Archive | Reviews

28 March 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Ray Bradbury Award Review 2016

The Ray Bradbury Award is given out every year with the Nebula Awards but is not a Nebula Award in itself. Like the Nebula Awards, the final ballot and the eventual winner are decided by votes from members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (which despite the name has an international membership).

I like to use the award every year as a sampler of well-loved science fiction and fantasy movies from the previous year. I have been very happy with this tactic, and this year is no exception. I try to watch every movie on the ballot that I can find by rental (usually via RedBox, or occasionally from Comcast On Demand) and review them all within the voting period.

This year, on the ballot but not on this list is the episode of the TV show Jessica Jones titled “AKA Smile”. Since I haven’t seen any episode of the series, even if I could get a copy to watch I didn’t feel it would be fair to review a single episode of a show I’m not familiar with.

At the time I am writing this preliminary post, I haven’t yet rented The Martian, but I intend to.

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21 March 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: The Perfect Insider

the perfect insiderThe Perfect Insider is based on the Mephisto Award winning mystery novel Everything Becomes F: The Perfect Insider by Hiroshi Mori. Unlike most anime novel adaptations, which are based on light novels (Japan’s equivalent of YA), Everything Becomes F is geared towards adults, and it shows in the sensibilities of the characters, the subject matter handled, and the ages of everyone involved.

Professor Souhei Saikawa and his students visit a remote island as part of a university outing, but also because it’s part of a research facility housing the infamous genius, Dr. Shiki Magata. Fifteen years ago, when Magata was a child she killed her parents, but was found non compos mentis (not of sound mind).

Instead of a more conventional way of isolating her or integrating her back in society, it was decided to shut her away in this research facility where she could work to her heart’s content. The benefits of her genius could still be reaped and she would be unable to kill again. For her part, Magata insists that she never killed her own parents, but that the deed was done by a doll.

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14 March 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Winter 2016 Anime First Impressions

Winter 2016 Anime First Impressions

erasedThe winter season has arrived, and there are no holdovers from fall for me to watch, so my schedule is completely free! As usual, I’ll pick two or three series to watch, though a fourth might make its way in if it comes highly recommended.

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15 February 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Japanese Drama Review: Death Note

death note live actionDeath Note is the story about Light Yagami, who discovers a notebook (the titular Death Note) that allows him to kill anyone just by writing their name inside it. It originated as a popular manga series that has been translated thus far into an anime, a series of live-action movies, and even a stage musical.

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08 February 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: School-Live!

Anime Review: School-Live!

school-liveSchool-Live! really needed to be promoted more accurately to find its target audience, because based on the promotional art (bunch of cute school girls) and the title (very similar to Love Live!, which is about young girls becoming pop stars), I never would have guessed that this was about trying to survive several months into the zombie apocalypse!

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25 January 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace

ranpo kitan: game of laplaceRampo Kitan: Game of Laplace commemorates the 50th anniversary of the death of renowned Japanese mystery author Rampo Edogawa, and each episode is based on one of his works, updating the time period from the first half of the 20th century to modern day.

Because the original pieces are not necessarily related, this results in a particularly disjointed feeling when the third episode appears to be a simple stand alone after the two-part opener, and I wasn’t sure if the series had anything more ambitious than modernizing a collection of fiction. Fortunately, Rampo Kitan makes an effort from episode 4 on to tie everything together into a loose, but cohesive story arc.

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13 January 2016 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW (non-spoiler): Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I might write about the movie at a more spoilery level of detail at a later date, but for this review I’ll keep it as spoiler-free as possible, just the sort of information you’d hear in a synopsis before going. I finally saw Star Wars Episode VII yesterday. I didn’t feel like dealing with opening week crowds, but I was getting tired of trying to dodge spoilers on Twitter and Facebook.

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21 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Charlotte

charlotteCharlotte has been my must-see series this past summer. The title is deceptively plain to the English-speaking ear, but hides one of the most emotional series about people with special powers that I’ve ever seen.

Charlotte reunites the production team behind Angel Beats, specifically writer/composer Jun Maeda, character designer Na-Ga, and animation studio P.A. Works. If you like one, there’s a good chance you’ll like the other and Maeda’s unique stamp as a writer is all over both works.

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09 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Ancillary Mercy

Ancillary Mercy is the third and final book in Ann Leckie’s award-winning Imperial Radch series with previous installments Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword. If you are a newcomer to the series, these are books that I would recommend reading in order, otherwise there’s a lot of important events that aren’t going to make a lot of sense. You can read my review of Ancillary Justice here, and my review of Ancillary Sword here. There’s no way to discuss this book without spoiling major elements of the previous books, so I’m not going to try.

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23 November 2015 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: THE FLUX by Ferrett Steinmetz

THE FLUX takes place a couple years after the FLEX, and mostly centers around the same three characters. The magic (or ‘mancy) in the universe of these books is extremely personal–if you are obsessed enough with something, that obsession can bend the universe around you to suit your beliefs. But it comes at a cost–every time a ‘mancer changes the world with their ‘mancy, the universe pushes back against the change with flux. Flux is a load of bad luck proportional to the extremeness of your mancy.

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