A swimming anime??! : Free! Iwatobi Swim Club

Disclaimer!!

Woahhhh!! Have I been away long. What was it 3 months! =__= Oh my goodness!! I apologize to everyone for having to wait so long for my next update. Juggling school and work is killing me and I barely have enough time to get some shut-eye when I get home!

Hopefully, I will continue to update you on the newest animes that are coming out this summer. And what better way than to introduce an anime that fits this season perfectly?

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Watching the PV to Free! a few months back (and of course seeing the people I follow on tmblr spam numerous gifs of these pretty boys), I was excited to see the series’s potential.

First of all, I have never seen a swimming anime before. Sure I’ve read Rough and Dive!!, two great mangas that have had the chance to adapt into their own live action movie, but none successful enough to become their own anime.

The second reason is because of Kyoto Animation. We have seen beautiful creations come from this company, along with a wide variety of storylines, characters and genres.

For one thing, this anime is a total “fan-service” anime, and is mainly targeted towards females. So if you think Kuroko no Basuke opened up alot of windows for fanfictions and shipping, Free! took it on a totally new level. You’ve got abs, butts, bromance hinted moments. Heck, you’ve got guys swinging their hair back and forth like their the models to loreal shampoos or something.

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And you have to admit, the way the director controls the shots is…well, let’s just say we got a very GOOD look of the lower torso of the body.

Plot: Free! revolves around a boy named Haruka Nanase who “lives” for water. He loves swimming, taking long baths, I mean this dude even wears his swimsuit under his clothes most of the time! As he continues to grow throughout the years, his swim club is cancelled, his teammates parts ways, and slowly he starts to lose his love for swimming. This is until his long time bestfriend/rival returns from Australia and challenges him to a PVP.  After the defeat, however,  Haruka begins to rekindle his passion towards swimming and invites his long estranged friends Nagisa Hazuki, and Rin Matsuoka, and also a new recruit Rei Ryugazaki , to create the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club.

Artwork: Kyoto Animation does not disappoint. You’ve got the natural flow of water, to the detailed structure of the human body. (Well, maybe a bit TOO over-exaggerated, but you get the point.)

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I mean look at that. Seriously??! =.,= *nosebleed*

Characters: Now, I’m particularly found of all the characters in this series. You’ve got Haru-chan, who acts like your typical “cool” boy, but really he’s just a big kid who still wants to play with his childhood toys.

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Makoto-kun is your scaredy cat/weak hearted but genuinely kind character. He provides a sort of comical and refreshing feel to the anime, as well as try to put most of the characters in line.

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There’s also Nagisa-kun (my personal favorite) who just a fun loving and eccentric guy. He’s the guy who does things to the extreme. (Okay….he went skinny dipping on the first episode of the anime!!)

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Badam! Then we have the villian-yet-soon-to-be-good-guy Rin-kun! After their victory in the past, Rin moved to Australia to perfect his talent even further.  He now enrolls in Samezuka Academy where he’s now a top-notch Ryan Locte of his generation.

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The episode where Rei-kun (aka Mr.Glasses) comes out is still to be aired, but you can probably infer from the PVs is that he is a hardworking and determined student, trying to juggle both track and field and swimming at the same time.

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Whoops! Let’s not forget Gou-chan, Rin Matsuoka’s sister, who kinda balances the series cast by adding a female (if not already) touch to the anime.

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Another little thing I though that was cute about the anime is that the creators decided to give all the male characters a sort of female name and the female a male name. (which is frequently joked about throughout series) Goodness, if I was named Bob or Richard instead of my own name….=_= urghhh…the humiliation…

First Episode Impression:

First let me say that I watched this anime is 720p and….oh my goodness….was the animation spectacular. The way the animators captured the sport of swimming was just amazing. I thought I was watching an anime movie, with the artwork being so perfectly drawn. What I noticed about the episode is that the animators are trying to take a sort of friendship and bonds route with the characters. Since the sense of deep passion is already present in the series characters, I can tell that the story will play out very well towards an anime that can show you the true meaning of doing what you love to do and how you can’t easily grow out of something when you start to age.

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So what do you think about the new release of Free! ? Have you watched it yet? What do you think. I do believe that the next episode will be aired tomorrow. (Or in 8 more hours according to my time :P)

For those of you who haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend you to watch the first episode, even if you don’t enjoy the concept of the series, just looking at the splendidness of the animation is enough to leave you satisfied. I’m glad to say though that this is an excellent anime for the summer and if you want to see something a bit more sporty with a cute sense of humor and just a load of fun, then check Free! Iwatobi Swim Club out!!

And until next time!!! Nyaaaaaaaa~~ =^..^=

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Nanatsu No Tazai : An Authurian based manga with a 7 Deadly Sins twist!

DISCLAIMER : Wow…my first shonen review, and actually on one of my favorite mangas of this year! (Bare with my excitement here XD)

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So you’ve heard on using the 7 deadly sins from various manga plots; from the Industrial alternate universe of Full Metal Alchemist to the present day time of Code Breaker. But using the & deadly scenes as a means to define characters in Arthurian type timeline, can’t say I’ve ever considered that before.

Nanatsu No Taizai is about a group of knights known as the “Seven Deadly Sins”, who have been awfully framed for the murder of the Great Holy Knight of Britannia (no, this is not Code Geass’s Britannia and Lelouch will not pop up anytime soon :P) Ten years later, the Holy Knights have now decided to claim Britannia as their own, initiating a new domineering dictatorship. Elizabeth, the heir to the throne, sets out on a mission to seek out the help of the “Seven Deadly Sins”. After stumbling across a local bar, she meet Meliodas, the frank and dauntless leader of the seven deadly sins. Together they set out to find the remaining members of the legion as well as uncover the truth of their false accusations.

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Now that the Era of the “big three” are close to being at being at it’s peak, it’s time for a new series to take the spotlight.  Naruto has had it’s run in being the veracious ninja of the Konoha village, and Luffy as the gallant member of the Straw Hats, but after reading Nanatsu no Taizai for quite some time now, I have noticed how eligibly well it is able to compete for ranksmanship (I know it isn’t a word, but it’s the only thing I could come up with =__=”), especially against big names like Fairy Tail, Ao no Excorcist or Beezlebub.

Background:*

Nanatsu No Taizai is published by Kodansha in the Weekly Shonen Magazine (You guessed it! The same magazine that brought you the wonderful worlds of Fairy Tail, AKB49: Ren’ai Kinshi Jōrei, and Cage of Eden as well as previous works such as Negima!, Tsubasa: Resevoir Chronicle, and Great Teacher Onizuka).

Due to it’s weekly release dates, you can expect to see a dependable run of chapter updates. So if your one of those people who love to read mangas at a steady and punctual continuous pace, this fits in the criteria perfectly!

Artwork:

Now this is the first manga I have read by Suzuki Nakaba, but what I can tell from his artwork is that it reminds me so much of the 90’s era. You know, like artworks by Akira Toriyama (e.g Dragonball or Dragon Quest), the very early Final Fantasies, and the tales series.Another special feature of the artwork, is how it matched perfectly with the adventure tones. The author collects delicate details such as the armor texture, breathtaking “middle age” landscape, and the common lifestyle of the era. Being a person who doesn’t read manga just based on “looks” but instead on “how the artwork can compliment the storyline”, Nanatsu No Taizai was fully able to grasp my attention on this capability.

Plot:

This story first reminded me on Ubel Blatt. The good guys are considered bad while the good guys are just plain horrible!! With a story full of knights, a troubled princess, swords and sorcery, in a way this story is given off as a “back to basics” type background. Ironically, with these reminiscences, the story becomes both new and refreshing thanks to the author’s creative twists and noteworthy character qualities.

The story’s pace is fairly quick which lives up to it’s exciting and fiery tone, perfect for readers who would just like to sit back and watch epic fighting scenes with a well rounded and interesting plot with an enjoyably written storyline.

Characters:

Badass Protaginist. The two words I would like to point out about the main character. Meliodas also known as the leader of the 7 deadly sins (being the sin of wrath) as well as owning the Boar Hat bar with his trustworthy companion Hork.

Despite his short appearance, he comes off as an utterly fearless person, one without an. What I like most about Meliodas is that he isn’t just some shonen saint who tries to make friends with EVERY character, (or ENEMY for that matter), he encounters. No, instead he keeps his composure and acts according to the situation.Pretty contradictiong compared to his assigned nickname of “wrath” don’t cha think? Well, what’s scarier than an angry person? An angry person with a straight face wielding a sword with a broken blade capable of annihilating an entire town. Yes…he is just that GOOD!!

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Meliodas is also shown to be somewhat lewd and bawdy. But then again, the author is able to perfectly keep it at a level where it’s considered more as a comical reason instead of something “ecchi”.

