Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Webcomic Review: Widdershins

Well it's that time of the month again, it's a bit terrifying how fast this first part of the year goes by. I'm afraid that I've been focusing one fantasy/sci-fi webcomics here more than I meant to but after thinking about it I realized that most of my favorite "realistic" comics are real-world journal comics, many of which are still fairly new or on and off hiatus fairly regularly. I'd ask for people to recommend me more but I'm not even sure what I would want out of a "realistic fiction" comic, do those include mysteries? Since I am completely down with more mysteries, although nearly every plot-centric comic will have a mystery or two in it just like this one here does.

Widdershins by Kate Ashwin

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Anime Review: Love Bullet: Yuri Kuma Arashi

Going into the winter 2015 anime season there wasn't much I was looking forward to but this was one of the title; Kuniko Ikuhara's latest work which he described as "Attack on Titan but with bears" and I thought he was talking figuratively, that it was going to be as big a hit as AoT which did seem off. But no, as with all of his works I should've looked at it a little bit more literally, it really was a series about girls, a dividing wall, and on the other side of it bears.

Love Bullet: Yuri Kuma Arashi

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Weekly Round-UP: April 19-25 Edition

Quick on this week since I am knee deep in sewing and need to get back to it (literally, working on curtains which takes a beaucoup of fabric). On the anime side of things I did get quoted in APR last week again but it's basically a shortened version of what I wrote about Sound! Euphonium in my Spring 2015 Anime Round-UP post. Not a lot of shows that have me excited this season which on the one hand is fine, I can just get through my backlog, but on the other hand means that I won't be participating in APR as much either and that's always fun too....

Going over to the comic side, I talked about Raina Telgeimer's latest work, Sisters (companion to her first work Smile) and on OASG I convinced Justin to tackle Duklyon: Clamp School Defenders with me. I swear no one is going to believe me now that I really did like what I saw of the Clamp School Detectives anime, although I could've sworn they all knew who the man of 20 faces was....

Finally I read a fairy tale retelling which wasn't Beauty and the Beast/Cinderella/Little Red Riding Hood etc but a take on the 12 Dancing Princesses and set in prohibition-era NYC which was a nice change of pace and excellent book overall, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club

Back to regular anime reviews this week and got a webcomic review coming up too!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Book Review: The Girls at the Kingfisher Club

See, this is a what I want in fairy tale retellings: it's not a story that's been retold 10 times in the last year alone and wasn't simply transplanted into modern day America. I'm also super fond of the 1920s in general so this was a triple bonus for me, especially since I tend to have awful luck finding books set in the twenties and thirties that I actually like.

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Comic Review: Sisters

While I wasn't that fond of Drama (the characters acted too maturely for middle schoolers and there was too much, well, drama!) I did like Telgemier's first work, Smile and since this was another autobiographical work and set in the same time period I was more than happy to find out why her books don't stay on the bestsellers list for days or weeks but rather months and years. Seriously! Every time an old-school comics fan writes a lament about kids not reading comics anymore and that they must simply do something my twitter feed is filled with people pointing at her work and reminding the rest of us how insular the comics sphere can be. 

Sisters by Raina Telgemier

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spring Anime 2015 Round-UP

So, another new anime season has started and for the first time in a long time, I have absolutely no hold-over shows going into this season. Sure I could pick Assassination Classroom back up and I still need to catch up with PreCure but other than that, nada. Normally I'd be thrilled, fewer shows to balance out, but for me there's also just not a lot I want to watch this season which was completely not what I expected but means that I'm really going to revise what I'm watching when and even what services I want to pay for if I'm going to focus more on my backlog than current shows this season (heck, I'm down to less than ten backlog shows in my CR queue, admittedly this includes some massively long shows but I've actually been whittling that one down successfully for years at this point). So let's get to it, what did I try and what caught my eye?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekly Round-UP: April 12-18 Edition

Not as much happening here this week, this week's OASG post got, creative, so no manga reviews but I do have two different anime reviews this week. I have a movie review of Patema Inverted, which the longer I think about it the more confused I am about why it wasn't good, and a regular review for Death Parade which, the longer I think about it, was pretty amazing. Tomorrow my full review of the spring season is going up too so hurray, there is so little I'm interested in this season!

