With the summer anime season starting at the beginning of the month, I’ve been trying to wrap up my watch list from the winter and spring seasons. I reached the final episodes of Assassination Classroom over the weekend, and it was absolutely the most devastating anime finale I’ve ever watched. Assassination Classroom tells the story of 28 students in their last year of junior high (9th grade) who are tasked with assassinating their teacher, a yellow octopus-like superweapon, before their graduation in March. I was expecting a typical shounen action-comedy – but what I got was an anime that followed 28 students as they left their uncertain childhoods behind and moved towards adulthood with the help of a teacher whose dedication to his students is unparalleled. A must-watch with your friends.
You can watch Assassination Classroom on Hulu now.
– Feliza Casano, Editor
When I was in Boston for Independence Day weekend, I picked up a copy of Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians and have not regretted my choice for a single second. I love everything about it: the excess of wealth, the ridiculousness, the snark, the wit, the family drama… the opening scene alone clued me in that this was going to be a fantastic read. Leading lady Rachel Chu is going to Singapore for her boyfriend Nick Young’s best friend’s wedding and she has no idea that Nick’s family is, to put it mildly, disgustingly goddamn rich. Like, they-make-Versailles-look-
like-a-summer-cottage rich. Like they-make-Bill-Gates-look- like-a-pauper rich. I also love the discussions of race and how, even amongst Asians, there’s different layers of prejudice and racial tension. It’s smart, funny, and addicting – and I love knowing that there’s already a sequel for when I finish!
– Gabby Taub, Fantasy Reviewer
I’m pretty sure I’m ridiculously late to the party on this, but if you like joy and laughing and pie, definitely start reading Check, Please! It’s a web comic about a college freshman and former figure skater named Eric Bittle (who also loves to bake pies) who joins the Samwell University hockey team and vlogs about his experiences. Instead of trying to describe more of what it’s about without giving too much away, I’ll just stick with the description from the website: “It’s a story about hockey and friendship and bros and trying to find yourself during the best 4 years of your life.” It’s all that and more— I’m only a few chapters in and I’ve already got excessive amounts of feelings, and can’t wait to keep going. Also, the “Hockey Shit with Ransom & Holster” segments are absolutely exquisite. A++.
– Allison Racicot, Audiobook Reviewer
Last week, I checked out season 1 of Voltron: Legendary Defender, a reboot series for the Voltron franchise. I had good feelings about it because the people and animation studio behind it also did Avatar: The Last Airbender andLegend of Korra. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint. The series follows five individuals who pilot giant mechas that can combine to form one giant mecha-Voltron. It’s kind of fun going into this series if you’ve already seen ATLA and Korra. Some of the five’s character designs may remind you of some characters from Studio Mir’s history (there’s a reason why folks on Tumblr are giving Lance and Hunk the nicknames “Space Sokka” and “Space Bolin” respectively). Not only that, but Steven Yeun (who voiced Wan from Korra) comes back voicing Keith, the Red Lion pilot. That being said, the animation’s really good. I personally think Mir’s stepped it up, especially during scenes where Voltron’s in action. Definitely give Voltron a watch-you’ll have a good time.
– Janelle Smith, TV & Film Writer
I just finished Mindy Kaling’s second book, Why Not Me? and I am as in love with Mindy as ever. I thought her first book was hilarious and full of great stories about her road to success, and Why Not Me? is just as funny and touching. One of my favorite things about Mindy Kaling is that she is very frank about how her work ethic has shaped her confidence and sense of self. As I read her book, I realized that that kind of self-worth and belief in your work and abilities is something that I strive for. But beyond her success and how she got there, what I find draws me into her books is that she’s also very open about her mistakes and her flaws as a person. She’s not perfect, she doesn’t always view her body in the best light, she knows she’s a little obnoxious – but she accepts that she’s a human and has flaws, and that that’s okay.
– Christina Casano, Assistant Editor