30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 30: An Anime You Wish Never Ended and Continued On

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

The time has come! It’s the last day in the 30 Day Anime Challenge and we’re thrilled to announce that as of yesterday our Kickstarter ended after successfully reaching it’s funding goal! Yay! Thanks so much to everyone who pledged 😀

Today for the final post in this series, we’re tasked with thinking of an anime that we wish never ended.

For me, I would really have liked Death Note to have carried on, maybe with a new person taking over the role of Kira and using the book, or maybe even a deeper insight into the Shinigami world.

Death Note Anime

Death Note


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

The anime I often wish had never ended tend to be those with unsatisfying conclusions, mainly due to their short series length. There have been quite a few anime that have ended prematurely for me, and I have a few guesses as to why this happens. One reason could be that they just don’t get the ratings expected of them and are subsequently cancelled like any other poorly performing TV show; another could be that they catch up to the manga they’re based on too fast – which normally results in ‘filler’ arcs rather than an outright ending; and another could be simply because the studio or TV execs only order a short run of episodes. The latter is applicable I think to popular anime such as Soul Eater and Blue Exorcist which, despite having more than enough chapters of manga to last as source material for a while, both hurriedly build up a rich world and well-developed characters only to strangely finish at the 26th episode and always feel like they’ve been disappointingly cut short.

My pick for this post is going to be the most frustrating of these categories: a good anime series with a strong fan-base that was cancelled with NO conclusion and with no signs yet of ever returning to be finished properly – D.Gray-Man.

D.Gray-Man

D.Gray-Man

Despite having a big fan following and more than enough chapters for the manga left to cover, the show was cancelled after 103 episodes running from 2007 to 2009 for reasons which I still don’t know. Seriously – Google it. If you can find a reason then please tell me because it’s really baffling! The manga series, which is also incredibly popular, also suffers from sporadic release dates, but this is due (understandably) to a long-term severe illness that creator Katsura Hoshino suffers from.

It’s clear too that this cancellation was unplanned or unknown to the animators and production staff at the time, as the anime doesn’t exactly end on a cliffhanger, but just after the conclusion of the “Invasion of the Black Order” arc with absolutely no clear resolution to the story as a whole. Let me translate my frustration mathematically: 103 episodes at about 20 minutes in length adds up to over 2,000 hours of my life spent watching a show with no ending. (Kind of like watching Lost, I suppose.) And although I have been able to satiate my thirst for more story by reading the drip-fed chapters of the manga that are still being released, I don’t think I’ll ever get the feeling of proper closure on the anime cancellation until I at least find out the reason why 😦

D.Gray-Man

I miss you, guys!

Honourable mentions: Soul Eater, Blue Exorcist, Ouran High School Host Club, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Cardcaptor Sakura


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

This one is an easy one. SHAMAN KING!

004d0cqx

Shaman King was awesome. The manga is a lot better in my opinion (it actually ends properly for starters) but I really enjoyed the anime – both dubbed and subbed. I found myself liking all the characters in it and would often think about what my Guardian Spirit would be and how I would fight with it.

However, the end of the show has Yoh, our protagonist, defeating Hao/Zeke during the Shaman Tournament, and due to this disruption the tournament get’s cancelled. The gang re-group after some time and they all start talking about what they are going to do now that the tournament has either been put on hold or cancelled altogether. We then get a shot of Yoh’s Oracle Bell (a device used by tournament participants to receive information about the tournament), and the screen glows as a notification pops up. And that’s it. END.

An Oracle Bell.

An Oracle Bell.

Sooooo… is the tournament on? Are there more episodes? Nope! I’m not too sore about it as the manga is better and has a way more satisfying ending, but this still bugs me. There was clearly going to be more, the set up was there, all they had to do was continue, but no, they just didn’t.

Never mind. (Except I do!)


 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 

30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 17: Favourite Supporting Male Anime Character

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

My favourite supporting male anime character is without a doubt Captain Levi Ackerman from Attack On Titan. You only have to watch this clip to see how awesome he is:

Honorable mentions: Shogo Makishima (Psycho Pass), Roy Mustang (Full Metal Alchemist & Brotherhood) and Daru (Steins Gate)


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

I had a real tough time with this one as I often love the supporting characters even more than the main characters in some anime. I’ve noticed as well that a lot of the supporting characters I love are kiiiiiiind of either psychopaths or douchebags. Hmm.

So with this in mind, my favourite supporting character pick is unsurprisingly my favourite loveable douchebag of all anime: Kanda Yuu from D.Gray-Man.

Kanda Yuu D.gray-Man

Kanda Yuu, D.Gray-Man

The online D.Gray-Man Encyclopaedia describes Kanda as “a handsome young Japanese man usually found in a foul mood,” and I think this summary is pretty much nails Kanda. Raised by the European branch of the ‘Black Order’ (Exorcist soldiers) to fight against The Earl (aka the Devil), Kanda is a ‘Second Exorcist’ who wields a supernatural blade named ‘Mugen’ and also possesses enhanced artificial regeneration abilities that enable him to take massive amounts of damage in battle and recover fairly quickly.

Personality-wise, Kanda is grumpy, uncooperative, and snappy – your typical ‘lone-wolf’ stereotype. Imagine a prettier, taller, and less hairy version of Wolverine and you’re pretty much there, as this clip demonstrates:

However, main character Allen Walker’s unrelenting positivity and determination to befriend Kanda result in some pretty funny squabbles between the mismatched pair, with Kanda bestowing him with the nickname ‘beansprout’ due to Allen’s weediness at the start of the story.

Kanda Yuu and Allen Walker

Kanda gets wound up by Allen a lot.

However, as Allen goes from strength to strength through the show, Kanda’s respect also grows for him, and he proves himself again and again to be fiercely loyal and honourable – even at the risk of his own life. The more recent chapters of the on-again, off-again manga have also revealed the tragic truth of Kanda’s origins – which only made my love for him as a character even stronger.

Kanda Yuu secret past

Kanda’s secret past is revealed.

Plus, just like Wolverine, he’s ridiculously unstoppable in battle:

Honourable mentions: Lavi (D.Gray-Man), Calcifer (Howl’s Moving Castle), Grell Sutcliffe (Black Butler), Dr. Stein (Soul Eater), Bakura (Yu-Gi-Oh!), Shuu Tsukiyama (Tokyo Ghoul), Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titan).


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

For my favourite supporting male character, I have to return to Dragon Ball.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, and no -I’m not talking about Vegeta. I’m going to talk about someone with an even more interesting story arc, and that’s my man Piccolo.

My Namekian.

Piccolo, Dragon Ball

Piccolo is a champ with an odd origin story. Long ago, a Namekian landed on Earth. This Namekian would one day visit the Gaurdian of Earth and wish to take his place. However, the Gaurdian of Earth at the time told this Namekian that he had too much evil within his heart to protect the world. So, this Namekian split his mind, body, and soul in two parts and became two different Namekians: one being Kami the Guardian of Earth in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z; the other becoming The Demon King Piccolo.

King Piccolo

King Piccolo

Now, King Piccolo is our Piccolo’s father. King Piccolo terrorised the world for years until a martial arts master sealed him away in a jar like a Genie. Decades later, this Piccolo is set free and is on the hunt for the Dragon Balls to restore his youth. Unfortunately he does so, and it’s up to Goku and the gang to stop him. Goku does so by punching a hole right through his chest (so bad ass), but with his last breath King Piccolo spawns an offspring, and sends him to a forest to hatch and grow.

Piccolo Vs. Goku

Piccolo Vs. Goku

Piccolo is born with his fathers’ hatred and evil, and dedicates his life to killing Goku and taking over the world. Piccolo faces Goku in the final of the World Martial Arts Tournament and it’s this fight that brings Goku’s story in Dragon Ball to an end, to be concluded in Dragon Ball Z. However, Dragon Ball Z is also where Piccolo’s story continues, and this is where it gets really interesting.

Piccolo training Gohan.

Piccolo training Gohan.

In Dragon Ball Z, Goku dies, but don’t worry – he doesn’t stay that way for long. In the meantime however, Piccolo takes Goku’s son, Gohan, away to train him for the Saiyan’s arrival. It is at this point that Piccolo’s character changes for the better. Piccolo and Gohan become close friends as Gohan becomes older, and it’s this friendship that starts to turn Piccolo into one of the greatest fighters for good.

Piccolo and Kami fuse.

Piccolo and Kami fuse.

Piccolo is a funny character is great as well as he’s such a grumpy guy. In Dragon Ball you have a lot of happy characters and a few angsty characters, but Piccolo I feel is the only grumpy character there, which makes him stand out, and that’s why this image of him hiding at a dinner party is amazing:

lol

Lol

He is the most powerful Namekian, and for a short time was one of the most powerful fighters in the world, being even more powerful that Super Saiyan Goku at one point. His fight with Android 17 is something that everyone should watch, as it truly shows what he can do. Later he kicks back and becomes more of a teacher, and teaches Trunks and Goten how to fuse to become Gotenks.

But for me, it’s his relationships that make him a great character. His friendship with Gohan will always be the best thing ever in anything, but Piccolo and Goku become close friends and sort of colleagues in martial arts. He gets pushed around by Chi Chi and Bulma (just like everyone else); him and Vegeta have a silent understanding; and Piccolo also forms tight friendships with the other Z Fighters – friendships you would think to be impossible after watching the original Dragon Ball.

He still tries to be the big scary guy though, which makes these GIFs that much more hilarious:

Yes, there is an episode when Piccolo and Goku learn to drive.

Yes, there is an episode when Piccolo and Goku learn to drive.

IN DUH CLUB!

IN DA CLUB.

He’s also named after a type of Flute:

Is she, crying?

Is she… crying?


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

kickstarter age of revolution cosmic anvil new reward tiers pledge comic book comic strip art commission

 

30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 13: Anime Character You Are Most Similar To

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

In terms of personality, I find definitely find similarities between myself and Madoka Kaname from Puella Magi Madoka Magicka as she sees herself as a person without special qualities or talents and is against fighting. She also cares deeply about her friends and family.

Madoka_Kaname

Madoka Kaname, Puella Magi Madoka Magicka


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

It’s difficult to relate to many anime characters as – less face it – they’re not exactly the most realistically written fictional characters, are they? If I had to pick a character that I identify the most with though, it would probably be Maka Albarn from Soul Eater.

Maka Albarn Soul Eater anime manga 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Maka Albarn, Soul Eater

I like that Maka is academically driven to do well in school (which I was) but also isn’t a stereotypical awkward nerdy girl – she can still kick some major butt. She’s also fiercely independent, get’s wound up easily, bottles up her insecurities, and highly values her friends and those close to her – all traits I can identify with. Plus, the Soul Eater Shibusen academy is like my Hogwarts. I’m still waiting for my acceptance letter from Lord Death.

Shibusen Soul Eater Academy

Shibusen Academy


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

This is probably the hardest question on this list for me. Anime characters are so over the top that it’s hard to pick one that I think fits me. I guess I’m an emotional guy and I love to eat…so maybe, Toriko from Toriko?

Toriko

Toriko, from Toriko

Toriko is a Bishoku-ya or Gourmet Hunter, which means his role in the world is to hunt for ingredients for the Government (International Gourmet Organisation). These ingredients are then distributed around the world and sold to the public, or IGO-owned restaurants. Toriko is an incredibly powerful fighter and loves his job.

Toriko’s personality is like mine in certain aspects. He is described as a glutton and quite rightly so, as he has one of the biggest appetites in the world, which I can certainly identify with as I have admitted in the past that I do tend to eat for fun.

EAT!

EAT!

He is very particular with his food as well, only allowing the best ingredients in the world to be added to his ‘Full Course’. When it comes to food I would like to think that I’d eat anything, but it has to be just right. Especially with fruit, I love fruit, but if I notice anything ‘wrong’ with a piece of fruit I refuse to eat it.

