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A. Weaver "Thing Witch" (Somewhere in England)
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Eden: It's an Endless World!: 3
Eden: It's an Endless World!: 3
by Hiroki Endo
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection from Endo, 1 Nov. 2007
The third instalment of Eden is another fantastic volume in one of the best manga series of all time and one of my personal favourites. The story is really picking up and everything gets swung into full action mode for a battle that lasts literally the entire volume. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it is flat out stunning and a joy to read. The art, as usual, is incredible, with the weapons and vehicles looking incredibly realistic; some of the stuff in this volume ranks up there with the best manga art there is. Also, this is also a volume of serious character development with nearly all the characters getting backgrounds and real depth added to them. Plus, I challenge you not to be utterly distraught by the ending. You just wait to see what happens.


Eden: It's an Endless World!: 1
Eden: It's an Endless World!: 1
by Hiroki Endo
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hidden jewel amongst manga, 22 Sept. 2007
Eden: It's an endless world! Is a futuristic seinen manga set in the not too distant future, during which a virus has wiped out a large number of the earths population, and a lot of the remaining few have turned to cybernetic implants to live or have banded together into gangs. During the power vacuum left by the virus's destruction a military group called the Propater have seized control of the world, although at this early stage in the story not much is known about them yet.

This manga is unique I think in that it spends a lot of time on characterisation before the main storyline even begins, while also managing to perfectly set up the science fiction heavy background at the same time. Hiroki Endo is clearly a fantastic mangaka and he manages to successfully pull off the daunting task he has set himself with this first volume.

The artwork is very good, although sometimes the expressions of the characters are a little still, though this got a lot better towards the end and I presume will get even better in the next volume. In particular, the abandoned buildings are exceptionally well drawn, with vines climbing the walls and everything really feeling like it was once used by real people.

I won't go into any details about the characters because I don't want to give anything away, though you can assume the usual type of male teenager is leading the cast, and also because to be honest with you we don't know that much about them yet. I know I said that this manga takes time with character development and it does, it's just there are a lot of different characters and a very deep storyline all going on at once.

I took a risk buying this as I hadn't even heard of it before finding it on Amazon, and I can say without any doubt that it was a great risk to take. I really love this manga and I am definitely going to be buying the next one. I absolutely recommend this to you as it fantastic and well worth your money.


Akira: Vol. 3
Akira: Vol. 3
by Katsuhiro Otomo
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Akira volume three, 22 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Akira: Vol. 3 (Paperback)
Volume three of Akira is much faster paced than the previous two as everyone is going for the nearest gun to try and track down the loose Akira, who was freed from his long sleep by Tetsuo. After the events of the last volume Tetsuo is presumed dead by all and it is up to Kaneda, Kei and Chiyoko to find Akira before the General and everyone else looking for him does.

By now the manga is telling an almost completely different story to the film and I think that it is far better because of it. During this volume we are introduced to a lot of new characters, some that never made it to the film, and all the familiar ones are further developed; another reason that the manga is simply a lot better than the film. The science fiction elements of the manga are analysed in a much greater depth than they were in the film, as are the themes of power and the nature of humanity.

One of the best things about Akira is that, unlike other seinen manga, it is not trapped underneath some ton weight of confusing jargon and techno babble. Katsuhiro prefers to write everything a little more simply and keep the dialogue to a level everyone can understand. The dialogue is also wickedly funny throughout, with Kaneda as usual being the source of most of the humour.

This volume has some of the best artwork I've ever seen in a comic book and you either have to be blind or dead not to appreciate it. The more action orientated storyline is drawn to perfection by Katsuhiro, who has managed to add a fantastic sense of pace and a fluid motion to the still drawings. The climatic end of this volume, leading into what I presume is the second half of the storyline starting volume four, has some of the most incredibly drawn panels I've ever seen, with the last three really taking my breath away.

Basically this is still the best manga ever and you really do need to get them all.


The Velvet Underground & Nico
The Velvet Underground & Nico
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £8.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the pinnacles of all music, 1 Sept. 2007
Most people have heard of this album. Most people have listened to this album. Then, why are you reading this review? Is it because (a) you haven't listened to this album yet or because (b) you have and you were just wondering what everybody else thought of it? Well, let's assume it's the first one and you have become so sick of all the rubbish released nowadays, that you are looking forty years into the past to find some decent music. Well, look no further because you have found some of it with this.

The Velvet Underground and Nico was the debut album from the Velvet Underground, simply one of the best bands there has ever been. Hated by most when released back in 67' as the summer of love was kicking into full stupidity, this album was the absolute antithesis of everything going on around it. With songs like `Heroin' popular music would be forced to change into something far grittier and that could have razor sharp barbed edges compared to the cloud lined toss piled up behind it.

Eleven songs and forty eight minutes after hitting the play button I almost guarantee you'll be asking yourself what the big deal is. Especially if you've been raised on modern garbage like I had before listening to this for the first time. Well, that's because this is definitely one of those albums that demands another couple of listens before you get it. Trust me though, when you do get it, you get it real bad. Before long it's gonna be the only thing worth listening to in your CD collection, till you read some of my other reviews that is, and you'll be wondering how you ever lived without the beauty of tracks like ` All tomorrow's parties' `I'll be your mirror' and, what is in my opinion the greatest song ever written, `Venus in Furs', a song of such startling and insane innovation it shocked the hell out of me even forty years after it was written.

From start to finish this album is more a menagerie of horror stricken, bleakly desperate melodies and gothic opera like chalkboard scratches, than a cohesive whole. The production is rubbish throughout, but instead of ruining the album, it simply adds to then barren feel of it all. The music is about as consistently genius as you will ever find on something that isn't classical, and compared to any album released since it is so much better in terms of everything, it might even ruin modern music for you forever. But, who cares when you'll have this to listen to till you die, right?


Hellsing Volume 1 (Hellsing (Paperback))
Hellsing Volume 1 (Hellsing (Paperback))
by Kohta Hirano
Edition: Paperback

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I did come up with a title - but then I forgot it, 24 Aug. 2007
The manga - Hellsing, is about the organization of the same name that has dedicated itself to protecting England - well, an awfully but hilariously stereotyped version of it anyway - from vampires and demons and the usual gang of night time terrors, for probably a very long time. In particular, it is about a tall, dark and scary, but very cool vampire named Alucard that is for some reason working for the humans to kill his own kind, who have of recent become reckless and lost their way. Joining this squad of righteousness is Seras Victoria, the new blood; a young vampire that Alucard turned to save her life.

The manga is already pretty famous just about everywhere (as is the anime), and there are a lot of reviews here that are probably much better than mine, so while I don't exactly have to writethis review, I want to write a short something-something anyway.

Throughout this first volume there is a lot of clever dialogue that, as already mentioned, is a ludicrously stereotyped version of the way us Brits speak, and the colloquialisms we use. It is pretty clear that the author knows what he is doing though, and the result is often pretty funny; especially the swearing, with an almost liquid use of that w- word the English use oh so often to describe every thing or situation around us. Also, as hilarious, is the absurd portrayal of our religious beliefs, our apparent devotion to the monarchy, and even our physical appearance and, noted by the author on one page, apparent extremely poor eye sight; nearly every single character wears glasses! Of course, we know that it is a joke, and the whole thing is funny as hell, so it can all be forgiven. Heck, by now I'm used to, and enjoy, seeing how other countries view the English. I guess we stereotype the Japanese quite a bit, so, we probably deserve it all anyway.

The artwork is great and a definite highlight of Hellsing. As is to be expected, everything has been washed in goth and hung out to dry in a quaint little English garden, probably infested with blood thirsty vampires. Also, throughout the book, the only thing that is as consistent as the stereotyping of English people is the author's scary lust for, and indulgence in, extreme violence. Seriously, it comes thick and fast, page after page; but, when the violence is drawn as beautifully as it is, you'll be welcoming every gore saturated frame of it.

So, to summarise a rather pointless review, this is a great manga and a great start to the series. Everyone looks great and the dialogue is good. The characters are all likeable and the story is addictive, gripping, and original. Buy it (if you want too, I don't want to force you into anything you don't want to do here). Thank you for reading my review.


Kashimashi (Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl): 1
Kashimashi (Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl): 1
by Satoru Akahori
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Girls can't have other girls as lovers", 24 Aug. 2007
Okay, so this is a fantastic manga. There you have the truth, nice, simple and straight forward; well, not that straight actually! (that was a joke so laugh) It's got everything a yuri fan could possibly be looking for (except that you dirty minded individual) so it is a must buy. It is also wicked funny so should be the next purchase for any fans of comedy. Okay, fine, I admit that my joke sucked. Get over it already.

