Game of the Year

With only a few hours left in 2015, let’s finish up the last countdown and crown my personal game of the year, I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise, but let’s go through the games I played this year. Mind you, I usually play Nintendo consoles.

Captain-Toad-Treasure-Tracker-Buu-HuuStarting in January, the first game of the year was Captain Toad Treasure Tracker. I really liked the Captain Toad mini puzzles in Mario 3D World, so I was looking forward to this game. I wasn’t super hyped, because Captain Toad was just going to be a collection of small puzzles. What I eventually got was much better than that, though. Sure, it was a collection of puzzle-levels, but with so much diversity and Nintendo’s well known love for detail, they delivered a highly polished super cute and fun game.

In February came Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for the Nintendo 3DS and there’s really not that much to say about it, besides: it’s Monster Hunter, of course it’s awesome! It’s one big boss battle after the other. It’s super satisfying and you can pump hundreds of hours into this game. While I’m not a super big fan of the franchise, I still spent quite a few hours with this game.

Also in February on the same day as Monster Hunter, came Majora’s Mask 3D. Another game I don’t need to talk about much: it’s Majora’s Mask, of course it’s awesome! It’s basically the same deal as it was with Ocarina of Time, the game looks better and the second screen adds a lot to the experience. As I called OoT 3D the definite version of OoT, the same goes for MM 3D.

That’s what I call a good start into the year, but in April, we’re continuing 81i6RyFBD8L._SL1500_with Splatoon for Wii U. Nintendo’s brand new squitastic multiplayer online shooter proved to be a huge hit. While the inital reactions were mixed about this colorful, cartoonish turf-war shooter that only came with minimal gameplay at launch and added more free content to this day, turned out to be massively fun. When you think about it: it’s made by Nintendo, of course it’s going to be fun, but a lot of people doubted Nintendo can pull off an online multiplayer shooter – and rightly so. However, not only did they pull it off, they delivered the one shooter this year, that challenged genre standarts and created a new look on shooters as a whole.

yoshi0608151280jpg-b57a7e_1280wIn June follows Yoshi’s Woolly World. After Yoshi’s New Island I was a bit concerned if they can actually still make good Yoshi platformers, as the afromentioned game was nothing but dull. Rest assured, Yoshi’s Woolly World is a great game. It doesn’t challenge the greatness of Yoshi’s Island, but it’s a very solid platformer with lot’s of collectables and diverse levels to explore. The highlight of the game are the woolly graphics, though. It looks super cute with great attention to detail and I love unlocking new skins by collecting yarn in the levels. I admit this game does not come close to the picture perfect Mario 3D World, the crazy fun that is Rayman Legends, or the masterful challenge in Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze. It is, however, a very solid and cute platformer certainly worth a try for everyone who likes the genre.

The year goes on and September came with the long awaited Mario level SMM-3creation kit called Super Mario Maker. It’s very intuitive and easy to get used to. After a few updates added much needed checkpoints and some additional items, this game only got better. It’s amazing to see what brilliant levels some of the fans have created, but unfortunately for every good level, there’s at least 10 bad ones. This was to be expected, so it’s not really fair to critizise the game for it. Not everyone is a platform designer and not everyone needs to be. The game delivers what it promises: an easy to use kit for 2D jump and run levels.

As for my last game this year came Xenoblade Chronicles X in December. I waited so long for this game, I even got myself the limited edition even though I’m supposed to keep by money together right now. I loved Xenoblade Chronicles and a spiritual successor made by the same developers sounds just too good to be true. XCX turned out to be very

Xenoblade Chronicles X

different from XC and even though the story is lacking a bit, the game makes up for it in other departments. This is the one game this year, I would say, gave me a feeling of “epic”. She sheer fact this huge and beautiful game exists on the underpowered Wii U and runs as good as it does even without the enhancement packs, is an achievement of epic proportions in itself. The world of Mira is simply breathtaking, every time I look around myself I’m impressed by my surroundings and every time I walk into a new continent I’m stuck in awe. However, pretty surroundings don’t make a good game, so what else do we have? An admittedly complicated and deep combat system that works extreamly well once you have it down. It’s not always easy and it may take a while to get used to it, but it’s so worth it. The combat system in XCX is brilliant. And after about 30 hours you’re allowed to pilot your own mecha, which completely changes your view on the world you’re living in. Just don’t expect the game to hold your hand, because it doesn’t. It explains the bare minimum and expects you to figure out the rest yourself.

