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The List - 7 Manga for Monster Girl Lovers

First there were catgirls, then maids, then robot girls; presently, we live in the age of the monster girl. Here are seven shining examples of the genre. ― Supernatural romantic comedies have a strong, dedicated fanbase among both male and female readers. Commentary on its quality aside, Twilight was immensely popular and shone a light on a new sub-section of young adult novels. Vampire stories, inc...
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ANNCast - Encyclopedia Brits-Ani-ca

Anime scholars extraordinaire Helen McCarthy and Jonathan Clements drop by the ANNCast clubhouse to discuss their new book, the monolithic behemoth known as The Anime Encyclopedia: Third Revised Edition. ― ANNCast Episode 221: Encyclopedia Brits-Ani-ca Get the Flash Player to see this player. Anime scholars extraordinaire Helen McCarthy and Jonathan Clements drop by the ANNCast clubhouse to discuss ...
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The X Button - Havoc Heart

This week: an interview with Danganronpa writer Kazutaka Kodaka! Plus Breath of Fire, valkyries, rumors, and the link between Metal Gear and penguins. ― When was the last time a major game creator departed a big company? Keiji Inafune leaving Capcom? Koji Igarashi leaving Konami? Ken Levine leaving Irrational Games? Whatever it was, we're probably due for another one. That's why people are in a flut...
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Tales Of The Industry - Less Fanboying Is More

Justin's own story of being too much of a fanboy at his first industry job, and the conspiracy to get him fired. ― Welcome to “Tales of the Industry,” a column where we will share stories from real working professionals in the anime business. Some weeks will have anonymous tales contributed by current and former members of the industry, with details changed/removed to protect their jobs. Other weeks...
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Shelf Life - Spirits Away

Gabriella Ekens joins the Shelf Life family with a review of Gingitsune. Also this week, You're Being Summoned, Azazel. ― I'd like to welcome Gabriella Ekens to the Shelf Life team! I'm very excited to have her on board, as her writing and analysis about anime is some of the best I've ever had the pleasure to read. You can read her Winter 2015 daily streaming reviews of Maria the Virgin Witch, GARO ...
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The Mike Toole Show - Damn Yankiis

Mike leaps on his chopper and checks his pompadour before diving into the world of anime about Japan's rapidly-disappearing motorcycle tough guy culture. ― I was totally supposed to go to Anime Japan this week, but a scheduling conflict kept me at home, so I've had to content myself with Bamboo's exhaustive reporting. Hey, these things happen. I'd like to hit the event next year, though. I want to ma...
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The List - 7 Things You Might Not Know About Hideaki Anno

A few things you might not have known about the man who told Shinji to get in the robot. ― There are few "household" anime names in the English speaking anime community: Hayao Miyazaki, Kunihiko Ikuhara, Osamu Tezuka, Shoji Kawamori, Yoshiyuki Tomino, Riyoko Ikeda, and Shotaro Ishinomori to name a few. Hideaki Anno is easily one of those names fans recognize as the creator of the Neon Genesis Evange...
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Answerman - Shame And Atonement

This week, the aftermath of the Pokémon seizure incident, the aftermath of the Chage & Aska drug arrest, the aftermath of series not being streamed in certain countries. Plus, why more Western books don't get anime adaptations. ― It's been another busy week, so let's get right down to it... Nick asks: Some months ago, Shigeaki Miyazaki, better known as "Aska" of the duo Chage and Aska, was arrested ...
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ANNCast - Semicolon Science Spectacular

Zac, Hope and fan guest Lorenzo Pangelinan pour over the mysteries, the hype and oh the many catchphrases of the smash hit 2011 VN adaptation Steins;Gate. It's heavy! ― ANNCast Episode 220: Semicolon Science Spectacular Get the Flash Player to see this player. Zac, Hope and fan guest Lorenzo Pangelinan pour over the mysteries, the hype and oh the many catchphrases of the smash hit 2011 VN adaptation...
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House of 1000 Manga - Vinland Saga

Shaenon sharpens her blade and gets ready for viking-on-viking violence in the epic historical drama Vinland Saga. ― Vinland Saga The Internet loves pirates as kitsch, but real pirates are noting to LOL about. A while back, my House compatriot Jason invited a friend to play a pirate-themed RPG, only to be told, “I hate pirates! Pirates boarded my family's boat to America! They killed people in front...
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The X Button - Vita Signs

This week, Todd gives the Vita a checkup! Plus Nintendo on mobile devices, Kaio on nothing, and a dive into the depths of Data East! ― Nintendo recently announced a new partnership with mobile-game company DeNa, bringing us ever closer to a world where Nintendo titles show up on smartphones and tablets. It's a major development for this industry, so there's only one thing to do: talk about old Data ...
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The Set List - Top 10 Bleach Theme Songs

