Three Anime Review: Day 5

This is the last day for anime reviews. Sadly tomorrow will be the last day of my winter break, so I am not sure if I will have a lot of time to do much other then pack and prepare to return to school. I actually feel real down about it, and I am not too sure why. School may suck, but it is not horrible. Anyways here we go, today has way more positive and fun anime to watch:

World Conquest Zvezda Plot by Tensai Okamura

3b05f84036bb5560005acd7d5fa392571389110928_fullI picked this anime, because I knew TheBetterCup would like it. I really did enjoy it too, but i feel like the fan service is a bit much. The females tend to be over sexualized and many look like children. Heck the main female character may be hundreds of years old, but she has the body of a seven year older (she uses a tricycle for goodness sake).

Kate Hoshimiya is a little girl and leader of an organization called Zvezda. Their goal is to conquer the world (an extreme act where they are basically trying to create a place where they all can fit in since none of them could be defined as a normal and functional part of society). Kate, or Lady Venera, have many people in her organization that plan on helping her with her dream. Soon, a normal middle school boy named Asuta Jimon (who ran away from home) mistakenly gets involved with the group and ends up joining them as well. Together they fight against the White Light and Japanese government as they attempt world conquest.

Anyways, the art is cute. Though the outfits are a bit ridiculous, it is totally acceptable since we are talking about superheros and villains. I thought it was a great idea and definitely one that I have yet to see in anime. It feels a little weird to cheer for the protagonists that you know are technically the ‘bad guys’ and soon to be ‘over lords’.

Noragami by Adachitoka

NoragamiThis anime was a very nice surprise. I did not expect to like it as much as I did (mostly after browsing and watching through so many bad anime). I was actively searching for an anime that had more religious allusions. and this one was highly recommended. I felt like it was really original, very entertaining and funny, and it did allude to some aspects of Shintoism.

The music in this anime is great. I am not sure what to call it, but there is this one weird song that plays in the background that has some rap in it. I just really liked the music which helped make the fight scenes feel more epic. The art is also really nice. It is not super different, but the characters are well drawn. I really liked how their designs were minimal and their clothing very realistic.

Yato God of War

Yato God of War

Yato is a god of calamity (sometimes called a war god, not sure if their is a defined difference in the anime) who has no home and must wander the streets doing small time jobs as a delivery god till he can buy himself a shrine. After his current Regalia (weapons that come from pure souls) quits on him, he takes on a small scale job of finding a cat. One day, he runs out into the street to catch the cat (as a bus is coming towards him), and a girl named Hiyori Iki (middle school student) pushes him out of the way and gets hit instead. The incident causes her soul to be stuck between the living and the dead and becoming a half phantom. The story focuses on Yato and his new regalia, Yukine, and their attempt to build a suitable shrine, as well as Hiyori’s attempt to become human again.

You end up really liking the characters, and none of them feel annoying or overwhelmingly two dimensional. Yato is really funny, but you can also feel some sympathy for the guy. I mean he is a god struggling to get by in this modern society where the youth does not worship as piously to small time gods like they would have 100 years ago in the country-side. So I think the story was one of a kind.

Orenchi no Furo Jijou by Itokichi

I put the manga picture instead of the anime one because this was super cute.

I put the manga picture instead of the anime one because this was super cute.

I saw this on Crunchyroll and thought ‘this looks so cute’. When I found out it was an all male cast, I worried it was yaoi. After watching a few episodes (each only being four minutes long), we quickly realized it was just a very simple, silly, and straight out weird/unique anime in general. I definitely plan on starting the manga now. The story is just so funny, but in a way that is childlike. I loved the characters, who are all so adorable. None of them are overly annoying, but each of them are cute in different ways and different levels (Agari senpai and Tatsumi are so far battling for cutest character for me).

tumblr_inline_nd1bvulE8i1qdffo3The opening sequence is pretty surprising. It is very dark and hardcore, giving off a completely different feel to what the show was going to be like. The music is rock based, and at one point, the main character seems to be drowning. Yet the actual story is far from dark. It is super charming and cute, and the contrast to the opening was very nicely done. The art is cute. All the characters are well drawn (and they look like the creatures that they are meant to be). They look really bright, not shiny, but bright so the anime seems very colorful and pleasant. They have really nice eyes. Also, the art switches to chibi characters constantly, which lends to the sweetness of the story and comedy.

Tatsumi is a busybody high school boy (whoops I swore he was like 23 or something. I think I have officially reached that age where the anime characters are always younger then me 😦 ). He finds a somewhat self-centered but goodhearted merman named Wakasa stuck on land who ends up moving into his bathtub (because the river is heavily polluted). Later on, Tatsumi meets many of Wakasa’s other sea friends including  an octopus, a jellyfish, a sea snail, and a very shy shark.

