SuBLime Manga Talks ‘The World’s Greatest First Love’ Release

SuBLime Manga Talks ‘The World’s Greatest First Love’ Release SuBLime Manga brought out the launch of a new series in print form this week with Shungiku Nakamura’s The World’s Great First Love, also known as Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi. While SuBLime Manga has been working the yaoi releases for some time, this one stands out a bit more since the work has seen some TV anime adaptations and a theatrical anime feature as well. So bringing the manga out is a big thing that fans will hopefully be jumping on. Rated M,  individual volumes will carry an MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN with future editions of the continuing series set for publication on a bi-monthly basis.

“THE WORLD’S GREATEST FIRST LOVE has been the most consistently requested title for English release and we are very excited for its addition to the SuBLime catalog,” says SuBLime Editor Jennifer LeBlanc. “Shungiku Nakamura is one of the most renowned creators within the yaoi genre and her story about a handsome young man discovering that his new boss is actually an old boyfriend is sure to captivate readers.”

Nakamura has a lot of works to her name over the years which have seen various anime and drama CD interpretations, including Hybrid Child and Junjo Romantica.

Plot concept: When Ritsu Onodera changes jobs, looking for a fresh start, he’s not exactly thrilled to learn his new boss is an old flame. Ritsu’s determined to leave all that in the past—but how can he when his boss is just as determined that they have a future? In the series’ opening volume, tired of accusations that family connections got him his current position, Ritsu Onodera quits his job as an editor at his father’s company and transfers to Marukawa Publishing. Once there, he is assigned to the shojo manga editorial department – something he has no interest in and no experience with! Having sworn he’d never fall in love again, the last thing he wants to do is work on love stories. To make matters worse, it turns out that his overbearing boss, Masamune Takano, is actually his first love from high school!

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The 30(ish) Best Comic-Based Movies Worth Talking About…. For A While Yet Part 2

The 30(ish) Best Comic-Based Movies Worth Talking About…. For A While Yet Part 2 Continuing from the first part , the second installment of the 30 best comic based movies worth talking about!

19. X-Men: First Class – This movie featured excellent performances by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, who’ve reinvented Professor X and Magneto on screen for a new generation. Kevin Bacon is clearly having fun chewing scenes as Sebastian Shaw. The eyecatches of the 60s were also great touches. Yes, it deviates from the idea of Cyclops and Jean Grey and Angel being the first students, but The Beast is present and the film as a whole is generally well-executed. Also, I couldn’t stop rooting for Magneto throughout the whole film. Director Matthew Vaughn proved to be a great successor to Bryan Singer.

18. Spider-Man – Sam Raimi’s innovation of the fast-moving first-person Raimi-cam technique came into play a bit and it was genuinely fun to see the web-slinger on the big screen. The Green Goblin was revamped greatly but Willem Dafoe puts in an insanely good performance as Norman Osborn, with Tobey McGuire goofily playing the nerd turned hero. Also, we get a good foundation of the friendship between Peter Parker and Harry Osborn. (Basically we’re given elements here that we’re totally deprived of in The Amazing Spider-Man 2). So there’s more emotional investment here. The romantic development between Peter and Mary Jane Watson could’ve been handled a bit better, but could’ve been much worse as well. Generally, a good effort all around.

17. X-Men: Days of Future Past – I saw this in the theater and rather enjoyed it with my companion. After picking up and re-watching it on blu ray, I realized I still enjoyed the film as much as I had before. Director Bryan Singer managed to take the best elements from X2 and First Class and craft a decent time travel story here. Yes, I’m quite aware Kitty Pride was supposed to be the one doing this, but since the previous movies had deviated during their adaptations, there was no reason to expect this would be entirely faithful. The 70s were re-created excellently and the Sentinels were incredibly deadly. Also, my heart totally broke upon seeing the fates of several characters from First Class. That’s when I knew this movie had hooked me. Fassbender, McAvoy and Jackman bring their A-game and it was nice to see Lawrence’s Mystique developed and utilized so intricately, while Quicksilver brought much needed comic relief in every scene he stole. The hopeless battles of the future were appropriately dark and dramatic (though it did make me mad that it took this long to see Iceman as he should be from the comics). At the end, we’re left with the prospect of seeing X-Men mainstays Cyclops and Jean Grey possibly being handled correctly as well as a certain future (or would that be past) villain step into the spotlight. Having Singer and some elements of Vaughn’s work combined on the big screen made for a positive experience all around.

The 30(ish) Best Comic-Based Movies Worth Talking About…. For A While Yet Part 2 16. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Out of all the Phase 2 Marvel movies, this is the single best one and on a given day could be exchanged with the no. 1 film on this list, depending on when you catch me. It has the correct balance of intrigue, action and drama that a Captain America story should have, and it changed the landscape of the Marvel Universe drastically. The fight scenes alone utilized Cap’s strengths perfectly and seem like they could come directly from the comic itself. Also, it’s great to see Steve Rogers developed fully as a character, with touching connections to Agent Carter and Black Widow, who herself actually is utilized better than any of her previous appearances. It was also great to be introduced to Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson (The Falcon) and Robert Redford’s Alexander Pierce. We also finally get to see Nick fury in action. The Russo brothers made excellent use of the Winter Soldier storyline while leaving some great clues to future Cap stories. If the rumor of them taking over The Avengers films is indeed accurate, I’d have no problem with this whatsoever.

15. Iron Man – The first part of the great Marvel / Paramount experiment to see if using movies to build a lead in for The Avengers could actually work. Between the efforts of actor Robert Downey Jr. as uber-smart billionaire Tony Stark and the commitment to quality given by director and fan Jon Favreau, the fans and average filmgoers were given hope that a good movie based on a comic book property could actually be done well while remaining largely faithful to its source material. Also, Jeff Bridges managed to give Obadiah Stane appropriate menace here as one of the few villains I actually have enjoyed in the Marvel movies. (Though one day you really should read what Stane did to Stark in the comics. It was pretty bad).

14. Men In Black – This independent comic by Lowell Cunningham from the early 90s wound up being a fun off-beat romp and a huge success for stars Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. Guided by director Barry Levinson, audiences got a peek into the organization who makes certain aliens can have peaceful (and sometimes famous) coexistence with unsuspecting humanity, and kick butt when necessary. Also, I’m slightly breaking a rule doing this but the third film was also a good installment.

13. Space Battleship Yamato – When I originally wrote the best comic based movies article, I originally left out any movies not created in the U.S. But recently, I got a hold of this movie based on the long running Space Battleship Yamato anime franchise, and I was hooked from the opening battle scenes. For those not familiar, the original series focuses on a WW2 battleship rebuilt with alien technology to go on a deep space quest while fighting off invading forcers. The movie presented here is based on the first two films /stories and incorporates elements of the revamped Battlestar Galactica series. The results are quite entertaining, and even better if you’re familiar with how the anime played out. Also the effects were very nice to look at outside of American sci-fi. Just stop when you get to the Steven Tyler song and you’ll be fine… Oh, wait… there’s extra footage during then. Ok disregard that last bit. Let’s movie on…

The 30(ish) Best Comic-Based Movies Worth Talking About…. For A While Yet Part 2 12. Sin City: The Hard Goodbye – Robert Rodriguez did a good job adapting Frank Miller’s black & white crime noir comic for the big screen (even leaving the Director’s guild to bring in Miller as a co-director) while retaining the art style that made the comic so striking. In the spirit of similar novels by Mickey Spillane and Raymond Chandler, the comics themselves were interconnecting stories developing this harsh crime-ridden world that various tough-guy protagonists fight their way through. The theatrical film took three of the better stories and edited them together (with one written just for the movie) but cut out some elements from their original comics for time constraints and story cohesiveness and the results were decent. On the special edition DVD and blu ray releases though, a second DVD was produced which told each story as a stand-alone movie. The best of these was the one based on Miller’s first series (now entitled The Hard Goodbye due to this movie’s release). It focused on a huge brutal guy named Marv who simply doesn’t know any way to live other than the hard way. When he experiences a loss and a frame up, he kills his way to the truth. Rodriguesz’s crazy direction and emphasis on brutality are perfect for this adaptation (especially if you’ve seen From Dusk Til Dawn or Grindhouse: Planet Terror), but what makes this movie memorable is the pitch perfect performance of Mickey Rourke as Marv himself. This truly grounds the crazy shooting style of the movie and gives us an ass-kicking but lovable loser to root for til the very end.

11. Dredd – Maybe the previous Stallone film killed the public’s interest in this movie (or maybe the name or promotion, I don’t know.) but this was a very good adaptation of the Judge Dredd character and his world of Mega-City One. Karl Uban is the (rightfully) faceless embodiment of the law and totally nails this character, as he tends to do in geek movies like Star Trek and Lord of the Rings. Judge Anderson was also handled well as our introductory character and for once, as a female NOT just put in to be a love interest for the lead. Great innovative camera techniques used here and the 3D was very effective to fit the screenplay. It deserved better at the box office so we could get stories like The Cursed Earth Saga or The Dark Judges. Alas….

10. V For Vendetta – Alan Moore’s complex story about a single man’s quest to tear down a fascistic government through both action and ideology was one that didn’t seem like a story meant for film. However, screenwriters Andy and Lana Waichoski managed to interpret Moore’s ideas pretty well for movie length, while keeping the intentions being set forth relatively intact. Much of the time we’re given the story from the perspective of Evey (Natalie Portman) who finds herself transformed by V’s plans, while we see some good direction of V’s actions as narrated and performed by Hugo Weaving. Director James McTeigue deserves some serious kudos for bringing this difficult character to celluloid life.

The 30(ish) Best Comic-Based Movies Worth Talking About…. For A While Yet Part 2

V For Vendetta

Second ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ Anime Series Premiere Set

Second ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ Anime Series Premiere Set With the formal announcement of the second season for Tokyo Ghoul coming a little over a month ago, we knew that the series based n the manga by Sui Ishida would get a January 2015 debut as part of the winter season. The news of it all came at the same time that the manga series ended, which was essentially the first half of the larger work. No word has come down that the second season will debut on January 8th, 2015 on Tokyo MX in Japan. The series got its North American distribution from FUNimation while Crunchyroll handled a lot of the international streaming for it and it’s expected we’ll see the same setup when the new seasons tarts.

The first season was directed by Shuhei Morita based on the scripts by Chuji Mikasano at studio Pierrot. Kazuhiro Miwa is working as the character designer for it. The Japanese Voice Cast includes Natsuki Hanae as Ken Kaneki (also known for Shouma Amaku, Daimidaler), Sora Amamiya as Touka Kirishima (also known for Honoka Mitsui, The Irregular at Magic High School), Kana Hanazawa as Rize Kamishiro (also known for Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass and Shiro, Deadman Wonderland), Mamoru Miyano as Shu Tsukiyama (also known for Light Yagami, Death Note and Okabe Rintarou, Steins;Gate), and Katsuyuki Konishi as Kotaro Amon (also known for Kamina, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann).

The original work comes from from Sui Ishida, who ended the first arc of the manga with volume fourteen recently and is now kicking off the sequel manga series Tokyo Ghoul:re. The first season starred Natsuki Hanae as Ken Kaneki, Sora Amamiya as Toka Kirishima and Hanazawa Kanaas as Rize Kamishiro. Mamoru Miyano also joined the cast as Shu Tsukiyama along with Takayuki Sugo, Sumire Morohoshi, Katsuyuki Konishi, Yuichi Nakamura, Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Shintaro Asanuma and Takahiro Sakurai as Uta. Originally starting serialization in Young Jump back in September 2011, the series has done well for a first-time creator who has no other published works to his name in the field.

Plot concept: Tokyo lives in fear of creatures called Ghouls. By day, they live as ordinary humans, but by night, they become flesh-eating monsters. When an young man becomes the first Ghoul-human half breed, he must learn to harness his deadly, newfound powers.

Triage X Vol. #07 Manga Review

Triage X Vol. #07 Manga Review

Triage X Volume 7

Can team Ampule Zero hope to survive the deadly attack of combatants even stronger than them?!

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

What They Say
A team of fierce combatants calling themselves “Syringe” squares off against Ampule Zero near Tobioka Harbor. Who are these powerful warriors whose strength rivals even that of the elite Black Label crew?

Black Label’s own shrouded past gradually comes to light as the battle for the city rages on…

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

The Ampule Zero team’s battle with the mysterious Injectors of Syringe continues to put the girls at more of a disadvantage. Sayo has always been crazy strong, but the girl she’s fighting is even stronger and faster, and a whole lot crazier. The Injector girl keeps calling Sayo her Senpai. But how does she know about Sayo and how is she stronger? As their battle escalates, it quickly becomes apparent that someone isn’t going to walk away alive. My bets would have been on Sayo, until Injector girl’s twin sister appears and they tag team Sayo into the ground.

Yuuko isn’t fairing all that much better. Her opponent calls himself D, and while he doesn’t seem to be much of a fighter, he is a slippery fellow with plenty of tricks up his sleeve. One particularly deadly trick doesn’t fit up D’s sleeve, but needed a whole shipping container to hide in. In hopes of making his escape with the case of drugs they stole from the Tobioka yakuza, D sends a hulking spear-wielding man after Yuuko. While Yuuko is badass with her katana, this spear guy is just as skilled with his weapon.

Things don’t get any better after Miki only manages to retrieve one of the two cases D had. Miki has to return to base with the one case and leave Yuuko and Sayo on their own against their deadly Injector opponents. While I have faith in Yuuko, the fact that Sayo is trying to fight off twins that are faster and stronger than her doesn’t bode well.

Everything goes to hell as the Ampule Zero team retreats from the harbor. That battle was lost on multiple fronts, and not every member of the team made it out alive. This opens Arashi’s memory banks as the tragedy makes him remember the terrorist bombing that nearly killed him when he was a young boy. Arashi survived, but that explosion did kill his best friend and Dr. Mochizuki’s only son. While Arashi was miraculously saved by Dr. Mochizuki, Arashi spent a long time in physical therapy where he was cared for by Yuuko and Sayo. This chapter makes for nice character development as reader’s get to see the past of multiple characters. All of this culminates in the revelation that Dr. Mochizuki was the original creator of the drug the Tobioka yakuza were trying to retrieve from the harbor! How will this revelation sit with the Ampule teams? Will they abandon Dr. Mochizuki for his hypocrisy?

In Summary
This series has plenty of action, cool fight scenes, death and destruction, and hot babes. But, it also can hit home when it examines the past tragedies of the main, and even side, characters. This volume puts one of Ampule Zero’s members on the chopping block, and it remains to be seen whether she will survive. They might just be looking for a new replacement member in the next volume.

If Sato’s sexy artwork isn’t enough to keep readers around, his likeable characters should be. Ignoring all the fanservice, the characters of Triage receive good development and make them real enough for readers to invest time into. Combining that and the great art, makes me eagerly await every new volume of Triage. Now if High School of the Dead would just get on as smooth a track, I would be in heaven.

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

Age Rating: Mature
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: August 2014
MSRP: $14.00

‘Gion no Tsugai’ Manga Gets Promo With Debut

‘Gion no Tsugai’ Manga Gets Promo With Debut Set to debut today in Monthly comic Alive in Japan from Media Factory, the company has put together a pretty fun new 80 second promo for Toumasu’s new manga property Gion no Tsugai.

Unsurprisingly, there are hardly any details available out there for it since these things tend to drop in and surprise without a lot of heavy promotion leading up to it, which is in stark contrast to the constant promotion that US comics publishers do with their works.

The promo showcases a lot of the artwork and overall theme and tone  of it in a great way. Toumasu’s other work is the eight volume series Jingai Haruman, which can be found in the adult hentai fantasy realm. That began in 2009 as a doujinshi series that has a lot of fans.

Baby Steps Season 2 Episode #09 Anime Review

Baby Steps Season 2 Episode #09 Anime Review Eiichiro vs Natsu!

What They Say:
Baby Steps centers on an honor student named Eiichiro Maruo who becomes frustrated with his life and decides to join the tennis club. Despite lacking experience and physical strength, he utilizes his studious nature to develop a strategic approach to playing tennis. Taking notes of his opponents’ habits and tendencies, he is able to predict their next move before they even react. He also meets Natsu Takasaki, a beautiful girl with a passion for tennis. With her help, he aims to become a professional tennis player.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The heavy focus on the match between Eiichiro and Miyagawa the last time around is one of those areas that could be frustrating, since devoting so much time to a single match can feel drawn out. Baby Steps does this a couple of times a season overall and it’s hard to truly complain about it because it’s so well executed and is designed to show the overall growth of the character in terms of not just his ability, but the way he can read other players. The ability to adapt and change to what one has to do is important and seeing not only the efforts but the fruits of his labors works really well, particularly after all that he learned in the Florida arc of the series.

With this episode, there’s some nice material from the start with Eiichiro and Natsu catching up a bit and seeing that even though he’s won, he’s certainly not a gloater and is more just focused on what’s to come, which we get a brief look at with some fast movements in his next match with a quick and seemingly overpowering win. That’s raising his status, though he doesn’t quite realize it, and others are talking about him more. He’s on the right path now though to end up going up against Araya, which is what Aoi talks about being the game plan all along. Since it’s essentially a rematch, it’s a change for Eiichiro to really show just how much he’s changed and grown, though coach Aoi presents it all to him in quite the playful manner. But for Eiichiro, it’s all the extra motivation he needs for more practice before the actual match can get underway.

What we do get with this episode is some time for Eiichiro and Natsu to spend together, but it’s done with some practice. While there’s some awful aspects to it with Aoi telling Eiichiro that he can’t be beaten by a girl and needs to step it up, the match itself is really well done as it plays out as we get to see just how competitive the two can be in a focused way, drawing on different strengths to compete with each other. There’s some solid respect in play here to be sure, an admiration for talent and ability, and seeing it turn to joy is exactly what you want to see from athletes like this. Which is why it’s interesting to turn towards seeing Araya with his goals of going pro being talked about with his side of things and then shifting towards getting the tournament itself underway again. While Araya like gets his own kind of joy from the game, it’s interesting to see them go from the real pleasure/joy that we see with Natsu and Eiichiro to seeing Araya, and flashing back to their previous match and his intensity during it.

In Summary:
Taking some time for Natsu and Eiichiro to be together is definitely a very good thing as the two of them are really great to watch in general as they get closer together. The slow but steady progress may frustrate in some ways, but it’s great to see them playing against each other and understanding the others skills and gifts as well. There’s a lot of fun material here as they compete and the way they think of the others, but what really drives it all home are the couple of moments where you just see the joy of the game itself playing out in their movements and their faces. That’s practically infectious.

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’ Season 7 Gets 4th DVD Release Trailer

‘One Piece’ Season 7 Gets 4th DVD Release Trailer FUNimation is rolling right along with the One Piece freight train as they’re preparing for the fourth installment of the seventh season DVD later this year. Set for release on December 15th, 2015, it’ll contain twelve more episodes ranging from 422 to 433 as we get deeper into this arc. The new trailer provides a good listen to a few of the characters, including the return of Buggy. The release is priced at $39.98 and contains new episode commentaries from the English language team, an extra called Chopper Plays Doctor, and the clean opening sequences relevant to this set.

Plot concept: The race to save Ace begins with a little help from a very beautiful – and extremely powerful – Warlord of the Sea!

Monkey D. Luffy and Boa Hancock arrive at the underwater prison of Impel Down, but the Snake Princess will have to use every ounce of her beguiling charm to smuggle the rubber-man past the guards. Once inside, an unexpected alliance with Buggy the Clown gives Luffy the best chance at surviving the Blade Trees and Spike Needle Grass of the prison’s infamous Crimson Hell! While the rubber-man tries to avoid being sliced and diced, Princess Hancock flaunts her ample assets to secure a private chat with Fire Fist Ace. Next up on this mad dash through Impel Down, Luffy is reunited with the many faces of Bon Clay. Together, these old foes-turned-friends will join forces against a demonic, lightning-fast, devastatingly-powerful Minotaur as they fight their way toward the infamous inferno of the prison’s Level 4!