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review

The Promised Neverland GN 3

The Promised Neverland runs through a dazzling series of twists and betrayals in its pulse-pounding third volume. Nick Creamer has the details. ― The Promised Neverland hits the ground running in its third volume, opening with new allies Gilda and Don staging a daring and likely ill-advised break-in of Isabella's secret room. Their extremely rash choice leads to both discord within the main group and...
review

DanMachi On the Side: Sword Oratoria Novel 6

The heroes of Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? venture outside Orario for once in this adventurous volume. Theron Martin has the details. ― For all of the great work that writer Fujino Omori has done with the setting of DanMachi, details on any locations beyond Orario and its immediate environs have been woefully limited. Although a couple of short stories in the main series have transpired...
review

The Voynich Hotel GN 1

With nods to the Eagles' classic "Hotel California" and a healthy dose of strangeness, The Voynich Hotel promises a stay you won't soon forget. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Seven Seas' use of a paraphrased line from the Eagles' 1977 song “Hotel California” on the back copy of The Voynich Hotel's first volume really does prepare you for what's going on inside. The song's last line is “You can ...
review

Black Torch GN 1

Cat spirits and ninja combine in this action series that blends fantasy with science fiction and folklore. Rebecca Silverman weighs the highs and lows of this pulse-pounding genre mashup. ― Life very rarely works out precisely as you've planned it, even if your plans aren't much beyond “wake up and go to school.” That's what high schooler Jiro Azuma is about to learn the hard way when he rescues an i...
review

Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction GN 1

Inio Asano knocks it out of the park with another hilarious yet heartbreaking story that balances absurd ideas with emotional power. Nick Creamer has the details. ― Three quarters of the way through Inio Asano's latest work, there's a two page spread capturing one intimate moment. Having just sent her best friend Kadode off on a misguided quest to hook up with her crush, co-heroine Ontan finds hersel...
review

Girls Kingdom Omnibus 1

The first two novels in this yuri series aren't without their speedbumps, but there's just enough charm here to please fans of the genre. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Girls-love novels have not seen much release in English, although there's a fairly healthy amount of lesbian romances being published in other sectors of the book world. Girls Kingdom marks the first official release since Straw...
game review

Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night & Persona 5: Dancing Star Night

In the wake of Persona 4's successful rhythm game, its siblings are getting in on the action! Which of these two new games should you play? Richard Eisenbeis has the answers in our full review. ― Following in the footsteps of 2015's Persona 4: Dancing All Night, Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night and Persona 5: Dancing Star Night are a pair of rhythm/music games that showcase the awesome soundtracks of Pe...
review

Sailor Moon S: The Movie

Usagi and Luna's relationship gets expanded in one of the few Sailor Moon films to be based on Naoko Takeuchi's manga. Rebecca Silverman offers her take on this classic film's limited theatrical run. ― The Sailor Moon S movie is the only one of the three full-length feature films in the Classic franchise to be based on a side story from Naoko Takeuchi's original manga. In some ways, that really shows...
game review

Valkyria Chronicles 4

Whether you're a longtime fan of the series or a newcomer, Valkyria Chronicles 4 doesn't disappoint. Richard Eisenbeis delivers his full review of the newest entry in this TRPG saga. ― The Valkyria Chronicles series is a piece of historical fiction set in a world much like our own. However, instead of coal or oil, it is the mysterious mineral ragnite—which can do anything from cure wounds to power a ...
review

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie and Ami's First Love Special

Rebecca Silverman takes in the Sailor Moon SuperS Movie to see how well it's aged, along with the theatrical short Ami's First Love, both of which are in theaters this weekend. ― This isn't the first time that the Sailor Moon SuperS movie has been released for English-speaking audiences, but the same can't be said about the SuperS special Ami's First Love. That makes seeing the theatrical release of ...
review

After Hours GNs 1-2

Romance and the club scene intertwine in this yuri series about two women trying to fight for their dreams amongst the turmoil of daily life. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― An entire year separates the release of these two volumes of Yuhta Nishio's low-key tale of love and DJing. That's an issue if you don't remember the events of volume one, but more so if it means we're in for another year's ...
review

Dies irae: To the Ring Reincarnation

This controversial series comes to an end in six ONA episodes, but can it salvage the often baffling and off-putting story leading up to it? Theron Martin finds out. ― I covered the first twelve episodes (#0-11) of this series in episode reviews during the fall 2017 TV season, so this review will be covering the last six episodes, which have been released as an ONA series under the subtitle To the Ri...
review

