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)

The Garden of Words

The Garden of words

Hello all!

Well as I’ve mentioned on some other posts I’ve made, I took a trip to a near by bookstore that gets Japanese imports and right around the corner is an Asian video store that has anime, dramas and just about everything else. (Including a rather large selection of plushies) And I saw it! Director Makoto Shinkai’s latest work, The Garden of Words! (The same director as of The Children Who Chase Lost Voices, which I reviewed several months ago. Check it out!)

Not surprisingly his work is once again gorgeous! I knew I was in for a treat when the salesman got really excited while I was holding it and came up to me and said “That’s my absolute favorite. It is so beautiful.” Nice to know anime can still bring people together lol.
Oh man! Even having seen his work before I was utterly blown away by the animation! I actually paused it in several places to make sure it wasn’t actually live action! (No lie I really did that)
While this movie is worth watching for the animation alone, I really enjoyed the plot as well. It’s about a high school boy who ditches school one mourning to enjoy the rain and work on his shoe designs. (He wants to design shoes for a living) He goes to his favorite spot near a pond and finds a woman already sitting there. Not to be deterred, he sits down anyway and sketches. He soon finds himself curious about her afternoon beer drinking and chocolate eating habits and before you know it, they begin to talk to one another.

Unlike Children Who Chase Lost Voices, a kids/family movie, I feel like this film was aimed at an older audience. Not because it’s got mature action or anything like that, if anything it is a very tame PG movie, but because the subject matter is more about real life. The story is very simple but has that “yeah this could really happen” vibe that makes you think of similar things that may have happened to you. And that realism is a rare thing to see in any film.

Seriously watch this, its only 46 minutes and is lovely!
While my personal favorite is still Lost Voices, this movie was still just wow!


10 Anime- Cowboy Bebop

10 anime I’ve never seen, but are on a ‘top ten anime you should see before you die’ list, looked good and now I am watching them.

For those curious what they are here's a link to the list I'm using: LINK

Man that’s a long name for my first ever segment on this world! But I do think this is a good place for a review site to start! As I watch these anime I shall be posting who would like it, who wouldn’t, and my opinions on them!
My personal rules for these are 1.) I must finish the anime (every last episode!) before I can post! 2.) I must give no spoilers 3.) I must watch them in a timely manor! No more than 30 days between posts! If I post on the 1st of the month I have to post again by the 30th! 4.) If I break a rule I must make a wallpaper for every person that's commented on any post in this series of posts. (Luckily I’m not expecting many commenters! ^-^)

(And thank goodness too! Since I haven’t done this since I started this world… >.> Luckily I’m still not expecting many commenters! XD)

Ok let’s do this!!!

Cowboy Bebop

If you consider yourself an anime fan and haven’t seen Cowboy Bebop yet… Well then you don’t count. (I myself didn’t count until I watched this several months ago in prep for this review series…) Cowboy Bebop is a classic and is totally deserving of that title!
Cowboy Bebop is very episodic. What I mean by that is instead of, like in many anime, where you have an over aching plot that lasts the entire season, Bebop focuses on smaller mini stories and has, I believe, only 2 story arches that last more than an episode. This doesn’t make the show bad, on the contrary I would argue it makes the series really great!
The plot starts off following Jet and Spike who are space bounty hunters. (Awesome right?!) Throughout the show several new characters are added, including the mysterious and awesome Faye Valentine, a very smart corgi and the rough an’ tumble hacker girl Edward (Ed). While I say there isn’t a true over arching plot, what I mean is they aren’t on the quest for the blah ditty blah, or trying to get to so and so. The series really focuses on developing these characters and the world they live in. Thus the over arching plot is simply watching them do their thing while learning more about them and the world they live in. All the stories are really interesting and very engaging, I found myself finished with this show almost too quickly!
I love it! The music and sound design are particularly great in this series and is part of what makes this anime so famous! In all seriousness I could watch the theme song over and over! (I may be doing that right now…) I freaking love it!!! <3 And I am picky… a serious has to do a heck of a lot to breach my personal top ten.

So would you like this?
Do you like scifi? If you do, don’t pass this one up! Outer space, pirates, bounty hunting, and lots of other scifi goodies!
Also the actual animation in Bebop is really quite something! Their play on shadows and light are particularly impressive.
Action! Gotta love some space action! Guns and a ‘western in space’ theme leaves you pumped!
An oh yeah... This series is hilarious and balances serious moments and great humor seamlessly!
Who wouldn’t like this?
I suppose if you really hate scifi this might be a bit spacey. Also I figure you wouldn’t like it is you really hate action… but even then they’re episodes in here for you…
I think most people would enjoy this… Part of why its sooooo popular is because its so excisable and why probably most people reading this review have seen or at least heard of it.

ps. I do not know which of the 10 anime will be next. ^-^

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Weird Shoujo... and Pudding!

Banana Bread Pudding
Genre: Shoujo

Ok… Right off I'm going to let you know I enjoy weird things. I enjoy listening to unusual songs, going on odd adventures but, most of all, I enjoy reading weird manga.
And this innocent sounding title of Banana Bread Pudding is by far one of the strangest series I've ever read.
At 5 chapters long, Banana Bread Pudding is a short, bizarre creation by the mangaka Ooshima Yumiko. With chapter titles like "Before I Become Instant Coffee" this series is just so… very, very odd.
Here I feel the need to share part of the disruption from mangafox that got me to read it… "Now that Ira's older sister is getting married, who will take her to the bathroom after ten p.m. and sing 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star' outside the bathroom door in order to protect her from the beautiful, androgynous, child-eating clown?"
Now tell me, How could I resist a description like that?!

Ok more into detail, Ira, the female lead who badly needs mental help, talks to a friend about her fears of being eaten by a clown. Now a good friend would tell her she should maybe see a shrink, but nope! Let's get Ira a boyfriend to distract her from her troubles! Thats all you need to make the crazy go away! And guess what kind of man Ira wants? No lies I am writing this word by word from the first chapter, Ira wants "A gay man who feels too guilty to reveal his secret to society." And does her friend tell her "No, thats silly and he'd never really love you back!" Nope! She goes off to start finding a gay boyfriend for her friend…
*Palm Head*
And yeah… it gets weirder from there, if that's even possible.
(and as it turns out… is)
Trust me when I say the story spirals quickly into crazy land…

I would not say this manga is good… but I wouldn't say its bad either.
It has this strange magic about it. Like those 'so bad its good' movies like Plan 9 From Outer Space, this manga has that crazy charm of watching a train wreck and just enjoying how very weird things can get.
Nobody in this series uses their common sense or gets the help and mental support they need but even as it frustrates me, I can never look away. I really enjoy sharing this with people and have found that it is a fun one to read with friends! (Just bundle yourselves around the computer and read it together! Trust me good times and conversations will start!)
Also the artwork in this manga is really quite lovely! And the fact that its drawn in that soft 70s shoujo style only adds to the bizarre nature of the story, in addition to making it pretty to look at!

If you are a lover of the weird, or just want a day trip from reality, you can never go wrong trying some Banana Bread Pudding!


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Towa no Quan

Towa no Quan
Sometimes seen as Towa no Quan and Towano Quan

Towano Quan is a series of 6, 45 minute (Time wise it works about to be the same as a 12 episode anime) movies about a group of humans with supernatural ester (they're psychic) abilities. They are hiding out from a secret organization that is hunting them down, capturing some and killing others depending on their ability and danger level. The organization uses cyborgs to fight these dangerous "inhuman" espers. Anyways, to delve into the plot a bit more, the main character Quan, is the appearingly young leader of the group of espers. He has a dark secret and idealistic dreams as he and the other espers try to learn to control their power and survive while fighting this secrete organization and cyborgs. (How can you not want to see that?!) Also the cyborgs have a very fleshed out story arch themselves and produces my favorite character in the series.

This series has a lot of similarities to things like X Men and Tokyo ESP. So if you like those or are a fan of action/supernatural this is absolutely one to watch!
The animation is really cool! Especially a certain flashback scene that is stunning and different!
The story has quite a few anime cliches but this didn't bother me at all. I didn't think the recognizable cliches distracted or detracted from the story and I found them very enjoyable!

So in conclusion this action, supernatural, cyborgs, and scifi movie series is a really fun, action packed anime is really worth a view and I kinda even want to watch it again as I'm writing this.

Check this one out its worth it!

ps. Sorry this review is a bit shorter than usual as I am currently a bit busier than usual.
Next week I plan to do something WEIRD! So yeah look forward to that! ^.~

Not the best trailer but it does showcase the animation and basic plot of the first movie.

Vampire Manga of Every Genre

Vampire Manga of Every Genre!

Hello all! I recently finished reading Vampire Knight (probably the most popular shoujo vampire series) and I thought to myself "Golly!" (I spent a while in a place where they say golly) "What are people going to read to get their vampire fix now?!" Then I realized I know tons of vampire series, shorts and one shots, and hey I can totally help out! XD

So long story short, I have searched through my surprisingly long list of vampire manga and have collected what I think are some of the best for every genre, because let's face it, no matter your favorite genre you need more vampires in your life!
(oh and I am not counting Vampire Knight on this list)

(This list is in no particular order)

Vampire Princess Miyu
By: Kakinouchi Narumi
Vampire Princess Miyu is a classic Japanese vampire series, I believe the anime version of it was the first vampire anime, and it does not disappoint!
Following the story of the vampire Miyu and her servent/protector Larva, this manga combines traditional Japanese myths and demons with Western vampire lore. (Fun fact! Japan is one of the few countries that do not have a native vampire lore, the closest thing to it are blood and flesh eating demons that usually did not resemble humans)
Miyu attends high school by day to blend in, and fights demons that are not following the rules by night. Vampire Princess Miyu is a beautiful manga that has a very engaging and unique take on vampires. (The anime is also amazing!)

Hitsuji no Uta
Also known as Lament of the Lamb in English
By: Toume Kei
This series is another one that plays around with the idea of the vampire. In Hitsuji no Uta the vampires are a pair of siblings, and they are far from the idea of a traditional vampire. (Think Dracula for traditional) They are victims of a hereditary genetic disorder that causes pain that can only be abated by drinking human blood. It is so interesting to read this and watch the siblings dissent into darkness (both mental and physical) as the story is about this mental breaking point more than anything else.
Read this to enjoy a great dark, twisted and fresh vampire tale!

By: Itsuki Natsumi
Techically seinen but as far as seinen go, it's very light… it's more like a weird cross between a shoujo and a shounen
Vampir is yet another non traditional vampire manga. (Can you tell I like those yet? lol) The story begins when a young guy who almost dies getting hit by a suicide jumper. He then wakes up in the hospital with red eyes and blond hair (he had glowing green eyes and snow white hair! *cough* wrong series…) It turns out he is now a half vampire or vampir. In this universe, vampires are people who have died and then had the soul of one of these powerful vampir spirits combine with their body. Rather than a complete take over, however, it is more like a combining of personalities. Since our main character didn't die all the way however he is neither living nor dead and the spirit is left in a kind of limbo.
This series is a fun read, again, with a fresh take, and I definitely recommend it.

Kurobara no Alice
Also known as Black Rose Alice
By: Mizushiro Setona
Josei (some websites say shoujo but I've read it and its more adult than the average shoujo)
The story begins with Dimitri, a famous opera singer, and his tragic love triangle, where due to his station he will have to watch his love marry his best friend. Not giving spoilers but skipping ahead a bit, he becomes a vampire, which, in this series is a corpse that is filled with bugs the animate the body. I know that sounds really gross but trust me when I say the artwork in this manga is gorgeous and the bugs aren't that bad, and I hate bugs. I would love to give more of a plot synopsis but I really can't without taking away the intensity of the beginning. So read it for a twisted romance with spice and great art!

Crimson Cross
By: Negishi Kyoko
Shoujo (ok some sites say it is shounen ai, but as there's not even anything implied… I am going to say I don't think it counts at all, but you might be able to argue it is)
Traditional vampires done right! These vampires burn in the sun, fear the cross, drink blood, and are basically the opposite of Twilight vampires. The story follows Carl Van Helsing who has been hunting the vampire Elliot. Elliot turned Carl into a vampire as a way to pass the time and loves causing him torment.
Sooooo good! I love it, I think that other vampire fans will love it. Read it for awesome art and an amazing story! Oh and great action scenes and a couple werewolves too.

Hope these help you find a great vampire manga to read this week!

Next week there is a 90% chance the review will be Towan no Quan.

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