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The X Button - Inner Stella

Have some imports this week with Tatsunoko tributes, Rhythm Heaven, and an RPG developer’s final days! And there’s Fire Emblem debate, Ace Attorney history, and Todd’s revelation of his favorite King of Fighters character! ― The Fire Emblem series has a few controversies, but you'll have to dig to find them. Those games with the more disturbing plot twists, such as Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy...
review

Nobunagun BD+DVD

Oda Nobunaga, Jack the Ripper, Isaac Newtwon, and other historical greats pass on their talents to E-Gene holders to fight aliens. Wait, where are you going? ― There is something to be said for owning your concept. Nobunagun is essentially about giving descendants of mankind's greats access to their progenitors' abilities so that they can fight off aliens who have an uncanny knack for evolving, and h...
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ANNCast - Criticulous

Zac and Hope are joined by two of our newest writers, Nick Creamer and Gabriella Ekens, to chat about writing anime reviews and what it's like to write about anime online. ― ANNCast Episode 231: Criticulous Get the Flash Player to see this player. Zac and Hope are joined by two of our newest writers, Nick Creamer and Gabriella Ekens, to chat about writing anime reviews and what it's like to write ab...
ep. review

Sound! Euphonium ‒ Episode 13

Sound! Euphonium triumphs to the end.
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Tales Of The Industry - How To Torpedo Your Own License

A cautionary tale of a would-be licensee who spoke too soon, learning the hard way how business is done in Japan. ― Welcome to “Tales of the Industry,” a column where we will share stories from real working professionals in the anime business. This week, we have a story contributed by a long time industry member who acts as a consultant for companies looking to get into the anime business. We've rem...
review

Maria the Virgin Witch Episodes 1-12 Streaming

An underappreciated adventure series that explores the life of a witch during the Hundred Years War who has a decidedly complicated relationship with her virginity. ― What do you get when combine magical girls, medieval history, a thesis on religion and female sexuality, penis jokes and dancing owls? You get Maria the Virgin Witch, the sleeper hit of the winter 2015 anime season. This show came out o...
ep. review

Heroic Legend of Arslan ‒ Episode 13

"The Heroic Legend of Arslan continues to be a bizarre mix of strengths and faults."
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Shelf Life - Alien HQ

This week, scrappy volleyball players and a sinister race of sex aliens.
- Captain Earth
- Haikyu!!
― Jump to this week's reviews: Captain Earth Collection 1Haikyu!! Collection 1 On Shelves This Week A Lull in the Sea - Complete Collection BD [Premium] NIS America - Hyb - MSRP $179.99Currently cheapest at: $134.99 Right Stuf Synopsis: Humans used to inhabit the seas, until one day, a group of humans...
review

Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro Blu-Ray

Miyazaki’s thrilling first film arrives in a special edition worthy of the title. ― Before Studio Ghibli, before Nausicaa, before Oscar honors and western fame and general anime elder statesman-dom, Hayao Miyazaki worked on the very first Lupin III series at A Pro, along with his longtime Ghibli partner Isao Takahata. Though he'd shift from this work to the renowned Heidi, Girl of the Alps and then F...
ep. review

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches ‒ Episode 12

"Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches came into the season with plenty of good ideas, but it never quite overcame the challenge of fitting twenty-four episodes worth of plot into twelve."
ep. review

Plastic Memories ‒ Episode 13

"Here at the end, Plastic Memories is less Time of Eve and more Clannad."
ep. review

Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love Revolutions ‒ Episode 13

The third season of Uta no Prince-sama wraps up with a fourth already on the way, which means maybe this one doesn't so much "conclude" as it does "pause".
ep. review

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma ‒ Episode 13

"Fortunately the camp storyline is almost over, and within two weeks we should be moving on to different plots."
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 699

The palace-top fight with the villainous Doflamingo continues, and snippets of his backstory start coming to light.
review