With 366 episodes under its belt, Bleach has had a lot of great intros and outtros in its storied run. Which OPs and EDs stand above all the rest in the Soul Society? ― Some anime are long, some anime are longer, and a few anime are just the longest. When an anime gains enough steam to run for over a decade, it only seems fair to put in a class by itself for a musical countdown. With its beloved and...
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Shelf Life - Devils Advocate

This week's new releases. Plus, a look at Devils & Realist, as well as the ultra scrappy Ben-To. ― Jump to this week's reviews: Ben-To Complete Collection BD, Devils and Realist Complete Collection BD. On Shelves This Week Bleach Uncut Set 24 DVD Viz - Hyb - MSRP $44.82Currently cheapest at: $27.94 Rakuten Synopsis: This set covers episodes 330 to 342, which finishes out season 15 and the anime-only...
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The List - 7 Tragically Unlicensed Shojo Anime

Everyone has a list of shows they'd love to see get licensed, and on most of those lists there are at least a few shojo series. Here are 7 of the most wanted. ― Next to sports anime, shojo are routinely left on the wayside during licensing pick ups. There are plenty of theories why. Older shojo series, including magical girl shows, have high episode numbers that cost more to produce. Things have got...
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Answerman - Thawing Out

Is Funimation taking a risk by simul-dubbing so many shows? What ever happened to the Sunrise license rescues? Why is manga still in black and white? Plus, a dude who wants to put custom anime decals on his car seeks permission. ― I was just in Hartford, Connecticut. It was very very cold. But then I took the train 2 hours South, to New York city, and things -- finally -- were thawing out. After an ...
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ANNCast - Only Human

Justin returns for a laid-back twitter show! We take questions on Aniplex simuldubs, getting a job in the anime industry, dating nerds, and much more! ― ANNCast Episode 219: Only Human Get the Flash Player to see this player. Justin returns for a laid-back twitter show! We take questions on Aniplex simuldubs, getting a job in the anime industry, dating nerds, and much more! You can listen to the sho...
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House of 1000 Manga - Sparkler Monthly

Jason checks out a site dedicated to manga-inspired US comics, which have kind of a bad rap. Is it deserved? ― Sparkler Monthly “What kind of people go to these anime conventions? Is it mostly Asians?” one of my elderly relatives asked me once. I took a deep breath and gave her a lecture: anime and manga wasn't something ‘just’ for Asian-Americans, fans of all ethnicities enjoyed Japanese pop cultur...
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The X Button - Break Beat

This week: crowdfunding with cosmic battles, doomed starships, and alien hip-hop! Plus Mevius Final Fantasy, Rodea the Sky Soldier, and a wedding-day mystery! ― I was disappointed with the recent news that tri-Ace, the source of Valkyrie Profile and other RPGs, is now effectively owned by the mobile-game outfit of Nepro Japan. I imagine many others felt the same. Well, there's some consolation this ...
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Shelf Life - Between the Lines

This week's releases, plus reviews of Genshiken: Second Generation, and both seasons of Hiiro no Kakera. ― Jump to this week's reviews: Genshiken: Second Generation BD, Hiiro no Kakera Complete Series Seasons 1 & 2 BD. On Shelves This Week Fairy Tail - Part 15 BD+DVD Funimation - 275 min - Hyb - MSRP $54.98Currently cheapest at: $32.02 Rakuten Synopsis: The adventures keep rolling in this next insta...
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The Mike Toole Show - Cover Story

Mike digs into the shows that don't impress you at first blush, but go on to win your heart. ― My convention pals from the Geeknights podcast occasionally run a panel that they call Judge Anime By its Cover. The conceit is simple: dig up a key piece of artwork from the target anime, make snap judgments about the content, and check to see if you're right. Usually, their instincts are right: the show w...
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The List - 6 Greatest School Teachers

Sometimes you need to learn a lesson, and there's no one better than these 6 teachers to dish one out to you. ― Teachers are asked to go above and beyond just feeding students information and handing out tests. They're counselors, trusted advisers, and can foster a safe place for troubled kids. These week's list looks at teachers who really care for their students despite being adult delinquents the...
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Answerman - Japanese School Kids In Cars Getting Coffee

What is up with Crackle.com's anime selection, anyway? Why do so many materials get lost? Plus, Japanese companies expanding overseas, and independent school kids, in this week's Answerman! ― I am ludicrously busy this week, so let's get right to it. Geoffrey asks: There are some older series (especially Toei series) that can't be properly shown in HD because the original materials (usually the audi...
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House of 1000 Manga - Apocalypse Meow

Shaenon learns that war is hell, even if you're a fuzzy bunny, in Motofumi Kobayashi's hit manga. ― Apocalypse Meow The most disappointing title change from manga to English translation happened last year, when the American movie version of All You Need Is Kill was released as Edge of Tomorrow. (Okay, okay, All You Need Is Kill was a light novel before it was a manga, but bear with me, I'm riffing.)...
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The X Button - Disposable Heroes

