Godzilla: The Half Century War Review by Eugene Alejandro

Please read James Stokoe’s Godzilla The Half Century War from IDW Publishing if your a Godzilla fan that wants to read a brilliantly written and brilliantly drawn Godzilla comic.

The reason why it’s called the half century war is because all five issues are set in different years with the first issue being set in 1954, and the fifth and final issue is set in 2002. Issue two takes place in 1967, issue three is set in 1975, and the fourth issue is in the year 1987.

Godzilla The Half Century War is an amazing comic because it’s an ambitious story that James Stokoe put lots of heart, soul, passion, and effort into making as each issue has strong writing and phenomenal artwork by him.

Even though I’ve just said this, James Stokoe’s art in Godzilla The Half Century War is without a doubt some of the greatest art I’ve never seen in a Godzilla comic. The Kaiju and the environments have huge amounts of detail put into them, and the colors also help the atmosphere that the art is meant to represent. My only nitpick with the art is that sometimes the human characters look a bit cartoonish looking.

A dislike that I have is that I didn’t feel that SpaceGodzilla should have been in issue #4, while King Ghidorah and Gigan were in issue #5. In my opinion, it needed to be the reverse because any Godzilla fan should know that SpaceGodzilla is a much more powerful foe than King Ghidorah and Gigan are.

Overall, Godzilla The Half Century War is a well-written and well-illustrated comic in the Godzilla franchise by James Stokoe that I absolutely recommend to every fan of Godzilla, as well as the Kaiju genre as a whole.

I give Godzilla The Half Century War 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

Godzilla 1954 Movie Review by Eugene Alejandro

Godzilla 1954 is movie that features that talents of Ishiro Honda (director and writer), Akira Ifukube (soundtrack), and Eiji Tsuburaya (special effects), and is the very first installment that started the entire Godzilla franchise (this review is also specifically of the original Japanese version).

The plot of this movie is that it is the year 1954, and a giant monster the people of Japan decide to call Godzilla appears from the depths of the ocean, and begins causing destruction to the city of Tokyo. It becomes proven that Godzilla was created as a result of nuclear testing, and the government of Japan tries to figure out how to destroy Godzilla, with one scientist having the answer, but too afraid to show as he believes it would inspire ever more dangers for the world.

As would expect with this film, it is a true masterpiece in the Kaiju genre for it has an engaging story, brilliant writing, and works as a very good allegory about the consequences of using nuclear weapons with the title character Godzilla being born as a result of nuclear weaponry.

While Godzilla doesn’t fight another giant monster in this film, and it takes a very long time of him to appear in it, what makes up for it is it’s cast of memorable characters, well-done drama, and the fact it doesn’t pander about it’s message about nuclear weaponry.

Akira Ifukube’s soundtrack is brilliant to hear, and helps with the dark and depressing tone of the movie.

I usually try my best to find a flaw in what I review, but for me, Godzilla 1954 doesn’t have anything that isn’t good about it for it is a good story that’s well-acted, and well-written, Although I will admit that the Godzilla suit sometimes does look a bit unintentionally silly looking and is outdated, but I’ll give it a pass because the movie was made back in the year 1954.

In conclusion, not only is Godzilla 1954 the very first film in the franchise that’s important for every fan to watch to see how it all began, it is an example of powerful cinema with a very good message, and is a phenomenal drama in the Kaiju genre that should never be missed and forgotten.

I give Godzilla 1954 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

Ultraman The Manga Volume 1 Review by Eugene Alejandro

If you’re a fan of the long running Ultraman franchise that was created long ago by Eiji Tsuburaya (the special effects director that used to work for Toho before founding Tsuburaya Productions), then you will love the current manga series from Shogakukan and published in English by Viz Media that’s written by Eiichi Shimizu, and illustrated by Tomohiro Shimoguchi.

This Ultraman manga series is a direct sequel to the original Ultraman television show back in 1966 in which the main character from that show Shin Hayata, is more grown up, and has a son named Shinjiro Hayata. While him and his son are at a memorial museum, Shinjiro ends up accidentally falling down from a ledge, but somehow survives without any severe injuries. 12 years later, and while in his teen years, Shinjiro starts to become aware of his unnatural abilities and tries to live the best life he can with him. One night, a mysterious being wearing armor that calls itself Bemular (named after the very first Kaiju Ultraman fought in the show), attacks Shinjiro. Shin shows up revealing that he is Ultraman to his son for the very first time, has him sent to someplace safe, and starts fighting Bemular. The place that Shin had Shinjiro taken to be safe happens to be a facility that gives him a Ultraman-like armor, and it’s also revealed that the reason why he has abilities and most regular people don’t have is because he has what’s called the “Ultraman Factor”. Shinjiro decides to wear the armor, and continue the Ultraman legacy that began with his father.

