Did somebody say "weeaboo"? Anime/Manga General Thread

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Discuss why Dungeon Meshi is the greatest manga of the past ten years. Also other anime and manga, I guess.

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Okay, let's do this thing! Some manga I've been reading recently, and why I like/dislike them.

So I'm A Spider, So What?! (Comixology series link)

Hey, do you like Isekai, that genre where people get transported to another world, but you think life goes easy on them, or it's "Just another harem manga/anime"? Well, in So I'm A Spider, the protagonist earns the victories they've achieved in the seven volumes so far. Elsewhere, I contrasted its beginning with That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime. In Slime, there's no big threats, early on. They learn, they fight a bit, but mostly, it goes okay. So I'm A Spider? It starts with the protagonist hatching, and suddenly realising "Oh shit, my siblings and my momma wanna eat me!", and... It goes generally uphill from there, but it's a hard as hell journey. They earn the progress they've made, even with "assistance" from an unknown figure. Solid art, good writing that absolutely gets across both the panic and the lighter moods, tonally meshing well... I enjoy it.

Delicious In Dungeon/Dungeon Meshi (Comixology series link)

Oh. Fuck. Yes. I am extremely here for a world where they actually explore things like the ecology of a dungeon, said dungeon's place in the world, and the like. The growth of the characters is interesting, the tragedies are tragic (and some, you really hope you don't actually see coming), and the art and writing are solid. Big thumbs up.

Do You Love Your Mom And Her Two-Hit, Multi-Target Attacks? (Comixology series link)

We had to come across a bad one eventually, and my god, I'm mainly sticking with it in some screwed up sunk cost fallacy. The premise is alright: There is an MMO that is specifically designed so as to help parents and their children get together. Okay, okay, so the Isekai bit is that they're trapped there until they do, but that, in and of itself, wouldn't be a problem if anyone on the parent end was likable. The titular mother is, yes, a soft lady, but she's cheerily passive aggressive and manipulative, smothering, and... Look, I'm much more sympathetic to the junior pairs at this point. Especially when the second parent got introduced.

I'm perfectly fine with folks who indulge their lust. I'm perfectly fine with dommy ladies. But they're an abusive parent, they're a shitheel, and... Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh, this one I really should drop, because if there is a point where the parents are called out as being a problem in this equation (not to mention other issues with the system, such as the junior(s) not being informed of the "Being trapped until they get along with their parent"), it's certainly not even slightly visible 3 volumes in.

Interspecies Reviewers (Comixology series link)

Holy shit I love this one. Pretty damn sex positive and light hearted, Interspecies Reviewers follows the adventures of a party of adventurers who find a very profitable sideline in reviewing Succubus Houses (Legalised brothels in a world where pretty much every species has interbred with succubi to some extent.) From the very first story, where a 50 year old woman is acknowledged by everyone but the human to be superior to Elves, I've found something to like about it, such as little nods to safety such as fairies making it a requirement for their customers to be measured.

The anime is, on the one hand, much more obviously horny and NSFW. On the other, it's theme song is a triumphant double entendre laden ode to enjoying sex, the voice acting is solid, and it contains pretty much all the great writing that makes this as enjoyable as it is. Big thumbs up.

Plus Sized Elf (Comixology series link)

This one's been a divisive one, from what I've been able to gather, but I have to admit I like it so far. There is a gate to our world, through which fantasy folk come to stay in ours. Thing is, the food's really good, and the characters our protagonist, a massage and diet therapy center worker, encounters have all, to some degree or another, overindulged. As with Interspecies Reviewer, the protag doesn't shame within this area, simply provides fitness tips, explaining how they help, assists with diets (where he can, as the titular plus-sized elf keeps backsliding due to the delicious wonders of fried potato based products), and is generally an alright guy. There are sex comedy/ecchi elements to it, and you get the feeling it's a harem manga without actually being one, but, so far at least, I've been enjoying it.

There's a few more I've been reading, but those are the most notable examples right now, one way or the other.

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The thing that really strikes me about Do You Love Your Mom is that it is beat-for-beat a horny teen love comedy (a la Love Hina), but the lead girl is actually the main character's mother. She just disapproves of the main character having any kind of relationship with another woman because she's his mother, and pretty much everything else about their relationship is spot-on. I think the manga version may have toned down the innuendo significantly, but maybe I just haven't gotten far enough yet to see it. The light novel keeps going back to the "I can't think of her that way, she's my mom! What are you doing looking like that?" I hadn't really thought of her as an abusive parent as such, but I think I'm just too used to that kind of comedy from other genres.

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I don't typically read manga or do even do anime outside of games, but one I got linked to and hooked on is Destroy All Humankind - They Can't Be Regenerated.

Despite the edgy title, (a reference to the time period in which the story takes place and Nostradamus's prophecy,) it's actually pretty good. Imagine Yugioh, but instead it's a slice of life involving Magic: The Gathering being played by normal middle schoolers and all that. I'm biased though, I played too many card games growing up.

Really easy to burn through all the available volumes though.

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Okay... Since the discord has encouraged this idea...

Let's Review Manga! Part 1 - Help, I've Found Myself Horny For Monsterfolk, And Manga Is Not A Cure! (Interspecies Reviewers)


AGE RATING: Most likely 18+ ... While there's no actual boning (in the manga, anyway), the series is based around a sex-worker reviewing premise.

NSFW discussion
So... Monstergirls have... An interesting history in Manga. Not all of it is horny. But a fair amount of it is. There are some that have been slice of life (Monster Musume, for example), there are some that are comedy (like this one), and there are some that I would consider unreviewable, even if we had an NSFW section, for content warning reasons (unnamed.)

Interspecies Reviewers has one big thing going for it: It's mostly sex positive. It's open about its horniness, it explores a few fantastical kinks, consent is explicit, and a fantastic world means fantastic safety measures. Wonder why the monsterfolk aren't getting pregnant? Contraceptive magic. We'll get to another part of this later (spoilered for NSFW, as some of this will be.) And its protagonists, with only a few exceptions, are non judgmental. Except in the critical sense.

One of those judgmental moments, funnily enough, is what kicks things off, with two of our three protagonists (Stunk, human; Zell, elf) being mutually disgusted at each other for having sex with an older woman of the others' species, and the resulting argument leading to the first review, by them and two friends (part of a rotating cast of fellow reviewers): Who is better, a 50 year old human? Or a 500 year old elf?

The human wins. And, considering the difference in visual presentation? I'm cool with that.

And so, a new kind of reviewing is born, the reviewing of succu-joints, as, since everyone has some succubus blood in them, sex work is legal, regulated, and unstigmatised.

With a lot of charming writing, there are only a few flaws with Interspecies Reviewers, and one of them is very much a matter of taste. Namely, the sex comedy elements outside the reviewing... Stunk, you are a creeper, and perhaps being beaten the shit out of by the bartender Meru (a harpy) is... Perhaps a sign you should stop being a shit?

As mentioned, there are also a few segments where people are judged for their taste, but any discomfort is framed as a personal dislike or creeping out, not a "BAN THIS SICK FILTH!"

Speaking of... There's quite the variety in here. Obviously, various monstergirls. But also gender transformation, clones, doll-making, egg laying... There's one in particular that I feel I should spoil so as not to spoil your enjoyment, no matter how quickly it reveals itself to be what it is. There is a shop where there are "captive" monstergirls, and the customers act out a ravishment play (IE - consensually play out a scene with the appearance of nonconsent.) It should also be reiterated that the manga does not present the acts themselves (with the exception of the egg laying. To some extent.) The anime, on the other hand, depicts the sex, albeit in a partially censored form (which caused Funimation to pull their support, even if it afforded the opportunity for more material. Which the anime took advantage of.)

There is also something else worth noting: The third protagonist, Crimvael. Crimvael is functionally intersex (A person possessing both male and female genitalia, with the "functionally" part meaning both bits work as they should.) This... Is actually an interesting piece of queer rep, and it's played well, which was a further pleasant surprise! She can't get back to heaven because her halo is broken, and so... She falls into reviewing succu-joints with Zell, Stunk, and other cast members.

