Anime & Manga — review RSS



The Genuine Greatness of Bojji: Ranking of Kings and How People Perceive Disabilities

  Ranking of Kings is a popular anime, and for good reason. The story is gripping and unpredictable, and the characters are full of depth and personality—most notably in its protagonist, Prince Bojji. While recent shounen anime are full of excellent heroes like Deku (My Hero Academia) and Tanjiro (Demon Slayer), this series is also the rare case of an action-oriented series where a main character with disabilities is portrayed not as inspiration porn or as having some superpower resulting from his circumstances. Ranking of Kings impresses me because it neither ignores his disabilities nor makes them Bojji’s only defining qualities. A Note Before I go into any details, I want to make it clear that I myself do not...

Continue reading



Delicious Party Precure Early Thoughts: The Paths to Self-Love Through Food

  The main gimmick of Delicious Party Precure is right in the name: the joy of food. Heroines and their mascots are designed based on rice, bread, and noodles. Villains rob the flavor from dishes by stealing away the spirits that give dishes their brilliance. But more than just an aesthetic flourish, I think this focus on encouraging viewers to eat well might actually be reflective of a more general goal of teaching love and acceptance of both self and others through its positive portrayals of eating and its nonstandard depictions of gender.  Eat Well for Your Own Sake This is not the first time a Precure has put the spotlight on culinary traditions, but with older titles like Kira...

Continue reading



Lupin the Third’s Loving Farewell to Its Last Original Voice Actor, Kiyoshi Kobayashi

The Lupin the Third franchise is as much defined by its ensemble cast as it is Lupin himself. The sixth television series kicks off with a spotlight on Lupin’s oldest companion, the unparalleled marksman Daisuke Jigen, but it’s no ordinary character-centric episode. Instead, it comes on the heels of the announcement that Jigen’s voice actor, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, is finally hanging up his hat and holstering his magnum at the age of 88, after 50 years playing Jigen. The story told is a loving tribute to Kobayashi-as-Jigen and Jigen-as-Kobayashi.  “I’m Getting Too Old For This” “Episode 0”, as it’s called, revolves around Jigen contemplating finally retiring from a life of constant heists. He laments the changing times, especially the way technology...

Continue reading



Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul—On the Heels of Greatness

Whenever I think of great anime adaptations of mobile games, the first that comes to mind is 2014’s Rage of Bahamut: Genesis. Its world, characters, and story are remarkably entertaining and compelling. Despite my love for the series, though, I was originally unable to watch its 2017 sequel—or rather, I was unwilling to put up with the double paywall of Amazon’s now-defunct Anime Strike. But circumstances have changed, and now I’m here to lay down my thoughts on Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul. Premise Virgin Soul takes place ten years after the events of Genesis, and stars a girl named Nina Drango. Hailing from a remote dragon village, her half-dragon lineage confers upon her superhuman strength—but also the side effect...

Continue reading



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...

Continue reading



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...

Continue reading



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...

Continue reading



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...

Continue reading