Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S: Anime Review

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S is Kyoto Animation’s big return to television after the horrific fire of 2019, along with the pandemic, so it feels right for them to come back with something as cheerful and heartwarming – and also horny on main – as Dragon Maid.

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Sorcerous Stabber Orphen: Battle of Kimluck: Anime Review

Orphen’s second season is, arguably, a lot more focused than its first. That, unfortunately, doesn’t stop the show from tripping over its own feet when it comes to the world-building of the setting. In particular, it’s where the mythology of the setting is concerned, especially related to the organization known as the “Kimluck Church.”

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The Warhound and the World’s Pain: Book Review

Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion series is interesting to discuss. Some stories have direct analogies to and inversions of Robert E. Howard’s work, like Elric. Others, like Hawkmoon, go in radically different directions. The first Von Bek novel probably falls more into the former camp – feeling like something of an inversion of Solomon Kaine, in multiple respects.

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Dragons of the Dwarven Depths: Book Review

Dragons of Autumn Twilight ended with the refugees from Pax Tharkas having found a refuge in a mountain pass in the hope of (possibly) making it through the winter. The second book in the Dragonlance Chronicles series begins with the Heroes of the Lance having already gone on another adventure, and having brought the refugees to the Dwarven city of Pax Tharkas. In the roleplaying game modules, your player characters would have gone through this story. However, while much of the Dragonlance modules were adapted to the original Chronicles series, not all of them were. In the late 2000s, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman returned to Dragonlance to adapt this missing chapter into novel form.

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Top portion of the cover to Savage Sword of Conan #4

Savage Sword of Conan #1-5: Comic Review

There aren’t a lot of fantasy comics out there, and the ones we get in the US are generally licensed from another property, whether Games like D&D or Pathfinder, or literary works like Game of Thrones, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, or Conan the Barbarian. So, when Marvel got the license to Conan comics again, I was interested, and when they re-launched their classic Conan titles – Conan the Barbarian and Savage Sword of Conan, I added those books to my pull list.

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Manga Review: Delicious in Dungeon Volume 1

When I was younger, there were a couple things that grabbed my imagination when it came to dungeon fantasy – there were the Monster Ecology articles in Dragon Magazine, and the descriptions of monsters in Hackmaster and KODT Magazine. The Monster Ecology articles envisioned a fleshed out dungeon ecology, where every monster, even ones created by coked out wizards like the Owlbear, had a life cycle and found a way to fit into an ecosystem – indeed, the articles presented the idea of a Dungeon Fantasy setting as an ecosystem that the monsters fit within.

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Book (Vlog) Review: The Crystal Shard

This time I’m taking a look at the first published Drizzt Do’Urden novel, and the second Forgotten Realms novel. Referral Links Print – https://amzn.to/2uIaeh7 Omnibus – https://amzn.to/2GtQ9Ra Kindle – https://amzn.to/2GR6u1v Audiobook – https://amzn.to/2GumhnL Please support my Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/countzeroor Buy me a coffee at Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/countzero Member of The Console Xplosion Network: http://www.theconsolexplosion.com/ Watch my Live-Streams on http://twitch.tv/countzeroor/ Continue reading Book (Vlog) Review: The Crystal Shard

Book Review: Record of Lodoss War – The Grey Witch (Video Review)

At long last, the first Record of Lodoss War novel has received an officially licensed US release. I’ve read it, and here are my thoughts, and some notes on the differences between the two releases. The Grey Witch is available from Amazon.com and RightStuf. Picking up the book through those links helps the site. Please support my Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/countzeroor Buy me a coffee at Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/countzero Member of … Continue reading Book Review: Record of Lodoss War – The Grey Witch (Video Review)

Book Review: Record of Lodoss War – The Grey Witch

A few years ago I did a video review of the original OVA for Record of Lodoss War. At that time, the OVA was out of print, as was (and still is, sadly) the manga adaptation of the novels. Since then, Funimation (not the company I expected to do it) license rescued all of the anime, and now Seven Seas has done something I never expected to happen – they licensed the first novel, and gave it a fantastic edition in 2017. I got it for myself for Christmas, and finally was able to read it in February. Continue reading “Book Review: Record of Lodoss War – The Grey Witch”

Book Review: Log Horizon Book 2 – The Knights of Camelot

When I reviewed the first Log Horizon book, I mentioned that were a few plot concepts that were set up in the next book in the series – a general malaise filling Akiba, along with the state of food in the world – and in turn a new discovery by Nyanta related to that. With the second installment of the series, the book dives further into that, and shifts genres somewhat. Continue reading “Book Review: Log Horizon Book 2 – The Knights of Camelot”

Book Review:The Cloud Roads

Most fantasy novels that I’ve read work, generally, in the context of an existing society of our world. Tolkien took his cues from Nordic mythology and the Eddas. C.S. Lewis took a mixture of elements from various Mediterranean cultures and his own Christian views. Japanese period fantasy (as seen in anime, manga, live-action cinema, and books like the Kouga Ninja Scrolls) take cues from stories about youkai and oni, along with legends about the history of the Japanese Imperial family and the deities from which they draw lineage.

So, when reading The Cloud Roads, I was rather surprised to see very few connections to any real existing human cultures. However, the book also managed to execute on this without leaving me completely lost. Continue reading “Book Review:The Cloud Roads”

Anime Review: Slayers Season 4 (Revolution/Evolution-R)

2015’s revival of Ushio and Tora by Studio MAPPA is not the first revival of an older anime and manga series in the 21st century. In 2008, JC Staff revived the classic fantasy anime series Slayers, with a fourth season after an almost decade gap. The series was was released as a split-cour show, with the first 12-episode cour being subtitled “Revolution”, and the second “Evolution-R”. When the show originally was announced, the big question that fans had was would this show come back with a Dragon Slave sized blast, or would it fizzle like a wet firework? Continue reading “Anime Review: Slayers Season 4 (Revolution/Evolution-R)”

Book Review: I, Strahd – The Memoirs of a Vampire (1995)

Gaming licensed fiction is hit and miss. For every Dragonlance Chronicles, you get a bunch of Darkwalker on Moonshaes. With the AD&D campaign setting of Ravenloft, which was born out of an adventure by Tracy & Laura Hickman, one would think that the novel focusing on the character from whom the setting was born would be written by the creator of that character – particularly when Tracy Hickman had gone on to co-create Dragonlance with Margaret Weis and would go on to co-write a bunch of New York Times bestselling novels. Instead, they went with a writer who also had also worked with TSR, and who had a strong track record writing gothic horror vampire fiction – P. N. Elrod. Continue reading “Book Review: I, Strahd – The Memoirs of a Vampire (1995)”

Film Review: Barbarian Queen II – The Empress Strikes Back

Barbarian Queen II is, basically, a somewhat nihilistic gender-swapped version of the Robin Hood story – princess is heir to throne, king has gone off to war and is presumed killed in the field, with the King’s evil brother planning to usurp the throne, princess flees to forest and builds a band of bandits to fight back against Not-Prince-John. Continue reading “Film Review: Barbarian Queen II – The Empress Strikes Back”