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Yesterday, 4:07 PM
Kotonoha no Niwa (Anime) add
Kirik0h
The greatest injustice that can be afflicted to “Kotonoha no Niwa” is to mistakenly label this 46-minute film a story of romance. Indeed, Makoto Shinkai himself stated that he wanted to write a tale of “lonely sadness” and whilst romance is definitely a prevalent theme, it is not portrayed nor explored in a traditional fashion.

The entire plot centralises around the interactions between our two main characters: a young student and a mysterious grownup woman. Be that as it may, the dialogue is very minimal but simultaneously so potent for a vast majority of the development that occurs and the insights we gain into our protagonists hinges upon brief and restrained conversations. It is the absence of dialogue in many cases that convey human emotions more eminently and passionately than when spoken and the visuals play an incredible role to enhance this. Given the film’s brevity, it requires every element to contribute to the plot and no element exists without a reason – be it simple movements, scenery, music or dialogue.

Takao’s burning desire to transcend into adulthood and realise his dreams is beautifully embodied by the older and seemingly sophisticated woman but even during the film’s brief journey, Takao’s preconceptions are deconstructed and despite their differences, they come to realise their similarities through their interactions under the rain which are painfully human.

Rain is a fundamental aspect that initially represents the condition necessary for our protagonists to meet. I think with regards to the symbolism that Shinkai has employed to explore key themes, it is better if you watch and contemplate yourself on them as this is where the majority of the satisfaction lies in this movie. Our characters and their self-discoveries tell a larger story at hand and it is elegantly told. Perhaps my only significant issue I found was the lack of emotional intensity or potency that led our female main character to the position and predicament she was in. Whilst it wasn’t weak, it seemed lacking compared to how brilliantly Takao was characterised and this slight imbalance hampered the final climax for me to a certain degree.

For a film whose strengths lies in its representation through resigned soliloquys, much of the portrayal lies in the hands of the artwork and animation which are nothing short of a masterpiece. This is the most visually impressive work I have ever seen in the anime medium. The animation is flawless with focus applied in the right places at the right times successfully emphasising key metaphors employed and transitions that are sight for sore eyes. The sceneries and landscapes are meticulously drawn with details that are unexpectedly similar to real life further enhancing the immersion of the experience. The musical score has a larger focus on softer pieces that almost act as an addition to natural sounds of rain and nature or the cacophony read more
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May 8, 2014 9:37 AM
Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo (Manga) add
lightstacy
Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo is one of those mangas you pick up and can't put back down. At first I was not expecting a lot from it; the storyline seemed overplayed and the overall feeling was that I would be reading something cute and nice enough to keep me entertained for a while.

But Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo is a lot more than that. Sure, the story is not extremely original, but if there's something that I've learned from life is that it doesn't matter if you're the first to come up with an idea - what matters is if you're the best at portraying that idea. And while Yoshikawa Miki might not be the best out of all the authors, she sure knew what she was doing.

She created lovable characters with very distinct personalities, most of which you will very likely start caring for by the end of the first few chapters. I found myself really living their situations, their achievements and their disappointments, found myself rooting for them like they were great friends of mine. And one great thing about them is that they're not cookie-cutter either. You will get seriously angered by some of them, too, because they will mess up terribly. All of them are given equal screen time, more or less, although of course Yamada is considered the main character and everything revolves around him. What I mean is that all the other characters go through their hardships and own mini stories and Yamada's own life sometimes takes the backstage in such cases.

The story is engaging. Like I said, I couldn't put the manga down because I couldn't wait to find out what was happening next. It has some plot twists that will leave you flabberghasted and others not so much, as they are a bit predictable. But overall, I think the author was very creative and played her cards well. She could have transformed this manga into something very unidimensional and boring. Yet it's clear that she really gave herself to her work. You can feel her dedication in every sentence and every stroke. She also mixed a lot of genres together and didn't really give a preference to just one.

The art is flawless, as far as I can tell, and very emotional. It transpires the mood of the characters completely. I could hear them screaming, feel their tension and the butterflies in their stomach, smile whenever they smiled, feel sad whenever they cried. It's ecchi, of course, so beware if you're not into that kind of thing. I usually am not so seeing as I love this manga, that's something to consider. Maybe because it's not something blatant and overplayed. It's more of an accessory and usually acts like a comic relief more than anything else. It's not gratuitous like in some other mangas, which I enjoy.

Definitely recommend it to anyone wanting a good laugh and looking for a refreshing manga. Ignore the fact that there are storylines like these. Ignore read more
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Jan 8, 2014 2:04 PM
Tentacle and Witches (Anime) add
nicoduches
*Warning: This is a hentai title review. It features graphic language.

As Captain Obvious would say, this title is heavy on tentacle sex. Now I can’t say I enjoy that fetish. I decided to watch it only because of the nice cover art… and I must say I’ve been agreeably surprised.

Based on the eroge of the same name by Lilith-Soft and produced by Pixy (Taimanin Asagi, Kangoku Senkan), Tentacle and Witches offers 4 episodes of steamy, consensual and enjoyable tentacle sex. Tentacles without rape or violence! I can hardly believe it! (until episode 3, that is)

STORY: 6/10
Ichiro, your typical male high school student, fantasizes about his teacher Yuko who really is a witch. He is punished by the witch’s pupil, Lily, for peeping on her rituals and is turned into a tentacle monster. Tentacle and Witches then proves worthy of its title by having numerous sex scenes starring tentacle boy and his girls.

The non sex scenes still feature a lot of ecchi paired with comedy, which is reminiscent of typical fan service content in non Hentai titles. Most of the jokes are déjà vu: flamboyant characters act up and throw hate at each other. Only a few of the more original moments made me chuckle.

Whenever the plot seems to stagnate it picks up again shortly after and is just interesting enough to add some value to the overall viewing experience. The love triangle relationship evolves as the story moves forward and I would have preferred if the story focused on that. At mid point, a new witch is introduced and an evildoer appears to stir up trouble, but this new main plot feels like poor filler.

ART: 7/10
I know for sure that the cover art for this title (and others such as Dark Knight Ingrid) was done by Mayu Furuse. What I noticed is that the art’s quality is uneven.

While the characters look fine and the animation is okay, the style is quite peculiar. The female characters have a tiny waist, long and thin legs and facial traits closer to super deformed than to realism at times. Some frames show a lack of detail and consistency in the depiction of body parts, and there are a few shots in which the female characters look sketchy. Yet there are other shots in which the girls are very attractive.

Overall I have mixed feelings about the art style, but I cannot deny that the characters and animations do look nice most of the time.

SOUND: 7/10
The girls moan quite a lot during H scenes but their voices weren’t annoying. Lily’s voice actress does a particularly good job of conveying the character’s emotions. There are 2 or 3 little flaws: Yuko has one scene in which she speaks fluently despite having her mouth full and Lily has at least one in which the lines don’t match her lips’ movements.

It’s hard for me to assess the tentacles’ sound effects, but I’d say they get along nicely with the images and aren’t out of synch or anything.
The soundtrack is read more
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May 6, 2009 7:20 PM
Clannad: After Story (Anime) add
LemonLyme
I laughed...
I cried...
I experienced something that changed my life...

In a nutshell, Clannad ~After Story~ influenced the way I will live for the rest of my life and not just in some half-assed way like any other show would. It legitimately moved me to make certain decisions, for better or for worse. In that sense, no other anime can compare, as no other anime has provided an equivalent reaction on my part.

Before you continue, you should know that Clannad ~After Story~ is a continuation of the story from Clannad and an adaptation from the original Visual Novel by KEY. Although knowledge of the first season is not necessary, it is highly recommended if you want to get the most out of ~After Story~ as well as this review. That being said, this review is tailored to all readers, and can be understood without knowledge of the first season. Note that there may be very minor spoilers. Now then, on to the meat and potatoes.

I won't spend much time on the individual components of Clannad ~After Story~ (or Clannad ~AS~ as I will call it now) like I have with my other reviews. At first glance, there is nothing notably outstanding about it as a whole. For those who are interested in the individual components, here they are and the reasons behind them are available at the end of the review:

Story: 8.7/10
Art/Animation: 8.4/10
Sound: 7.8/10
Character: 9.7/10
Enjoyment (in this case influence): 10+/10
Overall: 9.8/10


| Main Review |
It is difficult to convey the emotions that went through my mind as I watched Clannad ~AS~. For those of you who watched the first season and dropped the show, I urge you to pick up ~AS~ and give it a chance. The first few episodes run almost identically to those of the first season, but the true After Story part branches off in a manner that is unique only to ~AS~. What Clannad ~AS~ gives the viewer is a story of life. A story of despair. A story of forgiveness. A story of hope. Through this story, Clannad ~AS~ can powerfully change the way you perceive the world around you. I am well aware that not everyone enjoys Clannad and ~AS~, especially since the magical light orbs are outlandish to some, but for me it was a bit of a godsend among anime.

The concept of Clannad ~AS~ is neither truly unique nor breathtakingly wonderful. What the viewer gets when watching it is the story of a man. Nothing less and nothing more. What Clannad ~AS~ really excels at, however, is the way it tells the story of that man. While it may be classified as a romance or even a harem anime by some (at least the first season could be), I really classify Clannad ~AS~ as a slice of life. A slice out of the life of a delinquent who can’t seem to do anything right and struggles to protect what really matters to him as the world comes crashing down.

However, “slice of life” can read more
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Nov 26, 2008 9:24 PM
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (Anime) add
Ceptryn
Watching Higurshi is like locking a group of happy people in a test chamber, only coming back to find they've hacked each other into a bloody mess. Its horrific, its shocking, and yet a part of you, cannot help but wonder, how did it happen?

The curiosity takes over... and so you repeat the experiment, knowing full well that those cute looking teenagers you just sent are going to end up as bloody pulps. But hey, at least each time they die, you're one step closer to figuring out why they died, it's all good.

Higurashi essentially places you in the role of the scientist. It divides itself into several arcs, each of which begin exactly the same. A teenager moves into a remote countryside village, and befriends a group of sweet fangirls that could have come out right from a harem rom/com. Then, explicably, thing go wrong... very wrong.

The pacing is excellent, the suspence pulpable. You know terrible things are going to happen, but you don't know exactly what. Higurashi would appeal to two types of people. The maglomanics who cackle madly in seeing a happy community descend into the depth of oblivion, and the curious scientist who watched each arc with intense interest... for they want to know exact *why* everything goes wrong (though they can also cackle madly just a little).

The true draw of Higurashi is the mystery. The series will leave you guessing, postulating all manner of reasons why the sweetest girl in the class is now butchering every child in sight with a giant cleaver. Each experiment you run (arc you see) reveals a few more clues, and you formulate a new theory, only to find it shattered by another totally unexpected horror in the very same arc. The beauty of Higurashi is that a mystery of such grand scale, every detail is meticulous, and while every bloody event seems random at first, they all eventually fall into place

Not only are the characters are memorable, and filled with interesting secrets, and unlike school days, they're actually also extreme likeable. This is no small achievement, given what they're portrayed doing to each other.

Higurashi is really the pinnacle of a dark mystery. You'll start off the mad scientist, watching those innocents in the test chamber with morbid curiosity. Yet, slowly, that morbid curiosity will be transformed into sympathy, and as you fall in love these victims, that initial curiosity will into turn a genuine desire to figure out whats going on so that they can be saved.

***

As always, I welcome feedback!
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Dec 30, 2009 11:40 PM
Mars of Destruction (Anime) add
Foggle
This is by far the anime medium's magnum opus. Mars of Destruction is the best animated movie I've seen in years, if not ever. In terms of science-fiction related media, this blows other greats such as Heinlein's works, Battlestar Galactica, and Neon Genesis Evangelion out of the water. Truly an experience I will never forget, and oh, what an experience it was!

Story: 10/10
This film is highly philosophical. I actually felt regret when the Big Bad Ancient Guy told Random Armored Cop Dude that the humans were the true invaders of Earth. This plot twist was stunning and, on the whole, thought-provoking. It was like something written by Kafka.

Art/Animation: 10/10
This movie is so amazing that it actually makes DEEN's animation look like Madhouse by comparison. It gave me more appreciation for other anime titles! I love you, Mars Of Destruction!!!

Sound: 10/10
The voice acting is absolutely perfect. When the characters yell each other's names repeatedly you will FEEL the emotion. The OST recorded by Beethoven himself is also marvelous. He did an excellent job, as always.

Characters: 10/10
The characters are all equally well-done, from Green Hair Girl to Blue Hair Girl; it's so easy to tell them apart! I especially enjoyed the doctor's dialogue, as I would not have known that the girl whose head exploded was dead without his helpful reminder that "she won't make it."

Enjoyment: 10/10
This picture is absolutely riveting on every level! I could watch it over and over and never get bored!

Overall: 10/10
Run, don't walk, to your nearest YouTube to catch this masterpiece as soon as possible! You won't regret it!
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Yesterday, 7:18 AM
NHK ni Youkoso! (Anime) add
tsudecimo
Before you click the helpful or unhelpful button, I hope that you at least read a part of the review and decide your vote based on it, not based on the score that I gave. Thx.

Welcome to the NHK was an interesting experience for me, I didn't know what to expect from the show while diving into it, so it's not like I set my expectation high but I was still really disappointed by it, for a number of reasons that I will explain in this review.

The Story. It's about a NEET & Hiki named Satou and his crazy depressing life with several other characters. It was more or less a social commentary about a serious issue in modern society with a black comedy tone. The story was incoherent, at times it was about Satou and his problems and how he wants to deal with them and help himself but it shifts that focus through out the story, making it feel like Satou's problems are just delayed. It focuses on the wrong characters and dedicate arcs for them which don't contribute a lot to the overall plot progression or to Satou's character. One of the arcs is really just terrible and it just contradicts any kind of logic the show has. I'm talking about the arc that focused on Megumi and her brother, that was simply just stupid. It showed how bad her situation with her brother is in and how Hikikomoris affect their family life and not just their own, it also introduced online gaming addiction and how it can worsen the life of a NEET but all of that doesn't matter if he, the brother just miraculously recovers from his severe social anxiety thanks to hunger, HUNGER?! that was so unrealistic in so many levels. We have Satou who by far have it better than Megumi's brother but still can't get his life together. I felt like that betrayed the message of the show and how hard it is to recover from being a NEET and a Hikikomori.

They also censored/removed Satou's usage of drugs which explains why he had those hallucinations. He didn't have them because he was so mentally unstable or obsessed with conspiracies like the anime portrayed. It was him just using some drugs, no one gets that mentally unstable from just being a NEET and a Hikikmori. The story ended on an open ending which I didn't like at all, having a conclusive ending would have been much better. It would have showed that going through all this, meant something.

The Characters. They are flawed human beings and this is what story was trying to show, that made them feel real but in certain situations they felt like the complete opposite of real. Example of this would be Satou and his relationship with Misaki and his Senpai, especially Senpai. Satou is supposed to be a pathetic, spineless and an unstable human being but I still find the way he acted in the Suicide Island arc to read more
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May 25, 2:05 PM
Dragon Ball Kai (Anime) add
LadyDemigra
Next Time On Dragon ball Z...oops I mean Kai

Many like me who have seen the original and yet have seen this and thought
well Kai is obviously the same, Yeah because OBVIOUSLY it is!

There are differences here and there to mention so I will be making a lot of comparisons that you'll expect to see. This review is based on my truthful analysis of this show from watching it twice.

Story - 9
The story is sped up much more better compared to the original for obvious reasons of course, It sticks to the major characters along with the main plot, less over the top screaming and less deviating to different locations with little going on in them. better direction of how the pacing is handled within the story to how it is in the manga though I would argue that some certain moments in this version like the original happened quite differently in the manga.

The short prologue to the beginning of what happened to Goku's father Bardock was a nice touch compared to how the original started off. It sets the story very nicely by showing bardock's assault on frieza's army and also the major difference was a removal of the fillers from the original which I like a lot about this.

Now for me I enjoyed some of the fillers from the original anime such as Gohan facing against Garlic Jr and his demonic minions, Goku and Piccolo amusing test driving episode or even seeing some of the characters trying to find the dragon balls or just randomly seeing some of the supporting characters in their own segments like Tien, Krillin, Yamcha, Chichi etc.

It offered a nice casual distraction away from the main plot but also kept up in the right places as well as still offering the action, drama and humour to the show as a whole.

But then from the original anime you have fillers that are just downright bad, For the love of god I totally hated the fake planet namek saga and gohan's adventure out in the wilderness as well as goku when he fell off snake way when he met those 2 annoying orges, including the fillers that stretch the length of an episode or just added silly moments which I also wasn't a fan of.

Now with Kai most of these fillers are pretty much gone which really helps viewers to stick with the main plot which in term keeps it more direct and maintains that balance of content and at least help it to not completely drag on for very long which is a major improvement.

Now for the art/animation - 6
Honestly I am totally disappointed with Toei animation.
A series that finished a long time ago, that was beloved by fans all round the world gets this reboot in 2009 and how do they improve on it?
how about Madhouse to work on it? No how about NOTHING!

This very much annoys me to say this but Dbz kai in terms of its animation capturing the same dated read more
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May 25, 6:24 AM
Mousugu Shinu Hito (Manga) add
Rydias
This manga undeniably will send chills down on your spine.

I just though this is just some your average harem manga but seem like I’m mistakenly judge it. With completely dark side story that brought in a new horror you will never expect. Don’t stop yet, because our Nightmare is just a beginning. The true nature of this dark side story really startled me. What I’m mean by that you probably want to ask? Simple, no matter how awful it is the gore genre. It’s just defining the reality of our world face now. Our world is already messed up before we even know it. Some people depressed because don’t have an Iphone, while on the opposite, there people who cried because doesn’t have money to feed for his family. See the difference? Back to the main plot. The theme of this manga is “Survival of the fittest”. Little by little, one by one, consumed by their own selfishness, love, hatred and desire to live in this cruel world. Truth to be told, I’ve never seen manga so brutal like this. It even successful defeat anime elfen lied in gore genre. This manga will leave you speechless. I have mixed feeling when I’m try to write this review but let put the emotion aside.

Let’s get to main story shall we?

Story 8/10
The story resolves around daily life of a high school boy name Riku, Kominatio. Riku harbor romantic feeling toward his classmate Riko, Kissei who look like idol in the school. While on opposite, his childhood friend Haju deeply in love with him. Suddenly, a new transfer name Nodoka, Kishin gets transferred to Riku high school. Could this be a Harem? It would be good if it goes like any harem story but sadly this is the starter of nightmare they will go through. Some weird rumor has been spread out of nowhere. It about a game called "Die Any Day". Riku and all girl will play one dead game. Riku can choose only one girl as he’s true love. The others girl indeed will be a sacrifice to the true love girl. This game will just kept hunting them without no way out until the decision has been made. Who will Riku choose and save?

Art 8/10
I must say, the art is really beautiful. It's just a fantastic! The scene, character and such of. All is pretty well done indeed. Nice job!

Enjoyment and Overall 9/10
I’m not a fan of gore and such. I at least will avoid watching or reading anime and manga with those genres because I can’t stand this gore thing and stuff. Nevertheless, I give this manga a shot to see how far this manga can go. Actually, I don’t know this manga is a gore genre first. I think I just read some normal harem manga but it goes wrong. Since I have already read it, why not reading until the end right? Regretful, I still think this manga is too violent. So if you read more
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May 17, 5:28 AM
Barakamon (Anime) add
Rydias
You only life once, but if you do it right, once is enough. Because in the end, We only regret the chances we didn't take.

Barakamon is an anime full with comedy show that will surprise you. I'd been looking forward to seeing the series since it came out. Who could have guessed that this anime will pin my interest? I'm always looking for a masterpiece anime to watch, but anime series nowadays lack of the urgency and thematic depth to show. On the contrary, Barakamon show the opposite; which would be a good example.

Story 9/10
This story is about Seishuu Handa voiced by (Daisuke Ono), a young man full of enthusiasm for his job as a calligrapher. He has quite high ego because of his skill as an artist. His work is considered to be perfect since Handa has an outstanding talent. It becomes quite interesting when the director of an exhibition criticizes his work of lacking in a personal touch and it's not really that great as Handa expected. This is when Handa lost his temper and give a full power punch filled with rage to the old man. Which resulting Handa has been sent to an island near Kyushu to cool down and rest for a while from his work as calligrapher. His father has a house build on that island. As soon as he arrives at the Goto Island, he already is welcomed by a tomboyish little girl named Naru who has been staying at the house all this time. Here, Handa who think himself as perfect by not allowing other people fix his life or do something with his temper but slowly grew in fixing it for himself. Lives on the island can be a good lesson for Handa.

Character 8/10
Handa actually is a good person but lack the determination as he doesn't really have a friend except his family and one best friend who don't expect him to be successful as a calligrapher at first. Indeed Handa can be considered perfect since he is a good looking, wealthy and is living a dream. Lacking of Hardship also with no real friend to be expected as one of factor why Handa doesn't pay attention to attitude or behavior. Handa begin to trust his only opinion and ditch other from his life. Thus, Handa have a hard time when it come to dealing with the others and find it frustrated. Sometime Handa behavior is more immature than Naru's as the story goes on. Handa acts like a kid who doesn’t need a help from his parents, and yet Handa become a real man by the end of series. Eventually, Handa personality begins to soften and becomes gentle to the others. The island's population is not too much but they all act like family to each of them. Handa finds out that it is nice to have people to rely on which also give him inspiration to be a better person and a better calligrapher.

Naru who also read more
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Feb 4, 11:22 AM
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's (Anime) add
Rutsah
take the scenario from Terminator + tons of mindless violence + card games on motorcycles (that are surprisingly good) + a badass protagonist: Welcome to 5ds!

5ds revitalized the game when it needed it most. Konami created new types of cards (synchros) and introduced them through an anime so good that people actually got over the fact that Konami was creating new rules again (The same tactic was repeated quite successfully with Arc V and completely failed with Zexal). The duels suddenly became A LOT faster and more enjoyable and the game that was going downhill until then suddenly stepped up.

For starters FINALLY we're through with "school children protagonists". Yusei was already 18 when the show started, had already trouble with cops and was basically living in a giant scrapyard/post-apocalyptic city. Literally from the first minutes of the anime all you can say is "wow, is this really yugioh?!". Obviously the super-added levels of violence meant that 4kids butchered the anime even more than usual in the dub, making it utterly unwatchable, but that's hardly the original's fault.

And staying on the "violence makes good" theme, lets talk about emotional violence as well. Aki, the show's female lead is quite clearly a girl with a LOT of problems and torn between her loyalties, from the start to the end. On the one hand she wants to go with the protagonist... Mostly because she just fancies him, on the other she wants to stay with her boss, who she also fancies (kinda, and also kinda sees him as a fatherly figure, honestly it's a pretty interesting subplot). And the main reason she can't choose is that in 5ds, there is no clearly evil character. Obviously the protagonist is good, but there is no character you can clearly call an "one-sided villain", including her boss. On one hand that makes for a much more mature plot, on other it doesn't allow for the sheer evil badassness that Vector was (read my zexal II review). In fact even the last main villain of the anime, the big bad behind it all, STILL isn't evil. Misguided maybe, yes, but he only had the best of intentions (you know, unlike the motherfu%$ing Vector and the others).

The protagonist, Yusei, best of all, never jokes, almost never smiles and is in fact from start to finish dead serious about everything. The fact that he can outrun security (constantly), beat the crap out of everyone (no, I don't mean in a card game, I mean literally, beat the crap out of people), build 2 whole motorcycles from scrap and understand physics (without ever going to school mind you) makes him a total boss. After him comes Jack Atlas, the second male lead, who gets almost equal screentime, and is a fan-favourite due to his dueling style and unparalleled ego. He makes for an amazing antagonist and surprisingly well-written character (and is in fact the only character in the anime to get more chicks than Yusei). Lets be honest here, read more
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Jan 17, 2:04 AM
Diabolik Lovers (Anime) add
zombielolcats
I just marathoned this abomination (which wasn't too difficult considering each episode is under 14 min) and first of all, men: if you hate women and like to see them abused you will love this show, ladies: if you are masochists you will also love this show. If these descriptions do not fit you, you will just be vomiting your brain cells out the entire time.
From reading the summary, you would (obviously) think this story would evolve to the brilliant anime equivalent of the Mona Lisa or the Sistine Chapel but no. Let's go through this using the provided elements.

