Welcome to The Anime & Manga Review!
It has been my dream to create a world on TheO where users can go for anime and manga reviews and finally here it is! I plan to make this world an active, exciting and helpful place for learning about and finding entertaining manga and anime to read/watch.

Hey! Did you know I do all kinds of things to make it easy to search specific genres and reviews?
For information on how to search for genre and such things please see my info post!
Its the first post of this world and will help you find your way!

(aka Tsu)

Aliens and Gorillas Oh My...

Cromartie High School

Ok! Halloween horror is over! (awwww….) So for those of you all horrored out and now terrified to sleep, here’s a great anime to help laugh those woes away!

So lets see… Cromartie High School is hard to describe… it’s a comedy, so that’s a start.. Each episode is more or less it’s own entity with the same characters, however the basic plot follows the story of a good boy living on the straight and narrow who ends up going to a school full of delinquents. The series is a parody of series about delinquents and is very very funny! Having everything from robots to Gorillas to even Freddie Mercury (lead singer of Queen) this anime is just a bizarre piece of Japanese goodness!

There’s really not much I can say about the plot… except that it’s absurd and funny. My favorite episode is probably the episode that includes stories like: Freddie getting a pet horse, aliens, and the epic horse + Elephant=hamster joke…. Lol I just love how absurd this comedy is!

There’s also a pretty hilarious live action movie version and a manga by the same name.

At only ten minutes per episode, it’s a fast watch and easy to rewatch.
I guess you wouldn’t like it is you don’t like comedy… (Can anyone dislike comedy?) Or if you like topical humor and only topical humor. (smart jokes0
This series is fun and should be watched with a light heart and smiles!

Here’s the opening song to give you all a little taste of Cromartie!
(And a screen shot from the live action movie)


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Mermaid Saga

Mermaid Saga
Also known as Mermaid Forest in anime form
By: Rumiko Takahashi

I don’t care what any of you guys say! Mermaids can be terrifying!!! O.O
I have no idea if it’s a Japanese thing or whether it’s just drawing on the traditional legend of sirens of death that would drown sailors, but I can name more than one manga with evil mermaids…

Anyways of all the mermaid manga this one is probably one of the more popular, as it’s by the same author as Inuyasha, and was widely published outside Japan. Don’t worry though! If you’re thinking this will be too much like Inuyasha! Its not, and it’s also fairly short at, I believe five books long.
Mermaid Saga is based off a legend (that I’m not sure, again, if its Japanese, a widely believed piece of lore or made up by the author, but I have seen the idea in other series) that if you eat the flesh of a mermaid you will be granted immortality.
The story begins with Yuta, a young man who stumbles upon a strange villiage where it appears only women live. Well they kill him less than 20 pages in so I’m not counting it as a spoiler. XD And guess what? He’s partaken of mermaid’s flesh. The story develops from there and is really a great introduction to this world of evil mermaids that the author proceeds to develop in the rest of the series.
If you’ve never read anything else by Rumiko Takahashi other than Inuyasha, you’re really missing out and this would be a good introduction to the rest of her works! The series is a bit more mature than Inuyasha (not by much, though) and keeps a fun supernatural vibe throughout.

This is a great series for people who want supernatural things on Halloween but don’t want to be wading across a river of blood to get them.
And come on! Don’t even pretend like evil mermaids don’t sound kinda awesome!


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Let's Talk About Horror

The Best of Itou Junji

For those of you that don’t know, Itou Junji writes some of the best and most visual horror manga. By most visual I mean that he is an expert at using manga as a medium to enhance the horror in a way that is unique and terrifying! Ever hear of Uzumaki or Gyo? If so, those are Itou’s work. If not… then clearly you are in need of a proper introduction. I’ve talked about Itou Junji before on Reign of Blood, but here I’m going to focus on my favorite of his short stories. Junji is the master of scary shorts… ah! So freaky!
I really love his work, he’s one of the few manga authors that I follow regularly. His work often feels like a modern fairy tale, not today’s kid friendly fairy tales, but the Grimm’s dark cautionary tales of old. He also manages to tap into my imagination and write the stories in a suspenseful way and show me the horrors in a way that’s somehow unexpected and disturbing, and I love him for it!

So here are my favorite, and what I think to be some of the scariest, of Itou Junji’s short horror manga!
Arg! It was sooooo hard to just choose 5!!!

5. Ice Cream Bus
When I was a kid, getting ice cream from an ice cream truck was the ultimate treat since my mom was always wary of them, and if I had read this as a kid I probably would have never ate ice cream again! This short feels very much the cautionary fairy tale I mentioned above. The story follows a man who has recently been divorced and is now taking care of his 8-10 year kid. After begging and begging to get to ride the ice cream truck with the other kids the father gives in, just wanting his son to be happy living with him. Needless to say some baaaad sh*t goes down! Gah! Just thinking about it! Needless to say I won’t ruin it for you, but (pun definitely intended) you’re in for a treat!

4. The Hanging Balloons
Ever thought that Stephen King’s It was weird for trying to make balloons scary? Well after reading this you’ll find yourself readily agreeing with him! The story begins with a sudden increase in suicides and well… it’s all down hill from there… Or er… up… in the sky… as people soon begin seeing what appears to be giant floating heads in the sky… Yikes! read it to learn all the freaky details! Oh man! Don’t pop any balloons!!!

3. House of Puppets
Why is this author trying to destroy all my happy childhood memories?! Lol Anyways House of Puppets is scary in a different way than the other two as it questions your personal freedom in a way that’s just… freaky! A poor family of puppeteers travels from place to place until the father becomes sick, the oldest son runs away, the father dies and all that’s left is the two youngest. Skip ahead several years and the oldest brother tracks down his siblings and invites them over and what do they find? Their brother is a crazy rich guy who’s made himself into a human puppet controlled by people living in his ceiling. Yeah talk about odd, this manga makes you think about who are the real puppets..?

2. Flesh colored Horror
No more ruined childhood! Woot! Ok this one is one of my favorites (and one of the scariest) The story begins with a Kindergarten teacher who has a problem child in her class. After the kid acts violently in school she decides to intervene with the parents and make sure everything is ok at home. Sadly her intervention doesn’t work and the boy has to be expelled after he injures another student. Even expelled he still sits outside the school every day. The teacher asks him why and he says he doesn’t want to go home. Being a good teacher and person, she begins to expect abuse and decides to visit his house again. Freaky stuff from there on… seriously every time I read it… it still gets me! Lets just say skin is important for many reasons including, protecting you from disease, keeping you hydrated, and protecting your muscles.

1. Glyceride
Ewwwwwww…. This one… This one! Anyways, the story of a girl who lives above a restaurant her father runs, where the oil and grease from cooking coats the air and the walls. One day her brother begins going a bit strange and starts drinking grease… well yeah… its gets gross and extremely disturbing from there! A great one shot that will give you a great horror fix!

Hope you enjoy reading! I know I always do!
You should definitely read this if horror is your genre, heck if horror is your genre you’ve probably at least heard of this guy and should definitely check out his shorts!
You should probably skip these if you don’t like horror… if you want a softer horror series by the same author check out his Tomie stories. They’re a bunch of loosely connected shorts that are a bit less disturbing but still very good!


ps. Do you have an awesome review world of your own? Share it with me and I’ll plug you here! ^-^

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Stalker Woman

Zashiki Onna
Author: Mochizuki Minetaro

Oh this manga… It was one of the first series I ever read on the Internet and it always manages to scare the pants off me!

Zashiki Onna is a classic Japanese horror series from the 90s and follows the story of a young college student who finds himself being followed by a strange woman who is essentially stalking him.
This series has an interesting little history that I won’t go into in depth, but to touch upon it, this manga was written before stalking was recognized as word or a crime so at the time there wasn’t much you could do about it if it happened.
Zashikki Onna plays upon the fear of the known, of having someone following your every movement to the point of obsession and with the fear of the unknown, the things going bump in the night. For these reasons, the manga gives off a very real vibe that feels like it could be an urban legend or a “based off a true story” horror flick.
Zashiki Onna is fairly tame as far as horror goes, in that it has almost no blood or gore (someone gets a bump on the head and a few other injuries) but the true reason it’s terrifying is because it is a psychological horror series. The idea that it could really happen, as well as the artful way the main character’s mental state is shown throughout, from angry, to afraid, to possibly driven to the brink of insanity, is very well demonstrated. As the story progresses, we are made to question everything and it boils to an extremely memorable conclusion that I won’t spoil for you.

Ok so now I have to mention one other series with a similar plot, which is constantly compared to Zashiki Onna, Ibitsu, written by Ryou Haruto and being a newer series is more popular on the net. It also features a female stalker and poor male victim. While I did enjoy Ibitsu, it plays far more into the violence and less into the psychological horror, and also plays more into a supernatural vibe. Don’t get me wrong! Ibitsu is not a supernatural manga, nor is it bad, but it definitely didn’t feel like it could really happen and freaked me out less than the simplistic style of Zashiki Onna. I bring it up because it is eerily similar and clearly takes inspiration from stalker manga that came before it. (Borderline a remake or copycat it’s so similar at a few parts) Read it if you dare as it is still a pretty darn freaky series with a unique flare of its own!

