Category Archives: Manga

Cross Game (manga)

Cross Game

Cross Game is a romantic comedy/baseball manga created by Mitsuru Adachi that consists of 17 volumes serialized from May 2005 – February 2010. I originally heard about this series from a friend who highly recommended the anime. A few weeks ago I noticed that the show was on Hulu so I decided to check out an episode or two. Much to my surprise I was drawn in to the series quickly and watched about 20 episodes in two days (much to my dismay since I should have been studying).¬† Hulu didn’t have the entire series so I decided I’d just read the manga instead. It wasn’t too hard to find the entire series online and once I started reading it I finished it all in about three days.

For those wondering what the series is like, I would have to say that it should be considered “slice of life” with some baseball tossed in on the side. Don’t mistake this as a series like Slam Dunk! or even Prince of Tennis. It’s more about the character development than it is about the actual sport of baseball. I’m not by any means a fan of baseball (I really hate watching it since it’s so slow) but since the series isn’t that heavy on baseball and the action also goes pretty fast it doesn’t seem that bad.

Anyone that plans to watch the anime instead of reading the manga should be happy to know that for the 20 or so episodes of the anime I saw it followed very closely to the manga.
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Claymore 103

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So chapter 103 dropped earlier this week and it was one of those transitional chapters. This chapter didn’t really reveal anything new; the inevitable Priscilla and Claire encounter is going to happen. It’s a matter of when and how many interventions there will be before it concludes. However, due to all of the revelations that a certain Claymore came across in the past few chapters, this series stands at a good chance of becoming unnecessarily long. In other words, while the Claire versus Priscilla remains the primary plot-driving force here, the whole other world business along with the Organization serves as whole other arcs. Like I said for 102, this series was/is on the cusp of either greatness or absolute trash with the resolution of this conflict, too bad 103 did very little to answer that other than that Priscilla has all of her memory back now.

Claymore 102

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The series tells the story of the Claymore Claire whose history and existence has changed the world that she lives in. Through various encounters and experiences, Claire is changing the lives of the man-eating Youka (demons) and the women-only Claymores who imbue themselves with Youka to combat the Youka. For those of you who followed and watched the Claymore anime in it’s entirety, I am sorry. The last 2 episodes of the series ranks up there (or should I say down there?) with the most horrible in an otherwise solid series. It wasn’t the Evangelion-what-is-going-on, it wasn’t Code Geass-let’s-resurrect-everyone-we-feel-like (for you WoW players out there, the Soul Stone Effect), but it was a horrible let’s manufacture, in the strictest sense, romance where romance had no place being.

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Naruto, Now and Then

Unlike most people, I am a relatively late comer to the Naruto craze; I started reading and following it for less than year. The reason I was late to the game was the series being it was too popular and popularity more often than not ruins a series in the shonen genre, like the Bleach anime. However, I jumped into it with full steam, blowing past 300+ chapters in about 2 to 3 days. On one hand it was a typical power up, beat’em up series, but it had something very rare in the character of Uzumaki Naruto.

Unlike the Ichigos, the Gokus and the others before and after him, Naruto represented someone with nothing when you’re first introduced to him. Sure he had his village, but instead of being a full member he was more of an afterthought until he became a problem (namely the 9 tails). Sure, his teacher gave him company but he had no one to call a friend. It was that characteristic that drew me to Naruto, for all of his inevitable power upgrades, all his quirky behaviors and dialogue, it was the fact that here was a kid that was alone in the truest sense of the word. Yet, he still powers on despite being¬† essentially a 2nd class ninja in his own village with his elders essentially humoring and pitying him (until Kakashi). Kakashi in this case proves to be a believable first teacher of Naruto, his values are independent of Naruto’s with the focus on individuality; Kakashi pretty much gave Naruto the opportunity to become Naruto and not the boy with the demon (much like how Naruto did the same for Gaara down the line).

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Why I Don’t Really Watch/Read Anything New

Every new season there are plenty of new shows that people get excited about. I generally brush these new offerings aside and wait. I wait for two very distinct reasons:

  1. I don’t like to wait for a new episode every week. I watch anime and read manga in marathon sessions. I can easily polish off a standard 26 episode series in the course of a day or two. I’ve read through about 300 chapters of Bleach in less than a week. I’m not usually one for watching the first few episodes of each new show and then either watch them all or follow the ones that I like. I think Claymore is one of the best examples of this phenomenon for me. It started out as a recommendation from a friend and I had also heard a bit about it so I read all the manga out in a few days (at this point it was at around chapter 90). For anyone else that follows the series, you will know that the release schedule for it is once a month. That makes it really hard to follow the show when I can’t remember what happened 50 chapters ago. For people who actually followed it since the beginning that’s something from a few years ago. Parallel that to if Kishimoto were to reference something that happened during the Orochimaru/Attack on Konoha arc in next week’s chapter.
  2. I only have so much time. And I would rather not waste it watching sub-par shows. As I have previously stated I normally will only watch shows that get high ratings. I frequent top 50 anime lists through a variety of sites and cross reference them to get some ideas of shows that I should watch next. Occasionally I will get a strong recommendation from a friend in which case I will try out that show.

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