Monday, February 25, 2013

X/1999 Manga Review

X/1999 Manga Review

When I was first introduced to CLAMP I had watched Magic Knight Rayearth. My second CLAMP experience was just as awesome as the first with X/1999 the movie. This was before I really got into manga, so I had never heard of X before. When I found out there was one, I was all over X/1999 the manga.

I recently just finished it to be honest. I had started it when I was younger and was on Volume 10 when I found out there was a TV series. So I watched that, giving up on the manga knowing it was not going to be finished any time soon… That was about 10 years ago. CLAMP still has not finished X/1999 the manga yet (It really urks me)! It is really disappointing especially where it leaves off in the manga.

The Story of X/1999

x fate
The plot of X/1999 is about a teenager named Kamui. He is involved with the end of the world along with several other people. He is the key decider of the fate of the world basically. When he was young his mother moved him away from Tokyo and his friends because her best friend had died. She died so the Kamui’s mother would have more time to prepare Kamui. Years later, Kamui’s mother dies and he heads back to Tokyo and to protect the ones he cares about. He must decide to become a Dragon of Heaven and save the Earth and the people or become a Dragon of Earth and destroy the people but preserve the Earth.

Honestly, there are a lot of plot twists and things you really do not see coming so I do not want to spoil it for you. You should really read this manga series!

The Characters and Art of X/1999

Each character from X/1999 has a wish they want to be granted. Only Kamui can see these wishes. Every character is dynamic and has a back story. Some of their back stories are just quickly brushed over such as Subaru’s and Seishiro, but they are detailed enough to allow you to understand them. CLAMP always delivers very unique characters, even if you can’t physically tell them apart!
CLAMP art is very well known style. You can usually tell when CLAMP was involved with something, artistic wise. The art in X/1999 was amazing as always. CLAMP is always so detailed and yet not to over whelming when it comes to the background.

The Themes of X/1999

There are a lot of religious themes based around this manga. It is set up for the Apocalypse basically and that there are angels (Dragons of Earth) who want to destroy mankind, but there are seals (Dragons of Heaven) that want to protect the people on the Earth and the ‘Now.’ There are also other religious views in the manga such as Buddhism and other Japanese religions.

CLAMP Crossovers

x tokyo
From what I picked up there are a few set of other CLAMP characters in this series, the first three being from Tokyo Babylon. Subaru Sumeragi (Dragon of Heaven), Seishiro Sakurazuka (Dragon of Earth), and Hokuto Sumeragi (Subaru’s dead twin sister), all appear in the manga and the TV series of X/1999. This is a continued story of their lives and what happened after the Tokyo Babylon section of their lives.

csd x
The next three: The CLAMP School Detectives crew, Nokoru Imonoyama, Suoh Takamura, and Akira Ijyuin. The three play small roles in X/1999 and only Nokoru Imonoyama has a lot to say in the series. Of course the boys are much older in this manga.

Read X/1999 Here.
Support CLAMP Here.

Grade: 8/10 (9/10 when completed!)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Top 5 Anime Openings

Anime Openings: Top 5
By Sabrina Murray
Here are what I beleive are the best anime opening/themes that are out there. Of course my number one anime opening is Cowboy Bebop, but the other ones are in no particular order.

Opening 1: Cowboy Bebop

I love Cowboy Bebop so naturally I would pick this as my favorite opening. The song fits the anime very well and gives you a great description of what to expect out of the anime. The Seatbelts do a great job in drawing you into the anime.

Opening 2: X/1999

X/1999 the TV series opening theme sets a great review of what is to come in the anime. The music is perfect for the anime. As always, CLAMP never dissapoints.

Opening 3: Magic Knight Rayearth

Again CLAMP is always great at drawing into the anime by their opening themes. They also always pick great artists to do their opening theme. The opening to Magic Knight Rayearth shows how crazy, sad, and romantic the anime can be.

Opening:4: Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040

Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040's opening theme fits the cyberpunk genre. It is fast paced just like the anime, and compliments it very well.

