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review

Toriko Part I DVD

Toriko is about manly men doing manly things in the most masculine way possible, and that's part of its particular charm. ― Garfield – the cat, not the president – once said, “If I couldn't eat, I'd just die.” While that was the punchline of a strip, it is essentially the basis of the anime series Toriko, based on the manga of the same name by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro. This collection of the first two ...
ep. review

Yona of the Dawn ‒ Episode 11

"Yona's almost halfway done with gathering her warriors – Su-won had better start watching his back."
review

Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story GN 3

Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story ends on as high a note as it can while still being pretty depressing. ― Warning: contains some spoilers for the original Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Hanokage, the artist and apparent originator of this spin-off of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, says at the end of the volume that her idea was to see what would have happened had Mami not died so early on in the...
ep. review

Mushishi: The Next Chapter ‒ Episode 19

"This turns out to be a really excellent, downright heart-stopping episode even when you know what's coming every step of the way."
ep. review

Rage of Bahamut Genesis ‒ Episode 10

"For a dumb swashbuckling action show, Rage of Bahamut Genesis has shown over and over again that it can be smart when it wants to be."
ep. review

Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road ‒ Episode 11

"It's infuriating to know that no matter how many predictions we make, we're still probably a month away from the race's conclusion."
ep. review

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace ‒ Episode 11

"It may not have packed the dramatic punch that it initially promised, but this latest run of episodes has still been a solid effort overall."
column

Shelf Life - Designated x Diver

This week, characters dive into ancient caves, voluptuous breasts, and also some good old fashioned nostalgia.
- Cowboy Bebop
- Fatal Fury the Movie
- High School DxD New
― Shelf Worthy Cowboy Bebop Complete Series BD Fatal Fury: the Movie DVD Boob Show High School DxD New BD+DVD Rental Nothing this week Perishable Nothing this week Revisiting old classics is sometimes a little scary. There's always...
ep. review

Gugure! Kokkuri-san ‒ Episode 11

"There are a few moments where the episode hints at what might have been had the core gimmick been more fully explored, but it doesn't really deliver."
ep. review

Lord Marksman and Vanadis ‒ Episode 11

"Some poor choices aside, there's a lot of high-stakes climax in this episode."
ep. review

Wolf Girl & Black Prince ‒ Episode 11

"Reika is too abrasive and many of the jokes fall flat in this episode, making it entertaining but not among the series' best."
ep. review

Akame ga KILL! ‒ Episode 24

"This is nothing less than a complete and proper ending to one of the year's bloodiest series."
ep. review

World Trigger ‒ Episode 10

"Neither repellant nor interesting, it's just maybe ten minutes of content watered down into twenty minutes of runtime."
ep. review

Sword Art Online II ‒ Episode 23

"Sword Art Online whiplash struck once again this week, as out from the ashes of last week's overselling emerged one of the most thoughtful and well-articulated episodes of the season. "
ep. review

The Fruit of Grisaia ‒ Episode 11

"Will The Fruit of Grisaia end on as strong a note as it began? Given the trajectory of this arc, that is finally looking very possible."
ep. review

Celestial Method ‒ Episode 11

"Celestial Method uses this eleventh episode to finally get everyone to face forward."
ep. review

CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon ‒ Episode 11

"This episode certainly has its flaws, but it gives the story a strong push forward."
column

The Mike Toole Show - What Price Freedom?

Bandai Visual's ambitious spacefaring OVA series with designs by the famous Katsuhiro Otomo was heavily sponsored by Cup Noodle, but didn't come with a chicken flavor packet. ― A couple of columns back, I mused on a set of anime productions with heavy and generally realistic themes of space flight. (Yes, I'm referencing something I published just a few weeks ago. This is the real life version of when...
review

Ajin GN 1

Ajin is not an easy series or one that you would call “fun,” but it is a very good one. ― Who is the monster and who is the man? This is a question that has been in the literary spotlight since Mary Shelley's Frankenstein raised the issue of who had more humanity, Dr. Frankenstein or his Monster. Tsuina Miura takes a different look at the same issue in Ajin, which examines questions of fear and man's...
ep. review

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works ‒ Episode 10

"This was an excellent confrontation episode, with possibly the best fight in this already gorgeously-realized adaptation of the visual novel."
ep. review

Log Horizon 2 ‒ Episode 11

"It was raid time again this week, as Shiroe and the Silver Swords made another attempt against the dungeon's ridiculous three boss encounter."
column

