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ep. review

ERASED ‒ Episode 6

"ERASED pulled together nicely this week, in an episode that wasn't a series highlight, but was still a fine board-adjusting maneuver."
ep. review

Active Raid ‒ Episode 6

"This week's episode was a thematically bulletproof ode to giant robots that also fit perfectly within the world and concerns of Active Raid."
column

The X Button - Voyage to Neptunia

This week: a look at the referential turns of Neptunia and Sega Hard Girls! Plus Mother 3 rumors, Kickstarter woes, and the secrets of Mega Man! ― It seems as though everyone's playing Firewatch this week. That's fine with me, because it's a very interesting game. Firewatch casts the player as fire lookout Henry, who monitors a patch of Shoshone National Forest in the late 1980s. Communicating only ...
ep. review

KonoSuba – God's blessing on this wonderful world!! ‒ Episode 4

"This is all a rousing round or two of fun, provided that you can tolerate what the artistry isn't doing."
review

Corpse Party: Tortured Souls Blu-Ray

This well-animated OVA series is one of the most gruesomely graphic anime titles ever made. Does anything else about it actually matter? ― Whatever else might be said about this four episode OVA series, there's exactly one thing you need to know: it ranks among the most gruesomely graphic anime titles ever made. And really, does anything else about it actually matter? If hyperviolent fare on the leve...
ep. review

Gintama ‒ Episode 309

"This week's Gintama confirms that no matter how dark things get, humor will always be the backbone of this franchise."
ep. review

Myriad Colors Phantom World ‒ Episodes 5 and 6

"Phantom World has spent most of its early episodes on character-centered pieces so far, and that does not change with episodes 5 and 6."
column

Answerman - How Are Short Anime Series Shown on Television?

Short anime comes in a huge variety of runtimes and start times. How in the world do they keep the television anime schedule straight in Japan? ― K. Anna asks: I recently got into shorts last year with "I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying" and I was actually really surprised by the number of shorts that come out each year. But with each show varying in length starting with anything from two...
ep. review

Prince of Stride: Alternative ‒ Episode 6

"It's a satisfying story, but way too predictable to be supremely entertaining."
ep. review

Snow White with the Red Hair ‒ Episode 17

"While the introduction of an abduction plot does seem to run counter to expectations, it also isn't reducing the story to a simple damsel in distress tale."
ep. review

BBK/BRNK ‒ Episode 5

"This episode is a small step up in overall quality from its predecessor, thanks to a more nuanced pair of Bubuki duelists and a reduction in clunky character movements."
review

Aldnoah.Zero Part 3 Limited Edition

Aldnoah.Zero's second season can't quite live up to the finale of the first, but it does use some interesting themes and references to build its story of an increasingly senseless war. ― In all honesty, the first twelve episodes of Aldnoah.Zero didn't really need a sequel. With their pointed conclusion they made a definitive statement about the follies of war while leaving viewers the space to fill i...
ep. review

Mr. Osomatsu ‒ Episode 18

"Everything from Mario Kart to Mad Max is parodied throughout this episode's Wacky Races-like clusterfudge."
ep. review

Dimension W ‒ Episode 5

"While there continue to be problems with the execution, this episode demonstrates that Dimension W contains a wealth of thematic potential, all thanks to its titular science fiction device."
column

Shelf Life - Mobile Suit Gundam Part 2

Gabriella straps in to her mobile suit and conquers the second half of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series, along with all of this week's new anime releases! ― I spent most of this past weekend stuck in bed with a cold, but I did at least get a valuable life lesson out of the experience. While reading manga can be a good way to kill time, think twice before opening a volume of Monster Musume when...
ep. review

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans ‒ Episode 18

"Fittingly, an episode titled “Voice” has some of the most impactful one-liners we've heard so far."
ep. review

Schwarzes Marken ‒ Episode 5

"It provides a satisfying amount of action on the mecha front while also scattering throughout elements of the political situation and small doses of character development."
review

