Starting Over (Tokyo Shonen)

May 3, 2012

As you may have noticed, of late I have pretty much stopped updating this site. That is for a few reasons, but mainly was because I was trying to do too much work by myself, and also a growing dislike for WordPress itself.

After having taken this short break however, I am happy to say that I have somewhat of a taste for reviewing again. I certainly didn’t fancy sticking around here though, indeed, I wanted to start fresh. It’s because of this that I have started a new site – Tokyo Shonen.

On this new site, I shall be sticking specifically with Shonen titles. Of course this means I won’t be adding news about Japanese music anymore, nor reviewing Anime or Manga that are not from Shonen Jump. This is because  A: I follow things like Bleach and Naruto weekly anyway  and B: Because I don’t have the time to review the many new series that come out throughout the year.

All my weekly Naruto and Bleach reviews will be on Tokyo Shonen from now on (Naruto Shippuden Episode 261 Review is already up there), and I will no longer be updating this site. Thank you very much for supporting Tokyo GazettE, and I hope to see you again on my new site.

Visit Tokyo Shonen

Thanks again

Tokyo Mao

*Site owner of Tokyo GazettE*

Advertisements

Code Geass Gaiden to be Split Over 4 OVAs

April 20, 2012

It’s been a while since anything new was announced in regards to Code Geass Gaiden, but we now have a bit more information about it.

According to Ichiko Hashimoto, the lady behind the music in the Code Geass spin-off, the show will be a four-episode OVA that will premier in cinemas before seeing a DVD/Blu-ray release around three months afterwards. The episodes will also be around 50 minutes long.”

The first of these OVAs will be shown in the summer.

 

*Credit to Japanator for the info*


Naruto Shippuden Episode 259 – Rift – Review / Thoughts

April 19, 2012

Starting a bit off topic, this is the 100th post on this blog, and I want to thank all the readers and fans who have supported it so far, and hope they will continue to do so in the future. Back on topic, I was hoping for something good to take the 100th post, but instead have been left with reviewing Naruto Shippuden 259, which did nothing other than make me angry.

This episode started with Gaara vs Sasuke in the forest just as Gaara was in his partial transformation form, and it ended shortly after the Sound Ninja 4 invited Sasuke to join Orochimaru to gain power. Something I did like in this episode was the music choices, with even the unreleased version of Sasuke’s Destiny (last heard during the flashback to Sasuke showing his father the fireball jutsu) getting a run out. It’s really nice and nostalgic hearing the themes again, and it certainly does bring back some good memories of the series for me.

I also have to say that this episode was put together far better than the last one was. Although there were obviously big parts skipped over and certain scenes edited, it was at least coherent and made sense this week, where with the last episode it was like they just threw random parts together for a laugh.

However, I ask that you forgive me in advance, as I feel a bit of a rant coming here. Now I don’t like filler, 99% of the time it’s god awful and just painful to watch, but I still except it for what it is and don’t really have much of a problem with it. We also know that in these filler episodes, they will often add a few new scenes or certain lines by characters, which again, I mostly don’t have a problem with.

What I DO have a problem with however is what they did here, that being adding words / thoughts to characters that contradict canon and who they are. If you haven’t seen it, I am referring to a scene from the Sasuke vs Naruto rooftop incident. For those that watched the original Anime or read the Manga, we know that after all the recent events Sasuke had become extremely angry and jealous of Naruto to the point where he just wanted to fight and beat Naruto to prove to himself that he was stronger, but in this filler, they decided to add some thoughts coming from both Naruto and Sasuke that weren’t included in the originals.

While in the Anime and Manga Sasuke and Naruto were both on the roof basically trash talking and winding each other up, it was always pretty clear (for Sasuke at least) that this fight was something he wanted to do and had no regrets about either. In this episode though, even while they are talking to each other (like in the above pic), the Anime team decided to add thoughts coming from both Naruto and Sasuke which were along the lines of “I don’t want to do this” or “I have to stop this”, which quite honestly annoyed me an awful lot (and probably more than it should have).

I know when both Naruto and Sasuke were aiming their attacks at each other during their fight, they both had an “oh damn” moment when they realised they couldn’t stop the Chidori or Rasengan, and that was fine. I just hate the way that they basically added doubts to the minds of both Naruto and Sasuke before a single punch was even thrown in this episode, as it just made it look stupid. I mean, they showed the scene shortly before with Sasuke smacking the plate out of Sakura’s hands, activating Sharingan, and then demanding that Naruto fight him, so for about 2 minutes later to suddenly have doubts is just ridiculous. It was really unnecessary and really cheapened Sasuke’s feelings and actions at the time.

Though even moving on from that, this episode I felt did a very poor job of showcasing how Sasuke became so bitter and angry. While it did show his meeting with Itachi, where it was always skipping parts it just didn’t give the same impression or make the same impact. In the originals, we were given time to digest what had been happening, and Sasuke’s descent in to the darkness was played more slowly and with more emotion. I know it’s hardly the Anime team’s fault since they have to rush things, but if you were watching this for the first time without any prior knowledge of what happened with Naruto and Sasuke etc, then it would make Sasuke come across as pretty pathetic or at best make them wonder why he got so pushed over the edge so easily.

As much as I hate to admit it, this episode was a lot better than the last one even though I hated the filler between Naruto and Sasuke and the way it made Sasuke come across. At least the music choices were good and nostalgic, plus the editing was mostly fine.

I apologise for the rant too and I know it probably makes me come across as a Sasuke fanboy, but I can honestly say that I am not ranting because it is Sasuke I feel is being mistreated, I would be equally pissed off if they did it to someone I am fairly neutral about such as Gaara or Kabuto for example. If you can forgive those moments though, it isn’t a terrible episode by Naruto filler standards, but it’s still not something I could actually recommend watching anyway.

My advice – rewatch or re-read the Manga parts of the story if you’re really looking for some nostalgia or want to relive classic moments, as either will do a far more satisfying job than this mini filler arc has.


Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden Episode 3 – A Competition with the Genius Ninja, Neji / TenTen’s Must Win Battle – Review / Thoughts

April 19, 2012

Apologies for the late review of Rock Lee this week, time has been lacking a bit recently for reviews. In any case, better late than never!

This is the 3rd week of the Rock Lee spinoff Anime, and I am happy to say it has been getting better and better each week. While unfortunately the second half of this week’s offering was only average, the first half / story was actually really funny. If they only made it an 11 minute episode per week, it truly would turn out amazing most likely.

The first story was all about Rock Lee’s rivalry with Neji. Of course as fans of the original Naruto series will know, they have had a long rivalry and Lee has always come up short in his efforts to beat the genius Neji. In this episode Lee gets annoyed by how everyone talks about how amazing and cool Neji is, while he gets no attention himself. Lee gets annoyed to the point where he eventually challenges Neji to a fight in one weeks’ time, which Neji accepts.

The episode consists of Lee trying to get stronger in the space of a week so that he can beat Neji, and it’s pretty hilarious. Before his challenge with Neji even came about, initially Lee was just seeing Neji and comparing himself to his standards (and Naruto was soon involved with helping Lee once he saw Sakura was also impressed by Neji). One of the things Lee does is tell TenTen that he also has Byakugan, so he lowers his head and closes his eyes, and when he looks back up at her he has tape on his eyelids that makes him look really silly, shocking TenTen who thinks Lee is being an idiot. When Naruto first sees Lee looking that way, he doesn’t even recognise who it is, as TenTen can’t believe anyone could be so dense.

