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review

New Game!! - Season Two BD/DVD

New Game’s second season improves on the first while still staying true to its core appeal. Nick Creamer cheers on this charming sequel. ― The first season of New Game! was a very pleasant time all around, presenting the trials and tribulations of a small game development studio with all the coziness it could possibly afford. New Game!'s gentle slice of life storytelling meant it didn't really succee...
review

After the Rain Omnibus 1

This unconventional romance combines beautiful art with nuanced storytelling to deliver a truly unique coming-of-age story. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― There's something deliberately uncomfortable about After the Rain's apparent central premise – that a seventeen-year-old girl is not only crushing on a forty-five-year-old man, but that she's persistent about acting on it, and he's not quite ...
game review

REVIEW: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

At long last, the definitive version of Nintendo's beloved fighting game series is out on the Nintendo Switch. Branden Johnson finds out if this edition really lives up to all the hype. ― The level of excitement in the Smash Bros. fan community has probably never been higher. For all intents and purposes, this is the game. The one that has everything we could possibly want (okay, except for Waluigi)....
review

Wolf & Parchment: New Theory Spice & Wolf Novel 3

This more low-key adventure for Col and Myuri does a great job expanding the series' world, but the transition from lore to drama isn't as smooth as fans might hope. Theron Martin has the details. ― The first novel of this “next generation” sequel to Spice and Wolf dealt with events that could have world-shaking consequences, while the second volume dealt with events that could reshape an entire regi...
review

Gamers! BD/DVD

This romcom mixes relatable nerd relationships and references with cartoonish hijinks to deliver a winning blend of warm fuzzies. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― We talk to other people all the time, but do we really listen? That's a question that never gets directly asked in Gamers, but it certainly forms the backbone of the story's misunderstanding-based humor. Following a group of high school...
review

Cutie Honey: The Classic Collection [Hardcover] GNs 1-2

Go Nagai's wildly influential magical girl manga is finally available in a beautiful hardback release. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Cutie Honey is an important series on several fronts. Not only does it lay down a few of the basic rules that later magical girls would follow – most specifically the naked transformation scene trope, which gets ample reuse in both tame and more Honey-like fanser...
review

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization GN 1

This adaptation of an SAO video game sports a few intriguing elements, but it might not add enough to the franchise to engage more casual fans. Theron Martin has the details. ― This manga is an adaptation of a video game of the same name, which was loosely derived from the core SAO story. Though the source game is the fourth one made for the franchise, it is the first one to get adapted, and that cau...
review

Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion

This historical fiction adventure rides the line well between period piece and war drama. Theron Martin has the details. ― Tsushima Island is located about halfway across the Korea Strait, which makes it the closest Japanese territory to the Korean Peninsula. Hence any invasion of Japan from Korea would naturally use the island as a stepping stone. Such was the case in 1274, when the Korean vassals o...
review

Skip Beat! Complete Series BD

With its strong characters, good sense of humor, and well-produced English dub, Skip Beat is the kind of series you don't need to be a shoujo fan to enjoy. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Skip Beat, as fans of the manga by Yoshiki Nakamura it's based on know, is a story that's much more than the sum of its parts. Nominally the story of sixteen-year-old Kyoko Mogami getting revenge on her childho...
review

REVIEW: Mirai

Mamoru Hosoda's newest film is his most personal creation yet. Kim Morrissy has our review ahead of the movie's U.S. theatrical debut. ― Mirai isn't going to surprise anyone who has been following Mamoru Hosoda's films for long. Like all of Hosoda's recent films at Studio Chizu, Mirai is a sweet and humble story about family bonds, presented with a dash of magic and wonder. It feels very much like a ...
review

Shortcake Cake GN 2

This calm but engrossing shojo romance stands out for its deliberate pacing and captivating heroine. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Like many shoujo romances of its ilk, Shortcake Cake has wasted no time in assembling suitors for its heroine Ten's affections. In the first volume we met both Riku and Chiaki, who also live at Ten's boarding house, and now in the second we also meet Rei, who has s...
review

Witch Hunter Robin DVD

Funimation's release of this supernatural procedural puts it back into print for the first time in a decade. Theron Martin finds out how this stylishly gothic series has held up over the years. ― In the early 2000s, when this anime-original 26-episode series was first hitting the North American market legally, Witch Hunter Robin was one of the hottest properties around. That was due in no small part ...
review

Dragon Quest Illustrations: 30th Anniversary Edition Artbook

Akira Toriyama's classic artwork shines in this special collection of pieces from the beloved game series. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― It's hard to find someone who has never heard of Akira Toriyama, or at least his works. After his arrival on the shounen manga scene with Dr. Slump, Toriyama solidified his fame with the extensive Dragonball series, spin-offs of which continue to be released ...
review

REVIEW - Godzilla: The Planet Eater

The final film in this trilogy from Polygon Pictures and Gen Urobuchi will be arriving on Netflix soon, but Richard Eisenbeis has our sneak peek at how the battle between Godzilla and Ghidorah will resolve! ― Following 2017's Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters and 2018's Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle, Godzilla: The Planet Eater is the third and final film in the Godzilla anime trilogy. Penned by...
game review

Pokémon: Let's Go!

Pokémon fans can explore the Kanto region like never before in this high-def remake of the classic Yellow Version, but has Generation 1 aged gracefully? Branden Johnson finds out. ― I missed the Pokemon train entirely the first time around. It's strange; I love JRPGs, and I was the perfect age when Pokemon Red and Blue hit the Gameboy in the 90s. Whatever the reasons, I haven't played a single Pokemo...
review

The Ancient Magus' Bride GN 9

This supernatural romance's longest arc yet arrives at its climax in a volume that demonstrates all of this manga’s strengths and weaknesses. Nick Creamer has the details. ― The Ancient Magus' Bride's eighth volume ended with Elias betraying Chise's trust so completely that he drove her into the arms of their mutual foe, the mysterious Cartaphilus. Across this ninth volume, both Cartaphilus' and Chis...
review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Novel 12

DanMachi returns to telling smaller self-contained stories as Bell reaches Level 4 in his training. Theron Martin has the details. ― With the three-volume arc involving the Xenos now complete, writer Fujino Omori returns both to carrying out a pure dungeon crawl and to telling an entirely self-contained story. That's not to say at all that this is an isolated story; some elements and consequences of ...
review

Classroom of the Elite BD/DVD

This slice-of-life drama where rich kids must grapple with a meritocratic system has some fascinating ideas, but ultimately can’t come together into a greater whole. Nick Creamer has the details. ― There's a certain subgroup of anime high school dramas that I've come to essentially see as “Catcher in the Rye shows.” Echoing the defiantly cynical yet extremely naive perspective of Catcher's Holden Cau...
game review

SNK 40th Anniversary Collection

SNK delivers a history lesson with an anthology of early arcade and NES titles. Todd finds out how well these games have held up in this new game for the Switch. ― What made SNK a cult favorite game company? Was it the Neo Geo, which delivered arcade-perfect games at home for just two hundred dollars per cartridge? Was it the Neo Geo Pocket Color, a well-made and vastly underappreciated handheld syst...
review

Eureka Seven: Hi - Evolution 1 BD/DVD

The first movie in this trilogy retelling the story of Eureka Seven gets off to a rocky start. Theron Martin has the details. ― As alternate adaptations of previously-aired anime content go, this 2017 movie, which is scheduled to be the first of three, is an odd duck. It seems intent on contradicting itself, as it wants to nudge the story in some slightly different directions but is also keen on recy...
review

Tsuredure Children Complete Series BD/DVD

This anthology-style romcom has enough heart to ground its goofiness, as a charming reminder that even young love is never easy. Rebecca Silverman dives in. ― Teenage romantic comedy is a genre that has essentially been done to death. It's got a long history in both literature and film, so at this point to be able to do something even a little different with the genre is a major accomplishment. Tsure...
review

Nanbaka Part 1 BD/DVD

This unusual take on an office comedy takes place in a high-security prison where the inmates and guards alike are fabulously crazy. James Beckett has the details. ― Nanbaka is one of the most flamboyant anime I've ever seen – this may be a show about a gang of rapscallions trying to bust out of jail and annoy the prison guard, but I'll be damned if Jyugo and the gang don't all look good doing it. Ev...
review

Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of The Commandments

Melodias and his friends return in this full second season available on Netflix! Theron Martin has the details. ― Revival of the Commandments is the true second season of The Seven Deadly Sins. Viewers could probably get by with skipping the four-episode interlude Signs of Holy War and still fully understand what's going on here, as this is where the main plotline continues, but I still recommend wat...
review

The Ancient Magus' Bride GN 8

This weighty volume sees Elias and Chise’s relationship tested like never before. Nick Creamer has the details. ― The Ancient Magus' Bride's seventh volume represented a key turning point in heroine Chise's emotional development. Having started the series at a point where she valued herself so slightly that she literally let herself be sold as property, Chise has gained close friends and confidence, ...
review

Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan

This more whimsical take on a military dramedy suffers from some tone and audience problems but still manages to dish out hours of undeniable charm. Theron Martin has the details. ― Over the years, we've seen anime titles about dragon riders and ones about pilots of transforming aircraft, but this 12-episode original production by Studio Bones may be the first time that the two concepts have been wel...
review

The Hero and His Elf Bride Open a Pizza Parlor in Another World Novel 1

This isekai parody is just tongue-in-cheek enough to be worth reading. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― It is something of a relief to realize that Kaya Kizaki's The Hero and his Elf Bride Open a Pizza Parlor in Another World is actually a parody of the pervasive isekai genre. That's not because there's anything wrong with it as a genre, but recent trends have stretched its credulity, so to see K...
review

Liz and the Blue Bird

Nick Creamer describes this unconventional and gorgeous Sound! Euphonium spinoff as director Naoko Yamada's "greatest masterpiece yet, and one of the best films I’ve witnessed in years." ― Liz and the Blue Bird is a film centered around two stories: the actual fable of Liz and the Blue Bird, and the story of two girls assigned as its soloists for the Kitauji Concert Band. These girls, Mizore and Nozo...
review

Didn't I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! GN 1

This manga adaptation of the isekai light novel offers readers a first glimpse of what to expect from the anime version next year. Theron Martin has the details. ― Didn't I say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life? is a title that badly needs a shorter title, especially since an eventual anime version was announced earlier this year. It started in 2016 as a web novel before being picked up f...
review

The Champions of Justice and the Supreme Ruler of Evil eBook

This reverse harem romance spins the genre on its head by making the heroine heir to an evil overlord throne. Can she find the way to her hero of justice's heart anyway? Rebecca Silverman finds out. ― The Champions of Justice and the Supreme Ruler of Evil is part send-up of stories about, well, champions of justice and supervillains and part more serious romance tale. That works much better than you ...
review

Re:ZERO Memory Snow OVA

This comedic side story won't scratch fans' ache for a continuation of the story, but provides enough fun and warmth to make the wait for season two more bearable. Kim Morrissy has the details. ― Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- is one of the better “transported to another world” light novel adaptations in recent memory. I'd go far enough to say that it's my favorite series in this subgenre, ...
review

Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System - Case.1 Crime and Punishment

Akane, Mika and the Sibyl System are back in the first of three new Psycho-Pass movies; does this new installment, set about six months after the events of the film, live up to the Psycho-Pass standard? Richard Eisenbeis reports. ― Following two seasons of the TV anime and a theatrical film, Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System is a trilogy of one hour films. Instead of being connected into an overarch...
review

Planet With

Satoshi Mizukami’s epic, thoughtful, and heartfelt adventure is worth checking out for fans in search of something different. Nick Creamer has the details. ― Mangaka Satoshi Mizukami first came to my attention via the much-loved manga Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer. Only published in english years after its Japanese release, the manga's long road to availability seemed like a hardscrabble echo of the sto...
review

Black Clover BD+DVD 1

While it doesn't push the envelope enough to be exciting, Black Clover plays its classic shonen cards well enough to please fans of the genre. Theron Martin has the details. ― As shonen action anime go, Black Clover adds practically nothing new to the genre. It follows common genre set-up, pacing, plotting, and story beats almost to a fault and only offers relatively minor variations in characterizat...
review

Beatless Final Stage

These final four episodes dramatically conclude this slow-burn sci fi adventure's plot, but do they answer enough questions to make the show worthwhile? Theron Martin finds out. ― If you skip the intermission episodes, these are the true episodes 21-24 of Beatless, though you'll find them on Amazon Prime Video as episodes 25-28. Released over the course of a week in late September, they represent the...
review

Radiant GN 1

This shonen action series by a French artist hews so close to genre conventions that it struggles to stand out. Theron Martin has the details. ― Though published in manga form – including reading in Japan's tradition right-to-left format – and often advertised as a manga, Radiant is actually a French comic book written and drawn by a creator who now lives in Canada. That hasn't stopped it from being ...
review

Show By Rock!!# & Shorts BD/DVD

Poor plotting and pacing undermine this otherwise fun second outing in the Show By Rock franchise. ― The first season of Show by Rock, based on the game of the same name, was a delightful romp, full of catchy songs and nenoroid-ready CG characters. While that should be equally true of the show's second outing, it regretfully doesn't pull it off with nearly as much panache. In part this is simply beca...
review

