×
  • remind me tomorrow
  • remind me next week
  • never remind me
ANN Newsletter • Can't visit ANN every day? Get the week's biggest and most interesting stories in your inbox every Sunday! read more

Review
Archives

Filters
All Anime Manga Novels Games Music Merch Events Industry People Live-Action COVID-19
Text-only Compact View
Text-only List View
Text-only Grid View
List View with Images
Grid View with Images
review

Sorcerous Stabber Orphen: Battle of Kimluck

I don't know if I simply had less patience for the show's irritating quirks this time around, or if this is just an especially clunky arc in the original light novels, but Battle of Kimluck was a real struggle to get through. ― I reviewed the first season of Studio Deen's reboot of Sorcerous Stabber Orphen back in May of 2020, which means it has been approximately twenty years since I've caught up wi...
review

Idoly Pride

Initially, I had my misgivings, I was put off my Mana being shifted to the forefront, and wasn't sure how the show would wrangle ten idols across two units. I was expecting little more than an average idol show.

I was absolutely wrong.
― Idoly Pride is a winter 2021 anime produced by CAAnimation and Lerche. Lerche should be a very familiar name to viewers: they produced winter 2020's Toilet-Bound Ha...
game review

Capcom Arcade Stadium

Video game archives and collections of this nature are all about making sure these newer generations of gamers get a chance to experience those which laid the groundwork for the stuff that we have today in an easy-to-digest package. ― Judging collections like this is always a bit tricky because we're not reviewing a brand new game made specifically for the current generation; rather, we're technicall...
review

Skate-Leading Stars

Oh, Goro Taniguchi. You may be one of the current anime industry's top directors, with excellent shows like Planetes, Maria the Virgin Witch, and Code Geass to your name, but you really flubbed it this time. ― Oh, Goro Taniguchi. You may be one of the current anime industry's top directors, with excellent shows like Planetes, Maria the Virgin Witch, and Code Geass to your name, but you really flubbed...
game review

Famicom Detective Club: The Two-Case Collection

Both stories have some arbitrary info blocks like this, but even with my sus sense tingling, neither case went exactly where I expected it to go. ― This visual novel double-pack was released for English-speaking audiences for the first time on May 14, offering a shiny remake of Satoru Okada and Yoshio Sakamoto's adventure games for Nintendo. While this 2021 edition visually bears little resemblance t...
review

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal is consistently excellent visually, and at times even manages to be emotionally evocative. However, it suffers from a narrative that's too concerned with checking things off and slapdash conflict resolutions that hinder any tension or suspense. ― The biggest challenge facing Netflix's release of the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal films is escaping the shadow o...
review

Fiancee of the Wizard GN 2-3

It doesn't have a terrible plot or even horrible pacing, but there's just something lacking in the story that keeps it from living up to its full potential. ― Every so often a manga adaptation of a light novel comes along that makes you say, “I wonder if the original books did this better?” Fiancée of the Wizard is one of them. It doesn't have a terrible plot or horrible pacing, but there's just some...
review

I★CHU: Halfway Through The Idol

There are a lot of foibles over I-Chu's twelve-episode run, both in terms of writing flubs that fall flat and plot elements that just aren't interesting. ― I-Chu was one of many idol anime that was released in Winter 2021. Produced by Lay-duce, known for their in-between work on last fall's Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- Rhyme Anima and their production of Magi: Adventure of Sinbad, I-Chu is an a...
review

Infini-T Force: Farewell, Friend BD

It still has the fun factor of mashing up classic shows and characters in a new way, but the plot is thinner and the ending a little inconclusive. Mostly it just feels like the TV series did the concept better. ― If you loved the Infini-T Force TV series and like the way that it ended, you may want to skip this movie. In fact, even if you didn't love the ending of the TV series, this film may not be ...
review

Eden

”Getting the job done” is a perfect way to describe Eden as a whole: While it's far from an anime masterclass, the show ends up handling things well enough to get in and out of your Netflix queue without any raising too many gripes. ― Eden is a short miniseries that comes as another addition to Netflix's ongoing slate of co-productions with famed studios and creators from Japan's anime industry. The ...
review

BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia I: Promise

BanG Dream has proven itself as a consistent, ongoing success, with the band Roselia as a performing powerhouse. With that in mind, the role of Episode of Roselia I: Promise is, for better or for worse, a greatest hits release. ― When a musical group has gone on to become especially popular, it's customary for them to put out a ‘greatest hits’ compilation: a collection of the songs that were most suc...
review

