Friday, June 30, 2017

Manga Review: Kazumi Magica The innocent malice Volume 4 Pt 1: Amazon Nu

When you're done read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

All they wanted was to bring back someone dear to them and would go to any lengths to do so, is that so wrong?
 Now it has been far, far too long since we've gone back to the world of Madoka Magica, particularly Kazumi and the Pleiades Saints. Long story short, real life got in the way and I needed some time to myself. Though I have been sporadically been releasing new reviews I will be back to a normal schedule from now on. Though I will be experimenting between once every Monday or Friday, I'll test this for a few weeks to see which day will generate more views but if you all have a suggestion be sure to let me know in the comments. Now as for Kazumi since it's been a few months since my last review there will be no doubt a few of you who have forgotten what's happened in this not so happy story so here are the links to my previous reviews so you can be caught up.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

 Speaking of memory loss how was Kazumi since we last saw her?
Oh right one of her friends going crazy, telling her she's a clone and sending the rest of the clones to kill her. Well she's had better days that's for certian.
 As if fighting against 12 of you wasn't bad enough Satomi decides to shake Kazumi even more by telling her what really happened when Michiru became a witch. It was a dark and stormy night, just like that night (no seriously) and Michiru was making her grandmas strawberry risotto to celebrate Umikas first book publishing under her real name. Everyone was happy and celebrating until everyone started thanking Michiru for helping them become magical girls, but as you can imagine she knew the truth at that point so she witches out over her tremendous guilt. Satomi says that Yuuri being when they found out was a lie that Umika used to soften the blow for the others. So on top of all their other horrible acts these girls have also been manipulating their own memories to hide the truth and have been committing the ultimate taboo at least 13 times to resurrect their dead friend.
You think that only once would be enough to get the point across but noooooooo! Well brother I guess they're just the type of people who have to touch the stove twice before they realize "ow that's hot!" I mean we were just little kids when we tried that, what's their excuse?
 And just like with the Fullmetal Pipsqueak and his big little brother the Pleiades' attempts weren't exactly all that successful to say the least, but these clones at least look somewhat human. But close ain't good enough and with Kazumi starting to turn into a witch as well, they'll have to try again. 

Personally I would have maybe brought Kazumi a chair for her to sit down and take this all in or  a "sorry you're not who you think you are" Card and a Gift Certificate to Amazon or something not just drop it on her and try to kill her in cold blood but then again I would't even be in this situation because I'm not that crazy yet! Also Niko what are you doing up there? You are not Batgirl!
 Satomi continues to pour Salt and Lemon juice on Kazumi's wound by telling her the reason why Saki couldn't go through with killing the failed prototypes, she was so in love with Michiru that she couldn't bear to kill something with her face; much to Mirai's ire as she was overhearing everything near by. So Satomi figures she'll kill two birds with one stone by using her Phantasmo Bisbiglo to take control of Kazumi, have her and the clones fight to the death and she'll finish off the winner, easy peasy.

 So Kazumi's forced to do battle with her clones and during the skirmish she discovers that since she was created using the magic of the others she in turn can use their abilities such as Umika's barriers, Kaoru's super hard skin, Mirai's Dragon Slayer and Saki's lightning speed. To add to the horror of finding out she's a Super Skrull; when she took excessive damage her body absorbed the dead clones nearby and regenerated. The chapter ends with the last clone begging Kazumi to kill her; she can't do it but Satomi is more then willing as she impales both Kazumi and the clone with her feral cat wand.

 Chapter 15 continues with Satomi chuckling to herself over her victory, but when she sees Kazumi regenerating from the last clone she finally snaps and becomes a witch. The beast tamer witch attacks Kazumi who in turn transforms into a pseudo witch form herself. 

 Not exactly like that but close enough. Especially since this may be an amalgamation between Kazumi and what Michiru's Witch form may have looked like. The beast tamer witch then summons her familiars which swarm over The Witch Amazon; who then in turn uses Mirai's La Beastia spell to take control of the familiars which tear through the witches shell and exposes the core creature. 

Tell me about the Rabbits George. "Click" "VIOLENT CRUSH!"
 Saki regains consciousness at the worst time as she sees Kazumi smashing Satomi's lifeless head into the wall like a paintball pellet. Kazumi is of course horrified by what she did but Saki hugs her and tells her that it wasn't her fault. 
Well congratulations Saki you have said the absolute wrong thing to her and have just confirmed Satomi's stance that all Kazumi was is just a cheep replacement for Michiru. 

