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April 2014

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Apr. 9th, 2014

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood


The brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric are back in this second adaptation of the manga Fullmetal Alchemist. Like the previous anime series, FMA Brotherhood follows the journey of Ed and Al as they solve the mystery to getting their bodies back by alchemy. After an unsuccessful attempt to bring back their mother from the dead, with Ed sacrificing a leg and almost losing Al in the process, they join the military. Using the military's information and connections the brothers might be able to find the fabled Philosopher's Stone to restore their bodies.
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Mar. 14th, 2014

The Saracen: The Holy War by Robert Shea



The story now focuses on events instead of the main characters' background and development. Simon's uncle, Charles d'Anjou, is now a key character. Daoud and Simon's rivalry grows and now they even have to fight over Sophia's love. The pope in the previous book has bad health and the cardinals are set to choose his successor.

Unlike the first book, the pace is faster and covers a longer span of time. However, the main characters appear less as the author tries to develop the supporting cast who play crucial roles in the development towards the final battle. I was worried that the author didn't plan killing off some important characters but the ending did not disappoint. I commend the author for not choosing an easy conclusion by way of a happy ending.

The two-part series has many surprises and events to look forward to. The battle scenes, although not as vivid as I was expecting, weren't dissatisfying either. The best part of the book is the characters of Daoud and Simon. I found myself frustrated, sad or rejoicing for the characters and that alone says a lot about the books.

Rating:
The Holy War: 9 out of 10

The Saracen: Land of the Infidel by Robert Shea


Daoud ibn Abdallah, born David Langmuir, was captured when he was young and sold into slavery. Orphaned and abused, he was bought by Baibars al-Bunduqdari and was trained as a Mameluke (slave warrior) and Hashashin. Set in the years between A.D. 1263 to 1264, the Christian and Islam nations were threatened by a growing power from the east. The Tartars of Hulagu Khan (Genghis Khan's descendant) are seeking an alliance with the Christians by sending emissaries to converse with the Pope. If this alliance is formed, Daoud's adopted religion and new homeland will be in danger. His mission therefore is to meet the pope at Orvieto to prevent this alliance. He was to disguise as a merchant and must first meet with Manfred von Hohenstaufen who is a likely ally to Baibar's cause. There he meets Lorenzo Celino and Sophia Karaiannides who will help him in his mission.
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Feb. 19th, 2014

Prince of Tennis: Eikokushiki Teikyuu Shiro Kessen!



The Seigaku tennis club regulars visit England to represent Japan in a tournament. Everything was going well until a series of attacks on other players force them and the other Japanese representatives to confront the perpetrators. Rumor has it that the attacks were orchestrated by a group of banned players. Ling Xiu, a former member, warns the other players to stay away from Keith and his gang.

Ryoma decides he needs to test this Keith in a tennis court. He is joined by Tezuka, Fuji, Atobe, Shiraishi, Kite, Sanada, and Kirihara.

This 10th anniversary movie of Prince of Tennis is full of humor and action. With strong opponents as challengers, you'd expect nothing less than explosive tennis matches. Some might not like the lineup of Ryoma's supporting cast but keep in mind that this is a movie made for fans. I don't recommend this to viewers who haven't watched the series. The characters, humor, and exaggerated plays would not make sense at all. As for the fans, this movie is an excellent treat.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Feb. 7th, 2014

Six Centuries of Painting by Randall Davies




Based on the cardinal points of painting, Randall Davies attempted to classify, explain the origins and influences, and present the development of painting in the western hemisphere. The cardinal points he used are the following: basis of religion, development peculiar to the soil, imitation of nature, and approbation of the public.Read more...Collapse )

Jan. 31st, 2014

Shingeki no Kyojin



When humanity was threatened to extinction by the arrival of man-eating, human-like giants, the survivors built a settlement protected by three separate walls. For a century, the humans lived in safety, confident that the walls cannot be breached by dumb titans. The three walls are Maria, Rose, and Shina. These have four outer walls designed to attract titans and prevent pressure throughout the walls; making the task of guarding easier for defenders by concentrating in these four districts. It is in one of these outer wall districts, Shiganshina, that Eren Yeager and his family lives. A passionate young man, Eren's desire to join the Recon Corps was revealed to the family by the Yeager's adopted daughter Mikasa Ackerman, much to the dismay of Eren's mother. However he got encouragement from his father, Dr. Grisha Yeager, who promised to show Eren the research he has done on titans. The Recon Corps is one of the three military divisions created to protect people and fight the titans. They survey the territories outside the walls and gain foothold for humans; while the Garrison maintains and guards the walls. Lastly, the Military Police guards the king.
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Jan. 30th, 2014

Shiki






In the rural town of Sotoba, mysterious deaths force Doctor Ozaki Toshio and monk Muroi Seishin to investigate. Upon examining the bodies, Ozaki finds that the victims suffered from a rare case of anemia and had mysterious insect bites somewhere in their bodies. Other than those, he has no more clues passing it off first as an epidemic. Coincidentally, the deaths began occurring when the Kirishiki family moved into town, but with so little evidence of their involvement, no one but an old lady suspected the family. As the numbers piled up and an attempt to cover up the deaths was discovered, Ozaki thinks he is up against something more terrifying than a disease.
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Jan. 21st, 2014

Katipunan



Set in the Philippine Revolution, this eight-part series shows the rise and fall of Katipunan's founder and  the father of the revolution, Andres Bonifacio. Katipunan follows two main story lines. A young woman's death opens a series of atrocities committed by a new cleric in a small town. Pacquing and Sebastian, Teresa's friends, want retribution for her death but they are powerless. They had to flee and along the way met Andres Bonifacio, who became a friend and mentor to the two young men.
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Jan. 15th, 2014

PairPuri

Episode 1: Atobe times Tezuka, divided by Koharu

Prince of Tennis fans will surely enjoy this short series for its humor. The picture drama is made up of eight episodes, each one not more than 10 minutes. The best part is that all the Seigaku members each had their spotlight. Besides Seigaku are a select few characters from other schools. If you like Tenipuri humor, then this is for you. The cute ending song is a bonus.

Episode 2: Fuji brothers after school


Episode 3: Initial A

Episode 4: Kai Para

Episode 5: Beach Side's Popular Watching

Episode 6: I Don't Understand Your Feelings!

Episode 7: Whose Spectacle is This?


Episode 8: The Ocean Festival



Rating: 10 out of 10

Gilgamesh




Although the title refers to the epic of king of the same name, there is almost no connection the Gilgamesh itself except the references to his tomb and the retelling of the epic by the characters.

Siblings Madoka Tatsuya and Madoka Kiyoko have nowhere to run. Forever haunted by their father's reputation as the cause of Twin X that wiped out most of the human population, they were chased by an unknown group with unclear motives. Not only did Twin X caused widespread death but  the explosion caused a mirror-like layer to appear in the sky. Most of the people born after Twin X have never seen the blue sky. Tatsuya is a Dynamis user. Dynamis is a psychic energy that allows the user to control physical objects.
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