Here is a link to the convention. Check out all the guests.
Archives for : manga in st louis
Best Anime Shop – 2013
“Animeggroll’s walls are plastered with a mix of fresh releases and dated rarities. The curio shop of Japanese lore and Western fantasy holds no shortage of Asian comics and figures, but its collection of anime shines above any other store in St. Louis. Animeggroll caters to casual fans with value-priced box sets and used stock, but the hardcore folks can find joy in the store’s supply of special editions. The mass of Japanese anime and manga is bolstered by a trove of used games, including a glass case filled with foreign software and retro titles. Back issues of Asian pop-culture mags, novelty key chains, mascot messenger bags and gaudy wall scrolls round out a massive stack of geeky goods.”
Story and Art: Miyoshi Tomori
U.S Distributor: Viz Media
U. S. Release Date: December 3, 2013
Genre, Format and length: Shojo manga, 200 pages
Overall Personal Rating: B+
Similar titles: Strobe Edge, La Corda ‘d Oro
Series overview: Maria is a seemingly unemotional and blunt sort of person. She transfers to a high school and her personality soon causes trouble while the school is involved in a choral competition. Maria has a beautiful face and a voice to match. She does makes some friends and even finds herself with a boyfriend. Her mysterious history influences how she reacts to the others and she will need to face her past to heal and move forward.
Volume 11 starts with Maria’s voice still gone and Shin’s hand still injured and not healing well. Now that they are a couple, there is pressure to have more of a physical relationship. When Maria finds she can’t express herself with her words, things start to get serious as she uses her body to communicate. Shin slows them down, not wanting to take advantage of the situation.
In a drastic pusht to help Maria get her voice back, Shin and surprisingly Shintaro, go with her to the town where she was from. First finding her old home, they get a clue to move on to find some key people of her past. It turns out that Shintaro has known a lot more than it seems he should. He had an elaborate plan involving Maria, but his motives are as not selfish as they seem.
There is a lot that happens in this volume, but trying to avoid spoiling the details leaves me less to talk about. It is strange the way in the beginning of the series, things seem to be at a slower pace and each story took a longer time. Now with this important trip, it all happens very quickly. Not enough time seemed to be given to the unfolding.
Communication is still a problem between Maria and Shin. They are very concerned about each other and are always trying to be protective but without expressing what they need and want, even as they are trying to figure out what is in their own hearts and minds.
Maria definitely pushes the physical relationship since her voice is gone. It is her way to express herself . Shin was really sweet the way he reacted. For me, it makes it a bit confusing about the intended age range. It had seemed okay for early teens, but now with this one scene, I don’t really think so any more. I wish it had not been put in to keep all the content at the same age level.
Maria’s character started out as sort of a loner and blunt in her manner but now she seems to have really embraced emotions. She reacts to meeting the man who appears to be her father surprisingly mild. Perhaps it was Shintaro’s influence, but it just seemed too easy, more like the writer was trying to tie things up for the impending ending, which is at least 2 volumes away. It looks like there is 13 total. So where is this quick revelation going to take us? This leaves some time for Shin and Maria to find where their relationship is going. I hope it slows back down to its original pace. All in all, it is still and enjoyable romance series.
Overall Grade: B
Director: Takaomi Kanaski
Studio: Studio Deen
U. S. Distributor: FUNimation
U. S. Release Date: Dec. 11th, 2012
Format: DVD / 325 minutes / 13 episodes
Genre: Harem, Comedy, Romance, Fantasy, Supernatural
Age Rating: MA (Mature Audience for Violence and Fan Service)
Overall Personal Rating: B-
Similar Titles: Tenchi Munyo, Ai Yori Aoshi and Ah! My Goddess
Season Two gets off to a shocking start as Ayumu breaks Haruna’s magic chainsaw and accidentally exposes his fondness for pretty pink dresses to the entire school! Next there’s an incident with a dreadful dance that turns out to be a curse – and an embarrassing trip to a maid cafe where all the zombie’s roommates work! But the shenanigans take a backseat to bigger problems when Ayumu’s mysterious drinking buddy turns out to be the most powerful magical girl of them all!
To save his friends and defeat this adorable new menace, zombie boy must do the unthinkable: throw a mixer for his own murderer! With a little help from his loyal harem of vampires, magical girls, and the world’s cutest necromancer, Ayumu just might survive to rot another day!
When coming to this second season I was interested to see if they would go further into the back stories of these strange character, but I have to be honest and say that I was disappointed on that front. The other aspect of the series that I looked forward to was the humor and I was not disappointed one this point. The goofy strange humor held this season together. That fact that each one of the lead characters have such strange personalities that the way they work together seems to make it all even more humorous. I personally like the way that Ayumu moves between being a normal caring person and a rather delusional pervert, but the second season brings out the perversion in several of them. Even though the humor is edgy it doesn’t cross over to the world of vulgar. I found myself laughing out loud enough times to make the pointless plot line worth while.
