Skull – Beautiful to Behold, Cut-Throat in Play

Immediately, Skull will Grab your Attention or Turn you Away

The artwork for this game is absolutely stunning but don’t let that fool you. Skull is one tense, cut-throat bluffing game that is simple to play but hard to master. I haven’t done a board game review in awhile, so let’s dive in and take a look at this gem of a game! Continue reading “Skull – Beautiful to Behold, Cut-Throat in Play”

Jon Spencer Reviews now on Patreon

I Need Your Help!

Real talk guys. As some of you may know, I finished University at the start of the summer and have been looking for work. I used to have a pretty great job, but they couldn’t keep me once I was no longer a student. Long story short, I haven’t had much luck in finding a job. Please take a moment to read this and spread the word as much as possible.

Jon Spencer Reviews started out as a passion project in 2015. I wanted a platform to discuss, share, and critique the various things that I enjoy. We started off with just me. I primarily did anime and board game reviews. Since then, there have been over 300 articles written by myself and contributors and growing! It all started off with an article series I did for the anime Last Exile (which you can view here).

There have been some truly fantastic people who have worked with me, for absolutely free, on the site. Some of you may know Jacob, and more recently Frank, as they are currently active contributors. We’ve had other writers who have since moved on such as Dana and Origamillama. No matter how large or small the contribution, these wonderful people who have (and ever will) given to Jon Spencer Reviews their time, work, and dedication I thank you.

The site has also undergone some major improvements since we’ve started. I have a custom banner, added more advanced and useful features to the site, and much more! I hope to be able to continue bettering the site as we move forward. Truly, this has been one heck of a ride so far.

This brings us to today; I am in need of your help. I sincerely cannot find a job that will work for me at this current juncture in my life. This may seem a bit sappy, but I was born with something called Cerebral Palsy and as a result some aspects of day-to-day life can be difficult for me. One of these things is driving; I just can’t safely do that. Unfortunately, the transit system where I live is not very accommodating and there are a variety of other factors related to my Cerebral Palsy that have prevented me from considering moving very far a viable option.

I’m taking a risk by asking that you help support me. One of my close friends, Mrs. K (for those who may recall her), said that I should try turning to this site to earn a living. I understand that this may be a big ask, and it’s a huge step for me to take, but I’ll never know if I don’t try. Writing is an ideal job for me, so maybe this dream really could happen.

Don’t think that I’m just asking for your money because I’m not. In exchange I will work my hardest to produce quality content that will be available to everybody, regardless of if they support me or not. A percentage of the money will be distributed to my contributors as well, regardless of how much, or how little that is, because without them I would not have seen nearly as much support as I do now. Money that I don’t need in order to exist will be used to help the site. This may mean something as big as making a YouTube channel at some point, but right now I just don’t know yet.

Here’s how you can help me out. Follow this link (just click this sentence) to get to my Patreon. There you will see varying options of suggested donation levels. Different options allow for different rewards. For example, at $1 you can have your name, and if provided, link to your own site/YouTube listed on a Patreon supporter tab that will be added to the front page of the site. At higher rewards you may suggest a topic for me to discuss, a show to review, etc…

Being a Patreon of mine means that you will pay me the amount of money that you pledge each month. You can change the amount or cancel at any time though. I don’t want anybody breaking the bank on my behalf here. Along with the reward tier chosen, Patreons will have a greater say regarding the direction of Jon Spencer Reviews, access to special content (that will eventually be made free to everyone), and more. I’m new to Patreon, so some stuff may change as we go but I think this is a good start.

For the first 30 days, so from 8/17/17 to 9/16/17 anybody who supports me on Patreon will also be helping out fellow blogger Karandi at 100 Word Anime. As part of Patreon’s referral program, by supporting me, Patreon will also give some money to her as well. Karandi has been a HUGE supporter of mine and I wanted a way to give back, so this is my way of doing so. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, won’t negatively impact what is donated to me (in fact I get a bonus!), and is a great way to help somebody else out at the same time. We need 30 people minimum to pledge their support for me in order to receive the benefit, but I know we can do it!

Even if you can’t donate, or don’t want to, please share this article to as many people as you can. Twitter, Facebook, email, etc… anywhere you can think of. It would be extremely helpful and I’ll be forever in your debt. There’s a chance that my dream to make writing work for me will fail, but I know with your continued support that we can make it happen!

If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to wish me luck on my endeavor here, feel free to leave a comment below. Alternatively, you can email me here:  jonspencerreviews@gmail.com

Thanks a million,

-Jon Spencer

Ben-To – Taking Things too Far

Ben-To Has One Great Premise

People come together at the local grocery store to beat the tar out of each other for half-price bento boxes. It’s just a totally normal thing in this show. After one episode, I was sold. I then sat down and watched the whole thing in one sitting.

