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ep. review

Bladedance of Elementalers ‒ Episode 12

"Bladedance of Elementalers certainly managed to get its act together in the end, but a couple of decent episodes aren't really enough to make up for the rest of the series."
review

World Trigger GN 1

Right now this is definitely a series to keep an eye on: unique enough to pull you in and well-written with attractive art that will keep you reading. ― There's a real skill to explaining everything about a story's world without just having long, explanatory speeches or panels. Daisuke Ashihara has that down to a science in World Trigger's first volume. While the story itself is fascinating and a jus...
ep. review

Space Dandy Season 2 ‒ Episode 13

"This is a triumphant conclusion to Space Dandy, a celebration of all that has come before, both dramatically and thematically satisfying."
ep. review

Akame ga KILL! ‒ Episode 13

"For the most part the episode fritters away its time on frivolities, although it throws out a few tantalizing suggestions about what might be coming next."
ep. review

Shōnen Hollywood - Holly Stage for 49 ‒ Episode 13

"It's an appropriate ending, given this show's larger themes... a fine conclusion to a surprisingly great little show."
ep. review

Barakamon ‒ Episode 12

"A fine goodbye to a lovely show, and it reminded me of all the reasons I've enjoyed this series. I'm gonna miss you, Barakamon."
ep. review

Sword Art Online II ‒ Episode 13

"Once again, Sword Art Online's worst tendencies have made it its own worst enemy."
ep. review

Magimoji Rurumo ‒ Episode 12

"If the series was going to ignore its most important plot element, it should have at least left us with a funny and memorable exit."
ep. review

Invaders of the Rokujyōma!? ‒ Episode 12

"While this isn't the conclusion I'd expected, it's at least a pleasant way to say farewell to the series."
column

The List - 6 Relaxing Anime About Life on the Farm

Whether your chickens are coming home to roost or you didn't buy the cow because the milk was free, these 6 farm anime will have you more relaxed than a conbine during an unseasonable drought. ― There was a short string of shows focusing on rural farm life and agriculture recently. The shows worked as a natural step from "healing" anime, where the primary function is to provide a tranquil environmen...
ep. review

Persona 4 the Golden Animation ‒ Episode 12

"Episode 12 acts as the conclusion to a very inconsistent series, plagued with serious narrative flaws throughout its run."
ep. review

Tokyo ESP ‒ Episode 12

"Tokyo ESP started with strong potential but suffered during the latter half in large part because of pacing and execution issues, and the finale is little different."
game review

Hatoful Boyfriend

For something so pointedly aware of its camp, for something predicated on silliness, Hatoful Boyfriend is remarkable in its sincerity. ― Since this game's absurd premise has seemingly been spread around and bird-punned to death there's no sense belaboring the description: Hatoful Boyfriend is a dating sim where your potential suitors are pigeons. As the only homo sapiens in the game, Hiyoko, your mis...
ep. review

Terror in Resonance ‒ Episode 11

Shinichiro Watanabe's rumination on terrorism and Japanese nationalism comes to a close, but does it go out with a bang or a whimper?
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 379

"Of course the show will keep its focus on the major characters, but you have to wonder if Naruto Shippūden misses out a little on its grand scale potential."
column

House of 1000 Manga - Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs

Jason em-barks on the tail of a girl who loves dogs, a guy who loves dogs, and the store they run together. Warning: it gets a little ruff. ― Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs "I've been thinking of hiring somebody who can think about nothing but dogs 24/7. Someone simpleminded…" If you've been following my Twitter or, really, talking to me at all in the last two years, you've probably noticed: we got a dog a...
review

Attack on Titan: Before the Fall Novel 1

For established fans this is a treat – well-written, engrossing, and with the feel of historical fiction rather than fantasy, showing how immersed in the world the author became. ― Hajime Isayama's Attack on Titan manga has spawned an impressive juggernaut – as of this writing, there are multiple manga spin-offs, a successful anime series, and a variety of goods both serious and non. Ryo Suzukaze, a ...
ep. review

Momo Kyun Sword ‒ Episode 12

"This is a low-key series finale that may leave some viewers disappointed and is mostly concerned with tying up the plot's loose ends."
interview

Interview: Choucho

A few moments with pop singer Choucho, who performed the theme songs for Heaven's Memo Pad and Glasslip. ― On the final day of the Lantis Festival event at Tokyo's Shiokaze Park, singer Choucho, known for her contributions to such anime as Heaven's Memo Pad and more recently Glasslip, performed onstage. Choucho took time late after the concert ended to talk with ANN about her experiences and aspirat...
ep. review

