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Breaking It All Down

Fan of SF, Fantasy and Manga.

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The Cornelius Chronicles
Michael Moorcock, Stanislaw Fernandes, Malcolm Dean
Anime Classics Zettai!: 100 Must-See Japanese Animation Masterpieces - Brian Camp, Julie Davis

This book's main problems, and they're minor ones, are twofold. The book features anime that weren't available in the US as of the date the book was released, and the book features anime which have since gone out of print. The latter problem isn't the author's fault in the slightest - they can't have predicted what would or would not still be in print years down the road.

On the other hand, the shows that aren't available are a bit more of a nuisance, as in order for prospective fans of anime to check out those works, they would have, at the time, needed to rely on fansubs, which is a bit much to ask of new fans. That said, some of the offending works have since been licensed for release via streaming (particularly the Captain Harlock TV series). However, other works aren't as accessible, like Mazinger Z and Cyborg 009.

I still think the book holds up well as a good piece of reference material though. I'd say that it doesn't work as well as a reference material for new fans who are looking for material to find on their own, as much as it works as a gift to a new fan from a long time fan, who wants to give the new fan an idea of what's out there, wants to help the new fan figure out what he might like, and who knows how to get ahold of some of the harder to find works, in case those catch the new fan's attention.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/780003536

Thoughts on Volume 1 of Golgo 13.

Golgo 13, Vol. 1: Supergun (Golgo 13) - Takao Saito

Golgo 13 is entertaining in spite of it's main character. The art is very well done, and the characters are interesting... except for Duke Togo. Golgo 13 is generally a dull Gary Stu. The way that characters repond and react to his presence is more interesting then the character himself, to the point that of the two stories in this volume, the most interesting one is the one that Golgo doesn't appear in at all.


I'd certainly recommend reading the manga. However, after reading it, at the suggestion of Helen McCarthy, I cannot, for the life of me, see the appeal of the character Duke Togo outside of being a wish fulfillment character for people with limited imagination. That said, the stories

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/804575526

Timewyrm: Exodus (The New Doctor Who Adventures)

Timewyrm: Exodus - Terrance Dicks This was a nicely written novel. The completing colliding schemes are plotted very well.

Arcade Mania: The Turbo-charged World of Japan's Game Centers

Arcade Mania: The Turbo-charged World of Japan's Game Centers - Brian Ashcraft This is a good primer on Japanese arcade gaming culture in most of its forms. At $20 it's a little steep on the price side for its length though.

Retro Gaming Hacks

Retro Gaming Hacks - Chris Kohler Some of the information in this book is dated (at the time this book was published, Windows XP was still current), but a lot of this information is still incredibly useful, and I'd definitely consider this worth checking out.

The Keep

The Keep - F. Paul Wilson Lemmed.

Oh My Goddess! Vol. 2

Oh My Goddess! Vol. 2 - Kosuke Fujishima I'd forgotten that Keiichi and Belldandy do kiss this early in the manga. While the pace of the two's relationship is very, very slow, I do like the fact that in the manga, any introduction of love triangle elements are going to be short lived, as the characters like each other enough that any hypotenuse which tries to interfere is going to find themselves eventually getting ignored.

I'll have a full review later on Bureau 42.

Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid - Raymond Benson Benson does not do a good job of weeding out all the dialog from the game that was actually meant for the player as opposed meant for Solid Snake.

The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Vol. 3 (v. 3)

The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Volume 3 - Eiji Otsuka, Housui Yamazaki Another really good volume of the manga, with some significant character development. If I had any real complaints, it would be due to some geographical problems with the storyline involving a deceased Iraqui immigrant. However, they're problems that could probably be fixed by doing a mental find-replace to change references to Iraq to references to Afghanistan.

Other than that, this manga keeps getting better. There will be a longer review on Bureau42.com later on (once we've gotten through all the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga reviews).

Timewyrm Genesys (Doctor Who)

Timewyrm: Genesys - John Peel This is a story that probably couldn't have been done on television, if only for reasons of budget and content. The story is interesting and well written.

Rough Guide To Manga

Rough Guide To Manga - Yadao Jason Much as the [b:The Rough Guide to Anime 1|6444768|The Rough Guide to Anime 1|Simon Richmond|/assets/nocover/60x80.png|6634821] was an excellent primer on anime as a medium, so the Rough Guide to Manga is to manga. The book does an excellent job giving a brief history of manga, both in Japan and in the US, and giving a good rundown of useful terminology for the beginner before getting into the "Manga Canon".

Further, the 50 volumes in the Manga Canon are books that I can't really argue with, covering books both recent and past, and books which I'd consider significant to the medium, whether through their influence on other works, or due to their popularity. If I was to give one criticism to the canon, in the Rough Guide to Anime there were more than a few works of anime that I had never heard of before, that the book introduced me to, notably "Night on the Galactic Railroad". The Rough Guide to Manga doesn't have as much of that.

Were it not for the fact that Penguin Books has discontinued their Rough Guides series and is going to let the books go out of print, I'd consider this the perfect book to give to someone who was new to manga and was looking for a place to start. As it is, this book is still a good gift to give, and worth recommending.

The Notenki Memoirs: Studio Gainax and the Men Who Created Evangelion

The Notenki Memoirs: Studio Gainax & The Men Who Created Evangelion - Yasuhiro Takeda If you're coming into this book looking for an in-depth explanation of the artistic decisions in GAINAX's work, you'll be disappointed. This book isn't about that. What it is about is what inspired the company's formation, and basically an "inside baseball" look at how an anime studio and a science-fiction convention works, or doesn't, as the case may be. If that catches your interest, and you can find a copy, I recommend giving this book a read.

Kare Kano: His and Her Circumstances, Vol. 1

Kare Kano: His and Her Circumstances, Vol. 1 - Masami Tsuda, Darcy Lockman, Jack Niida There's a bit less comedy in this volume then there is in the anime - and I'd definitely consider that a detriment to the work, rather then a bonus. I still enjoyed it, but I wouldn't say that this was superior to the show.

Also, the volume takes a weird detour away from the main story to two other characters which didn't appear at any point in the show. Is this just a one-and-done chapter to pad the volume, or something else?

Shadows in Bronze

Shadows in Bronze - Lindsey Davis The Marcus Didus Falco series really should be an HBO TV series. It's a highly engrossing mystery series, with incredibly interesting characters, and Lindsey Davis makes the Roman Empire really come alive. This book, the second in the series, is really no exception. Davis makes Pompeii and Herculanium (where the majority of the action takes place) feel like living, breathing cities.

If I had one complaint about the book, it has to do with the discovery that Pertinax is still alive. There was no evidence in advance to show he was still alive before then. To be fair, it's a surprise to Falco as well, but it could have been handled a little better, I think.

Falco, as a character, is probably one of the better realized examples of a detective who is too pig-headed for their own good. While some of the classic hard-boiled PIs of the 30s have this trait, we rarely see enough of their lives and friends outside of the job to see how this changes that side of things. Falco has family and friends with families, so we get a better look at how his stubbornness effects his life outside of the job.

As a fan of historical mysteries (like the Cadfael novels by [a:Ellis Peters|4046|Ellis Peters|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1242605103p2/4046.jpg], I really enjoyed this book, and I'm probably going to read the rest of the books in the series, at least until it gets bad.

Oh My Goddess! Vol. 1

Oh My Goddess! Vol. 1 - Kosuke Fujishima A nice start to an interesting series. I'll put a full review on Bureau42

Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 13 (Neon Genesis Evangelion (Viz) (Graphic Novels))

Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 13 - Yoshiyuki Sadamoto Man, Shinji & Asuka can't catch a break. This time Asuka gets saved from death (a death that got played in the movie a lot like a rape) at the hands of the Mass Production Evas by Shinji, and Shinji gets his one triumphant moment where he manages to save someone, only for the trigger to get pulled on Third Impact anyway.

Also, poor Maya. She finds what is potentially a great job, with a boss she greatly admires in Ritsuko, to the point of falling for her, only to discover that Ritsuko is morally compromised, the giant robots she's helping to maintain are horrific monsters (leading to at least two occasions where she tosses her cookies), and Lilith sends her almost-but-not-quite-incorporeal-enough hand through Maya, which I have no doubt would have been a horrific sensation.

I've got to say, though, Ritsuko getting the last laugh by shooting Gendo through the throat was quite satisfying. If the characters who have died aren't going to get to join the Great Link in Third Impact, then I'd consider Gendo's death to be justice. Though again, if the characters who died don't get to join the Great Link, then I'd say that Misato & Kaji deserved far better - even if they don't get to come back out afterwards, then I'd say that they at least earned eternity together - but that's my inner romantic talking.