30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 5: Anime You’re Ashamed You Enjoyed

This post is part of The 30 Day Anime Challenge Series alongside the Cosmic Anvil Kickstarter campaign. Click here to read the introduction, and click here to check out and support the campaign to help us fund the printing and distribution of our first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series, Age of Revolution.


Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

I can’t really think of any anime I’m actually ashamed to say that I’ve enjoyed so I think I may have to skip over this one! *Sorry!*  As I’ve carefully selected the anime I have watched so far, there’s nothing I’m ashamed to say I’ve seen yet… Maybe that’s a good thing, though?


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

I’m ashamed to say that unlike Jess, I had a few too many choices to pick between for this one! Oh boy. Let’s face it though: there’s a lot of great anime out there, and there’s a lot of bad anime too. But, if you don’t watch the bad, then you have nothing to measure the good against, right? Or at least that’s how I justify it…

My pick for this one is a series that I watched because I wanted to find more anime with LGBT+ characters, and of course, ended up in dangerous Yaoi/Yuri/Hentai territory pretty quickly! Feeling lost, I asked for a recommendation from one of my LGBT+ nerd friends, who recommended Gravitation – a 13-part series about a rocky love story between aspiring teen pop star Shuichi Shindou and aloof romance novelist Eiri Yuki, set in the late 90s/early 00s.

Gravitation Cosmic Anvil 30 Day Anime Challenge

Shuichi and Yuki.

So what’s so shameful about it other than the relentless power-pop numbers in frilly pirate shirts? Well, fans may disagree with me here, but I found Shuichi and Yuki’s relationship very problematic, and often borderline emotionally abusive on Yuki’s part! The dynamic of their relationship is Yuki as the older, dominant one and Shuichi as the younger, subservient one, which may work fine in some relationships, but Shuichi’s teenage naivety (this being his first adult relationship) made him very vulnerable and susceptible to Yuki’s hot-and-cold bouts of love and hate.

Gravitation Cosmic Anvil 30 Day Anime Challenge

Yuki surprises Shuichi.

Shuichi also behaves exactly as stereotypes dictate of someone being domestically abused – wrought with the knowledge that he is in love with someone who constantly hurts him, he cannot help but keep accepting Yuki’s apologies and stay loyal to him no matter how far away he pushes him, or his friends tell him he should leave him. Not a great first impression of an adult non-heterosexual romance in an anime, I have to say.

Despite all of this… I kept watching it. I think I honestly wanted to find out what would happen to these two in the end. If Shuichi would realise how much of a dick Yuki was and leave him; or if Yuki would see the error of his ways and respect Shuichi more. I guess despite all its flaws, it really did make me care enough about these two to see it through to the end.

Honourable Mentions: Inu x Boku SS, Yu-Gi-Oh!Vampire Knight, High School of the Dead


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

Now, I’m not actually ashamed of any anime that I watch, and I’ll happily tell you that I watch the good, the crap and the bizarre. However, for the sake of this post, I guess I’ll have to go with… Tokyo Mew Mew.

Tokyo Mew Mew

Tokyo Mew Mew

Tokyo Mew Mew focuses on five girls infused with the DNA of rare animals that gives them special powers and allows them to transform into “Mew Mews.” Led by Ichigo (The one in pink), the girls protect the earth from aliens who wish to “reclaim” it. In their down-time, all five girls work in a cafe, as the owners of the cafe (the two scientists who turned the girls into Mew Mews) use it as a cover to guide the girls during their superhero ventures.

I’m not so much ashamed of liking or watching this anime, but more ashamed of how into it I got. With Cardcaptor Sakura I was always frustrated with the filler, however, with Tokyo Mew Mew I found myself caring a little too much about the romantic subplot. I really wanted Ichigo to get with Masaya, they are meant of each other, GODDAMN IT!

There is nothing more perfect than this.

There is nothing more perfect than this.

On the other hand, the action is pretty cool, the villains have sympathetic motives, and the humor is hilarious. So, I shouldn’t be ashamed of the anime, just myself for getting way too emotionally invested…

Honorable Mentions: Yu-Gi-Oh!, Bayblade, Spider Riders, Duel Masters, Bakugan Battle Brawlers.


 Written by The Cosmic Anvil Team.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology! And if you want to join the fight to get the AGE OF REVOLUTION Volume printed check out our Kickstarter page!

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 4: Favourite Female Anime Character Ever

This post is part of The 30 Day Anime Challenge Series alongside the Cosmic Anvil Kickstarter campaign. Click here to read the introduction, and click here to check out and support the campaign to help us fund the printing and distribution of our first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series, Age of Revolution.


[SPOILER ALERT – There will be spoilers for certain shows in this post. Sorry!]

Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

This one for me was a lot easier than picking a favourite male character! My favourite female anime character has got to be Mikasa Ackerman from Attack On Titan.

Mikasa_during_the_military_training Attack On Titian

Mikasa during military training, Attack On Titan

You’ve got to admit it, she’s kinda of a bad ass. She proves herself to be one of the best Titan slayers and whilst also at the same time being compassionate and looking out for her best friends. And even [SPOILER ALERT] when Eren turns into a Titan she is completely fearless.

Honorable Mentions: Madoka (Puella Magi Madoka Magica), Sakura (Cardcaptor Sakura) and Asuna (for the first couple of episodes of Sword Art Online)


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

This is an easy one for me as well. I’ve been a huge fan of the all-female manga manga/anime creator team CLAMP for the longest time. Their work includes Cardcaptor Sakura, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, xxxCholic, and they designed the characters of the super popular mech series Code Geass, to name but a few, and it is the former of those – Cardcaptor Sakura – that makes my favourite female anime character pick.

Cardcaptor Sakura Cosmic Anvil 30 Day Anime Challenge

Sakura Kinomoto, Cardcaptor Sakura

With her cutsey outfits, doe-eyed innocence, and abundance of cheer, Sakura may look like just an ordinary harmless Japanese 10-year-old, but armed with her deck of magical Clow/Sakura cards, she becomes a formidable sorcerer over the course of the iconic series’ seventy episode and two movie run. I wrote an article recently for Bitch Flicks in which I realised that the strength of magical girls like Sakura comes from the fact that they break the flaws of the ‘strong female character’ stereotype by asserting their inner and outer power without ever surrendering their hyper-femininity to become more masculine in the process.

Sakura is also just impossible not to fall in love with. She’s passionate, loving, loyal, determined, and I love the fact that her true strength is rooted in absolute positivity – “Everything will be okay!” And with the current trend for anti-heroes and grittiness not showing any signs of subsiding any time soon, Sakura will always be a pleasant ray of sunshine to spend time with for me.


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

I’m copying Hannah here as my favourite female is Cardcaptor Sakura as well. Hannah has already covered why I love Sakura: she’s funny, kind, her willpower is through the roof, and she’s nails to boot, all done wile keeping her femininity intact.

However, I will tell you why she is my favourite of all time. When I was around ten/eleven-years-old I asked for rollerblades for Christmas, and the sole reason for me wanting these was so that I could zip around my village just like Sakura. Now there are some epic ladies in anime (see my honorable mentions), but Sakura is the only one that I’ve wanted to be. Unfortunately for me I lived on a hill with uneven pavements, so my skills on the blades were pretty shocking, but I’ll never forget why I wanted them. Sakura is just plain cool, that’s why!

GO ON SAKURA!

GO ON SAKURA!

Honorable Mentions: Nami (One Piece), Nico Robin (One Piece), Bulma (Dragon Ball/Z/GT), May (Pokemon), Aisha Clan-Clan (Outlaw Star).


Written by The Cosmic Anvil team.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology! AND if you want to join the fight to get the AGE OF REVOLUTION Volume printed check out our Kickstarter campaign!

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Kickstarter new reward tier £15 pledge cosmic anvil

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 3: Favourite Male Anime Character Ever

This post is part of The 30 Day Anime Challenge Series alongside the Cosmic Anvil Kickstarter campaign. Click here to read the introduction, and click here to check out and support the campaign to help us fund the printing and distribution of our first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series, Age of Revolution.


Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

This is another one I really struggled with as they are just so many really good male characters that it’s hard to pick just one!

After much deliberation I think I’ve finally chosen my favourite male anime character and the winner is…. Light Yagami from Death Note. Okay, so this might seem like a bit of an odd choice seeing as he’s kind of a bad guy but he’s still awesome. He’s ruthless, determined, and has the ability to eat crisps dramatically:

What’s not to like? Except maybe the fact that he is essentially a psychotic murderer, but he does believes he’s doing it for the greater good.

353504-light_yagami_super

Light Yagami from Death Note.

Honorable mentions: Koro-sensei (Assassination Classroom), Seto Kaiba (Yu-Gi-Oh!), Levi Ackerman (Attack On Titan), Rintarou Okabe (Steins Gate)


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

After a lot of deliberation (and fan-girling), I have to give my best male anime character pick to Sebastian Michaelis from Yana Toboso’s Black Butler. Although, as Sebastian’s gender is constantly up for debate,  I’m not even sure “he” even counts as a valid answer…

Sebastian Michaelis Black Butler Cosmic Anvil 30 Day Anime Challenge

One Hell of a Butler.

Let me explain. In the image above Sebastian his pictured in his human guise as butler to Earl Ciel Phatomhive – a 12-year-old toy industry tycoon who summons a demon (Sebastian) to stay at his side until he is able to wreak revenge on the occult group who murdered his parents. The demon takes the form of a male butler, but whenever he occasionally slips into his demonic form to terrify the crap out of one of Ciel’s enemies, he becomes less corporeal and more monstrous – fangs, red eyes, bats, black nails and… stilettos?!

Sebastian Michaelis Black Butler Cosmic Anvil 30 Day Anime Challenge

These Boots Are Made For Walking.

The hint certainly seems to be that if Sebastian is not actually female in his ‘true form’, then is at least non-gendered or gender fluid, and since the world of Black Butler is filled with shinigami, death scythes, demons, angels, and werewolves, this isn’t much more of a stretch of the imagination.

Not only do I find the mystery surrounding Sebastian’s gender fascinating, but I find him to be one of the most compelling characters of any anime. His deep connection to Ciel through their demonic contract of servitude is often mistaken in the fan community to be weirdly sexual, but the lust that Sebastian feels for Ciel is actually predatory. Like the witch in Hansel and Gretel, he is slowly fattening Ciel’s soul up for consumption when their deal is done, and this laces everything familial that Sebastian does for Ciel with a murderous tension. Plus, he’s probably the best cutlery-weapon specialist there ever was/will be:

Sebastian Michaelis Black Butler Cosmic Anvil 30 Day Anime Challenge

Honourable Mentions: L (Death Note), Edward and Alphonse Elric (Full Metal Alchemist/Brotherhood), Syaoran Li (Cardcaptor Sakura/Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicles), Kanda Yuu (D-Gray Man), Tamaki Suoh (Ouran High School Host Club), Howl (Howl’s Moving Castle).


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

If you’ve read our blog regularly you might already have guessed who my favourite male character is already. But for those who haven’t, it’s the one, the only: Son Goku form the Dragon Ball franchise. Yes it’s an obvious choice, but I don’t care – he is my favourite male lead. Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z are two animes that I grew up with, and my Dragon Ball merch list rivals my Pokemon merch list. So, Goku has been in my life for some time now, but let me take some time to tell you why he is the best.

Goku is one of the strongest characters in all fiction (Yes, I’ve seen Death Battle, and I’m okay with their result, but you still can’t deny that Goku is unstoppable nonetheless). Every challenge he has been faced with he has beaten; every limit broken; every chart has been thrown out because they needed new ones to record his power. He’s a beast and it’s all down to two things: his will and hard work. He is so focused on becoming the best he has now reached the level of a God and even beyond that.

Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan

Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan.

However, this is not the reason I love him. The reason I love Goku is because he is just a straight up nice guy. Ever since he was young, his most admirable feature – and arguably his strangest talent – is his pure heart. Goku is able to fly on the Kinto-Un (or Flying Nimbus), a flying cloud that can travel at supersonic speed, but will only allow people of pure hearts to ride it. Thanks to Goku’s good nature he learns a lot, which is a good moral to teach, and one that I try to follow.

In Dragon Ball he even turns his enemies into friends – Oolong, Yamcha, Krilin, Tien, Chaozu, Piccolo, Vegeta, Android 16 and 18, Majin Buu and even Kid Buu to a certain extent are all villains/rivals who have turned good due to knowing either Goku, or other members of the Z Fighters. Goku excepts them all into his extended family, and with smile on his face.

Goku and friends (that he used to beat up, or wanted to kill him)

Goku and friends (that he used to beat up, or wanted to kill him).

Yes, Goku has his downsides: his naivety, his pride, his total focus on training (a gift and a curse), but he is the nicest, most forgiving, and powerful being in the world. I also like how he eats.

nom nom nom

nom nom nom.

Honorable mentions: Vegeta (Dragon Ball Z/GT), Kinnikuman (Kinnikuman/Ultimate Muscle), Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece), Gene Starwind (Outlaw Star), Toriko (Toriko).


Written by The Cosmic Anvil team.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology! AND if you want to join the fight to get the AGE OF REVOLUTION Volume printed check out our Kickstarter campaign!

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Kickstarter new reward tier £15 pledge cosmic anvil

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 2: Favourite Anime You’ve Watched So Far

This post is part of The 30 Day Anime Challenge Series alongside the Cosmic Anvil Kickstarter campaign. Click here to read the introduction, and click here to check out and support the campaign to help us fund the printing and distribution of our first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series, Age of Revolution!


Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

Now, this is a tough one as I have really enjoyed lots of anime I’ve been watching recently for my N00b Review posts but at the same time get really nostalgic about some anime series’ I watched as a kid. There was a lot of discussion in the Cosmic Anvil office with this one as it was really difficult to decide which one was our absolute favourite. However, I think I’m going to have to go with Attack On Titan for this one.

Attack on Titan Cover

Attack on Titan

 It was a series I went in with no expectations of, even though I know a lot of people who’d raved about it. I was really shocked even after watching just the first episode. It was also a series with very little filler and loads of action which I really enjoyed. I ended up binge watching all 25 episodes in the space of a couple of days on Netflix!

Honorable mentions: Psycho Pass, SAO (First Arc), Full Metal Alchemist and Digimon (1st and 2nd Season).


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

Oh this is a tough one! > . < Like Jess, I’m really torn between my head and heart – nostalgia and rationale. However, after a loooooong mental debate with myself, I’ve decided on Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke. Not only is it my favourite anime, but it’s also my current favourite film of all time, so how could I not pick it for this post? A favourite film to me doesn’t have to be the most perfect film ever made, it just has to be something you can literally watch forever and ever and never get bored of it, and something that you get something new out of every single time. Princess Mononoke is that film for me.

Princess Mononoke Cosmic Anvil 30 Day anime challenge blog

San and her Wolf brother in Princess Mononoke

Hayao Miyazaki’s signature art style is beautifully animated as usual, and the story is punctuated with surreal magic, humour, melancholy, and filled with a diverse and likeable cast of characters with no easy answers to the story’s ‘man vs. nature’ quandary. San (the Princess) also follows the Miyazaki tradition of strong female action heroes steering the plot that I love to see – precocious, passionate, but not without her vulnerabilities. Both the subbed and dubbed versions are equal in quality too, which is something Studio Ghibli have consistently done well over the years of Americanising their films.

Anime gets a bad wrap sometimes – usually from people who have never watched any properly – for being too violent, too sexualised, and too hard to follow. To those people I would perscribe Princess Mononoke as a shining example of how magical, unique, and universally beautiful Japanese animation can be.

Honourable mentions: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Death Note, Cardcaptor Sakura, Howl’s Moving Castle, Akira, Ghost in The Shell, Black Butler, D-Gray Man, Full Metal Alchemist, Soul Eater.


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

One Piece is the best.

One Piece is also a strange show. It’s been running for so long that I both have nostalgia for it, and new experiences with it. “Ah, remember One Piece, oh wait, of course I do it’s still going!” Jokes aside, One Piece has been going on for a long time – eighteen years to be exact – but I’m still enjoying the cruise. Yes, there is a lot of filler but it’s still enjoyable, and Eiichiro Oda has created some amazing characters and watching them mess around, or crossing over with other Shonen shows like Dragon Ball and/or Toriko is fun to watch. Also, if we didn’t have filler, we wouldn’t have had this hilarious moment:

The characters of One Piece are vibrant and deep, and the world is huge and houses a rich history. In fact, if I had to describe Oda as a creator I would compare him to G.R.R. Martin – someone who has taken his medium and genre and launched it to the next level of fantasy storytelling in terms of the depths of family trees and complex and vibrant histories. Oda is the same, not only does he write about the generation that Luffy and Co are in but he maps out multiple generations of Pirates and Marines. When the Straw Hat Pirates are visiting an island or city, you truly learn everything about that place, it’s past, present, and watch how it’s future unfolds.

Son, Father, Grandfather (Left to Right)

Son, Father, Grandfather (Left to Right)

Oda’s character design is unlike anything I’ve seen as well. It’s truly his and his alone. He has admitted that he was inspired as a kid by the likes of Akira Toriyama (creator of Dragon Ball) – another artist with his own distinctive style. I love how he draws body shapes particularly – you get some really wacky body types in the world of One Piece: square torsos, long necks the same width of their heads, there is even a race of people with two sets of elbows. I don’t know why or how, but I like it.

Just look at these guys!

Just look at these guys!

One last thing: the super powers in One Piece are so cool. Someone could have an awful sounding super power, but still be one of the strongest people in the world. Take the character Donquixote Doflamingo, for example. He can create and manipulate string, which sounds like he pulled the short straw, but think again. With this he is able to control people, create replicas of himself, cut through anything, swing from clouds… the list endless and bizarre. It’s almost like Oda is saying: it doesn’t matter what you’ve got, as long as you know how to use it well, you’ll go far.

Honorable Mentions: Dragon Ball/DBZ, Toriko, Kinnikuman, Outlaw Star, Attack on Titan.


Written by The Cosmic Anvil Team.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology! And if you want to join the fight to get the AGE OF REVOLUTION Volume printed check out our Kickstarter page

Kickstarter age of revolution volume one cosmic anvil new reward tiers added

Kickstarter new reward tier £15 pledge cosmic anvil

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 1: The Very First Anime You Watched

This post is part of The 30 Day Anime Challenge Series alongside the Cosmic Anvil Kickstarter campaign. Click here to read the introduction, and click here to check out and support the campaign to help us fund the printing and distribution of our first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series, Age of Revolution!


Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

Pokemon

Misty, Ash, and Brock

The first anime I can remember watching was probably Pokemon with my little sister, but at the time I didn’t understand what anime was and didn’t realise that I was watching it! I probably watched it on Jetix on CITV (in the UK).

Jetix_logo

Jetix Logo from CiTV

Another thing people might find interesting is the fact that I never played any of the original Pokemon games until a few years ago in University and was never interested in the card game as a kid. But me and my sister did collect the Pokemon stickers and would spend near enough all our pocket money on them every weekend.

Pokemon stickers

Pokemon stickers!

I also remember arguing over which one of us was getting a Pokeball and Pokedex toys for Christmas one year because one of us had to have the Pokeball and one of us had to have the Pokedex as we couldn’t both have the same one!  I had the Pokeball game and she had the Pokedex in the end.

Pokeball Game

Pokeball Game

pokedex

Pokedex

Honorable mentions: Yu-Gi-Oh!, Cardcaptor Sakura, Beyblade and Digimon.


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

The Cosmic Anvil team are all about the same age (children’s of the 90s), so we’re probably all going to have similar answers to this question! Many people regard the 1990s as a ‘golden era’ for anime in terms of popularisation in the West, with AkiraGhost In The Shell and Neon Genesis Evangelion being hugely influential.

Unfortunately, none of the above were my first exposure to anime as I was far too young to have any knowledge of their existence. Like Jess, I grew up on a diet of Jetix and watching Americanised dubbed versions of shows, and again like Jess, the first anime I remember watching was Pokemon. I was very much sucked into the whole Pokemon franchise phenomenon – the show, the games, the films, the cards, the stickers, the figures… I even still have a t-shirt that I can just about squeeze myself into!

I also still have the special edition cards that were given out at the cinema when the first film – Mewtwo Strikes Back – came out, and I still remember the sinking disappointment upon discovering that the super shiny Mew card (which I thought would one day be worth ALL the money) was simply a sticker on some cardboard.

Shiny Mew Card

Damn you, shiny fake Mew!


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

Now, my first anime… you’ve probably never heard of it. It’s called Pokemon…?

Yeah I know, Hannah and Jess have already talked about it but I’ll try to tell you my own experiences with Pokemon. Not only was Pokemon my first anime, but it introduced me to what being an anime fan means. First off, you can’t just enjoy anime casually, you have to immerse yourself into it. The video games lead me into the anime, and so it goes without saying that I had those, but there was so much more to Pokemon.

My Pokemon merchandise collection was pretty big. I had a Pokedex in both toy and book form, a Pokeball game, Pikachu plushies, Pokemon with marbles in them so you could roll them around, a Pokeball shooter that shot a Masterball on a string, the cards, marbles and marble pouch, bouncy balls, clothes, game guides, novelisations of the anime, toys, toys, and more toys! The list goes on, but my point is, this was when I became a true fan of an anime.

pokemon books

The book was epic!

Pokemon also taught me that being a fan of anime means that you will seem strange to others who are not, and not everyone gets it. My Dad would always watch it with me if he was in the living room at the time and ask me: “What the hell is going on?” I also remember him being one of the first to joke about Brock having his eyes closed all the time. My Mum was also confused, but still took me to see the first movie in the cinema, even though she fell asleep during it. My brother and sister took me to see the second movie in the cinema. My brother was terrified when he thought that the whole film would be like the opening Pikachu short with no dialogue, and my sister tried to understand it by telling me her favorite Pokemon was Pikachu, but once I told her mine was Lugia I saw that she was completely confused! Anime is hard man, but we’ve got to stick by it.

Back int he day Lugia was the bomb!

Back in the day Lugia was the bomb!


Written by The Cosmic Anvil team.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology! AND if you want to join the fight to get the AGE OF REVOLUTION Volume printed check out our Kickstarter campaign

Kickstarter age of revolution volume one cosmic anvil new reward tiers added

Kickstarter new reward tier £15 pledge cosmic anvil

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30 Day Anime Challenge: Day 0 (Introduction)

Over the next month starting from today, the Cosmic Anvil team are going to be undertaking their greatest challenge yet: a 30 Day Anime Challenge running alongside our Kickstarter campaign, which is aims to raise enough money to get the very first collected volume of Age of Revolution printed. This is a little different to our normal review posts, but don’t worry – we will also try to keep our regular content such as ‘N00b Reviews‘ going as well.

Here’s the list of challenge topics that we – Jess, Huw, and Hannah – will be posting about over the next 30 days:

Day 1: Very First Anime You Watched
Day 2: Favourite Anime You’ve Watched So Far
Day 3: Favourite Male Anime Character Ever 
Day 4: Favourite Female Anime Character Ever 
Day 5: Anime You’re Ashamed You Enjoyed 
Day 6: Anime You Want to See But Haven’t Yet 
Day 7: Your Anime Crush 
Day 8: Favourite Anime Couple 
Day 9: Best Anime Villain 
Day 10: Favourite Fighter Anime 
Day 11: Favourite Mech Anime 
Day 12: Saddest Anime Scene 
Day 13: Anime Character You  Are Most Similar To 
Day 14: Anime that Never Gets Old No Matter How Many Times You’ve Rewatched It 
Day 15: Favourite Animal Sidekick, Pet, or Summoning From Any Anime 
Day 17: Favourite Supporting Male Anime Character 
Day 18: Favourite Supporting Female Character 
Day 19: Most Epic Scene Ever 
Day 20: Anime Character that Gets on Your Nerves 
Day 21: Favourite Goofy Anime Character 
Day 22: Favourite Weapon, Gear, or Armour Used in an Anime 
Day 23: Favourite Attack Someone Used in an Anime 
Day 24: Moment that Shocked You the Most in Any Anime 
Day 25: Saddest Anime Death 
Day 26: Best Anime Fight 
Day 27: Most Bad-ass Scene From Any Anime Character 
Day 28: Favourite Quote From Any Anime Character 
Day 29: An Anime You Wished was Real 
Day 30: An Anime You Wished Never Ended and Continued On 

(Phew! Some of these are going to be really hard to pick just one for…)

And in case if you’ve forgotten what they look like, here’s the fabulously attractive Cosmic Anvil team who will be sharing their personal anime tastes with you over the next 30 days:

Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

Subscribe to the blog to keep up with the challenge as well as our regular reviews if you haven’t already, and if you agree/disagree with our answers… let us know in the comments! Or, if you have your own blog and fancy trying the challenge out yourself, by all means give it a go and share your answers with us.

Finally, as previously mentioned, we are launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing and distribution of the first collected volume of our manga-inspired comic series Age of Revolution, so please click HERE if you’d like to support it. We have amazing Kickstarter exclusive rewards available including prints and t-shirts, and even a limited number of art commissions from Hannah, and a chance to BE in the comic. Every pound/dollar/yen will mean the world to us!

Kickstarter age of revolution volume one cosmic anvil new reward tiers added

 

Kickstarter new reward tier £15 pledge cosmic anvil

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Written by The Cosmic Anvil Team.

N00b Reviews: Death Note

After falling in love with the Death Note anime I have decided to look at the manga series to see how it compares.  I found the story really compelling and the opening theme of the anime strangely hypnotic…

cover


Summary:

Death Note is a manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. The story follows protagonist Light Yagami, a student with great prospects but unsatisfied with his life. This all changes when he finds a notebook that has the powers to kill people dropped by a rogue Shinigami named Ryuk. Light vows to use the powers of the book to kill criminals, but when the authorities discover the pattern they send the legendary detective ‘L’ to track down the killer.


First Impressions:

I don’t think I’ve seen any other manga in the N00b series so far that is as wordy as Death Note is. It feels like it should be a novel rather than a manga series as it needs a lot of descriptive text to explain things such as the theories behind using the notebook, which seem to be too complex to describe simply using images.

wordy

Does it really need to be specified where he sits?


What I liked:

One thing that particularly stood out to me about Death Note was the fact that even though the protagonist is an anti-hero we still end up rooting for him despite him killing millions of people even when they are innocent. We can’t help but side with him as we believe in his cause and the fact the reason he is doing it is for a greater good; to rid the world of criminals.

Light and L

At the same time we admire L for his attempts to catch Kira (Light’s alter ego) and enjoy how mysterious and quirky he is. The central plot of Death Note revolves around the cat and mouse chase between L and Light, and this element is what makes this manga so engrossing; waiting to see how the two of them will try to out-think the other.


What I disliked:

As I’ve stated one of the major flaws with the Death Note manga was the fact that it was very wordy and often felt like it should be a novel rather than a manga series. The other thing that I was slightly disappointed with was the second half of the manga series as a lot of the main cast changes and the new characters feel a lot weaker. Although despite this the plot tricks and twists are just as good in this half – in fact some of the better ones happen towards the end.


How does it compare to the anime:

 The anime gets off to a great start with this brilliant opening sequence:

Stunning visuals, addictive theme song, and the fact that it spans over 37 episodes and still keeps you interested. What’s not to love about this adaptation?

With long-running anime series there can often be a lot of filler episodes but with Death Note this isn’t the case at all and leaves very little out from the manga which is definitely very satisfying to see.


Overall Opinion:

 This series is simple enough to understood universally no matter of age, but at the same time deep and clever enough for those looking for something more meaty to sink their teeth into. Additionally, this series offers something that not many other series do–a moral conundrum. What if we had a Death Note? Would we use it? How would we use it? Is it possible to use it without turning into what Light becomes?

If you’re a seasoned anime fan or a N00b like myself I think this is a series you should definitely check out. Especially if you enjoy a mix of mystery, horror and crime thriller.


Written by Jess Harcastle, Marketing Whizz-kid for Cosmic Anvil.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology!

N00b Reviews: Soul Eater

This week in Noob Reviews I am going to look at the very popular Soul Eater manga series to see what makes it so popular.

Soul_Eater_manga_volume_1


Summary:

Soul Eater written and illustrated by Atsushi Okubo is a manga series set at the “Death Weapon Meister Academy” and tells the story of three teams. Each team consists of a weapon meister and a weapon that can transform into a human. Their aim is to create a death scythe for the headmaster of the academy: ‘Shinigami’ or Lord Death. In order to do this they must collect souls of 99 humans and one witch. If they don’t do this in the exact order they have to restart from the beginning.


First Impressions:

Talk about jumping right into the action! On the very first page we see the protagonist going after a human named Jack the Ripper. The art style of the manga is almost Tim Burton-esque. The background images are highly detailed but the character designs vary from cartoon-like to intense detailed illustrations especially during fight sequences.

Soul Eater

The Tim Burton influence


What I liked:

I like how all the characters have very unique abilities, personalities, and quirks. For example, Death the Kid has an obsession with symmetry and Black Star is an arrogant assassin that always likes to have a flashy entrance.  I also liked the intense battle scenes because they were very detailed and intricate. This helped highlight the seriousness of the fight and the fact that one of the characters is likely to die.

fighting


What I disliked:

I can’t really think of anything I necessarily disliked about Soul Eater, but I didn’t find it was as gripping as most of the other manga I have read and although I did carry on reading it after the first few chapters, the pace seemed kind of slow and I just wanted to get to the main story arc. Sorry Soul Eater, I’m just not one of the most patient readers!


Soooooo much Fan Service!

Are all the male characters obsessed with boobs? As mentioned in my first review in the N00b series (Fairy Tail) I thought there was a lot of pervy characters, and it’s the same at the beginning of Soul Eater with a lot of the male characters’ infatuation with the female characters’ chests.  However, as the story progresses this doesn’t seem to be the case as much and tends to focus more on the fighting aspects of the story.

boobs

boobs3


How does the anime compare to the manga?

After watching the first few episodes it does seem that the anime closely follows the manga from which it was adapted. I quite liked how similarly to the manga the style was. Cute but also creepy at the same time, and stuck to the cartoonish illustrations that the manga used.


Overall Opinion:

Whilst I did enjoy Soul Eater I don’t necessarily think it’s one of the manga I will carry on reading.  As I mentioned earlier, I enjoyed the style of the illustrations in the manga but wasn’t gripped with regards to the story. I found I much preferred the anime series because I found the voice acting unique and funny, I was especially not expecting the Shinigami to sound like this:


Written by Jess Harcastle, Marketing Whizz-kid for Cosmic Anvil.

Check out our own Welsh-manga (or ‘Wanga’) series, AGE OF REVOLUTION on our official site and Comixology!