Opening 5: Fate/Zero

Fate/Zero had a great first opening theme, but I thought that the second one fit the anime so much better. I thought that the anime focused more on Saber and Kitsiguru so the opening focused more on them.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Anime Trailer/Opening Parody Clips

Anime Parody Clips
 By Sabrina Murray
I thought it would be fun to do a little section on anime parody clips. I know that there are alot of these out there, but some are just really good and should be recognized. These are either opening themes to another show/anime or a movie trailer.

Parody 1: Type-Moon's The Avengers Anime Trailer Parody by NasuCheese

This was a great music video. The characters that were chosen to replace the actors were dead on. This anime parody video has great syncing as well as choosing great clips. If no one knew better, one might think this actually was an anime movie trailer! Great job to NasuCheese for bringing us this great video.

Parody 2: Cowboy Bebop Stargate SG1 Theme by cryofcelestial

Of course I am partial to this music video, but only because I was the creator. I love Cowboy Bebop and I love Stargate. I thought they had a lot of similarities between the two with all the hyperspace/wormhole gates. The characters really don't act the same, but the point gets across. Thanks for watching!

Parody 3: Neon Genesis Evangelion Cowboy Bebop Theme by Efrain Chaverri

This is just such an awesome video! The video syncs very well with the audio and the editing of the video is mind blowing. It definately looks like a professional did this. Thanks to Efrain Chaverri and great job on this anime parody video.

Parody 4: Sailor Moon Jerry Springer by DivineIntervention18

This is a great video. When I first got interested in anime music videos back in 1999/2000, I had come across this video. I thought it was hilarious and everyone else would enjoy wathing. The video has great editing as well as great quality.

Parody 5: Lupin III The Hangover Anime Trailer Parody by Fujikogirl

The syncing is not as great in this video as it was in the others. This anime parody video is still pretty good though. Though gets across and it actually fits pretty well together. The clips were picked out well.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Anime Character Look Alikes #2

Kotori Monou (X/1999) and Sara Mudo (Angel Sanctuary)
By Sabrina Murray
The characters may not be twins, but they look like they could be sisters!:
  • They each only have an older brother.
  • Both die in front of their brothers.
  • Both of their brothers are responsible for their eventual deaths.
  • They will both reappear in the series, playing important roles.
  • If it was not for them, the main characters of both series would not have saved Earth.
  • Both would rather rationally talk a situation out, rather than fight.
  • Both are involved in religous based animes.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

X/1999 TV Series Review

X/1999 the TV Series

DVD Cover 1
The series of X/1999 takes a different view on things than the movie. The series is complete unlike the manga. That is why both the movie and the TV series of X/1999 are different. The series has 24 episodes and ran from Oct. 2001 through March 2002.
There is an episode dedicated to almost every member of the Dragons of Earth and Dragons of Heaven. These episodes will tell about the characters past, and why those chose to fight in this war. Kamui is the main character. His mother moved when he was little. He was taken away from his friends, Fuma and Kotori. He soon returns to Tokyo after his mother dies. He is faced with a choice to either save the Earth or to destroy the Earth. Each character has a personal enemy of the opposite team.

The Dragons of Heaven

dragons of heaven
They are known as The Seven Seals. They fight to save Earth and they each have their reason. Eventually Kamui decides to join the Dragons of Heaven. The characters in this group consist of Sorata, Arashi, Subaru,Seiichiro, Karen, and Yuzuriha. They are a consistently happy group all working together to save the Earth even if it means dying.

The Dragons of Earth

They are known as The Seven Angels. They fight to destroy the Earth. They feel human kind has no hope. When Kamui decides to join the Dragons of Heaven, Fuma becomes the Kamui of the Dragons of Earth. This group consists of Yuto, Satsuki, Seishiro, Nataku, Kakyo, and Kusanagi. They work to destroy the Earth, but not really together. They each have their own motif.

