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ep. review

Durarara!!×2 ‒ Episode 8

"The Giant Plot Hammer came crashing down, and Durarara!! has my full attention and respect as a narrative again."
ep. review

Maria the Virgin Witch ‒ Episode 8

"The show hasn't made a misstep yet, and I trust it to stick the landing."
ep. review

Gourmet Girl Graffiti ‒ Episode 8

"This week's episode holds the dubious honor of being one of the most forgettable things I've watched this year."
ep. review

CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon ‒ Episode 21

"The title for episode 21 is “The One Left Behind,” and as things turn out, it is a fitting one for multiple reasons."
ep. review

Kuroko's Basketball ‒ Episode 8

"What Izuki does when all eyes are on him will clinch the game between Kaijo and Seirin."
ep. review

Log Horizon 2 ‒ Episode 21

"A low-key episode this week, tying up loose ends from the finished arc and setting out new threads for some future ones."
ep. review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc ‒ Episode 8

"Several surprisingly cliché ideas that don't really match each other, all slapped together into a comedy episode that just isn't very funny."
ep. review

The Rolling Girls ‒ Episode 8

"Everything just worked, and really sold the fundamental promise Rolling Girls so often makes but only occasionally keeps."
ep. review

Aldnoah.Zero ‒ Episode 20

For most of the series the Boy Wonders have been the only characters showing much real brainpower. Beginning with this episode, however, one of the adults finally starts showing some cunning. Despite Inaho and Slaine's superlative mental efforts, that adult could end up being the tipping point of the series' end plot run. That person is, of course, Count Mazuurek, who is the only Vers Knight so fa...
ep. review

GARO THE ANIMATION ‒ Episode 20

"This was our long awaited “turn Octavia into a real character” episode, and it did not disappoint."
ep. review

Tokyo Ghoul √A ‒ Episode 8

"This is the final calm before the storm, and Tokyo Ghoul spends this time in its signature way: with quiet conversations between complex characters."
ep. review

Assassination Classroom ‒ Episode 7

"If you're here for the mix of silly and subtle humor, this episode is among the show's best."
ep. review

Death Parade ‒ Episode 8

Two men enter Quindecim and one of them is a murderer. Nona wants to find out how Decim will handle this. The answer? Air hockey.
ep. review

Your lie in April ‒ Episode 19

"With so much to resolve in the series' final episodes, this feels like an unnecessary diversion."
ep. review

Shirobako ‒ Episode 20

"Musani's resident Dostoevsky fangirl richly deserves this place in the sun."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 401

"It's refreshing to see two taijutsu users go at it, and the animators take no shortcuts, meaning we get to see every kick, punch and defensive maneuver."
ep. review

Parasyte -the maxim- ‒ Episode 20

"Suffice it to say, this was not the show I signed up for."
ep. review

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend ‒ Episode 7

"The most important thing is that we are now four down and one to go when it comes to expanding Aki's harem to its full extent."
ep. review

KanColle ‒ Episode 8

"There are a few standard-issue swimsuit jokes in this one, but KanColle ultimately doesn't spend much time on its bikini-clad battleships."
ep. review

Gundam Build Fighters Try ‒ Episode 20

"This week picked up with the second part of Sekai and Junya's mirror match."
ep. review

The Testament of Sister New Devil ‒ Episode 8

"While slightly more explicit than previous episodes, this is in no way the fanservice fest that the title implies."
ep. review

Yona of the Dawn ‒ Episode 20

"This week on Yona: SVU, Yona and Yun plan to infiltrate a human trafficking ring that specializes in selling beautiful young women across the border to the Kingdom of Kai."
ep. review

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! ‒ Episode 8

"The laugh factor here is nowhere near what it's been in past episodes."
ep. review

Yurikuma Arashi ‒ Episode 8

"Can Kureha's love stand up to this?"
ep. review

Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road ‒ Episode 19

"Everything's seemingly proceeding toward a happy ending, except for one glaring wildcard."
ep. review

Kamisama Kiss 2 ‒ Episode 7

"Balancing humor with drama without wandering from its focus, episode 7 is only missing some Nanami and Tomoe romance."
ep. review

Maria the Virgin Witch ‒ Episode 7

"For as harsh as Maria's world can be, it's far from bleak."
ep. review

Yatterman Night ‒ Episode 7

"Yatterman Night really stretched its sophomoric jokes to the limit with the introduction of Ryu."
ep. review

The Rolling Girls ‒ Episode 7

"The Rolling Girls entered a new arc this week in glamorous, historic Kyoto."
ep. review

Aldnoah.Zero ‒ Episode 19

"While watching episode 19, one observation became inescapable: no matter what else happens, Lemrina is screwed."
ep. review

Gourmet Girl Graffiti ‒ Episode 7

"Going back to basics comes with its share of pros and cons."
ep. review

Kuroko's Basketball ‒ Episode 7

"This week revealed two vital pieces of information about Kise and Kuroko that we'd never known before."
ep. review

CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon ‒ Episode 20

"Even though it actually has very little action, episode 20 is nonetheless a very active episode."
ep. review

Durarara!!×2 ‒ Episode 7

"This week's episode profiles two characters, one old and one new, who couldn't be more different, and are probably destined for a head-on collision before the show is over."
ep. review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc ‒ Episode 7

"It's been a good long while since we've had a truly tasteless comedy episode, so the conclusion to the battle with Bast is here to satisfy!"
ep. review

GARO THE ANIMATION ‒ Episode 19

"It finally happened - GARO popped out its best episode yet."
ep. review

Sailor Moon Crystal ‒ Episode 16

"Not only do we have the excitement of seeing a formerly manga-only attack animated, Mercury's Shine Snow Illusion, but we also get a decent amount of character development for Ami."
ep. review

Log Horizon 2 ‒ Episode 20

"This episode was dense. Dense in action, dense in ideas, dense in characters and narrative turns and climaxes."
ep. review

The Idol M@ster Cinderella Girls ‒ Episode 7

"The mess may be resolved a little too quickly, but it looks like these Cinderellas won't have to give up on the ball anytime soon."
ep. review

Assassination Classroom ‒ Episode 6

The series finally presents a challenge that Koro Sensei can't overcome on his own, and Funimation's english dub premiere gets some tentacle probing.
ep. review

Shirobako ‒ Episode 19

"Contains one of the series' biggest fantasy sequences."
ep. review

Death Parade ‒ Episode 7

It's an eye-opening episode of Death Parade packed with secrets and big story moments. Plus: a few thoughts on Funimation's recently premiered English dub!
ep. review

Tokyo Ghoul √A ‒ Episode 7

"It's a simple episode this week, so I'll be covering Funimation's simuldub of the first episode as a coda to the episode 7 review."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 400

"Filler-within-filler with a dash of flashbacks."
ep. review

Your lie in April ‒ Episode 18

"It's been a while since the last performance episode, and this week was a reminder that they're the best parts of the show."
ep. review

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend ‒ Episode 6

Since its first regular episode Saekano has regularly been flirting with greatness, never quite getting there... until now.
ep. review

Gundam Build Fighters Try ‒ Episodes 18-19

"It's the ace, Sekai, who has gone through the most these past two episodes."
ep. review

Parasyte -the maxim- ‒ Episode 19

"With the Tamiya Ryouko and is-Shinichi-a-monster arcs safely behind us, the show laid out the groundwork for its final act."
ep. review

KanColle ‒ Episode 7

"While it remains more competent than exceptional, it's nice to see KanColle back on form this week."
ep. review

The Testament of Sister New Devil ‒ Episode 7

"It's the first time we've clearly seen Mio as a person and not a fanservice vessel or a bundle of clichés. "
ep. review

Yona of the Dawn ‒ Episode 19

We all have different fears. For me, a lifetime of living in close proximity to the ocean has given me a healthy respect for its power, so the scene this episode where a couple of rogue waves come close to washing Yona from the shore sent a chill up my spine. If your fear is heights, however, this episode also has you covered, since the shore I mentioned is actually a goat track of a path along a...
ep. review

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! ‒ Episode 7

"The fanservice is so over the top that it's more a parody of fanservice, but it's still a lot of fanservice to handle."
ep. review

Yurikuma Arashi ‒ Episode 7

"After last week's heated climax, it's time for a little relaxation and character work with our main three."
ep. review

Kamisama Kiss 2 ‒ Episode 6

"A transitional vignette that doesn't hit the mark."
ep. review

Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road ‒ Episode 18

"Onoda is awesome, but the flashback this episode was a little excessive."
ep. review