Tropical-Rouge! Precure Episodes 1-12

Although the villains aren't particularly threatening thus far – in fact, they're downright goofy at times – the magical girl action is quite good. ― Tropical-Rouge Pretty Cure marks a major step forward in the presence of the Pretty Cure franchise in the West: it's the first series to be simulcast in its entirety right from episode one. (Its predecessor, Healin Good Pretty Cure, started in the middl...
review

I Cannot Reach You GN 1

I Cannot Reach You is a simple story in a lot of ways. It's built around the trope of childhood friends becoming lovers, but the story comes off as one of quiet yearning, rather than just a rehash of the same-old same-old. ― I Cannot Reach You is a story of yearning. It's not always yearning that either of the involved parties understand, though. It follows high school first years Kakeru and Yamato, ...
game review

Spirit Hunter: NG

Aksys Games' release of Spirit Hunter: NG is the second in Experience, Inc.'s Spirit Hunter horror visual novel franchise, serving up over 15 hours of creeping horrors. ― Aksys Games' release of Spirit Hunter: NG is the second in Experience, Inc.'s Spirit Hunter horror visual novel franchise, serving up over 15 hours of creeping horrors. Set in the year 1999, players assume the role of Akira, a punk ...
review

Beauty and the Feast GN 1

This story takes for its premise that feeding someone is in itself rewarding and can become the catalyst for a better outlook on life. ― One of the most appealing things about the first volume of Satomi U's Beauty and the Feast is that it is not a romance. There's no hint of anything inappropriate going on between sixteen-year-old high school student Shohei and twenty-eight-year-old widow Shuko – rat...
review

Daytime Shooting Star GN 12

In this final volume, Daytime Shooting Star adopts a message nearly unheard of for its genre: your first love is not necessarily going to be the person you stay with forever. ― This review contains spoilers for the volume. Mika Yamamori's Daytime Shooting Star took a major turn midway through the series, introducing a risk that could easily have lost her readers: she changed who the romantic interest...
review

Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist Streaming

The problem arises in the show's treatment of each of the cases: while they all start out well, giving us a clear understanding of the problems that cause the mysterious diseases, the resolution typically comes far too easily. ― In concept, Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist exists somewhere between Phantom Tales of the Night and Hell Girl. It's about a young doctor who specializes in curing w...
game review

Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne HD Remaster

It might be a little hard to recommend, but Nocturne is still one of the most gripping and rewarding JRPGs you could experience. ― Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster has a tall order to fulfill. It's a modern-day port of an older Shin Megami Tensei game that was still experimenting with 3D movement and presentation (those have mostly stuck to the Persona games while later SMTs went back to ...
game review

Resident Evil Village

It has been three years since the events of the last game and our favorite, perfectly normal everyman Ethan Winters is trying to live a normal life with his wife and newly born daughter Rose. Unfortunately, the universe really hates Ethan. ― Capcom's Resident Evil VILLAGE, the ninth numerical installment in the Resident Evil franchise, is a game that I feel almost shouldn't work as well as it does wh...
game review

Nier Replicant Ver.1.22474487139...

Okay, so we've established that Nier Replicant earns top marks for its aesthetics. The real question is whether or not it is actually any fun to play, now, and the answer is: “…kind of? Sometimes. But it's bad on purpose, I swear!” ― Yoko Taro's recent transformation from cult JRPG auteur to something of a fandom icon has been a very welcome surprise. To be clear, Taro is not the sole reason for the ...
review

The Treasure of the King and the Cat

With the added double-whammy of this being a single-volume story, I assumed that The Treasure of the King and the Cat to be coming in hot, in a manner of speaking.

That's…not really what I got at all.
― In my ongoing journey of trying new things as a reviewer for ANN, The Treasure of the King and the Cat serves as my first introduction to the Boys Love/BL subgenre. I was not sure of what to expect, ...
game review

SaGa Frontier Remastered

I do not exaggerate when I say that SaGa Frontier is extremely rude. This is a game that throws you head-first into the depths of its myriad gameplay systems with only a half-inflated life vest while telling you that you need to learn to swim right now. ― SaGa Frontier is a game whose original release could best be described as unfortunate. It came not long after Final Fantasy VII had made many new p...
review

I Think Our Son Is Gay GN 1

Okura sets up a supportive family dynamic that immediately eases the inherent tension that can come with LGBTQ+ stories. He crafts a narrative where a young gay boy's mom is not only accepting of him, but excited to be in his life. ― This one hit me right in heart. Okura's manga series is equal parts sweetness and poignancy as we follow mother of two Tomoko as she aims to support her elder son, 15-ye...
review

Castlevania Season 4

Here's the good news: This season of Castlevania is, in almost every conceivable way, and improvement on its third. Everything that past seasons of Castlevania have done well, Season 4 does better. ― Badass monster murder-fights aside, Castlevania's third season was largely an experiment in determining what strange new directions writer Warren Ellis could push the world and the characters of his exte...
review

Hanasakeru Seishōnen BD

Hanasakeru Seishōnen is an interesting mix of intrigue and insane shoujo romance premise. It can get a bit too intense at times, and there are definitely points where you need to just back away slowly because of that, but overall it's a good story. ― Hanasakeru Seishonen, based on the manga of the same name by Natsumi Itsuki, is a bit deceptive. It begins, like many another shoujo romance of the 1980...
review

This Wonderful Season with You GN

While things are fairly predictable as far as the romance trajectory goes, one of the nicest elements of the story is the way that the boys both try to learn about what the other is interested in. ― This Wonderful Season with You is Tokyopop's second release of one of Atsuko Yusen's BL titles, following the adorable Dekoboko Sugar Days with another story about two boys of two very different sizes fal...
game review

Another Eden: The Cat Beyond Time and Space

Another Eden is the latest offering from members of theChrono Trigger team It has a high pedigree and some great quality-of-life features, but is it a loving tribute to those original Squaresoft titles, or just a half-baked shadow? ― It's been a long time since I sat down with a gacha game the way I have over the last couple of weeks. My disdain for the genre has always been palpable – I've never bee...
review

Sachi's Monstrous Appetite GN 1

Sachi – who wears a human form most of the time and is romantically attracted to Makie as well as attracted to his scent – seems safe, there's still the ever-present danger of her giving into her hunger and consuming him. ― Much like a well-stuffed bento box, there's a lot to unpack in Chomoran's Sachi's Monstrous Appetite. It is at once a supernatural romcom, a monster girl story, a food series, and...
review

Uma Musume Pretty Derby Season 2

Season two has ideas about storytelling in sports that it earnestly wants to use its cartoon horse documentary structure to explore. ― The first season of Uma Musume Pretty Derby can take a bit of getting used to with the terms it wants to be engaged on in order to get into, to let yourself have fun with it. Similarly, Season 2 has a bit of its own circumstances that viewers have to understand going ...
review

Maison Ikkoku GN 3

Stagnation, wheel-spinning, episodic shenanigans – whatever you choose to call it, every shakeup of the love triangles in volume three of Maison Ikkoku ends up settling right back into the status quo, with little major character development to show for it. ― In every long-running romantic comedy, there's bound to be a volume or two where there's no forward momentum. Stagnation, wheel-spinning, episod...
review

BFI Film Classics: Grave of the Fireflies

Alex Dudok de Wit's analysis argues that to see the film as nothing more than an emotionally manipulative weepy is to ignore Takahata's original vision for the piece–that the children's fates were in part a result of selfishness. ― If you ask most anime viewers, Isao Takahata's 1988 World War Two film Grave of the Fireflies is the saddest movie released by Studio Ghibli. While this is largely true – ...
review

Days on Fes GN 1

Days on Fes is a tender, comfy little work. There is a certain charm to the way it carries itself. It is not a grand story, nor is it a particularly deep one. The stakes are only as dire as ”How will we pay for the next show?!” and will not have you gripping your seat with anticipation. Days on Fes is a tender, comfy little work. There is a certain charm to the way Days on Fes carries itself. It is...
review

Rurouni Kenshin: The Final Live-Action Film

Interestingly, it is the side characters from past films that really get a chance to shine in this film—namely Misao, Seta, and Aoishi. Even “Sword Hunter” Cho returns for a sizable supporting role in this film. ― The story of Rurouni Kenshin can basically be split into three arcs. The first arc—with Kenshin meeting Kaoru, Sano, and the rest of his new friends—is about Kenshin discovering that, despi...
game review

New Pokémon Snap

I took a four day weekend off work to play this and was squarely dedicated to getting the absolute most out of it. More importantly, I was never bored. There was always something more to see each time I set out on an expedition. ― By the end of 1999 Pokémon Snap was the sixth best-selling Nintendo 64 title of the year and by the console's retirement it was its 11th highest-selling title of all time. ...
review

I'm the Catlords' Manservant GN 1

Poor Yukiharu. At age sixteen he has the misfortune of being a manga protagonist, which means that not only has he been orphaned with no extended family to take him in, but his house has also been demolished and he's discovered that his father was one of those Debt Dads. ― Poor Yukiharu. At age sixteen he has the misfortune of being a manga protagonist, which means that not only has he been orphaned ...
review

SUPER HXEROS GN Volume 1

The nervousness of holding hands with someone you have feelings is perhaps the most vulnerable any of the cast have felt in this volume, even if they spend their time in battle completely buck naked. ― I'm not going to lie, reading the back jacket blurb of SUPER HXEROS did much to dampen my enthusiasm towards continuing with it. This series seems like it's going to be super horny, and those character...
review

Blue Lock GN 1 & 2

Blue Lock really is its own special story. On the one hand, it absolutely embraces its insane concept, that soccer is not, in fact, a team sport and instead turns on the ego of its teams' strikers. ― Blue Lock really is its own special story. On the one hand, it absolutely embraces its insane concept: that soccer is not, in fact, a team sport and instead turns on the ego of its teams' strikers. On th...
review

The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter 1-12 Streaming

There is not a single novel aspect of The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter, but at this point the appeal of this particular collection of tropes is the familiarity of it all. Most importantly, it's light-hearted. ― Right from its opening minutes, The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter throws a stack of clichés at you, as if it's trying to compete for the title of most generic fantasy anime ever. It may n...
review

Yasuke Anime Series

Despite playing with expectations of what a historical anime should be, Thomas's Yasuke really feels like the only way I'd want Yasuke's story to be told. ― Though Yasuke is only six episodes long, it manages to tell a very thoughtful story over two interconnected three-episode arcs. The first half of the series focuses on sketching out Yasuke's past, while the back half, which is more action-heavy, ...
review

Show By Rock!! Stars!! Episodes 1-12 Streaming

Show By Rock!! Stars!! brings all of the bands from the previous three seasons together, and while that does make for a crowded cast, it also gives us a very full picture of just what the Midi City music scene really has to offer. ― Show by Rock!! Stars!! is the fourth season in the almost weirdly engaging Show by Rock franchise, picking up almost precisely where season three, Show by Rock Mashumaire...
review

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba - The Movie: Mugen Train

Did you catch the English release of Mugen Train over the weekend? Kim Morrissy weighs in on the crowd-pleasing smash hit. ― It would be an understatement to say that Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba - The Movie: Mugen Train had a lot of hype going into it. This record-breaking box office hit is, in the rawest definition of the word, a crowd-pleaser. Instead of telling a forgettable original story, it'...
review

Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs Volume 1

For myself, where Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs excels is in how it captures youthful frustration. The primary antagonist could be said to be unfair social norms and expectations of its fantasy world. ― I find myself very conflicted writing this review. Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs does so many things right, and seems to wan...
review

Uma Musume Pretty Derby Season 1

Once you're past that odd conceptual hurdle, Uma Musume does actually work pretty well as a sports show. There's an abundance of focus on training regimens from what basically amounts to running really fast. ― As with any number of mobile-game motivated multimedia productions, Uma Musume Pretty Derby has a lot going on right out of the starting gate. In the case of this series, it's not just a matter...
review

Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway

Hathaway, as a film, is sort of an odd beast as it spoils its big twist early on and then pretends that it hasn't for the rest of the film. It also expects viewers to be intimately familiar with the events of Char's Counterattack. ― Hathaway is a bit unique as far as Gundam anime go. While it's not the first show in the franchise to be adapted from an existing novel series, this particular story has ...
review

Blue Flag GN 7

In the aftermath of Toma's confession, rumors are flying all over the school and everyone has an opinion. Everyone, that is, except the three people who matter: Taichi, Futaba, and Toma himself ― If you have biases or prejudices, does that mean that you shouldn't speak of them? Is it wrong to view others using the same lens through which you view yourself? What happens when you can't even whisper the...
review

Asadora! GN 2

While Asa and the old pilot are looking for the rest of her family, they witness a strange sight: a giant tail or tentacle rising from the sea, right near where a giant reptilian footprint marks the spot where Asa's house used to stand. ― This volume wraps up the aftermath of the typhoon, but not before we see it leave its lasting mark on Asa Asada. While she and Kasuga, the old pilot, are looking fo...
review

I Hear the Sunspot: Limit GN 3

Given that it's dealing with some heavier, more reality-based themes than we typically see in BL manga, that's a major positive, and even as this volume flirts with a couple of major tropes, it still remains grounded and full of heart. ― From its first volume, Yuki Fumino's I Hear the Sunspot has been a thoughtful, gently-paced story about two young men finding each other and learning how they want t...
review

Lovesickness: Junji Ito Story Collection GN

Lovesickness proves to be familiar territory for Ito's storytelling both in characterization and twists. ― Junji Ito's horror catalog features a number of recurring characters; the best known might be the titular Tomie, but she's joined by the likes of nail-chewing occult brat Sōichi, man-eating supermodel Miss Fuchi, and the dimension-hopping Toru Oshikiri. The handsome ghost of Lovesickness joins I...
review

Ride or Die Live-Action Film

Rei Nagasawa and Nanae Shinoda have known each other since high school. When she gets a call from Nanae asking for help, Rei walks away from her life and a happy relationship to commit murder for a woman she hasn't seen in ten years. ― Content Warning: Domestic abuse, graphic violence, graphic sex Every live-action adaptation is, to some extent, an example of Theseus' ship: How much of the original c...
review

Hello, I am a Witch and my Crush Wants me to Make a Love Potion! Novel 2

Now that Rose and Harij are officially a couple, she's agreed to move into his house as his fiancée. Or sort-of fiancée. Rose still isn't used to the ways of humans, and she's not quite sure what to do in her interactions with them. ― If the first novel in the duology about Rose the witch and Harij Azm the knight fit the title a little too closely, the second introduces a tiny bit of subtlety into th...
game review

Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter: Rise offers a few new features like rideable monsters, grappling hooks, and customizable weapon arts. But will it be the knockout game players have been waiting for? ― Up until now, the Monster Hunter series has mainly existed in my periphery. I knew of and respected these games for the better part of the last decade, but I never played any of them (with the exception of Monster Hunte...
review

The White Cat's Revenge as Plotted from the Dragon King's Lap GN 2

If 'great kitty snuggle illustrations' sounds like a good time to you, this might just be your manga. ― Is there ever an easy time to tell someone that you're not actually a cat? That's not an issue most of us will ever face, granted, but for Ruri, it's become something of an all-consuming problem. Ever since she found the ring of transformation in her storage space (courtesy of Lydia, the Time Fairy...
review

Tamamo-chan's a Fox! GN 1

As it turns out, unlike most of the foxes (and tanuki, for that matter) we see in manga and anime, Tamamo is really bad at transformation. ― Stories about divine beings suddenly seized with the desire to live the high school life are perhaps a bit less common than stories about high schools where everyone is a supernatural creature. Tamamo-chan's a Fox tries to hit the sweet spot in between the two g...
review

The Sinbad Trilogy

While the story is good in its own right, part of what really makes this trilogy is the background art and creature designs. ― The Sinbad trilogy of films, comprised of A Flying Princess and a Secret Island, The Magic Lamp and the Moving Islands, and Night at High Noon and the Wonder Gate, date to 2015-2016, and are loosely based on the tale cycle of Sinbad the Sailor, a seven-story narrative (plus f...
review

She's My Knight GN 1

At first Haruma's upset at having his life of perfect handsomeness derailed by a girl, but before too long, he's madly crushing on her while fervently denying that any such thing is going on. ― He was the hottest thing in school until she showed up. Somehow more handsome and manly than Haruma Ichinose, Yuki Mogami is the perfect prince. At first Haruma's upset at having his life of perfect handsomene...
review

Sue and Tai-chan GN 1 & 2

From the creator of Chi's Sweet Home comes two new cats ready to win your heart! ― Konami Kanata has made a name for themselves as the premier purveyor of adorable yet realistic cat manga, at least in English translation. While they are best known for Chi's Sweet Home (which, as of this writing, even has an official coloring book to its name), Sue and Tai-chan takes a slightly different approach by p...
review

Soul Eater - The Perfect Edition GN 3

My biggest complaint is that his fight ends with an anticlimax, but that just means he gets to stick around and eventually show up with even more ridiculous tricks. ― There's a pattern observed in a lot of long-running shonen manga, where early chapters are characterized by dense but speedy stories that inevitably wrap up by the end, but those self-contained adventures drift into the ether as the ser...
review

Those Snow White Notes GN 1

While manga about music has an uphill climb for some readers, especially when dealing with an instrument and musical style unique to a culture, that doesn't have to mean that the story won't be interesting and effective. ― Clearly, I was underestimating Marimo Ragawa. Previous to Yen Press' publication of The Vampire and his Pleasant Companions, Ragawa's only series available in English was the somew...
review

Dota: Dragon's Blood Episodes 1-8 Streaming

The show is gory, bloody, and has more than a few F-bombs dropped across its episodes. While exciting, none of the fight scenes feel truly epic or are exceptionally animated, until the final fight. ― In an unprecedented turn of events, Valve, famously known in the DOTA 2 community for not marketing their million-dollar game, finally made something akin to an advert or promotional material for their l...
game review

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

Yakuza 6 is a triumphant ending to the Dragon of Dojima's story, even for all of its failings. If you've played many of the Yakuza titles and are interested in seeing how it all comes together, I can't recommend this game enough. ― Most Japanese RPGs are wildly fantastical and cartoonish in their setting, but attempt to stay grounded through relatable character writing and conflict. In contrast, Yaku...
review

