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Dec 10, 2017
Christmas just doesn't seem to hold the same place in anime that it used to. We still get our fair share of Christmas episodes, but the significance of hooking up or being alone on Xmas eve just doesn't seem to have the same importance that it used to. Which is why it's nice to see an ONA dedicated entirely to the holiday, even if it isn't anything to write home about.

Akari Kido is the new intern at the NYPD, having transferred from Tokyo just in time for Christmas. No sooner has she started walking the beat when a mischievous magical girl appears, bringing the read more
Dec 5, 2017
When we left the Furious Fairy Five, the show had overcome some of its more egregious technical issues but still hadn't figured out what it wanted to be. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to not knowing what to do: do classic folk-tales. Forest Fairy Five ~Fairy Tale~ presents us with the fairies spin on three well known legends - Tsuru no Ongaeshi, Momotarō & Urashimako – before the forest fairies themselves have to travel through the settings of these stories to rescue Mai from...her insecurities, I guess.

Surprisingly, given what a janky mess FFF was, it kinda works. Gone is the sense that the read more
Nov 18, 2017
While listed as an OVA, it might be more accurate to describe LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! as an event anime, something we rarely see exported out of Japan. Originally screened at select theatres in August 2017, this just barely feature length final episode feels made for being watched in a room full of fellow LOVErs who know the songs, can quote the catch phrases & are probably just a wee bit drunk.

But chances are you're not in a packed Japanese theatre, but sat at home, alone; hoping for one final adventure with the Battle Lovers. Does LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! provide this? Yes, but YMMV (oh & read more
Jun 27, 2017
TL;DR – A melodramatic sledgehammer with characters that shed enough tears to fill a swimming pool & more angst than a lifetime of Linkin Park albums. But if a teenage soap opera about pop-rock & unrequited love sounds like your kind of thing, either to cry or laugh along to, then it fits the bill.

Love is hell for a shojo heroine. Particularly so for Nino, whose feelings have remained unrequited since her childhood friend Momo suddenly skipped town in elementary school. Despite the years & common sense suggesting she should move on, Nino has continued to hold those feelings inside, determined that one day they read more
Jun 23, 2017
TL;DR – A cute girls show that is never quite sure what cute things they should be doing, Hinako Note feels unfocused whilst at the same time increasingly focusing on the characters bodies. The potential for a good cute girl show was there, but it really needed a redraft or more editorial oversight to achieve it.

It's not easy starting again in a new city. It's even harder for Hinako, a girl whose social anxiety makes her freeze like a scarecrow when approached by strangers. It wasn't as bad in the countryside, where having a human scarecrow to attract animals away from fields was useful. But read more
Jun 22, 2017
Do you love rice? Do you love boys? If yes, you'd better hand yourself in to the police. But before you do, you'd better watch Love Rice. It might make you reconsider your life choices.

Hinohikari is a boy who knows what he wants & what he wants is to be the HarveStar of the Harvest Show. There's just one problem: nobody likes rice any more, which is unfortunate enough when you're a rice-boy (not the car kind) but doubly so when it means the Kokuritsu Inaho Academy he attends is in danger of shutting down. Undeterred, Hinohikari will achieve his dream & save his school read more
Jun 21, 2017
TL;DR – Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor starts off decently enough that you might think to stick around to see if it gets better. It never gets better.

On the list of things the world is lacking, another fantasy high school light novel must rank pretty high. Fortunately, Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor (AroBMI) – so called because Brilliant Bastard wasn't cumbersome enough – is here to provide.

Sistine & Rumia are two friends on their way to the first day of class at the Alanzo Imperial Magic Academy when they have an only in anime collusion with some guy. Said guy turns out to read more
Jun 20, 2017
TL;DR – An oddity even among the growing number of anime reboots, The Laughing Salesman offers a darkly comic, pessimistic &, unfortunately, a little bit dated journey through the underside of Japanese society & human nature.

The last few years have seen a growing trend for older series getting new adaptations. From action classics like JoJo's Bizarre Adventures to children's shorts like Bono Bono, an ever growing number of titles are being given new prequels, sequels, remakes, reboots or simply getting an adaptation years after the source material finished publication. This goes double for The Laughing Salesman, adapting a manga by Fujiko Fuko A that read more
Jun 6, 2017
In their insatiable hunger for new content, CrunchyRoll will occasionally license series that seem to have no business being seen outside of whatever dark corner of Japan they came from. Forest Fairy Five (FFF) is the latest of those shows, an attempt at a CGI children's show that, on first appearances, is a confused mess of ugly visuals, bad sound quality & no clear sense of what it's meant to be about or who it's for.

First, some back story. In 2011 Sōta Sugahara's & studio Bouncy's GDGD Fairies first aired, a CGI show about fairy idols that looked like a kids show, but read more
Jun 1, 2017
TL;DR – a 5-6 series that might have been 7-8 if it did a few things differently, Akiba's Trip will appeal to fans of ecchi, otaku oriented comedy, but probably not make many favourites lists.

Adapting (I presume somewhat loosely) the video game that seems to sit somewhere between cult & meme, Akiba's Trip is a rough, trashy & unexpectedly enjoyable series that celebrates both the place & the image of Akihabara, perhaps to a fault. It avoids the trap of coming off as insufferably smug about “being” otaku in a way that has echoes of some of Gainax's more self-indulgent titles in the 2000s, or read more