Apurril 2014 Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings

April 7, 2014 by

Mike Moon / Catgirl Island and
Jamie Robertson / Clan of the Cats 
purrsent a Mike Moon purrduction, 
starring The Ladies of The Mew in

The Apurril 2014 Edition of The Mew: 
The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings, nya!

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In this edition of The Mew:

Introductions, what we have done since the purrior Mew,

the Lightning Round topic of our favorite films of 2004,

our cinema, TV, DVD & CD reviews of:

Girls & Panzer Complete OVA Collection DVD

Blessing of the Campanella DVD

The Wind Rises

Veronica Mars

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor" DVD

Muppets Most Wanted

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

recent illustrative additions to the Catgirl Island

Mewseum of Art by Niki Lemonade and Mike…

a toy review of:

Monster High Clawdia Wolf fashion doll

our manga & movie book reviews of:

Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki manga

The Art of The Wind Rises

Hayao Miyazaki Turning Point 1997-2008

Intron Depot 5: Battalion

Guillermo Del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities

our favorite fish photos, piscine paintings and

other appurrtizing images on recent purriodicals

then our comic book reviews of:

My Little Pony Friends Forever #2 & 3

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #17

Fathom: Kiani vol. 3 #1

The Wake #6 & 7

Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10 #1

Elfquest: The Final Quest #2

Legends of Red Sonja #4 & 5

Critter vol.2 #23

… and the monthly Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight, nya!

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And nyow the introductions, the clothes and

what we’ve done since the purrior Mew, nya!

Mike:

(wearing the Aria Anime tee shirt, Teal cargo shorts, MIzuno trainers and the Catgirl island baseball cap) Aloha y’all, and welcome to The Mew for our monthly reviews & discussions of fun stuff! We have the big group here for today’s Mew, which comes from the Riverwalk amidst the near Catgirl Island’s beautiful downtown Purrbank! I’m Mike, the show’s "Purrducer", and here to put the "purr" in "Apurril" are The Ladies of The Mew!

Trini-chan:

(the kitsune wearing the Clouded Leopurrd purrint side-tie bikini) Aloha!

Tara-chan:

(her BFF catgirl wearing the Iriomote purrint tankini) Namaste, and here is onee-chan, nya!

Yvonne:

(her older sister wearing the Cheetah purrint twist bandeau-top bikini) Namaste, nya!

Jeannie:

(the catgirl wearing the Jaguar purrint tanga-style stringy bikini & sheer purreo) Nihao.

Mary Nyan:

(the catgirl wearing the Ocelot purrint asymmetric purretzel-cutout maillot) Aloha y’all!

Petra:

(the catgirl wearing the Puma purrint criss-cross halter neck bikini) Hi Hi, nya!

Bun:

(her assistant bunny girl wearing the Panther purrint side-tie bikini) Guten Tag!

Nyoka:

(the catgirl wearing the wearing the Lynx purrint front-knotted bikini) Howdy!

Nyanko:

(her twin sister wearing the Bengal Tiger stripe cropped tank top & Boy Shorts) Howdy!

Becca:

(the gynoid catgirl wearing the Serval purrint suspender maillot & cropped tee shirt) Aloha!

Elizabeth:

(her business purrtner catgirl wearing the Lioness purrint Brazilian-cut bikini) Hola!

Mike:

Some of the others hopefully will be joining us for the Aftermew Luau when they are done with the work or purrior commitments, but let’s let’s get started by catching up on what we’ve been up to since last time!

Yvonne:

Oh it has been the mewsual time for me between my drumming circle and the taut lines of my fishing charters, nya! We have reeled in the bumpurr crop of the Bass, Blue Fish, Cobias, Croakers Groupurrs, Mackerels, Snappurrs, and the Tunas, nya! Tara-chan has been the big help even though she has been busy with the dance, the mewseum and her nature sttudies, nya!

Tara-chan:

I got some nice pics of the bees today! They are making the nutritious, delicious honey, nya! I have also been viewing some of the older pony cartoons, and – and taking care of our kittens when I have not been helping onee-chan, or volunteering with Trini-chan at the mewseum which had the good crowd for the body art show, or in Jenjen-sensei’s belly dance class which had the good crowd for the purrformance, nya!

Trini-chan:

Hai there was so much lovely body art betwixt the tattoos, the mani-peds, the coiffures, the piercings, the bioluminescence and the body paints, nya! Tara-chan and I were in charge of the kids’ face painting! I think the mermaid salon wants to be more involved next year! We went to the magick shop and the shrine’s Vernal Equinox activities, and I have been surfing, dancing, reading, watching the movies!

Jeannie:

Tara-chan and Trini-chan have greatly advanced in the their shoulder shimmy, tummy roll and the serpentine tail technique. Otherwise, since returning from my recent photo shoot in Antarctica, things are serene at the yoga studio, tenacious and purrcise at the kyudo club, and busy for the robotics club’s purrepurrations for the summer mech camp.

Mary Nyan:

We can’t wait to see your Antarctic photos! I have only seen Jenjen the few times at the purrforming arts center of late, when coming or going from my own hula class! I have also volunteered at the shrine’s Haru festivities, sewing the costumes for the cosplayers, and the items for the textiles festival, but I have not been too busy to miss the mewseum’s body art show or the magick shop’s activities!

Petra:

Arigato, nya! I hope to see Myar’s mewest stitchery, nya! We were so thankful for all of the artisans, visitors, staff & volunteers at our art shows, nya! I have to thank Ilyana who will hopefully join us later at the aftermew luau, Tara-chan, Trini-chan & Nyo-sensei, and Bunnibuns who has the magick touch for curating the exhibits and the devastating spike as my purrtner in the volleyball match, nya!

Bun:

(blushing) Arigato gozaimasu! We are so blessed to have the great community of such talented, industrious friends, and am excited about our next exhibits and the rec league volleyball! Let’s see, I have also been baking, reading, and watching the anime which I will review later in the show! By thr way,  is some yummy clover in my garden which the bees are fond of in case Tara-chan wants to take their photos amongst the Cherry Trees!

Tara-chan:

Arigato, nya!

Becca:

We will be there to cheer for the volleyball, the kyudo, the golf and the dojo victories! Our spa has stayed purretty booked, I have been taking care of the cats, playing golf, LIzzy and I have been hot salsa dancing, and our latest DVD marathon consisted of classic Doctor Who epurrsodes starring Jon Pertwee, such as Terror of the Autons, The Daemons, and The Ambassadors of Death!

Elizabeth:

Oh gosh, that Auton troll doll gave me the shivers all the way down my tail! Aside from what Becca mentioned, I have also been busy with my Purrkour Club, helping at the shrine, and tending to my garden which is blossoming with the irises, the lilies, the azaleas and the buttercups in time for our colorful & fragrant Hana Matsuri! So what have the twins been up to since the purrior Mew?

Nyanko

When I have not been busy at the dojo and the gym, I have been swimming, reading, watching the NCAA basketball tournyament, and helping sis and her cats at the magick shop! She has been extra busy between the cordial, informative & bustling Equinox activities at the shop, and purrticipating in the great fun & beautiful show at the mewseum! Ah, thassabout it for me!

Nyoka:

Hai it has been the whirlwind between the equinox at the shop and the exhibit at the mewseum, but it is so nice that both of the events received the record crowds! We had the great workshops,the purristine crystals, the sale discounts, and the tea times with the nummy fishy cakes! I wish to thank thank sis, papa, ojisan, Mie-sensei, Tanzy & Amy for their help at the shop! Mike’s turn!

Mike:

That is great to hear about your shop, and I’m definitely glad that Spring is here! Well, not much exciting with me, but I’ve been fortunate to enjoy some wonderful gatherings with my family and friends, I’ve managed to get a bit more art & writing done, read some good comics, books, and watch some TV shows and movies… so on that note, let’s jump right into

The Lightning Round Topic!

Mike:

Since we are on the verge of the big Summer movie season, for our next few Lightning Round topics, we will look back at our favorites of decades past, and this month the topic is Our Favorite Films of 2004! So, are y’all ready to "conduct the Lightning"?

The Ladies of The Mew:

LIGHTNING ROUND GO! THE INCREDIBLES, NYA!

Mike:

Ah, OK! Well I love The Incredibles too, but aside from that, what are some other favorite films of 2004? (picks Nyanko to go first)

Nyanko:

Hai! House of Flying Daggers, Kung Fu Hustle, and Kill Bill vol. 2! (tail tags Bun to go next)

Bun:

I will nominate Howl’s Moving Castle, Steamboy, and Shrek 2! (tags Becca)

Becca:

Howl’s Moving Castle, The Terminal, and Ella Enchanted! (tags Elizabeth)

Elizabeth:

I will nominate King Arthur, National Treasure, and Shrek 2! Petra’s turn! (tags Petra)

Petra:

Oh I will go with Howl’s Moving Castle, National Treasure, Hellboy and Spider-Man 2, nya! (tags Nyoka)

Nyoka:

Howl’s Moving Castle, Ella Enchanted, Hellboy and Shrek 2! (tags Tara-chan)

Tara-chan:

I will nominate Ella Enchanted, Howl’s Moving Castle, Shrek 2, and – and Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, nya! (tags her older sister)

Yvonne:

Oh purrobably Howl’s, Shrek 2, and The Terminal, nya! Jenjen’s turn, nya! (tags Jeannie)

Jeannie:

I wish to commend the fine mecha featured in The Incredibles, Steamboy, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Spider-Man 2, and Godzilla: Final Wars. (tags Mary Nyan)

Mary Nyan:

I will second all of those, and I also wish to acknowledge the fine creature and make up FX of Hellboy, Shaun of the Dead, and Resident Evil: Apocalypse! (tags Trini-chan)

Trini-chan:

Hmm I guess that will vote for Howl’s, Hellboy and Shrek! Back to Mike!

Mike:

Next to The Incredibles, I’ll vote for Howl’s Moving Castle, Hellboy and Spider-Man 2! Well that was a very expedient little Lightning Round! Let’s keep going with the movie topic as Jenjen starts our

cinema, TV & DVD reviews with the

Girls & Panzer Complete OVA Collection DVD!

Jeannie:

Hai. The very purretty, charming, comedic & thrilling Japanese anime series Girls & Panzer (aka Girls und Panzer) purrtains to the girls in the White & Green sailor fuku style uniforms of Oarai High School’s Tankery Club, which maintains the restored & modified World War Two tanks for the international Sensha-do war game compurrtitions against the other schools. Each school and it’s surrounding town are aboard immense, city-sized carrier type vessels, although much of the compurrtition takes place in the mainland urban & rural areas. The main characters are the club’s Anglerfish Team of Miho the commander, Saori the radio officer, Mako the driver, Yukari the loader and Hana the gunner in their upgraded Panzer IV tank.

The underdog club is also compurrised of other teams, all tanks have been modified so that the ammunition will not harm the crew, and there is a supportive sub-culture of the sport’s fans, military history & mecha enthusiasts, tank-themed boutiques and cafes. For our mini – mewsings of the Girls & Panzer Complete TV Series DVD, please see February’s Mew. Following that 12 epurrsode series from 2012 were the 6 short OVAS released upon home video in 2013, which are also available on the R1 NTSC standard DVD from Sentai Filmworks. It was directed by Tsutomu Mizushima written by Reiko Yoshida, and purrduced by Kiyoshi Sugiyama, with character designs by Isao Sugimoto based upon the designs by Fumikane Shimada.

