Tag Archives: cosplay

Naruto: Shippuden, My New Obsession

After 10 straight months of watching nothing but, I am completely caught up in the world of Naruto. I’ve started performing Fireball Jutsu’s all over my house, creating Rasengans with my long time friend and avid fan, and even bought a rather expensive and very nice Shino Aburame cosplay for my own personal enjoyment. In a word, obsessed. I can’t get enough of this show, and you already know all I’m gonna do in this post is rant and rave about Naruto: Shippuden. Keep the episodes coming, I want to see Naruto: Shippuden, episode 500.

For those of you who are familiar with Naruto, I don’t need to remind you of the original story. Naruto has lost Sasuke and needs to get

Badass, character clash, as per usual.

stronger to get him back (if he can at all). After 3 years, Naruto returns with a vengeance, a few new Rasengans up his sleeve, and a new unbreakable vow and fervor. Sakura is a bit more badass, but just as useless as before (her battle with Sasori almost leaves something to be desired, Granny Chiyo did most of the work…). The new partner, Sai, is an unlovable bastard with a strange affinity for Japanese ink drawings. Everyone else is pretty legit now in Shippuden. Gotta love my Shikamaru.

So who are the new baddies in this one? Well, you have the Akatsuki. These guys were an outer force in the original Naruto with Kisame and Itachi trying to capture Naruto. The reason? The Nine-Tailed Fox that rests within him. And the other eight tailed beasts (Bijuu) that rest inside their ninjas (Jinchuriki). Sorry for any misspellings. If they get all 9 of the tailed beasts, it’s game over for the world of ninjas. And with 10 badass Akatsuki, the most relentless fighters in all the land, it’s gonna be a fight to the death. And it doesn’t stop there.

What could this be I wonder…

Sasuke has obviously teamed up with Kabuto and Orochimaru, wielding the ways of fire, lightning, and snakes. It’s all very badass, but who (other than fangirls) really likes Sasuke? He’s a bad boy, and he’s kind of a whiny biatch about his brother. (More on that later in the series.) Anyways…

Everybody has powered up and all these new Jutsu’s are being thrown around like hotcakes. Shikamaru is a Jonin, and he’s so damn smart that he’s actually super important in the main plotline. Perfection in a can. Choji is as wonderful as always, his battle with the Sound Ninja in Naruto being one of my favorite fights of all time. Neji lookin’ like a huge master, as per usual. Not a single character has become less cool than they were in Naruto original. Rock Lee, ballin’ and breakin’ hard as well.

And there’s so much I can’t tell you that is just so good to watch! All of the emotions and the brand new soundtrack that makes this one so much more adult and dramatic than anything ever before. The fluid fight scenes and crisp animation make it an enjoyable watch with every episode. I’m learning all the hand signs as we speak.

Here’s a new twist. Does anybody remember my last post on Naruto? I watched that all dubbed. BIG MISTAKE. Maile

Epic and beautiful, all-in-one.

Flanagan ruined it, and the only redeeming qualities for me were Itachi, Shino, Shikamaru, Rock Lee, and Gaara (Liam O’Brien for life). So I watched this one subbed. And let me tell you, Junko Takeuchi is a godsend. She does an amazing job as Naruto and really creates a character that feels and hell, even goes through puberty. Try to pull that off, Male Flapagan. (Every other Japanese voice actor is amazing too. Shino’s deep voice threw me off though…)

What more can I say about this show to rave about it…

There’s a character for everyone in this show. Every character has a unique personality and fighting style that anyone can fall behind. You get what appears to be the precursor and inspiration for Avatar: The

Just for funzies.

Last Airbender with the different element affinities, and plenty of strategic battles that go off so badass like. With so many versions of Naruto and the greatest one-ups-manships of all time, Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden will disappoint no one. At all.

With incredible backstories of a bunch of new characters, great all around presentation, and a fandom that can’t be beat, Naruto: Shippuden gets a well deserved 11 out of 10, my first more than perfect score ever.

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Naruto: The Broken Bond

For those of you who have read my Naruto review, you know how much I’ve become a fan of the anime. There’s a character for everyone, action packed, and heartfelt at parts (impressive for a kid’s cartoon, no?). Imagine my luck when I found Naruto: The Broken Bond video game at a convention. (Found being the operative word.) I was overjoyed after finishing the entire first series (all fillers included, mind you) and I wanted to play this game so badly. Not much of a focus on Gaara of the Sand

Clean and crisp fight system, right up my alley.

(bummer), and no Shino to speak of. But the game did focus on my favorite part of the series. Retrieving Sasuke from the evil clutches of Orochimaru. Let’s get it on.

