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Answerman - Why Do Westerners Make Assumptions About Japan Because of Anime?

Western anime fans sometimes carry around a lot of incorrect assumptions about Japanese society thanks to anime, but what can be done about that? ― Hiroki asked: I'm Japanese, and I'm wondering why so many Americans seem to analyze all of Japan through late-night anime that very few people watch. They get a lot of misconceptions, thinking that we won't kiss people we like because we're all shy, and ...
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Shelf Life - Occultic;Nine Part 1

James Beckett gets into the most challenging spinoff of the Science Adventure Series, while Paul runs down all this week's new anime releases! ― I don't think I fully realized how much I'd missed Mr. Osomatsu until the second season started. That show really is my kind of anime comedy: wildly creative, totally bonkers, and not at all afraid to toss the viewer's expectations out the window. While I'm...
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The List - 7 Anime That Almost Were

Given how difficult it can be to produce animation, sometimes it's a miracle anything ever gets completed! Here are seven projects that never quite crossed the finish line. ― One of the first columns I wrote for The List was a rundown of six anime projects that never made it out of the studio. It includes the likes of Lupin VIIII and t.A.T.u. Paragate, the latter of which was supposed to star the tw...
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ANNCast - Fall 2017 Anime Roundup

Zac and Jacob run through as many Fall 2017 anime season premieres as they can, from Ancient Magus Bride to Inuyashiki, and have nothing but hot takes for you. Plus twitter time! ― ANNCast Episode 308 - Fall 2017 Anime Roundup Zac and Jacob run through as many Fall 2017 anime season premieres as they can, from Ancient Magus Bride to Inuyashiki, and have nothing but hot takes for you. Plus twitter ti...
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Answerman - Is Anime Streaming Consumer-Friendly?

Justin follows up Wednesday's Answerman with a conversation about competition, service and consumer friendliness in the world of anime streaming. ― On Wednesday I wrote about the current state of anime streaming to North America, and how it might be better than there being a single place to stream everything, because that would've created a monopoly. While the column was fairly well-received, there ...
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This Week in Anime - Why You Should Watch Mr. Osomatsu

The biggest anime comedy of last year has finally returned to go all-out this season. We explain why you should catch up on the Osomatsu-san phenomenon. ― The biggest anime comedy of last year has finally returned to go all-out this season. This week in anime, Micchy and Steve explain why you should catch up on the Osomatsu-san phenomenon. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participa...
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This Week in Games - Seven Months With Nintendo Switch

Dustin runs down the highs and lows of Nintendo's newest console over the past year, along with this week's Japanese gaming news and new releases. ― The focus of this column is definitely not the SNES Mini. That's both because Todd already did an excellent write-up, and because the past week has seen me playing games on the Switch pretty obsessively—so much so that exploring the classics has been lef...
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Answerman: Why Don't Streaming Sites Work Together?

Wouldn't it be great if every legal anime streaming company got together and made one platform where you could watch everything? It might SOUND good, but there's more to consider... ― xNightshade 22 asked: A simple question for you. Why don't they put all the anime streaming services together on one platform and charge a monthly fee for it? I believe this is a crucial reason why people use pirate si...
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This Week in Anime - Why You Should Watch Food Wars!

Food Wars! makes its grand return this fall with a third helping of culinary competition! This week in anime, we discuss what's made the show so delectable so far. ― Food Wars! makes its grand return this fall with a third helping of culinary competition! This week in anime, Nick and Jacob discuss what's made the show so delectable so far and what they hope to see from the Elite Ten this season. Disc...
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Vice & Luna - All In The Family

Your friend tells you they want you to recommend some anime. They love "Game of Thrones". What do you tell them to watch? Vice already has an answer!
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Answerman - What Is "Digipaint"?

People say the term "digipaint" all the time when discussing old anime from the early 2000s - but what do they mean? Justin breaks it down. ― George asked: What exactly is digipaint? Why was it so prevalent in anime production during the 00s, and why does it make anime made with it so hard to remaster into HD? Has this product essentially made a part of anime's existence, the 00s, relegated to DVD, ...
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Shelf Life - Shin Godzilla

Godzilla stomps his way to blu-ray this week, as Gabriella Ekens examines the footprints Hideaki Anno's version of the legendary monster left behind. Plus, all this week's new anime releases! ― My apartment building switched from air conditioning to heat this week, which would have been fine if I had been home at the time. I wasn't, of course, and so I eventually returned home to a 90-degree room wi...
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The List - 6 Unique Takes on Edogawa Ranpo

Ranpo Edogawa is a well-known mystery author in Japan, but western whodunnit fans may be less familiar with him. Here are just six anime that have taken on its legacy. ― The first week of prime spook month is over and as we edge closer to Halloween, I'm going to attempt to make every List column focus on the macabre. This week we'll take a look at mystery and horror novelist Edogawa Ranpo, a househo...
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Answerman - Where Did The Idea Of 100 Ghost Stories Come From?

It comes up in anime from time to time: telling 100 ghost stories in a single night. Is that a real thing? Justin explains. ― Ian asked: I wanted to ask if the 100 ghost story night idea from xxxHolic is a real cultural aspect of Japanese society. Or did CLAMP make it up? If not, are there any reports of events where literally 100 ghost stories are told? The idea of 100 ghost stories has made an app...
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This Week in Anime - Will Bakugo Become a Hero or a Villain?

As My Hero Academia's second season comes to a close, Bakugo's future still seems uncertain. Is there anything that could turn him over to the dark side? ― My Hero Academia's second season has come to a close, and Bakugo's future seems uncertain as the League of Villains begins to reform. This week in anime, Nick and Micchy predict what might be in store for U.A. High's most fiery student. Disclaimer...
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This Week in Games - Gundam Versus

The entire Gundam franchise gets crammed into an arena combat blender in Gundam Versus, plus Nioh on PC, Breath of the Wild production secrets and more! ― As if 2017's nonstop parade of excellent video games wasn't already enough, the past few weeks have seen the Switch's indie line-up upgrade from “good” to “positively bonkers.” Most of these games are out on other platforms, but the option of porta...
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Answerman - Why Are Sentai Titles Showing Up On Anime Strike?

Sentai Filmworks titles have been showing up on Amazon's Anime Strike service - what might we expect from this partnership? Justin considers the angles. ― Austin asked: Within the last few days/week, Sentai Filmworks has announced 4 new show licenses for the coming season (including the second season of Umaru-chan). They said in the press release that these shows will be made available through Anime...
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This Week in Anime - Made in Abyss Made Us Cry Like Little Babies

Made in Abyss' first season ended this week, leaving behind an ocean of tears for many fans. This week in anime, Nick and Steve pick up the pieces in the wake of its emotional conclusion. ― Made in Abyss' first season ended this week, leaving behind an ocean of tears for many fans. This week in anime, Nick and Steve pick up the pieces in the wake of its emotional conclusion. Disclaimer: The views and...
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Vice & Luna - "Vice Writes an Isekai Novel"

ANYONE could write one of those novels where an ordinary teen gets sucked into another world - right?
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Answerman - Why Do Dub Voice Actors Stick To The Same Studios?

Most anime studios in the US have a "stable" of regular voice actors that you'll hear in most of their dubs, without much crossover - why is that? ― Justin asked: Over the years, I've seen many voice actors stay in one circle only (Viz, Funimation, Sentai, or 4Kids). I've asked myself some questions and created scenarios in my head which gives an idea of the kind of things I've wanted to see, but ha...
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Shelf Life - The Boy and the Beast

Paul Jensen takes a look at Mamoru Hosoda's most recent film along with all this week's new anime releases, and Shelf Obsessed is officially open for submissions once more! ― I was briefly tempted to buy a model kit the other day, but then I remembered one of my favorite stories from the old Calvin and Hobbes newspaper comic. Calvin buys a model plane, struggles with the tiny parts and incomprehensi...
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The Mike Toole Show - When Anime Was "Cool"

The Blade Runner 2022 anime short sends Mike back to the early 2000s when everyone was very excited about both The Matrix and the internet, and anime was a very specific kind of "cool"... ― There was a brief period of time in the early 2000s when anime was cool. It wasn't just cool with dorks like me and you, the true tastemakers, but also cool with the general entertainment-consuming public in North...
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The List - 7 Excellent Exorcists

If you've got a demon infestation in your neighborhood, these onmyouji may be just what the doctor ordered. Plus, your rankings of the best CLAMP series! ― Something seems different about your best friend. They hardly ever sleep, they're unsettlingly flexible, their voice has changed drastically, and they have a bad habit of projecting pea soup from their face. Not to mention they keep saying really...
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ANNCast - Kemono Replicants

Zac and Jacob spit a whole ocean of hot takes on the Blade Runner anime, the untimely betrayal of Kemono Friends, One-Punch Man Season 2 and your Twitter questions! ― ANNCast Episode 307 - Kemono Replicants Zac and Jacob spit a whole ocean of hot takes on the Blade Runner anime, the untimely betrayal of Kemono Friends, One Punch Man Season 2 and your Twitter questions! You can listen to the show on ...
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Answerman - How Can You Tell If An Anime Is Popular?

Can you tell if an anime is popular by relying solely on disc sales? With so many different revenue sources, how do production committees determine "success" in 2017? Justin gets into it. ― Ricardo asked: More times than not, Anime Fans seem to take sales figures as gospel of a series's popularity, if there's a chance to hope for a sequel, etc... but I've seen some authors, among them Durarara!'s, s...
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This Week in Anime - Where Did "My First Girlfriend is a Gal" Go Wrong?

Straddling the line between romcom and fanservice show is no easy feat, but this gal-stacked effort falls on its face. We break down where this milkshake turned sour. ― My First Girlfriend is a Gal could have straddled the line between romcom and fanservice show gracefully, but the end result was less than successful. This week in anime, Jacob and Steve suss out where things went sour for these gals....
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This Week in Games - Blue Reflection

What if the Persona games had magical girls in them? Dustin Bailey seeks to answer this question in his first look at Blue Reflection on the PS4. ― I'm finally filling in the holes in my Yakuza series knowledge, largely thanks to that reprint earlier this year that finally made the second game affordable again. I finished Yakuza 2 this week, and it deserves its fan-favorite position in the series. De...
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Column - Why Don't Manga Publishers Announce When Books Go Out Of Print?

Manga volumes go out of print all the time with no warning - why does it work that way? Justin gets into it. ― Bill asked: Why are manga licensees so cagey about when books are close to going out of print? Usually theres no way to tell If something is on its way out, or even fully out of print, until it's only available for jacked up prices on eBay. As consumers we tend to think of physical media --...
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This Week in Anime - What the Hey is Wrong With Heybot?

This brain-meltingly stupid kids' show has been a punchline on This Week in Anime since it started, but was there secretly a method to Heybot's madness in the end? ― It's been a go-to punchline on This Week in Anime since the column began, but now that Heybot! has ended, just what the hey was this series anyway, and why was it so incredibly weird? This week in anime, Micchy and Steve put this bizarre...
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Answerman - What's With All the Bondage Humor in Anime?

Why is something as risqué as S&M such an easy go-to for comedy even in family-friendly anime? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― Brandi asked: what is up with anime and the S&M fetish? I'm not talking about hentai. It mostly comes out in the form of one of the men on the show turning out to be some kind of over the top masochist. I've seen this joke over an over again. Most recently in D-Frag! and i...
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Shelf Life - Fruits Basket

Gabriella Ekens revisits the classic shojo romcom on blu-ray, and Paul Jensen breaks down this week's huge heap of new releases! ― We've got a pretty wide variety of new releases this week, which means we also have a whole lot of options to explore. Let's jump right into it! Welcome to Shelf Life. Jump to this week's review: Fruits Basket On Shelves This Week Crusher Joe - OVA Collection DVD Discote...
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The List - 7 Drastic Character Design Changes

When a manga's art is too complex to animate or a series has been on the air for a long time, artistic changes are bound to arise. Here are seven of the most striking shifts in a character's style. ― The transition from manga to anime isn't always a seamless process. Projects hire character designers to reinterpret static artwork into something that can be animated in a manageable way. This can mean...
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ANNCast - Nap Squad

Zac and Jacob tackle Kenji Kamiyama's Napping Princess, plus the end of summer anime, new movies, and plenty of your questions! ― ANNCast Episode 306 - Nap Squad Zac and Jacob tackle Kenji Kamiyama's Napping Princess, plus the end of summer anime, new movies, and plenty of your questions! You can listen to the show on our player here, direct-download the MP3 version here, check out the show on Stitc...
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Answerman - Why Don't Anime Musicals Get US Releases?

Japan has an ocean of stage musicals based on anime, from Naruto to Sailor Moon - why don't they ever get released in the States? Justin considers the angles. ― Bunny asked: Sailor Moon's new musical cast were guests at a state anime convention, but I don't see it getting much further than that. We only have fansubs as a source, but I'd like to support it legally. I was wondering what would it take ...
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This Week in Anime - The Best and Worst Moments of Re:Creators

Now that Re:CREATORS has concluded, did it live up to the promise of its premise? This week in anime, we break down where the series soared and where it sank. ― Now that Re:CREATORS has come to an end, did the show live up to the promise of its premise? This week in anime, Nick and Jacob break down where the series soared and where it sank. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the particip...
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This Week in Games - Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash

Dustin gets wet and wild with the girls of Senran Kagura on the PS4, along with this week's biggest news and other new game releases! ― You may have heard that homebrew developers—hackers, if you're feeling nasty—found a fully emulated version of NES Golf on board every shipping Nintendo Switch. After seemingly endless mystery surrounding why the ROM was there, they eventually discovered how to activ...
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Answerman - Why Is Sentai Filmworks Phasing Out DVDs?

Sentai Filmworks made a big announcement about phasing out DVDs forever - but why? Justin has a few ideas... ― Jake asked: I was reading a recent article that stated Sentai Filmworks was essentially phasing out their DVD releases by 2019 and are primarily going to release Blu-ray only with a few exceptions. I know you have got this question in the past on who buys DVD's Vs. Blu-rays which seems to b...
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This Week in Anime - How Meta Does Re:Creators Get?

What did this anime about fictional characters confronting their makers have to say about the creative process? This week in anime, we tackle the conclusion of Sota and Altair's story. ― Re:CREATORS is a story about fictional characters meeting the people who created them, but just how far does its metafictional rabbit hole go? This week in anime, Micchy and Steve follow Sota and Altair's tale all th...
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Answerman - What is "Video Post-Production"?

You see it in the credits of anime blurays and DVDs all the time - but what does "video post-production" actually entail? Justin has the answer. ― Craig asked: Just finished watching the third Berserk film, The Advent and in the credits I saw your name. for Video post production. What exactly do you do in terms of post production(clean up, video/audio compression, restoration?)? Do all companies who...
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Shelf Life - Hyouka Part 1

Paul Jensen takes a look at the long-awaited blu-ray of Kyoto Animation's unusual mystery series, along with a rundown of this week's new anime releases! ― I went to a screening of Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro last week. It was my first time seeing the movie, and I have to say it was a blast. If you're a Lupin fan or are interested in Hayao Miyazaki's early work as a director, it's definitely...
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The Mike Toole Show - All About 'I Give My All'

Mike's quest for unlicensed anime leads him to the strange case of "I Give My All", a racy OVA from the 80s that was very nearly released here... until it wasn't! ― As part of the work I do with the Discotek gang, I occasionally work on some cool shows that were once licensed, but never really released on video in the west—you know, the really good anime, like Fighting Foodons. As the years pass, the...
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The List - 7 Worst School Teachers

School is back in session for the fall, but you'd better hope your new instructors aren't anything like these terrible tutors! ― It's the final week of summer, although most retail stores skipped straight to pumpkin season a few weeks ago. Deny it all you want, but the back-to-school grind is here which means notebooks, packed community college parking lots, and a handful of new instructors trying t...
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ANNCast - Little Witch Academia

Zac and Jacob smack their brooms together and head on a magical journey through Studio Trigger's foray into family-friendly fantasy: it's Little Witch Academia! ― ANNCast Episode 305 - Little Witch Academia Zac and Jacob smack their brooms together and head on a magical journey through Studio Trigger's foray into family-friendly fantasy: it's Little Witch Academia! You can listen to the show on our ...
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Answerman - What's The Worst Anime Release You've Ever Seen?

There have been a LOT of really screwy anime releases, discs with the wrong subtitles and audio tracks, but what's the WORST one? Justin has one in mind... ― Anonymous asked: Just curious, what's the single worst anime home video release you've ever seen? From any era, VHS, DVD, bluray, whatever the single worst one you can think of is. In Japan, the worst release has to be of the film Gundress, whi...
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This Week in Anime - What the Heck is 18if?

It's hands-down the weirdest anime of the summer season, but does its uniqueness alone make this indescribable oddity worth watching? This week in anime, we delve into the mysteries of 18if. ― Slipping under the shadow of bigger titles this season is 18if, an inscrutable little Gonzo series that doesn't really look like anything else out there, because it looks totally different from episode to episo...
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This Week in Games - Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light

An MMO-themed J-drama comes to Netflix, and Nintendo Direct unleashes a slough of new announcements like Project Octopath Traveler. All this and your new game releases with Dustin Bailey! ― I finished up Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle a few days ago, and it was a rad bit of tactical adventure throughout. In the column a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that its relative lack of randomness makes it fe...
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Answerman - What Are School Culture Festivals Really Like?