Hatsu*Haru GN 1

Childhood crushes come back with a vengeance in this engaging new shoujo romance. Rebecca Silverman digs into it. ― Kai may be a ladies man, but he still has a lot to learn about girls. He's gone from king of the class in elementary school to the heartthrob of his high school, but he seems to be suffering from the delusion that only a certain type of female is capable of falling in love. Therefore it...
review

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba GN 1

This promising new dark action series has an anime coming out soon, but it gets off to a rocky start. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― In some ways it is easy to tell that Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is Koyoharu Gotouge's first series. He's got all of the plot ideas and characters laid out, and those are all interesting and well put together. The issue is the pacing of the book overall – from ...
review

Harukana Receive GN 1

Stilted art keeps this from being a great sports manga, but the characters do their best to make the story enjoyable. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― It is fairly rare that I find the adaptation of a book to be the superior version, but in the case of Nyoijizai's Harukana Receive's first volume, that seems to be the case. The reason for this is almost entirely a question of visuals – Nyoijizai's...
review

REVIEW: Mamoru Hosoda's Mirai

The newest film from the director of Summer Wars and Wolf Children may be one of his most personal in tone. Kim Morrissy has the details in our full review. ― 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 f...
review

Those Summer Days eBooks 1-2

A school reunion sends a group of former friends back in time to fix their regrets. But is that really the best idea? Rebecca Silverman finds out. ― Nostalgia can be a trap. Sometimes it just convinces you that things were better when you were a kid, other times it prevents you from moving forward or being happy. In Those Summer Days, shoujo/josei mangaka Chika's English-language debut, the protagoni...
review

The Promised Neverland GN 2

Now that its gruesome twist has been revealed, this shonen manga hit heads into its next big act. Nick Creamer has the details. ― The Promised Neverland's first volume was a stunning combination of novel premise, pulse-pounding storytelling, and evocative visual design. Introducing us to Emma and her friends at Grace Field House, the story quickly moved from chilling horror to a sturdy prison break n...
review

Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind! Novels 1-2

Chosen one isekai protagonists are a dime a dozen these days, but what about the sidekick best friend who gets dragged along with the hero? Rebecca Silverman finds out in the first two volumes of this unusual take on the genre. ― Stories about high school age heroes summoned from modern Japan and made to fight against a demon invasion in a Medievalesque fantasy world are a dime a dozen in light novel...
review

Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle

The second film in this ambitious trilogy from Gen Urobuchi and Polygon Pictures offers enough dark twists and turns to hopefully make up for its lack of explosive action. Callum May digs into the details. ― If the first film's main theme could be summed up as “revenge”, then you can probably say that Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle is all about “humanity”. Following the successful defeat of God...
review

Monster Hunter Stories RIDE ON Part Two BD+DVD

This kid-friendly monster adventure may please the preschool set, but it's hard to see older fans of the franchise getting much out of it. Rebecca Silverman explores the second half of this low-key children's anime. ― The world has opened up to Lute and his friends in this second set of twelve episodes, but it took a major tragedy to make it happen. That's not only the attack on Hakum Village by a mo...
review

Haruka Nogizaka's Secret (+ Purezza) Blu-ray

Does this decade-old romcom about a rich girl trying to hide her otaku habit from the world still have enough charm to please modern-day fans? Theron Martin finds out. ― In terms of U.S. releases, Haruka Nogizaka's Secret may have been the victim of bad timing. Its first series came out in 2008, right after ADV collapsed and many other anime companies were starting to encounter trouble due to the ani...
review

Fate/Extra Last Encore—Episodes 1-10 streaming

This spinoff of the alternative-universe sequel to Fate/stay night sports stunning visuals but remains too many layers removed from a compelling story to deliver any bite. ― Fate/Extra Last Encore is a continuation of the bad end of an adaptation of the Fate/Extra game released for PlayStation Portable in Japan in 2010 and in North America in 2011. It is set in a parallel world to the main story, so ...
game review

Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido

This quirky puzzle game for the Nintendo Switch and 3DS is sure to win over fans of absurd humor and fast-paced strategy. Branden Johnson elaborates. ― Nailing absurdist humor is tricky. If you wink too much at the audience, it can be eye roll-inducing, and if you aren't polished enough in your presentation, you run the risk of your audience laughing at you, not with you. But Nintendo has pulled it o...
review

