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.

Continue reading

My Monster Secret, Volume 5 – Review

My Monster Secret finally gains some ambition in its fifth volume, offering two large-scale narratives that demonstrate this story actually has some legs, Having already read the sixth volume, I know this isn’t a permanent shift for the manga, but it’s still nice to see a story with generally episodic priorities demonstrate it can handle some more dramatically ambitious stuff well. And Mikan has very surprisingly turned out to be one of my favorite characters here, occupying the role of “girl who obviously should win” in a lesser harem. I say “lesser harem” because in this case, the two leads actually are great together, and I’d be happy to see them get together. My Monster Secret is just a positive time all around.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Dagashi Kashi – Review

Today I wandered back to give Dagashi Kashi a second look, which didn’t really change my impression of the show overall. The comedy was still pretty hit or miss, the characterization was still kinda thin, and the most successful appeal remained its compelling articulation of rural life. I’m pretty sure I’m just gonna abandon the internet and live out in a shack somewhere in the woods one of these days, and shows like Dagashi Kashi drag me a little closer. ONE DAY!

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

My Monster Secret, Volume 4 – Review

Today I return to that reliable harem staple, My Monster Secret. This volume wasn’t as entertaining as previous ones, but part of that partially comes down to structural issues inherent in the genre, and other parts come down to the fact that the author actually does seem to be trying to improve. Having already read the fifth volume, it seems like this is just a temporary stumbling block, so I’m not terribly worried. Keep on keeping on, Asahi!

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

Continue reading

Sound of the Sky – Review

This week I got to review Sound of the Sky, which was just a friggin’ fantastic show in all regards. I’d heard vague rumblings about this one for a while, but didn’t expect it to be nearly this beautiful or well-written. I actually think I prefer this one to Haibane Renmei, which I’d consider its pretty close stylistic cousin. Great character work, rich ideas, consistently gorgeous execution. Always nice to find another hidden gem.

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

Continue reading

UQ Holder, Volume 9 – Review

We’re back in the training arc mines with today’s UQ Holder, but at least this volume gave me a chance to roughly cover the manga’s trajectory to date. UQ Holder is perhaps more interesting as a dramatic problem to solve than an actual story, with “how do you make a compelling shounen drama when your hero’s already an extremely powerful immortal” its central puzzle. The manga’s solutions to that puzzle are inconsistent, but it sure is fun to talk about!

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Miss Hokusai – Review

Today I finally got a chance to review one of the stranger anime films I’ve seen in recent memory. Miss Hokusai essentially doesn’t have a plot, but consider I’m me, that really didn’t impact my enjoyment. I’ve often said “plot is details,” and Miss Hokusai seems to agree – it presents a series of idle vignettes that never really try to justify themselves in any larger sense, and simply bring us closer to these characters and this world. It’s a lovely time.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

My Hero Academia, Volume 8 – Review

Alright, let’s talk My Hero Academia. This latest volume gave me one of the strangest sources of frustration I’ve experienced regarding manga – feeling annoyed that a certain arc wasn’t padded out. Normally I’d be all for skipping through the dramatically irrelevant fights of Deku’s final exams, but for this story, I can’t think of many things I’d more like to see than the secondary characters of Class A battling against professional heroes. It’s a testament to this manga’s great cast and fun fights that I basically want filler battles.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid – Review

Today I’ve got a streaming review of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid! The show obviously charmed the hell out of me, so I was happy to talk about it at greater length. Maidragon is one of those shows whose weaknesses are so clearly partitioned that they don’t really affect my enjoyment of the whole; the show’s side characters aren’t very good, but they don’t really impact the power of the show’s domestic material at all. And the comedy is strong throughout, making for a generally excellent ride. I hope you enjoy the piece!

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Steins;Gate: The Movie – Review

Today I’ve got a review of the Steins;Gate movie, which was… well, pretty bad. Also tedious, superfluous, and dramatically inert. It was somewhat nice just to see these characters again, but watching them go through the motions of a clearly uninspired story just wasn’t a particularly good time. Ah well.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.