Actually, we watched a fourth anime called Shounen Hollywood. It was interesting because the art style was more masculine (akin to shounen anime), but the plot was about male idols. It was just really not that good so I did not talk about it. The story was not bad, but over all it was not that good either.

-Blog Barista

*sparkle*

*sparkle*

Earth Defense Club Love! by Takahashi Natsuko

By now, anyone who has seen our posts should be able to tell that TheBetterCup and I have an interest in magical girls and that genre in general. It is not that it is our favorite, seriously we gave a lot of negative comments to the many of the shows. But for some reason I feel drawn to it some how (probably childhood memories). Anyways, we came upon this anime that was released January 6, and by god let me tell you how wonderful it is. Just promise me that when you decide to watch it, you will go in and not take it to seriously, if you do you will feel upset in the end (many people have done that so far). The purpose of this anime is to make fun of magical girls without being overly serious, without any form of boy love, and without too much ridiculous fan service. You go in knowing the intent, you will definitely find it funny. This was also made into a smart phone game (that seems to be the fashion lately).

Plot Line:

Wombat is the magical creature that gives them their magic. He uses the teacher to be less noticeable (does not work).

Wombat is the magical creature that gives them their magic. He uses the teacher to be less noticeable (does not work).

The story is about these five ordinary and lazy high school boys that meet an alien that looks like a pink wombat. The wombat offers them magical powers to complete their destinies of protecting the earth, but they do not accept right away. Together they become the Earth’s Defense Club (against their initial wishes), and they protect the Earth with the power of Love! They fight people who have become loveless monsters.

Characters:

tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo7_400tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo4_400Yumoto Hakone- The main protagonist of the show and leader of the Earth’s Defense Club, Yumoto is your typical air headed and happy-go-lucky main character. He is a lolita type boy that loves cute things, food, and animals (no surprise there). He is the red one in the group, and his powers are light based. He transforms into the Sparkling Prince; Battle Lover Scarlet. He seemed to accept everything very easily, though he was surprised to learn that Wombat was an alien. He is very adaptable, thanks to his carefree personality. His family owns the Kurotamayu bathhouse where the boys hangout. Yumoto is a first year (freshman) and the youngest of the group.

tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo3_400tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo6_400En Yufuin- En is the lazy character between the group. He does things at his pace/leisure and tends to be the one who questions everything the most. He seems to think deeply about very weird an strange concepts (again questioning every thing). He is a third year (senior) and is best friends with Kinugawa. His go lazy and go with the flow attitude then leads to him to accepting everything, but only after trying to avoid the responsibility at all costs. En is the blue character in the group and his power is unsurprisingly water (which is blue and goes with the flow). He transforms into Flashing Prince; Battle Lover Cerulean. FYI he was our favorite character between the bunch.

tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo9_400 tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo2_400Atsushi Kinugawa- The smart one in the group, Kinugawa wears glasses, makes great grades, and tends to be the more serious one in the group. He is also best friends with En, childhood friends with Kusatsu (student council president and lead antagonist), and is also a third year (senior). He comes from a very rich family and though he notices how weird things seems, it does not bother him to much. Kinugawa is the green one in the group and his power is air (matches his soft and gentle personality). He transforms into the Piercing Prince; Battle Lover Epinard.

tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo10_400 tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo1_r1_400Io Naruko- Io’s personality seems to be very focused and tactile. He is very much into money and makes a fortune off of the stock market. He is a second year in high school and is best friends with Ryu. He seems to be the less talkative of the group. Io’s color is yellow and his powers are the earth element (for his reliable and sturdy presence). He transforms into the Roaring Prince; Battle Lover Sulfur.

tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo5_400 tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo8_400Ryu Zaou- Ryu is the lady’s man character. He is both obsessed with girls, and popular among them. Because of his personality, he ends up totally ok with the idea of being a magical boy because of how well he looks in is outfit. He is a second year and best friend of Io. Ryu is the pink character of the group, and his power is fire element (to match is passionate personality). He comes off a little narcissistic, but still a good guy. He transforms into the Thrilling Prince; Battle Lover Vesta.

Artwork:

I know I usually complain about ridiculousness of anime character designs and color coding, but since it is a magical boy genre it is totally fine. Except for a few hair colors, the guys are actually not that extreme in looks, and they follow all the magical girl troops to a satirical T. I really liked the way they were drawn (especially the blue one).