Which games will be my game of 2015? Judging by the lenght of the post, XCX has to be it, but I was actually a bit torn between Splatoon and XCX. Splatoon was a huge surprise hit for me and ended up challenging what we understand as a shooter. Not only is it a fun game for the player, it’s also a game that pushes the entire genre forward. In an industry where taking the safe route is a very common practice, having games that purposely go against these industry standarts is even more so important.

Unfortunately for Splatoon however, this is my GOTY 2015 and not the Xenoblade-Chronicles-X_09intdustry’s, so I have to go with the game I simply enjoyed the most and that was XCX. I was easily able to play though 50+ hours while spending every second of free time I had on this game during the first two weeks I had it. I’m still not fed up with this game and I totally see myself comming back – I still need to finish the stroy after all and swear I will finish it. I expected the game to be good and it absolutely delivered. It was different from what I expected, but hit all the right spots.

Manga of the Year

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Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

Manga of the year is a lot harder to do than Anime of the year. A manga can be completed in Japan, but is still published overseas or the scanlations are not that fast. Also, if it’s not by a famous manga-ka, a new manga is usually not even translated starting chapter 1. Scanlators and official publishers alike usually pick popular manga to translate, so there’s a lot of stuff I can’t possibly have read, simply because there’s no translation available – and in some cases not even raws.

Another problem is the longevity of manga. Of course there are great short manga, but more popular manga tend to run a lot longer than your average anime (12-24 episodes), especially when the title is published semi-monthly (Fruits Basket) or monthly (Fullmetal Alchemist) and the magazines sometimes skip a week/month, too.

To make a long story short: I’ve read way too much to remember everything I read, you usually don’t start reading a manga starting from the first chapter published in Japan, especially when you don’t live in Japan and long runners such as Conan or Ippo will probably still going in 10 years from now, so I’m just going with whatever I still remember I read this year. I’ll try choosing titles that left an impression on me.

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso already appeared on my anime of the year list

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Ichi Ni No San!

and it’s here again. I’d like to mention this one, because I rooted a lot for a happy ending, even though I knew it would end up having tragic ending. It was well done and you need some guts to kill off a main character.

Shokugeki no Soma has also been on my anime of the year list and I started reading the manga because of the anime. Especially in recent chapters there’s been a lot going on and when Azami took over the school, it feld like every new chapter came with a huge new surprise and that was very cool.

Diamond no Ace Act II started off on the really wrong foot with me, so it’s mostly negative memories I have with this one. It’s still more Furuya no Ace, even though every idiot should see just how much Sawamura is worth. The manga-ka is in love with Furuya and that’s super annoying. That’s the reason it was even more satisfying when Miyuki “said” about Sawamura: “Make them realize that you exist!” in chapter 13 and in chapter 14 Sawamura delivered a flawless game, exceeding the expectations from every single person in the stadium. That was cool. Unfortunately the focus is yet again on someone else…

Hirunaka no Ryuusei is a nice Shoujo with a surprising twist at the end. Suzume is in love with her teacher, an old childhood friend of hers, and I have to admit in most manga like this, the girl gets her man. However, in this case, even though he fell in love with her as well, he pushed her away and she got together with another guy. He realized too late, that she won’t just come back and in the end, she decides to let go of him an stay with her current boyfriend. While the end was disappointing for me, because I was rooting for the teacher, it was nice to see a manga actually going for this route.

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Sakamoto desu ga?

Sakamoto desu ga? will soon be over and there haven’t been that many chapters scanlated this year, but I’m super excited every time I see a new one. It’s a manga I enjoy a lot, because it’s a great parody of the perfect guy every girl falls in love with. It’s so overexeggerated that it’s absurd and it’s one hell of a joy to read that. It doesn’t even follow a real plot, it’s just Sakamoto reacting to everyday life situations or dealing with jealous guys.

Blue Sky Complex is a yaoi manga I recently discovered and I like it especially because it’s less about two guys being in love as opposed to two people being in love. The former hetero partner doesn’t care at all that his new partner is a guy, because he fell in love with the person and not the gender. It’s also quite funny the delinquent ends up as the uke and the more serious and silent former hetero guy is the seme.  You’d expect it the other way around.

