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review

Crest of the Stars Complete Series DVD

Light on action but heavy on drama, this sci fi classic is a must-see for diehard fans of the genre. Nick Creamer has the details. ― First airing back in 1999, and based on a trilogy of acclaimed novels from three years earlier, Crest of the Stars belongs to a different era of anime space operas, and stands apart even from many of its contemporaries. There are no epic robot battles or clashes between...
review

Umineko When They Cry Episode 8: Twilight of the Golden Witch GN 19

This murder mystery heads into its final arc as the story's many indulgent threads threaten to become too much to handle. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― As an author, Ryukishi07 has one particularly bad habit: he's entirely too enamored with his own schtick. That's hardly a sin unique to him as a creator, but it does make Umineko: When They Cry a much less tightly-plotted series, and that's som...
review

The Magnificent KOTOBUKI

Aeronautics enthusiasts will love this fantasy series' attention to detail, but its story and characters could use a little tune-up. Theron Martin has the details. ― The last year or so has seen an upsurge in a subclass of aerial combat series that could generally be called “girls with planes” series. Following in the footsteps of last year's Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan, the Winter 2019 season i...
review

Konohana Kitan BD+DVD

This slice-of-life yuri series doesn't have lofty story ambitions, but it will provide a thoughtful healing respite from the more high-octane anime in your library. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Konohana Kitan has the somewhat unusual honor of being based on not one, but two manga series of roughly the same name by Sakuya Amano. Originally running for two volumes in a yuri-centric anthology, t...
review

Collide—Chapters 1-4

This new fantastical melodrama from artist Wann is immediately engrossing despite a smattering of structural hiccups. Rebecca Silverman digs into this web-published manhwa. ― Netcomics, online translator and purveyor of official manhwa releases, has previously mostly kept its serialized stories on its own website with its proprietary reader. While that reader is easy to use, their payment system and ...
review

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Novels 1-3

This isekai otome series may be aimed at an audience familiar with reverse harem stories, but its engaging characters, fun plot, and breezy writing style make it a good fit for anyone seeking a quality romcom. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― The third of three currently (as of this writing) serializing titles in the “reborn into an otome game” subgenre of isekai, Satoru Yamaguchi's My Next Life ...
review

O Maidens in Your Savage Season GN 1

Mari Okada's frank exploration of female sexuality is a refreshing read for those seeking a story about adolescence with a little more bite. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Frank discussions of female sexuality in young adult literature are no longer quite so rare as they once were and have certainly come a long way since Judy Blume wrote Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret and Forever, which ...
review

Burst Angel Blu-ray

This frequently forgotten fanservice action series is back on blu-ray! Theron Martin finds out if this slice of early 2000's cheese has aged well. ― Dial the clock back to 2004 and this 24-episode series was a hot property, with a popular run in Japan and plenty of hype in the West. It's easy to understand why Burst Angel would have been a hit; it was produced by a prominent studio at the height of t...
review

Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond BD+DVD

This wild supernatural action series loses some visual luster in its second season, but makes up the difference by doubling down on its story strengths. Nick Creamer has the details. ― When I initially heard Rie Matsumoto wouldn't be returning to direct Blood Blockade Battlefront's second season, my expectations for the show sharply dropped. Matsumoto's Kyousogiga is one of the most creative and visu...
review

REVIEW: Pokémon Detective Pikachu

The most electrifying cinematic event of the year is almost upon us! Callum May has the full scoop on this refreshingly entertaining video game adaptation. ― It only took me a few minutes to start missing the world of Detective Pikachu. Being the same age as lead actor Justice Smith, Pokémon has been a constant throughout both of our childhoods. I can't tell you how much I used to wish that I'd sudde...
review

The Ideal Sponger Life GN 1

This steamy isekai adventure explores the thrills and perils of becoming a sugar baby to the queen in another world. Theron Martin has the details. ― The manga version of The Ideal Sponger Life is an adaptation of a light novel series that's not yet been released in English. It differs from most isekai titles in that both of its leads are full-grown adults, but otherwise it gives every impression up ...
review

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Blu-Ray Box Set 2

The second half of Hiromu Arakawa's fantasy saga comes to Blu-ray in this special edition boxset. James Beckett compares how this epic story concludes with its previous adaptation. ― While the first volume of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood contained plenty of deviations from the anime-only material of the first adaptation, this second volume is where I was really able to appreciate just how differe...
review

ReLIFE Final Arc BD+DVD

ReLIFE's dramatic conclusion puts too much emphasis on the weakest aspects of its premise, but still offers a satisfying end to a charming romance. Nick Creamer has the details. ― The first season of ReLIFE was hampered by a variety of issues, from its middling visual execution to its general lack of dramatic focus. But one of its issues, at least, was a product of its format: the anime simply didn't...
review

Obsessions of an Otome Gamer Novel 2: The Middle School Years

One of the most charming and underrated isekai light novels gets even stronger in its second volume. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― After the heart-breaking end of the first novel (for Sou fans, anyway), the story of Rika, an eighteen-year-old who died and has been reborn as the heroine of her favorite otome game Hear My Heart, continues as she begins middle school, the equivalent of grades 7 –...
review

Ingress—Episodes 1-3

This CG anime based on Niantic's first hit augmented reality game is arriving on Netflix soon. Theron Martin has our early review of this supernatural mystery series. ― With an initial release in December 2013, Ingress was among the earliest location-based, augmented reality mobile games (the direct forerunner of Pokemon Go by Niantic). This anime series seems to be connected more to its revamped ver...
review

Dame×Prince Anime Caravan Blu-ray

This lighthearted parody of reverse harem fantasy tropes offers a pleasant balance of story and silliness that will please the genre's diehard fans. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― You know the story – a lone princess surrounded by a host of handsome, eligible males ranging from princes to knights, all of whom desperately want to attract her favorable attention. It sounds nice on paper, but what...
review

REVIEW: Birthday Wonderland

This new film from the director of Miss Hokusai delivers a coming-of-age take on Alice in Wonderland, but is it too lackadaisical to hold its intended audience's attention? Kim Morrissy has the answers straight from Japan. ― Birthday Wonderland is a film with a remarkable pedigree. Director Keiichi Hara's previous film Miss Hokusai won film awards internationally, but he's also well-known for directi...
review

My Sadistic Boyfriend GN 1

This steamy shojo romance might be enticing to fans of certain kinks, but its lack of character development will make it a dud for most readers. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― If you're familiar with Yuna Anisaki as a manga artist, My Sadistic Boyfriend won't come as any surprise. A staple of racy shoujo magazines in the early 2000s, Anisaki belongs to the same school of romance as Mayu Shinjo ...
review

DIVE!! GNs 1-2

This diving manga suffers slightly when compared to its contemporaries in Free! and Haikyu!, but there's still enough thoughtful character drama to merit a look for genre fans. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Dive!!'s manga and anime adaptations perhaps came at an unfortunate time for the series. Although the original light novels date to 2002, the anime didn't come until 2017, and the manga, wh...
review

So I'm a Spider, So What? Novel 5

The pieces of Okina Baba's mysterious world begin falling into place in this momentous volume. Theron Martin has the details. ― I am writing this review while in the midst of doing episode reviews for the anime adaptation of The Rising of the Shield Hero, so I can't help but be struck by the different ways that the two presentations are handling their world-building and vast difference that creates i...
review

The Promised Neverland GN 8

This tense volume finds new ways to circle round to Neverland's original premise, while also embracing some classic shounen tricks and twists. Nick Creamer has the details. ― As I've mentioned repeatedly in these reviews, perhaps the thing most unique to The Promised Neverland as a shonen manga was its instability, and promise of change. Both Emma's cat-and-mouse trials with Isabella and the threat o...
review

Eighty-Six

This wartime fantasy light novel explores issues of racial prejudice and government conspiracy in surprisingly engrossing ways. Theron Martin has the details. ― This novel is probably going to be most commonly classified as a military science fiction story, but it should be considered at least as much a horror story. While a few true horror elements do creep into the picture in the middle, when a phe...
review

Space Battleship Yamato: The Classic Collection GN

Leiji Matsumoto's classic manga that eventually reached the English-speaking world as "Star Blazers" is now available in this hardcover collector's edition. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Three years before Captain Harlock set sail, manga master Leiji Matsumoto chronicled the adventures of a different space-faring band, the crew of the Yamato. Drawing from Japan's military history, the story is...
review

Mysteria Friends

This relaxing slice-of-life yuri anime is worlds apart from its Rage of Bahamut franchise cousins, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Theron Martin digs into this surprisingly satisfying short series. ― This offering from the winter 2019 season has a more convoluted production history than most. Originally titled Rage of Bahamut: Manaria Friends, it was announced in 2015 and scheduled for broadc...
review

Candy Color Paradox GN 1

If you're a fan of the lighter side of BL, this newest series from Isaku Natsume makes for a sweet treat. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Candy Color Paradox is far from Isaku Natsume's first series from Viz's SuBLime imprint – previous works include Ginger Honey, Devil's Honey, and False Memories. That means that for some readers, this is already an anticipated release, especially since her sto...
review

Run with the Wind

This thoughtful drama delivers sports anime at its best, with all the thrills and emotional peaks that make the genre great. Nick Creamer has the details. ― Running is not the sort of sport you'd think would easily lend itself to anime drama. It's a largely solitary affair, and there's not really any way to directly, tactically engage with your opponents. It's also fairly repetitive, and more about m...
review

Defeating the Demon Lord's a Cinch (If You've Got a Ringer) Novels 2-3

This gentle parody of the isekai genre still has room for improvement. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― The main draw, or at least one of them, of the first volume of Tsukikage's isekai fantasy series was the fact that rather than strictly following the summoned hero Naotsugu, the story instead was told from the point of view of Ares Crown, a resident of the summoning world who was supposed to be...
review

Samurai 7 Blu-Ray

One of the most expensive TV anime efforts of the 2000s comes to blu-ray in a new release. Theron Martin has the details on how this now-classic series has aged. ― The 2000s was a breeding ground for imaginative anime reinterpretations of classic works of film and literature, with major successes including 2001's Metropolis, 2004-2005's Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, and 2007's Romeo x Juliet...
review

High Speed! -Free! Starting Days- BD+DVD

This middle-school prequel to Haru's aquatic adventures finally arrives on blu-ray! Nick Creamer finds out if this visually impressive film can deliver a compelling story for fans of Free! ― As I discussed in my Take Your Marks review, the Free! franchise has undergone a variety of transformations across its timeline, and acquired a fair amount of both narrative and stylistic baggage along the way. T...
review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Sword Oratoria Novel 8

The grumpy wolfman Bete takes the spotlight for the first time as the plot surrounding Ishtar Familia thickens. Theron Martin has the details. ― Since the earliest chapters of the franchise, the lanky werewolf Bete has served as the franchise's resident troublemaker. He is gruff, unfriendly, and commonly behaves badly, especially towards anyone he perceives as weak. Though he definitely understands t...
review

Love in Focus GN 1

This mushy shojo romance gets off to a rocky start, but there's plenty of potential for its chemistry to grow. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Love in Focus is both the second series from Yoko Nogiri and her second English-language release – Kodansha previously licensed That Wolf Boy is Mine!, a sweet four-volume story about animal yokai. Love in Focus does share a romance genre with Nogiri's ot...
review

Hina Logic - from Luck & Logic BD+DVD

This cutesy high school spinoff of the original mobage anime works well as a slice-of-life magical girl show, but it may not stand out enough to recommend on its own. Theron Martin has the details. ― This 2017 series is a spin-off of the 2016 anime, Luck & Logic. However, no familiarity with its predecessor is necessary to understand this one, as it does a good enough job of explaining the underlying...
game review

REVIEW: Trails of Cold Steel

This underrated JRPG gem comes to the PS4 in a definitive edition that retains the original's charm. Branden Johnson explains what makes this series so special. ― There are RPGs that command attention with each new release. Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, even (to a lesser extent in the States) the Tales of series. Then there are RPGs that, while exceptional, fly under the radar for whatever reason: may...
review

Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth- BD/DVD

While not stellar enough to win over many fans outside its genre, this steampunk otome adventure has much more intrigue and character than its peers. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― If the sheer number of male characters surrounding one young female character in the synopsis didn't clue you in, Code:Realize is a reverse harem anime based on an otome game. While it does fall into some of the pitf...
game review

The World Next Door (Switch)

Manga giant Viz Media's first foray into game publishing hits the Nintendo Switch in the form of the colorful, visual novel-flavored match-3 puzzle game The World Next Door. ― When I sat down to play The World Next Door, I had almost no expectations, something that rarely happens with a new game these days. I had been impressed by artwork I'd seen, and I knew it was being released by Viz, manga publi...
review

The Promised Neverland GN 7

This puzzlebox thriller manages to maintain its identity in spite of profound structural changes in its seventh volume. Nick Creamer has the details. ― For the first six volumes of The Promised Neverland, the immediate threat of discovery and death hung over our leads every step of the way. All of their actions at Grace Field House were monitored, and all of their choices were made with the clear kno...
review

Total Eclipse Of The Eternal Heart GN

This horror/mystery/BL adventure tells a compelling story in just one volume that's well worth checking out for a variety of genre fans. Rebecca Silverman has our full review. ― Some authors are one-trick ponies, churning out the same basic (possibly very enjoyable) story over and over again. Syundei is not one of them. Total Eclipse of the Eternal Heart is her second book to be released in English b...
review

BanG Dream! 2nd Season

The sophomore season for this hit mobile game's anime adaptation went through massive production and tone changes, which may end up pleasing more diehard fans. Chris Farris has the details. ― The second season of BanG Dream may have ‘Season 2’ right there in the title, and it does technically follow up on the events of the initial season, but its status as a sequel to that show is nominal at best. In...
review

Meiji Tokyo Renka—Episodes 1-12 streaming

Despite poor production values, the story at the heart of this historical reverse harem adventure is a cut above its competition. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Wishing to be able to go to another time and/or place is a pretty common fantasy for those on the outskirts of their social groups. The entire genre of time-travel romance could be said to have sprung up around it, as well as the contin...
review

Death Note Movie Double Feature BD+DVD

The original live-action Death Note movie duology comes to blu-ray! James Beckett finds out how well these Japanese blockbusters have aged. ― Death Note never caught on with me during its initial boom of popularity in the mid-2000s, and I only ever caught the full run of the show years later, while I was in college. While I appreciated the supernatural cat-and-mouse game played between Light and L, t...
game review

REVIEW - One Piece: World Seeker

This open-world adventure takes its ambitions beyond the usual limits of licensed anime games. Sam Leach finds out if the result is fun enough to be worth a look for casual or experienced players. ― I'm hesitant to use the word “ambitious” to describe One Piece: World Seeker, because if we're comparing it to anything beyond licensed anime games, it looks like a half-baked cookie-cutter rendition of a...
review

The Girl in Twilight

This extra-dimensional sci fi caper from last year largely flew under the radar, but is Kotaro Uchikoshi's latest effort worth watching? Theron Martin has the answers. ― This anime-original series from Fall 2018 was part of a mixed media project celebrating Animax's 20th anniversary, but it wasn't popular enough to merit weekly streaming reviews when it debuted. That's disappointing, as the way this ...
review

Plunderer Omnibus 1

This fantasy/sci fi series has some intriguing ideas if you can get past the distracting levels of fanservice. Rebecca Silverman digs into the details of this swashbuckling manga. ― Suu Minazuki's work is perhaps better known for fanservice than anything else, although it wouldn't be fair to label them as nothing but that. Plunderer, although not light on the scantily clad ladies, is much more of a s...
review

Bungo Stray Dogs GN 10

As its third season approaches, this volume of the original manga primes fans for the anime's return this spring. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Volume ten of Kafka Asagiri and Sango Harukawa's Bungo Stray Dogs picks up right where season two of the anime left off, with the aftermath of the battle against the Guild. The Port Mafia is still out and about doing their thing, but the much smaller A...
game review

Fate/Extella Link (Switch)

The sequel to the Dynasty Warriors-style Fate game Fate/Extella is here, loaded with new characters and costumes - but is it a step up from the last one, or just more of the same? ― Fate/Extella Link is set in the same general continuity as the past games in the Fate/Extra series--Fate/Extra, Fate/Extra CCC, and Fate Extella. However, despite this, it is not a direct sequel to the previous game, Fate...
review

The Ancient Magus' Bride Part 1 BD/DVD LE

This darker take on fantasy romance comes to blu-ray in a special limited edition release packed with extras. Rebecca Silverman breaks down what makes Magus Bride stand apart from the crowd. ― Based on the manga of the same name by Kore Yamazaki, The Ancient Magus' Bride is a story filled with the melancholy of the darker British folktales and lore. It could hardly help being so – the heroine of the ...
review

My Hero Academia GN 17

This hit series continues its exhilarating run of battles in a volume that demonstrates the stunning impact of shonen manga at its best. Nick Creamer has the details. ― Although the Hassaikai assault isn't necessarily My Hero Academia's best arc yet, it's fair to say that it's undoubtedly the manga's most complicated. We're following a half-dozen separate teams representing at least three separate in...
review

Made in Abyss: Journey's Dawn

This compilation film for the first half of this beloved fantasy anime compresses Made in Abyss' story without losing any of its wonder and charm. Theron Martin has the full story on what was changed in the move to the big screen. ― Journey's Dawn is a compilation movie that condenses the first eight episodes of 2017's Made in Abyss TV series into a roughly two-hour story. Its four-minute prologue is...
review

Free! -Take Your Marks-

This series of vignettes might not make for a satisfying film when smushed together, but Take Your Marks still offers an enjoyable set of old-fashioned Free! adventures. Nick Creamer has the details. ― It's been interesting to watch the Free! franchise grow and transform, the show itself oddly echoing the journeys of its characters. The show's first season focused largely on slice of life and comedy,...
review

Gen:LOCK

Mike Toole takes all 8 episodes of Rooster Teeth's ambitious, 3DCG sci-fi mecha action series - starring Creed's Michael B. Jordan - out for a spin. ― Many fans of animation and nerd culture around the world revere Rooster Teeth, the Austin-based production studio that began a slow climb to fame back in 2003 with Red vs. Blue, a series of online animated shorts created with the Halo engine about two ...
review

Shortcake Cake GN 3

This comforting shojo romance sees its heroine take her love life into her own hands more than ever before. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― One of the most enjoyable aspects of suu Morishita's Shortcake Cake is that its romance doesn't rely on rivalries or underhanded tricks. In fact, at this point it even lacks the female rival who is so central to many romances, shoujo or otherwise. Instead th...
review

Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System - Case.3 In the Realm Beyond Is ____

A familiar face returns in the captivating third and final film in the Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System trilogy - and sets up the forthcoming third season of the show. ― The Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System film trilogy is the latest collective work in the Psycho-Pass franchise. Rather than a single overarching case, each of the three films focuses on further developing a character or two origina...
review

Beast † Blood Novel 1

This racy romance for women offers a dark take on sci fi adventure with some sensual thrills on the side. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Does it sometimes seem like male-oriented stories get all the sexy content? Maybe that's an overstatement, but there are definitely more racy stories written with a male audience in mind that are translated into English than their female-oriented equivalents. ...
review

REVIEW: Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel II. lost butterfly

The second film in the Sakura trilogy ramps up the stakes and the shock factor considerably, but is it a stronger movie for its intensity? Kim Morrissy has the answers ahead of its theatrical run this weekend. ― I called Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel I. presage flower my favorite anime film in 2017. I said that even though I considered myself only a casual Fate fan. I thought it was the best anime a...
review

Pop Team Epic Season One Blu-ray

Popuko, Pipimi, and Hellshake Yano all make their way to blu-ray in this idiosyncratic comedy you're bound to love (or hate). James Beckett has the details. ― In a way, it seems silly to even review Pop Team Epic, given that the anime goes out of its way to critic proof its own insanity at every turn. After the series' first episode fully commits to the joke of pretending to be a cheesy romance anime...
review

10 Dance GNs 1-2

This spicy combination of ballroom dancing and boys-love starts strong and only improves as it develops. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― 10 Dance stands out from the other two ballroom dance-based manga to be translated into English in a few ways, with two standing out the most. Unlike Welcome to the Ballroom or Let's Dance a Waltz, 10 Dance's protagonists are all professional ballroom dancers, ...
review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Arrow of the Orion

Bell and Hestia take on new challenges in this anime-original movie that shakes up DanMachi's status quo more than expected. Richard Eisenbeis has our full review straight from the film's theatrical run in Japan. ― New anime film Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Arrow of the Orion is the third animated entry in the DanMachi franchise--following the 2015 TV anime Is It Wrong to Try t...
review

Everyone's Getting Married GNs 8-9

This thoughtful adult romance series finally comes to an end, but does it rush to reach its conclusion too quickly? Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― In these final two volumes of Izumi Miyazono's josei romance, there's one very important question that has to be resolved – will Asuka and Ryu join the eponymous “everyone” and get married? That's been the issue lurking behind their relationship from...
review

Hototogisu GNs 1-2

This manga adaptation of a beloved late-19th century novel updates its material and style just enough to make a gripping melodrama for modern readers. ― If Hototogisu, a two-volume josei title available as a digital-only release from Beaglee, feels like a Victorian tragedy, there's a good reason for it. The manga is a 2005 adaptation of the novel of the same name by Roka Tokutomi, and it was original...
review

The Silver Guardian BD+DVD

This manhua adaptation was successful enough to get a second season, but is it worth checking out for hardcore action anime fans? Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Is The Silver Guardian about a Chosen One playing an MMORPG or a VRMMORPG? That's something that at first seems pretty clear – the game Suigin and Rei meet in originally is a plain-old MMO – but becomes increasingly more confusing as Su...
game review

REVIEW: Steins;Gate Elite

This remastered version of the sci fi visual novel classic is finally available with new footage and features for fans to discover all over again. James Beckett finds out if this revamped game is worth a look for S;G fans. ― Despite its foibles, I still consider the Steins;Gate anime to be a solid science-fiction romp, and I've long meant to double back and play the original 2009 visual novel on whic...
review

Anime-Gataris BD+DVD

This slice-of-life comedy about an enthusiastic anime club takes a turn for the bizarre in its final third by completely destroying the fourth wall. Theron Martin takes a closer look at this series on blu-ray. ― Anime-Gataris has an unusual origin, as its original form was a series of shorts played during intermissions for animated films at one theater chain in Shinjuku during 2015-2016. This 12-epis...
review

REVIEW: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection

Lelouch is BACK (or is he?) for a new movie, the first official sequel to Code Geass in over a decade. Richard Eisenbeis has the full details on this anticipated franchise resurrection from its theatrical run in Japan. ― Code Geass is one of the standout TV anime hits of the 2000's for good reason. Filled with complex characters, it is equal parts morality play, psychological thriller, and sci-fi mec...
review

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Blu-Ray Box Set 1

Aniplex's special edition box of this shonen fantasy classic delivers the series' first 30 episodes in style. James Beckett has the lowdown on all this release's exciting features. ― There's not much I can say about Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood that hasn't already been said over the past ten years. Studio Bones' adaptation of Hiromu Arakawa's manga is at least a massive aesthetic improvement over...
review

A Bride's Story - Volume 10

This volume brings stunning beauty to the strong foundation laid by Kaoru Mori's story so far. Nick Creamer has the details. ― After a lengthy break since the last published volume, I was thrilled to finally see a continuation of Amir and Karluk's beautifully illustrated and altogether charming journey. Kaoru Mori's artistic talents are stunning, and beyond this story's unimpeachable visual appeal, M...
review

The Promised Neverland GN 6

All is revealed about the true nature of the world outside Grace Field House in this riveting volume. Nick Creamer dives in. ― Through the past several volumes, The Promised Neverland has been undergoing a dramatic upheaval of nearly all its fundamental narrative variables. Grace Field House has been burned to the ground, Isabella has been outwitted and escaped, and our heroes have found themselves o...
review

Maquia: When The Promised Flower Blooms Blu-ray

Mari Okada's directorial debut film is finally available on Blu-ray! Theron Martin gives his full review of this underappreciated fantasy feature. ― This feature film was far and away my pick for the best anime of 2018 based on a theatrical screening, and a second view on Blu-Ray only reaffirms my feelings on it. It's a movie packed with cathartic potential, telling a story that's very much an ode to...
review

Black Clover BD+DVD Season 1 Parts 2-3

Asta and Yuno's quests to become the Wizard King hit a snag when the capital city comes under attack. Theron Martin compares this set of arcs to Black Clover's shonen peers. ― These volumes of Funimation's DVD/BD releases of Black Clover cover episodes 11-29, spanning two major arcs and some padding in between; for the second volume, the feature is the Dungeon Expedition arc, while the third volume f...
review

Shut-In Shoutarou Kominami Takes On the World Omnibus

This wacky comedy gets a little too mean-spirited to carry its central joke. Rebecca Silverman breaks down this omnibus' highs and lows. ― Comedy, it has often been said, is among the most subjective of genres. What's funny to one reader is unutterably cruel to another, and while there's not always such a stark divide in purportedly funny stories, that's definitely the case with Dan Ichikawa's Shut-I...
review

Cooking with Wild Game Novel 1

This more survivalist take on the cooking genre is sure to get your mouth watering, even if the story moves at a less-than-optimal pace. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― It's always interesting when popular genres collide, and while we've seen the foodie story mix with the perennial isekai tale before, EDA's Cooking with Wild Game still brings something new to the mash-up. Unlike in similar works...
review

Beauty and the Beast Girl GN

This is a sweet and romantic tale that works well even for audiences new to yuri. Rebecca Silverman digs in. ― No matter what the folklorists say, for most people “Beauty and the Beast” is simply a story about learning to see the beauty someone has within. That's what Neji's yuri manga Beauty and the Beast Girl is working with, and they more than do it justice. The story follows Heath, a “monster” of...
review

Sword Art Online novel 15

Alicization's second act gets underway with this novel, which covers a major turn in the story just ahead of the anime's current pace. Theron Martin has the details. ― Although Sword Art Online is, first and foremost, Kirito's story, it has on occasion shown that it can manage just fine with Kirito not being the viewpoint character and/or relegated to a supporting role for a time. This, however, is t...
review

The Promised Neverland GN 5

This shonen thriller upends its initial premise in a thrilling volume that sees the story’s world expand in all number of directions. Nick Creamer has the details. ― The Promised Neverland has always been a relatively interesting Shonen Jump property, in that its base premise naturally implies instability and coming change. Unlike a property like Naruto or One Piece's relatively stable, often episodi...
review

City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes

As the first new City Hunter movie in twenty years, this blast of '80s future detective action is a welcome surprise on the big screen, but how has the material underneath aged? Kim Morrissy has our review straight from Japan. ― City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes is a classic City Hunter tale, except the setting is now modern Shinjuku. Like the recent Banana Fish anime, it takes characters from an '8...
review

Citrus BD+DVD

This salacious yuri melodrama is anything but Class S. Theron Martin weighs the pros and cons of this bittersweet romance title on blu-ray. ― Before Domestic Girlfriend came along to stir the pot of stepsibling love, there was this Winter 2018 series based on a yuri manga. The two are alike in some basic ways; they both feature the noxious “surprise stepsibling” gimmick, where the new housemates show...
review

Saga of Tanya the Evil: The Movie

This sequel film pits Tanya against a literal Mary Sue as her war games engulf the neighboring Russy Federation. Kim Morrissy breaks down how this movie expands on the TV series, straight from its theatrical run in Japan. ― Saga of Tanya the Evil was such an odd show. Ostensibly a fantasy military story starring the world's most conniving little girl, the series is really an extended argument between...
review

Fate/Apocrypha Limited Edition Blu-ray Part 1

This epic Holy Grail War doubles the number of heroic spirits on the playing field, but does this twist enhance the story or leave it feeling overcrowded? Rebecca Silverman weighs in on Aniplex's deluxe release. ― While Fate/Apocrypha does share some basics with the game that started it all, Type-Moon's Fate/Stay Night, it's really best to think of it as totally separate from the story of Shirou, Rin...
review

Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative

This Universal Century timeline film works well as a complement to Gundam Unicorn, but struggles to stand out as its own story. Kim Morrissy has the details in our full review. ― The only thing I knew about Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative before I watched it was that hilarious key visual showing three characters striking an awkward pose together. You might have seen it too because it was an Internet mem...
review

Alita: Battle Angel

James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez spent 200 million dollars and roughly 20 years trying to bring Yukito Kishiro's beloved cyberpunk manga to life. Now that it's finally here, is it any good? Let's find out! ― It's been a long, long, long and rocky road to release for Alita: Battle Angel. First announced in 2003 by a post-Titanic, pre-Avatar James Cameron who'd spent his Oscar afterglow making nerdy ...
review

Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits GN 2

Our feisty heroine has some choice words for a tengu who doesn't know how to treat his bride, as this soothing otherworldly romance continues. ― It feels very clear that Odanna (also known as Kijin) is playing a long game with Aoi. Whether he initially planned it that way or not is much more up in the air, because it seems as if he honestly didn't realize that the young woman wouldn't be thrilled to ...
review

Nyankees GN 1

Gang warfare between delinquents in Japan can be a dog-eat-dog world, but what if all the street toughs are actually adorable stray cats? Rebecca Silverman checks out this feline twist on classic gangster manga. ― If the cult '80s song “Stray Cat Strut” had a manga adaptation, it would look an awful lot like this. Nyankees is a gag manga about street toughs who are actually stray cats living in urban...
review

Dragon Ball Super Blu-Ray Parts 5 & 6

The Future Trunks arc brings a whole new dimension (or two) to the world of Dragon Ball, as Goku Black's threat rises. Sam Leach weighs the strengths and weaknesses of this storyline on blu-ray. ― One of Dragon Ball's more distinctive quirks is how stakes routinely escalate so high that our heroes end up standing toe-to-toe with gods and even befriending them like it's no big deal. Our understanding ...
review

Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System - Case.2 First Guardian

The second film in this trilogy of side stories takes us back in time, with a prequel that explores a military conspiracy outside the MWPSB. Richard Eisenbeis has our review straight from the film's debut in Japan. ― Case.2 First Guardian is the second film in the Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System trilogy of films. Like Case.1 Crime and Punishment, it's a standalone cyberpunk mystery that features t...
review

Woof Woof Story: I Told You to Turn Me Into a Pampered Pooch, Not Fenrir! Novel 1

