Review
Archives

  • All
  • Australia / NZ
  • Anime
  • Manga
  • Novels
  • Games
  • Music
  • Merch
  • Events
  • Industry
  • People
  • Live-Action
Text-only Compact View
Text-only List View
Text-only Grid View
List View with Images
Grid View with Images
review

Noragami Season Two: Aragoto [Limited Edition] BD+DVD

Yato and his ragtag gang return in Noragami's long-awaited second season! Theron Martin explains why this next leg of the story made a much bigger splash than the first. ― The first season of the Noragami manga adaptation got off to a strong start with its story about a girl who finds herself associating with various Japanese gods and the Regalia who serve them, but it floundered later with an anime-...
review

Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory Blu-Ray

Does this '80s-tastic, Top-Gun inspired OVA series hold up for modern Gundam fans? Lauren Orsini has the answers. ― There's a reason I refer to Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory as "Top Gundam" for short, and it's not simply because the intro song, “The Winner,” sounds so suspiciously like Danger Zone that it (along with other strangely familiar songs in the score) got composer Mitsuo Hagita a...
review

Scrapped Princess BD+DVD

One of the best fantasy series of the early 2000s is finally available again on Bluray. Theron Martin takes it for a spin. ― This 24 episode light novel adaptation originally aired during the Spring and Summer seasons of 2003 and saw its first DVD release in the U.S. in 2005-06, with its last Complete Collection rerelease being in 2007. Its original DVDs have aged rather poorly, as they are notorious...
review

That Wolf-Boy is Mine! GN 4

This sweet shojo love story comes to a charming conclusion, as love triangles resolve without getting too hairy. Rebecca Silverman reflects on if this romance is worth reading. ― One of the best things about a short series is that they end. That may sound a bit too obvious to merit stating, but a short-and-sweet series, if done right, can be incredibly fulfilling. That's the case with Yoko Nogiri's T...
review

Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant GN

This behind-the-scenes look at the clean-up effort following the Fukushima disaster is rich with narrative and artistic detail. Theron Martin explains what makes this biographical manga so unique. ― Manga is so typically a disposable entertainment form that it can be easy to lose sight of how compelling a format it can be when devoted to serious, non-dramatized nonfiction accounts. This is just such ...
review

There's a Demon Lord On the Floor GN 1

This supernatural workplace comedy takes on a fun premise that manages to avoiding some of the more tired aspects of its genres, even if it doesn't stand out much either. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Think The Devil is a Part-Timer meets Working!!. There's a Demon Lord on the Floor's first volume introduces a story that feels very much like a combination of those other two series' premises – ...
review

Paying to Win in a VRMMO Novels 1 & 2

These first two novels have fun playing with the idea of the ridiculously overpowered protagonist from stories like Sword Art Online. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Prepare to have a new definition for the overpowered hero. Ichiro Tsuwabuki, leading man of Blitz Kiva's light novel series Paying to Win in a VRMMO, is nearly as perfect as a man can get. He's filthy rich, he once had successful ca...
review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Blu-Ray

This fantasy light novel adaptation may never fully answer the question in its title, but it does capture the adventuring spirit of RPG gaming. Theron Martin explores this Dungeon's depths. ― The full title of this 2015 series (mercifully shortened to DanMachi) is arguably misleading, since it immediately inverts this supposed premise, and Bell never actually tries to pick up girls in a Dungeon. Howe...
review

Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Novel 1

This isekai story attempts to spice things up with a 30-year old protagonist instead of the usual high school hero, but does it stand out otherwise? Rebecca Silverman finds out. ― How many more “guys taken to a parallel world that functions like an MMORPG” stories can we really take? That's a question that more than one of us may very well be asking at this point; even if the genre is hardly new, it ...
review

Piacevole: My Italian Cooking Episodes 1-12 Streaming

Does this bite-sized cooking anime have the chops to stand alongside fan favorites like Food Wars or Sweetness and Lightning? Rose Bridges finds out if Piacevole is worth your time. ― I love a good cooking anime as much as the next food-loving otaku. Feature-length anime must manage to have their cake and eat it too by pleasing food lovers with delicious cooking scenes and recipes, but also working i...
review

The Ancient Magus' Bride GN 6

The Ancient Magus’ Bride settles into a comfortable rhythm as Chise’s circle of friends expands around the holiday season. Nick Creamer has the details. ― At this point, The Ancient Magus' Bride has thoroughly explored the nature of the bond between Chise and Elias. The two of them are vaguely codependent in a way that isn't necessarily good or bad for either, but could easily spell trouble depending...
review

Kizumonogatari III: Reiketsu-hen

The Kizumonogatari trilogy comes to an end, as Araragi finally cements his fate for the many Monogatari stories to follow. Nick Creamer breaks down this final film's highs and lows. ― We generally have certain expectations regarding endings. We expect, if not happiness, at least some sense of finality. Some kind of closure to a story's dramatic journey. We have followed characters through some clear ...
review

Super Lovers Seasons 1 & 2 Streaming

This BL anime's triple-taboo premise left most viewers balking, but is there anything in Super Lovers worth watching? Rebecca Silverman has the answers. ― Super Lovers is not an inherently terrible show. As with all romances, it's important to remember that this is a type of fantasy, and what one consumer finds appealing on that level is liable to turn another off, just as some people prefer dark fan...
review

Key the Metal Idol - Complete OVA Series DVD

Idol series may be all the rage nowadays, but Key's idol adventure from 1994 is unlike any other. Take a trip back in time with Theron Martin to discover what makes this unusual series so special. ― In many respects, Key the Metal Idol is an aberration of an anime series. It was released as an OVA of 13 standard episodes between 1994 and 1996, followed by two movie-length episodes released in 1997. I...
review

UQ Holder! GN 8

This shonen manga coasts through a training arc volume with the usual ups and downs. Nick Creamer investigates. ― The first couple chapters of UQ Holder's eighth volume are a fairly cruel bait-and-switch. We open with Tota and his friends on the precipice of a grand martial arts tournament, winning fights and earning bruises and slowly getting stronger. Then, just when it seems we might be segueing i...
review

Clockwork Planet GN 1

Clockwork Planet's brand-new anime adaptation may be getting mixed reviews, but how does its manga version hold up? Rebecca Silverman finds out what makes this story tick. ― Clockwork Planet comes to us from the same author who created No Game, No Life, but the similarities are fairly sparse, limited mostly to the fact that the protagonist is an otaku. But high school student Naoto isn't into video g...
review

The Mystic Archives of Dantalian DVD

This book-obsessed gothic lolita adventure has a whole lot in common with 2011's Gosick - but should fans of that series check this one out? Theron Martin investigates. ― The Goth loli fad which rose in anime during the 2000s arguably peaked in 2011 with two series: Gosick in the Winter and Spring seasons and this one in the Summer season. The two bear a number of similarities, especially in the main...
review

Don't Be Cruel: Akira Takanashi's Story GN

This boys' love spinoff may not be easily called a “nice” story, but it is a hopeful one. Rebecca Silverman spills the details. ― Technically, you don't need to have read SuBLime's previous releases of Yonezou Nekota's Don't Be Cruel yaoi manga to understand this stand-alone spin-off. Although the protagonists of the main series, Maya and Nemugasa, are both mentioned (Akira is Maya's cousin and Nemug...
review

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers Novel 1

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers blends mystery with fantasy in a unique light novel that plays around with the usual tropes in interesting ways. Rebecca Silverman delves deeper. ― Unlike many other fantasy light novels that have seen recent English-language releases, Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers does not take an ordinary guy and transport him to a fantasy world. It doesn't feature just one “chos...
review

Rewrite season 2

This Key anime's first season may have been a bust, but can its second half make up for the disappointment? Theron Martin reveals if things got better for Rewrite or even worse. ― The first season of this Key visual novel adaptation is widely-regarded as a disappointment, partly because of how loosely and poorly it structures the game's story, and partly because it just doesn't come together well in ...
game review

Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City

It's the final piece of DLC for the final Dark Souls game - but does Dave Riley have any energy or spirit left for Dark Souls? The Ringed City puts him to the test. ― The Ringed City opens on a vertiginous sight: a sheer cliffside overlooking a bristling conglomeration of towers and mountain peaks spiraling down as far as the eye can see. Shattered chapels jut horizontally from ruined ground and terr...
review

Martian Successor Nadesico Blu-Ray

It's the 20th anniversary of Martian Successor Nadesico, the sci-fi comedy that lit up otaku back in the 90s, and now the entire franchise is available in one bluray box. But does it still hold up? ― I'm just about old enough to remember when Martian Successor Nadesico became a thing; someone carried the first fansub VHS into an anime club screening back in the late 90s (the first tape featured only ...
review

Nichijou Sub.Blu-Ray + DVD

After many long years in licensing limbo, this fan favorite comedy is finally available on a modest Blu-ray release. Nick Creamer explains just what makes this series so special. ― Nichijou's had a rough ride making it over here. First produced in 2011, it was initially slated for release by Bandai Entertainment, before Bandai shut down their Western release arm. Stuck in limbo ever since, it's been ...
review

Kemono Friends Episodes 1-12 Streaming

How did Kemono Friends go from panned kiddie show to the biggest meme and unexpected hit of the last season? Nick Creamer reveals the secrets of Japari Park. ― I'll get this out of the way right at the start: Kemono Friends is not a beautiful show. Combining relatively pleasant painted backgrounds with jarring, simplistic CG characters, it's not going to be winning any best art or animation awards. T...
review

Boruto - Naruto Next Generations GN 1

Naruto and Hinata’s son, Boruto Uzumaki, tackles the Chūnin exams while struggling to connect to his famous father in this manga behind this season's brand-new Naruto sequel! ― By and large, the first volume of the Boruto: Naruto Next Generations manga matches about the first half of the the Boruto: Naruto the Movie film released in 2015. This isn't entirely surprising, given the manga's writer, Ukyo...
review

Water Dragon's Bride GN 1

This unusually dark fantasy romance is a good read for fairytale fans who want an escape with a little more bite to it. Rebecca Silverman dives in. ― As readers of Rei Toma's previously translated series Dawn of the Arcana know, she writes fantasy with teeth. The Water Dragon's Bride (not to be confused with the manhwa series Bride of the Water God, although there are some similarities) is not a char...
review

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

We've endured the hype for months, and the film is finally here, so we asked author Brian Ruh to tell us: is the live-action Ghost in the Shell any good? The answer is complicated. ― “Hack your own brain!” I remember sitting in a movie theater in 1995, legs bouncing from the adrenaline of excitement, ready to take in a screening of Johnny Mnemonic. I had been waiting for this film for a long time, an...
review

Your Name. (English Dub)

Gabriella Ekens breaks down how Your Name. works as a culmination of Makoto Shinkai's career and why it became such a megahit in this first look at Funimation's english dub release! ― I feel like I've been waiting to be impressed by Makoto Shinkai. That's not to say that his previous work has been bad. It's just been a bit aimless, repetitive, or overwhelmed by a tendency to wallow in his signature a...
game review

Review: Persona 5

Can this highly anticipated JRPG live up to the legacy of its predecessors? Dave Riley explores what new innovations Persona 5 brings to the table. ― Even though it's five hours before the game slips the tutorial reins and lets you loose in a full-on dungeon, Persona 5's opening grips you immediately and doesn't let go. In contrast to the milquetoast player-inserts of games past, this player-characte...
review

Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl GN 1

This yuri romance's first volume has some significant issues up front, but it also have the potential to improve. Rebecca Silverman explains. ― It has been a good few months for fans of yuri manga, and Kiss and White Lily for my Dearest Girl marks Yen Press' foray into the genre, at least in the subgenre of schoolgirl romance. Set at the all girls' academy Seiran, the story follows former top student...
review

Umineko When They Cry Episode 6: Dawn of the Golden Witch Volume 2 GN 14

Erika takes a new tack in this middle volume of three omnibuses. It's a good development, but the book has some overall pacing issues. ― Sometimes having the shoe on the other foot can work wonders. Other times, it can make us complacent. That seems to be the major factor at play here in the middle volume of Umineko: When They Cry's sixth arc, Dawn of the Golden Witch - with Battler having switched s...
review

Species Domain GN 1

Fairy changelings aren't a common subject for manga set in high school, but Species Domain's unique take on the idea is well worth a read. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― The literature of changelings, fairy children left in exchange for more desirable human ones, has deep roots, with some theorizing that the stories were developed to explain children born with birth defects or conditions like A...
review

Spirits & Cat Ears GN 1

Its story may not hold much weight under the surface, but if you're looking for kitty cosplay and bondage in a light romance, Spirits & Cat Ears is a breezy read. ― If you're a fan of Inu x Boku SS, Miyuki Nakayama's Spirits & Cat Ears is here to fill in for its absence. It's something of a spiritual successor to that series, with similar art and character relationships – not so similar that it feels...
review

Erased [Hardcover] GN 1

Erased's first omnibus gives us a lot more detail than its animated adaptation as it kicks off the time travel mystery. ― We all have that incident, the one we wish we could change. It might be a tiny little statement or a major catastrophe; whatever it is, there's a vague wish that we could relive the moment in order to prevent it from happening, a certainty that if that one thing changed, everythin...
review

Assassination Classroom Season 2 BD+DVD

The pacing is rushed as Assassination Classroom hustles towards its endgame, but even that can't really bring this series down. ― With the March deadline for Koro-sensei's assassination looming ever-closer, the stakes are getting higher for Class E. But what does that mean, exactly? Yes, they're running out of time to kill their tentacled teacher, but they're also going to have to somehow make a chan...
review

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Novel 1

The isekai genre goes from swords and sorcery to pencils and paper pushing in this story about an economics student summoned to a fantasy world who becomes a very different kind of hero. ― Have you ever wondered why more of those heroes and heroines summoned to other worlds don't put their knowledge of modern life to work? Sure, in some stories the characters don't have that luxury thanks to convenie...
review

Magia the Ninth GN 1 & 2

Magia the Ninth makes a valiant effort to combine classical music and exorcist action, but it stumbles more than succeeds in these poorly paced volumes. Rebecca Silverman explains what went wrong. ― They say that music soothes the savage beast, but rarely is that taken quite so literally as in Ichiya Sazanami's two-volume manga series Magia the Ninth. The premise of the story will be vaguely familiar...
review

Asterisk War: The Academy City on the Water [Limited Edition] Blu-Ray 3

Things heat up both at the Festa and behind the scenes in the third quarter of The Asterisk War. Rebecca Silverman dives back into this magic high school harem. ― Occasionally, I have to wonder if anyone in this series know what the word “fair” means? Granted, that's likely a purposeful question, since the series follows the grand old tradition of dystopian young adult fiction by pitting teens agains...
review

Anonymous Noise GN 1

Anonymous Noise is a solid reminder of why shoujo romance can be such angsty good fun. Rebecca Silverman shares what to expect before its anime adaptation comes out this spring! ― Get out your love calculators, everyone, because Anonymous Noise looks like it will have the most complicated love geometry since Marmalade Boy. The basic premise of the story sets heroine Nino Arisugawa up with two potenti...
review

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash Novels 1 & 2

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash's original novels aren't as introspective as their anime adaptation, but they still fray the edges of the isekai genre in interesting ways. Rebecca Silverman explains. ― Other-world stories (or isekai) have become familiar to consumers of Japanese light novels, and they rarely seem to come with grave consequences for their protagonists, at least not always life-or-death one...
review

Ninja Slayer From Animation BD+DVD

YEEEART! Ninja Slayer has come swooping onto Blu-ray, but does this "so bad it's good" comedy play out as well as Studio Trigger intended? Nick Creamer finds out. ― To find Ninja Slayer's stylistic progenitors, it's best to look outside of anime altogether, not to film or literature, but to another proud legacy of cheaply constructed comedy television - Adult Swim. With its unmoving cutout characters...
game review

Review: NieR: Automata

Androids battle alien machines for control of Earth in a boldly strange action game that loves to mess with your head. Todd Ciolek has the details. ― It's important to know that NieR: Automata does not hate you, the player. NieR: Automata very easily could, after all. Yoko Taro's Drakengard titles are vicious creations, and Drakengard 3 remains a fascinatingly savage mockery of violent games and play...
review

Shomin Sample BD+DVD

This forgotten harem series from 2015 gets off to a rough start right out of the gate, but does it build into anything worthwhile? Theron Martin takes a closer look. ― Contending with dumb premises goes hand-in-hand with being an anime fan, but the concept behind this light novel adaptation from 2015 (whose title has mercifully been shortened from I Was Abducted by an Elite All-Girls School as a Samp...
review

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal Limited Edition Part 2

Originally adapted as "Sailor Moon R", these episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal cover a seriously beloved storyline. Rebecca Silverman finds out if they do it justice. ― As the adaptation of the original manga's second story arc, known in the original anime as Sailor Moon R and in the manga as the Black Moon arc, Sailor Moon Crystal's second set of episodes introduces not only new villains, but a new Sa...
review

Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket DVD

This 10th anniversary Gundam OVA is the first project not written by Tomino, but it's a fan favorite for a reason. Lauren Orsini explains what makes these six episodes so special. ― Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket was the first Gundam story not to be written or directed by Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino. Instead, this OVA was penned by Hiroyuki Yamaga, a founding member of Studio Gainax, ...
review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Sword Oratoria Novel 2

This spinoff novel just might be required reading for DanMachi fans, as it reveals new secrets about the main series' story. Theron Martin breaks down the details. ― I called the first Sword Oratoria spin-off novel “highly recommended reading for any fan of the franchise”, but this one jumps up to mandatory reading by adding so many extra details and clarifications to both the franchise at large and ...
review

Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale

Sword Art Online jumps from the small screen to the big screen and in the meantime swaps out virtual reality for augmented reality. Theron Martin lets us know how it all turned out. ― Unlike previous animation for the franchise, Ordinal Scale is not even partially based on the source novels by Reki Kawahara. It is, instead, an original work penned by Kawahara specifically for this movie. As a result,...
review

Digimon Adventure tri. Episodes 14-17 Streaming

After months of speculation, the fourth installment of Digimon Tri finally reveals all the story's biggest secrets, but are these answers worth the wait? Jacob Chapman finds out. ― This may not be as fascinating to the average Digimon fan as it was to me, but in all of Tri. - Sōshitsu's baffling and disappointing glory, it just so happened to exemplify the crucial difference between "plot" and "story...
review

Cyborg 009 Call of Justice

Netflix's new CG version of this long-enduring franchise is fully accessible to newcomers, though the CG's visual style may not work for everyone. ― Cyborg 009 is one the most enduring of all modern Japanese entertainment franchises, with its original manga dating to 1964 and a number of anime and game productions scattered over the more than half-century since that time. The most recent effort, 2016...
review

Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack Blu-Ray

One of the most memorable classics in Tomino's Universal Century canon has finally come to Blu-ray, and Lauren Orsini is ready to strap in and see how it holds up in high definition. ― This movie is the culmination of the 14-year-old rivalry between Char Aznable and Amuro Ray, but it may be difficult to stay focused on this point, seeing as much of this movie is told from the perspective of a charact...
review

Review: Magic Knight Rayearth Blu-Ray

The mid-90s classic comes to Blu-ray for the first time, but has this wild genre mashup held up after 20 years of other shojo fantasy adventures have come and gone? Theron Martin has the answers. ― Ready for your next big '90s nostalgia burst? While calling this one of the classic titles of the '90s might be debatable, Magic Knight Rayearth was definitely among the more prominent titles in the Americ...
review

My Little Sister Can Read Kanji Novel 1

This odd sci fi parody of light novel tropes might be too crass for some readers, but there's definitely some laughs to be had for big fans of the genre. Rebecca Silverman investigates. ― The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms defines “parody” as a mocking imitation of the style of a literary work, noting that it is related to burlesque in its use of serious language for ridiculous subjects ...
review

Mobile Suit Gundam F91

This unloved stepchild of the UC timeline bears some striking similarities to Star Wars along with Gundam series of the past, but is it worth a look after all these years? Lauren Orsini investigates. ― Mobile Suit Gundam F91 has a runtime of about 115 minutes, but a mere two hours wasn't always the story's intention. In fact, Mobile Suit Gundam F91 was initially meant to be a 52-episode series. React...
review

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess GN 1

Twilight Princess' first volume works both as a stand-alone fantasy for non-gamers and as an expansion of the story for those who have played the game. ― Gamers will already be familiar with the basics of this latest manga adventure of Link. Based on the 2006 adventure game, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is spun off from an alternate path of the earlier game Wind Waker, and stars a darker, o...
review

Garo Season Two: Crimson Moon BD+DVD

This spiritual followup to Garo The Animation has a rocky reputation to say the least, but is there anything worth watching in this compromised production? Rebecca Silverman finds out. ― Garo: Crimson Moon is the second anime adventure revolving around a tokusatsu suit of golden armor that might best be compared to the recurring Italian cinema character of Maciste, a hero who simply appears randomly ...
review

Wolf's Rain BD+DVD

After well over a decade out of the limelight, does this notoriously ambitious fantasy classic still have some bite in it? Jacob Chapman weighs in on this critical darling from 2003. ― As Wolf's Rain finally arrives on Blu-ray at the respectable age of 14 (surviving a decade in anime fan memory is no small feat!), the series may stand out for a reputation that can only be called "emotionally paradoxi...
review

Rurouni Kenshin Part III: The Legend Ends BD+DVD

The final Kenshin film finds success in its terrific action, even if the trilogy is starting to look a little long in the tooth. ― Film trilogies are a tricky thing. It's relatively easy to make a single film with a coherent story - when a single work both introduces and concludes all of a story's narrative variables, you can create a sense of tight congruity throughout. But when a story is split acr...
review

GANTZ:O

There may not be much to the story, but the sharp CG more than makes the experience in this Gantz splatterfest. Theron Martin digs deeper. ― The Gantz franchise has gone through three iterations over the past 17 years: manga, anime series, and a pair of live-action movies. Now its fourth version comes in a 3D CG movie from 2016, which has recently become available on Netflix. But this isn't any garde...
review

My Big Sister Lives in a Fantasy World Novel 1

This wide-ranging parody of chuunibyou tropes pushes the envelope in some eyebrow-raising ways, but it's still bound to offer otaku fans a fun read. ― Whether you have a weird sibling or are the weird sibling, families often have dynamics that can feel odd to an outside perspective. In the case of Yuichi Sakaki's family in My Big Sister Lives in a Fantasy World, his older sister Mutsuko suffers from ...
review

The Ancient Magus' Bride GN 5

Both the visual ambition and depth of story in the Ancient Magus's Bride take a leap forward in this memorable volume. ― The Ancient Magus' Bride's recent volumes have been reasonably focused affairs, prioritizing Chise and Elias' collective character development over the whimsical vignettes of the manga's early chapters. This fifth volume marks a return to episodic storytelling, as the leannan sidhe...
review

The Great Passage Episodes 1-11 Streaming

After lingering in licensing limbo for many months, The Great Passage is finally available streaming! Gabriella Ekens explores whether this uniquely low-key drama is worth watching. ― Before it fell victim to the Amazon anime hostage crisis of Fall 2016, The Great Passage was one of my most anticipated shows of that season. Based on an acclaimed novel, airing in the celebrated Noitamina programming b...
review

Interviews With Monster Girls GN 1 & 2

Interviews With Monster Girls is more charming than not, even as its harem elements trip it up on occasion. ― There's almost no way to phrase the premise of this series without it sounding creepy. High school biology teacher Tetsuo Takahashi has always been fascinated by the human variations straight out of mythology known as demi-humans, but he had to give up writing his thesis on them in university...
review

Sword of the Stranger BD+DVD

Sword of the Stranger offers a nearly perfect action package. ― Sword of the Stranger is something of a wonderful oddity. Bearing no source material or spinoff potential, it's one of those rare anime-original films that offer an unfiltered vision of a creator or even studio. Blessed with gorgeous art design and animation, it offers an incredibly pure distillation of precisely one thing: the classic s...
game review

Review: Berserk and the Band of the Hawk

Berserk: Band of the Hawk lets you slaughter your way through Guts' most traumatic adventures in classic Musou style - but it isn't without its problems. ― By now, the formula for Omega Force's increasingly prolific line of Musou anime adaptions has proven to be a mostly winning one. Take the basic Dynasty Warriors gameplay, replace Chinese historical figures with an array of fan-favorite characters,...
review

Seven Deadly Sins -Signs of Holy War-

This four-episode "second season" of Seven Deadly Sins popped up on Netflix - how does it move the story forward, and is it any good? Theron Martin investigates. ― Although this is (correctly) labeled as a TV series, that label can be misleading in this case, as it implies that it consists of more than just four episodes. That is clearly all that it was planned for, however, so what Netflix is listin...
review

The Ancient Magus' Bride GN 4

The Ancient Magus’ Bride continues to find wonder in both its central romance and its magical world. Nick Creamer digs into the details. ― While Ancient Magus' Bride's first and second volumes focused primarily on the magical world surrounding Chise and Elias, the manga's third volume turned inward, highlighting the emotional baggage that inspires both of their actions. This fourth volume essentially...
review

Mobile Suit Gundam: Thunderbolt GN 1

With gorgeous art and bonus details left out of the anime version, the only thing missing from this Gundam Thunderbolt manga is the soundtrack. Lauren Orsini weighs its pros and cons. ― “To all you music lovers out there—no borders, no war. You're tuned to Thunderbolt Station, the pirate radio of freedom!” There's no shortage of work hazards out in the Thunderbolt Sector, where Federation and Zeon so...
review

God Eater Blu-Ray 2

God Eater's story starts slipping as it moves into its middle third. Rebecca Silverman explains what went wrong. ― Answers always come with a price. Sometimes it's simply learning something you really didn't want to know, other times, it's the destruction of humanity and the entire world. If that seems like an extreme comparison, it's deliberate – the second half of the God Eater anime takes its burn...
review

Faraway Paladin Novel 1 - The Boy in the City of the Dead

The Faraway Paladin eschews most of the usual light novel tropes to tell a story with plenty of appeal for fantasy fans. Rebecca Silverman dives in. ― Fantasy light novels have a deserved reputation for following the tropes of MMORPGs so closely as to feel like game novelizations rather than stand-alone fantasy fiction. With most of them falling under the heading of isekai, or “transportation to a pa...
review

I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse Novel 1

The harem genre gets an entertaining parody in this novel about a boy who finds out that he's the last resort of heroines everywhere. ― How many harem titles you have consumed over the course of your anime hobby is likely to determine how funny you find this book. I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse is a straight send-up of the genre, and while it also adheres to a lot of the conventions...
review

Chain Chronicle: The Light of Haecceitas movie 2

The second leg of this movie trilogy picks up steam as our heroes prepare to go another round with the ultimate bad guy. Theron Martin investigates. ― The second Chain Chronicle movie is now available on Crunchyroll in the same format that the first movie was presented: broken into roughly 20-minute segments with an opener only on the first and a closer only on the last. As with the first movie, thes...
review

Mobile Suit V Gundam Blu-Ray 2

The second half of Gundam Victory seems to bring Tomino's warning to avoid this series to fruition, as things get crazier and darker than ever before. Lauren Orsini takes a closer look. ― Rumor has it that director Yoshiyuki Tomino was deeply depressed while working on Victory Gundam, and that's even more apparent in the second half of the Blu-ray collection, episodes 27 through 51. Nothing goes well...
review

Attack on Titan: End of the World Novel

Does this novelization of the live-action Attack on Titan movies offer anything new for prior fans? Theron Martin investigates. ― While the synopsis above will no doubt sound familiar to fans of the anime or manga version of Attack on Titan, this is actually a novelization of the two live-action Attack on Titan movies released in 2015. It's a crucial distinction, as the movies used the core character...
review

Secret of the Princess GN

This single-volume story is one of Milk Morinaga's best, offering up a great introduction to the world of yuri manga through a sweet romance. ― If someone tells you something long enough, it's hard not to believe it. Usually this line is brought out to explain low self-esteem or an inability to try something new, but in Secret of the Princess, yuri mangaka Milk Morinaga uses it to help her heroine qu...
review

Tiger Mask W Episodes 1-13 Streaming

This soft reboot of the '60s wrestling classic may seem like too deep a cut for most new viewers, but Daryl Surat is here to tell you why Tiger Mask W is worth checking out! ― I love it when anime gains traction among an audience who otherwise wouldn't typically think to watch it. Recent fan favorite Yuri!!! On Ice, for example, gained some noteworthy visibility among professional ice skaters which p...
review

Bungo Stray Dogs GN 1

While you don't necessarily need much knowledge of Japanese literature to enjoy Bungo Stray Dogs, this English translation may have some issues for new or returning fans. ― Some of you may already be familiar with this story, since Bungo Stray Dogs' anime adaptation beat its original manga to English translation by a fairly large margin. For those who didn't watch it, the chief conceit of the story i...
review

Mikagura School Suite BD+DVD

This offbeat school comedy/battle anime stars a happy-go-lucky lesbian schoolgirl and ten truckloads of bizarre ideas. Nick Creamer finds out if this weird adventure is worth watching. ― Mikagura School Suite is a bit of a hodgepodge. Starring the wildly girl-crazy Eruna Ichinomiya, it posits a school where joining clubs isn't just mandatory, it dictates where you can sleep, what you can eat, and all...
review

ERASED Blu-Ray 2

Despite stumbling a bit through its finale, ERASED comes to a satisfying conclusion overall. Rebecca Silverman wraps up this twisted mystery's highs and lows. ― There are several approaches a mystery story can take to solving its central crime, but perhaps one of the most frustrating is when the viewer has things figured out long before the detective does. Unfortunately, the second half of ERASED rea...
review

Mobile Suit Victory Gundam Sub. Blu-Ray part 1

Is this 1993 Gundam series that Tomino doesn't want people to see worth checking out despite his warnings? Lauren Orsini has the answers. ― This is the Gundam show director Yoshiyuki Tomino doesn't want you to watch. “I want to completely reject this work. These kind of results are the full responsibility of the director,” Tomino is quoted directly on Mobile Suit Victory Gundam's sales page. It's not...
review

Welcome to the Ballroom GN 1 & 2

Before its new anime adaptation airs this summer, Rebecca Silverman takes a look at Welcome to the Ballroom, a manga about professional dancesport. ― In terms of sports that are often denigrated as not being “real,” ballroom dance and cheerleading are probably at the top of the list. It is true that both have elements of the performing arts to them, and since it lacks the acrobatic feats of cheerlead...
review

Long Riders! Episodes 1-10 Streaming

After facing an alarming number of production delays that pushed its final episodes into February, is Long Riders! still worth checking out? Amy McNulty investigates. ― Long Riders! aims for that slice-of-life iyashikei healing vibe that so many all-girl-club anime offer. While the result is rarely a bore, there are so many negative details that it all adds up to a generally unsatisfying experience. ...
review

Ajin season 2

In Ajin's second season, the tension thickens as villains rise to power and all hell breaks loose. Theron Martin compares this second half to where the series started. ― After taking the summer 2016 season off, Ajin returned in the fall for another 13 episodes, which are now available in subbed and dubbed form exclusively on Netflix, continuously numbered from 14 on rather than numbered as a separate...
review

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid GN 2

The humor is balanced with some romance in this second volume, showing that Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid has more to offer than you might expect. ― If the first volume of coolkyousinnjya's Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid established the series as a fun take on the monster girl genre, the second lets us know that it isn't strictly a gag series, and that Tohru's protestations of love for Miss Kobayashi ar...
review

Izetta: The Last Witch Episodes 1-12 Streaming

One of the biggest premieres of last fall's anime season seemed to run out of steam with audiences not long into its run. So what happened to Izetta: The Last Witch? Rose Bridges finds out. ― Izetta: The Last Witch was built up pretty heavily before its premiere last fall. Its first episode generated the most hype and buzz of all the premieres (even above Yuri!!! on Ice), by presenting a story that w...
game review

Review: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

It's Resident Evil as "true horror", returning to the concepts that spawned the franchise in the first place. But is it Resident Evil, or a "me too" take on modern horror? ― It's easy to imagine a world where Resident Evil 7 was just called Biohazard, marketed as a spiritual successor to the venerable zombie-killing franchise. It leaves behind the complicated series lore with its intense network of c...
review

Magic of Stella Episodes 1-12 Streaming

This slice-of-life comedy flew under the radar last fall, but Amy McNulty will shoot you straight on whether this doujin game club adventure is worth your time! ― Magic of Stella (the name makes sense when you learn it's a reference to one of the games they create) is small in scope but broad in appeal. It's a slice-of-life show with a comedic edge that never delves too heavily into slapstick comedy,...
game review

Review: Tales of Berseria

The latest Tales game goes darker than ever before, but does that make it better? Todd Ciolek cracks into the first big RPG of 2017! ― Tales games are struggles, and they're not just between a world-saving cadre of misfits and some ruthless villain or eldritch power. They're clashes of quality. On one side, you'll find entertaining characters and hectic, enjoyable battle systems. On the other, you'll...
review

Kindred Spirits On The Roof GN 1-2

Based on an adult yuri visual novel, Kindred Spirits on the Roof relies too much on readers having played the game to be truly enjoyable. ― Kindred Spirits on the Roof is based on the yuri visual novel of the same name, and if you aren't familiar with it, there's a good chance that the book won't hold a whole lot of appeal. This isn't because the two stories told within the volume aren't cute and swe...
review

The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún GN 1

This dark folktale-inspired manga takes us into the world of Irish mythology in a haunting debut. Rebecca Silverman digs deeper. ― Folklore is full of warnings for the careless: don't dance in the fairies' circle, eat no food in the underworld or fairy realms, don't listen to the siren's or rusalka's song – the list goes on. In the world of Nagabe's strange and haunting The Girl From the Other Side: ...
review

Review: Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions

After ten years of waiting, Yugi Muto's adventures continue in a king-sized movie that reunites the original dub cast! Gabriella Ekens revisits this childhood treasure. ― After more than 10 years of increasingly ridiculous sequels, the original Yu-Gi-Oh! – the one where Yugi Muto, the Pharaoh Atem, and their cadre of pals unearth 5000-year old secrets about the origins of a popular card game, Duel Mo...
review

Owarimonogatari Sub.Blu-Ray 2

Owarimonogatari’s second half offers a poignant sendoff to one of Monogatari’s minor players, while emphasizing the many lessons its heroes have learned. Nick Creamer takes a closer look. ― Monogatari's bizarre chronology can be frustrating at times. After the relatively straightforward continuity of Bake and Nise, Second Season saw the show jumping all around Araragi's final high school year, before...
review

Review: The Vision Of Escaflowne BD+DVD

This fantasy classic celebrates its 20th anniversary by coming to Blu-ray for the first time, with a brand-new English dub! Jacob Chapman explores just what makes this series so special. ― It's been over 20 years since The Vision of Escaflowne first aired, and let's face it, there aren't many 20-year old anime series you can expect the average anime fan to sit through with ease, much less the average...
review

Ange Vierge Episodes 1-12 Streaming

Does this fanservice-filled trading card game adaptation have the chops to stand out in a market crowded with both those things already? James Beckett finds out. ― Trading card game adaptations have a surprisingly wide variety of styles, tones, and themes, given their relatively simple origins. Some series choose to simply use the mythology of the game to forge their own unique story (Rage of Bahamut...
review

Review: Kizumonogatari I: Tekketsu-hen Blu-Ray

The first film in the epic Monogatari trilogy has finally arrived on Blu-ray! Nick Creamer breaks down all the goods on this deluxe release. ― Six years ago, it was announced the light novel Kizumonogatari would be receiving an anime adaptation. Following on the heels of the blockbuster success Bakemonogatari, Kizu acted as a prologue for that story, detailing the events that were briefly hinted at i...
review

Charlotte Blu-Ray 2

After a promising start, Charlotte's second half derails in multiple ways. Nick Creamer takes a look at what went wrong. ― Charlotte began as a fairly comprehensible and even sometimes engaging fantasy drama. The central conceit allowed for plenty of unique episodic narratives, as Yu, Tomori, and their associates traveled around and saved those abusing their own psychic powers. It wasn't a great show...
review

Qualidea Code Episodes 1-12 Streaming

This collaborative light-novel-project-turned-anime begins with tons of ambition and ends with tons of problems. James Beckett explains what went wrong. ― Qualidea Code belongs to a particular class of anime, one that I've come to refer as “anime stew”. An anime stew is any project that takes a bunch of ingredients we've seen dozens of times before, familiar themes and ideas and characters, then toss...

For all articles, see the archives