Title: Princess Lucia Author: Seo Kouji Release: Monthly Status: Ongoing Genre: Romance, Comedy, Ecchi, Supernatural Art: A Originality: B Story: B Characters: B Humor: B Action: B
Impression: This series is about a guy who one day suddenly has the princess of the demon race appear before him in his room demanding him to take her then and there so they can conceive a child together. The guy was born at a truly auspicious moment having six 6’s lined up for his own moment of birth and it is said any child born of a person and a demon will possess the power needed for world domination. The manga itself isn’t quite as unimaginative as it sounds though. The demon race has fallen over the past thousands of years leading to the Demon King having to run a ramen shop for a living in these modern days. Their only hope of regaining their once mighty standing in the world is the child to be born between the guy and the demon princess so she decides to take one for the team and get him to copulate with her while fending off the harassment of the two guardian angels watching him. Furthermore, one of the two angels responsible for him happens to be the girl that the guy had a crush on long before the titular princess Lucia shows up. I didn’t particularly care for the mangaka’s other series(Kimi no Iru Machi) but I do like the fun he’s having with this series. Straight out romances aren’t my thing so I really did appreciate the fact that he threw in some fun elements into an otherwise mediocre love triangle story. Worth checking out but you’re only going to stick around if you’re the kind who values fun over serious storytelling.
Title: Koharu no Hibi Author: Ooshiro Youkou Release: Monthly Status: Ongoing Genre: Romance, Psychological, Seinen Art: B Originality: S Story: A Characters: A Humor: B Action: B
Impression: You know how love triumphs all else? How the main couples in stories would usually overcome their crisis by believing in each other and sticking to their guns now how bad things looked. Nothing is as powerful or everlasting as true love. A wonderful statement wouldn’t you agree? Well, I’d have to agree that love is a powerful thing but it’s not always as pure and innocent as romantics would make it out to be. I actually find it to be a terrifying emotion and if you feel that I’m wrong let this series show you a way in which why my opinion about this matter is perfectly valid and justified. This series is about a guy who bumps into this tiny timid girl who happens to be one of his juniors at school while riding the train back home. He helps her with her fallen books and a couple days later gets cookies from her as thanks. He then keeps running into her as if they were in a sweet high school romance story but he soon discovers that this seemingly innocent tale has a disturbing twist to it. The otherwise cute little girl is not only in love with him, she is obsessed with him. And it’s not usual kind obsession, she doesn’t have these obvious signs of mental instability so it’s all the more disturbing when she really, really, REALLY loves the guy and is taking every sweet little thing you can do for the one you love and amplify the sweetness till it gets sickeningly so. Seriously, I almost labeled this as a horror series but figured it’s more in the psychological kind of thing since the main subject matter is obsessive love. Loving the subversion this story is going for the theme of love so I personally recommend this one to those of you who love yanderes.
Just a few days ago I bought my first nerf gun, the Nitefinder EX-3 pistol. My brother has a couple of them namely two Maverick REV-6s and the N-Strike Recon but I waited till I had some extra cash to pick up one for myself. I actually wanted to get the Longshot but they don’t seem to sell them anymore in Brunei. There are a lot of Longstrikes though but that’s supposed to have lousy performance even after modding. Not wanting to buy a rifle model that I would not be able to mod satisfyingly enough I decided to opt for the Nitefinder until a Longshot pops up somewhere in one of the stores here.
Now, I’ve been searching around online for good sites that would help me out in modding my new nerf pistol and boost the range but only came across very few posts about actually modding the Nitefinder to do so. Right out of stock the thing is stated to shoot 25ft-35ft (7.5-10.5m) away parallel to the ground but I found mine only shot about 15 paces away parallel which was about 18ft (5.4m). This was about two thirds of the range my brother gets with his guns so obviously I was unsatisfied with this so I chose to make adjustments.
What I write here will not exactly be a modding guide but more like my findings on how and why the mods work. I will be giving details on the mods I made to my own gun but unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures as I modded the thing so you’re going to have to settle with a textbook like explanation.
