Hello to all of my fellow anime lovers!
Hello, I'm the Ebony Slayer, and welcome to my profile. Just your average guy from Rochester, New York. I've been an anime fan for a while now, and having seen quite a few of them, I would consider myself quite the expert.
However, to be more specific, I went through some phases before becoming more fully involved in anime and manga. The first phase would be the animes I saw as a kid, such as Pokemon, Digimon, Yu-gi-oh and others (DBZ). When I was in middle school I picked up my first issue of Weekly Shonen Jump at a grocery store near my neighborhood. Before long I was checking out volumes of Bleach, Naruto, Claymore, Dragon Ball, Ultimate Muscle(Looking back the author had some wacky imagination.), Flame of Recca, Rave Master(Which during my time of re-reading feels very poorly written and doesn't really feel nostalgic anymore.), Eyeshield 21, Hunter x Hunter and others from the local Florence library.
My 2nd phase would be in high school, where I discovered I could read manga online, which I spent during my typing class (I definitely wasted a lot of work time!) and with my brother in the school library. There was a after school club which had tv and Maguzi on Cartoonnetwork, that had shows like Zatch Bell, Yu-gi-oh GX, and the original Naruto. After moving back to New York, my brother and I saw that Bleach was on adult swim, and got into shows like Megaman NT Warrior and Rurouni Kenshin. Even got up early on school days to see Inu-yasha on Cartoonnetwork. That is for the most part my early history of how I got into manga and anime, plus its nice when there's an anime club at the Monroe Community college.
My five absolute favorite anime/manga (I have more than five actually, but this list is just to give people a general idea of what my taste is for anime/manga), are Berserk(set for an epic fantasy series with the protagonist struggling against his fate, what's there not to love.), Basara(In a post-apocalyptic Japan, the female protagonist embarks on a journey that will change Japan.), Yu Yu Hakusho(the protagonist of the story dies but is given another chance at life by becoming a spirit detective, Yusuke is a loveable punk kid with a heart of gold, think the anime did a good job bringing the characters to life.), Jojo: Golden Wind(the mafia elements as well as the themes of reality and fate made this arc of Jojo memoriable for me, also has some of the most twisted villains in the series.), A Silent Voice(Focuses on Shoya and the consequences that came with bullying Shoko when he was younger, the series deals with real life issues such as bullying and coming to terms with yourself. The version I enjoy most is the manga, and while the movie isn't that bad, the runtime is really long for a movie. It would have made more sense to make it an episodic series, and to include the development of other characters and their internal thoughts. And that wraps up my short intro list!
I can be laidback, a bit cynical at times but for the most part an optimist, honest, funny, an altogether decent guy. I personally think trolls are a waste of space and I will spot one from far away. Although I'm not looking for followers, you're free to follow if you wish. I love catchy music, rock music, jazzy music, anything that leaves a powerful impression on my soul. Although I do care about my gorgeous art, different forms of art don't always dissuade me from getting into an anime. What matters the most is the content itself, therefore I'm pretty openminded when it comes to most anime. Fantasy is the genre I'm most into, but every now and then I don't mind some horror, cause I consider horror to be one of my absolute favorite genres. If anyone knows of any good ones please tell me. I consider myself a cat lover, egalitarian, book reader, somewhat an athlete. I'm for the most part an outgoing guy, not just a shut in otaku. Snakes are my spirit animal. Optimistic pessimist, as well as outgoing introvert.
These are most likely what shaped and impacted my taste in manga/anime. I grew up with the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie trilogy as well as the 90s Spider-Man animated series. I saw the Redwall animated series when I was a kid, and got into the books at some point, and even though they censored the violence and cut out story bits, I still have nostalgia for the show. And there was the Eragon book series, cause I loved the adventures Eragon has with his dragon Saphira. Also read the Animorphs series, where these kids got the the power to change into animals to fight an alien invasion. As well as any copies of the Goosebumps series my oldest brother left lying around. There was also that lego series Bionicles with the Toa, matoran and also Makuta, so it was just fun to put those lego figures together.
I did grow up with the original Star Wars trilogy. But the biggest influencer is probably the 90's renaissance and other eras of Disney animated films, and my parents would just buy them when they came out. I rewatched The Lion King so many times I practically know the lines. I also grew up with Kids Next Door and any other shows on Cartoonnetwork that struck me as cool.
My favorite English voice-actors have to be Eric Vale, Austin Tindle, and Brina Palencia, and my favorite Japanese voice-actor(s) have to be Kenshō Ono, Junichi Suwabe and Yūki Ono.
As for one of my favorite romantic couples in anime/manga, I can definitely say Ageha and Sakurako from the Psyren manga, although I still love Ganta and Shiro from the Deadman Wonderland manga as a couple.
1st Manga- Dragonball
200th Manga- Devilman
230th Manga- Asklepios
250th Manga- Azumanga Daioh
260th Manga- Count Over (one shot)
270th Manga- Haco (one shot)
280th Manga- Goblin Night (one shot)
290th Manga- Piercing (one shot)
300th Manga- Tokyo Ghoul:re
310th Manga- Hoshin Engi- This manga was so awesome! Taikobo was a really fun protagonist, and I remember reading some of the series when I was a kid. So to finally finish the series felt grand, although to be honest it was the 2018 anime adaption that made me want to read the series again. To think bad anime adaptions will make people read manga more is sort of a bad joke. Not to say it wasn't without its bad chapters, this was a fun series I enjoyed. Definitely one of the Shonen Jump classics!
320th Manga- Pokemon: Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire- Phew, I have almost finally caught up on Pokemon Adventure or as fans will also call it, Pokemon Special. This series is so dope, this is like the definitive pokemon story that fans of the games and the anime will greatly appreciate. I also think Ruby and Sapphire is one of the cutest pokemon series couples. That was definitely the strongest part of the arc!
330th Manga- Pokemon XY- I finally finished the XY arc. It was really inspiring to see X come out of his shell during the story, and it felt awesome seeing his friends giving his support. Team Flare and some of the themes of the arc felt dark and mature. It left me thinking about how it related to real life. Lysandre was such a tragic antagonist, and the arc showed how you can't dwell on despair or force your ideals on others. You have to find meaning in your life, like with X. I'll be remembering this arc for quite some time.
340th Manga- Citrus- And I finished my first Yuri manga, which happened to be sorta mainstream. I didn't think there were issues with it at first, but as I got the opinions of others, I start to notice its issues. Its sad to see how its themes aren't handled as well as they could be, its a real shame.
350th Manga- 20th Century Boys- I finally got to reading another of Urasawa's works! I get caught up in reading other stuff and lose track. Typically, not always, I have the bad luck to get into a bad series. Not to say Chio's School Road is bad, it feels very cliche. So I got into 20CB and I fell in love with Urasawa's passionate writing again. Murders have happened, the protagonist is drawn into a conspiracy and the world is in turmoil from the influence of Friend. I loved how the series made me think, the greatest achievement any manga can do. Plan to read part 2 soon!
360th Manga- Urusei Yatsura- This was the very first series Rumiko ever worked on before she worked on other familiar hits like Inu-Yasha, Maison Ikkoku and others. Its pretty obvious she was trying to get a serialization going, since romantic comedies have a massive appeal, even in the 80s. It was definitely a product of its own time and even by modern manga standards its still a pretty decent series. Some criticisms would have to be its lengthiness and some of the repetitive elements found in most romantic comedies, not to mention the over-sized main cast of characters. I can relate to other readers why they loved Lum. She has a pretty likeable personality, and Ataru is a golden idiot. The protagonists' feelings were acknowledged at the end, which felt good. It'll be nice to see how Maison Ikkoku compares to it though.
370th Manga- Devilman vs Hades- When my brother and I saw Devilman Crybaby around the time it came out in 2018, I was sort of hyped to hear of an alternate storyline where Akira tries to resurrect his beloved Miki, something I thought up when I saw the tragedy unfold in DC(2018). Gotta give credit, the Crescent Moon team that worked with Nagai really brought a lot of good art to this arc, looks awesome compared to the original Devilman. Nagai did mix some of the Mazinger Z series he worked on into this arc, which kind of annoyed me since I haven't read it yet. A quick read and the goal of the story was on point. That pilot charcter from Mazinger Z gave a speech that felt insulting to Akira, since he doesn't know where he comes from. Fans of Devilman I think will enjoy this story piece.
380th Manga- Domu: A Child's Dream- Since its October 2018, I've decided to cover as much horror manga as I can during the month of horror. Domu came out before Otomo started working on Akira, so I can see some inspiration. The conflict between the characters is well driven, the emotions of characters well drawn, as well as the destruction of the buildings well detailed. This was a nice short read.
390th Manga- Snow in the Dark- Another collection of stories by Yasuhiro, some of his better ones I think. However, it was his last story Snow in the Dark that I was looking forward to since its like a horror fairy tale. Its like its own version of Snow White but it feels so dark and good at the same time too. The old english gave it some flare and an ending I can feel good about. A good start if readers want to try some of Yasuhiro's works.
400th Manga- God Child- I really wanted to mark the occasion for October by reading a really good horror manga, God Child! I apparently read the 2nd part of the Cain series, but I heard it was the better part so its all good. God Child could get really dark at times, but it also had its share of good themes. The characters resonated pretty well, and the ending felt satisfying. This is probably one of my top favorite shojos next to Akatsuki no Yona. The series is bloody and deals with mature content, but this is horror, so you already know what you're getting into. This is probably Kaori Yuki's best work, which leaves me pretty happy.
410th Manga- Goth- This short horror series wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Although I think the damsel in distress troupe is used a bit too much. The protagonists deal with murderers then focuses on themselves towards the end. Wish the protagonists got more development but you take what you get I suppose.
420th Manga- Dragon Head- The next horror series that I read this October. Teru goes through the wringer all throughout the series with the bullet train crash, and other traumas during this survival horror series. The characters served their purpose(s) in the story and yet I feel like more could have been done with them. This is a seinen series afterall, you should make the characters complicated too, not just the theme. The theme of the series is fear and why it's disastrous to let your fear rule you, and just as bad to block fear out entirely. Learn to feel fear without letting it control your life. Other people have openly declared that they were unhappy with the bittersweet cliffhanger ending and I can understand that. Teru not giving up at the end did leave me feeling happy. The art fit the story well being horror. But the story felt much longer than it should have been. The series isn't perfect, but I did take something from it so there's something.
430th Manga- Hideout- Thank God for the huge improvement compared to Dragon Head. Had an ideal length, characters that feel fleshed out I think, even the author himself said he was a fan of Stephen King. Kakizaki has always been a favorite author of mine, ever since his series Rainbow. Hope more of his series get translated at some point.
440th Manga- Notpia- I think this is my first yaoi horror manga, which is a first for me. Read the three translated stories that are out right now, didn't really feel much of an impact, although Dedicated Body felt like the best one to be honest. Wished it was a bit longer.
450th Manga- Worlds- Figures that Ryu Fujisaki would have dabbled a bit in horror before he worked on Hoshin Engi. But it was also fantasy stuff as well from this collection of one shots. My favorites were Tight Rope, which explored the theme of freedom, and expression of emotions. Shadow Disease felt more like exploring human nature, sort of like Devilman. Hope to get into more of his works at some point.
460th Manga- Chaosic Rune- To be honest, I wasn't planning on reading this series, but Thrawn did talk about it in the Karakuri Circus thread and well, I get interested in old series. This is a survival horror card game series that is really hardcore about the gore, and with its share of issues. The characters are really simple, too simple I think, even for a shonen series. And the fanservice is so obvious, since the author worked on hentai. And the villains are just not nice people in general. This has got to be one of the edgiest shonen series I've read in a great while, and that's saying something. And considering how the 2nd part probably got axed, I don't expect a satisfactory ending, given the author's track record. Its a shame, cause I liked some of the monster designs. I just can't recommend this series to others, so I'll recommend the original Yu-gi-oh manga. Not only is the character development better, it handles its dark tone much better. Chaosic Rune had some interesting concepts and monsters, but that's all it has got going for it honestly.
470th Manga- Orochi: Blood- Of all the horror manga I read this October I was expecting great things from this series. But to be honest, I was pretty disappointed, just as much as my last series, C.R. Orochi is the female protagonist who appears in each story, though her connections to each story is pretty weak. She seems easily forgotten with each story, only to show up to do commentary or to use her as a deus ex machina. The stories themselves aren't that strong and the protagonist feels unnecessary. Why use her if she's not developed, and let the other characters stand on their own instead. The scares are almost non existent, and feels like cautionary tales in the twisted sense. In all honesty, the series has not aged well at all. Thankfully there are other horror series that are worth checking out, like Franken Fran.
480th Manga- Renai Shoujo Zukan- I don't know why, but I now have higher expectations for shojo after reading Yona of the Dawn. And this collection of horror manga, one story translated actually, didn't cut it. It just didn't feel scary at all.
490th Manga- Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation- This was one of the last horror manga that I was reading during the month of Halloween 2018. Although to be honest, this series has been on my mind since the 2018 anime, and I was told it would only get better after the prologue. Now the prologue itself is important to some degree, not only with the character introductions, but also with the world-building of the magic law association. I can appreciate the small cast of main characters that can be focused on and developed, compared to other shonen series with over oversized character rosters, like with Bleach and Naruto. If it weren't for Bleach though, I wouldn't have developed an interest for ghosts and the supernatural, and I may not have gotten the chance to read this series. Now for the story of M&R, the first major arc has to do with the antagonist Enchu and the group known as Ark, a group of forbidden magic law users. As the series goes on, the stakes for the fights get higher and not even the characters are safe from death and injury, which is something for a shonen series. Other than that one loose end with a villain that never gets wrapped up, the series ends on a pretty decent note. While Muhyo may seem cold and indifferent, its clear that he cares about others in his own way. Though Roji may seem naive and spoiled, he is also capable of reflecting and growing as a character. When your characters aren't set in stone, they're capable of growth, which is a high mark for an author. I even felt like I could relate to Enchu later on in the series. Nishi's artstyle really helped make the ghosts look freaky and creepy. As for my favorite envoy summon of the series, I liked the Hell Train summon, and also the Pirate King summon. They were like those big over the top attacks you see from the Golden Sun games. This is a shonen series I can recommend to those who want a dip into the horror genre.
500th Manga- Nico Nicholson no Manga Dojo Yaburi- This two part interview covers an interview with Berserk author Kentaro Miura. I think its cool to know about his inspirations and influences towards the Berserk series, giving me the sort of feeling that the man is passionate about his work. I think this is something all fans of Berserk should check out at some point.
510th Manga- élDLIVE- I was debating whether or not to review Reborn author Akira Amano's newest work, but I think I should, considering the headaches I got from the writing. One good thing about the series is the artstyle, feels fairly clean and the characters are nice to look at. The bad is the writing. It has a rough start and only continues to get rougher. And the plot-twists come out of nowhere without any form of foreshadowing, so the story is a hot mess. And the characters feel so stereotypical, with their writing only as bland. It feels like such a down grade compared to Reborn, at least it felt a lot better even if it did go downhill at the end. The ending feels rushed for Eldlive, probably cause Akira's editor was breathing down her neck during most of the manga serialization. If I had to pick between the two, I'd probably go for Reborn again cause Eldlive is the author's biggest mistake.
520th Manga- Quoth the Boy- This marks my 2nd Korean manga that I have read so far, the first being An Innocent Sin. I really like Quoth the Boy though, honestly, because it shows a shy, but honest relationship between a boy and a girl, and how it develops over the time. Those thoughts of what it was like when you like someone, what it felt like falling in love, even what the heart goes through as the relationship unfolds. Ga-ra has that straight-forward personality that I really love for a male protagonist. Tae-bok is so sweet and I loved the growth she goes through during the story as the female protagonist. Ga-ra's buddies So-woo and Hyun are awesome too, the comedy that came from those guys. I got super happy when Hyun and Nam-Ju became a couple by the end of the series, although I saw it coming when they were arguing like an elderly couple at that one part. The art style felt different when I first started but now I've grown to really love it. I think the change of pace from horror manga really helped me appreciate this series. Who knew that a romance manga could heal a man's soul considering half the horror manga the man read the month before were bad. This is a romance manga I'll gladly recommend to others!
530th Manga- Kagamigami- To be honest, even though I knew this was by the author of Psyren, I've avoided it because I had a feeling it was axed, and that would mean learning why it was axed. Now the series is about characters using shikigami, conjured spirits that are invoked and used through the onmyoji arts or Japanese style exorcists. There are already series that have touched on this, such as Twin Star Exorcists, Blue Exorcist, even Inuyasha. Not to say the author can't do it as well, it was more like he was struggling to give the story a direction. The protagonist is seen fighting an antagonist right off the bat, told to go to school by his organization, which already feels cliche. A lot of shonens can have a school setting but aren't the focus of every series, although the protagonist did pick up a new shikigami. Then there was the childhood friend of Kagami that was introduced, which felt rough. It felt troupey and I felt like it could have been done better. After dealing with another boring villain, the organization holds a tournament to create an elite unit to deal with Hollow Rabbit. It feels too early for a shonen series to have a tournament arc, especially right when it has a huge cast of characters that have barely gotten any development. Due to the poor reception of the series, its rushed into its last arc, plot twists are being dropped without the least bit of foreshadowing, antagonists that are boring and pathetic, a lukewarm romance between the protagonists, and a protagonist that doesn't feel impactful. I get the feeling the author was struggling to get serialized and whoever his editor was was not helping, although I think going five years without writing a series would make anyone get rusty. I love Psyren and its characters, how the story and its protagonist felt driven. All the more reason why I feel disappointed by this series, and why I can't recommend it to others.
