Friday, February 28, 2014

Comic Review: Relish

As a heads up, tomorrow is March 1st which means it's the start of webcomic review month, ie all my regular reviews will be on hiatus until April 4th, which ironically will be yet another comic review, hope you guys are here for the pretty pictures!

As with many books I talk about here, I was both interested and hesitant about reading this one. On the one hand, it had plenty of fantastic reviews but on the other most of these reviewers also liked Knisley's other book, French Milk, which I hadn't enjoyed at all. When I got the book from the library I opened it up, glanced through, and realized I recognized her style from another place, a quick google search later was reassured of my sanity when I found Stop Paying Attention (which I had read before). It's an autobiographical webcomic that gets updated every now and then and, as is the case with auto-bio comics that aren't just about the events in the artist's life but the feelings and meanings that went along with them, I liked some of them and some of them were complete misses for me. With that I just hoped that the focus on food would be something I could relate to the entire time and jumped in.

Relish by Lucy Knisley

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

On the logic of Sherlock's world

As I alluded to back in my review of Sherlock (the third season that is) I was more than a bit disappointed in how the season's "grand villain" was handled because it just didn't make any logical sense to me. Logic is a bit part of the setting for any story, it determines how the world works, how character's react, what is and isn't possible (which informs the audience of what may or may not happen) and when you have a story where this isn't made clear usually it becomes a plot point in and of itself. So when Sherlock, which had already done a good job at establishing that it was set in a world like ours, just one with a genius detective in it, started to have it's villain act differently, well, it meant that the world stopped working for me too.

(spoilers ahead)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Anime Review: Thermae Romae

Last week was a bit of a rough week for me and unfortunately I fell into a bad habit of mine which is to stress over things so much I get nothing done and leave myself no time to actually watch anything (which would be a stress reliever making this doubly a bad thing). I was already scrambling to try and pull together a show for this week so I had to dig into my "reserve list" of shows I know are even less than 10 episodes that I can watch quickly if I really need to. And lucky for me this show is also a noitaminA one which means I needed to watch it sooner or later anyway so in a way this all still worked out!

Thermae Romae

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Movie Review: The Snow Queen

Disney's Frozen is many things and not being very faithful to the original story is one of them. We all know that by now, actually I think everyone figured that out by the time a talking snowman showed up in the trailer, and that surely Disney isn't the first studio out there to take the story from the page to some sort of stage. It turns out there are quite a few of them, I might have to check out some of the others but I remembered hearing about one a few years back which was a Russian animated film that was taking a while to get out to the US. Well it finally popped up on Netflix a couple of months ago and, since it's been a few weeks since I last talked about an animated film (and it finally warmed up for a few days here), it seemed like the perfect chance to watch it!

The Snow Queen

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Book Review: The Crown of Embers

Back when I was reading The Girl of Fire and Thorns I was confused, was this part of a trilogy of a standalone story? Up to the last few pages it had felt like it was paced like a trilogy but between the way it ended and that there wasn't any mention of forthcoming books in any of the copy I figured I was just crazy. Turns out that my instincts were right and this was part of a trilogy (in case anyone's guessing why I guessed that instead of a duet, there are just really few duets out there so it didn't occur to me), let's see what exactly the plot of these last two books is about!

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

Friday, February 21, 2014

Manga Review: 20th Century Boys (volumes 15-18)

My new library has a few more volumes of 20th Century Boys which I was pretty thrilled to discover. True I'm still six volumes from the end but I think it'll be a lot easier for me to bug them and convince them to buy six volumes of manga for me to read instead of 10....