The List - 7 Manga To Improve Your Cooking

Food manga isn't all just mouth-watering illustrations of food and heroic journeys through the world of chefdom - turns out you can actually learn to cook from some of them! ― If I'm being honest, cooking wasn't a major part of my upbringing, and now I'm an adult with zero experience outside of boiling pasta and putting Prego on it. If you've already got some cooking chops, or have zero experience w...
review

Higurashi: When They Cry GN 26

The Dice Killing Arc is not the strongest ending to Higurashi: When They Cry, but it is still an interesting read, particularly if you're now reading Umineko. ― My perfect is not your perfect, and there will always be someone who has it all looking for a more perfect happiness. So at what point does someone stop and say, “Yes, this is as much as it needs to be and I will be content?” That is the over...
ep. review

Psycho-Pass 2 ‒ Episode 10

"One more episode. Frankly, I can't wait to blow this popsicle stand."
ep. review

GARO THE ANIMATION ‒ Episode 11

"This is a show about cruelty that isn't cruel itself, and it's a difficult line to skirt."
ep. review

Your lie in April ‒ Episode 10

"This week's episode was a powerful argument for the show's thesis that music is about the emotions it stirs in you, not about competitions or precision."
ep. review

Terraformars ‒ Episode 12

"It may not be clever or insightful, but it's certainly been fun to watch over the last few weeks."
ep. review

Shirobako ‒ Episode 10

"It's nice to see Shirobako acknowledging that following your dreams can result in some tough choices, but I wish it did that with a bit more finesse."
column

ANNCast - The Time of Ann

Ann Tomoko Yamamoto, the woman behind the massively successful Kickstarter campaign for Time of Eve, joins us to talk about the experience, her history with the film and what's next... including the possibility of more Time of Eve. ― ANNCast 208 - The Time of Ann Get the Flash Player to see this player. Ann Tomoko Yamamoto, the woman behind the massively successful Kickstarter campaign for Time of E...
review

A Letter to Momo BD+DVD

Hiroyuki Okiura's seven-years-in-the-making film about a girl coping with loss with the help of three supernatural creatures arrives on bluray. ― Essentially, a description of this 2011 production could be boiled down to one sentence: three mostly-incompetent supernatural visitors (partly by accident) help a preteen girl reach resolution over the loss of her father. Supernatural entities helping to e...
column

Answerman - Holiday Hustle

Finally, a comprehensive guide to what Ghibli discs are safe to buy, and which have screwy subtitles! Plus, if legal anime downloads will ever be a thing, manga artists meddling in manga adaptations, and why they printed so many discs nobody wanted, back in the day. ― I really thought I was going to die this week. I had so many irons in the fire, so many projects going at once, that I was working 18...
ep. review

Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru ‒ Episode 10

"If this show can stick the landing, then you're looking at a prime candidate for one of the year's best series."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 391

"While viewers can breathe a sigh of relief that the series is finally progressing, this episode suffers from more laggard pacing and overly complicated explanations tossed out one after another."
ep. review

DENKI-GAI ‒ Episode 11

"This episode would have worked better in the middle of the show, not as one of the final episodes of the season."
game review

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Fresh from the bonus stages of Super Mario 3D World, Captain Toad's treasure tracking adventures are fun, whimsical, and easy on the senses. ― Treasure Tracker is a simple game, built on the ultra-fun playhouses that Super Mario 3D World used for variety between its standard platforming levels. Captain Toad and Toadette trundle through bite-sized dioramas floating in space, grabbing up 1-ups and fist...
column

House of 1000 Manga - Gogo Monster

Not an adaptation of the classic film Monster A-Go-Go, instead a captivating and beautiful tale of childhood by legendary mangaka Taiyo Matsumoto. ― Gogo Monster I know childhood isn't magical, because when I was four years old I told myself so. I made a point of burning a message into my brain: Adult self, don't go thinking children have any insights or magical perceptions, because we don't. That m...
ep. review

Parasyte -the maxim- ‒ Episode 11

"Not as focused as the past few have been, but a necessary expansion of scope and a breath of air between the heavier episodes."
ep. review

Chaika - The Coffin Princess Avenging Battle ‒ Episode 10

"It didn't break any molds or reinvent any wheels, but it didn't need to. This has been a consistently fun and clever series, and is an easy recommendation for fans of the genre."
ep. review

