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ep. review

Sailor Moon Crystal: Season III ‒ Episode 31

"And the Most Awesome Transformation of the Week prize goes to…Sailor Mercury!"
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 739

"The One Piece anime has been on a roll lately as we power through all the post-arc shenanigans."
ep. review

Kumamiko - Girl meets Bear ‒ Episode 5

"This episode exemplifies Kumamiko's problem of being unsure what kind of show it wants to be: not quite a goofy comedy or an ongoing personal dramedy."
column

Answerman - Why Do Manga Artists Prefer To Stay Anonymous?

Famous mangaka for series like Death Note can be famously withdrawn from the public eye, rarely granting interviews or even pictures. What's with that? ― Federico asks: Why in recent years are manga artists so obsessed with privacy, to the point we know next to nothing about them? Decades ago they had no problem in being interviewed, filmed, photographed, and mostly anyone who was interested in thei...
ep. review

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress ‒ Episode 3

"Like all great blockbusters, Kabaneri's not afraid to take things a little bit stupid with a whole lot of style."
ep. review

Joker Game ‒ Episode 4

"Episode 4 is a major step up from everything that's come before in terms of raw, undiluted commentative bite."
ep. review

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- ‒ Episode 5

"After a couple of milder episodes, the visuals have gone back to being quite graphic, and the musical score is certainly hitting its stride."
ep. review

High School Fleet ‒ Episode 4

"This episode remains harmlessly watchable even in its slowest moments, but it lacks some of the impact that helped earlier episodes stand out."
ep. review

Kiznaiver ‒ Episode 4

"The show still has plenty of potential, but this was not one of its better episodes."
ep. review

The Asterisk War ‒ Episode 17

"This battle does not disappoint, with both sides putting on a satisfying display of back-and-forth one-upmanship."
ep. review

Ace Attorney ‒ Episode 5

"Ace Attorney is still no masterpiece, but this quality bump makes me way more optimistic for the show going forward."
ep. review

Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto ‒ Episode 3

"With its general formula established, Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto delivers its funniest (and darkest) episode yet."
ep. review

My Hero Academia ‒ Episode 5

"I don't think there's a single second of this episode that I don't like."
column

The Mike Toole Show - Food Wars for Thought

Mike tries out the flashy shonen cooking action of Food Wars, but an enticing aroma leads him further to Oishinbo, the series that really catapulted food manga into popular consciousness. Let's eat! ― I've spent the last couple of weeks commuting back and forth to the library, in pursuit of a particular manga series. You may remember, from my Monster Girl Hoedown column, that I'm quite fond of levera...
ep. review

Ushio & Tora ‒ Episode 31

"Today's story is Nagare's story and it's a doozy, but things always come back to Ushio."
ep. review

Concrete Revolutio ‒ Episode 17

"Episode 17 demonstrates how far Concrete Revolutio has come. Something like this would have been a complete mess in the first season, but it still manages to make sense as a story, even if it's thematically confused."
review

The Gods Lie GN

The Gods Lie is a bittersweet coming-of-age story about two children finding solace in each other told in a quiet, understated style that tugs gently at your heartstrings without going overboard. ― There are many different kinds of lies: small ones, harmful ones, and, most insidious, the ones you desperately want to believe. There comes a point during growing up when you begin to understand that last...
ep. review

Flying Witch ‒ Episode 4

"Okay, maybe this episode of Flying Witch slants a bit more heavily into the “magical” part of its magical realism aesthetic."
ep. review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable ‒ Episode 5

"I keep underestimating how much Diamond is Unbreakable seems to draw from horror stories, as now we straight up have a monster sneaking around this creaking house."
ep. review

The Lost Village ‒ Episode 5

"At this point, I feel confident in saying that The Lost Village has hit its stride."
column

The List - 12 Lovable Anime Monkeys

They said it couldn't be done, but when asked to compile a list of monkeys in anime, you simply can't have less than twelve, including Dragon Ball Z, Blood Blockade Battlefront and much more! ― Our regular list-maker extraordinaire, Lynzee Loveridge, is going on hiatus for a couple weeks, so I'll be filling in while she's away. My name's Jacob Chapman, and this week, I've got monkeys on my mind. Why...
ep. review

Shōnen Maid ‒ Episode 3

"Like the previous episode, this one largely feels more like a collection of moments than a couple of cohesive stories."
ep. review

Big Order ‒ Episode 3

"The show can't stick with a single tone or train of thought for more than a few minutes, and it's making the already fragile façade of its plot come apart at the seams."
review

Idol Dreams GN 2

The second volume of Arina Tanemura's magical woman story brings us into the past and mind of the series' de-facto mascot character, Tokita, as she continues to play with the magical girl genre. ― Why is Tokita helping Chikage to relive her adolescence? Volume one of Arina Tanemura's magical woman story implies that it's just because she was his first love back in the 9th grade, but is that really en...
column

Answerman - Is Funimation Entering the UK Market?

One reader wants to know if Funimation's streaming expansion into the UK means they're interested in selling blurays in the UK too. Justin gets into it. ― Marco asks: Last year Manga Entertainment's sub-license of Funimation titles for release in the UK ended. Today Funimation titles Funimation appear on Amazon UK, offered directly from Funimation themselves. This month Funimation Launched their Fun...
feature

All Might vs. Superman: How Our Heroes Are Different

What is it that makes the superheroes in Japan's megasize hits One-Punch Man and My Hero Academia feel so different from our old friends Iron Man and Batman? The differences are wider than you might think. ― Superheroes are extremely popular right now. Regardless of how you feel about the trend of a new comic-based movie or television series premiering every five minutes, it's undeniable that cape-we...
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 458

Itachi's Story concludes and Naruto finally returns to its main storyline after over 30 episodes of filler! Was it worth the wait?
review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Part 2 GN 3

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is just as insane as ever with its overpowered fights and insane anatomy. This volume adds some emotional heft to the story as well, forcing Jojo himself to do some growing up. ― Are you excited for more Jojo after the cliffhanger of volume two?! Hirohiko Araki sure is! He wants you to know that every sentence is important, too, or that nearly every word spoken in Battle Tend...
ep. review

Assassination Classroom season 2 ‒ Episode 16

"Even as it rewrites its own rules, Assassination Classroom manages to create compelling human drama through the relationship between Aguri and the Reaper."
ep. review

And you thought there is never a girl online? ‒ Episode 4

"Netoge is still no artistic wonder, and at this point it's only really toying with a sense of depth, though it is still leaving room for development."
ep. review

Bungo Stray Dogs ‒ Episode 4

"Bungo Stray Dogs is still working to get its feet on the ground this week, and it really needs to find the balance between humor and action."
column

The X Button - Interview: Tekken 7

This week: Producer Katsuhiro Harada on Tekken 7 and the world of fighting games! Plus a Suda51 classic, Exist Archive, old computer novelties, and the return of Valkyrie Profile! ― It's hard to know where to start when discussing Prince. He leaves behind an immense body of work, even if you ignore the massive archive of material he never released in his lifetime. Well, this is a column about video ...
ep. review

Twin Star Exorcists ‒ Episode 4

"Twin Star Exorcists has a penchant for featuring exorcists and love interests who are content to just be fairly pleasant people."
review

Review: Love Live! School Idol Project Season 2 Blu-Ray

Love Live returns for a second season marked by the same plentiful strengths and frustrating weaknesses as the first. ― Love Live! is back! Having saved their school and stopped Kotori from traveling overseas last season, things have finally settled down for Honoka and the others. But of course, it wouldn't be a school idol show without dramatic conflict, so the team is swiftly thrust into preparatio...
column

Answerman - Is Hollywood Pillaging Anime And Manga For Material?

Everyone's up in arms about Ghost in the Shell, but the charge that Hollywood steals material from anime and manga has been around forever. Is there any truth to it? ― Eldar asks: In a wake of Ghost in the Shell whitewashing controversy, I keep hearing rants about how creatively bankrupt Hollywood is and how it's going to ruin every anime ever made. But, I can count the number of anime/manga adaptat...
feature

Your Favorite Anime Mascot

They capture your heart and, more significantly, your money - from Haro to Ryo-Ohki, our critics pick their favorite anime mascot characters, and we'd love to hear yours! ― Though their relative ubiquity has declined somewhat since the 90s, mascot characters have been a staple of anime forever; your first piece of anime merchandise might've likely been a Kuroneko keychain or a Keroberos plush doll. T...
review

Durarara!! Novels 1-3

The first three light novels in the Durarara!! saga are out in English, so Gabriella Ekens plunges in to see just how the novels stack up to the anime thus far. ― If you've been an anime fan for any amount of time, you're most likely already familiar with Durarara!!. First airing in 2009, it's about supernatural (and just plain weird) events going down in Ikebukuro, one of Tokyo's busiest districts. ...
feature

The Best and Worst of the Season So Far: Weeks of Apr 1-21

The results are in from the first round of voting on Spring 2016's anime lineup! Find out which shows are already breaking out and which might already be heading for the scrap heap. ― Our team of reviewers are following 24 anime series of the Spring 2016 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 seas...
review

No-Rin BD+DVD

Though it doesn't quite amount to much more than a fleeting good time, there's plenty of fanservice and a few decent jokes in this raunchy comedy. ― The basic premise – a city-bred idol retires to the country, where she gets indoctrinated into the ways of agriculture – seems ripe for all manner of “fish out of water” situations, and to an extent this 12 episode series from 2014 does use that approach...
ep. review

Sailor Moon Crystal: Season III ‒ Episode 30

"Despite all its important revelations, this week's episode feels a little slow, as if it wasn't put together quite right."
ep. review

Kumamiko - Girl meets Bear ‒ Episode 4

"There's still a lot to like in this show, but it needs to spread its repertoire out a bit. Every joke gets stale if you tell it too many times."
column

Answerman - How Hard Is It To License Western Music For Use In Anime?

Savage Garden is in Jojo's Bizarre Adventure! How does that happen, how much does it cost, and how tough is it to get those music rights for anime? Justin dives in. ― Chris asks: With the release of Jojo 4 using the hit song "I Want You" by Savage Garden. I am wondering how do they get this song to play on legal streamers? Considering it may be an expensive song. Is streaming not the same as buying ...
column

Shelf Life - Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie

There's a brand-new Ghost in the Shell movie, based on the ARISE series - does it retain the cyberpunk charm of the original? Paul finds out. PLUS: All of this week's new anime DVD and bluray releases! ― I've gotten into the habit of taking notes as I watch anime for my episode reviews here on ANN, but it's usually nothing all that extensive. A few character names here, an important item or location...
review

Gundam Evolve

This collection of shorts from across the Gundam Universe features the return of Heero Yuy (for a few moments, anyway), but struggles to be anything more than a curiosity. Lauren Orsini straps in. ― Right now, Gundam is booming overseas and parent company Sunrise has taken note. In the second half of 2015, the company partnered with anime retailer Right Stuf to re-release six series from the classic ...
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 738

"I really was not expecting to enjoy this episode as much as I did."
ep. review

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- ‒ Episode 4

"It would be nice if the technical merits were a little stronger, but there's still enough intriguing stuff going on here to keep viewers coming back."
ep. review

Flying Witch ‒ Episode 3

"The show's fundamental contrast between rural and magical life is extremely strong, and this episode elaborated on that platform with a variety of nice gags and endearing experiences."
ep. review

My Hero Academia ‒ Episode 4

"Our feet have stepped forward onto school ground and thus the "Academia" part of the title is in full effect as Midoriya and his peers face the U.A. high school entrance exam."
review

Real Account GN 1

Don't write this one off just because you're sick of "trapped in a game" stories - Real Account has some tricks up its sleeve that make it worth checking out. ― There comes a point in a genre when many consumers say “enough.” For the trapped-in-a-game genre, which is relatively young as these things go, that moment has been creeping up for many people, which may discourage them from picking up Okusho...
ep. review

High School Fleet ‒ Episode 3

"Even as it focuses on establishing the cast and delivering big action scenes, the show continues to move the plot forward."
ep. review

Series Premiere: Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto (Episodes 1-2)

"So far, I've been consistently amused by Sakamoto's unyielding perfection, but it's also the kind of gimmick I can see getting old quickly."
ep. review

The Asterisk War ‒ Episode 16

"Long story short: the fights don't ascend above common anime action clichés, which also include the unreasonably-long pauses in the midst of matches while characters talk."
ep. review

Kiznaiver ‒ Episode 3

"In short, Kiznaiver now looks like it's definitely smart enough to earn its focus on character psychology and human connection."
ep. review

Ace Attorney ‒ Episode 4

"Nobody can deny that this wacky show stays true to its wacky source material—at the cost of any outsider getting all the jokes."
ep. review

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable ‒ Episode 4

"This is the episode of the batch so far that feels the most reminiscent of Stardust Crusaders."
ep. review

The Lost Village ‒ Episode 4

"The Lost Village can be entertaining when it's moving slowly because its characters are so inherently silly, but I was happy to see the show actually get moving this week."
ep. review

Big Order ‒ Episode 2

"Where it takes a lot of shows at least a handful of episodes for their wheels to start falling off, Big Order only needed two weeks to prove that it has absolutely no clue what it's doing."
ep. review

Season Premiere: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress (Episodes 1-2)

"Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is a revenge-of-the-nerds adventure that actually delivers on the promise of its premise: that giant dorks can be heroes without letting go of their geekery."
column

