Miki

Picross 3D

A solid block of small cubes with numbers on them sits before you. Somewhere in this solid block is a form – a dog, a castle, a person, anything. You spin it around, and deduce what cubes must either be or not be a part of the final solution, and delete all of the extraneous ones to move on to the next puzzle.

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Baby Steps

Baby Steps: Episode 01 Review

Eiichiro Maruo is a first-year high school student, and he’s at the top of his class. In fact, he’s known as “Ei-chan” (A-chan) for his grades and his painstaking meticulous notes. After deciding to join a sports club to balance his otherwise sedentary academic lifestyle, he settles on taking advantage of a free trial at the local tennis club. Little does he know that one year from now, he’ll be competing in the Kanagawa Junior Tennis Circuit!

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Miki

From Up on Poppy Hill

I went into this anime not really knowing what to expect. I had heard that Goro Miyazaki’s sophomore effort was better than his first, and that it was potentially the script written by his father, anime legend Hayao Miyazaki, that made exceeding the level of Tales of Earthsea an assumption rather than a question. I don’t know if all of that is true, but regardless, From Up on Poppy Hill took a now-standard crop of anime and general film tropes and turned them into an emotionally intense, immensely relatable film.

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New in Japan

Yuyushiki: Final Review by Miki

Yui, Yukari, and Yuzuko are in their first year of high school, and haven’t found a club to join yet. They’re stopped while wandering the halls by a flyer for the “Data Processing Club,” and their homeroom teacher, who happens to be the advisor for this club, comes across them and asks them to join. Unable to resist the teacher’s cuteness (or breasts, depending on the member of the trio), the three girls agree. Their club meetings consist of sitting at computers and randomly searching for information on the internet on any variety of topics, but the range of their friendship stretches far beyond the confines of the tiny club room, their school grounds, or the sheer absurdity of Yuzuko’s mind.

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New in Japan

Danganronpa The Animation – First Impressions

Danganronpa: The Animation has finally hit the summer season, and this much-anticipated anime has a lot of hype to live up to…Thus far Danganronpa has been…mediocre. I already know some of the plotline for Danganronpa, and while that knowledge is intriguing, this first episode isn’t great at selling its story to me.

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New in Japan

Arata: The Legend – Episode 10 Review

After Lord Kannagi loses his Hayagami, he decides that his best course of action is to travel with Arata Hinohara and guide him to rule the world, even if the Earth boy doesn’t know if he wants to do so. They enter the land of Lord Yorunami, but before they progress any further, Kannagi tests Arata’s mettle….

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karneval

Karneval – Episode 7 Review

Things are going two small steps forward and one step back for Karneval. Like Valvrave, this show tries to be too many things at once, and the Circus/Karneval motif is still largely tacked on for stylistic and filler effect.

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Valvrave the Liberator

Valvrave the Liberator: Season 1 Review

Much of humanity has migrated into space, and three clear factions have formed, associated with different Earth powers: ARUS, which holds its own via negotiation; Dorssia, which functions as a military state; and JIOR, a much smaller neutral nation that finds its power in its economic prosperity.

Haruto Tokishima is a student at Sakimori High School, a private institution in Module 77 of JIOR’s space colonies. He is going about his daily life as war rages between the other two factions, about to confess love to his childhood friend, Shouko Sashinami, when the colony falls under Dorssian attack, breaking JIOR’s neutrality. A mech housed beneath the school is accidentally launched to the surface level near Haruto, who climbs aboard and is asked an unsettling question by the onboard computer: “Do you resign your humanity?” His answer grants him pilothood of the mech, known as a Valvrave—but what is the extent of the human cost of his decision to defend his fellow students, and how is the now-isolated student body supposed to carry on with no clear authority in place?

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New in Japan

Symphogear G – First Impression

Some time long ago (before people saw things in color, apparently), there was a lab where subjects were put through harmonization tests with Relics in order to return the power of the Relics to human control. Like the Japanese laboratory, not every subject survived unharmed… or possibly alive at all.

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