Gundam Build Fighters Try ‒ Episode 10

"Instead of 'filler,' you could call this a 'character driven episode.'"
column

The X Button - Terra Forms

This week, Todd takes on mobile games with Terra Battle, Chain Chronicle and Monster Strike. Plus Street Fighter V, a Suikoden surprise, and a big catgirl debate! ― There's still time to enter the X Button's latest contest! All you need to do is write up a treasured and humorous memory involving the holidays and video games. Then you send it in, and one lucky winner walks away with the prize pack! W...
review

Witchcraft Works GN 1

The tale of an average boy (who isn't average) and the Amazonian witch lady who protects him. There's witchcraft in there somewhere, too! ― It's easy not to believe series protagonist Honoka Takamiya when he tells us that he's just an average high school student. Admittedly this is mostly because he's the hero of a manga series, thus dramatically reducing his chances of being as normal as he thinks h...
ep. review

Yona of the Dawn ‒ Episode 10

"We're definitely getting to a turning point in the story, and I for one have never been happier that this show will keep going into next season."
ep. review

Rage of Bahamut Genesis ‒ Episode 9

"This episode featured neither too little nor too much of either talky exposition or fight scenes, and the show is stronger for that moderation."
ep. review

Akame ga KILL! ‒ Episode 23

"In some respects this is the climax of the series, as it involves the culmination of everything that has happened so far."
interview

Interview: Sunao Katabuchi

The director of Black Lagoon sits down with us to talk about his new film for summer 2015, In This Corner of the World. ― We had the honor of sitting down with Sunao Katabuchi earlier this year to talk about his upcoming film, In This Corner of the World, adapted from Fumiyo Kono's manga. Katabuchi previously directed Black Lagoon and Mai Mai Miracle, the latter of which had a successful crowd-fundin...
review

Aldnoah.Zero Episodes 1-12 Streaming

Featuring giant robots in service of ruminating about war, Aldnoah.Zero gets off to a promising start, but it's a bumpy ride to the end of the season. ― At first glance, Aldnoah.Zero looks like a show brimming with potential. Its first few episodes barrel out the gate, establishing a complex world and a broad cast of characters. Its drama has scale, its cast has a wide variety of motives, and its fir...
ep. review

Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road ‒ Episode 10

"It's a respite from an interminable race that puts the focus where it should be: on the characters."
ep. review

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace ‒ Episode 10

"Ultimately, this episode is as harmless as it is forgettable."
column

Shelf Life - Love and Other Thugs

This week, budding romance, fresh starts, homemade food, and the eternal search for happiness.
- Log Horizon set 1
- Nisekoi BD 1
- Silver Spoon s2
― Shelf Worthy Log Horizon Collection 1 BD Nisekoi: False Love Volume 1 BD Silver Spoon Complete 2nd Season DVD Rental Nothing this week Perishable Nothing this week This week yielded three anime titles that I thought were Shelf Worthy, which is rare. Us...
ep. review

Celestial Method ‒ Episode 10

"With only a few episodes left, Celestial Method has finally gotten its feet firmly on the ground."
ep. review

The Fruit of Grisaia ‒ Episode 10

"It looks like The Fruit of Grisaia may have saved the best storyline, or at least the one they planned to work the most in-depth on, for last. "
review

Flowers of Evil Blu-Ray

The Flowers of Evil is not an easy show to watch. It's slow, heavy, and oppressive, at times almost physically uncomfortable. ― The Flowers of Evil is not an easy show to watch. It's slow, heavy, and oppressive, at times almost physically uncomfortable. It unwinds stressfully, building a tension you can feel in your bones, like the memory of an unkind comment you wish could take back. It's not “fun” ...
ep. review

CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon ‒ Episode 10

"The execution here isn't going to win the series any awards, but one thing that the series can never be accused of is being dull."
ep. review

Mushishi: The Next Chapter ‒ Episodes 17-18

"If you can wade through the puddle of "what" that makes up "Azure Waters," "Lightning's End" is a powerful reward."
ep. review

Gugure! Kokkuri-san ‒ Episode 10

"The show has attempted drama before, but this is the first time it actually sticks the landing."
ep. review

Lord Marksman and Vanadis ‒ Episodes 9-10

"The "Vanadis" in Lord Marksman and Vanadis continues to be the real draw of the show, and thankfully for more than the characters' bouncing breasts. "
ep. review

Wolf Girl & Black Prince ‒ Episode 10

"Fantastically melodrama-free, and puts Kyoya and Erika in the spotlight, right where they belong."
ep. review

World Trigger ‒ Episode 9

"This is all more engaging than anything in the past few episodes, even if it's all just buildup to oncoming action."
review

