Author Archive for Allen Kesinger

JUDGE, vols. 1-4

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Yoshiki Tonogai has returned to torture teens once more in this judicial follow-up to Doubt. Previously, Tonogai’s victims were united by their interest in a mobile phone game called Rabbit Doubt. Their love of the game inevitably doomed them to participate in a real life version, created by a…

Dragon Ball Z: Seasons 1-5

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Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball Z is as popular now as it was in 1986, and I’d like to think FUNimation’s numerous rereleases have something to do with its continued success. From the early Pioneer dubs to the truncated Dragon Ball Z…

Is This A Zombie?, Season One

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Ayumu Aikawa is not a normal kid: he is cursed to spend his afterlife as a zombie, but he suffers a fate worse than that. After accidentally stealing the power from a Magical Garment Girl, he becomes a chainsaw-wielding, cross-dressing warrior in her place. Is…

Doubt, vol. 2

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Warning: this review contains spoilers. A good mystery has to end on a high note. Ideally, all the clues scattered throughout the narrative should come together to form a plausible finale. Unfortunately, Doubt leaves a great deal to be desired as its chaotic and…

Doubt, vol. 1

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Doubt, vol. 1 is a lengthy whodunit that pits six teenagers against each other in a life-or-death situation modeled after a popular cell phone game. The manga calls to mind character-driven thrillers like Saw, building an intricate mystery and connecting the victims beyond…

We Without Wings, Season 1

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We Without Wings is twelve episodes of pure befuddlement. An animated adaptation of the visual novel, the series follows the lives of several twenty-somethings as they experience the sights and sounds of yuletide in the city of Yanagihara. Three characters emerge as masters…

Chobits: The Complete Series

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Modern technology is amazing. When comically large, brick-like cell phones were released in 1984, who could have imagined that over the course of the next thirty years, they would become so convenient that they would change the way we communicate? Apple’s development of…

Future Diary, Part 1 and 2

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If given the power to see through time, what would you do? Help mankind advance civilization, or exploit it for personal gain? Or perhaps you’d use it to compete in a battle royale wherein the victor will become the new god of space…

Maken-Ki: Complete Series

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Maken-Ki could have been fun, were it not so dependent on worn-out tropes and tired clichés. While I have not read the manga on which the show is based, a cursory glance at its volume summaries reveals a plot that is much different from the severely-truncated…

Classic Fantastic: Cowboy Bebop

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Classic Fantastic is our series of features on the classics of the format — check out our other picks for the most important titles in terms of appeal, innovation, and storytelling, which every library should own. What’s it about? Cowboy…

Kingdom Hearts II, vol. 1

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In 2002, Disney and video game publisher Square Enix teamed up to create a fanfiction writer’s dream. Kingdom Hearts introduced Sora, a boy swept up in an adventure across different worlds occupied by characters from Disney animated films and Final…

High School DxD

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High School DxD is the hypersexualized offspring of Porky’s, Leisure Suit Larry, and American Pie. The racy comedy stars Issei, a hormonally charged young adult who wants to take advantage of the high girl-to-guy ratio at his school. The problem…

Attack on Titan, vol. 1

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Attack on Titan and the film adaptation of Starship Troopers share quite a few similarities. Both tell the story of young men driven by revenge against an enemy responsible for killing their families and besieging the human race. While Johnnie…

Ayako

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Ayako is a story of post-war Japan, told from the perspective of the Tenge family. Made wonderfully rich by the vast amount of farmland they’ve owned, the American occupation of Japan has helped to establish new reforms that will now…

Wolf Children

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Wolf Children is a beautiful film about the struggles of a mother raising two kids by herself. Stories about single mothers are not new, but what distinguishes this movie from the rest are the children who have inherited the ability to…