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Jan 11, 2019
(Mild spoilers) If there's one quick way to ruin a love story for me, it's with a love interest who isn't appealing and shoujo manga is really good at making me question many of my fellow reader's tastes in men. Shoujo romance with an action element has an especially common pitfall of trying too hard to make a man "dangerous" or "jealous" to the point of being anywhere between uncomfortable to straight up no-holds-barred abusive. After years of rolling my eyes at this trashy trope, I am proud to announce that I have finally found the abusive love interest that easily takes the cake as the read more
Nov 25, 2018
 The Clockmaker's Story is one of several adaptations of Julius' romantic arc. Julius' job of repairing the clocks that double as citizen's hearts is considered vile for.... reasons? I never really understood that the first time they used that fact as a plot twist, either. Whatever. For some reason Julius is a loner everyone is afraid of and Alice warms up to him, this time with some cute art and pretty standard shoujo tropes. 

This one-volume story is sweet, if a little cliche, but one thing that kept me from enjoying it more was how the creepy behavior of some of the men in Alice's world read more
Nov 25, 2018
Meh. Everything in Alice in Junk Box is completely passable. The collection has some nice art, but the writer doesn't seem to know how to tell a good romantic story in the short space allotted for each one-shot. Each character comes across as a shallow version of themselves (The Queen's only trait is that she now comments on her hatred of men at every opportunity for some reason?) and the stories themselves tend to be rather cliche and boring. The best story in the bunch is a romance with Boris that smartly tells of a small moment in a pre-existing relationship instead of trying to build a read more
Jul 10, 2018
QQ Sweeper is a series that looks, at first glance, to be a lot shorter than it actually is. The manga abruptly stops at the end of its first act and then continues onward as a different manga called Queen's Quality. This makes QQ Sweeper kind of hard to do a full review on as all I'm really reviewing is a beginning, and usually when it comes to storytelling you have to see a middle and end to really know if the set-up panned out like it should have, or at the least have gotten more than what equates to 3 out of 8 volumes read more
Apr 17, 2018
If there's one overarching attitude in the world of media that irks me, it's the idea that something being less accessible somehow makes it more artistic. The back cover of the American edition of Nijihara Hologram calls the single-volume work "complex, challenging, and elliptical." Apparently, this is code for "pretentious, nonsensical, and over-complicated."

Now, be it far from me to be upset with a work for challenging its audience - I have no problem with having to think while I read - but there's a fine line between a work asking its readers to think and a work being so needlessly confusing you'd need a flowchart read more
Apr 6, 2018
How to Keep a Mummy is a hard anime to rate because, when you think hard enough about the show, not much happens during its 12 episode run. The show's main pull is just how adorable Mii-kun and the rest of the fantasy creatures that appear in the series are doing totally mundane things. The only plot the show has is a handful of mystery-themed episodes where the main cast stumbles upon some element of Japanese mythology with its cuteness factor dialed up to 11.

That said, while you could argue that the story doesn't have much going for it, the show is a constant onslaught read more
Mar 26, 2018
Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles is comprised of two plots. The first is the standard and incredibly boring group of high school girl anime stereotypes going on adventures tangentially related to the main character, Koizumi, featuring one of my least favorite tropes of all time: a girl with a creepy obsession who can't take "no" for an answer and is one genre-shift away from going full yandere. This part of the series of abysmally boring and I often find myself getting distracted when it's the focus.

The reason I kept watching Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles despite its dreary side characters is Koizumi herself and her adventures - read more
Mar 26, 2018
I decided to take the plunge this season and watch a children's anime that hadn't been subtitled with my minimal knowledge of Japanese, so take this review with a grain of salt. I'm sure there are subtleties and jokes in Mameneko that I missed completely, but one of the nice things about the series is it manages to be simple enough that most of it can be grasped between the animation and knowing a few basic Japanese phrases.

Anyways, Mameneko is a charming little short series about cats being cats, and is the most realistic of the three cat-related short series we got this season. read more
Mar 26, 2018
I picked up The Ancient Magus' Bride manga late last year and quickly fell in love with it, just in time to gleefully learn an anime adaptation was coming out. At the time, a common complaint against the manga that people were hoping to see fixed by the anime was the pacing; many readers felt the story moved much too slowly.

Personally, I never agreed with this verdict. To me, the manga's pacing felt as comfortable as a hot cup of English tea. Now that we've come to the end of the anime, I can't help but feel a certain amount of vindication as the read more
Mar 6, 2018
At first, I thought my dislike of Hibi Chouchou might be a personal problem - I was neither popular nor shy in high school, so immediately I had trouble relating to the concept that being liked by your peers too much could be a problem. As I continued onward though, I found the high school's shaky environment causing convoluted problems (she's too popular so her boyfriend gets bullied... except not really, as its exclusively played for laughs except as an excuse to keep the main couple apart?) to be the least of the series problems.

Neither our hero nor heroine are particularly interesting characters - read more