540th Manga- Maison Ikkoku- I actually saw the anime years ago with my brother and enjoyed the romantic comedy quite immensely. This year (2018) though my brother also told me that he heard there were details in the manga that weren't in the anime, so after a long wait, I finally got to reading the manga. And it was awesome! I honestly think Maison Ikkoku is Rumiko's best work, not only for the ideal length, but also for the character development. Reading it slowly helped me develop an appreciation for all the right choices Rumiko made. Godai's character development, Kyoko's, all of the cast involved in the story. At the heart of the story is a mature romance that has both of the main protagonists growing and developing. I may be nostalgic for Inu-Yasha, but I cannot deny how well written Maison Ikkoku is compared to Rumiko's other works. Even if she never comes out with another smash hit, Rumiko will always be remembered for Maison Ikkoku. I full heartedly recommend it to fans of romantic comedies, Rumiko or anyone in particular. To all top romance series lists, this is one that should be included.
550th Manga- Moon Walker LTD- Surprise surprise, Konomi actually wrote something different compared to his Prince of Tennis series. Its pretty interesting to see another shonen author have a try at the prison genre, kind of like with Deadman Wonderland and Jojo: Stone Ocean. This three part one shot has some fair potential, although I feel Konomi has a hard time drawing faces. And the prison uniforms look like shit, I prefer the prison jumpsuits in Deadman Wonderland. Even the uniforms in The Promised Neverland have the simple white outfits. Goes to show that sometimes a simple design is best. The one shot did make me want to check out more prison manga, which are one of my favorite genres!
560th Manga- Hell's Kitchen- As far back as I can remember(high school), this was the very first cooking manga I ever got into, even before I had even heard of Food Wars. And the two have been compared a lot. However, each series has its own themes for the most part. Apparently, Food Wars is focused on the impact as well as the competition of cooking. Whereas Hell's Kitchen is focused on ideology, the ideas and and for the most part the characters' beliefs during the series. This fits more in line with how the main character Satoru can become anything he chooses given the themes in Hell's Kitchen. But between the two series, Food Wars was more popular and got an anime because of its art-style. If I had to be honest though, I will never be able to get into Food Wars because of its other issues, but that's a topic for another day. Hell's Kitchen is also really funny, with all the antics that happen with the cast of characters. There's a lot of creativity that goes into the plot and research in the cooking techniques that does a good job of drawing the readers in. With all of the chapters online, I can happily recommend Hell's Kitchen!
570th Manga- Basara- One of the last manga series that I finished reading during 2018. Although I haven't read or watched a lot of shojo series, I can say with absolute confidence that Basara is one of the best shojo, no, best manga to ever come out in the 90s. I only got to read part of the series when I was in high school, then I heard that the author's other work 7 Seeds was getting an anime adaption, so I was motivated to finish Basara. So glad that I did, cause the series itself is emotionally powerful. The series is a war-drama romance, much like Akatsuki no Yona. The world itself has almost been wiped out, due to war or natural disaster. Now the story starts on a strong note when Sarasa has to take the place of her brother as Tatara and lead her people in rebellion against the royal family. Sarasa has her own inner struggles to find out who she is while developing into a charismatic, capable leader. Shuri is of course another important character who plays an important role in the story and is also the love interest of Sarasa. And he too develops as the story goes on. Ageha is also a big character who supported Sarasa throughout the story and is easily loved by fans of the series. The art style really grew on me as the author drew some of the most gorgeous scenes in the series. But the series also dealt with themes of identity, coming of age, war and the cycle of hate, but also love and its power to change. This may be Tamura Yumi's best work, but I'll have to see 7 Seeds first. There's also a 1999 anime that covers the first five volumes if people are curious about the series. Definitely my favorite shojo series of all time!
580th Manga- Alice & Taiyo- One of the new series that came out in Shonen Jump this year, I was actually hyped for this series. But then it turned into complete disappointment. Taiyo Suzuki is seemingly a kid who’s faced enough distaste for his creative efforts that he wants to remain a mild-mannered individual, content to live life in mundane obscurity. Alice & Taiyo is the story of Alice Shinohara pulling Taiyo up out of that funk and getting him to experience the joy of creativity again. Sort of. That’s really only the first chapter. After that the story seems poised to be one of total success without a trace of adversity. For now it looks to be a purely feel good story, and not once here does either protagonist face an obstacle, outside of Taiyo’s anxiety, which is overcome with such ease I can’t even really call it an obstacle, more a minor hiccup before the two are showered with heaps of praise and not an ounce of criticism. My disdain for the series comes from it being little more than the manic pixie girl narrative. We have a seemingly mild boy who is taught to experience the joys of life, in this case his musical talent, by a quirky girl who’s bubbly and all smiles. It’s an overused narrative at best, and male fantasy at worst. Taiyo has incredible music talent, but is misunderstood from his early teen years thanks to his use of vocaloid, an often derided subset of Japanese music, where a computer produced voice sings the lyrics as dictated. Think Hatsune Miku, or Super Sonico, the most famous of vocaloid personas. (The manga doesn’t really explain this for Western readers, not that it should, but there you go.) Cut a few of the more tear-jerker elements from Your Lie in April and you’ve got Alice & Taiyo, an entirely superficial experience about two people seemingly destined for success. Not once in these chapters does it feel like they have anywhere to go. Both times Alice & Taiyo play to crowds they’re immediately lavished with praise and applause. Even actual artists, ahead of them in the game, became ashamed of their non-professional attitudes, due to the sheer stunning nature of their performance. If these characters are merely in need of an avenue to showcase their already perfect talents, turning vocaloid music from a laughably perceived subgenre (the Manga’s stance, not mine) and into something undeniably profound, what’s the point? Why do I care? Why do I want to read week after week about these characters whom success is merely waiting for? Where’s the struggle, where’s the tough times, where’s the hard work? Credit goes to Thomas Daniell. I recommend Beck over this series.