Other Characters

princess hinoto
There are a lot of other characters that play important roles in the series. In X/1999 the TV series, Fuma and Kotori’s mother held one sword while Kamui’s aunt held the other sword. Both sides have dreamseer, which are actually blood sisters. Princess Hinoto works for the Dragons of Heaven, while her younger sister, Kanoe, works for the Dragons of Earth.
X/1999 the TV series delivers exactly what you want it to, a reasonable answer to the end of the series. The movie was a dark film, ending in sadness. While sad things do happen in the TV series, it also has very happy things including the ending. The series also allows time for each character to develop and interact properly with one another. Tokyo Babylon’s Subaru and Seishiro make an appearance in the series and close the chapter between the longtime friends.
X/1999 was an amazing series and definitely one of my all-time favorites. While there are many different takes on the X/1999 story, the TV series takes award of best plotted. The series is consistent and provides ample of entertainment. There are a lot of fight scenes and a lot twists. I recommend seeing this anime!

Overall Grade: 9/10

Check out this AMV by Sabrina Murray:

Character of the Week: Himura Kenshin

Himura Kenshin
himura kenshin

Anime: Ruouni Kenshin, Samurai X
A.K.A.: Battousai the Manslayer

kenshin fighting

Age: 28
Height: 5'2"
Weight: 106 lbs
Blood Type: AB
Fighting Style: Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu

Himura Kenshin is the 'star' of the Rurouni Kenshin series. His parents died at a young age. While the tribe was traveling one night they were attacked by bandits. Kenshin was saved by Hiko Seijuro. Seijuro took Kenshin under his wings and trained him in the fighting style of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu.
kenshin cut
Kenshin is known for the 'X' mark on his left cheek. One '\' was given to him by one of his targets while he worked as an assassin. Not to long after, the fiance of that target, gave him the other '/'. Since then he quit working as an assassin and devoted his life to saving people instead of killing people. Throught out the series he meets several people which help him along the way.
Check out this AMV Tribute to Himura Kenshin y Sabrina Murray:

Friday, February 15, 2013

X/1999 the Movie Review

X/1999 the Movie

x the movie
X/1999 is a classic in anime films and yet the original manga is still never to be finished. This film is sad and while it sticks to the manga’s story line, X/1999 the movie does portray its own little short version of the story. It takes all the major points and fights and allows each character their segment in the film. Kamui and Fuma’s being the longest.

The Plot & Characters X/1999

plot x the movie
X/1999 focuses on the character Kamui as well as on his friend Fuma and Fuma’s sister, Kotori. A long time ago Kamui’s mother and he moved out of Tokyo and away from his best friend, Fuma. Later she dies giving him a sword, the weapon to either save or destroy the Earth. He returns to Tokyo to find his friend Fuma. When Kamui decides he wants to save his friends, he chooses to save the Earth and therefore awakens the Kamui in Fuma. This Kamui (Fuma) will destroy the Earth. Now Kamui has to fight his longtime friend, Fuma, to the death. Kotori, the love of Kamui and sister of Fuma, holds the other sword. In order for Fuma to obtain she has to die. In the end, Kamui ends up cutting Fuma’s head off. This leaves Kamui with nothing and a very sad ending indeed.

I like this version of X/1999 even though it is just a summary. The ending is an ending that only an anime can pull off. It feels real because in the end, no one really won anything. Kamui was given no recognition in saving the Earth and ends up killing his best friends which killed his own sister. He has a terrible life ahead of him, but this film is a cold hard truth.


x the movie art
As always, CLAMP delivers great art and a great story in X/1999. The art work is classic CLAMP style and a very dreamy look added to the film. The story is just one version of this ongoing series. The TV series allows a more in depth look at characters and a different ending. This version of X/1999 is the saddest of the three (for now). You really do not get to know the characters, but you get to know enough about them to know their characteristics.

This is definitely a classic in anime films. If you have not seen it, you really should. Any CLAMP story is going to be good, but the X/1999 movie is definitely one of their bests.

