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review

Fruits Basket Limited Edition Blu-Ray

One of the most beloved shojo anime of all time comes to Blu-ray in this "sweet sixteen" special edition set! Rebecca Silverman looks back on how this heartwarming classic has held up sixteen years later. ― Back when it was first released, Fruits Basket, based on the manga of the same name by Natsuki Takaya, was a sensation. Combining elements of fantasy, slice-of-life, and reverse harem romance come...
review

My Monster Secret GN 6

My Monster Secret’s sixth volume maintains its madcap romcom appeal in spite of some predictably glacial pacing. Nick Creamer has the details. ― At last, it's time for action. As My Monster Secret's sixth volume opens, our hero Asahi reiterates his determination to actually confess to his vampiric classmate Shiragami. Having been spurred into action by the courage of his childhood friend Mikan, he's ...
review

The Promised Neverland GN 1

Shonen Jump's rising hit series captivates with a dark tale about a cruel and unusual home for orphans. Rebecca Silverman plunges the depths of this promising new title. ― When Jonathan Swift published his satirical treatise on why the economic crisis in Ireland could be solved by eating children in 1729, it took him until the final lines to clue his readers in on the joke. The Promised Neverland tak...
review

Wolf & Parchment Novel 1

This sequel to Hasekura's long-running Spice & Wolf series flips the emphasis from economics to religion and opens the story's world up to new readers once again. Theron Martin takes a closer look. ― After finishing his Spice and Wolf novel series, Isuna Hasekura followed it up with some short stories set many years later. Two of those set the stage for this new series, which is technically a spin-of...
review

Mixed Bathing in Another Dimension Novels 1-2

Despite its fanservicey premise, this is a fun series with an interesting plot and refreshing attitudes about sexuality and consent. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Mixed Bathing in Another Dimension's premise may be one of the more openly sleazy of the wish-fulfillment light novels. Not only is it the now-ubiquitous isekai tale of an ordinary Japanese high school boy summoned to another world a...
review

Tokyo Ghoul:re GNs 1-2

Sui Ishida shifts from Frankenstein to Kafka in this sequel series that brings the CCG and the ghouls closer than ever before. Rebecca Silverman dives into this dark continuation. ― “I have a curious animal, half kitten, half lamb.” That's the opening line of Franz Kafka's 1931 short story A Crossbreed, a piece referenced both overtly and obliquely in the next arc of Sui Ishida's Tokyo Ghoul manga, T...
review

Genshiken: Second Season GN 10

Genshiken revs its harem shenanigans up to a fever pitch in a volume that pits suitor against suitor. Nick Creamer has the details. ― If you're still reading Genshiken at this point, you've likely accepted that it is no longer the manga it once was. A story that was initially renowned for its thoughtful realism and nuanced articulation of fandom friendships has gone through plentiful ups and downs si...
review

Devilman Grimoire GN 1

This revival of Go Nagai's classic horror manga is not for the faint of heart. Theron Martins details how well this reboot captures the Devilman spirit for new and prior fans. ― The Devilman franchise has been around in one form or another since 1972. This manga from 2012 is a reimagining of the premise to celebrate the franchise's 40th anniversary and provide a gateway into the franchise for a new g...
review

The Royal Tutor GNs 1-3

This heartfelt marriage of historical fantasy and bishounen comedy delivers just enough twists on formula to tickle any fangirl's fancy. Rose Bridges details what this manga has to offer new readers and fans of the anime adaptation alike. ― The Royal Tutor is the latest bishonen-filled comedy hit, and it's much like the ones that came before it. Think of it as the humor and affectionate nature of an ...
review

Infinite Dendrogram Novel 1: The Beginning of Possibility

This MMO fantasy story delivers just enough twists on formula to be worth a look. Rebecca Silverman explores what makes this novel series promising. ― The general conceit for most stories set inside of MMORPGs is that people become so engrossed in the game worlds that they almost can't tell that they aren't real. That's the conceit behind both Sword Art Online and Log Horizon, the joke in Paying to W...
review

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Novel 1

Slimes have never been more awesome in the first volume of this unusual isekai series. Rebecca Silverman explores what makes this light novel stand out. ― That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime's first novel feels a bit like the child of So I'm a Spider, So What and How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom. Its protagonist, known for most of the book as Rimuru, is a contractor reborn into a fantasy wo...
review

Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars BD+DVD

This troubled series offers plenty of giant robot spectacle, but it can’t rise above some lackluster storytelling. Nick Creamer explains what went wrong. ― It's sad to say, but it feels like we're approaching the end of the era of the traditionally animated giant robot. Once one of the premiere highlights of anime as a medium, giant robots are slowly but surely going the way of cars and cogwheels, th...
game review

