Friday, July 3, 2009

Eyeshield 21(manga)

Eyeshield 21 (manga)


Kobayakawa Sena is a freshman in highschool. Despite his previous decisions to change his life, he finds himself in the exactly same place he was in during elementary school and junior high: a push over and an errand boy. However, this changes when Hiruma, the most feared person in his school and president of the American Football Club, notices Sena and forces him to join the Football Team. Now Sena will become Eyeshield 21, a mysterious running back with lighting fast speed.

# of chapters available: 333, series complete
Score: 5 out of 5

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Saint Young Men

Saint Young Men


What if Jesus and Buddha were living on Earth in modern times? What if they shared an apartment in Japan? Saint Young Men is a humorous manga about the daily lives of Jesus and Buddha, with each chapter focusing on some element of modern life, such as Disneyland, rush hour on the train, Christmas, the public pool, carnivals, and more.



Faced with an outbreak of demonic blood, which transforms humans into insane and hideous creatures bent on violence and death, only one man can stand against the tide of destruction. Joseph Jobson, the only man able to control his cursed demonic form, must hunt down the man who cursed him and save the world from apocalypse

In a nut shell

Blassreiter is pretty much what the synopsis says. The show details a paramilitary group Xenogenesis Assault Team, referred to as XAT, defending a non descript town/city in what can only be assumed is Germany from Demoniacs. Demoniacs, or also Amalgams, are humans that are re-animated from the dead into monstrous forms that are both agile and strong, an ability that is unique to them is that they can fuse with any type of machinery or metal to their bodies according to their will. The plot begins to evolve when there seems to be a force creating the Demoniacs to wreak havoc. The show takes an uneventful turn when it is revealed that there is some super hi-tech organization, Zwölf, that emerges to combat the Demoniacs and they’re creator.


Not really. In terms of tech, it is more of the same from Studio Gonzo. An almost seamless blending of cell shaded 3D animation and regular 2D animation, Studio Gonzo keeps up with their regular awesomeness. Well, at least on the visual side. The plot is a little routine. I won’t lie and say that there weren’t big reveals. Nor will I pretend that some of them weren’t a little shocking. But the problem is that after all the dust settles, I can’t say anything about the series was groundbreaking. Now, is that necessary? No. But if you’re looking for a groundbreaking series or to find something you’ve never seen before, Blassreiter isn’t what you are looking for.


I was really impressed with the character designs of this series. Naoyuki Onda and Niθ did a great job with the character design. The main characters were well designed. Most of them were pretty memorable. What does this mean? Not that I can easily recall what they looked like verbatim, even though I can. More so that they are easy to spot in a line up as a character from the show. Originality comes into play here again. Most of the back stories are a little face palm worthy. Especially Gerd Frentzen. Gerd was the number one motor cross racer until an accident involving a Demoniac renders him paralyzed from the waist down. Then he follows a pretty typical track of gaining the ability to walk and gains super abilities, being a Demoniac that isn’t insane. He eventually goes insane and kills innocent people, confronts the hero, and then begs to be killed before he hurts others. The only characters I fell in love for where minor characters. It may be different for you.

Setting and Mecha Design

This is really quick. I just have to give the art team of Blassreiter a lot of credit here. I really respect the effort put into accurately portraying the German country side, village atmosphere, and city atmosphere. Even before you are told the setting of the series, you positive it isn’t Japan and you’ll probably assume it takes place in Europe. Furthermore, once you receive hints its Germany, you won’t be too surprised. On the mecha design front, I was quite impressed. All of the mecha work is done in classic Studio Gonzo style of cell shaded 3D animation. However, how do I say this…as far as the Demoniacs and the Blassreiters are concerned they feel very EVA-inspired. The mechs themselves are pretty original and pretty cool. Just another notch in the not original column

I am going to have to give Blassreiter a 3 out of 5. While it is really cool and action packed, it just isn’t original enough for me. It is still enjoyable though. However, this is one of those properties where you can see why Studio Gonzo is in the trouble it is now a days.

Blassreiter First Episode

Watch Blassreiter here

Review Posted by: Sage Gnosis

Dogs ~ Hardcore Twins

Hardcore Twins is a one shot that takes place in Miwa Shiro’s Dogs universe. It tells the tale of out of luck and ex mafia head Domino as he attempts to exact revenge on the person responsible for his fall from power. He encounter a strange pair of twins, Luki and Noki, and hilarity ensues as his luck keeps getting worse.

In a nut shell

What’s nice about Hardcore Twins as a one shot is that there aren’t a lot of inside references. This is great considering the fact that it is part of a larger universe that started with Dogs. Hence, it is an easy entry point for readers. If you like it, you can go back and read Dogs, which this one shot I believes follows pretty much directly after, and then go read Dogs ~ Bullets and Carnage. What is also great about Hardcore Twins, is that there are minor cameos abound of other Dogs characters as well as the few aforementioned references for fans of the universe already.


The character designs follow the trend already established in Dogs. I realize this probably doesn’t mean much because I haven’t reviewed Dogs yet. I’ll have to try and do and do this in order next. Domino literally looks the part of the down on his luck type of guy. His hair is disheveled, he is rocking the drunken salary man headband, and he just looks like he’s in disarray. Automatically, even if you read Dogs, you kind of want to sympathize with the guy. That is until you come across Luki and Noki. I am going to have to assume here that the two twins are girls. But, hey, you never know in manga. Moving on, the dresses Luki and Noki wear are pretty cute and it helps portray them as innocent. However, it also works with the various phases you see them portrayed as throughout Hardcore Twins. It makes them seem more comical when they are teasing Domino and makes them look demonic when they get serious. Also, the weird lazy dark eye they both have is a pretty distinguishing characteristic. I also really liked how they look exactly like two halves of one person. Even if it wasn’t original, it does work really well for the characters.

Art Style

Hardcore Twins is drawn in a very high paced fashion. The use of dark shading for intense facial close-ups was well done. Hmm, I guess I can throw pacing in here to. Because Miwa Shiro uses a very dynamic panel layout, the pacing of the manga does go really at an appropriate pace for an action based manga. Because of this, there is little use for classic speed lines or movement sound effect. This is something I appreciate as it shakes up the norm a bit. Another interesting aspect is having somewhat overlapping panels, where weapons extend from one panel and don’t necessarily effect the next panel they appear in.

Scanlation Job

This is no disrespect to the scanlation group MangaTranslation. I happen to think more often then not they do a wonderful job translating and editing their projects. However, I have one miniscule gripe. I notice on a lot of pages have that bent page quality. For those of you who have read manga or scanned a page from a book before you know exactly what I am talking about. For those that don’t, let me explain. When you use a close top scanner, which most are, you usually have the problem that when you scan the page the image has an obvious curl to it from the spine of the book. For me, this is a little annoying and it could have been easily fixed by the cleaner. Some of you may find no problem with this. On the bright side, I really do appreciate MangaTranslation’s translation notes at the bottom of each page. They were usually helpful or just plain insightful

Overall, Hardcore Twins is really a fun read. Like I said, it is a great entry point into the Dogs universe if you want to get eased into the pace. I warn you that this is one of the less graphic things in the Dogs universe so do not let the lighthearted action fool you. I am going to give Dogs ~ Hardcore Twins a 4 out of 5.

Read Dogs ~ Hardcore Twins here at OneManga.

Review Posted by: Sage Gnosis