1) Air Restrictor Removal The Air Restrictor is the first thing you’ll want to take care off before anything else. As the name implies, this part limits the amount of air that gets utilized in launching the dart. It does this in two ways. The first would be by limiting the of air flow going into the barrel when you prime it and the second would be by restricting the air that pushes out the dart when you pull the trigger. You won’t see much change until you remove this part so you really have to get rid of it. For newer models of this gun, you’re going to have to cut through the barrel along the furthest ring on the barrel with a thin but sturdy knife before you can take it out and reseal it with tape or some sort of bonding agent later on. Incidentally, you’ll want to load the bullet after priming the gun since the dart gives the same effect as the Air Restrictor by the first way. That goes especially for fully modded guns.
2) Spring Reinforcement Obviously, the spring is the part that influences the power the most so get to it here. Think of it like a rubber band and you’ll understand that the more you pull back the stronger the recoil will be when you release it. What you need to do here is make it harder to pull back the plunger and I did that by rolling another spring in between the stock spring. For some reason, I have yet to find a hardware store in Brunei that sells springs so I made do with the spring from my brother’s broken Maverick. Problem with this is that the recoil is too strong that you won’t be able to prime the gun if you leave the cocking mechanism unmodified. To remedy this you’re going to have to either use a strong pen spring to replace the tiny spring that keeps the plunger in place after priming and/or carve out a little of the indent so that it curves slightly inwards instead of just being a straight wall.
3) Plunger Padding The plunger isn’t really all that airtight right out of stock so you’ll want to add padding to make it so as well as to reduce the stress on the plunger when it slams back into the barrel. Not quite sure how much this improves the air pressure but having all the air push out of the barrel is better than having less. Use some soft and non-porous form of padding for this. Also, you might want to sew it onto the plunger head in addition to gluing it because I personally don’t trust the glue to remain stuck after a couple hundred shots.
4) Results By the end of it, my Nitefinder was shooting a minimum of 30(36ft/10.8m) paces parallel to the ground and easily 50(60ft/18m) angled slightly upward. I say minimum because the gun now switches from straight shots to spinning shots almost every other pull of the trigger and that drastically reduces the travel distance. Still, a modded misfire ended up twice as far as a normal unmodified shot and that’s a plus. It can even shoot those slim cartridge darts that always misfired under normal specs. I get the best distance with vertical shots since it consistently reaches 4 stories upwards. Accuracy’s also pretty good when aimed that way as I’ve shot a friend from four floors below him in a shopping centre. Yes, I shot him with a nerf gun in the middle of a shopping centre. QLap mall for Bruneians curious as to where I did this.
As for the newfound lack of accuracy and consistency with horizontal shooting, I’m guessing the power reached its limiting factor (i.e. pressure) and now releases excessive amounts of air along with the required amount needed for compression to overcome the friction keeping the dart in place. Basically that means not all the air is utilized for the shot and the extra bit winds up messing with the accuracy of the shot. That’s the reason why I get such fantastic results shooting upwards. Gravity and air pressure act more keenly on the dart increasing the resistance of the dart allowing more pressure to build up before the dart launches out of the barrel. In my gun’s case, my optimum shooting angle would be somewhere between 50-70 degrees upwards as I have gotten the range past 40m shooting within that range.
I have yet to devise a method to rectify this inefficiency but I do know that I have to up the friction enough for all of the air in the barrel to build up before launching the dart into the air but not so much that it would end up reducing the speed instead. My theory is that I should increase it at the very base of the dart so that the extra friction allows more pressure to build up without increasing the overall resistance in the barrel too much. Hopefully I’ll figure out a modification that won’t need regular maintenance. Additionally, if you think that I have made errors with the physics of the entire thing then feel free to correct me on whatever you feel is wrong as my knowledge in that particular field of study is limited to O’ level standards.
Title: Ookami ga Kuru! Author: Nanto Hanamaru Release: Monthly Status: Ongoing (Finished/Sequel) Genre: Shonen, Supernatural Art: A Originality: B Story: A Characters: A Humor: A Action: B
Impression: This is the story of two young men who run a branch of an organization dealing with the supernatural and the occult loving heiress who becomes their benefactor. The manga starts off with the young lady stumbling around in an old castle owned by her grandfather hoping to run into some supernatural phenomena, specifically vampires. Unfortunately for her, she runs into zombie-like ghouls instead. Fortunately though, the younger of the two slayers of the supernatural comes to her rescues and proceeds to bail her out of further trouble cause by the unexpected awakening of an unknown vampire. While this series doesn’t bring anything new to stories of this nature it does have a refreshing approach when it comes to the story. It doesn’t go full out on the secret monster extermination plot but goes about it by making work for the slayers more mundane and realistic than the usual stuff. The main goal of their activities is to protect people from the supernatural and that also happens to entail debunking hearsay and covering things up. This gives it a quite a good bit of humor to throw in there along with episodic plots that don’t always end typically which is why I find it refreshing to read. I’d even say it’s an attempt at deconstructing these kinds of stories which is always a nice thing to see, especially for those who know what to expect with this territory. No need to worry about it being short, the manga still goes on after the first two volumes only under a different name. Definitely worth checking out so I suggest you go and do just that.
