Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Women of the Tang Dynasty (2013)

Women of the Tang Dynasty

the story took place after the Tang Dynasty was being ruled by the female Emperor Wu. Mengfan and Mengfu were two sisters that were forced to work in the palace after their father was killed. they started from the bottom and each with their own ways, strove for a position higher up in their rank. Mengfan disliked the life in palace and was determined to remain uninfluenced by the negativity of the palace. Mengfu on the other hand, didn't mind the influences as long as it brought her a step closer to her dream.

with a distinct role between Mengfan and Mengfu, it was obvious who the Good or Bad sister were. it made their outcome obvious since karma was involved. however, the differences didn't help make these characters lovable. while Mengfan was determined to remain "good", she was quite an annoying character to look at as she separate everything clearly into black and white, and wouldn't take no for an answer. Mengfu was like a wild child, her character often seemed heartless but was highly relatable if compared to Mengfan. in overall, the series was enjoyable and fast paced. but most of the time, the clarity that the series tried so hard to portray just to separate the good from the bad was what ruined the series.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Nagi no Asukara (2013)

Nagi no Asukara

the story took place in a world where humans lived in the ocean. some of those who choose to live on the land cast off special raiments used for adapting life under the sea given by their sea god. since then, humans were divided into sea and land dwellers, each with different lifestyle and thinking. however, they still remained in contact as time went on. the series followed a group of middle school student from both the sea and land meeting for the very first time.

at first glance, the series seemed like just another typical slice of life story about the sea versus land people. but after several episodes, there were actually serious issues behind, keeping the intensity going despite the lighthearted atmosphere. there were also plenty of absurd and hilarious moments that involved the fantasy world, which the story took advantage of. the teenagers were much more matured than their age when it came to romance. the relationship between the sea and land people was like unrequited love since their newborn would not have any ability to breath underwater anymore. the complexity was somewhat welcoming since it gave depth to the original plot.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bloodlines #3: The Indigo Spell (2013)

The Indigo Spell

after fighting to free herself from the Warriors of Light, Sydney found herself struggling to draw the lines between her Alchemist teachings and following her heart. Ms Terwilliger was Sydney's history teacher, whom one day revealed to her about herself knowledge about the vampires while forcing Sydney to learn magic. despite her original refusal to get involved in magic due to the Alchemist teachings, Sydney wasn't given a choice when she knew that these spells could very well save her during the increasing amount of dangerous situations she found herself landed in these days.

after reading the third book of the series, Sydney had became even more lovable, which seeing how much i already root for her, never thought possible. from her flawless and responsible characteristics, she felt more human when it came to Adrian, the only person she couldn't hide her feelings from. when Marcus appeared, everything became a mess as he threatened her Alchemist beliefs and wanted her to break free from the rules. not forgetting her initial rejection for magic, which now turned into sometimes that supported her and kept her safe in opposed to other powerful witches. fortunately, it was all these complications that made Sydney's life so interesting and irresistible.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Genshiken Nidaime (2013)
げんしけん 二代目

Genshiken Nidaime

during the spring of their freshman year, Kanji wanted to join an otaku club, while Saki wanted to turned her otaku boyfriend Kousaka into a normal guy. in the end, both Kanji and Kousaka signed up for Genshiken, the society for the study of modern visual culture. desperate, Kanji chased Kousaka through the activities organized by the club, learning more than she ever wanted about the world of otaku.

Genshiken Nidaime (2013) was a brand new season adapted from its manga. despite being new, it was still recommended to have watched all its previous prequels to truly appreciate this installment. some of the main characters from the previous seasons had more of a minor role in this season. the club consisted of a group of college students that enjoyed the otaku culture. plenty of references from other series were adapted, showing more than enough familiar faces to get one excited. other than cosplay and referencing other series, the club also came out with their own piece of work.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Bloodlines #2: The Golden Lily (2012)

The Golden Lily

Sydney continued to protect Jill, a Moroi princess, after uncovering Keith's attempt in selling vampire blood to humans and Lee's attempt to return being a Strigoi. from being a doubtful member of the Alchemists, she was now praised for he loyalty and obedience. little did the Alchemists knew about her growing closer to the Moroi and Dhampir. she found herself questioning the old Alchemist beliefs. everything became even more complicated when magic was involved, showing that Sydney may just be the key to prevent the becoming of Strigoi.

like what her friends had mentioned, it was amusing to find Sydney dating. the seemingly ordinary Brayden was equally taunting and knowledgeable as Sydney. they were so much alike that their conversation were difficult to follow through in a hilarious way. unfortunately but predictably, the perfect pair didn't work out. it wasn't surprising to find that Adrian was designated as Sydney's next guy in the line. but it was so unsatisfying after getting a slight taste of how they could be together and the book ended abruptly that very moment! fortunately the next book was already available and i could start immediately.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist (2013)
魔界王子 Devils and Realist

Makai Ouji

William was forced to search for valuable items around the house that could be converted into cash after his uncle's business failed. he reached an underground room and found a magical seal left by his ancestor. William unintentionally summoned a demon called Dantalion. it was later revealed that William was chosen as an acting ruler of the demon world.

despite being unoriginal, after finishing the first episode, it became difficult to not continue watching the remaining series. after realizing that he was a demon summoner, William had to balance his normal life as well as ruling hell together with Dantalion. there were quite a lot of fillers for each episode, making the fights felt somewhat rushed at times. putting aside the comedic effect, the series was extremely enjoyable, sometimes making one laugh, even cry along with its characters.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Bloodlines #1: Bloodlines (2011)


Sydney was an alchemist, a group of humans who kept the balance between the humans and the vampires. when her sister Zoe was assigned for a new assignment in Palm Springs, Sydney volunteered herself in order to save her sister from the unknown world of danger. her mission was to protect Jill, the sister of a Moroi Queen, Lissa, with the intention of avoiding a civil war between the vampires. the vampires were divided into three groups, the Moroi were born vampires and alive. the Strigoi were turned vampires and undead. the Dhampirs were half Moroi and half human, often trained to be Guardians for the Moroi.

the first quarter of the book was spent on introductions regarding Sydney's background especially the distrust her father held towards her, resulted from her last mission where she worked together with a vampire. despite her seriousness and righteousness, Sydney was a lovable character. half way through the book, i was hooked and couldn't get enough of all the characters that had originally seemed so tedious to get familiar with in the beginning. i found myself rooting for quite a numerous of unlikely characters, which came as a surprise as much as the unexpectedly engaging plot. i absolutely am reading the next book in the following hour.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Gin no Saji (2013)

Gin no Saji

Hachiken wished to live separate from his family, so he enrolled himself into an agriculture school. he assumed with his talent in studying, he would have no problem in any school that he choose to attend. however, being raised as a city boy, Yugo found himself struggling with an agriculture lifestyle. he tried to keep up with his new friends, farmers who were already accustomed to the harsh world of farming.

the story followed Hachiken through his cultural shock, trying to adjust himself while entering into a completely new world. it followed his day to day life, which made the series having not much depth for its plot. however, it was pleasant to know that the series managed to be entertaining through its outstanding and lovable characters. he was relatable in the sense that he couldn't accept killing the farm animals that were destined to be food, or got overly attached to them like house pet. his interactions with his new friends, especially Tamako and Komaba, were fun to watch. despite the slow pacing, the series managed to remain thoroughly enjoyable.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Bloodlines #0.5: Adrian's Lost Chapter (2011)

Adrian's Lost Chapter

initially, the book was written with a different main character. while the series followed the life of Sydney, an Alchemist, this prequel followed Adrian, a Moroi. Moroi were vampires that were born and very much alive. some of them were fortunate enough to weld elemental abilities. Strigoi were turned vampires and also undead. Dhampirs were partially Moroi and human, often used as Guardians for the Moroi. Adrian was one of the very few Moroi who weld Spirit element instead of the usual Air, Fire, Earth, and Water. having read the first book in advanced, i find this prequel very engaging as i already know Adrian for who he was. the short chapter only further emphasized on how much he protected Jill, who had a crush on him but he only treated her like a sister.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui! (2013)


in the virtual game world, Tomoko was a super popular high school girl, who had 50 years of dating experiences with 100 boys. however, in the real world, Tomoko was a 15-year-old loner with all the qualities of a Mojo, a gloomy and unpopular woman.

the story circled around Tomoko, who was socially awkward and had a difficult time making friends. the strongest point for plots like this, was having people who experienced similar situations and was able to relate to Tomoko in many ways, and often fell in love with the series. for the storyline, there were practically no plot to discuss, the entire story followed the life of Tomoko and her explorations. she observed the world around her, tried to join in to make herself popular, but in the end still reverted back to her original state while recovering from the pain. despite the seemingly painful life of Tomoko, the series remained lighthearted and entertaining.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Language of Souls (2012)

The Language of Souls

Solena set out on a journey into hostile territory in search of rare herb to cure her grandfather's sickness. however, she ran into Rundan, a scouting soldier and before she knew, she was captured, being accused of being a spy, and brought to the commander. as a soldier, Rundan struggled to please his father, the commander. he ordered Rundan to bring the trespasser to the royal court, where she would be executed. along the way, Rundan found himself wanting to protect Solena. in return, Solena saved him by sharing her votif with him.

despite the foreign backdrop, the book was a fast read. Solena and Rundan were from different places, making their languages different and had a difficult time communicating. however, for their different cultures, the votif meant the existing of their souls. the embers inside brought life to those they loved, often family members. during their difficult journey, Rundan almost died while protecting Solena from a ruthless soldier. to save his life, Solena shared half of her embers with Rundan, bringing him back to life. it significantly showed a growing feeling they held for each other, which was so pure and came from the bottom of their heart. it was very satisfying to find them in each others' arms when the journey finally came to an end.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen (2013)
神のみぞ知るセカイ 女神篇

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen

Keima had proven himself to be the Capturing God after releasing girls from runaway spirits by making them fell in love with him. the latest challenge was with Diana, a goddess possessing Tenri, Keima's neighbor, asking him to find her siblings. the only clue they had was through the memories of others. Keima went on the mission with the hope that he could finally be released from his contract with hell.

the Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai (2010-2013) series had give harem anime a new perspective, proving that girls doesn't need to be needy and desperate at all times in order to gain attention from the center male character. in this series, all the characters used their own personality along with their genuine emotions to create romance. like all its prequels, this installment also managed to pack depths and developments for every characters.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Dollhouse Asylum (2013)

The Dollhouse Asylum

the story took place in a world where a flesh-eating virus wiped out part of the human populations. Cheyenne found herself in Elysian Fields, a place cut off from the world that they were safe from the terrifying virus. together with 7 other couples, she had a chance of survival. the person that brought them together was Teo, an older man that Cheyenne fell for. however, he felt distant now that he called himself their Director. everyone was given a new identity, names that reflect the most tragic romances in stories. they had to prove themselves worth it for the vaccine Teo held.

i felt cheated into struggling through the book because of its stunning cover. the backdrop was unusual enough for a difficult start, a challenge to our imaginations, but the mass amount of characters only made it worst. given that they were monitored and controlled by Teo, multiple of the characters hid their true intentions towards Cheyenne, which further complicated stuff. as disturbing as the psychotic if not sadistic side of Teo was, it kept the story interesting and flowing. the rest of the pages were slow and often over elaborated. the never ending internal struggles Cheyenne had towards Teo was tiring to watch. while Teo treated them his puppets, she still felt something for him, which was just unimaginably odd and difficult to relate to, at the same time also making her impossibly naive.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Futari wa Milky Holmes (2013)

Futari wa Milky Holmes

while the first two season were considered masterfully hilarious and adorable, the third season brought changes that was difficult to label good. continuity was never a wrong suit for Milky Holmes series, it was best ignored for the best enjoyment. the series introduced two new Detectives and their crime solving under a secret identity. the original four Milky Holmes were no longer the main characters, but continued to appear every now and then. the new Holmes were Kazumi and Alice, together known as The Feathers. while they were originally introduced as the serious replacements of the original Holmes, they didn't come off to be as lovable as the original Holmes.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fury #3: Eternity (2013)


Em had been noticing signs of herself changing, she became easily angered, never felt cold, and had superhuman strength. the Furies trio remained nearby, always watching her. her fear of becoming one of the Furies were slowly coming true, after she swallowed the beans they gave her in exchange for JD's life. Crow's relationship with Em had grew complicated the moment he started having visions of her and all of them bad ones. but he was determined to save her, no matter the cost. JD on the other hand, missed the old Em. she no longer felt like herself, like she had a secret to hide.

finishing the previous book for more than half a year ago, i had little difficulty trying to remember what the story was about due to its uniqueness. the Furies were creatures that fed on revenge and karma. in exchanged for JD's life, Em gave up her life and was slowly transforming into a Fury herself. from an ancient book she got from Sasha before she was murdered, she learnt more about the Furies than she wanted. first half of the book moved slowly considering the approaching climax, anticipating it had made the book a torturous read at first, but the drag was welcoming once the end finally started. i was more than please to find that the speedy climax was absolutely satisfying.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Kimi no Iru Machi (2013)

Kimi no Iru Machi

Eba moved from Tokyo to a countryside to attend high school. her father arranged for her to live with Haruto, whose father was an apprentice of his. Haruto was furious for he never agreed to let Eba stayed at his house. while he continued to reject Eba, another girl named Nanami often came looking for Haruto, whom Haruto seemed to be in love with. Eba was an extrovert teenage girl who was keen on making new friends, while Haruto was a self-conscious teenager that tend to keep to himself.

the series applied the style of using flashbacks in contrast with the present, which turned out to be quite a drag for us who hadn't read its manga. without detailed backdrop and introduction, the series felt rushed and at times, confusing. after more than half of the episodes, it was easy to see that the storyline was actually very simple and straightforward. instead of being a common romance, the series was unexpectedly twisted for a love story, which could be quite depressing as a whole.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Aquarathi #1: Waterfell (2013)


Nerissa was a Aquarathi, she was sent to the human world for experiences before she came of age to claim her birthright, to be the Queen of Waterfell, an undersea kingdom. unfortunately before that could happen, her father the King was killed, and the throne was taken by an enemy. in the meanwhile, Nerissa met Lo, a human boy who lost his family in a sailing accident and was recently sent to live with his biological mother. despite the challenges at hands, Nerissa couldn't help feeling attracted to him, who had the ability to penetrate her defenses and came to her aid when she needed it.

despite the otherworldly backdrop i often found difficult to relate to, i was pleased to find myself getting absorbed into the story in no time. Nerissa was adventurous, slightly rebellious, but a teenager, making her easily relatable. Lo was the all too perfect guy with a scarred history, where his imperfection actually made him perfect for Nerissa. with a royal throne to fight for, Nerissa's life was anything but ordinary. things got even more complicated the moment she came to age, where attraction from both male and enemy came chasing after her. the complicated relationship she had with the people she thought she knew for life came to an abrupt and surprising end that i didn't see coming, which was rather satisfying despite the long-winded storytelling.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Gatchaman Crowds (2013)
ガッチャマン クラウズ

Gatchaman Crowds

the story took place in a futuristic Japan, where Tachikawa City was the second metropolis of Tokyo. Gatchaman were warriors who fought in special reinforced suits, powered by Note, a manifestation of spiritual powers in living beings. the council scouted and gathered a group of individuals with super abilities to protect the Earth from alien criminals. the latest enemy was a mysterious entity called Mess.

in the series, the Gatchaman were the heroes with supernatural power who protected the public, fending the city from criminals and threats. the uniqueness of the series was having the main superhero character to be a girl while we usually got used to the guy playing the knight in shining armor. Hajime was an outgoing girl with hyperactive energy. despite her clear actions, her verbal ability often drew questions marks out of our head. however, it was pleasant to know that even though we had difficulty understanding her, we didn't find it difficult to love her.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Thor: The Dark World

thousands years ago, the Dark Elves wanted to send the universe into darkness by using a weapon called Aether. the warriors of Asgard managed to stop and killed most of the Dark Elves and hid the Aether, but the leader Malekith escaped. on Earth, Jane continued to wait for Thor's return but he was too busy bringing peace to the nine realms. in search of a passage to Thor, Jane came across one and got transported to the Aether. Thor returned to Earth just as Jane got transported back and found that the Aether had entered Jane's body.

