Owari no Seraph: From Manga to Anime

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Owari no Seraph (Seraph of the End), is a shonen manga series that takes place in the year 2012, when a human-made virus infects and kills humans over the age of 13. The human race is brought to the edge of extinction. At the same time, vampires rise and take control of what’s left of the surface. They lure in the surviving children below the Earth, seeing them as livestock, harvesting their blood.

The manga is written by Takaya Kagami and illustrated by Yamato Yamamoto. The storyboard for the series was done by Daisuke Furuya. So far, there are 20 chapters posted on various online manga sites, which calculates to about 6 volumes that have been physically released. The manga got its debut in the 2012 Shonen Jump issue.

owari no seraphThe series has done well with anime/manga fans everywhere, that in August 2014, it was announced that there will be an anime adaptation coming soon. The directors of the anime are Daisuke Tokudo, also the director of anime series such as Attack on Titan and Guilty Crown, and his deputy Masashi Koizuka, who has also worked on Attack on Titan.

The series focuses on young Yuichiro Hyakuya, who lives underground with other kids that have become his only family. His closest friend/brother is Mikaela Hyakuya (nickname: Mika). Tired of being a tool for the vampires, Yuichiro gathers his family and attempts to escape to the surface. But they are caught by Felid Bathroy, a vampire elite. Felid attacks the children, including Mika, slaughtering every one of them. Yuichiro is the only one who manages to escape to the surface, swearing vengeance upon the vampires.

He is given his chance at revenge when he is recruited to the Japanese Imperial Demon Army. He goes through years of training until he is ready to wield a demon weapon and go out to fight the vampires with his team. He is assigned to the Moon Demon Squad, along with his superior, Shinoa Hiragi, and his teammates, Shihou Kimizuki, Yoichi Saotome, and Mitsuba Sanguu. Throughout the manga, his comrades and family refer to him as “Yuu”.

Yuichiro_as_a_childAs the protagonist, Yuu is a hard worker and very brave. As stated previously, his only goal is to destroy all of the vampires, as revenge for what they did to his family. Before he was taken by the vampires, Yuu’s parents claimed he was a Demon spawn and tried to kill him. When his mother went insane and killed herself, Yuu was sent off to the Hyakuya Orphanage. This is where he met Mika and the other orphans. He was distant from them at first, but Miak assured him that they were all the same because they both were born into abusive families.

While fighting for the Imperial Demon Army, Shinoa and Glen explain to Yuu that he has to unleash the full power of his demon weapon. Their weapons contain demons within them, and the soldiers must tame them in order to control them in battle. If they don’t, the demon will feast on their soul and possess them. Eventually, Yuu manages to tame his demon weapon and sees the power he can unleash with its help. Having this power, Yuu becomes more confident that he can reach his goal and kill the vampires, in order to reclaim Earth for the humans, as well as avenge his family.

Later in the manga, it is revealed that Mika wasn’t killed during the slaughter. Instead, he is taken to the Head Vampire, Kururu, and is turned into a vampire against his will.

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As a vampire, Mika refuses to drink human blood. Instead, he requests the blood of Kururu whenever he feels his hunger rising. Because of this, his transformation is incomplete and still ages. He doesn’t smile like he used to as a child, and is set on protecting Yuichiro when the vampires declare war on the humans. Yuichiro is the only one he cares about. Besides Yuu, Mika has admitted to hating humans and vampires. He distances himself from the other vampires, ignoring whatever they say to him. But if any vampire mentions anything about hurting Yuu, Mika retaliates with threats to kill anyone who harms Yuu. Despite growing a hatred for humans, Mika doesn’t see them as livestock like other vampires do. When it comes to combat, Mika rushes in without thinking. He wears an expressionless face as he fights, showing no remorse for harming humans when he goes against them.

