Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles Review (manga)

Ah, the only manga I have ever read and wanted to put down. That's VERY bad as I never like to stop a series midway through (But thank god its coming to a close). Alright, you can guess my overall feel huh? But let's get this review done.

Story: 3
Okay, CLAMP is fairly stereotypical plotwise. They do romance 97% of the time. However, they used to do super horror/ gothic crap until they found out no one likes it and buys it. So TRC starts off with a kid and his princess girlfriend. They go down to a weird temple and some guy tries to kidnap Sakura (the chick) and she loses her memories in the form of feathers. Fine. Syaron decides to chase after her in hopes of recovering her memory and getting her to love him again (they both clearly like each other). So, to do such, he must cross dimensions to find the feathers. And from a cutscene, we meet to other dudes who are crossing dimensions for their own reasons: a ninja fighter (kuro?) and Fai the mage. That is volume one. It's fairly original and okay. Someone once said "Buy the first volume and that's it. The first volume leaves it to have so many interesting possibilities and so much potential". That's paraphrased but I agree. Its an acceptable love story.

But that's not what happens. Continuing, they go to new dimensions, learn new tricks, and fight. Too bad what they learn in one dimension serves no point in the next, so they aren't changing. But its a good way to keep things original. However, it sounds just like a jumble of short stories thrown together. The story is mediocre at best and there isn't that much excitement. Then they go to New Tokyo, a post-apocalyptic Tokyo. This is where the story goes weird and bad. We find out that the real Syaron is in a tube at the main bad guy's lair and this guy currently is just a clone. Through some weird logic we find out how they share the same memory and personality. The clone goes ballistic and eats Fai's magic eye and goes berserk slashing everyone. He escapes and the real Syaron joins the party. You should be confused but I might just be good at explaining. While I love the strangely dark chapter and the intense action, its not appropriate. If you want to change from romantic manga to action thriller, do it gradually. Don't just throw that shit out at us unprepared because we feel cheated. Its a cheap trick, CLAMP. And the rest of the manga makes no sense: the Sakura they are carrying around is killed but its ok, its a clone too. Fai and Kuro meet their past and their weird ties to the main baddie and it makes shit sense and no one cares. But finally, they are going towards the main baddie's lair but the real Syaron has to explain HIS backstory with Sakura. IT MAKES NO SENSE AND IS A WASTE OF SPACE.

Finally, there is a scene were Fei Wong (the baddie) is slashed but its just some other guy and Fei Wong is right behind them and AHHHH! IT MAKES NO SENSE! Plotholes everywhere!

Characters: 4
I don't care for any of them. Fei and Kuro were kinda cool but come on, its not funny when they pretend to be daddy and mummy. Why? Because I just don't get them. If I understood them, I would think its a cute concept. But its not done right at all. And these crossovers? They are not. CLAMP just cant make new characters or personalities. They...just..can't. 4 girls can't do anything original.

Scene: 2
Most chapters and scenes suck. The current (Fei Wong's final battle I assume) and that ballistic chapter were pretty good but only the first was done well. The genre changing one was just random and crap.

Overall: 3

There is no one who would want to read this Its terrible unless you cannot think and just want to say "AWW. I luv Fai and the Ninja! <3". No offense to fan girls but your only Japanese word or only reaction better be kawaii if you want to survive this shit.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lovely Complex [episode] Review

I haven't finished it yet but here is my overall thoughts.

From episode 1 to 16, it is overall an okay series. It has funny parts and is VERY original but I find myself forcing myself to watch it and complete it. Its kinda boring.

Story: Not too original. Girl likes boy and wants to make him like her. The originality is that she does tell him fairly early but the way she gets to that point is VERY cliched. Score: 5/10

Characters: A bit more unique. A tall girl and a short boy. I find that both funny and original. Nobu-chan interests me sometimes with her humor. Everyone else isn't important. Maity-sensei is the most cliched of all in this series and even plays the cliched role of new target. Haku would have been the cliched childhood friend who wants Risa to fall in love with him but backs down (he plays a good role now; popping in for jokes). There is that blond chick who also is unique. You think she is going to be Risa's rival (much like Haku would be Otani's rival) but luckily neither do that. The blond is a guy (AWESOME!). Score: 8/10. The only cliche isn't even that bad.

Scene (episode for this case): They follow the same set up over and over (set up [maybe from last episode] and most of the interscenes are the same thing. How many basketball games or Maity-sama club scenes do we need? They do the same thing over and over and over. Luckily, Otani keeps rejecting Risa giving us some originality. Scene: 5/10. Scenes are fine the first time you see them but they repeat.

Overall: 4/10
Wow that's low (maybe 5/10) but yes I find this overall quite boring. Humor is good and the episode sometimes makes you hyped up for the next episode. But the following episode always does nothing. Truly, episode 5 was the best for destroying my expectations with the boy transveiste. But here is an example for the other episode. Risa is rejected! Oh no! What will happen next time? Next episode: cries and acts similarly as before. Another example: Risa gives up completely on Otani. Next episode: acts the same as always and so does Otani.

That's it guys. An occasionally funny but overall boring anime. I'll finish it and add an update if it changes my mind.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

School Rumble Review

Guy wants girl, girl wants someone else. Typical storyline. Mr. Sunglasses wants to be a mangaka too. With some interesting character and twists, it's an interesting manga.

Story: 8
It HAS a story. But too many chapters seem retarded. But there are some great sub arcs (mini plots) that really make this a great manga. Only problem: Way too long. The story just...never ends. And there are very few progressions to the plot but there IS, so that's a major THUMBS Up for me :).

Characters: 6-7
Some characters are great, like Mr. Sunglasses-even-at night. That foxy sister of the lead girl is good too. Lead girl is retarded, ugly from time to time, and a loser. How can she think that guy she wants (I don't remember his name) will like her stupid ass. But that weird quite guy she likes is cool and it turns out he DOES like her. So that's interesting. The blond chick was interesting but went down in my mind. She has an interest plot behind her and it SHOULD have been played out more and it kinda was. I expect more of it though...or expected as that storyline seems to have died. It just didn't get dark enough for me... Oh yea, there are characters to hate: Imadoki and that large breasted girl he was after (she was originally good but she shot down). And then there is this girl who cheating on her boyfriend. She seemed ok but she is CLEARLY cheating and I am hating that because the author doesn't make it clear enough for us to get it. I know that makes no sense but I am watching her >.>

Art: 6
It could be better and its not always great. But its fine.

Overall: 7

Final thoughts: Overrated and too bloody long. I wouldn't buy it because stupid Del Rey does it and they suck at everything they do nowadays.. Also, the story is ok but not worth your moneys. Some people are obsessed with it so maybe there is some inner good? Oh, it IS good, I won't lie but not the best. But for the most part, it DOES make use of its potential and for that I am happy. I hate manga that have great potential but don't use it (Tsubasa Reservior Chronicles, Hayate the Combat Butler).

Hayate the Combat Butler review

Alright, I read the manga of this (I usually do) and I feel its pretty good. Story is about Hayate who works as a butler for Nagi. They do all kinds of silly and pointless things. It's geared towards preteens and under, though I guess others could enjoy it.

