Archives for : Shojo

Tamayura Hitotose (anime review)

Tamayura HitotoseTitle: Tamayuri Hitotose 

Director: Junichi Sato

Music by: Noboyuki Nakajima

Studio: TYO Animations (series), Hal Film Maker (OVA)

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi Entertainment

U. S. Release Date: Oct. 6th, 2015

Format: DVD/ 389 Minutes / 12 Episodes and OVA

Genre: Slice of Lice, Coming of Age, Shojo

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B+


As a little girl, Fuu Sawatari’s father taught her to love photography. They took pictures everywhere they went. But after he passed away, seeing those photographs only served as a reminder of her loss, so she locked them away to be forgotten. Years later, her brother Kou finds their father’s picture album, and as he flips through its pages, the pictures remind Fuu of all the happy memories of her father that she will carry with her forever.

Now, as the shy Fuu enters her first year of high school, she once again takes up her father’s old camera, determined to take wonderful pictures that will bring joy and happiness to others.


Tamayuri Hitotose is one of those sweet light series that looks simple but dives much deeper and interesting than expected. With the basic concepts being rather simple and straight forward I would have expected it to be more about the day to day life of these girls. What I found was a series that provides just that a simple look at a group of girls as they begin their journey into adulthood, there is also a interesting look at the fine art of photography. Now I must disclosed that I have a degree in fine art photography and it clearly colored my perspective. The thing about Tamayura Hitotose and the narrative exploring art photography is that it does a great job of bringing up the general concepts of what a good photo is compared to a “messed up” or not so good photo. It is not that it points out a general perspective of the good photo but rather questions the notion of what a messed up photo is. In fact it provides an honest opinion that there is beauty in all photographs and many that might not show us the perfectly framed head with the happy glowing smile are eve more meaningful than the expected perfect shot.

Tamayura Hitotose also gives a very sentimental look at a father who is no longer alive and missed dearly. As touching as I found that aspect of the plot I can’t say that it was anywhere near as important as the discovery of what friendship is between these girls and the art appreciation of photography. The character development was rolled out wonderfully with plenty of story built around all of the girls not just Fuu. The one aspect of their personalities that I found over the top and somewhat disappointing was the way they ended up being hyper personalities and they tended to overreact to situations that highlight their personal traits.

Overall Grade: B+

Again, Tamayura Hitotose is now of those series that is perfect for girls under the age of 15 but the series is only provided with sub titling. I’m not sure why Nozomi does not spend the extra bucks to provide a solid english dub for this and other series like Aria, Sketchbook or even The Sound of the Sky. I think they could introduce the rich wonderful world of great story telling married with a strictly eastern philosophy on life and growth. There are some great life lessons here and they are provided in a kind sweet forum that is entertaining and only makes the viewer smile in the end.

Tamayura Hitotose is a great series for anyone who loves photography and someone who likes the feel go story of friendship and kindness that a positive life can bring.

Cardcaptor Sakura Complete Series

Cardcaptor Sakura 1Title: Cardcaptor Sakura

Creators: Clamp

Director: Morio Asaka

Studio: Madhouse

U. S. Distributor: NIS America

U. S. Re-Release Date: Aug. 5th, 2014

Format: DVD / 70 Episodes / 3 volume set / 1750 minutes

Genre: Shojo, Magical Girl, Romance

Age Rating: T for Teen 13+

Overall Personal Rating: A



Ten-year-old Sakura lives a pretty normal life with her older brother, Toya, and widowed father, Fujitaka. Or she did, until the day she returned home from school to discover a glowing book in her father’s study. After opening the book and releasing the cards within, Sakura is tasked with collecting each of these magical cards, while trying to live the life of a normal fourth grader. In the monumental task of collecting all the cards, Sakura must rely on her friends and family, and decide what she finds most important in life.

As Sakura’s journey to recapture the Clow Cards continues. With most of them captured, she finds that the remaining cards are going to put up a fight. Along the way, she must also navigate the struggles of moving on to the fifth grade and contend with the ever-evolving romances in her life. And before long, she discovers that there’s a not so pleasant surprise waiting for her at the end of her card-capturing journey.

After a harrowing journey to collect the cards and prove her worth as their master, Sakura finds herself in a whole new world of trouble as mysterious events begin to threaten the small town of Tomoeda. To make matters worse, Yukito seems to be having some unexplained troubles of his own. With no cards left on the loose, Sakura must form a special bond with her cards to quell each new disturbance, and discover what could possibly be causing them before the lives of Tomoeda’s residents are damaged beyond repair!


It has always been common place to see older shows brought back and re-released. Some of them deserve to be revived and some are better of left to the annals of the anime world. For Cardpator Sakura the re birth just might the biggest one this year with the least amount of fan fair. I know that there is another one slated for November that is an all time favorite for many, but I feel as though Cardcaptor has a lot more to bring to the table than the other super girls coming later this year.

The big difference is the creators and their vision. Clamp has always been known for their shojo and the overall popularity of everything they have created. The anime of the popular manga series had to stand up to the critics because of what it was and yes it still stands the test of time. The fact that there is deliberately written into the show consistent costume changes is seminal for the series and also the high quality of action produced in the magical summoning scenes make a difference in the over all enjoyment factors.

I understand that this series was developed for the younger female audience, but I would not want anyone to shy away from it just because of that. The writing is so well done that all ages and genders can find this series a lot of fun and very easy to watch and get caught up in. With other famous shojo anime there always seem to be a serious dark element to each of the characters, but with Cardcaptor Sakura, the characters are just average kids who are put into these unusual circumstances.

Overall Grade: A

It would be very easy to go on about how well this series was written and developed, but it is very easy to see why it deserved to be brought back to life. Simply put, it is a lot of fun. It is well made and most of all it is easy to watch and enjoy with the entire family. I found myself rooting for Sakura in every episode and also appreciating the aspect that she is aging. I know it is not much, but Sakura does age and change classes, but even more importantly the costumes she wears are great and I for one would love to see a cosplay con be dedicator to this series. I think it would be great to see all of those strange and funny costumes come to life.

If you are looking for something that is for everyone and that is one of the best series going,then you need to go out and pick this up.

Amnesia (anime review)

AmnesiaTitle: Amnesia The Complete Collection

Director: Yoshimitsu Ohashi

Studio: Brain’s Base

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks / Section 23

U. S. Release Date: June 3rd, 2014

Format: DVD / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Shojo, Romance,  Supernatural, Drama, Otome

Overall personal Grade: B


She runs through the flaming building seeking escape. She struggles in the water, desperate to keep afloat. She wakes in the hospital, with no knowledge of how she got there or memory of who she was. People she doesn’t know come to visit her, but only the one whom no one else can see, the spirit boy who calls himself Orion, seems to understand what has happened to her, and he tells her not to let anyone know of her amnesia.

As the Heroine struggles to recall her past and connect the random recollections in her mind to form memories, one thing seems sure: time is no longer a constant, and the date of August 1st – the day she keeps waking up in the hospital – is somehow significant. So are each of the people she meets, though the stories that link her to them seem to shift like sands in an emptying hourglass. Will she be able put the pieces of the puzzle together, and what will she see if it becomes complete?



Amnesia is a wonderful example of a series developed from the visual novel / game known as Otome. These games set you up as the main character as you move through the different situations in the story. With Amnesia, we follow Heroine as she awakes with no memories of her prior life and discovers she is in a relationship with someone that seems to know her but she has not idea of who they rare. There are several young men in her life and every time there is a traumatic event in her life she awakes to find herself in a new relationship. She does have one constant and that is the fairy spirit that has attached himself to her soul and he ttys his best to help her out.

This jumping from one reality to another makes thing interesting, but ends up becoming a little frustrating as she ends up appearing more naive than she was early on. The reason for this frustration is because she does begin to remember the previous reality and she ends up playing the role of the dumb woman that is neither realistic or enjoyable. You know when you go to a bad horror film and you know the young lady shouldn’t go into the room or water and end up yelling at the screen “DON’T DO IT!”. This is a feeling that ends up becoming more frequent as there series progresses. It is not until the end of the series that she begins to have some semblance of intelligence. I never want to see anyone played out in this fashion, but this is what you get with Amnesia.

The animation style is right out of the manual of how to draw shojo characters. The girls are sexy and the guys ate almost stick men with strange but appealing close on that either make them look sexy or dark and mysterious. Of course they are beautiful with Heroine coming across somewhat plain compared to everyone else. This makes it easy to sympathies with characters who’s eyes we are seeing this through. I have to admit that the writer,Touko Machida, did a fine job of bringing this to life and interweaving the story that keep the real mystery lingering until the very end.

Overall Grade: B

Amnesia is a perfect anime for the love struck young girls and any romantically inclined fans, but if you are looking for action and adventure then you really need to look elsewhere. Visually it does a great job of living up to the genre it comes out of. Although, I would prefer somewhat less idealized stick figures. All I can think of is what would these young keen look like if they didn’t have their shirts on. I’m sure they would lack any type of muscle to their figures and look more like Jack Skellington rather than Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom.  Being a guy I can say it does nothing for me, but maybe that explains why I didn’t have the much luck with the girls when I was that age, I just wasn’t skinny enough. Anyway, I think this is a great series for role playing and a wonderful example of the gaming style of Otome. So, if you are looking for a little romance and confusion along with it then Amnesia is right up your ally.

Vampire Knight 17 (manga review)

Vampire Knight 17Title: Vampire Knight 17

Writer: Matsuri Hino

U. S. Distributor: Viz Media

U. S. Release Date: Nov. 5th, 2013

Format: manga / Paperback / 200 pages

Genre: Shojo, Romance, Supernatural

Age Rating: T+

Overall Grade: B



Kaname has returned to Cross Academy to kill Sara Shirabuki. Zero has joined forces with Sara, leaving Yuki in the middle of the conflict. Even if Kaname’s ultimate goal is to kill all purebloods, is Yuki ready to fight him?

With Sara being protected at the Hunters headquarters will Kaname be able to take Sara out or will this battle against the Hunters bring on a new era of Vampire wars? Will Zero prove to be Sara’s savior and will the night school manage to stay with the path of coexistence with the humans?


Vampire Knight is a highly loved manga series that takes the Vampire world and turn it a little upside down and make it a place that wants to live with humans. This story line is country to their very nature which adds plenty of tension, but when you add a princess vampire who was raised as a human and a young man who is infected with vampire blood and who was raised as a vampire hunter and make them a love interest it complicates the story in a very interesting way. Vampire Knight is a shojo anime, but it lends itself to plenty of action and drama and the romance aspects of the series ends up taking a back seat except for moments of high tension. For me this just might be the most vulnerable part of the series. This tug at the heart strings at critical moments ends up failing getting in the way. The ultimate outcome will end up being decided by these love interest, but rather than make them the weakest point if the series they should be the strongest link and allow these characters the ability to make decisions rather than becoming frozen by their dilemma.

Overall Grade: B

Vampire Knight provides plenty of wonderful writing and artwork and stands at the center of the Shojo genre. It is great to see this long running series bringing thins to a head and the final two volumes should be a real treat. Volume 17 does a great job of setting up the final battle and also reveal the real plant that Kaname has and is it possible that that he understands something that will be better in the end? Vampire Knight fans will love this volume. For someone looking for a supernatural series that combines a solid romance early on with a drama that keeps the reader engages should grab the series at volume one ad start enjoying this star of the Shojo genre.