This simply unique harem anime does much to prove that you take anything and make it a funny series that works even though there is not point to it. In the worlds of harems there are plenty that follow the standard formula and others like Is This A Zombie where the supernatural ends up being the focal point of the comedic relief. It is easy to like this show for what it is.
Overall Grade: B-
Although the comedy is great the lack of a plot is a real downer. I thought something was happening just for it to be dismissed and piled on top of the rest of the strangeness that rolls through the series. It was fun to have Ayumu end up having a little more fun and the fact that so many of the rest of the player became more animated, but the way the story just flopped around left it in a sorry state. I just wish they given us something more to latch onto so that all the humor had something to make it all even funnier. This is still one to just sit back and enjoy it for what it is.
Title: Golgo 13
Original Creator: Saito Takao
U.S Distributor: Sentai Filmworks
U. S. Release Date: Sept 17, 2013
Format and length: Blu-Ray; 50 ep; 1250 min
Overall Personal Rating: B
Similar titles: Ghost in the Shell; Mobile Suit Gundam
Duke Togo has lived his life as a hitman. Throughout this career, he has taken the codename of Golgo 13 and with that name, a reputation as the world’s deadliest sniper. This reputation attracts many employers in search of his services. However, only a few of his prospective employers hire him as there are two conditions that must be met before Golgo 13 will accept a job. The first is his payment. His price is three million dollars. As such, only extremely wealthy individuals even have the assets to hire his services. The second is that he must approve the job. A number of things seem to affect whether or not he accepts a job. Part of it seems to be the reason the employer desires his services, part of it is the conditions of the job itself, and part of it seems to be just whether or not he feels like taking the job. Because of his reputation he has no shortage of possible employers and thus can afford to be picky about the jobs that he accepts. A regular theme that seems to occur with each job that Golgo 13 accepts is that the conditions make eliminating his target seem utterly impossible. To the man who hired him, to the police who investigate the murder after he is finished, to anyone who seems to be unfortunate enough to know about his existence, the fact that he was able to pull off such a crime is practically a miracle.
I cannot say that Golgo 13 was a bad series, but it gets old very quickly. There are, essentially, only two episodes. One episode where he takes on a job where he has to make a seemingly humanly impossible sniper shot. In one situation, he has to hit his target from a distance of two kilometers. Even the SWAT team snipers on duty said that they would be unable to accurately shoot from a distance any greater than five hundred meters. In another scenario, He has to wait for just the right opportunity as he has to shoot a man while he’s next to a window which is behind a sliding door which is behind a revolving door. So both doors had to be open and the man by the window all at the same time in order for him to make the shot. And one episode where, either through bad luck or treachery, he ends up in a situation where his skills as a killer are tested by someone or something that has a huge advantage over him. For example, in one situation he was drugged and was forced to defend himself with impared motor skills, or in another situation, he ended up being targeted by an experimental military weapon.
There were one real problem that I had with Golgo 13. One was that there was lots of pointless sex. For being a cold, emotionless, inhuman killer, Golgo 13 has sex a lot. There does not seem to be any reason for it other than just because sex. He leaves almost immediately and she is never seen again. As far as I can tell, it seems like an attempt to make Golgo 13 seem more like a James Bond 007 kind of character.
Other than that, I had no problems with Golgo 13. The art was some of the most realistic art I’ve seen in an anime and it really fit with the plot of the series. The opening and closing themes both had excellent music and the art was more stylized than the episodes were which made the openings and closings nice to look at as well. I would just not recommend watching the whole series back to back
Overall Grade: B
Golgo 13 was a good series, it is just not one that should be watched in a marathon as the episodes are extremely similar to each other.
Review provided by TJ
Director: Naoto Hosoda
Author: Sakae Esuno
U.S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment
U.S. Release Date: September 17, 2013
Format and Length: DVD / 26 Episodes / 650 Minutes
Genre: Drama, Action, Mystery, Romance, Psychological, Thriller
Industry Age Rating: 17 and up (Mild Nudity and Violence)
Overall Personal Rating: B
Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: East of Eden, Death Note, ChaoS;HEAd, and When They Cry
This psychological thriller, based on the manga written and illustrated by Sakae Esuno, is about Yukiteru, a loner who’s not very good with people. He prefers to observe all he sees, and writes about it in a diary on his cell phone. He also talks to his imaginary friend, Deus Ex Machina – The God of Time and Space. Reality quickly unravels for him when he finds Deus Ex Machina is actually real, and calls him into a death match to determine the new god of space and time, a battle royale with eleven other contestants. Each player, with a sordid past, possesses a prophetic device tuned to his or her personality disorder, giving them control over their future… and the fate of their opponents. It’s their strongest weapon – and their greatest weakness. Within the next 90 days, the contestants must try to survive until there is only one left standing. The winner will become the new God of Time and Space. Within hours, Yukiteru begins abusing his future diary’s predictions, and this does not go unnoticed by a classmate named Yuno. He quickly finds out that Yuno is obsessively stalking him with her own future diary. She’s cute, really clever, proficient with bladed weapons, and has many skeletons in her closet. As the remaining ten begin hunting, can Yukiteru cheat death under Yuno’s maniacal protection or will this path lead to “DEAD END”.
