Anime News Network's Holiday 2017 Gift Guide

Time's running out to find the perfect gift for the otaku in your life - our massive holiday gift guide is here for you, with six pages of the year's best figures, games, tech, blurays and more!

The List - 7 More Weird Anthro Projects

You've heard of ship girls (KanColle) and sword boys (Touken Ranbu), but these anthropomorphized anime characters are on another level of weirdness.

ANNCast - The Games of The Year 2017

2017 was a HUGE year for video games, so we've got a HUGE podcast counting down our Top 5 Games of 2017, with an all-star panel!

Answerman - How Does Merchandise For Live Action Anime Remakes Work?

Fox has the merchandise rights for Alita: Battle Angel, but James Cameron's company has the film rights. How does all of this work, anyway? Justin gets into it.

The 10 Best Episodes of One Piece

From the East Blue to Whole Cake Island, Sam Leach breaks down the top ten adventures of the Straw Hat crew and invites you to share your own favorite episodes of this legendary series.

The Best and Worst of the Season So Far: Week of Dec 3-9

Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond reaches for the top of the charts with a standout episode, while Dragon Ball Super comes down from its recent high. Find out where all your favorite series ranked this week!

Interview: Princess Principal Director Masaki Tachibana

The director of this summer's steampunk spy smash success Princess Principal goes in-depth on the show - and even discusses sequel potential!

This Week in Games: Bayonetta 3, Death Stranding, and More!

Heidi breaks down this week's explosion of news following The Game Awards: Street Fighter EX, new Soul Calibur, and Norman Reedus's fantastic fetus!
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ep. review

Season Finale: Welcome to the Ballroom ‒ Episode 24

"This conclusion rings a little hollow for a show that strangled itself with the “might have beens.”"
ep. review

Kino's Journey - the Beautiful World- ‒ Episode 11

"At long last, this episode gets us to directly addressing the issue of Kino's gender."
ep. review

Girls' Last Tour ‒ Episode 11

"In its penultimate episode, the show has finally turned to face the vast shadow that's hung over it from the very beginning: war."
review

Grimms Manga Tales GN

This collection of retold stories from the Brothers Grimm delivers some unusual choices and creative twists. Rebecca Silverman sorts through the best and worst of this anthology. ― Fairy tale retellings have been in vogue for quite some time now, and that's actually very much in keeping with the nature of the beast – by definition, fairy tales are stories that exist in multiple cultures and are passe...
ep. review

GARO -Vanishing Line- ‒ Episode 11

"Even in an episode as ostensibly lightweight as this one, GARO proves more and more that it's becoming an adventure worth sticking with for the long haul."
ep. review

Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth- ‒ Episode 11

"Despite some good bits of character and world building, there's almost too much going on in this episode."
ep. review

Yuki Yuna is a Hero Season 2 ‒ Episode 11

"Another potent episode whose impact isn't lightened in the slightest by the bursts of frivolity early on."
ep. review

Dies Irae ‒ Episode 10

"Unlike some previous episodes, this week actually delivers some entertainment value."
ep. review

Recovery of an MMO Junkie ‒ Episode 11

"This is as singular a focus on comedy as we've ever seen from Recovery of an MMO Junkie, and it's a definite success."
review

Genshiken: Second Season GN 11

While the Madarame harem arc has gone on far too long, this volume manages to find some of this series' strongest nuggets of drama in its twists and turns. Nick Creamer digs in. ― Genshiken's Madarame harem arc has gone on for a long, long time. It felt like an unrealistic nod to the original Genshiken's breakout character from the start, and since then, it's wound through so many repetitive turns th...
ep. review

Inuyashiki Last Hero ‒ Episode 10

"While there is one episode remaining, this week offers about as strong a finish as the series could have managed."
ep. review

King's Game The Animation ‒ Episode 11

"Thank goodness the old King's Game rollercoaster hit a definite upswing this week."
ep. review

Just Because! ‒ Episode 10

"Just Because! is like the romantic drama that takes place after your standard anime romance."
ep. review

Konohana Kitan ‒ Episode 11

"This warm and goodhearted series has proven to be the perfect way to enjoy a cozy winter's evening."
ep. review

URAHARA ‒ Episode 11

"Gorgeous background art improves the episode but can't save it from its own poor animation and tension-free plot."
review

The Rising of the Shield Hero Novel 9

The series stumbles a bit with this poorly paced volume, but Naofumi's rise nonetheless continues. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― It's a good thing that this is the final book in the “other other world” arc, because while there is technically enough plot to round the volume out, it is feeling a little thin. The book is focused on Naofumi and his party finally taking out Kyo, the maniac with the...
column

This Week in Anime - Whatever Happened to Welcome to the Ballroom?

Welcome to the Ballroom began as one of the most anticipated shows of the summer, but enthusiasm has dropped off sharply since then. We look back on what went wrong as the series waltzes toward its conclusion. ― Welcome to the Ballroom began as one of the most anticipated shows of last summer season, but enthusiasm has dropped off sharply since then. This week in anime, Nick and Jake track the series...
review

So I'm a Spider, So What? Novel 1

This isekai story starts a cut above the rest with a focus on multiple protagonists and one very unfortunate eight-legged reincarnation. Theron Martin explains what makes this series an engrossing read. ― Isekai (“transported to another world”) stories have dominated the Japanese light novel market over the past few years. This take on the concept is the second to be released recently in English in r...
ep. review

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ‒ Episode 37

"While it was basically a certainty that the entire class would band together at some point, it's still satisfying to see everyone join forces to outmaneuver more seasoned shinobi."
feature

The Fall 2017 Manga Guide - Final Update!

Our big fall manga guide has one last surprise update, with FIVE new December manga reviews!

Available Now: One Week Friends - Graineliers -
So I'm A Spider, So What? - A Terrified Teacher At Ghoul School - Angels of Death - Shiver - Splatoon - Astra Lost in Space - Neo Parasyte M - Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card - and much more!
― Welcome to Anime News Network's Fall Manga Guide! You may have see...
ep. review

Black Clover ‒ Episode 11

"Right now the show's hit-and-miss cast and near-suffocating padding are still Black Clover's biggest hurdles."
ep. review

Welcome to the Ballroom ‒ Episode 23

"This episode is a return to the show's old form, which doesn't do it any favors."
column

Answerman - Is It Worth Seeing 35mm Prints of Ghibli Movies?

They're still showing 35mm prints of Ghibli classics like Princess Mononoke in some revival theaters - but what's so special about 35mm? Justin has some thoughts. ― David asked: Hi! I've noticed that several art house theaters in the NY metro area have started showing 35mm version of Ghibli classics like Mononoke and Nausicaa. is there any real benefit to seeing these over the "regular versions" mor...
feature

What are the Best (and Worst) Works of Makoto Shinkai?

From She and Her Cat to Your Name., Anne Lauenroth ranks all of Makoto Shinkai's projects from top to bottom. What are your favorite creations by this distinctive director? ― Why do we wake up crying from a dream we've already begun to forget? Why does the feeling of loss linger after the memory of that dream has faded to a vague feeling of something that should be there but isn't? How can we long f...
ep. review

Food Wars! The Third Plate ‒ Episode 11

Azami's master plan to control all the restaurants in Japan is finally revealed as Soma faces down Tsukasa in culinary combat!
ep. review

Jūni Taisen: Zodiac War ‒ Episode 11

"This show seems determined to find every creatively engaging choice it could have made and then proceed to do the exact opposite."
review

Corpse Party: Blood Covered GNs 4-5

Corpse Party's conclusion diverges more from the game than ever before, but disappoints as a horror story. Rebecca Silverman explains what went wrong. ― These volumes, according to creators Toshimi Shinomiya and Makoto Kedouin, are where the manga adaptation of Corpse Party: Blood Covered really diverges from its game original. By this point the cast is most cut back down to its first game characters...
column

This Week in Anime - Will These MMO Junkies Live Happily Ever After?

Recovery of an MMO Junkie has been a wild ride, but it's finally time for Moriko and Sakurai to start a new chapter together. We speculate on the next horizon for this nerdy couple. ― Recovery of an MMO Junkie has been a wild ride, but it's finally time for Moriko and Sakurai to start a new chapter together. This week in anime, Michelle and Steve speculate what lies on the horizon for this nerdy coup...
column

Vice & Luna - The Kill La Killing Joke

Vice is absolutely determined to get his money's worth out of his old Kill La Kill cosplay, no matter what the cops say.
ep. review

Mr. Osomatsu Season 2 ‒ Episode 11

"This show wouldn't be half as good if it couldn't back up its crude humor with equally precise cinematic execution."
ep. review

UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 ‒ Episode 11

"The series is still racing through plot points just to get finale stuff set up, but at least now they're moderately engaging plot points."
review

Magical Girl Special Ops Asuka GN 1

Magical girls get a military makeover in this dark take on the genre. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― What do you think has been lacking from dark magical girl reboots? If you said “big ass guns and crippling PTSD,” then Magical Girl Special Ops Asuka might be the series for you! While the concept of the dark magical girl story is hardly new – those who remember the final moments of the last Nur...
ep. review

Himōto! Umaru-chan R ‒ Episode 10

"Most of this week's episode felt like the show was spinning its wheels, but it still takes just enough time to remind its audience that 90% of this show's cast are lovable dorks who you can't help but root for."
ep. review

A Sister's All You Need ‒ Episode 10

"If this episode was going to eschew the show's stronger elements in favor of teasing plot points, it should have at least made them worth teasing."
ep. review

Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond ‒ Episode 10

"I've been waiting for K.K's dedicated showcase for a long time, and I'm happy to say that it more than lives up to expectations."
ep. review

Anime-Gataris ‒ Episode 10

"It's safe to say that Anime-Gataris has officially gone off the rails."
ep. review

Gintama ‒ Episode 339

"As usual, Gintama manages to up the ante in the humor department and leave audiences wondering, “What the heck did I just watch?”"
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 817

"The core of this episode is a great hook that suffers from the usual pacing problems pushed to their extreme, as well as art that sporadically drops in quality."
ep. review

March comes in like a lion ‒ Episode 31

"Although March's narrative may wander this way and that, its overarching trajectory reflects the confidence of a master storyteller."
ep. review

Land of the Lustrous ‒ Episode 10

"Another episode of beauty in motion, made unstable by a frightening new enemy."
ep. review

Dragon Ball Super ‒ Episode 119

"This week, we finally come down from our action-packed adrenaline high and get back to basics."
ep. review

The Ancient Magus' Bride ‒ Episode 10

"The time is right to go back to the past and answer at least some of the questions teased about Elias' nature and backstory."
column

Answerman - Why Are Anime Voices Recorded After Animation Is Done?

We frequently hear about how in Western animation, performances are often taped before animation really starts - but the opposite is apparently true in Japan. Justin gets into it. ― James asked: Some time ago, you stated that one of the major differences between western animation and Japanese animation is that, in western animation, all dialogue is recorded first, and then the animation is done to m...
ep. review

BLEND-S ‒ Episode 10

"This episode has a “back to basics” vibe, as the show puts most of its energy into making a simple premise work well."
ep. review

Love Live! Sunshine!! ‒ Episode 23

"This episode hit all the right notes, and it may have been one of the series' best to date."
column

Shelf Life - Initial D Legend 1: Awakening

Paul gets into the recent film remake of this gearhead classic, along with all this week's new anime releases! ― I really liked the ending of Recovery of an MMO Junkie this week, but now I'm starting to realize that the early finale means I'll have to get through the rest of the season without it. You know a series is good when the thought of not having new episodes to watch makes you feel a little ...
review

Fruits Basket Limited Edition Blu-Ray

One of the most beloved shojo anime of all time comes to Blu-ray in this "sweet sixteen" special edition set! Rebecca Silverman looks back on how this heartwarming classic has held up sixteen years later. ― Back when it was first released, Fruits Basket, based on the manga of the same name by Natsuki Takaya, was a sensation. Combining elements of fantasy, slice-of-life, and reverse harem romance come...
ep. review

Code:Realize -Guardian of Rebirth- ‒ Episode 10

"The endgame is well underway now, but Cardia isn't the wilting blossom she was when the series began."
column

The Mike Toole Show - Lastman, Standing

Mike devours a few episodes of the genre-smashing French action cartoon Lastman and wonders - is this anime? ― Earlier this year I was at the Crunchyroll Expo, where I hosted a bunch of discussion panels and presented a couple of my own. The homogenous look and omnipresent Crunchyroll branding took some getting used to, but it was ultimately an energetic and well-run show, a deft mix of the stuff I l...
ep. review

Kino's Journey - the Beautiful World- ‒ Episode 10

"This episode's climactic scene is a great encapsulation of the thematic and emotional complexity that I originally expected from Kino's Journey 2017 going in."
review

My Monster Secret GN 6

My Monster Secret’s sixth volume maintains its madcap romcom appeal in spite of some predictably glacial pacing. Nick Creamer has the details. ― At last, it's time for action. As My Monster Secret's sixth volume opens, our hero Asahi reiterates his determination to actually confess to his vampiric classmate Shiragami. Having been spurred into action by the courage of his childhood friend Mikan, he's ...
ep. review

GARO -Vanishing Line- ‒ Episode 10

"I'm shocked to report that not only is Luke's first solo outing good, it's one of GARO's best episodes yet."
ep. review

Yuki Yuna is a Hero Season 2 ‒ Episode 10

"If last episode was one of the action highlights of this second season, then this episode represents one of its dramatic highlights."
ep. review

Dies Irae ‒ Episode 9

"Giant fighting skeletons are one of the very few points of enthusiasm that this series can offer at the moment."
ep. review

Series Finale: Recovery of an MMO Junkie ‒ Episode 10

This massively multiplayer online romance comes to a heartwarming conclusion, but there's still room for a bonus episode next week!
column

The List - 7 More Manga for Monster Girl Lovers

With Monster Musume and Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid in the rearview mirror and a few more weeks to wait before Killing Bites next season, here are seven great monster girl manga to whet your appetite. ― Back in 2015, monster girls were all the rage thanks to Okayado's hit Monster Musume. The anime adaptation was one of the first to introduce a harem of all non-human girls. It also successfully marr...
ep. review

Girls' Last Tour ‒ Episode 10

"As we approach the show's conclusion, our heroines have made a significant gain, but that also makes me suspicious of some impending loss on the horizon…"
review

The Promised Neverland GN 1

Shonen Jump's rising hit series captivates with a dark tale about a cruel and unusual home for orphans. Rebecca Silverman plunges the depths of this promising new title. ― When Jonathan Swift published his satirical treatise on why the economic crisis in Ireland could be solved by eating children in 1729, it took him until the final lines to clue his readers in on the joke. The Promised Neverland tak...
ep. review

Inuyashiki Last Hero ‒ Episode 9

"This series understands how to exploit violence to dramatic effect without descending too deeply into crass sensationalism."
column

ANNCast - Ecchi Sketches

Jacob Grady, FAKKU founder and freshly-minted owner of Kitty Media drops by ANNCast for another round of questions and answers about the business of ero (plus skateboards). ― ANNCast Episode 313 - Ecchi Sketches Jacob Grady, FAKKU founder and freshly-minted owner of Kitty Media drops by ANNCast for another round of questions and answers about the business of ero (plus skateboards). You can listen to...
ep. review

King's Game The Animation ‒ Episode 10

"After ten episodes of going on about saving everyone, our alleged hero Nobuaki finally demonstrates his desire to try and save the other contestants."
column

Answerman - What Is The Purpose Of Recap Episodes?

Recap episodes pop up in plenty of anime, retelling parts of a story you just watched. Why do these recap episodes exist in the age of streaming? Justin gets into it. ― It's the holiday season, so people are pretty busy. There's gift-buying, there's decorating, there are parties and for students, final exams. But that also means my questions tend to run dry, so if you can spare a moment, please send...
ep. review

Just Because! ‒ Episode 9

"Just Because! may be approaching a conclusion, but that doesn't mean these kids are any closer to figuring out how to be adults."
feature

The Best Fate Servants to Summon For Winning a Holy Grail War

Who would come out on top in the ultimate contest for the Holy Grail? Gabriella Ekens has your guide to the best Heroic Spirits in every class that will guarantee your victory as a Master! ― Now that we've learned the backstories of all those famous characters here on Fate Fridays, we can proceed to the Fate universe's central question: who would win the fight for the Holy Grail? I've looked over all...
review

Honey So Sweet GN 8

The charming shoujo series ends much as it began - sweet and cute enough to give you cavities. Rebecca Silverman reflects on this heartwarming story's conclusion. ― There isn't much to wrap up in Amu Meguro's tooth-rottingly adorable shoujo romance Honey So Sweet. Nao and Taiga are together. They're happy. They plan to be together for the duration. Short of manufacturing a dreadful disease or a paren...
feature

The Best and Worst of the Season So Far: Week of Nov 26-Dec 2

Land of the Lustrous remains on top of the throne, but March races up 7 places! Find out how your favorite shows performed in our weekly user rankings! ― Our team of reviewers are following 31 anime series of the Fall 2017 season and readers are rating each episode as the reviews go up. So let's have a look at what ANN readers consider the best (and worst) of the season. Keep in mind that these rank...
column

This Week in Anime - A Sister's All You Need...But Is It Really?

To call this romcom divisive would be a gross understatement, mixing wry observations on the publishing industry with a heap of eyebrow-raising fetishes. Is this show's journey worth taking despite several miles of speedbumps? ― To call A Sister's All You Need. divisive would be a gross understatement, as a romcom that mixes wry observations on the publishing industry with a heap of eyebrow-raising f...
ep. review

Konohana Kitan ‒ Episode 10

"Konohana Kitan remains one of the most humbly excellent series I've seen all year."
ep. review

URAHARA ‒ Episode 10

"Once as pretty and insubstantial as cotton candy, URAHARA has slowly become more engaging as it's gradually forced its protagonists into increasingly dire situations."
column

This Week in Games: You Should Be Playing Better Fanservice Games

School Girl/Zombie Hunter prompts Heidi to wonder, "why don't people play GOOD fanservice games?" PLUS: The return of Megaman, My Hero Academia and more! ― It's going to be an interesting weekend for game announcements. The Game Awards will be broadcasting tonight, and amongst all the cringe-inducing advertising there should be some big game announcements and trailers -- including, most likely, some...
ep. review

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations ‒ Episode 36

"One of Boruto's best action episodes to date."
review

Wolf & Parchment Novel 1

This sequel to Hasekura's long-running Spice & Wolf series flips the emphasis from economics to religion and opens the story's world up to new readers once again. Theron Martin takes a closer look. ― After finishing his Spice and Wolf novel series, Isuna Hasekura followed it up with some short stories set many years later. Two of those set the stage for this new series, which is technically a spin-of...
ep. review

Food Wars! The Third Plate ‒ Episode 10

"Food Wars doesn't usually have trouble showing rather than telling, but there's always an exception."
ep. review

Black Clover ‒ Episode 10

"This is at least the best looking and slickest directed episode of the show to date, wrapping up the Lord Heath conflict successfully."
column

Answerman - What Resolution Are Early Digipaint Shows Made At?

Anime from the early 2000s often look kinda blurry and a little washed-out, even in HD - why do they look that way? Justin gets in to the technical details. ― Ryan asked: As you covered before, in the early 2000s anime transitioned to being animated in a totally digital format. This locks the finished product to a set resolution. So my question is: what was the average resolution of a movie produced...
interview

Interview: Live-Action Fullmetal Alchemist Director Fumihiko Sori

"The original manga is a very deep story, and I wanted the movie to be as profound." Our interview with the director of the live-action Fullmetal Alchemist is live now! ― Earlier this year, the hotly anticipated live-action Fullmetal Alchemist movie made its overseas premiere at AnimeNYC. To commemorate this event, the director himself, Fumihiko Sori, attended the convention on Sunday. I was lucky en...
feature

The Most Underrated Shonen Jump Manga

From wild premises that were canceled too soon to brilliant stories that have slowly been gaining steam, Nicholas Dupree illuminates the best shonen manga gems that you may have overlooked. ― In the West, Shonen Jump is nearly synonymous with hit anime series. From Dragonball to One Piece to Naruto, the magazine has a well-earned legacy of crowd-pleasing action and adventure, but those hits aren't qu...
ep. review

Jūni Taisen: Zodiac War ‒ Episode 10

"Episode 10 of Juni Taisen is a perfect demonstration of how this show can come so close to telling an emotionally affecting story, only to be held back by its usual shortcomings."
review

Mixed Bathing in Another Dimension Novels 1-2

Despite its fanservicey premise, this is a fun series with an interesting plot and refreshing attitudes about sexuality and consent. Rebecca Silverman has the details. ― Mixed Bathing in Another Dimension's premise may be one of the more openly sleazy of the wish-fulfillment light novels. Not only is it the now-ubiquitous isekai tale of an ordinary Japanese high school boy summoned to another world a...
ep. review

Mr. Osomatsu Season 2 ‒ Episode 10

"While Mr. Osomatsu didn't exhaust all of its animation budget this week, it nonetheless provided some golden moments."
column

This Week in Anime - Who's the MVP of Libra in Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond?

This second season has expanded the series' initial focus on Leonardo to give more love to the rest of its eccentric cast. Nick and Steve explore how this ensemble approach is working out so far. ― Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond has expanded its focus on Leonardo from the first season to give more love to the rest of its eccentric cast. This week in anime, Nick and Steve explore how this ensembl...
column

Vice & Luna - Waiting for Netflix

A shattered future. A past full of regrets. A world we barely recognize. And then, an update from Netflix...
ep. review

UQ Holder! Magister Negi Magi! 2 ‒ Episode 10

"The smart pacing of the previous arcs is all but gone as UQ Holder fumbles about trying to assemble an epic finale."
review

Tokyo Ghoul:re GNs 1-2

Sui Ishida shifts from Frankenstein to Kafka in this sequel series that brings the CCG and the ghouls closer than ever before. Rebecca Silverman dives into this dark continuation. ― “I have a curious animal, half kitten, half lamb.” That's the opening line of Franz Kafka's 1931 short story A Crossbreed, a piece referenced both overtly and obliquely in the next arc of Sui Ishida's Tokyo Ghoul manga, T...
ep. review

Anime-Gataris ‒ Episode 9

"This back-and-forth subversion of audience expectations is fascinating, but it can also be exhausting."
ep. review

Himōto! Umaru-chan R ‒ Episode 9

"Some of the stories will make you laugh, others might make you tear up a little, and a few of them whiz by without making an impression at all."
column

Answerman - Why Are Some Anime Fans So Cynical?

Like most fandoms, anime fans can sometimes be pretty wildly cynical - where does that attitude come from, and is it justified? Justin gets into it. ― John asked: This has been a question that has been bothering me for some time. Why are most anime fans cynical? It seems as though the joy of anime has been sucked out of them and all they see is the bad. Yet they still watch. And complain. I wish thi...
ep. review

A Sister's All You Need ‒ Episode 9

"While all the outrageous action that occurs in this episode is pointedly shallow, there are surprisingly some strong ideas in this mess of fetishes and pandering."
ep. review

Gintama ‒ Episode 338

"The Slip Arc's twisted tale of dueling idol units enters its second chapter as Galaxy Kingdom Bitches begins its all-out assault on Booger Diamonds 48."
ep. review

Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond ‒ Episode 9

"In the second half of this jumbo-sized two-parter, Leo's little friend has turned into a major problem for Hellsalem's Lot."
column

Shelf Life - Flying Witch

James takes a look at this uniquely soothing series about witches in the countryside, while Paul runs down all this week's new releases and a festive Shelf Obsessed! ― It's that time of year when putting together the new release list becomes more of an adventure than usual. There's a bunch of stuff coming out as publishers try to make it in time for the holidays, prices are all over the place as ret...
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 816

"This episode cuts straight to the heart of what there is to love about One Piece's more melodramatic side."

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