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The Mike Toole Show - Anime's Best Eleven

In the spirit of the World Cup, Mike digs through the wide world of soccer anime & manga to find his eleven best, most compelling, occasionally downright weirdest players for a winning team. ― You just can't separate anime from soccer. I'm not just saying this because we're right in the midst of the pageantry and drama and sporting skill of another World Cup, but because it's literally true—and it cu...
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The List - 7 Soccer Anime to Celebrate the World Cup

GOOOOOOOOAAAAL! Bust out the vuvuzelas, because it's time for some anime fútbol favorites to celebrate this year's main event! ― The World Cup is currently underway in Russia, and fans around the globe have been biting their nails as upset after upset showed how the underdog can pull ahead in a dramatic way. One of the biggest examples so far is Mexico's win against Germany, a first for the European...
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Answerman - Is Cosplay Copyright Infringement?

Is your anime cosplay in violation of copyright law? Would that even be enforceable? Justin digs into it. ― Chris asked: Following up on your column from earlier this week, you said most fan works are copyright violations. What about cosplay? I've heard that some creators don't like their characters being cosplayed. Is it possible that they can sue the fans that dress up as their characters? Legally...
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This Week in Anime - What the Hell is Happening in Darling in the FRANXX?

Darling in the FRANXX has given some viewers whiplash with its unprecedented plot twists over the last few weeks. Nick and Steve discuss where things went wrong for them in this ambitious mecha series. ― Darling in the FRANXX has given some viewers whiplash with its unprecedented plot twists over the last few weeks. This week, Nick and Steve discuss where things went wrong for them in this ambitious ...
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Answerman - Why Are Some Fan Works OK, But Some Get Shut Down?

When it comes to fan works - cosplay, fanart, fan films and games - copyright seems to be only enforced arbitrarily. Why is that - and which fan works are less likely to get the hook? Justin gets into it. ― James asked: I have noticed that most companies tolerate fanart, fanfiction, and cosplay of their works, but not fan-films or fan-made video games, which seems very arbitrary and random, to me. W...
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Shelf Life - Kado: The Right Answer

James delves into a divisive CG sci fi thriller from last spring while Paul breaks down all this week's new anime releases! ― I've officially hit the point in every anime season where I look at my streaming queue and think, "Aw, crap." Apart from the two shows I'm covering for streaming reviews, I'm weeks and weeks behind on everything. I sense a late-night marathon in my immediate future. Welcome t...
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This Week in Games - E3 Part 2: Game Announcements Ahoy!

This special sunday edition of This Week in Games collects E3's most exciting game announcements, plus the rest of this week's gaming news. If you feel like you missed anything at E3, catch up here! ― And we're back with the second part of our E3 news extravaganza! Except that, as I write this, the internet is losing its mind over something totally unrelated to E3: a tease by Studio Trigger that it's...
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The List - 6 Anime to Watch With Your Dad

Introducing anime to newbies can be a weird experience, especially if that newbie is your own dad! Here are some pops-friendly anime options just in time for Father's Day! ― I just got back from camping out in the woods (okay it was a state park) and roughing it old school (in a cabin) but while much of America is barbecuing with their folks, it's the perfect opportunity to turn on one of these show...
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ANNCast - Giant-Size Double Feature ANNCast

FIRST! Zac and Jacob return to the maddening world of DARLING in the FRANXX , PLUS FLCL2! THEN: Dave and Graziella from Friends from the Internet are back for 90 minutes of our E3 Game Show! It's all videogames! C'mon in! ― ANNCast Episode 330 - Giant-Size Double Feature ANNCast FIRST! Zac and Jacob return to the maddening world of Darling in the Franxx, PLUS FLCL2! THEN: Dave and Graziella from Fri...
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Manga Answerman - Do's and Don'ts of Meeting Convention Guests from Japan

Now that the 2018 summer convention season is in full swing, fans will soon have the chance to meet manga and light novel authors and artists from Japan! Here are some friendly tips for how to interact with your favorite creator. ― Now that the 2018 summer anime and comic convention season is in full swing, North American fans are in for a treat – the chance to meet some manga and light novel author...
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This Week in Anime - Why You Should Watch GeGeGe no Kitarō

Kitarō is a classic manga with a long history of different adaptations, but this newest series is surprisingly relevant to the modern day. We explain why you should check out this unusually biting kids' horror anthology. ― GeGeGe no Kitarō is a classic manga with a long history of different adaptations, but this newest series is surprisingly relevant to the modern day. This week, Nick and Steve expla...
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Answerman - Why Don't Drama CDs Get Released Outside of Japan?