Thing is, there's a lot of good things I have to say about this manga. As mentioned, it's sex positive, even though it's mostly heterosexual, it's got a little bit of genuine queer rep in there, it's expressively drawn, and the writing is pretty solid. Some notable moments include the fairy brothel, where one of the safety measures is, quite literally, measurement. If you're too big, you can't see any of the girls... The dreamy incubus who is incensed with anything less than a 10 for all succu-joints, because all are beautiful (I mean, that's valid)... And the reviews themselves, which are 95% actual, critical reviews, albeit shortform.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS, AND TO WHO? I would most definitely recommend this for an interesting and sex positive take on sex in a fantasy world, which engages with its subject, and is still amusing. But, obviously, that recommendation is a limited one, as not everyone's into NSFW media, and this has some concepts (like the aforementioned ravishment play, or what happens when three very foolish reviewers enter a succu-joint where the succu-girls are so insatiable, it's normally large groups that enter) that would make for a content warning, but, on the whole, I would recommend this to people looking for the reason mentioned.

WHAT ABOUT THE ANIME? Ahaha, that's... A more limited recommendation. As noted, there's more material there, elaborations that could only have occurred by portraying the act itself (I'm personally fond of the gender TF segment), the animation is definitely high quality, and the writing keeps the charm of the original, but yes, it's even more NSFW than the manga, and this includes some of the segments that would make folks uncomfortable... But I would still recommend it. I would definitely recommend watching the opening theme, as it's well done, has some Village People motifs, and is, essentially, a mission statement for both the manga and the anime.

And that is the first of my reviews, hope you've enjoyed!

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Ah, This Title Is Perfect As Is, And I Still Have To Write A Title In This Style!- (Though I May Be a Villainess, I'll Show You I Can Obtain Happiness!)


AGE RATING: I'd give this around a 15. The most mature thing in it is the word "Cougar." And, y'know, villains are pretty normalised.

Well, goodness me... Although this thread is somewhat quiet, the discord for the Beach has not, and one overwhelming request was... Villainesses.

It's not hard to understand why. A good villain or villainess (Alas, a nonbinary word has yet to present itself) is a charismatic character. Or a comedic one... But most of all, they're someone we sympathise with, even if we don't like them.

Well, that's more likely when they're not the centre of a story, anyway. These villainesses... Ah, but I get ahead of myself. This, as you may have gathered, is a villainess story. Or, more accurately, an anthology of them. Villainesses getting happiness, through fair means or foul.

It's a bit of a shame, then, that all of these stories start with a scenario I'm aware is an archetype, rather than a stereotype (the annulled engagement, fairly or unfairly)... But one that I'm not all that invested in. It's where the stories take that start that matters, just like an Isekai.

And, like any anthology, it's a bit hit and miss. So let's talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly, shall we? First in general terms, then in notable stories.

The artwork, throughout, is of high quality. The covers are lovely, and the "Prince" and "Villainess" in cameo style framing is a nice touch. It also recommends other villainess media of this type, so, in general, I find the presentation to be pleasing. All good so far, right?

Writing wise? When it's good, it's very very good. And when it's bad, it's tepid. It doesn't particularly help that the translation I'd read began with a chapter noted by the translators as "(skip this one)", which gave a bad first impression. Especially since it's not actually bad, and deeply implies the heroine is an isekai'd character. Who thought she knew how the story went (Villainess bullies the princess-to-be), but really didn't.

Oddly, I think it's the theme of "subverting expectations" that's what makes some of these stories miss for me, even if I appreciate their cleverness. Like the villainess who's nowhere near as smart as she thinks she is (there have been good stories along those lines... Hell, along very similar lines.)

I think a part of it is that a fair few of these subversions require the prince to be either more scheming than the villainess in question, or to be complete jackasses. Such as "It's Been 10 Years Since You Asked to Break Off Our Engagement, If You Insist That Much, Let's Break It Off!" , where the Prince is an attention seeking piece of shit who keeps saying he's found someone better. She gets one up on him, sort of, but... You can do better than him, girl, you can, just break it off!

