Friday, December 30, 2016

12 Days of Anime: The 2016 "Almosts"

As I finally make up my top 2016 lists (I mean, it wouldn't be fair to do it before all of the shows finished airing this week!) there are also titles that I immediately know aren't top-of material and yet, I'm still fond of them in some ways.

We had shows that set out with grand plans to tell big stories and yet, just faltered in the end and stumbled over characterization as well. Kiznaiver did a lot of the first and some of the second while Concrete Revolutio did an equal amount of both (I find that I like ConRevo's first cour better than it's second and largely because of how hard it dropped the ball on Kikko and Emi).

Then we have the shows that had some pacing issues. Snow White with the Red Hair/Akagami no Shirayuki-hime suffered from being centered around a weaker arc and My Hero Academia really needed two cours from the start since the pacing moved at a snail's pace some weeks. I suppose Erased/Boku Daki ga Inai Machi also falls under this category, as Bobduh put it "it was two-thirds of a show that would easily make the top ten welded to one-third of a show I’d have dropped in ten minutes."

But I still have a fondness for a lot of these shows, they aren't surefire buys for me but they're likely buys. And, if a show didn't make either this list or tomorrow's list then I'll probably never remember to buy it!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

12 Days of Anime: Why Fairy Tales Keep Getting Stranger

I'm a fan of fairy tales, not the overly-tired retellings that pass for fairy tales in YA but actual stories about the strange and the prices it exacts upon it's characters. I have lots of opinions on fairy tales in general but the most pertinent one to this posting is that people simply aren't really making them, I can go an entire year and find only one or two amongst ALL of the media I consume.

I suppose people aren't doing it because it's hard. Fairy tales are full of weird turns and odd twists of logic which is something I'd generally only use to describe the worst books I read these days. I started thinking about all of this when I heard that Edgar Allen Poe wrote what's basically a 1001 Nights fanfic (called The 1002nd Night I believe) where Scheherazade spends her 1002nd night telling her husband strange tales of the modern day, so strange that he executes her for it!

I believe that this would be called "the opposite of a fix-fic".

But following the notion that fairy tales should be strange and unknowable to at least a degree, then yes Flip Flappers is absolutely a fairy tale. I was hesitant to call it one at first (wondering if I was overly influenced by it's cute ending sequence with fairy tale images) but the shifting conflict and worlds of the final few episodes convinced me that, while there's really no other story to compare it to in this regard, Flip Flappers is a strange fairy tale of courage, determination, and love. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

12 Days of Anime: When Strength Is Many Things

Editorial note: These thoughts were inspired by the first three episodes of Izetta the Last Witch but do not necessarily reflect the entire show given that I wasn't interested enough to finish it. 

A few years ago now there was quite a bit of discussion about "strong female characters" and what this entailed. People still talk about the idea now of course but there was some intense discourse as people debated, does this mean physically strong? Like a male character? What does "like a male character" even MEAN anyway? There has been some general agreements since then; "Strong Female Character" (when used in a positive, non-ironic sense, it can totally be used in a negative, ironic sense as well) means a capable female character who can have any number of traits.

But I would like to add an addendum onto this idea: you can only have a truly "strong female character" if they are also written in a setting that will recognize their strengths.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

12 Days of Anime: Changing Thoughts on Adaptations

Hi y'all, sorry that these posts have gotten away from me so badly. As usual I've been busier than I'd like in the rest of my life and it's taken a toll on my blogging time. Honestly it's taken a toll on everything this year, especially my manga-reading and anime-watching free time. I've gotten pickier than ever about what I spend my time watching and reading and it's really made me reconsider how I feel about adaptations of works, both those that I've already seen and those I haven't.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

12 Days of Anime: Family Friendly Anime from 2016

When I was convincing a friend to watch Yuri on Ice she asked if it was safe for work and I said "yeah it's fine! .....wait SHIT NO, HOT SPRINGS". My friend did watch the show but prudently decided to not try and watch it during work because here in America we still have an awful lot of nudity taboos. And that's one of the hardest things about recommending anime to very casual watchers, there are so many little moments like that (and in YoI those hot spring moments are pretty small) that by now I don't bat an eye at (well, our nudity taboos are a bit, puritanical I'll say) but it's totally something you have to think about when recommending!

So dear readers let me help you out: a few different shows from this past year that you could possibly reach a broader audience with, although slightly different audiences each time.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

12 Days of Anime: ....watching shows for the cute outfits

Dangit idol shows.

While I can usually keep myself from watching a show just because it has cute outfits that doesn't mean I won't try out a few episodes juuuuust in case. Which is why I tried out the main Idolm@ster series this year but, there just wasn't a lot of actual idoling going on in it! A friend of mine, who knew exactly what I meant, suggested that I try Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls but I've only had time to watch one episode so I don't even know how I feel about that series or not yet!

At least I kept myself from watching Love Live Sunshine, watching the sequel to a series I didn't like (and never saw the second season) just because of some cute characters would be silly right?

Monday, December 19, 2016

12 Days of Anime: The Shojo Hero Takeshi Natsume

Wohoops, totally forgot to link this one! I published one of my 12 Days of Anime posts over on The OASG, The Shojo Hero Takeshi Natsume where I talk about Natsume from Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume and the Book of Friends) and how he really is a shojo lead. Not a transplanted shounen lead, not a shojo "romantic lead" guy but just, a shojo lead!

12 Days of Anime: Not watching shows just for the cute outfits

As I think a lot of readers here know, I cosplay! I've been into sewing for a really long time so it's no wonder that I'd be attracted to some section of costuming or another, and since I never seem to have the energy to think up my own designs, cosplaying already created designs is a good set-up for me. But, while I might be picky about what I actually make (you have to have a certain love for a design, character, and series to spend THAT much time recreating it), my love of interesting designs has lead me to make some, uh, bad viewing choices.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

12 Days of Anime: Battle of the Space Operas

Okay, so to recap once again, I've been watching more Gundam this year. And, if one, massively long-running franchise wasn't enough to keep me occupied (well two, I am still futilely attempting to catch up with Precure) then Amazon suggested I start another this past summer. Since it had been a few years since my last free Prime trial Amazon offered me another one and I thought "great, I can get free shipping on cosplay things, some audible credits, and check out SDF Macross!" which was streaming for free on Prime. I actually  got into anime right around when Macross Frontier was coming out but much like Gundam I was never quite sure which series I should even try out and the series has resisted legal streaming attempts even more than Gundam has (due to possibly the worst licensing contract ever that someone REALLY needs to challenge in court someday).

Unfortunately I wasn't able to finish SDF Macross before my subscription expired but I got quite far and I did enjoy it! I can tell that the series is riffing off of some other stories that I'm not familiar with (possibly Yamamoto, dangit another long space opera franchise that's hard to get!) but it's quite a bit sillier than "war is hell" Gundam and it's other major differences (spending arguably more time in space, aliens, wait yes I know that sounds familiar too) made it a fun change of pace. I'm still not sure if I want to watch every single iteration of Macross but, much like Gundam and Precure, I'm now expecting to embark on a multi-year journey to watch at least a good chunk of it!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Intro to the 2016 12 Days of Anime/How To Run Away In A Mecha Series

As I said in my post the other day, it's time for the 12 Days of Aniblogging again and I am jumping into the fray once more this year! (and we're already a day behind because of a minor migraine, maaaaaan) In also following a past tradition, the idea is that you blog about things you saw this year with the implication, but not rule, that they should be from the current year as well. But I am going to toss this suggestion out the window and talk about two shows that are most definitely not from this past year and one is actually older than me!

Monday, December 12, 2016

A short return

Hey y'all.

Well this is damned frustrating, I realized in advance that it'd be hard for me to make many posts in November (two trips and studying for a big test) but then not only did my work hit the holiday rush craziness two weeks early (which just leaves me exhausted once I'm home) but Trump won the election and frankly my anxiety and depression have been through the roof ever since. 

So it's just been hard to organize my thoughts and do anything, even beyond writing reviews it's just been tough to focus. But here's my plan for the rest of the year: 12 Days of Anime starts up in a few days and I'll be posting here and at least one post over on The OASG as well. Because dammit y'all, I started working on these ideas in JULY, I gotta do this. After Christmas I'm not sure, I mean the plan is still "get back to blogging"  but little fuzzy on the details right now because I'm that exhausted all the time.

In the meantime, while I have plenty of books on my to-review list I've actually also read quite a few lately where I don't have enough thoughts on them to review but I still wanted to talk about anyway. Like The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L'Engle where for me the greatest problem was that it's a bit of a conspiracy story but centered around a 16-ish year old boy who just acts completely opposite of how I would (surprisingly enough the story has aged well which surprised me given that it's a story about science and at least fifty years old!). Not a bad book but one I just don't have a lot to say about, unlike Neil Gaiman's Ocean At The Edge of the Lane which I feel like I lot to say about but I'd rather do that as a group discussion since I'm sure there were nuances and allusions in the story that I missed and I don't want to review a story if I actively know that I missed some parts of it. Speaking of more fairytale-esque works, I read Briar Rose by Jane Yolen in a day and, while this was good, I think it needs to be my last read on Nazis/the Holocaust in a while, it's just really distressing in an unproductive way for me and I honestly probably would have put it down earlier if, uh, it hadn't been the only book I brought with me to the emergency room.

 Other works have been more banal, like a series I won copies of from Tor, Between Two Worlds by Emma Newman which was frankly just a slog to get through the first book and then it didn't even have the decency of having a real ending and nope, not even a cliffhanger will make me continue with what felt like another tired mash-up of Victorian ideas and magic. I've also been trying a lot of more literary fiction lately, like Life After Life, Swamplandia, and Tell the Wolves I'm Home and by and large they just aren't sticking. Really, literary fiction is weird, it wants to be all ~realistic~ with ~deeper meanings~ but then has really weird set-ups to achieve that second part which kinda defeats the first part....

I am hanging in there, I'm also rather pissy that I never seem to have the time and energy to return to blogging. But since I don't know when the day will be that I have more time and energy I don't want to stop in the meantime because I'm afraid that day may be years off. I'm working on it though, I'd like to get there soon. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Book Review: The Raven King

Whenever I review a story which is a later installment in a series I always wonder how to approach it. Part of it is that I truly don't know who my audience is, are you readers folks who haven't tried the series at all? Planning on getting to this installment but haven't yet? Folks who've read the story and are looking for discussion? I honestly have no idea! So I think I'm just going to write about what I liked in this book and the series as a whole since yes, of course I liked it if I read the first three books before it and kept going. I've also been fairly vocal in my praise for this particular series so consider this an endorsement for it as well. It's been years since my review of The Raven Boys, I don't particularly want to go back looking for that review, but Brit Mandelo on Tor has written up a nice series of essays about each of the books (some spoilers, especially the later books in the series) so I would go check out their take on The Raven Boys to see if it's your kind of "teenagers go on a literal and metaphorical journey" type of tale. 

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Monday, October 31, 2016

TV Series Review: Thunderbolt Fantasy

Given all the jokes that this show, a Taiwanese puppet drama written by Gen Urobuchi that feels like a wuxia-style DnD campaign, was "anime of the season" I have elected to drop this review into my anime review slot of the week instead of the tv series/movie one, although I will note that it is 100% non-animated. That's the short sell for the series by the way,  "the writer of Madoka Magica does a fantasy that feels like a Chinese-inspired Dungeons and Dragons campaign, except that it's all told through Taiwanese puppetry action with details on the same level as The Dark Crystal." 

One technical note, I watched a Crunchyroll which used the Japanese dub for the series but left all of the names in Chinese in the subtitles (which made me glad that everyone had distinct designs at least since the names rarely even sound similar). I am going to follow that and continue using the Chinese names, hopefully it'll still be clear who I'm referring to!

Thunderbolt Fantasy

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fall 2016 Anime Round-UP

After a bit of a quiet year from me it's here:

too many shows for me possibly watch at once.

As has become the norm for me, I didn't have any carry-over shows from the summer unless you included Kuromukuro (which I guess you could count since Netflix released the second half right in the middle of the season preview week). I'm cutting out summaries this time for brevity and also assuming that by this point in the season that everyone has already heard the basic gist of all of the interesting shows (but if I somehow covered one that was new to you I will be happy to elaborate on the plot more in the comments).

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Movie Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I've never liked Star Wars. I say this because Star Wars should totally be my jam; it has the kind of expansive yet detailed setting I adore and its basic story, of watching an empire bursting with corruption fall and then the eventual fight against what has replaced it, is the kind of ambitious idea that I like! But at its heart, the earlier Star Wars films are horribly simple plot-wise and the newer ones needed a lot of editing (I've never dabbled in the extended universe but a lot of what I've heard about it does sound interesting).

So I wasn't interested in this new film, clearly this wasn't for me! But it wasn't until after the film was leaving theaters that I started hearing that actually, this was a really solid story and could appeal to the few folks like me who didn't already love Star Wars. So, it was time to wait until the library got it's DVDs and then see if I should start paying attention to Star Wars

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (episode 7)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Round-UP: September so far edition

Wowza, this has been a few weeks of stress, procrastination, and yet another cold. I would say that hopefully this week is going to go better but not only do I still have a cold and there's one other problem, I've run out of anime.

In the past few weeks I've covered my last few spring shows, the possibly queer-baiting Tanaka-kun is Always Listless and the Ghibli-esque Flying Witch, and I talked about the first The Ancient Magus Bride OVA on The OASG, and there's always a race at the end of an anime for me to finish up a backlogged series to fill in the gap, but right now there are several long running shows I'm almost done with but not quite. So, hopefully I'll be able to finish one up in the next week but I'm not entirely sure (plus, I ended up falling behind on all of my summer shows, it's part of a bigger thing about my changing feelings on adaptations that I'm going to devote an entire post in 12 Days of Anime in December). 

I've actually kept up pretty well with my blogging over on The OASG actually. In addition to my traditional book review of the space-opera Aurora over here, I've covered the first volume of Yozakura Quartet (since I loved the more recent anime adaptation), the first two volumes of Horimiya (which might be my favorite on-going romance), and the first three volumes of the Log Horizon spin off The West Wind Brigade.

In addition, I am now officially one of the co-hosts on It's Not My Fault the OASGcast Isn't Popular! since Muse had to step down due to real life duties. I can feel people side-eyeing me right now going "Helen, but you barely have time to review, is this a good idea?" and I do think this is going to work. The recording time is in that weird timeslot where I'm nearly always home anyway, and since I don't edit the podcast it's only a one hour investment from me every two weeks, even a regular review takes me closer to two hours to do (honestly they used to be quicker for me to write but shifting jobs took away some of my mental "pre-writing" time so I have do to more at once). So, gonna try my best to find interesting topics to talk about and make it popular!

Oh finally, I did actually do a write-up on SPX 2016 that I went to a couple of weeks back, con was perfectly fine (aside from being crowded as all hell as usual), but ran into a migraine which meant I couldn't do anything else that day, which is a real problem when you're trying to catch up with blogging....

Monday, September 5, 2016

Book Review: Aurora

I haven't had much luck over the years with young adult science fiction in general so the obvious solution to this is to try more adult sci-fi titles. I still haven't read that many, I keep meaning to fix it but my to-read list is to long that it'll take a while for that to take effect, but with my new goal of staying more caught up with current titles I'm hoping that sci-fi won't be such a rare occurrence here!

Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

Monday, August 29, 2016

Anime Review: Tanaka-kun is Always Listless

Before the spring season, Tanaka-kun was a maybe on my list, then it went off my list, and then it went back on my list after I saw people still talking about it a few episodes in. The three episode rule is a great guideline guys, if you still see other people talking about a show after three episodes then by golly, then you gotta check it out at that point!

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless (Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Weekly Round-UP: Everything post Otakon edition

Hey y'all, time to get back into this regular blogging schedule I suppose. Folks who actually read the book reviews might notice that there wasn't one this week which is for two, related reasons. One was that I was tired and the related, second reason was, the book I scheduled to review was House of Shattered Wings which wasn't bad, I didn't dislike it as I was reading it, but now later on I realize that it didn't resonate with me that much, especially upon learning there will be a sequel and I'm just not sure how it could keep the same setting and characters for a sequel.

So, I skipped it, better for everyone than for me to lower your opinions of me with a half assed review.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Movie Review: Mobile Suit Gundam Movie Trilogy

I hadn't seen any movies at the JICC in a while but they decided to finish off the summer with a kicker by airing the three compilation movies of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series over the course of three weeks and, well, free movies! I also didn't realize until the night before the first movie that each movie was nearly two and a half hours long, and I also had to miss the third movie since it fell on the weekend of Otakon (which I was sorry about since it was preceded by a presentation from a JAXA worker about if Gundam is our future which sounds exactly like my kind of nerdy). However, the GundamInfo youtube channel, the same place that streamed Gundam Build Fighters, is also streaming the movies for a short while so I was able to finish up the series anyway. Despite their length, watching the final movie at home was much more comfortable, there was still something great about sitting in a small theater with a bunch of other people and having the lights go out to show sweeping scenes of space and sacrifice on the big screen.

