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Shelf Life - Meat Market

This week, a visit to the farm, the local market, and a girls academy that has a special Airsoft zone worthy of movies.
- Silver Spoon s1
- Stella Women's Academy C3-bu
- Tamako Market
― Shelf Worthy Silver Spoon Complete 1st Season DVD Rental Stella C3-bu Complete Series DVD Tamako Market Complete Series DVD Perishable Nothing this week This week's anime selection was remarkably pleasant. Often, I ...
ep. review

Bladedance of Elementalers ‒ Episode 10

"Things seem to be moving towards a confrontation of some kind, but exactly what kind isn't certain."
ep. review

Blue Spring Ride ‒ Episode 11

"While there are few things more satisfying than the happy conclusion to a romance, there are things that come pretty damn close. This episode of Blue Spring Ride is one of them."
review

Ah My Buddha DVD

Ah My Buddha teases us with a decent premise, but ultimately does not deliver. ― If you like harem shows about a hapless guy who gets beaten up for little-to-no reason, lots of breasts and bottoms, and panty shots galore...you probably still won't like this show. Originally released by Media Blasters and now rescued and re-released by Right Stuf under their Lucky Penny label, Ah My Buddha is a slog t...
ep. review

Space Dandy Season 2 ‒ Episode 11

"If you're in the mood for a surreal adventure with a hint of serious romance, then you'll definitely get a kick out of this."
ep. review

Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun ‒ Episode 11

"The joke quota is back on track this week after a slight dip in laughs last episode."
ep. review

Rail Wars! ‒ Episode 11

"Rail Wars! has definitely improved as it's gone along, (if only by a little) so chances are good there will be a happy ending waiting for us at the end of the line."
ep. review

DRAMAtical Murder ‒ Episode 11

"It's never great, but it's not always broken, and that keeps the series floating just above the realm of irredeemable failure. "
ep. review

Sabegebu! - Survival Game Club! ‒ Episode 11

"Each of this episode's segments draws from a different source of humor, but all three offer an entertaining experience."
ep. review

Barakamon ‒ Episode 10

"This episode was a lovely summation of the series so far."
ep. review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders ‒ Episode 24

"Stardust Crusaders is done for the summer, and it's primed to go out with a bang: literally!"
ep. review

Shōnen Hollywood - Holly Stage for 49 ‒ Episode 11

"Shounen Hollywood has always been smart about addressing what effort, art, and celebrity are really like than most shows, but this episode hit particularly close to home."
ep. review

Sword Art Online II ‒ Episode 11

"A fairly slow and talky episode of Sword Art Online this week, but we did cover some necessary ground."
ep. review

Magimoji Rurumo ‒ Episode 10

"Magic and the paranormal are featured more heavily here than they have been for the past few episodes, but even so, the story focuses largely on Kota attempting to enjoy the perks of being in a mixed bath."
ep. review

Aldnoah.Zero ‒ Episode 11

"Disappointed by the relative dearth of serious action the past couple of episodes? Episode 11 makes up for it, and in a big way."
column

The List - 7 Powered-Up Forms That Are More Weird Than Awesome

Sometimes maybe it's better to stay in your second-to-last form. ― It's right about when all hope is lost that a character finally powers up just in time, usually with some blinding magical lights, gasps from bystanders, and plenty of fanfare. On the other side of the coin, a villain might let out a mighty roar, grow 10 times in height, and release that ultimate, last-ditch attack. One invokes cheer...
ep. review

Invaders of the Rokujyōma!? ‒ Episode 10

"This episode may cover plenty of familiar comedic ground, but it manages to have much more fun in the process than anyone could reasonably expect."
ep. review

Tokyo ESP ‒ Episode 10

"How our heroes are going to succeed may not be clear yet, but the last pieces are in place and the story can move toward a conclusion."
ep. review

Terror in Resonance ‒ Episode 9

"Terror in Resonance needs to stick the landing, but so far it's made all of the right moves. Checkmate is in sight."
ep. review

Black Butler: Book of Circus ‒ Episode 10

In last week's review, I mentioned that I was worried about how the last episode of Black Butler: Book of Circus would fill itself out, since only a few plot threads were left hanging (and only a few characters were left alive, for that matter). This week proved that those worries were completely in vain, as the final chapter of this arc proved to be nearly as jam-packed as the penultimate one, an...
ep. review

Tokyo Ghoul ‒ Episode 11

"Tokyo Ghoul, for all the things it gets right as a horror and action show, does seem to have trouble deciding whether it wants to be plain gory fun or disturbingly contemplative."
ep. review

GLASSLIP ‒ Episode 11

"GLASSLIP uses much of this episode to allow the relationships formed in the previous one to settle. It's a step towards conclusiveness, if nothing else."
ep. review

Argevollen ‒ Episode 11

"ARGEVOLLEN still isn't breaking the mold, but if I may borrow the General's words, it shows moxie and promise."
ep. review

Persona 4 the Golden Animation ‒ Episode 10

"Episode 10 contains some major revelations about the central character Marie, but ultimately comes off as one of the lesser episodes of the series."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episodes 376-377

"Think of these episodes as taking place in an alternate timeline or view them as a 45-minute commercial, take your pick."
ep. review

Locodol ‒ Episode 11

"Drags when it shouldn't, and it's too bad, because this episode of Locodol has a lot of interesting things to say about the way they do idols in Nagarekawa."
review

Millennium Snow Omnibus and GN 3

Even if Ouran High School Host Club was not your favorite, this is worth reading, because as it turns out, Bisco Hatori is anything but a one-note author. ― If you only know Bisco Hatori from her parody of the reverse harem genre Ouran High School Host Club, be prepared to be surprised. Millennium Snow, her first series, is a beautiful, melancholy romance about a vampire who will live for a thousand ...
column

House of 1000 Manga - Kimagure Orange Road

1987's hottest shonen romance is finally available in English and Jason just couldn't resist. ― Kimagure Orange Road Summertime in Tokyo, 1984. Green trees and blue sky. A teenage boy is walking up a long steep street along a hillside when a breeze comes and a straw hat, carried by the wind, sails through the air. ("A UFO?" he thinks for a second, seeing the saucer shape.) The boy jumps and grabs th...
ep. review

Bakumatsu Rock ‒ Episode 11

"Last week's teaser promised this to be the most historically inaccurate episode, and it did not disappoint."
ep. review

Love Stage!! ‒ Episode 10

"Wait...is this the end? Ridiculous as that might seem, particularly given that episode eight was essentially a clip show, this appears to have been the final episode of Love Stage."
ep. review

Free! Eternal Summer ‒ Episode 11

"New Haru's quietude is downright uneasy, like the eye of a storm. We can no longer predict who he'll explode at next, or when."
review

Umineko When They Cry Episode 4: Alliance of the Golden Witch Volume 1 GN 7

Alliance of the Golden Witch, the fourth arc in Ryukishi07's Umineko: When They Cry mystery/horror series, is markedly different from its predecessors. ― Warning: If you haven't read the previous volume of Umineko, you will find a major spoiler in this review! Alliance of the Golden Witch, the fourth arc in Ryukishi07's Umineko: When They Cry mystery/horror series, is markedly different from its pred...
ep. review

Momo Kyun Sword ‒ Episode 10

"Despite mostly failing in its attempt at real drama, Momo Kyun Sword episode 10 does pull off some things well."
column

The X Button - Bug Hunts

"This week we check out moth heroes, horrific outbreaks, and mutant dating! Plus Guilty Gear’s newest face, Dragon Quest’s latest thing, and some Street Fighter suggestions! " ― It was hard to avoid the Gamergate mess last week, and I didn't really want to try. It's the sort of thing I needed to see. The alleged scandal started when game developer Zoe Quinn's ex-boyfriend posted a lengthy diatribe c...
ep. review

Hanayamata ‒ Episode 10

"Hanayamata may not be doing anything excitingly different, but what it is doing, it is doing very well."
column

RIGHT TURN ONLY!! - Hop, Skip, and a Beat

There's lots of acting in this edition of Right Turn Only with new volumes of Skip Beat and Voice Over, but hopefully there won't be any acting up over Rebecca's ridiculous love for an OFL series that is definitely a little suspicious. All that plus Terra Formars! ― My sister and I recently moved, which means that I've been simultaneously unpacking boxes and starting the new semester, which, as you ...
review

D-Frag! GN 1

Though reused, the jokes are funny, and the characters are all weird enough to make reading about them amusing. ― When we talk about “de-fragging” a computer, it is generally understood that we are clearing away the clutter of fragmented files in order to make the machine run more efficiently. That is not the case for this manga. D-Frag is the bizarre, tumultuous tale of Kenji Kazama, a spiky- haired...
video

Now Streaming: M3 the dark metal Episode 21

YOU WILL, TO THE BIRTH CRY OF THE END ― Part 1: Part2:
ep. review

Bladedance of Elementalers ‒ Episode 9

"There's nothing inherently wrong with slowing down and focusing on character development, but it's generally considered bad form to bore the audience to death."
column

Shelf Life - Personal Demons

This week, monsters, blood-suckers, and cute girls all around.
- Fate/kaleid Liner Prisma Illya
- Tokyo Ghoul ep. 1-10
- Yuyushiki
― Shelf Worthy Yuyushiki Complete Series BD Stream Worthy Tokyo Ghoul ep. 1-10 Rental Fate/kaleid Liner Prisma Illya Complete Season BD Perishable Nothing this week It finally rained in SoCal today, which is the answer to the internal prayer I chant multiple times a day....
ep. review

Blue Spring Ride ‒ Episode 10

"Things are really starting to come together, and despite its lack of physical action, this episode is full and totally engrossing."
ep. review

Akame ga KILL! ‒ Episode 10

"Akame ga Kill! continues to be one part generic adventure and one part mean-spirited junk food. To its credit, it's never boring."
ep. review

Space Dandy Season 2 ‒ Episode 10

"“Lovers Are Trendy, Baby” tells a story that is at once deeply personal and universal, a poignant tale of loneliness, love, and heartbreak that anybody who has ever been in a relationship can identify with."
review

Date A Live BD+DVD 1-4

A harem series that gets some credit for trying something at least a little different and has periods where it can be entertaining, but it is ultimately the victim of its own devices. ― In the mid-2000s the American TV series Heroes pitched its first season with the catchy tag line “Save The Cheerleader, Save The World,” which did, in fact, form an overly brief summary of the first season's main plot...
ep. review

Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun ‒ Episode 10

"Episode 10 of Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun manages to showcase three stories in lieu of the usual two, and while the jokes are there, they seem fewer and farther between than in previous episodes."
ep. review

Rail Wars! ‒ Episode 10

"It's the execution, not the concept, that makes this anime a slog."
ep. review

Sabegebu! - Survival Game Club! ‒ Episode 10

"This is ultimately a decent half hour of anime, but it's not the best that Sabagebu! has to offer. The occasional dud is acceptable in a series like this, and hopefully the show will be back on form next week."
ep. review

DRAMAtical Murder ‒ Episode 10

"This episode succeeds by neutering the problematic source material and carrying over decent momentum from the previous installment."
ep. review

Shōnen Hollywood - Holly Stage for 49 ‒ Episode 10

"The conceit was everything here, and the conceit was brilliant and perfectly executed. More shows should pull wild tricks like this."
ep. review

Barakamon ‒ Episode 9

"Overall, this wasn't the strongest episode of Barakamon, and leaned a bit too heavily on repeated gags at the expense of a stronger structure and emotional power."
column

The Mike Toole Show - Live-Action Traction

The world of tokusatsu and anime have clashed many times over the years, and Mike's here to give you the rundown. ― Like so many other columns, this one was originally gonna be about something completely different. I'd like to do another artist spotlight, maybe on Buichi Terasawa, but I really need to see more of his work. I just worry that I can't be totally informed if I haven't watched that garbag...
ep. review

Sword Art Online II ‒ Episode 10

Sword Art Online II creeps toward its inevitable conclusion, but the show is still giving in to the franchise's bad habits.
review

The Heroic Legend of Arslan GN 1

The storyline for this first volume is a strange combination of many things happening and very little happening at all. ― If you remember the six-part OAV adaptation of Yoshiki Tanaka's original The Heroic Legend of Arslan novels, Hiromu Arakawa's manga version is likely to look a little strange to you. Her distinctive art style is a far cry from Sachiko Kamimura's early-90s designs (themselves adapt...
ep. review

Magimoji Rurumo ‒ Episode 9

"Magimoji Rurumo owes us better than this. There are laughs in these stories, but it's far from the funniest episode."
ep. review

Aldnoah.Zero ‒ Episode 10

"Primarily a character development-focused episode, putting the main players in place before the next big dramatic push."
ep. review

Sailor Moon Crystal ‒ Episode 5

"This episode represents a (hopefully permanent) step up for Sailor Moon Crystal from an uneven experiment to a solidly enjoyable 20 minutes."
column

The List - 6 Directors' Humble Beginnings

These 6 legendary directors started from the bottom, now they're here. ― Goro Miyazaki recently stated that he has no intention, nor the creative ability, to be the successor to his father, and it's easy to sympathize with him on it. The entertainment industry was thrust upon him because of his pedigree. Some might consider it lucky to have that kind easy-in though, especially given what some of Hay...
ep. review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders ‒ Episode 23

"The first half is carried by great vocal performances and a fun surprise, but it's a slow moment in the otherwise action-packed second half that forms the heart of the episode."
ep. review

Tokyo ESP ‒ Episode 9

"In terms of minute-by-minute execution the series is bottoming out here as much as the heroine is."
ep. review

Invaders of the Rokujyōma!? ‒ Episode 9

"Invaders of the Rokujyoma!? still has plenty of momentum. With only one major character left to send into the spotlight, the series will soon be forced to buckle down and move the story along."
column

ANNCast - Late Night Chaos Too!

Friend of the show Brady Hartel stops by along with Hope Chapman for a bunch of silly questions. We discuss Hal, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, the nerdiest things we've ever done and more. ― ANNCast 199 - Late Night Chaos Too! Get the Flash Player to see this player. It's another "live" episode, recorded during a live broadcast with questions from the chat! Friend of the show Brady Hartel stops by along...
ep. review

GLASSLIP ‒ Episode 10

"To its credit, this episode breaks a GLASSLIP tradition and gets things done. Whether they're done well is a different story, but this late in the series any semblance of forward motion is to be savored and appreciated."
ep. review

Terror in Resonance ‒ Episode 8

"This show is full of pathos, as heartwarming and pitiful as it is dark and righteous, built on an essential human foundation that more shows should emulate."
ep. review

Argevollen ‒ Episode 10

"ARGEVOLLEN has surprised before, but there's no miracle here."
column

Answerman - No Crying Over Spilled Ink

This week, animation do-overs, companies buying fansub scripts (or not), moving camera shots, and animation frame rates! ― Summer is over. Back to work. Back to school. Back to your questions. Let's see what you've all got for me this week... Ava asks: Since it's premier I have noticed a very vocal group on my social media that hates the animation of Sailor Moon Crystal. Personally I don't think it'...
ep. review

Persona 4 the Golden Animation ‒ Episode 9

"Episode 9 moves the overarching plot forward a great deal, and seems to be setting the stage for the series' endgame. This is not to say that the episode is totally story focused, as a great deal of humor is present as well."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 375

"Episode 375 features exactly the type of battle Naruto Shippūden fans—or fans of any action anime—dream of."
ep. review

Black Butler: Book of Circus ‒ Episode 9

"Black Butler is the type of show that will only dwell on the sublime for so long before launching back into the ridiculous."
ep. review

Tokyo Ghoul ‒ Episode 10

"The odds that the finale could be underwhelming sequel-bait are pretty high. Still, I have faith in Tokyo Ghoul."
ep. review

Locodol ‒ Episode 10

"Locodol has found a place in my affections as a cute story that tries just hard enough to be enjoyable."
review

Kabukimonogatari Sub.Blu-Ray 2

This is Monogatari taking a little time off, setting aside the big changes and, really, consequences in general to just have a good old time. ― When Monogatari wants to play around a little, go on a lark and have some fun, you know it can't do it like a normal show. A normal show would pack everyone off to a hot spring or go to the beach for sun and bikinis. Monogatari plays around with time-travel a...
column

House of 1000 Manga - One Pound Gospel

Shaenon gets in the ring with Rumiko Takahashi's wacky rom-combination of boxing and Catholicism. ― One-Pound Gospel The new Viz edition of Rumiko Takahashi's classic kung-fu comedy Ranma 1/2 is the first English edition printed in the “unflopped” right-to-left format, even though the manga has been out in English since the 1990s. Viz originally licensed Ranma back in the ancient days when flopping ...
ep. review

Bakumatsu Rock ‒ Episode 10

"The music's great, the plot's a mess, and above all, it doesn't care what anyone thinks."
ep. review

Love Stage!! ‒ Episode 9

"A varied, entertaining, and at times at least semi-romantic episode (depending on your romance preferences)."
ep. review

Free! Eternal Summer ‒ Episode 10

" It looks like Eternal Summer is going to do its darnedest to get those tears flowing; all aboard the drama train!"
ep. review

Nobunaga Concerto

"Nobunaga Concerto is a patriotic reminder that history still matters. The only problem is, this idea has been done to death."
column

The X Button - Mystery Hours

This week, Todd bumps a pile of imports and gets robots, betrayal, and murder mysteries all over the place. Plus Persona 5, Yakuza Zero, and rarely seen sides of Final Fantasy and Street Fighter! ― Rumors about Final Fantasy are abundant, ridiculous, and sometimes true. Consider the story of a Disney-backed comic based on Final Fantasy IV. It sounds like a playground fib, but it certainly existed. G...
ep. review

Momo Kyun Sword

"The most we can look forward to is seeing what new forms of vulgarity the show decides to explore and if they're entertaining enough to work any better."
review

Fairy Tail BD+DVD Part 10

"Being the climactic half of the arc, this set is basically all action, but it's action with purpose." ― As seems to be the pattern with even-numbered Fairy Tail sets, set ten ends cleanly, bringing the Tenrou Island arc to a typically action clogged, satisfyingly villain-abusive conclusion. It even skips, or more accurately stops before, the arc's cliffhanger coda, leaving the series in a nice, happ...
column

Pile of Shame - The Tibetan Dog

An underappreciated Madhouse feature from 2011 featuring a boy and his dog in the harsh terrain of Tibet. ― The Tibetan Dog Japanese/Chinese co-productions don't happen very often. The last one I can think of would be 1997's anime adaptation of Tsui Hark's Chinese Ghost Story, which was charming in appearance but kind of a plodding, pointless affair. In 2007 another one started production, after ani...
review

The Devil Is A Part-Timer! BD+DVD

"The concept is nothing less than a brilliant reversal of the standard fantasy gimmick of transplanting ordinary individuals from a modern-day world into a fantasy realm, which results in a highly entertaining comedy/drama." ― The concept here is nothing less than a brilliant reversal of the standard gimmick of transplanting ordinary individuals from a modern-day world into a fantasy realm where they...
ep. review

Bladedance of Elementalers

"The issues with Bladedance of Elementalers are disappointing, predictable, but not completely intolerable."
ep. review

Hanayamata

"Hanayamata's charm is undeniable if given a chance."
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."
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."
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."
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."
interview

Interview: Akihiro Kanayama

Veteran animator and industry legend Akihiro Kanayama talks about his life and career working on shows like Ashita no Joe and tells some tales of working with Osamu Tezuka himself. ― Akihiro Kanayama is a true veteran of anime. In his seventy-five years of life, he's seen the manga and anime industries rise and transform into the cultural forces they are today. In fact, as an animator and designer at...
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."
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."
ep. review

DRAMAtical Murder

"DRAMAtical Murder hits you like a sack of "what?"
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."
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."