He is also super-emotional, just like me. He also has strong bonds with all his friends, always insisting that he and his friends take part in feasts together, and he can’t help but overreact to delicious ingredients. He’s stubborn and has tendencies to throw his toys out of the pram as well, much like me. However, I have his good stuff as well. I may tend to overreact, but I feel that I have strong bonds with all my friends, and love eating food with them all.

Just wish I had his physique...

Just wish I had his physique…


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

kickstarter age of revolution cosmic anvil new reward tiers pledge comic book comic strip art commission

 

30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 9: Best Anime Villain

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 about certain anime in this post!]

Jess Hardcastle Marketing Whizz Kid

Most of the anime I have seen have all had really interesting and evil villains in them so it’s hard to pick the best one, but I think I am going to have to go with Shou Tucker from Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Whilst he never actually killed anyone [SPOILER ALERT] he did use alchemy to turn his own daughter and their dog into a talking chimera – which is pretty awful! I was genuinely shocked and upset at his ability to be able to harm them. This is also after he did the same thing to his own wife and that chimera only said, “Kill me”, and refused to eat – basically committing suicide after it couldn’t deal with the pain and suffering of what he’d turned her into.

tumblr_inline_mm6rqfUuRE1qz4rgp

Shou Tucker, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Honorable mentions: Lucy (Elfen Lied), Light Yagami (Death Note) and ALL the Titans (Attack On Titan).


Hannah Collins Co-Founder and Artist

This may seem like an obvious choice, but I have go with Light Yagami from Death Note for my favourite anime villain. There’s plenty of big, bad villains out there in the world of anime to choose from, but what makes Light particularly interesting for me is the fact that he is the protagonist of the story – a role traditionally played by the hero, not the hero’s nemesis.

Light Yagami Death Note anime manga 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Light Yagami, Death Note

Just by seeing the story through Light’s eyes, your opinion of him is constantly coloured by his perspective. Despite his actions as a sociopathic megalomaniac are completely psychotic and morally reprehensible, you also find yourself kind of willing him to not get caught so you can see just how far the story will be pushed. The tension you feel each time Light finds himself cornered is ridiculously compelling, and unlike most Shonen anime – which relies on brawn rather than brain and an assured victory for the hero nearly every time – Death Note’s battles of wits and magic keep you genuinely guessing who will be left alive by the end.

Light Yagami L detective death note manga anime 30 day anime challenge cosmic anvil

Light Vs. L

Conversely, you also find yourself rooting for his opponent – the eccentric detective known only as ‘L’, which heightens the tension even more. Whenever these two are in a room together, the thrill of watching them verbally – and occasionally physically – dance around each other is akin to that of Sherlock and Moriaty.

I always think that the strength of a hero can be measured by the strength of their villain, and Light and L are definitely two sides of the same brilliant coin, and Death Note one of the greatest crime thrillers in modern fiction.

Honourable mentions: Lust, Envy, Shou Tucker and Father (Full Metal Alchemist & Brotherhood), Medusa (Soul Eater), Vicious (Cowboy Bebop), The Earl (D.Gray-Man), Siegfried (Sacred Blacksmith), Gendo Ikari (Neon Genesis Evangelion), The Puppet Master (Ghost in the Shell).


Huw Williams CO-Founder and Writer

A great villain for me has to be many things: they have to be evil (obvious, but true), they have to be powerful, and they have to be perfectly matched to their protagonist counterpart; and as much as you hate them, you also have to love them. But, a truly great villain for me must also have a huge impact on the story that they star in, and it’s for these reasons that my favourite villain is Frieza from the Dragon Ball franchise.

Frieza

Frieza, Dragon Ball franchise

Friza is powerful and likes to let you know that he is. His power is feared by many throughout the universe and during the lead up to Goku’s battle with Frieza, King Kai commands Goku not to fight Frieza as he will surely be killed because Frieza’s power enables him to destroy whole planets with just one blast.

