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review

Classroom For Heroes Anime Series Review

What should be a raucous action-comedy can quickly become an obnoxious headache that constantly smirks at its reliance on stock tropes ― Classroom for Heroes has two primary ways of operating: fast and loud, often concurrently. Whether introducing new characters, throwing jokes at the wall, or even transitioning between scenes, the show is always trying to grab your attention. On the one hand, that's...
review

Sasaki and Miyano: Graduation Anime Film Review

While the manga is ongoing, Graduation feels like a farewell, using its final moments to reminisce about our main couple's romantic journey as they walk the halls of their school one last time. ― To call Graduation a movie is a bit generous. Even with the inclusion of the Hirano and Kagiura short, this thing just barely reaches an hour with credits. Since it also inherits the slow, vignette-based pac...
review

Synduality: Noir Anime Series Review

If a stealth ensemble comedy that occasionally turns into mech action is your bag, Noir is a great time. ― The biggest worry with mixed media promotions like Synduality is that they'll be lazy, incomprehensible advertisements for some other part of the nascent franchise. While there are some late-game allusions and even cameos from the story of the Synduality: Echo of Ada, everything you need to know...
review

Gamera -Rebirth- Anime Series Review

It's a shame that the ugliness of Gamera -Rebirth-'s visuals will likely turn away a good many potential fans because underneath all of that jank is a solid kaiju adventure. ― It's been a long time since us kaiju fans have gotten any new Gamera material to sink our beaks into — the last live-action film, Gamera the Brave, came out nearly twenty years ago, and it's been nearly thirty years since the c...
review

I Don't Need a Happy Ending Manga Review

I Don't Need a Happy Ending is collection of unrelated short stories about women trying to find love together and sometimes falling short of the mark. ― Content Warning: this work contains sexual assault and mention of suicide ideation. Yuri readers may already be familiar with Mikanuji's work – I Don't Need a Happy Ending is the third to get an English release, following Assorted Entanglements and N...
review

Fluffy Paradise Light Novel Vol. 1 Review

Fluffy Paradise's publication is the latest to show that a love of animals can be happily combined with the isekai genre. ― Fluffy Paradise's publication is the latest to show that a love of animals can be happily combined with the isekai genre. Even just in Cross Infinite World's catalogue, it follows Even Dogs Go to Other Worlds, I'd Rather Have a Cat Than a Harem, and I Will Cook With My Fluffy Fr...
review

Baki Hanma Season 2 Anime Series Review

The final, multi-episode spanning fight between Baki and Yujiro also lived up to the hype and is one of the best in the series. ― I hate that there's a sexual assault scene in this season of Baki, and mad enough about it that this review is opening with my analysis of what's easily the worst part of the season. The second episode of this season opens with revived caveman Pickle sexually assaulting a ...
game review

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet DLC: The Teal Mask Game Review

An intriguing story can't hide how appallingly poor The Teal Mask DLC runs on the Switch system. ― It has been almost a year since the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. It might not be my favorite game on the Nintendo Switch, but I have put the most time into it. As a Pokémon game, it does almost everything right to update the material and bring it to a new generation, only held back by the fact...
review

Hi Score Girl Manga Vol. 9-10 Review

Hi Score Girl remains the same, and that's a solid positive. It shows Rensuke Oshikiri's deftness with the pen, as writing conflicts with increasing stakes that still predominantly work within the same fundamental elements is a serious challenge. ― Note: There are minor spoilers for the finale of the manga in this review, so if you wish to avoid any reveals, the short version is that they're good, an...
review

Baki Hanma Season 1 Anime Series Review

I thought Baki Hanma lacked same surprise and spectacle that most fans have come to expect from the series. And then, in the next episode, Baki kidnaps a legally distinct George W. Bush. Baki Hanma, sometimes and confusingly titled Hanma Baki — Son of Ogre, is weird! It's ostentatious. It's homoerotic. It's dumb, but in a ‘dudes rock’ kind of way that ends up being both a critique and celebration o...
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Sweet Reincarnation Anime Series Review

This show is an uncomfortable combination of engaging and utterly dull. ― When you do a little research and realize just how many light novels Sweet Reincarnation currently has, you know that the anime adaptation can only scratch the surface in twelve episodes. With twenty-four books out as of July 2023, the show has two options: condense like mad or resign to serving as an advertisement for the sour...
review

BanG Dream! It's MyGo!!!!! Anime Series Review

As a fresh start spin-off and ongoing multimedia tie-in, the MyGO crew has accomplished something remarkable here, crafting an anime that fulfills those obligations while still standing, screaming, on stage as itself. ― Even if you're unfamiliar with the broader BanG Dream franchise, new-generation spin-off It's MyGO will still probably stick out from the jump. The series stands apart from the broade...
review

