SID’s New Single – Nokoriga – PV Released!

April 14, 2012

I am happy to say I have some good news for fellow fans of J-Rock band SID: Their new single – Nokorigahas now had the PV released!

The Nokoriga single will be officially released on May 2nd,  and another single titled S will be released shortly after on May 9th, but for now you can check out the new PV in the video below!

SID Nokoriga


Kids on The Slope Episode 1 – Moanin’ – Review / Thoughts

April 12, 2012

Kids on The Slope is an Anime series that only came out today, and I admit that until this very evening I don’t remember even hearing about it, let alone having intentions of watching and reviewing it. But I happened to see 3 or 4 different people on my Twitter timeline praising it, and so thought I too might as well give it a try, so with no real expectations I dived in to the series.

For those curious as to what the Anime is about, here is a brief description:

Summer, 1966. Kaoru Nishimi has moved to live with relatives in Kyushu. He’s been an aloof honour student his whole life, but that starts changing when he meets Sentarou Kawabuchi, the school’s notorious bad boy. Through him, he learns the appeal of jazz and forms his first real friendships

For those interested, of note is the fact that this is the latest work from Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo director Shinichiro Watanabe, so if you’re a fan of his work then you will most likely already be aware or have an interest in this series.

But anyway, on to my actual thoughts on the episode.

As I said, I really had no idea what this Anime was or about when I checked it out. The only thing I knew was the title of the show and that it involved music, so I was going in with no real expectations and no idea what it would be like. After this first episode alone I find it difficult to rate since I need to watch more to get a proper idea of what it will be like, but my first impression is pretty good regardless.

The main character Kaoru has just moved in to town and to a new school. He introduces himself in front of the rest of the class, and is met by stares and whispers between students who are commenting on him being a rich boy and not being able to fit in with them since they were from the country while he is a city boy. Kaoru thinks to himself that this is the perhaps the worst feeling he has had from any of his introductions at the various schools he has attended.

Kaoru himself reminds me of a less extreme version of Keima Katsuragi from The World God Only Knows, in that he is pretty introvert and wants to remain out of the way and by himself. That said, as the episode goes on he spends some time with a girl named Ritsuko Mukae, who turns out to be a childhood friend of Sentarou. Sentarou is known as the bad boy of the school and for always getting in to trouble, so needless to say that when he sets his sights on Kaoru when he notices him in the same classroom, Kaoru himself is fearing the worst given the reputation Sentarou has.

In actual fact though, although they couldn’t be more different personality wise, Kaoru seems to have taken somewhat of a shine to the antics of Sentarou. One thing is that Kaoru starts losing his balance and feeling sick when he gets worried and stressed, and the way he combats this has always been to go on top of the roof by himself as it calms him down. He finds out at one stage that Sentarou is the one who has the keys to get out on to the roof, and he isn’t willing to give them away for free, instead asking for 100,000 Yen. Sentarou had got the keys back from some senior students who had stolen them so that they could go out on to the roof to smoke whenever they wanted, but to get them he had to fight all 3 of them as Kaoru stood there and watched it all unfold. As I said, he did get the keys back, but wanted payment in exchange for Kaoru taking them which Kaoru couldn’t afford even if he wanted to.

As the episode progresses however they end up bumping in to each other a couple more times, and although still far from what could be considered friends, they have definitely warmed a bit to each other, helped in part when Kaoru finds out that Sentarou can play music too. Sentarou likes only Jazz, whereas Kaoru had always been a fan of and played classical music on the piano. Near the end of the episode, Sentarou tells Ritsuko that if she wants to hear the piano being played, then he would do it for her instead of Kaoru. Kaoru recognises the song and interrupts Sentarou who was playing it wrong. Sentarou instead tells Kaoru that he doesn’t understand Jazz and that he was the one who was wrong. This all took place in a record shop owned by Ritsuko’s father, so when Kaoru went back upstairs in to the storefront, he purchases the record with the tune Sentarou was playing on so that he could listen to it and probably practice Jazz music properly for himself.

