The Economist and a better alternative....

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CountryBoy
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The Economist and a better alternative....

Post by CountryBoy »

I am a subscriber to the the Economist magazine and continue to be flumoxed by how little actual news and real analysis it comes across with.

The current issue has among other things:

- a 4 page discussion of Tintin the cartoon character
-a 3 page article on a light house
-a 3 page article on oysters
-a 4 page article on "Why Music"

Bluntly put, I find more substantive economic analysis from Mel, Larry, Rick and others here than I do in this mag.

And if we can ever get Valuethinker to edit a magazine I am sure it would be of far greater depth and breadth than the level of the Economist magazine.

So.......do people have a good alternative to this magazine?

country boy
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woof755
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Post by woof755 »

Used to love Money magazine, then learned so much here that it became irrelevant, except for some consumer ideas.

Why bother? This site is free, and the reading can go on for hours (as I'm proving to myself tonight).
"By singing in harmony from the same page of the same investing hymnal, the Diehards drown out market noise." | | --Jason Zweig, quoted in The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing
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Re: The Economist and a better alternative....

Post by tfb »

CountryBoy wrote:So.......do people have a good alternative to this magazine?
Get Financial Times newspaper. Tons of news and commentary. If you have airline miles, it's only 2,000 miles for 1 year subscription. 2,000 miles is worth perhaps $40. A great deal. If you don't have time to read every day, just throw away every other day. You still get more news and commentary.

American: https://americanairlines.mpmvp.com/magazine/choose.asp

Delta: https://delta.mpmvp.com/magazine/choose.asp

Northwest: https://nwa.mpmvp.com/magazine/choose.asp
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CountryBoy
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Post by CountryBoy »

Yes I already do
Get Financial Times newspaper
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The Economist

Post by haban01 »

I received a 1 year free subscription for the redemption of some air line miles.

I'm amazed at how many full page job ads are listed in there as well!!
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Post by TheEternalVortex »

I think the Economist is great, compared to most other magazines. I don't care so much about economic "analysis" (I'll stick to blogs for that), but the quality and variety of news coverage is quite good. Also, I usually find the "unusual" Economist articles refreshing and interesting.
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Re: The Economist and a better alternative....

Post by nisiprius »

tfb wrote:
CountryBoy wrote:So.......do people have a good alternative to this magazine?
Get Financial Times newspaper. Tons of news and commentary. If you have airline miles, it's only 2,000 miles for 1 year subscription. 2,000 miles is worth perhaps $40. A great deal. If you don't have time to read every day, just throw away every other day. You still get more news and commentary.

American: https://americanairlines.mpmvp.com/magazine/choose.asp

Delta: https://delta.mpmvp.com/magazine/choose.asp

Northwest: https://nwa.mpmvp.com/magazine/choose.asp
Hey, thanks! I don't fly all that much and have several airlines with 1300 miles, 2200 miles, etc. that I will probably not fly on again for years and years. I had no idea those miles could actually be used for something.
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Re: The Economist and a better alternative....

Post by trefoil »

CountryBoy wrote:I am a subscriber to the the Economist magazine and continue to be flumoxed by how little actual news and real analysis it comes across with.

The current issue has among other things:

- a 4 page discussion of Tintin the cartoon character
-a 3 page article on a light house
-a 3 page article on oysters
-a 4 page article on "Why Music"
To be fair, you are looking at the Christmas edition, which always has more lighter content.

I learn something interesting about economics most weeks, not to mention other parts of life.

I like that it has relatively less "news" coverage than other papers or TV. It's just not ultimately educational to learn that another bank was robbed or another town was flooded.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Economist#Criticism does make for entertaining reading though. "The magazine is written by young people pretending to be old people," according to Michael Lewis.[54] “If American readers got a look at the pimply complexions of their economic gurus, they would cancel their subscriptions in droves."
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Re: The Economist and a better alternative....

Post by cato »

trefoil wrote: To be fair, you are looking at the Christmas edition, which always has more lighter content.
Bingo!

What would you rather read -- Time magazine, where you can learn everything you never wanted to know about Britney Spears?

When I was in college, I sat on a plane next to a Time employee. Being an obnoxious undergrad at the time, I told him I abandoned Time for the Economist, because his magazine was so full of vapid fluff. Only later did I realize that I was talking to Michael Issikof, one of the few writers there I actually respected.
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Re: The Economist and a better alternative....

Post by yobria »

CountryBoy wrote:Bluntly put, I find more substantive economic analysis from Mel, Larry, Rick and others here than I do in this mag.
Yep, the internet has superseded so many types of traditional publications. When traveling 10 years ago, I would have gotten all my country information from a couple of guidebooks. Now it's 10% guidebook, 90% internet...the Economist is a great magazine, but only scratches the surface of what's online.

Nick
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Re: The Economist and a better alternative....

Post by Valuethinker »

CountryBoy wrote:I am a subscriber to the the Economist magazine and continue to be flumoxed by how little actual news and real analysis it comes across with.

The current issue has among other things:

- a 4 page discussion of Tintin the cartoon character
-a 3 page article on a light house
-a 3 page article on oysters
-a 4 page article on "Why Music"

Bluntly put, I find more substantive economic analysis from Mel, Larry, Rick and others here than I do in this mag.

And if we can ever get Valuethinker to edit a magazine I am sure it would be of far greater depth and breadth than the level of the Economist magazine.

So.......do people have a good alternative to this magazine?

country boy
Remember this is the special Christmas edition, which is always lightweight in content.

I still read the special segments: usually 1-4 pages, every issue, on business and finance.

The columnists are usually the most anodyne: especially Lexington (which had a wonderful record for being wrong about just about everything about US politics) and Baghot.

Obituary always fun.

If you want more depth, you need to be reading the economics blogs (Krugman much better as a blogger than as a columnist, Marginal Revolution on the libertarian side, Econbrowser, Economists View for a good 'over summary' linking to the other blogs) also Economists Voice (on-line journal of non-technical articles).

Felix Salmon at Portfolio impresses constantly with his understanding anc clear explanations of financial markets. Calculated Risk is unsurpassed (read the posts by the late, great Tanta) on interpreting economic data.
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Re: The Economist and a better alternative....

Post by astroturf »

CountryBoy wrote:I am a subscriber to the the Economist magazine and continue to be flumoxed by how little actual news and real analysis it comes across with.

The current issue has among other things:

- a 4 page discussion of Tintin the cartoon character
-a 3 page article on a light house
-a 3 page article on oysters
-a 4 page article on "Why Music"

Bluntly put, I find more substantive economic analysis from Mel, Larry, Rick and others here than I do in this mag.

And if we can ever get Valuethinker to edit a magazine I am sure it would be of far greater depth and breadth than the level of the Economist magazine.

So.......do people have a good alternative to this magazine?

country boy
The current issue is an exception, not the rule. More of a seasonal thing.
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Re: The Economist and a better alternative....

Post by ddb »

Might want to try Barron's. Has lots of financial/economic news and analysis. I personally think most of it is worthless, but sounds like it might have more of what you're looking for.

As others have suggested, Financial Times is an option as well.

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Post by rene »

To this day still nothing beats a copy of the Economist to get up to speed on world news and all kinds of other news stories.

And to copy others, you are looking at the xmas double issue...

Economist for general news and a recent copy of Foreign Affairs and I can fly around the world

There is still way to much crap in blogs and other internet sites. Even here you would have to filter a lot of the "how do I move to Tips" and "Madoff sucks" threads.

The Economist is a gem... and if you use it to get Financial information then you are looking at the wrong place

To me the Economist represents the real news... stories about Congo for example you would be hard pressed to find in any other news magazine from the USA. there is little to no fluff... except perhaps for the christmas double issue where you might find some added stories about angels and where biologists explain you why we love music.

for a long flight nothing beats the Economist... opinions are just opinions but I still have to hear about a better magazine..

Ps.... the H.M. obituary reminded me of the docu I saw about that guy... very interesting stuff.
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Post by VictoriaF »

Victoria
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Re: The Economist and a better alternative....

Post by nisiprius »

CountryBoy wrote:I am a subscriber to the the Economist magazine and continue to be flumoxed by how little actual news and real analysis it comes across with.

The current issue has among other things:

- a 4 page discussion of Tintin the cartoon character
-a 3 page article on a light house
-a 3 page article on oysters
-a 4 page article on "Why Music"
I think I'll pick up a copy at the newstand. Three out of four of those topics sound interesting to me.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
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Post by smackfu »

rene wrote: The Economist is a gem... and if you use it to get Financial information then you are looking at the wrong place
Exactly right. It's more of a world news magazine than a financial magazine. (Although in these global times, there can be quite a lot of overlap.)
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Post by BlueEars »

You should not expect financial insights from the Economist every week. But they do have occasional articles that get at the core issues of ongoing financial stories. One article quite awhile back showed how housing prices in various countries had risen above the norm. Don't remember the details now but it was insightful.

In this issue, at the back they show interest rates for countries. I was surprised that Euro area and Britain had such high short term rates, above 3%. Perhaps Valuethinker could comment on why this is happening now :) . I'd think their central banks would be pushing down short term rates more. Is it because they have bigger social spending and are more prone to inflation?
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Post by SecretAsianMan »

There's no need to subscribe to the magazine. It's all there for free on its website. There are always more than a few good articles every issue to make a visit worthwhile.

SAM
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Post by Pangloss »

Business Week
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Post by Juan »

I love the Economist. Business Week is actually pretty good as well. I hadn't known about its Christmas Edition though hehe. (and a spread on Tintin? I used to love reading those as a kid hehe).

For all the really wonky financial news and analysis, I recommend reading blogs like Calculated Risk, Naked Capitalism, The Big Picture and The Economist's View. It's more up to date, and they put up some fantastic content.

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/

http://economistsview.typepad.com/
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Re: Tintin

Post by Valuethinker »

VictoriaF wrote:I never read comic strips, but the article about Tintin got me interested. I might actually check it out at the library.

My favorite stories in this issue where "Why music?" and "Why we are, as we are".

Victoria
And the animated TV series was very well done and true to the original material.

Get hold of it before Spielberg wrecks it forever (movie coming out in 2009).

Tintin in Russia is the first (black and white)-- an interesting take on Stalin's Russia. Tintin in the Congo is the most controversial (Belgium was famous for its brutal colonisation of the Congo, and Tintin bought the line about happy blacks being 'civilised' by the whites-- however Herge later apologised).

Until late in life he never travelled, but his stories are immaculately researched: get a gander of his America of the 1930s (gangsters, etc.). His 2 volumes on the Moon Race are particularly delightful.

Tintin is unique, and beautiful. A hero for our times. Other than Hercule Poirot probably the world's most famous Belgian.

Tintin in Tibet is the greatest, a sublime piece of philosophy. But read that one after you have read 5 or 6 others first.

The stories become a meditation on heroism, on friendship (the irascible Captain Haddock, Snowy the terrier), on doing good.

Beware the controversy re Herge, he did flirt with anti-semitism in a couple of his books, when Belgium was under Nazi occupation and he worked for a collaborationist newspaper. The one about the meteor in particular, the villain is recognizably a New York Jewish financier.

Tintin in China is probably my favourite.

In the heart of every boy at heart, there is a Tintin, and his faithful dog Snowy, having adventures, righting wrongs. We age, but that part of us that is Tintin, does not.
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Post by Valuethinker »

Juan wrote:I love the Economist. Business Week is actually pretty good as well. I hadn't known about its Christmas Edition though hehe. (and a spread on Tintin? I used to love reading those as a kid hehe).

For all the really wonky financial news and analysis, I recommend reading blogs like Calculated Risk, Naked Capitalism, The Big Picture and The Economist's View. It's more up to date, and they put up some fantastic content.

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/

http://economistsview.typepad.com/
All excellent.

I would add Marginal Revolution. They are libertarians, so you can bet I disagree with them! But they are open-minded and thought-provoking, and they do their homework, and they refer to microeconomic research as well as macro-economic.

In many ways Micro (see also the Freakonomics blog at NYT, and Tim Harford at the Financial Times Undercover Economist) is a more interesting subject than Macro. Or to be precise, Macro is fascinating, but is a bit like history: you watch events, you don't necessarily explain them except after the fact.

Micro on the other hand is what the world is about. How we act and behave as individuals and organisations.

For public policy www.samefacts.com, a useful compedium of public policy notes by several professors, notably Mark Kleiman, a professor of drug policy who does not have a reliably 'liberal' view on many issues around crime, foreign policy etc.

Jane Galt aka Megan McArdle at The Atlantic has her moments-- sometimes she is clueless (and there is a residual and unpleasant misogyny about many of the comments: McArdle is a leftist-turned-libertarian vegan 6'2" tall MBA graduate and attracts a lot of stick, only some of which is justified) but she can also nail things dead on.

James Fallows at the Atlantic is perceptive on China (where he lives) and Chinese economics.

James Surowiecki at The New Yorker has a blog on finance, and anything he writes about finance is a 'must read'.
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Re: Tintin

Post by rene »

Valuethinker wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:I never read comic strips, but the article about Tintin got me interested. I might actually check it out at the library.

My favorite stories in this issue where "Why music?" and "Why we are, as we are".

Victoria
And the animated TV series was very well done and true to the original material.

Get hold of it before Spielberg wrecks it forever (movie coming out in 2009).

Tintin in Russia is the first (black and white)-- an interesting take on Stalin's Russia. Tintin in the Congo is the most controversial (Belgium was famous for its brutal colonisation of the Congo, and Tintin bought the line about happy blacks being 'civilised' by the whites-- however Herge later apologised).

Until late in life he never travelled, but his stories are immaculately researched: get a gander of his America of the 1930s (gangsters, etc.). His 2 volumes on the Moon Race are particularly delightful.

Tintin is unique, and beautiful. A hero for our times. Other than Hercule Poirot probably the world's most famous Belgian.

Tintin in Tibet is the greatest, a sublime piece of philosophy. But read that one after you have read 5 or 6 others first.

The stories become a meditation on heroism, on friendship (the irascible Captain Haddock, Snowy the terrier), on doing good.

Beware the controversy re Herge, he did flirt with anti-semitism in a couple of his books, when Belgium was under Nazi occupation and he worked for a collaborationist newspaper. The one about the meteor in particular, the villain is recognizably a New York Jewish financier.

Tintin in China is probably my favourite.

In the heart of every boy at heart, there is a Tintin, and his faithful dog Snowy, having adventures, righting wrongs. We age, but that part of us that is Tintin, does not.
There is a great story about Tin Tin in Tibet and how it basically relates to Herge's mental state at the time. Lots of white (his dreams at the time) and the emergence of an old friend Zhang (Chang in the book... the same kid that is in the blue Lotus) that touches upon Herges real personal life.

In later life Herge would get physically ill when drawing the comic.

Spielberg should be locked up for life without parole for making it non-cartoon movie ... terrible decision but alas not surprising if you read how wicked Herges widow is

I grew up on tin Tin as a kid... only had television once I was about 6 years old or so... these books were my escape

The amazing thing about the comics are that they are researched to every minute detail. The tow moon race titles were done before a man even landed on the moon and shows you how accurate Herge was. Heck, even the discovery of water on the moon was correct :)

The racism (Congo) and Anti Semitism is complex issue... in the Blue Lotus in 1926 he clearly critiques the Japanese aggression and also tackles racism ... also note that a lot of the comics that you and I see today in the shops are actually the redrawn versions that Herge did after the war. A lot of the controversial stuff was edited out


For Valuethinker :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhang_Chongren

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tintin_and_I


The clear line that he developed is still one of my favorite styles in cartoon/comics
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Post by brswif00 »

It sounds like you are looking for investable or market news. If that is the case I second (or third) the recommendation of Barron's. It is free on their website by Monday afternoon every week, so you can read just the articles you find interesting.

I personally love the Economist, and buy gift subscriptions for my parents and in-laws to save the bother of mailing them articles. It has a bias, which is clearly stated [since its origin in opposition to the corn laws a long while ago], which you have to recognize in the opinion pieces. But for serious, deep factual coverage of world events I don't know how you could do better. I am scanning this thread to see if anyone does. You can't compare a paper like the Economist to any blog. Blogs can be fascinating in the bloggers area of expertise. But no blogger can be resident in all the countries where the Economist stations correspondents. The interesting science and culture stuff like Tintin is an added bonus to me.
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Post by CountryBoy »

Well, it is obvious that there is a very strong:

-pro Tintin
-pro lighthouse
-pro oysters
-pro music

contingent/lobby here. :D

However, I am not sure that I want to pay the subscription rates of the Economist magazine in order to read its take on those topics.

Just a footnote for Tintin lovers, if you have cable tv here in the states, you may be interested in also exploring Japanese anime and

-Inuyashu
-CowboyBeBop
-Death Note
-Bleach

Then we could start a thread on them...... and TinTin... :roll:
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Post by exeunt »

This month's issue is fabulous. I'm pleased to see the magazine promoting evolutionary psychology. May the blank slaters die!
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Post by VictoriaF »

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ttcbj
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I like the economist

Post by ttcbj »

I agree with some other responders that the economist is pretty good.

I like it because the stories are relatively concise, and less anecdote laden than most american stories. I just want the facts. I don't need anecdotal illustrations of every point.

I have found that for the past few months, the finance and business sections have had trouble keeping up with the pace of the news. By the time I get the magazine, it feels out of date. And the words "as the economist went to press" make me cringe.

I really like to variety of coverage though. I would know far less about Asia, Britain, Latin America and Africa without the Economist.
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Post by trefoil »

The copy lying on my desk here on Christmas Eve tells me (p128): Life is all about survival and reproduction. ("Discuss" ;-))

They do have some fairly firm classic-liberal opinions, and sometimes this devalues the writing. I only have to tell you the first leader is about the credit crunch and free trade for you to write most of the article yourself, and some of the content is just too predictable an application of their standard ideas. (I happen to agree with many of them, but I don't need to read them every week.) In some ways this is a bit like a blog, that's not adding much new reporting but just commenting always from the same point of view. But the ideas are nuanced, generally not oversimplified, and there is often interesting factual material.

Happy holidays to you all, whatever they mean to you.
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Post by Valuethinker »

CountryBoy wrote:Well, it is obvious that there is a very strong:

-pro Tintin
-pro lighthouse
-pro oysters
-pro music

contingent/lobby here. :D

However, I am not sure that I want to pay the subscription rates of the Economist magazine in order to read its take on those topics.

Just a footnote for Tintin lovers, if you have cable tv here in the states, you may be interested in also exploring Japanese anime and

-Inuyashu
-CowboyBeBop
-Death Note
-Bleach

Then we could start a thread on them...... and TinTin... :roll:
I have had various passes at anime:

- Akira incomprehensible
- much anime violent, and sexually violent, and disturbing

- I loved Star Blazers (Space Cruiser Yamato) but that is a long time ago, and the English language adaptation was somewhat inferior I think (aimed at the 4.30pm market when it was released). Out of circulation now, I believe

- way, way too much of the Robotech type with the toy tie-ins (people turning into giant robots to fight battles). Yet Robotech itself was pretty good.

- Ghost in the Shell very good and intriguing (to a point, within a constrained format)

- almost all the Miyazaki/ Studio Ghibli worth seeing (especially The Cat Returns, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Castle of Cagliostro)-- a deft and light touch.

Recent work (Lord Howl's moving castle) disappointing.

I generally have mixed feelings about anime because of the ichh factor. Sexual violence, graphic gore etc.

If you ever catch the French-Canadian anime 'The Delta State' (in English) you are in for a real treat. Supernatural adventure of a very special kind.
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Post by richard »

Continuing the trend, www.xkcd.com is often entertaining.
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Post by Valuethinker »

richard wrote:Continuing the trend, www.xkcd.com is often entertaining.
Actually, it is sublime. Some of the funniest cartoons I have ever seen

However it is specialised-- jokes about LISP for example.
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Post by tonythered »

- I loved Star Blazers (Space Cruiser Yamato) but that is a long time ago, and the English language adaptation was somewhat inferior I think (aimed at the 4.30pm market when it was released). Out of circulation now, I believe
<offtopic>
Star Blazers! Awesome!

One of the catchiest intros ever:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5oniErmeuE

It is as much of an inspirational 80s classic tune as "You're the Best" (Karate Kid) and "Eye of the Tiger" (Rocky).

Star Blazers had some hilarious science, with the sentient life on Pluto and landing on the gas clouds of Jupiter. Fun show!

</offtopic>
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CountryBoy
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Post by CountryBoy »

Well Valuethinker when you say
If you ever catch the French-Canadian anime 'The Delta State' (in English) you are in for a real treat. Supernatural adventure of a very special kind.
I think I have to throw in the towel.

I thought for sure that you wouldn't be able to make the leap from TinTin and discourse knowledgeably on anime but you respond by presenting a very substantive and apposite review of anime and then one up me with the French - Canadian anime. Well done!

You are awesome... :oops:
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