Tag Archives: warrior

Review: Last Fantasy (Volume 5) Manga | My Reviews 14 MAR 2012

The feverish fight to rescue the town from complete annihilation makes reluctant allies of everyone – Tian and Drei, Anna and her special task force, the religious chick, and, worst of all, Nagi, the thief. And, surrounded by Zombies and with little hope of making it out of the city alive, the lot of them sallies forth into the hordes of walking dead to face death… or worse.

From writer Creative Hon with art from Yong-Wan Kwon, volume 5 of the Last Fantasy Korean manhwa brings to a close the short fantasy/comedy adventures of the low-level magic user who can pretty much only throw fireballs Tian, and the strong as an ox, but dumb as one too warrior Drei von Richenstein, the two unlikely heroes (who are almost always broke) with a knack of turning allies into foes.

Plunging our main characters directly into battle against the hungry horde of zombies right from page one, the action is relentless until the final and satisfying closing scenes, which bring about the end of the main storyline around two thirds into the book – leaving the rest of the volume to be padded out with some extra stories set in the world Creative Hon has created from the inspiration that is Final Fantasy, generating enough story threads towards the end so that should they ever be called upon to one day craft some more Last Fantasy books, they’ll at least have something to carry on from!

Although the book maintains it’s slapstick comedic value from the previous issues, it definitely is a lot less silly in tone thanks to the loads of action and anguish that drives the lion’s share of the story along. There is a lot of drama to be had, and as a whole, this is a really gripping finale to an enjoyable fantasy romp, one that doesn’t seem to have a problem mixing up as many genres as possible and to be frank, getting away with it.

On the artistic side of things, I have to say I really enjoyed Yong-Wan Kwon’s illustrations, with him coming up with some beautifully detailed and full panels, dripping with loads of line work, and with a knack of correctly capturing the mood of the panel based on what is happening in the text. His facial expressions all work, and he manages to capture all the dark and gritty action sequences just perfectly.

In other words, other than his sometimes tiny waists that he puts on his characters, very little to complain about!

In summary, volume 5 brings with it a great end to an enjoyable little comedy fantasy romp, featuring great art and not so bad writing. It’s a pity that the main action is over two thirds into the book, but I guess it could have been worse – they could have just left it unpadded and thus leave you with a much lower page count in your hands!

So worth a read if you are looking for a break from Japanese manga and American superhero comic books, and are in particular a fan of sword and sorcery based fantasy, mixed with a splash of comedy of course.

Related Link: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/manga.php?id=5955

Royal Black Guard Sketches, Paint & Photoshop 02 JAN 2011

Seeing as our little Jessica had finally joined us after her nearly two month long stay at the hospital neonatal intensive care unit, New Year’s Eve 2011 promised nothing more than a night in with Chantelle and my baby girl, meaning of course as the manly provider I needed to organise supper. So out came the wood, charcoal and meat and on went the last braai of 2010.

However, seeing as Chantelle was preoccupied with Jessica, I needed to entertain myself, and for no reason other than I can, I whipped up the following black ballpoint pen sketch based on one of my McFarlane figurines.

I think I’ll name him as being part of the Royal Black Guard. Sounds fitting enough!

Review: 300 (2007) My Reviews 03 APR 2007

300poster300 – The ultimate guy movie? Blood, guts and very, very cool fighting scenes with muscled men in loin cloths. No wonder the males accounted for 85% of cinema audience when I went to go watch it on Friday evening last week. Only a very few unlucky wives and girlfriends were attending in a tight huddle.

Based on the legendary Frank Millers graphic novel of the same name, 300 is an epic revolving around the legend surrounding the historic Battle of Thermopylae. Basically: Spartan King Leonidas and 300 Spartans fight to the last man against Persian King Xerxes and his army of over one million soldiers, while in Sparta, Queen Gorgo attempts to rally support for her husband. (Just by the way, Frank Miller is one of my all time favourite comic book writers/illustrators)

Now I’ll be honest, the plot seems a little thin and probably is a little thin like a cookie wafer. I know when I walked out the theatre that I really couldn’t care less about any of the characters, nor did the movie move me in any way. So then just why the hell is 300 making such a killing at the box office?

Simple: Pure unadulterated violence delivered in ultra cool style which isn’t too over the top but just feels so right.

The movie is shot almost entirely in blue screen, meaning youre basically watching one big CG event. The soft lighting, the atmosphere, everything about the movie has basically been added in right at the end. And it works. The brilliant 2D blood splashes, the meticulous beheadings, the sheer size of the Persian army and the use of slow/fast action camera sequences elevates this movie into something else and makes it truly a sight to behold. This is one of the few late night movies in which I haven’t fallen asleep; instead I was riveted to my seat for one hell of an action ride.

Highly recommended to all testosterone charged guys.