Archive for January 31, 2012

SJA – 01/30/2011

So before we begin, remember these are just impressions of the chapter. No actual score, just my personal feelings. If you dislike a series that I love, this won’t change your mind, and vice-versa. Since the issues aren’t exactly numbered, I’m just going to label each by the date they are released. Now on to the impressions (by order of appearance)–

One Piece 562

A Premonition of Stormy Seas – First, the cover story. Chimney looks cute as the part-time stationmaster. And now she’s so much bigger than Gonbe, who looks a little different if you ask me. Might just be that she grew taller while it stayed the same height. So, like I assumed, Jimbei definitely has ties to Big Mom, just not the ties I thought he had. Never thought he was working for her. WITH her, that I could see. And it was nice to see that King Neptune thought of asking for Luffy’s help, much like Luffy vowed to protect the island last chapter. Of course, Luffy’s actions have their own repercussions, with Neptune worried about the booby trapped Tamate Box and Nami furious at the monster trio for giving away all the treasure. Shirahoshi crying because of Usopp was one of the funniest moments for me, but that all changed just on the next page with a battered Luffy wanting to go to the New World (my favorite panel of the chapter). On the One Piece Podcast, I lamented that we never got to see Caribou get his come-uppance on screen. Thank you, Oda, for letting me have this even though it wasn’t from the Strawhats. Pekoms pulls a Luffy vs Bellamy and takes out Caribou in one punch. Granted, I’m sure he was still hurting from the beatdown he got from Luffy and company. Pekoms’ high bounty somewhat surprised me, but being part of one of the Four Emperor’s crew, it makes perfect sense. Guess we’ll see the treasure ramifications later. And the most pleasant surprise of the chapter is Tashigi’s new(ish) look + rank, along with Smoker’s new rank. Sorry for spoiling that, but seriously, you can tell it’s him. Though now this puts a squash on my Smoker joining Aokiji’s splinter group theory. Next chapter, hurry!

Toriko 171

Victor of the Age!! – So we go from a lavish casino in a beat up town to a full-fledged palace. Within his first panels, you can tell that the King of Jiddal Daneel Kahn (pfft… King Kahn) is a dick. And Joei’s design looks just as silly as his silhouette from last chapter, but it fits with the series. And now it looks like there’s a third party looking for Acacia’s full-course meal ingredients, with Joie possessing his notebook. I did enjoy the fact that Toriko and company are still buffed out thanks to the meteor garlic for at least one panel. Shame that it goes away the next page. Would’ve been both fun and silly to see them like that the rest of the chapter. So now, Jiddal is safe, thanks to Match and Live-bearer’s influence. Glad those orphans have a place to live, but next to a casino doesn’t seem to bode well. And now, lots of new character introductions, but I won’t list them all here. Seeing the IGO president Ichiryu face the main force of the Gourmet Corp. without taking even a single step back is impressive. And we finally get a full face shot of the Gourmet Corp. boss Midora. And his hair is even wilder than Sunny’s. Wonder if they’ll actually clash, or at least see their intimidation comparisons? That would be awesome.

Naruto 569

Proof of Will – The Four-Tails is still wary about trusting Naruto, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to free him. I was confused at first reading with what was going on, but it made sense 2nd read-through. Naruto decides to escape the Four-Tails’ mouth by using  his massive Art of the Multiple Shadow Dopplegangers, which spew out all of his clones. Reminds me of the silly but effective techniques he came up with earlier in the series. And now, the Four-Tails tells Naruto where the controller rod is located; though try as he might, he is still forced to attack Naruto. Going into his Nine-Tails Chakra mode, he is able to fend off the attack and get to the controller rod, though Tobi-dara (yes, I’m calling him that) is able to set a trap to catch Naruto. So were these flashback panels redrawn? Because they mostly look reused to me, but it’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve seen the earlier Naruto manga volumes. I did find it kind of funny that at first we get all these varied techniques and finishers, and then just a page of Rasengan. I don’t know what orifice Sage Naruto clone entered (nor do I really want to know), but that was actually a pretty good bit of strategy on Naruto’s end. So will the Four-Tails become an ally or a rampaging force next week? Most likely an ally.

Bakuman 162

Hot Spring and Choices – Aside from the first few pages of the chapter, this felt like a perfect point to include Bakuman in SJA. After almost winning a new TV, Shujin and Saiko get some of the best news of the evening, as ANN Studio representative Tanabe approaches them with intentions to make Reversi into an animated series. The two are so excited they can barely contain it, but they both know that it is up to the editor-in-chief to decide. It’s too bad we didn’t get to see their assistants get more screen time, because I figured they would be up to pretty fun antics with all the free food and potential prizes to be won. I’m a little worried with Shujin looking up Ririka’s background, with the whole Miyoshi, Aoki, Iwase thing happening previously; but I’m sure it’ll be handled well. And the most favorite part for me of this week’s chapter: VACATION! It’s nice to see the duo+Miyoshi actually getting a chance to relax. And it’s also a welcoming sight to see some old gags and a few anime clichés (yup, hot spring). Drunk Miyoshi is both hilarious and adorable. The sunset rising was a nice touch. And the ending message is super-cliché, but I don’t care because it works well. Like I said, great way to start in SJA. Of course, we’re left with the cliff-hanger of “who will get their series animated?” My guess will be both. No “awaiting a phone call” ending is always good.

Bleach 476

The Lost – First and foremost, they are starting on 476 because the author is currently on a month break in Japan. So launching with 6 series with only having 5 for a whole month would not seem that good for the launch of a new product. Ginjo and Ichigo clash for their final battle, a battle between two substitute Soul Reapers. Ginjo reveals his hollow powers and charges in. The captains of Soul Society begin to leave, with Byakuya reiterating why they came. So there’s a mix of two different flashback panels interspersed in page 87 which was a little jarring. I guess it’s because one is a voice-overed scene while the other is a scene that includes dialogue. So in Bleach as well, there’s a shot of some of the older art of Ichigo. Do you thing this was redrawn as well, or just cropped images from previous chapters? I’m assuming cropped since they’re all angular frames of Ichigo. Ginjo’s feelings begin to waver, as he feels no hatred or anger from Ichigo. Instead it feels more like empathy, while Ginjo wanted him to sympathize with his cause. Ginjo then readies a (…beam attack? I don’t know what it is; it has no name. What were they called back in Hueco Mundo? Cero, I think? So he fires a…) cero that Ichigo easily disperses and counter-attacks. I have to say, it’s really hard to type Ginjo and not think Grimmjow. Damn similar sounding names.

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan 185

On the Way to Mt. Osore – Rikuo and Tsurara are riding aboard the train with Ryuji while Itaku (doing his best Zoro impression) is running alongside it instead. Both Ryuji and Itaku feel that yokai should be running instead. I guess it’s traditional? He attacks the train, mostly because it should be part of Rikuo’s training. The sun eventually goes down, so all three of them run alongside the train, much to Tsurara’s dismay. Finally getting to Tono Village, they must now find Akagappa for more information about retrieving the Nenekirimaru. Instead, they are greeted by the Tono yokai, where Tsurara experiences her first ever hot spring. Yup, there’s two different series this week that have hot spring experiences. Though for Tsurara, it proves a little too much as she begins to melt. Ryuji reveals the origins of Nenekirimaru, what used to be called Nuekirimaru. While dickish at first, Ryuji is growing on me (possible future cosplay?). Rikuo wakes up and discovers he is trapped in someone’s fear in the lodge, the Mayoiga of Tono. Rikuo tries to cut the lock to no avail, instead triggering other fear traps. Collecting himself, Rikuo discovers the trick to the room, and slices the fly to reveal the exit. At first thinking it was Itaku, it seems that everyone was in on the training. With that matter resolved, Akagappa appears, revealing a document written 250 years ago that shows the successors of the Gokadoin Clan. Guess there’ll be more flashback next week, but after that huge battle that recently ended, I’m all for a slowdown and gradual build-up. I’m continually, pleasantlyl surprised at how they manage to keep the series going. Just when I think they’re out of ideas, BAM. New interesting villains and a new arc.

Shonen Jump Alpha Launches

Hi everyone. Dennis here, wanting to share with everyone the exciting launch of Shonen Jump Alpha, a way of reading digital manga from Weekly Shonen Jump, a mere two weeks behind the actual Japanese release. If you haven’t guessed, many Suupaa Kaizoku members are fans of multiple Shonen Jump properties, and a new, legal way to enjoy some of our favorites online is something I never would’ve imagined to be possible a few years ago. So whether you are up to speed with the Japanese releases or not, I would like to try to give weekly impressions (not reviews; there will be no score, just my thoughts) about each series’ chapter. Hopefully I can keep up some small paragraph impressions each midweek. But for now, here’s a brief intro and recap, courtesy of Shonen Jump Alpha (series by alphabetical order)–


Average student Moritaka Mashiro enjoys drawing for fun. When his classmate and aspiring writer Akito Takagi discovers his talent, he begs Moritaka to team up with him as a manga-creating duo. Can these two boys turn their dreams into reality with all the challenges they must face in the manga-publishing world?

The story so far…With their new series Reversi doing well in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, Akito and Mashiro are invited to an important industry party. The duo seems on the verge of getting their first-ever anime series, but what hurdles still stand in their way…?


Kurosaki never asked for the ability to see ghosts–he was born with the gift. When his family is attacked by a Hollow–a malevolent lost soul–Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper, dedicating his life to protecting the innocent and helping the tortured spirits themselves find peace. Find out why Tite Kubo’s Bleach has become an international manga smash-hit!

The story so far…After finally regaining his true Soul Reaper powers thanks to Rukia and the captains from the Soul Society, Ichigo begins his final battle against Kugo Ginjo. As the fight heats up, both use Bankai to reveal their most powerful forms.


Naruto is a young shinobi with an incorrigible knack for mischief. He’s got a wild sense of humor, but Naruto is completely series about his mission to be the world’s greatest ninja!

The story so far…Naruto has been swallowed by the Four-Tailed Beast. He’s transported to another world where he has a deep discussion with the biju, who asks for Naruto’s help in freeing it from the influence of the man masquerading as Madara. Is Naruto strong enough to help a Tailed Beast?

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan

Rikuo Nura is three-quarters human, but his grandfather is none other than Nurarihyon, the supreme commander of the Nura Clan, a powerful yokai consortium. So Rikuo is an ordinary teenager three-quarters of the time. But he’s being trained to be the leader of a hundred demons.

The story so far…On the human front, it looks like girl trouble for Rikuo as Tsurara starts showing some jealousy over his relationship with Kana. And on the yokai front, the battles may be won, but the war is always on as Ryuji shows up with news that the Nenekirimaru weapon is complete…and Rikuo must go with him to Mt. Osore to check out the brewing situation.

One Piece

When Monkey D. Luffy accidentally ate the cursed Gum-Gum Fruit, he gained the power to stretch like rubber…at the cost of never being able to swim again! Despite this, he’s vowed to someday become King of the Pirates and find the legendary treasure known as “One Piece.” With his large crew of powerful and unique characters and his advanced pirate ship, the Thousand Sunny, Luffy’s out to become the greatest pirate that’s ever lived!

The story so far…After a tough fight, the Straw Hats were able to defeat the New Fish-Man pirates and bring peace to Fish-Man Island. The crew celebrates with a grand feast, but trouble looms as Luffy challenges an even bigger threat in the form of one of the four emperors, Big Mom.


In a savage world ruled by the pursuit of the most delicious foods, it’s either eat or be eaten! While searching for the tastiest foods imaginable, Gourmet Hunter Toriko and his bottomless stomach travel around the world facing every beast in his way.

The story so far…Pumped up–literally!–by their victory at Gourmet Casino, Toriko and company journey to the capital of Jiddal in search of information on foods that will power them up to enter the savage Gourmet World. But will the King of Jiddal and his personal chef keep the info Toriko needs a secret?

Episode 10 – Start the Year with ALA

Welcome to our Anime Los Angeles recap episode. It’s out first
convention of the year, yet some consider it the last episode
of their convention season. Come listen to our stories about
the con including our first ever hosted panel (with thanks to
cosplayer Binkx and Jammer from the Animanga Podcast), making
fun of Aaron’s photography skills and Dennis’ skin tone,
general convention thoughts, and of course, the return of the
food talk. And if you missed them, our cosplay pictures are
back on the podcast again. Also, apologies for all the talk
about Francis’ cleavage. We’re sure those Inception sounds
aren’t just in your dreams. And watch out for that spider!
Episode 10 is a go.

00:00 Introduction
01:10 Francis on Artist Alley
03:05 Costume Exhibit in Disarray
05:10 One Piece Fan Panel
07:14 ALA Growth & Parties
10:58 Yup, We’re Talking about Food Again
12:40 Why Shuttles Won’t Work
14:08 Jen’s Art Jam Experience
15:42 Final Thoughts on ALA
21:02 Fake Zoro & Timeskip Zoro
22:26 Keiji Maeda from Sengoku Basara
24:53 Darkstalkers
26:30 Fairy Tail
28:14 L.A. Kings Lolita Dress
29:55 Warhammer 40k
31:22 Madoka Group & Kyube Bench
32:40 Keith & Jen’s One Piece Bench
34:11 Goron & Midna from Legend of Zelda
35:51 Rehab Sanji
37:42 Armor Luffy from Thriller Bark Arc
40:43 Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure
42:20 Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger
43:41 Green Lantern Group
46:20 Business Time

And be on the lookout for a brand new segment next week.


Episode 09 – The End of the Beginning

And we’re finally at the end! Part 3 of our origin story. Hope you enjoyed listening to these during the holidays. While I would have liked to have this episode out before ALA, cosplay time definitely took priority, so here it is out after the con. But if you went, hope you had fun! Next week will be the return of the episodes with photos and cosplay comments. But for now, have a listen as Dennis finally joins, and we finally work on one of our main group cosplays: Marines from One Piece. Episode 9 is a go!

00:00 Introduction
01:14 Dennis Finally Joins
04:17 Mikomi Con & Thriller
07:35 Wala! ALA 09
10:16 Marines & Fanime 09
15:44 Buckle Down for AX 09
19:59 Leveling Up
26:22 Business Time