Drama CDs are incredibly commonplace for anime from almost every genre, so why aren't English translations made available for them? Justin breaks down the practical problems with bringing this material stateside. ― Rachel asked: Many anime, manga and video game series sometimes get adapted into a audio drama CD, why aren't audio drama CDs released here in North America? Few people want them, and the...
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This Week in Games: E3 Press Conference Roundup

Heidi has all the best and most exciting trailers from this year's E3 press conferences, from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to Devil May Cry 5 and - of course - plenty of Kingdom Hearts III! Check it out all in one place. ― Hello, folks! Welcome to part one of a special two-part This Week in Games focusing on E3. For the first time in 15 years, I'm not actually at E3… but I've been glued to Twitch and T...
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This Week in Anime - What the Hell is Happening in To Be Heroine?

This truly unusual take on isekai stars a girl who must fight for her future using anthropomorphized articles of clothing, but is there more to this web series lurking under its silly surface? We delve into this ambitious Chinese coproduction. ― To Be Heroine is a truly unusual take on isekai where one girl must fight for her future using anthropomorphized articles of clothing, but is there more to t...
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Answerman - Why Do Credits Only Sometimes Get Translated?

How exactly do anime companies go about deciding how to translate anime credits into English? How come you almost never see English credits in an anime OP? Justin gets into it. ― Jayke asked: I love it when publishers translate anime credits and put them into the OPs and EDs in English. Funimation used to do this with like every release (although they've faltered on this a bit as of late), and other...
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Shelf Life - Tokyo Ghoul: The Movie

Paul finds out if this live-action version of Kaneki Ken's story can live up to the gore and gristle of its source manga. Plus, all this week's new anime releases! ― A few months ago, a friend of mine mentioned that there was a badminton-themed anime in the works. I assumed he was joking, but it's totally happening, it's called Hanebad, and it's coming out next month. I assume there will also be a s...
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Column - Mer-Maid in Japan

Ponyo, Lu over the Wall, Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch - there are a TON of mermaids in anime and anime about mermaids, so what better time for Mike to do a - wait for it - deep dive? ― A couple of months back, my friend and colleague Erin Finnegan (keep an eye on her VR Puppet Murder Mystery kickstarter, which just wrapped its initial funding period successfully!) hit me up on social media with a...
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The List - 6 Magical Boys

Punishing villains in the name of the moon isn’t just for the ladies anymore! Here are a few fellas with some sparkling superpowers of their own. ― Magical girls date back nearly 50 years but another group of transforming, magic-wielding, mascot-having characters are joining their female predecessors in the spotlight. MAGICAL BOYS. Sure, if we squint hard enough, Sentai heroes are a kind of magical ...
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Manga Answerman - Can Mangaka Work With Multiple Publishers At Once?

It seems like an enormous workload, but is it possible for a mangaka to work on multiple series at once, across different publishers? Deb gets into it. ― Q: Can a Mangaka work with two to three (or more) different manga publishing companies at the same time, all with a different series? Yes. They certainly can, and some certainly do. The astounding work ethic (or back-breaking workload) of a Japanes...
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This Week in Anime - Joe's Rough Road to Megalonia

The hits keep on coming in MEGALOBOX, but the road to dusty death is paved with fascinating foes. We examine the many multi-faceted fighters Joe has faced so far. ― The hits keep on coming in MEGALOBOX, but the road to dusty death is paved with some fascinating foes. This week, Nick and Steve examine the many multi-faceted fighters Joe has faced so far. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by...
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This Week in Games - The Unseen World of Pokemon

Heidi counts down the final moments before this year's E3 with the thrilling reveal of history's unseen Pokemon. Plus: Tales of Vesperia might be coming back, Tetris Effect, fighting game news and much more! ― We're getting close, folks. E3 is just around the corner. In fact, the official E3 Twitter account thinks it's already here. Can you feel the excitement in the air? Are you eagerly anticipating...
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Answerman - Does Getting Free Copies Of Stuff Sway Opinions Of Critics?

Anime and manga critics often get free copies of the shows and books they're reviewing. Doesn't that compromise their opinions? Justin gets into it. ― Anonymous asked: How do you feel about screeners and review copies? I've heard some people argue that screeners are problematic because reviewers end up "owing" publishers good reviews, in some form or other. Yet, every mainstream review source--your ...
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This Week in Anime - FLCL Returns in Two New Flavors

FLCL Progressive and FLCL Alternative have rocked their way onto Toonami to put a new spin on the classic series. Nick and Steve discuss what we know so far about these two very different approaches to the material. ― FLCL Progressive and FLCL Alternative have rocked their way onto Toonami to put a new spin on the classic series. This week, Nick and Steve discuss what we know so far about these two v...
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Shelf Life - Anonymous Noise

Anonymous Noise promises to rock you, but comes up a little short. PLUS: all of this week's new anime DVD and bluray releases! ― I learned something while getting my measurements taken for a suit this week: being part of a wedding party is absurdly expensive. Between the clothing, the bachelor/bachelorette party, the wedding gifts, and all the travel involved, celebrating the lifelong happiness of y...
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Answerman - Why Do Anime Conventions Have Raves?

