1 of 12 episodes seen
The art was beautiful (despite the classic raping of still frames), the character were undoubtedly cute and even a favourite voice actor of mine, Yuu Kobayashi, was voicing Rio; however, despite these things, the story that has been displayed thus far is bland and ordinary. The first episode felt more like the ending of a show than a beginning, the story seemed to wrap up and leave nothing open for the second episode, all conflicts were resolved and no foreshadowing that might lead to something bigger in later episodes and the concept of little girls participating in a vaguely explained war and taking it so lightly seems daft, not even the kind that one can just ignore and enjoy, just daft.
However, it does foreshadow many future ecchi scenes and gives off the feel of a harem anime without the male. The gimmick, I do enjoy, I can see that music will become a major part, though the war background seemed a tad unnecessary if the show’s focus is on wind instruments, however the addition of character-made music is far from original, taking into consideration anime like Beck and K-On, it is simply following a fad, and not successfully.
Something that bothered me the most was the zero foreshadowing, explanations or conflicts to leave you hanging and draw the audience in. Kanata just strolled in and was accepted despite many openings for character conflict which left my first impression feeling a little bare. Kanata had some conflict with Rio, though that was easily resolved at the end as they stared into the sunrise (This conflict then resolve contributed to the episode seeming like an ending episode). The animes’ debut episode was lacking and left me uninterested and with nothing to look forward to.
However, it is still the first episode and the anime may simply be a slow starter; something pretty to look at first and then something interesting to get into later. read more
50 of ? chapters read
Oga had that day.
Oga Tatsumi, an infamous delinquent, is a first year attending the notorious Ishiyama High, the "school for delinquents." Ultimately the story consists of Oga trampling and beating powerful delinquent opponents the majority of which are from his school, however this is not where the true story lies. The true story begins as Oga, lazing near a river, notices a large man floating down it, he pulls him to shore only to witness him split open revealing a naked baby boy. As it would happen, this is the son of the Demon King and the future destroyer of mankind and Oga has been chosen by the baby (named Kaiser de Emperana Beelzebub IV or simply Baby-BL) as the one that would raise him. Oga is later joined by the demon maid Hilda who was sent to help care for the Demon King’s son, his rational best and only friend Furuichi and occasionally the strange man from the river, Alaindelon. The story follows Oga as he faces trials; some of his own making and others the product of fathering the future Demon King.
But why Oga, you ask? Oga grew infamous amongst his peers due to his formidable strength and sour attitude which emerged without warning from the woodwork. His journey to the top began recently as a freshman at one of the most dangerous schools around where everyone’s a delinquent and everyone’s looking for a fight (save for Oga's friend Furuichi Takayuki who has proven himself both a weakling and the only rational voice in the manga). It is this strength that was the founding basis of Baby-BL's attachment to Oga, the specific characteristics of the future Demon King's guardian later described as being strong, arrogant and thinking nothing of his fellow man, characteristics Oga possesses for the most part inspired by his violent nature.
The calibre of the battles in the manga can hardly be called battles, a more apt name being simply a fight, although this is what makes Beelzebub so interesting. Beelzebub can deliver an intense fight without powering up, magic or absurd weapons; just two men and their fists (though Baby-BL does lend Oga his power on some occasions, though few) giving the manga a refreshingly authentic taste in comparison to some of the more mainstream fighting anime; however it wouldn’t surprise me if the manga took this path further into the story. I can easily see Baby-BL’s power becoming a larger factor in fights later in the manga, especially as Baby-BL’s and Oga’s relationship develops.
Violence aside, one of the most attractive aspects of the story is the relationship between Oga and Baby-BL. Originally their relationship is that of the resolutely dependent baby and the reluctant father as is proven by the many attempts to pawn the young Demon King off onto other strong characters Baby-BL takes a liking to in a way won’t end in Oga receiving a potentially fatal electric attack from the 15 metre separation rule Baby-BL has developed. However, despite this there are many occasions where Oga attempts to teach the child his own moral values such as “men never leaving their friends behind” and helping Baby-BL to overcome his fear of half-dead cicadas; though his methods are crude, his heart is more often than not in the right place, making Oga seem to have a little more depth. Their relationship is strongly demonstrated in the Toujou arch where their separation makes them realise just how much they’re bonds have grown.
The supporting characters have all proven interesting as well, including necessary stereotypes present in most manga from this genre though each put in situations that make them stand out. To begin with there is Furuichi Takayuki, his best, and probably only, friend in the beginning who provides the necessary reality check in this otherwise wacky world; Furuichi has proven to be quite the ladies man, taking every chance to flirt with the Red Tails, though he’s never succeeded. The Red Tails are the collection of women at Ishiyama High, they are also delinquents and opt for weapons over fists in a fight unlike the male students; they were originally led by Kuneida Aoi (nicknamed the Queen as a result), a skilled swordswomen who first appears when she first meets Oga and Baby-BL in the park dressed in a disguise so that she might walk her baby brother without earning unnecessary attention from gossiping mothers mistaking her for a teenage mother. When she first appears at school, Oga doesn’t recognise her letting him think that the girl at the park and the formidable Queen of Ishiyama High are separate people. Aoi has a crippling crush on Oga and serves as his primary love interest. Another debatable love interest is the Demon Maid Hilda (full name Hildagarde) who has the appearance of a foreigner though dresses like a gothic Lolita and speaks Japanese fluently, she was sent to watch over Baby-BL by his father, the Demon King himself, she acts as a the primary link between the human world and the demon world.
The art style used is common in most fight manga. The art is realistic, though remains animesque enough so that there is still room for comic relief, though still sensible that the fight scene remain intense. The manga utilises shading for the realistic effect though it isn’t strange to see panels in mostly white or black however many of the backgrounds are very well drawn and appear to have had much time invested in them, I largely enjoyed the style and the effort that was put into it.
The jokes were spectacular, the endless comedic possibilities the story line provided was done justice as many situations are seen through the eyes of the amusingly idiotic antagonist. If you’re looking for something serious, then you will find it here, but expect to be thoroughly amused by it as well.
If you’re eager for a violent shounen coated with laughter and wackiness then Beelzebub is the way to go. read more
Dec 19, 2009(Manga) add
1 of ? chapters read
Forever Honey is no exception.
Though I can't give the story any points for originality, I've always felt that originality is only as good as its delivery; this applies perfectly to Forever Honey. Forever Honey borrows a story has been used many times before however it is delivered in a way that touches the heart in more ways that one, invoking emotions that you would never have expected judging from the early pages of the manga.
I wish I could say more but it is a story that leaves room only for spoilers, making a spoil-free review difficult to create.
The art was solid, though nothing that would particularly amaze you, instead simply doing the required job though doing it perfectly. The vague dreamlike style the manga honed was perfect to support the content; this is the reasoning behind my high score.
Like most shoujo tales, the manga is never very character driven, focusing more on the relationships between characters rather than the characters themselves; as a result I will judge the manga on the relationships with a lesser focus on the characters as individuals. In the case of Forever Honey the relationship was between a father and his beloved daughter and, to a lesser extent, the bumbling romance of that father and a kind store clerk.
The relationship between father and daughter is rather sweet; the father seeing his daughter as the only person in his life and the daughter striving to help him see the possibilities of other women making him happy. It is this selfless desire of the daughter which leads to the lesser relationship which is portrayed as a clumsy, sweet romance though later foreshadows the story's climax.
I thoroughly enjoyed the manga, to have provoked so many sincere emotions in such a short time was a beautiful thing and though I cannot expand on it completely I can only hope that this review has provoked some curiosity that you might read this fantastic manga yourself.
It is a definite recommendation that I would suggest to anyone looking for a break from larger serialisations that need a refreshing beginning and end tale to make them smile or cry, depending on their interpretation. read more
107 of 107 chapters read
The manga, if I recall correctly begins with an epiloguesque scene with Lucy escaping from a research facility, brutally murdering the people around her without a stitch on her. Already you can see what I'm talking about what with the immediate distinction of its targeted audience. Smut and blood aside, I found the beginning to have been much more well thought through than it might have seemed as, on a closer look, already the manga has established its three themes; science fiction, ecchi and action/gore as well as introducing the main character and a major plot point.
I found this manga to be an interesting one and is an instant recommendation, the manga a thrilling ride, though not so much intellectual, it is a wild and incredible ride to be on nonetheless. Much like a roller coaster, it is more adrenaline than thought and who doesn't want to ride a roller coaster?
Though short, I hope this review will convince you to some extent. read more
520 of 520 chapters read
If a manga like Dragonball were to only appear now, I would have probably given it an 8 or 9, though I have chosen to keep its original context in mind.
As I just mentioned; if Dragonball were to be released now, then it wouldn't have been as popular as it is today, this is because when the manga came out it was something new and unbelievable that the world had never really seen. The manga was one of the crucial founders of shounen fighting manga and anime; it set all the stereotypes and the benchmarks. Dragonball was one of the greatest stories of its generation and would leave a legacy on all shounen manga that would follow as the style continues to advance and refine to suit the times. Popular anime and manga like Naruto and Bleach all have roots in Dragonball.
Now, as for the story itself, I would say it's very good on its own terms. It takes an ancient Chinese tale and turns it into something completely different: a wacky adventure of a monkey-tailed jungle boy and a blue-haired tech head heiress of which would later be joined by more and more companions, some with rocky beginnings though all charmed by the protagonist, Goku's, innocence.
Goku's natural strength would always be questioned until later in the manga when his true identity is revealed as an adult (I would expect everyone to know, but I won't spoil it, just in case) which would give him the opportunity to face opponents stronger than he'd ever faced in an intergalactic setting.
Dragonball's sense of romance was kind of vague; the manga would skip large amounts of time, rarely even offering as much as a montage to explain the gap. Most romantic relationships would take place between these times. I felt that this was probably one of the best methods, the concept of lovey-dovey romance happening within Dragonball is shudder-worthy, it would undermine the true focus of the anime and so, as a result, even the cutest pairing were laced with violence, screaming spouses throwing threats at one another, it was the manga's own form of love.
The style enjoyed sitting out of the box.
Before Dragonball most anime and manga were similar to Astro Boy or the work of Hayao Miyazaki, but then came Dragonball sporting veined muscles and antagonists like king Piccollo and Frieza.
The settings were unique as well, like an alternate universe to our own world filled with amusing sterotypes from around the world, the terrain ranging from desert to jungles, cities to islands.
The world was made the playground for this manga.
Like any fighting manga or anime, it was very character driven, creating unique and wacky personalities and character designs with very well thought out back story that would always come back to bite them somewhere in the manga, no matter how far forward. In Dragonball especially, the character development was evident, as the characters changed and aged physically and mentally, maturing in all their own chosen occupations.
I will have to say that the reason I enjoyed this manga the most was because of the nostalgia that I felt from reading it, I could remember a time back when I was just four or five years old when I would sit and watch, even though I can't remember much about my childhood, I still hang onto so many memories of watching Goku fight Frieza on planet Namek, of trunks and his father fighting cell among others.
I remember and it feels good to be reminded. read more
108 of 108 chapters read
– is murdering criminal’s justice...or murder?
The concept of playing god has been toyed with countless times in countless formats though never has it been so well done or to such a high intellectual standard as it has been with Death Note. The story of a teenage prodigy who comes across a great power that allows him to toy with life itself and of those who oppose him as he attempts to cleanse the world of all hate and all its criminals; it seems like a fair enough summary though what you need to hear is not this.
There are two factors that prove the most intriguing in this manga:
First: The intellectual drama is amazing, the thought and thorough planning that goes into every act is indescribably intimidating and can only be compared to a game of chess between two of the greatest minds in the world. However, despite the intellectual drama it does not bore you. The manga doesn't play with intellect in a way that it grows dull and flies straight over the readers head, instead it's the bulk paragraphs of information that keeps you entertained instead, greatly overpowering what would otherwise be mindless slaughter (which I would have still enjoyed), it is the intelligence that gives the usually mindless act of murder a second chance at redemption.
Second: Redemption was the word I used; redemption of a usually condemnably heinous act: murder. But is it really murder if you are taking the lives of those who have committed crimes so much more heinous? Is it really murder if there are people who will suffer throughout their lives if these criminals are not killed? Would it make you just as bad a person if you took the life of someone who had done the same?
This is the crux of Death Note; it takes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to confront your own beliefs. Who will you side with? Will it be Kira or L? To this day I am not completely resigned to just one. It is this that you will remember most of the story, even if you don't realise it.
I am feeling rather silly, handing out so many perfect scores though am comforted by the fact that the manga is deserving of such praise.
The art was perfect, syncing with the themes and the story just how you would hope it to. The art was severe and realistic; it steered away from the large haired, big eyed style, opting for a more realistic approach. Why? There is a simple reason for this –
– the more realistic, the easier to imagine it really happening.
The style choice wasn't designed for comic relief or for romantic scenes or even as the Mangaka’s personal style, it was specifically designed to let you see how real and severe the situation truly was, how easily relatable their world and our own are. It was sending a message of "what if".
It was designed to frighten us.
Why not a perfect score? Well, I will be a little selfish here so that I might comment on something:
The men in the manga were legends, powerful and nigh invincible creatures that you could only sit in awe as you witnessed their brilliance. Though what of the women? The women in Death Note were portrayed as idiots or weaklings, even the strongest of them where either designed to not be taken seriously or killed mere chapters into the manga if they showed any signs of intelligence. However, I would hardly say that it would take an entire 1/10th off of the score, if I could I would make it a 9.99/10, but I needed an opening to explain the women’s side of things.
Now, women aside, the main characters and even the supporting characters showed remarkable story and character development and their responses were so well thought out and flowed so well in conversation. A personal example is after completing the manga I went back to the beginning and was thoroughly shocked, the Light from the first chapter and the one from the last were completely different and, uncannily, I had barely noticed his transformation at all. This shows how smoothly his development as a character was underwent and how well thought out he had been since the very beginning.
There was never a moment I was bored or even slightly disinterested, I'm actually glad I read this manga after it had completed publishing else I would have been driven mad had I been left to fend for myself for weeks at a time, my suspense and curiosity slowly killing me from the inside. Overall, I don't think it's possible to not enjoy this manga. read more
6 of 6 chapters read
But I soon found it was nothing like Blood+
Sure, it had vampires, and seemed to me more a hybrid of Blood: The Last Vampire (the movie) and Blood+ (the anime) than anything else but it had in itself it's own points of interest.
As I just said a moment ago, the story seemed more a hybrid of the anime movie Blood: The Last Vampire and the anime series Blood+, so I cannot say for certain how the story would have had an impression on me had I read it first but I will tell you what I can.
The story was shocking at the least, including violent and homosexual themes, the use of blood was common and orgy-like scene often graced the pages, which I felt might have undermined the actual story at times, the blood was required, though I felt they were just adding sex to appeal to a more perverted audience.
The story lacked backstory, the characters seemed undeveloped as did the reasoning though the events that followed were most definitely intriguing as a full out battle waged between pro and an tagonist.
With the art you begin to realise just what response the manga tries to earn from its reader. The art seems brutal and crude though you can tell it has a purpose, the manga wants to offend you and shock you. It is by far one of the most interesting factors of the manga, though isn't present in the art alone, the story also includes graphic sex scenes and blood spatter and crazed expressions which creep you out.
The manga wasn' very character driven, it focusing more on shocking you rather than intriguing you, leaving the characters undeveloped and uninteresting as individuals.
The manga wasn't created to entertain, persay, but more as a tool to shock. It's purpose was similar to a horror movie in the sense that you watch it to be scared, well, you read it to be shocked. Not entertained.
Overall read more
185 of 187 chapters read
When the setting and basic backstory had been established, I was already enthralled; the story of an ex-assassin who turned his back on his dark past to face a brighter future was a pleasant thought and would make for an interesting manga. However, though I enjoyed the basic backstory, when the story found itself at the main antagonist I felt that the story took a rather unrealistic turn. The antagonists fall to madness and his reasoning behind it felt silly, vague and rather unlikely, making me wish that they had given the antagonist a little more thought when playing with his concept.
Despite the rocky antagonist, once you accept it, the events that follow become very interesting, making you forget his unstable backstory and instead allowing you to sit back and enjoy the manga for it's excellent story.
The art was very nice, the manga chose to take the anatomically correct, though stilly very animesque, approach which I felt suited it well, giving the characters the dynamic feel required during intense battle scenes, though keeping them simple enough that they might provide comic relief and hyperbolic amusement.
The character design was just as nice, each character having a very unique though still normal appearance (though Train's clothing might have been a little out there, but is to be expected as the main character).
The characters were by far the most excellent part about the manga. This manga contained a strong theme of freindship which I enjoyed immensely, the story of Saya and Train and how Train slowly but surely gains freinds and allies in his work, a new though valuable experience to him.
As for the backstory, each character of interest (save for the antagonist) had a notable and interesting backstory to back their characters and their responses to one another.
The charactes were very thought through in this serialisation.
Though this manga did find itself slowing down at times, the battle scenes were always intense and the flashback always interesting as well as the times the gang spent together, it is this which kept the manga moving, even when it slowed, it never stopped.
This manga was always fun and the characters were perfect, I'd definitely reccommend it to to pass some time. read more
28 of 28 chapters read
Beauty is not a manga tale to fantasize about, but rather one to have fun with and smile at some of the more innapropriate moment. To enjoy this manga I'd say you just have to take it for what it is, a girl throwing up on boys.
Now, I won't say that I'm truly familiar with the manga as it's been just under two years since I read this manga (sometime in January of 2008), but I do remember it fondly as I was the one that first added Beauty to MyAnimeList and I was rather surprised that no-one had realised such a sweet manga earlier, I am glad to see that it has earnt such a following.
If you were to tell me to read a manga about beautiful boys and regurgiated undigested food, then I would probably ignore you and read something violent, but when I stumbled upon Beauty I was rather amused which later developed into something sweeter.
The plot in itself was strange, a rather pretty girl who vomits whenever seeing something beautiful, though not something cut out to become a legendary tale or even an anime adaption. Though it was still fun to read and the story flowed nicely accross a manga format and yet never slowed down in a way that would bore you. In many cases, this alone is enough to make the manga worthwhile, though it continued to deliver in terms of plot. It keeps you interested and curious about her condition and the man she would eventually choose in a rather effortless fashion.
The Art, though nothing innovative, was very nice. The style was traditional of any shoujo; large eyed girls, angular pretty boys and of course never short on beautiful clothing. The art itself held a kind of wispy, vagueness to it, which gave the images a dreamlike quality, though still recognisable.
I felt that this was a very nice effect which gave this very dreamlike shoujo manga what it needed.
Though each character had his or her twist, the girls seemed to be rather average as the unsuspecting, baby faced girl with a rather timid personality and the humourous pretty boys that gave the manga its dose of humour. These are stereotypes that are common in a shoujo manga that i felt could have been a little more innovative with.
Though, I would have to say, the characters had very nice responses to one another, their reactions to each of their personalities were well done and practically made the manga what it was.
I really did have fun as I read this manga, the story was fun and intriguing and the characters had their own charms and the jokes were very fun and light hearted.
Though I wouldn't say that this is a great manga, it's still a fun one and to truly enjoy it you just have to take it for what it is. read more
8 of 25 episodes seen
But little did I expect to be sorely disappointed.
This anime isn't terrible persay, though I would say that it has been greatly overestimated. The story is unrelatable and unrealistic and I don't mean this in the "GIANT MECHA AND SPARKLY COLOURS" way, but in the "There is no way this could be seen as a real life situation, it's just so silly" way.
Now, a quick overview of the story's good parts. Ahem.....uh....err.....oh yeah, THIS ANIME DOESN'T HAVE A STORY! Girl meets boy, girl is stupid, boy is also stupid, girls life changes for the better, maybe throw a rival in there. The end. This is hardly a story and I've been far to generous with my rating.
Art is decent, it's nothing spectacular though, the style has been used a hundred times before; more effectively and even in a way that would make the anime seem to have a little more depth, but it would appear this anime didn't really try, relying alot on still frames rather than trying something different or even having consistent movement.
Well, I won't complain, it has a fair opening and ending theme and they include basic intrumental and background noises that are a staple for any anime but, again, it would appear that this anime hasn't even tried at times.
The characters are flat in terms of personality, though they do provide some sorely need comic relief at times, particularly the women the main character adopts as her friends and their homeroom teacher, but everyone else is just placid. The love interest is nice enough though the girl does nothing but angst then smile, angst then smile, etc. and becomes one of those people that makes you want to punch a wall because she's so ignorant; even if you were completely isolated from people, you don't lose common sense as a result, either that or she suffers from severe brain damage, though that isn't covered in the anime so I'll just resign myself to believing that she's just stupid.
I really can't say much, I wasn't necessarily suffering, but alot of the time I found myself banging my head against my desk because every decision made by the characters were so stupid, obvious and often dragged out with scenes of the main character blushing while giving dialogue that's been heard hundreds of times by her before.
I understand that this anime has earnt many fans and I can understand this, I enjoy seeing some clumsy shoujo anime every now and again, because clumsy is cute and even heartwarming, but this anime has been given far too much credit when there are anime out there with far more innovative stories, characters, art, etc.
By all means watch it, but don't take it seriously, it's just a "something to do" anime. read more