Unfortunately, Ben-To slowly began to lose its charm as time went on. Had it stuck to its premise while only dabbling in occasional fanservice, the show would easily have been a lot better. So what was the problem exactly? Ben-To‘s go to joke was to sexually assault, and in some cases, borderline rape its cast. That just isn’t funny. Furthermore, some of the fanservice was tied up into that mess, which is not a good idea. Ever. Continue reading “Ben-To – Taking Things too Far”

Welcome to the Ballroom – My Biggest Disappointment with the 2017 Summer Anime Season

I Love Ballroom Dancing

When I found that there was going to be an anime about one of my favorite activities, ballroom dancing, I was super excited! Unlike last year’s Yuri!!! on Ice, there is a layer of relatability that Welcome to the Ballroom, or Ballroom e Youkoso, has for me. Now that we are a decent way into the Summer 2017 anime season, why am I so disappointed with a show that should have me jumping (or should I say dancing?) with joy? Continue reading “Welcome to the Ballroom – My Biggest Disappointment with the 2017 Summer Anime Season”

Progress Report – 2 Weeks into a Schedule

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We’ve Certainly Been Busy!

I wanted to take a moment to talk about the recent changes made here at Jon Spencer Reviews. If you follow me on Twitter (@JS_Reviews), then you may have heard that I switched to a regular posting schedule. We are two weeks into that now, but some of you may be wondering what changed.

The first change is the switch to a posting schedule. Previously, I had a no-schedule approach but now that I’m done with University and have some plans for the site moving forward, a schedule makes sense. Main posts will now be put up on the site Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11AM PST. Content may still occasionally come out Tuesday, Thursday, or over the weekend from me as it has during these two weeks.

Additionally, we’ve gained a new contributor, Frank! He will have weekly postings every Tuesday which have already started. If you haven’t already, go and say hi! He’ll be doing some music reviews (and sometimes other things). I think you may just be pleasantly surprised.

Jacob will still be doing film reviews but his posting schedule is NOT fixed like Frank’s or for myself. Since Jacob covers a lot of films that are in theatres, it just isn’t practical to place restrictions on when his content can go up. He is also planning to possibly cover less recent films as well, but again, those will be posted when he sees fit.

I hope you all have been enjoying my increased activity here and on the various social media platforms. This should continue moving forward for the foreseeable future. With that said, let’s briefly discuss what else is new.

Some of you may have noticed that I updated the site some. I created a new “Film” menu for the site header. Additionally, I am now using a new and improved version of the theme I had been using earlier. This means that some stuff should look cleaner on the main page and when viewing.

A major change you should have already noticed is the site’s new banner for social media accounts. It was created by follower DaBoogie (check out his blog here). I greatly appreciate it! The new banner is so much better than the boring and plain grey triangle thing I was using before. I’ve been playing with a way to add it to the site as well, so hopefully that works out. I’ll be using it a lot for promotional material and a few other things, like these updates.

One change you should notice pretty quick is that the author now has a little bio that appears at the end of each article. There was some confusion about the fact that I have multiple authors on here and I want their work to be credited to them, not myself.

Next week’s articles are all scheduled, except for Friday’s, which still needs a bit of work. I hope you’ll be ready for everything I’ve got planned! That’s it for me, see you back here again soon!

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. -Benjamin Franklin

White Day: A Labyrinth Named School – Why I’m Excited for the PS4 & PC Release on August 22nd

I’m Super Excited!!!!!!

Seriously, I love horror games. Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Outlast, and even more Obscure (hehe, see what I did there?) titles like Scratches (sadly off the market T.T such a good game). Naturally, I spent hours scouring the internet to find even more titles as my well of excellent horror titles began to dry up. Rewind to 4-5 years ago, I discovered a little known horror title White Day: A Labyrinth Named School. Continue reading “White Day: A Labyrinth Named School – Why I’m Excited for the PS4 & PC Release on August 22nd”

Anime ABC’s H Resaults

The Best Turn Out Yet!

Wow! We’ve had a big surge in interaction on the site lately and the voting for this round of Anime ABC’s was no exception. We had a total of 25 votes cast this go around, smashing the previous record of 14. Thanks for helping this series get even bigger! This round’s winner is…

A tie?!? AGAIN?!?

This time we had a tie between Hunter x Hunter (2011) and crowd favorite Hai to Gensou no Grimgar. I’ll be deciding this tie with a battle to the death! Ready challengers? Begin!

Grimgar gingerly steps into the arena but is welcomed by a thunderous applause from the crowd! Hunter x Hunter strides confidently into the arena and is met with almost equal fervor. Tension is high in the air until Hunter x Hunter makes the opening move. Dashing toward Grimgar, Hunter x Hunter lands in early strike but things are just getting started folks!

