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ep. review

Rage of Bahamut Genesis ‒ Episode 7

"It's not so much a "part two" as it is a bridge between different sections of the story."
ep. review

Yona of the Dawn ‒ Episode 8

"Sorry, Su-won fans – this is another episode of Yona of the Dawn that lacks our beautiful, conflicted antagonist."
ep. review

Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road ‒ Episode 8

"The true strength of this episode came from Arakita and Onoda's blundering attempts to connect to one another."
ep. review

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace ‒ Episode 8

"For whatever reason, the show turns and sprints away from a discussion that it chose to start."
ep. review

Mushishi: The Next Chapter ‒ Episode 16

"It's a cozy resting place for the series this week after some emotionally tense preceding stories."
ep. review

Gugure! Kokkuri-san ‒ Episode 8

"It's hard not to notice the lack of fast-paced madcap humor here, which is usually the show's strength."
game review

Game Review: Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth

A fanservice-heavy, dungeon-crawling, number-crunching marriage between Etrian Odyssey and Personas 3 and 4. What could possibly go wrong? ― Thrown together across time, the casts of Persona 3 and 4 navigate a very Etrian Odyssey labyrinth with a very Persona set of abilities. Though the series seem at odds with each other--Etrian Odyssey's barely-there story clashes with Persona's sappy melodrama an...
ep. review

Akame ga KILL! ‒ Episode 21

"I have to wonder what conclusion the series is aiming for at this point, as it is giving no clear indication what it's building towards."
ep. review

Wolf Girl & Black Prince ‒ Episode 8

"This episode gives viewers only a brief chance to catch their breath before plowing ahead to the new love-rival-of-the-day formula."
ep. review

CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon ‒ Episode 8

"The late stages of this episode mark a major shift by making a dramatic leap forward in the plot."
ep. review

World Trigger ‒ Episode 7

"This episode continues World Trigger's main problem of lingering on what should be brief exposition segments for so long that not much happens through the entire episode."
ep. review

The Fruit of Grisaia ‒ Episode 8

"The Fruit of Grisaia has had some rocky moments, but this episode isn't one of them."
ep. review

Celestial Method ‒ Episode 8

"Celestial Method has upped its pace, and while there's still plenty of slice-of-life moments this time, there's also more of a feeling that everything has a purpose."
ep. review

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works ‒ Episode 7

"It's so thrilling that it's almost too much to stomach during a single viewing."
ep. review

Lord Marksman and Vanadis ‒ Episode 8

"The battle strategies here are clever and easy to follow, but an animated game of Risk does not a compelling series make."
ep. review

Sword Art Online II ‒ Episode 20

"Though this episode wasn't a standout by any means, it was still a consistent and reasonably entertaining ride."
ep. review

Log Horizon 2 ‒ Episode 8

"Though I'd hoped for more of an aesthetically dramatic finale, the episode definitely succeeded in pulling all of this narrative's pieces together."
ep. review

Psycho-Pass 2 ‒ Episode 7

"Contains a story decision so poor that it basically dooms the rest of the season to wholesale incongruity with everything that came before it."
ep. review

GARO THE ANIMATION ‒ Episode 8

"This is easily the most fun GARO's ever been."
ep. review

Terraformars ‒ Episode 9

"It's a good thing the script has more or less been able to keep up, because the animation sure hasn't."
review

Studio Ghibli Bluray Review-a-thon Day 4: Castle in the Sky

The Ghibliton rolls along with day 4, wherein Hope Chapman visits a familiar floating palace that doubles as a superweapon and a retirement home for mute robots. ― Released in 1986, Castle in the Sky is Studio Ghibli's first feature film in title only. Miyazaki already had two films under his belt showcasing his animation style and passionate, personal beliefs. (Nausicaa's ideas are plain on its face...
ep. review

Your lie in April ‒ Episode 7

"This is a highly distinctive chapter of Your Lie in April due to the inventive camera-work."
ep. review

DENKI-GAI ‒ Episode 8

"Rather than going for an introspective coming-of-age vignette, Denki-gai plays it all raunchy and rude."
column

Answerman - On Activism (and other stuff)

This week, Justin takes on an effort to halt the career of a controversial voice actor. Plus, romaji subtitles, early pre-orders, and the mysterious Animax. ― Wow, I can't believe the country is already getting clobbered by snow. I mean, it's barely halfway through November. This really doesn't bode well for the rest of the winter, does it? I mean, I'm here in the arid desserts of Southern Californi...
column

ANNCast - New Super Game Show Bros.

It's Game Show time! So that means we're talkin' videogames with Todd Ciolek, Dave Riley and newcomer to the show Heidi Kemps. We cover: Smash Bros, Dragon Age Inquisition, and most importantly, Virtua Cop 3. ― ANNCast 206 - New Super Game Bros. Get the Flash Player to see this player. It's Game Show time! So that means we're talkin' videogames with Todd Ciolek, Dave Riley and newcomer to the show H...
ep. review

Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru ‒ Episode 7

"Veteran anime fans have seen this kind of content innumerable times before, somehow it is done just a little better here."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 387

"Equal parts riveting and tedious, it's a clumsy concoction of the progress we've been waiting for wedged in between more flashbacks."
ep. review

Shirobako ‒ Episode 7

"If Shirobako continues in this direction, it could prove itself to be something not just entertaining and thoughtful, but truly original and great."
review

Studio Ghibli Bluray Review-a-thon Day 3: The Secret World of Arrietty

Day three of our Ghiblithon arrives in miniature as Rebecca Silverman enters the world of Arrietty and her sugar cube-stealing ilk. ― Anime at times has a uniquely sad way of looking at Western literature, as anyone who has seen Gankutsuo: The Count of Monte Cristo, a retelling of Alexandre Dumas' novel can attest. While we didn't see that in Studio Ghibli's adaptation of Dianna Wynne Jones' YA fanta...
column

House of 1000 Manga - Gen Manga

Shaenon does the impossible and tries to marathon all of One Piece in a... wait, nope, this is about quirky underground manga from publisher Gen! ― Gen Manga My colleague Jason just spent the past two weeks of this column covering Naruto, the most popular manga of all time, at least in the U.S. It got such a positive response that we've decided to go all-mainstream, all the time. Which is why this w...
ep. review

Parasyte -the maxim- ‒ Episode 7

"Parasyte continues to become more fascinating and confident as its twisted narrative unwinds."
ep. review

Gundam Build Fighters Try ‒ Episode 7

"Forget about who deserves or needs to win the most. Love for the game is all that matters."
ep. review

Chaika - The Coffin Princess Avenging Battle ‒ Episode 7

"For all its good points, the series is in danger of taking it too slow for too long."
column

The X Button - Sega Visions

This week, we ask ourselves just why we like Sega! Plus Rodea, high-school comedy, Persona, and a small goodbye to a small developer. ― We're talking about Sega this week. To get down to it, we're talking about Sega's legacy: the triumphs, the failures, and the fan devotion that endures in ways precious and disconcerting. If you want a good example of that mixture of appreciation and nostalgia, look...
review

Studio Ghibli Bluray Review-a-thon Day 2: Whisper of the Heart

Eleven days of Ghibli bluray reviews continues with a boy, a girl, a John Denver song, a talking cat in aristocratic clothing and, naturally, Mike Toole. ― “Country Roads” by John Denver is a song that has traveled like few others, echoing across the planet for decades. It's a peculiar kind of universal language; at the World Cup in 2006, my friends and I sang it incessantly with Germans and Italians...
ep. review

Yona of the Dawn ‒ Episode 7

"This episode may be set up, but it still gives us a lot to think about as Yona prepares to make her next move."
ep. review

Trinity Seven ‒ Episode 7

The plot moves forward a little but it isn't enough to maintain Trinity Seven's weekly reviews.
review

The Studio Ghibli Bluray Review-a-thon Day 1: The Wind Rises

You may have noticed our reviews database is missing a whole bunch of Ghibli blurays; we're fixing that over the next eleven days starting here, with a look at Miyazaki's final film, out on bluray today. ― The Wind Rises is likely the most complicated film in the Studio Ghibli oeuvre, largely because it operates with varying success on a number of levels: at its most basic, it's a fictionalized versi...
column

RIGHT TURN ONLY!! - Sunny Side Up

Winter may be coming, but it's still a sunny Eden in here, with new volumes of, well, Sunny and Cage of Eden, along with Food Wars and a digital-only series that's like a history book with nudity in this edition of RTO!! ― It's kind of amazing how a random old object, like the car in Sunny, can have such an impact on us as kids. My sisters and I built a log cabin out of all of the blow-down after a ...
ep. review

Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road ‒ Episode 7

"This was a real in-betweener episode where a lot of small events happened one after another with hardly any substance. "
column

Shelf Life - Kings of Reon

This week, the trials and tribulations of magical retail work, and invading parasitic aliens.
- Fatal Fury: Legends of the Hungry Wolf
- Parasyte ep 1-6
- Yu-Sibu
― Shelf Worthy Nothing this week Stream Worthy Parasyte ep 1-6 Rental Fatal Fury: Legends of the Hungry Wolf DVD Perishable Yu-Sibu Complete Collection BD I say this every year, but I hate it when Daylight Savings Time ends. I think instea...
ep. review

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace ‒ Episode 7

"While other shows have done a respectable job of examining chuunibyou from an insider's perspective, When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace goes a step further."
ep. review

Mushishi: The Next Chapter ‒ Episode 15

"One of the mushier episodes of Mushi-Shi in the best kind of way."
ep. review

Gugure! Kokkuri-san ‒ Episode 7

"Now that we're familiar with the characters and their shtick, Gugure! Kokkuri-san teeters on the edge of predictable."
ep. review

Akame ga KILL! ‒ Episode 20

"A very busy (and once again very bloody) episode."
ep. review

Lord Marksman and Vanadis ‒ Episode 7

"The whole episode is just a series of events and information that Tigre solves his way through like he's playing an RPG."
ep. review

Wolf Girl & Black Prince ‒ Episode 7

"Episode 7 lacks much of the humor that makes the show so compelling."
ep. review

The Fruit of Grisaia ‒ Episode 7

"This episode seems symptomatic of the overall problem with this particular game adaptation: rushed, feeling like it leaves out the most important parts."
ep. review

CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon ‒ Episode 7

" Possibly the best episode of the series so far."
ep. review

World Trigger ‒ Episode 6

"This episode was boring and full of shortcuts, but not to the hilarious degree of last week's."
column

The Mike Toole Show - Anime in Orbit

Bust out the astronaut ice cream, it's time to blast off with Mike on a tour of anime about space travel! ― Space is the place. Just look at some of our real-life milestones over the past few years. NASA has had an SUV roaming the surface of Mars for over two years, doing god knows what. A shipment to the ISS blew up shortly after takeoff, and a Virgin Spaceways test flight flamed out, killing one of...
review

Vampire Knight GN 19

It's the end of the road for Vampire Knight, a road paved with sexy vampires. ― Self-sacrifice: the act of giving up your very being for someone or something else. But if everyone is busy sacrificing that which is most important for those whom they love most, does the act have any meaning anymore? That is the major conundrum of Vampire Knight's final volume. We already know that Yuki has given up Zer...
ep. review

Celestial Method ‒ Episode 7

"Celestial Method might be moving in a slightly more interesting direction if this had been episode three instead of seven."
ep. review

Sword Art Online II ‒ Episode 19

"I wish Sword Art Online were always as good as this week would indicate. "
ep. review

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works ‒ Episode 6

"Clearly, the show is continuing to balance many narrative threads at the same time, and this episode succeeds at stacking revelations onto built-up character development. "
ep. review

Sailor Moon Crystal ‒ Episode 10

"For a series that sells itself as being about friendship between young girls, it sure does give their boyfriends priority in terms of screen time."
ep. review

Log Horizon 2 ‒ Episode 7

"A lot of this episode was dedicated to hyping up the next episode, but there was still plenty to dig into here."
ep. review

GARO THE ANIMATION ‒ Episode 7

"This episode is not only incongruous with the narrative standards set by previous ones but ultimately irrelevant, just sound and fury signifying nothing."
ep. review

Terraformars ‒ Episode 8

"Good writing hasn't ever been a selling point for Terraformars, but this episode manages to do an acceptable job without much action to lean on."
ep. review

Your lie in April ‒ Episode 6

"Even when this show isn't going for spectacle or psychodrama, it's still one of the best things airing right now."
ep. review

Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru ‒ Episode 6

"A series doesn't always have to do something fancy in order to be special. It just has to do what it does really, really well. That is where Yuki Yuna is a Hero stands now."
ep. review

Psycho-Pass 2 ‒ Episode 6

"Watching episode 6 of Psycho-Pass 2 is like trying to awkwardly swim up a stack of shipping containers."
review

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet BD+DVD

The smash hit sci-fi series supervised by Gen Urobuchi releases on bluray and hits all the right story notes, but the discs themselves leave something to be desired. ― What makes us human? Can humanity be bestowed upon someone, or learned? These are themes that we have seen in most of writer Gen Urobuchi's works (Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Psycho-Pass, among others) but Gargantia on the Verdurous ...
column

Answerman - Show Me Your Evil Stick

How evil is the Evil Stick? Why are those old Patlabor movie boxes so cheap? Why do adapted TV anime get new music? And what's with this Manga 2.5 business, anyway? ― As one would expect, I got a lot of questions about Viz's Sailor Moon discs this week. There are two things preventing me from answering questions about that: the first is a conflict of interest. I work on some stuff for Viz, so ANN ru...
ep. review

Shirobako ‒ Episode 6

"Just because Shirobako knows the anime industry can be tough doesn't mean it's telling you not to dream."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 386

"It's an obvious play for more episodes before the animators have to say farewell to the arc, but it does an adequate job of entertaining."
column

ANNCast - Over the Moon

Charlene Ingram, Senior Manager of Animation Marketing at Viz Media, and Julie McDonald, Director of Animation Production, stop by to discuss the issues with the newly-released Sailor Moon bluray, among other things. ― ANNCast 205 - Over the Moon Get the Flash Player to see this player. Charlene Ingram, Senior Manager of Animation Marketing at Viz Media, and Julie McDonald, Director of Animation Pro...
ep. review

DENKI-GAI ‒ Episode 7

"We certainly saw a lot of the girls this episode, both physically and regarding screen time."
column

House of 1000 Manga - The 48 56-Hour Naruto Marathon, Part II

The conclusion of the tale of a man who set out to read the entire Naruto saga in 2 days, only to do it in about 2.5 and nearly scramble his chakra in the process. ― The 48 56 Hour Naruto Marathon: Part 2 "The sensation is just like that of vomiting." —Killer Bee SPOILER: I couldn't do it. I couldn't read all 71 (I mean 72) volumes of Naruto in 48 hours. I dropped volumes, I blew past the deadline, ...
review

Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer GN 1-2

Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer is an odd duck, melding basic shounen action with a much darker domestic story. ― Underneath the goofy start and typically comedic devices of absurdly powerful girls and talking animals, Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer is hiding a very dark story. It takes a while to really get there – and to get going, which makes Seven Seas' decision to release it in a two-book omnibus...
ep. review

Gundam Build Fighters Try ‒ Episode 6

"This week's battle was a nail-biter, with lots of unpredictability and suspense."
ep. review

Parasyte -the maxim- ‒ Episode 6

"On a pure narrative front, the direction this episode pushes the story in is fundamentally engaging."
ep. review

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace ‒ Episode 6

"This is a perfectly decent half hour of animation, but it suffers from having to measure up to the rest of the series."
ep. review

Chaika - The Coffin Princess Avenging Battle ‒ Episode 6

"Slow episodes like this are necessary from time to time, and are perfectly acceptable as long as the show can make its high points worth the wait."
ep. review

Trinity Seven ‒ Episode 6

Trinity Seven has sexy girls, a sizable amount of fan service, an amusing male lead, and lots of powerful magic being thrown around. So why is it so dull? That's the big question, and the most probable answer keeps coming back to two things: uninspired scripting and weak directing. The problems with choppy editing that crippled episode 2 have improved but not entirely gone away, as evidenced by th...
column

The X Button - Real Drives

This week: a Kickstarter rodeo of realistic robots, roving reptiles, and something Irish! Plus Xenoblade, Rodea, and the possible return of dudes with attitude! ― The Battletoads occupy a strange land between grudging respect and unending shame. Their games aren't all that bad: the NES original has a lot of variety despite its piercing difficulty, and most of its spin-offs are above average. The Bat...
review

