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review

Ultramarine Magmell

"Overall, the series could stand a lot more world-building, but if you're looking for an uncomplicated action-adventure series then it should fit the bill" ― This 13 episode series is based on a manga of the same name and aired during the Spring 2019 season. It is only coming out now because of the typical Netflix delay, but it does at least include Netflix's standard complement of multiple audio and...
review

So I'm a Spider, So What? volume 6

"Even as the weakest volume so far in this series, it provides enough intriguing details to press the story forward." ― Volume 5 ended with a massive cliffhanger about the Shun timeline still lingering, but that scene doesn't get addressed or continued at all in volume 6. In fact, the way volume 6 plays out, the story may not get back to that timeline for quite a while. Unlike all previous volumes, v...
review

Daytime Shooting Star GN 3

Suzume's spur-of-the-moment confession to what she thought was a sleeping Shishio turns out to have greater repercussions than she imagined when she realizes that he heard her. ― If there's one major fault in a lot of student/teacher romances (besides the obvious, but we are talking about fiction), it's that the older person in the relationship very rarely seems to think about the inappropriateness o...
review

Her Blue Sky

The Chouheiwa Busters - with a script by the prolific Mari Okada - are back with a third film set in Okada's hometown, a drama about aspiring musicians. Kim Morrissy has the scoop. ― Her Blue Sky is the third anime in what I like to call "the Chichibu trilogy." Like Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day and The Anthem of the Heart before it, the story of Her Blue Sky is credited to the Chouheiwa Buster...
review

Amber Silhouette E-book 1

Rebecca Silverman has the details on this spooky classic shoujo manga from the 1990s, following a maid in a gothic castle. ― Readers of Harlequin's line of manga adaptations of their romance novels may recognize Chieko Hara's name and art style from her work for them, but she's much more than just an adaptor of light romance fiction. Hara debuted in 1976 alongside other shoujo manga greats like Riyok...
review

Seis Manos

Netflix and Powerhouse Studio's new original anime production is full of grindhouse gore, martial arts, and big, passionate emotion. Faye Hopper has the details. ― Seis Manos came as a slight surprise. I love Kung-fu movies, I loved Powerhouse Animation's previous work on Castlevania, and the fact that it was making such a point of speaking to experiences not often glimpsed in animation made me very ...
review

My Hero Academia Season 3 Part 1 Limited Edition [Bluray + DVD]

The first half of My Hero Academia’s third season is a glorious spectacle, rising to a climax that marks the thrilling end of this story’s first act. ― My Hero Academia's first few seasons have covered a winding series of arcs and adventures, as Midoriya has entered U.A. Academy and received his first taste of heroic responsibility. He's overcome significant challenges, defeated strong opponents and ...
review

Seriously Seeking Sister! Ultimate Vampire Princess Just Wants Little Sister, Plenty of Service Will Be Provided!

An all-powerful vampire princess only wants one thing: a little sister. Theron Martin has the details on this unique light novel. ― This light novel, which is currently only available in English in e-book form via J-Novel Club, is in some respects a throwback to the pure power fantasy tales which existed prior to isekai titles subsuming the subgenre. As a result, it probably owes more to Vampire Hunt...
review

Demon Girl Next Door

If you didn't catch this overlooked comedy about a demon girl and the magical girl she winds up in the same class with - it might be worth a look. Theron Martin has the details. ― One or twice a season a worthy title flies enough under the radar that it does not get picked up by our site for weekly episode reviews. This 12 episode manga adaptation was one such title in the Summer 2019 TV season. Whil...
review

Hello World

Sword Art Online director Tomohiko Ito has a new theatrical 3DCG movie out featuring two high school kids trying to save the future. Kim Morrissy has all the details. ― If you're a fan of director Tomohiko Ito, the premise of Hello World may seem like something in your strike zone. Like the virtual worlds portrayed in Sword Art Online, Hello World follows the life of a boy living inside a computer si...
review

Millennium Actress (English dub)

The late Satoshi Kon's masterpiece Millennium Actress, which follows a star throughout her career - and film history - has a brand-new English dub, and Theron Martin has the details. ― Of Satoshi Kon's five main directorial efforts, my favorite would definitely be his first, the gritty and disturbing Perfect Blue. However, in a storytelling sense this 2002 movie, which was his second time in the dire...
review

Isekai Cheat Magician—Episodes 1-12 streaming

When it comes to isekai power fantasies, it doesn't get much more generic than this already-forgotten adventure from the past summer season. Theron Martin has the details. ― This light novel adaptation had the great misfortune to come out in the Summer 2019 season, a time so packed with isekai fantasies that it wasn't even the only series of its type to air on the same day. (It was most directly up a...
review

The Way of the Househusband GN 1

When this former yakuza learns that housekeeping for his working wife is no walk in the park, hilarity and hijinks ensue. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― The original 1972 novel Freaky Friday and its 1976 film adaptation, both written by Mary Rogers, taught kids that being a housewife was not the picnic teenager Annabel Andrews (and plenty of real kids) assumed it to be. Now that torch has been ...
review

Tales of the Abyss BD+DVD

This adaptation of the classic JRPG suffers from a surplus of ambition without much room to develop its ideas. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Like most stories in the extensive “Tales” series, Tales of the Abyss, a 2008 adaptation of the 2005 game of the same name, is highly ambitious. It seeks to tell a sweeping story of man's inhumanity to man, the way religion can be used to shape society an...
review

Cats of the Louvre [Hardcover] GN

This surreal drama from the creator of Tekkonkinkreet explores the lives of curious felines amidst the awe-inspiring gravitas of classic works of art. Theron Martin has the details. ― Taiyo Matsumoto won an Eisner Award for his creation of Tekkonkinkreet and may also be known as the creator of the manga Ping Pong, but this most recent work from 2016 is at least as ambitious as his previous efforts. I...
review

Shortcake Cake GNs 4-5

This lighthearted romance offers all the excitement of a tangled love triangle without the agony of forced melodrama. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― One of the chief strengths, and delights, of suu Morishita's Shortcake Cake is the fact that it manages to both follow and subvert shoujo romance traditions. The story is following one unassuming high school girl with two attractive high school boy...
review

Banner of the Stars DVD

Despite being hampered by visual limitations and an inconclusive story, this classic sequel still offers a satisfying continuation of Jinto and Lafiel’s journey through space. Nick Creamer has the details. ― Crest of the Stars counts as one of the more unique and satisfying anime I've recently experienced, though the show itself is now two decades old. Centered on the young Jinto Linn, it followed hi...
review

Demon Lord, Retry!

This yakuza-flavored comedic take on isekai tropes flew under the radar this past season, but is it worth checking out for fans of fantasy anime? Theron Martin has the answers. ― The anime known in English as Demon Lord, Retry! is based on a light novel series (which itself is adapted from a web-published novel) that has only recently released its fourth volume in Japan. It debuted during the Summer ...
review

Vampire Dormitory GN 1 [e-book]

This edgy supernatural romance dabbles in cross-dressing, blood-sucking, and enticing artwork. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Ema Toyama has worn many genre hats over the course of her manga career, a decent amount of which are available in English translation. Vampire Dormitory, one of her two currently ongoing titles, is the third to get a digital-only release from Kodansha, following Kamikam...
review

BEASTARS GNs 1-2

This anthropomorphized drama about animals struggling to find their place between the herbivore and carnivore worlds goes down far darker roads than Zootopia. Rebecca Silverman has the details on this provocative series. ― If there is a single thing that might prevent you from enjoying Beastars, Paru Itagaki's Manga Taisho Award-winning title, it is the anthropomorphic animals who star in it. There's...
review

Konosuba - God's Blessing on This Wonderful World! Novel 9: Crimson Fate

KONOSUBA crosses paths with its Megumin-centric spinoff in this absurdly silly volume packed with gags but light on battles. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Into every series with a spin-off must come a point of reference. For Konosuba: God's Blessing on this Wonderful World, this is that moment. As readers of the series who picked up the first manga volume of An Explosion on this Wonderful Worl...
review

Overlord III BD+DVD

This third season marks a darker turn for the franchise, largely for the better but not without its hiccups. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Overlord's third anime season enjoys playing with your emotions. In part this has all been set up in the previous seasons – we've become accustomed to thinking of Ainz as just a regular guy trapped in the body of an undead sorcerer; a giant skeleton on the ...
review

Combatants Will Be Dispatched! Novel 1

If you're looking for a more comical addition to your light novel roster, then this new series about super-villains from the author of KONOSUBA! should tickle your funny bone. Theron Martin has the details. ― Combatants Will Be Dispatched! is a light novel that challenges the exact definition of isekai, though probably not deliberately. The two main characters are transported to another world, it's b...
review

Yuri Life GN

This collection of flash fiction stories provides a variety of cute girls-love premises, but lacks enough punch or depth to stand out in the genre. Rebecca Silverman digs into this haphazard anthology. ― Flash fiction and slice of life are two styles of literature that do not always sit comfortably together. The reason is in the very definitions of each type of story: flash fiction aims to tell a com...
review

REVIEW: Violet Evergarden - Eternity and the Auto Memories Doll

This side story movie is the first work to be released from Kyoto Animation in the wake of the tragedy that afflicted the studio this summer. Kim Morrissy reflects on KyoAni's legacy as expressed through this poetic film. ― This side story film for Violet Evergarden was completed before the devastating arson attack on Kyoto Animation in July, but it stands out as the first Kyoto Animation work to be ...
review

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Trilogy Blu-ray

This triad of films seeks to reinvent the story of Code Geass to make room for its new movie sequel, but can it capture the spirit of the original series in a much shorter runtime? James Beckett has the answers. ― Recap movies are one of those anime industry mainstays that have never appealed to me, especially in this day and age of ubiquitous digital streaming. Nowadays, instead of having to cram do...
review

Happy Sugar Life GN 2

This bizarre series continues its onslaught of both cuteness and terror in a lopsided second volume. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― What keeps Tomiyaki Kagisora's Happy Sugar Life from slipping over the edge from horror to torture porn? For some readers, the answer will be “nothing” – the story is firmly rooted in the terrible things that can happen to people, and the fact that most of the cast...
review

The Twelve Kingdoms Blu-ray

Back in 2002, long before the isekai trend ran rampant through anime fandom, the heroine of The Twelve Kingdoms found herself destined for adventure in another world. Theron Martin takes a look back at this fantasy classic, now finally available on blu-ray. ― Though isekai stories have become the most prolific genre of the current decade in anime, manga, and light novels, they are hardly new to this ...
review

REVIEW: KonoSuba the Movie - Kurenai Densetsu

This Megumin-centric movie proves that there's more to Konosuba than just isekai parody gags. Kim Morrissy has our full review from the film's debut in Japan. ― Being a gag series that thrives on anticlimaxes, I wasn't sure how well Konosuba would transition to the big screen. I wouldn't have minded if the film had been more of the usual, but Kurenai Densetsu (or Legend of Crimson in English) surpris...
review

Reborn as a Polar Bear: The Legend of How I Became a Forest Guardian GN 1

This frosty take on the isekai formula sees its hero reincarnated into an unbearable situation! Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― There are some adaptations where you can make an educated guess that things are being left out in the transition. Reborn as a Polar Bear: The Legend of How I Became a Forest Guardian's first manga volume is one of them. The story began life as a light novel series by Ch...
review

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! GN 1

This comically twisted take on isekai sees its protagonist reincarnated as the cackling villain in her favorite otome game! Rebecca Silverman finds out if this girl can defy her fate to become the heroine instead. ― My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom's source novels began coming out over the past winter, and this winter it's getting a TV anime series. So why not consume the story i...
review

My Hero Academia GN 20

My Hero Academia’s twentieth volume finds glorious spectacle in a classic anime staple, as Midoriya and his friends offer their take on the school festival arc. Nick Creamer has the details. ― Having spent the last several volumes dealing with the buildup and aftermath of an assault on a genuine mob headquarters, resulting in close personal tragedies and irreparable injuries, Midoriya and his friends...
review

REVIEW: Black Fox

This revenge-fueled ninja action film premiered at Crunchyroll Expo, after being truncated from a TV series into a movie debut. Chris Farris finds out how this original production fared in the translation to the big screen. ― Black Fox initially being intended as a television series before transitioning to a movie some time after its announcement might have been cause for concern. The initial trailer...
review

Carole & Tuesday—Episodes 1-12 streaming

Shinichiro Watanabe's newest sci fi musical extravaganza has finally arrived on Netflix! James Beckett evaluates the highs and lows of this ambitious and highly anticipated new series. ― After months of anxiously holding on to Shinichiro Watanabe's latest opus, Netflix has finally released the first half of Carole & Tuesday to American audiences. I've been brimming with excitement from the moment I l...
review

Levius Omnibus

The steampunk action saga may not be for everyone, but it's hard to deny that this is a gorgeous omnibus collection. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― As far as omnibus volumes go, Viz's signature edition of Haruhisa Nakata's Levius, which contains all three volumes of the initial series (later continued as Levius/est), is a beauty. The hardcover's a bit heavy and awkward to hold, but there are a ...
review

Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! GN 1

This slice-of-life gag comedy gets better the more you read—if you can make it past the initial chapters. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― At first glance, or at least the first few chapters, Take's Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out seems to trade in the sort of obnoxious comedy that stems from making its main character as uncomfortable as possible. Sakurai, a university junior, has been stuck with so...
review

Record of Grancrest War Blu-ray Part 1

The creator of Lodoss War returns with an all-new epic. Theron Martin finds out if this fantasy series is worth checking out on blu-ray. ― Prior to 2018, Ryo Mizono was primarily known as the novel writer for Record of Lodoss War (and the Dungeon Master of the RPG sessions on which it was based). The 1990-91 OVA series based on those novels proved deeply influential on fantasy anime for the next coup...
review

The Werewolf Count and the Trickster Tailor eBook 1

This fantasy romance about a lycanthrope falling for a girl in disguise is a hidden gem that's well worth reading for genre fans. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― For whatever reason, the gender bender novel hasn't really taken off in terms of English-language young adult literature. Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet and L.A. Meyer's Bloody Jack series have made names for themselves, bu...
review

Fate/Apocrypha Blu-Ray Part 2

The Great Holy Grail War comes to its conclusion, now on blu-ray for the first time. Rebecca Silverman takes a closer look at how this story holds up in the Fate canon. ― Possibly one of the most important reveals of the end of the first season of Fate/Apocrypha was the fact that Shirou Kotomine was really a Servant named Amakusa Shirou Tokisada. Apart from the fact that this removes him from a major...
review

Review: Sarazanmai

Gabriella Ekens returns to dive as deep as she can to yank out Kunihiko Ikuhara's shirikodama on his latest work, Sarazanmai. ― French philosopher Gilles Deleuze once described his own idiosyncratic career as an attempt to “bugger” philosophy. Many have attempted to follow in his footsteps, producing “queer” (or simply strange) readings of otherwise normative works. With Sarazanmai, however, one is f...
review

REVIEW: Cannon Busters

LeSean Thomas' first full-length anime series has finally exploded onto Netflix. Theron Martin shares his thoughts on the first season of this sci fi Western action epic. ― Cannon Busters carries an unusual pedigree as anime go. It is based on an early 2000s graphic novel by LeSean Thomas, an animator and comic book artist best-known for character designs and co-direction on the first two seasons of ...
review

Love in Limbo GNs 1-2

This offbeat BL romance about finding love in the afterlife is perhaps too short for its lofty premise, but it's still worth a read from genre fans. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Creator Haji describes her two volume BL series Love in Limbo as a story that takes place not in another world, but in the otherworld. That's a fair way to put it – all of the characters in the story are, technically ...
review

Accomplishments of the Duke's Daughter GN 4

This fantasy series hits its stride as its political intrigue reaches new heights. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― It isn't really fair to compare Accomplishments of the Duke's Daughter with My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom, but it likely happens anyway. That's because the two are close cousins in terms of both plot and genre – the “reborn in an otome game world” variant of ...
review

The Dirty Way to Destroy the Goddess's Heroes Novel 1 - Damn You, Heroes! Why Won't You Die?

A normal boy is pulled from our world to help the demon lord get some peace from a pesky hero's party in this devilish twist on isekai tropes. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― “Man's inhumanity to man” is a common theme for high school English classes, and all you have to do is glance at a history book to see that people are extraordinarily good at coming up with reasons why other people should b...
review

The Ideal Sponger Life GN 2

This steamy isekai adventure continues detailing the thrills and perils of becoming a kept man to the queen in another world. Theron Martin has the details. ― The first volume of this manga adaptation established the story's unique angle on the standard isekai story, where the protagonist is transported to another world specifically to father a child by a queen rather than to perform heroics. As eye-...
review

Little Witch Academia: The Nonsensical Witch and the Country of the Fairies Novel

This extra adventure in Akko and friends' academic year is a charming addition to LWA's world, even if it skews a little young and lightweight. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― For many viewers, Akko, the heroine of Little Witch Academia, is either the major draw or the major turn-off; there don't seem to be many opinions that don't lean towards one of these two extremes. Even if you're of the fo...
review

Cocoon Entwined GN 1

This eerie yuri manga is more focused on spooky atmosphere than romance, feeling like the prelude to a much darker story. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― There's a very uneasy air about the first volume of Yuriko Hara's Cocoon Entwined yuri manga. It feels more like yuri-themed creeping horror than the Class S story it at first appears to be, and the combination of the two seemingly disparate ge...
review

Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits- Blu-ray Part 1

If you enjoy lower-key dramas with an emphasis on character and cuisine, this may just be the series for you. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits- is remarkable in a few ways. For one thing, it's an anime adapting a series of josei light novels, meaning that it has an adult female target audience, which is not something we see particularly often. For another, it...
review

Grass GN

This detailed account of the experiences of a "comfort woman" during Japan's occupation of Korea isn't an easy read, but it's worth the effort. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Learning the basics of history isn't always enough. There's a vast difference between reading about the practices of an invading army and how it affected the lives of everyday people and seeing it play out before your eyes...
game review

REVIEW: Robotics;Notes DaSH

The newest Science Adventure visual novel seeks to bring the worlds of Robotics;Notes and Steins;Gate together, as Daru takes a trip to Tanegashima Island. Richard Eisenbeis has the details on how these storylines converge from the game's Japanese release. ― The Science Adventure Series is a franchise of Japanese visual novels that mixes grounded science with pseudoscience to create sci-fi adventures...
review

Saint Young Men GN 1

What happens when Buddha and Jesus rent a crappy apartment in Tokyo together for the summer, and does this wild premise result in a manga worth reading? Faye Hopper has the answers. ― A couple years ago, I watched the first episode of Arakawa Under the Bridge at an anime club. Even now, its offbeat, peculiar, and instantly endearing sense of humor still lingers in my mind, making me wonder if I shoul...
review

Labyrinth Angel Novel 1

This dark and twisted romance may be a little too macabre for some readers, but there's plenty of intrigue hiding in its digital-only pages. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Labyrinth Angel may not be the darkest title Cross Infinite World has released, but it certainly does approach it. Falling under the demographic heading of New Adult (for a college-age audience as opposed to Young Adult's hig...
review

DARLING in the FRANXX part 2 BD+DVD

This explosive mecha series finally brings its divisive conclusion to blu-ray for fans and haters alike to revisit. Theron Martin offers his own verdict on last year's controversial hit show. ― The second half of Darling in the Franxx is commonly regarded as a mess, and not without some justification. After all, it throws out many themes that do not always intersect smoothly, leaving most of its idea...
review

Enter The Anime

Netflix's new documentary attempts to explain "what anime is" - but how close does it get? Callum May has the "edgy" details. ― Even without much hype, it's clear that Netflix's new Enter the Anime documentary will likely be the most prominent film covering this topic. Presented by NX on Netflix, the streaming giant's promotional brand for science fiction, fantasy, and anime, Enter the Anime introduc...
review

86 Novel 2

This unexpected sequel to the first volume's thought-provoking fantasy war saga makes up for in content what it lacks in page-count. Theron Martin has the details. ― The way the epilogue of the first novel in this series played out had such a sense of finality to it that I was shocked to discover that there were actually more novels to the series. Author Asato Asato's comments in the Afterword of thi...
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The Bride & the Exorcist Knight GNs 3-4

This series concludes just well enough to be worth a look for fans of age-gap romance. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― These two volumes conclude Keiko Ishihara's The Bride & the Exorcist Knight fantasy romance, and the same basic warning applies as to the first half: if you're not comfortable watching a twelve-year-old French a seventeen-year-old (and at one point kiss her breasts), this is not...
review

Escape Journey GN 3

The concluding volume for this brief BL romance addresses a rare topic for the genre: coming out of the closet. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Escape Journey had, in a way, to escape from itself, or at least its first volume, which was fairly reliant on the kind of tropes that can make some readers turn away from a romance, BL or otherwise. It's one of those series that has gotten better as it'...
review

Somari and the Guardian of the Forest eBook 1

Before the anime adaptation comes out this fall, Rebecca Silverman checks out this stunning fantasy manga, well worth reading even as a digital release. ― In Jewish folklore, golems are inhuman, animated beings created by someone close to divinity, typically a rabbi. The most famous, of course, is the Golem of Prague, who defended the Ghetto from anti-Semitic attackers, but there are also tales of go...
review

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl Novel

How does Tomihiko Morimi's original book compare to Masaaki Yuasa's film adaptation? Rebecca Silverman has the answers. ― The Night is Short, Walk on Girl is written almost as a series of interconnected short stories. Each section takes place during a different season, beginning with the spring and ending with the winter, and although each is only loosely connected via its cast to the stories around ...
review

Monster And The Beast GN 1

This risqué take on BL romance takes some turns that might not entice all fans of the genre, but at least offers something different from the norm. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Renji's Monster and the Beast is a story that, while interesting in its own right, caters to two very specific tastes. The first is that one of the romantic partners in this BL fantasy is somewhere around forty years o...
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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Limited Edition Part 1

The final arc of the original series is finally available on blu-ray for the first time! Rebecca Silverman analyzes the highs and lows of this ultimate chapter's beginning in this collector's edition set. ― You may have read Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon's final story arc before or seen it in fansubs of questionable quality at some point, but there's a good chance that you've never seen it on Blu-ray w...
review

Tokyo ESP Blu-ray

This X-Men-adjacent action series boasted a broad cast of colorful characters and an ambitious storyline, so what went wrong on the production side that's left it forgotten in the years to follow? Theron Martin has the answers. ― I originally did partial episode reviews for this 12 episode manga adaptation when it first aired back during the Summer 2014 TV season, but I have long wanted to go back an...
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My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Novel 4

While not as strong as the first three volumes, this series remains a standout in the otome game isekai genre. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― What's a girl who expected to have to fight to survive her role as a villainess to do once she's survived her storyline and being kidnapped? In the case of one Katarina Claes, it's try her best to keep enjoying her second life with her friends while figur...
game review

KILL la KILL - IF

The iconic cast of TRIGGER's KILL la KILL is back in a brawler for consoles and PC - but is the return worth your time? Heidi's here with the verdict! ― Kill la Kill is a beloved anime series for a very good reason: fantastic art design, memorable characters, a weird and fascinating setting, and – perhaps most importantly – fantastic action sequences. Fans have clamored for a Kill la Kill game for ye...
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Side-By-Side Dreamers eBook

This light novel about battling monsters that live within dreams is beautifully written but perhaps too thinly plotted. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― If you had to read Shakespeare's Macbeth in school (or you just have the good taste to enjoy that particular play), you may remember the line in Act 2, Scene 2: “Sleep no more! Macbeth hath murdered sleep!” Now substitute “suiju” for “Macbeth” an...
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MEGALOBOX Limited Edition Blu-ray

This futuristic reinterpretation of the classic Ashita no Joe story is finally available on a collector's release packed with extras. James Beckett breaks down the appeal of this too-cool series in our full review. ― You don't need to be familiar with the classic manga series Ashita no Joe (or, “Tomorrow's Joe”) in order to enjoy this 2017 series, even though it was made as an explicit tie-in to 50th...
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REVIEW: Weathering With You

Makoto Shinkai's next film after the unprecedented global success of Your Name has a ton of pressure riding on its shoulders. Kim Morrissy has our full review of this following feature from its theatrical debut in Japan. ― I feel for Makoto Shinkai—the pressure on his shoulders must be immense. In 2016, he went from a director of niche films to a mainstream name in Japanese households within the span...
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7SEEDS - Part One

Netflix's newest dystopian sci fi series was based on an award-winning manga, but can Studio Gonzo's adaptation live up to the potential of its source? Theron Martin has the answers. ― Netflix has commonly labeled anime titles it licenses as “Original Netflix Productions” even when they have aired on Japanese TV, but occasionally one of its titles actually is made specifically for Netflix. This serie...
review

Secretly, I've Been Suffering About Being Sexless GN

This autobiographical comic about the woes of an author unsatisfied with her sexless marriage may not appeal to all readers, but it offers a unique perspective worth exploring. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― The autobiographical graphic novel seems to have taken off, and English-language releases of them are a nice trend that Yen Press is getting in on with its release of Togame's Secretly, I'v...
review

One Piece Episode of Sabo BD+DVD

This TV special earns its place on the shelf of One Piece completionists, but doesn't offer much else for casual fans. Sam Leach has the details. ― The “One Piece: Episode of ______” series, which currently spans both TV specials and theatrical films, can be a frustrating endeavor at times. I can't say with any confidence that these movies are actually for anybody. Theoretically, they're recounts of ...
review

The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious Novel 1

This tongue-in-cheek take on isekai tropes for the kind of adventurer who quicksaves every five seconds brings warmth and heart to what could have been a cynical premise. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Of all of the self-aware isekai novels that seem to be the latest trend within the genre, The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious might take the cake. Narrated by the novice goddess Ristarte ...
review

Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- BD+DVD

The full first season of this smash hit isekai series is finally available on Blu-ray! Rebecca Silverman breaks down just what makes Subaru's adventures so memorable. ― Before isekai stories became quite as ubiquitous as they presently are, Re: Zero, based on the light novels of the same name, took the concept of an ordinary guy being transported to a fantasy world and ripped off the plot armor. Unli...
review

Samurai Champloo Complete Series Blu-Ray

Fifteen years after its debut, how has Shinichiro Watanabe's classic hip hop samurai road trip aged in high definition? James Beckett has the answers. ― It's nearly impossible to talk about Samurai Champloo without discussing director Shinichiro Watanabe's more famous project, Cowboy Bebop. Both series are episodic action-adventure tales that seek to blend stylized Western influences into the Japanes...
review

Dances with the Dragons Blu-ray

This fantasy action series has fallen by the wayside since it originally aired a year ago. Theron Martin finds out if there's anything about this light novel adaptation that's worth revisiting on blu-ray. ― This 12 episode anime from the Spring 2018 season did not get a lot of attention in the West, perhaps in part because its source novels (29 in all since 2003) do not have even full fan translation...
review

Junji Ito "Collection" BD+DVD

This haphazard adaptation of a horror manga master's beloved works is more depressing than shocking. Faye Hopper has the details. ― How do you make Junji Ito boring? Is it even possible? Well, in case you are one of the few who ever pondered such a question, congratulations! You have an answer. It's called Junji Ito Collection, and it is pure unadulterated tedium. But how? For one, it's notorious how...
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Pokémon the Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back EVOLUTION

This full CGI remake of the first Pokemon movie may seem redundant on the surface, but does this update add anything to the original experience? Callum May has our review from the film's theatrical run in Japan. ― It's not often that you sit through an entire film waiting for it to justify its own existence, but that was my experience watching Pokémon the Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back EVOLUTION, an exac...
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Saint Seiya: Saintia Shō GN 6

This volume brings Saint Seiya's story back to its true focus, after several prior chapters of stumbling. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― While Saintia Sho is a direct spin-off of the original Saint Seiya series, the past few volumes might have done a bit better to forget that fact. Beginning with the tournament, where Shoko briefly meeting Seiya is the highlight, the series has been relying too...
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Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side: Sword Oratoria Novel 9

Aiz gets some detailed backstory in this otherwise lackadaisical entry in DanMachi's story. Theron Martin has the details. ― Over the last two volumes Sword Oratoria has explored the backgrounds of three of its other key members, including how they came to join Loki Familia. With this volume author Fujino Omori finally deals with the person in the franchise whose background has most conspicuously bee...
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Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar Blu-ray

Is this forgotten Norse-themed isekai series from last year worth a second look on blu-ray? Theron Martin has the answers. ― Whether or not this 12-episode light novel adaptation should properly be called an isekai series is a matter of some debate, as it may instead actually be a time travel tale. However, its structure and virtually all of its other characteristics are consistent with isekai storie...
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Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion

EVA's controversial theatrical conclusion comes to Netflix to horrify, baffle, and inspire a whole new audience. Nick Creamer offers his perspective on this landmark film. ― After twenty-four episodes spent building up to the cusp of a roaring apocalyptic crescendo, the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series ended on an unexpected tonal whisper. The promised devastation of the Human Instrumentality Projec...
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Neon Genesis Evangelion

This legendarily influential mecha series has finally arrived on Netflix! Nick Creamer offers his perspective on why Hideaki Anno's very personal apocalypse story is so widely beloved. ― An apocalyptic vision of the end of humanity, or perhaps just a window to a personal apocalypse. Glorious battles that exemplify mecha action's appeal, tethered to a protagonist who'd like nothing more than to never ...
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Daytime Shooting Star GN 1

This eccentric character drama takes a while setting up its central love triangle, but that just leaves more time to spend developing its cast. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Daytime Shooting Star's back copy (not reproduced above) makes it sound like a love triangle for a hapless heroine. While that may later develop, the introductory volume definitely doesn't feel like one, or even like much ...
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Eve x Eve GN

This yuri anthology covers a broad range of topics and pairings in many tantalizing sci fi scenarios. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― While yuri as a genre has definitely gotten much more common in English translated manga, much of it remains in the realm of the sweet and sexually innocent. Even series with higher sexual content, such as Citrus or Transparent Light Blue, still steer more on the ...
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Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World for my Retirement eBook 1

Prolific light novel author FUNA shakes up the isekai formula yet again with a story about reselling our modern conveniences to the denizens of—you guessed it—another world! Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― It isn't all that often that a single author has multiple works translated at once, although it is a bit more common at this point with manga than light novels. That makes Sol Press' release o...
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I Married My Best Friend To Shut My Parents Up GN

This yuri dramedy with a cheeky title tells a slight yet thoughtful story that's sure to satisfy fans of adult romance. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― However you felt about Naoko Kodama's previous English-language release NTR probably isn't a good gauge for whether or not you should read I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up. Although both stories feature same-sex couples, even Kodama...
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Midnight Occult Civil Servants

This supernatural mystery series doesn't do much to go above and beyond its familiar premise, but there's enough charm and forethought here to keep fans entertained. Theron Martin has the details. ― Sometimes the polls that determine what titles will be covered for streaming reviews on ANN miss a title worthy of greater attention, and Midnight Occult Civil Servants is a good example. Though the serie...
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REVIEW: Lupin the IIIrd: Mine Fujiko no Uso

This third installment in the trilogy of new Lupin films from Takeshi Koike does justice to its featured femme fatale for fans and newcomers alike. Kim Morrissy has the details. ― It's easy to jump into this film if you've got a passing familiarity with the Lupin III series. Although Lupin the IIIrd: Mine Fujiko no Uso is the third in a series of films directed by Takeshi Koike (Redline, Lupin III: T...
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Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online Blu-ray Parts 1-2

GGO manages to tell its own unique story in the SAO universe without overstaying its welcome. Paul Jensen has the details. ― While it carries the SAO name and shares a universe with the main series, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online functions more as a standalone story than as a spinoff. The first story arc of Sword Art Online plays a significant role in one character's backstory, and the...
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Ao Haru Ride GN 5

This volume continues the central romance story where the anime adaptation left off, resuming a romance it's easy to get caught up in. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Volume five of Io Sakisaka's second English-language release (Viz previously released Strobe Edge) picks up more or less where the 2014 anime adaptation cut off. Given that the anime went down the route of “read the manga, kids!” a...
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Little Miss P GN

This collection of short stories on the subject of menstruation explores a touchy subject from numerous angles. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― If the very thought of menstruation is uncomfortable for you or grosses you out, Little Miss P is not the book for you. That may seem obvious, given that the eponymous character is an anthropomorphized period, but it's also part of the manga's mission in...
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REVIEW: Ride Your Wave

This newest film from Masaaki Yuasa combines tragic romance with the supernatural for a refreshing if familiar story of love and loss. Richard Eisenbeis has the details from the movie's debut in Japan. ― Ride Your Wave is the newest work from acclaimed director Masaaki Yuasa, the man behind The Tatami Galaxy, Lu over the Wall, and most recently, Devilman Crybaby. Imbued with his unique visual style, ...
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GeGeGe no Kitarō—Episodes 52-61 streaming

This ambitious adaptation of Shigeru Mizuki's classic spooky saga continues to update its material for a modern family audience with charm and grace. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― GeGeGe no Kitaro marked its first year of revival by introducing a new villain and a bad bargain for Kitaro – and there's a very good chance that those two things will eventually come together in ways that are danger...
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REVIEW: Rascal Does Not Dream of a Dreaming Girl

This film brings all the major themes and characters of Rascal's greater story full circle in a hilarious and tear-jerking climax. Kim Morrissy has the full details on this movie from its theatrical run in Japan. ― Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai was a sleeper hit last year. The anime told a surprisingly thoughtful story about relationships and problems of growing up through the lens of su...
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My Hero Academia GN 19

MHA embraces the scholastic side of its premise for the first time in many volumes, in the lead-up to the U.A. school festival. Nick Creamer has the details. ― My Hero Academia has expanded in a variety of new directions in the wake of its post-All Might turning point, from its increasing focus on adult heroes to its broader emphasis on how law and justice work in a superheroic society. But in the co...
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High School DxD Hero BD+DVD

Between its action, fanservice, and big hooks for future story arcs, this fourth season provides a largely satisfying dose of not-so-clean fun. Theron Martin has the details on this special edition release stuffed with extras. ― For those who did not follow the series weekly, Hero is a little different from previous installments in the DxD franchise, in that it does not start where High School DxD Bo...
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Another World's Zombie Apocalypse Is Not My Problem! eBook

This flesh-rotting twist on isekai tropes sees its heroine purifying the bodies of the undead—in another world. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― You may think that getting reincarnated as an inanimate object is scraping the bottom of the isekai barrel, but Mizuha would beg to differ. She's been dropped smack dab in the middle of another world's zombie apocalypse, and this high school girl is so n...

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