Free! Eternal Summer ‒ Episode 13

"Swimming season is over, but this emotional rollercoaster of a finish ensures that it won't be forgotten."
ep. review

Nobunaga Concerto ‒ Episode 10

"I couldn't imagine how they'd wrap up such a complex story, and the short answer is they didn't."
column

The X Button - Now Showing

Let’s recap the surprises, the letdowns, and the horrible embarrassments of the Tokyo Game Show! Plus Natural Doctrine, Smash Bros., and Nintendo’s birthday! ― As a Nintendo-crazed kid, one of my favorite pieces of useless trivia involved the company's age. I liked telling people that Nintendo was over 100 years old and that it had started off as a playing card company in 1889. Most of my fellow Nin...
review

Noragami: Stray God GN 1

Noragami's first volume feels like set up, but it's good set up. ― Some first volumes have the definite air of a prologue to the story to come. This is one of them. Noragami: Stray God, the first solo effort by artist duo Adachitoka (one does backgrounds while the other does the action) is clearly gearing up to be a more complex story than we see here, but it is very enjoyable despite that. At only t...
column

RIGHT TURN ONLY!! - Novel Ideas

Rebecca tries out having a theme with new and recent releases based on light novels with Seraph of the End, Kokoro Connect, and Sword Art Online and more! ― Our neighbor had to move and he couldn't find his cat. We offered to look for her and hold on to her until he could come get her, only to get the cat and have him offer her to us since, as it turns out, he was unable to keep her. We had every in...
review

Aquarion Evol BD+DVD

Aquarion Evol's conclusion is largely satisfying, especially if you're familiar with the first series. While it has many cheesy elements, it also successfully delivers a resolution to past mistakes. ― How high is your tolerance for cheese? Because Aquarion Evol's second half, while beautiful to behold, is rife with enough cheese to make an omelet. While it also has far less of the awkward moaning and...
video

Now Streaming: M3 the dark metal Episode 23

― Part 1: Part 2:
ep. review

Rail Wars! ‒ Episode 12

"Unfortunately, this is the end for Rail Wars!, with nothing but a quiet little hiss at the end of the line."
ep. review

Blue Spring Ride ‒ Episode 12

"While the content of this final episode is heartwarming in more than just the typical romantic shoujo fashion, it also leaves pretty much everything unresolved."
column

Shelf Life - QB of the Year

This week, good fights evil in the battle against titans, witches, and high school dating.
- Attack on Titan pt 2
- Madoka Magica movies 1 & 2
- Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun
― Shelf Worthy Attack on Titan Part 2 BD+DVD Stream Worthy Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun ep. 1-12 Rental Madoka Magica Movies 1 & 2 BD+DVD Perishable Nothing this week It has been almost one year since I started managing the interest f...
ep. review

Hanayamata ‒ Episode 12

"While the finale does absolutely nothing unexpected or original, it executes with every ounce of the charm and warmth that it has established on full display."
ep. review

Bladedance of Elementalers ‒ Episode 11

"The decision to give Ellis more screen time continues to pay dividends on the dramatic end of things."
ep. review

Space Dandy Season 2 ‒ Episode 12

"For once the “to be continued” message at the end of this episode is meant to be taken literally."
review

Fairy Tail BD+DVD - Part 11

The Tenrou Island arc ends with a series-altering twist, the kind that can easily feel desperate, like Viagra for shows who've lost their mojo. ― The Tenrou Island arc ends with a series-altering twist, the kind that can easily feel desperate, like Viagra for shows who've lost their mojo. When Hiro Mashima tries it, however, it feels less like panicked casting about for mojo-rejuvenation and more lik...
ep. review

Akame ga KILL! ‒ Episode 12

"The series would be better if it narrowed its stylistic emphasis, but as long as the series continues to be fun, then it's still watchable."
ep. review

DRAMAtical Murder ‒ Episode 12

"DRAMAtical Murder ended the way that it began, and always was - boring, chaste, and incomprehensible, but punctuated with the occasional moment of much-needed silliness."
ep. review

Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun ‒ Episode 12

"The team behind Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun does an excellent job of wrapping up the show."
ep. review

Sabegebu! - Survival Game Club! ‒ Episode 12

"Leave it to Sabagebu! to go out with guns blazing."
ep. review

Shōnen Hollywood - Holly Stage for 49 ‒ Episode 12

"Overall, this episode wasn't quite the standout that last week's was, but it was still a very solid entry in a very solid show."
column

The Mike Toole Show - A-Mazinger Stories

You've got a serious Mazinger deficiency and Dr. Mike is here with a giant robot injection. ― What was the first cartoon giant robot that was not a robot, but a robot-shaped vehicle? It's kind of an awkward question, but I'm aiming to highlight an important distinction here. After all, the classic concept of the robot involves it being at least semi-autonomous. The first few waves of anime's robot he...
ep. review

Persona 4 the Golden Animation ‒ Episode 11

"Episode 11 is more than a return to form. It is the epitome of the series' best elements."
ep. review

Aldnoah.Zero ‒ Episode 12

"The season has had its shaky points on plotting, backstory plausibility, and character development, but at least it ends with a bang."
ep. review

Barakamon ‒ Episode 11

"This episode did a very solid job of pulling the show's art-instinct and coming-of-age ideas together, and has put us in a great spot for a more relaxing finale.
ep. review

Invaders of the Rokujyōma!? ‒ Episode 11

"It's as if the series itself has grown tired of these two-episode storylines and just wants to move on to something new."
ep. review

Sword Art Online II ‒ Episode 12

"It isn't clear why Sword Art Online episodes always seem to break down into solid halves and terrible halves, but that certainly held true this time."
ep. review

Magimoji Rurumo ‒ Episode 11

"This episode is another example of how magic seems less important as the show gets further along."
ep. review

Sailor Moon Crystal ‒ Episode 6

"Sailor Moon Crystal is at its worst when it's about the boys instead of focusing on the vivid female characters that populate its world."
review

Alice in the Country of Clover: Nightmare GN

Overall, Nightmare is one of, if not the, weakest entry into the Alice manga franchise to date. ― With a series as long as the Alice in the Country of ________, there were bound to be some stinkers. Alice in the Country of Clover: Nightmare is one of them. With a main story that feels barely developed, art that renders the characters barely recognizable, and a quarter of the book given to another fra...
ep. review

Tokyo ESP ‒ Episode 11

"Suffers from stiff execution; hopefully the finale, which should wrap up the source material's first major arc, will produce something less underwhelming."
ep. review

Locodol ‒ Episode 12

The second-to-last episode of Locodol really shows where the series' heart is.
column

ANNCast - BevMo

It's Beveridge and more on the 200th episode of ANNCast! Fandom Post's Chris Beveridge stops by to update us on the site and talk about what he's been watching but not before a quick trip down memory lane. ― ANNCast 200 - BevMo Get the Flash Player to see this player. It's Beveridge and more on the 200th episode of ANNCast! Fandom Post's Chris Beveridge stops by to update us on the site and talk abo...
game review

Dangan Ronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

Goodbye Despair, the second Dangan Ronpa, is exactly what you'd expect from the sequel to Trigger Happy Havoc. ― Goodbye Despair, the second Dangan Ronpa, is exactly what you'd expect from the sequel to Trigger Happy Havoc, a madcap series of murder mysteries constructed with the same pastel-spattered palette of goofy anime caricatures that belie its dark tone. A fresh crop of super geniuses arrives ...
column

Answerman - Time Well Spent

Would a Japanese company ever buy a big American anime publisher? Plus, why long running shows don't stream to the West, why some shows have year-long gaps, and why Japanese fast food workers seem so freaking perky all the time! ― The crushing heat wave is finally over here in Los Angeles. I didn't get to go to the beach, but instead I sat in my apartment building's hot tub-sized pool, and then went...
ep. review

Terror in Resonance ‒ Episode 10

"I hope this half-episode misstep doesn't bode badly for the conclusion."
ep. review

Tokyo Ghoul ‒ Episode 12

"As a "commercial for the manga," Tokyo Ghoul is also second to none, taking the most immediately effective material from its source and illustrating it cinematically."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 378

"This episode focuses on the physical battle without much introspection on what led Obito to this point, but we've gone over that already anyway."
column

House of 1000 Manga - 7 Billion Needles

Shaenon takes in Nobuaki Tadano's science fiction opus, and discovers its chief influences along the way. ― 7 Billion Needles Sometimes I feel guilty for not knowing more about Japanese science fiction literature, because manga writers seem to be pretty well-versed in the American stuff. Osamu Tezuka borrowed liberally from Isaac Asimov's robot stories for Astro Boy. When Moto Hagio attended the San...
review