This reincarnation isekai takes a turn for the canine when an exhausted office worker becomes a not-so-cute playful puppy in another world. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Why yes, this is another light novel about someone who dies in our world and is given the chance to be reincarnated, memories intact, in another. But unless you're unilaterally opposed to the genre, don't write this one off ju...
review

Apparently it's My Fault That My Husband Has The Head of a Beast Novels 1-2

This clever twist on beauty and the beast tropes pits a petulant couple with curious curses against one another. Rebecca Silverman digs in to discover if this romance has any bite. ― Despite its origins as a light novel (and the title that goes along with that), Apparently it's My Fault That My Husband Has the Head of a Beast reads like a fairly average teen fantasy romance. From Rosemarie's status a...
review

Blend S Blu-Ray

Smile! Sweet! Sister! Sadistic! All memes aside, Theron Martin is ready to find out if this slice-of-life comedy holds up to scrutiny on Aniplex's blu-ray release. ― This fall 2017 comedy is based on a 4-koma manga that originally ran in a seinen magazine, which explains a lot about how the series is structured, more as a collection of loosely-related vignettes than an ongoing story. The only real pr...
review

Hitorijime My Hero GN 1

This BL title may satisfy genre diehards, but doesn't have much to offer a broader audience. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― The title Hitorijime my Hero may be familiar to some people already based on its 2017 anime adaptation, and I have to admit that that may be the better introduction to the story as of this writing. That's largely because the manga is a sequel to Memeco Arii's previous work...
review

Dagashi Kashi Season Two BD+DVD

The sophomore season of this quirky slice-of-life romance adjusts the show’s formula with mixed results. Nick Creamer has the details. ― The first season of Dagashi Kashi was a very pleasant experience, though I'd hesitate to call it a genuinely great show. The show proceeded as a mixture of madcap candy-focused comedy and rural slice of life, with its best episodes clearly evoking the appeal of lazy...
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 ...
game review

Kingdom Hearts III

Sora's long journey with his many Disney friends comes to a close in this long-awaited final chapter of the trilogy. Callum May has our full review of this highly anticipated RPG. ― Your impressions of Kingdom Hearts III are almost entirely shaped by how much experience you've had with the series thus far. Or how you felt about each entry. Zipping around Disney, Pixar and original Kingdom Hearts worl...
review

Alita: Battle Angel

James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez spent 200 million dollars and roughly 20 years trying to bring Yukito Kishiro's beloved cyberpunk manga to life. Now that it's finally here, is it any good? Let's find out! ― It's been a long, long, long and rocky road to release for Alita: Battle Angel. First announced in 2003 by a post-Titanic, pre-Avatar James Cameron who'd spent his Oscar afterglow making nerdy ...
game review

Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition

One of the most beloved Tales RPGs is finally available in HD on the Nintendo Switch. Dave Riley finds out how this classic has held up over ten years later. ― It took ten years, and one legendarily dismissive tweet, but we finally got it. Originally released on Xbox as part of Microsoft's push for a Japanese audience, Tales of Vesperia's updated and expanded PS3 version was a Japan-only release, bar...
review

Yuri Is My Job! GN 1

This charming parody of Class S yuri has its rough spots, but delivers a clever treat overall for genre fans. ― In a secluded school almost like a mystical convent from an ancient tale, girls come together to study and form bonds on the edge of a vast forest. Some of those girls will form closer ties to each other as schwestern, or sisters, a pairing that speaks of the love that cannot be truly named...
review

After the Rain GN 2

Akira's crush on her boss has started to affect her relationships with old friends as the drama escalates for everyone involved. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Some of the most powerful, significant moments in the second omnibus of Jun Mayuzuki's After the Rain (containing volumes three and four of the series) are those without words. While Mayuzuki's art is at times stylized to the point where...
review

REVIEW: Hunter × Hunter -The Last Mission-

This side story film may not compare to Hunter x Hunter’s manga material, but it still provides fans a warm reunion with their favorite characters. Nick Creamer has the details. ― I can't say I envy the writers of tie-in films for continuing manga adaptations. Their task generally implies threading a needle through a hole that may not even exist, balancing the audience's desire for meaningful, conseq...
review

Baki—Episodes 1-13 Streaming

This fighting manga adaptation comes from an era of much more blood and insanity than the current shonen landscape, and now it's available uncensored on Netflix. Daryl Surat has the lowdown on what you can expect from Baki the Grappler. ― I picture Toshiki Hirano as an elderly man imprisoned within the confines of Anime Jail, the place you go when you're arrested for Anime Crimes. The uncrowned heral...

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