Thursday, May 29, 2014

TV Series Review: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Given how Marvel's superhero films are such big deals these days I doubt this show needs much in the way of introduction. I will note that it does cross over into the films in two places, in episode 8, The Well, we see the gang cleaning up after the effects of Thor: The Dark World and in episode 16, End of the Beginning, we see everything flip upside down as it takes place at the same time Captain America: The Winter Solider is happening. You can see the show without having seen Thor 2 (I saw the episode afterwards and was just fine) but I don't recommend it for the Cap 2 tie in so hopefully anyone interested in checking out the show has already seen it!

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Monday, May 26, 2014

Anime Review: World Conquest Zvezda Plot

This was another of my late winter pick-ups which I didn't even look at in the beginning but due to some good buzz I decided hey, I've got the time to add one more show to my lunchtime viewing rotation so why not?

World Conquest Zvezda Plot (Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Book Review: The Bitter Kingdom

Confused why there was no review Wednesday? I started thinking about what I wanted to say about the first volume of Inu x Boku SS and realized I had absolutely nothing. And trying to spin that out would be a terrible review so I decided to just cancel it instead of trying to scramble and rearrange my schedule, hopefully that won't happen again soon since I am really trying to cut those ones out of my review list!

Last year I had a chance to read The Girl of Fire and Thorns and really liked it and wished I had been following the series as it came out instead of playing this mad catch-up with it, especially since I did try to write each review before I read the next book but that didn't work out. I was a bit discouraged by the second book but hoped that the third book would be stronger (especially since it was not The Middle Book In A Series) and I had a chance to read the short stories Carson wrote with the series. They're fun but not necessary to understand the books, especially since some of the character writing (like with Elisa's sister) felt a bit inconsistent with the other books.

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Monday, May 19, 2014

Anime Review: Noragami

When I started the winter season I took a screenshot of the anime chart and put checks next to all the series I wanted to see and Xs on the rest. All except this show however, I drew a few question marks over it since I had read the first chapter of the manga, it really didn't click with me, yet I kept seeing people whose opinion often matched mine be really excited over it. I was also confused why the promo images kept featuring this girl who I didn't remember from the manga at all so I gave it another shot, checked out the second chapter and yep, there she is and hey I rather like the story focusing on her a bit more too. Of course this means I have to give the anime a chance now, especially given that it's the legal option to check out this story, and I was pleasantly surprised.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Book Review: The Dream Thieves

I feel rather topical, the cover and title for the next book in The Raven Cycle was just released, Blue Lily, Lily Blue which not only has me excited for the next book but also clears up one or two thoughts I had about this book and The Raven Boys which means that for once I'm glad this review is going up quite a bit after I read the book itself! I will note however that I had apparently forgotten a few key details of TRB (as in, we've already had one main character die and revive, this is in addition to the one who is a ghost and the one whose fated to die) but once I started reading this book I was feeling too greedy to put it down, do a reread and then return to it. I plan on doing a post on my favorite books from 2013 sometime in June, when I've actually been able to get around to reading all of them, and unless I'm surprised between now and then I can say that this book will be on that list for sure.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

On running away from a home you don't love

Sorry for the delay folks, a combination of feeling that this post wasn't ready, a good sized headache, and then my computer acting like the slowest machine to ever grace this Earth all pushed this back, and this week's book review is getting pushed back to Saturday (which seems to have been happening a lot lately anyway).

 As a more-or-less fan of the tv series, I went out and saw the Veronica Mars movie pretty soon after it came out and while I enjoyed parts of the film and problems with other parts my biggest beef with it in the ending (which is my way of saying that this little write-up is going to contain rather large spoilers). As longtime viewers know, the town of Neptune has not been kind to Veronica and it's destructive influence hurt both her and her friends over and over again. You could even argue that it was partially the town itself that re-shaped Veronica after her friend's murder and made her into someone where "untrusting" is an understatement. And so, at the end of the final tv season Veronica left, she went off to another college and, as the movie tells us, while she's been in some contact with her old friends and family she hasn't been back to the town in nine years (which I think makes her reasons for suddenly coming back seem a bit impulsive, even given her history, but that's not precisely what I'm talking about here). And then she stays, Veronica decides that instead of becoming a big shot lawyer in NYC like she's been working towards for the past nine years that she's going to go back to this town which has hurt her so much (and actively despises her) to become a private investigator and try to fix the town because she thinks it's still savable. And based on my own personal experience that just didn't sit right with me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Anime Review: Samurai Flamenco

The winter season was an odd one for the noimainA timeslot, it had Silver Spoon returning for the second of it's split seasons and then this show continuing on from the fall as well. Like many noitaminA shows, there wasn't a lot of information available about Samurai Flamenco before it started airing beyond a few posters and a weird motto about how a hero never gives up and I remember that I didn't think highly of the first episode. But after a few episodes it grew on me and then a few more after that it had the biggest genre shift I can ever remember seeing which left my social media feeds swearing for a solid two days.....

Samurai Flamenco

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Book Review: Siege and Storm

As I believe I mentioned recently, occasionally I just plain forget to review something and that was the case with Shadow and Bone last year where I didn't realize until months and months later that I hadn't reviewed it and by that point my memory of the book was just fuzzy enough that I didn't feel as if I could do a good review. Which is strange, not only did I enjoy the book but I also looked through it's list of references in the back and was reading this enormous, 1980s tome of Russian history from practically it's beginning in modern-day Ukraine up until the late 1800s, you'd think that sitting down to read that nearly every day for a month would have reminded me at the very least....

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Solider

It felt a bit odd to be seeing a "summer blockbuster" movie long before it was summertime (even if it was unseasonably warm the day I saw it) and it looks like this summer is going to be another light one for me movie wise. There are a few that have caught my eye but not much so I'm glad that I at least enjoyed this film so it's off to a good start for me!

Captain America: The Winter Solider

Monday, May 5, 2014

Anime Review: Kill la Kill

Last year when I went to my first Otakon I decided to try and hit up all the industry panels I could since I'd never been to a con large enough to host industry panels at before (well, Funimation had one at Animazement my last year there which was actually talking about how the company worked and was actually rather cool!). In the end I decided it was a worthy experiment but there wasn't much of a difference between reading the news online in a few minutes and sitting for an hour in a room while they slowly dole it out to you. "Much" anyway, it was rather fantastic being in the room when Funimation started playing the Cowboy Bebop theme and when I was in the Aniplex panel my jaw actually dropped when they said "oh and we've got one more title for the fall, it's a new show" and started playing Kill la Kill's trailer. By that point the internet was practically in raptures about how great Studio Trigger's new show would look ("sasuga sakuga!") and while I wasn't so sure about the show based on the premise it was still more than enough to get me to try it out!

Kill la Kill

Friday, May 2, 2014

Book Review: Untold

Hmm, for the first book in this series I was able to get an ARC and I was able to get an ARC for this one as well, abet I wasn't able to actually get a hold of it until well after the book was released (moving makes directing/picking up mail rather challenging it turns out). And of course my backlog of books to review doesn't make this review anymore timely but, since I haven't yet had to use tumblr savior for the third book in the series (which I had to do for this book about four months before it came out) I think that means I'm not too late to talk about it yet!

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Manga Review: My Little Monster (volume one)

Back in the fall of 2012 I was pleasantly surprised to see that a new anime with a very bland sounding premise (girl is badgered by boy and a romance somehow develops) ended up becoming one of my favorite shows of the season and was then saddened when manga readers noted that due to how the series ended it was unlikely to get a second season. Well, that and the DVD sales, although I was a little surprised that this was the only one of the three shojo shows that season (the other two being Kamisama Kiss and Say I Love You) to not get licensed in the US since I thought it was by far the strongest. So I was quite excited that Kodansha USA announced that they were going to be putting it out and, like a good little manga fan, I went to my local independent book store, ordered it, and then actually got my book before anyone else did it seems, hurray for being a trendsetter!

My Little Monster (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, volume one) by Robico