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ShadowRaven
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Kentaro Miura, who created one of my favorite mangas and animes, passed away.  If you haven't watched it yet, go watch the 1997 anime series Berserk, and read through at least the Golden Age Arc in the Berserk Manga. 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/may/20/kentaro-miura-creator-of-bestselling-manga-berserk-dies-aged-54

Edited by Unit04
Forgot to add the name of the show!
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On 4/4/2021 at 12:25 PM, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

Discovered a new manga (or whatever the Korean equivilent is) last night.  Stayed up till 4am reading before I just couldn't continue.  Finished off the remaining dozen chapters this morning.  Now I have to wait for updates.

 

Solo Leveling: 10 years ago, after “the Gate” that connected the real world with the monster world opened, some of the ordinary, everyday people received the power to hunt monsters within the Gate. They are known as "Hunters". However, not all Hunters are powerful. My name is Sung Jin-Woo, an E-rank Hunter. I'm someone who has to risk his life in the lowliest of dungeons, the "World's Weakest". Having no skills whatsoever to display, I barely earned the required money by fighting in low-leveled dungeons… at least until I found a hidden dungeon with the hardest difficulty within the D-rank dungeons! In the end, as I was accepting death, I suddenly received a strange power, a quest log that only I could see, a secret to leveling up that only I know about! If I trained in accordance with my quests and hunted monsters, my level would rise. Changing from the weakest Hunter to the strongest S-rank Hunter!

 

If you are still following this, chapters 162 & 163 contained a ton of exposition and gave a pretty decent explanation for why the setting is what it is.

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Just saw this thread, which is timely as I just finished watching the 4th Rebuild of Evangelion Movie (named Evangelion 3.0+1.01, Thrice Upon a Time in typical Hideaki Anno fashion....)

First thing I'll say is, I've been an Eva fan going back almost 20 years.  I won't ever claim it's the best show ever (truth be told I have a hard time labeling anything that), its surreal, with a messy plot obscured behind a lot of symbolism and beautiful imagery.  But it has always ranked in my favorites.

that being said, the Rebuild series has been a trip of it's own, and I'll say the final movie works and works very, VERY well as an end to the whole journey.  Taken alone, the four movies would be enjoyable and someone new to Eva could absolutely enjoy them as a weird, surreal bit of craziness mixed with some giant robots, but for nerds like me who've watched the original several times and dug into the lore and manga over the course of two decades, it packed an extra special appropriateness to the capstone of the series.
 

Anything else to say includes spoilers, so don't click that button if you want to watch it unspoilt.  
 

Spoiler

First up... the first  hour, focusing so closely on Ayanami? and her learning just how to be a person was intensely enjoyable. Very reminiscent of a Ghibli film to me. 
About the only negative I have for this part was Asuka's lack of clothing choice. There was a lot of.. gratuitous fanservice in parts of this that kind of took me out of the story a little, and I'm not one to usually complain about a bit.  It just felt, badly placed.
I am also a little disappointed that Ayanami?'s character development didn't come back in during the final act.  Her 'death' at the end of the arc is a gut punch, but it's how Shinji takes it, a loss and a tragedy, but also the first sign of him becoming emotionally mature to be able to move on after loosing someone and not hate himself for it.

 

In addition... wow I never thought I'd say this but I actually sympathize for the worst dad in anime now and I'm not so sure he entirely deserves the title any more?  This movie turns on it's head the thought that he willingly scarified Yui to become the spirit inside unit 01, and implies that her being lost to the Eva was actually an accident that he spent the whole rest of the series trying to change.  Weird thought.

 

And Shinji... I think my own emotional maturity now is part of what made his arc in this move resonate.  I'm in a totally different place both emotionally and mentally than I was when I first found the series, and seeing him be able to reach a sort of peace actually kinda got the waterworks going.  

He accepted his past mistakes and instead of punishing himself for them, or railing about how life was unfair and against people's expectations of them, or trying to carry the burden all by himself, he decided that this was something that needed to be done, he could do it, and he could move forward to try to make things better.

 

Shenji got in the d*** robot.


One big negative I have is Mari, and more specifically I have trouble with how much Shinji trusted her at the end and the possible Relationship? (platonic or otherwise) that is hinted at by the ending with the two of them.  Had she shown a little more character development over the course of the 3 films she was in, or more importantly had she had more than 2 short confusing encounters with Shinji prior I might be more willing to accept it.  The way it went she feels like that weird friend who never grew up and is now interacting with your kid in a way that's way too flirty.
 

 

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I've kept up on a few manga over the summer, but for the most part I found myself at least 6 months behind on a lot of series.  Instead of painting in September I spent a good chunk of free time catching up on things.  Rather than keeping it to myself I figure I may as well toss my thoughts up here for anyone looking for something to read.

 

Promised Orchid

 

Complete – 106 chapters + chapter 0 prologue

Licensed in English - No, but the fan translation is complete.

 

Since The Breaker part 2 ended I've checked up on what the artist has been up to in the hope that they had started working on part 3. Last time I checked up on them we got... a side project. That said Trinity Wonder was a fun read so it wasn't all bad. After that “ended” I waited a bit before checking back again to find... another side project. Get to work on part 3 ya bums!

 

So this side project is “Promised Orchid.” It is a NAVER webtoon,which means it is read by endlessly scrolling down. It is not my favorite style of layout as you don't get the flow of a traditional manhwa, but it gets the job done. Since it is drawn by Park Jin-Hwan I was expecting good artwork. It is solid, but overall it doesn't seem as good as his earlier work. Certainly he shows off what he can do from time to time, and most of the panels are just fine, but a number of them look a bit rushed. This would have been released on a weekly publication schedule so maybe he had to go fast to get it done.

 

The story itself is a boy meets girl ghost story, with a lot of fighting. Jaesin has a recurring dream about a woman saying “I'll be waiting.” One day he takes a part time job and on the way he meets a strange fortune teller who gives him a bit of advice. Things happen and he ends up in an art gallery where there is a painting of The Temple of the Promised Orchid. It seems familiar so he moves to Promised Orchid street, but his new place is haunted, specters roam the streets, and none of them seem friendly!

 

At barely over 100 chapters the story doesn't have time to get too convoluted. It takes a couple dozen chapters to really get rolling. Once it does there are some fragmented flashback sequences, but overall the story arcs towards the climax. If it hits some genres that you like it is a story worth reading.

 

And in other news, now that Promised Orchid is finished, it has been confirmed that Park Jim-Hwan and Jeon Geuk-Jin are back to working on The Breaker and part 3 should start publication by the end of the year. Yeah!

 

So here's your Park Jin-Hwan reading list:

The Breaker

The Breaker: New Waves

Trinity Wonder

Promised Orchid

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Askr Yggdrasil's Wood

 

Ongoing – 151+ chapters

Licensed in English – No, fan translation 120+

 

Every world has a world tree and the location that all of the trees are gathered is Askr. Among the citizens of Askr are the Gardeners, whose job is to watch over the world trees and make sure the world it connects to develops properly. They do this by theft, assassination, genocide, or whatever gets the job done.

 

Ayr was a gardener who was sent into exile for the crime of destroying a world. Suddenly for no apparent reason his sentence is commuted and he is allowed to return to Askr. He was in exile for 10 years, but due to the time difference between worlds 100 years has passed on Askr. He finds the city has changed quite a bit while he was away. He also finds that his records have been deleted, and with the passage of time almost nobody remembers who he was. Now he just has to find out why he is back and who is responsible.

 

Askr is published on U17, which is a Chinese equivalent of NAVER, so you can once again expect to read by endless scrolling. As I recall it is a site for independent artists to self publish and then be supported by donations.

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Killing Bites

 

Ongoing – 19 volumes/91+ Chapters

Licensed in English – No, fan translation 91+

 

Ugh, this one makes my head hurt. Two things:

  • A bit of Japanese history to set the stage. Under the Japanese Empire there existed “zaibatsu,” which were family owned corporations that controlled large swaths of the economy. After WWII the US broke them up, but they were allowed to reform in the 1950s as groups. For the most part these groups remain closely aligned but there is no longer one person on top controlling everything. One that everyone has probably heard of is Mitsubishi.
  • The honey badger is the most awesome animal of all time.

So, the story. Nomoto Yuuya's acquaintances ask him out to pick up chicks. It turns out what they mean by this is kidnap, rape, and dump a high school girl. Not quite what he had in mind. Unfortunately for them the girl they pick happens to be a human animal hybrid. She proceeds to kill them all, but leaves Yuuya alive because she needs a driver to get to a fight. It turns out that the zaibatsu are still family controlled, but in order to avoid direct conflict they have decided on the next best option. Have human-animal hybrids fight each other in death matches with their sponsors reaping the rewards!

 

For each fight there is a different hybrid and the author has to explain why that animal is awesome. And each time there is a reason that the honey badger is more awesome. It is very formulaic and gets old really quick. Dude, I get it, you like honey badgers. They eat lions, tigers, and bears for breakfast on a regular basis.

 

And, yeah, five volumes in (which is all that I managed) that's the whole story. Boy meets girl, boy becomes girl's sponsor, girl enters deathmatch where there is much fighting and killing. And some TnA.

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Here's a couple more I've been reading.

 

The Weakest Tamer Began a Journey to Pick Up Trash

 

Ongoing – 10+ chapters

Licensed in English - No

 

The conceit of this setting is that god grants everyone a skill, and that skill is given a rank. The combination of skill and rank basically determines what kind of job you will have in life. Our protagonist is given the “tamer” skill at zero stars, or basically nothing. Because she starts to get mistreated by her parents she runs away at 5, but the village seer predicted this and finds her in the woods. The old lady teaches her how to survive, but dies a few years later.

 

Realizing she is about to be killed by the village chief Ivy runs away completely. In the process she runs into a “broken slime” which is a slime so weak that it can die with just a poke. She can actually tame it and it eats some of her potions. Eh? It shouldn't do that. Thus begins her journey of trapping mice to survive and visiting illegal dumps to find things she can use.

 

So you have an 8 year old girl and a super weak slime trying to survive in a fantasy world. She can't actually fight so she has to hide or run away. The art is solid and the setting has the potential to be interesting. She is pretty much in poverty to start off. That said, slime tamer has been established in the story as a legit profession. If the author chooses to go in that direction she won't have to worry about trapping small woodland creatures anymore.

 

The Fable

 

Complete – 22 volumes

Licensed in English – No, 9 volumes translated

 

The underworld has a legend of an unstoppable hitman called “Fable.” The current Fable has been active for 6 years, but as good as he is there is still a bit too much heat. He and his driver are given orders to lay low and live a normal life for 1 year, with absolutely no killing. The thing is, he is a bit odd and has very few social skills. And where they are staying is a Yakuza safehouse so there are bound to be complications.

 

If you are looking for a crime manga with a lot of violence, then this really isn't for you. There is some violence and fighting, but so far it is as advertised. The most recent story arc consisted of Fable camping in the woods to keep his edge, while his sister was bored and drank some local under the table.

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Been re-watching Mahoraba - Heartful Days because someone finally put it out on DVD after all these years.

 

Nowhere near as good as I remember it being (I would've been very surprised if it was), but it's still a fun series and it's nice being taken back to the early 00's, when life was simpler and the future was still bright and full of infinite possibilities.

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I ordered a lot of old anime DVDs. I got Paprika, Those Who Hunt Elves (which was what I ordered the lot for), a thing a Zatchbell episodes, Akame ga Kill (on BluRay), a bootleg DVD of Resident Evil: Degeneration (which I already own), and Planets. Now, that last one is... Interesting. The title is in Greek (confirmed via Google Translate app) but there's Japanese and English on the box and it's region-free. So... I think I ended up with a Greek bootleg of the show. I don't know. I do know that I'm not putting it in my computer. :ph34r:

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I made Grump watch I Couldn't Become a Hero, So I Reluctantly Go a Job Working Retail.

 

LOTS of nudity, BUT mostly by one very nice demon lady who REALLY trusts and likes the would be hero. It's not as accidental as he thinks.

 

She reminds me of someone. ::P:

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7 hours ago, PaganMegan said:

I made Grump watch I Couldn't Become a Hero, So I Reluctantly Go a Job Working Retail.

 

LOTS of nudity, BUT mostly by one very nice demon lady who REALLY trusts and likes the would be hero. It's not as accidental as he thinks.

 

She reminds me of someone. ::P:

Dare I ask what this is on, and how long it is? 

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