Archive for April, 2010

Reborn is a comedy turn action.

Posted in anime, manga with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2010 by Pirate

I’ve been reading the Japanese manga Reborn! known in Japan as Kaktekyo Hitman Reborn. It is written and illustrated by Akira Amano, and serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump. In the US, it is licensed by Viz Media under their Shonen Jump Advanced lineup.

The plot is fairly simple at first. High-schooler Tsuna Sawada is about as hapless and useless as a kid can get. One day, a mysterious baby named Reborn arrives at his house and informs the youth that it is his mission to train Tsuna to become a mafic boss. With the help of a magic bullet, Reborn begins his crazy and unpredictable tutoring on poor Tsuna, who wants nothing to do with this. And thus, crazieness starts!

This series is pretty wird at times. Along his path to become a mafia boss, Tsuna meets super-babies, poison-cooking experts, shape-shifting chameleons, and other weird things. Those who cannot tolerate weirdness should stop reading now. Also, it should be noted that in volume 8, the series comedic nature suddenly becomes a serious, more violent mafia action series that feels more in-place as a Shonen Jump manga.



I am enjoying the series very much so far (I am currently up to volume 16) and anyone who likes Shonen Jump manga won’t be dissapointed. If you like comedy, thats here. If you like tourneys, thats here. Gun and fist fights? Check. Mafia and gangster content? Yeah. Big Shonen fights? Totally!


In Japan, this manga started its serialization in Weekly Shonen Jump on April 4, 2004, and is still going with 28 volumes. Volume 15 just came out in North America. An anime version, animated by Artland, premiered on TV Tokyo on October 7, 2006, and is still going with 180 episodes.

This manga is a very fun read, and I reccomend it.

This manga is rated OT, and contains language and graphic, realistic violence involving guns, knives, and other gangster things.

Luigi’s Mansion: A not-so-scary romp.

Posted in Video Games with tags , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2010 by Pirate

Luigi’s Mansion, for the Nintendo Gamecube, was the first ever Mario game for the console. It was infamous for two reasons: 1, the main character wasn’t Mario, but his younger cowardly brother Luigi. 2, The gameplay was much different than any other Mario game before it. Oh, and it had a haunted house theme.

Anyway, in the game, Luigi wins, via a contest, a old, rustic mansion that looks very expensive. The thing is, Luigi didn’t enter the contest! But, dolt that he is, he doesn’t care, and agrees to meet Mario there to check it out. However, once Luigi arrives at his new digs, he is scared to learn that Mario is missing!

It actually doesn't look too bad.

Worse, its haunted by ghosts, so naturally, Luigi comes to the conclusion that the ghosts have spirited Mario away. And now the ghosts are after him! Luckily, he gets help in the form of an old, strange man named E.Gadd, who equips Luigi with the one thing that can destroy the ghosts: a vacuum called the Poltergeist (how fitting).

When ghosts surround you, you should...

The vacuum is where the unique gameplay kicks in. Unlike most 3-D Mario games, or even side-scrollers, you can’t jump, wall ump, dash, or crawl, which takes away some of the fun of exploring. Who wants to explore a giant castle by walking slowly? Anyway, to beat the ghosts, you have to shine a flashlight at them, and then suck them in with the vacuum while they are stunned and blinded. With only one real way to beat the spooky spectres, it can get boring.

...Scream at the top of your lungs!!!

The animation is okay, just lazy sometimes. Also, despite being a “horror” game, its more like Scooby-Doo. The ghosts aren’t scary. And you know that they’ve run out of ideas when baby ghosts become big bosses. The stages are varied and detailed, which helps.

Anyway, its great and all that Luigi got his own game, but why did they have to take out most of the fun from the controls? Luigi is just as athletic as Mario, maybe even more. This game is a decent diversion, but with no extra missions or two-player mode, it doesn’t have much replay value. I’ll give it a B-

Open the door, Luigi.

Luigi’s Mansion is rated E, and contains very mild cartoon violence, and very mild horror themes.

TMNT Forever: A treat for the fans.

Posted in Movies and Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by Pirate

On Saturday morning, I got around to watching the TMNT Forever movie on The CW4Kids block. After all, alot of people wanted me to see it, saying it was the biggest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles event ever! You see, I’m not really a fan of the franchise, but it was on TV, so why not?

The main point of the film is a crossover of the 2003 turtles, and the old 1980s turtles, if I remember correctly, and they have to team up to stop the Shredder (who had been previously defeated) from destroying not only the universe, but every single universe!

Any fan of the franchise will love this. Homages are made to the old cartoon, the script is full of references and sly winks, and one scene shows turtles from tons of different media, comics, and even the recent CGI film.

One thing that bothered me was that even though it was a film, the animation didn’t seem that much better than the TV show. What happened to the budget?

New Teenage mutant ninja turtles, meet old teenage mutant ninja turtles.

The fight sequences are okay, and the movie doesn’t bore you. I just feel it lacked something, and even the resolution seems a bit lazy. After all, the fearsome villain loses because his dolt henchmen accidentally blast him with some cannon thing. The very ending is clever though (I won’t spoil it) and the voice acting felt good. I was just hoping for something that didn’t feel like a normal episode.

Still, you can tell that the creators (Not 4Kids, of course) really tried their hardest to make a great movie that fans would like. Its a shame that the film pretty much bombed, and that a DVD release may be non-existant. Too bad, since many fans don’t even know this exists.

This film will leave fans yelling “Turtle power!’, but causual viewers may find it fluffy Saturday morning cartoon stuff.


Soulcalibur 2: Blade-edge fun.

Posted in Video Games with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by Pirate

When I got Soulcalibur 2 for the Nintendo Gamecube, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would it be a Tekken or Mortal Kombat clone? Maybe Omnimusha? Like Street Fighter, perhaps? Well, yes and no.

Soulcalibur, for those who don’t know, is a fighting game series for sword-wielders. This game guest-starred Link of The Legend of Zelda fame, which is actually one of the reasons I got it. That and that its a fighting game. I dig those.

Anyway, the game’s not too bad. The animation is pretty good for the Gamecube, and the controls aren’t complicated enough to want to break your controller. I liked the stages and custom-weapons you could equip your characters with. The main gripe I had was with the story-mode.

Link VS Taki: A fight that can never happen in a decent story mode!

The story-mode is actually pretty ridiculous and unbelievable.  You play as a wandering swordsman seraching for this legendary sword called the “Soulcalibur”, which houses some evil demon or whatever. And now, with no clue AT ALL where it is, you walk around randomly, fighting random people, and conveniantly getting hints and such. Yeah. Also, no cutscenes, which felt outdated.

Hey, Link! Why is that girl kicking your butt?!?

Story-mode aside, this game is definately a must for fighting game fans, and the added bonus of Link is also cool! Anyway, Gamestop will have this game for cheap, so pick it up.

Soulcalibur 2 is rated T, and contains bloodless fantasy violence, mild language, and mild sensuality.