Manga, A Few Disappointments
I don’t usually like to write bad reviews because I feel like they are a waste of my time. Why would I want to waste my time writing a review on a book that I didn’t enjoy reading in the first place? To warn you about them. I have three mangas to warn you about with one that I was so eager to read, but fell short of my expectations.
They introduce too many characters in a short period of time. You don’t get enough time or information to care about any of them. Without in-depth knowledge of all the pantheons (Greek, Roman, Egyptian, etc…) you won’t get the inside jokes they make about the gods and their offspring. There are way too many boob and butt grabs and premature boy fantasy panty shots. The slang is overly ghetto speech as if an adult is trying to mimic how “those kids today” talk. There is an annoying girl trying to speak Buffy speech with comments like, "Rude much?", "You aren't blogworthy.", and "dorks.com" but it's not working.
The art isn’t that bad and there is a cool part where they show the students report cards with grades, parents names (usually gods), achievements, and evaluations. How ever cool those snaps are, it doesn’t outweigh the annoying childish jokes and raunchy humor.
It’s supposed to be about shimigami, which we know from Death Note are scary as hell and we know from Dead Like Me, can be funny. But these shimigami are neither funny or scary.
It portrays life after death being run like a corporation, which could be kinda cool if they did it the way Beetlejuice does, but they don’t. Who wants to think life after death is in a boring office building? Snooze! To top it all off there are these strange birds who work in the office that appear to be owls in kimonos. Very strange.
The only thing that saves this tale is 3-5 pages at the end where an evil Doctor is introduced, but even this part makes no sense. I’m told the series gets better in volume two, but I’m not willing to spend time finding out.
I am so sad that I have to write this about Dany & Dany. They are awesome Yaoi authors and I absolutely adore their manga book Anima, but for some reason I just couldn't get into Idol.
The printing is bad, which could mean it was done earlier in their career.
This is a basic man loves hooker story where the hooker kills a bad guy with the audacity to run over his favorite customer, an artist who he falls in love with.
The sneak peek in the back features a tale about an actor falling in love. I wasn’t thrilled with the art, the story or the characters… but the ad in the back for Dany & Dany’s The Lily and the Rose, has me hoping that one will restore my faith in them.
Dollhouse: November’s Identity File
This post contains spoilers from Dollhouse episode Haunted
In Haunted we learned several things:
- The dolls have the same sleep cycle
- We get confirmation of the location of another Dollhouse: Manhattan
- Most significantly we may have learned what November’s actual identity is.
Ballard got November's fingerprints and ran them through the FBI data base. The computer screen flashed a long list of aliases for November. We identified at least four different ones.
Annabeth S. is the first identity that was brought up and in my book a high candidate for her actual name. This is because it was not a mug shot.
Polly Keller is an interesting alias mainly because she got arrested twice in Denver once in December 2004 and again in November 2006. Wouldn’t it be funny that the second arrest was also when she was brought into the Dollhouse. I could see Joss giving her the code name of November after the month that she was made into a doll.
Amanda James we get from her mug shot at the Florida PD dated Feburary 2006.
Then we get a flash of several other really quick pictures here are some we captured but they did not have names on them, though they look like the Annabeth S. picture and the Michelle S.
I find it interesting that she was arrested in Denver then went to Florida for some reason getting arrested again and returning latter that year to Denver where she was arrested. I wonder if November was a con artist or lady of night who was unwittingly used as a surrogate by Rossum Corporation or got pregnant. They took the child or eggs from November to expierment on. Could one of the babies in the Rossum lab be hers?
Do you think Novembers real name is Michelle S.?
Are you curious about the new Push movie but not sure if it’s going to rock or suck. Get a look at some clips from the Movie Push which hits theaters February 6th and see if they excite you. For more on Push read Theater or Renter: February 2009. The clips look interesting. I really want to like this movie because it’s like superpower themed entertainment. I love seeing how storytellers handle the questions like:
- How many powers to have in the story.
- How does one limit the powers.
- How does one balance between the spectacle of the powers and yet have vulnerability so that the story does not become boring.
I like how they include in others trying to shoot them during the fight and how they use their powers for offensive and defensive, but I’m not sure how a Telekinetic could stop an attack if the attack is not noticed. I hope that situation is answered in the movie or they could be near indestructible and thus boring.
I think this is a theater for me but Coraline comes first :)
*******Warning These are clips and thus may contain spoilers in them, though I do not believe anything too critical is revealed.**********
“Telekinetic Gun Fight”
Some of the types of powers are:
- Movers can manipulate inanimate objects at varying distances. The actual technique is known as kinetic signature control, where the mover is trained to "hear" and identify the specific atomic frequency of any given material, and alter the gravity wave around it, usually producing the nearby air to appear "warped". Advanced movers can work at the molecular level creating protective shields in the air around them.
- Pushers can "push" specific thoughts, memories, and even emotions into their targets. This technique can be used to gain a subject's trust, or to have them perform any action, thinking it was their own agenda.
- Watchers are trained to self-induce visions of the future, very much like a prolonged sense of déjà vu. The technique of following the future, either of a person or object, is called subject tracking. A Watcher's skill is primarily rated by how far they can see into the future.
- Bleeders have the ability to emit high-pitched sonic vibrations that cause ruptures in a target's blood vessels.
- Sniffs are highly developed clairvoyants who can track the location of either people or objects over varying distances. Like psychic bloodhounds, their tracking ability is increased if they have tactile access to an object that has been in direct contact with the subject. Sniffs receive information based on images, not specific addresses, which is why identifiable landmarks help increase their effectiveness.
- Shifters can temporarily shift patterns of light on any object to create illusions to the naked eye. They work mostly on a touch basis, but once the illusion is established, it remains with the object for short periods of time. For example, a Shifter could momentarily touch a one dollar bill, altering its light pattern to appear as a one hundred dollar bill for hours, until the effect expires. The length of the shift is based on experience and ability.
- Wipers are skilled at either temporary or permanent memory erasure, an invaluable asset in espionage. Experience will dictate the accuracy of their wipes, though the danger is always present that they will eliminate a desired memory. Shadows are trained to block the vision of other clairvoyants such as Sniffs, making any subject within their target radius appear "dark". Experience will enhance the size of the area they can shadow and the intensity of their shielding effect. Shadows need to be awake to perform their ability, and it is common for a detail of two Shadows to operate in shifts while protecting a person or object for extended periods.
- Stitchers are psychic surgeons trained to quickly reconstruct cells to their previous or healthy state. Using only their hands, they can heal and even "unheal" whatever they have done. For more detailed work, Stitches use a silver based cream on their hands which acts as a conductor to their ability. (via Wikipedia)
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Mangas NOT To Waste Your Money On
Some of you might think I like all manga. The reason that I don’t usually review mangas I dislike is because I’d rather not give them the attention. I feel like they don’t deserve my time if they have not done their job and entertained me. In this post, I’m going to warn you about several books I did not enjoy.
- Bizenghast, Volume #1 by M. Alice LeGrow I was first attracted to this manga by the spooky gothic artwork on the front of a girl whose body is a violin. The cover stopped me in my tracks as I perused the manga aisle. The artwork inside is just as breathtaking, but with such beautiful artwork, you would assume the story would be just as chilling. Sure there was a graveyard, lost souls, riddles, and keys, but somehow it wasn’t as scary as I had hoped. I may, in time decide to return to this series and give it another chance, but at this time it will stay on my shelf.
- Dark Hunger by Christine Feehan, Illustrations by Zid & Imaginary Friends Studio I have not read any of Christine’s novels and am sure they are good by the reviews I’ve heard from some of her fans. This book seems like a mistake made by the publishing company. It was overly illustrated, not like a manga at all. I felt like I was reading some 1980’s comic out of the back of my mother’s Redbook. This was definitely a stab by the publisher to try and get in on the manga market, but it was done very badly. The underlying plot was interesting, so I don’t fault the writer. I think it was probably just made by people who have never read a manga before in their lives. Perhaps it will interest Christine’s fans to own a copy of the manga just to say they have the whole collection. I doubt it though as the fans I’ve talked to have said things like, “I don’t read those weird manga things.” So, if the publishers were trying to corner the manga market, they missed it by a long shot. I’m glad I only paid a dollar for it from the sale aisle.
