Anime with the Monk: Black blood Brother, where art thou?

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!

Anime with the Monk: A “Dance” worth watching

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! 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!

Fright Night (2011) Review: aka David Tennant is a Bad-Ass MoFo.

I’ve never been a huge fan of horror movies, but when I heard that David Tennant, the most amazing 10th Doctor from Doctor Who, was going to be in the remake of the 1985 cult-classic Fright Night, I knew there was a very good chance I was going to go see it. The story revolves around a boy who, after shunning his nerdy friends and being “cool” in order to get a hot chick, discovers that his new neighbor is a vampire! This vampire, played quite well by Colin Farrell, is slowly eating his way through the neighborhood. And when Charley Brewer (played rather meh-ly by Anton Yelchin)’s best friend “Evil” Ed (played by the always wonderful Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is taken out, he knows he has to fight back. It’s a fun, action-filled story with a menacing Colin Farrell, a boring Anton Yelchin, and hot chicks aplenty. But, as I assumed, David Tennant’s performance as Peter Vincent, stage-magician and surprise real-life vampire expert, took over the show.

The show just how much love Mr. Tennant has, the moment he arrived on screen, the crowd in the theater erupted into applause. He stole the show every time he was on scene. Then again, I might be a bit biased.

Don’t judge me, the bible says not to.

All kidding aside, the movie was very enjoyable, even if you aren’t a fan of gorey horror-suspense type movies. I might even purchase it once it’s out on DVD/Bluray (though more realistically, I’ll just stream it if/when it comes to Netflix). I give it 4 Sonic Screwdrivers out of 5.


Movies with the Monk- Karas: The Prophecy & The Revelation

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!”

The Walking Dead – Season 1: Walkers Gonna Walk

This weekend I had the pleasure of watching the first season of The Walking Dead. Based upon Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel series of the same name, this AMC series is an excellent addition to any zombie lovers library. While I do plan on picking up the title in print, this is about the TV series, which will start it’s second season in October of this year. This review does contain some spoilers, so be careful

The series centers around Rick Grimes, a sheriff’s deputy in King County, Georgia. He is your typical everyman, who wants to help everyone, but is helpful to a fault. People flock to him because of his confidence, and he takes that responsibility hard. He always wants to do the right thing for everyone, which sometimes leads to dangerous situations. But people respect him and look to him for leadership. While Rick spent most of the start of the zombie panic in a hospital, trapped in a coma-like state due to a very damaging gunshot wound, he manages to bring himself together in time to make it to his house, and meet a man and his son. While they are initial scared of his wounds (assuming it was zombie-inflicted), he gains their trust and takes them to the sheriff’s department station for hot showers, guns, and ammunition. Despite splitting ways so that the father could teach his son how to use a gun, he gives them a walkie-talkie so that he can keep them posted on if he finds survivors, and safety. There are several scenes of him at dawn, trying to reach out to them.

There are many characters that are introduced throughout the season. Some are there for the long haul, like Rick’s wife and son, as well as his former partner from the police force, Shane. Shane is an interesting character, a conflicted hero. He lied to Rick’s wife that Rick had died, in order to get her and Rick’s son to safety. However, the two bonded over their grief and grew closer, which only hurt him more when Rick arrives at the refugee camp, and the wife basically shuns Shane from that point on. You can tell that he is happy to have his old partner and friend back, but he sees the way that the wife and everyone else flocks to him, and his jealousy quickly grows.

The rest of the refugee camp is full of colorful characters, from a racist hick whose crossbow skills end up making him an invaluable addition, to a hispanic family just trying to survive, to a mechanic whose family died, and it takes a severe toll on his mentality. There is a pair of sisters who have more survival skills than you might assume at first, a kind old man who seems very comfortable with a gun and has an RV. There’s also a family whose father is quite abusive to his wife, and potentially child…but karma has a way of giving him some hard times.

The story really is about the humanity, or lack thereof, of the refugees, and the other people you meet along the way. During an outing into Atlanta, Rick and his group runs into a group of thugs, who act tough and savage, but in reality are the only thing keeping a group of old folks alive, after they had been abandoned and left to die. The redneck who seemed to just hate everyone actually becomes an invaluable member of the group, often being one of the best in the fights against the undead, despite his personal feelings towards others. The story really draws you in to each character, and while the zombies play a big role in the story, it’s more about the people. It makes you really care about them, suffer with their loses, and cheer on their successes.

The first season was over before I knew it, and I was desperate for more. I plan on marathoning the graphic novel soon, and I look forward to the second seasons this fall. If you love zombies, you definitely need to watch this. I’m not sure what took me so long, but it’s definitely worth the watch!


“Gun X Sword”: Another review with the Monk

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 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!

Hey there little “Red riding hood”: A movie review

How’s it going, everyone?

Just got back from seeing a sneak peek presentation of “Red Riding Hood” and, much like the song by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs… it sure was looking good! I don’t want to put out any spoilers or anything for the movie, but it was a great film. As you can guess, it was a bit of a “creature feature” and being produced by the same folks whom made twilight (bleck… -gags a little.-) it was definately what I would consider a “chick flick”. But, unlike twilight, this was ACTUALLY good. There was enough action and intrigue between the girl stuff that it kept me engrossed the ENTIRE time. The acting was fairly good and the creature effects weren’t too shabby. They went with a similiar theme for “the wolf” as they did for others in previous sappy vampire love stories, but I really enjoyed the look and the story was fairly well written.

In short, Red Riding Hood is, very much, Well worth seeing and I would highly recommend it to ANYONE whom enjoys a good monster movie and/or a love story. Until next time, I’m Miroku bidding you all a “grim” evening… BWa ha ha ha-ack!

Venture the Nexis and Join the League!

So, my brother-in-law has been stuck on a game for the past month or so and I finally decided to bite when told I should join in. So I went over to and decided to download the game “League of Legends” to my pc. To start off, L.O.L. is a real-time strategy game, produced by the creators of the War Craft 3 downloadable game “Defenders of the ancients (or Dota for short). Having played Dota, I figured that this one would be pretty good and I haven’t been dissappointed yet!

Game play works much the same as it does in Dota. The game sets you up as a “Summoner” and you must command your “Champion” to go forth and destroy your enemy’s “Nexis” or command crystal that is found in the heart of their base. The game provides you with ground forces that go ahead of your champion to fight on your behalf and has an rpg element with a leveling system and a weapons/armor purchasing system. And, like Dota, weapons and armor purchased can be combined to form stronger items through recipes provided (think synthesis, if you will). The game is very fun and addicting (much like the predecessor that came before it), but one interesting difference from Dota is the ability to rack up points or to use cash to purchase new character skins from the games website. And game play is fast and furious when played with others over the net, with struggles from teams to go forth and destroy their enemy and their Nexis to win the game!

So, in conclusion, I would like to say that if you haven’t had a chance to play this game yet, then you should TOTALLY give it a shot. It’s free to play, doesn’t take alot of space, and system requirements aren’t high to run. Now then, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to summon me up a sandwich. Until next time, I hope you all enjoy!


Warning: Read This Before Playing Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

There are a few things I need to warn you guys about before you settle in to play this awesome game.

1) Prepare to learn a foreign language (or two).
Assassin’s Creed has a wonderful feature called Subtitles. Normally these are distracting letters that appear on the bottom of the screen during cut scenes. However in this game, they turn into a wonderful educational tool! Now you can learn how the correct phrases to say when stabbing people, as well as some key phrases to use when you converse with those whom you don’t agree with. While the majority of these are Italian, so far some French phrases have arrived as well! Who knew killing people could be so educational!

2) Italian is a universal language that everyone years to speak.
While it teaches you some great phrases, the biggest thing is that you’ll discover that deep down, you really ARE Italian. At first you’ll just be reciting lines that you hear from the game, but soon you’ll realize that even in your everyday speech patterns you’ll start emulating your buddy and mine, Ezio. Everything sounds better in a horribly mimicked Italian accent.

3) Your name just got six words longer.
Ezio Auditore da Firenze. It just rolls off the tongue. And jealousy will sit in. Why doesn’t MY name take three paragraphs to state? Soon you will be Joe Wilson de Wisconson con la Madison. It’s only natural.

4) Death follows you.
You’ll never quite figure out why, but people will just drop like flies around you. You’ll look at someone, wave your wrist, and a hail of arrows will appear and strike down your foes…even those you didn’t even know you had a problem with! And people on rooftops? Hell, they’ll start falling left and right. They shouldn’t be up there, looking at you and going “Hey get down from there!”. Serves them right.

5) Daggers. Daggers daggers daggers.
One day you’ll wake up and have them strapped to your wrists, ankles, knees, elbows, tongue, eyelids, ears, hell even places where you normally would want all forms of sharp objects to avoid.

6) Templars.
They are everywhere. Yes, even there. RUN.


aniRAGE! Year in review: Miroku’s Favorites list

Greetings and Salutations, Everybody! As most of you well know, today is the very last day of the year 2K10! Having seen Zeke list his favorite albums/Soundtracks made me want to take a moment to list some of my favorites of this year as well! So, without further adieu, I’m going to list a few of my favorites (From songs to Cons to moments shared) from this year:

Favorite Song of this year:

I probabaly have to say that my absolute favorite song from this year has got to be “Monster” by Skillet. It’s an amazing song from start to end, chaulk full of great rifts, an awesome beat, and enough energy to match a 12 pack of Red-Bull! Can’t tell you how many times I found myself jamming to this song during the year… Whether it was in going places or trying to psyche myself up during excercise or even when I was feeling a bit down. It’s just WAY to awesome of a song and I recommend checking it out, if you haven’t already.

Favorite Movie of this year:

I haven’t seen “Tron” or “Voyage of the DawnTreader” yet, but I figure that I can safely say that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt.1” was probably the BEST movie I have seen! I’m not a huge fan of the illustrious “Mr. Potter” but, I have always enjoyed the movies. This last one, however, really blew me away and I loved the fact that they played back on events and conversations that were had back from a few movies ago and how this transformation of Harry from “Young Innocence” to “Dark Messiah” is coming to it’s fruition here. Not to mention that the telling of the ‘Deathly Hallows” story is and AMAZING treat in the midst of the story. Hands down, the BEST of the “Harry Potter” chronicles that has yet to been released… Still looking forward to Part 2 ^_^!

Favorite VideoGame of this year:

Call of Duty: Black Ops….What can I say about this game that hasn’t been already stated? It TRULY is an AMAZING gaming experience! I really, REALLY have loved playing this game and with it’s multiple play modes, customizations, Zombies, and the “Easter Egg” at it’s ending…. I have to say this has been and continues to be one of the funnest games I have yet to play!

Favorite Manga of this year:

I’ve enjoyed and am still enjoying quite a few manga’s this year… But, I feel that the best I have read or, rather, completed this year was probably “Full Metal Alchemist”… I mean, WHAT AN INCREDIBLE STORY!!! Hiromu Arakawa is a brilliant manga writer (if I do say so myself) and the series, with it’s many twists and turns and epic battles, really earned a place in my heart. I can say with sincerity and fondness that the story and its characters were truely A-list material and just stunning both in the reading and in the art! A must read if you haven’t already or aren’t already reading it!

Favorite Convention of this year:

Good gravy! We’ve been to QUITE a few in this year. It’s hard to say which one i liked the most because I really, REALLY liked them all! But, If I had to throw out just one convention that, in my mind, just stood an inch taller then all the rest… I think I would have to say that Metro-Con probably was my favorite again… True, we didn’t perform much there, but that may be just some of the charm that places it above the others. I’ve had a blast EVERYWHERE we went AND being able to do our improve with the likes of “the Nostalgia Critic” and “Ego-Raptor” or Hosting a Ball with “Anime Belle” are events that I shall NEVER EVER forget! But, there is something about Metro-Con that really puts a smile on my face and alot of joy in my heart. I always meet new and interestig people there and deeply enjoy the events and all the folks I’ve met… And, HEY! I’ve did something I never thought I’d be able to do. I was able to give blood to help people whom need it to live. Honestly, I’m scared of needles and the fact thta I worked up the courage for this has been a SUPREME accomplishment for me this year! It really was an amazing con and I’m TOTALLY looking forward to go back again this year… But,it better watch out. Exp and ShadoCon were REALLY, REALLY high up there!

And, there ya go! These are my favorites for the year! There is alot more I could post here, but I think I’ll hang back a little. However, I sincerely hope that you all had a WONDERFUL year and an even better year here in the next! God Bless you all and a very Happy New Year from myself and all of us here at!