Alice to Therese no Maboroshi Kōjō Anime Film Review

You'll never age. You'll never die. Your child will never be born. The newest thought experiment from the mind of acclaimed writer Mari Okada is centered around living in the hell that is existing in a truly static world. ― Alice to Therese no Maboroshi Kōjō is the newest thought experiment from the mind of acclaimed writer Mari Okada (Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blo...
game review

Samba De Amigo: Party Central Game Review

Sega diehards and casuals should consider adding Samba de Amigo: Party Central to their rotation of party games, along with Mario Kart and Wii Sports. ― Sega has finally seen fit to bring back one of their missing party-game favorites; Samba de Amigo: Party Central now exists in a world where Guitar Hero and Rock Band no longer dominate the rhythm game genre and where the most people can look forward...
review

Phoenix: Eden17 Anime Series Review

The Phoenix: Eden17 anime is an exploration of greed and human nature birthed from the mind of the legendary Osamu Tezuka. ― Phoenix: Eden17 is an adaptation of the sixth volume of the manga Phoenix, the seminal work of Osamu Tezuka—the man known colloquially as "The God of Manga" for his lasting influence on the medium that persists even today. Phoenix is an exploration of the nature of humanity thr...
review

Pokémon: To Be a Pokémon Master Streaming Anime Review

So this is it, the end of an era. ― So this is it, the end of an era. I know these episodes technically aired in Japan almost a year ago, and the reality has long since set in. But watching the English iteration of Ash's final episodes exactly 25 years after the first official U.S. episode aired in America still hits me emotionally. There is no way that I can be unbiased when talking about this final...
review

One Piece Live-Action Series Review

I am happy to report that our fears were misguided and that all signs seem to point to us living in a universe in which miracles can, at least occasionally, occur. Let it be known, mateys: Netflix's One Piece is good. It's really good. ― As I mentioned in my preview of One Piece's first episode, I've only recently been converted into the massive flock of fans that Eiichiro Oda's manga has grown over...
review

Angel's Egg Anime Film Review

Mamoru Oshii and Yoshitaka Amano's Angel's Egg remains an enigmatic entry in both creators' careers. Surreal and beautiful, we can only hope more legitimate exposure may lead to broader availability. ― Mamoru Oshii and Yoshitaka Amano's Angel's Egg remains an enigmatic entry in both creators' careers. Years out from his iconic directorial turn with Ghost in the Shell, Oshii wrote the film's story wit...
review

Hell Mode Novel 1 Review

Hell Mode does play a few isekai tropes a bit differently, but it also clearly wears its influences on its sleeve. So yes, this is another one of those books. ― Are you sick and tired of isekai light novels that feature a protagonist reborn in a fantasy world that operates very similarly to an MMORPG, complete with stats and skills? If so, you can stop reading here – Hell Mode is unapologetically a n...
review

Persona 4 Arena GN 1-3 Review

Persona 4 Arena gives the spotlight to Yosuke and he is forced figure out if he has really changed or not—and in the process step out of Yu's shadow and become an independent hero all his own. ― Persona 4 Arena is based on the 2012 fighting game of the same name. However, it's simply not possible to do a one-to-one adaptation of that game. Instead of having a single, unified story, the game's story i...
review

Hayao Miyazaki's The Boy and the Heron Anime Film Review

As a culmination of his career, Hayao Miyazaki's The Boy and the Heron is a work of art—one that only becomes grander when put together as part of the greater whole. ― It's been 10 years since Hayao Miyazaki, arguably the most famous anime director of all time, made a feature film. In 2013, Miyazaki himself was content to retire and let The Wind Rises be the last film that he would ever make. This ra...
review

FLCL: Grunge's Premiere Lacks Its Own Identity

It is, in a word, ugly. In more words, the animation is as lifeless as it is failing in nearly every attempt to replicate the madcap energy that defined the original. ― Did anyone want or need FLCL: Grunge? The original FLCL, back in the year 2000, was a huge, generation-defining work that tapped into both the specific sensibilities of its Heisei audience while being a tale of male sexual awakening t...
review

Record of Lodoss War: The Crown of the Covenant GN 1-3

The only negative comment our reviewer could find with this manga series is that there isn't more of it. ― The original Record of Lodoss war is a classic fantasy epic following several groups of adventurers as they attempt to save their war-torn land from everything up to and including evil emperors and dark gods. The Crown of the Covenant, on the other hand, centers its story on a single family: the...
review