The cultural festival is a staple of many slice-of-life anime, but are their depictions true to life? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― Nadia asked: I was wondering if Japanese school cultural festivals are really a thing and if so are they really like they are in anime? So will there be the usual maid café/haunted house, and does everyone stay over at the school? Who's allowed to attend them (as a ...
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This Week in Anime - Does Made in Abyss Have to Be So Disturbing?

Made in Abyss has always been a little gruesome around the edges, but its newest episode took Riko and Reg's quest to a much darker place shockingly fast. Will all this pain and hardship be worth it in the end? ― Made in Abyss has always been a little gruesome around the edges, but its most recent episode took Riko and Reg's quest to a much darker place shockingly fast. This week in anime, Nick and S...
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Vice & Luna - Convention's End

Luna helps Maybell discover the best way to have a great time at comic-con.
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Answerman - How Are DVD and Blu-ray Subtitles Made?

It's something so common you may never think about how it gets done, but exactly how do english subtitles get on anime blurays and DVDs? ― John asked: What are the technical differences between creating subtitles for DVDs and Blu-ry Discs? And were HD-DVDs any better or worse? Subtitles are a pain in the ass. No other part of making a DVD or Blu-ray is as complicated, error-prone, or as likely to be...
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Shelf Life - Chihayafuru Season 1

Paul discovers the surprisingly wide appeal of this heartfelt josei story about an obscure sport. Plus, all this week's new anime releases! ― I started a new job this week. Considering that it's an entry-level part-time thing, the amount of paperwork and documentation required has been astounding. At one point, I'm pretty sure I had every form of official identification known to mankind collected in...
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The List - 6 Classic Anime Tropes

As a medium, anime has its own bevy of familiar storytelling tropes. These are just six decades-old devices to expect from your favorite (and least favorite!) shows. ― The word "trope" has negative connotations, easily mistaken as a synonym for "cliche". Tropes aren't necessarily cliches but they are story writing scenarios and character traits that are considered very familiar, sometimes to the poi...
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Answerman - Why Are There Statues Of A Reading Boy And A Dog In Japan?

Plenty of schools in Japan have a statue of a boy reading a book in front of them - what's up with that? PLUS: the story of Hachiko! ― Jake asked: I was recently thinking about some of the school anime I have watched over the years and have noticed there are two or three statues I tend to see a lot pop up. One of the most common is a statue of a man reading a book with a bundle of wood on his back i...
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This Week in Anime - How Did Love and Lies Become So Boring?

This teen romance started off with a premise too ridiculous not to be entertaining, but recent episodes have dragged it into the doldrums. This week in anime, we try to figure out what went wrong. ― Love and Lies started off with a premise too ridiculous not to be entertaining, but recent episodes have dragged the series into the doldrums. This week in anime, Nick and Jacob try to figure out what wen...
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This Week in Games - Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth

Dustin checks out the third installment in the Utawarerumono trilogy to see if it can improve on the second's shortcomings. Plus, this week's biggest Japanese gaming news and releases! ― The world as we know it is falling apart. Humble Bundle is running a special on trashy softcore VNs, and while I'm totally willing to admit that HuniePop is some okay smut, the presence of those infinitely-reproducin...
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Answerman - Is There A "Tooth Fairy" In Japan?

Anime sometimes references folk traditions surrounding baby teeth and the disposal of them, but never the "tooth fairy". Why is that? Justin does a little folklore research. ― Thomas asked: I was watching the newest episode of Sakura Quest and one of the children in the show has one of her last baby teeth fall out. When talking about it to her Mum, she suggests throwing it out the window and I think...
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This Week in Anime - What Is The Reflection Mutating Into?

Now that its growing pains are finally behind it, what kind of superhero story has The Reflection decided to become in such a crowded market? Nick and Steve are about to find out. ― The Reflection started out somewhat unsure of what kind of superhero story it wanted to be, but it seems to have found its footing in recent episodes. This week in anime, we delve into how this anime has found its way for...
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Vice & Luna - The Perfect Crime

Vice, Perry and Blume are nearly in the clear after their big Comic-Con escape - there's only one person they need to get past now...
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The Mike Toole Show - Alternate History Makers

Mike takes a tour through the wild world of alternate history anime where everything from World War II to the British Invasion gets scrambled up. ― For the past couple of anime seasons, everything's been coming up “isekai,” with a plethora of stories about regular people crossing over into bizarre fantasy worlds. We've had kids causing trouble with their smartphones, dimension-hopping family restaura...
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Shelf Life - Tamako Love Story