590th Manga- All You Need Is Kill- One of the manga that I had on my want to read list for a while now. Originally a novel that got adapted into a manga by the artist for Death Note. I gotta say though, I like Keiji a lot more than Light as a protagonist. So the point of the story is for the main character to eventually break out of the time loop that he's in, meaning he's got to get experience and get stronger while fighting the monsters known as mimics. Loved Rita as a powerful female protagonist and the bond she forms with Keiji. Just a heads-up, be prepared for the sad feels. I definitely recommend this to fans of sci-fi anime/manga as well as Death Note, even though I never grew up with Death Note.
600th Manga- Kimi wo Shinryakuseyo!/Invade You!- One of the new series that came out in Shonen Jump this 2018 year, and I don't think it left much of an impression. Because of its obsession with bawdy humor, Invade You is likely going to be a divisive title. The real problem is Invade You seems like an inferior version of Saiki K. A young man, with abnormal abilities, is trying to live his life as any normal person, but is constantly struggling to keep the truth of his powers a secret. Saiki K gradually becomes more about Saiki trying to avoid dealing with the nutters in his life in general, but the basic set up is the same. Invade You is so much more laid-back however, and seems to largely consist of two wells for to draw humor from: Aiba’s sheer ineptitude and Hajime’s outlandish attempts to hide the alien aspects of his life. Couple this with a generally laid back tone, the usual meek lead vs the crazy girl, and you’ve got a series that’s ‘okay’ at best. It doesn’t do anything inherently wrong, but it’s lack of clever gags, adherence to tried and true formula, and failure to subvert expectations, creates an atmosphere of indifference for what the manga does manage to offer.
610th Manga- Hitomi no Catoblepas- This is Tanaka Yasuki's first work before he went to work on other works like Kagijin and Summer Time Render. It's not exactly original, with the protagonist Tokio being from a family of demonslayers and the fact that one of his family members(brother) has turned evil. His time stop ability was pretty cool but it was limited to only working on inanimate objects and not on living things, thereby making it not too overpowered. Fairly simple characters, nothing too deep with development, but I'm not going to criticize too hard since its his first work. The important thing is learning what you do wrong so you don't do it next time. It does get rushed at the end, but its a normal shonen series that feels okay.
620th Manga- Momiji no Kisetsu (2018)- What do you know, a shogi series that kind of reminds me of Hikaru no Go. Too bad it fails in a lot of areas.Its first chapter is rather by the books with on the nose exposition, forced fan service comedy and stunning levels of coincidence when the greatest female Shogi player also just happens to have been the student of Momiji’s dead brother (Why exactly does Momiji not know his brother had pupils? Was this some great secret or something?)Momiji has also managed to piss off a vocal few who find the series frustrating for its lack of Shogi explanations.The series makes no effort to clue audiences in on how to actually play Shogi, and while that isn’t a true prerequisite to enjoying the story, it does make some of the surprise tactics lose weight and meaning. As someone unfamiliar with Shogi, I still get the sense that tactics used here aren’t meant to be all that detailed, fleshed out, and analyzed anyway. What is shown feels fleeting, as if given just enough attention to include Shogi in the story. You could probably sub Shogi out for Chess, Go, Checkers, what have you, and it’d all basically play out the same way. The depiction of the sport is so simplified that it’s inclusion in the story is dangerously superficial at best.
630th Manga- Tokyo Ghoul: Jack- With the manga and the anime wrapped up for 2018, I thought I'd give this short story a try. Its about Arima and Fura during their high school years. There is the ova, but the manga just has more detail for me. And Fura actually grew on me as I reached the end. Its a nice short read for Tokyo Ghoul fans.
640th Manga- Koi no Kamisama- This is a collection of stories Komi-sensei worked on before his rom-com series Nisekoi. Some of his stories had some cool ideas, some that should have gotten a series adaption. It would be cool to see him do something other than a basic rom-com. He may get his chance yet.
650th Manga- Yami no Purple Eye- This marks the first manga I have read in the year of January 2019! While looking through a list of manga that won awards, I noticed this series in particular that has animal transformations, which is a big yes in my book. But before I begin I want to point out how important it is to have a good villain, for they are the ones who begin the conflicts most of the time in manga/anime. It is with complete honesty that Sonehara is one of the most cruel and despicable antagonists I have seen in my history of manga/anime. But to be honest, despite her cunning and resourcefulness which I respect, I can't really find anything to like or relate to her as an antagonist. Sonehara actually reminds me of the antagonist from Higurashi, however despite the similiarities, I find her more likable and relatable compared to Sonehara. Despite the series being shojo, Sonehara feels like one of those antagonists from a battle shonen manga, with her feeling more like an obstacle for the characters to overcome, which they do, than a character that feels likable or relatable. Now the positives for the series has to be the romance between the protagonists, that was something I thought the author handled well. As well as overcoming the cycle of hatred for the female protagonists Rinko and Mai. I'm glad that neither Rinko nor Mai had to be the one to kill Sonehara, because bearing the burden of having to kill someone is hard on anyone, especially if they spent a good part of their life growing up to high school age without having to defend their life. The theme of bearing the burden to kill is something I thought is explored well in Kara no Kyoukai and Monster. I don't think the characters were having Goku moments in sparing mercy to the antagonist, cause the male protagonists didn't want Rinko or Mai to have Sonehara's death hanging over them. I do think that having another antagonist besides Sonehara would have helped the series not feel too long, even though it was only 12 volumes. The art is definitely gorgeous though. I actually thought Mai having a father complex was interesting for the character. The series has its moments, although Sonehara's stubbornness is something I think will test any reader's patience. If I had to be honest, this is not a shojo series I would recommend to others. People would be better off investing their time into Basara or Ouran High School Host Club.
1st Anime- Pokemon: Indigo League- I grew up with a good chunk of the early Pokemon anime while I was a kid, so I definitely have some nostalgia for the series. While it may seem that I like it, there are also parts that I hate about it. Like director Shudo said himself, the series itself was formulaic, not really giving freedom for the story telling in the show. At one point there was even going to be an arc where Pikachu was going to lead a pokemon rebellion against their masters. Not just that but it was really annoying to see Jesse and James reduced to being punching bags and for the most part harmless, all because of the corporate mandate to make the show more kid friendly. Thank God we have the Pokemon Adventure manga cause that's the version of Pokemon I prefer most of all.