- I Luv Halloween, Volume #1 by Keith Griffen & Benjamin Roman I really wanted this to be a great book. Halloween is my favorite holiday. The art promises greatness when you see kids dressed in costumes and spooky jack-o-lanterns around. How can you get that wrong? Well, they did. I think perhaps you would love this book if you were a ten-year-old boy who likes boob jokes and farts with the intention of grossing out your friends. Reading this manga is like being trapped in a station wagon with pre-teen boys all the way across the Great Salt Lake. No one wants to do it and once you reach Nevada, all you can think of is leaving them at the pitstop so you don’t have to listen to their nonsensical chitter chatter any longer. I pitched this book out of my house the first chance I got.
- Ghost Talker’s Daydream, Volume #1 by Saki Okuse & Sankichi Meguro I almost bought this book, but thankfully for a long line at the register, I was saved. This cover was so beautiful, I was about to be fooled again! If there is one thing these manga companies are getting right, it is the glossy cover art. If you get a chance, check out the cover at a store because the photo online does not do the cover art justice. When I saw the cover, it reminded me of spooky Japanese movies I’ve seen where there is some sort of ghost presence in the closet waiting to kill you. Something I awe at when reading manga is that the artists are able to redraw the characters in so many different moods and poses, but they still look like the same character. This manga’s art was very inconsistent and the characters even sometimes ugly. The lead girl pictures were so different, I had trouble knowing it was her. There was a parental guidance label on the cover, which was warranted because of the strange “up the skirt” shots the artist chose to depict. At times these shots were awkward and not in pleasant proportions. The reason I finally put it down was that although they had the parental advisory, talked about the lead having a job at an S&M club, and showed various vulgar shots of her womanhood, they didn’t allow her to say the name of her body parts. Perhaps in some ways, it is more x-rated to say the word than to see it displayed on the page in art? I have no idea, but didn’t want to find out.
If you’ve read these mangas and have another view, I’d love to hear it. I’d like to know if there is something I missed. Feel free to comment here and let me know.
All I want for Christmas is My Daleks
On Nov 26 2007 the glorious and grand BBC released a very exciting box set titled "Doctor Who : The Davros Collection." This glorious news brings me great sadness because I can not get it and if I got my hands on it I could not even watch it :( They released it as a region 2 DVD and being American I can only watch region 1 DVD's. That being said, I hope that they will do a release for the states so that I could get it. The box set contents as described by amazon.co.uk
The Doctor Who: Davros Collection contains: all five classic Doctor Who Davros stories, including an exclusive special edition of "Remembrance of the Daleks", all seven Davros audio stories, plus an exclusive brand new audio story – "The Davros Mission", and a host of special features including an exclusive documentary.
Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks (discs 1 & 2): This classic Doctor Who story was voted number one in a poll by Doctor Who Magazine. Starring fans’ favourite Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor, "Genesis of the Daleks" introduces the merciless villain Davros (Michael Wisher), and tells the terrifying story of how the Daleks came to be. Disc 2 contains a brand new documentary "Davros Connections" which takes an in-depth look at the history of the Daleks' creator, Davros. Special features include: Commentary with Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, Peter Miles (Nyder) & David Maloney, "Genesis of a Classic" - cast & crew recall working on the story in this specially shot documentary. "The Dalek Tapes" – new documentary narrated by Terry Molloy (who plays Davros in other Doctor Who stories), that tells the story of the Doctor’s most iconic villain, including rare footage from programmes such as Blue Peter. "Blue Peter" – a March 1975 item looking at a collection of Doctor Who models. Doctor Who 1976 Annual as a PDF Radio Times listings Continuity compilation Photo gallery Subtitles
Doctor Who: Destiny of the Daleks (Disc 3). "Destiny of the Daleks" stars the much loved Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor alongside Lalla Ward as a newly regenerated Romana and David Gooderson the most notorious villain, Davros. Special features include: Commentary with actors Lalla Ward and David Gooderson, director Ken Grieve. "Terror Nation" - documentary about writer Terry Nation, creator of the Daleks, and his work on Doctor Who. With contributions from producers Barry Letts and Philip Hinchcliffe, script editor Terrance Dicks, director Richard Martin and Dalek voice artiste Nicholas Briggs. "Directing Who" - director Ken Grieve recalls his time on this story. CGI Effects – providing the option to watch the story with seventeen of the original video effects sequences replaced by CGI versions. Trails and Continuity - BBC1 trails and continuity announcements from the story's transmission, including the specially shot trailer heralding the return of the Daleks. Photo gallery - production, design and publicity photos. Prime Computer adverts - Australian TV adverts for Prime Computers, starring the Doctor and Romana.
Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks (disc 4) Peter Davison stars as the fifth Doctor in "Resurrection of the Daleks". Captured in a Time Corridor, the Doctor and his companions are forced to land on 20th Century Earth, after being diverted by the Daleks. It is here that the true purpose of the Time Corridor becomes apparent: after 90 years of imprisonment, Davros is to be liberated to assist in the resurrection of his army. But not even the Daleks foresee the poisonous threat presented by their creator. Indeed, who would suspect Davros of wanting to destroy his own Daleks – and why? Special features include: 40th Anniversary video Commentary by Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, director Matthew Robinson. Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound Mix. On Location - director Matthew Robinson takes a tour round the Shad Thames locations used during filming. Includes the last ever interview with producer John Nathan-Turner. Breakfast Time Trail for episode One TARDIS-Cam no.4 Extended and Deleted Scenes Production Notes.
Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks (disc 5) "Revelation of the Daleks" stars Colin Baker as the sixth Doctor, with Nicola Bryant as his assistant Peri, battling with his most enduring enemy, the Daleks. Davros plans to create a whole new army of Daleks with which to take control of the Universe and it is up to the Doctor to stop him… Special features include: Commentary with director Graeme Harper, writer Eric Saward and actors Nicola Bryant and Terry Molloy. Revelation Exhumed - a new featurette interviewing cast and crew. In Studio - a behind-the-scenes featurette, which can be viewed with raw studio sound or with a commentary by Graeme Harper and Terry Molloy. CGI Effects Continuity - off-air continuity announcements from the original and repeat BBC transmissions, and shows how original two-parter was split to four parts on the repeat. Deleted scenes Isolated music Picture gallery Production notes Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound mix.
Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks Special Edition (discs 6 and 7) Although "Remembrance of the Daleks" is already available as a single DVD, this box set exclusively contains a 2-disc special edition of the story. This special edition of "Remembrance of the Daleks" features a host of extras including: Commentary with actors Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred. Back to School - Cast and crew talk about the making of the story accompanied by rare behind-the-scenes material. Remembrances - Cast and crew talk about the influences and references to other Doctor Who adventures that are spread throughout the story. Extended and deleted scenes Outtakes Multi-angle sequences - allowing the viewer to watch Ace's escape from the Chemistry lab and the Daleks blowing up the large gates from one of two camera angles. Trails and continuity Photo gallery Isolated music Radio Times listings Subtitles Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound mix
Davros Audio Stories (disc 8) This special edition box set contains an exclusive compilation of all 7 Davros audio stories plus an exclusive brand new audio story – "The Davros Mission" written by Nicholas Briggs. In this new audio drama, specially commissioned for this box set, Davros is taken by the Daleks for trial and imminent execution. But even in his darkest hour, he finds allies and an insatiable cunning to survive…
Now the reviews are very entertaining and can be summarized with those who loved the box set did so because of the contents and materials. Those that hated it were mad because the box set was a repackaging of episodes that the collectors already had. Now I understand the frustration of buying shows twice I went through it with Star Trek but I love having those types of collections. I love those types of collections because having both gives me more choices. I find myself at times sitting down and watching through Star Trek episode by episode or when I just want to watch the episodes with Klingons in it I put in the Star Trek Fan Collective - Klingon. I would love to have the Davros collection because then when I want to watch Dr. Who I can put in Dr. Who and watch through the episodes and when I want to watch the Daleks I could put in the complete Davros collection.
I hope that the BBC produces a region one release of "Doctor Who : The Davros Collection." To my brothers and sisters across the "pond" once again I'm envious. Cheers!