Seirei Gensouki - Spirit Chronicles Novel 1: Kingdom of Lies

Bland story and poor pacing detract from this otherwise passable isekai novel. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― There's an old saying that at this point embodies the still-popular isekai genre: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's essentially what's going on with Seirei Gensouki - Spirit Chronicles' first novel. The story fits comfortably into familiar genre patterns, with our protagonist Haru...
game review

My Hero: One's Justice (PlayStation 4)

My Hero One’s Justice captures the essence of its source material, and offers a fine experience for anyone looking to cross blows as their My Hero Academia favorites. ― The anime franchise tie-in brawler is a venerable gaming institution, with Bandai Namco having published similar efforts for franchises like Naruto and Dragon Ball in the past. On the other hand, One's Justice developer Byking are rel...
review

Satoko and Nada GN 1

This slice-of-life drama about a Japanese college student and her new hijabi roommate succeeds in both its cultural accuracy and heart. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― The world is a big place, and that means that there are many different kinds of people in it. That may sound elementary and maybe even a bit ridiculous, but for those who live in largely homogenous cultures or areas of any given c...
review

Seven Senses of the Re'Union

This mystery melodrama mashes the VRMMO craze up with the plot of Anohana, but is this blend harmonious or just confused? Theron Martin has the answers. ― At first, this light novel-based series seems to be a blend of the premises from anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day and .hack//SIGN. This series never entirely moves away from that parallel, as many of the character relationships and romantic tens...
review

Garo: Divine Flame BD+DVD

While not quite essential viewing, this movie provides a welcome reminder of everything Garo: The Animation did so well. Nick Creamer has the details. ― Garo: The Animation was a welcome surprise when it came out a few years ago. Combining the classic live-action Garo franchise with a fanciful narrative set in an alternate inquisition-era Spain, it offered an action spectacle full of colorful charact...
review

My Brother's Husband GN 2

Yaichi realizes just how much his brother's husband has become part of the family in this touching finale to Gengoroh Tagame's family manga. ― It is something of a shock to realize that the entirety of My Brother's Husband, of which this is the final omnibus volume, takes place over only three weeks. That's probably because they are such full weeks for the three main characters of Gengoroh Tagame's f...
review

Tokyo Ghoul:re GNs 5-7

Tokyo Ghoul:re is not as compelling as its predecessor, but by these volumes, it seems to be getting back on track with a more detailed focus on character development. ― Tokyo Ghoul:re is at its best when it's exploring the inner struggles of Ken Kaneki-turned-Haise Sasaki. That means that of these three volumes, book seven is the strongest, playing into that theme and using elements of both series o...
review

Bleach (live-action)

This real-life take on the classic shonen hit is available on Netflix, but does it do justice to the first arc of the original manga? Theron Martin finds out. ― Live-action adaptations of supernatural stories must be approached with trepidation, given the number of cringe-worthy efforts in the past. That caution certainly applies to this movie, which debuted in Japan in August 2018 and is now availab...
review

My Hero Academia GN 15

Despite some great moments, this isn't one of MHA's brighter volumes, as complicated exposition drags down the story's pacing. Nick Creamer has the details. ― The simplicity of Midoriya's view of heroism has always been one of those assumed truths that I'd always assumed My Hero Academia was simply holding on the back burner for future conflicts. Contributing to complex, large-scale police operations...
review

Garrison Girl: An Attack on Titan Novel

This American YA romance take on Attack on Titan is unique in its unusual origins, but does it add much to Isayama's world and characters for prior fans? James Beckett finds out. ― From the opening of its first chapter, Rachel Aaron's Garrison Girl: An Attack on Titan Novel is a profoundly strange reading experience, at least if you're coming to the book as a fan of the original material created by H...
review

The Dark Maidens Novel

This is the kind of excellent mystery that's difficult to put down, but you also don't want to read too quickly. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― There are many ways to tell a mystery. Whether you use the classic four-act format, the basic whodunit, or something completely different, the end goal no matter what is to find out not only who committed the crime, but also why. That's a very twisting ...
review

Alice & Zoroku BD/DVD

This unusual slice-of-life drama about a girl with magical powers finding a family flew under the radar last year, but how does it hold up on Blu-ray? Theron Martin finds out. ― The basic premise here – a super-powered girl who's largely a blank slate hooks up with a gruff older man, who reluctantly takes her in but gradually comes to consider her family – is hardly a new one in the field of anime; t...
game review

Fist of the North Star: Paradise Lost

The classic head-exploding action of Fist of the North Star is poured into the Yakuza gameplay mold, but do these two great tastes taste great together? Daryl Surat scours the wasteland to find out. ― The last few years have marked a surge in popularity among English-language fans of both Sega's long-running Yakuza series of videogames as well as—to a lesser extent—the formative trope-establishing Sh...
review