Grim Reaper and Four Girlfriends Omnibus

Our protagonist, Kaoru, is fully cognizant of the ins and outs of harem manga – and he doesn't like any of them. But now he's stuck making the best of his harem situation, which in his case translates to “not dying.” ― Originally published digitally as three separate (and very reasonably priced, as of this writing) volumes, Grim Reaper and Four Girlfriends' print release is an omnibus collection of a...
review

Love and Heart GN 1

Is Love and Heart's first volume full of red flags or red herrings? That's the central question you may be left with after reading it. ― Is Love and Heart's first volume full of red flags or red herrings? That's the central question you may be left with after reading it. In either case, the fact that both literary devices rely on the color red may not be a coincidence here, because symbolically red c...
review

Hortensia Saga 1-12 Streaming

It's really those final three episodes where things really begin to fall apart as the story shifts into warp speed. But in all fairness, throughout the entire show there's a nagging feeling that perhaps the pacing is too slow to wrap this up decently in twelve episodes. ― Even if we ignore the fact that the final episode of Hortensia Saga is just screaming for a sequel, there's something mildly unsat...
review

King of the Labyrinth LN 1

Most of the characters use what I can only describe as Horror Movie 101 character logic. Everyone makes the worst possible choices, constantly, for dozens of pages at a time. ― I tend to try to look for the positives and potential of a work when reviewing it, and even if it is not for me I at least attempt to think about how it might appeal to someone else. With King of the Labyrinth… I'm really stru...
review

High-Rise Invasion Season 1

Like every other instance of gruesome murder that occurs in High-Rise Invasion (and there are a lot of them), this sequence is presented with all of the gravitas and severity of a Saturday morning cartoon. ― Here is everything you need to know about the tone that High-Rise Invasion is shooting for throughout the duration of its first season: At one point, around Episode 7, one of the disposable side ...
game review

Neptunia Virtual Stars

The game incentivizes the player to watch these clips by promising a reward and it just strikes me that the decision to leave a targeted ad embedded within a $50 game isn't the sort of thing many players would be happy about. ― I'll admit that, upon starting up this game, I found myself slightly excited for what it would deliver. Neptunia Virtual Stars had a well-choreographed opening, and a cute eno...
review

Violet Evergarden: The Movie

Many films tug at your heartstrings. Violet Evergarden: The Movie rips them out, ties them in knots, surgically reattaches them, and then repeats the process two or three more times just to make sure you're a crying mess for the majority its runtime. ― Many films tug at your heartstrings. Violet Evergarden: The Movie rips them out, ties them in knots, surgically reattaches them, and then repeats the ...
review

Rozi in the Labyrinth GN 1

If you ever read Aria by Kozue Amano and thought, “Neo-Venezia is beautiful, but I wish it had an element of supernatural existential horror and maybe some catboys,” you don't even need to read further. ― If you ever read Aria by Kozue Amano and thought, “Neo-Venezia is beautiful, but I wish it had an element of supernatural existential horror and maybe some catboys,” you don't even need to read furt...
review

Magical Angel Creamy Mami and the Spoiled Princess GN 1

But perhaps the strongest point in Magical Angel Creamy Mami and the Spoiled Princess' favor is that it's not just about the nostalgia. Mitsuki makes a real effort to show us who Megumi is as a person, making us realize that she's not just the shrieking antagonist. ― Even if you think you know a story, it's often worth going back and re-examining it from a different angle. That's the basic premise of...
review

BL Fans LOVE My Brother?! GN

Whatever Kirika thought Teruo was doing in his bedroom for the last four years, it certainly wasn't becoming a fan-favorite manga creator of explicit R-18 works, and she can't help but be shocked by the discovery. ― Judging this book strictly by its title, it's easy to be leery of BL Fans LOVE my Brother?!, especially if you've been burned by fudanshi “humor” manga before. That, however, is almost ex...
review

Reset! The Imprisoned Princess Dreams of Another Chance! LN 1

If you liked the premise of Tearmoon Empire but found Mia to be obnoxious, or if you're just a hopeless romantic who wants to see two nice people get a second chance to do things right, Reset! The Imprisoned Princess Dreams of Another Chance! is worth picking up. ― If the synopsis of Reset! The Imprisoned Princess Dreams of Another Chance sounds a bit like Tearmoon Empire, that's not surprising. Both...
review

Solo Leveling Novel 1

Chugong seems to trust their readers to be able to read between the lines or at least to put the pieces together without overwriting and light novel fans will find what they like but it is substantially better written than the average similar book. ― Light novel authors take note - Chugong's style proves that you don't have to infodump or over-explain your story's world or magic/combat systems. The p...
review

SPY×FAMILY GN 4

Bond the dog drastically increases the caper level of the book with his amazing doggy powers; not only is he able to rescue children and see the future, he also increases Anya's own adorableness factor a hundredfold. ― Before you go running to doesthedogdie.com, let me reassure those of you who were as traumatized by Where the Red Fern Grows as a child as I was – no dogs are harmed in this volume of ...
review

Yes, No, or Maybe Movie

With so much riding on their performances, as the film is largely an extended dialogue between Kunieda and Tsuzuki, it's important to note that both Atsushi Abe (Kunieda) and Yoshihisa Kawahara (Tsuzuki) do a remarkable job. ― Based on the novel of the same name by Michi Ichiho (which is available in English translation from Seven Seas), Yes, No or Maybe follows the romance of Ushio Tsuzuki, a stop-m...
game review

Gal*Gun Returns

However, even dismissing the lack of any new challenges, locations, or prominent characters, the absence of gyro controls in aiming is inexcusable. ― Gal*Gun Returns revolves around a simple but decidedly niche concept: an arcade-style on-rails shooter a la House of the Dead where instead of being chased by zombies through a haunted mansion, you're fending off the advances of every woman in your scho...
review

Life Lessons with Uramichi-Oniisan Omnibus 1 & 2

The story follows Uramichi Omota, one of five hosts on a children's show called “Together with Maman” and he just can't stop himself from giving the kids terrible life lessons about what a misery adulthood is. ― Whether you grew up with The Electric Company, Zoobilee Zoo, or The Wiggles, there's something kind of special about live-action children's programming starring adults. Part of that is the di...
review

Golden Japanesque: A Splendid Yokohama Romance GN 1

Golden Japanesque is still a shoujo romance in the same melodramatic vein as Kare First Love, but the story is unfolding in a much more organic, deliberate manner. ― Despite Kaho Miyasaka being one of the grand dames of shoujo romance from the 1990s onwards, Golden Japanesque is only her second title to get an English translation, the first being Viz's release of Kare First Love. That marks a fairly ...
review

Pacific Rim: The Black Season 1

The final few episodes are where Johnson and Kyle's narrative begins to take shape, though, and when PR:TB gets to “the good stuff”, it really is good. ― As a lifelong fan of giant robot anime and kaiju movies, I adored Guillermo del Toro's 2013 monster/mecha smash'em-up, Pacific Rim. I was less enthusiastic about the sequel, 2018's Pacific Rim: Uprising, since it lacked any participation from del To...
review

Tono Monogatari GN

Tono Monogatari is, in Shigeru Mizuki's hand, a journey all by itself. It helps to capture the legends of a place many of us in the English-speaking world may not be aware of, and it makes those stories feel relevant and important. ― While Shigeru Mizuki was many things and created a wide variety of works, both fiction and nonfiction, what he is largely remembered for is his series GeGeGe no Kitaro, ...
review

Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time

If this is the final Evangelion anime ever produced, I am content with how it ended. ― It's been 14 years since the first Rebuild of Evangelion film hit Japanese theaters—and a staggering 9 years since the previous film, You Can (Not) Redo was released. As the final film of the four-part alternate retelling of one of the most pivotal and beloved anime of all time, it's hard to understate the hype sur...
review

Dark History of the Reincarnated Villainess GN 1

Whomst among us did not imagine themselves going on adventures as a teenager? Let he or she who is without embarrassing memories of writing stories where the protagonist is a thinly-veiled version of themselves cast the first stone. ― Whomst among us did not imagine themself going on exciting fantasy adventures as a teenager? Let he or she who is without embarrassing memories of writing stories where...
review

Magatsu Wahrheit -Zuerst- Streaming Eps 1-12

No amount of good design work can stand up to poor art direction, and halfway through the series, the already-middling animation starts to melt. ― Magatsu Wahrheit -Zuerst- was never destined to be a real winner of a series, but I was rooting for it all the same. It's a prequel to a smartphone game I'd never heard of, and was only released internationally a month after the start of the anime's run. T...
review

The Apothecary Diaries LN 1

Since Maomao, although ultimately well-intentioned, is somewhat abrasive, having a bit of a break from her not only allows a more in-depth understanding of the plot, it also can feel like a minor vacation from her thoughts. ― The original light novel of Natsu Hyuuga's The Apothecary Diaries is unusual in that its pacing is actually faster than that of the manga adaptation. What that means is that the...
review

Sasaki and Miyano GN 1

It would have been nice to have a longer book because the story really is engaging, but this feels like one of those series where you take what you can get – because despite some missteps, what you get is a very enjoyable book. ― From the synopsis on the back cover of the book or on any number of retail websites, the first volume of Sasaki and Miyano seems rife with pitfalls. Not only is it about a b...
review

Berserk of Gluttony GN 1

But while Fate and Roxy are both appealing characters that are easy to sympathize with, neither of them is the standout character of the first volume: That honor falls to Greed, a sentient sword. ― This first volume of Berserk of Gluttony is all about building the world and establishing the characters. Society in this Western fantasy world is organized around the special skills people are born with. ...
review

Dear NOMAN GN 1

Dear NOMAN blends a lesbian love story with a ghost story and hits a lot of good emotional beats along the way. ― If the name “Neji” sounds familiar, that's because Dear Noman is their second title to be translated into English, with the first being the charming Beauty and the Beast Girl. Dear Noman takes an equally interesting approach to the yuri genre, once again using fantasy as a major story ele...
review

Tokyo Day by Day: 365 Things to See and Do!

A lot of us had to cancel travel plans when the pandemic struck, and considering we're all anime fans here, I'm willing to bet quite a few of you reading had trips to Tokyo scheduled. ― A lot of us had to cancel travel plans when the pandemic struck, and considering we're all anime fans here, I'm willing to bet quite a few of you reading had trips to Tokyo scheduled. While it wasn't to Japan, I had t...
review

The Night Beyond the Tricorner Window GN 4-7

This is a series with BL elements that has the potential to reach a much wider readership than many other series featuring romance between two men. ― It is, I admit, more than a little baffling that Tomoko Yamashita's The Night Beyond the Tricorner Window is only being published by Viz Media's SuBLime BL imprint. That's not a censure so much as it is a regret, because while there are still double-ent...
review

Another World's Zombie Apocalypse Is Not My Problem! Novel 2

Mizuha's new world being a fantasy-horror hybrid does leave plenty of room for expansion. Zombies were really the only unusual creatures (aside from gods) in the first book, and Yayari takes this opportunity to change that. ― She should have known it would come to this. Erstwhile Japanese high school girl Mizuha, who in the previous volume was randomly selected by another world's goddess and isekaied...
review

A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow GN 5 & 6

Whether you see A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow as a romantic story or not, it does a lovely job of exploring not just the relationship between its two leads but does the same for each of them as individuals as well. ― The fifth volume of A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow is almost entirely devoid of Konatsu's presence. For a series that's built on the growing relationship between two girls, that's a r...
review

Healin' Good Precure Streaming

Where the show really succeeds, however, is in truly separating itself from the norms of magical girl series. ― While Healin' Good PreCure is the third Pretty Cure series to become available in English, it is the first to stream as it aired in Japan, albeit starting after the first cour. (Tropical Rouge PreCure, the next in the franchise, will change this by fully simulcasting.) It also had the misfo...
review

Ragna Crimson GN 1

The visual excitement and artistic fidelity are both beyond excellent. Every frame a painting, to borrow a well-known phrase. Daiki Kobayashi's line work is so crisp, everything has a level of precision and edge that perfectly fit. ― Ragna Crimson is a strange mixed bag of expected and unexpected in the realm of gritty/dark fantasy tales. In many respects its premise and execution are very familiar. ...
review

The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent Novel 2

The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent is still not quite at the level it needs to be truly good, but it's still improving and is a fun read. ― Among the most interesting parts of the second novel in The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent are the changes that author Yuka Tachibana discusses making in her afterword. Like many, if not most, light novels being translated these days, this series began as a...
review

Hatsu*Haru GN 13

Over the course of its thirteen volumes, Hatsu*Haru has been many things, but perhaps its most remarkable achievement has been in the successful reversal of the typical gender norms of the shoujo romance. ― Over the course of its thirteen volumes, Hatsu*Haru has been many things, but perhaps its most remarkable achievement has been in the successful reversal of typical gender norms of shoujo romance....
review

Katakoi Lamp GN

Katakoi Lamp is sweet and charming, a soft story about two men stumbling into love. ― Katakoi Lamp continues Tokyopop's recent trend of licensing and releasing BL titles that are delightful balls of fluff, sweet little romances that are good for what ails you. From creator Kyohei Azumi, who also has two titles available in English via the Renta service, this title follows Kazuto and Jun as they stumb...
review

Kiratto Pri☆Chan 1-12

Kiratto Pri☆Chan is the first title of the Pretty Rhythm series to get an English-language release, and while it can be a lot of fun, these first twelve episodes end up feeling a bit like they're more sparkle than substance. ― In the magical world of Kiratto Pri☆Chan, random adults can give underage children potentially exploitative technology without requiring parents' consent that allows them to br...

For all articles, see the archives