Mobile Suit Gundam Movie Trilogy

Monday, August 22, 2016

Anime Review: Kiznaiver

My original plan was to talk about both this show and Little Witch Academia 2 back to back since it's really interesting to look at a story that has all of the typical Trigger hallmarks and one that doesn't, even though they're both original stories! That didn't quite work out, and I'm not going to compare the two of them since they're more dissimilar than alike, but I still find it interesting that Trigger tries every year or so to make a more typical anime series and yet never quite hits that mark.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Book Review: Mechanica

Time to end the week on a, hmm, weak note? Well that's not normally how I try to do things but that's how it is sometimes!

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

Friday, August 19, 2016

Manga Review: Magi (volumes 13 - 17)

Well I guess this is the once-yearly Magi post, based on when I last posted. Since I'm trying to review Magi by arc now I should note that this isn't the end of an arc, going by summaries for future volumes and accounting for my library taking a little bit of time to acquire the volumes, I worked out that if I waited until this arc was over that I wouldn't review this batch of volumes until January 2017. So, plan B, I kept looking through the summaries and this appears to be the calm before the storm of the climax of the arc and therefore the next best stopping place to talk about what is going on (I also might've forgotten to review volumes 11 and 12 in the past???). So, let's get to it!

Magi by Shinobu Ohtaka (volumes 13-17)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Anime Review: ReLIFE

Hey y'all! Still a bit wiped from Otakon so here's what I'm going to do: as the resident ReLIFE expert on TheOASG I blitzed through the show in July and posted a review of the entire series which I'm going to repost here today. Next week we will be back to wrapping up the spring shows but in the meantime enjoy this semi-new post!


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Making this quick: Otakon

My life has been crazy with Otakon prep so I am so so sorry for no posts, I have a few half written but kept running out of energy to finish them.

HOWEVER, if you want a fully finished "blog post" from me and happen to be at Otakon, my panel IT CAME FROM TOEI is Saturday at 5:45, it should be a good one!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Movie Review: Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade

Wow sorry folks, a perfect storm of other obligations and impossible to predict events that dominated my time (who would've expected the post office to lose/steal THREE of my packages in one month?!). Which is almost fitting since I also got around to watching this special a year after it came out, I'm sure someone announced when it went up on Netflix and I just missed it. I also didn't see it earlier since I didn't back the kickstarter, I could see it was going to be funded just fine and I was still a cash-strapped college student at that point (which seems weird to write since I graduated a couple of years ago now!). 

Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade

Monday, July 25, 2016

Anime Review: My Hero Academia

Back when the spring anime season was getting underway, I talked on the OASG podcast about how I still wasn't sure what shows I would end up liking but I was sure Concrete Revolutio and Flying Witch would be among them. I was right but imagine my surprise when I also really ended up liking the "populist" hits My Hero Academia and Kiznaiver! My tastes usually don't like up that way but this time they did and I hope that Funimation found a whole slew of fans for MHA since I can't remember the last time I saw this much pre-airing hype for a new anime (as in, Funimation was even making dubbed character spots to advertise for the show even before the first episode, that takes money!). I have seen a lot of buzz for it online and I have to say folks, I've considered getting a Weekly Shounen Jump subscription before but held back (not enough series I like/the series I like are monthly) but if I can figure out a way to catch up with this series (ie, library please hurry up with my holds!) this might be the manga that makes me do it.

My Hero Academia

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Multiweek Round-UP: July 4th - 24th + Robin Ha's Cook Korean book launch

I can't explain why sometimes posts don't happen, usually I fall behind early on in the week and then things pile up and sometimes I don't even fall behind for a good reason, it's just "the world is too overwhelming". Totally not just a blog thing either, my Otakon to-sew list hasn't changed much since early June, I think I need to come up with some new coping mechanisms.

But I have gotten some posts out recently, I actually even did get one out this week over at OASG where I talked about the first volume of the cosplaying manga Complex Age. I'd heard good things about the manga, saw it at Fantom Comics when I was there a few weeks ago for Robin Ha's book launch (I'll talk about that at the end!) and I practically bought it on the spot (I didn't, and spent the entire time in line for the signing thinking about it and went back for it at the very end, certain folks know that they are to blame). I also published a review on the first volume of Wandering Island and I don't think this was up in time for my last round-up but I also published my first editorial, The Social Life of Jellyfish: How to be Stylish and Nerdy. I've never really considered editorials since I don't have enough to publish on a regular basis (and if the fact that being behind on one post for the week throws me off majorly doesn't tip you off that I like having a schedule, well then) but OASG is a pretty good place for it since Justin seems to have plans to try and make me write more of them. We'll see which other ideas flesh out well enough though.....