20th Century Boys by Naoki Urasawa

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Winter 2014 Mid-Season Anime Round-UP

So I was thinking the other day that gee, while everyone obviously makes a fuss right when new anime series start, and a bit of one when they end, it's kind of hard to look at a season when it's half-way through and go "right, what did I miss?" Yes I follow quite a few anime blogs that post episode by episode thoughts and feelings, plus on twitter I see quite a few people talking about shows I don't follow, but you can't just jump into the post on episode 5 and get a feel from it if this something you really really need to start or not (plus, if you just try to read through a few posts chronologically you usually just end up horribly spoiled). So that's what I'm going to do here, I'm going to talk about all the shows I'm currently watching and hopefully convince a few more people to try them out, or not as the case may be since, while I am investing time each week into some of these shows, there are at least a couple I expect to have messy endings. And if there's anything I don't mention here feel free to chime in in the comments and convince me what to try out, there's a few I'm teetering on the edge of trying but just haven't been sure enough to dedicate the time to them. Oh and just to note I'm a week behind all the shows except Kill La Kill since even Funimation has free-viewer-delays now (they started it up DURING the new season with no prior notice, bah) so hopefully the last episode of these shows didn't do anything really weird that'll completely change my views.

Now, onto the shows and in the order they air each week, starting on Sunday!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Anime Review: Neppu Kairiku Bushi Road

Back when the winter charts were first coming out (so, October-ish) I was rather excited with the premise for this one and was sad to hear that it was just going to be some sort of tv special in early January instead of a full tv show. And then I found out that it had been in development hell since 2003 which was holy crap longer than I have been an anime fan, and by several years even! Heck it's original creator died in the intern, the author of the original Trinity Blood light novels, although it sounds like that was actually the cause of the delay since he was supposed to be heavily involved in it. I knew that the TB series was left technically unfinished with his death, so I guess I should be happy that this story at least finally got made. I believe I've heard rumors that they want to retool it for a theatrical release later down the road so maybe this project isn't finished yet.

Neppu Kairiku Bushi Road

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Movie Review: Star Trek: Into Darkness

Last week with Sherlock I commented that it had been years since I started the series and as I was watching this movie I realized that there was an even bigger gap between when I watched the first movie and this one. I remember it clearly since it was the first film I saw in college, especially because I was meeting up with a few people I half knew or didn't know at all and was praying it wouldn't be a terrible mistake (it wasn't, still good friends with some of them), and by now I'm out of college, that's over four years! I'm half surprised they even made a second film with that large a gap, normally I'd say that there's no way you could get such a large audience with that gap but clearly Hollywood works in mysterious ways.....

Star Trek: Into Darkness

Book Review: Enchanted

Not to be confused with the book Ella Enchanted, I think I had heard a little bit about this book before but what really caught my eye was when I started hearing people talk about it's sequel earlier last year, a mash-up of fairy tales that sounded fairly neat. And what won me over in the description was a little poem which I had grown up knowing talking about the characteristics of people born on various days of the week. I had always resented my line a little bit, "Thursday's child has far to go," thinking that it meant that I would take a long time to grow up. That may still be the case but this series has interpreted it much more literally, as someone who wanders the world traveling and after that of course I wanted to read it, even if Thursday doesn't appear in this book at all.

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Manga Review: Sailor Moon (volumes 11 and 12)

Well this is months later than I had hoped but I finally found a library with the last couple volumes of Sailor Moon! And lucky for me volume 10 actually wrapped up the fourth arc so I wasn't left hanging in the middle and the characters in this series always have such, uh, interesting, wow the 90s sure were a thing, designs that I was even able to remember what the scouts had just defeated! So let's get to talking about this one last story and then my feelings on the series as a whole, especially since I never imagined I would read this story all the way to the end.

Sailor Moon (volumes 11 and 12) by Naoko Takeuchi

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Anime Review: Taisho Baseball Girls

Sorry this is delayed again folks, just got hit with a headcold that's left me a bit out of it for the past two days, should be fine by the weekend's reviews!