Durarara!!×2 ‒ Episode 6

"This is a transition episode, and not a particularly graceful one."
ep. review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc ‒ Episode 6

"Joseph Joestar's animal magnetism has put him in a real bind this week!"
ep. review

Yatterman Night ‒ Episode 6

"Even when Yatterman Night leans toward one mood or the other, it has enough of the opposite (like Leopard waiting for her friends to chase her) to keep viewers guessing."
ep. review

Maria the Virgin Witch ‒ Episode 6

"Sub Rosa" is Latin for "under the rose." Correspondingly, this episode was stacked with covert dealings."
ep. review

CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon ‒ Episode 19

With all that she has learned, Ange figured to have a proper meeting with Embryo at some point. That comes about here, and it pretty much goes as viewers of the series might reasonably expect. In fact, nothing that happens in episode 19 is too surprising. That's good in the sense that the series' internal logic remains strong, and it does confirm a few suppositions about what happened while Ange w...
ep. review

The Rolling Girls ‒ Episode 6

"The conflict between the Tenmusus and Motors concluded this week, with familial relationships being patched, passions being rekindled, and new symbols of the unified town being born."
ep. review

Gourmet Girl Graffiti ‒ Episode 6

"Whether or not you enjoy this week's episode depends on your reaction to the following seven words: eight-minute bath scene with melting popsicles."
ep. review

Kuroko's Basketball ‒ Episode 6

"It's a testament to the influence of basketball in these characters' lives that it holds sway over their interpersonal relationships too."
ep. review

Tokyo Ghoul √A ‒ Episode 6

"One of the strongest episodes so far, thanks to its willingness to relax and dwell on the inner lives of many cast members that we barely knew before."
ep. review

GARO THE ANIMATION ‒ Episode 18

León's finally regained his role as the Golden Knight Garo, and all it took was his girlfriend's death! Seriously though, this was a good episode, a climax both in its pathos and visual flair. The status quo has been reaffirmed after four episodes of mixed meandering, and it couldn't have come sooner. Meanwhile, the animation quality shoots into the stratosphere with one of the best looking episo...
ep. review

Aldnoah.Zero ‒ Episode 18

For most of its run episode 18 seems like just an ordinary episode, one where gimmicky, Aldnoah-powered Kataprakts are taken down with clever tactics and the plot advances a bit. Its last pre-closer scene, however, shakes everything up. We have wondered for several episodes now where, exactly, Slaine's ambitions would lead, and now we know what his ultimate scheme is – and my, it's not only quite...
ep. review

Log Horizon 2 ‒ Episode 19

A heavy and tremendous episode of Log Horizon this week. The method and tragedy of the Odyssey Knights was revealed, Minami's doom train made its first move, and the various personal arcs of Tohya, Minori, and Isuzu were all highlighted and pushed forward as the wyverns descended on Safil. All the narrative dominoes are beginning to fall now, and the resulting clashes are some of the most poignan...
ep. review

The Idol M@ster Cinderella Girls ‒ Episode 6

Unrealistic expectations are to be, well, expected, especially when you're working with teenagers. The major plot point of this episode, which doesn't come until the end, is handled with The Idolm@aster Cinderella Girls' usual impressive subtlety so that until Mio has her breakdown after a perfectly respectable debut concert, you don't even realize that it's brewing. The issue? Mio had managed to...
ep. review

Assassination Classroom ‒ Episode 5

It doesn't always take big ideas or grand emotions to make something worth watching. Sometimes, all it takes is a good sense of humor. Assassination Classroom is at its best when it's having fun, and that's exactly what it does this week. This episode is split into two separate stories, the first of which involves a student's attempt to kill Koro Sensei with poison. Okuda's weapon of choice is a ...
ep. review

Your lie in April ‒ Episode 17

There is a lot to unpack with this episode of Your Lie in April. At least, that's how it seems at first. It ultimately boils down to one basic theme, and development for two characters who needed it: Watari and Nagi. It's amazing that the show has gone on this long and we haven't learned much about Watari. The other three main characters received oodles of development, with even Tsubaki getting m...
ep. review

Shirobako ‒ Episode 18

Some days, it's really good to be Aoi Miyamori, and some days, it really, really sucks. As the responsibilities pile up for her position as head of production desk for Third Aerial Girls Squad, it's looking like more of the suck and less of the good. The second season has been all about her character arc, as Aoi comes into her own in her new position at Musani. This episode is all about the downs...
ep. review

