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Review: Dororo 1, Plus Early Review of Dororo 2

After publishing several grown-up graphic novels by Osamu Tezuka, Vertical is turning their attention to an earlier work by the Godfather of Manga. It’s not as grown up as Ode to Kirihito, nor as iconic and kid-friendly as Astro Boy, but Dororo is an action-packed, supernatural samurai fantasy adventure story that is still as satisfying and entertaining for today's readers as it was to Japanese manga readers when it was first published over 40 years ago.

Hyakkimaru is a wandering swordsman with a unique past. His father, a ruthless warlord sacrifices his unborn son’s body parts to 48 demons in exchange for power and riches. Born a barely-alive shell of a human being with no arms, legs or eyes, Hyakkimaru is found by a kindly (and ingenious) doctor who creates an amazing array of prosthetics for his adopted son, including arms that turn into swords and feet that spray acid. These weapons come in handy because Hyakkimaru is constantly encountering demons who he must defeat to get his real body parts back. Joined by Dororo, an irrepressible young thief who acts as the story's comic relief, Hyakkimaru makes his away across a chaotic, war-torn feudal Japan, with demons nipping at his heels every step of the way.

If it sounds bizarre, well... it is, and I mean that in the best way possible. Tezuka takes his medical training, mixes it with Japanese mythology, samurai swordplay and drama, adds a dash of sci-fi fantasy and gives readers a story that's wildly inventive and simply entertaining from cover to cover.
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Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's

D-Wheel

The latest Yu-Gi-Oh series features the "Riding Duels". An all new style of duel in which the players ride the D-Wheels, motorcycles with Duel equipment. Contrary to the previous series, dueling with D-Wheels contain some special rules. First, the duel is entirely played using the field magic "Speed World". Second, only magic cards designed to work into this field are allowed in the duel. Each magic needs a number of "Speed Counters" to be activated. Each duelist starts with zero speed counters and its number increase by one in each standby phase. A player can reduce the number of opponent's counters by dealing direct damage to its LP. When a winner is decided, the D-Wheel of the defeated duelist shuts down automatically.

The D-Wheel features the card platform, sitting in front of the duelist, a stand for the cards in hand, which allows the duelist to ride with one hand while using the cards with the other, and a compartment for the deck located in the player's wrist. Cards sent to graveyard are inserted in a slot also located in front of the duelist.

In some D-Wheel models (called hybrid models), the card platform can be detached from the bike and function as a standard Duel Disk.

(Data From 1st Liet. Kyoshiro)
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xxxHOLIC: Kei

2nd season anime of XXXHolic, XXXHolic Kei, Yuuko is seen reading an issue of Ookiku Furikabutte, a baseball manga, earlier in that episode when they were watching Baseball the player had the same uniform as the characters of that manga,in Episode 3 Maru and Moro were playing with a Tachikoma plamo, a spider-like mecha from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex while the other played with Yamamoto battleship plamo, both built by Yuuko and company while waiting for Watanuki to return. Ghost in a Shell: Stand Alone Complex and XXXHolic anime franchise are both under Production I.G.

XXXHolic Kei episode 4, Yuuko is seen holding a copy of Weekly Young Magazine.

(Data From 1st Liet. Kyoshiro)
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To Love-Ru
(from CR)

The story is about Yuuki Rito, a high-school boy who cannot confess to the girl of his dreams, Sairenji Haruna. One day when coming home and sulking in the bath-tub a mysterious, nude girl, appears out of nowhere. Her name is Lala and she comes from the planet Deviluke, where she is the heir to the throne. Her father wants her to return to her home planet so she can marry one of the husband candidates, but she decides that she wants to marry Rito in order to stay on Earth.

