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Dec 6, 2015
Consider Shirobako, a story that wraps the poignant insecurities of young adult career pursuit with a silly, heartwarming, and optimistic exterior. Now douse the narration with the mature reflections of an older adult looking back at their silly past, and sprinkle in evocative moments of warm nostalgia and sentimental regret.

Kakukaku Shikajika is the autobiography of now 40 year old mangaka Akiko Higashimura, and the title meaning "blah blah blah" is derived from the author's intentions of telling her life story in a natural, informal structure, lending itself to frequent tangents and moments of personal reflection. It's a story about a clueless high school girl ...
Jun 13, 2015
Baby Steps (Anime) add
The shounen sports genre is often known for focusing primarily on the 'badassery' of the protagonist. Whether it'd take borderline supernatural powers, world-class talent, or the glorification of matches complete with equally badass rivals and an audience that's shocked out of their seat every 5 seconds, the series will always pull through with demonstrating that there is something special about what's going on. Protagonists are idols, absolutely extraordinary characters whom you watch from the side lines with awe. It's about the thrill. It's about the fantasy.

Baby Steps is different. As indicated by the title, Maruo's tennis career is built steadily from the ground up, ...
Apr 1, 2015
Shirobako (Anime) add
Shirobako is an anime about making anime. It portrays virtually every aspect of anime production with excellent detail, from the research and writing of a story, to the administrative operations and planning, to the making of 2D and 3D frames, to the animation process, to the voice acting and related auditions, to the sound effects and music recordings, to miscellaneous artistic contributions throughout the production. Sounds like a mouthful? You bet it is, and Shirobako has this tendency of cramming so much information in that your head will be spinning whether you paid full attention or not. But that's not all. Technical operations is only ...
Mar 4, 2015
Hourou Musuko (Anime) add
Hourou Musuko's subject matter is rarely dealt with in anime: it explores the issues of gender identity and societal perception of gender roles through the lens of 5th graders, a particular age where puberty is becoming a thing, and clueless kids are changing into romantically involved teenagers. It's a time when kids become more aware of their surroundings, more conscious of their changing feelings; it's the perfect stage to explore how one may feel being an LGBT (lesbian-gay-bi-trans).

Needless to say, this subject is particularly sensitive given modern society's ambivalence towards LGBT, and anime typically dodges the bullet by giving LGBT characters ridiculously comedic roles ...
Feb 21, 2015
Pao no Monogatari is quite a monumental second installment of the Deep Love manga series. There was a time when I despised Ayu no Monogatari (the first installment) for trying far too hard to make a tragedy out of everything, where everything that can possibly go wrong, will undoubtedly go wrong under Yoshi's (the author's) direction. There was a time when I thought that Yoshi's characters finally had their fair share of blood, tears, and sexually transmitted diseases, and that the later manga of the series would spearhead a heartwarming and hopeful tale of healing and reconciliation. Pao no Monogatari surprised in many ways: it ...
Feb 4, 2015
Kimi no Knife (Manga) add
Vigilante justice. It's a topic that's frequented by many pieces of fiction, often glorified, painted black-and-white, oversimplified, or accompanied by sociopathic characters. The moral and psychological nuances that are tied with this subject are likewise dumbed down, leading to stories that feel both unrealistic and emotionally distant. It's a tragedy among storytelling that I've seen repeated far too many times, and going into Kimi no Knife, I certainly didn't have the highest of hopes. Luckily, the manga demonstrated through its more mature and thoughtful take that it wasn't going to be your average Joe action narrative.

This becomes apparent right from the first murder ...
Jan 25, 2015
Yajirobee (Manga) add
Reading this manga is like waking up in a scenic meadow with warm sunshine and a gentle breeze brushing past you. There's something inherently calming and satisfying about the experience, and you'll leave it feeling somewhat enlightened, glad that you were willing to give it a go.

Balancing Toy is a shoujo manga by Aiji Yamakama, and for those of you who have read 'Tomodachi no Hanashi', you'd be well acquainted with this mangaka's pleasant art style. Unlike the typical shoujo, this one doesn't really have much of a central plot to speak of, nor a goal it's trying to gravitate towards. It's a true ...
Jan 20, 2015
Have you ever cried over a fictional work? Do you think you're beyond that sort of silly, weak reaction? Think you're a tough kid? Think again, because 'The Friendly Winter' is about to show you just how much of a vulnerable little girl you are on the inside.

As you may have gotten from the synopsis, this Korean webtoon is centered on two characters who have rather special circumstances surrounding their growth. Da-Jeong is a 19-year old trapped in a child's body, while Min-seong is a 17-year old guy with a child's mind. Apparent from the day they first met, they complement each other very ...
Jun 28, 2014
A standard JRPG story usually involves a group of heroes rising up to fight a large and evil empire. The group grows stronger as they journey across the world and find new allies and weapons along the way. Their final goal is to beat the evil boss, be it the powerful emperor or some supernatural force lurking in the shadows, to restore peace to the world. Their actions are glorious and heroic, and ultimately, their epilogues are ones of peace and happiness.

Is life really so simple? Hitsugi no Chaika presents itself as the unofficial sequel to these stories, taking place a few years after ...
May 16, 2014
My Girl (Manga) add
My Girl looks like a simple tale of parenthood, but it turned out to be so much more. It’s about responsibility, about the will to let go and confront one's sorrows, about how one adjusts to change, and about what gives fulfillment and happiness in life. It's about how to deal with insecurity, how to believe in oneself, and how to consult others instead of bottling up ones' emotions. It's not only about how to help others, but also how to impose on others when one is in need. It's about the difference between being kind, and being considerate of others' feelings. It’s about being ...

It’s time to ditch the text file.
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