Monday, September 29, 2014

Anime Review: Captain Earth

It's a fact that if you stick a Bones mecha show in front of me I'm going to watch it, there are several different general styles to how various creators approach mecha shows and I just rather like Bones approach. It's never just a war or a soldiers life for them, it's about the people who end up having to do these crazy things and a lot of self-discovery, this sounds pretty great to me especially since I know that budgets usually don't allow for down-and-out robot punching fests every single episode! And in case anyone reads this review and wonders at a few of the name choices, apparently Bones enjoyed having "The Tempest" and "Hamlet" references in another show so much they added in a number of A Midsummer Night's Dream ones here, although most of them are surface, name-only references without any deep, thematically related connections.

Captain Earth

Friday, September 26, 2014

Book Review: The Golem and the Jinni

Wait this is a 2013 book? Shoot, I was totally going to add this to my "best books of 2014" list because it's easily one of the best books I've read this year. I know I said I was going to focus more on reviewing YA books on this blog, since clearly I like them better and I feel like I give them more interesting reviews, but I had seen it reviewed on some mostly-YA book blogs before and honestly thought it was one. And it's a good book, a great book even, so let me try and convince people who like YA and adult fiction alike to give it a shot!

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Manga Review: My Little Monster (volume 3)

Man it's getting tough to do reviews of each volume in a manga series, I think part of my problem with this series is that 1. I remember a lot of the anime so I've got a few volumes to go before anything makes a real impact on me and 2. There's just not a lot changing in these books volume-to-volume since it's a rom-com, not a plot-heavy story. So bear with me with these shorter reviews, I am still enjoying the series for sure but there's just not as much to say unless I go page by page!

My Little Monster (volume 3) by Robico

Monday, September 22, 2014

Anime Review: Aldnoah.Zero

In the past I determined that 12 shows is about the max I can watch in one season and this summer season seemed to prove that, I didn't even watch 12 shows every week and my weekends were still too full! On Saturday's two shows primarily competed for my attention, Captain Earth and this one and they were both a bit uneven, I can't actually remember any weeks where they were both strong, and in the end this was the more uneven, and ultimately weaker, of the two which is the exact opposite of what I would have predicted!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Book Review: City of A Thousand Dolls

This was one of the 2013 books that I was most excited to read, the combination of the premise and the setting sounded rather cool and I did win it in a contest but there were some embarrassing moments when emails just didn't get sent when they were supposed to, plus a few moves on my part, so it took me a while to get to this book. So, it's hard to say that any book is worth a six month wait but did it come close to being worth it?

City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

TV Series Review: Elementary (season two)

As readers of this blog already know, back when I started working full time in the spring my watching took a hit and once Agents of SHIELD really picked up I ended up having to put Elementary to the side for a while, even though I had really really enjoyed the first season and this season was just as good. It certainly doesn't help that the only (legal) way I can watch the series online is to do it through CBS's website which only has the last five aired-on-tv episodes and my god the most annoying ads ever. I know some people complain about hulu's ads but here they have four or five commercial breaks and five to seven ads each, all 15-30 seconds long. "So, it's basically just like cable tv then?" Pretty much and it is terrible, please put this show on Netflix streaming so I can recommend it more easily!

Elementary (season two)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Anime Review: Mushi-shi: The Next Passage (part one)

I suppose some people wondered why I never posted this review along with the rest of the spring anime shows, especially since I had made such an effort to finish up the first season of the show in time. It's because this half-season wasn't actually finished, it seems as if Artland has been having scheduling issues so they weren't able to get out the last two episodes in time and then had to wait for a timeslot opening to air them (or there is the terrifying possibility that it actually took them from June to August to make this two-parter at which point I am scared at how the scheduling for the second half will hold up). While Mushi-shi is both consistent enough and character based instead of plot based so I could have easily reviewed it earlier I wanted to wait until all the episodes were out and so, let me once again convince everyone who hasn't seen this show yet to pick it up in time for the final part in October

Mushi-shi: The Next Passage (part one)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Book Review: Nobody's Princess and Nobody's Prize

