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Feb 4, 2022
Mixed Feelings
It's faster! It's prettier! It's sexier! It's (Not) Eva!


While Eva 1.0 was rather faithful to the NGE series, adding a bit here and there (but also taking out a whole butt-load of gold, GOLD I SAY), and giving the first arc a fresh coat of paint, Eva 2.0 acts as a bizzaro-world version of the second third of the show. But that's just the beginning. Let's dive into this thing.

Who's your favorite Eva character?

Is it Asuka? What did you like about her? Her plunge from confident love interest to jealous rival to fractured soul? Her eventual "redemption" cumulating in one of the greatest (and most ...
Jan 13, 2020
Mixed Feelings
Junji Ito isn't a great writer. He's excellent at monster design, and drawing strange, gross creatures and gore, but his characters are often flat, boring, and interchangeable. They're just a means to an end, a literary device, a blank slate for the reader to relate to. Their only purpose is to get spooked by the strange, gross creatures Ito is obviously far more interested in.

No Longer Human is an excellent, character driven novel about one man's decent into decadence. Its horror (if you can even call it that) is internalized. A man slowly self-destructs due to addiction, mental illness, and his own nihilism. It's a ...
Apr 9, 2019
Mixed Feelings
Happiness' first few volumes are great; Aku no Hana with vampires, what's not to like? Unfortunately, things spiral out of control pretty quickly, as this spooky Let the Right One In-esque romance-horror becomes a Tokyo Ghoul/Ajin wannabe around chapter 15 or so. We're left with 35 chapters of shady government agencies, cultists, a villain straight out of a Dean Koontz bargain bin book, two semi-interesting characters getting sidelined for what feels like forever, one uninteresting character getting mutilated for what feels like forever, and time skips. Lots and lots of time skips.

It's all so...typical. A damn shame considering the manga's early promise and the ...
Nov 8, 2018
Watching FLCL Progressive is like going to see a band you loved in high school on their reunion tour. They play some of the hits you remember, but a lot of the concert is new songs from their comeback album, and yeah, the songs definitely sound like they’re by the same band, but they’re missing that magic from back in the day. At its worst the new stuff sounds like the band was on autopilot, like music created for the sole purpose of having something to sell on tour.

The singer, bald now, struggling to fit into those tight leather pants from his youth, can’t ...
Oct 16, 2018
An exploration of the importance of art disguised as a silly ecchi manga. This is an early work by Oshimi Shuuzo of Aku no Hana fame, and it contains many of the themes and tropes (and even a character design) that continue to pop up in his manga to this day, i.e. obsession with art or a particular artist; an unhinged but attractive female corrupting a quiet, socially awkward male; perversion of all kinds; etc.

Avant-garde Yumeko isn't a good starting point for those new to this mangaka; it's too shallow and goofy to be representative of his more well known work, but it's an interesting ...
Jul 8, 2018
This manga has the makings of a masterpiece, it's just a shame that it's (now and forever) unfinished. The story is gripping and exciting, the art is beautiful, and the world building is fascinating - all the ingredients necessary to leave a reader wanting more!

Unfortunately, we're left with half (a quarter? an eighth?) of a story, as Seraphim was abandoned over 20 years ago and one of its creators has since passed away. Still, it is most definitely worth picking up, especially for fans of Mamoru Ishii and Satoshi Kon, or those interested in abandoned art with an interesting history behind it (which is covered ...
Mar 16, 2018
A strange, wonderful film that simultaneously acts as an R-rated, fun house mirror summery of the series, and a parallel universe, End of Evangelion-esque sequel.

The art and animation is excellent, with unexpected, dynamic uses of colour splashed all over the place. Adolescence of Utena also features some of the most amazing background art ever, courtesy of Shichiro Kobayashi.

The aspect of the film that throws most people (even fans of the show) for a loop is the narrative. The basic plot beats of the series are there to be sure, but condensed, amplified, and warped. Scene transitions occur at random, traditional linear storytelling is thrown out ...
Jan 26, 2018
A Godzilla movie that doesn't know how to be a Godzilla movie.

This film has a lot in common with Polygon Pictures' last film, the disappointing Blame! adaptation. A whole lot of world building and exposition, some brief, sporadic action scenes involving nameless characters dying in bloodless battles, and then a big, pretty boss fight at the end filled with heroism, explosions and the word "BASTARD!" being yelled a lot.

Unfortunately, Godzilla doesn't really work as an action film the way Blame! (kinda, sorta, not really) does. The best Godzilla films are not action films, they're disaster films. It's fun to watch cities (usually Tokyo, which must ...
Jan 12, 2018
Mixed Feelings
Years. For years I had an idyllic vision of how Knights of Sidonia would end. Heroic sacrifices, ruminations on loss, heartbreak, and the futility of a never ending battle, an epic, possibly tear-jerking conclusion to Sidonia's story.

But no.

Knights of Sidonia might have the most disappointing ending in all of manga. Characters arcs are thrown in the trash; plot lines come crashing down in flames. Carefully cultivated motifs that run throughout the entirety of the first 2/3rds of the manga are jettisoned in favor of a long, hard to follow action scene and a generic boss battle. Then, tragedy. We're subjected to the most sugary, cop-out, ...
Dec 31, 2017
Yikes. This is probably the silliest user score I've seen on all of MAL. Feelings of Mountains and Waters is an important, masterful film, and it deserves much higher than a 6. Regardless, on to the review.

One of the most beautiful short films ever, Feelings of Mountains and Waters is like a painting come to life. Themes the film explores include the majesty of nature, the wonder of music, the love between a master and an apprentice, and death, all in a completely dialogue free 18 minutes.

Some films just speak for themselves and don't lend themselves very well to review, this is definitely ...