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Blu-Ray

The sequel series to the original Mobile Suit Gundam is a much darker look at the horrors of war, and now it's out on bluray in English! Our resident Gundam expert Lauren Orsini weighs in. ― Don't be fooled by the new name or the young new protagonist—Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam is a sequel series. Its many tie-ins to the One Year War at the center of Mobile Suit Gundam 0079 cement it as a follow-up to t...
ep. review

Heavy Object ‒ Episode 17

"This is a return to the more complicated storylines that characterized Heavy Object's early plot arcs, and that means we've got plenty of exposition to slog through."
ep. review

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash ‒ Episode 5

"Knowing that someone is dead is one thing. Coming to realize it, to truly understand it, is another."
column

The Mike Toole Show - Monster Girl Safari

Mike dons his pith helmet and goes on an expedition to observe one of the most unique (and suddenly popular) species of anime character: the Monster Girl. The journey will change him... forever. ― Lately I've been cruising up and down the aisles of my public library almost every day, because the library is a good place to go and do important research of a critical, academic nature. It's also a good p...
review

My Little Monster GN 12

There's one volume left, but the main story ends here in a book that is sweet, thoughtful, and thoroughly satisfying. ― Stable, happy couples don't tend to make for great reading, but they do provide excellent happy endings. Robico's My Little Monster has never fully promised us either of these things as it followed the rocky, awkward romance between emotionally wounded Haru and deliberately cold Shi...
ep. review

Utawarerumono: The False Faces ‒ Episode 18

"Like all the episodes before it, this installment of U2warerumono does a pretty poor job of detailing how Haku feels about much of anything."
ep. review

Luck & Logic ‒ Episode 5

"The human equivalent of Luck & Logic would be an attractive face who can't express an original thought to save their life."
ep. review

Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū ‒ Episode 5

"While it's not for everyone, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju easily continues to be the most challenging anime of the year so far."
ep. review

Haikyu!! Second Season ‒ Episode 18

"It wasn't a stretch of the imagination to think that this week's episode of Haikyu!! would be a tense one."
ep. review

GATE ‒ Episode 17

"GATE excels here because it successfully generates a heavy degree of tension despite the viewer being reasonably sure that none of the main characters are going to buy the farm."
column

The List - Six Lost Mysteries of Anime

Mystery anime is back in vogue lately, but the genre is famously underrepresented in the US. Here are six mystery anime that still need an official US release! ― Recent anime seasons has shown a renewed interest in the mystery genre, from lighter fare like Haruchika to dark thrillers like this season's ERASED. This is boon for fans of an oft neglected genre, doubly so because its previous entries ra...
review

UQ Holder! GN 2

UQ Holder maintains its polish and consistency, but has yet to truly find its voice in this second volume. ― In many ways, UQ Holder feels like the series Ken Akamatsu has been wanting to write for most of his career. His first major hit, Love Hina, started off as a traditional harem series, with serial failure Keitaro Urashima finding himself the manager of a lady's dorm and comedy predictably ensui...
ep. review

Dagashi Kashi ‒ Episode 5

Dagashi Kashi pulled off another solid episode this week, and at this point seems to have largely figured out its own comic rhythm.
views

There's a Pervert Impersonating ANN Staff

Sadly this isn't a joke. Someone out there is impersonating an ANN staff photographer to put female cosplayers in compromising positions. ― tl;dr version: Anime News Network staff will always contact you from an @animenewsnetwork.com e-mail address. Freelance journalists / photographers do not have @animenewsnetwork.com e-mail addresses and will never identify themselves as “staff.” If a freelancer c...
ep. review

Lupin the Third (TV 2015) ‒ Episode 18

"This episode feels like the beginning of the series' grand finale."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 447

"Yet another entertaining story arc and iconic villain have fallen victim to the whims of a terrible (and apparently clairvoyant) author."
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 728

"Fourth Gear lovers rejoice as the action picks back up with our new Bounceman Luffy continuing to wale on Doflamingo as the two trade blows and flex their Devil Fruit-y muscles."
column

ANNCast - Supernerds: Civil War

Daryl Surat and Mike Toole return to Supernerds headquarters to chat about Turn A Gundam, Evangelion 3.33, Fullmetal Alchemist and much more! PLUS: a license announcement from Discotek! ― ANNCast Episode 251: Supernerds: Civil War Daryl Surat and Mike Toole return to Supernerds headquarters to chat about Turn A Gundam, Evangelion 3.33, Fullmetal Alchemist and much more! PLUS: a license announcement ...
column

Answerman - Why Are Americans In Anime Always Blonde?

One reader wants to know why Americans in anime are almost always portrayed as blonde-haired and blue-eyed. Justin Sevakis, a non-blonde American, explains. ― Dana asks: My question is how Americans are labeled in anime. I have read and seen a lot of anime and manga. In all of them, Americans are all drawn being blonde and blue eyed. This just irks me sometimes. I'm American and I have brown hair an...
feature

The Real Pirates of One Piece

Uncover the history behind the real-life seagoing bandit kings and scalawags that inspired some of the most memorable villains in Eiichiro Oda's world-conquering pirate fantasy One Piece! ― I discovered pirates through a bizarre combination of Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking novels (and the weird 1988 film) and Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island when I was in elementary school, and my fasc...
review

Daimadaler: Prince V.​S.​ Penguin Empire BD+DVD

This hyperactive sex comedy sendup of giant robot shows might be trying a little too hard to be ribald, but it also just might generate a few chuckles nonetheless. Theron Martin gets into it. ― The very first line of the opener should serve as a warning about what you're getting into here. It translates as “turn your roaring libido into strength,” and that fully embodies the essence of the show, for ...
ep. review

Assassination Classroom season 2 ‒ Episode 5

"This series is good enough that I'd like to see it take a few more risks, which is why I'm hoping we'll see more of Asano this season."
ep. review

Girls Beyond the Wasteland ‒ Episode 5

"I can't rule out the possibility of Girls Beyond the Wasteland climbing back up into something watchable, but it's dug itself a pretty steep pit."
ep. review

ERASED ‒ Episode 5

"ERASED took an unfortunate step down this week, in an outsourced episode that demonstrated few of the show's great strengths and all of its weaknesses."
ep. review

Haruchika – Haruta & Chika ‒ Episode 5

"Most of HaruChika's mysteries deal with depressing personal issues like grief, but I think this episode feels not only darker, but also more resonant."
column

The X Button - Hard-Boiled Detective Pikachu

This week: imports join the yakuza, the Asterisk War, and a Dragon Quest construction crew! Plus Detective Pikachu, 7th Dragon, a shooter with a great title and a DBZ game contest! ― I have the winners of my recent games-as-art contest, but I'll save them for this column's last stretch. That's because I have another contest to run! Bandai Namco's mobile game Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle starts up its...
ep. review

Active Raid ‒ Episode 5

"As usual, Active Raid's actual episodic narrative was far less engaging than the slowly accumulating details of character and worldbuilding."
review

The Boy and The Beast

Just as he tackled motherhood in the acclaimed Wolf Children, Mamoru Hosoda takes on fatherhood in his latest film, The Boy and the Beast. Absent his crucial screenwriting partner, Hosoda's film is an unfortunate and rare stumble for a promising artist. ― At first glance, The Boy and The Beast carries all the hallmarks of a Mamoru Hosoda film. The warm colors, wiggly lines, soft expressions, and hype...
ep. review

Gintama ‒ Episode 308

"The Shogun Assassination Arc truly was a point of no return."
ep. review

Prince of Stride: Alternative ‒ Episode 5

"Without the action, tension, and fluid animation of actual Stride matches, there's not much to see, which left this episode lacking."
feature

Your Most Memorable Anime Villain

Everyone has a favorite anime villain, but which one was the most memorable, and had the most impact on you? Our team of critics reveal the bad guys that still keep them up at night - and we need to hear yours, too! ― This week we asked our team of critics for the most memorable villain they've ever encountered in anime. We specifically didn't ask for favorite - "most memorable" suggests a villain th...
column

Answerman - Why Do Guys In Yaoi Claim To Be Straight?

