Review- Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji) live action film (2014)

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Anime Reporter turns an inquisitively raised eyebrow to Black Butler, (or Kuroshitsuji), the live-action film. Based on the manga of the same name reviewed here many times, this film version plays around with the formula just a little bit, shifting the story from 19th Century England to an alternate, none-too-distant future set in The East, one of the two world powers at play in this world. The protagonist is changed from young boy Ciel Phantomhive to a young woman, Genpo Shiori (played by Ayame Goriki) whose public face is the boy, Genpo Kiyoharu (who pretty much just looks like a young woman with a short haircut).

Black Butler  Kuroshitsuji (2014) title screen 00

The story begins with one of a string of deaths in which the victim is mummified with only a mysterious card depicting the devil left to provide any clues as to the nature of the death. While these deaths take place in the East, they attract the attention of the queen of the West, who orders her faithful watchdog Shiori to get to the bottom of it all. Shiori is aided somewhat in her investigations by her socialite aunt and her butler, Sebastian (played by Hiro Mizushima), who also happens to be a demon bound to follow Shiori’s orders until she dies and he can claim her soul. (Try to guess which one of her allies is the more helpful of the two).

Black Butler  Kuroshitsuji (2014) 03 Sebastian

Shiori dutifully connects the dots, following up on every lead to solving the mystery of the mummy-murders but also generally keeping an eye out for any clues about the people who murdered her parents in front of her when she was a Read more ›

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Posted in Live Action Film, Reviews

Review- Katekyo Hitman Reborn! manga Volumes 15 and 16

Katekyo Hitman Reborn manga 15_16 (20)

Anime Reporter takes a deep breath and reviews Volumes 15 and 16 of (Katekyo Hitman) Reborn!, the last volumes to be released in English by Viz media.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn manga 15 cover

If you don’t know Reborn!, and you really ought to, then check out our take on the first two volumes here.

It’s absolutely in your best interests if you haven’t read the first 14 volumes not to venture any further. We’re waist deep in spoilers at this point.

Spoiler Warning

Volume 15, (Targets 126-134), continues the Varia Arc, with Tsuna and Xanxus facing off in an all-out battle to claim the Vongola rings and secure their right to lead the Vongola family. The battle is an impressive one on many fronts, with the various guardians fighting it out to claim various rings and Tsuna doing everything he can to take Xanxus down. While the true extent of Xanxus’ power has yet to be revealed, it’s also true that the benefits of Tsuna’s training are still unknown at this stage so the battle should hold quite a few surprises for readers.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn manga 15_16 (5)

It’s not going to be a clean finish either. Regardless of the outcome, the Varia aren’t the type to just walk away without trying to obliterate Tsuna and co and things soon get a lot more complicated. When the Varia Arc rolls to a close, there is a very definite feeling that big changes are coming to the characters and that the future Tsuna planned for may not quite fit in with reality. It’s fitting then, that Volume 16 gives us a glimpse at what that future may hold.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn manga 15_16 (2)

Things seem to be quieting down, though there is still a sense that characters are living in the aftermath of the Varia-fight and coming to terms with its consequences. Fairly innocently, and as he typically does, Lambo pulls out his 10-year bazooka and, equally typically, misfires. Unusually, however, Lambo doesn’t hit himself. Instead the missile lands squarely on Reborn, who is promptly replaced with… nothing.
Read more ›

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Posted in Manga, Manga Series

A Year of Anime Reporting

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Yesterday was the first anniversary  for animereporter.com.

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It’s a little hard to see where the last year has gone but I have really appreciated the support and kind words from so many people. It’s still very much early days for this particular animation-themed journalist but I’m sure that I wouldn’t have made it this far without people’s emails and comments, both with kind words and helpful advice as well as the simple act of people clicking on “like” every once in a while just to make me feel that somebody besides advertising robots takes the time to come to my pages.

You guys...

You guys…

It’s also pretty gratifying when somebody gets in touch to tell me their constructive thoughts, whether positive or negative because that quietens the little voice that tells me that most people only get here by googling “High School DxD boobs” or because they want to keep coming back to that picture of blue boobs they found on a Magi review. (You know the one I mean).

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The “Google Search Terms” history, once seen, cannot be unseen.

But really, for whatever reason, however briefly, I’m glad to be writing something that people are somewhat interested in and I really hope that you’ll keep letting me know what I can do to make this site a better experience.

Well, there's always the bare minimum of having a "release schedule" that isn't months out of date...

Well, there’s always the bare minimum of having a “release schedule” that isn’t months out of date…

"Release shcedule" or...Distracting bath boobs! (These captioned pics may be counterproductive)

Updated release schedule or…Distracting Bath Boobs?
(These captioned pics may be counterproductive).

What I’m trying to say here is really just, thank you. Thanks for reading some of the stuff I put up here if you do and thanks for following, liking and commenting too because these things really do make a difference.

Thank you for the past year.

A R

 

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Posted in Announcements, The Reporter's Desk

Review- Fairy Tail anime Part 09

Fairy Tail Part 09 10 Natsu defeated

Anime Reporter brings you the word on Fairy Tail Collection 09. That’s episodes 97-108 if you’re counting, or the first twelve episodes of Season 03.

Fairy Tail Part 09 00 screenshot

Naturally enough, entering into three digits of the series’ episode count, there are going to be a few plot points ahead that are not your friends if you’re completely new to Fairy Tail. Venture onward at your own risk.

