Tag Archives: manga

Dark Fantasy At It’s Finest

I don’t claim to be psychic, but you are currently sat at home, twiddling your thumbs and with nothing much going on in your life. To me these seem like the only plausible conditions for someone to be reading my blog post. You are clueless as to what to do, all your short-term goals have thus far been accomplished and, by that, I mean you’re fully up-to-date with; Suits, Arrow, Orange Is The New Black and whatever else people are watching these days. Either that or you’re patiently waiting for the new Sherlock season to come on TV (I won’t even mention Winds of Winter).

In any case, I might just have the answer to all of your first world problems.

What I have in mind is a story like none other, a story of; love, friendship, honour, betrayal, war, politics, deception, determination, violence, intimacy and any other vague words you can think of, literally. And no, before you say it, I’m not talking about Zoey 101, as great a show as that is. What I am talking about however is, Berserk. A 37-volume ongoing manga series written by Kentaro Miura.

Set in the ‘medieval times’ we are originally introduced to the story’s main protagonist, Guts, a mysterious, muscular fellow dressed all in black, possessing a sacrificial brand on his neck and wielding a sword far larger than any sword has the right to be.

And these were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little girl!

The World in which Guts inhabits is filled with demonic beings known as apostles, who were once regular humans that were gifted supernatural powers at the price of sacrificing the ones they loved to the formidable and potent ‘God hand.’ The God Hand being 5 supreme, untouchable beings with powers that have still not been fully revealed to us. 

A truly blasphemous series, but epic nonetheless.

Without giving too much away, Guts seemingly sees it as his mission to dispose of these apostles for reasons unknown to us at the start of the story. Along the way we learn many things through the experiences of the various characters; we see how childhood events can plant deep roots within a person’s sub-conscience,  the importance of companionship, the burdens of protecting the ones we love, the unbreakable power of the human spirit and most importantly, the true price of attaining ones goals.

Many pages are dedicated to beautiful sketches of scenery with many deep quotes flying about here and there. To give an example, below is a quote from one of the main characters, Griffith:

“While many can pursue their dreams in solitude, other dreams are like great storms blowing hundreds, even thousands of dreams apart in their wake. Dreams breathe life into men and can cage them in suffering. Men live and die by their dreams. But long after they have been abandoned they still smoulder deep in men’s hearts. Some see nothing more than life and death. They are dead, for they have no dreams.”

Deep. So if you’re looking for something to read this summer, look no further than Berserk. The main problem, and it is quite a big one, is that the series is on-going. This may not seem like such a big issue but as the time between each chapter can vary considerably, it may take a long time to reach the end of this epic masterpiece.

Back to the positives, besides all the points I have already mentioned, you will also get to see some truly uncensored and gory action scenes, weird eggs with deformed human faces (Beherit!!) and also many, many explicit 18+ scenes, including the very first scene from what I remember (but it’s all about the story really!).

Thanks for reading and let me know if you’ve read the series, of any other recommendations you may have OR let me know what you think of the possibility of the existence of extra-terrestrial life, because that’s always an interesting topic.

Chow.

Added notes from my editor,  the ever-efficient,  sentenced-correcting, spell-checking Seemeen:

tbh I don’t see why the possibility of extra terrestrial life is so hard for people to believe, it’s a possibility init

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A Secret Vessel in the Heart of London

What a great name for some good old-fashioned click-bait. Do not despair however, for where there is a great statement, there also lies great substance. Allow me to take you by the hand and guide you right onto the doorstep of one of London’s hidden gems. For some reason ‘I’m walking in the air’ from The Snowman just started playing in my head. Regardless, let us plough on, you red-haired pyjama wearing cartoon boy.

Using the term ‘secret vessel’ or ‘hidden gem’ may be a bit of a stretch considering how I found it after merely a few minutes on Google, but to the untrained eyes of the masses, this ‘gem’ would definitely seem wholly unremarkable at first glance, to say the least.

So if you happen to be wondering in or around Soho; loitering past the many cafe’s, restaurants, theatres and sex shops, you’ll most likely waltz straight past the very thing of which I am speaking of today. What a grave mistake that would be. Your life will continue, surely, but it will be a much emptier life; full of hardship, sorrow and longing. In order to avoid such a mishap, please heed my instructions.

Whenever you find yourself not-too-far from Leicester Square and heading down Brewer Street, you will eventually come across a lovely little shop by the name of ‘Simply pleasure.com’. Before you become overly excited by these instructions however, you must exert a certain amount of willpower, avert your gaze, look directly across the road, and feast your eyes on this mother-of-all-beauties instead.

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When you awoke this morning I bet you never, in your wildest imaginations, expected to gaze upon sight such as this. Even the bags of trash take nothing away from this unknown, shrouded utopia. A majestic shop-face possessing such radiance to rival the very halls of Valhalla themselves!

And such words, such beautiful words: ‘De-luxe Cleaning.’ Surely this is no language invented by man. But what could it possibly mean???

If you are currently feeling underwhelmed, cheated, betrayed and at a loss for words, then you are well within your rights to do so. But if you stay with me for just a short while longer, you will see that things are not always what they seem.

To those individuals, however, who think of the dry cleaners and immediately liken them to slices of heaven on Earth, I apologise. You have been utterly deceived! For this is not a dry cleaners at all. This is indeed something much more sinister, taking refuge within the busy streets of London, masquerading as your innocent, every day, laundry depot.  

As you enter this dry cleaners with your arms equipped with bags of dirty clothes, you should expect these bags to drop (along with your jaw) as you stare into the face of Japan. Inside you will find shelves and shelves (and even more shelves) stocked full of Japanese books, manga volumes and possibly even DVD’s, amongst anything else I may have missed. As there are no pictures allowed inside the building, and because I’m a straight-up law abiding citizen (shocker, right?), you’ll just have to take my word for it.

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Now do you believe me??

If the shelves and shelves of manga volumes weren’t enough for you, the place is also somewhat famous for its Karaoke round the back. Though I haven’t actually done karaoke there, the reviews on Google all seem very positive.

For a manga-loving semi-geek such as myself, this was of course the equivalent to a 3 day weekend of sun, sea and A&E in the mystical land of ‘Zante.’ I must add that there was only one downer, and that was the fact that the majority of the stock was completely Japanese, with only a few shelves dedicated to manga volumes in English. Seeing as though it is a Japanese place however, I can’t really complain too much.

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Not much of a haul I must admit...

So there you go. A hidden gem right in the heart of London. Do make sure to go there yourself and let me know what you think. Alternatively if you’ve been before or if you know of any other such ‘hidden’ places in London, or anywhere, do let me know.

Hopefully you found an ounce of enjoyment in this post, but for now, in the undying words of Anne Robinson:

Goodbye! *wink*

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Tokyo Ghooouuuuuuuuul

For those readers (all 12 of you out there! :* ) who aren’t into Anime or Manga…. This will seem like a pretty childish/lame/creepy/OMGgetalife kinda post.

But ah well! You’re here so you might as well carry on reading right?.. Right?…

Anywhoo I just wanted to write about an A-maaaaaazing Anime (Japanese cartoon) I’ve seen recently; namely, Tokyo Ghoul.

Without spoiling the story of it all too much, in essense, it is about a World infested by these; supernatural, vampire-like, human eating and also human resembling creatures known as Ghouls.

The great thing about this show however is that we see things from the perspective of the ghouls, get an inside scoop of their own struggles and generally learn to realise that a lot of them aren’t the monsters they’re made out to be…

DEEEEEEEP
Naughty humans!

But yeah anyways the moral of the overall plot I believe is that, instead of the constant persecution, if there ever is to be real peace between the two.. Then communication and understanding is key.. Ignorance doesn’t seem so bliss anymore!

But in the mean time some badass fighting sequences shan’t go amiss.

In conclusion!! The moral of myyyyy story is that you should definitely go and watch this show because its:

Proper Sick Br00o

And there’s only 8 episodes so far so why not ???

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