My two top contenders for Manga of the Year 2015 are Piano no Mori and Ballroom e Youkoso. A story about a boy who learns the piano and another story about competitive ballroom dancing. That’s just so much like me. Both manga are being scanlated, but both are behind in recent chapters. Ballroom saw a few more scanlations lately, but I’m desperately following

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Ballroom e Youkoso

the raws as well. The characters and energy this manga delivers are amazing. I’ve done ballroom dancing myself and it’s really hard, so I can relate to it. Piano no Mori on the other hand was finished in Japan this year and the scanlations still have a long way to go, but it was a great and very satisfying ending, even without understanding a single world. Let’s just hope the actual translation won’t ruin it for me.

After all, I guess Ballroom e Youkoso makes the cut and is my manga 2015. I’ve been obsessed with it from the day I discovered it and I would love to see a proper anime  adaptation – that usually means more popularity and faster scanlations.

Anime of the Year

With 2015 comming to a close, it’s time to name by personal favorites of 2015! I guess…

I didn’t really had much time this year, so I would’ve liked to watch/read/play some more stuff, but I have to work with what I have.

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Ore Monogatari

Let’s start with Anime of the Year. I think I had a pretty good anime year, or at least say I’ve had worse. There was Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (continuing from Fall ’14, but who cares), which I really enjoyed. I actually still need to complete it, but since I read the manga, I know what’s comming and I know I will cry my eyes out.

Then there was Haikyuu season 2. I love the manga and the anime did not disappoint so far. Well, they weren’t able to convey some of the epic scenes as well as the manga did, but sill pretty good. Season 2 has been better than season 1, but I guess that’s also because Karasuno finally starts to work better and better and becomes a stronger team, therefore achieving more.

Ore Monogatari was a nice new take on a romantic comedy with a male lead, but without ecchi or harem whatsoever. It’s… like a normal shoujo, but with a very shounen-ish male lead.

Owari no Seraph season 1 + 2, pretty good. The visuals were the best part of it though, but the story get’s much more interesting starting season 2. It’s certainly worth a watch.

Ushio to Tora was a cool old-school anime, I just enjoyed the heck out of it. Sure, I was riding on nostalgia here, but I really needed a good old action shounen and Ushio to Tora delivered!

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Charlotte

Charlotte was okay, but the ending was… weird. I didn’t need that scientific explanation and stuff, I was fine just accepting a world with superpowers in it.

Also, a special nod towards Digimon Adventire Tri: Saikai. It was made for me, I swear. While it wasn’t perfect, it did a lot of things very right and I take off my hat for that. Can’t wait for the second movie, keep it going strong, it was awesome.

My three runner-ups for best anime of the year are: Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, Shokugeki no Soma and OnePunchMan. These three anime are very different and all exceeded in their own right, so it’s very hard to choose. Shirayuki-hime is certainly one of the better romance-anime since Ouran High School Host Club. Soma hits my sweet spot with it’s crazy cooking theme and great execution and OnepunchMan ist just pure fun, but had a bit of a rough start.

In the end, even though I rated OPM higher, I guess my anime of the year is Shokugeki no Soma. Everyone was hyping OPM and even though it managed to live up to the hype, Soma was a bigger surprise for me and it really hits all the right spots. It’s the spiritual successor of Yakitate Japan, without drifting off in sheer nonsense so far. It’s just unfortunate they’re stretching out the autumn selections that much. Well, whatever.

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Shokugeki no Soma

Capeta

193733-capeta-capetaracing3010 years ago, when I read about the Capeta anime, I really wanted to read the manga, but it wasn’t released in Germany and I was still pretty new to reading online, so I kind of forgot about it.

Until yesterday. I found some scanlations, but they’re very incomplete, unfortunately. I read through 6 volumes and now there’s 3 volumes missing. Volume 11 to 20 are all there, but the rest is missing as well. The manga has 32 volumes, after all.

There seems to be a team working on scanlations, so I’m putting my hopes on them. Meanwhile, I decided to watch the anime, it’s at least a bit longer than the 6 volumes I’ve already read. That’s something!

