Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bite me! a review of Vampire Knight (the manga)

Rated 16+

Vampire Knight is a pretty interesting shojo manga series. (Trust me, I know what I'm talking about. I tend to dislike all shojo mangas, so if I like this one, it's got to be good.) This is actually pretty interesting.

Vampire Knight is about...vampires.

It's okay! Don't freak out! These vampires don't sparkle or anything. In fact, the Twilight vampires kind of look like younger, inexperienced kids next to these vamps. In a fight, Edward would definitely lose. (Especially the movie-Edward.) Unfortunately, it does follow the same girl-likes-vamp kind of theme. But that one has recently made a comeback, so we should all just get used to it.

Yuki Cross can't remember her past. All she knows was that a vampire attacked her as a young child, and Kaname Kuran, another vampire, saved her. She was taken in by Mr. Cross. She was raised to like vampires. Mr. Cross is all about everyone getting along, and he tries to instill that value into Yuki Cross. Zero Kiryu, the child of a vampire hunter, also ends up living there. His entire family has been attacked and killed by a revenge-hungry vampire. They become friends (though one might call their relationship a bit...strange).

Then, Mr. Cross comes up with a brilliant idea. He'll open up a school for vampires! (Which is pretty strange, considering that his adopted daughter was attacked by one, and so was Zero. Kind of makes you wonder if he honestly cares about them.) Of course, regular kids can come to the Cross Academy as well. But they (dubbed the "Day Class" since they go to school during the day), mustn't know that the "Night Class" is full of vampires-he wouldn't want the lawsuits. That's where Yuki and Zero come in. They are the school guardians, protecting the Day Class from the Night Class. And vice versa.

It doesn't quite help that Yuki seems to be in love with Kaname Kuran, one of the top kids in the Night Class. It also doesn't help that Zero has his own...issues.

This series, created by Matsuri Hino, is pretty interesting. The illustration style is wonderful. But it's a good thing this series isn't in color. It would be the creepiest book ever, and would have gotten a bad review instead of a good one. (There's quite a lot of blood.) The only problem I have with it is that Yuki seems to be annoying energetic and optimistic. How many times does she have to be attacked by a vampire to learn her lesson? Vampires are bad. She needs to stay away from them. And some scenes make this vamp series worthy of its rating, so be on the lookout for those. Other than that, it's a good series.

Will Yuki stay away from the vampires? What's up with Zero?

These are questions that can only be answered by...reading!

Check out Vampire Knight at Amazon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why?

I was just looking at another blogger site, found here that spoke about the high suicide rate in Japan. What I want to know is: Why? Why is Japan's suicide rate so high? Can anyone figure that out for me?
Why?

Tsubasa-the manga

If you've ever heard of Cardcaptor Sakura, you'll love this show.
Not that this show is anything like that. Trust me, it's not even close. The only thing is that the two main characters (Syaoran Li and Sakura) are the same.
They're the same, but they're not.
But you'll understand soon.
Essentially, this is a touching story about two friends. Sakura and Syaoran have practically grown up together. Had none of this happened, maybe they would have simply spent their entire lives together, or even gotten married. Syaoran could have become the King of Clow Country (as Sakura was the princess). He could have viewed all the different architectual designs he wanted. He might have gotten Sakura's brother to actually like him. (Or hate him less.) Maybe none of this would have happened.
Somehow, I doubt that.
Sakura's memories were split into numerous feathers, scattered across all dimensions. The only way to get them back was to visit the Dimensional Witch, otherwise known as Y√Ľko. She grants wishes-for a price. Usually it's your most valuable possession. Two others have come to her as well: Kurogane and Fai D. Fluorite. Everyone must pay a price to go on their journey together. For Fai, it's a tattoo on his back. For Kurogane, it's his sword. For Syaoran and Sakura, it's their relationship.
The story follows the characters as they go to various dimensions, with a small creature named Mokona, looking for Sakura's feathers. The thing about these different dimensions is that they contain people who are the same-but different. They include people with the same faces and personalities, only different experiences. (For example, you could see Sakura's brother multiple times, only he would never know Sakura.) This is a wonderful manga series, from the great mangaka, CLAMP. The thing that makes this story so engaging is that there are many underlying plots and complex characters. Each one has their own problems. They are never how they seem.
Will Sakura and Syaoran stay together? Who knows?
Learn more here

Death note

Death Note is a popular series about boredom.

Okay, so it's not really about boredom. Though, if you're trying extremely hard, you can wring out the moral that "idle hands are the devil's tools" or something like that. In this case, it's true.

Light Yagami is bored. He just so happens to be highly intelligent student in Japan, as well. (He also has somewhat evil tendencies. Go figure.) He's good at pretty much everything he does. He's even pretty popular at school. His dad's a police officer, so Light realized early on that the justice system was corrupt. He wanted to do something to change it, but what? Maybe he wouldn't have done anything at all, had Ryuk been happy.

Unfortunately for him, Ryuk was bored too. And Ryuk was a Shinigami. (Shinigami=death god.)

Shinigamis were the ones who choose how someone will die, at least in Light's world. They used death notes to write down how, when, and where someone would die. They weren't supposed to give them to humans.

But Ryuk was oh so very bored. He dropped his death note, and Light found it.

Unlike most intelligent people who find a strange notebook lying in the street that says "Death Note" on it, Light decided it would be a wonderful idea to pick it up. He cautiously took it home. And he wrote a name in it to see if someone would die. When the person did, Light, unlike many others with a high intelligence, decided to keep using the death note. He decided to kill all the criminals in the world, the ones the justice system had left unpunished. After they were all gone, he would become the god of the new world.

I know what you're thinking. He's insane. Isn't it more interesting that way?

The Japanese government quickly figured out that the sudden deaths of numerous criminals was no coinkeydink. They just couldn't figure out how it was happening. So, they hired L, a mysterious detective who can solve any crime. And, like Light, L happens to be a genius, too.

Over all, this series is pretty engaging. Even if you don't like Light because of his...well, desire to be God...you'll probably like L, who has strange mannerisms and a desire for sweets. The thing about this series is that the people in it are so smart. There will be numerous twists that you'll never see coming. You'll have to watch all the way to the end to figure out just going to happen.

Will justice prevail?

You'll have to watch to find out.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist is a widely known anime about the Elric brothers. Edward Elric and his younger brother, Alphonse Elric, live in an interesting world full of alchemy. People use alchemy as a sort of magic, not a science. The Elric brothers used to live with their mother in a simple house, after their father left them. Since their father was an alchemist, the two brothers became interested in it. They created simple things using alchemy to please their mother. Things might have stayed peaceful, without too much trouble or fuss. They could have been happy, I guess.
If their mother hadn't died.

Once their mother died, Edward and Alphonse decided to do something that was taboo, though they didn't know it: They decided to bring her back to life. Knowing the Law of Equivalent Exchange (which says that you must give something to get something else-like you must study for a test in order to pass), they gathered together all the elements that make up the human body. They prepared a transmutation circle, in which all alchemy had to be done, or else it didn't work. For all they knew. The two young brothers eagerly attempted to bring back their beloved mother, with disastrous results.

Edward lost only a limb. His brother, however, completely disappeared. Edward panicked and somehow managed to bond his brother's soul into a suit of armor. This was at the cost of another limb. Edward lost an arm and a leg. Alphonse lost his entire body.

After this, Edward become a State Alchemist. (A bit like an alchemist for the military.) He and his brother traveled the globe, searching for a Philosopher's Stone in order to bypass the Law of Equivalent Exchange and get their original bodies back. On the way, they discover a plot that could change the world...

I highly recommend this series. However, it's nearly impossible to watch this wonderful anime along with the manga series. If you want to read the manga, which isn't necessary or even a good idea-they don't match at all-you should wait until after finishing the anime. Then you'll have understood the anime more fully.

And you could even watch the second anime!

A good way to watch this would be to pay to watch it on funimation. Or, of course, you could simply look on youtube...








Naruto

Perhaps one of the most well-known animes in America, this is a show about ninjas. Yes, ninjas. However, you'll hardly ever see anyone in this show wearing all black so that only their eyes can be seen, shuffling around in a forest at night. No, these are a completely new kind of ninja. The kids in Naruto wear regular clothes and use chakra.
But that still doesn't tell you much about the show, does it?
Naruto Uzumaki is a kid who belongs to the Leaf Village. (The different areas in his world are separated into villages.) He doesn't have any parents. He lives by himself in a lonesome apartment. All of the villagers avoid him, since he has a demon-the Nine-Tailed Fox-locked inside of him. It was locked inside of him when he was a child in order to save the entire village. Though that should give him a place of honor in the village, it has only given him one of shame.
So, Naruto decides to become a ninja. No, more specifically, he decides he wants to be hokage. (The head of the village-like the president or the mayor.) That way, Naruto will definitely prove all of them wrong. At least, that's his reasoning.
And it all goes on from there. Suddenly Naruto's getting into all wacky situations and making friends with all sorts of strange characters. You'll learn to love Sasuke (or hate him, take your pick), the last Uchiha, and laugh at Sakura's rages and her inner personality.
Don't expect to be laughing constantly, though. The main thing about this show is that, while it's funny, it's also serious. Every one of the characters has some sort of problem or desire they want fulfilled. They have futures that are uncertain. They're struggling to find their way, just like regular kids.
The only downside to this show is that, at times, it can be slightly inappropriate. It almost makes me wonder how a station like Cartoon Network managed to get away with having Naruto on there. But those times are few and far in between.
Over all, Naruto is an excellent show. I highly recommend it.

Watch Naruto!

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