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29 April 2016: This Monster manga has grown so big

Monster and Full Moon wo Sagashite
Monster Perfect Edition volumes compared to standard Full Moon wo Sagashite volume.

Monster is one of my favorite anime, but its DVD release was doomed to fail. If I remember right, the R1 release was a Viz license. Viz at the time already had a reputation for abandoning shows partway (e.g., Full Moon wo Sagashite) and even optimists didn't like the odds of a full Monster release. With replacement music for the ED and rumors of interlaced video, fans of the series were trapped by a Catch-22: They had to buy enough of the early discs to ensure a successful full 74-episode release, but the likelihood of that happening was so low that these fans would almost certainly suffer the same fate as FMoS fans. As you may have guessed, the DVD release as a whole did not go especially well.

Cardcaptor Sakura and Monster
Not quite as big as the Cardcaptor Sakura omnibus volumes.

Thankfully, the manga release appears to be in much better shape. Although also a Viz release, all 18 volumes did get releases. The last of these volumes came out in 2008, and I'm pretty sure they're out of print now, but Viz currently publishes the Monster manga in large double-length compendiums with the final (ninth) volume due out in July 2016. I haven't actually started reading these yet, thanks to my ever-prodigious backlog, but picking these up is a no-brainer, even if the manga lacks the anime's MAMIKORE voice acting.


22 April 2016: Wake Me Up Asuna needs better punctuation and probably more pestering about household chores

Asuna
There's no landscape mode.

Thanks to MVB's recommendation on the Twitter, I installed the Wake Me Up Asuna Android app even though it really should be called Wake Me Up, Asuna or even Wake Me Up, Asuna! There's not much to say about it. It does what its website describes, and it doesn't seem to have any weird bugs or battery-sucking behavior (at least not on any of the three devices I tested). The synthesized Haruka DeTomaso Pantera voice sounds fine, but I also didn't challenge it with a hard-to-pronounce name. There are no ads, and you can use it for free providing you don't care about English subtitles or feel like buying Asuna new clothes. Speaking of which, she will nag you within the first 24 hours to buy some different clothes, but I've gone a few days since blowing her off and she hasn't asked again yet.

Asuna
The housewife sweater is free.

"Asuna's sweet words will definitely make you feel as if she is your wife!" is a bit of a stretch. Mostly she just stands there. It's a little weird when she's pretending to sleep. Like, she'll keep standing there, swaying randomly. The lights will still be on, and every once in a while she'll crack her eyes open, I guess to see if the coast is clear. Thankfully, I don't believe the application has camera permissions, so Asuna probably won't really stare at you while you sleep. I also sort of feel Asuna is a weird choice to be the first of these daily assistant character jobbies, but I guess she needed to be a popular mainstream character with a Life Debt to Sony.


15 April 2016: For crying out loud, don't watch Do You Remember Love? first

Minmay
Hikaru-vision.

We've got a new Macross series now, and by the looks of it (through the first two episodes, at least), it seems to be pretty good. As a Macross fan, I'm glad to see the new series get positive attention, but this renewed interest is not without pitfalls. Some neophyte fans attempt to get a feel for the Macross universe by watching the Do You Remember Love? (Chō Jikū Yōsai Macross: Ai Oboete Imasu ka) movie before they watch the original series. Look, don't do that.

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8 April 2016: I imported the first Konosuba Blu-ray set

Konosuba box
It didn't actually cost me seventy-six hundred yen.

Due to the friendly currency exchange ratio of the U.S. dollar to Japanese yen, I import a lot more Japanese merchandise these days. These goods include the first Blu-ray set for Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!, my fourth-highest-rated show from the 2016 winter season according to my chart. Notably, I don't currently have any plans to do the same for any other series from that season, to include the three shows I ranked higher than Konosuba. There are a variety of reasons for this.

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2 April 2016: In re Rainbow Days

Natsuki and Anna
Sure, just stand there watching her sleep. It's not weird or nothin'.

I only started watching Nijiiro Days (Rainbow Days) because I thought it was going to be about a dude getting cockblocked by his friends as he attempts to hook up with some girl from his school. It turns out I was dead wrong about a critical part of that premise (his friends are actually trying to help him get with the girl), but it also turned out the show is pretty good even without cockblocking, jerkface friends.

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26 March 2016: In re the End of Boku dake ga Inai Machi ~ERASED/My Purest Heart for Airi~

Airi
Surprise, everyone.

If you've been paying attention to the winter 2016 anime season at all, you probably noticed Boku dake ga Inai Machi (officially localized as ERASED, but sometimes colloquially Bokumachi) was a heavy favorite early on to be the season's best show. Personally, I had a few problems with the series preventing me from rating it quite so high, and a significant number of fans also grew dissatisfied with the show's second half, but ERASED is still regarded as one of this winter's best anime, despite some issues with the ending.

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19 March 2016: AIRBORNE! P.S. Gate spoilers.

F-4 Phantom II fighters
FOX ONE.

Episode 23 of Gate: Jietai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri featured the most realistic depiction of an airborne operation I've ever seen in an anime. Although I guess I need to qualify that statement by mentioning the second-most realistic depiction of an airborne operation I've ever seen in an anime is the first episode of, uh, Coyote Ragtime Show. You know, the part with the maids. Nevertheless, the mere fact that the Japan Self-Defense Forces conducted the operation in phases—eliminating air defense and establishing air supremacy first before dropping paratroopers into Empire territory—is leaps and bounds ahead of the sort of thing you see in most anime ostensibly about war. Heavy Object, I'm looking in your direction....

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12 March 2016: Revisiting Innocent Venus

Steve and Toraji
It's your own fault for only bringing a gun to a sword fight.

Innocent Venus is "pretty good," but it sort of feels as if viewers forgot about it somewhat quickly. When was the last time you even thought about this 2006 series? I liked it quite a bit when it first aired, but even I haven't thought about it much after it ended. I want to say it was at least popular enough to get licensed, but basically everything was getting licensed back then just before the crash. I see it sure didn't take long for the DVDs to go out of print, so good luck finding it now if you haven't secured a copy already.

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