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Jan 16, 2020
Spoilers for the original anime, no spoilers for the movie.

Steins;Gate The Movie is a heartfelt send off to the "main timeline" in the original series. It tries its best to put a neat little bow on the series, and mostly, it succeeds. Where it doesn't succeed is when it defies established canon, such as bending and changing time travel mechanics or having characters act a bit heightened for the sake of the scene. The latter is a very small gripe and only happens in the beginning; the best example of this is Kurisu acting a lot more emotional from the get-go. Along the same lines, ...
Oct 28, 2019
Before Dawn and the End of the World is one of the first published works of Inio Asano. Much like his other early works (City of Light, What a Wonderful World), this story is told through a series of connected vignettes, some consisting of a single chapter and others a few, all with a common theme. The theme should come as no surprise to anyone who's ever read Asano. Put simply, it's nostalgia. That, however, does not do it justice. This is an intimate study of the overactive dreams we all have as children, our naive worldviews, our hope and optimism, our vibrant spirit of ...
May 23, 2019
Ibitsu (Manga) add
Mixed Feelings
This manga reads like a horror B-movie. If that sounds fun to you, pick this up. As a whole, I'd say the quality is lacking, in both story and art. There were some instances of good horror pacing and paneling, but as a whole the suspense felt lacking. The art is as basic as it gets for a good 75% of the manga, but sometimes it improves dramatically for some of the more gory or stylized scenes. These can look shockingly good, but it's mostly because of how bland the rest of it is. Still, if you're in the mood for a quick, fun, slasher ...
Jan 9, 2019
Aoi Haru (Manga) add
This is my first Matsumoto manga, and it won't be my last. Taiyo Matsumoto really knows how to elicit a very specific feeling and tone.

These short stories aren't great stories in themselves; they don't have any plot or character development. They are tone pieces through and through. The art isn't all that great either, but it oozes with charm and really captures that punk rock vibe that's present throughout the book. I loved how there were tons of graffiti, to the point that the bottom of the page was chock-full of annotations from the translator. Loved all the music references too (Jimi Hendrix, The ...
Dec 2, 2018
In Clothes Called Fat by Moyoco Anno
Long-Winded Review #8 (Thicc edition)

In Clothes Called Fat, by Hideaki Anno's wife Moyoco Anno, is a very solid josei manga about the insecurities we face every day, whether that has to do with our personal appearance or our psychological hangups.

For the most part, we follow an overweight girl, Noko Hanazawa, who is the constant target of workplace bullying and social ostracization. She blames all of her problems on her weight and thinks that once she's skinny, everything will fall into place. So she seeks help to get thin, but of course things don't quite go as expected. The manga ...
Aug 24, 2018
This review isn't my usual more formal style, but figured I'd post it here regardless.

Helter Skelter is another great manga by Kyoko Okazaki. While I didn't think this was as solid as Pink, it is very close in quality. For the most part, it is just as good, but the art suffers from what appears to be some rushing (apparently this manga didn't go through the cleaning process that manga usually go through before being collected in tankobon due to Okazaki getting hit by a car near the end of the publishing process). In Pink, I praised Okazaki's deliberately messy style, but here it is ...
Aug 6, 2018
She and Her Cat is a sweet little story about the invisible hardships of 20-somethings. Miyu is a 20-something year old woman with an office job, barely any friends, and little contact with her family. The story follows her life through the eyes of her cat Chobi. Each chapter is a different season and we see snapshots of both of their lives. This was a very melancholy story about how hard life can get even when nothing drastically bad is happening to you, and about how the little things can hold it together, in this case her cat. I thought it was compelling from start ...
Jul 19, 2018
Pink (Manga) add
Pink by Kyoko Okazaki
Long-Winded Review #6 (crocodiles are cute fuck you edition)

Pink is a manga that just doesn't give a fuck. Pink is both anarchic and capitalist. Pink is both punk rock and pop. Pink is both sour and sweet. Pink is pink.

On a surface level, this might come across as a simple humorous slice-of-life story with no plot. And really, it's not much more than that, and that is exactly the point. Pink's philosophy is "fuck assumptions, fuck how you're supposed to feel, fuck all that" This philosophy is perfectly embodied by Yumi owning a fucking crocodile that just hangs out in her apartment, ...
Jul 12, 2018
Haru yo Koi (Manga) add
Haru yo Koi or Awaiting Spring is a one-shot originally published in Ctrl+T, which is primarily an Inio Asano art book containing original art, a colored Punpun chapter, some interviews, some other bonus material, and two one-shots, this being one of them. This was also recently collected in the Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2018 exclusive "Solanin: An Epilogue" along with the new chapter #29 and a proper translation of this (as opposed to the awful fan translation that's online where they not only had poor grammar, but also got plot points completely wrong). The first time I read it, I had it sitting at a ...
Jul 8, 2018
MW (Manga) add
MW by Osamu Tezuka
Long-Winded Review #5 [Immoral Edition]

Series Overview:
Tezuka's 1976 manga MW follows the story of Yuki, a sadistic criminal mastermind, and Father Garai, a Japanese Catholic priest. They are the sole survivors of a poison gas leak that killed off an entire island's population. They also share a complicated relationship. They are lovers of sorts. Essentially, while hiding away during the MW gas leak incident, a 20-something Garai (not yet a priest) took advantage of a young Yuki thinking he looked quite gentle and feminine. After the incident, Yuki suffered some brain damage due to slight exposure to the MW gas that caused him ...