Monthly Archives: March 2021
Manga Monday Immortal Rain Volume #1
I picked up my copy of Immortal Rain Volume #1 last year for $1.50. I finally decided to bust this bad boy out. Immortal Rain originally came out in 1999, came stateside in 2004 thanks to TokyoPop and ran for 11 Volumes.
Plot- Rain Jewlitt is immortal. He has lived for 624 years. He is now known as Methuselah, which to my understanding is the longest living person recorded in the bible. Needless to say, his body is highly desired by many because it holds the secret to immortality. However, the secret of immortality is not the motivation behind Machika Balfatin. A young want-to-be assassin. Rain is the one bounty her, her being Machika, grandfather could not slay. Her grandfather was known as the Grim Reaper. I could see some similarities to Rebirth (Read our review of Rebirth #1 here), a couple in fact. For starters, the male leads are immortal. The female leads want to kill the male leads to avenge their fallen family members. Both the male leads want to die. I’m sure there’s more, but those are the ones that jump out to me. Rain, for someone who is immortal, keeps getting taken captivate. Machika bails him out of his captivity twice, yet Rain saves Machika from potential assailants twice. By the end of the first volume they have formed a team in order to reverse Rain’s immortality. This would allow Rain to finally die and for Machika to be the one to kill him.
Characters– We really addressed the two main characters already, so I am not sure how much time we will spend here. I’ll dive a little deeper though. Machika’s character is rather simple, yet very admirable. She fights hard and has a big heart. She just wants to honor her grandfather. Rain, however, is a very deep, well written character. It is not that his character is really original, again he is the same as Deshwitat from Rebirth, but he is done to near perfection. He openly warns all the characters that want his immortality that they should dread the curse instead. This is a classic grass is not greener. So many characters are either scared of death or are looking to revive dead family members. Rain cautions that if they or their loved one gain immortality, that that person will live a lonely, bitter existence, implying they outlive their loved ones. Also, adding to the complexity, Machika’s grandfather and Rain also had a brotherly rivalry. When her grandfather passed, Rain would place flowers on his grave. At times this is a pretty surface level, typical shoenen level of mindless and fun adventure. At other times, there are deep, provoking dialogues, relationships, and moments that make it more memorable than the average adventure manga.
The World– The world is like Dragon Ball Z in that I cannot truly nail the setting. At parts, this feels like a premodern civilization manga and then there are fully realized cities. Outside of that, angels may play a part in the larger story. Which is atypical. Of course, one character is immortal. These are just a few outliers for an otherwise normal world.
This is a book I have to just suggest you read on your own. Warning, the language is the most harsh out of any manga we’ve reviewed so (If that is a concern for you or anyone you know.). It does have the F word and the B word which is bit more harsh than the usual D or H words. Outside of that, there is violence, but nothing graphic. There are certainly moments where the manga feels like just another fantasy novel. Sometimes the characters, the dialogue, and the settings feel uninspired. Other scenes really come together. I bought this book for less than 2 dollars and will gladly buy following issues for that much.
I give the book a 7.5 out of 10. The book lacks consist greatness nor is anything completely original. Still, it is done in an enjoyable manner that has very strong moments that redeem it as a whole. (It is kind of like this review.)
Reacting to the Pokemon Legends: Arceus Trailer[Pokemon Week]
Pokemon Week, and the 25th Anniversary of Pokemon, continues!
I watched this trailer last weekend and was really enthralled with it at first. My brother asked me if I watched the two reveals for Pokemon yet. My first question was, “Wait, two reveals?”. I knew about the Gen 4 remakes but what was this second reveal? He pulled out his phone and I heard the opening that talks about the early days of Sinnoh and thought this was the Gen 4 Remakes. I was blown away!
I was a big advocate that Gen 8 was not going to be groundbreaking. I started saying that following GameFreak announcing they were done with the 3DS and moving on to the Switch. Not to use that as an excuse, I just knew Gamefreak would play it relatively safe. So I wasn’t surprised SwSh felt like DLC to Sun and Moon. But seeing this open world, BOTW inspired level design had me hyped for the remakes. Obviously, I found out this was a spin off or something. I’m not even sure, honestly.
I’ve watched the trailer about 2 or 3 times since Sunday and I’ve been gradually getting less and less impressed. Now, that is not to say I am not hyped (is this a double negative? Either way, I am still hyped). Gamefreak is trying to reinvent the wheel and do something pretty unique for the Pokemon franchise. Though, still, the flaws are glaring.
The frame rate is horrible for the wild Pokemons, the battles look like they will take some getting use to (as no battle interface was shown.), and graphics still aren’t knocking anyone dead.
Some of this can be fixed, of course. But the release date is relatively close for how unfinished this looked. Now, I’m not a game developer, but there is a worry, with Gamefreak’s recent reputation, that the quality isn’t going to improve between now and the release. I think that is a bit overblown but probably not wildly inaccurate.
I think Gamefreak could have something special on their hands. The hype for this Pokemon format is there. They need to not mess this up. So, at the end of the day, this is the same as the Gen 4 remakes. The hype machine is ringing off the hook. Now the ball is in GameFreak’s court to really blow us away.
Here’s to hoping!
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Reacting to the Pokemon Gen 4 Remakes (Brilliant Diamond And Shining Pearl ) [Pokemon Week]
Pokemon week rolls on with a double header. This morning we will be reacting to the Pokemon Gen 4 remakes, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.
Link to the trailer on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pDI8Scph44
Pokemon Generation 4 is arguably my favorite generation, with Platinum as possibly the best Pokemon game of all time. This remake has been a storm brewing in the background. Pokemon set a new growing standard in 2004 with the Generation 1 remakes, Fire Read and Leaf Green. This series of remakes continued with HeartGold and Soul Silver. Finally, Generation 3 got its day in the sun with OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire. That was in 2014. That gets us to now, Generation 4. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Needless to say, the wait has been long.
I think this game is receiving harsh criticism already. The hate is mostly directed at the art style. They went with a more Pokemon Go (Some would say even worse) art style than Pokemon Sword and Shield. Which is drawing comparison to other remakes. With that, a few things need to be broken down first.
A. Nintendo Games Will Never Be Sony Games. At least not in the immediate future. What were people expecting anyway? I actually saw someone say this is bad because it does not look like the Final Fantasy 7 remakes… I’m not justifying Pokemon games still looking like DS games or how they are lagging behind the industry standard games of today. But comparing these remakes to Final Fantasy 7 is just a mistake. I think the Pokemon models look fine. I even think the characters in the battle scenes look fine. What loses me a bit is the character’s faces during the overworld. It is not perfect but than again there’s always the fact that…
B. Generation 4 Wasn’t Amazing Because of Graphics. Generation 4 was amazing because the Pokemons were great, the villains were cool, the legendaries of the game were peak, the post game story added plenty of content, the region was fun to explore, Pokemon Wifi Battles were all the rage, the writing was solid enough for a kids RPG, they advanced the series in cool ways such as the moves being physical or special instead of just the typing. The starters were all great. Yes, even you Turtwig. So many Let’s Players got their start playing these games. You could probably go on and on. Yet, as you can see, I didn’t mention graphics. I think the graphics were fine but were quickly outdated by the design and sleekness or HeartGold and SoulSilver.
C. If They Capture the Feels, All is Forgiven. Pokemon cast a wide net these days- grown mean in their 30’s down to kids experiencing the franchise for the first time. I think Pokemon players are jaded and complain about way too much. Like we didn’t survive the Wii and the Wii U era. Eras I personally am fond of, but still. Nintendo’s imagine was terrible during these times. You couldn’t admit you liked Nintendo or Pokemon during these days because they were not shiny like the 360 and PS3. Of course I continued to enjoy the series, but fans started to disconnect from the series at this point. Pokemon Go and Pokemon Let’s Go brought a lot of old fans and new fans and people who do not even care about Pokemon together. But they set some new trends people were afraid of. The art style, the no wild battles and the ease of the games. Gen 8 did a lot to remedy this. It changed the art style some, gave us wild battles but did not help much in the difficulty department. As a result, I’ve heard a lot of people question their belief in GameFreak. While the trailer did not leave a good taste in many fans mouth, if they capture the old school feels of being on a Pokemon adventure, I think all is well again. I just do not know if this will climb that insurmountable wall.
However, I’ve watched the Pokemon community continously fell to realize Pokemon is not Final Fantasy 7 or any other RPG. But following the harsh reviews Pokemon Sword and Shield got, combined with the long awaited expectations of Pokemon Gen 4 remakes, they cannot afford to mess this up. This was their perfect chance to get back in Player’s graces. I think they will ultimately fall short to the general audience. Personally, I think it looks fine and I cannot wait to revisit one of my favorite regions. The remake does have me hyped and I am looking forward to it. It is worth noting these games are being developed by ILCA and not Gamefreak. Gamefreak is busy overseeing tonight’s blog post, Pokemon Legends: Arceus.
That will do it for now. Here’s to hoping the games turn out okay. I work until 9pm tonight but I am planning to blog again tonight!
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Pokemon Pocket Monster’s Volume #1 Chapter #1 Review (Pokemon Week)
Full Disclosure: This is just a review of chapter #1 of the Pokemon manga, not the full volume. I could not find the book before Pokemon Week started and as you guys can see, I’m still running behind. So yeah, I found the first chapter online.
Throw out a lot of what you thought you knew about the Pokemon anime when you read this book. A lot of the characters, Pokemon and people, look really different than their anime counterpart. The manga also seems more gag dependent than plot or even character centric. All in all, from what I’ve read these seem to be concerns, not sure if criticism is the right word or not, for the manga. Personally, I don’t really mind it. It is almost like waking up in an alternative universe.
Here’s a picture that sums up the point about art.
I don’t mind the art being different, but the art is also simply bad.
It is also worth noting that every Pokemon can talk. Quite the deviation from where only Meowth can talk in the animes. Again, I do not mind this either. It gives the Pokemons some added personalities which is nice.
This chapter is so weird when compared to the anime, games or any other form of Pokemon media, but being a reader of late 80’s and into the 90’s manga, this didn’t feel thaaat weird. I’ve read some of Dragon Ball, Seven Deadly Sins, Naruto and plenty of other gag influenced manga. So, I quite enjoyed this for what it is. I love 90’s Pokemon. I will definitely being exploring this manga more. Apparently the books have been translated to English but were not released in the U.S. So I will have to resort to online means if I cannot find these bad boys out in the wild.
Either way, I enjoyed my time with this chapter and look forward to more. I cannot recommend this to kids or parents with little kids as it is probably too much for younger viewers. So bare that in mind if you find a way to read this.