“This must be quite an interesting anime, and I can’t wait to see it.” I said to myself after reading the Future Diary’s box and opening it. And it did not disappoint, for part 1 (first 13 episodes). A battle royale for the ultimate prize of being a god, mixed with horror, and all held together with romance (don’t kid yourself, this anime is all about romance). As unique as the combination is, it hardly is what makes this what it is. The strength of Future Diary’s plot is not about the originality of the premise, but about the originality, and insanity of the journey itself. There is an excellent mix of action, slashing, deception, backstabbing, detective work, plot twists, and craziness. Also a great part is the characters. Each character has had something, or many things that have scarred them in the past, or even happening as the story is told. The development of the characters is extensive, but they spend little time diving into each individual character. Instead you tend to find you are on a need to know, or as you go basis for development. Sometimes it does cause a little confusion. Also part of the issue is the number of characters this anime has, each with separate, unique histories that are brought to the table. You find yourself sometimes having difficulty keeping up with who is who. It’s a full buffet of every character archetype from the classifiable like tsundere or yandere, to those so complex, a generic term cannot be made to fit. So you can imagine it’s an all you can eat character archetype buffet!
Yukiteru is your standard loner with few to no friends. Dive a little deeper you find that he is a beta, coward, who prefers to watch rather than participate in society. Dive deeper and you find out he struggles with family issues at home, and an incessant desire to make his split family whole once more. Yuno is a girl who can definitely be classified as yandere (if you need a definition she is almost a perfect specimen). She also loves to stalk her love interest, and him loving her is all that matters above all else (including family, society, or becoming god herself). They took a long time to get there but eventually you will see what it takes to make a psychopathic yandere what they are (parents take notes, unless you want a yandere, they heed the warning of what will happen to you). I found myself conflicted in my feelings for her. At first I liked her, then she would do something that made me hate her. Then she would slowly redeem herself, just to do it all over again. In the end I have to admit, I liked her and felt sorry for her. There are many characters which I can elaborate on but that takes the fun out of figuring out what they are, what they do, and the motives behind their actions. And the simple fact is, for the story line to advance, the plurality of them must die.
The plot was great, often ending with a good surprise or unforeseen twist, and consistently adding to the profound experience a great anime will allow you to have. I found that I quickly blew through Future Diary Part 1 (episodes 1-13) in one sitting, I could not break away. Part 1 Grade A+
Everything was going so great, and then someone had to throw a wrench into the gears. This was no normal wrench that would break a few teeth on the gears, but a giant wrench of destruction that would completely destroy the machine, ensuring the rest of the time was spent rebuilding what they once had running at peak performance. Future Diary Part 2 (episodes 14-26) were nothing like the first 13. I actually paused it once to make sure I put the right disc in. The story took such a turn that I was left scratching my head, wondering how we got here. The plot twists went from “awesome” to “aww-what”. Sometimes the plot twists seemed forced by making characters act completely out of character, just to advance the plot. When you take the time to build a character, they can’t just wake up one day and say, “Today I am going to do exactly the opposite of what I would normally do.” That only happens to bald losers who live with their parents in early 90’s sitcom comedies now played to kill time late at night. In an anime like this you do tend to get frustrated when favorite characters are killed off to push the story further, but unfortunately it seems a requirement. But sometimes it seemed that killing a certain character off was not necessary to advance this plot. This later resulted in plot twists that were too absurd to be believable. They also spend a lot of time explaining stuff that normal people could figure out on their own, but also again, making it beyond mind-numbing. This all caused the plot to slow to a crawl. They manage to begin to recover towards the end of Future Diary Part 2 disc 1. They got somewhat back on track, now giving more back-story to both Yukiteru and Yuno. Luckily that was just enough to salvage it as they proceed towards their goal with heightened desire. The ending was a bit psychological. I have to admit, even now I am questioning its meaning and how it affected the storyline. Future Diary Part 2 grade C-.
Future Diary includes the following special features: Select Episode Commentaries, Text-less Opening and Closing Animations, Funimation Trailers, and Bonus “Omake” Short. There is also a very cute mini-episode after each normal episode that the character Murmur directs.