Overall Grade: 9/10

Check out this AMV by Sabrina Murray:

Wolf's Rain (Manga) Review

Wolf’s Rain Manga

Wolf's Rain Manga
Volume 1 Cover
I must start by saying I have not seen the anime yet. The manga series of Wolf's Rain is only two volumes long though while the anime, I know, is 30 episodes long. I’m assuming that there is a lot of filler or at least some newer plot lines in Wolf's Rain the anime series. Amusingly the chapters are called ‘gropes’ but using the definition of reaching for something hard to get to or struggling.

The Characters of Wolf's Rain

wolfs rain characters
Wolf’s Rain is a bit rushed only being two volumes. It seems that the story is not really focused on any one character. The characters never really develop either and you really never get to know them. There are a few background stories told on certain characters, but not to explain their history. The character designs are pretty cool except for Darcia. He wears a very weird costume. The art work in Wolf’s Rain is really good though. The wolves are drawn so beautifully.

The Manga

Wolf's Rain
Kiba Manga

In Wolf's Rain, Kiba is in search of paradise, which only wolves can reach. Kiba, Hige, Toboe, and Tsume are all wolves working together to get to paradise. Eventually a flower (in human form) named Cheza falls into their hands and is leading them to paradise. A man in a long coat and his dog named blue (which also turns out to be a wolf) follow them trying to kill them. Darcia (the original owner of Cheza) finally gets Cheza back. The wolves all go to save her and end up watching Darcia going to paradise. In the end the rumor gets around that paradise was there and they begin to journey towards the area. Through the mist of the wolves finding paradise, Tia is trying to find hers as well. She is from a village that would not welcome outsiders. Toboe found Tia and began to talk to her encouraging her to find her own paradise. At the end of Wolf's Rain she found it in her Holy flower.

The Plot of Wolf's Rain

Wolf's Rain
Wolf Pack

The plot of Wolf's Rain is very easy to understand. They are trying to find paradise. The characters though are not easy to understand and you never get to know any at a personal level. The only thing that really keeps you reading is the curiosity of getting to paradise and what it is exactly. Honestly Wolf’s Rain the manga was a bit of a letdown when they got to paradise. You never get to see what the paradise is either. I only hope that the anime of Wolf’s Rain is a lot better than the manga!

Read Wolf's Rain Here.
Support Wolf's Rain Here.

Overall Grade 4/10

Zombie Loan (Manga) review

Zombie Loan Manga

zombie loan
The manga, Zombie Loan, was a great one to read. It really makes you think about life and death and how to deal with certain long lasting situations. If you have seen the anime, you were probably disappointed at where it ended. The anime is pretty much almost the exact same as the manga at times. The good thing about that is there are 83 Chapters (13 Volumes) in the manga. The anime stops at after chapter 31 (Volume 6). That means there are 52 chapters with plot and action that you have not seen!

The Plot of Zombie Loan

zombie loan plot
Like I said the anime is just like the manga. If you have seen the anime then go to the next paragraph. Zombie Loan starts out interesting and mysterious. Michuru is a high school student who can see when people are about to die. They will have a choker like ring around their neck that gets darker as their time draws closer. She runs into to Shito and Chika, survivors of a bus crash, who have the rings. She tries to warn them but sees them killing a zombie dog. She gets involved with them and finds out they are zombies working for Z-loan. Bekkou, their boss, created a life loan with them during the bus crash. Once Michuru joins them, she helps them find zombies to kill. They have to find out who is creating the illegal zombies and destroy them. The main story of Zombie Loan kind of stays hidden during the first 6 volumes. During this time hints of the main story line are given, but never really understood.

Once you get past the story arc of the dreaded Dr. Yoshizumi, the true story plot begins. You find out a load of things that blow your mind about Zombie Loan. I wish I could be more detailed, but it would be some major spoilers. You find out things that happened to Chika during his past and some things about Shito that will haunt him for the rest of his long life. More characters are introduced as well as some older characters that were thought dead or ‘MIA.’ (ENDING SPOILER) The ending of Zombie Loan was extremely interesting. The choice that was left with Michuru and how she dealt with it was very sad. The fact that she chose for life to go on really shows her true character.

