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Category Archives: Reviews and Impressions

Isekai Izakaya is Cool Japan Propaganda

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Isekai Izakaya is less of an anime and more of animated infomercial – and a good part of it isn’t even animated. For better or worse, though, that live-action cooking show segment at the end of the episode was probably the most entertaining thing about it, if only because the chef’s enthusiasm looked more authentic than any of the reactions shown in the anime itself.

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“That Alone Would Have Been Good Enough”

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Your mind can be a dark and scary place.

Alone with only your worst thoughts stewing in your mind, the entire world feels like a prison. Your every problem is magnified to impossible proportions; you feel like you’re up against a suffocating wall with no weapons to fight.

A part of you is aware that your problems would be seen as trivial by other people. “It’s all in your head!” they’d say. But it’s not trivial, because they don’t understand that your head has become your enemy, and that it’s with you all the time. That’s why you never tell them. You never tell anyone.

And eventually, you snap.

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The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done! Needs Content Warnings

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The best thing about The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done! is the afterword, where the author reveals just how much research he did to write a shogi-themed light novel. Usually, light novel authors use the afterword to thank the book’s illustrator, editor and the readers (in that order), but Shirow Shiratori goes out of his way to thank dozens of people involved in the professional Shogi world. He even recounts a personal story from his high school days, when he played Shogi against “the high-school Ryuo.”

The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done! is a novel that takes a traditional Japanese board game seriously. It took four years of research before the first volume was even published. Think of it like the Hikaru no Go of light novels, except with unfunny lolicon jokes and the worst opening chapter in the world.

Seriously, it cannot be overstated just how bad of a first impression this light novel makes.

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How Vivi Lane Falls in Love

yagate koi suru vivi lane

Have I ever told you about my impeccable taste in light novels?

Have I ever told you about how impeccably I choose the light novels that I read?

In the wise words of Wataru Watari: “The illustrations count for everything.”

Who gives a shit about the author, the plot, the reviews, or any other indicator of good writing? I always pick my light novels based on how cute the pictures look, and this method has never once failed me.

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Untranslated Light Novel Impressions: Eromanga Sensei vol. 3

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What is it with Tsukasa Fushimi and making every pairing in his stories so shippable except for the main one? After Eromanga Sensei volume 3, I’m rooting for the MC to bang anyone except his sister, but alas, not all things in life go the way you want them to.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

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Vague Thoughts on Winter 2017 Anime

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The longer I keep up with seasonal anime, the more evident it becomes that most anime are vehicles of stealth marketing. You can watch anime-original projects full of SAKUGA like the above, but most shows are 350-minute long advertisements of a manga/novel/game/whatever. Why bother sticking to just anime for your weeb entertainment in today’s media mix environment?

These days, I usually go directly to the source material unless I really like the anime staff. There are very few anime that fall into this category this season, unfortunately. I would have liked to watch Little Witch Academia, but unfortunately there’s no legal streaming option outside of Japanese Netflix. And as much as I like Yasuhiro Takemoto and KyoAni shows in general, Maid Dragon Kobayashi isn’t my kind of thing.

But whatever, I’ve still been getting into some interesting stuff this season, so here are some vague impressions.

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The Isolator is Reki Kawahara’s Best Work

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Reki Kawahara is well known for Sword Art Online and Accel World, but if you ask me, his best work is The Isolator, a sci-fi thriller and psychological drama series that only gets a new volume once a year. It’s based off a web novel Kawahara began writing in 2004, but he has rewritten the story heavily for its light novel release, and it is easily his most mature work.

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Thoughts on Hakomari

covers2-3I still don’t know what happened there…

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Re:ZERO Ex vol. 1 – Summary and Impressions

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In a nutshell: The Re:ZERO Ex novel raises more questions than it answers about Crusch and Ferris’s pasts, but Re:ZERO fans should enjoy it nonetheless. The lack of a central plot in this volume does make it weaker than the main story, however.

A note of warning: This review contains spoilers for the Re:ZERO Ex novel. Don’t read this post if you don’t want to get spoiled for the anime because I’ll be discussing the main story here as well. Also, there are no web novel spoilers here, so please don’t provide any in the comments.

Update: Yen Press released an English translation of this novel on November 21st, 2017. Please support the release!

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I bought this light novel thinking it was a cute knight/princess story but it was a gay romance instead

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Actual title: 12-gatsu no Veronica (Amazon link)

Hey guys, I’m back with another review of an untranslated light novel that nobody has read or will ever read. But I liked it, so here’s a blog post about it. I will be spoiling the crap out of the entire novel, so here’s a fair warning in advance. I have a lot of ~FEELINGS~ to convey, so let’s jump right into it.

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