Voltron: From Days of Long Ago: A Thirtieth Anniversary Celebration

A big glossy hardcover coffee table book all about the history, the legacy, and most importantly the merchandise of one of the few giant robots America seems to love. ― It was sleek, black, and two and a half pounds. I hefted it uneasily. “Voltron coffee table book,” I whispered, unsure if I was ready to exist in a world of Voltron coffee table books. I gazed at the cover, taking in the “Thirtieth An...
ep. review

Yona of the Dawn ‒ Episode 6

"Yona of the Dawn is continuing its upward trend as the characters grow and reveal more about themselves and the action heats up."
review

Otorimonogatari Sub.Blu-Ray 3

Three arcs in to its momentous second season, Monogatari reaches new heights in the paranoid mind of Sengoku Nadeko. ― The second season of Monogatari has prompted an overarching shift in the show's narrative priorities. Both Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari were largely focused on introducing various characters, using Araragi as the lens through which the viewer came to know Monogatari's strange fa...
column

Pile of Shame - Colorful

Justin takes a look at an understated art house drama anime from a few years ago, and finds a lot to admire. ― COLORFUL To paraphrase Hideaki Anno, people don't commit suicide because they're depressed, people commit suicide because they can no longer imagine happiness. That thought occurred to me again and again while I was watching Colorful, the remarkable feature film produced by Sunrise in 2010,...
ep. review

Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road ‒ Episode 6

"Commonplace and everyday occurrences take on ominous new meanings when Machimiya is thrown into the mix."
ep. review

Rage of Bahamut Genesis ‒ Episode 6

"If a mere "Part I" can pack so much in and still feel cohesive, that bodes pretty well for "Part II"—and the whole series going forward."
column

Shelf Life - The Haunting

This week, ghosts from our past, present, and future. Also, more girl power than you can shake a Moon Stick at!
- A Certain Scientific Railgun S pt 2
- Ghost in the Shell Arise pt 1
- Sailor Moon pt 1
― Shelf Worthy A Certain Scientific Railgun S Part 2 DVD Rental Sailor Moon Part 1 DVD/BD Ghost in the Shell: Arise Part 1 DVD/BD Perishable Nothing this week For the most part, I don't really eat cand...
ep. review

Mushishi: The Next Chapter ‒ Episode 14

"It's still a good story in its progression, imagery, and strong message, but "Hidden Cove" could use a little more of the series' trademark intimacy."
ep. review

Lord Marksman and Vanadis ‒ Episode 6

"Trying to keep track of everything in this episode gave me serious whiplash."
views

Questions Needed: Kio Shimoku Interview

We're interviewing Genshiken mangaka Kio Shimoku, and we need your help! ― In advance of NISA's release of Genshiken: Second Generation next February, we've been given the opportunity to interview the series' creator and mangaka Kio Shimoku! What we need now are questions for the man, and that's where you come in. The interview will include questions from both our staff and you, the fans, selected ba...
ep. review

Gugure! Kokkuri-san ‒ Episode 6

"This episode diverts from the norm as much for the slight character development as for the gags. "
ep. review

Akame ga KILL! ‒ Episode 19

"Everything comes together nicely for one of the strongest episodes of the series to date."
review

Ghost in the Shell: Arise Blu-Ray 1-2

One of the world's most popular and recognizable anime franchises is back in OVA form, this time reaching into the past to explore the early days of Kusanagi and Section 9. ― Masamune Shirow, the creator of Ghost in the Shell, has no peer in anime and manga when it comes to imagining a future with cybertechnology and the extent and ramifications of what can be done with it. One of the few who comes c...
ep. review

Wolf Girl & Black Prince ‒ Episode 6

"If you love screaming, "You jerk!" at the screen, Wolf Girl & Black Prince episode 6 will entertain in a twisted way."
ep. review

CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon ‒ Episode 6

"This may never be a great series, but right now it doesn't look shoddy, either."
ep. review

The Fruit of Grisaia ‒ Episode 6

"It may still be over-full and a little rushed, but this is one of the strongest episodes of The Fruit of Grisaia thus far."
ep. review

Celestial Method ‒ Episode 6

"Celestial Method really is beautiful to look at and is taking baby steps towards resolving its issues... but what we really need is a giant step here and there to really move things along. "