Ninja Slayer From Animation – Review

Today I reviewed Ninja Slayer, which was… well, basically everything I dislike about Trigger shows, compressed into five minutes of comedy, and then stretched out into twenty-six episodes of torture. Ninja Slayer was a real struggle to get to, as it apparently hoped I found its one big joke hilarious enough to sustain two entire goddamn seasons of content. From its repetitive humor to its “it’s bad, but we know it’s bad, so it’s good now!” visual aesthetic, Ninja Slayer was pretty much the laziest of comedies from start to finish. Thanks, Trigger.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Rurouni Kenshin Part III: The Legend Ends – Review

Today I conclude my journey through the live-action Kenshin films. This one was unfortunately the worst of the three, reflecting all of the dramatic sagginess you often end up with in trilogies. The film barely has a dramatic arc, and the plans of both its heroes and villains make too little sense to harbor much tension. Still, the fights were fun, and overall this was a pretty charming interpretation of the franchise. I didn’t watch all that much Kenshin as a teenager, but this trilogy definitely sold me on his world.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my brief notes below.

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The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Volume 5 – Review

Welp, this volume was basically perfect. The Ancient Magus’ Bride was at its best this time, mixing evocative fantasy with rousing character drama in some of the manga’s most beautifully and affecting stories yet. Even the paneling demanded to be noticed in this volume, as Chise and Elias’ distinct fears were contrasted across a stunning finale sequence. This manga is super extremely good.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Volume 5

Sword of the Stranger – Review

Today I got to review a real fun one! Sword of the Stranger pretty much always comes up in discussions of great anime films, and I can see why – it’s pretty much a perfect distillation of the Lone Stranger action film. The story’s barely there, but hoo boy is the action in this film beautiful, and that is most certainly the point. I had a great time with this one, and hope you enjoy the review!

Sword of the Stranger

The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Volume 4 – Review

Welp, fell a bit behind in my Magus reviews, so here we are. The manga is maintaining a strong balance of fantastical digressions and sturdy character-focused material, and continuing to have a solid grip on the compelling weirdness of Chise and Elias’ relationship. I’m pretty happy with my review of this one, so head on over and check it out!

The Ancient Magus Bride, Volume 4

Mikagura School Suite – Review

Today I reviewed the hyperactive but generally endearing Mikagura School Suite! Outside of the likable protagonist Eruna, there really wasn’t that much to this one – its storytelling was pretty half-baked, and its aesthetics were nothing to write home about. The one exception was the handful of excellent fight scenes, but with less than half a dozen such scenes scattered across a full dozen episodes, that didn’t really save the show. Still, “mediocre but generally pleasant” makes for a perfectly acceptable viewing experience.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episode notes below!

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Owarimonogatari, Part Two – Review

Today I return to Owarimonogatari, for the inconsistent but ultimately satisfying Shinobu Mail. Stuck at the end of a broadcast run and crunched by SHAFT’s generally over-ambitious scheduling, Shinobu Mail definitely suffers in the visual department, but it’s still a very rewarding arc in terms of character and theme. Some of the peaks of this arc count among the franchise’s peaks in general, Kanbaru’s argument with Shinobu and Araragi’s phone call with Senjougahara among them. Even in a less consistent arc, it’s hard to keep this series down.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episode notes below.

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Charlotte, Part Two – Review

Welp, Charlotte’s second half was just as ridiculous as advertised. This was one of the least coherently constructed shows I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen more than my share of extremely shitty anime. Even shows that are worse than this one in terms of moment-to-moment writing at least tend to have a narrative arc – Charlotte doesn’t really have anything resembling a narrative, and is more just a series of disjointed and ridiculous actions. Congrats Maeda, you are still the writer I’ve always known you to be.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episode notes below.

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My Monster Secret, Volume 3 – Review

I’m back on My Monster Secret again, which is basically the definition of comfort food. I don’t expect this manga’s character writing to wow me or narrative turns to thrill me, but reading about goofy, likable people making fools of themselves in vaguely romantic ways always makes for a pleasant afternoon. My Monster Secret confidently demonstrates that a steady, upbeat execution of these romcom staples is all you need for a good time.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Flip Flappers – Review

And unsurprisingly, here’s my overall streaming review for the flip flaps. Flip Flappers was a standout show that I’d really love to see get more recognition, and the review monster is a hungry beast, so this was basically inevitable. Hopefully 2017 will bring us a few more gems of this level!

You can check out my full review over at ANN.