Grimgar stagers but quickly realizes that this is a life-or-death struggle and manages to gather itself. However, Grimgar isn’t quite fast enough to land any of its next few attacks with its dagger. Thinking quickly, Grimgar switches tactics to archery. Hunter x Hunter continues to dash in and out with frightening ability, landing hit after hit. Grimgar just isn’t giving up though! Firing a mad volley of arrows, Grimgar manages to cripple Hunter x Hunter with a critical strike to the leg! Now on more equal footing, the true fight begins!

Both sides are starting to feel a bit tired but continue to exchange physical and verbal blows. “Your recap episodes are stupid!” Grimgar shouts at Hunter x Hunter as it jabs its dagger into Hunter x Hunter’s side. “Oh yeah, well at least I’m higher rated on MAL!” Hunter x Hunter retorts, spitting some blood from its mouth. It’s nearly over.

Taking advantage of the primal struggle, Grimgar emerges victorious as it plows its dagger one last time into Hunter x Hunter. The crowd explodes as the announcer relays, “Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a new champion tonight-Grimgar!

I don’t really know why I did that, hopefully you though it was kind of silly or amusing. Thought it was a bit more fun than just saying, “Grimgar wins.” I’d be a real dummy not to pick that one given I gave the tie breaker to Gunslinger Girl last time.

This will take me a little bit to get to. I need to rewatch Grimgar and take specific notes about certain events in the show that I want to talk about. In the meantime, look forward to my Monday, Wednesday, Friday release schedule as well as my new contributor Frank’s Tuesday music review releases. Of course, check out the backlog of ABC reviews if you haven’t already or consider looking around at the other reviews and discussions we’ve done here at Jon Spencer Reviews.

Like always, here is an in-depth look at how the votes turned out:

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Other:  Hyoka & Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan/ Hakuouki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom 

I also asked a few other questions for my benefit, but I thought I’d share the most interesting result with you here. This graph displays how many time people have participated in voting for Anime ABC’s during each of the 8 times thus far. Unsurprisingly, we had a lot of new people and a fair amount of constant voters. The middle groups were about as expected. This is how we want to see this graph looking 🙂

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Kaiji: Against All Rules Season 2 – Mini Review

Let Down & Disappointed

This is an adapted and edited re-upload of a review featured in an update awhile back

501Kaiji’s second season started off with a bang, much like season one. I was hopeful. Unlike season one, I stayed interested in season two of Kaiji for much more of its runtime. The big reason is that the gambling games featured in season 2 were more varied and played out interestingly. You can view my thoughts on season one here.

However, by the end a huge flaw surfaced with the show. The pachinko arc was so… dang… long. I made the Dragon Ball joke last time, but it felt the same way here again. A real let down; I was disappointed because I wanted to like this series.

It’s a real shame too, because I actually enjoyed season 2 up until its final arc. Upon conclusion, the show does not wrap up the main conflict from season 1, but ends in a good enough fashion. Overall, this was better than season 1 (even having me retroactively rate season one a bit lower to a 5/10 form a 6/10), but just barely. 6/10 for this one. Only worth a watch if you have seen season one but is not really worth recommending past that.

You can find both seasons of Kaiji for legal streaming on Crunchyroll. Did you enjoy Kaiji or think it took on more than it bargained for? Let me know in the comments below. Leave a like if you enjoyed the article and hope to see you back at the site soon!

Edogawa Rampo – How Rampo Kitan Inspired Me to Read a Japanese Classic

Edogawa Rampo is the Grandfather of Japanese Mystery Literature

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Hirai Taro, the real name of famed author Edogawa Rampo, was born October 21, 1894. Rampo took inspiration from Western mystery writers such as Dolye and Poe (among others). In fact, his nom de plume is dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe as it is a direct verbal translation of Poe’s name. Existing in a time between critically acclaimed Agatha Christie and Edgar Wallace, Edogawa Rampo was instrumental in shaping the modern day mystery genre in Japan. Continue reading “Edogawa Rampo – How Rampo Kitan Inspired Me to Read a Japanese Classic”

100 WordPress Followers! – Thank You & Q&A

We Finally Made it!

After almost two years Jon Spencer Reviews has finally hit the 100 follower milestone. We’ve had more than 100 followers for awhile if you count Facebook and Twitter, but I still felt that this was a most momentous occasion. I’d like to say a BIG THANK YOU to everybody who has supported the site and everybody who has, and ever will, work here!

Since we hit this milestone I figured I ought to do something special. While it is a bit tried and true, why don’t we do a Q&A article? Post your questions for myself or @jacobtheawesome1 in the comments below and we’ll answer them. A bit cliché, but hey, they are fun to do from time to time!

Again, a thanks so much for your continued support and I hope that we can continue to grow our community here each day. You guys are truly awesome! 🙂