Friday, February 27, 2015

Audio Book Review: A Love for the Pages

To continue with my full disclosure policy on this blog, a friend of mine was the narrator for this audio book and gave me a review copy on audible in exchange for a review. I plan on making a full page for how to contact me for review requests (especially with all of the webcomic requests I'm getting these days from people who have clearly never looked at this blog before in their lives....) but I am open to stuff like this. On that note, I am going to refrain from really talking about my friend's voice since I'm sure if she wants any personal critique she will ask, I'll just say that I like the sound of her voice and didn't find it grating which is one very important thing when you're about to listen to them for six hours!

A Love for the Pages by Joy Penny

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Manga Review: Magi (volumes one through five)

In case anyone has looked at their title and then double-checked their calendar, yes this week should technically be a Webcomic Wednesday. However, in March all of my Wednesdays will be Webcomic Wednesday and that means if I don't review Magi now I won't get to it until April, nearly four months after I read it. So fret not, webcomics are coming next week and I would now like to talk about a series which was hot stuff in Japan for a while (and may still be) but never quite caught on in the US the way some other shonen series have.

Magi by Shinobu Ohtaka

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review: The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim

Well folks, as I mentioned yesterday, despite my best efforts I have still been unable to remember/find out the name of one of the side characters in this story and I feel very silly about it. If by any chance I ever do find this name again (I believe there is a sequel in the works to this story and I imagine she would pop up again) I will change the name but for the moment; Owen and Siobhan have a classmate who is a girl, if you read the book you'll be able to tell who it is immediately and I will explain in short order why she is a great character.

The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E.K. Johnston

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Happenings in the past week

Hey y'all, I've decided to make this a weekly feature after all to show off all of the reviews I've done and address anything weird.

Like this week's book review, I was all set do it when I realized I forgot the name of one of the side characters, could not find it in any reviews, tried to get Amazon to send me a sample of the book so I could try and find it there, and then discovered this weird kindle bug that I need to trouble shoot with them. Worst comes to worst I will get that review up tomorrow and just have to omit the character's name, apologizes for the strangeness but this was going to be a major section of the review an obviously I didn't foresee this problem at all!

For anime, last week I checked in with the new, winter 2015 anime (and Shirobako) and talked about what still has my attention and what doesn't. I am enjoying more shows this season than I expected but by and large it's the continuing fall shows that I'm really looking forward to week to week. And since I'm still catching up from falling terribly behind during my Katsucrunch, no anime review this week which means there won't be any anime reviews until April since I kick off March of Manga/Webcomics/Middle Grade novels next week (obviously I'll provide more details then since I seem to do this differently every year). Currently I'm up-to-date (with the crunchyroll/Funimation one week delays) with Yurikuma Arashi, Yona of the Dawn, Gundam Build Fighters Try, Shirobako, Death Parade, and Log Horizon 2 which means that there are another six or shows I'm behind on, oy veh.

For my bi-weekly movie review, I took advantage of a JICC showing in DC and saw the live action adaptation of Thermae Romae and oh my god, that was hysterical. The over-the-top nature of Japanese live-action was a perfect match for the movie's very silly premise and I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a B-movie so much. And it reminded me that I should really put the anime into my Notable noitaminA panel, it would certainly fit well into the "so strange they defy categorization" section very nicely.

Finally, my weekly manga review over at Organization of Anti-Social Geniuses was of the Mamoru Oshii and Satoshi Kon collaborative work, Seraphim 266612226 Wings (I didn't mention it in the review but there is a meaning to the title! It's a reference to the number of angles that supposedly followed Lucifer when he fell, what precisely that means in the context of the story I only have the vaguest idea, partially informed by the fact that Oshii is a former Christian  who apparently had a less-than-happy break with the Church).

And that's it for last week, expect a manga review this week instead of a webcomic review (sine if I wait any longer to talk about Magi I risk forgetting what I wanted to say) but hopefully that will be the only strangeness!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Movie Review: Thermae Romae

As a heads up, since I am so busy catching up with all the anime I've fallen behind on there will NOT be a review next week. Since March kicks off my month of nothing but digital manga and webcomic reviews this means that there won't be any anime reviews until April (which should be when 99% of my shows end which means that it'll get a little crazy around here).

I seem to run into "help I have no more shows to review and no time!" around this time every year actually, usually I pull a short or two out fill the space and that's exactly what I did with the Thermae Romae anime last year (it's since been licensed by Discotek although I'm unsure if it's streaming). I enjoyed it more than I expected so when the JICC announced they were having a showing of the live action movie I couldn't resist. It was a comedy to start with and with how over-acted Japanese live action comedies tend to be I couldn't wait to see how it turned out.

Thermae Romae

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Winter Anime 2015 Mid-season thoughts

I would say it's time to resume your regularly scheduled blog posts but 1. Wednesday's review is going up on Thursday this week (since there's a movie that would be perfect for this blog that has a showing near me on Wednesday night) and 2, like in years past I'm going to make a greater attempt at talking about anime seasons not only at the beginning of the season but halfway through as well which is right about now. I'm trying to be more aggressive in cutting out shows that I don't like and one way I'm doing that is checking in with various other bloggers at the halfway point in the season to see what shows are still worth watching and I thought I would do that same here. Since I already talked about the fall shows several weeks back I won't bring them back up again but overall I am enjoying my continuing shows more than the new, winter shows and this season seems forgettable as a whole, such is often the case with the winter anime seasons.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A (couple of) Week(s) in Review

For those who missed it, I won't be posting any reviews this week here or on OASG because it is KatsuCRUNCH right now for me, but if you only follow me on here then fear not, I have things for you to read instead! I've been doing reviews on Organization of Anti-Social Geniuses since the new year and here's what I've covered over there:

I plan to start linking to these reviews every week but, since my reviews go up at odd times anyway, would anyone be interested if I did a weekly round-up of my reviews in case you missed them the first time around?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Book Review: Clariel

As a heads up, there will be no posts next week since Katuscon is next weekend and I am still swamped with things to do for it! And one of those things is to finishing putting together the panel I'm running, first ever panel and it's called "Notable noitaminA" and it will be 10 am Sunday morning. I'll do an overview of the types of shows in the time slot, how it's changed, and try to highlight some of the cooler shows that have come out it, hoping that some people turn out for it since that is certainly not an ideal time slot.

I was rather confused when I heard about this book a couple of years back, did the Abhorsen series (first book in 1995 and then the second and third in the early 2000s) really need another book to tell the story? I was interested in it, especially once I saw a dragon on the cover of the book, although now I'm wondering if the title was a misnomer (also, Amazon, you cannot have the fourth book in a trilogy, calling it that on the page just makes you look silly).

Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen by Garth Nix

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Manga Review: Gundam: The Origin (volumes one through six)

I remember when this title was announced by Vertical a few years ago (it was actually a license rescue from Viz from ages ago) and it was something that sounded cool and exciting but not only were the books completely out of my price range at nearly $30 a book, the print runs were going to be tiny, 2-5,000 books (I want to say closer to 2.5k than 5) so there was no chance I could ever own the series, even once I had a chance to save up some day in the future. Well, thankfully the series did much better than expected so the print runs are larger and it's gone to re-printings (especially since my paychecks still aren't big enough to cover these books!) and this past summer I found volumes 3-5 at my local library. I got a librarian to show me how to use the book request system to ask them to buy the first two volumes and they obliged and even tossed in volume 6 as well. While I was waiting for my holds I discovered that the website Comic-Walker was also posting the chapters, completely independent from Vertical so their translations may be different but it's still a chance for more people to check out this series since it really is one of the best manga series I read in 2014.

Gundam: The Origin (volumes one through six) by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko

Monday, February 2, 2015

Anime Review: Rage of Bahamut: Genesis

This is another title that wasn't on my to-watch list for the fall initially but good buzz, and some persistent friends, convinced me to try it out. Hmm, it seems as if I've been saying that about quite a few shows that aired this past fall....

Rage of Bahamut: Genesis