Frieza isn’t alone in the planet destroyers club that is DBZ, but he still stands out. Frieza is regarded as one of the most, if not the most, important Dragon Ball villains. After all, it was Frieza who destroyed the Saiyan home world Planet Vegeta – the event that starts the whole Dragon Ball story as that was how Goku ended up on Earth. Frieza’s actions on Planet Namek were also the major catalyst for Goku’s Super Saiyan transformation, as after Frieza killed Krillin Goku’s rage and needed to be more powerful spilled over, resulting in one of the most iconic scenes in anime. Frieza himself started the trend of transformations as well:

Squad's out.

Squad’s out.

He’s powerful, he’s iconic, and most importantly: he’s also pure evil to the core. He’s seeking the Dragon Balls to gain immortality and he was willing to do anything to get them. When faced against Goku he had met his match and was willing to do anything to beat him. He will do anything, and everything he does is for himself. The worst thing of all was when he was forgiven by Goku, who also gave him enough energy to escape the dying Planet Namek, Frieza chose to use that power to try and kill Goku again. This was when Goku launched his final attack and killed Frieza. Even when he was given a second chance he still chose to kill Goku, proving that his hatred for the Saiyan race and Goku burns stronger than his need for survival.

Yet you also can’t help but like him: he’s so devilishly evil that he almost becomes a cartoonish villain in the Disney mold of Scar (Lion King) or Jafar (Aladdin). He’s so well liked that Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball‘s creator) brought him back in the most resent film, and with a new form. It’s also rumored that Toriyama was going to bring Frieza back after the Cell saga, but was advised by his editors not to. Frieza’s cool, powerful, and fabulous. What more do you want from a villain?

Come at me.

Come at me, BRAH.


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

kickstarter age of revolution cosmic anvil new reward tiers pledge comic book comic strip art commission

 

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!

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

Kickstarter new reward tier £15 pledge cosmic anvil

kickstarter age of revolution cosmic anvil new reward tiers pledge comic book comic strip art commission

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!

N00b Reviews: The Irregular at Magic High School

Summary:

Mahouka Koukou No Rettousei or as it’s more commonly known The Irregular at Magic High School is was originally a Japanese light novel series written by Tsutomu Satō, with illustrations by Kana Ishida but in this review I am looking at the adapted manga series written by Fumino Hayashi and Tsutomu Satō with art by Tsuna Kitaumi.

The story is set in 2095, and follows Tatsuya Shiba and his sister Miyuki Shiba as new students that enroll at the Private Magic University Affiliated High School. Students are ranked according to their test scores with practical magic ability being the top consideration. Students with the best practical magic skills are enrolled in the Course 1 curriculum, while those with poorer practical magic scores are enrolled in Course 2. These different divisions are known colloquially as “Bloom” and “Weed”.

Miyuki topped the entrance exams and is selected to be the first years’ representative, while Tatsuya is placed in Course 2 due to his low practical magic test scores, despite scoring highest in the written/theoretical portion of the exams.


First Impressions:

Did the illustrators get lazy with drawing faces? After the first few pages of the manga, the background characters are expressionless.

faceless

The manga also seemed to have a fluidity in styles as some of the panels seemed to be drawn in intense and highly detailed manner whereas others had a much simpler chibi style illustration to them. I’m not necessarily saying this is a bad thing just not what I expected after reading other manga that seem to have more of a consistent styling.

chibi


What I liked:

I really liked the fact that the series focuses heavily on the theme of bullying, discrimination, and exclusion between magic and non-magic disciplined students. It’s definitely something that most people can resonate with and relate to having gone through in school or university when you are excluded from an certain activity or picked on just because you look a certain way.

I also enjoyed the fact that the series mentions clubs and activities that appear to be similar to sports and societies in real universities and refers to “the period when club activities are recruiting new club members” which is essentially what a freshers fair is for new university students.

Another thing that I found really interesting in the manga was the way it explained different magical methods and practices.


What I disliked:

I found the relationship between Tatsuya Shiba and his sister Miyuki Shiba to be uncomfortable as they act more like a couple than siblings the manga even comments on this itself. Whilst I believe it represented a forbidden love it was also awkward and incestuous.

siblings

Another thing that I was disappointed with in the series was how wordy it was and there didn’t seem to be enough action sequences. And where there were action sequences they seemed to be too short.


