Monthly Archives: December 2006

Hot Picks: Manga January 2007 #20-11 Kilala Princess, Red String, Kitchen Princess, Chain Mail, One Missed Call, Good Luck, Calling You, Angel Dust neo, Seven, Forest Of Gray City.

As far as I am aware there are 20 first volumes of English translated manga being published in January 2007. This is my countdown, some manga are easy to place in the list as they have excellent website descriptions/previews/reviews…others I’m left very much in the dark over, and I have tentatively stuck them somewhere I hope they have the potential to be!
Please note the following manga have been omitted from this list:

Galaxy Angel II (Brocolli)- now due Feb 07

‘Insert title here.’ (Chuang Yi) – Chuang Yi haven’t updated release dates yet, so I guess they may have something in the works?

The Tyrant Falls in Love, We Are The Naked Jewels Corporation, Crimson Wind, Love Me Sinfully, Allure (Drama Queen) – all these titles seem to have been pushed back till April 2007.
If you want to buy all of these manga it’s going to set you back about £80 (!), and that’s using amazon.co.uk and amazon.com in bulk buys to avoid postage/shipping costs…so I think I’ll just be buying 4-5 volumes for pleasure/reviewing. ^^;


20. Kilala Princess – Rika Tanaka (Author), Nao Kodaka (Art), All (Tokyopop)

How sweet, we see all Disney princesses and young Kilala on a quest to rescue her friend. I imagine this is one to give to your little sister who loves Disney and hasn’t been initiated into the cult of manga…yet *manic grin*. I’m not against this kind of manga, the more youngsters into Disney who realise how wonderful manga is the better – however, the ‘Disneyness’ of this puts it at the bottom of the pile for me.

Release Day: 9th

ISBN: 159816767

Total Volumes: 4

Preview: 9 page Kilala Princess preview

If you love this try: watching the little mermaid, or a nice Studio Ghibli film.

19. Red String – Gina Biggs, 10+ (Dark Horse)

If you are a girl aged between 10-13 this might be the manga for you – if you are very naive, and believe that there is a boy out there just for you. This is from a web based comic which you can read online. I am surprised the author hasn’t removed this webcomic because I can’t see many people reading it online and then rushing out and buying it. On the plus side, this does have Japanese cultural elements and explanations i presume will be included in the manga version, and there are some very cute pictures of couples, and the usual ‘gosh another girl is trying to steal my guy!’ storyline. My main issue with this was that it deals with the idea of arranged marriage which i don’t think many girls will find appealing, and the artwork is nothing special, cute men, but the main female is plain and the conversation often feels disjointed. This kind of underaverage relationship shoujo manga was something I expected from Tokyopop…not Dark Horse, tsk. Again, something to buy an overly romantic younger sister?

Release Day: 10th

ISBN: 184159307624X

Preview: All of Red String

Read Reviews: Glowing review at Amazon.co.uk

If you love this try: some cute slow paced romantic anime such as Kanon or Gift ~Eternal Rainbow~

18. Kitchen Princess – Miyuki Kobayashi (Author), Natsumi Ando (Art), 13+ (Del Rey)

Despite reading a rave review about how wonderful food manga/anime is I can’t get excited about this, chiefly beause the girl on the cover looks exactly like the girl on the cover of Zodiac P.I. – is Natsumi Ando only capable of drawing one type of girl? Personally I find those eyes hideous. The story seems to be something about a orphan girl who’s goal in life is to become the worlds greatest pastry chef and find the boy who saved her life. Fair enough, personally I just wanted super powers…

Release Day: 30th

ISBN: 9780345496201

Original Manga Release Year: 2005

Total Volumes: 7 (+?)

Reviews: Kitchen Princess rave review at animeondvd.com

If you love this try: Yakitate Japan, Bartender…and other food/drink based anime/manga.

