Sailor Moon Season 1 Part 1 and 2 Review

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Last Summer, the Sailor Moon franchise turned 20, affirming for many a fan that adulthood had descended, sharply but surely. Toei Animation planned the release of a new series, Crystal, to celebrate the anniversary and mark the passage of our pretty guardian into the modern age. Moon fever hit the internet, hard. Journalists and casual bloggers responded with speculative articles, histories and impassioned GIF sets. The premiere was accompanied by a freely available digital re-release of the original series, newly subbed and remastered. This was a monumental step considering the legal mayhem formerly engulfing the franchise. Licensing Sailor Moon seemed not just unlikely, but downright impossible. Aside from the odd piece of fan-made memorabilia, Usagi was resigned to live in memory. So, it’s with a heavy dose of surrealism that I’m approaching the Season 1 Box set from VIZ Media, available in two parts on both DVD and Blu-Ray. 

I was introduced to Sailor Moon in the first grade by a friend, whose most distinct characteristic was a violent unibrow that rivaled only my own. I’m still not sure whether it was the overgrown facial hair, our racial ambiguity or simply a shared nerdiness that pitted us together. I only know that after listening to a fervored recommendation over the communal crayon bucket, I spent my mornings with Serena and company. Usagi would reveal her true identity to me at a later date. 


"Licensing Sailor Moon seemed not just unlikely, but downright impossible. Aside from the odd piece of fan-made memorabilia, Usagi was resigned to live in memory."

Like many American fans, my first exposure to anime was through that infamous DIC dub. In syndication, Sailor Moon was not only scrubbed of its Japanese origins, but censored and condensed for a younger palette. Curious six-year-olds like myself were the target audience, and I ate it up. I penned my first fanfiction and acquired an obnoxious pair of light-up sneakers, complete with rubbery moon decal. My first web page was a senshi shrine, hacked together on Yahoo’s Geocities. There are hundreds of stories like mine, and given the recent media attention, dozens of these anecdotes were likely published over the past year. 

The premise of the show was simple, and sounds even more so now, in retrospect. Fourteen-year-old Usagi Tsukino stumbles upon a talking cat, Luna, who recruits her as Sailor Moon, a long-lost guardian of the Silver Crystal. Despite her supreme awkwardness in the real world, she’s cast as the leader. On a quest to defend Earth from the Dark Kingdom, Usagi discovers and enlists other sailor soldiers. Celestial force supplies their powers, and the guardians transform into battle-ready form with magical brooches. If the set-up sounds familiar, it’s because Sailor Moon has set the standard for the Magical Girl genre. It has since spawned countless copies. While not wildly original, even during its debut, the focus on female-centric heroism was revolutionary for the time. As a role model, Usagi’s ordinary and realistically flawed personality makes her all the more relatable. Her crybaby tendencies, and inclination to over-emote with the greatest animated hyperbole, make her memorable. The ultra kawaii, food-obsessed ditz with pure intentions has become boilerplate, but Usagi will always be my favorite. 


"Usagi’s ordinary and realistically flawed personality makes her all the more relatable. Her crybaby tendencies, and inclination to over-emote with the greatest animated hyperbole, make her memorable."

Revisiting the first season of Sailor Moon didn’t dash my dreams, but instead affirmed how exceptional the show actually is. I’d like to think that viewing the series with fresh eyes would still prove satisfactory. Is it a bit ostentatious? Absolutely. Plot-wise, Sailor Moon doesn’t deviate far from the monster-of-the-week format. What it does excel in, however, is strong character development. The anime in particular sought to carve out distinct personalities for each of the senshi. The sheer amount of time spent with the characters cultivates attachment. Sailor Moon mastered the art of banter to the point that filler episodes can be considered foundation-building. 

If this review was solely based on the quality of the series itself, I’d issue an entire sheet of gold stars and call it a day. Sailor Moon has rightfully earned its legendary status. So, how does VIZ’s boxed set measure up? As previously stated, the first season is available in both standard and high definition. Due to visual fidelity issues, I would personally recommend the DVD version, priced at half the cost of the Blu-ray. We received the DVD set in the office, and I’m glad for it. Upscaling standard video can only be so successful. Granted, the base set comes without bonus extras and the packaging leaves something to be desired. Comparisons to the 1080p release must unfortunately be made through secondhand video and screenshot comparison, but I’m also well aware of the source material. Content-wise, Sailor Moon has aged well, but that doesn’t ease the technical limitations of remastering film whose age can be measured in decades. Animation poses a significantly greater challenge than live action footage. Throw in the potential of missing master reels, and you’ve got a veritable mess. Graphical damage has tainted every Sailor Moon release to date. Given the circumstances, VIZ shared an acceptable product. 


