Review: Akame ga Kill! Collection 2

Akame ga Kill! is the end result of shonen refinement; shed of the superfluous padding, petty one-upmanship and gratuitously long episode arcs. It seemed destined to join the growing crop of manga adaptions doing away with extensive storytelling, and rejecting the formula of the demographic’s top dogs. This works both for and against it, as while we get to the meat of the matter that much … Continue reading Review: Akame ga Kill! Collection 2

Review: Your lie in April Part 1

Your lie in April is a delicate reminder of the uplifting powers of music and love, covering a collection of heartbreaks – a series of photographic moments carried with each character and informing their stories with each regrettable glance. When Kosei Arima, stuck in a rut after once being a piano prodigy, first meets the violinist Kaori Miyazono performing with the touch of a wildling … Continue reading Review: Your lie in April Part 1

Review: Naruto Shippuden Box 25

The war against the myriad reanimated continues to ripple out from Kabuto Yakushi’s corpse curious dabbling, as the remaining loose ends from the Fourth Shinobi World War are tied up in preparation for the final battle. And so the exhausting march of previous collections goes on, with each character in turn meeting an old friend or ally, and exchanging a few wistful blows before dispatching … Continue reading Review: Naruto Shippuden Box 25

Spirit, strength and gratitude: understanding Buddhism through Hunter x Hunter

Isaac Netero watched first the snow fall, and then the seasons’ change around him as he perfected his technique. For two years, he stood fixed on the same spot as the world ebbed and flowed around him, reciting the same prayer and throwing 10,000 punches of gratitude, until, at last, he beat the setting sun. Upon achieving a state of symbiosis between his body, spirit … Continue reading Spirit, strength and gratitude: understanding Buddhism through Hunter x Hunter

Bakuon!! and sisterhood as seen through shonen

Not all viewing seasons are created equally; the flurry of excitement surrounding one isn’t necessarily going to carry over to the next. And if we’re being completely honest, the number of essential or breakout shows each season (or even each year) can usually be counted on one hand. But what you can depend on is the recurrence of faithful tropes and set-ups, whether for better … Continue reading Bakuon!! and sisterhood as seen through shonen

Review: Naruto Shippuden Box 24

Box 24 begins one episode into Shippuden season 14 with a continuation of the clash between Gaara and his father, an overall feel for the collection’s strong and weak points crystallised in the conclusion of this standoff. Though the surrounding story’s progression is close to stationery, for the characters this period of stillness holds some seismic shifts and realisations, both in themselves and for their … Continue reading Review: Naruto Shippuden Box 24

On coming back to anime

I’ll be upfront about this. When I was 17, I turned my back on all things anime like some mad reimagining of that classic Frank Sinatra track. It was a cold turkey kick, from cutting my ties with beloved shows, to ditching my manga and tossing out my figures. The reason? Well, self-loathing was setting in and I fancied trying to be somebody else. Instead … Continue reading On coming back to anime

Review: Dragon Ball Z Kai Series Three

Since the cost of Frieza’s defeat was Namek being reduced to so many lava puddles, team Goku’s top priority is bringing their Saiyan leader back from the afterlife, as it seemed he was trapped on the collapsing planet. But when they gather the Dragon Balls and make their wishes, they find this is not within the Namekian dragon Porunga’s power. There’s no reincarnating anyone who … Continue reading Review: Dragon Ball Z Kai Series Three

Review: Magi The Kingdom of Magic Part One

Being the sequel to the anime Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, the opening to this series sees a troupe of friends, Aladdin, Alibaba, Morgiana and Hakuryuu, receive heroes’ welcomes on their return from conquering the Djinn Zagan. But the excitable, inquisitive Aladdin doesn’t intend to rest on his laurels, eager to learn even more about magic. His companions, too, have their reasons to set out … Continue reading Review: Magi The Kingdom of Magic Part One

Review: Dragon Ball Z Kai Series Two

With visuals polished, filler scrubbed, and vocals retouched, Dragon Ball Z Kai was a triumphant commemoration of a series two decades seasoned. It’s now enjoying a steady distribution here in the UK, with series two hot off the press. For someone who remembers watching the odd episode of the Frieza saga as a kid, there’s a giddy nostalgia about coming back to the show as … Continue reading Review: Dragon Ball Z Kai Series Two

Review: Bleach Series 16 Part 2

It’s been seventeen months since Tsukushima beat his retreat, and Ichigo began his Fullbring training inside Yukio’s video game world. As the New Year rolls around, it seems even Hollows feel the goodwill and give the Soul Society some R and R, so plans are made for a get-together and some calming kite-flying. Unfortunately, ‘non-competitive’ doesn’t seem to exist in the Reaper lexicon. Meanwhile, things … Continue reading Review: Bleach Series 16 Part 2

Review: Fairy Tail Collection 4

For any looking to make the transition from casual viewer to hardened fan, Fairy Tail: Collection Four – being the bulk of the third series – makes an excellent jumping-on point. The first few episodes, with everyone excited for Magnolia’s annual flower viewing party, lets watchers meet the guild members almost as if for the first time as they celebrate, scrap their way through a … Continue reading Review: Fairy Tail Collection 4