Hinamatsuri—Episodes 1-12 streaming

Once you get past its oddball premise, Hinamatsuri offers plenty of laughs and charm throughout its unusual run. Nick Creamer has the details. ― You wouldn't think a show about a family composed of a yakuza mobster and a psychic alien girl could be described as “warm and relatable,” but Hinamatsuri is weird in more ways than that. Idly combining trenchant commentary on homelessness, running child lab...
review

Pokémon the Movie: Everyone's Story

This ensemble film tells a myriad of charming stories with some of the most impressive animation in the franchise's history. Callum May gives his take on this next step in Pokémon's ongoing evolution. ― Pokemon movies are often known for cheesy titles like “Zoroark: Master of Illusions” and “Hoopa and the Clash of Ages”, but the title of Pokemon the Movie: Everyone's Story has a very distinct meaning...
review

K: Seven Stories R:B -Blaze-

The K franchise's transition to the big screen for the first of six films is unfortunately not off to a promising start. Lynzee Loveridge has the details. ― As a franchise, K had slipped under my radar; I knew it as little more than the colorful anime by the creators of Hand Shakers. So I quickly got myself acquainted with a story that included two television anime and a movie that bridges the gap be...
review

Kitaro the Vampire Slayer GN

Kitaro's no match for a groovy mod vampire in this fifth collection of Drawn & Quarterly's curated release of the classic children's horror series. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― It had to happen sometime: the great yokai Kitaro would eventually meet someone he couldn't easily defeat. As it turns out, that's an entire race of yokai – vampires. Perhaps it's his more human attributes, or simply h...
review

Battle Angel Alita: Mars Chronicle 2-3

The story jumps between Alita's present and past over the course of these two volumes, as Kishiro's saga grows into greater ambitions. Theron Martin has the details. ― After focusing exclusively on the youth of Alita and Erica during volume 1, Mars Chronicle shifts to a present-day focus for volume 2, looking at the adult characters and what happens after the events of Last Order. Volume 3 then retur...
review

Beatless ‒ Episodes 1-20 streaming

Despite its wonky production values and frequent recap episodes, this sci fi thriller overflows with compelling ideas and just enough action to thread them together. Theron Martin has the details. ― This science fiction novel adaptation does not make a strong first impression. With mediocre-at-best artistry, the comical portrayal of Arato's little sister, and a cross between a classic Magical Girlfri...
review

Calamity of a Zombie Girl

This gruesome 80-minute ONA about a blase zombie girl adapts a popular light novel series and debuted alongside the Summer 2018 anime season - Theron Martin checks his gut and dives in. ― Calamity of the Zombie Girl has a bit of a weird history coming to anime form. The original light novel series was published in two volumes in 2012 (with a two-volume sequel later that year), and an anime adaptation...
review

Little Witch Academia GN 1

The manga version of Trigger’s smash hit fantasy Little Witch Academia isn’t a direct adaptation or a sequel or a side story - it’s more of a companion piece. ― Based on the anime of the same name from Studio Trigger (the TV series, not the original short films) Little Witch Academia is trying to be a companion piece rather than a strict adaptation or a totally new retelling. That means that while th...
review

Flavors of Youth

This anthology film collaboration between Haoliners and Comix Wave serves as both a touching tribute to youth and love in China, and as an homage to Makoto Shinkai's 5cm Per Second. ― 5 Centimeters Per Second made a very deep impression on Li Haoling. Even before Your Name became a colossal hit worldwide, Makoto Shinkai's films have always been popular among Chinese anime fans. Li in particular was s...
review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Familia Chronicle: Episode Lyu Novel 1

This focus story for Orario's toughest tavern elf offers plenty of colorful new details about the story's world in a must-read for DanMachi fans. ― (Note: Because the main character's name is consistently transliterated as Lyu rather than Ryu in this novel, that spelling will be used throughout this review.) In a franchise full of colorful characters, Lyu Leon is far from being among the most dynamic...
review

All Out!! BD+DVD Part 2

While its production values fumble and the cast grows too bloated for anyone to develop much, All Out! at least achieves its main goal of bringing its rugby boys to success as a team. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― This second half of the rugby action show officially goes beyond what is available in its original manga form in English as of this writing. That means that even if you've been readi...
review

Karakai Jōzu no Takagi-san—Episodes 1-12

This sweetly innocent romcom about the teasing trials of puppy love is sure to warm anyone's heart and remind them of their first crush. James Beckett has the details. ― One translation of “Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san” is “Teasing Master Takagi-san”, and this anime is exactly what it says on the tin. Without fail, every single episode of Takagi-san follows the same template: Nishikata, our haplessly d...
review