The Moe Manifesto

As a wide-ranging examination of moe in the anime and manga industry, The Moe Manifesto may even sway the minds of some moe naysayers, as it more fully fleshes out the moe impulse. ― Everyone in anime and manga fandom seems to have an opinion about moe, and most folks aren't terribly subtle about it. Mentioning moe can often be a great way of devolving a conversation and it can provide a reliable spr...
column

The X Button - Legends Untold

This week, Todd looks at a big book that’s all about Japan’s game creators! Plus Super Smash Bros, Harvest Moon, and the games of summer! ― The end of summer approaches next week, and it already feels like the season is over in many parts of this hemisphere. That puts me in the mood for a summertime game, one full of sunny atmosphere and bright colors. It's good to have a favorite summertime game, p...
ep. review

Bakumatsu Rock ‒ Episode 12

"Bakumatsu Rock's final episode did exactly the worst thing possible: the anime nobody can take seriously tried to take itself seriously."
ep. review

Free! Eternal Summer ‒ Episode 12

"Rin and Haru spend one delicious fan-servicey episode on a visit to his old haunts. It's comfort food after all that downbeat drama."
ep. review

Nobunaga Concerto ‒ Episode 9

I am convinced that Nobunaga Concerto is a more enjoyable half hour if you are well versed in Japanese history. The show pairs the events of the fabled Sengoku Era with star-studded voice acting and a gorgeous musical score. However, as somebody who has very little experience with Sengoku Era history, I've had a very difficult time following the plot. And even after reading up before watching thi...
interview

Interview: Gen Urobuchi

Presently the most well-known screenwriter working in anime, Gen Urobuchi sits down with us for a chat about the themes across his work and his career thus far. ― It's somewhat rare that Western anime fans recognize a writer with the same degree of enthusiasm as artists, voice actors, and directors. However, Gen Urobuchi is one of the handful to have made an indelible mark on the psyche of global fan...
review

Time Killers: Kazue Kato Short Story Collection GN 1

Whether you are looking to see where Blue Exorcist began, are interested in watching a mangaka's evolution across ten years, or just enjoy short stories, Time Killers is worth picking up. ― If you only know Kazue Kato from Blue Exorcist – and really, there's not much reason why that wouldn't be your one and only association – prepare to see the full breadth of her talent as a mangaka. Time Killers, a...
ep. review

Momo Kyun Sword ‒ Episode 11

"By far the best directed episode of the series, with every scene ratcheting up the tension, building until the final confrontation with Jakiou."
video

Now Streaming: M3 the dark metal Episode 22

― Part 1: Part 2:
review

Oreimo 2 Sub.DVD

Entertaining, funny and often captivating until the final few episodes, where it trips up badly enough to stumble. ― Note: This review discusses one major late-series spoiler in detail, beginning with the fourth paragraph. Aniplex of America's release of Oreimo 2 includes all 13 broadcast episodes plus the set of three round-out OVAs originally released a bit more than five weeks after the broadcast ...
column

Pile of Shame - Bite Me! Chameleon

This little-seen delinquent comedy, an early ADV release, made Justin want to hurt himself. ― Bite Me! Chameleon There are at least four genres of anime that, no matter what anybody does, always seem to completely fall on their face when released in the West: sports, realistic military, yakuza and yankee (juvenile delinquent) shows. These were discovered through a lot of trial and error in the early...
ep. review

Hanayamata ‒ Episode 11

"At this point the core cast is adorable enough that the show's triteness doesn't matter much."
column

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."
column

Astro Toy - Nendoroid Mako Mankanshoku

It's a Nendoroid of Mako from Kill la Kill! How can you resist? ― Nendoroid Mako Mankanshoku Series: Kill La Kill Maker: Good Smile Price: $60 This is Nendoroid number 408. Last May, Nendoroid #300 (Miku 2.0) came out. So in about a little under 18 months, the line has produced over 100 figures! With that many figures coming out in so little time, I have found the quality is all over the place on th...
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."
column

Answerman - What Time Is It, Anyway?

What's up with those wacky age ratings? What does a Director of Photography do, now that there's no more cels and film? Why do things get licensed, and then not released? Plus, anime popping up in unexpected places. ― This has been a week of bizarre struggles. Struggles with my computers, struggles with trying to buy things, struggles with eating too much, and struggles with a grotesque-but-terrible...
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."