Crunchyroll Adds ‘Durarara!! X2’ For Winter 2015 Anime Lineup

Crunchyroll Adds ‘Durarara!! X2’ For Winter 2015 Anime Lineup After Aniplex USA announced their acquisition of Durarara!! X2 and their streaming plans, Crunchyroll has followed through themselves and have confirmed that they will be streaming the series across the three seasons that will be coming out for it. While the service did confirm that the show will be there, they do not yet have any start dates, times or territories to announce yet as that has yet to be finalized through the various partners and agreements. Which is understandable as there hasn’t been a Japanese premiere date set yet nor which networks it will be broadcast on there at this time.

The Durarara!! X2 series is planned for three seasons, with the first part in January 2015, the second in summer 2015 and the third part in Winter 2016.

The main staff is returning to the production with Takahiro Omori directiong based on scripts by Noboru Takagi and character designs by Takahiro Kishida. Animation production is being done by studio Shuka, their first production, instead of Brains Base which handled the first series.

Plot concept: “6 Months Later…We haven’t changed at all… or it seems….”

Half a year after the turmoil that rocked the entire city of Ikebukuro—

Peace has once again returned to the city and people are living each day normally.

The high school students enjoy their days of youth as the strongest and most dangerous man of Ikebukuro works diligently. The informant plots a new scheme and the headless rider is pursued by the cops as she rides through the night…But soon this normal will be cut short by the abnormal. Slowly but surely, the unknown will seize the city and face an all new storm.

Crunchyroll Adds ‘Durarara!! X2’ For Winter 2015 Anime Lineup
Crunchyroll Adds ‘Durarara!! X2’ For Winter 2015 Anime Lineup

Crunchyroll Adds ‘Durarara!! X2’ For Winter 2015 Anime Lineup

Crunchyroll Adds ‘Durarara!! X2’ For Winter 2015 Anime Lineup
Crunchyroll Adds ‘Durarara!! X2’ For Winter 2015 Anime Lineup
Durarara!! X2

Crunchyroll Adds ‘Durarara!! X2’ For Winter 2015 Anime Lineup

Yukarism Vol. #01 Manga Review

Yukarism Vol. #01 Manga Review A teenage novelist encounters the reincarnated souls from his previous life as an Edo period courtesan.

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Chika Shiomi
Translation/Adaptation: John Werry

What They Say
Yukari Kobayakawa, an accomplished author at the age of 17, writes with amazingly accurate details about historical Japan. It turns out he has the ability to travel back in time…to his past life as a renowned courtesan in the Edo period! As he goes back and forth between the past and present, he unravels the karmic relationship he has with his beautiful classmate Mahoro Tachibana…

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Yukarism is part time travel story and part historical but doesn’t perfectly fall into either category. The main character is 17-year-old Yukari Kobayakawa who has already earned acclaim with his novels about the Edo period pleasure district. Although the details in his stories are amazingly accurate, he’s never done any research. He hasn’t had to. He suspects he must have lived there in a past life, and his suspicions are confirmed when he meets his classmate Mahoro Tachibana. An avid fan of his novels, she begs to shake his hand, and when he obliges, her touch sends him back into his previous life–as the renowned courtesan Yumurasaki!

Yukari’s forays to the past are like dreams but not quite. His current body doesn’t disappear (he merely seems to pass out), but when he slips into Yumurasaki’s body, he actually interacts with the people of that world as opposed to reliving her exact motions. From that standpoint, this manga should interest history enthusiasts because he experiences the Edo period from a 21st-century POV. Shiomi-sensei’s gorgeous illustrations do an excellent job of evoking that era and focusing on the things most likely to interest a modern person. Shiomi-sensei also uses Yukari’s 21st-century sensibilities for comic effect when he “breaks form” and uses modern mannerisms.

Yukari has no control over these sojourns into his previous life, but despite their suddenness, they don’t trouble him. Rather he is amused by the opportunity to visit the world of two hundred years ago, and even being of a different gender doesn’t bother him. For a main character, he’s not very proactive; things simply happen, and astounding though they are, he’s merely amused. In truth, he is a kind of spectator to the story. Thus far, his actions don’t drive the plot; Yumurasaki’s life and mysterious death do. However, she is already dead, and Yukari is living her next life so that doesn’t create much anxiety on his part.