Spoiler Warning

So our wizardly wascals have returned from their otherworldly exploration and Lucy spends just a little time looking back on her time at the Fairy Tail guild. Having spent less than a year as a fully-fledged member, Lucy is understandably confused when “solo season” begins and so many of her fellow wizards are tripping over themselves to complete impressive missions without any partners.

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Well, truth be told, she’s somewhat more confused when Cana inexplicably appears in her bathtub while she’s bathing and broods uncharacteristically at length.

Fairy Tail Part 09 01 Lucy bath

These two events are revealed to be closely related as the S-Class trials are soon announced. Eight wizards have been chosen to Read more ›

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Posted in Anime, Anime Series, Reviews

Review- Katekyo Hitman Reborn! manga Volumes 13 and 14

Katekyo Hitman Reborn manga 13

Anime Reporter continues the Varia Arc with Volumes 13 and 14 (Targets 108-125) of (Katekyo Hitman) Reborn! Readers unfamiliar with the series should avoid reading further for fear of spoilers, but should check out the first review of the series here to see if you might be interested.

Spoiler Warning

Well, Volume 12 certainly left things on a cliff-hanger with the kind-hearted Yamamoto about to enter a sword fight after only the shortest of crash courses and baseball experience to prepare him. What’s more, his opponent is a skilled and deadly swordsman himself and, naturally, all of this will take place in a room slowly filling with water and a man-eating sea creature lurking somewhere at the bottom. Without giving too much away, this is one seriously intense fight and, whatever the final result, Yamamoto’s character undergoes a lot of personal growth across the fight.

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Following this intense fight, we move on to the final battle and Hibari’s time to shine. Hibari has long been hailed as the most powerful fighter in the series, (aside from Reborn, perhaps), and his fight will have to be an interesting one. However, his foe is far from weak and far from human. When things don’t quite go as planned, Xanxus Read more ›

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Posted in Manga, Manga Series, Reviews

Why My Favourite Series is a Video Game: Legend of Zelda

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(A few spoilers here for Ocarina of Time)

When I was just a wee Anime-Newspaper Boy, my older brother and I got ourselves a shiny second-hand Nintendo 64 along with a few choice games. We’d played a video game or two on the Sega Mega Drive II but this already felt like a whole other level. Super Mario 64 immediately won me over as a classic and I liked playing multiplayer Goldeneye (in paintball mode), but there was a game I’d never heard of that I eventually got around to; The Legend of Zelda- Ocarina of Time. At first I wasn’t sure about this game where you played a young boy dressed like Peter Pan whose sole companion was a pretty glowing fairy girl, but once we really got playing, it was so easy to get drawn into the world of the Kokiri forest. Even though the main character Link, was effectively mute as far as we could see, the characters around him were so full of life and personality that I was hooked, genuinely wanting to save these characters and their world. My brother had quickly established himself as being “in charge” of the games and I wasn’t allowed to progress any further in Zelda than he was and so we gradually, agonisingly made our way through the Deku Tree. Not being as experienced with games as we are now, this took quite a while and when we eventually left the Kokiri forest, I was blown away that there was still this huge world left to explore in Hyrule Field. Every scene, every new location and character felt like a new level, but whenever I wanted I could turn around and see every piece of the world I had already visited. This blew me away.

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More than the completion of levels and the killing of dungeons, what stood out to me about OoT was the characters with their various requests and problems. Want a Keaton mask for your son? I think I’ve seen that one around somewhere! Your cuccos are missing? I’m on it! Your entire family is cursed and forced to live as deformed spiders and you need someone to kill one hundred golden skulltullas to free you? I’d be delighted! It really was my first experience of a game where I was asked to do things that weren’t a direct part of my need to kill things and save other things. It was when I first saw that a video game was a story every bit as much as any book or film. When we eventually managed to get all three Read more ›

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Posted in The Reporter's Desk

Review – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! manga Volumes 11 and12

Katekyo Hitman Reborn manga Volumes 11_12 (10)

Anime Reporter runs for cover after the events of Volume 10 to bring you coverage on Katekyo Hitman Reborn, (or just Reborn! in English), Volumes 11 and 12.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn manga Volumes 11_12 (8)

Anyone who’s been following Anime Reporter’s coverage of this series will be no stranger to the characters and events referenced here but just in case anyone’s completely new to this series and wants to know if it’s worth checking out, you can find our take on the first two volumes here and you can find our up to date list of Reborn! reviews here.

Spoiler Warning

Well, the clock is ticking down for our favourite potential Mafia boss, (unless you happen to prefer Xanxus, which makes sense, he’s pretty hardcore). He and his compatriots have been training hard and pushing themselves to new extremes to try and meet the challenge ahead of them. While they’re all very aware of the limited time ahead of them, bought by Reborn’s use of some dummy rings, Xanxus discovered the ruse a little earlier than anticipated and our band of misfits might just have to double-time their training.

Each of the two groups will be competing to serve as a certain Vongola guardian. Guardians are named after different forms of weather which symbolise their roles within the organisation. These names are also related to the forms each of their battles will take and, just to make sure that there’s no foul play, some Vongola authorities will be stepping in to make sure that everyone plays according to the rules. That is, fighters may definitely be stabbed, burned, shocked, crushed, drowned or blown up but there are definitely apparently some rules in there somewhere.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn manga Volumes 11_12 (7)

There should be a few surprises amongst the guardians, but I can reveal a few that should come as no surprise whatsoever. The first Read more ›

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Posted in Manga, Manga Series, Reviews
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