Sunday, September 27, 2015

Weekly Round-UP: September 20th - 26th

And I'm back and fighting to stay that way! I really do like writing these reviews but man, I'm trying to start writing them farther in advance but I've had something going on literally every night (be it already having another review to write, social fun, or just my bus being 50 fucking minutes later) for the past week and a half that I haven't even been able to start yet. I'd say maybe this week but it seems like this is when my work kicks into overdrive until, oh the end of the year.....

Uncontroable aspects of life aside, four good-ish reviews this week! I start out with an oldie as I finally got through Witch Craft Works (which I totally stayed with for possible cosplay ideas, didn't like anything enough though!) and finally got the review for Wildwood Dancing up, followed by the more recent A Boy and a Girl for a comic review and Kings Game: Origin over on OASG. Not sure I'm going to continue reading Origin or not, I did like it but as I say in my review, it has to have a reeeeally solid ending and that's going to be hard to pull off, even if there are supernatural aspects involved (which I don't honestly think will happen, I'm betting it's the love interest, in the storeroom, with centuries of family knowledge of medicines).

Below the cut, now that all of the summer anime are wrapping/have wrapped up, a quick few thoughts on the season as a whole, full reviews start up next week.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Book Review: Wildwood Dancing

This is the review that doesn't want to go up  I swear, it's not even a case where "the most average books are the hardest to review". Occasionally I just read a book and even though I have thoughts on it, they're either too spolierly or just too bland on there own and take forever to finesse. 

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Comic Review: A Boy and A Girl

Man I have such a big backlog of comics to review, usually I don't have this problem! Let's chalk it up to the DC libraries recently being excellent in aquiring books, although I do need to message them and say "hi, for some reason all of these manga are listed under two different spellings of the authors name so it's really hard to see what you have!" I have been informed by library friends that no, This Should Not Be Happening, it feels especially since manga have copyright pages with the official spelling of the manga-ka's name in them just like every other comic.....

A Boy and a Girl Written by Jamie S Rich, illustrated by Natalie Nourigat

Monday, September 21, 2015

Anime Review: Witch Craft Works

Alright, back to the blogging game. The summer anime season is winding down and the leaves are starting to fall on my block, let's get to a few older shows before jumping into the new stuff and the new new fall stuff first shall we?

Witch Craft Works

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Weekly Round-UP: September 6th - 12th

So that book review still isn't up for this week, guys I've been having a rough few weeks. Nothing big has happened just, lots of little, nagging thoughts that won't go away which drive me around in circles and keep me from being productive at all which then makes me stress since there's so much I want to do every day. Since writing reviews is part of that stress I'm just going to take this week off, I'll get last week's book review up this week (hopefully tomorrow) but no more posts for the rest of the week so I can catch up with other things and then resettle. 

Before that however, I did get a few other things reviewed this week. I wasn't a big fan of Mai Mai Miracle or Tenth Prism but I did, really, really like Space Brothers by the time I finished up it's very long run. The science-"fiction" felt right to me, like I could see the global space agencies being where they were in another 20 years or so and it really did give me confidence to see Mutta continue to grow through the series. Sometimes I wonder, if you're supposed to "grow up and be an adult why are adult characters still so flawed?" (I'm a young adult, I don't even feel like an adult so it doesn't seem like a contradiction to ask that!) and this show did a good job at answering it for me, because goals sometimes change and the way you go after them changes, plus some people still just suck and interacting with other people even as adults! I really connected with a lot of Mutta's inner dialogues (although I think that I'm a lot more like Hibito at times, his arc in Russia reminded me of how I act when I'm really down and just cannot seem to shake it) and I recommend it to anyone who wants a long, character study with varied, mature characters and also for that glorious hope that science will continue on and that we will do wonderful things with it.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Movie Review: Mai Mai Miracle

No post yesterday because I had a headache that could split mountains and quite predictably those make my writing rather incoherent, even for a shorter post like this one. But I think a day's delay for this review is fine since once again almost no one else has talked about it! I'm not sure how the JICC scored a viewing copy of the movie before the Kickstarter DVDs had released (in fact I'm not sure if they're out yet, given that the KS updates are backers only and the last update was in late July) but this wouldn't be the first time they have showed a movie that doesn't have a physical media release in the US.

Mai Mai Miracle

Monday, September 7, 2015

Anime Review: Space Brothers

Well this review is a long time coming, the Space Brothers anime originally ran from April 2012 to March 2014 and I did keep up with it for the first year or so but I slacked off in my senior year of college and only checked in sporadically on reviews after that. I did like it while I was watching, it was just long, slow at times, and when I fell off it was in an especially slow period and followed by a little, for-kids cartoon segment each week other folks dubbed "racist cartoon theater" which really didn't spark my interest again immediately.

But I did really like the show and that's why I always planned on coming back, since it has been three years and some change since the show aired. In the end, part of the fun for me was to see how far Mutta had come in the show and also how different my own life was since I started it. I went from being a college junior to an adult who actually has friends who work at NASA! Heck, I can say it now but my first, long-term job after college was working in the museum store at the National Air and Space Museum (which is far less glamours than it sounds, running past rocket engines to get to the bathroom is hilarious however!) so I think I can say that watching this show in the staff cafeteria, with its great view of the capitol and surrounded by photos of people eating in the space station and on planes, is possibly the nerdiest place this show has ever been watched in. And I do like space, I like harder sci-fi, and while this isn't the usual kind of hard sci-fi it's certainly one of the more realistic series I've ever come across

Space Brothers

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Weekly Round-UP: August 25th - September 5th

So, no post last week means twice as many posts here I suppose; taking it from the top I first talk about how the summer anime season is coming along and then I tackle a title from last year, The World is Still Beautiful (for the record, the current "recently adapted shoujo title" rankings go Yona > Akagami >> Still Beautiful because I said so) and wrapping up the tv I talked a little about hardly-known film Giovanni's Island. On the comic side of things, I talked about the award-winning This One Summer and over on OASG I talked about Sweetness and Lightning as well as Inari Kon Kon. Finally, for reviews anyway, I reviewed two very different books, the light-novel-title-esque The Girl Who Circumvented Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and the rather mid-tier YA The Demon Catchers of Milan.

And now for something a little different, I've been on a webtoon binge again! If the term is unfamiliar, manhwa is published, traditional Korean comics (like manga) and webtoons are the online comics (like webcomics). I'm not entirely sure why they get their own word, I did hear years ago that webtoons were practically driving manhwa out of business which is also interesting, but my only real interaction with them is from the appropriately named (which has legal, official translations as far as I can tell!). Quite honestly, these are the soap operas of comics, I'm not surprised that I get ads for some of them with blurbs like "the inspiration for the hit drama!" on them since they have the tone down pat! 

I've tried (over the past year, not in a two week binge read or anything....) Cheese in the Trap (which I liked until I realized just how long it was and then dropped it), Orange Marmalade (bored me immediately, felt like a different kind of bad shoujo than what I'm used to), Witch Hunt (not bad but I just didn't like the characters), Hooky (okay this one had no idea how to keep a story together tonally), and Magical 12th Graders (which I was also liking but it moves veeeery slowly and was starting to frustrate me). Incidentally, I recommend everyone look at the first update for Magical 12th Graders, I had actually seen the comic on tumblr before (unattributed) so if you've seen a girl "come out" to her parents and wanted to read more of it now you can! If you flip through these you can start to feel how similar a lot of these stories are and I find it fascinating how there is a distinct, atmosphere/tone to all of these stories like you find in some genres of shoujo or YA fiction, it's something I feel much more faintly in English-language webcomics*.

There are still a ton of comics on the site I haven't tried yet (heck I'm not even sure how to go through everything to see what I want to try and not miss stuff) but my favorite title so far is Space Boy which is a rather cool piece of science fiction with some more heavy parts and some lighter-sci-fi parts. I'm probably a little behind, I was also having trouble figuring out how to even follow the comics if I didn't remember to check the site everyday, but being a little behind on a comic that no one I know talks about never hurt me before!

*if pressed to talk about a commonality in style in webcomics I'd honestly point towards a proclivity for deadpan humor over all else

Friday, September 4, 2015

Book Review: The Demon Catchers of Milan

Phew, last review of the week and now I can spend my weekend wracking my brain for how to keep up these reviews when my life seems to get busier and busier....

The Demon Catchers of Milan by Kat Beyer

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Comic Review: This One Summer

Well I feel topical for once, this book came out last year but it's getting awards now in 2015, I had honestly been wondering if it was a bit award winner when I saw just how many copies my library had. And the author's names are familiar but I don't think I've actually read anything else by them, I do remember trying Skim in college but the main character was going through a life just so different from my own (both in terms of experience and how she mentally handled stress and set-back) that I decided it was better to drop the book than to be continually frustrated by it. That was not the case here thankfully, although there was still some frustration involved

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki