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Apr. 9th, 2012

Title: Kuroko no Basket - The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays

Type: Anime, Manga

Artist(s): FUJIMAKI Tadatoshi

Status in Home Country: Ongoing - 16 Volumes (Ch 158+)

Scanslation Status: Ch 129+, Ongoing

Scan Groups: A3S Scans, Asean Punk Scanlations, Badam Scanlation, Buried With Manga, CXC Scans, ColonNine, ShinraTensei, ryColaa, DragonPiece, Imangascans

Genre(s): Comedy, Shounen, Sports

Anime: 1/13

Summary: Kuroko is a member from the legendary middle school basketball team known as "The Generation of Miracles", and while nobody seems to know about him, the main 5 players of the team all admit that he is a better player. When he joins the high school basketball team, everyone is surprised to find out that he is small, weak, and easy to miss. What is the secret that makes him so strong, and how will he help his high school team?

Review: This series has been on my MU wish list for quite some time, but it wasn't until the first anime episode was released and I had some free time that I delved into it. After the watching the first episode first, I couldn't help but get addicted and ended up reading all 128 chapters the entire day in one sitting which is a testament to how much I liked this series.

While it's a plus to be some what familiar w/ basketball, it's not a requirement for this series. It doesn't get too technical on rules and regulations, and like most shounens it concentrates on battles w/ rivals and constant level ups.

In some ways it reminded me of Eyeshield 21 and Oofuri because the main character is a small unassuming guy. However, this series takes a bit of a different twist.

The series is about Kuroko, who was a member of the elite Junior High basketball team that ruled their league for 3 years as champions. Kuroko is the 6th important member of the "The Generation of Miracles". However, unlike the other five players who went to great high schools, Kuroko chose to go to a no name school whose basketball had only existed for one year.

What sets the 6th member of that Elite team apart is that as a basket ball player, he doesn't really have any special skills. But he has a natural ability that makes everyone not notice he's present. How his new high school uses this ability and a new Freshman that has returned from America is what the story is about. A team of only freshman and sophmores willing to gamble on their team skills to become Japan's number 1 team.

Similar to many other sports series, it doesn't concentrate quite on the personal lives of the boys nor does it focus on the school days either. It's a pure action series completely devoted to basketball. While the characters are all fascinating in their own right, the main character is actually rather expressionless and doesn't display his emotions well. The emphasis on the motivations of the players is the main focus of this series. Players who have fun vs talented players who play just because they're talented. What is more important is the main theme as is the invidual vs team play.

As for the artwork, I quite liked the style and I loved how the characters are drawn. The anime was also well done, and I'm hoping they stay true to the manga and perhaps have more than one season.  Overall, it appears I've become addicted to another sports series on the same scale as Oofuri.

Rate: 10/10

Blood Soul

Title: Blood Soul  

Type: Manga
Artist(s): FUJISAWA Naoyuki
Status in Home Country: 1 Volume (Complete)
Scanslation Status: Complete
Scan Groups:  Easy Going Scans
Genre(s):  Seinen, Supernatural 
Summary:  The Van Helsing Church Order is bent on destroying all supernatural creatures, as well as anyone else who gets in their way. However, a certain silver-haired man and red-haired vampire are not waiting for the Church to come to them! During their latest attack on a Van Helsing "cleansing" squad, they inadvertently save the life of a human being..

Review: This series had some good potential but because it is only 1 volume, it's a bit on the abrupt side because it never develops the characters or the plot much. On the other hand, the artwork is really nice. 

It's basically from the POV of a mail courier. A girl is paid to deliver a package to a client, however she gets caught in the middle of a cleansing wary by the the Van Helsing Church on so called non humans. We end up finding out that the Church is in a genocidal war against all non-humans. They are in particular searching for the last vampire's fang.

There's some sadness in the storyline, but overall it gets overlaid by all the humor of the vampire's idiotic's antics and everyone else's dry humor. It's a nice one time read that is relatively short. In the end, I find myself liking the supporting main characters than the main. However, the series might have gotten better if it had gone on a bit longer rather than an explosive end that just answered all the questions.

Rate:  7/10

No Hero

Title: No Hero
 
Type: Novel (Chinese)
 
Genre: Comedy, Shounen, Action, Martial Arts, Sci-fi, Drama,
 
Status: Completed (8 Volumes)
 
Author: Yu Wo
 
Translation Group: Asmodea
 
Translation Site: http://asmodeatranslations.blogspot.com/p/no-hero.html
 
Translation Status: Ongoing, Vol 1 Ch 4.5+
 
Prequel: Eclipse Hunter
 
Summary: Daren Avery and Charles, a fated arrangement of master and servant. From the darkness, Dari "picked up" a butler – the vampire, Charles. Carrying a fervor and passion for the butler profession, Charles determinedly serves the secretive young master Dari – regardless if his appetite is startlingly large, his taste in clothes is extremely bad, or if he fails in relationships, the master is always right. On the other hand, in the chaotic era of scientifically enhanced humans, powerful heros become the protectors of the normal citizens, going when they are needed and searching for evil. This younger master may be a particular secretive hero, just like...
 
Review: I only recently found that the sequel to “Eclipse Hunter” was being translated, so I’m pretty estatic! I’m not quite sure if the translator is the one that is now translating “Eclipse Hunter” for Odd Squad or if she’s doing a different series, but she has been translating the sequel to it.
 
“ No Hero,” starts off when Daren, the young naïve cyborg from “Eclipse Hunter” as a college student living on his own. However, where the first series was from the POV of Daren, this series is from the POV of the new butler that Daren hires on a whim one night. Charles is 5th generation butler; however, he is constantly out of work because he happens to be a rare naturally born vampire. As a result, only wealthy people want to use his skills to kill rather than be a butler. This story is mostly about the trials and adventures of the butler finding little tidbits about his strange young new master. It’s amusing because, the reader knows about Daren’s past, but the butler is in the dark about it.

To understand the humor in this story, you definitely have to read the prequel. But it doesn’t effect this story that the translation for the first series is not complete. This series is just as amusing in its overdramatic reactions; however, I do miss Daren’s brother, Devon, the Solaris Emperor in this series. Most of the interactions in this series is between Daren and Charles, where Charles is figuring out how to be a perfect butler while puzzling at Daren’s peculiarities.
If you haven’t tried these series, I’d definitely recommend it. They are amazingly amusing and I wish they were licensed so that I could purchase that actual publishications, so I’m thankful that this series is being translated.

Rate: 9/10

Left Right

Title: Left Right
 
Type: Korean Webtoons, Manhwa
 
Author: Kim Soo Yong
 
Artist(s): Studio Zeeha
 
Status in Home Country: Ongoing - Ch 13+
 
Scanslation Status: Ongoing, Ch 7+
 
Scan Groups:  Easy Going Scans
 
Genre(s):  Psychological, Seinen, Supernatural 
 
DAUM Website: http://cartoon.media.daum.net/webtoon/view/leftright
 
Summary:  A two-faced god decides to mess with the lives of two people. He grants invincibility to an arrogant and hot-blooded detective who was on the verge of death after a run-in with gangsters, and makes a former company CEO who became destitute after his company went bankrupt, rich! The God makes a bet with himself, and sits back to watch how those two people deal with their new lives...
 
Review: It's still a bit early on this as I've only read 3 chapters. But it's intriguing in that these gifts to these 2 humans do not bode well. It's suspenseful for the reader to find out if the sudden reversal of fortune will proove how ugly human nature can be. Already, at the start, I can't find myself liking the two lead characters. I’m assuming that “Left Right” refers to the 2 faced demon’s choice of bets.
 
The artwork is interesting, but it's the plot that keeps the reader looking forward to more. Unlike many other webtoon author/artists (who are mostly young rookies to the trade of drawing manhwa), the team working this series are veterans in the print trade that have had a couple hits in the past. However, w/ the decline of printed manhwa industry, offline proffesionals are migrating to the interenet. So w/ the incorporating of these veterans I am expecting a lot from series w/ teams of such calibre.
 
Rate:  7/10

Zombie Loan

Title: Zombie Loan  
 
Type: Anime, Manga
 
Artist(s):  Peach-Pit
 
Status in Home Country:  Complete - 13 Volumes
 
Licensed By: Yen Press
 
Scanslation Status: Ongoing, Ch 75+
 
Scan Groups:  Eternal Sorrow, Twilight Dreams Scans, Windfall
 
Anime:  Complete, 11 episodes
 
Anime Start/End Chapter:
  • Starts at Vol 1, Chap 1
  • Ends at Vol 6, Chap 33
Genre(s):  Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Shounen, Supernatural
 
Summary:  Michiru Kita’s a weak-spirited girl who has a hard time saying what’s on her mind. One day, she notices mysterious, ring-like markings around the necks of two of her classmates, Chika Akatsuki and Shito Tachibana — two boys who miraculously survived a horrible accident six months before. Michiru, possessing the rare ability to see these rings, knows that they warn of impending death. Thinking that, perhaps, she can do something to save her classmates’ lives, she approaches them…but it seems the boys have already made a different kind of deal and garnered themselves a heavy debt.
 