How does it compare to the anime:

I found the anime visually stunning, it was really colourful and bright compared to a lot of the other anime I have seen that are a lot darker both in terms of themes  and colour schemes. That being said I wouldn’t say it didn’t have any darker themes as it also comments on discrimination and terrorism. One of the scenes that particularly highlights the beauty of the anime series is when Tatsuya is explaining how he defeats Hattori.

pretty

One of the main differences in the anime and manga was that the anime seemed to have a lot more comedic moments in it, whether or not that was always necessarily intentional.

Totally finished eating with a plate full of food.

Yes, totally finished eating with a plate full of food.

And yes in case you were wondering, the relationship between Miyuki and Tatsuya is still as uncomfortable to watch as it was to read.  Tatsuya seems to be quite aware of him behaving more like a lover than a sibling to Miyuki and she is more naive which somehow seems to make it worse.  I think the other characters reactions sum this up perfectly!

Shocked and embarrassed.

Shocked and embarrassed.


Overall Opinion:

Whilst I did enjoy reading the manga I found once again the series ended abruptly and left me wanting more which thankfully the anime seemed to satisfy this thirst for more. I’d definitely suggest not starting with the manga for this reason and just focusing on watching the anime series as it was a lot more satisfying not only in terms of visuals but also story as well.


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: Toukyou Kushu (Tokyo Ghoul)

In N00b Reviews this week I am looking at Toukyou Kushu, also more commonly known as Toyko Ghoul. I will also be reviewing both the manga and anime series together as I heard that they are very different from each other, so I thought it would be interesting to examine how the anime changes from the manga.


Summary:

Toukyou Kushu is set in a universe where Toyko is infested by Ghouls – humanoid creatures with special powers – that need to feast on humans to survive. The story focuses on the protagonist Ken Kaneki, a human that becomes half Ghoul-half human after an incident involving a Ghoul and then having her organs transplanted into his body. The story focuses on how he comes to terms with his abilities and his cravings for human flesh in order to live.


First Impressions: 

From looking at the first couple of pages of Toukyou Kushu the illustrations struck me as ‘simple’ and not overly detailed, which was strangely charming and made me concentrate on what was going on rather than getting distracted by overly detailed artwork.

simple


What I liked:

I really liked the way Toukyou Kushu made you empathize with the Ghouls even though they were killing and feeding on humans. As I read more and more of the manga I found the illustrations did get more detailed in regards to both the facial expressions of the characters and the settings. Whilst I mentioned earlier that they were simple and made me focus on the story later on, the detailed illustrations later on made me appreciate the beauty of the character designs, especially when it came to the Ghoul’s Kagune (tentacle or wing like organs that spout from the Ghouls back and aiding them in both fighting and defense).

h020


What I disliked:

One of the main things I disliked with Toukyou Kushu was the unnecessary excess of blood and gore that I felt wasn’t particularly needed in order to progress the plot. I found this was the case in both the manga and anime but with the anime it was a lot more obvious!

Tokyo Ghoul Bloody Scene


How Did it Compare to the Anime:

The manga and the anime seem to be completely different versions of the same main story arc. Whilst they both focus on Tokyo being infested by Ghouls and Kaneki coming to terms with his monstrous evolution, the manga seems to focus a lot more on the Investigators in the beginning whereas the anime focusses more on Kaneki and how he engages with other Ghouls.

I found the 12 episode anime series strangely addictive but was highly disappointed with the way the final episode ended. Okay, yes we do get a resolution with Kaneki but what about all the other story arcs? What happens to the Anteiku cafe group or the investigators? So unsatisfying!


Overall Opinion:

Overall I really enjoyed Toukyo Kushu (Tokyo Ghoul) and can’t wait for the next series of the anime – even if I was frustrated with the way it ended. As for the manga, I would definitely recommend giving it a read and I’ll be interested to see if there are any more differences between the adaptation to the original manga as they continue.


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!