manga & anime

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

doubt_v1

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…

The Clockwork Sky, vol. 1

clockworksky

In 1895, twelve-year-old Sally is shunted off to her brooding inventor uncle, Erasmus Croach. Escaping his mansion becomes the spunky girl’s top priority and, luckily for Sally, no locks can restrain her for long. Her freedom could give her the…

Vinland Saga, Books 1-3

Vinland Saga Book One Cover

Makoto Yukimura’s claim to fame before Vinland Saga was a relatively brief manga series called Planetes. It was a “hard sci-fi” series that focused on the lives of a team of orbiting garbage collectors. There was a default main character,…

Level E: The Complete Series

Level E

Unbeknownst to its native inhabitants, Earth is frequently visited and even shared by members of various alien species. High school baseball player Yukitaka Tsutsui is no exception to humanity’s ignorance—until the day he arrives at his new apartment only to…

Gangsta., vols. 1-2

Gangsta 1

This gritty urban tale with a hint of sci-fi centers on partners Worick Arcangelo and Nicolas Brown, owner-operators of the Handymen, an odd-jobs business in the troubled city of Ergastulum. With its sun-drenched stucco facades, narrow alleys, and idle traffic, the…

Another

another

Koichi Sakakibara is a student transferring into Yomiyama North Middle School because of his mother’s recent death. The school is located in a small town that isn’t used to outsiders, so his mother’s sister helps Koichi adjust to his new environment.…

Until Death Do Us Part, vol. 5

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After falling into an ambush plotted by the criminal mastermind known only as The Wiseman, assassin-turned-vigilante Mamoru Hijikata finds his confidence completely shot. Were it not for the intervention of tween psychic Haruka Tooyama, he would be dead. Thinking himself…

The Heart of Thomas

Heart of Thomas

Moto Hagio helped define the Boys’ Love genre back in the 1970s as one of the “Showa 24,” female mangaka who told the kinds of stories they wanted to read and, in doing so, jump-started shojo publishing. This epic tale,…

Mayo Chiki! vol. 1

Mayo Chiki! Volume 1

Sakamachi Kinjiro, aka Jiro, is a boy with problems. First he walks in on Konoe Subaru, the coolest boy in school, in the bathroom. As if that weren’t embarrassing enough, in doing so he discovers that Konoe is a pervert…

The Man of Tango

Man of Tango, The

In a Buenos Aires coffee house, Spanish-born tango aficionado Angie speaks with an old flame about his latest breakup. He confesses that he feels emotionally detached from his partners, whether he is on the dance floor or in bed, and…

Bubblegum Crash: Total Crash Collection

BBG-Crash

Bubblegum Crash is a three-part continuation of the eight-episode series Bubblegum Crisis. Both series are distributed by AnimEigo. In the year 2034, humans are becoming accustomed to the use of Boomers, androids with various abilities and functions that assist with human tasks.…

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…

Soul Eater Soul Art

soul-eater

Atsushi Okubo’s Soul Eater Soul Art is, as its title indicates, an art book composed of Soul Eater art. This book is comprised of a combination of content from different sources, including tankoban volume covers, sticker designs from the Japanese DVD releases, paint marker…

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Sets 1-3

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Produced in the mid-nineties and based on the manga of the same name, Revolutionary Girl Utena is usually considered a “Magical Girl” anime series. The series even shares its director, Kunihiko Ikuhara, with the iconic Sailor Moon—but the similarities end there.…

Chobits: The Complete Series

chobits

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…