xxxHOLiC: How to turn a good manga into a dull anime


Watanuki Kimihiro has always been able to see spirits, and to be honest, it’s an ability he’d be happier off without. As it turns out, the space-time witch, Yuuko Ichihara, might just be able to help him with that, but her assistance comes at a price- before she can grant Watanuki’s wish, he must first spend an unspecified amount of hours working part-time at her shop. Open to all who need it, Yuuko’s shop grants wishes at a fair price, and as part of his new routine, Watanuki will come to meet the many and varied people who come looking for solutions to their problems.

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Tenchi Muyo OVA3: One too many trips to the well?


In those far-off days when I was a newcomer to the world of anime (I don’t think that my childhood viewing of Samurai Pizza Cats really counts), one of the series that the limited offerings of UK TV brought to me was Tenchi Muyo. Often regarded as the grandfather of all harem series, the tale of a normal teenager living with a group of powerful alien girls may not have been a particularly sophisticated one, but for the most part, it was at least entertaining. Continue reading “Tenchi Muyo OVA3: One too many trips to the well?”

School Rumble Nigakki: An Ever Downward Spiral


With the second season of School Rumble seeing the return of Class 2-C and their accompanying high school hilarity and romantic misunderstandings, fans of the series were certain that this could only mean more of the top quality entertainment they had come to expect. Unfortunately, despite a promising start, Nigakki soon proved itself to be far from perfect, and the bad aftertaste it came to leave would adversely affect the standing of the franchise as a whole. Continue reading “School Rumble Nigakki: An Ever Downward Spiral”

Gokujou Seitokai: another spectacular licensing decision from our old friends at ADV

Up until last night, I never intended to rant about Gokujou. In all honesty, I try not to think about it too much, because the memory of the time spent watching it is still quite painful to me- if the truth must be known, I broke down and became unable to continue a few minutes into episode twelve. Nonetheless, when I read the news that ADV have licensed Gokujou, or as they call it, Best Student Council, I knew that I could stay silent no longer. For where the other five people who have watched the show would no doubt argue that it is a hidden gem bursting to the brim with hilarity, I must present the opposite view, the opinion of someone who subjected herself to episode upon episode in a vain search for entertainment.

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Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle: Rant, Appraisal and Guided Tour, all in one neat package

Manga chapters 1-128: CLAMP Minimalism


Princess Sakura and archaeologist’s son Syaoran are childhood friends living in the desert kingdom of Clow. If it was up to them, their peaceful days together would last forever, but unfortunately fate has other ideas. The excavation of a mysterious set of ruins prompts an evil force to try to steal Sakura’s latent power for their own purposes- an attempt which fails, but which turns her memories into a series of feathers scattered across many worlds.

Desperate to retrieve the feathers, Syaoran and Sakura are sent to Yuuko, the so-called “Dimensional Witch” with the power to grant any wish for the right price. Continue reading “Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle: Rant, Appraisal and Guided Tour, all in one neat package”

The Rise and Fall of Honey and Clover

Last year, it was almost inevitable that I would become one of the many people to fall under the spell of Honey and Clover. Having just graduated from university myself, the tale of a group of people undergoing the same experiences (well, roughly the same) was one I could easily relate to. And so it was that from start to finish, the anime captivated me with its emotion, humour, and a personal touch of bittersweet nostalgia. Continue reading “The Rise and Fall of Honey and Clover”

A long overdue rant about Fate/Stay Night


For a long time now, I’ve wanted to rant about Fate/Stay Night, but somehow it turned into one those tasks that seemed best left until some asymptotic ‘tomorrow’. At long last, however, the time has come to turn my attention to the series and give it the shredding it deserves.

The length of time it took me to even start writing this rant perhaps says something in itself about the quality of Fate/Stay Night- where Mai-Otome, Good Witch and the rest demanded to be written about with some idea of promptness, the ending Fate simply left me so apathetic that I couldn’t bring myself to bring pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard) to mention it ever again. Continue reading “A long overdue rant about Fate/Stay Night”

Battle for Wesnoth: Gaming for the Masochistic


The forces of evil (blue, yellow) casually overrun my stronghold of good (red), whilst my negative gold balance ensures I cannot summon any more warriors.

I’d like to say I was a fan of strategy games; after all, what could be more satisfying than meticulously building up an army and crushing any enemy foolish enough to oppose you? I’d also like to say that I was a master of such games, that no orc army could possibly be strong enough to take down my valiant human warriors (or vice versa), or that no dungeon of evil was too daunting for my forces of justice. Unfortunately, such is not the case- no matter how much I may enjoy the early stages of Warcraft, Dungeon Keeper and the like, by the time it gets to around level five, I’m hopelessly outclassed. And now, I have turned my attention to Battle for Wesnoth, a turn-based strategy game with a difference- that difference being that it’s near impossible right from the outset. Continue reading “Battle for Wesnoth: Gaming for the Masochistic”

.hack//Roots 13: Watching Paint Dry

The weeks come and go, but Roots remains a static, never changing universe- at least until today, when something happened. That’s not to say that what happened was particularly interesting and unexpected, in fact, it’s what we’d all been expecting ever since we first learned of the existence of this anime. Yes, today was the day that Shino got Data Drained. To celebrate this momentous occasion, I will be exploring a new angle on the series- the daytime TV angst arc. Continue reading “.hack//Roots 13: Watching Paint Dry”

Noein ~Mou Hitori no Kimi E~

It’s been a while since I finished watching Noein, but I happened to be reminded of it again the other day when I noticed that Manga Entertainment had announced R1 release dates for volumes 1-4. Assuming that these four volumes comprise the complete series, and given that they’ll be retailing at $19.98 each, it’s certainly good value for money, but I couldn’t help wondering just if I really want Noein on DVD. Or, to put it more bluntly, did I really enjoy the series all that much in the first place?

Now, before I go any further, there is one factor I must address, and that is the variable (i.e. slow) speed at which the series was subbed in English. There’s no doubt that the gap between episodes reduced my enjoyment of the show- the momentum was stalled, I probably forgot important plot points along the way, and by the time the series got to its closing stages, it was old news amongst the newer and shinier titles of the spring season. I won’t deny that watching Noein piecemeal casts it in a poorer light than it perhaps deserves, but even taking this into account, I can’t ignore that the series is flawed even under the best of conditions. Continue reading “Noein ~Mou Hitori no Kimi E~”