[Blog Update] I have a Ko-Fi page now!

Hi guys!

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, so I figured I’d give this a shot. I now have a Ko-Fi page where you can choose to drop me a couple dollars here or there. For the most part I think I’ll be using this to supplement my funds for manga and comics. This will mean I’ll have more freedom to take a chance on manga I might otherwise not pick up and it will help fund some of my longer-running series reviews. It may also help fund a future switch-over to a paid WordPress site that will allow me to make the site look and run a little better.

So if you like what I do, and have the money to spare, feel free to drop me some dollars over at my Ko-Fi page.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Thanks!

~Allison


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Time to Spookify the Blog for October! [Blog Update]

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Hi there!

One of my favorite times of the year is coming up in two weeks! Trees changing color, various apple flavored desserts and ciders, and the digging up of old spooky stories told to pass the growing nights. As you can tell, I love Fall and the month of October especially. October means Halloween, one of my favorite indie comic conventions, and Inktober! So, I wanted to try something new this year and get the blog into the spirit of the season so to speak.

You all seemed to love my Mythology of Ancient Magus’ Bride posts, with a total of 1,297 views for the first one alone. What better way to usher in the season then to take a dive into more mythology in a special month-long event! Continue reading

Tokyo Tarareba Girls Manga Volume 2 Review

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I’m approaching 30 and am two years out from getting married, so it’s safe to say that I’m not really the target audience for Tokyo Tarareba Girls, but I do feel like I know enough people like the women in this manga to feel a connection to their story. They’re thirty year old women who have been told over and over again by society that they might as well be washed-up has-beens if they’re not married and living comfortably by now. This manga is simultaneously a depressing and entertaining look at how society–Japanese society in particular–enforces ideals of marriage, success, and love on women throughout their lives while setting an arbitrary cut-off date for these things at 30 years old. Akiko Higashimura continues to use a sharp sense of wit, a dynamic art style, and a keen understanding of society to create a truly entertaining manga for thirty-somethings and those of us approaching that arbitrary milestone age.

Volume two of Tokyo Tarareba Girls picks up right where volume one left off, with the fallout over Rinko drunkenly sleeping with the famous model Key. After finding herself alone the morning after, Rinko heads back home by herself feeling like it’s becoming ever more apparent she’s going to be alone for the rest of her life. Meanwhile, her friends Kaori and Koyuki are feeling like they’ve found a small bit of bliss while hooking up with a married man and an unavailable ex-boyfriend respectively. However, even these two begin to see that sex isn’t everything and the same old “what-if’s” begin to pop up again as they all have to face up against younger and fitter women. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (11/5 – 11/11)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. I’m trying to get back into the groove of writing twice a week and taking a look through my manga backlog, so be prepared for more manga reviews coming up this month. As for major news items for this week: the effects of the Crunchyroll/Funimation split is still being felt as Crunchyroll loses 300+ titles to the FunimationNow service; Netflix has announced 5 new animated titles coming to their service, some based off of major franchises; and the comic industry has seen a big sales success this past October, becoming a major sales month for the industry. Be sure to check out some of the articles and videos down below, and as always, have a great Sunday! Continue reading

Water Dragon’s Bride Manga Volume 1 First Impressions

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A couple months ago I posted on Twitter asking for opinions on what manga I should buy if I could only buy one volume, and this manga, Water Dragon’s Bride, was one of the suggestions I got. I’ve been trying to branch out from some of the longer running series I’ve been reading, trying out new stories and manga that look interesting, so I figured why not give this one a shot. I honestly wasn’t sure what my opinion of the story might be going in, but I was a little worried that I probably wouldn’t like this one or that it would have some problematic age-related romance in it that I usually steer clear of. And in some ways this manga surprised me, but in others it also confused me. I can see the appeal of the story and what the mangaka might have been going for in this first volume, but in all honesty, I’m not sure this manga is for me.

The Water Dragon’s Bride is a shoujo manga created by mangaka Rei Toma who has also created Dawn of Arcana. It’s a story about a young girl who is completely spoiled by her parents that gets transported to another world through a small pond in her backyard. The girl, Asahi, has no idea where she is and everything and everyone in this world is so strange and old-fashioned, totally different from the bustle of modern Tokyo she just left. She soon meets a young boy named Subaru who offers to shelter her while they look for a way to get her back to her parents. But Asahi’s strange clothes and way of speaking scare the other members of his village, and they begin to think that maybe she would be a suitable sacrifice to the god that lives in the lake. Continue reading

Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits Anime 2nd Cour Review

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Kakuriyo hits a lot of the key points for me in terms of a series that I know I’m going to be interested in long-term. It has a focus on youkai, and as you probably know by now, I will forever be drawn to series that use concepts of mythology and the supernatural. But it keeps going further, by blending this youkai base with concepts of cooking and romance. In essence, it becomes its own weird isekai/cooking genre, with similarities to say Restaurant to Another World where the main character is forced to cook for youkai and other interesting characters with the romance integrated into the main plotline but not overshadowing it. I have to say at the end of watching the last cour, I do find myself liking the series as a whole and might pursue looking into the manga since the volumes are just starting to publish here in the US. However, I do have certain problems with the series, but those mainly focus on the quality of animation.

The second cour of Kakuriyo picks right up where the first cour ended, and while I only went up to episode 12 in the last review, I would say the second cour starts around episode 14. It’s within these first couple episodes that we see the beginning of the second major story arc with the arrival of the head of the competing Southern inn Orio-ya, Ranmaru. We met some of the employees of this inn before in the last cour, but it is here that it is revealed that Ginji’s status as a Tenjin-ya employee is only temporary, and he called back to Orio-ya to complete a special “ceremony”. In an effort to prevent this from happening and convince him to come back, Aoi threatens Ranmaru and Ougon-douji and is promptly kidnapped and taken with them to Orio-ya where her struggles begin anew. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (10/29 – 11/4)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. I hope you all enjoyed the mythology special from last month. Please let me know in the comments whether you want to see more of it next year or if you have any other suggestions for an October special. It’s back to regular reviews and articles this week. As for news items this week: Crunchyroll has announced what titles will be leaving their platform following the end of their deal with Funimation; Dark Horse has sold a controlling interest in their company to a Chinese investor; and drama continues on the comicsgate front in two separate articles down below. Be sure to check out the videos and articles posted below, and be sure to have a great rest of your Sunday! Continue reading

October Mythology Special: Kuchisake-Onna, or What Happens When Ghost Stories Get Too Real

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You’re walking down a dark street at night. Mist is starting to cover the ground making the road ahead of you hard to see. Suddenly you see the shadow of a woman step out of the mist and walk towards you. She looks like a fairly normal Japanese woman and is wearing a surgical mask to cover her face. That in and of itself isn’t weird as many people in Japan wear masks when they are sick or for various other reasons. The woman continues to walk towards you, and when she is close enough for you to see her face clearly, she asks, “Am I beautiful?” Not wanting to be rude, you answer “Yes”. The woman takes hold of her mask, pulling it down to reveal a mouth that has been slit open ear-to-ear, and asks, “Even now?” You have just met the Kuchisake-onna, how do you answer? Be careful, if you answer wrong, you could end up looking like her. Continue reading

October Mythology Special: Gashadokuro, the Hungriest of Ghosts

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Japan is known for its hungry ghosts, yurei who come back to haunt those who have wronged them or come back to fulfill some unfulfilled purpose before they can move on. In the last post, we had the Manekute no Yurie or the beckoning hand that appears sticking out of empty rooms, and will only go away once its wants are fulfilled or someone reads it some sutras. However, the the Manekute no Yurei is a fairly benevolent ghost despite its hunger. Hunger can be an extremely powerful force especially when put into the perspective of starvation and famine, and that’s where tonight’s ghostly story comes from. The Gashadokuro is the hungriest ghost of all and one of the most dangerous of the yurei who walk the darkened streets of Japan. You definitely don’t want to meet this one, but if you do there’s only one thing you can do…..run. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (10/22 -10/28)

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Welcome back to another “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. I’m almost to the end of this year’s first October Mythology Special, with only two or three posts left. Be sure to check out my older posts and let me know what you think of them because I’m on the fence on whether to do it again next year. Anyways, for top news stories this week: My Hero Academia will be getting a live-action film adaptation; Misaaki Yuasa has unveiled his new anime film in the making; and NASA has announced some new pop culture themed constellations. There are a bunch of interviews and videos this week, so be sure to check those out. As always, have a great Sunday! Continue reading

October Mythology Special: The Disembodied Hands of Legend

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I’m sure you’ve noticed just how much I’ve been talking about XXXHolic, and it’s not just because it’s that time of year when I want to read slightly spooky or mystical stories. The content of XXXHolic hits on a lot of humanity’s biggest fears and insecurities, including the ones from legends and folklore. In chapter 26 of the manga, Watanuki keeps running into a disembodied hand on his way home from buying groceries. A hand sticking out of a cherry blossom tree. A hand lying behind a sandwich sign. At first he brushes it off as a mannequin hand, but when he makes it to the park, the hand is there again sticking straight up out of the ground. As he watches, a small petal falls onto its palm, the fingers close and reopen. The petal is gone. When some kids get too close, Watanuki loses his grocery bag to the hand and it drags it back into the earth where suspicious crunching noises are heard.

Stumbling into this short encounter while reading XXXHolic had me wondering what other kinds of myths were out there concerning disembodied hands, and is this one related to any in particular. I realize it might be a strange thought to have, but hear me out and join me as I go down this rabbit hole. I promise I’ll try and keep it short this time. Continue reading