Red Rising Review

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There is a flower that grows on Mars, a beautiful flower with a subtle scent and a rusty redding color. A humble flower, but strong enough to survive the inhospitable Martian Climate. It is on Mars where our story begins.

Hello, and welcome to Nerdshit, where this time I will be taking a look at the story of Darrow, a Red miner who discovers he is part of an advanced, caste based society after his wife is hung for singing a forbidden song. He learns his life is based on lies, and the people who he believes he is preparing this world for have been here since before his birth, and few his people as lowly inhuman slave labourers.

Darrow, our hero, learns the truth after his wife in hung for singing a song. Because of the low gravity on mars, someone needs to pull their feet. They let the loved ones do it. After that, he learns of the colors other than the reds he knew back home and their grey jailors, mainly the Golds, defacto rulers of the solar system. With the assistance of a friendly terrorist organization, Darrow undergoes surgery to become a gold.

In his coming war with Gold, Darrow would become known as the reaper, a fearsome battle commander. He first must go to school, which is the main concern of book one. In this book we establish our main cast. Darrow, Roque, Dancer, Cassius, mustang, sevro, and many others. Severo in particular is one of my favourite fictional characters of the last 10 years. They embark on a great many misadventures, and the morality of fighting over color is heavily discussed, as Darrow makes more and more gold friends.

This is discussed later in the other books, but I’ll review them down the line. The other person introduced deserves mention. The jackal. Brother to hero mustang, the jackal is a rare thing, a truly frightening villain. And he is frightening in his proximity to those close to Darrow. Master manipulator does not begin to cover it.

If there is anything negative to say about this, it’s that it takes a little while in some odd places, and the amazing places the books go later are only hinted at. At the end of the day a highly readable beginning to a masterful series. * out of ten points. I’ve been John, see you next time.

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Toradora Review

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Why does anime keep looking at me like that? It’s not as if I like anime or something. That’s impossible.

Hello and welcome to Nerdshit reviews, and on the agenda for today is Toradora, the tale of perfectly well adjusted girl with no anger issues torment by the biggest jerk in the universe. That may not be entirely accurate, but who’s counting?

On a more serious note, this show is about Ryuji, a kind young man with the face of his yakuza father, who accidentally receives a love letter meant for his best friend from a famously dangerous girl in his school named Taiga. Taiga attacks him to get the letter, but relents when he promises to help her get with the target of her affection. Soon, the two develop an interdependent relationship, as they live close(next door), and Ryuji is a great cook and homemaker, unlike Taiga, who forces him to cook and clean for her.

Before long we come to realize that Taiga’s closest friend is the object of Ryuji’s affection, and that is where things become really interesting. The interactions between these four characters never fails to be completely hilarious. They feel like people you might know.
This is why, when things take a turn for the dramatic and deeply sad later, it hits so incredibly hard, at least for me. You can really feel for these people, and one scene in particular may be the saddest I’ve seen not involving a character death. It definitely kept me watching, and destroyed my Christmas.

The animation of the series has its moment, but due to the slice of life nature of the show it is usually fairly average, The music’s over all slightly above average, but is drop dead gorgeous at least a couple of times. It is a key(one of many) to the show’s greatest success, its deep understanding of human emotion.

So, at the end of the day, this show is a rare animal. It is a romance, set in an ordinary world, that does what so few shows can do, makes the audience genuinely feel something. I was riveted to the screen for much of it, and I have never really been a romance guy. The show is available to view for free on crunchyroll, and comes recommended. Over all, I award Toradora an 8 out of 10. See you next time!