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TheBetterCup says ‘they sing better then the pastry people’.

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Chikuwabu-bu

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What do I love:

tumblr_nhsrsz8TDQ1u1btt3o2_400They question the whole thing from the beginning and even run away from the alien creature when it asks for their help (think of all the young magical girls who just accept right away). tumblr_nhvn52rAZx1sqbbypo1_400They are forced into silly outfits that they cannot take off, they say embarrassing things that they don’t want to say, and they don’t take anything they do seriously (random names for attacks). I loved the fact that their key catchphrase for transformation was ‘Love Making!’ and that their weapons are called ‘love sticks’. We could not stop laughing the entire time we watched.

tumblr_nhsrsz8TDQ1u1btt3o5_400 Even the monsters that they battle are funny too. The whole first episode opens up with two of the characters describing chikuwabu which is this piece of wheat food in udon that is basically nothing at all (something you never eat on its own and is just there). Then there is this boy in their class that is being all sad because he is basically as average as he can get and super unnoticeable. Finally he opens his lunch box to eat and all that is inside are two giant chikuwabu, and he just loses it. he becomes a giant, yankee/yakuza tumblr_nhvn52rAZx1sqbbypo4_400chikuwabu monster. The only things the boys worry about when they see him is that he’s chikuwabu (not that he is a dangerous monster).

I think that the protagonist is a little annoying, but I am pretty sure that was on purpose. I feel like all of this is following magical girl troops to be funny (including having an airhead, main character, leader who is super into all of this). They also sing the opening and ending (seems to be something only anime with only male characters do).

-Blog Barista

poke

poke

Three Anime Review: Day 4

These reviews have been really hard for me to write to be honest. I don’t know it may be because I feel anxious and stressed lately, or maybe because I have not been enjoying the anime we picked, I just don’t have much to say about them. Today, TheBetterCup was to busy to watch anime with me, so I picked them on my own. I like them, and you can tell that they move back toward the anime that usually is seen on this blog (sorry).

Gingitsune by Sayori Ochiai

jbkbjkThis was a very refreshing anime that could be described as a breath of fresh air. It is a supernatural slice-of-life that focuses on a simple small town, a shrine, and the inhabitants near that area. Makoto Saeki is the next heir to a Shinto Shrine in a small town. As the next shrine priest, she can see the messenger god of Inari, Gintaro. Though he seems a little rude and uncaring, he loves Saeki and uses is powers of foresight to help her aid the town’s people.

The art is very nice. The scenery is extremely well made and looks like a painting most of the time. This alone makes the world they live in feel magical. Though I did not feel very drawn into the story (mostly because the characters were just ok to me), I still very much enjoyed the how visually pleasing the art work was.

Locodol by Kotaro Kosugi

futsuu_no_joshikousei_ga_locodol_yatte_mita_pv1This anime is really cute, especially the characters. It has a little bit of fan service (which I am never a fan of), but it is still ok.

The town of Nagarekawa is slowly losing its youth population (who go to more exciting places like Tokyo). Nanako Usami and Yukari Kohinata are ordinary high school residents who are asked to become local idols (locodols) to help garner attention to the town. Later on Yui Mikoze joins as the local mascot, and Mirai Nazukari joins as Yui’s substitute. It is a simple and sweet show that will leave you feeling happy and refreshed. I suggest you try it if you have a little free time. It was my second favorite of the three on this list.

Galilei Donna by Yasuomi Umetsu

GalileiDonna_zps4d28df64I really liked this so far. It reminds m of those awesome RPG games that have some futuristic aspects and some older European themes. It looks so cool. I feel it may try to hard when it comes to the machinery in the show, but I do not mind. The female leads are strong and real cool (love Hazuki the most). I am not too sure what the plot is by just watching episode one, but there seems to be a mystery afoot and I want to continue watching. The music that plays during the show is also very good and so is the character designs (nothing that looks overly ridiculous).

The art is great, but the best part here is the architecture. It is a new level of beautiful attention to detail. I think the characters are also really cute and match well with the environment. I love the character designs where they are still different enough to be noticeable, but are not extremely different either. I really love how the people are drawn in general.

The story opens up with each of the girls almost being kidnapped for some unknown reason. Later after meeting with the police, the family goes to pick up their things from their homes. There they meet Cicinho a captain of an air pirate ship who had been the one attempting to get them (for Galileo’s treasure). The girls end up being accused of terrorism (this some how has to do with a conspiracy that is after Galileo’s inheritance) since they are his descendants. To clear their names, the Ferrari sisters embark in a journey around the world to find the treasure before the others do.

