Fanservice in manga and anime is like the government in dystopian novels: it’s always there, no matter where you go, but if it does the job it’s supposed to you shouldn’t notice. Of course I’ve seen far too many examples of it being used in both good and bad ways, but there was always one series that went further over the top with it than any I’ve read. That was History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi, which started as a Panty Fighter and spent over 450 chapters pushing it’s own limits. Reading that series has actually produced an interesting effect in that it caused the fanservice in other manga to feel tame and wholesome by comparison. Nami’s outfit in the current One Piece chapters seems much more acceptable when you see Miu’s spandex, which I can only assume is vacuum-sealed. For a while I assumed I would never come across anything worse than that, or at least not willingly.
Recently, something strange has been happening that I never anticipated. Somehow over time, Fairy Tail has accomplished what I considered impossible and made the fanservice in Kenichi feel more acceptable! It managed this by taking a slightly different path from what that series did in terms of extreme content. Since it can’t compete in terms of ridiculous outfits or ways to remove those outfits, Fairy Tail went to the furthest lengths to make every situation it could as absolutely perverse and uncomfortable as possible. Read the rest of this entry
…Junazad…Jenazad…how do you spell it? Eh, I’ll just go with that for now.
Ever since this fight began, I was being reminded more and more of something I saw in another series. I played the GBA port of Final Fantasy V a while back, and the scene that most people remember is how one character died. He was holding back an enemy nobody else could hurt, taking attacks that should have left him with 0 health. He was still able to power through all of that and only died when the enemy was driven off. That felt a lot like the situation Hongo Akira was in for the last few chapters. The impression you get from Junazard is that he’s miles ahead of anyone else present in terms of physical power, and it was getting difficult to see Hongo winning. He still managed to recover from each ridiculous attack he was hit with, but that only made the FFV comparison stronger. Read the rest of this entry
So my exams for this year have finally ended, and now I’m free from all that stuff for another few months. Now all I have to worry about is my GPA and work and my website and countless other things. I suppose this is what being an adult means. Well at least I can be an adult and still enjoy manga the way I do. Since I’ve had difficulty talking about the most recent manga chapters lately, I thought I would make a post briefly discussing the things I might have blogged about had I not been busy. These won’t be as long as my normal posts, but I thought I should do a little catching up regardless.
One Piece – Caesar Clown’s Playhouse
Enemies in One Piece tend to fall all over the morality scale, from honorable soldiers like Smoker to professional killers like Rob Lucci to complete sadists like Moria. What I found interesting about Caesar Clown (aside from the name, of course) is that he’s managed to convince people he’s much more honorable and less insane than he really is. Listening to Brownbeard talk about him, you would almost think he was a decent guy with a passionate love for science. Of course one look at him shows that he’s every bit as insane and sadistic as the term “passionate love for science” would imply. This series used to tiptoe around the use of drugs and WMDs, which makes Clown’s behaviour feel all the more extreme and cruel. I honestly think all of Luffy’s training will have been worth it just so we can see him punch this guy in the face properly. Read the rest of this entry
Because if there’s one thing they know, it’s competition.
I managed to make this one in half the time of the previous review, despite it being two manga. It’s still a little short of 2 weeks, which is the time I’d like these to take. So while I was going to do Chobits next, I decided to pick a series I knew back and forth. It still might be a little more than 2 weeks because of my English work, but we shall see.
In terms of actual production, I learned that I need to be a little more careful during recording. At one point, I accidentally gave the protagonist of Shijou Saikyou no Deshi Kenichi (or whatever it’s called today) the wrong last name, and it caused a rather noticeable difference in my voice where I edited it. Also, gathering the pictures for this was annoying as hell. Two series, and I own neither. Should have thought that one through a little better.
Sakaki Shio was always one of the more enigmatic characters in the main cast. We’ve seen little bits of his personal life, but not to the degree of the other masters. I thought it was a shame, since he was always one of my favourite characters. Now we’ve finally seen what made him the person he is, and I have to say, I liked his flashback a lot.
You have to hand it to this series for keeping People-Who-Kill vs People-Who-Don’t fairly fresh after nearly 300 chapters since Yami was introduced. I don’t remember any of the other relationships being exactly like that of Sakaki and Hongo Akira, a pair of old friends torn apart by the ideals of Yami itself. I can imagine that everyone in this series has their reasons for following their beliefs, but this flashback worked so well for me because it was perfectly clear why these two ended up the way they did. The thought of killing one of their allies to prove themselves to Yami put everything into perspective for them, but in very different ways.
I once thought about why someone like Sakaki would choose a style devoted to saving lives. For me, the most shocking thing in this flashback was not that Suzuki was going to die (because, you know, flashback), but that Sakaki actually was considered for Yami at one point. This goes a long way to explaining his way of life, because even his masters wanted him to take up the Killing Style. The fact that he chose his current path despite everyone encouraging him against it is a good indicator of his character. It shows the kind of strength and determination someone like him really has more than any fight could.
One of the strongest points of Kenichi, I feel, is the intense weight given to the most important fights, and this flashback has helped cement what I hope will be another of those classic battles. I’m aware that Kenichi himself hasn’t been involved much lately (as he’s between mortal enemies at the moment), but it’s also important to give the other characters their own time, and it’s good that Sakaki is finally getting his.
Of course we could enjoy it a little more if you stopped showing Miu’s ass every chance you got!