The manga creators have released a Japanese voice cast for some of the main characters:

Miyu Irino- Yuichiro Hyakuya500px-Yūichirō_Hyakuya

Kensho Ono- Mikaela Hyakuyamika

Yuchi Nakamura- Glen IchinoseGlen_Looking_at_a_piece_of_paper

The three voices listed have been in well-known anime shows, movies and video games. Miyu Irino has been the Japanese voices of Astral from Yu-Gi-Oh! ZeXal, Haku from the famous movie Spirited Away, and is the Japanese voice of Sora from the Kingdom Hearts video games.

Kensho has done voices for Hakuryu Ren from Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Brinda Jr. from Ghost in the Shell: Arise, and he was even the Japanese voice of Andy in Toy Story 3!

Finally, Yuchi Nakamura has been the voice of Gray Fullbuster from the Fairy Tail series, Greed in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and Rex Raptor from Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters.

It has been announced that the anime is set to air in April 2015. It is also known that VIZ Media will be publishing the English translation of the anime, and that a trailer has been released recently on YouTube. To keep up with the news about Owari no Seraph, follow the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OwariNoSeraph

Power Rangers Producer is Trying to Milk a Dry Cow to Keep the Show Going Beyond Its Limits

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I love the Power Rangers! As a a kid, I would sit around the TV with my cousins, and we would watch new episodes and reruns of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I’ve recently started watching the classic episodes on Netflix.
Power Rangers, was created by Haim Sagan and Shuki Levy, sponsored by Toei Company. toeiThe American release premiered in 1993, and was based on the Japanese show Super Sentai. In fact, fun trivia, most of the fighting shots are taken from the original show and put in the American version with English voiceovers. The show has a formula it has used over the years: five teens are chosen by an ancient being to become the protectors of Earth. They fight a plethora of evil minions. The minions turn into giants, forcing the rangers to form a giant robot and defeat the enemy with some of the best TV special effects of the 90s!
Kids of the 90s loved watching the original series, and some still do as adults and introduce it to their kids. However, the newest Power Rangers shows may be falling a bit short from their predecessors.
Power Rangers SamuraiIn 2011, Nickelodeon premiered Power Rangers Samurai, which in my opinion was pretty good. The actors were somewhat credible, the villains were pretty cool and the fact that the rangers and the villains had a focus on Japanese samurai fighting was very interesting. What I loved about this series was that the red ranger struggled with being a good leader and getting stronger for the sake of the world and his team. I sat there, interested in him finding himself and when he did, he went out and fought with everything he had! The other rangers, like I said were good, but sometimes their performance seemed static and unconvincing of their role. Their acting was fine when they were in their ranger forms, but when playing normal teenagers, the acting was bland. Honestly, it felt like they were trying to act like anime characters, but any anime character could give a better performance.
Two of the villains went through the same things. Dayu, a female yokai who worked for the evil Master Xandred, was once human who was in love with a man named Deker during the fuedal Japan era. When he was on the brink of death, Dayu made a deal with a yokai named Serrator, in order to save him. Deker was then turned into a yokai, but was able to keep part of his humanity. Dayu, even in her new form, still had feelings for Deker, causing her to slowly regain her humanity.
Super Samurai was a good series and stuck to the Power Rangers genre. Then…Power MegaforceRangers Megaforce aired in 2013. This series fell very short compared to the previous series before it; including Samurai Rangers. Of course it kept the original formula, but the performance of the rangers themselves was underwhelming. It honestly felt like the actors were trying to perform the same way as the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers cast in ’93. But it resulted in them sounding like carbon-copied clones.
The plot of the series is an alien force tries to take over the Earth, but Gosei, Zordon’s protege, chooses five teens worthy of becoming the next generation of rangers. Because their enemies are extremely powerful, the rangers are given special keys that allow them to transform into the past rangers from Zeo Rangers, to Turbo Rangers, SPD Emergency and the rest of the rangers from previous shows. I will admit that this element is cool.
The villains in Megaforce, to me, are one of the only enjoyable aspect of the show. They are just as over top as other Power Rangers villains and funny to watch fight and plot against the rangers. The other enjoyable aspect is in the final episode of the series. During the final fight, all of the previous Rangers, make an appearance to fight alongside the Megaforce Rangers. Jason FrankAmong the original rangers, they have the one and only Jason David Frank make a cameo, wearing his old Green Ranger suit. Seriously, it was one of the greatest moments of TV history. Seeing him fight again brought so many memories back.
It is fair to say that Megaforce ended the Power Rangers series with such an amazing high. Just when people believe the Power Rangers series ended with such an phenomenal performance, the creators introduce a new series coming in 2015: Power Rangers Dino Charge.
DinochargeAs a longtime fan of Power Rangers, I feel that Sagan and Levy are running out of ideas for the rangers, yet they keep producing series just so they can keep it going. The series is great, but I think it’s time to put the Power Rangers to rest. They’ve done pretty much all they can with it, and it just needs to end. Some people I talked to about it, believe they are just making more of the series just for the money. I don’t personally believe this. However, if Sagan and Levy continue to milk Power Rangers, I feel it will just turn into one of those shows that are only on the air to sell toys and merchandize.
Power Rangers is one of the greatest live-action kids shows that ever premiered on television. Kids were drawn to the plot, the rangers, the fighting scenes and the awesome graphics. It is something that needs to be cherished overtime and handled with care. If there are no more ideas for it, and you end a series in a mind blowing way like Megaforce did, as sad as it is, it is time to say goodbye to an awesome series and let it be a great memory to look back on and continue to enjoy thanks to Netflix and Hulu.

