There was a time where Sam Elliott wasn’t the glorious be-mustached man that he’s been since cowboy films were invented. It wasn’t only two seconds after passing through the birthing canal, into the world, and then ordering a whiskey with a side of broken glass. Are word needn’t suffice for it has been well documented in movie form.
Frogs(1972) stars the old rugged voice of beef and horse flops himself. He plays a photographer for an ecology magazine. This involves taking pictures of garbage tossed into the creek so recently that it’s still not even completely soaked. He meets a family who bizarrely takes him g in while people in the family start getting killed by animals. Not once does a frog even inadvertently lead to anyone’s death though.
Weltall then talks about the film that everyone and their mother has already made six response videos about. It’s Bird Box, everyone’s parents first exposure to psychological horror films that was only watched because there’s piss all to do around the holidays except binge Netflix and hate your children. Speaking of loathable children this movie has two of them but, spoiler alert, they aren’t forced to gaze into the abyss and pull their eyes out.
Tim goes back to the seventies because he’s almost eaten his way through the garbage dump of the eighties and they’re right next to each other. Sssssss(1973) is about a “scientist” who can talk to snakes, or maybe just one snake, that wants to turn people into snakes. He drinks a lot as does his pet snake which might explain his motives.
Considering all of the genres of manga and all the subjects covered, there’s probably one thing among them that’s near taboo. That would be the original english language “manga”. We’re pretty sure that OELs were the meteor that killed the dinosaur of Tokyopop along with the nuclear winter of Levy’s ego. Yet there must always be an exception to the rule and a part of that is what we’ve been sent today.
Tim gets Rwby Anthology 1. Not being a fan of Rooster Teeth or any of their productions, Tim approached it decidedly neutrally. Hoping that, at worst, it was a generic fantasy manga with pointless rankings and fifteen year old wielding weapons that weigh as much as a cargo container. While Rwby, reportedly, has a story the anthology has no part of it. It is a series of disconnected scraps of rejected parts scooped up from the cutting room floor and crammed into a volume in order to milk fans of a few extra dollars. For this it earns a Burn It.
Weltall gets to Rwby Anthology 2. Like the other one, there’s nothing of substance for anyone who’s not already a dyed in the wool fan of this thing. There’s a short story with one joke that appears to be actually setup. One of the girls makes cookies that are hard as rocks and they get used as throwing stars on some random mooks. It also has random eight panel pages with interactions that are somehow more boring that the pointless stories about baking cookies. It also gets a Burn It.
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With the theme of monster catching, Tim has Pokemon Adventures. The manga made to tie into the success of the original red and blue games. As such the protagonist is named Red and has rivalry with Blue. In the tradition of all adaptations of games, the rules of the game are ignored for the sake of making a plot favoring particular pokemon. Take for example the arc where Red uses a Pikachu to beat an Onix. It still gets a Borders.
Weltall then cracks open Yo-kai Watch. Nate Adams is a normal manga kid who’s parents are busy drinking and playing pachinko. He walks face first into the state’s program to curb population control by sending kids on deadly adventures when he cracks open a gashapon that has a watch and a yokai in it. He then starts seeing yokai, talking them out of being pests and gaining the ability to summon them to pester others. It lands on a Borders in a surprise to us.
Turn down the lights, pour a glass of moonshine, and join us for another installment of requested manga theater. Wherein our free will is taken away and we’re forced to read things sent to us. To cope, we will undoubtedly be tapping into something delicious or at least highly alcoholic. Just as long as we don’t start dipping into mixed drinks.
Tim reviews Platinum End. A manga brought to us by the same people who gave us Death Note. We start off with our main character deciding it’s time to kill himself, climbing to the roof of a skyscraper, then taking an asphalt swan dive. He gets saved feet before death by an angel. She offers him the ability to tavel anywhere on earth nearly instantly or to fire arrows that make people love him. He says he’ll consider not dying if she gives him both. Turns out he’s one of twelve people who have guardian angels who are playing last man standing with the winner getting to take the place of god. It squeaks into a Crackers and will be worth a follow up.
Weltall then reviews Umineko: When They Cry. It’s set on the eighties where the Ushiromiya family gets summoned to the island they own. There’s a legend that grandpa Ushiromiya got the seeds of their fortune by making a deal with a witch. But if he doesn’t pay her back by a particular time and date, she’ll exact a price from the family. There’s excellent pacing and well assembled pacing that erans it a solid Read It Now
Like an expensive sweater gifted to a nephew, we’ve returned quicker than anticipated. It’s another week, another drink and another manga. This time some self selected materials as we’ve got a few requests coming down the pipeline in the form of physical copies.
Tim reviews Marry Grave. It has a lighthearted style reminiscent of late nineties comedy manga. Our protagonist lives in a world that’s been invaded by goblins. He carries a coffin and is doing a world wide scavenger hunt attempting to raise his wife from the dead. There’s an interesting twist where we find out he died on his wedding night and his wife spent the rest of her life doing the same to resurrect him. It gets a Read it Now for being inventive and interesting.
Weltall reviews To Your Eternity. It begins with an alien lifeform landing on earth and copying a dying wolf. After taking it’s form, it wanders into an empty encampment where it finds a lone boy who’s been living along for a few years. It follows him along until he dies and takes his form. It’s very well paced and the story get more interesting from that point on, ending one a hilarious note made funnier by the serious tone thus far. It comfortably earns a Read it Now
We like to have some post show discussions once in awhile. They usually aren’t recorded as they’re not very long. Tim is always begging off because he says he needs to go eat. This is accompanied by him dramatically clutching his middle and collapsing into a heap while asking for soup or breadsticks like this is an Olive Garden and not a makeshift recording studio.
