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review

Girls' Last Tour GN 2

This peaceful vision of the world after an apocalypse isn't the right read for all occasions, but it's a great read for when you need its unique brand of silent meditation. Rebecca Silverman weighs in. ― The world following an apocalypse is a theme that never goes out of style in science fiction, even if some points in history make it timelier than others. Most visions of a world destroyed take a dar...
review

Sweet Blue Flowers [2-in-1 Edition] GN 1

This queen-sized release is an excellent way to dive into a yuri manga that's a cut above the rest. Rose Bridges explores what makes Takako Shimura's creation so special. ― On the surface, Sweet Blue Flowers has all the setup for a classic yuri premise: an all-girls' school full of students blushing at each other, kissing in hallways and against library stacks. The outside world of compulsory heteros...
review

The Good Witch of the West Blu-Ray

This adaptation of Noriko Ogiwara's novel series finally gives English-language fans a conclusion to the tale, but other aspects of its production have not aged well. Rebecca Silverman gets into the details. ― The title The Good Witch of the West may be familiar to you – back in the day, TokyoPop released the first six volumes of the manga and first two of Noriko Ogiwara's original novels in English....
review

ID-0 — Episodes 1-12 Streaming

This 3DCG mecha series from last spring has finally debuted on Netflix, but was it worth the wait? Theron Martin has the answers. ― What do you get when the creator/director for the Code Geass franchise teams up with the writer behind Gundam Build Fighters? This 12-episode original anime production, which aired in Japan during the Spring 2017 season. After many months of waiting, Netflix has made the...
review

Platinum End GN 3

Platinum End’s third volume is its best yet, with a strong balance of tension and beauty. Nick Creamer dives into the action. ― In many ways, Platinum End feels like a rewrite of Death Note. From its death game premise to its fantastical but tightly constrained powers, focus on identity puzzles, and grim reflections on morality, many elements of Platinum End feel like a recalibration of Ohba's first ...
review

REVIEW: Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel I. presage flower

The long-awaited first part to this final-route trilogy is making its way to theaters, and Kim Morrissy has our spoiler-free rundown of what fans can expect from Heaven's Feel. ― Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel I. presage flower is the best Fate anime so far. Yes, it's even better than Fate/Zero. This is not something I say lightly—Heaven's Feel really does live up to the hype. My only problem with re...
review

I Hear the Sunspot GN

This unconventional boys-love story about a hearing impaired student breaks the mold in several nice ways. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― The third story about someone with hearing loss to come out in English in recent years, I Hear the Sunspot is also perhaps the most thoughtful. While A Silent Voice shines a light on bullying and So Cute it Hurts takes a romantic angle, Yuki Fumino's graphic ...
review

Black Clover GN 8

Even if it's not the most original Shonen Jump adventure, Black Clover has gotten good at working with what it's got. Rebecca Silverman get into this saga's eighth volume. ― As a shounen fantasy action series, Black Clover is obviously derivative. There are clear elements of both the story and art that seem lifted from Fairy Tail, The Seven Deadly Sins, Dragonball, and several others, to the point wh...
review

Three Leaves, Three Colors BD+DVD

Three Leaves, Three Colors makes up for its hit-or-miss comedy with some lovely visual design. Nick Creamer weighs in on whether it's worth watching. ― Animation studio Doga Kobo have established a firm reputation based on two studio staples: slice of life shows and lively character animation. From GJ-bu to Engaged to the Unidentified, Love Lab to New Game!, these reliable qualities have made Doga Ko...
review

Action Heroine Cheer Fruits Episodes 1-12 Streaming

Is this unique combination of idol show and super sentai stage entertainment worth a look? Chris Farris finds out. ― The first episode of Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is immensely successful on its own. The story of Mikan Kise teaming up with Ann Akagi to put on a homemade superhero show to cheer up her little sister captures youthful feelings and heartfelt effort in a genuine way. Its themes are so s...
game review

Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online

Is this super-meta RPG worth playing for more than its jokes and fanservice? Todd Ciolek finds out. ― Neptunia is a series of inexhaustible potential. The central RPGs feature anime heroines who represent various game consoles and companies, and that makes for rampant and excusable genre parody. Put the characters in a pop-idol simulation or a strategy-RPG and you're not just cynically exploiting a m...
review

Netsuzou Trap -NTR- Episodes 1-12 Streaming

This salacious short yuri series peppers its story with thoughtful threads, but it ultimately works best as trashy erotica. Theron Martin explores the ups and downs of NTR. ― The most dedicated fanservice series of the Summer 2017 season was undoubtedly My First Girlfriend is a Gal, but it's nowhere near as salacious in content as this adaptation of Naoko Kodama's yuri manga of the same name. Over th...
review

