Tag Archives: anime

Neon Genesis Evangelion Volume 1-3

Once Shinji didn’t care about anything; then he found people to fight for–only to learn that he couldn’t protect them, or keep those he let into his heart from going away. As mankind tilts on the brink of the apocalyptic Third Impact, human feelings are fault lines leading to destruction and just maybe, redemption and rebirth.

Neon Genesis Evangelion 1Neon Genesis Evangelion Volume 1-3
By Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Sci-Fi
Price: $19.99 USD

Neon Genesis Evangelion is an anime from the 1990s that defined a generation, and changed the mecha genre. I was never able to watch more than a few episodes of the anime, so I thought reading the manga adaptation would be a better way to go. Nope. My first instincts were correct. These first three volumes are slow and boring with a protagonist that you spend most of the time wanting to slap silly.

Continue reading Neon Genesis Evangelion Volume 1-3

Viz Picks Up Moribito: Guardian of the Sacred Spirit

MoribitoI very rarely talk about amine here, since this is a manga blog, but there are times when I’ll make exceptions. Just recently, the return of an anime I love has been announced. Viz Media has rescued Moribito: Guardian of the Sacred Spirit. This 26 episode series first aired in 2007, and had a difficult time in licensing here. Geneon first licensed it, but then halted their US distribution, and the license went to Media Blasters. It showed on Cartoon Network during their late night Adult Swim block, but it took a while for a full run to show there. Now Viz Media is running it as part of their Neon Alley network.

Moribito: Guardian of the Sacred Spirit is based on the first volume from a fantasy novel series published in Japan in 1996. It is about a woman named Balsa, who, after saving the second prince to the Emperor, Chagum, is charged by the Queen to protect him. Chagum carries the egg of the water god. The Emperor sees him possessed by a spirit, and other spirit chase him to eat the egg he carries. Balsa takes the assignment. With her mad spear-wielding skills, and help from friends in the mountains, she protects the young boy until the egg can come to fruition.

There is practically nothing bad you can say about this series. Balsa is awesome as a character and a bodyguard. She is still my favorite female antagonist of any anime ever. The animation is beautiful and the writing and score it top-notch. I loved this series so much, that I not only bought the series on DVD, something I save for only my most favorite shows, but I also bought the novel it was based on, of which Scholastic released the first and second novels.

Do yourself a favor and watch this show. It is one of the best shows to come out of the last decade, and still stands up with its well told story and fluid animation. Just the fight scenes with Balsa makes it worth it. Oh, and the opening theme, Shine, by L’Arc en Ciel is one of the best songs you’ll ever hear too.

Hey Viz, can we get the manga to this is the series if the anime does well? It’s only 3 volumes! Read the full PR below.


San Francisco, CA, January 8, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, opens 2014 with the announcement of the mid-season Neon Alley debut of MORIBITO: GUARDIAN OF THE SPIRIT on Friday, January 17th at 10:30PM (PST). The 26-episode fantasy/action anime series is rated ‘TV-14’ and new installments will debut every Friday.

VIZ Media has also acquired the North American home video and web streaming rights for MORIBITO: GUARDIAN OF THE SPIRIT and plans to release the complete series on DVD and Blu-ray in 2014.

MORIBITO: GUARDIAN OF THE SPIRIT is based on a bestselling collection of Japanese fantasy novels by author Nahoko Uehashi. The anime series tells the story of Balsa, a nomadic warrior who has vowed to atone for eight deaths in her past by saving an equivalent number of lives. On her journey, she saves a fallen prince who carries the burden of a sacred spirit – one who has the power to save the world and bring new life to a broken empire.  But, she must first protect the Prince from those who would do him harm – including his own father, the Emperor, who has ordered his assassination!

Neon Alley is VIZ Media’s innovative 24-hour English-dubbed linear anime channel that is available for general web access as well as for the Xbox 360® and Xbox LIVE® and the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) gaming system and the PlayStation®Network. Fans can also take advantage of the platform’s Video-On Demand “Catch Up” option which offers the flexibility to watch shows such as MORIBITO anytime. The “Catch Up” option also allows viewers to search for specific content by individual series or by latest additions.

“MORIBITO: GUARDIAN OF THE SPIRIT is the latest addition to the Neon Alley anime roster and we are very excited to kick off 2014 with this critically acclaimed action packed adventure that was developed by the famed animation studio Production I.G.,” says Charlene Ingram, Senior Animation Marketing Manager. “Balsa and Prince Chagum embark on a dangerous quest to discover the Prince’s mysterious connection to a legendary water spirit with the power to destroy his kingdom, or save it. Tune in every week for new episodes and also look forward to the forthcoming release of the series on DVD and Blu-ray later this year!”