Capeta gives off a very strong Initial D – vibe, but as far as I know that’s entirely intentional. Unlike many other sports anime/manga, this one is certainly on the more realistic side, even though the main character is a classic genious. It’s super nice to see him taking his first steps in a go-kart and the manga follows him all the way to Formula 3. Would’Capetave been cool to see him in F1, though. However, knowing him, I’m sure he made it into the highest class either way. 😉

So far, the anime is allright. It uses CGI to animate the cars in races the same way Initial D did and that’s fine by me. The anime is 10 years old so that certainly shows, but Initial D First Stage is 17 years old and I was fine with that one, too. No complains here.

What really drives me crazy is that girl Monami. She was okay-ish in the manga, but is a complete nightmare in the anime. Her voice actress is driving me nuts. She sounds like she’s constantly screaming in that crazy high pitched voice of hers, it’s making my ears hurt. It really does! I had to lower the tone a lot to endure her voice at least somewhat. I hardly ever complain about japanese voice actors, maybe I think one is not that fitting (Lelouch from Code Geass foir example), but I’m usually totally fine with whatever they present me with. Monami is horrible though and needs to shut up  – too  bad she’s the type of character that never does.

30 Days Manga Challenge – Day 30

Day 30 – Your favorite anime opening/ending theme

There are so many awesome openings (I’m more into openings than endings), I’m just going to show you a few of my favorites.

 

Durarara!! OP1 “Uragiri no Yuuyake” by Theatre Block

It was really hard to choose between Durarara and Baccano, but I like this one a tiny bit better. Both anime have awesome openings, though.

 

Kuragehime OP “Koko Dake no Hanashi” by Chatmonchy

The song is super cute and all the pop culture references, actually timeless ones, are turning this OP into a must-see. Supe fun and entertaining.

 

Ouran High School Host Club OP “Sakura Kiss” by Chieko Kawabe

One of the absolute best Shoujo anime with one of the best openings. It’s a great song and it fits the anime perfectly.

 

Darker than Black OP1 “Howling” by Abingdon Boys School

All the Darker than Black openings are awesome, but this one’s hands down the best and for me out of all the openigns, this one is Darker than Black.

 

Umineko no Naku koro Ni OP “One-winged Bird” by Shikata Akiko

We’re closing in to the “epic from start to finish” openings. I never skipped this OP when I was watching this show. Never. I love this kind of songs, it starts off really strong.

 

Fullmetal ALchemist Brotherhood OP4 “Period” by Chemistry

This opening will soon be 6 years old. It first aired January 10th 2010. Besides the awesome song, this animation still looks nothing but impressive, even though it’s nearly 6 years old. All the FMAB Openings sound and look amazing, but this one’s my favorite.

 

Kuroko no Basket Second Season Op1 “The Other self” by GRANRODEO

Talking about impressive visuals… I don’t want to know just how much money they had to pump into this opening to make it look that great, but it wouldn’t surprise me, if they could’ve produced a few more episodes on that budged alone. I’m still impressed every single time I watch this. The song is super catchy, the animation is breathtaking and it’s always over way too fast.

30 Days Manga Challenge

Day 01 – Your very first manga

The first manga I ever read was Detective Conan back when only a handfull of volumes had been released in Germany. It was at a friend’s house and I got totally hoocked up. This started my manga obsession. 🙂

The first manga I actually owned was Ghost in the Shell. I bought it because I’d seen the anime on TV (in the middle of the night when I was supposed to be sleeping) and I still have all 3 volumes.


Day 02 – Your favorite manga

It’s a very close call between “REAL” by Takehiko Inoue and “Fullmetal Alchemist” by Arakawa Hiromu, but in the end REAL takes the cake. FMA is still my favorite shounen and I love it to death, but REAL made me cry and believe me, I hardy ever cry when watching movies or reading books/comics. I watched Black Beauty and Titanic without shedding a single tear, but REAL touched me so deep like none other manga ever has. It’s so well written, it makes you go onto an emotional rollercoaster with characters that really feel like they’re humans. There are no heroes, there’s no magic, there’s just people who struggle to survive with diabilties in our society where you need to “function” well.


