Archive | Reviews

25 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Parasyte -the maxim-

parasyteThough I have a lot of affection for Parasyte, my experience is colored by having been a huge fan of the manga for years. I recognize that adaptations need to make changes and that doesn’t bother me. There are some things that I think were improved by having done so, but at the same time, there are others that absolutely did not bother me in the manga that just felt flat when translated into the animated medium.

Parasyte is the story of Shinichi Izumi, a high school senior who is the victim of a failed attempt by a parasyte organism to take over his brain. Instead of burrowing into his brain, the parasyte landed in his hand and matured partially up his arm. The result is that he and Migi, the parasyte, are two sentient beings that share one body, with Migi controlling Shinichi’s right hand and arm while he is awake.

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18 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Death Parade

deathparadeThe concept of Death Parade is nothing new. Stories of people being judged after death goes back to the earliest religions. But what makes it special is watching the various souls who pass through for judgment and how the judgment process itself is potentially unfair.

Death Parade has some manic customers, but the series itself is understated, letting peoples’ lives, and deaths, unfold for the audience at the same time as it does for the mysterious woman who is Decim’s assistant; Decim being the arbiter who decides the fate of the people being judged.

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11 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Magic Kaito 1412

magickaitoMagic Kaito 1412 is a largely episodic series centered around the adventures of Kaito Kuroba, a high school junior who moonlights as a gentleman thief to thwart the people responsible for the death of his father, the original Kid the Phantom Thief.

The source manga was started in the 1980s and only went three volumes before Gosho Aoyama launched the much more successful Detective Conan (known in the US as Case Closed), and despite efforts to modernize the setting, there are still plot sensibilities that feel much more at home in the 80s than modern day, such how easily and quickly Kaito becomes the new Kid the Phantom Thief. In a play on words, Kaito the protagonist’s name and “kaitou” the word for “phantom thief” are pronounced almost the same. It’s that kind of show.

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06 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Aldnoah.Zero

aldnoah.zeroAldnoah.Zero got off to a spectacular start, being the only show of 2014 that left me completely mindblown by the end of the first episode, and for its first half it was my favorite thing that year. But it takes an unexpected direction after the halfway point and I don’t think it was for the better.

In an alternate present day, Mars has been colonized thanks to the 1972 discovery of a warp gate on the moon by the Apollo 17 mission. But Mars was still an inhospitable world and one of its early settlers discovered the remnants of an alien technology called Aldnoah. Aldnoah bound itself to his genetic material so that no one other than him and his descendants could activate it and he declared himself emperor of the new Vers Empire on Mars. Those who served him became known as knights.

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27 April 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Spring 2015 Anime First Impressions

Spring 2015 Anime First Impressions

blood blockade battlefrontSpring looks to be a slower season than the packed viewing schedule I held in winter. It helps that this time Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works is the only returning series that I was already watching and it won’t have to fight much for my viewing time. Last winter’s Fafner: Exodus will not air its second cour until later in the year.

Depending on how things shake out in spring, it’s possible I’ll go back and finish one or two of the shows I left behind in winter, but right now I’m just looking for two more series to watch alongside Fate/stay night.

Here are my thoughts on the first episodes of some of the new spring shows.

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15 April 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Movie Review: Lupin the 3rd vs Detective Conan: The Movie

Anime Movie Review: Lupin the 3rd vs Detective Conan: The Movie

Lupin vs ConanI was very surprised to see the Lupin the 3rd vs Detective Conan: The Movie go up on Hulu since it had been a couple years since the movie came out and the release in February was done with little to no fanfare. There is no English language DVD or Blu-ray release and it was not put out by the US licensees of Lupin III or Detective Conan (Case Closed in the US). Instead, the original Japanese production company was the one who posted it to Hulu.

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30 March 2015 ~ 1 Comment

My Nebula Ballot 2015

The Nebula awards are nominated and voted by members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. I have been a member of SFWA in the past, but have chosen not to maintain my membership dues so I am not currently a member. So I can’t actually vote. But I do still follow the Nebula awards, and so I thought it worth posting my ballot as if I had the right to vote. The Nebula ballot has only 5 categories, four of them for lengths of written fiction and one for the Ray Bradbury Award for film. Unlike the Hugos, its voting system only allows you to vote for one thing, rather than rank-ordering all of them and doing instant runoff votes like the Hugos, so I will structure my post accordingly. You can find the full list of nominees here.

Because I don’t tend to read many novellas, because the Nebula voting period is so short, and because I was spent some of the Nebula voting period reading books for short-term review deadlines, I didn’t read any of the novella nominees this year.

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27 March 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Ray Bradbury Award Nominees 2015

The Ray Bradbury Award is not a Nebula, but nominations and voting and announcement are all tied up with the Nebula Awards, so its easy to bundle it in. The Ray Bradbury award is for science fiction and fantasy movies and is voted on by the members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. There is often some overlap with the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form but because of the difference in the voting groups this one seems to veer a bit more toward movies that are heavy on craft while the Hugo tends to lean toward fun popcorn movies.
I tried to watch all the movies before the Nebula voting deadline on end of day March 31st, but I acquire them by renting from Redbox and the release date on Redbox for one of the nominees (Interstellar) isn’t until March 31st. So that’s not enough time in my schedule to rent the movie and watch it. I’ll watch that movie later and give it a separate review.

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23 March 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Nebula Novelette Review 2015

The Nebulas are voted for by the members of SFWA, the Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America, based on all the published stories from 2014. The Novelette category covers stories between 7500 and 17500 words.

I have only had time to read three of the six stories before the SFWA voting deadline. It’s Ferrett Steinmetz’s fault, really. His first novel FLEX released the first week of March and my reading time was all occupied with reading his book.

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20 March 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Nebula Short Story Review 2015

The full Nebula nominee list is here. The Nebulas are nominated and voted every year by members of SFWA, a professional organization for science fiction and fantasy. The short story category covers stories of 7500 words or less.

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