Paul takes on this somewhat-standalone sequel to KyoAni's Tamako Market that sets aside the series' comedy adventures to resolve its central romance. Plus, all this week's new anime releases! ― I went on a vacation of sorts this past weekend, by which I mean that I went to a place and spent money but never actually stopped working. This was my second year in a row attending the IndyCar race in Watki...
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The List - 7 Essential Sentai Teams

These multi-colored superhero groups have been around for almost as long as anime has existed! Here are just seven of the most influential or interesting sentai teams. ― Superhero teams like The Avengers or The Justice League are comic book staples. These crossover works bring together the genre's most powerful fighters for an 'ultimate team' to face off against imminent doom on a planetary scale; B...
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ANNCast - Kleckstarter

FIRST: Zac talks to Right Stuf CEO Shawne Kleckner about his enormous Aria Kickstarter. THEN: Zac and Jacob take your questions on fall 2017 anime, Netflix Death Note, Crunchyroll Expo and more! ― ANNCast Episode 304 - Kleckstarter FIRST: Zac talks to Right Stuf CEO Shawne Kleckner about his enormous Aria Kickstarter. THEN: Zac and Jacob take your questions on fall 2017 anime, Netflix Death Note, Cr...
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Answerman - Why Aren't Opening And Ending Themes Subtitled?

Since companies like Crunchyroll are already subtitling full episodes of anime, how come the lyrics to each show's theme songs aren't translated? Justin has the answers. ― KidaYuki asked: I really love the opening and closing theme songs of anime. Back when most of the anime online seemed to be through Fansubs alot of them (or at least the ones I liked) would have their songs subtitled. Usually a Ja...
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This Week in Anime - What Makes Princess Principal So Engrossing?

Combining cute girls and steampunk for a convoluted spy plot told out-of-order should make Princess Principal a tough sell, but it's shockingly easy to binge-watch. Jacob and Steve suss out what's in this show's secret sauce. ― As far as anime premises go, Princess Principal should be a niche within a niche, combining cute girl clubs with steampunk espionage in a plot told out-of-order. This week in ...
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This Week in Games - Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Dustin falls in love with the X-Com style strategy combat that apparently comes about when you smash two cuddly mascots together. PLUS: it's a Yakuza-palooza! ― Partly inspired by the upcoming release of Samus Returns, I've played a lot of Metroid this week. I finally played through AM2R, and that thing is good even if it lacks the polish and variety of the games it's building off of. That point only...
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Answerman - Quick Answers Part 4

Justin answers a handful of short questions, mostly about kissing. Indirect kissing, censored kissing, illegal kissing - all the kissing you can handle, really. ― Got lots of good questions this week, but most of them don't have answers that are very long, so let's just do a ton of them at once! Larry asks: In anime and manga the main character always gets flustered over an indirect kiss. Do people ...
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This Week in Anime - Can Anime Fans Enjoy Netflix's Death Note Movie?

While most critics have panned this new film adaptation of the hit manga, is there anything worth seeing in Adam Wingard's Death Note for prior fans? Nick and Steve explore the movie's simpler pleasures. ― On August 25th, Netflix's live-action Death Note film debuted to wildly contentious reviews. This week in anime, we discuss whether fans of the original material can get anything out of the experie...
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Vice & Luna - The Spoils of War

Perry learns that sometimes the best Comic-con experiences are the ones where you have to run from the cops.
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Answerman - What Is A "Love Hotel?"

You see them in anime all the time - hotels that charge an hourly rate and are doused in kitsch. Are they real? Do people really use them? Justin explains. ― Albatros asked: In romance manga and anime there is often a scene involving a 'love hotel'. Is it common in Japan to go to a love hotel with your lover, instead of going to a regular hotel? And is it considered like an ordinary place, or is it ...
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Shelf Life - Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma

Paul finds out if Food Wars' flavor can match up to the hype, plus all this week's new anime releases! ― Watching Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma for this week's review reminded me of my recurring problem with shows about cooking: they always make me ravenously hungry. The power of suggestion is a scary thing, especially in video form. Welcome to Shelf Life. Jump to this week's review: Food Wars! Shoku...
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The List - 5 Years of Listing: Lynzee's Column Retrospective

After five years of writing The List, Lynzee Loveridge shares her most memorable contributions and a few hints about what lies ahead for the column! ― For the last five years, I've sat down every week and put together lists of anime forgotten, character quirks, and sometimes, really weird merchandise. The funny part is that every time I think I've wracked my brain for the very last idea to write abo...
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Answerman - Do Anime Studios Own The American Shows They Contributed To?

Anime studios like Toei did a lot of work on classic American cartoons like Muppet Babies - do they own any piece of that? Justin explains. ― BJ asked: I have a weird question about contract work like what Toei did back in the 1980s on shows like Muppet Babies. Does a company like Toei own a small piece of whatever animation work they did on the show, or does it depend upon the terms of the contract...
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This Week in Anime - Was Little Witch Academia Worth the Wait?

After months of buildup, the first season of Trigger's newest project is finally out on Netflix! Nick and Steve set aside the hype to explore what this show has to say about the anime industry and childhood dreams. ― After many months of waiting, fans can now enjoy the full first season of Little Witch Academia on Netflix! This week in anime, we examine whether Trigger's newest project lives up to th...
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This Week in Games - Eight Great Things Yet to Come in 2017

It's been an incredible year for gaming so far, but it still feels like we're just getting started! Dustin Bailey runs down all the things he's most excited for in 2017's last quarter. ― 2017 has already been an embarrassment of gaming riches, and that's especially true for fans of Japanese development. The best Yakuza yet made it to the West, Team Ninja put together perhaps the best Souls derivative...
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Answerman - Do Japanese People Use Beds Or Futons?

Justin breaks down the practical difference between these two very different ways of sleeping for people living in Japan. ― Kitty asked: I was reading a manga where the main characters at first slept on futons but later got a Western style bed. And it reminded me of a thing I've been wondering many times before when we see characters' bedrooms in anime and manga. Fairly often they have Western style...
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This Week in Anime - Is WorldEnd (Suka Suka) Worth Watching?

Last season, Nick and Micchy were following last spring's sleeper light novel hit week to week, but they never got to discuss the ending. Now that it's over, how does the entire series hold up? ― What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us? This light novel sleeper hit from last season has an incredibly unwieldy title, but was it worth watching in the end? This week in anim...
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Vice & Luna - Party Over Here

Not even Blume and Perry - nor the entire Comic-Con Star Wars line - can escape the power of Mr. Goodtimes.
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Answerman - What Was A "MovieCD"?

Justin takes a look back at all the crazy formats anime has been released on in America, including "MovieCD", a CD-Rom with a 300x240 AVI file on it. ― Anonymous asked: I was in a thrift store the other day and found a copy of this Cyber City OEDO "MovieCD". What was this format? Was it at all successful? How many different formats over the years has anime been released on? MovieCD was a short-lived...
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Shelf Life - Beyond the Boundary: I'll Be Here

Paul Jensen finds out if these movies can give Beyond the Boundary a more satisfying ending, plus all this week's new anime releases! ― I'm happy to see that the English dub project for Aria the Animation is doing well on Kickstarter. I own all of the old DVD sets of that series, and while its absurdly slow pace isn't for everyone, it's a delightful little slice of life show. Since it'll be a while ...
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The Mike Toole Show - Holding Out for a Heroman

The Reflection is only the latest in a long and zany history of anime and manga projects involving Stan Lee. True Believer Mike is ready with a history lesson. ― A few months back, I was at Sakura-con out in Seattle. There was plenty to see and do at that convention—I got a close look at the adroit and skilled puppeteers of Pili International, the wizards who cooked up Thunderbolt Fantasy. I caught u...
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The List - 8 Anime That Were Isekai Before It Was Cool

Before "transported to another world" light novels were all the rage, anime was still milking this premise in wildly different ways. These "classic isekai" titles are still worth checking out. ― Isekai or "transported to another world" scenarios are huge in light novels, manga, and anime right now. Sword Art Online may be the most popular as a video game variation on the concept, but there's also Lo...
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Answerman - Why Are Age Ratings On Anime So Inconsistent?

Age ratings across anime releases from multiple publishers can be wildly inconsistent with one another - why is that? Justin digs in. ― Phineas asked: Is there a stricter bias towards anime age ratings in the United States simply because they're animated? Someone in the Answerman thread two columns ago noted the fact that Monster was 18+ by Viz but was rated M (the equivalent of a PG-13) in Australi...
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ANNCast - Back from the Grave

Zac returns with a full report from Otakon in Washington DC while Jacob hashes out My Hero Academia and Welcome to the Ballroom. ― ANNCast Episode 303 - Back from the Grave Zac returns with a full report from Otakon in Washington DC while Jacob hashes out My Hero Academia and Welcome to the Ballroom. You can listen to the show on our player here, direct-download the MP3 version here, check out the s...
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This Week in Anime - Why is Stain's Capture Actually Good for the League of Villains?

My Hero Academia's good guys defeated Stain, so why does it feel like they're the ones who lost? Nick and Micchy uncover the real evil that's only growing stronger. ― Everyone in My Hero Academia is recovering after their terrifying encounter with Hero Killer Stain, but maybe they shouldn't be getting too comfortable. This week in anime, we explain why the real battle is only beginning. Disclaimer: T...
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This Week in Games - Sonic Mania

Sonic returns in a revved-up revival of his glory days on the Sega Genesis, but how well does it recreate the past? PLUS: Kirby's 25th anniversary, Okami HD and more! ― Kirby, likely Nintendo's most versatile mascot, turned 25 this month. Kirby's Dream Land, the original Game Boy game, is in hindsight kind of a bizarre little thing—an experiment in casual games for children, something with cute chara...
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Answerman - Why Does Classic Anime Get Re-dubbed?

They're dubbing Gundam Seed in English again, just like they did for Escaflowne - Justin goes in-depth on why this happens. ― Justin (not Answerman Justin) asked: Why is Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny getting re-dubbed? There is already a dib available for these shows that is well liked by many. There are several standard reasons why the English dubbed version of a classic anime can't be used i...
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This Week in Anime - Why is Tsuredure Children So Relatable?

It may be a wacky 4koma comedy about puppy love, but Tsuredure's observations on infatuation can cut surprisingly deep. Nick and Jacob figure what makes this show feel so honest. ― Tsuredure Children may be a wacky 4koma-style comedy about teens in puppy love, but its observations on infatuation can cut surprisingly deep. This week in anime, we piece together just what makes it so feel so honest. Dis...
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Vice & Luna - Escape 2000

Can Mr. Goodtimes continue to evade justice at Emerald Grove Comic-Con?
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Answerman - What Is That Tipping Bamboo Water Spout In Traditional Gardens?

You've seen it before, you've heard the iconic THUNK - but what's that bamboo fountain you always see in anime actually FOR? ― Joseph asked: What is that bamboo thing in anime that fills with water until full and then empties? I see it used a lot and it seems mostly used for transitioning to a new screen or delivering more emotion to an intense revelation by suddenly hitting the ground. Other than t...
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Shelf Life - The Big O

The noirish mecha action show that captivated countless anime fans in the early 2000s is back on bluray for the first time, and James Beckett is ready for showtime! ― You've probably already heard about the technical troubles we've had on the site lately. One side effect is that any Shelf Obsessed submissions that were sent to the Shelf Life email address over the past few days won't reach me. If yo...
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Answerman - What Happens To Japanese Students Who Don't Make It To The Top?

Anime and manga are filled with elite students attending the most prestigious schools, but how accurate is that struggle to real life in Japan? ― Jose asked: We know the pressure to get into a top school (and get a top job) is a recurrent theme in anime and in Japanese culture in general. But I was wondering: what happens to the Japanese people that *don't* make the top cut? I would think that the t...
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This Week in Anime - What's Missing From Welcome to the Ballroom's Characters?

Ballroom's visuals can be dazzling, but its cast of characters hasn't quite been clicking for many viewers. Nick and Micchy take the stage to suss out what's amiss. ― Welcome to the Ballroom has dazzled audiences this summer with its immaculate ballroom dancing animation, but people haven't seemed quite as enchanted by its story so far. This week in anime, we try to suss out what's holding the charac...
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This Week in Games - Mega Man Legacy Collection 2

It's the one-year anniversary of This Week in Games, and what better way to celebrate than with the legacy of Mega Man. Is this second collection as nostalgic as the first? ― This week marks a full year since I took over ANN's weekly gaming column, and I hope that despite the loss of the X Button's trademark image alt-text, you've all enjoyed that time as much as I have. Things might be a little weir...
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Answerman - Why Is Daisuki Shutting Down?

Anime streaming service Daisuki is shutting down at the end of this year. Justin discusses some of the reasons why. ― invalidname asked: What happened with Daisuki anyways? With all those Japanese original rights-holders involved, shouldn't they have had a natural advantage over licensors like Crunchyroll that have to pay for content? Daisuki.net, the anime streaming website that was started by a gr...
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This Week in Anime - Just How Trashy is NTR?

Netsuzou Trap's title alone has been raising plenty of eyebrows, but is it just trashy enough to be treasure? Micchy and Steve sail straight into the eye of this smut-storm... ― Netsuzou Trap -NTR- started raising eyebrows based on the title alone, but is there any treasure buried in its trashy premise? This week in anime, Micchy and Steve sail into the eye of this season's smut-storm. Disclaimer: Th...

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