Review:  It’s been an extremely long time since I last read or watched this series. It’s only back on my radar because there was a recent scanlation update after more than half a year. I actually thought the scanlation had stopped because the series was licensed.
 
Michiru is a girl that gets bullied from her family to her classmates. However, she ends up getting involved w/ a couple of guys who are trying to work off a debt for coming back to life. Then ends up learning more and more about her own odd powers and origins.

To be honest, I actually don’t like the artwork as much, but I found the plot in the beginning to be somewhat appealing. However, once the plot started incorporating more of the world that that revolves around various factions in the afterlife and making everything appear to be like a computer/video game I started losing interesting again. Plot and character wise, it’s all interesting initially, but gets a bit repetitive after a while. It’s probably not really worth the read, except since the end is near, I’d like to just finish it. It’s worth an anime watch if not the manga read.

Rate: 7/10

Adabana

Title: Adabana
 
Type: Manga
 
Artist(s):  Shirasaya
 
Status in Home Country: Complete
 
Scanslation Status: Complete
 
Scan Groups: Easy Going Scans
 
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Seinen, One Shot
 
Summary: The "Dark Flower" is a sword of legend; a horrible legend of a gruesome slaughter three hundred years past. Lilia, a small girl from a village threatened by the bandit group whose leader has obtained this cursed weapon is now searching for help to save her city.
 
Review: I've been too busy to review series because I've been using that time to help w/ scanlating projects. But I'm still reading new ones, just not as often. Anyways, this is a pretty good one shot that has nice art and plot. In some ways, the storyline is not very unique and brings to mind of the cowboy days where some lawless gang is running amok and holding a town hostage. Then some stranger ends up saving the day. Except this story is placed in the fantasy Edo period and the weapons of choice are swords.
 
There's a legend that after a village was wiped out, the lone survivor went on a rampage and killed all the villains for revenge. However, he became cursed because of it. Centuries later, there are rumors that the cursed sword that the man carried has surfaced again when villagers start to get massacred.

For a one shot it’s a quick and good read, that doesn’t have any surprises and is pretty stereotypical in shounen/seinen plots.

Rate: 7/10

Wake Up Deadman

Title: Wake Up Deadman
 
Type: Manhwa, Korean Webtoons
 
Artist(s): KIM Yong Hwan
 
Status in Home Country: Ongoing, Season 1 complete (26 chapters)
 
Scanslation Status : Ongoing, Ch 6+
 
Genre(s): Comedy, Drama, Romance, Seinen, Supernatural
 
Summary: Saving his girlfriend's life, Sahu incidentally turns to a zombie. And now he's trying to survive in a stone jungle, believing that one day he will sing for the world.
 
Scan Groups : Extras, Easy Going Scans

Naver Site: http://cartoon.media.daum.net/webtoon/view/deadman
 
Review: This one is actually my latest project, and now that it's been publically released I can talk about it. A previous group had scanlated the first 2 chapters, but we redid the first 2 chapters anyways. I'm extremely happy about how the EGS version came out. Out of all my projects, I think this series is my best work at typesetting. W/ an awesome team from translator, cleaner/redrawer, and typesetting; it's turned into an awesome looking series. As a typesetter, this has been a challenging series as it's my first series that I've used such a huge variety of fonts, and got to play w/ all the SFX.
 
From the same artist as "A fairytale for a Demon lord", this is actually an earlier work of his. Where "Demon lord" is very angsty and tragic, "Wake Up Deadman" is very humorous. Having worked on all the extras for Demon lord, "Wake up Deadman" has all of the author/artists quirky humor.
 
Because of the work involved in the project, it's a bit slower than Demon lord but well worth the effort. It basically boils down to a zombie romance. Guy crushes on a girl, but ends up dying to save the girl before he can confess. He ends up being a zombie on the run somehow, and that's where the story starts. It's got kind of the same romantic angst as Demon lord, but done in a much more humorous way w/ some ecchi innuendo thrown in.
 
The artwork is not as dark as Demon lord, but I like the horror feel of it very much. It's got a promising storyline, and since Demon lord has been completed, the artist was going to go back and work on Season 2 of this series.
 
Rate: 7/10

Id - The Greatest Fusion Fantasy

Title: Id - The Greatest Fusion Fantasy

Type: Manhwa

Summary: We find Chunwha in a world beyond his own... There he will struggle to find his own purpose among the many inhabitants of the new world including elves, dwarves, and even mages! As we watch him grow in strength and spirit, the mangaka creates fascinating characters out of his companions and adversaries and moves past the simple concept of the antagonist vs the protagonist. To find out what fate has in store for our hero, follow Id in a fantastic adventure, exploring a world where anything is possible!

Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Romance, Shounen

Author(s): Kim Daewoo
Artist(s): A.T. Kenny

Scanslation Status: Ongoing, Vol 20+

Scan Groups: A-Team, BNC Scanlations, kmts, Easy Going Scans, XscanX & Japanzai

Review: (12/13/10) Reminiscent of Lord of the Rings, you have a dwarf, elf, sorceror, swordsman, and etc. Id falls into an alternate universe not too different from his own and ends up joining a group of strangers w/ everyone having different goals but all going in the same direction. The running gag is that the hero is so pretty that everyone mistakes him for a girl, even though he is the best swordsman and magical user. For various reasons, Id hides his real identity and his skills while he tries to find a way back to his own world w/o anyone knowing he's not from this world. Art work is pretty, and the fantasy elements work out pretty well. Id reminds me a bit of the old kung fu movies w/ long hair and his fighting style.

Update: Hard to believe its been almost a year since I last posted this series. And it's been just as long since I read this series, because the scan group, A-Team was so slow on the series that I kep waiting until I could get a bunch of volumes so that I can just marathon the rest of the series . But when I saw EGS would pick up this series, I was so estatic that I volunteered to help scanlate this series even though I hadn't caught up on the series. It's an interesting experience in having the whole scanlatation process for a volume completed in under a week. In some ways, it was a bit frusterating because it was such a rush job that I was typesetting while the script was still undergoing changes, clean pages were missing and undergoing being redrawn, font inconsistencies, and etc. Given time, there are some changes I would have liked to have had and I wished I had time to work on the entire volume, but it still turned out to be a great volume release. Interestingly enough, this will be my first publically released B/W series, even though it's not my first B/W series I've worked on.

I will have to say it's probably the first time I've encountered a scan group war as well, not so much w/ A-Team but w/ Japanzai. It used to be that many groups didn't want to step on each other's toes and work on the same project, but I've noticed that changing quite a bit lately. Well, in this case, it was more of a communication problem and as a result, money was wasted on buying the raws and we didn't want to waste the raws. And then Japanzai were offensively rude to a question about a joint at the start.

Anyways, if you haven't read this series, I'd recommend it. It's got gorgeous artwork, and an engaging plot. One of the things I like about this series is the mystery that surrounds the main character. Even by volume 20, the reader doesn't quite know everything about Id, but little by little things about him get revealed.

Rate: 8/10

Hell Girl

Title: Hell Girl
 
Type:  Anime
 
Status: Complete – dubbed/subbed
 
Genre(s): Horror, Mystery, Supernatural
 
Anime: 26 episodes
 
Summary: Hell Girl focuses on the existence of a supernatural system that allows people to take revenge by having other people sent to Hell via the services of the mysterious titular character and her assistants who implement this system. Revenge, injustice, hatred, and the nature of human emotions are common themes throughout the series.
 
Review: I happen to catch a couple of episodes of this series on cable the other day. To be honest, I really disliked the plot. The artwork was good though. Basically it's about various people logging onto this special revenge website that will only link at exactly midnight. Hell Girl shows up and hands the user a voodoo doll thing w/ a string wrapped around it, and then when the avenger pulls the string off then than the person or people will get judged. Once they get judged then they get ferried to hell by Hell Girl. The only catch is that the person who initiated the contract w/ Hell Girl will also loose their own soul to hell once they die.
 
Kids getting bullied and seeking revenge is a pretty horrid plot to begin w/, but if everyone had their revenge wish fulfilled than there really wouldn't be any people left. What is one of the weaker plot devices is that Ai, the Hell Girl only shows up to give the doll and then to pretty much ferry the wrongdoers across the river. Her assistants are the ones that set up ellaborate nightmares for the participants. However, you never really see what happened to them in real life, nor does the original person who submitted the contract get real resolution or happy ending to their problems.
 
Overall, it’s a weak plot, and I can’t quite recommend it as I don’t feel motivated enough to finish watching the rest of the series even though the artwork is nice. Each episode appears to be episodic so the viewer never really can build any connection w/ any of the characters. Even the Hell Girl does nothing but bath, say a couple of lines, and put on her kimono to ferry the souls.

Rate: 5/10

2nd ShinScans Active Contest

NOTIFICATION

I hereby announce that I condemn CI YAOI - http://community.livejournal.com/ci_yaoi - for what they are doing. They steal download links and files from scanlation groups, post and reshare the files without permission from the groups. They have no respect whatsoever to the people who buy the books, scan and translate those projects.

I condemn them and I won't have anything to do with them. I don't tolerate such actions. I hereby state that I am not a member of CI YAOI community and I will never steal from any scanlation groups or re-share without permission.

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