Hey guys! Thanks to all those who came out to Anime Expo on the weekend of July 2-5. We really appreciate all the support you gave us and hope that you enjoyed all the festivities. Also, congrats to the 2nd winner of the "Write about Naruto" contest: Prasor C. Meak! Please check out the article below and don't forget to congratulate this week's winner!
Naruto ranks as one of the best, if not the best, mangas around. A whirlwind of teeth-clenching battles and heart-felt relationships, the characters and storyline easily engage any reader of manga. Throughout this series, you can picture the hero’s ongoing progress as a person--his development in ninjitsu abilities and his personal growth emotionally and morally. You bond with Naruto as the troubled outcast, the boy who is considered to be the thorn on the side of Konoha Village, the scapegoat, and the black sheep. Despite the hardships he’s undergone, or perhaps due to the difficulties in his life, the kyuubi-incarnate’s sense of justice is essentially to protect the weak and deprived, to fight for peace, and to live with and love his comrades.
An exemplary case of Naruto’s growth as a ninja and as a person is when he is face-to-face with Nagato in chapter 449 of the manga. Deep in the paper tree, the base of operations created by Konan, an enraged Naruto confronts Nagato. Immediately you can see Naruto’s development as a ninja--he doesn’t barge in and start attacking the enemy as he would have in his earlier years. He is clearly seething with anger, and would love to beat Nagato to a dead, meaty pulp, but he has learned from past events to become calmer and thus become more capable of handling life-death situations. As a result, Naruto is able to lend an ear, to actually listen to what his enemy has to say, and to try and understand the story from another’s perspective. No longer is he the bratty, impulsive, and foolhardy ninja--he has matured and has become calculating, wiser, and responsible.
During his conversation with Nagato, Naruto listens attentively and doesn’t resort to violence. The two discuss life and death, war and hatred, and how to achieve peace in a world so blinded by greed and power. Nagato’s method of attaining world peace clashes with Naruto’s, and they come to the question of “How does one go about attaining world peace?” Both once pupils of the pervy sage, both with differing views, both with the same goal: peace. Jiraya believed in peace and had faith that one day people would come to understand one another and live without repercussions. In time Nagato was able to see the light and the burning determination and faith in Naruto’s heart. He arrives at the same conclusion as Jiraya and leaves his heart and dying wish with Naruto. The means in which you go about gaining peace is just as important as the result itself.
Amongst the aftermath of Nagato’s destruction and disorientation in chapter 450, the people of Konoha learn to entrust and to accept Naruto as a significant part of their society. They rejoice and welcome his arrival back into the village. Aside from his few comrades, mentors, and sensei, this is the first time Naruto has ever been acknowledged by the people in the village. He has finally gained their respect. At this point, it’s evident that the kyuubi child has grown into a man of heart, integrity, and honor, a man who will right the injustices of the world and lead his loved ones to a prosperous future.
Naruto is unmistakably a manga about life and what you make of it, and the journeys you decide to embark upon. Plainly and simply, read this manga and see for yourself!
Summer's here. School's out. Time to get in some of that much deserved rest and relaxation. Now, I'm all for spending some time out in the sun, but its ridiculously hot outside! So what better way to beat the heat, than with some of the coolest and freshest anime that just dropped here on CR!
Time of Eve episode 5 - Eve's Melody Direction's Yasuhiro Yoshiura comes back with the fifth installment of his masterpiece: Time of Eve. Facing his demons, Rikuo wrestles with his despair over android artists and his own dreams of playing the piano. Meanwhile,Masaki simmers with anger after finding alarming hints that androids are being developed to handle childcare. Can Rikuo and Masaki retain their humanity as they struggle to define themselves in a world populated with androids? Launch date: July 2, 2009 6:00 pm
Aoihana Fumi Manjoume enters Kamakura's accelerated high school - Matsuoka All-Girls High School. While waiting at the Kamakura station on the day of her entrance ceremony, she runs into an old childhood friend whom she had not seen in 10 years: Akira Okudaira. As their friendship is rekindled and they start falling back into the rhythm of friends again, it starts a delicate love story... Launch date: Every Weds 12:00 pm PDT
Charger Girl Ju-den Chan
Sendo is just an ordinary college student, until the girl Plug appears before him. Coming from a parallel world and mistaking this world as her own, she holds the secret ability to pour in willpower and energy into those without the energy, thus calling herself Juden-chan. Unable to believe the girl in front of him, Sennin eventually starts to believe that this girl is actually real. But why does Plug need his help for this job? As Plug and Sennin's life starts to intertwine together it sets things up for a heartwarming, action filled comedic adventure! Launch date: Every Weds 5:30 pm PDT
Kanamemo In this shojo-ai/yuri anime, we find our protagonist Kana Nakamichi, a middle-school girl who after suffering a string of huge losses, including her parents, recently loses her only remaining relative: her grandmother. Seeking refuge and support, she chooses to work at a newspaper delivery office to make ends meet. To her surprise, everyone else living at the office are all charming, self-assertive bishōjo. And as the story takes off so do the adventures and relations amongst everyone working there. Launch date: Every Sunday 10:00 am PDT
Yokuwakaru Gendai Maho The story revolves around Koyomi Morishita, a clumsy high school freshman girl who is often mistaken for a grade-schooler because of her shortness. Koyomi becomes a disciple of Misa Anehara, a 25-year-old graduate student who happens to be one of the most powerful modern-day magicians. Launch date: Every Sat 10:00 am PDT
I’m not usually a big fan of anime that have a primary focus on hand-to-hand/melee combat, but I actually thoroughly enjoy Kurokami, or as it's translated into English: "Black God". Usually, I tend to lean more towards gun battles as in Black Lagoon or Cowboy Bebop, which are mostly similar to my taste in live-action movies as well. However, within the first episode of Kurokami, I was intrigued with the concept of a young girl in her early teens facing off with much larger opponents, getting beat at first but eventually tasting victory. And when I say beat, I mean she gets beat up like Hayami at the end of Blue Submarine No. 6. Along with enjoying the fighting/dueling aspect of the show, the main male protagonists are also a nice departure from the stock male lead that is either a total gung-ho idiot or a giant wuss. Kurokami might get lost in the summer line-up, but it does certainly have some redeeming qualities about it.
Just within the first episode the show gets off to a fast start, with two characters close to the male lead getting killed off right away, and with one unexpected death near the end of the episode one. Kurokami centers on the high school student Keita Ibuki, along with his long-time friend Akane Sano, who acts as a pseudo-guardian figure. The reason for Akane assuming the role of the guardian is due to the fact that Keita’s mother was killed 7 years prior to the beginning of the show, so Akane was forced to take up the role of mother figure. Along with Akane, the other female characters we’re introduced to is Yamada, who is in the same class as Keita, and Mayu-chan, who is a young neighbor girl that lives next to Keita in his apartment building. Without giving away any plot twists or spoilers, Keita’s life pretty much gets thrown into disarray as soon as he meets Kuro, which is at a ramen stand in the middle of the night. A little different than most meetings, but very appropriate for the show since Kuro has an insatiable appetite that rivals that of Hei from Darker than Black. Now speaking of Darker than Black, the opening for this show seems reminiscent of the openings for Darker than Black, with a mix of neon city lights at night and fast-paced fight scenes thrown together.
Kuro and Keita’s meeting is the springboard for them eventually forming a “contract” with each other. In the context of this series, a contract is when a Mototsumitama forms a bond with a human and they are therefore able to perform synchronized melee attacks. I won’t divulge the reason for Kuro and Keita’s contract but it is completely by mistake, whereas other contracts are frequently made for a reason. Another aspect of Kurokami that can be compared with Darker than Black is the different kinds of attacks (exceeds) that the different enemies and allies that Keita and Kuro run into throughout the show use. One of the first allies that the duo first meets is Steiner, and his “contractee”, Excel. Steiner’s attack alone consists of him splitting into multiples of himself in order to confuse his opponent.
Aside from the actual plot, characters, and themes of the Kurokami, the technical aspects and production value of the show are also good as well. The animation quality is on par with current major time slot shows like Gundam 00 and K-On, with most action scenes fast and sharp, with slow dialogue-intensive scenes having good framing on the characters and their surroundings. One thing that pulls me into a show aside from the subject matter and the animation quality is the character designs, and Kurokami’s characters are not hard on eyes. The protagonists and other “good” characters have a similar look to that of Gundam 00 and Fullmetal Alchemist, with the antagonists also bearing a similar aesthetic to that of FMA, Steiner in particular. The costume designs are also well done, and gives a nice set of variety to everyone, which is better than having half the cast in high school uniforms. The only design gripe I would have to have with the show are the cars that are used throughout each episode. Aside from anime, cars are my biggest hobby, and I always appreciate it when a show can properly animate and render cars similar to that of their real world counterparts. However, Kurokami’s mix of cars range from oddly drawn Toyota Landcruisers and Honda Fits, to Steiner’s and Excel’s “post-microwave” Mercedes E-Class. But that’s just me trying to nit-pick on an aspect of the show that really isn’t vital to the plot.
After about 10 episodes of Kurokami, I really found myself liking the show. I wouldn’t have probably watched the show since it doesn’t involve mecha or excessive amounts of fanservice, but the cast of characters, the off beat plot, and technical merits have made a fan out of me. Speaking of fanservice, Kurokami doesn’t seem to have too much fanservice compared to the average high school comedy, which is nice. There is a nice light-heartedness to the show in some parts, but having panty shots and references to other anime would detract from some of the dark tones of the show. I don’t know if I would rate it higher than Darker Than Black or Cowboy Bebop, but I wouldn’t pass it up either.
Nodoka played with such high tension that her health began to suffer. Slowly, her heart was filled with many feelings but she eventually felt better. Touka Ryumonbuchi was happy to finally meet her arch rival.
The AEU and the Union seem to have reconciled themselves to the existence of Celestial Being, but the Human Reform League is still determined to eliminate it. The Human Reform League launches an operation to track down the Celestial Being mothership Ptolemaios.
Unable to stop Kid's Quick and Fire technique, the Devil Bats decide to reveal the fruit of their bump training. Seibuu counters by bringing in the Iron Horse, Tetsuma. Will he be effective enough to give the Devils Bats a win?
Word of the Day
あなた・君 (きみ)・おまえ - So we went over “I”/ “me” last time. This time we focus on "you" (あなた, ANATA). Pronounced "ah-nah-tah," it can be used in both casual and formal situations. Getting more casual, one can use "君 (きみ)" (pronounced "key-me"). And if you want to sound like an anime character or sound rude you can always use おまえ, pronounced "oh-mai-eh." However if you get beat up for saying that to someone that's your own fault.