Buy and Brag #4

October 4, 2009

Back again to talk about the stuff I bought in the past week.  First up is manga and then DVDs.  There’s a lot of variety in this week’s DVD collection in terms of genre and demographic.  I’m just random like that.

Shonen Jump November 2009– On time with yet another Naruto cover.  This month’s issue contains the usual and a preview of Yu-Gi-Oh! R (surprisingly worse than GX).

Yen Plus October 2009–  For a magazine that supposedly ships the first week each month, it’s unacceptable receiving this on the last day of the month, ripped and bent no less.  I’m just letting you know Yen Plus has a shit ton of problems with their subscription service.  Subscribers constantly complain of receiving their issues weeks after bookstores if at all.  I’ll probably be canceling my subscription by the end of the year.

Detroit Metal City vol. 2– Krauser II saves this week’s pick-ups.  Nothing like 200 pages of rape jokes and heavy metal.  Unfortunately, no tattoos in this volume.

Battle For Terra– This was one of those movies I wanted to see in theatres but never got around to.  I believe it was even in 3D.  So I picked this up when I saw it at Borders for 10 bucks. I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s supposed to be a reverse invasion film, with the humans taking over an alien planet.

Ghost Hound: Collection 1– I knew nothing about this before, except that it’s from the creator of Ghost in the Shell and the 20th anniversary project from Production I.G. Pretty big names there, and a big price tag.  This set retails for $60 (half season sets from Sentai Filmworks are usually $40).  But I watched the first disc last night and it’s really good.  Very spooky.  Thanks you Right Stuf for sending this a month before release date.

See Dick Run– Kel Mitchell in a new movie?  Sold.  I grew up on Kenan & Kel and I’ve been dying to see Kel in something new for years.  Kel stars as Dick, a playa who lost his manhood after a night with a succubus.  He has to find his manhood within 24 hours or it’s gone forever.  So he sets out with his best friend to question his top 5 one-night-stands to see who put the hex on him.  This movie is so low-budget, but it adds to the hilarity. It’s not the best script, but it’s so good to see Kel in the movies again.

The Wizard of Oz– Believe it or not, The Wizard of Oz was my favorite film as a kid.  I used to watch it everyday.  Since I missed out on the past 2 or 3 DVD releases of this movie, I decided to pick up this new edition.  Still one of the best films of all time.

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies Special Edition– I’m a big fan of Batman.  Superman not so much.  But I still wanted to check out this team-up film, adapted from the graphic novel.

That’s all for now.  Right Stuf finally has their Viz Media sale up, so I’m going to put in 2 or 3 orders in the following week.  Viz simply has the most series that I’m collecting and I’m behind on a few.  Unfortunately, the sale is only good for manga.  I guess I’ll have to order Hunter x Hunter Collection 4 and the 20th Century Boys movies some other time.


DVD Menu Fail

October 2, 2009

Bruce Timm presents his top picks for Superman: The Animated Series.  Wait, isn’t that BATMAN?

Screencap taken from Superman/Batman: Public Enemies disc 2.  Review coming soon.

Zorro: Generation Z Volume 1

September 29, 2009

A new Zorro for the new millennium!  Zorro: Generation Z is a 2008 UK animated series.  It follows Diego De La Vega, descendant of the original Zorro, fighting crime and the corrupt government of Pueblo Grande in a Batman Beyond styled world.  I picked this up for three reasons, lightsabers, my modest love of Zorro and BKN, and the name resemblance to Dragonball Z.

Generation Z begins as all superhero cartoons do, with a two-part origin story.  Diego De La Vega and his mute friend Bernardo return to Diego’s home after school.  They discover that Mayor Martinez and his goons broke in and kidnapped Diego’s father for political motives.  Diego and Bernardo barely escape their ray guns to discover a secret passageway.  It leads to a run down underground cathedral that just so happens to be El Zorro’s lair.  The stories his grandfather told him were true!  Zorro’s “batcave”  is stocked with his Z-pod, Tornado-Z , and four sets of Zorro outfits (my favorite was the gold-fringed getup).  Diego dons the Zorro costume and runs to the Mayor’s mansion to save his father.  Meanwhile, Diego’s Alfred (Bernardo) mans the Zorrocave.  Zorro stumbles his way into the mansion, messes up, only to be saved by The Scarlet Whip who happens to be the Mayor’s daughter Maria and long-time schoolmate of Diego.  However, they don’t recognize each other and neither do their fathers.  The Scarlet Whip helps Zorro and his father escape and that’s the end of that.

The third episode is a mess.  When Diego’s father disappeared in the first episode, the Mayor accused him of swindling the tax payers.  However, this whole affair was dropped and never mentioned. But I’m willing to forget that.  More importantly, in the short time-frame between the second and third episode, Diego has become an expert Zorro and a household name in Pueblo Grande.  The remaining episodes follow the formula of the Mayor’s goons carrying out a heist, Zorro popping up, doing badly, and The Scarlet Whip arriving to save his ass.  Diego and his motive to become Zorro is never explored.  Character development is absent, instead focusing on the comic relief between Diego and Bernardo, El Zorro and The Scarlet Whip, and the mayor and his goons.

But despite its faults, Generation-Z is fun to watch.  It’s colorful, fast-paced, and has plenty of action scenes.  Zorro’s lightsaber and whip are cool weapons, even though they don’t seem to cut through the enemies’ swords or brooms. The interaction between Diego and Maria is humorous during the daily life scenes and how they slowly begin to question whether the other is El Zorro/The Scarlet Whip after a fight.

Zorro: Generation Z is a fine Saturday-morning cartoon.  It’s just a shame that it never got a television deal (although it apparently airs in Spanish on Telemundo).  I’ll likely purchase the remaining volumes if I can find it in-store at Wal-Mart or as free-shipping filler online.
Grade: B-

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Buy and Brag #3

September 24, 2009

Who needs reviews when I can just talk about the crap I buy?  I’ve actually been watching a lot of “unboxing” videos on YouTube lately.  Channels like Gigafrosty and BDUBTheAnimeMaster.  It got me in the mood to make my own, but I don’t own a video camera.  That’s probably for the best.  If I learned one thing from working on my campus news program last year, I’m a terrible host.

Aquarion Parts 1 and 2–  I got a really good deal on these.  They were $14.99 each on Right Stuf (compared to $59.98 retail).  The reason I went with these instead of the complete collection, aside from price, is the fact that FUNimation stripped the extras off the complete collection. I doubt the extras were all that interesting to begin with, but it’s the principal of the thing.  Don’t strip extras!  Right Stuf still has a few copies left so order it ASAP if you’re interested.  Part 1 came with a really cool pencil board.

Ghost Stories: Complete Collection– I ordered this during Right Stuf’s Section 23 sale.  I’ve just been looking for something funny to watch and everyone says it’s hilarious.

Lupin the 3rd toys– Right Stuf is selling Lupin and Fujiko toys for 99 cents each?!?!  Sold!  I might buy another pair to play with.

X-Men Volumes 3 and 4–  I buy American cartoons, too.  X-Men was one of my favorite shows on Fox Kids when I was little.  I still have my action figures and assorted comic books.  I’m glad that Disney finally decided to release this on DVD.  And shocked that they’ve released this much.  Volume 5 should be the last to complete this series.

There’s a few things not pictured here, such as Future Diary volume 3, Fullmetal Alchemist volume 20, and some things I picked up at Half Price Books during the sale I mentioned earlier.  I didn’t feel like digging them out from the pile so that’s it for this week.

Buy and Brag #2

September 5, 2009

The day after I posted Buy and Brag #1, I received shipping confirmation from Rightstuf for the rest of my CMX order (sans December pre-orders).  Looks like I have a lot of reading to do!

Astral Project volumes 1-3: I’ve read a lot of good things about this series.  I was surprised to read on the back cover that the author, marginal, is the alias of Old Boy’s creator Garon Tsuchiya.  The series follows a young man who inherits an unlabeled CD from his deceased sister and has an out of body experience.

Go West! volumes 1-3:  Don’t know much about this one.  I just saw the name Yu Yugami, creator of Those Who Hunt Elves and Hikkatsu!, and clicked order.  It looks to be an entertaining parody of the Wild West.

And that’s my second buy and brag for the week.  There will probably be another next week.  Half Price Books has their 20% off everything sale for Labor Day so I’ll probably pick up a couple things this weekend.

Buy and Brag #1

August 31, 2009

Why hello there, Andrew.  Long time no see.  I thought I’d break my year long hiatus with an easy post, the old buy and brag.  This is the package I got in the mail from rightstuf today.  A mixture of my CMX, Del Rey, and Weekly Specials orders.  I might make posts like this in the future to show off my collection or for just another easy post.

Hunter x Hunter vol. 3–  I didn’t expect to enjoy this after dismissing the manga as shonen drek, but I guess it’s true what they say, all Yoshihiro Togashi manga work better as anime.  This will shoot to the top of my “to watch” list as soon as I delete some stuff from my DVR.

Astral Project vol. 4–  The fourth and final volume.  I just ordered this during the CMX manga sale and haven’t received the first three yet so this will be kept in the shrink wrap for now.

Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei vol. 3– I didn’t find the second volume to be as hilarious as the first but I’ll give it another go.

X-Men: Misfits vol. 1– The second to be released in Del Rey’s “Marvel Manga” series (the first was Wolverine: Prodigal Son).  I was excited to read this, but the shojo artwork is turning me off.

CMX Summer 2009 Preview– Yay, something for free!  Rightstuf had a deal that if you purchased $50 worth of CMX manga, you’d get a free sampler.  So I did.  Everything is still on backorder, with a couple pre-orders.

So, that’s it for now.  If you’re interested in a review of any of the above titles, leave a request in the comments!

GTO: The Early Years volume 7

June 17, 2008

Shonan Junai Gumi volume 7

by Tohru Fujisawa

The latest installment of Shonan Junai Gumi staring the two man team Oni-baku, known individually as Onizuka as Ryuji. Previously, Ryuji has fallen in love with the beach babe known as Nagisa. However, the poor virgin can’t get a girlfriend that easily. Nagisa has an alter ego known as Yasha, a tough biker girl with a price on Ryuji’s head! Yasha is the girlfriend of Akutsu, a scary man who just got out of juvie and plans on rejuvenating the infamous biker gang feared by all, the Midnight Angels. Can Ryuji save Nagisa from her other self?

This volume continues the trend of opening with a very light-hearted chapter. Classmate Kiyoma is thought to have psychic powers. Whenever girls stand by him, the wind mysteriously lifts their skirts! However, his secret is revealed and he is soon beaten up by local gang members. On with the continuing story, the cops are dealing with the rise of the Midnight Angel gang that has reached nearly 150 members. The gang war has started. Nagisa and Ryuji are hospitalized after a run in with Akutsu who torches the building they were fighting in. Now in a hospital bed, Nagisa fights the demon of her other self, Yasha. Akutsu reveals what he’s truly after, the coat owned by former Angel leader, Masaki. He believes this coat will give him official leadership over the gang but there’s a problem, the coat was passed on to Oni-baku and for good reason. After passing Ryuji in the hospital, Onizuka dons the coat and heads towards Akutsu. The new Midnight Angel members fall instantly as Onizuka leaves a trial of carnage in his path. He has come to teach Akutsu a lesson.

The series continues to be distributed in omnibus format and shrinkwrapped with a parental advisory sticker. Aside from some gang violence and blood, there’s really not a lot of questionable material within. Language is severely toned down for a series of this kind with many cheesy 80s slang (“What the fun?”). Art continues to be a problem with all the black, slick-haired gang members closely resembling Ryuji.

I feel as if I’m slowly losing interest in this series. No matter how many “tough-guys” the Oni-baku take care of, there will always be another. The Midnight Angel gang war was an interesting concept but as it turns out, the leader Akutsu is really just a jealous prick who can only hurt others by A.) torching them with gasoline or B.) stabbing them in the stomach while they’re talking sensibly to him. Recently, Tokyopop, the distributer, has experienced financial problems with many series being canceled or in some cases, online distribution only. GTO: The Early Years has been identified as at risk due to poor sales. The guys at Tokyopop are huge Tohru Fujisawa nerds so hopefully they have enough balls to finish off the second half of this series.

Grade: C+