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Jan 10, 2015
If you can get behind conceptualising Jesus as the type of guy who'd be flattered at a comparison to Johnny Depp, or Buddha as the kind of person who takes too-long showers because he's just a couple more minutes away from enlightenment, then you'll definitely get a kick out Saint Young Men.

Jesus and Buddha -- the actual beings themselves -- decide to take an extended vacation on earth, with their tourist destination being ("Exotic!") Japan. The result is this slice of life comedy that is miraculously charming and inoffensive. The movie doesn't have a clear storyline, but consists of vignettes of their vacation in a read more
Nov 10, 2013
Miyazaki Goro's sophomore attempt at directing proves that he can stand apart from his legendary father, but perhaps he is still walking in the shadow of the behemoth Studio Ghibli. Yet his recent work does not back down in its fight to earn a place in their legacy.

From Up on Poppy Hill gives us the standard we expect from a Ghibli film: beautiful art, consistent and vibrant animation complementing stories and characters with either a whole lot of heart or charm and sometimes both. But while Miyazaki makes all the right steps, he has a long way to go to give us something that is read more
Oct 22, 2013
Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki translates to "Wolf Children Ame and Yuki". What the film's title promises is accurate, but this is secondary to what the film is actually about. This is a movie entirely about the enduring and triumphant nature of maternal love.

Teenage Hana is a hardworking girl putting herself through college. During a class, her eyes fall on a man who enthusiastically and diligently takes notes, but he has no textbooks and he disappears before roll is taken. Intrigued, she searches him out and learns that he sits through classes but doesn't attend the school. From what we see, he works read more
Sep 29, 2013
If there was ever an anime experience that would leave you needing therapy, marathon-watching Shingeki no Kyojin is it. Perhaps this is the best way to watch this series; by the end, you'd be so emotionally exhausted and mangled, you'll know what total despair is like. Not since Berserk have I seen an anime capable of utterly destroying... hope. Yet in spite of its soul-crushing hopelessness, Shingeki no Kyojin is entirely about hope. Without it, mankind would have nothing.

In this world, giants roam the land. These "titans" (as it's been anglicised) prey on human beings. They are brutal, violent and unstoppable. Their arrival is as read more
Sep 10, 2013
Octave (Manga) add (All reviews)
A little attention goes a long way.

We want to be noticed. Some more than others. Whether it's desiring to be a national sensation or wishing that the girl at the laundromat would remember a shared handshake, that recognition does something. Keep that in mind during a reading of Octave.

Existing somewhere in the cracks of Tokyo's urban oblivion is Miyashita Yukino, a teenager who has dropped out of high school and works as an office assistant at a talent agency. There's probably nothing more that can cement you as a faceless nothing than having menial grunt work in a big, big city. But it stings read more
Sep 9, 2013
How terrifying is it to know that tomorrow, you won't remember today? Or that you don't actually have a tomorrow... because tomorrow is last week. And that this week is last week as much as it is next week. It's enough to make modern Western philosophy implode. Didn't T.S. Eliot have a poem or four about this?

This is one of the issues that comes up in Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu (2009). Assuming you didn't just throw a remote at the TV/mouse at the monitor in frustration and said "To hell with this shit."

Retrospect is quite a thing, especially when fans are left to compare read more
Sep 8, 2013
It's true enough when they say that you never forget your first love. There are those lucky enough that the memory is nothing more than that, just a hazy recollection, a fond vagueness. For some, first loves are pangs, barely perceptible; the heart has forgotten how to beat to that rhythm. And then for some, a first love is as soft and fragile as a little flower.

This is the wealth presented in Aoi Hana, an anime adaptation of Shimura Takako's utterly genius manga series. The development of the manga is akin to watching a book read itself, learning and discovering things, and then reflecting that read more
Sep 7, 2013
It proves difficult to write about something which has been a part of a life; each moment became a memory, every volume, a mark of another year having passed.

Perhaps I'm the worst person to talk about Aoi Hana. Having begun publishing in 2004, it was a manga with which I've grown up. It covers in its almost decade-long lifespan three solid years of the lives of two teenagers, Manjoume Fumi and Okudaira Akira. Or perhaps we can say it shows even more, decades of their lives, ranging from early childhood to early adulthood.

It is this time difference that makes this series hard for me to read more