Category Archives: Genre

My Roommate is a Cat First Impressions

While I personally believe I stop one step short of a crazy cat lady, I do love cats. A lot. Especially in slice of life anime. So, when I discovered there was an anime about a writer adopting a cat, and their lives together, I was pretty stoked. Called “My Roommate is a Cat” in English, and in Japan “Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue” (which translates to My Housemate Is on My Lap, But Sometimes, on My Head), this is a story of two lonely souls, a stray cat named Haru, and a human named Subaru Mikazuki, who begin to heal when they find each other.

Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue - 01 - Large 36

The story opens with the death of Subaru Mikazuki’s parents who have passed away in a bus accident, while on a trip. Subaru just wants to be left alone to read his books. With his parent’s death he believes this is possible. Fast forward several years, and he feels no closer to the peace and quiet he wants, even though he has just about cut himself off from the outside world. He is alone, with the exception of his editor, and his neighbor, both of whom he considers a nuisance.  He has also become an established writer, but, when the story opens, he is at a loss to what his new book should be about. On a visit to his parent’s grave, he finds a hungry cat that gives him an idea for a story and takes her home with him.

One of the unique aspects of the story is not only do we see it from the perspective of Subaru, but we also see it from the cat’s view—who by the second episode is named Haru. We discover Haru has lived a hard life. She’s the only one from her litter to survive, and most of her life has been filled with hunger. She’s slow to trust, and initially only plans to stay with Subaru for a short time to repay him for feeding her.

They slowly begin to win each other over. Subaru is at first perplexed by behaviors that are normal to cat owners but strange to him. Haru is equally confused by Subaru. How much the one cares for the other begins to shine through despite their lack of understanding about the each other. An uneasy truce forms.

This dynamic crescendos in a fantastic third episode, where Subaru is forced to confront his feelings of loss toward his parents. The execution of that episode is flawless, and it’s one I recommend going into as blind as possible.

The series deals with some pretty heavy stuff, but it swings between that and some very amusing, light-hearted moments. One of my favorites in the first three episodes is when Subaru goes out to buy some cat food for Haru having no clue what he’s doing. The flipping between tones feels like it suits the series very well, and keeps things from getting too heavy.

The hardest part of getting into the series is the character of Subaru. He’s selfish and hostile to every human who interacts with him, even though most characters try to help out of concern for him (which begs the question of why they bother?). It’s painful to watch and makes getting through the first half of the first episode a little difficult. The idea of the show is both of them come out of their shells and learn to trust others. For that, Subaru has to start from square one.

Having not seen beyond the third episode, I’m concerned where the series will go from here. The third episode is so well done; it’s hard to see how the series will top itself, though I have some ideas. I wouldn’t be surprised if the climax of the series involves Haru escaping from the house, and Subaru realizing how much she means to him as he tries to find her.

Overall, I recommend this series, especially if you like healing stories or just like cats. It’s a solid addition to the anime world, and while it’s unlikely to stick out in my mind a few years from now, it’s perfect for what I want from an anime right now.

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Filed under Anime/Manga, First Impressions, my roommate is a cat, Slice of life

The Lonely Polygamist review

Summery: Golden Richards is a Mormon polygamist with 4 wives and twenty-eight children, yet he feels disconnected from them all. So disconnected that’s he driven to an emotional affair with another woman. But this isn’t just his story. The Lonely Polygamist follows the story of two others feeling neglected in the big family. There’s the story of Trish, wife number four, who doesn’t quite fit into the family life of the other three wives, and Rusty, the biggest troublemaker of all the children.

Pages: 624

I’m going to be blunt. There are more bad literary books at good. Too many of them are shallow pieces of drivel that pretend to be about something  deep and make the reader feel smart. Luckily, this is one of the good literary books out there.

The Lonely Polygamist starts off as a dark comedy. Our main character, Golden, is late from a construction job and has driven home as quickly as he can without a single restroom stop. He arrives, needing to pee real bad to find all of his four wives downright pissed at him, plenty of children clamoring for his attention, all the bathrooms in the house full, and while he tries to tackle all his husband duties, he is forced in desperation to pee in a bucket.

Yet the story slowly but surely shifts to an emotional and reflective story that successfully makes it point and leaves an impact. The characters are all sympathetic beyond the point I thought possible. Even when I knew can tell a character is doing the wrong thing, or they’re hurting others with their actions, I could understand why they were doing this, and feel sorry for them. The story itself is a roller coaster of a soap opera filled with unseen and amusing twist.

What struck me most of all was how sympathetic all the characters. Even when I could tell the characters were making choices that would hurt themselves and others in the long run, I could understand the mindset that caused them to make that choice.

Not everything was smooth sailing however. The Lonely Polygamist is a long book, and some scenes are just unnecessary. These parts stick out like a sore thumb. Especially bad was the side thing about the atomic bomb testing; while interesting, it didn’t fit into the story at all.

In the end, The Lonely Polygamist is a riveting book that offers a non-judgmental look into the polygamist lifestyle. It’s at times hilarious, and at times emotionally touching, but entertaining all the way through. The human psych is revealed and portrayed so well, it’s at times unnerving.

Characters A

The characters of The Lonely Polygamist feel very human, and through that, are strangely sympathic.

Overall Storyline A-

An engaging and entertaining storyline full of unexpected plot twists. However, it is bogged down with some unneeded parts, and these parts are a pain to read through.

Setting A

The Lonely Polygamist gives us a down to earth and non-judgmental look into the day to day life of the polygamist lifestyle  and the small sect surrounding it. For me, it’s hard not to find a lifestyle so different from the norm interesting.

Overall Grade: A

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Filed under A, Literary, Slice of life

Bokurano (manga) review

While I was watching Madoka, I heard it compared to Bokurano, which I have enjoyed immensely. So when I saw Bokurano volume 1+2 at the library, I instantly grabbed it up. Upon completeling the two volumes, I then looked for the scanlations online, as I really wanted to know what would happen there.  Bokurano, while comparable, is nothing like Madoka, and a manga series that I’d say is almost if not completely original. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it. It also turns out that while there is an anime, the story of Bokurano takes a different turn halfway through, so the manga of Bokurano is a different experience then the anime.

Summery: 14 boys and girls, meeting at Nature School, sign up to play what the merely think is a game. That game turns out to be all to be real, however, whenever they discovered they’ve signed a contract in which they are given the chance to pilot a giant robot and protect the earth from an invading alien. The catch is the robot gets it’s energy from it’s pilots, and kills them after they finish piloting. However, they don’t have much choice. If they lose the battle or don’t fight, their planet will be destroyed. In this manga, it’s pretty obvious from volume 1 that every main character will die.

Volumes: 8

The main difference between Bokurano and Madoka is this. Madoka is a story-driven work for of metaphors. Bokurano is more physical, straight-forward, and character-driven. It asks the questions “If you could save the world at the cost of your life, when you’re young with your whole life ahead of you, would you?” and “If you knew you were going to die, how would you spend your last days?” and let’s the characters answer it with a wide variety of answers. As the story changes from character driven to slightly more story driven, the questions the characters have to answer become harder ethical questions, while at the same time the world has to cope with the sudden appearance of a giant robot wrecking buildings and killing people.

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Filed under A, Bokurano, Mecha, Middle/High School, Science Fiction

Fractale Review

Probably one of my weakest reviews as A) This is probably my first negative review and B) I’m still sick.

Summary: Takes place in a future world where humans no longer interact with each other thanks to all their needs being provided by the Fractale system. When a actual human turns up in Clain’s life, he finds himself on an adventure where a bunch of crap happens.

Episodes: 11

Fractale initially seemed like a good deal. After all, an interesting summery, gorgeous promo image, and then it was in the Noitamina timeslot, which is a sign of an at least decent show.

The first sign that something was off was when right away, the viewer could notice the character designs had drastically been changed from the promo art to the anime. If I ever see that again, I will drop that anime as fast as I possibly can.

Girl in front now has red hair, girl in back has brown...

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Filed under Adventure, C-, Fractale, Science Fiction

My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute Review

My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute

Episodes: 12

Summery: Kyousuke isn’t really aware with what’s going on in his sister life, but as far as he’s concerned, she’s doing well. After all, she gets top grades in school, is a successful model, and a star athlete. But when he discovers his sister’s secret that she secretly loves eroge games, and realizes that she’s extremely lonely, he finds himself getting involved in her life and going to ridiculous means to help his little sister.

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Filed under Comedy, I Don't Get Paid Enough To Blog, Middle/High School, My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute, Slice of life

For Keeps Review

Summery: Josie has spent her entire life without knowing her father, and being raised by her mother. As far as she’s concerned, she’s completely okay with that. However, the appearance of her father’s grandparents moving back in to town completely changes things. On top of Josie’s first serious boyfriend, her mother dating again, and her best friend struggling with the possibility that she’s pregnant, she’s got a lot to handle her Junior year.

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Filed under Drama, Middle/High School, Slice of life

Raising Hope Impressions

I finally got a chance to watch the first two episode of Rasing Hope, and my initial reaction after watching it was that it was fabulous. I laughed a lot during it, and I honestly can’t remember the last time something made me laugh that much. (Maybe B Gata H Kei). At the same time, it’s very hard to describe. Part of me wants to say it is just a show you have to watch and experience for yourself, though at the same time, I can see a lot of people turned off and offended by the first episode. After all, Hope’s mother dies in the electric chair.

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Filed under Comedy

Heroman Review

Summery: Joey Jones has his toy robot turn into a huge mecha robot at the same time his home town of Center City, USA is invaded by aliens. He finds himself the only one in the position to stop it.

Number of episodes: 26

Why I picked it up: Stan Lee, mecha, BONES, this had to be awesome, right?

Why I Finished This: The only reason I finished this was because I was blogging it for Rabbitpoets. Otherwise, I would have dropped this. It’s weird, because Heroman isn’t exactly a bad anime. It sits at a constant level of okay-well, except for a terrible ending. The story is okay, nothing original. The characters are okay, mostly just typical sterotypes. The fights were okay. Sometimes the episodes would be dumb, but for the most part they were okay. It was an enjoyable ride. So I shouldn’t be as bitter about it as I am. The problem is there were the few episodes that were amazing, that really stole the show, and gave the impression that this could have been SO much more then it was. I don’t know if for those episodes, someone else produced it, or if those days the producer decided to care, but those couple episodes really blew me away. Then we’d return to the level of okay leaving me still hungry for something more. Whoever was responsible for producing this series most of the time, their heart just wasn’t in it most of the time, and with the difference between the episodes, that became apparent.

Unfortunately, if the producer’s heart isn’t in to it, mine can’t be either.

Who Would I Recommend This To: No one. I don’t want anyone to be as disappointed as I was.

MAL Rating: 6

My Rating: 2/5 It was okay.

Other reviews:

Psgels gave it a 72.5 out of 100

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Filed under Heroman, Mecha, Science Fiction

Stolen Innocence review

Summery: I don’t know how many people remember the arrest of Warren Jeffs, but I do. Stolen Innocence tells the story of Elissa Wall, a girl that was born into the sect he would end up running. She details what life was like growing up in the sect, her feelings about being forced to marry a first cousin she despised and ending up as a teenage bride at only 14. Then she talks about escaping the church, and testifying against Warren Jeffs, even at the cost of turning her mother against her.

Why I Picked It Up: Unshelved recommended it. I usually enjoy their book recommendations. I also enjoy interesting memoirs.

Why I Finished It: The book very much sucked me almost immediately. Wells doesn’t bad talk the religion she grew up in as much as she tries to explain it, although she still points out questionable parts. Still, it’s horrifying and fascinating the way the church sought to control its members. Scariest of all was Warren Jeffs, and what he did for the sake of feeling in control. He wasn’t a nice person is an understatement, and the bluntest way to put it. Also compelling is the personal struggle of Elissa, and how she makes it through everything she endures, painting the picture of a very strong young woman. In the end, it’s not only a story to explain to the world was what happening, but the story of a girl who walks through hell and survives. It’s simply amazing.

Who Would I Recommend This To: Anyone who likes inspirational stories, or wants to know more about the Warren Jeffs case.

My Rating: 5/5 It was amazing.

Note: It’s currently on sale at Amazon for the bargain book price.

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Filed under Memoir

Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded Review

Summery: Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded is a selection of entries from John Scalzi’s blog “Whatever” from between 1998-2008 where he talked about whatever he felt like talking about on a daily basis.

Why I Picked It Up:  The awesome title, supporting a fellow blogger, supporting an Ohioan blogger, the fact that I’d met the guy, the introduction was written by Wheton, take your pick, or pick two or more, in the end all of them are the reasons I ended up deciding to read this.

Why I Finished This: To be blunt, I really liked John Scalzi. He’s a really interesting guy, as he talks from boring topics such a mowing the lawn to being a parent, to politics and world news. He draws the reader in by being emotionally involved in the subject no matter what it is, while at the same time using humor to make it entertaining, and a strong dose of common sense so that he knows what he’s talking about. On top of that, he has a quality that is often rare to see on the internet. One of not only preaching, but acting out tolerance. He has his own opinions, and defends his right to think differently, even if it opposes the norm, but should you disagree with him, long as you’re not shoving it down his throat, its fine. He doesn’t pretend he has all the answers, or that he’s 100% right, which is a nice tone to read in a casual blog. When I found myself disagreeing with him (usually on the topic of religion) I didn’t feel bothered to think differently then him. Scalzi is actually very open to controversy, and takes it in good humor, even from the rudest and meanest of commenters, a trait I end up pretty envious of.

I think I personally would have preferred his book been in chronological order rather then a random smattering of well, whatever, though. I found it a little jarring to be jumping back and forward between the last ten years, and I would have rather started early and progressed into the present day, I think.

Who Would I Recommend This To: Fellow bloggers. His blogging style has many positive attributes, and reading this would probably inspire a blogger with some new ideas.

My rating: 4/5


Filed under Nonfiction