Thursday, July 25, 2013

Eikou no Te (Manga) Review

Eikou no Te Manga Review

Eikou no Te Manga Cover
I had no idea what this story was about when I picked Eikou no Te out to read. I am really sad that Eikou no Te never really ended. It kind of just leaves things hanging. After the story of Midori and Mari, it just ends. I was disappointed, but it still is a really good read.

Eikou no Te Plot

Manga Page
In Eikou no Te Masumi is a high school student living in hard times. His parents are dead and he lives with his aunt and younger brother. He never really interacts with other people and has a great artistic ability. He starts having dreams about having his hand being cut off and other random dreams about demons and gates. An angel named Rubbi begins to follow him around saying he will protect him because he is the chosen one. He brushes him off and goes on about his daily life. Men dressed like rabi's begin to follow Masumi around. They start to open dimensions and using powers against Masumi. His angel comes to save him almost every time.

Midori Kamishiro and his sister Mari transfer to Masumi's school. He finds out they also have knowledge about the things that are going on. Midori teaches Masumi to use his powers properly. Mari and Midori are also chosen children. Masumi has to decide if he wants to use his power to save earth or destroy earth.

Eikou no Te Characters

Manga Page
Masumi is the main character of Eikou no Te and a very quiet student. He only cares for his little brother. His guardian Rubbi is an angel that was created by true angels to go to earth. He is only meant to serve the chosen child and take care of things when needed.

Midori and Mari are chosen children as. They were experimented on after they failed to open the gates of Heaven. Mari can not die and Midori has special powers. Midori wishes to end his sisters life thinking it is a cruel life to live.

Eikou no Te Artwork

Manga Chapter Title
The artwork is what really draws you into this manga. The art of Eikou no Te is truly amazing. It honestly reminds me Angel Sanctuary a little. The attention to detail in the character is what really makes them come alive. The artwork of Rubbi and Elle are really interesting and the story behind them is as well. The characters are not the only good art though. The scenes inside the gates were really cool as well. The look of Midori's body how it bubbles and all is really detailed.

Eikou no Te is really a good short read. The story really nevers end. it leaves it open but not really hanging. I would recommend this manga especially to look at the art. The plot was really good and well thought out, but there really needed to be a change of scenery. It seemed like the whole manga was based in the back of an alley.

Read Eikou no Te Here.
Support Eikou no Te Here.

Overall Grade 4/10

Escaflowne (Manga) Review

Escaflowne Manga Review

Escaflowne Manga Cover
When I first picked up Escaflowne to read I expected something different. I have seen only a few episodes of the anime, but I know the general plot. This manga however is written after the anime series. Yuzuru Yashiro explains the story of Escaflowne in a different way. The characters are still there in the story, just in a different way. The story was good and really did not use a lot of machinery. The Escalfowne was not even present in the manga until the last few chapters.

Escaflowne Plot

Manga Page
In this version of Escaflowne, Hitomi has inherited her grandmother's tarot cards and pendant. Van is from Gaea and a prince of the Fanelian kingdom. His family also has the ability to go to the Mystic Moon or Earth. He is forced to go to obtain the key to unlocking Escaflowne. Hitomi's pendant happens to be the key. Hitomi is sucked into the world of Gaea with Van. She meets up with Allen, who is really different from his anime counter part.

Eventually you learn that the reason Hitomi was brought here was not to activate Escaflowne. Dunkirk had wanted to bring her grandmother back. He had once fallen in love with her and sealed the Escaflowne and gave her the key to take back to the Mystic Moon. He used Van's brother Folken to get the key and Hitomi there. Folken uses him to get the key to the Escaflowne though. Once this occurs, Van is faced with having to kill his brother to save Gaea.

Escaflowne Characters

Escaflowne Manga Page
Hitomi is the main character of Escaflowne. She is the quiet and bright student in the class. She is just a high school student which lives with her mother. She inherited a great many things from her grandmother and some from the world of Gaea. Van is the hero of the story. He is a hard headed teenager seeking revenge for Fanelia's destruction. He intends to use Hitomi to get back the Escaflowne and activate it.

Allen is a prince of Asturia. He only wishes to help Van due to the fact that Zaibach is a common enemy among the other empires of Gaea. He is an intelligent person and does have good intentions. Gadeth is a former Zaibach fighter, but has since become a mercenary. Allen hires him to protect Van and Hitomi from the Zaibach forces.

In the Zaibach forces, Dunkirk is the ruler. He is only trying to reconnect with his lost love from the Mystic Moon. Folken is using him so he can get to the key to take over Gaea with the Escaflowne. He is a cold and heartless character.

There are of course other characters in the manga, but these are the only ones that are really important to the story. The other characters may have similarities to the anime, while some are just completely new tot he story.

Escaflowne Differences

Manga Page
There are of course a lot of major differences in the manga and anime of Escaflowne. For instance the Escaflowne is unlocked and used in the first episodes of the anime series. In the manga the Escaflowne is not even unlocked until the last few chapters. No one even uses it to do anything. Van is just given the key and that was all.

Another major difference was how characters looked. Folken and Hitomi was the two major ones. Folken looked more like Zagato from Magic Knight Rayearth than the original in the anime. Hitomi looks different, but only because of the hair. The long hair really makes a difference to her character.

There are also a lot of characters that did not even make the manga series. The twins that follow Falcon around were never mentioned. Nor was their race even mentioned. Merle is never mentioned in the manga. Instead a character named Noir. He has a bird named Subaru which follows him around.

Escaflowne was a great manga. I have not read the other two versions yet, but the one by Yuzuru Yashiro was definitely a good story to read. The story was more focused on the characters and how they dealt with what they were handed rather than fight. The story was a just a bit weak. The character focus was great, but still some more fighting would have been nice.
Overall Grade 5/10

Monday, July 22, 2013

Akira (Manga) Review

Akira Manga

Akira cover
So I went into this manga thinking it would be the same as the animated film. Akira the manga is really different. The story is basically the same, but it is just more in detailed and drawn out. The manga is over a few years worth of time, while the anime only has a week worth's of story. It is a complex manga and has many different plot twists.

Akira Plot

Akira Destroys Tokyo
Akira was a child that had the power to destroy the world. He was part of a research group and was designated #28. He used it once to take out Tokyo and since that time he was put to sleep in the middle of ground zero. He lays deep within the ground frozen in time.

Kaneda is head of the Capsule gang. Him and his best friend Tetsuo, Yamagata, and Kaisuke all make up part of the gang. They race around Neo-Tokyo creating trouble. One night Testuo almost hits a child in the street. The child uses his abilities to protect himself. From this point on Tetsuo is never the same. He begins to experience psychic abilities and abnormal powerful behavior. He learns that he is not the only one with this power. He finds the other Espers (one of which is responsible for his crash) and learns there is another one. Tetsuo finds out that he is not the most powerful of the psychics. He goes to awaken #28.

All the while, Kaneda is trying to get revenge for Yamagata's death and Tetsuo's sudden attitude change. He is constantly getting close to the truth, but is always stopped before he can learn of Tetsuo's powers. He eventually runs into Kei. She is part of an anti-Akira group. He basically falls in love with her throughout the manga.

Once Akira is awakened he is momentarily placed with his three friends from the project. One incidentally takes a bullet in the head for him and causes Akira to release his powers once again. Neo-Tokyo is destroyed and the citizens are left with remains. Two groups arise from the ashes, those for and against Akira and Tetsuo. Kaneda and Kei must fuflill their destiny and take down Tetsuo and Akira before they destroy the world.

Akira Characters

Akira Character Collage
Kaneda and Kei are the main characters of the manga. While Kaneda is a delinquent at heart, he has good intentions when it comes to women. This is how he gets involved with the destruction of Akira and Tetsuo. Kei is smart girl which is involved with an anti-Akira group. She does not mess around and likes to get eh job done.

Akira (#28) and Tetsuo are the main evil doers of this manga. Number 28 is just a child. He rarely speaks in th emanga and has a scary look on his face. he is only happy when he sees the other children. Tetsuo is a drug addicted high school thug. He is always on drugs and loves to make an entrance.

The other children consist of #'s 25, 26, and 27, (or Kiyoko, Takashi, and Masaru). Kiyoko is a young girl who resides in a moveable bed. She has the ability to take over people and constantly uses Kei as a medium. Takashi can walk around normally and has the ability to go through objects and become invisible. Masaru has psychokinesis abilities. He is confined to a wheelchair because he is overweight.

There are various other characters that either have little to the Akira story or a lot. But since there are a lot of different characters and groups I only named the essential characters to the story.

Akira and the Children's Power

A group of children with special abilities were once experimented on in Tokyo. They were numbered off into certain groups by the government. They wanted to use the children's powers for their own benefits. Many died during the expirement while others were left crippled. Due to Akira losing control of his powers, the government buried the project.

Akira is a very complex and long manga. It is definitely nothing like the anime. It is in more detailed and even more mind blowing. Every anime fan should read this manga. You are drawn to each character, and you never know when you could lose them. Akira is the ultimate manga experience.

Read Akira Here.
Support Akira Here.

Overall Grade 10/10

Aquarian Age: Juvenille Orion (Manga) Review

Aquarian Age: Juvenile Orion

Manga Cover 1
Aquarian Age might be a hard manga to follow. Not that the story is hard to understand, but because of the fact that the manga skips around so much. For a manga that has only five volumes, Aquarian Age has a few to many characters. The manga is set up as if it was going to be a long running series only to end abruptly after the fifth manga.

