Sep 01

Monthly Recommendations – September 2016

mr_sept_headIt’s time for the fourth monthly recommendations column! Each month, one awesome person will be picking an anime, cartoon, webcomic, manga and comic they love and want to recommend. This month, it’s Anicom veteran Alexe championing her faves, so over to her!

Hey it’s Alexe and this time it’s my turn to do monthly recommendations. Unfortunately there’s no comic or webcomic recommendation this time around as I don’t usually read them.

But anyway ignoring that here are my recommendations for this month!

Anime – Haikyuu!!

mr_sept_haikyuIf you’ve met me you probably already know this but I love Haikyuu!! It is probably my absolute favourite anime.

Haikyuu!! Is the story of Shoyou Hinata, a young boy who wishes to follow in the footsteps of his Volleyball hero ‘The Little Giant’. Unfortunately for Hinata he and his team are beaten in the middle school tournament by a stronger school and he gains the attention of Tobio Kageyama, though their first impressions of each other aren’t exactly good. The anime then skips forward to Hinata’s first day of high school where he joins the Karasuno Volleyball Club; the same volleyball club the ‘Little Giant’ once played for, only to find that the one he declared his rival Kageyama has come to the same school. The anime then follows Karasuno as they train for their next big tournament, eager to show that they are no longer the fallen champions or ‘Flightless Crows’ that people think they are.

The first season started in spring 2014 where I picked it up on a whim. Now I had never watched a sports anime before this, I didn’t think it was my thing, but I decided to give it a watch anyway and it did not disappoint. I was hooked from the first episode and now I am eagerly awaiting the third season.

Haikyuu!! has a lot of good things going for it, the animation is excellent and the times where it changes to fully convey the strength of a character’s play makes scenes more dynamic.

The soundtrack is excellent with tracks that fit well into the background and also ones that get you pumped up, and speaking of sound the openings are excellent at building the hype for the episode, my personal favourites being Imagination, the first opening of the first season by SPYAIR, and Fly High by Burnout Syndrome, the second opening of the second season.

Another reason and one of the big reason’s I like Haikyuu!! is the characters. All of them are very likeable and the show is very good in that it not only focuses on the main characters. Sure Karasuno get’s the most screen time, but the show also gives other characters a chance in the limelight with episodes such as episode 16 of season one Winners and Losers.

The story, as you can probably guess from my small summary at the start, is very simple. Rival players end up on the same team and have to work together to make the team stronger, and the team is known as having been strong in the past but have become weak. But that doesn’t stop it from being good and as I’ve previously mentioned that comes from characters, a lot of the story is character driven and it’s the relationships and dynamic’s between characters and between teams which makes it so enjoyable.

You can watch the first two seasons of Haikyuu!! on Crunchyroll here, or pick up the first season on DVD and BluRay. The third season starts airing October 7th.

Manga – Tokyo Ghoul

mr_sept_tokghoTokyo Ghoul is a manga series by Sui Ishida. It was serialized in Shueisha’s seinen manga magazine Weekly Young Jump between September 2011 and September 2014, and has been collected in fourteen volumes.

In the world of Tokyo Ghoul humans are no longer top of the food chain, with beings called Ghouls taking their place. Ghouls look exactly like normal humans, however they can only eat humans and for some reason coffee. They cannot digest normal food as it makes them violently ill so most ghouls turn to murdering humans for food.

The story follows Kaneki Ken, a university student, who after a run in with notorious ghoul Rize Kamishiro also known as the Binge Eater (he was on a date with her), is made into a half ghoul by an operation. The story is about Kaneki’s struggle to live as a half ghoul as he finds out more about the ghoul world and finds that things aren’t always as they seemed.

Tokyo Ghoul is one of my favourite manga’s, I like the story, the characters are interesting and I like the symbolism and references which are worked into the story. Another reason I like the manga is the art. Ishida Sui is a brilliant artist and you can see his art improve as the manga goes on, recently he went back and redrew the first chapters of Tokyo Ghoul, and he also created a daily flip calendar featuring artwork for every day of the year using characters from Tokyo Ghoul and its sequel Tokyo Ghoul RE.

Currently there are 8 volumes available to buy in the UK, in store or off Amazon / Comixology. Volume 9 is due for release on 20th October and Volume 10 on 15th December.

Cartoon – Over the Garden Wall

mr_sept_otgwOver the Garden Wall is an animated mini-series created by Patrick McHale for Cartoon Network and was broadcast through the week of November 3rd to November 7th 2014.

The show is about Wirt, a pessimistic teenager, and his younger more optimistic half-brother Greg as they traverse The Unknown. As they try to get home, they come across a talking bluebird named Beatrice who tells them that a woman named Adelaide can help them.

Over the Garden Wall is a brilliant show to watch during October, you can watch it anytime but watching it in the Halloween season definitely adds to the experience. The animation is nice, the story is interesting and has a good twist ending, and the sound track and all its songs are memorable and nice to listen to.

Over the Garden Wall remains one of my favourite cartoons in recent years.

Over the Garden Wall can be brought on Amazon here or watched online here.

Interested in writing for this column? Then talk to Sean, or get in touch with Anicom via Facebook, Twitter, the forums or e-mail.All we need is a couple hundred words on one (or two, or all five!) of the comics / mangas / cartoons / animes / webcomics you love! Looking forward to it~

You can check out more of Alexe’s stuff on her Tumblr, here.