Resident Evil Revelations Collection

Both RE: Revelations games have arrived in a special re-release for the Nintendo Switch, but is there anything new in this edition worth picking up? Dave Riley finds out. ― With the release of a new console, the Switch, comes the expected glut of HD ports, and Resident Evil Revelations, which has been ported to on average a console and a half per year since its original release on the 3DS in 2012, is...
review

Kigurumi Guardians GN 2

This romantic dramedy is still plenty of fun in its second volume, but it could stand to pick up the pace. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Now that the basic premises have all been introduced in Lily Hoshino's magical team spoof Kigurumi Guardians, it's time to actually get to know the characters a little bit. We have a pretty good grasp of Hakka as a person by the time volume one ends – she's e...
review

Don't Meddle with My Daughter GN 1

This salacious take on Western-style superheroes may be too explicit for most readers, but its shameless style and eye-popping art just might turn your crank. Theron Martin digs into this naughty volume. ― This three-volume manga series is a raunchy spoof on the Western-style superhero genre that gleefully revels in its lewdness while sticking firmly to superhero-style drama. Cross Tiger & Bunny with...
review

Hybrid x Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia GN 1

Despite its ripely racy premise, HxH doesn't do much to distinguish itself from the pack of fanservice manga out there. Theron Martin has the details. ― Hybrid x Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia started out as a light novel series, so both this version and its 2016 anime version are adaptations. Whereas the original light novels have not been licensed for release in the U.S. as of the time of this writi...
review

Jackass! GN

Scarlet Beriko's graphic novel takes a silly premise and makes it work with surprising emotional depth. Rebecca Silverman gets into this unusual title. ― As far as contrived premises go, “boy doesn't realize his older sister borrowed his gym clothes and left her pantyhose in his pants” is definitely up there. It gets even stranger when said boy's best friend's turn-on turns out to be black pantyhose-...
review

My Hero Academia GN 10

My Hero Academia expands the scope of its cast and conflict in a volume that works to build up its characters for changes to come. Nick Creamer has the details. ― My Hero Academia's ninth volume represented a dramatic and aesthetic peak for this thrilling story. Finding themselves hunted by the League of Villains while away on their training retreat, Midoriya and his classmates were forced to rally b...
review

Beasts of Abigaile GNs 1-2

This surprisingly dark shoujo romance wraps its themes of colonialism around a "Little Red Riding Hood" tale. Rebecca Silverman untangles its heavy yet rewarding story. ― Well, hey there, Little Red Riding Hood! Aarne-Thompson tale type 333, the story best known as “Little Red Riding Hood” in English, has been one of anime and manga's go-to fairy tales for inspiration, and Spica Aoki's Beasts of Abig...
review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Sword Oratoria Novel 4

The first arc of Sword Oratoria that provided the season finale for its anime adaptation comes to a close. Theron Martin compares these two versions for any juicy details that may have gotten left out. ― Despite leaving out a few details here and there, the DanMachi anime series was largely a faithful and excellent adaptation of the source novels. The anime version of Sword Oratoria was a far less im...
review

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma GN 20

Erina's evolution comes to a head as Soma battles Tsukasa in this exciting volume. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Ever since Erina's father Azami Nakiri returned to Totsuki in an orchestrated semi-hostile takeover, the school has been in an uproar. Not only is he trying to remake Japan's culinary world in his own image, but he's also dedicated himself to stamping out what he sees as unnecessary...
review

In This Corner of the World GNs 1-3

The complete manga that inspired the award-winning film is finally available in English. Rose Bridges compares this edition to its adaptation and as a work of historical fiction on its own. ― When I saw the film version of In This Corner of the World at Otakon this year, I was impressed and thrilled, but also struck by its odd plot structure. Nearly all of the film's driving narrative is in the third...
review

Juni Taisen: Zodiac War Novel

The novel that inspired this season's zodiac-themed battle royale proves that the book isn't always a richer experience than the adaptation. Lynzee Loveridge examines this paper-thin story. ― As an anime fan, it's hard to ignore the works of NisiOisin. The anime adaptation of his Monogatari novels is renowned for the symbiotic relationship between studio Shaft's art style and the author's indulgent c...
review

Haikara-san ga Tōru - Part 1

The first movie in this two-part shojo adaptation beautifully realizes a bygone era in both Japanese history and classic manga. Kim Morrissy reviews this uniquely charming romance film. ― Haikara-san ga Tōru translates roughly to “Here comes a modern woman,” but the film itself is a blast from the past. It's an adaptation of a 1970s shojo manga, which was set in the Japan of the 1920s. Even the origi...
review

Puzzle & Dragons X BD/DVD Part 1

For a kids' show about a match three cellphone game, this series can be surprisingly entertaining for all ages. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― There's a stigma around anime series based on games that could hold particularly true for Puzzle & Dragons X. It's based not just on a game, but on a Candy Crush-style match three cellphone game. That makes it all the more impressive that not only does t...
review

Alderamin on the Sky BD+DVD

This fantasy war series finishes much stronger than its first impressions may suggest. Theron Martin breaks down this anime's hidden strengths. ― Any brief synopsis of this light novel adaptation from summer of 2016 would make the story sound like it's primarily about a lazy, womanizing guy who nonetheless succeeds at everything because of his overwhelming genius. Indeed, that element never entirely ...
review

HYOUKA Part Two BD+DVD

Hyouka's second half reaches even greater heights of spectacular production and intimate character drama than the first. Nick Creamer breaks down this series' conclusion. ― Hyouka's first half presented a stunning statement of purpose, combining great character writing and subtle reflections on identity with some of the most exemplary visual execution in TV anime. Its characters were brought to life ...
review

Tokyo Ghoul GN 14

Kaneki's story as a human-turned-ghoul reaches an end so it can reborn in the sequel series, Tokyo Ghoul:re. Rebecca Silverman explores the themes of this manga's conclusion. ― While things are set to change in the sequel series, Tokyo Ghoul has maintained an interesting fidelity to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein throughout its fourteen volumes. While the themes of monster versus man have been obvious t...
review

Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl GNs 2-3

While its first volume was less promising, Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl has proven itself in these two subsequent books. Rebecca Silverman finds out more about this yuri romance's side couples. ― Although Yurine and Ayaka, the two girls who were at the center of CANNO's yuri romance Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl's first volume, are still present in the next two, they take a backs...
review

Ryuo's Work is Never Done! Novel 1

One of the top selling light novel series in Japan is finally available for English-language fans. Rebecca Silverman runs down the perks and problems of this unique take on a shogi story. ― If Book Walker's release of Shirow Shiratori's The Ryuo's Work is Never Done isn't the first official translation of a novel starring an elementary schooler, it's certainly among them. Combining the world of profe...
review

Rainbow Days Complete Series BD+DVD

Rainbow Days is a nice enough series about four guy friends and their misadventures in love, but you might not remember it long after you've watched it. Rebecca Silverman unwinds with this slice of life comedy. ― Based on an ongoing shoujo manga, Rainbow Days' two seasons of fifteen-minute episodes epitomize the slice-of-life school story. It follows a group of four friends in their second year of hi...
review

Heroic Legend of Arslan: Dust Storm Dance BD+DVD

This sequel season does its best to deliver twists and turns in Arslan's saga with a much shorter runtime. Theron Martin has the details. ― This Summer 2016 TV season is a direct continuation of the Heroic Legend of Arslan 2015 series, so it's only accessible to those who have seen the entirety of those previous seasons. In most respects, this is more of the same – more big set piece battles, more in...
review

Fate/Apocrypha—Episodes 1-12

The first half of the newest Holy Grail War has finally landed on Netflix, and Kim Morrissy has the lowdown on what you can expect from this unique take on the Fate universe. ― In a way, Fate/Apocrypha is the quintessential Netflix show. Although the series was released in weekly installments on Netflix Japan (albeit a few days after the TV broadcast), I ended up watching it the old-fashioned Netflix...
review

My Hero Academia Season 2

The second season of this Shonen Jump hit is a marked improvement on the first. Nick Creamer explores what makes this tournament arc and its aftermath so special. ― Just one year after My Hero Academia's first season began, its sequel came barreling out the gate, offering a smorgasbord of new heroic adventures. I was excited to see the adaptation continue, but also wary about a repeat of the first se...
review

WWW.WAGNARIA!! Sub.Blu-Ray 2

While never quite reaching the heights of its predecessor, this spinoff is still a good time for slice-of-life comedy fans. Paul Jensen weighs in. ― After going light on narrative substance in its first half, WWW.Wagnaria tries to put some meat on the story's bones in this set. Most of its plot arcs focus on the quasi-romantic couples that populate the cast, with each duo facing a variety of challeng...
review

Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel I. presage flower (movie)

The long-awaited first part to this final-route trilogy premiered in the US this weekend, 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...
review

Endride BD+DVD part 2

While its second half does improve to more tolerable levels, that isn't enough to make this show worth watching. Theron Martin explains where things went wrong. ― I had a pretty low opinion of the first half of Endride and was warned not to expect much more from its second half. So I went into episodes 13-24 with a great deal of trepidation, but to my mild surprise, the second half is actually an imp...
review

Imperfect Girl GN 1

This manga adaptation of a NisiOisin novel might not be the author's best work. Theron examines where this story has already started going astray. ― Imperfect Girl arrives on the scene with a significant pedigree: it's a manga adaptation by Mitsuru Hattori (the creator of Sankarea: Undying Loving) of an original 2011 novel by the prolific NisiOisin. Unfortunately, the end result is not special in a p...
review

A Bride's Story GN 9

It’s all Pariya all the time in A Bride’s Story’s most laugh-out-loud funny volume yet. Nick Creamer digs into it. ― Kaoru Mori seems to understand she struck upon a truly brilliant character in Pariya. Plagued by all-too-relatable social anxieties and defined by the dichotomy of her shy exterior and blunt feelings, Pariya is a profoundly likable and consistently entertaining lead. In A Bride's Story...
review

Dance with Devils BD/DVD

If you're in the mood for more campy demons than scary ones this Halloween, this reverse harem musical spectacular has you covered. Rose Bridges explains what makes this series seven hells' worth of fun. ― Dance with Devils is my kind of Halloween entertainment. It's campy, trashy, and a little spooky, but never seriously scary. Sure, it tries for some thrills, but this is a reverse harem musical, an...
review

I Became the Secretary of a Hero! Novel 1

When the Dark Lord kidnaps her younger sister, ordinary paralegal Aki becomes the Hero's secretary in this fun take on the isekai genre. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― The latest of Cross Infinite World's female-oriented light novel translations, I Became the Secretary of a Hero is both the sweetest and the most lighthearted so far. It also features the oldest heroine we've yet seen – Aki is a ...
review

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers Novel 2

This novel picks up where the anime adaptation left off, trading its initial whodunnit mystery style for classic suspense by giving the readers more information than the characters. Rebecca Silverman dives in. ― If the first volume of Ishio Yamagata's Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers light novel series played out like a classic mystery novel, this second volume takes its cues from contemporary suspen...
review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Novel 9

For the first time, the extremely silly rhetorical question that forms DanMachi's title is actually relevant to the story's plot. Theron Martin explains why. ― Up to this point in the franchise, the full name for DanMachi has been more comedic than literal, with only Bell's rescue of Lilly back in volume 2 even coming close to fitting the description of Bell “picking up” a girl by rescuing her in the...
review

Revolutionary Girl Utena Blu-Ray Part 1

One of the greatest shojo classics finally comes to Blu-ray just in time for the series' 20th anniversary. Rebecca Silverman takes a look at this exciting release. ― First airing in 1997, Revolutionary Girl Utena has proved to have a lot of staying power among anime fans. The recent release of the show on blu-ray is not only truly gorgeous in picture clarity and color, but it also provides the show a...
review

Otome Mania!! GNs 1-2

Despite its slightly inconclusive ending, Otome Mania is a fun look at the otoge industry. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― If you're a fan of otome games, there's a good chance that this manga will be a lot more fun than if you've never played one. This is because not only is the subject of the series the creation of that particular genre, but the story runs like one as well – fresh-faced Yuzumi...
review

Made in Abyss Episodes 1-13 Streaming

This ambitious dark fantasy anime may not be safe for sensitive stomachs, but it's still a journey worth taking. Nick Creamer plunges the depths of this abyss. ― Made in Abyss opens with a simple and intriguing premise. In this world, there is one massive abyss that has never been fully explored. Those who attempt to probe its depths are known as “whistles,” and the strange mechanical treasures they ...
review

The Garden of Sinners Complete Collection Streaming

Now that it's available streaming for the first time on Amazon, Theron Martin takes a look at how ufotable's first ambitious plunge into the Nasuverse holds up ten years later. ― The first seven movies in The Garden of Sinners were originally released in Japan over 2007-2009, with an OVA following in 2011 and an eighth movie and short story collection completing the story in 2013. The first eight ins...
review

Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight GN 1

Cinderella may yearn for a prince, but she's not entirely sure she wants this one when she finds out about his fetish. Rebecca Silverman explains why. ― Readers of digital-only releases may already be familiar with Rin Mikimoto's work, as Kodansha began releasing her series Love's Reach as a digital exclusive earlier in 2017. Now her romance Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight is getting a physical rel...
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...
game review

Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth

Does the newest entry in this difficult RPG series still hurt good enough to be worth the challenge? Todd Ciolek finds out. ― Etrian Odyssey games ask a lot. They require you to pace around dungeon grids full of nasty enemies. They require you to map out levels in the tradition of the hardest RPGs of 1986. They require you to try again and again, even after a sudden and vicious encounter wipes out yo...
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

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...

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