Zashiki Onna is a classic horror manga and a must read for fans of the genre. It is also a good read for people who love horror but don’t want the gore of series like Uzumaki, Gyo, or Manhole.
If you dislike horror manga I would say skip it and try a lighter manga like Assassination Classroom.

PS. Thank you to everyone who reads this world! I have just reached the 3,000 view mark and I am so grateful for the support! If I make it to 5,000 I got a special review planned... so bribery! ;)

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Manga About Artificial Humans (Or Clones)

Ok Sorry for missing Saturdays post! I wish I could say its just cause I’ve been busy… (and I was a bit busy) but the truth is I got addicted to this ‘90s tv show by the name of Cybersix! It rocks and you should watch it free on hulu, but it isn’t what I shall be reviewing today. However, Cybersix did gave me a great idea for a Halloween~ish review! (if you want more of my reviews and other’s on some great horror manga check out Beloved Blood’s world Rein of Blood here)
However today we go a bit scifi!

Five Great Manga About Artificial Humans (Or Clones)
For those of you who don’t know an artificial human is one that is created completely from scratch and not through cloning or artificial insemination. And yes, because its Halloween and I’m looking at more mature level series that contain gore and/or nudity. So there shall be some mature series on this list. If you do not see yourself as able to handle nudity or adult situations be aware. The ones that are mature will be clearly explained. So enjoy and don’t hold that against them since these are all great!

5. MPD Psycho
--- MPD Psycho is an intense manga that is not for the faint of heart, but man is it awesome! It’d probably be higher on the list if it were not also super confusing! (I made a list of characters on a chart to keep track of this) MPD is more about the copying of the mind than of the body and follows the story of Kazuhiko Amamiya… or er maybe he’s Yosuke Kobayashi… Figured it out yet? MPD stands for Multiple Personality Disorder and man does this series take the idea and run with it! A really crazy and intense action packed horror/crime manga! It is mature for good reason! (And also awesome)
4. Akumetsu
---- Akumetsu is another action packed seinen manga. Unlike MPD, however, this one deals with cloning of the body and mind and what that means. If you die but your memories survive are you the same person? But lets put that aside, the main plot of this story follows a, by their own admission, “terrorist” group, that calls themselves “Akumetsu.” This is where the series gets both really gory fun and political. You see, not to go to deep into Japan’s political history, Japan had a similar recession in the late 80’s as what happened in the US in the last 5 years or so. (eerily similar really) And this series is a revenge fantasy about taking the Politian’s who embezzled money, stalled important changes, or were just A-holes to the country to task. How? By literally having them pay with their lives. It’s a really fun read and is a great introduction to Japanese politics. (Although its facts should be taken with a grain of salt) I should also mention that basic knowledge of economics is helpful when starting this series.
3. ES Eternal Sabbath
---- This one’s friendlier to young audiences than the last two! This one is straight up cloning and genetic manipulation! A laboratory created a young boy to test whether they could isolate the gene that prevents aging. They succeeded, however there was an unintentional side effect of also giving the child psychic powers. The story follows the boy, now a man, who can control people’s memories and brain with his power, he has no feelings of malice however and simply wants to live out his days roaming around. This changes when the clone that the scientists made of him starts causing the deaths that could expose him. This manga is super cool and the representation of how thoughts are shown is really amazing and fun to look at. Also don’t be fooled by that synopsis this series is very much a romance!
2. Yahsa
---- Yasha is an action shoujo manga that is similar to ES in that it is about a child created in a lab, however unlike ES our main character has gained traits more along the lines of physical enhancements and these enhancements are pretty subtle. He is a genius that has been raised by the company that made him and is starting to have rebellious dreams of freedom. So far so good! The manga hasn’t been completely translated to my knowledge but I am enjoying it a lot and I recommend this to shoujo scifi fans!
1. Zetman
---- I love you Zetman I really really do! And what do you know? This series is the poster child for artificial humans! The series’s basic premise is that the Amano Company has been tinkering with science to create people completely from scratch by mixing various genetics together from both animals and humans. However these being rebelled after being severally mistreated. Now needing to clean up their own mess, ZET is created to defeat the others like himself. This has been one of my favorite manga for years and I actually own it in Japanese to translate myself. Packed full of action and commentary this superhero manga (yeah I said superhero) is a must read for people who enjoy the genre! Also the artwork in this series is truly a sight to behold!

I’ll be back on Saturday with another post!
Do you know any amazing manga about clones or artificial humans?
Have you read one of these? Hated it? Loved it?
Please share in the comments!


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PS. Hey, do you have an awesome review world? Do you want me to give you a completely awesome plug here? Drop me a line and I’ll be happy to do just that! Lol