Juni Taisen: Zodiac War – Review

Today I offered a streaming review of Juni Taisen, one of this season’s most fascinating and polarizing titles. The show’s relentless violence and depressing flashbacks often made it seem like it must be a cynical thing, but the last episode was such a clear validation of all of its stars that its underlying empathy seems undeniable. Unsatisfying as a battle royale and inconsistent as an antiwar treatise, Juni Taisen most consistently shined as a character piece; fortunately, those characters were strong enough to carry the day. Juni Taisen is one of those deeply unbalanced properties that make anime so interesting, and I was happy to explore those contradictions at length.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Recovery of an MMO Junkie – Review

Today I’ve got a streaming review of Recovery of an MMO Junkie! The show was one of the most engaging romances I’ve seen in a while, and in general just a very welcome ray of sunshine in a largely miserable real-world year. It told a tightly written romance well, offered plenty of alternately goofy and sharp reflections on anxiety and adulthood, and pretty much made the absolute most of its ten-episode run. Always nice to see such an altogether accomplished and positive production.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Genshiken Second Season, Volume 11 – Review

Today I reviewed Genshiken Second Season’s latest volume, which was… acceptable? I no longer expect genius from what I once considered my favorite manga series, but this volume definitely had some of the awkwardly true-to-life conflicts and conversations that once made this series so great. Flashes of greatness are okay by me!

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

My Monster Secret, Volume 6 – Review

My Monster Secret maintained its usual shenanigans this volume, keeping to a comfy stasis as these romcoms always tend to. It’s just fun spending time with this cast though, so I didn’t really mind – and it actually does seem like the characters are moving somewhat closer to romance, even if it’s at a predictably glacial pace. But hey, stories like this are about the journey, and the journey here is populated by charming characters and lots of silly faces. That’s not so bad.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Genshiken Second Season, Volume 10 – Review

Genshiken Second Season has been off the rails for a while now, and this volume doesn’t really do much to fix that. The good news is, having read the volume that follows this one, there’s at least some solid character writing coming down the pipe. But this volume… Madarame’s harem ran out of gas volumes ago, and this one really doesn’t add anything fresh to the situation. It’s a little saddening to see what Genshiken has become.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars – Review

Today I’ve got a review of… a deeply mediocre giant robot show. Regalia has some sweet robot fights and cool sound design, but its actually storytelling is pretty darn bad. I like the base concept of a giant robot show centered not on Masculine Power but on the nature of sisterhood, but Regalia’s writing was just not strong enough to capitalize on that premise. Still, it does have some sweet traditionally animated robot fights, if that’s what you’re into.

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

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My Hero Academia, Volume 10 – Review

I’ve got another My Hero Academia manga review today, this time covering the fallout of the villains’ attack on Deku’s summer training. This volume’s density of exposition and table-arranging meant it didn’t really stand a chance of being as compelling as the last volume, but it certainly succeeded at expanding the scope and raising the stakes of Deku’s world. Now we just need stabby knife girl to actually get a major scene, and not just a footnote like at training camp. Seriously, they’ve been baiting her battle debut for like four volumes now. On with the stabbing!

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

Hyouka Part Two – Review

Today I’ve got my review of Hyouka’s second half, which unsurprisingly turned out to be just as strong on this viewing as any of the others. Hyouka is just a ridiculously good show in every single capacity, maintaining a level of richness and beauty throughout that is simply staggering. It is remarkable that this show exists at all.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

My Hero Academia, Season Two – Review

Today on ANN, I reviewed the second season of the always satisfying My Hero Academia! As I often mentioned while the season was actually running, it was a great relief to see My Hero Academia’s sequel pick up the pace of adaptation, and give the original’s arcs precisely the amount of screen time they needed. The adaptation even improved over the original at times, making it an altogether excellent take on a very good manga. BRING ON SEASON THREE!

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

A Bride’s Story, Volume 9 – Review

Today on ANN, I returned to A Bride’s Story for its ninth and most Pariyatastic volume yet. Pariya is an insanely good character, and this volume was happy to just let her combination of bluntness, anxiety, and general charm carry the show. Her relationship with Umar is progressing in an endearing and believable way, and getting stuck in her headspace offered a much more immediately relatable series of challenges than Bride’s Story’s sometimes fanciful narratives. After many volumes of reserved historical drama, A Bride’s Story has finally embraced its meme-ready 4koma heart.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.