All posts filed under: Literature

You’ll Never Be The Same – ‘Flowers for Algernon’ by Daniel Keyes – Humble Opinions

It has been two months since I finished reading Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. Since then, I haven’t been able to pick up another book. Upon reading the final pages, teary eyed on the train home from a long day at work, I found myself emotionally devastated. I was deeply moved by this book, and it had a profound impact on me. I had planned on writing this humble opinion that very same night—in fact I created the draft post for it that night—but, no matter what I did, I couldn’t bring myself to put words to the devastation. This is not just any old book. Flowers for Algernon is quite simply one of the greatest works of literature in modern history. I thought a lot about what this article should look like or what I should write about: Should I analyse the plot of the book or break down its themes and why they resonated with me? Should I dive into the structure of the book and how it may be one of …

Self-Help Fiction – ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho – Humble Opinions

The Alchemist is a book I have had recommended to me countless times throughout my lifetime; it is undoubtedly a wildly popular book that has sparked a cult following. Finally conceding, I picked up a copy at the recommendation of my local book store clerk—the 25th Anniversary edition in fact. The book presents nicely and doesn’t fail to intrigue with its curious blurb, which boldly claims that a persons only responsibility in life is to fulfil their personal destiny. It is the type of phrase that is both eye catching and enticing to potential readers, the sort of thing that The Alchemist is full of—immediately intriguing lines of philosophy, written in a simple manner that anyone can understand with little thought. It is in those allegedly philosophical lines that The Alchemist hangs its entire story on. At the half way point of reading this novel, I wasn’t sure if I was reading something genuinely great or absolutely awful. The book plays more like self-help disguised as fiction than it does as traditional novella. This is …

The Heart of the Storm – Kafka on the Shore – Humble Opinions

When asked about the secret to understanding his novel, author Haruki Murakami had this to say: “Kafka on the Shore contains several riddles, but there aren’t any solutions provided. Instead, several of these riddles combine, and through their interaction the possibility of a solution takes shape. And the form this solution takes will be different for each reader. To put it another way, the riddles function as part of the solution. It’s hard to explain, but that’s the kind of novel I set out to write.” Kafka on the Shore is as described by Murakami as “filled with riddles”. It is a labyrinth of prose that may prove to be utterly mystifying upon first read. It is a novel that, while being a bona fide page-turner, is a book that challenges the reader to really stop and think about it. A deep dive into the themes and ideas conveyed in this book undoubtedly is a rewarding experience. Kafka on the Shore is somewhat of a departure from Murakami’s usual work. Unlike books like Norwegian Wood or …

Exploring the Works of Osamu Tezuka

Now when it comes to manga there is a ton of great choices in the modern age, whether it’s a near endless Shonen series or a range of other genres to really sink into. There is no shortage of quality manga in the modern age, which is why digging through the trenches of the past can be an overwhelming task. After all, who has the time to dig through quality manga from every era? It’s hard enough to collect and read through the likes of 90s classic Rurouni Kenshin or the wealth of volumes that make up the Dragon Ball/Z manga. I mean, that’s just going as far back as the 80s… but manga goes all the way back to the 1950s! Is it worth going that far back? Oh absolutely. It’s a remarkable journey to experience the beginnings of manga firsthand, and to realize it wasn’t just good “back in the old days” or “better now than the outdated stuff”, but that manga always has and will be amazing. The god and creator of …

Premiere Visual Released For Upcoming JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Live-Action Film

Now that the Anime adaptation of Hirohiko Araki’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable has reached it’s finale, fans of the long-running series are thirsty for more. Most are anticipating the release of a preview for the upcoming Part 5: Vento Aureo, whereas others are looking towards the realm of live-action cinema to scratch their itch. Luckily famed director Takashi Miike and crew have exactly what what we need to drive away any withdrawal symptoms that come with a lack of JJBA content. Across the new years celebrations the very first visual for the upcoming live-action JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure film, which will be focussing solely on Part 4: Diamond Is Unbreakable, was released online. This image shows lead actor Kento Yamazaki in full costume as the story’s protagonist Josuke Higashikata. The most prominent reaction to this visual reveal is that of a positive one, with many saying that it is as close as a filmmaker is going to get to recreating his look from the Manga. It’s great to see that many are fans of …

Yamcha Is The World’s Strongest Fighter In This New Dragon Ball Spin-Off

The problem with most people of this day and age is that they only remember the bad times as they disregard the good. Yamcha, whom you should all be very much aware of, is the butt of an endless stream of jokes with many considering him to be, perhaps, the most useless characters to ever grace the pages of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball Z Manga and it’s Anime adaptation. That, for the most part, is a fair point…ONLY if you’re considering Dragon Ball Z. You see, Yamcha was once quite the force to be reckoned with during the days of Dragon Ball, but time has forgotten that, and he is now only known as little more than a failure of a fighter. He WAS, for a short while, the star player of a baseball team, but that was overshadowed by, well…Goku’s constant battle against world-ending evil. Fear not, fans of Yamcha! Shonen Jump Plus, a digital Manga run by Shueisha so far only available across Japan, has begun featuring a brand-new Manga based upon Akira …

Upcoming Bleach Novel Centres Around Rukia Kuchiki and Renji Abarai

The final chapter of Tite Kubo’s Bleach left as quickly as it came and left it’s audience with a plethora of questions which all thought would go very much unanswered. This is simply what happens when a Manga goes on for so long but is not given the proper amount of time to conclude. Luckily, for those of you out there that still want more Bleach, it has just been revealed that two novels are planned for a release across 2016, what’s left of it, and 2017. The first of the two to be released is a novel written by Makoto Matsubara, who is known for previous Bleach novels, and will focus on a special story that revolves solely around Rukia Kuchiki and Renji Abarai, who we now know are a couple with a child. This story, though specifics still havn’t been released, could indeed focus on the development of their intimate relationship leading up to the birth of their child…or it could be literally anything else, though I know what people will be hoping …

Nobuhiro Watsuki Creates Short Rurouni Kenshin Spin-Off Manga “The Criminal Ashitaro”

Many people would consider Nobuhiro Watsuki’s “prime” to be his time behind the pencil while creating Rurouni Kenshin, but little do many know that Watsuki-sensei has continued to get better and better during his years outside of the spotlight. With other Shonen Jump-published Manga like Buso Renkin and Gun Blaze West under his belt, Watsuki is a Mangaka that is so much more than a one-trick pony, but it is always good to return to the classics and that’s why his contemporary Rurouni Kenshin spin-off manga “Rurouni Kenshin Variant Story: The Criminal Ashitaro” is such an exciting, albeit stout, venture. This two-chapter short story, with the first having already been featured in the December issue of Shueisha’s Jump Square magazine, centres around a character called Ashitaro Hasegawa; a prisoner who is released from a high-security Tokyo prison. On his travels as a free man he comes across another young boy named Aran Inoue, and a lovely lady who has awaited his release ever since he was put away behind bars. Watsuki, as you may imagine, is entirely in charge …

SnapThirty Crowns Most Spiritually-Talented Youngster In Anime and Manga

  For years, pop culture fanatics have been at war with each other. Countless relationships have been ruined over talks of who is best this and who is best that. For example: While some of us tend to think Persona 4’s Chie is Best Girl, others may believe it is Sword Art Online’s Asuna. The problem with this ongoing debate is that it is one fought entirely on a biased foundation, meaning that there can never be a proper resolution. This conflict is one that seems as though it is never going to end, but us here at SnapThirty want you all to know that we will be the ones to bring peace back into the pop culture world…one character at a time. On episode 43 of the SnapThirty podcast, the boys decided that they were going to run a series of tournament brackets to decide once and for all who from Japanese pop culture truly are the best of the best. While Best Girl is indeed the most sought after title in all of …

Bakuman Manga Exhibition at SMASH! 2016

Bakuman fans were in for a treat at SMASH! con this year. The Japan Foundation hosted a fantastic Bakuman Manga Exhibition at their booth which brought the manga of Bakuman to life. Bakuman is of course Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba’s legendary manga about making manga which has gone on to spawn an anime adaptation alongside a live action film. At the booth, fans were able to have a look at Weekly Shonen Jump issues as depicted in the iconic series as well as story boards based upon the actual story boards within the manga. Furthermore there was even a editor comment board for each manga showcasing how the actual Weekly Shonen Jump editorial team respond to chapters and provide feedback to mangaka. It was all fascinating stuff and you can check it out in the gallery below. Big thanks to Japan Foundation and SMASH! for putting together a fantastic exhibition. -30-

Tite Kubo’s “Bleach” To Receive Live-Action Film Adaptation

Dragon Ball, Death Note, Rurouni Kenshin, Attack On Titan, Fullmetal Alchemist, Naruto, and now…Bleach. Tite Kubo’s long-running Shonen Jump Manga is on the verge of ending, with one chapter until it’s finale, but like any popular Manga…Bleach has tenure, and isn’t truly going away anytime soon. Last week, within the pages of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump, there featured a pre-announcement announcement that told readers about some “special news” regarding Bleach being revealed alongside the series’ final chapter. Well, as these things usually go, an early copy of the issue has been seen by a mysterious citizen of the internet with the capacity to “spill the beans” and thus said beans have indeed bee spilled: Bleach will be getting it’s own live-action movie adaptation. Details like story, casting, director, and interesting factors of that kind have yet to be announced, the only thing we know about this film is that it will see a 2018 release. I’m sure that, once the news is made official, we will be hearing much more about the film’s intricacies, but …

Until The Last Sword Is Drawn – How Will Bleach End?

Snap Discussion is the weekly round table discussion on a topic relating to Japanese pop culture as selected by the almighty Snapodile. Each week the SnapThirty team will weigh in with their thoughts on that week’s topic all with the hopes of providing some interesting and perhaps even conflicting view points on the matter at hand. This week’s topic is Until The Last Sword is Drawn – How Will Bleach End? For this topic we each looked a long hard look at one of Shonen Jump’s biggest franchise hits which has long overstayed its welcome. That said, Bleach is set to conclude on the 22nd of August, closing the page on one of the longest running and most popular manga series in history Here are some of our own personal thoughts on how Tite Kubo should wrap things up on Bleach. Luke Halliday: For years I have slowly but surely fallen out of love with Bleach, a series I once held pretty near and dear to my heart. Heck, I still hold the first 50 …

‘Nisekoi’ Manga to Conclude August 8th, Who Does Raku Choose?

After 5 years Naoshi Komi’s hit romantic comedy manga series Nisekoi: False Love will reach its climactic resolution in next week’s mega combined 36th/37th edition of Weekly Shonen Jump for the year which is set for release on August 8th, 2016. While speculation has been running rampant since the series inception as to which character Raku, series protagonist and perennial love interest of many cute girls, will ultimately choose, the answer to that question has come out by way of leaks of the final chapter hitting the internet. For those curious highlight the bracketed section to see which girl he chooses: [Chitoge]. Komi is already planning his follow up work which is said to be yet another romantic comedy manga for Weekly Shonen Jump. Stay tuned for further details on the upcoming manga as it comes to light. -30-

Volume Seventy-Four Marks The End For Tite Kubo’s “Bleach” Manga

If it’s me you’re asking; Bleach ended many years ago. Ichigo Kurosaki had defeated Aizen, his Shinigami powers had been stripped, he no longer could communicate with the deceased, and he was placed neatly back into his regular life as an angst-filled teen. That was…until the story continued indefinitely. As we all know; Shueisha’s Shonen Jump produces some of the world’s greatest Manga, but with such greatness comes heavy editing, and constant monitoring of individual series’ by the publication’s team of critical editors. Goku’s continued life was not the fault of Akira Toriyama’s bad writing but at the behest of the series’ editor that explained the series would not be as popular if it’s protagonist were to change. Looking at Bleach’s elongated tale; I feel as though Tite Kubo is going through something quite similar with Bleach. Regardless, the series still has fans across the world. If it did not, then Shonen Jump would not bother with it’s continuation, so there’s something to be said about what this Manga provides to audiences even this long into it’s run, …

Twin Star Exorcists Volume Four – Review

Something you come to learn quickly as an adult is that your childhood is one that should have been cherished. Out parents used to tell us that, when we become adults, we will come to miss being children, but unfortunately as adolescents we often take things for granted, only fully understanding once that time has passed us by. For some, days of old were ones spent in anguish, building them to be the men and women they are today. Many will say that hardship build character, but seemingly at the cost of a lot more. Rokuro Enmado had a childhood unlike any other. Training to be an Exorcist, he had no choice but to take up arms against fellow trainees who had succumb to the devilish influence of the Kegare, forced upon them by once-friend Yuto Ijika. This once seemingly innocent boy was the catalyst behind the Hinatsuki Tragedy, and he’s back to finish what he started. Given a choice, Rokuro must now decide whether or not to join Yuto in his plan to become the …

Yo Ho Ho? There’s Now Going To Be A One Piece Live-Action Film?!

I have to say, reader; I’ve begun feeling like a broken record as of late. It seems as though I’ve written quite a few news pieces regarding live-action film adaptations as of late, and they only seem to keep coming. Just yesterday it was revealed that Tokyo Ghoul will be getting it’s very own live-action film, and today, thanks to an announcement by Shanghai Minghuan Investment, it seems as though the Shonen Jump classic series One Piece will be the next to receive the same adaptation treatment. At least…that’s the plan. Announced through Business Wire about twelve hours ago, Shanghai Minghuan has purchased the copyright for One Piece from Eiichiro Oda and Shonen Jump for 1.6 Billion Yen (US$15 Million), and plans to use said copyright to produce a live-action film based, roughly, on the long-running series. From what we’re lead to believe, plans to develop a One Piece film of this kind have been in place for quite some time, with the only thing holding the company back being that of the copyright restraints, but …

Could Tokyo Ghoul Really Be The Next To Get A Live-Action Film Adaptation?

We all knew this was coming, right? To be honest, I’m quite surprised this hasn’t happened already. Sui Ishida’s Dark Fantasy Manga Tokyo Ghoul is one of the most popular contemporary Manga outdoing that of Attack On Titan in recent times. Thanks to it’s dark themes and unapologetic gore, Tokyo Ghoul quickly became a series to capture the hearts and minds of audiences around the world, so you can imagine why I’m shocked that news of a live-action adaptation wasn’t confirmed a while ago. Serving as a follow up to the original Manga, Tokyo Ghoul:re takes place two years after the shocking events of the first series, and across Japan the seventh volume of said series is about to be released. Fortunately for those of you out there with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, an image of this particular volume was leaked before it has gotten the chance to be released, revealing an exciting piece of news that will divide audiences almost instantly. Unlike many Manga released in the West, Japanese volumes often feature cover bands that …

Black Clover Volume One – Review

It was in the early months of 2015 when Black Clover was first introduced to Western audiences thanks to Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump “Jump Start” initiative that showcases three full chapters from a brand-new Manga as a way to gauge audience reaction and determine whether or not to continue featuring it within the pages of the weekly issue release. Yuki Tabata, who was more well known for his short-lived series Hungry Joker at the time, began developing Black Clover after his previous Manga was cancelled abruptly. At the time of Black Clover’s pilot chapter release, I was nowhere near as open-minded as I am today, writing it off as a distinct duplicate of Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto in disguise as Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail. From what I am lead to believe; many people felt the same way as me at the time. The strange thing about this series is that it is still going strong today despite the heavy judgment from Shonen Jump readers early on in the piece. It isa case wherein which the loud …

World Trigger Volume Ten – Review

In life, every action has a reaction. There will never be a time in your life wherein which a choice you make will lead to naught, there will always be a consequence to everything you do, good or bad. Often this is something that is ignored in Shonen Manga of all kinds. With Shonen Jump’s demographic being young adults, one would imagine that realistic lessons would be the first to teach, but more often than not this isn’t the case. Shonen Jump’s modo is “Friendship, Effort, and Victory“, but never cause and effect, so to see something as realistic as a government-run press conference to address the severity of a war just passed as demanded by the general public situated within said war zone both startled and interested me greatly. With only seven seconds left until the crossroads, time is running out. Black Triggers face off as Miwa activates Fujin to bring the invasion to an end. But can everyone really escape the worst possible future? – VIZ Media Daisuke Ashihara’s mature style of writing is shown …

Tomodachi x Monster Volume Two – Review

From birth, we’re taught to be ourselves under all circumstances, never to succumb to the pressure of our peers, only to become something that ultimately we are not. Children, as inexperienced as they are, often do not go about their young lives following this frame of mind, instead they will do whatever it is they can to fit in so as to not be seen as “odd“, “weird“, “strange“, or anything else that would lead to their social outcasting. As you grow older, despite the fact that some social circles never change, you begin to learn that it matters not what others think, and that going through life while staying true to yourself is a road very much worth travelling. Narimiya Wataru’s situation, similar but unlike that of any other human child, is one that can only be described as…twisted. Now that Peke and himself have become great “friends“, others with similar companions belonging to a renegade group of murderous youths named “Carnival” are coming for him, but why exactly? Well, it could have something …

Second Chancery: Pop Culture That Deserves a Second Look

Snap Discussion is the weekly round table discussion on a topic relating to Japanese pop culture as selected by the almighty Snapodile. Each week the SnapThirty team will weigh in with their thoughts on that week’s topic all with the hopes of providing some interesting and perhaps even conflicting view points on the matter at hand. This week’s topic is Second Chancery: Pop Culture That Deserves a Second Look. For this topic we each looked at instances where we originally rejected something in Japanese Pop Culture only to later come to appreciate it on a second go round. Sometimes things do deserve a second chance, here are some of our own personal experiences. Luke Halliday: My choice for series I am glad to have given a second chance is actually quite a more recent one, that being The Heroic Legend of Arslan also known as Arslan Senki. When I had first heard about the recent adaption of the legendary book series, I as excited to discover the involvement of Hiromu Arakawa of Fullmetal Alchemist fame. …

Tokyo Ghoul Volume Five – Review

Countless times in the past I’ve had conversations with other individuals regarding the vast difference between us humans and animals. For the longest time I felt as though I never had an educated-enough answer, or an intelligent-enough justification for my statement, but over the years I have come to understand certain small things about this interesting experience we call life that has allowed me to formulate answers to certain once-difficult questions that plagued me in my years as a young adult. What is a defining factor that truly separates humans from animals? One answer I feel as though I can accurately describe is an animal’s ability to assess situations and other animals within a split second, allowing them the opportunity to make break-neck decisions that could essentially mean the continuation of their life. Man kind does indeed feature a similar trait that, in more contemporary times, has been labelled “judging a book by it’s cover”, but I tend to believe it goes much deeper than that. It descends to an evolutionary level, the likes of …

Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma) Volume Ten – Review

Few characteristics make a Shonen Manga likeable. It is these same characteristics that also set the sub-genre apart from all others. For the most part, a Shonen story must feature a character cast of eccentric but relatable personalities, each one incomparable to the last. As a part of this “roster”, the protagonist will be left with the burden of having to carry the rest through the bulk of the series’ story. This is a Shonen staple, and a weight-baring facet that will never change. This isn’t always for the worst though, in fact, a story relying entirely on the metaphorical strength of it’s hero can often work out for the better, that is…if the Manga has a protagonist like Soma Yukihira. It’s the last quarterfinal match of the Fall Classic. Takumi Aldini, looking for another chance to challenge Soma, faces off against the smug-looking Subaru Mimasaka. What’s making him so confident? The truth—and the dish he prepares—sends the entire auditorium into an uproar! Let the shokugeki begin! – VIZ Media Food Wars! isn’t unlike it’s …

World Trigger Volume Nine – Review

Shonen Jump is a publication I feel as though I’ll follow until the very day I die. Despite the fact that Shueisha’s weekly issues are directed at young adults with a proclivity for action and friendship, I believe that the themes of Friendship, Effort, and Victory are three that can be appreciated by the young and old alike. Thanks to new Manga series’ like My Hero Academia, and Twin Star Exorcists – two contemporary Manga I feel as though stand above the rest – Shonen Jump is heading into a new era that, while nowhere near as ground-breaking as the Golden Age, will breath new life into the publication. One of the new Manga I feel as though stands with the likes of those I mentioned above is the one currently being reviewed; World Trigger. It is a series that started off it’s run in quite a weak position, with very few readers finding it as enjoyable as some of the others that begun alongside it, but regardless of that it has stuck to the …

Terra Formars Volume Ten – Review

Mars is a planet 225 million kilometers away from Earth, and that is at it’s closest. It’s a planet so far away that it would take between 150 and 300 full days to reach it’s surface. Matt Damon was recently marooned on the red planet, and the mission was so arduous that it took a Childish Gambino to get him home to us. The point I’m trying to make is that Mars is quite a long way from Earth, and yet not even those currently inhabiting it cant seem to escape from the child-like politics on Earth. Terra Formars’ latest arc is one that revolves around China’s heel turn as they attempt to seize control of the mission so as to return to Earth the sole survivors accompanied by what would be the only source of research data from the exhibition. Having said data in the palm of their hands, being the only country in the world with it, would make China the superpower they have always wanted to be, so their Annex soldiers will …