As is a running theme on this blog, there are some books that have been on my to read list for entirely too long and it's just because I can't get a hold of them and I don't have the budget to blind buy. A lot of times they fall off after a while, I can't remember why I put them on in the first place or the summary starts to sound more stale but this one never did since it's about Helen of Sparta/Troy and, well I'm not named after her but I am interested in the legend*. There aren't as many stories about the Trojan War as there are about other parts of Greek mythology and Helen is always portrayed as either "madonna or whore," and innocent woman who is kidnapped and may-or-may-not have Stockholm Syndrome or someone who willingly deserted her husband and died for it. I was really hoping that these two books would do something different, originally I was going to review them separately but decided that it actually made more sense to talk about it in one review rather than rehash a lot of the same points two times. So there will be some spoilers but not anymore than you'd get if you looked at the summary for the second book before you read the first!

Nobody's Princess & Nobody's Prize by Esther Friesner

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Comic Review: Battling Boy

Another comic I would have read earlier if my library had let me, although this time it's my own fault since I simply forgot to check earlier to see if they had it, still haven't figured out how my city library buys their comics yet (especially since they have volumes 3-5 of Gundam: The Origin but not one or two, I'm really confused by this one!). I'm also confused how it seemed like I was seeing reviews for the next book, The Rise of Aurora West back at the end of July when it's not even out yet, wonder how soon my library can get that one..... 

Battling Boy by Paul Pope

Monday, September 8, 2014

Anime Review: Ashita no Nadja

Over on Star-Crossed Anime Blog, Psgels (I believe this is where I first heard about the series) dubbed this one of the "50 episode Shojo Series of Awesome" and while awesome may be a bit of a strong word I will back him up and say that this is a really great show. I'm more familiar with the shojo demographic of manga than I am with shonen/senien/josei and for me this series was a fun throwback that felt like a mixture of 80s/90s adventure shojo and a number of turn of the century books for girls that I read when I was about ten (The Secret Garden, Heidi, Betsy, Tacy and Tibb, Anna of Green Gables). Those two kinds of stories might not sound that similar at first but they really are, they're almost slice of life stories focusing on the main character as she grows up and her relationships with her friends, her crushes, and the world in general (and the western novels often focus on the girls for years and years which is something you don't really see replicated in any kind of YA fiction these days). And that description fits Nadja to a T, the story starts out with a very small goal but gradually grows in scope until it becomes not quite a coming of age story (merely because Nadja is only 12) but something rather close.

Ashita no Nadja

Friday, September 5, 2014

Book Review: Give Up the Ghost

This book is one of many that has been on my to-read list for years and yet my local libraries never had a copy of it, someday I will figure out why sometimes a library has a book I want and sometimes none of them do but clearly that day has not yet come, thank goodness I keep moving to new areas I suppose!

Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Movie Review: Guardians of the Glaxay

When I saw the trailer for this film before Captain America 2: The Winter Solider all I could think was Thank God for Marvel and how they've convinced the movie-going public to give sci-fi films another chance and I don't think I'm going to stop being thankful for this for a while (and it's also proving just how loose the definition of superhero really is which is also a good thing in my opinion). I knew absolutely nothing about this franchise going in except what I saw in those trailers but it looked like it was going to be a fun, spaghetti-space-western romp and that sounded like a pretty great summer movie to me!

Guardians of the Galaxy

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Anime Review: Knights of Sidonia

And so it's time for my first Summer 2014 anime review although I feel like I'm a bit behind the curve since nearly everyone else already has their review of this show up! Which probably made a few people double-take and look at the calendar, Knights of Sidonia is a unique show since instead of being licensed by a traditional licensor it was actually picked up by Netflix who, instead of releasing it as a simulcast in the spring, released the entire show subbed and dubbed back in July which certainly got the attention of more mainstream nerd sites. And it sounds like the show has done well thus far, I had been worried when I heard that Netflix was using this show to test their new idea since I didn't think it would be a hit but it seems like if you put anything on Netflix then tons of people will watch it anyway (plus, given it's status on the "Recently Popular" when I was watching it, that sounds like people are watching it because they like it, not just the first episode out of curiosity and then not following it up).

Knights of Sidonia