Friday, September 24, 2010

Anime Review- Cardcaptor Sakura

Cardcaptor Sakura is a popular anime based on CLAMP's manga of the same name. It sold around twelve million and ended with the twelfth volume. It is aimed at younger audience although teens can enjoy it a lot. In the anime version, it ran three seasons.

Ten-year-old fourth grader Sakura Kinomoto opens a mysterious book in her father's study and accidentally releases the magical Clow Cards. Created by the half-English half-Chinese sorcerer Clow Reed, the Clow Cards were sealed within the Clow Book upon his death and represent a combination of magic from Clow's mixed heritage. Each card has its own personality and characteristics and can assume alternate forms when activated.

Cerberus, the guardian Beast of the Seal, awakens and emerges from the book's cover. Upon learning the cards are gone, he tells Sakura that she must have special powers, and that it is now her responsibility to retrieve the missing cards. As she finds each card, she must battle its magical personification and defeat it in order to seal it away. Cerberus acts as her guide and mentor throughout the quest, while her classmate and best friend Tomoyo Daidouji films her exploits and provides her with costumes, insisting that she must "wear special clothes for special occasions" whilst promising to keep Sakura's abilities a secret. Her older brother Toya Kinomoto watches over his sister while pretending that he is unaware of what is going on.

As the series progresses, a rival in the form of Syaoran Li appears. A descendant of the late Clow Reed, creator of the Clow Cards' and their guardians, Syaoran travels to Japan from Hong Kong to recapture the cards, but finds his goal complicated as he comes to respect Sakura and begins aiding her instead.
- wikipedia

The story was pretty good and so was the art. The concept of clow cards was unique. The characters were good and the supporting characters were better than the main characters. The appearance of Ruby, Elliot and his guardian beast in the second season furthur adds spice and story to the series.
The episodes progressed well and certain amout of character debvelopment was evident. I liked the last season with Maaya Sakamoto's Purachina as the theme better than the first two. The development of Sakura and Li's romantic relationship also begins in the third season.

The music was good and the art and colouring was rich and well detailed. The events, especially the school plays and cultural events were nice. The addition of fantasy element helped this series. The story had great plot.

Two movies followed the series. The first one focuses on Sakura's abilities as a cardcaptor while the second one predominantly focuses on Li and Sakura's romantic relationship.

Li's cousin, Rika, the teachers, Eriol, Ruby and Tomoyo were good supporting characters.

Overall, I consider this Clamp's best work to date. It had all the essentials of good story, art, characters and plot. The movies were very good too. I'll review it some other time. The story had fantasy, high school as well as romantic elements.

Characters- 4.5/5
Story- 4.6/5
Overall- 4.5/5


complex plot



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Book Review- Nora Roberts- Cordina's Royal Family

Cordina's Royal family is a two novels-in-one book that I purchased from a shop which sells old and rare books. I figured that there may be other parts of this same series too but since no information is found on the official Nora Roberts website, I can't say for sure.

The book is one of her earlier works and contains two novels- The Playboy Prince and Cordina's Crown Jewel.

The Playboy Prince- Tells the story of prince Bennet, who is a playboy. He has all the attributes of prince charming- handsome, good social graces and money. But when it comes to women, he is very fickle. Then, a woman called Hannah comes to the palace. Dressed unattractively in plain clothes, she is actually a secret agent who wants to get a man (I forgot his name) who wants to ruin the royal family arrested. But she lacks evidence. When prince Bennet meets her, he instantly falls for her despite her lacking beauty. The story then continues in typical Nora Roberts story style with a predictable happy ending. While the story was not bad, there was nothing particularly interesting about it. It is just like any other romance novel and quite inferior to some of Roberts's works.

Cordina's Crown Jewel- Princess Camilla is the picture perfect princess on the surface but inside, she is extremely troubled by constant media pressure and paparazzi. One day, after a charity ball, she finally breaks down and decides to run away from home to where no one would recognize her. She takes some money with her, rents a car and sets off. Unfortunatley, her car breaks down during a storm and she is forced to seek the help of a complete stranger- Delaney Caine; a cranky archaeologist. From the minute she steps into his house, she discovers that he doesn't have the best of tempers. When the storm finally subsides, she has no money to move on so she decides to do housework in Caine's house so that she can earn some money as she has no intention of going back home. Slowly, she falls in love with him. Nora delivers a interesting read with this one. This is one of her best works to date. The hero is not perfect like many other romance heroes but has human faults which made this story realistic. The heroine is not weak either.

Overall, the book was worth buying. One story was pretty good while the other was beareable.

Pros- Both stories have strong female characters.
Cover art was so beautiful.
Writing style.
Royal setting which was something different.
Cons- First story drags in some parts.
In the second novel, towards the end, there are some really unnecessary events which serve no purpose.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Jpop review- 80s random songs

I'm reviewing some random 80s songs. Some of these are great to listen to and sometimes even nostalgic. Around the 80s, the industry got commercial but still, there were some great songs. I purchased a CD-Climax 80s blues but since I can't read the titles, I am not reviewing all the songs. I am reviewing the ones I liked.

Misato Watanabe- My revolution
This one is a million seller composed by the legendary Tetsuya Komuro. Misato Watanabe sings it better than her other songs. The mlody is catchy and the chorus is wonderful. It was featured extensively on the japanese movie Handsome suit which I happened to watch. The song is uptempo and inspiring.

Seiko Matsuda- Sweet memories
Seiko Matsuda is dubbed the 'eternal idol' for her long lasting fame as an idol. Sweet memories is a ballad released by her in the 80s. It sold over 700,000. She frequently sings it in her recent television appearances including a version with Yuki of Judy and Mary and Gackt. The song is a bittersweet, slow song. A nice song.

Koi ni ochite ~fall in love~
This was another million seller by Akiko Kobayashi. The instrumental interlude as well as the verse are dull and boring but the song picks up when it reaches the chorus. A pleasant song.

Julia ni shoshin-
This is a hit rock&roll single by the famous band The Checkers with Fujii Fumiya as the lead vocalist. Fujii Fumiya sold 2 million with his solo single True love. The Checkers' style is very different from Fujii Fumiya's style. It is amusing to see Fujii Fumiya with colourful costumes, looking so young and dancing in The Checkers' live performances. This has crashing guitar and drum beats and is uptempo. It stops and starts like an old record. A nice uptempo song but takes a few listens to get used to.

