[Review] Hakumei and Mikochi – Episode 1

Hakumei and Mikochi, with its watercolor-inspired art, intelligent but not anthropomorphized animals, and chill forest vibe, reminds me of nothing so much as a children’s book. Specifically, the English children’s books my grandmother had from her own childhood in the countryside outside London. I cut my teeth on the books of Beatrix Potter and The Borrowers series, and this lovely little premiere does a remarkable job of capturing the feel of them.

[Review] School Babysitters – Episode 1

Childcare is a big deal for me. Nothing grates on me more than poorly written fictional children, who tend to be either overly precocious and precious or totally helpless. There’s also few things that bring me greater joy in fiction than well-written children, because it’s so hard to capture that mix of sweetness, natural self-centeredness, and unpredictability that characterizes the age. I approached School Babysitters with some trepidation—could it nail the chaos of a daycare?

The answer, it turns out, is a resounding YES.

[Review] IDOLiSH7 – Episode 1

Well, this sure is a boy idol show.

Okay, sorry, that’s not fair. It’s not IDOLiSH7’s (boy that’s going to be annoying to type) fault that boy idol shows have become the new big thing these days. Still, the genre has quickly gotten overcrowded, and it’s going to be an uphill battle for any new one to distinguish itself.

The thing is? I think IDOLiSH7 has a chance.

[Interview] Arina Tanemura, shoujo manga artist

Since her debut over 20 years ago with I.O.N., Arina Tanemura’s name has been synonymous with shojo manga. Her work, published primarily in Ribon magazine, is known for its elaborate linework and use of magical girls and idol singers. Her stories often touch on more mature themes such as mortality and trauma, while still remaining appealing and accessible to younger audiences. Two of these series, Phantom Thief Jeanne and Full Moon O Sagashite, have been adapted into anime.

[Review] BLEND-S – episode 1

Maika Sakuranomiya is a regular high school student who dreams of studying abroad, though she has one problem. Despite being a naturally sweet and friendly girl, she tends to look scary and imposing whenever she smiles. Having failed to find a job anywhere else, Maika eventually finds work at Café Stile, where the employees all play specific character types when they interact with the customers, such as the playful little sister or the tsundere. Despite her misgivings, our heroine must adopt the dominant and aggressive role of a sadist. Together with the rest of Café Stile’s wacky crew, Maika will work to make new friends and fulfill her dream!

[Review] Dies Irae – episode 0

In 1939 Germany, General Reinhard Heydrich takes one Karl Krafft on as his follower, since he’s a supposed sorcerer who can see the future. Through Krafft’s guidance and a series of encounters with a trio of women who call themselves Valkyries, an odd couple made up of a torture-happy beauty and her priestly companion, and another pair of superpowered oddballs on a rampage, Reinhard is gradually encouraged to throw off his self-imposed limitations and take the world by storm for his own ends.

[Feature] Reimi is Unbreakable: Female empowerment in Diamond is Unbreakable

SPOILERS: major spoilers for Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki is not exactly a conventional shonen manga. The series, which turns 30 this year, tells the multi-generational epic of the Joestar family and the strange – one might even say bizarre – supernatural forces that touch their lives. The first three arcs featured heroes clashing over the fate of humanity in exotic locales such as Egypt and Peru. The fourth arc, Diamond is Unbreakable, breaks from that tone with a suburban horror tale featuring Josuke Higashikata, the product of Joseph Joestar’s extramarital affair, in the sleepy seaside suburb Morioh.