Justin navigates some of the fantasies and realities of the way men behave in yaoi manga and doujinshi, which, in a surprise to everyone, isn't particularly realistic. ― Quinn asks: Recently I stumbled upon "Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi - World's Greatest First Love" and all though I didn't know it was a yaoi title when I first started watching the show I did enjoy its story. However, one thing kept nagging ...
review

Review: Night on the Galactic Railroad Blu-Ray

Gabriella Ekens is all aboard the train to existential happiness in this classic film, based on Kenji Miyazawa's timeless children's book. It's out now on bluray for the first time, and it's never looked better. ― Editorial disclosure: two regular Anime News Network contributors worked on this disc, Mike Toole and Justin Sevakis. Neither were involved with nor consulted on this review in any capacity...
review

Review: Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo Blu-Ray

Rebuild of Evangelion's long-delayed third installment finally arrives on bluray, where it's revealed that maybe it's a bad idea to keep screaming "GET IN THE ROBOT, SHINJI!" ― Well, it's finally here: after a little over three years in release limbo, Evangelion 3.33: You Can (not) Redo is finally on bluray in the US. Let's not waste any time: the odds that you've heard this movie sucks are astronomi...
feature

The Best and Worst of the Season So Far: Week of Jan 22-28

See how all your favorite Winter 2016 shows are performing in our user-driven polls! ― Our team of reviewers are following 27 anime series of the Winter 2016 season and readers are rating each episode as the reviews go up. So let's have a look at what ANN readers consider the best (and worst) of the season. Keep in mind that these rankings are based on how people rated individual episodes of the cur...
ep. review

Durarara!! ×2 The Third Arc ‒ Episode 4

"It feels like the climax is coming together like never before, incorporating every character and subplot in creative ways to seal Ikebukuro's last story."
ep. review

Mr. Osomatsu ‒ Episode 17

"All of episode 17's skits share a common theme: fan-favorite space-case Jyushimatsu."
ep. review

Utawarerumono: The False Faces ‒ Episodes 16-17

"We get the full Haku origin story, and boy is it a doozy!"
ep. review

Snow White with the Red Hair ‒ Episode 16

"Things are certainly heating up, both emotionally and in terms of the plot...although this episode doesn't always do the best job of showing that."
ep. review

Dimension W ‒ Episode 4

"As with all mysteries, I can't really judge the story's success until the end, but this first part is suspenseful and entertaining at least."
ep. review

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans ‒ Episode 17

"There haven't been enough Gundam battles lately and now that we're back in space, I hope this wild choreography becomes our new normal."
column

Shelf Life - One Piece: Season 7 Part 4

Paul hops onboard the Going Merry and wonders why the Straw Hat Pirates didn't need an anime critic onboard. PLUS: This week's big new releases, including Evangelion 3.33! ― I've been having fun watching Dagashi Kashi this season, but I have found one problem with the show. It's the same issue I ran into back when I was doing episode reviews of Gourmet Girl Graffiti: I simply cannot watch a series a...
review

Review: Sword Art Online II Blu-Ray 4

Asuna takes over the lead role for the series' final story arc, which is a key component in making it the best SAO arc animated to date. ― You do not need to be an Asuna fan (as I am) to acknowledge that she has been woefully underused and underdeveloped through the first five story arcs of the SAO franchise (including Extra Edition). Despite being one of the original two faces of the franchise, she ...
ep. review

Schwarzes Marken ‒ Episode 4

"While Lise's arrival and reconnecting with Theodor is the early feature, the combined mecha/naval fleet action actually forms the bulk of the episode."
review

Umineko When They Cry Episode 5: End of the Golden Witch Volume 2 GN 11

Umineko devolves into a tedious debate about the rules of the Golden Age mystery in a volume that's all about the genre without actually giving us much mystery. ― It's time to ask yourself, are you reading Umineko: When They Cry because you like the story and Ryukishi07's style of telling it, or are you reading it because you have a deep investment in the philosophical discussion of mystery novels, f...
ep. review

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash ‒ Episode 4

"Grimgar had lulled us into a false sense of security (albeit one with some niggling doubts), but things are going to have to start moving from this point on."
ep. review