Finally, I have another audio book review this week, The Strange Maid which is the second in the United States of Asgard series which I am still enjoying but wish it was doing things a little differently. I seem to have movies on the mind and feel like this series would actually make a pretty fun series of movies but I have no idea if the rights have even been optioned, oh well, I don't think I've ever even enjoyed a book to movie adaptation that wasn't Harry Potter anyway so I'm not too crushed by stories-that-would-be-great-visually never making the transition from full prose to at least a partial prose-visual vision.  

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Audio Book Review: Strange Maid

 I received this from my library through the Overdrive program/app and holy cow that was the least intuitive app I have ever used and I cannot believe that people actually think this is a good program. I had to use a separate app for my computer and phone, unsure if they synced since I didn't want to even try it out after all the hassle it had already taken, and the program didn't even save my place when I stopped for the day. A third of the time I would open it up and it would start playing where I left off but I couldn't figure out the rhyme or reason for why it saved my place sometimes and not others (it's not because of the bookmark function). The book was also split up into ten sections for downloading/accessing but these sections didn't necessarily line up with chapter breaks, as would be logical and there seemed to be enough free space in the last section to allow for shuffling, left me wondering why this app was even designed this way if it wasn't either logical or elegant, one or the other I could understand but not neither! 

The Strange Maid by Tessa Gratton, narrated by Cynthia Holloway 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Movie Review: Patema Inverted

Once again, thanks to the JICC I had a chance to see a film which I missed in theaters (if it was playing near me in the first place) and once again it was a film I had heard mixed things on. At first I only heard terrible reviews for it but after a time I heard more mixed reviews on it. So I went, steeling myself knowing that I would not completely love this movie no matter how much I really really wanted to going in which is a just plain odd feeling.

Patema Inverted

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Anime Review: Death Parade

I immensely enjoyed Death Billiards when it aired as part of the Anime Mirai (Young Animator Training) Project a few years ago (it was the same year as Little Witch Academia for reference) and I remember that just a few months after it came out I had some hits on my post from a forum where someone was citing my post as proof that a full season was coming. I would like to take credit for announcing this season before even the director himself probably knew, although when the show popped up on the winter charts just a couple of weeks before the start of the season I wondered if those bloggers might be confused and it was a spring show again, or worse with such a late announcement that maybe the show wouldn't be finished on time. Thankfully both of these worries were wrong and this show helped make the winter anime season a surprisingly good one.

Death Parade

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Weekly Round-Up: April 5-11 Edition

The review may have been late but I got quite a few things posted in this past week! On the anime side, now that winter is "over" (still have one episode of Garo left) I made a quick post detailing what I did end up finishing on Tumblr, although I may have left out the magical boy show because I keep forgetting that I watched it just this past season. Full review-wise I posted about Shirobako and how it's an entertaining story about the crazy process of making anime and a really easy to empathize with story about young people (young women in a male dominated field even!) going out into the working world and just how hard it is.

On the manga side of things I actually did quite a bit! I posted a review of volumes six through ten of Magi, posted my "aborted" Food Wars! volume one review on tumblr, and somehow managed to get my Oresama Teacher (volumes one through eight) post up on OASG minutes before midnight, that was not the intent by the way.

Finally, rounding out the week I realize that I am very done with young adult books about assassins (truthfully I was side eyeing the trend when I realized that it might in fact be An Upcoming Trend) with The Assassin's Blade.

All for now and my take on the new spring anime is coming NEXT week not this week, still have most of the new shows to catch up on!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Book Review: The Assassin's Blade

I had a chance to see Sarah J Maas at a book talk/signing last fall (along with Jodi Meadows of Incarnate and Leah Cypress of Mistwood/Nightspell and had a fairly nice time (aside from the fact that I had to stand the whole time) and then just never got around to reading her latest book or this publication, a re-release of four, previously digital only short stories combined with a brand new one for print and digital release. I think when I first checked my library simply didn't have them and then I forgot until about January when I checked again. Since these stories are prequels to the main series I decided to check this one out first although that might have been a mistake.

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J Maas

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Manga Review: Magi (volumes six through ten)

Funny enough, when I posted my review of the first five volumes of Magi I thought "yeah, I'd really like to read more of this" and went back to my library website where I found volumes nine and ten. I requested them and kept scrolling (my library, like every other one I've known, doesn't always have an author's work appear chronologically in searches) only to realize that nope, volume ten had only dropped the previous week but they had never gotten six through eight! I had a similar situation with Gundam The Origin some people might recall so I do plan on submitting a purchase request for everyone else who wants to read it (my library doesn't just ask for the title and author, I have to put in things like original publication date, publisher, and ISBN which seems like a safeguard against spam but a really inelegant way to do it). So, scanlations were used for those missing volumes and man I am glad for professional translations, I have known some scanlation groups who do a pretty good job but these were inferior to the Viz ones in style and word choice!

Magi by Shinobu Ohtaka

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Anime Review: Shirobako

When I first saw the summary for this story I thought "But if I've already seen Animation Runner Kuromi do I really need to see this?" and now having seen the showI would actually recommend seeing that 2 OVA series first! The two shows are actually fairly different but Shirobako drops you into the animation production assuming that you already know a lot of the basics and ARK gives you a great rundown of those missing parts or you can also check out this handy glossary for the show.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Weekly Round-UP: March 22-April 4 Edition

One of the many, many downsides to working on a non-fixed schedule, it's really hard to develop a pattern or schedule to make sure I get these posts up on time! As a head's up, there's a 50-50 chance tonight's review will go up tomorrow since I have a terrible work shift tonight that needs to go die in a fire so let me leave everyone with some reading material.

Anime-wise, I reviewed Yona of the Dawn last week and I'm pretty happy with the post as well as the views I've gotten. I know that my first one, maybe first three, posts after an anime series end have the highest views so I'm trying to keep that in mind when I order my posts, gotta give preference to the things I like! And I was quoted in APR again on GBFT, I don't care if they quote everyone it still makes me happy.

Comic-wise, I talked about the ongoing series Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches (also on OASG) and Cucumber Quest. I meant to have another review on OASG but then I realized that someone else had already reviewed the title I was working on so I'll be sure to dump that on tumblr in the next few days so it doesn't go to waste.

On the silver screen I talk about Marvel's Agent Carter mini-series from this past winter, I enjoyed it and have been enjoying Agents of SHIELD but I've fallen really behind on that one, especially since Carter reminded me of how much of a pain it is to watch a (non-HD) broadcast on my tv instead of on my computer.

Finally for books I have two wildly different reviews, the middle grade book Greenglass House and the adult fiction City of Stairs. Both really great but GGH had some trouble with it's villain and while I liked CoS I've seen the summary for it's sequel and don't like the sounds of it. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Book Review: City of Stairs

It's a little hard to tell but I think I've made some good progress on my books-to-read list which is always a nice thing. I've been able to knock off some stuff I've had on the list for years and found that by now my library systems have a surprising number of 2014 books. Not everything (they seem to have gotten in Children of a Hidden Sea and then promptly lost it) but enough things that I always have something nice to read these days!

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

Friday, April 3, 2015

TV Series Review: Agent Carter

Sorry that this is late folks, there's no really good answer for it except general tiredness coupled with knowing this was going to be a long review and not wanting to start it. Since I did really love this show, hence why I knew it was going to be a longer one! 

Agent Carter