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Dec 27, 2019
Anime originals are rare; stellar ones even rarer. In today's anime industry, much like it is in Hollywood, we are bombarded by endless numbers of adaptations of already popular franchises as they help to guarantee a level of financial success. Hoshiai no Sora is a 12 episode passion project written and directed by Kazuki Akane which was originally produced for 24 episodes before it was then told it could only air 12. This is incredibly clear from the phenomenal production values, and its unique approach to the sports drama genre but also in that the show does not end at episode 12.

Traditionally in sports read more
Aug 4, 2018
The tripartite anthology "Shikioriori", is deeply ingrained in Chinese culture and recent Chinese history, in particular that of China's rapid economic development during the 1990s, so it pains me to read so many reviews that seem to exhibit no awareness and no understanding of the cultural context and demographic to which this film targets.

1) Sunny Breakfast

For non-Chinese people, or those who have not grown up in Chinese-influenced societies like much of South East Asia, you may not know that food is widely recognised as the most important part of Chinese culture. That Chinese people often greet each other with "Have you eaten" and that Chinese read more
Oct 20, 2017
Magi (Manga) add (All reviews)
Arguably no genre in manga or anime suffers more from an ill-fated combination of cliche reliance and a basic premise than action shounen. Whilst it is not inherently bad for a show to skilfully execute well-trodden territory (for which there are plenty of shounen that do), Ohtaka’s “Magi”, true to its adventurous spirit, treads beyond the boundaries of its genre without ever losing the heart-racing excitement that all shounen lovers yearn for.

An allusion to the Middle Eastern folk tales of “One Thousand and One Nights”, the world of Magi is unlike most we’ve seen in that it neither draws its main inspiration from the ninjas, read more
Dec 23, 2015
To describe “Durarara!!” as atypical or multi-faceted would be a severe understatement by any measure. Narita’s creation is a rarity in that it is a show whose characters and the universe in which they inhabit are totally homogeneous – the characters are the universe and vice versa. Durarara is a piece of metafiction that primarily explores youth culture in Japan although much of its revelations and developments are relatable or can be extrapolated into the Western world. What is particularly impressive is that all this social commentary comes slickly packaged in a character drama whose comedy, romance, supernatural conceptions and eclectic cast can be appreciated read more
Jun 28, 2015
The greatest injustice that can be inflicted upon “Kotonoha no Niwa” is to falsely and narrowly label this 46-minute film a simple story of love. Too often do you see people claim that this movie is one about a "forbidden love" created by an age difference and it is through these lens that unwarranted and confused criticisms of the show sometimes emerge. The Garden of Words has a level of nuanced complexity that is concealed for the presumptuous as it requires you to think and pay attention to its use of visuals as well as its dialogue to read more
May 31, 2015
Little inspection into the dystopia genre is required to realise that the majority of the dystopic anime are set in a cyberpunk universe. Be it Psycho Pass, Ergo Proxy or Texhnolyze, the average viewer is likely to have seen these "hi-tech" interpretations of future societies. Enter Shinsekai Yori – a series where whose setting is uncannily quaint such that on first glance, it is hard to see it as a dystopia; but it is, and an exceptionally remarkable one indeed.

What distinguishes Shinsekai Yori from its counterparts is the sheer unorthodoxy of its universe. It is one where read more
May 28, 2015
Hyouka (Anime) add (All reviews)
High school – It is probably not incorrect to suggest that this is the most ubiquitous setting for anime nowadays. Yet even amongst the endless swathes of high school anime that inevitably centre around cute high school girls, there are always exceptions and Hyouka is one of them.

We find ourselves in the Classic Literature Club of which Oreki Houtarou, our energy-conserving protagonist is reluctantly a member and is soon joined by his eclectic group of friends, thus completing the groundwork for this “mystery” anime. When one considers what constitutes a “mystery” show, it is often associated with preconceptions of crime, horror and eerie suspense read more
Mar 16, 2015
Orange (Manga) add (All reviews)
At first glance, Orange may not seem to be anything more than your typical romance/drama set in your usual shoujo location - a high school. The incorporation of changing fate as its main and defining premise, which in itself is nothing too unique even in the romance department, can lead to premature and ignorant condemnations of Orange as nothing more than a mere "melodramatic shoujo" when it is nothing of the sort.

Whilst its premise may not be something immensely exciting at first glance, what Takano has excelled at is the execution of this premise. There exists a delicate yet extremely refined harmony between the read more