Art: 7
It's fine and good quality. The characters are all too much the same though design-wise. (I am talking minor characters. There are 3 minors particularly that all look alike despite 2 being boys and 1 being a girl).

Story: 6-8
Uh. That's my first word that comes to mine. It had a great start and I thought it would be sort of actiony later. I mean "Combat butler"? But sadly, no. It was pretty...plotless for most of the beginning though it was completely fine and interesting. It was funny from time to time and was original! Then, there comes a chapter that seemed very good. If Nagi cries, she loses all her money. Hayate now has to protect her from criminals and kidnappers. I thought "yes, some combat!". Well, I became disappointed. There were scenes with kidnappers but not interesting at all. There WERE interesting plot and subplots but no combat what so ever. I mean, fine...that's ok as this is a kid's comic. I excused the fact that all the villains became jokes and were no real threat, just another humor tool. However, the manga stopped caring about a plot completely. You know how many manga have bonus chapters, usually holiday related, and perhaps just to detail a character? YYH had one at the end of the 7 book, for example. Well, this WHOLE manga is made up of those chapters and has the feel of it. Usually, readers skip those bonus chapters when they are reading the manga and want the plot. Well, I want to skipt these chapters except they are REAL chapters. Where's the story? There are many great subplots and interesting plots but there is no real progress. Nagi needs to be captured by someone that actually makes the reader's belief they have a chance (they can still be worthless and funny). Hayate needs to have a real conflict (no violence is needed but that would be good)! So, I feel the deeper story needs to be pushed. Oh you know what? There were these powerful looking butlers that truly WERE combat butlers. If Hayate were to get into a tournament or have to fight and beat them, that would be great. But that requires ACTUAL good action to work.

Characters: 8
That's all this is. The characters are unique and interesting but nothing ever really happens. I keep having new favorites. This more because I get disappointed with the character. Nagi- very cute and interesting at the beginning. However, I started to dislike her personality and she was just getting pointlessly kidnapped. Tama- Very funny, needs more appearance. Maria- I don't like her. She does great things and I feel the need to like her (and sometimes I do) but oeverall she is pointless. Hinagoku- Very great, funny, and cute. Too bad she is showing up less and her personality has getting bland. Hamster- she has grown in my mind as a good character. She will go down I am sure. Hayate- Great but DON'T DRESS AS A GIRL. That kills this manga for boys.

Scene: 9
It's played out well for all intents and purpose. Too bad there is no story to follow up.

Overall: 7

Final thoughts: I am being nice but that's truly what the manga is. It lacks plot despite it having GREAT (i mean it) potential. If only Hayate was really a combat butler, this would be great. But the author feels its more important to have a new story each chapter with no story.

My real final thoughts: Ok, I am being cruel. Its a great if you have patience and go in with a positive attitude. If you want to run through a manga, then don't for this one. Take time and enjoy it. The characters are quite great. Only problem is if they set up a conflict or plot, I expect some sort of finish of it (Like i felt a butler tournament would be good in the manga and apparently the anime directors felt the same and made one!). Just don't hint at something you aren't doing.

A New Book

Inspiration hit me last night! I was able to create a full story with a deeper thematic story and a create commercial story. Of course, I have midterms (final exams) so soon so I SHOULD be studying but my writer's mind is making me write it. I have to write a chapter a day or I will die.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Review and Guide: Negima Volume Six

One of the GREATEST volumes in the Negima. It's consistently good!

Volume 6: (chapter 43-53)

Story: Negi must save Konoka from the Kansai Association's mages! No spoilers, just read it.

Characters: We meet the infamous Fate Averruncus. He is perhaps the best known Negima villain (Evangeline is the most known in the anime) and probably 2nd or 3rd popular. We also see Eishun, an ally of Nagi during the war. We finally see Evangeline at her best!

Things to look out for:
-Fate is a western mage (means he is NOT Japanese). All throughout the volume we learn facts like he was hired by someone other than the monkey girl (this is the first implication of a main bad guy/association that exists in the background of Negima; a very tense mood is shown with this). He also uses petrification magic, etc. He's not human. He's from the Istanbul Magic Council (This seems to be important...)
-Negi truly needs to learn how to be a melee fighter and mage
-Eishun (ally of the great Nagi) LOSES to Fate.
-Asuna can nullify magic!
-Asuna could be a good swordsman
-Mana has worked with Setsuna during other magical jobs, meaning she is aware of magic and quite tough (This is something VERY important to note. She is very strong!)
-Kaede and Ku Fei are tough girls :)
-Setsuna was thrown out of her clan because she is half human and demon.
-Eva-chan is a tough mage! Clearly she WAS holding back on Negi and Negi now respects her magical strength (maybe she will teach him to be badass too [hint: she will but not as soon as you think])
-Takahata is mentioned to be overseas. Why? What is he doing? (You'll find out...much later)
-Photo of Nagi's gang
-Eishun talks about a war (a MAGICAL war). You will want to keep notes because this is very important backstory for where Nagi is and what is he famous for.
-Evangeline calls herself the last or 2nd to last boss. Its seems to be foreshadowing that Negi will have to fight her once again.

Review and Guide: Negima Volume Five

Volume 5:

Negi is now in a situation where he can get a second pactio. He'll need it when fighting against a stronger opponent: the partially demon Kotarou!

Story: Getting better and better, really setting the mood for the climatic finish!

Character: We meet Kotaro and better under Tsukioyomi (the freaky swordsgirl). Yue also becomes an important person.

Things to look for:
-End of chapter 38 (page 80) shows a scene that shows ALL the villains of this saga. You'd be surprised to learn about these characters.
-you should understand how dangerous Nodoka's power is (reading minds?! crap!)
-it would seem Negi will have to learn to combine melee fighting with magic to survive in these situations (foreshadowing of future training)
-Negi knows that his process of finding his father is dangerous and he will fight VERY dangerous opponents. Which means that Nagi might have been taken down by a dangerous foe or is involved with a dirty situation. Foreshadows taht Negi will have many foes to fight and that this is becoming a shounen title.
-Takahata taught him how to fight (that means Takahata knows how to fight too...)
-Negi says that Evangeline was holding back on him.

There are other interesting things but I'm sure you saw them even if you skimmed.

Review and Guide: Negima Volume Four

Volume 4: (chapters 25-34)
The start of the kyoto saga! Negi needs to bring a leader to the leader of the Kansai Magic Association. However, not everyone wants him to bring it so they will be sure to stop him. Also, they plan to kidnap Konoka because it seems she has magical abilities!

Story: Getting better and better. The climatic finish of this saga is to die for!

Character: We are introduced Setsuna, the cheerleaders, and Asakura (using the plot) this volume. Setsuna and Asakura are the ones to focus on.

Things to pay attention to:
-when speaking to Evangeline near the beginning, Negi has a flashback. Nekane is on the ground unconscious. Keep this image in your head.
-Notice those who didn't come (Sayo, Evangeline, Chachamaru, TAKAHATA!)
-Where is Takahata? This should be a question in your mind. He will be mentioned in volume 6 so be aware of it!
-understand the abilities of the pactio card (summoning people, using their unique abilities and artifacts [these are tools], and telepathic speaking).
-start to understand the enemies. Some of them are hired help, which means they are mercenaries working for someone else. Question is WHO that someone would seem even monkey girl is working for someone despite her SEEMING to be the one behind all of this (she might just have a common motive with the brains)

Review and Guide: Negima Volume Three

Volume 3: (Chapters 16-25)

Ah, finally a great volume. We have a conflict that relates to the overall plot. A vampire who was trapped by Nagi, Negi's father, through his use of a sealing spell attempts to escape. To do this, she must drink Negi's blood. Of course, Negi can't let himself get killed and so he must fend off her attacks.

The story starts to get good with this volume. It will get better but we can't rush such things! The volume is solely dealing with the issue of the vampire. It does introduce 4 more characters so that's a plus.

Characters: Kaede the ninja is introduced, a very important and interesting character (one of the Baka Rangers too). Evangeline the vampire is also introduced, another important character. Chamo, the ermine, is brought in and he serves an important job of creating pactios. These three should be watched carefully as they are very important as well. Chachamaru is a robot and Evangeline's partner and she makes her appearance as well.
Overall, this a great volume.

Things to think about:
What made Nagi so great?
Why is Asuna immune to Evangeline's attacks?
What are the effects of a pactio/contract?
Is this Kaede person a ninja?!

And with that, we reach a bit of a turning point! The rest of the volumes pertain the issue of the main plot: looking for Nagi Springfield. Future characters are introduced THROUGH the plot or through filler chapters. Pretty much, the series gets better from now on. And boy, does it!

Review and Guide: Negima Volume Two

Volume 2: (chapters 7-15)

Story rating:
Most of this volume is still introduction to characters. Baka Rangers are shown again (so be sure to get to them know deeply!).
The actual story seems very harem-esque but don't worry, it decreases. The story starts looking up but will only get better. But for the most part, its a humorous volume but not intense or exciting. Still, its a favorite for its calm and fine art.

Characters: The only ones we need to really learn about are the Baka Rangers. Of course, Chisame is also mentioned but she won't reign important until later.

This volume just introduces to random characters (the twins) and give us some details of minor characters, like the cheerleaders. It has a story unlike the previous volume which was simple introduction but nothing to get too excited about. Still love it though.

Things to watch out for:
What happened to Ayaka's brother?
What mysteries lie within the library?
What is this World Tree?
What is a partner?
On page 159 (somewhere in chapter 15), we see that elder from the first chapter! He has a partner, some blonde would be best to be on the look for her!
Konoka is good at fortune telling huh? Perhaps she is magical?

These things might not have answers now but I would familarize yourself with these topics.

A Helpful Guide: Negima Volume One

The point of this is to create deep readers. By going into depth, you can see jokes and hints of foreshadowing. I recommend you use a fan-translated version ( as they don't make as much mistakes as Del Rey. Del Rey does have interesting extras though.

Volume One: (Chapters 1-6 for online scans)

This volume introduces the main character, Negi Springfield, and gives us his entire class of 31 girls. The amount of characters is enormous but not over the top. We are shown all of them slowly and appropriately. For the first few volumes, they will be introduced through having a chapter devoted to them. Through this process, we meet about 15 characters. The later characters will be introduced by having them advance the plot. This guide will tell you which ones you should focus on as you read and what kinda of elements to look out for.

Quick story: Negi has a final task before he can be a great mage: teach japanese school girls english. Pretty much, Negi can not allow anyone to find out he is a mage or else. However he is quickly discovered by the worst person ever: the one person who would want him to removed from his position and have him fail his task.

Story rating:
Nothing amazing so far. Good humor but plenty of fan service which might be a turn off for many. An interesting story though not original yet. This volume isn't story related, just filled with introductions.

Characters: This is what this volume is filled up with setting up the characters, not story (though it is set up a bit). We meet Negi, Asuna, Konoka, Nodoka, and Ayaka (each having a chapter devoted to them). These stand out the most and will be important so its best to understand them now. We do see other characters frequently (Paru, Yue, Anya) but they will come into play later. The above 5 are the main characters for the next couple chapters. Watch the minor characters that pop up frequently though!

Things to pay attention to:
-there is a two paged extra near the beginning which shows all the girls, Negi, Takahata, and Shizuna. This a great way to connect character to their hobby. You might want to notice the girl in the middle: Zazie Rainyday. Foreshadowing?
-Be sure to understand what a magister magi is.
-be aware of Asuna's toughness
-there is an early introduction to the Baka Rangers. They as a whole are very popular characters and will be sure to pop up often enough. You'll see them in the next volume though.
-Negi is looking for his very famous father, Nagi, who is a magister magi.
-there is some mention of Negi's backstory (look where he says he met his father). That is important to look at .

See you in the guide for volume 2!

Review: Rurouni Kenshin

Ah, a favorite of mine. It's the story of a samurai who decides to stop killing but to continue helping the world. It's called a love story by the author but it doesn't really seem that way until the last couple chapters which seem kinda forced. Its definetely a comedy most of the time but you can't really see there being love between Kenshin and Kaoru.


Art: 8
-Perfectly fine. Its one of the few shounen manga that doesn't suffer from the Space Phenomenon (where lots of space is wasted or where pictures are huge to hide these but there is no point or detailed added). Character design is unique enough.

Character: 7
-It does have the stereotypical "useless" character and even a useless female: Kaoru. But they are seen often and used often that it just doesn't seem that terrible. In fact, it is usually the right hand man that seems to be getting weaker and weaker through the story, but Sano is constantly important. For that, RK gets a good score already. As for the enemies, they are unique enough and plenty of interesting ones you can like.

Story: 7
-The idea of helping the world without killing seems fairly unique. But once you get past the Kyoto Saga, the battles are a bit...predictable. However, there are a constantly new plot twists so the story doesn't seem terrible. It kinda feels all the same toward the end but it's still pretty good.

Scene: 8
-Scenes are set up appropriately. There are breaks between fights enough to allow people to get hyped up. Usually, there are never high intensity scenes though there WAS one moment that sticks out for me.

Overall: 8

Final Thoughts: A great manga, even for beginners. It is rated as older teen but I feel a 13 year old who doesn't mind some 'blood' will enjoy it just the same. I recommend this to anyone. It won't be super exciting but the story is fairly enjoyable to read. Great rereadable too.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Understanding Reviews

I love to enjoy manga and anime, I really do. But I critique them much like an english professor might a novel. I look for rising action, climax, and resolution. Manga doesn't have this of course for the most part so I have changed it to apply. Here is the basic idea and rubric for what I look for. this applies to only some manga so I might add other things.

-what's the objective Lead is going for
-is there progress to that?
-Are we interested in what's happening?
-Is there some sort of set up for future events?
-do we see an eventual conclusion?

