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Jun 18, 2022
Mixed Feelings
Our Colors has a great premise, but a somewhat “meh” execution. Compared to Gengoroh Tagame’s other “safe for work” manga, My Brother’s Husband, this story feels considerably less fleshed out.

I think the biggest problem is that the narrative bit off more than it could chew given the manga’s short length. The platonic relationship between Mr. Amamiya and Sora doesn’t have a ton of time to develop since the story is also focusing on Sora’s relationship to his childhood friend, his family, and his crush at the same time. By the end, none of these plots resolved in a gratifying way; it felt like all of ...
May 12, 2022
To me, the prequel manga “Dekoboko Sugar Days” was the complete package. In that story, BL tropes were executed perfectly, making for one of the most enjoyable reads I’ve experienced in the genre!

Unfortunately, I don’t think that “Dekoboko Bittersweet Days” is as successful as its predecessor.

The first half of the manga consists of some really cute scenarios, while also presenting Yuujirou and Rui’s hopes and anxieties about how their relationship will progress in the future. This is a very promising setup that I was excited to see the narrative explore, but it ended up falling rather flat.

I feel like there are a lot of interesting ...
Apr 4, 2022
Do you enjoy:

- Shallow characters?
- Convoluted plots?
- Inconsistent animation?
- Deus ex machinas?

No? Then steer clear of Magia Record.

I’ll admit I had very, very low expectations for this final season. I moved forward, however, willing to be proven wrong. Unfortunately, I was not.
Feb 6, 2022
With “Thigh High: Reiwa Hanamaru Academy,” what you see is what you get. The manga delivers on its premise of “high school boys who dress and act like high school girls.” It’s short, silly, and entertaining, but never pushes itself further than that.

Thigh High has no significant, overarching narrative to speak of. Each chapter is typically a stand-alone story that revolves around a specific character or gag. The jokes are at their best when they parody or critique some aspect of femininity; the male characters are often used to draw attention to the absurdity of gender roles in a playful, comedic way. Most of the ...
Jan 7, 2022
Boys’ Love is a fantasy. Most people should be aware of that by now. Works in the BL genre tend to present sanitized, flowery versions of gay relationships. These stories can be entertaining and dramatic, fluffy or tragic, but rarely do the characters feel truly representative of queer men. Oftentimes, that isn’t really the point. Many authors just want their work to be an accessible, simple escape from reality. Knowing this, I don’t approach BL manga with the expectation that my experiences will be accurately reflected by the narratives or characters.

That’s why I was surprised and delighted by “Bad Boys, Happy Home.” Akamatsu and Seven ...
Dec 21, 2021
Mixed Feelings
This anime is the least gay BL I’ve ever seen, but it’s also one of the most interesting.

The main draws of this show, to me, are the mystery elements and supernatural themes. The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window maintains a surprising amount of suspense in each episode, with well-edited sequences and a sinister atmosphere. While watching, I often found myself impressed by how tense certain scenes could be; Tricornered Window stands out among other BL anime for being quite competently directed.

The characters also develop pretty differently from other BL stories. Much of the focus is placed on how the characters’ psychic powers affect their interpersonal ...
Nov 8, 2021
This manga was extremely disappointing.

The synopsis on the back cover reads, “[this tale explores] the nature of personal expression and the fluidity of the power of love.” And what a surface-level exploration it is.

The first half of Boy Meets Maria is rather trite. The narrative in this section revolves mainly around Taiga, which is its biggest problem. He just isn’t compelling in the slightest because he doesn’t feel like a real person. He’s overconfident to an irritating degree and shows very little depth beyond that. The story attempts to explain his shallowness as a trauma response, but it just isn’t believable. The explanation is ...
Sep 25, 2021
If you thought the pacing in Season 1 was bad, wait until you get a load of this garbage.

Magia Record Season 2 is...incomprehensibly awful. I’m glad that some viewers were able to enjoy this season, but I absolutely did not.

Nearly the entire second half of the mobile game’s story is condensed into these 8 episodes. It’s a complete frankenstein of a narrative, especially when taking into account the anime-original plotlines. Season 2 presents such a freakish amalgamation of plot threads and character arcs that it best serves as an example of how not to adapt a story.

Since so much is being squeezed into these ...
Jun 25, 2021
Oh boy. This was disappointing.

“The World Ends With You” is my favourite Nintendo DS game, so I was stoked when I heard that there would be an anime adaptation. The game oozes style, brims with uniqueness, and tells a touching story about human vulnerability. But considering that adaptations of video game stories have the tendency to be underwhelming, I did my best to lower my expectations...but damn, I should have lowered them further.

The pacing of the show is all over the place. The narrative burns through instances of potential character development and stubbornly lingers on moments of meandering. Shiki and Rhyme are really only in ...
Jun 24, 2021
Mixed Feelings
Fairy Ranmaru is a camptastic anime filled with nonsense and absurdity. It was trash and I loved it!

Let’s get the technical stuff out of the way: the story and characters leave a lot to be desired. This is not a “conventionally good” show that can be enjoyed in conventional ways. If you’re looking for tight writing and intricate characters, Fairy Ranmaru will not meet your expectations.

It follows the typical, trope-heavy “monster of the week” format that most fans of the “magical girl” genre will recognize. The episodic formula is extremely repetitive, especially in the latter half of the show where there’s very little variety. ...