The Saga Project 002- One Piece arc 002- Orange Town

One Piece Volume 01-02-03 cover

Anime Reporter continues the Saga Project now with a look at the second arc of One Piece, namely the Orange Town arc. This arc is twice as long as its predecessor, spanning from chapters 8-21 and appears across the manga volumes 1, 2 and 3.

In the last (and first) instalment of the Saga Project, I took a look at the very first arc of One Piece, going all the way back to its humble, but wholly impressive beginnings. Feel free to check out my introduction to the Saga Project here and my first instalment in it here.

For those sticking around here, let’s hit the next arc!

One Piece

Story Arc Two- “Orange Town”

One Piece Volume 02 cover

Published in Chapters 8-21

Incredibly Quick Synopsis

Pirates! Clown! Dog! Thief! Action! Adventure! Hilarity!

Somewhat More Comprehensive Synopsis

Orange Town starts off with Luffy and Zoro adrift at sea, which makes a lot of sense, given Luffy’s general failure to pay attention to anything and Zoro’s horrendous sense of direction, which will unveil itself more down the line. Zoro reminds Luffy that they should probably do what they can to get a navigator on their crew soon and Luffy rattles off that they need a cook and a musician as well, Read more ›

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Posted in Manga, Manga Series, Reviews, The Saga Project

Review- Vampire Hunter D (1985) (Some mild nudity)

Vampire Hunter D 06

Anime Reporter dials back the anime clock thirty years to 1985 to review Vampire Hunter D (apologies to everyone that I just made feel their age), the animated film adaptation of Hideyuki Kikuchi’s novel series. This film is one of the first anime movies to be released outside of its native Japan, so while more modern audiences are spoiled for choice when it comes to anime feature lengths, this was pretty big news back in the day. (That day being in 1985, which was thirty years ago. Remember that, Greg? 1985…Thirty years… Where did they go?)

Vampire Hunter D 05

When this film starts off, we’re told it takes place well into the future, (in the thirteenth millennium), in a post apocalyptic land that contains laser rifles, mutants and the fashion trends of a few hundred years ago where vampires, werewolves and all many of monsters prowl the land. Things starts off with a young woman called Doris being attacked by one beastie after another until she eventually succumbs to a fairly traditional vampire (I mean, he’s even a count). Doris is bitten and faces the prospect of being turned into the count’s bride, so she seeks out Read more ›

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Posted in Anime, Anime Movie, Reviews

Why I Came to Love Doctor Who (Thank you Sean, Meabh and Sarah!)


Anime Reporter goes somewhat off-animation topic now to tell you precisely why, how, when and, to an extent, where I became a fan of Doctor Who.


It’s odd, really, that it took me so long, because I’ve never really shied away from science fiction or fantasy genres, but up until the age of 24, my impression of Doctor Who (as I would have mistakenly called the Doctor), was that he was a man with a glorious head of curly hair and a rather long, colourful scarf, though I was moderately aware that they had revamped it somewhat. I had also noticed from ads and posters that they’d apparently gone through quite a few lead actors since restarting, which only suggested to me that it was a series with a lot of serious on-set problems. What a pillock I was.


Then, just under two years ago, I went back to university to do an MA in Writing in Galway, Ireland. Up to taking this course, I was a little bit apprehensive that I might well be walking into a den of literary elitists who would immediately look down their monocles at me for not being on my third re-read of some of Tolstoy’s lesser known works. What I actually encountered was a group of some the funniest, most charming and most brilliant people I’ve had the fortune to encounter. I could write at length about this group and precisely why I’ve come to see them as something of a second family, but I won’t, I’ll just tell you about the three wonderful people who recommended Doctor Who so strongly that I really felt there was no choice. Sean is a wonderfully tall Texan with a profoundly calm exterior and a strong awareness of and appreciation for British television. Sean is a man who picks his words very carefully, which is perhaps why his love of puns and wordplay is so delightful. He’s not a man to embellish, and, despite his clearly impressive intellect, he tends to value a good chuckle above most elements of a story so his warm and definite recommendation was not one to overlook.

Sarah is another American, and more than capable of expressing an opinion or two. Her penchant for description is so strong that more than one of our class was made to feel slightly nauseous as she gleefully read out her account of a surgical procedure she had the privilege of witnessing as a medical student. She’s also someone who knows exactly what she likes and what she doesn’t, with an intimidating knowledge of television and movies. Sarah’s love of all things Whedon immediately endeared here to quite a few other fans in our class and her opinion on television shows, (at least those that I’d also seen), was rarely very far from my own, or if different, wasn’t so different as to cast any doubt that her recommendations were something I should listen to.

Thirdly, there was Meabh. “Meabh”, for those of you not from Ireland, is a name pronounced ‘Mayv’. Meabh is probably the person in the class whose love of fantasy, science-fiction and horror genres was closest to my own. She’s also a very strong-willed advocate for equality and thinks very carefully about a lot of angles before she’s willing to sign off on a story or piece of television. While Meabh wasn’t about to suggest that Doctor Who was by any means perfect, (she may have a few bones to pick with a certain man called Moffat), she swore by the era of the tenth iteration of the Doctor and overall, had mostly positive things to say about the show.


Now, while all three of these people had opinions that I had come to respect and listen closely to, by far the most impressive thing was Read more ›

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Posted in The Reporter's Desk

Review- Princess Mononoke (1997)

Princess Mononoke 01

Anime Reporter sets off towards the Miyazaki-rich land of Studio Ghibli to bring you my take (not take you my bring) on Princess Mononoke, the mythology-rich 1997 anime adventure.

Princess Mononoke 06

Set during the Muromachi period in Japan (some time from the 14th to 16th century for anyone inexplicably unfamiliar with the finer points of Japanese history), Princess Mononoke follows Ashitaka, the young prince, (yes, prince, we’ll get to the princess, shush now, don’t interrupt), of a people considered long lost. A simple people who respect nature, their world is abruptly disturbed when a colossal beast, covered in vile, dark worms, rampages across their land. Ashitaka, a brave young lad, does his best to defend his home, and discovers that underneath his wormy armour, the creature is a giant hog, a god of the forest.

Princess Mononoke 02

The beast is finished off, or more accurately, succumbs to its wounds, caused by a large iron ball embedded in its flesh. The creature swears that humans’ doom will come and his words could be seen as well-founded, considering that Ashitaka has received a cursed wound from the god for his trouble. This curse is not only a rather lovely shade of dark sludgy purple, it has the added benefits of giving his arm incredible strength, putting him in serious agony and spelling his impending death. Maybe “benefits” wasn’t the right word. Read more ›

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Posted in Anime, Anime Movie, Ghibli, Reviews

Review- Assassination Classroom manga Volume 05

Assassination Classroom manga Volume 05 00

Anime Reporter returns to the classroom for Assassination Classroom Volume five (That’s chapters 35-43 in case you were wondering). The action continues on without skipping a beat from the events of Volume 04 (reviewed here). If you’re brand new to the series then you can find my review of the first volume here.

Assassination Classroom manga Volume 05 02

When last we spoke (or I spoke/wrote and you either read my words or didn’t), Class E was in the middle of a bitter competition in defiance of… That reminds me.

manga Spoiler

…in defiance of the vindictive and villainous school chairperson. In a game of baseball of all things. This plot fairly takes any spotlight away from the female students and their basketball game, choosing instead to focus on the boys trained in baseball by Korosensei. This storyline finishes up after showcasing some of the strategic cunning of our assassins in training and not without a few surprises.

Assassination Classroom manga Volume 05 01

This plot is followed by a neat little standalone story revolving around Read more ›

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Posted in Manga, Manga Series, Reviews

Review- The Host (2006)

The Host poster

Anime Reporter takes a look at a bit of Korean film now with 2006’s The Host (No, not the Stephanie Meyer film of the same film). This monster film broke all sorts of records in its own country and has earned itself quite a bit of praise around the world. Let’s see why.

The film begins in 2000 at a US military medical facility in Korea. A fairly mad American doctor orders his Korean assistant to dispose of several gallons of formaldehyde because the bottles are dusty and the chemical is dumped down the drain into the Han River (based on real events… so far).

Six years later, Park Gang-du, a young Korean father who spends most of his time sleeping so he can build up enough energy to relax, is working at his family’s food stand in the park near the river when, wouldn’t you know it, a horribly giant mutated fish-creature makes its grand debut and starts killing and eating everyone it can get its flippers on. In a very well handled panicked-crowd scene, Gang-du loses sight of his daughter, Hyun-Seo, and she becomes one of many people taken by the creature. While his family grieves and fights over Hyun-Seo, the American and Korean governments instigate a quarantine for anyone who came into contact with the creature. Gang-du, along with his father, Hee-bong, his brother, Nam-Il and his sister, Nam Joo, are taken to a medical facility and studied closely. Evidently the creature is the host for a horrifying and disfiguring virus and Gang-du is now surely contaminated.

The Host 01

Pretty much resigned to Read more ›

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Posted in Live Action Film, Reviews

The Saga Project 001- One Piece arc 001- Romance Dawn

One Piece Romance Dawn (1)

Anime Reporter kicks off the Saga Project with the very first arc of One Piece: Romance Dawn. The Romance Dawn arc makes up the very first seven chapters of the series and are all contained within the very first Volume, (or “tankobon” if you’d prefer the Japanese term).

One Piece Romance Dawn (3)

Are you excited? Perhaps not. Perhaps this is old news to you and you’re more interested in One Piece stories of greater stakes and action that this arc couldn’t even begin to allude to yet. Perhaps you have no idea what One Piece is all about and you don’t yet know if it’s worth getting excited about.

One Piece Romance Dawn (6)

But I’m excited, because if there’s one thing I love in all this world, if there’s one thing that puts a spark in my eyes and a tremble in my breath, it’s a story. A good story, a great story, small, big side-splitting, heart-breaking, it rarely matters. I love to see a character grow and develop. I love to see worlds grow and develop and to see events and moments pay dividends down the line. That’s probably my favourite thing about One Piece: It’s one

Read more ›

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Posted in Manga, Manga Series, Reviews, The Saga Project
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