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Want just the manga reviews?  Head over to The Manga Test Drive! Want more writing from me?  Check out my previous articles at Anime Feminist ! Want to hear me talking with friends about manga?  Check out my takes on Wandering Son , Tropic of the Sea , X-Day , Sweet Rein , Legal Drug , and Clover on the (sadly defunct) Rainy Day Reading podcast and on The Key to the Kingdom at Shojo And Tell ! Want to hear me talking with friends about (mostly bad) anime?  Check out my takes on Diabolik Lovers , Miracle Train , Perfect Blue , Another , Vividred Operation , High School DxD , Lance 'n' Masques , and Upotte!   at the Heavy Storms podcast! Want to give me money for what I do?  You can do so either through Patreon or buy me a Ko-Fi ! Want to commission a review?   The details are here!

Nutcracker Fantasy

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There are few stories that are more strongly tied to Christmas than that of The Nutcracker .  It has been impressed upon two centuries of children thanks to E.T.A. Hoffman's original story and Pyotr Tchakovsky's famous ballet.  It's been adapted dozens of times in just about every form of media you can think of, but few of those adaptations could hope to aspire to the beauty and strangeness of of the 1979 Japanese stop-motion feature Nutcracker Fantasy .

The Potluck Parable

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This post began as an in-joke between me and my husband, who was the one who came up with the analogy of ambrosia salad .  The rest just kind of grew from there; this is the end result.  Enjoy! Imagine any given season of anime as a potluck dinner.  Some of them are bigger or more diverse than others, but there's always a spread of dishes to pick from.

Disaster Report: WEISS KREUZ

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This story begins with a man named Takehito Koyasu. He's a prolific seiyuu best known these days as the voice of Dio Brando, but in the mid 1990s he was known and loved for voicing smug bishonen such as Hotohori in  Fushigi Yugi , Touga on Revolutionary Girl Utena , and Zechs Marquise on Gundam Wing .  He was enjoying a level of success at that time that only a handful of voice actors ever get to enjoy, but that was not enough for him.    He saw how much money producers were making off of the shows he worked on and wanted a cut of his own.  He also had an ego that demanded that the world recognize him and his other seiyuu friends not just as voice actors, but as superstars of many talents.  To achieve both of these goals, Koyasu need to create his own original work, and he already had a concept in mind.  It was a tale of four tormented young men fighting against the evils of the criminal underworld.  By day they worked as florists; by night they worked as assassins.  He initially

Anime Secret Santa: THEY WERE ELEVEN

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This post is brought to you by this year's Anime Secret Santa.  Thanks to the folks at All Geeks Considered for hosting this year, and thanks to Evan Minto ( @VamptVo ) for the suggestion! For all the fuss that manga fans make over the Magnificent Forty-Niners, shockingly few of their works have made the leap to animation.  Keiko Takemiya has been the most fortunate, with three works total including two of her most notable manga.  Rikoyo Ikeda had two works that became landmarks in shojo anime.  Even Yumiko Ooshima got a lovely, lavish adaptation of her best-known work.  Meanwhile, Moto Hagio's contributions to anime have been limited to character designs for The Time Stranger (not to be confused with GoShogun: The Time Etranger ) and the 1986 adaptation of her 1974 short story They Were Eleven .

Disaster Report: JUNJI ITO COLLECTION

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An anime based on the works of Junji Ito should be a success by any measure.  Ito's combination of Lovecraftian horror stories combined with his spooky, heavily textured art has been a favorite of many for decades.  His works have only increased in popularity over the years, making him one of the very few horror mangaka to enjoy success outside of Japan.  Yet translating those works to motion seems to be another matter entirely.

An Essay On Anime, Fandom, and Metaphorical Comets of Joy

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Recently I've been thinking on those times when life is hard and then some piece of media comes blazing through your life like a comet, bringing a little bit of light and wonder in its wake. I remember around this time of year three years ago, when I stuck in a long stretch of unemployment.  Few things chip away at your self-confidence than the endless search for a job, trying to tell total strangers what you think they want to hear and trying to project enough confidence to pretend that you can do some random office job in some industry that feels miles away from your true calling.  That's where I was, filling the time that wasn't spent in that search (or the resulting funks that came from the lack of results) with household work and writing reviews. That's when the fall season of anime started, which included what was easily the most hyped show of the season, an original work by a well-acclaimed lady director about (of all things) ice skating. Of course, tha

Kabukibu!

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The story of Anime Strike is a short and frustrating one.  Started on New Year's Day of 2017, it was meant to be a way for Amazon to tap into the growing market for anime streaming.  Within a short time, they managed to piss off anime fans by locking their shows behind a double paywall, using poor quality subtitles (when they remembered to subtitle their shows at all), frequent and inexplicable delays in their uploads, and little in the way of promotion for themselves and their shows.  The service quietly shut down after a year, mourned by no one in particular and leaving little in the way of impact. Anime Strike was a bad idea for many reasons, but its greatest disservice was to the shows they licensed.  While some shows such as Made In Abyss or Land of the Lustrous were able to rise above Anime Strike's limitations, the rest were largely ignored by the service and anime fans alike.  It's only now that some of them are starting to be rediscovered as they make their way