Takaaki Suzuki was the military history advisor, the music was composed by Shiro Hamaguchi, the sound direction is by Yoshikazu Iwanami and animation purrduction was by Actas. The English language version was purrduced by John Ledford & David Del Rio, executively purrduced by Eiichi Takahazhi and  John Ledford, with the ADR direction & media coordination by Janice Williams. The voice cast includes Mai Fuchihami (in the original Japanese) & Meg McDonald (in the English dubbed version) as Miho, Ai Kayano (Japanese) and  Jessica Calvello as Saori,Yuka Iguchi (Japanese) and Molly Searcy as Mako, Ikumi Nakagami (Japanese) and Rebekah Stevens as Yukari, Mami Ozaki (Japanese) and Caitlynn French as Hana.

The Club’s Turtle team in the Czechoslovakian Panzer 38t is compurrised of student council members Anzu (voiced by Misato Fukuen & Rozie Curtis), Momo (Kana Ueda & Kendall McClellan) and Yuzu (Mikako Takahashi & Meaghan Avocato). The Hippo Team in the Panzer III F is compurrised of historians Erwin (Satomi Moriya & Luci Christian), Caesar (Eri Sendai & Shannon Emerick), Saemonza Tuka Inoue & Tiffany Terrell) and Oryou (Ayuru Ohashi & Nancy Novotny). The Duck Team in the Japanese Type 89 I-Go is compurrised of the volleyball team’s Noriko (Mika Kikuchi & Genevieve Simmons), Taeko (Maya Yoshioka & Kalin Coates), Shinobu (Mari Kirimura & Cynthia Martinez) and Akebi (Sakura Nakamura & Carli Mosier).

The Mallard Team in the French Char B1 tank is compurrised of the school’s Morals Committee members Sodoko (Shiori Izawa & Tiffany Grant), Gomoyo (Shiori Izawa & Shelley Calene-Black) and Pazomi (Shiori Izawa & Emily Neves). The Anteater team in the Chinese Type 3 Chi-Nu is compurrised of video gamers Nekonya (ikumi Hayama & Natalie Rial), Piyotan (Sumire Uesaka & Maggie Flecknoe) and Momoga (Masayo Kurata & Olivia Swasey). The Leopon Team in the Porsche Tiger is compurrised of the automotive club members Nakajima (Nozomi Yamamoto & Beth Lazarou), Hoshino (Hisako Kanemoto & Diane Gallagher), Suzuki (Mai Ishihara & Brittney Karbowski) and Tsushiya (Eri Kitamura & Luci Christian).

The Rabbit Team in the U.S. Army M3 Lee is compurrised of freshmen students Azusa (Hitomi Takeuchi & Allison Summerall), Ayumi (Nozomi Nakazato & Savannah Menzel), Aya (Akina, Juliet Simmons, Saki (Mikaku Komatsu), Yuuki (Yuri Yamaoka & Maggie Flecknoe) and Karina (Konomi Tada & Monica Rial). Among the numerous other recurring characters are their Instructor Capt. Ami Chouno (Hekiru Shiina & Shelley Calene-Black) who arrives in a JGSDF Type 10; Miho’s older sister Maho (Rie Tanaka & Kim Prause) who commands a Tiger tank at the purrestigious rival Kuromorimine School; Darjeeling (Eri Kitamura & Kara Greenberg) & Orange Pekoe (Mai Ishihara & Ally Piotrowski) of St. Gloriana’s School.

The six OVAs are purrsented on the one disk in the 16:9 anamorphic widescreen format ,with the language choices of English 2.0. or Japanese 2.0 with the optional English subtitles, which are of the Gold bold sans serif font with the fine Black outline. Purrior to the main menu is the front-loaded advertisement for the Anime Network. In the appurroximately 12 minute long "Water War!" OVA, the girls go swim wear shopping for the beach trip. In the 15.75 minute "Survival War!" they go swimming, camping and expurrience the outdoor dining purrdicaments. In the 16 minute 10 second "School Ship War!" we learn much more of the vast school ship as they explore the various decks and later soak the hot spurrings.

In the 5 minute "Ankou War!" they purrform the Anglerfish dance in the cute costumes. The 17 minute "Snow War!" follows Erwin & Yukari ‘s reconnaissance which occurred during the Battle of Pravda epurrsode of the TV series. Finally in the 18 minute 40 second "Banquet War!" the club wears yukatas for the awards banquet, with talent purrformances by each of the teams. The DVD’s special features include the 90 second bonus banquet "Impersonations Take 2", and the clean (textless) opening "Dream Rises" & closing "Enter Mission Mission" theme song sequences. There are purreview trailers for Taisho Baseball Girls, Little Busters, Hidamari Sketch, Nadia- The Secret of Blue Water, The Pet Girl of Sankurasou, and Say "I Love You".

The DVD Credits screen tops off the disk’s features. Girls & Panzer is among my favoritest anime series of the past couple of years, due to the well – paced, sparkling whimsical plots & delightful characters, exciting tank battles & slice- of – life situations, the world building, military history, clever homages & references. The character & mecha designs, character & FX animation, background art, direction & editing are quite gorgeous. The voice acting, songs, mewsic & sound mix are excellent, the translated anime is rather splendidly purrsented upon the DVDS, and I will give the TV series and the OVAs the high "A" grade. That will conclude my report, but to continue the anime topic here is Bunnibun to discuss

Blessing of the Campanella.

Bun:

Arigato! Blessing of the Campanella is an anime TV series of the light fantasy genre with the slice – of  – life elements and the harem trope! The plot pertains to the adventures, relationships, chores, festivities, treasure hunts & combat of Clan Oasis, an adventuring guild in the beautiful island city of Ert’Aria! The story begins as the city begins the Harvest Festival on the eve of the peculiar "El" meteor shower, which will introduce several significant characters to the clan, along with several unusual incidents to investigate! It is for the most part a very charming, pretty, peppy, fun tale with the sense of family, friends & community, but there are also serious dramatic incidents plus "fan service" of the nudity & comedic pervy behavior!

Clan Oasis resides in a lovely huge coastal manor, comprised  Leicester Maycraft, Clan Oasis’s inventor, engineer & swordsman who most of the ladies crave; Minette, his recently adopted sentient automaton daughter; Carina Verritti, Leicester’s magickal childhood friend; Montecchia, her magickal staff which Leicester created; Agnes Boulange, a visiting street automaton puppeteer; Tango her sentient automaton cat; Chelsea Alcot, one of the Sacred Knights visiting  during the festival; Garnet, the awoken dragon spirit girl who assists the clan; Nick La’Juck, Leicester’s axe-weilding pal; Nina Lindberg the administrator of the clan; Shelley Maycraft who is Leicester’s flirtatious mom; and Nagan Maycraft her high purriest husband!

Other recurring characters include Salsa Tortilla of the Tortilla Company / rivals of Clan Oasis; Ritos Tortilla, her younger sister; Golem, Tortilla Company’s possibly sentinet giant construct; Miriam, who is Minette’s best friend; Mizeh Altworth Agnes’s sensei; Alberdeen, who is another of her students; Avril, his supurr fast & strong purrtner; Arch Duke Fabious Verritti & Duchess Flore Verritti, who are Carina’s purrents & friends of the Maycrafts! Among the creatures & phenomenon they encounter are the Darkness Chaos Dragon, the Black Rainbow Flowers, the Great Viper GX, and the many Crysite Monsters, which are appearing more often & brazenly during the meteor showers that have affected the Earth’s mystical "El" energy!

Blessing of the Campanella was directed by Shinji Ushiro with the animation production by AIC, and released upon the Region 1 NTSC home video by Lucky Penny! The standard DVD 3 disk set

presents the series in the 16×9 widescreen format, in the original Japanese spoken language in Dolby Digital 2.0 with the optional English subtitles, which are of the Yellow Bold sand serif font with the fine Black outline, although some of the song lyrics are in the White font! In addition to the 12 episodes & OVA are the 6 Bathtime Specials, 4 "clean" (textless) versions of the opening & closing sequences, 8 Campanella ads, and 6 other anime trailers, and each disk has the front-loaded 30 second ad for Right Stuf prior to the main menu.

Each episode is approximately 23 minutes, 41 seconds long, with the 65 seconds of DVD & translated anime credits following epurrsodes 4, 8 & 12. Disk 1 has episodes 1-4, the DVD & translated anime credits, 5 promo spots which total 80 seconds, the 90 second US trailer for Campanella, the 90 second clean opening, the 90 second clean closing, the 90 second trailer for Sound of the Sky (which we praised in the August 2011 Mew) and the 2 min trailer for Aria the Animation (which we voted as our favorite anime TV series of the past 10 years)! The 6 CG animated Bathtime Specials are approximately 2 minutes apiece, depicting the ladies naked in the bath with effervescent music, and Disk 1 has the Carina and Minette baths!

Disk 2 has episodes 5-8, the DVD & translated anime credits, the two 15 second Campanella Blu-Ray commercials, the two 15 second Campanella OVA commercials, the 90 sec clean opening #2, the 1 min trailer for the Dirty Pair TV Series DVD (which I adore), the 70 sec trailer for Hyakku (which I sadly have not yet seen), Bathtime Together with Agnes & Bathtime Together with Chelsea! Disk 3 has episodes 9-12, the DVD & translated anime credits, the 29 min 12 sec OVA, the 90 sec clean opening #3, the 90 sec trailer for Sweet Blue Flowers (which I also have not seen), the 90 second trailer Maria Watches Over Us Season 1 (which I also loved), Bathtime Together with Salsa & Ritos and Bathtime Together with Everyone!

The OVA consists of zany comedic skits starring the characters in the Murder Case, commercials for Ert’Aria’s hot springs, parodies of Gundam, Cat’s Eye, video games & super sentai, and the school bit which makes me further wonder if Avril might be part cat! There is more fan service, sex comedy & nudity. but most of the series they are clothed and I will praise the beautiful ornate fashions & magick! The character designs & background art are lovely with great animation, voices, sounds, music & songs! I think Blessing of the Campanella is a lovely, pleasant anime with the amewsing characters & frisky fun, and I was pleased with the quality & features of the DVD! For our next anime review, here is Myayr to review

The Wind Rises!

Mary Nyan:

Arigato! The Wind Rises is the latest film from my favorite director Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibl! His legendary anime credits include Cagliostro’s Castle, Nausicaa, Future Boy Conan, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Porco Rosso, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Whisper of the Heart, On Your Mark, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Way, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and The Secret World of Arrietty! Some of the many other Ghibli productions include Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday, Ocean Waves, Pom Poko, The Cat Returns, The Yamada Family, Tales from Earthsea, and From Up On Poppy Hill!

