Anime & Manga RSS



The Best Love Live! Anime So Far?!: Love Live! Superstar!!

Once again, it’s time to write about one of my favorite subjects: Love Live!  The summer 2021 anime season brings with it the fourth generation, Love Live! Superstar!!, and from the first few episodes I find it to be the most exciting series so far. The Superstar Difference Love Live! has a lot going for it in general: entertaining music, charismatic idol girls, and a generally positive energy. The fundamental premise of school idols—high school girls who are both idols and school mascots—is fun and just a bit fantastical. When adapted into anime, their stories are streamlined into an easier-to-digest format that I appreciate. But as good as previous iterations have been (and Hanayo will forever be my #1), Love...

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Cinematic Success or Film Flop? Demon Slayer: Mugen Train

  Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- the Movie: Mugen Train has come out in theaters and on streaming platforms. Impressive in many ways, it notably overcomes the challenges that come with not just being the first film of one of the hottest anime franchises of the past five years, but also daring to be canon. WARNING: MOVIE SPOILERS BELOW! The Story Demon Slayer: Mugen Train follows the continuing journey of Tanjiro Kamado, a kind-yet-strong boy who becomes a Demon Slayer to avenge his family and restore his demon-turned sister back to her human self. Along with his allies, he boards a train in order to assist one of the Corps’ strongest members, the flame-wielding “Hashira” Kyojuro Rengoku, on a mission...

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Pui Pui Molcar: Cute, Surprising, and Creative

Now Streaming on Netflix: The New Fave Among Anime Fans?   天才科学者に改造されてしまったモルカー pic.twitter.com/6WVQWBB503 — 漫画家 大竹利朋/献身レシピ/がのラブ8月連載開始 (@ootaketoshitomo) January 20, 2021    In early 2021, I began seeing something from Japanese artists that grabbed my attention. For reasons unknown to me, they were all drawing little furry rodents that resembled cars. At first, I thought it was just another Twitter trend that caught on, but I eventually discovered the origin: a popular new anime that was capturing thehearts and minds of viewers. That title is Pui Pui Molcar, an unusual but endearing stop-motion animation style, tons of pop culture references, and an amazing sense of humor. What the Heck Is a Molcar? Despite what it might sound like, a molcar is...

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Burning Kabaddi Early Impressions: Breathless and Wild

  When it comes to anime and manga, there are titles that one inevitably forgets and ones that always linger in the back of one’s mind. The latter often leave that lasting impact because they look a little different or just don’t fit easily into the boxes assumed to house them. Back in 2016, I reviewed for this blog a Japanese manga app called MangaOne, and among the works I sampled was one such attention-grabbing sports series called Shakunetsu Kabaddi, or Burning Kabaddi. Now, almost five years later, it’s getting an anime TV series. Seeing it show up on the season schedule was certainly a surprise, but I welcomed the chance to see it in action on the screen. Discovering...

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Tropical Rouge! Precure Early Thoughts

Tropical Rouge! Precure (also known as Tropical Rouge! Pretty Cure) is the latest entry in the popular Pretty Cure magical girl franchise, and while every season brings something to the table, few have been planned during a pandemic that has changed the world itself. With its tropical summer theme and its hyper-cheerful heroine, I believe that one of the goals of the series is to bring some joy and positivity in the face of COVID-19. Positive Entertainment in the Face of Crisis The best children’s entertainment tries to respond to the needs of its young viewers. Ten years ago, a different tragedy struck Japan: the 3.11 Fukushima triple disaster. Back then, the next Pretty Cure to debut after that horrific event was...

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Three Winter 2021 Anime Sequels That Are the Spice of Life

The Winter 2021 anime season is in full swing, and with it comes new shows, as well as continuations. While it would make sense for me to prioritize first impressions about anime that are debuting, I find this particular batch of sequels to be interesting because of the wide range of approaches they encompass. Attack on Titan: The Final Season The first anime to stand out in this respect is Attack on Titan: The Final Season. The fact that one of the biggest titles in recent memory is heading towards a conclusion is noteworthy enough, but one wrinkle about this particular season is that it’s being animated by a completely different studio, MAPPA. This usually means that there will be...

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Love Live!, Nijigasaki’s Setsuna Yuki, and the President Archetype

As a media franchise meant to both attract new fans and bring back old ones, there are certain traits that recur throughout Love Live! One such example is the “student council president as idol.” There was Eli Ayase in the original Love Live!, followed by Dia Kurosawa in Love Live! Sunshine!! Now, the new Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club features Setsuna Yuki.  But while all three share similarities, it’s Setsuna’s particular brand of perfectionism that sets her apart from the others. Three Presidents, Three Forms of Perfectionism Eli, Dia, and Setsuna are all portrayed as having very high standards for themselves and others, but in each case they come from a different place. Eli’s initial conflict with the...

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Love Live! Nijigasaki's Yu Takasaki Is the Perfect Audience Character

A new Love Live! anime is out this season, and it has a lot of firsts for the franchise. Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club emphasizes the importance of individual differences over previous series’ focus on teamwork and unity. It’s helmed by a different character designer, trading the familiar “glossy” designs of series past for ones that feel a little more “matte.” And with a plot derived from a mobile game, this new show features an audience stand-in—the blank-slate player character adapted for a different medium. To my pleasant surprise, the transformation of this character has been quite successful, and the girl we now know as “Yu Takasaki” strikes the right balance for her role.  From Player Avatar to...

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