How Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Managed to Disappoint One of its Biggest Fans

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The title of this blog post makes it sound like I’m feeling a bit betrayed right now, and in a way that is true. Cardcaptor Sakura is one of my all-time favorite series. It’s one that’s been a favorite of mine since early childhood and, because of this series, I was introduced to many more brilliant CLAMP series like xxxHolic and Kobato. It was one of the first magical girl series to really break the mold of what it meant to be a magical girl, doing away with transformation sequences, actually adding characterization to the male leads/love interest, and promoting positive views of single parenthood and same-sex relationships. To say that I was looking forward to this series when it was announced would be an understatement. I knew there was a chance it would turn out to be a sub-par remake, but I honestly had faith that CLAMP wouldn’t let one of their most popular series fail like that.

Back at the end of last season, the middle of the series, I wrote a blog post talking about Clear Card as it stood then and my hopes for where the story may go from there. There were a ton of questions circling around at that time about where the story would go, what kind of reveals we would see later on, and predictions on where the story around Akiho might go. Now, I can definitively say after watching the last episode that I honestly have more questions now than I did then. This review is probably going to end up being pretty spoilery, so if you haven’t caught up on the new series, I suggest you go watch it before reading further. Continue reading

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Skip Beat Manga Review: Volumes 7-9

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Welcome back to my read-through of Skip Beat, one of my favorite mangas of all time. If you haven’t read the previous reviews, please do so before reading on. These reviews will contain some spoilers, so if you haven’t read the manga, you might want to do that as well. Today, we’ll take a look at volumes 7-9, another great series of chapters that add a lot to the characters of Kyoko, Ren, Moko, and Sho. These characters weaknesses are on full display in these chapters with some great moments and major developments in story and relationships. It’s one of the things I love most about this series, the ways Nakamura explores her character’s weaknesses and how they overcome them in order to better themselves and their position in showbiz. Combined with our usual great art and page layouts, I really enjoyed these volumes. So let’s dive in and discuss what makes them so entertaining.

Shoujo Beat’s back-cover description goes like this: “Kyoko’s dreams are finally coming true! She’s landed a spot in Sho’s new video, and revenge is in sight! But vengeance isn’t as easy as she thought, and her rage starts to get in the way of her acting. When her performance catches the attention of some important people, Kyoko finds herself working with the terrifying Ren Tsuruga! Can she make it work, or will her growing fame be her downfall?!” So besides the plot with Sho’s promo video (and the obscene amount of exclamation points), we also get to see a story from Moko’s life as she runs into trouble with a new job in a drama, and see the beginning of the Tsukigomori arc as LME President Lory tries to prevent Ren from taking on his first role in a romantic drama. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (6/4 – 6/10)

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Welcome back to another issue of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. This week has been a bit hectic and exhausting for me, so the anime and manga news section may be a little sparser than usual. However, I’ve added a lot more featured articles to somewhat make up for that fact. Of particular note this week is the continuing drama of the failed anime adaptation of [New Life +], Gamestop’s announcement that it will begin selling monthly comics, and the passing of comic creator and all around awesome human being Anthony Bourdain. You can read all these down below. Also check out the featured sections for some great content, particularly the article of autism in Violet Evergarden and the two featured videos this week. Happy Sunday! Continue reading

Sleepless: Issues 1-5 Comic Review

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As the weather gets nicer, I’m beginning to enjoy making trips after work to the comic shop by my apartment. It allows me to get some exercise walking home and lets me check out some new releases. Lately, or I should say for a while, I’ve been on an Image kick, and Sleepless is one of the more recent series I decided to pick up on one of those nice Spring days after work. It’s a pretty interesting series, a young adult, fantasy, romance set in an interesting world and with pretty interesting characters. The series started publishing back in December of 2017, so the story is still progressing through the court intrigue, murder plots, and general backstory in these first issues and hasn’t quite hit the main romance yet. However, I think these first issues should be enough to hook anyone who loves this genre, I know I’m hooked now.

The story of Sleepless follows Pyppenia, or “Poppy” as she’s called, who is the daughter of the recently deceased King of Harbeny. Day and night she is guarded by the Sleepless knight, Cyrenic, who has taken a magical vow to never sleep again in order to protect Pyppenia. But now that her father is dead, her mother back in her home country across the sea, Poppy has to deal with court intrigue, murder plots, and a new King on the throne. The story is written by Sarah Vaughn (of Alex + Ada), with art by Leila del Duca, editorial and coloring by Alissa Sallah, and lettering by Deron Bennett. Currently, there are six issues published by Image with more coming out every month. Continue reading

Waxing Philosophical: The Benefits of Writing Fanfiction

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I wrote an article about a year ago when I was still writing for the (now defunct) Girls Like Comics website about the various things American publishers could learn from Doujinshi culture in Japan. I’ve been thinking about that article again, and how it talks about some of the benefits Japanese publishers saw in the distribution and creation of Doujinshi based on their titles. Lately, I’ve been getting sucked into reading a series that was a hug part of my high school life, a series of dark fantasy novels that pushed me into writing fanfiction during the craze that was Fanfiction.net. I found my brain returning to that state of mind, crafting new characters and scenarios that could work in this pre-established world. But my time studying creative writing in college constantly goes against these instincts, shouting that I could be writing my own characters, my own stories, that writing writing fanfiction is a waste of creative energy. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (5/28 – 6/3)

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Welcome back to another installment of “Last Week in Geekdom” where I comb through the internet for all the news you need to know so you don’t have to. Some housekeeping first: if you haven’t already seen my “100 Followers Celebration Post” head over there and check it out. It was written as a thank you to all of you guys, and feel free to answer the question at the end of the post. As for some news highlights for today: there’s some controversy brewing over an anime adaption of the light novel {New Life +] that you can read below; Toonami is pushing back the release of the English-subbed versions of the FLCL animes; and Netflix has decided to get into the comic publishing business. Be sure to also check out some of the videos and articles down below, and, as always, let me know if I missed anything important. Happy Sunday! Continue reading

[100 Follower Celebration Post] The Top 5 Anime, Manga, and Comics that have Influenced Me

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I think it was in a Liebster Award post earlier this year that I announced one of my goals was to reach 100 followers by the end of the year. A fairly reasonable goal, and one that I thought was pretty doable all things considered. So I kept writing the content I wanted to write, kept an eye on  the various conversations going on around popular things, and kept an eye on that follower count. I have to say, though, I don’t think I ever expected to hit it this early. Maybe I should have gone with a higher number, or perhaps I underestimated the immense support the WordPress anime community is able to give. I am humbled. Humbled by your love of my content that I’m never quite sure is good enough to post. I know for a fact my writing style isn’t as polished as I want it to be, but this blog is a passion project for me. It was something I started almost two years ago now as a way to pass the time between jobs. I don’t know if I ever expected it to become a major part of my life, but I’m glad that it did in some ways. Currently, Bloom Reviews rests at 109 followers, over 10,700 views, and 151 total posts. It’s been a long, fun ride and I’m so happy you all decided to spend your time with me. Continue reading

Manga or Anime? – Snow White with the Red Hair

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Snow White with the Red Hair has been one of my favorite romance anime for a while now. I love the characters, the slight fantasy setting, and how some episodes focused on Shirayuki using her herbology knowledge to solve problems. I’ve discussed both seasons of the anime at length before, so if you’re looking for a review of the anime, be sure to check those two posts out. There was one thing I’ve never gotten around to doing though, and that was read the manga. I recently watched back through the whole series on a day or so that I wasn’t feeling well, and finally felt the need to see where the story went after the anime ended. In doing so, I also discovered just how much Studio Bones altered and added to get it to the current anime we have now. The story is still pretty much the same, but I can’t deny that there are a few moments in the manga that I find to be much better in the anime. If I had to make a decision right now, I would say that while the manga has the advantage of story, the anime has the advantage of polish. For the purpose of this review, I’ve only had the chance to read up to chapter 34 in the manga, a little bit past where the anime ends. Continue reading

Last Week in Geekdom – Your Weekly News Round-Up (5/21-5/28)

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Welcome back to another edition 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’ve missed the last two weeks worth of news between writing up my last long-form article and taking a short break, so if anything amazingly important happened during that time, feel free to let me know in the comments below. Also, as always, feel free to let me know if I overlooked anything here. It’s been a busy coupe weeks for me, so I wouldn’t be surprised if something slipped through the cracks. In some important news highlights for this week, Crunchyroll has added some new series to their streaming list and Netflix has picked up Locke & Key for a TV series adaptation. I also suggest checking out some of the articles linked below, especially the one from Anime Feminist. Also be sure to follow me on Twitter if you want some more geeky news related posts. Continue reading

[Blog Update] – So close!!

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I have nearly hit my goal of 100 followers before the end of the year and when the time comes, I want to celebrate that moment with you! So I’m asking you, my faithful followers, what would you like to see? A top 5 or 10 list, a get to know me post, or something else? I really have no idea, but I feel I should do something special for the occasion. Please leave your suggestions in the comments below and I’ll pick one or two to post once follower number 100 joins the blog.

Thanks so much for all your support!

~Allison