For our heroine, we have the lovely princess of Britannia, Miss Elizabeth. I know what your thinking….”Oh no, not another damsel in distress”, “Shonen girls are so useless”, or “It’s going to be another Sakura character” you’d be surprised after reading a few chapters of this manga. Although Elizabeth has been raised in the line of royalty, she was certainly taught the RIGHT way of being a genuine leader. Not the posh and extravagant lifestyle but about the will to be able to sacrifice one’s self for the greater good of her citizens. Her courageous attitude and her trust towards her beliefs (e.g Going out to seek the 7 deadly sins even though they have been deemed an enemy of her country) has made her a much admirable character, comfortably fitting into the storyline. On the comical side, she is also a very gullible person, often unable to identify Meliodas’s pervy actions. XD

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Other characters include the humorous Hork, who serves as a sort of “voice of reason” in the group. (And who knew! He’s a pig!) As the series progresses, we get to be introduced to the various members in the 7 deadly sins. From a female giant, to a seemingly immortal man, to the disdainful Holy Knights, Nanatsu No Taizai certainly explores a variety of quality traits.

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In conclusion, if your really into adventure stories and would like just a new and fun filled story with awesome characters, a nostalgic aura, superb fighting scenes, classic scenery and reliable updates,  then this manga is just what your looking for!!

Until my next post!! Nyaaaaa :3

*the reason I added the asterisk was because it was an addition to my normal Plot, Artwork, Character Check. 🙂

Manga Review : Horimiya

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Horimiya is about a girl named Kyoko Hori, whose is trying hard to simultaneously raise her little brother Sota while also trying to balancing her social life and maintaining her her high academic scores. The difficult part of all this, is trying to hide the fact of her workaholic lifestyle to her friend, thus preventing her from either going out with her friends or inviting them over. (Isolation !!)

During one of her “house-sister” moment (you know, how you look when your in your comfy clothes and no makeup with your hair tied in the most messiest way possible) she runs into Izumi Miyamura, the known “quiet glasses boy” of the same class….the only problem is….unlike his school counterpart, he’s not your stereotypical nerd guy with glasses who you would think to be the genius of that. Miyamura is the exact opposite. Firstly, he is horrible in academic. Secondly, he basically look like a punk rock band member, with numerous amounts of tattoos and piercing in who knows how many places !!

Now, Miyamura and Hori have someone to finally share their little secret with! But, will what started as just secret keeping lead them towards…mutual feelings?

I’m so glad to be able to review Horimiya !! I have always loved this manga since it’s release, and the slow progress between the characters have made me respect the reality of a growing attraction between two individuals. Here are just my pinpointed notes involving the manga:

Artwork: Some might consider this manga to be pretty “simple”, no exotic details, grand scenery, and ehem….bulging if you know what I mean. Although that may apply to Horimiya, I think that the artwork perfectly fits how the author want to portray the storyline. It gives the manga a sort of not being simple but having “simplicity” not too dramatic as to discourage it’s readers but instead, to have then enjoy the sweet plot and adorable characters.

Now, Miyamura is drawn by an artist named Hagiwara Daisuke, and surprise surprise !! He is indeed a guy, and Horimiya is apparently a shounen manga. This could be because the manga is currently serialized in a shounen magazine, although I am not quite sure which one. Pretty cute love story for a shounen huh?

Plot: I know what your thinking, “this is just another manga about the main guy and main girl keeping each other’s secrets until at the end of the manga everyone finds out and tragidy strikes and everyone gets sad but then they reunite and blah blah”

Well you sir, are then deranged because Horimiya is nothing like that. It’s about two individuals trying to cope with trying to decide to pursue their mutual feelings (being that both are inexperience in love) or just pass it off as if they are just friends. Thrown in the storyline are also complicated love triangles, discovering the true meaning of friendship, learning to be yourself , and some of the most humorous scenarios I have ever read. If you haven’t considered reading Horimiya because of this well…….KEEP READING !! >O</

Characters: The characters are sooooo lovable, especially Miyamura. You see him as this little kitten with such an innocent personality, contrary to what you would think when you see someone all covered with tattoos. This goes to show just how important it is to not judge a book by it’s cover 🙂
Hori is also an extremely kind-hearted heroine. Her determination in trying to prioritize family with school just makes me feel so…..=_= well happy…but i somehow feel useless when compared to her…*mumble*

CONCLUSION:

Now if you haven’t read Horimiya yet, I considered you check it out NOW!! Don’t even consider it…just go !! Please feel free to leave any comments involving the manga and any other mangas you think I should check out!

Nyaaaaaaa~