A Look @

A look at: Phantom Thief Jeanne Volume 1

Mar 20 // LB Bryant
Phantom Thief Jeanne Volume 1Published by: Viz MediaWritten by: Arina TanemuraIllustrated by: Arina TanemuraTranslated by: Tetsuichiro MiyakiRelease date: 3/4/14MSRP: $10.99 Every so often as a professional writer you come across a manga volume that you like well enough, but when it comes time to write down your thoughts, you realize that you have nothing to say about it. That's the problem that I had with Phantom Thief Jeanne. Let me be clear, I liked this volume. When you look at the cover and go through the pages, you're promised various things including random battles and adventures, cute magical girls and even a hint of romance and this volume delivers on all of that.  Unfortunately the way it's delivered just isn't very exciting. In fact I'd go as far to say that it is very 'by the book'. Nothing about the thrilling heroics or romance will come across as surprising as you read through this volume. Some of you will even laugh at how predictable it is in places.  As I said though, for what it is, this is a first volume that has plenty of things going for it. The artwork in this volume is very nice to look at. The character designs are very pleasing to the eye and at no point does the book pander to audiences by putting any of the main characters into fan service-laden, compromising situations. This is good, clean fun all the way through to the end.  It also doesn't happen very often but at times Phantom Thief Jeanne will even make you laugh intentionally. There is a moment towards the middle of the book when everyone is excited to have dinner together when they all open their doors and see that they have to deal with phantom thief duties. I'm not doing a very good job of describing the moment but it was certainly one time that I can recall laughing out loud.  In the end though, this was just a shoujo manga that I could take or leave. It made for good reading each night before I went to bed but there were never any times that I was actively excited to pick it up and read another chapter. In fact it was actually very easy for me to pick up, read a few pages and put it back down without a second thought.  Originally published in 1998 (and released in the US by CMX Manga in 2005), its possible that this title could've been something special in its day. In the last decade however we've seen dark magical girl series such as Madoka Magica, parodies like Prisma Illya and we're all waiting with bated breath for a revival of Sailor Moon -- all of which do the magical girl genre better than Phantom Thief Jeanne.  If you're absolutely desperate for a new shoujo title to read, this isn't a bad title to start in on but don't go in expecting to be blown away by the contents. At best this is merely a distraction to pass the time with until you find your next A+ title. 
A look at: Jeanne photo
Um... it's very pretty?
By day Maron Kusakabe is a normal, everyday high school student. She lives in an apartment by herself, has a best friend who lives next door and she's a member of the rhythmic gymnastics team. What people don't realize, howev...

A Look @ Fairy Tail Volume 33 & 34

Feb 05 // Pedro Cortes
Fairy Tail Volume 33 & 34Creator: Hiro MashimaTranslated by: William FlanaganPublisher: Kodansha ComicsMSRP: $10.99 Physical / $7.99 DigitalReleased: 12/3/2013 (Vol. 33) & 1/7/2014 (Vol. 34) At this point in this large, multi-part arc, Fairy Tail is desperately behind in the Grand Magical Games. In order to stand a chance at reclaiming their place as the strongest guild, they’ll need some points and fast. That means more one-on-one fights. Now, typically this is where my eyes would start rolling. In most shonen franchises, the tournament setup is used when the creator is either stalling for time or is out of ideas. It’s a good excuse to have your characters stick around in one place and have flashy fights. This time around, the tournament conceit actually makes sense in the story and doesn’t feel out-of-place. After all of the heavy hitters disappearing for seven years, it would make sense that Fairy Tail’s reputation would take a hit and they would do anything to bring the guild back to its former glory. Thus taking us to the slate of fights across these two volumes. We’ve got a good combination of gag-based battles and serious, story-altering tussles. The Elfman/Bacchus fight manages to combine both to great effect. For one, it legitimizes Elfman, who I feel has gotten short shrift thought the entire story. Two, it forces Quatro Cerberus to change their name to Quatro Puppy. Childish, yes, but psychologically devastating. For other good, serious battles, the Kagura/Yukino and Laxus/Alexi fights need to be mentioned. The Kagura/Yukino fight adds fuel to the Saber Tooth/Fairy Tail conflict when Yukino gets the boot for losing and the Laxus/Alexi fight is just impressive, as Laxus takes on the entirety of Raven Tail and comes out on top. Speaking of Saber Tooth/Fairy Tail conflict, the biggest highlight for me across both of these volumes is Natsu’s solo-attack on a guild. It’s a mark of the fire wizard’s physical fortitude that he stood toe-to-toe with the Saber Tooth headmaster and his belief in camaraderie. One of Fairy Tail’s strengths is the bonds of friendship and family that the members of Natsu’s guild form with each other and that chapter encapsulates it. The final pages of volume 34 take things a step further, when Minerva beats Lucy within an inch of her life. With things getting more personal, it’ll be interesting to see how those conflicts become more heated as the Games get further along. My only gripe with these volumes has to be the mysterious references to Eclipse. Knowing what happens later, the way things are depicted is a bit misleading and leads to some confusion later on. Fairy Tail is at its weakest whenever Mashima relies on big doomsday devices and the later arc swerve is the result of either sloppy storytelling or poor planning. Like a lot of things in fiction, problems could have been prevented if things were presented in a succinct fashion. Oh well. Everything else in these volumes should please long-time readers.
Fairy Tail photo
Fights everywhere you turn
Before we take a look at the latest volumes of Fairy Tail, let’s take a look at where we’re at in the story. The members of Fairy Tail are in the midst of the Grand Magic Games. Held to determine which guild is th...

