Featured Columns

September 14, 2009

Bento Bako Weekly – Welcome to Comic Attack!

More articles by »
Written by: Kristin
Tags: ,



An apple a day keeps the Maid Guy away


Welcome to Bento Bako Weekly and your first otaku lunch with me, Kris!  As this site is new, and we’re all new, I feel introductions are in order before I go serving up some nice helpings of all things otaku related.  What you’re going to be seeing in this column will be anime reviews, manga reviews, live action film reviews, some video games here and there (Eastern games, like Nostalgia or Phoenix Wright), industry news, recommendations, etc.  Different things centered on an amazing craze from the East.  So I hope you will join me each week for a look at something new!  I hope that I can interest you in things you might not otherwise have bothered with, or help you stay away from things that aren’t worth your time or money; and also help you keep an eye out on interesting things that are making the journey across the waters.

Now, because of my own personal interests, I do tend to lean heavily toward certain genres, but I try to dabble in a bit of everything.  I do not care much for shonen fighting or action shows, unless they are called Bleach or Yu Yu Hakusho.  I will never talk about Naruto…except for just now.  I don’t like it, end of story.  I tend to favor shoujo for my manga (one of the few girly habits I have) – books like Fruits Basket, Skip Beat!, or Vampire Knight.  Sometimes a title like Trigun will slip in there (which is excellent, in case you were wondering).  My video game habits almost always lead me to RPGs (whether it’s Final Fantasy or Mass Effect), but I love a good action-adventure title like Assassin’s Creed or Shadow of the Colossus, and a Fire Emblem exclusive got me to buy a Wii.

I do read American comics, though I read so few these days it doesn’t much matter.  Right now I just read Captain America, New Avengers, Wonder Woman, Rasl, and the occasional mini-series (like Wheel of Time).  I won’t talk about things like that here, unless they have a heavy Eastern influence, like MegaTokyo or the Marvel X-Men original English-language (OEL) manga books.  Obviously you can get your American comic fix all over this site, so that’s not what I’m here for.

My favorite artists are Michael Turner, Kaori Yuki, Yoshiki Nakamura, Yoshitaka Amano, Yoshitoshi ABe, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto and Range Murata.  My favorite writers are a bit harder to pin down, although I do love Yoshiki Nakamura, Natsuki Takaya, and J.R.R. Tolkien.  Or I can simply say I’m a Tolkien freak, and just leave it at that.

I have a blog where I write anime and manga reviews, which may occasionally cross over here, though I plan to have separate content.  You can find the blog here, and it typically updates over the weekend.  I also work for Darkstar Studios as needed.

I think that’s pretty good for now.  Many thanks to Jay-san over at the Toybox for help choosing a name for my column (alright, he came up with 2/3 of it).  Thanks to our resident Dan for the column banner.  Thanks to Andy for letting me write.  And thanks to you for stopping by!  Please let me know your interests in the comments – for example, shows or books you might be interested in.  If I know about something, I will happily share my thoughts with you, and if I do not then I will try to find out.  I’ve seen and read a decent amount of diverse titles.  In large thanks to Netflix, a service which I recommend to anyone interested in anime or other Asian films, because they have quite a good selection; it’s a great way to check out a series you are curious about, to see if it’s worth watching through or even buying at some point.  A lot of the stuff out there is worth a watch, but not worth shelling out all that cash for, so Netflix also saves you a ton of money (sorry, I know that sounds like a sponsor plug, but it’s not; Netflix is really an anime fan’s best friend since so little is shown on American television).  All I would add to that is to please buy the shows you really love when you can afford to; keep supporting the licensing and distribution companies so that they will continue to bring these wonderful stories across the ocean for more people to enjoy.

Coming up in future weeks:

A crash course in Japanese honorifics, and where to find free and legal anime online





  1. I’ve been trying to get into manga and anime for the longets time! And once I saw you were writing this article, Kris, I knew I was gonna get pointed in the right direction. I already can’t wait for next week! ^-^

  2. InfiniteSpeech

    Whooo hooo!!!! can’t wait! I need some suggestions for quality anime!

  3. Well, next week I’m going to highlight multiple online streaming websites, so you’ll know where to start looking until I get into more specific titles. 🙂

  4. billy

    Great stuff kris. I cant wait for you to talk about vampire anime!

  5. Kristin

    Vampire anime, eh? There’s a lot of them, but I’ve only seen a handful myself. Though by “handful” I mean I’ve seen/read 7 of the 14 I can think of. I’ll add that to the “future columns” list!

  6. I’m so glad to have you onboard!

  7. Tom

    I picked up a few Japanese-Language manga in Tokyo a few years back. I can’t read a word in them, but I love the flow and style of the art! I can’t wait to see what you serve up next, Kris!

  8. Lol. Where to find free legal anime…that’s good to know XD

  9. @Kris-chan: Heyyy, finally found your link (and the time) to comment, lol. Congratulations! Although I gotta say that “Naruto” is pretty decent when you know what to expect and when you mix its ninja antics in-between the cyber-punked “Ghost in the Shell”, vampire-soaked “Blood+” and piano-laced “Nodame Cantabile”. But then again, you already knew what I thought, lol… Uh-oh, online streaming? Hehe, beware that you don’t start a new war between the subbers and streamers, okay?

    P.S. Aww, thanx for the mention. That was sweet of you. ^_~

  10. Kristin

    Ghost in the Shell should never been in the same sentence as Naruto. 🙂 If I want Ninjas, I’ll go watch Nabari no Ou.

    I know that most fan subbers (the ones who actually CARE about the anime and the industry) support streaming sites like Crunchyroll. The reason fansubs exist is because fans want quick, translated anime (free helps, too). They don’t want to wait the months (and more often, YEARS) for a series to get licensed. Sites like Crunchyroll give you quick, translated anime, within a day if you pay, and within a week otherwise (which is still pretty fantastic). The big fansub groups support this and won’t do their own translations. So I’m not worried about any sort of “war” concerning that.

  11. @Kris-chan: LOL, no worries! Well, while I personally don’t use any streaming sites like CrunchyRoll or MySoju, one reader “Joe” commented on my Blog 208 that: “MySoju and other streaming sites are the reason so many fansub groups have dropped softsubs or have stopped subbing altogether, please don’t support them.”

    He also added that: “It’s basically that the streaming sites upload the fansubbers work without permission, take credit for it and in many cases make money out of it. They also believe that it brings unnecessary attention to the scene, increasing their chances of being shut down. The reason they are going away from softsubs is so that the streaming sites can’t edit out their disclaimers. Theres a big thread here: http://www.d-addicts.com/forum/viewtopic_66651_0.htm

    Other than his comments, this “war” never really entered my radar before. But it does seem more intriguing and juicy than I realized. Hence, my playful warning. ^o^

  12. Oh, dear…that’s entirely different. That’s streaming sites unofficially hosting anime, and yes, they do tend to steal fansubbers’ work. Those kinds of streams aren’t legal either, and that’s one reason they’re so upset. I’m talking about Crunchyroll, which works directly with Japanese companies to get anime up and subbed within hours. Or American studios, like FUNimation, which posts their licensed videos on their own site, or at places like YouTube or Hulu.

    The thread you linked is a year old, and Crunchyroll has changed a lot since then.
    From the CR website:
    “Crunchyroll’s content is provided by Asian media leaders including TV TOKYO, Shueisha, Fuji Creative Corporation, Pony Canyon, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, Toei Animation, Gonzo, Munhwa Broadcasting of America, and many others. [….] It has partnered with over 30 major Asia-based publishers to provide over 100 titles to its audience. It has created a vibrant active community of over four million users through its social networking platform. [….]
    Crunchyroll is legal and acquires rights to distribute its videos.”

    Most fansubbers support official streaming, because it means the industry is reacting to the needs and wants of the fans. It may make fansubbing obsolete, but if they really care about the industry, it shouldn’t matter.

  13. Mmm, interesting place here, although I’m still a little confused- I thought BBW would be a weekly column on girlg33k. Ah well- congrats!
    P.S. Ooh, Tolkien freak? High-5!

  14. Kristin

    Nope, it’s here! I’ll still do my weekly reviews at my blog, though. Yu Yu Hakusho season 2 went up this morning.

    Thanks for stopping by aprilius! And yeah, I’m a total Tolkien addict. 🙂

  15. The Movie Lady

    I love Sailor Moon, that’s my major anime fix.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Website Protected by Spam Master