December Physical Media Reviews

Hey, guys! So, a bit of an announcement today—I recently started writing for a news/review site called the Otaku Review. I’ve been doing a lot of writing for them in the last month, including both news articles and my very first reviews of physical media.

You’ve probably already read most of the news stories already, but if you’re interested in the reviews, I’m compiled links to all the stuff I covered in December. Hope you enjoy!

Level E

World Trigger, Volume 1 [Manga]: This was the very first physical media review I’ve ever done, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the manga was far superior to the woeful anime adaptation from the fall season. It’s still not exceptional by any means, but it was a lot more entertaining to read the story than it was to watch it. Toei’s been much-maligned as of late, and it looks like the failure of the adaptation was indeed the fault of the studio, because the source material was solid, if not all that inspired. I gave the first volume of the manga a B-.

Vampire Knight – Fleeting Dreams [Short Story Collection]: Whelp, this one was pretty much a total flop for me. I’m not at all familiar with the Vampire Knight franchise (apparently DEEN did an anime adaptation, though, so that’s cool), so when I picked up the book for review I was kind of expecting an anime-inspired take on literary short fiction. Well, Vampire Knight – Fleeting Dreams was nothing of the sort—reading more like fan fiction than anything else, and like bad fan fiction in some places. It did have one decent story and one potentially hilarious one, though. All in all, it was’t so horrid or so offensive that I got angry, so I gave it a C-.

Level E [DVD]: If you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw at least a few of my excited-exasperated tweets about Level E. Written by Hunter x Hunter mangaka Yoshihiro Togashi, Level E is almost unmistakably Togashi’s work, as it engages constantly with his fascination with the boundaries of humanity and just as consistently displays his trolling tendencies. For any author of less technical prowess, Level E would come off as horribly self-indulgent to the point of being unwatchable, as Togashi sets up red herring jokes, writes an entire arc in a fake video game world, and emotionally abuses Prince Baka’s bodyguard craft in ways that are both hilarious and depressing (lol). But, thanks to Togashi’s skill as a writer, Level E is always entertaining, even if it fails to be funny all of the time. My personal ranking for it is a 5/10, but my grade for the release as a whole was a B.


I hope you guys enjoy these! There’s a lot more to come, so I’ll probably continue to do these posts monthly after all my reviews for the month are complete. Up next on my reviewing queue are Aquarion EVOL and the first light novel volume of the upcoming anime adaptation of Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, as well as potentially some January releases.

6 thoughts on “December Physical Media Reviews

  1. I’ve read that World Trigger manga is way better than the anime.

    Still, I’m watching the show, not only based on the manga, but because is one of the few shows without fanservice and the lack of other increasingly popular pitfals of various anime.

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      • After the third episode it gets better. Recent episodes have improved animation and the characters look more consistent regarding being in-model.

        Also, the background paintings are good too.

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  2. Congrats on also getting a side reviewing gig, will you be linking regularly to your posts over here?

    And I watched Level E when it came out a few years ago and generally enjoyed it, felt a little too disconnected at times but it was pretty fun! (I almost want to say “it was Samurai Flamenco before SamFlam existed with how many genres it covers)

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    • Thanks! I won’t link to the new articles I write (I assume people already have sources for news), but the plan is to do monthly posts like this that link to the reviews I do each month. I’m super pumped about the stuff I’m covering in January, so look for that post about a month from now!

      & yeah, Level E is pretty fun with all the genres it covers. I especially appreciated how much Togashi was obvious in the show. It’s not often a creator’s fingerprints are so evident without being intrusive.

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