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review

The Violet Knight eBook 2

With its unique political intrigue and female protagonist, Violet Knight continues to be one of the darkest and more interesting isekai series. Rebecca Silverman digs in to this unique light novel series. ― The second novel in Yohna's isekai fantasy series The Violet Knight appears to have gotten to the story where the author wants it – fully moving towards the consequences of heroine Yuki's father h...
review

Made in Abyss GN 1

Whether you're already a fan of the anime version or not, Made in Abyss' manga is a journey worth undertaking. Rebecca Silverman dives into this fantasy manga's dark and fascinating world. ― At this point, the anime adaptation of Akihito Tsukushi's fantasy manga is better known to English-speakers, since its release predates that of the source manga. For the curious, this first volume covers the anim...
review

Kemono Friends: Welcome to Japari Park! GN

This manga spinoff of the surprise hit franchise brings some great art to the table but falls short on story. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― The surprise hit anime of last year, Kemono Friends, is only one portion of a multimedia franchise – there are games, apps, and a variety of other bits and bobs to accompany the anime. Fly's two-volume manga Welcome to Japari Park, collected into a single ...
review

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Collector's Ultra Edition Blu-Ray

The most popular Gundam series in the Western hemisphere finally comes to Blu-ray in this extravagant set filled with bonus goodies. But does the show still hold up 20 years later? Lauren Orsini finds out. ― Gundam Wing was one of the first anime I ever saw, and I'm not alone. When the show first aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami in 2000, it created a wave of brand new-anime fans who are now in thei...
review

Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters

The combined forces of Gen Urobuchi, Polygon Pictures and Netflix have a brand-new animated Godzilla movie for you! Well, the first half of one, anyway. Callum May straps in. ― If this is your first time experiencing Godzilla, turn back now. This is not a film for the uninitiated. Whilst other recent attempts to reboot the series, such as the American Godzilla in 2014 and the most recent Godzilla: Re...
review

REVIEW: DEVILMAN crybaby—Episodes 1-10 Streaming

This insanely salacious reboot of the Go Nagai classic brings Masaaki Yuasa's wild fantasies to life like nothing else. Mike Toole details how Crybaby holds up for both old fans and new. ― I met Masaaki Yuasa at Anime Expo a few years back. When he was first announced as the director of Devilman Crybaby, I remembered seeing him speak effusively of loving mainstream anime, prizing his work on Crayon S...
review

Orange Limited Edition BD/DVD

This teen melodrama takes a surprisingly mature look at clinical depression and how it affects the lives of loved ones. Theron Martin explores the series' highs and lows. ― How do you save a person who's wallowing in depression but won't let anyone know about it, especially without making it obvious that you're trying to do so? That question lies at the heart of this adaptation of Ichigo Takano's man...
review

REVIEW: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Reflection

The first original theatrical film in the Nanoha franchise reaches for the stars, but steps out on the wrong foot. Kim Morrissy has the details on this movie straight from Japan. ― Before I dive into this review, I should give a bit of context about this movie and where it fits into the Nanoha timeline. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Reflection is the third Nanoha film, but it's the first to feature an ...
review

Kitaro: The Great Tanuki War GN

As both the least episodic and the most intense of Kitaro's adventures so far, this piece of manga history leaves a strong impression. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Most of us are familiar with the Japanese monsters known as tanuki, and to a lesser degree their real-life animal counterpart, as the friendly raccoon dogs who shapeshift and play tricks, or maybe as the statues with giant testicle...
review

The Saga of Tanya the Evil Novel 1

This highly technical and thoroughly detailed first volume is far less light and action-packed than its anime adaptation might suggest. Theron Martin examines how this novel expands on Tanya's story. ― Saga of Tanya the Evil started off as a webnovel on the Japanese site Arcadia before being acquired and published by Enterbrain. A 12-episode anime adaptation aired one year ago, and a follow-up movie ...
review

My Boyfriend in Orange GN 1

Despite its heroine's personal issues, My Boyfriend in Orange is an interesting romance where the love interest has a good reason to keep saving the day: it's all part of being a fireman! Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Manga about firefighters is its own unique subgenre, and Kodansha's digital release of My Boyfriend in Orange marks the third such story to be translated into English. It's also ...
review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Part 3 GNs 2-3

The Jojos' epic road trip to Egypt continues as Dio sends more Stand users to stop him, but can all of Jotaro's companions be trusted? Rebecca Silverman finds out. ― Hirohiko Araki comments in these volumes that he wanted Stardust Crusaders, the third arc of his ongoing JoJo's Bizarre Adventure saga, to feel like a road trip movie. At this point he's succeeding well enough that the storyline might as...
review

The Testament of Sister New Devil BD/DVD

This supernatural action harem series proves that sex alone can't sell a story. Theron Martin details what this scandalous show has going for it besides a much higher ecchi level than most. ― The High School DxD franchise has become the current standard-setter for harem series, especially action-oriented ones with supernatural elements, so the appearance of imitators in that sphere is hardly a surpri...
review

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Take On Me

This movie improves on the series' second season and provides better closure for fans. Kim Morrissy has the details from its theatrical run in Japan. ― Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Take On Me is what the TV anime's second season should have been. The film finally brings closure to Yuta and Rikka's stagnant relationship while reinforcing the core themes of the series. Unfortunately, this also mea...
review

My Monster Secret GN 7

My Monster Secret embraces its romcom fundamentals in a volume that demonstrates this story’s still got plenty of bite. Nick Creamer gets into the next installment. ― Harem-style romantic comedies are very good at dragging themselves out, but eventually, things have to progress before the audience gets bored. The last several volumes of My Monster Secret have seen the series undergo some slow structu...
review

Record of Lodoss War Novel 1: The Grey Witch

At long last, Ryo Mizuno's original Lodoss War novel is available in English, in a fancy hardcover edition! Was it worth the wait? Rebecca Silverman finds out. ― It's been a long wait for the original novels behind the Record of Lodoss War anime series to be translated into English in an official capacity. So long, perhaps, that many anime and light novel fans now may not be aware of the series. Fort...
review

Monster Girl Doctor Novel 1

Rote harem antics bog down an otherwise unique take on the monster girl genre with an emphasis on biology. Theron Martin has the details. ― Isekai stories may be the predominant trend in light novels right now, but monster girl stories have also been rising in popularity, especially as harem variants. Crafting a series around a doctor dealing with monster medical problems is a pretty neat idea and pr...
review

Our love has always been 10 centimeters apart.

Despite getting off to a slow start, this six-episode series concludes the HoneyWorks anime project with a satisfying climax that stands well on its own while complementing the previous films. Theron Martin has the details. ― This six-episode series is the third and final anime installment of a multimedia project by HoneyWorks, which involved anime films, light novels, and vocaloid songs. It's fully ...
review

Revolutionary Girl Utena Blu-ray Part Two

The series takes a more psychological turn in the Black Rose Arc, growing darker and more sexual as the foreshadowing piles on. Rebecca Silverman dives into this Blu-ray release. ― The second of the anime's three story arcs, the Black Rose Saga may actually hold the keys to understanding the entire series. It also seems to set the longer narrative up, telling its story through three different lenses....
review

Drifters Complete Series BD/DVD

Twelve episodes isn't nearly enough time to tell Drifters' ambitious story, which mashes up historical fiction and fantasy action, but is it worth watching anyway? Theron Martin weighs the series' highs and lows. ― Here's a simple litmus test for whether you might like this series: did you like either anime adaptation of Hellsing? If so, then this adaptation of another manga by Kouta Hirano is probab...
review

SP Baby GNs 1-2

This short romantic comedy doesn't quite have enough time to fully develop its characters, but it's still a fun read. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― SP Baby, Maki Enjoji's two-volume 2015 romantic comedy, would probably have been a slightly better story if it had had three volumes to play out in, because Enjoji just doesn't have quite enough space to really get into the characters' backgrounds....
review

Anti-Magic Academy: The 35th Test Platoon GN

Sometimes you get great manga versions of light novels, and sometimes you get Anti-Magic Academy. Rebecca Silverman breaks down what went wrong with this adaptation. ― It's not uncommon for the manga or anime versions of light novels to feel incomplete on the details, but rarely do they suffer as much as Anti-Magic Academy: The 35th Test Platoon's adaptation. This omnibus of Youhei Yasumura's manga v...
review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Novel 10

The series delivers some of its biggest dramatic twists and high-stakes battles in this start to a two-part story arc. Theron Martin has the details. ― The DanMachi franchise has had no shortage of dramatic scenes and epic battles throughout its run, but this volume may contain its most potent effort to date. As the back end of the series' first true two-part story arc, it delivers a crisis beyond an...
review

REVIEW: ERASED Live Action TV Series

This J-drama adaptation of the popular thriller manga hews much closer to the source material at the cost of some visual immersion. Rebecca Silverman weighs its highs and lows. ― This live-action TV series is the third adaptation of Kei Sanbe's original manga, originally titled “Bokudake ga Inai Machi,” or “A Town Without Me.” It's also the only one written by the original mangaka, which means that i...
review

The Water Dragon's Bride GNs 3-4

Asahi's world begins to open up in these two volumes of Rei Toma's slow-paced fantasy series. ― For the first two books of Rei Toma's fantasy series about a modern girl whisked away to another world where she becomes the sacrifice, and later priestess of, the Water God, there was a suspicion that ultimately the story would boil down to a question of whether Asahi would end up being romanced by the ep...
review

A Sister's All You Need—Episodes 1-12 Streaming

This slice-of-life comedy about the daily trials of light novel authors can be hit-or-miss beyond its infamously off-putting opening scene. Theron Martin has the details. ― I've long pointed to Elfen Lied as having the most explicit and polarizing opening scene of any anime series I've seen, but it may have found a worthy challenger in this light novel adaptation from the fall 2017 season. A Sister's...
review

Jūni Taisen: Zodiac War—Episodes 1-12 Streaming

Did NisiOisin's unconventional take on a Chinese Zodiac-themed killing game sink or swim in the end? Nick Creamer weighs in on this divisive series. ― In some ways, the clarity of Juni Taisen's premise is what makes it such a strange property. The show has a clear and obvious hook: twelve zodiac-themed warriors all use their awesome strength and fantastical powers to try and kill each other. The firs...
review

Infinite Dendrogram Novel 2: The Beasts of Undeath

This second volume begins to explore ideas of how much we can come to care about NPCs. Rebecca Silverman delves into this VRMMO story. ― If the first volume of Sakon Kaido's Infinite Dendrogram light novel series felt a little bit too familiar, that's just because it was gearing up for this second book. The introductory novel is just that – an introduction to the world, the gameplay mechanics, and th...
review

Neo-Parasyte f GN

Shoujo mangaka old and new come together to create stories set in the world of Hitoshi Iwaaki's Parasyte in this creative anthology. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― A companion piece to Neo Parasyte M, released earlier this year, Neo Parasyte F invites shoujo mangaka to take their turn playing in the universe created by Hitoshi Iwaaki in his series Parasyte. Although it isn't quite as striking a...
review

Infini-T Force—Episodes 1-12 Streaming

This Avengers-style multiverse mashup of Tatsunoko heroes might be a little awkward on the eyes, but its story has a ton of heart. Rebecca Silverman explores what this CG series has to offer fans and newcomers alike. ― Infini-T Force is the best kind of fanfiction, taking beloved characters from your past and carefully recreating them to remain recognizable while embarking on a whole new adventure. B...
review

Recovery of an MMO Junkie—Episodes 1-10 Streaming

This nerdy romcom combines charming characters, clever jokes, and smart reflections on online life into a heartwarming and memorable experience. Nick Creamer has the details. ― It's a common complaint that there just aren't that many anime about adults. The medium's most popular genres tend to be dominated by teenage protagonists, and the bulk of shows are purposefully aimed at a teen/young adult aud...
game review

River City: Rival Showdown

The open-world gameplay of this breezy beat-em-up returns on the Nintendo 3DS. Heidi breaks down how this game stacks up against its predecessors for prior fans and newcomers alike. ― For being such a long-running game franchise, the Kunio-kun series of beat-em-ups is quite a confusing mess. It's a beat-em-up series about a bunch of high school delinquents fighting for turf and showing who's the toug...
review

Goblin Slayer GN 1

The manga adaptation of this risqué series of light novels might be more difficult to stomach than its source material. Rebecca Silverman explains why. ― The first volume of the manga adaptation of Kumo Kagyu's light novel Goblin Slayer is a significantly more grim read than its source material. That's not because artist Kousuke Kurose has drastically changed any of the content, but rather because th...
review

Kiddy Girl-AND Sub.Blu-Ray + DVD

This turn of the decade sequel to Kiddy Grade was in licensing limbo for years, but it's finally available on home release for patient fans. Theron Martin finds out if this follow-up was worth the wait. ― This 2009 series was a direct sequel to the now 15-year-old anime Kiddy Grade, with most of the events taking place 50 years after that one. While understanding and following this series without hav...
review

Grimms Manga Tales GN

This collection of retold stories from the Brothers Grimm delivers some unusual choices and creative twists. Rebecca Silverman sorts through the best and worst of this anthology. ― Fairy tale retellings have been in vogue for quite some time now, and that's actually very much in keeping with the nature of the beast – by definition, fairy tales are stories that exist in multiple cultures and are passe...
review

Genshiken: Second Season GN 11

While the Madarame harem arc has gone on far too long, this volume manages to find some of this series' strongest nuggets of drama in its twists and turns. Nick Creamer digs in. ― Genshiken's Madarame harem arc has gone on for a long, long time. It felt like an unrealistic nod to the original Genshiken's breakout character from the start, and since then, it's wound through so many repetitive turns th...
review

The Rising of the Shield Hero Novel 9

The series stumbles a bit with this poorly paced volume, but Naofumi's rise nonetheless continues. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― It's a good thing that this is the final book in the “other other world” arc, because while there is technically enough plot to round the volume out, it is feeling a little thin. The book is focused on Naofumi and his party finally taking out Kyo, the maniac with the...
review

So I'm a Spider, So What? Novel 1

This isekai story starts a cut above the rest with a focus on multiple protagonists and one very unfortunate eight-legged reincarnation. Theron Martin explains what makes this series an engrossing read. ― Isekai (“transported to another world”) stories have dominated the Japanese light novel market over the past few years. This take on the concept is the second to be released recently in English in r...
review

Corpse Party: Blood Covered GNs 4-5

Corpse Party's conclusion diverges more from the game than ever before, but disappoints as a horror story. Rebecca Silverman explains what went wrong. ― These volumes, according to creators Toshimi Shinomiya and Makoto Kedouin, are where the manga adaptation of Corpse Party: Blood Covered really diverges from its game original. By this point the cast is most cut back down to its first game characters...
review

Magical Girl Special Ops Asuka GN 1

Magical girls get a military makeover in this dark take on the genre. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― What do you think has been lacking from dark magical girl reboots? If you said “big ass guns and crippling PTSD,” then Magical Girl Special Ops Asuka might be the series for you! While the concept of the dark magical girl story is hardly new – those who remember the final moments of the last Nur...
review

Fruits Basket Limited Edition Blu-Ray

One of the most beloved shojo anime of all time comes to Blu-ray in this "sweet sixteen" special edition set! Rebecca Silverman looks back on how this heartwarming classic has held up sixteen years later. ― Back when it was first released, Fruits Basket, based on the manga of the same name by Natsuki Takaya, was a sensation. Combining elements of fantasy, slice-of-life, and reverse harem romance come...
review

My Monster Secret GN 6

My Monster Secret’s sixth volume maintains its madcap romcom appeal in spite of some predictably glacial pacing. Nick Creamer has the details. ― At last, it's time for action. As My Monster Secret's sixth volume opens, our hero Asahi reiterates his determination to actually confess to his vampiric classmate Shiragami. Having been spurred into action by the courage of his childhood friend Mikan, he's ...
review

The Promised Neverland GN 1

Shonen Jump's rising hit series captivates with a dark tale about a cruel and unusual home for orphans. Rebecca Silverman plunges the depths of this promising new title. ― When Jonathan Swift published his satirical treatise on why the economic crisis in Ireland could be solved by eating children in 1729, it took him until the final lines to clue his readers in on the joke. The Promised Neverland tak...
review

Honey So Sweet GN 8

The charming shoujo series ends much as it began - sweet and cute enough to give you cavities. Rebecca Silverman reflects on this heartwarming story's conclusion. ― There isn't much to wrap up in Amu Meguro's tooth-rottingly adorable shoujo romance Honey So Sweet. Nao and Taiga are together. They're happy. They plan to be together for the duration. Short of manufacturing a dreadful disease or a paren...
review

Wolf & Parchment Novel 1

This sequel to Hasekura's long-running Spice & Wolf series flips the emphasis from economics to religion and opens the story's world up to new readers once again. Theron Martin takes a closer look. ― After finishing his Spice and Wolf novel series, Isuna Hasekura followed it up with some short stories set many years later. Two of those set the stage for this new series, which is technically a spin-of...
review

Mixed Bathing in Another Dimension Novels 1-2

Despite its fanservicey premise, this is a fun series with an interesting plot and refreshing attitudes about sexuality and consent. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Mixed Bathing in Another Dimension's premise may be one of the more openly sleazy of the wish-fulfillment light novels. Not only is it the now-ubiquitous isekai tale of an ordinary Japanese high school boy summoned to another world a...
review

Tokyo Ghoul:re GNs 1-2

Sui Ishida shifts from Frankenstein to Kafka in this sequel series that brings the CCG and the ghouls closer than ever before. Rebecca Silverman dives into this dark continuation. ― “I have a curious animal, half kitten, half lamb.” That's the opening line of Franz Kafka's 1931 short story A Crossbreed, a piece referenced both overtly and obliquely in the next arc of Sui Ishida's Tokyo Ghoul manga, T...
review

Genshiken: Second Season GN 10

Genshiken revs its harem shenanigans up to a fever pitch in a volume that pits suitor against suitor. Nick Creamer has the details. ― If you're still reading Genshiken at this point, you've likely accepted that it is no longer the manga it once was. A story that was initially renowned for its thoughtful realism and nuanced articulation of fandom friendships has gone through plentiful ups and downs si...
review

