The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 1 Review by Eugene Alejandro

The general story of The Ancient Magus Bride is about a girl named Chise Hatori who is sold as a slave, and purchased by a mage named Elias Ainsworth to become his apprentice and bride. Now that her live has changed, she and Elias began going on many adventures in which they go to many different places, discover new creatures, and meet new people. There is more than what I said about the story for this volume, but I don’t want to say what it is because I want you to read this without knowing way too much. I’ll say though that the ending of The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 1 does have a ending that does a good job at wanting the readers to read Volume 2.

The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 1 is a phenomenal start to an amazing ongoing fantasy romance manga, and it also works perfectly as a Beauty and The Beast type story (with Chise Hatori being the Beauty, and Elias Ainsworth being the Beast since he has an inhuman appearance).

Kore Yamazaki’s writing is excellent as each character is developed very well, the story moves at a decent pace and never feels rushed, and the humorous moments work.

Kore Yamazaki’s artwork is truly outstanding to look at as everything looks like lots of time and effort was put into it with brilliant detail to the pencils and inks.

The translation from Japanese to English by Adrienna Beck in this volume is done very well, and Lys Blakeslee’s lettering and layout looks very good and is very easy to see.

Overall, The Ancient Magus Bride is a manga in the fantasy and romance genres that is a brilliantly written and illustrated story that you won’t be disappointed by, and Volume 1 of it is a great example of how to begin an ongoing manga series.

I give The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 1 5/5 Stars, and 2 Thumbs Up.

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Why Go Nagai Has Inspired Me

Go Nagai is a man in the manga industry that has made a huge impact in my life. Without him, I wouldn’t even want to strive to be a talented individual in the comic book industry, as well as a online writer. For he has shown me that talent, passion, and ambition can lead not only to huge success, but also contribution.

Go Nagai’s work has made a huge impact so much that without him, anime and manga (and some other stuff outside of Japan) would not be what it is right now. Some examples of his work are Demon Lord Dante, Devilman, Cutie Honey, Mazinger Z, Violence Jack, Devil Lady, and Shameless School. Devilman, Cutie Honey, Shameless School, and Mazinger Z have contributed greatly to the culture of Japan.

Shameless School is the first manga to feature erotic (but not pornographic) content (which is a genre that’s now called Ecchi). Mazinger Z is the very first mecha story to have a pilot operate a giant mech from the inside (which would lead to other popular and successful mecha franchises such as Gundam, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Pacific Rim just to name a few).

Cutie Honey is the first manga in the Magical Girl genre that invented extended transformation sequences (which is the reason why Sailor Moon and Kill La Kill exist and why they are what they are), and It’s also the first shonen manga to have a female protagonist.

Devilman is a superhero horror manga that despite it’s shocking content at the time of it being published (gore, nudity, demons, apocalyptic scenario, and religious themes) it was a huge success that would go on to inspire other manga just like it (examples of this are Kentaro Miura’s Berserk, Kouta Hirano’s Hellsing, Hitoshi Iwaaki’s Parasyte, and Kazushi Hagiwara’s Bastard).

Go Nagai collaborated with another manga creator named Ken Ishikawa to create a mecha series called Getter Robo. Just like Mazinger Z, Getter Robo contributed to the mecha genre as it’s the very first mecha series to have machines combine together to create a giant robot.

I’ll even go as far as to say that Getter Robo inspired Voltron, Power Rangers, and Transformers because of this.

Despite the fact that Go Nagai’s work has made a enormous contribution to Japanese culture, he has received controversy from the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) at the time. Since his work was made during the 1960’s-1970’s the PTA was mad at him for including graphic violence, sexual content, and other mature themes in his manga as during the 1960’s-1970’s, that kind of stuff was never featured in any other manga before. Which is the reason why the PTA was offended to see Go Nagai’s manga feature that material for the first time.

Despite the controversy, Go Nagai never gave up, and he continued to do what he loved despite the PTA’s complaints (he even made a manga called The Abashiri Family as a harsh response to the PTA as that manga featured a lot of inappropriate content in it).

Go Nagai’s other manga Demon Lord Dante is controversial because the story of it is that God is an alien invader that takes over the Earth, and destroys futuristic utopia depictions of Sodom and Gomorrah. It also portrays Satan, Satanists, and demons as being good, while God and his followers are portrayed as being evil.

Now with all the info about Go Nagai that I have said, your all probably wondering why he as inspired me. Go Nagai has inspired me because not only do I love his writing and artwork (I really want to be a good writer like he is in the future), but also his fascinating metaphors that some of his manga has, and that he is ambitious and never afraid to tell stories he wants to tell. Devilman is a metaphor as it’s a anti-war story. It’s an anti-war story because of the idea of demons merging with humans against their will is symbolic to when back then (and even now in some places in the world), some people were drafted into the army (meaning they were forced to be soldiers). And the part of the story were a supporting character dies was to show the end of peace. Go Nagai even explains that Devilman is a work of anti-war when he said “There is no justice in war, any war. Nor is there any justification for humans being killed by one another. Devilman carries a message of warning, as we step toward a bright future.

Much later in his career, Go Nagai made a manga that lasted all the way from 1997-2000 called Devilman Lady (or as I like to call it by it’s English title; Devil Lady) as that manga features beings called Devilbeasts which are humans that mutant into demonic looking animals. The reason why some people become Devilbeasts is because they want to satisfy their hunger, their desire for power, their lust, and many other things. The first volume of Devil Lady even gives a fascinating theory that because of this, the Devilbeasts are the next stage of human evolution. The reason why I find this fascinating is because I understood it as being a metaphor for what will become of humanity in the future as humans tend to have their own desires that will cause them to change in a bad way, and the Devilbeasts being wild hideous savage monsters that were once normal humans is a metaphor of humanity’s desires ruining itself. While Go Nagai himself has never claimed the Devilbeasts to be a metaphor for humanity’s change (at least to my knowledge), I was able to understand that it was. I’ve also come to theorize that some people turning into Devilbeasts in Devil Lady could also have been influenced by the legend behind the Wendigo in which that monster is the result of some humans having the desire to consume human flesh, or they just become too filled by their own greed and other evil actions.

Go Nagai was inspired by Playboy Magazine, Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, the Venus de Milo statue, and the Lost World by Osamu Tezuka (the creator of Astro Boy).

Despite the popularity of Go Nagai (and his work), none of his manga have been officially translated and sold in English. The only way to read some of his manga in English is to go to scanalation sites that have some of his manga translated into English (which is what I did in order to read some of his manga). However, thanks to a company called Seven Seas Entertainment, that’s about to change for the best.

Go Nagai is to manga and anime, what Stan Lee, Todd Mcfarlane, Warren Ellis, Mark Millar, Walter Simonson, Brian Michael Bendis, Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Joe Simon, Frank Miller, Neal Adams, Alan Moore, Alex Ross, George Perez, Neil Gaiman, Kevin Eastman, Jim Shooter, Michael Turner, Steve Ditko, Jerry Siegel, Jack Kirby, Bob Layton, Dennis O’Neil, John Byrne, Joe Shuster, Marv Wolfman, Will Eisner, Mark Waid, and Howard Chaykin are to American comics because just like Go Nagai, all the other individuals that I just mentioned have made brilliant contributions to the comic book industry that will always be remembered and not forgotten.

I’ll go as far as to say that without Go Nagai, we wouldn’t have famous manga/anime franchises such as Dragon Ball, One Piece, Attack on Titan, Bleach, Naruto, Ghost in the Shell, The Seven Deadly Sins, Trigun, Soul Eater, Akira, Ninja Scroll, and Full Metal Alchemist. Your all probably wondering what is my favorite manga that Go Nagai has made. The answer to that question is none other than the 1972-1973 five volume manga series Devilman.

The reason why Devilman is my all time favorite manga from Go Nagai is because I said so. I’m just kidding. The reason why Devilman is my favorite Go Nagai manga is because I love it’s complex, metaphorical, and ambitious storytelling, it’s outstanding artwork, it’s perfect blend of dark, violent, light hearted, and depressing tones, it’s plot twists, and the amazing impact it made to the manga/anime industry.

To me, Devilman will always be remembered as one of (if not) the best example of literature that I have ever read in my life. And so for all that, Go Nagai (and his manga series Devilman) have truly inspired me to be just as talented, passionate, and ambitious as he is. Go Nagai, I thank you for inspiring me. Your work will never be forgotten. Instead, it will always be remembered by both me, and the whole world.

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.

Fairy Tail: The Manga Volume 1 Review by Eugene Alejandro

For anyone that wants to start reading manga, Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail from Kodansha is one of the many manga series that I recommend.

Fairy Tail is a fun fantasy story with great artwork, brilliant writing, and great humor that makes it perfect for everyone to enjoy. In order to start reading Fairy Tail, the best (and obvious) choice is start all the way from Volume 1.

Volume 1 of the Fairy Tail Manga collects the first 4 chapters of when it was being serialized in the Weekly Shonen Magazine, and is an overall great beginning for the entire series. What makes Fairy Tail Volume 1 work is how well it sets up the main protagonists, and how each chapter ends with the reader wanting to immediately read the next chapter (which is what almost all the chapters do).

Fairy Tail Volume 1 (and the whole series in general) is filled with brilliant comedic moments that add to the fact that it’s a story that doesn’t need to take itself seriously. It does however, have times when the story gets serious, but it happens so that the story can be engaging.

As I mentioned earlier, the artwork for Fairy Tail is really good and is very impressive for the first volume (later on, the artwork starts to become slightly even better with future volumes). I’ll go as far as to say that Hiro Mashima is the Frank Cho of manga as his art shows that he’s skilled at drawing Animals, Voluptuous Women, and Muscular Men.

Fairy Tail Volume 1 also has a very huge easter egg from Hiro Mashima’s earlier Manga Rave Master (I can’t spoil it. You have to read it to know what I’m talking about).

Before I forget to mention, the English language translation by William Flanagan is one of the best and proper translations I’ve ever seen in a manga, and I’m happy to see that this man is getting the work he deserves.

The bonus features at the end that volume 1 includes are very interesting with one of them showing that one of the main characters Natsu Dragneel was originally suppose to be a horned spirit instead of a human fire wizard.

Fairy Tail Volume 1 is a fabolous beginning for the whole series, and a start to a brilliant fantasy manga. 

I give Fairy Tail Volume 1 Two Thumbs Up, and 5/5 Stars.