Aside

2017 Anime Watchlist and To-Read Manga!!!

I should get things done this year, so here goes!!! (PS. this post is just to remind myself not to put off stuff I haven’t finished and keep starting new ones.)

Anime 2017:

Chain Chronicle (TV) [Watching]

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Saga of Tanya the Evil [COMPLETED]

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Clockwork Planet (TV) (Watching)

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Genocidal Organ (Movie)

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Other years:

Rakuen Tsuihou (Movie) [COMPLETED]

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Sidonia no Kishi SS2 (TV)

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Those are all for now.

Manga:

Confidential Confession

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River’s Edge

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Snow White and 7 Dwarves

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Novel:

Red Data Girl [COMPLETED]

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Stuff I plan to finish this year:

Dantalion no Shoka (TV) [COMPLETED]

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D. Gray Man HALLOW (TV) [COMPLETED]

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Noragami Aragoto (TV) (Watching)

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Sidonia no Kishi (manga) [Reading]

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My Anime/Manga of 2016

phichit-chulanont

That dream is to get a life.

I can’t believe it’s already my 3rd year on this blog. Time sure flies. Since I’m set on doing this every year, might as well lay down some rules for giving awards to anime/manga I’ve watched/read.

  1. One award per one franchise in one year (so Yuri on Ice can’t get every award on the list, and neither can Ghost in the Shell)
  2. MINIMUM SPOILER
  3. The recipients can be released in any year, but I have to start/finish it in 2016
  4. Awards are based solely on my opinion. Recommendations for next year are welcome! (If you want to see which ones I’ve already watched, check here.)

Since I haven’t seen or read as much as last year, this list might not fill every award, and I might add new ones.

To start off:

Best Sci-fi goes to: Ghost in the Shell

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You can never go wrong with GITS. Its questions about humanity can be endlessly discussed. Live action starring Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow!) coming this year.

Best Historical goes to: Kaguya-Hime no Monogatari

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Kaguya-Hime is an atmospheric and aesthetically pleasing anime movie. The art style is unique and the story of Kaguyahime’s struggles is fantastic and real. Kaguya-Hime is a break-off from traditional princess stories and you will find yourself rooting for the princess all the way while learning ancient Japanese culture.

Best Drama (anime) goes to: Re: Zero kara hajimaru isekai seikatsu

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What’s better for drama than a hell loop? Although Re: Zero is a combination of the time loop and different world trope, it managed to get its own standing and became a very emotionally intense anime. (It may appear like harem but it’s not quite harem…)

Best Drama (manga) goes to: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Onisarashi-hen

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This twisted hell of a side story brought Higurashi back to its throne on my favorite manga list. Although a side story, Onisarashi has all the charms of the original Higurashi manga.

More below.

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27 Drama Manga for those wanting a heartwrench

Hello! With spring blooming outside our windows and summer soon to come, everybody is in a good mood. But what if you despise all those happy-go-lucky human beings out there? Here’s a countdown of 27 manga if you want to get into the gloomy mood.

(Note: This list excludes titles that every one knows and have read, for example: Tokyo Ghoul, Umineko, Elfen Lied, School Days, Mirai Nikki, and so on, and so forth. This list also excludes anything that falls into the ‘death game’ genre: Doubt, Kami-sama no Iuutori, Dead Tube, Mousugu Shinu Hito, etc.)

As you go down the list, the manga gets more depressing, so don’t be disappointed by the soft-core stuff you see right at the beginning.

  1. Black Rock Shooter : Innocent Soul

In the empty space between life and death called “Hazama”, the Black Shooters keep peace by defeating bad spirits. Black Rock Shooter, or “Rock” in this manga, is one of them. Surprising truths wait to be discovered about the world though.

Personally, I think this one is worth a read. It has a completely different plot from the Black Rock Shooter anime, being fantasy and all. I absolutely love the artwork.

  1. Milk Closet

Kids have been disappearing, and those who came back had strange tadpole-like animals stuck to their butts as tails. These tailed children’s job is to fight and protect the universe. Sounds cheesy? Wait till you read the actual thing.

This manga is weird, but written by the same person who wrote Alien 9, I should’ve seen it coming. Expect a lot of shape shifting, deaths, fusion, and unexpected ending.

  1. Sekai no Hate (The End of the World)

What is considered a murder? Can you get away with murder? Can it be justified? A weak girl and a bullied boy struggles with this in this manga.

Beautiful artwork, depressing story, not your typical shoujo plot. Usually there’s shoujo with rape, bullying, murder, and all that, but something about this manga sets it apart from all those competition. Even my friend who loves dark gory stuff got really into this.

  1. Oboreru Knife (Drowning Knife)

Natsume moved from her hometown in the city to a tiny town where she met her ‘little god’, a boy called Kou. Things start to go down the hill one unexpected night where the relationship between her and him takes a turn for the worse…

Only a portion of the manga is scanlated, and I couldn’t buy it anywhere, so I only got the plot up to that point. What I love most about this is how serious the artist takes her job.I have never seen this style before, and I love it. The artwork helps set the mood and the comedy is done just right. Even though I say there’s comedy, Oboreru Knife tears the frame of what a shoujo is like in many people’s mind.

  1. Shinobi no Kuni

The strongest Shinobi (you could call them ninjas) is stuck in a war trying to find money for his beautiful wife. I can’t really say anything because you have to read it for yourself.

Again, nice artwork. The story is a page-turner, nice balance of drama, action, and comedy.

  1. 7 seeds

The world has ended. In the landscape covered with unusual dangerous lifeforms, a group of young adults found themselves in a battle for survival. Why are they here? Who sent them here? What does it mean that they are humanity’s last hope?

Initially, I was going to pass this manga because I didn’t like the art. (Silly, I know.) But, I decided to give it a chance and bam, we hit it off. 7 Seeds is very intense, and even though it skips from group to group, the way the mangaka present her characters made them memorable.

  1. Kasane

How far will you go to be beautiful? Kasane is an ugly, ogre faced girl constantly bullied and sneered at by all those around her. She has nothing in common with her gorgeous mother besides the talent in acting. Her mother left her a tube of lipstick as a memoir, and told her, kiss the thing that you desire. What Kasane desires most is…

I saw this manga come up on Imagine-nation on NHK World, so I decided to give it a try. Man, that was quite a trip. The idea of combining face-swap with intense drama is enjoyable, and I loved every chapter.

  1. Usotsuki Mii-kun to Kowareta Maa-chan (Liar Boy and Broken Girl)

A short manga about former kidnap victims who go on to commit their own crimes. It ended leaving some questions unanswered but I think letting the readers think for themselves is probably for the best.

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Sugar Candy Bullets Can’t Pierce Anything – review

The author of GOSICK and the author of Variante present you with a 2-volume masterpiece. (This review has very little spoilers. Feel free to read through.) Go on an emotional roller-coaster. Yamada Nagisa is a junior high student who is a realist and wants to join the military as soon as possible. A transfer student, Umino Mokuzu (literally translates to scrap of seaweed) declares herself as a mermaid, and if she cannot find a friend before the storm she would turn into foam. The two develop an odd friendship, with the sweet candy bullets of the liar Mokuzu and the bullets of reality Nagisa wishes to shoot. Nagisa lives in poverty trying to support her brother, and gets angry thinking Mokuzu is a little rich city kid. Nagisa initially hates Mokuzu and her candy bullets, but then she realized that Mokuzu is even more unfortunate than she is… Genre: Drama, Psychological, School, with a mix of mystery My score: 10 out of 10 (Masterpiece)

Story:

I can’t believe my eyes. Sakuraba Kazuki is the author. I’ve never thought she would write such a dark and thematic story. Compared to Gosick, this is on another level. Seriously. The manga is about two teenager’s struggle in life. You’ll get  a bittersweet feeling while reading, and trust me, you’ll go into the abyss with them. The manga is adapted from a novel of the same name, and the feel is kinda like reading a storybook. The difference is you have to pay attention to every single sentence to be able to grasp the whole story. I love the metaphoric idea of “Bullets” in this story. (I won’t say anything here. See it for yourself!) The story picks up topics that are pretty dark, and presents it in a very good way without going overboard. Family abuse, Stockholm syndrome, dealing with a Hikkikomori family member, trying to support the family, finding true safety, dealing with lies, painful bonds, abuse, bullying, discovering the truth about love, and the tragedy of growing up… All of this is waiting for you in Satougashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai: A Lollipop or a Bullet

Art:

I loved Sugimoto Iqura’s art from Variante. (Which you should also read if you’re a fan of monster stuff. It’s 19 chapters long.) People say they wish the cover was in colour, but I disagree. Black and white is the best way to portray the intensity and darkness of the story. The illustrations are very well done, and it conveys the depressing and suspenseful feeling of the story very well. The art keeps its tone, no chibis or cute emotions, just dark, serious, everyday life. Sugimoto Iqura is just the perfect person for this kind of story.

Overall Opinion:

Slow-paced and depressing… But realistic and very well told story. A must-read for any manga fan. This manga turned down many readers because of various reasons (like not having a summary on the cover, for example) but if you’d spend a small amount of your time reading, you’ll find a hidden gem.

Last:

Expect lots of this. There is a riddle in the story I’d like to share. I shared it with my friends before and none of them can answer. A warning though, this has a very dangerous answer. There was a married man who died in an incident. At his funeral his wife met one of his colleagues. The wife and the colleague quickly developed a mutual attraction. Later that night the deceased man’s son was killed. The murderer turned out to be the wife. She suddenly murdered her child. Why did she do it? This manga is licensed in Thailand in 2010 and is very difficult to find. If you do manage to get a copy, you’ll find the most heart-wrenching story far more tear-jerking than Titanic. Thank you again for your time.

Kodomo no Jikan Review (manga) – it’s not just lolicon

So, in MAL I came across this 93 chapters long manga called Kodomo no Jikan (A Child’s Time). At first, I thought it was just some random fanservice manga. The summary itself doesn’t inspire much (be aware that I read Nijigahara Holograph just a little bit before I got started on the manga.) The sole thing that drove me to reading is the curiosity: why is a lolicon manga this long?

Although this manga has a great story, it contains a lot of lolicon element in it. Those who do not prefer lolicon please stay away from Kodomo no Jikan.

Now let’s get on with the review. I’ll tell you when the spoiler comes.

23-years-old Aoki Daisuke, the main protagonist and a newbie elementary school teacher, is put in charge of class 3-1. The first few chapters of Kodomo no Jikan focuses on Aoki-sensei’s efforts to become a good teacher despite having no experience. We get to see a bit into teaching life and what it is like to be a teacher. He has a big problem though. One of the girls in his class, Kokonoe Rin, is a mischievous girl who would not hesitate to threaten adults. She developed a crush on Aoki and here comes the problem where Rin is super aggressive on getting the teacher’s affection. Aoki does not want to lose his job, and this relationship between Aoki and Rin is the main conflict of the story.

Aside from the main heroine Rin, we have two of her friends, Kagami Kuro and Usa Mimi. Kuro-chan has a crush on Rin, which leads to her being extremely jealous of Aoki. She’s foul-mouthed and pretty violent. She likes to wear expensive clothing, particularly gothic Lolita style. Kuro-chan hates men. The other friend, Mimi-chan is the complete opposite. She’s quiet, sweet, and shy. At first, she also has a secret crush on Aoki. Mimi’s a daddy’s girl, who first refused to go to school because her previous teacher bullied her. She has the idea that she’s only worthy because of her grades.

At the beginning we see a mini relationship map drawn by the author. Trust me, there will be a lot, lot more added to that.

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