Katana Maidens: Toji no Miko—Episodes 1-24

Beyond a few standout sword fights, this mobile-game inspired anime is watchable but uninspired. Theron Martin has the details. ― This 24-episode co-production by Genco and Studio Gokumi gives off the distinct vibe of being based on a mobile app game, but in this case, the anime has debuted long before the mobile game which is still in development. Beyond that, this is a fairly simple "girls with swo...
review

My Hero Academia GN 13

My Hero Academia switches gears to focus on many thoughtful character arcs in a volume with fewer punches, but lots of heart. Nick Creamer has the details. ― After the cataclysmic battle between All Might and All For One, My Hero Academia's previous volume felt like a bit of a tonal reset, focusing on smaller-scale conflicts without that much relevance to this society's overall future. Its dramatic p...
review

Kitaro's Strange Adventures GN

Hot on the heels of the classic's newest anime adaptation, Drawn & Quarterly releases a collection of Gegege no Kitaro adventures that run the gamut from funny to creepy to just plain gross. ― While the previous volumes of Drawn & Quarterly's new, curated release of the classic GeGeGe no Kitaro manga have arguably had themes to them, this fourth book is much more in the vein of a collection of short ...
review

Stupid Love Comedy GN

This screwball romcom about a shojo manga-ka's would-be relationship with her editor is pretty much exactly what its title implies. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― There is an archetype in romance fiction known as the TSTL heroine – “Too Stupid To Live.” While she's most prevalent in historical romances, she also makes many an appearance in romantic comedies, and although she can be fun in small...
review

My Monster Secret GN 10

My Monster Secret makes some stumbles leading into its big moment, but fortunately nails the dismount. ― It's time at last, folks. After ten rambling volumes of mixed signals and improbable anticlimaxes and distant longing, confessions abound in this climactic volume of My Monster Secret. Truths will be revealed, feelings will be faced, and the fundamental dynamic of this goofy romantic comedy will b...
review

Libra of Nil Admirari—Episodes 1-12 streaming

This dark otome game adaptation is more interested in its tangled plot than reverse harem antics, making for a much more propulsive story than you might expect. ― It's always a welcome surprise when a series turns out to be better than it reasonably ought to be, and Libra of Nil Admirari is definitely one of them. Based on a reverse harem otome game and featuring a heroine whose resourcefulness and s...
review

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid BD/DVD

Collected for the first time on blu-ray, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid mines consistent comedy and surprising emotion out of the silliest of all premises. ― There are few word pairs more likely to elicit raised eyebrows than “dragon maid.” The pairing sounds like fandom fetish word salad - like you threw two darts at a board of things the kids are into and landed on “maids” and “I dunno, dragons?” By ...
review

The Rising of the Shield Hero Novel 11

The Rising of the Shield Hero's eleventh volume does still have its issues, but that is largely eclipsed by the progression of the plot and hints of what's to come. ― Volume eleven is largely a good bounce-back from some of the more problematic elements that plagued volume ten of The Rising of the Shield Hero series. That's not to say that the slave issue has been fully resolved – the book opens with...
review

Saint Seiya: Saintia Shō GNs 1-2

This female-driven spinoff of the Saint Seiya manga requires little prior knowledge as an exciting new adventure begins. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Despite the dual facts that the original Saint Seiya manga ended in 1990 and that a direct sequel series (Saint Seiya: Next Dimension) has been running since 2006, Saint Seiya: Saintia Sho can also be termed a direct sequel to the original manga...
review

Devilman: The Classic Collection GN 1

One of the most influential manga of all time is out in a fancy new edition! Rebecca Silverman breaks down what's aged well about Go Nagai's classic—and what hasn't. ― If you've read any dark shounen or seinen action series written after 1973, you've probably seen the influence of Go Nagai's original Devilman manga. While it may not be the first of its kind, it certainly has been a major tone-setter ...
review

Kiss Him, Not Me BD/DVD

This fujoshi-driven romcom tries to roll with its premise in good fun, but its choices may be too short-sighted and mean-spirited to appeal to everyone. Rebecca Silverman gets into it. ― Kiss Him, Not Me, based on the manga of the same name by Junko, is a bit problematic at its core. Not only does it at first blush rely on the tired old trope of the girl losing weight and her glasses and suddenly bec...
review

Requiem of the Rose King GN 8

This reimagining of Shakespeare's history plays begins as Richard struggles to cope with the loss of Henry and darker forces begin creeping out of the shadows. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― I've read the history of England's War of the Roses, and I've read the Shakespeare history plays Aya Kanno is basing Requiem of the Rose King on, Henry VI (all parts) and Richard III. But it is Kanno's mang...
review

Little Princess in Fairy Forest Novel

If you think that a dragon and a knight sound like the coolest possible dads, this thoughtful dark fantasy adventure is well-worth your time. Rebecca Silverman digs in. ― Sometimes you just know that an author has done her research. That's true of Tsubaki Tokino's novel Little Princess in Fairy Forest: from names to folk songs to fairy tale elements, it's obvious that she really looked into the cultu...
review

So I'm a Spider, So What? Novel 2

This slightly more creepy-crawly take on isekai reincarnation doesn't break from formula too much, but it does everything refreshingly better than its many peers in the genre. Theron Martin has the details. ― The field of isekai reincarnation novel series is so dense and thickly populated with weird options that even a catchy title and premise might not hold reader attention for long; a series has to...
review

Juana and the Dragonewt's Seven Kingdoms GNs 1-2

The first two thirds of this fantasy road trip are humble yet satisfying. Rebecca Silverman explores the attractive art and charming idiosyncrasies of the dragonewt kingdoms. ― Everything eventually cycles back around. That's part of the philosophy behind the world building of Kiyohisa Tanaka's debut manga series, Juana and the Dragonewt's Seven Kingdoms: first there were dinosaurs, then there were h...
review

Mia and the Forbidden Medicine Report

This steampunk adventure novel explores the stigmatization of illness in refreshing and engaging ways. Rebecca Silverman explores how. ― Despite having some of the trappings of a standard reverse harem school story, Mia and the Forbidden Medicine Report is much more of a science drama than a romance. The story takes place in a vaguely early 20th century steampunk setting, where country girl Mia Bauma...
review

A Kiss, For Real GN 1

This relatable romance story focuses on personal transformation as much as first love. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― If there's a time in your life tailor-made for trying to hide in plain sight, it's middle and high school. Chitose learned that lesson a little earlier than most of her classmates, however: her parents run a fusion restaurant with Indian themes, and Chitose was picked on for com...
review

Nameless Asterism GNs 1-2

This romance story's potentially melodramatic love geometry is grounded by realistic depictions of middle schoolers trying to navigate relationships with maturity. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Nameless Asterism's synopsis might make you think that it's a melodrama of the highest order. And maybe it is, on paper – after all, it has more love geometry than titles that wear that as a badge of pr...
review

My Hero Academia Season Two Part One — Limited Edition BD/DVD

MHA's take on the tournament arc stands strong among the storied history of shonen spectacle. Nick Creamer delves into all the goodies in this action-packed release that covers some of the show's best material. ― The tournament arc has been a staple of the shounen genre for decades at this point. From Yu Yu Hakusho's fabled Dark Tournament to Naruto's chunin exams to Dragon Ball's various pre- and po...
review

Astra Lost in Space GNs 1-3

This engrossing sci fi survival adventure only gets better and better as it goes on. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Some series get better as they go on, and Astra Lost in Space is definitely one of them. While the first volume is largely setup, establishing the base plotline that the next four books will follow (the series is complete at five volumes) and introducing the characters, the next t...
review

Flip Flappers Limited Edition Blu-ray

This wildly imaginative romantic adventure starring an unlikely duo of magical girls is finally available in a limited edition release packed with extras. Nick Creamer breaks down just what makes Flip Flappers so special. ― The anime industry isn't generally structured to reward anime-original passion projects. The current funding model relies heavily on production committees that generally bank on “...
review

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. BD/DVD

Natsume Ono's low-key, stylish political thriller might not be for everyone, but its idiosyncratic charms are well worth their weight in discussion. James Beckett has the details. ― ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. passed me by when it originally aired in winter of 2017. The bureaucratically focused premise didn't appeal to me at first glance, and even now that I've finished Funimation's Blu-Ray/D...
review

The Rising of the Shield Hero Novel 10

Naofumi takes a break from saving the world to rebuild Raphtalia's village in a volume that deals with a few uncomfortable themes. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― If Naofumi thought that defeating the Spirit Tortoise and then chasing the villains who complicated everything back to their own world would make his life as the Shield Hero any easier, he thought wrong. Granted, at this point, Naofumi...
review

Ace Attorney Part 2 BD+DVD

Ace Attorney adapts its second game in a set of episodes that's over-the-top goofy with a few glaring issues in plot and art. Rebecca Silverman puts this series on trial. ― Just in case you were wondering, it's apparently quite difficult to enforce Japan's perjury laws. Not that that makes some of the courtroom shenanigans that take place during this second half of Ace Attorney's first season any les...
review

