you’ll be glad to have checked it out. It can be a bit by the books at times of course, but at the end of the day it’s all executed well. The film’s pretty short though so it really breezes by. You really feel like they don’t make 1 hour movies like this anymore. Granted, I always think a movie should be as long as possible since it makes the experience even better but if you know ahead of time that the plot won’t hold then going short makes sense.

The movie starts with a driver noticing that something’s not right as there are a few sheep fast asleep inside of private property. He rushes inside and is promptly knocked out. When he wakes up a scientist named Alex lets the guy know that they’re running some secret experiments so he better not tell anyone. Alex is glad this happened though because it proves that the serum is safe on humans. He rushes home and explains to Ramsey that he has built the ultimate weapon for war. You can spray a whole country with this gas which will immobilizze them and also make them susceptible to hypnosis and all kinds of commands. Ramsey lets Alex know that their lab isn’t for war but Alex wants to proceed and Ramsey allows it. Alex is rather clumsy though and splashes himself with the mixture. He has now become a walking monster of death. Anyone he touches will surely perish. Alex threatens Ramsey that a cure must be made and soon or he’ll start murdering people. Can Ramsey make the cure in time or is the town already doomed?

One thing that was a bit surprising is how crazy Alex was. At first you expect that he’ll be your standard hero but the movie doesn’t really play out that way. Now, you can make the case that the mixture turned him crazy and he was actually a good guy otherwise. I have my doubts but it’s certainly a valid argument. The guy just dials it up to 11 though as he instantly threatens Ramsey and isn’t very reasonable about anything. I felt bad for the old guy because Ramsey did warn Alex that this was a risky endeavor. It’s hard to sympathize with Alex as much as you could have since he actively goes around murdering people. If it felt like he was a little more hesitant then that would help but I just did not get that vibe from him.

This does play into the interesting dynamic between him, Carol, and Tom. Technically Alex is with Carol but Tom seems to like her and she decides to mess with Alex to get him jealous. Mix that in with the fact that Alex is never around while Carol and Tom have to work together all the time and the whole thing already seemed dicey. It definitely put in some warning bells for Alex because the film had to do something to have one of them win. I think we know how that went now. Carol’s a reasonable character but I wouldn’t say she handles the situations all that well. She tends to panic quite a lot although at least she wasn’t really the fainting type. Then you have Tom who is pretty confident the whole time. I do feel like his sudden lunge at the end was all to bait Alex into charging to get shot. Maybe I’m reading too much into it but it seemed like it was all part of an elaborate plan.

Ramsey was the best character. It’s just a shame that there’s not a whole lot that he can do. The guy can’t really walk all that well as it is. His final scene was a bit odd though because it made no sense. It’s like he lunged at Alex which I’m sure was not the intention but it certainly came across that way. At least you hope that wasn’t what he was trying to do because it wouldn’t really make any sense. As the film goes on there is a pretty decent body count stockpiling up. Most of the characters were just trying to have a good day so it certainly didn’t work out for them.

The design for the monster isn’t bad but he definitely doesn’t look too intimidating. I’d say it’s sort of like a cross between the Thing and Swamp Thing. The fact that Alex can’t really talk all that well in this form doesn’t help matters for him. As expected the writing is pretty solid here. The characters are on point and it makes the whole experience pretty interesting. As I mentioned the film is pretty short so the pacing is also very fast. We even got to have the detectives and cops show up near the end which is always fun. Having the government get involved tends to bring any monster film to the next level and they looked pretty good here. They were definitely ready to deal with Alex and his super powers.

Overall, Hand of Death is a very accurate title. A single touch from this guy and that’s game over almost instantly. It’s a very lethal ability to the point where it could be very lethal in war as well. Of course you have to get close enough to touch someone so if you’re shot then I suppose this won’t be doing you a whole lot of good anyway. It’s a very basic movie with a small cast and a direct plot but I wouldn’t say that it has any weaknesses either. The fundamentals are very sound and that’s really all that you need. These retro horror films tend to be some of the best in the genre. They just don’t make them like they used to.

Overall 7/10

Plan 9 From Outer Space Review


If you ever thought that having a movie with aliens and zombies would be too overwhelming for a film then this is one you need to check out. Plan 9 From Outer Space reminds us that a film can be as ambitious as it wants to be and still succeed so long as the writing is on point. The movie is fairly short but really manages to deliver on a whole lot of content. It’s a fun ride from start to finish and Inspector Daniel really ends up showing everyone how to handle supernatural cases like this. It’s rare to see a detective with such poise under pressure.

The movie starts with some people seeing a UFO as it heads to Earth. It is somehow able to bring the dead back to life and the body count slowly begins to grow. The aliens are using Plan 9 to take over the Earth. Basically what this entails is bumping off the most competent humans and then turning them into Zombies. These zombies will then crush the rest of the humans. The process of turning people into zombies seems rather quick to be honest so you may question why they don’t just turn everyone into zombies and be done with it. With their advanced weapons maybe they could just blow the planet to kingdom come right? I assume they need the planet alive since they want to take it over of course but then at least using it to take out some of the key bases. Well, since they haven’t done that, Daniel has a chance to crack the case and foil this plot.

On the surface Daniel probably seems like he’s out of his league here. He’s a tough detective who has had a long history of finding any kind of clue, but what clues will help him stop Plan 9? At the very least he never really ponders this and just gets into the action which is admirable. Pretty much any scene he is in Daniel starts pointing out mistakes others have made. The others really aren’t of any use without him and it shows. Daniel’s got to be the best character here in part because of his overwhelming confidence the whole time. I always like when a lead is decisive like that.

Not all of the characters are quite as on the ball though and I should say that despite the long writeup…Daniel isn’t the main character. He doesn’t quite last as long as you would expect. No, our lead is Jeff and he’s a pretty earnest guy. He’s certainly seen more action in the field than Daniel as a pilot and quickly gets thrown into the thick of it. If you wanted to see a human actually fight with one of these aliens mano a mano then you’ll have your chance. There is one scene in particular that may stretch your imagination though as one of the zombies heads to Jeff’s house. Keep in mind that the zombies are rather obvious since they can’t move a whole lot and have a vacant expression on their face. At most you can maybe understand his kid not realizing that something was up but Jeff’s wife should have suspected something when the guy just kept grunting the whole time. Then Jeff himself didn’t notice until he went in the car and it was too late to get out. Not very observant eh?

There’s just so much going on with a bunch of characters at the ready. As a result one of the characters doesn’t even get to say anything and he just runs around with recycled footage the whole time. It’s definitely an interesting decision and shows that the cutting floor can really change the whole feel of a character arc. The movie is pretty short at only around an hour so it’s pretty impressive how many storylines and characters are juggled. What really sells this film is the solid writing. The characters talk like a really old movie with the witty banter and iconic one liners. They all seem like reasonable people who have to band together to stop a common enemy. You can’t really go wrong with that setup.

The aliens themselves are pretty fun as well even if they do get a bit nervous at times. It’s hard to forget the scene where they lose control of the zombie and it nearly chokes them all out. If you can’t beat your own creations that’s a bad sign. It did foreshadow that they would likely have trouble against ordinary humans though. After all, if you can’t beat a zombie then that means your strength is under theirs and probably fairly ordinary in nature. Their best bet was destroying us all with technology and as soon as they did not go with that plan I knew they were going to have a hard time of it.

One last strength that the film has is certainly all of the government scenes. We see them trying to shoot down the UFO with lasers and when that fails they fall back to pretending it never happened. I always like to see the government involved as it makes everything a little more tense and professional-like. They have a whole subplot here as they try to figure things out and it makes sense since Jeff is also intertwined in that. All we needed was a courtroom scene and this movie really would have had every strong scenario from these retro movies.

Overall, This is a really fun movie. You have a whole lot of themes and genres stuffed in here. You’ve got the mystery from the humans’ perspective of what’s going on, horror with the zombies running around, sci-fi thanks to the aliens, and maybe even some drama with people coping with the dead characters coming back although this isn’t really played up. We’ve also got a fantastic climax with quite a lot of action. On one hand you’ve got the 1 on 1 human vs alien battle and on the other you have a full army war scene of the heroes fighting off the zombies. I was definitely happy to see the army getting involved. Usually you don’t see that, but it makes sense with the invasion plans in motion.

Overall 7/10

Sinister Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It’s time to look at a horror film that actually isn’t too old. I suppose the time is relative though, at this point maybe someone would consider 2012 to be forever ago. Sinister is definitely a pretty terrible horror film that plays out like you would expect. It’s certainly pretty grim and gets pretty dark right from the jump. It never really gets better from there but no worries, you do have your classic horror type ending here. That’s definitely a staple and Sinister made sure to abide by it so even if I wouldn’t give the movie a thumbs up, it does respect the traditions.

The movie starts with Edison and his family moving over to a new house. Edison writes books about grisly murders which were never solved. He figures that this will help bring justice to the victims who need it. After all, they died before they could do everything they wanted to do so at least now he could help put the villain away for good. This case looks like it’ll be a lot more difficult to crack than his last few though. The murders have some very occult elements to them and there really might be something supernatural in the works here. One thing’s for sure, Edison can’t lower his guard here if he wants to leave the place alive.

Well, Edison does everything he can to make sure you can’t root for him all that much. He literally takes out the beer bottles and starts drinking as soon as the first tape is in. He makes sure to mention quite a lot that he isn’t an alchoholic or anything like that but his actions don’t always match up. Edison also never seems to really follow what he is saying. For example, he says that writing books isn’t about the money or the fame and that he wants justice. Yet, all he can think of are the possible TV deals and such when discussing the book. He is actually quite obsessed with being famous to the point where it seems to matter more to him than the justice part.

He also lies to his wife right away when saying that their house isn’t related to the murderer’s one. Now, he words his response in a way where he later tries to say that it wasn’t a lie, but that’s a technicality at best. He knew exactly what she was asking and said the opposite anyway. Edison’s made life rather difficult for the rest of his family. His son suffers from night terrors which have gotten worse ever since they moved, his daughter had to part with all of her friends, and his wife is certainly not well liked by the neighbors thanks to all of the murders going around. It’s just not a pleasant environment. It’s one that Edison is certainly okay with but now that he has a family he has to include them in his considerations as well.

Edison also makes a lot of typical horror protagonist mistakes. For starters, while he doesn’t believe in the supernatural, he’s given a lot of opportunities to figure things out and escape. The kids start learning things they couldn’t possibly know, names they shouldn’t recognize, and his projector keeps turning on by itself at night. Shouldn’t this be enough for him to let the family know that something is up? “Best” case scenario is that someone just keeps breaking into the house and worst case is that the demons are around. Either way this is something that he needs to explain at least to his wife so that they will be ready. By not telling them anything then they’re just going to go down like all the rest.

The villain himself doesn’t really appear much. Based on what we learn from the lore and what not it’s basically a demon with quite a lot of power. While it isn’t able to possess adults very easily it can do so with a little practice. Beyond that it has the usual reality warping skills and slight of hand. Not the most imaginative villain out there but I will give him props for the costume. At the very least that one looks pretty decent whenever we actually get to see it appear which isn’t very often.

The Deputy was pretty neat though. He kept it 100 with Edison and was always trying his best to help. Edison might have actually had a shot to last longer if he had just listened to the guy instead of hitting ignore on his phone the whole time. Again, Edison really helped to wrap himself in all the trouble he caused. If he had listened to his wife earlier then nothing would have happened. Additionally once the supernatural stuff started to happen he should have clued everyone in. This is really just a case of Edison ignoring all of the signs until it was too late.

The whole gimmick of having to watch the tapes each time doesn’t do the film any favors either. Each tape is about a family getting bumped off in pretty violent ways. Whether it is by drowning or burning, they never quite survive. There’s no way they could have since the whole point is that the villain has been bumping everyone off for a long while now. In a way that makes the tapes worse since you know that they’re all doomed from the start so it’s not like watching them will change anything. Additionally, expect to see each tape several times as they cut to flashbacks quite often. You’ll know each of the tapes quite well by the climax because of that. With the kids dying in those tapes as well they’re definitely no good. There are a bunch of different jump scares in the film though so we’ll see if any of them land for you. I’ll say this at least, I was expecting the dog to die so when he didn’t I was happy about that. It sort of cancelled out though as a dog died in one of the videos…so there goes that. For every step the film took forward it took about 5 back.

Overall, Sinister is one of those films that’s pretty mean spirited and doesn’t really add anything to the cinematic world. Edison does the genre leads proud with how he misses every clue though. He is determined to crack this case and seems to think that he is tough enough to survive all of the scares. That is clearly not the case but I guess I’ll give him some points for bravery…or I would if he didn’t lose them all by running to the beer bottle and lying about it. This is the kind of movie where he probably would have been doomed either way but at least Edison could have given the others a chance. I also think it’s worth pointing out that the Deputy was able to notice things that the lead did not despite working on this case for a much shorter period of time. The Sheriff claimed that Edison was washed up and maybe he was right.

Overall 0/10

They Review


It’s time to look at a horror film from the early 2000s. This one is definitely a very by the books kind of horror film. It throws in all the usual elements like some quick jump scares and spooky visuals. Ultimately it doesn’t do much right though and between the poor characters, lackluster writing, and unimaginative villains; They is a film that you will quickly forget. Even the title doesn’t seem very inspired but it does very quickly give you that horror film kind of vibe so I’ll give the film some credit there.

The film starts with some monsters pulling a kid into there world like something out of Stranger Things. These monsters aren’t all that powerful though and the kid escapes back to the real world. Fast forward almost 20 years later and the monsters show up again. The guy decides to destroy himself to beat the monsters to the punch. He invited Julia over to see this though and now she is scarred for life. Two of the guy’s friends show up (Terry and Sam) and explain that these monsters are here to destroy everyone who has their mark one by one. See, these monsters claim their prey when they’re kids and show up to finish them off once they’re full grown. Julia thinks this is all messed up but eventually is unable to deny this possibility. Is she going to be the next to disappear?

