||The Wacky World of
Anime Article by Ben Huber
Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta is one of the most wild and pretty shows of the past few years, featuring an eclectic cast of characters and some fantastical fight scenes. The original (and still ongoing!) manga was created by Suzuhito Yasuda, who's a big name in his own right, but you may also recognize for his Durarara!! and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor character designs. The anime has had two iterations, but the latest one has an abundance of sakuga: when the animated suddenly bumps up in quality, resulting in fantastically well-animated scenes. Want to see? Read More...
Anime Review by Ben Huber
By now, chances are high that the wildly popular Kantai Collection has sailed into your pop culture cross-hairs. KanColle (as it's commonly known) might seem a tad unusual at first, even to otaku: the free-to-play web game features a wide collection of cute girls who're all anthropomorphized Japanese warships from World War II, such as the destroyer Fubuki, the aircraft carrier Akagi, and of course, the iconic battleship Yamato. Just imagine all of these hulking metal boats as cute girls, and you've started to understand the basic premise of KanColle. Let's check in on the latest anime adaption of the game!
The game proper focuses on building a powerful squadron of "fleet girls" and then sending them on various missions. KanColle has gotten so popular that it's gotten a manga, light novels, an upcoming PlayStation Vita game, a tabletop RPG, an arcade trading card game, and countless other iterations. So how does the anime version of KanColle compare?
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Anime Film Review by Ben Huber
It's been a while since Isao Takahata last made a film: in fact, My Neighbors the Yamadas came out in 1999. In 2008 it was announced that the famed Ghibli director would create another film, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, and fans began the long wait till it was finished. There were bumps and delays along the way (Kaguya was originally intended to be released as a double-feature with Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises, but was pushed back). Now, Takahata's tour de force has been finished... does it live up to the hype? Kaguya opens with an elderly man trekking through a thicket of bamboo, harvesting early in the morning. Takahata's film, as you may have guessed, is based upon the Japanese folktale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, and the man finds a young, tiny girl inside a glowing bamboo shoot. Taking her home to his wife, the two raise the girl as their own, and watch her grow at an accelerated rate as she encounters the world at large. Read More...
One Piece: An Animated Guide
Anime Article by Michael Pinto
I'm always suprised when I come across an anime fan who hasn't seen One Piece, although on some level I can understand why: With over 600 episodes chances are pretty high that you'll never get to watch the entire series. But I think if you can move beyond being a completist there's a real magic to the creations of Eiichiro Oda which are worth seeing. And one of the things I admire about this show (and the manga) are the unique qualities of a wide range of characters. So here is a quick guide via animated gifs to the Straw Hat Pirates. Read More...
Vintage Horror Manga:
From the Creepy to the Corny
Manga Article by Michael Pinto
One of my favorite Twitter accounts belongs to HORRORmanga_bot which is the creation of @kan_ei_sen. His posts feature a stream of amazing vintage horror manga covers which cover roughly from right after World War II until the 70s. And what I love about the covers is that you get to see a wide range of manga genres represented from children's comics to some what adult works and from shonen to shojo. Shown below are about 70 covers that grabbed by eye, however they represent a fraction of what HORRORmanga_bot posts which also include interior pages as well. Read More...
Gourmet Girl Graffiti
Anime First Impressions by Michael Pinto
Did you love Iron Chef back in the day? And are you really really into Japanese cuisine? Then this is your show! Gourmet Girl Graffiti is the tale of two junior high students and food. And as you may have guessed from the title, the food is pretty much the most important character in the show. In fact each episode has a tempting title like “Crispy, Dripping” or “Fluffy, Sizzling” which describes the various dishes featured in that episode. And of course each episode features several dishes, with no repeats on the menu. In fact half the fun of this show is running to wikipedia after you’re done watching to look up every dish featured in the show.
And so next you may ask, who is the gourmet girl in Gourmet Girl Graffiti? That would be young Ryō Machiko who lives on her own in Tokyo because her parents work overseas, although don’t worry too much as she does have a workaholic aunt who looks in on her from time to time. Read More...
Why My Ordinary Life is an Extraordinary Comedy
Anime Article by Ben Huber
Don't be ordinary! One of KyoAni's best shows in recent memory was their slice of life and comedy show titled My Ordinary Life (Nichijou). It follow three students, Yuko, Mio, and Mai as they go about their absurd daily life, along with Nano (a robot) and the Professor (an 8-year-old genius). Oh, and their cat, Sakamoto-san. It's part gag show, part slice-of-life, and 100% silly. Here's a few reasons why My Ordinary Life is anything but. Read More...
The Rolling Girls
Anime First Impressions by Ben Huber
What does an anime studio do when you have a bunch of money from a successful licensed anime? They go and make an original series! Rolling Girls is a brand new anime from Wit Studio, the folks behind everyone's favorite, Attack on Titan. Is Rolling Girls actually bankrolled by the muscular behemoth anime? We don't know, but we'd love to think so, because Rolling Girls is a animated, cacophanous joy to watch.
Japan is in chaos. Set 10 years after a war that split up the country into the 10 original prefectures, we're thrown head-first into absolute zaniness. Each city-state battles against the other, represented by mercenaries and vigilantes from the war with special abilities. These unique individuals are called "Bests" and everyone else? Well, would it surprise you that they're often called the "Rest?" Yup, Rolling Girls is pretty on-the-nose. Read More...
Why The Castle of Cagliostro
is a Classic
Anime Article by Ben Huber
Recently, the legendary Hayao Miyazaki accepted an honorary Oscar at the Governor's Awards for his incredible body of work. Introducing him was John Lasseter, the head of Pixar and close friend of Miyazaki. Lasseter's done a lot of work bringing Studio Ghilbi's films to America, but he never got to bring over his favorite pre-Ghibli work by Miyazaki: Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro. In his presentation, he spoke of how he thinks it's one of the best films ever made. Here's a few reasons why he's right! Read More...