New Anime Releases: July 28, 2015

Here are the new anime releases for July 28, 2015. If you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

009 Re:Cyborg The Movie [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]
Galilei Donna [DVD]
Inari Kon Kon The Complete Series + OVA [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]
Monster Farm Complete Japanese Collection [DVD]
Naruto Shippuden Set 23 [DVD]
No Game, No Life [DVD]
No Game, No Life [Blu-ray]
[Blu-ray/DVD Combo]
Recently, My Sister Is Unusual [DVD]
Windy Tales [DVD]

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: July 12-18, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of July 12-18, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. The World’s Greatest First Love Volume 2 by Shungiku Nakamura
2. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 by Sui Ishida
3. 12 Beast Volume 2 by OKAYADO
4. Naruto Volume 70 by Masashi Kishimoto
5. Big Hero 6 Volume 1 by Haruki Ueno
6. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
7. Bleach Volume 64 by Tite Kubo
8. Assassination Classroom Volume 1 by Yusei Matsui
9. UQ Holder Volume 5 by Ken Akamatsu
10. Sword Art Online: Progressive Volume 2 by Reki Kawahara and Kiseki Himura

Source: The New York Times

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: July 5-11, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of July 5-11, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 by Sui Ishida
2. Bleach Volume 64 by Tite Kubo
3. Sword Art Online: Progressive Volume 2 by Reki Kawahara and Kiseki Himura
4. Big Hero 6 Volume 1 by Haruki Ueno
5. Assassination Classroom Volume 1 by Yusei Matsui
6. Naruto Volume 70 by Masashi Kishimoto
7. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
8. Assassination Classroom Volume 3 by Yusei Matsui
9. Pokémon Adventures Volume 29 by Hidenori Kusaka
10. Noragami: Stray God Volume 5 by Adachitoka

Source: The New York Times

Anime DVD Review: Naruto Shippuden Set 22

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Naruto Shippuden Set 22 includes episodes 271-283 of the series on two DVDs. Audio options include the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Naruto Shippuden Set 22

Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: April 21, 2015

Set 22 opens with the episode, “Road to Sakura,” which ties in with Naruto Shippuden the Movie: Road to Ninja. While the episode accomplished what it set out to do, which was to introduce the idea of alternate universes that appears in the film, this was kind of painful to watch. The humor used in it really wasn’t that funny, and the episode feels like obvious filler that has nothing to do with the storyline going on in the series. The only thing I truly liked about this episode was actually getting to see Sakura’s parents. Prior to this episode, Sakura had referenced that they existed, but the audience never saw them.

Fortunately, the series returns to the canon storyline after this, and we get a couple of episodes that focus on Ino, Shikamaru, and Choji having to fight against a reanimated version of their teacher, Asuma. These two episodes become very emotional, especially when it comes to Choji. While there are emotional scenes for Shikamau and Ino, Choji gets the most of them. But these two episodes see Choji go through some very important character development, and I found myself feeling sympathy for him as he went through his emotional struggles. For me, these two particular episodes are the strongest and most memorable ones included in this set.

Naruto and Killer Bee receive some focus in this set as well, and there’s two episodes at the end that provide some backstory and character development for Killer Bee and A. I personally enjoyed getting to see the flashbacks featuring these two characters and getting to know the two of them a little better. These two episodes would come right behind the two Choji ones on my list of favorite stories included in this set.

During the Fourth Great Ninja War, we get to see a major development that drastically changes how the Allied Shinobi Forces will have to fight with the Akatsuki. Thanks to this development, it’s going to be harder for the protagonists to be able to discern who is friend and who is foe. I’m looking forward to seeing what repercussions this can have for the canon storyline. There’s at least one filler episode in this set that focuses on this idea, but it had some major plot holes and was on the boring side.

Fortunately, there’s not as much filler in this set as there could have been. Outside of “Road to Sakura,” there were only three other episodes that fall into this category. Of the filler material, I actually kind enjoyed “The Allied Mom Force!!” This episode allowed us to get a glimpse of Ino’s mother, and I also enjoyed seeing the mothers protecting the village from invaders with both their strength and whatever cookware was available for them to use. The storyline with Konohamaru was kind of annoying, but the mothers help make up for that.

The animation in this set is on the weak side, and there are several instances where characters look less defined, almost to the point of looking blobby. While this animation isn’t anywhere near as bad as what appeared in the Invasion of Pain arc, the weakness is still very noticeable. At least most of the stories that appear here help to make up for the weaker animation to some extent.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, there are four bonus features. First are the storyboards for a section of Episode 277, “Unison Sign.” Next, there are “clean” versions of the openings and endings that appeared on the episodes in this set.  There are three versions of the clean openings and endings included: a version without any text, a version with English subtitles, and a version with Romaji subtitles. There are also English credits, along with trailers for other properties that VIZ Media was promoting at the time this set was released.

I was glad to see the storyboards return, since they had been missing from the previous set. However, it’s surprising that the production art hasn’t returned as a bonus feature. I don’t know if there might be issues with the Japanese rights holders involved, or if they weren’t offered or provided any production art for the episodes included in this set.

Naruto Shippuden Set 22 is a “must get” for Naruto fans who want to own the entire franchise in their anime home video collection. The set primarily focuses on canon material that begins to show some progression for the Fourth Great Ninja War, as well as some character development for Choji, A, and Killer Bee. And when it comes to the filler episodes in the set, most of them are at least somewhat tolerable.

New York Times Manga Best Seller List: June 28-July 4, 2015

Here are the top ten selling manga in the United States for the week of June 28-July 4, 2015, according to the New York Times.

1. Sword Art Online: Progressive Volume 2 by Reki Kawahara and Kiseki Himura
2. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 by Sui Ishida
3. Naruto Volume 70 by Masashi Kishimoto
4. Big Hero 6 Volume 1 by Haruki Ueno
5. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Volume 1 by Fujino Omori and Kunieda
6. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
7. Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 5 by Takaya Kagami and Yamato Yamamoto
8. Assassination Classroom Volume 1 by Yusei Matsui
9. Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 1 by Takaya Kagami and Yamato Yamamoto
10. Noragami: Stray God Volume 5 by Adachitoka

Source: The New York Times

Naruto Is The #1 Selling Graphic Novel in the United States for June 2015

Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto>em> Volume 70 was the number one selling graphic novel in the United States for June 2015, according to Nielsen BookScan.

The manga that charted on the Top 20 selling graphic novel list for June 2015 include:

  • Naruto Volume 70 by Masashi Kishimoto (#1)
  • Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 by Sui Ishida (#5)
  • Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past by Shotaro Ishinomori (#8)
  • Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama (#12)

Source: The Fandom Post

New Manga Releases: July 7, 2015

Here are the new manga releases for July 7, 2015. If you see any errors or omissions in this list, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

12 Beast GN 2
Bleach GN 64
Bleach GN Box Set (Volumes 22-48)
A Centaur’s Life GN 6
D.Gray-man Omnibus GN 19-21
The Demon Prince of Momochi House GN 1
Kiss of the Rose Princess GN 5
LBX GN 6: World Battle
My Love Story!! GN 5
Naruto GN Box Set (Volumes 28-48)
Nisekoi: False Love GN 10
Pandora of the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn GN 1
Pokémon Adventures GN 29
Pokémon Adventures Black and White GN 8
A Silent Voice GN 2
Skip Beat! Omnibus GN 31-33
Sunny GN 5
Twin Star Exorcists: Onmyoji GN 1
UQ Holder GN 5
What Did You Eat Yesterday? GN 9
World Trigger GN 6
Yukarism GN 3