[Anime] Beelzebub

Oga is the ultimate delinquent in a delinquent-filled high school. He is so violent that not even the third years can match up to him. One day, as he stumbled upon a man floating down the river. Filled with curiosity, he lifted the man to the riverside and the man splits in half revealing what seems to be a baby boy. Little did he know, this is no ordinary baby boy as he would find out later…

The baby boy appeared to be attached to him refusing to let him out of his sight. In an attempt to abandon the baby, Oga ended up getting toasted by the lightning that the baby emitted when he gets upset. All hell broke loose and with the appearance of Hilda, Oga’s situation isn’t improving. A couple of fiascos later, it is revealed that the baby boy, named Beelzebub is in fact the son of a demon king who has chosen him to be his father. Hilarity ensues. How perfect is that, a delinquent raising a demon child. Lol.

This is definitely one of my must-watch anime of this season. Hopefully it doesn’t end at the 12th episode.

[Manga] Kimi no Iru Machi

Again, considering that I’m not too fond of ecchi I’m amazed that I’m now hooked on yet another of Seo Kouji’s work which has few doses of ecchi-ness here and there. Well, I do like his oneshots (Half & Half, Love Letter) and with that thought in mind I figure, why not check out his latest work…

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Kimi no Iru Machi

The story is told from Kirishima Haruto’s perspective and it basically focuses on the development of his relationship with Eba Yuzuki who had just moved to the rural countryside from Tokyo.

Haruto was crushing on Kanzaki Nanami, his classmate but he never have the guts to tell her how he really feels about her and when he finally did, Nanami rejected his confession with the reason being she didn’t feel like dating anyone at that moment. But for some reason, she changed her mind and asked him to wait for her answer. When she was about to give her “yes” to Haruto’s confession, changed her mind again and this time she has truly reject Haruto as it appears that Haruto cares for Yuzuki a lot more than what he thinks. Just imagine this: a guy whom you think have the hots for you who blew off a date with you and went all the way to Tokyo (considering that Haruto is a countryboy from Hiroshima) with another girl. What’s more, the girl in question is living in his house! Then again, I doubt that Nanami really does feel something for him and like Haruto’s sister Aoi  put it, Nanami simply thought of Haruto as some sort of her “safety net”, that is to say that Haruto belongs to her but they are not in that kind of relationship. As a girl, I can’t accept that…heck, let him go if you don’t feel anything for him and don’t act like you own him…

Well, Haruto did realise his true feelings towards Yuzuki later in the story but all is not smooth falling for him before that could happen. Obstacle come in the form of Nanami’s older brother, Kanzaki-sempai who seems to have taken a liking for Yuzuki and added to the mix is Haruto’s bespectacled classmate who misunderstood thinking that Haruto’s having a thing for her. It all ends well though and as of chapter 59, as she was about to leave on train for Tokyo, Yuzuki agreed to have a long distance relationship with Haruto even though she disagreed at first. A long distance relationship, eh? Oh dear…I sense drama here…

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I was literally screaming at Haruto “hey, c’mon! You’re really in love with Yuzuki, you dope!” and I was especially annoyed when I found out that Nanami was probably treating Haruto as a “safety net”. And even though it ends well with Yuzuki and Haruto having a long distance relationship, I can sense storm coming their way =.= I hope that it’s not in the form that would make me lose interest in this series.

To be honest, I only started reading this series because it happens to be one the most popular series on Mangafox. Then, halfway through the first chapter of this series, I started reading Half & Half which is Seo Kouji’s debut work and I like it. Most recently (which was yesterday), I read his tragic-themed oneshot, Love Letter which is set during the WW2 and centered on a couple who have to part because the guy has been drafted to join the army but that’s another story…

So, what do I like about this series? Lets see…realistic story with realistic setting, nice drawing (his characters are drawn rather nicely) and best of all it doesn’t contain too MUCH drama like most shoujo mangas have (I can’t stand dramas!).  There are few ecchi moments, that’s for sure but not too excessive which is still bearable for me.

And oh, Seo Kouji is famous for his other work, Suzuka and according to Wikipedia, Kimi no Iru Machi is set in the same universe as Suzuka (sort of a minor crossover). Whether or not I would read Suzuka depends on how this series go…on second thought, I think I’ll give Suzuka a shot once this series is completed.

Ciao for now!

[Oneshot] Half & Half

Half & Half is the author of Kimi no Iru Machi’s debut work…and it’s good, somewhat. My only complain is that it’s too short, it would be nice if the story is elaborated for at least two chapters. It’s supposed to be a heart-wrenching story as one of the character dies but I don’t really get the feeling since the story is told in one short chapter.

Here’s how the story goes: A guy and a girl met in the worst circumstance – on the day that they both involved in an accident and perished together. After negotiating with God, they were given one more week two live but after the one week period passes, one of them has to die and within that one week, they have to decide which of them will leave the world for good. Here’s another catch: within that one week, their lives will be halved (hence the title Half & Half) meaning that they each have to stick together as they share their lives; if one of them leaves the other, both will die as a result. They were strangers to begin with but as they began to live together for a week, they have done things together and naturally, they fell in love. It’s just too bad that at the end of the week, one of them has to die leaving the other sad in the world.

I must admit that I never expect a shounen mangaka to be this good in telling a love story, albeit a short one. And according to Baka-Updates, this oneshot was published in 1996 which I find hard to believe as the manga artwork from the 90s that I read are mostly old-fashioned and not up to my taste. A good read.

P.S.: I’ve started reading Kimi no Iru Machi recently, despite my better judgment since I for one, am not too fond of ecchi. So far so good though.

[Anime] Umineko no Naku Koro ni

image In the beginning of the series, we see that the Ushiromiyas are heading towards a secluded island for some sort of “reunion”. Not quite a happy one, I’m afraid. You see, the current head of Ushimiya family doesn’t have much longer to live and as one would have expect from prestigious, rich family such as this, there are bound to be battles for the fortune amassed throughout the years. In this case, it’s taking a turn for the worse…a freakish one as the table turned…

The old man is known to be quite eccentric and have odd hobbies. He’s into dark arts, occults, and such. It is said that the head of Ushimiya family summoned Beatrice long ago when the family business took turn for the worse. In exchange for his soul, Beatrice gave him gold and with that, the family business started to thrive and today, as he’s about to leave the world, his heirs fought for his fortune. When told of the legend of Beatrice, the Ushimiya heirs brush it off as just a bedtime story, that is, until Beatrice communicated with them in the form of letter via young Maria Ushimiya. At first, they questioned the authenticity of the letter but upon seeing the Ushimiya family seal and the fact that there’s no way that a nine-year-old could concoct such a letter they began to think. Did they finally acknowledge the existence of Beatrice the witch? Oh no they didn’t and instead they began to suspect each other as Beatrice impersonator but then strange things began to happen. Five members of the Ushimiya family and a servant were found dead in the shed (or storeroom?) and as if taking their lives weren’t enough, their faces were badly disfigured. Oh the horror! To top it all off, even if the surviving ones want to leave the island, the bad stormy weather wouldn’t permit them. The only thing that they can do now is to play the game whereby whoever who found the so-called Ushimiya gold (treasure), he/she gets to keep it and Beatrice will leave. And so, the deadly game begins…

The art’s great, the story’s great…in short, it’s a good read! Love the suspense and the sometimes creepy atmosphere.

In essence, so far, so good…that’s all I can say for now and lets hope it continues to stay that way.

For more info:

[Anime] Ga-rei Zero

In the distant future, Japan seems to be infested by monsters and as such, the Ministry of Defense has established a special group called the Paranormal Disaster Countermeasure Headquarters just to deal with these paranormal creatures.

Tsuchimiya Kagura and Isayama Yomi both hail from distinguished families that have been wielding spiritual beasts for centuries. It is a duty for those who inherit spiritual beasts to use it against the said paranormal creatures, and in the event of their fathers’ deaths, they both inherited the spiritual beasts as well as the duty to rid the world of supernatural creatures.

Kagura and Yomi were childhood friends, they were as close as they can get to the point that screams “yuri!!!!!” but then all hell broke lose one day.

Yomi’s cousin, Mei was envious of Yomi who will inherit the Isayama family’s heirloom, a sword called Shishio. It was unthinkable that Yomi who doesn’t have a drop of Isayama blood in her veins get to inherit the sword whereas she, the one with Isayama bloodline running in her veins is denied of such privilege. With anger and jealousy built up within her, she was enticed into accepting the death stone. This stone promises its user great power but in the process, the user’s soul will be consumed by the stone. Mei, already consumed by the stone started killing Yomi’s father and eventually going after Yomi as well later on but she was killed by Yomi in the end. Right after killing Mei, Yomi confronted the true source of Mei’s madness, Kazuhiro Mitogawa who gave Mei the death stone. After the confrontation, Yomi was found severely injured and has then lost the ability to move and speak…she was nothing but a living doll. In the event of her father and Mei’s death, suspicions that Yomi may be the murderer arises. To top it all off, the Izunas cancelled of her engagement with Noriyuki whom she loved dearly. With all that shit, she is bound to burst anytime and somewhere along the way, Kazuhiro appeared again and this time around, he had successfully enticed Yomi into accepting the death stone and ever since then, everything changes.

