AniManga Clash! Boku wa Imouto Ni Koi o Suru Volume 3 (Finale)

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Plot: Iku and Yori arrive at a love hotel and after much preparation, the two have sex. Despite this, Yori still decides to go to the school in another prefecture.

Breakdown: I’d like to start out this part by quoting something on the cover;

“Yori, who can do anything, and Iku, who can’t do anything.”

I know it wasn’t the intention of the writer to interpret that like this, especially seeing as how later on in the synopsis she says that they both feel the same way about each other, but, to me, that line just reinforces everything that I’ve suspected about this relationship. Iku is a dependent and submissive little baby deer and Yori is independent and dominant. Iku “can’t do anything” without her big brother who “can do anything” there to prop her up. Without him, Iku feels like she’d be helpless.

Now onto the story. We’re finally here; the actual sex scene. This scene in the anime was pretty uncomfortable, but not horribly so, mostly because it was done and over with in a fairly short amount of time. Iku was very much scared, uncomfortable and embarrassed in it, but at the very least it didn’t seem too rapey like many of their other encounters.

Manga’s version? It feels like it’s quite a bit longer, and it technically is because there’s more here to go over. In the manga, the two have a bath together after a very very long scene of an incredibly embarrassed and nervous Iku trying to undress. Yori tries to do it for her, but she takes forever and a day to take off her panties and bra by herself, at first letting Yori watch and then forcing him to shut his eyes.

When they’re in the bathtub, a scene not present in the OVA, we get this unbelievably creepy exchange.

Iku: “Yori, when was the last time we ever took a bath together?”

Yori: “Around fifth grade, right?”

Iku: “Ah, really?”

Yori: “Cause that’s when you got your first period.”

Iku: “!!!!! Re-re-re-really?!” “I don’t remember that.”

..Yori remembers when Iku got her first period better than Iku…….ughghghghghghghghghgqqoeooierigqehiodiosdjklldsklpbbbbbbbbbbbttttttttttttt. Ya know, it’s not even so much that he knew that and moreso….considering how creepy we know he is in all things related to Iku…..and the creepy things he tends to do….……the creepy things he could’ve done….with…her….feminine….hygiene…..prod – NopenopenopenopenopenopeNOPENOPENONOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENONOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENONOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENONOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENONOPENOPENOPE NOPE.

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They start making out and as we get into the next chapter, we start off with Iku remembering when she first got her special monthly friend….ya know, the friend who punches you in the gut, eats all your food and passively-aggressively rips at you for a week before leaving. Iku asks her mom why this is happening to her and not Yori and she explains that such a thing can’t happen because she’s a girl and he’s a boy. And immediately after that flashback comes this weird stupidity.

Iku: “For the two of us who always did everything together, this was the first change to happen. I understand. That everything, everything….was for the sake of falling in love. Because Yori is a boy. And I am a girl.”

…………….This manga is giving me a headache. I must be missing something. I have to be missing something. Is she seriously saying that, biologically, her period was the tipping point of their love for each other because it forced her to understand that she and Yori were different? And on top of all of that….is she saying that they were destined to fall in love purely because one of them is a boy and the other is a girl? Boy, it sure is a good thing homosexuality doesn’t exist or no twin pairing or close in age siblings would be able to get through life without porking each other.

So, again, despite Iku asking him to stop a few times, Yori continues on with the kissing and the heavy petting and the other stuff you learned in that 1950’s film reel in health class. The sex goes on and….it’s fairly consensual barring the inner monologue from the two with Yori saying he’s fooling Iku and Iku supposedly saying she’s easily fooled. I think so anyway. They don’t do anything to the font of the inner monologue to know when one or the other is thinking.

Yori: “We committed a taboo.” Since I used up all my sarcasm in the anime version of this line, I’ll just give you a cut and dry ‘Well, no shit.’

As Yori wakes up, he finds Iku’s sleeping face all pure and seemingly oblivious to the weight of what they just did. Yori is struck with intense guilt, determined to beg God for all of the weight to be on his shoulders and for Iku to be free of any of it. He then apologizes for falling in love with her………MmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…..Mmmmmm No.

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Look, if they had handled this romance A LOT better, this would be a very touching scene. I’m happy that Yori is understanding, at least to some degree, what a huge piece of fecal matter he’s been as of late…..but Yori has been almost nothing but an incredibly creepy sexual predator. This is really too little much too late. Hindsight may be 20/20, but I’m not going to act like him being sexually frustrated, especially when he had an outlet, was his excuse for being like that. Never have I looked at this story so far and thought, “Aw, what a tragic romance.” I have, however, thought, “Yori needs a serious intervention before he rapes his sister.”

Iku wakes up in pain from being de-virginized, and then we get kinda awkwardness because Iku and Yori instantly revert to just acting like brother and sister again.

Some time passes and we get to Yori and Iku’s graduation ceremony where we get the most despicable fact about Yori so far; He SMOKES.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lXdyD2Yzls

After his graduation ceremony, he talks to his friend, Yano, on the roof and explains that he’s in an incestuous relationship with his sister. And, like before, Yano doesn’t really react much at all. He asks him why he told him his secret, though, an–

Yori: “There are times…..When I feel that my wanting to protect everything about me, and my feelings of wanting to destroy everything…have crossed paths.” Well, nice to know yet another insanely creepy red flag line crosses between manga to OVA.

Iku rushes in and we learn that Yori is still planning to go to the fancy boarding school in the other prefecture, despite his new relationship to Iku. After Iku has a temper tantrum at home, Yori gets her to calm down a bit by showing that he convinced their parents to buy her a puppy so she won’t be lonely when he’s gone. I will give him points for that; it’s a very nice gesture.

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As Iku and Yori talk, he explains that he still plans on leaving because he can’t be a couple with Iku where they live now. Too many people know them and recognize them. They can’t do anything couple-related in public for fear of being judged and persecuted. In this new prefecture, however, fewer, if any, people know who they are. They can eventually start over and be a real couple.

That still doesn’t make much sense. So, what, they move to this new place after a few years, become a real couple and somehow no one will ever discover that they’re twins? They’ll never visit their parents or friends? They’ll never get married? Have kids? They’ll change their last names?

He could stay where he is now, keep up this charade, and then when they’re college age they can run away and get new identities and leave everything behind to really be a true couple…Oh yeah, I forgot, he can’t control himself….

Iku suddenly decides that the dog’s name will be Yori. Because what else would it be? As she tries to get the dog to do some tricks, Yori grabs her by the hair and commands her to come see him…..well, that was a record of about eight pages without Yori being a creepy fuck. Congratulations.

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Also, doesn’t her visiting there kinda make this whole move moot? Are you going to introduce her to the people at school as your girlfriend? Are your parents never going to come see you at school?

They make out on the park bench as the puppy watches…..because….yeah, do that in public. It’s a great way to cap off a conversation that was explaining why Yori has to move because they can’t safely do any PDA in the area they currently live in. Make sure you’re under that street light so if anyone you know walks by they can see you clearly.

The next chapter skips ahead to Yori leaving for high school. Iku does her best to keep him from leaving and Yori’s thoughts also state that he lied to her before about the real reason for his leaving; making my previous rant somewhat pointless…..*cough* He brushes her off when she tries to hug his arm because he believes their parents will think there’s something weird about it, something I still don’t understand.

As Yori is about to leave, Iku struggles internally with watching him go, knowing there’s nothing she can do to stop him. Just as she’s about to try and tell Yori to stay, Tomoka comes out of nowhere and runs into his arms begging him to stay, all the while lightly smirking at Iku. As she paws at him trying to get him to stay, Iku starts to suffer greatly over the fact that she can’t say or do the things Tomoka is doing to try and get him to stay since it would be odd coming from her.

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Knowing that Iku is suffering, Yori decides that the only thing he can do to resolve the situation is to push Tomoka away and tell her to not get in the way of his last day with his family. In order to create a cover up, Yori hugs his dad, then gives his mom a hug and a kiss on the cheek and finally he hugs Iku and kisses her on the cheek. Despite Iku’s happiness at being able to hold him one more time, she recoils at the fact that this isn’t enough to really make her happy.

Yori leaves, and Iku sits in her room alone with only Inu-Yori keeping her company. She starts sobbing into her pillow and finds a note from Yori begging her not to cry.

Back with Yori, he slightly laughs at the fact that, despite him telling her not to cry, she probably will anyway. She’ll also probably say she’ll die of loneliness, which she does indeed say. Then he says he’s spoiled Iku a lot……uh….huh. He knows that they will meet again, so he tells himself again and again that he won’t be lonely like Iku. However, he starts crying realizing how much pain Iku must be in to be crying as much as she probably is.

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I don’t have much to note about this chapter, because it’s probably the best chapter so far. Yori’s being a bit bastardly in his telling Iku not to hug his arm and laughing at the thought of her crying and saying she’ll die, but both instances were made up for when Yori went out of his way to finally give her a hug and kiss and cries at the thought of her crying.

This might be too little too late, but this was the first chapter when I legitimately thought that they may actually be in love. I still think Iku’s just a bit confused, but there might be something within both of them that is legitimate love.

Tomoka’s scene was good but just seemed a little….OOC. Well, I have to assume anyway. I’ve never seen Tomoka possessive up until this point and her giving Iku smirks as she cuddled Yori and begged him not to leave, seemingly knowing that Iku was the one he was in love with, was a complete bitch move. I mean, she is a little too preoccupied with Yori, but if you offer yourself up to someone as a replacement for someone they love, how can you really be such a petty and possessive bitch?

What did she expect would happen anyway? Yori broke up with her ages ago and was never romantically interested anyway. Plus, like she knows, Yori already loves someone else. Did she expect him to just start shoving his tongue down her throat and agreeing to stay?

It’s at this point where the OVA ends. It only covers volumes 1-3 and technically it only covers half of three since there are still two chapters left in this volume. I’ll finish off volume three here since, well, might as well. However, the other seven volumes, yes, there are seven more volumes of this to go, will be regular manga reviews.

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At the start of the next chapter, we see that Yori is settling in to his new abode at his new school. Everyone’s clamoring over the new kid, praising him for being the only out-of-prefecture student to make it into their prestigious school. Tons of people are trying to be friendly to him, but Yori being Yori results in him being a dick to everyone, including his new roommate.

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As everyone quickly recoils away from this asshole, Yori gets a call in the lobby. It’s Iku, and she’s jonesin’ for her Yori fix. Not just to hear his voice but also to get a kiss on the lips through the phone, which is really just making kissing faces and pretending they’re kissing. This would be kinda sweet if not for the fact that Yori yells at her that she’s doing it wrong, especially with no way of seeing her.

After they play that stupid ‘I won’t hang up, you hang up’ crap, they finally end the call. However, Iku decides that she wants to keep talking to Yori so she calls him incessantly until Yori tells her to give the phone to their dad. He asks his dad to buy him a cell phone for his birthday since he can’t be running to the lobby every five seconds to answer her calls. Plus, that has to be insanely annoying for the other students to listen to since every call is announced over the PA system. He tells him to buy one for Iku as well and they finally end the call barrage.

As he hangs up, he looks behind him to see his dorm manager teasing him about his phone calls asking if he’s talking to his girlfriend then revising this to knowing he’s talking to his sister since he called her by name and apparently her information is in his file, which also makes this moving thing moot again. I’m not sure if this means he knows that Yori’s dating Iku, but it’s possible.

Later, Yori decides to call Iku despite the dorm manager telling him he’s not allowed to receive anymore calls unless it’s an emergency.

The final chapter of the volume starts Yori and Iku’s birthday. We get some kinda cute flashbacks of Yori being really caring and over protective of his sister, all leading up to a birthday picture where it seems like Yori and Iku started to not get along as well as they used to as children….and the reason why is….oh god.

Iku got her first period on their 11th birthday. And I’m really disturbed that I have to keep talking about Iku’s first departure into the red sea. This prompted their mother to not only announce that Iku’s now a woman, but that she’s ready for marriage. This makes Yori incredibly angry. When Iku walks out of the bathroom after having that special talk of ultimate awkwardness with her mother, Yori blows the fuck up at her asking how she could do such a thing and yelling that he doesn’t like Iku like this.

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After that, Yori started treating her differently, more coldly, picking on her more often and basically seeming to carry a grudge over simple biology that is entirely outside of her control. I guess because she ‘became a woman’ Yori started looking at her differently, though in such a way that made him angry for some reason. Maybe because this may seem like the start of her pursuing romantic relationships with guys that don’t share her DNA? After this, 11 year old Yori internally proclaims that once he turns 16 he’ll be able to ‘take Iku with (him)” whatever that’s supposed to insinuate.

I get that he’s an 11 year old boy who doesn’t understand what’s happening to her, but Iku is clearly freaked the hell out by this event and all Yori can think about is a completely irrational fear or betrayal or whatever is going on in his screwed up brain that feels like Iku is doing this on purpose to hurt his feelings. I’m sure the one thing every girl wants to hear from their close-knit brother when they’re going through the confusing time of getting their first visit from that special friend from hell is “HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN!? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?! I DON’T LIKE YOU LIKE THIS!” *proceeds to be a putrid dickwad for five years*

Ya know….this might actually be telling. Maybe it was this insane reaction and Yori’s subsequent emotional separation from Iku after this that made her not want to explore anything romantic or sexual, essentially making her ripe for the picking when Yori started to do those things with her. Iku, subconsciously or not, took her ‘becoming a woman’ as a bad event that happened in her life since it caused her to basically lose Yori more or less. Now, with him caught up physically, he actually likes the woman aspect of her and has accepted her with open arms (and more). So she might be using that to her advantage in keeping her brother with her as much as possible since she’s so scared to death of losing him…..

Don’t mind me, just trying to get some mileage out of my psych degree…..

Anyway, Iku is awoken to birthday wishes from her family and they present her with the phone that Yori told them to get. Jeez, he tells them to her a puppy, they do so without question. He tells them to get her and him cell phones for their birthday and they do so without question. Do they just do whatever Yori wants or do they have so much money that they just don’t care?

She’s unable to reach Yori’s cell phone, however, since he probably hasn’t gotten it through the mail yet. Her parents leave for work and she instantly decides to take all of her savings and go to visit Yori, through her paltry piggy bank money….and yes, she used legit piggy bank money. There’s just barely enough to take the long way with Inu-Yori. As she’s on her way, she bumps into Yano who buys her some chocolate to give to Yori as a birthday present since she spent too much of her money to get one herself. He decides that he’s going to tag along to visit Yori as well.

Meanwhile, Yori, after buying his dorm manager cigarettes and teaching him how to smoke (Yori, you’re a big enough douche without creating more smokers in the world) buys a diamond ring with clover designs as Iku’s birthday present since diamonds are the gemstones of Aries and clovers because of that stupid wordplay Yori mentioned in volume two. Though I’m more certain he bought this diamond ring because such rings are, you guessed it, meant for marriage. He buys it and puts it in a special box that reads “Only heart”.

Meanwhile, with Yori and Iku’s dad, his colleagues are clamoring over pictures of the twins stating that they seem nothing alike, which is odd for two people born under the same astrological sign. As our big cliffhanger of the volume, their dad reveals that the reason for their differences is because they don’t share the same astrological sign. They were born on different dates.

Dun….dun….dunn?

Ya know, technically, twins can be born on separate dates. Labor takes a long time. It’s possible for Yori to be born one day and Iku the next, especially if the delivery took place late at night. I know the real reason behind this revelation, but the reader wouldn’t know at this point.

Overall:

ROUND THREE AND OVERALL ANIMANGA CLASH WINNER: ANIME

Yup, the anime managed to knock out the manga in all three rounds. Congrats, OVA! You’re not quite as creepy and “get my rape-whistle”-y as the manga.

In regards to this volume in particular, the sex scene was much less uncomfortable in the OVA. They don’t include the bath scene or the talks about Iku’s bloody Sunday, thank you very much, and the scenes of Iku scared out of her mind while preparing for the act also seem much shorter in the OVA.

This is the tipping point because almost everything else that the OVA included was the same. I will admit that Iku’s inner turmoil at Tomoka’s teasing BS was better in the manga and the comedic reactions to Yori leaving weren’t so far out of left field in the manga since comedic moments have been long since established here when they never were in the anime. However, that doesn’t make up for much.

Final tally:

What the manga does better:

Establishes comedy as a facet of the series instead of chucking it in at the very end.

……Uhhhh….wow, is that it?

I guess the manga also includes more in regards to story and development, but almost all of these scenes should be taken as negatives because they either make Yori look like a creepy as hell near-rapist even more than he already did in the anime, or they simply don’t add anything of worth to the overall story.

What the anime does better:

Yori’s much less creepy and frightening (he still is as such, but not as much).

The uncomfortable scenes feel much shorter than the manga’s.

The arrangement of the timeline is much better (we’re not suddenly thrown into bro on sis tongue battle)

In the art department, the art is damn near identical, and the OVA has many scenes that are basically taken beat by beat from the manga. I guess we can call this a plus for the OVA, though there are some glaring animation errors that nearly cost it this mention.

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In the end, the OVA may still be an awful sewage smoothie, but I’d gladly watch that five times over than read these three volumes of manga ever again. I am just amazed at how horrible of a person Yori is and just how creepy and unhealthy this relationship really is. It’s like it’s nearly impossible for writers to write an incestuous relationship without one or the other being a complete asshole who is obviously toxic.

Then again, I can’t take a sigh of relief. I still have seven volumes of this crap to review.

Next volume, Iku and Yano arrive at Yori’s place. And what is the true impact behind Yori and Iku not sharing the same birthday? Why do their parents pretend like they do?

Amon (Manga) Volume 3 Review

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Plot: Satan is missing, Silene is captured and Amon is on a mission to find Satan and kill him. What is the true story behind the strange man who merged with Amon?

Breakdown: Not gonna lie here, guys. I wasn’t feeling this volume very much.

It starts off in a very odd place, I suppose quite a bit of time after the events of volume two. Silene has been captured, off panel, by a bunch of demons who seem in awe of her beauty, especially an unnamed demon whose body looks strikingly similar to Miko’s. In fact, this demon, who I guess I’ll just refer to as Demiko (demon Miko; I’m so clever) since she’s not given a name, wants to do everything in her power to be as beautiful as Silene since the whole reason she looks the way that she does is because she was merged against her will.

Amon telepathically frees Silene before the angels can purify them, at least I think that’s what’s going on, and while Silene stays behind, Demiko runs off to a different dimension thing where she meets Amon.

Silene, caught again, is about to be purified when the angels merge into one to reveal Satan. With Silene’s call, Amon arrives on site. “Satan” is actually an amalgamation of the demons, taking that form to trick Silene into accepting the merging and purification, but Amon saves her. She states that she called out for Satan, but Amon reveals that he was the only one who received her signal.

Amon starts breaking down the world around them, claiming that he wants to take back the world and make it free again. As he proclaims his goal, he transforms into the full Amon devil form.

Silene has an identity crisis, and is set straight by Amon, but she falters yet again when Satan returns with his army of demons to be with her and save the demon race. But just as she’s about to reunite with Satan, Amon rips one of her wings off. Silene, distraught, starts to battle Amon, only to have him stop her in mid-battle to show her that all of the demons and Satan were illusions created by her heart…because she can do that I guess. Silene’s injury was a fake as well. Silene asks Amon why he forsakes Satan so harshly and he says ‘I don’t know, I just don’t like the guy.’….Welp. That was some kind of motivational reveal.

Satan shows up….again.

fool me once futurama

Oh wait, this time he’s totes for real, and he’s gearing up for some tasty backstory. IE, the only interesting part of the volume. We learn that Amon is the first demon god, but his power rivaled God’s so God sealed him away in that sphere. In an effort to ensure that no being like Amon ever existed again, God created the demons a second time…

……Uh….Huh…..

Air tight plan, there G-man. Seal Amon away, fine, but revive demons….for the sake of never having another Amon appear again? Hey, you never want to see another demon god? Don’t make one! Problem solved. Demons can’t make themselves, but they can be created and God is one of few beings with such power. It makes zero sense to revive the demons for this purpose, especially since all demons have the ability to merge with one another making themselves immensely more powerful. Hell, the demons all melding together now and in Devilman keep causing the world to end. Also, this ability is what allowed the man to merge with Amon to begin with, allowing Amon to return to the world. Your plan has more holes in it than the Guinness world record holder for most body piercings.