For some reason or another, there are just more genres of anime than there are of American television. Mecha, cute girls doing cute things, sports, these just tend to pop up more in movies than tv shows (well, cute girls making guys realize the beauty and value of life but whatever). I try to keep my viewing schedule as balanced as I can make it, especially as I work my way through my backlog where I have more freedom to pick and choose whatever has caught my fancy and, since it's been a little while since I last talked about a sports series, I decided to watch "cute girls do baseball which is sort-of-kind-of a cute thing". I'd heard a little bit about this series when it first came out on DVD but not much so I settled in expecting an okay series, one that wasn't terrible but nothing I would spend a lot of time recommending, and I was surprised by it.

Taisho Baseball Girls

Monday, February 10, 2014

TV Series Review: Sherlock (season three)

Goodness it's been a long time since this show started, as the opening credits rolled by I was thinking that way back when this show first aired I had just started dabbling in video but by now I could do a fair recreation of the opening on my own if I put my mind to it (and put in quite a few hours of work that is). Back then barely anyone had heard of this show too and now it's everywhere. Before the first episode aired I was chatting with my mom and she said that they were taping it, my aunt's sister said that they would be watching it when I got home that evening if I wanted to join them, I started watching it while babysitting since my charge was already in bed, and when the parents came back, before the episode ended, they said that they were taping it too! Really, now everyone and their cat is watching the show (no seriously apparently my cat loves it when my mom watches Sherlock since it means he can sit in her lap for a full hour and a half without being moved).

Sherlock (season three)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Book Review: Across the Great Barrier

Moving right along with this series (since the sooner I write a proper review of it the sooner I can write the next book, I've found if I don't I risk muddling the stories together and write overall less satisfying reviews) so there's not much to say to introduce it, it's magic, the Wild West, and not in the way you just thought when you heard those two phrases put together!

Across the Great Barrier by Patricia C Wrede

Friday, February 7, 2014

Manga Review: solanin

This is a comic I've seen in bookstores and wanted to read for years (since, goodness it must be high school if I was actually in a bookstore on a regular basis) but didn't want to just blind-buy it, despite the fact I knew that several of my friends had enjoyed it. So as soon as I saw it at my new local library system (and convinced them to give me a library card) I immedately checked it out and got to reading.

solanin by Inio Asano

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Anime Review: Mononoke

As noted back in my Library War review, despite the fact that I'm a big fan of the noitaminA timeslot there are quite a few shows from it that I've never seen and I really hope to change that this year by giving those shows a bit of priority on my to-watch list. So I went for a title that is both well-known and not; well-known amongst some circles of fans for being one of Kanji Nakamura's shows (Gatchaman Crowds was actually his first show to not air in the timeslot) and a pretty interesting one just to look at, and yet not that well-known at all since the series has never been licensed or even streamed legally in the US, bother!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Movie Review: Hot Fuzz

Back during the summer I became a bit curious about seeing the film The World's End and realized that while I'd seen Shaun of the Dead I hadn't actually seen Hot Fuzz, writer-director Edgar Wright's other really well known film (my mother has no idea how she let that happen). To be clear, yes I know that these films have nothing to do with each other and you can enjoy one without having seen the others, however I knew it was going to be a while before I had a chance to see The World's End so why not watch this one first? I know this would all make a lot more sense if I had gotten to it a few months earlier but I honestly did forget until I caught sight of the DVD at one of the local libraries, probably why I hadn't thought to watch it earlier in the first place.

Hot Fuzz

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Book Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Apologies this is late folks, between some work going much later than I thought last night and the worst headache I've had in a month there was no way this was going up until after midnight and even if it did go up it wouldn't be very coherent in places. Since my schedule was a bit strange last week anyway I'm also going to push Sunday and Monday's regular reviews back a day and hopefully make them even better than usual with the extra time!

I read so many book reviews these days (or at least, see the blog post titles for them) that I tend to confuse an awfully large number of books with each other. Occasionally these mix-ups make sense and sometimes they don't, my confusing this book (a low-fantasy in a setting that looks like Spain) with some dystopian title or another falls into the later category. 

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson