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"Mary and Max": It's a Wonderful/Horrible Life

Every once in a while you’ll get a film like Mary & Max, that just introduces some terribly interesting people and shows you what happens to them, with no true moral or purpose getting in the way. It’s just there to tell you a story, and you will glean from it what you will. Mary […]

"Gad Guard: The Complete Series" Is Good But Underpowered

I was struck early on by how legitimately mature Gad Guard is. This is not a typical, testosterone-filled shonen show, despite the skateboards and robots and pretty girls in bathing suits that decorate the sets inner cases. It takes itself seriously, and its characters are written so well that we take it seriously, too. It […]

Hidden Treasures: The Magic Voyage

The Magic Voyage was probably better in German. I doubt even then that it would have been very good – a bad dub does not cause ugly character designs, stiff animation, or stupid concepts – but it would have to work very hard to be worse. The film is a fictional account of Christopher Columbus’s […]

Hidden Treasures: Azur & Asmar: The Princes' Quest

Azur & Asmar: The Princes’ Quest is one of the most beautiful animated films I have ever seen. This is not surprising – it comes from Michel Ocelot, who’s 1999 film Kirikou & the Sorceress was also stunning. The difference between the two films, and the aspect that ultimately makes Azur & Asmar aesthetically superior, […]

"Soul Eater, Parts 1 & 2": Watch It, or I'll Take Your Soul

Soul Eater would be a typical shonen show if it weren’t so funny. It’s a show that realizes how silly it is and is trying to get as much mileage out of that fact as it possibly can. Even scenes that appear to be dramatic or tense or frightening are, on closer viewing, quite ridiculous. […]

"The First Easter Rabbit": Hop Right on By...

There are two types of Easter specials: those that tell the story of Christ’s resurrection, and those that tell stories about the Easter Bunny. I am not a deeply religious person, but even so I would undoubtedly prefer the former type of special. What is there to say about the Easter Bunny? He doesn’t have […]

"$9.99": More Than Spare Change

$9.99 is a good movie that could have been a great one. Its failures can be at least partially blamed on the stop-motion animation, which works well in some parts of the movie but is a major hindrance in others. I don’t think this is the film’s biggest problem, however, which is its muddled theme. […]

"Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo": Mildly Magical

Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo is an uncommonly good Scooby-Doo movie. That means it’s a decent animated DTV bound to appeal immensely to its target juvenile audience while not completely boring any adults or older children who get roped into watching it. After wrapping up their latest investigation, the Mystery Inc. gang gets a phone call directing them […]

The Awesomeness from the "Black Lagoon"

Black Lagoon is a really awesome show. Believe it or not, I’ve rewritten that sentence several times, trying to find a better, more intelligent way of putting it. But there really is nothing more to say. It is beautifully drawn, skillfully choreographed, and voice-acted by people with enormous talent. It manages to be funny, frightening, […]

"Jinki: EXTEND" Needs to Be Junked

Wikipedia claims that Jinki: EXTEND was adapted from an ongoing manga series, and hints (in the annoying way the site does) that quite a bit was lost in the adaptation. I have never read the Jinki manga, but I can definitely see that being true. A sense of compression is the show’s greatest failing: it […]

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