This week, it’s import time with Dragon Quest, Doraemon, and God Eater! Plus Azure Striker Gunvolt, a new contender for Harvest Moon’s turf, and another old cartoon about video games! ― I mentioned the Power Team last week. It's not a very good cartoon, and it's notable mostly because it gave animated exposure to some video-game characters destined for obscurity. So perhaps I should cover an older c...
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The Set List - Top 10 Musical Moments of Cowboy Bebop

Hope counts down the best moments where Yoko Kanno brought her A-game to Cowboy Bebop. Plus: your poll results, and vote for your favorite Bebop episodes! ― 3 2 1, Let's Jam! It's time for a Cowboy Bebop themed episode of The Set List. This week, I've ranked my Top 10 Musical Moments from the legendary jazz-and-blues inspired anime, and you can check them out in the video below! (Please note that we...
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Shelf Life - Hellfire and Ice

Lots of new releases this week. Plus, reviews of The Ambition of Oda Nobuna, and Hozuki's Coolheadedness. ― Jump to this week's reviews: Ambition of Oda Nobuna BD, Hozuki's Coolheadedness BD. On Shelves This Week Chronicles of the Going Home Club - Complete Series [Premier Edition] BD NIS America - 288 min - Sub - MSRP $64.99Currently cheapest at: $47.99 Right Stuf Synopsis: New high school student ...
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The List - 7 Reasons Gentlemen Prefer Elves

Every good fantasy series has a few incredible elf ladies on display. Today, Lynzee decides to finally share the elf. ― The term "bombshell" was coined, very appropriately, during World War II to refer to the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, and other sex symbols of the era. There aren't any elves in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but there are plenty of wild, voluptuous fantasy women wielding swor...
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Answerman - Business Minded

Hey, did you know that we're probably in another anime market bubble right now? Plus, the likelihood of Evangelion TV Blu-rays in the US, how Blu-ray rights are different than DVD, and the difference between licensing and distribution. ― Hey, I have a ton of questions in the Answerman inbox! Thanks to everyone that sent one in. Predictably, many people are talking about the ADV Films website, which ...
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ANNCast - Right On DeMarco

Our guest this week is Jason DeMarco, vice president and creative director on-air for Adult Swim and the man behind Toonami. We discuss the history of the block, why some decisions get made, the new schedule and more. ― ANNCast Episode 218: Right On DeMarco Get the Flash Player to see this player. Our guest this week is Jason DeMarco, vice president and creative director on-air for Adult Swim, which...
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House of 1000 Manga - Otomen

Jason is tickled pink by Aya Kanno's gleeful, playful comedy about taking on gender stereotypes. ― Otomen “A business like this is so great. You can talk to other men about shojo manga like it’s the most natural thing…”\ Handsome, strong, a kendo and judo champion: Asuka Masamune seems like the ideal man. Girls swoon over him and offer him presents and chocolates, but he turns them away; he's polite...
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The X Button - Toukiden Talk

This week: a chat with the producer of Toukiden Kiwami! Plus tri-Ace, Disgaea, Rodea, Street Fighter, and something that could happen only in the early 1990s. ― I don't think I've talked about The Power Team here, even though it's the sort of odd video-game cultural relic I always enjoy discussing. Well, I'll fix that! I'm talking about The Power Team, a cartoon by-product of the rampant Nintendo ob...
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Tales Of The Industry - The Disastrous Premiere of Tokyo Godfathers

Justin recounts what should have been the highlight of his career -- hosting a world premiere with Satoshi Kon that went ridiculously sour. ― Welcome to “Tales of the Industry,” a new column where we will share stories from real working professionals in the anime business. These stories will be anonymous, and told in the first person. Names will be changed to protect people's jobs. They might've tak...
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Shelf Life - Space Case

It's a big week for releases! Plus, reviews of Space Brothers, Maid Sama, and My mental choices are completely interfering with my school romantic comedy! ― Jump to this week's reviews: Space Brothers Volume 1 BD, My mental choices are completely interfering with my school romantic comedy BD, and Maid Sama Complete Series BD. On Shelves This Week .hack//SIGN - Complete Series DVD Funimation - 700 mi...
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The Mike Toole Show - The Anime Alphabet

In response to the AV Club's "best animated shows ever from A-Z", Mike offers up his own list populated by anime's second-best shows. ― I was browsing the web last week when something caught my eye, and dragged it in mercilessly. It was yet another one of those list articles that the entire internet is turning into, but the topic was a hard one to resist: the best animated TV shows ever, from A to Z!...
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The List - 7 Trips to the Anime Underworld

Take a tour through the wildly imaginative ways anime has depicted the dark side of the afterlife. ― Cultures have pondered about life after death about as long as humanity has been capable of doing so. This includes differentiating between "good" humans and "bad" ones and sometimes further into "good," "mediocre," "bad," and "really, really bad." Some souls are denied reincarnation, others tasked w...
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Answerman - Life Is Just A Game

Why Viz just can't stream to Canada, where all the NYC dubs went, if Discotek is abandoning its classic anime releases, and whether we'll ever get a full DVD release of Hikaru no Go. ― Tough week here at Answerman. I got a few questions about the new Funimation broadcast dubs, but then they came out and answered most of the questions people were posing. Then we had our server issues last weekend, wh...
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ANNCast - The Cosmic Odyssey of the Supernerds

The Supernerds are down a man as seasonal allergies claim Justin Sevakis, but Mike, Daryl and Zac soldier forth to chat about Jupiter Ascending, Shirobako, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and much more. ― ANNCast Episode 217: The Cosmic Odyssey of the Supernerds Get the Flash Player to see this player. The Supernerds are down a man as seasonal allergies claim Justin Sevakis, but Mike, Daryl and Zac ...
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House of 1000 Manga - Helter Skelter and Pink

In both Helter Skelter and Pink, Kyoko Okazaki loves peeling back the skin of femininity to poke at the sex and violence writhing underneath. ― Helter Skelter and Pink A word before we begin: a laugh and a scream are very similar. This line, from the opening of Kyoko Okazaki's Helter Skelter, could be printed on the first page of any of her work. As many artists have tried to do and precious few hav...
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The X Button - Solitary Confines

Todd digs up some tragically lonesome games of the last generation! Plus Dissidia, Phantom Dust, and a very busy release schedule. ― Many talented creators go unappreciated in the game industry, particularly when their careers are short, seldom documented, or submerged in misunderstandings. So it's great to see a tribute to Shinya Nishigaki, the director of the bizarrely adorable action games Blue S...
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The Set List - Top 10 EDs of 2014

You asked for it, you got it: Hope counts down her top 10 ending themes from 2014, and your poll results from the top 10 opening themes are in! ― Two weeks ago, The Set List premiered with my personal countdown of the 10 best OPs of 2014. Thanks to the overwhelming response to our user poll, we have a viewer-selected Top 10 OPs list for this column, so thank you to everyone who voted! But first, it'...
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ANNCast - Baby, I Can See Your Halo

Yoshitoshi ABe's quaint little series about quaint little angels with dark, mysterious pasts comes under the microscope of sin-bound fans Hope, Zac, and guest commentator Matt Von Gonten. ― ANNCast Episode 216: Baby, I Can See Your Halo Get the Flash Player to see this player. Yoshitoshi ABe's quaint little series about quaint little angels with dark, mysterious pasts comes under the microscope of s...
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Shelf Life - Illusions of Grandeur

A run down of this week's new video releases. Plus, a glimpse at the new dub for Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, and a review of Okamikakushi: Masque of the Wolf. ― Jump to this week's reviews: Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! - Limited Edition BD+DVD and Okamikakushi: Masque of the Wolf BD. On Shelves This Week A Certain Magical Index - The Miracle of Endymion BD+DVD Funimation - 90 min - Hyb - ...
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The List - 7 Anime Kisses Heard 'Round the World

It's Valentine's Day, so the List is hard at work counting down seven of the best kisses in anime. ― February 14 is a lot of different things to people, whether it's a celebration of romance or day to spend Netflix-binging while eating fistfuls of chocolate. Let's live vicariously through our anime counterparts who eventually managed to plant a kiss on their beloved. The kisses are passionate, or cu...
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Answerman - Historical Baggage

Is Japan REALLY more sexually permissive than America? Plus, cel collecting, Netflix's new foray into Japan, and the seeming lack of WWII anime. ― I know most of the country is buried under snow and cold, so it's unseemly to complain about this, but I don't care. It's February, all the trees in LA are in full bloom, and so my allergies are ABSOLUTELY DESTROYING ME right now. I guess I'd better finis...
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ANNCast - Weep for the Cheeseburger

Zac and Hope strap in for a journey through the nutty environmental beliefs of circa-2002 Shoji Kawamori in his magical girl show Earth Maiden Arjuna. Learn about the "evils" of antibiotics, abortion, fast food, and more! ― ANNCast Episode 214: Weep for the Cheeseburger Zac and Hope strap in for a journey through the questionably-sane environmental beliefs of circa-2002 Shoji Kawamori in his magical...
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House of 1000 Manga - Master Keaton

Naoki Urasawa's world-famous globe-trotting insurance investigator comes under Jason's microscope. Master Keaton “Insurance is gambling. It’s nothing other than betting money on the probability of people—the insured—dying or not dying within a given period of time.” Insurance doesn't normally make people think “adventure.” But then again, manga is great at finding excitement in strange and seeming...
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The X Button - Exclusive Exclusions

Todd gets off his porch and shakes his cane at the current crop of game consoles! Plus Persona 5, Spelunker Z, and a question of aesthetics. ― I complain about game systems this week. It's mostly to do with a paucity of those exclusive titles that make consoles stand out, but there's an even more superficial matter at hand. I think the modern era's game systems are dull in appearance. Game systems r...
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Tales Of The Industry - Job Interview

Justin Sevakis' new column highlights stories from the front lines of working in all aspects of the anime industry. Today: Justin's job interview at Central Park Media! ― Welcome to “Tales of the Industry,” a new column where we will share stories from real working professionals in the anime business. These stories will be anonymous, and told in the first person. Names will be changed to protect peo...
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Shelf Life - The Rose Garden

A look at this week's new releases. Plus, a look at the Rose of Versailles by new contributor Lynzee Lamb, and a review of Fantastic Detective Labyrinth. ― Jump to this week's reviews: Fantastic Detective Labyrinth Complete Collection DVD and Rose of Versailles Part 1 DVD (Litebox). On Shelves This Week Digimon Fusion - Season 1 DVDCinedigm/New Video - 660 min - Dub - MSRP $44.99Currently cheapest a...
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Vote on your favorite anime theme song of 2014

In the very first edition of "The Set List," our new music video-column, we asked readers to chime in on their favorite anime theme songs of 2014. Vote now! ― Welcome to the very first edition of The Set List! Ah, there's nothing quite like that new column smell, now with the sweet aroma of video. As a sister series to The List, this column will be counting down music-themed superlatives in anime, v...
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The Mike Toole Show - Imagawa Da Vida

Mike takes a journey through the life's work of Yasuhiro Imagawa, the mastermind behind the beloved OVA series Giant Robo. ― This month, Anitwitter is engaging in something called a “groupwatch.” “But wait,” you all say, every one of you, in a single roaring voice that echoes across the globe, “what's Anitwitter?” That's just a funny little portmanteau – “anime Twitter,” get it?-- used to describe an...
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Vote on your favorite anime theme song of 2014

In the very first edition of "The Set List," our new music video-column, we asked readers to chime in on their favorite anime theme songs of 2014. Vote now! ― Welcome to the very first edition of The Set List! Ah, there's nothing quite like that new column smell, now with the sweet aroma of video. As a sister series to The List, this column will be counting down music-themed superlatives in anime, v...
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ANNCast - The GKIDS Are Alright

David Jesteadt, Director of Distribution at GKIDS, talks about the history of the company, their theatrical deal with Studio Ghibli and what it's like to have not one but TWO films nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards! ― ANNCast Episode 213: The GKIDS Are Alright Get the Flash Player to see this player. David Jesteadt, Director of Distribution at GKIDS, talks about the history o...
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Answerman - Fangirling Out

Justin shuts down a theory blaming female fans for the collapse of the anime bubble. Also: why Free! is getting a split release, why some fans freak out when you criticize certain shows, and the long lost dubs of Manga Video. ― So, in the forum thread for last week's column, a pretty ridiculous conversation was had. That conversation gave birth to our first question this week. "anonymous" asks: Ther...
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House of 1000 Manga - Children of the Sea

Shaenon attempts to understand Daisuke Igarashi's beautiful and ponderous exploration of the ocean and other unexplored spaces. ― Children of the Sea Usually, with these columns, I start with the story, because I'm human and humans love stories. Then I talk about themes and ideas and styles, and finally I get around to trying to describe the art. But with Children of the Sea I have to start with the...
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The X Button - Lasting Legacy

Imports arrive with punks, samurai, and The Legend of Legacy! Plus the return of Langrisser, the semi-return of Wonder Boy, and a few farewells. ― I've seen far too many game websites and magazines disappear over the years. It's never easy in either case, but I think the websites have it worse. Magazines at least leave some tangible, permanent volume for you to revisit. It's harder to go back to old...
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The Set List - Top 10 OPs of 2014

Hope counts down the top 10 anime opening themes of 2014 in the first edition of our new column. Vote for your favorite OPs of 2014 and check out the list! ― Welcome to the very first edition of The Set List! Ah, there's nothing quite like that new column smell, now with the sweet aroma of video. As a sister series to The List, this column will be counting down music-themed superlatives in anime, vi...
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Shelf Life - Shafted

A look at the titles hitting shelves this week! Plus, three tales of love and loss, packed into two tidy boxes.
- ef: a tale of memories & melodies
- Nisekoi: False Love v2
― Jump to this week's reviews: Nisekoi: False Love Vol. 2 BD and ef: a tale of memories & melodies BD. On Shelves This Week Comic Party - Complete Original Series Collection DVD Eastern Star - 300 min - Hyb - MSRP $39.95Currently...
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The List - 7 Frightening Student Councils

Only the best, brightest, most glamorous, potentially lethal and unbelievably intimidating can get elected to these student councils. ― Student councils are a subject of fascination in Japanese drama. The members are regarded as the best, brightest, most popular, or all of the above. They're idealized as student role models while their U.S. equivalents hold nowhere near the prestige and glamour of t...
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Answerman - Midwinter Blahs

It's a blah midwinter week, and Justin takes questions on whether we need a Criterion Collection for anime, whether companies are abusing Kickstarter, why there's so much Sailor Moon Crystal merchandise, and why Japan doesn't pre-record their voices. ― I don't know about you, but I've had real trouble staying awake and coherent this week. I blame the combination of short days and overcast weather, w...
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House of 1000 Manga - Cat Paradise

Jason adopts a manga all about magical cat familiars in an academy where pets are certainly allowed. If you've never read it, the time is meow. ― Cat Paradise "I've always loved animals, so I put them in my manga a lot.” —Yuji Iwahara There are so many manga about people partnered up with monsters, dragons and so on, you'd think there would be more manga about people partnered up with real-life anim...
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The X Button - Falcoming Home

Todd studies Falcom games and wonders why they aren’t more popular! Plus NightyCry, Dead or Alive, and…well, King of Fighters, in a sense. ― I glance through Falcom's catalog this week, which means I should open with some weird, insubstantial trivia about a Falcom game. If you'll pardon an awful segue, there's nothing in Falcom games less substantial than Dela's outfit in the Brandish series. Koei t...
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Shelf Life - True Luv

A look at this week's new releases and a new contributor to Shelf Life joins the team. Plus, alien invasions and other uninvited guests!
- Engaged to the Unidentified
- Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
― Jump to this week's reviews: Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse Complete Series BD and Engaged to the Unidentified Complete Series BD. On Shelves This Week A-Channel Complete Collection BD Sentai ...
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The Mike Toole Show - What's Up, Tiger Mask?

Mike gets piledrived AND powerbombed on the mat by an enormous load of wrestling anime. ― Last May, I hopped a bus to New York City, on a mission to explore more Japanese pop culture. I'd previously made similar trips to take in the likes of Tokyo Godfathers and Steamboy and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, so you'd think that this was some sort of anime thing. A brisk few hours later, I was in Manha...
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The List - Long Lost Anime Twins

Were these anime characters separated at birth? Not quite. ― Were these anime characters separated at birth? Not quite. We're used to seeing certain style characteristics to easily signify which character is the tsundere, the quiet bookworm, the gung-ho fighter, or the sneaky villain. With the huge number of anime, light novels, and manga produced each year, there are bound to be some design overlap...
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Answerman - I've Got A Blank Space Baby

Justin just HAS to address Princess Kaguya's Oscar chances. Plus, the weirdness of Japanese names, the lack of Vancouver anime dubs, and what happens to recalled discs. ― Oscar nominations were announced last week, and so I got the usual questions this week about The Tale of Princess Kaguya's chances at taking home Oscar gold. I get these questions every year, so I'm not going to do the whole song a...
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Fullmetal ANNCast: Brotherhood

Mike Toole joins Zac and Hope to finally decide, once and for all (and this is legally binding) which series is better: Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 or Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood? ― ANNCast 212 - Fullmetal ANNCast: Brotherhood Embedded audio player requires an HTML5-compliant browser. Mike Toole joins Zac and Hope to finally decide, once and for all (and this is legally binding) which series is be...
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House of 1000 Manga - Cat-Eyed Boy

Shaenon dares enter the vault of Kazuo Umezu's surrealist, ultraviolent horror serial, Cat-Eyed Boy. ― Cat Eyed Boy One of my all-time favorite pieces of comic art is a two-page spread from Jack Kirby's gonzo Planet of the Apes riff Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth. It's a four-color map of Kamandi's postapocalyptic world, packed with detail and such intriguing labels as “Wild Human Preserve,” “Island...
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The X Button - Blazing Trials

It’s a Kickstarter roundup this week, with firebirds and moons and blood-drenched throwbacks! Plus Fire Emblem, Xenoblade, and a second look at a Sega celebration. ― I mentioned Hi-sCoool! SeHa Girls a few weeks ago, as it does its best to broadside game nerds, and Sega nerds in particular, with their favorite things. It follows the school days of three giant-headed girls, and each is based on a Seg...
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Shelf Life - Fool's Gold

A rundown of this week's releases. Plus, a heartwarming story about a family of tanuki, and a classic that's been shined and polished for a new generation. ― Jump to this week's reviews: Eccentric Family Complete Series BD and Bubblegum Crisis Ultimate Edition BD Set. On Shelves This Week Little Busters! Refrain Complete Collection BD, DVD Sentai - 325 min - Hyb - MSRP $69.98 | $59.98 Currently chea...
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The List - 7 Strange Alien Species

Anime is chock-a-block with aliens of all shapes, sizes, colors, personalities and sex appeal. Here are seven of the weirdest ones out there. ― Ever since Georges Méliès put extra-terrestrials on the silver screen with his 1902 silent film A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la Lune) protagonists have battled, been abducted, and questioned if something else was out there on television and in film. Th...
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ANNCast - Big Funi Hustlas

It's that time again! FUNimation's Adam Sheehan and Justin Rojas join us to run down the last half of 2014 and what's new for 2015: Cowboy Bebop, Evangelion 3.33, the winter 2015 season and more! ― ANNCast 211 - Big Funi Hustlas Embedded audio player requires an HTML5-compliant browser. It's that time again! FUNimation's Senior Marketing Manager Adam Sheehan and Senior Manager of Social Strategy and...
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Answerman - The Virtue of Curiosity

Justin muses on the Hollywood blockbuster's affects on anime fandom. Then, just how much can you squeeze onto a DVD or Blu-ray? Will discs ever come with download codes? Do the Japanese do blooper reels? ― This week I was listening to the podcast of KCRW's The Business, which is a weekly showbiz insider talk show produced out of Santa Monica. They had an interview with the director of the Oscar-cont...
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House of 1000 Manga - Four from Crunchyroll

Murderers, reckless investors, deadly games from an unknown authority, and teenage assassins abound in four titles available on Crunchyroll's manga service. ― Four from Crunchyroll Crunchyroll has become my favorite digital manga service. I hate to admit it, but I always forget to keep track of Shonen Jump; the read-it-every-week-as-it-comes-out magazine system is easy to fall behind in, and hey, ev...
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The X Button - The Underexplored

Imports deliver Final Fantasy offshoots, Gundam toyboxes, and Sega trinkets! Plus Brandish, Lufia, and at least two controversies that shouldn’t be. ― The previous X Button featured predictions for 2015. I thought about prophesying consumer frenzies over Nintendo's Amiibo toys, but I decided not to mention that. Because it's already happening. The third wave of interactive figures seems primed for s...
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Shelf Life - Over the Horizon

A rundown of this week's new releases. Plus, reviews of Log Horizon collection 2 and A-Channel. ― Jump to this week's reviews: Log Horizon collection 2 and A-Channel. On Shelves This Week Amagami SS+ Complete Collection BD Sentai - 325 min - Sub - MSRP $59.98 Currently cheapest at: $34.49 Amazon Synopsis: This sequel of Amagami SS follows the events of the first series, and continues to expand on Ju...
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The Mike Toole Show - Hakuna Takahata

A theatrical screening of The Tale of the Princess Kaguya inspires Mike to dust off the legendary Isao Takahata's earlier works. ― A couple of weeks back, I once again found myself sitting in the dark in an uncomfortable chair, watching anime. But this time it wasn't 2:45am, and I wasn't all alone, hunched over my home office PC, watching episode after episode of Teekyu. I was at the Brattle, a small...
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The List - 7 Battling Brothers

It's throws before bros with these sibling pairs who can't set their differences aside and wind up locked in familial combat. ― This week's List focuses on a theme that's downright Biblical; the classic story of two brothers raised together but find themselves on opposite ends of an issue. Cain and Abel was the result of jealousy of one brother towards the other; the siblings in this list have griev...
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ANNCast - Late Night Chaos Rebellion

It's time for another Late Night Chaos show, taped with a live audience via chatroom! Hope Chapman and Brady Hartel stop by to gab about Winter 2015 anime, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, the best movies of 2014 and more! ― ANNCast 210 - Late Night Chaos Rebellion Embedded audio player requires an HTML5-compliant browser. It's time for another Late Night Chaos show, taped with a live audience via chatroom...
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Answerman - Uncertain Futures

This week, the fate of Studio Ghibli, the arrival of PONYCAN, the mystery of the limited edition DVD, and why Japanese-owned publishers still have to pay license fees. ― We're all back at work, and I'm back to being busy as heck, so let's get to it. Craig asks: With the recent release of Cowboy Bebop from Funimation, being offered in a standard release (Blu-Ray/DVD only) Funimation Exclusive and an ...
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House of 1000 Manga - Massive

Shaenon tackles Fantagraphics' compendium of and about gay erotic manga featuring enormous men and the enormous things they do (NSFW text). ― Massive A while back, my “House of 1,000 Manga” collegue Jason Thompson devoted a column to “64 Pounds of Porn,” his box of strictly-research porn manga. Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It is almost 64 pounds of porn all by itself. The title is ...
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The X Button - Stretching Ahead

Predictions for the coming year lead to Final Fantasy, the Wii U’s fate, and controversial carping! Plus Yumi’s Odd Odyssey, Tekken, and a few words about a vanishing scene. ― This week finds me figuratively lugging out a crystal ball and making predictions for the year ahead. As usual, I don't expect people to take me all that seriously in this regard, but I do feel certain of one thing: I'll be di...
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New Year, New Shelf Life

It's 2015 and some big changes have come to Shelf Life! Check out the new format and peruse this week's releases along with reviews of:
A Certain Magical Index II
Cat's Eye Season 2
― It's a new year, which seems almost hard to believe. Each day goes by so fast, that I can never seem to catch my breath and appreciate the passing of the seasons. Before I know it, I'll blink and it'll be summer, and I...
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The List - 7 Anime Cameos

Directors, personalities, voice actors and even characters from the world of anime often make cheeky appearances in other series. Here are a few of 'em! ― Cameos by well-known celebrities or creators are common across all visual mediums, whether it's Stan Lee appearing in most every Marvel film, or Quentin Tarantino and Alfred Hitchcock in many of their works. In anime, characters from other series ...
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Answerman - Not That Kind of Resolution

Happy new year! It's time to answer questions... such as, why a company license rescues a show that you can still easily find, why info on new anime doesn't leak, when an anime comes with video game rights, and the how scary it is to revisit your old favorites that might not still hold up. ― Happy 2015! It's a new year, and a lot of people are thinking about resolutions. I have a few of them, myself...
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The X Button - Curses and Courses

Todd salutes some 2014 releases that deserved better! And one that perhaps didn’t! Plus Disaster Report’s resurrection, Harvest Moon’s lost elephant herds, and the inner workings of Guilty Gear! ― I hope that all of you had a good holiday season. You surely did if you judge the entire Christmas span in terms of how many new Guilty Gear games arrive. Guilty Gear Xrd came out in December, and the spec...
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Shelf Life - The Year in Review

A look back at some of the most memorable (or worth revisiting) home video releases from 2014 ― Another year has come and gone, with mountains of anime to go along with it. And while readers and numerous ANN staff alike have given their thoughts on the top five new shows of the year, I wanted to impart my thoughts on what I think are some of the top physical video releases of the year. I chose these ...
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The Mike Toole Show - Son of a Gunbuster

Now that Gainax's name is no longer on the Evangelion copyright, what do they have left? Well, Gunbuster, of course, and Mike's gonna take you on a tour of it. ― If you're enough of a nerd for Evangelion minutae, you may have noticed something interesting at the beginning of October: the mention of Gainax in the manga's copyright data vanished. This wasn't the first time something like that had happe...
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The List - 7 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Sailor Moon

Although fans have picked the Sailor Moon franchise apart bit by bit to feast on the meaty fun facts inside, there may still be a few less widely-known morsels left. ― Naoko Takeuchi's magical girl series had a profound effect on anime fandom, whether you caught its first run in North America, or later on Cartoon Network's Toonami. The online fandom was undeniably huge when I was a kid. So much so t...
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Answerman - Ho-ho-hangover

It's the day after Christmas and we're already bored with our new toys. Let's talk about old Rumiko Takahashi shows, why Nickelodeon never liked anime, and how anime becomes a Hollywood remake. ― I am writing this earlier in the week. I am writing it on a plane to Seattle, wherein I will see my family. However, I must write this pretending it is later in the week, Christmas is over, and I'm on my wa...
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Astro Toy - Mega Drive Megatron

In his final Astro Toy column, David explores a Sega Megadrive with a secret. You might, in fact, say that it's a robot... in disguise. ― Mega Drive Megatron Maker: Takara/Tomy (with Sentinel) Series: Transformers / Hi☆sCoool! Seha Girls Price: $100 Well, let's get the big thing out of the way: this is my final Astro Toy column. The column is undergoing some major changes in format for 2015 and I've...
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The List - 7 Times Anime Danced Its Butt Off

There are dozens of times in anime where our heroes break out into a dance number; here are seven of the booty-shaking best. ― There is an undeniable crossover between voice actors, J-Pop, and otaku culture. If a voice actress can be marketed as an anisong singer, she can supplement her income outside of the sound booth with concerts, CD sales, and more merchandise. Sometimes all of this gets mashed...
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Answerman - Shouting Into The (Icy) Wind

It's only one week 'till Xmas, but Justin is distracted by getting hammered by questions about new seasons of every show under the sun. Also, interlaced Blu-rays, what convinced Japan to stream, and why there are still holdouts. ― I can't keep track of anything this week. It's insane. Between the Sony Pictures hack (which is just such a spectacular plane crash of an incident that I can barely wrap m...
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The ANNCast Holiday Special 2014

It's snowing outside and your relatives won't stop arguing, so why not curl up by the fire with Zac and Justin for a 2 and a half hour argument about movies and anime? ― The ANNCast Holiday Special 2014 Embedded audio player requires an HTML5-compliant browser. It's snowing outside and your relatives won't stop arguing, so why not curl up by the fire with Zac and Justin for a 2 and a half hour argum...
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House of 1000 Manga - Learn English with Jojo's Bizarre Adventure!

Of all the many wonderful gifts bestowed upon us by Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, now we can count the gift of English among them. ― House of 1000 Manga Special: Learn English with Jojo's Bizarre Adventure! Beyond the level of "Where is the hotel?", you can tell a lot about cultural perceptions by how people study a language. In the early 1990s, when Japan was synonymous with big business, Mangajin maga...
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The X Button - Due Recognition

Todd looks at the good, bad, and downright strange highlights of the year! Plus SaGa’s return, Afterburner’s goodbye, and a bunch of holiday stories! ― The X Button will take next week off. It's time for a Christmas break, or as close as I can get to one now that I'm no longer a kid. I'll return the week after for more end-of-year retrospection, Guilty Gear ravings, and facts about old MSX games. Th...

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