Monday, July 21, 2014

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal Opening Theme "Moon Pride"

This is the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal Opening theme song, "Moon Pride." It is pretty catchy and provides a nice introduction to the beginning of Sailor Moon. The animation looks so breathtakingly spectacular (the scene at 2:51 is epic). The Sailor Senshi (Scouts) poses also stay true to the original 1992 version. I must say Tuxedo Mask (Kamen) looks handsome! Enjoy!

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Friday, July 11, 2014

New 2014 TV Shows: "The Strain" (FX) and "Gotham" (FOX)

Two new supernatural-action/adventure shows will premiere this summer that may interest you. The Strain (FX), a 13-episode vampire horror show, premieres Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 10:00 pm EST. Gotham, a prequel to Batman, premieres Monday, September 22, 2014 on FOX. Time TBD.

The Strain: A plane lands at John F. Kennedy International Airport with the lights off and doors sealed. Epidemiologist Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and his team are sent to investigate. On board they find two hundred corpses and four survivors. The situation deteriorates when the bodies begin disappearing from morgues. Goodweather and a small group of helpers find themselves battling to protect not only their own loved ones, but the entire city, from an ancient threat to humanity. (Wikipedia)

Gotham: A new recruit in Captain Sarah Essen's Gotham City Police Department, Detective James Gordon is paired with Harvey Bullock to solve one of Gotham's most high-profile cases ever: the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne. During his investigation, Gordon meets the Waynes' son, Bruce, now in the care of his butler Alfred, which further compels Gordon to catch the killer. Along the way, Gordon must confront gang boss Fish Mooney, as well as many of Gotham's future villains, such as Selina Kyle and Oswald Cobblepot. Eventually, Gordon is forced to form an unlikely friendship with Bruce, one that will help shape the boy's future in becoming the Dark Knight. (Wikipedia) Click here to read the rest of this post...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Review: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (2012)

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (2012) is a Japanese supernatural anime written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki. It takes place in Europe and North America during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The story has two arcs: 1) Phantom Blood:Jonathan Joestar/Dio Brando and 2) Battle Tendency: Joseph Joestar/Pillar Men. It contains 26 episodes.

First arc (Phantom Blood): In 19th century England, young aristocrat Jonathan Joestar finds himself locked in a bitter rivalry with Dio Brando, a working-class boy who Jonathan's father took under his wing after the death of Dio's father. The story begins when Dio's father rescues Jonathan's father from a carriage accident. Jonathan's father felt forever grateful and decides to adopt Dio as his own child. However, a darkness lurks in Dio's heart. Discontent with his station in life, Dio's fathomless lust to reign over all eventually leads him to seek the supernatural powers of an ancient Aztec stone mask in the Joestar's possession—an artifact that will forever change the destiny of Dio and Jonathan for generations to come.

Second arc (Battle Tendency): Fifty years later, in 1938 New York City, Jonathan's grandson Joseph Joestar must take up his grandfather's mission and master the abilities necessary to destroy the stone mask and its immensely powerful creators who threaten humanity's very existence, the Pillar Men. Joseph's journey takes him to Mexico and eventually Italy where he must train for the ultimate life-or-death battle. The mysterious red stone of Aja has the power to create the ultimate warrior. With his new companions, Joseph masters the art of the ripple. Like his grandfather, Joseph has no choice but to destroy the Pillar Men once and for all.

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is a very popular long-running manga series in Japan. Since its debut in the 1980s, it has sold over 80 million copies. As part of its 25th anniversary, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure became an anime series. The author uses 80s popular culture (e.g., Wham!, R.E.O. Speedwagon) among the characters of the story. The character design portrays men in uber-muscular form (bodybuilders). I was surprised that this series captured my attention and interest since I normally do not watch this type of genre. As a woman, I thought it would be another Dragon Ball plot, but I was totally wrong. Jojo's Bizarre Adventure show is for adult audiences, weaveing pivotal events in history and Aztec mythology to create a highly intense and exciting storyline. Lastly, the comedy is good, making the characters both light-hearted (especially Joseph Joestar) and enjoyable to watch. I also enjoyed how the fighters explain their moves since I have no martial arts training background. I highly recommend the series. It should be available on DVD in Japanese subtitles and English dub. Watch the trailers below:

Phantom Blood
Battle Tendency

Stay tuned for the sequel, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders (2014)!
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Monday, June 30, 2014

Review: The Immortal Crown (Age of X #2)

Gameboard of the Gods introduced religious investigator Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect—special humans marked by the divine—are turning against one another in bloody fashion.

The Immortal Crown, by Richelle Mead, is the second novel in the new Age of X series. The RUNA (Republic of United North America) is a new country that encompasses the former United States and Canada. In this post-apocalyptic era, humans are encouraged to mate across racial groups to increase their immune system to the Mephistopheles virus that nearly destroyed the world's human population. Justin and Mae are assigned to a diplomatic delegation into neighboring country, Arcadia (former southern United States). This expedition is also headed by Lucian Darling, Justin's old friend and rival.

In Arcadian society, women are commodities (literally second-class citizens) and religion is intertwined with government. During the trip, Justin discovers powerful forces at work, even as he struggles to come to terms with his own reluctantly acquired deity (Odin). Meanwhile, Mae has another reason for joining this delegation. Although she grudingly poses as Justin's concubine, she has a secret mission of her own: finding the illegitimate niece her family smuggled away years ago. Justin finally learns the truth behind the Arcadian's meeting with Gemman delegation: Arcadia wants to conquer the RUNA and impose their religious deity on the Gemman people.

While Justin and Mae try to escape out of Arcadia without arousing suspicion, a reporter’s connection with someone close to Justin back home threatens to expose their mission—and with it the divine forces the government is determined to keep secret. The war between elect-special humans gets real when Mae experiences a tragedy that leaves her both vulnerable and scared for her life.

Once again, Mead delivers another excellent novel in her new Age of X series. Dystopian science fiction genre has become more popular thanks to the successes of book-to-film franchises, The Hunger Games and Divergent. The ending will surprise and motivate fans to wait for Book 3. While the first book introduces readers to the world of RUNA, the second book focuses more on the budding relationship between Justin and Mae and their reliance on gods who await their return to the world. I speculate that the third book will focus on the elect-special humans and particularly how Justin, a servitor who refuses to accept a deity, will survive on the gameboard of the gods. This series is so good that I highly recommend it.

Stay tuned for the next novel in the Age of X series in 2015!
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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Review: Side Jobs (Harry Dresden Series Anthology)

Side Jobs, by Jim Butcher, is the first anthology of the Harry Dresden files. It contains 11 short stories plus a never-before-published novella that takes place right after the latest installment, Changes. Here is the synopsis:

Here, together for the first time, are the shorter works of #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher-a compendium of cases that Harry and his cadre of allies managed to close in record time. The tales range from the deadly serious to the absurdly hilarious. Also included is a novella exclusive to this collection that takes place after the cliff-hanger ending of the April 2010 hardcover, Changes. This is a must-have collection for every devoted Harry Dresden fan as well as a perfect introduction for readers ready to meet Chicago's only professional wizard.

Fans of the Harry Dresden series will appreciate this collection. This anthology is a mixed bag, ranging from Butcher's first attempt to fiction that wasn't of professional publishable quality to short stories around and between novels. First-time readers will feel lost reading this anthology; you are better off starting from the beginning with Stormfront. Loyal fans will appreciate the clarification that the short stories offer, including hearing another major character's point of view of Harry Dresden. There's also a special treat for fans who may want to skip the short stories and head straight for the never-before-published novella taking place after the wild and pivotal breaking point in Changes. I highly recommend this novel to Butcher fans who just want to learn more about crazy, wizardly world of Harry Dresden.

Stay tuned for the next novel in the Harry Dresden series, Ghost Story: A Novel of the Dresden Files.
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