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Jun 27, 2009
Hyakko (Anime) add (All reviews)
I wish I could write good things about all the shows I review, but I suppose there must be an exception to the rule, and Hyakko would appear to be it.

I think the problem with Hyakko is that its underlying concept is not original. Having a bunch of disparate personalities come together as friends within the school environment has been done countless times (although none come close to the brilliance of Azumanga Daioh). Even the class full of dysfunctional (or maybe just odd, in this case) has been beaten to death in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.

That said, it doesn’t start badly. Our four protagonists – the read more
Jun 25, 2009
K-On! (Anime) add (All reviews)
The title of this delightful little comedy comes from the Japanese for “light music” (軽音楽 keionga) and that’s exactly what it’s about – the members of an all-girls’ school’s light music club. Yes, it might sound a bit trite, but I was sold the minute Detroit Metal City’s Krauser II made an unscheduled guest appearance – that’s when I had a feeling there was something special lurking here.

I call it delightful for two reasons, firstly it is seriously funny and secondly, it’s as cute as hell (and I’m such a sucker for cute). Don’t let yourself be put off by the moe though, as a read more
Sep 19, 2008
Ah… I’ve struggled to come up with words to describe this… “lovely” was one, “nice” is another… yet, they both do it a grave injustice. There’s so much more to these stories than first meets the eye.

I’ve also been struggling to describe in words a story that is essentially about … well… nothing much really. The closest I can come is by comparing this to Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou… er… without the apocalypse… or the robots… or scooters. In fact, it also doesn’t even focus on "mono no aware", but rather "ikigai" - which translates nicely as “joy and a sense of well-being from being alive.”

That read more
Aug 27, 2008
I suppose it’s only fair that I should state upfront that I am an unabashed fan of Kei Tōme’s work - both her art and stories, so I’ll have to make sure I keep my neutral hat firmly in place while writing this.

I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I tend to be an impatient reader, especially when it comes to allowing a story to draw me in, and “Hour of the Mice” more than satisfied me in this regard. Not that it’s a frantically paced story, mind you. In fact, it’s anything but. However, Tōme manages to create a feeling of suspense from the outset. read more
Jul 17, 2008
Some readers might recognise Hiroaki Samura's name from the "swords and sandals" epic, "Blade of the Immortal", possibly the romantic comedy "Ohikkoshi". If you do, and you're keen to try "Bradherley's Coach", first forget everything you might have read from this managka before. This is, simply put, very dark, chilling and very disturbing (yes, my read-at-random method has dished up another offering from the Dark Side). In a way, I'd describe it as "horror done right."

I'm going to start off with a warning - this manga will shock you. Nothing can prepare you for the premise underlying this tale. Yet he doesn't do read more
Jun 11, 2008
Goodnight Punpun is a hard one to classify. Yes, it’s a comedy, but then again it wouldn’t be Inio Asano if it didn’t occasionally throw in surreal or even nightmarish elements. Whilst his previous works have always had a subtle, dark humour underlying the main story, here he brings the comedic elements to the fore, allowing him to play unfettered with the world – both real and imaginary – of small children.

The story revolves around said Punpun, who (along with his family) is depicted as a small, caricatured bird within an otherwise normal human world, and his interactions with his elementary school classmates and the read more
May 20, 2008
One of the advantages of reviewing manga, is that I often have the pleasure of reading some very, very good stories. However, occasionally my select-at-random-and-read method fails dismally and I end up stuck with a very, very bad manga. The one advantage, in this case, is that this is probably the easiest review I’ve yet had to write, although I might yet need counseling to get over the trauma of being confronted with such drivel.

Simply put, this little piece of nastiness is everything Chobits could have been, but mercifully wasn’t, thanks to the wonderful people at CLAMP having… well, a brain for starters.

Mizuki has taken read more
Apr 30, 2008
Kilico (Manga) add (All reviews)
If you get the feeling while reading this that you’re watching a movie play out before you, don’t be too surprised. It would appear as if Koichi was originally planning to work in the film industry and has obviously carried what he’s learnt about cinematography over into this tale. This is clearly apparent in the set-up of the opening chapter, where we’re rapidly introduced to the protagonists, given an indication of their characters, then with the skillful use of cut scenes, we’re shown their convergence to the fateful encounter. Although his drawing style takes a bit of getting used to, it achieves what the mangaka read more
Apr 15, 2008
Now here’s something novel – take a bunch of school kids, stick them together in a club, give them a bunch of adventures and then stick a love triangle on top of that. Ok, I was being sarcastic – let’s face it, it’s a theme that’s been so well trodden over time, the carpet’s worn through to the floorboards. However, that’s not to say that Yui doesn’t try his best to bring something new to the genre and in a way he has, ending up with an enjoyable little romp.

Personally, I like the use of the two opposing Kagome’s (that's their first names by the read more
Apr 15, 2008
Skyhigh (Manga) add (All reviews)
I’m not sure why it is that whenever I chose a manga at random I seem to end up with something creepy and/or gory. Suffice to say Skyhigh, despite its somewhat misleading name, is probably the most gothic of gothic horrors I’ve come across since… er… Goth. Then again, seeing as it comes from the pen of the same mangaka who gave us “Alive”, "Blue Heaven" and "Jiraishin" maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

The ten stand-alone stories that make up the two volumes essentially focus on the particular character’s death, events leading up to it and the choice they make upon meeting Izuko. Seeing as they’re read more