Episode Review — Anime

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ep. review

Love After World Domination ‒ Episode 6

Beach episodes are a common and well-worn anime trope, but Love After World Domination still manages to make it work so specifically within its setting and narrative that it feels seamless.
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Delicious Party Precure ‒ Episode 10

Even though the girls got their Heart Juicy Mixers this week, I think the more important piece of the story is Gentlu and how she's starting to crack.
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The Executioner and Her Way of Life ‒ Episode 7

“Port City of Libelle" is very much a transition episode, where the focus is primarily on delivering a lot of setup and exposition for what is to come in this second half of the series.
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The Demon Girl Next Door Season 2 ‒ Episode 6

If you had told me that this wasn't actually just the halfway point of the season, but a full-blown season finale, I would have believed you no questions asked.
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Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 2 ‒ Episode 7

After half a season skulking on the sidelines and threatening to do something significant, we finally get a look into our fang-faced first year's inner struggles, and there's some good stuff here.
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Spy×Family ‒ Episode 6

Not only is SPY x FAMILY an excellent spy spoof, but now it turns out that it's a pretty awesome Hana Yori Dango parody as well.
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Aharen-san wa Hakarenai ‒ Episode 7

This week Aharen-san takes things a step further, delving into unnerving horror the likes of which Higurashi could never dream of achieving.
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Komi Can't Communicate Season 2 ‒ Episode 15

While everything is still framed in a humorous and light-hearted way, the jokes in this episode felt more like set up for character introspection instead of wholly for the sake of breakout laughs.
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Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic- ‒ Episode 6

It's rare to come across a show that will make you feel frustrated and elated at the same time, but I suppose that's a testament to the quality of Kaguya-sama's writing.
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The Rising of The Shield Hero Season 2 ‒ Episode 6

This is probably the best-looking episode of the season so far, but the persistent issues with the show's writing make this arc-ending climax feel less satisfying than it should be
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Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These - Collision ‒ Episode 33

It's only a little surprising that the real spectacle is in seeing Yang work his way out of dealing with that pesky government inquiry.
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Skeleton Knight in Another World ‒ Episode 6

This Ariane-focused episode helps us learn more about the female warrior through her relationships with her family.
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I'm Quitting Heroing ‒ Episode 6

This week's episode hinges on the big reveal that our hero is actually not what he appears, nor is the world that we know.
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Ya Boy Kongming! ‒ Episode 7

We embark on the actual plot to accumulate those seemingly-insurmountable 100,000 Likes in a story so epic they make clear from the title this is but a 'Part 1.'
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Birdie Wing -Golf Girls' Story- ‒ Episode 6

Political bribes, explosive assassinations, sultry femme fatales, amnesiac prodigies–just another average day in the world of Birdie Wing!
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Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness ‒ Episode 6

With its sixth episode, Deiamon returns to the family theme with something of a vengeance, also giving us an episode that's much more cohesive than the previous two.
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A Couple of Cuckoos ‒ Episode 3

Even though we're only three weeks in, there's enough meat on the bone in terms of characterization and setup to entice, and the tried-and-true romcom antics between our leads make me feel right at home.
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Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie ‒ Episode 5

The riverside trip isn't shaking up the Shikimori-Izumi status quo, but sometimes predictability can be comforting, too.
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Healer Girl ‒ Episode 6

Along with some details we get about Reimi's home life later on, this episode peppers in some interesting hints at the cast's outside relationships and motivations, even if those seeds aren't ready to sprout quite yet.
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Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3 ‒ Episode 31

By stressing the major implications of the technology Main is introducing to this society, the series continues to demonstrate that it is a far cry from the simpler isekai stories that don't think about this sort of thing.
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Dance Dance Danseur ‒ Episodes 4-5

Emotions run high as Luou and Jumpei confront one another on stage in a riveting version of Swan Lake.
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Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs ‒ Episode 6

Like Angie and Livia, the queen is a fundamentally good person, but that doesn't mean she can't see through the BS of this world created by hack writers
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Love After World Domination ‒ Episode 5

Steel Princess gets her time to shine in this episode too. I think what makes her so hilarious is that she is framed as the straight-man character in the Gekko organization, with everyone else being the over-the-top foil.
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Delicious Party Precure ‒ Episode 9

Ran and Kokone are the preview of the drama to come, and that seems in line with the generally good world and story building that this show has been doing.
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Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 2 ‒ Episode 6

This season has shown it's capable of more meaningful and effective character drama, so the solution being “We asked all our friends to make phone calls offscreen to secure more performance venues” just doesn't cut it anymore.
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The Executioner and Her Way of Life ‒ Episode 6

If The Executioner and Her Way of Life had my curiosity before, it damn well has my attention now.
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Spy×Family ‒ Episode 5

We now have the very important knowledge that Twilight wears black underwear.
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The Demon Girl Next Door Season 2 ‒ Episode 5

Seriously, I cannot stress enough just how goddamned good this anime is at pacing out its reveals and drip-fed information, and how much it makes big payoffs like "Raid! The Pink Plan to Retake Shamiko!" work so well.
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Aharen-san wa Hakarenai ‒ Episode 6

Part of Aharen-san's charm this whole time has been how positively it's treated its cast. Throughout its run so far the show has never really punched down at their quirks or eccentricities.
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Komi Can't Communicate Season 2 ‒ Episode 14

Aside from Yamai's skit, the rest of the episode was cute, funny, and pretty straightforward. Even when Komi is coasting, there's still plenty to enjoy.
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The Rising of The Shield Hero Season 2 ‒ Episode 5

Similar to Rishia, I feel like Ost is another case of the show overcomplicating a character arc that should otherwise have been clear-cut by overemphasizing some aspects while not elaborating on others.
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Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic- ‒ Episode 5

Hayasaka admitting her frustrations while also rightfully calling out Kaguya for being at least partially responsible for them was extremely cathartic. And can you believe that all of this was conveyed through rap?
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Heroines Run the Show: The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task ‒ Episode 5

It's a dramatic episode full of highs and lows, but not all of them feel earned.
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Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These - Collision ‒ Episode 32

Seriously, if you've been missing LOGH as episodes of The Yang Show, this episode ought to sate you.
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I'm Quitting Heroing ‒ Episode 5

This episode struck a chord for me by approaching a realistic problem with a probable solution, even if the results were within fantasy norms.
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Ya Boy Kongming! ‒ Episode 6

This episode's centerpiece is a nearly ten-minute long rap battle between Kabe and Kongming.
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Skeleton Knight in Another World ‒ Episode 5

While this arc has been filled with great character development for both Arc and Ariane, one specter has loomed over the entire story so far: rape as a plot device.
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Birdie Wing -Golf Girls' Story- ‒ Episode 5

Eve and Aoi's reunion is a short putt when it comes to the golf hijinks, but it's a 400-yard drive when it comes to the golf yuri.
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Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness ‒ Episode 5

The first part of the episode covers Itsuka being very uncomfortable as Kanoko and Mitsuru bond, while the second is about the obon festival and how Nagomu's ramblin' grandma comes home to observe it.
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Healer Girl ‒ Episode 5

This episode definitely feels as aimless as an unprompted beach trip would in any other show, but there's still plenty to enjoy, if only for pure hijinks value.
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Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie ‒ Episode 4

This week's episode shifts the focus away from Shikimori and Izumi in an early summertime story about friendship and being considerate.
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A Couple of Cuckoos ‒ Episode 2

A lot of Nagi and Erika's relationship is going to be proverbial bridges. There are worlds between them, but it's precisely this dissonance that's keeping me hooked on the series.
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Love After World Domination ‒ Episode 4

I'm very happy with the way everything panned out between Haru, Desumi, and Fudo, which opts for a more down-to-earth resolution as opposed to adhering to conventional tropes.
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Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3 ‒ Episode 30

This episode brings some much-appreciated focus to Ascendance of a Bookworm, even if the new character Sylvester could come off as unjustly annoying.
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Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic- ‒ Episode 4

This episode continues to reinforce the reason why Kaguya is always so hard on Ishigami: she knows he has a stronger capacity to succeed.
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Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs ‒ Episode 5

This week's episode is all about unintended consequences and promises of revenge as the duel between Leon and the prince comes to a fitting conclusion.
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The Executioner and Her Way of Life ‒ Episode 5

I can't help but feel that it is a little cheap to reduce all of the potential complexity of Menou's turn against the church to “Evil old woman wants to kill magical isekais to be young again.”
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I'm Quitting Heroing ‒ Episode 4

Episode 4 is basically just a lunch date between Leo and Echidna, but it's the resolution that really sells the episode and I think it's handled quite well.
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Delicious Party Precure ‒ Episode 8

Gentlu's exhaustion and confusion suggest that she may not be fully aware that she's also Amane, which could indicate that her love of food (and Curesta, the in-world social media platform) was somehow perverted without her knowledge.
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Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 2 ‒ Episode 5

I like to think I'm pretty inoculated to Love Live! shipteasing. After four full seasons and two movies, it's kind of hard to get me to bite on anything this franchise throws at me. Or so I thought.
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The Demon Girl Next Door Season 2 ‒ Episode 4

Shamiko might have thought that conquering the magical girls and saving her father from his cardboard doom was an impossible challenge, but now our girl has to reckon with the cutthroat world of waiting tables.
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Spy×Family ‒ Episode 4

Loid may have fully prepared for every eventuality when it comes to Eden Academy's ludicrous screening process, but the actual interview makes him do something that he clearly never even considered would happen: act like a dad.
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The Rising of The Shield Hero Season 2 ‒ Episode 4

The author has done such a good job so far of making those three heroes come across as total jerks that it kind of feels weird having one of them be the motivation for another character's growth.
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Komi Can't Communicate Season 2 ‒ Episode 1

This premiere episode is a perfect summation of the show so far, combining very soft-spoken and relatable moments with over-the-top antics.
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Aharen-san wa Hakarenai ‒ Episode 5

Aharen-san has largely done a good job so far with either bookending episodes with new characters, or just setting up good transitions between each bit to help them flow together. That unfortunately goes away for this episode, and it leaves the whole thing feeling kind of slapdash.
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Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These - Collision ‒ Episode 31

In this set-up episode, we revisit the gaping hole that is Kircheis' absence as Hilde tries to fill in the void as Reinhard's personal council.
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Heroines Run the Show: The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task ‒ Episode 4

When I made that quip in my last review about an endgame polycule, I didn't expect the next episode to immediately canonize it.
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Skeleton Knight in Another World ‒ Episode 4

For first time, Arc finds himself as one of a party of three. We can already see the growing pains—and not just in terms of working as a group professionally.
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Ya Boy Kongming! ‒ Episode 5

Kongming continues his quest to find the perfect rapper. Will it be enough to catapult Eiko's social media post to 100,000 likes?
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Birdie Wing -Golf Girls' Story- ‒ Episode 4

Birdie Wing's fourth episode follows through with the most unhinged exultation of trashy lesbian camp I've seen from an anime in years.
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Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness ‒ Episode 4

Deaimon gives us one big question this week: is Nagomu's friend who taught him how to play the guitar also Itsuka's missing dad?
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Healer Girl ‒ Episode 4

Can the Healer Girls prep themselves for sitting in on an actual surgery? Sure, if they can survive a horror film marathon first.
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A Couple of Cuckoos ‒ SERIES PREMIERE

Could A Couple of Cuckoos be this generation's Toradora?
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Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie ‒ Episode 3

At first glance, episode 3 looks like it's shaping up to be the same old, same old. But what we get instead is a deeper look into how Izumi and Shikimori's vulnerabilities entangle in interesting ways.
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Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3 ‒ Episode 29

This is an episode that's very much a simple sequence of setups. It honestly feels less like an episode in its own right and more like the very beginnings of four or five different episodes.
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One Piece ‒ Episode 1015

Every time Megumi Ishitani has the wheel I know we're in for greatness, but my GOD what an episode. Can she do any wrong? I doubt it.
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Love After World Domination ‒ SERIES PREMIERE

Find out why reviewer Grant Jones has fallen head-over-heels for this series about a dorky hero-villain couple navigating the awkward bliss of first love.
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Dance Dance Danseur ‒ SERIES PREMIERE

Jumpei struggles to reconcile his ideas of masculinity with his passion for ballet, but a new bullied kid at his school might finally force him to choose.
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Delicious Party Precure ‒ Episode 7

Ran can be a lot to take, what with her high energy and Yum-Yum's very busy outfit, but I think she's going to solidify the team in a very powerful way.
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Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs ‒ Episode 4

Can budget animation enhance a show's storytelling, even unintentionally? Because that might actually be the case with this episode.
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I'm Quitting Heroing ‒ SERIES PREMIERE

The first three episodes of I'm Quitting Heroing feature strong comedy and a charming cast that is hampered by some confusing worldbuilding elements.
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Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 2 ‒ Episode 4

This is a remarkably somber and emotional setup for a franchise that's most at home with breezy humor and heavy melodrama. But it also feels like it's trying to do too much in too little time.
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The Executioner and Her Way of Life ‒ Episode 4

The episode manages that rare feat of dumping a lot of lore and whatnot on us throughout the flashback without ever getting lost in the sea of proper nouns and vague world-building like so many other shows do.
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Spy×Family ‒ Episode 3

What Loid's coming to learn in this episode isn't that Anya's going to be a kid no matter what, it's that having to rely on others to complete a sensitive mission may not be quite the walk in the park he thought it would be.
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The Demon Girl Next Door Season 2 ‒ Episode 3

Come for the funny jokes, and stay for the sincere and surprisingly deep story of a bunch of lonely girls that are doing their best to learn how to love and be loved again.
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Aharen-san wa Hakarenai ‒ Episode 4

We get some amazing fashion choices courtesy of Raido's imagination, hear some decently funny bars from our leads, and then we get out before anyone starts having Hypnosis Mic war flashbacks.
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Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic- ‒ Episode 3

Kaguya reveals her terrifying side as the subject of what constitutes cheating becomes the focus on this episode.
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The Rising of The Shield Hero Season 2 ‒ Episode 3

Naofumi and co. face off against the destructive turtle, but establishing a threat AND taking that threat out in the same episode doesn't have the impact that it could.
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Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These - Collision ‒ Episode 30

It had been a while since we saw them in Die Neue These, so I suppose it only makes sense that we check back in with the Dominion of Fezzan.
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Heroines Run the Show: The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task ‒ SERIES PREMIERE

Heroines Run the Show passes the three-episode test with aplomb. Find out how this idol show turns on the charm!
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Ya Boy Kongming! ‒ Episode 4

As the series gets comfortable in its formula, it's starting to look like Eiko and Kongming's business relationship is lopsided.
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Skeleton Knight in Another World ‒ Episode 3

Now that we're three episodes in it's safe to say we've established the status quo and here it is: as far as fantasy worlds go, this one objectively sucks to live in.
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Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story ‒ SERIES FINALE

What is perhaps the most striking about “Dawn of a Fragile Dream”, then, is how successfully it is able to provide a conclusion to this series that genuinely works in the span of only four episodes.
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Birdie Wing -Golf Girls' Story- ‒ SERIES PREMIERE

This isn't your dad's golf. Take your putters and plaid pants to the municipal course and bury them and yourself six feet under the fairway. This is the sport of kings, writ in the blood of your enemies.
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Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness ‒ SERIES PREMIERE

The calm, understated progression of them working through their worries across these first three episodes is a charming combination of slice-of-life and family drama.
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Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic- ‒ SEASON PREMIERE

Here it is everyone: the return of our socially-awkward teenagers who, after two seasons, still have little to no idea how to properly process their emotions.
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Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie ‒ SERIES PREMIERE

Truly, there's something fascinating about a series where the confession is said and done: it's a nice vehicle to a pleasant, low-stakes story about a cool girl and her clumsy boy.
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One Piece ‒ Episode 1014

The real meat of the episode is a rumination on what Wano means to Ace, and what Ace means to Wano.
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Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3 ‒ SEASON PREMIERE

Main's efforts at revolutionizing this world may have been borne out of her simple desire to bring more books into it, but you don't affect those kinds of seismic shifts without bringing without getting the attention of higher powers.
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Healer Girl ‒ SERIES PREMIERE

Healer Girl is an anime musical (yes that kind) that comes alive through its presentation, both visual and audio, to be an infectiously charming watch.
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The Demon Girl Next Door Season 2 ‒ SEASON PREMIERE

I mentioned the show's Big Gay Energy a bit in my preview guide coverage, but Shamiko's desire to make Momo laugh again has only sealed the deal on the ship.
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Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs ‒ SERIES PREMIERE

With the game's story so off track and his own chances of finding a nice girl and fading into the background seemingly non-existent, why not take a page out of Marie's book and go for full self-satisfaction—consequences be damned?
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Delicious Party Precure ‒ Episode 6

It's back! Delicious Party♡Precure has returned to remind everyone that you need to be careful on social media, because you never know if the bad guys are going to follow your Instagram feed to pick their targets.
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Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Season 2 ‒ Episodes 1-3

The new introductions have actually done quite a lot to address some of Nijigasaki's biggest weaknesses. Lanzhu of course made a hell of an entrance in the season opener, and I'm eager to learn more about what her deal is.
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Spy×Family ‒ SERIES PREMIERE

Going from orphan to daughter of a top-secret couple with secret missions? Yes, please!
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The Executioner and Her Way of Life ‒ SERIES PREMIERE

This series is a testament to how you don't need to completely rely on shocking twists and subverted expectations to deliver a good story.

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