 To confirm how completely she had fucked up Kazumi is of course furious of Saki only seeing Michiru and not her. She turns to Kaoru and Umika and begs them to answer if she's human, her memories are real and not all just a fabrication. When they don't respond she teleports away in tears. Back at base Niko can't track her since she's subconsciously hiding her energy. Saki apologizes for failing to destroy the clones but Mirai tries to assuage her guilt by saying that the group shouldn't have placed the burden on her since they knew how much Michiru meant to her, that even though they knew she couldn't kill them they just didn't want to face the truth. 

 Niko has to be the buzzkill and brings up two major problems that need to be addressed; first what to do with Kazumi now that she's turning into a witch; second what to do about Satomi now that she's dead and all that's left is her corpse and grief seed. Saki says that they'll just keep reviving Michiru and Satomi till they finally get it right. Everyone agrees except for Kaoru who of course brings up the tiny little fact that Kazumi isn't just some mistake to sweep under the rug that she's you know, a sentient being and all. But she gets overruled by Saki with her asking if she's willing to let Michiru's diary just end with her descent into despair.

 Later on Saki and Mirai are out looking for Kazumi where Saki thanks Mirai for speaking up for her back at the meeting, Mirai bashfully blushes and says that she totally knows how Saki feels. 

So much so that she'll kill Kazumi nice and slow. Is there anyone on this team who isn't bat squeak loco?
 This chapter ends with Kazumi alone, depressed, miserable, broken, alone and in tears over how her whole existence is a lie, her friends only see her as a cheap replacement of Michiru and how she has no one else in the world she can turn to, until she's confronted by a familiar face.

 Chapter 16 shows who that familiar face is. It's the detective from the first chapter, however she's had her memories altered by Umika so that the bombing was placed on fake people; hers and Tachibana's involvement were changed and that her memories of being the Mantis Witch were removed. The detective offers to take her home and during the ride the conversation leads to the detective investigating the disappearances of young girls, one of whom was Airi. Several of the missing girls had a similar word pop up in their texting history before their disappearance, "Hyades" however the address that sent the texts wasn't in the phone company's records.

 The detective then asks if Kazumi recovered her memories, which causes Kazumi to start crying not just because of recent events but.
Well at least she's not completely miserable, she might be a homunculus but hey a girl's gotta eat.
 They stop by Tachibana's bistro where Kazumi falls asleep and the two adults have a conversation about why the detective is so determined to solve the disappearance cases. Her friend from middle school also disappeared when the two moved up to their third year and her friends 3 year old sister told that she was a magical girl. Though of course nobody but the detective believed her. We cut to a week later where Kazumi was staying with Tachibana. He tells her that she was sent a diary, Michiru's to be exact. 

 (Also apparently she knew Yuuri before she met the six and also encountered Kyoko, so great another cameo.) It tells how she figured out that Magical girls become witches and so to prolong her friends she always let them use their earned Grief Seeds first. The book also contained a letter from Kaoru warning her to skip town and that she'll do everything she can to protect her, that she's Kazumi and not Michiru and how she'll always be her friend. This was the motivation to give Kazumi a plan of action regarding the Pleiades, so she shares her recipe for Strawberry risotto with Tachibana and says her goodbyes to him. Our chapter ends with her telepathically contacting the girls and give them an ultimatum, either come to the freezer and face her all at one or else.

Next Hunt: Witches Brew

Special thanks to my Patreon backer Jesse for his support.

Kazumi Magica The Innocent Malice is owned by Masaki Hiramatsu, Takashi Tensugi, Magica Quartet and Yen Press.
Kamen Rider is owned by Ishinomori Productions, Toei Productions, and Bandai.
Fullmetal Alchemist is owned by Studio Bones, Square-Enix, Funimation, Viz Media and Hiromu Arakawa.
Hot Fuzz is owned by Edgar Wright, StudioCanal, Working Title Films, Big Talk Productions and Universal Pictures.
The Whitest Kids U Know is owned by Sam Brown, Zach Cregger, Trevor Moore, Darren Trumeter, Timmy Williams, Good Shepard Productions, Jimco and IFC.
Rick and Morty is owned by Justin Rolland, Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland's Solo Vanity Card Productions, Harmonious Claptrap, Starburns Industries, and Williams Street