But where the anthology really shines is when the villainess is the more sensible party of the pair. There are some where they're more scheming (the one story which has two parts in the anthology is a prime example), but those don't have nearly the impact the reformers, the ones whose betrothed princes are definitely unworthy, and the ones who never wanted the marriage anyway, do. Such as "You Were Set Up." I won't talk about that one, even in spoilers, except to say it was the one I enjoyed the most, with a close second being the amusing "My Betrothed's Personality is Way Different from the Game!"

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS, AND TO WHO? Overall, this is one of those odd ones where while I like some stories within it... I don't actually feel like it's got its full potential going. There may or may not be a volume 4 coming, and some of the stories are good, so... A lukewarm recommendation? And as to who, the main audience appears to be for people who want subversions of this common Otome storyline. It's not presented as a "fix", as many ignorant people do, it's people genuinely playing with the formula to varying levels of success (in my opinion.) I'll also say this one was a difficult one to review, in part because anthologies overall are tough to review: They are, after all, still the sum of their parts, despite some stories definitely being the highlight.

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My Self Esteem Tanked Until The Demon Lord's Amazing HR Saved Me!!! (Salaryman ga Isekai ni Ittara Shitennou ni Natta Hanashi)


Age Rating - 15 so far, may change later, but I somewhat doubt it, this is wholesome as all get out.

Isekai is often held up (or ridiculed) as a power fantasy. But empowerment can take many forms, as I've been seeing while trawling through the genre. Someone finally able to carve themselves a small place in the world. Someone whose "menial" skill is not only useful in a world, but actually seen as critical. Bringing a collective of people together, empowering others, not just one's own self.

And Salaryman Isekai, as it's unofficially known (although it is by no means the only salaryman isekai) is an excellent example of all three of these. Consider: The salaryman. They are, at the lowest point in a company, office workers. At best, they are considered middlemen, although some are valued. Many... Are not.

So imagine, if you will, that one of these white collar workers is summoned to another world. By a demon lord... Who has, effectively, headhunted them due to being extremely impressed by their CV. A pretty wholesome demon lord, in fact, who has a good grasp of HR.

And so, over the 13 chapters so far translated... Everyone improves except the demon lord. And that because either we haven't seen his own flaws, or he really is a master schemer with the best in mind for his people. The self esteem of our protagonist, Dennosuke Uchimura, is at rock bottom at the beginning, and, to be honest, it hasn't improved greatly over the course of the 13 chapters so far. But this is recognisably his story, his empowerment, as the demon lord gives him assignments that play to Uchimura's strengths as a negotiator and marketer.

Not gonna lie, I winced in sympathy every time Uchimura brings himself down in front of the demon lord, but that makes each uplift, each time his unique perspective either creates comedy, solves a problem, or both, all the more uplifting. And, as noted, the demon lord has some amazing HR skills. He doesn't want his employees fighting. Always so far, his orders to Uchimura are specifically designed to both play to his strengths as a salaryman, or his otherworld perspective, and to improve relations between the four Shittenou (Heavenly Kings), of which Uchimura has found himself a part of.

And that's the most wholesome power fantasy of all, in this fucked up world: Being a valued employee.

I'm not going to say there's any real subversion of the genre here, but it does use the genre's basic themes in an interesting, wholesome way, it's well written, and so...

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS, AND TO WHO? I would definitely recommend this overall at the present time, but especially to those of us who've worked in callcentres, or office jobs, or secretarial positions... It's laser targeted at that white collar demographic, and while there's ground being laid for the usual Harem Shenanigans of the genre, so far, they have yet to manifest beyond hints, and, y'know what? Considering how well the rest of this has been handled, I've actually got some faith it's not going to be anything but wholesome.

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Everyone Turns Into A Gourmand The Moment They Taste The Food!!! (Restaurant To Another World)


Age Rating - Like, 12? It's another "Wholesome af" one.

Yeah, yeah, it's another Isekai, or, more accurately, reverse Isekai (where fantasy/science fiction folk are transported to our world.) Sue me, this one's great. Published by Square Enix, and, on Comixology, Yen Press, this is exemplary for a number of reasons. Let's start with the narrative structure.