(Data From 1st Liet. Kyoshiro)
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Amatsuki

Tokidoki is a Japanese high school student who, when he fails his history class, is sent to a high-tech history museum that virtually recreates the Edo period to do make-up work. However, what was supposed to be a simple school project becomes much more complicated when he's attacked by two supernatural beings known as "the nue" and "the yakou" and loses the vision in his left eye. After he's saved from the nue by a girl named Kuchiha, he realizes that he's no longer wearing the simulation goggles, and is trapped in the virtual Edo.

(Data From 1st Liet. Kyoshiro)
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Itazura na Kiss

Itazura na Kiss tells the love story of Kotoko and Naoki from their days as high school students to their marriage. The story continues after the marriage as they continue to grow as a couple. The story starts with Kotoko finally building up the courage to confess to Irie Naoki by giving him a love letter but was rejected in front of everybody. After that humiliating moment, she decided to give up on her love for Irie Naoki. That same day, the Aihara's newly-built home was destroyed during a mild earthquake due to poor construction. They ended up staying in the Irie household thus starting the development of their relationship.

(Data From 1st Liet. Kyoshiro)
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Kanokon

Kanokon's story revolves around Kouta Oyamada, a young first-year high school student who moves from the country to the city and thus transfers to Kunpō High School. On his first day at his new school, a beautiful second-year female student named Chizuru Minamoto asks him to meet her alone in the music room. When he arrives, she tells him that she is in love with him and accidentally reveals to him that she is in fact a fox deity. From that day on the two hang out together, and Chizuru constantly hangs on Kouta which embarrasses him greatly due to others watching. Soon after the story begins, a wolf deity named Nozomu Ezomori transfers into Kouta's school and class. From day one, she is all over Kouta which serves to embarrass him more and cause Chizuru to become annoyed at her new competition for Kouta's affection.

(Data From 1st Liet. Kyoshiro)
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Posted 5/9/08 , edited 5/13/08
Reviews of orbunion55: 54 reviews

- Shugo Chara!
- Vampire Knight
- Makai Senki Disgaea
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle
- Fate/Stay Night
- His and Her Circumstances (Kare Kano)
- Azumanga Daioh
- Shakugan no Shana
- Tactics
- Fruits Basket
- Ah! My Goddess (anime & manga)
- Fushigi Yūgi
- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Eternity
- Card Captor Sakura
- Chrono Crusade
- Clannad
- D.N. Angel
- Death Note
- Elemental Gelade
- InuYasha
- Maburaho
- MMPPP
- MMPPP pure
- Naruto
- Prétear
- Saiunkoku Monogatari
- School Days
- Scrapped Princess
- Seto no Hanayome
- Fafner of the Azure
- The Prince of Tennis
- Genshiken
- Eyeshield 21
- Lemon Angel Project
- My-Otome
- School Rumble
- OURAN High School Host Club
- Onegai Sensei
- Onegai Twins
- Tokimeki Memorial ~Only Love~
- Tantei Gakuen Q
- Harukanaru Toki no Naka De
- Kamichama Karin
- Kirarin Revolution
- Strawberry Panic
- Aria the Natural
- The Melanchony of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Bokura ga Ita
- Myself; Yourself
- Tsukihime
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Review: Shugo Chara!

Amu Hinamori is a student at Seiyo Elementary, where she has a reputation for being "cool and spicy"; however, her real personality in that of an extremely shy and easily intimidated girl. One night Amu makes a wish that she would have the courage to be reborn as her "would-be" self. The next morning Amu finds three brightly colored eggs—red, blue, and green—in her bed. Each egg eventually hatches into a Guardian Character: Ran, Miki, and Suu. Guardian Characters are angel-like beings that aid a person into becoming their "would-be" selves and fulfill the person's dreams. The Guardian Characters accomplish this by giving encouragement and advice, but they can also temporarily change a person's personality and abilities. With the Guardian Characters, Amu's life becomes much more complex as she now struggles to deal with her new personalities and the Seiyo Elementary Guardians—a student council group where each member has their own Guardian Character—who recruits Amu to search for and seal the X eggs and X Characters, which are the corrupted forms of people's dreams.
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Review: Vampire Knight