IDOLiSH7—Episodes 1-17 Streaming

Its more grounded plot and super-catchy music help IDOLiSH7 raise the bar for boy idol shows. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― If you've ever felt your credulity strained to the breaking point by idol shows like B-Project or Uta no Prince-sama but haven't given up on the genre yet, you owe it to yourself to check out IDOLiSH 7. While it certainly isn't free of all of the more bizarre tropes tales...
review

Haikara-San: Here Comes Miss Modern Part 1

The first movie in this two-part classic shojo manga adaptation beautifully realizes a bygone era in Japanese history. Kim Morrissy reviews this unique romance before its premiere in the U.S. and Canada this weekend. ― This movie's Japanese title, 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 m...
review

Sailor Moon SuperS Part 1 Limited Edition BD/DVD

SuperS starts out on a downswing after the highs of the previous season, but it still has its moments to shine. Rebecca Silverman takes a closer look at this limited edition release. ― Sailor Moon SuperS has a somewhat troubled reputation. Coming directly after fan-favorite, somewhat darker Sailor Moon S and its popular Death Busters arc, SuperS sends the Outer Guardians back into the shadows and alt...
review

Chaos;Child BD/DVD

This dark psychological thriller delivers solid entertainment and intriguing twists if you can forgive its rushed pace and lackluster visuals. Theron Martin digs into this pseudo-sequel's mysteries. ― Chaos;Child is a 2017 adaptation of a visual novel from 2014 that's a thematic sequel to the 2008 visual novel Chaos;Head. While its story carries over the tone, themes, and a scattering of story elemen...
review

My Monster Secret - GN 9

Shiragami's surprise smooch has turned the drama up a notch, but there's also plenty of comedy to go around for this romcom's supporting cast. Nick Creamer has the details. ― After eight long volumes, it finally happened. The last chapter of My Monster Secret's previous volume concluded on Shiragami actually kissing Asahi, following through on dozens of chapters of hemming and hawing and romantic lon...
review

Izetta: The Last Witch BD/DVD

Despite its unusual premise, this magical piece of historical fiction turns out into an all-too-familiar adventure. Nick Creamer weighs this series' highs and lows. ― Like many anime, Izetta: The Last Witch barrels out the gate with a first episode that draws all its strengths to the forefront. We're rapidly introduced to a global conflict and a young woman named Ortfine, the princess of the small co...
review

I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level Novel 1

This reincarnation isekai story lays its premise bare right in the title, but what does this self-published success story have to offer that its numerous peers don't? Theron Martin has the details. ― Anime fans are probably more familiar with Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody, an isekai with a similar premise and story beats to this title. Both feature young adult protagonists who die from o...
review

Hand Shakers BD/DVD

This legendary lemon from last year's dustbin rises again on Blu-ray, but is it time to give Hand Shakers a second chance? Theron Martin finds out if this series is worth another shake. ― This original series from winter of 2017 had one of the lowest average community scores ever for streaming reviews on ANN and was widely regarded by critics and viewers alike as being one of the worst anime of the y...
review

Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs GN 1

Old-school harem tropes can't bring down this fun romantic comedy about a psychic boy and the adorable ghost he can't bring himself to exorcise. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Protagonist Kogarashi finds himself living in an old boarding house that used to be a hot springs inn with four beautiful women who have a tendency to smack him into orbit for anything they perceive as a perverted action....
review

Mobile Suit Gundam AGE Blu-Ray

Lauren finds herself pretty underwhelmed by the weirdly maudlin and confusing conclusion of Gundam AGE. ― Perhaps nobody was more disappointed by the conclusion of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE than fans who played the video game of the same name. The video game came out on August 30, 2012, giving fans a full month to play it to its poorly received conclusion—only to relive that same ending on September 23,...
review

My Hero Academia - GN 12

The hero students of 1-A sweat off the melodrama of recent events with a pulse-pounding action-driven volume instead. Nick Creamer has the details. ― In the long run, My Hero Academia's eleventh volume may well stand as the climax to its first overall “act.” In narrative terms, that volume represented the point where the world as established across the story's early chapters was shattered entirely. A...
review

Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon Novel 1

This novel's bizarre concept is what will catch people's attention, but the writing is good enough to keep it. Theron Martin has the details on this humorously twisted isekai story. ― When it comes to vending machines, North America simply cannot compare to Japan. They are far more ubiquitous over there, offering options that you will rarely or never see in vending machines in the States; during my o...
review

