Witchcraft Works Volume One Review

Witch Craft Works Volume One Cover

It’s easy for me to get carried away with this review since I’ve actually seen the anime and have bought the official soundtrack. However, I will restrain myself and focus primarily on this book… promise! =)

  1. SYNOPSIS

Honoka Takamiya is a student of Tougetsu Academy who is docile, has no special talents and is severely anti-social. However, since that day, a new world opened up to him that he never knew existed. Since then his body had become a target and it is up to Akaya, the school’s idol, to protect his life at all costs. If you dare cross her path, you better prepare yourself to be burned to cinders!

  1. THEME
  • Action
  • Comedy
  • Fantasy
  • Romance
  • School Life
  • Seinen[1]
  • Slice of Life[2]
  1. REVIEW

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

For some reason I have quite affection towards girls who are emotionless and I believe they’re affectionately known as Kuudere.[3] XD I think they’re cute because they show their affection through their actions rather than through facial expressions. There’s always a charming mystery about those types of girls too and Ayaka is no different. Her personality blends well with her looks and her kickass fire abilities. It’s a nice touch that she’s invincible. Well, I’m just assuming that she’s invincible at this point as she is clearly hard to kill. Witch or not no one should be able to survive those spike stabs and come out unscathed.

But, I then question… how did she get those bite marks? Honoka was bitten in the neck but somehow she was able to transfer Honoka’s own injuries to herself… Perhaps she did it through magic (since she’s a witch and all) or, maybe, they have a connection that hasn’t been revealed yet? Why is she assigned to protect Honoka and his “white stuff”? Could he be a witch? At this point I can’t see how that can be possible, it seems as though it’s just the ladies that have the power. In theory, if Honoka does have powers you would think that he would be a wizard.

I immediately like Honoka and Ayaka’s contrast in their relationship. I feel like somehow Honoka is accustomed to the company of females. There’s no evidence in this matter, it’s just my own hunch. He’s becoming quickly familiar with Ayaka, even if he is a little bewildered by her actions. Haha. I especially like the contrasting relationship on how the girl (Ayaka) is protecting the boy (Honoka). I also like it how Ayaka literally dwarfs Honoka. I do like the look of small guys and tall girls, it’s oddly fascinating. Haha. However, despite this contrasting relationship, this doesn’t deter Ayaka’s femininity. In fact, on the odd occasion she would emit a field of flowers. =)

What is this “white stuff” that Honoka has? Is it a powerful tool? Is it powerful magic? The tower witches are after it, so it must be some sort of powerful magic. I don’t feel too worried for Honoka though, by what I’ve seen all the bad witches seem to be completely useless. It goes to the point where I can’t take them seriously. XD Are the tower witches weak or is Ayaka too strong? It’s probably a mixture of both.

I actually don’t see Tanpopo and her gang as baddies, but more like tools. I think they’re underlines of some villain mastermind and they don’t necessarily mean to be bad. I just see them too meek and funny to consider them as villains. I see them as wannabe baddies, like Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons.

I find this to be a very intriguing story so far. It has magic, tall girls and a lot of humour. So far the humour is coming from all the witches, mostly Tanpopo and Ayaka. In some ways it’s hard to tell when Ayaka is joking or being serious because she is incapable of showing emotion through her face. There are occasional glares and twitches from her eyes though, as illustrated when Touko greeted her warmly. Ayaka requited the greeting with a cold response. Haha. I wonder why Ayaka was hostile towards her.

Honoka is a nice dude to the point where he is a borderline pacifist. He doesn’t defend himself when he gets beaten up and won’t attack either. He seems to be a bit too dependent on Ayaka at this point. I get the impression that he’s used to getting rough ends of treatment, both verbally and physically. I do think that with the right tutelage, as he became Ayaka’s apprentice, he will learn to defend himself.^^/

I do like this style of art. It is somewhat similar to my own in the respect of body proportion. I think it’s very good to compare other art styles as long as you don’t take yourself too seriously. I like the colour themes and how he shades background characters. Looking at art makes me wonder if perhaps I’m too critical of my own work. I will always strive to improve my own illustration style. =)

  1. BONUS

We have a lot of very interesting facts which includes a certain mention of a girl. The author revealed that he was going to call the girl Pikachu but didn’t since that would cause a lot of trouble. Haha.

What I found most interesting was Honoka. It appears that he was originally supposed to be a girl and that he and Ayaka were going to have a Yuri[4] relationship. It appears that now the author has deemed it fit to change Honoka’s gender to a boy. It actually does make sense to me as due to his personality and quirks his feminine side was more prominent then his masculine side. Plus, Ayaka referred to him as her “princess” even though he’s a dude. Haha. It’s kind of sweet in a way. That doesn’t make him any less of a boy though. =)

  1. CONCLUSION

I really like the unique relationship and the role reversal between Ayaka and Honoka. I think it’s a sweet yet slightly complicated relationship. I say relationship but nothing romantic has blossomed between them… yet. 😉 The illustrations are eye-catching (no pun intended) and it makes me want to read more. Why is Ayaka so mysterious? Why are the tower witches after Honoka’s “white stuff”? I’m probing many personal questions that I look forward to being answered in the future volumes to come.

Two Thumb’s-Up. (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

THANKS FOR READING

Witchcraft.Works_.full_.1585388

I’m looking outside of my window now and, even though the sun is up it’s actually raining pretty hard… I enjoy contrasting weathers like this. =)

What do you think of the header? I somehow had the urge to do it. If I gave it some more time then I could have made it better. But, I think it’s as good as it is and I’m very pleased with it. =)

Thanks for reading.
Sayonara.^^/

Ryan.

[1] The target audience of this manga is towards an older gentleman with the age range from 18 to 30.

[2] Every day mundane life.

[3] Kuuderes are cold and emotionless, but they slowly soften up to their love interest. Ayaka is more on the emotionless side and is not really cold. She is hostile to her enemies though.

[4] A lesbian relationship in anime or manga.

Advertisements

Mushibugyou to release multiple OVAs

Image

Konichiwa.^^/

 

I’m pleased to hear of the news that the anime, Mushibugyou, will release a couple of OVAs in the near future. The first one will be released on 18th July. July is going to be a very good month for me, in more ways than one.^^

 

For those who haven’t seen the anime or read the manga, Mushibugyou is set in Tokyo during the Edo-era. Tokugawa Yoshimune, the eighth shogun, created a new magistrate unit, the Mushibugyou, to protect the civilians from giant insects. Mushi is another term for insects/bugs and bugyou means Magistrate. =)

 

I first saw this on Crunchyroll and I must admit, my expectations were low and they didn’t really grow much for the first 8 episodes or so. I started to enjoy this a lot, lot more when a certain character made her debut. From then on, I would wait excitedly for each episode to be released weekly. All the characters are quirky, the fights are very good, the girls have beautiful designs and there is no heavy drama involved. This became an instant favourite of mine and I was severely disappointed when it ended. I also enjoyed the relationships that the girls had with Jinbei. They were all unique and endearing; the forbidden love between Jinbei and Kuroageha was especially interesting.

 

Apparently, the whole season of Mushibugyou covered a good 100 chapters of the alternative manga; Joujuu Senjin!! Mushibugyou. I heard as well that the conclusion of the fight in the anime differed to that of the manga. I wasn’t too surprised when I heard this because the same situation happened with Sekirei. In the latest season, Sekirei: Pure Engagement, in order so as not to run ahead of the Manga, the production crew created a conclusive storyline. Ironically, I find it interesting that Seven Arcs produced both Mushibugyou and Sekirei.

 

If I were to change anything, I would have divided the anime show into more than one season. If the anime had covered all the arcs, it would have caught up with the timeline in the manga. I would assume the anime would have missed out a lot of the plot from the manga and likely added a few anime-only materials in order to conclude the story. Apart from that, I have no qualms.^^

 

It makes me wonder what will happen in the OVAs. If they really did catch up with the events in the manga then it would mean that these OVAs will be anime-only materials. I anticipate that we will get a beach episode because there’s official artwork of the beautiful female cast wearing bikinis and have that “beach” feel to them. Plus, it seems imperative for most anime to have at least one beach orientated episode. Haha. =D

 

It would be nice if Mushibugyou was released in English, perhaps licensed by Seven Seas or Kodansha. Sadly, it doesn’t look like this will happen, at least not in the near future. It even has a game out for the 3DS, but I can’t get it, since its Japan only. My only hope really is for Mushibugyou anime to be licensed by America, then the UK. I think MVM will more likely go after this anime rather than Manga Entertainment, I don’t know why, it’s just an inkling. =)

 

At some point I will write a more comprehensive review of this anime as I really, really like it and have a lot to say. I have two music CD’s sung by the characters Hibachi and Oharu and the 2014 calendar of Mushibugyou. It’s currently May/June and it is a collage photo of Jinbei. What fun. =)

 

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan

Thoughts on Winter Anime Season 2014

Image

Konbanwa!^^/

Sadly, the winter season for Anime, has more or less ended. I promised myself that I would only watch a few… somehow I started to watch more and I ended up watching 10! XD! How did that happen? Anyway, I figured I’d share my thoughts with you.

Contents:

  •          Wonder Momo
  •          Maken-Ki! Two
  •          SoniAni: Super Sonico the Animation
  •          Onee-Chan ga Kita
  •          Nisekoi: False Love
  •          No-Rin
  •          Strike the Blood
  •          Witch Craft Works
  •          D-Frag

Here we go…

*

WONDER MOMO

Image

Haha, Wonder Momo… this has been getting critical reviews.

For those who don’t know, Wonder Momo used to be an arcade game back in the 1980’s. This year they decided to make an ONA (which is basically an anime production that you can only watch online) based on the character’s daughter…she is also called Wonder Momo. XD

I can understand why this is far from popular. The storyline, music, voices and characters design are all rather cheesy. The seiyuu for Wonder Momo has especially been criticised as it’s been said that she doesn’t really believe in her character. Personally, I think it’s down to the actor’s lack of experience. It’s her first ever role in an anime so she probably didn’t get the best out of it as she would have liked.

I did wonder at times (no pun intended ;-)) if perhaps the production crew deliberately made this cheesy? It certainly has a lot of elements of retro stuff but set in the modern age. So perhaps, they went OTT on certain things?

In any case this show was worth the 5 minutes of my time as it gave me many, many chuckles… perhaps for the wrong reasons but I still feel that it was worth watching. =D

Rating: Thumbs So-So

Image

I didn’t want to give this a thumb’s down but I didn’t want to give this a thumb’s up either as it didn’t meet my requirements for either rating. =D

 *

MAKEN-KI! TWO

Image

I quite enjoyed the first season of Maken-Ki and I enjoyed the battles, characters and the bonds between the cast. In season two I was expecting cheeky moments but there were a lot more than just little cheeky moments, some parts were just borderline rude. XD

I have a big hunch, that everything that happened in this sequel, or at least 90%, was Anime only. I.E., it was mostly filler that didn’t take any content from the original manga. I don’t know why this is but even though this is a sequel it didn’t really feel like the story continued from the first season. It felt more like the production crew were focusing more on the visual entertainment rather than the story itself. I don’t really have any problems with that but I do feel that this sequel show missed out on a good story.

Maybe there wasn’t enough to go by from the manga plot so the anime production decided to create more of their own story in the world of Maken-Ki!?

Personally I would have focused more on Take’s character development. A lot of supporting characters did get their time to shine though so that is one good aspect. I grew fonder of Aki especially, not because of her good looks but I just found her overall character to be very cute. She should be a lot more experienced in love but yet she is very innocent.

Rating: Thumbs So-So

Image

I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first season but I still found it watchable.

 *

SONIANI: SUPER SONICO THE ANIMATION

Image

I’ve been waiting for this to be turned into an anime for years and my wish came true in 2014. =D

A good number of people on the internet have been highly critical of this anime. It is unfortunate to see but really I don’t believe it’s so bad that it deserves to be labelled as “Worse anime of this season”. Granted it’s not an intense story like Attack on Titan or Monogatari Second Season but it’s far from terrible, at least in my opinion.

The whole point of this Anime is to show what sort of shenanigans Super Sonico gets up to in her daily life. It shows the sort of people she hangs out with, her modelling career and performing rock. It had all those elements with mild fanservice and has little to no drama. Sonico is given the persona of a fairly shy girl who is rather ditzy, fun-loving and not rude in the slightest.

So, when I bear all of this in mind, it’s actually a very relaxing and down to earth anime. When I picture Sonico I picture her as a very polite rather timid girl, so, I feel that her persona was right on the mark. Granted, she’s cute, but I find a character more attractive if they have a nice and/or funny personality.

My favourite parts of the show were when she interacted with her bandmates, especially Suzu, she definitely has personality. She rocks that nurse’s outfit. 😉

My Rating: One thumb’s up.

Image

Watching the life of a cute and polite girl with little to no drama can be very soothing, especially if you don’t raise your expectations too high.^^/

*

ONEE-CHAN GA KITA

Image

This was another short anime that was worth five minutes of my time.

The art style is very cute and I liked Ichika’s character design, especially her mouth. XD She is quite a sweet character. She is one of those half-sibling anime characters who have a bit of a complex towards their half-brother.

Very light and humorous, I enjoyed seeing the consequences whenever Ichika caused trouble or inconvenience for Tomo. Since some of the themes reminds me of Kiss x Sis I expected Tomo to be a lot more like Keita. I personally didn’t see any traits or similarities at all. In fact, I actually think Tomo treats Ichika nicer then Keita does with his sisters.

Nice set of characters too but my favourite part of the show is the character’s design and Ichika.

Rating: One thumb’s up.

 Image

*

NISEKOI: FALSE LOVE

Image

This series spans up to 20 episodes and will carry on and finish into the spring season of Anime. So far 12 episodes have been aired. I decided to share my views on this as to what I thought about it so far…

It’s very funny with a good storyline. I learned about Nisekoi after VizMedia announced that they licensed it. I noticed these two girls on the front cover with this friendly looking chap…Both Kirisaki and Onodera are pretty in their own rights. Just by looking at the cover I knew instantly that it was a romantic type with a potential love-triangle dilemma.

Like some anime this show does have many clichés. I.E., two people who get “engaged”, hot-springs fanservice, female on male violence, childhood friendship and the test of courage. A young teen being the adventurous/protector type when they were a toddler is also somewhat a cliché as I’ve seen it quite a bit.

The biggest selling point for me, as well as the unique storyline, is the comedy. I like the slapstick elements and how the characters react when they’re embarrassed or shocked.

I’m also enjoying the suspense of the childhood memories of certain characters…;-) I also don’t know who Raku is connected and isn’t connected with. I can make guesses but I don’t know for certain. I’m enjoying the fact that I can’t make predictions clearly based on what I see.

If I were to predict though then I would say that Raku would eventually get himself into a dilemma where he would have to choose to be with either Onodera or Kirisaki. I would guess that Kirisaki would become Raku’s official partner in the end. I don’t have a clear pairing favourite but I do especially like Onodera and I wouldn’t want to see her get heart-broken.^^’

Regardless of it all, I’m still enjoying the story and enjoying Raku’s relationship with the rest of the ladies of the show. =)

Rating: To be determined.

I don’t think it would be fair to rate an anime show when is half way through the series. So, I’m keeping my thumbs in my pocket until the end.^^

*

NO-RIN

Image

This is so silly, but, so funny at the same time. XD

This wasn’t really on my watch list but I noticed that the producers of this show also produced Non Non Biyori, so I decided to give this a watch.

It’s quite refreshing that they based the setting of the school in a horticultural environment. I also like how different Ringo is as a student compared to her days as an idol.

It’s cringing funny and random funny. Becky, the teacher, is especially hilarious.

It does have its serious points though and I enjoyed them just as a much as the funny moments. I liked the love triangle between Minori, Ringo and Kosaka (albeit, some of it is one-sided!) Minori is especially funny; she is very perverted and fun-loving. I’m not sure about anyone else but I thought she looked cute when she put on weight and grew fat! XD!

The openings and ending songs are lovely on the ears and I would recommend you have a  listen. ^^/

Rating: Two Thumbs-Up

Image

A very funny anime with a lot of random, self-aware, quirky and slapstick humour.^^/

 *

STRIKE THE BLOOD

Image

I was able to connect with this story just fine.

