Thursday, May 25, 2017

MISC. MANGA, *Clockwork Planet

With a recent anime TV series adaptation, Clockwork Planet is shaping into a pretty popular manga. No Game No Life writer Yuu Kamiya teamed up with artist Tsubaki Himana to come out with this steampunk-themed post-apocalypse sci-fi story.

Set over a millennium after the Earth was made over by a brilliant creator known as "Y", the world is at this time one big "clockwork planet" with cities built on giant gears and sprockets. Young student Naoto Miura runs across a very dynamic gynoid called RyuZU who he reactivates with his technical know-how. She accepts him as her new master after sucking his thumb, although RyuZU appears to have exceptionally advanced circuitry. This connects to an investigation being lead by Marie Breguet, a machine master called a "meister" who suspects the main company in charge of the operation of the gear cities is planning to sabotage one of the lower class sections and have it be destroyed(similar to Shinra in Final Fantasy VII).

Clockwork Planet was originally a series of four light novels that soon adapted into this ongoing manga. It features some pretty stunning artwork, and a compelling story, even if it does take a little while to have the two main plots come together into a single storyline.

I should grow a "Batee".

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Aku Drive Thru

ANI-MOVIES, *Teen Titans: The Judas Contract

After nearly a decade on the schedule, Warner Bros. finally got around to coming out with what was going to be one of their first few DC animated made-for-video movies. The Judas Contract was one of the big story arcs from The New Teen Titans comic series during the mid-80's by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. This has the teenage superheroes finally butting heads with the hitman Deathstroke(aka: Slade), which was played out during Season 2 of the Teen Titans TV series.

The movie starts out during the early days of the Teen Titans which is lead by Dick Grayson as Robin, along with Beast Boy, Kid Flash, Bumblebee, and Speedy as they rescue the alien Starfire from an army of space thugs. Cut to a few years later(sometime after Justice League Vs. Teen Titans)where Starfire is now leader, plus Beast Boy, Raven, Robin(Damien Wayne), Terra, and the current Blue Beetle. They collaborate with Dick Grayson who now goes by Nightwing to take down a criminal group called HIVE, secretly lead by cult televangelist Brother Blood. Blood hired Deathstroke who is apparently still alive after Son Of Batman and stronger than before with the purpose of capturing the Titans so he can absorb their powers. Deathstroke planted the earth-manipulator Terra in their ranks to learn their secrets. First capturing Robin, Terra then proceeds to help Slade take down the rest of the Titans, but Nightwing managed to escape. Deathstroke betrays Terra by giving her to Brother Blood who hooks the Titans up to his power-sucking machine, and turns himself into a DC Comics version of the Super-Skrull. Nightwing busts in freeing the Titans, and Raven uses her magic to remove the superpowers from Blood. Terra ends up burying herself resulting in her death. The story changes to sometime later with Beast Boy doing a podcast with the actual Kevin Smith about Terra's impact on the team, plus a certain new member whose joined the team. There's also a post-credits scene of a certain kid with a blonde afro!

The Judas Contract was a much better Teen Titans movie than the previous Justice League crossover, especially with the flashback at the beginning with the original Titans. Hopefully, this will lead into at least one more Titans movie with the bonus characters teased at the end of the film.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

MISC. MANGA, *Zombies Assemble

After doing a nearly endless succession of Marvel Zombies comics, a Japanese take on the idea is done for Zombies Assemble. Set in a carbon copy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ixion Saga creator Yusaku Komiyama has also previously worked on a manga prequel to the Avengers: Age Of Ultron movie which has yet to be released in English(similarly to the Cloverfield manga), and carried that on to this undead outbreak.

Featuring most of the cast from the first Avengers movie, Pepper Potts throws a birthday party for Iron Man/Tony Stark, but one of the guests is infected with a zombie virus which spreads through human contact. Before the Avengers can go an help the rest of New York from turning into the City of the Damned, Thor becomes infected as he's unworthy of holding his hammer, and infects Black Widow as well. With two of their members in quarantine, it's up to Stark and Bruce Banner to come up with a cure, although it's symptoms seem familiar to Tony somehow.

This was released in two separate issues in Japan, and is being printed the same way in America, but in right-to-left format which is rare for a single comic book issue nowadays. No word yet if there's going to be a collected edition of both issues, so you might wanna grab this eerie adventure while its out.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

OBSCURE O.V.A.S, *Special Combat Duty Shinesman

With Power Rangers now with a new film, Shinesman should catch your eye. Originally based on a still-as-yet to be released in English manga, this 2-episode OVA series sentai parody was a Production I.G. release came out in the mid-90s, but was put out in America through Media Blasters with an exceptionally of the walls dub!

Instead of 5 teenagers with attitude, the Shinesman(singular)are a quintet of young adults working for a trading company who secretly protects the Earth under the leadership of human resources head Kyoko, who established the Shinesman after the alien princess provided them with their equipment to defend themselves from space invaders. The evil aliens in question is Prince Sasaki, his brainwashed assistant Seki, and Sasaki's dizzy cousin Princess Shiina who arrives to help with the takeover. The Shinesman themselves have their own take on traditional superhero colors like Shinesman Red, Grey, Moss Green, Sepia, and Salmon Pink, all of which picked their colors based on their own personal preferences. Grey picked his because his beloved SUV is grey, Salmon Pink because she likes salmon desserts, etc. The main bulk of the OVA's plot has the Shinesman protecting an amusement park from Shiina with her "monster of the week" attacks.

The OVA has been dubbed in English by Coastal Recording, who did the bulk of dubbing for Animeigo and some Bandai releases, and has gone down as being one of the secret fan favorites among America otaku. The dub was conducted similarly to shows like Samurai Pizza Cats, Duel Masters, and Ghost Stories as it was given alot of freedom to take it's own direction by making even a more satirical version of a parody. With superhero lines like, "I can't die now! I've got a date with Turkish twins!", totally stealing the show. The anime has been released on dubbed and subtitled VHS, as well as DVD, and has been out of print for a while, but you can still rent it from Netflix, plus several used video sellers.