My Alcoholic Escape from Reality (ANN)

There’s this intimacy that permeates every moment you spend with her as a reader, and closing the book feels like I’m pulling the curtain back from a peek into a person’s life after getting to swim through their memories. And while there’s lots of genuinely relatable humor, there’s also a lot of tangible pain here on these pages, all illustrated in Nagata Kabi’s evocative, unique art style, with a slick persimmon orange screentone that adds a certain oomph to this volume.

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Resturant to Another World 2 Season Premiere – Episode 9 (ANN)

OnThe combination of simple, rustic, cozy vibes paired with a bit of adventure really did it for me this week, making for yet another sufficiently suffonsiying trip to an otherworldly restaurant that, week to week, I find myself longing to visit on the Day of Satur.

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The aquatope on white sand – Episode 21 (ANN)

All of that blendsSo much of The aquatope on white sand is about connections: about forging bonds, strengthening friendships, and reaching out to others. Thus, it makes sense that the way for Kukuru to heal is through the bonds of her community, through being reached out to, rather than her having to seek help herself. 

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Resturant to Another World 2 Season Premiere – Episode 8 (ANN)

One of the great things about the series in all its versions is that it holds back from dumping too much info. It’ll give you your fair portion, sure, but it’s never too much. If anything, it’s just enough to help you fill in the blanks on the parts of the world we don’t get to engage with. Restaurant to Another World 2 does this even more tightly, weaving in tidbits about the denizens of the other world, which gives us a more fully-formed image of the customers the Master deals with.

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The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated – Episode 16 (ANN)

A lot of the comedy this episode treads familiar territory: Jahy gets kicked in the non-existent pants by life, Druj simps for Jahy, Jingu continues to try to be her best friend, Saurva’s bad luck lands her in painful situations, and the Dark Lord eats a lot of food, though she does mix things up by sneaking into Jingu’s school bag and causing trouble. Familiar territory isn’t bad though, and the jokes still manage to wrangle chuckles out of me. However, it also means that Episode 16 as a whole is just kind of okay despite getting a lot more of the cast together, which does feel like a bit of a lost opportunity.

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The aquatope on white sand – Episode 20 (ANN)

All of that blends with Kukuru still trying to find her place in Tingaara as she continues an internal – and often external – tug-o-war between settling into her current responsibilities and her desire to continue taking care of sea creatures. And it’s not that Kukuru isn’t serious about her work, which is an accusation leveraged at her about midway in episode 20: it’s that Kukuru still cares deeply about caretaking, and at her core, loves sea creatures enough to always keep them at the forefront of her mind, even to the detriment of her actual staff position.

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Resturant to Another World 2 Season Premiere – Episode 7 (ANN)

One of the delights of comparing Restaurant to Another World 2 to its source material novel is that the If you thought watching Aletta and Kuro eat shaved ice was fun, then watching Ilzegant groove on some green tea shaved ice (complete with azuki beans and mochi) is a delight. I suppose that’s really what made them such a neat character, and one of my favorite in the Restaurant to Another World universe. There’s all these textural descriptions that really make the experience feel full-bodied, evoking the texture of finely shaved ice, the delight of experiencing mochi for the first time, and the awe of seeing a new color repurposed in food.

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The aquatope on white sand – Episode 19 (ANN)

There’s a gentleness about episode 19 that I found myself loving this week. As the year winds down and we count our successes, it’s easy to look back and see all the paths you didn’t tread. Yet episode 19 is a reminder that just like a penguin going for their first swim, we too can find success in just trying and believing. As I look towards being closer to thirty than not, it’s a story that resonates: I expected to be in a very different life situation than I am right now. All I can do is strive and try my best. 

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Blade Runner: Black Lotus – Episode 1 — Anime Feminist

Blade Runner: Black Lotus offers up a gorgeous premiere that has a somewhat go-nowhere premiere filled with tidbits that built the world, but don’t feel compelling.

Blade Runner: Black Lotus – Episode 1 — Anime Feminist

The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated – Episode 15 (ANN)

Episode 15 is a somewhat middling episode: not bad, but not necessarily “wow” levels of fun, though the gags are still good and feel fresh. There’s lots of hilarious moments, lots of relatable moments, and lots of intensely “it me” kind of moments where you really connect with Jahy. I suppose what makes this kind of middling is that it just feels like a funny episode with no overarching goal, which… okay, while you could say, “Well Mercedez, that’s what every episode is,” I’d argue that most episodes of The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! have a plot of sorts. Episode 15 just feels like, “Let’s get Jingu into the ensemble cast a bit further”, which is funny, but… doesn’t hit like Jahy finding the Dark Lord or trying to grow a tomato plant.

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