Archive for May 10, 2012

Shonen Jump Alpha – 5/7/2012

Bakuman Finale

It’s finally here! The finale of Bakuman is in this issue of SJA. Sorry about that folks, I would’ve had this up earlier, but I was very distracted by birthday celebrations and multiple viewings of The Avengers (I hear it’s pretty good). Also, it’s not all about Bakuman. We got the rest of the manga series, and the announcement of what’s to come next.

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Master Caesar Clown – That’s a fantastic colorspread. Reminds me very much of that mafia-style colorspread a few years ago. Also, the 10th movie Strong World. Liking the colors, but I wonder why Nami and Robin are missing? Anyway, we start off with the body-swapped Tashigi and Smoker. God-bless (or curse for some of you) the clothing in One Piece. I don’t know how Smoker-Tashigi’s open shirt is able to provide that much breast support. I’ll just leave it to Oda-physics. I wonder if there’ll be a daring Tashigi cosplayer willing to do that? Well, it’ll most likely be true. We got a huge amount of info this chapter. Kidnapped children, a possible mole in G-5, NEW names/characters of Joker and Foxfire Kine’mon (most likely the samurai who’s looking for his kid), Straw-hat headbands, Caesar’s perception by his lackeys versus the real truth, and a new devil fruit: the Gas Gas Fruit. Loving the antics of Franky in Chopper’s body the most so far. Glad Oda toned back Sanji a bit for now. And with Luffy finally entering the New World, looks like all the pirates from the “Worst Generation” are now heading towards the end.

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March of the StarCross – Looks like the captains of Soul Society are having an infight among them, as blame is cast on Mayuri for the disappearance of the villagers. Quilge Opie (that’s a dumb sounding name) takes on Ichigo in Hueco Mundo, and reveals to him what we already know: they’re quincies. Looks like the final big-bad is gathering his main force called the Star Knights, as they’re preparing to invade Soul Society. With Mayuri clearing his name with a valid reason for moving the villagers, it’s been revealed that Captain Yamamoto fought the Vandenreich leader 1000 years ago and let him live. Not too sure what Ishida’s role will be in the end, if he’ll side with the quincies or with Ichigo. Still intrigued by the story so far, but let’s hope Kubo can come up with better names for future characters.

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Who Are You? – No, it’s not a song from The Who. That’s the chapter title. Back when I was first getting into Naruto, I actually liked Kabuto. That even includes the time where he was revealed to be a villain. Unfortunately, things change over time, and I no longer care for Kabuto. So his flashback story has come too late for me, but I’m sure there are readers who do still enjoy the character. Rest assured I’m not going to half-ass this. Growing up a spy must have surely been rough for a child. Adding to the complications, your adoptive mother also has to become one, too. Separation from your fellow siblings and mother, no child really deserves that. I thought it was touching that he still remembered them and wanted to see them again. Sadly, things don’t turn out that way. Mission compromised, and ending up having to kill your adoptive mother who no longer recognises you. Yeah, Kabuto does have it rough. In a Star Wars-y sort of way, we also get the start of Kabuto’s temptation towards the dar–I mean to Orochimaru’s side.

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Chowlin Temple Training – It’s the continuation of hellish training, where the consequences are literally starving to death, oh and pain, too. All the training exercises seem pretty hellish. But they are really emphasizing the fire one. The one I liked best was the ham flower. Toriko wants to call it quits, but Komatsu’s attitude helps motivate both of them to finish. Unfortunately, Toriko loses his cool, but suddenly sees some results of his training. Now reinvigorated, both he and Shu want to see Komatsu’s results, which are excellent too. My favorite bit came from the huge, dead fish that is somehow still swimming. So far, really enjoying this part of the sidequest.

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Proof of Strength – Poor Dassai. We don’t get to see any of your talents yet besides drinking and dodging. You don’t even get to defeat your opponent, either. Nope, this chapter is reserved for the Spider Clan allying with Rikuo. Hiruko tries to use his earlier super-destructive attack. But this time, Tsuchigumo is able to withstand it and protect their land. So, did anyone guess that they would side with Rikuo during this arc? Oh, ALL of you did? Well, I feel less special now. Well, we’ll have to wait til next time for Rikuo to defeat Hiruko.

Bakuman Final Chapter

Dreams and Reality – I am not even going to spoil the ending for you. I highly enjoyed the series, and I thought it was a very fitting send-off. I’m glad the characters remained true to themselves to the very end. Thank you to Ohba and Obata. I can’t wait for your next series. For now, get some rest and relaxation.


And that’s it. Next issue, there will be a new series: the new Rurouni Kenshin monthly retelling that is featured in Japan’s Jump SQ. I loved the original, so I’m looking forward to this release, too. Also, remember that there will be no issue of Shonen Jump Alpha due to the Golden Week holidays that occured recently. Til next time!

Episode 16 – ACen Fandom Not Extinguished

Cosplay Jam Album Cover

Anime Central is long done, but it lives on in our hearts. And also our taste buds thanks to Giordano’s Pizza. We’ll talk about our first experience judging cosplay, trying to survive the cold of Chicago, and the horrible experience you’ve
probably already heard about ACen Masquerade this year. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page with the ACen 2012 gallery. Episode 16 is a go!

00:00 Introduction
02:09 Hallway Costume Contest Judging
09:30 Dennis’ Judges Award – Team Fortress 2
14:08 Rising Star Award – Kuranosuke from Princess Jellyfish
18:48 Where We Talk about Food Again
20:13 The Masquerade Fiasco
30:15 Thank You, Omnichild! & Fairy Tail Gathering
34:35 Puella Magi Madoka Magica Gathering
38:17 Yu Yu Hakusho
40:04 Commander Shepard
42:15 Madam Shirley & Arlong from One Piece
45:20 Strong World Buggy
48:25 Business Time

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Thanks to Jessie for having us judge at ACen, Omnichild for putting us up for the convention, and Burner for the iTunes review!



Shonen Jump Alpha – 04/30/2012

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan

Return from Anime Central successful! And with that, we’re back to more Shonen Jump Alpha impressions. Bakuman is nearing the end (boo). And in Japan this week, it’s currently Golden Week. So that means no SJA in two weeks. Well, you can bet I’ll keep going to the best of my ability, but without manga, perhaps Viz will give us a pleasant surprise during the break? We’ll just have to wait and see. Enjoy the Nura image!

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Yura and Rikuo – Hey! Looks like Nura finally gets first in line after a while. Good to see. Tamazuki’s attack defeats Nagachika in just one blow. Good thing he didn’t use that on Nura when they fought, otherwise this would be a short series. Kind of a graphic and disgusting way to kill someone, but remember, these guys are technically monsters. We get a nice flashback between Rikuo and Yura. We get the implications that she still likes Rikuo as a human (more than friends), but does a complete 180 once he takes his night-monster form. Hiruko thinks she can take care of both of them, but Yura’s new abilities seem amazing! I like her power-up, and hopefully it won’t be over-used in the coming arc. I can’t guess what her second attack will be, but if you have any guesses, feel free to leave comments.

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CC – No, that’s not Saldeath’s taller brother, that’s really him. I don’t know how he had a growth spurt after joining Impel Down, but I guess with a promotion and new responsibilities, one gets taller? Anyway, Law is still wrecking the Marines, even with Luffy’s reunion and new nickname of “Traffy” (hahaha). But it looks like he also has some sort of relationship with Brownbeard. Another personality switch happens (this time between Smoker and Tashigi; end chapter spoilers, sorry). After Law tells Luffy where to go, we get the hilarious part of the chapter, Sanji’s realization that he’s in Nami’s body. The samurai’s abilities are weird, too. I’m going to assume something related to the tanuki. So, what will Ceasar’s intentions be with those kids, and does it have anything to do with the hearts that Law is collecting? Next chapter can’t come fast enough.

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Sales Date and Night Before – I don’t even want to do impressions of this chapter because I’m sad that Bakuman is ending next week. 🙁 Lots of good cameos and warm sentiments. (I’M NOT CRYING, DAMMIT!)

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Nothing – Kabuto almost gets the upperhand on the Uchiha brothers, but two against one is tough, even for him. After Itachi’s speech, we get a surprising look at Kabuto’s past. Tragic orphan? You bet. Amnesia? Okay, that’s a little different. Poor eyesight? That’s why he has glasses, yup. Parental figure looking like current Kabuto? Kind of creepy. I’m sure we’ll get more of his sad past next week. I’m actually looking forward to this.

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Bond Behind Blast – Looks like two of the three Tres Bestia don’t get along, but they do show their strength against the Hueco Mundo invaders. Seems that all but one are fodder, though. The captains of Soul Society confirm what we all guessed from the beginning of this arc: they’re a group of quincies. Will Uryuu join them as well or will he be the one quincy to either oppose or reveal their weakness? With Ichigo about to take on the unknown guy with a bad haircut, anyone else find it funny that he’s going to get revenge for people who tried to kill him a few years ago?

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The Power of Honoring the Food – A sparring match against Toriko, and a chef’s match against Komatsu. Shu seems like he’s just asking for trouble. Of course, things should’nt always be that easy, as Toriko soon finds out. Pretty interesting, since we knew that the characters in Toriko use calories as a power level, this next power up will allow Toriko to regulate that calorie usage even better. While I wish the previous short quests were more interesting, I’m generally intrigued by the training he and Komatsu will be doing. Of course, the last panel with the 5-meter long chopsticks will ensure that there will be lots of comedy during this training period.