Welcome back, friends! After a small break for Shadocon II (which was AWESOME) and the Thanksgiving Holidays, I come back to you all with a new review on a series that some of you willbe sure to want to “sink your teeth” into. And, by this terrible pun you can probably guess we’re talking more vampires. But, not just ANY Vampires. We’re talking brothers! “Black Blood Brothers”, to be precise. The series (Originally a light novel series written by Kohei Azano and Illustrated by Yuuya Kusaka) follows the story of Brothers Jiro Mochizuki as he seeks out a sanctuary to raise and protect his younger brother, Kotaro, within. However, upon their journey to said safe haven, his brother manages to intangle them in a scuffle between Refugee vampires seeking a new home in the “special zone” and a supression team whom has been sent by the Coffin company to hunt down a dangerous threat to both man and Vampire that may be in their midst: A kowloon Child.
Kowloon Children are Vampires whom are both hated and despised by both side of the spectrum due to their terrible means of production. Unlike other vampires, simply being bitten by a Kowloon child transforms the victim into a Kowloon child. It doesn’t matter if they attack human or other vampires: All are converted by the bite… And, did I mention that the Kowloon suffer from a feral and insatiable bloodlust that never seems to be qualled? Ten years prior, Jiro fought alongside of the humans and other vampires to destroy this menace in a war that took place in their stronghold of Hong Kong, earning himself the nick-names such as “the Silver blade” and “kin killer”. The war was won, but there was much loss and a high cost to himself that was paid; brought about by the treason of a once dear friend.This eventually leads us and him down his path to seeking out safety for his brother and, ultimately, to the main story from their in which they find aid from characters such as the human “comprimiser” named Katsuragi Mimiko, the reincarnated dragon king Sei, and a much more.
It’s an interesting series that begins nearly each episode with the revelation of some scattered bit of Jiro’s past. It’s only by the end of the series that you suddenly get what the truth of Jiro’s intentions are and why it is that Kotaro is so important to him. But, the voice acting is pretty good and the story isn’t half bad at all. Truthfully, it’s not one of my all time favorites, but it’s well worth watching if you have the time or if you’re a vampire enthusist. Best part is light does damage and NO ONE sparkles!!! So, in short, I give this one a 7 out of 10. And, I recommend that you all go ahead and take a “bite” on into it. Well, till next time: I’m Miroku and I’ll be looking forward to catching you ALL at Holiday Matsuri, coming up on Dec. 16th through the 18th. Take care!
Hey everyone! The monk is here and is as excited as all get-out over the upcoming convention “Shadocon”. It’s only a couple of days away, now, and we’re all TOTALLY stoked at the opprotunity to be back there for another adventurous, fun-filled, comedy packed weekend of awesome! With new games, an uncensored show, returning guest, and plenty of laughs in store: YOU JUST CAN’T MISS THIS ONE, FOLKS! Also, be sure to check out Anime Belle’s Fairytale Theatre were we will be joining their crew to bring you the best in Japanese theatre, Manzai comedy, and awesome stories STRAIGHT from Japan’s vast amounts of lore, mythos, and legends. It’s going to be a real BLAST!
Feeling like you can’t wait? Then why not check out our outrageous performance from last year’s con! Or, feel free to browse on through the newest videos, pictures, and our happenin’ forums . There’s always something new to check out and things to explore here at anirage.com. Well, until next time, this is Miroku saying that we all CAN’T WAIT to see you there ^_~.
Greetings everyone! Welcome back to another “With the Monk” column with your host, Miroku! Last time, I reviewed a two part movie put together from a 6 part OVA. This time (in keeping with the season and the upcoming holiday) we are reviewing a 12 episode series that, though short, had excellent animation style and rather nice storyline though it draws a bit from a current pop culture obsession. Which one, you may ask? Why vampire romance stories, of course! Now then, before you go clicking the back button, let me just say that this paticular series entitled “Dance in the Vampire Bund” IS NOT one of those “twighlight-er” series. Vampires don’t sparkle and they can’t march about in the daylight WITHOUT any form of protection from the sun. Rather, it is the story of a seemingly average high school student named Akira Kaburagi. Somewhere near the age of 17, he suffers from a case of amnesia and can’t properly recall anything past a year and a half ago. He attends classes and is pretty good friends with everyone, even having a bit of a “sweetheart” relationship with his fellow classmate, Ms. Yuki Saegusa. Everything is normal in his world until the day that a strange young girl comes to his high school looking for him. Upon meeting with him, some of his memories flood back to him with a violent shock that nearly knocks him comatose. He realizes he knows her and recalls a promise he had made to her when they were both younger. It is here that he also learns that she is the princess of vampires who, the night before, had revealed herself and the existance of vampires to the world on a Japanese discussion show. She reveals to him her plans to create a Bund (a sort of coastal city) in which she wishes to invite all non-radical vampires to come and live there lives within without fear of discrimnation or danger of harm. She then reveals that Akira is one of her most trusted knights and asks him to join her, once more, in her efforts. Reluctantly, Akira agrees and joins the princess as her bodyguard and, through the process of protecting her, recovers more and more of his lost memories, rediscovering his ancient blood abilities as a member of the Earth Clan (Aka: Werewolves)…
It’s actually a very well written animation, though it deviates a little from the original story by manga artist Nozomu Tamaki. There was SOME controversy with the series which was originally going to be edited for U.S. shores due to some suggestive themes in the series. However, Funimation released the 12 episode series in it’s entirety with no edits, which is just the way this monk likes to watch them. And the epsiodes with questionable material were few, with explainations and plot twists that work to make it make sense when you get to the later episodes. This series takes the best of modern monster lore (from authors like Anne Rice and Sherrilynn Kenyon) and spices them up in the best way the Japanese know how. So, with that being said, I would definately recommend giving this series a swing and watch/purchase the entire series. It’s defiantely a must have for anyone whom is a fan of vampires, werewolves, and the supernatural romance stories. And, as always, thank you for visiting us here at aniRAGE.com! Make sure to dropback by again to see what other series, movies, manga, or whatever else we have to show case for you, and we hope you had a Happy Halloween!
Hiddy Ho, guys! Your pal, Miroku, here. Finished mowing the lawn and decided to take a breather from the chores of the day, so I decided to hit Netflix up for some cool toonage to watch. As usual, I scrolled through the anime movie sections and discovered a little gem I’ve been meaning to see entitled: “Karas: The Prophecy”. I was debating it (due to mixed reviews I’ve heard) and decided to scroll on past to see what else was there, but then I saw that they also had the second film, “Karas: The Revelation”. I knew it was a sign… a “revelation”, if you will, from the spirit world. I just HAD to see this “prophecy” for myself. After all, these two movies were produced by Tatsunoko Productions, which has been one of the long time companies that I recall from my childhood BEFORE I realized that those funny Gatchaman folks came from Japan (which Tatsunoko was responsible for producing). And, knowing that the movies had been produced in correlation of the celebration of their 40th year anniversary, I knew that I HAD to give them a watch. Besides, the title character is one of my favs to fight with in the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom arcade fighter. So, why not see what the story was all about?
Naturally, I watched the first movie, “The Prophecy”. Let me just say that the opening sequence of a dog fight between two supernatural jet fighter planes was cool enough. The fact that those same jets could shapeshift into armored warriors was EVEN MORE rockin! They really wanted to get you into this film from the get-go and I have to say I wasn’t displeased… Save for all the Japanese text that was going by untranslated (Note to self: use closed caption next time that happens). Anyways, from the opening sequence I knew that the movie was going to be great. And then, I waited… and waited… and waited some more. But the more I watched, the more I began to get confused on what, exactly, the story was all about. I mean, SURE the fight sequences that rained throughout the movie was cool, but they kinda jumped around a lot of places at first and then didn’t bother to explain to you who the main character was or what the deal was that he had superhuman powers. To that end, it really only introduced a lot of side characters that really didn’t have a lot to do with the story. An investigation here, random demon attacks, sequences of the main character doctoring demons and otherworldly specters, but then going out and killing others. By the time I got to the end, I really had more questions than answers for and I didn’t even really realize I was at the end until the cliffhanger hits you and … BAM! End credits…
If that had have been the end of it, I might be writing a REALLY SOUR review on this production. Thankfully, though, I knew I still had “The Revelation” to follow… And, I was REALLY praying that this “Revelation” would produce a plot and a point. Thankfully, Tatsunoko didn’t disappoint. They managed to sum EVERYTHING together with the second movie and produce a fairly conventional end to the tale of a young man who is chosen to receive super powers to defend the city against evil and injustice against both human and demon. Mind you, these movies weren’t bad nor were they badly written. However, I really can’t understand the justification of making these two movies. I did a little research and discovered that both films ACTUALLY started off as a six episode OVA (which explains a lot in my mind) that was then, combined, manufactured, and released as two movies. Honestly, it watched like I was in the midst of one LONG episode of a series which is the way these films should be watched.
So, in short, “Karas: The Prophecy” and “Karas: The Revelation” was a “GOOD SERIES” but, as a movies… I couldn’t see much re-watch value to them. But I would recommend watching them. Just, make sure you watch “The Prophecy” and then IMMEDIATELY watch “The Revelation”. Or, if you can only watch one, watch the second film as it will give you the actual details of the story AND it recaps a little from the other episodes so you won’t miss too much by not watching the first. Until next time, guys, this is Miroku saying, “Later!”
Hello all you crazy Anime Fans! Miroku here, and I just got done watching one of the best Mecha/Spaghetti western series to date. The series is entitled “Gun x Sword” and was directed by Goro Taniguchi with it’s writer being Hideyuki Kurata. It’s a 26 episode series that takes place on a Wild west planet known as ‘The Endless Illusion’. The premise of the world is that, centuries ago, it was a Earth Prison planet guarded by Wardens in piloted Mecha’s called “Armors” which were each named and given a day of the week. These “Armors” were connected to their hosts and had the ability to mend themselves and their riders should they face any injury and granted decelerated aging so as to allow their riders to live centuries past their normal rate. These would, later, come to be called “the original seven”. However, we used up our resources back on earth which lead to it’s abandonment and a full migration to the “Endless Illusion”. An incident occurred along the way that left very few survivors and, soon, the “seven” and the mother ship that carried the survivors from earth to here were lost in antiquity and myth…
Hundreds of years pass… A stranger, dressed in a swallow-tail tuxedo and a strange Sash with handle, arrives at the small desert town of Evergreen. Half starved and dehydrated, he wanders into a church to seek aid, only to find himself caught in the midst of an armed robbery where a young girl tries to stand up to her attackers, but just narrowly misses being killed. Finding themselves audience, the attackers demand the stranger to come in and give them all of his valuables. He agrees, but then they demand his clothes to which he kindly declines. When they get distracted by their anger he strikes with some fancy footwork (ala spike spiegal) before gripping the handle on his sash. And, as he undoes it, a jolt of electricity goes up the sash and it stiffens to the form of a sword. The gunmen try to shoot him, but he deflects their bullets and quickly takes them out. The girl awakens to find that her life has been saved. And as she thanks him, the stranger passes out from the lack of strength and hunger. She then Thus the meeting of the series two main characters occurs. From here after, the tale follows the escapades of the “Stranger” Whose name turns out to be Van. He chooses to go by the name “Van of the Dawn” but, ends up with a WIDE variety of titles given to him throughout the series; both comedic and a little insulting to his character in most parts. The little lady is named Wendy Garrett and she joins Van in his journey as they both come to find a common quest. That quest is to hunt down the man known as “the claw” as he possesses a clawed prosthetic arm.
For Van, he seeks the man to kill him for the murder of his beloved wife, Elena, on their wedding day. For Wendy, she hunts after her brother, Michael, whom was taken by the man. Along the way, we come to find out that Van is connected to one of the legendary “Armors” known as Dann of Thursday. He’s called down from a Satellite, in orbit, quite frequently to do battle when confronted by both regular armors (created using old technology and modern workings of science) and the other Six “Originals”. Van also meets a rival named Ray whom is also seeking “the claw” and wields a Gun-cane as his weapon (most likely where the title Gun x Sword comes in… AT least in my thinking). The world has a very “Trigun” look, but with a few higher tech. luxuries (Cars, boats, Zeppelins, computers, mobil transports, etc…) Also, there are quite a few comedic jabs with the world having it’s own “Voltron force” of sorts and an Episode about a couple of love-struck crooks named “Bonnie and Claude”. The best episode for both comedy and fan service was probably Episode 17.
Anyways, it wasn’t a trip back to the planet “Gunsmoke” but, it was a fairly decent series which I find I am happy to have watched and, very much, enjoyed the ending though it may leave you a little curious as to what would happen next. All the same, I would have to say that “Gun x Sword” is a interesting series and well worth the watching if you’re into Comedy, space westerns, or Mecha. On a rating, I’ll give it a 4 out of 5 stars. Well, guess it’s time for me to hit the ol’ dusty trail, myself. Keep tuned into aniRAGE.com for more insightful reviews, sweet links, and comedic adventures of our own! This is Miroku saying, “Until next we meet, keep your Tuxedo blowing in tomorrow and your face towards the future!” Bye!
Greetings loyal aniRAGErs! Miroku here, and I have to say that today was plenty of awesome! I and my fiancee, Jenny, were invited to come and spend the day with Pika-Belle Chu at local, Jacksonville based, Ancient City Con (A.C.C. for short) and we accepted her generous offer and joined her in the fun. Dressed in Naruto Cosplay, we joined in her panel and were later joined by Zeke whom brought his trusty camera and Lupin the Third cosplay along for the fun and the off chance fo catching some great gamers/cosplayers in action. A.C.C. is running it’s fifth year and is a hometown fav for roleplayers, cosplayers, and all other convention based enthusists. There were some interesting panels, a nice registration area, a fun gaming room, and a decent dealers area… And, did I mention that all of the above (with exception to panels) all existed in one room? It was quirky, but interesting at the same time. Jenny and I didn’t stay all day, but we really enjoyed our time and hope that they have alot more fun, tomorrow, as the con will be continuing on through Sunday. So, if you’re a local and just want to check out something fun, then drop on by A.C.C. and make sure to continue to drop by and see us, here, at aniRAGE.com! This Miroku saying,” Catch you all at the next one!”
Movies with the Monk: Adventures in Earthsea
Greetings, movie watchers and fans of “aniRAGE!”. Miroku here and I just had to hop online in order to let you all know about another FANTASTIC Studio Ghibli film, released in August 2010 by Disney. The Story is entitled “Tales from Earthsea” and was based upon the “Earthsea” novels by Ursula K. LeGuin. Now a name like Ursula, when speaking of disney and “sea”, ussually brings up images of heavy set, overly endowed, tentically sea witches, but (thankfully) none of this appears within the story. Rather, Goro Miyazaki (son of the famous Haoyo Miyazaki) brings a world of magic and sorcery to life in a way that only Studio Ghibli has been able to for the last 27 years. The story itself sets you within a world known as “Earthsea” where the balance of light and darkness teeters, precariously, back and forth. Men rule over the earth and waves while Dragons claim sky and fire, but both realms are beginning to fall out of alignment as a mysterious dark force works in the shadows to lay claim of life through fear, drought, and pestilence.
In the midst of this leaking darkness, the story follows the exploits of three characters:
The archmage, Sparrowhawk (voiced by Timothy Dalton), is wandering in search of the reason behind the disbalance that is taking place while policing any and all forces that might be causing the imbalances within the world.
The runaway prince, Arren (voiced by Matt Levin), is fleeing a terrible past and an even more fearful “shadow” that plagues him when rescued by the Archmage and drawn to follow him as he has nowhere else to go.
The mysterious girl, Therru (voiced by Blairre Restaneo), is a scarred beauty with a jaded past whom is almost placed into slavery until Arren intervenes and rescues her.
These three become the centerpoint for the events that ensue and surround them as a wicked sorceror by the name of Cobb (voiced by Willem Dafoe) seeks to discover the power of eternal life… A power that, if discovered, threatens to forever mar and destroy the balance of their world. Additional casting includes the voices of Mariska Hargitay, Jean Smart, and Cheech Marin. It is a story about courage, taking responsibility, and the importance that is found in both the living and the dying. Another excellent film from the same Studio that brought you stories like “Princess Mononoke”, “Howl’s moving Castle”, and the academy acclaimed “Spirited Away” and a excellent starter for what is sure to be an amazing career of Goro Miyazaki. “Tales from Earthsea” is an excellent addition to any collection (whether it be disney, studio Ghibli, or just animation in gerneral) and I would highly recommend everyone watching it at least once in their life.
And, that’s it for Movies with the Monk. I’m Miroku and I hope to be back soon with another great flick (animated or live-action) to tell you all about. Till then, take care and enjoy!
Goodness… WHAT A TRIP! Got back from Freecon early Sunday morning and decided to take the time to rest. However, now that I’m feeling rested, I just have to say what an absolutely FANTASTIC TIME we had while we were there! It was truely wonderful to see all the cosplayers and get to talk to people both new and old. There was so much going on! Everything from it’s free maid/butler cafe to it’s great panels and back around again to it’s dealers room/artist alley. Certainly, things were a bit small and the convention took place between two buildings, but it only served to get me pumped for whom or what I might find around the next bin. And, as an added bonus, there was a Japanese culture fair going on at THE SAME TIME in their second building, so there was many beautiful kimonos, Japanese crafts, Dancing/story telling, and a most WONDERFUL charity that was excepting donations to help the folks whom were hurt over in Japan by both the tsunami and the nuclear meltdown that (Thank God) they have just about under control.
I, also, saw alot of people I haven’t seen in a while. Alot, of which, were extremely friendly and made me feel like we hadn’t ever had to part ways. It was EXTREMELY GOOD to see everyone. So, with all of this awesome, what could we do for the con in return? Well, we ROCKED the convention by offering one heck of a great show! The audience particpation was high as well as the comedy and I don’t think there was ANYONE whom didn’t leave main events with a smile on their faces. So, in short, Freecon was/is an incredible convention that, we here at aniRAGE, will be looking forward to returning to and performing at again, next year! Till then, though, stay tuned as we will shortly have both video and pictures up from Freecon and watch for us to be at Metrocon, this year! Can’t WAIT to rock the show with the folks from Anime Belle. But, until next time, this is the monk: signing out!
So, Anime Day Orlando has come and gone but, we really had a blast being able to walkaround and hang out with everyone ^_^! I took a few pics while we were there which I hope to host very soon! Anyways, we hope you all had as great a time as we had and we’ll be looking forward to seeing you all at a convention near you very soon!