Wine red no kokoro
This song is the highest selling single by Anzen Chitai composed by Inoue Yosui. Both are super hit acts. The song is typical Inoue Yosui style laid back pop song with little rock instrumental by Anzen Chitai. The chorus particularly stands out.

Ruby no yubiwa
A jazzy song by Akira Terao, an actor. It has gained popularity selling over a million and being covered by popular artists like Mai Kuraki and Fukuyama Masaharu. Its cover versions are better than the original.

Endless Rain
This does not exactly fit into the category of 80s songs even though it was released in 1989. It is a popular ballad by X Japan, the legendary visual kei band. Yoshiki composed this heartfelt ballad and Yoshiki sang it in his semi falsetto voice. The song is pretty good with a strong chorus. One of the very first ballads by X Japan. I prefer their ballads over their rock songs which often lack melody and fail to showcase Yoshiki's unparalleled composing ability. It resembles their later ballads- Tears, Forever love, longing and Dahlia. X Japan is a good band to try out.

Kazari ja nai no yo namida wa
Often considered Akina Nakamori's signature song, it is an uptempo song composed by Yosui Inoue. The song is good and showcases Akina's vocal abilities but the chorus arrives a bit too late.

Another 80s hit by idol Akina Nakamori. It is uptempo and pumps enthusiasm into the listener. Typical blarring vocals and guitar are heard in this song. The verse is inaudible but the chorus is good.

Say yes
A popular wedding song released by Chage and Aska. It was the theme of 101st marriage proposal. I reviewed the drama earlier. The song is wonderful and truly deserves its spot among the highest selling singles of all time. Everything ranging from the piano interlude to the chorus and bridge is great. The vocals are a bit diminished but they carry off the song well.

Overall, some of the very good songs in the jpop industry were released in 1980. Many famous acts like X Japan, Akina Nakamori, Yumi Matsutoya etc. started their career in the 80s. 80s is a defining period in jpop music history. The pop sound we hear today was invented in the 80s.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Barbie Movie review- Princess and the Pauper

This is a rather strange choice by me. Barbie dolls are very popular among young girls. To promote imagination and inspire young girls to dream, mattel made several movies of barbie based on pre-existing popular fairy tales. While many of these movies were good, the quality has been deciling lately. This one is a retelling of a classic novel Prince and the pauper by Mark Twain.

The story is much like the original book- Anneliese, a princess burdened by royal duties if forced to marry the prince of a nearby kingdom because all the gold in the kingdom has been exhausted. She is in love with Julian, her tutor. While masquerading as a peasant and looking around town, she meets a peasant, Erika who works for a gown maker. She sings very well and looks exactly like the princess. She promises to call her to the palace to sing. However, Preminger, the royal advisor abducts her to become the king and marry her mother. Julian asks Erika to act as the princess while he can find her.
Erika, while acting as a princess falls in love with the prince of the enarby kingdom whom Anneliese is supposed to marry. Anneliese and Erika's cats fall in love with each other (quite the classic barbie story). In the end, as expected from Barbie, everything is solved and true love conquers all. In the end, everyone gets married to their true love including the cats and the horse (Now, isn't this what you call happy ending?).

I liked this movie very much and it ranks as one of my favourite Barbie movies along with Swan Lake, Island Princess and Nutcracker. Lately, Barbie movies have lost the romantic element.
The story unfolds well and is has a complex story structure compared to most fairy tales. The graphics were good. The songs enhanced the effect of the story. 'Written in your heart' was one of the very good songs in this movie.

The love progressed well and the pairs were perfect. The only possible shortcoming of this story is that it is unrealistic (do cats and horses even get married?) but it is okay considering its target audience.
This is a classic movie from Matel and one of the best movies in the Barbie series. The interplay of pink and blue was a great idea considering the fact that these colours are considered related. The supporting did justice to the story and helped made it unforgettable. This story becomes a part of nostalgic memories especially when seen at a young age.

It is a good movie for children. The lyrics of the songs especially the last one are very inspiring. The movie contains some great scenes (like the last ones) and teaches friendship, love and the need to follow your heart (classic).

I recommend this movie for younger audience.

Story- 4.5/5
Characters- 4.3/5


Values it teaches


Too much music, too less dialogue

Friday, September 17, 2010

Anime review- Toradora

Toradora (literally meaning Tiger and Dragon) is an anime based on a series of light novels which were later adapted into manga. It is supposed to be a romantic comedy.

The protagonist is Ryuji who is not very rich and has scary looking eyes. Naturally, he is mistaken for a delinquent at school and has few real friends. On the first day of his last year at high school, he bangs into a girl called Aisaka Taiga. Aisaka looks reallly cute and doll like but has a violent and impulsive personality.

By mistake, Aisaka puts a letter meant for Ryuji's friend into Ryuji's bag and Ryuji discovers it. She comes to his house at night to try and kill him, but eventually realizes that Ryuji likes her friend Minorin. Since they are both in the same situation, they decide to help each other out.

This leads to a set of wacky events filled with comedy, drama and romance. Episodes 1-3 are sheer boring but if you live through them, you will be able to watch this really interesting anime. Episodes 4-10 are filled with comedy. After episode 10, the anime gets serious and the characters start to change. After this point, the anime seems to fit into the drama/romance genre rather than comedy/romance.

The anime was interesting and a nice watch overall but I hated how slowly Taiga and Ryuji developed feelings for each other and their first kiss is in episode 24? Too slow.

The personality of Minorin was very confusing changing from happy to mature and then to happy again. Kitamura changed for a few episodes, but became normal again. Kawashima Ami's personality interested me and I really wanted her to find a love interest in the end.

I have heard people calling it the best anime but I don't agree. It is not bad or even mediocre but it is not the best either. It should have been longer. When Taiga and Ryuji finally start developing feelings for each other.......they end the anime?

This anime really needs a second season.

Pros- Good story overall
Cons- Inconsistent characters and the main characters fall in love too slowly.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sophie Kinsella- The Undomestic Goddess

The undomestic goddess is the first book by Sophie Kinsella that I am reading. I have heard her name mentioned a lot, especially in connection with her Shopaholic series and I felt the need to read one of her works.

The undomestic goddess is about a high-flying Cambridge educated lawyer, Samantha, who works at a prestigious law firm called Carter Spink. She is aiming for the position of a partner (or something like that. Legal terms confuse me.), so she works hard day and night, has no weekends or holidays. Her days are filled with important contracts, client meetings and all........until one day it all breaks down.