Hitorijime My Hero Episodes 1-12 Streaming

Despite rough animation and a weak first three episode prologue, this is a solid and enjoyable story for BL fans old and new. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Hitorijime my Hero is actually a compilation of two series by the same manga creator – the first three episodes are an adaptation of the single-volume Hitorijime Boyfriend, while episodes four through twelve follow its sequel, which shares ...
review

Plum Crazy! Tales of A Tiger-Striped Cat GN 1

If you only read one cute cat manga, this should be it. Rebecca Silverman sinks her claws into this special volume. ― If you only read one cute cat manga, Plum Crazy! Tales of A Tiger-Striped Cat should be it. Less saccharine than Chi's Sweet Home or its companion Fuku Fuku manga but still cuter than Junji Ito's Cat Diary: Yon & Mu, Natsumi Hoshino's story about tabby cat Plum and her daily life mana...
review

Nirvana GN 1

What happens when a heroic volunteer girl dies in a plane crash and is reborn as a goddess into another world? Rebecca Silverman finds out in this intriguing isekai adventure. ― Stories about teenage boys being transported to another world are heavily present in current anime, manga, and light novels. Stories about teenage girls being transported to another world? Not so much, at least not in English...
review

Dragon Ball Super Part One Blu-ray

This initial Battle of Gods arc can't compete with its theatrical counterpart, but it still has its moments. Sam Leach has the details. ― It feels appropriate that after finishing off the Final Chapters of DBZ Kai, I'm watching the beginning of Dragon Ball Super, the anime-original sequel series that picks up almost immediately where the last show left off (aside from the epilogue that's still ten ye...
game review

Super NES Classic Edition

With heaps of 16-bit classics to choose from including the never-before-released Star Fox 2, the Super NES Classic is a retro gamer's dream. Todd Ciolek has the lowdown on every title in this collection. ― Last year's NES Classic Edition was a finely crafted piece of nostalgia: an authentically miniature Nintendo Entertainment System with thirty built-in games, ranging from enduring classics to dispo...
review

HYOUKA BD+DVD Part One

This slice-of-life mystery series unfolds with richness and beauty that reaches beyond its low-key subject matter. Nick Creamer delves into what makes this show special. ― Hyouka starts as many anime do, with a droll monologue from a know-it-all high school boy. Reflecting on the vivid colors of the new year, he seems to sneer at the idea of a “rose-colored” life or even personal investment in genera...
review

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl

Director Masaaki Yuasa adapts another work from author Tomihiko Morimi in this surreal and enchanting film. Dawn H dives into its magical world. ― The movie starts with a premise most anime fans will be familiar with: a bumbling Senpai is so infatuated by a college classmate he's got a crush on, he's been purposely trying to bump into her as often as possible “by coincidence” to get her to notice him...
review

The Ancient Magus' Bride: Those Awaiting a Star OVAs

This three-part side story fills in the gaps of Chise's childhood for prior fans and offers a pleasant entry point for new fans. Theron Martin investigates. ― Those Awaiting a Star is a three episode OVA series based on a side story written specifically for the anime production by Kore Yamazaki, the creator of The Ancient Magus's Bride manga. Its episodes were originally released in Japan with volume...
review

Golden Kamuy GN 2

The violence and drama escalate in this surprisingly anthropological action-adventure. Rebecca Silverman gets into the gory details. ― This series has everything – fascinating Ainu culture, engrossing recipes and flavors, giant wolves, and a guy getting his face ripped off by an enraged bear. It's absolutely not for the faint of heart, because Satoru Noda pulls exactly zero punches when it comes to g...
review

The Devil is a Part-Timer! Novel 8

The story enters its first larger continuity arc, bringing the stakes much higher for this previously episodic series. Theron Martin has the details. ― I haven't been doing reviews on the last few volumes of The Devil is a Part-Timer! because frankly, there hasn't been much to comment on. The overall story has been creeping along as it continues to drop hints of some bigger metaphysical conflict invo...
review

The Irregular at Magic High School Novel 5

Despite the usual writing issues, this volume of short stories is a nice breather between arcs for the characters. Rebecca Silverman has the lowdown. ― Chronologically speaking, this fifth novel in the Irregular at Magic High School franchise fits in-between the second and third arcs of the anime – after the Nine Schools Competition and before the Yokohama Disturbance. Skipping over it in terms of an...
review

She and Her Cat GN

Makoto Shinkai's story of a young woman's life through the perspective of the cat she rescued is uniquely poignant. Rebecca Silverman explores this heartwarming tale. ― Have you ever seen the bumper sticker shaped like a pawprint that reads, “Who Saved Who?” That is the essence of Makoto Shinkai and Tsubasa Yamaguchi's manga version of Shinkai's short anime She and Her Cat. The story is told from the...
review

K: Return of Kings BD/DVD

This second season is a slight improvement over the first, with a little more story under its flashy style. Theron Martin has the details. ― If you have seen the first TV series of K but have not seen the movie K: Missing Kings then you should not begin this sequel, as starting right after the season-opening fight scene (which is either a flashback or a dream sequence) a lot of things will not make m...
game review

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

Several changes have been made to this fighting game's new installment, but not all of them are for the better. Dustin Bailey gets into it. ― The new story mode in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite has all the characters trapped in a pair of worlds awkwardly smashed together out of pieces from their respective universes. Marvel's AIM laboratories host not only MODOK, but also the BOWs of Resident Evil, smu...
game review

Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

To call the end of Danganronpa "shocking" would be an understatement! Jacob Chapman takes on the controversial final chapter in this SPOILER-FREE review. ― Prior to the release of this (second?) conclusion to the main Danganronpa trilogy, series creator Kazutaka Kodaka was emphatic in several interviews that this "new semester" would be completely open to newcomers. While it would bring closure to th...
review

Chihayafuru Season 1 Premium Edition BD+DVD

This adaptation of the award-winning manga about karuta is finally available to own in a fancy special edition box! Bamboo Dong explores just what makes this series so special. ― On paper, Chihayafuru would probably be considered a sports anime. The characters spend most of their time training for, talking about, and playing sports. And most of the action and tension revolve around the outcome of spo...
review

Platinum End GN 2

Ohba and Obata's newest manga thriller expands its cast and slips into a comfortable rhythm for its second volume. Nick Creamer dives in. ― Platinum End's first volume established a cheekily cynical platform for a thriller. Opening with our suicidal hero Mirai, it proposed a scenario where twelve human candidates for godhood would have to fight it out, each of them blessed with some mix of angelic po...
review

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime GN 1

This isekai adventure takes a turn for the slimy as its protagonist enters a fantasy world in perhaps the worst form possible. Theron Martin has the details. ― Isekai stories are pervasive in the Japanese light novel market these days, and stories where the world-jumping involves reincarnation with mind and memories intact are swiftly becoming more popular. We've already seen some odd twists on that ...
review

Review: Neo-Yokio

It's an original anime by Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig and famous actor Jaden Smith, along with a celebrity voice cast. What could possibly go wrong? Mike Toole investigates Netflix's latest original. ― They finally did it, folks: they animated Jaden Smith's Twitter account. That was what I thought after hearing Smith's character, Kaz, unwind the first of many bizarre pronouncements, in a bid...
review

Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters Blu-Ray Part Three

DBZ's saga comes to a close as heroes gather from across the universe to defeat Buu once and for all. Sam Leach dives into the conclusion to Toriyama's original epic. ― It's time for the final installment, not just of The Final Chapters, but of DBZ Kai as a whole. Before the recent movies and Dragon Ball Super, this was the definitive climax of Akira Toriyama's work. Appropriately, the Buu saga is ma...
review

The Seven Deadly Sins: Season 1 BD+DVD

This straight-to-Netflix shonen manga adaptation is finally available to own on home release! Rebecca Silverman finds out if it was worth the wait. ― After an initial run on Netflix, the anime adaptation of The Seven Deadly Sins has arrived on Blu Ray and DVD. This season, which covers roughly the first fifteen volumes of Nakaba Suzuki's original manga, is a combination of interesting references to t...
game review

Metroid: Samus Returns

Samus is back in this expansive, extensive remake of Game Boy original Metroid II, but can it capture that old Metroid feeling? Dustin suits up to find out... ― There's a lot of bombast to a title like Samus Returns. Not just a nod to the original Metroid II subhead, this is indeed the return of Samus after an interminable hiatus for the Metroid franchise. It's been thirteen years since the last 2D M...
game review

Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

To call the latest chapter of Danganronpa "shocking" would be an understatement! Jacob Chapman takes on the controversial V3 in this SPOILER-FREE review. ― Prior to the release of this (second?) conclusion to the main Danganronpa trilogy, series creator Kazutaka Kodaka was emphatic in several interviews that this "new semester" would be completely open to newcomers. While it would bring closure to th...
review

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya BD+DVD

One of the most compelling adventures in the Haruhi saga finally arrives on Blu-ray! Nick Creamer takes a look at this uniquely engrossing film. ― After the madcap adventures and slapstick comedy of Haruhi Suzumiya's first two seasons, the anime series was capped off with a film unlike anything that had come before. Somber, slow-paced, and introspective, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya represent...
review

Generation Witch GN 1

These episodic adventures of modern, everyday witches are charming if a little light on lasting impact. Theron Martin delves into Generation Witch. ― Witches as commonly portrayed in anime and manga – flying around on a broomstick sporting a long pointy hat – are decidedly a Western phenomenon, but that hasn't prevented them from popping up in Japanese media on a regular basis over the years. Generat...
review

No Game, No Life Zero

Despite being a far-flung film prequel to its source material, No Game No Life Zero might just outshine the original TV series. Kim Morrissy breaks down what makes this movie shine. ― No Game No Life Zero isn't like the No Game No Life you've seen before. It takes all the interesting themes of the original TV series and peels away all the fanservice and frivolities, resulting in a tonally different n...
review

Kimi no Koe o Todoketai

Those looking forward to Studio Madhouse's first original movie in years may find themselves disappointed by this sweet yet ultimately clumsy film. Kim Morrissy has the details from its theatrical run in Japan. ― The first thing that you need to know about this film is that it very explicitly revolves around the Shinto concept of kotodama. The word translates literally to “the spirit of words” and re...
review

Assassination Classroom Season 2 Part 2 BD+DVD

Class E's tutelage under Koro-sensei comes to an end, and Rebecca Silverman picks up the pieces. Was this series finale everything its premise promised? ― Mild Spoiler Warning for the series' last quarter: We can't say we didn't know how this was going to end. It's right there in the title - Assassination Classroom. From episode one, it's been said that when the end of the series came, so would the e...
review

Dimension W Limited Edition

Dimension W was intended to be the next action anime darling on Toonami, so where did it go wrong? Nick Creamer takes a look at the special edition release for answers. ― Dimension W was intended to be a pretty big deal. As one of very few shows chosen to air simultaneously on Japanese television and Toonami, and the first to be co-produced by Funimation, its origins were nothing if not optimistic. T...
review

Napping Princess

Director Kenji Kamiyama's first family film reaches for the stars and the audience's heartstrings all at once, but does it succeed? Rose Bridges has the answers straight from its screening at AnimeFest! ― Did you ever wonder what a Mamoru Hosoda-style story would be like if it were directed by Kenji Kamiyama of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Eden of the East? That's basically the easiest...
review

Sound! Euphonium: Welcome to the Kitauji High School Concert Band Novel

Does this original novel still hold up against Kyoto Animation's high-gloss adaptation? Nick Creamer compares these two versions. ― I'm not particularly precious about adaptations myself. Even if I liked a particular work's source material, I understand that different mediums have different strengths, so a great adaptation won't necessarily prioritize the same things I love in the original. This exte...
review

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash Novel 4

The novel series begins the exploration of grief that defined its anime adaptation, as the party struggles to recover from another death. Rebecca Silverman delves deeper. ― If you watched the anime version of Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, chances are you remember the extended exploration of the grieving process following the death of Manato. In the novels, his passing was treated with much less detail,...
review

Kigurumi Guardians GN 1

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself saving the world with a six-foot-tall plush mascot who lives in your room and transforms into a hot guy? Rebecca Silverman finds out. ― Somewhere in between the magical girl and the super sentai team are the Kigurumi Guardians. There's transforming – but it's not done by the girls. There's a team of diverse characters – but they don't really work toget...
game review

Warriors All-Stars

This colorful cast of characters spanning a dozen different Tecmo titles have come together for a crossover musou extravaganza! Dustin Bailey finds out if the gameplay can fulfill its promising premise. ― Tecmo has a deceptively large roster of franchises. There's the big stuff, like the Warriors games, Dead or Alive, and Ninja Gaiden. There's more niche RPGs and weird action hybrids like Atelier, Ni...
game review

Review - One Piece: Unlimited World Red

The PS4 version of this combat-based collect-a-thon is just one of many available on nearly every console and even PC! Sam Leach finds out if the most accessible One Piece game is worth playing. ― Unlimited World Red Deluxe is a re-release of the 2013 game originally made for the 3DS, the most recent in a series of One Piece “Unlimited” games. At this point, Red is out for nearly all Sony and Nintend...
review

Kumamiko Sub BD/DVD

This charming story of a country bumpkin and her talking bear friend ended on a surprisingly sour note. Theron Martin deduces whether or not it's still worth watching. ― In recent years, there have been a spate of anime comedies and slice-of-life emphasizing rural life in Japan. This manga adaptation from the Spring 2016 season squarely falls into that category. It's also a forerunner to the more rec...
review

Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky Blu-Ray

This passionate and shocking entry in the UC canon will make a strong visual impression on Gundam fans, but its emotional resonance is a little shakier. Lauren Orsini has the details. ― “Even as we curse war, we become more and more obsessed with it.” Io Fleming's line near the end of the film puts the whole story of Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky into perspective. War hasn't done Flemi...
review

And You Thought There Is Never A Girl Online? BD/DVD

This harem comedy's MMO-obsessed heroine could be a love-or-hate dealbreaker for this light novel adaptation. Rebecca Silverman ponders the problem of Ako. ― There are probably many worse problems to have than marring a decent show with one persistently awful character, but I was hard pressed to think of anything worse while watching And You Thought There Is Never a Girl Online. Based on a light nove...
review

Akaoni: Contract with a Vampire Novel 1

This light novel aimed at female readers gives us a relatable heroine coping with her new vampire-filled reality. Rebecca Silverman explores this supernatural romance's ups and downs. ― Although light novels have really taken off in English recently, there's still a dearth of books targeted at a specifically female readership. That's a gap that Cross Infinite World looks to fill, and Akaoni: Contract...
review

Hana & Hina After School GNs 1-2

Milk Morinaga continues her reign as the queen of sweet yuri romance with this charming new tale of two co-workers falling for each other. Rebecca Silverman digs in. ― It truly is hard to top Milk Morinaga when it comes to sweet yuri romance, and Hana & Hina After School is another excellent example of why. Combining yearning, friendship, and social concerns with art that is both cute and sensual, th...
review

Record of Lodoss War OVA + Chronicles Of The Heroic Knight TV

The franchise that set over a decade of standards for fantasy RPG anime is finally available on Blu-ray for the first time! Theron Martin finds out if this tabletop classic has stood the test of time. ― Over the last 26 years, several fantasy anime have come along to exceed Record of Lodoss War on technical or storytelling merits. Despite this, no anime series more truly deserves to be called the def...
review

Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters Blu-Ray Part Two

The Final Chapters continue as Goku and Vegeta hash out their long awaited rematch and the evil Majin Buu awakens from his slumber to seal the Earth's doom. Sam Leach has the details on this blu-ray release. ― The further along we get into the Buu saga of DBZ Kai, the more it amazes me. I had unending enthusiasm for Part One of The Final Chapters—I found the tournament and early Babidi stuff to be a ...
review

Code Geass: Akito the Exiled BD+DVD

Akito the Exiled is a world apart from the original hit series, but its own take on Lelouch's world still has its own milder charms. Nick Creamer discovers this other side of the Code Geass universe. ― The original Code Geass was a juggernaut of a franchise, a thrilling war drama predicated on an array of core strengths. Those strengths began with Lelouch, a simple teen born in a difficult time, a ma...
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Little Witch Academia—Episodes 14-25 Streaming

Studio Trigger's newest series trades in its episodic format for a driving main plotline in a truly magical second half. Rebecca Silverman finishes this anime out with a bang! ― If the first half of Little Witch Academia was about introducing the colorful characters and the zany adventures of Akko, this second half tries to put all of that development to use through a culmination of the main story. U...
review

Goodnight Punpun GN 7

"The End can mean lots of different things, Punpun." Inio Asano's surreal and challenging manga comes to a close, and Rebecca Silverman tries to pick up all the pieces. ― Spoiler warning for Goodnight Punpun volume 6 Inio Asano's works up through Goodnight Punpun specialize in being difficult. He admits as much in an interview after completing this series, that there's almost a contrariness to the wa...
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Review: Death Note (2017)

After years of anticipation, this American adaptation of the hit manga thriller is finally available on Netflix! Jacob Chapman breaks down whether this movie is noteworthy or should just be erased. ― After at least four live-action Japanese movies, two TV series (one anime, one live-action), and mountains of spinoff media, Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's gruesome thriller manga is no stranger to the...
review

Gurren Lagann Complete Box Set Blu-Ray

Just in time for its tenth anniversary, Aniplex has released the full Gurren Lagann series + compilation movies on blu-ray! Chris Farris finds out if this anime legend still lives up to its hype. ― Gurren Lagann's reputation echoes far and wide, and even ten years later, that larger-than-life status can make it hard to tell where the hype ends and the series' quality itself begins. Aniplex's new Blu-...
review

Origin: Spirits of the Past BD+DVD

Gonzo's effort to create their own Ghibli adventure strikes more lows than highs. Rebecca Silverman sees if this new release can add anything to a rocky film experience. ― If you already own one of the previous two releases of Gonzo's 2006 film, you probably can skip this new release of it unless you're desperate for a (very pretty) blu ray version. Other than the BD disc, this is literally identical...
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Fireworks, Should We See it from the Side or the Bottom?

Studio SHAFT's summertime romance flick seeks to tug viewer's heartstrings, but does it succeed? Kim Morrissy has the lowdown on a screening straight from Japan. ― Fireworks doesn't start off on its best foot. Its first thirty minutes amble somewhat aimlessly, with its themes never in clear focus. In isolation, there are evocative and striking shots, but the dutch angles and extreme closeups strike a...
game review

Review: Yakuza Kiwami

Can this entry in the Yakuza franchise escape the shadow of its older brother, Yakuza Zero? Dustin Bailey has the answers. ― Kazuma Kiryu. Some call him the “dragon of Dojima,” one of the most legendary fighters the Japanese underworld has ever known. But there's much more to Kiryu than that. He's Kamurocho's toughest boy scott, a righter of wrongs and puncher of faces, the kind of guy who'll help a ...
review

One Piece: Heart of Gold BD+DVD

This special prequel to One Piece Film Gold may not have much going for it compared to other One Piece movies, but there's still some charm to be found if you're eager to go digging. ― Heart of Gold is just one in a string of recent One Piece TV movies, but it's the first to get a home video release from Funimation. The amount of post-time-skip content to get dubbed is slowly growing in North America...
review

School-Live! GN 7

There's a lull in the action as the girls finally make it to St. Isidore University, but there are still plenty of mysteries to be solved in this second post-anime volume. ― Having “graduated” and completed their graduation tour, the girls of the School Living Club have finally arrived at college – St. Isidore University, to be precise, one of the three survivor strongholds listed in the secret manua...
review

The Ancient Magus' Bride GN 7

This seventh volume embraces the spiraling extended universe of Elias and Chise's world. Nick Creamer plumbs the depths of these new mysteries. ― The Ancient Magus' Bride's seventh volume opens with the story at its most personal, centering on the relationship that is its heart. Chise has spent long volumes learning from her mentor Elias, but as Elias has come to care for her, he has changed as well....
review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable Live-Action Film

Takashi Miike's dark and gritty take on the world of JoJo's might not be everyone's cup of tea, but is it worth watching on its own merits as an action film? Kim Morrissy finds out. ― Live-action adaptations of manga tend to have a poor reputation, often criticized for their cheesy acting and amateur-looking special effects. Not all live-action adaptations fall into these pitfalls, however, and some ...
review

Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters Blu-Ray Part One

The last arc of DBZ's story finally gets its chance to shine in animation for the first time, as Kai finishes out its run with The Final Chapters. Sam Leach offers his take on the end of the Buu Saga. ― The original run of Dragon Ball Z Kai was a wish come true for me as someone who grew up pretty equally with Funimation's version on TV, as well as the manga. It basically gave me a chance to relive T...
review

Owarimonogatari Second Season

These three episodes bring the sprawling Monogatari franchise to a close after eight years of adventures. Nick Creamer finds out whether Araragi's (supposed) last gasp can stick the landing. ― The Monogatari franchise has spiraled out over most of a decade now, with new episodes or short films coming out irregularly since 2009. Its story has grown to encompass many smaller stories, its initial focus ...
review

One Piece Film Gold BD+DVD

The newest, loudest, and flashiest One Piece movie is finally out on Blu-Ray! Sam Leach takes a wild ride through the movie's ups and downs, along with some zany bonus features. ― If there's one thing that Toei Animation irrefutably puts a ton of effort into, it's the theatrical One Piece movies. Ever since Strong World, these films have had manga author Eiichiro Oda playing the role of at least Exec...
review

Gundam Wing: The Glory of Losers Volume 1

While its art is beautiful, this manga's unreasonably abbreviated story may leave fans scratching their heads. Lauren Orsini has the details. ― Earlier this year, Vertical, Inc. announced that it had acquired the license to Gundam Wing: The Glory of Losers to much fanfare. Following its previous, highly successful release of the 12-part Gundam: The Origin manga, it'd be no wonder if fans expected mor...
review

Waiting for Spring GN 1

Waiting for Spring's first volume takes the "high school debut" story in a different direction for a story that's both grounded and fluffy all in one. Rebecca Silverman digs in. ― “Reinventing” yourself in high school is a popular trope in manga, and one made possible by the fact that where you go to high school in Japan isn't necessarily dictated by where you live. Unlike many of her shoujo sisters,...
review

My Hero Academia GN 9

My Hero Academia’s ninth volume delivers an ensemble fight that’s thrilling from start to finish. Nick Creamer gets in on the action. ― Volume eight of My Hero Academia was a transition phase, as the story continued to detail the fallout of the Hero Killer Stain incident, as well as set up various pieces for the next arcs. Based on the early pages of this volume, you might think we'd be moving into t...
review

WWW.WAGNARIA!! Volume 1 Blu-Ray

The first half of this Wagnaria spinoff never quite rises to the level of its franchise sibling, but it comes close enough to be worth a look. Paul Jensen takes a look at the blu-ray release. ― WWW.Wagnaria is a spinoff of the long-running workplace comedy Wagnaria, but only in the loosest sense of the word. It's set at another location in the same chain of restaurants, but the story and characters a...
review

Sailor Moon S Part 2 Blu-Ray + DVD

The second half of Sailor Moon season 3 might be more uneven than you remember, but there's still a good story hiding under the confused pacing. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Usagi has never really been a fighter. She does fight as Sailor Moon, and she's willing to do what she has to in order to keep everyone safe, but ultimately, the former Princess and future Neo Queen would rather resolve t...
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Kizumonogatari Part 2: Nekketsu Blu-Ray

This provocative middle entry in the Kizumonogatari trilogy has finally landed on Blu-Ray! Nick Creamer revisits Araragi's hyperviolent origin story with all of Aniplex's bonus content. ― The key moment of Kizumonogatari Nekketsu comes after its second battle, after Araragi has just faced the half-vampire, Episode. Episode is defeated and almost killed, but Araragi can't relish the victory. Instead, ...
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Samurai Warriors DVD

This musou game adaptation hews slightly closer to history than many of its contemporaries, but is its action good enough to be worth watching? Theron Martin has the answers. ― The 2015 TV series Samurai Warriors and its predecessor, the 2014 TV special Legend of the Sanadai, are both adaptations of the fighting game Samurai Warriors 4, released together on DVD from Funimation. All of the major chara...
game review

Hey! Pikmin

Captain Olimar touches down on the 3DS in the first portable Pikmin adventure. Dustin Bailey finds out if shrinking down the action affects the experience. ― Up until now, the adventures of Captain Olimar have seen him and a legion little plant people called Pikmin in a long-term battle for survival, racing against the clock or dwindling food reserves to gather the materials necessary to repair the l...
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If It's for My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat a Demon Lord Novel 1

This fantasy twist on the single-dad-raising-a-daughter story is sweet and unique enough to be worth reading. Rebecca Silverman digs into this unusual title. ― Single dad stories have basically become their own subgenre at this point, although mostly they tend to be set in the here and now and focus on the struggles of a single man trying to raise a daughter. That's still true of If It's for My Daugh...
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Combat Baker and His Automaton Waitress Novel 1

If you're tired of isekai stories or teen comedies, this is a good light novel to check out for a change of pace. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Strange, overlong, or simply bizarre light novel titles have certainly become de rigeur, but even though we all at this point know better than to judge a series by its title, every so often that's still hard to do. But just like Is It Wrong to Try to P...
game review

Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy

Layton passes his puzzle-solving prowess down to his daughter for the franchise's mobile game debut. Is it worth a look for Professor Layton fans and casual puzzle game players? ― The latest Professor Layton game opens with its most compelling mystery. Young Katrielle Layton endures a dream where she chases after her father, who vanishes into a dense London fog. Is Professor Hershel Layton, the didac...
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Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry

This Fairy Tail movie bridges the gap between story arcs beautifully, but you'll have to be caught up to follow the action. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Before you go to see Fairy Tail Dragon Cry, the most recent film based on Hiro Mashima's Fairy Tail manga, you need to ask yourself how you feel about spoilers. The movie's plot canonically slots in between the two final story arcs of the ser...
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GATE Limited Edition BD+DVD

Both seasons of the JSDF's adventures fighting dragons in another world are now available in this special edition ammo box. Theron Martin delves into the series' strengths and weaknesses for military otaku and general viewers. ― In 2013 the anime series Outbreak Company presented a story about Japan discovering a gate to a fantasy world, establishing peaceful contact with an empire on the other side,...
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Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin: Chronicle Of Char And Sayla Collection

These four movies fill in some longstanding blanks of the series while also serving as a polished introduction to the franchise for newcomers. Lauren Orsini delves into Char's story. ― Gundam: The Origin initially was released in North America as a 12-part manga, which Rebecca Silverman praised as “well-written, nicely illustrated, and full of interesting characters.” The collection quickly rocketed ...
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The Ancient Magus' Bride—Episodes 1-3

Following its one-night-only premiere in theaters, Theron Martin reveals if The Ancient Magus' Bride is worth the hype. ― Kore Yamazaki's highly-regarded manga The Ancient Magus' Bride is set to air on Japanese TV (and stream on Crunchyroll) in the Fall 2017 season, but its first three episodes actually made their debut at 2017's Anime Expo, followed by a worldwide screening in theaters, courtesy of ...
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Sekirei GN 1

If you don't mind sci fi in your fanservice manga or boobs in your science fiction, Sekirei's first volume is a fun read with significant story potential. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Sakurako Gokurakuin's Sekirei manga was previously published digitally before getting its print release this year, two years after the series finished its 2004-2015 run. Both of those facts may be part of the re...
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Vampire Knight Memories GN 1

This collection of vignettes recounts the continuing adventures of Vampire Knight's cast as Kaname slumbers. Rebecca Silverman breaks down the best and worst of these epilogue stories. ― The main story of Vampire Knight left us with the basic idea that Yuki and Zero would end up together while Kaname slept in a case of ice for a thousand years, and that, essentially, life would go on. If that wasn't ...
game review

Review: Splatoon 2

Combine your talents as both kid and squid to ink your way to victory once again! Dustin Bailey finds out if this highly anticipated sequel holds up against the original. ― Two things are true of the Wii U—it was Nintendo's biggest hardware failure since the Virtual Boy, and it served as a home for some of the most fun, original games the company has ever produced. When the Switch came along to deliv...
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High School Life of a Fudanshi GN 1

This first volume about the life of a BL-loving straight boy struggles to be funny without too much cruelty. Rebecca Silverman weighs this comedy's pros and cons. ― If you distill it down to its most basic message, The High School Life of a Fudanshi is about all of the issues that come with being the “wrong” gender for a fandom. That's something plenty of people have experienced, from just not fittin...
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Garo Season Two: Crimson Moon BD+DVD

Garo's second season never quite manages to redeem itself, resulting in a finale that's difficult to care about. Rebecca Silverman conducts her autopsy. ― It is a sad day when a series' explication takes so long that the monsters themselves get tired of listening to it and just attack. While that's not literally true of Garo: Crimson Moon, it still feels like the best explanation we've got for its ev...
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Review: Saga of Tanya the Evil

This unusual series combines dark comedy and war drama to shockingly entertaining effect. Nick Creamer delves into Tanya's cynical world. ― Saga of Tanya the Evil's first episode largely confirmed all my worst suspicions regarding the title. Framed from the perspective of a tiny girl who'd somehow risen to officer status within a faux-German military, it seemed to revel in nastiness, playing up the g...
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Genshiken: Second Season GN 9

Genshiken seeks to steer its most questionable plot arc into safer waters in its surprisingly thoughtful ninth volume. ― Genshiken Second Season has been a bit of a mess. In contrast with the original series' sensitive and remarkably grounded approach to fandom circles, Second Season has shifted from a promising setup into outright harem comedy territory, its characters moaning about their own cliche...
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Fate/Apocrypha — Episodes 1-3

While we wait for the newest animated entry in the Fate series to arrive on Netflix, Kim Morrissy has a look at the first three episodes straight from Japan. How does this "Great Grail War" compare to its predecessors? ― Note: While Fate/Apocrypha is not yet available streaming in English, this review comes courtesy of our Tokyo correspondent who watched these first three episodes in Japan. Fate/Apoc...
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School-Live! Blu-Ray

This one-of-a-kind combination of slice-of-life and horror starts strange and finishes strong. Theron Martin explores just what makes this series so special. ― The first episode of this series is one of the biggest cases of misdirection in anime history, as both the opening theme and first twenty minutes suggest that this is going to be a high-spirited slice-of-life series about schoolgirls. Sure, th...
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Haruchika: Haruta & Chika BD+DVD

Haruchika is just good enough to set viewers up for disappointment when it fails to deliver on its potential. Rebecca Silverman explains what went wrong. ― There are some shows that tease you with their mediocrity, occasionally showing flashes of, if not brilliance, than at least intrigue before turning around and slumping back into uninteresting and disappointing you all over again. Haruchika is one...
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Kakegurui — Episodes 1-3

While this psychosexual thriller about high-stakes high school gambling won't be available on Netflix for a few more months, Kim Morrissy's got the scoop on its first three episodes straight from Japan. Is Kakegurui worth hyping up? ― Note: While Kakegurui is not yet available streaming in English, this review comes courtesy of our Tokyo correspondent who watched these first three episodes in Japan. ...
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Outlaw Star BD+DVD

The '90s action classic has finally arrived on Blu-ray, but have Gene's adventures aboard the Outlaw Star aged gracefully? Chris Farris finds out. ― Outlaw Star occupies an unusual space in western anime fandom. The show ran on Cartoon Network's Toonami block around the turn of the millennium, enjoying repeated success through re-runs of its 26-episode season. It also featured heavily in Toonami's ad...

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