Naruto Shippuden Uncut Set Volume 22

The Fourth Great Shinobi War is just getting heated up in this collection of episodes. ― Naruto Shippuden's 22nd DVD set (episodes 271-283) is a mixed bag, but it rarely disappoints. With the Fourth Great Shinobi War finally off the ground, there are countless battles to showcase and many, many stories to tell. While a number of the mini arcs featured in this volume do a commendable job of showcasing...
ep. review

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works ‒ Episode 25

"Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works ends on a deceptively high note."
ep. review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? ‒ Episode 13

It's the end of Danmanchi, which means Hestia and her famous physique are heading off into the sunset... for now.
ep. review

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO! ‒ Episode 13

Oregairu's second season wraps up; Nick reflects on the final episode.
ep. review

Nisekoi: ‒ Episode 12

Nisekoi: wraps up its second season, but there may not be a real conclusion to much of anything in the cards.
review

Kamisama Kiss GN 18

Nanami is back from the past and off to Okinawa in this volume of Julietta Suzuki's story about an ordinary girl who becomes a goddess. ― For many book series, manga or otherwise, the fulfillment of the romance plot or subplot marks the end of the story. In Julietta Suzuki's Kamisama Kiss, that does not appear to be the case – volume seventeen got Tomoe to finally admit his feelings while Nanami lear...
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The List - 7 Government Organizations That Would Make the CIA Blush

This rundown of shadowy cabals that perform their insidious machinations behind the scenes, secretly controlling everything, will get your SEELE of approval. ― America's Central Intelligence Agency has fueled numerous conspiracy theories and espionage plots in films, books, and real life. Anime is no exception, with many protagonists uncovering all the dirt their utopian governments swept under the ...
ep. review

Disappearance of Nagato Yuki chan ‒ Episode 13

"I said last week that Nagato Yuki-chan likely couldn't keep up its (surprisingly well-composed) drama act forever, and this week revealed the truth of that."
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ANNCastle of Cagliostro

Discotek representatives Brady Hartel and Reed Nelson stop by to talk about their most recent prestige release, The Castle of Cagliostro on Bluray. PLUS: An announcement! ― ANNCast Episode 230: ANNCastle of Cagliostro Get the Flash Player to see this player. Discotek representatives Brady Hartel and Reed Nelson stop by to talk about their most recent prestige release, The Castle of Cagliostro on Blu...
ep. review

Punch Line ‒ Episode 12

"The series closes out well, in a far more orderly fashion than where it started."
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Answerman - What's With The Bootlegs On Amazon?

Why are bootlegged anime products still such a problem on Amazon? Plus, the scoop on the new Funimation/Universal Studios deal, anime on Amazon Prime, and when anime will come out on 4K Blu-ray. ― Daniel asks: Who will produce the first anime Super Duper Blu-Ray when players start shipping at the end of the year? Sony via AniPlex? Do you think supporting three simultaneous disc formats will be beyon...
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How to Create a New Anime Fan

Introducing someone to anime can be tricky - it's easy to scare people off, and finding the right show to make a great first impression is tough. Paul Jensen has some advice for sparking fan fervor in just about anyone. ― People love to talk about the importance of first impressions, mostly when they're trying to “help” college applicants by scaring them to death right before an interview. First impr...
ep. review

Ninja Slayer From Animation ‒ Episode 11

"Ninja Slayer From Animation always knows exactly how to bounce back."
review

Dream Fossil: The Complete Stories of Satoshi Kon GN

This collection of early short stories by the late great Satoshi Kon offers a rare glimpse into the creative mind that would go on to create some of anime's most memorable films. ― Paprika. Tokyo Godfathers. Millenium Actress. Memories. Whatever you know Satoshi Kon's work from, chances are you know his films, and while that was his primary creative medium, he also penned manga which shares the same ...
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 417

"Flashbacks continue to awkwardly prolong the final battle."
ep. review

Wish Upon the Pleiades ‒ Episode 12

"Wish Upon the Pleiades' finale proves that potential isn't everything."
ep. review

My Love Story!! ‒ Episode 12

"This week, the topic is Takeo's grades."
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House of 1000 Manga Finale: Part I

The House of 1000 Manga is closing its doors after 5 years of excavation and discovery. Co-author Shaenon Garrity counts down her favorite manga from the column. ― Shaenon's Ten Favorite 'House' Manga It falls upon my bowed shoulders to announce the news: House of 1,000 Manga is ending. After five years of weekly columns, the time has come to move on. Among other things, we're kind of running out of...
review

Review: Ping Pong the Animation BD+DVD

Ping Pong the Animation brings together Masaki Yuasa’s stunning visual language and Taiyo Matsumoto’s focused, insightful storytelling in a triumph of a production. ― Masaaki Yuasa is an animator's animator. Whether it's through contributing evocative slices to the shows of others in Space Dandy or Adventure Time, staking his own creative territory in originals like Mind Game or Kaiba, or crafting on...
ep. review

Gintama ‒ Episode 277

"This week's installment brings the highly-anticipated genderbent arc to a moderately satisfying, albeit predictable, conclusion."
ep. review

Kyōkai no Rinne ‒ Episode 12

"This season mid-point leaves us with slight frustrations unassuaged, but enough humor to make it go down easy."
ep. review

Mikagura School Suite ‒ Episode 12

"Mikagura School Suite remains a flawed series, but a conclusion this strong makes it easy to overlook those weak points."
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The X Button - Chapter Plays

This week: Kickstarters bring tactical comedy, haunted echoes, and something called Shenmue. And we spy new Nier, celebrate Sonic’s birthday, and get all mushy about a giant puppy. ― You might've missed me during last week's E3 nonsense, when I came down with food poisoning. Fortunately, I wasn't at E3, so I just rode out the extravaganza by watching trailers and making feeble Twitter posts from my ...
review

Hyperdimension Neptunia [Limited Edition] BD+DVD

If you've ever dreamed of an anime where your favorite game consoles came to life in the form of adorable anime girls, this is it. Just don't think about it too hard. ― The anime version of Hyperdimension Neptunia is based on a series of video games of the same name, which were released in Japan beginning in 2010. (PC versions of them have started to become available in the U.S. as 2015 has progresse...
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How To Conquer One Piece

Eager to leap into the ocean-spanning superheroics of One Piece, but daunted by the 700+ episode count? This handy guide will help you navigate the expansive waters of Eiichiro Oda's magnum opus. ― So it's come to this. You're interested in catching up on One Piece. And why wouldn't you? It's the highest selling manga of all time in Japan and one of the most beloved anime franchises in the world. Per...
ep. review

Sound! Euphonium ‒ Episode 12

"Kumiko was the star this week, in an episode with one simple theme: deciding what we play for."
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The Set List - Top 10 EDs of 2009

Hope rounds out the year of 2009 with the best ending themes! Did your favorite song make the cut? Plus: vote for your number one pick in the poll! ― This week on the Set List, we continue our journey through the final year of the 00's with the top ten ending theme songs of 2009! As always, only shows that debuted in 2009 qualified for the list, and the same is true of this week's poll, so keep that...
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 698

"Boy, to call this an action packed episode is an understatement."
ep. review

Heroic Legend of Arslan ‒ Episode 12

"Mostly, this episode is transitional, setting the characters up for further conflicts."
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Shelf Life - Star Power

This week's releases, a pint-size girl bent on world domination and a particularly lethargic entry in the .hack franchise.
-World Conquest Zvezda Plot
-.hack//Roots
― Jump to this week's reviews: World Conquest Zvezda Plot.hack//Roots On Shelves This Week Bleach - Season 25 Uncut Box Set DVD Viz - Hyb - MSRP $44.82Currently cheapest at: $27.58 Amazon Synopsis: Ichigo has been without powers for a ye...
ep. review

High School DxD BorN ‒ Episode 36

High School DxD BorN wraps up its latest season while still leaving room for plenty more.
review

Yuki Yuna is a Hero [Collector's Edition + CD] BD+DVD 2

The saga of Yuki Yuna continues in volume 2 of Pony Canyon's limited edition release. The show remains strong, but is that price point worth it? ― The middle third of the series, which covers episodes 5-8, is a study in dramatic contrasts. Its content varies from intense battles to placid, occasionally comedic slice-of-life and back again before ending with (comparatively speaking) grim revelations. ...
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Anime Spotlight - Rokka - Braves of the Six Flowers -

The legend tells of six heroes who will defeat evil and bring peace back to their world. However seven have appeared! Who are the real heores and who is the imposter? ― Rokka -Braves of the Six Flowers- Visit the Official Site › Story Characters Trailer Cast & Staff Gallery Coming to TV in July 2015!! (JST) Key Staff Director: Takeo Takahashi (Spice and Wolf, Maoyu - Archenemy & Hero) Series Composi...
ep. review

Blood Blockade Battlefront ‒ Episode 11

"At long last, the full truth about Black and White's complicated relationship has come to light, and it's literally heartbreaking."
ep. review

Show By Rock!! ‒ Episode 12

"Considering the sheer scope of plotlines this series ambitiously tackled, the final episode does a passable job of wrapping things up."
ep. review

Plastic Memories ‒ Episode 12

"It'll be curious to see how Plastic Memories decides to put a cap on its ideas, since it could go one of many ways at this point."
ep. review

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches ‒ Episode 11

"At the moment, Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches is trying too hard to think when it needs to just feel."
ep. review

Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation ‒ Episode 12

"Is there anything salvageable here at the end, when the show finally shows itself out?"
ep. review

Kuroko's Basketball ‒ Episode 24

"Welcome back to the final game in the final arc of Kuroko's Basketball, where things just keep getting more intense."
ep. review

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works ‒ Episode 24

"Ufotable missed their chance to make FSN:UBW's conclusion a real spectacle."
ep. review

Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love Revolutions ‒ Episode 12

UtaPri's third season is almost over. Which gorgeous group of guys will sing and dance their way into performing at the fake Olympics?
ep. review

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign ‒ Episode 12

"Surprisingly enjoyable, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign may not have brains, but it's full of heart."
ep. review

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO! ‒ Episode 12

"Sometimes we have to deal with not-nice people, though. We can't always choose our company."
ep. review

Ninja Slayer From Animation ‒ Episode 10

"Ultimately, despite a couple of amusing fight scenes, there's not a whole lot going on in this episode."
ep. review

Sailor Moon Crystal ‒ Episode 24

"The conclusion of this plotline is one of the stronger ones and I'm hoping that Sailor Moon Crystal can do it justice."
ep. review

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma ‒ Episode 12

"Most of this episode is actually spent in flashbacks, although it wouldn't be fair to call it a clip show or recap episode."
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The List - 7 of Hello Kitty's Most Expensive Accessories

Almost no other mascot in the world gets merchandise as expensive as Hello Kitty. Here's a collection of some of the most outrageously-priced luxury Kitty items. ― Hello Kitty is a cat, or a girl, or both that wants for nothing. She has her own pet cat and friends of all shapes and sizes. She's been to outer space and to countries all over the world. Collectors of Sanrio's popular mascot will quickl...
review

Yakitate!! Japan Sub.DVD

Things go international in the second part of Yakitate!! Japan as Azuma heads to Monaco for a competition. Can Pantasia rise above its rivals? ― Bread may seem an unlikely topic for a shounen tournament show, given that it's a multi-hour process to prepare and bake it and that battles need to be fast-paced and exciting. And yet somehow Yakitate Japan manages to pull it off in a second set of twenty-s...
ep. review

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? ‒ Episode 12

"This episode goes from harmless to intense relatively gradually."
ep. review

Assassination Classroom ‒ Episode 22

"As a lighthearted piece of entertainment, Assassination Classroom will be a tough act to follow."
ep. review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc ‒ Episode 24

"Thanks for the journey, Stardust Crusaders! Enjoy that last train home..."
ep. review

Nisekoi: ‒ Episode 11

An episode focused entirely on Kosaki Onodera mixes things up a little near the end of Nisekoi:.
ep. review

Disappearance of Nagato Yuki chan ‒ Episode 12

This week marked the third straight slow, atmospheric episode of the disappearance arc, and likely the most unsettling episode so far.
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ANNCast - Game Show: Crass Materia-lism

It's a packed, enormous E3 edition of Game Show where our 90s teenage nerd dreams have all come true! Final Fantasy VII, Shenmue, The Last Guardian and much more! ― ANNCast Episode 229: Game Show: Crass Materia-lism Get the Flash Player to see this player. Todd Ciolek, Dave Reily, Joel White and Heidi Kemps join us for a packed, enormous E3 edition of Game Show where our 90s teenage nerd dreams have...
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Beyond the Boob String: Why 'DanMachi' Works

Your eyeballs have been unable to escape Hestia, but Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? has unexpectedly captivated a growing fanbase for more reasons than you might think. ― I've been into Dungeons and Dragons for even longer than I've been an anime fan, so most of the people I regularly associate with in the casual realm are fellow RPG gamers. When I talk to them about this franchise (herea...
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Answerman - Will Manga Go Public Domain?

Plus, what is digipaint, exactly? What ever happened to Record of Lodoss War? And what does it take to get a long-running show green-lit these days? ― No time for an intro today, let's get to it! Cyrus asks: The Mangaka of a popular series called say hello to black jack did what would surely give Alan Moore nightmares. He revealed that the series was now 100 percent public domain per his own wishes....
review

.hack//Legend of the Twilight DVD

This chibi-sized comedy followup to the smash hit .hack//sign seemed like a good time to one unsuspecting Nick Creamer. That all changed the minute he started watching... ― It was quite a shock, jumping from .hack//SIGN to this one. SIGN was a compelling series with a variety of debilitating flaws; it was creative and impassioned, but held down by serious failings of structure and storytelling. The s...
ep. review

Punch Line ‒ Episode 11

"Punch Line is going to be 12 episodes after all. That's good, because as it turns out, one episode would have been nowhere near enough time to wrap things up."
ep. review

My Love Story!! ‒ Episode 11

"It's a day at the beach for Takeo, Yamato, Suna and friends—literally!"
ep. review

Wish Upon the Pleiades ‒ Episode 11

"The team finds a collective purpose as Subaru comes to terms with her individual one."
ep. review

Gintama ‒ Episode 276

"More gender-swapped characters get their time to shine."
review

Review: Spirited Away BD+DVD

Studio Ghibli's most decorated and internationally renowned film finally comes to bluray in the US. Does it still hold up after all these years? ― Let's get this out of the way first: Spirited Away won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film back in 2002. As of this writing it's the only animated film from Japan to have ever won that honor, which means that among people who pay attention to a...
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House of 1000 Manga - Kekkaishi

Jason exorcises some demons with the teenage spirit-banishing crew of Kekkaishi, a 35-volume action adventure hit. ― Kekkaishi Manga years are like dog years; a popular shonen or shojo manga lives for 10 or so years, it has a rich, full life (or not), and after it's gone you remember it fondly. (Unless it's a manga that keeps dragging on forever on life support, getting worse and worse and draining ...
ep. review

Kyōkai no Rinne ‒ Episode 11

"When the entire plot centers around the central romance and the pair still don't admit their feelings, that can get a little frustrating."
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Growing Up Is Hard To Do: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU

Few shows manage to capture and empathize with the complicated feelings of troubled teenagers like SNAFU; Nick Creamer, reformed Hachiman, explores how the show articulates those feelings so well. ― This'll get to SNAFU eventually, I promise. But let's start at the beginning. In fifth grade, I sketched out a mental map of all the various sympathies and alliances that made up my school's social hierar...
review

Review: The Cat Returns BD+DVD

Bamboo is whisked away to a fantasy kingdom by the Baron in one of the last remaining Studio Ghibli films to finally get the bluray treatment. ― It's difficult to talk about Studio Ghibli films without comparing them to one another. Whether they're directed by Hayao Miyazaki or not, everything is perpetually compared and contrasted. In that regard, for those who are keeping score, The Cat Returns is ...
ep. review

Mikagura School Suite ‒ Episode 11

"Mikagura School Suite usually takes its sweet time moving the story along, but this episode starts off on a compelling note."
ep. review

Sound! Euphonium ‒ Episode 11

"Sound! Euphonium enters its final episodes having made virtually no missteps so far, and is currently one of the finest anime dramas I've seen."
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Tales Of The Industry - Wanna Go To Tokyo In 3 Days?

One might think that being suddenly asked last-minute to go to Japan with a video game news crew for 10 days would be a fun thing. It is not. ― Welcome to “Tales of the Industry,” a column where we will share stories from real working professionals in the anime business. This week, we have a story contributed by a long time marketing consultant and freelancer who no longer works on anime full-time, ...
review

The Devil is a Part-Timer! Novel 1

The novel that spawned the hit comedy series about the devil himself working in fast food finally hits shelves. Theron Martin investigates. ― The anime adaptation of this light novel series by Satoshi Wagahara was one of the best and funniest series of 2013, with a concept well-suited to American audiences, so its source material eventually making its way to the States is no surprise. And while the h...
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Shelf Life - Act A Fool

This week, people with superpowers, and a gathering of historical figures in a world very much unlike our own.
- Darker than Black s2
- Nobunaga the Fool collection 1
― Jump to this week's reviews: Darker Than Black - Season 2 + OVAsNobunaga the Fool - Collection 1 On Shelves This Week Captain Earth - Collection 1 BD, DVD Sentai - 325 min - Sub - MSRP $59.98|49.98Currently cheapest at: $34.46 Amazon...
review

Amagi Brilliant Park

Kyoani's until-now-unlicensed series about a self-centered teen who winds up saving a theme park with the help of a few lovely ladies is finally on Crunchyroll, and Theron Martin takes a look. ― In one episode of the anime version of The Twelve Kingdoms, heroine Youko pretended to be an actor portraying an evil visitor from another world to hide the fact that she actually was the “evil” visitor that ...
ep. review

Heroic Legend of Arslan ‒ Episode 11

"The Heroic Legend of Arslan can do a lot with flashbacks and philosophizing when it wants to, but that requires deepening those ideas beyond what we've already seen."
ep. review

Show By Rock!! ‒ Episode 11

"Although previous plotlines were rushed, the show now appears to be gearing up for the final battle, and it's not in much of a hurry to get there."
ep. review

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches ‒ Episode 10

"There are a handful of quiet moments in this episode, and each one goes a long way toward keeping the show afloat."
ep. review

Plastic Memories ‒ Episode 11

"Plastic Memories is now a full-blown domesticity fantasy."
ep. review

Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation ‒ Episodes 10-11

"At this point, Gunslinger Stratos is becoming more entertaining than it's been in a while, but for all the wrong reasons."
ep. review

Kuroko's Basketball ‒ Episodes 22-23

"As things are looking up for Seirin, Akashi decides to make his next move."
ep. review

High School DxD BorN ‒ Episode 35

"I am now a lot less confident about a strong finish than I was after last episode."
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The Mike Toole Show - A Low-Down Dirty Pair

Mike's memory of the classic sci-fi fan favorite Dirty Pair is triggered by a couple of outstanding cosplayers, and so a look back at the sexy action franchise is in order! ― Once again, I'm spending the weekend surrounded by the riotous color and noise of an anime convention. This one's Anime Next, taking place in central New Jersey, not far from the weird, unsettled beauty of the Pine Barrens. It's...
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 697

"This episode very much borrows from the DBZ school of logic where we kind of have to assume that what we are seeing is the super dramatic slow-mo version of events."
ep. review

Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love Revolutions ‒ Episode 11

"This show was so much easier to watch when it had Nico Nico comments."

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