Death Parade ‒ Episode 6

Welcome to Viginti, the judgement bar of our ruddy-haired, sour-faced friend who showed up last week and challenged Decim to a brawl. Harada, blonde-haired, fresh-faced playboy idol from the boy band C.H.A , and Mayu, C.H.A superfan with a personality bigger than her ridiculous teddy bear hair accessory - show up in Ginti's wood-paneled, carefully manicured bar for a deadly game of Twister. Ginti...
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 399

Last week, Sand ninja Shira exchanged blows with Rock Lee during the food fight, establishing them as foes for the next round of the chunin exam. Sure enough, Shira acts as a leader for all Sand ninja participating in this round, tasking them with taking out Team Guy because he sensed they were strong. They are definitely strong, but no more so than any other team from the Hidden Leaf. However, w...
ep. review

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend ‒ Episode 5

Last episode Tomoya somehow managed to wind up getting himself on a date with Megumi. This episode we get to see how that actually plays out. Somewhat surprisingly, it actually ends up not being the disaster that it so easily could have been with someone of Tomoya's disposition involved. In fact, by otaku standards it would be a smashing success, and all Megumi had to do to help make it happen is...
ep. review

The Testament of Sister New Devil ‒ Episode 6

The Testament of Sister New Devil frequently challenges me to say something nice, so this week I'd like to start this review with something I enjoy every single episode – the slow, focused animation in the opening theme. It's far superior to anything we see during the actual episodes, and the individual panels of, for example, slowly flexing feet or even gradually lowering torsos has a more artis...
ep. review

Parasyte -the maxim- ‒ Episode 18

All sorts of narrative and thematic threads came to a head this week, as the confrontation between Tamiya, Shinichi, and Detective Hirama resolved in bloody fashion. Bullets were fired, babies were saved, and humanity was claimed, exalted, and regained. Parasyte's somewhat lukewarm execution may not have given this sequence quite the dramatic punch it deserved, but the base narrative ingredients ...
ep. review

KanColle ‒ Episode 6

Taking a break from a show's usual tone can be a good thing. Slowing down an action series offers a chance to let the characters be themselves without having to mow down an endless supply of bad guys. A more mundane episode can do wonders for character development or provide a welcome comedic interlude. Or, as KanColle proves this week, it can just be kind of dull. Akatsuki and her fellow destroy...
ep. review

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! ‒ Episode 6

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! doesn't elicit as many laughs as usual this week—and yet the lack of jokes is hardly noticeable. Although there's still a monster of the day plot going on in the background, it's so secondary that it hardly matters overall. Finally, the show is mixing up the formula. The Conquest Club is more of a real threat in this episode, although their menace is portrayed l...
ep. review

Maria the Virgin Witch ‒ Episode 5

You can tell that it's time for some serious politicking when Bernard busts out the apple cider. The episode begins by catching us up on the priest's schemes. Turns out that he's related to the local lord and conspiring with him to further France's interests in the war. The current plan is to manipulate Maria's intervention in their favor and eliminate her once they've enacted peace. I'm still no...
ep. review

Sailor Moon Crystal ‒ Episode 15

With a new storyline comes a new opportunity for Sailor Moon Crystal to improve on itself, and I am pleased to say that that seems to be precisely what is happening here. While that statement doesn't really hold true for the animation – especially at the end of the episode – Chibi-Usa's first real outing makes up for a lot of other problems. The most important way it does that is, despite my comp...
ep. review

Yatterman Night ‒ Episode 5

There's nothing like a winter episode of anime when it's actually a snow wasteland outside in the real world. Doronbow, Galina and Alouette find themselves at a snow festival this week on Yatterman Night. There are snow sculptures from preying mantises to Lord and Lady Yatterman themselves, along with...a wrestling tournament? I thought that was a Summer Olympic sport. Apparently not the case in ...
ep. review

CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon ‒ Episode 18

Whatever other lingering problems Cross Ange may still have, a lack of internal logic is definitely not one of them. Although episode 18 proved to be every bit as interesting as could reasonably have been expected, it also plays out exactly and logically as an extension of previously-established character traits and events. Many of the Norma (or Norma-allied) characters besides Ange and Tusk get ...
ep. review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc ‒ Episode 5

