Welcome to The Anime & Manga Review!
It has been my dream to create a world on TheO where users can go for anime and manga reviews and finally here it is! I plan to make this world an active, exciting and helpful place for learning about and finding entertaining manga and anime to read/watch.

Hey! Did you know I do all kinds of things to make it easy to search specific genres and reviews?
For information on how to search for genre and such things please see my info post!
Its the first post of this world and will help you find your way!

(aka Tsu)


Rome Rome
Author: Hamaoka Kenji
It’s rare I find manga that still surprises me… That being said I owe people wallpapers for not getting the anime review done on time… Sorry!!! Next week for sure!

So yeah its basically October right? So I can start doing Halloween things right? Right?
I think so…

So here’s Rome Rome!
Rome Rome is a horror comedy about surviving the zombie plague. Nothing quite like it… All the characters are so calm about the fact they’re literally surrounded and yet they go about every day life the same way.
The kids play soccer outside, the grandma plants in the garden, but you know grandma also chops of zombie heads with her hoe.
It’s a great one shot with a good moral for the kiddies too! Lol This manga is totally worth reading for that punch line at the end of the manga. Twilight Zone ref/ mild spoiler -> (It reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode that ended with a “so don’t drink and drive or you may get abducted by aliens and kept as a pet” moral! XD)

Sorry this is pathetically short… This week I’ve gone from having nothing to do to having lots and lots to do. I need to find my balance again! XO
I’m almost there tho so, fear not! I’ll probably do a special on Weds too to make up for the short post…


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Shinigami Romance

Sarashi Asobi
Author: Tobina Touya
Sometimes called Exposing Game (get yer head out of the gutter!)

So I’ve actually reviewed a series by the author before! (Here) So that makes this the first repeat author on this world! Woot!

Ok so to boil the plot down, it’s about a misunderstood girl, a bored shinigami and a little game.
To go into more detail, this shoujo manga starts with Ren Ohba, a girl with a tough stern exterior who just wants to help people but due to the way she acts she is constantly misunderstood. A shinigami is watching her and knowing she doesn’t have long to live, decides to play a game by making it so she shares her inner voice with the world. In other words all the things she thinks, she says aloud. (Trust me when I say this is adorable and hilarious) Anyhoo, wonderful hijinks ensue but it’s not all fun and games… A suffering shinigami, a girl trying to extend her life, and love triangles are also abundant.

I really enjoyed this short series. (I’ve reread it several times… and I’ve made 2 wallapapers for it…) It hits the right balance of adorable fun and heart felt drama. It’s also truly refreshing how the author spins the shinigami and misunderstood girl cliques into a new exciting piece. The characters are well developed and the chapter addressing the love triangle (I call it the creaking chapter) is one of the best portrayals, I’ve seen, of handling rejection and change in shoujo manga.

Anyhow Who’d like this?
Fans of shinigami manga (yes it could be it’s own genre) or fans of shoujo manga. I think even if shoujo isn’t your thing there’s a lot to enjoy here, but if you aren’t in the mood for some romance you might want to skip this one for now.

Ps. No seriously though... there's soooo many shinigami manga...
Maybe I should do a best and worst list of them...

(Also Sarashi Asobi is my favorite by this author)

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Ok so last night I was reading a book and completely forgot what day it was…
FAIL! So here’s a review a day late, my apologies to anyone who actually reads these….
I promise I’ll do something to make up for it…
Any suggestions?

Anyways so today I decided I want to talk about Gungrave!
Hifsa wrote a post showing some prop guns from anime series and it reminded me of my love of this series! (Like I need reminding I’ve got a huge poster of the main character starring at me from my wall right now. Lol)
Anyways this series is based off of a video game, by the same name, and the character designs and story were done by Yasushiro Nightow. If his name is ringing some bells in your memory that’s because he is best known for the rather famous series Trigun, (Also a great anime and manga) and both his story telling and art styles are predominate in this anime and also why it is so good.
Gungrave is a supernatural action drama that takes place in some bizarre hybrid between San Francisco and Japan but it is America. (And perhaps a healthy dose of New York or Chicago for good measure) The supernatural element plays very little role in the overall plot until very late in the anime. Well, except for the first episode. I’m not gonna lie, not the best first episode out there… its almost not even important to the story at all, but it is very important to setting up the main conflict between our main character Brandon Heat and the antagonist Harry. The second episode begins a long and elegant flash back that gave me plot whiplash the first time I watched it. (I thought I missed an episode or something…) It is here that the real story begins about two street thugs that join the mob and climb their way up the food chain.
This may sound odd but trust me the characters are so relatable and the whole time you watch Brandon and Harry you’re just wondering how the first episode, for telling the future, could possibly come to be.
The story is ultimately one about loyalty, love and friendship, and I’ve watch very few series that made me feel this as much as Gungrave.
The animation is handled very well and is in that era between the 90s grain and 2000s smooth smooth styles. (if that makes any sense at all) I won’t give spoilers but the ending is handled extremely well, in a way that makes it feel real, gives it heart, and ties into the anime’s themes.
I could go on about the themes and symbolism in this series, but I won’t ‘cause that’d be boring and give spoilers, so I’ll just say it’s a well written piece (save maybe the flashback episode in the middle) that uses it’s visual medium to its full advantage.

This series is great for those who love action or drama series. While this is an action anime it’s not really that gory but is more in the style of a good shoot ‘em up gangster movie and the supernatural element is a nice touch. And let’s not forget the real story! Which is great drama between the characters.
This is a series with heavy drama and if you want something that’s a happy feel good anime today this may be one you save for another time.

Give it a watch! Stick with it past episode and trust me you’ll be enjoying this exciting ride!
So there aren’t really any good trailers that I could find for Gungrave, all the ones from Funimation really advertise him as being called “Beyond the Grave” as Brandon’s nickname. While this is true… only one person in the entire series calls him this and mainly in the first episode… This gives the anime a very different vibe than I think it actually gives so… Opening theme song!

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Mr. Fredward's Duck

Mr. Fredward’s Duck
Author: Ushijima Keiko

So this manga… It possibly has the silliest name of any manga I’ve read… (except maybe Banana Bread Pudding…) And it has, if possible, almost as strange a premise.
Ok now bear with me here cause the plot is gonna lose you for a second but this is definitely a series worth a gander. (or two)
So ok this is how it starts, a man named Mr. Fredward (who despite this old man name is a total Bishounen hottie) puts out an ad looking for a housekeeper, and who answers this ad? A talking duck named Rosemary. (Don’t leave me yet!) So long story short, he hires the duck and the story begins. Now instead of being what many of you are probably imaging, this series is not a comedy romp through the happy land of a man and his duck. This is a very intense and surprisingly heart felt manga from the early 90s.
This manga really caught my attention shortly before the main plot started with a well balance plot about animal cruelty from the point of view of Rosemary. It also contains some exciting stories with interesting supernatural twists!
From there the main story arch begins! (Fairly late in the story but its all good! Lol) What is that? Well Fredward ran away from home as a child and lived on the streets in a kind of gang. He visits an old friend from that time and discovers the older boy who protected him, and who he respected, has died from a drug overdose. He also discovers that this friend had a child. Feeling indebted to his friend he begins a quest to search for the boy to make sure that he is ok being taken care of and happy.
Trust me! This is a very bittersweet story that will warm and break your heart! It takes on some extremely difficult topics of the 90s and beyond… SPOILERS (Aids, being homeless, suicide, family etc.) On top of that the 90s shoujo art style is very pretty and nothing makes me smile like Rosemary’s enduring personality!

You would like this if you are a shoujo, josei, or drama fan.
If you’re looking for a man and duck comedy I’m afraid you’ll have to search a little longer. Give it a try its quite a pleasant surprise!


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Rurouni Kenshin Live Action

Rurouni Kenshin Live Action

Ok when I heard there was going to be a live action Rurouni Kenshin (Ruroken for short) I thought I was being lied to. A quick google search later and I discovered it was all too real! “Oh no~!” I groaned to myself, “Its going to be awful…” I had images in my head of terrible red wigs and a butchered plot… oh how it haunted my dreams…
Then I went to an anime convention in May and I kept hearing “Have you seen the live action Ruroken movie? Its great!” and “Wow that cinematography!” Skeptical though I was, I agreed to go see it… Well long story short I couldn’t get into the movie due…
So there I was about a month ago and without having seen it went ahead and bought it on DVD.

And… It was FREAKING AWSOME!!!!!!
(hahaha you thought I was gonna say it sucked…. XD)
Sooooo good! I loved it! Sure it had a few corny moments but every action movie has those. Heck even the actual manga has its silly or clumsy moments!
Ok so how did they go about adapting Ruroken into live action? Well they had a couple paths. They could take the “red wig make people look like the characters so much its terrible route” or the “make them just regular people that bear little to no resemblance but everyone feels historically correct plan.” However this movie does neither and instead finds a delicate (and could have gone terribly wrong) balance. Kenshin is instantly recognizable as Kenshin but he’s been morphed into how he would look had he been a real person in that era. I’m not going to lie its pretty cool to see all my favorite characters in the flesh! The only ‘real’ human version I didn’t care for was Sanosuke, and that’s not saying he looks bad, he just wasn’t as good as the others in my opinion.
So the plot?
It’s basically the first 6 books or so of the manga squashed together. Kenshin meets Kauru, Yahiko, Megumi, Jin-E, Sanosuke, and bunch of other characters. Well once again this could have gone soooooo so very very wrong but it doesn’t. Whoever wrote the script knew what to keep and what to ditch when shaping this story together so it didn’t feel too rushed. A few parts still come off a bit pushed in or sudden but nothing that bothered me. All the changes made were good ones and none of them lost the Ruroken spirit!
The action scenes are great! I love me some good samurai battles and they did a really nice job! Its Kenshin’s sword style realized thanks to some fun camera work, a little subtle CG, and boss editing! (So freaking cool!) The villain is great, you can tell the actor is just embracing the part and finding his inner D*** and that makes him just so much fun to watch.

So yeah, I learned that a live action adaptation can… *gasp* be… good! And this movie which I thought would suck, is now a proud addition to my Rurouni Kenshin collection and now I absolutely can’t wait because they’re making the Shishou arch!!! And that is one movie I’ll watch as soon as I can to it coming out!

Whether you’re a long time Ruroken fan or even if you no nothing about it, but are a samurai action fan this is an absolute must see!

ps. I’ll still be doing a regular review this week but since my last review was short and I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile I figured this was the perfect week for a mini review!

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