Inu X Boku SS Anime Review and Manga Rant

Inu X Boku SS (2)

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Hey guys, today I’ve decided to do a review on Inu x Boku SS, as seen from the title. I originally wanted to write different reviews for the manga and anime,  however I realized that I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off the other when reviewing them separately so for today’s post we’re going to be looking at both. Since the manga series is still ongoing, I’m going to review what’s happened THUS FAR I.E. NOVEMBER 2013. Prepare yourselves…

To be quite honest, I think this will be the most heavily packed manga review that I’ve ever done. I have many mixed feelings when it comes to this series… let’s start with the plot…

Inu x Boku SS takes place at a residence dorm called Maison de Ayakashi AKA Ayakashi Hall where atavists, nonhuman individuals who are said to be direct reincarnation of their demon ancestors are residing. Due to the prestige and importance of these young demon atavists, each is assigned a secret service agent to ensure their safety during their stay.

Our protagonist is a girl named Ririchiyo Shirakiin who is an atavist with a sharp tongue despite her shy personality which usually results in her social ostracism whether in school or among her household servants. Since she comes from a prestigious family, she’s been sheltered and protected all her life. She applied to Maison de Ayakashi in order to get away from her home. When she arrives, she’s assigned a secret service agent named Soushi Miketsukami, who is wholly and unashamedly devoted to her. Pretty unique setting for a supernatural spirit demon kind of story which seems like where it’s headed.

Now before I continue into the spoiler details which need to be revealed in order for me to fully articulate my critique, allow me to warn you that If you have not seen or read the series, just watch the anime and forget about the manga because the anime wraps everything you ever want in a happy ending and presents it to you In a nice thirteen episode single season package with some pretty great songs while the manga… well…. you know when manga authors or artists try really hard to construct an interesting and thought provoking plot for their viewers but certain viewers will go into the story expecting and wanting certain plot devices? THIS IS ONE OF THOSE SERIES.

BEWARE SPOILERS BELOW. IM SERIOUS. IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE MANGA, DON’T LOOK DAMMIT!!!!!

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…there are so many things that went wrong.  And so many things that could have been better executed.

I’m a little surprised that the manga’s listed target audience is the Shonen demographic. I think the cute romance and almost high school-like emotional turmoil that Ririchiyo experiences is more akin to Shojo. Not to mention Miketsukami’s bishounen appearance *//////* I feel like the anime pushes the story into the shojo demographic even more just because none of the reincarnation-blow-your-mind plot is included. Sure, there are small mentions of the characters drawn from future chapters in the manga and inserted into the anime’s short plotline to create a more well-rounded story but the way it ends really makes all the fangirls sigh at the adorable get-together between the two main characters.

youko-x-boku-ss-3384845Manga. Plot twist. Confusion. So many different feels. REALLY? Did you have to BEHEAD HIM?!?!? GOOD GODS OF ANIME THAT WAS A PAINFUL MOMENT FOR ALL OF US. Even though the Atavists are reincarnated, the future Soushi that meets Ririchiyou in the next life is not the same one as the original one who underwent all that pain and suffering and crap who ends up meeting Ririchiyou through the letters. The connection is just not the same! Since Soushi lost his memories of his past life, all he has to hold onto is his feelings for Ririchiyou… TдT Also, after the first arc, which ends with Soushi’s death, the plot starts to lag a bit because we’re fast-forwarding to everyone’s next lives where they reunite. The manga is still ongoing, we technically don’t know if Ririchiyou and Soushi will end up together again since Ririchiyou terminates her contract with Soushi after she comes to realize that he’s not the same Soushi she fell in love with.

As well, there seems to be a lot of filler with the other characters who are given more focus in the story since plot’s shifted away from Ririchiyou and Soushi. Personally, the most interesting characters for me are Zange Natsume and Rensho Sorinozuka. We learn in the manga, what Zange’s gift of foresight really entails which totally takes a dark twist down the supernatural path that the anime doesn’t really allude to. Sorinozuka becomes a character of interest because whereas everyone has been reincarnated, he continues living.

5If we think back to the beginning of the manga, it mentions that this story takes place over a really, long period of time… and now we all know what that means.

We’ve only gotten to the second reincarnation of the cast so far so I really wonder how many times will they reincarnate that Ririchiyou and Soushi will live the exact same fates as the original lives where they met each other and fell in love. Hopefully, it doesn’t end in death again. But this is just my speculation since the features behind atavists seem so restricted and predetermined in atavist souls.

Personally, I’ll probably buy the official translation of the manga all the way up to the end of the first arc because I really love the relationship between Ririchiyou and Soushi… and I know what you’re all thinking – there’s a SEVEN YEAR AGE DIFFERENCE, but love is love, right?

On a side note of the translation between the officially licensed manga and the original translation, Sorinozuka’s SS agent, Nobara Yukinokoji usually says “MANIAC” when she sees cute loli-girls in the original manga and anime adaptation, but in the officially translated version, she says “SMEXY” (LOLLLLLL). I was really impressed with Melissa Tanaka’s translation of the YenPress’s print copy because of colloquial and idiomatic the dialogue and script came across. It was a really enjoyable experience. The fluent and effortless translation made the story ever more vivid so if you’re the type that likes to buy your manga, I strongly recommend you get the first licensed English volume of Inu X Boku.

So thank you for sticking with me to the very end of this really long and perhaps long-winded review. I hope you’ll continue to support and read Inu X Boku SS as I have, the art is amazing and worth looking at.  Tune in next week for another Midweek Manga review!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

 

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Manga Versus Anime FIGHTO! – Gundam Seed and GS Destiny

Everyone2Hi everyone! Welcome to the second Manga Versus Anime FIGHTO! Today’s battle is between the manga and anime of Gundam Seed and its sequel Gundam Seed Destiny. These two animes are quite a few years old, but classic. Gundam never goes out of style (Haha, see what I did there?) But in all seriousness, the legacy of the Gundam animes, manga series, light novels and figurines is a long lasting culture of its own that’s quite a distinct aspect of Japanese culture. My dad watched and loved the original Gundam series and years later, I’m also quite obsessed with Gundam.

Manga Rating: 3.5/5 happy clouds35 Clouds Transparent

Kira & Lacus (37)I love the GS and GSD series, however I was thoroughly surprised when I first picked up the manga because the art style in the manga was completely different from the anime. The storylines of both the manga and anime parallel except for the extra OVAS and special edition endings added to the anime. The manga is getting harder and harder to find these days, but it’s not impossible and you can read the story online.  I feel that the art is very shonen compared to the brushed up pretty boys of the anime adaptation and as an arts student, I feel that the proportions of quite a few of the characters and frames are out of perspective. Being distracted by the art makes it harder to enjoy the plot.

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Anime Rating: 5/5 happy clouds5 Clouds Transparent

This anime gets a full set of happy clouds because of the deep philosophical thought and pervasive themes of war, love and tragedy that are brought up by the struggles of power and resistance taking place in a world hanging precariously in peace. The anime paints a very three-dimensional landscape of the war and the events taking place because of the omniscient third perspective that it’s told in. Every character represents a different archetype in stories as well as personas you so often find in wars. The soldier, the general, the pacifist, the reluctant hero, the reckless fighter, the embodiment of hope… I picked up this series years ago and I’ve recently re-watched the re-mastered version that includes a few new scenes.

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Rereading or re-watching this anime is like coming home. And yes, you might bawl at the end depending on how much you empathize with the characters and how deeply you feel immersed in the plot. I highly recommend you watch these two series one after the other because GSD takes place two years after GS and a lot of recurring characters appear. For one thing, the main characters in GS play a much more prominent role in GSD which is great if you’re favourite characters are among the main cast.

Kira & Lacus (40)I feel like this is one of those series you either love or hate because I get a lot of mixed responses when I bring it up amidst otaku discussions with friends.  I found the story and its themes insightful and thought-provoking so I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Thank you very much for reading! I will talk to you guys soon!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

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Introducing… Manga Versus Anime FIGHTO!

3aee6fd2c5e890_fullHave you guys ever had trouble deciding whether you should read the manga, watch the anime or both? Today I’m introducing a new segment called Manga versus Anime FIGHTO inspired by all the manga and anime all out wars disputes I end up witnessing.

Personally, I’m a little biased for manga since I personally prefer to cozy up to a series for hours just powering through chapter after chapter. However, I am aware that quite a few manga series are based on the anime (e.g. Puella Magica Madoka) . Today we’re reviewing the Vampire Knight series by Matsuri Hino and the anime adaptation of the story that spans two seasons.

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6c7f6ddbd7e330_fullManga Rating: 4/5 happy clouds4 Clouds Transparent

When you pick up the manga, you know, in an instant that it’s shojo and girls, I’ll be honest, it’ll send ALL your guy friends running. Vampire Knight mainly takes place at Cross Academy, run by former vampire hunter Kaien Cross who’s also a pacifist that wants to bring together both vampires and humans in peace. He is the father of Yuki Cross and guardian to Zero Kiryu who are both students at the Academy. The school is divided into Day Class and Night Class; the former consisting of humans while the latter is composed of vampires who follow class president and pureblood vampire Kaname Kuran at the school. After settling into the initial world order and the characters’ interactions, the readers are thrown into a world of twisting politics and tragic backstories…

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d257958dd63ca0_fullAnime Rating: 3/5 happy clouds 3 Clouds Transparent

The anime on the other hand, is much simpler than the manga and focuses on the first and second arc of the manga series. For this reason, we don’t see much of the strife between the vampires, the Senate and the vampire hunter society. The anime tells the story of Yuki’s mysterious past, how she became under the care of Kaien Cross and her connection to the other vampires (especially Kaname). At the same time, Zero’s story is unfolding, his childhood within the vampire hunter society as well as the incident that befell his family.

a316821d9a2e20_fullBecause the first and second arc take place quite quickly in the manga while the anime spans two seasons long. There isn’t as much comedic relief in the anime (of course, because it’s about vampires) and also the setting and mood of the story both convey mystery and suspense more than anything else. I have to admit that there were several times in the anime series where I did skip over several scenes that slowed down the rhythm of the storytelling. Other than the fact that the animation cleans up a lot of the detail of Matsuri Hino’s beautiful art style,  I was impressed at how much the storyline held true to its manga counterpart. I have to say, it’s much easier to tell shojo/bi-shojo characters apart when the anime gives them different coloured hair. (Even so, Idol and Wild are still a little hard to distinguish… but I love them anyway).

ee027036047280_fullnightI know some of you aren’t willing to relive the story (unless it’s an absolute favourite) which is why this segment will hopefully shed some insight on whether the manga or anime is better. But if you’re a strict anime-watcher or manga-reader, that’s cool too, find a friend who’s watched or read what you haven’t get their opinion on the anime or manga before you delve into a story.

Thank you guys so much for reading! I hope you guys liked this new segment and more posts will be coming soon!

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?