As if to make up for Yukari’s lack of emotional intensity, Mahoro, Yumurasaki’s reincarnated body guard, worries enough for both of them. She essentially has the role of ordinary schoolgirl obsessed with the rich, talented, out of her league genius (Yukari is all these things). So when Yukari abruptly passes out or hugs near-strangers, she’s the one to put everything in perspective by having a freak out. The story looks like it will have a romantic component to it (Yumurasaki is a courtesan after all), but for now, there is no chemistry to be had between Mahoro and Yukari.

Extras include a bonus one-page manga, translation notes, and author bio.

In Summary
If you enjoyed the film Memoirs of a Geisha, Yukarism might be up your alley. The mangaka’s done her research, and watching Yukari struggle through Yumurasaki’s motions does illustrate the skill required of a courtesan 200 years ago. The plot is a bit weak in that Yukari acts more like a spectator than a main character, but for now, his curiosity about his past life is enough to maintain my interest in the story.

Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: December 2nd, 2014
MSRP: $9.99

Spring 2015 Anime Series ‘Etotama’ Gets Cast, Staff

Spring 2015 Anime Series ‘Etotama’ Gets Cast, Staff Set for an April 2015 debut, a new promo video has surfaced for Etotama, which brings about the updated cast and staff information about the series. Produced by Shirogumi Inc and TAblier communications, the series is directed by Fumitoshi Oizako based ons cripts by Deko Akao and character designs by Asami Takahashi and Satoshi Koike. The series is set to star Hiro Shimono as Takeru Tendo, Rie Murakawa as Nyaatan, Ai Ozawa as Umatan, Eriko Matsuki as Mootan and Yumiri Hanamori as Uritan.

Check out the latest minorly tweaked promotional video for the series.

Plot concept: Cat that got betrayed by a rat. Rat that betrayed the cat. A tale of 12 Chinese zodiac animals.

[Source: ANN ]

Triage X Vol. #08 Manga Review

Triage X Vol. #08 Manga Review Will Yuuko and Arashi be forced to kill the mindless destroying machine that is Sayo?!

Creative Staff
Story & Art: Shouji Sato
Translation/Adaptation: Christine Dashiell

What They Say
Black Label has always been glad to have Sayo Hitsugi’s fearsome strength on their side, but as she rampages through their high security wards, they’re starting to appreciate just how much! While Sagiri is prepared to stop her comrade by any means necessary, is Arashi on the same page…?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Contains nudity.

This is another great book from Yen Press. Where most releases from U.S. publishers have lost the inclusion of color pages over the last few years, Yen Press continues to treat us to glossy color inserts. This is an awesome inclusion when it comes to Sato’s beautiful artwork.

Sayo barely survived her battle with the twins from the Syringe outfit. Luckily, because she is inhumanly strong, she is able to recover quickly from injuries that would have easily killed a regular person. Unfortunately, Sayo does succumb to the berserker she normally keeps tucked down beneath the happy-go-lucky mask she wears for everyone around her. But before, she can tear down the walls around her, the author treats the reader to a flashback that not only shows how Sayo became a super human, but also how a young Yuuko first met and nearly killed her.

Now that Sayo is loosed on the facility like a rabid animal, Yuuko is likely going to have to kill Sayo to stop her. But Arashi isn’t having it. Sayo was his nurse during his recovery and she pushed him to learn how to walk again and he made her a promise back then that he isn’t about to give up on. Arashi manages to lure Sayo into a dead end and lock them in to protect her from the others, but who is going to protect Arashi? Sayo already tried to kill Yuuko, so Arashi better have a masterful plan to end all this.

The rest of this volume continues the development of Syringe’s mysterious plan. We know they stole part of the super powerful drug from a Yakuza group and they seem to be trying to steal data from a computer database that the police are monitoring. Although, we don’t know what this data is or why Syringe wants it and how it is part of their “master plan”. The police have been monitoring Syringe’s manipulations of the data, but not as covertly as they thought. Syringe knows about it and tracks it back to Detective Tatara and his partner Suzue.

Syringe sends the psycho twins out to kidnap Suzue so they can learn just how much the police know about them. But the Yakuza end up in the mix and make off with Suzue. The news of this makes it back to Dr. Mochizuki and he sends in both Ampule units to retrieve Suzue. Now we have Arashi and the others, the Yakuza, and Syringe all in the same place. Be ready from some serious ass-kicking!!

In Summary
I continue to enjoy the steady stream of background information on the various characters in this series. Arashi’s memories of the tragedy that nearly killed him and formed him into the man he has become was examined in the last volume, while this volume sheds light on how Sayo became so physically strong and how she met Yuuko. All great character development that helps the reader form an investment in the characters of Triage.

Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A+
Packaging Grade: A+
Text/Translation Grade: B

Age Rating: Mature
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: November 18th, 2014
MSRP: $14.00

Cross Ange Rondo of Angel and Dragon Episode #07 Anime Review

Cross Ange Rondo of Angel and Dragon Episode #07 Anime Review

Cross Ange Episode 7

The tensions within the team rise just a bit more after Salia’s secret is discovered.

What They Say:
Angelise is the first princess of the Empire of Misurugi. She is the celebrated ruler of the Empire until one day she finds out the shocking truth that she is a “Norma” – an irregular being who cannot use “Mana”, and are treated as “things” rather than people. Having her name taken from her, Ange isolates herself on a remote island. There, she finds a group of Norma women who spend their days hunting dragons that have come to invade.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Bringing Momoka into the show the last time around was an interesting angle, one that didn’t play out quite like I expected but certainly had plenty of familiar moments to it. With the main intent to really remind viewers just how much Ange has changed, and to reinforce some of the reasons why others really don’t like her, she added a touch of humor to the show for a little bit and found a creative way to remain there and work with Ange. Ange has a lot against her in this place and even though she’s lightly managed to gain a few friends of a sort, she’s still very much on her own in the truest sense. So having a little bit of someone there that has her back in some form is welcome considering how cutthroat this place can be. Momoka may be an odd choice in a way, but she certainly figured out at the end the best way to fit in with at least the base commanders.

This episode starts to circle back to events from a couple of episodes ago with Tusk as they’re learning more of what happened there between him and Ange and that he was the one that repaired the Vilkiss. At the same time, we see Salia and her friends trying to get the commander to get Ange off of the Vilkiss but are being rebuffed since even as problematic as Ange is in some ways, she’s definitely well suited for that particular craft. Salia certainly has it in for Ange, but we start to see things fleshed out a bit for her as she handles the internal dialogue and overall narration of the episode here. Of course, while she is a hard character at the moment with how she’s acting, we also get to have material sneak in that softens her in a way, going for more of a child-like girlish nature that’s cute and comical since it causes a real problem with the perception of her being a leader. Not that she wanted to be captain to begin with, but having authority undermined is not an easy thing.

So when she goes to take out Ange so as to avoid the problem, it turns in some really good ways as Ange pushes back on some of the perception issues that Salia has while also making it clear that Salia didn’t do things right in a way even though she keeps going on about being a team and how Ange does all the wrong things. It gets into a pretty steam heavy piece since they’re both topless while fighting in the bath due to circumstances, but it’s the kind of comical-fight moment that helps to ease some of the tensions between them in a way. While that sets some fun in the first half, we also get an underlying issue coming in as well as Ange is acting a little out of sorts and we see that she’s got a significant cold that’s impacting her. Something that only Momoka notices of course and Ange forces herself into the battle that comes up regardless since she has to do what she has to do.

That battle is pretty impressive in general as the group out there has to face a massive virgin dragon that is far bigger and more powerful than your run of the mill dragons. And far more dangerous looking at that, though it’s not a nimble piece. But it has some impressive abilities of its own as they discover that it has a gravity controlling ability that allows it to essential trap a whole lot of the team and render them useless. Because of this, Salia has her difficult choice to make and has to work with Ange to try and save everyone and kill the dragon – all while Ange’s fever ramps up significantly. It’s a pretty good sequence overall as it humanizes Salia more on top of what we learned before and it has her really using Ange for the first time – and Ange being compliant – to allow them to go against a very formidable foe. It’s a solid sequence that definitely is one of those smaller game changer pieces for how Ange fits in and the relationship between her and Salia.

In Summary:
As the series progresses, we move more into some of the areas where things will soften a bit for Ange and she becomes a little more accepted. Part of that happened with Tusk in a way and then with Momoka. This time around it happens with Salia as we get the view of things from her through narration of her captain’s log. Salia hasn’t been a bad character, but she, like almost everyone else, have been rough on Ange for obvious reasons. Seeing how things change bit by bit here and having things thrown back at her verbally about her own performance helps to shake some things up a bit, combined with a powerful dragon attack that forces Salia to really act like a captain and not someone with a problem. There’s a lot of fun stuff here between the characters and the action and it all works well. And yes, there’s a lot of steam. But that’s just what it is for the broadcast. And if you’re only watching because you want to naked anime breasts, well, there’s better ways to do that…

Grade: B+

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

One Piece Episode #715 Anime Review

One Piece Episode #715 Anime Review A tragic past revealed.

What They Say:
Señor Pink and Franky continue their knock-down, drag-out, manly fight. As both of them are pushed to their limits, we learn Señor’s tragic past! Meanwhile, Princess Mansherry’s rescue hits a snag as she stubbornly refuses to leave!

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The focus on Princess Mansherry last time around might have felt like just another diversion at first, but as we got to see how she’s being used it certainly became a lot more important. With an ability that can essentially get all of Doflamingo’s men back up and on track – even after some serious takedowns along the way – is a frightening prospect in a realistic sense since it means every fight would have to happen again. The episode worked well to establish the greater threat represented there, her fear and unwillingness to help and a chance for the Tontatta’s to step up (once again) and show that they’re fully capable and highly invested in this overall fight. While we got some of other characters here briefly, their story shone well and it made it clear why the Straw Hats have to get involved here.

What becomes complicated here is that with Mansherry being rescued here, she’s intent on just going back to Greenbit even though there are other things that have to happen first. And that makes it complicated for her rescuers who have their own agenda as part of freeing the island in general. That sets up some movements early on before the show shifts elsewhere for the bulk of it with Franky and his fight with Senor Pink. I really don’t care for Pink simply because of his design, something that I’ve had with other characters in the past in how they become disinteresting. Franky, at least, is interesting and I like how the Tontatta’s are rallying to him since he’s being such a positive force towards their being freed. That’s obviously something that they can get behind easily, but it’s done with the right kind of words and intensity that you can understand why they’re investing in Franky so heavily.

While the fight has its moments, the show shifts to giving us background on Senor Pink. In tried and true fashion, giving us a deeper look at the opponents helps to enrichen the story overall – even with characters one might not like. Seeing a younger and slimmer – and debonair – Senor Pink isn’t a surprise since they want to go in such a different direction as we know him now. A romance, an engagement, a wedding, all things designed to humanize him in a quick but decent way. So it becomes twisted, cruel and kind of uncomfortable when we see the baby elements enter the picture with his wife and wonder what it is that drives him to his attire and mindset in the present. It takes a bad enough turn, combined with what Pink has been hiding from his wife all this time. You do feel for Pink to some degree of course and understand the turn he makes, even if it’s fairly extreme when you get down to it.

In Summary:
One Piece works pretty well here even if you can sense most of the story beats once the basics are laid out. The focus on Senor Pink certainly explains his costume and why he is like he is, though all it screams is that someone really needs to help the poor man through his pain. The backstory is well presented in brief and it connects in a strong enough way to make it work. It doesn’t make me like him any greater, but it’s at least an understanding. The bits at the beginning with Mansherry are the lighter and more fun aspect of the episode, though even that’s tinged with darkness because of the overall series of events going on. A solid episode overall that does some fleshing out without getting bogged down in an extensive storyline.

Grade: B

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

Final ‘Fantastic Four’ Trailer Arrives

Final ‘Fantastic Four’ Trailer Arrives After two trailers so far this year for Fantastic Four, Fox is going into the final weeks ahead of the premiere with the standard third and final trailer to highlight the familiar while sliding in a little bit more new material, notably around Doom himself. There’s been an interesting bit of buzz about it in the last few weeks with all sorts of secondary dialogue about it and then the decision to not do a 3D version, something that will definitely impact its overseas run as 3D still runs very strong there.

Directed by Josh Trank, the film stars Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell along with Toby Kebbell. It’s set for release on August 7th, 2015.

Plot concept: The Fantastic Four, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.

Second trailer:

First trailer: