Anime News Network's Holiday 2015 Gift Guide Part III: Tech & Gadgets

Today's the day for tech in our week-long gift guide! Figure out the ultimate streaming package for the otaku on your Christmas shopping list, plus a bunch of fun gadgets and weird stuff.

A Quick, Easy Guide to the Gintama Drama

At nearly 300 episodes, Gintama is most famous for its incredible comedy, but the show has a serious storyline fans love. With a big new arc starting next week, here's a quick and easy way to catch up with the show's real story before the new arc begins.

Anime News Network's Holiday 2015 Gift Guide Part II: Fashion

Our week-long gift guide keeps on truckin' with a shockingly wide variety of anime shirts, jackets, hats, and jewelry. Who knew there was so much anime stuff you could put on your body?

K-ON! The Movie

K-On! settles into a comfortable rhythm for an unremarkable but endearing final movie.

Anime News Network's Holiday 2015 Gift Guide Part I: Art & Books

The first part of our week-long 2015 gift guide kicks off with a menagerie of art, books and manga! Prints, collector's editions, framed art and much more! Check back every day this week for more giftgiving ideas for the otaku in your life.

The Best and Worst of the Season So Far: Week of Nov 12-18

The fall season enters its middle stretch this week; time to check in and see how your favorite shows are faring in our user polls!

Rodea the Sky Soldier

Simple but reflexively fun, Rodea the Sky Soldier emerges as the last good Wii game. Unfortunately, it's also on the Wii U and 3DS.


  • All
  • Anime
  • Manga
  • Novels
  • Games
  • Music
  • Merch
  • Events
  • Industry
  • People
  • Live-Action
Text-only Compact View
Text-only List View
Text-only Grid View
List View with Images
Grid View with Images
ep. review

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation ‒ Episode 8

"This episode wasn't exactly thrilling, and Sasaki's drama ran into the regular problem of the viewer not being particularly invested in these episodic stories for their own sake."
ep. review

Dance with Devils ‒ Episode 8

"This week's musical number is right up there with the chorus of pomeranians for sheer absurdity – seriously, the only things missing were hearts and pudgy cherubs."

Answerman - Why Are Some Gundam Series Getting Simultaneous Dubs?

Gundam Unicorn and Gundam The Origin both got simultaneous English dub releases, while a lot of other Gundam is released subtitled-only. What's up with that? ― Matt asks: I've been surprised how first Gundam Unicorn and now Gundam the Origin have been getting simultaneous dubs upon release. Even though Unicorn's North American release got thrown into the chaos surrounding Bandai Entertainment's clos...

Fairy Tail BD+DVD Parts 16 & 17

As two arcs come to their conclusions, Fairy Tail grows increasingly intense as the characters battle to change the future. ― One of the strengths of Fairy Tail, and indeed other similar shounen series, is the way that it can go from goofy to dead serious in a matter of minutes. The most recent story arcs to receive DVD/BD releases from Funimation, the Grand Magic Games and the Eclipse Gate plotlines...
ep. review

One-Punch Man ‒ Episode 8

"While the show's vaunted animation appeal doesn't suffer from the changeup this week, the story does sag from the impromptu cast expansion."
ep. review

Mr. Osomatsu ‒ Episode 8

"Episode 8 illustrates that the Matsunos are versatile characters who can be thrown into any situation with hilarious results."
ep. review

Concrete Revolutio ‒ Episode 8

"Just as it shares Watchmen's eye toward political history, Concrete Revolutio is also all about interrogating "classic" superheroes, in this case from Showa-period anime."
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 719

"This is a really monumental episode because the beat-down that Zoro delivers on Pica is jaw-dropping."

Answerman - What Made The Big Anime Conventions So Big?

Anime conventions are bigger than ever, with the largest attracting nearly 100,000 people in 2015. How'd they get that way? ― Brandon asks: I've been able to attend a few conventions, spend way too much at some, and meet new and old friends at others. However, when I look at the conventions and the news you all cover from events like Sakura-Con or Anime Expo, I wonder “What made these specific conve...

Shelf Life - Familiar with Zero

Shape-shifting dragons, love charms, talking swords, and sentient trading cards abound in this week's Shelf Life, featuring this week's releases and full-length reviews of Familiar of Zero and Wixoss! Plus: a new reviewer appears! ― After spending more than a few Saturday mornings looking up prices for the new release section of this column, I've found that I can usually guess which shows will be ch...
ep. review

Haikyu!! Second Season ‒ Episode 8

"Using this season to explore the dynamics between the newcomers broadens the scope of the show."
ep. review

Comet Lucifer ‒ Episode 8

"For a series with a group of teenage protagonists, Comet Lucifer dedicated a surprising amount of time to its older characters this week."

Sword Art Online II Blu-Ray 3

The shortest arc of Sword Art Online II comes to bluray, and Theron Martin decides if it's worth the hefty price tag. ― At a mere three episodes the Calibur arc is by far the shortest of SAO's five TV series arcs. It is also the weakest in a narrative sense, as its stakes are the lowest and its motivations the most trivial of any of the story arcs. However, Calibur does have one critical factor going...
ep. review

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans ‒ Episode 8

"This is another world-building and character-development episode that feels very much like a “break” from the real action of the show."
ep. review

The Asterisk War ‒ Episode 8

"Once again an episode of The Asterisk War takes the focus away from its main female character in lieu of other female characters."
ep. review

Attack on Titan: Junior High ‒ Episode 8

"After a couple of meh weeks on Attack on Titan: Junior High, we get a silly-scary episode with Halloween vibes totally different than anything we've seen so far."
ep. review

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign ‒ Episode 19

"This was a narrative bridge to finally take our heroes away from the battle against Lucal Wesker and toward their intended confrontation against Crowley."
ep. review

Young Black Jack ‒ Episode 8

"This episode proves that Young Black Jack has really studied this era's history."
ep. review

K: Return of Kings ‒ Episode 8

"This episode ostensibly features a battle between four Kings, and yet the best scene is actually a sharp-tongued dialog exchange which happens in the battle's wake."
ep. review

Chivalry of a Failed Knight ‒ Episode 8

"This appears to be the finale of the Sword Eater storyline, and it does feel a bit anti-climactic."
ep. review

Owarimonogatari ‒ Episode 8

"Some nice banter and character beats, solid reflections on the central characters' overall journeys, and a few silly faces throughout."
ep. review

Ushio & Tora ‒ Episode 21

"Everything in the Ushio & Tora universe is imbued with meaning, and you never know what will be the key to the next victory."

Review: Digimon Adventure tri. Episodes 1-4 Streaming

The long-awaited return of Digimon Adventure is finally here, 15 years later. Does it have anything to offer other than a fun nostalgia-wallow? Hope Chapman is ready to find out. ― Ever since Digimon Adventure tri was announced almost a full year ago, fans have been filled with trepidation over the unexpected anniversary project. The heavily anticipated Sailor Moon Crystal and its mixed reception wer...
ep. review

Garo: Crimson Moon ‒ Episode 7

"It's time for Seimei's backstory episode!"
ep. review

Noragami Aragoto ‒ Episode 8

"Another episode of Noragami Aragoto and another heartbreak."
ep. review

Heavy Object ‒ Episode 8

"I've been clamoring for a look at the big picture for several weeks now, and this is the closest Heavy Object has come to delivering that wider perspective."

Answerman - Why Does Funimation License Shows They Won't Dub?

Funimation has said they only license shows they think are worth dubbing - so what's up with the sub-only releases of OniAi and Buddy Complex? ― Steven asks: Until recently, Funimation dubbed everything they ever released. So now that some shows like Buddy Complex and OniAi are going to DVD as subtitle-only, why do they bother? Funimation has stated outright, on ANNCast among other places, that they...

ANNCast - A Game Show to Surpass Metal Gear

The X Button's Todd Ciolek and Fast Karate's Dave Riley once again return to ANNCast to talk all things video games: Undertale, Final Fantasy XIV, Fallout 4 and much much more! ― ANNCast Episode 244: A Game Show to Surpass Metal Gear The X Button's Todd Ciolek and Fast Karate's Dave Riley once again return to ANNCast to talk all things video games: Undertale, Final Fantasy XIV, Fallout 4 and much mu...

The Ultimate Guide to the Animator Expo

The first two seasons of the wildly creative explosion of light and color known as the Animator Expo are going away soon - Kevin Cirugeda is here to guide you through what's worth watching and what isn't before they're gone forever. ― People love to bring up Hideaki Anno's grim outlook on the anime industry (even after he clarified he was being misunderstood), while overlooking his efforts to improve...

The Seven Deadly Sins

It gets off to a slow start, but Netflix's exclusive 24-episode action-adventure shonen title eventually builds into something worthwhile. ― The Seven Deadly Sins (hereafter SDS) is the latest and most successful manga by Nakaba Suzuki, who has been active on one shonen title or another since the late '90s. This 24 episode anime adaptation is the first anime based on one of his works and definitely w...
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 438

"We're now seven episodes into "Jiraiya's Ninja Tales," and only now does the arc appear to be approaching its midpoint."
ep. review

The Perfect Insider ‒ Episode 7

"This was the best episode the show's had in a while - very likely its best episode so far, in fact."

The X Button - One Sleuth Prevails

This week: Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth’s producer talks about comebacks and more! Plus the latest version of Link, the return of Valkyria Chronicles, and some good Gravity Rush news! ― Oh, Xenoblade Chronicles X. You can't stay out of trouble. Mere weeks ago, the American and European versions of the game stirred controversy with entirely justified alternations of an underage character's outfits. No...

School-Live! GN 1

School-Live's manga is differently paced than the anime based on it, but it's still a great combination of two disparate genres into a strangely fascinating whole. ― Warning: Spoilers for the Major Plot Twist It does feel a little foolish to put that warning here, because Yen Press, the English publisher of Norimitsu Kaihou and Sadoru Chiba's School-Live manga, puts it right there on the back of the ...
ep. review

Gintama ‒ Episode 298

"Lest there be any lingering doubt, these stories confirm that Gintoki has no business editing manga."
ep. review

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation ‒ Episode 7

"Even on a base narrative level, there wasn't all that much that happened this week."
ep. review

Dance with Devils ‒ Episode 7

"Dance with Devils continues its recent trend of actually providing us with answers in this episode."

Answerman - What's Wrong With Fan Translations?

Some champion fan translations. Others champion professional translations. Someone asks Justin to clarify his position on this. ― James asks: Why do you and the other staff of Anime News Network seem to have a dislike for (unofficial) fan translations of Japanese animation and manga? How do those media affect you and your website in any way, and do you have some personal stake in the matter? BIG STU...

Why Dangerous Anime Boys Are All The Rage

Harem shows for women are full of 'em: emotionally manipulative vampires, boys who shove you around, men as dangerous as they are desirable. What is it about these guys that drives female fans wild? ― Back in September, I wrote about how Ouran High School Host Club kickstarted new genre sensibilities by parodying reverse harem anime. "Fujoshi comedies" are all the rage now for female otaku, but it's ...
ep. review

Mr. Osomatsu ‒ Episode 7

"Like previous episodes, this week's Mr. Osomatsu is largely carried by the selfishness of its featured players."

The Best and Worst of the Season So Far: Week of Nov 5-11

Once again it's time to check in and see how your favorite shows are ranking according to our user polls! ― Our team of reviewers are following 24 anime series of the Fall 2015 season and readers are rating each episode as the reviews go up. So let's have a look at what ANN readers consider the best (and worst) of the season. Keep in mind that these rankings are based on how people rated individual ...
ep. review

Concrete Revolutio ‒ Episode 7

"What is the measure of a robotic life? These are the sorts of questions that Concrete Revolutio poses."

Mobile Suit Gundam Part II Blu-Ray

The original Mobile Suit Gundam wraps up with a bluray collection of the episodes that aired after the show was canceled and subsequently resurrected. ― In one of the earliest episodes of the Mobile Suit Gundam: Part 2 Blu-Ray collection, Amuro apologizes to a superior officer for a mutual comrade's death. Amuro believes that fewer people would have died “if I were better at using the Gundam.” The li...
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 717-718

"Between episodes 717 and 718 we transition from the Diamante fight to the Zoro versus Pica fight."
ep. review

One-Punch Man ‒ Episode 7

"In a wee twist away from the norm, this episode was light on the sakuga and heavy on the social commentary."

Answerman - What Will The Trans-Pacific Partnership Do To Anime?

There's an enormous trade agreement on the table right now that could impact the anime industry and, in particular, the legality of fanart and other fan-created works. Justin gets into it. ― Usakun asks: I haven't been following news about the impending Trans-Pacific Partnership very closely, but most of what I am hearing now is increasingly negative, at least from fans living in Japan and how they ...

Shelf Life - The Ghoul, the Bad, and the Ugly

Another avalanche of this week's new releases, alongside full-length reviews of Tokyo Ghoul and Please Twins, two shows that really couldn't be more different. ― One would think that, after two and a half decades of dealing with daylight savings time, I'd be used to this time of year by now. One would be wrong, though, because I feel a tiny flash of personal outrage whenever I go outside around 5:30...

A Silent Voice GN 3

A Silent Voice rises to new heights of emotional acuity in a volume that perfectly captures its protagonist’s roiling emotions. ― Welcome back to A Silent Voice, your source for good kids and sadness. In this third volume, we rejoin Shoya and Shoko as they attempt to make up for lost time, growing slowly closer in spite of hesitance on both sides. In Shoko's case, we see most of her desires secondhan...
ep. review

Comet Lucifer ‒ Episode 7

"In terms of pacing and overall storytelling, this is one of the strongest episodes that Comet Lucifer has put forward to date."
ep. review

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans ‒ Episode 7

"This episode had all the elements that remind me why I became a Gundam fan in the first place."
ep. review

Haikyu!! Second Season ‒ Episode 7

"This week, more focus is given to the one guy who didn't spend two weeks honing his skills: Tsukishima."
ep. review

Owarimonogatari ‒ Episode 7

"Monogatari got back to its roots this week, and by that I mean “I sure hope you like untranslatable puns and on-the-nose sex banter.”"

The Mike Toole Show - Sports Anime Spikes Back

Mike lowers his sunglasses, ties up the net and gets ready for an onslaught of volleyball anime, including Attack No. 1 and the omnipresent Haikyuu! ― Earlier this year, my convention buddies the Reverse Thieves ran a panel at Otakon called “I Hate Sports,” as a vehicle to introduce fans to sports anime they might have otherwise ignored due to a lack of interest in the sporting activities themselves....
ep. review

K: Return of Kings ‒ Episode 7

"On the whole, episode 7 only avoids a basement-level evaluation because Anna is pretty darn cool."
ep. review

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign ‒ Episode 18

"If last week was about a mission that went perfectly, this one depicts a more typical vampire-on-human bloodbath."
ep. review

The Asterisk War ‒ Episode 7

"Still not a top-level series, but for yet another episode it avoids floundering."
ep. review

Chivalry of a Failed Knight ‒ Episode 7

" I do enjoy the battles, but I won't be disappointed if instead next week's episode delves into more character interactions."
ep. review

Attack on Titan: Junior High ‒ Episode 7

"It seems like sports is the best school-life parallel to the violent events of the original Attack on Titan."

Claymore GN 27

The dark fantasy series Claymore comes to a close, but will it satisfy longtime fans of the series? ― While many fans of the franchise have insisted that the anime version of Claymore spoiled things at the end by deviating from the manga, I have always insisted that the anime's ending was the better and more satisfying option at the time. Sure, the manga continued on and explained a lot of things tha...
ep. review

Young Black Jack ‒ Episode 7

"Episode 7 doesn't have enough material to sustain interest throughout the entire episode, so there's a lot of lag in-between."
ep. review

Utawarerumono: The False Faces ‒ Episode 7

"The False Faces is pleasant enough as the more chill experience that it's trying to be, even if it's not what I expected."
ep. review

Garo: Crimson Moon ‒ Episode 6

"A lot of the tension in Garo: Crimson Moon so far has come from regular ole class politics rather than Horrors."

The List - 6 Anime Based on Eastern Legends

We've been over anime based on fairytales, but what about all those anime based on Eastern myths and famous bedtime stories? Here are a bunch of 'em! ― In 2013, I wrote up a list focusing on reimagined fairy tales. A few focused on Eastern fairy tails (Fruits Basket, Saiyuki, Ceres, Celestial Legend) the other five pulled from Western staples like Cinderella, Snow White, and The Little Mermaid. Enou...

Answerman - Why Can't I Change The Subtitles and Audio on My Blu-rays?

Sometimes when you're watching anime on an R1 Bluray you can't turn off the subtitles or change the audio while you're watching. What's up with that? ― Before we get started, a foot note to a previous column... My assessment of the English-speaking acting scene in Japan was quite scathing, but was only part of the story. There is, as it turns out, a small community of actual, professional multi-ling...
ep. review

Noragami Aragoto ‒ Episode 7

"Noragami knows that sometimes you have to make an audience laugh before they'll cry."

Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun GN 1

What do you do when your dream guy turns out to be a shoujo mangaka? Chiyo's started working as Nozaki's assistant, but she still isn't sure if this is the way to his heart in this very funny 4-koma series from Oresama Teacher's Izumi Tsubaki. ― Izumi Tsubaki is best known in the English-language market for her two shoujo series, both published by Viz: The Magic Touch and Oresama Teacher. Monthly Gir...
ep. review

Ushio & Tora ‒ Episode 20

"If you get to the end of this episode without crying, you're tougher than me."
ep. review

Heavy Object ‒ Episode 7

"I'm happy to see Heavy Object explore some new areas of its fictional world, and the course correction on last week's issues comes as a major relief."

Why We Still Love Digimon

15 years since Digimon's debut, with a reunion film right around the corner, Hope Chapman unpacks why Digimon of all things has endured as a seminal fan favorite. ― At the turn of the millennium, Japan was burning up with a contagious monster fever. Pokemon had become a worldwide phenomenon, and all sorts of other monster-based children's franchises began flooding the market. There was the Tamagotchi...
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 437

"How much longer will Jiraiya's self-aggrandizing, possibly treasonous fanfiction dominate the proceedings?"

Blood Blockade Battlefront Episodes 1-12

Nick Creamer visits Yasuhiro Nightow's world of Hellsalem's Lot and finds a few compelling reasons to stick around. ― There's a lot to get through with Blood Blockade Battlefront, so I'll just start at the top. The show starts off by introducing us to Leonardo Watch, a boy who three years ago was caught in the “Great Collapse.” As New York City shattered to pieces in the distance, Leo and his sister ...
ep. review

The Perfect Insider ‒ Episode 6

"Perfect Insider didn't even really try to hide the recap-ness of this episode."
ep. review

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation ‒ Episode 6

"Beautiful Bones pulled a pretty neat trick this week, and shook things up by jumping away from Shoutarou and Sakurako altogether."
ep. review

Dance with Devils ‒ Episode 6

"This is the episode of answers. (And sexually charged song lyrics from Shiki.)"

The X Button - Eating Well

This week is an import array with God Eater, 7th Dragon, and a scary night out! Plus Street Fighter debates, Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey, and a Project X Zone bonus! ― This column deals with video games most of the time, but I figure I can squeeze in a tangentially related piece of news once a year. I normally use my allotment when Dark Horse releases a new volume of Eden: It's an Endless World!, but th...

Review: Ghost In The Shell: The New Movie

Makoto and her cybernetic pals are back in the latest full-length animated Ghost in the Shell movie, set in the ARISE timeline. Is it a worthy entry in this storied, beloved sci-fi franchise? ― 20 years ago this month the original Ghost in the Shell movie debuted in theaters, offering what would quickly become the defining animated cyberpunk work. Rather than being an innovator, The New Movie is a wo...
ep. review

Gintama ‒ Episode 297

"This episode is a good almost-end-cap to the current season's onslaught of comedy."

Answerman - Why Is Anime Getting More Popular In The West (Again)?