The Plot of Aquarian Age

Manga Page
Aquarian Age revolves around a group of high school students (and one teacher) whom are protecting a high school girl, Mana. Aquarian Age is a war that has been waging between five different factions. The Erasers, Darklores, Wiz-Doms, E.G.O., and Arayashiki make up these five factions. Each group has special abilities the others do not. Mana just happens to be a mind breaker, meaning she has the ability to control these people.

She first met Kaname when she was younger. Both of their parents were involved in this war, but did not want the same for their children. At a young age Mana's parents died and Kaname used his Darklore powers to protect her. She was moved quickly after that to another city. Seven years later she returns to her home town only to find Kaname wants nothing to do with her. She befriends a few people never realizing they are all part of the Aquarian Age. Naoya, Kaname's best friend, Isshin, Tsukasa, and their teacher Tomonori, all follow and protect Mana along with Kaname.

Mana vows to protect the ones that she loves and to survive the war. The only problem is... this is how the manga leaves off. Setting up for another scene and possible battle with another mind breaker, teh manga leaves off short.

Aquarian Age Characters

Isshin, Naoya, Kaname, Tsukasa, Tomonori
Mana is the main character of Aquarian Age. She is a mild mannered student who is arriving at her home town once again in life. She is a mind breaker with the ability to control people that are part of the Aquarian Age battle.

Mana has a group of followers that protect her. It consists of five guys. Kaname is an old friend of Mana that once saved her life. He is from the Darklore faction and is in love with Mana. He is a quiet person. Naoya is part of the E.G.O. faction. He seems to be the one with all the knowledge of the war. Isshin is part of the Arayashiki clan. He is a tough fighter and a gentleman. He is also in love with Mana. Tsukasa is an Eraser that has lost his memories. He is connected to Mana and Kaname's past life. He was taken in by Tomonori. He is part of the Wiz-Dom faction and Mana's teacher.

Aquarian Age Factions

Kaname the Darklore
There are five factions that are part of the Aquarian Age war. Each faction has their own special abilities. Some are more powerful while some are more defensive. E.G.O. is officially "Evolution Girls Organization." They have psychic abilities that are passed along to each female family member. Naoya is the only male exception. The Arayashiki have elemental powers. They also have the gods on their side and cast numerous spells. Wiz-Dom members use dark magic. This is the forbidden type of magic that has secretly been passed down from the west. Darklores are a mixture of legendary species from ancient times. These people are direct descendants of these creatures. Erasers are actually aliens. They may look as if they are seraphims, but they are only aliens. They are extremely powerful and have no mercy.

Aquarian Age is a good manga to read, but only if you can keep up with a bunch of different side stories. The base of the story was really good and I am sure the anime and card game are great. The manga just did not draw me in and keep my attention that well.

Read Aquarian Age Here.
Support Aquarian Age Here.

Overall Grade: 4/10

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Neji Manga Review

Neji Manga Review

Kaori Yuki is a one of my favorite manga artist, so it is only natural to want to read all her stories. Neji is one that I wished had gone on a bit longer. The twists in the story were great and some I did not see coming at all.

The Plot of Neji

Manga Page
Neji is basically broken into to three separate sections. Each section has their own story. The year is 2033 and a man named Neji has been revived. Neji died in 1992 alongside his lover. They were both cryogenic-ally frozen and were used as dolls in a the Gera project. Neji eventually escapes after he remembers some of his memory. It was to late for his snow white beauty which was killed by a scientist. A man named Luzer helps Neji to escape.

In the second section of the manga, it is some time later and Neji is trying to live a normal life. He gets involved with a woman named girl. She hides her name due to her past. She is trying to live a normal life as well. Neji gets her involved in his problems while she eventually does the same. Girl has an 'X' scar on her chest that her brother gave her and disappeared. Neji is fighting with a Gera revonant like himself called Batsu. Unknown to everyone, Batsu and Girl are brother and sister. They are finally reunited with Girl only to die minutes later.

The third section is about Batsu and Neji helping out a girl named Relyss. She is actually and android that went rogue and made all the other androids go rogue as well. Neji and Batsu come into contact with her thinking she is human and try to save her. The forces chasing them eventually catch up and let them know that she is an android. Even though Neji knows this, he still wishes to save Relyss noting that every intelligent creature deserves the right to live.

There are alot of twists I left out of the plot so I would not ruin the story.

