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ep. review

Gundam Build Fighters Try ‒ Episode 21

"This is the first time we've witnessed Lucas Nemesis' true power."
ep. review

Parasyte -the maxim- ‒ Episode 21

Whew! Alright, we're back on track. While this episode was still somewhat hampered by this arc's tendency to over-tell to the point of absurdity, and was reflective of other problems of execution and earlier narrative issues besides, it was still a far cry from last week's fiasco. We started off with Hirakawa's last stand, before jumping to Gotou, who ended the stakeout arc by promising to kill S...
ep. review

KanColle ‒ Episode 9

"The rise and fall of emotional intensity is what this series has been missing on many occasions, and getting it right makes a big difference."
ep. review

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! ‒ Episode 9

"With just a few episodes left in the series, Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! has hit its stride."
column

The X Button - Disposable Heroes

This week, it’s import time with Dragon Quest, Doraemon, and God Eater! Plus Azure Striker Gunvolt, a new contender for Harvest Moon’s turf, and another old cartoon about video games! ― I mentioned the Power Team last week. It's not a very good cartoon, and it's notable mostly because it gave animated exposure to some video-game characters destined for obscurity. So perhaps I should cover an older c...
review

Valvrave the Liberator Season 2 Blu-Ray

Season two of the controversial Sunrise mecha action show arrives on Bluray, and Theron is here to find out if it manages to entertain, or if it's just here to baffle you. ― Since the beginning the Valvraves have been pitched as “the system that will reveal the truth of the world.” The first season, though, gave little indication that such a statement was anything more than typical colorful hyperbole...
ep. review

Kamisama Kiss 2 ‒ Episode 8

"This week's installment of Kamisama Kiss managed to get almost everything perfect."
ep. review

Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road ‒ Episode 20

"While some reiteration works to strengthen the show's themes, other times it's just tiring."
ep. review

Yatterman Night ‒ Episode 8

"This week's Yatterman Night was almost as silly as the last."
column

Shelf Life - Hellfire and Ice

Lots of new releases this week. Plus, reviews of The Ambition of Oda Nobuna, and Hozuki's Coolheadedness. ― Jump to this week's reviews: Ambition of Oda Nobuna BD, Hozuki's Coolheadedness BD. On Shelves This Week Chronicles of the Going Home Club - Complete Series [Premier Edition] BD NIS America - 288 min - Sub - MSRP $64.99Currently cheapest at: $47.99 Right Stuf Synopsis: New high school student ...
review

Eccentric Family Sub.Blu-Ray

This little-seen family adventure about a group of tanuki living in Kyoto has careful writing and beautiful scenery; Nick Creamer thinks it might just be a modern classic. ― In the guidebook accompanying Eccentric Family, series composer Shotaro Suga speaks frankly of the difficulty of condensing an entire book into an anime, and the question of where to even begin telling the story. “There are just ...
ep. review

Durarara!!×2 ‒ Episode 8

"The Giant Plot Hammer came crashing down, and Durarara!! has my full attention and respect as a narrative again."
ep. review

Maria the Virgin Witch ‒ Episode 8

"The show hasn't made a misstep yet, and I trust it to stick the landing."
ep. review

Gourmet Girl Graffiti ‒ Episode 8

"This week's episode holds the dubious honor of being one of the most forgettable things I've watched this year."
ep. review

CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon ‒ Episode 21

"The title for episode 21 is “The One Left Behind,” and as things turn out, it is a fitting one for multiple reasons."
ep. review

Kuroko's Basketball ‒ Episode 8

"What Izuki does when all eyes are on him will clinch the game between Kaijo and Seirin."
ep. review

Log Horizon 2 ‒ Episode 21

"A low-key episode this week, tying up loose ends from the finished arc and setting out new threads for some future ones."
ep. review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc ‒ Episode 8

"Several surprisingly cliché ideas that don't really match each other, all slapped together into a comedy episode that just isn't very funny."
ep. review

The Rolling Girls ‒ Episode 8

"Everything just worked, and really sold the fundamental promise Rolling Girls so often makes but only occasionally keeps."
ep. review

Aldnoah.Zero ‒ Episode 20

For most of the series the Boy Wonders have been the only characters showing much real brainpower. Beginning with this episode, however, one of the adults finally starts showing some cunning. Despite Inaho and Slaine's superlative mental efforts, that adult could end up being the tipping point of the series' end plot run. That person is, of course, Count Mazuurek, who is the only Vers Knight so fa...
ep. review

GARO THE ANIMATION ‒ Episode 20

"This was our long awaited “turn Octavia into a real character” episode, and it did not disappoint."
column

The List - 7 Reasons Gentlemen Prefer Elves

Every good fantasy series has a few incredible elf ladies on display. Today, Lynzee decides to finally share the elf. ― The term "bombshell" was coined, very appropriately, during World War II to refer to the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, and other sex symbols of the era. There aren't any elves in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but there are plenty of wild, voluptuous fantasy women wielding swor...
review

Deadman Wonderland GN 7

Deadman Wonderland is a dark, unsettling look into a private prison abusing the system for the whims of the Warden and a few governmental higher ups. ― Ever since 1864, a “wonderland” has been a world where the rules of logic do not apply, a carnival that can be by turns fun and frightening. Deadman Wonderland has been playing with that definition since its first volume, and now in its seventh we beg...
ep. review

Tokyo Ghoul √A ‒ Episode 8

"This is the final calm before the storm, and Tokyo Ghoul spends this time in its signature way: with quiet conversations between complex characters."
ep. review

Assassination Classroom ‒ Episode 7

"If you're here for the mix of silly and subtle humor, this episode is among the show's best."
ep. review

Death Parade ‒ Episode 8

Two men enter Quindecim and one of them is a murderer. Nona wants to find out how Decim will handle this. The answer? Air hockey.
ep. review

Your lie in April ‒ Episode 19

"With so much to resolve in the series' final episodes, this feels like an unnecessary diversion."
column

Answerman - Business Minded

Hey, did you know that we're probably in another anime market bubble right now? Plus, the likelihood of Evangelion TV Blu-rays in the US, how Blu-ray rights are different than DVD, and the difference between licensing and distribution. ― Hey, I have a ton of questions in the Answerman inbox! Thanks to everyone that sent one in. Predictably, many people are talking about the ADV Films website, which ...
column

ANNCast - Right On DeMarco

Our guest this week is Jason DeMarco, vice president and creative director on-air for Adult Swim and the man behind Toonami. We discuss the history of the block, why some decisions get made, the new schedule and more. ― ANNCast Episode 218: Right On DeMarco Get the Flash Player to see this player. Our guest this week is Jason DeMarco, vice president and creative director on-air for Adult Swim, which...
ep. review

Shirobako ‒ Episode 20

"Musani's resident Dostoevsky fangirl richly deserves this place in the sun."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 401

"It's refreshing to see two taijutsu users go at it, and the animators take no shortcuts, meaning we get to see every kick, punch and defensive maneuver."
ep. review

Parasyte -the maxim- ‒ Episode 20

"Suffice it to say, this was not the show I signed up for."
ep. review

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend ‒ Episode 7

"The most important thing is that we are now four down and one to go when it comes to expanding Aki's harem to its full extent."
column

House of 1000 Manga - Otomen

Jason is tickled pink by Aya Kanno's gleeful, playful comedy about taking on gender stereotypes. ― Otomen “A business like this is so great. You can talk to other men about shojo manga like it’s the most natural thing…”\ Handsome, strong, a kendo and judo champion: Asuka Masamune seems like the ideal man. Girls swoon over him and offer him presents and chocolates, but he turns them away; he's polite...
ep. review

KanColle ‒ Episode 8

"There are a few standard-issue swimsuit jokes in this one, but KanColle ultimately doesn't spend much time on its bikini-clad battleships."
ep. review

Gundam Build Fighters Try ‒ Episode 20

"This week picked up with the second part of Sekai and Junya's mirror match."
ep. review

The Testament of Sister New Devil ‒ Episode 8

"While slightly more explicit than previous episodes, this is in no way the fanservice fest that the title implies."
ep. review

Yona of the Dawn ‒ Episode 20

"This week on Yona: SVU, Yona and Yun plan to infiltrate a human trafficking ring that specializes in selling beautiful young women across the border to the Kingdom of Kai."
column

The X Button - Toukiden Talk

This week: a chat with the producer of Toukiden Kiwami! Plus tri-Ace, Disgaea, Rodea, Street Fighter, and something that could happen only in the early 1990s. ― I don't think I've talked about The Power Team here, even though it's the sort of odd video-game cultural relic I always enjoy discussing. Well, I'll fix that! I'm talking about The Power Team, a cartoon by-product of the rampant Nintendo ob...
review

Happy Marriage!? GN 10

The final volume of Happy Marriage is simultaneously the happiest and the smuttiest. Rejoice! ― It is always a little disconcerting when you realize that how you see the main characters of a series and how the author sees them don't quite line up. In the case of Chiwa and Hokuto of Maki Enjoji's Happy Marriage, that turns out to be the case, at least for me. Enjoji states several times in the book ho...
ep. review

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! ‒ Episode 8

"The laugh factor here is nowhere near what it's been in past episodes."
ep. review

Yurikuma Arashi ‒ Episode 8

"Can Kureha's love stand up to this?"
column

Tales Of The Industry - The Disastrous Premiere of Tokyo Godfathers

Justin recounts what should have been the highlight of his career -- hosting a world premiere with Satoshi Kon that went ridiculously sour. ― Welcome to “Tales of the Industry,” a new column where we will share stories from real working professionals in the anime business. These stories will be anonymous, and told in the first person. Names will be changed to protect people's jobs. They might've tak...
review

Short Peace Blu-Ray

Theron takes a journey through one of Japan's most acclaimed animated anthology films. ― Short Peace is also the name of a collection of manga short stories by Akira creator/director Katsuhiro Otomo, which was published in the 1970s. Here, like with the collection Memories, his name is the binding element to another collection of shorts, in this case all animated by Sunrise; he is the director of one...
interview

Interview: Steve Blum

Steve Blum, one of the most beloved voice actors around and the man behind Spike Spiegel, Orochimaru and more, sat down with us last month to answer a few questions. ― We had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing Steve Blum at Otakon Vegas. Blum has voiced some of anime's most notable characters, like Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop, Makoto Shishio from Rurouni Kenshin, Orochimaru from Naruto, a...
ep. review

Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road ‒ Episode 19

"Everything's seemingly proceeding toward a happy ending, except for one glaring wildcard."
ep. review

Kamisama Kiss 2 ‒ Episode 7

"Balancing humor with drama without wandering from its focus, episode 7 is only missing some Nanami and Tomoe romance."
column

Shelf Life - Space Case

It's a big week for releases! Plus, reviews of Space Brothers, Maid Sama, and My mental choices are completely interfering with my school romantic comedy! ― Jump to this week's reviews: Space Brothers Volume 1 BD, My mental choices are completely interfering with my school romantic comedy BD, and Maid Sama Complete Series BD. On Shelves This Week .hack//SIGN - Complete Series DVD Funimation - 700 mi...
ep. review

Maria the Virgin Witch ‒ Episode 7

"For as harsh as Maria's world can be, it's far from bleak."
ep. review

Yatterman Night ‒ Episode 7

"Yatterman Night really stretched its sophomoric jokes to the limit with the introduction of Ryu."
review

Log Horizon Collection 2 Blu-Ray

The smash hit series about people trapped in an MMORPG - no, not that one, the other one - comes to a conclusion, but does it go out on a high note? Nick Creamer finds out. ― Log Horizon is the safe bet. It doesn't overreach, and it can sometimes drag, but if you give it time your investment will always be rewarded. Almost every strength and weakness that defined this season's first half remains true...
ep. review

The Rolling Girls ‒ Episode 7

"The Rolling Girls entered a new arc this week in glamorous, historic Kyoto."
ep. review

Aldnoah.Zero ‒ Episode 19

"While watching episode 19, one observation became inescapable: no matter what else happens, Lemrina is screwed."
ep. review

Gourmet Girl Graffiti ‒ Episode 7

"Going back to basics comes with its share of pros and cons."
ep. review

Kuroko's Basketball ‒ Episode 7

"This week revealed two vital pieces of information about Kise and Kuroko that we'd never known before."
ep. review

CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon ‒ Episode 20

"Even though it actually has very little action, episode 20 is nonetheless a very active episode."
column

The Mike Toole Show - The Anime Alphabet

In response to the AV Club's "best animated shows ever from A-Z", Mike offers up his own list populated by anime's second-best shows. ― I was browsing the web last week when something caught my eye, and dragged it in mercilessly. It was yet another one of those list articles that the entire internet is turning into, but the topic was a hard one to resist: the best animated TV shows ever, from A to Z!...
review

Give to the Heart GN 1 & 2

Give to the Heart is a sad, strange, fascinating story that tends not to be at all what you're expecting. ― Give to the Heart marks Korean manhwaga Wann's fourth English title to get a print release (others are available as e-books only), and it is certainly one of the most unusual. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, it combines her addictive soap opera romance with a frightening and confusing science ...
ep. review

Durarara!!×2 ‒ Episode 7

"This week's episode profiles two characters, one old and one new, who couldn't be more different, and are probably destined for a head-on collision before the show is over."
ep. review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc ‒ Episode 7

"It's been a good long while since we've had a truly tasteless comedy episode, so the conclusion to the battle with Bast is here to satisfy!"
ep. review

GARO THE ANIMATION ‒ Episode 19

"It finally happened - GARO popped out its best episode yet."
ep. review

Sailor Moon Crystal ‒ Episode 16

"Not only do we have the excitement of seeing a formerly manga-only attack animated, Mercury's Shine Snow Illusion, but we also get a decent amount of character development for Ami."
column

The List - 7 Trips to the Anime Underworld

Take a tour through the wildly imaginative ways anime has depicted the dark side of the afterlife. ― Cultures have pondered about life after death about as long as humanity has been capable of doing so. This includes differentiating between "good" humans and "bad" ones and sometimes further into "good," "mediocre," "bad," and "really, really bad." Some souls are denied reincarnation, others tasked w...
review

Secret GN 1

While Secret shares elements of Yoshiki Tonogai's earlier works, it eschews the locked-room format and hidden identities of those other titles, focusing instead on the idea of trauma, guilt, and what happens when you survive, against all the odds. ― If you've read Yoshiki Tonogai's other works, Doubt and Judge, you might be forgiven if you think he's a bit of a one trick pony. Therefore the sight of ...
ep. review

Log Horizon 2 ‒ Episode 20

"This episode was dense. Dense in action, dense in ideas, dense in characters and narrative turns and climaxes."
ep. review

The Idol M@ster Cinderella Girls ‒ Episode 7

"The mess may be resolved a little too quickly, but it looks like these Cinderellas won't have to give up on the ball anytime soon."
ep. review

Assassination Classroom ‒ Episode 6

The series finally presents a challenge that Koro Sensei can't overcome on his own, and Funimation's english dub premiere gets some tentacle probing.
ep. review

Shirobako ‒ Episode 19

"Contains one of the series' biggest fantasy sequences."
ep. review

Death Parade ‒ Episode 7

It's an eye-opening episode of Death Parade packed with secrets and big story moments. Plus: a few thoughts on Funimation's recently premiered English dub!
review

Review: The Last: Naruto The Movie

The inaccurately-titled Naruto film hits American theaters today, and Amy McNulty sits in quiet awe at its visual (and romantic) splendor... in spite of some other issues. ― The Last: Naruto the Movie is a lush ninja fairy tale, an almost perfect incarnation of the Naruto story that's enraptured so many fans from around the globe for well over a decade. There were almost two and a half years between ...
column

Answerman - Life Is Just A Game

Why Viz just can't stream to Canada, where all the NYC dubs went, if Discotek is abandoning its classic anime releases, and whether we'll ever get a full DVD release of Hikaru no Go. ― Tough week here at Answerman. I got a few questions about the new Funimation broadcast dubs, but then they came out and answered most of the questions people were posing. Then we had our server issues last weekend, wh...
ep. review

Tokyo Ghoul √A ‒ Episode 7

"It's a simple episode this week, so I'll be covering Funimation's simuldub of the first episode as a coda to the episode 7 review."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 400

"Filler-within-filler with a dash of flashbacks."
ep. review

Your lie in April ‒ Episode 18

"It's been a while since the last performance episode, and this week was a reminder that they're the best parts of the show."
ep. review

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend ‒ Episode 6

Since its first regular episode Saekano has regularly been flirting with greatness, never quite getting there... until now.
column

ANNCast - The Cosmic Odyssey of the Supernerds

The Supernerds are down a man as seasonal allergies claim Justin Sevakis, but Mike, Daryl and Zac soldier forth to chat about Jupiter Ascending, Shirobako, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and much more. ― ANNCast Episode 217: The Cosmic Odyssey of the Supernerds Get the Flash Player to see this player. The Supernerds are down a man as seasonal allergies claim Justin Sevakis, but Mike, Daryl and Zac ...
review

Akame ga KILL! GN 1

The smash hit action-adventure manga starring a brutal team of assassins makes its way to the US, but does it live up to the hype? ― At first it seems like we know this story. Tatsumi is the bright-eyed, eternally hopeful country mouse who comes to the big city full of big dreams. He gets taken advantage of by a pretty lady, but eventually he finds out that there are still some good people in the wor...
column

House of 1000 Manga - Helter Skelter and Pink

In both Helter Skelter and Pink, Kyoko Okazaki loves peeling back the skin of femininity to poke at the sex and violence writhing underneath. ― Helter Skelter and Pink A word before we begin: a laugh and a scream are very similar. This line, from the opening of Kyoko Okazaki's Helter Skelter, could be printed on the first page of any of her work. As many artists have tried to do and precious few hav...
ep. review

Gundam Build Fighters Try ‒ Episodes 18-19

"It's the ace, Sekai, who has gone through the most these past two episodes."
ep. review

Parasyte -the maxim- ‒ Episode 19

"With the Tamiya Ryouko and is-Shinichi-a-monster arcs safely behind us, the show laid out the groundwork for its final act."
ep. review

KanColle ‒ Episode 7

"While it remains more competent than exceptional, it's nice to see KanColle back on form this week."
review

ItaKiss: Complete Anime Series Collection Sub.DVD

Kotoko is at the bottom of her high school's hierarchy, and she has a crush on the elite Naoko, who turns her down flat. Naturally, they somehow wind up living together! ― Based on the late Kaoru Tada's 1990-1999 shoujo manga, Itazura na Kiss is both unusual and important in a couple of ways. The most striking is that, unlike many other shoujo romances, ItaKiss does not end with the main couple getti...
ep. review

The Testament of Sister New Devil ‒ Episode 7

"It's the first time we've clearly seen Mio as a person and not a fanservice vessel or a bundle of clichés. "
column

The X Button - Solitary Confines

Todd digs up some tragically lonesome games of the last generation! Plus Dissidia, Phantom Dust, and a very busy release schedule. ― Many talented creators go unappreciated in the game industry, particularly when their careers are short, seldom documented, or submerged in misunderstandings. So it's great to see a tribute to Shinya Nishigaki, the director of the bizarrely adorable action games Blue S...
ep. review

Yona of the Dawn ‒ Episode 19

We all have different fears. For me, a lifetime of living in close proximity to the ocean has given me a healthy respect for its power, so the scene this episode where a couple of rogue waves come close to washing Yona from the shore sent a chill up my spine. If your fear is heights, however, this episode also has you covered, since the shore I mentioned is actually a goat track of a path along a...
ep. review

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! ‒ Episode 7

"The fanservice is so over the top that it's more a parody of fanservice, but it's still a lot of fanservice to handle."
column

The Set List - Top 10 EDs of 2014

You asked for it, you got it: Hope counts down her top 10 ending themes from 2014, and your poll results from the top 10 opening themes are in! ― Two weeks ago, The Set List premiered with my personal countdown of the 10 best OPs of 2014. Thanks to the overwhelming response to our user poll, we have a viewer-selected Top 10 OPs list for this column, so thank you to everyone who voted! But first, it'...
column

ANNCast - Baby, I Can See Your Halo

Yoshitoshi ABe's quaint little series about quaint little angels with dark, mysterious pasts comes under the microscope of sin-bound fans Hope, Zac, and guest commentator Matt Von Gonten. ― ANNCast Episode 216: Baby, I Can See Your Halo Get the Flash Player to see this player. Yoshitoshi ABe's quaint little series about quaint little angels with dark, mysterious pasts comes under the microscope of s...
ep. review

Yurikuma Arashi ‒ Episode 7

"After last week's heated climax, it's time for a little relaxation and character work with our main three."
review

Meteor Prince GN 1

It's the age-old question: what would you do if a naked bishonen who turns out to be intergalactic royalty fell on your head? ― Meca Tanaka's third English release – Tokyopop translated Pearl Pink and CMX released Omukae Desu – isn't really a stand-out in terms of shoujo plotlines, but it's still totally adorable in its goodhearted joy. The story follows bad-luck magnet Hako, a high school first year...
ep. review

Kamisama Kiss 2 ‒ Episode 6

"A transitional vignette that doesn't hit the mark."
ep. review

Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road ‒ Episode 18

"Onoda is awesome, but the flashback this episode was a little excessive."
ep. review

Durarara!!×2 ‒ Episode 6

"This is a transition episode, and not a particularly graceful one."
column

Shelf Life - Illusions of Grandeur

A run down of this week's new video releases. Plus, a glimpse at the new dub for Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, and a review of Okamikakushi: Masque of the Wolf. ― Jump to this week's reviews: Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! - Limited Edition BD+DVD and Okamikakushi: Masque of the Wolf BD. On Shelves This Week A Certain Magical Index - The Miracle of Endymion BD+DVD Funimation - 90 min - Hyb - ...
ep. review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc ‒ Episode 6

"Joseph Joestar's animal magnetism has put him in a real bind this week!"
ep. review

Yatterman Night ‒ Episode 6

"Even when Yatterman Night leans toward one mood or the other, it has enough of the opposite (like Leopard waiting for her friends to chase her) to keep viewers guessing."

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