Novel Puts New Spin on Wonderland

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The story of Alice in Wonderland is a classic tale from Lewis Carroll and made famous from remakes by Disney and Tim Burton. Putting a new spin on an old tale, Splintered, written by A.G Howard, involves one of Alice’s descendants.

Splintered is told in the perspective of Alice Liddell’s great-great-granddaughter, Alyssa Gardner, who tries to live an ordinary life. At first, she worries about typical girl problems, such as concerns about her crush, going to London with another girl and getting ready for her high school prom. Alyssa has a father who has to play the role of father and mother because her mom is in an insane asylum after having dreams about a dark place called Underland.

Alyssa learns from her mother that her dreams and unusual behavior are a curse brought on by Alice Liddell. Alice had gone to Wonderland, which is now the dark and creepy Underland.

In order to lift the curse and keep her from being classified as insane, Alyssa has no choice but to go to Underland and fix all of the things Alice messed up during her visit. To guide her, she uses Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland story to find out what Alice did and figure out how she can fix it.

The book is just an amazing read. The pacing of every scene keeps the reader on edge, making the book hard to put down. The fact that A. G. Howard uses the Lewis Carroll book as a guide for the protagonist to get through Underland makes Splintered stand out above other remakes.

The world of Underland is reverted back to its original dark twisted fantasy world, with its creatures described as creepy and visually unpleasant to imagine. Amidst the characters creepy descriptions, readers will be able to figure out each character before Alyssa even has to explain who they are. Readers will automatically identify the Cheshire Cat, March Hare, and the Mad Hatter from older Alice In Wonderland stories.

The only character who isn’t described as creepy is a man named Morpheus. Alyssa describes him as quite attractive. It takes a while for the book to reveal who he really is, but when the reader finally discovers his identity, everything they learn about him based on his personality immediately clicks together.

At the enunhingedd of the book, A. G. Howard puts in the first ensnaredchapter of the sequel Unhinged, so readers can jump into the next book and sort of guess where the story will go before they actually read it.

The series will definitely change the way the reader thinks about Alice in Wonderland and all of its remakes. A. G. Howard has a third book coming out called Ensnared, which will be the final book in the trilogy. The book will be out January 2015.

To see more of A. G. Howard’s books, visit her website, http://www.aghoward.com.

Is The Live Action Tekken Movie Really as Bad as People say it is?

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I’m a huge Tekken fan! Tekken is one of my favorite fighting games ever. I watched the Live Action movie and Tekken: Blood Vengeance. Now, I’m here to review the Live Action movie. A lot of people didn’t like it because of the story or the characters themselves, setting, whatever.

For those not familiar with the Live Action Tekken movie, let me give you the summary: Jin Kazama is a teenager who lives with his mother, Jun Kazama, in a post-apocalyptic scenario. Tekken soldiers shoot Jun, devastating Jin. He enters the Tekken Tournament as “The People’s Choice,” in order to find Heihachi Mishima (Jin’s grandfather) and kill him for the death of his mother.

Heihachi (Jin’s grandfather) and Kazuya (Jin’s father), run the tournament together.

ravenbryan Now here’s where my review begins. The movie has good qualities that sort of get me to overlook the bad things about it. My favorite part that I think are amazing is the costuming. Some of the characters they used from the games are freaking accurate. I mean, look at Raven! Holy crap it’s like they reached into the game and pulled him out! I have to count this eddy gordoas one of the best cosplays ever. It would be awesome if that guy got to keep the costume. He’s not the only one. Look at all of these and tell me they are not accurate to the game.

Another good review is the fighting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei5E3YlMxb0 Here is a link to a fight between Eddy Gordo and Raven. Tell me that’s not an epic battle. It was my favorite fight in the whole movie.

 Many fans were satisfied with the fact that the movie actually kept focus on the Tekken Tournament like the game. That is why a many fans had problems with the CGI Tekken: Blood Vengeance movie. The Tekken Tournament was only mentioned twice in the movie. It wasn’t the main focus of it. But even still, the creators worked hard to incorporate the character’s moves from the game into that movie. Watch before you judge.

Anyway, back to business.

I’m going to move on to the things the Live Action movie didn’t do so well in my opinion.

Jin’s personality and background. If you have ever tried to read Jin’s profile on Tekken Wiki, it is very long and complicated. I understand the producers of the movie would have had a hard time trying to fit every detail of Jin’s personality in the movie, but if you get into Tekken and watch the movie before playing the games, I’d like to make a few points about Jin. In the movie, Jin is involved with the underground world, doing jobs that could possibly kill him or get him into trouble. The economy collapsed and items like oranges, chocolate and even coffee are rare to come by. Jin does jobs to get the money to buy those things for him and his mom.

Now, after reading and examining Jin’s personality, even when his mother was still alive, I believe that Jin would have had enough discipline to know that getting involved with the wrong crowd would be a bad idea. He would have stopped and thought about his actions before doing something.

Also, in the movie, he has a romantic relationship with a girl from jin and xiaoyuhis district, and then in the tournament, begins to fall for Christie Montero. Now I’m going to be a nitpicker and say that the only person for Jin is Ling Xiaoyu…(and my OC)…I mean, yeah. Jin and Christie…not a good pair.

Which leads me to my next issue. Jin gets involved with two relationships in the movie, as I stated before. Now, the real Jin would not jump into a relationship so easily because of his family background. In the movie, Jin has no idea that Heihatchi is his grandfather and Kazuya is his father. The Devil Gene he possess is not mentioned once in the movie, which I think was a mistake because it was the thing that defined the Mishima bloodline. It would have been awesome if Jin awakened the Devil inside of him in the final battle.

Sorry, getting off track. But yeah, Jin was more focused on training in order to get back at his father and grandfather. The movie didn’t fully get into the issues between Jin and his family. I know they wanted to make Kazuya an a-hole because in the game that’s what he is. But he wouldn’t have talked about his late wife the way he did. He basically called Jun a whore and she was just a one-night stand. All of the Mishima men have one thing in common: they loved their wives. But the wives got mixed into the battle and then got themselves killed. At least that’s what I get from the profiles I’ve read.

To summarize, the Tekken Live Action movie isn’t that bad for what it is. It sticks to the main purpose of the game and has amazing fighting scenes and a bit of drama that makes you root for Jin all the way through. Give it at least one look at and then check out the game if you haven’t yet. You’ll never want to put your controller down; not even for a second. Trust me on that; I spent my middle school and high school years playing Tekken every time I got a break from homework. In fact I’m going to go play now.

High Action Anime with Over-the-top Fanservice

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From the creators of Gurren Lagann comes a new series with lots of eye-bulging action and intense action called Kill la Kill.

I’ve seen pictures and cosplays of this anime, but never really watched it until recently. When I did, there were no words to describe what I was watching because it was awesome, while at the same time a little too fanservice-y. For those who have already seen this anime, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it, but there are some things you should prepare for.

Ryuko Matoi (Ami Koshimizu; Japanese), travels to Honnoji Academy where she believes she will find the murderer of her father. On her person, she carries half of a giant scissor blade, knowing that if she finds the owner of the other half of the scissor blade, she will find her father’s killer. Her main suspect is the student-body president Satsuki Kiryuin (Ryoka Yuzuki; Japanese).

Honnoji Academy is not your average school. Every club has uniforms designed with intelligent Life Fibers, allowing the students to transform the uniforms into combat outfits for battle. The uniforms are developed by the president of the sewing club, Shiro Iori (Yuji Ueda; Japanese), who in my opinion is one of the coolest characters in the show. Plus I sort of have a little crush on him. Sadly he doesn’t get much screen time.

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Besides Ryuko fighting against Satsuki and Honnoji Academy, there is a group known as Nudist Beach. Founded also by Ryuko’s father, the goal of the organization was to stop the Kiryuin conglomerate from subjugating the world to Life Fibers. The leader of Nudist Beach is Aikuro Mikisugi (Shinichiro Miki; Japanese). He infiltrated the academy, posing as a teacher during the day. Okay, this guy is a serious whack-job and personally, freaks me out. When he’s not posing as a teacher, he strips himself of

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I’m not going to go into full detail of this anime because I’ll give away some of the show’s secrets. So instead, let’s go on to the fanservice. If you’ve seen Gurren Lagann, you know about Yoko’s revealing outfit. But Ryuko’s battle outfit is not only super revealing, it’s also  alive.

ryuko

Meet Senketsu (Toshihiko Seki; Japanese). Created by Ryuko’s father, Senketsu was made for only Ryuko to use to fight and absorb Life Fibers. In order for Senketsu to turn into Ryuko’s battle outfit, he must absorb the blood of the wearer. Ryuko uses a special glove that sticks her with tiny needles that send the blood to Senketsu.

Getting into the fanservice thing, I believe that Kill la Kill sort of mocks the idea of heroes transforming into smaller/fewer clothing in order to save the world. I say this because of the way the show delivers the action, and the transformation sequence. It’s not just Ryuko and Senketsu. Satsuki’s outfit is actually worse.

kill142Satsuki’s outfit is worse because there is no back to it. Her butt is completely exposed. I know for most guys, that’s not a problem. I’m just saying that her outfit and Ryuko’s and other character’s outfits are all, to me, just a joke.

Despite the outfits, I’d say Kill la Kill is a really great anime with smooth lines, smooth movements, great development in the story and the characters, and amazing facial expressions and angles. In fact, there has already been a release of an English Dub cast. Here is the link to see who will be voicing who. http://www.behindthevoiceactors.com/tv-shows/Kill-la-Kill/voice-cast/. Also search YouTube for the English trailer.

Look for the DVD release July 15, 2014.

Blood Lad recreates the Meaning of Vampires, Demons and Anime

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What makes a vampire a vampire? They suck the blood of innocent and beautiful women, they are good-looking, immortal, hate sunlight and are noblemen who fit into high society. But…what if they were opposite of some of the vampire traits we created for them? Blood Lad takes us into another perspective of vampires and other mythical legends.

This series is still very new because it only has 10 episodes and the manga is incomplete. Yet, I’ve been reading the manga and watching the anime and I have to say this is a funny series with characters who entertain you in every scene, as well as keep you in suspense with what will happen. The manga was created by Yuuki Kodama and has been licensed for distribution in English by Yen Press. The anime aired in Japan between July 7 and Sept. 8, 2013. It was bought and licensed to North America by Viz Media in 2014.

