Sunday, October 25, 2015

Weekly Round-UP: October 18th-25th

So, deadlines, weddings, and headaches, one of any of those is bad enough for my schedule but all three? Oy vey, and a con this upcoming weekend so I'm trying to sew like mad and don't have enough time as it is. This week's reviews are a little different anyway so look for hopefully an anime review on Monday, another Wednesday, and then I'm going to talk about both the book and the movie The Martian on Friday and see how that combined format goes.

But in the meantime, I did write about Ms Marvel volumes 2 and 3 and My Wife is Wagatsuma-san for comics and Finnikin of the Rock for books without pictures. I didn't put out an APR this week since I didn't see everything in time but Noragami Aragoto was killer, I've dropped Comet Lucifer unless it gets REALLY good, The Perfect Insider has the best OP ever and it seems like both Garo and ConRevo are slowly getting better (I've already seen this week's ConRevo and that was actually a good episode, wohoo!). I also did more manga shopping this week and used Barnes and Nobles buy 3 get the 4th free manga sale (plus my membership) to get The Ancient Magus' Bride volume 1, AssClass vol 2, Drug and Drop 1, and No. 6 vol 1 for $30 together which is pretty good!

Book Review: Finnikin of the Rock

So I had actually read part of this book before several years ago and returned it to the library since it just wasn't grabbing me. When I checked it back out I thought the cover and the premise sounded a bit familiar but, since I obviously never finished it, I couldn't remember enough details either way. And by the time I started reading it (while trapped in a three hour line for a last day museum exhibit) it was too late to grab something else and I ended up reading the whole thing anyway.

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Comic Review: Ms Marvel (volumes 2 and 3)

So this week's anime review is Gatchaman Crowds Insight which is a complicated thing to talk about so I'm taking my time and will get it up later in the week, that's why that one is late. Honestly even if I tried to rush it I don't know if I could get a coherent post out earlier because that show just requires a lot of thought, not impulsive button-pushing.

And this review is also later than I'd like, not only because my review backlog is large but because I didn't realize my library was getting new books in this series until I saw volume 3 appear on the shelves and then started looking for volume two. Wohoops, at least I know now that I should start looking for volume four soon!

Ms. Marvel volumes 2 and 3 written by G. Willon Wilson and illustrated by Jacob Wyatt, Adrian Alphona, Takeshi Miyazawa, and Elmo Bondoc


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Weekly Round-UP: October 12th-17th

Whelp, between deadlines and a wedding this week I'm not sleeping, probably. Reviews are coming but expect delays etc etc, I would like to be out of deadline season soon please.

Looking back on this past week, I put out my big Fall 2015 Anime Round-UP with just about everything I'm watching, I caved and started watching Seraph of the End today for my b-tier fantasy fix. No clue how I'll keep it in my schedule with Too Many Shows to watch anyway but I do like having choices for when I'm in the mood to watch this. And then I talked about MORE anime as I broke down K: Missing Kings and hopefully convinced all of the K watchers to see the movie before the second season, and maybe even contextualized why I like such a weird show (weird as in "this isn't exactly good so why am I enjoying it?"). And then I talked about EVEN MORE anime, kinda as I talked about the first Log Horizon novel. And then I talked about a totally different medium, manga, as I reviewed the first volume of Fuuka for OASG (with excellent timing since Kodansha USA just said they were going to put it out as an ebook). 

To continue with this week's theme, I actually picked up volume 8 of No. 6 from a bookstore while I was out. I haven't started collecting this manga yet but I know that when I do I want one of the original print run with the colored pages in it so I might as well. Plus, I didn't really like the ending to the No. 6 anime but I know the manga follows the original light novels (which also had a crazy ending but a thematically coherent crazy ending) so this seemed like the better way to support the series. 

Finally, now that I have memberships to all of the places that show anime I finally feel like participating in the Anime Power Rankings again! So for this week I went with:

1. Noragami ep 3
2. Gundam ep 2
3. Haikyuu ep 3
4. Perfect Insider ep 2
5. K ep 3

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Book Review: Log Horizon volume 1

As I alluded to in my Tokyo Demons 2 review, I was reading a real light novel recently! I really enjoyed the Log Horizon series while they were airing so, since I've already poked into the side material some, it was natural that I'd pick up the light novels and see how everything played out originally.

Log Horizon by Mamare Touno, illustrated by Kazuhiro Hara, translated by Taylor Engel

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Movie Review: K: Missing Kings

As I mentioned in my Fall 2015 Anime Round-UP, K is back after a two year break! But in those years this movie came out and the second series is a direct sequel to this movie, which was a direct sequel to the first series. Basically, you need to watch the movie first and, for American viewers, it just went up on hulu a few weeks ago for those of us who missed it in theaters. Do to the fact that you are only going to be watching this movie if you're already a fan of the show I am going to put some spoilers in the review! I imagine most people reading this review will either be seeing if my views matched up with theirs for the movie or if they can possibly read the review to skip watching the movie immediately, newcomers this is not the place to start!

But for those newcomers, since my review of the first season is a little old by now let me do a general recap of the entire show up to this point and hopefully sell you on "the most anime to ever anime". In a slightly alternate world, a discovery in Germany back in World War II has enabled some people to gain powers through a mysterious slate and others through pledging themselves to a "king". There are always seven kings in Tokyo (where the Dresden Slate was moved to) and hapless high school student Shiro is accused of not only being the new Colorless King but also of killing a beloved clans-member from another clan who is now out for his blood. He doesn't have any memory of this but everyone else has video so he's on the run with a sometimes-cat-sometimes-girl "strain" (people who have powers without a king, can be animals, there is honestly a pegasus in one of the spin-offs) and a man from yet another clan. Kuroh had orders to kill the next Colorless King if he was evil but has been won over by Shiro through sheer force of charisma than anything else. Look it's a rather ridiculous set-up but trust me, this trio somehow works and this is one of the rare times where I care only about the these characters and barely about the (more popular) side characters. It's a pretty silly story and a go-to example for "style over substance", especially with it's over-use of colored filters making every scene look even more rainbow-y than an instagram at a pride parade, but the show is also sneakily good at foreshadowing and more subtile hints too. Shiro's situation is eventually explained and it was a funny payoff since I had seen people speculating about it for weeks at that point and while their proof was winning me over I couldn't quite believe until that moment that the show had some idea of what it was doing.

This is also a multi-media project so in these intervening years there has been a beaucoup of manga, light novels, and drama cd spin-offs as well. There aren't necessary to enjoy the show but I have looked into a lot of them so I will reference them in these reviews since that's where you get a lot of the world-building details from and again, some surprising foreshadowing. And so, with all of that said, onto the movie!

K: Missing Kings

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fall 2015 Anime Round-UP

Things are finally looking up guys! It’s true that all of the shows I was most excited for this season were sequels and, for the third season in a row I had no carry over shows, but I actually had more shows than I knew what to do with when it came to trying them out! It’s true that there have been a lot of really fantastic shows in this year, working out my top whatever list for the end of the year will actually be hard for once, but for me everything has been either great or terrible, there haven’t been as many middle-of-the-road, nice shows that I usually count on to fill up my time. You know, the shows where you think about them a few years later and go “oh yeah that was good, I should rewatch it someday”.

Although that might’ve been the best for me now with how crazy my schedule has gotten, oh well. In any case, here’s what I’ve been checking out over the past week:

Monday, October 12, 2015

(Two) Weekly Round-UP: September 27th - October 11th

Deadlines suck guys and I have a lot at work between now and, hmm, I should figure that out. So today's normal post, my fall anime round-up, is going up tomorrow but I honestly half expected that anyway given the sheer number of premieres, there's finally a lot of stuff I'm interested in!

But to backtrack for a moment at first, in this past week I tackle the decidedly not-new Precure series Happiness Charge Pretty Cure, which was loads of fun, as well as the almost-new, second volume in the Tokyo Demons series. For newer stuff, I highlighted some of my favorite tales in Erstwhile to get people interested in the series before it's final kickstarter and we tried something new on OASG! We're tinkering with a new column idea of looking at a long running series and why it's worth getting into now (since I have had this thought way too many times) and so I started us off with Magi which I only started earlier this year but I'm now current with the US release and really can't wait for more. At this point it's tempting to go ahead and watch the anime but since I've heard less than spectacular things about it I think I'll hold off for the moment (especially since again, holy cow there are so many shows to try out this season!).

Also in a final, non-review related note, oh my god Akatsuki no Yona got licensed! Like, the 19+ volume shoujo manga! I think it's a sign that the US manga market is doing better again if more publishers are starting to pick up longer series again, I feel like we're seeing Kodansha get more longer, girl's titles as well, even if they're putting them out in omnibus to help mitigate the costs. Do wish they had announced it at Otakon because 1) Slightly less long wait time (next August seems forever away) and 2) hearing me shriek would've been pretty funny to everyone else in the room, holding that in on a public bus was not easy....

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Book Review: Tokyo Demons volume 2

"Alright Helen, what's your excuse for not having this review up on time?" Well, it was one I was having some trouble with this review which is never a good sign. Plus, I'm trying to cut back on caffeine but had a soda at work Friday and spent literally nine hours trying not to bounce off of the goddamn walls, made focusing on writing a little hard! And with the fall anime round-up coming up on Monday it's been a little chaotic around here.....

Tokyo Demons: Add A Little Chaos by Lianne Sentar, illustrated by Rem

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Webcomic Review: Erstwhile

I may be a week off from my usual schedule now but I still wanted to take the time and highlight the just-ended Erstwhile before it holds the kickstarter for it's third and final volume next month. I have the first volume from the very first kickstarter and I'm still deciding if I want to pledge for another volume or not (it's a matter of "will I reread this?") but don't think that means I didn't like this anthology, on the contrary this is the most consistently well-drawn and well-told anthology I've ever come across.

Esrtwhile by Gina Biggs, Louisa Roy, and Elle Skinner

Monday, October 5, 2015

Anime Review: Happiness Charge Precure

"Didn't you say you were trying to be more on time last week?" FIFTEEN HOUR WORK DAYS MAN and this is why I keep planning on building up my buffer of reviews and it doesn't happen. But this show is already a year old so a few days don't matter as much, I already have to explain to people why I'm watching last year's iteration of Pretty Cure instead of this year's Go Princess (which is apparently quite good!). So here it is: two years ago I watched Heartcatch Precure and loved it so I tried out the new series that year, Doki Doki Precure as well as the original. I plan to go back to the original someday but it starts slowly and all of the official streams are pretty low quality, Doki Doki just ended up being really nuts so I gave up on it after a bit. So then I returned last year to HaCha and while I liked it I just fell behind with everything else I was watching.

And so, after I finished Wish Upon the Pleiades it seemed like a good time to go, finish HaCha and see if I could maybe, maybe catch up with GoPri before the end of it's run next January.

Happiness Charge Pretty Cure