Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s the moment you’ve waited for! We have successfully gotten to the end of 2018, which means it’s time for me to reflect on the many comics, films, anime, books and events that I have reviewed throughout the year. Although I feel like I haven’t posted enough, due to the hustle and bustle of everyday life and working full time. I’m hoping to organise my time better in 2019 to posting more frequently.

So let’s begin with the comics section shall we.

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Star Trek – The Next Generation: Through The Mirror

Now you all know that I mainly just write about the My Little Pony comic series, which is true cause heck, I love that stuff! But I have also gotten into Star Trek TNG over the past 12 months, so was delighted when IDW Publishing released Star Trek The Next Generation: Through The Mirror mini series. The story follows the interactions between Captain Picard’s crew and that of their Mirror world counterparts. Really interesting read and great for existing fans of the franchise.

Review Link: https://tinyurl.com/ybeag4qg

 

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My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic – Tempest’s Tale

Now you know I couldn’t let a ‘Best Of’ review go by without pointing out one of the most interesting storylines that came out in the MLP comics this year! And that was Tempest’s Tale! Following the same Tempest Shadow character from the 2017 film. Tempest is on a mission to find her new place and purpose in Equestria, having left Ponyville behind she journeys to the Crystal Kingdom. This two part story arc was captivating. It explored Tempest’s past in more detail, as well as introducing a new character. Certainly worth picking up if you can find it.

Review Link: https://tinyurl.com/ya56bp35

 

Moving on now to the Manga section.

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Eromanga Sensei – Volume 1

I certainly haven’t reviewed very much manga this year. Although the one volume that really jumps to mind is Eromanga Sensei from Dark Horse Comics. A story that follows two talented siblings, that have no idea they are both working on the same manga until Masamune, older brother and published author, searches online to find out more about his anonymous illustrator. There is far more going on under this house, that has yet to be fully explored upon. I am certainly looking forward to reading more of this series next year when Volume 2 is released on March 20th.

Review link – https://tinyurl.com/y9d2gsr2

Now for a trip to the movies.

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Bad Samaritan

Although it only got a cinema release in the US and Canada, it is a film that has gotten a lot of mixed reviews. I however did enjoy it, I found David Tennant’s character gripping and frightening at the same time. This film was about how an opportunistic thief, whilst breaking into a wealthy home, uncovers a woman gagged and tied to a chair. Robert Sheehan’s character struggles with the decision of rescuing the woman, whilst risking his freedom. Click on my link here that will take you to the full review. As I discovered whilst writing up that article, that actress Kerry Condon is a very talented Tipperary woman with a Marvel-ous C.V.

Review Link: https://tinyurl.com/ya3nseb8

And now on to the best book I have read all year!

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Wilde About The Girl

Carrying on from her debut novel last year, YouTuber Louise Pentland released Book 2 of her Wilde series earlier this year. Still following the life of working, single-ish mum Robin, as she navigates through everyday life and raising her beautiful little lady into a respectable person. Now with a promotion, more work than ever, great opportunities and a bit of hunk on the side, Robin is also battling against her own daughter’s attitude at times and one playground mum in particular. Once again, like in Book 1 when Robin battled against The Emptiness, Louise does not shrug away from the tough topics! Book 2 deals with a very traumatizing and heart breaking event, but really brings out the harsh reality of it in this book. A subject that is still never really openly talked about in society. Louise is already working on Book 3, so watch out for the Big Review this time next year, as it may be included!

Review Link: https://tinyurl.com/yb7h3qs5

Now onto Japanese film!

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Love And Other Cults

Third Window Films have once again brought out a memorable title to add to their growing collection. However this one is extra special, as Love And Other Cults is their second produced film. The story follows the lives of a select few youths, who can’t fit into normal society. Ai is one such teen, whose mother is continuously joining religious cults but at the same time shows no affection or care towards her own daughter. Ai is sent away to one such cult, and spends 7 years knowing only love and support. All is torn away suddenly, leaving this teen lost amongst society. At the centre of this plot is a love story. As well as teens hoping to find a place to belong, be free, yet accepted by those around them. It is also one of the most interesting coming of age films out there.

