Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

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Manga of the Month: Honey So Sweet

February 4, 2016

Honey So Sweet (ハニー) by Amu Meguro

narutaki_icon_4040 Every now and then I just need a very simple, very sweet romance between two adorable kids. This time around kind-hearted Nao and delinquent-with-a-heart-of-gold Taiga fill that niche perfectly.

Nao sees a beat-up boy in the rain, she can’t bring herself to speak to him but she leaves him her umbrella and box of bandages. Unbeknownst to her, that boy turns out to be scary-faced Taiga who asks Nao out soon after they start high school. Nao ends up accepting out of fear, but soon realizes that Taiga is a good-hearted person and confesses that she just wants to be friends.

Nao’s honesty at the beginning of the series is really endearing and it creates a bond of trust between her and Taiga. Plus, the cards are on the proverbial table about their feelings. What starts off as kind of an oddball friendship becomes the cornerstone to their school life as they navigate fitting in and other high school experiences. They rely on each other when faced with the not-overly-dramatic obstacles in their paths.

Taiga’s nervousness around Nao is more than a little adorable. You’ll be hard-pressed not to be warmed by the way he sends her texts or how he reacts when she calls him for the first time. For Nao’s part, she is a very open and kind person but willing to stand-up for her friends. And of course we get the chance to watch her fall in love with Taiga.

An irresistibly super cute romance at its finest.

~ kate

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Cowboy Bebop Rewatch Podcast Session #25: The Real Folk Blues (Part 1)

February 3, 2016

cb_spike

As Cowboy Bebop has become this evergreen ambassador of anime, we decided to go back and re-watch the show now that is has gotten a beautiful Blu-ray box set. Every week we will share our memories and then re-evaluate these stories with 16 years of experience and distance. Which episodes are just as we remember, which have major flaws, and which have aged like a fine wine. At the same time, we will also look back on the music, cultural references, and holistic connections contained within each episode. Plus, we will judge if there in an appropriate amount of Ein.

Does Cowboy Bebop hold up as a classic or was its reputation all a dream? Let’s rewatch Cowboy Bebop together and find out!

Session #25

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The Anthem of the Heart: The Egg and I

February 1, 2016

hisui_icon_4040 I think I have officially proved that I am an anime fan. I could point to 8 and half years of running a blog, 6 years of podcasting, or dozen of panels run at conventions as some sort of poof of dedication to the hobby. I think they all pale in comparison to braving a blizzard that dumped over 2 feet of snow on NYC just to see The Anthem of the Heart. That alone should allow me pass by any gatekeepers without a second thought.

(Truth be told gatekeepers almost always have their opinion formed before they talk to you but I like to believe beautiful lies.)

I do mention that in advance that if you are a strong proponent of the theory of effort justification and its effect on a viewer’s experience that it might be a factor in this review. My journey was not flying to Japan to see a movie premiere but it was a fairly long hike over quite a bit of snow through a very stressed transit system. I don’t think it prejudiced it me in favor of the film but it was quite a trial to see the movie and an equal undertaking to get home. When you have to climb over walls of ice that are as tall as you are, dig out trapped taxis, and stand in subway stops with snowdrifts in them you are going place some weight to the work you placed into your odyssey. Keep that in mind as you read this.

A good question might be what sort of movie would motivate me to do my best Robert Edwin Peary impersonation? The Anthem of the Heart has a fairly strong pedigree. Much of the staff of the movie including Tatsuyuki Nagai, Jin Aketagawa, Masayoshi Tanaka, Kazuko Nakajima, and Mari Okada also worked on AnoHana. While hardly a perfect work (as evidenced by its vocal detractors) I thought that AnoHana was extremely entertaining and rather touching anime so I was looking forward to seeing what this team could do with the tighter storytelling space of a movie.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Cowboy Bebop Rewatch Podcast Session #24: Hard Luck Woman

January 27, 2016

cb_spike

As Cowboy Bebop has become this evergreen ambassador of anime, we decided to go back and re-watch the show now that is has gotten a beautiful Blu-ray box set. Every week we will share our memories and then re-evaluate these stories with 16 years of experience and distance. Which episodes are just as we remember, which have major flaws, and which have aged like a fine wine. At the same time, we will also look back on the music, cultural references, and holistic connections contained within each episode. Plus, we will judge if there in an appropriate amount of Ein.

Does Cowboy Bebop hold up as a classic or was its reputation all a dream? Let’s rewatch Cowboy Bebop together and find out!

Session #24

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