Celebrate Twenty Years Of Cardcaptor Sakura With A Brand-New Manga Series

There are three specific Anime series from most of our childhoods that you would have experienced thanks to early morning television without even realising that they were indeed cartoons developed in the great land of Nippon, at least…that’s how it was for us living in Australia. Thank you, Cheese TV! Chances are you were a child lucky enough to catch many episodes of Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, and Cardcaptor Sakura; three series’ still as popular today as they were during their initial release period. The word “timeless” springs to mind, and these three particular shows are synonymous with it. While Dragon Ball Z now has Dragon Ball Super (alongside a set of amazing new films), and Sailor Moon now has Sailor Moon Crystal, we tend to wonder what Cardcaptor Sakura is up to nowadays. Well, I can tell you that the series has not seen a steep decline in popularity, so despite the fact that we havn’t seen anything new from the CLAMP classic in quite some time, it remains in the hearts and …

Madman Loses Viz Media Manga Distribution Rights to Simon & Schuster

In some rather surprising news for manga readers down under, Viz Media have announced that they will no longer be distributing manga in Australia and by extension New Zealand through Madman Entertainment, the top anime and manga distributor in Australia for more than a decade now. This news comes hot off the heel of Madman announcing a 60% off manga clearance sale through their online store which looks to be spelling the end of manga from Madman, for now. Viz Media made the shock announcement via. press release stating that Simon & Schuster Australia will be handling manga distribution in Australia and New Zealand moving forward. Simon & Schuster has been the exclusive distribution partner of Viz Media for the United States and Canadian markets since 2004, the United Kingdom since 2007, and India starting in 2014. The new agreement will see the Australian arm of the business provide a full range of retail and wholesale distribution services for Viz Media’s substantial library of manga titles. Simon & Schuster Australia will also manage the distribution of …

Terra Formars Volume Eight and Nine – Review

No longer is the war on Mars being fought by two different planetary races. At one point in time this mission to the red planet was for the sake of not only combatting the forces of the Cockroaches, but to capture live specimens for experimental use back on Earth. You may have forgotten this, but there’s a virus spreading across Earth that is a direct cause of the evolution process that developed thanks to the terraforming of Mars. Part of the reason why the Annex I were sent there in the first place was to bring back samples of which Earth scientists could create a cure from, but like anything else that has evolutionary traits, the Cockroach samples can not only be used in the medical field…it can also be used for warfare. In the previous volume it was revealed that the Chinese soldiers on Mars, who were once a part of the Annex I mission, turned heel against the rest of the crew under orders from their superiors back on Earth. While there is a …

Madman Entertainment Announce Their Very Own Anime Festival For 2016

Madman Entertainment are THE leading distributor for both Anime and Manga across our great land; Australia. It only makes sense that, now in 2016, they will be hosting their very own Anime Festival to celebrate all things Japanese pop culture, focussing on, as you have already guessed, Anime as well as Manga, Video Games, Cosplay, and everything else pop culture fans absolutely adore. Originally founded in 1996, Madman Entertainment quickly rose to an incredible level of popularity thanks to it’s absolute dedication to all things Anime. After dominating the market, Madman Entertainment moved on to bigger and better things as they added Manga, and international movies to their already extensive catalogue in a successful attempt to corner the market. Now that it’s the company’s twelfth birthday, a celebration must be had to not only honour the company but the media that made it the juggernaut it is today. Set to be held on across the 3rd and 4th of September this year, the festival will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition centre. Madman …

Being a Hunter x Hunter Fan and the Reality of Hiatus x Hiatus

Big news broke for fans of Yoshihiro Togashi’s infrequently published yet utterly brilliant shonen manga epic, Hunter x Hunter. After roughly 2 years having passed since the series last went on hiatus due to ‘intense back pain’, Togashi is slated to return this April continuing with the Dark Continent arc which he began 2 years and about 5 chapters ago. Fans of the series are no stranger to Togashi’s frequent hiatuses, even spawning the affectionate nickname for the series ‘Hiatus x Hiatus’. There is even a website dedicated entirely to tracking the series many hiatuses in a series of detailed graphs and charts. Here is one of them: As you can see the red indicates the hiatuses, which actually surpass the amount of time the series was actually printed in Shonen Jump. Fascinating stuff. You can check out more fascinating hiatus charts at http://hiatus-hiatus.rhcloud.com/ It does raise the interesting question though; how does one sustain their love for a series that is on break more than it isn’t? Being a fan of the Hunter x Hunter series …

Tomodachi x Monster Volume One – Review

Imagine the absolute devastation that a Pokemon roaming around in our reality could cause simply by existing. While in the realm of the Pokemon franchise most Pocket Monsters wouldn’t dare attack a human, but add their variable to the equation we call “real life” and what you’ll find is chaos, death, and destruction. While the Fire Blast of a Charizard may cause a Venusaur to faint in-game, it’s effects in our dimension would be much more dire: Not only would that poor creature simply burn to death, but the environment surrounding it as well! I wont even bother going into detail regarding the varying nature of these monsters, the likes of which could result in many human deaths. We often hear about domestic animals like a family dog attacking someone due to a variety of reasons, and while that canine can leave you with a nasty bite wound, it is nowhere near as bad as a Hyper Beam to the chest. In Yoshihiko Inui’s latest Manga masterpiece Tomodachi x Monster, licensed by Seven Seas Entertainment here …

The Stars Align As The Hunter X Hunter Manga Returns From Hiatus Once Again

Just before we move on; does anyone know if a new Dragon Quest game is about to be released? I only ask because it’s a known fact that Hunter X Hunter Mangaka Yoshihiro Togashi happens to adore those games and, in the past, their release has lead to many a hiatus for this long-running series. No, it doesn’t look like it, and seeing as though Dragon Quest Builders has already been released over in Japan, I think we’re in the clear! All jokes aside, the reason why Hunter X Hunter has been on hiatus since 2014 is not because of Togashi-sensei’s addiction to the award-winning JRPG series, it is in fact due to lower back pain that he has been unable to continue with the series. Originally, back in 2014, this hiatus was not meant to be such, but instead a two week break while he recovers. Unfortunately it seems as though the issue only got worse as time went on, leading to the two year break fans of the series have had to endure. …

Vagabond (VIZBIG Edition): Volume Ten – Review

Each of us, every single human being, has a path to walk. Wrong or right, it is a path regardless, and what must be known is that with every step forward comes incredible change. Some say that there are many paths to take, which can often instil a sense of anxiety in an individual: Where to go next? What to do now? Have I made the right choice? These are but only a few of the questions that come with a life of choice, but what if I was to say that the choices are not our own, that are lives have been predetermined by some higher power? Pose this question to Monk Takuan and what he’ll tell you is that such a belief allows for us to be completely free. Instead of thinking, pondering, wondering what comes next, we walk forward with determination, facing what comes in our way only when it does so, all the while staying true to ourselves on an instinctual level. Such freedom is a gift few of us have …

Tokyo Ghoul Volume Four – Review

I love watching the cooking channel, this is something all my family and friends already know. Now, just because my nightly routine has me following the tasty exploits of Jamie Oliver and Anthony Bourdain, that doesn’t mean I’m any kind of gourmand. I like food, obviously, and I enjoy watching people cook it, but I don’t know what it means to be a lover of fine cuisine. Unfortunately for Tokyo Ghoul protagonist, Kaneki Ken, he has just been introduced to a man who considers himself quite the culinary connoisseur, but seeing as this man is more a devilish Ghoul than that of an actual man, it is very much like him to take things to the absolute extreme. Shun Tsukiyama, a Ghoul titled “The Gourmet“, is known for causing trouble for both humans and Ghouls alike, and now he’s set his sights on one Kaneki Ken; a half-human half-ghoul hybrid with a mouth-watering odour…apparently. With Shun’s sights set on him, Kaneki will quickly come to understand what it feels like to be the main ingredient …

World Trigger Volume Eight – Review

Last we saw of World Trigger, back in volume seven; our world was at war with the invading Neighbours. Unfortunately for Border, the organisation created specifically to defend against such forces, the Neighbours are no longer simply sending through their monstrous soldiers. The appearance of what the series is calling Humanoid Neighbours has raised the stakes of this war ever higher, because with their introduction comes the true motive of this invasion. The true enemy have revealed themselves, and they’re from a world called Aftokrator. Their purpose; to collect as much Trion energy as possible, and if that means they have to take a few of our Border agents with them, then that’s just what they will do! In the previous volume, we saw one of their toughest soldiers, Ranbanein, taken down by a small team of A-Rank agents in a life-or-death situation that could not only mean the end of them, but the end of the world we know it as a whole. Unfortunately, despite the retreat of one soldier, there are more Humanoid Neighbours to …

Twin Star Exorcists Volume Three – Review

Who the hell do you think you are, huh? Going around saying things like; “A Shonen Manga can’t have shocking revelations so early on in it’s run“. It makes me sick to my stomach knowing that there are people like you making such-oh, wait…you didn’t say anything like that? Seriously? Geez, well, I’m so sorry, I kind of flew off the handle there for no reason. It just scares me to think that maybe somewhere out in the big, bad world people might be saying things of this kind, especially because of how much I’m liking Shonen Jump’s latest Manga hit Twin Star Exorcists, which just so happens to feature it’s fair share of shocking twists. Volume two of the Manga left off with one heck of a cliffhanger: It was revealed that Rokuro was at the very center of the Hinatsuki tragedy, and as a cause of it was cursed with his Kegare-like right arm. Volume three of Twin Star Exorcists decides that one twist was not nearly enough. In fact, it was just the …

Naruto: Seventh Hokage And The Scarlet Spring – Review

The Last: Naruto The Movie, despite what the name suggests, was not the last Naruto…anything. In fact; it was the film that kicked off not only another short Manga run but another theatrical film titled Boruto: Naruto The Movie. Between the events of those two films lies the events of this here Manga; Naruto: The Seventh Hokage And The Scarlet Spring, which tells the tale of Sarada Uchiha’s search for who she believes to be her true mother. After the events of The Last: Naruto The Movie, it seems as though the the once-innocent child Ninjas of The Village Hidden In The Leaves all decided to begin procreating with their significant others almost immediately after the great war’s end. I suppose the removal of fear must be replaced with emotions just as powerful, and Lust…now that’s a big one! The issue with Sarada, the offspring of Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno, is that, well…she doesn’t believe any of this! After discovering a photograph of Sasuke’s old Taka teammate Karin, Sarada begins to believe that the …