I will not say how this volume ends because it would be a spoiler, and I don’t want to spoil the ending to this at all.

Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi’s Ultraman manga serves as a really good addition to the franchise for it is well-written, and well-drawn. It does however (like I said earlier) take place after the 1966 TV series. Meaning that you really need to watch the show before reading this in order to understand it.

While this Ultraman story does take away the idea of a giant alien being fighting Kaiju, the new concept that it has is a very unique take on Ultraman, and also works very well has a hybrid of Bio-Booster Armor Guyver, and Power Rangers.

The English translation by Joe Yamazaki and lettering by Evan Waldinger for this volume is very well-done and easy to read.

Ultraman The Manga by Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi is a manga that I strongly recommend that Ultraman fans read, and the first volume is a very good start.

I give Ultraman The Manga Volume 1 5/5 Stars, and 2 Thumbs Up.

Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman Volume 3 by Review Eugene Alejandro

Just like in the previous volume, Volume 3 of Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman is set during the cretaceous period, and has Amon, Sirene, and Kaim as the main characters. It also introduces a new character named Atai.

The plot of Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman Volume 3 continues from the ending of Volume 2 in which Sirene decided to become Satan’s decoy for the angels. Once she is captured and sent to their location where they are injecting God’s blood into demons, Sirene uses her Antennas to signal for help. Amon and Kaim hear the signal, and go to rescue her, but a something surprising and unexpected happens when they reach the location.

Amon The Darkside of The Devilman Volume 3 does a brilliant job at going into more depth about the origins of Amon, and serving as another good addition to the entire series as a whole.

As I’ve already said in my previous reviews, Yu Kinutani’s writing and artwork is spectacular and flawless. While this volume doesn’t end in a complete cliffhanger, the ending has very good foreshadowing that sets up volume 4.

One thing that I really need to let anyone who wants to read this manga know is that all 6 volumes of it are very quick and easy to read. So if your in the mood to read a brilliant manga that’s not too time consuming, this is what I recommend to you.

Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman Volume 3 (as well as the whole series) is another example of how Yu Kinutani achieved in adding something new and wonderful to Go Nagai’s Devilman franchise without trying to contradict and/or ruin anything that was already established by Go Nagai.

I give Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman Volume 3 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman Volume 2 Review by Eugene Alejandro

Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman Volume 2 is where the prequel part of the series begins.

Volume 2 is set during the time of the Cretaceous era in which the Earth was ruled by both the dinosaurs during that time, as well as the Demons who hunt the dinosaurs for food. A human male infant is found in the home of the Sirene Tribe, and before the members of the tribe decide they should kill it with one of them believing it to be a bad omen, the mother of the entire Sirene Tribe tells them that it’s better to abandon the child as oppose to killing it. Years later, the infant has grown up to become strong enough to survive on his own with the help of a mysterious voice.

There’s more story in this volume, but I don’t want to give it away because I want you to read it for yourself.

Volume 2 of Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman does a solid job at being a good origin story for the characters of Amon, and Sirene. It’s also a good look at how the demons lived prior to the main Devilman story.

Yu Kinutani’s artwork continues to be spectacular looking like it was in the previous volume as he puts a lot of detail into making the dinosaurs and demons look almost real.

His writing also continues to be top-notch, and his storytelling is never boring. I will say that though this volume Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman (as well as the previous volume) is a very quick read. Which isn’t a bad thing because it doesn’t looked rushed at all as the artwork is amazing looking, and the writing is still very good.

Overall, Yu Kinutani has done a brilliant job at adding something new to the lore of Devilman that Go Nagai never did, and Amon The Darkside of The Devilman Volume 2 (as well the entire manga series) helps establish that very well.

I give Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman Volume 2 Two Thumbs Up, and 5/5 Stars.

Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman Volume 1 Review by Eugene Alejandro

Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman is a prequel/re-telling of the original Devilman manga created by Go Nagai, and is written and drawn by Yu Kinutani.

This is my review of volume 1 which is a re-telling of a final chapter of the original Devilman manga in which the main character of the Devilman series Akira Fudo becomes fully possessed by the demon that was fused with him known as Amon after seeing the death of the woman he loved named Miki Makimura which affected him so much, his will become too weak, and Amon has successfully awaken and is on a search to kill Satan for imprisoning him in Akira Fudo.

Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman Volume 1 is a very well-made what-if story as Yu Kinutani’s writing in it is great and easy to follow, understand, and adds something brand new to the series that Go Nagai never did in a good way.

Yu Kinutani’s artwork is very detailed and wonderful to look at. In my opinion, his artwork is a blend of the art styles of Takeshi Obata (the artist of Death Note, and Bakuman), and H.R. Giger (the artist behind the design of the Xenomorphs from the Alien franchise).

The one thing that I didn’t like in this volume was the subplot about a army leader in Vatican City Rome who starts to loose his sanity in wanting to destroy the demons. To me, it didn’t feel like it added anything to the story, and shouldn’t have been in it.

Just like all the other manga from the franchises that Go Nagai created, Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman has never been officially translated and distributed in English. Meaning that it can only be read in English by going to scanalation sites that have it available to read for free.

One more important detail about Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman: All 6 volumes of it contain lots of gore and sexual content in them. So please do not let anyone under the age of 18 read it (you should also wait until your 18 or older to read it as well).

If you are a huge Devilman fan like I am, and want to read a well-written and well-drawn story from the franchise that isn’t by Go Nagai, Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman is for you, and the very first volume of it is a spectacular what-if story.

I give Amon: The Darkside of The Devilman Volume 1 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

Looney Tunes Back in Action Review by Eugene Alejandro

In Memory of Joe Alaskey (1952-2016)

The story of Looney Tunes Back in Action takes place in a world in which the classic Warner Bros cartoon characters exist in the real world, and the leader of the Acme corporation Mr. Chairman (played by Steve Martin) wants to obtain a magical item called The Blue Monkey so that he can turn everybody into monkeys and use them as slaves to make products for Acme. Famous Hollywood actor and real undercover spy Damian Drake (played by Timothy Dalton) tries to stop Mr. Chairman’s plan, but ends up getting captured by the Acme corporation. It’s now up to his son DJ Drake (played by Brendan Fraser), Bugs Bunny (voiced by Joe Alaskey), Daffy Duck (also voiced by Joe Alaskey), and the Vice President of Comedy for Warner Bros Kate Houghton (played by Jenna Elfman) to find the Blue Monkey and stop Mr. Chairman’s evil plan.

Before I talk about how I felt about this movie, I want to explain its history. Originally, Looney Tunes Back in Action was suppose to be a direct sequel to Space Jam titled Space Jam 2, but was canceled because Michael Jordan didn’t want to be in it. It ended up getting change into a spin-off called Spy Jam which would’ve starred Jackie Chan, but got scrapped because Jackie Chan resigned from the project. Much later on, Warner Bros contacted film-maker Joe Dante to make the movie, he did agree to an extant. He wanted to make a Looney Tunes movie, but not have it be related to Space Jam because he hated the movie claiming that it didn’t represent the classic Looney Tunes characters well. Warner Bros decided to agreed on Joe Dante’s idea for a brand new Looney Tunes movie, and thus, Looney Tunes Back in Action was made. Even though it got good reviews when it was released in theaters back in 2003, it sadly failed to make back it’s 80 million dollar budget as it only made 68.5 million dollars at the box office.

Looney Tunes Back in Action is a very good family movie with a well-written story, great performances from all the actors in it, a phenomenal blend of good 2D animation and live action, memorable music, and has everything else that will make Looney Tunes fans love it as Joe Dante succeeded in making a great movie with passion and effort put into it that will make kids, teens, and adults enjoy it.

The acting from the entire cast in this film turned in brilliant performances. Steve Martin as the villain Mr. Chairman is entertainingly funny, and his acting helps carry the movie’s lighthearted tone as he is not a very serious villain, but it works because it’s a Looney Tunes movie. Joe Alaskey’s voice acting as both Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck is a good example of his voice acting talent as he was able to voice two characters, and sound very different for both of them without it hinting that it’s him providing the voices. Brendan Fraser and Jenna Elfman’s performances were great, and they had good chemistry with each other in the movie.

The 2D animation used to create all the Warner Bros cartoon characters is very well done, and the animators did a fantastic job at making them work in the real world as the interactions with them and the human characters looks very real.

The only thing that I disliked in this movie was that the CGI used in it is sometimes very poor looking and unnecessary where as the practical effects and the 2D animation are brilliant and fit well to the story.

While Looney Tunes Back in Action may come off as a Who Framed Roger Rabbit clone to some people because both films are about worlds in which real people and cartoon characters exist with each other, it is still a really good movie to watch and not be disappointed with, and is a movie that Looney Tunes fans will love and cherish forever.

I give Looney Tunes Back in Action Two Thumbs Up, and 4/5 Stars.