Yuki's earliest memory is of a snowy night in winter, when she was attacked by one vampire and was saved by another, Kaname Kuran. Ten years later, Yuki Cross, the adopted daughter of the headmaster of Cross Academy, has grown up and become a guardian for the school, with two purposes: To protect the Day class (humans) from the Night class's (vampires) fangs and to protect the true identity of the Night class students from being discovered by the Day class students. Her fellow guardian, Zero Kiryu, a childhood friend who was born into a family of vampire hunters and whose hatred for the vampires that destroyed everything he held dear, is now determined to kill them all and never trusts them. Through a cruel twist of fate, Zero becomes a vampire himself, having been bitten by a pure blood vampire four years before.

Kaname, Yuki's savior, leads the group of Night class, with the help of Takuma Ichijo. As the story progresses, it is revealed that Yuki is the true daughter of the Kuran family, a family of pure blood vampires. She and Kaname were raised as siblings who are actually engaged to each other. Kaname awakened Yuki's 'vampire' side which was locked away by Yuki's deceased mother, who wanted Yuki to have a better future by being a human.


Review: Makai Senki Digaea

Two years ago, the Angel Trainee Flonne was sent to the Netherworld to assassinate King Krichevskoy. However, when she arrived at the Overlord's Castle, it was covered in flames. For the next two years, Flonne searched for her target, narrowing her search to a local dump. She found a coffin with Krichevskoy's emblem on it and tried to carry out the assassination. However, it turned out that it was not Krichevskoy, but his son Laharl. Learning that his father has died, Laharl set out to claim the title of Overlord for himself. Flonne and another demon by the name of Etna followed after him.
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Review: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni takes place during June 1983, at a fictional rural village called Hinamizawa (雛見沢, Hinamizawa?) (based on the village of Shirakawa, Gifu, a World Heritage Site),[18][19] which has a population of approximately 2000. The main character, Keiichi Maebara, moves to Hinamizawa and befriends his new classmates Rena Ryugu, Mion Sonozaki, Rika Furude, and Satoko Hojo. Keiichi joins their after-school club activities, which consist mostly of card and board games (and punishment games for the loser, usually him.) Hinamizawa appears to be a normal, peaceful, rural village to Keiichi. However, the tranquility abruptly ends after the annual Watanagashi Festival, a celebration to commemorate and give thanks to the local god, Oyashiro-sama. Keiichi learns that every year for the past four years, one person has been murdered and another has gone missing on the day of the Watanagashi Festival. Keiichi himself soon becomes drawn into the strange events surrounding the Watanagashi Festival and Oyashiro-sama. In each story arc, he or one of his friends become paranoid, and a crime is committed. Usually, the crime involves the murder of one of their own friends. While it seems impossible to tell their delusions apart from the mystery of Hinamizawa, slowly the truth is revealed.
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Review: Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle

Sakura is the princess of Clow kingdom, which is ruled by her older brother, King Tōya. Her childhood friend Syaoran is a young archaeologist. Sakura is revealed to have strange powers when she has a vision of a mysterious symbol and places she has never seen. Meanwhile, Syaoran discovers the same symbol at the ruins he is excavating. He sees Sakura standing on the symbol on the ground. Ghostly wings appear on her back and a mysterious force begins to pull her into the walls of the ruins. Syaoran rescues her in time, but her wings are scattered across dimensions. The High Priest of Clow Kingdom, Yukito, immediately realizes that Sakura's "wings" were the manifestation of her soul and memories; without them, she will die. In order to save Sakura, Syaoran must journey to retrieve her wing's feathers, the fragments of her memories.

