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Mar 24, 2016
The Bystander Effect, when an individual fails to react appropriately to an emergency situation because of the presence of other people. This is the overlooked basis of Erased, which points out that Satoru's own apathy toward the people around him when he was a child as being the cause to his situation in the present. The "present" being one in which someone close to him has been brutally murdered, and he is now considered the likely suspect by authorities.

This apathy is not something exclusive to Satoru, it is a common in most people. Even when we see something that we consider alarming, we often overlook read more
Aug 24, 2015
Orange (Manga) add (All reviews)
Everyone has something in life they wish they could do differently. For Takamiya Naho it wasn’t one thing, but rather a series of events: poor choices, lack of communication and the inability to understand, that caused the loss of the most important person in her life. Her future self decides to send a letter, ten years into the past when she was in high school—warning herself not to make the same mistakes.

Orange is an unusual shoujo in that it tackles the heavy topic of suicide without glossing it over; it paints the ugly truth by pulling the reader through the dark cloud of depression. read more
Mar 26, 2015
This series is essentially what you would expect to be the end product of 12 directors and script writers playing telephone together with each episode, which would mean no overarching consistency, lack of cohesion and continuity between episodes, little to no character development, and a poor narrative. Alas, although it has turned out like a poorly written fanfiction, Tokyo Ghoul √A does not suffer from its staff playing games in its production. It's just a lackluster adaptation on all fronts, even without comparisons to its source material.

The plot is the biggest pitfall here, due to lack of clear direction and explanation. Even ignoring that read more
Mar 24, 2015
What would you do if you lost everything to the one person you thought you cared about the most? Trust is easily extended when you live a sheltered life, and it makes the betrayal all that much more bitter of a pill to swallow. Yet it is not revenge that spurs on our heroine ultimately – for the line between love and hate is thin and the subsequent balancing act is, in the end, a chaotic mess of feelings too tangled and difficult to boil down to one simple word.

Rare is the series that introduces a seemingly weak and sheltered female lead, who undergoes great read more
Mar 19, 2015
Hers was a white lie built on a grain of truth that snowballed as one lie after the other piled up. At first it was only hers, but then it became something that the two of them shared together – like a secret, a world upon which no other could encroach. He may have been “Friend A,” and she “the girl that loves my best friend,” but they were masquerading around a truth that neither one could openly admit because ultimately, the truth was much more painful.

Your Lie in April is a deceitfully masterful series that initially appears light-hearted and colorful, its palette boasting pastels read more
Dec 21, 2014
A desire for acceptance is something that most of us can relate to, and at times that can drive us to certain extremes. It's a premise that is not necessarily unique, but for a shoujo series it actually is. The cliched trope of a spineless heroine and her tsundere love interest is all too common. However this series provides us with a slight variant; our main character is a compulsive liar with a penchant for emotional punishment (read: she's a masochist) that happens to, in a series of poor decisions and bad judgment, land herself a two-faced jerk who is content to treat her like read more
Dec 17, 2014
There is a sweet, succinct Korean word that sums up the core of this series: makjang. For the uninitiated, makjang is an element that infers the use of unbelievable, often extreme plot elements that are not limited to: incest, rape, adultery, and terminal illness. Korean dramas often utilize this to keep viewers in suspense, interested in the outcome of the storyline—and Winter Sonata is no stranger to venturing in this territory. If anything, it swathes itself in layers of these extremes, and yet despite sounding ridiculously unbelievable as a result, there is something addicting about the series.

The plot plays out like a melodrama; star-crossed lovers read more
Jul 26, 2014
Love is complicated.

That probably seems like the most generic line one can say, but most shoujo manga portray love with a pink lens that colors it as sunshine and rainbows. Reality as we know it is that love can be unrequited and bittersweet sometimes. And sometimes what we think is love may just be fondness or obsession. This series takes a unique approach to that, but its real reward is that it gives the reader the ending that they (and the characters) deserve.

Someone perusing for a quick read will see the synopsis and pass this manga over for having a cliché premise. It's true that read more
Jun 30, 2014
On the surface this seems like your typical high school vampire romance—and make no mistake, it is true to its shoujo nature, but the execution of the plot is utterly flawless. Orange Marmalade plays out like a simple but effective allegory, dealing with the unfair treatment and oppression of vampires, who have now turned to pig blood rather than human blood to try to acclimate and adjust to modern human society. Despite their efforts and a three-hundred year peace treaty, vampires have been forced to hide their true nature lest they face discrimination and harassment by their human neighbors.

What is so exceptional about this series read more
Jun 30, 2014
Living in a love hotel doesn't give other people the best impression of you, especially when your aspirations are to succeed the management of that hotel. But it's not until the gay AV director, Togame, enters the scene that things become especially problematic for Yorozu. Watching Togame hang around his younger brother Satoru, he decides to take advantage of an opportunity and manipulates Togame into keeping his distance from Satoru. But Yorozu may have bit off a little more than he can chew.

Although the premise may seem a little extraordinary, Castle Mango is a delightful because it makes itself so realistic and believable. The romantic read more