Category Archives: Middle/High School

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

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

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

My Summer of Love review

Summery: Tamsin, riding on horseback, encounters Mona. Mona, wishing to escape her born again brother brother, opts to hang out with Tamsin. A relationship starts between the two that begins as friendship, but blossoms into something more.

Why I Picked It Up: This is kinda random. I saw a trailer for this five or six years ago, and have wanted to watch it ever since. It took awhile, as I didn’t know the title of the movie.

Why I Finished It: My Summer of Love is a well-paced movie that tells the bittersweet story between Mona and Tamsin. The characters aren’t exactly likable with their selfish tendencies, but they feel extremely real. They’re teenagers who think their problems are the center of the universe, and a lot of teenagers go through that stage where they think that way. In the end, I like what another reviewer said; it’s not a movie about coming of age, but rather, being of age. When we watch the two, even though we know what the two are doing are wrong (I’m not referring to their homosexual relationship, but rather some of the things they get up to) but it’s still very exciting to watch, and I couldn’t help but cheer them on.

But: It’s not the most exciting movie. For me, this didn’t bother me, but it does some people. I think in the end the major but is there’s nothing wrong with the movie, it’s a rather nice film, but I’ve seen the same idea executed better in other films.

Who Would I Recommend This To: Teenagers convinced it sucks to be them, and anyone looking for a lesbian love story.

Final Review: 3/5 I liked it.

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Filed under Middle/High School, Romance

Riker’s High review

When I review a book, it’s either because it really stands out to me, it’s popular enough that I want to voice my opinion on it, or it somehow relates to an anime I’m currently watching. In this case, Riker’s High reminded me a lot of Rainbow. The two have their differences, different time periods, different countries, one’s a jail and one’s a prison. However, the sympathy for characters despite the fact they committed a crime, the brutality and the struggle to survive is similar. I feel like I came out of reading Riker’s High understanding Rainbow better.

Summery: Riker’s High follows the day to day life of Martin Stokes where he’s been kept in a jail in on Riker’s Island, New York for the past five months awaiting trial. The story covers the last 17 days Martin is in jail where he ends up transferred to another part and attending the school’s high school.

Why I Picked It Up: Interesting looking young adult novel. Need I say more?

Why I Finished It: While I never got attached to Martin himself as a character, I liked all the characters all around him. Also, the world of Riker’s Jail is a fascinating one. There’s

An author note as the beginning of the book stating that a majority of the incidents that appear in the book are events he witnessed first hand when he was working as teacher at Riker’s Island, and it is intense. Remember talking about that crazy psycho guard in Rainbow? Turns out, he’s pretty normal. Put guys in charge of a bunch of people they believe are scum, don’t make accountable for anything, and watch what happens. On top of that, there’s fierce politics among the boys of Riker’s. Still, the boys fight back against the condition they’re in and fight to make it from day to day.

Who Would I Recommend This To: Fans of the premise of Rainbow.

Rating: 3/5 stars-I liked it

If you’d like to read an excerpt, it’s available here.

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Filed under Books, Middle/High School, Slice of life, YA

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

I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be your Class President review

I want a sequel already…

Summery: Oliver Watson is an evil genius well on his way to ruling the world. After all, he’s already the third richest guy in the world, and only 12 years old. True, he’s not popular at school, but when he has to play dumb to hide his success from everyone and doesn’t like his classmates anyway, it works out. Problem is, when one is 12, it doesn’t matter how smart or successful they are, they still want their parents approval. Oliver’s mom loves him no matter what, but his father is a tougher case. When it seems the only way to get praise from his dad is to win the student election, Oliver decides he has to win.

Why I Picked It Up: It looked funny as hell.

Why I Finished It: It was funny as hell. Josh Lieb, the executive producer for The Daily Show, wrote this book, and the same humor seen on the show appears here. Darkly funny, although some emotional depth does appear. Oliver is a character that’s hard to make likable, and yet Lieb makes him sympathic. Other quirky characters appear, giving Oliver’s world depth. For the most part though, it’s funny, helped by Oliver’s cynical view of the world.

But: I don’t have any. Really, I don’t. I wish there was more. Alright, the title is long and a pain to type out. There.

Who Would I Give This To: My sister. *hint hint* I suppose anyone who isn’t easily offended, has a sense of humor and looking for good teen fiction.

Rating: 5/5-It’s Amazing.


Filed under Comedy, Middle/High School