The Characters of Zombie Loan

zl characters
Zombie Loan’s characters are introduced mostly at the right timing and you get enough on the character to at least know their personality. The main characters, Michuru, Shito, and Chika, are all different type of characters. They are the normal anime characters though, Michuru the clueless girl, Shito the mysterious one, and Chika the happy go lucky one. As their characters develop though (unlike in the anime) you get to see the darker sides of them. Your view on the characters suddenly changes one by one. This is what is great about this manga; their characters are changing not due to what is happening, but because of what had happened in the past. This is different than other story lines.

Art of Zombie Loan

The art in Zombie Loan is a general type of manga style. There are some fancy differences, but it works for manga. It allows you to stay more focused on the storyline instead of taking in every breath taking piece (ie. Alichino), taking forever to get through the story. The translating from the website I read the manga from was pretty good. Sometimes things were a bit awkward to read, but the point got across.

 Read Zombie Loan Here.
Support Zombie Loan Here.

Overall Grade 8/10

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia

The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia

By Sabrina Murray
hyrule historia
This was a much anticipated book. Hyrule, Zelda, Link, and Ganon have been in the gaming industry since 1986. Since the fist game, The Legend of Zelda, to the the most recent, Skyward Sword, can all be found in the new book: The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia.
This book contains facts you may know and also some you may have never heard of before. One section shows how each of the individual characters have changed throughout the years. The stages a very different from being realistic to a cute chibi like character. You will also find concept art, manga inserts, character designs, building designs, interviews and so much more.
link description
The book is in sections. The first being dedicated soley to the newest Zelda, Skyward Sword. There are notes spread throught out the 60 pages worth of material. Here is where you find the concept art section mostly. The second section is titled "The History of Hyrule: A Chronology," where you can find the timeline of the Zelda worlds. It is a bit confusing when you are just breezing through it, but easy to figure out. Through the almost 70 pages you can find notes and facts about Zelda. The next 100 pages are filled with old art work of previous games and a section of mangas. The last manga being the newest one by Akira Himekawa.
This really is an excellent book to add to the shelf of any Zelda fan. Not only does the book contain great concept art and character designs, but it also gives insight on the game. The book is a great thing to have at your fingertips if you need to look up some information on an old Zelda game. It not only serves as an artbook, but as a manga and encyclopedia as well!
manga link
Grade 9/10
If you liked this review and you are now wanting to purchase the item please click here.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Custom Made Dragonball Action Figures

Custom Dragonball Z Action Figures: Super Saiyans
By Sabrina Murray
Everyone wanted to see what Vegeta reach the Super Saiyan 3 level, but he skipped over that specific level. Other Saiyan characers such as Bra and Pan never reached a Super Saiyan level at all in the Dragonball GT series. Well people have custom made action figures that fit these descriptions. Yes now you can see Bra and Pan in Super Saiyan form as well as find a Super Saiyan 3 Vegeta. People have even created a higher level of Super Saiyan and custom made those into an action figure. Check out these cool photos of the custom Super Saiyan!

Super Saiyan 3 & 5 Vegeta


Both of these figures are based after other cetain action figure models and replaced with different hair. It is obvious that the Super Saiyan 4 Vegeta action figure might have played a role in the making of this action figure.

Super Saiyan 5 & 6 Goku


These are both amazingly well put together action figures. They are detailed and even capture the Goku characteristic smile. The Dragon with teh SS6 looks amazing as well!

Super Saiyan Bra and Pan


These to action figures capture the idea of the Super Saiyan girls, but really does not look to well with the articulation of the action figures.

Super Saiyan 5 Broly


This action figure does great justice to the look of a Super Saiyan 5 Broly. He looks as mean as ever and even stronger than ever!!

Crazy Americanized Action Figure



These are old school style knock off action figures of Dragonball Z characters Vegeta and Super Saiyan Goku. They look like G.I. Joe doll action figure size. Check out the cool website: