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)

Subs or Dubs?! O.o

This age old question is a favorite breaking the ice conversation starter both online and at cons. No matter who you are, no matter how long you've avoided the question, if you're an anime fan and talk to other anime fans you WILL be asked this… so subs or dubs?

Well as some sub person will say "Only noobs watch dubs! American voice actors suck" and as dub people will say "I don't want to read while I watch tv! Besides American voice actors are awesome" (I've seen both soooo many times)
And with that I have boiled down the biggest stereotypes of the subs vs dubs people.
Dub people all hate reading and sub people are kinda snobs.
While I have met dub people who annoy me with their "I will ONLY watch things in English" and sub people with their "Subs are for the REAL fans" attitudes most people enjoy a healthy mix depending on the show, its availability in their home language, and whether they are a fan of that particular voice actor.

So what are the real pros and cons to subs and to dubs?
To answer this I shall focus on the positives!

You tend to get a better flavor of the actual dialogue being spoken.
You're not limited to what has been dubbed, one of the biggest changes I've noticed in anime DVDs over the last few years is that their are more movies being translated but not dubbed. (Oh yeah and the internet)

You do not have the fight between written words and images which does give the benefit of being able to focus on the artwork.
It's kind of nice not having to read….

So time for the big question! There's the DVD menu, haunting, offering the dub or sub option…
So which side am I on?
Well honestly, I am a sub person.
I prefer the Japanese voice actors to English ones 90% of the time. Full Metal Alchemist, YuYu Hakushou and Rurouni Kenshin I will only watch in english. (And Descendants of Darkness because the voice acting is so miscast and awful that its kinda amazing.) On the other hand I would never dream of watching Trigun in English, the Japanese voice actor for Vash gives such an amazing and powerful performance that I just can't…
I have also come across censorship in dubs as well as official subs in the past, and since I have some knowledge of speaking Japanese (Two years and a minor later...) I can catch some of these in the subs whereas I can't in a dubbed version.

Which side are you on?

I will still be doing a review later this week. (Probably vampire manga or Towan no Quan) But I had some time and was thinking about this so… XD
Also I do want to try a little video, but despite all this time I have floating around I've just been a bit lazy. lol

A Manga Close to My Heart

The Violinist of Hamlin
Watanabe Michiaki

Today I'm sharing a manga series that is near and dear to my heart. The first time I read it my head wasn't in a good space and recently I got some troubling news about one of my cousins, he will be losing his right foot in the near future as a blood vessel in his leg was severely damaged several years back and his foot is now slowly rotting away due to lack of blood, and I thought I'd share with you guys a series that not only puts a smile on my face but I think is well written and drawn!
^-^ After all as my avatar states "Laughter is Healthy"

Ok so as mentioned I wasn't in a happy place when I first read this, nothing serious, but hey everyone has those bad months, and I stumbled upon The Violinist of Hamlin. Also, little fun fact, this is the only series that has made me cry both in laughter and in sadness. Another little fact, this series tends to be a love or hate it series. People either love the off beat humor mixed with amazing action and touching moments and totally unserious ones, and others hate it… a lot!
I am on the love side! ^-^ (I was reading the last chapters at like 3am and into the wee hours of the dawn pacing around my room worried about the characters like they were real people. I was all crying and going "If things can't end happily for them what chance does my life have?!' <--- Waaaaaay being over dramatic. lol My roommate thought I was craaazy) I get very attached to series when I marathon them and since I read this series in an amazing 2 day marathon of barely seeing daylight (or sleeping) I got my emotions all tangled up in the epic story!

Anyways lets get to the nitty gritty, before I ooze too much about why I think think this series is great, and talk about the plot. At its heart Violinist is a Dramedy (comedy drama)
The story follows Hamel a goofy (for lack of a better word) young man and anti hero, with a dark past, as he travels to the Northern kingdom of the Mozoku (the demons). He travels carrying a giant violin which he plays and uses its music to defeat foes. He eventually meets up with Flute and other new friends that will eventually help him on his quest to destroy Kestra the king of the Mozoku. (Kestra's name is a terrible pun for Orchestra and most of the characters are named after an instrument of some kind)

Sounds pretty standard for a shounen series right?
Well in some ways it is. Where this series breaks away to be, in my opinion, one of the best series, is in its character development. All the characters have serious personal flaws. (I've had a friend tell me she hated the main character because he is an ungrateful #@$^@&!.) However, how each character starts off the series with whatever flaws they may have be it selfishness, pride, cowardice, one minded vengeance, or uncertainty just makes how much they change through the course of the series seem so amazing. The author does this so skillfully and slowly you don't even notice it until you're at the end looking back. Unlike in some other series I've read, grudges are not easily let go and sadness not easily lost.
I really buy that these characters could be real people. I buy their emotional struggles, I buy their reasons for over compensating their sad times with humor and I buy their changes and growth as people. At the end Hamel says something that never fails to make my heart melt with how sincere it is. in fact, all the sincere moments just feel all the more impactful due to the way it is.
Oh and let's not forget this manga is hilarious and jokes hit just right most of the time!

Violinist plays with the extremes of comedy and drama having them play off each other and this is where the love it or hate it aspect comes into play. The very dramatic scenes and the very bloody scenes often get broken into by humor, jokes, and puns. Personally this doesn't bother me. (Think of a YuYuHakushou that is both more extreme, in terms of how much there is, with the drama and with the humor.) I think laughter in the face of great odds or sadness is important, not just to cope, to actually heal and thats so often looked over. So it doesn't bother me when they do this in the manga.

At any rate, this series made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me hopeful again. It will always have a close place to my heart and I hope you will give it a read!
If you decide to give it a shot please give it until chapter 6, thats where it really gets the plot rolling!


For a serious moment preview check out my little phone wallpaper Death of a Dragon here.

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The Crime Solving Puppet

Karakuriz┼Źshi Ayatsuri Sakon
Also known as Ayatsuri Sakon

Who doesn't love an amazing crime solving puppet anime? Have you not seen one yet?! But they're everywhere! (sarcasm) Actually I've only read one other series even kind of like this… (I am so weird… and have no life but reading manga it seems…)
That said, this is a pretty darn exciting and action packed mystery anime series.
It follows the story of a teenaged boy who is the last male heir to That Japanese puppet play art thats name is completely escaping me right now… (its similar to kabuki theater but with almost human sized puppets…) Anyways he's the male heir to that and as such is clearly a skilled ventriloquist… or maybe his puppet is alive, or maybe he has split personality disorder, or maybe the dolls alive, its not clear in the series and while I was watching it for the first time I went back and forth between all those options. (And rewatching it for this review didn't help me make up my mind.)
Other than the angle of a possibly sentient puppet, this series follows a fairly standard boy detective format. However the absolutely bizarre puppet named Ukon makes for an always fascinating angle that keeps you glued wondering WTF?! And in addition, the partially supernatural (or is it? again its left to your imagination in the series) mysteries are fresh (although very 90s) and exciting to watch. (Or at least that was the case for me!)
I was never bored watching this unusual late 90s show! In fact, considering this anime's odd take on the mystery genre, (namely the addition of puppets) it has very hard hitting crime and murder, that again, will help keep you totally hooked.

If you're a fan of mystery and crime series, or are in the mood for something odd, this is one you shouldn't miss out on!!!

And now for some business! I know people are at least visiting this world as my views have been going up steadily! And thank you all for giving this world over 1000 views!!! ^0^/
Anyways I have a couple of quick question I want answered about how I am doing. I put them in poll form to make it easy on those of you who may not like commenting. (Although comments and pms are always welcomed!)
Anyhoo please take the time to answer and share any additional info in the comments!


Thank you!
(On a side note I can't believe I remembered my Quizilla account that I haven't thought about in over 5 years....)

Top Manga About Fathers

Since today… Or tomorrow, not sure when this review will get posted as of right now, is father's Day where I live I thought it'd be fun to share some great father/child love manga! (not that kind of love pervs…)
Anyways I time to count down the best manga father's I know!
(Also after this point take spoiler text seriously. I do not use it lightly in reviews.)

Author: Toyoda Tetsuya
The only reason this one is not higher on the list is because the man in manga taking care of the young deserted child is not actually his father, or even his adoptive parent, but merely a temporary baby sitter. At any rate a friend of our main character drops off the daughter of a friend who refuses to speak or to remove her goggles. The man steadily continues to try to get her out of her shell as he learns more about the silent kid.
He's a great father figure if not a father and I like this one shot, is sweet, heartfelt and all in all a good read.

Author: Kindaichi Renjuurou
The story of a dad that pretends to be a mom. Why you ask? That's a loooong story but basically the dad's a good guy that got into a pattern to take care of his kid. Ok fiiine I'll go into a little more detail. When Suda's (the dads) son was a baby his mother died and he was living with just his father and wouldn't stop crying, Suda desperate to help his kid started cross dressing… and now his son thinks he's his mom… and Suda now leads a double life as mom and as a salaryman
This is a great series! A funny manga with heart the story of a single father and his son. The reason this isn't higher is because of a lot of the plot revolves around Suda's troubled dating life… but still a fun read with an enjoyable twist!

Luck Stealer
Author: Kazu Hajime
Nothing is better than a good supernatural assassin manga right? Well This dad does whatever it takes to keep he daughter alive. This series has been a favorite of mine now for several years as I've waited for fan translations. (I do know enough Japanese I could translate it for myself but I can't find it anywhere… >o> whyyyyy?!) Anyways the story mostly follows Kurusu who is an assassin that can steal a persons luck with merely a touch (thus the title of the series) and when you run out of luck you die. Why does he do this? His daughter was born without any luck and as such is constantly close to death. He can steal luck and also pass it to his daughter so she can live.
Luck stealer is great! Poor Kurusu's only this far down the list cause he murders people and doesn't actually live with his daughter. But a seriously good manga with a seriously dedicated dad is a must read!

Forever Honey
Author: Kanno Aya
Why does every manga I read ever try to make me cry?! Anyways a little one shot about a doting father who still uses baby talk with his daughter and his annoyed preteen who just wants her father to grow up. As pre usual in a manga about fatherhood he's a single dad, and his daughter thinks making him "cool" and getting him a girl friend will set him on the right path.
Seriously read this… it's a bitter sweet beauty of a one shot, I highly recommend it.

PS I was thinking about switching to doing some video reviews mixed in. Is there anyone who would prefer that or would actually watch them if I did that?

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Fermer Mardi

Fermer Mardi
Artist: Kirino Hajime

I adore this dark twisted little short! Well not that twisted but it really is very enjoyable.
The story begins with a very young girl watching something being killed.
We soon learn that the thing killed was a corpse eating monster called Estoma and that he has been killed by the undertaker who's job it is to keep Estoma from leaving the grave yard. The girl then proceeds to explain (rather angrily) that she had wanted to kill Estoma to revenge. The undertaker assures her that this time the monster won't come back to life…
Of course it does come back to life the next week…

At any rate it is a worth while one shot and at only 100 pages its a fast read that will keep you entertained! Every time I read this one I always wish it was a series… I think it would have been interesting to see how the author would have developed it longer.
I recommend it to those who enjoy one shots, fantasy stories, monsters, and people who need something to read and only have a little time.

Anyways sorry this ones a short review!
I've been planning of putting together a 'great fathers in manga' review for father's day and it has been taking my manga reading time… (I am such a geek I have manga reading time… >.> whats become of meeeeee~?)

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