Anime seems more popular than ever in the West, with merchandise and DVDs common on store shelves and convention populations exploding. What happened? ― Joachim asks: If i look around me, there's more and more people starting to like anime. and i love that. but of course those people are all of western origin and not japanese, so my question is: why is anime growing so much in popularity in the west...

The Secret of One-Punch Man's Success

If you've been watching this season's smash hit One-Punch Man, you may have asked yourself "how'd they make this show look so good"? It's time to meet the wizards who make this show possible. ― One-Punch Man is one of the most impressive TV anime productions this year, one that casual fans and experts, viewers and industry members are equally amazed by. These fans are so impressed by its visuals that...

K-ON! Season 2 Blu-Ray

Overall, K-ON! exemplifies “better than the sum of its parts.” And that makes sense, really, because it's the beauty of the construction of these tiny moments that makes it work. ― When I reviewed K-On!, I described it as an “unassuming but quietly excellent slice of life.” Cataloging the first two years in the high school life of Houkago Tea-Time, the show established an endearing cast of characters...

Answerman - Why Are Adapted Dubs Still Being Made?

You hear fans complain about one thing more than anything else: heavily rewritten and whitewashed English dubs of kids' shows like Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon. But why do these hatchet jobs still exist? ― Mitchell asks: So I wanna know, why do bad dubs continue to exist to this day? I find it odd that dubbing companies out there still continue to do things that they know will annoy the fans like replace b...

Ghost in the Shell: Arise 3 + 4 Blu-Ray

Things slow down a little in this ambitious prequel series, just in time for the new film debuting this week. Also: Motoko goes on a date! ― The second Arise release includes episodes 3 and 4, each of which is a little over 50 minutes long. While each episode focuses on a specific case, the two are somewhat related and a definitely continuity exists between the two. Both episodes certainly continue t...
ep. review

Mr. Osomatsu ‒ Episode 6

"Halfway through its first cour, Mr. Osomatsu shows no signs of diminishing quality."
ep. review

One-Punch Man ‒ Episode 6

"This week's One-Punch Man takes the long road to a simple conclusion that poor Saitama should have seen coming a mile away."

Shelf Life - Full Metal Disorder

An enormous truckload of new releases appears as we head into the Christmas season, plus full reviews of Full Metal Panic Fumoffu and Inari Kon Kon! ― I feel like I've been visited by the ghost of franchises past this week. I reviewed a series that I first watched when I was around fourteen years old (see below) and played entirely too much of the newest Halo game, whose predecessors were the most w...

Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu BD+DVD

Full Metal Panic's light and silly Fumoffu season stands the test of time - it's just as funny to watch Sousuke blow up shoe lockers now as it was in 2005. ― Welcome back to 2003! Funimation's rescue of Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu, a series originally licensed and dubbed by ADV in 2005, is just as much fun as it ever was, although it must be said that the character designs look a little dated. Based on...
ep. review

Concrete Revolutio ‒ Episode 6

"This episode is a great example of what happens when superhuman abilities really do trickle down to the "ordinary" people."
ep. review

Comet Lucifer ‒ Episode 6

"Sogo, Kaon, and Felia hit the road this week in search of a way to bring Felia's powers under control."
ep. review

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans ‒ Episode 6

"Iron-Blooded Orphans is better at showing than telling."
ep. review

Chivalry of a Failed Knight ‒ Episode 6

"If you were hoping for a spectacular battle or two this week, you are about to be disappointed."
ep. review

The Asterisk War ‒ Episode 6

"Episode 6 features the lowest action quotient of any episode to date, and yet it is still a pretty solid one overall."

The Best and Worst of the Season So Far: Week of Oct 29-Nov 4

Check out how your favorite shows are faring in our user rankings, now that we're a full month into the new season! ― Our team of reviewers are following 24 anime series of the Fall 2015 season and readers are rating each episode as the reviews go up. So let's have a look at what ANN readers consider the best (and worst) of the season. Keep in mind that these rankings are based on how people rated i...
ep. review

Utawarerumono: The False Faces ‒ Episode 6

"Episode six is by far the strongest of the series yet, because it works on two completely different levels."

For all articles, see the archives