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Nov 3, 2018
“Otaku” is a term that I’ve labeled myself with in the past, when I’d eagerly watch new episodes of seasonal anime that come out weekly as a getaway from hours of tedious class lectures. Fully professing as one at the peak of my teenage years, I rejected most of the reality around me and got absorbed at the 2D world in front of my laptop screen. I had friends who would identify as one and we’d chatter away during school breaks about the latest developments in the anime world. I’d start obsessing over the latest doujins and video games which caused me to neglect read more
May 13, 2018
Bambino is a frustrating reading experience that had me feeling all sorts of emotions. I don’t mean that in a negative way. You see, it’s always a tendency that success is always the objective of the story when it revolves around an empowered character. They have their own share of struggles, but they immediately overcome it through the power of plot convenience. Bambino, however, is quite different.

The road to success is not a smooth route that can be achieved by just having talent. The manga attempts to slap the harsh truth to our main character Ban Shogo. He is not as great as he read more
May 5, 2018
I’ve long admired Ashinano Hitoshi for his slice-of-life masterpiece Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou and his landscape eye candy Kabu no Isaki. His minimalistic art style won me over with his expressive strokes which gives a lighthearted aesthetic whenever I read his works. The relaxed pacing, the simple yet insightful characters, the calm world-building, this is evident in all his manga. While this includes Kotonoba Drive, it pales in comparison to his previous works.

I can’t help but feel disappointed that this manga was short-lived. Maybe if it was extended to another 50 chapters or so, it could have fleshed out things better. The characterization is fairly weak, read more
Dec 31, 2017
In the past, I've encountered stories that attempt to be a slice-of-life setting about otherworldly beings or bizarre phenomenon. One way to assert the story's quality is to check if it establishes a setting to which it caters the outside element well enough to be normalized. If it does inject something you don't expect to be found in an everyday scenario, it must justify its existence by presenting a predicament that becomes the central focus of the story. Kanojo wa Rokurokubi falls short of exploring its eccentricities, and it has to do with how it unfolds its story.

The manga begins with an impression of read more
Oct 16, 2017
After getting a general idea of the story, I was kind of hesitant to continue reading. The fact that it tolerates irresponsible parenting with an enthusiastic cute little girl who is okay with it makes me slightly angry. The manga gets most things right when crafting a lighthearted slice-of-life, but the premise just makes me uncomfortable. Ultimately, I decided to keep reading in hopes of it getting better. Surprisingly it did, but there are a lot of things left much to be desired in the story.

At the start, it planned to go episodic with no sense of development at all. The dad is a hopeless read more
Jul 1, 2017
Romance is a genre that has been done to death in anime. Some try to liven things up by going for a romance-comedy approach that often falls short of balancing between the two. Some try to go for moody serious drama that sometimes take itself too seriously by sprinkling dark elements into the mix resulting into a mess. Whatever various scenarios these shows present, what they all have in common is that they have always strive to show something interesting to its viewers beyond the romance, which can result to negligence of the potential development from it.

It has always bothered me, as a person read more
Jun 11, 2017
Old Boy had an interesting start. With the premise that it offers, it’s easy to get absorbed in its story. The mystery it presents early on is done well enough to be gripping. Violence is promised, with its very crisp action sequences. The execution is good with its captivating paneling of scenes. The art is well done, albeit character designs could’ve been done better. Yet, it started to fall apart halfway with its villain growing ever present by the chapter.

One main problem it has is pacing. When it comes to mysteries, it’s often natural for a slow yet steady buildup that is heightened by cliffhangers. read more
May 26, 2017
Koe no Katachi: a story about a boy redeeming himself from a mistake that has forever changed his life.

At one point in our lives, we’ve been part of the bullying experience. It’s an issue that has continued to thrive despite efforts of eradicating it in social institutions especially school. Schools often have the most cases of bullying because kids are susceptible to doing things with little regard to punishment. They are also easily influenced by their surroundings so when one person decides to make fun of someone, everyone else is quick to ride along with it. The bully’s reasoning can be simple and varies read more
May 20, 2017
Kuzu no Honkai is a show that caught my interest by reading its plot synopsis. However when I actually started watching it, I didn’t expect it to be sexually explicit. From just the first episode, I was already welcomed by scenes that just flash that “lewd” sign across the screen. Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve encountered a show that uses this kind of approach in telling a romance story. However, this is my first time seeing a show use a more dark and perverse perspective of exploring love without being labeled as a hentai. It shows a lot of promise to become an read more
May 14, 2017
Bonnouji is an instance where it manages to be a successful love story without depending on a drama storyline. It is often a necessity for romance to have some conflict in order for it to develop albeit it can turn into an ugly incoherent mess based on past experiences. What these other works do wrong is that they underestimate the potential a romance can bring. Drama can push a relationship to new highs and lows but it only works when the premise requires for such thing to happen. A typical heartwarming story between couples can go wrong by forcing it into a more serious direction. read more