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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...
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...
"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."
"Right now the show's hit-and-miss cast and near-suffocating padding are still Black Clover's biggest hurdles."
"This episode is a return to the show's old form, which doesn't do it any favors."
Azami's master plan to control all the restaurants in Japan is finally revealed as Soma faces down Tsukasa in culinary combat!
"This show seems determined to find every creatively engaging choice it could have made and then proceed to do the exact opposite."
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...
"This show wouldn't be half as good if it couldn't back up its crude humor with equally precise cinematic execution."
"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."
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...
"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."
"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."
"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."
"As usual, Gintama manages to up the ante in the humor department and leave audiences wondering, “What the heck did I just watch?”"
"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."
"Although March's narrative may wander this way and that, its overarching trajectory reflects the confidence of a master storyteller."
"Another episode of beauty in motion, made unstable by a frightening new enemy."
"This week, we finally come down from our action-packed adrenaline high and get back to basics."
"The time is right to go back to the past and answer at least some of the questions teased about Elias' nature and backstory."
"This episode has a “back to basics” vibe, as the show puts most of its energy into making a simple premise work well."
"This episode hit all the right notes, and it may have been one of the series' best to date."
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...
"The endgame is well underway now, but Cardia isn't the wilting blossom she was when the series began."
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...
"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."
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 ...
"I'm shocked to report that not only is Luke's first solo outing good, it's one of GARO's best episodes yet."
"If last episode was one of the action highlights of this second season, then this episode represents one of its dramatic highlights."
"Giant fighting skeletons are one of the very few points of enthusiasm that this series can offer at the moment."
This massively multiplayer online romance comes to a heartwarming conclusion, but there's still room for a bonus episode next week!
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...
"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…"
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...
"This series understands how to exploit violence to dramatic effect without descending too deeply into crass sensationalism."
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...
"After ten episodes of going on about saving everyone, our alleged hero Nobuaki finally demonstrates his desire to try and save the other contestants."
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...
"Just Because! may be approaching a conclusion, but that doesn't mean these kids are any closer to figuring out how to be adults."
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...
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...
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...
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...
"Konohana Kitan remains one of the most humbly excellent series I've seen all year."
"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."
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...
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...
"Food Wars doesn't usually have trouble showing rather than telling, but there's always an exception."
"This is at least the best looking and slickest directed episode of the show to date, wrapping up the Lord Heath conflict successfully."
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...
"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...
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...
"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."
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...
"While Mr. Osomatsu didn't exhaust all of its animation budget this week, it nonetheless provided some golden moments."
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...
A shattered future. A past full of regrets. A world we barely recognize. And then, an update from Netflix... ―
"The smart pacing of the previous arcs is all but gone as UQ Holder fumbles about trying to assemble an epic finale."
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...
"This back-and-forth subversion of audience expectations is fascinating, but it can also be exhausting."
"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."
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...
"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."
"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."
"In the second half of this jumbo-sized two-parter, Leo's little friend has turned into a major problem for Hellsalem's Lot."
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...
"This episode cuts straight to the heart of what there is to love about One Piece's more melodramatic side."
Genshiken revs its harem shenanigans up to a fever pitch in a volume that pits suitor against suitor. Nick Creamer has the details. ― If you're still reading Genshiken at this point, you've likely accepted that it is no longer the manga it once was. A story that was initially renowned for its thoughtful realism and nuanced articulation of fandom friendships has gone through plentiful ups and downs si...
"Rei's limited ability to help the people he cares about spins in a different direction this week when he overhears Shimada discussing Nikaidou's flagging health."
"Even in a new and serious era for Phos, the story retains a lightness and whimsy that expresses the full emotional spectrum of the series."
"The stronger part of this week's episode is doubtless the first part, which gives us Kugimiya's history as a dancer."
"Instead of getting to see the series flex its comedic muscle, we have to watch it fumble around in search of new material."
"Welcome to Kino's variety episode! This potpourri week was mostly boring, but there's one genuinely thought-provoking brainteaser in the mix for once."
"With no one to fight or send off to the other side this week, Chise has a lot of time to ponder over the nature of love and relationships."
"While the concept behind this episode was sweet, the execution didn't quite live up to the message."
"Issues of life and death have always been part of Code: Realize's plot, but they're really coming to the fore now as our heroes head into what may be the final battle."
"This was an imperfect but necessary episode, an opportunity for Sword and Sophie to take a much-needed journey with one another."
"As it should at this point in the story, this episode raises all kinds of questions about what we and the girls don't yet know about the big picture."
"There are some signs of potentially intriguing plots and philosophical connections here, so it's a shame the execution overall is so poor."
"The humor doesn't stop, nor does the show's recent streak of fantastic fight animation."
This revival of Go Nagai's classic horror manga is not for the faint of heart. Theron Martins details how well this reboot captures the Devilman spirit for new and prior fans. ― The Devilman franchise has been around in one form or another since 1972. This manga from 2012 is a reimagining of the premise to celebrate the franchise's 40th anniversary and provide a gateway into the franchise for a new g...
"This episode manages to sweep some of the show's messier plot points under the rug, thanks in large part to the charming interactions between the main characters."
'Tis the season to be happy these Kris Kringles won't be coming down your chimney! Here's a Saint Nick or seven who don't seem to have much yuletide cheer. ― The holiday season is upon us, although department stores started blaring Christmas music over the intercom well before Thanksgiving. Whether you're already over the festivities (STRESS! AWKWARD FAMILY GATHERINGS!) or will be up on Christmas mo...
"After last week's atmospheric and thematic showstopper of an episode, I'm surprised that Girls' Last Tour managed to deliver another all-time-high so quickly."
This heartfelt marriage of historical fantasy and bishounen comedy delivers just enough twists on formula to tickle any fangirl's fancy. Rose Bridges details what this manga has to offer new readers and fans of the anime adaptation alike. ― The Royal Tutor is the latest bishonen-filled comedy hit, and it's much like the ones that came before it. Think of it as the humor and affectionate nature of an ...
Jacob and Zac dive back into the romcom world of Recovery of an MMO Junkie, catch up with The Ancient Magus' Bride, do a little arthouse movie roundup plus your Twitter questions! ― ANNCast Episode 312 - MMOtivation Jacob and Zac dive back into the romcom world of Recovery of an MMO Junkie, catch up with The Ancient Magus Bride, do a little arthouse movie roundup plus your Twitter questions! You can...
You've probably experienced it yourself: you buy a bunch of manga, and over the years, the pages slowly turn yellow. What's up with that? Justin gets in-depth. ― Ivan asked: Something i've noticed over the years is how manga (more than modern American comics) tend to yellow over time. It is so rapid that I notice brand new issues from major publishers begin to change from white to yellow within a ye...
Our FATE FRIDAYS feature continues with Gabriella Ekens' breakdown of the legends behind the home team of the Great Holy Grail War! ― This is the second half of our Fate Fridays feature on the stories behind the heroic spirits of Fate/Apocrypha, but you can read all about the Servants of Black in the first half here! After detailing the legends behind Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night, Fate/Apocrypha pre...
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