These girls are boss! The youngest is thirteen and her name is Hozuki. She is extremely gifted in science and does a lot of tinkering. She is able to fix cars and bikes. The second youngest is Kazuki and is seventeen. She may seem colder, but she is actually really just timid. She is physically talented and strong. She is a capable fighter and knows Shorinji Kempo. Lastly, the eldest is twenty years old and named Hazuki. She dreams to become a lawyer and she is skilled intelligent and strong willed.

Sorry if this seemed short. This time around I did not get to include some of TheBetterCup’s opinions. I hope you guys enjoy these animes.

-Blog Barista

Doesn't this sort of scene make you feel a little happier?

Doesn’t this sort of scene make you feel a little happier?

Three Anime Review: Day 3

For today’s anime, TheBetterCup picked one, I picked one, and we both picked one that we knew would not be very good at all. I am not very sure why we picked that last one, still right now when I think about it I would like to bang my head against the computer screen. Anyways here the anime we picked for today.

Nagi Asu: A Lull in the Sea by Project-118

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I found this one by mistake, and decided to watch it cause it sounded magical. This was a beautiful anime (visually that is). Everything about the it was gorgeous, and extraordinary. The story focuses on four 14 year old students (Hikari, Manaka, Chisaki, and Kaname)who come from the ocean floor. After their school closes down, they have to start going to school on land, and they must attempt to adjust to their new environment (both the land and ocean people are full of prejudice, mistrust, and judgment). By slowly creating a relationship with a son of a fisherman (Tsumugu), they are able to go past their prejudice and accept each other. While growing together and facing personal feelings (that come with this age), they also have to worry with the keeping the Sea God pleased as the Land People move away from the ancient traditions.

I really liked the art of this anime, but the characters did not win me over in the first episode (so I will not continue watching), except I really liked Tsumugu. Anyways, it was not bad. I think if this went more down a ‘Ghibli’ path like more innocence and growing and less interest in love (like adults), then this would be great. Like I loved the ideas of Manaka getting that fish on her knee type curse, or getting caught in a fishing net. It was all so cute. And I know I said this before, but the art was AMAZING!

Bonjour Sweet Love Patisserie written by Ryo Aoki

horriblesubs-bonjour-sweet-love-patisserie-01-480p15-12-27Bonjururu everyone!

This was the one that was bad. I hated it (at least that is my initial reaction, I admit the parts with out the teachers as love interests are not that bad). It was only five minutes for each episode, but I felt like those were bad five minutes spent. The story is really cliche to the point that the pastry chef teacher were glittery and spinning when they ‘baked’ goods. They looked like magical girls. The opening sequence had the men flying in space riding giant desserts for goodness sake. It wasn’t even meant to be a comedy (if it was this would not be so bad). This anime was made as hype for an otome game, but it may have been a better idea to release the game first. Then it would do what Diabolik Lovers did and become successful through the fan base (cause in a game this would not feel ridiculous).

The art can be cute sometimes, but you can tell there are times were it just looks bad. Also the side profiles are not very good. The scenery is nothing special (even the pastries are nothing special). The characters seem poorly designed (look better for the games to be honest) with unrealistic colors for hair and really tacky clothing (personally).

Sayuri Haruno begins to attend an elite confectionery school that looks like a castle called Fleurir (cliche French word as name) on a scholarship. She dreams to open a pastry shop. While at school she meets several ‘charming’ young men including three teachers, one student, and two other men who are the brothers one of the teachers. One of the teachers has a fiance he is being forced to marry too. Just add that to the number of really random and unnecessary parts to this. All of these men have very basic personalities, and so do all the class mates. Sayuri is your typical Otome game heroine (anyone who plays knows what I mean), so none of the characters stand out in any way. Not a lot of time is given for these characters to form deep relationships and talk about their dark pasts, it is just so fast. Should I also mention that the head teacher is so out to get the main character girl, that every male she is seen with is accused of being in a ‘illicit sexual relationship’ with her (even when they made that dog a birthday gift). Even their voices are typically what you would expect. And oh god! How could I forget, the male characters SING the intro and ending themes. As TheBetterCup puts it, ‘they sing badly’ on top of all of it too. But you know, I can kind of see how the anime would be a fun way of killing a little time.

Kyousougiga by Miho Maruo

bAvjZFeThis one feels harder to talk about. The plot is a little confusing, and it is hard to tell just from initial impression whether it will be good or not. I feel like it has so many things I adore, but two simple things make it hard for me to jump on the train.

Myoe, a priest with the ability to give life to his drawings, was treated as an outcast by the villagers in his town. One of his drawings, a black rabbit called Koto, falls in love with him and makes a deal with Bodhisattva to take human form (Lady Koto). Together they start a family by taking in a war orphan named Yakushimaru, and drawing two others, Yase and Kurama. Because of circumstances, they chose to live in a different plane in one of the cities Myoe drew. But Lady Koto has to keep her promise and must leave. Myoe and Lady Koto leave the children in hopes of discovering a way to stay together, and the children wait for centuries in hopes that their parents keep their promise of return (I love the kids who each end up being a little messed up since their parents left, and I love the parents who always tried their best). After all that time waiting, a girl named Koto (protagonist) appears. The story of her attempt to go home, to discover her past, and of the children bringing back their parents becomes complex and interesting fast. But most of all, I have a feeling it may not end perfectly (maybe its still happy, but I have this feeling it has a bitter sweet end). It may be the fact that the dad says ‘I will come back with the beginning and the end one day’ while the mom’s presences threatens the stability of the universe.

The art is gorgeous and the idea is unique. I felt drawn to it by the story of the parents, while I think TheBetterCup was first interested in the solar system opening scene. I love the fact that this has some mythological/religious allusions. Also, it gives off a very surrealistic and tragic vibe. What makes it hard for me to love right away is that I feel like it won’t end very happily. I would not mind if was with out me knowing, but since I have this feeling in the beginning its hard to continue. The story is just Wow. I cried so much, and I love all the characters. The sound track is amazing, and it is all so well thought out. I know I have the feeling something bad will happen, but still really want to watch this, I probably will.

These were enjoyable and 2 of the 3 were definitely very beautiful. I am not sure if I would continue any of them (probably would continue Kyousougiga if it was not so sad). I feel maybe if they were more slice-of-life and simplistic in plot it would be more enjoyable, but I could be wrong in that assumption. Trust me though, I really do like sh***y baking animes. Yumeiro Patissiere was my jam in like 11 grade!

-Blog Barista

I wanna live here!

I wanna live here!

Three Anime Review: Day 2

I think I may need a break from all the love stories soon. So many of the manga I read lately have to do with love. I really need a change of pace soon. Anyways, today’s anime had love in it, but two of the three were definitely a change in pace. Was this a ‘good’ change? Probably no, but still. Today’s review is not as positive as the first day’s.

Daibolik lovers by Shinobu Tagashira

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Oh God. This piece of ‘art’ is something I have known about before. Both TheBetterCup and I like otome games, so of course we have stumbled over this before. When I saw that this was an anime, I just had to watch it. Now to get serious, and I am sorry but this is just my opinion, this is a piece of garbage. The game is something that I cannot stomach very much (you need to have specific taste to be able to enjoy it) and the anime is somehow even worse. The art is nothing special, the characters are as basic as an anime can get, and the creepiness of the entire thing just does not help it. I hate yanderes. I understand that some people love them, but I personally just find the idea scary and unappealing.

The story line goes like this: When Yui’s father moves abroad, she is sent to live in a new town. She soon discovers that the six Sakamaki brothers (yeah send your teen age daughter to live in a home alone with six men who are some what abusive, great) are vampires. They abuse her psychologically and physically, often feeding off her. Some how this girl optimistically accepts her situation. I honestly could care less ‘why’ or ‘how’ she is connected to them. This stinks of trash to me. Neither of us could sit through the first episode comfortably, and half way through (since it was obvious that this twisted reverse harem was poorly written) you won’t even care about the actual plot. I regret ever seeing the game, and I really regret the anime. I really should have known better. But, there are many who do like this. So if this seems to be interesting to you then please try it. It was not for us, but you never know if you like it with out trying, right?

DRAMAtical Murders by Nitro+chiral

drBoth TheBetterCup and I had mixed feelings about this one. We picked it cause the name was just so intising. The art was for the most part very well done (excluding a few of the characters that is), and the setting was also great. This was also a game before being an anime. It was really well drawn, mostly the scenery. The characters were over all good, except the main characters stuck out a little to much. Their entire beings were shiny (like plastic) and colorful, and they did not match well with the distopian, cyberpunk background. Even before the story began, or the characters were introduced, you could tell who was a main character only because their clothing were more noticeable to ridiculous levels. The grandmother of the main character also had stupid looking, unnatural looking hair (worse then usual). It is a rule of ours that anime with characters that have brightly colored, unrealistic hair and ridiculous clothing are usually what we ignore (think the most recent Pokemon). Crazy weird looking anime characters, with eye brows or eyes that show through hair, and characters that use cards or animals to battle each other make the hall mark  of anime in the eyes of western society. Those are usually not good anime. This one had some hints of that, but if it had kept a creepier and darker plot line it would have been fine.

Aoba Seragaki lives in the poorer portion of town called Old Residential District and works in a store called Junk Shop Mediocrity. He hopes to live a peaceful life, but is soon dragged into the popular cyber game Rhyme. Here they use Allmates (mobile devices disguised as robot animals) to battle in a virtual world. The story is full of disappearing people, gang turf wars, and a struggle between the gangs in Old Residential district against the owner of Platinum Jail (the rich resort area, why was ‘jail’ a good idea for the name?). This is actually a BL game (boys love), so the male main character falls in love with one of the other guys.

Ao Haru Ride by Io Sakisaka

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_43pxoi8ni680g0kcokw40gc00_1280Ao Haru Ride is one my of my all time favorite manga. It follows the typical love story with a girl meeting her childhood love and rekindling those feelings, but there is so much more to love. Yes there is a lot of drama, but all of that is not the simple love story problems. It focuses more on the hardships of disease and familial death. I found the drama to be of deeper kind, and all of the characters are actually quite complex and wise. I ended up loving all the characters, and actually cheer for both the male love interests (both are so wonderfully cute!). I am getting ahead of myself let me tell you what the anime is about first. It is a great way to introduce yourself to the manga.

140Futaba Yoshioka is a very cute and feminine girl who tries her hardest to act in an unattractive way (no longer feminine) in an attempt to keep from being ostracized like she was when she was in middle school. Some time in the second semester of freshman year in high school, she meets Kou Mabuchi (a boy from middle school who she loved and never got the chance to be with). 148Kou went from being a sweet, shy, and calm person in middle school to a much colder man in high school. the story revolves around her recreating herself, reliving the love she felt for Kou, and learning what he went through to make him so different. They make many friends along the way, and all the characters are really wonderful.

The art work is very great, though the manga is even better. The characters are long limbed and the girls have these really nice and round eyes. I also love how the artist includes the details of lips (many manga/anime just never define the lips). I love the story, I think it is cute how they progress through there relationship. It’s not just ‘oh I hate you’ and then ‘no really I love you’. In this, I felt there was a slow progress. Best part is, at one point you could actually see the two main characters not getting together in the end. It made it seem a little more natural and realistic knowing that it may not work well. Usually I am all for a main male who teases and is a little mean to the girl, but I really liked Kou the way he was before. I wanted him to stay sweet, soft spoken, and shy. And Toma is so wonderful, I love how he blushes so hard all the time (so cute…..). The story also does not focus on only the girl understanding herself and feelings, and connecting with friends. Much of the time also focuses on Kou reaching out to his friends and understanding himself more.

So I know these were not as positive, but we went out of the general genre that we do here on this blog so that is good. Anyways tell me what you think about these anime in the comments below. 🙂

-Blog Barista

I think this image captures the feeling of the manga very well.

I think this image captures the feeling of the manga very well.

Ikemen Manga Reviews

I decided to try out these two manga on a whim. I saw them on Goodreads and the cover art was just so nice. As you can see in the title, both manga contain ikemen. An ikemen is a term used to describe very ‘good looking’ and ‘cool’ men. I have been reading so many manga lately on love stories of young people (like high school age), and it begins to take its toll. Reading shoujo manga with only cute love interests makes me think about romance all the time. The stories are so ideal and seem almost completely unrealistic, but I like them so much. *uggggghhhhh* All the shoujo lovers out there must know what I mean. You end up being a slightly naive person into romance, or at least that is how I feel lately. But anyways, if you like most of the manga that I have recommended so far (as you can see their is a theme to my choices), you will mots likely like these as well.

cover (1)Sugar by Yamamori Mika

f033Sugars is a collection of six short stories (one shots) per volume that connect some what between them. The stories can intertwine either by having previous characters being friends with each other or by having them come into contact one once with each other. All the stories focus on love and bettering oneself. Some of the love stories end well, some rejected, and others stay unrequited. For the most part each of the stories are the basic sort, but they are so sweet and airy. It is all mostly a slice of life so nothing bizarre or unexpectedly unrealistic occurs. The title is ‘Sugar’, and from the few chapters I have read so far, it seems that there is a theme of sweets and sweet food to go with the romance. They may be lovey-dovey, but there are none of those ridiculously annoying anime characters. Most are about as natural as they can get, more realistic, and the author seems to have put great thought in each of the character’s personality. We may not know everything, or get told everything about every single one, but the characterization through actions are pretty spot on.

I really like the art style. The bodies and limbs of the characters are long, and I really love the eyes of the characters. The art reminds me a little of Say I Love You with long eyelashes and large deep set eyes. It is exactly the type of art I like.

UPDATE IN Feb.20.2016: The manga is now completed and the stories are super adorable.

cov          Kimi no Chuusin ni Sekai Wa Mawaru by Hatta Ayuko

pkimi_wo_chuushin_sekai_wa_mawaru_v001_ch002_pg002This manga was created by the same author as Wolf Girl and Black Prince, but it is also many one shot stories that focus on love. There are only two chapters out so far, but the characters do not seem to connect to each other in any way. The stories are really cute and fantastic. The ikemen so far are all kind and good-hearted, understanding the problems of the female characters. The very first one focused on a possible student-teacher relationship. I am usually against them, but this one was more acceptable. The girl was third year of high school (so about eighteen years old) and the man was a young professor. In the end, she does not confess any deep feelings, but states that she may fall in love with him, and he handles it well. He does not accept the idea nor completely say no. Instead (repeating the same thing she said to him before), he tells her that she should not feel bad or act differently for liking what she likes. The stories also feel more innocent and like they would end with happier endings then Sugar does. So far none of the stories have left off with the girl not getting the guys, but the manga is still on going.

The art is great. The girls have these large round eyes and the ikemen look really cute too. It is not as artsy as the last one, and has more of the typical girl manga art, but it is still so very adorable.

I recommend both manga. Well written and fun to read.

-Blog Barista

This is how I feel nowadays....

This is how I feel nowadays….

Three Anime Review: Day 1

So I only have one week of freedom left, and TheBetterCup has already begun her school for this second semester. We decided that we would watch three anime each day this week until my school begins. Our choices ranged from randomly picking based on name to picking based only on the cover art to hunting down those we promised to watch but forgot. Some are pretty bad, some huge disappointments, and some fantastic. Now lets get started.

Edo Nekoe Jubei Otogizoshi by Maru Nagao

jubeiThis was picked because of the art style. It looks old fashioned, with some traditional aspects mixed with anime and that goes well with the plot line. The story is about this young man and a mythical two tailed beast (basically a talking cat). Jubei, the young man, is a cat painter in Edo and each episode tells of the different encounters he has with the cats in the city, usually with some little magical elements.

What we did not know till we watched the first episode is that this is actually more of a moving manga. Everything is drawn as manga panels with only some parts actually moving (like blinking eyes or cat’s tail swishing). You hear them talk, and you hear the sound effects (like of a person walking), but there is not all the movement to go with it.I really liked the idea, and I felt the simplicity of that style suited the era of story line very well. Everything is drawn great, especially the cats, and the story just panels in and out as the episode progresses. It is very whimsical. The main character is very likable with his understanding and calm personality. The cat demon is very sarcastic and crude sense of humor. He also has a very deep voice. The first episode was very sad, but it was a wonderful way of introducing the plot and anime.

Denki Gai no Honya-san by Asato Mizu

i90SQ91uiMXNyThis is a much stranger anime that focuses on the workers in a manga store. Each of the coworkers are unique and a little strange (some very strange), all become very close friends. It is a typical slice of life but with the characters being more ‘moe’ than sometimes natural. It was a good watch though. despite the cute art style, this is more for adults with concepts of yaoi and erotic manga being commonly mentioned (whole plot of episode 1).

The art is super cute, and more a style that TheBetterCup liked verses my own taste. It is very chibi-like and moe, but it works well with the story type. It is youthful and matches with the innocent feel. It is overall very funny and sweet, but more for adults. Only one thing really stuck out to me in a way that was a little ridiculous. I just cannot understand how the female main characters are about two feet shorter then all the other people (male and female).

Wolf Girl and Black Prince by Ayuko Hatta


vkss_ookami_shoujo_to_kuro_ouji_ch_005_img001I picked this one off of a whim, I thought it would match the anime I usually liked. To be honest, I wanted more from this anime. I feel like the plot has so many possibilities that were not taken. The opening sequence had so many scenes that were never actually shown. The story is about a wolf girl (young girl that lies about most all things) who needs the most popular boy to help her by pretending to be her boyfriend. He accepts readily, but only in the condition that she becomes his dog (he is super twisted). In the anime, I hated how desperate she was and how cruel he was. At one point, it felt hard to continue. This sort of thing was a little less extreme in the manga (at least to me). I really wished that the part where they keep up the charade lasted longer. I feel like this girl fell in love very quickly, by like episode three, and it was to a guy who is not very nice to begin with. But some where in the middle of the anime, he just gives a complete turn around.

I really like the art style. It is the typical shoujo art, but the author is really great at ikemen (handsome men). So most of the best parts was how well drawn the cute guys were. I was really surprised by how much I ended up liking the manga. I say try it if you got the time.

-Blog Barista

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Manga Review: Double Special

Happy New Years!! BlogBarista here. I hope everyone had a good day, but most of all I hope everyone goes into the new year with a positive outlook. I for one am not. I feel this horrible feeling of dread that I just cannot explain without beginning to panic. Anyways, outside of all my responsibilities that comes with the spring season, I have been catching up on all my favorite manga (all of which I have mentioned here on this blog at some point or another). They have been helping me cope with the panic of reality, but I finished all of them and have to find more. All day TheBetterCup and I have been reading a bunch of pretty bad manga, and we felt we could share our thoughts on two of them. So here you go.

Hadashi de Bara wo Fume (Stepping on Roses Barefoot) by Ueda Rinko

Hadashi.de.Bara.wo.Fume.582371
-What is this manga about?

Well this manga is a historical shoujo romance, that plays out like an Otome dating sims game (I’m addicted to these, so I’d know). It starts off with a poor girl named Sumi during the year Meji 25 (around the 1890s). She has about 6 adopted siblings, all younger then her, and an older brother Eisuke. Eisuke has taken out 2,000 yen (3 million yen now-a-days) in loans (half under Sumi’s name) and gambles away all of it. They haven’t payed rent in over half a year, and to make matters worst as her brother brings more orphans for her to take care of, when one of the children, Tomi, gets a fever, and doctors refuse to help her. This causes Sumi to break down in the middle of a busy street begging for help, and a young gentleman (dressed in foreign like clothing) gives her money for medication. As Sumi immediately falls in love for this mystery man, we discover that Eisuke’s job is to date rich, married women, one of them being the wife of the man who loaned them the money. As the Ooya-san (landlady) threatens to kick them out, and Eisuke runs away abandoning Sumi and her siblings, the loan shark threatens to sell the children off in the slave market. Sumi agrees to make the money over night and runs to the red district to work as a prostitute. In the end a man named Soichiro Ashida (rich, young, gentleman type tsundere) agrees to buy her for 2,000 yen. But when she is taken to his house he reveals that he bought her life. He makes a deal for her to hadashi-de-bara-wo-fume-601321be his wife so that he may receive his inheritance, and he will buy her anything she wants (even help her family) on the condition that she never falls in love with him (this is a hint that they will fall in love). The story continues with her conflicting feelings as she falls in love with the princely man that helped her initially and her husband who has his own conflicts.


-What do I think?

This is the exact same plot as like three of the dating sims I am playing at the moment. The main character Sumi is very 2 dimensional and in my opinion a little too obedient, but she is only 15 years old. The plot is over used, and though I would never bother to continue reading this, if this floats your boat please try it. I know that playing this plot out in the Otome games pisses me off, because I cannot understand how the MC agrees to and ends up loving the guys who put them through this bizarre scenario so readily, but maybe the awkward start leads to a much more in depth plot and characterization.

-TheBetterCup

Hirunaka no Ryuusei/Day Time Shooting Star by Mika Yamamori

tumblr_n5tx1c0icF1shksruo1_500 -What is this manga about?

Suzume Yosano is a fifteen year old country bumpkin whose parents send her to Tokyo to live with her uncle for a while. Through “unexpected” circumstances she meets a mysterious, some what older man who turns out to be her homeroom teacher. Her very first friend in school is a classmate who feels uneasy around women and thus can be very rude. A love triangle forms between her, her teacher, and that new friend. Along her journey in her new home, she makes new friends, falls in love, and learns more about herself (of course). ‘Who will she end up with’ is the most important question.

dhirunaka-no-ryuusei-3227513-What do I think?

I started reading without looking at a synopsis first, and from the get go i liked it. The art was cute and unique, and the girls personality is good. She does not come off as dull but she is not unpleasant and annoying either (at least to me). Then we found out her potential love interests were her teacher and this adorable guy. At first I was not pleased with the idea of a student-teacher relationship, it just is not something that I feel comfortable with. But the teacher was so cool and cute!! He is the type of guy I like in general. then we met the classmate, and he was awesome from the start. I secretly hope she ends up with him. Anyways, I like the art and the plot. It may not be original, but is not boring and cliche feeling so far, it may be because I like the character personality a little more. Honestly this may have been better if it was just a love story with two people (no conflict with morals and no love triangles), just a story of how to people fell in love and got along. I still like it though.

-BlogBarista

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