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Mar 28, 2020
One of my favorite 'fast food' anime returns with a movie. It doesn't do anything unexpected, but sometimes you're just fine not being surprised.

STORY

The first thing you'll notice about 'The Battle of Unato' compared to its TV predecessor is a shift in tone. Just to compare the first scenes of both, in the TV series we see a group of humans desperately battling to survive and escape a Kabane attack. The Kabane are presented as these horrifying, nearly unstoppable monsters and the humans all carry a suicide bomb in case they're bitten. In this movie we again open with a scene of humans battling Kabane, read more
Feb 1, 2020
A very uneven series, "Cosmo Warrior Zero" feels like the script needed to go through a couple more drafts and the animation is nothing special. However, an excellent English dub saves it from the trash heap.

STORY

"Cosmo Warrior Zero" feels disjointed and rushed, like they were trying to cram 26 episodes into 13. The plot jumps around and takes hard turns out of nowhere. I was watching the big battle that takes up the final 4 or so episodes and was left thinking "wait, how did we get here?" The set-up is vague as well. For a series that makes such a big deal about Humans read more
Jan 19, 2020
After 'Your Name' took the anime world by storm in 2016, Makoto Shinkai is back with a film that's very good, but plays it just a little too safe to repeat the magic.

STORY

Structurally, 'Weathering With You' has several noticable similarities to 'Your Name'. Both are emotional rollercoasters set in contemporary Japan with a supernatural twist. Neither tie everything together perfectly but hit home when and where it counts. Both have a montage with a RADWIMPS song playing in the background at the end of the first act right before the crazy stuff starts. It's enjoyable, but Shinkai-sensei has made films with different structures before, such read more
Jan 11, 2020
Yukimura Makoto's legendary historical fiction manga finally gets an anime adaptation, and... it's pretty good. A few quibbles, but it's still very good.

STORY

The story generally follows the manga very closely, but with a few tweaks. For example, the anime follows the story events strictly chronologically while in the manga started 'in media res' and then went back to tell the backstory. In the last few episodes the order of events is slightly tweaked and even some secondary plot points are changed. This new material fits well enough, but it also seems like the changes were simply made to fill out air time. All in all read more
Aug 30, 2019
If you needed any additional proof that 'Fate' has gone from a story to a brand look no further than "Emiya-san Chi no Kyou no Gohan". Or as I like to call it: "Fate Stay For Dinner"

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Remember "Fate Stay Night", that story about wizards summoning mythical heroes to do ruthless battle for a cursed magical artifact? Well, those guys decided to take a break from sadistic games of death, horrifying personal trauma, and blatant disregard for civilian casualties to eat some delicious food... And it's remarkably relaxing and entertaining. I don't know how they pulled it off, but they took a visual novel built around read more
Aug 29, 2019
A fascinatingly dated piece of animation that will be very interesting to a small niche of people and probably bore the rest to tears.

'Oishinbo: The Japan-America Rice War' is very much a product of its time, and that time is the early 90's, when economic tensions between Japan and the United States were at an all-time high. Giving a full historical background explanation would probably require starting at the end of the Second World War and then navigating 50 years of Post War economic policy and Cold War diplomacy. Suffice to say, by the early 90's Japan was booming, the US was treading water, and read more
Aug 27, 2019
Preliminary
[Review is for the 'Oishinbo A La Carte' English release]

One facet of Japanese manga culture that's never quite ceased to surprise me is its seemingly inexhaustible appetite (bada-boom) for culinary series.

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Oishinbo is one of the pillars of its genre, unfortunately, it's only legally available in English as part of VIZ Media's 'Oishinbo A La Carte' anthology series, which collects various chapters by subject matter rather than by publication order. It's good if you want to do an in-depth study of sake or sushi but it can be tricky to figure out what's going on with the characters, as the various selected chapters in each volume read more
Aug 22, 2019
Hyouka (Anime) add (All reviews)
I'm curious, can great characters make a series one of your favorites even when that series is well outside of your usual genres? I HAVE TO KNOW! (Yes, the answer is yes.)

I didn't think I'd ever write a review for Hyouka, given that I agree with the general high opinion of the show, and unlike a hidden gem such as 'Hidamari No Ki', this one hardly needs me to save it from obscurity. However, I recently completed my third full viewing of Hyouka despite the fact that I rarely give anime set in high school the time of day, so I decided to get to read more
Aug 22, 2019
This anime will make you drop what you're doing and go call your Mom.

Maybe I'm just a Momma's Boy, but 'Maquia' story of maternal love hits your emotions like a truck. That being said, the plot isn't airtight. It starts off well, but towards the end some of the threads start to fray. To get to the end of the story a number of things are glossed over, without going too far into spoiler territory, in the last act main character Maquia finds herself in a situation that REALLY deserved more screen time than it got and should have affected the plot and other characters read more
Nov 18, 2018
Hanebado is an anime about tennis' decidedly less popular cousin that gets some things very right and other things very wrong.

STORY

It's been pointed out elsewhere so I won't belabor the point, but the pacing of Hanebado - the speed at which the story is told- is so fast you'd think it was strapped to the front of a Bullet Train. A lot of the traditional plot points of a sports anime are rapid-fired at you, just to point out one example, by the halfway point of this 13 episode series we already have major characters playing their final high school badminton matches- it's portrayed as read more