Magical Girl Site—Episodes 1-12 Streaming

This initially off-putting dark magical girl series faded into the background last season, but is it worth checking out in hindsight? Theron Martin has the answers. ― The manga that this Spring 2018 series adapts is a spin-off of the manga Magical Girl Apocalypse. However, you don't need to have any familiarity with the original in order to fully understand this story, as it seems to be entirely self...
review

My Hero Academia Season 3

My Hero Academia’s third season offers inconsistent thrills, but still demonstrates this franchise’s strength as a propulsive and often beautiful action spectacle. ― My Hero Academia's second season represented a fairly dramatic step up from its predecessor. With all of the introductory work handled in the first season, season two was able to expand the story's scope through thrilling arcs that made ...
review

UQ Holder! GN 12

UQ Holder continues to offer a variety of uneven but often entertaining shenanigans as it falls further and further under the shadow of its predecessor Negima. ― Given the very abrupt ending to Ken Akamatsu's prior manga, Negima, I always wondered if he himself was satisfied with where that story left his characters. After building up dozens of engaging characters with resonant arcs and fun conflicts...
review

Phantom in the Twilight

Phantom in the Twilight's gaggle of hot monster boyfriends with individual quirks are spared from genre mediocrity by an exceptional lead heroine, but is it enough to make the show worth watching? Chris Farris finds out. ― Phantom in the Twilight's setup is pretty rote by the standards of its peers. Just having ‘Twilight’ in the title gives you a basic idea of what to expect from a show whose chief v...
review

100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams: The Animation Episodes 1 - 12 Streaming

This fantasy series promises a bevy of princes, but it might come up short for all but die-hard fans of the genre. Rebecca Silverman weighs in. ― If ever there was a vaguely deceptive title, it's this one. 100 Sleeping Princes and the Kingdom of Dreams: The Animation never reaches the eponymous kingdom, and exactly one of the princes is “sleeping” in the sense initially described by mascot character ...
game review

Mega Man 11

It's Mega Man's big chance for a comeback, and it's not what some fans might expect. We dig into a video-game icon's return! ― Don't let the number fool you. This may be the eleventh or twelfth central Mega Man title. It may be backed by several spin-off series. Yet it's been nearly a decade since the last full-blown game in the series. Even then, Mega Man 9 and 10 were deliberate throwbacks, built t...
review

Tokyo Ghoul:re GN 3 & 4

These volumes are a touch overambitious as Sui Ishida tries to get a few too many ducks into rows for comfort. ― The idea of “metamorphosis” suggests a changing from one being into another, a change often symbolized by the butterfly, who spends time in a chrysalis as a caterpillar only to emerge into the sky. But what we forget when we utilize that metaphor is that the caterpillar is technically stil...
review

Erased [Hardcover] GN 5

A collection of short stories, this final volume allows us to see Satoru as his friends and family do, and to fully feel the impact of a town without him. ― There are plenty of reasons why a series might not use a direct translation of its title for its localization, and while titles are undoubtedly important, both as a means for the author to give a feeling for the story and as a motivating factor i...
review

RErideD episodes 1-4

Serial Experiments Lain illustrator Yoshitoshi ABe is back this fall with a mind-bending original sci-fi anime series. Theron Martin takes a journey through the first 4 episodes to find out if it's a trip worth taking. ― This original anime series is going to get a fair amount of attention if for no other reason than because of the involvement of Yoshitoshi ABe, the internationally-famous illustrator...
review

Monster Hunter Stories RIDE ON BD+DVD Part 3

Monster Hunter Stories finds its feet in this set of episodes which sets up an interest metaphor between grieving Cheval and the Blighted monsters. ― Monster Hunter Stories Ride On had some struggles in its first two sets of episodes, but here in part three, it feels as if it's finally gotten to where it needed to. The central theme of the show has always been “kinship,” and up to this point, that's ...
review

UQ Holder! GN 11

UQ Holder’s eleventh volume offers a sometimes unsatisfying but generally well-executed sampling of all the manga’s various priorities. ― It sure has taken a while to get here. First introduced all the way back in volume seven, this volume sees the Mahora Martial Arts Tournament finally on the immediate horizon. We aren't there quite yet, and unfortunately, a great deal of this volume does feel like ...
game review

Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle

Capcom resurrects a bunch of their classic arcade brawlers with a seven-game collection. Do they still put up a fight? ― Brawlers. Beat 'Em Ups. Belt-Scrollers. Double Dragon Clones. Punk Punching Parades. Those Arcade Games That Mom And Dad Always Said Were Too Violent For You Back in 1988. Whatever you call them, they never quite got their moment on top. True, they were staples of arcades in the la...
review

UQ Holder! GN 10

UQ Holder’s tenth volume leans heavily on Akamatsu’s laziest tendencies, trending far more harem than action spectacle. ― Ken Akamatsu's works have been a balancing act between harem shenanigans and fantasy aspirations, ever since Love Hina's mild-mannered Keitaro was spirited away by a squad of zeppelins. Negima more or less split the difference between these goals, offering legitimately thrilling a...
review

Escape Journey GN 1

Escape Journey is one of those BL manga that struggles to hit a note between “romantic” and “kind of upsetting.” ― Escape Journey is one of those BL manga that struggles to hit a note between “romantic” and “kind of upsetting.” It's the story of a relationship that could be termed unhealthy from some points of view, and like many of what are known as “Old Skool” romances, consent isn't always a given...
review

The Rising of the Shield Hero Novel 12

Too many rushed plots and the continuation of the slave issue make this one of the series' weaker volumes. ― The Rising of the Shield Hero has been consistently upping the stakes for protagonist Naofumi, the eponymous Shield Hero, with mixed results. While early volumes dealt with the prejudices he faced as the Shield Hero, beloved of the demi-humans and not so much by the human population of Melroma...
review

Haikyu!! The Movie: Battle of Concepts

The thrilling third season of Haikyu! is squished into a 90-minute film with some absolutely gorgeous Production I.G animation, but does the story survive the transition? Lynzee Loveridge tapes up her hands and gets on the court. ― As a compilation film, Haikyu!! The Movie: Battle of Concepts compresses the 10-episode third season of the Haikyu!! anime series into a tight 90 minute film and cuts much...
review

Eccentric Master and the Fake Lover Novel 1

"The Eccentric Master and the Fake Lover has some issues that might turn a reader off, but it is making an effort to be a fun fantasy and a slightly dangerous romance, both of which can be very appealing genres." ― If descriptions of messy kisses with lots of swapped saliva aren't your thing, this may not be the light novel for you. Vaguely reminiscent of Mysterious Girlfriend X in terms of its use o...
game review

Import Review: My Hero One's Justice

My Hero Academia arrives on consoles and PC as a fully-featured arena brawler bursting with everyone's favorite heroes, but does it go PLUS ULTRA? Find out in our early review. ― With the current popularity of superheroes in popular culture, it's no surprise that superhero anime My Hero Academia is three seasons in and commands an ever-growing legion of loyal fans both inside and outside of Japan. Th...
review

Dr. Stone GN 1

This new Shonen Jump title from the author of Eyeshield 21 showcases compelling, pulpy adventure fun in a world where mankind has met a very dark fate. ― Riichiro Inagaki is certainly not a one-trick pony. Best known in the English-speaking world for his football series Eyeshield 21, this time he tackles science fiction with Dr. Stone, a story about restarting the world after a mysterious event froze...
review

Hakumei & Mikochi: Tiny Little Life in the Woods GN 1

Despite its enchanting premise, this is much more a book for slice-of-life fans or cute girl stories than anyone looking for a new fantasy series. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Readers of a certain age will remember a 1980s TV show called “The World of David the Gnome.” If you grew up watching it, or its original Spanish-language broadcast “David el gnomo,” reading Hakumei & Mikochi: Tiny Litt...
review

In Another World With My Smartphone: Limited Edition BD+DVD

This slice-of-life power fantasy disappoints on every level possible, representing the barest bottom of the isekai barrel. Nick Creamer has the details on the nicest version of the show available. ― The recent ascendancy of the isekai genre has resulted in an absurd glut of trapped-in-another-world anime of all shapes and sizes. Some of these, like Log Horizon, take a thoughtful approach to their own...
review

Puzzle & Dragons X BD+DVD Part 3

This family series continues its winning streak with what might be the most concise tournament arc in recent memory. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― The tournament arc is a staple of the shounen adventure story, and in many cases it can take tens of episodes as the hero fights his way from the bottom to the top, often contending with a variety of fierce opponents, not all of whom are strictly ho...
review

The Promised Neverland GN 4

With their escape on hold, The Promised Neverland settles in for a volume that carefully explores the feelings of our young leads. Nick Creamer has the details. ― The Promised Neverland's third volume ended on a dramatic victory for Isabella, as she revealed that not only was she entirely aware of Emma and her friends' plans, but she was also prepared to do whatever was necessary to stop them. By int...
review

Shortcake Cake GN 1

Shortcake Cake proves just as sweet as its name in this charmer of a first volume. Rebecca Silverman has the details on this shojo romcom. ― The boarding house or high school dorm in manga fills the space occupied by the boarding school in western YA literature: a safe, adult-supervised space where teens can still live parent-free while still spreading their wings and having the sorts of adventure us...
review

So I'm a Spider, So What? Novel 3

This ensemble cast isekai adventure still stands head and shoulders above its peers in the genre. Theron Martin has the details. ― With its third volume the story shifts gears a bit in a plot sense while still maintaining the overall style and approach that it had in previous volumes. In the process it also finally starts to reveal some of the world's Big Picture, building on the tantalizing teases t...
review

School of Horns GN 1

School of Horns has a fun magic school concept, but it's hampered by rough execution. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Mito Aoi's School of Horns has an interesting concept: in a world where humans and magic users coexist, mages are identified by the horns growing out of their heads. There are four basic types of horns (branching, bull-like, curling, and crooked) that all correspond to different ...
review

Love Me, My Knight GNs 1-2

Kaoru Tada's 1983 manga about a girl who gets involved with two members of a rock band gets a digital release from Bookwalker. Rebecca Silverman discovers if this retro romance is worth checking out. ― Classic shoujo fans, rejoice: Bookwalker has begun releasing Kaoru Tada (of Itazura na Kiss fame)'s 1982-1984 manga Ai shite Knight digitally. While that is a bit of a blow for those of us who prefer p...
review

REVIEW: I Want to Eat Your Pancreas

Don't let this romantic tearjerker's extremely unusual title keep you from checking out the beauty it has to offer! Kim Morrissy has our review straight from the film's theatrical run in Japan. ― “I Want to Eat Your Pancreas” doesn't sound like the title of a romantic drama. It also doesn't sound like the kind of novel that would originate from Syosetsuka ni Narou, the website that has originated so ...
review

Assassination Classroom - 365 Days' Time

This retrospective movie allows fans to relive Koro-sensei's entire year of tutelage in a comfortable runtime, but is that enough to justify its nature as a recap film? Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― To be blunt, Assassination Classroom - 365 Days' Time is simply a recap of both seasons of the original TV series. That's it. Timeline-wise, it takes place between the end of the final episode of s...
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Dawn of the Mapmaker: The Surveyor Girl and the Forbidden Knowledge eBook 1

This fantasy adventure revolving around cartography has plenty of interesting worldbuilding, but the prose leaves a little to be desired. Theron Martin has the details. ― We take incredibly detailed maps for granted these days, so it's easy to lose sight of just how powerful maps actually are as tools. That is the crux of the premise behind the first novel in this new e-book series: that maps have en...
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Review: Non Non Biyori Vacation

This middling cinema experience fails to add much new to Non Non Biyori's beautiful world. Kim Morrissy has the details from the film's theatrical run in Japan. ― I wasn't sure how Non Non Biyori would work as a film. The TV series is one of those iyashikei anime, which means that it's calming and relaxing to watch but also has no conflict-based narrative whatsoever. That's perfectly appealing in 20-...
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Black Clover GN 12

While it's still more of a transition volume than anything, Yuki Tabata's storytelling is improving as the world of Black Clover grows more complex. ― Black Clover may not be the most innovative shounen series out there, but it has gotten increasingly adept at making the most of what it has. That's definitely something we saw in the previous two story arcs, at the underwater temple and in the forest ...
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My Monster Secret GN 11

My Monster Secret shifts back from dramatic revelations to romcom shenanigans in its familiar-feeling eleventh volume. ― Having finally confessed their mutual feelings last volume, you'd think Asahi and Youko would finally get to enjoy some well-deserved rest. Unfortunately for them, this is My Monster Secret, and if they're not going to fuel the manic drama, their friends and acquaintances are happy...
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Sword Gai: The Animation Part II

Can Sword Gai's second season improve on the baffling mess of its predecessor? Theron Martin heads to Netflix to find out the answer. ― In some respects, the second half of this manga adaptation is a significant improvement over the first, in large part because it corrects one of the major flaws of the first half. In other respects, however, it not only continues the problems presented by the first h...
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Chio's School Road GN 1

This goofy manga brings high melodrama to one girl's quest to get to school on time. Rebecca Silverman finds out if the inspiration for this season's unorthodox comedy anime can bring the laughs. ― There's an odd sort of relatability to the first volume of Tadataka Kawasaki's Chio's School Road. Getting to school is a fairly universal subject, and at some point in most of our school lives, we discove...
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The Seven Deadly Sins the Movie: Prisoners of the Sky

While sure to entertain fans, the Seven Deadly Sins' film's ambitions don't run much higher than the average shonen movie. Kim Morrissy has the details straight from the film's theatrical run in Japan. ― If you've seen an anime movie based on a long-running shonen manga, then you've seen The Seven Deadly Sins: Prisoners of the Sky. The usual symptoms of a shonen filler film are on display here: an un...
game review

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate

This content-rich but intimidating adventure from the 3DS has landed on the Nintendo Switch. Branden Johnson gets lost in the world of Monster Hunter. ― I've long aspired to be the sort of person who is into Monster Hunter. It's a real “gamer” series: brutal difficulty, complex systems, a strong community. Being a fan of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, I figured I would get into Monster Hunter, if I could...
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My Hero Academia GN 14

My Hero Academia continues to expand its cast and world in satisfying ways throughout its fourteenth volume. Nick Creamer has the details. ― Something has felt fundamentally different about My Hero Academia for these last few volumes. Though All Might's bout with One For All was certainly consequential in an in-world sense, the repercussions of that fight have also expressed themselves through a vari...
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Me, a Genius? eBook 1

This unconventional isekai story stars an ordinary boy who gets mistaken for a genius bent on world domination. James Beckett has the details. ― Given the spotty history I've had with some poorer examples of the isekai genre, I was pleasantly surprised when I dove into the first volume of Me, a Genius? I Was Reborn into Another World and I Think They've Got the Wrong Idea! Right off the bat, it goes ...
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REVIEW: Laughing Under the Clouds Gaiden - Movies 1+2

This double feature explores what happened after the events of the TV series, with emotional resonance and beautiful animation. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― If there was one thing that Laughing Under the Clouds' TV series did well, it was explore the emotions behind its characters' actions. It may have felt rushed and been an imperfect rendition of what was clearly a more involved story, but ...
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REVIEW: Penguin Highway

Studio Colorido's first feature film brings a Tomihiko Morimi novel about a town filled with adorable penguins to life. Kim Morrissy has the details straight from its theatrical run in Japan. ― I was excited for Penguin Highway from the moment I first saw the trailer. The bright colors were immediately charming, and the penguins were all so adorable! Right then and there, I dubbed it my most anticipa...
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REVIEW: Night is Short, Walk On Girl

Director Masaaki Yuasa adapts another work from author Tomihiko Morimi in this surreal and enchanting film, hot off its limited theatrical run in the USA. 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 pos...
game review

Review: Fate/Grand Order Arcade

The smash hit Fate smartphone game gets an extra-fancy new arcade edition in Japan that actually prints out physical cards for you to take home - but it doesn't come cheap! Richard Eisenbeis took the plunge, here's his report. ― The Fate franchise is massive and sprawling. There are numerous games, TV anime, movies, novels, drama CDs, and manga. But while the franchise originally became popular duri...
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Tales of Zestiria the X Season 2 BD+DVD

Beautiful visuals and heartening character work butt up against cheesy dialogue and rushed plotting in the conclusion to ufotable's ambitious JRPG adaptation. ― It's sad to say it, but the second half of the anime adaptation of Tales of Zestiria the X is still suffering from the pacing issues brought about by the inclusion of the Tales of Berseria episodes back in its first cour. What's particularly ...
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Defeating the Demon Lord's a Cinch (If You've Got a Ringer) Novel 1

We get stories about hapless teens getting spirited away to another world all the time, but what do the native citizens of those fantasy kingdoms think of these interlopers? This quirky light novel series offers their perspective. ― Oh look, another novel about a regular Japanese teenager summoned to a game-like fantasy world as a hero in order to defeat one of those apparently ubiquitous demon lords...
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Accomplishments of the Duke's Daughter GN 1

When a traffic accident lands an office worker in the body of an otome game villainess, is there anything she can do to change her fate? Rebecca Silverman finds out. ― If the male-oriented isekai story tends to land our reborn boy protagonist in a position where he becomes the king of his own personal harem, then the female-oriented version is that she gets plopped down in the middle of her favorite ...
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Tokyo Alice GN 1

Romance and leisure butt heads for the heroine of this grounded and relatable dramedy for adult women. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― At first blush, Tokyo Alice looks like a manga version of the stereotype that women just love to shop more than anything else in the world. And that is part of what's going on here – Fu Arisugawa is a shopaholic, specifically addicted to brand names and expensive...

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