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Sesho's Anime And Manga Reviews

Reviewing all types of manga, anime old and new with a critical and passionate eye. Email: seshos@hotmail.com

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Podcast Episode 132: Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino

Podcast manga review of Vampire Knight Volume 1 by Matsuri Hino. Translated and adapted by Tomo Kimura. Originally published in Japan by Hakusensha. Published in US by Viz Shojo Beat, $8.99, Rated T+ Older Teen. Cross Academy, an elite boarding school, holds a hidden secret. Namely, at night it is attended by young and beautiful vampires. I'm not just talking bishojo, I'm talking girl fantasy bishonen as well. Since this book is shojo, there is a heavier focus on the guys. The students that attend class during the day are human and have no idea that the Night Class is composed of vampires. And it's the job of Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu, acting members of the Disciplinary Committee, to keep it that way. They're also there to keep the vampires in line with their Bloody Rose pistols, which are harmless to humans, but dangerous to vampires. Yuki is indebted to the Night Class president, Kaname Kuran, because he saved her from a hungry vampire 10 years ago. She might even be in love with him. Kaname seems to show a special interest in her as well, which drives Zero up the wall. Zero doesn't have much love for vampires because their hated race killed his parents 4 years ago, not to mention the fact that he might have a crush on Yuki as well. My Grade: B+

12mins

28 Sep 2008

Rank #1

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Episode 261: Go With the Clouds North by Northwest Volume 1

Podcast review of the first volume of Go With the Clouds North by Northwest Volume 1 by Aki Irie

13mins

27 Jul 2019

Rank #2

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Podcast 187: Aoi Hana, Episodes 1-4

Podcast anime review of Aoi Hana: Sweet Blue Flowers, Episodes 1-4. Now showing on www.crunchyroll.com. Directed by Kenichi Kasai (Kimi Kiss, Honey and Clover). Series Composition by Fumihiko Takayama. Music by Takefumi Haketa (Vampire Knight). Childhood friends Fumi and Akira haven't seen each other in ten years, but by coencidence, they meet each other on the train commute to their new high schools on opening day. It's only later that they recognize each other. Both girls find new friends on their first day. Fumi meets Sugimoto, a basketball player, while Akira meets Kyoko, a beautiful and elegant young lady. As Fumi and Akira renew their bond, Sugimoto wants a different kind of bond with Fumi, yeah, that's right, this IS yuri after all. And then we find out that Kyoko is in love with Sugimoto, even though it's unrequited. Let the drama begin! My Grade: A You can watch all 11 episodes for free at: http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/Aoihana View the trailer below:

14mins

27 Sep 2009

Rank #3

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Podcast Episode 176: The Prince of Tennis Volume 1

Podcast manga review of The Prince of Tennis Volume 1 by Takeshi Konomi. Translated by Joe Yamazaki. Adapted by Gerard Jones. Originally published in Japan by Shueisha. Published in US by Viz Shonen Jump, $7.95, Rated A for All Ages. From the back cover: There is a rumor going around that a twelve-year-old boy is going to enter the sixteen-year-old and under tennis group. How can someone so young ever hope to compete with kids much older and more experienced than him? This is no ordinary kid: he is none other than Ryoma Echizen, the Prince of Tennis! Ryoma's father was destined for greatness until he injured himself during a match, ending his career forever. His talent was passed on to his son, who is determined to be the best tennis player in the world. Can the Prince gain the respect of his fellow teammates despite his small size and young age? Find out in this intense sports manga! My Grade: A- You can read Chapter 1 for free here: http://shonenjump.viz.com/onlinemanga/sjom.php?chap=pot-hi-preview

11mins

3 Aug 2009

Rank #4

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Podcast Episode 143: Darker Than Black Volume 1

Podcast anime dvd review of Darker Than Black Volume 1. Episodes 1-5. Directed and written by Tensai Okamura (Naruto Movie, Project Blue Earth SOS, Wolf's Rain). Animation by BONES. Music by Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop). Published by Funimation, Rated 17+, $29.98. From the back cover: A new and deadly breed of covert agent walks the streets. Known as Contractors, these assassins and spies wield bizarre supernatural powers to carry out the dirty work of others. They thrive in the underworld, between rumor and reality, their loyalties always in question. One among these operatives is more mysterious than the rest; the masked killer BK201, the Black Reaper. His true identity and intentions remain unknown, but as his path weaves through the shadows and alleys of Tokyo, blood is spilled on both sides of the law. It's a new age of confusion, and the rules of engagement have changed. My Grade: A Visit the official website to watch the first 3 episodes for free: http://www.funimation.com/darkerthanblack/ Here is the trailer:

14mins

31 Dec 2008

Rank #5

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Podcast Episode 182: Love Hina The Complete Series, Episodes 1-7

Podcast anime review of Love Hina: The Complete Series, Episodes 1-7. Directed by Yoshiaki Iwasaki (Hayate, Familiar of Zero). Series Composition by Kurou Hazuki. Published by Funimation, Rated 16+, List Price: $49.99. From the back cover: Attempting to fulfill a promise to his childhood sweetheart, Keitaro Urashima is determined to enter Tokyo University. After being rejected twice, he decides to leave home and stay at his grandmother's apartment complex to study. But when he arrives, his grandmother is gone and he finds himself under attack by the all-female residents. Will the girls accept him as their new apartment manager? Will his bones ever mend? More importantly, can he concentrate on his studies when he discovers that one of his tenants might be his long-lost sweetheart? My Grade: A- View the trailer below:

13mins

4 Sep 2009

Rank #6

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Episode 260: Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu Volume 1

Podcast review of the manga Otherworldly Izakaya Nobu Volume 1

13mins

25 Jun 2019

Rank #7

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Podcast Episode 147: The Familiar of Zero Box Set, Episodes 1-4

Podcast review of the first four episodes of The Familiar of Zero Box Set, published by Geneon, List Price: $59.98, Rated 13+. Directed by Yoshiaki Iwasaki (Best Student Council, Hayate the Combat Butler). Series Composition by Takao Yoshioka (Elfen Lied, Dears). From the back cover: In a magical land where two moons shine in the night sky, one young student in the magic school, Louise, has acquired the nickname of "Zero." Why? Her "zero" talent! With a near-perfect failure rate for her spells, the shock that Louise's summoning spell works equals the surprise of her new familiar, a human boy from Japan! When the boy begins exhibiting some unexpected abilities, why do the teachers get so nervous? My Grade: B+

10mins

12 Mar 2009

Rank #8

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Podcast Episode 221: 11Eyes

Podcast anime review of 11Eyes, Episodes 1-12. Directed by Masami Shimoda (Ai Yori Aoshi, Boys Be, Saber Marionette J). Series composition by Kenichi Kanemaki (Hell Girl, El Cazador de la Bruja, Negima). Animation by Dogakobo. Series currently streaming at: http://www.crunchyroll.com/11eyes Satsuki Kakeru and Minase Yuka have been best friends ever since they were in an orphanage together. They've endured some hard times but nothing can prepare them for the "Red Night". As they are walking home from high school one day, they experience a rending pain, and then find themselves in what looks like their city. But it is overcast with a red sky and a black moon. And there's no living inhabitants except some weird looking monsters. Just when they're surrounded and about to be killed, the Red Night ends and they find themselves back in our world again. But they find themselves getting dragged back to that hell over and over again. But they are not alone. They begin to discover that some other students from their school are also being drawn into the Red Night. The difference is each one of them has a power or skill that allows them to fight against the monsters and their masters, the Black Knights. Do Kakeru and Yuka also have powers they don't know about? They better hope they do because the Black Knights are obsessed with killing them all. The anime was based on an adult visual novel released in Japan that was subsequently released in a more sanitized form on the Xbox 360 and PSP. My Grade: C Here is the opening from the original PC game. Pretty cool song:

13mins

30 Jul 2010

Rank #9

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Podcast Episode 226: One Piece Volume 3

Podcast manga review of One Piece Volume 3: Don't Get Fooled Again by Eiichiro Oda. Translated by Andy Nakatani. Adapted by Lance Caselman. Originally published in Japan by Shueisha. Published in US by Viz Shonen Jump, $7.95, Rated T for Teen. Show correction: I said "Jolly Roger" when I meant to say "Gold Roger". Please forgive me! From the back cover: "Sure, lots of people say they want to be the King of the Pirates, but how many have the guts to do what it takes? When Monkey D. Luffy first set out to sea in a leaky rowboat, he had no idea what might lie over the horizon. Now he's got a crew--sort of--in the form of swordsman Roronoa Zolo and treasure-hunting thief Nami. If he wants to prove himself on the high seas, Luffy will have to defeat the weird pirate lord Buggy the Clown. He'll have to find a map to the Grand Line, the sea route where the toughest pirates sail. And he'll have to face the Dread Captain Usopp, who claims to be a notorious pirate captain...but, frankly, Usopp says a lot of things..." My Grade: B

8mins

29 Aug 2010

Rank #10

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Podcast Episode 206: Naruto Volume 47

Podcast manga review of Naruto volume 47: The Seal Destroyed by Masashi Kishimoto. Translated by Mari Morimoto. Originally published in Japan by Shueisha. Published in US by Viz Shonen Jump, $9.99, Rated Teen. From the back cover: Naruto inches ever closer to discovering the true identity of his nemesis, Pain. But is it worth it as the frustrated ninja begins to morph at last into the dreaded Nine Tails? Plus, an unexpected confession reveals incredible secrets about his past as Naruto prepares for the ultimate battle with Pain. Can the chakra-challenged Naruto win when one misstep could spell disaster? My Grade: A+

13mins

18 Apr 2010

Rank #11

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Podcast Episode 154: The Sky Crawlers

Anime Podcast review of the Blu Ray version of The Sky Crawlers. Directed by Mamoru Oshii. Animation by Production I.G. Published by Sony Pictures. List Price: $34.95 (Amazon has it for $22.99). Based on the novels of Hiroshi Mori. From the back cover: From Mamoru Oshii, the world-acclaimed director of Ghost in the Shell, comes an award-winning story of an exciting but endless war with heroes too young to understand the meaning of their battles. A group of eternally young fighter pilots known as Kildren experience the sudden loss of innocence as they battle the enemy in astonishing dogfights above the clouds. With his only childhood memory consisting of intense flight training, the fearless teenage pilot Yuichi's dogfights coexist with his struggle to find his missing past. When his beautiful, young female commander Suito is reluctant to discuss the fate of the pilot that Yuichi is replacing - or the strangely perfect condition of that pilot's former aircraft - Yuichi's curiosity becomes heightened. Special Features: The Sound Design and Animation of The Sky Crawlers, Animation Research for The Sky Crawlers, Sky's the Limit: An Interview with Director Mamoru Oshii. Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles. My Grade: A- Here's the opening dogfight (There's a bit of blood):

13mins

6 Jun 2009

Rank #12

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Podcast 190: Eden Volume 12

Podcast manga review of Eden Volume 12 by Hiroki Endo. Translated by Kumar Sivasubramanian. Lettering by Steve Dutro. Originally published in Japan by Kodansha. Published in US by Dark Horse, $12.95, Rated Mature 18+. From the back cover: Eden returns with a thrilling, 224-page volume packed with brutal and realistic battles, character revelations, strange sci-fi surprises, political intrigue, and an "intelligent virus" that's taking over the world! Still investigating the Australian Wilhelm Corporation and its connection to the murders of several police officers, Miriam and Wendy track down some key figures in the conspiracy-- who begin to die mysterious deaths of their own. Elijah and his new bodyguard, Letheia Aletheia, are tracked down by the Propater Federation's seemingly unstoppable cyborg assassin, and this beast proves to be quite a match for both of them! Elijah's kidnapped sister unveils some startling family secrets, as her relationship with the elusive and powerful being known as "Maya" continues to grow. Also-- the secrets behind the mysterious data discs that Elijah found in Eden Volume 1 are finally revealed! Hiroki Endo's titanic Eden series pays tribute to multiple genres, while exploring man's role in the planet's natural order and humanity's possible demise. My Grade: A+ Listen to podcast of Volume 1: http://sesho.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=362912

20mins

18 Oct 2009

Rank #13

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Podcast Episode 227: Andromeda Stories Volume 1

Podcast manga review of Andromeda Stories Volume 1 by Keiko Takemiya. Story by Ryu Mitsuse. Translated by Magnolia Steele. Published by Vertical, $11.95, Rated 13+. From the back cover: Cosmoralia's Prince Ithaca is about to wed Princess Lilia of Ayodoya and be crowned Astralta III. The apparently favorable celestial bearings mean he will be no mere monarch but holy king of a new "papacy". Alas, the peaceful inhabitants of Planet Astria have no clue that they're next in line for invasion by a ruthless machine force--a threat that seems to metaphorize the inherent perils of politics and desire in this multilayered saga. The tension slowly mounts to an unbearable pitch in this ominous first volume of three. Following the conclusion of her award-winning and epochal To Terra..., Keiko Takemiya paired up with science fiction legend Ryu Mitsuse to create yet another milestone that was shortly made into an animated TV feature. Andromeda Stories is comics pioneer Takemiya's second work to appear in English. My Rating: A+ You can read a free preview of Volume 1 at: http://www.vertical-inc.com/previews/andromeda/index.html

16mins

11 Sep 2010

Rank #14

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Pocast Episode 214: Biomega Volume 2

Podcast manga review of Biomega Volume 2 by Tsutomu Nihei. Translated by John Werry. Adapted by Stan! Originally published in Japan by Shueisha. Published in the US by Viz Signature, $12.99, Rated M for Mature. From the back cover:"In Tsutomu Nihei's nightmare vision of the future, the N5S virus has swept across the Earth, turning most of the population into zombie-like drones. Zoichi Kanoe, an agent of Toa Heavy Industry, is humanity's last hope, and he's not even human! With the help of Fuyu, a digitized intelligence built into the computer system of his heavy dual coil motorcycle, Zoichi's search for the key to salvation will take him on a journey across surreal landscapes and hurl him into battle against mind-bending evil. Prepare yourself for the ultimate trip-- Prepare yourself for the world of Biomega. After capturing Eon Green, DRF forces are amassing around Toa Heavy Industry headquarters and have taken Dr. Kurokawa and his daughter into custody. Zoichi must attempt a rescue--Dr. Kurokawa's laboratory may yield critical information on Eon Green. Elsewhere, Toa Heavy Industry agent Nishu Mizunoe searches for Kozlov Grebnev and the secrets he knows about  the DRF's research, origins and their apocalyptic plan for the entire human race!"My Grade: A