False Memories GN 1 & 2

False Memories is a short, sweet story about a second chance at first love, a nice introduction to BL for the curious. ― There's something really rewarding about a well-told love story, no matter what the gender of the protagonists. Isaku Natsume's first English print release (another of her titles is, as of this review, digital-only but legally available) is one such tale. Complete in two volumes, F...
column

Astro Toy - Figma Ninja Slayer

There's already an action figure for Trigger's upcoming ninja show, and of course, David already has it. ― figma Ninja Slayer Maker: Phat!! Company Series: Ninja Slayer Price: $50 I want to talk to you about how great Ninja Slayer is, because nobody but me seems to be saying so in English. Ninja Slayer is a Japanese light novel series, originally posted in pieces on Twitter at @NJ_SLYR. Its gimmick,...
ep. review

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works ‒ Episode 9

"Takahiro Miura's direction always extracts subtle meaning out of conversations."
ep. review

Sailor Moon Crystal ‒ Episode 11

"The villains are all interchangeable, and Usagi and Mamoru's romance seems based on obligation."
ep. review

Sword Art Online II ‒ Episode 22

"Absent the emotional investment this episode was apparently banking on, there just wasn't much to it."
column

The List - 7 Most In Demand English Voice Actors of 2014

The men get their turn as we count down the male voice actors you heard most in 2014. ― This week we're counting down the most in demand voice actors in English dubs for the year. I sat down with ANN's Encyclopedia, went through every new North American release that included English dubs, and tallied the roles to get a comprehensive list of who starred in what, and overall which actors got the most ...
review

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods [Extended Edition] Blu-Ray

Akira Toriyama's return to the Dragonball franchise is marked by a boatload of gags, a kittycat nemesis and a whole lot of theatrical-quality fighting. ― Dragonball Z: Battle of the Gods is a work that turns back the clock in a couple of ways. The first, most obvious one is that it leaps back in the timeline - the film takes place right at the end of Dragonball Z, in a happy post-Buu neutral. The mov...
ep. review

Log Horizon 2 ‒ Episode 10

"Log Horizon knocked it out of the park this week."
ep. review

GARO THE ANIMATION ‒ Episode 10

"This series is for adults in the best way. It's not afraid to take it slow sometimes, and all of the 'adult content' is directly rooted in character."
ep. review

Terraformars ‒ Episode 11

"This episode does in twenty minutes what the show has previously struggled to do in an hour."
ep. review

Your lie in April ‒ Episode 9

"As much as I normally love how intense this show is about everything, I don't want that to come at the expense of giving serious issues their full, deserved gravitas."
ep. review

Shirobako ‒ Episode 9

"Keeps you on your toes, from fantasy sequences to odd-yet-well-timed jokes."
review

Review: Parasyte (Live-Action Film)

With the animated version of the classic manga taking off, does the first half of its live-action counterpart, directed by Takashi Yamazaki, do the story justice? ― A couple of decades since the conclusion of the original manga and after years in development hell, Parasyte finally hits the silver screen as a live-action feature. In charge of transitioning the story from its initial paper-2D incarnati...
column

Answerman - Carb City

Could Megan Fox be in Sailor Moon??? Why aren't there many josei anime? And much ado about video issues on American Blu-rays. ― This week, a small group of friends I'm a part of had one of its regular dinner parties. I was tasked with making the main entree, spaghetti marinara, complete with seafood. It turned out very well -- I was a little worried, as I'd never cooked for 22 people before, but eve...
ep. review

DENKI-GAI ‒ Episode 10

"Denki-gai continues to move through the seasons at breakneck speed, and we're now experiencing our second Valentine's Day of the series."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episodes 389-390

"Filler done right, especially in comparison to last week's oddly timed clip show."
ep. review

Psycho-Pass 2 ‒ Episode 9

"This show cannot be classified as anything other than a failure at this point."
ep. review

Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru ‒ Episode 9

"The emotions in play here are what really matter. Because of them and their execution, the series once again earns a “special” label."
game review

Game Review: Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax

Your favorite (and not-so-favorite) light novel anime characters come together to pound the tar out of one another in this import-only fighting game. ― This is a funny situation for French Bread. As one of the stars of the late 90s-early 00's doujinshi game era, they used to make games like this all the time. The formula is pretty simple: you slap whatever character's popular right now into a fightin...
column

House of 1000 Manga - Japan Sinks

A classic disaster story about what would happen if the oceans swallowed Japan whole catches Jason's eye this week. ― Japan Sinks "It's not as if our people simply moved to this island from somewhere else…even if we did, afterwards we've become one with it. We're Japanese…we're not human first and then Japanese…we are Japanese through and through!" I love apocalyptic stories. In some form they've al...
ep. review