-Scenes should be interesting. Their intensity can be measured on a scale of 0-10. It should never reach 0 but it shouldn't reach 10 more than one or twice. There have to be times when it drops below 6 or 5. Why? There should only be a few moments that really excite us, so readers know what moments are REALLY important (seen through comparison). All scenes should be good and many scenes can be really good but we should be able to tell which are scenes that are meant to stick out (and be tense). If its a constant push for us to be excited, we'll run out of adrenaline and all scenes will seem the same to us. Breaks are necessary in the story. Think: harry potter is not always fighting! He is doing boring stuff too so we can see which parts are really important, like fighting Voldemort. Sometimes, the slow parts tell us the most about a character or story. Slow parts should be used as a supplement.*
-Is this conflict appropriate and advancing a plot or subplot? Or is it setting up a character?

-are the characters necessary?
-interesting or unique?
-any that stick out (good or bad)?

-does it look good and have effort put in it.
-computer created graphics is fine if it doesnt detract from over pictures.

Overall score (sometimes I compare it to other books of the genre or a precendent):
Overall score (all manga): Just my general feeling, not based on other ratings.

Final thoughts: general interest in the topic. Do I recommend it? To who? Worth reading? So and so.

*Since this a hard topic to grasp, here is more help if you DONT get it:
Scenes should start off slow but interesting (like 4 or 5 in intensity), through the introduction of a conflict, it picks up and is resolved. Really important scenes (usually related to main plot) will reach maybe a 9 or 10 which excites us and it clearly stands out. It is resolved (quickly, though might be dragged out appropriately) and next scene starts out low again. If all scenes are intense, there are no scenes that stick out and there is nothing truly interesting (even if every part interests us). We WILL get bored eventually because tensity can only last so long...and the scene is inappropriate.

Hopefully you will understand my reviews and not feel TOO offended when I rate your favorite manga or anime terrible. If I hate the manga, I will tell ya straight out (I judge manga I like a lot tough too!).

Attacking the 2 giants: Reviews on Bleach and Naruto AND Hunter X Hunter

So, the two most popular mangas are also the two most popular shounen manga of the day. They are Naruto and Bleach, the DBZ and YYH of the 2000's. In fact, that's what they are: replacements of two great shounen anime/manga from the 90's (and they match up perfectly. DBZ=Naruto, YYH=Bleach). Afterall, DBZ was #1 and YYH was #2 in the 90's.

Disclaimer: Now Naruto and Bleach are both fine manga and anime. If you do not agree with me on anything, just comment a logical argument, don't cuss or bring any point arguements in. I am willing to debate and I could clearly be wrong. In fact, I have so much respect that I gave them their own section on special abilities in my review!

Naruto Review:
Oh Naruto! I congradulate you greatly (Despite 'hating' you for a reason I will talk about later)! You BEAT DBZ in my eyes; you are better I feel.

Naruto is about a flamboyant ninja with a trouble past (like most) who wants to Hokage. A reasonable story except...he does nothing. He doesn't even gain any ranks (he isn't even a chunnin) and makes no effort to gain position. But can you blame him? Every time he does something, he is attacked by a new opponent. That is the fatal flaw of Naruto: the way the author progresses the series is always the same: throw Naruto into a new battle. The enemies are fairly unique but there is no character growth (no, no. There isn't. I know what you THINK is character growth, but that's not what I am talking about. I am not talking about interpersonal relationships, I am talking intrapersonal). He does not change from one battle to another, his motto is to follow the way of the ninja. He gains no experience from battle to battle (I am not talking techniques, I am talking that he does not change his ideals or refine them). Reason is: the battles have no meaning behind them. His ideology is never challenged: he can always gets get stronger and his motto (his way of the ninja) will always be true. His way of the ninja, if I recall, is just that persistance is strength. An enemy NEEDS to challenge that (even if Naruto ends up correct) sometime or there will be NO growth in Naruto. Of course this is only one way Naruto needs to grow. Pretty much, the only conflict is physical but the best manga have a deeper meaning behind them. Rurouni Kenshin: can he really change the world without removing those people who seem "unredeemable'; can he really cleanse himself and not revert to his old self; and can he change the nation without killing. YYH: Can Yusuke beat Sensui who shows that humans shouldn't be redeemed? Negima: Can Negi beat Chao is seems to be doing the right thing (she believes that if commiting an act that causes a few problems but prevents future and greater evil, that minor act should be commited).

Characters: 4
-Nothing interesting. All the stereotypical positions are filled. I'll give you another example! Worthless female role: Sakura (This is a modern thing, older shounen manga didn't have this). Entire rival/friend: Sasuke (Vegata, Griffith). Pervent teacher: Jiraya (DBZ has one, the turtle dude). Large breasted woman with powers: Tsunade. Also minor characters are pointless and get pointless enemies just to pretend the minor characters are important and getting stronger (though I do like one or two of them, but they will NEVER be important).

Story: 5
-Already mentioned but there is no progress to Naruto's goal. Apparently all he has to do is wait until all strong ninja challenge him and beat them down one by one. He doesn't even have to hunt them down anymore! Also, the number of characters dying is hilarious. He might become hokage by process of elimination.

Characters II: 4
-I don't feel anything when the characters die. Reason: I have no reason to. I have not connected to them for a long time. Some characters are interesting but it doesn't matter. The author is dependant on readers who just want to see explosion and are willing to close their eyes to story and good characterization. Honestly, the death of the characters is an overdone plot device. You want to know why they are dying? It's simple: author doesn't know what to do with them and can't improve them. She kills a main once or twice just to hide this, but I've seen this plenty enough to recognize this.

Scene: 6
-Another fault. Naruto is just intense situation after intense situation. Author needs to put some chapters where everything settles down and characters have a downtime. Also, there should only be a few super intense situations per 100 chapters, not a billion. Not all scenes have to be super intense, just interesting. Also, there is no cause or effect. You could mix up the plot and there would no problem. Chuunin exams could happen before the Haku saga and the Akatsuki problem could have been done after the Haku incident (barring obvious plot problems, but the point is that each saga doesn't cause the next).

Art: 7
-Fine for the most part.

DBZ comparision: 6
-People disliked DBZ for its long fight scenes. Naruto improved on this for the most part. Too bad the Sasuke vs Itachi fight was terrible. It was long, drawn out, and hard to follow. Otherwise, Naruto has a better story and some interesting characters. But that's it. In 10 years, another shounen manga will come and be the new 'cool'. It will probably improve on one element but be exactly the same as Naruto. Isn't Naruto's Kyuubi form just Naruto going super saiyan?

Bonus review: Special ability: Uh, the jutsus are unique and interesting for the most part. But too many kage bushins and that ball of air doesn't really do much for ya Naruto. Sasuke learns cool things. Whoever that smart kid with the shadow moves is...he is a GOOD character (Shiki or something) who makes use appropriately of his ability. His logic comes straight from another anime (a bit from HXH but there is another source) but its done uniquelly enough. Special ability to pretty good. Score: 7

Overall review in comparision to DBZ: 6-7
Overall review (in all manga sense): 5

Final thoughts: People need to see that Naruto isn't super or the best. But feel free to enjoy it, it is an interesting manga and anime. But don't become ignorant to the other great manga and anime. It seems to be an ok manga to reread if you really liked it the first time. Actually, in the anime, there are some pretty intense times: Chuunin exams are a great example.