The Characters of Neji

Neji and Batsu
Neji is the main character. He is a revonant. He was once dead but brought back to life to serve and a puppet in the Gera project. He is a strong willed person and tries his best to save the one he loves. Batsu is the second major character. He is also a revonant and was reborn after Neji. He is more obedient and he believes Gera has his sister. His sister is Girl, a woman that Neji meets and works for at one time. Luzer and Commander Sonia both work for Gera. Luzer is Sonia's puppet much like Neji and Batsu. Sonia is in charge of Gera and the serach for Neji. The other characters serve their purpose but since it is a short manga, you do not really get to know each character.

Kaori Yuki never ceases to amaze me. When it comes to the story she is amazing at telling it, but even more so in showing the art. Her artistic skills bring out the cyber-punk in her story and the lure of science fiction. Neji is jsut another work, that should have been longer.

Read Neji Here.
Support Neji Here.

Overall Grade: 7/10

Death Note (Manga) Review

Death Note Manga Review

The Death Note
When I first heard of Death Note I was not very interested. I did not think that the premise of the story was worth my time. Well eventually I had the urge to read the manga. The character 'L' really struck me as an interesting character. Needless to say, I was extremely glad I read the manga. It was not at all what I anticipated Death Note to be about and went past my expectations.

The Plot of Death Note

Light Yagami is your average Japanese high school student. He is bored in life though. Luckily, Ryuk, a Shinigami, is also bored in life. He drops his Death Note on Earth in hopes to spice up his life a little. Light just happens to pick it up and discovers if he writes a name down in the notebook, that person will die. Of course there are certain rules to killing a human being.
The Rules
Light soon realizes he can use this notebook to rid the world of evil. He starts to kill off criminals by giving them heart attacks. He eventually becomes known as the god Kira to the public. The world justice system is also alerted to a murderer named Kira. L is the best detective in the world and sets out to find out who Kira is in real life. It just so happens that L is working with Light's father in the Japanese Police Department.

Light is able to know all of L's moves due to his father's connection. Eventually L suspects that it could be a member of the police force working with him or their family member. During this time Light has to figure out a way to keep killing without being seen by L.

During this time another Shinigami, Rem, sees what Ryuk has done and also gives his notebook to a human being. Her name is Misa Amane, which ironically Kira killed the criminal which recently killed her parents. She worships Kira and begins to kill in his ways. She reaches him through Sakura TV station. Not much longer after they meet, L catches on to Misa and captures her. Light thinks of an elaborate plan to get her back and no longer end up as a suspect. He and Misa both give up ownership to the notebooks and do time to prove their innocent.

Since they gave up rights to the notebooks, they no longer remember what happened, so they act truly innocent. L still suspects Light as Kira so he handcuffs himself to Light. By now Rem has given a notebook to someone with the instructions to carry out Kira's wishes. Due to a lot of spoiler issues, Light and Misa eventually get the notebook back.

At this point, L has died. He left two successors, but never told which one would be the new L. So to claim the name, both Near or 'N', and Mello have made it a goal to catch Kira separately. I really do not want to spoil the story, but it pretty much comes down to Light and Near coming face to face in an empty warehouse in Japan. The plot is a simple cat and mouse game, but elaborately done.

The Characters of Death Note

Characters of Death Note
Light Yagami is the main character of the story. He starts out as a quite high school student. He eventually becomes a killing machine. He becomes more aggressive and violent. The Death Note really changes his characteristics.

Misa Amane is in love with Light because he is Kira. Her parents were murdered not that long ago and Kira eventually ends up killing their murderer. She adores him because of this and really wants to become his wife.

L is a really a funny guy. He touches everything as if it was dirty and eats constantly. I hated that his character died. L really knew that Kira was Light.

Near and Mello also grew up in the orphanage that L grew up in. They were trained like him to become better than him. It was only to late that they both realized that together they were better than L, but apart they were not. Near acts as if he is a child and constantly plays wit action figures while he is telling his plans and theories. Mello is more take charge kind of guy, but addicted to the chocolate.

Each Shinigami (Ryuk, Rem, and Sidoh) are only there because of Ryuk's curiosity. Rem is a female Shinigami, thus takes to Misa and dies for her. Sidoh is only briefly on Earth because Ryuk gave Sidoh's Death Note to a human. Ryuk is only on Earth to be entertained by Light's plan.

The Art and Ambiance of Death Note

Death Note Manga
Light and the Shinigami
The art and ambiance of Death Note is what really set up the story. The art is more on the realistic side of manga's. It gives the reader a feeling of reality. They are able to relate to the characters better since there are normal settings and normal characters. Death Note also gives the dark feeling. It touches on the reality of death and the Shinigami worlds. It gives a cold and fearful feeling while reading these sections.

Like I said, I did not anticipate how awesome this manga could have been. I am so glad that I gave it a chance and read Death Note. I was hooked after the first page. It is so enchanting. Death Note is not a manga you want to pass up on. You definitely need to go read it right now!

Overall grade: 10/10