Tag Archives: Manga

Urusei Yatsura Cosplay: Benten (Pamela Colnaghi) Cosplay 18 DEC 2013

Italian cosplayer Pamela Colnaghi has role played quite a vast array of characters over the years, this time choosing to dig into her more “butch” side as she tackles Rumiko Takahashi’s space biker chick from her hit manga Urusei Yatsura, Benten!

Urusei Yatsura is a comedic manga series written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi that premiered in Weekly Shōnen Sunday in 1978 and ran until its conclusion in 1987. Its 374 individual chapters were collected and published in 34 tankobon volumes. The series tells the story of Ataru Moroboshi and the alien Lum, who believes she is Ataru’s wife after he accidentally proposes to her.

The series makes heavy use of Japanese mythology, culture and puns. The series was adapted into a TV anime series produced by Kitty Films and broadcast on Fuji Television affiliates from 1981 to 1986 over 195 episodes. Eleven original video animations and six theatrical movies followed, and the series has been released on VHS, Laserdisc and DVD in Japan.

Benten is Lum’s childhood friend. Her character is named after Shichifukujin Benzaiten (one of the Seven Lucky Gods), the Shinto goddess of knowledge, art, and beauty. This Benten is a “space biker chick” who wears a plate-mail bikini, sports a “butch” hair style, tears around the sky on a red airbike, curses like a longshoreman, and carries a high-tech bazooka. Her arrival on the scene is often heralded by artillery fire. She holds an annual battle against Lum’s Oni clan on Setsubun.

Aside from being a good hand-to-hand fighter and having the aforementioned bazooka, she appears to have no special powers. As children, Benten and Lum often instigated trouble that usually resulted in Ran getting hurt.

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Zone-00 Cosplay: Mayoko Okino (Midori Kanda) Cosplay 18 MAR 2013

Kujo Saburou is an ordinary high schooler, hyperactive and strangely interested in mysterious (alien) things. He quickly becomes friends with a new transfer student, Shima Ango, who happens to find him in a game of hide-and-seek. But what he doesn’t know is Shima’s true goal: the extermination of mononoke terrorizing the Toyko area. Caught in the middle of their fight, Kujo loses his head, unsealing an Oni inside of him…

Japanese cosplayer Midori Kanda takes a page out of Kyujyo Kiyo’s over the top Zone-00 manga to bring to life Mayoko Okino for this cosplay outing!

Often called “Majoko” throughout the series ( a pun nickname involving the word “Majo”, “witch”, and her own name), Mayoko Okino is known in the series as the “Witch of the West”. She was first shown flying with her broom over a site where Ango Shima was fighting against a Mononoke. She was later formally introduced when presented to her new class (Kujo’s class), as a transfer student coming from Kyoto, along with Shima. It is implied that she knew Ango beforehand, as she states that they might have already fought once.

As a witch, she also has a familiar: a nekomata named Senryou (who is, supposedly, her boyfriend), portrayed as small, black cat whose tail’s divided. His eyes are also colored differently, as the left one is indigo and the right one, golden. He has pleaded her loyalty after she saved his life.

Related Link: http://zone-00.wikia.com/wiki/ZONE-00_Wiki

Gantz Cosplay: Kei Kishimoto (Natsumi ii) Cosplay 05 MAR 2013

Japanese cosplayer Natsumi (ii) manages to squeeze herself into this pretty cool costume for her Kei Kishimoto cosplay from the hit Gantz franchise.

Gantz is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiroya Oku. Gantz tells the story of Kei Kurono and his friend Masaru Kato who die in a train accident and become part of a semi-posthumous “game” in which they and several other recently deceased people are forced to hunt down and kill aliens armed with a handful of futuristic items of equipment and weaponry.

Kei Kishimoto first appears naked in the Apartment as her death involved slitting her wrists while in a bathtub. Unlike many of the characters of the series, she did not exactly die. As Nishi revealed, Gantz can make mistakes. Gantz accidentally created a copy of Kishimoto to use in missions while her original self survived.

Kurono has a deep crush on her, but she herself has a crush on Masaru Kato. Finding her ‘real self’ alive, she is forced to live with Kurono who is delighted to see her at first but later resents being used by her as she is clearly not interested in him.

Gantz calls her by the names “Boiled eggs”, “Titz” and “Miss Melons” (in the original Japanese: “Kyonyū”) due to her fairly large breasts. She dies during the Buddha mission to protect Kato from the acid attack of the boss alien, Thousand Arms.

Her seiyu is Hitomi Nabatame, and her English voice actress Shannon Emerick.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gantz

Zone-00 Cosplay: Mayoko Okino (Koro Yukino) Cosplay 06 FEB 2013

Kujo Saburou is an ordinary high schooler, hyperactive and strangely interested in mysterious (alien) things. He quickly becomes friends with a new transfer student, Shima Ango, who happens to find him in a game of hide-and-seek. But what he doesn’t know is Shima’s true goal: the extermination of mononoke terrorizing the Toyko area. Caught in the middle of their fight, Kujo loses his head, unsealing an Oni inside of him…

Japanese cosplayer Koro Yukino takes a page out of Kyujyo Kiyo’s over the top Zone-00 manga to bring to life Mayoko Okino for this cosplay outing!

