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Apr 9, 2019
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 read more
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 read more
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 read more
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 read more
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 read more
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 read more
Jan 12, 2018
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, read more
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 read more
Dec 21, 2017
A Blame! parody, and some random odds and ends from the Blame! and Knights of Sidonia universe(s?). There's also a few unrelated one-shots and a short essay about the rise of Moe tacked on at the end. I'm a sucker for coloured manga, so I couldn't resist giving this a high score based practically on the art alone. The quality of the individual stories fluctuates however. Special mention has to go to the story "Pump" for being one of the most disturbing things I've read in a long time.

Definitely worth a read if you're a Nihei completionist, or if you've ever wondered what Cibo's got read more
Dec 18, 2017
Can good art be made in bad taste?

Garish pastels, painted in splotchy water colour; violent pornography devoid of any traditional semblance of eroticism; an overbearing psychedelic soundtrack; still images in lieu of fluid animation.

Belladonna of Sadness is a weird movie.

The film, known as Kanashimi no Belladonna in Japanese, is probably more renowned within arthouse circles than it is with animation buffs, and it's easy to see why. This is not a feel good nostalgia-fest a la Ghibli or Disney. This is - in the purest sense - adult animation.

The film revolves around Jeanne, a peasant woman. Early on, Jeanne is gang raped by her village's read more