On a side note, why do I keep running into German online and in the manga I read? You’d think I’d run into Japanese or Chinese more often than German but I keep running into it for some reason.
An old public service announcement by the guy who played the 9th incarnation of The Doctor. Very, very, very well done thanks to Christopher Eccleston's act. Shame he was The Doctor and not The Master cause Steven Moffat would have had a great time writing him as The Master.
Finally got around to watching the Unlimited Blade Works movie that I’ve been hoping for ever since I played through that scenario in the original. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait quite as long as most of the other fans did since that was more or less a year and a half ago. This adaptation of my favorite route in the game was a story that was simply far too epic and too grand to be told properly in just an hour and forty minutes.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the game, this is an alternate retelling of the Fate/Stay Night anime where a secret war held between seven magi and the heroic spirits they summon as their servants duke it out so they can attain the Holy Grail and have their greatest wish granted. In this route, Shirou and the others face off against Berserker in a slightly different way than in fate and this triggers a different chain of events that ultimately lead to a confrontation between Shirou and Archer.
If I remember right, Unlimited Blade Works took me a couple more hours more to finish than the Fate route did and had quite a bit more focus and characterization with Shirou and Rin as well as plenty of awesome battles. Unfortunately, it is because it so packed that this movie feels lacking. Battles are nothing short of amazing but the other aspects of this adaptation makes one wonder if the was really what they should have focused on. Scenes jump from one point to another with nary a proper transition leaving loads and loads of gap that have to be filled with prior knowledge of the story. To be precise, you have to play the Ultimate Blade Works route to really get the movie and even then the gaps are still pretty jarring. Almost all of the characterization is stripped away from the story and a lot of the build-up to the most GARsome battle in the game gets taken away as a result of this. The revelation of Archer’s identity comes off as underwhelming and seemingly pulled out of nowhere.
There really are only two things you can applaud about this movie: fantastic visuals and mind blowing battles. Sure, the studio still throws in those budget saving distance shots but in no way do they ever employ such tactics without throwing in some other element to make up for it during the battles. I’m guessing they knew there was just no way they were going to pull the story off properly so they decided to go all out on the glorious clashes between the characters. The final confrontation between Shirou and Archer was as close to perfection as it could get for an animated version of the battle with only one tiny flaw at the very end of it i.e. Shirou’s voice actor didn’t deliver that last bit as strongly as he should have. Everything else was just absolutely sublime in that battle so that’s easily forgiven though.
Basically, if you expected to see what made Unlimited Blade Works such a magnificent tale then you’ll be sorely disappointed. But if your only reason to watch it was to bear witness to the amazing battles that came with it then you won't be in the least. Ultimately, this movie was brilliantly and dazzlingly flashy but took to things so superficially that it will only make fans cry out that this should have been the story that got animated the first time around. Still worth watching though, some bits more than a few times.
Title: Manga no Tsukurikata Author: Auri Hirau Release: Monthly Status: Ongoing Genre: Yuri, Slice of Life Art: A Originality: B Story: B Characters: A Humor: A Action: B
Impression: This is a yuri series based around two young women who are both mangaka. Well, one of them is a mangaka at the beginning of the story and the other is on a hiatus of sorts. The younger of the two is in love with the older one who happened to be her senior at their high school before she graduated. The older one doesn’t hold any mutual sentiments towards her admirer but decides to go out with her for a while so she can figure how to the draw yuri manga. This is one of those light and fluffy yuri series infused with a good dose of silliness to go with the many, many slice of life scenes thrown in there. Now that I think about it this might actually be better described as a slice of life with a dash of yuri given how much focus is put on their daily lives. The romance develops very subtly and very slowly but it’s done in such a way that you can easily tell how their relationship is progressing. In fact, you’d have to be completely blind if you didn’t realize that the pretend lovers play turned into the real thing before the older girl realized it. Seriously, you’d have to be absolutely blind to such matters if you needed to see verbal confirmation from her to know it happened. At any rate, this is a pretty good yuri series that doesn’t depend on teasing to keep the readers interested but still manages to do so with its quiet and slightly goofy storytelling.
Title: Working! Author: Karino Takatsu Release: Monthly Status: Ongoing Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, Romance Art: B Originality: B Story: B Characters: A Humor: A Action: B
Impression: This recently(relatively) animated 4koma manga is centers around a café and its staff made up of a whole bunch of colorful personalities. I haven’t watched the anime version yet but I’ve heard good things about it and based on what I’ve read so far, it had some good material to go on. The jokes are mostly focused on the characters quirks and how they interact with each other on a regular day at work. Haven’t found any problems with so far even though the setup here would make it easy for lesser mangaka to exaggerate the quirks and turn the characters into one dimensional jokes. The mangaka even throws in a good amount of character development in there for good measure. A decent comedy with no obvious flaws to find.
Title: Natsu no Arashi Author: Kobayashi Jin Release: Monthly Status: Ongoing Genre: Supernatural, Sci-Fi, Comedy, Romance, Historical Art: B Originality: S Story: A Characters: A Humor: B Action: B
Impression: This series comes from the author of School Rumble and it’s about a thirteen year old boy and the experiences he goes through during one particular summer. He meets this high school girl from a bygone era who claims to be a ghost from 60 years prior to the summer they met and with his help, the two of them are able to leap back into time. Aside from enjoying the perks and hijinx that time travel brings, they also go back to the bombing days of World War 2 to save people from the burning mess that the conflict generated. For someone like Kobayashi Jin who’s famous for his comedy (and infamous for the ‘pie’ ending), you’d never think he’d be capable of threading a story with so many different elements thrown into it so seamlessly. The guy’s great at coming up with memorable characters and hilariously epic over the top jokes but he’s not too shabby with telling serious stories either. The first few chapters only hint at how intense the story gets later on in the series. He doesn’t even bother to make the humor as zany as School Rumble’s hence the B score for the humor department. It’s quite telling when SHAFT’s adaptations of the series are actually funnier and sillier than their original source. Don’t take it as though I meant it doesn’t have it silly moments. Those are certainly there but storytelling and characterization are the focus of this series here. Definitely worth reading but you shouldn’t expect another School Rumble in any way. This is a dish of an entirely different flavor but as far as I can tell it’s turning out to be a great one.
P.s. Check out Kobayashi Jin’s profile. He actually does look like Harima Kenji of School Rumble!
Title: Bloody Cross Author: Komeyama Shiwo Release: Monthly Status: Ongoing Genre: Shonen, Supernatural Art: A Originality: B Story: B Characters: A Humor: B Action: A
Impression: This story features several characters of supernatural origin who are aiming for the inheritances of god, artifacts filled with god’s power. The story starts off with a pair of mixed-blood angels who share a symbol branded onto their bodies that bind them to a curse that will eventually kill them and because of that both the guy and girl are seeking out one of the aforementioned artifacts to free themselves of their curse. However, the two are not trusting by nature and work together for the sake of their very lives as they are not the only ones after the item. That includes the pure blood angel that intends on using them to acquire these immensely powerful artifacts. This is a pretty good battle manga with its great art and fights but storywise, it’s a little clunky. It’s not exactly a mindless sort of story with its “who’s going to betray who first” thing but the motivations and detailing behind the actions that the characters take are mindboggling to say the least. With the exception of one character who seemed to have been upgraded to main character status(I would have preferred the girl to be the star actually) after the first few chapters, the characterization is pretty consistent here. The silliness is also a bit quirky with its timing and delivery but I think that gives it an interesting touch. Also, don’t expect much pretentiousness here. The premise and tension in the first few chapters may make it look like the usual angsty vampire manga but I’ve found it to be quite a fun read. Yup, I’ll take a slightly clunky joyride over emo sourpusses any day of the week.
Title: Super Dreadnought Girl 4946 Author: Takeshi Azuma Release: Monthly Status: Ongoing Genre: Shonen, Supernatural, Romance Art: B Originality: A Story: B Characters: B Humor: A Action: A
Impression: This is about a hot blooded high schooler who’s not only short in the literal sense but also in his luck with women. He had yet to have a girl fall for him despite his chivalrous ways and his active attempts at finding one that would. The vertically challenged hero does eventually find one though in the form of a sweet natured young girl. However, that girl happens to be the secret giant supernatural lifeform that Japan’s government has put all their hopes on in defending themselves against similarly sized monsters bent on laying waste to their country. After an act of chivalry on the guy’s part, the girl ends the first chapter with a confession among the ruins of the guy’s destroyed school. There are a few aspects of this manga that really make it feel like the mangaka is just throwing whatever random thing he feels like into the plot but I can’t really say that takes away from the series very much. Sure it gets really overdone at several points in the story and you can’t help but cringe at how annoying some of them come off as but this series manages to pull together a fun energetic pace all the while. The characterization does feel somewhat shallow but since this series is going for the very end of the idealistic spectrum of the cynicism vs idealism scale, I’d have to say that in-depth characterization might actually take away from the experience. I hated those angsty chapters with the American spy so I’m pretty sure that the author should just stick with the fun and light hearted approach and avoid any attempt to dig out anymore unnecessary mood breakers like them.
Title: Imouto wa Shinsuki Author: Ujie Tozen Release: Weekly Status: Complete Genre: Seinen, Comedy, Slice of Life, Ecchi Art: B Originality: B Story: B Characters: B Humor: A Action: B
Impression: That title translates as “My Little Sister is going through Puberty” and this manga features a pair of high school siblings. The brother is an average guy who plays the straight man to his sister’s antics, all of which happen to be related to some form of deviance. I’m told that girls think about such matters as much as guys but this girl manages to outdo even the most sexually depraved person I know and he earned a reputation for it back in our school days. Imagine having your little sister shamelessly talking to you about things that wouldn’t be out of place on 4chan’s /b/ board out in the open. Just think about how uncomfortable that would be. Now think about how funny it would be know someone in that position. That’s how funny this series is. Worth checking out if you need a good laugh and also really worth checking out for tips just in case your little sister starts acting like this.
Title: Boku no Tsukuru Sekai Author: Ayami Kazama Release: Irregular Status: Complete Genre: Fantasy, Slice of Life, Romance Art: A Originality: A Story: B Characters: A Humor: B Action: B
Impression: This is a compilation of short stories that are loosely connected to one another though the epilogue chapter does pull all of it together. It takes place in a world where certain people have the ability to project whatever image they can think of using magical lanterns - in 3D! Certainly an interesting concept there but one that’s more fitting for a movie. The individual stories in each chapter are quite nice and the characters that go with them are quite endearing. Worth checking out for a light read since this series is neither too long nor too short for that. With its charming art style and fairy-tale like stories, you can’t help but have a sweet impression after reading it. It also helps that this was done by the mangaka behind Chokotto Hime which I myself described as "GAH! THIS! IS! TOO! DAMN! CUUUUTE! ARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!".
Title: Crimson Shell Author: Jun Mochizuki Release: Monthly Status: Complete Genre: Fantasy, Mystery Art: B Originality: C Story: C Characters: D Humor: B Action: B
Impression: This is a prior work of the author of Pandora Hearts with a premise that’s reminiscent of her current work in nearly every way. The story features characters with designs that are carbon copies of various characters in Pandora Hearts and the mysterious powers with big drawbacks thing albeit with semi-sentient plants rather than fully sentient monsters. The story isn’t very inspired but it does possess the same air of mystery and suspense in Pandora Hearts has so it maintains a very nice mood to go with the plot. Speaking of which, it’s about this girl with revered powers and the people around her in the mysterious organization she’s a part of and the betrayal of someone very close to her and the truth behind her origin. That having been said, the plot likes to change it focus in every one of its six chapters and the characters get adapted to the plot rather than being the driving force behind it so both of those aspects suffer quite a bit from it. Scenes that were supposed to deliver the payload from all the build-up ended up being very cheesy and highly predictable so it’s hard to feel for any of the characters here. Pandora Hearts’ prototype lacks the full version’s solid characterization, the annoying mood whiplashes and tries to make up for it with a very schizophrenic plot. Not exactly worth a recommendation here.