2013 News Archive


January 7, 2013

Three for three! Maybe next week will make it a solid four...anyway, it's nice to be back to reviewing on a regular basis, especially when I found another gem in House Of Five Leaves. It's a period drama that's in some way like a slice-of-life show, only with reluctant criminals from the Edo era. Well worth your time (and hopefully the minute it will take to read the review).

January 14, 2013

Back again...not quite as good news as last week's surprisingly excellent entry House Of Five Leaves, but Garden Of Sinners 6: Oblivion Recorder is one of the better films in that particular series. It's never going to be a favorite, but those who don't consider themselves big fans of the Garden mythos might find this one a little better (and lighter) than its predecessors, despite its need to break taboos.

January 21, 2013

I was late onto the Berserk bandwagon, watching the decade-and-a-half-old series only in the last year or so. I was surprised just how much I loved it. Berserk: The Golden Age Arc 1 - The Egg Of The King begins the story again at breakneck speed for a new generation. Does it succeed? My answer lies within the review...

February 11, 2013

I was on a roll there for a bit, but I got set back by my latest review...Katanagatari. I got through the first box set, which is six hours that I had hoped would be far better than what it was. However, it seems like a lot of folks love this title, so check out the article to find out why I'm not so keen on this odd samurai-era epic.

March 11, 2013

While I've taken a month to get to my next review, I'm glad that frustration isn't the reason for my lack of an update. In fact, Cromartie High School is one of the funniest anime I've seen, and it's well worth your time. While I did a review of the first volume a few years ago, I'm glad to get the chance to revisit it and watch the whole thing. While you might find it a little too absurd to marathon -- hence the time delay -- it is a riot for those who can appreciate the absurdity of high school and the crazy characters that populate a school for the criminally delinquent.

March 18, 2013

Back this week with a blast from the past called California Crisis. It's a one-shot OVA from 1986, and while it has a plot that makes Dolph Lundgren movies look complex by comparison, the art style and curious attention to the details of So Cal in that era make it an interesting watch if you find it online. The article will fill you in on the particulars of this silly sci-fi/action adventure.

March 25, 2013

As parts of the midwestern U.S. are getting blasted with a late snowstorm that's keeping many home, I had hoped to give a recommendation for my snow-bound friends in that region. Sadly, that's not the case. Instead, I have a review of Blue Flames, which is one of the worst anime I've seen in recent memory. Read on to find out why...

April 8, 2013

I'm glad to report that my most recent anime series is no April Fool's joke but a thrilling (if gory) action series well worth checking out. 2007's Baccano! is a fun bit of Prohibition-era craziness with gunfire, psychopaths, immortals, and more. Not for the squeamish, Baccano! pushes the envelope as to the type of storytelling we see in anime, and it's a solid recommend for my adult readers.

But before you head to the link, I want to acknowledge the passing of reviewing legend Roger Ebert. Many authors, artists, and designers have affected me, but Roger Ebert inspired this page many moons ago. His singular voice and crackling wit were what I've always aspired to in my writing, and on a few occasions I think I might have attained it. Roger was a friend to cinemaphiles and anime fans alike. But most important for my work here, you always knew why Roger loved and hated particular films. With passion and reason, he made it possible to have a genuine debate about film while remaining respectful. My goal has never been to tell my readers what to think; rather, I try to explain why I think what I think in such a way that you'd know whether or not you'd agree or disagree. I learned that from Roger Ebert. Prayers go out to his wife Chaz, his family and friends, and all of us who will miss Uncle Roger's thoughts each Friday.

April 22, 2013

The stream of solid TV shows continues with my review of Eden of the East. A fun action thriller with romantic and techno/political elements, it grabbed my attention and never let go...though when I got to the end, I realized there were a few more plot holes than I normally prefer. No matter, though. Eden of the East is worth your time, even though it's pretty much a must for me now to go check out the two follow-up films...

April 29, 2013

I've been working through the Garden of Sinners films for quite some time. I finally finished up the series with movie 7, A Study In Murder Part 2. Is it worth getting to the ending of this dark, dreary thriller series? And is the series as a whole worth the investment? Find out ahead...

May 6, 2013

The OVA is dead. Long live the OVA! It's true that we get a mere trickle of these short gems these days, mostly as special features for Japanese audiences paying out ridiculous sums of money for DVDs of their favorite series. Stand-alone OVAs are increasingly rare. However, we've seen a few come out stateside in the last couple of years, including the two pack of Five Numbers and Coicent. (I'll get to Coicent next week.) So does Five Numbers harken back to the OVA renaissance or just to trash like Psychic Wars? Read on to find out...

May 13, 2013

As promised, I return with the review of Coicent, a fun OVA release from 2011 that I recently found on Hulu. With a hearty helping of romance, a hint of sci-fi, and a dash of action, it's a recipe for a half an hour of fun. My review gives a little more detail why those who might skip its counterpart, last week's Five Numbers, might still want to pick this up.

May 27, 2013

It's been a very long time since I did a two-for-one review, but you're getting that today with my write-up of Eden of the East: The King of Eden/Paradise Lost. After seeing The King Of Eden, I realized that the only way to judge it was by its conclusion. Then I watched Paradise Lost...and sadly enough, abandon all hope, all ye who enter here. My review goes into the grisly details of how a most enjoyable TV show became a most awful couple of films.

June 3, 2013

After last week's crash and burn on a couple of relatively newer films, I headed into the Wayback machine for some nostalgia. I found it with Cosmos Pink Shock, a nearly forgotten '80s parody OVA. Is it great? No. But it is a very good time for anybody who became a fan during the era. Click ever onward to find out more...

June 17, 2013

While it wasn't on the review list, I unexpectedly got hooked on a show currently running in Japan and being shown here shortly after its broadcast there...Attack on Titan. While it has minor issues, I can't remember the last time I was this deeply hooked on an anime from the start. If you like dark sci-fi action, this is one you're going to want to follow. Read the preview to find out why, in the span of nine episodes, I've become an apologist for the show.

July 1, 2013

It's a little weird that there's a whole genre of anime films dedicated to how children survived (or didn't survive) World War II. It's definitely a part of the Japanese psyche, and I found another entry in the form of The Glass Rabbit. While a good film, it's not unique enough to stand out from the crowd. Nevertheless, those interested in wartime drama who've already seen the standards like Grave of the Fireflies might enjoy it quite a bit.

July 15, 2013

Just a quick note for everybody...haven't updated for a while and just wanted to give my loyal readers a heads-up. I am currently working on coding a completely new front-end for The Anime Review! The place hasn't had a facelift since 1999 -- an eternity in web time -- so it's high time it happened. It's not as if we're going cutting edge; it's still going to be a one-man review shop, after all. But hopefully the changes will be welcome. If nothing else, I've learned a whole lot of HTML/CSS in the process!

July 29, 2013

Welcome to the new and improved Anime Review! The Anime Review is all new under the hood, but everything you love about her is still here. Take the update of the longest running anime review site on the Web out for a spin!

August 5, 2013

Space Battleship Yamato: Resurrection's occasionally jaw-dropping effects make it much easier to swallow today than the dated films of the 70s and 80s...but otherwise, it's pure Yamato, for good and for bad. Continue reading here...

August 12, 2013

The Princess and the Pilot is attempt to make a '30s romantic adventure movie, only without snappy dialogue, great action, or real romance. Huh. Continue reading...

August 19, 2013

Unfortunately for the makers of Planzet, beautiful but dead CGI, dark but boring science fiction tropes, and family angst do not a good motion picture make. Continue reading...

August 26, 2013

Although the look is a bit dated, you'll rarely find a more intriguing, character-driven sci-fi show out there than Crest of the Stars. Continue reading...

September 2, 2013

This week, we have Children Who Chase Lost Voices, Makoto Shinkai's haunting, beautiful tribute to the works of Hayao Miyazaki which comes close to besting the master. Continue reading...

September 9, 2013

Sadly, RahXephon: Pluralitas Concentio is proof once again that unless you really know what you're doing, condensing an epic television series into a two-hour movie is a bad move. Continue reading...

September 16, 2013

While derivative, Tailenders is a short sci-fi racer good for a burst of adrenaline, especially if you're a teenage boy (or remember being one). Continue reading...

September 23, 2013

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos is a fun, final adventure with the Elric Brothers that gives us an additional hour and a half with some old friends. Continue reading

September 30, 2013

Osamu Tezuka's 1978 telethon movie, Undersea Super Train: Marine Express smushes all his beloved characters into an archaic, silly, but fun 90 minutes of ridiculousness. Continue reading