Often called “Majoko” throughout the series ( a pun nickname involving the word “Majo”, “witch”, and her own name), Mayoko Okino is known in the series as the “Witch of the West”. She was first shown flying with her broom over a site where Ango Shima was fighting against a Mononoke. She was later formally introduced when presented to her new class (Kujo’s class), as a transfer student coming from Kyoto, along with Shima. It is implied that she knew Ango beforehand, as she states that they might have already fought once.

As a witch, she also has a familiar: a nekomata named Senryou (who is, supposedly, her boyfriend), portrayed as small, black cat whose tail’s divided. His eyes are also colored differently, as the left one is indigo and the right one, golden. He has pleaded her loyalty after she saved his life.

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Zone-00 Cosplay Quickie: Mayoko Okino (Koyuki) Cosplay 16 JAN 2013

Kujo Saburou is an ordinary high schooler, hyperactive and strangely interested in mysterious (alien) things. He quickly becomes friends with a new transfer student, Shima Ango, who happens to find him in a game of hide-and-seek. But what he doesn’t know is Shima’s true goal: the extermination of mononoke terrorizing the Toyko area. Caught in the middle of their fight, Kujo loses his head, unsealing an Oni inside of him…

Japanese cosplayer Koyuki takes a page out of Kyujyo Kiyo’s over the top Zone-00 manga to bring to life Mayoko Okino for this cosplay outing!

Often called “Majoko” throughout the series ( a pun nickname involving the word “Majo”, “witch”, and her own name), Mayoko Okino is known in the series as the “Witch of the West”. She was first shown flying with her broom over a site where Ango Shima was fighting against a Mononoke. She was later formally introduced when presented to her new class (Kujo’s class), as a transfer student coming from Kyoto, along with Shima. It is implied that she knew Ango beforehand, as she states that they might have already fought once.

As a witch, she also has a familiar: a nekomata named Senryou (who is, supposedly, her boyfriend), portrayed as small, black cat whose tail’s divided. His eyes are also colored differently, as the left one is indigo and the right one, golden. He has pleaded her loyalty after she saved his life.

Related Link: http://zone-00.wikia.com/wiki/ZONE-00_Wiki

Review: Slam Dunk (Volume 5) (1991) Manga | My Reviews 15 JAN 2013

Winning isn’t everything in the game of basketball, but who wants to come in second? It takes dedication and discipline to be the best, and the Shohoku High hoops team wants to be just that. They have one last year to make their captain’s dream of reaching the finals come true – will they do it?

Hanamichi finally gets some game time as a substitute for the slightly injured captain Akagi and quickly goes about showing everyone that he isn’t all talk. Not only does he manage to strip the ball from Ryonan’s veteran center, but he also succeeds in making several key passes that result in some much-needed baskets. With Shohoku closing in on their opponents’ lead, is Hanamichi on the verge of proving that he has what it takes to become the next captain?

I was quite fond of Takehiko Inoue’s smash hit basketball manga back in my twenties, and I must admit, it is somewhat of a guilty pleasure to get back into it again, now in my thirties, though admittedly I do seem to have outgrown it just a tad it would seem.

Anyway, volume 5 of Slam Dunk still has us caught slap bang in the epic basketball battle between Ryonan and Shohoku, though unbelievably the entire volume 5 is used to tell just a few minute’s worth of game time – to actually finish this (and remember, this is only a practice game – the season hasn’t even started yet!), you’ll need to head out and ensure that volume 6 is also within your grasp.

That said, with Sakuragi now firmly in the playing field, this book is loads of fun, it literally whizzes past as you’re treated to some engaging and exhilarating hoops action, complete with Inoue’s trademark drama, slapstick comedy (the rivalry between Sakuragi, Rukawa and now Sendoh is an absolute riot at times) and of course, plot twists!

Matching the non-stop pace of the basketball action story being told is Inoue’s energetic, well drawn and detailed panels, matching every aspect of tone, from silly to serious, perfectly.

It really is a pity that the game doesn’t come to an end in this volume because it means that Inoue has now stretched a single game over the course of three volumes, but that said, this really is an enjoyable book that is sure to appeal to any lover of shonen sports manga titles.

Loads of fun and well worth the read.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slam_Dunk_(manga)

Review: Slam Dunk (Volume 4) (1991) Manga | My Reviews 27 DEC 2012

Winning isn’t everything in the game of basketball, but who wants to come in second? It takes dedication and discipline to be the best, and the Shohoku High hoops team wants to be just that. They have one last year to make their captain’s dream of reaching the finals come true – will they do it?

Shohoku’s (somewhat) friendly game against Ryonan gets underway. Old rivalries reignite with captain Akagi going toe-to-toe with Ryonan’s center, Uozumi. Hanamichi has flat-out declared that he will personally shut down Ryonan’s ace, Sendoh, but will Kaede Rukawa take care of things before Hanamichi even gets a chance to hit the floor? Either way, this is bound to be a game to remember!