Devilman Grimoire GN 1

This revival of Go Nagai's classic horror manga is not for the faint of heart. Theron Martins details how well this reboot captures the Devilman spirit for new and prior fans. ― The Devilman franchise has been around in one form or another since 1972. This manga from 2012 is a reimagining of the premise to celebrate the franchise's 40th anniversary and provide a gateway into the franchise for a new g...
review

The Royal Tutor GNs 1-3

This heartfelt marriage of historical fantasy and bishounen comedy delivers just enough twists on formula to tickle any fangirl's fancy. Rose Bridges details what this manga has to offer new readers and fans of the anime adaptation alike. ― The Royal Tutor is the latest bishonen-filled comedy hit, and it's much like the ones that came before it. Think of it as the humor and affectionate nature of an ...
review

Infinite Dendrogram Novel 1: The Beginning of Possibility

This MMO fantasy story delivers just enough twists on formula to be worth a look. Rebecca Silverman explores what makes this novel series promising. ― The general conceit for most stories set inside of MMORPGs is that people become so engrossed in the game worlds that they almost can't tell that they aren't real. That's the conceit behind both Sword Art Online and Log Horizon, the joke in Paying to W...
review

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Novel 1

Slimes have never been more awesome in the first volume of this unusual isekai series. Rebecca Silverman explores what makes this light novel stand out. ― That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime's first novel feels a bit like the child of So I'm a Spider, So What and How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom. Its protagonist, known for most of the book as Rimuru, is a contractor reborn into a fantasy wo...
review

Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars BD+DVD

This troubled series offers plenty of giant robot spectacle, but it can’t rise above some lackluster storytelling. Nick Creamer explains what went wrong. ― It's sad to say, but it feels like we're approaching the end of the era of the traditionally animated giant robot. Once one of the premiere highlights of anime as a medium, giant robots are slowly but surely going the way of cars and cogwheels, th...
game review

Resident Evil Revelations Collection

Both RE: Revelations games have arrived in a special re-release for the Nintendo Switch, but is there anything new in this edition worth picking up? Dave Riley finds out. ― With the release of a new console, the Switch, comes the expected glut of HD ports, and Resident Evil Revelations, which has been ported to on average a console and a half per year since its original release on the 3DS in 2012, is...
review

Kigurumi Guardians GN 2

This romantic dramedy is still plenty of fun in its second volume, but it could stand to pick up the pace. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Now that the basic premises have all been introduced in Lily Hoshino's magical team spoof Kigurumi Guardians, it's time to actually get to know the characters a little bit. We have a pretty good grasp of Hakka as a person by the time volume one ends – she's e...
review

Don't Meddle with My Daughter GN 1

This salacious take on Western-style superheroes may be too explicit for most readers, but its shameless style and eye-popping art just might turn your crank. Theron Martin digs into this naughty volume. ― This three-volume manga series is a raunchy spoof on the Western-style superhero genre that gleefully revels in its lewdness while sticking firmly to superhero-style drama. Cross Tiger & Bunny with...
review

Hybrid x Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia GN 1

Despite its ripely racy premise, HxH doesn't do much to distinguish itself from the pack of fanservice manga out there. Theron Martin has the details. ― Hybrid x Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia started out as a light novel series, so both this version and its 2016 anime version are adaptations. Whereas the original light novels have not been licensed for release in the U.S. as of the time of this writi...
review

Jackass! GN

Scarlet Beriko's graphic novel takes a silly premise and makes it work with surprising emotional depth. Rebecca Silverman gets into this unusual title. ― As far as contrived premises go, “boy doesn't realize his older sister borrowed his gym clothes and left her pantyhose in his pants” is definitely up there. It gets even stranger when said boy's best friend's turn-on turns out to be black pantyhose-...
review

My Hero Academia GN 10

My Hero Academia expands the scope of its cast and conflict in a volume that works to build up its characters for changes to come. Nick Creamer has the details. ― My Hero Academia's ninth volume represented a dramatic and aesthetic peak for this thrilling story. Finding themselves hunted by the League of Villains while away on their training retreat, Midoriya and his classmates were forced to rally b...
review

Beasts of Abigaile GNs 1-2

This surprisingly dark shoujo romance wraps its themes of colonialism around a "Little Red Riding Hood" tale. Rebecca Silverman untangles its heavy yet rewarding story. ― Well, hey there, Little Red Riding Hood! Aarne-Thompson tale type 333, the story best known as “Little Red Riding Hood” in English, has been one of anime and manga's go-to fairy tales for inspiration, and Spica Aoki's Beasts of Abig...
review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Sword Oratoria Novel 4

The first arc of Sword Oratoria that provided the season finale for its anime adaptation comes to a close. Theron Martin compares these two versions for any juicy details that may have gotten left out. ― Despite leaving out a few details here and there, the DanMachi anime series was largely a faithful and excellent adaptation of the source novels. The anime version of Sword Oratoria was a far less im...
review

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma GN 20

Erina's evolution comes to a head as Soma battles Tsukasa in this exciting volume. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Ever since Erina's father Azami Nakiri returned to Totsuki in an orchestrated semi-hostile takeover, the school has been in an uproar. Not only is he trying to remake Japan's culinary world in his own image, but he's also dedicated himself to stamping out what he sees as unnecessary...
review

In This Corner of the World GNs 1-3

The complete manga that inspired the award-winning film is finally available in English. Rose Bridges compares this edition to its adaptation and as a work of historical fiction on its own. ― When I saw the film version of In This Corner of the World at Otakon this year, I was impressed and thrilled, but also struck by its odd plot structure. Nearly all of the film's driving narrative is in the third...
review

Juni Taisen: Zodiac War Novel

The novel that inspired this season's zodiac-themed battle royale proves that the book isn't always a richer experience than the adaptation. Lynzee Loveridge examines this paper-thin story. ― As an anime fan, it's hard to ignore the works of NisiOisin. The anime adaptation of his Monogatari novels is renowned for the symbiotic relationship between studio Shaft's art style and the author's indulgent c...
review

Haikara-san ga Tōru - Part 1

The first movie in this two-part shojo adaptation beautifully realizes a bygone era in both Japanese history and classic manga. Kim Morrissy reviews this uniquely charming romance film. ― Haikara-san ga Tōru translates roughly to “Here comes a modern woman,” but the film itself is a blast from the past. It's an adaptation of a 1970s shojo manga, which was set in the Japan of the 1920s. Even the origi...
review

Puzzle & Dragons X BD/DVD Part 1

For a kids' show about a match three cellphone game, this series can be surprisingly entertaining for all ages. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― There's a stigma around anime series based on games that could hold particularly true for Puzzle & Dragons X. It's based not just on a game, but on a Candy Crush-style match three cellphone game. That makes it all the more impressive that not only does t...
review

Alderamin on the Sky BD+DVD

This fantasy war series finishes much stronger than its first impressions may suggest. Theron Martin breaks down this anime's hidden strengths. ― Any brief synopsis of this light novel adaptation from summer of 2016 would make the story sound like it's primarily about a lazy, womanizing guy who nonetheless succeeds at everything because of his overwhelming genius. Indeed, that element never entirely ...
review

HYOUKA Part Two BD+DVD

Hyouka's second half reaches even greater heights of spectacular production and intimate character drama than the first. Nick Creamer breaks down this series' conclusion. ― Hyouka's first half presented a stunning statement of purpose, combining great character writing and subtle reflections on identity with some of the most exemplary visual execution in TV anime. Its characters were brought to life ...
review

Tokyo Ghoul GN 14

Kaneki's story as a human-turned-ghoul reaches an end so it can reborn in the sequel series, Tokyo Ghoul:re. Rebecca Silverman explores the themes of this manga's conclusion. ― While things are set to change in the sequel series, Tokyo Ghoul has maintained an interesting fidelity to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein throughout its fourteen volumes. While the themes of monster versus man have been obvious t...
review

Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl GNs 2-3

While its first volume was less promising, Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl has proven itself in these two subsequent books. Rebecca Silverman finds out more about this yuri romance's side couples. ― Although Yurine and Ayaka, the two girls who were at the center of CANNO's yuri romance Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl's first volume, are still present in the next two, they take a backs...
review

Ryuo's Work is Never Done! Novel 1

One of the top selling light novel series in Japan is finally available for English-language fans. Rebecca Silverman runs down the perks and problems of this unique take on a shogi story. ― If Book Walker's release of Shirow Shiratori's The Ryuo's Work is Never Done isn't the first official translation of a novel starring an elementary schooler, it's certainly among them. Combining the world of profe...
review

Rainbow Days Complete Series BD+DVD

Rainbow Days is a nice enough series about four guy friends and their misadventures in love, but you might not remember it long after you've watched it. Rebecca Silverman unwinds with this slice of life comedy. ― Based on an ongoing shoujo manga, Rainbow Days' two seasons of fifteen-minute episodes epitomize the slice-of-life school story. It follows a group of four friends in their second year of hi...
review

Heroic Legend of Arslan: Dust Storm Dance BD+DVD

This sequel season does its best to deliver twists and turns in Arslan's saga with a much shorter runtime. Theron Martin has the details. ― This Summer 2016 TV season is a direct continuation of the Heroic Legend of Arslan 2015 series, so it's only accessible to those who have seen the entirety of those previous seasons. In most respects, this is more of the same – more big set piece battles, more in...
review

Fate/Apocrypha—Episodes 1-12

The first half of the newest Holy Grail War has finally landed on Netflix, and Kim Morrissy has the lowdown on what you can expect from this unique take on the Fate universe. ― In a way, Fate/Apocrypha is the quintessential Netflix show. Although the series was released in weekly installments on Netflix Japan (albeit a few days after the TV broadcast), I ended up watching it the old-fashioned Netflix...
review

My Hero Academia Season 2

The second season of this Shonen Jump hit is a marked improvement on the first. Nick Creamer explores what makes this tournament arc and its aftermath so special. ― Just one year after My Hero Academia's first season began, its sequel came barreling out the gate, offering a smorgasbord of new heroic adventures. I was excited to see the adaptation continue, but also wary about a repeat of the first se...
review

WWW.WAGNARIA!! Sub.Blu-Ray 2

While never quite reaching the heights of its predecessor, this spinoff is still a good time for slice-of-life comedy fans. Paul Jensen weighs in. ― After going light on narrative substance in its first half, WWW.Wagnaria tries to put some meat on the story's bones in this set. Most of its plot arcs focus on the quasi-romantic couples that populate the cast, with each duo facing a variety of challeng...
review

Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel I. presage flower (movie)

The long-awaited first part to this final-route trilogy premiered in the US this weekend, and Kim Morrissy has our spoiler-free rundown of what fans can expect from Heaven's Feel. ― Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel I. presage flower is the best Fate anime so far. Yes, it's even better than Fate/Zero. This is not something I say lightly—Heaven's Feel really does live up to the hype. My only problem with...
review

Endride BD+DVD part 2

While its second half does improve to more tolerable levels, that isn't enough to make this show worth watching. Theron Martin explains where things went wrong. ― I had a pretty low opinion of the first half of Endride and was warned not to expect much more from its second half. So I went into episodes 13-24 with a great deal of trepidation, but to my mild surprise, the second half is actually an imp...
review

Imperfect Girl GN 1

This manga adaptation of a NisiOisin novel might not be the author's best work. Theron examines where this story has already started going astray. ― Imperfect Girl arrives on the scene with a significant pedigree: it's a manga adaptation by Mitsuru Hattori (the creator of Sankarea: Undying Loving) of an original 2011 novel by the prolific NisiOisin. Unfortunately, the end result is not special in a p...
review

A Bride's Story GN 9

It’s all Pariya all the time in A Bride’s Story’s most laugh-out-loud funny volume yet. Nick Creamer digs into it. ― Kaoru Mori seems to understand she struck upon a truly brilliant character in Pariya. Plagued by all-too-relatable social anxieties and defined by the dichotomy of her shy exterior and blunt feelings, Pariya is a profoundly likable and consistently entertaining lead. In A Bride's Story...
review

Dance with Devils BD/DVD

If you're in the mood for more campy demons than scary ones this Halloween, this reverse harem musical spectacular has you covered. Rose Bridges explains what makes this series seven hells' worth of fun. ― Dance with Devils is my kind of Halloween entertainment. It's campy, trashy, and a little spooky, but never seriously scary. Sure, it tries for some thrills, but this is a reverse harem musical, an...
review

I Became the Secretary of a Hero! Novel 1

When the Dark Lord kidnaps her younger sister, ordinary paralegal Aki becomes the Hero's secretary in this fun take on the isekai genre. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― The latest of Cross Infinite World's female-oriented light novel translations, I Became the Secretary of a Hero is both the sweetest and the most lighthearted so far. It also features the oldest heroine we've yet seen – Aki is a ...
review

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers Novel 2

This novel picks up where the anime adaptation left off, trading its initial whodunnit mystery style for classic suspense by giving the readers more information than the characters. Rebecca Silverman dives in. ― If the first volume of Ishio Yamagata's Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers light novel series played out like a classic mystery novel, this second volume takes its cues from contemporary suspen...
review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Novel 9

For the first time, the extremely silly rhetorical question that forms DanMachi's title is actually relevant to the story's plot. Theron Martin explains why. ― Up to this point in the franchise, the full name for DanMachi has been more comedic than literal, with only Bell's rescue of Lilly back in volume 2 even coming close to fitting the description of Bell “picking up” a girl by rescuing her in the...
review