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume Seven – Review

Everybody starts from somewhere. Despite how one may seem, they were not born with the inherent ability to succeed. Cliche as it may be, success takes consistent effort, a desire to strive onwards, the will to be better than yourself. Of course, this is more often easier said that done, which leaves many would be go-getters winding up in the proverbial wayside to which many before them have fallen. Yet, for those who refuse to surrender, whether through pure determination or indomitable stubbornness, there awaits a summit, a pinacle on which to stand. However, despite the awe inspiring nature of such a view, one much never lust for it at the expense of witnessing each and every step up their metaphorical mountain, lest they find their victory Pyrrhic in every sense of the word. Road trip! Just three guys, two girls and a jeep speeding down the highway, heading straight for sun, adventure and one of the largest military missions ever undertaken by the remnants of humanity who now call the ruined landscape of Japan …

Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma) Volume Nine – Review

Month after month, release after release, volume after volume, Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma) still finds ways to surprise and delight me, and it has quickly become of my more favoured alternative Shonen Jump productions of recent times. We’re now up to Volume Nine of the series’ run and, for the longest time, there has been an ongoing arc which, in my personal opinion, will go down in history as just another one of those outstanding Shonen Jump arcs that you will continue to remember long after you’ve finished reading. The Rescue Rukia arc from Bleach, the Chunnin Exams arc from Naruto, the Paramount War arc from One Piece, and now the Fall Classic arc from Food Wars!. What makes these story arcs so riveting? What makes them so memorable? What makes them stand out above every other arc featured in their significant stories? This writer feels as though it has a lot to do with heart. The thing about the arcs I mentioned just before is that they don’t actually share many similarities. Yes, of …

Uzumaki Naruto: Illustrations (Art Book) – Review

Masashi Kishimoto: The man behind the adored Shonen Jump series Naruto. The world knows who he is. In fact; it’s harder not to know who he is than that of the inverse. Between the Manga’s first (published in 1999) and final (published in 2014) chapter, a lot has changed for this talented Mangaka. Not only did his writing style change over the many years of the series’ run, but so did his illustration skill, eventually coming to master the practice of sequential art in much the same way the legends before him had done. For the first time in SnapThirty history, and for the first time in my personal career as a pop culture-centric writer, I’ve been given the opportunity to review the, somewhat, collected works of Masashi Kishimoto in the form of the recently released Uzumaki Naruto: Illustrations art book which, as you may already know, is wonderous release dedicated to the illustrative work of Naruto’s Shippuden Era which spans from the titular character’s return to the village to his eventual role as the Hokage of …

One Piece’s Sanji Has A Last Name, And It Has Just Been Revealead

One Piece’s Sanji hasn’t been in the limelight as of late, seeing as his level of appearance in the Manga has been at all-time low, but he is still one of the fan favorites, and still one of the more powerful members of the Straw Hat crew, so there’s no way we could forget about him for even a second. Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece, has this strange but amazing talent to be able to write characters in ways that make them seem, regardless of how much “screen time” they’re given, like they have gone through some sort of growth or evolution. This also works in the inverse; Oda is able to write a character with a large amount of backstory without ever needing to specifically detail it. The latest chapter of One Piece, which has just been released over in Japan as a part of the latest Weekly Shonen Jump issue, reveals to the audience something we never thought would ever come about. In fact, I personally never thought about this until…now. …

Vagabond (VIZBIG Edition): Volume Eight And Nine – Review

To live the true life of a Samurai, one must master not only the art of combat but poetry, painting, illustration, conversation, and everything in between. The road of the warrior does not lead straight ahead, there are turns to make through avenues unexpected that will teach a man to master the lifestyle. Miyamoto Musashi, the greatest swordsman in all of Japan, wrote about this in The Book Of Five Rings saying: “You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain”. What is interesting about the life of Miyamoto Musashi, a famed Samurai and philosopher, is that it was only through years of combat that he was able to come to develop a practice not entirely based on swordsmanship. Some time in his life something had changed him. Whilst a young Miyamoto Musashi would grin at the possibility of combat, an older Miyamoto Musashi would write about why one believes such a situation to be beneficial, or the inverse. In volumes Eight and Nine of Takehiko Inoue’s Vagabond, provided to …

One-Punch Man Volume Three – Review

Regardless of what they entail, jobs can be stressing. Be it an issue with a computer, a clash with a customer or an all round slow day, their are countless trials and tribulations that can turn any frown upside-down and then immediately right side up. But what ho, fiction dawns upon the horizon, that age old escape from the problems of a hard fought day, that window into a world unbound from the laws of our own, free to exist in whatever form it so desires. Monsters, angels, demons, heroes, beings free from the confines of reality, from the mundanity of…no. wait, heroism is a career now. Damn. Ah well, a little fiscal accountability never hurt anyone…right? Yes my friends and fans of fiction, being a champion of justice just got legal. No longer are our caped crusaders vigilantes in the eyes of the law, no longer must they hide for fear of recompense, for they are now agents of the law, under the law. Sounds like a pretty sweet gig right? Well yes and …

Toxicity in the Anime Fandom

Fanbases truly are a wonderful thing. They help to make a show bigger and better, and if a majority of them voice their opinions on something they can invoke change in a show, game or other form of entertainment for the better. It’s a great way to also share content that you create out of love for the medium with the rest of the world, like music or fan art for example. Probably one of the biggest and best examples of fanbases working together would be with the creation of conventions, central hubs of entertainment held over the course of a weekend where fans from across the board go to hang out, buy cool stuff and check out panels hosted by voice actors, YouTubers and artists just to name a few. Specifically looking into the anime fanbases however, it’s not all roses like it might first seem. There tends to be a lot of infighting between specific ‘groups’ in the anime community, and I don’t just mean fighting over whether or not #TeamChitoge or #TeamOnodera …

My Hero Academia Volume Two – Review

Heroes are cool. Swooping in whenever and wherever they are needed most, vanquishing evil and keeping the innocent safe. What the populace is not privy to however is the behind the scenes effort that goes into forging these stalwart beacons of hope. I  speak of training, the necessary evil in producing champions of the highest caliber. Sure running sprinting drills isn’t the most awe inspiring task in a world filled with an immeasurable number of super powers, but it just might be that hundredth dash that gave that hero the extra fraction of a second they needed to arrive in the nick of time. It may be cliche, but though everyone is not born equal, their actions may make them greater than the sum of their parts. As with every hero story ever put to paper, we began with the origin story, the answering of the call to action that sets up any great protagonist big or small, empowered or not. That being said, My Hero Academia is, in its own conception, an origin story, so …

Tokyo Ghoul Volume Three – Review

When this world was created, by any deity you choose to believe was the cause, do you think all living things were made as equals? Chances are, if you answered “yes” you may be the type of person who doesn’t necessarily eat meat of any kind. Slaughtering and devouring an animal is akin to believing you have the right, as a superior being, to take another creatures life for the sake of prolonging your own…some believe. Others, like myself, tend to consider this act a simple part of the natural food chain. Much like a lion hunts a gazelle, we feed on cattle, and though there are ways to survive without taking the life of another beast, there are also clear differences, both intelligence and otherwise, between us and the animals we choose to call “food”. Now what if our food was as intelligent, if not moreso, than ourselves? Does that make it wrong to hunt, kill, and feed on said creatures for sustenance? Granted, when referring to the Ghouls of Tokyo Ghoul, some more …

One-Punch Man Creator to Add Another Notch to Anime Adaptation Belt

First things first, if you haven’t heard of One-Punch Man, then I welcome you to the first words you’ve ever read on the internet.  For the rest of you, the creator of said apathetic hero is going to have another of his creation brought to the realm of animation, via well trodden studio Bones. The series itself, named Mob Psycho 100, revolves around a character dubbed Mob. In addition to being titular, the name is in reference to his lack of impact and propensity to blend in with a crowd. However, there lies a secret behind his bland features, a terrible psychic force that will cause him to explode if his emotions reach 100%. How one quantifies emotions is a fact that escapes me at this current time, but if this series carries with it any of the charm, humour and unique energy contained within One-Punch Man, this may just be another anime season stand out. At the very least there is already an in-built fanbase, as Mob Psycho 100 was a winner of a …

Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma) Volume Eight – Review

  The final pages of Food Wars! Volume seven left readers in a state of anticipation thanks to the cliffhanger ending that saw protagonist Soma finally about to go head-to-head with his Fall Classic arc nemesis Akira Hayama; the self-proclaimed master of curry. Volume seven served as an introductory volume that set up a great deal of the story that leads directly into the confrontation between these two culinary juggernauts. That then transitions almost seamlessly into the next, and possibly final, segment of this tournament-arc. Thanks to Madman Entertainment, once again, for allowing us the opportunity to review the latest release in this much-loved Manga series.   The battle of the Fall Classic preliminaries comes to a thundering close! Can Soma conjure up a curry masterpiece brilliant enough to surpass a dish from the master of fragrance, Akira Hayama? This volume also includes a bonus story about the adventures of a certain someone during her lazy summer vacation! – Madman Entertainment Volume eight took an entirely different approach to story development than volume seven which, …

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume Six – Review

It has been a long held saying that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Now, whilst this is true enough in most scenarios, the waters are noticeably muddied in conflicts containing an ever increasing number of factions. Wherein one moment you may find yourself standing shoulder to shoulder with necessitous allies, the next you may notice a blade placed firmly between your shoulder blades. Such is war in an ever crumbling society I’m afraid although, if you are particularly fortunate, you may just happen upon a few who are allies in the truest sense of the word, and ones who will leave your back remarkably un-stabbed. With vampires being the apparent jerk bags that they are, humanity is in rather swift need of a truly powerful strike force, capable of relieving a certain blood sucking sect of the world of their metaphorically big heads and well over inflated senses of ego. Luckily for this particular fictitious, apocalyptic world, Shinoa Company are here and, by way of protagonistic power, are just the ragtag team …

World Trigger Volume Seven – Review

A Shonen Manga with an engaging storyline and likeable characters is what drives people wild. It’s why series’ like One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach rose to such high levels of fame so early on in their release. World Trigger has all that, if it didn’t, it wouldn’t have gotten it’s own Anime and Video Game. People are absolutely loving it, and so am I, but it’s not just a good storyline accompanied by good characters that makes a Shonen Manga so enjoyable, not even close. A Shonen Manga has to have a certain level of edginess shown through countless battles that highlight the strengths and weaknesses of said characters, driving the story ever forward. A true Shonen staple is memorable battles, and in volume seven of World Trigger, well…we’ve found one of, I assume, many memorable battles. In volume seven, World Trigger takes a huge step forward into the more exciting bulk of it’s story by introducing audiences to a team of antagonists that, while not yet entirely established, show clear signs of hostility, and …

One-Punch Man Volume One and Two – Review

Strength, power, ability, all words synonymous…well for the same thing really, but it is something that is longed for nonetheless. For those wishing to make a difference, for those desiring a different lot in life, for those with a dream. Now, whilst I could spend a sizeable chunk of time delving into the various interpretations of what power is, I’m going to keep it simple and just talk about the one that makes you punch harder. Why you ask? Because of the manga title, see how I tied the punching thing in there? With all the subtlety of a freight train? You know what else has that level of subtlety? One-Punch Man. Taking place in a world that is the fruition of tokusatsu fan’s dreams, this particular manga provides us with an unforgettable face in the form of Saitama: Hero for Fun. Having hop skipped and jumped through his origin story in record time, we come to learn that he was a despondent,  unemployed gentleman, sparked into action by a helpless (and annoying) child and his dormant childhood …

My Hero Academia Volume One – Review

Superheroes. The hallmark of imagination since the calendar year began with a 1 and a 9. Beacons of hope born from the recesses of authors, illustrators and any other person who dared to leap outside of reality. With power born from the simplicity of their existence, heroes serve as idols to a world not their own, becoming more than fiction as they lay bare the greatest powers of humanity. Compassion, consideration, goodness, all that cliche hallmark crap that will never cease to inspire. Sure powers have gotten more complex than flight, and costumes more specialised than a cut of billowing red fabric, but the message has never, and will never change; being righteous is never wrong. For the sake of argument, and arguably reality, I’m going to assume you’ve all heard of at least one costumed crime-fighter in your life. Marvel, DC, that movie Sky High, it doesn’t matter, you know the basics of heroism. So, with that in mind, we find ourselves in yet another origin story, the beginnings of a nobody who will …

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood Volume Three – Review

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has always gotten away with how ridiculous and inherently insane it is on one thing: pure commitment to itself. That unbridled commitment to its core concepts and the extreme level of detail to the bizarre makes every single page utterly compelling, demanding you to suspend you disbelief because why not believe that something so insane could happen when it is this fun? That commitment is why Jonathan’s climactic battle with Dio’s decapitated head on a zombie filled cruise liner inferno is so damn good. For all its intricate little details, the declaration fueled dialogue and the sheer passion that flows through every panel, Araki’s Phantom Blood is a masterstroke clearly on accident. This third volume concludes the Phantom Blood arc of the series and it does beg the question, was this how this series was originally intended to conclude or did Araki plan it to span generations? I think that given later plot holes that occur, it is obvious this was the originally intended ending of the manga and it is interesting …

Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma) Volume Seven – Review

Every story, no matter how boiling hot, gets to a point wherein which it starts to cool, it starts to slow down, it comes to…a simmer. After six jaw-dropping volumes of Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma) I feel as though the time has come for the series to take a natural step back in preparation for big things to come, and it was the pacing of this latest volume that put such a thought into my head. Every good Manga series has that one volume that doesn’t quite hit the mark, possibly because, much like this particular one, what goes on between it’s pages is mostly set-up for the duel between the story’s main character and the current rival. Almost every single Shonen Manga has this and, seeing as Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma) is indeed a Shonen Manga…it makes a great deal of sense that, it too, would fall victim to such a common pacing issue. Thanks to Madman Entertainment, as always, we’ve been given to chance to review the latest volume of the …

Tokyo Ghoul Volume Two – Review

Tokyo Ghoul is the story of a boy who’s forced into a life between two worlds, having to exist on either side of two opposing forces each willing to kill the other for the sake of their kind’s survival. Kaneki Ken is no longer a human and yet, despite his organs being that of a Ghoul’s, he also has no place in the world of these monsters either. In the first volume of this young Manga series created by the mysterious Sui Ishida, we were introduced to the young man mentioned above; a intelligent individual named Kaneki Ken. In volume two the introductions stop as room is made for tragedy to begin unfolding. For the very first time as a member of the Ghouls, Kaneki Ken has seen the true discriminate brutality of the humans as he bares witness to a fellow pacifistic Ghoul being put down by the forces of the CCG (Commission of Counter Ghoul), a sub-government organisation with a singular purpose; kill all Ghouls. This is the genesis of Kaneki’s change of heart as …

Terra Formars Volume Seven – Review

The thing about space travel is that it’s quite dangerous, as well as being extraordinarily expensive. Once you leave the gravity of Earth, who the hell knows what is going to happen next. If you’re a crew of half-bug people on your way to Mars, chances are some weird stuff is going to go down…like bipedal cockroach men, but that’s something you’ve been trained to deal with, kind of. What happens when, after almost a week of trying to survive against said cockroach men, you’re then having to deal with the forces of…other humans? Terra Formars is now into it’s seventh volume, and it just continues to get more and more exciting. Madman Entertainment have been doing a fantastic job bringing this thrilling science-fiction story to Australia and New Zealand, and, once again, us here at SnapThirty have been given a chance to review the latest volume which takes a huge stride to the left and begins branching off on a storyline I saw coming a while ago, but I’m very much glad is now …

World Trigger Volume Six – Review

World Trigger volume six is the latest volume of the Manga to be released in Australia thanks to Madman Entertainment. Unfortunately, due to mysterious circumstances, our review copy was delivered about a month late…but that’s not a bad thing, not when the cause of which opens your eyes to something quite striking: I’m in love with this Manga. For the last four weeks I have been on the back of fellow writer Luke Halliday regarding the shipment of World Trigger, not through frustration but through excitement. Turns out, despite the series of Bs and B+s I’ve given it in the past, World Trigger is one of my most anticipated contemporary Manga releases, and volume six has finally made me exactly aware of just why it is I’ve fallen for this humble Manga. Story-wise, not a great deal develops in volume six of World Trigger, in fact, by the end of the volume more questions were raised than answered, but that’s to be expected with a set of chapters as combat heavy as the ones in …

Simmer Down! Episode 2 – Cooking Alice Nakiri’s Milkshake from Food Wars: Shokugeki No Soma

On episode one of Simmer Down!, good chef and bad chef Frank Inglese and Luke Halliday did something many people thought impossible; they made a dish from the hugely popular Food Wars!, also known as Shokugeki No Soma. It wasn’t that the dish was hard to make, this much has been proven by countless other YouTube videos, it was actually the coming together of two idiotic forces that had people in an almost unshakable state of disbelief. How can these two men ever work in synchronicity? Only under the guidance of Chef Ramsay is such a thing possible! Frank and Luke take to the kitchen for another episode of the SnapThirty cooking show Simmer Down!. This time around they’ve decide to prepare another dish from Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma) that actually doesn’t involve any cooking, instead only intricate preparation. Alice Nakiri, a talented but arrogant and annoying chef from the series, created this egg-based milkshake to wow judges chosen to critique new and exciting buffet dishes. Frank and Luke also want to wow audiences …

Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma) Volume Five and Six – Review

Madman Entertainment continue to roll out fantastic releases each and every month, but none more exciting than that of Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma). Why though? Not only is it a fantastic Shonen Anime that somehow relates the culinary world with that of a treacherous battlefield…but Madman are releasing two volumes at a time! Don’t you get what this means? It means we’re getting double the usual amount of Food Wars! media which means I’m spending double the time being engulfed by this fantastic series. Calling it a “fantastic series” shouldn’t be too much of a review-spoiler by now seeing as I’ve already critiqued each and every volume up until this point in time and have loved it all the way. We’re now up to volumes five and six; a pair of volumes that, together, perfectly set up the coming arc which I’m lead to believe wont come and go as all the others have done in the past. This is the calm before the proverbial storm…and it isn’t even that peaceful. I guess that’s …

Tokyo Ghoul Volume One – Review

There’s a few fairly obvious reasons as to why you’re all here reading this review. Although I’d like to think it’s because you’re a fan of the website and, more importantly, a fan of my writing…I don’t think it has anything to do with that, not when the subject is Sui Ishida’s Tokyo Ghoul. A psychological thriller revolving around the collision of two worlds, Tokyo Ghoul quickly became one of the most popular contemporary Anime titles as of late, much like that of Hajime Isayama’s Attack On Titan which went through a similar popularity spike after just the first episode. Chances are, you’re not that big a fan of the Anime. If you were, you probably would have already bought the Manga for yourself before reading any reviews, that’s just how dedicated the fan base of Tokyo Ghoul is. I’d like to think you’re more like me; someone who watched the Anime all the way through and was left somewhat unsatisfied. Being told that the Manga is much more in-depth and therefor more enjoyable than the Anime, you …

Twin Star Exorcists Volume One – Review

Everyone’s good at something, this much I’m sure of. Even if you think you’re not good at anything, chances are you’re pretty good at something. Rokuro, well, he’s really good at slaying demons. He’s been that way ever since he can remember, but a certain tragedy stopped him from doing what it is that he once did best. Imagine you’re really good at soccer: You’re the star player on your team, everybody thinks you’re great, and your opponents are actually pretty scared of you, even though they come across as being fearless. What if one day one of the opposing teams slaughtered each and every single member of your crew…bar you. Chances are, you’re not going to want to play soccer again, right? Now replace soccer with demons, and teammates with the closest thing you’ve got to a family…now you’re on your way to understanding the life of our young hero. One of Madman Entertainment’s latest Manga publications, Twin Star Exorcists, has just hit shelves around Australia and New Zealand, and we at SnapThirty have …

Inio Asano’s ‘Goodnight, Pun Pun’ Licensed by Viz Media, I Am Happy Now

Viz Media have made a rather pleasant announcement today that they have acquired the license for Goodnight, Pun Pun, the magnum opus of iconic counterculture modern manga artist Inio Asano. Goodnight, Pun Pun follows a young boy’s journey to adulthood as he experiences love, loss, friendship, pain and all of the things that come with growing up. It is a story about the loss of innocence and the acceptance of the harsh reality that is adulthood. Asano uniquely depicts Pun Pun as a cartoonish bird and as he grows older the cartoonish form becomes a more darker being, serving as a visual representation of his evolution as a person. It is this kind of introspective and thought provoking work that has made Inio Asano a rebellious voice of our generation in the manga world, taking on the issues and topics that most modern manga dares not to. Viz Media have confirmed that they will release the first volume of Goodnight, Pun Pun in 2016. This is great news for Asano fans and I for one …

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 5 Review

When you live in a world swarmed by demons, vampires and creatures that defy classification, the one thing you can be thankful for is the ease with which you can differentiate friend from foe. After all, it’s not exactly difficult to tell a human apart from a skycraper sized abomination, even vampires have those fangs and unmistakeable bloodlust…they’re also probably already biting you if you’re close enough to focus on the details. But what if, just maybe, there were enemies within? What if there were those who stood alone amongst the survivors? What if you couldn’t trust a human? Following the rather explosive volume that preceded it, this particular instalment of Seraph of the End dwells in a more conversational realm. Having been involved in a sizeable vampire attack, the Shinoa Company is called in by the illustrious Hiragi family, rulers of the Imperial Demon Army…you know, like how all military forces are dictated by a single family. Though I suppose that does call back to historical Japan in its own way, talk about history …

Gangsta Volume Six – Review

Gangsta is set in a city that is almost constantly on the verge of caving in on itself. Run by four Mafia heads, there’s a constant struggle with each of them trying to claw their way to the top. They’re all very dignified and they play nice with each other to maintain their respective facades, but with The Destroyers in town causing trouble and The Hunters on the prowl tying up loose ends, this gives one of the families the chance to launch themselves above the rest by doing something more sinister than you can imagine. Something that will throw off the balance of Ergastulum in a way like never before. Volume six sees the end of one conflict which naturally leads into the beginning of another. Delico, still searching for his twin sister, continues along the path of reconciliation with his partner Yang, and Galahad stays as strong as possible for the sake of the Christiano’s while mourning the death of someone that was once very close to him. Volume six is one of …

Terra Formars Volume Six – Review

An Earth day lasts twenty four hours. Do you know how long a full day on Mars lasts? Not too much longer than that, maybe only about forty minutes. This means that Earth and Mars have similar rotations. Now if you were to ask me how long a day on Mars lasts after only reading through Madman Entertainment’s hit Manga Terra Formars, I’d probably tell you it lasts a great deal longer. Actually, if we’re determining the length of a Mars day going strictly off of the Manga’s release schedule…a complete Mars day lasts for almost five months, but I don’t know why you’d determine the length of another planet’s day by using the release schedule of a popular science-fiction series. I most likely would, this is why I’m a writer for an online publication and noy an astronaut. We’re now into the sixth volume of Terra Formars, five of which have focused on the soldiers of Annex I and one of which works as somewhat of a prequel to the events of the series’ …

Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma) Volume Three and Four – Review

How did we get so lucky? Over the past two months, Madman Entertainment have been releasing the Food Wars! Manga in pairs, I assume so that they can catch up to Viz Media’s North American release schedule which is already up to volume eight! Despite the reason why, I just hope the Manga keeps coming at this pace because I’ll be damned if I have to go a month without reading at least a single volume of this Shonen Jump Advanced food fest! Yeah, that’s how much I’m liking it so far. There may be some of you out there who aren’t exactly up to date with Food Wars!, and I suggest that you do not read this review seeing as you’ll be way out of the loop. Instead, why don’t you go and read my review of the first two volumes which can be found here. I assure you, as the person who wrote the review, it’ll be very much worth your while. Who knows? You may even end up grabbing yourself a new …

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood Volume 2 Review

The bizarre adventure into the heart of gothic darkness continues with the second volume of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s first part, Phantom Blood. While the first volume introduced us into the bizarre domain that is the world of Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando, volume 2 is more focused on paving the pathway for their fated collision. It is evident from the very first chapter of Phantom Blood that this story is going to end in one way and one way only, with Jonathan and Dio duking it out in mortal combat. After Dio had put Jonathan’s father out of commission permanently in the last volume, Jonathan is trying to go on with his life. Eventually Jonathan comes to meet Zeppelli an eccentric man who informs him of Dio’s survival and intentions of building an undead army to conquer the world. Johnathan isn’t having none of that of course and after learning the ancient art of Hamon (or Ripple if you are that way inclinced) he sets out with Zeppelli and the downright hilarious Speedwagon. This volume …

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Graphic Novel) Review

The Legend of Zelda. Probably the world’s most popular RPG that still has a great deal of the populace confused as to who the titular character actually is. Though, to be fair, I’m not entirely sure how constantly being captured by an evil wizard constitutes a legend. Poor Link does all the work after all, without a word of complaint might I add…well, without a word of anything, but you get my point. Anywho, as one might gather from the title of this particular novel of graphic form, this release details the exploits of a Link to the Past, an early story in what would become a gaming legend…of Zelda. Young Link was just a humble guy, sleeping in his bed like any other night, when suddenly a voice rang in his ears. Now this wasn’t just any disembodied voice haunting him during the witching hour, it was rather the voice of Princess Zelda, imploring him for help. You know…because. Anyway, putting plot reservations on the background, our hapless hero immediately storms an enemy fortified castle, …

Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma) Volume One and Two – Review

I WOULD say that cooking programs are my “guilty pleasure“, but I honestly don’t feel much guilt after catching an episode of Jamie’s fifteen Minute Meals. The way I see it; humans eat a minimum of three times a day. You’ve got breakfast, lunch, AND dinner, though if you ask Childish Gambino…they’re just for beginners. Us humans eat SO much, we might as well eat good! That’s why, although my skills are closer to “none” than “great“, I still insist on being the cook in my household at least once a week, though I’ve never wanted to be an actual chef. Something I understand about the life of a proper chef, from knowing a number of former chefs, is that it is an incredibly difficult one. I was once told that a chef never quite leaves the kitchen, even long after their hard day is over. A lot resort to drinking to wind down, and most don’t last too long in the industry without cracking and hanging up their apron for good. I suppose what Anthony …

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood Volume 1 Review

Whether you love it or you hate it, there is one thing that is undeniable: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is something special. While it is easy to pass off JoJo’s early goings as a Fist of the North Star knock-off at first glance at hulking men drawn with sharp lines and heavy ink. Phantom Blood is brimming with creativity the likes of which are damn near incomparable. That is what JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is, simply unlike anything else in manga. Phantom Blood is the first of eight (and counting) parts of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure series. Originally released back in 1986, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has spanned hundreds of volumes and thousands upon thousands of chapters and remains in serialization today. However this is the first time ever that the Phantom Blood part of the series has been released in English, with Viz Media having only ever dabbled in localizing part three of the series, Stardust Crusaders. Needless to say, this is a release that is a long time coming and Viz Media have not disappointed, giving …

Kaiyodo Previews Blood Blockade Battlefront Revolmini Figures

Every once in a while, an Anime like Blood Blockade Battlefront comes along and takes your breath away with things like incredible animation, an addictive soundtrack, a compelling storyline, and some incredibly likeable characters. With any series that features such charismatic and unique characters, those who watch it will quickly discover which of the cast is their favorite. With Blood Blockade Battlefront it’s almost impossible to find yourself a preferred character simply because each and every one of them gives you a reason to be loved. Now as a true Japanese pop culture fan you cannot simply SAY you like a certain character, you must SHOW it, and that’s when you start searching for some merchandise to get your hands on. Well Blood Blockade Battlefront has only recently reached high levels of popularity thanks to the new Anime adaptation so there hasn’t really been anything in terms of purchasable merchandise…until now.  Japanese figurine manufacturer Kaiyodo has been posting some exciting Tweets lately that happen to feature images of the first real Blood Blockade Battlefront figurines to …

Assassination Classroom Volume Three – Review

As an Australian who got his education at an Australian school, taught by Australian teachers, surrounded by Australian friends and Australian environments…it has always been hard relating to the average Anime or Manga student seeing as, well…they’re Japanese, and the two cultures don’t have much crossover. I’ve never had a fellow student take roll call, I’ve never eaten lunch on the school roof, I’ve never had to change into sports gear midway through the day, and I’ve never been introduced to a transfer student. In comparison to the Japanese school lifestyle…my education days were terribly boring. Volume Three of Yusei Matsui’s Assassination Classroom finishes off the small arc that started midway through Volume Two, which saw Class-E head off on a trip to Kyoto only to promptly run into trouble…typical of students from the Assassination Classroom. Unlike what I experienced in Volumes One and Two, what I was reading in Volume Three simply didn’t hit me in the same way. Especially the first half of the volume. The great jokes that once made me chuckle out loud, …

World Trigger Volume Five – Review

It’s so strange to me; Daisuka Ashihara’s World Trigger isn’t nearly as popular as I imagined it was months ago. I saw this Manga turned Anime and thought to myself; “surely this is what’s leading the popularity polls in Japan”. I can’t honestly say I know why I thought that, it just had a look about it that I couldn’t help but shake. It was a huge surprise to me when fellow writer and friend Luke Halliday explained that it is a Manga that has constantly been on the verge of being axed, which is sad but also wonderfully uplifting. Think about this: World Trigger calls the chopping block it’s home. It’s always on the very edge of continued publication yet somehow always remains in the pages of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump and author Daisuke Ashihara is still employed to keep up with production. This means that, although World Trigger is almost always one foot in the grave, it fights on to live another day. This hasn’t just happened once…this has happened many times, and …

‘Cyborg Roggy’ and ‘Gakkyu Hotei’ Manga Axed From Shonen Jump

Remember a little article a little someone wrote about Cyborg Roggy not too long ago and how that someone predicted it would get the axe sooner rather than later? Well I hate to say I told you so but I told you so. Needless to say Cyborg Roggy has been unceremoniously axed from Shonen Jump after failing to capture an audience in the magazine and consistently ranking dead last in the reader rankings. It will end next week and be compiled into two volumes for release in June and July this year. On the other side of the coin a rather surprising turn of events has befallen Gakkyu Hotei, the Takeshia Obata series about the Elementary School Justice System. A strange premise that unfortunately seems to have been the undoing of the series in spite of its legendary mangaka behind it. Luckily for Gakkyu Hotei it is getting a more respectable send off with the series being moved to Shonen Jump+ the digital magazine in Japan to conclude its run properly. The axeman swingeth hard …

New Manga To Get a ‘Jump Start’ in Next Week’s Shonen Jump

Viz Media have just revealed in their latest issue of their Shonen Jump digital magazine that they will be ‘jump starting’ several new manga series in the next few issues of the magazine. The series are slated to begin their run in the Japanese edition of Shonen Jump next week as well making for a simultaneously release with the English version with a new series beginning in each of the next 3 weeks. The first manga is Welcome to Shika High’s Competitive Dance Club, a dance manga that is said to take the art form of dance and give it a Shonen Jump makeover complete with dance battles and all. The second manga is Devily Man and the third manga is Lady Justice, little is known about both manga at the current time but they seem both self explanatory but also rather vague. Stay tuned for more details as they emerge. -30-

The Godfather Of Shinobi – Masashi Kishimoto Announced As Guest For New York Comic Con

I cannot stress this enough but…Naruto will simply never die! I know for a fact that I’ve written many articles in the recent past regarding the series and most of those articles start in, more or less, the same way. I usually talk about how Naruto, despite the main storyline Manga being finished and the Anime being on it’s way out, is still one of the most popular Shonen series’ of all time. This time around…I’m not going to worry about explaining that because, let’s be honest; if you don’t already know this by now than you’re simply not as big a Naruto fan than you think you are. We just saw the Western release of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump’s latest issue, which is published by Viz Media outside of Japan, and within the new edition comes a nice piece of news that sees the creator of Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto himself, taking a trip out to North America for the New York Comic Con festivities. Yes, you read correctly! Masashi Kishimoto has just been announced to be …

Leading Man Cast For Takashi Miike’s Live-Action Terra Formars Film

Let’s think back for a hot minute: When was the last time any news broke about the upcoming live-action adaptation of Yu Sasuga and Kenichi Tachibana’s hit Manga Terra Formars? I think the last time we heard anything about this movie was all the way back when it was actually announced. That was a few months ago at this point in time but today we’ve been given a little bit more information on this exciting new movie and it comes in the form of the very first confirmed cast member. If you don’t know what Terra Formars is…please stop reading this article and go do your research. It’s crazy that you wouldn’t know about this incredible Manga and it’s less-than-incredible Anime adaptation so I’m just going to assume that you do. Well a while back it was announced that legendary Japanese director Takashi Miike – famous for movies like Ace Attorney, Ichi The Killer, and Crows Zero – has started with the early production stages of his very own live-action adaptation about the trained killers who’re …

Priceless In Pink – These Two New Cardcaptor Sakura Figures Will Cost You A Pretty Penny

I love Anime, I love Manga, I love Video Games, I love Comic, there are a lot of things I love about pop culture, but there’s one thing I don’t love, at all, and it’s the prices of some of the merchandise made purchasable in more recent times. One of the very few reasons my bedroom isn’t packed to the rafters with my favorite character merchandise is simply because pieces nowadays are way too expensive for the average man or woman to afford. At least, that’s when it comes to importing. Luke Halliday, a fellow writer on the site, is currently in Japan and loving every moment of it. Not only because it’s been his life-long dream to travel there but because of just how much cheap Anime and manga merchandise there is over there. Out here in the West it’s hard to get a figure that’ll cost you less than sixty dollars and as someone that doesn’t make that much money…sixty dollars is a great deal. Despite all that…I love some good Japanese pop culture merchandise. …

Kakashi’s Face Finally Revealed And It’s Just As Handsome As We Thought!

The day has finally come. It has finally come! Surely this means the apocalypse is on the horizon because I never imagined we’d ever see this. Ever! If the title of the article didn’t already give it away, allow me to catch you up to speed: Naruto is a very popular Shonen Anime and Manga that has only recently finished. Wait, no, the Anime is still going…it’s the Manga that’s finished! Wait, no, another Manga series just started, it’s the long line of Naruto movies that have finally finished! Wait, no, there’s actually still one more movie to be released. Has Naruto not ended? Because it just kind of sounds like Naruto still hasn’t ended! Anyway, that’s besides the point right now. Kakashi Hatake is a character who’s been in the series ever since the first few chapters. He was the man that trained the titular character alongside two of his close friends/enemies and basically made him what he is today: The saviour of the known world. Yes, there were a few mentor-types in between that …

Gangsta Volume Five – Review

What is it that compels people to kill? To take the life of another? We’re taught from birth that such a thing is simply inhuman. Never should this be done, so why is it that people continue to do it? There’s this force within some of us, humans I mean, that lies in wait entirely invisible to all our senses. It wells up inside and forces people to do the things they never thought they could. Sometimes that thing is murder. Most of us never even ponder the possibility of taking a life, yet people do it countless times every single day. Pop culture as a whole has desensitised us to death, that alongside the evening news. You know, sometimes even the hero kills if they have to. Kohske’s Gangsta is just another Manga series that doesn’t shy away from the death and destruction. You’re guaranteed to see a brutal murder every single volume but do you know what the difference is? The protagonists never insinuate that what they are, are anything BUT just two …

Terra Formars Volume Four – Review

I havn’t always been this way but, as of recent years, I’ve come to believe in the true concept of evolution. Why I would disbelieve it is something you’d have to ask a very young Frank Inglese, but the fact that I now believe in that particular process of growth means that I, myself, have gone through a sort of evolution. I now believe that those who do not evolve will become obsolete; something many around me have been preaching for some time but something that I havn’t quite come to terms with until now in my old age…of twenty one. Yu Sasuga and Kenichi Tachibana’s hit Manga Terra Formars deals a great deal with the idea of rapid growth and evolution, with some startling and frankly terrifying results. Many years ago, Humans tried their hand at terraforming Mars because, well…I think maybe Earth is on it’s last legs. A viable option to replace Earth would have to be to change Mars and that’s exactly what the scientific citizens of Earth did. Too bad that those …

J-Stars Victory Vs+ – One Piece and Saint Seiya Trailers Released

J-Stars Victroy Vs+ is only two months away from getting released down here in the West! Can you believe that? I only ask because, to be honest…I don’t think even I can! When I first heard about this game I was sure it wasn’t going to hit local shores. I was so, so sure of myself! I said to fellow writers Kane Bugeja and Luke Halliday; “there’s no way we’ll see a Western release of this game” and I’ve never felt so good about being so wrong! Are you a fan of One Piece? How about Saint Seiya? Both, you say? Well that’s absolutely fantastic because today bandai Namco Games have released two new trailers for the upcoming game that show off two of Shonen Jump’s most popular series’. As the days roll by and the game gets closer, Bandai Namco games will continue to release more and more trailers which will hopefully prove to everyone watching that this game will be the absolute one to beat. Enough talk out of me! You just want …

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 4 Review

As is so often the case in a post apocalyptic setting, the world can prove to be a less than friendly place. Pack all the weaponry and gear you want, but the creatures that dwell in the darkness of a broken planet will not back down easily. Be they horrendous abominations that stand as tall as skyscrapers, or humanoid foes that hold a mirror up to humanity, even trained soldiers would have their work cut out for them. However, one must also be wary of the demons that lie within the souls of man, lest they be played for a fool and taken by surprise. Well, we all knew this was coming. Since the very first time we saw little Mika all grown up and vampirised, we knew he and Yu would eventually come face to face with one another. As we also knew, it was not to be the happiest of reunions, what with the whole “abandonment of humanity” thing. Well, it is what it is and I have to say that Yu took …

Bandai Namco Reveals Contents Of Dragon Ball: XenoVerse DLC Pack Three

We live in the age of download content. This is what being a gamer in modern times is like; we purchase a video game for full price then, over time, the developers continue working on it to then release DLC pack after DLC pack until you’ve spend just about as much money on digital content as you did on the game itself. Some companies really go above and beyond when it comes to add-on content, were looking at you Capcom, and others like Bandai Namco Games do only what is necessary. When it comes to the third DLC pack of Bandai Namco’s latest Dragon Ball Z title XenoVerse, it is the release of a new movie titled Resurrection F that justifies this new addition to an already very much content populated game. Much like the previous two DLC pack, the third will feature some new playable characters, stages, missions and Masters but unlike the previous two…this one also features blue-haired Saiyans. Super Saiyan God SS Goku, Super Saiyan God SS Vegeta, Golden Frieza and Jaco …

Will The Naruto Exhibition Guestbook Finally Reveal Kakashi’s Face?

Naruto fans have always wondered just what was beyond the mask of Team 7 sensei and Leaf Jonin Kakashi. He hardly ever takes the damn thing off and whenever he actually does there’s something between us and what I assume is his lovely lower face. Many fans of over the years have tried their hand at interpreting just what it is that’s under the mask using the contours of his face and a little of their imagination but nothing comes close to the man himself Masashi Kishimoto drawing it with his own two hands. It’s just not the same! This may all change very soon though seeing as the new Naruto Exhibition that’s set to open up in just a few days may actually show Kakashi’s face in a short Manga drawn by series creator Masashi Kishimoto that is given to all exhibition-goers. The internet has already gotten a little peak at what this guestbook has to offer and what people have taken from it is that Kakashi’s face will indeed be shown. Now whether or …

Assassination Classroom Volume Two – Review

Yeah, I’ll admit it; I sometimes miss my high school days. I do, I do. I hate saying so though, especially because my Mother would always lecture me on the importance of enjoying my experience there while I could. It’s funny, she never spoke to me about anything regarding academic excellence. She always pushed me further into the things that I loved but never forced me to do anything I didn’t have even a shred of enjoyment doing. Maybe that’s why I decided early on that I was going to be a comedian, or that I was going to be a writer, or that I was going to be a graphic novelist. I was never given the spiel about being a doctor or a lawyer because, to her, what is important isn’t money or status but happiness. Amazingly, there were only a few teachers in my time that ever preached the same way of thinking; that doing something you love is ultimately more rewarding than being at the top of your class or on the very last …

New Trailers Released For Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, Pirate Warriors 3 and J-Stars Victory Vs+

Bandai Namco Games have done something a little crazy today; they’ve gone ahead and released a whole bunch of information and assets regarding a few of their top upcoming titles all at once which, for people like me who’s job it is to report on this news, has me in a bit of a frantic state. Somewhat because I have to write up this news and somewhat because I’m very much excited about the new trailers that have just been released. While I could’ve done three seperate articles for these new videos, I decided against it because, well, they all actually have something in common that isn’t just that they’re Bandai Namco titles. Fans of Shonen Jump Anime and Manga wills urely be fans of the video game titles that Bandai Namco Games release because, in case you have no idea, a lot of their games are indeed based on Anime or Manga, especially that of Shonen Jump. Series’ like Naruto, Bleach, Saint Seiya, they all have their games published by Namco Bandai. About a …

World Trigger Volume Four – Review

World Trigger, incase you’ve all been living under a huge rock for the past year or so, is a young Shonen Jump Manga that is currently being released around the world to the delight of…most. No, World Trigger isn’t the much-loved Shonen manga you’re all probably imagining it is. While it does have a pretty dedicated audience, unfortunately it’s one that’s pretty small in comparison to a lot of the other contemporary Shonen titles like My Hero Academia and Assassination Classroom but, in my humble opinion, I think it can stand up against the best of them. If I didn’t think that way I wouldn’t keep requesting review copies of new volumes from Madman Entertainment who distribute it down here in the wonderful land of Australia. Incase you’ve not been keeping up with the series; make sure you go back and read my reviews of Volume One, Two and Three. While they don’t tell you everything you need to know about the series, they’ll tell you enough to understand what I’m writing here. Now allow …

‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ Manga (3-in-1) Volume 1 Review

Known world wide for its trading card game, not many know that there was a time when Yu-Gi-Oh! was not entirely about card games. With the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga we get a look into the bizarre origins of what would ultimately go on to become a trading card games colossus. Never released in English there was a little known first season of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series dubbed by fans as ‘Season 0’ it follows Yugi and friends during high school as Yugi finds himself entangled in a number of ‘shadow games’. Essentially Yugi and his darker ‘Yami’ side would engage in all manner of competitive games in order to solve whatever problems faced them. What many might not know is that what resulted was far from the kid-friendly card games anime many know and love, in fact the original Yu-Gi-Oh! was downright sinister and with this first omnibus volume of the manga we get a deep look into the dark world that existed before ‘Duel Monsters’. This first volume proves to be a compelling read for …

Masses Applaud As Single Male Student Gets Transferred Into All-Girls High School

It’s no secret that Japanese Pop Culture plays host to many odd, interesting and sometimes frightening tropes that usually, but not exclusively, target certain genders at certain ages. One typical Anime/Manga storyline is that of the high school harem which, in case you honestly don’t get it, is indeed directed at sexually charged young men. Out of every handful of Anime or Manga released, there’s always one that will revolve around a young boy who’s very much lucky with the ladies. Now incase you think this is seriously sexist or something along those lines, please do remember that the female fans also have their very own genre which is much like this. In fact I know this to be true because, being a writer that focuses on Japanese pop culture and being lucky enough to have distributors send through review copies of newly released series’, I’ve personally reviewed some of the genre’s materials. Personally, the Hakuoki series is my favorite. We all have our favorite series’ and we all have our favorite types of stories. …

Bandai Namco Games Announces “One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 – Doflamingo Edition”

Both Bandai Namco’s “One Piece: Pirate Warriors 1” and “One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2” were huge successes the world over. There are many people, some who aren’t even fans of Anime as a whole, that absolutely adore the adventures of Luffy and crew as they sail around the world of “One Piece” finding new enemies to defeat and new citizens to save. This is why the “One Piece” range of video games does so well! Bandai Namco knows this and because of just how well-received their games are, they always like to give their fans just a little bit more to enjoy with the release of a new title. You know that “One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3” is on the verge of being released but what you may not know is that Bandai Namco Games Australia have just announced both a special edition of the upcoming game as well as some pre-order bonuses one can nab just for getting in early. This special video game package is titled the “Doflamingo Edition” and, while obviously coming …

VIZ Media Is Bringing The “Yo-Kai Watch” Manga To The West This September

There’s a new franchise that’s slowly but surely been taking over Japan and it too, like “Pokemon” and “Digimon”, has everything to do with capturing monsters, raising them and defending the world from some impending doom. This new series of video games, action figures and collectible trading cards also happens to have an Anime adaptation that is being  well-received around the world, despite the fact that it has only been released legally across Japan. Level-5’s “Yo-Kai Watch” truly is the “next big thing” and it seems as though both the young and old, according to its Japanese fanbase, can enjoy what this young franchise has to offer. Avid readers of this site and fans of the series will already know that, after a long time of waiting, “Yo-Kai Watch” will be making its way to the West sometime this year. Yes, that means the video games, Anime, toys and everything else will be hitting local shelves sooner than you could say “Gashadokuro”. Something you may not know is that the series has also spawned a …

Simmer Down! – Cooking A Dish From “Food Wars!” (Shokugeki No Soma)

The debut episode of SnapThirty’s cooking show; “Simmer Down”! In our very first episode the spirit of Gordon Ramsay guides Luke (@LAHalliday) and Frank (@FrankInglese) as they cook a dish from the anime/manga Food Wars (Shokugeki no Soma). This new Anime series pits chef against chef as they each try to beat each other and become the top Japanese culinary masters. The very first dish shown in both the Anime and the Manga is a meat dish with an odd, starchy twist. When Soma is tasked with making a pork roast without having any actual meat to use, he makes a bet with the woman who’s trying to shut down his restaurant. Throwing together a set of mysterious ingredients, Soma shocks both the malevolent woman and the audience by creating something amazing. Us at SnapThirty have tried to recreate this dish in the hopes that it comes out just as well as it did in the first episode/chapter…or, at least, we hope it tastes as good. You can watch “Food Wars!” (Shokugeki No Soma) over …

Vagabond (VIZBIG Edition): Volume Five and Volume Six – Review

The month of March saw the release of two volumes of the critically acclaimed “Vagabond” Manga by legendary graphic novelist Takehiko Inoue. For someone like me that absolutely adores the series it was comparable to that of Christmas day when my review copies of the volumes finally arrived. With three volumes per Vizbig Edition I felt somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer number of chapters I had ahead of me, but my excitement to see just what comes next in the story of Miyamoto Musashi possessed me to spend every possible waking moment engulfed by the series that has not only inspired me but millions around the world. After completing the first volume I then made the decision to combine what would usually be two individual reviews into one. It was only at those final pages of volume five did I realise that the series had entered a new arc that would likely span not only the next volume but long after that. Volume five took us back in time to a point in history long …

Dawn of the Arcana Volume One – Review

Dawn of the Arcana is a fairly successful Shojo series in its native territory, and it is actually the first series by author and illustrator, Rei Toma, to be picked up for an English localization. Running from 2009 to 2013, this series has garnered praise for being a fairly solid Shojo that’s situated within a pretty heavy political fantasy premise, along with all the relationship triangles and romantic shenanigans that you’ve come to expect from the genre. At a glance, Dawn of Arcana is like Game of Thrones with a strong feminine touch, which can be a good or bad thing depending on who you are. All 13 volumes of the series have been localized courtesy of Viz Media, and Madman has picked the series up for distribution in Australia and New Zealand. The first volume came out just recently, so let’s see if it leaves a lasting impression. Dawn of the Arcana tells a typical tale of two warring nations stuck within the confines of an island, with decades of bloodshed and animosity that …

“Parasyte: Part One – The Invasion Begins” Hitting Aussie Cinemas This April

What perfect timing! As many of you may know; the recent Anime adaptation “Parasyte – The Maxim” has only just ended, and it came with quite a hefty lesson to be learnt about life, love and the fragility of existence. Hype around the series is at an all-time high; at this point in time everyone has watched the Anime and has seen how damn good it is, people will now be rushing to stores looking to purchase whatever they can of the Manga in the hopes that it is just as good as the Anime, and now people will be very much looking forward to the live-action movie. The first film in the series of “Parasyte” movies is titled “The Invasion Begins”n and opened in Japan on the 29th of November last year to an incredibly positive reception. Now Madman Entertainment are bringing that very movie to Aussie shores for one day only in April. More specifically; April the 26th. As of right now, no information regarding locations, times and ticket sales have been disclosed …

New “Naruto” Manga To Begin April 27th In Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump

I know, for a fact, that this is what all you “Naruto” fans out there have been waiting for ever since the ending of the Manga. We all know that “Naruto” will never die. That’s a fact, and anyone that can’t deal with it just needs to make a bigger effort to do so. No matter what your views are of the series, you can’t deny that there is indeed a justification behind its incredibly high popularity level. I’m sure it was all apart of our childhoods and most people that watched or read it when it first started have continued to do so up until this day. The Anime is currently running a filler arc which SHOULD return to the main story in the near future, “The Last: Naruto The Movie” was released a little bit ago and people absolutely loved it for some odd reason, and, as mentioned, the Manga has only recently just ended BUT there’s more in store for the “Naruto” franchise. Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of the series, has already …

Inio Asano’s ‘A Girl On The Shore’ Manga To Get English Release by Vertical

As a die hard fan of Inio Asano and his manga masterpieces such as What a Wonderful World! and Solanin, I can say with great certainty that manga fans in the West are in for quite a treat thanks to publishing house Vertical. Vertical have officially confirmed that they have acquired the license for A Girl On The Shore for a long awaited English release. It is no secret that I love Asano and his criminally overlooked works. It is truly heartwarming and genuinely exciting to see more of this incredible mangaka’s work getting an English language release considering that only 3 titles out of his impressive catalogue of work have been released in English to date. I think this is a good sign of things to come for Asano fans as more of his great work makes its way into our hands and hearts. No date has been set as of yet for A Girl On The Shore’s English release however a tentative early 2016 date appears to be slated for the title. Stay tuned Asano fans …

‘Naruto’ Creator Masashi Kishimoto Wins ‘Rookie Of The Year’ Award, Someone Needs To Look Up ‘Rookie’ In The Dictionary

Legendary mangaka Masashi Kishimoto is the man behind the global anime and manga sensation, Naruto. He started the Naruto manga in 1999 and now in 2015 he has been awarded the prestigious ‘Rookie Of The Year’ award for the series from the Japanese Government’s Agency of Cultural Affairs. Now I’m not quite sure how in the world Kishimoto could be considered a rookie of his chosen artform considering he is a 15 year plus veteran of the manga medium, but his eligibility for this award may be due to the fact that Naruto is actually his first and only completed work. So there you go. Regardless of all the controversy over whether Kishimoto should be considered a rookie or not, congratulations to the man who brought us Naruto on winning this fine award. Here’s looking at you, kid. -30-

First Thoughts: ‘Cyborg Roggy’ Manga – Why Roggy Why?

‘Cyborg Roggy’. I’ll let you soak in that name for a moment. Does that sound like a good manga to you? Does it sound like a manga on the level of all time greats such as One Piece, Naruto or Dragon Ball? I don’t know what it is but something about the name Cyborg Roggy makes me think it is destined for cancellation. Maybe because it is a terrible name that looks bad, sounds bad and is just plain silly to say out loud. Poor Roggy, we hardly knew thee. Set in a world where everyone started to transform themselves into cyborgs one day, Cyborg Roggy is a new Shonen Jump manga from newcomer Yu Miki. Now while I opened this article with some rather damning statements against Cyborg Roggy and its potential future as an ongoing serialized manga, I must give credit where it is due. Cyborg Roggy is unlike any other manga I have ever read in Shonen Jump, heck it is unique in the manga genre as a whole. It feels distinct …