Archive for manga

Berserk

Posted in anime with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2009 by themongomania

This just in……Berserk…..kicks…..ass!

Berserk 1

If you don’t know what Berserk is, I’ll give you a little background, and don’t worry I’ll try to be as spoiler free as I can.

Berserk is the story of Guts, a badass with a huge sword. Seriously, the sword is effing huge! Not only he a badass, but he is a mercenary. I think that mercenaries are usually pretty compelling characters. They are mysterious, and usually have an interesting dark past that unravels as the plot gets going.

The anime mainly deals with Guts joining the Band of the Hawk because he loses a fight with their leader. The show takes off from there telling the tale of how the Band of the Hawk rises to power and importance fighting for an empire at war with another. It has a very European fantasy style to it that we’re all familiar with. If you’ve ever seen Lord of the Rings or anything it inspired, then you’ll feel right at home with this.

Another plot element worth mentioning is the show’s use of demons. During the anime, you don’t really see this. At some points they cut that plotline out of the show, but the manga almost relies on this as a plot tool. Demons are intro arc in the first 3 vols of the manga, which the anime kind of tries to put all into the 1st episode. From the point where the anime leaves off, demons becomes very important to everything that the characters encounter.

Speaking of characters, there is some great character development in this show too. The main relationship between Guts and the Band of the Hawk leader Griffith is the spotlight in the show. Their chemistry changes and adapts to how the story progresses and I don’t want to give too much away, but it gets pretty crazy. Another character who gets ample screen time is Caska, a girl in the mercenary group who constantly needs to prove herself in this world. Her character eventually comes into her own and acts as part of the trigger for the climax of the anime. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say this, it get’s disturbing.

guts caska

If you have problems with blood and brutality in your entertainment then stay the hell away from this show. Berserk is one of the bloodiest shows I’ve ever seen. The last time I watched it, I tried to keep a body count….it was impossible. Guts leaves a trail of destruction that is unheard of, at one point he basically takes on a whole army by himself. Like I said, he is badass!

The only flaw I can find on this show is not the shows problem at all. See, in Japan the manga is still going on and at the time the show was created it had to stop in the middle of an arc. It literally ends in one of the worst places I have ever seen an anime end. You finish watching the show, your jaw drops, and you say “Are you serious? That’s all I get!?!?!?” The ending is so disturbing and graphic the the ending could have it’s own discussion all on its own.

guts griffith

Don’t worry though. The manga keeps going where the anime left off. As of this post 29 vols of the manga have been released in America. The anime leaves off I believe around vol 13, so there is a whole lot of material to sink your teeth into if you haven’t read it, but your a fan of the show. Even if you haven’t watched it yet and love it, know that there is more. It may not be in anime form, but it’s at your local bookstore.

What else can I say. I think that Berserk is a great show that gets a decent amount of recognition. It’s bloody, fast paced, and fun to watch. Anyone who enjoys action anime show def give it a try.

Final Grade –
Anime – 8/10
Manga – 9/10

Groove Adventure Rave

Posted in anime with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2008 by themongomania

rave

Groove Adventure Rave is a manga by Mashima Hiro. It’s anime counterpart shares the same name. The manga’s run lasted from 1998 to 2005 and ran for 35 volumes. The anime on the other hand stopped its run at 51 eps, way before the actual conclusion of the story.

Let’s get to the story itself –

Groove Adventure Rave (or as the manga and anime are both called in the US, Rave Master) is the story about a boy named Haru Glory who becomes the Rave Master. The Rave Master must collect all the pieces of Rave in order to unlock Star Memory to save the world. Pretty standard plot line, I know, seems like it wouldn’t be special at all right? That’s where most people would be wrong.

If you can look past the generic basic story structure of a boy on a quest to become stronger and save his friends and save the world, you will enjoy a fun quirky adventure story that leaves you always wanting more.

haruelie

What upsets me most about the anime is that the story concludes on vol 12 of the manga. So the anime is missing vols 13-35. I still have not finished the story of Rave because the distributer in America is Tokyopop and the last vol they have released is vol 28. For years I have wanted to know how this story finishes and I will still have to wait over a year to find out.

One thing you will notice when you watch/read Rave is that the character designs are very over the top. There are some crazy looking people in the Rave universe. Mashima Hiro at one point was a assisstant to One Piece mangaka Eiichiro Oda. I can only assume that some of Oda’s design choices rubbed off.

villians

The anime dvd’s originally came out as a dub only release from Tokyopop but was shortly canceled. Poor sales were the reason. What is unfortunate is that not a lot of people have watched Rave because it has not seen an official region 1 release. The only way to watch the anime is to watch the outdated fansubs which have poor video quality and a subpar translation to what fansubs have become years since its release.

The manga sales are another story. Rave Master is a big hit for Tokyopop, especially for teens. I find this to be unfortunate because many times, especially in Barnes and Nobles, I will not see Rave manga with all the other manga. For whatever reason, they have chosen to put Rave manga with books for teens. I understand that a bookstore wants to sell their product in the most profitable way, but I strongly feel that Rave has a strong stigma for being a children’s manga because of this.

heroes

If you enjoy any type of adventure or action story I suggest giving Rave a shot. If you have read/watched One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, or many other popular shounen manga/anime and enjoyed it, I see no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy Groove Adventure Rave. Even though I will only be able to finish the story in manga form, the anime is still worth watching. It is a shame and upsets me that it will never be done, but I will take what I can get.

Although I don’t agree with Tokyopop and other bookstores marketing of Rave to mostly children, I am happy that they chose to bring the manga here and can’t wait until it is one day complete and on my shelf.

cast