Friday, May 13, 2011

Akumetsu: One man - One Kill!

I haven't posted in awhile so I apologize for that, so to make up for it I decided to pick a really good manga this time, Akumetsu!

Akumetsu has a dual author partnership for it, the writing is done by Yoshiaki Tabata while the artist on it is Yuki Yugo. If you are familiar with either of those two, then you might know there other work as well, Zetman and Wolf Guy, both of which happen to be incredibly good series. Akumetsu is a seinen manga(aimed towards adults) due to the ideals and events that happen during this series. The series does seinen quite well, it's able to bring out big points in real society and it makes you think and wonder what is going on in our world even though it is a work of fiction. As of right now Akumetsu does not have an anime, it only has a manga with a total of 16 volumes, and its run time lasted from the year 2002 to 2006 which is a decent length in the manga industry.

Akumetsu takes place in modern Japan and opens up with some pretty hard hitting images, you could view this as a social commentary in manga form. The plot revolves around a group known as Akumetsu who go and kill corrupt businessmen in the Japanese economic system and also corrupt officials. A pretty gruesome series, so for those who don't take kindly to gore, hard hitting images, and very realistic ways of viewing the world then you may not want to read this(personally I think this isn't for the light hearted people). For a dictionary definition, Akumetsu translates to One man, One Kill; in this series that definition comes to life, for each corrupt businessman or politician that a member of the group Akumetsu kills, they then take their own life through suicide with the killing of the corrupted person. The group kills who they and the common people view as evil and a nuisance to the Japanese society, but since they themselves are killing people, they turn into what they are trying to kill, thus why they kill themselves as well(pretty cool right?).

The art style for Akumetsu is quite nice as well, if you're familiar with this series or other series done by these two authors, then you know how well it fits. The art is able to pull the emotions out of the people in it and the people reading it incredibly well, either doing so through the actions that happen or the reactions to those actions! In the above picture it shows the simple art style used in the manga, which is generally when everything is normal, however when things are about to 'get serious' as some people would say, the art style starts to change and through doing so it brings out different emotions.

Through the story, the art, and the emotion put into this series, it creates an incredibly blend that entices the readers to continue reading to see what happens next. A simply amazing series that I enjoyed whole heartedly when I was reading through this series. Personally I think everyone would be able to enjoy this series, but a quick reminder, this has a lot of killing, blood, vulgar language, and the like, so if you don't happen to be a fan of that, then I apologize for wasting your time with this read through; but if you do happen to not mind those and are looking for a decently sized read with good story and art, then this is definitely worth you time in reading, you can trust me on that! So I hoped you enjoyed this read, and I once again apologize for being so late with a new post, and I hope this might have been able to persuade you to reading or at least looking into the great series known as Akumetsu!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gash Bell!! or Zatch Bell??

For our next series of interesting and enjoyable anime and manga we have a series known to most as Gash Bell! This series goes by a few different names, for most Americans it's known as Zatch Bell which appeared on one of our favorite late night Cartoon Network airing sessions Toonami! In Japan Gash Bell is referred to as Konjiki no Gasshu!! or Golden Gash!! As of now this series has been completed and given an ending but don't let that worry you, it's still incredibly enjoyable. Zatch Bell also happens to have an anime for it, which I found to be quite good translated into English and even in the original Japanese versions(of course the dub censored a few things, but it's understandable). Zatch bell even had a game about it as well, a fighting game which I found to be incredibly fun to play!

Zatch Bell is about a teenage boy named Kiyomaro who gets sent a red book by his father, along with a strange and mysterious child who just so happens to have strange powers, like shooting lightning from his mouth! It turns out that these strange children who we learn to be called Mamodo are sent into the human world to do battle with, however they must find a suitable partner who will be able to cast spells for them.( kind of like a funny version of Pokemon huh?) Each child is different in the kinds of powers they can do, from ice powers to transformation and even singing; each child also has a number of spells that they can learn so that they can use them in battle, but only through certain situations and events to happen to them. All Mamodos must fight so that the victory may become to Mamodo king, 100 are sent into the human world and the only way for a Mamodo child to lose is to either have their book burned or for them to take such heavy damage that they would basically die(it may sound bad or gruesome but it's not as bad as you might think). Through clever wits and skill Kiyomaro and Gash(that's the young boy with yellow hair in the picture above, with Kiyomaro being the black haired boy with the red book) both fight other Mamodo and make friends and allies, which leads to some pretty good laughs and some sad times(I almost cried a few times while reading this to be honest).

For Zatch Bell, we would definitely classify it as a shounen(aimed at children, generally a battle style manga), but don't let that fool you, it is in fact incredibly good, especially if you just so happen to enjoy shounen style manga or anime. In regards to the art, it has a very shounen style; the art seems cartoon-ish of course but i frankly think it fits the style rather well. With most series(not just shounen), the art happens to progress and get better over time, looking above at the picture, you might be able to see how the artist's style turned out to be, I came around to end up loving the style the further I read into the series. Of course not everyone will love it, which is completely understandable, so I can only suggest that you give it a shot and just keep digging, eventually you may end up liking it!

Zatch bell is a battle style with a comic overlay manga and anime, while some of the jokes may seem silly and even some of the battles, you might find yourself letting out a little laugh! I enjoyed my time reading this, the author was able to make me laugh through his jokes and even the faces he drew for his characters in reactions. However if your not a joke kind of person and are looking for a more serious manga or anime, you may just want to read through his, while it may have a few jokes every now and then, it actually has some deep and dark themes, which are shown through character background stories and through events that happen to the characters.

Personally I enjoyed Zatch Bell 100% of the time I read it and the times I watched it; Zatch Bell can be series at times, sad at times, funny at times, and simply just plain weird at times! I'm sure this is a manga or anime that many people could like and have liked, I know my friends and people who I know that are familiar with manga and anime also enjoyed this series. This is one of the series you read because you simply love it and end up being sad because it has ended, you want more but you can't have anymore!

I hope this has persuaded some of you to possibly consider reading or watching Zatch Bell, because i enjoyed my time, and I'm sure you will as well!