No world ending threats. No call to action, although there is some drama in each individual story. Yes, individual story. This is, essentially, an anthology with a core location, similar to works like Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, Tales from the White Hart, or Azazel, in which the "Western Restaurant Nekoya" is host to a variety of fantasy races. It's made very clear in the first two stories that this is a neutral ground, where enjoyment of the food is common ground, and fighting is prohibited. Hell, one of its regular customers considers the restaurant part of her trove, casts a protection spell on the demon girl who becomes employed as a waitress, and, presumably, would beat the shit out of anyone who dared harm her favourite establishment.

There are precisely two things about the connection between this fantasy world and the Western Restaurant: It appears in multiple places at once, so a customer can come from pretty much anywhere there's a door, be that a cave complex, the mansion of the ex-Emperor, a lizardman village, or more... And its customers have one visit allowed, with the door only appearing on the Day of Satter (Yes, that's right, Saturday.)

And, like the anthologies mentioned above, it goes in roughly the same format: The circumstances surrounding the customer are shown. In the case of the lizardman, it's actually his holy duty, as the champion of the tribe, to enter the restaurant, say the magic words (Omelette rice, please, and three to go), enjoy the meal, and return with the takeout to the village. It's an annual ceremony for his people, and only the champion may go. So, y'know, he has a real incentive to win each year. :haw:

The customer enters (sometimes surprised, sometimes not... But mostly surprised), orders a meal... And then they go all gourmand on us, going into detail about, essentially, how good the food is. Sounds cheesy, but honestly, I love how every single customer I've seen in this so far has rhapsodised about the qualities of their meal, be it the dragoness's beef stew, the elven ranger's tofu steak, the spag-bol the merchant and his grandson enjoy... And they leave, with a little coda.

That's it. And that's all it has to be. Pleasant, interesting little vignettes, of a family business that has been passed down, with the knowledge of what happens on Saturday. The only difference with the most recent family member is that he employs a demon girl (and, later, an elf) as staff, because he's a guy with a heart of gold.

And it shows: You don't need world ending threats in your salaryman isekai. You don't need massive societal change to drive a story. You just need... A place, and some interesting vignettes.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS, AND TO WHO? Another easy recommendation, because hot fuckin' damn, this is wholesome as all get out. Admittedly, the adventure buffs will get inconsistent fare in the setups, but that's not really what this is about. This is a chill, wholesome time, and that's what you should come in expecting, whether it's the manga (Crunchyroll and Comixology) or the anime (Funimation.)

It's certainly a lot more wholesome than another cooking anime I could name... :psyduck:

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Is There Nothing The Demon Lord Can Do To Rest Himself? (Sleepy Princess In The Demon Castle)


Age Rating: Eh, 15? They sometimes do the anime thing of "YOU CREEPY PERVERT! [imply imply imply]" (And no, they are not actually being a perv)

Well, this one's fantasy comedy, plain and simple. There is a hostage, the narcoleptic (or just bone tired) Princess Syalis, who has been captured by the Demon Lord, and... Well, that's where a whole saga of terror, softness, and Nani the hell?!? goes on. Now, picture if you will, a small girl. Not threatening, right? Especially to a Demon Lord, right?

Haha, no. They are, hands down, the most terrifying thing in the castle. Just for want of a pillow, she almost murders some teddy devils (then decides brushing them is easier to get cotton from them, with the added bonus of emotional blackmail for the key to her cell), rips down some hangings, steals some herbs, takes a porcupine demon's quills right off their back... And this is only the beginning of her reign of terror. Especially as it's deeply implied that she let herself get kidnapped to get the hell away from the tedium and weariness of Princessly Duties, a scheme in and of itself

Now, there is an arc to this story, but it's been a slow burn so far. Yes, the Demon Lord has kidnapped this princess, but it's very much a formulaic thing, even down to setting down bosses and key items in a balanced manner for the hero and their party to progress. And not even this is safe.

Spoiler for the Hero
The princess, however, has yet to discover that the hero meant to rescue her, and take her hand in marriage, is a berk she already knows, and completely despises. So it's kind of lucky that her quest for a good rest has consistently fucked this whole thing up.

