Archive | July, 2022

Anime Classics available to Stream from Hoopla!

27 Jul

One Piece
Some Anime’s are only a few episodes and then they are gone, leaving you wanting more. Then there is One Piece, which has over 100 volumes of the Manga that inspired it and there are over 1000 episodes to watch; the series started back in 1999. It is the favorite of one of my friends and now that I know there finally might be a recently announced end in sight, I’m thinking of checking the series out. One Piece chronicles the quirky adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his pirate crew, the Straw Hat Pirates. The One Piece in the title refers to a great treasure that Luffy is searching for in order to become Pirate King. Adding to the fun, Luffy’s body becomes like rubber after accidentally eating Gomu Gomu no Mi, a type of Devil Fruit. The first five dubbed seasons are available for Hoboken Library Patrons to check out from Hoopla.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures
The most recently released of my recommendations, JoJo’s started in 2012. Based on author Hirohiko Araki’s groundbreaking Shonen Jump manga series, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure follows the multigenerational tale of the heroic Joestar family and their never-ending battle against evil using their powers called stands. The art style is distinctive with exaggeratedly muscular heroes in evenly more over the top outfits. Over the top also covers the dialog and storyline, but if you are looking for a fun, crazy adventure then JoJo’s is sure to delight. This is currently my husband’s favorite Anime and he has cosplayed some of the characters along with my son. You can borrow the first four seasons subbed or dubbed from Hoopla.

Death Note
For those a bit daunted by the volume of One Piece, this 2007 series is only 37 episodes long. The Death Note Manga has been a popular one with our library’s teen department for years. Death Note follows Light Yagami a top student who finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any person, whose name Light writes in the notebook, will die. I’ve watched the series as well as the Japanese and American live action movies and enjoyed the animated version the most. You can borrow the subbed or dubbed episodes from Hoopla.

Ranma ½
Like many Gen X Americans, Ranma ½ is one of the first Anime’s I can remember watching; it debuted in 1989 and I can remember renting Ranma ½ videos or DVDs at my local Blockbuster Video. Ranma Saotome might at first seem to be a typical teenage martial-artist, but only a splash of cold water turns him into a red-haired, female version of himself (hot water turns him back). His father is also cursed, but in his case, he turns into a Panda. The series follows Ranma’s quest to break the curse. Seasons 1-7 are available subbed or dubbed from Hoopla.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

A Cross Country Trek Filled with Richly Imagined Settings, Fascinating Characters and Diverse Themes: The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

20 Jul

If you are fond of the absorbing and adventurous novels of John Steinbeck or William Faulkner, I
highly recommend The Lincoln Highway by the New York Times bestselling author Amor
Towles, whose style is reminiscent of both of these classic authors.

Set in the 1950s, this mischievous, wise and wildly entertaining novel follows four boys who set
out to travel the country in search of a fresh start, three of them have just been
released from a juvenile work farm. Emmett and Billy want to find their mother in San Francisco
who left them when they were young, and Duchess and Woolly are on a hunt for a stashed wad
of cash in upstate New York. Sometimes their dreams are aligned, but often they are not. In other
words, adventure ensues that involves train hopping and car stealing and with that comes the
inevitability of trouble sparked from both good and bad intentions. Each of these young men is
chasing his dreams, but their past, whether violent or sad, are never far behind.

Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, these quirky yet endearing
characters draw us into their action-packed and compulsive hijinks as they travel throughout the
U.S. on the Lincoln Highway or I-80 and experience encounters filled with digressions, magic
tricks, sorry sagas, retributions, and the messy business of balancing accounts. Each character’s
back story is parceled out along the exciting journey and we develop feelings for them as they
relay the hardships they have endured as well as the joys.

Each character seems to provide a lesson for the others to learn. Billy, Emmett’s 8-year-old
brother, who seems to be wise beyond his years, is full of historical facts that he gained from
repeatedly reading “Professor Abernathe’s Compendium of Heroes, Adventurers…” He even has
the good fortune of meeting the wise Professor in his New York City office who autographs his
earmarked copy of the book. Woolly has been damaged by the untimely death of his father in
WWII, but possesses an unsurpassed kindness and childlike quality. Duchess is the rogue of the
group who grew up in an orphanage and has many old scores to settle along the journey. And
Emmett, the protagonist, is the level-headed and practical one who had the misfortune of serving
15 months in a juvenile work farm for involuntary manslaughter.

This multi-layered, propulsive novel is very satisfying and intriguing as the adventures unfold
during the cross country trek filled with an array of new and richly imagined settings, fascinating
characters, and diverse themes.

Written by:
Ethan Galvin
Information and Digital Services Librarian

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