This week's conclusion to the battle with Anubis is only half the horror show it promised to be, but honestly that's a good thing. Now that we know the secret of the sword, Anubis has been reduced to a straight combat stand, so the most that can be done with him as an antagonist short of seeing him possess one of our heroes themselves is to just put him in the center of a good old-fashioned slugf...
ep. review

Tokyo Ghoul √A ‒ Episode 5

Oh thank goodness, the budget has returned, and it's back with a vengeance too! After last week's catastrophically ugly episode, Tokyo Ghoul has cooled down a little and returned to its status quo of mildly competent animation elevated through sharp direction. More importantly, the show has also returned to its strengths as a character piece, with some juicy catharsis we've been anticipating for ...
ep. review

Gourmet Girl Graffiti ‒ Episode 5

Another week, another case of Gourmet Girl Graffiti making me regret not eating before I watch it. If nothing else, this show is adept at making two-dimensional drawings of food seem extremely appetizing. I'll probably end up chewing on my keyboard before the end of the season. The girls pay a visit to Shiina's house this week, though calling the enormous estate a house feels like a major underst...
ep. review

Kuroko's Basketball ‒ Episode 5

With his petrifying cat-eyed stare and otherworldly basketball talents, Akashi Seijuro continues to be the most compelling antagonist in Kuroko's Basketball to date. As befitting a player nicknamed the Emperor, both the game and the episode bowed to his will for an unsettling, exciting half-hour. Of course, it isn't unusual for a Generation of Miracles antagonist to be portrayed as a terrifying g...
ep. review

Log Horizon 2 ‒ Episode 18

So far, the kids' story has either dragged or maintained appeal by moving the focus outside of the kids themselves. This week, Log Horizon managed to pull off a stellar episode while still keeping the kids in center frame, offering a number of surprisingly thoughtful conversations and demonstrating both how these characters have grown and where they still have to go. Log Horizon is normally a sho...
ep. review

The Rolling Girls ‒ Episode 5

This episode was busy. In contrast to Thunderoad's very simple narrative from the last two episodes, this new arc is juggling all sorts of characters, allegiances, and sub-threads. And though it's not evoking the sincerity of the emotional moments from last week or matching the aesthetic merits of the first two episodes, it's still doing something worth sticking around for - telling a well-constr...
ep. review

Aldnoah.Zero ‒ Episode 17

For the second straight episode, Aldnoah.Zero has shown that it has not abandoned previously-established characters after all. While this is mostly a good thing, it does also smack a bit of being an afterthought. Last time around it was Martio and Inaho's elder sister Yuki, and each of them gets a little additional time here. Marito gets a scene with Colonel Magbaredge which suggests that her icy...
ep. review

GARO THE ANIMATION ‒ Episode 17

Didn't see that coming. I mean, I expected most of it. León was going to be wrenched away from rural life at some point, and while the family was always doomed, I thought that Lara might be immune. I was wrong. GARO added another notch to its woman-in-a-refrigerator count today, thrusting León back into the action by taking out his not-quite-girlfriend. Alfonso arrives at León's village (seemingl...
ep. review

The Idol M@ster Cinderella Girls ‒ Episode 5

There's a sad truth about Cinderella stories – only one girl gets the happy ending. In the case of The IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls, that's amended a bit in that only a few of the aspiring idols will be allowed to make their debuts, and for the girls who aren't chosen, that can feel a lot like being snubbed by Prince Charming at the ball. As we learned last week, our lucky cindermaids are Uzuki, M...
ep. review

Assassination Classroom ‒ Episode 4

"For someone who's supposedly a pro at infiltration and assassination, Irina's pretty terrible at her job."
ep. review

Shirobako ‒ Episode 17

"Shirobako is good at combining plot movement into character revelations, and this episode was no exception."
ep. review

Death Parade ‒ Episode 5

It's time to meet all those other characters dancing and singing in the opening theme, and learn much more about the machinery behind Quindecim.
ep. review

Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend ‒ Episode 4

"Megumi's nonplussed, even-tempered responses are a particular delight, as not even Tomoya's most demanding nature seems to faze her."
ep. review

Your lie in April ‒ Episode 16

"This is a transitional episode, an augur of things to come. It's the beginning of the end."

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