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 Necromancer

Hey all! If you haven’t voted yet, please pitch in your opinion on what my “special thank you for 5,000 views review” should be!

Author/artist: Soga Shina

Oh where to start about this review? First off I think a liiiiittle personal background about myself is needed… XD I am a panel geek. Nothing gets me more excited than when a comic book or manga has amazing panel arrangement! (I have mentioned this in the past, but I’ve written a 10 page research paper on the subject)
So needless to say this manga has really cool page layouts. The author really enhances the story through those choices and I love it.

Moving on from my obsession with panels… The story is about a mysterious young man who is a necromancer. Of course there’s a price to be paid for these services, and that just so happens to be three years of a living person. Oh but that’s not all! A resurrected soul’s essence, or “special characteristics” are enhanced through this process and its impossible to predict how much or what will happen. Interesting right?
Like many manga the basic premise itself is fairly simple, but I just adore the bitter sweet stories and the main character (the necromancer) has such a straight forward and sometimes brutal views on death and resurrection that he’s really interesting to learn more about as the series goes on. To top it off, the other main character who is a female cop trying to find some kind of evidence that the necromancer is up to no good, adds a really fun element and lets some of the stories take on mystery element.

Truly though, I must say I really like the art work in this series! This is a horror manga but the actual characters have a very sweet, elegant smoothness to the way they’re drawn. This style with its cute characters and stark black and white contrast makes for a unique look that oddly compliments the horror nature of the series very well. (my friends and I were just talking about sweet and evil things today and decided it’s “swevil” or sweet and evil)

While this is classified as a shounen manga, I think that shoujo fans would really like this one. And of course if you’re into bitter sweet horror stories or want to try something just a little bit different this is the perfect choice. It's a fun read, with some great mysteries and thrills.


ps. Did you know that I actually use the tags and post type to make my reviews easy to find and filter?
Check out how to do this on my info post!

External Image

Manga You Should Definitely Be Reading

The Ongoing Manga You Should Definitely Be Reading

Hello all! Sorry it’s been so very very very long… (Link to why I’ve been insanely busy for those interested) But for the rest of you I’ll sum it up with work… so much work… (Deadlines suck man!) and so this post is coming to you! (Thanks to my needing an excuse to take a break from mindlessly converting footage from an H264 to AppProRes 422)

Anyways, have you been looking for a new good series to get into but just don’t know where to start looking? Well search no more my friend! The answer is upon you!
I have searched the internet for you! Read hundreds of series! All the work has been done! Here are some ongoing manga that you should really already be reading. For this list I have tried to pick a series from every genre so both shoujo and seinen, Josei and shounen, horror and romance, can all find a new series to throw their passion wildly behind! I have also ruled out the popular popular ones that you already know exsist. Although seriously… Attack on Titan is just… so freaking awesome you really should give it a gander if you haven’t already, but that's for another day, today lets take a look at some lesser know gems! (some are more well known than others)

So here’s the results of my digging through the internet and tentacles to find you the good series!
And now onto
Ongoing Manga You Should Definitely Be Reading Already!!!

Author: Miura Tsuina
Artist: Sakurai Gamon

I love this series, I love this series!!! So far it’s a hard hitter that's still fun and exciting! I already talked about this series a bit on Thiefspawn’s world IDefyn (so I’m gonna paraphrase myself a bit)
I love the premise~! Ajin is written 亜人 and translates as something like Sub Human. And yeah that’s what this series is about. There’s this new being called an Ajin that can’t die, nobody quite knows what they are, and there don’t seem to be very many of them. Typically nobody even knows that the person they knew was an ajin until they don’t die when they should have.
And in the first chapter our protagonist meets with an accident… And it’s totally awesome! The characters are brutal in their logic and the art style matches that gritty mood as well. Definitely a worth while action series! Plus the series has been quickly gaining popularity and for a reason! Seinen fans, action fans, don’t miss out!

Koushin Ouji
Author/artist: Kuwahara Souta

So cute. Sooooo very cute! Plus it falls into the Supernatural category, which I am a huuuuge fan of! (I may have been part of a paranormal investigation group back in college) Basically it’s about a demon (the demon prince actually) who has come to our earth in order to collect souls and to discover the secret of the Kuronai, which is a power that will allow him to inherit the throne. There, one thing leads to another… and now he’s living at this very optimistic girls home with her and her grandma. I know that basic plot makes it seem run of the mill, but between an adorable shoujo art style and some genuinely heart felt moments, I think this series stands strong. The love interest has real problems, and the prince has a determination to his duty that lets me buy the “drama of will he collect her soul?” Seriously shoujo fans, why aren’t you already reading this? It’s great so far!

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu
Author/artist: Matsui Yuusei

Ok I already did a full review for this series so I’ll keep it brief. (read the full review for a complete synopsis, and my awesome personality XD) This is currently one of my absolute must read as it updates manga. Its got what I love, action, comedy, and suspension of drama that makes me want to know whats gonna happen next!!!
To boil the plot down, the story follows a trouble class at an elite school that has been selected to assassinate their teacher, who is an alien, who announced he will destroy the world within a year and as proof he can do it he puts a big hole in the moon. As part of a deal with the Japanese government he will be the teacher of a high school class but the students are the ones who have to kill him. Its silly, its sweet, its actiony and I love it! If you dig comedy and action you really should be reading this!

Spirit Circle
Author/artist: Mizukami Satoshi

I don’t curse much, but damn… just this manga… It seems really silly at a glance and the art is cutesy, but I know what to expect from this author. (The author of one of the personal top ten manga I’ve ever read which I reviewed in an earlier post) And what to expect from this series is one that has equal parts fun, cute and truly sweet moments, and brutal, sad and touching moments. And just… damn this manga is shaping up to truly be something great. Again I HATE jumping to conclusions, manga often get ruined by bad endings, but really this is worth a read. This is a story about a middle school boy who is one day confronted by the new transfer girl, and she says she hates him and proceeds to wack him in the face. There he relives a past life and the revelation of an unbreakable reincarnation cycle between him and the girl begins to real itself. Seriously, give it a try! I personally cannot wait to see where is goes! Give it the first two chapters, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be completely hooked.

And since I don’t have any Josei I’m currently reading…

Another shoujo!
Akatsuki No Yona
Author/artist: Kusanagi Mizuho

Anyone remember that “Top Female Leads in Shoujo” review? I totally would have put the lead, Yona, from this series, on that list I had known of her at the time! Such a fun fantasy shoujo! Has that delightful “red haired princess with problems” clique. (Isn’t that such a random clique?! But seriously, I know like. Over 5 manga in that genre) Anyhoo, follows the story of a princess who has to grow stronger as a person and complete a quest in order to reunite the country and regain the thrown. I love it because she does grow as a character and is, I feel, pretty awesome that way. I totally believe her emotions and can relate to them. I don’t even mind that is has a reverse harem (one girl with tons of guys) which usually is a deal breaker for me. It’s just a very interesting story and I want to see what happens next, what more can you ask for?

Anyways, I hope that this list helps you find that new special manga in your heart!
Let me know if you give it a read! I’m always curious to see what other people think!
And in between now and my last post feel free to browse my other entries! Maybe you'll find more than one series to love. ^-^

See you around!

External Image

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)

External Image

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!


External Image

Awesome Lady Leads

Awesome lady leads in manga for girls!

So there I was in my one of my film theory classes day after the Oscars aired and my teacher showed us this video on youtube that talked about something called the “Bechdel test.” I highly suggest watching the youtube video through the link but to sum up, it's a test that determines whether a movie or tv show has use of female characters. It requires that two women talk to each other for 60secs about something other than a man.
I started thinking about this test and the manga I read, (I read a lot of shounen) and started thinking about which women are strong characters in series that are aimed at girls. (ie shoujo and josei manga)
Then I started hunting and… Graaah! It’s difficult! Even calling up Wallie and asking for help got the “Oooh that's hard” response!

And yes I do realize that girls read shounen and sienen and that there are plenty strong girls and women in them to be found as well, but that does not change the fact that these series ARE aimed and advertised at boys and men. And I wanted to see what strong ladies were in manga aimed at us females.

(Sorry Kaoru from Rurouni Kenshin, I love you, but you only fight in the first book and need to be saved even then) And also (sorry Ouran fans) I am not counting reverse harem manga or (sorry Harada twins from DN Angel) not counting it unless they are a main character with a good portion of the story seen through their eyes.
Also another kind of random criteria, but to be on the list I have to respect the character. In other words if they were a person I’d go “I respect them.” (terrible explanation I know. XD) Also this is JUST manga! NO anime. (other wise this list would be filled with Miyazaki movies)

So I am going to count down my favorite strong female characters in manga aimed at girls and women!
Read these and feel free to share your own favs, or thoughts about the Bechdel test in the comments!!!
Special thanks goes out to Wallpaperotaku who helped me keep my sanity making this list and gave me some great suggestions!


First some Honorable mentions!
Princess Primula from Apothecarious Argentum, sadly doesn’t make the list since not enough of the manga is from her point of view. However her character growth is fun to read and she makes one choice in particular towards the end where (MILD SPOILERS) she picks her country over the man she loves and I give her mad props for that. Its something I don’t think I could do.
Tohru from Fruits Basket. I still haven’t decided how I feel about her and whether I can over look some plot issues I have, despite my love for the series. From the people I talked to about Tohru, everyone seems to be split on whether she is or isn’t, (half say yay the other neigh) but Wallpaperotaku made a strong case for her so I am giving her a nod as she is a tough cookie if a passive person.
All shoujo that CLAMP has written. Pretty much all their girls are well written. But I didn’t want this to be a Clamp list so I’ll be talking about them in a later review. It felt unfair to the other series to include them since they do such a good job. ^-^

Ok now to the main attraction! In my personal opinion of the shoujo and Josei I’ve read the ones I feel have strong female characters!

Yuki from Vampire Knight
First off I would like to say that Vampire Knight is not my favorite shoujo and I don’t even particularly like Yuki or a lot of the characters. So why does she make this list? Because, though begrudgingly, I do respect her. I think that her character goes through a lot of things and she grows and changes with them. I really feel like the choices she makes regarding Zero and Kaname shows a lot of guts. Even though she’s stuck in a pretty typical love triangle her problems aren’t magically solved and the manga does a great job of showing her struggles and emotions especially towards the end. Even though this manga isn’t completed yet I feel she deserves a mention on this list. (though we’ll see how I feel once the last chapter comes out! ^-^)

Kazura from Platinum Garden
Another incomplete series with a pretty typical “girl ends up living with guy she barely knows but doesn’t like on first impression” manga. However I personally believe this series has quite a bit of bite and gives not just Kazura but the other girls she meets a lot of attention. She also makes a lot of difficult choices and sticks to her guns a lot. Once again her problems aren’t quickly solved and I really buy the budding romance and drama.

Ririko from Helter Skelter
This is a MATURE josei manga that follows the story of a model striving for perfect and coming to the realization that the world of modeling is slowly throwing her away. This manga is a worth while read that consists of EVERY main character being female. Even Ririko’s plastic surgeon is a woman. Not only is it very female focused it also deals with image issues that all girls experience in a very creative way. I suggest this only to those who feel they are mature enough to handle it and to read my full review on the series on Beloved Blood’s Rein of Darkness world here.

Machika from Immortal Rain
I will almost assuredly do a full review of this series at some point since it is one of my all time favorites. For now though lets look at Machika! She could be written of as weak on first glance but once again its in her determination and growth as a person throughout the series that makes her a strong character. A perfect expample is when she meets the villain she’s been searching for (not Rain) and realizes the classic confrontation she’s imagined is far from the truth and the worlds more complex than she thought. This series also features several other fantastic female characters including the villain Sheriam, and a friend of Machika she meets along the way. Sheriam in particular is a favorite character of mine! You know why she’s doing what she’s doing and even that she knows it’s wrong, and why she doesn’t care anymore. The only short fall is this series splits the focus between male and female characters although the majority is from Machika. Despite that it is still a great manga with some great girls!

Once agian feel free to share your own opinions and favorites in the comments!!!
Thank you for reading!

External Image