So this game, in all its 3-D glory, takes place from around episode 80 to 140. You find Itachi, recruit Tsunade, and fight for Sasuke. Some of the most legit parts of the entire series. And it all kicks off with the death of the Third Hokage. You get a detrimentally redonk fight right before the whole game kicks off. It’s dope.

An expansive world of the Leaf Village and surrounding area.

What’s the only downside of that? You have to fight with Naruto as the main character you customize and level up throughout the rest of the game. He’s lame, and he’s voice by Maile Flanagan. That robustly rotund woman has ruined Naruto for me, other than the fact he’s an annoying character to begin with. I watched Naruto dubbed, played the game dubbbed, and now it’s time for a different change of pace. Japanese loyalists rejoice, I’m switching to subbed for Naruto: Shippuden.

So in this new change apparently (never played the other game) from Rise of a Ninja, there’s a whole new fighting system where you can tag

Tag teams for ultimate destruction.

in a teammate. The world is more expansive and colorful than the last, and you really feel like you jumped into the world of Naruto. You’re flying through the trees, throwing Kunai, and rousing up some Ryo to pay for all your customizable ninjutsu. It’s pretty dope and there’s even some carnival games in there for the kids. All the side missions and length of the plot allow this to be a 40 hour game easy. And worth replay value and tournament play with friends. Even online, but it’s probably not worth it.

Where’s Shino?

Some surprises to me came in the gameplay as well. There’s no Shino as I said before. That loveable bug kid I wanted to cosplay someday isn’t in the anime much at this point, so they felt they didn’t need to put him in the game as a playable character. Lame. I loved being able to use Shikamaru (he’s dope as balls), and I created a love for Neji’s 8 Trigram, 64 Palm through playing as him extensively in the game. Little hint to anyone? If you wanna be cheap and win, use Kiba and his XXXY attack. Never misses, and it’s quick. Just a thought.

The plot towards the end is ruined when Choji, Neji, Kiba, Shikamaru, and Rock Lee come in to fight the Sound Ninja. The battles are too easy on easy and even just as simple on normal (labeled Ganin,

You create the ultimate battles.

Chunin, and Jonin). It was anticlimactic and I was looking for a lot more ninjutsu to utilize throughout the game. Only 2 for Shikamaru and most of the characters? Come on… But, all the same, there are so many character to love and choose from.

Get some of that dopeness.

So plug in and get hooked for a couple of days with Naruto: The Broken Bond. I’m planning on playing more of these and honing my skills with Rock Lee. The gameplay is the best part and it’s nostalgic for anyone who has watched Naruto to relive the events. Just don’t expect me to go exploring all that often without being able to navigate waterways and avoid sharp spike fences. Take away life, my ass.

Gotta say the overall game experience wasn’t too hard, and well worth all the fighting. So train well my young Ganin, for you will be a Hokage one day. (And please add Shino next time…) 8.4 out of 10.


Soul Eater: The Nightmare Before Anime

Ever since my girlfriend and her sister cosplayed the Thompson twins from Soul Eater, I had developed a growing

Liz and Patty. Yes.

interest in watching Soul Eater. I didn’t realize at the time what this show would hold in store for me. (Added bonus if Christopher Sabat does any voice in an anime.) As I began watching this 51 episode anime, I found myself falling in love with the characters and caring for what would happen to them (although I had the ending ruined for me by complete accident.) It didn’t detract from the pulse-pounding episodes of battle after battle that ensued, and I found a new love in this Halloween-type anime that sent chills down my spine and laughs throughout my body as I spent a week watching this amazing anime. I was enraptured.

This anime follows the story of three “Meisters” and their “Weapons.” These duos of weapon and wielder take on what are known as Kishins, the tainted souls of creatures that have become monsters and feed on other people’s souls. Once 99 Kishin souls are collected, and one witch’s soul, then the weapon is deemed worthy of being used by Lord Death. This grim reaper is the essential Headmaster of the DWMA, also known as the Death Weapon Meister Academy. He installed this school to battle Kishins, and it has done a good job up to this point.

The doom and gloom of Death City.

It is at this point that things begin to go downhill. The evil witch Medusa (Luci Christian) and others have made plans to bring down the DWMA, and it is up to three brave Meisters, Maka Albarn (Laura Bailey), Black Star (Brittney Karbowski), and Death the Kid (Todd Haberkorn) to defeat the evil plot of the witches and Kishins. Teamed up with their weapons, Soul Eater (Micah Solusod), Tsubaki (Monica Rial), and the Thompson twins Liz (Jamie Marchi) and Patty (Cherami Leigh).

So it may seem weird that Meisters, who are people, are fighting using weapons who are also people. But these people are born with the ability to change into weapons at will. These weapons are special as well. A Meister and its Weapon have a special bond known as Soul Resonance. This bond allows Meister and Weapon to combine into one soul and creates a higher power in which to defeat enemies. But these three are not on the level of the Professors or Lord Death himself at the DWMA. And it is the school’s purpose to train these Meisters and Weapons in order to make them formidable opponents against Kishins.

The one thing that stands out about this anime, to me, is the style in which the plot is set. The doom and gloom of death and souls is combined with the comedic

Soul Eater. With some pizazz.

drawings of the artists. This gives it an anime meets Nightmare Before Christmas feel to it. The grinning Sun and Moon with blood dripping from their teeth give it that comedic element, mixed with the morbid. The grim reapers and monster encountered, drawn in what appears to be Jack the Ripper Whitechapel area sets up one of the best environments I’ve ever encountered in an anime.

Black Star. Badass.

And there are some great english voice actors that are in this anime. It would take too long to give a whole list, so I’ll just highlight a few. I thought Micah Solusod gave a great performance as Soul Eater, Maka’s weapon scythe. His grave voice and determined attitude comes across great through Micah, although I’ve never heard of him before. Brittney Karbowski was amazing as the cocky Black Star, my all time favorite ninja child and all around badass. John Swasey was great as Lord Death. His goofy voice gave the anime a Jack Skellington element with his personality and outlook. Vic Mignogna was hilarious as Maka’s father and Death Scythe Spirit. His obsession with seeking his daughter’s approval was always worth a laugh. Chuck Huber was fantastic as the madness induced Professor Doctor Franken Stein. His tormented character fought back and forth, and this was amazingly done by Huber. Maxey Whitehead was great as the insecure, gender-bender Crona. The duo of Crona and Ragnarok against the world and the lack of acceptance was heart wrenching to say the least. And yes, Troy Baker was amazing as Excalibur, the useless, fool dueling weapon of legend and lore.

And that’s about it. To get too much into the story might ruin the anime with spoilers, so I’ll leave you with this. If you’re looking for a light-hearted shonen with gore, guts (courage/bravery), and glorious fighting, this anime is for you. I give Soul Eater a 9 out of 10.

And here’s a taste of the show with a tribute to Death the Kid and the sexy Thompson Twins. Hooray.


My Bride is a Mermaid

Let me start off by saying that this is now one of my favorite humorous comedic anime. Hands down. It’s simple, it’s hilarious, and it encompasses an all star cast of voice actors that bring the humor up to a whole new level. I recommend dubbed before subbed, naturally, as I feel anime that we can’t really glean a good delivery from due to subtitles suffers in the delivery. But this anime really stands out to me as one of those anime that comes along for purely a comedic purpose and nails it. Yes, there are quite a few sexual innuendos and reference and most of the characters are drawn in a sexual manner, but it doesn’t detract from the awesomeness that is My Bride is a Mermaid.

The plot of this show is that Nagasumi Michishio(Todd Haberkorn) is visiting his grandmother at the Seto Inland Sea. He drowns. But who saves him? A mermaid. And because Nagasumi has seen Sun Seto (Alexis Tipton), he must pay the price

Pretty serious there, eh?

with his life, for it is the mermaid law. But clever little Sun uses the “loophole” in the law and marries Nagasumi in an effort to save both their hides (or tails in Sun’s situation). This leads to a hilarious string of goofy and outlandish situations that kept me laughing through all 26 episodes.

Okay, so the voice actors that make up the cast of MBIAM is what makes the show amazing. We have Todd Haberkorn as Nagasumi, and his voice always lends a bit of geeky, endearing comedy to everything he does. I truly feel he’s always cast as the geeky character, and I have no problem with that, he’s quite amazing at it and always delivers well. There’s John Swasey, doing his gruff badass voice (he has two modes, gruff or girly) as Sun’s father Gozaburo, the leader of the mermaid mafia gang that threatens Nagasumi’s life. He is not cool with his daughter’s marriage, and makes it a point to make Nagasumi’s life a living Hell.

Now he’s a voice actor who surprised me. Christopher Sabat (AKA God) surprised me fully with his voice as Masa, the black mafia member of the Seto

Christopher Sabat???

tribe. His voice comes off as so black and sensual that you become shocked to find out that Piccolo did his voice. Great work. Monica Rial as Maki, the deranged conch shell assassin. Annoying at yet always laughably funny. Bryan Massey, as Shark, one of the funnier side characters of the anime who always speaks in the form of a question. Would love to cosplay him one day. Another shocker: J. Michael Tatum plays Lunar’s father, the Terminator spoofing hardbody who will do anything to quote one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s films. And last but not least, Eric Vale. Time and time again he has proven to play characters I connect with and admire, be it my first love of Trunks or the great snob who is Kai Mikawa, the porpoise and agoraphobic who is after Sun’s heart.

Now that we’ve gotten a little into how great the voice actors are, let’s talk about the meat of the show. So, usually, every episode pertains, in some way, to some side character always trying to break up Sun and Nagasumi. Be it Sun’s father or Lunar (Cherami Leigh) Sun’s singing and life rival, there’s always something awkwardly sexual going on. Favorite scene? Nagasumi

Eric Vale, you devil, you...

rubbing down Sun’s legs behind a bush. (Mermaids can walk on human legs, but the second they touch water, it turns into a fin.) Oddly enough, some of this show, I would venture to guess, may turn on some men, who are into mermaids, and young voluptuous girls… That are cartoons. And I think that’s where the TV-MA rating comes in. There is the occasional swear, but the sexual content is where the show really gets its fangs.

All in all, I really love this new up and coming anime. I enjoyed every minute of it and found the dub to be far better than the sub. The delivery and timing of the jokes speaks to both a American and Japanese audience. The art direction was great (weird thing with shiny unicorn blood?) and although the theme song might have been annoying and a tad too long, it didn’t take away from the fact I would get excited when they show started to play. Definitely

Come watch, won't you?

look out for this anime and, hopefully, this will become a big thing. 8.7 out of 10.


Xam’d: Lost Memories, Nice Catch

Let me just say that, until otherwise, this is my #2 all time favorite anime. My #1 is of course Macross Frontier, and I plan to re-watch it for a review on The Abyss. This is what’s known as a “Mecha-Romance Fantasy,” and I would definitely agree. It has great characters, a massive plot that seems to span ages, and art direction that just blows me away.

It all takes place, at first, on Senten Island, A little place in South (Japan?) right after the devastation of war. The island is peaceful and those that are on it have barely begun to forget the war that invaded their lives. We follow Akiyuki Takehara, our soon to be hero, Haru Nishimura, and Furuichi Teraoka (my favorite character, hands down.). Three students who get on a bus, and whose lives are changed forever. In what appears to be a terrorist attack, Akiyuki is turned into a Xam’d, the human-form (hard to explain) creature who is meant to bring about the salvation of the world. From here on, the world is broken out into chaos as we focus around three plot lines that lead to a pulse-pounding ending.

As far as first impressions go, I’m going to have to hold off on commenting on the voice acting in this anime. I watched the first series dubbed and the second subbed, and I was thrown off quite a bit. The only two voices actors that stood out to me in this were Luci Christian and Monica Rial, but that’s not to say that there weren’t other good ones. Although I must say, if it will swing you, watch the dubbed version, if only for Tojiro Kagisu, the crazed military commander, voiced by Chris Hutchinson. I’d never really ever heard his voice before this, and he hasn’t done much, but this anime is worth hearing his voice for. Such a solid performance that I was quite surprised this guy doesn’t do movies.

But yes, what you HAVE to watch this anime for is THE ARTWORK. This shizz blew me away with how great it looked. Everything was so fluid, all of the battle scenes and motion in the anime looked like it came straight out of a video game. (Come to think of it, I hope this is a video game.) What always gets me is when Nakiami burst out of the belly of the postal ship on her Kayak and launches into the sky. So great. Along with that is the great little effect the pervades the show in which when ships take off, there is a circular rainbow that ejects from the exhaust that looks fantastic in this show. But yes, watch this anime for the fluidity and amazing look of the anime.

Great part of this show: the postal crew. Ishuu Benikawa is the quite sexy captain, the whole bad attitude with the heart of gold deal. (Quite a sight I’d like to see cosplayed.) Akushiba, my second favorite characters, plays the wise-ass worker who is actually quite secretly, yet subtlety perverted. Yunbo is the other woman of the crew who plays mother to all and balances out Ishuu’s hard-assedness (New word.) She is Hinokimaru’s mother and not a good one at that. Ahm is great as the solid rock and pilot of the ship, and Namiaki fills out the crew as the outcast who has found a home. This whole dynamic fuels the first season and carries on slightly into the second. You never get tired of seeing the crew though.

The military is great, the postal ship crew is great, and all of the main characters shine in this anime. If you love mecha, watch this. If you love insane art direction, watch this. If you just plain love good anime, please check this out. 9.5 out of 10. The Abyss highly approves.