Mao Volume 1 by Rumiko Takahashi: Time Travelling Fun in Yōkai-Fuelled Taisho Era – Manga 1st Impressions

Mao Volume 1 by Rumiko Takahashi is a shōnen, dark fantasy, supernatural adventure manga series that follows a young girl named Nanako Kiba. She survived a terrible event as a child and ever since then she lives with her grandfather. One day on her way home from school, she walks by the location of this past tragedy and eventually finds herself transported back to the Taisho Era

Mobile Suit Gundam: An Intimately Intense Look at Catastrophic Wartime Trauma via the Eyes of a Teenager – Anime 1st Impressions

Mobile Suit Gundam is a 1979 shōnen, military science-fiction, mecha anime series about a war that was started in the name of freedom for the purpose of domination, and teenager, Amuro Ray, finds himself pulled violently smack dab in the middle of it all. As chaos ensues around him, hoping to make sense of it and help where he can, he climbs into a mobile suit Gundam, the Earth Federation’s newest secret weapon.

Gun Sword: A Charming Yet Discontent Tale of Retribution & Redemption – Anime 1st Impressions

Gun Sword (aka Gun x Sword) is a 2005 shōnen, dystopian Western, mecha anime series that revolves around a stranger in a tuxedo and a fancy hat known as Van. He enters a small town in search of another strange dude, known enigmatically as The Claw. A little girl named Wendy convinces Van to stay and help the town fight off an oppressive gang of bandits

A Man & His Cat Volume 1 by Umi Sakurai: A Whimsically Enlivening Bond Between a Gentleman & His Adopted Kitty- Manga Review

A Man and His Cat by Umi Sakurai is a shōnen, slice of life, comedy manga series about an elderly gentleman named Kanda who visits a local pet shop one day and adopts a round, one-year-old kitty that no one else seems interested in. Feeling that the older, bigger kitty has quite a loveable appeal to him, he brings it home and together they build a hilarious bond of affection and companionship

Dragon Goes House-Hunting: Fantasy Real Estate for the Cute & Frightful – Anime 1st Impressions (Spring 2021)

Dragon Goes House-Hunting (ドラゴン、家を買う。)  follows a dragon named Letty who gets kicked out on their little rump for not living up to the family’s standards. Finding themselves homeless and utterly alone, they go searching for a new place to settle into, a location that can become their very own home. However, when you’re a dragon in a world of elves, dwarves, and other folx that fear you because you’re a motherfucking dragon, finding said home shall prove much more challenging than one imagined.

Higehiro: A Crude Yet Comedic Series that Imparts Lessons on Self-Worth & Survival – Anime 1st Impressions (Spring 2021)

Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway (ひげを剃る。そして女子高生を拾う) is the anime adaptation of the original shōnen, romantic comedy novel series. It follows a twenty-six-year-old salaryman who gets rejected by his crush of five years. Feeling wholly disheartened, he gets drunk with his chum. On his way home, he comes across a lonesome high school girl that offers to have sex with him in exchange for a place to stay for the night.

These Snow White Notes: The Spiritual Essence of Shamisen Artistry – Anime 1st Impressions (Spring 2021)

These Snow White Notes (ましろのおと) is a shōnen, slice-of-life drama about a young man named Setsu Sawamura who grew up idolising his grandfather, a supremely gifted shamisen instrumentalist. When his grandfather passes away, his dying wish is for Setsu to stop playing the shamisen until he can realise what it means to him as a person and artist.

Kemono Jihen: A Cool, Creepy Supernatural Show About Non-Human Found Family Anime First Impressions (Winter 2021)

Kemono Jihen (怪物事変) is a shōnen, dark fantasy, supernatural anime adaptation of the manga series, following Special Detective Kōachi Inugami who’s summoned to a mountain village after the discovery of animal corpses. Shortly after he arrives, he meets a young boy that wishes to help the detective in solving the case. This eventually leads Inugami to realise that supernatural forces may be at play.

Manga Musings: Sasuke vs Itachi in Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto

One of the most iconic fight scenes in the manga medium is the one that takes place between Sasuke Uchiha and Itachi Uchiha. There is so much angst and tragedy that surrounds these two brothers that when their time came to settle their issues with their fists and awesome ninja badassry, I was exceedingly excited, more so because Itachi is one of my favourite characters in the series. Yet, once the fight arrived and unfolded upon the coarse little pages of the volume, I found myself feeling disappointed and somewhat unsatisfied by their battle. At least at first.

SK8 the Infinity: Bones’ Brilliant New Shōnen Series About Skateboarding and Standing Back Up When Life Shoves You to the Pavement – Anime First Impressions (Winter 2021)

I honestly wasn’t planning on watching this series as I don’t know dick about skateboarding. However, during a bout of insomnia, I found it floating around on Funimation’s website and figured what the hell. I’m so glad that I took a chance on it because this very well may become one of my top three anime picks from the Winter 2021 season thus far.

The Elusive Samurai by Yūsei Matsui: A Quirky Historical Tale of Retribution & Family Honour – Manga First Impressions

The Elusive Samurai (逃げ上手の若君) by Yūsei Matsui is a shōnen, jidaigeki manga series that takes place between the Kamakura and Muromachi eras of Japanese history and follows a young boy named Hōjō Takatoki that is known for always being on a speedy run. When his entire family and status are viciously ripped from him by a terrible betrayal, Hōjō flees with an unexpected rival so that he may survive and exact his revenge one day in the near future.

Horimiya: A Beautifully Animated Series on the Pleasures of Platonic Intimacy – Anime 1st Impressions (Winter 2021)

Horimiya (ホリミヤ) is a shōnen, romantic comedy anime series about two unlikely individuals who end up coming together due to peculiar circumstances. As they realise they’re classmates that are, in fact, quite different in reality versus their student personas, they formulate a platonic kinship which blooms beautifully with the potential for much more.

Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki: Becoming a Champion at the Game Known as Life – Anime First Impressions (Winter 2021)

Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki (弱キャラ友崎くん) is a shōnen, romantic comedy anime series about a guy named Tomozaki who’s a badass online gamer. However, in reality, he’s an introverted, anti-social, loner geek. He absolutely loathes the game called Life since most people tend to have it easy with either their looks or personality or other superficial characteristic, and these same individuals make harsh judgments on anyone who isn’t quite like them.

Iwa Kakeru! – Sport Climbing Girls – First Impressions: A Charming Yet Conventional Anime about Competitive Rock-Wall Climbing (Fall 2020)

Iwa Kakeru! follows four high school girls as they come together to form a sport climbing club with the hopes of being able to compete in the sport on a national level. One of the newest members is a former professional video gamer named Konomi Kasahara who goes searching for a fun, new club that will offer her the same excitement and satisfaction that games (specifically puzzle games) used to give her.