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review

Fairy Tail Part 15 BD+DVD

The Grand Magic Games heat up as unscrupulous contenders make the fights more dangerous while ominous powers move behind the scenes. Can Fairy Tail still come out on top? ― Fairy Tail has successfully made the standard shounen tournament arc into something that, if not precisely new, is still interesting even as it maintains the genre standards of increasingly powerful battles and hidden powers. Inde...
review

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past GN

Straight from your childhood and the pages of Nintendo Power, Manga great Shotaro Ishinomori puts his own spin on the classic Nintendo game. ― Link, that pantsless elven hero of many a video game, is back from the dead pages of Nintendo Power Magazine! For fans of the Nintendo franchise The Legend of Zelda who were either not subscribing to the Nintendo Power Magazine in 1992 or are not familiar with...
review

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace Episodes 1-12 Streaming

Trigger's chuuni-drenched follow-up to Kill la Kill struggles to get out of that hit show's long shadow. ― When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace is many things. Firstly, it's a light novel adaptation, as its lengthy title might indicate. It has the familiar marks of the genre: chuunibiyou characters with insights into how they tick, goofy school antics and a harem for the main male chuuni. Yet...
review

Tokyo Ravens BD+DVD part 1

It's an anime series involving magic teenagers at a magic school for magic people! Theron Martin investigates to find out what makes this one stand out. ― When Tokyo Ravens debuted in the Fall 2013 TV season, its adaptation of the eponymous light novel series failed to impress me with its first episode, and that does not change much on a repeat view. Indeed, the first episode is arguably the weakest ...
review

Dengeki Daisy GN 16

Dengeki Daisy's final volume arrives, but does it provide a sufficiently happy ending for those we care about? ― Few series, shoujo or otherwise, have consistently retained the air of excitement, tension, and romance that Kyousuke Motomi's Dengeki Daisy has over its sixteen volume run. While the story shifted from high school romance to technological thriller, essentially settling on a “romantic susp...
review

Yatterman Night Episodes 1-12 Streaming

Yatterman Night turns a classic children’s show into a story of dystopian struggle, but a lack of consistency threatens to bring the show to its knees. ― Yatterman Night's a strange one. Technically a “sequel” to the 70s cartoon Yatterman, it's akin to 2013's Gatchaman Crowds - an anime that takes a classic children's show and reenvisions it as a heavier piece for a new audience. In Crowds' case, thi...
review

Genshiken: Second Season GN 5

Genshiken takes a turn for the absurd in a volume stuffed with farces both intentional and not so much. ― Honestly, it can sometimes be kinda hard to review Genshiken. The manga's just too consistent! The art is always crisp, character work always thoughtful, dialogue always grounded and natural. It can be tricky to find new things to highlight every volume, because the volumes all tend to be roughly...
review

My Love Story!! GN 4

My Love Story!! is the shoujo romance for people sick of shoujo romances. ― The central conceit of this collaboration between High School Debut's Kazune Kawahara and Aruko for the first three volumes was that Takeo was such a big, muscular, unattractive guy that no one but Yamato could possibly want to date him. Even Takeo bought into this idea – for most of his dating life, girls were attracted to h...
review

Death Parade Episodes 1-12 Streaming

Death Parade spins out a simple death-game premise into a story full of surprises. Does this morbid drama rise to the occasion or collapse entirely? ― Released as part of the 2013 crop of the Anime Mirai young animator project, Death Billiards had a very simple premise. Two men find themselves in a strange bar, Quindecim, where they are told they must play a game of pool before they can leave. Eventu...
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Unbreakable Machine-Doll [Limited Edition] BD+DVD

Advanced dolls controlled by magic are the focus of this light novel-based series that maybe feels a little incomplete. ― This entry from the Fall 2013 TV season is a 12-episode series which really should have been 24 episodes long instead. This is not a case of the production trying to cram too much into one series, however; based on the episode naming conventions, the animation probably covers the ...
review

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches GN 1

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches may not be flying along, but it features a take on the gender swapping genre that we don't get to see as often. ― As far as gender-bending body-swapping stories go, Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches is one of the nicest. I don't mean that in the sense that it's sweet and happy or conflict free, but rather in that there is a lack of the inherent meanness that seems to h...
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Yona of the Dawn Episodes 1-24 Streaming

This shojo adventure has been heralded as one of the most satisfying examples of the genre in ages, but does it live up to the hype? ― There are more than enough anime out there about medieval princesses with reverse harems. It was a big enough genre in the 1990s and early 2000s to spawn multiple parodies. So, a decade and a half late to the party, what Yona of the Dawn offers to set itself apart is ...
review

Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 3: Rebellion Blu-Ray

Our original Madoka Rebellion review has been updated to discuss today's limited bluray release, with an English dub and a hefty price tag. Did they make it worth the expense? ― In case the title itself wasn't a tipoff, Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie Part 3: Rebellion is a conditional experience. Appreciating the film at all is conditional on having seen either the first two movies, or the origi...
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Isuca Episodes 1-10 streaming

Theron Martin tackles one of winter 2015's overlooked shows, involving a youma-sealing archer girl and her reluctant housekeeper. ― Make a harem series that is roughly equal parts action, comedy, drama, and horror and you have this 10-episode, seinen manga-based Winter 2015 series (at least initially, anyway, as the horror element that is very prominent early on gradually fades in favor of the other ...
review

Requiem of the Rose King GN 1

Kanno's interpretation of history and Shakespeare is interesting, but it does get bogged down at times, particularly for readers who know the plays she's using as a basis for the series. ― Literature and Shakespeare lovers, beware – you may not be able to read Requiem of the Rose King's first volume without compulsively checking your copies of Henry the Sixth parts one through three and Richard the T...
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Kill la Kill [Limited Edition] BD+DVD 4

Kill la Kill hits a few speedbumps on the way to its apocalyptic ending in this penultimate volume. ― The high-flying cartoon antics of Kill La Kill reached their zenith in the show's Raid Trip episodes, which means it's time for that missile's nose to curve back down as it comes crashing to earth for an explosive nine-episode final act. While the series tries to maintain its good-natured glee, it's ...
game review

Review: Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart

The latest entry in Idea Factory's consoles-turned-moe-girls series takes the form of a PS Vita strategy game. Heidi Kemps puts it through the paces. ― My experience with the Neptunia franchise hasn't been the greatest: I played the first and second games in their original releases on the PS3 and would choose to describe them as “aggressively mediocre.” Even as someone who nerds out over all manner o...
game review

Review: Bloodborne

Dave Riley eagerly gnaws on From Software's latest grim and visceral action RPG for the PS4, but does it live up to the legacy established by the Dark Souls series? ― Some hours into Bloodborne you'll find your first shield, a rotten wooden board, whose item description comments on its poor construction and immediately insults you for considering using it. "Shields are nice, but not if they engender ...
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Review: Outbreak Company Blu-Ray

An otaku gets more than he bargained for while applying for his dream job in this 2013 comedy; Theron Martin investigates. ― Clever, witty writing and thoughtful execution can turn even a silly concept into something good, and that is exactly what happens with this 12 episode series from the Fall 2013 season. In fact, it turns out so much better than originally expected that its streaming run was my ...
review

Sailor Moon BD+DVD Part Two

The second part of the first season of Sailor Moon is out, but did they manage to fix all those video problems? ― Well, they tried. It is apparent that the video quality has risen from the first disastrous release of Sailor Moon put out by Viz, and the untrained eye will mostly notice that in the Blu-Ray images are a bit clearer and the ghosting is less noticeable with the exceptions of the second an...
review

Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma GN 5

Food Wars! continues being chock-a-block with cliffhangers and competitions guaranteed to make you reluctant to put the book down once you've started reading. ― KFC and IHOP are not going to cut it when you've finished reading this volume of Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma. From breakfasts to tempt even the least enthusiastic morning eater to fried chicken that will make you wish you could pull it out o...
review

Your Lie in April Episodes 1-22 Streaming

Your Lie in April paints adolescent love and musical performance in exuberant colors, and almost gets away with it, too. ― Your Lie in April is a beautiful show. That should be stated first, both because it's true, and because that's where the show itself begins. The first episode opens with a gorgeous, nearly wordless sequence of a girl chasing a cat through blooming spring flowers. Light piano sets...
review

Log Horizon GN 1

Fans of the Log Horizon anime might find story questions answered more quickly in the first volume of this manga adaptation of the light novel. ― Log Horizon, like many a recent franchise, began its life as a series of light novels, in this case by Mamare Touno, before being adapted into both anime and manga. As might reasonably be expected, the difference in the adaptive mediums make each version a ...
review

Review: The Anime Encyclopedia Third Revised Edition

The Anime Encyclopedia's third revision is an impressive achievement, steadfastly chronicling anime shorts, films, and series from 1917 through 2014. ― There is one thing that we can all agree on, hands down – The Anime Encyclopedia is one impressive piece of work. Co-written by Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy, this tome attempts to chronicle and catalog a century's worth of Japanese animation w...
review

Bleach DVD 24

Theron marathons the second half of a Bleach filler arc, but maybe it isn't all that bad. ― Volume 24 covers episodes 330-342, which constitutes the second half of the series' final filler arc: the Nozomi/Kageroza/Reigai story. It also marks Ichigo's last gasp as a Soul Reaper before being completely depowered; in fact, the arc actually resolves in episode 341, allowing for the entirety of 342 to be ...
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Review: Rage of Bahamut: Genesis Episodes 1-12 Streaming

Based on the smash card game, Rage of Bahamut brings Hollywood style to the fantasy genre, but can it make it to the end on energy alone? ― MAPPA have been making quite a name for themselves recently. Founded in 2011 by Madhouse founder Masao Murayama, the studio has collaborated on two impressive Shinichiro Watanabe productions, Kids on the Slope and Terror in Resonance, as well as assisted Madhouse...
game review

Resident Evil Revelations 2

Capcom's horror sequel attempts to bring Resident Evil into the episodic age. Dave Riley, superfan of the original Revelations, investigates. ― For fans, Revelations 2 justifies its existence through its protagonists alone, Claire Redfield and Barry Burton, neither of whom have had more than a minigame cameo or light gun spinoff in a decade. Trapped on an abandoned island, Claire and Barry are paired...
review

From the New World GN 7

From the New World's final volume suffers from some jumbled presentation of events and a mixed-up timeline at the very end, but is it a fitting conclusion? ― Endings are not easy. From the perspective of the reader, endings mean that it is time to say good-bye to a story and that it is now up to us to process the events of a tale and what, if anything, they might mean. For authors, endings are a chal...
review

Umineko When They Cry Episode 4: Alliance of the Golden Witch Volume 3 GN 9

Umineko: When They Cry has been getting better with every arc, and with the end of episode four, it has really become difficult to put down. ― What is the difference between magic and imagination? How much belief does it take to make something real? As children many of us had imaginary friends, not unlike Maria's Sakutarou, and most of us probably had rituals that we believed would make things better...
review

Coppelion Complete Series BD+DVD

The controversial adaptation of the hit manga shows up on bluray, but is it worth your time investment? ― What happens when you attempt to condense two distinct story arcs covering eight volumes of manga into thirteen twenty-four minute episodes? Those of you who answered “nothing good” would not be far off, although this adaptation of Tomonori Inoue's manga of the same name is in no way a total loss...
review

Koimonogatari Blu-Ray 5

Monogatari's second season concludes with a tremendous arc that pits the great deceiver Kaiki against an angry god. ― As I've said before, Monogatari isn't just one consistent show - it is several very different shows, all of them awkwardly wound into a single production. Normally, that multiplicity reveals itself through the show's “brokenness” - an arc will be two thirds genius, one third garbage, ...
review

Nisekoi: False Love Blu-Ray 2

The harem series trundles into its second set of 5 episodes, but has it broken out of the standard harem hijinks? ― Want to see the evidence of the impact that early Rumiko Takahashi romantic comedies like Urusei Yatsura and Ranma ½ are still having on anime today? Look no further than Nisekoi. While those two franchises may be utterly different stylistically than this one, the same basic formula is ...
review

Maria the Virgin Witch GN 1

The anime is a hit, but is the first volume of the Maria the Virgin Witch manga just as good? ― Archangels. Valkyries. A succubus named after a virgin goddess and a witch named after the Virgin Mary. Welcome to the mythologically confused world of Masayuki Ishikawa's Maria the Virgin Witch, one of two manga set during Medieval European wars to come out in English in the early spring of 2015. (The oth...
review

Fairy Tail Part 14 BD+DVD

The Grand Magic Games arc of Fairy Tail is just getting underway, and there's an obvious, ominous sub-plot being carried out beneath the merriment. ― Tournament arcs, if not the staple of shounen action stories, are certainly a staple. Fairy Tail has traded in plenty of “X vs Y” battles before, but never actually delved into a formal tournament...until now. While it was mentioned and led up to in pre...
review

Genshiken: Second Season GN 3

With Comic-Fest over, Genshiken slows down for a volume that demonstrates the series doing what it does best. ― With less of a strict central event like Comic-Fest to lend structure to these chapters, Second Season's third volume generally assumes a format closer to the rambling slice of life of the first “season,” with a few notable changes based on the comic's evolving priorities. Obviously the fac...
review

Hide and Seek GN 1 - 3

A spin-off of the earlier Bond of Dreams, Bond of Love, Hide and Seek is a story that explores the transition between casual and serious relationships ― Yaya Sakuragi is that (decreasingly) rare yaoi mangaka who has had multiple works translated and published in English. With SuBLime's release of her three-volume yaoi title Hide and Seek, she's had three separate publishers bring over her work (SuBLi...
review

Cat's Eye Season Two DVD

Cat's Eye's second season maybe doesn't quite live up to the standard set by the first; this is Saturday morning cartoon territory. ― The first season of Cat's Eye was a lot of fun in a campy, episodic way. Sadly this second season is not nearly as enjoyable, taking both “campy” and “episodic” and enhancing them until the discs become thirty-seven stand-alone stories that never really go anywhere and...
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Review: Tiger & Bunny: The Rising Blu-Ray

Kotetsu and Barnaby are back in the second Tiger & Bunny movie, but is it a worthy addition to this fan-favorite franchise? ― As the second of the two Tiger & Bunny movies, The Rising picks up in the wake of the first. Despite that, it is essentially a stand-alone extension of the franchise, one which maintains all of the character advancements and relationships but has little real narrative continui...
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Review: Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (Episodes 0-12 Streaming)

The classic story has returned, with Emiya, Rin, and the inescapable Saber now battling for the first time in ufotable’s capable hands. ― Unlimited Blade Works is a tricky one to approach, both structurally and due to its place in a broader, creakier canon. The show technically adapts the second of three routes included in the original Fate/stay night visual novel - Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, and H...
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The Garden of Words GN

The Garden of Words is a hopeful story about finding peace not just in solitude, but with other people. Does the manga hold up as well as the film? ― Sometimes life can seem like too much. Whether it is a toxic work situation, trouble at home, or just an overwhelming need for everything to just stop for a moment, everyone needs a safe place to just exist without any problems for awhile. For first yea...
review

A Certain Magical Index: The Miracle of Endymion BD+DVD

The Index movie certainly looks good and has all your favorite characters, but for a sprawling franchise like this one, what can an 85-minute film hope to achieve? Theron finds out. ― The world of Academy City is such an expansive, involved franchise that bringing it all together in a single 85-minute move is a tall order. That is exactly where The Miracle of Endymion stumbles. It is so focused on tr...
review

Valvrave the Liberator Season 2 Blu-Ray

Season two of the controversial Sunrise mecha action show arrives on Bluray, and Theron is here to find out if it manages to entertain, or if it's just here to baffle you. ― Since the beginning the Valvraves have been pitched as “the system that will reveal the truth of the world.” The first season, though, gave little indication that such a statement was anything more than typical colorful hyperbole...
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Review: Space Dandy: Season 1 [Limited Edition] BD+DVD

Shinichiro Watanabe's zany sci-fi showcase for his artist pals winds up on bluray today, loaded with special features in a limited edition with a hefty price tag. Mike Toole investigates. ― Space Dandy is a series full of magic-- a magic that first reveals itself late in episode 1, during a sequence in which the show's titular hero and his new pal, Meow, are forced to run away from a pack of jumbo-si...
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Eccentric Family Sub.Blu-Ray

This little-seen family adventure about a group of tanuki living in Kyoto has careful writing and beautiful scenery; Nick Creamer thinks it might just be a modern classic. ― In the guidebook accompanying Eccentric Family, series composer Shotaro Suga speaks frankly of the difficulty of condensing an entire book into an anime, and the question of where to even begin telling the story. “There are just ...
review

Deadman Wonderland GN 7

Deadman Wonderland is a dark, unsettling look into a private prison abusing the system for the whims of the Warden and a few governmental higher ups. ― Ever since 1864, a “wonderland” has been a world where the rules of logic do not apply, a carnival that can be by turns fun and frightening. Deadman Wonderland has been playing with that definition since its first volume, and now in its seventh we beg...
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Happy Marriage!? GN 10

The final volume of Happy Marriage is simultaneously the happiest and the smuttiest. Rejoice! ― It is always a little disconcerting when you realize that how you see the main characters of a series and how the author sees them don't quite line up. In the case of Chiwa and Hokuto of Maki Enjoji's Happy Marriage, that turns out to be the case, at least for me. Enjoji states several times in the book ho...
review

Short Peace Blu-Ray

Theron takes a journey through one of Japan's most acclaimed animated anthology films. ― Short Peace is also the name of a collection of manga short stories by Akira creator/director Katsuhiro Otomo, which was published in the 1970s. Here, like with the collection Memories, his name is the binding element to another collection of shorts, in this case all animated by Sunrise; he is the director of one...
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Log Horizon Collection 2 Blu-Ray

The smash hit series about people trapped in an MMORPG - no, not that one, the other one - comes to a conclusion, but does it go out on a high note? Nick Creamer finds out. ― Log Horizon is the safe bet. It doesn't overreach, and it can sometimes drag, but if you give it time your investment will always be rewarded. Almost every strength and weakness that defined this season's first half remains true...
review

Give to the Heart GN 1 & 2

Give to the Heart is a sad, strange, fascinating story that tends not to be at all what you're expecting. ― Give to the Heart marks Korean manhwaga Wann's fourth English title to get a print release (others are available as e-books only), and it is certainly one of the most unusual. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, it combines her addictive soap opera romance with a frightening and confusing science ...
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Secret GN 1

While Secret shares elements of Yoshiki Tonogai's earlier works, it eschews the locked-room format and hidden identities of those other titles, focusing instead on the idea of trauma, guilt, and what happens when you survive, against all the odds. ― If you've read Yoshiki Tonogai's other works, Doubt and Judge, you might be forgiven if you think he's a bit of a one trick pony. Therefore the sight of ...
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Review: The Last: Naruto The Movie

The inaccurately-titled Naruto film hits American theaters today, and Amy McNulty sits in quiet awe at its visual (and romantic) splendor... in spite of some other issues. ― The Last: Naruto the Movie is a lush ninja fairy tale, an almost perfect incarnation of the Naruto story that's enraptured so many fans from around the globe for well over a decade. There were almost two and a half years between ...
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Akame ga KILL! GN 1

The smash hit action-adventure manga starring a brutal team of assassins makes its way to the US, but does it live up to the hype? ― At first it seems like we know this story. Tatsumi is the bright-eyed, eternally hopeful country mouse who comes to the big city full of big dreams. He gets taken advantage of by a pretty lady, but eventually he finds out that there are still some good people in the wor...
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ItaKiss: Complete Anime Series Collection Sub.DVD

Kotoko is at the bottom of her high school's hierarchy, and she has a crush on the elite Naoko, who turns her down flat. Naturally, they somehow wind up living together! ― Based on the late Kaoru Tada's 1990-1999 shoujo manga, Itazura na Kiss is both unusual and important in a couple of ways. The most striking is that, unlike many other shoujo romances, ItaKiss does not end with the main couple getti...
review

Meteor Prince GN 1

It's the age-old question: what would you do if a naked bishonen who turns out to be intergalactic royalty fell on your head? ― Meca Tanaka's third English release – Tokyopop translated Pearl Pink and CMX released Omukae Desu – isn't really a stand-out in terms of shoujo plotlines, but it's still totally adorable in its goodhearted joy. The story follows bad-luck magnet Hako, a high school first year...
review

Ben-To BD+DVD

It's an all-out brawl to determine who gets the day's half-priced bentos, and Theron Martin is preparing for battle. ― In an era when most non-kids' anime titles that air in Japan get licensed for simulcast streaming, this light novel-based fall 2011 series was an odd duck. That it was not picked up for simulcasting is quite surprising, given that its content should easily appeal to Western audiences...
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Jaco the Galactic Patrolman GN

Jaco the Galactic Patrolman combines space cops and science with idols and Earth cops to provide a story that mixes adventure with a little social commentary. ― You've got to hand it to Akira Toriyama – he's still got it. Viz's release of his 2013 single-volume title shows us that the man behind Dragon Ball is still capable of telling a fun, entertaining story that can reach beyond its intended audie...
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Bonjour Koiaji Pâtisserie Season One Streaming

It's a reverse harem set in a bakery, where a young girl in the flour of her youth is pursued by a bevy of baking bachelors. What more could you possibly want? ― Bonjour Koiaji Pâtisserie is one of those rare shorts where five minutes feels like it is just the right amount of time while also giving the impression of being more than that. It doesn't drag – rather it's that the storyline of each episod...
game review

Review: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Dave Riley is on a mission to determine if the latest entry in Capcom's monster-slaying portable juggernaut is any more penetrable than the last. ― Monster Hunter's body language is the best in the business. Few games model the stages between an enemy being alive (and shooting) or dead (and in chunks), so saying that feels like half a compliment. But, amid the common complaints about how this series ...
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Tales From Earthsea Blu-Ray

Studio Ghibli's most maligned film, a fantasy adventure based on the classic fantasy novels, arrives in HD. But is it really as bad as people say? Mike Toole investigates. ― I was intrigued when I heard that Studio Ghibli were targeting Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea books for adaptation. I read a couple of them in my youth, and they're good, sturdy fantasy adventure for young adults. Going from Howl's ...
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Pom Poko (Blu-ray)

Isao Takahata's tale of wild tanuki coming together in the face of encroaching humanity comes to bluray, and Mike Toole has it in the bag. ― Isao Takahata does not shy away from complicated movies with tough endings. His Grave of the Fireflies is arguably the most powerfully sad war movie ever made, and his recent The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a slice of sweet melancholy. Pom Poko would appear to pr...
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Porco Rosso Blu-ray

The Crimson Pig finally makes it to bluray, and Mike Toole takes a gander under the hood to find out if the disc brings home the bacon. ― The movie theater needs innovative and challenging storytelling, but it also needs great adventures. Long before he'd turned into something of a tale-spinning avatar for natural and spiritual forces in conflict with the human world, Hayao Miyazaki was really good a...
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No. 6 GN 9

No. 6's final volume manages to be uplifting at the same time that it is taking vast swathes of pages to essentially just explain the truth about both the city and the story's world. ― If you felt that the No. 6 anime ended without fully explaining everything, you owe it to yourself to read the manga version. This final volume in this adaptation of Atsuko Asano's original novels is much more satisfyi...
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Valvrave the Liberator Season One Blu-Ray

Valvrave the Liberator season one: is it good, so bad it's good, or just plain bad? Nick Creamer investigates. ― Valvrave the Liberator is a very silly show. You have to kind of accept this going in to get much out of it, but its relentless silliness never subsides, and never stops stifling any hopes for real emotional engagement. And it's not just that silliness is a complement to Valvrave's other v...
review

Genshiken: Second Season GN 2

The strengths (and weaknesses) of Genshiken are all on display, for better and worse, in this mid-range middle volume. ― One of Genshiken's greatest assets is its mastery of “comfy” character dynamics, and that's in full display in the best moments of this volume. The first chapter offers an excellent example of this - it depicts the Genshiken all hustling to help Ogiue finish her manga in time for C...
review

Ranma ½ Blu-Ray Set 3

Ranma 1/2 wraps up the third season and enters into the fourth, but the gender-bending sitcom just might be getting a little stale after 60 episodes. ― The third Blu-Ray set for Ranma ½ covers episodes 47-69 (by Viz Media's numbering), which spans the bulk of season 3 and the first six episodes of season 4. It returns the “Ukyo's Skirt” episode, which Viz had previously classified as episode 63 and m...
review

Fairy Tail BD+DVD

Fairy Tail wraps up a filler arc and heads back into the manga storyline in this uneven collection of magic-slingin' episodes. ― For all that the Infinity Clock arc wasn't in Hiro Mashima's original manga, it pulls itself together quite nicely. While the early episodes of it (part 11 and some of part 12) aren't particularly great, with a lot of clearly filler-feeling escapades, by about the middle of...
review

My Neighbor Seki GN 1

We've probably all had a classmate like Seki – the kid who somehow or other manages to goof off the entire class except when the teacher is looking. ― We've probably all had a classmate like Seki – the kid who somehow or other manages to goof off the entire class except when the teacher is looking, the demon of distraction who keeps us from doing our own work because he's just so weird. Rumi Yokoi ha...
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Love Live! School Idol Project Sub.Blu-Ray

They're too kawaii to live but too sugoi to die: Japan's most popular animated idols get the bluray treatment in the US, but did they manage to cast their spell on staff critic Nick Creamer? ― Idols are unstoppable these days. Their economic might is legend, a heavy fist of show sales that crushes all else underfoot. Their shows prompt sequels and then movies, their songs filling theaters and echoing...
review

Nisekoi: False Love GN 7

Had this book not come directly after the Romeo and Juliet storyline, it may have made a bigger impact. ― There are many things about Naoshi Komi's Nisekoi: False Love that make it one of the most entertaining harem manga out there...and sadly, not a whole lot of them end up in this volume. That's not to say that it isn't still a good book; the final arc about Chitoge's mother is very strong in its c...
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Sword Art Online: Progressive GN 1

Sword Art Online Progressive is an initiative to go back and fill in some details that were skipped over by the time jump in the franchise's founding novel. How's it stack up? ― Sword Art Online Progressive is an initiative by original SAO author Reki Kawahara to go back and fill in and expand on some details/stories that were skipped over by the big time jump in the franchise's founding novel. This ...
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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Part 1 GN 1

The first part of Hirohiko Araki's beloved, long-running insane shonen action-adventure series is out now in a super-fancy hardcover edition. Rebecca's here with the verdict. ― Take a Victorian melodrama, combine it with a Gothic novel, and inject it with a large amount of testosterone, and what do you get? The first arc of Hirohiko Araki's long-running manga JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Phantom Blood. ...
review

Onimonogatari Sub.Blu-Ray 4

Shinobu Time brings Monogatari’s focus to Araragi, Mayoi, and Shinobu in a story marked by ominous beginnings and tragic endings. ― Monogatari isn't just one stable show, with a central narrative and single genre you can use to describe it. It is many shows at once, meaning any given “Monogatari fan” can absolutely love one arc and have no interest in the next. One arc will be a slow-burning exorcism...
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Citrus GN 1

Seven Seas' latest yuri title might be one of those rare manga that's better the second time you read it. ― Seven Seas continues to be the leading purveyor of yuri manga in English with this latest offering. Where their previous releases by Milk Morinaga or currently out of print titles (such as The Last Uniform) were all more sweet than sexy, Citrus treads some different ground. The story follows Yu...
review

A Certain Magical Index II BD+DVD

Although this is the end of A Certain Magical Index II, it does not feel particularly conclusive. Granted, this could be because so many more novels exist after this point, but it does take away from the experience of watching it. ― There has been a trend recently of anime being self-aware. While generally not fully metafictional, the wink and nudge to the audience can waver between being clever and ...
review

Silver Spoon Season 2 Sub.DVD

Silver Spoon's second season is as good as the first, delivering a well-told story that gently takes hold of you and doesn't let go. ― Silver Spoon, based on the manga of the same name by Fullmetal Alchemist's Hiromu Arakawa, is definitely one of the best depictions of farm life in the entertainment world...which means that if you're squeamish, you want to be prepared. Arakawa's story never flinches ...
game review

Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-

Xrd is not just a next-generation fighting game, it's also a complete package in every department. Could it be the pinnacle of modern fighting games? ― The last fighting game release in the Guilty Gear series was (putting aside several patches) GGXX Accent Core in 2006: rights issues put another GG fighting game out of the question. After the strange, brilliant, and largely ignored Guilty Gear 2-- a ...
game review

Resident Evil HD Remaster

The remake of the survival horror classic an entire generation grew up with arrives once again, this time remastered for modern consoles and PC. ― The 2002 Resident Evil's strict adherence to its Playstation source material immediately drew you in. Walking into that two story entrance hall, players saw the same staircase, pillars, marble floor, and ornate rugs that defined many people's first 32-bit ...
review

Log Horizon Blu-Ray

If you thought Sword Art Online was the undisputed king of the 'trapped in an MMO' anime subgenre, Log Horizon's rising popularity certainly challenges the crown. ― Following on the heels of mega-hit Sword Art Online, Log Horizon takes the concept of being trapped in an MMO world in a very different direction. Its emphasis is much less on the “trapped” and much more on the “world” - instead of focusi...
review

Gou-dere Sora Nagihara GN 1

Gou-Dere Sora Nagihara is absolutely not for everyone. It's gross in a couple of ways, but it also never takes itself seriously. ― If you know what a “gou-dere” is, as opposed to a “tsundere” or a “yandere,” you're already halfway to knowing what's so funny about this manga. If you are unfamiliar with that particular character type, however, she is basically someone who will stop at nothing to procur...
review

Master Keaton GN 1

Once it gets off the ground, there is much more to be found within its pages than the simple story of a guy who kicks ass and takes names. ― Master mangaka Naoki Urasawa said in a 2012 interview that he had always liked Master Keaton as a character but that contractual obligations kept him from telling the story as he would have liked. Now with the first-ever English language release of the 1989-1994...
review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (Novel 1)

The upcoming Spring 2015 fantasy anime series based on this novel isn't even out yet, but Theron read Yen Press' English release of the novel ahead of time. Any good? ― When Japanese light novel series get American releases, they almost invariably start because an anime adaptation has proven successful with American audiences. Sure, the novels released in the States may eventually surpass the animate...
review

Meganebu! Sub.Blu-Ray

Whether or not you enjoy the show will likely be based on how much you enjoy the visuals of hot guys on a bright background, because if you watch for the plot, you may find yourself disappointed. ― When it comes to premises that you wouldn't expect to see animated, “five hot guys who are mad about glasses” would certainly be on the list. Based on a series of drama CDs (although it has the feel of a f...
review

Ani-Imo GN 1

If you can suspend your sensibilities, there's a good story in Ani-Imo, albeit one that can at times feel a little mean. ― We've all had moments of total cluelessness, missing something that was right under out own noses out of sheer obliviousness, much to the amazement of those around us. For Youta Koizumi, what he's been missing is that his twin sister Hikaru is in love with him. He knows that he s...
review

Love at Fourteen GN 1

Love at Fourteen's first volume is quiet and somewhere between difficult and sweet, depending on how much you find yourself relating to the characters. ― At what point do we stop just being ourselves and start to worry about how others see us? For many people, adolescence and middle school mark the time when we start to wonder how other people will see our taste in clothing, choice of hobbies, or con...
game review

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

These three Ace Attorney games show little wear, proving just as witty and endearing as they were many years ago. Hiccups and silliness aside, Phoenix Wright’s cases are hard to set down once you’re in deep. ― The game-playing multitudes often worry over writing quality. Many of us want game stories to be the serious, respected stuff of collegiate literary analysis, and we get downright bitter when t...
review

High School DxD New (Season 2) [Limited Edition] Blu-Ray

The highly praised fanservice-heavy fantasy franchise is back for another salacious season - does it live up to the standard set by the first? ― If there is a current gold standard for fan service-focused anime, it's the High School DxD franchise. Yes, other series which have debuted in the 2010s have had copious amounts of nudity and sexy behavior, but no franchise exceeds it for quality, variety, o...
review

Kill la Kill [Limited Edition] BD+DVD 3

Kill la Kill reaches the halfway point and just keeps assaulting your eyeballs with massive fight after massive fight, but as it delves deeper into Big Drama, something goes missing... ― Fresh off of Gamagoori's defeat in episode 9, this passel of Kill La Kill episodes is manically paced and insanely hot-blooded, somehow topping the intensity of all prior events in an explosion of peak emotion, peak ...
review

Assassination Classroom GN 1

Assassination Classroom is not what I was expecting; there's more to the story than it appears. ― If you know nothing about this series beyond the title, the first thing you need to know is this: it is not, at its heart, about classroom violence. While Assassination Classroom does pit armed students against their inhuman teacher, they are armed with rubber weapons that cannot harm people and the teac...
review

Sword Art Online - Extra Edition Blu-Ray

It's a recap of the unbelievably popular first season of Sword Art Online featuring the show's female cast in bikinis. What more could you want? ― The cover of Sword Art Online Extra Edition features all the girls of Sword Art Online mugging for the camera in their swimwear. Both Asuna and Suguha are posed awkwardly to maximize both boobs and butt, and Suguha actually has her hand yanking the back of...
review

Prophecy GN 1

Prophecy sets the story up to cause its readers a conflicting sense of loyalty, making criminals, victims, and police all look equally culpable as it goes on in this timely tale of Internet crime and commentary. ― Have you ever dreamed of vengeance? Not just silly little things, but honest-to-goodness revenge against someone who did the unspeakable to you or someone you care about? Even if you have, ...
review

He's My Only Vampire GN 1

If you aren't already a fan of Aya Shouoto and enjoy fast-paced paranormal romance, this book might make you one. ― Aya Shouto fans, rejoice! Less than a month after Viz's release of her first series in English, Kiss of the Rose Princess, Yen Press brings us another, He's My Only Vampire. Less humorous than its predecessor, this second English-language offering is much more in the paranormal romance ...
review

Chaika - The Coffin Princess Avenging Battle Episodes 1-10 Streaming

The funny, endearing and compelling first season of Chaika was well-received by fans everywhere. Does the second season continue the tradition? ― Chaika's first season was a fun, unassuming adventure with a set of simple but endearing characters, and Avenging Battle does very little to mess with that formula. The system is well established at this point - Chaika and her companions roam around gatheri...
review

Nisekoi: False Love Sub.Blu-Ray 1

Very little about the content may be fresh, but the staff is doing everything in its power to spruce it up and make it entertaining, and so far, it's working. ― Nisekoi translates rather literally as “Fake Love,” and it is a fitting title for the series – at least for now, anyway. After all, the “couple who starts combative but eventually falls in love” and the “must fake being in love for some contr...
review

Sword Art Online Novel 3

The greatest strength and weakness of this book is that it takes us out of Kirito's head, with most of the chapters narrated by his sister Suguha. ― There is a small piece of me that wishes that Reki Kawahara had simply stopped writing after the first book and left Sword Art Online a stand-alone novel. While this first novel in the Fairy Dance arc is a good read and makes good use of the duality of p...
review

Sunday Without God Blu-Ray

Sunday Without God is not an easy show to watch, but it has its beauty. ― Based on a series of light novels by the same name, Sunday Without God is a deeply emotional show that will leave you exhausted...but not in a bad way. The story takes place in what appears to be an alternate France (all writing we see is in grammatically correct French), where fifteen years ago, people stopped dying. Their hea...
review

Milkyway Hitchhiking GN 1

Milkyway Hitchhiking's first English volume, an omnibus of Korean volumes one and two, is a beautiful book. Each story is varied and there are very few repeated concepts, making it an interesting read even if you are not a cat person. ― Even though this is pretty much a “cat book,” those who aren't crazy cat ladies or gentlemen should not shy away from picking it up. Sirial's second English-language ...

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