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Shelf Life - Chaos Dragon

Is the fantasy action series Chaos Dragon so bad it's good, or just plain bad? Gabriella Ekens bravely tries to find out. PLUS: all of this week's new releases and more! ― I spent some time playing the new Battlefield game over the holidays, and it reminded me that I have a consistent pattern when it comes to playing multiplayer shooters. I start off slightly bemused by how pretty the game is and ho...
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The List - 7 Anime Celebrating Their 20th Anniversary

Warning! This week's List might make you feel old, as several treasured anime classics round off their second decade in history this year! ― This week marked Japan's annual "Coming of Age Day" where individuals who turned the age of majority within the last year put on their very best and celebrate together. Hot spots were filled with smiling 20-year-olds in yukata. If the idea of someone born in 19...
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Answerman - Why Are High School Jobs Not Allowed In Anime?

In shows like Yu Yu Hakusho, characters in high school are prohibited from having a job after school - is that a real thing? Justin gets into it. ― Skylar asks: Why aren't high school students allowed to have after school jobs in anime? Is this true of all high schools in Japan? Shows like Yu Yu Hakusho and Saiki Kusuo no Sainan (to name a few) have episodes dedicated to characters having to help th...
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ANNCast (Video) - Winter 2017 Roundup

Zac and Jacob argue about all the best and worst shows of Winter 2017, from Scum's Wish to Monster Girls to Hand Shakers. PLUS: The Crunchyroll anime awards and much more! ― ANNCast Episode 281: Winter 2017 Roundup Zac and Jacob argue about all the best and worst shows of Winter 2017, from Scum's Wish to Monster Girls to Hand Shakers. PLUS: The Crunchyroll anime awards and much more! You can listen ...
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This Week in Games - The Sudden Rise of Fanservice Games

Dustin breaks down the discourse over fanservice games and where the business realities took us. PLUS: Games Done Quick, Scalebound and much more! ― Before anything else, you need to start your day off right. There are unlockable videos in Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World, and Nintendo put one of them up on Youtube. It is so utterly, incomprehensibly adorable that it even elicited an audible “d'aaawww” ...
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Answerman - What Are Japanese Public Baths Like?

In shows like Love Live you see public baths all the time - what are they actually like? Justin gets into it. ― Jim asks: I recently re-watched Love Live and Yama no Susume, and both shows have a similar scene: several girls are bathing together and chatting, and one of them makes a dramatic statement, punctuated by standing up in the bath, to shocked reactions and (in YnS) embarrassment by the girl...
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Answerman - Why Doesn't Anime Use Flash Animation?

One reader wants to know why anime studios don't use Flash animation to simplify some parts of the animation process. Justin breaks it down. ― Montiel asks: Why haven't [anime producers] tried to automate 2D animation further by using good ol flash instead of hand-drawing the inbetweens? I am aware in between animation is entry level grunt work, and sometimes even outsourced overseas to lower wage c...
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Shelf Life - Heavy Object Part 1

Paul returns to the world of deadly war games, powerful mechs, and fluffy penguins in Heavy Object, along with all this week's new anime releases! ― I look even more disheveled than usual, I've doubled my caffeine intake, and I've barely left my apartment in the past few days. Yep, it must be Preview Guide time once again. So far, this season's shows are covering a pretty wide range from "really goo...
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The Mike Toole Show - The Amazing World of Anime Arcade Games

Mike straps you into a time machine and takes you back to an age when you'd walk into an arcade, pop in a quarter, and play through an anime. ― I was back in Japan a couple of weeks back, looking to experience my first Comic Market (it didn't disappoint) and do some other festive nonsense. After ringing in the new year at Kanda Myojin (the official Love Live! shrine, dontcha know), it was time for my...
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The List - 7 Tezuka Manga for Grown-Ups

Osamu Tezuka may be famous for family favorites like Astro Boy and Kimba, but some of his best creations are strictly for adults. Experience the darker side of this master's work. ― Even for the uninitiated, Osamu Tezuka's work has left a lasting mark. Your dad probably knows who Astro Boy is, even if he doesn't know he's a Japanese creation. Tezuka was a powerhouse creator in his time and is the mi...
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This Week in Games - What's to Come in 2017

As we bid the old year adieu and welcome the new, Dustin breaks down the most anticipated upcoming releases of 2017's first quarter. ― If you're reading this, you made it out of 2016 and into a brand new year. Congratulations! Give yourself a round of applause! You've earned it. Last year brought us some excellent games, but we're now at a time where we look forward, rather than back. This is the wee...
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Answerman - Are Anime Sequels Ever Made Just For The West?

If an anime is really popular in the west, but doesn't do so well in Japan, do they ever make a sequel anyway? It turns out they do - Justin runs it down. ― James asks: On occasion, there are series that are more popular in countries outside of Japan then they are within Japan itself, with some notable examples being The Big O, Outlaw Star, and Cowboy Bebop. In such instances, do the Japanese produc...
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Shelf Life - Good Luck! Ninomiya-kun

Is this forgotten harem comedy about a succubus with a fear of men worth digging up for a second look? Shelf Life has the answers, along with all this week's new anime releases! ― Anyone making any anime-related resolutions for the new year? Maybe catching up on that streaming backlog, trying a new genre, or picking up a long-coveted piece of merchandise? Personally, I'll be trying to fill in a few ...
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The List - 8 Ghost Bustin' Anime to Keep Spooks Away

The Ghostbusters themselves haven't made many anime appearances (except for Tokyo ESP, shown above) so you'll have to count on these other anime heroes to keep specters at bay! ― When there's something strange in your neighborhood and Dan Aykroyd is busy, there's plenty of competing ghost busters available to take on your ectoplasmic problems. Investigating the things that go bump is a time-honored ...
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Answerman - Why Do Anime Characters Send Emails Instead of Texts?

In anime, characters are rarely depicted texting eachother - they use celphone email, or apps like LINE. Why is that? Justin gets into it. ― Chris asks: Why do we see email addresses exchanged instead of phone numbers in some anime and manga? Wouldn't it be more normal to text someone instead of sending an email? I know some anime like ReLife use “Line” or sometimes texts. I understand that because ...
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This Week in Games - The Best of 2016

Dustin runs down his best games of the year, from Final Fantasy XV to Overwatch to Stardew Valley - what were your best games of 2016? ― 2016 is at an end. For some folks, that's going to be a major relief. A combination of factors far beyond the scope of a humble gaming column have made the terrible, no good, very bad year of two-thousand-sixteen into a tragic meme. But luckily, this is a gaming col...
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Answerman - Why Does Everyone In Anime Use Clotheslines?

Kevin asks: In anime we see people hanging clothes to dry alot of times in shows set roughly in the present. Do people in Japanese society just not use clothes dryers? You always see a washer in bathroom scenes it feels like but never a dryer. Same with a dishwasher it seems like we always see them washing dishes by hand. Is it considered taboo or only for upper class to have a dryer or dishwashe...
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Answerman - Was There Really A Fuma Clan?

If you're watching an anime with ninja in it - nearly any anime with ninja in it - odds are "The Fuma Clan" shows up somewhere. Was that a real thing? Justin gets into it. ― New Era Mailer asks: in some ninja theme anime shows there will always be different ninja clans mentioned. the Fuma clan is always mentioned in such anime shows either as the good guys or bad guys. what i would like to know is w...
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Shelf Life - The 2016 Year In Review

Paul runs down the year's best releases and the year's best Shelf Life reviews, from Azumanga Daioh to When They Cry. Plus: a blast from the Shelf Life past! ― It feels like 2016 has been a crazier year than most, but I have good news: if you're reading this, you've made it! Time to wrap this year up and dive straight into a new one. I'll be taking a look at some of the more interesting anime we've ...
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The Mike Toole Show - Christmas Special Forces

Mike runs down some of his favorite authentic holiday anime straight from Japan, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Stingiest Man in Town and more! ― A couple of columns back, I talked about how I don't really listen to podcasts, which means that I'm about to tell you about this podcast that I've been listening to. It's a comic talk show featuring the gravel-voiced, filthy, childish comedian Gi...
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The List - 7 Strangest Pieces of Evangelion Merchandise

In this Classic edition of The List, we discovered some truly bizarre Evangelion gifts. Are you a big enough fan to shell out for these strange items? ― Editor's Note: Lynzee's off this week for the holidays, so we've left you with a Classic gift-giving themed List for the Christmas weekend! We'll see you with a new List next week! This year (2015) was the 20th anniversary of Hideaki Anno's genre-de...
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Answerman - Why Do Voice Actors Get Re-Cast In Sequels and Reboots?

Sometimes the cast of an anime can change wildly in a short span of time, for both Japanese and English versions. But why? ― Sai asks: Recently I watched the 20th century Berserk anime and then the third film of the Golden Age trilogy. The entire main cast voice-actors changed when compared to the anime. I wondered why they just didn't bring back the old cast for the 3 films. Is there any formailite...
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ANNCast (Video) - Winter Wonderland

Zac and Jacob consume the Yuri!!! on Ice finale (spoiler-free), run down the best anime of Fall 2016 and argue over their favorite (and least favorite) movies of the year, plus your twitter questions! ― ANNCast Episode 280: Winter Wonderland Zac and Jacob consume the Yuri on Ice finale (spoiler-free), run down the best anime of Fall 2016 and argue over their favorite (and least favorite) movies of t...
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This Week in Games - Super Mario Run

Dustin pays $10 to make Super Mario jump on his celphone - is Nintendo's big move in the mobile market worth it? PLUS: Dragon Quest XI, Shenmue III and much more! ― We're just a few days away from the biggest gift-giving holiday in most of the world, and that means there jack-all going on in the world of video games. News is slow, and I can't seem to find a single new release to report on for that se...
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Answerman - Why Do Some Companies Only Sell Shows Through Their Own Store?

Some companies license anime and only sell it in one place - their exclusive storefront. What's up with that? ― Jitsch asks: The German publisher Peppermint Anime has recently licensed the Monogatari Series – and then decided to sell the DVDs and Blu-Rays for Bakemonogatari exclusively at their own online shop. By now, the series is also available through Amazon Marketplace (also sold by the publish...
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Answerman - Why Can't I Watch This Trailer?

You're excited about a new anime series and the trailer is finally here - but you can't watch it because it's restricted in your country! Why do companies do this? Justin has the answer. ― Branko asks: It seems to be common practice for some Japanese companies to region lock their promo videos on Youtube. What exactly is the incentive behind this? Fans will just upload a pirated version immediately....
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Shelf Life - Aquarion Logos Part 1

James Beckett returns to the world of Aquarion with its third series, while Paul breaks down all this week's new releases! ― The constant flow of new anime on disc still amazes me from time to time. You'd think most folks would already be at the bottom of their wallets after all that holiday shopping, and yet we've still got new stuff coming out this week like any other. There are even a handful of ...
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The List - 7 Women Who Changed Manga History

Women you may never have heard of have been shaping the history of manga since it began. Meet the generation that created some of your favorite genres! ― Few manga artists are lucky enough to leave an indelible stamp on the industry to the point where their names are synonymous with changing the medium, like Osamu Tezuka, Leiji Matsumoto, Go Nagai, and Fujiko Fujio. Now all of those pioneers were me...
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Answerman - Why Are Some Releases Retailer Exclusive?

Exclusive versions of anime releases available only at certain stores - with bonus content and cool packaging - show up all the time. How does that happen? Justin explains. ― Parker asks: How do retailer-exclusive anime releases (like the recent Hunter x Hunter SteelBook at Best Buy) come about? How does a licensor like Viz pick the right retailer to work with and how do both companies benefit from ...
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This Week in Games - Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

Dustin takes the latest Shantae game for a spin, and catches up with the still-in-development Shenmue III! PLUS: more on the Nintendo Switch, next week's new releases and more! ― We're inching ever closer to the end of the year, and that means the tide of news and new releases has slowed to a mere softly lapping trickle. So have fun catching up on Final Fantasy XV and the Last Guardian before your fa...
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Answerman - Why Isn't There More Sumo Wrestling In Anime?

There's a metric ton of sports anime - so why is there hardly any anime about sumo wrestling? Justin gets into it. ― Jake asks: I was recently thinking about all of the sports anime that have come out over the years and it occurred to me that there is practically no anime about sumo wrestling. There are plenty of anime about western style wrestling, kickboxing, kendo and judo but not sumo. One of th...
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ANNCast Series Discussion: Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

The ANNCast crew revisits Gonzo's eye-popping 2004 re-imagining of The Count of Monte Cristo. How does it hold up 13 years later? ― ANNCast Episode 279: Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo Zac, Jacob and ANN's managing interest editor Lynzee Loveridge revisit Gonzo and Mahiro Maeda's lauded, gorgeous and gripping 2004 re-imagining of The Count of Monte Cristo. How does it hold up 13 years later? Y...
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Answerman - Why Do Subtitle Styles From The Same Company Differ?

Name changes, honorifics, grammar - sometimes subtitles within the same company's simulcasts will be inconsistent and kinda confusing. How does that happen? Justin gets into it. ― Wonchop asks: One things that's been noticeable in this age of internet streaming is that even within the same distributor (be it Crunchyroll or Funimation etc), there are differences in the format of the subtitles dependi...
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Shelf Life - Omamori Himari

Paul takes a look at a forgotten little catgirl harem comedy from 2010 to see if its old motor still purrs. Plus, all this week's new releases! ― Earlier in the season, I noted that I was trying to keep up with around a dozen shows (not counting the ones I'm doing episode reviews for), and I wondered if I'd be able to keep up with them all. Well, we're in the home stretch and I'm still staying curre...
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The Mike Toole Show - What's "Teekyu" Anyway?

Mike takes a tour through the weird, wild world of Teekyu, a long-running cult favorite that'll melt your brain inside only a few animated minutes. ― It's been a banner year for short anime series, to the point that you could make a pretty creditable top 5 just using shorts that range from three to twelve minutes per episode. My personal favorite is a toss-up between Please Tell Me! Galko-chan and Sp...
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The List - 7 Anime About Women in Sports

While most sports shows these days are sausagefests, there are still a handful of sports anime about the feminine side of the equation in this classic edition of The List. ― We're approaching the end of Keijo!!!!!!!!, so it seems a perfect time to revisit a classic list about women in sports. Keijo has really taken a twist on these classic approaches, and we've also gotten a multitude of other women...
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ANNCast - What's My Name (Video)

Zac and Jacob spend the entire first video episode of ANNCast talking spoiler-free about Makoto Shinkai's amazing movie, your name., plus Yuri!!! on Ice and much more! ― ANNCast Episode 278: What's My Name Zac and Jacob spend the entire first video episode of ANNCast talking spoiler-free about Makoto Shinkai's amazing movie, Your Name, plus Yuri on Ice and much more! You can listen to the show on ou...
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This Week in Games - Let It Die

It's Dark Souls by way of creative powderkeg Suda 51, and Dustin has strapped in for a weird, bloody ride. PLUS: Death Stranding, Final Fantasy XV, Super Mario Run and much more! ― It's the end of the year, and that means it's time for game releases to start winding down—but don't worry, January is already packed. There's only one release of any note this week, but don't think the lack of new games m...
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Answerman - Why Is Workplace Romance So Taboo in Anime?

Workplace romances are often treated like an unforgivable offense in many anime - what's up with that? Justin gets into it. ― Jennifer asks: relationship between coworkers is unacceptable even if they are in different departments. In Fune no Amu, we see Nishioka-san and Miyoshi-san in a relationship but they can't be seen together out in public. Why is that? Is it a distraction? I don't see it as a ...
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Answerman - Do Streaming Numbers Count?

What role does streaming play in giving back to your favorite anime creators? ― Cody asks: I was wondering how much does viewer count matter on streaming services like crunchyroll if at all? They've recently added some older shows, like A Certain Scientific Railgun, that I've already watched and I honestly tend not to rewatch shows very often unless showing them to friends. However I do want to supp...
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Shelf Life - Hana Yori Dango

Paul takes on the frequently frustrating melodrama of the classic shojo series, "Boys over Flowers." Plus, all this week's new releases! ― I can tell we're still a long way away from the heart of winter because I still feel annoyed instead of relieved when the forecast predicts more snow than we actually get. If it's going to snow, let's skip all the inconsequential flurries and get on with it! (Let...
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The List - 7 Clowns to Haunt Your Nightmares

Let's face it: clowns aren't funny, they're terrifying, especially in the bizarre worlds of anime. You'll definitely want to keep these seven freaks away from your next birthday party. ― Clowns as a horror device are relatively new. You can thank Edgar Allen Poe, Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci opera, and actual clown serial killer John Wayne Gacy for planting the seed and of course, Stephen King's ...
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ANNCast Interview: Right Stuf CEO Shawne Kleckner

Right Stuf CEO Shawne Kleckner joins us to talk all things Right Stuf - from bestsellers to the best releases to all things Gundam, plus your Twitter questions! ― ANNCast Episode 277: KLECK KLECK BOOM Right Stuf CEO Shawne Kleckner joins us to talk all things Right Stuf - from bestsellers to the best releases to all things Gundam, plus your Twitter questions! You can listen to the show on our player...
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Answerman - Why Are Compilation Films Made?

It's a movie that edits together footage from a TV show you've already seen - what's the purpose of "Compilation Films" like Gurren Lagann's? Justin explains. ― Ryan asks: Why are compilation films of anime series in Japan so popular and why are they rarely licensed in the US? I just don't get it. Compilation films of TV anime have been made since at least the 1970s. They once filled an important ne...
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This Week in Games - Final Fantasy XV

It took 10 years, but Final Fantasy XV is finally out, and Noctis and the boys are ready for their epic road trip - Dustin is along for the ride. PLUS: Nintendo theme parks and more! ― Final Fantasy XV just came out. I'm playing it. Let's talk about it. Impressions: Final Fantasy XV I'm about a half-dozen hours into Final Fantasy XV. That's with a handful of early story segments completed and a whole...
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Answerman - Is There Too Much Anime Being Made?

Over 80 anime air every week. Seasons come and go where dozens of anime go unremembered. Is this healthy for the industry? Is there too much anime? Justin considers the angles. ― Anonymous asks: By my count, including short shows, kids shows and ongoing series, there are over 80 weekly anime currently airing on television, and that's not even counting movies and occasional OVAs. This is way, way mor...
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Answerman - Why Isn't There More Political Anime?

America has countless political dramas of every stripe - why is the genre so limited among anime and manga? Justin gets into it. ― Jake asks: One thing I was recently thinking about was why there are no anime about Japanese politics. Here in the US, it seems we can not get enough politically themed shows weather it be a comedy like VEEP or a serious drama like House of Cards. Even in manga one of th...
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Shelf Life - Aoharu x Machinegun

Gabriella enters a world of bishounen and airsoft with Aoharu x Machinegun, but is this strange creation any good? Plus, all this week's new releases! ― It's that magical time of Black Friday/Cyber Monday/General Holiday Season sales, and I hope you've already found some good deals if bargain-hunting is your thing. Since I moved into a new apartment a few months ago, I've been buying boring things l...
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The Mike Toole Show - The Strange Saga of Star Anime Enterprises

Mike details the long, odd and twisty tale of Star Anime Enterprises, a little-known anime company that released a whopping two titles in America. ― There's a pretty simple, obvious Thanksgiving tradition in my household. We get up early, we go to our pals' place (they host), and as we start to prepare for the multi-hour eat attack later in the day, we put on the big parade in New York. You know, the...
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Answerman - Why Do Japanese Kids Carry Handkerchiefs?

Children in anime are frequently shown carrying a handkerchief - why is that? Is it actually a common thing in Japan? Justin investigates. ― Darius asks: Why do school kids carry handkerchiefs with them? I see in a lot of anime, old and new, that kids have a handkerchief in their pocket to wipe their hands while in the bathroom and various other uses, and they seem at a lost of what to do with their...
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This Week in Games - Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization

Dustin takes a deep dive into the new Sword Art Online game, for better and for worse. PLUS: Pokemon Sun & Moon, Final Fantasy XV and much more! ― We're closing in on the end of the holiday release season, though we've still got a couple of huge games to go—one of which is out this week! Yes, folks, the artist formerly known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII is nearly among us, and while I think I will su...
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Answerman - Why Aren't There More Classic Anime Kickstarters?

Escaflowne, Bubblegum Crisis, Otaku no Video - classic anime kickstarters seem to do great, so why don't we see more of these? ― Reed asks: How come more anime companies don't run Kickstarters or other crowd-funding options to pay for recording English dubs or for funding Blu-ray releases? AnimEigo has done a few titles, some manga has been done this way, and Funimation did Escaflowne's redub throug...
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Answerman - Why Are Some Dubs Adapted So Much?

Justin explains why some dub scripts are so heavily modified for an English-speaking audience and just how much the Japanese side knows about these changes. ― Victoria asks: I like watching Hetalia since the beginning because of the little references to world history. I tried watching the dubbed version, but all the dialogue changed to have a lot of cursing and pop culture jokes which I can't stand ...
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Shelf Life - Gatchaman Crowds Insight

James jumps back into the world of Gatchaman with its striking second season, while Paul runs down all this week's new anime releases! ― I can always tell if a video game has me hooked by how often I catch myself talking to the characters. I bought a car racing version of all those sports manager games recently, and I've already fallen into the habit of berating my imaginary drivers every time they ...
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The List - 7 Movies That Need Licenses ASAP

There are a whole lot of incredible anime feature films that have never - or only rarely - seen the light of day. Here are seven anime films we'd love to see get an official US release! ― Access to the latest anime releases in Japan is at an all-time high. The convenience of streaming allows viewers access to a huge library of current and past shows with the click of a button. Whether someone wants ...
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ANNCast - Quite A Number

Zac and Jacob catch up with Yuri on Ice, Girlish Number, All Out and much more, plus your Twitter questions! ― ANNCast Episode 276: Quite A Number Zac and Jacob catch up with Yuri on Ice, Girlish Number, All Out and much more, plus your Twitter questions! You can listen to the show on our player here, direct-download the MP3 version here, check out the show on Stitcher here, and we're also on Google...
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This Week in Games - Switch Rumor Roundup

There's a new Nintendo console coming - and the rumors are flying fiercely. Dustin runs down everything we think we might know about the Switch - plus Persona 5 and more! ― After a couple of very slow news weeks—in the world of video games, anyway—the valves have been opened and we're now drowning in a deep, dark ocean of announcements, reports, and rumors. So much so that there isn't even room enoug...
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Answerman - Why Is Anime's Animation Style So Hard To Imitate?

Plenty of Western animation teams have tried to imitate the look of Japanese anime, so why do these projects still look so different? ― Kiza asks: In the past 15 years, we've seen more and more of anime influenced animation: we've had the colorful Totally Spies, the gag-action Teen Titans, two stories from the Avatar franchise, etc. And then we've seen animation that didn't go out of it's way to be ...
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Shelf Life - Knights of Sidonia Season 2

This cel-shaded CG space opera continues into its second season with a renewed sense of purpose. Paul Jensen explores this set along with the week's other new releases! ― One thing I've noticed about reviewing anime is that strange things happen when you try to type too quickly. I have, on several occasions, turned Magical Girl Raising Project into "Magical Girl Raisin Project" while writing episode...
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The Mike Toole Show - Japan's Superhero Legacy

An encounter with My Hero Academia in Shonen Jump sends Mike on a whirlwind tour of Japanese superheroes like Golden Bat, 8 Man, and even Batman himself! ― I was at lunch when I got the notification: somebody had bought that Yu-Gi-Oh! card I had on eBay. I don't play Yu-Gi-Oh!, but I get a couple of cards every year as part of my Shonen Jump digital subscription. The cards are immediately placed on e...
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The List - 6 Anime About the Awesome Power of Music

Short of the power of love, nothing can top the power of music to change lives in these super-sonorous anime adventures! ― The power of music, utilized by magic bards wielding flutes and lutes, is a familiar staple to roleplaying gamers. Their original task was to commemorate the great deeds of their patrons and ensure history was passed down via song. It wouldn't be inaccurate to credit bards, and ...
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Answerman - Is Japanese Language From Anime Different Than Normal Japanese?

Just how different is everyday Japanese language different from the way they speak in anime? Can you learn Japanese by watching anime? Justin has some answers. ― AJ asks: I've been studying Japanese for a while now, but it's only recently clicked that there appears to be a disconnect between how formal people are with each other in how they address each other and how they speak in anime. What I mean...
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This Week in Games - Rest In Peace, Wii U

It brought us Mario Maker, Splatoon, Super Mario 3D world and Bayonetta 2, and now it's toast. Dustin salutes the Wii U on the eve of its demise. PLUS: Overwatch's Sombra and more! ― First, a note: please be excellent to each other, people. Now let's forget our problems for a few moments with the most beautiful of distractions—video games. Farewell, Wii Hardly Knew U We heard that the Wii U would be ...
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Answerman - How Are Anime Materials Archived?

Once an anime is finished airing, how do they preserve the show? Justin goes into all the ways Japan has preserved anime media over the years, and how it winds up in your hands. ― Ashley asks: Given that anime publishers and licensors can't just throw a master tape or a film can in a vault anymore, how does the process of archiving master materials work, both from a practical hardware standpoint and...
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Answerman - Why Do Voice Actors Perform Multiple Roles In Dubs?

In many anime, you'll find the same Japanese voice actor playing multiple roles - why is that? Justin gets into it. ― Kevin asks: I've been notching that in the credits that some of our voice actors play 3-5 characters. While in the Japanese's cast all voice actors have a different person and only play one person. Why is that? Also some voice actors in japan play characters that have only a single l...
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Shelf Life - Cobra The Animation

Gabriella takes a look at this 2010 revival of a classic '80s psychedelic space adventure. Plus, all this week's new releases! ― I had a lame joke ready to use in this week's intro, but then Funimation picked up the license for Nichijou - My Ordinary Life, and that's clearly much more interesting. I watched this show when it aired and was crushed when the original plans for a release were scrapped. ...
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The List - 7 Powered-Up Forms That Are More Weird Than Awesome

Usually when an anime character in an action show gets fully powered up, they look intimidating and awesome - but that isn't always the case! ― Hey everyone, we have a Classic for you this week. I'll return to your regularly scheduled list next week with the Power of Music and Lost Anime Films. Until then, enjoy these silly power-ups! It's right about when all hope is lost that a character finally p...
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ANNCast - The Discotek Threat

Discotek's Brady Hartel stops by to talk about what this boutique DVD & bluray studio has been up to, including Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie and the latest, greatest Lupin anime! ― ANNCast Episode 275: The Discotek Threat Discotek's Brady Hartel stops by to talk about what this boutique DVD & bluray studio has been up to, including Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie and the latest, great...
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Answerman - Why Do You Still See Flip Phones In Anime?

They're all but gone in America, but you see classic flip phones in anime all the time - what's the deal with that? Justin has the answer. ― Osiris asks: I've seen a lot of animes in which people only have old cell phones (durarara for example) but rarely they have smartphones, which i find weird since japan has great technology advances. Does people in japan actually use those old cell phones these...
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This Week in Games - Owlboy

Zac Bertschy reviews the Castlevania and Metroid-inspired "hi-bit" adventure Owlboy and discovers it's a real hoot! PLUS: Dustin runs down this week's big news and release list! ― Let me fill you in on a secret—moving sucks. I'm writing this in the midst of a pile of boxes that I can barely see over, in a hastily thrown together office that I had to set up in the new house because the cable company s...
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Answerman - Are Cover Versions of Anime Songs Legal?

Youtube is chock-a-block with singers performing covers of anime theme songs - is that legal? Justin has the answer. ― Trace asks: There's a lot of youtube artist who do English covers of anime songs. A few of them even end up on itunes (though with new instrumentation). This brings a lot of questions to mind. Is this illegal? How does copyright work for covering songs in countries that aren't licen...
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Answerman - What Is That Short Screen After The Opening?

Sometimes, after the opening credits of an anime, a still will appear along with some music for a few seconds - what's up with that? Justin has the answer. ― Steve asks: Every now an then an anime will have an OP or ED that finishes playing, and then a bar or two of the music repeats, with some random frame from that episode as the visual. Flying Witch on Crunchyroll in the US is this season's examp...
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Shelf Life - Wake Up, Girls!

James returns to the world of WUG with a review of the Wake Up! Girls anime. Plus, all this week's new releases! ― I talked about my overly ambitious streaming queue a few weeks ago, and while a couple of shows have gotten the axe (farewell, Scorching Ping Pong Girls), I'm actually finding that keeping up hasn't been as tough as I'd feared. It certainly helps that there's a lot of fun stuff airing t...
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The Mike Toole Show - The Poll Vault

Anime popularity polls have been around for decades, and they've been creating slapfights for at least that long - Mike takes a survey of anime polls through history and what they all mean. ― It's election season in the US! Are you exhausted with the whole thing yet? I sure am—pals, I am completely full up on election news, speculation, and scandal. I have hopes about the outcome of my country's nati...
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The List - 7 Anime That Take You to The Wild Wild West

Yee-haw! Giddy up little dogies, as we blaze a trail through the desert to worlds of cattle wrangling, saloon brawls, and giant gunslinging robots. Hey, it's still anime, after all! ― West of the Mississippi used to be a dangerous place teeming with outlaws, cattle thieves, sharpshooter duels in the streets, and the long arm of the law coming to track down any who disrupted the peace. The setting is...
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ANNCast - Darkest Before The Dawn

A week full of Episode Fours won't stop Zac, Jacob and special guest Dawn from going on and on about Yuri on Ice, Girlish Number, Flip Flappers, Shelter and much much more! ― ANNCast Episode 274: Darkest Before the Dawn A week full of Episode Fours won't stop Zac, Jacob and special guest Dawn from going on and on about Yuri on Ice, Girlish Number, Flip Flappers, Shelter and much much more! You can l...
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Answerman - Why Don't Simulcast Subtitles Get Corrected?

You catch little mistakes in simulcast subtitles every now and then - why don't these errors get fixed? Justin gets into it. ― Matthew asks: Why don't streaming sites fix obvious translation mistakes and errors in their subtitles? I'm talking about easy-to-spot and non-controversial mistakes like spelling errors, mixed up sign translations, missing punctuation, etc. When I asked Crunchyroll about th...
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This Week in Games - Nintendo Switch

Dustin goes deep on the Nintendo Switch and considers the possibilities. PLUS: a video game voice actor strike, The Last Guardian, Dragon Quest and much more! ― This Week in Games gets published on Thursday mornings. You might even be reading this on Thursday morning—if so, congrats! However, it gets finalized and submitted on Wednesday, typically early in the afternoon. This is why last week's colum...
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Answerman - Why Can't Anime Use Trademarked Names?

Plenty of anime use silly fake brand names in place of real ones - why is that necessary? Justin takes a trip down to WcDonald's for the explanation. ― Jerome asks: Do Manga Publishers and Anime Distributers fear a lawsuit from using a trademark? Watching a lot of anime over the years, I never see real world trademarks if any. They usually just change the name. An example is in "Freezing" they use B...
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Answerman - Are There Any Vegetarians In Japan?

Vegetarianism rarely ever comes up in anime, although meat is almost always on the menu - is it a cultural thing, or something else? Justin gets into it. ― Chris asks: I was wondering if vegetarianism is something practiced by a notable amount of people in Japan. In anime I've only noticed a few cases of characters being vegeterian or vegetarianism being mentioned, so is it correct to assume that it...
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Shelf Life - Golgo 13: The Professional

Osamu Dezaki's Golgo 13 film is the first to bring the iconic character to life in animation, but does it still hold up today? Paul Jensen take a look. Plus, all this week's new anime releases! ― I tend to drink a lot of tea when I'm writing reviews, so buying a new electric tea kettle a couple of weeks ago has improved my life in a noticeable way. Being able to heat water to exactly the right tempe...
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The List - 6 Coproductions That Challenge the Definition of Anime

What's the true definition of "anime?" These internationally-produced animations may surprise you and challenge your own perception of the medium! ― Back in early 2014, I wrote a column about international co-productions with Japanese studios. That column had a general "here's some shows you might not know were animated in Japan or financed outside of Japan" focus, but this column is more of a look ...
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Answerman - Is Working To Death Really A Thing In Japan?

"Karoshi", or working yourself literally to death, is a phenomenon sometimes mentioned in anime, and it's on the rise in Japan - Justin goes over the basics. ― Vincent asks: There's always some sort of news about employees dying of overtime work in Japanese media. A professor at an university in Tokyo even stated that he thought it was "pathetic for someone to die just from working more than a hundr...
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ANNCast - Shin Godzilla

Zac and Jacob do battle with Anno Hideaki's political hot take, Shin Godzilla. PLUS: Miss Hokusai, Yuri!!! on Ice, Girlish Number and much much more! ― ANNCast Episode 273: Shin Godzilla Zac and Jacob do battle with Anno Hideaki's political hot take, Shin Godzilla. PLUS: Miss Hokusai, Yuri on Ice, Girlish Number and much much more! You can listen to the show on our player here, direct-download the M...
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This Week in Games - Exist Archive

The Nintendo Switch is here! Plus: Dustin digs deep into Exist Archive, a gorgeous new Valkyrie Profile-style RPG. ALSO: Red Dead Redemption 2, World of Final Fantasy and more! ― First things first, let's get this out of the way: the teaser video for the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo's next console, is here. Watch it, absorb it, really give it some thought, and you'll get my full reaction next week. Movi...
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Answerman - Do Dubs Really Contain More Swearing?

Sometimes you hear it said that english dubs contain more swearing than a faithful translation would provide; is there any truth to that? Justin looks into it. ― Eric asks: So I have an acquaintance who says he prefers to watch subbed anime over English dubs because the English translators add too many swears to the dialogue. Now I usually don't care why people prefer dubs or subs (and in this case ...
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Vice & Luna Bonus Round

Vice's scary story falls short, so it's up to Luna to bring the real terror! ― Editor's Note: Vice & Luna will return to regular story pages next week!
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Answerman - Why Is Japan's Population Declining?

Japan's declining population comes up from time to time in anime - but why is it happening? Justin gets into the basics, and how it impacts the anime industry. ― Jake asks: One thing I have heard about for well over a decade is that Japans population as a whole has been shrinking since the end of the 1980's. That fewer people are getting married and having less, if any, children than there parents a...
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Shelf Life - The Perfect Insider

Is the Perfect Insider a perfect mystery or just a perfect mess? Paul Jensen weighs in. Plus, all this week's new anime releases! ― I had a literal "Shelf Life" moment this week: I put together a small bookcase that I'd bought for my apartment a while ago. It looks pretty decent as long as you ignore the fact that I put the fake wood back piece on backwards so the cheesy cardboard side faces out. Cl...
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The List - 7 Magical Girls that Fandom Forgot

In the name of the moon, you shall be punished for forgetting these old-school magical girls existed! Of course, some anime may be better off left in the past after all... ― New magical girls have been seen a marked uptick in anime since Madoka Magica made them cool again. Certainly, some transforming teens have never left fandom's consciousness; Sailor Moon, the ongoing PreCure franchise, Cardcapto...
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Answerman - Why Do Companies Bother With Tiny Theatrical Releases?

The live-action Rurouni Kenshin movie was in theaters for less than a week and grossed only around $32,000 - what was the point of that? Justin gets into it. ― Terry asks: I don't understand how Funimation Films is supposed to turn a profit with the way they show some of the films they distribute. For example, according to Boxofficemojo, the first Rurouni Kenshin movie was only in theaters for 3 day...
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ANNCast - Fall 2016 Anime Roundup

ANNCast is back! Zac and Jacob return to dissect the Fall 2016 anime season! Is Keijo a real sport? Did anyone make sense of Occultic Nine? Is Girlish Number the best show of the season?? ― ANNCast Episode 272: Fall 2016 Anime Roundup ANNCast is back! Zac and Jacob return to pull apart the Fall 2016 anime season! Is Keijo a real sport? Did anyone make sense of Occultic;Nine? Is Girlish Number the be...
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This Week in Games - Dragon Quest Builders

Dustin digs in to the Minecraft-flavored crafting action of Dragon Quest Builders - and discovers it's got a whole lot to like! PLUS: Persona 5, Final Fantasy XV, Bloodstained and much more! ― Yakuza 5 is long. In fact, Yakuza 5 is too long. I'm closing in on the 60 hour mark, and I'm not sure there's really enough here to justify all that time spent. Granted, it's partly my fault, since I keep engag...
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Answerman - Why Is It "Wrong" To Buy Digital Manga From Other Countries?

Let's say you want to buy digital manga from another country because it isn't available in yours - what's the problem with that? Justin breaks it down. ― Anonymous asks: Why is it legal to import/buy english translated print copies of mangas in a foreign country (e.g. Switzerland) through my local bookstore (normally per order only) or via bookdepository or on Amazon "Region xy" (e.g. Germany) or an...
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Answerman - What Happened To World Masterpiece Theater And Shows Like It?

Whatever happened to classic animated specials for larger audiences like Dog of Flanders, Heidi, and Peter Pan? ― Vinicius asks: I'm a big fan of the World Masterpiece Theater, a collection of anime series by Nippon Animation that adapted a classic book every year from 1974 to 1997 and then from 2007 to 2009. These series focused mainly on realistic situations: the characters were shown doing earthl...
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Shelf Life - Re-Kan!

Paul tackles a frantic world of friendly ghosts in Re-Kan! Plus, all this week's new releases! ― There are still a handful of premieres left to cover in the Preview Guide as I write this, and I've already added twelve of the shows I've written about to my personal list of things to watch. That's far too many for any mere mortal to keep up with over a full season, so I guess I'm going to have to get ...

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