it was delighting to see Thor and Loki on screen again. while the transportation concept became quite a mess at some point, it was frustrating but unimportant. Loki became a character so huge despite the short screen time he had, soon he became our favorite. while it was also pleasant to see Thor's friends again, it was a pity that they didn't have enough screen time to be entertaining. Jane however, was a disappointment. after she had Aether absorbed into her body, we expected great things from her. unfortunately, it appeared that she was just a container and nothing more.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Corpse Party: Tortured Souls - Bougyakusareta Tamashii no Jukyou (2013)
コープスパーティー Tortured Souls -暴虐された魂の呪叫-

Corpse Party: Tortured Souls - Bougyakusareta Tamashii no Jukyou

the story took place in an elementary school that was torn down after the murders and disappearances of its staffs and students. another school, the Kisaragi Academy, was built on top of the elementary school site. one day, a group of students from Kisaragi Academy were telling ghost stories when an earthquake brought them to another dimension. in this dimension, the elementary school was still existed and was haunted by the ghosts of the murdered children. the group had to survive in order to find their way home.

despite the seemingly unoriginal horror, the series was surprisingly engaging. there were plenty of stomach-turning gore, where students were killed in ways unimaginable otherwise in this slaughterhouse. for those who watched Corpse Party: Missing Footage (2012) beforehand had the advantage of understanding the backdrop more thoroughly compared to those who didn't. for the later, there would be points where it was difficult to understand why the characters would behaved the way they had, while feeling like there were missing episodes or sort.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

America's Next Top Model #20: Guys & Girls (2013)


the twentieth cycle of America's Next Top Model (ANTM) was named "Guys & Girls" as it was the first cycle to include male contestants. it was also called ANTM 2.0 after being successful aired for a decade. despite the dramas between Tyra and the judges thus far, the transformation for the show from being a random reality show to becoming the start of careers for its contestants were welcoming after going through weeks of stresses and competitions. ANTM had been airing 2 cycles/seasons every year since 2003. for this cycle, there were also more than the usual 14 contestants and also more than the usual 13 episodes. like the previous cycle, this cycle also applied public elimination

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun: Tonari no Gokudou-kun
となりの怪物くん: となりの極道くん (2013)

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun: Tonari no Gokudou-kun

the OVA had little to do with the main series - Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (2012) and could standalone quite well. it took place in a historical period where the characters still somewhat maintained their personalities. Shizuka was a school teacher, Haru was the Gokudou, means gangster. one day Haru saved Shizuka from a drowning accident. since then they started a forbidden relationship that neither knew it was actually forbidden. like its original series - Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (2012), the OVA had great chemistry between friends and potential lovers, even the supporting cast stood out in their own ways.

Monday, December 09, 2013

A Tale of Red Riding: Rise of The Alpha Huntress (2013)

A Tale of Red Riding: Rise Of The Alpha Huntress

Red Riding had been an orphan since young. one day she received a letter stating that it was from her grandmother. Red never remembered having a family before and she became eager to find her in an unheard town called Wayward. lost in the woods, Red came across a guy who kept following her and led her into a tree. just when she thought she would crash, Red found herself in Wayward, a hidden town she had trouble finding before he met the guy. in Wayward, she started recovering lost memories and learning to be an Alpha.

i received a free e-book from the author in exchanged for a review. in the twisted story of Red Riding Hood, Red not only had to tame the most dangerous werewolves, she had to control the wolf within herself as she too, was a werewolf. according to the people of Wayward, she was destined to become a legendary warrior, the Alpha Huntress. despite feeling unsure of how the story would go and the often lengthy conversations, i found myself absorbed into the story easier as i progressed more and more through the book. when it was finally clear the direction the story was headed, it immediately became enjoyable and worth the wait. however, i found it unfortunate that until the very end, i still couldn't find myself rooting for the characters. it was disturbing that even the good guys tend to sound arrogant and unlikable.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Fairy Tail x Rave (2013)
フェアリーテイル x レイヴ

Fairy Tail x Rave

Fairy Tail x Rave (2013) was the sixth OVA for the Fairy Tail (2009-2013) series. the story started with Natsu, Lucy, and Happy (Fairy Tail) on a mission to find and deal with a troublemaker. due to certain circumstances they got separated. in the meanwhile, the same thing happened to Ellie and Haru (Rave Master). while searching for their partners, Lucy and Ellie met and worked together.

having watched Rave Master (2001- 2002) back then, a part of Fairy Tail (2009-2013), it was fun to see the characters got mixed together for an adventure. the point of the episode was the crossover, thus the plot wasn't really the focus. the chain of events that took place was expected if not predictable. however, it was pleasant to know that the episode doesn't disappoint. the enjoyment of seeing characters from 2 series put together was exciting enough to get us through the episode.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Broken #1: Slide (2013)


Evie was the heiress to the multi-billion dollar Montgomery Empire after a horrific accident claimed the lives of her mother and brother. for the past 12-years, she swore never to return to the place that filled with memories of her tragic past. however, hearing her father's death brought Evie back. to make matter worst, she met with Ryan, a handsome Yankees player. he was confident and well-known for his playboy attitude. but after getting to know him a few days more, Evie began to see the real man hiding behind that confident façade.

i received a free e-book from the author in exchanged for a review. for more than half of the book, the romance between the duo was more than enough to held my absolute attention. when the mysteries started revealing itself, the book became even more delicious and hard to put down. while their romance had the power of heightening my senses, their heartache were also terrifyingly contagious. for more than once, i found myself struggling to return to my usual self after flipping through chapters after chapters. despite having the celebrity background for its characters, the book was so emotionally engaging, which i was quite surprise to find. with such a satisfying end to the story, i couldn't stop wondering what the second book will be about!

Friday, December 06, 2013

Super Seisyun Brothers (2013)

Super Seisyun Brothers

the story evolved around the Shinmoto and Saitou family's siblings, both consisted of one elder sister and a younger brother. while Chiko and Chika Shinmoto were a bit narcissistic, Mako and Mao Saitou were more mysterious. the sisters were third year high school students, while the brothers were second years. the series followed random happenings in their everyday life, both in school and at home.

with only 5 minutes every episode, the series was a short one. there were little plot as the story was based on daily happenings to elaborate on. however, the simplicity was enough to have us laughing at their random punchlines and sometimes strange situations. while the characters barely stood out among one another, they were believable and reacted realistically as well, making the series fairly enjoyable to watch.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Ylvis: The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) (2013)

The Fox

the Ylvis was a comedy duo from Norway, formed by brothers Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker. the started their career as professional variety artists since 2000 and since then, had numerous highly successful shows, concerts, television shows, etc. in September 2013, their single "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" went popular on YouTube, and brought the brothers to international attention. according to the brothers, there were currently no plans to release an album yet. the song held our attention the first time we heard it. the unique lyrics, the sentimental tune, was anything but compatible, yet it was the very reason that the song stood out all together, thanks to these combined elements.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Diabolik Lovers (2013)

Diabolik Lovers

Yui was a positive girl, but was troubled by having the ability to see spirits and experiencing otherworldly phenomena. due to her father's work, she was recently transferred to a new high school, a night school for entertainers and celebrities. it was rumored that vampires existed among the students. before Yui was able to react, she ended up living with 6 sadistic vampire brothers.

at first glance, the series felt like a typical paranormal romance between Yui and the vampire brothers. but in depth, each of these brothers felt differently yet similarly like humans. though they tend to tease Yui like a male harem genre would, they were rather gentlemen like vampires involved. in overall, the series was extremely beautiful to look at, alluring at times as character developments managed to draw out our emotions towards these vampires. Yui had to cope with living with them while figuring out why she was sent to live with them. at the same time, she couldn't stop her curiosity of wanting to know the brothers' history.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Want #2: Need (2013)


ever since he got caught sleeping with Julianne, his 17-year old piano student, Isaac hid from everyone he knew, even distancing himself from the piano he loved. guilt had been haunting him since the very day he abandoned Julianne and his loved ones when the truth was exposed. just when he decided to continue composing by following Uncle Robert's advise, his ex-girlfriend Heather showed up, unannounced and started pushing him to get things done around the house. the duo quickly reconnected, but their happiness were put on a halt when family secrets began pouring out of the casket.

having loved the first installment: Want (2012), i was pleased to find myself absolutely emerged in Need (2013). while the first book told its story from Julianne's point of view, the second took Isaac's. each of these characters had their own struggles, making them similar yet so different. i was surprised when Julianne wasn't the main female character of this book but Heather. fortunately she made a great character, interesting even feisty at some point, transforming into totally unexpected near the end. Isaac's growth was the most rewarding part of the book, not forgetting the numerous times the book successfully drew tears into my eyes.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Little Busters!: Refrain (2013)

Little Busters!: Refrain

Riki and Rin had managed to form a complete team for the Little Busters baseball team. as they overcame their new members' internal conflicts along the way, they also slowly approached the Secret of the World.

despite being a sequel of the original Little Busters! (2012), this installment felt nothing like its first season. the animations and pace were improved, making the general atmosphere different in comparison. with the increasing mysteries, the series had gotten darker as well, which was unexpected for the seemingly lighthearted series like this. the flip had become its greatest attraction for this installment thus far, luring us along quite successfully.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

The Naturals (2013)

The Naturals

Cassie was good at reading people, piecing together the tiniest details, she was able to tell who and what that person was like. it wasn't an ability she paid attention to since she had it since young. sometimes it annoyed her, but most of the time, it caused her to keep to herself. but things changed when she was approached by a FBI agent. she was invited to a classified program where they trained teenagers with special abilities to crack cold cases. in the house, she met with Michael who could read emotions, Lia who could detect lies, Sloan who was obsessed with statistics, and Dean who was like her, a profiler.

at first, the story felt like an introduction to Cassie's abilities and her involvements with the others Naturals, blending together with friendship and romance. but when they started to work on cold cases, things started to get intense. from discovering Dean's serial killer father, to being targeted by her mother's killer from 5 years ago. although each of the Naturals had such interesting abilities, it was a pity that there weren't enough time to elaborate of each of the characters. having knwon that none of them joined voluntarily like Cassie had me wanting to know more about them. fortunately chasing after Cassie's mother's killer was equally enjoyable if not predictable, thus making the experience worthwhile.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi (2013)

Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

the story took place in a world where god abandoned the world. thus on this day onward, no one could die or reproduce. Ai was the Gravekeeper of the village. she dug 47 graves for the yet to happen deaths of every member of the village. one day, a man came to the village, identified himself as Hampnie Hambart. it was the same name Ai's mother had left behind to be the name of her father. but before she was able to get the to bottom of the mystery, he started slaughtering everyone.

while god abandoned the world, he left behind Gravekeepers, the only ones capable of putting the soul to ease by burying them on these days. Ai was 12-years-old and the last generation of humans since god abandoned the world 12 years ago. she was in the beginning quite frustrating to look at, but as her growth and character development started, she became a lovable character. in many ways, the series managed to have us felt emotionally connected to them, sharing their pain and suffering. with such a different plot that started out complicated, the series brought out the best in it by engaging us and being unique.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Premeditated (2013)


Dinah was very close with her cousin Claire since childhood, until she had to move away to another town. one day, she received the news that Clare cut her wrists, fell in the washroom and hit her head. since then, Claire had been in coma, while Dinah waited for the miracle of her waking up again to tell her what happen. with the intention of staying close to Claire, Dinah moved in with her Uncle and Aunty, even enrolled in Claire's high school. accidentally she found Claire's diary and discovered the story behind. she sought out the killer, waiting to bring him to justice.

the book started out slightly overwhelming as it introduced quite an amount of characters. but as soon as these characters formed their images in my head, the book became a very fast read. it was unexpectedly intense, trailing behind Dinah in search of the killer. while she could use the name to track, Brooks didn't feel like the bad guy since the very beginning, which had gotten even worst as the book neared its end as more and more good sides of his were exposed. in a way, it felt rewarding knowing the bad guy wasn't who we anticipated it to be, or at least led to believe through Dinah's eyes.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku (2013)

Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku

when Natsuki was asked which club she was going to join, she confidently responded "The Go-Home Club", which means she wouldn't join any of it but go home right after school. to her dismay, the club actually existed in her high school and she just signed herself up for it. soon, she found herself joining the club consisting a small group of school girls. before she found out what the club actually do, she was introduced many bizarre characters.

there were no actual plot for the series to expand upon. like most high school club series, it focused on girls doing nothing but random things to draw laughter to its viewers. despite having nothing special about it, it remained entertaining to watch. the characters was slightly generic and had very little development to make them memorable, but fortunately they worked great together. the focus of the series was obviously humor and in some part, they succeeded with flying colors.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Millroad Academy Exorcists #1: Exorcising Aaron Nguyen (2013)

Exorcising Aaron Nguyen

Aaron was a student at a Catholic Academy who got his head smashed in the toilet. his murder caused the boarding school to shut down for a week, for the police to find the killer. but before they managed to get the to bottom of the case, another student plunged down the school building and barely alive. Georgia and her friend, Hiroki who could see ghosts, wanted to uncover the mystery as they watched Aaron's spirit took vengeance into his own hand.

i received a free e-book from the author in exchanged for a review and managed to finish the book in one sitting. it took a little getting used to as the story started, circling the life of Georgia and Hiroki, the odd if not awkward duo. while Georgia was fond of Hiroki, he never showed interest in romance towards anyone. it was actually fun and believing watching them. when things started involving Aaron's spirit, things suddenly flew by in a very fast pace, which made it somewhat surprising when i reached the end of the investigation. i was pleased to find the book a satisfying read, which made waiting for book 2 even more difficult.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun 2nd Season
八犬伝 -東方八犬異聞- 2 (2013)

Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun 2nd Season

the story was a continuation of Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun (2013). the first season focused on Shino, a boy who looked 13 but was actually 18. it was because he was a holder of a living sword named Murasame. his task was to travel from village to village to find different gems. the second season focused more on the plot and details that brought the characters together. while they still travel through villages, it had more character developments and depth to it. more than its previous sequel, this installment was more engaging due to the connection between the characters and their individual backdrop. the rushed ending was slightly disappointing but not unexpected, while the potential remained high as well for a possible Season 3.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Demon Kissed #6: Assassin: Fall of the Golden Valefar (2012)

Assassin: Fall of the Golden Valefar

after Ivy defeated Kreturus and became the Demon Queen, she was trapped in the Underworld with no physical form as it was her curse of using the Satan's Stone. originally an Angel, Eric too used the Satan's Stone to stop the previous war. his curse was to live his life feeding of fears from others. after he was brought back by Ivy, he transformed from a Martis, to a Valefar, now a Golden Valefar. having limited amount of fear for Eric to feed off, Ivy sent Eric to the surface. he was more powerful than before, but also became more and more desperate to stop the monster that he was becoming.

Natalie was not what she appeared to be. on the outside, she seemed innocent and sweet, but she was an assassin. she had been tracking Eric for years, knowing all about his past but not the recent changes. she had to get her revenge but he was so gentle to her sometimes yet so murderous the next, it confused her. the most delicious twist in the plot was Natalie being a Succubus, the child of a fallen angel and mortal. while Eric needed fear to satisfy his thirst, Natalie needed men.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Rozen Maiden (2013)

Rozen Maiden

Jun refused to go to school after being traumatized by an embarrassing incident at school. one day, he received a mysterious letter and chose to go along with it, receiving a living doll named Shinku. his lonely life soon transformed, travelling between the boundary of fantasy and reality as things took turns, bringing him problems that he never thought possible before. to make things worst, he had to deal with these problems whether he liked it or not.

while the old Rozen Maiden (2004) created its own plot, the new Rozen Maiden (2013) followed strictly the plot of the manga. on the surface the new series seemed like a recap of the old series, it was actually a whole new version of it. in some ways, the new series assumed that its viewers were already familiar with the details of the previous series. new viewers would appreciate the series somewhat lesser in comparison.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Demon Kissed #5: The 13th Prophecy (2012)

The 13th Prophecy

having almost destroy Kreturus, the Demon Lord, Ivy was left feeling helpless but still refused to give up. the plan was to summon Kreturus in its human form, who was Collin, Ivy's Valefar boyfriend. however, when Ivy brought Collin back from the dead last time, she infused part of her soul with Collin's, thus saving him from the eternal death that was supposed to destroy him together with Kreturus. Ivy then escaped into the Lorren with Eric, and found out that Eric was a fallen Angel that was given a human life. to win against Kreterus, they needed the location of the Satan's Stone, held in the memories of Eric before he was turned human.

the fifth book of the series took my breath away since its very first page. while it was easy to label the Martis good and the Valefar evil, Ivy was surrounded by Valefars she called friends while the Martis shut her out. being half Martis and half Valefar made things complicated, being the Prophecy One only made it worst. in this installment, she finally came face to face with Kreturus, which brought everything to a whole new level. despite circling the plot for 5 books, i was both pleased and surprised to find myself drawn completely into the series while falling in love with Ivy more and more as their romance drew more tears into my eyes.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Kokuriko-zaka Kara (2011)

Kokuriko-zaka Kara

Umi was a shy teenage girl who lived in a boarding house by the seaside. her father was killed in the war and her mother were constantly travelling. besides attending high school like most teenagers, Umi must also run the family business of managing the boarding house. Shun was her classmates. he was an orphan who lived with a few other students in the school's old clubhouse. part of the school modernization project was to demolish the clubhouse. Shun together with his schoolmates refused to let it happen.

while its drawings never did try to compete with the newer and more recent style of being both clean and colorful, the film with its matured plot turned out to be entertaining enough to engage us until the very end. the 2 main characters were likable if not for being too matured for some high school students. the supporting characters however, were much more impressive as they spiked things up whenever the 2 main characters kept it too dull. the main plot was originally not so clearly stated until more than half of its airtime. it wasn't exactly exciting or memorable but it was just enough to keep the story going.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Demon Kissed #4: Satan's Stone (2012)

Satan's Stone

Ivy was half Martis, half Valefar, and also the Prophecy One. while Celestial Silver could killed the Valefar and Brimstone the Martis, Ivy could only die from Sapphire Serum. when she decided to end herself to remove the role of the Prophecy One, she was saved by Lorren the Angel. the Prophecy would took place with or without her as the Prophecy One. finally accepting who she was, Ivy was determine to end Kreturus life, but before that, she need to find the Satan's Stone, a stone that stored the demon lord's power and had the ability to absorb the remaining Sapphire Serum that Lorren was unable to remove from her body.

unlike the previous sequels, this book started out with Ivy on her Eric-killing mission. after being stopped by Lorren, she escaped the Underworld with her Valefar sister, Apryl who happened to be waiting at the portal she was approaching. Collin, her Valefar boyfriend that she could no longer trust, had been hiding most of the Valefar abilities from her, because every ability had its price, a pain to suffer, a price to pay. now that Apryl was with her, together with the Demon Princess that lured her into a bargain, Ivy was finally revealed the many abilities she never knew she had. throughout the series, the most memorable moment had to be when Ivy realized how important Collin was to her, their bloodlust was nothing compared to the bond they shared and it made my eyes watered.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Monogatari Series: Second Season (2013)
〈物語〉シリーズ セカンドシーズン

Monogatari Series: Second Season

the story picked up from where Nisemonogatari left off. the story continued its style of focusing on various characters, giving them each an equal airtime, focusing on their problems and how it managed to relate to the other characters. first it was Shiro, where Hanekawa faced her personal obstacles, also previously explored in Nekomonogatari -Kuro- (2012). refreshingly for this installment, the perspective shifted from Araragi to Hanekawa, giving us a different view from Araragi's usual fast-paced and often humorous view. through Hanekawa, a more mysterious view was revealed, also introducing a newly awakened spirit animal, together with her troubled thoughts and emotions. despite the slow start, like most Monogatari sequels, things ultimately ended in a satisfying manner.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Demon Kissed #3: Torn (2011)


the story picked up from where Cursed (2011) left off. after going through mazes in the Underworld, Ivy finally met Kreturus, the Demon Lord deep in Hell who wanted Ivy as his bride. but the prophecy said Ivy would defeat Kreturus and became Demon Queen herself. as confusing as that was, Ivy was shocked to find Kreturus took no physical form. with her Valefar boyfriend, Collin trapped by Kreturus, Ivy couldn't risk saving him as Kreturus took possession of his body just moments ago, she decided to remove herself from the prophecy by killing herself. but when she woke up, she found herself half healed by an angel named Lorren.

while the second book focused on Ivy's adventure in the Underworld, facing different challenges and terrifying creatures, the third book started out with the introduction of an angel. the added twist was discovering Lorren lived in the Underworld. like its previous sequels, the first half of the book started out being over elaborated, sometimes long-winded due to the repetitive circumstances that it got slightly suffocating. but again, curiosity pulled me through the book and it was absolutely rewarding. it had become easier and easier to finish each book of the series in one sitting, enjoying every second half of it to its extend. the plot never did stray far from the path that it was expected to take, yet with the added twists and turns, they were completely impossible to predict as well.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C³-bu (2013)

Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C³-bu

Yura was a new student at the Stella Women's Academy. she met Sonora, who immediately invited her to join their club called C³. Sonora was a third-year student who just became the leader of this club that was about military survival. the other 4 members including second-year students Karila and Honoka, and first-year students Rento and Yachiyo.

while action wise the series lacked fluency, story wise it made up for lots of fun and genuinely clever tactics and charm. among the 5 girls, only Sonora was interesting enough to capture ones attention, while the remaining characters were unfortunately easily forgettable. even Yura failed to outshine Sonora despite being the main character. each character was given their own time to reveal a background story about themselves. the growth among the girls was obvious and became more and more entertaining as the series neared its end.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Demon Kissed #2: Cursed (2011)


the last prophecy had mentioned that a girl would taking down the Demon Lord, Kreturus, and became Demon Queen herself. it was said that the prophecy girl would appear with a violet mark, instead of a blue mark for a Martis, or a red mark for a Valefar. originally a Martis, Ivy bore the violet mark since she barely escaped death in the hand of a Valefar. Collin, her Valefar boyfriend, sacrificed himself by jumping into the pit opened by the Valefars to save her from being sucked into it, where Ivy survived by helping the Martis to close up the pit. since then, she had been having nightmares and visions of Collin in the underworld, tortured by Kreturus with the intention of luring her to him. to make matter worst, the Martis still doesn't consider her their ally.

while the first book had its backdrop set on a modern day high school, the second book was moved to an ancient building where the Martis headquarter was at. lacking the familiar atmosphere, the story started to lose me as it became more fantasy than relatable. i hung on for it to capture me again like it did the first book. fortunately the wait was worthwhile as i was soon absorbed into the story after going through half of the book. the twists were difficult to foresee and it came as a pleasant surprise, bringing the story to its climax when least expected.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Blood Lad (2013)

Blood Lad

Staz was the vampire boss in the demon world. but he had little interest in human blood, but was obsessed with Japanese culture. one day, a Japanese teenage girl, Fuyumi accidentally wandered into the demon world, he jumped at the opportunity. but when he was distracted with another invasion, Fuyumi was killed by a monster and became a wandering ghost. Staz was disappointed and promised Fuyumi that he will find a way to bring Fuyumi back to life.

with such a dark and unique plot, it was surprising that the series was more of a comedy. with plenty of humors, the series had its fair share of climaxing moments as well as weird situations. the story never did left the duo formed by Staz and Fuyumi, nor did the plot ever strayed from Staz wanting to bring Fuyumi back to life, where everything else evolved around it. to make things even more interesting, the series was fast paced, making it entertaining and having no dull moments.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Demon Kissed #1: Demon Kissed (2011)

Demon Kissed

Ivy was a Martis, humans selected by the Angels for their loyalty and courage. one night she was lure into kissing Jake, a Valefar. when a Demon kissed a human, the human soul would be stripped away, leaving behind a space for the Demon to infuse the human body with demon blood, creating Valefars, animated corpses that looked exactly like human, also the only beings capable of killing the Martis. having survived the near death experience, Ivy was drawn into the war between the Martis and the Valefar, especially for being the only person who ever walked away from a demon kiss alive, furthermore gaining unique abilities from it.

despite being long-winded, it was a pleasant read. curiosity got me through the pages quite easily. in many ways, Ivy was a sad and negative character. but seeing the conflicts she had to struggle through, it was understandable and tolerable. but the moment she finally accepted herself, she became such a tough and lovable girl. from there onward, things got even more interesting between the trio, formed by Ivy the half Martis half Valefar, Eric the Martis, and Collin the Valefar. it was especially intriguing that when evil and good was originally so clearly separated into two sides, it wasn't the case for Ivy.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Kiniro Mosaic (2013)

Kiniro Mosaic

the story followed Shinobu, a Japanese girl who did a homestay in Britain. she became great friends with Alice, the daughter of her host family. after returning to Japan, she missed her time oversea. one day, and airmail arrived from Alice, telling Shinobu that she will be coming to Japan.

the series that started out simple turned out to be unexpectedly heartwarming and enjoyable to watch. while the first episode showed a rare side of Japanese speaking English, it was somewhat painful to witness. later into the series, things became much more entertaining as the humors started to surface. there were no actual storyline for the series, it was a slice of life series. in some ways, the series remindede me of A Channel (2011) and Yuru Yuri (2011), where a group of friends went through their everyday lives filled with humorous situations.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Beauty World (2011)

Beauty World

the story started with the mysterious death of the Emperor's newborn daughter. her mother Meiniang was ferocious. and since the princess was last visited by the Empress, she was the most suspicious person in the palace. before she was sentenced to death, her former lover Chongyan and her best friend Xiner, came into the palace to investigate. one case lead to another, they soon found out that the palace was far more complicated than what they expected.

the series was unexpectedly enjoyable, having little dull moments since the very beginning. the mysterious cases and its investigation kept the story going. i was slightly disappointed with the little involvement from Meiniang, who later became the Empress. but fortunately Xiner and Chongyan continued to be entertaining if not mysterious with a hint of fantasy and supernatural twist. at some point, even the Emperor seemed like the bad guy and it kept us guessing until the very end.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Choujigen Game Neptune: The Animation (2013)
超次元ゲイム ネプテューヌ THE ANIMATION

Choujigen Game Neptune: The Animation

the story took place in a world with 4 states, Planeptune, Lastation, Lowee, and Leanbox. these states were each ruled by a Goddess. for years, these countries fought each other over the Shares, which was the source of the Goddess power. however, as these conflict eroded their countries' strength, the Goddesses signed a Friendship Treaty to prevent each other from taking the Shares by force.

the series represented the Gamindustri (Game Industry), where Planetune represented Sega, Lastation represented Playstation, Lowee represented Nintendo, and Leanbox represented XBox. the story did a clever mix of each of the video games stories, where the ultimate plot being taking revenge against Gamindustri. the series lacked detailed explanations of these representations, making it confusing at times. but in overall, the characters were lovable, making it far easier to watch even without representations.