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The List - 7 Eras of Japanese History via Anime

Travel back in time (and maybe have your gender swapped) to seven different periods of Japanese history, all from the comfort of your couch. ― The history of Japanese civilization is expansive, predating the Common Era by 10,000 years (the Jomon period). There's much more ground to cover compared to what kids get in U.S. history classes in high school, which rarely cover anything before the Boston T...
ep. review

Classroom Crisis ‒ Episode 5

"The fact that we're already in the titular class's graduation trip five episodes in is a pretty good indicator of the core contradiction of this show, and of this episode in particular."
review

Gyo [2-in-1 Deluxe Edition] GN

Junji Ito's death-stench horror gets the deluxe treatment with a new hardcover omnibus, but the subject matter might not work for everyone. ― Junji Ito is inarguably one of the masters of horror manga, utilizing both horror (physical revulsion) and terror (psychological reaction) to create gut-churning tales of the world gone mad. To a degree, he carries this out in his two-volume series Gyo from 200...
ep. review

Ushio & Tora ‒ Episode 5

"The show has improved because we now face a world of more complex evils."
ep. review

Prison School ‒ Episode 4

"Episode 4 is one of the finest examples of a prison break story in anime—and it's funny to boot."
ep. review

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma ‒ Episode 17

"Another episode of Food Wars, another truly unpleasant female character. "
column

ANNCast - Podcastoes O'Brien

Voice actor/director/professional Dungeons & Dragons player Liam O'Brien returns to the podcast after a 5-year hiatus to discuss his roles in Fate/Zero and Sailor Moon, along with the landscape for anime voice acting now and what it's like to be Gollum. ― ANNCast Episode 234: Podcastoes O'Brien Get the Flash Player to see this player. Voice actor/director/professional Dungeons & Dragons player Liam ...
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Answerman - What Needs To Be Approved By A Licensor?

Names, marketing, merchandise, key art - what aspects of an American home video release need direct approval from the Japanese company that owns the show? ― Hey guys, I could really use some new questions! It's the dog days of summer, so people are kind of checked out... and not sending in questions for me to answer. So come on, send me something! [email protected] Thanks!! Julian asks...
review

Noir Blu-Ray

Bee-Train's 2001 girls-with-guns classic returns on Blu-Ray, and holds up surprisingly well, despite some mediocre animation. ― Not all older series deserve the Blu-Ray treatment. For some it is because the show just isn't as iconic as people might like to think, while for others it's because the quality was never BD worthy in the first place. Noir, fortunately, does hold up well enough that its tran...
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 421

"The second half of this week's Naruto Shippūden showcases some of the most exciting action the show has featured in a long time."
ep. review

Death Note (Drama) ‒ Episode 4

"This episode was a rollercoaster ride, with some of the show's best moments and dullest moments so far."
ep. review

Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace ‒ Episode 5

"Rather than a stage play aesthetic, this week gives us a literal window into Kagami's mind and past actions."
review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc [Episodes 1-24 Streaming]

Egypt Arc is JoJo in peak condition, as memorable and engaging an adventure as you could hope for. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is back. ― When we last left our heroes, they'd just arrived on the shores of Egypt, escaping the literal jaws of defeat in order to finally save Jotaro's mother. The journey there had been a lengthy and sometimes inconsistent one, with their various adventures indeed being plen...
ep. review

Gintama ‒ Episode 282

"Gintama episode 282 is brimming with droll humor and Saint Seiya references."
ep. review

My Love Story!! ‒ Episode 17

"This week on My Love Story!!, we get some Christmas in July."
ep. review

Overlord ‒ Episode 4

"This is absolutely aggrandizement of the highest order towards Mr. Awesome Sauce Protagonist, but this series gets away with it better than most because of how uncomfortable Momonga continues to be with it."
column

Answerman - Why Did So Many OVA Series End Prematurely?

So many of those classic OVA series from the 80s and 90s ended after only one or two episodes. Justin investigates why. ― Hey guys, I could really use some new questions! It's the dog days of summer, so people are kind of checked out... and not sending in questions for me to answer. So come on, send me something! [email protected] Thanks!! Parker asks: I recently purchased Discotek's D...
review

Sword Art Online: Progressive Novel 2

Kirito's adventures continue in Reki Kawahara's second Progressive novel, which delves into the mechanics of the game much more than the show ever did. ― The second volume of Reki Kawahara's ambitious reimagining of Sword Art Online offers plenty of intriguing content, but perhaps none more so than its Afterword. In the Afterword for the first volume, he mentioned an intent to average about two floor...
ep. review

Monster Musume ‒ Episode 4

"If the previous episode was light on truly bizarre monster girl antics, Suu the Slime Girl is poised to fix that issue single-handedly."
column

The X Button - Heaven Sense

This week: a chat with Final Fantasy XIV producer Naoki Yoshida! Plus Exist Archive, Red Ash, Dragon Quest, and a classic wonder-world! ― Some loyal readers may be tired of hearing about Red Ash, Keiji Inafune's Kickstarter attempt to relaunch Mega Man Legends in just about everything but name and storyline. You must forgive me, as I really enjoy the Legends games and want to see more in their gener...
ep. review

Castle Town Dandelion ‒ Episode 4

"This episode focused on cramming as many different girls as possible into one half hour."
ep. review

Non Non Biyori Repeat ‒ Episode 4

"This is easily the best single episode I've reviewed in more than four seasons."
ep. review

Actually, I Am… ‒ Episode 4

"Actually, I Am… offered a bit of a surprise at the start of the season simply by being more competent than one might expect, but this storyline came out of nowhere."
interview

Interview: Fullmetal Alchemist and Concrete Revolutio screenwriter Shou Aikawa

The screenwriter behind the original 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist sheds some light on that show's deeper meaning, and talks about his latest project for the fall 2015 season, Concrete Revolutio. ― Screenwriter Shou Aikawa scarcely needs an introduction; he cut his teeth during the OVA boom of the 1980s, working on titles like Angel Cop, Dangaioh, Blood Reign: Curse of the Yoma and more. As a television w...
review

Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 DVD

I hope you like the '90s not only because this show is the most '90s thing ever, but also because it just doesn't have a whole lot else going for it. ― Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 definitely has an aesthetic. Now, whether it has a good aesthetic or not, that's the question. I hope you like the '90s. Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 is intensely, aggressively '90s, from its tone to its overall aesthetic to...
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Shelf Life - Sporty Spice

This week we get athletic with Ping Pong the Animation and Wanna Be the Strongest in the World. ― Jump to this week's reviews: Ping Pong the AnimationWanna Be the Strongest in the World! On Shelves This Week 009 Re: Cyborg BD+DVD Funimation - 104 min - Hyb - MSRP $34.98Currently cheapest at: $20.14 Amazon Synopsis: Long ago, nine humans were captured and weaponized into cyborgs. However, they rebell...
ep. review

God Eater ‒ Episode 3

"God Eater has its flaws, but they weren't apparent in episode three, which was a gorgeous respite from a cliché plot."
ep. review

Heroic Legend of Arslan ‒ Episode 16

"If The Heroic Legend of Arslan can give its protagonist some faults and everyone else more genuine character growth, it could be a much better show."
ep. review

Snow White with the Red Hair ‒ Episode 4

"Snow White with the Red Hair is best when it lets the character interactions tell the bulk of the story."
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Answerman - Why Do Older Shows Go Unstreamed?

Every season there are a handful of shows that don't get licensed for simulcasting, and frequently they're never heard from again. What's up with that? ― Chris asks: So, I have noticed over the past few years or so that certain series that have a following already have gotten passed up for streaming rights (i.e., Nanoha ViVid, Dog Days", Milky Holmes, etc. just to name a few) for other properties th...
ep. review

Gatchaman Crowds insight ‒ Episode 4

"Tsubasa is a good kid. She's doing her best. And in a different show, a simpler show about actual heroes and villains, her ways of tackling the world would actually do some good."
interview

Interview: Madoka Magica voice actress Ai Nonaka

The voice behind Madoka Magica's Kyoko Sakura and an enormous list of other fan favorite characters chats with us about her life, her hobbies, and her technique. ― Ai Nonaka is a veteran voice actress, having gotten her start in 2002 in shows like Kinnikuman and Platonic Chain; you likely know her as the feisty Kyoko Sakura from the smash hit Puella Magi Madoka Magica, but she's also well-known for h...
ep. review

Classic Review: Paranoia Agent ‒ Episode 3

"What with the alternate selves and identity questions, this week's Paranoia Agent largely played out like a very concise version of Perfect Blue."
review

Aldnoah.Zero Blu-Ray Vol. 1

Earth and Mars go to war in the first volume of creator Gen Urobuchi's sci-fi action hit, now in English and loaded with extras, but is this 6-episode single release worth the investment? ― What sets people apart from each other? That's a question that gets asked almost everyday, with various answers like “color,” “religion,” or “country of origin” all getting tossed around. In the world of Aldnoah Z...
ep. review

Charlotte ‒ Episode 4

"Despite the leisurely pace on this one, Charlotte hasn't struck out yet."
ep. review

Durarara!! ×2 The Second Arc ‒ Episode 4

"Durarara!! continues to keep it simple this week with a story about the love and hatred that two girls share toward everyone's favorite not-bartender, Shizuo Heiwajima."
ep. review

Wagnaria!!3 ‒ Episode 4

"Takanashi, Satou, and Todoroki all have complicated feelings to work through in this episode, which is bad news for anyone foolish enough to wander into the crossfire."
ep. review

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers ‒ Episode 4

"Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers shows its hand as a hybrid fantasy adventure/mystery. "
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The Mike Toole Show -The Worst Anime of All Time

Fresh from his panel at Otakon, Mike runs down the absolute worst anime he's ever seen, and wonders what you might consider to be worse. ― Goku and Superman tangle furiously, then get caught up in a tender embrace; bystanders swarm them, holding up mobile phones to capture the moment. A massive line of kids, teenagers, and adults in an assortment of wigs, hats, and other odd clothes starts moving, it...
review

Tokyo Ghoul GN 2

Tokyo Ghoul's second volume slows down the pace a little to examine what happens when the line between "monster" and "human" gets a little blurry. ― One of the greatest tropes in horror literature is the fear that the monsters might look just like us. I call it a trope due to its widespread use, but it remains an effective one, and in the second volume of Tokyo Ghoul, Sui Ishida takes that device and...
ep. review

GATE ‒ Episode 4

"After the big action pieces of the previous episodes, episode 4 is a much lower-key affair."
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The List - 6 Deadly Maids

These six maids will wait on you hand and foot, but are also quite capable of wasting some fools. PLUS: results from last week's Love Live poll and a new Pokemon poll! ― Maids, like catgirls, are an anime staple. Heck, some characters are even both. There's something alluring about the frilly dresses and sworn dedication to their "Master," even if that dedication involves killing a tavern full of gr...
review

Ultraman GN 1

Straight to you from 1966, it's Ultraman! Luckily you don't have to have seen the original TV show to enjoy this surprisingly non-campy sequel to the famous fighter's adventures. ― There's a good chance that readers outside of Asia aren't as familiar with Ultraman as those within it. While the 1966 show is available on DVD in English, it doesn't have the widespread recognition of, say, The Mighty Mor...
ep. review

Chaos Dragon ‒ Episode 4

"This episode took giant steps forward in developing the show's cast, and Chaos Dragon is getting much better."
ep. review

Classroom Crisis ‒ Episode 4

"It was budget crisis time this week, as Kaito Sera and his five remaining student/employees scrounged around to find the five hundred million they needed to stay in business."
ep. review

Prison School ‒ Episode 3

"Prison School demands its viewers take it seriously, even when bombarding them with blurred-out private parts and preposterous scenarios."
ep. review

Ushio & Tora ‒ Episode 4

"Ushio & Tora's older pedigree is turning out to be its blessing and its curse."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 420

"After months of minimal action, it's refreshing to see a battle sequence animated so smoothly and paced so adeptly, even if it doesn't last the entire episode."
ep. review

Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace ‒ Episode 4

"Even if you aren't about to go read any of his books, this week still makes a case for Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace starting to get its feet under it."
ep. review

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma ‒ Episode 16

"Put your minds at ease, people who were with me in being disappointed that the fried chicken arc had been skipped – it's just been rearranged."
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Answerman - Why Can't Idol Singers Have Lives Of Their Own?

Idol singers in Japan are held to some pretty strict and unrealistic standards of conduct by their fans. Is the Idol economy unfair? Justin takes a look. ― Chris asks: Singer Minami Kuribayashi — known for a number of anime OP and ED songs and as a voice actress for the Rumbling Hearts and Muv-Luv visual novels — recently admitted in a blog entry that she had a son, and that she expected that “becau...
column

ANNCast - ¡Kamui Caliente!

Zac and special guest Eryn head back to the 20th century for a double feature of two lavishly animated, terminally convoluted classics, X/1999 and Akira, and try not to lose their heads. ― ANNCast Episode 233: Kamui Caliente! Get the Flash Player to see this player. Zac and special guest Eryn head back to the 20th century for a double feature of two lavishly animated, terminally convoluted classics,...
feature

The Dream of Redemption in Haibane Renmei

Nick Creamer finds himself inside the walls of Haibane Renmei's mysterious town, pulling back the veil to reveal the show's many secrets. It's a beloved fan favorite, but what did it all mean? ― The town is a cage. It is a beautiful cage. Its streets are cobblestone and soft earth, its buildings rise and bloom in spires and steeples and tolling bells. Its people are kind, if distant. Lush, swaying pl...
review

Noragami BD+DVD

The story of a typical high school girl who falls in with an obscure god dealing with troublesome spirits. You know, normal high school stuff. ― The title of this 2014 adaptation of a shonen manga literally translates as “stray god,” which is a fitting description for its male protagonist and central character. (That “nora” means “stray” also becomes important in reference to another character who fi...
ep. review

Death Note (Drama) ‒ Episode 3

"This version of Death Note giveth and taketh away, expanding some elements of the story while condensing equally compelling ones."
ep. review

Gangsta. ‒ Episode 4

"In its fourth episode, Gangsta. addresses many of my hopes for its narrative so far."
ep. review

My Love Story!! ‒ Episode 16

"This episode debunked two frustrating myths of teen romance."
ep. review

School-Live! ‒ Episode 3

"The real meat of the episode, though, is at least a partial reveal on how the whole zombie apocalypse situation got started."
feature

Interview: Ayako Kawasumi

The voice of Fate/stay night's Saber (and countless other roles) answers a few questions about her life and career, and we didn't even have to use a command seal. ― Ayako Kawasumi is best known for the voice of Saber in the Fate/stay Night franchise and has a staggering number of roles under her belt from Nodame in Nodame Cantabile to Mahoro in Mahoromatic. She is also an accomplished pianist, lendi...
review

Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine

The second season of Netflix's exclusive CG anime continues the sci-fi drama you've come to expect, but the ending may leave something to be desired. ― The second season of Knights of Sidonia picks up almost exactly where the first season left off, with no recap whatsoever. Hence at least reviewing the events of the first season before beginning this one is strongly recommended, or else the first epi...
ep. review

Gintama ‒ Episode 281

"Episode 281 proves that Gintama is a versatile series that can handle solemnity and shonen action sequences almost as well as it handles humor."
column

Answerman - Why Doesn't Anime Have Deleted Scenes?

Ever wonder why American cartoons always have a ton of deleted scenes, but anime rarely ever does? Justin's on the case. ― Adam asks: For several American TV shows and movies, the home video releases tend to come with deleted scenes, which were edited out of the final version. Family Guy and Robot Chicken do this all the time. But I next to never see any deleted scenes for anime. And it's not just t...
column

The X Button - How Suda is Now

This week: further talk with Goichi “Suda51” Suda about Killer7, No More Heroes, and in-jokes! Plus new Street Fighters, Odin Sphere’s return, and the only election that matters! ― I was on the way home from Comic-Con when I heard the news: Satoru Iwata, the President and CEO of Nintendo since 2002, passed away at the age of 55. Iwata's time at Nintendo saw many momentous things: the DS replacing th...
feature

Interview: Danganronpa creator Kazutaka Kodaka

The creator of the mind-bending, reality-altering, shocking, funny and wildly popular Danganronpa series hits Hope Chapman with some truth bullets! ― Kazutaka Kodaka is the scenario writer and original creator of the Danganronpa game series, which is releasing its third entry, a midquel called "Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls," to Western audiences this September. The first game became a surpri...
feature

Anime Spotlight - Sky Wizards Academy

Can this instructor use his unorthodox training methods to turn these delinquents into powerful Sky Wizards? ― Sky Wizards Academy Visit the Official Site › Story Characters Trailer Cast & Staff Gallery Broadcast Begins July 8, 2015 (JST) Key Staff Director: Takayuki Inagaki (Desert Punk, Jewelpet Sunshine ) Series Composition: Hiroshi Yamaguchi (Comic Party, Nobunagun) Character Design: Osamu Horiu...
ep. review

Monster Musume ‒ Episode 3

"Monster Musume occasionally takes a brief vacation from being a sex comedy, and in these moments the show proves that it does have something resembling a heart."
ep. review

Overlord ‒ Episode 3

"With episode 3, the series expands outward in terms of both setting and introducing a fantasy action component."
column

The Top 10 Final Fantasy VII Themes

The FFVII remake can't come soon enough, but you can still enjoy that epic soundtrack while you wait! Hope Chapman counts down some of the best pieces from this legendary JRPG. ― At long last, Final Fantasy fanatics can look forward to a next-gen remake of the series' most popular entry: FFVII! There could be a long wait ahead of us before a shiny new version of this JRPG classic graces our PS4's, b...
ep. review

Castle Town Dandelion ‒ Episode 3

"Each of this episode's three stories feels like an appetizer, intriguing but incomplete."
ep. review

Non Non Biyori Repeat ‒ Episode 3

"Non Non Biyori Repeat brings its comedic A-game in this episode, but the show's contemplative side is mostly missing in action."
interview

The Art of Japanese Video Game Design With Suda51

Todd Ciolek talks with the wildly creative and eccentric man behind famously strange games like Killer7, No More Heroes and Lollipop Chainsaw to crack the secrets behind his philosophy on game creation. ― Goichi “Suda51” Suda has a special place in the game industry. Several places, in fact. Some know him as the author of twisted, investigative games like The Silver Case and Flower, Sun, and Rain. So...
review

Denki-Gai Collector's Edition Blu-Ray Vol. 3

The adventures of the Umanohone bookstore crew come to a conclusion (or maybe they just stop) in the final volume of PONYCAN's limited edition release. ― Denki-Gai has never really followed a set pattern for its storylines or episodes, sort of flowing freely from one weird scenario to the next, picking characters to spotlight at random, and generally just running with it. This third and final set of ...
feature

Anime Spotlight - Durarara!! x 2 The Second Arc

Ikebukuro is once again a hotbed of gang wars, random kidnappings, and supernatural activity. ― Durarara!! x 2 The Second Arc Visit the Official Site › Story Characters Trailer Cast & Staff Gallery Broadcast Begins July 4 2015 (JST) Key Staff Director: Takahiro Omori (Baccano!,Natsume's Book of Friends) Series Composition: Noboru Takagi (Baccano!, Kuroko's Basketball) Character Design: Takahiro Kish...
ep. review

Actually, I Am… ‒ Episode 3

"The shock value of characters not being what they appear is wearing off, but the show still has a few more cast members to introduce."
ep. review

Durarara!! ×2 The Second Arc

"Durarara is finally back on top of its game again, with two of its most gruesome character revelations yet in these sharp and captivating episodes."
column

Shelf Life - No Pain No Game

This week, characters go head-to-head in culinary and card game match-ups:
- No Game, No Life
- Yakitate!! Japan Pt 2
― Jump to this week's reviews: No Game, No LifeYakitate!! Japan Pt. 2 On Shelves This Week .hack//G.U. Trilogy DVD Funimation - 94 min - Sub - MSRP $29.98Currently cheapest at: $17.26 Rakuten Synopsis: Things in "The World" are once again slipping into chaos. Haseo and his friend Ato...
ep. review

God Eater ‒ Episode 2

"If God Eater put half as much work into its story and dialogue as it did into its stunning visuals and cinematics, it would be the best show of the season."
ep. review

Snow White with the Red Hair ‒ Episode 3

"Snow White With the Red Hair is not necessarily an action-packed show, and this episode is the slowest we've had, but it's still engaging."
ep. review

Classic Review: Paranoia Agent ‒ Episode 2

"In this week's episode, we sit inside an "unknowable youth"'s head, and find it to be a selfish and paranoid but ultimately very familiar place."
column

Answerman - What's with all the school uniforms in anime?

Nearly every student in nearly every anime (which is an enormous percentage of anime characters) wears a school uniform. But WHY? ― James asks: I have noticed that a large percentage of Japanese anime and manga series that I have followed feature schools, and almost invariably, the students at those schools wear uniforms (with Dragon Ball being the only series that I can recall where students do not...
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 702

"Let's take a break from last week's flashback within a flashback in favor of a different flashback within a flashback! "
interview

Interview: Kamisama Kiss mangaka Julietta Suzuki

The mangaka behind the hit shojo series Kamisama Kiss answers a few questions about her life, her career, and her favorite movie. ― Julietta Suzuki is the mangaka most known for the smash hit shojo fantasy Kamisama Kiss, which has developed an international fanbase and was subsequently adapted into a 2-season anime series. She's also responsible for Karakuri Odette, the tale of an android girl who go...
ep. review

Heroic Legend of Arslan ‒ Episode 15

"The Heroic Legend of Arslan really needs to figure out what works from its source in moving-picture form and what doesn't."
review

Persona 4 the Golden Animation Blu-Ray Vol. 1

All that extra material in Persona 4: The Golden gets animated, but it's for diehard Persona fans only; newcomers to the franchise need not apply. Gabriella Ekens takes a look. ― Persona 4 came out in 2008 and has been printing money ever since. Persona 4: The Golden Animation is an animated collection of scenes exclusive to the game's enhanced re-release, Persona 4: The Golden. It's meant to be inse...
ep. review

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers

"These first episodes are engaging, illustrating character through action rather than statements, and they paint a clear picture of the world our heroes inhabit."
ep. review

Gatchaman Crowds insight episodes 1-3

"Gatchaman Crowds is about what drives people, and what makes them tick. It's about trying to build a better world."
review

Twin Star Exorcists GN 1

Two kids with great talent as onmyoji are told that they must marry and have a child; needless to say they aren't thrilled with the idea in the first volume of this action romance from the creator of Good Luck Girl. ― Raise your hand if you've heard the name “Abe no Seimei.” Chances are good that if you've ever read or watched something based in the Heian period or involving exorcists or onmyoji, you...
feature

Anime Spotlight - Non Non Biyori Repeat

Let's hang out and spend a beautiful summer with our friends from the Asahigaoka Branch School. ― Non Non Biyori Repeat Visit the Official Site › Story Characters Trailer Cast & Staff Gallery Broadcast Begins July 2015 (JST) Key Staff Director: Shinya Kawatsura (Kokoro Connect, Non Non Biyori) Series Composition: Reiko Yoshida (D.Gray-man, Sugar Sugar Rune) Character Design: Mai Otsuka (Shakugan no ...
ep. review

Charlotte

"It's a rote setup made interesting through its unique angle on superpowers, tight plotting, and snappy pacing."
ep. review

Wagnaria!!3

"The stories are lighthearted, the humor is deep-fried, and it ends on a pleasantly sweet note from time to time."
ep. review

Disappearance of Nagato Yuki chan ‒ Episodes 15-16

"And so Nagato Yuki-chan ends where it began: harmlessly, with no real threat of anything actually happening."
ep. review

Ushio & Tora

"Ushio & Tora brings a '90s spirit to the summer lineup, making it essential viewing both for curmudgeons and new fans alike."
ep. review

GATE Ep. 1-3

"Gate is taking a more methodical pace, one suited to a guaranteed 24 episode run. It does have a prickly side, though."

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