With Yomi going berserk, her former colleagues were given the task of exterminating her, her former fiancé, Noriyuki included. Given that they both had history together, it is inevitable that killing Yomi is an impossible task for Noriyuki, the same can be said for Kagura who had tough time killing her as well.

It appears that there was a tiny bit of conscience within Yomi. She started to question herself – did the stone really grant her wish? If so, did the stone really know what her wish was? Her true wish was to protect Kagura from harm even if she was the cause of harm…with that, she died in Kagura’s hands.

Fast forward two years later, we see Kagura and Kensuke (who eventually became the main protagonist in the manga) battling a monster at the Tokyo Tower.

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My Thoughts:

I was already following the manga before the anime was out and before I knew it, I got bored (with the manga) and I put it on hold for a while. Watched the anime Ga-rei Zero and by the sixth episode I decided to stop there ‘cos I’m not accustomed to watching yuri. There are hints of yuri, all right! And plus, since this anime is targeted at shounen audience, there are some “fan service” that I’m not too keen on (probably because I’m not a guy). That was a couple of months back, and yesterday, I finally watched it till the end…I’m glad I did. Hmm…I still can’t stand Mei’s bitchiness though, and come to think of it, if it wasn’t for her, Yomi wouldn’t go bad…boohoo!

Putting all that yuri stuff aside, the show is action-packed, fast-paced and not to mention, gory what with all the bloodbaths. Cool. At least for me, this is enjoyable compared to mecha-based animes (will have to give it another shot when I have the time…Code Geass or Gundam maybe?).

Ga-rei Zero served as a prequel to the manga version of the series, and it really does a fine job in detailing the stuffs that happened prior to the main storyline of the manga, especially the details on how Yomi became what she is the manga, to be more precise, how she went bad. And oh, did I mention that I see an eye-candy in Kensuke (episode 12)? Haha! Noriyuki isn’t too bad either…I like his personality better in the manga.

I’m quite satisfied with Ga-rei Zero and now I’m off to the manga…ciao!

[Manga] The World God Only Knows

I like the premise of the series – a boy who hates girls in general but is forced to make girls fall for him? This sounds interesting.

The World God Only Knows (Kami no Mizo Shiru Sekai)

Katsuragi Keita is obsessed with dating simulation games. In his hand, there’s always at least a PFP (it does looked awfully a lot like a Sony PSP) with one of his dating simulation game on, even in class to the point that his teachers no longer care. In the game world, he’s the kamisama (God) of capturing (girls in the dating sim, that is) but in real life, he hates them and perceive them as less than perfect than their virtual counterparts and thus, he’s known as otamegane (a combination of otaku and glasses (megane)).

Along came Elsie, a devil from hell who is tasked with capturing runaway spirits. Here’s the thing, these spirits hide within girls’ hearts. Keita entered into a contract with Elsie unwittingly and thus he is to make those girls fall in love with him in order to release those spirits from the girls’ body.The logic is, once the girls’ heart is filled with love, there will be no space for these spirits to live in. After the runaway spirits residing in those girls’ body is released and contained, the girls’ memories of ever interacting with Keita is then erased.

As the series go along, Keita interacts with host of female characters which include his classmates and even his teacher.

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My thoughts:

My first thought was, there are hardly any ecchi elements (common in most shounen mangas) at all. Not too fond of ecchi though, as a matter of fact, it turns me off (probably because I’m not a guy?). I’m glad that it’s almost nonexistent.

Elsie may be a devil but she’s a clumsy and incompetent one at that! More than often she became the source of joke. For instance, to stay closer to Keita, she actually went to his house and proclaimed that she’s the illegitimate daughter of Keita’s father which of course prompted Keita’s mom to contact and threaten Keita’s dad (his mother is supposedly a former member of a gang in her younger days). Instead of throwing a fit and shooing a certain “pest” out of the house, Keita’s mom became affectionate towards Elsie and accept her into the household. Lol.

If you’re looking for fun and entertainment, you should try this out. I’m in purely for the fun and not some serious reading.

Cheers!

Kuroshitsuji Chapter 33

This time around, the main highlights are the three Phantomhive servants – Bard, Finian, and Maylene.

Whoa, now we all know why Bard the cook can’t cook, Maylene the clumsy bespectacled maid can never do her job in one piece, and Finian the gardener with Herculean strength who can’t even do gardening job properly. It’s probably because they are from military background specially chosen by Ciel and Sebastian to protect the Phantomhive family.

Nothing is what it seems, eh? Lesson learnt: never judge books by their covers. Lol. Can’t wait for more Kuroshitsuji.

Thanks to Bleach Asylum for scanlating the series.

I’m now seeing the Phantomhive servants in a new light:

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