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Anime Review: Chaika: The Coffin Princess
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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Chaika: The Coffin Princess

Chaika: The Coffin Princess
Directed by Soichi Masui
Produced by BONES, Kadokawa Pictures
Voice cast: Chika Anzai, Junji Majima, Yuko Hara, Chiwa Saito, Iori Nomizu, Kazutomi Yamamoto, Kenzuka Satou, Saeko Zogo, Shuta Morishima, Yoshimasa Hosoya, Yumeha Koda, Takaya Hashi, Yui Makino.
Air dates: Streaming Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. CDT on Crunchyroll

Let’s say your father died a violent death and his killers had scattered his body parts all over the world, and you were on a quest to gather his remains together in order to give him a proper funeral. Now, let’s say you don’t remember much of what happened up until your father’s death, but everyone is saying he was an evil magical emperor who was utterly defeated in a world war, and a corps of warriors is chasing you, bent on preventing his remains from being gathered together again. One more complication: Let’s just say you’re not the only offspring of the late emperor with the same aim in mind. It seems that everyone in the world is against you, except for two saboteurs and a dragon that hides in the guises of a little girl and a cat. That’s the set up for Chaika: The Coffin Princess, now currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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Book Review: Anime
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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Anime by Colin Odell & Michelle Le Blanc, Kamera BooksAnime
Paperback | Kindle Edition
Written by Colin Odell & Michelle Le Blanc
Kamera Books
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Cover Price: $24.95

Okay, two confessions: First, and if you’ve read my reviews before, you probably already know this, but, I’m an unabashed anime fan. Second, and this may not be as apparent to you as a reader, but I’m also a history freak. It almost doesn’t matter what kind of history it is, as long as it deals honestly with the subject matter and I come away with new knowledge and insights that I didn’t have on the subject before, I’m in. So, being both a fan of anime and history, that means that any book that deals in the history of anime is going to catch my attention; but having been a fan of anime for nearly twenty-two years, that also means that I have high standards for what that book has to say about the matter.

That’s why I’m so excited about this new book, Anime, co-written by authors Colin Odell and Michelle Le Blanc. It’s a short read – only about 148 pages in all – but it has the distinction of being a history book that is both entertaining to read and also highly informative. Ever wonder what the very first OVA was? A hint for beginners: It wasn’t Tenchi Muyou. This book will tell you. When was Studio Madhouse first started, and what name did Gainax go by before they called themselves Gainax? Read and find out.

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Anime Review: Wooser’s Hand-to-Mouth Life
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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woosers-hand-to-mouth-life

Wooser’s Hand-to-Mouth Life
Directed by Sayo Yamamoto, Toyonori Yamada
Produced by Akira Sasaki, Takehiro Yoshida, Yoshiki Usa
Voice cast: Haruka Nagamune, Mamoru Miyano, Minori Ozawa, Tia, Yuri Sato
Air dates: Streaming Tuesdays at 1 PM CST on Crunchyroll

You have to have a love of the truly absurd to appreciate Wooser’s Hand-to-Mouth Life. If you haven’t the stomach for non-sequitur humor, rapid-fire stream-of-consciousness storytelling, or tongue-in-cheek references to all sorts of anime and cultural memes, you’ll be lost in the first three-to-four-minute episode, and you won’t have enough breadcrumbs to get home. So you’ve been warned. Leave while you can.

Still there? Then read on. Wooser is a cute animal thing with button eyes, a button nose and big floppy ears who is known for such rhetorical gems as “There’s nothing as good as food someone else is paying for,” and “my favorite things are meat, money, and girls.” He’s stuck on the couch, is a lout, a pervert, a ne’er-do-well, and yet, he somehow enjoys the constant company of four cute girls along with a darker version of himself known as Darth Wooser, a raccoon, and some birdlike creature that has no name, but is often spotted in Wooser’s company. Weird enough for you, yet?

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Anime Review: Oneechan ga Kita
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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oneechan-ga-kita-series.jpg

Oneechan ga Kita
Produced by C2C
Directed by Yoshihide Yuuzumi
Cast: Aimi Terakawa, Juri Nagatsuma, Fumi Morisawa, Ibuki Kido, Kenji Hamada, Kouji Takahashi, Marina Inoue, Misuzu Togashi, Omi Minami, Yu Kobayashi.
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Oneechan ga Kita, or My Big Sister Arrived, is a light-hearted slice-of-life anime about the stresses of adolescence, parental re-marriage, and what can be the sometimes awkward relationship between newly-introduced step-siblings.

Based on the 4-panel manga created by Riko Anzai, Oneechan ga Kita is told mainly from the viewpoint of 13-year-old protagonist Tomoya Mizuhara. The series begins with Tomoya’s father getting remarried, and his new stepsister, 17-year-old Ichika, is madly in love with him. The usual array of madcap hi-jinx and fast-paced tropes follow in rapid succession, including Ichika’s insistence that she’s going to move into Tomoya’s room permanently and her otaku-like obsessions with her new stepbrother, which include plastering the walls of her room with photos of him and even having large stuffed toy versions of him lying around.

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Anime Review: Magical Warfare
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Lord Hobbitsfork   |  
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Magical Warfare

Magical Warfare
Directed by: Yuzo Sato
Produced by: Madhouse, Media Factory
Voice cast: Mamoru Miyano, Nao Toyama, Asami Seto, Jun Fukuyama, Kazuya Nakai, Kenichi Suzumura, Mikako Takahashi, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Toshyiuki Morikawa
Air dates: Streaming live on Crunchyroll, Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. CST.

Boy, who hasn’t wanted to just run away from one’s problems at one time or another? To be able to, as it were, just escape somewhere, anywhere, as long as it wasn’t here, can at times be a seductive daydream. However, there is a dark side to this fantasy; sometimes, you may not know what you’re wishing for, and that’s what the new anime series Magical Warfare tries to convey in a tale rife with magic, battle, and unintended consequences.

Based on the light novel series by author Hisashi Suzuki and the subsequent manga by You Ibuki in Monthly Comic Gene, Magical Warfare tells the story of a group of school friends who unwittingly get dragged into the middle of a battle between two worlds and two conflicting schools of magic. The story opens with protagonist Takeshi Nanase, a normal high school student and member of the Sakuraya High School Kendo team, whose relationship with his mother and younger brother are strained and distant owing to some dark past event that has come between them. “I’d go anywhere to get out of this house,” he tells himself, “even to Hell.”

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