Tuesday, January 12, 2016

MISC. MANGA, *Magika Swordsman And Summoner

Since harem comedies set in magic schools are all the rage these days, Magika Swordsman And Summoner is a fan service-heavy saga. Based on a light novel series by the same author, Mitsuki Mihara teamed up with artist "Chun" to make this tantalizing tale of modern day sword and sorcery.

Set some time after mankind has made contact with another dimension, they started being able to manifest magic from their in the form of enchanted swordsmen(and women), and summoners that can call upon otherworldly humanoids that endow them with amazing abilities. However, up until now, the only summoners have been female, except for the young swordmaster Kazuki who can summon as well as use magical weaponry. He's enrolled into a special school filled with saucy summoner girls, and is preyed upon by nearly everyone of his classmates. Plus, the being he first summons to be his partner is also a cute girl who is secretly working for demons.

This seems a little tripe for a stereotypical harem manga, but it's not just all an ecchi festival. It's worth looking into if you're into this genre, or urban fantasy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

MISC. MANGA, *The Steam League

This series collects the first few chapters featured in Steampunk Tales with new ongoing additional chapters.

The Steam League is made of Lady Greystoke, Mary Riley, and the amazon Rula who protect London from otherworldly theats like Nosferatu, Spring-Heeled Jack, and Sweeney Todd. They get help from none other than Sherlock Ninja crossing over into this title. These threats are all a plot brewed by Dr. Frankenstein and Wang Fu Ho(a Fu Man Chu copycat)who are misleading the League to have the cat burglar Cheshire Cat steal the Mars Stone, which is a strange energy source. Meanwhile on Mars, young John Carson is an Earthling being sent back to reclaim the Mars Stone, and gets a lift from the spaceship, The Emerald City, whose crew is made of citizens of Oz, but their trip is interrupted with the arrival of Alice from Wonderland.

This combines several literary characters along with folklore and tall tales, even though it does seem to suffer from trying to merge a little too many titles into one plot, but the overall payoff is satisfying for sci-fi and fairy tale buffs.

ANI-MOVIES, *Jack And The Cuckoo-Clock Heart

This French-animated film was inspired by an album by the rock group Dionysos, and produced by Adele director Luc Benson, which plays out like a Tim Burton musical with slightly modern rock styles added.

Set in 1870s Scotland, Jack was a boy born on the coldest day ever, and his heart was frozen solid. Fortunately, the midwife Madeleine was also an acclaimed “witch” with a talent in science who replaced Jack’s infant heart with a cobbled together cuckoo-clock, and she eventually becomes his adopted mother. Years later, and Jack’s first day out in the city has him falling in love with a nearsighted calliope player named Acacia, although this causes his artificial heart to malfunction as one of the things he can’t do is fall in love as the strain would be lethal. Jack then quests for Acacia after she’s skipped town, and his search leads him to historical figures like Jack the Ripper, and George Melies who just created the movie projector. Jack finds Acacia now working as a flamenco dancer in a carnival where they confess their feelings for each other, which leads to a rather ambiguous ending.

It works out as decent steampunk feature, especially with the fictional accounting of Melies as a supporting character, although the English translation of some of the musical lyrics aren’t totally understandable, and the film operates under more fairy tale logic than it maybe needs to.