“Working with VIZ Media is truly a pleasure, and as the group continues to expand Neon Alley, we are pleased to look into our library and make more quality titles available,” comments Mr. Yuma Sakata, President and CEO, Dentsu Entertainment USA.

Neon Alley’s diverse programming schedule includes a mix of action, adventure, sci-fi, supernatural, fantasy, and horror anime, all uncut and dubbed into English and presented in HD (when available), for a low monthly subscription rate of only $6.99.

For more information on Neon Alley, please visit www.NeonAlley.com.

For more information about other anime titles from VIZ Media, please visit: www.viz.com.

For more information about Dentsu Entertainment, please visit www.DentsuEntertainment.com.

About Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc.

Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc. was formed in 2010 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Dentsu Inc. (Tokyo Stock Exchange, Code 4324).  Dentsu Inc. is the world’s largest advertising agency brand, and a leading producer of Japanese animation, with over 37,000 full-time employees and more than 700 subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide.  Dentsu Entertainment USA develops original animation programming and media content for domestic and international markets, and manages licensing programs for new and existing properties.  Current projects include Chub City®, featuring evolved vehicles and savvy young drivers, currently in development as an animated series; LBX™ (a.k.a. “The Little Battlers eXperience“), a highly successful animation, video game and toy franchise, based on miniature customizable robots;  Deltora Quest®, a 52-episode animated series airing globally, and based on the international top-selling fantasy-adventure book series of the same name; and Monsuno®, an innovative toy line and animated boys action adventure series currently airing on Nickelodeon, Nicktoons and free-to-air channels in more than 150 countries.  Dentsu Entertainment USA is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA.  For more information, please visit www.DentsuEntertainment.com.

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.

Half Way There

Back in 2009, I wrote a post expressing my desire to see the manga series Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro licensed after its end was announced in Japan, based on the anime series from 2007.  It’s been a long 4 years, hoping and waiting for that announcement that said I would finally get to read the adventures of my favorite demon detective, and now I believe we are half way to that point. Viz Media has confirmed that the anime will begin streaming on the Vizanime.com website in February.

Why does this give me hope of a manga license? Look at the last time Viz started streaming an anime; Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan. They streamed nearly the whole series before they announced the license of the manga, officially. What did Viz say when asked about Neuro? It’s “not on the schedule through September”. That doesn’t mean it won’t be announced though. Con season is starting to gear up. I wouldn’t be surprised if Neuro isn’t one of the licenses announced at San Diego Comic Con, assuming a listing for it isn’t found for it before then. Anime licenses have been a good gauge of manga licenses for the last several years, especially with Yen Press. I sincerely hope it becomes the same gauge at Viz. I REALLY WANT this series!!!!

Manga to Anime: One Piece

Buy This DVD

Apparently, I’m in the minority when it comes to crossing over from manga to anime. Whenever I find out that an anime series I like is based on a manga, I want to search out that manga and visa versa. One place you can be sure to find crossover is in Weekly Shonen Jump. So many titles that appear in there get an anime series, where it’s a short thirteen episode series like Letter Bee, or a never-ending series like One Piece.

The One Piece anime started in 1999, about 2 years after the manga. It has gone non-stop since then and is at about 478 episodes. A complaint a lot of manga fans have about anime adaptations is that it’s not always faithful, and it has a lot of filler. Filler can’t be helped. Weekly anime takes up a lot more chapters than mangaka can put out, so the anime often catchs up to the manga and has to wait. In general, these are short arcs and the show gets back to the manga storyline as soon as it can. As for being faithful, well, for the One Piece anime, it is, mostly, with a few exceptions.

Something I’ve noticed Shonen title directors like to do, is not start the show where the manga does. I’m guessing it has something to do with pulling in an audience fast by jumping into the action first, and then going back and showing the beginnings/origins/etc. I’ve seen it in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Beet the Vandelbuster, and it happens with One Piece as well.

The manga for One Piece starts at the beginning, with Luffy as a little boy living in a sea-side village where “Red-haired” Shanks and his pirate have made a base. It shows how Luffy got the Gum-Gum Devil Fruit and his trademark straw hat. The story then jumps 10 years to a grown Luffy setting out to see to become the Pirate King, and his adventures start there.

The anime takes some liberties with this and changes a few things around in the first couple of episodes. It starts not in the past, but with the second chapter in the present, with Luffy already on his journey to find a crew and become the Pirate King. He doesn’t wash up on the shore of Lady Pirate Alvida, but is picked up at sea. The whole adventure with Luffy and Coby take place on Alvida’s ship, with changes made to accomodate that. Another change the anime makes, is that it introduces Nami to the audience. She is seen sneaking around Alvida’s ship, while everyone is distracted with Luffy and steal their treasure. She and Luffy never meet, and though she sees him, he never sees her. Most of the chapters with Zolo and Captain Morgan stay intact, with the change of seeing Zolo’s past. This too is put off, and instead we finally see Luffy’s back story. The Buggy the Clown arc is kept intact, as is the Black Cat Pirates arc. The single chapter story, “Strange Creatures”, which occurs between the Buggy and Black Cat Pirates arc in the manga, is moved up to after the Black Cat Pirates arc, as is Zolo’s back story.

It’s takes 19 episodes of the anime to tell the chapters in the first four and a half volumes of the manga. While the changes above might make it not worth it to some to see it, I still enjoy seeing the story in motion. A lot of shonen manga like One Piece has a lot of fighting, action and moves that may look good in the manga, but become ten times better in the anime. You can imagine what Luffy’s arm looks like when he’s retracting it after a long punch in the manga, but in the anime you can actually see it happen. And for so many of the awesome moves Oda comes up with, not just for Luffy, but for everyone, that makes the anime so much more fun. The animators of the manga also use the title pages that Oda comes up with that often tell a story in and of themselves, and incorperate them into the filler episodes, so they don’t feel so unnatural, as so many filler arcs can.

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And then of course, there are the openings. One Piece has had a lot of great music that does a good job of showing the humor, fun and adventure that’s going to happen in the series. The first opening, We Are! is fun and bouncy. The second opening Believe which takes the show through the Alabasta arc is fast moving with a lot of drive, as are the episodes. Hikari E is just a great song, with visuals to match. Bon Voyage does as good job of showing the friendship theme that runs though the series, and Kokoro no Chizu, which covers the first half of the Water Seven arc is one of the best songs, with the first opening shots depicting the crew’s personalities perfectly. The openings really do a good job of matching the music and animation and really fitting the story arc at the time.

The One Piece anime is available online for free at both Vizanime.com and Funimation, both of which premieres new episodes only an hour or so after broadcast in Japan. I encourage you to check out the anime, even if it isn’t where your interest lies. You will only miss out on some time in your life, but it’s totally worth it.

Tech Friday: You Won't Find These in Any Textbook


Learning Japanese from popular culture such as anime and manga is nothing new.  Mangajin, a magazine from the early 90’s used manga to teach lessons.  In fact, it’s exactly these things that inspire westerners to want to learn to read and speak Japanese.  The Japanese have recognized this and have created a website to help learners of their language.  But it’s not exactly what you’d expect.

The website, anime-manga.jp doesn’t show you manga panels with translations.  No, the purpose of the site is to help teach learners about colloquial expressions that often show up in anime and manga, but not in textbooks.  Languages are fluid, they are always changing.  Anime and manga, which are all about popular culture reflect these changes, which often stump new readers who don’t live in the culture and see and hear these changes. On the site, you can see and hear expressions from typical characters from anime and manga such as school age boys and girls, butlers, and samurai.  You can even hear an Osaka dialect from an old man!

I’ve heard people try to discourage others from using anime and manga as a resource for learning Japanese precisely because of the colloquialisms.  But in order to sound like a real native speaker, you should know them, and I think it’s great that the Japanese recognize this and are reaching out to foreign learners to help them.  Of course, I’m sure all the raw manga and anime these learners will buy to help their studies won’t hurt either.

Manga to Anime: 07-Ghost

Most of the time, when comparing a manga to an anime, the anime takes liberties that can make it less like its source, and often not as good.  07-Ghost is one of those rare exceptions.  The manga started in Japan in 2005 in the magazine Monthly Comic Zero Sum, the same magazine that publishes Saiyuki.  Eight volumes are available  The manga was licensed by Go Comi! here in the states, and there are 4 volumes published.  The anime ran from April to Septermber 2009, and went for 25 episodes.

Continue reading Manga to Anime: 07-Ghost

Cross Stitch Geekery

While bouncing around Google, I stumbled on Anime Stitching, a site for cross stitch patterns for anime characters.  This site is dedicated to patterns of sprites, SD-like characterizations of anime characters that can be animated or static.  And they’re really cute!  If you’ve wanted to cross stitch actual, licensed manga characters, these fan created patterns are as close as you are going to get.

This site also has links to other sites that include patterns for other geeky interests such as video games and comics, and one site, by Littlemojo, has some great pokemon patterns and another site with some really nice Fullmetal Alchemist patterns.  I really liked the Hohenheim of the Light pattern.  The 1337xstitch site also has a forum for talking about works in progress and completed, as well as patterns you’re looking for.  These sites are some great resouces. Check them out!

Manga to Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist

Back in 2003, an anime was made of the manga Fullmetal Alchemist.  Because the story was still ongoing, and Arakawa didn’t want to give away any of her story, this anime took a turn at about episode 29 into a completely different direction.  There’s nothing wrong with the remaining 20 episodes of the anime, but it doesn’t follow the manga.  With the publication of the 20th volume of FMA, Arakawa announced another anime series, this one reported to follow the story of the manga more closely.  Also called Fullmetal Alchemist, this anime is available in the US from Funimation, who is streaming it subtitled on their site.  But how close is this new series to the manga?  I’ve read most of the manga and have been following this new anime to see how well it stays on track, and I have to say, I’m impressed so far.

Continue reading Manga to Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist

This Week in Manga 7/18-7/24/09

I know this is late, but SDCC threw everything off schedule.  Everything will back by this week.  I hope.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Otakon ran this weekend.  Did you notice?  There were no announcements from manga publishers, and really not a lot of announcements in general.  Whoever planned for this years Otakon really blew it.  Placing it between the biggest industry cons was a serious mistake.  Attendance was barely changed from last years numbers.  Even with this economy, AX showed a reasonable rise, and SDCC sold out at least two months sooner than last year.  So it’s not that people aren’t going to the cons, they just need more time in between to replenish cash reserves.  Otakon, stay in August.

Continue reading This Week in Manga 7/18-7/24/09

Dub vs. Sub: Buso Renkin

I was channel surfing last weekend, and happened upon the first episode of Buso Renkin on the Funimation Channel.  I like to see manga I’ve read as anime.  Reading static action scenes are okay, but seeing them move can really bring it to life.  So, I try to at least see some episodes of an anime.  I stopped to check out the first episode and see how Viz did with it.  I have a habit of hoping for the best  about these things.  Sometimes I’m rewarded, sometimes not.

The opening started as a good sign.  It was the original Japanese opening “Makka Na Chikai” with subtitles.  I liked the opening song, and the animation was well done.  I especially liked at the end of the opening with Kazuki and Tokiko holding the Sunlight Slasher, and it switching from color and then to black and white with speed lines.  Like a switch between anime and manga.

Continue reading Dub vs. Sub: Buso Renkin

Was It Inevitable?

Wizard has announced that it’s ending the publication of its Anime magazine, Anime Insider.  This neither surprises me nor bothers me.  I didn’t care for Anime Insider.  The articles read like one info-mercial after another, a problem not just for this publication, but all of Wizards magazines (except maybe Toyfare).  I remember back in 2005-06, there was a lot of chatter on the interwebs about it.  And let’s face it, Wizard hasn’t been doing real well in the last few years.  Conventions cancelled, and this is the second of their pubs to be cancelled, Inquest, their gaming mag to go first.  It was only a matter of time, before a niche mag like this would see the chopping block.

Of course, this isn’t just a trend in anime/manga, as some have suggested.  Yes, advertising for anime and now manga has been going down in the last few years.  And anime and manga mags have been biting the dust (Animerica, Newtype/PIQ, etc.).  But let’s face it.  This is a trend in publishing in general.  Printing and distributions costs have gone up a lot, with daily/weekly publications taking the biggest hits.  Newspapers are either shutting down or searching desparately to keep their heads above water.  Monthly mags may survive this better, if their content is good enough, and let’s face it, Anime Insider just didn’t have it.

And it’s not like I didn’t give it a chance.  I got Anime Insider back when it was quarterly mag Anime Invasion.  I thought it had potential back then.  I was looking for a mag to subscribe to.  It was between Anime Invasion/Insider, Animerica, Protoculture Addicts, and later Otaku USA.  But Anime Insider just never made the muster.  It was too much like Wizard, Wizard’s comics mag, which I didn’t like the format of, and it’s articles gave no real information.  I could find everything the reported on, online, and done better.

What the demise of Anime Insider inevitable?  I sure think so.  There are just so many “Who would win?” fights between anime characters you can do before it becomes tiring.  And in this economy, the market can support only so many niche mags.  Only those that put out the best content will still be around.  Anime Insider never had a chance.