28 of ? chapters read
Hana-kun to Koisuru Watashi isn't extremely original, but it's a breath of fresh air of sorts. How so? At first, you see the boy introduced as a "delinquent." Yes, I know that's been used a lot, but hear me out. So yes, titular title Hana is misunderstood, however. He isn't just the typical tough guy with a rarely shown soft side, he's a bit on the quiet side and because of the way others perceive him, he's mistaken to be an unreasonable troublemaker. Nanase, the heroine, didn't exactly see him in a good light. She was a bit wary of him. Over time and after just a few initial misunderstandings (which are quickly resolved), she learns that he's kind, a good person, and that he's caring. However, she learns that he likes someone, and here's another cliche avoided. The person in question isn't the popular or pretty girl. If I went past here it, there would be spoilers, and you don't really need a story summary or synopsis for reviews. At first, because of the person that Hana-kun likes (who is a good person), I didn't like this manga too much. I questioned just -why- this person in particular. Yet after re-reading once or twice, I understood why. Once certain things happen, it was the start of this series gradually moving up to my heart. It literally knocked out all my other favorites. There's something going on when it knocks down my favorite seinen series of several years, and that I keep re-reading over and over when it's still ongoing.
I had to re-read Hana-kun to Koisuru Watashi multiple times -just- to find most of the "shoujo cliches" that actually are used. I must say, such cliches are quite scarce with this one. An example would be the girl has no umbrella scenario. Yes, they share an umbrella, but there is absolutely no romance on Hana's part, and Nanase doesn't start blushing like crazy. They spend a normal afterschool time as friends at a ramen place Hana frequents. Very slice of life like and normal, but still sweet in a moderate way. Another factor to mention is that "appearances" are barely brought up, like the other hundreds of shoujo manga out there.
I didn't really notice the art at first, but that's how I'm usually like starting most manga. I don't pay a lot of attention to how good or bad art is unless it's particularly either of the two. For this manga, it's all right at first. I didn't notice that it's not exactly the best with the starting chapters, but the art -does- notably change. The beginning art is still decent enough to keep going, so even if it doesn't impress you at first, remember that it notably improves! I purposely compared the current and starting art, and you can visually see differences. Overall, I like and enjoy the art, even if it's not the best, it's still enjoyable. Nanase's eyes aren't drawn too huge (even if they're on the big side anyway; that's a shoujo manga element), and the art style isn't the kind that's overused to death. The style's really one of a kind. I've actually tried out half a thousand or so shoujo manga that aren't even listed in my manga list, and let me tell you something. There are times where different mangaka from different time periods "somehow" end up with art styles that are much too similar. Heck, more than usual, it looks downright bad and displeasing, even with some new shoujo manga. You won't have to worry about that with this. There are a few minor inconsistencies if you look carefully, but it doesn't affect your reading. Oh, and I shouldn't forget to mention that even from the beginning, character facial expressions are hilarious during funny moments. During such times, the way faces are drawn are very expressive and comical. I enjoy how well that's done. The art style used in Hana-kun to Koisuru Watashi is the opposite of boring with this added factor. It makes the manga real funny and something to like.
Ah, yes, our two main characters are really what make this series so great. You have Sakashita Nanase, who isn't your typical airhead and isn't treated like a loser like so many other shoujo manga. She's diligent, doesn't blush super duper easily, she's pretty, cute, kind, and a bit on the innocent side. Nanase's caring and considerate, but isn't afraid to call herself out whenever she thinks she's being selfish or acting out of place. She's also the class representative, and she's smart. One thing I like a lot about her is that she isn't the typical girl who blushes constantly EVERY time she's around the boy she likes, or avoids him (which causes typical "problems" in other shoujo manga). She casually talks to Hana in the cafeteria when they pass by each other, all the while keeping the fact that she likes him in the back her head. She's not overly shy, and she's a genuinely good-natured girl, who has flaws she sets to improve upon over time. Of course, we can't forget Daikou Hana. From a misleading appearance and attitude that he gives off to others, he's literally seen as bad-natured to nearly everyone else. Nanase thought badly of him, too. Through her, we find out that that he picks fights with people for understandable reason (even if he thinks of violence a bit too quickly to solve situations, he doesn't get into fights often). When he starts falling for Nanase, we begin to see his reservedness, shyness, and kindness. Also how he's careful around her, and just how much he treasures her after a certain point. He's not your typical pretty boy, nor is he the typical popular cliche boy. He's adorable in both actions and appearance, and he's a caring person. Hana also has a slight shy side, and he's a sweet guy.
These two do very cute things. Innocent, sickeningly cute things, but in a good and heartwarming way of sorts. It kind of pierces you through the heart with fluffiness. Examples would be (watch out for semi-spoilers here!) when the two become a couple, and Hana steals a quick kiss from Nanase, and he flees (it's an actual "sound effect" from the manga). Nanase is standing there, and he does a side kiss from behind, fleeing, and it becomes a comical moment. There's a part where she mentions that they make faces at each other when they have nothing to say, Hana's kind look at her when they're together, a ton of things. I'm quite surprised that I haven't died reading this shoujo manga. It's too sweet for anyone's heart.
If you haven't noticed already, I very much enjoy this series. It utilizes very few cliches, the main two are great characters, the story isn't overused and implements its own ideas, the art is above average. Don't forget that it'll also make you laugh. Side characters are also good. In all honesty, I feel like everyone should give this a try. It's very sweet and adorable. Re-reading this so many gosh darn times is a good thing. Every time I do so, I am never disappointed. I will warn you, though. It probably or might seem like nothing too special at first, but once you've gotten past a certain point, and whether you re-read it or not, you will enjoy it as well. I seriously hope that this underrated manga gets noticed someday, as it is well-received by fans from the manga site I use, but not elsewhere. I daresay that it's a rare gem hidden in the rough. I really do hope that you'll enjoy it, too! read more
(Spoilers ahead!) Dogs: Bullets & Carnage, a manga where the story seems so very simple. When in actuality, when you get far enough, can confuse you. That's how complex it can get. At first it's pretty linear, and then what's this? Plot twists? A lot of them? Secrets being revealed? Oh what are its readers to do. DBC follows Haine, a rough-looking albino male. He hangs around a church of all places, and has a bad past. He wants to get to the mysterious and ominous "underground" to get revenge against the evil female scientist, Angelika, who created him. He also wants to find out more of his past, and is joined by Badou, a mellow-like smoker. Joining them are Mihai, an old man who can fight, and the beautiful "sword maiden" Naoto. These 4 are the main protagonists, and the manga follows their past and futures.
The story's great, yes. However, past halfway, it starts to slow down and drag around a bit, but immediately pick up later. You won't wanna miss this.
Ah, the art. The famous yet underrated mangaka Miwa Shirow. He's done work for the notable band Supercell, after already working on Dogs. His style has evolved so much, that it's amazing to see his progress. In the beginning, Dogs seems to be on the semi-realistic side, with detailed backgrounds and shadow. Halfway through this series, everything gets smoother, there are less backgrounds, and the characters become more well-defined. The most recent chapters have shown even more progress. Now he has a set defining style, and there are no backgrounds. Why doesn't he draw them? Let's see, he's a mangaka drawing detailed clothing wrinkles, puts in a lot of inking, works for Supercell, AND has no assistants. All in all, its become a part of his amazing style, and I highly respect him for it.
The characters of DBC are great. They're colorful and complement each other. Haine is interesting in that he has a lot to him, and receives character growth. He changes throughout the manga, and improves. He's broken all over mentally and physically, with the added case of gynophobia (a fear of women) because of Angelika who experimented on him, and accidentally killing a sister-like female friend. This makes him anti-social, and added violent tendencies. His fear puts him at odds with our main female protagonist Naoto, who is also on the quiet side. Beautiful, short-haired, and slender, she suffers from a bad case of amnesia. Haine, coming from the infamous underground, is followed for information. Naoto is strong, level-headed, and bad with femininity. The fact that she doesn't give up hounding Haine displeased him greatly. Through time, they accept one another, and are able to work together, and walk side by side.
Badou, the seemingly simple and lazy smoker. Long red hair, and an eyepatch. This guy just seems so harmless, huh? WRONG. No smokes? He's going to kill you all, no joke. Aside from that, a sort of nervous, and comic relief character. He's easygoing and pretty friendly, even if he can be crude. An information broker with many sides to him. Does a bunch of odd jobs for cash and info. Haine's "friend."
Of course we can't forget Mihai. A quiet older man, who seems to have a tragic past, which he did indeed have, just humbly hanging around a certain cafe, drinking coffee. Right. He can fight with his fists, and can shoot well. A force to be reckoned with. Sort of wise, and a nice person. This guy is not what he seems, however. Yes, he's nice, but he can be deadly serious if he wanted to do so.
Dogs: Bullets & Carnage is actually my favorite manga. How? The story's great, the art's great, and these are my favorite characters; Haine and Naoto, if you noticed that. All by my overall favorite anime artist. What else could I say? Of course I enjoy this manga.
This manga's scoring overall is an un-doubtful 9. A point docked down for the story's pacing, which is a very big deal when a manga loses your interest for a time, even if it's short. This is the manga all seinen fans need to read, no doubt. read more
26 of 26 episodes seen
The story of this series is just amazing. It's not your typical samurai variety show, it just isn't. It's a mature-rating anime, with an actual noticeable, yet small amount of slice of life included. There are moral questions that show up all the time. A realistic-like adventure with three colorful friends.
Samurai Champloo follows Fuu, a 15 year old girl, who lost her mother. She was working at her relatives' shop, when Mugen shows up. Mugen, being one who likes fighting opponents stronger than him, instantly wanted to kill Jin, another one of our tro, when he appeared at the shop. This all happened because of a conceited father-son duo, who were minor antagonists, who aren't seen again. SC is an action show, with the big element of traveling through feudal Japan. The goal of Fuu, one of the main protagonists, is to find the "Sunflower Samurai," who she doesn't know the location of. Mugen and Jin, being in her debt, had to promise to accompany her, and find this samurai.
Now, keep in mind, as amazing as this anime is, it's very mature. How so? I was 18 when I watched this, and I found the element of brothels and prostitutes, included with the fact that Mugen is a womanizer, and Jin who would accompany him to red districts difficult for me to watch at times. However, it's not anything so explicit that it takes away from the show. So if you're young, maybe you shouldn't pick this up, but that's up to you.
The art of SC is sort of inconsistent. At times it'll look really smooth, other times, old-looking. It ranges from great art, to below average. However, overall, the art is still good. The animation is well-done, fight scenes are great, and movements quick and smooth. When the animators did so, some scenes are very dramatic and suspenseful, the colors being perfect for a scene. The effects used are also done well. Regardless of a few downgrades near the first episodes, the art is still very good.
Samurai Champloo's sound is one of the most noteworthy. You only have to start this anime once and you'll find many very memorable tracks, mostly referring to the bgm, courtesy of Nujabes, Tsutchie, and Force of Nature, and many more artists. A WIDE variety of composers and singers took part in the soundtrack, and that is no joke. MINMI, who did an excellent job on two endings, Kazami for a great English ending, Midicronica for another notable ending, and there are even Japanese folk songs that have an important part in the show. The music is amazing, and sets the mood for SC just so well. The songs can be moving, relaxing, or ominous. The sound for this series is leveled with its story.
(Beware of spoilers!) The three main characters of SC: Fuu, Mugen, and Jin. Fuu, the petite 15 year old with a monstrous appetite, who is cheery and a hard worker when she needs to be. She can be lazy, a liar, many things. She's isn't exactly very womanly, but she's feminine, has a good sense of justice, determined, and actually very considerate. Regardless of what most characters see of her, there are many deeper sides to her, and she has had a tragic past, even if that doesn't show up all the time. An adorable, seemingly upbeat girl. A strong female lead.
Mugen is the crude, fighting-obsessed, lazy, violent, women-chasing, dishonest one of the trio. He's rough, on the mean side, and seems completely selfish. Below the surface, he has some loyalty, and does care about his friends, as much as they would doubt that. Regardless of his many negative and infamous traits, he develops friendship with the other two. He grows attached to them, and cares for them, something he would never admit. There's a good amount of character growth that he went through in the series. Like Fuu, he also had a tragic past, leading to how he is who he is today. Mugen does not get along with Fuu, who he calls flat-chested, fat, and other things. Fuu finds him lazy, crude, and untrustworthy. Through time, they learn to worry about one another, and share a bond.
Jin is the silent, good-looking glasses one. He's very quiet and reserved. A very skilled samurai on Mugen's level- but complete opposites. Jin has a sense of morals, and fights because he learned, and does it through prediction and sheer speed. Mugen would fight him with impulsive moves, kicks, and even some break-dancing. Jin and Mugen do NOT get along in the beginning. What's Fuu to do when her two bodyguards are total opposites? It's more than enough when they fight antagonists, only to say they're alive because they want to kill each other. Yet, these two opposites become friends. Respecting each other, believing each other, and relating to one another. Of course, they would never admit that. Jin follows the others with a tragic past, one that pretty much haunts him throughout most of their journey. Because of his quiet trait, the talkative Fuu can't really interact with him at first. Later on, they both get to know each other better, and so Fuu would become sad at a certain part, when Jin abruptly says that he may leave the trio.
These three strangers, who have many conflicts in their travels, become the best of friends. A lot of things happen, a lot of things change. Things come up, things are overcome, and some are never gotten over. In the end, there is a beautiful friendship between these three.
As you can probably see, I very much enjoyed this show. I didn't expect to love it like I do today, but I do. It was a very wonderful adventure with our lovable trio, and it saddens me that we couldn't continue on it.
Overall, Samurai Champloo gets a high 9 for me. I hope you enjoyed this review! read more
8 of 8 chapters read
The story for Ann Cassandra is superb. It's original, fluid, very shounen-like, and suspenseful. It's executed very well and smoothly, up until the end where it starts rushing, and ends abruptly. Quite abruptly, I may add. Yes, this manga is great, but the ending is a disappointment. Still, it is a must-read for any manga fan.
Now, for the actual plot. SOME SPOILERS AHEAD! A girl meets boy SORT of scenario, where she discovers the guy's very peculiar. Yes, he's pretty strange. He does extremely reckless things, gets injured often, and the works. She's not so normal herself. She finds out later on, that this so-called boy, Banjou, has a "prediction book." It foretells future disasters- including his inevitable death. She, Bekku, can predict gruesome futures through looking at mirrors. If her hair is messy... she saw something ugly. These two work together, and get to know each other through saving peoples' lives. They develop a small attraction to one another, but keep in mind this a shounen.
Art style? Also very great. It's inconsistent, but powerful and tough. It's a wonder to look at, very pleasing to the eyes. There's a lot of detail in debris, and the character designs are great. The anatomy's off, but you won't notice too much with all the pleasing action scenes. There are leaps, expressive faces, sprinting. It's all done quite well indeed.
The two main characters of Ann Cassandra, our duo, are an amazing pair. They work together well, they contrast, they fit together. They're both lovable, and different in their viewpoints themselves and views on justice. They're colorful, expressive, and just two characters who can be adored. It's a breath of fresh air when you see Bekku's character design. Messy + clean short, white hair, and a special-looking hairband.
Banjou? A megane with dark spiky hair, who's very resilient and brave. He's more typical, but his personality speaks out for him. (Spoilers!) Late on in this story, another female is introduced. She's more on the minor side, but annoying and irrational. I don't see why she was added in so late, but this character does accidentally cause harmful hazards to happen with the duo. She does have quick character development, however.
I thoroughly enjoyed this manga, and I really hope you will, too. It's a wonderful read, the art was great, the story was beautiful, and the duo lovable in each their own way.
Overall, this gets a strong 9 for me! I hope you'll pick up this one- have lots of fun! read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
The anime everyone's heard about. The one that was all over tumblr, mentioned on facebook- it was everywhere for the time it was being shown. So now, I will tell you what I thought about this show, both good and bad.
The story of SAO is actually adequate at first. It pulls you in, it's interesting! That is, until the INFAMOUS third episode. Yes, this is not a certain other VRMMO (virtual reality mmo) show, but. The person who wrote SAO's novel, who had no IDEA of that other show, did write something at the same time. However, instead of turning this work in, they did not. So for all these years, how much does one have to revise? Exactly. Now, back to the anime's story. Yes, it's interesting. Up until the third episode where Sachi, a minor character, is killed. The main male lead, the protagonist, Kirito, does not react. A LIVING HUMAN WAS KILLED, and he did not care all that much. Yes, he was shocked. Was he saddened? No.
There are a lot of emotional parts in SAO. Those are great. They can give you feels. However, there are so many fillers and strange aspects, that it all goes down the drain in the end.
The art is a lot of things. It's "high quality," but what about the style? Everyone looks a child, excluding a few characters. Everyone's face are blobby. Like moe-blobs, in a way. Their eyes are similar, big, and shiny. If you switched the girls' hairstyles and eye colors around, would you be able to recognize them? The animation's fluid, the effects are great, but the way everything is executed is not. All in all, it's above average, but not stupendous. It's notable.
Ah, the sound. The voice acting is superb! The bgm is good! The songs? Lisa singing the opening... Now, Lisa is a great singer. Crossing Field, however, I can't say is a very good song. It's overrated at most. The future opening and endings are much better! However, that's personal opinion and music taste, so that's up to you. The seiyu are great, and the bgm's notable. It's above average here.
Oh, Kirito. At first, an anti-social person. There's nothing wrong with that. He made mistakes. What about the rest of the series? No. After that, he is PERFECT. Every girl wants him, every guy wants to be him, the antagonists want him to badly suffer. He's depicted as THE best. Kirito becomes an actual 2D character in the personality and depiction part. Now, Asuna, his "waifu." She is shown to be perfect, even more, than he is. She's the "only" one who can cook, everyone wants her, she's depicted as the most beautiful character in the entire series. At first, she can fight! She really can! Then, she becomes a damsel in distress, which isn't entirely her fault, but you know, strong female lead becomes... ??? She's also not the only girl who can cook, but that's what people think. Everyone forgets that she's portrayed as the most perfect girl you could be in the world of SAO. Asuna is kind, strong, beautiful. You see what I mean? Yeah. Also making these two THE strongest in this anime ruins nearly everything. Of course they'll win sooner or later.
One of the later antagonists becomes enamored with Asuna. Before they can leave the game, an older man tries to take Asuna from Kirito, because she's stuck in another VRMMO. Yes, that's right. He violates her in front of Kirito, so he'll get angry. Yepp. Some random guy just decides to do this. The characters? Nice try, but not really.
My enjoyment of this series... I honestly thought I'd like it, I really did. That all fell apart early on. I enjoyed the emotional bits, the fluid-ness of the animation, the action scenes. The effects, the voice acting. The story was no, the art style was no, the characters definitely not. There you have it. A not so enjoyable experience, that could've gone right.
Overall, SAO gets a 6 from me. Notable, but not note-worthy to watch. I apologize to all fans, but this just wasn't my idea of an amazing anime. Thank you for reading, and enjoy your day! read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
TM's story is simple; a girl, Tamako, works at a mochi shop with her father, sister, and grandfather. Across the street is a rival mochi shop- the home of a boy, Mochizou, who's interested in the oblivious Tamako. The story is of Tamako's life in both the shop, and her school life, along with her two good friends. In the midst of all this, a strange talking bird appears to Tamako, and tells her he is here to find a bride for his prince. There's a decent amount of humor included. Another fact is that my younger cousins, who play mmo's and minecraft all day, ENJOY this anime. TM is a simple, but heartwarming and sweet one story. If you're like me, it's able to give you feels. Happy emotions, bittersweet emotions, sad ones... this anime is able to pack many feelings into one.
The art of this show is of course by KyoAni, so it should seem familiar. The animation is fluid, the colors are bright, warm, and cold. It's high quality. However, anatomy-wise, it might be a little bit less accurate than K-ON!, especially with all of the characters' legs (even minor, nameless ones). The female characters' hands are really small and inconsistent, and at times are either too small, or actually correctly drawn. It's not too big of an issue, though. Expressions are well-done, and lively. All in all, the animation is pretty great.
Both the opening and ending for Tamako Market are amazing. The colorful, upbeat op is a lively tune. The song matched the op sequence very well. The ending, stunning, and very catchy to boot. I find it stuck in my head, often... the seiyu for Tamako sings both of these, and she is a pretty good vocalist! The voice acting for TM is great- the cast's voices match very well. Even the bgm's great- matching, quirky, catchy songs. Love the music for TM.
Characters of this show, I find unique and lovable. Tamako is just darling- and it's hard to not love her. Her friends are also unique, and have nice quirks to them. I adore both Tamako and Kanna, her brown-haired, measurement enthusiast friend. The shopping district residents are colorful, and they're all depicted very, very warmly, and are all individuals of their own right. We can't forget Dera, the characteristic bird who comes to visit. Also a lovable "character" indeed.
I thoroughly enjoy Tamako Market- even when I thought I wouldn't. It's one of the most promising series for this season for me, so you can imagine how much I like it. Every time a new episode arrives, I get really excited and smiles appear on my face no matter how down I feel. A great anime to go to if you're not feeling very happy, or you're down in the dumps.
Overall, you should watch this anime if you don't mind lightheartedness and slice of life. This anime is the one I very eagerly wait to see every week this entire season. It's a warm and sweet story, so please enjoy! read more
14 of ? chapters read
Story: (Some spoilers ahead!) It's really something when a manga is able to knock out every other favorite I have and achieve top rank. Unfortunately, I should say this now. It really is superb story-wise until the manga gets to a certain arc. At that point, it's just not that amazing anymore. Anyway.
How can a manga about cooking be so great? Hell's Kitchen is about how the Earl of Poor Eating is tired of only consuming souls of experienced, but conceited, immoral chefs. So he comes up with the idea of possessing your most average and normal person... the protagonist. With this, you're invited to the wacky, but highly creative and well-thought adventures he has at a cooking academy for very talented teens. The techniques in this manga are REAL. They're so odd, but if you research them, you find out that they're actual skills that are used, and the cooking elements are in fact, fact. I figure I should stop here because I'd be spoiling more, though.
Art: At the beginning, the art style for Hell's Kitchen is ehh. Once you get into it, which will be near the beginning, you disregard the art completely. The only way I realized that the art isn't that great, was that I re-read chapters when I got caught-up. (I purposely held this off for weeks because I didn't want to catch up) Even so, the art is decent and above average. You'll notice some mistakes if you look, but it's all right otherwise. It's one of a kind and enjoyable nonetheless. The art styles and character designs give off a lot of personality that is practically oozing out from the characters.
Characters: Oh, of course, the characters themselves. The ones in this series are quite lovable, even with their flaws, and achieve their own personal, original flair. They aren't overused, recycled character archetypes, which are pretty common nowadays. Nearly all of the characters are real likeable- even the main antagonists at times. I really like a lot of the cast. They're very colorful and have great personality for the story. It's hard not to love them.
If it wasn't obvious enough, I enjoy this manga, and I really don't know what I did to keep myself from waiting for new chapters. ...but like I said before, with the current chapters, it lost it's brilliant shine. I hope it becomes amazing again.
However, you should give it a go! It doesn't matter if you're a shounen or shoujo fan, you might just love this. read more