Monday, August 25, 2014

Skyrim: The Addiction is Real

by Mick Neeky

I am a Dragonborn whether I liked it or not. Anyone who hasn’t played Skyrim would think me crazy, but do you? Has Skyrim swallowed your social life and spat it out in a glorious shout? I’ve got to say that after years of murdering, stealing, and tomb robbing; the thrill hasn’t faded.

My story of addiction is simple—maybe even similar to yours. A few years ago I bought Skyrim, back when the hype was well under way, and slayed dragons to my heart’s content.  Oblivious to the main storyline, I absorbed souls with only one shout at my disposal. Pillaging and discovering uncharted territory became my mistress. Whenever I grappled onto that controller I wasn’t me anymore, I was an Argonian resistant to poison and capable of breathing underwater. Life was good—Skyrim life that is.

The real world faded into the background, but then again, which world was more awesome? Then the unthinkable happened: DLC. I, fearing for my social life, traded Skyrim in for credit.

A level 42! An Argonian. That was I. All that time roaming through Skyrim wasted. For years I didn’t miss it, until a few months ago when a friend (whom will remain anonymous) lend it to me. And the addiction quickly took over my life once more. Blacksmithing, shouting, and most importantly, stealing, ate me up like a glorious bust of dragon fire. So swiftly it took over me that maybe, just maybe, Skyrim needs its own AAA.

Will you join me in admitting we have a problem?



Latest Jump Pack Features 100+ Pages Of Manga Content, A
3-Month Digital Subscription And An Exclusive
YU-GI-OH! Collectible Trading Card

VIZ Media’s WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP manga magazine has released its third and latest edition of the WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP Jump Pack. The new issue is now available in-print throughout the U.S. and Canada, exclusively from retailers serviced by Diamond Comic Distributors and also from the leading online anime/manga retailer Right Stuf. The WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP Jump Pack 2014, Issue 3 is rated ‘T’ for Teens and carries an MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN.

The latest Jump Pack issue features individual manga chapters from a sampling of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP’s fan-loved, smash-hit continuing series including the paranormal exploits of BLEACH, the ongoing ninja saga of NARUTO, the high seas adventure of ONE PIECE, the apocalyptic vampire thriller SERAPH OF THE END: VAMPIRE REIGN, and the kinetic action of YU-GI-OH! ZEXAL.

The latest issue features a special promotional code for a 3-month weekly digital subscription to the magazine and also includes a limited edition Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Evening Twilight YU-GI-OH! trading card. This card is exclusive to Jump Pack Issue 3 and Weekly Shonen Jump annual subscribers.

WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP is the world’s premiere manga brand and leading weekly manga magazine. The digital version published every week by VIZ Media features the latest installments of some of the world’s most popular manga series released to English readers on the same day as the magazine’s general print release in Japan.

VIZ Media offers North American fans single issues of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP for only $0.99 each. One-year Memberships are also available for only $25.99 (U.S. / CAN) and include 48 weekly digital issues as well as exclusive YU-GI-OH! Collectable Trading Cards, special one-shot manga, exclusive digital-only promotions, and access to additional subscriber-only content including creator interviews and insightful promo videos. Current subscribers can also access their accounts via, the VIZ Manga App, or with the Apple iOS Newsstand App.

The digital version of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP is also available to international readers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa via the Newsstand App for the Apple iPad® and iPad® Mini, or the WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP App on the Google Play Store for Android devices. International issues debut each Monday at 10:00am (PST) and monthly subscriptions are available with automatic monthly renewals. Additional information on international subscriptions is available at:

For more information on WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and other exclusive subscriber offers, please visit

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Persepolis: The Story of a Return Review

by Snow Drift

Persepolis, an autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi and originally published by the French comic book publisher L’Association, concentrated on Satrapi’s life during the Islamic revolution in Iran and later its war against Iraq. Previously, I had reviewed the first English volume of the series: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood; however, it is my pleasure to present my review of Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return. 

While the first book centered itself on the injustice, repression, and violence in Iran and how this affected the growth of Satrapi in an episodic manner; the second graphic novel concentrates on Satrapi’s personal life in her years away from her home country. However, this does not mean that Iran and Satrapi’s family did not influence her during her teenage years and early adulthood. Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return gives a more personal and intimate factor to Satrapi that indirectly, in one way or another, involves Iran. 

Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return blossoms from Satrapi having to live in Austria as a foreigner. Adolescence settles into Satrapi’s life and puzzling terms like her identity and sexuality linger in the background. It is during these years that teenagers feel the most vulnerable, for they become extremely aware of the social structure surrounding them, and the need to be accepted by friends and family arises. Satrapi was no different. She felt inadequate with herself. Satrapi wished to belong, but the constant discrimination and racist remarks thrown at her did not help her self-esteem.

Marjane Satrapi, struggling against peer pressure and in the pursuit of love, had to endure suffering in the form of insufficiency. Away from any familiar consolation, Satrapi had to withstand isolated, which led her to a more independent and introverted lifestyle. She was forced to live a life frustrated and angry at the injustice in the world. And it is because of her social conscience that Satrapi got involved in the Iranian Society, instead of just being an observer; not only does she become a voice against the atrocities happening in Ian, but an active agent.        

  During her teenage years, friendship, romance and parenthood become important aspects of Satrapi’s life. They are a glimpse on how the world works and how she, as an individual, fits into the world. Readers are given the chance to witness Satrapi’s jealousy, depression, anger, and happiness throughout her interactions. Satrapi slowly begins to understand the differences between people and the characteristics that make their actions either praise-worthy or shameful. But above all the injustices, prejudice, and racism, be it in Iran or in Austria, there is a clear message: the importance of family and the need to have someone in one’s life that will always support them and be at their side when they need help. In Satrapi’s cause, it was her grandmother.

Just like its predecessor, Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, the art, dialogue, and narrative form truly shine. There is simplicity to Marjane’s style that permits the readers to concentrate on the characters themselves rather than getting distracted by detailed visuals and spiffy wording. While other art styles would have emphasized certain physical characteristics, Satrapi satisfies herself with just simple clues. The hairstyle, body type and facial structure, along with each character’s respective clothing, are enough to evoke the author’s perception of them. This minimalism also works with the gore and horror imagery that is also included in this volume. There is no necessity to portray with great detail the stump of a missing arm, the near-nakedness of a couple, or the aging of a woman; what is necessary for the reader is to understand, through the narration of the protagonist and each character’s facial expressions, the feeling of a scene.

But beyond the artsy layer, there is a new topic: sex. As Satrapi grows older, she is exposed to the sexual aspect in her life and those that surround her. Furthermore, when Satrapi returns to Iran, a world of veiled adult women, she successfully portrays these women as diverse, in body and facial structure, without needing to see beyond their veils.

The scenes presented in Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return are crucial to Satrapi’s growth and to the reader’s perception of her. All that she says, all that she perceives, is what changes her and molds her into who she must become. Through her strife and suffering, Marjane Satrapi experienced a life that when portrayed in a graphic novel has given the public a glimpse of Iranian society. She is, and always will be, an Iranian woman who, no matter what happens during her life—be it good or bad—, will always be proud of her heritage.


A Talented Young Chef Enrolls At An Exclusive Culinary School Known For Its Brutally Low Graduation Rate

 VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, invites readers and aspiring gourmands to savor the delicious new manga (graphic novel) series, FOOD WARS!: SHOKUGEKI NO SOMA, now available.

 The action-packed, saucy comedy about a boy’s determination to become a top chef features a story by Yuto Tsukuda with artwork by Shun Saeki and is published under the Shonen Jump Advanced imprint. FOOD WARS! is rated “T+” for Older Teens and carries an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. The ongoing series will see new volumes released on a bimonthly basis.

 Digital versions of FOOD WARS Vols. 1 and 2 are already available for $6.99 each (USD/CAN) on, through the VIZ MANGA App for the Apple iPad®, iPhone®, iPod® touch, and Android-powered smart phones, and through the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay stores.

 In FOOD WARS!, Soma Yukihira’s old man runs a small family restaurant in the less savory end of town. Aiming to one day surpass his father’s culinary prowess, Soma hones his skills day in and day out until one day, out of the blue, his father decides to enroll Soma in a classy culinary school! Can Soma really cut it in a place that prides itself on a 10 percent graduation rate? And can he convince the beautiful, domineering heiress of the school that he belongs there at all?!

 “FOOD WARS! is a titillating and tasty new manga release that ranks as one of the most popular titles currently featured in Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump. We are looking forward to North American fans discovering this funny and appetite-inducing series,” says Jennifer LeBlanc, Editor. “There is great attention to detail in the food preparation depicted in both the writing and art of this series, and each volume also includes special recipes that readers can try at home. See a different sort of hell’s kitchen unfold as young Soma faces a seemingly insurmountable array of challenges in his quest to become one of the world’s greatest chefs.”

 Yuto Tsukuda won the 34th Jump Juniketsu Newcomers' Manga Award for his one-shot story Kiba ni Naru. He made his Weekly Shonen Jump debut in 2010 with the series Shonen Shikku. His follow-up series, FOOD WARS!: SHOKUGEKI NO SOMA, is his first title to be translated into English and released in North America.

  Manga artist Shun Saeki made his Jump NEXT! debut in 2011 with the one-shot story Kimi to Watashi no Renai Soudan.
FOOD WARS!: SHOKUGEKI NO SOMA is his first Shonen Jump series.

 For more information on FOOD WARS!: SHOKUGEKI NO SOMA, or other manga titles from VIZ Media, please visit

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Manga Review: Case Closed vol.2

Story and art by: Gosho Aoyama
By Aliraluna


Conan Edogawa never imagined he had to go back to elementary school, but at least he now has a new weapon to capture criminals: super sneakers. Later that day Rachel’s father sees on the television that the man he was hired to follow was found dead. While he was being questioned he learns that the victim, Masaki Negishi, had a five million yen life insurance and that his friend, Mr. Yutaka Abe, was the benefactor. Yukata explains that it was all because of a “game”. One day Neishi said that they aren’t young anymore and that if he was interested in making a bet to see who was going to live longer. Richard Moore is not convinced and he feels the murderer is Yukata Abe, but, like the name of this issue is “the perfect Alibi” since the body was found at the fire festival on Thursday, Richard followed the victim until Wednesday and Yukata was on a trip from Wednesday to Friday. Who’s the man that Richard was following and why did Yukata decide to go away?

In “The Missing Man” Conan finds useful information and another weapon. The doctor gives him “homing glasses” with the capacity of track someone’s location if they are within twenty kilometers but he has to place a sticker on the person he’s tracking for it to work completely. A girl arrives at the office of Richard begging them to look for her father who has been missing for a month. Kenzo Hirota worked in a taxi company and owned four cats called Kai, Tei, Go and Oh. While she’s explaining this, Conan by mistake places the sticker on the watch of the girl. After a week, Conan is watching the television when suddenly on the horse riding program a man called Gokai Teio achieves another victory. Conan sees a connection but decides to ignore it, but Rachel tells her father that they must go to the tracks to see if the winner is there. The next day they call the girl and she arrives quickly. Conan notices that she looks different, wearing makeup and using a more mature outfit, but Rachel says that is perhaps to greet her father. They take the girl to where the man was staying, and the man was very shocked when he sees her and while they are going away they see a man watching them. But things get worse when Rachel attempts to find out what happened to both of them. At the end of this case, Conan learns that there’s a mystery syndicate that uses black clothes, just like the men he’s chasing after. is it them?

Then Conan has a mini adventure with his friends from school in “Mansion of Horror”, never imagining that the four of them; the girl, the strength, the scientist and the investigator; would resolve an unresolved case from five years ago.

Monday, August 18, 2014


In New Series From VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat Imprint, A Celebrated Opera Singer Dies In A Tragic Accident, Returning As A Vampire With A Diabolical Mission To Spawn The Next Generation Of Undead

 VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, notably expands its shojo manga (graphic novel) roster with the launch of the new series BLACK ROSE ALICE from award winning creator Setona Mizushiro. 

BLACK ROSE ALICE, Vol. 1 is now available in print from the Shojo Beat imprint and is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens. Volumes each carry an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. Future installments of this continuing series will be released in English on a bi-monthly basis.

A digital version of BLACK ROSE ALICE, Vol. 1 is also available for $6.99 (USD/CAN) from and through the VIZ MANGA App for the Apple iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch, Android-powered smart phones, as well as through the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay stores.

In BLACK ROSE ALICE, Dimitri Lewandowski is a celebrated tenor in early 1900s Vienna. When he is killed in an accident, his corpse is colonized by the seeds of a vampire master. At first, Dimitri denies that anything has changed, but as the people around him start dying, he is forced to accept the ghastly truth.

BLACK ROSE ALICE is a dark supernatural romance with a suspenseful storyline that puts its own unique twist on the vampire genre,” says Pancha Diaz, Editor. “After a prologue set in a beautifully rendered 1900s Vienna, the series flashes forward to modern Japan where Dimitri, who has become a fully developed vampire, appears in the dreams of a heartbroken woman to present a sinister proposal – he will save her fatally injured love, for a terrible price!”

Setona Mizushiro’s professional debut, Fuyu ga, Owarou Toshiteita (Winter Was Ending), won the 1993 Shogakukan Manga New Author Award. Her gender bending psychological thriller, After School Nightmare, was nominated for an Eisner Award and also recognized by YALSA as a Great Graphic Novel in 2007.

For more information on BLACK ROSE ALICE, or other shojo manga titles from VIZ Media, please visit