Samantha has missed a 50-million pound contract (or coverage maybe?), due to her messy desk. She did not see the note lying on her desk. This shatters her career opportunities and her life. She unknowingly (in a daze) gets on a train and ends up in a countryside where she takes up the job of a housekeeper for a young and kind couple. The job is better than her previous as she gets holidays and all. She also meets an oxford-educated gardner and falls in love with him.

But her past life is catching up on her. She is fired from the job and her blunder becomes an internet joke. You can read the rest yourself.

Now my thoughts: The book was pretty much like any other chick-lit book. It has sense, humour and love. But it was very well written. I am glad I decided to give Sophie Kinsella a try. Though some parts like getting on the train and taking on the job of a housekeeper in a trance seem unrealistic, the rest of the book was okay. Samantha's character is not very strong, because she is too indecisive and confused. I found Trish (Samantha's employer) quite intersting.

Overall a good book, probably much better than many books out there. If you have free time, you might want to try it.

Writing Style

Cons-Some parts seem unrealistic
Weak female lead character

Jpop review- Maaya Sakamoto- Easy listening

Easy listening is the first mini album released by Maaya Sakamoto. It delivers what the title promises- a collection of soothing, easy listening songs.

Inori- Inori means prayer. The songs is like Yubiwa with strings. Maaya's vocals are airy, merging with the atmosphere of the song. The chorus sounds mysterious. There are a lot of background vocals and some ripple effect in the song.

Blind summer fish- The title is bizarre. The song has some african beats and is again, easy listening. Probably one of the average tracks on this album.

Doreddo 39- Another strange title. Starts with some guitar and sounds like a spanish song. Maaya's vocals don't suit this song particularly well and this song cannot be classified as easy listening.

Afternoon repose- This song is sung completely in english. Her engrish doesn't surface very much because the song is airy and ethreal much like inori and vector. She doesn't sing too many words either. Conveys the mood of a silent afternoon with gentle summer breeze blowing on the listeners face.

Bitter sweet- Bitter sweet starts with some strong beats. It carries on much like any other easy listening song on this album. It includes some back vocals that are prominent. The chorus is weak and excessively airy.

Another grey day in the big blue world- The eccentric titles keep getting worse. This is maybe a title to symbolise lonliness and sadness through words such as grey and blue both of which are associated with lonliness. There is some piano twinkling in the background. Another weak chorus. The chorus is disconnected with rest of the song.

Birds- This is a typical easy listening song- something which Maaya does best. There is a climax exploding in the chorus. The chorus is strong unlike most songs on this album. A mix of easy listening and rock.

Overall, one of the Maaya albums I prefer to skip. Her mini albums are not very good. She does better at full length albums. Nice cover though.

Overall- 3.8/5

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jpop review- Maaya Sakamoto- 30 minutes night flight

Maaya Sakamoto's second mini album. Fits mostly into the easy listening genre.

30 minutes night flight- The first track is uptempo and seems to be a fitting song for the beginning of a great journey. It pumps on feelings of excitement and anticipation. Maaya's vocals are decent.

Dreaming- Something you would hear on a rainy day while looking out at the rain. It is mid tempo. The song doesn't shine very much.

Kioku there's no end- This is a little mysterious and sounds deep. It is another easy listening track with african beats. The chorus is good for an easy listening song.

Bokutachi wa koi wo suru riyuu- Sounds like Kioku there's no end. Something you would hear someone is a sunny countryside hum. The piano adds a nice touch.

Setsuna- Unusually uptempo for the painful title. A pretty average song.

Universe- This is a ballad which winds up the album beautifully. The song's PV gives you the feeling that the song has a deeper meaning. Brings out the feelings of lonliness and self discovery powerfully. The chorus is strong as with most Maaya songs.

Overall, a pleasant easy listening album. Not the best release from Maaya but as good as her previous mini album. Her vocals sound a little plain in some songs. Mnay songs were average in this tiny album of only six songs. A great album for a Maaya fan but for a new listener, I would not suggest this. Try her Nikopachi or Everywhere best.

Overall- 4.3/5

Music Review- Maaya Sakamoto-Kazeyomi

This is the album released by seiyuu and singer Maaya Sakamoto after her hit single Triangler.

Vento- This is an ethreal track with lots of chorus music, strings and piano. A wonderful and peaceful way to start this album. I loved the calm and relaxed feeling of this track.

Triangler- This takes off high speed after the peaceful and calm Vento. This is Maaya's best selling single to date. I find it an average anime rock track. Her airy voice is better suited for ballads.

Kazemachi Jet ~kazeyomi edition~- A breezy track with Maaya's peaceful vocals. This song is pretty average and doesn't differ mushc from the original. A relaxing track to listen to again and again. Sounds like looking at a plane fly in the clear sky on a pleasant spring day.

Remedy- Another peaceful track with a little guitar. Maaya's vocals have a water like quality that make the listener relax and soothe the nerves. It is a pop track.

Ame ga furu- This is a single track. It starts out peaceful and catches up with a rocking chorus. There is some disconnect between the chorus and verse but it still makes a great song. Maaya's songs have strong melodies and arrangement.

Get no satisfaction!- Another rock track. I didn't find it as good as other album tracks. It is nevertheless a good uptempo track (much better than triangler).

Ao no Ether- A ballad with nothing but the piano for accompaniment. A Macross cover. The song it so beautiful that it makes me want to cry. The melody is very strong. It reminds me of no fear aisuru koto another Maaya song with a solid melody. It completes your spiritual music journey.

Shitsuren cafe- A very average track and one of the tracks that failed to live upto my expectation. It is still a pleasant guitar song to listen to.

Sonic Boom- This was the opening to Tusbasa Chronicle. It is an uptempo anime pop track. Maaya carries it off well. The chorus is rocking.

Peanuts- Resembles Shitsuren cafe with a children's song twist. Has short, choppy words with some fast paced istrument. Pleasant but nothing spectacular.

Saigo no kajitsu- This sounds a bit mysterious. One of the first songs with Platinum that I heard from her. Sounds like a Yuki Kajiura composition. It is a bit mysterious and sad.

Colors- It resembles Vector. It flows like a river with Maaya's flawless vocals bridging all gaps. It is close to a ballad but can be categorised as easy listening, something which Maaya specialises in.

Kazamidori- This song sounds just like the title suggests- a weathervane gently moved by the breeze. The chorus picks up and sounds powerful. Maaya's vocals again shine here.

Guitar Hiki no naritai na- This is an average pop track with an easy listening twist. Though it is peaceful and laid back, it fails to offer anything special and could've been better. She should've ended the album with Ao no ether or colors.

Overall, one of the best releases from Maaya Sakamoto. Her voice is perfectly relaxing and her songs have great melodies and great arrangement. If you listen to this album, you will be converted. Her voice fits this easy listening album very well producing great results. A high quality work from Maaya that is worth every penny. Most seiyuus just try to sound cute or mature and don't produce good work. Her voice is unique and she has found her style. That's why she's good at what she does. With Yoko Kanno and other famous composers' great works, this album truly shines. However, her Everywhere best or Nikopachi best would be soemthing I would recommend more than this. Still, it is her best studio album.
Way to go Maaya!

Overall- 4.6/5

Game Review- Harvest moon Island of happiness

Yet another feather in Natsume's cap. Harvest moon series seems to be very popular with an installment coming out every now and then. This one is for Nintendo DS. It was released before Rune Factory 2.

You are stranded on a village with not many people living on it. The mayor asks you to get more people onto the island and gives you a farm. It is like any other Harvest moon game. You need to farm, court ladies/men, sell farm produce and have children. However, throughout the game, you need to keep building bridges to connect various islands with yours. It is necessary to get some characters and trigger some events. I found this part very annoying. The bank balance keeps vanishing in building bridges. They require a lot of wood and money which is very difficult to earn.

This game included some new and creative ways of growing exotic crops like rice and mushrooms. You can access a Rice Paddy field which is accessable after smashing the boulder (which Charlie does for you). You can grow rice there. There are mushroom logs in your farm where you can grow mushrooms. You can also buy a seed maker which you can keep in your house. Unlike a previous harvest moon game, you needen't get a mushroom growing building constructed. These new ways of growing crops are available in your farm. I loved these new crops and ways of growing them. The seed maker was also a good invention. Besides these, you can also get a greenhouse constructed to grow crops during winter. Another great invention. Besides this you can grow fruit trees.

There is not much stress laid on animals but you can buy them and rear them much like any other harvest moon game.
The bachelorettes are beautiful and the bachelors are interesting. You need to give them gifts to court.

However, the most annoying part of this game was building bridges. It takes up too much money. The whole town is not our responsibility. Also, this is the only option that appears in the initial stages when the player doesn't have much money.

The graphics were beautiful and refreshing. Much like harvest moon DS with minor changes. The Rice Paddy looked especially beautiful.

Overall, Harvest Moon DS and Friends of Mineral Town was much better. This game also lacks harvest sprites and harvest goddess. You have to do all the farm work on your own. In subsequent games, harvest sprites have been discontinued.

The good thing was that it introduced new and innovative methods of farming. A Harvest Moon fan might like this very mucha nd want to buy it. For others, I suggest you start with Friends of Mineral Town or Harvest Moon DS.

Gameplay- 4.4/5
Graphics- 4.5/5
Story- 4.2/5
Music- 4.3/5
Enjoyability- 4.1/5
Challenge- 4.5/5
Overall- 4.3/5


Innovative farming method


Building bridges
much like other games in this series.

Game Review- Harvest moon Rune Factory 2

Harvest moon Rune Factory 2 is the second installment in the new farming simulation meets RPG genre by Natsume. Rune Factory 2 has many extra features and is easier and more balanced than Rune Factory 1. This also has some unique features which were not seen in earlier Harvest moon games and have not been reproduced in future games. I find it the best game for DS in the Harvest Moon series.

The story is much like any other Harvest moon game. You are a male character by default and cannot choose your gender. You are led to a farm where you have to grow crops and court women for marriage. You land in Alvarna which is a mystical town somewhere near the mountains. There are various events to unlock. However, this game is longer than any of its predecessors or sucessors. It has two sotrylines one after the other and both have to be played in order to complete the game. Unlike previous Harvest Moon games, this one has a definite goal.

The first arc involves coming to the village, growing crops, courting women, getting married and having children. All the these should be finished within one year. You might encounter monsters but at this stage it is not necessary to battle them and it is better not to battle them. Unlike other games, women are not impressed by gifts and heart events. You need to fulfil quests by every girl that are listed on the notice board. You can do all these simultaneously. The proposal item (like blue feather), is also obtained through a quest. Until marriage, the game is pretty easy and interesting. The graphics are good and fulfilling. In the first arc, many places and event are locked or inaccessable.

After marriage, it is necesary to have a child to push the story forward. After you are married, you will witness rival heart events and eventually all the men and women in the town will get married. They have their own children and your child can chose one of the girls as his girlfriend. If the child is a girl, she can choose an official boyfriend. After having the child, you need to build a school. Going to the school will trigger the second generation event. You will disappear and your child will become the main character whom you will control. The child's goal is to investigate his/her father's disappearance.

In the second arc, combat and fighting monsters is all important. You will need to learn spells and upgrade weapons. Also, since new routes will be unlocked, quests will become more challenging and long. The second arc is much more difficult than the first one. It is less about crops and more about fighting monsters. This will require some practice.

This game is the longest Harvest Moon game and will require a lot of time and patience. Some players give up in the second arc but I suggest you at least try your best. I found it very interesting since it was a major turnover from the laid back farming simulation that Narsume makes. It also has a definite storyline which motivestes me to play more. The games released aftet this have been degrading progressively. They have become more difficult and boring.

This is a good buy for fans of RPG as well as Harvest moon.

Storyline- 4.7/5
Graphics- 4.6/5
Difficulty- 4.5/5
Music- 4.3/5
Enjoyability- 4.5/5
Overall- 4.6/5

This one is worth your money. Hardcore simulation fans might not like the second arc very much but the first arc is still worth a try.

Jpop review- Tomoyasu Hotei- Fetish

I saw this album at a sale in Akihabara for 10 yen (unbelievable!) and bought it thinking that Tomoyasu Hotei was Kyosuke Himuro. Himuro Kyosuke has great songs and vocals. I have heard few of his songs online and I was impressed. I got confused between the two of them. Anyway, he was the guitarist of BOOWY who was expelled from school for having long hair and saying the famous like 'Even Jesus had long hair'.

Boy meets girl- This is much better than TRF's boy meets girl. The song starts with the title line. It is a guitar driven oldish song. Hotei's vocals sound like a drunken old man without the sandy, romantic texture that Keisuke Kuwata's voice has. It is bearable anyway. The song's blarring guitar sounds somewhat like The Checkers' Julia ni shoshin. A good opening track.

Love Junkie- Another song with the blarring 80s guitar combined with James Bond theme. The arrangement is quite good maybe because it is Hotei's forte. The song is pretty much average though.

No. 1 in the universe- A sleepy electric guitar lead begins this song. I found the title very strange and the 'I'm just a lucky guy' lyrics. This song is better than its predecesors. Sounds like a heartbroken old man singing in a deserted street on his way to get sake. I find it very strange how Hotei chews his words.

Beauty and beast- Another guitar driven song with lots of cool drums and guitar in the beginning. Hotei's voice sounds like a faraway echo. Somewhat foreceful hooks and beats.

Prince of darkness- The title is mysterious and good. This has some casanets and chimming sounds. This song is very mysterious and quiet compared to others on this album. His voice sounds like an eighty year old trying to sing enka. Some tickling chimes keeps going up and down. It picks up towards the end with electric guitar jamming.

Life in Tokyo- He keeps repeating life is cruel in Tokyo. The song is a crossbreed of pop and rock. The lyrics are realistic.

Vampire- Another good title. The arrangement is great as usual but again, the song lacks in melody. A rock song.

Secret- This is a peaceful song and the only thing near a ballad in this album except heaven. It is much better than all other tracks. It has a decent melody and void arrangement.

Heaven- This is by far, the best song on the album. The arrangement gives a pure feeling of heaven. It is a bit jazzy. The melody is better than all other tracks.

Fetish- It is guitar driven. This is an instrumental piece and not an interlude. I really can't rate it.

Overall, it is a wonderful album for someone wanting to learn music arrangement especially with a focus on guiar. Hotei uses the guitar to its full potential. He is truly one of the best guitarists in Japan. Most songs on the album are well arranged. However, all songs lack in melody and catchiness. They would've done better if they were just instrumental pieces and not songs. The riffs and licks are catchy but the melody is not very interesting.

Overall- 3.7/5

Album Review- Koi no Uta

Koi no Uta is a compilation of jpop tracks that was released in 2008. It charted well on the oricon. It can be found on almost all major jpop selling sites.

Soba ni iru ne- This song was very popular when the album was repeased. It is an R&B track. It is pleasant but nothing spectacular. Soulja only raps in between and has no major lines. Thelma's vocals are airy. The beat is quite prominent.

Ai no Uta- This song was released by Koda Kumi. It is am emotionally charged song with a powerful chorus and touching lyrics relating to heartbreak. Only piano chords are striking in the background. Koda Kumi's sandy vocals carry off the song pretty well. A nice pop ballad to listen to.

Nando demo- This was a Dreams come true release. The chorus is catchy. A guitar
is prominent in the background. Miwa's oldish vocals are tolerable in this song. 4.1/5

Katachi aru mono- This is a very famous single by Kou Shibasaki. I find it very boring and plain with Kou Shibasaki's vocals not helping the song out of the its boring atmosphere. The chorus goes up slightly but I felt the song lacked in arrangement.

Koisuru Otome by Ikimono Gakari is up next. It is a ballad with some guitars joining in the chorus. Kiyoe sings okay. The song is pleasant.

Koisuru Kimochi- This is an early ballad by Mihimaru GT. The arrangement is okay and the vocals are good. Sounds like a summer pop ballad.

ONE by AI. This is a ballad again. I find it very soothing with AI's contralto vocals. It reminds me of her other song, Story. The song is one of the good tracks on this album. I find AI's ballads good and urban pop songs terrible.

Fantasy by Chara- I lent this CD to my friend who described Chara's vocals as a child singing with a sore throat. She hated the song completely and so did I. With great releases like Swallowtail butterfly, Chara could've done better. Her voice nevertheless, is nothing great.

Kimi no te- This one is by Every Little thing. I wonder how ELT became popular. I've heard almost all of their songs and they sound pretty average and nothing special. Fragile and Time goes by are better than the others but the others are just average pop songs. This one has a sad atmosphere and minor notes. A very dull and boring song.

Genki wo dashite- This is a cover by Hitomi Shimatani. With her mellow, thin vocals and unattractive arrangement, the song just fails to stand out. It doesn't sound very happy or cheerful. Avex could've fitted one of Hitomi's good songs here. A good song that doesn't sound great in the cover version.

My Love- by Ai Kawashima who was the vocalist of iwish. Her vocals are good and the song starts out very high pitched and optimistic. The chorus is good and so are her vocals. I remember hearing this in the Hanakimi drama. However, I find that ballads suit Ai Kawashima better. This one is still a decent song.

Kimi ni kiss by Hitomi- Hitomi is produced by Tetsuya Komuro and is very popular. Kimi ni kiss is okay. Much like the previous track, it starts out cheery and optimistic and goes down and gets boring.

Kagefumi- This is by Hitoto Yo. Hana,mizuki was nice but this is just a below average release. With her thin vocals and not-so-good arrangement, this sounds like a messed up folk song. Has lots of ringing, chiming instruments in the background.

Go my way- I HATE Yaida Hitomi's vocals. Guitar rock is the last thing she shold try with her voice. Nothing great again. Tracks 9-14 are just below average pop songs that sound similar.

come again- M-flo with Lisa. Best described as a summer weekend j urban song. Lisa's vocals are light and airy and the songs has a refreshing and light atmosphere. Pleasant to listen to.

Blue Bird- Many Ayu fans describe this as her worst summer release however, I didn't find it all that bad. It is composed by DAI. The chorus is powerful and cheerful. A good summer song (much better than glitter).

Overall, a pretty average album filled with average pop songs and ballads. Something you can afford to spend money on when you've heard everything good in the jpop industry and are getting terribly bored. However, there are too many great albums out there so you can save your money to spend it on those.

Overall- 3.8/5

Friday, September 10, 2010

Globe- Cruise Record 1995-2000

globe is a very popular band produced by legendary producer Tetsuya Komuro. Their musical style is basically dance tracks and occassional ballads.

Cruise record- 1995-2000 is their best album spanning their singles from 1995-2000. Personally, I find Tetsuya's arrrangement to be extraordinary, his songwriting is good except for a few terrible tracks but Keiko's voice is unbereable! She just squeals. In the lower octaves, her voice sounds so normal but as soon as she goes higher, she sounds like a car suddenly hitting the brakes.

Disc 1 (I will not review the interludes. There is nothing much to say about them)

2. Miss your body ~tan line mix~- Initially, this was the only track on the album that I liked even a little. It is a reasonably good dance track and it sounds better because Keiko doesn't hit any high notes.

3.biting her nails- Starts with a mysterious sounding instrumental. A very good track which I enjoy. Keiko could have done better in the high notes.

4.still growin up- I wish that the song wouldn't have started with Keiko singing high notes- it simply made me hate the song right from the start. Marc's rap cannot do much to save the song, either.

5.Sweet heart- An okay track which is boring but bearable.

6.Depertures- globe's highest selling single which sold more than 2 million. A ballad which clearly showcases Komuro's songwriting abilities. Keiko's voice suddenly changes so much in the chorus and it sounds as if she might just break singing so high. In the verse, her voice sounds like a poor copy of Hamasaki Ayumi's.

7. Anytime smokin cigarette- A globe-like dance track which is actually pretty good except in the chorus where Keiko's voice sounds unusually annoying.

8. SWEET PAIN- I don't like this track much. Wonderful orchestra at the beginning though.

9.Love again- One of the strongest tracks in globe's discography. A danceable tune with a nice arrangement.
Rating- 4.1

10.FREEDOM- Starts off with Keiko wailing in a far-off voice. A crossbreed between a ballad and pop track, it sounds very refreshing on this album.

11.TIME without tears- A piano-driven ballad but not as interesting as departures.

12.Wanderin' Destiny- A track with wonderful melody and Keiko shows off some power in her voice which makes it more interesting.

13.Sa Yo Na Ra- A cheerful pop/rock track with strong beats and some other instruments. Keiko's voice sounds very mature. Could be the best track on this disc since there are no extraordinarily high notes.

14.Perfume of Love- The instruments drown Keiko and Marc's voice making this a very boring track.

Disc 2

2. Can't stop falling in love- Sounds much like a mix of Love again and Sa Yo Na Ra- two of globe's best tracks. The result is- an awesome track.

3.RUN AWAY FROM THE NIGHT- A comparatively mellow track but still very interesting. It uses the same instruments as biting her nails. Keiko's vocie is very airy and pleasant (I never thought I would say this) in the chorus.

5.FACES PLACES- Another of globe's signature songs. It's quite good except for the rockish parts in the middle, towards the end of the song where keiko starts shreiking.

6. Joy to the love- What a weird title! The song isn't much better. Worth skipping.

8.Wanna be a dreammaker- Unlike the title, the song is not at all interesting. I wonder how this track became a single track.

9.FACE- A rock-ballad. One of the better tracks on this disc.

11.SHOCK INSIDE MY BRAIN- globe's titles just keep getting weirder. What is SHOCK INSIDE MY BRAIN supposed to mean? This song consists mainly of rap, rap..........and rap. Boring.
Rating-2 (maybe I should give it 1?)

12.You are the one- Interesting background sounds and the song is pretty good and pleasant for most part.

13. Is this Love- A midtempo pop track which doesn't have any interesting instrumentals or vocals.

14.Feel like dance- globe's debut single and pretty danceable as the title suggests.

Overall, disc 1 was a lot better than disc 2. Disc 2 had many weak and boring tracks while disc 1 was more well rounded with fewer filler tracks. The best part of this album is undoubtedly Komuro's songwriting. So many of the songs have a great melody and arrangement.

Pros- Great arrangement and good songwriting.
Cons- Keiko's terrible squeaky voice.

Bets places to buy-,

Ayaka- Sing to the Sky

Ayaka is a relative newcomer on the j-pop scene. She took a hiatus in 2009 with the release of her last best album -Ayaka's history. Ayaka's voice is very powerful and she belts which is unusual on the j-pop scene (they have few belters). I personally love her voice because it is so strong and melodious at the same time. Her style basically includes ballads, ballad-like pop songs and rock/pop.

Sing to the sky is Ayaka's second album. Her First Message album was a major hit in Japan, selling over a million copies and so was her debut single "I believe" which debuted at #3 and sold almost 4,00,000 copies. Sing to the sky It reached #2 on teh oricon charts and sold in excess of 5,00,000 copies (almost half of her first album)

1. POWER OF MUSIC- Is the first track and opens the album on a very cheerful and upbeat tone. It is a very jazzy pop track where Ayaka's voice sounds relaxed and there is a lot of background vocals which makes it appear as if she is singing this song live in a club. A good track.

2.Ai wo Utaou- An average pop track lifted out of its averageness by ayaka's vocals. It still doesn't shine, though. I really hate it when Ayaka does such sub-standard pop songs. She is wasting her voice.

3.Sky- The melody was good but the arragement made it hard to distinguish Sky from her other pop tracks. The chorus is powerful where Ayaka starts belting.

4.Jewelry Day- If there is one thing Ayaka excels at, it is gorgeous ballads. No matter how powerful or mellow, she carries it off perfectly. Jewelry Day is not an exception. One of the best and most soothing tracks on this album had just a single guitar accompaniment in the beginning and a jazzy feel. An outstanding track.

5.Good Night Baby- A not very interesting track which does not stand out due to it mellowness.

6.For Today- A rockish, carnival-like happy track in which ayaka belts for most part. Great energy.

7.Why- It starts off very mysteriously. Ayaka's vocals are the main focus since the arrangement is very light. This track showcases Ayaka's true vocal potential.

8.Gold Star- The worst song on this album without doubt. Ayaka is trying to be edgy but she sounds drunk.

9.Mahotsukai no Shiwaza- A jazzy song which sounds very calm. It sounds like a children's lullaby. It is pretty short but still shines in the album.

10. Te wo tsunagou- A very mellow and average pop track. Even ayaka's vocals lack their usual power. This song exudes "averageness" in every note.

11.Ai mo uso mo shinjitsu- A pprretty solid allbum track with ayaka's signature jazz-rock mix. Her voice is lower but the chorus is amazing.

12.CLAP AND LOVE- I really adored this song the first few times I heard it because ayaka's vocals were so powerful, but gradually it started sounding less like a song and more like poetry. CLAP AND LOVE lacks melody.

13. Kimi ga iru Kara- A good pop track which, while nothing outstanding doesn't have any major flaws.

14. Okaeri- A pleasant and mellow pop track.

15. Konya Hoshi wo dakarete- The best album track. Ayaka's voice sounds so emotional and her dynamics are perfect. The arrangement doesn't interfere with her voice but makes it shine even more.
Rating- 4.6

16. Winding Road- Ayaka's collaboration with Kobukuro. A good track made great by the strong vocals of three of the best pop singers in the present j-pop scene. A must-listen.

Overall, Sing to the sky was good. The single tracks clearly outshone the album tracks but ayaka gave us a few surprises with Konya hoshi wo dakarete, Mahotsukai no shiwaza, POWER OF MUSIC and ai mo uso mo shinjitsu. The biggest drawback of this album was that it was dominated by avrage and filler pop tracks for most of the duration.

Pros- Ayaka's strong voice and mind-blowing ballads.
Cons- The rest of the tracks were "average and boring" at best.

Drama review- Edison no Haha

Edison no Haha is a drama roughly based on the life of inventor Thomas Edison who was considered a troublesome child at school because he asked so many questions to which even the teachers did not know the answer. He was kicked out (or dropped put) of school but was able to become great due to his mother's support and encouragement.

Edison no haha starts with the Nobel Prize ceremony where a Japanese man is getting the Nobel prize for science. His mother watches him in the audience and her eyes are filled with tears of joy. He thanks her and she runs up to the stage and hugs him. Then, she wakes up. It is all a dream.

Hanafusa Aoi is a single mother who divorced her husband and is looking after her seven year old son Hanafusa Kento- a curious child who wants to know the reasons behind everything. Even though he is so young, he reads complex books on science and technology due to which Aoi is convinced that he will be a great inventor in the future. He is about to start a new school because Aoi has moved after her divorce from Akita to Tokyo.

The drama follows the school life of Kento and how he is labelled as a problem child and the other parents want him to be removed from the school due to his dangerous behaviour (failed science experiments). However, his classmates love him because his curiousity gives them a lot of information which would otherwise have been unknown to them. His teacher (played by Ito Misaki) is initailly does not like him but she grows to love him and stands on his side when the PTA wants him expelled from the school.

The drama is very touching and aims to bring out the stangant and bookish nature of the education system. Kids with high abilities are often labelled as a problem because teachers lack the ability and knowledge to handle them. This is the reason why many scientists are lost. However, open-mindedness and acceptance along with the will to satisfy the curiosity of such children can benefit the whole class and probably the world (as the drama shows).

Hanafusa Kento's role is very well played by Shimizu Yuya considering he is so young. Sakai Maki also fits very well into the role of Kento's mother. Tanihara Shosuke's acting is average but still enjoyable. Misaki Ito acts terribly, overacting througout the drama which makes the drama appear superficial and fictional.

The settings were nothing too eye-catching or amazing. Overall, it was okay, but it failed to pack a 'punch' the way Gokusen had.


Pros- Shimizu Yuya's acting is very good
Cons- Misaki Ito destroys the drama.

Manga and anime gifting ideas

Maybe you have a friend who is a manga fan and would like a manga series as a gift or you are a manga fan and want to get your friends into manga by gifting them mangas.
Manga, though are a little sugary and light hearted with big eyes, are appreciated by everyone. There are all categories and genres in manga and can be skillfully gifted to people with similar interests. Mangas make a wonderful gift for many occassions.
Generally, I have seen that foreigners appreciate anime more than manga and hence, I will recommend manga and anime by genre for gifting. I will not recommend anything with heavy subject matter or containing taboo elements because these do not make very good gifts. Manga classics are a very good option but some might find it outdated and so, I will recommend old and new manga.

Shoujo- If the person to whom you're gifting is a girl who falls in the age category 10-18, shoujo mangas are good. Girls are usually romantic with some inclination towards comedy (not all girls are like I described. You need to know the person to whom you're gifting.)I will also recommend mangas with darker themes.


Young girls (10-13)

Shugo chara!- This one is very popular with classic kawaii illustrations. The story is interesting with fantasy elements. It is short and doesn't need a lot of devotion and time to read.

Ultra maniac/ Mint na Bokura/Marmalade boy- Wataru Yoshizumi writes romantic comedies for young girls with more focus on friendship and school life than romance. The romance is not serious and shallow suitable for girls of this age. Anime of Ultra maniac is also recommended for young girls. I remember watching it when I was young.

Kodomo no omocha or kodocha- It is also aimed at younger audience although romance takes focus in this manga. More for romantically inclined people.

Sailor moon- This is a shoujo classic for kids. The classic good versus evil fight is prevelant in this manga. It also focuses on fighting and not on romance.

Chibi Maruko chan- Though I have seen older girls reading it, it is suitable for young kids. It is a slice of life story of a quirky young girl named Maruko set in post war Japan.


Tokyo mew mew- Is inclined towards love but includes a lot of science fiction and fantasy elements. A good anime to watch at a young age. Many people remember this anime even after they are old.

Sailor moon, Shugo chara, Ultra maniac- All these are great options as manga for kids who like watching television more than reading.

Cardcaptor Sakura- Another popular shoujo by CLAMP which tells the story of Sakura Kinimoto, an average girl who finds magical cards in her closet. I tend to prefer the anime over the manga even though the manga is great. The theme songs are nice.

Daa! Daa! Daa!- This can be shifted into the next category (age). It focuses on romance. It is a high school romantic comedy with science fiction elements. A very interesting anime.

Alice academy- A high school manga with fantasy elements. There is little romance. A light hearted anime.

Teenagers (13-16)


Hana Yori Dango- You definitely don't want to miss this. The story has a strong female lead and is realistic and interesting. It is the highest selling shoujo manga in japanese history. This requires a little dedication (and a lot of money) since it is thirty six volumes long.

Hana Kimi- Another great gender bending shoujo manga. Again, a romantic comedy. A good manga for anyone looking for light entertainment. (23 volumes)

Itazura na kiss- Another manga classic. Might be good for your idealistic friends. The romance between a complete klutz and a perfect boy heavily pushed by fate. It follows their life after marriage too. It is incomplete. Digital Manga publishing has launched a omnibus of this manga which might be a good buy for gifting. (23 volumes)

Red river- This is by Chie Shinohara who also wrote Yami no Purple eye. It has heavier historical and fantasy content than any of the mangas listed above. It is also considerably long (28 volumes). Might be good for fans of romance as well as science fiction and history.

Glass mask- Has been running for over thirty years. Might be good for ambitious people who want to follow their dreams. It is a little outdated though. It is the journey of a girl wanting to become a great stage actress. (42 volumes. Still running.)

Kare kano- Another romantic comedy with a strong female lead. Two perfect characters. (23 volumes)

Fruits basket- Is very popular among american fans. Inclines towards mystery and fantasy more than romance. Omnibus editions are available for this manga. (23 volumes)

Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge/ Kaicho wa maid sama/ Skip beat/ Vampire Knight/ Ouran High school Host club/ Kimi ni Todoke- Personally, I don't like all of these but they are very popular these days among girls. Any person who likes to keep up with current trends might like this.

Yukan Club/ Spiral suiri no Kizuna/ Case closed- For any girl who loves mystery.

Nodame Cantabile is good for music loving girls.

As for anime, I don't think girls of this age would like cartoons over manga. Still, Mermaid Melody Pitchi Pitchi Pitch and any of the anime versions of the mangas mentioned above might be good.

Josei (women)

I doubt very much if women like manga since josei sells poorly even in Japan. Anyway, I am recommending these mangas.

Tramps like us- It is popular among ladies.

Hataraki man- Good for work oriented people with clear goals. Working women might enjoy this.

Nodame Cantabile- For classical music lovers. Technically, this is classified as josei.

NANA- This is a smash hit in Japan. I don't find it suitable for younger audience even though it is classified shoujo. Older women might enjoy this as it describes friendship and complex relationships combined with great illustrations.

Oshinbo- Though this is classified as seinen, I consider it general. Anyone can like food. It is a manga about food.

Maison Ikkoku- This is also categorised as seinen but females might like it more since it is romance. Honey and Clover is another manga that is realistic but not as romantic as Maison Ikkoku.


For women who prefer science fiction, mystery, thriller and crime, look at the seinen section below to find something suitable.

For men-

Shonen/ Kodomo (6-12)

Kids of this age are genrally open to reading comics and comics are associated with kids. Manga are a good gift for kids.

Doraemon- This is a japanese classic. Who doesn't wish they had the wish granting miracle, Doraemon? Young children, male and female enjoy this manga very much. You might also want to check out other titles from Fujiko F Fujio.

Astroboy- Another classic by Osamu Tezuka. It garned fame overseas. Astro boy is a robot like Doraemon but doesn't grant wishes. It is more serious and contains some heavy science fiction elements.

Mirmo de pon!- Another good children's but has a focus on romance.

Shin Chan- Warning- Please don't buy this for children you don't want to corrupt. It is very popular among children but is categorised as seinen. It has mostly has a negetive effect on children which has led to banning in many countries.

Kamen Rider

Shonen (11-16)

I will list the classics first which don't need an introduction. These have captured the action loving man's heart and taken the manga universe by storm. These action packed, adrenaline pumping titles are a dream come true for boys.
I must warn you that some of these mangas are unfinished but the first arc is finished for most of them. It is sold in a box set.

Slam Dunk- A popular basketball, sports manga which has sold around 120 milion. It follows the life of a beginner, Sakuragi as he ahieves his dream and becomes a skilled basketball player.

Bleach- This is reviewed on this site.

Naruto- I would recommend this anime for boys too. The anime contains a lot of filler episodes though. The manga is great and recently surpassed the 100 million mark. Another action packed, ninja title.

Dragon Ball- Hats off to the grounbreaking shonen masterpiece. It achived a lot of fame overseas. Anime is highly recommended.

One Piece- For more serious fans. It is much more than just action.

Death Note- Older teens. A dark shonen manga which involves mind war rather than fist fighting. This is recommended for boys who are inclined towards mystery and thriller genres. Review posted on this site.

Case Closed- A mysetry oriented shonen. Much like Sherlock Holmes and Poirot, but much more interesting. For mystery lovers.

Kochikame- This is not available in english. A hillarious shonen about a work shirking middle aged cop.

Fullmetal Alchemist/ Fairy Tail- I haven't read both but they seem to be popular among shonen fans.


Yu Yu Hakusho- Legendary shinigami manga. This is THE thing for shonen fans.

Rurouni Kehsin- A samurai action manga that has earned a great male fan following.

Pokemon- This one needs no introduction. It has been going on forever with new seasons coming oput every year. Has produced a string of record breaking video games and merchandise.

Digimon- A little technical but great shonen anime.

Beyblade- After seeing this, kids will start pestering you for beyblades. It is a runaway crazy among boys. Teaches the essential lessons of teamwork and fair competition.

Inuyasha- A popular historical shonen with lots of action.

Lone Hina- A romantic comedy that might sound interesting to romantic boys.

Mahou sensei Negima

Older males (17+)

I am very doubtful if older males read comics. In Japan, seinen manga sell very well and college going and some working men tend to read these but I doubt if it is the same in other countries. Mostly in foreign countries, it is assumed that cartoons and comics are for kids.
I am recommending serious manga as well as light ones.

xxxHolic- A CLAMP manga about a witch who owns a wish granting shop where the protagonist is forced to work. Most chapters are episodic in nature. Seems to be popular in Japan. Much like Petshop of horrors but better.

Honey and Clover/ Chobits/ Maison Ikkoku- These are considered seinen bu are romance oriented.

Monster- Considered one of Naoki Urasawa's best works. Falls in the genre 'Thriller'. Other works by him are also great.

Black Jack/Hidamari no ki by Osamu Tezuka. Both contain medical elements and it predominates in Black Jack.

Golgo 13 is popular but heavy in terms of content as strictly adult rated. I wouldn't recommend it as a gift.

Akira- I haven't read it but seems to be popular and revolutionary. Detroit metal city is another seinenmanga that is gaining fame.

Dragon Zakura or GTO (Great teacher Onizuka) is for men as well as women with interest in teaching.
Fist of the northern star is a popular action seinen.

For old people (50+), well, I doubt if they read manga. But they say old age is a seond childhood so they might get some interest in manga if they read the right ones. Oishinbo, Sazae san, Sayonara Zetsubou sensei, Chibi maruko chan, shin chan are mangas that my interest them.

That's all for gifting ideas. Mangas and animes are becoming universal and are appreaciated by young people. It might be a good idea to gift people anime an manga just be sure to give them the right ones that match their interests and age. For additional ideas, check out the highest selling manga post filed under manga or news

For great bargains and places to buy, check out the best bargains post.

Happy gifting!