The really funny parts were a bit later, including Lee saying he was even less of a man than Neji since he wore briefs while Neji wore boxers. And shortly after that, Lee, Naruto and Neji were all using some urinals, and Lee and Naruto come out and sit hunched over acting depressed. They then bemoan the fact that they are smaller than Neji, and “that it’s just one more gift god has bestowed upon him”! I swear I am not kidding, they actually did that and it was hilarious.

There were just plenty of really funny moments like that in the episode, and there are of course more moments that I haven’t mentioned which are almost if not just as funny that you can see for yourself if you watch it.

The second half is about TenTen trying to get Lee and Neji to act more like gentlemen around her, as currently they kept doing things like stripping down to their underwear in front of her and letting her fight the enemies by herself instead of protecting her. TenTen gets angry and whacks them both a few times throughout the episode as they misunderstand what she means about acting more like gentlemen, and there are a few humourus moments where Lee and Neji go over the top in trying to change their ways, including basically waiting hand and foot on TenTen for a while and wearing fancy white suits.

After numerous failed attempts, Lee and Neji realise things aren’t working, so instead they dress TenTen up as a boy saying things will be easier that way. TenTen first of all agrees before she realises what she’s saying, and then of course ends up whacking them both again and calling them idiots. In the end it just ends up with TenTen realising that she doesn’t want or need any special attention just because she’s a girl, and that she was happy with things the way they were before.

As I said, the first half was really good, I found myself laughing throughout the whole episode. Sure it’s pretty immature stuff most of the time, but who cares?  This Anime is supposed to be silly like that to get laughs, and anyone who is watching expecting anything different are just deluding themselves. As long as a comedy series is funny, I for one don’t care how it makes me laugh, as long as it does make me laugh, which Rock Lee does.

The second half was pretty average though. While there were a few laughs, they were pretty few and far between sadly. So far Rock Lee seems to always be like that, with one half standing out as much better than the other, and that’s what leads me to believe that maybe it would have been better as an 11 minute episode per week rather than splitting it up in to two stories. That said, since the show has been steadily improving each week, I do have faith that a bit further down the line we may start seeing the whole 22/23 minutes become entertaining.

Rock Lee has really impressed me, as I will admit I wasn’t expecting much from the series to begin with, but it is a really fun show to watch and gives me a good laugh most of the time. Rock Lee’s Anime has really been growing on me, and I can see myself beginning to look forward to it more and more each week. Hopefully this trend can continue, and if it does, then it will certainly be a series I will recommend to someone who is looking for a good comedy.


Bleach Chapter 489 – March of The Starcross – Review / Thoughts

April 18, 2012

This week I have to say that without a doubt, Bleach 489 was the standout chapter between this and Naruto. Whereas Naruto was firmly rooted in past events, Bleach was very much in the present, as well as setting up something brilliant for the future chapters.

Last week we got to see what looked like the beginning of Ichigo vs Kirge, but Ichigo instead starts off against a few other Quincy instead as you can see in the picture above. It doesn’t take long for Ichigo to realise that the people who before were only known to him as the Vandenreich were in fact Quincy. Kirge even comments on the fact that he invaded without even being 100% sure of who they were, not that it makes a difference to Ichigo as we all know by now.

Rather than Ichigo fighting, this chapter was more focused on the strange events that have been taking place in Soul Society, and who’s to blame for it. To begin with we just see Rukia pacing the floor in Soul Society where she is waiting for the captain’s meeting, with Renji telling her to calm down and take it easy, only for Kira to appear and interrupt. He tells them that something is bothering him, and explains how he used to think all the Vandenreich / Quincy stuff was connected with the disappearances from Rukongai, but now he realises that’s not the case.

Kira begins to explain his thoughts on the matters, and asks a question as well. When Yachiru answers, it confirms things for him, and he asks Nemu what Mayuri is hiding (having concluded that there was something odd about the way things had been done and investigated by his group). Nemu says Mayuri never told her anything about the disappearances, with Kira saying he will just have to report it to Yamamoto himself. Later in the chapter, we see Yamamoto confront Mayuri about it and asks him what’s going on. Mayuri tells him that it’s true he was behind the disappearances, as he had some Shinigami go in to Rukongai and kill the people to keep the balance between spirits and people even. Yamamoto asks why he didn’t ask for permission, saying that under the current circumstances it would have been approved anyway.