Yukito sends Syaoran and the unconscious Sakura to the Dimensional Witch, Yūko, who is one of the main characters in xxxHolic. There he meets Kurogane, a rough-mannered ninja banished from his world by Princess Tomoyo, and Fay D. Flourite, a magician who fled his world to avoid King Ashura. Each of them must pay with what he values most in order to gain the power to cross dimensions. For Kurogane, it is his sword Ginryū, and for Fay, it is the tattoo on his back which regulates his control of his magic. Syaoran, on the other hand, must pay with his relationship with Sakura: even if he is able to retrieve all of her memories, she will never remember anything about him or their relationship. (This sacrifice also pays Sakura's "toll" to Yūko, because what Sakura values most are her memories of and with Syaoran.) Only when the three agree to her terms does Yūko present them with the power to cross dimensions; a white creature named Mokona Modoki.

While traversing through worlds to find Sakura's feathers, the four travellers and Mokona are forced to overcome many dangers and opponents, some of whom are figures from Syaoran's past who wish to collect Sakura's feathers for their own reasons as they are seen to be objects that hold great power.

The manga adopts darker and more complex tones in the latter half of the story.

Because of the crossover characters with xxxHolic, the two manga occasionally intertwine with each other.

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Review: Fate/Stay Night

Fate/stay night chronicles a two-week period in the life of Shirō Emiya, an amateur mechanic who attends school called Homurabara Gakuen in Fuyuki City. Ten years ago, Shirō was caught in a massive fire hazard that incinerated his parents and consumed a large portion of the city; as he was dying, an enigmatic man discovers and treats him. This man, Kiritsugu Emiya, decides to adopt him, though the two maintain a distant relationship because of Kiritsugu's frequent departures from Fuyuki City. One moonlit night, Kiritsugu and Shirō had a discussion outside of their home, and Shirō discovers a fact about his father that Kiritsugu was actually a mage.



“ I have a secret that I haven't told you--- I'm a Magi. ”

Through their conversation, Shirō learns of his foster father's failed life ambition to become a "Hero of Justice" (正義の味方, Seigi no Mikata?), a guardian of mankind who could protect the weak and innocent. Touched by Kiritsugu's conviction, Shirō affirms to his foster father that he intends to devote his life to achieving that distant ideal, much to Kiritsugu's chagrin. To do this, Shirō pleads with a begrudging Kiritsugu to teach him sorcery (魔術, Majutsu?); but Shirō proves to be talentless in almost all the fundamental sorcerous disciplines.

Kiritsugu warns his son that the life of a sorcerer is one that leads to destruction, but if he is truly set on benefiting people, he should apply his knowledge in secret and hone his craft in private. After Kiritsugu dies, Shirō becomes frustrated with his progress, for he feels inadequate about his good deeds through sorcery and is unsure of how to orient his future to contribute more.

Unknown to Shirō, Fuyuki City is the setting for a secret and violent war among competing magi. For the past two centuries, seven sorcerers have gathered and engage in a Battle Royale, each gambling his or her own life to obtain the Holy Grail, a legendary chalice capable of granting wishes. The past four Holy Grail Wars have typically occurred every sixty years, with the most recent concluding a decade ago, but the fifth war has eerily started prematurely.

Each of the sorcerers, better known as Masters, is aided by one of the seven summoned spiritual familiars known as Servants, who are the reincarnations of legendary souls from all across time. These resurrected Epic Spirits (英霊, Eirei?), possess superhuman characteristics and wield powerful artifacts or abilities called Noble Phantasms (宝具, Hōgu?). A Noble Phantasm's hidden abilities may be released by invoking its true name, but casual brandishing of a Noble Phantasm is best avoided, for symbolic Noble Phantasms usually belie a Servant's identity, diminishing that Servant's competitive advantage. Specific legends may be summoned with the aid of catalysts, which are artifacts, ideas, or experiences similar or of value to the desired Servant. Only one Servant can be summoned in each war from one of seven classes: Saber, Archer, Lancer, Berserker, Rider, Assassin, and Caster.

