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Jun 10, 2011
Before this show was aired, anime enthusiasts were looking forward to cute character designs, pretty visuals, and charming stories of friendship. Weeks later, the same people were indeed enjoying those — while decoding encrypted text, citing 19th century German literature, brushing up on physics, and debating about ethics.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka☆Magica has certainly been the center of much attention. Despite the efforts of the creators to tone down certain elements in their promotional videos, the anime has suffered from levels of hype and backlash unseen since Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Haruhi series. The presence of notable names in the list of collaborators suggests that ...
Jun 8, 2010
“Happiness doesn’t walk up to me,
so I have to walk there to make it mine.”

In 2007, Gainax treated fans of the 90’s anime with the release of Evangelion 1.0. The although the first film was enjoyable enough, it offered little more than crisper visuals compared to the original series, and understandably, some saw it as simply another attempt to further milk the franchise. Two years later, Hideaki Anno and Co. prove once again that they’ve still got their magic by unleashing the beast known as Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance. With the premise of the show already (re)established in the previous movie, the second ...
Oct 2, 2009
Kamichu! (Anime) add
“Sleeping in classes and coming late.
You haven’t changed at all, even after you became a god.”

"God." The word alone brings up images of supposed grace, divinity, and perfection. However, Hitotsubashi Yurie is far from being the embodiment of those qualities. In fact, she's quite the klutz even by mortal standards. Even so, providence has chosen this middle school student for the role of shinto kami (deity). Fortunately, she has friends to help her out with her troubles, whether earthly or divine.

After seeing more than a few other shows featuring magical girls and moe-blobs, one might wonder how Kamichu! could stand out from the rest ...
Jul 29, 2009
“I pray that I can finish this day without dirtying my hands.”

Some elements in anime and manga have been used by so many writers that they are at risk of becoming hackneyed. The use of school settings in particular has become rather common, and finding fresh content is increasingly becoming more difficult. Fortunately, there are still a few titles that manage to surpass expectations. This manga happens to be one of those.

Affectionately referred to as “Fap Note” by some fans, Onani Master Kurosawa is the brainchild of Ise Katsura (author) and Yoko (artist). The story deals with an adolescent's coming of age and, as it's ...
Jan 8, 2009
(Manga) add
After going through several shoujo one shots and getting tired of the clichés, stumbling across Forever Honey was a blessing from the heavens.

The story revolves around the heartwarming relationship between a father and his daughter. It's a refreshing break from run-of-the-mill highschool romance, and the flow of the narrative is remarkably smooth without being predictable.

The character designs are very pleasing to the eye and the illustrations capture their personalities. Honey looks so adorable and Keita's such a shabby-looking dad that it's no surprising that he dotes on her while she worries endlessly about him. As an additional bonus, the mangaka doesn't clutter the panels ...
Dec 31, 2008
Kannagi (Anime) add
If broken down to its individual components, there’s hardly anything new presented in Kannagi. An average guy for a protagonist, magical girls, childhood friends, highschool life, convoluted love triangles, otaku references, doses of fanservice, product placement, etc. If I had known earlier that the show contained these, I would have never even bothered to try it out. Fortunately, I was oblivious of this and, having finished the show, I must give credit to its creators for creating a palatable mix of these elements. By featuring a bit of everything without going in too deep and alienating some audiences, I believe they have made a show ...
Nov 29, 2008
“All this living, killing, and dying…
Do you really need a reason for it?”

For some manga, it’s love at first sight. The title may be intriguing, the story might be riveting, the characters possibly lovable, or perhaps the art just blinds you with sheer awesomeness. Either way, you flip through the pages and get instant gratification.

Because Goodbyes Are Coming Soon is not one of those.

Despite that, or rather, because of that, no other one shot has impressed me as much as this one.
Nov 14, 2008
“I’ve tried turning you into someone stronger,
but lately, I feel uneasy whenever I look at you.”

Simply put, Gunslinger Girl is about hopeless children who are granted another shot at life at the cost of their freedom and innocence. They are given cybernetic implants which enhance their combat capabilities and drugs which impose upon them unquestioning loyalty to their respective masters. Paired with their handlers, they are known as “fratello”, and they must face not only terrorists but the tragedies of the past and the uncertainty of the future as well.

Admittedly, the question “Does the end justify the means?” has been asked implicitly in ...
Apr 9, 2008
"I am free, but I do not wish to be alone."

The premise: In the far future when mankind has advanced technologically to colonize the moon, two girls are hunted by the authorities for their mysterious supernatural powers.

Perhaps that's one of the reasons why this series doesn't get enough attention; it's so easy to dismiss KURAU Phantom Memory as just another generic sci-fi/action title. Of course, there are several familiar elements such as mecha, power plant disasters, conspiracy theories, beings from another world, and rogue subjects from questionable scientific experiments, but the lack of any elaborate explanations only goes to show that most of these technical ...
Sep 12, 2007
Blame! (Manga) add
“Maybe on Earth. Maybe in the Future”

As expected of most cyberpunk titles, Blame! is a dark futuristic story laced with enough action to keep you at the edge of your seat. Unlike other works in the same genre, however, Blame! avoids most of the philosophical/existential questions usually associated with cyberpunk. Also not present are the verbose in-battle rants/soliloquies that some would find unnecessary. Instead, the author demonstrates that actions do speak louder than words sometimes.

Literary Style:
One of Blame!'s unique features is its lack of narration: only a few details are tossed in and it's up to the reader how to connect the dots (the ...

It’s time to ditch the text file.
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