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Feb 15, 2015
Preliminary
Billy Bat is an intricately woven mystery-thriller; it's a manga where twists and turns are around every corner and one which you will have to invest quite a bit of time into before any kind of revelation or payoff, but my is it gripping.

We begin with Kevin Yamagata; a Japanese-American cartoonist whose series Billy Bat - which follows the adventures of an anthropomorphic bat detective - is published by the reputable Marble Comics and adored throughout America. However, by chance Kevin learns of a manga which features a similar protagonist to his in Japan. Realising he may have unconsciously plagiarised the character whilst in Japan read more
Feb 2, 2015
Mu-kai (Manga) add (All reviews)
Mukai is a story of impressive scope, following two youths as they're caught in a seemingly motionless world where their surroundings are mashed together, as if swept along by a great storm.

Kenta and Mika - the main characters - find themselves in a unique position. They're the only inhabitants in this world who can move. They can see others, but the other residents are husks of their former selves; revealed to be completely transparent when Kenta and Mika attempt to touch them. It's an intriguing premise, as expected from seasoned sci-fi novelist Tobi Hirotaka, but the scope of the story proves too much for a read more
Nov 14, 2014
Coin Laundry no Onna is a humorous, gag-based series that follows the life and times of Maoko, a Sadako-like girl who receives much pleasure in scaring the customers of her laundromat.

The manga is presented in an episodic fashion, with each chapter following Maoko and the supporting cast through a variety of different misadventures and aspects of life. The chapters range in length, with the shortest only four pages long. The author doesn't allow the manga much breathing room, with each plot proceeding at a lightning-fast pace, but such is the nature of a gag-based series. Comedy is the sole genre, with the author churning out read more
Nov 5, 2014
Knights of Sidonia is a science fiction action series adapted from renowned mangaka Nihei Tsutomu. The series - which is arguably more accessible than the authors other work - has received a favourable adaptation from Polygon Pictures, though unfortunately certain elements fail to avoid banality.

The narrative is an enthralling romp through outer space and Sidonia - the series' giant intergalactic city, complete with Tsutomu's famously captivating architecture - though at certain points it loses its way (or rather, its appeal) as it devolves into a generic harem. This element could have been better portrayed - perhaps displaying the characters' desperation in trying to find love read more
Oct 16, 2014
Haisha (Manga) add (All reviews)
Yukito Kishiro was forced to end Battle Angel Alita prematurely in 1994 due to personal issues. However, he returned to his manga universe a year later with Ashen Victor; a short piece chronicling the exploits of Snev, the so called 'Crash King' of Motorball, the series' deadly extreme sport.

The story - 134 pages in length - is sufficiently developed, but could have been constructed more efficiently. The plot relies on a lot of coincidences, and I feel there was more room to explore Snev's psyche, along with the Scrapyard setting and Snev's place within it. Nevertheless, it's an enjoyable read and a lovely little detour read more
Feb 23, 2011
Redline (Anime) add (All reviews)
Takeshi Koike's debut feature; seven years in the making. Redline is an anime about racing, only presented like nothing seen before. Produced by Madhouse, with second key animation from Gainax, music from James Shimoji and a cast and crew pumped with everlasting potential, this is certainly one of - if not the - most adrenaline filled anime film to date.

As a film about racing, the plot is fairly standard fare, but the larger than life presentation coupled with the sheer imagination and creativity that has gone into Redline is second to none. The story - despite cliches - is both exhilarating and incredibly well paced. read more
Oct 26, 2010
Full Moon Party is the first independent music video created by collaborators Sugimoto Kousuke (director) and Manabe Takayuki (music) and it certainly sets the standard for things to come.

The video follows three primates and their discovery of music. A music note appears from outer space and grants the primates two guitars and a drum set, which they embrace with, quite literally, colourful vigor. They unleash a fine instrumental piece which sets in motion a whole horde of crazy events as the world begins to evolve around them. The story is exquisite and, depending on how you interpret it, contains deeper meanings concerning music and its read more
Oct 26, 2010
One of many wonderful things about animation is the sheer inventiveness that the creative minds are able to translate and display on-screen, and that couldn't be more true for we have here. The TV Show is a fine example of the exquisite choreography, dazzlingly imagery, unbelievable creativity, inventive presentation and flawless blend of music and visuals that can be created from the mind of someone who knows just how unrestricted animation can be.

The TV Show was made independently by Sugimoto Kousuke in 2009, with music provided by Manabe Takayuki, whom the director worked with previously on Full Moon Party. The duo conjure an absolutely insane read more
Aug 15, 2010
"I'm sure you'll understand too, someday. The melancholy of winning. The pain of praise. The weight on your shoulders... the loneliness and agony. The time will come where your efforts will seem meaningless and your victories empty."

Like much of Taiyo Matsumoto's work, Ping Pong includes the same level of energy and surprising depth that outshines its basis to the point of sheer brilliance. Ping Pong, contrary to the title, is less a story about table tennis and more a story about the coming of age of two polar opposite individuals. The author uses ping pong as a medium to advance the story and to develop read more
Apr 8, 2010
Gintama (Manga) add (All reviews)
Preliminary
"At its heart Gintama is a science fiction human pseudo-historical comedy. The bottom line is that this is a nonsense manga. But I don't believe in telling readers what to think, so read it any way you like." - Hideaki Sorachi.

Gintama is a fantastically creative work with an endless appeal; as consistent, funny and compelling now as it was five years ago.

The story - for the most part - is told in a rather episodic fashion, with each chapter presenting a different plot. These chapters are largely comedic and follow the huge cast finding themselves in all sorts of hilarious situations. Hideaki Sorachi - the read more