Welcome back to another installment of The Mythology of Ancient Magus Bride, where we take a look at the origins behind many of our favorite characters and smaller aspects of the show. As you know from my previous two posts, the mangaka Kore Yamazaki, loved to pull from various mythology in her construction of this world. We see evidence of this all over the place, from the characters themselves to the world building to the minute details. With these posts, I wanted to try and capture and examine these myths and people as examining their origins allows us to have a better and deeper understanding of the show as a whole. Usually I would present you with six aspects of the show to examine, but I only had time for five this time. Tonight we’ll examine the meaning and history of poppy flowers, the origins of Chise’s stone necklace, the mythology of transformative animal pelts, the legends surrounding faerie world time, and the connection between red hair and magic. Continue reading
The Secret Loves of Geeks is a follow-up to the previous anthology The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, which I admittedly need to read as well. I’ve been seeing this one pop up on my Twitter feed for the last couple weeks as its release date came and went. Ultimately, the cover, with its multitude of meme-themed cats and the big-name contributors really convinced me to pick this one up as I was browsing through a comic store. Anthologies have always been a draw for me, as they give me a way to discover new artists while reading a diverse collection of stories. So far I’ve reviewed two anthologies focusing on romance and sex, and I’m glad to be able to add this one to the list as it definitely doesn’t disappoint in its content.
If the name hasn’t given it away, this anthology features prose stories and comics from a diverse cast of creators, artists, writers of geek culture about their most heartbreaking or uplifting tales of love, sex, and dating. It includes contributions from such professionals as: Patrick Rothfuss (Name of the Wind), Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale), Hope Larson (Batgirl), Chris Roberson (iZombie), and Jamie McKelvie (The Wicked + The Divine). The anthology is edited by Hope Nicholson and is currently published by Dark Horse. Continue reading
Today’s review got a bit delayed by life so it’ll be going up tomorrow. Incidentally, that life just happens to be getting engaged last December (I’m constantly getting distracted by wedding things now) and getting a promotion at my full-time job (which means I’ll probably be getting a little busier). Anywho, this shouldn’t effect my blog schedule too much. New reviews will go up every Wednesday and Saturday as long as there are no unforeseen delays, and long articles will be going up once a month.
But what I really want to talk about is two new ideas for this blog that I’d like some opinion on: Continue reading
I’ve been following the artist of this comic for a while on Instagram and have been keeping up a bit with the hype on this comic for awhile. So when it was finally released not too long ago, I knew I had to pick it up and check out the story for myself. I have to say, for any LGBT and/or African American comic fans out there, I would highly suggest you pick this up. Even for general lovers of queer romance stories, I think this comic has something major to offer to the general narrative surrounding queer romance, especially for older couples. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t have some problems with it overall, it just means I think the comic’s ability to bring a new and compelling story to the romance table may outweigh some of its faults.
The plot of Bingo Love surrounds the multi-decade love story of two women named Elle and Mari. They both grew up during the 60s when the concept of lesbian or homosexual love was still criminalized and heavily looked down upon especially by many religious communities. Elle and Mari happen to meet each other at a church bingo event while they’re with their grandmothers. Over the course of the next couple weeks, they become best friends, and Elle tries her best to hide her growing romantic feelings for Mari. But after having their sexuality discovered by their families, both girls are forced to separate, marry traditional husbands, and they never see each other again for nearly 50 years. That is until a fateful night at a bingo hall.
Please check out the comic first before continuing. Spoilers below. Continue reading
This is my first time doing something like this, but I really wanted to take the chance to thank all 59 of my followers for supporting me the past year and a half (has it really been that long?!). A big thank you to Irina in particular for nominating me for this award. I’ve loved getting to know the aniblogging community and reading everyone’s posts. I don’t get a lot of chances to sit down and do a “state of the blog” post or a personal post, mostly because my job keeps me fairly busy all week combined with my need to satisfy my FOMO when it comes to anime and manga. I wind up spending all my free time watching anime, reading manga/comics, and trying to find the time to play a video game or two. Anyways! I wanted to take the chance to go through and answer some questions for you guys.
Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid has to be one of the few yuri animes I actually like. It manages to combine great animation and enjoyable characters in such a way that you almost feel like you’re not watching a typical yuri show. The anime was originally part of the Spring 2017 simulcast season on Crunchyroll and ran for 13 episodes. Just recently, they released the 14th episode, a Valentine’s Day special OVA that brings us back to the world of cute dragons and ridiculously lovable characters. Compared to the previous episodes, this special may seem a little empty as it focuses on more mundane aspects of the character’s lives rather than the fantastical. However, I think the episode holds a lot of great, small character moments, and, while the episode doesn’t have the regular crazy dragon moments, it makes up for it in the quieter exploration of relationships.
If you haven’t watched Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid yet I highly suggest you do (and also read my review of the full series here). The basic story centers around an office worker named Kobayashi who opens her front door one day to find a large dragon staring back at her. The dragon transforms into a cute maid girl and introduces herself as Tohru. Apparently, the night before Kobayashi stumbled into the forest while drunk and found Tohru, and subsequently offered her a place to stay. Kobayashi now finds herself with a maid that happens to be a dragon who also happens to be madly in love with her. The recent OVA gives a look at their first Valentine’s day together and a hot spring trip with friends. Continue reading
Everyday on this blog is Valentine’s Day, so for this and every year after, February 14th will be known as Anti-Valentine’s Day here. This will be a time where we take a look at one non-romance anime, manga, or comic whether it be horror, mystery, or even comedy. In the case of the one we’re looking at today, it’s all three. Ghost Stories, specifically the English Dub, has developed a cult following over the years mainly due to the ridiculous amount of freedom given to the voice actors during development. The story itself is generic to the point of being boring, and I can understand why the original bombed in Japan. I think it’s really only through the creativity of ADV Films that this show developed as much of a following as it has now. If you haven’t already, I highly suggest checking this one out as all 20 episodes are widely available online.
The anime is based off of some fairly popular books by Tōru Tsunemitsu. The story goes that a girl, Satsuki, and her little brother, Keiichirou, move to the hometown of their deceased mother. On the first day of school, while chasing their pet cat, they and three other kids (Leo, Hajime, and Momoko) are led into the school’s old building. It’s while searching through the building that they learn that it is in fact haunted. They also discover that Satsuki’s mother was the one who sealed this ghosts away in the first place through the discovery of a book she left behind, and that construction on a nearby mountain released all of the ghosts she sealed away. Now Satsuki and the rest of them have to re-seal these ghosts away one by one. Continue reading
For the past couple years the isekai genre — stories about being trapped or transported to video-game worlds — has been dominating the anime, manga, and light novel marketplace. Into the middle of this boom enters Recovery of an MMO Junkie, a show that similarly takes a look at people and their interactions in a virtual world. However, MMO Junkie’s appeal in this genre is its divorce from the concept of trapping its characters in its world. Rather it focuses on examining the multi-layered relationship between our online and offline lives. Recovery of an MMO Junkie revolves around Moriko and her progression of healing through the MMO Fruits de Mer. Gaming, and MMO’s in particular, offer a unique way to both interact with other people and explore different identities and characters in a relatively safe environment. Over the course of the anime, we see Moriko explore the world of this game through the avatar Hayashi, make friends, and gain the confidence again to create meaningful offline relationships. These unique characteristics of MMOs helped Moriko reach a level of growth that she may not have been able to reach any other way. Continue reading
I came across this short film a little while ago and it looked interesting enough to cover while waiting for the seasonal anime to finish up. The movie itself is about 45 minutes in length, good enough for a one-shot story with a fairly simple premise. Best known for her other work Natsume’s Book of Friends, it is thought that the mangaka Yuki Midorikawa took a lot of inspiration for that manga from this story which is fairly easy to see. I’m a huge fan of Natsume and could feel a lot of the same wonderment through her positive representation of the youkai characters throughout. However, I definitely think you can see a fairly big difference in experience and story-telling skill between this film and her later series. As much as I did like Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light, there are a few points of the plot and pacing that I think could have been handled differently.
Hotarubi no Mori e focuses on the relationship between a young girl named Hotaru who meets a strange man wearing a mask while lost in the forest when she is six years old. The man leads her out of the forest but warns her that if she touches him he will disappear. Every summer after that, Hotaru returns to that forest to visit the man named Gin. We follow their growing love as Hotaru gets older but Gin does not, ever limited in their relationship. The anime was adapted from its one-shot shoujo manga and picked up for production by studio Brain’s Base. It opened in Japan in 2011 and has since won the Jury Prize at the Scotland Loves Animation festival and the Animation Film Award at the 66th annual Mainichi Film Awards.
This review does contain some spoilers below, so if the movie sounds interesting, I’d recommend watching it first and then coming back for my analysis. Thanks! Continue reading
Welcome back to another long overdue installment of Short Romance Animations Worth Watching (I probably need a better name for this) where I pull a few animated shorts out of the internet that I think are a good representation of the genre. This series has always been about broadening my view of animation, and below I’ve found four animations that captured my attention from across cultures and styles, all within the romance genre. One of them is from one of the seasons of Japan Animators Expo, and if you haven’t checked out the creations that came out of that, I highly suggest you do. What makes a good short for me though, is the ability to compress a meaningful story into a small window of time using skilled directing and art style. In some instances, the draw of the short for me will be its visuals, but beautiful animation without a solid plot can still be frustrating to watch. So without further ado, look below to find my four animated shorts I think you should watch. Continue reading