11mins

26 Jun 2010

Rank #15

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Podcast Episode 217: Blame! Volume 1

Podcast manga review of Blame! volume 1 by Tsutomu Nihei (Biomega). Translated by Stephen Paul. Adapted by Brandon Montclare. Originally published in Japan by Kodansha. Published in US by Tokyopop, $9.99, Rated OT 16+. From the back cover: "In a future world rife with decay and destruction, Killy is a man of few words who packs one very powerful gun. He wanders an endless labyrinth of cyberdungeons filled with concrete and steel, fighting off cyborgs and other bizarre silicate creatures. Everyone is searching for the Net Terminal Genes, but no one is quite certain what kind of power they contain. The answer may lie hidden among the scattered human settlements of this vast and desolate future world." My Grade: B- And here's the first episode of the anime version of Blame, which was a series of 5 minute vignettes based on the manga. No talking here, but it gives you the feel and look of the manga:

11mins

17 Jul 2010

Rank #16

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Podcast Episode 222: Polyphonica Cardinal Crimson Volume 1

Podcast  manga review of Polyphonica: Cardinal Crimson volume 1. Original story by Ichiro Sakaki and ocelot. Illustrated by Tomo Hirokawa. Translated and adapted by Sheldon Drzka. Originally published in Japan by Flex Comix. Published in US by CMX, $9.99, Rated Teen+. From the back cover: "There's a magical place known as Polyphonica, where humans and spirits live side by side. In face, spirits are sustained by a very special music known as "Commandia", which humans play. As a young boy, Phoron's singing accidentally summoned a female spirit named Corticarte. She made a pact to always protect him in exchange for the beautiful sounds he created. But Phoron thought her to be a figment of his imagination and forgot about her. Now a bumbling student at Tolubath Commandia Academy, the teenage Phoron accidentally summons Corticarte while practicing his music. Though she's not pleased to have been forgotten, she remembers her oath to Phoron. The struggling musician could use all the help he can get, but this feisty spirit may be more than he can handle. " My Grade: C Here is the opening for the original PC visual novel Polyphonica:

12mins

3 Aug 2010

Rank #17

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Podcast Episode 210: All You Need Is Kill

Podcast novel review of All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Translated by Alexander O. Smith. Originally published in Japan by Shueisha. Published in US by Viz Haikasoru, $13.99. From the back cover: When the alien mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his 158th iteration, he gets a message from a mysterious ally-- the female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji's escape or his final death? My Grade: B Read an excerpt from the book and get more info at: http://www.haikasoru.com/all-you-need-is-kill/

13mins

7 Jun 2010

Rank #18

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Podcast Episode 185: Shigurui: Death Frenzy, Episodes 1-6

Podcast anime review of Shigurui: Death Frenzy The Complete Series, Episodes 1-6. Directed by Hirotsugu Hamazaki (Texhnolyze). Series Composition by Seishi Minakami (Paprika, Boogiepop Phantom). Based on the manga by Takayuki Yamaguchi. Published by Funimation, List Price: $59.98, Rated 17+. From the back cover: Two damaged warriors wear the scars of a twisted and violent past. Bitter rivals for the secrets of their master's sword and the right to his daughter, these samurai inflict wounds on each other that would destroy lesser men. The final chapter of their saga unfolds within a brutal samurai tournament, a gruesome contest arranged to satisfy the bloodlust of a cruel tyrant overlord. The disfigured legends of the blade must summon the strength for one last battle - a final lesson in the artistry of violence where nothing is more beautiful than the kill. My Grade: A- You can watch all 12 episodes for free at Funimation.com. Here is the link to the first episode: http://www4.funimation.com/video/?page=video&v=330 And here's the trailer for the box set:

15mins

22 Sep 2009

Rank #19

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Podcast Episode 232: Tokyopop and Yen, the Artful Dodgers of Manga

Podcast Episode 232: In this episode I comment on the price increases of Tokyopop and Yen Press and the apathy among the manga community about the price hikes. Among the topics covered: The schizophrenia of Yen Press prices, Tokyopop's rip-off $12.99 books, incest among publishers and bloggers, the lotus eaters of the Anime News Network forum, the current American way of charging more for less, the incompetence of Manga publisher CEOS, overpricing licenses, limited edition anime shoved down our throats.

13mins

6 Feb 2011

Rank #20