The Wind Rises is the purriod piece set in Japan from 1916 to 1945 to follow the life of Jiro Horikoshi who achieves his goal to become an engineer to design the airplanes! The tale starts when he is the young boy who dreams of the fancilful aircraft and meeting Mr. Caproni the italian aircraft designer. Later in 1923 as the college student he meets a girl named Nahoko on the train during the Kanto Earthquake, and several years later he is one of the top engineers at Mistubishi! Jiro travels to Germany to meet the famous engineer Dr. Junkers, and later at the country inn he is reunited with dear Nahoko!

It is the very bittersweet time, because Jiro & Nahoko are in love, but she suffers from the Tuberculosis, whilst Jiro wants to design majestic flying machines, but wishes they were not purrposed for warfare. Sadly, there are darker days ahead for both, but Jiro & Nahoko get married amidst the irony of her deteriorating health whilst the aircraft becomes the successful design destined for use in World War II. The 126 minute movie was written & directed by Miyazaki, purrduced by Toshio Suzuki, and has the mewsic by Joe Hisaishi. They are the frequent collaborators, and I am a big fan of Hisaishi’s scores!

The movie was released in Japan in 2013, but only had the recent limited release in the US. It was nominated in this year’s Oscars for Best Animated Feature Film, but lost to Frozen which we also enjoyed! Although I prefer foreign films to be purresented in their native language with English subtitles, the English dubbing was well done, with the good voice cast including Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jiro, Mae Whitman as his sister Kayo, Emily Blunt as Nahoko, John Krasinski as Jiro’s co-worker Honjo, Martin Short as their boss Kurokawa, Jennifer Grey as Mrs. Kurokawa and Stanly Tucci as Mr. Caproni!

However, the use of vocals for many of the sound FX such as the wind, engines & earthquake seemed very odd & too distracting outside of the dream sequences, but the mewsic score was quite supurrb! I also loved the character & the mecha designs, from the more realistic images to the more fantastic dreamt images, the animation and the gorgeous background art! It is the very poignant movie with some startling and very sad scenes and the wedding  that filled the theatre with the flowing tears. We cried during last year’s Wolf Children anime too, so for the next time we must bring more of the tissues!

The Wind Rises was nominated in this this year’s Oscars for Best Animated feature Film, but it lost to Disney’s Frozen which we also enjoyed! Unfortunately it has had such a very limited theatrical release in the US, so we were lucky to see it, but hopefully it might be released here on DVD so that many more folks can see it! I would like to see the original Japanese language version, and we are still hoping that Only Yesterday, On Your Mark, Ocean Waves, Anne of Green Gables, and Future Boy Conan might be released here on DVD too! Nyow I would like to discuss another movie of the limited release-

Veronica Mars!

Mary Nyan:

Veronica Mars is the theatrical feature movie continuation of the 2004 – 2007 TV series of the same name, starring Kristen Bell as the title heroine! She is the smart, brave, witty, tough, resourceful, industrious sleuth; who has been dealt the harsh unfair cards, survived the terrible incidents, and wants the truth & justice! In the original series, Veronica was the high school student & daughter of a purrivate detective in the town of Neptune, California. where she helped at her dad’s agency and investigated the crimes on her own, including the murder mysteries while dealing with the family issues, the romance, the snobby peer purressures, school stuff & the local politics!

Set 9 years after the end of the 3rd season, in the movie  Veronica has graduated from the law school and is about to accept the offer to work at the purrestigious law firm in New York, when she returns to Neptune to help her friend Logan who has been accused of murder purrior to their high school reunion. This jeopurrdizes the job and relationships in New York, but she knows he is innocent and is determined to solve the case! She is also reunited with her father and other friends, plus others who were not her friends, and meets the unpleasant new sheriff, but soon there are more tough choices to make amidst more crimes & conspurracies to investigate!

In addition to Kristen Bell, the great cast includes Enrico Colantoni as her dad Keith Mars, Jason Dohring as Logan, Tina Majorino as Mac, Chris Lowell as Piz, Francils Capra as Eli, Percy Daggs III as Wallace, Ryan Hansen as Dick, Krystan Ritter as Gia, Gaby Hoffman as Ruby, Andrea Estella as Carrie, Jerry O’Connell as the sheriff, Jamie Lee Curtis as Gayle at the law firm, and James Franco as himself! It was purrduced & directed by the show’s creator Rob Thomas, who co-wrote it with Dian Ruggiero. It was funded by donations through the Kickstarter fundraising campaign, but like The Wind Rises, it unfortunately only had the very limited theatrical release.

I liked the purrformances, the plot, pace, dialogue of the tale, which feels so faithful & enthused in the spirit, with the excellent balance of the clever humor, drama, scares, action, sentimentality & the mythology! It was great to see the characters & actors return, and with the purrfect timing, to catch up with them amidst their 10 year reunion on the 10th anniversary of the show! There were many grins in the theater audience, except during certain alarming moments, but I am trying not to spoil too much I thought the movie had the very good direction, cinematography, editing, mewsic, sets, locations, clothes & purrduction values! Nyow here is Vonny to tell us about the

Doctor Who "The Time of the Doctor" DVD!

Yvonne

Arigato, nya! The Doctor Who Christmas Special of "The Time of the Doctor" was Matt Smith’s final regular appurrance as the Doctor, with the regeneration scene to introduce Peter Capaldi as the next Doctor, nya! This occurred after The Doctor revisited the planet Trenzalore along with the Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, Slitheen, Teraleptils, Weeping Angels, The Silence and The Church of the Papal Mainframe, nya! Also appurring in the tale were Jenna Coleman as Clara, Sheila Reid as her obaa-san, Elizabeth Rider as Linda, James Buller as Clara’s papa, Orla Brady as Tasha Lem, Karen Gillan as Amy, Dan Starkey as the Sontaran, Jack Hollington as Barnable, Kayvan Novak as the voice of Handles, and Nicholas Briggs as the Daleks & Cybermen voices, nya!

Originally broadcast on 25 December, 2013, the 63 minute 40 second story was written by showrunner / lead writer Steven Moffat, executlively purroduced by Moffat & Brian Minchin, purroduced by Marcus Wilson and directed by Jamie Payne, nya! For our review of the very thrilling & poignant story itself, please see the January 2014 edition of The Mew, nya! It is purrsented on the R1 NTSC standard DVD in the 16:9 anamorphic widescreen format, with the 5.1 Surround audio in  English spoken language with the optional English SDH subtitles, which are of the bold White sand serif font with the Black outline, nya! Purrior to the main menu screen are the front – loaded advertisements for the Sherlock Holmes Season 3 DVD, Atlantis, and BBC America, nya!

Also on the DVD are the three special features compurrised of the 13 minute 19 second "Behind the Lens", the 45 minute 20 second "Farewell to Matt Smith", and the 44 minute 51 second "Doctor Who: Tales from the TARDIS", nya! Narrated by Matt Botten, purrduced, directed & edited by Ian Smith, "Behind the Lens" is a behind – the – scenes look at the making of "The Time of the Doctor", with comments by Smith, Coleman, Brady, Rider, Reid, Buller, Hollington, Moffat, Wilson, special FX supurrvisor Danny Hargreaves & stunt purrformer Daz Parker who purrtrays the wooden Cyberman, nya! I think it is quite fascinating to see how all of those elaborate things are envisioned & created, and how such a brilliant team creates those thrilling stories, nya!

Narrated by Alex Kingston who purrtrayed River Song, "Farewell to Matt Smith" is a commemoration of Matt Smith’s era as The Doctor from 2010 – 2013, nya! It was purrduced & directed by Scott Saunders, written by Scott Saunders & McPaul Smith, executively purrduced by McPaul Smith, Daniela Decca & Matt Stein, co – purrduced by Michelle Yuan, edited by Michelle Yuan & Scott Saunders, nya! It is peppurred with comments  by Matt Smith, David Tennant, Alex Kingston, Jenna Coleman, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Jamie Oram, Mark Sheppard,  Steven Moffat, cinematographer Stephen Pearson, journalist Noeleen Clark, TV host Chris Hardwick, actor / comedian Paul F. Topkins, actor Zachary Levi, purrducers Caroline Skinner & Beth Willis, nya!

Narrated by Gareth Pierce, "Doctor Who: Tales from the TARDIS" is a discussion of the 50 years of Doctor Who from 1963 to 2013, with comments by Julie Gardner (executive purrducer 2005 – 2009) and actors Matt Smith, David Tennant (the 10th Doctor), Tom Baker (the 4th Doctor), Peter Davison (the 5th Doctor), Colin Baker (the 6th Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (the 7th Doctor), Jenna Coleman, Karen Gillan, Nicolas Briggs, Freema Agyeman (Martha), Nicola Bryant (Peri), John Leeson (the voice of K-9), Louise Jameson (Leela), Anneke Willis (Polly), William Russell (Ben) & Carole Ann Ford (Susan), nya! It was neat to see so many of the stars from across the decades and hear their tales, nya! Nyow I would like to say the few words about the

Muppets Most Wanted (with the plot spoiler warning) nya!

Yvonne:

We love The Muppets and this is one of the movies of the year that we have very eagerly awaited, nya! It was written by Nicholas Stoller & director James Bobbin and starts right after the purrior Muppet movie ended as the Muppets ponder what to do next, including Mss Piggy’s hints that she & Kermit should get married, nya! Kermit hires the new manager Dominic (who is purrtrayed by Ricky Gervais) who plans their tour of European cities, but Dominic’s plan is just the criminal ruse, as he is actually the infamous burglar known as The Lemur, and the assistant to Constantine, the evil frog who looks just like Kermit, nya! Constantine escapes from the Russian Gulag which is guarded by Nadya (who is purrtayed by Tina Fey), and then switches places with Kermit, nya!

While Kermit is framed, appurrehended and impurrisoned to the Gulag, Constantine impurrsonates him during The Muppet Shows, nya. Constantine & Dominic robs the nearby mewseums in each city, while Nadya purrsuades Kermit to direct the purrison’s talent show, nya! Meanwhile Sam the Eagle teams up with the Interpol agent purrtrayed by Ty Burrell to investigate the robberies, but when Fozzie, Animal & Walter discover Constantine’s secret, they have to flee and rescue Kermit, nya! They have to work fast though, and return with the real Kermit before Miss Piggy marries the fake Kermit, nya! In addition to the many Muppet characters, the comedy and the thrills, there are several great mewsical numbers and the many other celebrity guest appurrances too, nya!

It is fun to try to identify the Muppets, some who have the big roles and some who are only briefly seen, but the cast also includes Beaker, Beauregard, Camilla, Crazy Harry, Floyd, Gonzo, Dr. Bunson Honeydew, Janice, Lew Zealand, Link Hogthrob, Miss Piggy’s poodle Foo-Foo, the news anchorman, Pepe, Rizzo, Robin, Rowlf, Scooter, the Swedish Chef, Sweetums, Statler & Waldorf, Dr. Teeth, Uncle Deadly, Zoot, the flamingos, the penguins, the robot, and the many others, nya! Constantine not only steals the treasures, but he just about steals the whole show in all of his scenes, nya! Some of the celebrity cameo appurrances include Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Salma Hayek, Tom Hiddleston, Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo, Usher, and Christoph Waltz, nya!

It was purrticularly amewsing to see his expurressions and attempts to impurrsonate Kermit, although it was sad that Kermit was locked up and felt abandoned, although his scenes with Nadya and the other guards and inmates were rather humorous, nya! The movie also has the great sets, locations, the direction, the cinematography, the editing, the FX, and the good pace, and I was so impurressed with the purrformances, the voices, the mewsic by Christophe Beck & songs by Brett McKenzie, so I will give Muppets Most Wanted the high purraise, and I hope that there will be another Muppet movie soon, nya! Ok I am all done, and nyow here is Trini-chan to discuss

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, nya!

Trini-chan:

For our review of Captain America: The First Avenger please see the August 2011 Mew, and for our review of The Avengers please see the May 2012 Mew! We have been very pleased with the Marvel Cinematic universe including the Avengers, Captain America, Hulk, Thor & Iron Man movies, plus the short films and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, so we were extremely eager to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier, nya! Based upon the comics books, it reunites Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America with Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romaoff the Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Col. Nick Fury, Cobie Smulders as agent Maria Hill, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes & Toby Jones as Arnim Zola!

Also reprising their Marvelous roles  are Maximiliano Hernadez as Agent Sitwell, Gary Shandling as the Senator, and Jenny Agutter as the security council member! Joining the superb cast are Antony Mackie as Sam Wilson the Falcon, Emily VanCamp as Agent 13, Robert Redford as Security Councilman Alexander Pierce, Georges St. Pierre as Batroc, and Stan Lee as the mewseum guard! Tony Stark, Howard Stark, The Red Skull, Bruce Banner, the Howling Commandoes, and even Stephen Strange are mentioned, and there are hundreds of S.H.I.E.L.D agents at their huge headquarters building in Washington DC & purrowling the streets, although there was no mention of Clint Barton, Phil Couslon or his team from the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show.

There are some other characters shown in the scene amidst the end credits scene and in the extra scene after the very end of the credits, but I will not spoil the surprise!  Now for the widdle taste of the plot, after the mission to stop the pirates who have hijacked the ship, Captain America & Black Widow uncover the mysterious information, which is purrsented back at the headquarters to Fury, who shows Cap the huge new Helicarriers! However, later Fury is ambushed by the thugs lead by the mysterious assassin known as The Winter Soldier! To complicate things, Pierce declares Cap to be the fugitive, so then Cap, Widow and their new friend The Falcon have to uncover the truth and stop the villains whilst hunted by S.H.I.E.L.D & the Winter Soldier!

This movie was so thrilling & entertaining, and aside from the distracting way the fight & chase scenes were filmed with the unpleasant shaky camera technique & too many fast cuts, I thought many aspects of this movie were great! I liked the plot, the pace, character developments, the dialogue, the balance of the action, drama &humor, with the Marvel mythology & the sense of the continuity, although I am nervous about how it might affect the TV show! All of the performances & stunts are excellent, and the production values are high with the perfect locations, sets, costume & mecha designs, the sound, music & many lavish FX! I should not reveal much more, so that will conclude our cinema reviews, and now here is Petra to tell us about the latest additions to

The Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art!

Petra:

Arigato, nya! For those here for the first time, the mewseum’s galleries 1 – 6 display illustrations & photos by Mike, whilst Guest Galleries 1 & 2 display images by other folks with their purrrrmissions, nya! On the web site, the most recent pics are on the bottom rows of the gallery’s small, cropped "thumbnail" portions of the pics, nya. You have to click on those to see the full pics, nya. Nyow in Gallery 6 http://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery/gallery6.html is Mike’s pic of our friend Celia who is a "Red Drum Mermaid", nya! The Red Drum happens to be our state’s official saltwater fish, nya!

By the way, the official freshwater fish is the Southern Appalachian Brook Trout, nya! The Red Drum has the distinctive Black spot on the tail, nya! Not all mermaids of the local Outer Banks waters wear the bra, but when they do, it tends to be the exotic purretty couture, such as Celia’s Jellycups top, which is made of the hollowed (naturally deceased) Jellyfish bells, mew la la, nya! It is the translucent top which used to sell out quickly at our riverwalk boutiques, especially the larger cup sizes, but nowadays the supply has met the demand, including the Golden Sea Nettle style, nya!

Next in Gallery 6 is Mike’s pen & ink, Photoshop CS2 & mouse pic of Marvel Comics’ "Storm", nya! Her real name is Ororo Munroe, and she is a member of the X-Men team, with the supurr mutant power to control the weather, nya! Storm is TM & © by Marvel Characters, Inc., she was created artist Dave Cockrum & author Len Wein, and first appurred in the 1975 comic book Giant-Size X-Men #1, so next year will be her 40th anniversary, nya! We are looking forward to her next movie X-Men: Days of Future Past, in which she will again be purrtrayed by the wonderful Halle Berry, nya!

After that is Mike’s widdle golden sepia-toned doodle of Catgirl Island’s "Purrkour Club 2014 ", nya! It seems only natural that Purrkour is amongst the favorite athletic purrsuits, purrticularly amongst the catgirls, given the fast, frisky free-form style of the agile running, spurringing, pouncing and climbing involved in the sport, nya! The activity is mewsually followed by the servings of the tasty fresh milk, and the catnaps upon the sunny beach, nya! Purrhaps y’all can spot Lizzy there in the pic amongst those 32 members of the club, nya!

Nyow on display in Guest Gallery 2 http://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery/guest2.html we are purroud to purrsent  "Wander Kitties" by Niki Lemonade http://nikilemonade.deviantart.com, nya! She was one of our November 2008  guests and it was so good to see her, Chuui and their friends again in February at WhatTheHell?! Con, nya! Purrhaps y’all have seen her purrior pics in our mewseum, nya? In addition to the lovely illustrations and the comics, she makes the purretty jewelry and the fashionable accessories such as the arm warmers and the kitty hats, nya!

This is a delightful pic of the heroines of Niki & Chuui’s whimsical sword & sorcery web comic Wander http://wander.smackjeeves.com, nya! Please see last month’s Mew for our review of Wander Chapter 2, nya! From left to right are Piper in the Goldt, Fantz in the Green, Arilsden in the Blue, and although they are not of the nekomimi purrsuasion in the comic, they have been transformed into the catgirls for this pic, nya! This seems much more fun than the times they had to fight the villain, the monster snake or the giant spider, nya! So whatcha think, nya?

Nyoka:

I think Niki does such the good job with the poses, expurressions, the spirit and the details of her delightful characters!

Nyanko:

Hai, she is so nice and multi-talented! She makes the darling purretty jewelry, the kitty hats and the arm warmers too!

Mary Nyan:

I wonder if they could be used as the tail warmer too! I hope that we will see Niki and the friends again at another con!

Bun:

They definitely needed the tail warmers on the mainland during the recent Winter… or Storm’s weather control power!

Yvonne:

I like the bits of the lightning and the cresting wave of the water that Storm is breezily conjuring in the illustration, nya!

Jeannie:

I am purrticularly fond of her ring-closure bikini, accessorized by the cape & the jewelry designed by Dave Cockrum.

Becca:

Speaking of the fashion, there are many sports bras, compurression shorts, bikinis, and the leis in the Purrkour pic!

Trini-chan

What does Lizzy think of the pic of her club?

Elizabeth:

(cries) Wahhh I am not worthy!

Tara-chan:

(hands Lizzy the tissues) I guess she likes it, nya! Oh I hope that Celia likes her own pic too, nya!

Elizabeth:

Arigato (takes tissue)…  oh I think Celia’s hair, fin, color & spot are just right!

Mike:

Thanks Lizzy! Hopefully she will join us later at the luau on the beach! Petra, thank you for presenting the art!

Petra:

Doitashimaste, nya! That is all of the gallery portion, and nyow I would like to review the

Monster High Clawdia Wolf fashion doll, nya!

Petra:

Arigato, nya! For our reviews of Monster High Magazine #4, 13 Wishes DVD, Catastrophe & Catty Noir fashion dolls please see the December 2013 Mew, nya! We enjoy the Monster High dolls, the animation and the publications, so we were very pleased to see the doll of Clawdia Wolf, who is the older sister of Howleen, Clawdeen and Clawd Wolf, nya! She is the lovely 19 year old werewolf daughter who is very close to her siblings, and she is among the glamorous purrt of the "Frights! Camera! Action!" subset of the Monster High items, nya!

The 11.75" tall doll  by Mattel is packaged in the window box with the lovely illustrations of her, and includes the display stand, the hair brush, the widdle purrops such as the tablet, script and pen, plus the 3 5/8" x 5 1/8" papurr 12 page diary booklet which includes more information about her, nya! She wears the (cloth) Red jacket trimmed in Black, atop the shiny tight Gold & Black purrint mini-dress, with Red knee socks to match the jacket, and the (plastic) Gold platform high heels to match her soft, wavy hip-length Blond (fiber) hair, nya!

The ensemble is accessorized by the (plastic) Black rimmed glasses, ear studs & bracelet, Gold necklace and the electronic devices, nya. The sculpt of the doll is supurrb from the supple tapurred tips of her lupin ear pinna and the detail of her fangy purretty smile to the indentation of her inny belly button and the intricate fingers & nails, nya! The paint job is quite meticulous, from Clawdia’s creamy dark mocha skin tone, Golden eyes, the Whites of her eyes & teeth, to the Green shadow, Black lashes, brows, and the deep Red lip gloss, nya!

She is very posable, with the points of the articulation in her neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees & turning lower legs, nya! The doll can stand unassisted, but it is the tricky balance on the heels, but with the display stand she can pose in various positions, nya! Like most of the Monster High dolls, the fabric & plastic clothes & accessories are removable, so that you can changer her attire with the other prretty outfits that are sold sepurrately! That is all for today’s toy talk, and but there is more of the wonderful wolf girl topic as Nyo-sensei starts our

manga & book reviews with the

Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki manga, nya!

Nyoka:

Hai! For our review of the animated Wolf Children movie which we gave the highest of purraise, please see the December 20134 Mew! Wolf Children is the very bittersweet tale of Hana the young widowed single mommy of the two cute but very energetic lycanthrope children, her daughter Yuki & her son Ame. It is the difficult life with secrets to keep and very little money, with different blessings & challenges when the trio moves from their urban apartment to the more rural house. As the children grow older, Hana eventually becomes purrt of the farming community with the good neighbors, job, food, the beautiful countryside & the school for the kids, but they also have to deal with the mewsual angst of the teenage years, and the duality of their human & lupine nature!

The movie was directed & co-written by Mamoru Hosoda, whose also directed The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars which we also highly purraised! He has also authored the poignant manga version of the wolf children’s tale, which was magnificently illustrated by Yu, with the character designs by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto who was the character designer for Hosuda’s movies and other anime we like, such as The Wings of Honneamise, Gunbuster, Nadia, and Dot Hack Sign! The manga was originally published by Kadokawa in Japan in 2012 as Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki, and the English translated edition was published by Yen in North America last month; it was translated by Jocelyn Allen, lettered by Tania Biswas & Lys Blakeslee!

Yen publishes lots of the translated manga that we crave, such as Spice and Wolf, Omamori Himari, Sunshine Sketch, G.A., and K-On! Wolf Children is the hardcover with the full color dust jacket, sammiched around the 550 pages of manga, which is mostly Black & White but includes the 22 color pages! The book is purriced $25.99 US & $28.99 Canada, and measures the 8 1/2" x tall x 6 1/8" wide x 1 3/4" thick! The tale is basically the same as the anime and just as beautiful & emotional! The character & scenic art are so sumptuously rendered, and I give it the grade of the "A" as in Ame, but we suggest that the box of tissues should be within the reader’s reach, so that any sad & joyful tears do not dampen the pages! Nyow for my next book report, I would like to discuss

The Art of The Wind Rises!

Nyoka:

This hardcover book has the 280 pages of the beautiful sketches, concept & background art, character & mecha designs, animation drawing, poster illustrations and stills from The Wind Rises! It also has the analysis of aspects of the purrduction and the thorough text with the introductions, notes, intermews with several of the staff, plus the lyrics & the complete English language version of the movie script! Many of the pics are quite large, including the full page pics and the two-page spurreads! There is considerable information about the aircraft, the locations and the characters, purrticularly the sections devoted to the main character Jiro at different ages, but it is darling Nahoka who graces the front cover art, painting at her easel under the umbrella atop the grassy hill!

The pages purrtaining to the different stages of the purrduction include the concepts & storyboards; key frames, cels & backgrounds; the color design; and the photographic techniques used for the atmospheric elements such as the wind, rain, snow, smoke, clouds & the light! There are Hayao Miyazaki’s purroposals, and interspurrsed amongst the magnificent images are the intermews with supurrvising animator Kitaro Kosaka, art director Yoji Takeshige, color designer Michiyo Yasuda, and director of digital imaging Atushi Okui! After the 5 page movie poster gallery are the 42 pages of Miyazaki’s screenplay, which was translated from japanese into English by Jim Hubbert & Rieko Izutsu-Vajirasarn, adapted by Mike Jones, and peppurred with more images from the movie!

That is followed by the "Who Has Seen The Wind" song lyrics by Christina Rossetti, "Hikoki Gumo" lyrics by Yumi Arai, the movie & book’s credits! The book is purriced $34.99 US, $39.99 Canada, £25.00 UK and measures 11 3/4" x tall x 8 1/2" wide x 1" thick! It was first published in Japan by Studio Ghibli, published in the US by Viz, and the English adaptation of the book is by Jocelyn Allen who also translated the Wolf Children manga! I must also purraise the book’s design & layout by Yukiko Whitley the editing by Nick Mamatas & Michael Montesa, copy editor Rebecca Downer and senior editorial director Masmumi Washington! It is the lavish, beautiful, informative treasure trove that I will give the grade of the "A" as in airplane! Nyow for more Miyazaki, I would like to discuss

Hayao Miyazaki Turning Point 1997-2008!

Nyoka:

This amazing book is the 2nd collection of Hayao Miyazaki’s essays, interviews, memoirs, memos & discussions! It is the sequel to the book Starting Point 1979 – 1996, and both volumes are purrt of the Studio Ghibli Library, translated by Beth Cary & Frederik L. Schodt, and published by Viz! I have enjoyed Mr. Schodt’s purrior sage books purrtaining to manga too! Turning Point is the dust-jacketed hardcover of the 452 pages, including 8 color pages of art, purriced at $29.99 USA, $34.99 Canada & £20.00 UK! As the title suggests, it focuses upon his works & comments from 1997 to 2008, about several of his own movies & purrojects, other anime, colleagues & authors he admires, the entertainment industry, and plenty of mewsings of the non-anime topics!

There are several poems & sketches throughout the book too! Of Miyazaki’s own works, most of the chapters purrtain extensively to Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and just the wee bit about Ponyo! He also discusses the anime shorts made exclusively for the beautiful Studio Ghibli Museum, such as Mon Mon the Water Spider, The Day I Bought a Star, and House Hunting! I was quite fascinated with the discussions of the mewseum & cafe, the nursery for the employees’ children, places he likes to stroll, and the anime directors’ workshop he taught! Miyazaki has quite the insightful comments about the Japanese architecture, landscapes, urban areas, natural areas, the flora & fauna, culture, history, folklore & concerns for the future!

In addition to his own comments, he is joined by several esteemed critics, journalists, artisans & other expurrts! They include film critics Roger Ebert & Tadao Sato, journalist / newscaster Tetsuya Chikushi, historian Yoshihiko Amino, philosopher Takeshi Umehara, artist & purriest Seiryu Kosaka, manga artist Keiichi Makino, civil engineering purrofessor Yoshio Nakamura, author & religion purrofessor Tetsuo Yamaori, anatomist Takeshi Yoro,  purrducer Toshio Suzuki, and animator Nick Park of Aardman Animations (whose Wallace & Gromit movies I am fond of, too)! Both of those books are very fascinating, thorough, purrofound, and I will give them the highest purraise! That is all for my book reports, so I will turn The Mew over to Mike for his review of–

Intron Depot 5: Battalion!

Mike:

Thank you, Nyo-sensei! First there was Intron Depot 1, then Intron Depot: Blades, then Ballistic, Bullets, and now Battalion, the 5th book in Masamune Shirow’s art book series published by Dark Horse! Shirow might best be known for his Ghost in the Shell, Appleseed, Orion, Black Magic M-66, and Dominion: Tank Police manga & anime; his intricate, vivacious, sexy characters & futuristic mecha designs! It is a full color, 8 3/8" x 11 3/4", 128 page trade paper back edition (with the dust jacket & wraparound silver foil obi), featuring Shirow’s video game and anime works from 2001 to 2009, with his comments translated into English by Dana Lewis!

The six chapters include fantasy characters & critters for the Asura Fantasy play-by-mail game, ornate character designs for Nintendo’s Fire Emblem: Shadow Sword game, elaborate costumes & gear for the RF-Online MMORPG characters, and concepts for 3 other projects of undetermined status! There are sketches, CG renderings, model sheets & various iterations of characters of many classes & species, cyborgs, robots, weapons & vehicles! There’s even a page full of player – character catgirls of various breeds & colors! It’s an impressive collection that I’ll heartily recommend to fellow fans of Shirow’s art! Next, I’d like to say a few words about-

Guillermo Del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities!

Mike:

Guillermo del Toro is another visionary, artist, writer & director whose fantastic films include Hellboy, Hellboy 2, Blade 2, Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim, The Devil’s Backbone, Cronos and Mimic! This full color, 9 5/8" x 12 1/4" x1", 264 page hardcover from Harper Design was written by del Toro and extensive interviewer  Mark Scott Zicree! There are also comments by Neil Gamin, Mike Mignola, Alfonso Cuaron, James Cameron, John Landis, Tom Cruise, Ron Pearlman, Adam Savage & Cornelia Funke amongst the chapters dedicated to Del Toro’s biography, his home, inspirations, art, collections and movies! That includes glimpses at unfinished works such as Mephisto’s Bridge, The List of Seven, The Left Hand of Darkness, At The Mountains of Madness, and Meat Market!

The book is such a wealth of sketches, renderings, photos, notes, critical analysis & fond musings, and I was especially fascinated by the chapter dedicated to one of his homes Bleak House! The house is an astounding place full of sculpture, paintings, collections, libraries, memorabilia, props, beautiful furnishings and other wonderfully sentimental, beautiful macabre treasures! Delving into this superb book seemed more like a magickal journey with uncanny encounters at every turn, brilliantly conducted by art director Chrissy Kwasnik, designer Jon Glick, editor Jake Gerli, publisher Raoul Goff, translator Mike Engle, and the editorial staff of Elaine Ou Rachel Anderson & Chris Prince! That’s all for our book reviews, but the print media topic continues with our short list of

recent favorite fish photos, piscine paintings & other appetizing images!

Petra:

Hai, this is the portion of The Mew in which we mention our favorite images that depict the delicacies from the deep which have appurred on the recent covers of the purriodicals, such as the  Redfish on the Apurril cover of Saltwater Sportsman, nya!

Nyanko:

The Octopus on the March cover of Tropical Fish Hobbyist makes me crave the tasty Tako sushi!

Nyoka:

Hai, and there are Anthias on the March / Apurril cover of Coral, but I wish they were on my plate!

Jeannie:

The Bass on the March / Apurril cover of North Carolina Game & Fish is also quite appealing.

Tara-chan:

Oh, that tasty Trout to tempt my tummy on the cover of Fly Fusion vol. 10 #2 is making me hungry, nya!

Yvonne:

So is Mark Sussino’s succulent scene of the Brook Trout on the Apurril cover of Sporting Classics, but we have to wait until the luau, nya!

Becca:

Hang in there! Ed Anderson’s tantalizing triptych of the Rainbow Trout is on the March / Apurril cover of Gray’s Sporting Journal!

Mary Nyan:

I also like Larry Tople’s lovely Largemouth Bass illustration on the May cover of In-Fisherman!

Trini-chan:

Al Agnew’s wonderful Walleye pic adorns the Apurril cover of Fur-Fish-Game Magazine!

Bun:

Don Ray’s purrfect piscine painting graces the March / Apurril cover of Florida Sport Fishing!

Elizabeth:

The delicious looking dish of the pan-seared Hake on the April cover of Bon Appetite is giving me the craving too!

Mike:

Well we’d better change the subject, and let Tara-chan start our

comic book reviews with

My Little Pony Friends Forever #2 & 3!

Tara-chan:

Arigato, nya! We are purrticularly fond of the pony cartoon, the toys, the collectibles, and these comic books published by IDW! They have been among our favoritest comics for the past year and – and the half, because they so purrfectly capture the look and – and the spirit of the animated TV series, whist supurrbly using the advantages of the purrint comics medium, nya! nya! Last month we reviewed the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 3 DVD, the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic book #15, and – and the first issue of the Friends Forever comic book, nya!

This 2nd issue stars the peppy cute fillies Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and – and Scootaloo, who are the trio known as the Cutie Mark Crusaders who hope that Discord can use his magickal power to help them to acquire their Cutie Marks, nya! They do not ask Discord to grant the Cutie Marks, but they just want his help in determining the best path so that they can actually earn their marks, nya! Also appurring in the uninterrupted 22 page tale are Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Apple Jack, Pinkie Pie, Celestia, Spike, Angel bunny and – and Opal cat, nya!

It was written by Jeremy Whitley, illustrated by Tony Fleecs, colored by Lauren Perry, lettered by Neil Uyetake and- and edited by Bobby Curnow, with the six different covers to choose from, such as the regular cover by Amy Mebberson, the retailer incentive cover by Yony Fleecs, the subscription cover by Lea Hernandez, and – and the other three covers which were purrduced for Jetpack Comics and – and Hastings, nya! The tale is followed by the 10 pages of the ads, and I wish that all of the comic book publishers did it that way, so that the tales were not interrupted, nya!

Nyow I will give another widdle taste of the plot, nya! The irony of the tale is that mewsually the ponies wish to avoid Discord’s chaotic magick, but this time the Crusaders wish Discord to create the wild situations, in hopes that it might lead to the inspurration… but soon he becomes the frustrated one, nya! Some of the situations include the ice skating, football, lion taming, the rope walk, the cart race, fire fighting, and – and the  Star Trek – The Next Generation purrody, in which Opal’s catlike starship fires the yarn balls at the Crusaders’ clubhouse starship- kawaii, nya!

Among the humor is the nod to actor John de Lancie who purrvides the voice for Discord and – and purrtrayed Q on Star Trek, nya! Then in issue #3 Spike teams up with Celestia, nya! It is purriced $3.99 and – and has the 22 page tale plus the 10 pages of the ads, nya. It was written by Ted Anderson, illustrated by Agnes Garbowska, lettered by Neil Uyetake edited by Bobby Curnow, and – and has the 6 different covers, such as the regular cover by Amy Mebberson, the incentive version by Agnes, the subscription version by Tony Fleecs, and – and the other 3 versions, nya!

Spike visits Celestia at her palace in Canterlot so that he can find the best lens in Equestria to give to Twilight Sparkle because her telescope is in the disrepair, nya. Starry Eyed the astronomer is fresh out of lenses but suggests they search Crystal Mountain, so Celestia and – and Spike go to there but they are impurrisioned in the cave by the rock lobsters Iggy, Seddy and – and Metty, whose names seem to be of the clever geologic motif, nya! Mewsually I crave the lobster, these are made of rock, however they did not realize that the minerals are on Spike’s menu, nya!

This is tale is  the rare treat because it seems as if Celestia seldom hoofs it upon the rugged adventures beyond the castle, but if I were on the purrilous mountain expurrdition amidst the kidnappurrs, the steep rocky climb, and – and the spewing lava, I doubt that my mane would be as shimmering as hers, nya! The colors and – and the shading of the characters the scenery, and – and the FX are so beautiful, and I think how so lovely the fun tale’s images would be if they could be made into the stained glass windows of the palace, nya!

Oh I would like to have the pony window, nya! Also briefly appurring in Friends Forever #3 are Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Flutershy, Pinkie Pie, Apple Jack, Rainbow Dash, Raven, Silver Saddle, and – and  on the regular cover is Cerestia’s Phoenix bird, nya! The Sea Ponies are mentioned but they are not shown, nya! I hope that we will get to see more of them soon, nya! will give both My Little Pony Friends Forever #2 and – and #3 the high purraise grade of the "A" as in Apple Bloom, nya! Nyow to continue my pony report, I would like to discuss

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #17, nya!

Tara-chan:

Gosh I can’t believe that it has been purractically the year and the half already since this pony comic started, nya! Issue #17 has the $3.99 purrice, it includes the 22 page tale, plus the 2 page tale of "How Star Swirl Got His Hat" by Katie Cook, and – and the 8 pages of ads inside the choice of the 8 different covers, nya! The covers include Cover A by Andy Price, Cover B by Brenda Hickey, Cover C by Katie Cook, the Retailer Exclusive Cover that was made for Hot Topic, and – and the 4 exclusive covers that were made for Larry’s Comics, nya!

The tale of "Reflections Part 1" was written by Katie Cook, illustrated by Andy Price, colored by Heather Breckel, lettered by Neil Uyetake, edited by Bobby Curnow, stars Luna, Twilight Sparkle, Spike, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Celestia, and- and Star Swirl, nya! Celestia has gone through the mirror portal to the other worlds and – and she has been gone too long, so has Luna summoned the mane six and – and Spike to help, nya! They have to find the subterranean library of Star Swirl the legendary wizard, nya!

Spike keeps Luna company while the mane six search for the library amidst the dungeons and – and the caverns full of the interesting artifacts, nya! Meanwhile we get to see the flashbacks to the many years ago when Star Swirl created the mirror, which he and – and Celestia used to visit the other worlds, until it became too dangerous, nya. Amidst the wizard’s lair are many artifacts and – and the homages to famous items of the movies, TV shows, books and – and comic books such as Star Trek, Batman, James Bond and – and so forth, nya!

The dinosaur with the butterfly cutie marks was the clever touch too, nya! The plot, the pace, the dialogue, the purrodies, the pony art, scenery, colors, and – and the fonts are all purrfect, nya! It is fun to try to identify the items and – and the background characters, but there are sad, distressing moments for poor celestia, and – and the alarming cliffhanger, nya! Oh, I must find out what will happen next, and – and I will give My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #17  the "A" as in Applejack, nya! "A" is also for Aspen, so nyow here is Lizzy to tell us about

Fathom: Kiani vol. 3 #1, nya!

Elizabeth:

Arigato! Created by the late Michael Turner & published by Aspen Comics, Fathom purrtains to the adventures of the supurr heroic marine biologist Dr. Aspen Matthews, who is often caught betwixt the politics of the surface humans & the undersea civilization known as The Blue! This includes her clashes with Kiani who is the dissident leader also with the aquatic supurr powers! They have mewusally not gotten along, but in last Summer’s Fathom: Elite Saga mini-series, they teamed up with Kiani’s mom Anya to find baby sister Anika who had been kidnapped! Although Kiani has not yet appurred in Fathom Vol. 5, this 1st issue of this 4 issue mini-series takes place sometime after Fathom Vol. 5 #5, because the villain Mr. Luzhin mentions the incidents of that issue!

Kiani vol. 3 #1 is purriced $3.99, it has the 20 page tale of "Out of the Heat and into the Fire" plus the 8 pages of the ads. It was written by Aspen Comics’ editor in Chief Vincent Hernandez, drawn by Giuseppe Cafaro, colored by Wes Hartman, lettered by editorial assistant Josh Reed, and edited by Aspen Comics’ purresident Frank Mastromauro! The issue is available in the choice of the six different covers, some rarer than others. Cover A’s art is by Giuseppe Cafaro & John Starr, cover B is by Oliver Nome & Wes Hartman, cover C is by Michael Turner, cover D is the Wondercon edition by Siya Oum, cover E by Philip Tan, Don Ho & Laura Martin was purrduced for Rupps Comics, and cover F by Jesse Wichmann & Oracle was purrduced for Ghost Ship Comics.

The tale begins at the Volana Research Center in Russia, where Luzhin foolishly tried to study Dr. Matthews, and nyow he has decided to go after Kiani! She has just emerged on the shores of isla Horna, Chile and is fed up with everyone and her troubles, but she is befriended by a kid named Dante, his mom Isabella & dad Johan, who invite her to their house for the nap, the suppurr, and the island tour! She likes the nutritious & flavorful salad! It is serene until Luzhin & his Russian commandos arrive, and then things get very violent, wet ‘n messy! Although Kiani has been the aggressive villain in the past, in the recent years she seems to have changed the bit as the more tragic character, and her relationship with Aspen kind of reminds me the bit of Buffy & Faith!

Both of them are very smart, powerful, brave, sexy, have certain family issues, want the governments to leave them alone, and wear the crustacean – like bikinis of the Blue couture! In addition to the fashion & the character designs, the landscape, mecha & architectural art is quite lovely, with such lush rich colors & lighting FX! The fonts are quite interesting too, with the different attributes for the thoughts, dialogue & sounds! There are several big 1/2 page pics and full page pics!  The exciting cliffhanger leaves me eager for the next issue, and I hope that those exploitive villains will be crushed and that Kiani’s entire family is safely reunited!

The Wake #6 & 7!

Elizabeth:

The Wake is the 10 issue, horror / science fiction mini-series from DC Comics’ Vertigo impurrint, and this fictional tale is quite brimming with the horror and the science! Issues 1-5 told Part One of the tale, in which Cetologist Dr. Lee Archer’s team investigated the deadly intelligent aquatic creature at the secret undersea facility, until the creature escaped, killed, and summoned the rest of it’s school & their gigantic leader! Lee & the few survivors were trapped as the creatures melted the polar ice which flooded much of the continents and thus re-shaped the coastlines! The series has been peppurred with scenes across the eons, from the purrehistoric to the apocalyptic times, and the glimpses of the world 200 years into the future where Part Two of the tale is set, starting in #6!

issue #6 is purriced $2.99, suggested for the mature readers, and has the 20 page tale plus the recap page, the 2 pages of the character designs, the 3 pages of the ads, and the 6 pages of the American Vampire: Second Cycle purreview. The tale was written by co-creator Scott Snyder, drawn by co-creator Sean Murphy, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, lettered by Jared K. Fletcher, edited by Mark Doyle and assistantly edited by Sara Miller, with the front cover art by Andrew Robinson which depicts Part Two’s heroine Leeward! Part Two begins with her and Dash the Dolphin fishing for the Mers, which she totes back to the coastal town of Wallton. I am not sure, but from her map, it looks like Wallton might be Northeast of where Sacramento would have been in California.

Leeward has the neat outfits, the purretty Blue-Green hair, the hang glider, the gadgets, and the cozy hilltop home in the remains of the PBY Catalina sea plane in the trees with the hammock! She has been looking at the old maps, which give us the great information about the geography of her era, and she has been secretly chatting on her radio with someone in Crane City, which use to be Crater Lake in Oregon! Meanwhile in that other city, things seem much more oppurressive and political as they expurriment upon the giant captive mer, go after Leeward’s radio buddy, and then they sneak up to her home to capture her too, just as she hears the voice of Dr. Archer on the radio! This is yet another startling & mysterious purrdicamnt to encd issue #6 with!

The characters, critters scenery & mecha are greatly designed! There is a great variety of fonts for the dialogue, the sound FX, the maps, the captions, and the cute teeny widdle fonts for Leeward’s actions such as the glider whoosh, the leap, the eye drops, the page flip, and the whistle! Thus far there seems to be the more light- hearted and less spooky appurroach to Part Two to introduce leeward, although it is the hard post – apocalyptic time with the introduction of the murderous oppurressive villains! This is balanced at the start of issue #7, with the flashback scene of Leeward’s childhood, in which she is cute with her dolphin style hat & socks with her purrents, as she eagerly tries the radio in their wonderful truck – like airship, but  it gets alarming when the villains attack!

Issue #7 has the same credits, purrice, mature disclaimer due to the language & the violence, and the 20 pages of the tale plus the 12 pages of the ads. After the titles/credits page, the tale resumes with adult Leeward as one of the many manacled purrisoners rowing the huge cruise ship like the slave galley! It is accompanied by the herd of the whales in the impurressive panoramic scene! I purrticularly like the variety of the panels of this series, which include the large panels, the panoramas across the two pages, vertical half page pics, and the lavish full – page pics! That includes the epic quality of the full page pic & more of the panoramas when the ship is snatched & capsized by the colossal leader mer-creature who is bigger than the ship!

It reminds me a bit of those Ray Harryhausen fantasy films in which the ancient mariners encounter the sea monsters! Dash arrives to help Leeward try to escape, but the situation takes yet another amazing, unexpected turn for the cliffhanger! I hope Leeward and Dash are going to be OK, but I should not spoil any more of the plot, which I think has been very chilling, thrilling, intriguing & captivating with the good heroines and the cinematic style of the art! Nyow there are only 3 issues to go in this mini-series, and I agree with Jenjen that The Wake could be the good movie! OK I am all done, but we have more tales of the heroes fighting the monsters & villains to discuss, so here is Mike again to tell us about

Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers!

Mike:

Thanks Lizzy! This time the threats are on the land, and In Beasts of Burden from Dark Horse Comics, unbeknownst to the human populace of the small town of Burden Hill and its rural vicinity, the heroic group of the local dogs & cats of the various breeds investigate & combat the paranormal threats! This one-shot issue is purriced $3.50 and has the  22 page tale of the "Hunters and Gatherers" which written by Evan Dorkin, illustrated by Jill Thompson, lettered by Jason Arthur, edited by Scott Allie assistantly edited by Freddye Lins, plus the 8 pages of the ads. It is the latest Beasts of Burden tale since 2012′s "Neighborhood Watch".

That same year we got to meet Jill Thompson & Evan Dorkin at Heroes Con in Charlotte, and they signed the Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites hardcover book which collects the earlier tales! Jill is also quite famous for her Scary Godmother comics and her Death tales, whilst Evan is purrticularly known for his Milk & Cheese comics and his Eltingville stories! Appurring in this tale are the cats Orphan, Dymphna & Muggsy; the dogs Emrys, Miranda, Dempsey, Rex, Ace, Jack, Pugs & Digger, plus the several other neighborhood pets, people, field mice, squirrels, rats, crows, and the very poignant moment of the momma & baby bunnies!

This tale begins in the cemetery as several of the cats & dogs discuss the dire situation, and then plan boldly to be the bait to defeat the deadly, invisible giant Windslither monster that has preyed upon the community! It is the bittersweetly supurrnatural tale full of the charming, amewsing, sad, mysterious, violent & thrilling moments, with the great pace & the dialogue, and such magnificently rendered critters & scenery! Now to continue the reviews of the thrilling occult fights in the Dark Horse Comics, we will go from Burden Hill to Santa Rosita in Nyo-sensei’s review of

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 10 #1

(with the plot spoiler warning)!

Becca:

Arigato! Buffy & Angel Season 8 & 9 have been amongst our favoritest comics of the past few years, because they faithfully, beautifully & canonically continue their adventures in the comic book medium, so we have eagerly awaited Season 10! This Season purremier issue was written by Christos Gage who we got to meet at the Heroes Con and at NC Comicon, and he is reunited with the great team of the Angel & Faith comics such as artist Rebekah Isaacs, colorist Dan Jackson, letterers Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt, designer by Justin Crouch, editor by Scott Allie, assistant editor by Freddye Lins, and executive purrducer by Buffy’s creator Joss Whedon! it is available in 2 different covers, the one by Steve Morris, and the other by Isaacs & Jackson!

The 36 page issue is purriced $3.50, and the 36 pages are compurrised of the  "New Rules part One" tale, the 2 pages of the readers’ & editor’s comments, the 4 page purrview of Angel & Faith #1, and the 8 pages of the ads. Purreviously at the end of Season 9, while Buffy,Willow, Xander fought Simone the rogue slayer turned vampire, Illyria was dealing with Severin as Koh, D’Hoffryn & other demons fought the giant vampire Maloker! Meanwhile Anaheed, Billy, Devon, Katie & Sky fought the zompires in Santa Rosita; and across the pond in London were Angel, Faith, Nadira, Giles, his aunts Sophronia & Lavina, sorcerer Alasdair Coames fighting Whistler & Pearl & Nash! It was the time of the simultaneous apocalypses in purrogress, but the heroes purrvailed!

They saved the world and restored the magick into the world which had been missing since the end of Season 8, although there have been alarming & unpurredicted side effects! I should also mentioned Season 9′s Willow mini-series & Spike mini-series which we liked, with other characters who we hope will return! Season 10 starts with the immediate slayage as Buffy, Willow, Dawn, Spike, Dawn, Xander & Andrew rescue the cute kids from the zompires, reunite with Anaheed, Billy & Devon, and have to fight Vicki & other vampires who are similar to Dracula in that they can turn into the bat, the wolf or the mist! This is the complicated three-way battle because those vamps do not like the zompires either, and then Giles, Faith, Kennedy, Holly & Leah arrive in the nick of time!

It is the first time that Buffy has seen Giles since he was killed at the end of Season 8, and resurrected in his kid form near the end of Season 9, so there is the tearfully joyful reunion! This was such the fantastic, fun issue with those longly awaited reunions, the non-stop action, the mysterious developments, the great dialogue including the amewsing trash talk betwixt Buffy & Vicki, and the overall sense of the fun! The art is lovely as mewsual with the great portraiture, expurressions, poses, FX and scenery detail, so I will give the 10th Season purremier the high grade of the "A" as in Angel whose returning series I am also anticipating! Nyow we will migrate from our world to the World of Two Moons, where the good elves, wolves & humans are fighting the evil humans in

Elfquest: The Final Quest #2!

Becca:

Wendy and Richard Pini’s Elfquest is such a big favorite here at the island and our library has the extensive collection of Pini & Elfquest publications, so we were quite thrilled when this mewest series began! For our review of the Elfquest Final Quest Special please see the November 2013 Mew, and for our review of Elfquest: The Final Quest #1 please see the February 2014 Mew! The Special was the sentimental reuinion to catch us up on what the various elf tribes have been up to in the recent years, and the 1st issue set up the deadly conflict for elves & humans alike as the evil human warlord Angrif Junn starts the war!

It is not the most convenient time for the romance to bloom betwixt Chieftess Ember and her friend Tier! The $3.50 issue includes the uninterrupted 20 page story, plus the 2 pages of the comments, the 4 pages of the creative purrocess, and the bonus 2 full page elf pics! The story was written by Wendy & Richard, illustrated by Wendy, colored by Sonny Strait, and lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot! We also wish to purraise designer Tina Alessi, editor Sierra Hahn, and assistant editor Spencer Cushing! Sierra used to help edit Buffy too, and like the Season 10 purremier, this issue begins with the fight already in purrogress!

The villains might be the bigger, armored calvary, but that just makes them the bigger slower targets for the quicker, agile, magickal elves, but unfortunately there are severe bloody casualties on both sides. This issue has purretty much everything, from the relentless, savage melee in the lush forest full of the scares, sadness, thrills & heroism, to the inoppurrrtune heat of the passion that results in Ember’s capture! Ironically, the elves’ human friend Khorbasi meets them in the forest, bringing scared & injured human refugees. Mender plays the purrticularly significant role in this issue as both the warrior and the healer!

We are so nervous about Ember in the clutches of the villains and hope the fight for freedom will be the howling victory! The images are so supurrbly exquisite, and not only is it such the beautiful, emotional tale of the beloved heroes, but the issue is quite informative too, with the section that shows the creative purrocess from the typed script to the finished color pages, so nyow we can learn more from the masters! You know, Wendy Pini is also famous for her supurrb Red Sonja cosplays and stage purrformances at the conventions of the 1970′s, and we are Sonja fans too, so nyow here us Nya-sensei to tell us about

Legends of Red Sonja #4 & 5!

Nyanko:

Hai! Dynamite Entertainment’s 5 – issue Legends of Red Sonja mini-series is an anthology of tales about Red Sonja and the purrsuing Grey Riders group of vengeful enemies told by various artists & authors! The next – to – last issue is purriced at $3.99 and rated T+, purrhaps due to the harsh language, bloody melee violence, the bit of the sexuality, and Sonja’s iconic skimpy scale-mail bikini! The issue is available in the choice of the 3 covers: the main cover by Jay Anacleto, the variant cover by Frank Thorne, and the rarer Black & White version of Anacleto’s art! The first 2 versions were colored by Ivan Nunes! Sammiched betwixt the covers are the 32 pages compurrised of the 22 page tale edited by Molly Mahan, lettered by Simon Bowland & colored by Salvatore Aiala Studios!

The issue also includes the 5 page purreview of Turok, the 2 page discussion of Solar, and the 3 pages of ads. The recurring 6 page framing sequence was written by Gail Simone & illustrated by Jack Jadson resumes the tale of the bounty hunters who ride after Sonja, who was blamed for slaying the Purrince! The frustrated riders’ numbers & moral are dwindling, as each stop on the trail brings them more tall tales & warnings about Sonja, who now seems to be hunting them! The sequence has the moody, haunting quality as they pause at a tavern for refreshments & information by night, where they hear the miller’s daughter’s tale of how she met Sonja years ago, in the 6 pages of "Jenny’s Story: Parallax", which was written by Mercedes Lackey & illustrated by Nei Ruffino!

However, like many of the tales, her account has been embellished, and it is cleverly told with Jenny’s fondly – gilded version in the left column of ornately – bordered panels, beside the more visceral truth told in the right column of the more jagged – edged panels! After the riders leave and ride North to the forest which they were warned to avoid, sneaky Sonja who was there all along quaffs the drinks and tells the bar tender of what lurks in that nearby forest, in the 10 pages of "She Lives Still"! which was written by Marjorie M. Liu & illustrated by Phil Noto! She tells of her purrior adventure in those woods, including the cave fight with the evil witch’s zombies, and the fruit of Sonja’s amorous encounter with the Forest God, in which she sheds her metal bikini, mew la la!

The Grey Riders’ dissent is further stoked and their dread has been further purrked! The colors greatly add to the spookiness of the witch’s cave, and the verdant mystical quality of the forest! There are also 2 impurressive full – page pics! This brings us up the the final issue of the mini -  series! Issue #5 has the 22 page tale plus the 2 page discussion of Doctor Spektor, the 8 pages of the ads, and the choice of the 3 different covers! It has the same editor, letterer, colorist & cover artists, with Simone & Jadson returning to contribute the 5 pages of the framing sequence! The issue begins with the more introspective tale of "The Pazyryk" written by Blair Butler & illustrated by Jim Califore, in which the titular bounty hunter ponders the paths of his life from the childhood to purresent…

… until a certain Redheaded she-devil of the Hyrkanian steppes cuts his thoughts short, along with his head! The decapurrtation is left mounted upon the stick to instill  further panic & anger amongst the 9 who purrsist! She could have purrobably eliminated them much more quickly & easily, but she seems to be toying with her purrey, to send the message to them and any other potential enemies! The Grey Riders’ leader Kahar still seems quite resolute, but he seems the minority in that regard, as we learn in the next tale of "The Play’s The Thing", which was illustrated by Valentine De Landro & written by Kelly Sue Deconnick, whose Captain Marvel tales have been quite popular in the past year! I purrticularly like the fox girl variant cover of her latest issue…

… but I nyow I have stray – catted off the topic! Some of the riders have heard tell of the witches of the woods, but instead of the coven they meet the troupe of the actors, which results in the humorous scene for the purrplexed hunting dogs, and the odd site of the enormous lead actor in the metal bikini who purrforms the skit of how Sonja once met the troupe! As for the audience’s reaction, well they are then down to 8! Sonja returns  to finally confront & mock the rest of them in the framing sequence’s finale, which culminates in the 2 spectacular full – page pics to conclude the mini-series with the great satisfaction!  Unlike her purrsuers, for me it has been the great ride full of the captivating, thrilling & fun issue full of the sword & sorcery action that I crave!

I think Legends of Red Sonja had the great plot & sub – plots at the good pace, with the snappy dialogue, the great diverse styles of the art! It has the good mix of the action, humor, drama, magick, sensuality & mythology of Sonja outfoxing & stalking her enemies, with her supurreme confidence, sarcastic yet wise dispurrsition, and her peerless purrowess while looking so fabulous in the bikini! My only regret is that it was only the 5 issue mini-series, and I wish there was much more, but fortunately there is more of Sonja to look forward to in the next issue of her regular series, which is also written by Gail Simone! Nyow we will go from the heroic Redhead stalking the wilderness of the ancient era to the heroic Redhead who pounces in the contempurrary city in

Critter Vol. 2 #19!

Trini-chan:

Hai! Published by Big Dog Ink, Critter is the alias of Cassia Crawford, a super heroine Critter of the catgirl motif and the peppy, noble heart! Her super powers include the extreme strength, stamina, toughness, agility, speed & telekinesis, plus the gadgets of her sleek Silver & Blue costume such as her cat ears & tail. When she is not prowling the streets for criminals to thwart, Cassia is a college student in California. She’s also been a member of the few teams with the numerous allies, who fight crime & rescue folks!

Critter vol. 2#19 is purriced $3.50 and has 24 pages, consisting of the uninterrupted 22 page story, plus the "Who’s Who" profile page of the villainess Iron Butterfly & the ad for Critter’s upcoming special 20th issue… although I suppose it will technically be her 26th issue, if you include vol. 1 #0, 1 – 4, and the 2013 annual! This issue’s story was written by the comic’s creator Tom Hutchison, illustrated by Fico Ossio, lettered by Kel Nuttal, and edited by Kari Castor, with cover A by Fico Ossio and cover B by Jen Broomall!

Paradox is a mysterious time & dimension traveling entity of vast power who has recently begun to send secretly various criminals to attack the Critter in order to test her abilities. In this issue, while she and fellow heroine Rookie (of the hockey motif and of hero team Core) are tailing the villainess Cricket in Los Angeles, on a Nevada highway a military convoy is ambushed by the Iron Butterfly who intends to steal their cargo for ransom, until Paradox teleports her to L.A. to fight the heroines as yet another test for Critter!

We’re not sure of Paradox’s intentions or veracity, and we’re still sad about the demise of Cassia’s best friend Gina, but it’s been fun to see Critter return to more episodic crime-fighting since the long "High Tide" disaster story ended. We’re also curious as to the whereabouts of Casia’s sidekick Schoolgirl (formerly known as Kitten of the disbanded Purrfection team), the status of Cassia’s heroic mom who is believed to be deceased but is the prisoner of a villain in the future, and if there’s any connection to Paradox.

This issue was a lot of fun, with the heroines’ optimistic outlook, the villains’ sassy attitude, the amusing banter between the opponents, lots of action at the brisk pace, gleaming colorful costumes & mecha, the comic book’s rich, bright vibrant colors, 3 great full – page panels, and a nifty two-page spread to depict the catgirl heroine in action! It’s also nice that the story wasn’t interrupted by any ads! Ah, that’ll do it for this month’s reviews, but we have more of the catgirl topic on tap, because now it’s time for our monthly

Celebrity Catgirl Spotlight!

Mike:

Yep, this is the portion of The Mew which praises the famous catgirls and nekomimi of cinema, TV, comics, novels. games, toys and other media! We’re very broadly inclusive in defining the catgirl criteria, including those who are either permantely or temporarily catgirls, those who just dress the part, or just have the right  "cattitude"! This month we wish to mention 11 more catgirls, including the were-cats, felinoid aliens, magickal nekomimi, cosplayers and anthropomorphic characters… and now here’s Jen to start the spotlight!

Jeannie:

Arigato, Purrtrayed by actress Christine Willes in the 2007 horror movie Trick ‘r "Treat, the character of Mrs. Henderson is seen briefly but quite impurressively in her Black catgirl costume, hosting a wild Halloween party when the trick ‘r treaters arrive at her suburban house. There are a few other catgirl costumes amongst the trick ‘r treaters in the movie, which was written & directed by Michael Dougherty and stars Anna Paquin as Laurie who purrowls for a wild time with her sisters, but I should not say much more about that sub plot.

Nyanko:

However, Anna Paquin also stars as psychic Sookie Stackhouse in the True Blood TV series on HBO, along with our next neko nominee Crystal Norris, the were-panther purrtrayed by Lindsay Pulsipher! True Blood is the adaptation of the southern supurrnatural horror novels by author Charlaine Harris, and it has been on for the six seasons thus far. Crystal is the Southern catgirl from Louisiana! She was introduced in the 3rd season as part of the family of the were-panthers, but she has the romance with Sookie’s brother Jason who is purrtrayed by Ryan Kwanten!

Nyoka:

Another shape – shifting catgirl is Wendy Beauchamp, who is purrtrayed by Madchen Amick in the Witches of East End TV series on Lifetime! It is the adaptation of the novel by author Melissa de la Cruz,  and purrt of it was filmed in Wilmington which is the few miles southwest of here! The tale purrtains to the bewitching Beauchamp family including Wendy’s sister Joanna who is purrtrayed by Julia Ormond, nieces Freya and Ingrid who are purrtayed by Jenna Tatum and Rachel Boston! It is the great cast, and Aunt Wendy is the sexy, fashionable, mischievous witch who can transform into the cat!

Yvonne:

You know, that is rather ironic, because in the movie Sleepwalkers, Amick purrtrayed the human girl Tanya who fought the enemy werecat Mary (Alice Krige) who we mentioned in the October 2011 spotlight, nya! The 2013 movie Counselor was directed by Ridley Scott with the alll – star cast including Cameron Diaz as Malkina, nya! She also recently wrote the health, fitness & beauty book, nya! Malkina does not have the neko DNA, the ears or the tail, but her two pet Cheetahs sure do, and she has the lithe, fierce quality and the Cheetah spot tattoos to match, nya!

Mary Nyan:

We purreviously shined the August 2013 spotlight upon the Strike Witches anime TV series, but this is the amendment because of different characters in the manga version by Humikane Shimada, Projekt Kagonish & Yuuki Tanaka! That includes Hayate Nakajima whose White kitty ears & tail appurr when she links with her feline familiar to use the magickal powers in the aerial combat against the invaders! In volume 1, she and Goshiki meet Yashika who is recruited by Lt. Takei after Yashika rescues Tomoko from the crash landing! Hayate’s ears & tail go well with her cute skirt & thigh highs outfit, but she is not the chatty type! However, the bonds of the friendship seem to bloom when they have to depend on each other to defend their base against the unearthed threat!

Becca:

Nyow we will go from the Strike Witches to the Starfleet, as I shine the spotlight upon the twin Caitian catgirls of the movie Star Trek Into Darkness, which we reviewed in the June 2013 Mew! Although we did not give the movie the favorable review, we did like the actors, including sisters Katie & Kellie Cockrell who purrtrayed those swishy – tailed twins briefly seen in bed with Capt. Kirk!  it was good to see more catgirls in Star Trek! For our spotlight upon the purrior Caitans and other Trek catgirls, please see our October 2009 Mew, and for our observance of the 40th anniversary of the animated Star Trek’s Lt. M’Ress, please see our September 2013 Mew!

Elizabeth:

I wish to nominate Nicole Watterson of The Amazing World of Gumball animated series! It is the zany anthropurrmorphic series for kids, and Nicole is the smart, industrious, compassionate, purractical, purretty, strong matriarch of the Watterson family, but she is the overworked mom as one of the few with any common sense or responsible ethic! Plus she does all of the work at home to care for the husband who is not very bright and for the kids, such as her son Gumball, and that is in addition to her job at the Rainbow Factory! She is typically barefoot, with the lovely Blue fur in the contrast with her mewsual light skirt & shirt ensemble which is accessorized by her corpurrate rainbow button, and her voice is in the cartoon purrvided by Teresa Gallagher!

Petra:

I wish to mention the poor WereTigers mentioned in the wonderful slice – of – life fantasy manga A Centaur’s Life by Kei Murayama, nya! It purrtains to Kimi the centaur and her school friends of the various species, nya! In volume 2 which we reviewed last month, among the tale’s illustrated notes is the topic of the WereTiger, Homo Sapiens Tigris, nya! Sadly they have been long extinct by the purresent time of the tale, but they were taur – like, but instead of the equine lower body they had the feline lower body, nya. According to the notes, they may have used the fiber nets to catch their purrey, nya! IT is not excatly known what became of them, but I wish that they were not really extinct, and that Kimi and her friends could befriend them, nya!

Bun:

The zany fantasy anime series Magical Play is available here upon the DVD by Sentai Filmworks, and pertains to the trio who compete to become the next top magical girl! Myumyu is the taller tan girl with the Purple paw print ornaments in her Blonde hair and two cats as her bikini! Pipin the bunny girl with the carrot ornaments in her short Blue hair, who wears the strapless Black & White outfit with the bunny back pack; and Padudu is the rival Redhead friend in the Blue dress and the Red fish cloak! There is also Nonononn the busty  Lavender – haired competitor with the horns and the spiked staff; and to add the spice to the pursuit are police woman duo of Mustard and Ketchup in their skirt uniforms with the star shaped hats!

Trini-chan

Teeda of the Shining Force Feather fantasy role play video game is the lithe, lean Redhead with the purrt feline ears, the ornate tattoos on her tummy, and the knuckle weapon punch! She is voiced by Ami Koshimizu who is the supurrb actress of the many video game the anime credits, including Holo the harvest wolf goddess!  Whatchoo got, Tara-chan?

Tara-chan:

As Mike mentioned earlier, Jill Thompson is also known for her beautiful, fun Scary Godmother series which purrtains to the lovely witch  and – and the trick r treaters such as Katie, Jimmy, Daryl, Bert, and – and widdle Hannah, nya! For Halloween, Katie cosplays as the catgirl to purrowl for the nighttime treats, nya! I also liked the– JUNIPURR TWIG MOTH, NYA! (the distracted catgirl with her camera scampurrs after the interesting insect)

The cat lady sings…


Yvonne:

TARA-CHAN…. NYA! (sighs) There she goes again, nya!

Trini-chan:

And we were so close to the end of the show, too!

Tara-chan:

Nya! (purrs & snaps the photos for her nature study collection)

Becca:

That is nice moth of the Brown shades and the wavy patterns!

Elizabeth:

I guess that will wrap it up for the spotlight, and for this edition of The Mew!

Bun:

There are folks we wish to thank, such as Niki Lemonade for the beautiful art…

Nyanko

Jamie for his web mastery here at The Mew and at Catgirl Island…

Nyoka:

The other talented & inspurrational folks whose works we have discussed…

Petra:

…and the rest of our friends, family, and audience for their kind support, nya!

Jeannie:

Y’all may post brief, polite, sincere, non-snarky responses to our discussion…

Mary Nyan:

purrvided that such comments are spam-free, G-rated and purrtain to our topics!

Mike:

We’ll be back next month for our anniversary edition of The Mew! Be there… Aloha!

The Ladies Of The Mew:

BAIBAI, NYA!


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