"Raves" largely went out of style in the 1990s, but anime conventions all over the country feature one as a major programming draw. What's the story behind this phenomenon? Justin gets into it. ― Jacob asked: I have been attending conventions for a wile and one thing I have never really understood was the Saturday and sometimes Friday night dance/rave that almost every convention holds now. Honestly...
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The List - 7 Strangest Isekai Deaths

Reincarnation into a fantasy world is a common staple of isekai light novels, but in order to be reincarnated, first you must die! Here are some of the most cruel and unusual demises that protagonists have suffered before starting their new lives. ― Everyone in anime is looking for a new lease on life nowadays, preferably in an alternate world with a few new magic abilities to call their own. Some l...
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Manga Answerman - Why Do So Many Manga Artists Avoid Being Photographed?

Many mangaka are notoriously camera-shy, choosing instead to only represent themselves with an illustration. What are their reasons for this? Deb gets into it. ― Q: Why do a lot of manga artists prefer to not have their photos taken at events, like comic or anime conventions or book signings? This particular question has puzzled and bedeviled me for a while. As a journalist who occasionally intervie...
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This Week in Games: Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu!

It's a huge week for game news - including Pokemon finally coming to your Switch, in a whole bunch of exciting ways. PLUS: Fallout 76, Heidi's review of the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection and much much more! ― You can tell we're close to E3 season because the pre-announcement announcements are already coming in strong. I don't really understand why people watched hours upon hours of a dul...
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This Week in Anime - Is Tokyo Ghoul:re Worth Returning For?

Three years after the tragic conclusion of Tokyo Ghoul, Tokyo Ghoul:re has returned to soft reboot Kaneki Ken's story. We suss out whether this prolonged continuation offers anything special enough to bring fans back to the action. ― Three years after the tragic conclusion of Tokyo Ghoul, Tokyo Ghoul:re has returned to soft reboot Kaneki Ken's story. This week, Nick and Steve suss out whether this pr...
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Answerman - What Are Some Japanese Superstitions?

Cultural superstitions often influence art, and anime is no different! Justin runs down some of the most common superstitions you see in anime. ― Rajkovic asked: There is a multitude of superstitions in the world. The one I keep hearing often in Japanese anime is “If you sigh you'll chase happiness away” or something like that. What are some other common Japanese superstitions that foreigners would ...
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This Week in Anime - What the Hell is Happening in Food Wars!?

Food Wars! The Third Plate has ramped up the stakes and the steaks this season in unprecedented ways. Nick and Jacob are still reeling from this dramatic shift in Soma and Erina's story. ― Food Wars! The Third Plate has ramped up the stakes and the steaks this season in unprecedented ways. This week, Nick and Jacob are still reeling from this dramatic shift in Soma and Erina's story. Disclaimer: The ...
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Shelf Life - Trickster Part 2

The Boy's Detective Club faces a reckoning in the conclusion of Trickster! PLUS: all of this week's new anime DVD & bluray releases. ― I had never heard of it until I saw Theron's review a few days ago, but Reborn as a Vending Machine, Now I Wander the Dungeon is now one of my favorite ridiculous light novel titles. I may have to give it a read just to see where it goes with that premise. Welcome to...
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The List - 7 More Nonsensical Anime Titles

From gratuitous English to questionable references, trying to guess the premise of these anime by their incredibly silly titles is an exercise in futility. Where did some of these muddled monikers come from? ― We've all heard nonsensical English lyrics getting thrown around in Japanese pop music, and when that same principle, a sort of 'coolness' factor, also bleeds over into anime titles, this can ...
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ANNCast - FRANXXly my Darling, I Don't Give A Damn

Zac and Jacob shake off the rust, pound their gloves and get on the mat once more with DARLING in the FRANXX . ― ANNCast Episode 329 - Franxxly My Darling, I Don't Give A Damn Zac and Jacob shake off the rust, pound their gloves and get on the mat once more with Darling in the Franxx. You can listen to the show on our player here, direct-download the MP3 version here, check out the show on Stitcher ...
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Manga Answerman - Do They Ever Retouch Unpolished Manga?

Sometimes manga pages go to the printers before the mangaka is completely finished polishing up their last few pages - do they ever go back and touch it up for the collected release? Deb gets into it. ― Q: I've noticed that sometimes a chapter of a manga had some unfinished panels likely due to a shorter timetable to finish the chapter. Is this something that typically gets touched up before the tan...
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This Week in Anime - My Hero Academia's Lovable League of Villains

This Shonen Jump hit has unloaded a whole new slough of baddies this season to deliver a series of knock-down-drag-out brawls with dire consequences. We discuss our favorite moments and characters from this explosive arc. ― My Hero Academia has unloaded a whole new slough of baddies this season to deliver a series of knock-down-drag-out brawls with dire consequences. This week, Nick and Micchy discus...
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This Week in Games - Steam Giveth and Steam Taketh Away

Steam unceremoniously yanked a bunch of sexy anime games, and the community exploded. PLUS: Kingdom Hearts III, a whole lotta Yakuza and much more! ― Hey folks! I'm back after taking a week off. I'm fresh and ready to write about all the hot gaming news going on. Nothing on the Internet blew up in a huge cloud of controversy while I was away, did it? … Oh, goddammit. THE WHOLE HORNY GAMES ON STEAM DE...
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Answerman - Why Aren't There Japanese Voice Actor Bloopers?

One reader wants to know why you never seem to see blooper reels for anime voice actors - bad takes can be fun to watch, so how come we never get to see them? Justin gets into it. ― Rodolfo asked: I was watching the Panty and Stocking bloopers on youtube and started wondering if there were any original Japanese anime bloopers floating around. I couldn't find any. Not one. So i was wondering, do the ...
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This Week in Anime - Wotakoi is the Relatable Otaku Love Story We Need

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku delivers warm fuzzy romance and anime reference humor in equal measure. Nick and Steve dig into what aspects of this romcom they see in the otaku relationships around them. ― Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku delivers warm fuzzy romance and anime reference humor in equal measure. This week, Nick and Steve dig into what aspects of this romcom they see in the otaku relatio...
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Answerman - Lightning Round

It's another batch of enlightening quickies: small faces, crime in Japan, High School of the Dead and more! ― Doc Fraga asked: I have wondered about this for almost 30 years. But what is the meaning of the three finger point "Sign of the devil" hand sign in anime. it's usually seen in Ranma 12 or Urusei Yatsura when someone gets knocked out. The hand-sign often associated with the devil and heavy me...
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Shelf Life - Koro Sensei Quest!

Paul enjoys a bite-sized, RPG-themed spoof of Koro-sensei's adventures in Assassination Classroom, then breaks down all this week's new anime releases alongside a brand-new Shelf Obsessed! ― I got myself a Nintendo Switch last week, and my first impression of the thing was pretty darn positive. I plugged it in, turned it on, put in a game, and started playing. No insanely huge updates to download or...
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The List - 6 Royal Anime Fit for Prince Harry & Meghan's Wedding

Just in time for the royal wedding, these lovebirds have swept viewers away with their uniquely regal flavor of romance. See if your favorite fantasy couples made our list of happily ever afters! ― Today marks the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, which, depending on your emotional investment in the Windsors is either a huge friggin' deal or just another celebrity wedding. The 33-year-old ...
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Manga Answerman - How Do Manga Authors Get By When They're Not Publishing Something?

Let's say you draw manga for a living. How do you make ends meet when you're not yet successfully published, or if you're in between series? Deb has the answer. ― Q: How do mangaka get by financially when not publishing? Ah, the life of the manga artist…. While several manga creators hit it big and make a LOT of money, many of Japan's manga makers (much like the comics creators all over the world) d...
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This Week in Anime - What is Legend of the Galactic Heroes About Anyway?

LOGH: Die Neue These is a daunting title for an intimidating political space opera. Never fear! We're here to explain the character motivations, themes, and surprisingly silly charm of this rebooted classic. ― Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These is a daunting title for an intimidating political space opera. This week, Nick and Micchy explain the character motivations, themes, and surprising...
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This Week in Games - Crossed-Over and Painless

Todd guest-hosts this week with a look at the history of crazy (and crazy obscure) video-game crossovers! Plus Bloodstained goes retro, Guilty Gear returns, and a Famicom full of Shonen Jump! ― Hey, remember me? I used to write this column back when it was called The X Button, when Nintendo's big system was the chronically underfed Wii U, and when all of this was just trees. I'm filling in for Heidi ...
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This Week in Anime - Last Period turns Gacha Hell into Comedy Gold

Last Period is an RPG-style comedy with a twist, like if Konosuba took place in a freemium game where all the rolls come up 1-star. We find out if this extremely meta adventure is hilarious or just depressing. ― Last Period: the journey to the end of the despair is an RPG-style comedy with a twist, like if Konosuba took place in a freemium mobile game where all the rolls come up 1-star. This week, Ni...
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Answerman - Why Is It Such A Big Deal When Anime Characters Cut Their Hair?

