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Anime DVD Reviews
Nichijou
Nichijou 日常
Anime Review by Karen Gellender

NichijouNichijou can be a polarizing series. Some will find it hilarious, while others will continually find themselves asking "where's the joke here?" Kyoto Animation's 26-episode comedy focusing on the daily exploits of high school friends Yuko, Mio and Mai, a shy robot-girl and her creator, and a whole host of other eccentric characters, features some genuine belly laughs, but most of the humor is more of the quirky variety. Those who enjoy the mix of the bizarre and the mundane will find Nichijou's off-kilter tone and pacing entertaining in and of itself, while those looking for a more traditional comedy may find the jokes too few and far between. Read More...

Nichijou

Toradora!
Toradora! とらドラ!
Anime Review by Karen Gellender

Toradora!One of the most interesting things about Toradora! is that in many respects, it couldn't be less original. As a high school romantic comedy, the show hits up all of the relevant tropes and cliches: love letter shenanigans, a beach day, a school festival, a class trip and botched love confessions galore. If you've ever seen an anime in this genre, you've seen a lot of this before. But, as we smiled nonstop at the developing relationship of Taiga and Ryuji, we found ourselves asking each other if we had ever seen it done quite this well.

Toradora! has two of the most memorable leads we've seen in a long time, which is particularly notable in Ryuji's case; all too often, the main male character in romantic comedy anime is rendered intentionally dull, meant to play second fiddle to the more charismatic female leads. In this case, Read More...

Toradora!


Chaos;Head
Chaos;Head カオスヘッド
Anime Review by Brian Cirulnick

Chaos;HeadThose eyes. Whose are they? What's with the semicolon between words now in all new anime titles? Well, whatever, the latest in this fad of two-words-connected-by-semicolon is Chaos;HEAd, a supernatural thriller with disturbing psychological overtones. One nice thing about animation as a medium is that, since it's already not "real", trying to determine what "reality" you're watching is impossible. Chaos;Head plays on that, providing you the viewer with an inside look at what reality might be like *if* you're already an unstable, delusional protagonist.

Our story centers around Takumi, an incredibly introverted, "soushoku danshi", reclusive high-schooler who'd rather spend his time in front of his PC playing games, or watching anime. He's essentially abandoned the real world; he doesn't even care for girls, at least, not the 3 dimensional types. Read More...

Chaos;Head

Eyeshield 21
Eyeshield 21 アイシールド21
Anime Review by Karen Gellender

Eyeshield 21This show is about a football team run by Satan; that is the concept. A high school football team that just happens to feature the Prince of Darkness as quarterback. We expect that you'll be running off†to find out how and why Satan is wearing cleats, and continue with the review as a mere formality.

Seriously, the usual disclaimer about sports anime- that you'll enjoy it more if you're interested in the sport to begin with- doesn't really apply in this case. The show, sponsored by NFL Japan, is filled with colorful, lovable characters, features† great gags with pitch-perfect comic timing, and taps into a lot of what makes team sports appealing overall. Even those of us who could care less about football in general (and excuse us!) found ourselves charmed.
Read More...

Eyeshield 21
Anime and J-pop Music

Getting Started: Complete Manga Drawing Kit

Getting Started: Complete Manga Drawing Kit
Review by Brian Cirulnick

If you're like me and can't draw a straight line without some help, then Faber-Castell's new Getting Started: Complete Manga Drawing Kit includes everything you might need to start creating amazing characters and adventures. The fully illustrated 28-page manga instruction booklet takes you step-by-step through the drawing process, and there's a nifty manga "manikin" (a 3-D poseable figurine) with an anime stylized head to help create action drawings.

The kit contains 3 PITT Artist Pens selected with the Manga artist in mind. There's a pen with black ink and a superfine nib for details, one with black ink and a brush nib for bold, opaque lines, and one with grey ink and a brush nib for shadows and highlights. These PITT Artist Pens contain India ink that is permanent, lightfast, smudgeproof, and archival. Add a graphite pencil, eraser, sharpener, a stencil with manga shapes, and a sketch pad and you could be on the way to becoming a mangaka.

 Anime.com Recommended Books:
Spice and Wolf  manga
Spice and Wolf
狼と香辛料
Manga Review
by Linda Yau

Spice and Wolf What would you do if a girl with wolf ears and tail suddenly appears at your ride? Would you leave her behind or would you take her on with you? This is the situation how Holo and Lawrence meet; these two unlikely god and mortal become companions on the long road ahead. With the identity of Holo as a god of harvest, there is going to be unforeseen challenges that Lawrence must face. Read More...

Spice and Wolf

xxxHolic manga
xxxHolic
×××ホリック
Manga Review
by Linda Yau

xxxHolicNormally no one would enter this shop, unless they desire to have a wish granted. This is how the plot of xxxHolic was introduced to readers. With the services of mysterious shopkeeper Yuko, payment must be equal to the amount of services are conducted. In the first volume, payments aren't as readily discussed as in other volumes. What occurs though is the fate or hitsuzen of Kimihiro Watanuki in meeting and becoming Yuko's assistance occurs. More advice and mentoring would be experienced by Watanuki as the story continues in later volumes. Read More...

xxxHolic

Arcade Mania
Arcade Mania
Anime Videogame Book Review by Linda Yau

Anime Video GamesUpon entering an arcade, your sense slowly acclimates to the noise and lights. That is characteristic of an individual or social haven chock full of gaming variety guarantee to provide hours of mindless electronic entertainment to spend money on. Arcades may be a dying industry in the United States in favor of home console systems, but arcades as an industry is still alive and booming in Japan. Many trends that occurred in Japan send ripple effects to other places in the world. Read More...

Anime Video Games



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