EDIT- But to be honest, I think I've seen enough of Ash in the Pokemon anime series if I'm being honest. Its one thing if its just the first two regions, but to use him for all the regions feels counter productive. Switching to different protagonists would make the series feel fresh, after all that's what Araki did during the Jojo series.
320th Anime- Yoru wa Mijikashi Aruke yo Otome
325th Anime- Aggressive Retsuko (2018)
330th Anime- Love is Hard For Otaku
335th Anime- Megalo Box
340th Anime- Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic
350th Anime- Violet Evergarden Special- I'm so happy to have gotten into Violet Evergarden this year, I definitely think its a good contender for one of the best anime of 2018, next to Megalo Box of course. With a film in the works, what's there not to love about the series.
360th Anime- Pokemon Movie 20: I Choose You!- In preparation for the 21st movie coming out, I have now watched all 20 of the current Pokemon movies! Some I still have nostalgia for, some of the new ones were cool, and some were complete disappointments. Plan to make a list of my personal favorites, but that will be for another day. I Choose You wasn't perfect but I still enjoyed it, kind of. Kept itself together better than some of the other movies I saw. Can't wait for the Power of Us to come out!
370th Anime- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable- After finally catching up on Jojo: Stardust Crusaders, I finally got to this story part. I was already familiar with the story due to reading the manga months before, and the story still feels awesome. Kira feels like a much better villain than Dio, and Josuke makes an awesome opposing counterpart to Kira. One criticism I can make, and this applies to a number of modern subbed anime, is that they over do it on the voice acting. Being loud and trying to be full of energy is over the top. Why do you think they stop Asta's voice actor from yelling out his lines in Black Clover so much, because fans were tired of it. Other than that I had a lot of fun with DIU, and I finally caught up on the Jojo anime just in time for Golden Wind. DIU's dub is coming out, so it'll be interesting to see how it compares to the sub.
380th Anime- Lupin III: Castle Of Cagliostro- The very first Lupin the 3rd movie I have seen, and the third piece of content Lupin related, including the seasons leading up to 2018. What can I say, this is one of the best stories from the series about the master thief. Even from the 70s I think the animation has held up pretty well, and it felt nice to see Lupin help out the Princess. Currently I think its the best content with Lupin, so I recommend it to anyone interested in Lupin who wants a starting point.
392nd Anime- Major Season 1- I think since the time I got into the Eyeshield 21 manga as a kid, I've always had an open heart to sports series in general, as long as they do good character development and have a good emotional impact. It was actually seeing Major 2nd that made me want to look into the series more, out of curiousity, since I never saw a baseball anime until 2018. I can say with complete honesty that the first season was full of heart and hype. If anyone wants to find a good sport anime to start with, start here. You will not regret it.
400th Anime- Thunderbolt Fantasy: The Sword of Life and Death- It was only later this year (2018) that I discovered Thunderbolt Fantasy, a series that is performed through hand puppets and with some special effects. Personally, this feels like a stroke of genius, seeing all these vivid movements performed in fights that felt awesome. This feels like a good change of pace compared to other anime and forms of story-telling I have seen. It looks like Shang is going to have his hands full in the 2nd season. I can honestly say, once you get used to the puppets, you'll start to feel the heart of the story, and that of the characters.
410th Anime- Death Note- One of the big gateway anime of the mid 2000s and in the eyes of many, an essential anime that should be watched at some point or another. I can agree to some extent or another that people tend to overhype Death Note a tad bit too much, but that doesn't stop the series from being good and enjoyable. The point of the Death Note series was to show how a villain like Light Yagami, who thought of bringing justice to the world with the Death Note, was just doing it for kicks, when in the end he was living a cursed and lonely life because of the Death Note. Ultimately, Death Note is a story of tragedy, not just for the protagonist, but for everyone else who was affected by the Death Note. I for the most part appreciate how the anime handled Light's death compared to the manga, even though the manga had extra story bits that felt beneficial. There's even that popular theory that Light became a death God, which is most likely true. I feel a bit depressed from the anime so I'm going to go watch something happy now.
420th Anime- Golden Kamuy 2nd Season- Gotta say, the 2nd season is a huge improvement compared to the 1st season. Better animation, pacing, character development, yep, it has a lot. I still wish they'd cover more of Sugimoto's backstory though. Need more of Tanigaki and Inkarmat's romance. Now with what's happened to the cast of characters I bet people are going to be impatiently waiting for the 3rd season. For people looking for a new seinen series to get into, I definitely recommend this series!
430th Anime- Pokemon Movie 21: The Power of Us- The new pokemon movie that came out in 2018. I appreciate the nostalgia this pokemon movie gives me, although at the same time, its a basic plot full of basic characters given their set roles in the story. Personally I still think that Legend of Lucario is still the best pokemon movie though. And the movie plots are nothing compared to the writing of Pokemon Adventure, the way characters are developed like Ruby. All in all, The Power of Us is an okay movie, I just think that it wasn't as perfect as it could have been.
440th Anime- Spice and Wolf II- One of the first anime I have finished for the year 2019! I think Spice & Wolf deserves to be high there on that list of best romance anime. Just to see how the relationship between Holo and Lawrence develops during season 2 was enough of a reason to see it. Although the plotline with Eva rebelling against the church never did get resolved, I feel tempted to read the light novels now, just to see how it wraps up. All in all, I'm very happy with the romance and the themes of economics. With all the fans, I hope full-heartedly that we'll get a season 3 someday.
450th Anime- Puella Magi Madoka Magica- EDIT-If I were to rewatch Madoka Magica I'd probably hate it. And yes, I do like shock in my anime, but I feel like this series relies too much on it. It doesn't have enough world-building, the story was rushed due to the episode count. And the series' concept for becoming a magical girl is flawed. I don't feel attached to the characters, seeing they weren't really developed. Honestly, I'd have more fun rereading Sailor Moon.