Alright, I KNOW the art is pretty. It was why I clicked on the cursed show. A bunch of pretty boys with awesome gradient hair. This is how the creators (satan) draw you in. DO NOT FALL FOR IT. You will be coasting on the art for 3 or so hours telling yourself the plot will get better. Spoiler alert: it doesn't. The plot is a giant lie. You keep waiting for it to pop up and when it does in the 3rd or 2nd to last episode you wonder why they even bothered to add one in because it is god awful. I laughed bitterly at my naivety. What you will be getting is 3 hours of continuous blood draining, she is bitten by like 3 of the brothers per episode and miraculously, she does not develop anemia or pass out regularly from blood loss even though the boys go HARD in the blood. Also she never has any marks on her neck when the next guy has a go unless it is valuable for them to notice (eg. "oh I see so-and-so has already been here, well then..."). There was even a scene where one vampire bit her then when he went to bite her again the previous marks were already gone. What else can I say about the story, nothing else happens.
Sound: Alright, prepare for a buttload of awkward sucking sounds. Even when they are licking her neck there is slurping sounds, it is horrifying. I can't comment on the music because it was not memorable. As for the voices, very nice selection, good choice of voice actors if anything, sometimes it masks the horrible words coming from their mouths (only not really). Lines... just a repeat of moans and comments on the flavour of her blood, etc.
Characters: Our main girl is a mediocre dunce who is having a really difficult time realizing these dudes are just scumbags. Every time she approaches a guy she is shocked that he soon after sucks her blood. She has no spine so she usually lets him have his way with her after which she runs off scared only to come back and repeat the process. One vampire, the only tolerable one, even gives her the opportunity to leave but she stays to try and figure out the plot (haha fool). As for the guys: scumbags with varying levels of sociopathic and read more
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Jan 10, 7:00 PM
Saint☆Onii-san (Movie) (Anime) add
tehnominator
If you can get behind conceptualising Jesus as the type of guy who'd be flattered at a comparison to Johnny Depp, or Buddha as the kind of person who takes too-long showers because he's just a couple more minutes away from enlightenment, then you'll definitely get a kick out Saint Young Men.

Jesus and Buddha -- the actual beings themselves -- decide to take an extended vacation on earth, with their tourist destination being ("Exotic!") Japan. The result is this slice of life comedy that is miraculously charming and inoffensive. The movie doesn't have a clear storyline, but consists of vignettes of their vacation in a town where the neighbourhood kids are bratty, the local yakuza can be ridiculous and where the people somehow never catch on that the two "foreigners" in their midst are REALLY foreign.

As a comedy, it does a fine job using observational humour and recurring gags as its base. Some of the best jokes come from contextualising the sacred in modern secularity, though it never actually takes critical jabs. It's not quite satire; it has absolutely no criticism or intellectual examination of the figures represented or the related religions. It's as gentle as a comedy about fictionalising deities can go, but that's not a bad thing. After all, it's hilariously sweet that Jesus, for instance, relates some his miracles as merely a form of personal convenience or plain old accident.

There's no conversation or commentary about faith in this anime, so if you're expecting this to be a hard bash toward or a reaffirmation of any kind of belief, then you're not going to get that. It does well steering clear of that, and the most political it gets is revealing that mortal bureaucracy is bad enough that even the Enlightened One himself isn't allowed to ring a bell in a shrine because he's "not staff".

While it's no laugh-a-minute affair, there are good chuckles to be had and it's a worthwhile hour and a half. It helps a lot that Jesus and Buddha have good chemistry. They make excellent room-mates and are a fine duo. Plus it's nice to see an anime using supportive, gentle comedy instead of insulting or abusive humour to get a smile out of the audience. So what it lacks in hard-hitting comedy, it makes up for with its charming lead characters, both of whom (despite their differences) are kind, accommodating, respectful and attentive to one another. Hey, wait a minute.
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Dec 12, 2014 7:28 AM
Shingeki no Kyojin: Kuinaki Sentaku (Anime) add
Lichtspiel
I’ve been waiting for it since I finished the manga and finally, it’s here. Shingeki no Kyojin: Kuinaki Sentaku is better than I’ve expected.

Story 8/10
The story focuses on Levi’s past, as the title tells us.
The first episode is about Levi, Isabel and Farlan living in the underground capital and “earning” money as thugs, in order to get the chance to live on the surface someday. Because of being captured by Erwin Smith, the three of them decide to join the Survey Corps. But unfortunately, it's not that easy. Councilman Lovof wants them to retrieve a secret document from Erwin.
Coming to the second episode, the focus lies on their first days in the Survey Corps, as well as on the plan on how to get the document that Lovof needs. And their first expedition takes them outside the walls, where Levi, Isabel and Farlan have an encounter with their first titans. However, some unexpected things happen...

Characters 7/10
Isabel and Farlan are two new main characters, who are companions of Levi. Farlan is cool-headed and calm, while Isabel is energetic and vivacious. We get to see more of Levi’s character as well, which I find really interesting.
Beside new characters, we also see new sides of Levi and Erwin and get back-story of Keith Shadis, current Commander of the Survey Corps.

Art 10/10
Great, as expected from Shingeki no Kyojin. Levi's face expressions look really intense, and the scenes, where the 3D maneuver gear is used are breathtaking. I especially liked the chase after Levi, Farlan and Isabel, as well as the fight between Levi and the titan, where we get to see a lot of action and emotions.

Music 10/10
Basically the same music as in Shingeki no Kyojin, and they use some of the soundtracks pretty well for emphazising the atmosphere of the OVA.

Enjoyment 10/10
I really enjoyed every second of Kuinaki Sentaku. We get to see some new faces and the chance to gain an insight into Levi’s past, before he joined the Survey Corps.

Overall, I’m highly satisfied with Shingeki no Kyojin: Kuinaki Sentaku, although I think that two episodes aren’t enough for such a strong character like Levi. Nevertheless, they did a really good job. Definitely a must watch.
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Dec 11, 2014 3:18 AM
Shingeki no Kyojin: Kuinaki Sentaku (Anime) add
FluffLynn
I have got to say that ever since I read the manga and found out about the release of this OVA I've been anxiously waiting for the occasion to watch it. It's hard to say that the story impressed me, and you'll see for yourself whether you think the same or not. Of course, nothing can beat the ingenuity of the titan-related stuff, not even something from Levi's mysterious past, although we get to see a side of him that we didn't really get a glimpse of in the original anime. The other characters play an important role in his development, and although they're not all that unique, together they make a really lovely trio.

Okay, let's forget about the story - you can read elsewhere about that, and... watch it? That's a good idea, y'know. Let's see... the art is unquestionably amazing. Just as the SnK anime, it's unique and you've got to appreciate how well the fight scenes were animated. From what I've noticed (and I actually paid attention to it quite a lot), the soundtrack used was the one from the original anime, and it certainly fit the atmosphere. I've got to say that both art and sound make it a lot more enjoyable than just reading the manga.

Blah blah blah. Hey, it's my first review - so let's just get to the point: definitely worth watching if you're a true Shingeki no Kyojin fan. And it's never too late to become one...
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Dec 10, 2014 9:10 AM
Abunai Sisters: Koko & Mika (Anime) add
AzureDaora
You know, I have a rule in watching anime. It's called a "no drop" rule, wherein I won't drop any anime that I started to watch.

I watched Pupa, and bulldozed through it.
Watched Mars of Destruction, just laughed.
Skelter Heaven? Laughed once again.

I, however, was close to my breaking point here. I almost broke the rule in the frustration of watching anime. But I'm no pussy, oh no I'm not. I tread the most dangerous journey I have faced so far.

Abunai Sisters.

I can't even believe this anime exists. There is no SINGLE redeeming quality about this anime. It didn't make me laugh, oh no it did not. It was so bad, that it deserves a negative rating.
I'm not sure what the writers and producers was on while creating this. What would they think the show would do? Did they think it would be a smash hit?
It definitely smashed my brain.

Abunai Sisters is the greatest example of an anime that should never be followed. What this show presents isn't even fanservice, I don't even know what it is!

If you want to recieve a mental scar, watch this.
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Dec 10, 2014 3:09 AM
Shingeki no Kyojin: Kuinaki Sentaku (Anime) add
Millawls
I have been looking forward to watching this OVA, as soon as i heard it was being made.

Story 7/10

This new installment of the Attack on Titan universe tells us a bit more about Levis' past and how he joined the survey corps. All the while being introduced to two new characters, Farlan and Isabel.

Characters 7/10

Farlan and Isabel are two new interesting characters.
Isabel seems to have a more childish attitude (A little like Zoë Hange), whilst Farlan is more responsible (taking care of his sick friend)
Levi hasn't changed at all. Still the same guy as always. Still cleaning.

Art 9/10

Holy shit is the 3D maneuver gear awesome! We are given an intense and thrilling chase scene with LOTS of 3D maneuver gear usage. Animation is really fluid and the underground environment is a breath of fresh air.

Sound 8/10

The voice acting is as always great and we are given a new soundtrack to fit with the chase scene. Lots of new 3D maneuver gear sounds is also heard.

Enjoyment 10/10

I just fucking loved it! Everything from the throwback with Levi cleaning, to the soundtrack and action scenes.

Overall 9/10

If you liked the original Attack on Titan show and want to know more about the world and Levi, then this is a must watch!
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maddynamite
As a fan of Steins;Gate, I decided to watch these shorts. Before you watch these shorts, there are a few things to keep in mind. These shorts are advertisements, meant to show people how IBM's "cognitive computing" initiative might enhance people's lives in the future. The 4 shorts use the Steins;Gate characters and universe to show different scenarios and how the "cognitive computing" (represented by an Oopa with a cutesy voice) help solve problems.

If you can get past the fact that these are advertisements, and you are a fan of S;G, there are some very enjoyable moments and interactions in the approximately 12 minutes of animation. The art and sounds are almost identical to the series, with White Fox at the helm, and many of the same voice actors reprising their role. The 4 shorts are described below:

1. "Cooking" - Kurisu and Mayuri want to make fried chicken, and Okabe and Daru are hesitant to let the girls cook. The girls state that with the help of Oopa, they can do it! However, they don't have the ingredients for fried chicken, so Oopa helps them make something else.

2. "Navigation" - Okabe and Kurisu have an argument in the park, and each ask Oopa to navigate them back to the lab, without bumping into the other. As they walk and take trains, they think about the other and how silly the argument must have been. Their paths take them to shops, and they see something the other might like.

3. "Fashion" - Mr. Braun's daughter, Nae, complains that Okabe and Daru never change their clothes, and are "yucky". They enlist Kurisu to help give them new wardrobes. With Oopa's help, Kurisu sees projections of Daru and Okabe in clothing that matches their hobbies and personality.

4. "Meeting" - The lab members are told that due to the noise, they are being evicted. They ask Oopa to help them find a new lab. Everyone requests some "must-haves" for the new space, but Okabe is reluctant to leave their current lab. Oopa's suggestion for a new lab space surprises everyone.

Each short has moments of comedy and some light emotional drama. The Navigation and Fashion shorts have some great character interaction with Okabe and Kurisu. If you are a fan of their pairing, definitely watch those two!

Overall, these shorts are recommended to anyone who enjoyed S;G and (like me) always wants more!

TL;DR 5 words/phrases to describe these shorts:

funny, cute, heartwarming, fun, Steins;Gate!
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TheDarkGenesis
"How can we make the most unsatisfying ending possible, while still technically concluding something?"

I am convinced that this is what the directors/writers/whoever asked themselves when making this film.

Sora no Otoshimono Final: Eternal My Master is a film that replaced the would-be third season of Sora no Otoshimono, an anime I find sadly underrated. It's often cast aside as yet another pile of trash fanservice, when in fact it has an incredibly deep storyline, as well as fantastic emotion and drama. SnO Final forgets about all of that-- no, they deliberately ignore it in this mess of a film.

The SnO manga had mountains of story left to tell. A third season would have barely managed to fit all of that in, but it was still possible. When it was confirmed that we were getting a second film instead, that dream was crushed. Yet there was still hope. Towards its end the anime deviated from the manga, making it possible that this new movie might provide a unique ending while still borrowing key elements from the source material. We were worried, but we had faith. What we got, however, was nothing of the sort.

The movie begins with Ikaros' dramatic climax from the second-to-last chapter. Immediately this is unsettling; there was no way they could fit the massive final arc and all of its setup into this 50 minute timeblock. The scene progresses, and ends approximately where the chapter does. It then cuts away to several months prior, a typical day at the Sakurai household. From this point to the penultimate scene, the film is nothing but random filler chapters meshed together to create a bastardization of the romantic progression between Ikaros and Tomoki. Chapters are placed where they don't belong for no rhyme or reason, important plot points are tweaked to move along this clusterfuck of a story, and the supporting cast is reduced to comic relief and pointless exposition. But this isn't even the worst offense. Consistently, the film teases all of the major plotlines. ALL of them! And what do we get from it? NOTHING!! Absolutely nothing, as if to say "All this cool stuff happened, but you don't get to see it." I may not speak for everyone, but I for one was offended by this. This movie's lack of care for the audience's appreciation of detail was insulting. In the end, Ikaros' dramatic climax concludes, and the movie ends... bitter, and incomplete.

One may argue that speaking from the point of view of somebody who read the manga is unfair, and that I should take it as a piece of the anime and nothing more. Ok, let's try that.

Right off the bat I have no clue what's going on. What is Zeus? Why are they attacking it? What happened to Nymph and Sugata? Where is everybody else? Why is the world falling apart?
All of these questions come from the first scene alone, and the rest of the movie fails to answer any of them. This movie expects you to read more
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Apr 30, 2014 10:40 AM
Tenkuu Danzai Skelter+Heaven (Anime) add
goshujin_sama241
For anyone who has watched and completed Mars of Destruction and thought it was the worst thing you have ever laid your eyes on, I (and probably anyone who has seen this) invite you to experience the joy of wasting 20 minutes of your day and watch Tenkuu Danzato Skelter Heaven. I was completely blown away at how terrible Skelter Heaven really is... it was so terrible that its funny, 10 minutes later and I'm still laughing

I could bore you with how terrible the animation is, or how poor and lackluster voice acting is, or even how they managed yet again to skip a plot only to later try to create one at the end... I shall not do that.

If you're in for everything you love and hate in an anime all rapped up into 19 minutes, or you just need a laugh, even if you find yourself with too much time on your hands then this is the right anime for you.

At times like this why isnt there a zero rating?

I really recommend that everyone watch this, it's only 19 minutes but remember, there are no refunds
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MiniSiets
21 minutes, 12 seconds.

This number is your one chance to save yourself from the disasterphe that is the Oreimo ending. Once you reach this point in the final episode of the OVAs, stop the playback and end it right there. So long as you do, it provides a perfectly solid conclusion to the series with no cop outs or asspulls, and the rest of the story can easily be left to your imagination. If you are a glutton for punishment however, proceed at your own risk. Know that what you see cannot be unseen though. Trust me on this one, take the blue pill and stay in wonderland Neo. You don't want to know how far down the rabbit hole goes in this case. I'll take you out for a juicy and delicious steak instead.

I originally was planning on writing a review for the entire series, but upon completing this crime against humanity, that idea was quickly jettisoned out the airlock like a refrigerator aboard the Bebop. I consider myself fairly lenient when it comes to entertainment that pisses me off, as I can usually see at least some redeeming qualities about it to overlook its flaws and misgivings, but what Oreimo did was such a travesty, so anger, much shitty, wow... Erhmm, what I mean to say is, this is basically the worst ending to a series I've ever seen; beating out Berserk in maximum trollage of its fanbase. There is simply no justifiable explanation for what it did. It is the one cop out ending to rule them all. Thus, out of sheer anger and resentment, I feel compelled to write this very specifically targeted review in the off-chance that I might spare even one other poor soul from being sucked into the empty void that is the experience you will feel in the aftermath of Oreimo.

As this is a sequel to an anime entitled "My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute", by now everyone who has made it this far should be well aware of the incest undertones that are pervasive throughout the series. For some this has been off-putting, but they've managed to stomach it because of the interesting relationships and situations that have developed, or perhaps because it is animated and therefore not real, they don't see it as a problem. In my case, I've never had any problem with it. In fact, I actually rather liked this aspect about the anime. Much like the series' focus on otaku culture, it allows viewers to see how a social taboo could be painted in a positive light, but instead of just preaching to the choir by only focusing on otakus, the author also gets us to consider other socially unacceptable conduct and whether we should be quick to judge others when suddenly confronted with another behavior that we might not understand. With all this in mind, much of what you will see in this sequel finale should really come as no surprise for the most part, read more
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Dec 28, 2013 3:35 AM
Toriko (Manga) add
Soul_Punisher
This Review is for those who are intending on reading toriko so its About time someone gave an honest objective reason as to why someone should read the Manga without any spoilers...
So let me give you Toriko's main Pros & Cons:

Pros
+ World Building
This is where Toriko has an obvious advantage over the typical battle shounens. The sheer scale and diversity of the planet in which the story is set is awesome!.

+ Battles
The fights in Toriko highlight the "battle" in being a battle shounen. More often than not, in head to head fights there are no holds barred. Characters just don't give a flying F about themselves during battle and risk it all - not going into any spoilers here, but manga readers will understand which greatly improves the intensity of each fight.

The added gore helps too, SO Much helpful than the anime version which never does it Justice Despite getting the push by the crossover with Dbz and One Piece in an anime special earlier.
Sometimes overlooked, but the author does manage to describe characters abilities and their concepts, giving a better understanding of the situation where things maybe seem a bit messy at first glance.

+Plot Twists
Admittedly Shima's story does deliver some impressive and unforeseeable events which leave the reader completely bemused.

+ Sheer Power
What I like a lot is The strength of some of the characters in this series can make the jaw drop...
Not to mention the creativity of some abilities are unique in its own way for a shounen its like a influence of Hokuto no ken, Dbz and Asura's wrath (Yes I mention Asura's wrath the video game in terms of all the Beasts and creatures called gohma that asura fights against,) Anyways what I will say is that The power scheme within this manga series is Damn Good.

Cons
- Slow Starter
The first 25-50 chapters of Toriko are rather vague as to what the series wants to achieve. The premise of being in a Gourmet Age where food (quality food) is the most valuable asset, and only capable hunters can procure the higher quality ingredients doesn't motivate the story until later on- where Acacia's full course is introduced. Only when all the heavenly King's are introduced fully does the story's momentum pick up.

- Story-telling
Throughout the manga, especially in the earlier chapters, the story seems a little inconsistent, jumping from an epic, well foreshadowed battle to consecutive chapters of extensive dialogue which serves little purpose. The latter has been rare as of late, and it does seem like Shima has improved in this area greatly.

- Lack-luster characters
Hate to admit it, but it's true. Some of the characters, relatively speaking, are as bland as a slice of bread despite how their personality come across. Not trying to be harsh but I think they could be better Just saiyan.

Overall: Major stuff happen much Later on and let me tell you It gets even more Crazier. The Manga has so much going for it than the read more
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Oct 19, 2013 9:27 PM
Fullmetal Alchemist (Anime) add
Eastunder
"Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy’s first law of equivalent exchange. In those days, we really believed that to be the world’s one and only truth."

I'm typing this review, and i wonder to myself, "Why am i doing this? What can i say about a show that's been talked about to death?", and you know what, i don't exactly have a clear answer. Fullmetal Alchemist premiered a decade ago and is still to this day, one of the most beloved and well known anime of our recent generation. It's so well known that talking about it almost seems redundant as about 90% of anime fans have already seen it, and if they haven't seen it then they at least have heard of it, know the premise, and might even know some of the more shocking twists in it. But over the past few years, more and more people have begun to disregard it all thanks to a little thing called Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, to the point where i've heard Brotherhood fans say to people on several occasions that they shouldn't watch the original series and just go watch Brotherhood, which i answer to with a big, "Huh?". But this isn't about Brotherhood, i'll cover that elephant in the room if i ever choose to do a review of it. No this is about the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime, and why if you haven't already seen it, then you should check out as soon as possible.

Story (10/10)

As i said it's almost pointless to sum up the plot that everybody already knows but, formulaic procedure wins. The story is about the two Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, who try to use a blend of science and magic called alchemy to bring their mother back from the dead. Things go terribly wrong however, and in the process Edward loses an arm and a leg, and Alphonse loses his entire body, being forced to fuse his soul with a body of armor to survive. They soon join the country's militia, the state alchemist division to be precise, in order to search for a item of great power called the philosopher's stone, in order to revive their bodies back to their original forms. The idea of two brothers setting off on a journey is already a concept that could fill an entire show, but then there's also the story of the them joining the military and how their more childish outlook and views clash with the military's actions, which is also enough to fill an entire show. But then there's also the military itself and it's mission to reform the country, and also the soldiers that wish to change the military to better the country, and then there's the evil forces that the Elric brothers encounter with their own mission and backstory, and so on and so forth. Fullmetal Alchemist has enough plot lines to fill up 10 different read more
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Sep 6, 2013 6:18 PM
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Anime) add
IAmSovereign
The show that turns boys into men.

Gurren Lagann was breathtaking. An endlessly thrilling ride from the most humble beginnings to the most fantastic of ends. Absolutely inspiring and a must-watch. There are so many memorable moments in this series, and lines and ideas that it imprints into your very soul.

I will admit this is one of the first anime I had ever watched, except Miyazaki films. And its ridiculousness shocked me as a newcomer. Even so, I was enraptured, drawn by the infectious energy and the constant adrenaline rush from this show.

Because it was unique. It was so very unique.

Tengen Toppa, while it does have an amazing story, is not about the story. It's not about a logical progression, strategy, conflicts of interests, world building, exploring the sci-fi or the other ideas in it. In fact, it is about the deconstruction of all those things. I usually like smart anime. But Tengen Toppa is unique, managing to be good without trying to be smart. Because it isn't about being smart. Its about feeling. Everything else is just a plot device. Its abstract almost, like a legend or an epic. You don't need to believe it. TTGL takes your ideas and your expectations and says fuck you. The only one idea that matters is feeling and spirit. It delivers on an emotional level. A primal instinct; willpower, that adrenaline rush and madness that overcomes you as you face an impossible challenge.

Every aspect of the show work to arouse and reinforce this zeal in the viewer. Its art, with a clever use of angles, bold lines, exaggerated designs and at times simplified drawings personify its brazen self-confidence and panache. Its soundtrack oozes fearless charisma with a liberal use of energetic horns, drums, opera, rap(!), violin ensembles, and forceful sound effects... all the while also reserving a soft, passionately delicate side for its emotional moments. Its vibrant characters(especially one of the manliest leads in anime I know, Kamina) are among the most unforgettable I've ever encountered, and how far they come by the end, and indeed how much they grow on you is amazing to behold. Every single one of them, in the span of 27 episodes(yes, TTGL hates norms, even season counts), manages to surprise you and show you the many faces of human nature. In a way, they are perfectly chosen to represent the show's central theme of the struggle between human "spirit" against the abyss of "despair".

I like to think of Gurren Lagann now as at least in part, as a light hearted jab at various overused tropes in anime(such as copious amounts of fanservice, plot arcs that escalates from small to unbelievably huge and so so many more). Gurren Lagann takes every cliche trope there is and ramps it up to 11, in a way that it feels strangely new and enjoyable again. If I could describe this show in one word, it'd be "ridiculous"... and I don't mean that in a read more
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Aug 8, 2013 4:31 AM
Chrome Shelled Regios (Anime) add
Nadium
Chrome Shelled Regios is one of those animes that I watched without real interest. The art is good, animation is fluid, this point is ok.

The main thing I disliked about it, was that it was too centered around the main character. Layfon is strong, Layfon appears when others are in danger, Layfon beats everyone. Close to every women character are blushing when seeing him, even if there is no romance. Even the cold one ends up being all over the hero. The other characters feel like they were added just to have some kind of background but there's no real work on them.

During 24 episodes the story isn't fantastic, nothing that surprises us suddenly, well they played the safe card. In the end, many questions are unanswered. It seems that no second season will be released so they will stay as it is. Sad because a lot of ideas were present. For example, all those Heaven's Blade Wielders, we get to see them in the two or three last episodes, some of them for just a sec, disapointing.

To sum up, the anime is classic, I didn't really enjoy it but still, it was watchable enough so I went till the end to see if it gets better. Don't expect incredible storyline, just a common anime in the overall sea of animes.
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Jul 26, 2013 11:24 PM
Hotarubi no Mori e (Anime) add
hinahinaxxchoco
"Time might separate us some day. But, even still, until then, let's stay together." -Hotaru Takegawa

Time is cruel. Time is responsible for the summers that come and go, for the leaves in autumn that shrivel and fall to the ground at the mercy of the next toddler looking to create satisfying crunching sounds, for the long and cold winters.

You come to love the smell of rain in the spring or the cool breeze of a summer night and then poof. It's gone.

Much like a fleeting summer's day, the main characters in Hotarubi no Mori e are bound by the chains of time. He cannot leave the forest for fear of being touched by a human and she cannot see him until three seasons have passed and summer comes again. And so, the two spend time together when they can, and as she grows up with him she realizes there will come a day when time will yet again become their enemy.

Their time together is short, meaningful and ultimately bittersweet. Much like the anime itself.

Hotarubi no Mori e is a beautiful movie that takes the idea of forbidden love, a topic that has been overly done and worn out by bad soap-opera themed dramas, and remakes the idea in an elegant, refreshing manner. Much of the brilliance in this anime can be accredited to the captivating character and background designs as well as the honesty that shines through in the writing. The anime pulls us viewers in with dramatic music and writing while keeping everything light and down-to-earth. And it does all of this in a mere 45 minutes.

Forbidden love, playful love, intense love, a love that is not love. With all of these takes on love, can we really be sure of what love is? Simply put, love is a universal... well, for lack of a better word, thing.

Nobody really knows what love is but everyone has their own interpretation of the word. Plato once said, "at the touch of love, everyone is a poet". And it's true. The concept of love is incredibly popular and you can probably find more pieces of literature or entertainment that center around love than any other genre. This anime specifically has taken the idea of a physical love and completely thrown it out of the window, all the while proving with gusto that love doesn't have to be physical to be just as emotionally impacting.

You see, the anime focuses on the more important ideas about love that maybe we've all kind of forgotten.

Like the happiness you feel when you're near them.

Like the first time you saw them laugh.

Like when it's suffocating to be with them because you don't know what to do or say.

Hotarubi no mori e gracefully weaves these elements into a heartbreaking tale of a first love. Sure, it's lighthearted and even a little fun, but a love founded on emotions is the heaviest burden you can imagine.

As stated before, read more
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Jul 8, 2013 10:50 AM
Diamond Dust (Manga) add
inzaratha
Diamond Dust is a powerful manhwa story that does not hesitate in portraying strong emotions and tragedy in the story of two young creative people - it's a story about how a chance meeting with someone can have such a powerful effect on your life that is changes it forever.

Moon Hye Rin is a young piano prodigy whose parents do not let her do anything but music. She practices all day, is homeschooled, does not socialize and has to wear gloves to protect her hands.

When she meets an independent musician JooWon by chance when on tour, she is transformed by the experience of someone who has freedom and loves his music with his whole heart and plays because he wants to play and what and where he wants to play not because he is told to. The story follows their decision to love despite tragedy.

This story will make you cry.

I read this as a webtoon and in that way there is music on the daum site which plays along with it for my fellow music lovers out there.

Now that it is finished it is being published as a paperback AND being made into a drama for you K drama fans.

This is more of a seinen or a josei - ( although it's a manhwa and those tags don't quite fit but I would not categorize this as a shounen at all ) They are young adults. The art, the music and the story are all so good. It is a tragedy so parts of this story are rough emotionally.

Because this story does not deviate from a strong course I would consider this a masterpiece a 10 - Bravo - to the maestro writer / artist for making a manhwa that reads like a piece of music that makes you cry. I absolutely loved this.
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Apr 8, 2013 4:44 AM
Aku no Hana (Manga) add
czxcjx
Let me start this review off with a miniature literature lecture. Charles Baudelaire was a crazy French poet who was an aspiring lawyer but decided to drop it all and become the archetypal struggling artist. He borrowed money extensively and spent them on booze and whores. Of course, he burnt out and died from overdrinking alcohol but he left behind a grand literary legacy. His poetry was vulgar, decadent and entirely brilliant, inspiring a movement called the Symbolist movement.

But rather than focus on Baudelaire, let’s focus on another poet called Rimbaud (Takao also reads him). Rimbaud became and avid fan of Baudelaire. He was a young teenager and felt trapped in his parent’s home. He frequently ran away from home and eventually moved to Paris to join the Symbolist movement there. The most important thing he preached was the theory of the voyant. Rimbaud believed that a true poet (the voyant, or seer) could only achieve the pinnacle of his art with what he called ‘the derangement of the senses’. He believed that a poet had to achieve every kind of evil and suffering, to make his own soul into a monster. He saw Baudelaire as the first voyant in the whole of poetic history. Of course Rimbaud took the same path of decadence Baudelaire took. His poetic career only lasted 5 years, yet he wrote works that are widely read by the French public even to this day. After his 5 years in Paris, he spontaneously decided to travel to Africa and in the end became an arms dealer. He died of a sickness he caught overseas.

Finally let’s go to an era that’s closer to our time, around 1940s – 1950s in America. A group of Literature students in Colombia University felt sick to their stomach about the actions of the US government and about life in general. Of course, I’m referring to the Beat Generation. Allen Ginsberg’s famous “Howl” and Jack Kerouac’s famous “On the Road” became a cult classic, leading to the rise of an entire new counterculture movement altogether. The most important thing is that the members of the Beat Generation were influenced by Rimbaud. When one reads On the Road reads up about the lives of Beat Generation writers, the main theme running among them all is spontaneity and anarchic freedom. They aimed to flout the rules and societal norms as much as possible and to lead a life of utmost chaos.

After reading a couple of the reviews posted on this manga, I see the same things repeated again and again. I see people reading it as a manga about Femdom and they claim the plot is unoriginal because the “sadistic girl forcing the guy to make a contract” has been done before. On the other hand I saw the work as a completely differently thing altogether. Of course it requires a certain mindset to see this perspective.

There are those people who take a look at the society they live in and genuinely hate it read more
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Feb 27, 2012 1:28 AM
Oyasumi Punpun (Manga) add
voltadelphine
Oyasumi Punpun is one of the greatest coming of age stories told in any form of media. This story is a very relative tale of alienated youth riddled with heavy accuracy. The story is very well developed and is partially due to its long timeline spanning from Punpun's life in elementary school to his early 20's. It deals with many mature issues like sex and depression all told in a frank manner that is coated with a strange dark sense of humor and supreme melancholy. There is a lot going on including a couple of side stories involving people that are or were once in Punpun's life, like his uncle and his old classmates. There is also a side story about a strange cult that has been foreshadowed in the very first volumes and is slowing becoming bigger and more important to the story. Inio Asano's storytelling talent is probably best showcased in this series. He manages to keep the story strikingly relatable while throwing wacky surrealism in and weaving together one huge moving piece with many plots and characters.

The art is absolutely gorgeous. The speechless panels of messy rooms and hopeless youth crying in bed has never looked so glamorous. The obvious and most interesting aspect of the art in this manga is how the main character and his family are drawn. The idea of Punpun and his family being depicted as a poorly drawn cartoon birds is absolutely genius! You have to understand that these people aren't really cartoons walking around in an oblivious world but are physical manifestations of how Punpun feels about himself and his family. You really get a sense of how important that theme is in later volumes where his appearance starts to shift and understanding why that is.

The characters in this manga are really great. Asano is very good at creating solid characters, and again with the timeline, they have ample time to develop smoothly. The only thing negative I would say about the characters is that they are extreme and there is no effort in making them "likeable" because they are too busy proving how genuine they are with their actions and words. So you either you love them or hate them, It might irritate some people who don't like when characters are a little too pitiful or preachy, like people who don't like The Catcher in the Rye because Holden Caulfield "just whined the whole time."

This story can really throw you through a loop. It's very long and twisting and silly and serious at the same time so it's a not a "light read" by any means. the word enjoyment is a little off but I would definitely say this manga affected me. There are times where you will laugh and times you will feel really depressed. But all in all It's very smart, real, and stylish so if you can handle depressing stories it's well worth it.
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Oct 26, 2011 6:09 PM
Ookami to Koushinryou (Manga) add
electricjelly
Simplicity can sometimes produce the best results, and that is especially true for this light novel.

People who have heard of Spice and Wolf have probably seen the anime and may not even know it was based off a light novel or have not given thought to read the light novel from which the story originated. However, this novel is a very enjoyable read and can easily get people engrossed in the story.

When I first bought this novel I did it because I really wanted to know what happened next after the end of the anime series. I really enjoyed the series and the way Spice and Wolf II ended, it just made me want more. As soon as I began reading this novel, I was caught in the web that was spun by this book and I simply did not want to put it down.

I don't need to introduce the story but from just reading the synopsis it might appear to be rather boring. Not only from the synopsis but this book deals with many forms of economics as well as politics and of course the relationship between Holo and Lawrence. You might think that if it deals with Economics and politics of the 14th century Europe ( or whatever time frame) this would be rather uninteresting, I say this because I thought that. However, upon reading it when the economics parts came up I found them to be very entertaining.

The only way I could think of it is what if someone took a good story and put in some historical facts and details amongst the story and made you feel like you were learning something. I was surprised at myself because I would be reading of Lawrence trading and cutting deals with businesses and I would be totally invested into the story. I believe how it manages to still be interesting is how the author writes the book, the way things flow together and correlate makes for a good read.

Although, the most interesting aspect of this series is the relationship between Holo and Lawrence. It was funny, heartwarming, and even sad to see what happens between these two. To see Lawrence change little by little and see the same for Holo is great. Seriously this is the reason to read this series, the way they interact is very unique. Holo may be able to be categorized, but she makes this category of her own, if nothing else.

Holo teases but is never mean, she cries but is never weak. She is what I would imagine a 400+ year old Human/Wolf would act like (I don't remember hold old she is supposed to be so don't fault me for a random age guess). More over, sometimes I feel that in anime female characters tend to be cut and paste, and the ones that are different are unrealistic. However, with Holo it was different. She is rather human to me, which may seem odd to say, but I could easily read more
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Jul 9, 2011 5:05 PM
17-sai, Natsu.: Seifuku no Jouji (Manga) add
bluekiss
Don't waste your time.

There are four one-shots, all taking place when the protagonist is 17 years old.

The first and fourth one were okay, if you're really bored. But the second and third...

The second one, titled Sai Haru, has a male protagonist. He rapes his brother's fiance and then suddenly, out of the blue, they share a beautiful love with each other. WTF.

The third one, titled Sai Aki, was the one I hated the most. The girl gets with the brother of the guy she likes so that she is noticed. And then suddenly the guy she likes develops feelings for her too.

I gave the art a 7 but everything else was given a 3. That was awful.
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Jan 8, 2011 10:32 PM
Momoiro Heaven! (Manga) add
Maginox
So... I can't figure out exactly why I'm addicted to this little manga. There are at least 3 other mangas that have this exact same set up (girl is cute virgin student by day, expert erotica writer by night!)

So why am I giving this story a "10" overall? It's simply the best of it's /kind/. If you are ever going to try a smutty, simple, predictable plot shoujo based girl meets boy, boy secretly likes girl, misunderstandings and cute moments abound, few decoy characters thrown in, but eventually they get together in the chapter everyone has been waiting for... Well, this story is simply the best at this stereotype.

Maybe it's because the storyline is just... nice. The plot MOVES. When subplots are brought in, they are given some space, and then resolved and it furthers the plot, not holds it back just to expand the series length and aggravate the readers. The manga remembers why you are reading it in the first place and keeps to that story, which is honestly really refreshing.

Or maybe it's because the characters are stereotyped yet in so many ways realistic enough that you can't help but fall into the story and want to actually READ what you predict will happen. The lead girl is doing what she is doing to help out her little brother, to keep her mother calm while she recovers in the hospital. All around, she is a very selfless character... A "tough" female heroine? Not quite, but as close as we might ever see in this genre.

I've only read 5 chapters scanlated, and read ahead on a few of the raws, but this story seems to be staying true to it's beginning= a good, fun, romantic comedy. Did I mention that this manga hits the "comedy" part SO much better than the others in it's genre as well. Momoko will be in a situation that would be dull and boring in so many similar mangas, but in this one, she'll start to imagine how the scene could be used in the plot for her next novel, and the following panels play out the imagery in her head.

The art is good... the lead male is all you would expect from a shoujo, but I give kudos to the author for presenting a female lead that is NOT exceptionally cute... just average and pretty on occasion. But overall, the art isn't what you will keep reading this for.

If you are looking for an enjoyable, light, smutty, short(ish) read, this is a great series to give a chance. :-D
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Nov 7, 2010 5:57 AM
Hajime no Ippo (Anime) add
FauxAzn
"What? 76 episodes of… boxing? 76 episodes set in a small square ring? Yeah, right."

I had no idea.

What makes this anime special is undoubtedly the characters. How each character is so likeable, so original, and so fully developed that you end up understanding, caring, and rooting for them in the end. How even the ones that only last an episode, even Ippo's opponents can be given such plausible and staggering backstories that you might actually find yourself siding against the main hero for a match or two. And how these characters are just so serious with their lives that you really feel it, and you end up believing that such a world could actually exist out there.

You know you love an anime when it drives you to shout, to hold your breath, and to jump right out of your seat. You know you love an anime when the thrill makes your spine tingle so much that you actively root and cheer and punch the air in victory as if you were right there ringside. You know you love it when you marathon through 15 episodes one night, and wake the next morning only to continue watching. And even after 76 episodes and two bonuses, you can't let go. They've already wrapped you up in that world, those characters, their lives, their ambitions, and suddenly… suddenly you're expected to just leave?

No.

You know you love an anime when, trying to show it to a friend, you somehow end up watching the entire thing again with him/her. And you still shout, you still laugh, you still find yourself out of your seat punching the air the second, the third, the sixth time you've seen it.

And you can't stop smiling. Because you get to live in their world again.
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Oct 31, 2010 1:14 AM
Under (xGround) Grand Hotel (Manga) add
RiddledWays
Frank Darabont’s classic 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption gave us a protagonist who is innocent in all ways. It is Tim Robbins’ character Andy who is cheated on by a loveless wife, and when she and her lover end up murdered, two life sentences bring the kind man’s days of normalcy to a screeching, hellish halt. Three hours and one friendship with Morgan Freeman later, one of the greatest stories of survival and human greed has just been told.

Nearly a decade later, Under Grand Hotel draws countless parallels. Owari Sen is convicted of murder and sent to Level 3 of a United States federal penitentiary, called the Under Grand/Ground Hotel with limited fondness by permanent inmates that decide to make the most of their eternal stay. There he is the “pretty boy” fish and targeted by non-homosexual men deprived of women—bull fags, a facet of prison life—and gays alike before deciding to belong to the prison’s shutcall Swordfish in exchange for protection. Sen also drifts from job to job until the warden changes to someone decidedly more rotten and, as one of the few educated men in UGH, he is invited to become the new head’s secretary.

The difference is that while Sen is not completely guilty, he is not completely innocent either. While a Japanese exchange student at an American college, he did indeed sleep with a married professor… but who killed the husband? Does Sen really deserve a life sentence for murder? Why is he so drawn to blue eyes?

By no means do I intend to judge Shawshank and UGH by the same standards, or to suggest that UGH is in any way better than the highest rated movie currently on the Internet Movie Database. The two works are born of different media, nations, and intentions; and while I consider Shawshank a valid masterpiece, I do not hold the same regard for UGH. However, I do want all possible readers to understand that as a comic—especially as a yaoi—Under Grand Hotel is one of a kind.

Three volumes is a perfect length, as any less or more would have significantly changed the pacing. Unfortunately, it does take some modicum of suspension of disbelief to enjoy UGH to its fullest. At certain points it truly does seem to want to be the gayer version of Shawshank; from its beginning to final pages, the characters occasionally become awfully familiar. It is the curveballs and mishaps that change the plot for the better. While angered at Sen and Swordfish’s often devastating idiosyncrasies, you will appreciate the amount of effort that is put into making them imperfect. The end does come as a whirlwind and is somewhat unbelievable, but if over the course of three volumes you have allowed yourself to adapt to and love the main couple, you should be completely satisfied.

If you choose to view UGH under the lens of “yaoi,” it is quite unique in its more realistic anatomy and lack of gratuitous sentimentality. While affection is present and later read more
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Oct 4, 2010 2:04 AM
Discode: Ijou Seiai (Anime) add
Erodude
Once in a while, when I finish a hentai, I'll just sit there, staring at my screen, thinking, "What the heck did I just watch?!" My watch-through of Discode was definitely one of those times, although I think a large part of that reaction was due to the ending, which is either some sort of dialectical masterpiece or just a total middle-finger to all those with an optimistic view on human nature and/or relationships. I'll leave that discussion for later, and first address the technical merits of this fine futanari work.

EYE CANDY:
Overall, I think the art is pretty sharp, with bright color schemes and attractive body types of the slim variety (when compared to other hentai, where breast sizes approach the truly absurd). The facial designs have a few stylistic quirks to them, in that the faces lack noses most of the time, and the eyes have a strange, Code-Geass-esque liquidity to them. The whole of the main character design aesthetic seems to be somewhat cutesy. I say somewhat, because there's a vibe that is so very un-cutesy to this whole thing. In terms of animation, it is pretty mediocre outside of the sex scenes, but the sex itself is quite varied and fluid, not to mention pretty darn hot, with lots of dripping and arching in the throes of passion, which is all a big plus, assuming you're into this sort of thing (futanari) at all. I saw Discode censored, so I can't comment on the explicit detail, but the sex cinematography is pretty kinky, so the uncensored art is probably appropriately explicit. Yummy.

EAR CANDY:
The sound is competently done, with all the right moaning and panting during and immediately after sex. The soundtrack itself is on the eerie side, which I suppose is fitting. There's not a whole lot else to comment on. What I mean is that I wasn't paying that much attention. So sue me. Oh, and be prepared to hear a lifetime's worth of "Gaman dekinai!"

INTEREST CANDY:
By which I mean character. A tough topic for hentai, since it tends to be devoid thereof. The characters do their jobs, so to speak, in that their personalities don't scream discontinuity. The characters have sex a lot, and it seems to flow pretty naturally, so I guess they're fine for a piece meant to titillate.

We've got three main characters: Futaba, our cute, shy, nymphomaniacal, dick-girl lead; Kyouko, our cute, short-haired, outgoing, manipulative, nymphomaniacal supporting lady; and Kagekiyo, our cute, blandly righteous male lead and primary love interest. One might argue that the character interaction is rather interesting, in that we see the cumulative effects of sexual manipulation play themselves out on various archetypes. I'm a bit skeptical of such deeper analysis. Discode is hentai, after all, and this show, in particular, is pretty clearly just meant to arouse.

***************(Minor Spoilers May Follow)**********************
BRAIN CANDY:
This is where I talk about the story or read more
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Sep 30, 2010 4:40 AM
Berserk (Manga) add
qrdel
"Have you ever hated someone so much, that this feeling alone would drive you to do horrific and impossible to grasp things?
Have you ever hated someone so much, that your whole life was focused on finding that person and ripping him apart?
Have you ever hated someone so much, that you would forget about your humanity, purge it all just to find enough power, for one, single fraction of a moment, one chance to get your revenge...

What would your eyes look like in that very moment...? Insane? Terrified? Passionate? Happy? Or maybe... satisfied...

Look into his eyes, and find nothing there..."

When I first learned that there is something like Berserk manga, I was a bit surprised. That was some 7 years ago and little did I know about relations between anime and manga. Either way, I took my chances and downloaded several first volumes.
You can imagine my surprise when I noticed that the manga is a far cry from the anime which really made my day some time ago. Having struggled through the first chapters I moved on to the next volumes. You know, the anime itself is, in all its ingenuity, only a small fraction of the whole manga... As small as several volumes with some deleted scenes and a bit redone ending at that. However, by the moment I reached 'the anime plotline' in manga (which is volume 3) I got already interested in the manga itself.

I think that there's no point in summarising the plot. You can read it above, and for the sake of not spoiling anything, I think you should. You have to, however know this: Berserk manga, in terms of plotline and characters development - is by far the best manga I have ever read, the most complete one, the most multi-dimensional one, the most memorable one... Nowhere else will you be told the stories of sub characters so bluntly and yet discreet that you won't even notice. Nowhere else will you receive such a huge dose of information, and yet still be able to comprehend it effortlessly. This is something uncanny, and frankly, I doubt that anyone ever will be able to reach the level.

The characters are just great. On one hand we have Gutts and Griffith, shades of black and white, fire and water. Being so different, neither can live without the other one. They're like Yin and Yang, two halves of the same coin - even in his darkest moments Griffith still finds himself as Gutts' friend, although few minutes later this friendship changes into hatred and horrific envy. Their whole story is like that, they start off as great friends who would die for each other with smiling face, but only one of them is really committed here.
Characters shine even more when we consider other protagonists and antagonists. No person is left shallow and without a story to tell. Miura-sempai explains everything in a given time and briefly enough to keep you interested. Unlike in other titles where antagonists exist read more
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May 11, 2010 6:09 PM
Hana to Akuma (Manga) add
adayday24
EDIT: I just reread this manga for about the fourth time, and reading my original review made me realize I didn't give it the justice it deserves (and I never will be able to because I don't have that ultimate power) This series is one of the most beautiful and pure romance manga I have ever read.

You might say I'm crazy for giving this series a perfect score, a ten, but trust me when I say this series deservers even more. Could you imagine not wanting to touch the one you care about because you're scared you'll only do harm? Could you imagine knowing you will live while your loved one will eventually die? Could you imagine falling for someone you shouldn't have?

Hana to Akuma tells the tale of Vivi and Hana, a demon and a human. Vivi finds Hana alone in the snow as a baby and decides to take care of her "to pass the time". What Vivi didn't plan to do was become so attached to her. Throughout the entire manga you see their love for each other grow. They face obstacles in their journey, some trivial and simple, and other serious and life changing. One obstacle Vivi must face personally is a human boy fancying Hana, something I particularly enjoyed very much. A demon king also comes between the two, even going so far as to make Hana do something that results her in pain but Vivi to be saved.

The first couple chapters of Hana to Akuma are sweet and short one-shot like chapters that start to give you a taste of the relationship between Vivi and Hana. As the series moves on their relationship deepens and I know you will begin to understand why this series deserves a ten.

Hana to Akuma is full of sweet moments between the Viva and Hana, as well as very funny and witty comments exchanged from Vivi and his fellow demon friend Felton. True shoujo fans will not be disappointed by Hana to Akuma at all, and I believe those who just like a little bit of romance every know and then will find this to be worth their time.

And come on, have you seen Vivi? :D


ORIGINAL: Many people might see Hana to Akuma as your typical shoujo manga. However, I happen to enjoy this series very much. Granted the plot and story take a while to develop, but right now the manga is progressing fairly well. A big twist has just been revealed and I'm dying to know the ending .

The art of the manga isn't so bad either. I think they way the author draws Vivi at his different emotions really shows what kind of person he is. Hana is captured as a pure innocent happy-go-lucky girl. All the other character's appearances really do exemplify their nature.

The characters themselves are alright. Of course Hana and Vivi are my favorite because they are the lead roles. The other characters do read more
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Apr 25, 2010 3:24 PM
Pandora Hearts (Manga) add
Neiru2013
I never expected to like Pandora Hearts. I hate the Victorian era, get easily bored by mysteries, and am typically annoyed by fluffy cuteness. I much prefer violence, blood, and deep, dark storylines. And yet, I love Pandora Hearts to pieces!! I think I experience it from a different angle than many other PH fans, so I want to offer my perspective.

I love all the characters here. Really, I've never loved so many characters so much before. They all have very colorful personalities, representing most of the standard animanga archetypes but elaborating on each in unique ways. I connect with all of them very strongly. There's lots of great chemistry between the characters, ranging from laugh-out-loud funny to depressingly-dark. I love the full spectrum of emotion here. But characters alone do not a good series make.

The plot is incredible. It is complex, but not to the point of confusion. The whole thing so far is about unraveling what happened during a tragedy 100 years ago in order to prevent it from happening again. As such, most of the plot takes place in the past, and is revealed through pieces of characters' memories. Herein lies my favorite philosophical obsession with this series. I love how PH addresses the fact that partial memory is a very dangerous thing. The characters get their memories back gradually, and in very fragmented form. They don't know the whole story, and their assumptions about what happened and about who they are given the limited information they have affects self-image, personality, and actions, even if the assumption they made isn't true.

How do people deal with the idea that there's more to them than the life they know, or that they're essentially more than one person? What if everybody around them expects them to be somebody else? How does this shape their perception of identity? What if you don't remember enough? What if you forgot that you wanted to forget? And what do you do when you remember too much? Or what if the past that made you who you are completely changed? These are the kinds of questions addressed in Pandora Hearts.

There is much re-read value in this series. Many things happen before they are explained, or before a character remembers its significance, so you pick up on a lot of things you missed on your 2nd (or 3rd or 10th) read through.
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Apr 8, 2010 1:47 PM
Piano no Mori (Manga) add
teng
I first stumbled upon Piano no Mori while searching for a sports manga. At first I thought it was going to be something boring; however, after a few chapters, I realized I could not stop reading. My first impression of the manga was that it was about some elementary school kids and music, however, it soon progresses into something greater. I know most of you do not enjoy reading mangas about elementary kids as it takes away a lot of the drama; however this is not the case for this manga. As seen later on, the childhood of the characters sets the stage for a promising series of developments.

The manga is about a music prodigy that was brought up by a prostitute mother in a rural the red light district called "edge of the forest." Kai, the protagonist, was never taught how to play the piano, yet he is able to learn songs after just hearing them a couple of times. Since an early age he has played with a piano found in the middle of a forest, a piano which was abandoned by a famous concert pianist due to the arm injury that destroyed his career. About a couple of years later, Amamiya, Shuuhei; son of a concert pianist and brought up to follow the path of his father, transfers and meets Kai. Along with a couple of other events, such as meeting the owner of the piano in the forest, Kai starts taking a serious interest in music and ventures into the world of music and out of the "edge of the forest".

Although the synopsis might sound common, there are a lot of elements in the manga that make it extremely enjoyable. First of all, the manga is extremely realistic, with a golden pacing. You can clearly understand the standpoints of each character and you completely immerse into the world that Kai lives in. It makes you feel the emotions of the characters and realize the harshness of childhood. For example, while reading the manga, I seriously had anger fits and the urge to strangle one of the Kai's classmates, a fat kid that often bullies Kai. In many aspects, such as music appreciation and the uniqueness of each musical piece, it resembles Nodame Cantabile. If you have liked Nodame Cantabile, you will surely love Piano no Mori.

In regards to the Art, at first it might seem really childish, consisting of kids with flushed cheeks and a lot of shading. However, as the story progresses, it appears to be getting better. I do not mean better as in the art style drastically changes, but you certainly get used to the art and realize that it is quite adequate to convey that kind of story. The art serves the purpose of making the events understandable. The only thing I would have liked to see more is actual musical notes when the characters play the piano. As of now, most of the time when characters play the piano, read more
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Mar 21, 2010 10:31 PM
Oresama Teacher (Manga) add
Iwasmarching
Let me just say this about Oresama Teacher - don't read it if you're in a library. Don't read it at one am when you're supposed to be in bed. Don't read it in the computer lab during class.

No. If you're going to read Oresama Teacher, do it somewhere secluded where you can laugh your ass off like an idiot without getting in trouble.

Although the plot can sometimes feel just a wee bit confused and you sometimes want to hit yourself at how dense the characters (really just one) can be, this is definitely not a manga you want to miss reading. Everything about Oresama Teacher is just so unexpectedly and unpredictably funny that I can't stop myself from laughing even now.

Sadistic teachers, masochistic delinquents, lame disguises, ridiculous misunderstandings - it has it all, and all of it is knee-slapping, floor banging, gut bustingly hilarious.

Not only that, but the characters are endearing and likeable, even the "bad guys." They refuse to be just pawns in a slapstick comedy, and rightly so, because when you aren't crying with laughter, you're rooting for the characters as they develop and go about their lives.

So, make sure no one's around to see you snorting milk out of your nose and put on a diaper (or risk pissing in your favorite undies). Oresama Teacher is one hell of a ride, and it's definitely worth the dry cleaning bill.
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Mar 1, 2010 8:47 PM
+Anima (Manga) add
Keilis
Ahh, +Anima. Half the readers probably stumbled upon this manga because its name is, alphabetically, one of the first to appear on a manga-hosting website.The other half probably just liked the word "anima" because it sounded pretty. Despite what coincidental "methods" we readers used to find it, +Anima was far from something meagerly amusing, and in fact, was engrossingly endearing in its own right. You can tell a professional storyteller from an amateur one, and Natsumi Mukai is by far the former. A story that's able to be told with stunning and consistent aesthetics, married with heartwarming character development and engaging subplots is difficult to find. Look no further, however, because +Anima is one of the most underrated manga I've ever read (according to MAL scoring); I write this review on this sleepy Monday night to bring light to the wonderful +Anima.

STORY: 10
Some lump character development in the "character" section of reviews. I don't disagree that character development is related to the characters themselves. However, MANY stories convey the growth of characters as their means of storytelling. It's not something merely physical such as a journey (though that is the physical plotline of +Anima); story also includes the story of character growth and how their interactions change later on in the manga. Despite other reviewers' relatively lower scores of +Anima's story, I give it a well-deserved 10.

The premise is simple enough. You have children that have the ability to use physical traits of animals, be it because they've been forced to adapt to this ability or whether they're born that way. Cooro sets on a journey to find other +Anima and travel with them for no exact reason, other than perhaps an innocent "because it's fun" chain of thought. Given its somewhat linear overarching physical plot, it's deduced that this is a slice of life manga. Which is perfectly fine, but I'd have to disagree with other people giving the story a lower rating because of it. Stories don't need to be complicated to be wonderful; the purpose of telling +Anima's story is not to confuse readers or tell a save-the-world/damsel/treasure story, but rather portray the everyday lives of our party of +Anima.

"Given that it's a slice of life manga, how are the daily events of Cooro, Senri, Nana, and Husky, anyway?" you may ask.

"Well," I answer, "it's sweet, relatable, and shifts between fun and serious." Some of the fun ones, such as Husky being mistaken as a mermaid later in the series by a young man, makes the corners of the reader's mouth daintily twitch up in amusement. Yet, there are also points of reflection and the subplots provide small tidbits of information on the characters and their pasts. The more serious stories, such as meeting Senri's tribe, heavily emphasize on the characters' pasts and why they've become whom they are today. It's difficult to convey the endearing moments in these events in this review, but each story provides a small moral or lesson that is IMPLICITLY (and I read more
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Dec 25, 2009 12:55 AM
Sora wa Akai Kawa no Hotori (Manga) add
yukari29
Anatolia Story or Red River is one of the few manga that transcends the boundaries of time. It is indeed a timeless classic that is bound to captivate the reader’s attention. It is certainly one of the best manga out there who can cope up with the fast paced innovation in the manga industry.

Plot/Story:
The story starts with a simple girl named Yuri, she is transported to the Hittites Empire by the evil queen because her blood is needed as a sacrifice in order to kill the other remaining prince. She was constantly saved by Prince Kail, a handsome and smart young man. Prince Kail is capable of inheriting the position of his father and is bound to be the next king. The two of them together are destined for greatness as they conquer the obstructions set by Queen Nakia and other villains!

CHARACTERS:
I personally believe that what makes this story different from any usual historical manga is the uniqueness of the characters. Without a doubt the heroine of the story is one of the bravest and strongest women in the history of manga in the sense of keen observations, perspectives, beliefs, principles and tactics. Commoners and nobles are captivated by Yuri “Ishtar” through her willingness and eagerness to help. What I admire the most is the evolution of the characteristics of the heroine “Yuri”. At first Yuri is a naïve, stupid and a helpless girl but as the story unfolds you can see the evolution of a goddess within…
Words are really not enough to define the characteristics of each character because uniqueness is apparent throughout the series. You’ll unconsciously love the characters as they respond to the challenges that awaits them. The romance in story is unlike the typical cliché in the manga because you’ll be drawn to the characteristics of Prince Kail. His unique attributes that complements the heroine brings out the incomparable passion that is bound to be tested.

Enjoyment:
The manga Anatolia Story is a classic manga that will never bore a reader. This is the only manga that I constantly read and the essence and glow of the story is still apparent. The drawing may not complement the usual modern era but I assure you that it complements the traditional innocent charm of each characters. The sequence of the story unfolds the boundary of love and governance. There are tragic moments and unexpected twist that will captivate the reader’s mind. It is one of the few manga out there who possess the undeniably complement of the genre like shoujo, historical, romance, adventure, action and drama.

*** I’m not that good in writing a review so kindly spare me.
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Dec 6, 2009 1:30 PM
Hanjuku Joshi (Manga) add
popnstuff
Hanjuku Joshi just might be changing the face of what we think is perverted and what is actually a portrayal of physical expression of passion.

I've never read ecchi manga before, but after hearing good things about Hanjuku Joshi in yuri circles, I thought I would give it a go. What I was expecting was lame fanservice and ugly, unromantic sex scenes full of shallow girls just doing it for doing it's sake and to titillate the audience.

How wrong I was.

What Hanjuku Joshi paints is a lovely story about two girls who fall in love with one another, and explore both sex and sexual desire with one another. They don't launch into bed with one another off the bat, nor do they wait about five years to express their wants and desires from the other person.

It is very refreshing to see that people do want to have sex with the person they love, and that is a natural and wonderful thing to experience. And scary, too.

Yae and Chitose go through the motions of every sort of first time/losing your virginity story, but you hardly see manga take this route and portray it this beautifully. Yae is a cute, soft, girly girl and Chitose is the rough, loud, athletic tomboy. The perfect idea of the traditional "princess and prince". But they don't fall into deep cliches or anything like that. No, they manage to have personalities, insecurities and quirks to them. More importantly, watching their relationship is utterly entertaining. When they take those steps to get to first base, second base, and beyond, they don't do it to please US the reader. They do it to please themselves.

Which makes Hanjuku Joshi so good to read. Even though it is so very ecchi with lots of nudity and sexual situations, it feels more like art than porn.

I highly recommend this title. It is just shy of getting a better score because it is so short. The ending makes you feel like you build up and build up all this tension, and you only get...well, read it and see!

But it is very much worth your time. A lovely ecchi yuri manga. Who'd have thought! Considering my favorite manga is Aoi Hana, it's a big difference, and someone like me would be extra skeptical. But it proves in the end to be a wonderful tale of two girls loving each other emotionally and physically. Now what more can a guy ask for?
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Nov 12, 2009 11:21 AM
Hokuto no Ken (Anime) add
nicepants
When I first started Hokuto no Ken, I did not know a thing about Fist of the North Star. I had heard the name before, and I knew it was a popular franchise with bloody exploding heads. When I started watching the series, it looked so incredibly 80s.

In fact, the Shin arc made me stop watching it for a while. The endless mooks in poorly drawn 80s style really turned me off. A few weeks later, I decided to try it again. I am so absolutely glad I did. Hokuto no Ken is a post-apocolyptic epic, and I don't use that term lightly.

The story is fairly simple. Shin (Kenshiro's rival) steals Yuria (Kenshiro's love), and Ken goes to rescue her. However, in the background, darker, more dangerous forces are moving. The story is cunning in its simplicity, and quite well executed.

The art is of course, very old, and often shows its age. It is the biggest downfall the series has. The series is backed up by strong, memorable music, and one of the most comically catchy OPs (YOU WA SHOCK!) I've heard.

One of the things that Hokuto no Ken does interestingly is the characters. 90% of the major characters are large, stoic men, with pecs of iron and manly logic. The two children, Bat and Lin, are there to cheer Ken on, and be terrified/annoying, respectively. The men Ken meets are almost all evil beyond redemption. However, in the legions of mooks and generic evil, are some interesting, legitimately cool characters, such as Rei, Juza, Toki and Raoh.

To today's viewer, it would seem like you've seen all the elements of this before in other things. The reason for this is that Hokuto no Ken has inspired every single action show to come from Japan, especially the long-running shounen of today, in some form or another.

I cannot give this series a 10, between the early filler (which is just about completely gone after the Shin arc), and the recap episodes. I will, however give this a 9. What I thought would be a hilariously corny 80s romp through a field of exploding heads turned out to be a amazing, epic journey though a post-apocalyptic wasteland, starring, the manliest man to ever be placed on paper. With exploding heads.
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Nov 5, 2009 6:22 PM
Onanie Master Kurosawa (Manga) add
Velkan
Onani Master Kurosawa is something entirely different than what you see at first glance. If you are expecting something erotic or funny, you are looking in the wrong place. Those that can get past the synopsis and exposition will be rewarded, as when you reach the real bulk of the story you will realize just what it has to offer.

It is no secret that this manga deals with mature themes. The problem lies within the fact that it paints the wrong picture for potential readers. The focus is not to be sexually explicit. Rather, it is presented to us in a way that is very conservative. It shows nothing more than what is necessary to get the point across. In the big picture, this is not a perverted manga in any sense. It is sweet, heartbreaking, and inspiring.

The story quickly lays the foundation for a school-life setting with a character who has a secret "daily routine". Our main protagonist, Kurosawa, is a guy who cares nothing for interaction with others. He has no friends and has never fallen in love. He converses the minimal amount to simply maintain relations. What he doesn't know is that his seemingly harmless ritual is about to become something that weighs more heavily on him than he could imagine. This story shows us just what can happen when you get in over your head, the consequences of your actions, realizing what you want in life, and much more. Once the plot picks up, you will find yourself always wanting to know what will happen next. The contents are never predictable, and every bit of it is believable. It controls your emotions like a puppet on strings. It will make you feel.

The art is sketched, fitting in perfectly with the mood of the manga. It does a great job of showing character's expressions, using many close-ups and careful shading. Much of the emphasis is on the characters, so the backgrounds are usually simple or non-existent. Overall it is very clean and should bear no complaints.

Characterization is simply amazing. No matter how perverted Kurosawa is portrayed, the fact still remains that he is an incredibly well-rounded, believable, and likable character. The manga has the ability to create Kurosawa as if he were a character born from your own thoughts. While I am not referring to perverted thoughts, his reactions to a given situation are so real that you often think and feel the same way. I felt his anger when he was betrayed, I felt his hopelessness during his hard times, and I felt his happiness when something warmed his heart. Over the course of the plot, Kurosawa changes slowly into an entirely different person. He begins as an introverted kid who violates people in his thoughts with masturbation, yet in the end he becomes undeniably mature. He battles with self-realization, learns of consequences, finds the good in people, and comes to understand what he wants in life. Without a doubt, he is a character that will read more
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Aug 5, 2009 12:37 AM
The Law of Ueki (Anime) add
Ragk
The Law of Ueki

This anime starts pretty weak. When you first walk into The Law of Ueki, there's not really anything to pull you in. It's a shounen anime. Ok, sweet, shounen I can get in the mood for shounen. So what's the main character able to do? Turn trash into trees. Awesome! wait what. He can turn trash into..... trees...

That's pretty much what The Law of Ueki will hit you with. However, that's what turns this anime into something so brilliant.

--Story--
You've read the synopsis so let's cut to the chase. The story in The Law of Ueki is definitely not its strongest point. As far as shounens go, The Law of Ueki is ahead of its competitors. Ueki strives towards his goals one step at a time, while meeting characters who ultimately he befriends. Stick in some backstory for the characters and you have the formula that The Law of Ueki pretty much adheres to.

As for the actual plot, I would give it a 8. It's interesting, because even God has a backstory in this anime. Although the story does take a bit of a dive in the middle, and never really fully recovers. Other aspects of the anime (I.E. the battles, which is what Shounen is pretty much about) more than make up for it.

--Art/Animation--
There's not much to comment about. Everything is done as it should be. The Law of Ueki isn't an anime that's going to wow you with its visuals. Nor is it an anime
that you can't bear to watch because your eyes are bleeding. The anime doesn't cut any corners, and battles are animated to what they need to be. There's no
slow-mo hi-def sword battles in this one. But that's really not something The Law of Ueki should even be judged on.

--Music--
The music is simply great. It's basically your daily allotment of Jpop But of course, does it contribute to the anime? I would say yes. Some
of the fights and situations in the anime really get you pumped because of the added music, and that's what I believe a 8/9 under music should do for you.
Clearly The Law of Ueki is no Yoko Kanno composition, but hey it gets the job done and it gets it done very well.


--Characters--
The strong point of the anime is right here. At first, Ueki seems kind of empty actually. However, over time Ueki begins to really become that
character you root for. Sometimes his "justice" oversteps the line and you simply facepalm or headdesk, but thats a rare occurance.

The characters are well developed, because their backstories are superb.Each character becomes unique and well defined while all contributing
to the overall enjoyment of the show. Even the character I hated the most (Saru) had his good moments. Although a part of me wanted a little more
"interaction" between Ueki and Mori, alas it was not to be.

What's the best about the characters in The Law of Ueki, is that the anime also pays attention to the villains. Although they clearly aren't given
as read more
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Jul 22, 2009 11:25 PM
21st Century Boys (Manga) add
DrBoondigga
Surprised that no one has reviewed this, while it may not be at the same level of 20th Century Boys, it's only two volumes, it's the ending, and it's a great read despite it's short length. If anything I am a little disappointed that it didn't show us a bit more of an "aftermath" to things, I was particularly begging for Friend to have a good reason for what he was doing, but it never came. 21st Century Boy simply wraps up the story of 20th Century Boys story, starting off with the concert that we saw near the end of 20th Century Boys, and leading us into the events we saw on the final page. 21st Century Boy is short, but intriguing and satisfying ending to the great series created by the genius mind of Naoki Urasawa.

The story is directly finishing the events that happens in "The New Book of Prophecies" and finishes up all the mysteries of "who friend was?" and "who replaced him?" and the relationship between the people who were directly involved with the friend personality. I don't want to give away to many spoilers, though if you're reading this I assume you've already finished 20th Century Boys, in which case, get your ass out that in read the sequel. The story is similar to 20th Century Boys, but is more answers, and has the interesting way of searching the past to find out what to do in the present that was presented in 20th Century Boys, just taken to higher levels here. If you like the story of 20th Century Boys, you don't have to worry about this, it's a great sequel with a compelling story.

As expected from anyone familiar with 20th Century Boys, this one is filled with great artwork, and will make you actually want to take a second to look at the great artwork that Urasawa turns out in this story. The character's still aren't nesscairaly attractive, but it doesn't matter, the artwork is filled with detail and beauty on the character's, and is amazing to behold. Truly a genius to both write and draw this, the artwork gets a ten out of ten here, the only ten I gave in the review stats.

The character's presented in 21st Century Boys are all characters we have seen before, but this time we get to take a deeper look on the children through Kenji's interaction through them, and we also get to see some of Friend's old servants on a deeper level as well. Mainly it is particularly Kenji and the villains of the past series that shine in this, as they are the focus of the story, and prove for some extremely interesting angles in the story, especially the interaction between the people of Friends, and seeing how there are things they change on and things that stay the same.

Overall, 21st Century Boys proves to further answer the final events in the New Book of Prophecies, but not much after that. We get read more
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Jul 21, 2009 10:18 AM
Doushitemo Furetakunai (Manga) add
aislincade
Doushitemo Furetakunai is really a diamond in the rough. With its simple but effective art style, engaging characters, and bittersweet romance, it is truly one-of-a-kind.

Yoneda Kou's art is a feast for the eyes. Elegantly uncomplicated, it excellently portrays the characters' emotions with innocent sincerity. Yoneda avoids many of the tired artistic cliches so rampant in this genre; her characters struggle through their problems without the copiously over-flowing uke tears, without the angry seme suddenly turning into a vicious rapist, without any of the contrived scenarios added solely for dramatic effect that one usually finds in yaoi manga. The seriousness of the art and the notable lack of sight-gags and chibis really helps to set a dramatic tone from the very first glance. Yoneda's artistic style lends itself to a subtle and believable story - exactly what Doushitemo Furetakunai is.

The simplicity of the art allows Yoneda's characters to stand on their own merits and makes them more believable as regular guys who happen to fall in love. Although they are attractive, the characters are not the standard perfect, stunningly beautiful super-models. Rather, they come off as seriously normal people. The 'beauty mark' on Shima's chin is a good example, as well as a refreshing change of pace; it's not often that a mangaka in this genre includes even such a small detail in her character designs. Even something as seemingly insignificant as a mole on a character's face can have a marvelous effect on the overall realism of the entire work, and Yoneda uses this to her advantage.

Yoneda's characters aren't just visually believable, though. Their personalities and the tone of the entire story are realistic to a degree that most yaoi manga doesn't manage to achieve. The characters' issues, and the way they deal with them, are surprisingly adult and completely relatable. Further, watching all the characters interact with each other can draw the reader in, making her feel as though she is actually there with them. This sense of immersion intensifies the realism and relatability in a way that is much more commonly seen in long, multi-volume drama series than in a five-chapter yaoi manga. That is the main reason why Doushitemo Furetakunai stands out among its peers - it has more depth and soul to it than most stories in its genre. It truly feels as though Yoneda cherishes the story and puts a lot of effort into writing it, which makes reading it much more engaging.

The romance and sexuality are also quite notable in the sense that they straddle a delicate line; the line between, on one hand, the type of romance in a story for which love is a secondary theme and, on the other, the type found in typical yaoi manga where love comes first and everything else just serves as a prop to provide context for the love story. It is obvious that Doushitemo Furetakunai's main theme is the building relationship between the two main characters, but Yoneda's story-telling style allows the development of the read more
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Jun 12, 2009 2:18 PM
Eyeshield 21 (Manga) add
Torisunanohokori
Sports manga in general (with a few notable exceptions) branch off into two main groups - the martial group and the teamwork group. The martial sports manga (featuring boxing, judo, etc.) usually sport characters with grit and guts struggling against one another. This type of sports manga also often suffers from overemphasis of the main character and weak side characters who only serve to show how awesome the lead is by comparison. The teamwork sports manga (featuring baseball, basketball, etc.) usually sport a large, well-developed cast. At the very least, the main team of a team sports manga will have a lot of fleshed-out players. The downside with teamwork sports manga is that it can sometimes feel like competition-lite, and it lacks the quantity of guts displayed in martial sports.

The American Football played in Eyeshield 21 is an interesting and ultimately successful combination of the two formulas, mixing the group dynamics of a genuine team with lots of hard-on action.

I have a lot of praise for the way the sport being played is used in ES21. Football is a large sport, requiring 11 players on each side, each with a different distinct role. As a result, you always have characters other than just the mains in play, being far from useless. 22 players, though, are a bit much to focus on at one time, and this manga acknowledges that, focusing only on small portions of the playing field at any given time. We get lots of different individual, small group, and large group confrontations throughout any given game, which makes up for the fact that a game may go on for 20-30 chapters. This effectively splits up screentime among a truly massive cast in a way which neither weakens the mains nor benches the non-mains. The cast is, in addition to being in the triple-digits, extremely diverse backstory-wise, ranging from a kicker who quit his team to help his father's business to a tall reciever who's good and popular, but failing to catch up to the true genius superstar of his own team. Odds are most, if not all, people will be able to find at least one character whose background they sympathize with.

And there are mindgames. Dear me, the mindgames. Possibly the best part of this manga is how the player confrontations are set up by a diabolical mastermind of a man, Hiruma Youichi, a gun nut with dirt on half the world's population. This guy comes up with the most outlandish trick plays which are usually a surprise, totally outlandish, and always fun to watch. What's more, they often don't work, giving an added thrill of uncertainty to each play.

The basic plot of Eyeshield itself is standard fare; weak, bullied kid (Sena Kobayakawa) with hidden talent gets forced into a sport and ends up liking it. His team gets stronger with him in it and goes on to compete at read more
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Mar 27, 2009 11:45 PM
Dash! (Manga) add
cheropteran
Isaku Natsume's Dash! contains two stories: the title story Dash! takes place around a high school judo club. Saitoh is the star member of the team, and the reason Akimoto applied to that particular school. However on closer inspection the master judoka isn't quite what Akimoto had expected - he seems to be lazy and spends no time in the dojo practicing. However, he takes Akimoto as his gopher and the boy spends a lot of time following him and obeying his orders. As Akimoto's feelings towards Saitoh take a turn from friendly to lusty, he also discovers Saitoh's dark secret the older boy has been hiding.

Another half of the book is a story called "Cheeky!" and it's about basketball-playing Taka whose younger cousin Yoshirou suddenly appears on his doorstep claiming to have run away from home after getting in trouble with a boyfriend. The cousins haven't seen each other since they were kids, and Yoshirou seems certainly very different to the last time Taka saw him: promiscuous with both men and women and cheeky, yet behind the curtains deeply insecure and anxious. He comes on to Taka repeatedly, but although the introverted Taka brushes him off jealousy starts to raise it's head when Yoshirou starts flirting with his teammates.

Although I prefer to have just one story with a single set of characters in one book, the premise of two longer stories works for me too. The stories are just long enough so that you get to know the boys, there's time for a little bit of character development and the climax. These stories are not too complex and follow the standard BL formula of "boy meets boy, falls in love, doubts his feelings and gets past them" - but the characters themselves are much more than that. Especially Natsume's ukes deserve three cheers for their cheekiness and attitude: both Saitoh and Yoshirou have spunk and don't fall into either the timid blushing uke nor the angry aggressive uke stereotypes but are very much their own characters. Saitoh with his adorable grin is strong and independent. Yet he doesn't see anything wrong with submitting to the younger boy, and even better doesn't change into a blushing bride after the deed but retains his authority as the sempai, almost topping Akimoto from the bottom. Yoshirou is a little bit more traditional uke character, but he's very much instigator and the aggressive party in the relationship. Semes are a bit more forgettable: Akimoto is the large and slightly clumsy and blushes cutely when he dotes after Saitoh, and Taka is yet another big dark-haired somber seme.

I really like Natsume's art - it's very clean, drawn almost in shonen style and reminding me a lot of Yellow Tanabe's Kekkaishi (and Saitoh is a spitting image of Kekkaishi's Yoshimori). Personally I much prefer this kind of style to more flowery and shoujo-like style on the other end of the BL spectrum. Natsume's boys are athletic and personable - not quite men yet, but built read more
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