But that’s not all.

We also learn who the odd man born to the silenes really is. God felt threatened when Satan went to earth so he ripped some of Satan’s power from him. However, it wasn’t destroyed. It was instead made into another living being; that which being the silene man. In essence, the man is Satan’s shadow. I don’t have as much of a problem with this, though I am confused beyond all reason as to why God didn’t destroy this power. Why turn it into a silene-like creature when Satan could realize what he is and find him in the future? God created Satan, he should be able to completely destroy at least some of his power.

Amon punches him in frustration, showing the power that the two of them have when they’re combined as they’re instantly transported into a negative void-like world for a bit. Satan states that he hates God’s world since it’s filled with peace and tranquility, so he wants to fill the world with pain and misery. He wants to experience the fullness of life with all of his power, so he calls Amon back to him. Amon won’t go quietly, though, and stabs him in the forehead with his tail, causing mass destruction around them.

When the dust settles, Amon asks if his true intention is to rule the world as king of the demons, but Satan implies that he’ll kill all demons due to them taking life for granted. Satan sheds his wings and says he forsakes God entirely and wishes to cling to the earth he fell to. This pisses Amon off and they start wrastlin’. Satan claims that the power Amon shows just proves that he’s no demon, but Amon says he doesn’t care because he is himself and that’s all that matters. At this revelation, we get this page.

 

 

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What the hell is this? I was under the impression that these two volumes were prequels, but they’re sequels? How? I thought Satan died. Did he get a reboot? Is this one of those ‘didn’t show it, so don’t blame us for what you believe from implications’ moments? Once God had Satan where he wanted him, he really let him go back to the way he was before and go doing the same crap all over again? Why? I don’t understand this at all; did I miss something between volumes one and two? Is that a memory or a vision? I might be more understanding if it’s a vision, but it really seems like it’s a memory.

Whispering Akira’s name, Satan falls. Amon leaves and Silene flies away with Satan, end volume.

Most of this volume was stuff that I cared little about or was just completely pointless. Hell, Demiko didn’t even do anything. She never even got a name. She’s just kinda there to fill in spectator dialogue. She might be Silen, the first bad guy that Devilman fought, but I assumed that she was…..Silene….wait, I’m even more confused now. Kaim, Silen’s lover/friend from Devilman, is also there. I didn’t mention him because he doesn’t matter outside of kinda mirroring the scene he shared with Silen in Devilman.

It takes until the final two chapters for anything interesting to happen and all of it is confusing as sin (pun not intended) or seemingly stupid. Maybe I am missing something. Maybe all of this will make more sense in the next volume, but I just left this feeling confused and unsatisfied, bordering on bored.

Rating: 5/10

Recommended Audience: I believe the groin area is getting less censored now. Nothing horribly graphic, but you can now see full outlines of genitals instead of shadows all the time. Other than that, same as the other volumes. 16+

Alien Nine Review

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Rating: 7.5/10

Plot: Aliens invaded the earth some time ago and now schools are tasked with selecting three people from each class to be Alien Fighters. The Alien Fighters are given borgs, frog-like aliens with wings and drill-like cables that sit on their heads and act like their protectors. Yuri Otani, the world’s biggest friggin’ crybaby on the face of the planet, is selected as being one of the three Alien Fighters for her class because I guess they just wanted to pawn the job off on her along with Kumi, a strong independent fighter who is seen as the mature one in the group, and Kasumi, who couldn’t be more excited to have the job. While much of their job is seen as busywork, the aliens do pose a threat far greater than what you’d imagine.

Breakdown: This is a short four episode OVA and I gotta say this is one of those shows that starts off rocky but ends up leaving you wanting so much more.

I first thought this series to be some parody of alien apocalypse anime. I mean, come on. Logistically, this makes no sense. Aliens invade and instead of military involvement, police or anything, they assign three kids from various elementary school classes to take care of aliens who roam around the school grounds armed with rollerblades and said borgs.

Also, they’re not allowed to kill the aliens. Well, they are allowed, but they’re strongly urged to merely tranquilize the alien and bring it into some pen at school. The reasoning is that they’re living beings too and they should respect their lives, but when they’re the ones trying to kill you; well, they obviously don’t respect your life so….

However, when a borg senses that their master is getting too scared of the threat and believes that they will die, the borg freaks out and kills the threat. Guess who sets this action off….twice. Just guess.

I suppose that’s as good of a lead-in as ever for the character bios. Yuri is our main character, and I swear to god if you thought Shinji from Evangelion was a whiny twat, you’ve never seen Yuri. She does nothing….and I mean nothing….but whimper and cry and say she’s scared. 99.9% of her screentime is that. I’m not even kidding.

You may see her smile once or twice, but it’s that awkward smile where your brow is still furrowed and it seems like you’re fake smiling to fit in. Even when she’s not on alien duty, even before she got picked, even when she’s just having fun on summer vacation with her friends, she was a whiny little cry baby.

I give Shinji and Yuri some leeway because they’re kids who were thrown into very dangerous situations and told to fight aliens who may very well kill them and their friends. However, there’s only so far I can go with that, and Yuri crosses that line so, so, so much. Considering she was this way before she even got selected, I give her even less leeway.

What’s worse is that, by the end, she’s not much better. She watches one of her friends getting attacked and does jack about it because she’s too busy whimpering. The only reason she does whatever minut thing she does at the very end is because Kumi was quite literally holding her hand.

She’s such a detriment to the team that I really wonder why no one will let her quit or even just purposely kick her off the team. The only times she ever gets anything done is when her borg tries to protect her and sometimes kills the enemy when she gets too freaked. Give Shinji some credit, at least he fought when he had to most of the time.

I loved the crap out of Kumi because she was the only one willing to be completely blunt about how much of a crybaby Yuri is. She’s a little cold, but she lightens up by the end.

Kasumi was pretty okay in the first half, but working my nerves in the second because of how happy-peppy she is and how she constantly says “NYA!”

Miyu, Yuri’s best friend, was also a good character though she had little in terms of personality.

While this show started out seemingly lighthearted, especially considering the artwork, it gets pretty damn dark, particularly the final episode. I was pretty surprised by the sudden turnaround from “being an alien fighter means you get to skip homework!” to sudden alien massacre, psychological warfare and conspiracies.

I won’t spoil the ending, but it is a great advertisement to read the manga. That’s basically what this is – just a sneak peak into the manga because we learn quite literally nothing of what’s actually going on.

We don’t know who’s sending the aliens, why the teacher and principal seem to have something to do with it, why they seem to have borg-hair, why the Yellow Knife was sent, what he meant by “It was your fault” and, I’m going to give two major spoilers here, so fair warning;

but at the very end, we don’t know if the Kasumi we see is actually Kasumi or something the alien made and we see that Kumi, during the end credits no less, suddenly got attacked by something and supposedly murdered in the library. What the hell happened to her? And why was she on alien duty anyway if her borg was out of commission?

End of spoilers.

The reason I took points off was for that ending and for Yuri. She is one of the most annoying anime characters I’ve ever seen. If they made her grow some semblance of a pair near the end, it wouldn’t have been as bad, but nope.

I plan on reading the manga because ‘m really interested to know what happened, so here’s hoping the manga does explain it.

Art and Animation: The art is………good, barring the faces of the people. They have huge eyes, which is usually fine, but they’re even big for anime standards. The eyes themselves also don’t look well-drawn, they’re craggy and awkward. They have small noses when seen from the front, but when you look at them from the side, no noses. Their ears are also friggin’ huge. Barring that, however, the art is pretty good and the animation is very well done.

Music: The ending theme was nice, the OP was forgettable. Nothing much to say about the BGM.

Voice Acting: EnglishEveryone was great in their roles, even whiny Yuri. I will say I was distracted by Rachel Lillis, the voice of Misty from Pokemon, playing Miyu. Veronica Taylor, Ash and May from Pokemon, also plays their teacher, Megumi, but I honestly didn’t catch on that that was her. Miyu was sporting Misty’s voice clearly, however. I really only note this because I found it funny that Rachel Lillis, who plays Misty, was playing in an anime with a character named Kasumi. Kasumi is Misty’s Japanese name.

Bottomline: At four episodes, it’s definitely worth a watch, but Yuri was seriously pushing it with her whining and crying. It does end with a lot of questions left unanswered and even has an actual cliffhanger that basically forces you to read the manga.

Additional Information and Notes: Alien Nine was based on a manga written by Hitoshi Tamizawa, though he doesn’t seem to have anything to do with this OVA. The OVA itself was directed by Yasuhiro Irie, director of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Code:Breaker, and Jiro Fujimoto who directed some episodes of Wagnaria!!3, Samurai 7, Kaze no Stigma and The Familiar of Zero. It was written by Murai Sadayuki, who also wrote the screenplay for Steamboy, the script for Perfect Blue and even some episodes of Cowboy Bebop.

Alien Nine was produced by JC Staff, and is currently licensed in the US by Central Park Media.

Year: 2001-2002

Episodes: 4

Recommended Audience: Some dark themes, blood, blood and gore on the alien’s side (meaning pea-soup green gore and blood) a little nudity, but you don’t see anything, technically. It is full frontal, but they do the Sailor moon thing with it. No nips, no naughty bits. No sex, some swearing here and there, but no f-bombs. 14+

AniManga Clash! Boku Wa Imouto Ni Koi o Suru (Volume 2)

Boku wa vol 2 title

Plot: Yori and Iku have a falling out after Iku learns that Yori has slept with her friend Tomoka, who was being a stand-in for Iku in order for Yori to have a sexual outlet for his feelings. Iku starts dating a guy that has had a crush on her, Nakamura, in retaliation, but Yori won’t stand for another guy touching Iku. When the tensions come to a boil, Iku forces Yori to a love motel in order to know him in the same way that Tomoka got to, but will they really let this taboo reach a head?

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I obviously ran into some trouble designing this week’s poster. I’m actually a little ashamed of it. See, I figured with clashes that went volume by volume I’d use the starter pic of each volume for the poster and find a matching or similar shot from the anime to go with it. I figured Yori and Iku never go to a summer festival, use fireworks or have this pose in either the manga’s canon or the OVA, but surely I can find a picture of the two of them smiling right next to each other……No. No I can’t.

I know I’ve already gone on and on about how miserable this show/manga is, but I never realized that there is an insane lack of any shots involving Yori and Iku smiling in the OVA, let alone smiling together in the same shot. They laugh once in the train, but I couldn’t use that because it’s a closeup panning shot. That was the only time they ever seemed happy together.

How horribly mismanaged is a romance anime where the main characters are never shown being happy together? Even in tragic romances there are plenty of moments where the main characters are smiling and laughing together. Even in the Star Wars prequels, with the most chemistry-less couple of Anakin and Padme, there were several shots of them smiling and being happy together.

All of the shots of them have their expressions in one of two modes: angry or crying. Or Yori’s default expression – the angry rapist pout.

Because of this, I had to settle for one of the few shots that at least has them in a similar pose. I hope I have better luck in volume three.

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Nice to know that really stupid thing with the ‘Clover=c-lover=She is a lover’ thing is also in the original manga.

 

This volume starts out with Yori and Iku actually deciding to be lovers. Iku can’t stand the thought of losing Yori, so she decides to give into his feelings, which Yori gladly accepts. They’re enjoying the sights of the church that their parents got married in and they decide, hoo boy, what a great spot to have incestuous sex. I know this is in the OVA too, but holy crap is that a stupid decision.

Also nice that the pretentious and overbearing ‘God is watching us through the angel statues’ scene is kept. So, yeah, Iku calls it all off since God is watching them do it and Yori accepts her decision. However, his intense jealousy starts coming out when a long time classmate, Nakamura, expresses interest in Iku.

Hair sniffs: 7

Iku doesn’t pay him much mind, and actually seems to be increasingly lusting after Yori as well when he initiates more foreplay. Their advances continue to get jilted by the presence of their parents, but Yori stays insistent on sealing the deal with Iku and suggests they find a place, even a love hotel, to go to soon. She’s still very shaken by the close call, however, and worries that their parents ever finding out will mean them being separated forever. Tensions are very uneasy between the two the next day, and they come to a head when she discovers that Yori has slept with his girlfriend, Iku’s friend Tomoka. Enraged, she later decides to start dating Nakamura.

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A couple of things to note so far; to a degree, Yori does admit that he’s a terrible person…..but that doesn’t stop him from continuing to be terrible.

Yori is really violent when people even get a little close to Iku or if they make the slightest crude comment in her direction. He is more than adamant about not letting any guy ever be her boyfriend or, worse, having sex with her. They dedicate a whole splash page to him yelling internally that it would be completely unforgivable for such a thing to happen.

We get a flashback of why Yori is dating Tomoka in the first place. She had a crush on Yori for a long time and continuously tried to get him to accept her feelings, but he wouldn’t. When she finally realized that he liked another girl, she decided to offer herself up as a substitute. Yori, filled with sexual tension and no outlet besides his handy dandy hand, decides to accept Tomoka’s offer and they go to a love hotel to have sex. The whole time, Yori is imagining doing everything to Iku and sadly admits that doing it with a substitute isn’t enough nor is trying to love someone else in Iku’s place. But he continued to date her for release and possibly to keep up appearances.

He doesn’t even get through this sex scene without being creepy. He clasps his hand over Tomoka’s mouth to prevent her from making noise since he knows hearing her voice and not Iku’s will ruin the illusion. Tomoka’s doing this of her own free will, so to each his own, but still.

Back to the present, Nakamura and Tomoka decide to have lunch with Iku and start talking about the physical stuff Tomoka and Yori have been doing. Yori interrupts them just as Tomoka starts explaining what Yori’s like in bed. Ya know, even if they weren’t romantically involved, who wants to talk to their lover’s sister about how good their brother is in bed? He tells her to knock it off since he broke up with her and that he has a girl he likes, one that is the only one for him.

He turns his attention to Nakamura, who has done absolutely nothing, and grabs him by the shirt. Nakamura calls Yori ‘Big brother’ I guess because he either sees him that way as a long time classmate or because he’s dating Iku, and Yori tells him if he ever calls him that again, he’ll kill him. I have no doubt he would really keep that promise. Yori grasps Iku’s hand so hard when he’s yelling at Nakamura that he visibly hurts her.

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After this, he drags her into the science room, plops her on the floor with her begging him to stop and he just tells her to shut up and starts forcibly kissing her again.

Possible continued emotional manipulation; Yori says he can’t and won’t stop pursuing her, because if he let her go, he’d die. Like I mentioned before, on an emotional level, Iku’s main role in this relationship is fueled by her fear of losing Yori if she doesn’t respond to his advances. Saying he’ll die if he can’t be with Iku is a really extreme way of instilling that fear even further.

Also, is he even really serious? Because going to a faraway school and planning on likely never seeing Iku again is basically purposely ‘letting go’ of her. Unless he was going off to some fancy school to die.

After Yori and Iku talk some more, they make up and Iku even starts initiating some of the kissing before they nearly get caught and stop.

Oh, by the way, for anyone patting Iku on the back for dating someone else after all this, she was only pretending to date Nakamura for the sake of pissing off Yori as retaliation for him dating Tomoka. She is such a passive sack of useless.

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Yori, I really think you have a problem.

Oh goody, now we’re getting to some Iku creepiness. We see Iku giggling and learn that she’s super excited because Yori said he’d die without her and only her, then she flips because the same can be said of her.

Being reminded of Tomoka, she drags Yori away to a love hotel and begs him to have sex with her, to make him hers, and to allow her to know him in a way that Tomoka knows him. Yori actually doesn’t want to have sex in the love hotel because he wants their first time to be in some place romantic and special…..Pbbbbbbtttttt Yori, what are you smoking? You delusional liar. He’s damn near had sex with her in –

  • a church,
  • their bunk beds
  • the shower
  • their bunk beds again
  • a train
  • the bathroom
  • a science lab.

I’m pretty sure he’d plow her behind a dumpster at a Taco Bell up until this point. NOW he’s all picky and worried about making it special for her?

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To be fair, she is actually the one initiating everything and Yori does ask her many times if she wants him to stop and she keeps saying ‘no.’….However, I am still very uneasy about this scene. She’s still very scared, which I suppose is normal for any soon-to-be-not-virgin, but I still feel like she’s just doing this to stake a claim on Yori. Like she still feels threatened by Tomoka possibly taking Yori away because they’ve had sex and Iku hasn’t done it with Yori yet. She likely sees it as Tomoka having a higher claim on Yori than she does, and she won’t have that. I’m not even reading too much into that either because she basically admits that as the reason. She’s jealous that Tomoka had sex with Yori so she wants to have sex in the same type of location doing the same things they did. That’s not having sex for love, that’s having sex for possessiveness.

In the end:

ROUND TWO WINNER: ANIME

I was really on the fence about this volume’s winner. The only major point of difference is the inclusion of Nakamura. Iku never gave a crap about Nakamura and was purely using him for the sake of making Yori jealous so that went nowhere. The whole thing with Yori and Tomoka and Iku and Nakamura at this point really just seems to be accentuating how frighteningly possessive Yori is, which just makes him look worse.

Yori really was bad enough in the OVA, but he cannot go one chapter without either thinking something incredibly creepy, doing something frightening or forcibly molesting his sister. He only had a couple of these instances in the OVA due to time constraints, so, by all means, the anime wins this round.

Next volume, do Yori and Iku do the do at the love hotel?

AniManga Clash! Boku Wa Imouto Ni Koi o Suru (Volume 1)

Boku wa Imouto vol 1 title

Plot: Yori has been harboring a secret his entire life; he’s desperately in love with his twin sister, Iku. One night, he finds he cannot control himself anymore and kisses her on the lips in her sleep. He starts to go further with his desires and quickly finds her awakening to the shocking and confusing feeling of her brother molesting her body. He declares his love of her and tries time and again to prod her into a physical relationship and falling for him as he has her. Obviously, the taboo and utter confusion is a lot for Iku to bear, but under the threat of losing her brother forever if she doesn’t reciprocate, she decides to slowly start giving into him.

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Geez, why did this manga show up on my radar so soon? For those who haven’t read the anime review yet, let me sum it up; Iku’s a doormat, Yori’s a creepy emotionally manipulative rapist and, spoiler alert, incest is a social and religious taboo.

I can still see the fumes from my anime review. And hoo boy the manga is not anywhere near better so far.

The manga actually starts out with Yori molesting his sister in her sleep, which is a major mistake to me and something the OVA actually has over the manga. In the anime, there was buildup to him eventually giving into his lust. Here, we’re just thrown into it. Also, he basically jumped Iku during an argument when this happened in the OVA, which is bad, but not as bad making out with her and groping her boobs as she sleeps.

Yori sniffs Iku’s used bath water. Just throwing that out there.

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After Yori makes out with Iku in her sleep and she wakes up, he throws his love declarations at her and starts to force her into sex. This is all within chapter ONE.

Well, at least he admits his screwed up feelings to her right off the bat…..not like he could avoid it after she wakes up with bro-tongue in her mouth.

Just like in the anime, Iku is giving in to his romantic advances because she feels lonely without her brother. It’s a fear of losing him not love that is fueling her romantic responses. Made all the worse by the fact that Yori seems to give a vague threat at what he’d do without her. Implications can go anywhere from him simply leaving to him killing himself.

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Yori admits to Iku early on that he’s dating Tomoka and even pushes his and Tomoka’s relationship further to combating Iku’s jealous behaviors and to avoid suspicions of them being together. So, nice, Yori. You force yourself on your sister, basically trap her into a romantic entanglement and then blow up your relationship to another girl to push Iku away and make yourself look better to other people. You truly are an asshole. And a coward.

At this, Iku gets upset and Yori’s only reaction is to smirk in shadow congratulating himself since this is seemingly proof that Iku really likes him now. So is the manga just accepting that Yori is a creepy fuck who is manipulating his sister and being an overall asswipe?

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Yori: *in class afterwards to Iku* “Why are you sulking? Why are you being so much trouble?” Why are you such a vile bag of anus?

*later, at home, right as Iku’s about to get in the bath* *Yori corners her by slamming his arms around her to the wall* Yori: “I can’t forgive you. You don’t have any right to ignore me.” Iku, run the fuck away. Get as far away from this emotionally puppeteering fungus as you can. Please.

More forced kissing….with looming threat of their mom coming in. She even says ‘No’ and he forces her to keep kissing….

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Yori: “I’d rather put a collar on you.” Eh, BDSM stuff is nothing given the subject mat–

“You wouldn’t be able to run anywhere. Nobody would take you anywhere. Definitely stay by my side *sniffs hair*” RUN THE FUCK AWAY, IKU. WHILE HE STILL HASN’T GONE TO PETSMART!

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Iku: “Mom, can’t I help you with something!?”

Mom: “What? You must be feeling bad all of a sudden!”

Dad: “I’ll stop giving you allowance!” Your daughter wants to help you with stuff and you threaten to take away her allowance? What is this household? Why is everyone crazy?

Iku is saying this because Yori freaked her out with that collar talk and hair sniffing, so Yori gets upset that Iku is getting upset and marches off to his room. Oh wow. What a surprise that the sister you just sprung your romantic feelings on and you’ve been playing emotional Jenga with for a few days is having difficulty acting normal about you kissing other girls, forcibly kissing her with your mother mere feet away, and criticizing her kissing technique to boot, threatening to keep her on a literal leash and sniffing her hair on more than one occasion. What a weirdo IKU is.

Okay, I really need to make a ‘Yori sniffing Iku’s hair’ tally, because he does it a disturbing amount of times. I’ll assume it’s up to at least five by now.

Hair sniffs: 5

Yori: *while getting it on with Iku “Because I love you….I can’t make myself stop.” I think that’s one of the official credoes of rapists.

Yori: “This time, I definitely won’t let you run away.” Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

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“If you really say ‘no’ this time, I won’t stay by your side. I don’t want to hurt you.” Proof that Yori is manipulating Iku based on her dependence on him. She can’t stand the thought of not being with Yori to the point where she’ll fake being romantically interested in him to keep him around. Her jealousy with Tomoka earlier was, like I said in the OVA review, moreso her jealousy that Tomoka is threatening to take Yori away not that she’s a romantic rival.

Also, all of this culminating together, he’s basically saying he’s leaving if Iku doesn’t return his feelings, because he’s afraid he’ll rape her. Because “he’s at his limit”. So this is, literally, word for word what I said about him in my anime review. He’s more in lust with Iku than he is in love.

He seriously told Iku to lose some weight? She’s a flimsy shoujo stick. Putting this in the ‘more emotional manipulation’ jar.

There she goes sleeping with Yori for the sake of keeping him from not going to the faraway school. She wasn’t really considering it before the news hit, and the whole time she’s panicking over her fear of being alone.

And, like before, the sex scene is very awkward because she keeps panicking and seeming very scared, even implying in inner monologue that if she didn’t do it with him, he’d leave, insinuating that she’s doing this purely to keep him around. It’s even more uncomfortable that he’s giving her orders while they’re in foreplay.

Admittedly, she does imply in her thoughts that she’s getting hot and sexually responsive, but that really could just be simple biology. An attractive guy is half naked and making out with her. I’m not sure if the Westermarck effect stands firm in tamping down sexual attraction if said person is initiating sexual contact. I’d think, in spite of the blood and emotional/childhood connections, the body would respond to the stimulation either way. Also, keep in mind, Iku seems to be new to all of this. Yori just stole her first kiss and I doubt she’s ever tried self-pleasure methods.

Shall we keep powering through this sex scene? To Yori’s credit, Yori says the sex doesn’t mean anything if Iku doesn’t love him, but also ignores her repeatedly saying ‘no!’ and ‘stop!’ which already turns this into a rape, and he actually says ‘I understand that she’s scared.’ I understand that my sister is scared and completely uncomfortable at my sexual advances, but I’ve waited long enough for this so imma keep going.

Let’s get more uncomfortable; “I can’t stop. I won’t stop. Reason has left me. I’m running on instinct. Even if Iku is crying….I’m probably a really cruel guy. Even though Iku’s face looks like this (scared out of her mind and crying) I think that she looks more and more cute. Iku….are you scared? She’ll definitely say ‘I’m scared’ with that sweet voice. It will make me more passionate. More of that sweet voice. I want to see more of her sweet face. Even if she says ‘I’m scared’ I’ll probably continue.

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WHY DOES ANYONE THINK THIS SERIES IS ROMANTIC OR SWEET? This is CREEPY. This is FRIGHTENING. This is A CREEPY RAPIST RAPING HIS TERRIFIED SISTER.

And you know what else? Iku actually says she’s not afraid and Yori stops because he knows she’s not being sincere. And he’s right. She said it, of her own admission, because it’s what he wanted to hear.

My problem is that he was getting more and more pent up the more scared she looked and the more she cried. The instant she smiled and accepted him that’s when he went soft and stopped altogether. Some people might say that’s because Yori legitimately wants Iku to love him before they do such a thing, and I think even I gave him props for that in the OVA review, but given all of the inner monologue we got in the manga, I’d actually say it seems more like he was disappointed that the situation went from a near rape to consensual. Especially with that line of saying he’ll get more passionate if he her hears her say she’s scared.

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You could argue that he just wanted to hear her voice, but considering he stopped because of her accepting it, that can’t be true. What’s the matter, Yori? Her smiling face with open arms not as sexy as her frightened face with her arms crossed and tears running down her face? Her ‘sweet voice’ saying ‘No, I’m not scared. Do it.’ not as much of a turn on as ‘No! Stop! I’m scared’? You are a seriously creepy son of a bitch, Yori.

Also, this is proof that he can indeed control himself. He just doesn’t want to.

Yori: “Hurry up and love me, idiot.” Hurry up and fall down a flight of stairs, you creeper.

Hair Sniffs; 6

He sticks his finger in Iku’s mouth then licks the spit off it….ughughghghg.

Alright, near the end of the volume, Iku starts acting more like she’s legitimately falling for Yori, but I’m still kinda calling foul because much of her inner monologue seems to focus on how she’s getting turned on by Yori through his scent and whatnot. That coupled with her desire to never leave him might be construed as love, but I’m not really buying it.

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I still believe Iku’s just gotten to a point where she’s confused biological lust and a fear of being separated from her brother with romantic love. In pretty much any other situation, this might be fine. Typical teenager discovering her sexuality and learning about herself, but in this situation, given how forceful and manipulative Yori is and the possible ramifications of their relationship, this can be much more damaging than usual. At least it’s technically more consensual now, but given how the relationship started, I can’t ignore how unhealthy this situation is.

ROUND ONE WINNER: ANIME

Yeah the anime actually wins this round because it had a better start in building up tension, the art is basically identical and somehow I actually think Yori is less creepy in the OVA at this point than manga!Yori is. At least his first sexual advance on Iku was when she was conscious…..

Part 2: Yori and Iku fight, Iku finds herself a boyfriend after finding out Yori has slept with her friend Tomoka and things continue to be creepy.

Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01 Volume 2 (Manga) Review

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Plot: Taichi and Zero are well on their way to collecting all of the tags. They enter a strange castle of nightmares protected by the Perfect Digimon, Vamdemon, who tries to turn Zero against Taichi. Taichi shows off his ability to uplink data collected from previous battles to have a competition with a local Starmon. And Taichi meets an incredibly powerful new foe; a human tamer with two digivices named Neo Saiba, the reigning Digimon champion who is now siding with Demon.

Breakdown: Let’s get the connections to the anime out of the way; Patamon appears, but is really a Bakemon in disguise.

Myotismon is one of the tag protectors.

Starmon appears, obsessed with being famous.

Devimon, Ogremon, Greymon and MetalGreymon are all Neo’s Digimon, with Greymon/MetalGreymon seemingly being his intended partner.

Fusion is introduced here, called Jogress Evolution.

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With that out of the way, let’s go on to the story. We’re getting a bit further out of the whole ‘Taichi meets a guardian, battles him and pulls a win out of his ass over and over’ trope that was growing old in volume one. While Taichi and Zero do defeat Vamdemon fairly easily because, pretty much, the power of friendship, they struggle with him much more than the other two guardians.

Zero and Taichi’s bond really does get a lot of highlight in this volume as it saves their asses on more than one occasion, especially in the very end in their battle against Neo Saiba, but it does seem kinda tropey sometimes like Zero going over his maximum analyzed power level because he wants to protect Taichi.

Neo as a character is hard to compare to any character from the anime. I guess you might say he’s an amalgamation of early-series Ruki and Ken, with a touch of Vegeta and Kaiba from DBZ and YGO respectively. Neo Saiba is the reigning Digimon champ with a 100% win rate like Taichi. He was the winner of the competition that Taichi couldn’t enter in the start of volume one, though Taichi still challenged him because he had a 100% win rate. The match ended up in a tie with both being announced the winner, something supposedly impossible due to how the game works. Despite claiming it’s a mere program error, Neo wants to take his revenge against Taichi and prove himself as the strongest tamer.

Neo has not shown any inkling of deserving sympathy here so far. His desire to beat Taichi is petty, he’s a complete asshole to his Digimon, and he doesn’t care if either the Digital World or the real world get destroyed because of Demon. He just wants to tame the strongest Digimon and be the best tamer in the world. Taichi is a very stark contrast to him on almost every level.

Demon summoned him to the Digital World after Taichi was summoned by Holy Angemon. He is the one who will hatch and tame the Super Ultimate Digimon from the Digiegg Demon has. For the time being, though, he tames an Orgemon and a Devimon. His intended partner Digimon is a Greymon that he deleted because his win rate wasn’t high enough for his expectations. His leftover data decided to become more powerful in order to make Neo happy, so he became MetalGreymon and paired with Neo yet again. Yup, he just decided he wanted more power and was granted it by nothing.

MetalGreymon’s story is very tragic and it’s one of the hinge points in the series so far. As a comparison, if you thought Ken was a jerk for the way he treated Wormmon, you’ll be seeing red when you see how Neo treats MetalGreymon. And, like Wormmon, he stays loyal to his partner through and through no matter how badly he’s treated.

Taichi gets the tag of spirit (Illusions according to this translation) and iron (metal empire in this volume) and only needs one more tag to gain entry into Demon’s castle, where Neo will be waiting as well.

Overall, this volume was a step up from volume one, but I’m still waiting for Taichi to actually lose for once. I know one of his catchphrases is saying he’s a 100% tamer, which would be lost if he did lose, but seeing him always come out on top will make this series pretty boring after a while. I will say that the final battle between Skull Satamon and Zero was the most intense so far, and one that actually had tension given how beat up Zero actually gets.

Rating: 8/10

Recommended Audience: Zero nearly dies and we learn that Digimon actually bleed here with blood flowing from Zero’s nose as he’s basically being crushed. Other than that, though, nothing too bad. 7+

Wanderful Days (Manga) Review

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Plot: Akira is a scary looking kid that everyone takes as a devil or delinquent. He’s earned the nickname of The Rabid Dog Fujishima, though he’s not nearly as bad as everyone makes him out to be. While he is a bit rough around the edges, he has a great love of dogs and is actually quite kind. One day, Akira saves a dog from being hit by a car. Sadly, he dies in the process, but his soul is inserted into the body of the dog he saved. He gets adopted by a kind girl named Hinata who takes him in and names him, coincidentally enough, Akira. As he tries to adapt to life as a dog, he discovers that Hinata is one of the few people who actually shows legitimate caring for him; both before and after he died.

Breakdown: On the surface, this looks like a really silly manga. And, yeah, the premise is a bit of a hurdle to get over, but it’s, surprisingly, a pretty good one-shot. You really feel for Akira’s plight even if they play up all sorts of the obviously awkward aspects of being a dog, even some that are played up pretty much just for awkwardness based on the fact that he’s actually a teenage boy. For instance, she bathes with him and sleeps with him, and even lets him, accidentally, put his face in her naked crotch.

Akira was just born with a really ‘evil’ looking face. Even as a baby he was feared by people, including his parents. Because of this, he didn’t have any real friends and no close relationships. He was challenged by all sorts of thugs and earned a reputation due to his fighting back, and kicking ass at that.

Hinata’s a very kindhearted and slightly airheaded girl. Her parents died and she lives alone, though she doesn’t seem to take care of herself very well since her room’s a pigsty and she constantly forgets to lock the door.

When the people at Akira’s school learn that Akira died, they all either don’t care or rejoice since they viewed him as a devil. The only one to cry or even show any sadness over Akira’s death is Hinata. We learn that Hinata actually knew Akira through one chance meeting when they were a couple years younger. She was crying and injured for some reason and Akira, also visibly wounded, probably due to a fight, stopped and tried to cheer her up and tend to her wounds.

In a pretty touching scene back in the present as Hinata mourns Akira’s death, Akira tries to cheer up Hinata in the way most dogs would – he licks her face. But not in a creepy way. It’s touching because it’s just sad all around. Absolutely no one but Hinata cares that Akira died despite the fact that he wasn’t even a bad guy; he just looked scary and had fights forced upon him. If anyone would need cheering up after that, it would be Akira, but all he cares about is Hinata’s feelings and treasuring that, despite only meeting her for a second, she was able to see him for who he was and mourn his death.

They remain as a happy family until one of Hinata’s creepy classmates comes into Hinata’s apartment uninvited (the door was unlocked – She has a bad habit of doing that). When he believes she liked Akira and not him, he attacks her with a box cutter. Akira protects her and nearly gets stabbed, but Hinata protects him and gets cut in the process. Akira then goes crazy and knocks the boy out of the apartment and into a tree.

With the threat gone, Hinata points out just how similar he is to Akira and proudly enforces the honor of the name of her lost friend Akira. With a bark (wan; the Japanese sound for a dog bark, hence the pun title WANderful Days.) he gladly accepts his ‘new’ moniker and place as Hinata’s loyal dog.

Some people pointed out that it might’ve been better if he turned back into a person in the end or if Hinata died and became a female dog to be with him forever, but I’m actually pretty okay with how this ended. Technically, the first option would’ve been fine because the soul of the original dog is still around. He’s actually the weakest part of the manga because he basically just instructs Akira to act like a dog and do perverted things. If she wanted to keep the dog and have Akira back, it could’ve happened, but time would’ve needed to reverse or something because you can’t just say he’s dead and have him get better……Then again, dying and becoming a dog isn’t any less believable.

The second option just seems terrible to me. It’s a bit predictable and I don’t want Hinata to die just to become a dog and have a dog-mance with Akira. In the end, while romance was a factor a little, all Akira wanted was a true family and someone to really care for him. All Hinata wanted was a family and someone to love. In the end, they both got that. The only thing that really bothers me is that…..Akira’s time on earth is still pretty limited. He’s a dog, and seemingly a somewhat old-ish dog at that. Chihuahuas have decent life spans, but they’re still nothing compared to how long Hinata will probably live.

Then again, I guess we’re not meant to think that far ahead and just live in the now. Akira and Hinata are happy and together, and that’s all that matters.

The art is nothing too special, and it’s done in fairly typical shoujo style, but it’s pretty good.

In the end, this is a pretty good one-shot that I’d gladly suggest to anyone looking for a touching tale of friendship/kinda romance. If you can swallow the slightly off-color premise, then you’re pretty much golden.

Additional Information and Notes: Wanderful Days was written and illustrated by Sakura Roku. It was serialized in Gangan Online.

Year: 2010

Volumes: One shot

Rating: 8/10

Recommended Audience: There are some panty shots and censored genital shots. Moderate violence and scary situations. 10+

 

Doubt (Manga) Review

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Rating: 7/10

Plot: There’s a new game called ‘Rabbit Doubt’ in which a bunch of people, connected by cell phone, take the role of a rabbit with one person being ‘the wolf.’ As the game goes on, rabbits start dying, in the game of course, and the remaining rabbits have to figure out who the wolf is. As a group of friends who play Rabbit Doubt enjoy a day of fun, they suddenly find themselves trapped in a weird warehouse with barcodes tattooed on their necks that open one door each. That’s not all; one of their own is found to be murdered, and they realize that Rabbit Doubt has turned into a real game. But who’s the wolf?

Breakdown: I was honestly conflicted about my feelings for this manga for a while. On one hand, I was really getting into it and enjoying it quite a bit. Like many of you might know by now, I do enjoy ‘death game’ stories as they usually have nice mysteries, strong characters, good stories and some creative premises. This isn’t the most creative premise in the world, but it still a pretty good one.

They know from the get-go that one of them is ‘the wolf’ so the group, despite being friends, are pretty paranoid of each other and that paranoia only gets worse as clues to the wolf’s identity are strewn about and more people get killed.

The characters themselves are pretty decent, though none are horribly memorable, especially the main main two of Yuu and Mitsuki who basically encapsulate every average nice guy and gentle childhood friend/love interest/person Yuu swears to protect couple ever.

Now, obviously the meat of this story is the ending as it will reveal who the wolf is and what their motivations are. The ending, however, is the weakest part of this story to me. Jump down to the Bottomline to remain ending-spoiler-free.

Now, noticeably, they put a lot of focus on talking about this girl named Rei before the actual game ever starts. Yuu and the others meet her as they’re hanging out and Yuu recognizes her as a psychic hypnotist who used to be on TV but fell from grace when she was accused of being a fake. They spend an inordinate amount of time talking about her and more than one conversation arises about her before the game starts. It really makes you think that either she’s the wolf or she’s a gigantic red herring. She even carries around a rabbit doll.

When the group are all knocked out and brought to the warehouse, the first person found dead, before anyone even wakes up mind you, is Rei. For anyone taking this story as a mystery, which it should be, or has read or watched plenty of stories like this before, you’re likely confused at this point yet still focused on Rei. Why was she killed at the very beginning before the actual ‘game’ ever starts? Why have a game if you’re not going to give one of the players a chance? Why did we spend so much time focusing on Rei before the game started if she was going to be superfluous by chapter three?

Here’s the thing, I tend to jump to conclusions when it comes to first suspects in stories like these, but when a character is found dead I typically just accept that they’re dead unless I have reason to suspect otherwise. This leaves Rei as just being a dead body in a room for much of the manga and not really paying it much mind outside of how they’re going to use her barcode key and what she had to do with the big web of crime and lies that is revealed at the end.

Another character that seems like a big red herring is Mitsuki as she doesn’t play Rabbit Doubt. She was merely hanging out with the group since Yuu was playing. Her presence and the fact that files are found with profiles on everyone, Mitsuki included despite her not meaning to be there, put a lot of suspicion on Mitsuki near the middle.

And it does turn out that Mitsuki was one of the wolves…

Yes, you heard me, one of the wolves. There are technically three wolves for this game; a man they find watching the security monitors, Mitsuki and someone I’ll reveal later. Now having the man be one of the wolves is fine since he’s really just someone helping things along and not the real wolf. He’s not the alpha, so to speak. However, Mitsuki being a wolf and having another character be another wolf means that the structure of the mystery is ruined for the reader. If we’re meant to take the rules of the game as gospel and have no given reason to think that there’s a mastermind’s mastermind, then it seems like you’re ‘cheating’ us out of figuring it out for ourselves.

The reason Mitsuki is doing this is actually pretty dumb. She loved two people in this world; her father and Yuu. Her father was scammed out of his money by some people and he tried to kill himself by hanging. He lived through the hanging, and after a week went by she wanted to talk to Yuu about it. However, he said he couldn’t do it right then as he was told to go home early and not make any stops along the way.

Mitsuki later saw Yuu hanging out with a girl named Kei, who isn’t a part of the group. Thinking they’re dating and realizing Yuu kinda lied to her, Mitsuki essentially lost the only two people in the world that she loved. So she decided to murder Kei for her ‘betrayal’ and she decided to create the game to punish liars since everyone in the group, in one way or another, was a liar.

However, she purposely refused to give a barcode to Yuu. Supposedly this was to protect him and give him a chance to tell her the truth, giving him a bit of an out. However, him not having a barcode when everyone else does just throws all of the suspicion on Yuu. In fact, when Mitsuki is called out as a suspect, they suspect Yuu too since he brought her there and has no barcode.

Since he never fessed up to Mitsuki, didn’t even remember what he lied to her about, Mitsuki decided he needed to die too. It’s not until Mitsuki shows him photos of Kei’s body that she reveals what he lied about it, and Yuu counter-reveals that he wasn’t dating Kei at all. Kei was a good friend of Mitsuki’s and she was helping him pick out a great gift for her birthday, which he was keeping in his pocket but lost somewhere during the game.

Without the gift as proof, Mitsuki doesn’t believe him so she tries to kill him again only to end up getting badly wounded by accident. Yuu attempts to free them from the building with Mitsuki’s barcode which should open every door since she’s the wolf, but is baffled when it’s shown that a door won’t open when her barcode is scanned.

As footsteps approach, the real alpha wolf is shown to be none other than Rei.

Now this just raises all sorts of questions. Why didn’t they check her pulse to ensure she was really dead? They checked up on her body a few times, did she just sit insanely still for hours while still somehow orchestrating this game? How is she connected to the man and Mitsuki?

Well, prepare for a very weird ending that is only unpredictable because it’s just so silly.

Remember that Rei was a hypnotist? Well, when the rumor spread that she was a fake, she was bullied pretty harshly and her home and parents were even harassed quite a bit. It got so bad that her parents entered into a murder-suicide pact that included Rei against her will. They rammed their car into a tree and died instantly while Rei was left alive.

Yup instead of just laying low and waiting until no one gave a crap about some TV hypnotist girl anymore or trying to prove that she actually has psychic hypnotism powers or moving away or transferring her to a different school or some other logical thing, they decide murder-suicide, with their young child, is the best option. Especially using such an iffy method as a car accident. Dumbasses.

Now left an orphan, Rei wanted revenge on all liars in the world so she created Rabbit Doubt and spread her hypnotism through one last TV broadcast. I don’t know why she’d get another TV broadcast when she’s been so firmly labeled as a fake, but there ya go. She specifically sought out people who had lost loved ones recently, and Mitsuki actually had her father die that week instead of just being in a coma like Mitsuki believed under the hypnotism. That coupled with her devastation over losing Yuu made her a great candidate to be hypnotized and made into a wolf.

On one hand, this is a pretty decent twist since you really never suspect Rei since she was ‘dead’ the whole time. On the other hand, this is really too big of a pill to swallow. The wolf is really someone with magical hypnotism powers. And I don’t care that Rei outright says it’s not magic; she’s controlling people through hypnotism, through the TV and cell phone tones no less, to partake in a death game. No, she can’t make anyone kill another person, supposedly, but she can manipulate their minds and memories to the point where they’d be pretty okay in doing so.

It’s clever in that, despite being told of these abilities beforehand, you’d never expect that this is what’s going on…..but the reason you don’t suspect that this is what’s going on is 1) It’s never proven before the game that Rei was actually some psychic hypnotist, thus the reader has no idea that her ‘powers’ or ‘abilities’ are real, and 2) Jumping to what is essentially a supernatural conclusion when absolutely no indication of there being any such abilities or powers being used in this universe at all is a big hurdle to jump for any mystery reader.

I’m not going to say it’s unfair to the reader who wants to figure it out on their own since they did say she was a hypnotist and they did spend a lot of time giving her focus, but it just seems….underhanded to bring this up so late in the game. Everything that is revealed to us at the end is either something we had no clue or indication to prior to the reveal, thus giving us no opportunity to solve that particular mystery, or it resorted to quasi-supernatural means that weren’t properly established, thus making us feel foolish if we said ‘Oh it’s Rei. We know she’s dead, but she was a hypnotist, so she’s probably pulling the strings and making them believe she’s dead.’

By the way, Mitsuki is the only one in the group who is hypnotized, so Rei’s not making the group think she’s dead with hypnotism. She was just laying about in realistic death effects for hours on end.

I’m not going to go so far as to reveal the actual solidified ending here, because there’s not much else wrong in that part that isn’t just a reflection of what’s wrong here just on a slightly bigger and even less believable scale.

Bottomline: The ending has quite a few problems. The first wolf turns out to be someone who is seemingly a red herring, while the alpha wolf turns out to be an even bigger seemingly red herring made into the bad guy through somewhat ridiculous means that you really wouldn’t be able to predict unless you’re fine with breaking the laws of reality within an established realistic world.

The story is pretty good outside of that, and the characters are decent enough, though Eiji is a bit abrasive. The horror aspect has some good ambiance to it, and you care about the characters enough to worry about them, especially since both the wolf and the rabbits may be threats to them. You’re never really worried that the rabbits will actually kill each other, but they lock each other in rooms that only the wolf has access to, and they leave them unguarded half the time leaving them as wide open targets.

Art wise, it’s pretty nice. They get really nicely detailed on closeups and splash pages, and I especially like the designs of the rabbit heads.

Overall, this is a pretty good ‘death game’ manga. Maybe a bit too cheap with the ending, but an enjoyable and suspenseful ride the whole way through.

Recommended Audience: The manga is essentially self-censored, leaving disembodied heads and hanged people slightly blacked out, but there is quite a bit of violence, blood and mild to moderate gore. No nudity, no swearing or sex, though. 13+

Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01 (Manga) Volume 1 Review

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Plot: Taichi is a very talented player of the V-Pet game, Digimon. When he tries to enter a tournament, he’s disqualified for having an unknown Digimon, V-dramon, known by the nickname of Zeromaru or Zero for short. He eventually got transported to the Digital World; a world where Digimon are real. After he teams up with Zero, he is told by one of the great leaders of the world, Holy Angemon, that the Digital World is in danger of destruction by someone named Demon. Since a good tamer makes a Digimon immensely more skilled and powerful, he sends them on a mission to collect the five tags needed to enter Demon’s castle and save the Digital World.

Breakdown: I’m a big fan of Digimon, and I’ve always been interested to see if there was a manga version. Much to my delight, there are several with this being the first. Much to my confusion, it’s not really even close to the same as the anime.

Let me back up. Digimon, as a franchise, is actually derived from Digimon V-Pets, little devices aimed towards kids where you could raise a virtual monster. Sound familiar? Of course it does, it’s one of many Tamagotchi clones. More to the point, Digimon V-Pets were specifically designed to be aimed towards boys since Tamagotchis were aimed more towards girls. To push the masculine aspect even further, the Digimon V-Pets included the ability to sync up devices and battle other Digimon.

This manga is based off of those V-Pets and the anime was ‘loosely’ based on the manga.

Since the differences are so drastic, I want to handle this as a purely standalone feature with no animanga clash hanging off of it, but I know some people will be curious as to the main differences between the manga and the anime, so the sate those curiosities I will list all of the major differences at the start of each review.

The anime showcases seven and later eight children each with their own Digimon, and these children are referred to as Chosen Children. It’s not until season three where the kids are described as Digimon Tamers. Also, Digimon have never been heard of in the real world beforehand, except in Digimon Tamers.

In the manga, only Taichi is present. And he doesn’t even have Agumon; instead he has a V-dramon. Also sound familiar? Yeah, he’s the Adult version of Daisuke’s Digimon, V-mon, from Adventure 02. Weird, huh? Also, this Taichi is quite a bit different from his anime counterpart. He’s much more laid back and excitable, kinda like Daisuke only much less stupid and jealous.

As for any of the anime’s Chosen Children Digimon making any appearances, we get Gabumon, named Gabo here. He’s a bit neurotic and follows Taichi and Zero on their journey. Gomamon, named Gon here, is roughly similar, but he’s more responsible than anime!Gomamon, and eventually becomes tasked with being the guardian of the oceans after evolving to Ikkakumon. Greymon makes a brief appearance, but it’s an enemy and doesn’t even talk. Known Digimon such as Whamon and Etemon (called Etemonkey here) make appearances, but no other Chosen Children Digimon except maybe counting Leomon, who is more strict and uptight here.

The Digivice is still a thing, but it’s different. First off, it’s a super cool kick-ass watch I’m mad at the anime for changing. Second, it doesn’t prompt evolution, at least not yet, and instead shows the stats of other Digimon and allows Taichi to communicate ‘telepathically’ with Zero to give him precise commands that no one else can hear.

The crests are gone, but there is something similar in the tags. Unlike the crests which embody traits and help prompt Perfect level and Ultimate level evolution, the tags embody elements in earth, sea, sky, spirit and iron, and their function is to enter the castle that Demon lives in.

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I think that’s everything important, so let’s address the actual story for this volume.

This is a pretty damn simple story, which is to be expected since it’s based off of a game that is literally ‘raise monsters, fight them’. Taichi is transported to the Digital World because of a great leader named Holy Angemon/MagnaAngemon. While he looks entirely different from the MagnaAngemon of the anime here, apparently he looks very similar to MagnaAngemon’s priest mode, which is never shown in the anime.

Anyway, he requests his help in saving the Digital World from a terrible virus Digimon called Demon. I would call them out on their uncreative name, but the main villain for much of the first series was called Devimon….

Taichi and Zero are the only ones who can do it since Tamers bring out something very special in their Digimon – something that makes Zero incredibly powerful. Something else is brought up to support this; Taichi has ‘Ichi’ or ‘One’ in his name and his partner is Zero. The Digital World’s base is data, which is binary; a series of ones and zeroes.

With good intentions, Taichi and Zero can restore and protect the data, but failure would result in data deletion. This is further supported when Whamon explains that the good guys are all data and vaccine Digimon while the bad guys are virus types, since viruses delete data. Taichi proves his worth time and again as his teamwork, tactical skills and friendship as well as Zero’s trust and faith in Taichi lead them to victory time and again even against Perfect level Digimon.

I will say, this does cheapen the manga a bit. Taichi pulls something out of his ass nearly every chapter. Zero will maybe take one hit, sometimes a couple, then Taichi will have a eureka moment and instantly defeat the enemy. While he does train, the fact remains that the training seems inconsequential when these moments arise. Teaching Zero to swim was vital, yes, but the way he beat Marine (Marinedevimon) had really nothing to do with swimming. Triceramon was beaten in the first try without training.

The plot is similar to the anime in that he has to beat several Perfect level Digimon in order to get to the big bad, like the dark masters, and that the big bad is a virus Digimon who wants to destroy the Digital World.

Taichi and Zero make a great team. They have a wonderful dynamic and friendship that seems real from the very start. I would like to see their origins sometime to get a better idea of the foundation of their strong bond.

The enemies, besides maybe Etemonkey, don’t really have personalities besides ‘Urgh, I’m evil.’ It’s a very black and white, good versus evil, light versus dark story so far with not really much in regards to tension. That’s not to say it’s at all bad. It’s a very entertaining manga so far. You can just sit back and have some fun with the story and characters. I don’t want to say it’s watered down in comparison to the anime, but it kinda is so far. We’re one volume in and he’s already got two tags. He’s zooming through these challenges like nobody’s business.

Hopefully we get a bit more tension in the second volume, but I’m alright with keeping a lighter tone if need be. Still, maybe slow the pace down a bit.

Rating: 7.5/10

Recommended Audience: A Digimon dies, but not really since Digimon don’t really die….unless you’re evil, in which case, screw you. Other than that, nothing. E for everyone.

Final notes: Why was Anime!Taichi screwed out of his awesome yellow cape? First the Digivice now this? You did me wrong, anime. You did me wrong.

Shin Devilman (Manga) Review

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Plot: Akira and Ryou are suddenly thrust through various points in time where they’re tasked with defeating a demon in each time period that is set on ruining the timelines.

Breakdown: It’s a Devilman/Doctor Who crossover! 😀

……………………..No, it’s not. *sigh* I can dream.

This is a series of kinda short stories in that they are indeed separate stories but there’s the main theme and characters of Devilman/Akira and Ryou keeping them all together, and they’re still technically part of the canon in the Devilman series.

This…is kinda an odd duck. I never expected Devilman to be in this type of manga, yet here we are. Devilman and Ryou traveling through time fighting time stream hating demons. There are five stories in all spanning across numerous time periods and locations, so let’s just plow through them all real quick.

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Story 1: Late Spring in Vienna – So, believe it or not, the first story is actually the oddest of the bunch. The first chapter involves them going to pre-war Vienna where they detect the faint scent of a demon around an artist and his distributor. For those who are already making internal connections here, yes, it is what you’re thinking, but oh it is a lot crazier than that.

The distributor shows a sold painting of a woman that the artist fell in love with but lost her to an army captain. Despite the distributor being very much money hungry, the artist cares more about putting tender care and detail into his paintings. Akira and Ryou decide to leave, resigned to the fact that a demon’s not around. They later follow the artist and the distributor to a huge house where the scent of demons gets stronger. The painting from before is being sold to the head of this house, despite the artist’s desire to keep it. His distributor, however, will have none of that and hands it over.

The head of the house accidentally gives them too much money, and while the distributor is more than happy to keep the extra, the artist finds it to be a mistake and runs back to return the money. As he enters the house, he sees the man, Schultz, slashing at the picture in front of his long lost lover. Schultz states that her husband died on the battlefield and that she’s now his somehow. He relishes in the supposed fact that the artist has given up on her entirely, the proof being that he sold the painting of her.

He bursts into the room in an outrage and finds that Schultz is actually a fire demon, who promptly burns up his love, Stephanie. Devilman rushes into the scene and destroys the demon. The artist watches on as the house burns to the ground. As his distributor, Mr. Harnisch, runs to ensure that he’s alright, the artists yells at him to stay away and says that he hates all of ‘his kind’ and that he’ll dedicate his life to eradicating all of the Jews….

For all of you playing along at home, the correct answer is: Adolf Hitler.

Yup, the artist in this story is Adolf Hitler, and while he had already shown a disliking of Jewish people before this whole thing happened, the story makes it out like the main reason behind the mass genocide of Jewish people was that his first love was killed by a Jewish fire demon. A Jewish fire demon…..a Jewish fire demon. Oh manga. The things you make me type.

So, I just have all sorts of questions right now. Let’s start with the main plot of this whole side story. Why time travel of all things? Time travel is so touchy of a plot thread since it just causes so many plot holes and continuity errors that it’s a nightmare to deal with. This story in itself is causing plot holes. So does that mean, since Devilman saved Hitler, that leaving him there would’ve killed Hitler and kept the holocaust from happening? Did Devilman just inadvertently cause the holocaust? Did Devilman really have any impact on the events of that day since the time that they were in at the start seemed to have experienced WWII?

Also, it’s not like it’s some surprise as to who it is either. Unlike what I did here, the manga gives the artist’s name right at the start, though they don’t divulge that his last name is Hitler until the very end. Gee, an artist in pre-war Vienna who dislikes Jewish people and has the first name of Adolf. Golly gee, who could he really be?

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Story 2: Jeanne D’arc in Hell – Next chapter, we learn that Ryou, unknowingly utilizing his satanic powers, is the one making them travel through time in order to, I suppose, combat time traveling demons that are trying to mess up history. This time, Devilman goes to France where Jeanne D’arc is trying to end the hundred years war. Demons decide to kidnap her from the battlefield and bring her to hell where she’s put on trial for her sins. The sins in question being trying to end war, which the demons find to be beneficial to humanity in regards to progress, and hearing voices, which they claim are really demonic and not heavenly.

She’s saved by Devilman and continues her quest, though the chapter ends on a rather somber note as it reminds us that shortly after this event she was arrested and put on trial for being a witch (though, technically, the charges were heresy and repeated instances of cross-dressing.) and that she was found guilty and burned at the stake. Would’ve been a little better to also add that there was a retrial later which not only found her innocent, but found that the previous trial was not conducted justly and the person who convicted her was implicated with heresy for his biased view on the trial. But then again this is Devilman, wouldn’t want to have any happy-ish endings.

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Story 3: The Beautiful Goddess of War: Nike of Samothrace – The next chapter is a bit intriguing. The goddess of victory, Nike, is giving modern weapons to an army in ancient Samothrace, allowing them to easily take down their enemies in hopes of taking over Greece. Akira combats her when she ‘reveals’ that she’s actually Amon’s long lost lover and coaxes him into remembering her, proving their love by stating that he fell for a human who looked like her while he was in his human form. Devilman basically falls for it, but Ryou breaks him free of her ‘spell’ and lops off her arms and head with a sword, leaving a famous statue of her also without its arms or legs.

I guess it’s intentional that we not know if she really was telling the truth or not. Devilman still seems to harbor feelings for her after her death since he clutches her head with a somber look; also like he does with Miki later on. It’s possible that Ryou’s more Satan-y side took over for a bit and killed her for the sake of either keeping Amon for himself or protecting him legitimately. *shrug*

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Story 4: The Bewitching Queen of Versailles – In France, Ryou and Akira travel to just before the French Revolution where they learn Marie Antoinette is being controlled by a demon who is planning on forcing the armies of her native Austria to completely overpower the French revolutionaries and take over Europe. They go inside her heart and beat the demon and the chapter ends with both the demon and Marie Antoinette getting beheaded……Pretty lackluster story, to be honest.

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Story 5: The Demon of Little Bighorn – The final chapter starts out with Ryou and Akira kicking back as a part of the Cheyenne Native American tribe. They’re particularly close with the chief of the tribe, Crazy Horse, and his little sister Tiana, who has shown to be quite smitten with Ryou, though he states that he has no interest in girls and even nearly confesses his attraction to Akira.

They go off to do some hunting and fishing for a while and Crazy Horse prepares for a meeting with the Sioux tribe to join forces against General Custer and the 7th cavalry.

As Ryou and Akira fish and hunt, they discuss the odd fact that they’ve been in this time period for quite some time (maybe a few weeks or months) yet no demon has attacked. Just as they ponder that, we discover that General Custer and his troops were possessed by demons and have executed a sneak attack on the Cheyenne tribe as Crazy Horse and his men were meeting with Sitting Bull and the Sioux. They viciously slaughter the villagers with guns and swords and are gone before Ryou and Akira put the pieces together. They find Tiana raped and murdered, and Akira, in a deep rage, slaughters all of the 7th cavalry, and history supposedly embellishes the story saying the Native Americans were the ones to beat them.

Now you must be wondering, ‘Hey, that’s the final chapter? How do they get home? Does beating demons through time five different times really just end everything?’ Well, the answer is……..

I have no friggin’ clue.

Immediately after the end of the Battle at Little Big Horn, we cut to Akira walking through what seems like a burning desolate wasteland of an earth while carrying a suitcase. He remembers various battles from the past, but mostly he remembers his time with Miki. He continues to walk and remember her before he halts and opens the case. It contains Miki’s severed head, which just raises all sorts of questions as to where and when we are right now. I’m almost entirely certain this manga started before Miki’s death.

He buries Miki’s head and gives her a cross as a headstone before Ryou calls him over. Akira walks past him through the destroyed earth and we end.

What….the….hell…

What was the point of all that? Seriously, what was the point? Despite bringing us to various points in time and space, the main plot stays the same. A demon is going to do something that threatens something that is supposed to happen in history. Devilman beats the demon with absolutely no problem and they jump to another point in time and space to do the exact same thing. Wash, rinse, repeat.

They try to bring more Devilman-y things to it like saying Nike was Amon’s lover, but that went no where and those instances are few and far between.

And what was that ending? Was that hell? They looked like they were still on earth. The earth’s destroyed yet Ryou’s not in his Satan form? Akira’s not dead? How did they get back? I know Ryou was the one sending them through time because demons were infiltrating time but why were demons infiltrating time if Ryou/Satan is the one calling the shots with the demons? He told them to go through time and screw it up just to go back in time and fix everything? Did the demons give up after five tries or were the rest of the demons in the time stream in the cavalry at Little Big Horn?

Bottomline: I don’t want to say that this manga’s a waste of time……but I’m pretty much gonna. Really the only story worth reading is the first one because Hitler and Jewish fire demons…..Just…you have to actually read it to believe it. If the other stories had been as baffling as that one, I could’ve gotten into it more. But like I said, it’s really just historic stories with Devilman V. Demon shoved in there somewhere. They bond with some people through time, but it’s hard to establish any sort of true connection in a 40-60 page chapter. I never really felt bored reading these stories, but they just don’t bring much to the table, Devilman-wise.

Additional Information and Notes: Shin Devilman was written by Go Nagai and Hiroshi Nagai (under the pen name Hiroshi Kouenji), illustrated by Go Nagai and published by Shougaku Sannensei.

Chapters: 5

Year: 1979

Rating: 4/10

Recommended Audience: Being Devilman, there’s still plenty of gore and several instances of nudity. There’s also an implied rape and kinda an implied shot of a silhouetted closeup sex shot, if that even was a sex shot and not just kissing. The final chapter in particular is just a huge blood bath. 16+