The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya – Review

After weathering a rewatch of the very inconsistent Haruhi Suzumiya TV series, it was wonderful to learn that Disappearance was actually even better than I remembered. Takemoto is a terrific director, and Disappearance is easily one of the most compelling stories in the franchise so far. I had a whole bunch to say about this film’s visual storytelling, and watching it just made me even more eager to get to High Speed. Haruhi Suzumiya may not be as great a franchise as I remembered, but Disappearance is a tremendous sendoff to one of the 00s’ stranger phenomenons.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Dimension W – Review

It seems like a lot of people really, really wanted Dimension W to be a great show. It had every promotional advantage you could hope for, and it inhabited an extremely fan-friendly genre space, but the show just didn’t have the strength to follow through. Today I’ve got a sturdy review of this unfortunate anime stepchild. I hope you enjoy it!

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

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Sound! Euphonium – Novel Review

Today I’ve got some thoughts on the first Sound! Euphonium novel! They are not happy thoughts, unfortunately. Although the original novel does give us a closer look into Kumiko’s head, that’s pretty much all I can say for it – the prose is pedestrian, the narrative is actually far less tightly composed than the anime, and the cast feels less well-defined here than they do in the adaptation. This is a readable book, but definitely not one I’d recommend. Nice work polishing this into a diamond, KyoAni!

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Code Geass: Akito the Exiled – Review

Today I’ve got a review of Akito the Exiled, which was a compelling but extremely messy addendum to the Geass franchise. Ambitious failures are pretty much always fun to write about, and that held true here – there was a lot to dig into, and I had a great time exploring the show’s alternate take on the Geass world. I certainly didn’t love Akito the Exiled, but I wouldn’t mind seeing more such distinctive takes on well-established worlds.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Volume 7 – Review

I’ve fallen behind on linking all my reviews this week, so here comes the friggin’ flood. We’re starting off with The Ancient Magus’ Bride, which saw Chise embracing the role of dragon detective. It’s quite a volume!

The Ancient Magus’ Bride – Volume 7

My Hero Academia, Volume 9 – Review

My Hero Academia somehow managed to step it up from its consistently excellent execution to a whole new tier this volume. Midoriya and his classmates’ battle against the League of Villains’ new allies is a thrill from start to finish, offering some of the most unique clashes and astonishing visual spectacles yet. This manga cannot be stopped.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Owarimonogatari Season Two – Review

At last, the Monogatari franchise comes to something resembling a close. We’ve already got confirmation of a ridiculous surplus of arcs still to come, but as for the story of Araragi’s adolescence, this is pretty much it. Owarimonogatari somehow managed to bring this sprawling narrative to a legitimately satisfying end, something I couldn’t help but marvel at throughout my review. This wasn’t my favorite set of Monogatari arcs, but I’m still very happy to see the show end strong.

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

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A Bride’s Story, Volume 8 – Review

It’s time to return to A Bride’s Story, with breakout star Pariya taking the lead in a volume that demonstrates even prestigious arthouse projects can be as moe as anything in the goddamn universe. Pariya’s “oh god I’m terrible at everything oh god oh god” personality makes her feel endearingly universal, and this volume’s depiction of the village’s recovery offers plenty more of its unique culture-study pleasures. This sure is a darn good manga.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Saga of Tanya the Evil – Review

Today I’ve got a review of Saga of Tanya the Evil, one of my unexpected highlights from the winter season. Tanya’s first impression was the trashiest of all trashy trash, and though the ultimate show wasn’t exactly great literature, it turned out to be both a very good kind of trash and also a legitimately sharp show. It’s always nice when an anime surprises you, and I enjoyed writing about this one. Hope you like the piece!

Saga of Tanya the Evil

STARMYU – Review

Today I reviewed STARMYU, which turned out to be something of a hidden gem in the musical anime genre. STARMYU succeeds on solid character work and terrific musical sequences, fully embracing the possibilities of its genre to express dramatic turns in catchy and visually vivid song and dance segments. It’s a little rough around the edges in some ways, but still a very fine show.

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

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