Day 03 – Your favorite mangaka

Surprise, surprise, it’s Takehiko Inoue. Who would’ve thought? Well, it’s not just because of REAL, it’s because he created 3 of my most favorite manga of all time: There’s REAL about disabled people and wheelchair basketball, Vagabond about Miyamoto Musashi and last but not least Slam Dunk about High School Basketball.

I’ve never cared much about historical manga, but Vagabond still keeps me interested after all this time. I especially like the philosophical aspect.

Slam Dunk is the sole reason why I love sports manga so much and personally I still have to find another highschool shounen sports manga as good as Slam Dunk. It may have been published first in 1990 and is therefore 25 years old now, but still the best sports shounen out there, period.


Day 04 – A character you feel you are most like (or wish you were)

I honestly think there’s none. I’m not the type of character that get’s much attention in a manga, because I’m so freaking average. I have my fair share of horrible decisions in my life so far, but I try to make the best out of it and even though I’m a bit rough around the edges, I care about others a lot. I don’t have a character I identify with.


Day 05 – A manga you would recommend to everyone

Even though REAL is my favorite manga, it’s not a manga I would recommend to just anyone, because of it’s complicated topic. Sports is not everyone’s cup off tea and take the whole disabled people part as well… it’s really not made for the masses.

Therefore, Fullmetal Alchemist is my choice this time around. It’s a great adventure of two brothers who just want their bodies back and find themselves in a war that will determine the future of their country. They’re forced to grow up, set their priorities straight and choose their right path while never letting go of their strong honest morals.

For girls, I highly recommend Lovely Complex. Simply the best RomCom by far. Risa and Ootani have such great chemistry and it takes them a while until they finally get it together. It’s not always easy to cross the bridge between friends and lovers and they need to grow together. It’s funny and incredibly cute.


Day 06 – Your favorite character

This changes by the day, but one character I’d like to point out is Vash the Stampede. Please keep in mind the anime is very different from the manga and I personally think the manga is a lot better, because it has more time to develop it’s characters. You thought Wolfwoods death in the anime was sad? When he died alone in a church? Please, that was nothing. His manga death beautifully reflected his frienship towards Vash, who did his very best to support his dear friend until the very end.

Even though Vash is usually protrayed as a goofy peace loving idiot, he’s so much more than that, as he has the most pure soul you can think of and cares so deeply for other people. After living among humans for such a long time, he gained a deep understanding of what “life” means to them and how important friendship is. Compared to him, Knives is nothing but a clueless brat.


Day 07 – A manga you disliked enough to stop reading

Oh dear, where to begin? I’ve dropped quite a few manga, but how about I make me some enemies today? I dropped Vampire Knight after 15 chapters of pure disappointment. You see, during that time, this manga was very popular and I wanted to try it out for a while, but when I did I couldn’t get past the first 3 volumes. I just couldn’t.

I’m not very fond of Vampire stories, but it’s not like I hate all of them in general. I read a few that I really liked. What disappointed me so much in this story to the point of dropping it alltogether, was the very very poor foreshadowing. It’s so frustrating when you already know what’s going to happen all the time and when you guess every plot twist right, because it’s so damn obvious. It’s like there’s someone sitting besides you constantly wispering into your ear what will happen.


Day 08 – The most annoying character

I have a nice burining hate for Kikyou from Inu Yasha. She’s a very tragic character, yeah sure, but she wouldn’t die! She was standing between InuxKago for so long and was wandering on eath as a walking corpse way longer than needed. She simply overstayed her welcome by a lot.


Day 09 – A manga you’d like to see more of

Seven Days. This manga is so believable and cute, I wanted to read more so bad it’s not even funny. You know, there are stories with a really good and satisfyling end that leaves you finished and happy. Fullmetal Alchemist had such an end. However, Seven Days ends where others only just start. I do understand why it ended there, but I really would’ve wanted to know more about their relationship and how it went in all detail after they honestly got together.


Day 10 – A manga that makes you fluffy and happy when you read it

Well, Seven Days certainly fits this desciption, but I’ll be going with another one today. I’m a bit torn between “My Girl” by Yumeka Sumomo and “Densha Otoko” by Nakano Hitori.

Do you remember the hype around “Usagi Drop”? It even got an anime, but there’s a reason they only animated the first part of the manga. The second part is just simply bad and the end ruins the entire manga. My Girl is what Usagi Drop could have been. It’s cute and cuddly without a very weird ending that borders on pedophilia.

Densha Otoko is based on a true story about  a shy guy meeting a women and telling the internet about it. The guys in the chat room are cheering for him and giving him advice. This manga is basically a collection of the original posts and it’s just awesome to read. When the two finally get together, the entire chat room is going nuts.


Day 11 – Your first manga crush

Heiji Hattori from Detective Conan. Shinichi? Who needs that guy anyway? Even though these “crush” times have been gone long, I still look forward the the cases with Heiji involved the most. He’s my favorite character from this manga this won’t change.


Day 12 – A manga you used to love but don’t anymore

I used to love Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne a lot when I was younger, but this was more than 10 years ago and I’ve kind of gotten over this manga now. My interests have shifted away and I’m more into other stories now. This doesn’t mean I don’t like the manga anymore I used to like when I started reading manga 14 years ago – I still read Conan and I still like it. Or another example: I was super sad when Inu Yasha ended, because it was one of my first manga as well and it was the first long running series that I read from start to finish and I still like it as well. It’s just… I’ve really gotten over Jeanne.


Day 13 – The most epic scene ever

There are so many epic scenes in action manga, it’s very hard to pick one. Since I don’t want to pick the same manga again and again and again, I will not pick the scene from Fullmetal Alchemist where Edward just got his right arm back and is therefore able to transmutate again after he ripped a piece of metal out of his own arm (which was pretty damn epic in itself), he gave “father ” a good old punch in the guts. The big conclusion and the last big fights of FMA were basically one big huge clutch of epicness.

What I’m going with today, is the scene where Ikki from Air Gear is announced “Storm King”. The entire build up was huge and he always wanted to be the Sky King of the Wing Road that Sora was and eventually ended up as the Storm King of the Hurricane Road. Just how awesome is that? The manga eventually ended up drifiting in weird directions, but during that time is was still very cool and like I said, the entire build up to the Storm King announcement was huge, so it felt even more epic.


Day 14 – A manga that makes you cry.

Like I said, I don’t really cry. I cried in REAL and I did Tigun Maximum.


Day 15 – The saddest scene

Wolfwoods death in the manga Trigun Maximum. Yeah that’s the reason I cried while reading this manga. I’ve reread the manga at least 4 times or so and I had tears in my eyes every single time I reach this scene. It’s so sad, it’s not even funny and because I know when it’s happening, I’m getting sad early.


Day 16 – A manga that isn’t licensed but SHOULD be.

Ballroom E Youkoso, this is my current obsession and I want more and more. A manga I’ve wanted licensed in Germany for a long time and it’s probably never going to happen is Kami no Shizuku. I’ve given up on it, I really did. I have the french version, though. My French is bad, but still better than reading the japanese raws.


Day 17 – A manga that you feel embarrassed about liking

Manga Love Story? It’s basically soft porn. My gosh… This thing has more than 300 chapters, at least I’ve read 365 and I stopped reading this manga ages ago. God knows how many chapters have been published by now.

I liked it back then, because it was kind of  fun and I didn’t stop reading because I started to dislike it. I guess I just grew tired of it.


Day 18 – Favorite BL/yuri couple

There are so many! Especially BL, because I hardly ever read GL. I love Mookyul x Ewon from Totally Captivated, they’re super hot. Seryou x Shino from Seven Days are totally on the cute side of the spectrum and I love them just as much.

Day 19 – A manga that you disliked at first but came to enjoy later on

This is a hard one. I usually don’t continue reading a manga that I dislike for too long. I guess the closest I ever came to “dislike at first, enjoy later” is Bambino. It was okay-ish from the start, but not enough to keep me reading. I dopped it for a while and later picked it up again and enjoyed it enough to finish it.


Day 20 – A manga you started out enjoying but ended up not liking as much

Bleach? I was a huge fan back in the days. I marathoned through the first 30 episodes or so until I reached the most recent episode and started reading the manga after that. The beginning is awesome with the Soul Society Arc and it’s climax. After that, it totally went down the river, though. I stopped watching the anime a long time ago and I’m only still reading it, because I want to finish it after sticking with it for more than 9 years now.