Staz Charlie Blood (Osaka Ryota), is a young vampire who is a territory boss of the Eastern District in the Demon World. The series indicates that the Demon World is divided into territories and each territory has a boss that runs it. If two bosses fight over one another’s territory, the winning boss claims the territory. While Staz is a strong boss, he is an otaku; he has a massive collection of manga, anime and figures from the human world. If you look closely at Staz ‘s collection, you can see certain mainstream anime characters and manga series we know very well. There are even anime references in the dialogue.

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His world becomes “complete” when one of his friends calls him and says a human girl has entered their territory. Excited about this development, Staz orders that the girl be brought to him. All he does is talk to her to learn more about Japan and any new anime/video game releases. He fights off the urge to drink her blood because all he wants is to keep her and talk with her. But when Staz goes to take care of another demon wanting control of his area, the girl, Yanagi Fuyumi (Iori Nomizu), is devoured by a monster and turns into a ghost. 

Because she is a ghost, Staz admits that the attraction he felt towards Fuyumi when she was alive had gone away when she turned into a ghost. Despite this, he keeps her remains in his room and vows that he will do whatever he had to do bring her back to life. The problem with her being a ghost, is every now and then Fuyumi will begin to disappear. 

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To prevent her from vanishing completely, Staz feeds Fuyumi his vampire blood and swears to be her “Blood Bank” until he found a way to resurrect her. Even though he admitted that he was not attracted to her as a ghost, Staz feels that she is still special to him.

While this anime is funny, has tons of references and amazing characters, in my opinion, Yanagi Fuyumi is the weakest and blandest character in the entire series. To give an example, there are times when she gets kidnapped or taken away from Staz to use him or distract him, and she’s like, “Eh, okay.” Not being phased by anything that happens to her. She just accepts being kidnapped, instead of a typical female reaction of screaming and fighting back. She lets herself get kidnapped. There’s just hardly any emotion from her. I understand she is in an unfamiliar place and sort of scared and clueless about how things work in the Demon World, but with everything she’s gone through, I think Fuyumi would at least try to have a personality and act surprised with certain things.

Anyway, despite that issue, the series is great and I can’t wait for the creators to produce the rest of the series. The episodes only go up to 10 right now, and the manga stops at chapter 35. The next addition does not have set date (I can’t find one lol), but I wait with great anticipation. For now, check out the series for yourself. I recommend reading the manga first because it has more reference and more plot to the story as all books and comics do compared to movies and shows. But also see the anime. 

To read the manga online, check out http://www.mangareader.net/ or go to your local bookstore and buy a hard-copy! 

 

Why Does Amy Confuse Others for her Beloved Sonic? The Truth Behind Amy’s Mis-identification.

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Amy has claimed to love Sonic and has given everything she has to him as proof. Yet she always mistakes others for him. She has done it twice as you can see from these photos.

Many Sonic fans say this is Amy’s worst trait; mistaking Shadow or Silver for Sonic, even though none of them look like each other. The only similarity is that they’re all hedgehogs.

ImageWell it turns out Amy has an alibi for mistaking others for Sonic. Doing further research on this, it turns out that hedgehogs are actually partially colorblind! Yep, you heard me right; hedgehogs in real life are colorblind! Experts say that because hedgehogs are nocturnal, there would be no benefit in them seeing colors. They can however see yellows and some shades of blue.

There are also reports saying that hedgehogs like bright colors. They are colorblind, at the same time they are not. It’s hard to say. But this explains why Amy confuses Shadow for Sonic and shows that the creators do their homework on hedgehogs. They added a touch of reality into fast-running hedgehogs.

Give Amy some credit for her mistakes. It is basic genetics of her race. The next time you watch or play Sonic, and you see Amy cling on to everyone but Sonic, it is not her fault. She can’t see a lot of colors. Give the girl some slack!

If you want to look more into this, there is a book called Hedgehogs, by Nigel Reeve.

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