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Apr 3, 2024
I bid you good day, tired adventurer. Have you grown weary of the endless deluge of isekai and reincarnation in your fantasy? Have you yearned for characters that have empathy and compelling motivations? Perhaps you would be partial to stories that don't rely on familiar tropes and instead seek to subvert your expectations?

Give Sengoku Youko a chance.

I know, its current rating of low 7 isn't exactly a great sell in the age of inflated scores, but hear me out. It's the kind of story that starts off in a very modest fashion but continuously picks up momentum as it goes. With nearly every single episode, ...
Dec 24, 2023
In a medium as rich and successful as anime, there are lots of genres that become so saturated with well-trodden tropes and canned story beats that they inevitably become completely and irrevocably stale even for their staunch aficionados. Occasional attempts at narrative subversion may try to steer such genres in a new direction, but those are far and few in between and don't always hit the mark with their tone and execution.

But every once in a while there comes a work that doesn't attempt to say anything new; instead, it takes everything the genre has become known and loved for and tries to make it ...
Sep 20, 2023
Dungeon Meshi (Manga) add
Dungeon Meshi has been a wonderful, overwhelmingly well-orchestrated rollercoaster of emotions; one I just couldn't get tired of.

It started as a relatively simple (at least that was the impression) sword-and-sorcery parody meant to deconstruct the concept of eating monsters. It really is disgusting if you think about it for a moment, isn't it? Would you love to eat a rabid dog chasing you, or a snake about to bite you? That's the kind of mental struggle the characters had to go through at the beginning.

And it would be perfectly alright if it had stayed just that: a comedy around eating disgusting things. But the story ...
Jul 17, 2023
Preliminary (3/12 eps)
Level 1 Demon Lord and One-Room Hero has no business being as heartfelt and engaging as it is.

It's been a pleasant surprise for me because I, like many others, was prepared to brush it off as a yet another raunchy comedy starring an annoying shitgremlin paired with a bargain bin "I quit the hero party" protag. While the "raunchy comedy" part of that description is certainly fair (*cough* Zenia's ass *cough*), the rest isn't, and discarding the series on those grounds would be missing the forest for the trees.

The main thing that sets Level 1 Demon Lord apart from the typical example of its genre ...
Dec 28, 2022
Many of us got ourselves into anime because we felt, at the time, that unlike the other visual media, anime was making the impossible happen. The most absurd premises, the silliest plot turns, the wildest character designs—nothing was off the table. It was a world of new possibilities that no other medium even attempted to cover. Where else would you find a comprehensive treatise on parent-child alienation, toxic relationships, and personal growth disguised as a grotesquely violent mecha vs. kaiju battle peppered with Judeo-Christian mythology? Only in anime, my friends.

We've grown complacent and didn't notice the creeping change. As any medium or art form establishes ...
Jul 31, 2022
The Boxer (Manga) add
Ji-Hoon Jeong, also known as JH and famous for being one of the most thought-provoking Korean webtoon authors around, has graced us with his most ambitious—and easily the most accomplished work to date, finally expanding his range from imaginative but borderline surrealistic dystopian parables to a more grounded, lived-in narrative setting. It feels almost cozy in comparison but aims for the same heights when it comes to writing quality.

The Boxer tells the story of Yu, a silent, emotionless boxer whose intense mental trauma coming from a childhood of abuse has given him a savant-like ability to perceive time as if in a slow motion. Yu ...
Jul 22, 2022
The Fable (Manga) add
It's funny how this works. The Fable's subject matter is something that'd be par for the course in Japanese pop culture of the 60s, the 70s, or even the 80s. But today, in 2022, it feels so out of place it once again becomes a breath of fresh air. There's nothing quite like it in the current media landscape, making any meaningful comparison extremely challenging—and, frankly, unneeded: its storytelling accomplishments stand firmly on their own legs.

The Fable's premise and narrative style occupy an unlikely middle ground between a classic sitcom and a dead-serious film noir. It tells a story of a pair of elite hitmen ...
Jun 3, 2022
Manager Kim (Manga) add
Mixed Feelings
Preliminary (16/? chp)
Manager Kim is the fifth entry in Taejun Park's literary universe and stars several minor characters from some of its bigger titles, such as Lookism and Viral Hit (also known as How to Fight). The titular character, Mr. Kim, must save his daughter who is abducted and presumed dead. He's also a former black ops officer and this whole situation makes him very, very angry.

You might think this premise sounds a lot like that movie franchise, Taken. You might even recall the particular dialogue from the first movie that became so iconic: "I have a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over ...
May 21, 2022
I don't enjoy the fact that this music video exists at all, let alone it being so popular and highly rated, with over 250 million views and 2.7 million likes on YouTube since its premiere in November 2019.

The song it's based on tells the story of a young man who fell in love with a mysterious woman possessing an aloof personality and suicidal tendencies. Although they seemingly enter a relationship, she keeps pushing the man away and shuts him out, wanting to "end it all". The man is frustrated at his powerlessness but chooses to believe in a good resolution until he caves and develops ...
Apr 27, 2022
Golden Kamuy (Manga) add
It's always a bittersweet feeling when a great long-running series ends, it's a lot like parting with a dear friend who has kept you company for years and could always be relied on to cheer you up. And now that Golden Kamuy has ended its eight-year-long rollercoaster of emotions, and done so on a high note and under its own terms, I'm not treating it lightly when I say it is a gem that only occurs maybe two or three times a decade. You need to read it. If Satoru Noda keeps up the level he set for himself, he may well become the next ...

It’s time to ditch the text file.
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