D.Gray-man (HALLOW) Episode 9: The Order Never Learns…
Anime / August 30, 2016

In Little Goodbye, episode 9 (or 112) of D.Gray-man (HALLOW), Allen Walker tries to resist the Noah that inhabits his body; Yu Kanda takes his fight with Alma Karma to a very dark level; the Millennium Earl tells the truth only to see it rejected, possibly as he planned; Malcolm C. Lvellie makes a move that underscores his inability to learn from history. All of this against the backdrop of a tragedy of Wagnerian proportion. Amazon has some great D.Gray-man merchandise. Check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) The Noah in Allen fully awakens. In his mind, Allen sees himself chained to a chair as Nea Campbell confirms that he’s the Fourteenth, and he intends to destroy everything. Timcanpy seems to have other plans, though. Swelling to an enormous size, he issues an incantation. What effect will it have on Nea? What does Timcanpy think he’s doing? Once freed of Nea’s influence, Allen’s eye shows him the debilitating truth about the soul chained to the Akuma Alma Karma. The realization pushes Allen to make a bold decision that puts him at odds with the Black Order’s leadership, especially Lvellie, and with the Earl. The rest of this review may have spoilers, so please be careful! What Happened (Spoilers!) Because Kanda attacked him with Innocence at the…

Taboo Tattoo Episode 9: A Blast from the Past – Hello Context!
Anime / August 29, 2016

In Taboo Tattoo episode 9 (called The Past), Justice Akatsuka accepts Wiseman’s offer to dive into the memories of Brad Blackstone (a.k.a. BB). Once there, we get to see BB meet Cal Shekhar, Iltutmish, and even Princess Aryabahta for the first time; we get to see the lengths to which BB is willing to go to learn how to destroy tattoos; and most chilling of all, we get to learn the horrifying secret behind Aryabahta and her powers. Amazon has the first three Taboo Tattoo manga — plus the first volume of The Testament of Sister New Devil! Please check them out: What Happened (Spoiler Free) At the end of the last episode, Wiseman made an offer to Akatsuka: get in the machine and relive the memories contained in the fragments of BB’s soul. Those memories not only illuminated the past; they might foretell the future. He agreed. Having just defected from the United States Army, BB has to prove himself to Princess Aryabahta and her people. By fighting Cal Shekhar to a standstill, he proved he had the skills. Now, he has to prove his loyalty. He meets Varma, who’s not very good at hiding his mission of spying on the princess on behalf of the king. Yet, the goal isn’t to…

Mahiru Inami from Wagnaria/Working!
Anime , Collectable / August 27, 2016

If you enjoy collecting anime-themed figures, then you know you generally have to choose between budget and quality. That’s why you’ve only seen two reviews from me so far: one for Rory Mercury by Kotobukiya (you can buy it from Amazon here) and one for Kiss Shot Acerola Orion Heart Under Blade from Good Smiles Company (which you can buy here from Amazon). Both of these feature beautiful details and solid quality, but for a relatively high price. I have to buy food for my family, after all! And there’s no money tree growing in my back yard! Anime News Network recently reported that Wagnaria/Working! is going to get a fourth season. That reminded me that you don’t always have to drop a bundle to get a good collectable. Consider Mahiru Inami by Sega (which you can purchase here from Amazon). It’s a figure I bought almost a year ago, and it’s still available and worth a look! If you’ve watched Wagnaria, you know that the series follows Souta Takanashi as he starts working at the restaurant Wagnaria. During his first day, he is nearing the end of his shift, and he thinks he might be fitting in. He’s feeling pretty good about himself. That’s when he meets Mahiru Inami in…

D.Gray-Man (HALLOW) Episode 8: Noah Rising
Anime / August 23, 2016

In Awakening, episode 8 (or 111) of D.Gray-Man (HALLOW), Allen Walker’s commitment to Akuma salvation — and salvation in general — is tested by friend and foe; Yu Kanda faces off against a “resurrected” Alma Karma, who’s more powerful than ever — and utterly determined to put Kanda back in the grave; and the Millennium Earl‘s plan comes to terrifying fruition. Amazon has some great D.Gray-Man merchandise. Here’s a sample: What Happened (Spoiler Free) Tokusa saved Allen, and many of Allen’s friends like Johnny Gill, from the collapsing North American branch headquarters using his power. Yet even as he tries to regain his strength, Tokusa feels something terrible happening to him. While Alma Karma revives as an Akuma, the cells from his body that empowered the Third Exorcists like Tokusa also became Akuma, and all of the Third Exorcists, even Tokusa, are consumed. Allen struggles to contain Tokusa, unwilling to kill him in the hopes he can be saved, yet not knowing how to protect himself against the increasingly powerful Akuma. Meanwhile, Kanda faces off against Alma Karma, who’s still unhappy at how their last meeting went. Their fight escalates, Kanda’s pent up agony fueling his rage, until Allen tries to intervene. Yet even he can’t slow Kanda’s single-minded…

Taboo Tattoo Episode 8: Death-o-Plenty and Some Actual Plot!
Anime / August 22, 2016

In episode 8 of Taboo Tattoo, Creator, Brad Blackstone (a.k.a. BB) faces off against Cal Shekhar in a battle of singularities against boundaries; Justice Akatsuka has to reach deep down beneath his despair in his fight against the Princess; Bluesy Fluesy again has her relative impotence ground into her psyche; Princess Aryabahta widens the power gap; Tōko Ichinose learns a permanent lesson about love and longing. I think this episode shows positive signs of plot — what do you think? Amazon has the first three Taboo Tattoo manga — plus the first volume of The Testament of Sister New Devil! Please check them out: What Happened (Spoiler Free) As BB battles Cal Shekhar, he tells Bluesy to rescue Akatsuka. She doesn’t want to leave him, but she does. In the meantime, Iltutmish in tattoo-lion form continues to rip through the US forces. Lisa Lovelock finds Colonel Sanders in such a state that he can’t function as commander, and Leo Burns takes over. His first order? Retreat. He and Lisa decide to stand up to Iltutmish to give their forces time to escape. Tom Shredfield assumes responsibility for Ichinose and tries to lead her to safety. Aryabahta gloats over Akatsuka first because she captured him so easily and second because her Void Maker prevents his tattoo from activating….

D.Gray-Man (HALLOW) Episode 7: Piling on the Truth
Anime / August 16, 2016

In D.Gray-Man (HALLOW) Episode 7 (a.k.a. episode 110), The Truth about a Sterile Flower, Yu Kanda relives his decision to do what had to be done; Allen Walker decides he’s seen enough but wasn’t ready for what came next; Alma Karma finds that knowing is not freeing; the Millennium Earl raises the curtain on the center piece of his show. Amazon, as usual, has some great D.Gray-Man merchandise. Please check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) Chi Chang casts the spell to put Kanda into an eternal sleep, but memories of the woman he had loved drive him back to consciousness. The memories evoke such strong feelings that his Innocence from his former life responds and reunites with him. He breaks free of his resting place and goes in search of Alma Karma. Alma Karma, meanwhile, after reawakening to his memories and reuniting with his Innocence, goes on a rampage to assuage the agony at remembering his former life and the broken promise to protect those he had loved. What will happen when Kanda meets Alma Karma again? Just what Earl hope to achieve by reawakening Alma Karma? The rest of this review may have spoilers, so please be careful! What Happened (Spoilers!) This episode starts with a…

Taboo Tattoo Episode 7: A Trap and Blood Flows
Anime / August 15, 2016

In Storm, the seventh episode of Taboo Tattoo, Bluesy Fluesy has her perspective on her role forcibly adjusted; Princess Aryabahta tightens her grip on the fourth ancient site; Iltutmish gets an upgraded frame; Justice Akatsuka finds his back against the wall — and if it’s not in the worst possible way, it’s pretty close. Amazon has some Taboo Tattoo related merchandise, plus a Blu Ray of another show you might enjoy! What Happened (Spoiler Free) Bluesy Fluesy, Akatsuka, and several other United States Army Sealed launch an assault against Aryabahta and her people, who are trying to exploit the fourth tattoo ruins in Japan. Cal Shekhar and her battle maids are easily the match for Bluesy and her people, who can’t understand why they are getting beaten so easily. The Princess, still underground making adjustments to the crystal, gives Iltutmish a surge of power to help in their defense. The young woman emerges at the surface and begins morphing into something terrifying to our heroes. Cal Shekhar had sliced up his arms and legs, but Akatsuka healed himself and was about to rejoin the battle. The Princess arrives and gives him a demonstration of power that changes his view of the world. The rest of this…

D.Gray-Man (HALLOW) Episode 6: In the Name of Righteousness
Anime / August 9, 2016

In Friend, episode 6 (or 109) of D.Gray-Man HALLOW, we learn the chilling story of Yu Kanda’s birth and lineage; Allen Walker finds it more and more difficult to trust the hierarchy; the viewers learn a new definition for callous; and Road Kamelot comforts Allen — for now. Amazon has some D.Gray-Man merchandise. Check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) Allen finds that he’s not alone in Kanda’s memories, where Wisely’s power had sent him at the end of last week’s episode. Road’s there, too, and she tries to help Allen orient himself. He watches as Alma Karma’s initial happiness at Kanda’s awakening turns sour as the two constantly fight. A little time later, though, Kanda undergoes a procedure that leaves a huge impression on him. During it, he learns that Alma Karma, too, is being subjected to the same thing. Kanda feels his antagonism fade. Kanda begins to see a ghostly white figure of a woman. As the frequency of the encounters climbs, Zuu Mei Chang, head of the local Black Order branch and in charge of the project experimenting on Kanda and Alma Karma, becomes increasingly agitated. What are they really trying to do to Kanda and Alma Karma? What will Chang decide if Kanda continues…

Taboo Tattoo Episode 6: Secrets of the Tattoos — and Bluesy
Anime / August 8, 2016

In Taboo Tattoo episode 6, Reunion, Brad Blackstone (a.k.a. BB) hurls Akatsuka at a building; Princess Aryabahta takes a long walk underground with her friends; and BB reveals the true, terrifying extent of the power behind the tattoos. Amazon has some tempting Taboo Tattoo books. Check them out: What Happened (Spoiler Free) Brad Blackstone (a.k.a. BB) kidnapped Justice Akatsuka at the end of the previous episode. Akatsuka awakens in front of a building that BB says is the heart of the Kingdom’s research in Japan. What does BB want with Akatsuka here? Will Akatsuka emerge alive? Will Bluesy Fluesy be able to find him? Princess Aryabahta takes Iltutmish and Cal Shekhar, one of her most loyal servants, into an excavation. She stands before a giant glowing, translucent blue crystal. It’s the source of power for the tattoos that came from that site. What happens when she enters it? Will she bend it to her will, or will it consume her? The rest of this review may have spoilers, so please be careful! What Happened (Spoilers!) At the end of the last episode, Brad Blackstone (a.k.a. BB) kidnapped Justice Akatsuka after beating him into unconsciousness. When episode opens, Bluesy Fluesy is frantically searching for Akatsuka when she receives a phone call. She recognizes BB’s voice when he announces…

D.Gray-Man (HALLOW) Episode 5: The Black Order’s Betrayal
Anime / August 2, 2016

In Alma Karma, D.Gray-Man’s 108th overall episode and the 5th episode of Hallow, we learn more of Yu Kanda’s tragic origin; we see how depraved the leadership of the Black Order has been in its treatment of Alma Karma; and worst of all, we learn of the Noah’s plan to use the Black Order’s own sins to destroy them. Amazon has some really attractive D.Gray-Man merchandise! Please check these out: What Happened (Spoiler Free) As was foreshadowed in previous episodes, the Black Order stores the comatose body of Alma Karma in the North American Branch. Renny Epstain, Malcolm C. Lvellie, and others disclose how the Black Order manipulated and experimented on Alma Karma and Yu Kanda when they were children. Johnny Gill, a scientist from the European Branch, becomes ill and the others ridicule him for it. His boss and chief European scientist, Reever Wenhamm, encourages him never to lose his sense of morality. Then the alarms go off. Who was attacking the North American Branch? And how could they shatter the defenses so easily — almost without a fight? The rest of this review may have spoilers, so please be careful! What Happened (Spoilers!) Led by Renny Epstain and Malcolm C. Lvellie, a team of scientists examine a body in…

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