But otherwise, it's very much a gag manga, and it works. Arc stuff intruding aside (it's fun, but it is "aside" for the most part), it follows the basic formula of: Something is making the Princess' sleep poor/keeping her awake... Thing gets dealt with, often in a crafty, underhanded, or just plain violent manner. Indeed, some specific monsters in the Demon Lord's employ are terrified of her, and for good reason... They're basically sheets and cloth to her.

Not that it always goes her way (well, it sort of does, but only sort of), but it's a fun formula, and while I'm not the biggest fan of the segments where misunderstandings (YOU PERV) happen, overall, this is a fun one.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT, AND TO WHO? Well, I would, and to fans of fantasy comedy, or fantasy subversions. It's not entirely a subversion, as the overall arc is showing that there are stakes in this, and there is somewhere the overall plot is going, but it definitely subverts a fair bit in a fun way. It's got a few lows, but mostly, it's a giggle with a recurring cast. An evil giggle, with those anime baggy eyes that denote secret evils...

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I May Never Be Free Of My Family's Legacy! (The Monster Duchess And Contract Priestess)


Age Rating: I would have to give this at least a 15, very likely an 18. Also, I will be collapsing this review as it contains a content warning for mentions of abuse (and the manga itself has CW: Depictions of and mentions of abuse.)

The Review
I should start with the recommendation to me, or, more accurately, its warning: It starts extremely dark, but it gets lighter.

This... Is not all that correct. It has its light moments, it's true. But The Monster Duchess And Contract Princess is, make no mistake, a very dark tale indeed. Of a small child whose family wished to kill her by burning to obtain her power (A practice that was not always in place, but had been so for long enough that the actual rationale for it had been forgotten, and taken as read.) Of a child caught in a kingdom's intrigue. Of a child whose life may yet be lost due to the machinations of an empress who has dark desires indeed.

It's interesting, actually, how the few Korean manga I've read up to this point (Skeleton Soldier Couldn't Protect The Dungeon, Jack Frost, The Villainess Reverses The Hourglass, Survival Story of a Sword King in Another World) have consistently been pretty dark. And also consistently, had high quality colour illustrations presented in a vertical reading format, using both gradient transitions and traditional panels in a unique fashion. So, if you're into dark stuff, then it seems so far that Korean manga will consistently give you that. Although, obviously, that's a small sample size to work from.

In any case, yes, the first five or so chapters tell a story of familial abuse, a child's terror and harm to their mental health, and, in the very first chapter, being dragged to a firepit to be burned alive in a sick ritual to transfer her shadow magic to her elder sister. It gets lighter... Darker... Lighter... Darker... But overall, the tone is one of darkness, of being caught in a struggle revealed to be beyond the scope of what our protagonist, Leslie Shura Salvatore (Previously Leslie Sperado... Note the lack of a middle name, also known as a "Blessed Name") can reasonably see (Although her family see further, due to their high position and direct conflict with what is currently (and probably for the foreseeable) primary antagonist, the Empress.)

Now, you may be thinking "Okay, this is misery porn, right?"

Well... No. It is, undeniably, a dark as fuck story. But if it merely used the abuse in a lazy way, or the following intrigue, or left our protagonist broken, then yes, it would have been. But it engages with its subject, the scars of such abuse, and the joy of being with a family who cares, who wants to heal them, very clear. At the current point of the story, yes, the Sperados are still scheming, still (partially) supported by the Empress... But Leslie is undeniably stronger, even facing the certain knowledge that her current secondary antagonist is scheming against her with aplomb. It even deals with triggering of trauma (fire, in this case), gaslighting, and the ways it's used against someone. So... It is not misery porn.

It does, however, depict some vile people, so it depicts the abusers accurately.


WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT, AND TO WHO? The short version is that I would only recommend it to a few people. Even somewhat hardened, it's made me feel uncomfortable even in the lighter moments, the moments (well, more chapters) of genuine love, friendship, and happiness, because, like someone who has gone through any kind of abuse, I find myself wondering... When will the hammer fall? When will their happiness suddenly end? It's not for the faint of heart, and I would definitely not recommend it to folks who have suffered abuse. Even in a fantasy setting, it's too real.

Funnily enough, because of this, because of excellent character writing, both on the vile end and the caring end, and a gripping plot, I find myself wanting to read on. But, at the same time, the above most definitely stands. A limited recommendation only.

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As a small addendum as the evil monster that pointed Jamie at said webtoon in the first place; it's an adaptation of a completed novel (which has also been translated), while the actual comic is ongoing, though coming up on the climax of the fourth act.

On a lighter note, the team translating the comic often leave small notes under the panels commenting upon just how utterly adorable Leslie is when she's happy, which is probably best shown from this clipped image from chapter 19.


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Flaw In Alpha, Never Fixed: We Keep Picking Trash Parents (Do You Love Your Mother And Her Two-Hit, Multi-Target Attacks?)

This is, in its way, a well picked image. It's not her normal expression of ara ara happy, and comes just after tears, and an apology from her son.

Age Rating: 18. You can't really give something a 15 if it's got a mother in a succubus outfit using naked men as her throne now, can you?

At first, I had the very short review. And now, I am convinced that God is dead. Because to review this one properly, to give it is full, terrible due of being utter shite, I have had to sit through... the anime. Which is several volumes ahead of the manga. And this is one where I'm actually fine with the basic premise. An Isekai MMO for the goal of getting parents and their children closer together. Yeah, I'm down with this concept, it could have been heartwarming, engaging with its subject...

But no. What we got is an anime where I'm rooting for the misanthropic, trigger happy, and loudly insecure mage more than I'm rooting for the protagonist's mother. In fact, I'm rooting for all the children more than their mothers. Three of the four main characters' mothers (also, technically, one main character and two antagonists) are, in their own ways, godawful people, with the protags being more rounded, their feelings and motivations more two-dimensional. So let's start by dealing with the mothers.

CW: Mentions of parental abuse/dysfunctional relationships
Our protagonist's mother, Mamako. Oh, Expect many, many mams, mamas, moms, and other mother based puns, including the village of Mamman in... christ... Mommalia.

There are no sighs deep enough. Anyway, Mamako means well. She's perhaps the only one I've met in this series so far who does. But she's stiflingly overprotective, obsessively clingy, and oblivious to how she's slowing her son's growth by being so. It's only because I can't really believe she's aware of how bad she is that I'm not adding "emotionally manipulative" into the bargain. And you can tell the protag, Misato, cares about his mother too, but also knows she's holding him back, and resents it. When I originally read the 3 volumes of the manga so far, I'd actively stopped caring whether he'd get through to her, their relationship is so toxic.

Actually, scratch that. I just remembered the scene where she's picking out her adventuring gear. I understand, Misato. Even though I'm normally into motherly types, I was cringing right there with you. Or the scene very soon after that where he outright tells her she's acting selfishly, and her apology takes the form of... Cleaning his ears in front of Wise the Sage, and Portia the Merchant (We'll deal with their parents in a moment.) She is emotionally manipulative, whether she's aware of it or not. And yes, he does rapidly become a doormat protag. This relationship continues in "Harmony."

Then... We have Wise's parent. Her name is mentioned, but I don't give a single fuck. Because she utterly repels me not only as a person, but from being a dom. She cheats to sate her own desires, she's selfish as fuck, she dominates NPC males to be her furniture, she named her daughter after a male host she liked (Oh, did I mention she spent really heavily on male hosts, to the point where she and Wise's father are divorced), she used her daughter to get into the game to do this... Even dominating NPCs, she's repellent, she's vile... And worst of all, she's forgiven by the daughter who she used to enter, to cheat in this game, and avoids an extremely steep fine because of this. And what does our Mamako say, as she watches the two of them fight, their issue utterly unresolved?

"That's one way for a mother and child to be, huh?"

No. No, you do not get to erase all that. You don't get to play "The Magic of Family" with that. You do not get to give it heartwarming music and a smile from the protag. And now, you can see why people have noped out even before this fight, and others have noped out after this. If you are, a mother, heartwarmed at this moment, after the abusive shit, you are fucking awful.

You know what? I don't even need to finish the series to finish this review. Because I have reached the point at which most have noped the hell out. I don't even care about Portia's parent anymore, or whoever the hell the fourth character is. Portia's a sweet girl, and I have no desire to see how that's gone. The priest... Who knows, I've stopped caring.

Would You Recommend This, And To Who? Nobody. Absolutely fucking nobody. It's a "Power of Family" story where the parents are utter trash, even the main character who, on surface level, is positive. It's played as a heartwarming tale, from the slow-life style OP to the heartwarming music. But jesus fucking christ, no. No, no, no, no. EDIT: Oh, and I forgot to add one very important point. The pairs of parent/child are trapped in the MMO until they can reconcile. FUCK THAT.

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Two reviews in 24 hours? Well, I needed a palate cleanser, there was a series I'd been meaning to watch because I was curious, and...

I Keep Hitting The Situation Flags, And Yet, I Don't Understand Why This Keeps Happening! (Gamers!)


Age Rating:12-15. Kinda hard to pin it down, love stories that are also comedies are weird like that. But I err toward 15, because it's preeeeetty clear what one character has been doing while playing their favourite genre of videogame. Oh, yeah, forgot the naked Good End picture in one scene too. Mild nudity. Yeah, okay, 15-18. It's wholesome though.

Love is hella complicated. We can love someone from far away, get up the courage, immediately find yourselves arguing on dumb shit to the point where you're huffy, and then realise you're actually into each other. Or a misunderstanding can snowball to affect an entire group of relationships. Or... You can clear those up, whether through clearing the misunderstandings, or say something you were beating yourself up over, thinking you were dumb as fuck... And they say yes.

And how does it so often start, and keep growing strong? Shared experiences. Shared ideals. And shared hobbies.

And that's exactly what this is. A genuine romcom, based on farces of misunderstanding, with characters who are flawed in completely reasonable ways, and dumbasses at the same time. Situations that make perfect sense in the context... And makes you both bite your fist to stop yourself from laughing, and hope they clear it up.

The shared hobby? Well, it's one we're all familiar with here: Them Games Wot Are Video. Each character who isn't thrown away early on has preferences. They have styles. They have different approaches. And the pair who are already in a relationship have a slightly bumpy one... But they genuinely care about each other.

Soooo the first half is pretty much all of this temporarily going to shit. And it's equal parts frustrating, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and amusing. At the time of writing this sentence, I'm in the middle of watching more awkwardness, between somebody who finally realised the online friend they talked up so much is the one who she said this about:
One of the dumbasses wrote:Let's just say if he were in first place in a go-kart race? I'd gladly crush him with a flying blue shell of doom...
She finally realised he's also the one who she felt she really understood while playing a mobile RPG with, and the one who left nice comments on her amateur gamedev attempts, and... Well, it's hella awkward. Especially considering he's also currently dating someone who he's into (the popular girl, who's a competitive style gamer), the popular girl's into him, and she... Well, she might also be into him.

And I'm on the edge of my seat, still on the same ep, because I don't know when the next trainwreck's going to happen (soon, by the looks of it), and whether... Whether they'll find happiness. All of them.

Because, for all their awkwardness, for all the misunderstandings, and raging hormones... They're all genuinely good people, who love their hobby, and even the dumbass who creates the most misunderstandings... Means well. Well, road to hell, and all that.

There is, however, one glaring problem: Season 1's episode 11 ends on a cliffhanger. And we don't know when Season 2 will hit, or if it will hit. And yes, the misunderstandings just keep happening. These poor disasters...

Would You Recommend It, And To Who? I would recommend this, otherwise I wouldn't be waxing lyrical over it. But if you asked me who, like I'm asking myself? ... I dunno! It's a romcom that isn't based on creepiness, but the genuine, sometimes farcical nature of relationship dynamics, misunderstandings, and the like, and I know that appeals to some. But I do have to say that the main character, Keita Amano, is oblivious. Okay, all of them are in different ways, but... Wow, dude, way to miss obvious clues! So that might be a turnoff. But... If you're okay with that, I will say these are the genuine kind of gamers, the folks who love games without being toxic about it. Also be aware that 90% of the farce is miscommunica- Look, I recommend it because I like it, because it speaks to my awkward as fuck except when talking about things I love ass, and because, as noted, I genuinely wanted to see whether everyone gets a happy ending, and if you want to watch something like that, yes, it's for you, alright?


There's also, y'know... The glaring flaw mentioned.

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