Revolutionary Girl Utena Blu-Ray Part 1

One of the greatest shojo classics finally comes to Blu-ray just in time for the series' 20th anniversary. Rebecca Silverman takes a look at this exciting release. ― First airing in 1997, Revolutionary Girl Utena has proved to have a lot of staying power among anime fans. The recent release of the show on blu-ray is not only truly gorgeous in picture clarity and color, but it also provides the show a...
review

Otome Mania!! GNs 1-2

Despite its slightly inconclusive ending, Otome Mania is a fun look at the otoge industry. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― If you're a fan of otome games, there's a good chance that this manga will be a lot more fun than if you've never played one. This is because not only is the subject of the series the creation of that particular genre, but the story runs like one as well – fresh-faced Yuzumi...
review

Made in Abyss Episodes 1-13 Streaming

This ambitious dark fantasy anime may not be safe for sensitive stomachs, but it's still a journey worth taking. Nick Creamer plunges the depths of this abyss. ― Made in Abyss opens with a simple and intriguing premise. In this world, there is one massive abyss that has never been fully explored. Those who attempt to probe its depths are known as “whistles,” and the strange mechanical treasures they ...
review

The Garden of Sinners Complete Collection Streaming

Now that it's available streaming for the first time on Amazon, Theron Martin takes a look at how ufotable's first ambitious plunge into the Nasuverse holds up ten years later. ― The first seven movies in The Garden of Sinners were originally released in Japan over 2007-2009, with an OVA following in 2011 and an eighth movie and short story collection completing the story in 2013. The first eight ins...
review

Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight GN 1

Cinderella may yearn for a prince, but she's not entirely sure she wants this one when she finds out about his fetish. Rebecca Silverman explains why. ― Readers of digital-only releases may already be familiar with Rin Mikimoto's work, as Kodansha began releasing her series Love's Reach as a digital exclusive earlier in 2017. Now her romance Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight is getting a physical rel...
review

Girls' Last Tour GN 2

This peaceful vision of the world after an apocalypse isn't the right read for all occasions, but it's a great read for when you need its unique brand of silent meditation. Rebecca Silverman weighs in. ― The world following an apocalypse is a theme that never goes out of style in science fiction, even if some points in history make it timelier than others. Most visions of a world destroyed take a dar...
game review

Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth

Does the newest entry in this difficult RPG series still hurt good enough to be worth the challenge? Todd Ciolek finds out. ― Etrian Odyssey games ask a lot. They require you to pace around dungeon grids full of nasty enemies. They require you to map out levels in the tradition of the hardest RPGs of 1986. They require you to try again and again, even after a sudden and vicious encounter wipes out yo...
review

Sweet Blue Flowers [2-in-1 Edition] GN 1

This queen-sized release is an excellent way to dive into a yuri manga that's a cut above the rest. Rose Bridges explores what makes Takako Shimura's creation so special. ― On the surface, Sweet Blue Flowers has all the setup for a classic yuri premise: an all-girls' school full of students blushing at each other, kissing in hallways and against library stacks. The outside world of compulsory heteros...
review

The Good Witch of the West Blu-Ray

This adaptation of Noriko Ogiwara's novel series finally gives English-language fans a conclusion to the tale, but other aspects of its production have not aged well. Rebecca Silverman gets into the details. ― The title The Good Witch of the West may be familiar to you – back in the day, TokyoPop released the first six volumes of the manga and first two of Noriko Ogiwara's original novels in English....
review

ID-0 — Episodes 1-12 Streaming

This 3DCG mecha series from last spring has finally debuted on Netflix, but was it worth the wait? Theron Martin has the answers. ― What do you get when the creator/director for the Code Geass franchise teams up with the writer behind Gundam Build Fighters? This 12-episode original anime production, which aired in Japan during the Spring 2017 season. After many months of waiting, Netflix has made the...
review

Platinum End GN 3

Platinum End’s third volume is its best yet, with a strong balance of tension and beauty. Nick Creamer dives into the action. ― In many ways, Platinum End feels like a rewrite of Death Note. From its death game premise to its fantastical but tightly constrained powers, focus on identity puzzles, and grim reflections on morality, many elements of Platinum End feel like a recalibration of Ohba's first ...
review

I Hear the Sunspot GN

This unconventional boys-love story about a hearing impaired student breaks the mold in several nice ways. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― The third story about someone with hearing loss to come out in English in recent years, I Hear the Sunspot is also perhaps the most thoughtful. While A Silent Voice shines a light on bullying and So Cute it Hurts takes a romantic angle, Yuki Fumino's graphic ...

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