I Don't Know Which Is Love GN 1

I Don't Know Which Is Love is all about wallowing in the delirious indecision of being the cheese in a quintuple-decker girlburger, and has no patience for anything approaching subtlety. ― It's not too often we get a full-on yuri harem manga, and this first volume is eager to show off both of those aspects immediately. By about page three, before we even hit the table of contents, our love-lorn heroi...
game review

Rune Factory 3 Special Review

Longtime fans will undoubtedly appreciate that Rune Factory 3 Special gives us all a second chance at a forgotten entry to the series Rune Factory 4 was long considered the crown jewel of the Rune Factory series, and fans were delighted to see it escape Nintendo 3DS Jail and receive updated ports across a variety of modern systems. XSeed and Marvelous decided to look back a bit further and give the...
review

Yami-hara Novel

From the author of Lonely Castle in the Mirror, this horror novel, uses its text to slowly create, build, and eventually not quite resolve its creeping sense of terror. ― At first, it doesn't feel like this is from the same author as Lonely Castle in the Mirror. That novel (and its film adaptation) is a sensitive look at what it means to be bullied and the ways people cope with it. Yami-hara, on the ...
review

A Reincarnated Witch Spells Doom GN 1

This is also a very nice acknowledgment that magic can't solve all of your problems. Sena will need to overcome her agoraphobia, second life or no. ― Most reincarnated characters granted a second life in another world take the opportunity to start over completely, no matter what their issues were back in ours. But Sena is different. During her first eighteen years in Japan, she suffered from agorapho...
review

Mermaid Melody: Pichi Pichi Pitch Aqua GN 1

Is it odd to license a sequel manga when the original has been out of print for years and its anime adaptation never got licensed? ― Is it odd to license a sequel manga when the original has been out of print for years and its anime adaptation never got licensed? Undoubtedly yes, especially since the first Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch from 2003 wasn't particularly well received by critics when it...
review

The Essence of Being a Muse GN 1

What if Blue Period was less enamored with art history and the nitty-gritty of making art and more about an artist beaten down by perceived failures, trying to get into art school five years after she was rejected? ― What if Blue Period was less enamored with art history and the nitty-gritty of making art and more about an artist beaten down by perceived failures, trying to get into art school five y...
review

TONIKAWA: Over The Moon For You ~High School Days~ Streaming

These four episodes add some likable cast members but also tread the same ground TONIKAWA fans have seen before. ― This side story exists in a peculiar space. This isn't a case where the story deviates from the main plot and relationship to flesh other things out or explore different forms of comedy. The overall presentation is similar, with the sound quality and animation being on the same level as ...
review

Macross Delta Episodes 1-4

A great vocal performance and even greater music makes this Macross entry a perfect entry point for new fans. ― If you were at Otakon this year, you might have seen Macross Delta's first and fourth episodes for the first time officially outside of Japan. In the lead-up to the screening, some were left asking, “Why just episodes one and four? Why not the first four?” According to Creative Sphere's Adr...
review

Record of Ragnarok Season 2 Part 2

Record of Ragnarok Season 2 Part 2 is not the end of the story, but it does signal an end to any real optimism I had about the series going forward. ― Record of Ragnarok Season 2 Part 2 is not the end of the story, but it does signal an end to any real optimism I had about the series going forward. It's apparent that we're locked into the current model for the foreseeable future, and despite the biza...
review

My Mate Is a Feline Gentleman GN

This book is a story about finding acceptance and love for who you are, not what society says you are. ― Although romance as a genre, in both manga and novels, has been expanding its boundaries in terms of what makes it to mainstream publishing, both omegaverse and furry (as opposed to shifter) titles still face some headwinds when it comes to readership, or at least overt readership. That can make t...
review

The Samurai and the Prisoner Novel

Advance to reach heaven. Retreat to know hell. This precept forms the basis of Honobu Yonezawa's Naoki award-winning novel, The Samurai and the Prisoner. ― Advance to reach heaven. Retreat to know hell. This precept forms the basis of Honobu Yonezawa's Naoki award-winning novel, The Samurai and the Prisoner, in many ways. Most recognizably, it declares a basic tenet of battle during the Sengoku Era o...
review

The Case Files of Jeweler Richard Novel 5

We are on the cusp of a major shift in the plot, and this volume does an excellent job of preparing that while also expanding on Richard's past in Sri Lanka. ― The original plan was to resume reviewing the light novels for The Case Files of Jeweler Richard once they had passed the material covered by the anime because while the books go into more detail, the plot remains relatively the same. That cha...
review

The Reformation of the World as Overseen by a Realist Demon King GN 1

Creative battle strategies can't save this series from its bland protagonist and uninspired character designs. ― Power creep can be a nightmare. Don't get me wrong; I grew up with shows with some of the most absurd power scaling ever, and sometimes you want to see someone win a fight by hitting them really, really hard. But sometimes, less is more. Creating a story that relies more on strategy over b...
review

Heart Gear GN 1

Sci-fi fans will find a lot to love in this Isaac Asimov-inspired story about an artificial lifeform becoming human through its interactions with a human child ― Tsuyoshi Takaki says in his commentary that he wants people to question what we as humans see as "normal." That's a good summary of this volume - Roue, a girl of about eleven, is the only human in the story, and no one's quite sure how she e...
review

Slam Dunk Episodes 1-24 Streaming

Toei dropped this anime classic on YouTube, but does the series hold up today? ― The best way to determine if this anime is for you is by answering one simple question: do you like cheese? No, seriously, because this might be one of the cheesiest anime I have ever watched. This is in no way, shape, or form a condemnation. Sometimes you have to tell it like it is, and if it looks like a duck, quacks l...
review

Cat-Eyed Boy: The Perfect Edition GN 1

Cat-Eyed Boy combines horror with an understanding of how people deemed to be Other by societies are isolated and ignored, using that to ponder what would happen if they struck back. ― While not entirely true, the easiest way to think of Cat-Eyed Boy is as a younger shounen version of Kazuo Umezz's Orochi, although given that this series dates to 1967 and Orochi to 1969 that's an imperfect comparison...
review

Mr. Villain's Day Off GN 1

Somewhere between Too Cute Crisis and Love After World Domination is a cozy little spot for Yuu Morikawa's Mr. Villain's Day Off. ― Somewhere between Too Cute Crisis and Love After World Domination is a cozy little spot for Yuu Morikawa's Mr. Villain's Day Off. It's almost a perfect combination of those other two titles: our nameless villain (his subordinates call him The General, being too afraid to...
review

The Girl I Like Forgot Her Glasses GN 3-4

There isn't much to say about The Girl I Like Forgot Her Glasses because it very much is “what you see is what you get.” ― Mostly, there isn't much to say about The Girl I Like Forgot Her Glasses because it very much is “what you see is what you get.” The story is a series of cute and sometimes comedic moments between two classmates, where one helps the other make it through the day due to their incr...
review

Choujin X GN 2-3

Choujin X volumes two and three are where the story begins to craft more of its own unique identity, visually and narratively. ― When I first reviewed volume one of Choujin X quite a while ago, it was hard to divorce the interesting premise from what I had seen in the creator's previous work, Tokyo Ghoul. This story revolves around a rather meek adolescent who gets drawn into the dark supernatural un...
review

The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes

The Annecy award-winning film about two teenagers trying to muddle their way through abuse and grief proves that writer-director Tomohisa Taguchi is a creative to watch. ― The Tunnel to Summer, The Exit of Goodbyes is part of a growing genre of supernatural romance anime movies and follows many of its beats. A new person bursts into the protagonist's life, bringing along with them a fantastical occur...
review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Memoria Freese GN 1

Adapting the non-canonical storyline Christmas Eve Träumerei, the story takes place during the Holy Night Festival in Orario, a thinly-veiled Christmas. ― Fans of the Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon franchise will already have figured out the key difference with this latest manga spinoff – rather than being based directly on Fujino Omori's light novels, it's rooted in the mobile game...
review

Offshore Lightning GN

Offshore Lightning is one of those books that you find yourself thinking about long after you've finished reading it. ― Drawn & Quarterly has done manga readers looking for something off the beaten commercial path a great service. They've consistently released volumes by creators who, if not always precisely avant-garde, always offer something that you're not likely to find in the pages of magazines ...
review

Villainess Level 99 GN 1

Reborn in another world, the joy of this story isn't in the well-worn ground it treads but rather in the villainess (or heroine?) Eumiella herself. ― You know what they say about the best-laid plans. Eumiella is fast discovering that that's more than just a comfortable aphorism because as a little girl, she realizes that she's somehow moved from her life as a Japanese university student to being a ch...
review

How A Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Audiobooks 1-2

The first two audiobooks for How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom make for a decent listening experience and a positive presentation of the core material, even if I have my qualms with the underlying conceits of the narrative. ― The first two audiobooks for How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom make for a decent listening experience and a positive presentation of the core material, even if I have ...
review

Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke's Mansion GN 4

Pick up where the anime left off and find out why our reviewer gave this volume an A! ― It may not be strictly fair to say that the anime adaptation of Whale and Milcha's Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke's Mansion stopped just before the story took off, but there are moments in this first volume that feel that way. Picking up after what Raeliana almost certainly thinks of as The Kiss and her encount...
review