I found that I couldn’t watch this on a weekly basis, so I watched this whenever I was in the right frame of mind for it. I think it’s because I found parts of it a little complicated to understand, so, I had to watch it when my mind was 100% focused and relaxed. =)

That being said, I think the female characters are beautifully designed and Koujou is one lucky chap. He’s not totally clueless either. He’s not in the same league as Keima Katsuragi but he’s not so daft that he doesn’t get “invitations” so to speak. Wink, wink. 😉

The outcome of the fights and conclusions weren’t as predictable as I first thought. All the battles were intense and I found myself engaged. As well as looking pretty all the girls had special abilities of their own. I liked La Folia’s gun, Sayaka’s archery weapon thing and Yukina’s… spear? Whatever it is it’s a kickass weapon – very shiny and looks like it can do one heck of a lot of damage. I liked Koujou’s familiars too, reminds me a little bit of Godou from Campione! Whenever he uses mystical beast type creatures.^^

The way Koujou nibbles on Yukina’s neck… I feel like Yukina deserves a pay rise or a bigger role for being Koujou’s blood-doner. XD!

I get mixed feelings for Yukina sometimes. For the most part, I like her but sometimes I shake my head when she interrupts Koujou’s potential “moments”.

Those are just little snippets about Yukina I get disappointed with.

Rating: Two Thumbs-Up

 Image

 

*

WITCH CRAFT WORKS

Image

Without a doubt this is my favourite Anime from this season, apart from perhaps D-Frag.

I would say that this is my kind of anime. I suppose I find the relationship between a meek male and an emotionless but powerful female, quite charming. I discovered this after watching the OP, and I decided to give it a try.

I do like girls like Sayaka as I do have a bit of a thing for girls who are expressionless. I think it’s because they show affection through their actions and words, but not necessarily through their facial expressions. She reminds me a little bit of Ikaros from Heaven’s Lost Property and HItagi Senjougahara from the Monogatari series.

I like the characters, the theme, the magical settings and the humour. Those certain five Tower Witches, led by Tanpopo, are just comedy gold. I just can’t take them seriously. Every time they make an appearance I just laugh. XD They’re villains but they’re completely useless. Sayaka doesn’t even take them seriously and can KO them even without the use of magic. Their song at the end is very catchy and quirky. It’s also the reason why I can’t take those characters seriously.

Speaking of Tower Witches, I really like Mei Menowa’s voice. I can’t really describe it, it’s like a grown up deep seductive type of voice. Whatever it is, it’s certainly refreshing and nice to listen to.

One of the best points is how the production crew keep switching from the main storyline to something random like Tanpopo playing cards with Medusa. I like those random moments. XD In episode 2, it took me a few good re-watches to notice those little cameos that Kasumi, Honoka’s sister made. Very funny indeed!

All the characters are different too, especially the designs. I love different types of clothes and eyes that girls have, and Witch Craft Works certainly has plenty of those!

Rating: Two Thumb’s Up

Image

Definitely one of my favourites from this year so far and I really like Sayaka and her relationship with Takamiya. I’m delighted that I found out that the Vertical Publishers have officially licensed the rights to sell Witch Craft Works in manga form. A good reason to look forward to October as that is when it’s released. =D

 *

D-FRAG

Image

It’s one of those comedies that is very self-aware and often takes the mickey out of itself.

I literally laughed at every single episode, and if something makes me laugh then I love it. =D Because I enjoyed this Anime very, very much I’m going to be as concise as possible… if it’s possible that is. XD!

It reminds of the Simpsons in the respect of how the extras/random characters pop up and make a significant contribution.

Kenji is certainly a good character with an interesting twist; he claims to be a “delinquent”. 😉 Usually delinquents are rebels who pretend to be good but it’s quite the reverse in this case. Kenji wants to be a delinquent but isn’t, far from it in fact. How many delinquents do you know who go to school but have their cute little sisters prepare his bentos?

One moment he goes from being a “rebel” to being surrounded by eccentric girls who are, ironically, stronger and more ferocious then him.

Some of the male characters have some fetishes…I can’t help but to laugh at the hilarious consequences of their fetish situations. XD!

All the characters are very cool and I especially think that all the female characters are very likable. They’re all very different, funny and charming in their own way. Even the extras play their parts very well. I genuinely like all the characters but I especially like Funabori and Takao.^^/

I feel like I could go on forever, so for now, I’m going to stop talking and start rating…

Rating: Two Thumb’s Up.

Image

If I had three hands then I would have given this Anime a Three Thumb’s Up! =) I have heard that an OVA starring Kenji, Nao (Kenji’s little sister) and Sakura will be released this year. Seven Seas are also releasing the Manga in July. I’m very much looking forward to both! =D

*

Hope you enjoyed the read; this is of course just my opinion.

I look forward to hearing your opinion on this season’s Anime. =D

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan