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ANNCast (Video) - Live From Shinjuku

Zac and Jacob are in Japan for AnimeJapan 2017 and managed a live podcast while in Shinjuku! In This Corner of the World, Netflix Death Note and much much more! ― ANNCast Episode 291 - Live from Shinjuku Zac and Jacob are in Japan for AnimeJapan 2017 and managed a live podcast while in Shinjuku! In This Corner of the World, Netflix Death Note and much much more! NOTE: the MP3 version of this show is...
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The List - 6 Princesses Still Waiting in Another Castle

For one reason or another, these anime starring princesses never got "rescued" for release in the west! From fairytales to sci fi to ecchi, there's a princess for everyone in these forgotten gems. ― Over the course of writing this column, I've highlighted many series that remained outside of North American audiences' grasp. This includes mystery stories, magical girls, idols, and all around obscure ...
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Answerman - What Is "Key Art" And Why Is It Important?

You hear the phrase around anime promotional images all the time - "key art". What is key art, and what purpose does it serve? Justin gets into it. ― Mason asks: Oftentimes, in the weeks or months leading up to a new anime premiere, there will be a promotional video as well as what's referred to as a 'key visual' released. While a promo video seems to make sense, what's the point of a key visual? Wh...
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Vice & Luna - 03/21/2017

Things at the office go one shenanigan too far for Luna when Perry offers his expertise where it might not be wanted...
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Answerman - Quick Answers Part 1

Justin answers a bunch of short questions on the Gintama dub, anime movie distribution, Japanese greetings and much more! ― A few years ago, Answerman changed up its format a little bit, and we started giving each question its own column several times a week, rather than answering a bunch of questions once a week. The new format's been great -- old questions are easier to find, and I can give new on...
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Shelf Life - Amagi Brilliant Park

James finds himself enchanted by this zany comedy from KyoAni that flew under the radar, and Paul breaks down all this week's new anime releases! ― I'm off on vacation visiting my extended family this week, so my brain is entirely too frazzled to come up with a clever or interesting introduction. Instead, I'll just jump right into it. Welcome to Shelf Life. Jump to this week's review: Amagi Brillian...
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The Mike Toole Show -The Other 100 Best Anime Movies of All Time, Part 1

What if you made a list of the 100 Best Anime Movies of All Time and DIDN'T include Miyazaki, Satoshi Kon or any of the expected favorites? Mike Toole did it - here's part I. ― When I see articles like Paste's Top 100 Anime Movies of All Time, I grit my teeth a little, because I know what to expect, and it's hard not to get a little frustrated. List articles, so-called “listicles,” are the junk food ...
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The List - 7 Archers Who Always Hit Their Mark

Who needs a sniper rifle when you've got these ace bowmen on your side? Here are just seven heroes whose aim could put Robin Hood to shame! ― Swords and sorcery are usually front and center in fantasy anime, while bow-wielders are left in the background as support for the heroes. A clash of steel might look more exciting on the surface, but a precise arrow can be just as impressive, cutting through ...
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Answerman - Who Profits From Selling Old Stock Anime Discs?

Let's say you're an anime retailer sitting on hundreds of unsold Geneon anime DVDs. Geneon's out of business - if you sell them, who profits? Justin explains. ― Anonymous asks: I've seen Right Stuff selling old anime dvds like Rozen Maiden, Legend of Himiko, and Hayate the Combat Butler owned by now-defunct North American anime Companies (Geneon, CPM, Bandai). Do those companies still get the profit...
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ANNCast (Video) - Kyousougiga

Zac, Jacob and two special guests plunge through the rabbit hole of Rie Matsumoto's psychedelic 2011 family apocalypse, KYOUSOUGIGA! ― ANNCast Episode 290 - Kyousougiga Zac, Jacob and two special guests - Dylan Kielman and friend of the show Brady Hartel - plunge through the rabbit hole of Rie Matsumoto's psychedelic 2011 family apocalypse, KYOUSOUGIGA! You can listen to the show on our player here,...
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This Week in Games - Thanks for 2017, Japan!

Resident Evil 7, Yakuza 0, Nier: Automata, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild... most of 2017's greatest games came from Japan, and Dustin gives thanks. PLUS: Persona 5 and more! ― I've been continuing to play that Zelda, which is continuing to be a real good use of my time. I feel like I'm losing track of the internet's opinions of it, though. I understand the complaints about rain and slippery...
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Answerman - Why Did Anime Use 16mm Instead Of 35mm Film?

Back when anime was produced on film, it used a smaller film size than most - 16mm vs. 35mm, the standard for most movies. Why was that? ― Elliott asks: With the recent push of Gundam productions put on Blu-Ray in North America I've become curious about the usage of 16mm film versus 35mm. Most of the TV productions seem to be printed on 16mm. However, the first several episodes of Victory Gundam and...
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Vice & Luna - 3/14/2017

Vice and Perry give Luna a serious bromance problem.
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Answerman - Why Do Older DVDs Look So Bad?

Old DVDs frequently have blurry, artifacted video quality and are sometimes not even full widescreen - why is that? What happened back then? Well, Justin was there, he knows. ― Anonymous asks: I've been collecting anime DVDs for a long time. I've noticed that the ones I've bought in the last few years have looked really really good, almost Blu-ray quality. But if I play a disc I bought in the early ...
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Shelf Life - 5 Centimeters Per Second

Before "your name." became a phenomenon, Makoto Shinkai made his mark on the world with another nostalgic drama. Paul Jensen checks out the Blu-ray, along with all this week's new releases! ― Sometimes real life syncs up with the anime that I review in unexpected ways. I watched 5 Centimeters Per Second for this week's column right before traveling to meet some people I haven't seen in a while. Sinc...
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The List - 7 Beauty & The Beast Couples

In this week's Classic List, it's a tale as old as time in these mismatched anime romances. In this week's Classic List, check these romances that are as old as time. While Emma Watson is shacking up with a water buffalo, these couples took their own chances it would normally be considered a mismatch. One character is capable of immense, sometimes even supernatural strength while their partner is ...
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ANNCast (Video) - Nacho Cheese Kiritos

Zac and Jacob strap on their augmented reality gear and do combat with the Sword Art Online movie. PLUS: The Legend of Zelda, Tanya the Evil and much more! ― ANNCast Episode 289 - Nacho Cheese Kiritos Zac and Jacob strap on their augmented reality gear and do combat with the Sword Art Online movie. PLUS: The Legend of Zelda, Tanya the Evil and much more! You can listen to the show on our player here...
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This Week in Games - Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey

Dustin dusts off his alchemy books for Atelier Firis on the PS4. PLUS: Zelda, Zelda and more Zelda, next week's new releases and much more! ― I got one of those fancy new Nintendo consoles this week, and I like it a lot—with some reservations. I wrote a lot of words about it here, but the short version is that it's a solid foundation for a platform that will be great by the end of the year. My pro co...
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Answerman - What Do Miko (Shrine Maiden) Actually Do?

You see them all the time in anime, usually wielding supernatural powers, but what do shrine maidens actually do in the real world? Justin gets into it. ― Eric asks: There are some anime series that features miko or shrine maiden that I'd seen it lately like for example Kikyou from Inuyasha, Mokoto Aoyama from Love Hina and Mitsuha Miyamizu from the movie Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa). And I know that t...
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Vice & Luna - 03/07/2016

Justice rains from above when Vice learns to trust the power of teamwork instead of his own dumb impulses - with Perry's help!
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Answerman - What Are Host Clubs Really Like?

Host Clubs: they're referenced and depicted in anime all the time, but what are they really like? And do they really have them in high school? Justin gets into it. ― Sharon asks: Being a more mature female anime and manga fan, I'm very intrigued by the idea that host clubs, as depicted, actually exist in Japan. I always said if I made it to Japan, it would be the first place I'd visit. (It's on my b...
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Shelf Life - Sengoku Basara: End of Judgement

James Beckett dives into this explosive season of the musou game hit, while Paul Jensen once again runs down this week in anime releases! ― We've seen a lot of Gundam titles come out on disc in the US in recent years, from the classics to the more obscure stuff. That's cool, but I've spent most of that time wondering when we'd see a new release of Gundam Wing. After all, it was the first series in t...
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The List - 7 of Anime's Most Daring Getaway Drivers

When the going gets rough, and you've got to get going fast, these speed demons and their mean machines have got you covered! ― There are a few requirements for pulling off a successful heist and getting away with the goods. A crew usually includes a safe-cracker, the muscle for crowd control, a lookout, and a slick driver to outrun the coppers once things get hot. Getaway drivers don't get the glor...
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Answerman - Do Japanese People Really Only Drink Green Tea?

It seems like anime characters exclusively drink green tea. Is that true in Japan as well? Justin gets to the bottom of this crucial question. ― albanian asks: I have always been a fan of Japanese teas. I have noticed, though, that anime characters appear exclusively to drink green tea blends. The western world seems much more varied with the occasional scented (Earl Grey), smoked (Lapsang Souchong)...
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ANNCast - What A Novel Idea

Sam Pinansky, formerly of the crowdfunding platform Anime Sols, has a new project: licensing and translating light novels in English. It's a real education! ― ANNCast Episode 288: What A Novel Idea Sam Pinansky, formerly of the crowdfunding platform Anime Sols, has a new project: licensing and translating light novels in English. It's a real education! You can listen to the show on our player here, ...
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This Week in Games - Horizon: Zero Dawn

In the calm before the Nintendo Switch storm, Dustin takes down some mechanical dinosaurs in the postapocalypse. PLUS: this week's news and all of next week's new releases! ― It's a slow news week, but that doesn't mean that video games have slowed down. On the contrary—video games have never been hotter. This week has a giant new first-party Sony release, and next week is bringing us new RPGs, that ...
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Answerman - Why Is Incest Such A Common Topic In Anime?

"Why does incest come up so often as a story element in anime and manga?" you may have asked yourself at some point. You're not alone! ― John asks: In a recent episode of Hand Shakers a character revealed that had romantic feelings for their biological sibling. This is nothing new with series like OreImo, Boku wa Imoto ni Koi o Suru, and the classic Koi Kaze to name a few. Which got me to wonder abo...
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Vice & Luna - 2/28/2017

That phase where you're getting to know your new coworkers can be so awkward - especially if one of them is gunning for your favorite anime.
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Answerman - Is Subway Groping Really A Big Deal In Japan?

Sexual assault on subway cars is depicted in anime quite often (most recently in Scum's Wish) but how big a problem is it really in Japan? Justin explains. ― Strongman Lin asks: In a fair number of anime (e.g. Scum's Wish, Ore Monogatari), female characters get molested by creepers on the subway. Is this really such a prevalent problem in Japan? And if it is, in the instances of it that I've seen in...
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Shelf Life - Mobile Suit Gundam F91

This little-known Gundam movie has long been last to the sands of time, now available on Blu-ray for the first time. But is it any good? Gabriella Ekens finds out, plus all this week's new releases! ― I finally got started on my "watch popular anime that I skipped the first time around" New Year's resolution this week. Since the second season of Konosuba is airing now, it seemed like as good a time ...
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The List - 7 Sexy Anime Dads

If you prefer your beefcake a little more well-done than the baby-faced teens we usually get in anime, these dashing dads are sure to leave you swooning with their worldly charms. ― Attractive teenagers are par for the course in anime, with the occasional sexy office worker thrown in for variety, but handsome older men, especially older men with kids, is a much narrower and under-appreciated type of...
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Answerman - Whatever Happened to Anime Cameos?

Back in the 80s, comedy anime characters would make cameo appearances in other anime all the time - why doesn't that happen anymore? Justin explains. ― Phoenix asks: Whatever happened to anime cameos? I feel like in the 80s and 90s they were relatively abundant. The Dirty Pair and Crusher Joe seemed to make it into every other 80s anime. Why, I was just watching Macross and wouldn't you know it, the...
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ANNCast (Video) - Sevakis of Death

Erstwhile co-host and current Answerman Justin Sevakis stops by the podcast to catch up on anime and industry news! Gundam on Hulu, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence and much more! ― ANNCast Episode 287 - Sevakis of Death Erstwhile co-host and current Answerman Justin Sevakis stops by the podcast to catch up on anime and industry news! Gundam on Hulu, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence and much much more! Yo...
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This Week in Games - Digimon World: Next Order

Dustin takes the latest Digimon RPG out for a spin, along with the remake of Princess Maker! PLUS: Capcom's comeback and next week's new releases! ― I like to touch things. No, not in a creepy way. I'm talking about hanging onto physical goods in a world increasingly dominated by digital media. The benefits of digital libraries are clear: no shelf space, portability between platforms, and increased a...
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Answerman - Are Anime Music Videos A Dying Art?

Do anime fans still watch - or for that matter, create - anime music videos like they used to? Justin refreshes his understanding of the AMV scene. ― Federico asks: Is it just an impression, or are anime fans no longer interested in making and sharing anime music videos? I thought that, with the increasing availability of new series, new music and cheap or otherwise easy-to-use video editing program...
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Vice & Luna - 02/21/2017

Our weekly comic series returns! Preview guide is coming and the office needs a new intern - so it's a good thing Vice already hired someone!
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Returning Tomorrow: Vice & Luna

Our weekly webcomic series rises from the grave with a whole new look! Find out what happened behind the scenes and get a look at the strip's new art. ― So last June we launched Vice & Luna, a weekly webcomic series that followed along in the spirit of Anime News Nina, the site's previous strip (it's 10 years old this year by the way - you can read the whole thing right here and there's even a hardc...
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Answerman - How Do Japanese TV Shows Use So Much Anime Music?

If you watch Japanese TV, you'll hear anime soundtracks - like the OSTs for Evangelion - used as background music on talk shows all the time. How does that happen? ― Henpaku asks: I noticed that certain Japanese TV programs (mostly those showing entertainment specials with famous guests doing weird Japanese people things) use a lot of anime OST. In fact a show just a few days ago used some BGM from ...
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Shelf Life - My Love Story

One of the most beloved romcoms in recent memory, My Love Story, is out on bluray from Sentai Filmworks, and James Beckett is here to let us know if it holds up. PLUS: all of this week's big new releases! ― We've got a ton of new releases to cover this week, so I'm going to use that to cover for my lack of clever or interesting thoughts to put into this intro paragraph. Let's get right into it, shal...
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The Mike Toole Show - Where to Be-GIN with Gintama

This week, Mike explores the weird and wonderful world of Gintama, a smash hit in Japan with a slight barrier of entry in the West. So what makes this action comedy so special? ― Earlier this week-- actually yesterday, if you go by column publication date—it was Anime Day at the video games retailer GameStop. This wasn't a major event; honestly, it was just an excuse to hawk some anime-related games ...
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The List - 7 Horror Manga Authors to Keep You Up at Night

These seven masters of black-and-white silent scares, from the 70s up to the modern day, are sure to give you a fright! ― Horror, like comedy, is a genre that's hard to recommend without knowing the audience personally. What a person finds scary is very personal, and tapping into that with a written medium is even more difficult. Manga can't rely on jump scares and music cues the same way a film can...
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Answerman - Do Japanese High School Kids Really Hang Out On The Roof?

In countless anime, the hero and heroine hang out on the roof of their school - do Japanese kids actually do that? ― Chibi Chetsko asks: Are students permitted to eat their lunches and hang out on the roof during breaks or is this an anime-exclusive thing only? We've seen it countless times...but some recent series like Watamote have told us the door to the roof is always locked. Is this true? Also,...
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ANNCast (Video) - Scum As You Are

Zac and Jacob argue about the emotional honesty of Scum's Wish, plus Tanya the Evil, Ghost in the Shell (2017), Crunchyroll's one million subscribers and much more! ― " ANNCast Episode 286 - Scum As You Are Zac and Jacob argue about the emotional honesty of Scum's Wish, plus Tanya the Evil, Ghost in the Shell (2017), Crunchyroll's one million subscribers and much more! You can listen to the show on o...
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This Week in Games - GameCenter CX

Dustin shares his appreciation of the long-running GameCenter CX series, where retro games great and terrible are put to the test. PLUS: Yakuza reprints, Zelda and more! ― There's no shortage of new games out right now, but it's perhaps a shameful admission that I've been spending more and more time digging into the retro side of things. I picked up a lot of early Nintendo Power volumes not too long ...
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Answerman - Why Would A Japanese Publisher Restrict Exports?

Avex Pictures recently restricted imports of their blurays from Japan, including Yuri on Ice. Why would any company do that? Justin has a few ideas. ― Miguel (and a few other people) asks: It seems Avex Pictures recently (publishers of "Yuri!!! On Ice", "Osomatsu-san", etc) have restricted exports of BD and DVD releases for their shows. Why would they do this? Isn't exporting from Japan more benefic...
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Answerman - How Big A Deal Is Crunchyroll Reaching A Million Subscribers?

Crunchyroll just hit a milestone: one million paying subscribers. But how big a deal is that really - for the company, for the industry? Justin gets into it. ― Branko asks: Reaching a million paying subscribers is a significant achievement by any measure, but what exactly are the implications of Crunchyroll achieving that milestone? What does it mean for the simulcast anime it streams? Does it mean ...
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Shelf Life - Black Jack The Movie

Anime's most legendary Osamus (Tezuka and Dezaki) come together for a thrilling adaptation that became a '90s classic. Gabriella Ekens takes a closer look. Plus, all this week's new releases! ― This might be a side effect of reviewing anime on a regular basis, but one of the things I enjoy most is being surprised by a series, especially when a show turns out to have more to it than I expected. I sta...
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The List - 6 Dragon Girls to Set Your Heart Aflame

Long before Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid captured everyone's hearts this season, dragon girls were lighting up the scene in dozens of anime! Here are just a few of these reputable reptiles. ― The characters of Kyoto Animation's Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid have warmed viewers' hearts this winter. At first glance, Tohru and Kanna appear to just be an extension of the "monster girlfriend" trend, but d...
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Answerman - What Happened To The 90s Anime Boom?

A brief history of the late 90s anime boom in America, when Pokemon ruled the world, anime appeared in unexpected places and VHS was king. ― James asks: I have heard both you and other staff of ANN say that Japanese animation does not have mainstream popularity, that it is still a niche market in the west, but I distinctly recall that, during the late 1990's and early- to mid-2000's (when I was in h...
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ANNCast - El Gee Bee Tee

Zac and Jacob are joined by an all-star panel to chat about LGBT representation in anime and manga, what works, what doesn't, and if things are getting better. ― ANNCast Episode 285: El Gee Bee Tee Zac and Jacob are joined by an all-star panel including Erica Friedman of Okazu, Jason Thompson, creator of Mangaka and film critic Valerie Complex to chat about LGBT representation in anime and manga, wh...
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This Week in Games - Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star

Saber and friends wreck stuff en masse in Fate/Extella, but is it a satisfying experience for Fate fans? PLUS: E3 open to the public, Final Fantasy XV patches and much more! ― Look: Amiibos are dumb. As toys, they're overpriced figures that are too small for meaningful display and too static to be fun to play with. As game accessories, they're mostly just overpriced bits of costume DLC that offer onl...
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Answerman - Why Are Anime-Based Stage Plays So Popular?

Anime stage musicals are usually very low-budget affairs without any big name actors - so why are they so popular? Justin gets into it. ― MIchael asks: I've read numerous stories on ANN about various popular anime/manga franchises getting stage play adaptations, most recently Attack On Titan, and this prompts lots of questions. Who's commisioning these - is it a cashgrab by the publisher, or opportu...
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Answerman - Why Do Japanese School Kids Carry Randoseru?

A "randoseru" is the specific type of bag you see schoolkids using in anime all the time - is that a real thing? Justin explains. ― Samuel asks: Why does it look like in anime/manga that elementary students have randoseru backpacks whereas middle/high school students have something that looks like a satchel, knapsack or book bag? Also, how is a randoseru different from a Western backpack? It's not j...
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Shelf Life - The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior

This romantic comedy has one mouthful of a title, but is it worth watching? Paul Jensen finds out, after breaking down all this week's new anime releases! ― I downloaded the new Fire Emblem mobile game the other day, and it seems reasonably entertaining. I'm not all that familiar with the characters since I've played exactly one game in the franchise over the course of my gaming life, but the turn-b...
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The Mike Toole Show - Comic Market Sweep

Mike braves the massive crowds of Comiket, Japan's gigantic doujinshi show, and lives to tell about it - with plenty of photos. ― My wife and I pushed through the crowded, unending streets of Tokyo, still hauling our luggage from the plane trip. The first major stop of our journey was a little café over in Takadanobaba, right on the outer edge of Shinjuku, and we'd skipped dropping our crap off in or...
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The List - 7 Anime References in American Cartoons

As more anime fans grow old enough to start creating cartoons of their own, otaku influences can pop up in unexpected places. How many of these anime in-jokes did you catch? ― American cartoon characters, politicians, and even celebrities have appeared as cameo roles in anime series. The same couldn't be said in reverse, with few American cartoons paying tribute to their Japanese brethren. That star...
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Answerman - How Do Translation Differences Between Anime and Manga Happen?

In the Attack on Titan anime, Eren and Armin are in the Scout Regiment. In the manga, they're in the Scout Corps. How do translation differences like this happen? ― Jimmy asks: I always wonder why anime shows and manga tend to not use the same names for both titles or terms. For example Jitsu wa watashi wa manga is translated as "My Monster Secret", while the anime has the correct translation of "Ac...
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ANNCast - Now We're Having Fun

Funimation's Justin Rojas and Jennifer Fu stop by ANNCast to dive into Funimation's 2016 bestsellers, the spring 2017 season, Code Geass, Escaflowne and much more! ― ANNCast Episode 284: Now We're Having Fun Funimation's Justin Rojas and Jennifer Fu stop by ANNCast to dive into Funimation's 2016 bestsellers, the spring 2017 season, Your Name in theaters, Code Geass, Escaflowne and much more! You can...
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This Week in Games - Yakuza 0

Dustin slips into the violent, bizarre and shockingly fun world of Sega's Yakuza 0, the latest in the cult favorite franchise to reach our shores. PLUS: Nintendo Switch, next week's new releases and more! ― Are there too many video games? There might be too many video games. I finally survived the (high-quality) horrors of Resident Evil 7 and was ready to dive into my increasingly tall stack of negle...
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Answerman - How Often Do Japanese Kids Go To Cram School?

Kids in anime are constantly attending "cram schools" - what is a cram school, and do Japanese kids really use them that often? Justin explains. ― Jake asks: I have seen in a lot of anime that almost every school kid attends cram schools and this has made me wonder about their purpose. On the one side Japan is almost always ranked as one of the best education systems in the world. But if there educa...
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Shelf Life - Ultimate Otaku Teacher

Can this quirky teacher comedy measure up to the likes of GTO and Assassination Classroom? Paul Jensen finds out, along with breaking down all the week's new anime releases! ― I started re-watching Space Dandy on a whim recently, and it made me realize something: I almost never watch shows a second time these days. I remember going back through some old favorites as many as three or four times, but ...
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Answerman - What Is A "Salaryman"?

They're all over anime, dressed in suits and filing into subway cars, but what exactly is a "Salaryman"? Justin gets into it. ― Julian asks: Although I don't know much about working options in Japan, I imagine there are tons of careers one can go into. Out of those, intricacies of work a salary man does interests me. In anime, there is so much pressure to get ahead in academics all in order to end u...
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The List - 7 Anime Pilgrimage Sites to Check Off Your List

These real-life locations were the inspiration for some of Japan's biggest anime hits! Perhaps you can take a detour to these beautiful spots on your next trip to Japan. ― Anime pilgrimages, the act of going to real-life locations depicted in a show, have always existed to some extent but they seemed to really take off with the Lucky Star shrine. The Washinomiya Shrine has drawn close to half a mill...
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Answerman - Are Oscar Campaigns For Anime Worth It?

Oscar campaigns for anime can be frustrating to watch - and the American distributors that handle them seem to get little support from Japan. Justin explains. ― Anonymous asks: How much benefit is there for an American distribution company like Gkids and Funimation to pay money to try an get a film nominated for an oscar? And why don't Japanese companies help in campaigning for their film to get nom...
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ANNCast (Video) - Baity Feelsy

Zac and Jacob team up with editor Lynzee Loveridge to argue about Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Tanya the Evil and much more! PLUS: Anime shut out at the Oscars again! ― ANNCast Episode 283: Baity Feelsy Zac and Jacob team up with editor Lynzee Loveridge to argue about Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Tanya the Evil and much more! PLUS: Anime shut out at the Oscars again! You can listen to the show on ...
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This Week in Games - Resident Evil 7

Biohazard is back - and it's actually good?! Dustin claws his way through the Resident Evil mansion and reports back. PLUS: Overwatch's Year of the Rooster, Death Stranding and much more! ― Video games are back, you guys. Since last week's column went up, we've seen the release of the Dragon Quest VIII remake, Kingdom Hearts 2.8, and Tales of Berseria. On top of that, there are the games I've actuall...
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Answerman - Why Are Motion-Smoothing Televisions So Terrible For Anime?

Most new TVs have "motion smoothing" turned on by default, a video setting that makes anime look pretty terrible - but why? Justin gets into it. ― Jon asks: I recently upgraded my TV to a new OLED flatscreen from LG, and I couldn't understand why the anime I watched looked so blurry. After a little research online, I found out there is a setting called "TruMotion" that was the culprit and when I tur...
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Shelf Life - Shimoneta

This week, James Beckett finds out if the infamously nasty SHIMONETA is a filthy good time or just plain filthy. Plus, all this week's new releases! ― I'm not sure how the anime world reached a point where I'm more excited about a pair of monster girl shows than just about any other new title this season, but here we are. I'm calling Interviews With Monster Girls my early favorite just because I lik...
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The Mike Toole Show - Binge Benefits

Mike weighs the pros and cons of binge watching, the act of watching entire anime series (or huge chunks of episodes) all at once. Is the binge good, or is the binge bad? ― Every January, I visit Arisia, a science fiction convention here in Boston. For me, it's a fun change of pace – the convention is smaller and lower-key than the anime events I appear at, and while I'm on the speaking program, the ...
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The List - 7 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Sailor Moon

With the Sailor Moon R movie now in theaters, it's the perfect time to revisit this Classic List and learn some new things about this groundbreaking anime. ― The Sailor Moon R movie is opened in theaters across North America this week! It seems like a great time to revisit some classic Sailor Moon trivia. Naoko Takeuchi's magical girl series had a profound effect on anime fandom, whether you caught ...
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Answerman - Why Can't Anime Get A Wide Theatrical Release?

Justin runs down the myriad reasons that anime movies like your name don't wind up on 3600 multiplex screens across America. It's a little complicated. ― Brooks asks: With anime movies like Your Name becoming global hits and companies finding success with Fathom Events like Funimation's theatrical releases of the DBZ movies,why is it that anime movies still can't get normal wide releases in every U....
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ANNCast - It's High Noon

Zac and a panel of special guests run down the best games they played in 2016, the Nintendo Switch and 2017's biggest games! Overwatch, Final Fantasy XV, Resident Evil 7 and more! ― ANNCast Episode 280: It's High Noon Zac, Dave and Graz from Fast Karate for the Gentlemen and our own Dustin Bailey run down the best games they played in 2016, the Nintendo Switch and 2017's biggest games! The Last Guar...
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This Week in Games - The Switch Is Upon Us!

It's finally here! The rumors can be laid to rest! Dustin reacts to the Nintendo Swich announcement, plus the rest of this week's Nintendo news and much more! ― The rumors are done! Nintendo held a presentation officially unveiling the Switch, the details of its launch, and a big chunk of its first year of software. There's a lot to cover, so let's just get right into it. Opinion: Nintendo Switch The...
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Answerman - What Determine's An Anime's Art Style?

Konosuba has an extremely unique animation style, but how does the staff of a show decide how it's going to look in the first place? ― Michael asks: Hi, so with some people out for studio DEENs blood for konosubas unique artstyle . I was wondering, who decides on the art style for an anime show? Is it the animation studio itself or does someone else on the committee decide that? A lot of people cred...
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Answerman - How Often Do Japanese Teenagers Live Alone?

It's a pretty common anime premise: high school-age teenager lives alone. But do Japanese teens actually live on their own? Justin explains. ― David asks: How common is it for Japanese teens to live on their own? You see it a fair bit, in anime and manga: teens living in a single person apartment, one that's either paid for by their family or paid for by part-time jobs. Do teens in Japan do this in ...
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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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