17. Chain Mail – Hiroshi Ishizaki, 13+ (Tokyopop)

I’m sorry, but a story revolving around mobile phones?! Seriously naff, and this isn’t the only manga about mobile phones this month *aaaargh*. The cheesiness of a mobile phone manga is made up for slightly by the tanka style of this manga – poetry composed of lines of 5,7,5,77 syllables. There’s even a competition to win a copy of this manga if you compose an awesome tanka. The story is about 4 friends who write a story online and it starts to come true and the border between reality and fantasy becomes blurred. Normally I would find this appealing but I can’t get over the mobile phone bit.

Release Day: 9th

ISBN: 159816581X

Original Manga Year: 2003

Reviews: You need to register with ‘The Harrow’ to read the review.

If you love this try: One Missed Call – creepier style, also out this month. Speaking of which…

16. One Missed Call – Yasushi Akimoto (Author) Mayumi Shihou (Art) 16+ (Dark Horse)

“Bah!”, I hear the sweet sound of Dark Horse cashing in on the cinema release of ‘One Missed Call’ in America later this year (August I think). However much I enjoy little evil girls with long hair appearing and terrorising lovely teenagers, I prefer the little girl to be associated with a well than a mobile phone *lame*. Also, I highly recommend you buy this from America rather than UK as you can get it for under $5 in the US but it’s priced up as recommended £9.99 over here *eek*. That said the character art looks like it has potential…

and after I’ve seen the film I might be excited about reading this, but until then…no thanks. The front cover makes me giggle, it looks pretty silly!

Release Day: 17th

ISBN: 1593077475

Preview: 4 pages of One Missed Call

Review: more of a quick look at the One Missed Call Films and TV series

If you love this try: Ringu, other Takashi Miike films, Chain Mail Manga (see above).

15. Good Luck – E-Jin Kang, 13+ (Tokyopop)

A girl who believes she attracts bad luck is bullied a lot and then transferred to a new school. Well I do like the cover artwork which is a start, the guys look pretty, but I can’t gather much more about this manga! In Newtype I read it takes the standard shoujo cliches and gives them a fresh take, but doesn’t have much else good to say other than that, which I intepret as ‘dull’.
Release Day: 9th

ISBN: 1598167618

Total Volumes: 5

Reviews: Newtype #Jan07 p142

14. Calling You – Otsuichi (Author), Tsuzuki Setsuri (Art) 13+ (Tokyopop)

AARGH, not another thing about mobile phones…well no, actually the first story involves a lonely girl who doesn’t need one, she can just imagine calling someone and call them in her head, even if there is a bit of a time change…I think this has more potential than the other mobile manga, although I’d probably prefer the One Missed Call artwork considering the cover. The other story involves a boy who can take on others’ scars, which leaves me intrigued…getting the impression this is aimed at a depressed emo audience?
Release Day: 9th

ISBN: 1598169391

Total Volumes: oneshot

Review: Newtype #Jan07 p136

13. Angel Dust neo – Aoi Nanase (ADV)

The only review is in Newtype…and considering it’s going to be published as their inserted manga each month I’m loath to consider their glowing review unbiased. From what I can see it is a harem type manga with 3 girls who love to dress up in different costumes – so not all bad then ;) . It has not even been advertised on ADV’s website from what I can make out!

Release Day: 30th?

ISBN: 1413902533

Review: Newtype #Jan07 p141

12. Seven – Momoko Tenzen, 16+ (Digital Manga Publishing)

There isn’t a preview of Seven, or a review anywhere noticeable, but I have read some of Junjou to Furachi by Momoko Tenzen, and mmm the men are certainly pretty and steamy!

However, I haven’t read anything with a strong plot, so I am not anticipating this to be amazing, but I hope to be proved wrong. As far as i can tell Seven is a boy-boy relationship where one of the boys has amnesia before the age of 12…

Release Day: 13th

ISBN: 1569708495

Original Manga Year: 2004

Edit: there is now a preview available of 10 pages at Panel Mania

11. Forest of Gray City – Jung-Hyun Umn (Ice Kunion)

I almost missed this! The only information is a tiny snippet of plot synopsis in a forum! I presume this is some kind of relationship shoujo then? The cover artwork looks quite pretty, unusual clothes, is the one in purple supposed to be a boy though (?!)…well I’ll have to wait until I see this…if I see this on the shelves!

Release Day: 31st

ISBN: 8952746236

Total Volumes: 2
More to follow…I need a chocolate break. I’ve been listening to the Ergo Proxy soundtrack while writing this, it’s pretty eerie and cool.

Keroro Gunsou Movie (1) 超劇場版 ケロロ軍曹

I’ll start by pointing out that this is a bad movie, in the sense that it is for kids – so don’t expect too much. However, some of the characters are cute, some of the ideas are funny and it’s a colourful movie with sweet relationships between humans and alien frogs…if only they were alien hamsters or squirrels… something, anything cuter…I find the idea of a frog alien kind of grosse…
One of my favourite frogs is Corporal Giroro, he kicks butt, froggie style:

Most of the humour in this film stems from the fact that these frogs failed at invading Earth and are now stuck on this planet. Keroro has become absorbed in human culture so much that he’s extremely excited about getting a GM Sniper Custom. I love this expression in the shop:

…and here is the object of desire:

Of course all this is a nice plot element to show the bond between human and frog. Without his young human friend Fuyuki, Keroro could not buy the GM Sniper – Why? Because the frogs use an alien anti-barrier so we can’t see them!

The main thing I dislike about this anime is the ugly human character artwork. I think it’s those eyes and the plastic looking hair…yuk.

The most adorable frog is called Tamama, this is his delight at completing the human invasion computer simulation…if only they could get it right for real! It’s funny that their training is more successful without Keroro!

The ninja Frog is Dororo…no-one seems to notice he exists though, as he hides in the attic, wishing he had a telepathic X on his face too…anyone else think the X is going to turn out to be EVIL?!…go figure.

The baddie is obviously an evil frog.

Some of the scenery was pretty…

The frog technology looked pretty silly, frog jester?

Mirara the girl frog was a little too pink and garish for me

The baddie gets bigger…I was never expecting that @_@…

When Keroro gets bigger, it’s funny as he apologizes and tries not to squish people’s cars. HAHA!

Aaw, poor Keroro, will he be able to finish putting together his GM Sniper Custom? I think not.

On thing I found sweet was the bond between Human and frog, especially the bond between Natsumi (Fuyuki’s sister) and the red frog Giroro. Giroro loves Natsumi despite being the most macho of the frogs.

The relationship between Keroro and Fuyuki has little moments when you uncomfortably wonder if they feel something more for each other, especially during the HARD GAY sex finale scene, where they have to carry a big penis key and insert it into a huge glowing hole orb to save the planet. Symbolic that they can be HARD GAY lovers work together Hmmmm:

Keroro Gunsou Movie 1 Overall Rating: E

So it’ with a mildy horrified look that I discover the second Keroro Gunsou movie, is set for release in Japan on March 17th (trailer here). They’ve brought in two new ugly navy blue frog characters called Marl and Merl. There’s a little article about it on p15 of Newtype #Jan07 in which I was amused to read that some lucky cinema goers will get a free packet of curry with their ticket…wtf? Weird.

There’s also a 4 page spotlight in Newtype p48-51 if you want to read more about the crazy frog TV show. Even a cute family/character link chart ^_^. ADV are going to start releasing the Keroro TV series on dvd this year…but I have better things to spend my money on. However, if you have a little brother who likes silly comedy and battles, this might make a good present.

For the Keroro hardcore fans, if you think people cosplaying and dancing as alien frogs is funny click here (Kawaiiiiiiiiiiii). Aaaw bless, look at them waggle their little flippers(?) appendages…

‘Missing 06’ the anime that wasn’t fansubbed in English from Worst to Best #1 Yoshimune

1. Yoshimune

Even though this is a game to anime product, I am so taken with the screenshots of each episode from the website (the delightful character design, the humour and the historical/futuristic elements setting); that I would be willing to buy this unsubbed just because it looks *SO AWESOME*. Even the game looks fun – seen here on youtube.

I was particularly impressed by the comic elderly characters, and that mixture of past and present which seems to have hit that balance which satisfies all the nostalgia for the past and the desire for ‘cool’ futuristic elements…and the art style variations and composition make this a hidden gem.
I cannot read Japanese well – so the website is mostly gobbledygook to me, but AnimeNfo has a lovely summary:

“It is the end of the Edo Era, a flourishing period when stylish civilians, samurai and old-fashioned farmers live peacefully together.

However, if you take a closer look at their lives, you’ll notice that it is actually a parallel world in which modern conveniences, such as cellular phones, personal computers, microwave ovens, motorcycles, subways, and so on, exist. If you enter a night club, you’ll find young people dancing to blaring trance music. However, you will also find that they wear kimonos, that the darkness is illuminated by candles, and that the stage is covered by tatami mats! While the people reflect the fashions and manners of the Edo Era, they reside within a strange world where the “present” and the “past” coexist.”

So, all that’s left is to show you some screenshots, and ask:

1. Do you know anything else about this anime?! and
2. Which un-english-subbed anime of 2006 looks most appealing to you?

It can’t be good seeing your body from the outside!

I like the balance of heartwarming and lighthearted images.

Bizarre.

Cute!

What are they talking to?!


OOPS I MISSED ONE! ‘Missed 06’ (literally this time) anime that wasn’t fansubbed in English from Worst to Best #1.5 Fushigiboshi no Futago Hime Gyu!

This is the sequel of ‘Fushigiboshi no Futago Hime’ (without the Gyu) and I mistook the earlier torrents for this one, *doh*.

1.5 Fushigiboshi no Futago Hime Gyu!

Anyway, Gyu nestles in snuggly at place one and a half…erm…sorry! If I had included this in the original list I would have been tempted at placing it a little lower down say at 4 or 5. However, it does seem to be a great example of its type, which seems to be bright, rainbow, cute, magical craziness aimed at little girls, and the AMOUNT of merchandise for this anime, well…see for yourself!

They even have colour me in pictures, look!

I’m not really taken with the character artwork, this anime verges on the epitome of things that make me nauseous, no wait, I do feel sick, but it might just have been the amount of Pimms I drank at Christmas dinner *hick*…that said, I think I might have loved this when I was about 5!…or not, since i was the girl with teddies not dolls, Superted, Bananaman and Inspector Gadget were more my thing. Although I had a few Polly Pockets (anyone remember them?) and the plastic figures kinda make me feel nostalgic for those *^_^* Aaaaanyway, for reviews with screenshots aplenty of over 30 of the episodes see Matthew’s blog.
Now I will fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinally bring you piccies and links of what I think is the special number 1 anime that we missed out on that looks AWESOME…

(It might not get posted for another 24 hours if I get roped into another round of knights, we just got remote control knights on horseback with little lances ~thank you Marks and Spencer I love youuuuuu~ – 2 of them, that you drive around the floor, trying to knock the other knight off, ‘ROAD RAGE’…or maybe ‘HORSE RAGE’!)

‘Missing 06’ the anime that wasn’t fansubbed in English from Worst to Best #2 Nerima Daikon Brothers

2. Nerima Daikon Brothers

This wins second place for comedy value, a swinging musical anime? Interspecies panda loving?! Insinuations with daikons (large radish see daikon soft toys):

(He is enjoying this just a liiittle too much)

(wft?!)

This has been picked up and released on DVD by ADV (although I recommend *NOT* watching the American trailer as the female voice over is ear-splittingly painful). From what I’ve seen on youtube it’s pretty damn funny, especially the panda. Kawai!

It is a shame the character design/artwork is unattractive, but I think this is something everyone has to check out on dvd! If you’re in any doubt sing along to the music HERE see them wearing their little daikon costumes, complete with hats and shades, getting thrown in a hot pickle pot, getting sexually molested…it has to be seen to be believed! Random Curiosity has blogged the first 7 episodes, with plenty of zany screencaps. Big thumbs up for crazy entertainment value. does the crazyness remind you of the wonderful Excel saga? Well it should since it has the same Director Shinichi Watanabe!

So now there’s only one anime left, no-one subbed it, hell it wasn’t even released RAW to my knowledge!…Number #1 coming soon after I’ve opened my Christmas presents… woohoo!