Author Archive for Allen Kesinger

Monster Musume, vols. 1-2

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Did you know that centaurs, mermaids, and harpies really exist, and they’ve been living in secret in Japan? Monster Musume features a Japanese government that has formally acknowledged the existence of liminal species. To foster goodwill between humans and liminals, Japan…

Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

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Bayonetta: Bloody Fate may be difficult for mainstream audiences to grasp. The concept originated in 2009 with a video game published by SEGA that received accolades for its insane sights, sounds, and over-the-top action. At its center is Bayonetta, a sexy,…

Love In Hell, Vol. 1

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Hell can be many things: a place of endless horrors and punishment, a black abyss devoid of God’s light, or simply other people. The infernal realm has inspired numerous literary works, comics, movies, and video games. An underground realm occupied by a…

All You Need Is Kill

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One of my favorite video games is a dark fantasy role playing game called Dark Souls. Developed by From Software, the game is notorious for its extreme difficulty. While most games take the time to teach users the rules and controls,…

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…