Yona of the Dawn ‒ Episode 9

"It will be a long week while we wait for the next episode, but this show has proven itself to be worth waiting for."
ep. review

Parasyte -the maxim- ‒ Episode 10

"Concluding the Shimada arc in dramatic fashion and opening the door to a much broader-scale future conflict, this week's Parasyte featured the show at the strongest it's ever been."
ep. review

Gundam Build Fighters Try ‒ Episode 9

"This episode hit the Gundam Build Fighters sweet spot, with approximately half the time spent on character development, and the latter half spent on a nail-bitingly suspenseful battle."
ep. review

Chaika - The Coffin Princess Avenging Battle ‒ Episode 9

"With all the necessary pieces in play, this season is finally ready to go out with a bang."
column

ANNCast - ClannADCast

Zac and Hope have finally taken the long, sakura blossom-lined, tear-stained 50-episode journey into romance and tragedy known the world over as Clannad. Get your tissues ready! ― ANNCast 207 - ClannADCast Get the Flash Player to see this player. Zac and Hope have finally taken the long, sakura blossom-lined, tear-stained 50-episode journey into romance and tragedy known the world over as Clannad, o...
column

The X Button - Nouveau Nova

Phantasy Star returns for an import spotlight alongside novel fighters and dungeon knights! Plus the PlayStation’s popularity party, Amiibo matters, a Fist of the North Star relic, and a new contest! ― We're now in December and the thick of the holiday season. It's time for another contest, and this time it's about toys. That's what drives the holidays on some primal materialist level, so I put toge...
review

A Certain Magical Index II BD+DVD

The first 12 episodes of A Certain Magical Index II arrive on bluray after some delay, but was this shonen rom-com worth the wait? ― You might be a shounen hero if you're too nice to stray girls, making it so that you just can't catch a break. That's Toma Kamijo's life in a nutshell – ever since he took in fugitive nun Index, his life has been a seemingly unending series of strange events requiring h...
ep. review

Rage of Bahamut Genesis ‒ Episode 8

"These revelations have been baited yet delayed continuously, and it feels so refreshing to finally reel in the line."
column

RIGHT TURN ONLY!! - We Come to The End

RTO turns its last page as the column comes to a conclusion, but not before covering Sword Art Online: Fairy Dance vol. 2, Afterschool Charisma, From the New World and more. ― They say all things must come to an end, and sadly that is the case for this column – this will be the last Right Turn Only. I've enjoyed both reading RTO under Carlo's stewardship and writing it myself, so I'm very sad to see...
review

Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash! BD+DVD

Ninja fights and giant boobs dominate Senran Kagura, not necessarily in that order, but there's a story in here too if you're interested in that kind of thing. ― If the idea of goofy ninja action featuring lots of busty babes and panty shots appeals to you then it's hard to beat Senran Kagura, whose entire raison d'etre is to showcase exactly that. If you seek anything more than that then you are pro...
ep. review

Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road ‒ Episode 9

"If this episode was meant to justify Machimiya's actions, it didn't succeed. However, through the mirror of Arakita, it created a situation in which we can understand him perfectly."
ep. review

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace ‒ Episode 9

"After a bout of temporary insanity, the series takes some important steps toward regaining its momentum in this episode."
review

Bayonetta: Bloody Fate BD+DVD

Bayonetta makes the leap from videogame to anime, and while the visual trappings make the transition intact, the story might've left something behind. ― Bayonetta: Bloody Fate is based on the Bayonetta videogame, which is apparent in the production from frame one. Its characters strike poses that would put a crick in a Joestar's neck, its narrative proceeds like an unabashed series of escalating boss...
ep. review

Akame ga KILL! ‒ Episode 22

"Episode 22 doesn't do anything all that special or unexpected, but it does what it needs to do exactly right. And that makes it the series' best episode to date."
ep. review

Gugure! Kokkuri-san ‒ Episode 9

"Kokkuri is the comedic star of this episode and it's a welcome return to form."
ep. review

Wolf Girl & Black Prince ‒ Episode 9

"The real draw of this episode is seeing Kyoya with Kamiya."
ep. review

CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon ‒ Episode 9

"For the second time in the series an episode is split between a focus on Ange and one of the major side characters, in this case Hilda. "
ep. review

World Trigger ‒ Episode 8

"An expected installment for this disappointing adaptation."

For all articles, see the archives