Mayuri says that if things had got worse, his unit would have been held responsible for it, hence why he went ahead and did it anyway. Yamamoto responds by saying that if they had reported things sooner, then maybe things wouldn’t have become so serious in the first place. Without hesitation, Mayuri tells Yamamoto he is wrong. He then says how right back when Ishida first invaded Soul Society along with Ichigo etc he warned him of what could one day happen, but that Yamamoto claimed his fears were baseless and denied it.

Mayuri then says Yamamoto is the one to blame because he didn’t lill “that man”  1000 years ago. Meanwhile, with Ichigo distracted by his battle with Kirge and the other Quincy, the king declares that now is the perfect chance to invade Soul Society, and so they head off to do just that.

 

But yes, that was the main content of the chapter. As you can tell, things are getting very serious with potential consequences being unthinkable. The dischord in Soul Society just reminded me of something Kubo said in the interview he did shortly before the arc came out, that being that Soul Society would be devastated like never before (or something along those lines).

I mean, while I know the Quincy invasion is going to have a huge impact on everything, maybe a part of what will make things so devastating and like nothing they have ever seen before will be that Soul Society will become full of rifts between the Gotei 13. With this chapter we can already see that Mayuri is unhappy with Yamamoto, and Yamamoto doesn’t seem too happy with Mayuri either. Of course we have no idea who “That man” is / was, but he could even come back to play some huge role, whether that be what happened in the past or even if he is still alive and active somehow today.

I was expecting this to be an action and battle filled chapter, but instead we were given something that is playing far more with the distrust and psychological aspect of things, and as a fan of that sort of thing then I enjoyed it a lot. Kubo really has done a spectacular job with this arc, and I can’t commend him enough for it. Kubo gets a lot of stick from people for all his trolling and “asspulls” that seemed to be brought up for every arc, but this time I can’t imagine there are too many fans who would criticise what he has done in this war arc.

This was a pretty awesome chapter, despite not being what I (and I suspect many others were expecting), and I really can see next week being fantastic, especially if the Quincy do indeed reach Soul Society by then.


Naruto Chapter 583 – Who is This? – Review / Thoughts

April 18, 2012

Let me start by saying that Naruto chapter 583 is a full chapter of flashbacks, though thankfully they all contain new material, that being more of Kabuto’s past / backstory.

I said last week that I wanted more action, and while that hasn’t changed, on this occasion I am not going to complain about not getting what I was hoping for. In fact, this is kind of what I was also hoping for, that being more info on Kabuto. I complained about the lack of info we got from last week’s chapter considering what should be a long and storied life for Kabuto, so this chapter definitely delivers more on that which is something I am grateful for.

As I said, the whole chapter is flashbacks to Kabuto’s backstory, so if you don’t like this type of chapter or if you don’t like Kabuto, then you are probably going to find this pretty boring admittedly. It was pretty interesting though I have to say, as we got to see both Orochimaru and Danzo in their younger days (and working together), plus we found out how Orochimaru first met Kabuto.

Danzo again showed in this chapter that he was willing to play dirty to get what he wants, with this time him threatening to stop all funding to the orphanage Kabuto was at unless Nonou (Kabuto’s “Mother”) agreed to take part in a very long and risky mission to gather intelligence in the hidden rock village. At first of course Nonou didn’t want to leave the orphanage, and hence why Danzo resorted to the threats. Even after she eventually agreed, Danzo told them that since one of the Root members of his team died in the last mission, he would be taking a child from the orphanage as a replacement. Of course there are objections to that too, but Kabuto is outside and overhears the whole thing, and with Orochimaru’s earlier words about how he would make a good shinobi still clearly resonating inside of him, Kabuto volunteers himself to go so that the orphanage won’t suffer.

It goes to show how much Kabuto valued his adopted family and home, as despite having no interest whatsoever in becoming a ninja, he still gave in and volunteered himself just so that the funding for the orphanage wouldn’t be stopped. Oh, also slightly going back a bit, when one of the other people in charge said that there was no way Danzo could stop their funding because they had an agreement with the Third Hokage himself, one of the hooded guys along with Orochimaru made a thinly veiled threat by saying that it would be very easy for a ninja to sneak in and rob the orphanage considering they couldn’t afford to hire a bodyguard / security. It shows just what Danzo and Root were capable of, and that’s why it’s no real surprise to me that Orochimaru once worked alongside Danzo.

What really stood out to me though was one panel in particular, where even after Kabuto put glasses on his mother (after she repeatedly asked Kabuto who he was years later when Kabuto was there healing her, but of course didn’t have her glasses on) she still didn’t recognise him. The panel was brilliant, because it genuinely showed the moment where it looked like Kabuto just broke inside. I mean, his whole life was a mystery to him apart from his time at the orphanage and the love and bonds he had developed with her, so when the person he cared about most didn’t even recognise his face anymore, it’s no wonder he apparently snapped / became broken like that. Shortly after that, when Kabuto was looking in to a small puddle of water wondering why his own “mother” didn’t even recognise him and what the point of his existance even was anymore, Orochimaru appeared and told him that he remembers who Kabuto is.

Of course I never covered every incident that happened in the chapter, but those were the main focal points in any case. It was really interesting actually having the chance to see Danzo and Orochimaru together like that, as we knew from Tobi’s comments during Sasuke’s fight with Danzo that they had some sort of previous affilliation / relationship. Danzo once again proved that he was willing to do absolutely anything for what he considered to be the greater good, and also how Orochimaru first met Kabuto back when he was a boy, and how years later they met again shortly after the whole incident with Kabuto’s mother.

Since it was clear from the start of the chapter that Orochimaru had a strong interest in Kabuto, some people are already speculating that Orochimaru could well have played a hand in the later events too, saying that he may well have put some kind of spell on Kabuto’s mother so she would forget who he was, or even setting up the events leading to her dying. Although nobody can say for sure, it would come as little surprise if it did turn out to be the case considering how little regard Orochimaru has for others, as well as his constant desire to recruit people he sees potential in.

But yes, although not a fantastic chapter, I still found it quite enjoyable just for getting to see how Orochimaru and Kabuto met, and also seeing Danzo and Orochimaru together. Next week looks like it could well be another flashback chapter too, and although seeing more of Kabuto’s past would by no means be a bad thing, it is getting a bit tiresome with every single chapter now being complete flashbacks. Decent chapter though overall, and hopefully soon we can move back to happenings and battles in the present.


Bakuman Manga Ending in April

April 18, 2012

I am sad to say I have yet more bad news for Anime and Manga fans – the Bakuman Manga is going to end on Monday 23rd of April.

Unlike Bleach, Gintama and Beelzebub which all had their Anime cancelled, Bakuman ending appears to be the choice of the two authors themselves. Even so, it’s always a shame when a series like this comes to an end, particularly one as enjoyable as Bakuman.

Here’s what was recently said to confirm the news:

“Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata are ending their Bakuman manga series in this year’s combined 21st/22nd issue of Shueisha‘s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine on Monday, April 23. The magazine asks their fans to look forward to their next work. The 18th compiled book volume will go on sale on May 2, and the 19th and 20th volumes will follow in June and July, respectively.

The manga has been running in Shonen Jump since 2008. Viz Media is publishing the 11th volume of the manga in North America in June. The manga inspired three television seasons, and the third one will premiere this fall.”

 

*Credit to Anime News Network for the info*