Clover manga

30 03 2010

Clover 3.5/5

When does manga cease to be pop art and start to be fine art? When is something more likely to be remembered for its presentation than its story? When you read CLAMP’s manga, Clover, that’s when. With a story that is largely throwaway, but an artistic style that propels it to the top tier of its medium, Clover is likely to be remembered as beautiful but vacuous. Join me, Panda Masamune, as I explore this unique piece of work

Title: Clover

Author: CLAMP

Publisher: Kodansha (Japan), Dark Horse (US)

Medium: Manga, Sequential Art

Number of Volumes: Originally 4, now sold only as 1

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27 03 2010

Greetings.  It’s me, your friendly neighborhood Panda.  I see that Laserwolf apologized for her long absence in her last post, which means I need to apologize even more!  I do have my reasons though… three of them to be exact.

The first is pretty simple to explain.  I’ve been reading a lot of books lately, and that cuts into my anime/manga time.  For me, books, anime, manga… it’s all the same hobby.  I just love stories.  The thing is, this blog is specifically about Anime, Manga, Graphic Novels, Webcomics, and Video Games–which is broad enough.  Neither Laserwolf nor I want to expand the focus any further.  That’s not to say that books aren’t worthwhile though!  In the past two months, I’ve read through all of the Raven King Trilogy by Stephen R. Lawhead (highly recommended for those who like the Robin Hood Legend) and the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer (actually not as bad as you’d think… except the second book).

Second, it was winter.  Why does that make a difference?  Well… the computer room in my current place is in the coldest room in the building, and the desk is really uncomfortable.  So I can only stand to be in that room for a certain amount of time each day, and lately, I’ve needed to use that time for practical things like job hunting.

But all of that is an excuse.  It’s the third reason that is the most important.

This blog started out as an idea I had in the middle of the night, which I immediately communicated to Laserwolf and Whitey (the silent staff member).  Our intention was to review every piece of graphic media we came across, whether it was good or not, and draw life lessons from them.  I still think it’s a good idea, but I didn’t spend enough time figuring out how I wanted to do it.  A couple of months ago, I saw some improvements that could be made–revamping our review format and advertising our site.  I wanted to wait to write another review until I could do those things, but those two things take time, which is something that I didn’t have.  Hopefully, that will change soon, and Segue will be able to reach the potential that I first saw in that middle-of-the-night moment of inspiration.

Orphen manga

7 01 2010

Panda Masamune here.  I don’t know what it is about Orphen that makes it so enjoyable.  It might be that it has excellent art.  It might be that it is based on a light-novel series (which usually makes for better stories).  Or it might just be that I started reading this the same day that I finished the atrocious first four volumes of Rurouni Kenshin.  For whatever reason though, I enjoyed this flawed gem maybe a little more than I should have.

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Merry Christmas!

24 12 2009

Merry Christmas!  Here’s a great anime-themed webcomic for all of you.

Rurouni Kenshin Manga (v.1-4)

16 12 2009

Ten years after the beginning of the Meiji Period in Japan, a wandering swordsman happens across a failing dojo.  Despite the fact that he looks weak and doesn’t appear to like fighting, he is actually a superhumanly powerful swordsman.  He now uses his sword to defend people and defeat every single opponent that comes his way.  And that’s about it.

Today’s English anime market is much different than the market of seven to ten years ago.  Nowadays, two people can be anime otaku and never have seen the same shows, but before, if you found another anime fan, you could be sure that there were a few “classics” that they had seen.  These included titles like Cowboy Bebop, Inuyasha, Trigun, Gundam Wing, Rurouni Kenshin, and a few others.  However, I (Panda Masamune) was a little bit of a latecomer to the scene.  I saw Gundam Wing when it aired on Cartoon Network, but I had to track down all of the rest when I became an anime fan in 2004.  Some of the “classics” stood the test of time, and some didn’t.  Today, I am going to review the first four manga volumes of Rurouni Kenshin—one of the titles that didn’t.

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Summer Wars

4 12 2009

A summer net-thriller movie whose most intriguing character is a 90-year-old woman who’s idea of ‘high-tech’ is a rotary phone.

Panda Masamune here bringing you our first movie review.  I came across Summer Wars through a review on Anime News Network and was intrigued by all of the good things that the reviewer said about it.  So I picked up a copy and watched it, and I have to say that it deserves every good review that it gets.  It is a social commentary packaged as a blockbuster, and it illustrates clearly how people who normally wouldn’t get along can combine their gifts to accomplish a lot when the time calls for it.

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29 11 2009
Take three Sunday-morning cartoon characters, a Disney princess, and an old pot-bellied dragon with fluffy ears.  Then send them on an epic fantasy adventure where bad, bad things happen to them.  Does this sound like:
A)  A recipe for failure
B) A recipe for success

Panda Masamune here, bringing you my second review.  Before reading this graphic novel, I probably would have answered A).  But Jeff Smith has made me a believer.  Come see why you should care about this American Graphic Novel.

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“Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” Season 1

4 11 2009
Edward and Alphonse Elric are alchemists…
Edward and Alphonse Elric are geniuses…
Edward and Alphonse Elric are brothers…
Oh, and Edward and Alphonse Elric are sinners.

Good Evening!  This is Panda Masamune here, bringing you the first of many reviews on this site.  As it says in the “about” page and the byline, we at Segue want to “build bridges between nerd-dom and real life.”  (That’s a fancy way of saying that all three of the writers on this blog like our hobbies, but we think that our hobbies shouldn’t just be about entertaining ourselves; they should leave us as better people in the end.)  So it’s only fitting that our first post be about Fullmetal Alchemist–the series that gave me this idea in the first place.

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

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