So there are a lot of issues here. One of them is that the monsters don’t get to appear much. Maybe it’s because the director knew they wouldn’t be too fierce looking? They sort of look like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. They’re very frail and most only seem to be about the size of a kid. Sometimes they can be a bit larger though so it seems to vary quite rapidly. Without a monster to fight what about our fight scenes? Well, the issue is that there aren’t really any fights because the monsters are too powerful. I mean, they’re not strong enough to drag a grown person down until there’s a bunch of them but since they have unlimited numbers and cannot be defeated it’s ultimately pointless for the humans to fight back.

That’s why it’s always preferable if you have an opponent that you can really fight off. As powerful as Freddy and Jason are, at least you can theoretically get into a fist fight with them and hope for the best. With these guys they’ll overwhelm you with unlimited numbers. Their only weakness is the sun and since they can create large scale blackouts that won’t help much either. I feel like a sequel about them trying to take over the Earth would have had more potential. As it stands, it just seems like nobody has a shot here and that’s a shame.

Julia isn’t a great main character. She starts getting spooked by the monsters real quick but ultimately doesn’t do much about it. At most she plays along with the gang for a bit but still makes a lot of questionable decisions. At the very least I’d say that staying with Paul would have been better than running to an abandoned Subway station late at night. I’m wondering if the gates actually do shut off at that time. In the movie she gets locked in but if the trains are still running that would be odd. I’ll assume the gremlins were causing this as well. So Julia’s pretty standard for horror protagonists but if anything is a little slower on the ball than the others.

Then we have her boyfriend Paul. The guy seems reasonable for the most part but also way too soft. There’s no way he should be letting these two guys crash at his place without paying rent or anything for so long. Particularly since they break his one and only rule of barging into his room. Paul can definitely do a lot better than this. I’ll give him some points for standing by Julia in the end but that’s about all I can do for him. He’s still better than Terry and Sam though. Terry decides that even though she is going to be one of the next to go…she is going to head to a swimming pool where it gets fairly dark out. She should have made sure she was near the exit for when everyone else was leaving.

I just have a problem with her going at all. Now, it’s true that you can’t just live in fear and hide inside all day. I definitely agree with that logic for just about everything in the real world. That said, if a supernatural demon is after you and you know that it’s been bumping off people as soon as the lights go out, why would you head anywhere without a flashlight or something? Why put yourself in a position to be eaten so easily? It just wasn’t smart. Sam isn’t much better. I guess the guy was home but he’s drawing everything in black paint to make the room even darker. Why? It doesn’t make any sense and naturally the monsters close in on him as well. The guy was always pretty grim by nature so maybe he was taking it in stride. To an extent these aren’t massive details because the film assures us that they were doomed to die either way. Still, it would have been nice if they handled things a little better.

Beyond that the film forces in a lot of the typical romance scenes you would expect in a horror title. There’s quite a lot of fanservice here throughout that brings the film down and the scenes don’t actually add anything to the experience. It’s even used for humor once or twice. Once again I have to take a shot at Julia here. When she’s trying to figure out if she has the mark, it’s literally a life or death matter. Wouldn’t she be a bit more thorough? Later on she has a “whoops” kind of moment when she realizes where it is and you can’t tell me that you wouldn’t have noticed this earlier. When it comes to looking for a mark you had better be detailed. The scene where she tries to deactivate the beacon is pretty brutal but that would have been a little more helpful earlier. Either way I bet she was doomed though.

Overall, the whole movie is really just a lesson in futility for the characters. Nothing they do has any real effect and the monsters are just too strong. The film can be fairly violent and dark the whole time. It’s pretty much mandatory that the characters all have some kind of dark element in their background. The character shooting himself was certainly one way to start the film. There’s just not a whole lot of quality to be found here. It really underperforms in every area. At least it does throw in the token twist ending to the film so you should be ready for that. At the very least I feel like all the horror titles gotta end with that because at least it gives you something to remember the film by. Again, I think there could be potential for a sequel where the aliens wage war on Earth even if that might shift genres a bit. It’ll at least be a good way to shake things up. In the meantime I’d advise skipping this horror flick.

Overall 1/10

Kimetsu no Yaiba: Tomioka Giyuu Gaiden Review


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Overall 2/10

All of Me Review


It’s time for an interesting body possession story. Think of it as something like Freaky Friday only this time the soul is going to a body that’s already filled which leads to its own share of troubles for the main character. The film does its best to not make him all that sympathetic though so unfortunately we’re left in a trick place. Unfortunately the film has too many iffy moments preventing this film from reaching its full potential as a solid comedy film. Always a shame when you see the potential right there.

The movie starts off with Roger being tired of being put in charge of small legal affairs that he feels aren’t particularly important. He asks his boss for a real assignment this time and is placed in charge of the Edwina estate. She is a rich lady who’s about to die and then the company gets the land. She is now trying to change her will so she gives the entire fortune to a girl who is related to a worker there. The reasoning is Edwina has found a guy who can transport her soul to this other person. Roger thinks this is all hooey and lets her know this which almost backfires but the boss doesn’t sweat it. The issue though is when Edwina dies her soul gets thrown into Roger by mistake. Now they each own half of his body. Can the two of them get along long enough to find their way back to the mystic to fix this? In the meanwhile that girl Terry will now be rich and that idea doesn’t sound bad to her.

So there’s a whole lot you can do with this concept. The idea of body hopping is definitely nothing new but since the situations are endless that gives you a lot of creativity. The two of them not getting along just adds to the dynamic. The film does deliver some fun scenes of course and both characters are reasonable for that purpose. Where things get tricky is with Roger who definitely doesn’t seem like a reliable guy. He is very quick to allow Terry to seduce him and that’s where things get dicey. She doesn’t just ensnare him once but even twice. If not for Edwina he would have really been doomed at times. Fortunately the mystic saved Roger the second time. It was a little convenient how the guy just appeared but I certainly won’t complain about that. These romance scenes are definitely no good though and really hurt Roger as a character.

Then of course you have the fact that he was willing to manipulate the court and help out someone he knows was guilty. It’s part of why I would never really want to be a lawyer. The possibility that you have to defend someone that you know is guilty doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. The boss was definitely not a good character and it’s a shame because he did have one good scene early on. When Roger blows up at Edwina and the boss dashes him to the back you expect Roger to be canned because of what Edwina was saying. No, the boss didn’t care in the slightest which is something I wasn’t expecting. Now that was a good humor scene. The film certainly has others as well so make no mistake, it has its moments. Some don’t land though like the whole zipper thing which was just downright painful to consider rather than being humorous.

So this is a film that would have benefited from a better main character or at least less of the affairs going on. Those scenes definitely don’t add anything to the story and just serve as padding for the film. Cut them out and not much changes at all. I dare say that the characters also should have ended things with Terry on their first attack attempt. They really looked sloppy there. The climax is still solid though as we get a fun chase scene. It was also fun seeing the characters stroll up to her mansion only to be greeted with a gun. Terry was certainly prepared, you have to give her that.

As a main villain Terry is definitely intense. She certainly played her part relatively well although there are definitely ways she could have played this a bit better. Her final plan was good enough though where you feel like it was a solid attempt. She was very close to getting away with the whole thing. Pretty easy for earning 23 million in one shot eh? Roger also has a friend named Tyrone who is probably the most dependable character in the film. He may not be able to help out much with the water in the climax but fortunately things worked out okay. He had some of the funnier scenes like giving the play by play during the climax. He had a lot of fun with the role.

As for Edwina, well it’s clear to see why she doesn’t have any friends. She’s certainly not a particularly nice person. Her backstory is fairly tragic though since she’s apparently been sickly her whole life. In a way that’s why she’s thrilled for everything to be all over. If the spell had worked out right away she would have been one very happy camper. That said, she loses a lot of her sympathy points as she actively sabotages Roger the whole time. I don’t blame her stepping in during the scenes with Terry or at the court house, but in general she talks a whole lot even when it’s obvious that Roger will get in trouble. By the same token, Roger also keeps forgetting that he can think out his responses instead of saying them which wouldn’t be quite as crazy. That’s why they’re a perfect pair here. They keep on making mistakes together as a team.

Overall, All of Me is a film that has an interesting set up but the execution isn’t quite up to task with helping out the plot. The movie will be good for some laughs but ultimately just can’t get past the whole Terry plot. It’s also a shame because Terry is a great name so I’d rather it doesn’t get associated with the main villain here. If Roger was a little stronger mentally to resist her influences then that would have helped the film out more. I also think the film could have done more with Roger falling asleep so Edwina takes over the body and runs around making a big mess. There’s a lot you can do with that. Finally, we do get another court scene here which is nice although you’d think Edwina would be able to act a little naturally than she did. I’d recommend checking out a different comedy like Christmas With the Kranks, the execution there is stronger.

Overall 4/10

The Promised Neverland Review


It’s time to look at a manga that ended pretty recently. The Promised Neverland is a very different Shonen Jump title. It’s a lot darker than most and is going for a full horror vibe. Don’t expect to find big super forms or hyper fights running around in this title. It’s more of a slow burner with the heroes trying to escape the demons, at least for most of the series. The series peaked rather early on with the final arcs getting to be a bit much with the plot armor. It’s an interesting series but one that I’m not really a fan of.

The plot starts by introducing us to Emma and the other kids who currently live at an orphanage. They have to take many tests each year which gives them various scores. The 3 smartest kids by far are Emma, Norman, and Ray. They are geniuses at this point. Unfortunately their lives are turned upside down when they find out that one of the kids has been murdered. It turns out that their home is actually a breeding ground for demons and they murder all of the kids. Emma now needs to find a way to save everyone but that will naturally be a difficult task. Can she accomplish this mission along with Norman and Ray?

You can already see how this series will be pretty dark. The heroes literally live on a farm where they are the meals. You also have to live with the knowledge that there are other farms out there with kids who won’t be quite as fortunate as the main characters. We get some pretty interesting mental battles between Norman and Ray during this arc which are typically the highlight. They’re definitely the smartest characters in the series after all. Norman is definitely a bit smarter than Ray though and tends to come out on top.

The second arc changes things up a bit as they finally escape the place. They manage to make it to another farm where Lord Bayon has trapped a bunch of other kids. The rules of this farm are different as it is a pure survival game. Everyone already knows that they are the prey in this case. Every day a few more kids are lost. Emma decides to help their commanders Oliver and Lucas take down the demons. The heroes are through with running and this time they’ll be taking the fight to the villains. Can mere human kids really take these guys down though?

We get quite a bit of solid action here and the heroes learn how to fight back against the demons. It’s definitely the best arc in the series. Granted, this is also where the power levels initially start to get a bit wonky. So the demons have a weakpoint that can be shot. It’s good since that lets the heroes do something but half the time they only win because the demons barely move. There’s no way they could hope to defeat these demons in a straight fight even with a weakpoint. The battle with Leuvis was great for sure, but it’s one that he definitely should have won. That was one reason why it was fun to throw the adults in here, you can definitely see them doing a bit better.

I’d say the third arc is probably protecting the base but it’s almost more of a transition arc. I’d say this could basically lead us to the final arc. We’re introduced to the concept of metahumans who have been developed to stop the demons. The problem is that they are still outnumbered. If they can murder the Demon Queen then this long fight will finally be over. The problem is that Emma doesn’t really want to murder the demons. She wants a world of peace and her inaction threatens to jeopardize the heroes. Will they have to take her down to ensure a better tomorrow?

This final arc definitely added quite a bit of new elements to the series. One of those things was an alien/god who would show up and it all got very meta. It’s an interesting angle even if it doesn’t feel like it’s from the series. A positive element was the metahumans. These guys have actual powers in the form of strength and speed so now this was a group I could see actually taking down the demons. I also liked that Norman’s group was taking a more active approach. They were shutting down farms left and right in what was a very effective campaign during the war between humans and demons. They were really doing just fine on their own so the whole time it felt like they absolutely did not need the main group. If anything it felt like Emma and Ray were holding them back. If they had stuck to just the metahumans running around and fighting I think it would have helped with the power levels.

Lets talk about Emma. She’s a character who changes quite a lot as the series goes on. Unlike the other kids she is not willing to make any sacrifices. She wants to save everyone without a doubt. It’s a noble cause even if the others give her grief about it. She’s a little more unhinged than most leads and the manga does a good job of showing this with the various zoom ins. The art really knows how to get very dynamic. That said, her resolve starts to get a little shaky in the final arc. Suddenly she doesn’t want to destroy any of the demons either? At some points it’s really a decision of whether you save the kids or the demons but you couldn’t possibly do both. This request is a bit more unreasonable on her part. I can’t fault it morally because it’s good to be able to save everyone but it does ruin all of the plans. Without plot armor her decisions would have definitely destroyed the rest of the group.

It just seems like a very different perspective on her part. The demons ruined everything for the heroes and they all couldn’t stand them. A big part of what changed Emma were the two nice demons who helped her out but even so, it was pretty surprising to see. Her final decision was also pretty selfless although it definitely did totally go against what everyone else would have wanted. A selfish choice to help out others, that’s one I can agree with. So Emma’s a good character, but a little too extreme at times. Of course all of the main characters tend to be extreme in some way or another.

Norman gets a really big role in the series. At his core he’s more merciless like Ray but he always tries to help Emma out as much as he can. He’s the brains of the group and does a good job of making sure Emma succeeds in whatever she wants to do. He looks pretty great throughout the series. If anything, if Emma hadn’t shown up I feel like he probably had everything under control. I can also see why his subordinates were pretty upset at the change of character. Then we have Ray who is the best member of the 3 if you ask me. He’s definitely got solid ambition. He’s easily the most rational of the 3 even if Norman is the smartest. Ray always goes for the highest chance of success even if it means sacrificing some people. Ray still does his best to be heroic though and Emma helps change him on that. He has no problems eliminating the demons though.

Then you have Isabella who is the first big villain we see. After all, she’s looking after the children and getting them set up to be eaten. She’s rotten to the core. So you can probably guess how her character arc will go during the series and all I can say is that it isn’t really earned. She did break Emma’s bone intentionally and that’s not even counting the people she actively delivered. While she can make for a good villain, it’s hard to see her as a sympathetic one. Then we have Krone who shows up early in the series. She’s pretty intimidating and also has some good tactics up her sleeve. She can’t compete with Isabella in terms of wit but does a good job regardless.

After the main 3 kids, most of the others weren’t particularly solid at least from the first house. Don and Gilda always felt like they were just getting in the way. They would ignore the wise advice from the main 3 to go ahead and do their own thing. Just because it works out doesn’t mean it was the right move. They’re always a few steps behind. Phil is another kid who gets a roll although he’s one of the youngest so he’s not exactly out in the field. Mostly his character was fun out of universe as there were many theories about him. None of them ever actually happened though so his role is extremely small. It makes sense though since having him fight would be odd.

Mujika is one of the two special demons that meets up with the main characters. She’s not much of a fighter as she is typically known as more of an intelligent demon. She tries to stay ahead of things in that sense so that she won’t even need to fight with the others. Her partner Sonju is the main fighter. Sonju is able to take down several demons at once. The guy’s pretty shady and doesn’t mind murdering humans either. He comes awful close to taking down the kids at one point. He’s not as bad as the rest though so that’s definitely a start. I thought he was one of the more interesting demons and a solid rival to have around. It would have been cool if he could have gotten a few more fights.

Then you have Leuvis who is a solid villain. he likes to have a good fight and I always like that about a villain. He’s willing to let the kids get prepared or whatever they need to make things interesting. It does make for a lot of plot armor on the heroes’ side but that’s to be expected. Regardless it was probably one of the better fights in the series. That arc also introduced us to some new kids and even two adult characters who would go on to be some of the best characters in the series. It reminds me that if the series was based around the adults it probably would have been quite a bit better.

First off is Yugo who initially doesn’t like the kids but gradually gets used to working with them. While he eventually mellows out I can’t say that he starts as anything less than a full villain. He actively did try to murder one of them after all. His fight scenes with Lucas against the government were quite solid. One thing’s for sure, Yugo was never the kind of guy to go down swinging. He went full blast from the jump. Lucas is just as solid if not more so. He never gave up the fight and kept on going the whole way. He’s not quite as skilled as Yugo, but it’s close and he definitely is very good at planning.

Then we have Oliver who is probably the most experienced member of the new kids. He’s a solid fighter and is also a bit older than the others which helps him stay ready for what’s about to come. He’s not on the same level as the metahumans who pop up but that’s okay. He’s strong enough. For the metahumans who appear we’ve got 5 main ones. First up is Vincent who is all about following the plans. He does whatever Norman says. After all, it tends to work out. He’s not really a fighter but he makes sure that all of the characters are in the right spot. I suppose it makes him a little redundant since Norman is smarter but it’s always good to have a backup.

Cislo is pretty fun. There’s not a whole lot to him but he loves murdering demons just like the others. He’s pretty strong and a capable guy to have around. Same for Barbara only she is even more zealous about this. She just loves destroying demons to the point where she eats them. I thought she was definitely the best member of the group. She was always right there on the front lines and could put up a great fight. Finally there’s Zazie who is also strong although he’s a bit more on the mindless side. The powers came at a huge price for him which was pretty unfortunate. He definitely made sure to come through when it counted though.

Ayshe had a sad backstory where she was raised by wolves and definitely does not like Norman or the metahumans. She doesn’t really care for demons either though so she doesn’t really have any friends. She’s a solid fighter though. Ayshe probably gets a smaller role than most of the other characters but the scenes she is in are quite solid. Finally we have the Queen who is of course the strongest demon. She gets a few super forms and looks good. Unfortunately she is way too powerful for this series though. The instant she appears you know that there is no way the kids will be able to do much of anything here. There is no realistic way they could hope to take her down so the final battle gets a little interesting. Either way I did like her as a final boss though. She did a good job of leading the demons even if she should have stepped in sooner to crush the humans.

The art for the series is pretty good. There’s quite a lot of detail in all of the shots. As mentioned earlier, the author did an especially good job of drawing Emma. For some reason Emma became less and less sinister as the series went on though. I don’t think she got any “evil” shots after arc 2. It seems like the author maybe had a different plan for her but ultimately decided to make her more of a hero in the end. I liked the more morally dubious Emma who was willing to blow everyone up to make a point. It did make her look a bit sketchy but that was the point. I can’t be the only one who feels like the Emma in the final arc is a completely different character right? Emma not dishing out veiled threats to people just doesn’t feel right.

Neverland can get pretty dark though so definitely keep that in mind if you start the series. Not only is there a considerable bodycount here but a lot of the people who die are kids. That’s ultimately what holds this series back. When people die it’s pretty fine if they’re main combatants. Context is key of course, but in general having a kid die is a pretty tricky element. Especially a series based around that whole fact. The whole farming thing is about as grim as it gets. You’re unlikely to find another series quite so dark. Attack on Titan’s up there though. It’s in a different way but I would say that it’s pretty comparable.

The series definitely stays pretty interesting throughout. There’s quite a lot of suspense built into it with twists at every corner. As with most mysteries you’ll have to see what you preferred, the build up to it or the payoff. A lot of times the best part of a mystery is the opening act because it’s fun to not know anything. I wouldn’t say any of the twists are bad though. I would have gone in a very different direction with the ending though and added 1 more arc but I suppose the series definitely didn’t want to drag itself out. At least like this people can point to it as a series that’s complete so you can now marathon it from start to finish.

Overall, The Promised Neverland delivers on being a very different kind of manga title. It’ll probably go down as the definitive horror title in Shonen Jump. That said, as horror is already not my genre it’s not surprising that it lagged behind the other manga titles. I’d be down for a sequel series that’s more of a sci-fi thriller with everyone trying to move forward in the new world. I think that could be pretty interesting. That said it’s not like the franchise needs to continue. The ending ties everything up. There are open plots that could be continued but if they don’t you can easily assume what happened on your own. So if you like horror titles then check this one out, otherwise I’d say to go and check out another modern Shonen Jump title like One Piece.

Overall 3/10

Luigi’s Mansion 3 Review


It’s finally time to look at the final entry in the Luigi’s Mansion series. The series has always been pretty nostalgic because the first Luigi’s Mansion is the first Gamecube game I remember playing. It was pretty intense to chase after those ghosts and had a ton of replay value. To date I’d say that it is the best game in the series. It’s just hard to top it as I don’t really see Nintendo ever getting quite so dark again. Parts of that game were legitimitally intimidating like heading to the higher floors of the mansion while knowing that you were getting one step closer to Kign Boo. Still, I do put Mansion 3 above the second installment and it’s a pretty hype way to end the series. I’d definitely be up for a 4th game someday though.

So the plot of the game is that Mario and friends are invited over to a hotel. Luigi sadly has nobody to sit next too, but fortunately his loyal ghost dog is along for the ride. Things get pretty dicey when everyone vanishes during the night. Luigi finds out that King Boo and the hotel owner are behind this. He’s going to need to summon up his courage and free his friends from the paintings once more. It sounds simple enough, but when dealing with the King of the Boos and an army of ghosts you know Luigi is actually going to be in for quite a challenge.

The gameplay is pretty similar to the first two games. You use the Poltergeist to suck in ghosts after flashing them with the flashlight. You can also slam them around to weaken their health. That part’s a new feature as the originals didn’t have a big focus on combat like that. In this game prepare for a ton of slamming as it’s the most efficient way to deal with villains so why wouldn’t you use it right? You also have Gooigi here to help. You can summon him to go through objects that Luigi wouldn’t be able to. He can’t touch water though so keep that in mind for the various puzzles. There are a number of those so you do have to be sure to stay sharp. Let your guard down and the puzzle may end up defeating you.

It’s a classic style that works quite well. Part of why it’s weaker than the first game is ironically the combat mechanic though. The slamming can be a bit repetitive and lacks the same tension as in the original game where you have to hold on tight. Having to press A to shine the ghosts rather than moving the flashlight also isn’t quite as streamlined. Ironically the first game’s gameplay is simply a lot smoother. I also miss some of the extra aspects of the gameplay like having elemental attacks and stuff like that. It gave the game a little extra to it.

This isn’t the time to talk about the first game so much though so lets get back on track. The story here is pretty fun but my one main complaint is Luigi. It’s similar to the Scooby Doo set up where after a while you wonder why Shaggy and Scooby are still scared. Luigi has already beaten up King Boo twice. At this point you’d think he wouldn’t even care much when the guy shows up. Just knock him out a third time. Unfortunately Luigi doesn’t end up getting brave even at the end of the game which was unfortunate. I was waiting for a moment where Luigi finally mans up and does what needs to be done. Unfortunately even to the end it’s more of a reluctant thing which is a bit iffy.

It was nice to actually see more of Mario and Peach though. Mario’s role is small but we do see his confidence right away. The guy may have actually been a little overconfident this time, but I suppose you can’t win them all. I actually thought maybe he would get possessed or something in the end which would have made for a fun boss fight. Teaming up with him would have also worked out really well if you ask me. We’ve never really seen that before so it is completely uncharted territory. The final boss still manages to be pretty intense though. We get to see some more of King Boo’s attacks and the backgrounds are pretty hype.

The game definitely has excellent graphics. It’s Nintendo so I certainly expected nothing less. The character models are on point and I like the stage designs. The enemies are also pretty neat. They’re not quite as memorable as some of the first game bosses like the baby but the game holds its own. It’s definitely always easy to see what’s happening. I don’t really recall much of the soundtrack to be honest. It’s not a game where there really is much of one. I suppose it would probably go against the overall atmosphere of the game but I’d definitely be on board with some solid rock themes or something.

This game should last you around 10 hours which is pretty good. I’d say that it’s probably even a bit longer than the first two games because I remember those being pretty short. There is also a solid amount of replay value here as you can go back to try and grab all of the collectibles. That definitely won’t be an easy feat because there are a lot of them. You can’t forget the Boos after all. I was a little surprised that the game didn’t actually make you grab any of them. It’s good for the post game though and I always support it when games make such things optional. They should never force you into something that you’re not in the mood to do. You just want to get on with the story after all.

Overall, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a pretty solid game. It’s definitely a fun experience and I’d recommend checking it out. The length is just right and it does reference the older games which is pretty neat. Some of the puzzles could be a little dicey at times and whenever the cat would appear it would be a bit annoying to backtrack. Still, the core gameplay is very solid and streamlined. It’s also fun to see Luigi as the lead again even if he is more terrified than usual. We need a Mario’s Mansion game for this reason. Imagine sucking up ghosts but you have Mario confidently laughing the whole time or something like that. That would definitely be pretty neat!

Overall 7/10

Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga Review


It’s time to look at the next installment in Blue Exorcist. This is a pretty unique season two because for starters it completely ignores the second half of the first season. That’s because the first season diverged and ultimately went to filler. It’s a pretty interesting tactic but one that makes sense and more titles should give it a try. That said, I don’t mind series going all the way back to the starting point because it means more adaptions of hype fights. That said, one problem here is that most of the characters have slid way back in terms of character development. It’s a solid show but definitely one that has its flaws.

The show starts with Rin and Yukio stopping a kidnapper from getting away. The guy seems rather skilled though and was able to easily best Yukio before escaping. This compounds with Yukio’s inferiority complex over Rin getting all the power and friends which causes a bit of a rift between them although Rin is oblivious and Yukio tries not to show it. They each go their separate ways as Yukio is called to a mission in the mountains while Rin goes with his friends to a temple mission. The problem is that nobody likes Rin anymore after the events of the forest arc. Even the super nice childhood friend seems to have turned on him.

Rin does his best to cope with this though. At the temple things aren’t quite as they seem. The two main factions are feuding with each other and the leader always skips meeting. They suspect he may be a traitor now which would be devastating. See, the temple is in charge of protecting two eyes because should they ever be brought together then a giant monster would appear and end the planet. Rin wants to help but he is not allowed to do so on account of his devil powers. Will the heroes be able to get past all of their individual dramas in order to help save the day?

As you can see, this season does bring up a lot of plot points from the past and they are necessary to fully get what’s happening here. The show has a lot of flashbacks though so you’ll be up to speed real quick. Here’s why part of the season can feel like a retread though. In the first season once it turned to filler, the series decided to delve into Yukio’s character quite a bit. It makes sense because the manga had been building up this plot since the start and if the anime was doing its own thing anyway they may as well finish it right?

In the first show Yukio briefly turned evil due to mind control and such and he finally got to properly have a talk with Rin. They squared away their differences and vowed to get stronger in their own ways. While the filler arc wasn’t all that great (Trying to turn the Devil into a sympathetic guy who didn’t know any better is still pretty crazy) this plot was handled reasonably well. It’s about at the same level as how the real one went although Yukio not flat out turning evil here is a plus.

The other plot was about Rin’s friends not trusting him after he saved their lives in the forest. (By the way the friends are pretty awful about this in every possible context. If Rin didn’t step up and fight the guy then they all would have been murdered. The friends are so petty the whole time that it’s crazy) That one was handled in the first show as well so the got back to being on good terms. This show has to go through all of that again since they are back to square 1. It’s not that the show does any of this poorly though. Other shows also handle the same plots over and over again with changes like the Fate series as you go through the different paths. It’s rare that you see it in a classic Jump anime though.

All right, that’s enough about the similarities. The whole thing is pretty fun to look at though. Ultimately it makes sense why the series would ignore it and do things the canon way. The series is only 12 episodes so it definitely goes by you in a blast. It’s very nostalgic seeing the old characters and part of what helps seal that effect is they grabbed all of the classic themes. The Blue Exorcist series had a terrific OST so this was a smart play. I’d liked to have seen more of Rin’s theme as it only gets played once or twice but he doesn’t get to fight much here so I suppose that makes sense. I also like the 90’s techno/jazz theme that plays. It’s hard to describe that one but it’s always sounded pretty great and gets you pumped for what’s about to happen.

The animation is definitely on point as well. I always like how they draw the blue flames here. They pop out at you and the same goes for the fire blasts as well. All of the shots look crisp and modern so I’ve definitely got no qualms about this. On a technical level the show definitely holds its own and maintains a consistent quality throughout.

Rin’s still a pretty solid lead. That’s a good thing because at times it feels like he is holding the entire show on his shoulders as far as the cast is concerned. He’s definitely the most interesting character and always puts up a brave front. One subplot here is that Rin has lost a lot of his confidence after his friends undermining him the whole time but he tries to never let this show. To an extent I feel like it was also the sword trolling him or someone preventing him from using it though. I feel like he should have been able to use it sooner. Regardless, Rin always dives into action and definitely handles the situations pretty well.

Shiemi is the main heroine here but she doesn’t manage to stack up as well as most. The reason for this is even she is unable to stay by Rin’s side and is a big reason as to why he has lost confidence. Later on it’s played more like she was too nervous to talk to him but it was hard for her to rebound from this. In comparison Izumo handles things a lot better. She’s already mean to everyone and isn’t afraid to talk to Rin throughout the adventure. She treats him the same way as normal and at least that helps Rin’s experience feel a little more normal at times. Izumo is also portrayed as one of the most skilled exorcists here. She is quick to help heal the monks and also thinks fast during the invasion. From the supporting cast she was definitely the best one.

Ryuji is more of a mixed bag but I would definitely put him on the lower side. He mainly just gets in Rin’s way and gets the lead into trouble on quite a few occasions. It would help if he could fight a bit more or something but most of the main characters can’t really fight for beans. He had his big moments at the end of the season since this is his arc so I think he’ll be a much better character in the next season. At least he ended strong right?

Konekomaru is definitely the worst character though. He’s the one most actively afraid of Rin and getting everyone else to fear the lead as well. The guy never really minds his own business. Look, I would cut the characters a little more slack if I could see why they were scared of Rin but I’m not really buying it. He totally saved them all. Konekomaru just needs to remember that. He’s also one of the most reluctant to go and help Rin when it counted.

Shima is also pretty sketchy although not specifically for Rin. The guy just never wants to risk his life so he’ll run for safety even if it means that all of his friends will die. There’s no real way to support him after something like that. I did appreciate that he was a little quicker to start being cool with Rin again though.

Yukio is still pretty jealous of Rin’s abilities for most of the series. He covers It up by acting calm and collected but as Shura pointed out that makes it a lot easier for demons to manipulate him. Todo plays a ton of mind games with him for most of the series although Yukio ultimately stays strong. He looks better than his first series self in that respect. I liked the magic trap that he used near the end of the series. It was pretty well thought out and at least helped him start to make a comeback. Todo was a supremely difficult opponent to stop so any measure that slowed him down is solid.

So right now I don’t really care for Yukio but hopefully he’ll be on the upwards trend now. He is still keeping secrets from Rin though so I can’t see that ending well. Mainly Yukio’s worst scene here was leaving Rin to die and even trying to stop him from using the sword. For a proper redemption arc we need Yukio to step in and save Rin next time or at least defend him when the chips are down. That’ll go a long way to raising him up the ranks.

Then we have Todo who is the big villain of the arc. The guy definitely does pretty well here as he holds off multiple exorcists and even eats two different spirits. This gives him incredible powers in addition to what he already had. The heroes really had a hard time taking him on to the point where he probably should have crushed them almost instantly based on the speed we saw from him. The guy was just out of their league and when you mix in his regeneration abilities this makes the matter even worse. He was a fun villain. Ultimately I don’t think that guy will be super well remembered but this series hasn’t really had many good villains so almost by default he’s my favorite villain in the series right now.

The show does suffer from a bit of fan service at times. For the most part it’s nothing crazy but it seems like the mentor’s only role at times. Shura’s whole attack on Mephisto is one of those scenes because everyone knew the plan had 0 chance of success. If anything it just makes her look pretty terrible. Is she really so scared of this guy? Why even pick the fight if this was out it was going to end? She also doesn’t look too impressive considering she’s a mentor since Rin is able to shake her a few times and in the final fight she helps a bit, but not a ton.

It’s always a bit dicey to have a villain like Mephisto working with the heroes when he’s way stronger than them and they know it. I don’t see how they can all get along so well. I don’t think the dynamic works to be honest. He puts them into a ton of danger and helps the demons out a lot. Why is the guy still here? While the heroes are very weak compared to the villains, I wouldn’t yet call it a hopeless situation for them. The reason being that there isn’t really much of a villain group yet. The villains just do whatever they want and usually almost beat the heroes. This random monster (Well the Impure King is a pretty cool name and I guess he’s not totally random but there could be a lot of other monsters like this guy around) is apparently pretty strong but for one monster to basically have the whole order in check is a bad sign for them. Without Rin the heroes would be doomed and they should really start to realize that soon.

We get quite a few characters from the two sects over at the temple although most of them won’t stand out. Mamushi gets a big role since she gets involved in the conspiracy. She appears to be a bit gullible the whole time but is certainly dedicated to the cause. I do think she had good reason to doubt that Tatsuma was on the level though. She was a fun character. Then you have Juzo who was my favorite character from the group. He had some good fire abilities and took more of a leadership role compared to the others. That being said, I do think it was a bit odd that he tried to stop Mamushi from saving the eye. At that point nobody knew who the traitor was, but it was about to be burned in flames and the whole point is that they need to protect it right? Seemed like an odd moment in the show and the defense for doing that was real weak. Finally we also have Tatsuma as a character with a big role but he’s pretty terrible from start to finish. The guy was just impossible to redeem by the end and his actions still make no sense if you ask me. Stirring up trouble and getting the sects to suspect each other of treason was not the right way to handle this.


Overall, It’s nice to see Blue Exorcist back. The manga seemed to start diving off the deep end and going nowhere fast but anime is a solid medium that can make things more exciting. The directing here seems solid so I’m sure they could pull more seasons off. It seems a bit unlikely right now since this one came out a while ago, but there’s always a chance for another season. Considering that this one had to work with almost no fights and was still entertaining I think the next one should be in a good position.

Overall 6/10

Kurozakuro Review


It’s time to look at a manga that I had definitely never heard of before. It seems pretty obscure to me, but it lasted for around 7 volumes so I suppose it must have had a fanbase back when it existed. It’s pretty fun and it’s a bit of a shame that it ended so soon. The series had enough going for it where it could have been a few volumes longer. That said, at least we still did get all of the big fights in the end. The series really picked up once the lead character got his act together. This is a pretty traditional action series that will give you a good amount of fun. I’d recommend it.

The series starts with introducing us to Mikito, a pretty ordinary guy. He is definitely a bit of a pacifist and really prefers not to fight but the guy gets bullied quite a bit. The heroine at school encourages him to stick up for himself. Well, one day Mikito does just that and beats the bullies up quite violently. His power seemed greater than a normal human’s and this is actually the case. The legendary being known as Zakuro has implanted himself inside of Mikito. He lives in the character’s psyche and once Zakuro’s powers have completely returned he aims to take control of the world once more. Mikito is now a danger to himself as well as the rest of the world. This sinks in when a monster comes close to murdering his sister. Mikito decides to run away from home while he is still in control of himself but aside from the villains who want to murder him, the various monster hunters are also after his head. Can Mikito keep them all away or is this the end for him.

When it comes to the idea of a demon residing within the main character pretty much every character has taken a shot at it. To an extent this is pretty much mandatory for the main character because it ensures he will always be very powerful. Naruto, Ichigo, Yusuke, Toriko, pretty much all of the big characters have it. Then the leads who don’t like Goku, Gon, Kenshin, have a darker persona within themselves that can grant them extra power when needed. It’s always a pretty nice idea. That said, Zakuro himself is considerably less interesting than most of the monsters and to me he is one of the weakest (not physically but as a character) characters in the series.

At first I wasn’t a big fan of Mikito but he did really improve as the series went on. For starters, his decision to leave home early enough was pretty solid. A lot of characters seem to hesitate about that kind of thing but it is the safest way to ensure his family stays safe. Mikito’s monster genes seem to attract monsters and they certainly attract the hunters as well so he does need to put some distance. The brief scenes of him working for the hunters right under their noses was pretty fun though. It was an interesting dynamic to be sure. Around halfway through the series Mikito finally starts to talk with Zakuro more. Once they’re on the same page Mikito gets more confident in his abilities and that’s when he’s at his best. He dons a cloak and starts to be one of the heavy hitters. I’d have liked the series to go on longer in part because we could have seen him more.

Zakuro never really went up though. He has an interesting backstory and he gets a lot of character development but I just never found him all that cool or entertaining. He got overshadowed by the rest of the cast and villains for sure. The guy can fight though which is always good. Kugai is one of the main characters here and the first hunter we meet. The guy’s a pretty sharp fighter and he’s managed to stay totally human instead of becoming a hybrid. As a result his power definitely does have its limits to be sure, but he isn’t planning on surviving this either way. He does a good job of being the mentor in the series who grudgingly helps out Mikito most of the time. Kugai is pretty solid and definitely one of the better supporting characters.

Gogyo is one of the elite squad members and gets a pretty great entrance. The guy can really fight and is the best hero if you ask me. The guy comes in clutch on many occasions. Ultimately by the end of the series the power levels get too high for anyone who isn’t named Mikito to help but Gogyo manages to keep up with the heroes better than most. He was also a lot more reasonable than the other hunters who would just follow orders no matter what. Thinking for yourself is a critical ability to have.

Then we have Hagi who is another government higher up. This guy is definitely more about following orders until he doesn’t. His scenes near the end of the series are a bit interesting in that respect as he defies orders to try and make a grab for extra power. It’s hard to say what his motivations are most of the time but I would consider him to be a villain. He willingly uses people as sacrifices to get his way so no matter what nice things he tries to do by the end you just can’t buy into it. This guy’s only looking after himself. He is a solid fighter though and holds his own against Gogyo. He made for an interesting villain to have around.

Suguri is one of the first big villains that the heroes fight. You can think of him as a super ogre that is stronger than most. Most ogres are fairly mindless and all they have going for them is a bit of super strength. The Super Ogres have all of their stats amped up further while keeping their human intelligence in check. Then they continue to eat more and more monsters to grow stronger. As with most series this was part of the turning point. By introducing this elite level ogres it ensured that the characters would need power ups to deal with them and that was fun. As far as the villain group goes, Suguri is definitely one of the most memorable members.

Seri didn’t get to do much next to the other White Claw members but he got at least one big fight which is still solid in a 7 volume series. He’s the classic kind of character who really likes to fight and puts his life on the line in each battle due to how risky his combat style is. It all just works out quite well. Azami is one of the members who gets a much bigger role. The others always treat her like a kid and give her little weapons that won’t hurt her as much as the stronger ones. She resents this and is determined to get everyone to really see her true abilities. She is decently skilled but not to the point where their worry isn’t unwarranted. When Azami does manage to fight she tends to get herself in trouble. She did a good job with the sword at the end though so I’ll give her some points there. She was quick to turn on Mikito though even if I suppose everyone was at the time. She wasn’t bad, I think Azami’s final battle helped to solidify her as a solid character.

The rest of the villains in the series are pretty solid. In general I don’t think that any of the super Ogres were bad. They each got a quality fight against the heroes and had interesting ideas. Quen ends up being the final boss and he gets a super form so that’s always cool. He wants to destroy the world and gives them all a hard time. I’d definitely give him a passing grade as far as villains go and the group was pretty neat. I would also call the White Claw (Government group) villains as well with how eager they were to destroy everyone. Especially with the twist of who the leader was since it all ends up throwing you into a loop. It was a pretty cool twist though.

The art is pretty solid. It can be a little rough at first but the art improves rather quickly and by volume 3 or 4 it’s definitely holding its own with the rest. The action scenes here are pretty solid as well. The villains have a lot of creative abilities and they’re all pretty different. It never gets too chaotic on the page either so you can always tell what is going on. That’s always important for any series. The writing is on point as well with each character being pretty reasonable. The story is also engaging and some of the concepts are pretty original even if the general story is basic.

The hunters all use weapons that slowly destroy themselves every time they use it. This is a pretty heavy cost and it shows how desperate they are to beat the villains. It feels like a losing battle for the humans the whole way through because as their numbers continue to shrink and the hunters grow weaker, the villains keep on getting stronger. By the end of the series we learn a lot about all of this and it’s supposed to be a balance, but I think the odds are stacked in the villains favor. They can keep expanding their ranks at any time with the hollow monsters and they’re all pretty powerful which doesn’t bode well for the heroes. Without Mikito they would be totally doomed so it can be annoying when some of the hunters are so insistent on murdering him. It’s not like D-Grayman or Seraph of the End where the humans are completely doomed either way. In this series the humans have a shot if they team up with the main character but that’s really their only chance.

Overall, Kurozakuro is a pretty fun series. It’s a tale about demons and demon hunters so you sort of expect it to be pretty good right away. There are a lot of different plots which is always good and the cast is surprisingly strong. The series may be short but it still gets to use quite a few different backgrounds and settings. They’re all pretty enjoyable and even the school days were pretty good too. The writing in general is solid and I think that ends up helping the series in all areas. It’s a quick read and I definitely recommend checking the series out. It’d be pretty cool if this ever got an anime someday. I think there’s certainly a lot you can do here and the premise would be easy enough to market to the general audience.

Overall 7/10