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Dec 5, 2014
Each short episode of Tonari no Seki-kun is built on a similar foundation: Seki plays some comically elaborate game in the middle of class, and Yokoi, his more studious neighboring classmate, invariably gets sucked into what he's doing, to the point where she often becomes even more invested in it than him. That’s it. This seems like a fairly limited premise, but it provides a great framework with a surprising amount of comedic range for Seki to play in. The results are almost always a blast.

The games Seki plays each episode range from staging complex, twist-laden wars with unconventional shogi play to bringing an actual read more
Nov 24, 2014
It would be a mistake to think of Virgin Night as just another typical sleazy hentai anime. Sure, the premise of some average teen wanting to lay his too-cute-for-him girlfriend for the first time doesn’t sound exceptional to standard hentai fare, but a healthy dose of subtlety and a real sense of genuine affection elevates this schlocky sounding premise into being a perfect portrait of awkward adolescent love. Seriously.

The first thing you’ll notice when starting this short OVA is, well, the boyfriend kissing his girlfriend and fondling her breasts. Stick with me though, it’s actually good! There’s not really any glorification or fetishizing to the read more
Jan 4, 2014
You Shoumei Bijutsukan Line is an unusual ga-nime featuring a mix of You Shomei's minimalistic paintings, an equally barren soundscape courtesy of Nakai Yuu, and tranquil live action sections peppered throughout.

You's artwork here invariably consists of two horizontally split halves, creating a line effect in the middle of which this ga-nime is eponymous of. Sky comprises the top half, a seemingly perfectly flat surface on the bottom: both largely featureless but characterized by gentle gradients and soft colors. These stark landscapes are punctuated by lone objects, vaguely reminiscent of their respective real-life counterparts. Abstract at first, these objects take the shape of minuscule, dark rectangles— read more
Aug 24, 2013
Ahh, Black Rock Shooter… je t'aime

In the 1960s, which is 60 years before when I come from which is the future, a recondite avant garde composer by the name of Captain Beefheart graced the airwaves with his trundling avant garde music that challenged the status quo of blues music with a menagerie of outré bumps and scrapes, replete with a healthy dose of guttural growls, vaguely resembling music. Yet these renegade evocative soundscapes informed a portent of society. In order for progress to subsist, artistic vanguards like this are of incorrigible necessity.

Now, I'm going to go on a bit of a tangent here, so please read more
Jun 27, 2013
There's something inexplicable about Yuyushiki that makes it a difficult sell. Frankly, the premise of "three girls goofing off" is about as original as "three guys walk into a bar". Furthermore, a considerable number of the jokes are patently unfunny, and the characters will probably find themselves laughing more often than the audience will. On paper, Yuyushiki sounds like every other largely forgettable 4-koma slice of life adaptation out there. So what makes Yuyushiki stand out in a veritable sea of similarly themed shows? Quite a lot, actually.

To start, good character dynamics are paramount in these plotless slice of life shows, and in that respect, read more
Jun 26, 2013
A simple litmus test for how much merit one might find in Sparrow's Hotel can be done by the brief uttering of one of its jokes: "Cute girl with large breasts is good at fighting". Now, if you are presently convulsing in laughter with tears in your eyes and a pain in your sides at the mere thought of that "joke", boy are you in luck, Sparrow's Hotel uses that joke repeatedly! Hell, it's the only joke it has! None of that pesky "variety" garbage to encroach on your love affair with that perfect, solitary joke. As such, Sparrow's Hotel's doubtlessly masterful sense of humor read more
Mar 27, 2013
There’s a reasonably well-justified tendency among anime fans to hastily dismiss the potential merit of any permutation of the whole “cute girls doing cute things” motif that’s so nauseatingly ubiquitous in modern anime. In recent times, we’ve had a spate of these lusterless shows - whether it be “cute girls climbing mountains!” or “cute girls that are actually anthropomorphic guns or something!” - and the results are nigh-invariably uninspired dreck that’s not worthy of anyone’s time. With this in mind, it’s only natural to approach the simple premise of “cute girls driving tanks” with caution. It is against all odds, then, that Girls und Panzer read more
Mar 11, 2013
Youth can be an incomprehensible and overwhelming deluge of new ideas and emotions. This sensation is most certainly heightened in the place that they amalgamate and coalesce: at school. Everyone has a different way of adapting to this, but they generally all fall under a similar guise: children simply try to fit in the best they can through the emulation of their peers. But then there’s people like Yuki Tachibana.

Elementary schooler, Yuki, goes his own way by instinctively distancing himself from the sheer inscrutability of youth. He perceives school life in a very different way than most. As Yuki sees it, there’s an assemblage of read more
Dec 23, 2012
Akage no Anne doesn’t seem to be a particularly grand story if one was to simply read the blurb - there are no dramatic plot twists, no tyrants to defeat, no epic quest spanning galaxies - it is just a very simple tale of a young orphaned girl coming to terms with herself and others.

Akage no Anne takes place in the late nineteenth century, in the fictional town of Avonlea on Prince Edwards Island, Canada. Here siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, both reaching into their 50's and 60's, are looking to adopt a boy of around 10 to help them with the farm work. read more