Import Preview: Exstetra

Jan 29 // Elliot Gay
Exstetra (PS Vita/Nintendo 3DS)Developer: FuRyuPublisher: FuRyuReleased: November 7, 2013 MSRP: $59.99 (Vita), $60.99 (Nintendo 3DS) Ryoma is your average Japanese high school student, except that he's an amnesiac who has been magically transported to another world called Amazia. It is here that he discovers he's a Prisma, a hero destined to save the world with the help of his Prisma Knights. His merry band of followers are actually fellow classmates who have also been transported to this magical land. With but a single kiss, his friends can absorb part of his power, which will be required if they want to fight back against the forces of evil. The first problem I encountered with FuRyu's (Unchained Blades) latest RPG was that it has a story that tries to do a whole lot of different things, but does none of them well. It picks and chooses from various game and anime tropes (amnesia, alternate world) and kind of mashes them together in the hope that it'll somehow create a cohesive experience. Within minutes of starting the game, you'll have encountered a mysterious half-naked girl, a childhood friend who is madly in love with you, amnesia, and alternate worlds. The worst part is that Exstetra seems like it wants players to take its narrative seriously, but the writing is so juvenile that it begins to feel like characters are just repeating the same lines over and over again. As a narrative device, kissing is used to give Ryoma's various party members special powers that let them fight alongside him in battle. Despite the ridiculous situation Ryoma and crew find themselves in, Exstetra manages to slow things to a halt so that it can try to be funny for a little bit. Oh hey, the childhood friend Mizuki is so embarrassed about having to kiss that she slapped him! Isn't that comical? Am I right guys? No? Oh, ok then. It certainly doesn't help that the main characters are cardboard cutouts. Ryoma barely has any real personality to speak of, but his party is even worse. Mizuki is the first of the bunch that you meet in-game, and she's basically a series of childhood friend one-liners repeated ad nauseam. Masaru, one of the few male party members, is the typical skeevy pervert. Most of his dialogue revolves around how much he doesn't want to kiss Ryoma, even if it means dying in this alternate world. Selene, your somewhat robotic guide, is the cold and emotionless type. None of these characters ever say anything worth listening to, and I found myself dreading story bits very early on in my experience. More characters join your party as time wears on, including an older female student and your little sister. Before you ask, yes: you do in fact kiss your little sister too. I know some folks out there might be hoping that maybe the presentation is strong enough to hold up the weak narrative, but don't hold your breath. FuRyu was clearly working on a shoe string budget, as Exstetra reeks of cheap. Character models are OK looking at best, but dungeons repeatedly use the same assets; you will see the same forest many times before the day is done. Famous character designers Tony Taka and Katsumi Enami were brought on board, but the cast look like rejects from their better works. I'm not terribly fond of Tony Taka, but I've always been a huge fan of Enami's works, so it sucks to see such generic material from him.  The music doesn't fare much better either. Yoko Shimomura is credited for her work on the score, but the reality is that she composed a single track for the whole thing. The rest of the music is bland, often repetitive tunes that prompted me to listen to other music as I played. One dungeon theme that stuck out to me seemed to combine an exotic beat with the sounds of somebody farting. Jarring to say the least. Unfortunately, things only get worse from here. Outside of dungeons, the game is primarily menu- driven. This isn't necessarily a bad thing considering plenty of fantastic portable RPGs have been going this route (Etrian Odyssey). The difference is that the developers of those games understand the importance of a strong UI. The towns in Exstetra are unsurprisingly static images, but they look like they've been rendered using cheap 3D software. The first town you visit (also your home base) is comprised of block houses stacked next to each other and a handful of buildings you can enter. Outside of the repeating dungeon themes I mentioned earlier, the actual layouts themselves are simple. These are basic mazes with treasure chests littered about, mostly in plain view. My biggest problem with them (outside of their boring designs) is how frustratingly long they can be. The second big dungeon in the game, Ruins, took me ages to clear when combined with the frequent random encounters. The one saving grace is that you can save at any point in dungeons, making it easy to avoid pointless deaths. Battles attempt to change things up a bit in that they're built around rows. Both enemies and players stand in said rows, leading to attacks that'll hit only the front/back two, or strikes that can damage everybody. It has potential, but the whole thing is held back by clunky menus, slow and janky attack animations, and just a general imbalance when it comes to difficulty. The slow pace of combat is somewhat remedied by the fast forward option that lets you speed everything up, but it's unfortunate it had to be included at all. The in-game kissing mechanic gives your party the power to use super attacks based on how many times you successfully manage to get characters to kiss. It's a quirky feature that feels more intrusive than anything else as it breaks up the flow of battle to toss you into a mini-game. My biggest gripe of all though has to be the absurd amount of work it takes to heal your whole party outside of battle. Instead of being able to simply heal everybody or at least press confirm a few times, Exstetra boots you back to the first menu after every magic use. This means that you're constantly having to navigate the busted UI just so that you can fully heal a single character. It's ridiculous that an RPG in this day and age forces the player to work this hard just to use basic magic. If it sounds like I'm being harsh on FuRyu's latest RPG, that's precisely what's happening. Exstetra is a game that aims low and somehow manages to miraculously miss its own ambitions. Its big kissing gimmick is poorly realized, and the way it's written into the narrative is cute at first but quickly gets old. Nothing here is remarkable, and perhaps the worst thing I can say about the whole affair is that it's extremely boring.  I can forgive a lot of things when a game tries to do something different. Unfortunately, Exstetra is not one of those games. If you're on the market for a new JRPG, pass this one and never look back. I can only hope that nobody wastes the resources on localizing Exstetra.
Import Preview: Exstetra photo
Ryoma and friends sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G
Every now and then a game comes along that changes the way you think about entertainment. It flips conventions on their head, and tackles common tropes in a way that completely alters the gaming experience. Video games have t...


Import Preview: Utakumi 575

Jan 26 // Elliot Gay
Utakumi 575SegaOnline Price: $67.99 I have to hand it to Sega for having the guts to launch a brand new rhythm game IP only a few months before Project Diva F2nd. No, they're not directly competing with themselves, but it still seems like a risky move. This is especially the case with Utakumi 575, as it uses the same Vocaloid technology and even some musicians for its track list.  Fortunately, 575 is a very different experience as far as rhythm games go. The story follows Matcha and Azuki, two high school freshmen who decide to start singing and dancing on the internet. The twist? They construct songs in a 5-7-5 structure (haikus) in order to convey their message. The game followers their online journey for a whopping year, singing and dancing ensuing every step of the way. The rhythm gameplay seems fairly typical at first; using the front and back touchscreens of the Vita, you tap along to the beats presented in-game. Where things start to differ are the blank spaces that will appear within a song as you tap along. Haiku options pop up onscreen and players will have to select each verse/phrase in the right order. Fail to insert any words or insert the wrong amount and you become unable to "play" those beats within the song, screwing up the combo you had going. If you insert the lyrics in the incorrect order but they still fit, you're allowed to continue the combo, though it's impossible to get a five star rank. It's a fascinating experience that tests both your sense of rhythm and your Japanese skills, something I find quite appealing. 575 is a great looking game, with a very clean UI and easy to understand menus. Macha and Azuki both look fantastic, and I'm fairly certain the whole thing runs at 60fps at native resolution. The downside is that the music videos aren't anywhere as elaborate as Project Diva's (it's like they're dancing in front of a camera for Nico Nico), but the choreography is solid. Add in customization options for clothes and even dance locations, and you'd have a pretty good package. That's not where things end however. Sega has included tools within the game that allow you to purchase haiku phrases and craft lyrics to pre-made songs. Since 575 uses the Vocaloid software, it's able to render music on the fly, meaning there's hours upon hours of content here to play with. Couple that with the iOS app that allows you to make songs from scratch, and you have a neat concept that could be something really fantastic with the right community. I suppose time will tell. The track list thus far has been very good, with familiar names from the Vocaloid community making repeat appearances. Interestingly enough, each track is split into short, medium, and long versions. I imagine this is a replacement for difficulty, as the length, amount of beats, and even the haikus themselves change based on which version you're playing. Clear each song with a good enough ranking and you unlock dozens of extra edits of each track, made by fans who used the iOS app last year when it first launched. It remains to be seen if Sega can turn Utakumi 575 into a viable franchise, but regardless of what its fate is, the game is unique and worth trying out. Normally I'd be quick to recommend this one to folks, but due to the heavy focus on haiku building, non-Japanese speakers will be missing out on a significant portion of the game's appeal. If that doesn't bother you though, feel free to jump on in. That Utakumi. It is pretty good you know. So give it a try.
Import Preview: Utakumi 5 photo
It's haiku time
I quite enjoy the rhythm action genre.  By no means am I great at them, but there's something undeniably appealing about putting a comfy pair of headphones on and getting in the zone. I've always been big on the genre wh...

A Look @ Hello Kitty: Delicious!

Jan 15 // Kristina Pino
Hello Kitty: Delicious! Published by: Perfect Square (a VIZ Media imprint)Story and Art: Jacob Chabot, Jorge Monlongo, Ian McGinty, Stephanie BuscemaRelease Date: Jan. 7, 2014MSRP: US$7.99 (print) US$4.99 (digital) [BUY] Hello Kitty: Delicious! follows the adventures (and some misadventures) of Hello Kitty, her family and friends, as they run into spaghetti monsters, aliens, giants with a sweet tooth, hectic candy-filled dreams, and more. The cast is the same from last time, in terms of the book's characters, but the humans making the stories change things up a little. We still have Jacob and Jorge, who present a more traditional approach to Kitty's art style accompanied by inventive speech-less storytelling. But their stories are complimented by not just one, but two guests in the book who both have very distinctive styles to apply to our hero: Ian McGinty and Stephanie Buscema. Ian McGinty had two segments in this book: "Sweet Dreams" and "Food Fright." One of those is a rad call-back to old school horror; can ya guess which one? His line work is a bit more detailed than that of the other artists, and he had colorist Michael Wiggam to really bring it all to life. I loved having a third artist with longer stories in this book because it brought diversity into it. It's not that Jacob and Jorge aren't inventive -- they are incredible -- but a third person with a totally different art style, as well as a different way of telling stories, rounded things off fabulously. Ian will be returning for the third book in this series. Stephanie Buscema covered the little interlude sections, like Susie Ghahremani did for the previous volume. Hers were pretty much one-page deals, and I'm honestly sad that she won't be getting an encore in the next book. She is heavily influenced by "1950s kitsch and vintage children's books," and it shows in the best way. You can get an idea of her style by checking out this portfolio. I just wish I could buy one of her Hello Kitty pages as an art print. It should be fairly obvious by now that I think you need to throw your money at your nearest bookseller or tablet to support this release. Hello Kitty: Here We Go! was a strong first volume in this new series, and volume two kept everything that was fantastic about it and then added more awesome sauce to the mix. You don't need to have read one to enjoy the other, and given its structure of (mostly*) independent short stories, it's also a good "pick up and put down" sort of book. These comics have universal appeal and are suitable for all ages (some references may escape a younger audience, but the humor will remain). Be sure to check back here in April to see my thoughts on volume three. *One of the stories in this book references a previous one, but not in a way that you have to have read both to "get" it.
Hello Kitty vol. 2 photo
Let's go on food-filled adventures
The first volume in the Hello Kitty (reviewed) series published by Perfect Square was all about travel, and it didn't disappoint; we went all over the world and beyond. This second volume promised to have our mouths watering,...

A Look @ Nisekoi, vol. 1

Jan 13 // Kristina Pino
Nisekoi, vol. 1Creator: Naoshi KomiTranslated by: Camellia NiehPublisher: VIZ MediaMSRP: US$9.99 (print) US$5.99 (digital) [BUY]Released: Jan 7th, 2014 Nisekoi doesn't bring anything new or special to the table in terms of its themes or plot. We've seen it all before: passive main guy, love triangle (and of course, its between the guy, a childhood friend, and a new girl who is loud and violent but secretly vulnerable), gang rivalry, promises to people the main character can't remember, and sudden, random acts of tenderness/kindness/etc to fuel the love triangle fire. It's all there. But what really makes this series sparkle-- especially if you hang tight beyond the first chapter or two-- is the creator's excellent pacing and easy, but unrestrained sense of humor. Nisekoi is a case where the author doesn't try anything too fancy, complicated, or confusing, but manages what is there exceedingly well. This book had me laughing out loud with all the cracks between Raku and Chitoge; his outbursts and nicknaming her "gorilla girl" pretty much get me every time. The story goes a bit beyond the usual tropes by making the characters shameless in their mannerisms: they quarrel openly like small children, and over-act their fake relationship whenever anyone is watching. The creator's artwork and aforementioned pacing really help too, because everything feels animated, like it's really playing out in front of you. And the icing on the cake is the characters aren't vapid or see-through. This book takes its time introducing you to everyone and fleshing these kids out before jumping into the first crisis. Volume 1 does a great job of introducing the three key characters, setting the scene for potential disaster, and tossing in the first dramatic problem of the series: the childhood friend overheard something she shouldn't have, and dramatic irony kicks in. Between that and the fantastic writing of the other two characters -- their banter and insults to each other are hilarious -- all of which is from the point of view in the main guy, I'm sold. Nisekoi is just plain fun, and if you're wont to read some funny romance every now and again, I recommend you give it a try, too. Right now, VIZ Media has released this series up through its second volume in print and sixth volume digitally, so you aren't restricted to just the first few chapters if you were to pick it up right now. If you have the VIZ Media app, you can also sample the first chapter for free before making a purchase-- although I can't emphasize enough that it's only fair to stick around until at least chapter three or four before judging the series.
Nisekoi photo
The fine line between love and hate is laced with violence
Nisekoi turned out to be one of those happy discoveries you sometimes stumble upon when you aren't looking for anything particular, read a silly synopsis, and think, "Why not?" I wasn't too sure what to expect from this comin...

A Look @ photo
A Look @

A Look @ Wolfsmund


A fast-burning and addictive title
Nov 20
// Brad Rice
Wolfsmund is based upon the story of William Tell, and the rebellion looking to overthrow the Swiss Alliance. In between Switzerland and Italy, though, lies the St. Gotthard Pass – the only way to travel between those t...

A Look @: The Hobonichi Planner

Oct 30 // Kristina Pino
Hobonichi TechoHobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun and Arts&ScienceRelease: October, 2013MSRP: ¥2,500 [BUY] [embed]30215:3017:0[/embed] As I mentioned before, the Techo isn't just a planner. It's a book that you can do anything with. If you want to use it as a journal for your thoughts, a scrapbook, doodle book, recipe book, or scratch pages for lists and notes, it all works out. The pages can take it - they're made to withstand the creativity of its users, as you can see in the promo video above. Since the book doesn't actually start up until December, I messed around with some of the memo pages to see how they handled various materials I have lying around in my apartment. The only things I didn't try were pastels and watercolors, but I suspect they would have been just fine. Nothing bled through the pages, because they're designed to not absorb anything to begin with. It's fantastic. Features I love most: Flexible spine makes it so the book stays open on any page you flip to Not one, but three separate spaces where you can jot down appointments, deadlines, meetings, and other scheduled events that are apart from the actual day-to-day pages Graph layout on each day's page to maximize your use of limited space Encouragement to just paste another layer or pocket to any page you run out of space on, because it's your book and you can do whatever you want I can't really name any drawbacks to the Techo. It's kind of a dream come true for me, since I carry around both an agenda and a journal which I use as a day-to-day book for doodling, writing down whatever I need to remember later, making lists, or drafting editorials I plan to publish online later (ah, the freelance life). This one book would replace both of those, and it takes up less space. If I buy a case for it, I could even (neatly) carry around an arsenal of craft supplies with it and still save on space. I made a video (located at the top of this post) to accompany this review. I'd also like to mention that as I finally begin to use the planner, I'll periodically update whoever wants to know on how the thing is holding up and whether I'm still happy and excited about it. I mean, I'm the kind of person who color-codes her notes and even has color-coded sticky tabs for easy indexing. And I like scrapbooking. And making lists. And scribbling things with different colored pens. And this one little book will pretty much let me combine all of these things, plus function as a planner. There is no losing.
Hobonichi Techo photo
I'm going to be fun this year
The Hobonichi Planner (Techo) has been around for years, and it comes in three different sizes. But it's more than just a planner - it's a record of your daily life, and a vessel for your creativity, designed to serve as an ...

A Look at: Hello Kitty: Here We Go!

Oct 11 // Kristina Pino
Hello Kitty: Here We Go!Published by: Perfect Square (VIZ Media imprint)Story and Art: Jacob Chabot, Jorge Monlongo, Susie GhahremaniRelease date: October 1, 2013MSRP: US$7.99 print, US$4.99 digital [iOS] I already gave away my stance in the opening line of this article, but it bears emphasizing that Hello Kitty: Here We Go! is a most excellent comic. There is no dialogue; at least, none that involves words. Just a few images here and there to give you an impression of what is going on in conversation between different characters. This book stars Hello Kitty and her family, as well as Dear Daniel, Fifi, Tippy, Jodie, Tracy, Thomas, Tim and Tammy, Rorry, Joey, and Mory. Unless you're really into Sanrio, you may not recognize most of the characters, but that's alright. And it's also alright if you expected other big players like Keroppi and Badtz Maru - they make little cameos. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first cracked open the book (digitally, anyway), especially since I'm not personally too familiar with the work of the creators. The way it works is, each person involved in the book does the story and art for their own little short stories/comics, and they're presented alternating with each other. Some of the stories are told in just one page, like the ones from guest artist Susie Ghahremani, which provide a great little interlude between "acts." Others are longer, and put Hello Kitty (and friends) in various situations around the world. Some parts of this comic made me, literally, laugh out loud. The humor really shines through without the creators having to go too over the top. It's all simple stuff. Hello Kitty is helping a friend out, or Hello Kitty is taking a walk and things just... happen. And then we get to enjoy her adventures from the comfort of our reading nooks. There's a nice flow to the book, and each comic takes its time letting the story unfold visually. While reading, I got the feeling that Jacob Chabot (creator of Skullboy, who makes a cameo in this book, by the way) and Jorge Monlongo (artist on the current Mameshiba books for Perfect Square) really had all the breathing room they needed with how well-paced each story is. They also delighted me with loads of little references to famous movies, or whatever pop media they can work into their comics (Double-O Kitty is an obvious stand-out). I'm in danger of gushing way too much here, so I'll just stop while I'm ahead. Grab the comic - the stories are fun, the artwork is great, and you'll probably giggle while reading. Bonus points if you can spot the Mameshiba cameo.
Hello Kitty photo
Go on awesome Hello Kitty adventures
Today is the day that Japanator recommends you buy a Hello Kitty comic. Things sure are goofy around here. Hello Kitty: Here We Go! is the first volume in a collection of short comics chronicling the many adventures of the wo...

A Look @ Tanto Cuore iOS

Oct 05 // Jeff Chuang
Tanto Cuore (iOS)Developer: Arclight, Japanime GamesPublisher: PlaydekRelease Date: Oct. 3rd, 2013Price: $2.99  I think it's safe to say that here at Japanator, we like and are familiar with this "maid" thing that Tanto Cuore is all about. On the other hand, just to be safe in case "deck building" is not on your radar, these deck-building games work by a mixture of buying cards, playing cards to create resources, and drawing from a deck you cycle through. Once you run out of cards, you reshuffle your existing cards, old and new, and draw a new hand. The intricacies come into play when you decide what to put in your deck. The very first game that popularized these mechanics was Dominion in 2008; now, there's a whole genre of these games. Tanto Cuore, besides going all out with the whole maid thing, is also unique because it is the only Japanese-made deck-building game that has any kind of popularity out west. The iOS port makes a lot of sense in that respect. What's also unique is that while the game was originally created in Japan and made for Japan, the iOS port is made in cooperation with the American publisher and developers, and a Japanese localization of the English-language iOS game is made in parallel for the Japanese market. This, of course, is all on top of the real draw: the cards are illustrated by well-known moe-style illustrators, from the likes of Pyoyoyon Rock to Aoi Nanase. It's something more common in the mobile game space, but still a rarity in the tabletop gaming scene outside of big name games. It probably isn't surprising for those of us who play import games all the time that Tanto Cuore iOS comes with Japanese voice acting, albeit in a very limited way. For those of us who also play board games on their tablets, however, this is a nice treat. On the other hand, that's where the hint of good production values ends. The sound design and music is nothing to write home about, and fits in with most other games like it in this space. What I do like in terms of the presentation is how the visual design conforms to the style of the game, at least when it comes to navigating the various menus. The soft palette and soothing music evoke that maid cafe feeling, even if it's just a little bit. To get it out of the way, as the owner of Tanto Cuore and its two expansion sets in paper stock, my focus is largely in the usability and interface of the iOS version. The game mechanics are generally pretty good, and Tanto Cuore is probably one of the cleaner and well-balanced titles among the Dominion clones. However, the best way to learn and enjoy a game like this is to play with a group of friends, in which case the iOS option may not be optimum. Since all of the in-game business happens on the main game screen, playing the game means spending most of your time on said screen. This is where Tanto Cuore iOS could use the biggest improvements. Frankly, it's super dense. It may not be overwhelming for veterans of these types of games, but I think it can be a turn-off for first-time players. Moreover, I'm not sure how it would play like if you are using a small screen such as with an iPhone. For this review, I relied on an iPad Mini, so things are generally legible except in some rare cases. In the main view, Tanto Cuore iOS identifies the cards by the illustration and their basic icons. For reading the game text on the card, you have to zoom in on the card by double tapping it. In some cases, such as removing the Illness card from a private or chambered maid, double tapping allows you to access other functionality. There are also some game mechanics that require you to drag and drop player icons or cards that trigger additional dialog boxes. In general, all the mechanics I tested work, and you can figure a lot of features out once you have the general idea. The part that can be most troublesome for new players is calculating victory points. If you already know how it works, you can sort of reverse-engineer what the final result page shows you and figure out who did what. However, in the final results page, the end cards are displayed all together, without separating the cards that are in your deck versus cards in the private chamber. It's a big deal because several key cards add bonus victory points when they are chambered, and I couldn't figure out which card was chambered just by looking at it. Since the screen is crammed full of cards and buttons, it can be hard to see what your opponents are doing if you blink and miss the animation. Or in the case for new players, not knowing what the animations do will mean you have to rely on the included match log to tell you what is going on. Some animations also look rather similar even if they do different things, such as revealing the top card of one's deck versus discarding it. For experienced players, the match log feature isn't really necessary, but for newbies it's a lifesaver. Tanto Cuore iOS uses the Playdek platform to handle multiplayer. It works in a straightforward way: fill in some info, confirm your email, and go. While I wasn't able to test an actual multiplayer game, I didn't have any problems connecting to the server and finding and joining a game. There are several other Playdek-powered board games, so if you are familiar with those, you shouldn't have any issues here. Additionally, Tanto Cuore iOS features hot-seat play as well, where you can pass your iPad or iPhone around a group of friends. The game does have a fairly full-featured tutorial that tells you how to handle the main interface, and get going with all the basic tasks a player has to be familiar with. However, it doesn't teach you much after that point. The rule book is a must-read if you have never played the game before, as it tells you how the game works in a way that actually makes sense of things. It's not exactly the most newbie-friendly situation, and it's even worse when many of the special interactions in the game are not really explained verbally. The user interface, for the most part, is logical, but only if you already know what the game is trying to do. To be fair, I don't know where in Tanto Cuore's crammed UI they could have fit in additional help text. One more thing--there is no customization option for randomizing the town cards. When creating a game, you have the option of playing the default configuration, which is the tutorial or first-timer list of cards, or random. In addition, there is some optimization added to the random configuration so some of the combo cards will all appear together if any are to appear at all. Despite all these flaws, this iOS version of Tanto Cuore is an easy sell. The physical version of the game currently goes for well over $35 out in the wild, so at $2.99 it is a very easy pick-up for anyone curious about this fusion of Dominion and maids. While the $2.99 iOS game is a no-brainer for avid players of Tanto Cuore, I can't help but to wonder if Tanto Cuore iOS's newbie-unfriendliness will be a problem for people checking it out without knowing what they're getting into; although in that case, the worst that can happen is just flooding your iPad with pretty pictures of cute maids. There are bigger problems to have.
Tanto Cuore photo
Tending your mobile walled garden
Tanto Cuore is a tabletop card game where two to four players compete to be the best master or mistress of maids. Originally developed by Japanese game maker Arclight, this Dominion-style deck building game was ported by a We...

Impressions: Elfen Lied Blu-ray/DVD comparison

Sep 03 // Pedro Cortes
Elfen Lied Complete Collection + OVA (DVD & BD[reviewed])Studio: ArmsLicensed by: $49.99Release Date: 9/3/2013MSRP:  [Amazon | RightStuf]  First, here's what you're going to get. While the art is quite nice, the rest of the packaging is quite plain. It's just a normal two-disk bluray case. Compared to the ADV's thinpak release… …it looks quite plain. I personally would've loved for a nice-looking box or a slipcase at the very least to go along with the box. That said, it's only the outside. What really matters is what's on those disks. If you're expecting a dramatic jump in visual fidelity, well, you might want to reign back those expectations a bit. If you look at the following comparison shots, there isn't a whole lot different between the releases. In these shots of the colorful opening, you'll notice that the image is cleaned up and the colors are a little bit sharper. The lines are little sharper as well, but the jump isn't wild. It's more of a refinement instead of a complete remaster. Thing is, it isn't advertised as such, so as long as you know that going into your purchase, it shouldn't bother you too much. I mean, when you considering that Elfen Lied is nearly 10 years old and (I believe) it wasn't too popular in Japan, it's a surprise it even got a BD release. There's also very little work that's been done since it was brought over from Japan. The credits are untranslated, with a quick translation tacked on to the end of each episode. That doesn't bug me, but I know it may bother others. The real difference comes with audio. Both the English and Japanese audio tracks are in 5.1 surround sound and boy does it make a difference. The older DVD release sounds compressed and muddy. This BD sounds noticeably better, especially with that soundtrack. Lillium never sounded this good! However, the big selling point for older fans is that we finally get a legit release of the OVA. People have asked over and over again when we'd get it and this release finally gives it you. The result? Well, it's a bit hit or miss. Set between episode ten and 11, it's mostly a silly romp involving Nana trying to fit in with Kouta's makeshift family. However, there are some important bits of the Lucy's past that are filled in, so it's definitely worth watching. Is worth the price of an entirely new set? Well, that depends on you. If you haven't bought Elfen Lied before or are a big fan, then absolutely. If you aren't a big fan and already have one of the previous sets, then probably not. That said, I think this is pretty solid release. Barring anything in the future with nicer packaging and/or extras, this is the last version of Elfen Lied I'll be picking up. It looks better than the other versions, sounds better and it has that OVA that I've been wanting since I heard of its existence. It's also pretty cheap, so I'd say grab it if you got some extra scratch. Note, this score is indicative of the BD release, not the show in general. For my feelings on the show proper, check out my review from a few months back.  
Elfen Lied photo
Yay, prettier blood!
What's this? Another Elfen Lied review? Not quite. Like some other popular ADV shows, Elfen Lied was released several times. Not including digital releases, I believe this is the fifth time you can buy a new version of t...

A Look at: SMT: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers

Jul 08 // Kristina Pino
SMT: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers (3DS [ original : Sega Saturn ])Developer: AtlusPublisher: AtlusRelease Date: NA - April 16, 2013MSRP: US$39.99 A note: Soul Hackers was originally released 1997 for Sega Saturn in Japan. It hasn't gone west at all until this 3DS release, so this is the first time that folks in North America, Europe, etc. will be able to get their mitts on an actual, English-language localized version of this title. It will be released in Europe for 3DS during September of this year.  Full disclosure: My game save only recorded about eight and a half hours of game play, though I'm sure I clocked in a significant amount more because much of it was wasted leading up to frequent game overs. It just got to a point where I just couldn't play any longer.  Soul Hackers doesn't really set a clear goal for me at the beginning, and I just kind of moved from stage to stage. One positive thing I can give the game is, it's very good at leading me through the maps and letting me know where I need to be at any given moment. While that's a huge positive aspect for the game, it's spoiled by the fact that I had no idea what was going on. I don't know what the plot of the game is, and all things considered, I don't care enough to start digging around the internet to get a clear idea of why I was running all over town collecting demons and fighting random people from an opposing hacker team, simply because our protagonist happened to come upon a COMP which allowed him to become a demon summoner.  The fighting system is straight forward, and dynamic. You can fight alongside your partner, plus up to four summoned demons at one time. Depending on their positions and dispositions, you can get great results or poor ones with your arrangement. Of course, there's another "but" here - the entire strategy aspect is marred by the way that this game is completely, unabashedly, and irrevocably disrespectful of the player's time. It's nothing but a grind if you don't know the secret of playing. More on this below. Think of this: You blew through an entire stage, even taking the time to get some extra experience points so you can just breeze through the boss. You beat the boss, and naturally assume you can just waltz into the next stage and beat the chumps at the entrance for more experience and to see what new demons show up. The reality of this situation is that I got beat up by the chumps, and had to return to old ones to fight endlessly for the worst time/exp rating and boost my characters. It's a complete waste of time unless you know the truth: you don't actually need to grind so much. It wasn't until I had a post-rage quit conversation with someone else that I learned the whole point is to fuse and otherwise mess around with your demons to take things down. The game didn't teach me enough about this, which is possibly an attribute of its age. I knew I could fuse demons, and I played around with it, but I didn't know that was such a key element for play. (Before you say anything: No, I shouldn't have to research a game before playing it. The game should show me how to play it.) One of the better aspects of Soul Hackers is the actual collecting of demons. You gain their loyalty by chatting them up in battle, which is sometimes pretty hilarious. In some cases, you'll have to draw out your conversations with certain kinds of demons over several battles before one will join your team, and in other cases all it takes is a bribe. There's a cool mechanic here that is, again, marred by the fact that I'm already grinding for piss-poor experience points "out of necessity," (note my previous statement about not needing to grind so much) rather than fighting because I'm demon-hunting.  If you are demon-hunting, though, it's pretty easy to breeze through. To get demons to join you, you've got to talk to them. Talking to them can go in many directions, but depending on the kind of demon, on a basic level you'll have to either say what you think they want to hear, or basically intimidate them into joining you. Some of them want to play games, and others just ask for money or items in exchange for possibly joining your team. In the case that you fail to negotiate with a demon, the battles simply end, so you aren't wasting your time grinding for experience points if that isn't what you need at the moment. Bonus: you could even buy an item that attracts demons so you get more encounters in wild areas.  Another positive note for the game is the voice acting is pretty rad. I can't fault the actors for trying their best with what they were given (really cheesy lines). I just wish that our own protagonist was also voiced, though I guess the absence is meant to make the player feel more immersed.  Playing on the 3DS, I liked the portability, and the game's format is great for mobile gaming. But Soul Hackers is incredibly outdated and it didn't feel enhanced or really affected by being ported to 3DS. The 3D effects themselves weren't there - the team behind it just split the two main layers of the graphics and put some distance between them. The movement and everything isn't fluid, or even intuitive, and the background music was grating. The only semi-meaningful addition to the game is a social bonus where you could street-tag people and get extra stuff in-game.  I'm not a real fan of the Shin Megami Tensei games. This was my first foray into any of these titles, so I don't have the knowledge of the comics/books/other games/anime/whatever, or even the first Devil Summoner game, or the general feel and look of the entire gamut. This is both a good and a bad thing. As a non-fan, I can safely conclude that SMT: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers is not a newbie-friendly game for those wanting to get into the series. It's only really for die-hard fans, and even those may be hard-pressed to spend loads of time with this. I can't justify any level of nostalgia or love of a series of games for the sheer amount of hours this game wastes of your life unless you're already knowledgeable in it.
SMT: DS: Soul Hackers photo
Strike bargains with demons
Amami City: land of the high-tech, and test center for Paradigm X, a second-life sort of online social networking experience not unlike OZ from Summer Wars. It is here that you take the reigns as an unvoiced, generally unseen...

A Look at: Dysfunctional Systems Episode 1

Apr 25 // Kristina Pino
Developer: Dischan MediaPublisher: Dischan MediaRelease Date: April 3, 2013Platform: Windows, OSX, LinuxMSRP: US$5  My understanding of visual novels is that they are usually released once the game is complete, even if they are separated into chapters, acts, or episodes. In the case of Dysfunctional Systems, it really is being released episode-by-episode, which is why this is a quicker sort of review. Dischan Media is a western developer after all, so the game does exhibit some differences from the usual Japanese visual novel, even though the style is very obviously derived from it.  What I enjoyed about this game, more than anything else, was the artwork. Doomfest is the entity behind the game's art direction, illustrations, visual direction, and even the opening animation. I absolutely loved the style, and it made a huge difference in my overall assessment of the game, which would have been kind of poor otherwise.  I didn't enjoy the dialogue too much for at least the first half of episode 1. The story takes a while to really get moving, mostly because the dialogue (largely comprised of Winter's inner dialogue) focuses too much on how naive, young, inexperienced, and generally clueless the heroine is. Dischan went through great pains to really illustrate to players that she comes from an Earth that has, literally, no conflicts.  After things start to pick up, you finally get one choice that makes no difference in the physical outcome of the story, but does make a difference in Winter's disposition by the end of the episode. You can make either one sole choice the entire chapter, or a few smaller ones; in the end, the general result will be the same, but mileage will vary when it comes to Winter's opinion of Cyrus, who may or may not become some kind of love interest later. Because of this, I am actually kind of interested in seeing what happens next, but just barely. I don't really know what to expect with this story. There was nothing romantic about the first chapter, though of course there were a few little "moments" tossed here and there. The story focused on the matter at hand: the conflict at the world they were observing. This isn't to say that the game is advertised as a romance or whatever, or that I was expecting it to be - I'm just noting this. The official genre of this visual novel is "Science Fantasy" per the developer, so please note this if you're thinking of playing. I did however enjoy that, towards the end of the episode, the perspective shifted from Winter to another character for a little while. Getting in someone else's head, knowing what the situation was first-hand, was an interesting addition to the game play. Unfortunately, it didn't last nearly long enough. If you want to learn more about Dysfunctional Systems or give it a download, check out Dischan's page. Episode 1 of this visual novel is currently up at their shop for just US$5. On the shop page, you could also sample the sound track, and watch the opening animation. 
Dysfunctional Systems Ep1 photo
Learning to Manage Chaos
Earlier this month, Dischan Media released the first episode to their very first visual novel titled Dysfunctional Systems.  The story here is Winter, 14 years old, is studying to become a mediator in an Earth that is gu...

A haiku life photo
A haiku life

'A look at': Sengoku Collection episode 7


A haiku anime for haiku day
Apr 01
// Jeff Chuang
A poet to the bone; a town turns to haiku for renewal, to heal.

A Look At: Otaku Camera

Feb 19 // Kristina Pino
Otaku Camera (Android, iOS [Reviewed]Developer: Tokyo Otaku ModePublisher: Tokyo Otaku ModeMSRP: Free (App Store, Google Play) When you fire up Otaku Camera for the first time, you get the default frame options as well as a couple of special One Piece-themed frames for your shooting pleasure. You could take a funny picture of yourself (or a friend) and turn them into one of those "WANTED" signs, for example.  How it works: Pick out a frame that you want for your image and set it to preview. Then get ready to take your shot, which will already be coming up in black and white, sketchy-looking and totally off-balance by default. When you have it all lined up, you just click on the screen to make the shot, and then you're given a few options like a brightness slider or another for details in the image. You can play with those until you achieve the desired effect, and by then you should have an often hilarious rendition of an actual panel in a manga. Once you go into the downloads area to see all the extra stuff though, you've got plenty more options - including a charming (and free) set of Hello Kitty/Sanrio frames. Rather than being themed to the manga motif that the app has going on, the Sanrio frames allow you to take pictures in color. They're pretty cute, allowing you to take pictures that make it look like you're wearing a fluffy hat or Hello Kitty's iconic bow. If you're into camera apps, particularly funny ones that do things to your images, this is a cool one to have. You could "mangatize" your existing images or take new ones within the app, and the button that lets you save the images also lets you share them via email or social media easily. I should also mention that even though there's a "frame shop" section, they're all free, and some of them are actually only available to download for a limited time. It's tough to argue against a free app that produces fun results, so I'd say give it a shot if you have an Android or iOS device.
Otaku Camera photo
It's like Instagram for Otaku
Tokyo Otaku Mode's Otaku Camera is a nifty little free app that lets you shoot pictures as if they were part of a manga strip. You've got all kinds of choices, and the app is available for both iOS and Android platforms throu...

A look @ Kyousogiga Dainidan episodes four and five

Jan 07 // Salvador GRodiles
Compare to the first three episodes, the fourth episode of Dainidan runs at a whopping twelve minutes, which makes it the longest episode of the bunch. And being the lucky monk that he is, Myoe is going to take up this whole segment. From the way how Myoe was presented in episode four, his annoyance with Koto's attitude does not reflect his true feelings towards her. We kind of get an idea that Myoe's big brother-like relationship with Koto helps him get through life, as he waits for his master to return. Things don't stop there either, because the beginning presents us with another mystery that will probably be revealed during the final episode. Out of all of the characters shown in Kyousogiga's world, Lady Koto was by far the most mysterious one. In the first ONA, she was the rabbit that Koto was trying to pursue, and her presence was saved for the finale of the story. For the final episode of Dainidan, we see that Myoe's master shares a big connection with Lady Koto. To some extent, it even goes against Michelle Rodane's theory about Lady Koto being Koto's adult self. Then again, the first ONA was vague on some aspects, so it opened up to many interpretations. If I'm picking things up correctly, the last episode gives us an idea of where Koto's original home lies, since the beginning shows a spot that might be the gateway to the alternate Kyoto. While this episode lacked the show's insane antics, the segment did succeed with its purpose.  Even if these episodes lack the charm from the original ONA, their role allowed us to get in touch with the offerings present in its world. Since Kyousogiga Dainidan's episodes were presented as shorts, the length worked well with the characters that were given the spotlight. In regards to the way how things ended, I doubt that this is going to be the last of Kyousogiga, because there's a chance that the next season could lead towards something bigger than a series of self contained shorts.  Now that we have reached the end of the tunnel, Dainidan's second episode still remains as my favorite of the five, but that is mainly due to the fact that it was the closest to a being a successor to Kyousogiga's greatness. Hopefully, the next season will focus on the content that will throw us out of the water again, since we now have a better understanding of the show's setting.  All in all, the entirety of Kyousogiga has been an interesting run, and I can't wait to see what new ideas are going to be smashed up in the near future. Taking Kyousogiga's premiere pattern into account, the later half of 2013 might be the season to look forward to. 
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Is there going to be more?
I will admit that Kyousogiga's new season wasn't as crazy as the first ONA, but there was still enough content for it to be an enjoyable series. While Kyousogiga Dainidan's episodes were episodic short segments...

A Look @ Kyousogiga Dainidan episodes one through three

Dec 14 // Salvador GRodiles
If you were expecting the story to continue after the appearance of Lady Koto, you might be in for a disappointment. However, Kyousogiga Dainidan focuses on shedding some more light on the alternate Kyoto by taking us into a series of episodic stories. In other words, you can watch any of these episodes in the order that you desire.  The first episode of the shorts focuses on Koto's backstory with her teacher known as Inari. From the way how things went, I will have to say that episode one is the weakest one of the three. Not because it was poorly written, but mostly since the episode lacks the over-the-top actions that threw me off my seat during the first ONA. Though I will admit that Yase's rundown on fine table etiquettes was rather hilarious. While the crazy action was absent, the episode still had some moments that give us a glimpse of how Koto became the character that she currently is. You also get to learn the truth about A and Un, which sheds more light on their ability to chomp things to death. Episode one may have suffered in the ridiculous department, but we still got some nice emotional moments from Koto's younger years, such as Koto punching a kid to death.  Episode two is currently my favorite one, since it took a simple problem and blew it out of proportions. Long story short, Shoko aka the blue haired Hatsune Miku-like scientist girl has lost her PSP-like control device. Her rage and exaggeration alone were the highlights that made this episode such a tasty delight. The best part is that the second course comes with the satisfying action that made me devour the first Kyousogiga ONA; thus fixing the minor issues that I had with the first short.  At first, I thought Koto was the crazy one, but this episode manage to make me reinstate my evaluation on the main heroine. To some extent, I can kind of relate to Shoko's situation, since I used to flip out during similar scenarios. While I still go into a state of panic at times, my searching skills have went through some major improvements. And as for Shoko, I think that she may be a lost cause. And speaking of uncontrollable rage, the next episode takes us into a more sophisticated environment.  If you remember Yase's anger management issues, then you will get another sample of her Hulk Smash-like temper. But the main theme is about an occurrence where various objects are floating across the city. Humor wise, I would rank this one under the second episode; however, it was another neat short that proves to us that Kyousogiga's world is full of random happenings. Other than that, these episodes are there to give us more depth on Koto and the folks that run Kyoto's districts, which is a different direction from the premise in the first ONA.  With each episode clocking in from six to ten minutes, you are not losing much time from revisiting Kyousogiga's realm. In fact, you might gain a better appreciation for the rest of the main cast -- Shoko is now one of my favorite characters. On top of that, the animation quality remains at the level that was brought to us by Toei and Banpresto, so you will still get the assortment of colors that makes Kyousogiga the life of the party. Since there are two more episodes left, we might end up with a good wrap up that will bring these shorts together. If not, then I expect to be intrigued by the new elements that will step foot on Kyoto's doors. 
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Koto is back in smaller doses.
Back in 2011, Kyousogiga was one heck of a fun ride. It has girls with giant hammers, little kids chomping on demons, golden robots, and a confetti of bizarre and colorful action sequences that remind us of our crazy chi...

A Look @ Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteru Vol. 1

Dec 07 // Brad Rice
In SoreMachi, our protagonist is the high schooler Arashiyama Hotori -- a mystery-loving space cadet who just started working at her grandma's cafe with maids. The difference between this and a regular maid cafe is Gran's attitude: "I heard maid cafes were popular," and thus everyone is dressed in maid outfits. The decor, servers' attitudes, and just about everything else does not match up with what you'd expect a maid cafe to be. Rather than be the focal point of the story, the maid cafe is simply a linchpin to tie together all the stories that go on within the town. The genre clearly falls into the slice-of-life genre, with a mix of lighthearted romance. Part of the story follows Hotori through school, where she has a crush on her math teacher who hates her, for being so bad at the class. One of her classmates then crushes on her, and one of the other maids is crushing on that boy. So you can see how things stack up. The best way to relate the title is to consider it a large part like Yotsuba&!, with a bit of School Rumble mixed in. The School Rumble aspect is most noticeable in the high school characters' relationships, and the story's occasional foray into absurdity. The Yotsuba&! aspect comes from the contained situations. There isn't a bevy of characters, and even the background interactions are often with the same people. That's not a bad thing, as you quickly become familiar with everyone.  I don't know where to attribute this, but my biggest detraction comes from the manga's writing. The humor is definitely there in the title, but some jokes are obtuse -- they don't quite come across. Is this an issue with whomever is doing the translation and editing? Possibly. Their focus could be more aimed at an accurate translation and not focused on getting the comedic timing down (which is a difficult thing), but it was noticeable at points. Then again, the fault could lie with how the jokes come across in the original Japanese -- some are too obscure for the Western fan to pick up on. The art is something that's incredibly strong. Ishiguro's art is clean and competent. You won't see the insane level of detail that's in a Naoki Urasawa title, but the art in SoreMachi really excels in the characters. There's something warm and inviting about the faces that he draws -- I can't help but like everyone. The one thing I wish I could see would be some two-page spreads that establish the town in better detail. I think that if Ishiguro put his effort into that, it'd be really beautiful. SoreMachi is a title that's easy to like. For slice of life fans, it's something that's great to consume on a boring day. The $5 price tag on most of JManga's title makes it easier to take the plunge on, too. Upon finishing the first volume, there was no burning desire to continue reading into the next volume, but there was a tinge of sadness that my reading experience was over. The title is very appropriate for the manga itself: the world will keep on turning, but you can always stop what you're doing and pop your head into the cafe by the sea to check up on the characters. It's a little vacation away from the rest of your life.
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And still the town moves...
With the premiere of JManga a while back, their flagship title to attract fans was Masakawa Ishiguro's Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteru. The anime version of SoreMachi proved to be a popular title amongst fans, and was licens...


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