"Due to visual fidelity issues, I would personally recommend the DVD version, priced at half the cost of the Blu-ray."

Videophiles will notice a picture marred by artifacting and the ghosting remnants of telecine reversal. While this is supposedly less apparent on the Japanese and European remasters, it’s still not completely absent. I favor the muted tones to the chroma boosted saturation present on these discs, but recognize that it complements the aesthetic defined by the slightly aggressive digital noise reduction. The overall picture is vibrant and clean, and though textural subtleties have been lost, some fans may prefer the streamlined look. VIZ addressed the biggest problem plaguing the sets, the inappropriate pillarboxing on the standard definition, citing it as an oversight that will not be repeated in future.  


"The series has been completely redubbed, featuring an all-new voice cast purportedly picked by creator Naoko Takeuchi herself."

Sailor Moon is so deeply entrenched within my childhood, that it’s difficult to be objective in my expectations. As a fan, I feel compelled to support this release. It’s flawed, yes, but it’s miles better than anything previously accessible to North America. Not too long ago, fans could only choose between shady eBay bootlegs and exorbitantly priced sets from ADV. Viz plans to publish the whole series, uncut and true to form. To their credit, the audio is second to none. The series has been completely redubbed, featuring an all-new voice cast purportedly picked by creator Naoko Takeuchi herself. A less invested publisher may have skipped this step, but the fact that English-speaking fans can enjoy an accurate and complete release is huge. While I can’t deny an unexplainable preference for some of the voice actors in the original dub, I recognize that it’s entirely sentimental. I don’t miss the Westernization or the inconsistency. This is a throwback well worth the investment. 

Review by: Ameenah Salamunic | Published by: VIZ Media | Review Format: DVD

B

Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires Review

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I’m tired of developers cramming the term “cinematic” down our throats. Cinematic has become nothing but an excuse for poor gameplay design. Instead of actual cinematic “experiences,” we are treated to, well, just cinematics. A cutscene doesn’t make a game cinematic. The Last of Us is cinematic because it blends excellent storytelling with engaging gameplay. Cutscenes in The Last of Us are the cherry topping. They tie elements together. They help with pacing and plot structure. They aren’t the entirety of the game. The Order 1886, on the other hand, is nothing but an ongoing cutscene, a stretched out tech demo. It’s everything that’s wrong with the AAA industry.

So, what do cinematic games have to do with Dynasty Warriors? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. That’s why I get excited for every new Dynasty Warriors release. Developer Omega Force has spent their entire career crafting experiences that relish in old-school gameplay mechanics. They don’t concern themselves with extravagant cutscenes. That’s not to say their titles lack narrative. Quite the contrary. As any dedicated DW fan will tell you, the Warriors games are rich in intriguing historical references and diverse characters.


"Developer Omega Force has spent their entire career crafting experiences that relish in old-school gameplay mechanics."

Ultimately, it all boils down to gameplay. Value and gameplay. Omega Force doesn’t hide behind a curtain of uncertainty. They know what they’re good at, and they continue perfecting their formula. Omega Force should be applauded for not trying to appeal to everyone. Some gamers aren’t fond of their peculiar style, others (like myself) are diehard fans. If you don’t like their games, fine, there are a million other franchises, but there’s nothing wrong with developing for a niche audience. 

Omega Force’s latest Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires has more content than most recent AAA releases combined. It puts games like Evolve to shame. Sure, DW has a lot of additional DLC content, but the core game has enough value to last a lifetime. The DLC stuff is just extra bling. If you’re not happy with the gazillion characters and costumes the base game has to offer, then go ahead and buy that $10 accessory pack if you really want a new hair style.


"When not slashing through hordes of enemies, you engage in politics and develop (or break) relationships with surrounding kingdoms."

Empires is the last stage of every Dynasty Warriors entry. It takes the arcade-style sandbox combat and adds RPG and strategy elements. When not slashing through hordes of enemies, you engage in politics and develop (or break) relationships with surrounding kingdoms. You can either start as a common soldier by creating a custom avatar with DW’s robust creation system, or you can choose a higher ranking officer from a wide selection of historical figures. Beginning with a low rank limits your decision making. You can engage in quests to prove your loyalty, you can recruit officers from neighboring lands, you can erect new buildings and form alliances, but once promoted to ruler, you become responsible for every aspect of your kingdom. 

During war councils, you directly decide which policies carry the most importance: personnel, finances, diplomacy or battle. After each council, a series of specific objectives can be chosen that, if met, grants additional experience points. Will you form an alliance with a neighboring kingdom, or execute raids and invade your rivals? Will you spend resources on developing armories for your army, or build shops and academies to satisfy your people? All choices have long term effects on overall kingdom stability, as well as your social status. After defeating an opposing army, you can even recruit, release or execute enemy generals. If you execute a general, for example, you lose any future possibility of forming an alliance or receiving needed supplies. Alternately, recruiting an untrustworthy officer can lead to internal disarray amongst your army. There’s so much more to Empires’ intricate RPG system, it’s impossible to cover everything in a single review.


"One one hand, it’s about running around and effortlessly slicing through thousands of enemy soldiers, on the other hand, you’re learning how to strategically navigate and dominate the map."

On the battlefield, Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires continues to offer the same kind of explosive action that series fans have come to expect. Empires isn’t a vast step forward like the recent Samurai Warriors 4, but the combat remains undeniably addictive. Before each fight, you can fortify home bases with defensive and offensive upgrades, you can equip your officer with combat enhancing stratagems and you can select the most suitable fighters to accompany you in battle. Dynasty Warriors has always been, and still is, a button masher with strategy. One one hand, it’s about running around and effortlessly slicing through thousands of enemy soldiers, on the other hand, you’re learning how to strategically navigate and dominate the map. 

Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires disappoints the most when it comes to its visuals. Samurai Warriors 4 was a massive improvement over past Warriors titles. The game was gorgeous and ran buttery smooth. Unfortunately, Empires is a technical step backwards. Environments are bland, textures are low and most disappointingly, the frame rate drops when too many characters fill the screen. Character designs still impress, and the fps hiccups aren’t game breaking, but it’s a shame that more effort wasn’t put towards aesthetics.  

Like with every Dynasty Warriors title, fans will love it and haters will hate it. Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires does nothing new to diversify the series, but it also doesn’t take away from its sound foundation. The lackluster visuals are disappointing, but the strategic depth combined with classic DW action justifies the asking price. 

Review by: Tin Salamunic | Reviewed on: Playstation 4

8

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round Review

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If you were unfortunate enough to miss both Dead or Alive 5 and Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate during the last-gen era, now is your chance to experience Team Ninja’s definitive version of their acclaimed fighter. Dead or Alive 5: Last Round isn’t just a visual upgrade, it’s packed with content from: DOA5, DOA5+, DOA5 Ultimate and DOA5U Arcade. For DOA5 Ultimate owners, Last Round may not be an immediate must buy, since Ultimate already came with a wealth of content, but for everyone else, this is undoubtedly the greatest Dead or Alive entry to date. 

When Dead or Alive made its debut in 1996, it captivated fighting fans with a newly introduced countering system and unique environmental Danger Zones. Ironically, the series became infamous for its jiggle factor and scantily clad female fighters, rather than its excellent gameplay. DOA’s innovative fighting mechanics carried from one sequel to the next, but continually crawled behind genre veterans like Street Fighter and Tekken. With their fifth release, Team Ninja finally proved that beyond the thick layers of eroticism hid a beautifully complex fighter with a ton of depth and diversity. If you loved DOA5, the Ultimate version may provide just enough new content to satisfy your cravings until an official sequel is announced…and for everyone else, well this is an absolute must have!


"Dead or Alive 5: Last Round isn’t just a visual upgrade, it’s packed with content from: DOA5, DOA5+, DOA5 Ultimate and DOA5U Arcade."

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round impresses the moment you reach the character select screen. It’s been a year since I last played DOA5 Ultimate, and the game still looks stunning. The fighters look remarkably realistic while still maintaining the traditional DOA aesthetic. They sweat and get dirty as the environments collapse around them, and everything moves at a flawlessly smooth frame rate. Last Round boasts a roster of 34 character (with each fighter having access to countless costumes), including newcomers Raidou and Honoka, making this the largest roster in series history.  


"Last Round boasts a roster of 34 character, including newcomers Raidou and Honoka, making this the largest roster in series history."