Appropriate then that Tim reviews Shokugeki no Soma. Soma is a student who works at a ramen shop and is attempting to best the owner in a cooking contest by making odd dishes like peanut butter and squid. One day he is forced to defend the shop from evil land developers by cooking with limited ingredients. It turns out he’s quite good when he’s not experimenting with things and saves the day. So the owner shuts down shop and sends him to a prestigious cooking school. It gets a Borders for being a rice cake of a manga.
Weltall reviews Tales of Wedding Rings. Our dish rag du jour is Sato who’s childhood friends with Hime. Some time in the indeterminable time between high school or middle, Hime ends up traveling into another dimension and Sato tags along. She is betrothed to a prince who is about to marry her right until a demon attacks. Hime kisses Sato which makes him married to her and grants the power to defeat the demon. Realm saved, right? Wrong. Sato now has to go out and collect his harem to gain enough power to beat the big bad. It also gets a Borders.
More sent manga makes its way into our PO box which means we have yet more to review. We gladly take requests because we like to please. And we’re lazy. We’ve mentioned that before but ease of reading saves us a lot of trouble when it comes to this and it keeps us from getting into a genre rut. Which could easily make the show turn stale faster than a rice cake in a Louisiana summer.
Tim gets sent Golosseum. There’s an alternate, maybe, future where Putin has a number of bracelets that prevent damage from bullets and radiation but allow fighting moves to penetrate. As such there’s now a threat of Russia taking over the world and seeking out the last of the three golden records that were shot into space as part of the Voyager program. The last one is, of course, being hidden in Japan by Rasputin. It’s just goofy and nonsensical enough to get a Read It Now.
Weltall reviews Apocalypse Zero. It’s finally here, a manga adaptation of the beloved film about Vietnam, based on a book about the Korean war. Who hasn’t wanted to see Martin Sheen as a Japanese school boy who was chosen to face the Vietnamese lacrosse team which is funded by China-Senpai? How about a dreamy version of Marlon Brando who takes a harem of girls to live out behind the equipment shed? It deserves nothing less than a Read It Now.
More manga incoming on the review request train. Now reading licensed, unlicensed, fanilations, and doujins. Not all of those will be reviewed of course. Licensed manga deserves no attention from us considering they don’t send us review copies. Which of course if why we’re not only reviewing licensed manga but adaptations of video games.
Tim reviews The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask. Which is, coincidentally, the last Zelda game he bothered to play. He tried to make excuses about how hard it was to keep up and how it’s not worth buying a separate console for a couple of games. As far as the manga, he’s thrown that Link isn’t a silent protagonist in it like in the games. It also takes place over a single reset of the town. It gets a Borders.
Weltall then reviews Ocarina of Time. Like in the last the Mask, Link is also not a silent protagonist. Weltall is disappointed that the sexual subtext between Link and the high priestesses isn’t made explicit. Though it’s hilarious how they’re made out now to seem like they’re dodging a dating bullet and retreating to their role as sage. “Sorry we can’t marry Link, it’s, uh, because I’m a sage. Yeah.” It also gets a Borders.
Which is why there can never be peace between East-asia and Oceania. On a brighter note, we will always have manga. Which seems to be in larger supply as it’s getting sent in. This saves us from having to select something and forces our hand in reviews. Mostly because we’re incredibly lazy and gladly take shortcuts.
Tim reviews The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess. A manga done which appears to cover all the beats of the game. Tim finds it unsettling as Link isn’t a silent protagonist within the manga. Without having played the game, Tim has no reference on how accurate it ends up being. It gets a Borders for being readable and having good artwork.
Weltall then talks about Re-Monster. In what is quickly becoming a nauseating trend, it features a character reborn into an alternate world. Bonus trope points for being something like an MMO where the character is born as a goblin, has stats, and can gain levels. Being as he has a short lifespan as a goblin he has to quickly level up to hopefully escape dying at a few years old. It gets a Read It Now in spite of the well trod ground.
A full request episode lays ahead. This is what happens when people send us manga. We are obligated to review it even if our personal bias says there’s no way it could be good. We will do our best to give it as fair a shake as we possibly can. But it’s really, really hard to do considering that the following two are prominently bearing the Tokyo Pop label on the spine.
Tim reviews Totally Spies. It is just like any cartoon manga cash grab that was made around that time in that it’s just an episode cut and pasted into a comic. Probably using something like a pirated copy of Corel Publisher. It gets a Burn It for the low effort garbage it is.
Weltall then reviews Fairly Odd Parents. Spoiler alert, it gets a Burn It. Just like with Weltall’s last OEL comic, he was untainted by exposure to the property beforehand. Too many jokes that just don’t land along with established rules that seem to be pulled from nowhere but are probably better explained in the series itself.
In a departure from the usual review method, Tim watched an episode of the series his OEL was based on. Not the same episode which became the “cine manga” unfortunately. His opinion was that the reason these weren’t successful was the media being adapted. As many of the jokes within the cartoons are visual and rely on timing which isn’t predictable in comic form as it is in video.
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