Haikyu!! Second Season ‒ Episode 17

"One of the more satisfying episodes, allowing two second-tier characters to come to the fore."
ep. review

Luck & Logic ‒ Episode 4

"This plot has the depth and complexity of an after-school special, and looking pretty isn't enough to save it."
review

My Monster Secret GN 1

My Monster Secret opens with a by-the-numbers but endearing set of harem shenanigans, full of fun characters and ridiculous faces. ― The harem bar has been somewhat raised as of late. While the harems of years past could get away with occasional hot spring shenanigans and the promise of a kiss, modern sex capers like Prison School and Monster Musume throw lust and nudity front and center, accompanyin...
ep. review

BBK/BRNK ‒ Episode 4

"Each episode of this series has featured flashes of brilliance, but it continues to struggle with turning that potential into a strong finished product."
ep. review

Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū ‒ Episode 4

"It's a slower episode than usual, but Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū continues to be a strong production."
ep. review

Heavy Object ‒ Episode 16

"The team's return to Alaska has proven to be one of Heavy Object's stronger story arcs thus far, which is an encouraging sign for the remainder of the season."
review

Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment GN 1

A fun and weird mix of mystery elements makes School Judgment's first volume an interesting new series, albeit it one with some disturbing pieces. ― How many of you attended or participated in mock trials in school? In the school system I attended, it was a pretty common social studies exercise in middle and high schools, and in some cases students even went to the courthouse to play out their cases....
ep. review

Dagashi Kashi ‒ Episode 4

"Dagashi Kashi pulled off its most consistently funny episode by far this week, featuring two half-episode stories that were each more compelling than almost any of its prior material."
ep. review

GATE ‒ Episode 16

"With so much going on and interacting so neatly, the faults are few."
column

The List - 7 Manliest Bromances

Everyone has found themselves inspired by a deeply-felt friendship between two big manly men; here are seven of them that will bro you away! ― Valentine's Day (also known as Singles Awareness Day) is sneaking up. If you're one of the many without a significant other on the sugar coma-inducing holiday, have no fear. Even if romance isn't on your to-do list for the 14th, there's plenty of room for bro...
column

ANNCast Episode Two Hundred and Fifty - Outlaw Star

Zac, Hope and special guest Karl Olson reach into the pantheon of Toonami classics and return with Outlaw Star, seemingly everyone and no one's favorite sci-fi action-adventure. Beware of psychic cacti. ― ANNCast Episode 250: Outlaw Star Zac, Hope and special guest Karl Olson reach into the pantheon of Toonami classics and return with Outlaw Star, seemingly everyone and no one's favorite sci-fi acti...
ep. review

Lupin the Third (TV 2015) ‒ Episode 17

"This series in general has excelled in never letting audiences get bored, but this is one of the most fast-paced, eyes-glued-to-the-screen segments so far."
column

Answerman - Should FUNimation Be On NASDAQ?

One questioner thinks it's time for anime companies like Funimation to go public on the stock market, along with all the risk and reward that could entail. Justin has a few thoughts about that. ― CastMember1991 asks: Now with Funimation launching a streaming service that serves as the anime industry's answer to Netflix, I think it's time for Funimation (or its parent company G1200 Media) to file for...
feature

Animator Expo Season Three: What's Worth Watching

There's another crop of wildly creative shorts available in the kaleidoscope of awesome known as the Animator Expo (including a new Evangelion short!) and Kevin Cirugeda is here to guide you to all the best stuff. ― The end of Animator Expo's free online distribution is quickly approaching, possibly marking the last time this animated anthology will be easily available. Khara's project to put to use ...
ep. review

Girls Beyond the Wasteland ‒ Episode 4

"Four episodes in, Girls Beyond the Wasteland has yet to show me what it has to offer."
review

Honey So Sweet GN 1

A seemingly mismatched pair of high schoolers tries to sort out their relationship in this new shoujo series that is as sweet as its title. ― Spiritually, Honey So Sweet has a lot in common with Robico's My Little Monster. Both stories feature high school age heroes who frighten their classmates (and even got suspended for the same reason on the first day of school) and the girls they love, neither o...
ep. review

Assassination Classroom ‒ Episode 26

"The journey from idea to disastrous result in the episode's first half is entertaining enough on its own."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 446

"This re-imagining of events is laughable instead of memorable, shallow instead of moving."
ep. review

ERASED ‒ Episode 4

"The problem with Satoru is that even as an adult, he wasn't an adult."
ep. review

Haruchika – Haruta & Chika ‒ Episode 4

"It's encouraging that HaruChika is willing to dispense with the formula to try out new plots related to other characters already in the band."
ep. review

Active Raid ‒ Episode 4

"Sena and Kuroki's conflict is already well-established, and the actual episodic conflict here wasn't particularly exciting, so there just wasn't too much to hold onto."
column

The X Button - Delay of Games

This week: what happens when games like Mighty No. 9 get delayed, and why it matters! Plus Super Mario discoveries, Fire Emblem problems, and a new Mistwalker RPG hint! ― The deadline for the latest X Button contest draws near, as you all have until midnight Friday to submit your entries! It's for the sake of art, after all! We've all heard arguments about how video games are Art With a Captial A, s...
review

Genshiken: Second Season GN 7

Madarame and Hato’s romantic foibles dominate a volume of Genshiken that sees the manga demonstrating its old strengths from outside its dramatic comfort zone. ― The trials of young Madarame continue in Second Season's seventh volume, as both he and all his improbably suitors struggle to deal with their feelings. As befitting a harem story, in the wake of Madarame breaking his hand (again) after lear...
ep. review

KonoSuba – God's blessing on this wonderful world!! ‒ Episode 3

"While the episode does still have a fair amount of humor, it is nowhere near the laugh-fest that episode 2 was."
ep. review

Myriad Colors Phantom World ‒ Episode 4

"It took four episodes, but Phantom World finally got a story worthy of its pretty artistry."
ep. review

Gintama ‒ Episode 307

"Another epic-looking arc is beginning next week, marking the first time Gintama has immediately jumped from one serious arc to another."
feature

Lupin the Third: The Complete Guide to Films, TV Specials and OVAs

Our resident Lupin expert tackles the rest of the famous thief's adventures, running down every single TV special, film and OVA! ― Welcome to the second and final installment of our guide to Lupin The Third! In this segment, I'll cover all of the franchise's feature films, animated TV specials (an enormous chunk of Lupin's animated legacy) and OVAs. Lupin's episodic TV adventures are covered here in ...
column

Answerman - What Do The Changes To Oscar Rules Mean For Anime?

They're making a bunch of changes to the rules for Academy Award voting, but what does that mean for the anime that occasionally gets nominated? Are anime's Oscar chances changing? ― Bill asks: I've been hearing a lot lately about changes to the rules for voting in the Oscars. What does this mean for anime? Will this make it easier or harder for anime to get recognized by the Academy? Indeed, much a...
review

One-Punch Man GN 4

One-Punch Man continues to be a very funny parody of the superhero genre as Saitama's heroing-for-fun lands him in what's supposed to be the hot seat with other jealous heroes. ― One of the most effective attacks you can wage on a person is to go for their ego. Bullies have known this for years, and you'd think that this would work doubly well on those people with superpowers and lists of rankings an...
ep. review

Durarara!! ×2 The Third Arc - Episodes 1-3

"At long last, it's the beginning of the end for Durarara!!"
ep. review

Prince of Stride: Alternative ‒ Episode 4

"This episode saw Ayumu face his demons head on, to mixed results."
ep. review

Mr. Osomatsu ‒ Episode 16

"Episode 16's first story is one of the funniest Fist of the North Star/Mad Max parodies I've ever seen."
review

The Ancient Magus' Bride GN 3

The Ancient Magus’ Bride turns inward in its third volume, challenging the uneven relationship at the heart of its magic and mystery. ― The third Ancient Magus' Bride opens in blood and thunder, as the attack on Chise that closed out the last volume prompts a wild response from Elias. Shedding the trappings of his nearly-human form, Elias billows across full-page spreads in black and bone, spine brea...

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