As only astral entities (i.e. Servants) are physically capable of retrieving the Holy Grail, Master and Servant are forced to cooperate. Masters control Servants with three Command Mantra (令呪, Reiju?), which are crystallized miracles issued by the Holy Grail that manifest on a Master's body. When activated, Command Mantra permit a Servant to accomplish an incredible feat, or alternatively provide Masters with the authority to issue an irrevocable and absolute order to a Servant. When all three Command Mantras are used up, Servants are no longer obliged to serve their Masters, and as such, may freely choose to turn upon their ex-partner. In the event of a Master's demise, a Servant may choose to bind him or herself to another Master; if a Servant is slain, a Master may ally with a wayward Servant or pursue sanctuary with the Holy Grail War's impartial supervisor, who is traditionally a delegate of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Holy Grail materializes fully only when there is one Servant left standing; therefore, it is not necessary to vanquish Masters in order to win the war. However, as many Servants possess powerful Noble Phantasms and are grueling to defeat, many participants have chosen instead to eradicate Masters, who are responsible for maintaining a Servant's presence through the supplication of Mana.

After cleaning his school's kyūdō (archery) dojo late one night, Shirō stumbles upon two Servants, Archer and Lancer, battling in the school courtyard. To avoid compromising the war's secrecy, Lancer hunts down and pierces Shirō's heart with a spear. For an unknown reason, Shirō's classmate, Rin Tōsaka, uses an heirloom filled with concentrated magic, Mana (魔力, Maryoku?), to resuscitate him. Shaken and dazed, Shirō returns home only to be assaulted a second time by Lancer. Shirō weakly defends himself against Lancer, but is soon overwhelmed by the powerful Servant's attack, and is sent flying into his shed's storage room. Cornered, Shirō prepares for the worst; but before Lancer can inflict another fatal blow, a young woman outfitted in alabaster armor blocks Lancer's spear. After driving Lancer away from Shiro, she introduces herself as Saber, and greets him with the words:



“ I ask of you, are you my Master? ”
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Review: His and Her Circumstances(Kare Kano)

The main character is Yukino Miyazawa, a Japanese high school freshman who is the envy of her classmates because of her good grades and immaculate appearance. However, this is just a charade she maintains to win praise—at home and in private, she is spoiled, stubborn, and a slob, and studies relentlessly instead of spending time with her sisters. Her position is threatened by Soichiro Arima, a handsome young man who also gets top grades. Yukino considers his very existence to be a challenge to her class leadership positions and a threat to the praise on which she thrives, and so she vows to destroy him. But after some misunderstandings, they see past each other's facades and fall in love. The series follows their relationship as they are tested by school, family problems, and friends.

The anime ends right before the school's annual cultural festival. The manga goes on to cover the festival (including a play written by Aya and performed by Yukino and friends), the revelation of the Arima family's past secrets, and the backstories of many other characters. The manga ends in the future when the protagonists (and their family) are in their 30s, just like how Yukino's parents start out in the story.
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Review: Azumanga Daioh

Azumanga Daioh chronicles everyday life in an unnamed Japanese high school in Tokyo,[10] following the trials and triumphs of six girls: reserved Sakaki's obsession with cute animals, Chiyo's struggle to fit in with girls five years older, Osaka's spacey nature and skewed perspective on the world, Yomi's aggravation at an annoying best friend, Tomo, whose energy is rivaled only by her lack of sense, and Kagura's efforts in sports and school. The story covers three years of tests, culture festivals, and athletic events at school, after-school life at the nearby shopping district, at Chiyo's large house, vacations spent at Chiyo's summer home on the beach and at Magical Land, a theme park. It is generally realistic in tone, marked by occasional bursts of surrealism and absurdity, such as Osaka's bizarre imaginings and an episode featuring the characters' New Year's dreams.

The manga and anime follow the same story line, though there are differences in small details.[11] Some jokes could not be dramatized as written and were either changed or excised completely. In the first manga volume, Osaka's appearance is noticeably different from in the anime and succeeding manga volumes. In the same vein, Sakaki's initial unapproachable demeanor in the manga is downplayed in the anime.

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