As for here, well there's been a lot of anime-manga stuff reviewed as well. I talk about seeing When Marnie Was There, the summer season of anime, the new Voltron show (which all of my friends and I agree totally counts as a fujoshi show, very anime, although I feel like true fujoshi anime have way less vitrolic shipping wars than this show does), and the honestly-not-anime-inspired-but-putting-it-here-anyway, Cleopatra in Space's first two volumes (a reboot of the webcomic I know I reviewed before, Cleopatra in Spaaaace). 

Oh and I also reviewed two disappointing romances in a row, Inherit the Stars and The Game of Love and Death. Since romances usually bore me (in multiple ways, I just don't get anything out of a romance-first book) I do try to stay away from them but I didn't realize it when I was requesting these books, although I really should have for the book that has "love" in the title (didn't even mention in my review but that book even included one of my very specific, disliked tropes where Helen of Troy is mentioned only with regardless to her "epic, failed romance", should have been another sign that this wasn't going to be the book for me).

Okay, onto the book signing! 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Book Review: The Game of Love and Death

Well, I'm honestly not sure why this book was on my to-read list. Clearly I put it on since I heard good recommendations about it but honestly Helen, this is obviously going be a romance and those aren't your thing! I tried to trust my past self and hope that whatever they had read about the book was amazing but, there were a few problems here.

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Comic Review: Cleopatra in Space (volumes one and two)

It's a little surprising I haven't blogged about this series before, I read the original webcomic Celopatra in Spaaaace! (there's a review for it somewhere) but it totally slipped my mind to check and see if the local library had any of the graphic novels for it. The third volume was recently released but my library did not in fact have it yet so I'm only covering the first two volumes here!

Cleopatra in Space by Mike Maihack

Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer 2016 Anime Round-UP

For what is I believe the third season in a row, I don't have any continuing shows (currently my plan is to catch up with PreCure in time for the 2017 series, ehehehe), but I have read the manga for quite a few of the shows here so very little of this season feels new to me. Honestly my favorite "new" show is Kuromukuro which just popped up on Netflix and that I've been watching in chunks. I'm not sure when I'll review it (since they only have half of the show up now and probably won't have the second half until it ends in September) but I do want to mention that yes I'm enjoying it really well so far both for the characters and the fight scenes are actually really cool since all of the different mechs have very different, fitting fighting methods. 

I usually also note what's missing from this list (not available legally etc) but honestly I don't think I skipped anything that I'll be trying out later. I haven't tried out Gen Urobuchi's puppet show, Thunder Fantasy, and everything I've seen about ReWrite is either a one star or five star review so I'm avoiding that title right now as well so honestly guys this may be it, another small season for me (but it's more spread out than spring at least, five shows in three days was way too much for me!). And it's been too many years since I read or watched any of D. Gray Man, I remember I read a tiny bit after the long hiatus and I think D. Gray Man Hallow picks up even after that, so unless I find the time to marathon a heck of a lot of episodes (looking at lists, out of the 103 original episodes only about 25 are filler) I'm not sure when I'll ever get to that show.

Oh, I do still want to watch Macross Delta, once I finish Kuromukuro and I'm back to having no mecha in my life it's going to be even harder to not give into fansubs for that one.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Book Review: Inherit the Stars

As I was writing this review I learned there is an older series that starts with the same title and nope, this is not a review of the Giant Series by James P Hogan. Totally different premise, still science fiction, but a young adult book instead of an adult novel. So, with that clarification out of the way, onto what felt like a rather short book!

Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood

Movie Review: When Marnie Was There

This is yet another film I was able to see thanks to the JICC and this showing was almost exactly one year after the theatrical run (the DVD came out in October) so I am now expecting a year wait between these showings. Which is fine by me, if I want to see one of GKIDS films in the interim there are certainly (legal) ways to do so, but the reviews for this Studio Ghibli film made me wonder if I wanted to pay full, big city ticket prices for it. I also had a friend warn me not to ship the two female leads together which was good advice. I mean, it's a mainstream film, of course it wasn't going to happen in the first place, but this would have been a rather awkward ship anyway so I'm glad I avoided that....

When Marnie Was There

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

TV Series Review: Voltron: Legendary Defender

As long time readers know, I like my giant robot shows and I haven't had any to watch the past spring season. Sure Kumukuro is airing, but since Netflix licensed the show I couldn't legally watch it week to week. Likewise, Macross Delta is airing this season but since the entire Macross franchise is tied up (I could've sworn I saw an excerpt from the contact on ANN and, as someone who has actually worked with licensing materials etc, holy cow what I thought I saw was baaaaaad) that's also off the table.

Enter the remake of a show I thought I was too young for (I have since been corrected, apparently the original Voltron reruns were showing in the US up to 1997 at least). Everyone else was hyped so I expected to try out an episode and go eh, not for me. Unfortunately if you put an entire season of a show in front of me at once I will binge (now that half of Kumukuro is out I've had to hold back from binging on that as well) and, whelp, I'm a fan now guys!

Voltron: Legendary Defender

Monday, July 4, 2016

Weekly Round-UP: June 27th - July 3rd

Well, let's see if I can get this and a review out in the same day, with today's rain keeping me from fireworks (boo) it might happen???

Since I updated so erratically last week I'd like to first point out that I get three reviews out and they were all of things I liked! I talked about the ambitious second half of Concrete Revolutio: Superhuman Phantasmagoria: The Last Song (and avoided accidentally titling it "the last son"), I made my final pleas for people to check out Satoshi Mizukami's (he of Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer fame) latest work Spirit Circle,  and hopefully explained why Rachel Hartman's Shadow Scale feel a bit short of it's predecessor, Seraphina, but was still an excellent work.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Book Review: Shadow Scale

Eeek, between the last week and family visiting I seem to have fallen behind again. BUT I'm getting this post out before tomorrow's is supposed to be up so there's still hope! So sit tight, I'll be getting back on track shortly, and in the meantime you should really read about these dragons.

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Manga Review: Spirit Circle

This review is a bit later than I hoped, both in the context of this week and in general since Crunchyroll was a bit slow getting the final chapter up. I'm not sure why, they were fairly up to date with the rest of the chapters, but I have noticed that there are some, less popular CR series that don't update quite as regularly as others (by that I mean, not consistently same day, two days later etc than the Japanese magazine release). I don't think that contributed to the manga's relative unpopularity however, I have just had the hardest time convincing people to try this series so, once more with feeling! This is one of my favorite series from the last few years and dammit if it's never gonna get a physical release you should at least read this digital release since who knows how long CR will hold this release.

Spirit Circle by Satoshi Mizukami

Monday, June 27, 2016

Anime Review: Concrete Revolutio: Superhuman Phantasmagoria: The Last Song

I don't believe it, I somehow managed to hold out all the way until the spring season batch of shows without running out of things to blog! I'm pretty thrilled by this turn of events, although I didn't watch many spring shows so I'm going to actually run out of things to blog pretty soon. 

Hmm, well for the moment, as per-usual my first review of the season is my favorite show/the one that really needs as many views as it can get (places like Funimation have said that the views that count towards determining if a show is going to get a physical release or not are all of the views while the show was airing+one week, although I've missed that window). I talked about the first half of Concrete Revolutio earlier in the year so I suppose this is my last shot to convince folks that yes, this is yet another superhero anime worth watching.

Concrete Revolutio: Superhuman Phantasmagoria: The Last Song

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A bit of a round-up

So I kept thinking "I'll do my next round-up once I've done a full week mostly on time so all of my posts get a fair amount of time on the main page" but clearly this hasn't happened in a while. My health has been up and down the past few weeks (well, more than it has been usually during 2016, I want a redo) but I think it's on the up so I should be able to focus enough to churn out some reviews that I've really wanted to get to!

Since I haven't done a round-up since, uh, May it looks like, now seems like a really good time to recap what I have managed to put out. Starting with The OASG, I've done Instant Analysis posts on Itihasa, How to keep a mummy, and Arte (not in the review, someone suggested this to me later, but this manga might be loosely inspired by real world, amazing artist Artemisia Gentileschi), and I did a joint review with Justin on the first Baccano! light novel (and kept him from totally trashing it which was his first plan! >:D).

Continuing with comics, I got around to talking about The Nameless City (how could I not after I went to the launch event?) and two anime that are not based on any manga, Active Raid and Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans. I also talked about the excellent, unique sci-fi work Our Lady of the Ice and the possibly also unique but far less excellent Manners & Mutiny which finishes up Gail Carriger's The Finishing School series. Finally, to make sure that this blog keeps things silly, I also talked about finishing my very first visual novel (an important step in every anime fan's life), the western-made Hustle Cat where yes folks, I dated all of the cats.

This time next week the anime world will be knee-deep in the new summer anime but I'm going to take that time to talk about how the spring anime season wrapped up. I'm almost done, I just have one more episode of Flying Witch left, but I feel like this round-up has gone on long enough already, gotta save up my energy for tomorrow's review of Concrete Revolutio!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Book Review: Manners & Mutiny

Lord this blogging schedule is so off now, but I really want to power through and talk about some books that I read recently that I adored without falling farther and farther behind. So let me get back on track with a steampunk novel (is it just me or does it seem like steampunk has faded with as a fad? Genuine questions!) that I sadly did not adore.

Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger

Visual Novel Review: Hustle Cat

Every now and then, I actually play video games! Even more rarely, I complete them! I usually just don't have the time or the operating system but I've happily noticed that more and more US-produced visual novels do tend to be Mac compatible (since like heck I'm gonna figure out how to dual-boot my computer for just that). So I was already interested when I saw a kickstarter for a cute dating game at a cat cafe and jokingly told my friends I was going to date all the cats. And then the kickstarter revealed that your coworkers ARE the cats and I wondered if I should regret my words.

Hustle Cat (created by Date Nighto)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Anime Review: Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans

Normally I order these reviews from my most-favorite anime of a season to least so I should put up a little note that says: this was not my least favorite show of the season! I just go so slammed by con work back in February that I was barely keeping up with anything and even since then I've been non-stop busy and seeing folks make, disapproving noises at the last half of the show wasn't the kind of motivation I needed to finish the show. The fact that it's already dubbed and airing on Toonami in the US is however so let's get onto this very late post.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Book Review: Our Lady of the Ice

Well this review is far later than I wanted it to be, both in terms of this blog's supposed update schedule and in general, I think when I read this book it was still cold outside! But hopefully this is a book that I'll be recommending to people for years to come, no matter the season.

Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Comic Review: The Nameless City (book one)

So I've already talked about seeing Faith Erin Hicks talk at the book launch so let's not rehash that and just dive straight into a pretty anticipated work.

The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks, colors by Jordie Bellaire

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Anime Review: Active Raid

I've noticed an odd trend in my anime reviews lately, namely that the series with the best first episode premiere of the season usually isn't anywhere near my favorite show of the season. I don't know why this is, you would think that a strong first episode would mean a strong show in general and I just wouldn't use that generic word "strong" for this show.

Active Raid

Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Semi-Round-Up

So, haven't been a lot of posts lately huh? I actually have quite a few half finished reviews in drafts but nothing has been polished nearly enough to be publishable (and by that I mean, coherent). It's a bit awkward to say but basically I've been adjusting to some new meds (probably not the ones you're thinking of) so I've had a hard time focusing and might be in for another month and a half of this! Since I do have a con this upcoming weekend (and have gotten so far behind in my sewing projects I haven't started that cosplay at all, oops) I think it's reasonable for me to take this entire week off and try to finish up some of those drafts. 

I will try to post more of my old OASG reviews and I have gotten a few reviews up there in the past few weeks, like volumes 3 & 4 of the Log Horizon light novels and the first volume of A Centaur's Life (plus I filled in again on the podcast, I could've sworn that my mic wasn't as crappy as it sounds but there you have it). I really am trying to get back on schedule here but it's hard, especially for things that are really outside my control like Crunchyroll being two months+ late on the last chapter of Spirit Circle which is keeping me from finishing that review (looked at the scans and I really want an official translation for some bits, ugh). I swear, I keep adding that review onto my schedule and then have to keep putting it off and it's making me a little grouhcy....

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Manga Review: Millennium Snow

Title: Millennium Snow
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Hakusensha (JP), Viz Manga (US)
Story/Artist: Bisco Hatori
Serialized in: Lala in 2001, Lala DX in 2013
Original Release Date: June 3, 2014
Review copy provided by Viz Media
Review originally posted on The Organization of Anti-Social Geniuses 

Bisco Hatori’s name may not be well-known in the west but her most famous work, Ouran High School Host Club, still finds new readers and viewers every year who enjoy the comedy mixed with bits of romance. Millennium Snow both predates the series and was finished after it. Hatori took a break from it to work on Ouran and it shows: the story doesn’t feel disjointed but the first two volumes have a very different tone and goal than the latter two do.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Spring 2016 Mid-Season Anime Round-UP

While I may have been behind on nearly every post in the past fortnight (um, extenuating circumstances?) this one actually isn't! I know that most folks put these mid-season reviews out last week but I wanted to make sure that every show I was watching had a full seven episodes out so here I am and here's what's made it along with me!