Ladies and gentlemen! It’s the end of the week, which means staff picks! Each week a select few from our amazing group of writers share with you something that they are digging at the moment or something that has caught their eye in the past week. In sharing these, we hope to turn you on to something that you were maybe on the fence or didn’t know about. Without further delay, here are the picks!
Amelia’s Pick of the Week – My pick of the week is the manga series Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. Written by Eiji Ōtsuka and drawn by Housui Yamazaki, the story behind Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service is dark, creepy, gory, and (believe it or not) comedic! It’s about five recent graduates from a Buddhist university that all have some connection to the supernatural or death in general. They’ve formed a company disguised as a club at their university which specializes in dealing with the dead. They wander around Japan, from corpse to corpse, in a monster-of-the-week formula, and grant their last wishes in exchange for goods the dead can offer. A lot of the time, they end up in some seriously disturbing situations. There’s parasitic snails that take over humans through their eyes, a plastic surgeon that doesn’t reconstruction so much as graft on other peoples’ body parts, and deadly games of hide and seek-oh my! Gruesome curiosity is served up in gory, unsettling heaps with Yamazaki’s art repulsing you but drawing your eyes across the page nonetheless! But it’s not just about the gore and horror. There are also a lot of great character moments that are often quite touching or hilarious. Numata, the heavy-lifter/dead body dowser, will have you in tears from laughing so hard, and in tears again when you come across the story that shows his childhood and why he became a dowser. And when Yata uses his channelling ability to let a little girl say goodbye to her dead goldfish? I hope you’re not in public because you’re going to be bawling. Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, despite being one of the most disturbing manga around, is also one of the funniest, saddest, most touching manga that you’re going to come upon and I can’t recommend it enough! The English translations are 14 issues in (and continuing at about once a year releases) and Dark Horse just earlier this year released omnibuses for the first 12.
Rhian’s Pick of the Week – Hip Hip HUZZAH!! Teamfourstar have released episode 54 of Dragon Ball Z Abridged, and just in time for my turn on Editors Pick of the Week. My partner introduced me to Dragon Ball Z Abridged after finding it randomly on Youtube. I remember him saying ‘ Hey Rhi come and watch this, it’s really funny’ and from episode 5 onwards I became a massive Dragon Ball Z fan (since then I’ve had a DBZ tattoo and everything). Their videos are well scripted and their performance and voice acting is in a league of it’s own!! It has become a custom for me to watch an episode while I work out in the gym! The abridged series is one of the most successful abridges out there, with their videos reaching nearly 5 million viewers!! The main cast include MasakoX, Lanipator, KaiserNeko and Takahata101. I didn’t watch Dragon Ball Z when I was younger (and I certainly don’t have time to watch every episode now) so I’m following the plot as each episode comes out and I know exactly what’s happening, so having conversation with actual DBZ fans is pretty easy.
Here is the recent episode for you guys!! I hope you enjoy!!
David’s Pick of the Week – My pick of the week is Madden 17. I have been playing Madden football ever since I can remember. I used to make it my own personal holiday. I would take the day off of work, get some lunch, some drinks and enjoy my day. Then Madden started to get stale and I actually skipped a few years because it seemed like none of the flaws were ever fixed to my satisfaction. Enter this year and I notice some significant changes for the better. The graphics are slightly better, the gameplay is much better, and the franchise mode has been improved as well. You can alter your rosters including the names and attributes of the players. This has been missing since 2012. Also the scouting might actually be worth something this year, I haven’t gone far into my franchise, so I can’t fully confirm that, but it does seem better for the moment. There are more fumbles, a little more for my taste, but this is easily fixable with a patch. I’m hoping that happens sooner than later. So if you are a football fan and gamer like I am, you probably already picked this up this week. If you don’t have it, I would at least check out on the trial you can play on EA Access, it is pretty damn fun!
Billy’s Pick of the Week – This week finally gave me the chance to finish something I’ve wanted to listen to for months. Big Finish audio anthology Classic Doctors New Monsters contains four new stories with the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Doctors facing monsters from the modern series. While each story finds the Doctor travelling alone, each is a faithful recreation of their respective eras with the addition of the modern element.
Fallen Angels was probably the most anticipated of this set, having the challenge of tackling the Weeping Angels, a distinctly visual monster, in a blind medium. The use of setting and sound design in this story is exceptional. Judoon in Chains uses Colin Baker’s bluster in full force, essentially being a courtroom drama. The best of the lot, Harvest of the Sycorax, actually feels like the sort of social commentary a Seventh Doctor serial would have dealt with in the eighties. The only story that didn’t feel right for this box set was The Sontaran Ordeal. It seemed more like a preview of the upcoming Eighth Doctor: The Time War set than anything else.
Overall, Classic Doctors New Monsters holds together better than I expected for a project that sounds like such a novelty. Thankfully the ‘What If’ factor is used only as a marketing tool, and the stories themselves are strong whether you’re familiar with the source material or not. Fingers crossed for a Volume II in this range. I need to hear the First Doctor describe the Silence or Second Doctor pal around with an Ood.
Michael’s Pick of the Week – My staff pick for the week is The Nice Guys, which is now available on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital. I had a lot of hype for the third directorial effort by Shane Black. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is an underrated gem and Iron Man 3 is a funny, solid entry in the superhero genre. I was not disappointed. Black’s love of LA noir shines through in this ’70s-set detective story which seamlessly brings together the porn community, the auto industry and a giant bee hallucination. Ryan Gosling continues to be a barely-tapped comedic talent, Russell Crowe rarely has as much fun on film and Angourie Rice is a revelation as Gosling’s daughter.