Bleach Review:
Sorry Bleach, but you are being compared to YYH. In that manner, you fail :( though you are an acceptable manga.

Summary (words with paratheticals can be substituted for the italicized word)
The story follows Ichigo (Yusuke) who can see ghosts and helps ghosts. He is told by Rukia (Botan) that he is the new Grim Reaper (Spirit Detective) of Soul Society (Spirit World). He is aided by an ugly worthless muscle guy called Chad (Kuwabara),

Story: 1-2
-What story? I mean, YYH didn't have one but it was clear that Yusuke's only task was to solve cases even if he didn't have a goal in life. What's Ichigo doing? Sure, I skipped a few episodes in the beginning (I was bored) but I see him having no goal nor is he a real shinigami. He just floats through his life killing demons through a stereotypical manner. First he saves Rukia from the Soul Society and now he saves Orohime from the Mundo. Sounds like saving two damsels in distress while an excuse to explore new places. It would get a one (since I don't know what the main character wants) if I wasn't nice and looked for redeemable story qualities.Aizen's plot is kinda interesting but exactly the same the same as Akatsuki's. His team of Espada IS Akatsuki and the Ten Swords from RK. Think: there are 10 Espada (Which means swords). Shishio's group is called Ten Swords, coincidence? It gets a 2 because I am nice and feel the Aizen plot was good enough to save it from a dismal 1. If a reader wants to tell me what Bleach's story, please tell me.
Character: 6-7
-Uh, I'll be nice. Bleach makes up its lack of a point with some good characters. It has the stereotypical roles of course, like worthless minor characters. It has a useless female character (YYH didn't have this, so this is a loss for when I compare it to YYH later): Orohime. People tell me she IS useful because she has the mad haxxor ability of reversing time. Eh, no...That's just your silly attempt to justify the story, even you know she is pointless. Her ability isn't even interesting, and even though it could have potential(!) (in the right hands), it won't have use. Usually I hate wasted potential but I don't care since I know its just another attempt to make a minor character seem important. They do the same thing in Naruto by making them fight useless enemies. In Fact, Bleach does it too! Chad, the archer dude, and Orohime's battles all don't matter or interest me. Now, the good characters. Rukia is a nice character though she sucks too because she isn't super interesting. Pretty much, you can force yourself to love her or you can force yourself to analyze her and see that she isn't interesting. I do both: I agree with her lovers and her haters. But I pick her over Orohime, the dumb large breasted broad who isn't even attractive.

Characters II: Same Score
-Too many large breasted woman. That's Bleach's excuse for fan service. The women have no point (author acts like he/she isn't sexist by adding women but they don't have any point) and might seem strong but no one cares. And those generals in Soul Society? Boring and pointless. Ok, I will stop hacking characters and say positives now! Gein was a great character, though he might have been a better character if he WASN'T a bad guy who joins Aizen, you know, to throw off the ice midget general. But I guess its fine that he actually is a bad guy, though he doesn't do enough. That Ice Midget (Hitsuguaya or whatever) is cool too but he should be beating the Espada with more ease. I don't like overpowered characters that don't have to struggle but the Espada don't feel important to be strong. Aizen is an interesting character (he should have kept the glasses and hair do) but I knew he was going to be bad from spoilers. Uh, he should make his move soon (he did I know, something maybe himself?). Yorichi (the black cat that becomes a purple haired lady) was cool...AS A CAT! She disappoints me as a female and as a character. She and Rukia redeems the females in the manga but the cat and her should have been different characters. Oh yea, that hat dude that didn't come? The one who trained Ichigo and acts like a pimp. He is cool, funny, and perhaps the best character. But I liked the original character from a series I no longer remember. Same character design, personality, similar backstory (makes a mistake that causes a main character be targetted) but was a bit more interesting. I also like that Shiny Head from the violent team (13th?) though he has disappointed me with his pointless battles and disappearance of his personality. The pink haired lieutanent (same team) also was interesting and funny but really serves no purpose anymore. Back to attacking characters: Espada. WHY! No one WANTS Bleach to go on forever. It would have been better had Gein, Blindy, and Aizen been the only enemies. Of course, Gein will redeem himself (predictable but I want that to happen, since that makes sense character wise and in a literary sense). Actually, Gein might not redeem himself and die a villain (because the author might go that way) and that will be a BAD idea. Unless something happens otherwise, that will be a really bad idea.

Scene: from 6-7 to almost zero.
In the words of slowpoke (4chan reference) "Hey guys, what's up?". The answer is: Fighting. ALWAYS FIGHTING. What for? Who knows. In fact, its been WAY too long since there HASN'T been a fight that I don't remember what Aizen is doing! Too many fight scenes and too much force to be intense. There needs to be more breaks to give readers a break. If there is change in mood, we can't tell which parts should be interesting and tense and which one are just cool. Its been one long fight scene for too long...

Art: 4
-Cool be worked on. This a problem with Naruto too: Too much wasted space. Author wastes so much space and drags things out. Look at Negima! So much story jammed into one page, now that's good story telling!

Comparison to YYH: 3
I get it that Yusuke had no goal or overall challenge. But he kinda did against Sensui which challenges humanity. Bleach has no such thing. For the most part, YYH is the same as Bleach in terms of...well, everything. The generals of Bleach are just minor characters that fans liked and are being dragged back...just like the opponents in the Dark Tournmanet (Rinku, Chu, etc). Vizens or arrancarr are ripped off: Yusuke is resurrected like a demon too (Ichigo just as a hollow). By combining human and demon (or human and hollow), you are stronger. Too bad YYH doesn't follow the stereotypical shounen too much: most characters (even Kuwabara kinda, he was funny too) has a point. But Bleach has no useful characters and has the newly stereotypical useless female ( and Chad doesn't have the charm or humor of Kuwabara). There is nothing to say...Yu Yu Hakusho was more interesting and Bleach has only hooked me a few times.

Bonus review: Special ability: A sword that is unique and has a close connection to its wielder. Done before but I like the idea. Too bad the abilities of the sword usually stink. Bleach should steal some from Negima, the artifacts there are REALLY good and unique. Bankai's are even worse, especially Ichigo's. Speed...great >.> No body carries. That guy with the bankai that breaks his sword is interesting and that Raiki (whatever his name is: close friend of Rukia) has an ok one with the snake sword. There is potential but they NEED to reach for it. Score: 5. GO FOR THE GOLD!

Overall review (YYH as comparision): 2-4
Overall review: 2-4

Final thoughts: Eh, I'd pick Naruto over Bleach. There is no point in watching/ reading Bleach other than for Gein and occasionally Rukia. The other interesting characters have disappointed me (Ice Midget hasn't quite but he shouldn't struggle against nobodies). Feel free to enjoy it if you honestly see something good in it. It is a humorous story time to time. I think it has really low rereadability. I always wondered that..You die in 'Human World' and you go to Soul Society.. You die in Soul Society and you die again?

Final Thoughts on Modern Shounen: Naruto and Bleach are part of the eerie new stereotypical shounen. They improve a little bit on their predesscor but fail short in other ways. Naruto would be the better of the two except:

Hunter X Hunter:
Naruto stole so much from this series. This by the same author of YYH so it doesn't fall into the modern shounen stereotypes though it has weaknesses. But in comparision to Naruto:
-One of the main character is out for revenge since someone killed his entire clan but him(who have red eyes that look like the sharigan).
-The hunter exam is EXACTLY the same as the chunnin exam but more interesting (Hunter X Hunter came before Naruto)
-main character wants to be the best hunter (ninja anybody?) in the world
-same age as naruto before time jump
-the fact that everyone has an element they are closely related to (Narut0 is wind) and they way to test for it is EXACTLY the same. One uses water and a leaf and other a paper (which changes the same way the leaf does).

So, Naruto loses to Hunter X Hunter. Now just for a review of that too.


I'll do this quickly. Kid goes through a test to become a hunter and to find his father who was the best hunter (just like Naruto's dad was a Hokage, the strongest ninja). He meets 3 unique people and he passes easily. The story is great and progressive until the newest saga: the ant saga (which has a shameless ripoff of Cell).

Art: 2-4
-Terrible but the author isn't feeling great and he's lazy. But it's not terrible all the time.

Story: 5-6
-There is a main point and there is a good cycle so that we are not always hyped up. By taking breaks from the fighting, we are ready to be excited when the next great moment arrives. This is the CORRECT way to make shounen: not all scenes should be super tense or readers have nothing to compare it to and get bored. HXH just doesn't make fast enough progress and current saga is too slow and pointless. Also, there are many missing subplots. Example: Looking for the father, where is lighting midget (he's a main character, I just don't remember his name)'s brother, and what is the rest of the hunter exam?

Character: 6-7
The characters are fine and unique. Too bad two main ones have been gone for too long. There is only one stereotype: strongest ally is some old dude who doesn't look it. Jin (I think that's his name) is a fine character and his friend (Ko- I forget) is kinda like Hiei but his ability and backstory is unique so its just character design. He is characterized appropriately. There is a gay clown that I keep telling myself that he is NOT a gay clown. It works occasionally. He is also interesting. There is a main bad guy group (like espada, ten swords, and akatsuki) which is made of 10 members i believe. They are fairly unique and have redeeming qualities. Not 2-D like espada (only grimmjaw was good, rest was made up crap). Akatsuki is a good comparision but the main bad guys (Phantom Bridge I believe) seem to be good and cool sometimes too!

Scene: 8-9
Very good! Not only is the story and characters unique, scenes are set up correctly (I mentioned this under story). Also, there are lots of plot twists (gah, I switched story and scenes it would seem). Example: the head of the bad guys (looks like Sensui) is actually attacked 2nd and pretty much defeated! Now taht's a good story twist. Its a great story.

Overall (versus other shounen): 9
Overall (against all manga/anime): 8

Final thoughts: I would recommend this over all the other shounen manga (though Negima is slightly better). I can't imagine it has high rereadability since it's those surprise twists and turns that made it good. If you know waht they are, it can't be super amazing.

END THOUGHTS FOR ALL: Bleach and Naruto are overrated and aren't really improvement of the predesscor. They are fine and I was being overly critical on purpose (there is plenty I like in both) Hunter X Hunter should be more popular though the current saga sucks. Hunter X Hunter is one of the better shounen manga.

Review: Negima

You can probably guess my opinion on it, but I LOVE NEGIMA! But I will be unbiased in my review.

It follows a 10 year mage who wants to find and be like his father who did great things around the world, such as stopping a bloody war in the magic world. It's set in the modern times so there are guns, atomic bombs, and high tech robots. However, it has old school swords and ninja skills making it a complex environment. If you want a summary, read my two other posts on it.


Characters: 9
-every character is unique and uniquely designed. You will find something that you like in every character. Every character is important so you will be sure to see your favorite character appear plenty of times, no matter how minor.

Story: 10
-the highlight of Negima is its story that gets better and better. Though its generic in its setup (finding his father), it gets quite unique and interesting as it goes on. Pactio cards are interesting and unique.

Art: 10
-lovely and detailed. Even backgrounds are amazing. Only problem is the excessive fan service.

Scenes: 8
-every scene has a point: whether improving a characterization, advance the main plot, foreshadow future roles or events, or advance a subplot. The scenes have the usually literary process: slow intesity part that sets up conflict, more and more interesting conflict, high intensity climax (usually amazing action scenes that trump even Naruto, Bleach, YYH, etc), and then refreshing and satisfying resolution which lets us breath again. Sometimes the break between major sagas is too long for me (I love the action) but that can be a necessity sometimes, though its usually comedic effect or to prevent us from dying of anxiousness while Ken takes a break.

Overall Score: 9

Final thoughts: I would recommend this series to anyone, even a beginner to manga. If they can just handle the fan service and slow beginning (which is long), they will get to the very interesting sagas. It has very high rereadability as there is always something new to notice. I've reread it a billion times and the fights never bore you.

Review: Ichigo 100%

I already ranted about its ending but here is the review of the manga as a whole.

A harem manga that is consistently interesting and funny. It has acceptable art and the fan service isn't overdone and done effectively. It's story is quite generic but the main character, Manaka, has a goal: to be a great director! So the story follows his progress through high school, though hounded by females who want to be with him (it's a harem after all). Aya is clearly set up to be the one he falls for but the ending will surprise you. The girls are interesting and you grow fond of them. One or two seem added pointlessly but they don't detract too much from the story. The story might drag on a bit too long but it's humor and story makes it bearable. My only problem is the ending.

Character: 7.
-Interesting and each is unique. You grow attached to some of them and sympathize with them. Only problem is that some characters are unnecessary and some added so late in the series that their treatment is bad. Surprisingly, I should give this a lower rating as there are some very stereotypical positions seen here (childhood friend, the brains, the beauty, etc) but they are not terriblely stereotypical to detract.

Story: 6.
-Tad generic as its a harem. But the main character's goal makes it something worth following. Ending is definetely unique but might have been done JUST to be unique (since it doesn't fit the plot) or to satisfy ravenous fans. A story cannot change just to satisfy idiots who don't know anything about literary works.

Art: 9
-Great but Manaka's character design could be a bit better. But it's unique!

Scene: 4 or 5
-Every story is made up of scenes. The intensity or interest of most scenes is low though it raises up occasionally. Nothing that hooks you and forces you to read on. I feel humor falls here too, so the humor actually raises the partial score to at least a 6.

Overall score: 8 (including ending)
(excludng ending):9

Those who want a happy ending, STOP immediately after Aya confesses around 166 or wherever and search online to Aya's end online. There is a youtube video too:

Final thoughts: A great series. If you can handle harem, go for it. Even if you can't its not terrible and you can definetely survive. I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it but its a great read (other than the ending). I am unsure what's rereadability but I definetely feel willing to reread it.

Specifics Of Reading Negima

First read my post called "Everything You Need To Know About Negima", that should give you general information about it. But of course, it is limited and might not interest you enough. Here, I tell you more about this great manga but with specifics (most spoilers will be excluded).

Negima has originality. Here is my proof:
1. Shounen manga have useless characters, usually the female lead. Examples include Naruto, Bleach, and Rurouni Kenshin. Negima is a shounen title but it does not have any usless characters. Negima in the first chapter introduces 38 characters (one of them actually doesn't matter at all until much later), but don't let that daunt you. You are introduced each one slowly and detailed. Negi's class has 31 girls but each one is unique and interesting (full backstory too!). Their art design is good but it gets better. Future characters are also detailed and interesting. In fact, every character you see, however minor, is actually more important you think. A random teacher might appear later on and be an ally against a magical foe.
-Now for the shounen piece. The female lead (here come the spoilers...) is clearly Asuna. However she is tough and important. She constants takes part and gets stronger as the story goes. Other characters who join in helping Negi also are important and are not useless.

2. Pactio Cards. Magicians cannot cast spells if they are being beaten up using melee attacks. So they have a helper protect them. However, that defender can have their abilities boosted via magic and even given a special tool called an artifact. Each artifact is unique (and interesting) and has a special ability (example: the ability to draw something and have it come to life). To get these benefits, you must create a contract with the magic. This contract is called a pactio which is done by kissing (there might be another method) the mage in a magical circle. The proof of this contract is card. This system is very unique (I don't think any other story has thought of this) and many people have made pactio cards for other animes. Type in pactio cards in Google and you will get Naruto Pactio cards, etc. One of the great interests of this story is What If So-So got a card, what would their ability and artifact be?

3. Unique Shounen Set-up. I already talked about this in my last post. Most shounen have a stereotypical plot system: opponent, beat them, new opponent (stronger), beat them, etc. Sometimes that opponent is the main bad guy who controlled the prior enemy. This continues with some random chapters that might connect sagas together. Negima is a bit more unique with Negi actively trying to find his father, and this causes him to be in situations where danger appears. Think of Naruto: He wants to be Hokage. He doesn't really do anything to get this goal: he is just constantly being attacked or fighting. After each opponent, he doesn't review what happened and try to change himself to acheive his goal. You can find exceptions of course but they aren't amazing exceptions. The fact he learned a new technique isn't what I mean by he learned something.

4. The Story. Wow, I'm impressed. Negima seems to be just a manga form of Harry Potter at first and many manga have the main objective being the main character finding their father (Hunter X Hunter). But Ken Akamatsu does it better and with a new spin. We get a lot of backstory about the famous Nagi. He fought in a war where both sides were under the control of a certain organization whose goal was the destruction of the world (though there are reasons to believe this isn't their real goal). Nagi beats this organization with his companions and then goes wandering, trying to fix up the hundreds of problems that were left with the war's conclusion. He disappears for some reason. Of course, many of Nagi's enemies have now targeted Negi. This is of course without specifics so you shouldn't feel too impressed. But when you read it and get the specifics, you will be amazed at its intensity. Negi constantly pushes forward though and is willing to get himself 'dirty' to find the answer. SPOILER: He even uses dark magic so that he can defeat his opponent, despite that being the opposite of what his father would do.

5. Negi isn't the strongest man alive. There is nothing to say other than that. Shounen or not, he becomes stronger but he will not destroy the world with his awesome power that comes out when he is angry or his friends are in danger. There are people who are stronger and even more badass than him. These badass characters are what make Negima great.

6. Art. BEAUTIFUL! Well done and very detailed.

7. Humor, hints, and rereadability. Akamatsu drops little hints here and there and indirect mentions to things. There have been mentions to a main bad guy since the very early 50's (chapters, not the years) but only now is it being developed. There is constant foreshadowing and so a close eye and imagination is required to see these things before they happen. So rereading Negima to pick up things you missed is very easy to do and lots of fun. Sometimes, humorous comments are written next to bubbles or funny things in the background. Everytime you read Negima, you see something new or interesting.

8. Great characters. You will love at least one character by the end, no matter what. In fact, you will probably love at least 10! Even the characters you hate don't seem so terrible. I didn't like Yue, Chachamaru, or Hakase but I have come to accept and like them now.

9. Plot twists. As this post comes to an end, I fill tell you what I love about Negima the most: The twists and turns of the story. No, I don't mean "Oh my god, the real killer was the butler, not the maid we thought it was for 99% of the story". The plot twists are clearly visible throughout the story and perhaps just suspenseful events. Example (spoiler!): When we find out that Chao plans to reveal magic and seems like a megalomaniac, we are surprised but the suspense comes through her actions that shock and amaze us as she gets closer and closer to her goal. She literally is able to defeat everyone to get her goal.

So with that, Negima should be an interesting title and one you SHOULD read. It has something for everyone, just swallow your doubt and push through until you find something you love. If by the end of the school festival (that is around chapter 167 or so), you don't find something you like, you can say Ken failed you. But if you did find something during that time, you can bet it WILL show up again and you should still try to follow the story from time to time. It IS good, it just doesn't shock and amaze immediately. Turns out: Ken wanted it to be shounen from the beginning but his advisors wanted to keep the harem audience and made him start it like a harem before getting serious (which he gradually gets into and beautifully).

Dang, I do alot of analysis about Negima, huh? Here is a fun fact: I have editted wikipedia over 20 times about Negima. If you look up Negima on wikipedia, it will have a section chronicling the sagas of the Negima manga. I made that! Of course, some fans broke down the sagas (the current magic world saga only) into mini sagas which I dont agree with completely because its not possible yet without seeing the greater scheme of it. I might make a post with the correct sagas later (from a literary standpoint) since most fans don't see things as Rising action, climax, and falling action like I do.

Everything You Need To Know About Negima

So you've heard about Negima or you have fallen upon this topic somehow or another. But you aren't sure if you want to read it or to continue it. Well read on to find on why you SHOULD read on or pick this up. You do not need to read the whole post, just enough to get you interested. Even if I fail to interest you, I would recommend you read at least until the end of the kyoto saga before banishing this manga (but keep in mind, it gets better and better).

Negima or Mahou Sensei Negima (shortened to MSN) or Magister Negi Magi is a manga created by the famous Ken Akamatsu (creator of Love Hina). It chronicles a ten year old Welsh mage who has one goal in his life: to become like his father, a Magister Magi. He just graduated at the top of his class and now has one final task before full graduation: to be a teacher in Japan at an all-girl's school. Quite strange no? He also can't let them find out he is a mage.

The story starts off like a romantic comedy or even a harem. A harem is a romantic comedy where one male is surrounded by females who all want to date him. It's quite easy to see why Negima seems like this. However, it is not so. The main point of this story is NOT who will get with Negi, it is still about him trying to be like his father. To be more specific, we find out his father, Nagi Springfield, has gone missing for over ten years and it's Negi's goal to find him.

One thing you will notice is that Negima has a lot of fan service (nudity to be more specific) but it's used appropriately most of the time. If you like fan service, rejoice! This is the manga for you! If not, it steadily decreases though it will still appear from time to time.

The plot, without going into specifics, goes much like this: Negi attempts to teach his class so that he can pass as a mage. However he has trouble constantly hounding him. First, he is found out to be a mage by Asuna who does not like him one bit. She easily could expose him and not only would he fail, he would be transformed into an ermine. Next, a vampire attacks him because Nagi, his father, sealed her powers away. Only by drinking all of Negi's blood can she be freed from it. Slowly though, Negi falls upon hints of where his father might be. He even goes on a class field trip to see his house. However, a magical organization quickly intervenes, trying to capture a student who has a lot of magic ability. They believe she can allow them to be gain power and influence in the area.

This is when Negima gets good and loses its harem characteristics. Action and adventure starts to show up though this saga (the Kyoto Saga I have named it) is still funny and humorous. But Negima starts to be a shounen title. A turning point of Negima is chapter 45 when the mood gets tense and Negi fights against Fate Averruncus, a very powerful Western mage.

Sure, chapter 45 isn't an amazing chapter when you compare it to other shounen titles like Yu Yu Hakusho, Hunter X Hunter, or Naruto. But it's very interesting for Negima and is a stepping stone to deeper and darker themes. In fact, the very next saga has a very dark story: the history of Negi's village which is destroyed by demons.

After Kyoto Saga, Negima follows a predictable pattern (but this is a good thing and most masterful writers do it): Set up (of the conflict), tense and amazing action and conflict, and relaxment. Set up means training or introduction of the scene. In the School Festival saga, this when we have those chapters where Chao is fully introduced and we see her being pursued by magical people. The Action section is the shounen part of it: the fights and conflict between antagonist and Negi and his group. An example is in the Vampire Saga, where Negi must somehow persuade the vampire to stop hunting him or otherwise defeat her. The Relaxation section is simple: The conflict is over and we have 'filler' which is very important. It shows character growth or gives better characterization of characters we haven't truly met. It's also personal analysis for Negi to see what his next step is and what to do next. Sure, there is no fighting but there is a lot of planning before the next step. This isn't Naruto where people just keep coming and coming; there needs to be steps to acheiving our goals. Most relaxation sections overlap with the set up for the next saga.

Ugh, I should congradulate myself: I effectively detailed Negima without giving away anything! The reason is simple: Negima is actually a great story. Sure, it has great art and great fights but it has a very good literary impact: good characters and coherence. If someone wrote this not as a manga but as a novel, it would still be good.

Hopefully you are willing to try Negima now. Sure I didn't show you anything interesting but I will tell you one thing: the surprising and plot twists are what makes this amazing! If you have patience and enjoy the little things (even the stuff you hate at the beginning), you will get to the amazing parts soon enough.

There! If you want more information about Negima (it WILL have spoilers but won't be too much, just enough to excite you for sure), I will have another post coming up where it talks about the specifics.

Question: Why isn't Negima super famous if it's so great apparently?
I heard this question alot when I tell people of how great Negima is. It's simple: all the anime adaptations failed. If there was an anime company that did the Kyoto Saga appropriately, there would be a larger fan base. But if there was a company that animated the School Festival (one of the best sagas I have EVER read in manga), Negima would challenge Naruto and Bleach for the most popular anime (at least for these years).

Ichigo 100% Ending Review

I'm a very neutral person, I can be unbiased when making decisions. This is what allowed me to be president of my school's debate team as a senior. What follows is my review of the manga Ichigo 100%'s ending, which I feel was terrible.

If you haven't read it, don't read this post. But what happens is that Manaka ends up with Nishino Tsukasa. Supporters of this relationship were THRILLED! But I am not. Aya should have ended up with Manaka and its fairly clear why.

Manaka's first love is Aya for her beauty and artistic ability. She loves writing stories and he loves directing movies, two VERY compatible jobs and hobbies. Accidently, Manaka asks out Tsukasa believing her be the one he was looking for (she is not). They have a very awkward relationship and it's hard to see Manaka or Tsukasa liking the other. They even break up appropriately. Near the end, they get back together but not much changes. There might be some closeness developing between the two but its minimal. They still can't kiss or do much without awkwardness.

However, some things become apparant. Without Aya's great stories, Manaka is a lousy director and would fail at being a director. Also, Aya needs a person of inspiration or her novels are bad, that character is Manaka. When they take a psychic combatibility test, Manaka and Aya are perfect for each other. This, among several things, all build up towards the end. It seems clear, that this being a harem novel, that Aya and Manaka are perfect for each other and will end up with each other.

WRONG! Manaka stays with Tsukasa, a noble idea but thereby destroying everything. Tsukasa leaves to Paris for over a year (for her own goal) and Aya and Manaka are left to fail at their goals. Sounds like a great ending no? Even astrology picked Aya for Manaka but the fool ignores that.

I did not like the ending at all: Manaka and Tsukasa were not a great couple. I love Tsukasa, she is great but you cannot say she was a perfect person with Manaka. Those who say they like the ending most likely just didn't want to see her get hurt. That's acceptable but not how a story should unfold. The proper ending for Tsukasa would have been her getting together with that handsome and kind chef who could help her acheive her OWN goal: making great cakes.

Of course, I tried to justify the ending. I remembered a character (Mizuru) saying that Manaka's weakness was his indecisiveness! So I thought that the author was being intelligent and making a theme: don't be indecisive, it destroys your and everyone's lives. It was clearly supported but I wanted to make sure, by finding out what the author was thinking.

I read her comment and in a summarized form: She felt Aya and Manaka were perfect but decided at the end that Tsukasa would be better. So she failed as an author...she lost her consistency. If she wanted Tsukasa and Manaka to be together, she should have given them more similarities and not have her be the destruction of Manaka's goal. She should have made Aya less perfect and not reinforce their coupling even a chapter before the great plot twist (Manaka picking Tsukasa). That feels like a huge cop out and only foolish Tsukasa supporters like it. They only like it because they didn't want to hurt Tsukasa, not because they were so blind as to think they were a good couple.

So that's it, the author failed at the ending. A great manga destroyed by the ending. Poor judgement makes thousands of supporters upset. For those reading Ichigo 100% now but don't want this disappointing end, there IS a fan made Aya ending. Here is a youtube link (it might not work anymore) that has it. If it doesn't work, search for it.

In the end, I feel even Kita (whatever her name is) would have been an acceptable person: she at least shared things in common with Manaka, like Aya shared his dream. Tsukasa shared nothing and her goal actually bad for him. What a terrible waste and end for a great manga. I won't add any more evidence (though I have plenty). Feel free to argue with me.

PS. Manaka didn't even like her, that's what I think. He never goes to see her (avoids her even) and even drops her hand when he bumps into Aya. He is relieved Aya doesn't have a boyfriend and constantly ignores Tsukasa. He FORGETS she is going to France and is distant emotionally from her. He knows there is something wrong with their relationship and even says they will start over when she comes back.

To mangaka: If it was going to be Nishino, don't make it seem so blatantly Aya then. You should have had more distant with Aya and made the relationship with Nishino better. they were awkward, he dropped her hand, he was relieved about Aya's single status. Heck, he had to restart his relationship with Nishino because it was such shit. That's how bad Nishino's relationship was developed. Develop it next time so they don't seem so bad together.