Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2010

WO's Best of 2010 Anime & Manga

I'm not going to get all sentimental about the titles that I'm going to list here; I'm just going to offer my opinion as to which ones seemed to make a more lasting and well delivered impression on the rest of us. Those titles this year new from Japan that are more of a "cut above" the rest.
I'm not doing a one through ten list either, since this isn't a "Top 10", so you won't find me trying to put one show over another. You'll just find some of my favorites, and those that for reasons I can only try to explain, made me think twice.
Anyway... It has been a very interesting and entertaining year for anime and manga, one of the best in a long time personally. I've been moved to tears, reduced to a jiggly pile of laughing jello, and have shaken my fist more times at the heavens than I can remember ever doing. So all in all, it's been a pretty good time to be a fan.
One of the t…

Heart of Stone - World of Thorn

In May of this year Japanese cinema unveiled the full-length motion picture adaption of Yuji Iwahara's bestselling manga King of Thorn, which not only saw popularity in Japan, but went international over the summer.

The film, directed by Kazuyoshi Katayama (Appleseed and Big O), and co-scripted by Katayama and Hiroshi Yamaguchi took the basic story of the manga and adapted it brilliantly and with deliberate pace to fit into the time constraints of the full-length picture to some mixed anticipation.
Character designs for the film are provided courtesy of Hidenori Matsubara (Ah! My Goddess!, Sakura Wars, Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo), with Kenji Andou (Brigadoon, Karas, Origin ~Spirits of the Past~) providing the monster design.

The plot of King of Thorn begins simple enough, but gradually builds upon itself, as it develops the survival aspects of the characters and the horror and bizarre of the unknown.
In the year 2012 a strange virus known as Medusa has reached pandemic le…

WO's December Top 10: Confusing Things

Wow, I feel like I've abandoned my blog for a while here, but not to fear, I've returned with another entry; granted it isn't the big one I've been working on, since that one will take a lot of research, but anyway, here it is.

I figured it was time to make another WO's Ten, and see what's on the menu for this month.

I chose Confusing things, not because I really need an explanation as to why there are there, but because, for what ever reason, these top ten things just irk the hell out of me.

So, without further ado, I present you with Western Otaku's Top Ten for December.

10. The Main Character Is Always In School
It isn't bad enough that most of the Manga and Anime features a High School setting, or a Middle School environment, or at best a College scene; but after so many series using the same settings, it seems that there is absolutely nothing to do in Japan EXCEPT go to school!

Now I'm all for education, but seriously, why not break the mould e…

Girls, Girls, Girls! - A Not-So-Quiet Obsession

Oh my, it's been a while since I've last made an entry in the blog; for that I'll have to apologize, I've been busy with a lot of Non-Anime related things for the most of November, and what with the holiday season upon us, I've found my time stretched pretty thin.
Anyway, despite that, I figured it was about time to compose a good old fashioned Angry Anime Nerd rant, and poke some fun at the fan-boys of the medium. Yeah, you know who you are, there is no sense running away from the light! You get back here and stand in line and expose yourself to the harsh reality of what you are!
This time I want to point out all the so-called dream girls of the otaku anime fan-boys. We have all seen them, and we all read about them in their posts on forums, or see their less-than-masterfully created tribute videos on YouTube, or even get bombarded with their anime girl's image from one end of the internet to the other. But I don't just want to point them out, I want to dig …

So You Wanna Speak Japanese

Chances are that after several years of watching anime, and/or reading manga you have gotten to the point that you can easily understand a few Japanese slang words and phrases as you most likely hear them repeatedly in the medium. Words like "Ohayou Gozaimasu" and "Ja ne" and "Moshi Moshi" and even "Doku desu ka" are some fine examples of everyday language that one will pick up on when watching their anime subbed, and listening with the Japanese audio enabled.

Learning a new language is a great achievement, and one that takes a lot of hard work, and much practice. This isn't at all like riding a bicycle, because if you DON'T use it, you will LOSE it.

Learning to speak Japanese is one thing, but learning to read Japanese is a totally different monster. Much like English has Upper Case letter and Lower Case letters Japanese has something almost similar, but used often-times in a different contrast.

Then to complicate matters further, there…

WO's November Top 10: Annoying Things

So, I was walking through my local retailer a few Sundays ago, looking through anime for my girlfriend — yes, I actually have one of those — and while perusing through the titles of anime I was going to get her for her birthday, I noticed that one had a loose disc in the box. Wouldn't you know it, it was the only copy of that title available too.

Well, it wasn't as if that was going to be the anime that I bought her, but still, one copy, and it was the one with the loose disc in the box. That is so annoying!

So I got to thinking about all the things that annoy me, and I decided to make a list of all the stuff in the fandom that really grinds my gears.

10. Discs That Are Junk!
So we've all opened them up, a brand new box, only to find that the DVD disc or Blu-ray disc has a nice pretty scuff or scratch, and my favorite... a finger print! Who put these in there?

It isn't enough that it's the only copy, or that I ordered this a week ago, and it arrives in the mail in t…

WO's Honorable Mention: Strawberry Marshmallow

  While I'm gathering my thoughts today, and getting my brain psyched up for some serious reviewing, I thought I would give out a nice honorable mention to both an anime and a manga that has entertained me on numerous levels.
Now, I know I've dogged the hell out of manga in the Gentleman's Alliance Cross post I made, but come on, I was having a bad day. You try reading through a manga that takes four passes a page, and listen to "It's not a hard read at all." talk.
So, putting that aside, I thought I would just give a brief run-down of what this series is about.
It's comedy slice of life, and while it isn't a 4-panel comic, it certainly has the look and feel of something very similar to one. It's a brisk read, and there are few parts that will bog down for very long before a great big chuckle escapes your face.
The plot is pretty much non-existent, as it focuses on the lives of five girls, Miu, Chika, Anna, Masturi, and Nobue. When they aren't b…

Re-Enter The Samurai!

I'm not going to say that it is impossible to go through and list every single anime or manga that comes out each season and month, but it's just not practical; and I for one don't always feel like waiting around for the opportunity to have all the shows already out and airing before I start writing and blogging about them.
That said, I can honestly say that even though this show didn't make it into  my recent Fall Anime 2010 lists, this is certainly a show that has grabbed my attention, and managed to gleefully slip past my rants and raves. And while it is certainly a show of deliberate extremes, and no-holds-barred avant animation it is fast setting itself up as the new look of the way of the Samurai.
I'm of course talking about Hyakkan Ryouran: Samurai Girls, that "Not just another fighting anime" that focuses on busty and/or barely clad girls with swords, and other various fighting weapons. But wait, could it be that while this is a heavy handed fan-ser…