Review Link: https://tinyurl.com/yag8443k

Some of the best moments of 2018, happened in Dublin.

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This year I was lucky enough to attend both the new Anime Edition and main Dublin Comic Con events for the first time. Delighted to have attended, they were both so well run and organised. The guests were amazing, I managed to meet actors that I have loved since I was a kid. Including Tara Strong (Twilight Sparkle – My Little Pony), Eric Stuart (Brock – Pokémon), Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman), Nick Frost (Shaun Of The Dead), and many more! Seeing, meeting and talking to these very talented people have made my year! To those organising the event, you are amongst the best in your field. All the stall holders, artists and panelists, all deserved their spots! Here is too next March for the next show, which already has a star studded guest list attending.

Click on the link here to see more: https://www.dublincomiccon.com/

And now onto the anime highlights!

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GATE

For sheer action and story, GATE is amazing! It is also a series that has tons of magic, hot elfs, demi-goddesses and military tactics. I would say if you enjoyed the likes of Log Horizon, then GATE would be the next best thing. It was produced by A-1 Pictures, the same studio behind Sword Art Online and Fairy Tail. So you know the animation is going to be amongst the best around. It’s not all fluffy, feel good, chick flick anime. It actually has some hard hitting moments, as well as having some scenes that certainly deserve their 15 age rating. GATE was released across DVD and Blu-Ray Collection, as well as a lovely Collector’s edition by MVM Entertainment.

Review Link: https://tinyurl.com/ycw3x639

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Skip Beat!

For the best light hearted anime however, has to be Skip Beat! If you love shows such as ToraDora!, then Skip Beat! would be perfect for you. Although the series has been around for the past decade, MVM Entertainment have once again done justice by releasing it over here in Ireland & the UK. The show follows 16 year old Kyoko, who leaves her home and school life behind in order to travel to Tokyo, to help her boyfriend become a star. It all ends in tears, when she discovers his true colors. But this girl is no push over, she undergoes a complete makeover, not just in appearance, but in attitude. Wanting to beat her ex at his own game, she reaches for stardom out of spite. A great series, well worth picking up!

Review link: https://tinyurl.com/y8dl7x97

Now we dive into the best anime films that I have had the pleasure of catching during the Japanese Film Festival. Both of which can be bought right now.

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Anthem Of The Heart

This film was far more complex than what I was expecting, and did not disappoint. The story follows a young girl named Jun, who has taken all the blame upon herself when she exposed her father’s affair. Feeling immense guilt from her actions, Jun stopped talking for many years. Now in high school, she has been put forward to be the lead vocalist in a school musical. Now Jun must fight against her own demons in order to overcome her past. Alongside fellow classmates who are each going through their own life obstacles, and then there is just one teacher trying to get them all passionate about doing a show. It certainly is a great drama that doesn’t end with the typical fairy tail romance, but instead with a more realistic outcome.

Review Link: https://tinyurl.com/yccgvwxq

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Lu Over The Wall

Then we have Lu Over The Wall, a delightful animated film that will get you moving your feet! It is such a feel good film, that when the tide turns against them in the film that it will hit you right in the feels. We first meet Kai, a middle school student who has just moved from Tokyo to live with his father & grandfather in a little fishing village. Kai has a passion for creating music on his laptop, which soon catches the ears of two fellow classmates who want him to join their band. Through music, Kai meets Lu, a mermaid who loves to sing. Her addition to the band divides the fishing village, as some view her as an ill omen. Whilst others wish to use her as an attraction for the town. It is certainly a great film and one worth picking up!

Review Link: https://tinyurl.com/y9q6rad6

And there you have it, my recap of 2018. It has been a memorable year from start to finish. One full of amazing content to review and events to experience. I would like to thank each and everyone of you for taking the time to read and share these articles. I hope to keep improving and look forward to seeing what 2019 may bring. To all the artists, publishers and distributors, you have all been so supportive and are amazing at what you do. I hope to share your content and promote it even more in the future. For now, hope you all had a great holiday and see you all again next year x.

 

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