Basically, even though it’s a bit unfair to try and do so, to sum things up this is a short version of what I said above.

Kaoru is someone who keeps to himself and feels like he doesn’t fit in, and he ends up in the same class as a guy who is known as a troublemaker etc. While Kaoru initially fears the worst since they are complete opposites, through the episode they meet a few times and seeing Sentarou’s attitude is clearly making an impact on Kaouru’s own outlook. Later discovered is that they both play and enjoy music, only that Kaoru likes classical piano, while Sentarou likes only Jazz.

But yeah, I probably didn’t explain things too well which I apologise for, but this Anime is pretty hard to accurately describe since it’s not so much the content of the episode, it’s how and when it happens that is going to make up what the Anime really is and is about. My best advice is to watch the episode or at least one of the preview trailers to get a bit more of an idea for yourself.

But in any case, I definitely found myself enjoying this series in this first episode to the point where when the final credits came up, it took me by surprise as the time just flew past. It doesn’t happen very often to me, but when it does I always take it as a good sign since it clearly shows I must have been pretty engrossed by it. Obviously though if Shonen or battle Anime / Manga series are your thing then this has none of that to offer, but for those who enjoy this type of show (or are at least open to them) then I can see you getting plenty of enjoyment from it.

The thing is, although I can’t exactly place my finger on what made this good, I could definitely feel that there was something there and keeping me entertained. Considering I could easily have missed out altogether if not for a few of my Twitter followers, I am delighted that I was able to watch this on the day it came out, as I can see this becoming perhaps the hit of this season, and is something I feel is more than worth a chance if you’re looking for something new to watch.

Naruto Shippuden Episode 258 – Rivals – Review / Thoughts

April 12, 2012

Although the official name for Shippuden 258 is Rivals, instead it should be called butchered, because that’s exactly what it was.

I know I commented last week on how they edited the episode to try and cram a lot in, so don’t get me wrong, I knew this would be heavily edited too, but I didn’t expect such a bad episode from it. It seemed like every few seconds they were skipping forwards in massive chunks.

I mean, the previous episode ended at the start of the Land of Waves arc, but this one skipped that entire arc as soon as it started, so we never saw so much as 1 second of Haku or Zabuza. We got to see the middle of Sasuke vs Orochimaru in the Forest of Death pretty early, then shortly after (after skipping most of that fight too) it was on to the part in the forest where they were fighting clones. Then it skipped to Sasuke telling Naruto he was one of the ones he wanted to fight etc, and I can’t even be bothered talking about it because it was taking the piss to be perfectly honest.

I was expecting this to be heavily edited, so it’s not a case of me getting annoyed over that, I am simply annoyed by the massive amounts removed and also the way the episode was spliced together. The episode was focused on Sasuke and went up to just before his fight with Gaara, so that shows how much they tried to cram in this time.

The thing is, they didn’t even do a good job of it. As well as missing a crapload of stuff out, it was also edited together really poorly so that the episode never had any kind of flow or feeling to it, instead it felt like something a 10 year old using Windows Movie Maker put together. They also added in a couple of scenes with new stuff not in the originals that added nothing and were pointless, the only decent thing they did was fixing Sasuke’s hair when he first arrived at the arena with Kakashi.

Basically, there is absolutely nothing I can recommend for why you should watch this episode. It was a poorly put together mess that only succeeded in ruining some of the best parts of the original Naruto series. Unlike last week, I can’t even say it was a nice chance to revisit the series in HD or as a proper recap, as so much was missed out you might as well not bother anyway.

Seriously, just do yourself a favour and avoid this episode. It felt like the biggest waste of 24 minutes of my life, even moreso than the horrible filler they were churning out pre-Shippuden. If you really want to revisit the series, please just watch the old original episodes or read the Manga version, because all you will get here is 24 piss-poor minutes of something claiming to be Naruto.

Next week will be another recap filler too unfortunately, so I can only hope that they do a better job with that one than they did here.

Fairy Tail The Movie – The Maiden of the Phoenix – Trailer 2 Released

April 11, 2012

Good news for fans of Fairy Tail – A new trailer has been released for the movie! Unfortunately there are currently no subtitled versions available, but below is the original Japanese one in any case.

*Note: If I find a video that has subs I may add it in future, but I cannot translate it myself, so please no comments asking me to do so*




Bleach Chapter 488 – Bond Behind Blast – Review / Thoughts

April 11, 2012

I have to say this was a pretty good chapter. This week I definitely have to say that Bleach was better than Naruto, so needless to say I was pretty happy with chapter 488.

There was a fight with the three Fraccion loyal to Harribel – Sun-Sun, Mila Rose and Appaci in this chapter, and Nel was doing her best to hype them up to Ichigo. Speaking of Nel, she was pretty funny in this chapter as she was riding on Ichigo’s back and doing stuff like covering Ichigo’s eyes so he can’t see where he’s going etc. But there was also some serious stuff in the form of the battle I mentioned above, and also with Soul Society preparing for war with the Vandereich.

This chapter confirmed what everyone knew already, that being that the Vandenreich are in fact Quincy. Mayuri confirms it during a meeting between the Gotei 13 and Yamamoto where they are relaying all the info they have on the Vandenreich and preparing to go to war with them. Yamamoto asks if they have found where the Vandenreich (who from this point on I shall refer to as Quincy since it’s been confirmed now) are located, but he is told that they still don’t know yet. Yamamoto tells them to start preparations for war immediately since they were given the 5 day deadline, with Yamamoto saying that they can’t trust people as despicable as the Quincy to even live up to their word, and that they could strike at any time.

Elsewhere, the trio (who Nel referred to as Tres Bestia) finally stop arguing amongst themselves, and instead start fighting and defeating some of the Quincy soldiers. Nel tells Ichigo that they are really powerful and scary, and tells him that he doesn’t even need to do anything as Tres Bestia will probably wipe out the entire army themselves in no time. Of course Ichigo still continues on anyway, while one of the Quincy runs up to the captain and says they are really strong and that they should retreat for now. The Quincy who said it is then just mercilessly killed, and the Quincy captain tells the Fraccion that he has a proposal for them.

He says that they are strong and that it’s wonderful, as they would be perfect pawns for “his majesty”. He says it’s why he doesn’t want to kill them, and suggests that they surrender instead and become pawns, where at least they would be reunited with Harribel. He then says that there could be no greater joy for them than what he just said, but the Fraccion refuse to listen, telling him not to underestimate them, with them then trying to attack the captain. The Quincy captain says it’s a shame they don’t want to negotiate with him.

Ichigo meanwhile hears a loud explosion, and Nel says it’s probably from the 3 devils and that she won’t make fun of Ichigo if he decides to go back. Just after she finishes saying it however, we get to see the Quincy captain standing on top of a rock or a hill (or something like that anyway) with the three bloody (and presumably) dead bodies of Sun-Sun, Mila Rose and Appaci at his feet. He then notices Ichigo, and comments that now with a Shinigami having arrived that it has been a really busy day for guests.

So yes, that was pretty much the content in the chapter, and it all tied together pretty well. We had the classic mix of seriousness and light hearted scenes / panels which has always been one of my favourite things about Bleach as a whole, and of course it was nice getting 100% proof and confirmation that the Vandenreich are members of the Quincy afterall. No doubt fans of Sun-Sun, Mila Rose and Appaci will be pissed off that they were wiped out so quickly and effortlessly, but I guess Kubo is doing it just to build up some hype and add some feats to the Quincy before they go up against the Gotei 13 and Soul Society.

Speaking of which, of course it was very interesting to see Ichigo being noticed by the Quincy captain, as it means there could very well be a fight between the two of them in the next chapter. Obviously it’s no guarantee as the captain could have other plans, but if it does go ahead it should be awesome, especially if / when Urahara eventually catches up to Ichigo as well. There is still a lot to come and a lot to expect from this arc and the upcoming chapters, and admittedly this chapter didn’t advance things too much, but overall it was still an enjoyable chapter and one that I really liked reading.

Naruto Chapter 582 – Nothing – Review / Thoughts

April 11, 2012

I might as well get this out of the way now: For anyone who has been looking forward to this week to see Izanami, you will be disappointed, as it is nowhere to be seen here. Instead we are given a flashback to some of Kabuto’s childhood.

So yes, this was another flashback heavy chapter with little actual fighting happening. The past few weeks have been like this now, and to be honest it would be nice to see some proper action again soon. While in recent weeks it has been involving Itachi and Sasuke, this chapter is all about Kabuto.

As you can see from the picture above, he has grown extremely confident and arrogant of late, and he clearly considers himself to be a step above any other shinobi at present. Of course considering he created an army of Edo Tensei, powered up Zetsus and himself has a new form of Sage Mode, he has clearly accomplished a lot since his days as Orochimaru’s henchman, but it still doesn’t sit right for the readers who know that inevitably this is going to be the typical villain’s speech bragging how good they are, only for the next week or two coming and them getting their asses handed to them by whoever they are fighting.

Kabuto did at least damage Itachi in this chapter though. He used a jutsu that allowed him to control inanimate objects, and used the jutsu to make the stalagmites in the cave come down on top of Sasuke and Itachi. Sasuke was protected by Susanoo, but only because Itachi slowed himself down to do it to protect Sasuke, and thus ended up getting himself impaled by them. Of course, being an Edo Tensei means it didn’t really make any difference to Itachi. Perhaps the best moment of the chapter then followed with Kabuto charging towards Itachi, ready to rewrite the tag in him now that he was incapacitated, only for Sasuke to use Amaterasu to create a barrier of black flames around himself and Itachi so that Kabuto couldn’t get near them, something that even impressed Kabuto as it was using such a powerful destructive attack as a defensive tactic.

But aside from that, it was all pretty much Kabuto backstory. Now I am usually one of the first people to stand up for backstories and I do enjoy them an awful lot most of the time, but I don’t know, despite Kabuto being one of the main villains and having the possibility of a very interesting history considering he was an orphan and a spy, instead it just felt pretty flat. It was still good getting a glimpse of how he was found and what he was like as a child considering that he has been in Naruto for ages and this is the first real look we have had at him, but it just wasn’t that interesting.

The woman who took in Kabuto actually looked quite a lot like an older version of him, so maybe a bit later something will be revealed about that. But anyway, basically the whole flashback was Kabuto explaining how he has never known who he is, he was found with no name and no memories of even his own parents, so he has always been “nothing” and “nobody”. It almost echoes Tobi’s own comments of late, except for the fact Kabuto seems to have some idea of who he is now, and of course it’s clear he has no problems trying to make a name for himself and be a someone. Heck, it seems to me like that’s very much what he has really been wanting from the start, some form of true identity and recognition.

Overall it was a pretty meh chapter, nothing exciting happened and it was very flashback heavy as I said. It was very disappointing not seeing Izanami this week after the last chapter, but to be honest there just wasn’t anything that made this chapter stand out as anything great, but at the same time it wasn’t terrible either. This was basically just an extremely average chapter, and even if you’re a Kabuto fan I can’t see you enjoying this chapter especially. Hopefully next week shall be an improvement.

Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger Episode 1 – Pain is Power – Review / Thoughts

April 10, 2012

Tokyo GazettE is no longer reviewing this series. For this episode review (and all future Sentai reviews), this is where you can now find them