Tag Archives: Shonen

Otaku Review: Detective Conan/ Case Closed

Conan as a kid

Take a genius crime-solving teenager. Put him in the body of a six-year-old child, give him a tranquilizer dart, a shooting clock and some other high tech tools that would make Q jealous. Sprinkle it with 800 plus episodes and 20 movies riddled with crime and corpses and there you have it. Detective Conan (aka: Case Closed) is the longest running detective series in the world…and also one of the most violent series imaginable. In virtually every episode someone dies in a gruesome and mysterious way.

A corpse has been found!

Kundo Shinchi was tailing some men in black who knocked him out and fed him an experimental drug that shrunk his body. Since this would put some real strain on his hobby of solving crimes, he came up with a brilliant ploy. He got his friend, Dr. Agasa to make him a bunch of gadgets to compensate for his size and age. Conan then moved in with his friend and potential love interest: Ran.

Conan and the kids from his class


Incidentally, his childhood friend has a father who is a drunken womanizing gumshoe who jumps to conclusions and sucks at solving cases. Fortunately this turned out to be easily rectified, as Conan drugs the poor sod and proceeds to imitate his voice every time a suspect is about to be exposed. This gave the man the nickname Sleeping Kogoro, and a lot of fame (which in turn attracted even more cases). Naturally Conan has to keep it hidden from everyone else, lest the men in black who shrunk him in the first place find out he’s alive, and the proceed to kill everyone he loves and cares about.


Mind you, he’s quite capable of getting them almost killed himself due to the abnormally high crime rate in Japan. I can assure you that when he and his friends are about and at it, corpses will fall from the sky in a flat, featureless desert.

Kogoro, random stranger, Rans friend, Ran and the kids
I want those spy glasses!
Suspension of disbelief, Ran is a black belt.
Rule of awesome beats reality!

Every now and then he is also joined by his fellow classmates and Heiji, who is also a detective, and Ai, who was part of the organization. She too, shrunk herself into a child with the mysterious drug. It should by now be worth mentioning that the first episode of Detective Conan starts with a couple getting decapitated in a roller-coaster, which means that the series can get quite bloody and absurd at times. Most of the time however, it’s quite down to earth (if you ignore the absurd number of explosives that show up in the movies and his inflatable soccer ball dispenser).Some suspension of disbelief is needed, since the whole reason Detective Conan keeps up the masquerade from his friends does become quite arbitrary. It’s not that hard to deduce that this kid is too smart for his own good. But then again time does not seem to move much in the series, even when the technology is updated. The author has clearly done his research, and for the most part it’s accurate and wears its inspiration on its sleeve.

Watch it on Crunchyroll

Njål Sand

Otaku Review: One Punch Man

One-Punch-ManOne Punch Man

Let it be known, I’m not an otaku, but I still enjoy the hell out of this show. In a world much like our own, monsters fight men over and over again. This has become a disturbingly common thing, so a man decided to fund a hero organization that employs anyone willing to fight. Naturally there is a system to determine how dangerous a threat is, and heroes are put into grades ascending from “E” to “A”…with “S” at the very top. Japan loves this grading system it seems. Each city is just referred to by a letter.

The protagonist is a simple and bald man, who became insanely strong. Anything he fights he can beat with one punch. Essentially he is an unbeatable superman. If this had been any other show he would be considered a Gary Stu.

Ladies and gentlemen, our shounen hero.


Luckily he is a flawed man with too much power in his hand, yet he struggles to kill a small mosquito; go figure.

Since Saitama is just too good at beating enemies, the author brought in a cyborg called Genos, who has a lot more flair in combat. Naturally he is also a bit inexperienced so he takes a lot of damage. He’s pretty much the stoic and overly serious hero type, that often goes into anti-hero territory. Mind you, he is a very awesomely designed mechanical man.

Dpiccolo-whyue to the highly detailed art direction, most of the monsters look creepy as hell and clearly inspired by other series, such as Dragonball. The premise is simple. Monsters of the week attack, hero fights monsters and hero becomes stronger and looks epic while doing it. Keep in mind though, the show plays the tropes straight, subverts them and then punches them to death and plays them straight again.

Every now and then the chapters focus on the other heroes and by Jove there are a lot. The whole generic freak troupe and more is all over the place. Need a ninja? There is one. How about a guy with a tube haircut and a baseball bat? There is one of those as well, and more.



One of the most noticeable aspects of the series is how beautiful and detailed it is drawn; especially the manga. It’s on a level of its own. Apparently it started as a one shot story online. But then Shounen Jump caught wind of it. There is only one big problem, it’s a very new show, so there is a lot of waiting time between the episodes. Same goes for the manga chapters. Which means that there is always more to look out for every month.

 Njål Sand

Haven Review: One Piece Pirate Warriors 3

First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.maxresdefault

One Piece is the manga that has spawned such a beautiful anime. So popular in fact that it’s known overseas (obviously outside of Japan), or why else would I be writing about it?
The hero, Monkey D. Luffy, is constantly getting into all sorts of trouble because of his kind nature. His aim is to be King of the Pirates and find the treasured “One Piece”. Now the series has been going on for a while and shows very little in terms of slowing down. But I am not talking about the show here…I’m going to be talking about One Piece Pirate Warriors 3.

The game follows the exploits from the series Luffy’s Adventures, starting all the way in the beginning to where he is now. Where Zoro, Sanji, Nami, and the rest joined his crew and headed for the Grand Line. The game is setup as a strategic battle, much like Dynasty Warriors. After all, it came from the same company so that explains that.g

My problem is that the AI for the enemies is incredibly stupid and it feels like it hasn’t been upgraded since the PlayStation 2 era. I grew up playing Dynasty Warriors with my friends and it gave us endless amounts of laughs because the AI would just stand around as we ran through killing them all. I always anticipated it was because of the PlayStation 2’s processing power, and with so many enemies it just couldn’t keep up with the demand.

However here I am on a first generation i7 and the enemies just stand around pointing guns at their heads and firing shots in random directions. Occasionally they try attacking the air; always fun to watch. Although if you are a fan of One Piece you would probably be playing this more for the story, and honestly that’s why I’ve been dying to review it. I haven’t got a hard drive big enough to store the entire series and I don’t have the time or bandwidth to catch up viewing it all.vjump-april-issue-shows-off-new-810x456

I cannot criticize the story, though. They’ve stuck very close to the series for the most part, and that means a lot to me as a fan. The company is willing to stick it out and not change anything, the way a lot of companies might. The controls for the game are pretty straightforward, and clock amazing response rates as well.

In some games I always have the issue of the speed between my attacks slowing me down. But they have now set it up in a way where no move is wasted, which takes a genuine effort in coding. The music for the game is spot-on and really gives me the feeling like I am in the anime, battling alongside all the other pirates! At times I feel the sudden urge to shout “Gum Gum Gatling!” as I mow down hundreds of enemies at a time.

The only problems I had besides the game’s AI is the fact that leveling up is so convoluted; it makes little or no sense. You beat enemies and get coins. Those coins then allow you to upgrade your stats equal to the level you are. The coins you get are limited to the enemies you fight so you must replay certain stages to get all sorts of different coins to fully upgrade your entire crew. It’s extremely time-consuming and irritating.one-piece-pirate-warriors-3_1419242941

If you’re running the PC version of the game, Mr.AntiFun probably has a nice trainer that will fix all those issues for you. But that’s if you want to cheat…just throwing that out there. Overall though, the game really delivers on the One Piece experience and is great for helping people get into the series as a whole. I do honestly recommend it despite the AI sucking and the irritating coin bit, mainly because I have gotten far into the game without the need for the coins…and the AI is really, and I mean really stupid.

-Daniel Clatworthy-