Addendum 12/5/2010: I know I’m probably asking for it here posting an update, but I will anyway. The guys at Manga Plasma commented on this post in episode 20. I found it pretty amusing actually. I apologize to Screago for misspelling his name/handle. I had actually written this after listening to the first six episodes more or less all at once and somehow I got that they were saying "Skwee-goe". I don’t know why since they explain the name at least once. I had actually looked it up on their site to check but apparently never made the correction here. So that is failure on my part, and my sincere apologies to Screago. I did want to defend the point on the humor a bit, again a failure on my part for not putting a time stamp up when I originally posted.
Yes, I do listen to the show and, yes I do like it a lot. They have gotten MUCH better after about episode 15 or so. I do plan on revisiting it soon. I won’t be retracting this review though.
So I got a comment from a previous post about manga related podcasts. This person suggested Manga Plasma. They also suggested that if I liked Manga Pulse (which I’m a huge fan of) I’d like Manga Plasma.
While I do agree that these guys aren’t bad at all, I can’t say they are particularly enjoyable from what I’ve heard so far. I’m up to episode six and I’m seeing that this is really just some high school guys’ take on Manga Pulse, not so much an original show. Here are a few bullet points about the show and why each point is a good or bad thing.
- Format – Near and Screago took the format from Manga Pulse. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since Tim and Weltall took the format from somewhere else. If I remember correctly they said this is the same format Top Gear uses. To their credit they seem to break away from this in episode six. It’s a good format so, not really a bad thing.
- Humor – A lot of the jokes are again, taken from Manga Pulse, who took them from somewhere else. The "COMICON!" joke especially. Come on, be more originally funny if you can. That’s not easy but it can be done. The show is pretty dry otherwise, but not as dry as Ichigo’s usually are. This is episode 5, at about the 2:55 – 3:00 mark. To be fair other shows may do this to, I’ve just not heard it anywhere else.
- Rating System – Again exact same thing, they’ve just changed the wording up. The no middle ground thing is a good idea, but a different rating system can be used. A two point rating system might be more their speed. Not saying they’re unable to handle a more complex rating system but they don’t even use their own terminology, at least up to episode six, they fall back on Tim and Weltall’s. My suggestion would be to have a "It’s Crap" or "It’s Awesome" rating system or don’t even do a scaled system at all.
- Delivery – I don’t have any issues about their delivery as far as clarity, speech patterns and general pacing. I didn’t hear as many "ums" as I thought I would that early in the show so on this point they’re awesome.
- Length of Episodes – Their timing and length of episodes are in the twenty minute to thirty minute range. This makes them have about a fifth the length of Manga Pulse’s epic hour to ninety minute shows. Personally I like the longer episodes, but it isn’t for everyone. They get right to the point most of the time and don’t waste huge amounts of times going off on tangents and riffing on various religious and political groups.
All in all they aren’t crap, but need about forty more episodes before they hit their stride. Manga Pulse was about the same until about twenty or thirty episodes in.
In fact they’ve given me an idea for a new four point rating system to apply to anything. It goes like this from worst to best:
- Total Crap
- Almost Crap
- Approaching Awesome
Give Manga Plasma a try but don’t expect greatness until about episode 40 or 50. I’m going to revisit them once they have a fair number more episodes out and I have a really long drive ahead of me (which is exactly what I did with Manga Pulse).