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review

Fate/Apocrypha Limited Edition Blu-ray Part 1

This epic Holy Grail War doubles the number of heroic spirits on the playing field, but does this twist enhance the story or leave it feeling overcrowded? Rebecca Silverman weighs in on Aniplex's deluxe release. ― While Fate/Apocrypha does share some basics with the game that started it all, Type-Moon's Fate/Stay Night, it's really best to think of it as totally separate from the story of Shirou, Rin...
review

Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative

This Universal Century timeline film works well as a complement to Gundam Unicorn, but struggles to stand out as its own story. Kim Morrissy has the details in our full review. ― The only thing I knew about Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative before I watched it was that hilarious key visual showing three characters striking an awkward pose together. You might have seen it too because it was an Internet mem...
review

Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits GN 2

Our feisty heroine has some choice words for a tengu who doesn't know how to treat his bride, as this soothing otherworldly romance continues. ― It feels very clear that Odanna (also known as Kijin) is playing a long game with Aoi. Whether he initially planned it that way or not is much more up in the air, because it seems as if he honestly didn't realize that the young woman wouldn't be thrilled to ...
review

Nyankees GN 1

Gang warfare between delinquents in Japan can be a dog-eat-dog world, but what if all the street toughs are actually adorable stray cats? Rebecca Silverman checks out this feline twist on classic gangster manga. ― If the cult '80s song “Stray Cat Strut” had a manga adaptation, it would look an awful lot like this. Nyankees is a gag manga about street toughs who are actually stray cats living in urban...
review

Dragon Ball Super Blu-Ray Parts 5 & 6

The Future Trunks arc brings a whole new dimension (or two) to the world of Dragon Ball, as Goku Black's threat rises. Sam Leach weighs the strengths and weaknesses of this storyline on blu-ray. ― One of Dragon Ball's more distinctive quirks is how stakes routinely escalate so high that our heroes end up standing toe-to-toe with gods and even befriending them like it's no big deal. Our understanding ...
review

Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System - Case.2 First Guardian

The second film in this trilogy of side stories takes us back in time, with a prequel that explores a military conspiracy outside the MWPSB. Richard Eisenbeis has our review straight from the film's debut in Japan. ― Case.2 First Guardian is the second film in the Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System trilogy of films. Like Case.1 Crime and Punishment, it's a standalone cyberpunk mystery that features t...
review

Woof Woof Story: I Told You to Turn Me Into a Pampered Pooch, Not Fenrir! Novel 1

This reincarnation isekai takes a turn for the canine when an exhausted office worker becomes a not-so-cute playful puppy in another world. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Why yes, this is another light novel about someone who dies in our world and is given the chance to be reincarnated, memories intact, in another. But unless you're unilaterally opposed to the genre, don't write this one off ju...
review

Apparently it's My Fault That My Husband Has The Head of a Beast Novels 1-2

This clever twist on beauty and the beast tropes pits a petulant couple with curious curses against one another. Rebecca Silverman digs in to discover if this romance has any bite. ― Despite its origins as a light novel (and the title that goes along with that), Apparently it's My Fault That My Husband Has the Head of a Beast reads like a fairly average teen fantasy romance. From Rosemarie's status a...
review

Blend S Blu-Ray

Smile! Sweet! Sister! Sadistic! All memes aside, Theron Martin is ready to find out if this slice-of-life comedy holds up to scrutiny on Aniplex's blu-ray release. ― This fall 2017 comedy is based on a 4-koma manga that originally ran in a seinen magazine, which explains a lot about how the series is structured, more as a collection of loosely-related vignettes than an ongoing story. The only real pr...
review

Hitorijime My Hero GN 1

This BL title may satisfy genre diehards, but doesn't have much to offer a broader audience. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― The title Hitorijime my Hero may be familiar to some people already based on its 2017 anime adaptation, and I have to admit that that may be the better introduction to the story as of this writing. That's largely because the manga is a sequel to Memeco Arii's previous work...
review

Dagashi Kashi Season Two BD+DVD

The sophomore season of this quirky slice-of-life romance adjusts the show’s formula with mixed results. Nick Creamer has the details. ― The first season of Dagashi Kashi was a very pleasant experience, though I'd hesitate to call it a genuinely great show. The show proceeded as a mixture of madcap candy-focused comedy and rural slice of life, with its best episodes clearly evoking the appeal of lazy...
review

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas

Don't let this romantic tearjerker's extremely unusual title keep you from checking out the beauty it has to offer! Kim Morrissy has our review straight from the film's theatrical run in Japan. ― “I Want to Eat Your Pancreas” doesn't sound like the title of a romantic drama. It also doesn't sound like the kind of novel that would originate from Syosetsuka ni Narou, the website that has originated so ...
game review

Kingdom Hearts III

Sora's long journey with his many Disney friends comes to a close in this long-awaited final chapter of the trilogy. Callum May has our full review of this highly anticipated RPG. ― Your impressions of Kingdom Hearts III are almost entirely shaped by how much experience you've had with the series thus far. Or how you felt about each entry. Zipping around Disney, Pixar and original Kingdom Hearts worl...
review

Alita: Battle Angel

James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez spent 200 million dollars and roughly 20 years trying to bring Yukito Kishiro's beloved cyberpunk manga to life. Now that it's finally here, is it any good? Let's find out! ― It's been a long, long, long and rocky road to release for Alita: Battle Angel. First announced in 2003 by a post-Titanic, pre-Avatar James Cameron who'd spent his Oscar afterglow making nerdy ...
game review

Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition

One of the most beloved Tales RPGs is finally available in HD on the Nintendo Switch. Dave Riley finds out how this classic has held up over ten years later. ― It took ten years, and one legendarily dismissive tweet, but we finally got it. Originally released on Xbox as part of Microsoft's push for a Japanese audience, Tales of Vesperia's updated and expanded PS3 version was a Japan-only release, bar...
review

Yuri Is My Job! GN 1

This charming parody of Class S yuri has its rough spots, but delivers a clever treat overall for genre fans. ― In a secluded school almost like a mystical convent from an ancient tale, girls come together to study and form bonds on the edge of a vast forest. Some of those girls will form closer ties to each other as schwestern, or sisters, a pairing that speaks of the love that cannot be truly named...
review

After the Rain GN 2

Akira's crush on her boss has started to affect her relationships with old friends as the drama escalates for everyone involved. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Some of the most powerful, significant moments in the second omnibus of Jun Mayuzuki's After the Rain (containing volumes three and four of the series) are those without words. While Mayuzuki's art is at times stylized to the point where...
review

REVIEW: Hunter × Hunter -The Last Mission-

This side story film may not compare to Hunter x Hunter’s manga material, but it still provides fans a warm reunion with their favorite characters. Nick Creamer has the details. ― I can't say I envy the writers of tie-in films for continuing manga adaptations. Their task generally implies threading a needle through a hole that may not even exist, balancing the audience's desire for meaningful, conseq...
review

Baki—Episodes 1-13 Streaming

This fighting manga adaptation comes from an era of much more blood and insanity than the current shonen landscape, and now it's available uncensored on Netflix. Daryl Surat has the lowdown on what you can expect from Baki the Grappler. ― I picture Toshiki Hirano as an elderly man imprisoned within the confines of Anime Jail, the place you go when you're arrested for Anime Crimes. The uncrowned heral...
review

Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel I — Limited Edition Blu-ray

The first film in this extravagant trilogy covering Sakura's route is finally available to own in a fancy limited edition set. Rebecca Silverman digs into this release's surprises. ― Of the three main heroines of the Fate/Stay Night franchise, Sakura Matou is perhaps the most easily overlooked on first glance. Sweet and retiring, the quiet young lady feels more like a supporting character when compar...
review

Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie - Over the Rainbow

This epilogue to the Sunshine saga sends the girls to Italy for one final tour as Aqours. Kim Morrissy has the details from the film's theatrical run in Japan. ― It feels like Love Live! has settled into a rather unfair formula these days: introduce a merry band of cute girls, only to cruelly tear them apart after a few years. We went through this with the original Love Lives, and now it's happening ...
review

Tsurune: Kazemai Kōkō Kyūdō-bu

This understated slice of life series from Kyoto Animation tells a rich coming-of-age story about archery rather than the usual high-octane sports drama. Nick Creamer has the details. ― If you weighed Kyoto Animation's recent output purely in terms of their base genres, you might assume they'd settled on a reliable competitive club drama formula. Along with comedies like Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid ...
review

Ojojojo Omnibus 1

This new story from the creator of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid keeps its ambitions low and its charm level high. Rebecca Silverman nestles into this cuddly comedy. ― Ojojojo is fairly different from other titles by coolkyousinnjya that have been released in English before. Not in that it's a four-koma title, although that is different to a degree, but rather in that it simply tells a story without a...
review

For the Kid I Saw in My Dreams GN 1

This new mystery from the creator of ERASED is a page-turner where the story keeps evolving in unexpected ways. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― For the Kid I Saw in My Dreams has some surface similarities with Erased, Kei Sanbe's previous murder mystery with a supernatural twist. In both stories a young man is barely living his life as he focuses on things that happened in the past, but where Sa...
review

Harem Royale -When the Game Ends- GN 1

This combination harem-comedy and elimination-game from the creator of the Higurashi series takes a potentially trashy premise and imbues it with surprisingly clever twists. Theron Martin has the details. ― Most harem series are predicated on the girls (sometimes literally) throwing themselves at the male protagonist for his love, with the stakes rarely being higher than a broken heart if they fail. ...
review

Hi Score Girl

If you're hankering for an adorable romcom with a heaping helping of early '90s arcade game trivia on the side, Hi-Score Girl is well worth checking out on Netflix. James Beckett has our full review. ― Hi-Score Girl immediately sets itself apart with its surprisingly sophisticated use of CG animation. J.C. Staff has been experimenting more and more with integrating CG into their work, but the technic...
review

Jūni Taisen: Zodiac War BD/DVD

This zodiac-themed battle royale pits twelve animal-themed warriors against each other for the right to win one all-powerful wish. Theron Martin discovers how this tournament shakes out on Blu-ray. ― This Fall 2017 series is a little different in that it is derived almost entirely from a single light novel, and not a long one at that. To turn such a short work into 12 episodes of animation, the adapt...
review

Goblin Slayer Novels 5-6

The infamous Slayer's story extends beyond the anime in these two action-packed volumes. How will these new challenges affect these unconventional adventurers? ― While the story arcs covered by the 2018 anime adaptation begin the work of showing how Goblin Slayer's new party helps him recover some of his lost humanity, the events of volumes five and six really kick that job into high gear. What's als...
review

Tia La Cherla GN 1

This fantasy adventure indulges some familiar tropes but strays just far enough from the beaten path to keep things interesting. Rebecca Silverman dives in. ― Cross Infinite World tends to focus more on light novel translations, but the few manga titles they've also licensed are interesting. Tia la Cherla is a straight fantasy (as opposed to the historical fantasy, isekai, and urban fantasy of their ...
review

Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits GN 1

A young woman gets spirited away to a world of ayakashi and discovers new passions in this charming romance manga. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits' first volume and its 2018 anime are both adaptations of author Midori Yuma's original light novel, and as such, this book brings something a little different to the table than the anime. That said, even if you ne...
review

Sirius the Jaeger

This hybrid between vampire-fighting action and elaborate period-piece has style in abundance but holds back on the substance. Theron Martin has the details on this Netflix-hosted series. ― This 12-episode series is an original anime production by P.A. Works and Masahiro Ando, whose previous directorial credits are as varied as Hanasaku Iroha, Snow White with the Red Hair, and the movie Sword of the ...
review

REVIEW: Dragon Ball Super: Broly

The Legendary Super Saiyan Broly joins the official Dragon Ball Super canon in this lavish, intense and bare-knuckled re-imagining of the original 1993 film, opening in US theaters this week! Here's our full review. ― At this point, Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball franchise hardly needs any introduction. With hundreds upon hundreds of episodes, over a dozen feature films and specials, and fame the world...
review

REVIEW: Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel II. lost butterfly

The second film in the Sakura trilogy ramps up the stakes and the shock factor considerably, but is it a stronger film for the intensity? Kim Morrissy finds out from the film's debut in Japan. ― I called Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel I. presage flower my favorite anime film in 2017. I said that even though I considered myself only a casual Fate fan. I thought it was the best anime adaptation of a Fa...
review

AOKANA: Four Rhythm Across the Blue Blu-ray

This visual novel adaptation turns a fantastical high-flying sport into breezy entertainment, but perhaps it's a little too light on its feet. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Although Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue has its origins in an adult visual novel, I suspect that watching the anime is a vastly different experience. That's not simply because the anime takes out any ecchi elements pre...
review

Ulysses: Jeanne d'Arc and the Alchemist Knight

This more sleazy and supernatural take on the famous battles of Agincourt and Orleans brings history to life in some questionable ways. Theron Martin examines what went wrong. ― Sadly, any discussion of the worst anime of 2018 wouldn't be complete without bringing up this title. Though the series does improve somewhat in its later stages, I have rarely watched a more disastrous anime to completion. T...
review

Nier Automata: Long Story Short

Can this official novelization of the beloved action game still communicate the original story's strong heart through text alone? James Beckett finds out. ― While I have yet to complete the original NieR video game that was released back in 2010, I consider its sequel, 2017's NieR: Automata, to be one of my favorite video games of all time. Writer/director Yoko Taro has always been known for crafting...
review

Slumbering Beauty GNs 1-2

This short series by the author of Usagi Drop turns the story of Sleeping Beauty on its head in unusual ways. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Even if you were burned by the second half of Bunny Drop, Yumi Unita's first series to see an English release, it's worth picking up Slumbering Beauty. For one thing, the two series are completely dissimilar, although both deal with protagonists who aren't...
review

Conception—Episodes 1-12 streaming

This unusual harem series sees its hero having children with twelve women of the zodiac. But does its entertainment value match its lascivious premise? Theron Martin has the answers. ― In recent years, non-reincarnation isekai stories so commonly have some degree of harem elements that it's almost noteworthy when they aren't present. (They're slightly less prevalent in reincarnation isekai, but only ...
review

The Rising of the Shield Hero Novel 13

A pit stop turns into a much bigger hurdle for our heroes in this slower character-focused volume. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― While The Rising of the Shield Hero is, in many ways, a fairly typical isekai story, it differs in one very pointed and interesting way: Naofumi has zero interest in romance. Largely this is the result of his treatment at the hands of Witch and Trash back in the firs...
review

planetarian BD+DVD

Planetarian offers a tightly written and heartbreaking sci fi parable in a modest visual package. Nick Creamer has the details. ― Planetarian is based on a visual novel of the same name, composed by unimpeachable nakige (“crying game”) experts Key. Originally released just months after the sprawling and tragic Clannad, Planetarian was a far more modest work, and in fact was originally a “kinetic nove...
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The Bride & the Exorcist Knight GNs 1-2

This supernatural shojo romance has its fun moments, but the age gap romance may be an issue for some readers. Rebecca Silverman weighs the highs and lows of these volumes. ― We hear a lot more talk about Lolita series (shows where the female romantic interest is a child), but not so much about Shota ones. That's not because they don't exist, but perhaps rather because there's simply less of a spotli...
review

Umineko When They Cry Episode 7: Requiem of the Golden Witch Volumes 2-3

The line between mystery and fantasy grows more solid as Umineko enters its endgame. Rebecca Silverman digs in. ― “The detective story,” wrote famed author S. S. Van Dine (real name Willard Huntington Wright), “is a game. It is more – it is a sporting event. And the author must play fair with the reader.” These words are part of Van Dine's introduction to his twenty laws for detective and mystery fic...
review

So I'm a Spider, So What? Novel 4

Revelations abound in this action-packed volume that turns expectations about both the villains and heroes upside-down. Theron Martin has the details. ― In my review for volume 3, I expressed concern about how long the power creep of the titular character would be manageable going forward, given how strong she was getting by the end of that novel. Volume 4 proves definitively that this isn't going to...
review

Zillion BD/DVD

The retro release of this '80s sci fi action series stands out for its throwback box art that looks like it belongs in the back room of a shuttered video store. Theron Martin finds out if there's anything special under Zillion's charming cover. ― This 31-episode series originally aired in 1987, with an OVA spinoff episode called Zillion: Burning Night following in 1988. Streamline Pictures made an ef...
review

My Hero Academia GN 16

It's a dazzling buffet of heroic abilities and thrilling battles from start to finish as the world of superheroes descends into war. Nick Creamer has the details. ― As I've mentioned in prior volume reviews, the fight between All Might and All For One was a clear turning point for My Hero Academia, representing the climax of what may eventually stand as the manga's “first act.” Like One Piece's Arlon...
review

BanG Dream! Blu-ray

The smash hit mobile game was introduced to the world with this anime adaptation about a high school band with sky-high ambitions, but is there any story worth mining under all of Bang Dream!'s commercial fluff? Chris Farris finds out. ― With a successful concert series, a popular mobile game, a currently-running short anime, and a second season on the way, BanG Dream seems to have come into its own ...
review

Metropolis BD+DVD

Osamu Tezuka and Rintaro's sci fi spectacular is finally available on Blu-ray for the first time! James Beckett takes a closer look at how this film has held up almost 20 years later. ― Osamu Tezuka's manga adaptation of Metropolis is an infamously loose interpretation of Fritz Lang's silent film; according to Tezuka himself, he'd only seen a single promotional image for Lang's movie when he sat down...
review

Cursed Princess and the Lucky Knight Novel

This twisted take on Beauty and the Beast tweaks its fairytale traditions just enough to be memorable. Rebecca Silverman offers her analysis. ― There is a theory that states that the fairy tale known as Beauty and the Beast was originally popularized in 17th century France as a way to calm the nerves of aristocratic, highly sheltered young women before their arranged marriages to older men. That's no...
review

REVIEW: Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative

This Universal Century timeline film works well as a complement to Gundam Unicorn, but struggles to stand out as its own story. Kim Morrissy has the details from the movie's theatrical run in Japan. ― The only thing I knew about Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative before I watched it was that hilarious key visual showing three characters striking an awkward pose together. You might have seen it too because ...
review

Assassination Classroom - The Movies BD/DVD

Despite cutting out some key plot and character details, this tale of a class of misfits and their octopus teacher makes the transition to live-action surprisingly well. Rebecca Silverman gets into it. ― As far as manga easily adapted to live-action film goes, Assassination Classroom is easily towards the bottom of the list. Not only does it star a giant yellow octopus monster, but it also relies on ...
review

REVIEW: Zoku Owarimonogatari

This Monogatari epilogue film explores whether Araragi has any story left to tell now that his senior year full of supernatural nonsense has finally come to an end. Richard Eisenbeis has the answers. ― The Monogatari series, which began back in 2009 with Bakemonogatari, is the story of not-so-average high school student Araragi and his attempts to help people suffering from occult maladies that are d...
review

Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki

An intimate and revealing glimpse inside the challenging and sometimes frustrating process of a legend in the twilight of his career - and tonight's your last chance to catch it in theaters! ― Animator, director and subject of Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki, is known for creating worlds of wonder — though not without a lot of blood, sweat and tears in the process. He and his cohorts at the Japanese...
review

REVIEW: Castlevania Season 2

Trevor Belmont, Sypha Belnades, and the half-vampire Alucard must stop Dracula's apocalyptic war in this thrilling conclusion to Castlevania's first major arc on Netflix. James Beckett has the details. ― I enjoyed the first season of Netflix's Castlevania, but its very limited runtime made it feel less like a full season of television and more like a movie that had been broken up into more digestible...
review

Dragon Ball Super: Broly

The Legendary Super Saiyan Broly joins the official Dragon Ball Super canon in this lavish, intense and bare-knuckled re-imagining of the original 1993 film that's currently ruling the box office in Japan! ― At this point, Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball franchise hardly needs any introduction. With hundreds upon hundreds of episodes, over a dozen feature films and specials, and fame the world over, you...
review

Bad Friends GN

Dark and at times difficult, this Korean comic looks back at the ways that friends can both save and destroy us. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Bad Friends, award-winning manhwaga Ancco's English-language debut, is brutal. That's not to say that it's full of violence or horrors, although there is a lot of physical abuse. What makes it so difficult is the combination of clear-eyed hindsight and ...
review

My Monster Secret GN 12

My Monster Secret maintains confidence and charm as it continues to explore its central relationship, even if individual chapters are hit or miss. Nick Creamer has the details. ― It's always felt a little strange to me that so many romantic comedies tend to end the moment their principle couples actually get together. Embracing an actual relationship means abandoning some of the “will they or won't t...
review

New Game!! - Season Two BD/DVD

New Game’s second season improves on the first while still staying true to its core appeal. Nick Creamer cheers on this charming sequel. ― The first season of New Game! was a very pleasant time all around, presenting the trials and tribulations of a small game development studio with all the coziness it could possibly afford. New Game!'s gentle slice of life storytelling meant it didn't really succee...
review

After the Rain Omnibus 1

This unconventional romance combines beautiful art with nuanced storytelling to deliver a truly unique coming-of-age story. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― There's something deliberately uncomfortable about After the Rain's apparent central premise – that a seventeen-year-old girl is not only crushing on a forty-five-year-old man, but that she's persistent about acting on it, and he's not quite ...
game review

REVIEW: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

At long last, the definitive version of Nintendo's beloved fighting game series is out on the Nintendo Switch. Branden Johnson finds out if this edition really lives up to all the hype. ― The level of excitement in the Smash Bros. fan community has probably never been higher. For all intents and purposes, this is the game. The one that has everything we could possibly want (okay, except for Waluigi)....
review

Wolf & Parchment: New Theory Spice & Wolf Novel 3

This more low-key adventure for Col and Myuri does a great job expanding the series' world, but the transition from lore to drama isn't as smooth as fans might hope. Theron Martin has the details. ― The first novel of this “next generation” sequel to Spice and Wolf dealt with events that could have world-shaking consequences, while the second volume dealt with events that could reshape an entire regi...
review

Gamers! BD/DVD

This romcom mixes relatable nerd relationships and references with cartoonish hijinks to deliver a winning blend of warm fuzzies. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― We talk to other people all the time, but do we really listen? That's a question that never gets directly asked in Gamers, but it certainly forms the backbone of the story's misunderstanding-based humor. Following a group of high school...
review

Cutie Honey: The Classic Collection [Hardcover] GNs 1-2

Go Nagai's wildly influential magical girl manga is finally available in a beautiful hardback release. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Cutie Honey is an important series on several fronts. Not only does it lay down a few of the basic rules that later magical girls would follow – most specifically the naked transformation scene trope, which gets ample reuse in both tame and more Honey-like fanser...
review

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization GN 1

This adaptation of an SAO video game sports a few intriguing elements, but it might not add enough to the franchise to engage more casual fans. Theron Martin has the details. ― This manga is an adaptation of a video game of the same name, which was loosely derived from the core SAO story. Though the source game is the fourth one made for the franchise, it is the first one to get adapted, and that cau...
review

Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion

This historical fiction adventure rides the line well between period piece and war drama. Theron Martin has the details. ― Tsushima Island is located about halfway across the Korea Strait, which makes it the closest Japanese territory to the Korean Peninsula. Hence any invasion of Japan from Korea would naturally use the island as a stepping stone. Such was the case in 1274, when the Korean vassals o...
review

Skip Beat! Complete Series BD

With its strong characters, good sense of humor, and well-produced English dub, Skip Beat is the kind of series you don't need to be a shoujo fan to enjoy. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Skip Beat, as fans of the manga by Yoshiki Nakamura it's based on know, is a story that's much more than the sum of its parts. Nominally the story of sixteen-year-old Kyoko Mogami getting revenge on her childho...
review

REVIEW: Mirai

Mamoru Hosoda's newest film is his most personal creation yet. Kim Morrissy has our review ahead of the movie's U.S. theatrical debut. ― Mirai isn't going to surprise anyone who has been following Mamoru Hosoda's films for long. Like all of Hosoda's recent films at Studio Chizu, Mirai is a sweet and humble story about family bonds, presented with a dash of magic and wonder. It feels very much like a ...
review

Shortcake Cake GN 2

This calm but engrossing shojo romance stands out for its deliberate pacing and captivating heroine. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Like many shoujo romances of its ilk, Shortcake Cake has wasted no time in assembling suitors for its heroine Ten's affections. In the first volume we met both Riku and Chiaki, who also live at Ten's boarding house, and now in the second we also meet Rei, who has s...
review

Witch Hunter Robin DVD

Funimation's release of this supernatural procedural puts it back into print for the first time in a decade. Theron Martin finds out how this stylishly gothic series has held up over the years. ― In the early 2000s, when this anime-original 26-episode series was first hitting the North American market legally, Witch Hunter Robin was one of the hottest properties around. That was due in no small part ...
review

Dragon Quest Illustrations: 30th Anniversary Edition Artbook

Akira Toriyama's classic artwork shines in this special collection of pieces from the beloved game series. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― It's hard to find someone who has never heard of Akira Toriyama, or at least his works. After his arrival on the shounen manga scene with Dr. Slump, Toriyama solidified his fame with the extensive Dragonball series, spin-offs of which continue to be released ...
review

REVIEW - Godzilla: The Planet Eater

The final film in this trilogy from Polygon Pictures and Gen Urobuchi will be arriving on Netflix soon, but Richard Eisenbeis has our sneak peek at how the battle between Godzilla and Ghidorah will resolve! ― Following 2017's Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters and 2018's Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle, Godzilla: The Planet Eater is the third and final film in the Godzilla anime trilogy. Penned by...
game review

Pokémon: Let's Go!

Pokémon fans can explore the Kanto region like never before in this high-def remake of the classic Yellow Version, but has Generation 1 aged gracefully? Branden Johnson finds out. ― I missed the Pokemon train entirely the first time around. It's strange; I love JRPGs, and I was the perfect age when Pokemon Red and Blue hit the Gameboy in the 90s. Whatever the reasons, I haven't played a single Pokemo...
review

The Ancient Magus' Bride GN 9

This supernatural romance's longest arc yet arrives at its climax in a volume that demonstrates all of this manga’s strengths and weaknesses. Nick Creamer has the details. ― The Ancient Magus' Bride's eighth volume ended with Elias betraying Chise's trust so completely that he drove her into the arms of their mutual foe, the mysterious Cartaphilus. Across this ninth volume, both Cartaphilus' and Chis...
review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Novel 12

DanMachi returns to telling smaller self-contained stories as Bell reaches Level 4 in his training. Theron Martin has the details. ― With the three-volume arc involving the Xenos now complete, writer Fujino Omori returns both to carrying out a pure dungeon crawl and to telling an entirely self-contained story. That's not to say at all that this is an isolated story; some elements and consequences of ...
review

Classroom of the Elite BD/DVD

This slice-of-life drama where rich kids must grapple with a meritocratic system has some fascinating ideas, but ultimately can’t come together into a greater whole. Nick Creamer has the details. ― There's a certain subgroup of anime high school dramas that I've come to essentially see as “Catcher in the Rye shows.” Echoing the defiantly cynical yet extremely naive perspective of Catcher's Holden Cau...
game review

SNK 40th Anniversary Collection

SNK delivers a history lesson with an anthology of early arcade and NES titles. Todd finds out how well these games have held up in this new game for the Switch. ― What made SNK a cult favorite game company? Was it the Neo Geo, which delivered arcade-perfect games at home for just two hundred dollars per cartridge? Was it the Neo Geo Pocket Color, a well-made and vastly underappreciated handheld syst...
review

Eureka Seven: Hi - Evolution 1 BD/DVD

The first movie in this trilogy retelling the story of Eureka Seven gets off to a rocky start. Theron Martin has the details. ― As alternate adaptations of previously-aired anime content go, this 2017 movie, which is scheduled to be the first of three, is an odd duck. It seems intent on contradicting itself, as it wants to nudge the story in some slightly different directions but is also keen on recy...
review

Tsuredure Children Complete Series BD/DVD

This anthology-style romcom has enough heart to ground its goofiness, as a charming reminder that even young love is never easy. Rebecca Silverman dives in. ― Teenage romantic comedy is a genre that has essentially been done to death. It's got a long history in both literature and film, so at this point to be able to do something even a little different with the genre is a major accomplishment. Tsure...
review

Nanbaka Part 1 BD/DVD

This unusual take on an office comedy takes place in a high-security prison where the inmates and guards alike are fabulously crazy. James Beckett has the details. ― Nanbaka is one of the most flamboyant anime I've ever seen – this may be a show about a gang of rapscallions trying to bust out of jail and annoy the prison guard, but I'll be damned if Jyugo and the gang don't all look good doing it. Ev...
review

Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of The Commandments

Melodias and his friends return in this full second season available on Netflix! Theron Martin has the details. ― Revival of the Commandments is the true second season of The Seven Deadly Sins. Viewers could probably get by with skipping the four-episode interlude Signs of Holy War and still fully understand what's going on here, as this is where the main plotline continues, but I still recommend wat...
review

The Ancient Magus' Bride GN 8

This weighty volume sees Elias and Chise’s relationship tested like never before. Nick Creamer has the details. ― The Ancient Magus' Bride's seventh volume represented a key turning point in heroine Chise's emotional development. Having started the series at a point where she valued herself so slightly that she literally let herself be sold as property, Chise has gained close friends and confidence, ...
review

Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan

This more whimsical take on a military dramedy suffers from some tone and audience problems but still manages to dish out hours of undeniable charm. Theron Martin has the details. ― Over the years, we've seen anime titles about dragon riders and ones about pilots of transforming aircraft, but this 12-episode original production by Studio Bones may be the first time that the two concepts have been wel...
review

The Hero and His Elf Bride Open a Pizza Parlor in Another World Novel 1

This isekai parody is just tongue-in-cheek enough to be worth reading. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― It is something of a relief to realize that Kaya Kizaki's The Hero and his Elf Bride Open a Pizza Parlor in Another World is actually a parody of the pervasive isekai genre. That's not because there's anything wrong with it as a genre, but recent trends have stretched its credulity, so to see K...
review

Liz and the Blue Bird

Nick Creamer describes this unconventional and gorgeous Sound! Euphonium spinoff as director Naoko Yamada's "greatest masterpiece yet, and one of the best films I’ve witnessed in years." ― Liz and the Blue Bird is a film centered around two stories: the actual fable of Liz and the Blue Bird, and the story of two girls assigned as its soloists for the Kitauji Concert Band. These girls, Mizore and Nozo...
review

Didn't I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! GN 1

This manga adaptation of the isekai light novel offers readers a first glimpse of what to expect from the anime version next year. Theron Martin has the details. ― Didn't I say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life? is a title that badly needs a shorter title, especially since an eventual anime version was announced earlier this year. It started in 2016 as a web novel before being picked up f...
review

The Champions of Justice and the Supreme Ruler of Evil eBook

This reverse harem romance spins the genre on its head by making the heroine heir to an evil overlord throne. Can she find the way to her hero of justice's heart anyway? Rebecca Silverman finds out. ― The Champions of Justice and the Supreme Ruler of Evil is part send-up of stories about, well, champions of justice and supervillains and part more serious romance tale. That works much better than you ...
review

Re:ZERO Memory Snow OVA

This comedic side story won't scratch fans' ache for a continuation of the story, but provides enough fun and warmth to make the wait for season two more bearable. Kim Morrissy has the details. ― Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- is one of the better “transported to another world” light novel adaptations in recent memory. I'd go far enough to say that it's my favorite series in this subgenre, ...
review

Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System - Case.1 Crime and Punishment

Akane, Mika and the Sibyl System are back in the first of three new Psycho-Pass movies; does this new installment, set about six months after the events of the film, live up to the Psycho-Pass standard? Richard Eisenbeis reports. ― Following two seasons of the TV anime and a theatrical film, Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System is a trilogy of one hour films. Instead of being connected into an overarch...
review

Planet With

Satoshi Mizukami’s epic, thoughtful, and heartfelt adventure is worth checking out for fans in search of something different. Nick Creamer has the details. ― Mangaka Satoshi Mizukami first came to my attention via the much-loved manga Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer. Only published in english years after its Japanese release, the manga's long road to availability seemed like a hardscrabble echo of the sto...
review

Black Clover BD+DVD 1

While it doesn't push the envelope enough to be exciting, Black Clover plays its classic shonen cards well enough to please fans of the genre. Theron Martin has the details. ― As shonen action anime go, Black Clover adds practically nothing new to the genre. It follows common genre set-up, pacing, plotting, and story beats almost to a fault and only offers relatively minor variations in characterizat...
review

Beatless Final Stage

These final four episodes dramatically conclude this slow-burn sci fi adventure's plot, but do they answer enough questions to make the show worthwhile? Theron Martin finds out. ― If you skip the intermission episodes, these are the true episodes 21-24 of Beatless, though you'll find them on Amazon Prime Video as episodes 25-28. Released over the course of a week in late September, they represent the...
review

Radiant GN 1

This shonen action series by a French artist hews so close to genre conventions that it struggles to stand out. Theron Martin has the details. ― Though published in manga form – including reading in Japan's tradition right-to-left format – and often advertised as a manga, Radiant is actually a French comic book written and drawn by a creator who now lives in Canada. That hasn't stopped it from being ...
review

Show By Rock!!# & Shorts BD/DVD

Poor plotting and pacing undermine this otherwise fun second outing in the Show By Rock franchise. ― The first season of Show by Rock, based on the game of the same name, was a delightful romp, full of catchy songs and nenoroid-ready CG characters. While that should be equally true of the show's second outing, it regretfully doesn't pull it off with nearly as much panache. In part this is simply beca...
review

Seirei Gensouki - Spirit Chronicles Novel 1: Kingdom of Lies

Bland story and poor pacing detract from this otherwise passable isekai novel. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― There's an old saying that at this point embodies the still-popular isekai genre: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's essentially what's going on with Seirei Gensouki - Spirit Chronicles' first novel. The story fits comfortably into familiar genre patterns, with our protagonist Haru...
game review

My Hero: One's Justice (PlayStation 4)

My Hero One’s Justice captures the essence of its source material, and offers a fine experience for anyone looking to cross blows as their My Hero Academia favorites. ― The anime franchise tie-in brawler is a venerable gaming institution, with Bandai Namco having published similar efforts for franchises like Naruto and Dragon Ball in the past. On the other hand, One's Justice developer Byking are rel...
review

Satoko and Nada GN 1

This slice-of-life drama about a Japanese college student and her new hijabi roommate succeeds in both its cultural accuracy and heart. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― The world is a big place, and that means that there are many different kinds of people in it. That may sound elementary and maybe even a bit ridiculous, but for those who live in largely homogenous cultures or areas of any given c...
review

Seven Senses of the Re'Union

This mystery melodrama mashes the VRMMO craze up with the plot of Anohana, but is this blend harmonious or just confused? Theron Martin has the answers. ― At first, this light novel-based series seems to be a blend of the premises from anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day and .hack//SIGN. This series never entirely moves away from that parallel, as many of the character relationships and romantic tens...

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