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"Gunslinger Girl" Vol. 3: When Everything Works

Prefacing this review would be like trying to cover the aurora borealis with a dark lens: it just wouldn’t help. So I’ll get right to it: Gunslinger Girl Vol. 3 is fantastic. This is what series that try to have a more ambient, less keyed-up pace should strive for. It’s what voice actors should dream […]

"La Portrait de Petit Cossette": Gothic Lolita Romantic Horror Doesn't Bore

You know, what with Gothic Lolita tea parties at various anime cons, Gwen Stefani openly chilling with Harajuku-district Gothic Lolitas in her music videos and manga like Godchild, Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase, and Doll all getting picked up for distribution in the States, it seems like it’s a safe bet that what started as a little […]

"Samurai 7" Vol. 1: Not Your Grandpa's Kurosawa

You know, I’m not kidding with the title. If you’ve got a serious attachment to the original film Samurai 7 is based on, you might just want to turn back now. It’s a pretty radical reinvention, mixing sci-fi elements into a general Edo-era-ish setting. And lo and behold, Toshiro Mifune’s character has been turned into […]

"Koi Kaze Vol.3:" Salvation in Destruction

“I have a feeling that you’re riding for some kind of a terrible, terrible fall. But I don’t honestly know what kind….” – Mr. Antolini, Chapter 24, Catcher in the Rye. If you already hate Koi Kaze, don’t even bother reading this. No, really, I’m dead serious. Nothing in this volume is going to redeem […]

"Gilgamesh" Vol. 1: Anime or Insomnia Cure?

You know, post-Eva and post-Lain, it seems like everyone and their grandma in the anime industry has this idea that dramatic anime needs to move at a snail’s pace. Now, in the hands of the right directors, storyboarders and writers, that ambient, pastoral pacing can make some really classic series. However, in all too many […]

"Kyo Kara Maoh!" Vol. 2: It's Here, It's Hilarious, Get Used To It.

Wolfram: “Don’t be so shy, I’m your fiancee!” Yuri: “I don’t care! That doesn’t mean you have to try and do the naked pretzel!” -Kyo Kara Maoh! Vol.2. When we last left Kyo Kara Maoh, Yuri Shibuya, teenage amateur baseball player and newly minted demon king of another dimension, was on a quest to find […]

"The Place Promised in Our Early Days": A Modern Animated Classic

Toon Zone is reviewing some of the films screened at this year’s Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival. The Place Promised in Our Early Days is in competition in the feature film category. This is a review of the US DVD version. Makoto Shinkai, prior to The Place Promised in Our Early Days, was best […]

"Koi Kaze" Vol.2: Dark, Bitter, and Better Than Ever

Sales of the first volume of Geneon’s Koi Kaze did not live up to expectations, and, truth be told, I’m not surprised. Koi Kaze is a brilliant story, and the first volume sets it up well. But the setup sounds really messed up: Twenty-seven-year-old Koshiro, a sad young man fresh off a breakup and stuck […]

"Stellvia Foundation IV": The Lighter Side of Sci-Fi Anime Still Delights

The previous volume of Stellvia of the Universe concluded with our heroine, Shima Katase (known by her fellow spaceship pilots as Shipon), and her friend Kouta Otoyama fending off a possible apocalypse via the secret, super-powered mecha Infi stashed at Space Station/Academy Stellvia. Anyway, with that little event out of the way, and with it […]

"Melody of Oblivion": Oblivion Sounds About Right

Gainax. A studio known for classic anime such as Evangelion, FLCL and Nadia: Secret of Blue Water. JC Staff is known for anime such as Excel Saga, Tsukihime and Azumanga Daioh. Both studios have great directors, writers, animators and great people in general. So, one would think that the result of them working on the […]

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