460th Anime- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion- EDIT- To be honest, as much as Code Geass can be entertaining, it had a lot of deux ex machinas and the way they went with the characters and story feels forced. I know people grew up with the series but it feels very in the middle for me.
470th Anime- The Promised Neverland- One of the bigger and more recent shonen series that I waited a while for to get an anime adaption. Its a joy to see Emma and the others being animated to life. Its sad that you don't get to hear the internal thoughts of the characters, but the director isn't afraid to be different. Although the pacing for the first season can be pretty slow, since a lot happens towards the end. Can't wait to see the second season come out in 2020.
500th Anime- Hunter x Hunter (2011)- After much waiting I finally got to see the adaption that Madhouse made. Part of it may have to do with the fact that I'm nostalgic with the manga I grew up with, but I think I really love the anime. And it ended at a good point, considering the character plotines that Togashi is still writing. If someone wanted to get into a shonen anime, I would whole-heartedly recommend this one, cause I love Gon as a protagonist.
524th Anime- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood- Finally saw the series after so long. It was a pretty enjoyable anime, however, a part of me wishes that the introduction to Brotherhood could have adapted the early adventures of the Elric brothers. I know it was trying to create its own identity. I love both adaptions but I still think the manga is the best experience for me.
600th Anime- Ghost Hound- I was pretty much trying to do more horror anime during October 2019. With sound design and interesting ideas you'd think the studio would have a win. But Production IG failed to really go anywhere with its premise, just like with Psycho Pass. And I don't even want to think about the ending, so overall, I am most likely not going to watch it again.
Remember guys, let's bring love and peace to everyone, just like what Vash would say on Trigun. Don't be like a number of sociopaths, we don't need another guy like Knives spreading the venom. Stand up be strong, and don't listen to their bullcrap.
^REASONS TO LIVE^
Things I like in my anime:
dark, serious and mature mood
epic, almost over the top action
yandere(if they're well written)
some comedy to lighten up the mood
crazy badass characters
Things I hate in my anime:
ridiculous amount of fillers
or filler for the most part
forced, rushed romance
perfect "can do no wrong" protagonists
nakama powerups(though I normally love the shows this gets annoying)
yaoi (Although to be honest, there isn't a lot of well written yaoi anime to begin with. Its probably easier to find a well written yaoi manga in the end. But I think what truly makes a good Boys Love anime has to be the characters. If the author makes you want to invest time to see how the characters develop, then the author is doing something right.)
plot armor stronger than adamantium
I FIND IT RIDICULOUS HOW THIS ONE CHARACTER KEEPS SURVIVING SITUATIONS THAT SHOULD HAVE KILLED HIM BY NOW!
frequent time skips
overly joyful tones (This doesn't mean I dislike happy animes. I just think there is a such thing as overdoing it.)
Name: Kenny Dapolito
Birthday: March 8th, 1992
Hair color: Light brown
Eye color: Blue
Pets: Two cats, Little Girl and Fulton
Idol: Guts from Berserk
Favorite color: Black, and no that doesn't mean I'm emo, I just think black goes nice with everything.
My Zodiac: Pisces
~~How I rate the manga & anime I read and watch, this is what my ratings mean~~
5- My favorites, they are the dope, watch over and over until I die, 100% recommend.
4.5- Awesome anime, highly recommend.
4- Great anime, really memorable.
3.5- Pretty good anime, not exactly great, but definitely worth checking out.
3- A good anime, but not exactly ground breaking.
2.5- An okay anime that I overall enjoyed, most likely won't watch again, still recommend.
2- A mediocre anime, check it out if you want to but I won't recommend it.
1.5- Just below a meh, pretty crappy, would recommend you don't watch.
1- Made me cringe, really crappy, never watch.
0.5- Basically its Satan, just completely irredeemable.
Every Tales game I have played and my personal thoughts about them
Tales of Symphonia- One of the first Tales games I have ever played. My brother and I first played it when we were at a friend of ours during middle school. We did finish it, but it was never our game to win. Years later, towards our last years of high school, we finally beat our own copy of the game. The game mechanics have aged a bit, and the story is a bit cliche and predictable, but I still love it as my first Tales game. I enjoyed Lloyd and Colette as a couple, although I think nothing progresses that far with them since they each have to go their own separate paths by the end of the game. Even though Lloyd was a bit cynical at times, I enjoyed his character. I really enjoyed Lloyd's dwarven red outfit, simple and yet badass, and his dual-wielding swords. Definitely enjoyed playing as Regal, his kicks were pretty awesome.
Tales of the Abyss- This one I played with my brother during my first year of college. Its gameplay has aged well, and I enjoyed the story and Luke's character development. Yes, he was sheltered as a kid and he did act spoiled and ignorant at first. But during the first major events in the game, when he was left to think on his own, he reflected on his actions and made the first steps to changing who he was. And he proves this through many examples during the second half of the game. That, and the romance he has with Tear is so good. All of the main characters developed well actually. Guy was the character I enjoyed playing with, as well as Natasha. Shooting a bow and arrows has never felt so good.
Tales of Berseria- The latest game that I played with my brother, since Tales games are best played with others. We started playing in September I think, then we finished on November 8th, 2018. Early on in Berseria, its easy to see the uneasy peace Velvet's village has, and when I saw the happy life she has with her brother, I knew it wasn't going to last. Makes it all the more easy to understand Velvet's rage when tragedy finally happens. Right around the beginning of the game, its obvious that Velvet as an anti-hero was going to make her different from other Tales protagonists. Its not till the halfway point that Velvet comes face to face with her own choices, and overcomes any doubt or despair she felt about herself. She accepts who she has become and what choices she'll make down the road. Velvet truly displayed good character development for a Tales protagonist. All of the main cast showed good development. And the impressive detail is that there wasn't any romance among the main cast, which worked out pretty well. Not every Tales game needs romance in a game, which felt refreshing. I felt like the character costumes were a bit lacking, and I'm not trying to be offensive, but Velvet's main costume feels a bit much. On top of the maid outfits and the idol outfits, that would just make a character look weird in a fight. Its all about showing skin rather than just making the character look naturally good-looking in my honest opinion. The high level special moves were kind of tricky to pull off. As with the ending, it brought some hope that made me happy with the end results. Enjoyed playing as Rokuro, since I love my dual-wielders. All in all, Berseria is definitely one of my top favorite Tales games!
Tales of Graces- My brother and I started this one in December 23rd of 2019 and finished it on January 23rd of 2020. I'd have to say that the main cast of characters and the battle system were some of the best things about the game. Honestly, the battle system of TOG is probably the best of the series. Asbel was a fun protagonist, and it was great seeing him find his own path to follow during the story. Pascal had a lot of heart to her character, never a dull moment with her. Hubert really grew to become a warmer character, probably because he reconnected with his brother and also because of Pascal. If I had to make some criticisms towards the game, its how the game writers chose to portray Richard as a villain during part of the story, as well as Lambda and the Fodra Queen. But the story definitely got better after the time skip. Good opening song, and I can say TOG has become one of my favorites.
Tales of Vesperia:Definitive- Started it on January 23rd and got as far as humanly possible to February 18th of 2020. At that point it was all I could do to finish part two by myself. And then my brother and I read the story on wikipedia and saw the ending on Youtube. I'm going to be very honest, TOV is the worst Tales game I have played, regardless of which version it may be. Though I think Patty made the definitive version worse cause she's just moe blob bait. There's nothing really likeable about her compared to other young female characters in other Tales games. The game looks pretty, but the battle system didn't age well like Symphonia. I don't think Yuri is a good type of protagonist. He is the type of character that has already been seen before, the perfect protagonist. Velvet makes for a better anti-hero protagonist. And the other cast characters aren't much better. There is a storyline focused on the blastia and the Entelexeia, but its ridiculous and doesn't make a lot of sense. I mean the stories for the Tales games aren't perfect, but the games are carried by the characters. But that isn't the case with TOV. My favorite part of the game is when the shrine falls on Alexei, a grade A cartoon villain that represented what I hated about the game. It was a by-the-numbers Tales game that was an unmemorable experience that I definitely don't recommend to others.
The Longest Running Manga(s) I have read so far in my life and My Honest Opinions About Them
Bleach- 686 chapters/Completed-12/29/18- One of the first manga I grew up reading in the early 2000s, Bleach gives me plenty of nostalgia, as well as positive and negative thoughts. Back then, in just the first arc alone, we get introduced to Ichigo and all of that awesome snarky humor Bleach was known for. And I think it was a first to see a shonen series like Bleach use the theme of overcoming grief during the fights with the hollows. That created some of the best moments in the series with the characters. Then came the Soul Society arc as part of the consequence of Rukia transfering her powers to Ichigo. The arc actually did have a small theme, with how Ichigo's group are trying to enter an unknown society as young adults, and uncertainty and failure can happen to the youth who try to become a part of society. A huge war with Rukia in the middle leads to a big event in the series, but it also creates some warning signs for the series. The Soul Society character roster alone was big, even though there were characters that did get development. And there were main characters that didn't get as much spotlight as Ichigo and were put on the backburner during the arc, which were Orihime and Chad. Even the series was starting to become a battle shonen. I however, thought that the reveal with Sosuke Aizen at the end of the arc was well done. During the arrancar arc though, more problems begin to show. Reusing plot elements, such as Orihime becoming the damsel in distress instead of Rukia, introducing the entire arrancar cast, some of which were the same archetypes as the soul reapers. Even the main cast had to power up before taking on the arrancars. The world building itself can feel a bit hollow, characters that aren't built upon after introduction, and in some cases actually digress, such as Ichigo for example. We don't really see how proactive he is in his personal life, compared to characters who are like Luffy from One Piece or Naruto from Naruto. Tite Kubo also used the same type of arc structures compared to other authors who would use different arc structures to see the characters in new ways and see different sides of them. Even Tite Kubo's art style would become more expressionless as the series went on. It wasn't until after the series ended that I learned of the struggle between Kubo and his editorial staff. It gives me a high opinion to know he stuck with it for so long, despite the obstacles that stood in his way. I hope that whatever his next series ends up being will be able to bring back and maintain the exciting energy that made the early Bleach arcs some of the best in anime. A big thanks to Eyepatch Wolf and his video that brought a lot of insight to me.
Just a personal thought I want to add, I feel emotionally drained from the fact of being exposed to the cynacissim and negativity of an anime critic who just seems so hateful and I can see why. If they're so used to seeing bad series, then they won't be able to appreciate the good series when they come along. My advice, don't get into a series if you know you're gonna hate it. The whole point of being an anime fan is to enjoy the series you get into. If you have to, do some research, get advice from your friends, don't just walk down a road you'll hate yourself for. That's all I had to say. Hoped I reached out to other people with this!
This is just a topic I wanted to share, manga to anime adaptions. We have entered an era where just hearing the studio's name can determine whether a manga will get a faithful adaption or a crap adaption. Then again, money has always been an issue for some studios and sometimes they have to cut corners or think they can half-ass it and give people mediocrity, such as with Black Clover as an example. But I think if people are interested with an anime just enough, they just might give the manga a try, if they can bear reading manga that is. A case like that for me would be Dream Eater Merry. There were all these plotlines that never got answers and I had to read the series then. Is it a cheap marketing tactic? More than likely. Arguements with whether the manga or the anime are better will always exist, and studios will always be conflicted whether to end or continue an anime. But you don't need to let a series end with the anime, cause there'll always be the source material. You can choose to live by boundaries, or broaden your horizens is what I believe in!
After seeing the anime Encouragement of Climb which was a while back, I didn't get to write about this before. By the end of the 2nd season and also from my brother, I realize I hate authors that make characters younger looking than they should be. One of the common anime troupes that I hate. Its one thing if its chibi, but if you intentionally make a character look younger all the time it feels creepy. I sorry if my opinion offends people but that's how I feel on the subject.