Friday, June 23, 2017

Tokusatsu Review: Kamen Rider Final Form Top 18 Update Mugen Damashi: Break out the Adam West Eyecon

When you're done read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

In Memory of Adam West the Original Tv Batman
Sep 19 1928-Jun 9 2017 Sleep well, old chum.
 This year has been a rather turbulent one for many reasons. But those discussions will be saved for remissions at the end of the year as per tradition. Though the most recent reason as of this article is of course the passing of Adam West. Now I first knew of him as the first Tv Batman and the mayor of Quahog on Family Guy but his impact on nerd and just culture in general cannot be stated by me. So I will direct you to Moviebob's tribute to the man right here so that you can at least get a more experienced perspective of Adam's contribution to Batman and pop culture.

 If I may be so bold I would like to channel what little I know of his take on the character and give a bit of a soliloquy as Adam West's Batman. "I know our time together was far too short my friends, but do not despair, though I may be gone the world keeps on turning. Times may be dark but there will be your fellow man to show you the light and help to pull you out of the pit. If not your friends, then your family, if not them then perhaps a kind hearted stranger on the street it does not matter. For you see; hope, love and justice shall always find a way if one never stops looking. Be of good cheer and keep your spirits and heads high chums."

 But speaking of tradition and on to less depressing material it's time once again for the debut of the final form for this years Kamen Rider. This time it's Ex-Aids Muteki Gamer Lv 100.
Well aside from it looking very pointy there's another detail that's unavoidable about this form.

 But as of writing this article I have absolutely no idea what this form is supposed to do. We already know Maximum Gamer Lv 99 can reprogram Bugsters so for all I know this form can let Emu turn Bugsters into rice pudding or something. Aside from that Ex-Aid itself has been proving to be an exceptional Rider series with lots of good character focus and development (for the most part, Kagami is a dumbass btw) and doing so with very few, recurring monsters. Though if you think I may be a bit biased because Ex-Aid is video game themed, well you may be right but but it dosen't matter how good, bad or ugly the themes of a series is if the writing can't carry it through. Case in point what's left of the trash of 2016 White Lantern Takeru Sato aka Kamen Rider Ghost Mugen Damashi.

Once again this form looks like the Metallic Armor from MMPR Season 3 mixed with the White Lantern outfit.
 Ghost was a very sad and troubled production; it started off interestingly enough with the first quarter but as it went on the writing just kept on getting worse and worse with Takeru constantly dying and being revived more times then the cast of Dragon Ball to gain new forms. On top of that the show had the reset button slammed on his 99 days to get the Eyecons thing. Then Mugen was supposed to debut and everything went completely down the tubes. All of which can be attributed to the Japanese Dan Didio himself Shinichiro Shirakura, on top of cutting Ghost's funding in half for Kamen Rider Amazons he apparently pulled the head writer away, leaving only the two secondary writers to write nothing but filler episodes after Mugen premiered until he came back for the final arc since he didn't leave them any notes of how the story should progress and the stalling was painfully obvious.

 On top of that the powers of Mugen are barely explained or addressed. From what we see in the show it's apparently supposed to channel the power of raw emotion but in practice it just switches on Ghost's god mode. Every single fight with Mugen is a curb stomp, either Ghost is delivering the curb stomps or it's getting spanked like nobody's business. Not to mention these powers facilitate the episodes having to reestablish Takeru's connections to the Luminary Eyecons to get a different flavor of unimpressive finisher and life lesson that he should have learned 5000 times before this. In my opinion a Rider's Final form encapsulates the overall condition of the show if the form is badly designed, has defined and poorly explained powers and has a rushed and shoddy introduction then that seems like a sign that the creators and therefore the show just doesn't care.

 I hate Mugen Damashi for not only just the reasons listed above but for the potential that was clearly squandered and misused. Ghost could have been a great series and the first quarter showed potential but as it went on it just got worse and worse and that is a true shame. So I'm putting Mugen right between Hibiki Armed (the other notable Kamen Rider Production Shirakura fucked with, not a coincidence I assure you) and Ryuki Survive.

#18 Hibiki Armed
#17 Ghost Mugen Damashi
#16 Ryuki Survive
#15 Agito Shining
#14 Decade Complete
#13 Stronger Charge Up
#12 Fourze Cosmic States
#11 Faiz Blaster
#10 Drive Type Tridoron
#9 Wizard Infinity Style
#8 Kabuto Hyper Form
#7 Blade King Form
#6 Ultimate Kuuga
#5 W/Double Cyclone Joker Xtreme
#4 OOO Putotyra Combo
#3 Den-O Liner Form
#2 Gaim Kiwami Arms
#1 Kiva Emperor Form

 Ex-Aid in the meantime still has a way to go before we get to the next Rider Series. So far Ex-Aid has definitely made up for Ghost and hopefully Muteki Gamer will not disappoint. As for my next Tokusatsu review I'll give you all some hints. One it has 5 (technically 4 1/2) Riders in it and Two, IT'S BETTER THEN PIXELS!!!! But there's also one more thing to address here, HAPPY THIRD YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!

Special thanks to my Patreon backer Jesse for his support.

Batman (1960) is owned by DC Comics, Greenway Productions, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros Television Distribution.
Kamen Rider is owned by Ishinomori Productions, Toei Productions, and Bandai.
Austin Powers: Goldmember is owned by Gratitude International, Team Todd, Moving Pictures, and New Line Cinema. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Movie Review: Wonder Woman: Praise Zeus it's actually good!

When you're done read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

 It's been a long time coming but we finally get a DCEU movie that's actually good. It's not the flaming garbage fire that was Man of Steel or Batman V Superman nor was it the jumbled pile of meh that was Suicide Squad no Wonder Woman is actually good. If ever there was a movie that DC and Warner Bros needed to NOT screw up royal it would be Wonder Woman. No seriously this is not only just a good sign for DC's movie universe project but now they've actually accurately portrayed one of their characters that isn't connected to Batman in terms of family of comics or central mythology and we haven't seen that on the big screen since way back with the Cristopher Reeves Superman movie, yeah that long ago until DC managed not to screw up anyone who isn't Batman and thankfully they pulled it of with the most iconic (proper Iconic not Ubisoft iconic) female Superhero period!

 This is probably going to be seen as a pretty damn important movie not just for the Superhero genre as a whole but definitely for female moviemakers and female portrayals. Now as a guy I'm most definitely not the one to make any definitive statements nor do I really think I should (aside from that last sentence but whatever) but I really do think this is going to go down in the history books as one of the biggest game changers for cinema. As for the movie itself Wonder Woman's origin pretty much remains the same except that it takes place during the first world war instead of WW2 since the movie is going for a "war and people are a mix of different shades of grey and there's good and evil to be seen in everyone" message and well Nazis kinda tend to make that message a bit more then murky unless the Nazi in question is a cyborg and the big bad guys are 3 resurrected near invincible monster men who look like they jumped off of a Man-O-War cover.

 Though in a Superhero movie, super powered body builders and cyborg Nazis wouldn't be unwelcome but when trying to convey a message they tend to make it a little more complicated I'm just saying. Now back on topic anyone who knows Diana's backstory knows the drill Hippolyta creates Diana from clay, Zeus brings her to life as her child she grows up on Themyscira US Pilot and Spy Steve Trevor crashes, Diana agrees to bring him back to Man's world since according to him the war to end all wars is going on along with the creation of a new truly terrible weapon. Diana and the rest of the Amazons believe that Ares the God of War is the one pulling the strings since he's an asshole and this is basically his MO. So Diana steals the Lasso of Truth, the armor and a ceremonial sword that is said to be able to kill a god and goes back to Mans world with Steve to try to stop the war by killing Ares since with him dead it will be permanent end to war, hate, violence and traffic accidents and wooooo boy is she gonna be in for a disappointment.

 Now having seen nothing else that Gal Gadot was in and only knowing Chris from the New Star Trek movies the chemistry between the two works like a charm and let me tell you all as someone who's only major exposure to the Spirit of Truth was from the truly magnificent Justice League cartoon series I look at Gal Gadot and I don't see an actor I saw freaking Wonder Woman. Or at least a hell of a lot more of an accurate live action modern depiction then with Bonkers Betty from that awful 2011 pilot I'll tell you that much. though personal theory here, but it seems that this is yet another sign of a major change in DC, ever since the New 52 line ended in their comics line there seems to be a major spark of reinvigoration and creativity in their products first with Lego Batman  But this is just dancing around the fact that you all should go see Wonder Woman whenever you get the chance.

Wonder Woman (2017) is owned by DC Films, Warner Bros Entertainment and Patty Jenkins Based off the character created by William Moulton Marston.
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is propriety of Hirohiko Araki, David Production, Tokyo MX, Warner Bros Entertainment and Viz Media.