And for Ichi x Ruki. There’s been a disturbing lack of scenes lately with Ichigo and Rukia side by side.


Day 21 – A manga that deserves more recognition

Since I like reading more unusual stuff, I could easily name at least 10 manga in serious need for some more recognition. Above all of them, is obviously my favorite manga: REAL by Takehiko Inoue. It’s a very highly rated manga, but not everyone’s cup of tea. The people who read this manga usually love it, but barely anyone reads it and there’s the problem.

I’d also like to point out “Rough” by Adachi Mitsuru, my personal favorite out of the huge pool of manga he’s written. I guess he’s most well known for Cross Game (especially in more recent times), H2 and Touch. I’ve always preferred “Rough”, because the main leads start off on the wrong foot, on a VERY wrong foot, but end up with believable feelings for each other.


Day 22 – A manga you wish didn’t exist

Vampire Knight by Hino Matsuri. This manga was super hyped a while back and everyone told me I should read it. After the hype had died down a bit, I gave this manga a try and read 15 chapters, before dropping it in utter disappointment. I was able to foresee all of the main plot points, the forshadowing was so bad and characters so bland, I wish I would’ve never even tried it.


Day 23 – Best anime villain

It’s fairly easy to name the strongest villains, or the creepiest, but the “best” is on an entirely different page. I guess for me it’s Greed from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, because he starts off as a villain and even though it’s just a humunculus, who personifies “greed”, during his time with Ling, he learns some very human traits and even gives his life to save Ling.


Day 24 – The best long manga series

This entirely depends on what you think is “long”, but I’m going with Fullmetal Alchemist. Best shounen out there, but quite short with only 116 chapters. I wanted to go with 200+ chapters, but since FMA was monthly and was running for 9 years, it made the cut. Otherwise, it would’ve been Slam Dunk. Until this day, I treat this manga as the blueprint of the typical high school sports manga – and so far, it was never reached. It’s great.


Day 25 – The last manga you read

Vinland Saga chapter 123, another long running manga and a great one on top of that. Historical setting in the Viking era, lot’s of blood and gore in the first part, even more farming in the second part, but still worth read nonetheless. Right now in the third part, it’s more of an adventure manga. It’s interesting.


Day 26 – The best manga oneshot

I don’t really read “real” one shots. The ones I usually read are special chapters to other manga, like the Ouran specials for example. I’m very fond of “FAKE: Like, Like, Love” that basically shows who ended up with whom and we got to see older Bikki, which was cool. From the few independent ones I read, I guess I liked Souten no Koumori by Arakawa Hiromu the most.


Day 27 – A manga you would never buy

I’ve read 450+ manga and there’s a ton I would never buy. For example, most manga on my “dropped” list or any manga rated lower than 5. For example, Beach Stars, Juicy Cider, Sorairo Ageha, Vampire Knight, Dengeki Daisy, Toscana no Yuuutsu and much more.


Day 28 – A manga you think is so brilliant it’s like literature

REAL by Takehiko Inoue  or 20th Century Boys by Urasawa Naoki. Fantastic works.


Day 29 – A manga you read that was just plain weird

I like reading weird stuff and it’s by now it’s fairly hard to surprise me, but I guess I go with Yakitate Japan. The infamous bread manga, that’s totally over the top. For real, the villain actually transforms into bread in the final face off and the reactions during the tasting is just off the charts.


Day 30 – Your favorite anime opening/ending theme

There’s so much, I’m doing a seperate post for this.

Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen-hen

With the end oft the second season drawing near, I have to admit, this anime is pretty good. The first season was good, the second was even better. Mind you, I usually dislike most vampire stories.

On the pairing front, the first season gave a small BL vibe with Mika and Yuu, but there wasn’t really much to it. Later on during the first season and through most of the second season I thought Yuu x Shinoa was going to be a thing.

That is, until the bite happend. After years of fighting it, Mika finally has to drink human blood in order to survive. To be fair, he probably would’ve died without drinking a single drop of blood, if Yuu hadn’t talked Mika into it. What a bittersweet way to become a vampire: with the blood of the one person you want to protect the most.

Besides, the way he bit him, now this was some great BL. I swear, I was shipping Yuu x Shinoa and that single szene totally made me jump ship to Yuu x Mika. I want to see them together so bad.