Happens all the time: the music swells, some major character changes are about to happen, and someone cuts their hair off. Justin explains this surprisingly common bit of symbolism. ― Darrel asked: It seems like a very common theme in anime where a character cuts her hair to signify moving on from something. This is a popular theme in the Monogatari series and was also recently shown in Gun Gale Onl...
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Answerman - How Do Publishers Choose Which Older Shows To Re-License?

Anime publishers in the US release classic titles all the time, but it can be a crapshoot if you're waiting for a specific obscurity. Justin explains the process. ― Chibi Chetsko asked: There is a particular pre-2010 anime series I want a different company to license for US release (I am pretty sure the old license expired) but is there anything I can do to to convince them to pick it up? If I conta...
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Shelf Life - Yona Yona Penguin

Shelf Life takes a turn this week with a look at a quirky, Penguiny family film from a few years back, fresh out on bluray from Sentai Filmworks. PLUS: all of this week's new anime DVD & bluray releases! ― If you're not already watching Megalobox this season, you should absolutely put it on your list. It's been stylish and entertaining from the get-go, but the last couple of episodes have really ste...
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The Mike Toole Show - Yo, Joe!

Mike fires up his burning strength for a one-on-one match with Tomorrow's Joe, the hard-punching boxing epic that won Japan's heart before spawning this season's MEGALOBOX! ― I've been thinking a lot about Tomorrow's Joe lately. It's because there's a new series on TV called Megalobox, a TV anime that's billed as the 50th anniversary project of the legendary boxing manga and anime. But it's an intere...
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The List - 7 Deadliest Children

They say children are the future, but these seven would prefer to bring a particularly painful end to yours. ― Sometimes big things come in small packages, and sometimes those packages are full of dynamite. Tiny tots wrecking havoc was my first ever topic for The List back in 2012. Even at the time it was published, I had to really shrink down the number of kids I listed. Evidently killer youngsters...
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Manga Answerman - Why Isn't All My Favorite Manga Available Digitally?

A lot of manga series are available in both print and digital format - but definitely not all of them, which can be frustrating. Why isn't everything available in both formats? Deb gets to the bottom of it. ― Ah, the print vs. digital manga availability dilemma… let's see if we can sort things out for Ann, who sent in this question: I've found myself in a slight predicament now that I've been gettin...
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ANNCast Interview: Stephanie Sheh and Mike Sinterniklaas

This collaborative team is known for excellence at every level of ADR. In this episode, Mike and Stephanie stop by ANNCast to chat in-depth about their latest project, Lu over the Wall, in theaters May 11! ― ANNCast Episode 328 - Stephanie Sheh and Mike Sinterninklaas This esteemed collaborative team is known for excellence at every level of ADR - directing, writing, mixing, and of course, acting. I...
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This Week in Games - A New Robotech Game?!

Inexplicably, there's a new retro-style Robotech game coming - Heidi has the details. PLUS: Smash Bros. at E3, classic Nintendo games on Switch and much more! ― Hello again, folks! What have you been playing lately? I'm still working my way through Super Robot Wars X. Here I was thinking I might be done with it by now… well, that illusion was dispelled fast. It's another week that's a bit sparse on n...
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This Week in Anime - Is the New Gun Gale Online Better Than Sword Art Online?

Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online may be a mouthful of a title, but does it outshine its predecessor? This week, Nick and Jacob talk SAO vs. GGO. ― Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online may be a mouthful of a title, but does it outshine its predecessor? This week, Nick and Jacob talk SAO vs. GGO. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are ...
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Interview: Vic Mignogna

As Digimon Adventure tri. reaches its conclusion, we joined Vic Mignogna, the new voice of Matt Ishida, to discuss his nearly twenty-year career in anime voice acting and how the industry has changed since he started. ― As Digimon Adventure tri. reaches its conclusion, we joined Vic Mignogna, the new voice of Matt Ishida, to discuss his nearly twenty-year career in anime voice acting and how the indu...
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Answerman - Will The US Ever Get Stand-Alone Otaku Music Events?

Across Japan and in other countries, standalone concert/autograph events for famous idol groups happen outside a convention environment. So why are there never any of these in the US? ― Matthew asked: With the recent announcement that Aqours will be back on in Los Angeles for Anime Expo, once again an idol appearance on American soil is tied to an anime convention. Meanwhile in places like Taiwan an...
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This Week in Anime - Is Tada Never Falls In Love Worth Your Time?

It may be the newest original romcom from the staff behind Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, but those are some big shoes to fill. We explain why Tada and his friends may not be ready for the big time yet. ― Tada Never Falls In Love is the newest original romcom from the staff behind Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, but those are some big shoes to fill. This week, Nick and Micchy explain why Tada and his friends ...
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Answerman - Why Is Some Merchandise So Hard To Find?

"Limited Edition" figures and books and blurays sure do dry up quick, and once they're gone, they're gone forever. So why don't they print more? Justin gets into it. ― Chad asked: Recently some anime merchandise is more difficult to purchase outside Japan, whether for old anime or new. I've purchased collectable figures for years, but some figures now go on sale for less than the day of release or t...
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Shelf Life - Anohana

Paul digs into the nostalgic melodrama of Anohana to find out if the show lives up to its tearjerker reputation, plus all this week's new anime releases! ― You know all those stories about people paying for things in pennies? Well, it actually happened to me this week. I had the dubious honor of processing a payment made entirely in small change and mostly in pennies, all delivered in a dirty plasti...
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The List - 6 Things You Might Not Know About Naruto's Masashi Kishimoto

In this classic edition of The List, find out how much you really know about the man behind one of the most popular Shonen Jump series ever made! ― Masashi Kishimoto ended his main Naruto manga after 15 years of serialization in November 2014. The manga and its equally popular anime series introduced a whole generation to the medium, not unlike Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon before it. The anime rema...
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ANNCast - Superhero Ouroboros

Zac and Jacob are shocked at how good Batman Ninja was! PLUS: DARLING in the FRANXX , Megalobox , Legend of the Galactic Heroes and even a whole Infinity War! ― ANNCast Episode 327 - Superhero Ouroboros Zac and Jacob are shocked at how good Batman Ninja was! PLUS: Darling in the Franxx, Megalobox, Legend of the Galactic Heroes and even a whole Infinity War! You can listen to the show on our player h...
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Manga Answerman - Does Buying English-Language Manga Releases Support the Mangaka?

Deb Aoki checks in for her first installment as Manga Answerman! This week: how much of your manga-purchasing money actually gets back to the mangaka in Japan? ― Hi ANN readers – I'm Deb Aoki, and I've been writing about manga and the manga industry for quite some time. I'm here to take on your prickliest manga questions as Manga Answer(wo)man! Let's get started with this one from the Answerman mail...
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This Week in Anime - Can Golden Kamuy's Anime Do the Manga Justice?

When Golden Kamuy barreled into the spring season with a giant CGI bear, people balked at this adaptation's choices. We weigh the pros and cons of this troubled production and its golden source material. ― When Golden Kamuy barreled into the spring season with a giant CGI bear, people balked at this adaptation's choices. This week, Nick and Steve weigh the pros and cons of this troubled production an...
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This Week in Games - Nintendo's Monkey Business

It might be kind of a slow week for games news, but there's some brand-new Nintendo news and releases, plus Soul Calibur VI, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Super Robot Wars and much more! ― Hey all! Hope you're enjoying May so far. It's been another slow-ish week, which is good, because I've been busy with a bunch of personal stuff. I've also been playing some Super Robot Wars X, so look forward to a review o...
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Answerman - Why Don't DVDs Contain Japanese Commentary Tracks Anymore?

Once upon a time, anime DVDs occasionally came with commentary tracks from the Japanese artists who made the film. What happened? ― Tyler asked: On some of Central Park Media's DVD releases, like MD Geist and World of Narue, one of the “disc set-up” options were commentaries from a few of the original Japanese staff, which I think is really cool. However, when ADV released these titles, they scrappe...
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This Week in Anime - Does Persona 5 Work as an Anime Adaptation?

ATLUS's hit JRPG has finally become an anime series, but does it offer enough fresh flavor to entice prior fans or make any sense to newcomers? Micchy and Steve find out how P5A holds up. ― ATLUS's hit JRPG has finally become an anime series with Persona 5 the Animation, but does it offer enough fresh flavor to entice prior fans or make any sense to newcomers? This week, Micchy and Steve find out how...
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Vice & Luna - It All Returns to Nothing

Avengers: Infinity War reminds Vice of the enormous franchise-shattering blockbuster spectacle he's REALLY looking forward to most...
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Answerman - What Is Golden Week?

This holiday gets mentioned in plenty of anime series, but what's the cause for celebration and how does it affect the anime industry, if at all? ― invalidname asked: Hey, it's Golden Week! What effect does the holiday have on anime production, if everyone's taking a week off? On the flip side, do ratings go up from people having more free time to watch? Golden Week is a cluster of holidays that all...
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Shelf Life - Is It Wrong To Expect A Hot Spring In A Dungeon?

Paul takes a look at this steamy DanMachi OVA (and its accompanying soundtrack CD) and runs down all this week's new anime releases! ― Shirobako is getting a new movie project, and I'm seriously pumped for it even though we don't even have a release date yet. I want more fictional anime production drama, and I want it as soon as humanly possible. Welcome to Shelf Life. Jump to this week's review: Is...
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The Mike Toole Show - Orbots Almighty

Mike dives deep on the exciting history of a largely-forgotten, little-seen but totally awesome 1980s giant robot franchise called Mighty Orbots that only recently finally saw DVD release. ― Back in the 1980s, some folks at Walt Disney Televison Animation had a little saying. After the script, designs, and storyboards were finished up for an episode of something like, say, Gummi Bears, the next step ...
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The List - 7 TV Anime Affected by Japanese Censorship

These are just a few of the times TV anime was aired in a significantly altered state out of concern for Japanese broadcasting law, IP law or some other pesky reason - get ready for blinding lights! ― What sort of pesky things get anime censored on Japanese television? There's the standard "this is too scandalous for the airwaves" that causes an episode to be marred by steamy bathroom fog or obscuri...
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Answerman - Are Japanese Offices Really That Horrible?

Aggretsuko paints a pretty bleak (and relatable) picture of the working office environment for women in Japan - but how close to the truth is it? ― Jacob asked: I was watching the Netflix release of Aggresuko, which chronicles the life of a modern Japanese office lady. Thought the series her boss, who is represented as an overweight pig, makes her life miserable and demeaning. In a lot of ways he re...
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This Week in Games: World of Demons

DeNA producer Andrew Szymanski spills the details on Platinum's upcoming mobile action game World of Demons. PLUS: Guilty Gear and Dragon Ball FighterZ news and a whole mountain of new releases! ― Hey all! This week, I want to write a bunch about a mobile game that looks super cool and promising… but before that, let's take a moment to fully grasp the harsh reality of the free-to-play, games-as-a-ser...
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This Week in Anime - Why Aggretsuko is the Voice of a Generation

Sanrio's new workplace comedy has screamed its way onto Netflix to summon a legion of new fans. We explore what makes this millennial metalhead panda's quarter-life crisis so incredibly relatable. ― Sanrio's new workplace comedy, Aggretsuko, has screamed its way onto Netflix to summon a legion of new fans. This week, Micchy and Jacob explore what makes this millennial metalhead panda's quarter-life c...
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Answerman - Why Don't Anime Characters Go To Therapy?

How come therapy never seems to come up as a solution in anime? Justin discusses the differences in mental health culture and why we might not expect to see therapy explored much in anime. ― Julia asked: I've noticed that in a lot of anime, when characters have very deep, psychological problems, nobody ever considers going to therapy or telling someone to seek professional help. After watching anime...
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This Week in Anime - Just How Weird is Hinamatsuri?

Hinamatsuri is part absurdist comedy, part sentimental sap, and all too unusual to summarize. We do their best to explain what makes this odd show so special. ― Hinamatsuri is part absurdist comedy, part sentimental sap, and all too unusual to summarize. This week, Michelle and Steve do their best to explain what makes this odd show special. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the partici...
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Vice & Luna - The Plural of Anime is

Sometimes the ones you love are the ones that hurt you the most.
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Shelf Life - My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Complete Series

James Beckett reaches the memorable conclusion of Hachiman's unexpectedly romantic adventures, while Paul Jensen breaks down all this week's new anime releases. ― As I write this introduction, it's late at night and the people in the apartment next door are blasting music loud enough to rival a karaoke bar. I'll probably end up dealing with the problem in a civilized manner, but part of me really wa...
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Answerman - Are "Upscaled" Blu-Rays Worth The Upgrade?

If a show was produced in a low resolution and has to be "upscaled" to HD, is it worth buying the HD version? Justin gets into the details. ― Patrick asked: I have a very simple question. Are blu-ray upscales of shows that have been out on dvd for years (I.E. Gungrave, Fate/stay night, etc) worth the money? Does the upscaling actually make a big enough difference to justify another purchase to see a...
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The List - 6 Bizarre Magical Transformations

Sentai heroes look cool when they power up and magical girls transform with grace and beauty, but some magical metamorphoses are less comfortable to watch. These six examples are just plain weird. ― Let's talk about magical girl transformations for a minute. The first things that come to mind are sparkles, ribbons, cheery music, and maybe a few poses that only the most experienced gymnast could pull...
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Answerman - Who Are The Ainu People?

After a high-profile spotlight in the new spring anime Golden Kamuy, some readers are curious to know more about Japan's Ainu population. Justin is happy to oblige! ― Eric asked: I'd watched the first episode of Golden Kamuy, and that anime and even its original manga had mentioned about the people of Ainu in Japan in which I know they're somewhat similar to the Native American Indians in the Americ...
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This Week in Anime - Uma Musume Means Horse Girls

This series galloped into the new season with a truly bizarre premise that hasn't yet drawn much attention. We make hay about this uniquely equine sports/idol show while it's still sitting pretty in the spotlight. ― Uma Musume Pretty Derby galloped into the new season with a truly bizarre premise that hasn't yet drawn much attention. This week, Nick and Micchy make hay about this uniquely equine spor...
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This Week in Games: Kirby Star Allies

Amidst an absolutely punishing amount of Sega news, Heidi finds time to finally catch up with Kirby's latest adventure. The verdict, plus all of this week's explosive game news! ― Here I was thinking this was going to be another pretty lazy week for gaming news. Then everything happened. Where do we even start? Well, let's look at a company near and dear to my heart: SEGA ANNOUNCES SO, SO MUCH This w...
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Answerman - Why Do Some Series Have Long Gaps Between Seasons?

One Piece shows up every week without fail, but there are gaps between seasons in My Hero Academia. What gives? Justin explains it all. ― Emily asked: I've been wondering why some anime have gaps of a year or more between seasons and others have gaps of a few months or just continue for long periods of time. I've also noticed that the number of long running series (especially those with lots of fill...
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This Week in Anime - Rocking and Socking with MEGALOBOX

Since it's an anime-original production, nobody knew what to expect when Megalobox punched its way into the new season. This week, we pick our jaws off the floor to discuss this boxing series' strengths and future potential. ― Since it's an anime-original production, nobody knew what to expect when Megalobox punched its way into the new season. This week, Nick and Steve pick their jaws off the floor ...
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Vice & Luna - Mind the Gatemaster

You can't watch a frame of Fate/Zero until you've played every last route of the original visual novel - so says the gatemaster!
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Answerman - Is There Anything To Miss About Old School Subtitles?

Some people miss the way subtitles "used to be", wonky translations and all. But is there anything to sincerely miss about the "good ol' days"? Justin gets into it. ― James asked: During the 1980's and 1990's, some media that was imported from Japan to the western world (most notably video games but also some anime and manga) would be translated improperly, often with hilarious results that have pro...
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Shelf Life - March Comes in Like a Lion Season 1 Part 1

March Comes In like a Lion and quickly melts Gabriella Ekens' resistance to the charms of this beloved series. PLUS: all of this week's new anime DVD and bluray releases! ― It looks like Hinamatsuri will be one of my streaming review shows this season, and if the first episode is any indication, I'm going to have plenty to write about. That series looks completely bonkers, but in a good way. Good cr...
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The Mike Toole Show - All Dogs of Flanders Go to Heaven

Mike takes a look back at one of the most influential and pervasive sad children's stories in anime history, from remakes to references to parodies, all about a Dog of Flanders. ― Isao Takahata passed away last week, which means that everywhere you look, there are tributes to and retrospectives of the great animator's work. This is wholly appropriate, and it gives me considerable pleasure in the sad ...
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The List - 7 Appetizing Anime Restaurants

From festival food stalls to floating franchise eateries, these are just seven scrumptious spots to visit in the world of mouth-watering anime food porn. ― Anime is full of tasty restaurants that have seemingly grown in popularity as more and more series centered around cooking make it to the airwaves. There are even eateries staffed almost entirely by fluffy animals or attractive bakers. Since I wr...
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ANNCast - Just A Little Bit of Spring

Jacob's out sick, so interest editor Lynzee Loveridge stops by the podcast to help Zac sort through the best and worst of Spring 2018 so far. ― ANNCast Episode 326 - Just A Little Bit of Spring You can listen to the show on our player here, direct-download the MP3 version here, check out the show on Stitcher here, and we're also on Google Play Music right here, or you can just use these handy links:...
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Answerman - What "Editing" Needs To Be Done To Anime For US Release?

Justin digs in to what "video post-production" means when it comes to anime - how we handle the masters Japan sends for home video production. ― 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 re...
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This Week in Anime - Giving ReLife a Second Chance

Almost two years after it first aired, Crunchyroll has released the final four episodes of the heartwarming high school drama, ReLife. This week, Nick and Jacob return to this underrated gem to share their thoughts on the full journey. ― Almost two years after it first aired, Crunchyroll has released the final four episodes of the heartwarming high school drama, ReLife. This week, Nick and Jacob retu...
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This Week in Games - VR Kanojo

Virtual reality girlfriends finally arrive on Steam thanks to Illusion - what does it mean for the industry? PLUS: Blazblue, Witcher Nendoroids, Yo-Kai Watch and so much more! ― Stop the presses, everyone – as I write this, the most important gaming-related announcement of this week has just been unveiled. I'm talking, of course, about the Geralt of Rivia Nendoroid. If there's any collectible company...
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Answerman - Why Are People More Upset By Nudity Than Violence?

One reader wants to know why western fans clutch their pearls over anime boobs but give blood and guts a free pass. Justin has a few ideas. ― Steven asked: What's up with the Double Standards in Anime? Something full of blood-n-gore murder-death-kill trends towards the most popular, well received and reviewed shows. Meanwhile, the fan service, T & A heavy shows get lambasted for their content? Is th...

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