Category Archives: Drama

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

Angel Beats Review

Summery: Otonashi wakes up in a strange world without any memories and a girl next to him holding a gun. When he’s ask what’s going on, she tells him that he’s dead, and introduces him to the strange sort of purgatory that they’re stuck it. She then invites him to join her in her battle against god. With nothing to lose, he teams up with the girl to figure out what’s going on and to hopefully regain his memories.

Why I Picked It Up: Angel Beats was one of the most hyped shows of the spring season and had an absolutely stunning first episode.

Why I Finished It: I’m going to combine the positives and negatives here as Angel Beats is a very complicated show to describe. Angel Beats is a show that should have been twice the length it was, and the creators tried to stuff too much in their storyline. As a result, the pacing was off, the storyline suffered, and the series was given a disjointed and chaotic feel. Yet, the creators still tried to do something with the anime, and their enthusiasm for the series came through, and I have to give them credit for that.

Oddly enough, while I doubt the disjointed chaotic feeling was their intent, it ended up fitting the series very well, so who it harmed the series in some ways, it ended up working to the series benefit in others.

Furthermore, I really liked the characters. Even if they weren’t the best developed, they were still incredibly likable, and one could sympathize with their plight of being stuck in a confusing world while they still had this inner anger. A lot of work was put into making the minor characters stand out with small and silly but noticeable quirks. The way the relationships grew between the characters, while not perfect, was enjoyable as well. In the end, the characters are what I liked best about the series, and what kept me coming back every week.

Who Would I Recommend This To: Anyone getting tired of the same old same old in anime should give this a shot. It’s not perfect, but it tries, and in the end, I really liked this.

My rating: 4/5- I Loved This

Side Note: Why I gave this a 10 on MAL is I’m starting to give series a 10 that I want to keep in mind should I decide to compile a ‘Top Anime’ list so they stick out among my watched anime.

Goodbye Angel Beats, and thanks for not only a great series, but some great fan art!


Filed under Angel Beats, Comedy, Drama, Middle/High School, Mystery, Romance, Slice of life

(500) Days of Summer Review

I actually watched this a few weeks ago, just got to writing a review now. Graduation=super busy time. I’ve barely had time to watch any anime this week. I’ve only gotten through 7 minutes of Heartcatch so far. Thank-you school for filling my life full of ceremonies and what not.

Summery: (500) Days of Summer is the non-linear story of a relationship, the break-up, and the healing of the hero of the film, Tom. I spoiled nothing, as the films opens with Tom enraged over the break-up. As the film unfolds, we realize the two were doomed anyway. Tom fell in love with Summer at first sight. Summer doesn’t believe in love, or want a boyfriend, yet pursues Tom anyway. And after this relationship, the two are forever changed.

Why I Picked It Up: Someone said it was good. I mean, it’s not as if I’m picky, I really like watching movies, and one good recommendation is all I need. Unless I’m highly unsure I’d like it, such as Avatar.

Why I Finished It: I think of all the movies I’ve watched that have been produced 2009, it probably comes onto the film screen with the most spirit and daringness in the script, as well as the most creative. It feels eerily like a modern day Annie Hall, but at the same time, it feels like its own story with its own character. The story employs non-linear storytelling as well as other ‘different’ approaches to bring out the story with emotion and humor.

Not to mention, it’s so easy to relate to Tom if you’ve had your heart crushed into itsy bitsy pieces. I have.

Also, Matthew Grey Gubler is in it. He’s yummy.

But: At the end, I really really hated Summer. I mean, there are some things that are well, understandable, but by the end of the film, she’s crossed that line. I don’t want to spoil anything, but she made me so mad. Also, some of the music choices for the film were pretty daring, but in the end, I don’t feel they worked.

Who Would I Recommend This To: Why the HECK haven’t you watched it? If you do, I’d recommend reading the wikipedia page for some interesting tidbits.

Rating: 5/5 (Probably the best film of 2009. Take that, The Hurt Locker.)


Filed under Comedy, Drama

Bad Apple Review

It was one day at the museum. One day. Tola, a lonely student with an interest in art, bumped into her art teacher at a museum. Unfortunately, another student saw. Now, she’s living in the aftermath of allegations that she had an affair.

Why I Picked This Up: I’m a sucker for teen drama stories.

Why I Finished This: The storytelling skill of the author of this book was amazing. This isn’t just a story about a student/teacher relationships. It’s a story about cyber-bullying, and the way it can destroy lives. It’s the story about a mother trying to do what she thinks is the best thing despite the resistance put up by her daughter. It about a girl being a part of a broken family, a family where not only she, but everyone else develops, and while they don’t heal perfectly, they start to heal. It also is a quick read. I started it Friday night, and finished it Saturday morning.

However, the subject of teacher/student’s relationship is a very interesting one, especially in the high school setting where age gaps can be so small, and high schoolers are so close to being adults. Boundaries are there for good reasons, and teacher/student friendships are frowned on, as are relationships…but it’s a complicated situation. Many teachers  don’t want to lose their jobs, or end up in a scandal, but at the same time, they want to be supportive of their students. I feel like the book explored this very well.

But: The ending is a bit of a jumbled mess. That’s the biggest problem in teen literature it seems, being able to bring stories to close and able to tie everything up. I think they try too hard and force a happy ending, even if it doesn’t always fit, or isn’t ready for the happy ending yet.

Who would I recommend this to: My teen librarian that loves quality teen novels just like I do.


Filed under Books, Drama, Middle/High School