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ep. review

Bladedance of Elementalers

"The issues with Bladedance of Elementalers are disappointing, predictable, but not completely intolerable." ― Bladedance of Elementalers is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Hanayamata

"Hanayamata's charm is undeniable if given a chance." ― Hanayamata is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Blue Spring Ride

"Blue Spring Ride is an enjoyable shoujo romance, not quite as different as you might hope, but it's still fun for fans of the genre." ― Blue Spring Ride is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun

"The character introductions keep on rolling with each new episode, and all of them add exponentially to the charm of the experience." ― Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Akame ga KILL!

"Akame ga KILL!'s desire to be thought of as more than cheap and reflexive fun is the biggest strike against it." ― Akame ga KILL! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Space Dandy Season 2

"If you love massive creativity, great writing, amazing visuals or just laughing so hard you pass out, then you owe it to yourself to check out Space Dandy Season 2." ― Space Dandy Season 2 is currently streaming on Funimation.
review

Cat's Eye Sub.DVD

The first season of Cat's Eye is so much a product of its time that the only way it could possibly be more 80s is if Cyndi Lauper had a guest appearance. ― Based on the manga by Tsukasa Hojo, the first season of Cat's Eye, which ran from 1983 – 1984, is so much a product of its time that the only way it could possibly be more 80s is if Cyndi Lauper had a guest appearance. Despite that (and that may n...
ep. review

Sabegebu! - Survival Game Club!

"Sabagebu! is an easy sell for fans of action movies and gag comedies, who will find that the show balances out to a solid effort." ― Survival Game Club! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Rail Wars!

"At this point, the most we can hope for are new forays into life-threatening melodrama to mirror the show's constant fresh forays into oddly framed T&A." ― Rail Wars! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

DRAMAtical Murder

"DRAMAtical Murder hits you like a sack of "what?" ― DRAMAtical Murder is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
review

Ringing Bell DVD

A little lamb seeks vengeance for the death of his mother in this very atypical 1978 movie. Though technically meant to be family-friendly, it is a rare cautionary tale whose harsh lessons can leave an indelible impression. ― The 1978 movie version of Ringing Bell is based on the children's book Chirin no Suzu by Takashi Yanase, whose vastly more famous creation (at least in Japan) is Anpanman. It wa...
ep. review

Barakamon

"Barakamon's stellar execution has made it one of my favorite shows of the season." ― Barakamon is currently streaming on Funimation. Nick writes about anime, storytelling, and the meaning of life at Wrong Every Time.
ep. review

Sailor Moon Crystal

"Sailor Moon Crystal isn't dead in the water yet, but if it becomes engaging later on, these first four episodes will probably be skippable." ― Sailor Moon Crystal is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Shōnen Hollywood - Holly Stage for 49

"It isn't going to move any mountains, but if you're looking for a more grounded slice of life with a sharp, poignant undercurrent, it's got you covered. ― Shōnen Hollywood - Holly Stage for 49 is currently streaming on Funimation.
ep. review

Sword Art Online II

"As pure entertainment, Sword Art Online tends to work even when its hackneyed writing is otherwise dragging it down - it's a mixed bag of parts." ― Sword Art Online II is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Aldnoah.Zero

"Aldnoah.Zero is hardly doing anything daring with its storytelling, but even if it ultimately fails to be a quality series, it's still quite entertaining." ― Aldnoah.Zero is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Magimoji Rurumo

"If you have a soft spot for magical girls and perverted boys, and you want to see that formula done right, it just might prove worth your time." ― Magimoji Rurumo is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Invaders of the Rokujyōma!?

"Anyone looking for a light, entertaining way to kill half an hour each week will find that Invaders of the Rokujyoma!? fits the bill quite nicely." ― Invaders of the Rokujyōma!? is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
review

Devils and Realist GN 1

While this is certainly not a horrible book, it is a mediocre one, and sometimes that feels more like a crime than if it had been unabashedly awful. ― Despite appearances, Devils and Realist is not based on an otome game. It also is not BL, although you could be forgiven for thinking that it might be – not a single female character is included in the cast, and most of the men are awfully pretty. And ...
ep. review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

"Stardust Crusaders is a slice of something special. Its blend of sincerity and silliness both fully adopts and plays fast n' loose with the muscle-bound chivalry holding it aloft." ― JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Tokyo Ghoul

"Even with its short run of too-gross-to-defend episodes in Shuu's arc, Tokyo Ghoul has been an enthralling ride for fans of the macabre, filled with great action scenes and nuanced characters." ― Tokyo Ghoul is currently streaming on Funimation.
ep. review

Terror in Resonance

"This is a unique, exciting show that will appeal to people who care about our societal trajectory or value animation as an artform." ― Terror in Resonance is currently streaming on Funimation.
ep. review

Tokyo ESP

"Tokyo ESP's only significant problem so far is that it sometimes gets just corny enough to detract from its more serious elements." ― Tokyo ESP is currently streaming on Funimation.
ep. review

Persona 4 the Golden Animation

"Fans of the Persona 4 video games will probably be able to fill in the story's gaps and take more interest in Marie's story, but The Golden is a hard-to-follow, unfulfilling mess for the uninitiated." ― Persona 4 the Golden Animation is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Black Butler: Book of Circus

"Black Butler: Book of Circus doesn't have much to offer those who aren't already enamored with the series, but it's a fun, solid return to form for the show's fans." ― Black Butler: Book of Circus is currently streaming on Funimation.
ep. review

Locodol

"It really isn't all that great, but somehow it's easy to watch and there are moments of fun in nearly every episode. " ― Locodol is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Argevollen

"It doesn't live up to the sleekness and swiftness of its namesake mech, but neither is it a trundling clunker on its way to the scrapyard." ― Argevollen is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden

"Naruto really is ending, even if it's taking its sweet time to get there." ― Naruto Shippuden is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

GLASSLIP

"The awkward, drunken, low-stakes chaos is strangely captivating in its own way, but there's not much here to recommend this late in the game." ― GLASSLIP is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Bakumatsu Rock

"Bakumatsu Rock becomes more bearable over time as you start to realize that it doesn't fit easily into a category." ― Bakumatsu Rock is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Love Stage!!

"Love Stage's first seven episodes set up a romance that looks at its characters as people, not just two guys who are supposed to kiss." ― Love Stage!! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
ep. review

Free! Eternal Summer

"Free! benefits from expert pacing, top-shelf animation, an upbeat musical score, and relatable character drama that isn't just for the ladies. " ― Free! Eternal Summer is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
views

Announcement: Welcome to Daily Streaming Reviews!

Today ANN editorial is launching its newest project: daily reviews of new episodes as they air throughout the week. ― So a little less than a year ago I'd been in long talks with Bamboo Dong about leaving The Stream behind. For those who don't remember, The Stream was an attempt at doing Shelf Life for streaming anime series, ranking them in order from best to worst, dropping shows as they slowly bec...
column

Answerman - Terrible People

This week, what's with all the cynical jerks? Are anime fans discriminated against? Also, the layout of an anime company, and where those text-free sequences come from. ― You guys absolutely buried me in great new questions this week. Since ANN participation seems to peak while school is in session, I'm going to make an educated guess and suggest that you're here because your actual homework is in a...
review

Red Data Girl DVD

Opens with a strong, short arc and then continues on as if surprised by its own longevity and uncertain what exactly to do about it. ― If all of Red Data Girl was as good as its opening three episodes it would be a serious contender. Those episodes form a mostly self-contained arc, a dreamlike supernatural mystery where magic and menace are insinuated rather than stated, where mood and atmosphere are...
interview

Interview: Shinji Aramaki

The director of this summer's Appleseed Alpha and Space Pirate Captain Harlock discusses those films, the state of Japanese CG and his early days. ― Shinji Aramaki is a true anime legend. After joining Artmic in the early 80s, the young Aramaki went on to contribute mecha designs for numerous series like Mospaeda and Bubblegum Crisis. He eventually graduating to the director's chair for early oversea...
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ANNCast - In the Doghouse (ENG)

Kickstarted anime Under the Dog producer Hiroaki Yura, director Masahiro Ando and writer Jiro Ishii stop by to chat up the project! (This version contains only the English translated answers.) ― ANNCast 198 - In the Doghouse (ENGLISH ONLY VERSION) Get the Flash Player to see this player. Kickstarted anime Under the Dog producer Hiroaki Yura (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, Steins;Gate) , direc...
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ANNCast - In the Doghouse (ENG + JPN)

Kickstarted anime Under the Dog producer Hiroaki Yura, director Masahiro Ando and writer Jiro Ishii stop by to chat up the project! (This version contains both Japanese language answers and English translation). ― ANNCast 198 - In the Doghouse (ENGLISH + JAPANESE VERSION) Get the Flash Player to see this player. Kickstarted anime Under the Dog producer Hiroaki Yura (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzum...
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The X Button - Tales to Admonish

Todd puts the latest Tales RPG to a turbulent test of typical traits! Plus Pokemon, Terra Battle, Mitchell, and a Street Fighter giveaway! ― The official Street Fighter website recently uploaded a timeline depicting the various forms of Street Fighter IV. It's quite helpful for anyone confused about who's in which game. It's also a merciless tease to me. See how everyone's lined up in the Ultra Stre...
review

Nekomonogatari White Sub.Blu-Ray

If you think of the Hanekawa stories as a Nekomonogatari trilogy, then this is the concluding installment. If you aren't a Hanekawa fan going in, you will be coming out. ― Nisioisin and Akiyuki Simbo dip once more into the life of unnaturally even-keeled Tsubasa Hanekawa, continuing the process of enriching and complicating her pointedly unnatural persona. Being the third time the series has put Hane...
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RIGHT TURN ONLY!! - Cooking Nightmare

Rebecca confuses visitors by leaving volumes of Toriko, Eroica, and UQ Holder out when they come to dinner. Hopefully you will be less perplexed by this week's new and upcoming manga! ― I had one of those weeks – you know the ones. The weeks where you can't win for losing, you can't get out of your own way, and your cat freaks out while you're holding him, scratches the hell out of your arm, and you...
game review

Muramasa: Rebirth / Genroku Legends

The main game doesn't have anything new to offer fans of the original, but veterans willing to double dip will get the best Muramasa's ever been. ― Muramasa always felt like a weekend sort of game: a 2D brawler with some light RPG bits, short and simple, and fun enough for a couple days. Compared to Vanillaware's previous game, Odin Sphere, everything in Muramasa is quick and fluid. Fighting is high ...
video

M3 the dark metal Episode 19 - Overlapping Sound of Love 2

Another great episode of M3 the dark metal ― Part 1: Part 2:
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Shelf Life - Clone Wars

This week, a classic magical girl show, as well as some other girls with supernatural powers, including one that defies gravity.
- A Certain Scientific Railgun S pt 1
- Card Captor Sakura
- Senran Kagura
― Shelf Worthy Card Captor Sakura Complete Series BD A Certain Scientific Railgun S Part 1 DVD Mildly Entertaining Booby Show Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash Complete Series BD+DVD Perishable Nothing thi...
review

To Love Ru Darkness Sub.Blu-Ray

While partly offering more of the same, the third installment in this harem franchise also dramatically escalates its fan service content, shifts character focus, and takes on darker and more serious tones and character development. ― As the third TV series in the franchise, Darkness adapts the eponymous follow-up manga to the original saucy “alien girlfriend/harem” manga by manga-ka team Saki Hasemi...
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The Mike Toole Show - Test Pilots

Mike ventures in to the wild world of anime pilots (not the flying kind, the TV kind). ― A couple of weeks back at Otakon, we learned about Under the Dog, an interesting new crowdfunded anime project. The producer's weird editorializing aside, I'm intrigued by Under the Dog, not least of which due to the involvement of Masahiro Ando, the best action animation director working at the moment. They're i...
review

Arpeggio of Blue Steel GN 1

Arpeggio of Blue Steel's first volume begins an interesting, exciting story of mysterious vessels and warfare on the high seas. ― Of all of the moe-fications of inanimate objects, Arpeggio of Blue Steel's use of female avatars, or “mental models,” for ships makes the most sense. The reason for this is that in several languages, boats are referred to by use of the feminine pronoun, so even if your boa...
column

The List - 7 "Gateway" Anime Sure to Get Newbies Hooked

Seven series to get your friends watching anime, no matter what their tastes! ― There are several hurdles when you want to introduce the average American viewer, be they a family member or friend, to the world of anime. Like jumping into any foreign art medium, there's a learning curve. Assuming your cousin Ted has had zero exposure to Japanese culture or animated films outside of dubbed Ghibli film...
column

ANNCast - SuperN.E.R.D.S.

Zac and Justin reteam with supernerds Mike Toole and Daryl Surat to chat about Chaika, Space Dandy, Captain Harlock, Otakon and more, and of course there's always Twitter Time! ― ANNCast 197 - SuperN.E.R.D.S. Get the Flash Player to see this player. Zac and Justin reteam with supernerds Mike Toole and Daryl Surat to chat about Chaika, Space Dandy, Captain Harlock, Otakon and more, and of course ther...
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Answerman - Nobody Loves The Weeaboo

Why do Japanese companies have such terrible English? Why did Viz finish dubbing MONSTER? Plus, dealing with themes in writing reviews, and why everyone hates weeaboo. ― I've been eating really healthy for the last week or so. I had a salad for lunch, and a salad with some tacos for dinner. Lots of fish. This is driving me crazy, and I'm absolutely FIENDING for junk food. Needless to say, i'm a litt...
review

Karneval BD+DVD 1-4

Karneval is a story with interest and potential that ends too soon. ― Fret not, clown phobic viewers – despite the circus theme and all the circus roles for its characters, Karneval is completely clown-free. (This apparently was a concern of the lead adaptive writer J. Michael Tatum, as revealed in the episode one commentary.) Rather than using the actual circus as we think of it, Karneval instead dr...
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House of 1000 Manga - Unico

Shaenon takes a magical journey with Tezuka's famously adorable little unicorn, Unico. ― Unico Kickstarter can be a powerful force for good or evil, and not everyone agrees on which is which. When professional companies and Hollywood stars started to use the crowdfunding site to raise money for projects, many observers worried that it would destroy Kickstarter's indie sensibility and undermine its c...
column

The X Button - Hive Finds

This week brings pitches for dungeon treks, alien bug raids, and a nightmare long thought over. Plus Silent Hills, BlazBlue, and the results of an anime-editing contest! ― It's time to announce the winners of the One Piece: Unlimited World Red Contest, which tasked you all with censoring anime for kid-safe sensibilities. It's also time for some good news: I rounded up extra copies of the latest One ...
game review

Review: Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late

Under Night is an elegantly designed game by people who have been at fighting games for a long time, and who deeply understand what's truly important about them. ― Between the convoluted modern-fantasy setting, a magic-powered cast, and its quite amazing interpretation of the English language, one could not be blamed for mistaking Under Night In-Birth for some kind of Type-Moon knockoff. The truth is...
review

Terra Formars GN 1

While Terra Formars presents an interesting science fiction story that plays on our innate dislike of cockroaches (and long-standing jokes about how hard to kill they are), it doesn't present it as well as it might. ― In the summer of 2014, Viz Media is having a bug problem. First there were the vampiric mouth spiders of Black Rose Alice, and now, with Yu Sasuga and Ken-ichi Tachibana's Terra Formars...
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Pile of Shame - The Enemy's The Pirates!

Justin tries to return to an old 90s favorite that has become more famous for its obscure, awful dub. ― The Enemy's The Pirates! ~The Cat's Banquet~ There's a Japanese tradition of stand-up comedy duos known as "manzai (漫才)." Manzai routines are high-speed, rapid-fire conversations between one person, who's an idiot or a weirdo of some kind (boke), and a straight man (tsukkomi), who's constantly mut...
video

Now Streaming: M3 the dark metal Episode 18

M3 the dark metal EPISODE 18 THE TRUTH OF YOMIJIMA ― Part 1: Part 2:
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Shelf Life - Popular Culture

This week, the challenges of high school, fighting alien menaces, and evil masterminds.
- Gatchaman Crowds
- Terror in Resonance ep. 1-6
- Watamote
― Shelf Worthy Watamote Complete Series BD Gatchaman Crowds Complete Series BD Stream Worthy Terror in Resonance ep. 1-6 Rental Shelf Nothing this week Perishable Nothing this week Even though Otakon was a full week ago, I still feel the side-effects of ...
review

anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day [Collector's Edition] BD+DVD

AnoHana is a story of high emotion. There's a lot of screaming, crying, laughing, and soppy emotional weltering of every flavor. It is tough to digest all of that in 100 minutes. In fact, it's not really recommended. ― The best part of AnoHana The Movie and the greatest thing it adds to its source TV series is the film's first fifteen minutes. It is fitting for a story so fixated on the past that its...
review

Cardfight!! Vanguard GN 1

Overall, Cardfight!! Vanguard is going to be best enjoyed by those who are familiar with the game or just enjoy card battle games in general. It does make a real effort to be generally appealing, though. ― Welcome to the manga series based on a show based on a card game! Cardfight!! Vanguard is the latest in multi-media franchise series (or at least one of them), and thus a somewhat surprising choice...
column

Astro Toy - Figma Crystal Bowie

He's translucent, he's evil, he's out to get our man Cobra, and now he's a figma. ― Figma Crystal Bowie Series: Space Adventure Cobra Maker: Good Smile Price: $65 Figma, figma. I've been doing this column for years now, my first review was of a figma. I've seen a hell of a lot of them in the meantime and said everything that there is to be said about the line. Every popular character gets a figma, a...
column

The List - 7 TV Anime Affected by Japanese Censorship

Sometimes your episode is pulled because the series' creator really doesn't like you. ― Over in the states, we're used to television censorship of our favorite anime. It was par for the course, whether cigarettes were replaced with lollipops, swimsuits painted on bathing scenes, or Japanese characters were suddenly in America. Japanese broadcasts get their share of censorship to, with a main focus o...
review

Baby Steps Episodes 1-12 Streaming

Baby Steps isn't big on thrilling sports action. It's interested in quieter, less immediate pleasures: the simple pleasures of good characters and good relationships moving slowly but surely in good directions. ― Truth be told, Baby Steps isn't big on thrills, or on being arrestingly cool. (With a name like that, how could it?) It's interested in quieter, less immediate pleasures: The pleasures of wa...
review

Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma GN 1

Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma is off to a somewhat uneven start, balancing scrumptious dishes with an obnoxious heroine and some unfortunate choices of fanservice. ― Everyone who's tried their hand at cooking has one of those failed recipes. (We will not speak of the Knife Cookie Incident of 1992.) For Soma Yukihira, squid legs and peanut butter are just one experiment gone awry in his quest to find n...
column

Answerman - Brighter Days

This week, what's the deal with all of the different audio formats on Blu-ray? Can US companies access the original film masters of old shows? Where are all the OVAs these days? And why companies decide to not release controversial adult material, even if it's demonstrably legal. ― This has to be one of the worst, most depressing news weeks of the year. So rather than continuing to fixate on all the...
column

ANNCast - Parliament Funkadelic

Roland Parliament, ADR Director of the original DIC version of Sailor Moon and original voice of Melvin stops by to tell tales of the old days and talk about his new book, Sailor Moon Reflections! ― ANNCast 196 - Parliament Funkadelic Get the Flash Player to see this player. Roland Parliament, ADR Director of the original DIC version of Sailor Moon and original voice of Melvin stops by to tell tales...
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House of 1000 Manga - Zatch Bell

Jason remembers one of the strangest shonen fighting manga ever to hit it big, Zatch Bell. ― Zatch Bell Want to read about a Pokémon rip-off? First published in Shonen Sunday magazine in 2001, Zatch Bell was one of hundreds of manga competing to be Number Two in the newly established genre of "heroes who fight using cute-but-violent monster/animal/pet companions." But Zatch is an extreme case becaus...
review

Dr. Slump: The Movies [Films 1-5] Sub.DVD

Random silly adventures, acted out by a silly cast of misfits who live in a silly misfit village and delivered with a lot of surreal nonsense humor and not a whiff of substance or seriousness. In short, Dr. Slump. At long last. ― There's a lot of Dr. Slump out there: TV shows, movies, video games, and, of course, Akira Toriyama's terminally silly manga. It was a bon-a-fide hit for the future DBZ crea...
column

RIGHT TURN ONLY!! - Love the One You're With

If you had all of the magic power in the world, what would you do? If the one you like doesn't like you back, do you switch who you like? These questions and others might be answered in RTO as Rebecca looks at the latest volume of Wandering Son, the final volume of Demon Love Spell, a digital-only release of a Lily Hoshino manga, and other new and upcoming titles! ― I've mentioned before (although I...
review

Accel World Novel 1

Accel World's first novel has its moments of repetition and the definite feel of a middle grade novel in its characters and the basic level of its writing. But it is also an interesting science fiction story about the possibilities of technology and how it could effect people, serving as both escape and addiction. ― For those of you who were left with small, niggling questions after watching the Acce...
review

Hetalia: The Beautiful World DVD

Despite sporting a new director and advertising a "new Kira☆Kira style" for the series, Hetalia The Beautiful World is largely a return to form for the controversial fangirl favorite of yesteryear. There are differences in the updated version, but frankly, every single one is a positive change. ― Despite sporting a new director and advertising a "new Kira☆Kira style" for the series, Hetalia The Beaut...
interview

Interview: May'n

The Macross Frontier sensation and closing act of the 2014 JPOP Summit shares some insights about her career, singing for international audiences and more. ― There are some very recognizable names of singers and musicians in the world of “anison” - the genre of songs made especially for anime production. Many well-loved acts have contributed their music to the anison world, and conversely, the anison...
review

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods

Comedy prevails more than action in the first franchise movie since 1996 (and the first canon franchise movie). While not a stellar achievement, it is at least moderately entertaining and has many nice tidbits for long-time fans. ― Battle of Gods is the 18th movie in the Dragon Ball franchise but the first new movie since 1996. It is also the first movie in the franchise whose content is considered c...
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The Mike Toole Show - YAS Hands

Mike takes a stroll through the work of illustrious character designer Mr. Yoshikazu Yasuhiko. ― A couple of times a year, I'll go to a convention and run a few panel presentations—usually jaunts through the career of a certain artist or studio, explorations of a particular genre, or one of my mainstays, Dubs that Time Forgot. A few of these have even been featured here on ANN, and the gist is pretty...
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The List - 7 Things You Didn't Know About Studio Ghibli

The studio that's captured hearts over its long career has its own fun secrets ― If you were paying any attention to the news this week, you might have noticed an anime community-wide panic about Studio Ghibli. One of the company's co-founder's, director Toshio Suzuki, stated in a television interview that the studio is "restructuring." What that means for animation production post-Goro Miyazaki's R...
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Answerman - High On Life

How is it decided where an anime will play in a theater? When does an already-released anime get dubbed? What would happen if Netflix launched in Japan? And what's with shows released on DVD in the US, but not in Japan? ― It's been a pretty bland week. Once I got out of jury duty, it was pretty much business as usual. So, with nothing interesting to report, let's get right down to some questions. Pe...
review

Comic Artist and His Assistants Episodes 1-12 Streaming

The hash that Comic Artist makes of itself is sad because, prior to opening its vulgar, vapid mouth, the show had potential. ― A dead comedy is a sad thing. Any kind of show with any kind of promise that dies is sad. But comedies are especially so. They're like euthanized kittens. They should be gamboling around, full of life and energy, bringing joy to all. Instead they just lay there, inert and kin...
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The X Button - Creature Features

This week, it's an import pile-up of monster hunts, pure horror, and cute creatures! Plus Resident Evil, Hyrule Warriors, the hidden side of Strider, and another contest call! ― The X Button will take a vacation next week, but I'll find time to judge all of the entries for the current contest. You have until the end of next Thursday to get in your submissions and win a copy of One Piece: Unlimited W...
review

Blade & Soul

While hardly a gem, in the end this fantasy MMORPG adaptation turns out to be a better and stronger series than it initially showed much potential for. ― Anime adaptations of fantasy RPGs and MMORPGs rarely come out smoothly because the producers are so intent on recreating the game world and mimicking its rules and structures that they neglect to actually tell a proper story, one that can function i...
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Pile of Shame - MARCO: 3,000 Leagues in Search of Mother

Justin takes a look at a remake of Takahata's World Masterpiece Theater classic. Does it hold up? Ehh... ― MARCO: 3,000 Leagues in Search of Mother We need to declare a new genre of anime, right here and now. There needs to be a separate category for the metric ton of overwrought family fare Japan makes, that aims to be Studio Ghibli in quality, but ends up succumbing to its maudlin sentimentality a...
video

Now Streaming: M3 the dark metal Episode 16

The latest episode of M3 the dark metal from Daisuki.net ― Part 1: Part 2:
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Shelf Life - Flowers For Baudelaire

This week, armored gangsters, sexy cyborgs, giant robots, and stolen gym uniforms.
- Appleseed Alpha
- Flowers of Evil
- Majestic Prince collection 1
― Shelf Worthy Flowers of Evil Complete Series BD (Sub) Rental Shelf Appleseed Alpha BD Majestic Prince Collection 1 BD Perishable Nothing this week I love convention season, but it is a little exhausting. I feel like I've just barely recovered from Co...
review

Battle Royale: Angels' Border GN

Angels' Border, like Battle Royale itself, is a book that will stick with you, haunting you after the last page is turned. ― There are few things more horrible than a senseless tragedy. Koushun Takami's 1999 novel Battle Royale (recently reprinted with a new translation in English as Battle Royale Remastered) presented us with a dystopian version of Japan known as The Republic of Greater East Asia. E...
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Astro Toy - SH Figuarts Mario

It's-a me, Mario! In SH Figuarts form, with a ton of fun accessories. ― SH Figuarts Mario And Accessories Series: Super Mario Maker: Bandai Price: $65 with accessories, $25 without This is an interesting release for Bandai. They've been doing videogame figures for the past few years under the “D-Arts” (D as in Digital) label... but the figures were noticeably inferior to Bandai's usual work in both ...
column

The List - Anime's 7 Most Dangerous Jobs

The rewards are small and the risks are plentiful, but somebody's got to do it. ― The most dangerous jobs within the United States vary greatly, with many being subject to History Channel drama programming. We have loggers, fisherman, truckers, and pilots putting themselves in physical danger. Other jobs like doctors, dentists, and vets are very emotionally taxing. Anime has its own share of messy, ...
game review

Kamen Rider Battride War II

There is probably a good videogame waiting to burst forth out of Kamen Rider Battride War II. ― Of all the Japanese characters that have been used to make a Dynasty Warriors/Musou game (or just a ripoff of one, as this game is), the long-lived Kamen Rider superhero series is among the most appropriate. You see, beating up hordes of identical henchmen before finishing off their boss with a fancy move ...
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Answerman - Pain in the Neck

This week, is it unethical to get around a stream being blocked in your country? Is RWBY being judged unfairly? Why don't consumers use (HD) video tapes? Any why do older manga get new anime? ― I've been trapped in stasis this week, socially at least. You see, I've been tagged for jury duty. The way jury duty works in Los Angeles County is, you get a summons in the mail, and after you register and s...
review

Spell of Desire GN 1

If you're looking for a new romance about actual grown-up people and you enjoy magic as a plot conceit – or cute kitties and puppies with a little animal rescue thrown in – this is worth checking out. ― Tomu Ohmi has done vampires (Midnight Secretary). She's done werewolves (Kindan no Koi wo Shiyo), weretigers (Barairo My Honey), and she's done ghosts (Flowers for Seri). What's left in the supernatur...
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House of 1000 Manga - Danza and Tesoro

Shaenon takes a tour of two works by legendary mangaka Natsume Ono. ― Danza and Tesoro In 2009, I found myself browsing the then-newish branch of the Mandarake manga bookstore in Akihabara, Tokyo's otaku mecca. Never mind how I found myself there; it's one of the job hazards of the professional nerd. Bored by all the Shonen Jump and Shonen Sunday tankobon collections, my husband pulled an unusual-lo...
review

No Game, No Life Episodes 1-12 Streaming

Has a way of blunting its worst instincts, of undercutting its bad turns with humor and, yes, honest-to-goodness feeling that makes even its bumpiest stretches surprisingly enjoyable. ― No Game begins with unpromise in its premise. The alternate-world aspect serves up tired savior fantasies. The game-made-real aspect offers the naked wish-fulfillment of virtual expertise that translates into real-wor...
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The X Button - Equal Crime

This week, we find something to think about with Akiba's Trip and unwholesome rewards! Plus Judas Code, Street Fighter dress-up, and the chance to win some One Piece! ― Is it time for another contest already? I think it is. The last one was about Drakengard 3, which is a fairly gruesome and depressing game even when it's funny. So this contest needs something happy. And what's happier than the froli...
review

Silver Spoon Sub.DVD

Silver Spoon is a "slice-of-life" with a distinct and deliberate narrative arc just under the surface, clearly a deeply personal work for its creator, and all around a pleasant and thoughtful time in the boonies. ― Right from the start, Silver Spoon offers anime fans a large dollop of acquired taste. Critter humor abounds, but not all of it is cute and fuzzy. The variety of animal feces, births, and ...
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RIGHT TURN ONLY!! - Shining Wings

Swords! Idols! VRMMORPGs! Food! There's a little bit of everything in this edition of RTO with new and upcoming manga, including SAO: Fairy Dance, Kaze Hikaru, as well as an untranslated title by Aya Nakahara and a digital release Rebecca read so you don't have to! ― You know what time it almost is? Berry picking time! For reasons unknown to me, I love picking fruit. The raspberries and blackberries...