Ascendance of a Bookworm – Overcoming Adversity

When Life Gives You Lemons…

Image result for ascendance of a bookworm animePursuing your passion can seem like a daunting task, sometimes, it can even seem impossible to achieve. Such is the case for Urano Motosu, a young woman who dreams of being a librarian. Unfortunately for Urano, her life is cut short in a somewhat ironic twist of fate (crushed by her own weighty collection of books), but this is not the end for her. Instead, she awakens in the body of a young girl, Myne, in a world where books are seemingly out of reach. Thus Myne has to overcome innumerable obstacles all while trying to adjust to her less-than-ideal life.
Continue reading “Ascendance of a Bookworm – Overcoming Adversity”

Granbelm – Mini Review

Magical Girls & Mecha?

Image result for granbelm animeWell not quite, but it’s close enough. Granbelm is an original 13 episode series that aired in the Summer 2019 lineup. It had a fair bit of buzz around its production staff, most notably for the connections to Re:Zero as both productions share a director and character designer. The big question is if this lived up to the hype or not, so, did it?

The short answer is, yeah, mostly. It was a solid show with a seemingly impossible production (there was an episode animated by ONE person for heaven’s sake). In a word, Granbelm was consistent.

The long answer is that Granbelm was more consistent than Re:Zero, but it lacked something that the latter had. I really can’t identify what this was exactly, but I just couldn’t get into this series the same way. That’s saying something because it wasn’t exactly like I loved Re:Zero or anything like that.

Maybe it was the weird mech designs, or perhaps the short length of 13 episodes wasn’t enough time for characters to fully blossom. I sincerely can’t identify one thing that was truly wrong with Granbelm, but there was something holding it back.

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Take Nene for example, she got a lot of screentime, but I feel like her story was incomplete

However, I feel like if you liked shows such as Madoka or the WIXOSS seriesthere will be something here for you. Is it as good? Definitely not. Was it one of the shows I actively looked forward to during the season? Absolutely, yes.

Really, what better endorsement could there be? It’s getting compared to some legitimately excellent shows, so clearly Granbelm is doing something right here. Some downright impressive moments of visual flair, decent depth of ideas, and the story is pretty dang unique. I don’t know about you, but I’ve not seen mages need to duke things out in a magical realm, between space and time no less, with astral mecha before. That’s just the surface.

I’m genuinely conflicted here because I am excited by Granbelm and the unique things it brought to the table. It was really well produced (outside of that terrible ED, I can’t fathom that), most the characters were pretty great, and it reminded me of shows I really loved. However, it was just missing something. That’s really all there is to it.

I probably sound like a broken record in this review, but I do recommend Granbelm for what it’s worth. This one does need a little time to get going, but once it does it actually does you’ll probably want to binge through. That’s about it for me folks. Give Granbelm a try if you haven’t already.


What are your thoughts on Granbelm? Did you feel it was missing something that stopped it from being truly great? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. If you want to support my work, please utilize the donation buttons below. Thanks for reading!

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Re:Zero – Mini Review

Subversive Isekai?

Image result for re zeroThere have been a lot, and I mean, A LOT of Isekai shows released over the past couple of years. A lot of them are pretty mediocre but some have stood out. Today, I’ll be looking at one such show:  Re:Zero. With the dub and home video release from Funimation just around the corner, it seemed like the best time to take a quick look at the Spring 2016 series that took many by storm. Continue reading “Re:Zero – Mini Review”

What’s a Mini Review?

Reviving a Series

You may all remember that I’ve done these, “mini reviews” a few times in the past and I’m bringing them back! So what’s a mini review? It’s something I’m going to be doing for several shows that I have mentioned previously, actually reviewed in a larger article, or just don’t have much to say about. There are two reasons for this:

  • These mini reviews are a way for me to ensure that the review catalog here at Jon Spencer Reviews contains a more comprehensive list of reviews. This also allows for content to be found more easily so you don’t have to dig through older articles/collections to find single reviews.
  • Mini reviews will allow for some easier content creation on my part so I can continue to maintain writing in advance while working on larger posts that I can pour a lot of love and effort into. Basically, these will add to the quality of life here on the site.

What can you expect of a mini review? As I mentioned, I have done a few of these already. You can see some examples here:

They will be 1,000 word or less, each covering one or two main points about whatever I am reviewing. These will not be limited to just anime. I’ll be having these start up this Friday 5/11/18. Some titles you can expect to see from this series include:  Re:Zero, The Lost Village (Mayogia), Welcome to the Ballroom, Kiznaiver, and more!

I hope that you all welcome this small change to the Jon Spencer Reviews posting format. These mini reviews will not become the norm but they will be a new staple in the review lineup for each week. The benefits of this, “new” format should already be seenhere on the site but there are some that may come of it. Depending on how I work out the production schedule and some real life stuff (like if I get a job or not) I may even be able to release content with more frequency than 3x a week (MWF). No promises on that front, but this should allow for more growth and creative output regardless.

Have a question or concern about the format? Feel free to let me know in the comments below or email me at jonspencerreviews@gmail.com. Naturally, if you think this is an awesome idea, be sure to let me know that too! There are other changes I would like to make to the site, like upgrading to a premium account, so if you would like to help me get there please head on over to my Ko-fi and buy me a coffee or two. I look forward to seeing you back here soon, and as always, thanks for reading!

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Thoughts on the Spring 2016 Anime Season

Hey There!

I shockingly watched a few things from the Spring 2016 anime line-up and thought this quick look at each show that caught my interest might be fun to do. This article will look at all the shows I watched and any shows that have caught my interest, but haven’t started/finished yet for whatever reason. Shows will be discussed in no real particular order and their may be minor spoilers. I wouldn’t expect this sort of thing each season either. With that, let’s get into it! Continue reading “Thoughts on the Spring 2016 Anime Season”