Ballroom e Youkoso Anime and Manga Spoilers

Damn those necks.

Okay, so with Ballroom e Youkoso my arguably most anticipated anime of the year was released and we’re 5 episodes in and far enough to say something of substance.

First of all, I love the art direction. I know, the necks are a little bit too long, but overall I think it looks absolutely gorgeous and the animation quality is pretty nice. I was hoping for fully animated dances in the same way Yuri on Ice fully animated the figure scating programms, but that’s very unusual for anime, so I guess I kind of knew this wouldn’t happen? It’s still a tiny bit disappointing, though.

They make use of freeze frames quite a bit and while that’s not unusual in anime at all, the manga does such an amazing job of capturing the movement and power of dancing, I actually think the anime looks a little bit too static sometimes. I’ve seen much worse, don’t get me wrong, something in me just screams: “This is not right.” when the manga is creating better movement with still images than it’s animated counterpart. It’s still good! I just think it could be better.

It’s been such a long time that I’ve seen the start of the story, it made me realize a lot of stuff and it’s really funny seeing all the new people react to the characters, who you know will not be what they seem to be when they are introduced, but first things first.

I noticed I’m really missing Chii-chan so much, not just because she’s one of my favorite characters and I totally ship her with Tatara, but also because she’s giving Tatara a real challenge and brings out his worse. She makes him suffer, she makes him question his ablilities, but she also makes him move forward the absolute most. Right now in these first 5 episodes, everything came so easy to Tatara, he’s basically been given everything on a silver tablet with the best wishes from the Chef so far and it will continue this way until Chii-chan arrives and messes with everything Tatara thought he knew.

Tatara is a total beginner and yes he first struggles a bit with the Waltz, but he gets his lessons for free, he is taught by literally the best dancer in Japan, he gets his suit for free, he gets to dance with two very experienced and advanced girls to learn from and has the ability to learn extreamly fast by seeing and remembering basically everything about dancing. Explaining doesn’t work very well for him, but seeing it does.

I really didn’t notice it that much when I was reading the manga, but Tatara is very priviledged – and has the balls to try and go after Shizuku as a partner, because he has a crush on her, even though she’s partnered with Hyodo. I don’t want to sound too mean, because he’s still training a lot, even at home, but I stand by my words, he has it very easy at the start and it takes until Chii-chan arrived that he’s actually forced to struggle for real for the first time.

I guess having it easy at the beginning makes up for all the struggle he has to go through with Chii-chan, because once it starts, it’s not going to stop. Tatara learns to suffer and is forced to face his weak spots, but creates something very unique together with Chii-chan. In a way, Chii-chan is the 3rd experienced & advanced girl he gets to pair up with, but she’s his first real partner and unlike Mako and Shizuku, Chii-chan has a whole damn lot of learning to do herself, because she always danced the male part and never the female part. So, you end up with a beginner who doesn’t know how to lead and an advanced dancer who doesn’t know how not to lead. Perfect combination for trouble. Awesome.

It’s actually even more awesome that in recent chapters they’ve started to discover a way to work together and bring out both their strenghts in their dance. I hope they can move forward from being the dysfunctional couple in desync to being a real unity, because in the rare moments they were, they were freaking unstoppable. They complement each other so well, there’s no way I want to see Tatara leave her for Shizuku at one point. If that’s ever going to happen, I’m dropping this manga, Tatara and Chii-chan absolutely need to stay together.

Talking about staying together, I love Hyodo and episode 4 made me realize again just why. This manga/anime has a great talent and that is: introducing an antagonist as some evil guy, that ends up in a friendly rivalry with the main protagonist. It happend with Hyodo, who’s some kind of mentor/elder brother to Tatara in manga right now and it also happend with Gaju. It’s so funny seeing all the people watching the anime complaining over Hyodo, wishing he would break up with Shizuku for Tatara’s sake and now they’re upset about Gaju “snatching Shizuku away” from Tarara being the mean guy… when it fact they all have their partners, they all will stay with their partners, Tatara will get his own partner and they will all become pretty good friends.

