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Aug 6, 2018
Megalo Box (Anime) add
Mixed Feelings
Finishing Megalo Box was a strange experience for me. I felt adequately satisfied, but looking back on the series as a whole, that feels like a weird thing to say for something that, on paper, is kind of a disappointment.

I started watching the series with a lot of anticipation; I’d never read Ashita no Joe, a manga that’s highly well-regarded within the hardcore manga community, but the idea of a new series with a gritty, early 2000’s anime aesthetic was highly appealing, especially in our current anime environment where good series still get released, but shows with this particular kind of look are hard to ...
Apr 8, 2017
Death Note (Manga) add
Mixed Feelings
Each era of anime is marked by its own trends, its own conventions, its own shows that dominate the conversation and shape public perception of the medium among fans and non-fans alike. For the 2000's, Death Note was one of the biggest, and a good argument could be made that it WAS the biggest. It achieved a seemingly omnipresent level of saturation, you could not go to a forum on any given nerd hobby without people filled with avatars and signatures from the series, and its famous lines are parroted even now. Its anime adaptation was immensely popular and reached a level of pop cultural ...
Apr 7, 2017
Pluto (Manga) add
Naoki Urasawa is frequently considered one of the greatest authors in modern manga. His plotting is incredibly tight and densely packed, his characters feel grounded and have complexities not afforded to most characters in manga and anime, and overall his stories since Monster have felt very adult in their themes and ideas without falling into the pitfalls common of seinen manga, who abuse the narrative freedom afforded to them by packing their stories with an excess of gore and sexual content to make their stories "edgy". For many anime and manga fans who want to show the best the medium has to offer, many will ...
Jun 6, 2016
Hunter x Hunter is a series that will you probably see a lot of acclaim for on the internet, and it has a tendency to be warmly received by a lot of people unsatisfied with the writing in most shounen manga. When it comes to battle shounen that reach the highest of highs and transcend being adolescent power fantasies with mediocre writing and simplistic morals, the two series you will see frequently being praised are HunterxHunter and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. While I get the impression that it's become more common for people to be critical of HunterxHunter due to a variety of reasons (it ...
Mar 12, 2016
The first Digimon Tri movie was overall interesting and was a promising beginning for this series of movies with a more introspective, subdued and adult tone, but had a few issues that kept it from being truly great, mainly the sloppy construction of the Taichi dilemma and the conflict between him and Matt (not to mention the stupid cell phone flashback being repeated ad nauseaum).

This second movie has a problem which the first didn't, in that it starts off much more slowly. The first movie had the advantage of novelty and being an introduction to the older kids and their day-to-day lives, meaning it was ...
Jan 3, 2016
Kokou no Hito (Manga) add
Kokou no Hito is probably one of the most interesting manga I've read in a long time, in the sense that it completely defies any expectations you might have upon reading it for the first few volumes.

In the beginning, it seems like a decent but fairly standard shounen sports story; the main character is a lethargic loner who discovers an aptitude and passion for mountain climbing, he joins the school club, he has a rival, there's a cute sports club manager who seems interested in him, etc. There's nothing necessarily WRONG with it, and it's good enough to get you invested, but if that was ...
Dec 28, 2015
Himizu (Manga) add
Mixed Feelings
It struck while reading Himizu that it is in many ways the archetypal seinen manga, at least as far as public perception is concerned.

The shounen demographic at large focuses on power fantasies and more simplistic, idealized characters and values and in the case of battle shounen, more of a focus on action (shounen jump's motto is, after all, "friendship, effort, and victory"). The seinen demographic, however, tends to have a far more cynical outlook on life, unafraid to show the raw ugliness of human beings and a higher focus on the psychology and flaws of the characters, and tends to be a bit TOO liberal ...
Nov 2, 2015
Steel Ball Run is the (at the moment this review is being published) last completed arc of the long running Jojo's Bizarre Adventure saga, a franchise that has lasted more than 2 decades. While each part of the series has always had its own contributions and spin on the formula, Steel Ball Run in particular stands out from the crowd for one big reason.

Sometime after concluding part 6 (stone ocean), Hirohiko Araki decided that he was through with the limitations of the weekly serialization format and the shounen demographic, of which he had worked in for several years. He figured that with a series that ...
Aug 14, 2015
Bleach (Manga) add
Mixed Feelings
Preliminary (685/705 chp)
Bleach is a series that is in a very awkward position in the manga community. It used to hold a large amount of prestige and popularity as one of the pillars of shounen manga, along with Naruto and One Piece. Naruto has since ended and One Piece is still going strong, with Bleach now finished as well. While sales of it in its later years were still quite good for a manga in general, it was a far cry from its original sales and it routinely tanked in the ratings in Shounen Jump until its conclusion.

The premise of Bleach is quite similar to Yu ...
May 5, 2015
Taiyou no Ie (Manga) add
Preliminary (Unknown/53 chp)
I do not usually read shoujo manga; I tend to assume that they're probably not my cup of tea. I do read josei on occasion, but i just can't really imagine most manga meant for young girls would appeal to me. Taiyou no Ie has taught me that these kinds of stories can still be reasonably compelling in their own right.

Taiyou no Ie is a story fundamentally about people moving forward and finding where they belong. It is especially noticeable since this is what Mao's entire personal journey is about, but it is also quite prominent in pretty much every character in the story, ...

It’s time to ditch the text file.
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