Category Archives: Anime Blog Collective

March MMF: Aria/Aqua Series Artbooks

Cover of Cielo

Prior to this blog post, I was a bit worried about overly gushing a bit too much, since I am the host of this Manga Movable Feast on my own blog over at Scribblings, however I was reassure along the lines that if I loved the series enough to take on the responsibility being a host, then wouldn’t I be expected to gush about it? Similar to how my contribution was to the November’s MMF, this is going to be a post via this anime blog site on a series of artbooks that I owned from this series. I am an artbook collector for the most part, and getting three of the artbooks, was a haul I made when I visited Japan last year.

Aria The Illustration: Avvenire
Alpha – Kozue Amano Illustration Works
Stella – Kozue Amano Illustration Works II
Cielo – Kozue Amano Illustration Works III

My general impression on this set of artbooks, is a complete feast for the eyes and a balm to the soul of a collector. Every time I look within the pages, of each and every art book, I am consistently reminded of how wonderful this series is, and how much I can’t choose as to what is my favorite image, though I profess to love Alice, and Maa.

Avvenire covers the art that deals with the anime series from all three seasons, and there are cd images, group pictures, promotional images that is bound in this book.  There’s an incredible image of Akari standing with Caith Sith.

Alpha, Stella, Cielo is a series of artbooks for the manga. Aqua/Aria as the main subject piece of all three books, only has art in half of the book, a portion of the book has Amano’s other manga series’ in it (Roman Club, Crescent Noise.) I mentioned that I purchased these books when I was Japan, but I ended up purchasing it, the next day after I saw the images in my small hostel room from this link, and I seriously don’t regret it.

2010 Great Manga Gift Guide Take 2!

Around the November-December period, the holiday seasons begins, and at this time, people are typically in the mood to give other gifts, so what is a good general choice in my opinion, other than graphic novels of course. The reason why I am calling this list – Take 2, simply because I wrote one last year on my own blog here and another Yaoi gift guide list here. This year’s 2010 call for lists was made by Daniella of All About Manga, so if you want to consult other lists and selections, refer here for other lists and suggestions.

I won’t give straight on plot summaries for these suggestions, but take not that of all the links that there is associated with the title, it ties to an Amazon.com link. I will be including information on the publisher, how much volumes are out in English, and the year that the title is published in the United States.

This has been a slightly difficult list for me to compile, because I don’t really want to repeat my choices from last year, and definitely not sound like echoing many of the other fantastic lists on the #GMGG, but if you have read through the other lists, and see duplicates, then most definitely the book recommended is a book to giver or a keeper. I spent the last week trying to think of 10 titles, and I really can’t seem to push it. >_> So here are nine possible present ideas!

For the adult and hardcore yaoi readers

Under Grand Hotel (801 Media) (2 volumes) (2010)
This is a classic that is known as UGH to readers. I have purchased both volumes, and it is a fantastic read, the size of these books are in typical Japanese style, so it can easily fit in your pocketbook. This book is rated 18+ since it is has themes of smutty sex, murder, rape, the setting is in a prison, but the tormented angsty bl-plot is enough to draw a fujoshi into the storyline. Most of what I have seen of this book is shrink wrapped, even when I see it in bookstores, so while you can’t pursue the storyline yourself, it is good for a fan who enjoys hot steamy man sex. ^_^

For foodie and adventuring readers

Toriko (Viz) (2 volumes-ongoing) (2010)
Ahhh a mixture of enjoyment for food lovers and adventure seeking readers. An earlier review here. This is set in an alternative world, but with the unique food species, it is interesting for readers to compare and contrast. Also what makes it a great food book, is the enjoyment of reading about eating food. So while the food topic is creatively false… shouldn’t you also try to find your life’s menu? Either by eating or cooking it yourself?

For pet lovers readers

Chi’s Sweet Home (Vertical) (3 volumes-ongoing) (2010)
I recommended this last year, and once again can’t rush to definitely recommending it this year. With the fourth volume, Chi has definitely made in onto NYTime’s best selling manga list. It is appropriate for all age, and the cuteness of the kitten cannot be beat! It is also a great contrast for readers, since Vertical spared no expense with having it all printed in color. Also with their new portal up, there includes bonus that was only available with the Japanese editions. Now it is available in English for fans of this dear kitten.

For vampire and adaptation readers

Cirque Du Freak (Yen Press) (7 volumes-ongoing)(2009)
This is an adaptation of what appears to be a great English series. It has a rich storyline, and for friends who enjoy reading about vampires, not necessarily Twilight, this is a great engrossing tale to get into. Personally I love the story of how Darren Shaw perseveres and survives.

For school life and opposites attract themes

Monkey High! (Viz) (8 volumes) (2008)
This is a story of a very unlikely couple. While it is already several years old, if your teen friend haven’t read of this series from Shojo Beat, why not get it for her then? There is a great chemistry between the two leads, and what makes it great is that even with the difference between them, their love holds true. Probably as I mentioned in my earlier review for the series, this is a good shorter read for fans of Love.com or other comedy shojo.

For readers who enjoy comedy and parody

Gintama (Viz) (20 volumes-ongoing) (2007)
How many times can I praise this great under appreciated story? Similar to several other titles, it stayed in my mind frequently to even make it onto this list. Review here. Sure you have to have already been a fan of other Shonen Jump series, but what better way to read of it from another perspective of poking fun at it. Jokes may be crass, but they are witty to the point of side splitting.

For slice of life and human drama readers

Saturn Apartments (Viz) (2 volumes-ongoing) (2010)
Fans of of science fiction, should take note of this slice of life written storyline of a boy who grows up the planet of Saturn. If you enjoy books like To Terra, or Tegami Bachi, then this is a similar read. It is quite a beautiful read for the most part, showing an inherent kindness toward the people around you, no matter if they are strangers.

For suspense and mystery readers.

The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service (Dark Horse) (11 volumes-ongoing) (2006)
Fans for forensics, detective, crime, and paranormal stories should take note of this engrossing story of figuring out whodunit and whatever repercussions from a crime can karma take. This is a dark humor series, that can definitely entertain reader who enjoy logic and paranormal situations.

For android and teen readers

Karakuri Odette (Tokyopop) (4 volumes-ongoing) (2009)
First impression from reading this blurb definitely can remind readers of Chobits, and really that’s where the comparisons can end. In some ways reading this book has been for me, reading a bit like Dr. Slump, but on a more serious/teen note. An android explores from her perspective what exactly is human life/feelings. Mostly likely a good choice for friends who like to read about aspects of what makes a person unique and individual from the larger group.

November MMF: One Piece Color Walk…

So the title trend was Blue, Red, Lion and Eagle...

As the week of One Piece on MMF draws to a close. I find myself inspired to at least get out another article for this week of feasting. Earlier this week I wrote this entry for my own blog. So I am am selfishly indulgent to drag Anime Diet into the feast. Now I am still on my tip toes just reading other blogger’s impressions, and thinking about a personal invested and beloved series. All I have to say that I can contribute some more is of my love for Color Walk, which is the artbook equivalent to this long running series of 60+ volumes.

The Color Walks are released infrequently, since I can only imagine it would happen when the mangaka has time to oversee projects like this. Nearly all other popular series like Gundam, and Evangelion to name a few anime titles get this type of treatment in Japan. There are other franchise business other than the manga, and for the One Piece lineup, there are the Data Books, or Linear art books or Production work books.

Benefits of a Color Walk

  • Color Walks are used to highlight or recap key images from the various manga arcs, giving it the Color treatment, so it is very much like a yearbook, since in the pages table of content mentions years.
  • You have to be a fan to really really appreciate throwing the money onto getting this. Since it is very much a coffee table book purchase.
  • Fan keepsake, since it take a lot of shelf space to keep 60+ volumes, so to know that these are representative art work from those periods make it more nice.
  • Knowing the artist’s feelings when making these is nice, there’s always pages of notes at the end of the book.
  • Shows a linear development/improvement of art. Because I have always been in the mindset that initially the art was hard to get into for One Piece, so to see the art evolve into the later art is a great record to have.

So far of the four Color Walks that has been published, only one of them got picked up to be released in English from Shonen Jump. Watching the price of all of the existing Color Walk being sold for $50+ by Amazon sellers shows of a market that is tied to how much supply and demand that there is.

Tying back into my own blog post…..

As I was in the middle of reading the arcs of Waters 7 and Thriller Bark. One Piece Color Walk 4 specifically featured art from the Waters7 arc. I was quite happy to finally read a translation of a mini-story in Volume 32, which is around the area of Davy Fights Back mini-arc. This I believe mostly ties into the initial wish of what type of people Luffy wants on board his ship, so for this mini-story, it showcases music and food for him.

The 5th Color Walk: Shark, is going to be out soon, and New York’s Kinokuniya will have in in the next two weeks or so, since its release date is December 6 in Japan. It would probably include images from Thriller Bark, Sabaody Archipelago, and Amazon Lily. I am grasping at straws if I am going to hope that Impel down be included, since the Color Walks are often a year or two, OKAY Five years behind. I can only try to predict what is in it. I do see the recent calender that is for One Piece in 2011, that has more possible future Color Walk inclusion.

I am right now putting on my hopes to see more inclusion of Franky and Brooks to finally be integrated within the art pages of the Color Walk line up. Randomly, the Mugiwara Crew got showcased from the very beginning on the covers of the Color Walk, but that doesn’t mean the cover reflect the contents

For fans it definitely is a dent in the wallet, and prolongs the longevity of the series, so in a good and bad way. Critics would mention that this is just placing the series to another level. I was recently having a conversation with @OtakuDan, and we got into the conversation of when will the big 3 end.. The big 3 meaning, Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece. He disclosed that all three series had a time skip. Just knowing when One Piece can gratefully bow out is probably going to be Edo’s call. If he still has the vision, then he would be going on with the series, so with this success, will the story become a big fish?

Anime Blogging Collective War Ends; All Bow Before Owen S

“It was an April Fool’s Day joke, we swear!” former rebels claim before being executed

Owen proclaims the new regime

MALAYSIA–the week-long civil war within the Anime Blogging Collective, founded by Owen S, is now over with the final surrender of all the breakaway and expelled blogs. The surrender was signed on board the USS Saturn-9 on April 1, 2008. The signers were then all blindfolded and executed by firing squad.

“Today,” Owen declared, “is a sad, and also triumphant day for the Collective. The imperial running dogs and their allies have been defeated, but fresh blood must enter the collective to replace what it has lost. We must embark upon the task of rebuilding, with new friends and allies who believe in the Revolution and the Cause of the Collective.” He then announced new leaders for all the formerly rebellious blogs.

The conflict began when CJ Blackwing, the leader of Borderline Hikkikomori, was expelled for noncompliance with the Clannad and True Tears Watching Act. She voiced her dissent publicly and was joined many other bloggers who concurred with her scurrilous assessment of Owen S as a “dictator,” and before long, all-out battle ensued. While some stood on the sidelines, Leader Owen mobilized his army, which included Anime Diet, and after many intense battles was able to recapture all the lost territory.

“The future of the ABC is bright,” Owen said. “Now that we are once again united behind my singular vision for anime blogging, we plan to increase the quota output by 50% in next month’s One-Month Plan. This incident proves that the Collective is the wave of the future, and that when bloggers unite, there is no stopping them.” He then added with a smirk, “And who will now think of even joking around with me?”

Editorial: Why We Love Owen S

Owen S, the Great and Illustrious Mind and Founder of the Anime Blogging Collective, is our noble master! Born in a faraway land, it was his initiative to begin the Glorious Revolution which would overthrow the AnimeNano and Animeblogger imperial running dogs’ regime and lead us toward the shining path of the Collective. From the beginning, Anime Diet has stood proudly with the Dear Founder as he led more and more of the blogging world to the light, to the wave of the future: the Blogging Collective, in which all speak as one.

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12 Days, 12 Moments: Day 12–Words, Words, Words…and the rest is silence

And I close this series of 12 Moments with what I think is the greatest moment in anime I’ve seen this year. It comes from the show I liked best this year, ef-a tale of memories, episode 7. Those of you who’ve seen it know what I’m talking about. I haven’t seen a scene in an anime that rattled me so much since the genesis of my fandom watching the psychodrama parts of Evangelion.

Words, and silence.

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12 Days, 12 Moments: Day 11–School’s Out

You didn’t think I’d forgotten this moment, did you? I deliberately saved this moment and the one I’m posting tomorrow on Christmas day for last, as I do believe they represent watersheds for the year, defining moments that portend future changes in anime in general, or a least will be remembered for many more years to come.

Today, of course, I speak of the end of that lurid soap opera so innocently titled School Days. I could just say “Nice boat” and you’d all understand. But here’s a little further reflection on what it means for anime in general.

Sugar, spice, and everything nice...on a boat

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12 Days, 12 Moments: Day 10–A Song for the Time Leaper

Today’s moment is not, properly speaking, a moment in the story of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo). It’s the ending song, “Garnet” by Hanaka Oku, which is not only sweet, melodic, and mood-appropriate–its lyrics fit the story well without being blindingly obvious or obnoxious. (One of my greatest disappointments was learning the English translation of the wonderful Russian choral song of Fullmetal Alchemist, “Bratya.” It was so…wooden and unworkable outside of FMA.) “Garnet” is probably the one anime song I listened to more this year than any other, for what I consider the finest anime film of the year.

Here’s the full, orchestrated version of the song, translated in the video itself:

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12 Days, 12 Moments: Day 9–In the Britannian Future, There Is Only Pizza Hut

Today’s moment is brought to you not just by the Anime Blogging Collective and Code Geass, but also by Pizza Hut. Try our new Double Deep Pizza for just $12.99! It’s the most incredibly toppped pizza, with 50% more cheese and twice the toppings of a regular medium pizza, with the crust folded over to hold it all in! Only at Pizza Hut, Britannia’s Favorite Pizza. [Sound of clinking coins]

Eating Pizza Hut didn’t make C2 fat. Why would it make you fat?

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12 Days, 12 Moments: Day 8–Higurashi Ceases to be Horrible

No, not horrible as in poor quality! 2006 was a very strong year for originality and good writing in anime, and one of the year’s great standouts (the winner of the Originality award along with Haruhi Suzumiya) was the horror-mystery series Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni. However, with this year’s season, it has long since departed from the strict horror genre, which marks a significant turn in the way we are supposed to understand the show. That’s the subject of today’s Anime Blogging Collective “12 Moments” series.

Warning: today’s entry contains significant spoilers for Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni. If you are unfamiliar with the series/game and wish to remain virginal this is not for you. ;)

You’<p>re too moe to be in a horrorshow 

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12 Days, 12 Moments: Day 7–The Starfish of Triumph

I return today to talking from films to TV shows for this installment of 12 Days, 12 Moments–and about the most popular show on the blogosphere, too. The end of the Fuko arc in Clannad marks, in my view, the maturation of Key as storytellers, where they at last succeeded in finding the right balance between sentiment and restraint and earning the emotions of its characters.

And have a nice anime while we’<p><p>re at it  Continue reading

12 Days, 12 Moments: Day 6–Lucky Star Gets Serious

How do you insert something heartfelt, even serious, in the middle of a show dedicated to jokes–and otaku jokes at that? You do it the way this year’s Hirano Aya/KyoAni lovefest, Lucky Star, did it in episode 22. 

This post is brought to you by Owen’s Collective Farm the Anime Blogging Collective.

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