They are still rivals, but I love that they’re friends at the same time in a very healthy way. They do shenaningans, they mess up, they tease each other, but everything is on friendly terms and they rely onto each other when needed, too. In case of Hyodo, these could very well be his first actual frindships and Gaju? I mean, he’s even messing with Tatara in school all the time, they’re partners in crime.

In shounen, and Ballroom e Youkoso is a shounen, you usually have the main protagonist and his close ring of friends, his nakama. In case of Tatara, his “nakama” are his rivals, wich is kind of cool to be honest. I’d be interesting to see if Masami joins this ring of friends/rivals as well. So far, he tried his best not to and be the long wolf. He’s a very different type of guy and I think he might always stay more reserved, but I think he could very well become friends with the rest of the group.

And by the way, Akira is pretty ingenius as a comic relieve. She’s not just funny in the way she interacts with Chii-chan, there’s a very serious background to all of this and I hope to see more of her. Not because she’s gay for Chii-chan, remember I ship TataraxChii-chan, but because of her great dynamic with Chii-chan.

Before I finish this, I need to get this out of my system: You don’t teach Slow Foxtrott to a beginner. You… don’t. It’s too hard, even the basic steps are long and complicated, it’s a dance for advanced dancers and nothing Tatara should learn after Waltz as his first dance ever.

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Sing (movie 2016)

I missed quite a lot of movies in theatres lately and now that they’re slowly being released on Blu-Ray/DVD, I’m finally catching up. My latest additions are “Moana” and “Sing”.

sing011I had fun. It’s just very unfortunate for Sing that I watched Moana first. Do’t get me wrong, it’s a nice movie, it’s fun, has some pretty unique and enjoyable characters, but it’s not a “must see”. While Moana is not Disney’s greatest movie ever, it’s at least one of their better recent ones, that’s for sure. It’s not flawless and while the budget clearly shows (like, seriously, that’s got to be arguably the most beautiful animated movie I’ve ever seen), it has some shortcommings. This is criticism on a very high level, though. Still… I support Zootopia for winning the best animated movie Oscar, it really was the best animated movie of 2016.

Either way, back to sing: The plot is pretty thin. This wouldn’t really be much of a problem, if the characters were strong… which they aren’t. And here’s the problem I have with the movie: the characters don’t interact. You have this cast of awesome and interesting personalities and they’re just there for the sake of being there. All of them come with their own sets of problems, which all of them more or less solve by the end. They solve these problems by themselves, because they sing.

The singers in the show barely talk to each other outside of their respective groups. Even Buster Moon doesn’t really talk to them that much, he basically chooses them, chooses their songs and dresses, puts them into rehearsal rooms to practice and that’s it. The first and last time you see them interact is when they’re building the “outdoor theatre” together. Buster and Meena are the clostest, because Buster lets her work behind the scenes instead of sing, so he has to pay attention to her and teach her how stuff works.

I personally feel the main problem is, the movie tried to do too much at the same time. I personally cared the most about Johnny and his storyline, but that would’ve easily been enough to fill the entire movie and then there’s all the other characters, too. Frankly speaking, there’s simply not enough time to give each character the time they deserve for growth and developments to solve theie own problems in a satisfying way. Instead, I guess they focussed on Butster Moon and indended to have this story revolve around him, but his story is the least interesting. I mean, yeah, he loves his theatre and he doesn’t want to loose it, because of his dad, but when it comes to it it’s a money problem first and foremost. The other characters have emotional hurdles to take. Well, except Mike, Mike is an asshole and only cares about money and reputation.

Meena is very shy and needs to overcome her natural timid nature in order to follow her dream of being a musician. Ash needs to free herself of her boyfriend, who’s stopping and constricting her own artistic talent, but she catched him cheating on her and has to deal with a broken heart. Johnny… well, poor boy has a criminal as a father, who wants him to join the gang and doesn’t acknowledge Johnny’s interest in music. Rosita is the burned out mom of too many kids and not enough support from her husband who needs her personal life to kick off in order to be happy again.

All of this ^ sounds more interesting than the Koala with money problems. Here’s two l3vQZEUEKUvbvsFsAdifferent approaches: a) reduce the backstory of the singers, because their backstories don’t matter that much anyway, to properly build Buster Moon into a likable character with an actual emotionally connectable problem and that would most likely include giving more backstory to Buster and his father. Take your time to build emotions and don’t just throw stuff at out faces and expect us to care. Does anyone really cares about Buster? I don’t even think so, in the movie itself it was said all of Busters shows were flops, so it’s HIS fault he’s in this situation anyway and he expects these singers to get him out of it. Besides, he’s committing crime along the way, stealing electricity and water and illegally employ these squids.

b) reduce the backstory of everyone expect one of the singers and explore him or her properly and include the other caracters present into his or her healing process.

This movie tried to do everything at the same time and that’s just too much. It’s still fun, the music is great, but I never connected with the characters as much as I expected I would. Unfortunately, Meena seems to be the one from the artists who’s the “main” and for me she was the least interesting one, because she had the most trivial problem. Yes, being timid is not a piece of cake and getting over your fears is very hard and challenging and I’m not trying tot alk that down, but she had such a picture perfect life besides that. It’s like… girl, you have a way better life than any of your competitiors, why should I root for you over them? You will get your next chance, your family will catch you if you fall and help you come back. Rosita doesn’t have anyone like that, she will just fall deeper into depression. Johnny might end up in freaking prison as a criminal. Meena is basically the princess of the group.

It doesn’t really help much her song in the show was my least favorite. It’s not the song itself, Stevie Woner’s original version is awesome, I just don’t like Meena’s cover and I was glad when it was over. The other characters did a much better job covering/presenting their songs, in my opinion. I mean, have you listend to the orinal version of “Don’t you worry ’bout a thing”? It’s Latin-ish with lot’s of piano inviting you to dance Chachacha (if I’m not entirely mistaken, you can dance a Chacha to this), it’s a feel good song. Meena’s version doesn’t do it any justice. I loved her sining Halleluja so much more, why couldn’t she have sung something like that? Or … at least some kind of ballad, instead of latin? I don’t think it was the right song for her.

sourceBy the way, I loved Gunther. He was so cool. He was flat as a board in terms of characterization, but he was the comic relief and he was doing a great job being just that. They tried to give all these characters background and problems and failed to explore them properly and it’s the one character with no background whatsoever and barely and charcter to him, that I love the most. The things he was supposed to do, he was doing  extreamly well and that was: being funny and helping Rosita to loosen up. That’s all, but he did his job and he did it good.

Enough rambling. It was okay. Visuals were good, not quite as amazing as Moana, but good. Thin plot, interesting characters that don’t interact and (for the most part) pretty good music. It’s mild entertainment, but not a must-see.

Battery

80934I finally, finished “Battery”, which aired last season and is now completed with 11 episodes. I have to admit, this was the summer-season anime I had the most initial hopes in. It’s no secret I love me a good sportsanime.

The sportsanime of summer season 2016 I watched were Battery, Days and Cheer Danshi!! and out of all three Battery is still my favorite. It’s not that often I’m rating an anime or manga higher than MAL, but I don’t think Battery deserves the 6.0 it got over there, especially after considering Days got a 7.11… just… how?

I don’t think I’ll be writing a post for Days, so I’m just going to go over it real quick now: it’s just load of bullshit. I mean, seriously, why can’t Japan get soccer right? I’m a fan of more realistic sportstories and that already leaves out at least 3/4 of what’s available. The sad part is Days tries to be realistic, but utterly fails. No, you don’t get better at soccer by just running and running and running. You will be good at running a marathon, but not at soccer. Also, it’s sad attempt at building relationships within the team is very questionable. The main character is extreamly annoying and the decisions regarding his playtime on the field are more than questionable considering all he can do is… run. So, as you might’ve guessed, I dropped it.

Cheer Danshii!! I still have to finish up, I’m currently at 4/12, so I still have some way to go. It’s okay-ish so far. The animation looks too stiff and sometims awkward, but it’s watchable.

Battery is certainly on the realistic side, but I kind of expected it to take place in High1466172645_1_1_e87b793eaf09f5c9099fafd80ba12cae School… I was shocked it’s about middle schoolers. I like it’s slower pace and emphasis on the characters rather than the sport. The main character does seem very selfish, but fixing his issues is the biggest part this series is working on during it’s run time, so it does get better. The talking baseball at the beginning of the last episode was just plain weird, though.

I think what this anime managed to accomplished was good. There are a lot of open questionmarks, though. I stand at a point where I would like to see at last twice as many episodes and see the anime look at some other problems that occured and weren’t fully adressed. Especially Takumi’s family issues, what seemed to be a huge part of the story in early episodes, was not really touched upon or solved in any sense of the way. We didn’t even get to see the mother for the past 3 episodes or so.

Takumi has a huge problem with his mom and his little brother, who’s sickly and fragile. I would’ve liked a better explanation, though. Was he ill a lot when he was small? Does he have a certain condition that makes him fragile? Whatever it is, it leads to his mother being very overprotective of Seiha and kind of taking Takumi for granted. She’s not treating them equally, but kind of expects Takumi to be an adult and care for himself, understand his brother’s situation and so on… at the age of 13. That’s impossible. No wonder he’s so cold towards her. I would’ve really liked this triangle Takumi-his mom-Seiha solved.

battery_1bThen there’s Gou’s mother, who said Gou had to stop playing baseball and I expected a conflict out of that. Well, the conflict just vanished halfway though and was never talked about again.

Next point: Takumi’s granfather was apparently a very famous baseball coach and Takumi begged him to show him a breaking ball. He was refused, because he’s still too young and said he would teach him when he’s in High School. Okay, I understand we didn’t get to see more of it, because the anime only focussed on middle school, but I still expected a tiny bit more from the grandfather. For the rest of the season he was just… there. He was the one entertaining Seiha and comforting the mother when Takumi was rough again, explaining why she shouldn’t touch a pitcher’s shoulder and so on. He could’ve served a much bigger role.

Then there’s the lack of actual baseball content. Like I said, it’s mainly about Takumi and getting him to become a team player and befriend Gou. I feel like we’re now at a point where we get so see some matches, especially with the other coach saying their team will be a real contender next year and then there’s no next year. There’s just the end. I liked the end, though. It looks like Takumi’s best pitch was indeed hit, meaning he still has a lot to learn and it not unbeatable. I liked that point. It was okay to focus more on the characters and less on baseball for the time we had, but now I guess we’re just ready for some more baseball.

The art direction was very fitting, I liked the intro and outro. Quality wise it was okay, even battery-08-9though I did notice some serious quality drops in the later episodes. It’s not Kuroko no Basket budget-wise, that’s for sure and I didn’t expect it to be, to be honest. It was within my expectations.

This anime still feels unfinished, but the characters it adressed were good and the major relationship problems it solved were well done. I really liked the more silent and calm tone of it. Gou was a bit too grown up, but then again, these characters could’ve easily been High Schoolers anyway, so… and it was acutally adressed that Gou is an outstandingly independend and mindful person.

I gave battery a 7/10. After reading my own review… it sounds more like a 5/10 due to all the missed opportunies and the unfinished nature of this anime, but I did enjoy what I saw and especially the episodes where Takumi and Gou had their biggest differences. Battery tried to make a different kind of anime, a bit into the direction of Adachi Mitsuru, but didn’t quite get it as good. It’s a change of pace in the very hyperactive and exaggerated world of sportsanime.

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.