Appare-Ranman! GN

While it doesn't serve as a replacement for the wonderful anime series, people who prefer a more-plot oriented than character-oriented route may prefer it. ― I find it genuinely tragic how Appare-Ranman has never really found much of an English-speaking audience since it premiered in 2020. With its energetic storytelling, charming ensemble cast, and unusual wild west setting, it has a lot to offer to...
review

Fist of the North Star GN 8-9

This is the distilled essence of page-turning comics depicting hot-blooded combat between super-powered warriors. ― Fist of the North Star Volumes 8 and 9 are, in my opinion, the high watermark of the entire manga and are essential reading for any fan of shōnen fighting series. In volume 8 we have the battle between Kenshiro and Souther. It is, to use modern parlance, the pinnacle. I mean, it's the p...
review

The Seven Deadly Sins: Grudge of Edinburgh Part 2

A good juxtaposition between Lancelot and Tristan that pays homage to their mythologies and interesting monster designs help overcome the film's less impressive music and animation. ― If you don't entirely remember the months-ago release of the first half of The Seven Deadly Sins: Grudge of Edinburgh, you may want a refresher before you start watching part two. This is a single film broken into two e...
review

BASTARD!! -Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy- Season 2

The new scale of season two should have lent to unprecedented levels of cheese. But it takes a while to even remotely get to that point, and when it does, we rarely hit any of the massive highs conveyed last season. ― Are you ready for the epic and over-the-top tale of Dark Schneider kicking ass and taking names? Are you ready to see the band of colorful characters come together and banter with each ...
review

Wolverine: Snikt! GN

Wolverine: Snikt! is an interesting side dish that manages to wow visually while being mostly rote in every other respect. Wolverine: Snikt! is an interesting side dish that manages to wow visually while being mostly rote in every other respect. Wolverine: Snikt! – or simply Snikt! from here forward – was part of Marvel's rather short-lived Tsunami imprint and was originally published in 2003. This...
review

One Piece Film Red Blu-ray Disc

A rather bare-bones home release for what is otherwise a fantastic One Piece film. ― Note, this review will have some light spoilers, though I will try to keep them as broad as possible. I also received a free copy of the release for this review. At last, for those who want their red films on Blu-rays, One Piece Film Red has arrived on physical release. Sorry, I couldn't resist. So the One Piece Film...
review

Too Cute Crisis Episodes 1-12 Streaming

While it's slow-going for most of its runtime, Too Cute Crisis does a remarkably good job of depicting the joys and anxieties of being a pet parent. ― Every so often, a show comes along that makes you say, “Wow, this is a great premise, but I bet it worked better in the original manga.” Too Cute Crisis is such a show. Based on the manga of the same name by Mitsuru Kido, the story follows a would-be a...
review

Saint? No! I'm Just a Passing Beast Tamer! GN 1

Saint? No! I'm Just a Passing Beast Tamer! is akin to a fluffy newborn kitten: Adorable and inherently charming but also prone to stumbling around and getting lost in places. ― One of many regular issues with the overpowering characters in the isekai series is motivation. So many times, our reincarnated heroes amassing of abilities, weapons, or allies/love interests are treated as an acquisitional go...
review

My Daughter Left the Nest and Returned an S-Rank Adventurer Audiobook 1

Strong writing and a unique hook help put My Daughter Left the Nest ahead of the rest in a crowded light novel space. ― The audiobook of My Daughter Left the Nest and Returned an S-Rank Adventurer is a solid, if short, experience. It delivers on what it intends to do, although it only ventures beyond establishing its premise. The hook for the story is engaging. Belgrieve is a solid and caring father ...
review

Higurashi: When They Cry - GOU GN 1

Does Higurashi: When They Cry: GOU need to exist? Not really. ― When a sequel or reboot of a finished series pops up, there's one very important question that we need to ask ourselves: did it, strictly speaking, need to happen? Sometimes the answer is yes; the 2023 reboot of Tokyo Mew Mew, Tokyo Mew Mew New, did tighten the storyline and have a particularly timely message, for example. With Higurashi...
review

Resident Evil: Death Island

The Death Island filmmakers tackled the challenge of balancing screen time between the five main characters, translating it into an exciting 90 minutes of action and character development. ― For the first time in the franchise's twenty-seven-year history, the five most notable Resident Evil main characters come together in one ninety-minute film. In addition, the ensemble cast and the anticipated ret...
review

I Got a Cheat Skill in Another World Episodes 1-13

I Got a Cheat Skill in Another World is not trying to impart any greater message or explore some deeper facet of human nature. It just wants to be a brainless 22-minute escape into fantasy each week. ― This anime is 100% a wish fulfillment/male empowerment fantasy. Yuya is every nice but bullied kid out there. Upon entering the fantasy world and killing a single monster, he suddenly becomes the most ...
review

Sand Land Movie

The newest film from the creator of Dragon Ball is a story that touches on the impacts of war, global warming, and corporate greed. ― Almost twenty-three years after its original release, Toriyama's beloved one-shot finally makes it on the big screen. I went into the premiere with a blank slate since I hadn't visited the one shot in over a decade when it was published in Shonen Jump. Though, sitting ...
review

The Summer Hikaru Died GN 1

The Summer Hikaru Died ties everything together into a cohesive story where longing, loneliness, and vulnerability feed into the sense of creeping dread. ― Recently, I've seen several social media posts playing with the well-worn horror concept of “came back different.” The basic form of the idea is that someone goes missing, dies, or otherwise becomes inaccessible. They return, and everyone rejoices...
game review

Touhou: New World

There are moments where the game's "fan-made" status sticks out like a sore thumb, but there's plenty to do here for franchise fans with missions to repeat and stats to tinker with and max out until you're satisfied. ― It's been fascinating to see the progression of the Touhou franchise. Once an internal institution of the hardcore otaku crowd, where Western fans had to import (or download) its PC en...
review

The First Slam Dunk

Now playing in U.S. theaters, find out why The First Slam Dunk is everything a megafan of the franchise could dream of. ― If I were to summarize my thoughts on The First Slam Dunk in a single word, it would be 'bizarre.' The choices made when adapting this film to the big screen turn a film with all the building blocks needed for success into a more disjointed, uneasy experience that hinders both acc...
review

Disney Twisted-Wonderland The Comic: Episode of Heartslabyul GN 1

I think this may be best enjoyed by those familiar with the source game rather than simply Disney's sources or the Disney films referenced. It's trying to be its own thing and not quite getting there. ― I am, quite possibly, the worst person to be reviewing this book. Is it because I haven't played the game? Maybe in part. But the true reason is that I have what I like to call an Alice Problem - an u...
review

Soichi: Junji Ito Story Collection GN

The divisive character makes for a series of loosely connected stories that ultimately asks the reader to believe a weird 11-year-old could get away with more and more contrived supernatural pranks. ― I might've just found one of my least favorite characters in all of fiction, which is saying a lot when considering how much media I have to consume for my job. Like other Junji Ito books I have covered...
review

Chainsaw Man: Buddy Stories Novel

Hilarious, emotional, and heart-breaking; Buddy Stories carries the weight of Fujimoto's original work for a truly entertaining read. ― I'll admit, I was worried about whether or not the inherently cinematic and bizarre aesthetic of the Chainsaw Man manga would translate into prose form. Tatsuki Fujimoto's meticulous and deceptively roughshod artwork is a huge part of what makes the manga work so wel...
review

Parallel World Pharmacy GN 1

A well-researched story with a likable lead, Parallel World Pharmacy proves that familiar doesn't have to mean boring. ― When it comes to stories that revolve around people traveling to or being reincarnated in another world, it can be challenging to develop a concept or gimmick that helps make the story feel unique. While the isekai genre is far from my favorite, I'm always curious to see what write...
review

Raven of the Inner Palace Novel 2

Raven of the Inner Palace is a fascinating dark fantasy, just as good in its second volume as it was in its first. ― This second volume of the Raven of the Inner Palace novels brings us to the point where the anime adaptation concluded, more or less. There are still plenty of details left out of that version to keep us reading the book, of course, but even more positive is the fact that the translati...
review

The Faraway Paladin Audiobooks 1-2

Liam Price does a fine job reading the text, but a few more character voices would have helped bring this series to life. ― Listening to audiobooks based on light novels is a new experience for me, and the double-whammy here is that this is not my first experience with The Faraway Paladin as a work since I reviewed season one when it first aired. This made listening to the first two volumes of The Fa...
review

Ōoku: The Inner Chambers

Ooku's character writing, story, and themes interweave together, forming a beautiful and troubling tapestry, but it's actively hindered by its mediocre-at-best visual production. ― I'm not the only one out there who cringes a little bit when Netflix announces that they're producing an anime of a series they like, right? I'm talking about the ones they fund and act on the production committee for rath...
review

Uncle From Another World Episodes 8-13

In the end, Uncle from Another World is a great isekai comedy from start to finish. It has amazing characters, a fun story, and jokes that always hit the mark. ― After numerous delays, all thirteen Uncle from Another World episodes are now available in the West. And since the back half of the series was released in one chunk instead of weekly, combining them into one big review makes sense. The first...
review

Spider-Man: Fake Red GN

Fake Red uses its approach, a focus on masks and costumes, to dig into the concepts of putting up metaphorical masks or adopting a role or personality that isn't necessarily your own for the sake of self and social betterment. ― The proliferation of works like Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and its multiversal "Anyone can wear the mask" mantra has ushered in a whole horde of alternate-identity Spi...
review

Soaring Sky! Pretty Cure Episodes 13-24

Magical girl stories have a lot to offer anyone who cares to engage with them, and Cure Butterfly sends the message that it's okay to like them even if you aren't an eight-year-old girl. ― As long-time fans of magical girls know, the power to transform comes from within. That's been made particularly clear with Soaring Sky! Pretty Cure's characters: they manifest their transformation wands from withi...
review

Stella of the Theater: World Dai Star Episodes 1-12

World Dai Star is an unfortunate case of trying too much but failing to excel in any one area. ― Stella of the Theater: World Dai Star courts curiosity before its first episode is even up. It's not just the attention it draws to the clear incorporeality of Kokona's pal Shizuka, though that's undoubtedly the main feature. But also the entire interactive network of stage-acting superpowers called 'Sens...
review

Fate/strange Fake -Whispers of Dawn-

With amazing music, an epic swordfight, and backed by a story from Durarara!! creator Ryohgo Narita, Fate/strange Fake -Whispers of Dawn- is a must for franchise fans. ― Fate/strange Fake -Whispers of Dawn-, based largely on the first book in Ryohgo Narita's Fate/strange Fake series, is the opening chapter of a much larger story. It features over a dozen main characters—constantly switching between t...
review

How Do You Live?

Every frame of this film feels like a separate work of art—one that only becomes grander when put together as part of the greater whole. It's a film you could watch a hundred times. ― It's been 10 years since Hayao Miyazaki, arguably the most famous anime director of all time, made a feature film. In 2013, Miyazaki himself was content to retire and let The Wind Rises be the last film that he would ev...
review

Pokémon Ultimate Journeys - The Series (Episodes 91-133)

Pokémon Ultimate Journeys goes out with a beautiful message, heralding the beginning of the end for the Pokémon series many viewers grew up with. Pokémon Ultimate Journeys is the final installment in the Pokémon Journeys series. This part, in particular, finally gives us a glimpse of the ending on the horizon. I'm not just talking about the ending of this season in general but the end of Ashes Jour...
game review

Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg

Atelier Marie can be clunky and might need you to be patient with its many peccadilloes. But also, it's a sweet, cozy sim game that reinforces the notion that everyone has a place in the world, and even the people in the dusty corners can be important. ― For 26 years, the Atelier series has delighted fans around the world with its comforting stories of charming alchemists working away in their little...
review

The Iceblade Sorcerer Shall Rule the World Episodes 1-12

There's no sugarcoating it. The Iceblade Sorcerer Shall Rule the World is one of the most painfully derivative fantasy anime out there. ― There's no sugarcoating it. The Iceblade Sorcerer Shall Rule the World is one of the most painfully derivative fantasy anime out there. All the expected clichés are out in full force. When it comes to the characters, we have an overpowered protagonist who can easil...
review

In Another World With My Smartphone Season 2

It feels like a fantasy from the perspective of an eleven-year-old boy who knows pretty ladies are neat but isn't entirely sure what they want to do with them. Which makes all the sexcapades with the robots stick out even more strangely. ― It's best never to go all-in on making disliking something part of your personality, least of all when you've got to come back to try to evaluate more of it fairly...
review

Sacrificial Princess & the King of Beasts Episodes 1-12

What appears on the surface as a fantasy romance also tackles sensitive topics like racial discrimination in a surprisingly frank way. ― For fans of the source manga by Yu Tomofuji, there is one burning question that this anime adaptation brings up: can all fifteen volumes fit comfortably into twenty-four episodes? While the answer isn't final at this halfway point, it is apparent that the show is do...
review

Reborn to Master the Blade: From Hero-King to Extraordinary Squire Episode 1-12

While Chris is by far the most interesting and enjoyable aspect of the anime, the show's complex world and interesting supporting cast bring out the best in her character. ― When it comes down to it, Reborn to Master the Blade is a fish-out-of-water tale—and not just thanks to Inglis' new body. Despite being reincarnated in the same world, Inglis—or "Chris" as she is commonly known in her second life...
review

Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King

The central theme of cynicism vs. optimism and a memorable villain makes this film a step above most tie-in anime films. ― I should be clear about this upfront: I am not a hardcore Black Clover fan. So while I know the basics of the setting, the main characters, and what drives them, that's the extent of my knowledge. That said, this film is an enjoyable watch regardless for one reason: its villain. ...
review

Gridman Universe

Did you catch the U.S. premiere of Gridman Universe at AX? Check out our review at Anime News Network! Gridman Universe is a direct sequel to both SSSS.Gridman. and SSSS.Dynazenon. It continues the plotlines and character arcs of both series, tying up loose ends for some and giving epilogues to others. However, if there is a single main character, it would be Yuuta. Of course, this Yuuta isn't the ...
review

Centaurs GN 1

Dark historical fantasy doesn't get much better than this. ― There are many ways I considered starting this review, but I think we'll go with one of the obvious: despite the notorious difficulties of drawing horses, Ryo Sumiyoshi excels. This isn't surprising when you consider his credentials; before creating Centaurs, Sumiyoshi was a creature designer for the Monster Hunter franchise. But it's still...
review

Rascal Does Not Dream of a Sister Venturing Out

The original Kaede may be back, but that doesn't mean that all her problems have been solved. The latest entry in the anime franchise changes up the formula for a unique yet satisfying film. ― As a fan of the previous Rascal Does Not Dream anime, this film is not at all what I expected. Up until this point, the series has followed a set pattern. Our protagonist Sakuta becomes involved with a young wo...
review

Goodbye, Eri GN

Imagine reading a story with love, tragedy, suspense, mystery, fantasy, and at least one mindfuck within 200 pages. ― In an era of perpetually ongoing franchises that don't know when to die, it's refreshing to read something that feels like the perfect example of a complete package. Imagine reading a story with love, tragedy, suspense, mystery, fantasy, and at least one mindfuck within 200 pages. The...
game review

Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE

The newest game from Danganronpa's Kazutaka Kodaka is here! Read our spoiler-free review before setting off on this rain-soaked mystery. Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE is the latest game from Danganronpa mastermind Kazutaka Kodaka and character designer Rui Komatsuzaki. Fans of his earlier work will see similarities immediately, from neon pink blood splatter to the eccentric personalities of ...
review

Spy×Family Season 1 Part 1 BD/DVD

Loid may be the nominal main character, but Anya is the beating heart of this story, and the further we go in these episodes, the clearer it becomes that the story knows it, too. ― Ask almost anyone with kids, and they'll tell you: being a parent is hard. Children don't come with instruction manuals, and you can't predict exactly what they'll do in a given situation, no matter how hard you try. That'...
review

Nadia - The Secret of Blue Water

Despite superficial similarities to the works of one of the industry's immortal titans, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is the work of the up-and-comers who would go on to produce the single most famous and impactful anime of the last thirty years. ― As a lifelong fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion that is just young enough to have missed his chance to build a healthy collection of classic anime DVD rele...
game review

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

While there are imperfections to the game's new lease on life, Ghost Trick remains the utterly unique, earnestly recommendable experience it was thirteen years ago. ― Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is one of those games that I have been harping on others to play for ages. For well over a decade. So, at last, I have this fresh opportunity to say that if you somehow have still not played Ghost Trick ye...
game review

Charade Maniacs

I played it on the bus. I played it while walking. I played it after I got home from my day job and stayed up later than I should have. I was fully engrossed in the mystery and the characters. ― I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I have a major weakness for death game-style, social deduction adventure games. I'll choose to replay the Danganronpa or Nonary Games series in a heartbeat over the...
review

Kubo Won't Let Me Be Invisible Episodes 1-12

Kubo is pure fluff, but it's the kind of fluff you want inside a squishy stuffed animal to hug or a throw pillow to prop your head on. ― Some romantic comedies look to push the envelope, break the mold, or purposefully challenge the conventions of their genre. Kubo Won't Let Me Be Invisible is not one of those shows. It is more or less exactly what it says on the tin, and you can tell from episode on...
review

Tokyo Mew Mew New Season Two

Viewers may be disappointed with its open-ended conclusion, but it exemplifies Tokyo Mew Mew New's environmental call to action. ― Tokyo Mew Mew New's second season makes a good point: humans have been terrible stewards of Earth. Whatever you think of this particular franchise being chosen for a reboot, it's hard to deny that it's a timely one – the planet is not in a good place right now, and humans...
review

Until I Love Myself GN 1

By no means an easy read, this is a first-hand account of the manga author's life during some of the most difficult moments of gender confusion. ― Learning to love yourself can be hard. That is probably the understatement of the century, but I can't think of a better phrase that sums up Until I Love Myself. This is a first-hand account of the manga author's life during some of the most difficult mome...

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