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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
May 30, 2017
Preliminary
It's been a decent year for anthropomorphic animals in TV animé. 2016 saw the CGI enhanced return of Chi's Sweet Adventure; the unique side scrolling comedy Sengoku Wildlife Caricatures; & the charmingly oddball CG-live action hybrid Nyanbo – probably as close as we'll get to a Yostuba&! adaptation. Quietly running throughout 2016 & still ongoing, though, was the return of an even older series, Mikio Igarashi's BonoBono.

Consisting of fifty, five minute vignettes, the first season follows the relaxing, amusing & often meandering days of the titular blue otter. Laid back, absent minded & always holding a clamshell, it doesn't take much for Bono to read more
May 29, 2017
TL;DR – A not entirely un-enjoyable series, though one where much of what's funny seems unintentional, or at least it's hard to tell when other anime take the same things so seriously. How this one seems to be taken so seriously by some people, though, I cannot fathom.

On an island that looks like Japan if re-imagined by a second rate marketing agency, the peaceful kingdom of Dowa unknowingly stands on the brink of chaos. A royal succession crisis - with the only legitimate male heir to the aging emperor being a vein, prideful wastrel – is being exacerbated by persistent rumours that the kingdom's member read more
Oct 11, 2016
Sometimes writing reviews is easy. You finish watching, check your notes & before you know it the words are flowing onto the page. No guarantee they'll be any good, of course, but at least there was no trouble finding something to say. For Active Raid's second season, it's a struggle to say anything.

After the events of the first season (Winter 2016), Unit 8 has seen some changes. Asami has found herself shunted off to lead the newly formed Unit 9, letting her have the power trip she's always wanted while getting her out of the way of serious police work. Sena, meanwhile, has left Unit read more