Saturday, August 13, 2022

Tomb Raider King


  Out of the Popular ongoing Manhwa i read recently, this gotta be the worst one so far. Tomb Raider King is a Tensei Manhwa where the protagonist is a Treasure Hunter given a second chance in life going back to the past after his party getting TPK in a Treasure Dungeon due to betrayal. In this second chance he will make sure to settle score with those people while gathering all treasures for himself. 

 In this Manhwa setting there are Sentient Treasure Objects called "Relic" which grant its owner abilities sometimes powerful one and the Main Protagonist was sent to the past with his memory intact by a very powerful relic. To cut it short the reason why Tomb Raider King is a bad manhwa for me, apart from bad writings is that the main protagonist is really unlikable. Seo Jooheon is pretty much a Massive asshole Mary-sue protagonist to the point of extremities. His morality standard is very low too the point that Naofumi from Tate Yuusha looks like a saint and the atrocities he commit makes him no better than the Villains that he want to settle revenge with. It feels like the author of Tomb Raider King have massive hate boner toward his former boss or something and poured out his sadistic tendency to vent out his frustration toward society. If it is a real life Seo Jooheon would have died a dog's death early on for the transgressions he commited and his villainy have crossed the acceptable limit for Anti Hero.

Tomb Raider King might be an enjoyable read if you are still a teen, but once you passed your emo phase this manhwa is quite bad. Let's see if there are worse Manhwa protagonist compared to Seo Jooheon because Tomb Raider King make it quite a low bar.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Dai no Daibouken Figma Sp-152 Flazzard

 With the Toei's huge backing for Dai no Daibouken in past few years that ensures the Anime reboot in 2020, it paves the way of merchandise of this Great classic JRPG to see some resurgence once again. Dai no Daibouken have been getting some good release in the Figma Department which Dai got really special treatment with the 500th release and Popp following up. But for Dai no Daiboken's s 3rd Figma, Freeing come up with something different and go for the Villain instead starting with one of the most memorable Hadlar's 6 General, Flazzard. Figma Flazzard will be sold for a whopping 15000 Yen with July 2023 release schedule. It must be the Sculpt material that made this Figma cost twice as much.

  With distinct design of Half Ice and Fire Body, Flazzard is how an evil midboss should look like. Irredeemably evil, Flazzard is completely loyal to Vearn's cause and will inflict destruction and misery toward Humanity without any remorse. At this rate if Flazzard could make it as Figma, I think Hadlar or Baran had a good chance too since they would make good opponent for Dai though I personally still wait for Hyunckel's Figma

Monday, August 8, 2022

Doom Breaker

 Another really good Fantasy manhwa i encountered recently and this one is basically Tsuyokute on Steroids! Doom Breaker is a story of Hero who was given a second chance and got transported into the past after surviving many ordeals from the cataclysms that fell upon his world only to be utterly defeated in a battle with Demon Lord . Gifted with the knowledge of his previous life and some blessing by the god, the Protagonist named Zephyr who looks like Genos expy tried do things right this time, gathering necessary power while saving people to matter to him in order to confront the Demon Lord properly once again.

 Just like Solo Levelling, Doom Breaker is packed with really good action sequence and for once i really respect these Manhwa illustrators to be able to put up a quality works on weekly basis in full color no less! Doom Breaker is definitely had really good potential and could last for 200+ chapters easily with its current material. While i don't know how the series will end up, the first 45 Chapters is pure awesome and unlike Solo Levelling, the Sidekicks are very competent on their own actually. I hope the Doom Breaker illustrator could keep watch his health in check because Popularity awaits this Manhwa in near future.
 

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Solo Levelling

 A popular Korean manhwa during its serialization that gains even more fame with the recent passing of the illustrator and this one lives up to the reputation despite some glaring shortcomings. Solo Levelling begins with the typical Isekai trope where the weak protagonist suddenly gains overwhelming strength after being left for dead by his teammates. Think of the manhwa as something in between Arifureta and The Gamer, but Solo Levelling have none of the harem BS that the japanese counterpart usually have in the genre as extra baggage.

 Solo levelling starts like a typical Isekai but the story ends up like Diablo series, this is what separates this manhwa among its peers and secure the Manhwa's popularity. Solo levelling's strength lies in its superb action sequences and some interesting concepts that it tried to showcase through its 179 chapters but ultimately never fully manifest. The protagonist is basically a chosen candidate of Lucifer expy who was involved in an endless war between Chaos and Order represented by Monarchs and Rulers. Using the power inherited by its predecessor, the protagonist ultimately try to save his world ravaged by the endless war of the two otherworldly factions.

The most glaring flaw of Solo Levelling is that the human characters aside from the main protagonist are rendered irrelevant by the 100th chapter as Sung Jinwoo is overpowered complete with his own army. But i don't think this is the main reason why Solo Levelling stops its serialization way too early because it could have gone for 200-300 Chapters especially the Monarch War and Time Travel arc is way too short. To be honest Solo levelling concept is quite universal and the upcoming anime adaptation could have just use full Japanese setting and the story would work out quite fine. I hope that  anime adaptation could be better than the previous Korean Manhwa adaptation which didn't do enough justice for the original work.


Friday, August 5, 2022

Shovel Knight Nendoroid 1929 Shovel Knight

 

 From one of the widely acclaimed Indie Metroidvania, GSC at last managed to release Nendoroid Shovel Knight! Nendoroid Shovel Knight is scheduled for February 2023 release schedule with 8000 Yen which is slightly pricy maybe due to higher licensing cost demanded from Yacht Club publisher.

 Shovel Knight is a big deal in Indie scene because it is a homage to a classic retro platformer in particular Megaman and Duck Tales and it is one of the few that succeed to surpass the classic titles. As the titular Hero, Shovel Knight went against hordes of Witch's minions and her 8 Knights in order to save his companion and lover, Shield Knight. Shovel Knight incorporated plenty of mechanics from the classic Old school games which make the fans of genre felt right at home including hellish platformer at some segments of the game. But the greatest strength of this Indie gem is the soundtrack list which will make you feel nostalgic if you was a kid in 16-bit era. If you haven't play Shovel Knight, do yourself a favor and play this gem of Indie game, the best value would be the Treasure Trove version as you get to play some of the 8 Knights which had their own powerup.

Personally i wish Hollow Knight will follow up since its odds are quite good with Shovel Knight making appearance but i think Shovel Knight's Rival Black Knight had a good shot too even some of the 8 Knights like Specter Knight

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Macross Frontier Tiny Session VF-25F Messiah Alto

 A surprise release but a promising lineup made by Bandai for Macross series. Tiny Session appears to be new product series to be made equivalent with existing NXEdge with some new quirks to tailor Macross characteristics. For the initial release, Bandai will be releasing 2 models for Macross Frontier featuring Alto and Michael VF-25 Messiah. These two items will be sold for 4500 Yen with November 2022 release. The main selling point of the Tiny Session would be the available complete transformation gimmick which is a steal for this pricing even though it is not as perfect compared to Chogokin series.

What sets apart Tiny Session with the existing NXEdge series is that Tiny Sessions featured additional character figurine which resemble smaller version of Figuarts mini figurine and the initial two release featured Sheryl Nome and Ranka Lee. But seriously VF-25G Michael is a missed opportunity as Klan Klang would be a more suitable candidate for the featured figure and Ranka reserved for VF-25S Ozma. But let's see if Bandai will continue the series for Macross Frontier after they are done with Macross Delta.

I am always a fan of things that have good potential and I do see it on Bandai's Tiny Session because it offers an affordable Macross collectible items with good gimmicks. It would be awesome for Macross fans if Bandai could go beyond Macross Delta and Frontier for this lineup

Friday, July 29, 2022

Crying Freeman (Ikegami Ryoichi)

 

Late 80s manga industry is filled with plenty of action genre manga which featured a lone wolf specialist/bounty hunter as the main character and Ikegami Ryoichi presented a decent title from this era titled Crying Freeman. While not as prolific as Golgo13, the main character of this manga is a badass young assassin from Chinese Underworld who sheds tears after killing his target which is the reason. The manga tells the adventure of this young mysterious man in the underworld scene after he spared a life of a young woman for some reason.

 You won't get anything convoluted out of Crying Freeman but it is a good pulpy adventure which certainly cater to the fascination toward China which was still closed to the world at its time. The manga main weakness is that it lacks main villain to keep the reader commited to the story as the manga in the 80s cannot survive with the same formula like older series like Golgo13. As i mentioned before, Crying freeman is relatively unknown in the west but the character is badass enough to have a fighting chance against Golgo13, a consummate assasssin of underworld. You wont get much out of Crying Freeman manga but it still serves as a good filler series. Still Hoping Ikegami Ryoichi's Nobunaga getting translation

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Dragon Quest - Dai no Daibouken


 A great JRPG Shonen manga based from a popular RPG Game series which i didn't managed to read until now. When i was a kid i did watch part of Dai no Daibouken 90s anime. While i forgot most of the stuff, i still remember Flazzard and the catchy opening song. Dai no Daibouken had a typical JRPG start where the protagonist went on a Journey to fight the BBEG after his life of peace is destroyed. But what makes Dai no Daibouken seated on the peak of Genre is that it is one of the few manga that can offer a complete experience of JRPG.

 While there plenty of good high fantasy manga like Lodoss series, Dai no Daibouken is the best one that encapsulates the JRPG Genre. The manga had really good cast of Protagonist and Antagonists which puts your typical Isekai manga to shame. The main hero, Dai himself is very strong to boot but his greatest strength lies in his purity of heart. Despite being a kid, the purity of his heart sways some Antagonists who are not genuinely bad over his side and makes his allies willing to sacrifice their life in order to protect him, seriously Dai really reminds me of the essential quality of a good JRPG Hero. The antagonists in Dai no Daibouken are really worth mentioning as well, Most of the Villain casts have been introduced from the beginning but their sheer quality makes them sufficient for the manga to survive over 300 Chapters. Simply to say Hyunckel is my personal favorite, Hadlar is one of the best midboss out there and Hym got really good character development. Lastly the manga is overall solid read but if i have to point out some of personal gripes, it would be Popp having too much importance and the love triangle between him, Marm and Hyunckel is poorly resolved.

 It is understatement that Dai no Daibouken had really significant influence in JRPG even outside Dragon Quest itself. Capcom JRPG Breath of Fire is definitely inspired from this series and part of Cecil character from FFIV is probably based on Hyunckel even Jigoku Sensei Nube's Oni are inspired by Hadlar Hyperdemon form. All in all Dragon Quest Dai no Daibouken is a quintessential read for JRPG fans as it offers a complete package of the genre. At some point true RPG fans will encounter this series on their journey. If i have some free time, i will give the 2020 Reboot Dai no Daibouken anime a watch since Toei gave the reboot some generous funding for it to last over 70 episodes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

The Promised Neverland

 A recent manga title that i marathoned and it was a good read despite it does not reach its fullest Potential. Promised Neverland had a potential to be a very good grimdark series but the mangaka watered down his works in order to cater general audience and turned to be a noblebright work instead. The story of the series is about Three Kids raised in an orphanage living a peaceful life who one day find out the truth that they are raised to be slaughtered as livestock to be eaten by Demon race. Upon finding the grim reality the Kids against the stacked odds, attempt to escape the orphanage and find a place for themselves where Demons will not consume them. 

Promised Neverland had a solid start with its first arc but eventually turned into rather generic Shonen adventure manga as the Mangaka probably had constraints to portray the story as bleak as possible and went with noblebright route instead mostly due to the publisher want to avoid having kid characters dying horrible deaths. The series fate pretty much sealed after the timeskip arc as the pacing of the story become too rushed until the end. To be honest i could have seen Promised neverland could reach 300+ chapters but maybe due the poor sales, the series got axed instead and the backstories are just barely covered in particular Ratri Clan's past. Despite its rushed nature, Deadman wonderland still tried its best to conclude its story properly even if not satisfying. In the end we got another wasted potential manga that will fade in obscurity within few years.

 Speaking of an axed series, Hinowa ga Crush also suffer the same poor fate recently, still hoping its present circumstances won't be permanent.
 

Friday, July 15, 2022

Iron Blooded Orphans Metal Robot Spirits Gundam Kimaris Vidar

 
 New Gundam title is being hyped now but Bandai does not still forget Iron Blooded Orphans and Kimaris Vidar got its turn at last. Over past two years, Bandai have been releasing Metal Robot Spirits for IBO second season which most of the cool gundams got their portion, pretty much any of the Gundams that got the 1/100 Full Mechanics model kit are given MRS treatment. Barbatos Lupus and Rex are part of regular release and it sold like hot cake where as Vidar and Bael are sold as P-Bandai for some reason. Kimaris Vidar didn't get the Full Mechanics, but it is still given the Diecast Action Figure. Sold for 16000 Yen, MRS Kimaris Vidar will be released in December 2022.

 Out of IBO Gundams, Kimaris Vidar is my personal favorite because i am fan of Gaelio who is one of the more decent character in the series. After Shedding the Vidar Disguise, Kimaris Vidar personify Gaelio's Chivalric character combined with his vengeful desire over the betrayal by Mcgillis. In order to fight Gundam Bael, Kimaris Vidar is equipped with modified Alaya Vijanana system which grants improved control of the Gundam unit but puts less strain on Pilot's Body as the system using Ein's brain to share the burden

 I was rather surprised that Kimaris Vidar sword weapon in this version is rather long since the iconic lance possess sufficient range already but it is still cool anyway. I think one of the main reason why Kimaris Vidar didn't get as much exposure is because the mecha designer copy way too much from a Shooter series called Astebreed which the lead mecha shared plenty of Physical resemblance with the former. While i won't get MRS since i don't collect 1/144 scale Gundam, i am always willing to get a Metal Build which might be a good possibility.