The dynamic stages are designed with great detail and diversity. From tropical jungle forests to urban cityscapes and circus arenas, each area provides a distinct aesthetic and a sense of life. A rooftop will suddenly crumble to pieces as fighters brawl through the falling debris. Other times you find yourself fighting in the midst of a war torn street surrounded by bombarded buildings, with an attacking tank just waiting to interrupt your combos. It’s quite a spectacle. The jump to 1080p brings out all the little environmental intricacies, although the baffling lack of anti-aliasing results in unpleasant shimmering. 


"As an HD remaster, Dead or Alive 5: Last Round may not be a vast technical leap from its predecessor, but as a definitive DOA experience, it has no rival."

Danger Zones are back and you can trigger crazy special that look even more stunning in high resolution and 60fps. Glaciers collapse, cars crash, things blow up all around you… it’s dazzling. Returning stages include various fan favorites (like the beach, desert, and more) in addition to some pleasant surprises, like the Sky City Tokyo from the Ninja Gaiden series. There are also two new stages: The Danger Zone and The Crimson. With 31 fighting arenas in total, it’s impossible not to find a favorite. Dead or Alive 5: Last Round can be played solo or with a tag partner. The latter is a nice alternative to Tekken Tag Tournament and offers some classy special moves that can be mixed with combos. I still prefer the tag diversity of moves in Tekken, but DOA does a fine job of providing a similar mechanic for team fighting. 

What started as an arcade fighter has grown into a serious tournament contender. While Dead or Alive 5: Last Round is still easy to pick up, mastering the game’s complex mechanics and facing masterful online opponents is no easy task. The online scoring system is both intimidating and rewarding. Points are awarded and distributed based on performance, which then gets summarized into an overall grade. This is where tag team really comes into play. Pairing up with a more skilled player allows you to both hone your skills and improve your rankings. DOA’s online component is a great system that will only get better as the community grows.   

As an HD remaster, Dead or Alive 5: Last Round may not be a vast technical leap from its predecessor, but as a definitive DOA experience, it has no rival. Last Round has more content than any fighting game to date, and its gameplay style is suitable for both newcomers and genre experts. Considering the slim selection of fighting games on the current console generation, DOA5: Last Round is a wonderful choice until Team Ninja announces an official next-gen sequel. 

Review by: Tin Salamunic | Reviewed on: Playstation 4

8.5

Coppelion Series Review

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Tomonori Inoue is a rising star amongst Japanese manga artists. His first serialized comic, Coppelion, made it onto Oricon’s best-selling charts only a year after debuting in Young Magazine in 2008. After a televised adaptation was announced in 2010, it quickly came to a halt due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan. It was then revived by Studio GoHands, known for their 2012 K series, before being licensed by Viz Media for North American audiences. Despite its rocky development, all thirteen episodes are finally available in a superbly produced Blu-ray set. Coppelion is a gorgeously animated short series that, despite its narrative inconsistencies, is a fantastic extension of Tomonori’s comic book work.

Coppelion takes place in the year 2016 after a nuclear meltdown contaminates Tokyo, and forces both its citizens and the government out of the city. Some might say Tomonori’s manga, which released three years before Fukushima Daiichi’s disaster, was somewhat prophetic. However, Coppelion carries a goofy undertone despite its genuine political statements. The story wants to be taken seriously, but its underdressed heroic trio falls victim to cliche anime stereotypes. And yet, Coppelion is a blast to watch. As long as the plot is approached with an open mind, Coppelion relishes in its incredible action sequences and what may be the most beautiful backdrops in a serialized anime to date. 


"Coppelion is a gorgeously animated short series that, despite its narrative inconsistencies, is a fantastic extension of Tomonori’s comic book work."

Coppelion are genetically modified humans bred to withstand Tokyo’s polluted air. Each Coppelion member is assigned a long term mission during their training, along with a unique ability. Members are divided into groups of three, and sent to the ravaged city of Tokyo to complete their individual goals. Ibara, Aoi and Taeko are part of a rescue team dispatched to search for survivors. It’s been twenty years since the incident, and not everyone managed to escape the city. Some remained trapped, others stayed to avoid imprisonment because of their criminal background. 

The remaining humans are barely scraping by, and can only survive by wearing advanced hazmat suits left behind by the corporation responsible for the nuclear meltdown. Food is delivered across town by a group of survivors stationed at a well maintained, and fully stocked, science building. With a mysterious rogue military organization threatening to spread the poisonous chemicals beyond Tokyo, Ibara, Aoi and Taeko join forces with the survivors in order to stop further contamination.


"Coppelion’s art direction is incomparable. Tomonori’s manga was already beautiful, and seeing the familiar scenery in motion adds new life to the artwork."

Half the show revolves around the rescue team meeting characters with curious pasts, some who were even partially responsible for the nuclear meltdown. Since the entire show takes place in an abandoned city, Ibara, Aoi and Taeko almost single handedly carry the first few episodes until other, more permanent, side characters are introduced. The girls have great chemistry, and the plot is engaging when it focuses on political and social issues. 

Unfortunately, Coppelion suffers from juvenile anime tropes. Nearly all female characters are underdressed, there are dozens of uncomfortable panty shots and the odd comedic timing is, well, poorly timed. To be fair, Aoi is the only character who drags the series down. Her infantile behavior and constant bickering are intolerable. Even the most epic battles are tainted by her whining in the background. Fortunately, Ibara and Taeko are nothing like Aoi. Watching their characters mature and react to life-altering decisions is exciting, even with Aoi’s constant fussing. Despite Coppelion’s erratic storytelling, there are enough plot developments to keep the narrative engaging. The survivors are arguably the most interesting and complex characters on the show. Their struggle with maintaining a civil life amongst chaos is inspiring. Even when everything is taken from them, their camaraderie and positive attitude prevails. 


"Tomonori Inoue may be a newcomer, but his artistic ability is already beyond most popular anime shows."

Coppelion’s art direction is incomparable. Tomonori’s manga was already beautiful, and seeing the familiar scenery in motion adds new life to the artwork. The background paintings are stupendously detailed. Every single scene boasts meticulously rendered backgrounds. Despite taking place in a post apocalyptic city, the environments radiate with color and a sense of life. The characters are beautifully portrayed as well. Their style closely resembles the original manga artwork, and the animators have even added the thick black outlines seen in a lot of traditional comics. The Blu-ray quality is exquisite, with crystal clear image quality and some nifty extras (clean opening and ending, original trailers, bonus art gallery and additional DVDs of the entire series). Sadly, the English and Japanese audio are only available in 2.0, so those hoping for an immersive surround sound experience are out of luck.

Coppelion isn’t perfect, but considering the lack of decent anime over the last few years, it’s definitely worth checking out. The cast is great (excluding Aoi), the action is energetic and the artwork is breathtaking. The Blu-ray + dvd combo pack retails at $52.89, which is a sound deal considering the high production values and excellent image quality. Tomonori Inoue may be a newcomer, but his artistic ability is already beyond most popular anime shows. 

Review by: Tin Salamunic | Published by: VIZ Media | Review Format: Blu-Ray

A-

The Next Penelope Review

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Before playing The Next Penelope, I did some reading on the Early Access page on Steam about the title and discovered that the number of developers working on it was one. Just one. A single guy managing the coding, art direction, animation and music. A lot of time and care has gone in to what’s currently developed and being presented, and it shows.

The game’s basic premise is based off of the Odyssey of Greek mythology fame.  While Odysseus is mentioned, the story chooses to focus on his wife Penelope instead. She must grudgingly work for the God Poseidon in order to save her people in Ithaca and find her missing husband. The story serves as a nice backdrop for the game, and gives it the flare that makes it unique. Because of that, I want to talk a bit first about the presentation of the game before we get down to brass tacks, because a lot of effort was put into the overall look of the game.


"The story serves as a nice backdrop for the game, and gives it the flare that makes it unique."

The art direction here is clear and for the most part, well executed. With the combination of white pillars and neon lights, we’re presented with a neo-Greco look.  There are times where the two elements seem to clash more than combine, but on the whole it works. All of the bosses are based off of creatures and figures from Greek mythology, and their levels are designed to reflect their personalities. Due to this, the game succeeds in never making you feel like you’re trudging through samey environments. There’s no recycling of assets here. Other small touches like the flickering of character windows when they speak, the UI reacting when you take damage and seeing your ship rocket off into space on win screens keep the game engaging.  The music is also quite good and adds an extra bit of personality of the levels.

With all of that being said, let’s get in to the actual game play. The Next Penelope is an overhead racing game, and an unforgiving one at that. Since it is on PC, you have the option to use either the keyboard or a controller. The game recommends a controller, and having tried both I agree. I was using a Dual Shock 4 controller, as it’s my personal preference. The buttons are mapped out to work on the X-box controller, but you don’t lose anything using the DS4. Either way, it was much easier to manage my abilities using buttons versus trying to remember which keys to keep my fingers on. Everything’s just a little more at hand on a controller. Which is good, because you will be making constant use of the abilities given to you just to eke out a win. 


"The game succeeds in never making you feel like you’re trudging through samey environments. There’s no recycling of assets here."

Spamming your abilities however, will result in your death due to the fact that your life and your power supply are the same thing. Everything filters out from your energy bar. When you run out of energy, you’re done for. This means that both dealing damage and taking it result in the same effect and you need to be choosy as to when to use your abilities. There are places on the track were you can recover energy, and one of your weapons will bring back double the energy put out to deploy it should someone run in to it, but these aren’t always options. This is where the main challenge of the game is. Winning while preventing your own death. 

The actual handling of the ship is fairly loose, and takes some serious getting used to if this is not the kind of game you typically play. The tutorial spans three levels, and goes from being incredibly simple to brutally punishing. Over all, I feel like this game had an issue with pacing the difficulty. Even in your fist race, a less than perfect run equals being lapped and having no hope of winning. 


"While I appreciated the break from racing and enjoyed the dramatic presentation, all of the skills I’d learned and honed on the race track were then irrelevant in the boss battles."

What’s more, I found the bosses of each level to be far easier than the races. It made for what felt like a very uneven experience. I’d spend dozens of tries on a race course and just scrape a win out of it and then blow right through the boss level like it was nothing. This is most likely due to the fact that the bosses play more like a shmup game instead of a racing game. While I appreciated the break from racing and enjoyed the dramatic presentation, all of the skills I’d learned and honed on the race track were then irrelevant in the boss battles. Yes, I would be forced to use whatever weapon I was given that level, but I was also thrown out into a larger, more forgiving space. I think the most tries a boss took was two, where as I must have tried about thirty times on some of the race tracks. 


"The Next Penelope has a lot of potential with some more development time, and I know the designer is listening to the input of his players."

General difficulty issues aside, the other problem I found was the gathering of experience points and leveling up. Each of the tracks are littered with XP points, and you’re also given more hefty sums after each level complete and finished boss battle. But as a player I want to buy upgrades to my ship, not features that make the game more playable. Dumping points into an option to make the ship handle more like it should have from the start feels terrible. I ended up farming xp by constantly beating the same boss over and over just so I could have features that to me, should have been there from the start. Not all of the leveling up options are problematic though. Some of them end up being great additions to the game. 

On the whole, I enjoyed The Next Penelope. I think it has a lot of potential with some more development time, and I know the designer is listening to the input of his players. As it stands, it definitely is built more for the player who either already has an aptitude for this type of game, or someone who enjoys honing a new skill. The easily discouraged will most likely be turned off from the game, which is a shame. I feel like with some difficulty tweaking, or some difficulty options, the game could be much better. 

Review by: Erin Conley | Reviewed on: PC

7.5

Upcoming Viz Media Box Sets

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If you're an anime or manga fan, then you are probably familiar with the name VIZ Media...at least we hope you are. VIZ Media is one of the largest anime and manga distributors in North America and they are promising us some great releases for later this year. Just in time for the holidays, Viz will be releasing box sets for both Claymore and Rosario + Vampire.

The story of Claymore takes place in a world where monsters called Yoma disguise themselves as humans to feed off of them. However, a new race of warriors called Claymores, with their distinct silver eyes, are half human and half monster and they hunt the Yoma. Although they posses superhuman strength, they must suppress their Yoma side, unless the become consumed by their very own opposing side. This gripping story is set to be released this October as a boxset of all 27 volumes and a booklet of colored covers never released in North America. You'll be able to pick this up for $214.00 USD this fall.

Rosario + Vampire revolves around an ordinary boy who gets enrolled in boarding school. However, he quickly finds out that he is the only human in a boarding school full of witches, werewolves and other creatures. While most of the girls are in love with him, he finds himself hated my the other boys in the school...so much that most of them want to see him dead. The boxset includes an exclusive full-color mini-comic and is scheduled to be released in November. It contains both the original and Season II, for a grand total of 24 volumes at the price of $185.99 USD.

News by: Mike Ackerman