This short-form anime is just three and a half minutes long but is packed with romance, comedy, and slice-of-life moments that make you want to keep watching. Like most short-form series, this anime started as a 4-Koma webcomic created by Cool-kyō Shinja which was then compiled into volumes. The anime adaptation started airing in 2014 for 13 episodes and received a second season the following year. Created by Studio Seven, you can see their long history with moe anime throughout this show, but that certainly doesn’t detract from the show at all.
I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying follows the lives of a husband and wife who couldn’t be more different from each other. The husband, Hajime, is a complete otaku who works as a web designer and obsesses over figurines and manga. Kaoru, the wife, is a more “normal” person who likes socializing with her friends and works a regular office job. Throughout the series, their differences in interests and culture clash, but they both work hard to try and understand one another. Continue reading
Liquor & Cigarette (L&C) is a one-shot manga that drew me in from the very first page but didn’t necessarily live up to the level of its art when it came to the story. Created by Ranmaru Zariya, L&C is their first work in the shonen-ai or boys love genre. It’s a short and sweet story that definitely has a lot of great points to it, but left me wanting at the end.
For anyone interested, here’s a very brief synopsis:
Teo recently inherited his father’s liquor store after he retired. Camillo is his best friend from childhood who lives across the street and runs a Tobacconists. During the warmest days, Teo can smell the scent of cigarettes and shampoo wafting over. With Camillo completely open about his bisexuality, flirting with the many women who come to his store just to see him, Teo begins to question why Camillo’s scent is becoming so appealing. Continue reading
As part of last season’s shows, Doukyuusei slipped through my radar mainly due to it not being aired on the various anime streaming services I follow, but I managed to track it down just a short while ago and I have not regretted it. Doukyuusei is a short, hour-long movie that combines some great animation with a sweet romance to produce a truly entertaining Boys Love film. For fans of Boys Love I really can’t recommend this enough.
For anyone interested, here’s a quick synopsis:
Rihito Sajou is an honor student who got perfect scores in every subject on his high school entrance exam. Hikaru Kusakabe plays guitar in his band that performs at live events and is popular among the girls. These boys would have never crossed paths. But one day Hikaru offers to help Rihito prepare for their upcoming chorus festival and the two begin to talk. As the two meet after school, they feel one another’s sound, listen to each other’s voice, and begin to harmonize as their hearts beat together. Continue reading
Horimiya takes the concept of public versus private personas that we’ve seen in other manga’s such as Kare Kano and makes a truly entertaining and sweet story out of it. This manga, which at the time of writing reached 75 chapters, is a great read that thoroughly entertained me, possibly making it into my top 10 list. Focusing more on the comedic aspects that each character brings to the story, the overall manga is light on the drama. However, this also makes the serious moments all the more apparent when they do appear, and there are some good ones. The characters struggle with their own sense of self-worth, overcoming bullies and social exclusion to become people you truly want to root for.
If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, here’s a quick synopsis:
With workaholic parents and a little brother that still needs to be taken care of, Hori doesn’t have much time to socialize with her friends. But she also doesn’t want them to know that and the fact that she acts more like a housewife than a teenager at home. Miyamura is a stereotypically nerdy-looking guy with his long hair, glasses, and quiet demeanor. Pretty much everyone in class ignores him and he doesn’t seem to have many friends at all. Outside of school however, he pulls back his hair showing all of his piercings though still hiding his tattoos. When the two of them meet without their public personas, they form an unlikely friendship around keeping each other’s secret. Continue reading
Natsuyuki Rendezvous was simulcast aired and was simulcast by Crunchyroll in 2012, and it’s a shame I didn’t get around to watching it until now. This anime is not your typical romance, geared towards an older audience and dealing mostly with how people process grief over the loss of a loved one. Strong animation and vibrant colors help bring out the show’s emphasis on nature, flowers, and the individual characters that are the life of this anime. Packed with drama, grief, and the discovery of new love, Natsuyuki Rendezvous gives us a show that can be deeply introspective while crafting a tale of the process of moving on after death from both sides of the veil.
If you haven’t had the chance to check it out yet, here’s a quick synopsis:
After falling in love with the owner of a flower shop near his apartment, Hazuki decides to take up a part-time job there. But as he grows closer to Rokka, his manager, details about her past begin to be uncovered particularly when the ghost of her dead husband appears. It just so happens that Rokka’s ex-husband died at a young age due to cancer but still cannot let go of their relationship. As Hazuki tries to do his best to persuade Rokka to go on a date with him, her husbands lingering ghost does his best to get in their way. Continue reading
This will be a short one today mostly because the comic I’m going to talk about is a short-format gag strip that was compiled into a few volumes of its own. Tsurezure Children started as a web 4-koma comic created by Toshiya Wakabayashi. Four-koma comics typically focus on gags and are typically arranged in four panels reading top to bottom or two columns of panels side-by-side. This comic was eventually picked up by Kodansha’s Bessatsu Shonen Magazine and then transferred to Weekly Shonen Magazine. It came to my attention a short while ago when an announcement was made that it was going to get an anime adaptation in the Summer season of this year. It seemed interesting enough, a simple comic that focuses on young high school kids having trouble confessing or talking about their feelings, and it very quickly made me glad I picked it up. Continue reading
I’ve Always Liked You is an hour-long film that appeared on the Crunchyroll simulcast list last season. I was meaning to watch it then, started watching a bit of it, but wound up only finishing it this week. The film is based on a Vocaloid song produced by Honey Works but manages to combine their music and the films plot in such a way that it wasn’t that obvious until the end. With some of their other music interspersed throughout, this anime presents a story about three different couples, each learning about love in their own way whether it be questions about what it means to date, fears about losing a good friend, or what it means to actually be in love. The whole move comes off as a sweet but pretty standard shoujo romance.
Here’s a brief synopsis to get you started:
The movie begins with Natsuki confessing her love for her childhood friend Yuu, but then chickening out and claiming that it was merely practice for her real confession. Yuu eventually agrees to help her practice her confessions, all the while wondering if he can really support her in the end. The next couple is Mio and Haruki, who are close friends bordering on boyfriend and girlfriend. Mio is also having trouble confessing her feelings, wondering what would change if they became boyfriend and girlfriend. While Haruki seems nonchalant about the whole thing, he too is wondering if they should take the next step in their relationship. The last relationship is between Akari and Mochizuki. Mochizuki has always admired Akari from afar, but never had the courage to confess let alone talk to her. Akari is someone who has never fallen in love, but when Mochizuki finally gets up the courage to talk to her, will that change? Continue reading
I wanted to step away from the print arena for a little while to talk about a webcomic I recently came across called Love Not Found, created by writer and artist Gina Biggs. I’m always looking for new stories and comics to explore, and webcomics provide a way for new and experienced creators to tell the stories they want to tell. Love Not Found is a comic that may show a slightly amateurish art style, but it makes up for it for the story it weaves full of futuristic technology and the re-discovery of love. I was hesitant to read it at first, as I can be picky about art styles, but the unique world she brings to life kept me coming back for more.
To give an idea what this comic is about, here’s a quick synopsis:
In the years following the decline of Earth, much of its past inhabitants looked to the stars for their new homes, venturing to new planets and ecosystems to reap out a new living. But as they journeyed the galaxy and technology increased, the need for human contact diminished. Much of the human population gets their pleasure through personalized machines and sees human touch of any kind as revolting. It is in this time that Abeille decides to move from her planet of perpetual winter to one filled with lush, yet alien, greenery. She brings with her one desire, to build a garden in memory of her deceased sister. But that dream quickly becomes eclipsed by another: to feel what it’s like to be touched by another human being. Continue reading
This anime wasn’t even on my radar until I saw it recommended as the best anime of 2016 by Mother’s Basement on Youtube. The concept of the show deals with a part of Japan’s theatrical history that was present before WWII, and then follows it through the post-war era as it battles with the westernization and subsequent censorship. While I’m not entirely sure if I would agree with Mother’s Basement that this show deserves to be heralded as the best anime of 2016, but it comes pretty close. Produced by Studio Deen, the team really showed their skill in the amount and range of expressiveness in the characters, which includes the amazing work the voice actors did in bringing their characters to life.
For anyone who was like me and let this slip under their radar, here’s a quick synopsis:
After being released from prison, Yotaro knows exactly what he wants to do: become a rakugo performer. However, rakugo is an art that is often passed from master to apprentice, with chosen apprentices taking on their master’s name once he retires. In order to be the best, Yotaro decides to learn from the best, but the great Yakumo has never taken an apprentice in his whole career. Something about Yotaro intrigues Yakumo, though, and he finds himself joining Yakumo’s dysfunctional family that includes a red-headed, fiery adopted daughter. After finding out that her real father used to be an apprentice under Yakumo’s predecessor at the same time as him, Yotaro convinces his new master to tell them the story of the now deceased Sukeroku which takes them all back to the 1930s. Continue reading
Lucky Penny is co-created by one of my favorite artist and writer teams, Yuko Ota and Ananth Hirsh, who also create the webcomic Johnny Wander plus many other independent comics and collaborations.This graphic novel was published through the support of backers on Kickstarter, but the experience and unique style of Ota and Hirsch help make it a great and entertaining read especially for fans of other comics like Scott Pilgrim by Brian Lee O’Malley. I saw a lot of his influence in both Ota’s style and the story overall, a story that follows the lives of two very flawed but passionate people trying to come together and grow into adulthood while facing some seemingly unlucky events.
If you haven’t had a chance to take a look at Lucky Penny, here’s a quick synopsis:
Penny Brighton is a woman down on her luck. She lost her job, lost her apartment, and is now living in a storage shed and working for a 12-year-old boss at a laundromat. Armed with her stash of raunchy romance novels and a cat named Boyfriend, she tries to make the best of her situation. But when she agrees to go on a date with the slightly dorky and quiet Walter in exchange for free showers at the gym, will her luck begin to turn? What about the rumors of middle schoolers causing trouble, does that have anything to do with the sounds she’s hearing outside her shed door? Continue reading