I’m particularly fond of Takehiko Inoue’s classic school basketball comedy drama saga, and Slam Dunk volume 4 certainly does not let one down in any way whatsoever. Loads of basketball action, plenty of flip-flopping drama as both teams duke it out, and of course the side-splitting laughs that come courtesy of that loveable tough guy idiot Hanamichi Sakuragi!

Volume 4 kicks off the big Ryonan practice game, which of course the book makes out to be far more important than just any old practice game. Of course, this is Inoue meaning that a single basketball game will stretch out over a number of volumes, which unfortunately means that you’ll have to sit down with more than just volume 4 if you want to see how things pan out. Of course, that said, it is a testament to Inoue’s ability to leave you wanting more, even tricking you into forgetting your frustration that time in his basketball games can be rather elastic!

The artwork is a fantastic mix of detailed backgrounds, dynamic character action poses, and of course Inoue’s signature silliness and deformed art tricks to heighten the slapstick comedy, all of which works together perfectly with the tale being told.

It may be a little long in the tooth by now, but if you haven’t read Slam Dunk before and you do enjoy a good laugh combined with sports action, then you would do well to pick up Slam Dunk volume 4 (as well as the rest of them if you can!).

Loads of fun and well worth the read.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slam_Dunk_(manga)

Review: Fullmetal Alchemist (Volume 18) (2009) Manga | My Reviews 25 DEC 2012

In an alchemical ritual gone wrong, Edward Elric lost his arm and his leg, and his brother Alphonse became nothing but a soul in a suit of armor. Equipped with mechanical “auto-mail” limbs, Edward becomes a state alchemist, seeking the one thing that can restore his and his brother’s bodies… the legendary Philosopher’s Stone.

Auto-mail engineer Winry is captured and held hostage to force Edward to do her captor’s bidding. Hawkeye discovers the disturbing truth about President Bradley’s son. Our heroes have fortuitous and not-so-fortuitous reunions with old friends and enemies. And multiple intrigues and double-crosses ensue as some people plot to save the world while others scheme to destroy it.

Volume 18 has Ed and Al still up in the North, though now they are being manipulated by Kimblee, who has Winry in his treacherous grasp and seeks the aid of the Elric brothers in creating another Philosopher’s Stone. However, Scar and his companions are also in the area, a big target for both the military and the Elric brothers, though Kimblee would do well to watch out just where the loyalties of the Northern forces really lie. In the same breath, back in Central, Lieutenant Hawkeye makes a rather startling – and disturbing discovery, something revolving around yet another homunculus which makes he’s rather unexpected appearance.

There is plenty of darkness in volume 18 as we’ve come to expect whenever a homunculus is involved, though this is balanced out by plenty of action sequences, and of course by yet more intrigue as writer Hiromu Arakawa carefully lifts the lids off of some secrets, only to tantalize with a few new ones in return! Some nice little twists are thrown in and overall, Volume 18 grabs you and sucks you in well before you even realize it.

As we’ve become accustomed to it by now, Arakawa’s flat cartoony style still doesn’t quite match up with the dark tones at times, but for the most part the clean lines and good backgrounds do make for pleasant visuals, with her style capturing her trademark slapstick humor and silliness that she likes throwing in every now and then perfectly!

It’s a decent read that certainly won’t disappoint fans of the series that have already come this far into it.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fullmetal_Alchemist

Review: Deus Vitae (Volume 3) (2004) Manga | My Reviews 18 DEC 2012

After overcoming a perilous ambush, Ash and company meet up with the head office of Re-O. There, Lemiu is confronted with a terrible secret from Ash’s past… and a climactic attack of selenoids could mean the end of mankind as we know it!

Volume 3 marks the end of writer/artist Takuya Fujima’s science fiction Deus Vitae saga, chronicling the battle of Ash Ramy, the human with selenoid abilities, against the power of the selenoid Mothers and Lady Leave herself, as well as the revelations surrounding the young female selenoid known as Lemiu Winslet.

Finally, many of the missing bits of information get filled in, and this volume carries a good balance of action, drama and character development, finishing up the story with a somewhat soppy and overwrought, but satisfyingly epic, final battle.

Of course, what makes Deus Vitae is not its writing (which to be honest continues to be slightly confusing to work through and isn’t always all that convincing, but which is certainly better than the first two volumes), but rather the strength of Takuya’s gorgeous art, his wonderfully detailed work and of course gorgeous character designs, particularly that of the girls. That said, his artwork does sometimes make it difficult to follow what exactly is meant to be happening in some of the more action heavy panels, but again, the top quality of the line work more than makes up for these minor flaws.

One thing that one does however need to criticize Mr. Fujima on is his insatiable obsession with drawing in female boobs and their associated nipples, which sometimes are just a little too in your face or forced in, making for detracting visuals instead of enhancing the sexiness or whatever Takuya is aiming for.

So in summary, just as it has been throughout the series, Deus Vitae is a fairly average science fiction read, but its gorgeous artwork raises it above the quality of its writing and thus makes it worth checking out.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_Vitae