The story follows the life of Hazumu, who is unexpectedly, while strolling through the hills of his home town, crushed by an alien space ship and brought back to life as a girl. By the way, she was a he before becoming a she; though, that has got to be pretty obvious. He has to learn to live out his life as a gal, and deal with the relationship problems presented to him because of his transformation in the somewhat rigid Japan. Along for the ride are probably lesbian best friend Yasuna and possibly bisexual other best friend Tomari. It is all hilariously funny though, so you don't have to take any of it seriously if you don't want to. The three of them form a brilliant love triangle that is so much more interesting than your traditional love triangles, you just have to applaud the author for doing it and making your life that much less generic.

The art work throughout is beautiful, with fantastically drawn characters; especially the females, and the dialogue and presentation of the characters is as beautiful. The subject matter is dealt with in an often absurd way, it obviously being the cause of much of the humour, though the difficulties, and they are there, faced by the troubled characters is handled in a very tender and sweet way, making the whole thing feel very real. All in all, it is definitely head and shoulders above other yuri manga I've read so far. The situations seem realistic even if they aren't, and the drama elements are presented in a suitably grandiose and fabulous fashion; though, when it comes down to it, are just the problems of a couple of insignificant teenagers. Well, teenagers are pretty melodramatic so you can't blame them I guess.

So, this first volume is great and I have to buy the next to find out what happens next. This manga is wonderful, so, please buy it. Thank you.


Tetragrammaton Labyrinth
Tetragrammaton Labyrinth
by Ei Itou
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "But if I were to lose you, I couldn't even exist", 24 Aug. 2007
The genre that this manga falls into is one that the Japanese are clearly very fond of for the massive number of manga available that soaks itself in it. Now, there's nothing wrong with that, I consider myself a pretty big fan of the genre, I was just thinking out loud. It does of course mean that finding the best amongst such overwhelming availability is a bit of a headache. Oh, and by the way, if you hadn't guessed it from the blatant give away that is the front cover, it's that whole semi-religious fight against soul eating demons with some vague gothic background, this one London, flowing all river like underneath.

So, anyway, is this one worth getting? Well, it most certainly is worth getting; though, maybe not as your first venture into this genre, and definitely not as a first manga. For newcomers to manga the best starting point is still, in my opinion, `Fullmetal Alchemist'. Also, a better introduction into the domain of the yuri styled gothic Lolita would be `Venus Versus Virus', which has a slight edge over this one.

The story line is stupid, though, that's a good thing because the reason you're buying this is because you want to read about two absurdly sexy women killing demons. Also, as its yuri, that would be two women who seem to be in some sort of relationship. Which, by the way, is actually incredibly sweet, as is usual in yuri, and it's all the better for it. Being constantly beat round the head with naked lesbians might be nice, but I'd much rather be reading something a little tenderer and something a little more believable. Oh, wait, that's right; this is all about an immortal girl and a nun killing demons with huge guns. Okay, so it's not without an edge, I admit.

Anyway, buy it, but not as your first manga. This is good, and you'll enjoy reading it and want to buy the next one. Final thoughts: it is a lot more of the same, but that's not a bad thing by miles.


Akira: Vol.1: Bk. 1
Akira: Vol.1: Bk. 1
by Katsuhiro Otomo
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars The best manga ever written, 15 Aug. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Akira: Vol.1: Bk. 1 (Paperback)
Akira, possibly the most famous graphic novel ever, begins here with this three hundred and fifty nine page first volume. This is the manga that the classic film was based upon and if you are worried that you've seen it all before then don't be. After just one volume my minds already been made up that this is far, far better than the film. It's all here, every character from the film (and some more) but the level of depth and development of the characters differs dramatically from the film. Almost from the word go things happen in a different order, and throughout this first volume you will continue to be pleasantly surprised at the turns the story takes. Even more so of course if you've never seen the film.

So, what exactly is the story of Akira? Well, all I know is what happens in the film, and already I'm pretty sure the manga is gonna end differently. For this reason then, I am not going to go into it. I'm not reviewing the film after all. The only thing you need to know is that it's a futuristic science fiction epic that deals with everything from war, government conspiracies, Tokyo gangs, to the next steps in evolution.

There's something slightly unsettling about seeing Kaneda and Tetsuo as motionless as statues I'll admit, but it soon passes. Before long it's like they're moving anyway; the level of detail is that good. Everyone looks fantastic, as do the backgrounds and all the vehicles. When you are reading it the fact that it's more than twenty five years old doesn't even approach consciousness. Akira feels like it could have been written yesterday. Much of the art feels true to life and characters are portrayed relatively realistically, not caricatured, and many of the science fiction elements feel grounded in reality, which helps keep the reader on-board.

As well as having a fantastic story and art, the actual dialogue and telling of the story is incredible too. Well, it's not a shonen manga so you do expect the dialogue to be a little more realistic. As a manga that falls into the seinen demographic (that means it's for adults) the added realism means that this probably isn't for people who are used to the typical shonen jump. This is a lot heavier going and complex. Also, as a result, it is far better. Everything from the violence, to the language the characters use is very realistic, very gritty. In fact, if all you've been reading so far is shonen, then this is a great way to get into more series graphic novels.

So, basically, this manga is incredible. I've only read the first volume (there are six) but already I'm wondering if this is the best manga I've ever read. Actually, no, this is definitely the best manga I've ever read. What I was actually wondering is: if this is one of the best things I've ever read, full stop.


Venus Versus Virus: v. 1
Venus Versus Virus: v. 1
by Atsushi Suzumi
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Venus Versus Virus, 14 Aug. 2007
Venus Versus Virus is a manga that has just recently been released in England. It follows (so far) the lives of Lucia Nahashi, a virus hunter; Soichiro Nahashi, her guardian; and the newly recruited, Sumire Takahana. Together they find and kill viruses; ghost like creatures that eat people with `vision', an ability some people posses that let them see the viruses. Okay, so maybe there are plot similarities between this and Bleach, but it's still really good.

One of the real strong points of this manga is the great artwork and original character designs. The whole thing has this incredibly gothic feel to it that helps create an atmosphere singed with creepiness. From the hyper cool clothes the main characters wear (look at what Lucia is wearing on the front of the book), to the settings they fight the viruses in, everything is enveloped in heavy gothic design. It's all very nice to look at!

This book falls into the shonen demographic, which means there's plenty of fighting and lots of attractive girls. Also, in terms of genre, this manga can be categorized under yuri (that means lesbian). For fans of yuri this a great thing, as there isn't that much available from Amazon and I don't think there are any as cool as Venus Versus Virus. Seriously, this manga is very cool.

All in all this is a fantastic manga. I'm pretty new to this literary medium but I already own quite a lot so I at least half know what I'm talking about. Well, I think it's great anyway. The only bad thing about it is that the next volume isn't coming out till October. Not fair!


Music Has The Right To Children [New Version]
Music Has The Right To Children [New Version]
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars -enter title here-, 12 Aug. 2007
Six times in two weeks. That's how many times I've listened to this album since getting it. That's quite a lot, right? I guess it is. Also, I guess that means that I like it, and that I'm recommending you buy it? Well, of course I am.

This was my first encounter with Boards of Canada and I am definitely pleased we met. I am just getting into this sort of music (ambient, IDM, electronica) and I'm pretty glad this was one of the first albums of this kind that I invested in. The music is all over the place and there is bound to be something on here that you like, making it worth the purchase. Luckily, or more likely because of how good Boards of Canada are, there was plenty on here I liked.

But - and there are a couple of buts; I'm not giving it four stars after all - but, while a lot of what is to be found on this album is great, it doesn't all hit the mark. Now, I don't actually think that there are any bad tracks here, it's just some of them aren't all that memorable. Going through the track list on Amazon I can recall what more than half of them are like but some you do tend to forget later. This, though, is a bit of a minor thing when there are brilliant tracks like `An Eagle in your mind' `Aquarius' and the magnificent (but not quite life changing) `ROYGBIV'. The much hyped up `ROYGBIV' is certainly my favourite track on this album and likely it is a lot of peoples; just don't listen to it expecting it to be the greatest thing you've ever heard in your life.

So, all in all a great album. Four stars though because it's probably not gonna stop the world spinning and because I think there are definitely better within the genre. Definitely worth you buying though.
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