Koyomimonogatari

Koyomimonogatari hones in on Monogatari’s winding conversational riddles with strange and rewarding results. ― Even for the defiantly, deliberately weird Monogatari franchise, Koyomimonogatari is a particularly strange entry. Originally released as a collection of short stories, it eschewed the Monogatari franchise's usual style to tell even smaller vignettes, stories that were so brief and lacking i...
game review

Review: Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time

This dungeon-crawling action RPG boasts all the style of Studio Trigger's hit series, but not so much the substance. Todd Ciolek digs into this magical adventure. ― It's neither original nor unkind to say that Little Witch Academia stood out on appearances. The series is a charming tale of a misfit at a magical academy, a fantasy staple since well before Harry Potter, but it might not have leapt from...
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Puzzle & Dragons X BD/DVD Part 2

The adventure continues in this children's mobage adaptation with surprising ambitions. Rebecca Silverman finds out how things develop. ― Just because you've achieved your goal doesn't mean that the journey's over. That's the premise behind the second set of Puzzle & Dragons X episodes to be released on DVD. The first thirteen saw Ace work towards his goal of becoming a dragon caller – the show's com...
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Interviews with Monster Girls BD/DVD

This slice-of-life comedy delivers an entertaining and occasionally thoughtful package that avoids the seedier pitfalls common to the monster girl genre. Theron Martin digs in. ― Riding the current wave of monster girl titles is this manga adaptation from winter 2017, which takes a somewhat unusual approach to the genre. Rather than treating its subject matter as exotic potential love interests, it a...
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World's End Harem GN 1

This sci fi series about the procreative responsibilities of one of the last men on earth isn't purely harem cheese, but it won't do enough to hold much appeal for anyone outside the genre either. Theron Martin has the details. ― Late in 2017, Seven Seas Entertainment launched its Ghost Ship imprint as an avenue to bring manga titles specifically for mature audiences to the States. This series joins ...
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Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru Season 1 BD/DVD

Slice-of-life comedy meets Japanese history in this unusual series about sword boys enjoying springtime. James Beckett finds out if the overall experience is rejuvenating or just a snooze. ― Before last year, I had never even heard of the mobile game that kickstarted the Touken Ranbu franchise; my introduction to it was in covering the premiere of ufotable's take on the series, Katsugeki! Touken Ranb...
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Sorry For My Familiar GN 1

Patty's new familiar Norman is definitely unusual. He's a human, and he's more interested in studying demons like her than helping to find her dad. Rebecca has the details on this goofy fantasy story. ― It is interesting to note that in the spring of 2018 two separate titles bearing remarkable similarities to better-known series have been released. One is The Young Master's Revenge, which conjures up...
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Amazon Riders

As the first Kamen Rider series to be made widely available in English, Amazon Riders has some major expectations to fulfill, but does it succeed? Chris Farris has the answers. ― The first modern Kamen Rider series made officially available in the West, Kamen Rider Amazons is a series that already sits apart from the main franchise in how experimental it is. Conceived as a darker, more adult-oriented...
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Mobile Suit Gundam AGE Blu Ray Collection 1

"The bones of a brand new addition to the franchise are here, but Gundam AGE never quite stands on its own." Lauren Orsini digs deep on the first half of this tonally-dissonant Gundam outing. ― It's fitting that Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, a show all about generations, marks the end of one era and the beginning of a new one for the Gundam franchise. It was the first Gundam series to simulcast on YouTube ...
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Kaguya-sama: Love is War GN 1 & 2

They're both in love with each other, but neither will be the first to admit it in this romantic comedy based around the idea that he who admits his crush first loses. ― Kaguya-sama: Love is War is definitely one of the more unique rom-com premises out there, although bizarrely enough it shares a theme with Mai Nishikata's josei manga Game – Suit no Sukima, which is being serialized as an e-book in F...
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The Young Master's Revenge GN 1

Don't let the title fool you - this is less a revenge story and more one about coming to understand that what you thought was true might not be. ― For readers afraid that Meca Tanaka's The Young Master's Revenge is a shoujo version of Hazuki Takeoka and Tiv's Masamune-kun's Revenge, don't worry. Although the two share a thematic element in the form of a high school boy newly confident in his desirabi...
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Monster Tamer Girls GN 1

Cute girls doing cute things meets giant monsters in this uniquely charming slice-of-life series. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― It's a fairly obvious truth at this point that there's a large market for stories featuring cute girls doing just about anything, with bonus points if you wouldn't necessarily assume that cute girls would be participating in an activity. While that premise can be wear...
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Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches BD/DVD

Miki Yoshikawa's high school comedy about superpowered smooches is much briefer than its source material, but delivers a memorable story regardless. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― For fans of Miki Yoshikawa's source manga, twelve episodes may feel like not quite enough to do even the first major story arc of Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches justice. It is clear that a fair amount is left out ev...
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Laid-Back Camp—Episodes 1-12 streaming

True to its title, Laid-Back Camp is as comforting as a warm cup of cocoa in a sleeping bag. Nick Creamer uncovers just how this special slice-of-life series makes camping look so fun. ― I did not think I was going to end up in the target audience for Laid-Back Camp. Not only do I just tend to enjoy one or two slice of life shows a year, but camping itself simply doesn't hold any appeal for me. I lik...
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Obsessions of an Otome Gamer eBook 1

What happens when you combine trapped-in-a-game isekai with otome dating sims? Rebecca Silverman has the answers in this unusual take on the genre. ― The isekai trope of being reborn into a game-like world is one that has been done with increasing frequency in recent years. So why should you give yet another iteration of that story a chance? Because Natsu's Obsessions of an Otome Gamer isn't about fa...
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Spice & Wolf Volume 19

These four short stories range from lighthearted to contemplative, and from the start of Holo and Lawrence's journey to its end. Theron Martin explains why this novel should be on any fan's shelf. ― While the main storyline of Spice and Wolf may be over, author Isuna Hasekura apparently won't be out of ideas for side stories and sequels anytime soon. In the Afterword for this volume, he states an int...
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Mononoke Sharing GN 1

This cute slice-of-life series from the author of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is a nice read when you just need a break from life. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Although he has a fair amount of series to his name, most people probably know mangaka coolkyousinnjya as the creator of the original Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid manga. That series, about a normal woman who ends up living with couple...
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Perfect Blue: Awaken from a Dream

This collection of short stories by the author of Perfect Blue: Complete Metamorphosis continue to explore the alarming relationships between obsessive fans and the objects of their affections. Rebecca Silverman digs in. ― Less a sequel to the first Perfect Blue novel, Perfect Blue: Complete Metamorphosis and more a series of short stories on the same basic theme, Yoshikazu Takeuchi's Perfect Blue: A...
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Aggretsuko—Episodes 1-10 streaming

This death-metal-loving red panda is just desperate to get through her workday, one scream-worthy struggle at a time. James Beckett discovers what makes this unusual office comedy so exceptional. ― I'm not normally one to go crazy over Sanrio characters, but from the moment the credits rolled on the first of Aggretsuko's ten 15-minute episodes, I knew I had found in Retsuko the ideal mascot for perpe...
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Violet Evergarden—Episodes 1-13 streaming

Violet Evergarden rises from shaky beginnings to tell a heartfelt story full of visual beauty and quiet growth for its heroine. Nick Creamer has the details. ― Kyoto Animation have established a firm reputation as an animation powerhouse. From their breakout hits like Haruhi Suzumiya and K-ON! to more recent highlights like Sound! Euphonium and A Silent Voice, their works boast a fluidity and express...
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Perfect World GN 1

This love story between a disabled young man and his old crush broaches its subject matter with sensitivity and heart. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― We see plenty of romances with emotionally disabled protagonists, but precious few with physical disabilities. In the romance novel world, author Mary Balogh began writing books with such heroes, but manga has been slow to catch up (as have other ...
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The Morose Mononokean BD+DVD

This heartwarming yokai adventure series isn't much for melodrama or spectacle, but it's got plenty of heart where it counts. James Beckett weighs in on its unassuming charms. ― If I had to pick any one word to describe the experience of watching The Morose Mononokean, it would probably be “cute”. From beginning to end, this is a gentle story revolving around two mismatched friends who make their liv...
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Infinite Dendrogram Novels 3 & 4

Things heat up when Dryfe attacks Altar again - and Ray's friends turn out to be much more than they appear. Rebecca Silverman gets back into this VRMMO adventure. ― We readers have been aware that another major conflict between Dryfe and Altar has been brewing since volume one of Sakon Kaido's Infinite Dendrogram novel series. That makes it easy to forget that our protagonist Ray Starling hasn't had...
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Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens—Episodes 1-12 streaming

This action and intrigue story starring an eclectic ensemble of assassins slipped under the radar last season, but Theron Martin is down to discover whether it's worth checking out in hindsight. ― The title of this light novel adaptation refers to a baseball team that most of the recurring characters play for, but that isn't evident until about a third of the way through the series' 12-episode run. (...

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