The List - 8 Dubious Anime Dub Opening Songs

There once was a magical time in anime dub history where North American anime licensors dubbed over Japanese opening and ending songs. These eight songs represent the very worst the English anime song genre has to offer. ― Lynzee Loveridge is on a short hiatus, so this week we're reprinting a classic List. New columns will return next Saturday! There once was a magical time in anime dub history wher...
ep. review

Concrete Revolutio ‒ Episode 16

"Concrete Revolutio continues to craft strong individual stories, without packing in too many details to lose its viewers this time."
review

UQ Holder! GN 4

UQ Holder finally finds its feet in this volume, demonstrating far more drama, fun, and creativity than ever before. ― I knew this manga was worth believing in. In spite of its lackluster early volumes, I knew Akamatsu had it in him to make a truly satisfying shounen manga, one that demonstrated all the passion and creativity that occasionally glimmered through in Negima. It's taken a while, but UQ H...
ep. review

Ushio & Tora ‒ Episode 30

"It's a real level-up episode, showing the strengths of Ushio & Tora 2.0."
ep. review

Assassination Classroom season 2 ‒ Episode 15

"Assassination Classroom is back after some unfortunate delays, and it even brought new opening and ending theme songs to make up for the wait."
ep. review

Joker Game ‒ Episode 3

"It's a spy adventure that anyone can enjoy and understand, wearing its anti-war themes on its sleeve without letting them detract from the scheme-driven fun of the action in a classy period setting."
column

Answerman - Why Do Streaming Anime Websites Still Use Flash?

Most anime streaming websites use Flash, which most people agree is a huge pain. Why don't they use the more accessible HTML5? Justin digs into it. ― Stefan asks: I notice that all the major anime streaming providers use Flash-based players for their desktop services. In view of the performance and compatibility advantages to HTML5 videos, why do you think this is the case? Is it a requirement impos...
feature

The Real Legends of Magi: The Kingdom of Magic

The next season of the Arabian Nights-flavored action-adventure hit Magi is on the way to Netflix; learn the folkloric history behind the show's heroes and get a refresher on seasons past. ― The Arabian Nights' Entertainment. 1001 Nights. Whatever you call it, the collection of Middle and Far Eastern folklore collected around the 13th century in Persia (now Iran) has had impressive reach in all corne...
review

ALDNOAH.ZERO Blu-Ray 4

ALDNOAH.ZERO tries just a little too hard to wrap everything up in a bow in these last six episodes, and while it works, it lacks any major impact. ― I very rarely say this, but in the case of Aldnoah.Zero, I firmly believe it: the show should have ended after episode twelve. While it would have been a depressing ending, it also would have made a point and kept its characters fairly interesting and r...
ep. review

And you thought there is never a girl online? ‒ Episode 3

"I'm really not sure where the story goes next, but so far it has proven solid enough to deserve retaining its viewers."
ep. review

Naruto Shippuden ‒ Episode 457

"All things considered, Itachi's Story has been an enjoyable ride, but as things stand, it feels incredibly incomplete."
ep. review

Twin Star Exorcists ‒ Episode 3

"The show has an endearing, more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts charm going for it that I can't help but appreciate, even in more low-key efforts like this one."
ep. review

Bungo Stray Dogs ‒ Episode 3

"Bungo Stray Dogs hasn't quite found its balance between comedy and action, although I do think it will get there sooner than later."
column

The X Button - Interview: Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness

This week: Star Ocean producer Shuichi Kobayashi talks sequels, scandalous attire, and Valkyrie Profile! Plus Let it Die, Nier: Automata, and a dangerous new direction for games. ― Welcome to another edition of the X Button. I must interrupt your regularly scheduled Valkyrie Profile updates for some news about Sony's new PlayStation 4. Yes, some solid rumors point to Sony releasing an upgraded versi...
review

C³ BD+DVD

C3 is a surprisingly entertaining take on some well-worn action-fanservice territory. ― Released five years ago now, C³ was one of Silver Link's earliest productions, before they were renowned for… well, making a whole lot of shows exactly like C³. The show falls in the timeless “action-fanservice adaptation themed around torture/bondage gear” subgenre, which has more recently featured the legitimate...
column

Answerman - Is Anime Translated Faithfully In Other Languages?

Do non-English anime translations come directly from the original Japanese, or are they translated from the English version? Justin gets into why Spanish-language Pokemon sounds a lot like English-language Pokemon. ― Alfonso asks: The Latin American Spanish dubs of Sailor Moon and Pokemon used the American names of the characters on this region. While I haven't verified it myself, I would assume the...
feature

Why We Love Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Fans have clamored for a Phoenix Wright anime for years - the one we finally got left a little to be desired. Jacob Chapman explains what makes the game series so special... and why the anime might not stack up. ― This spring, after over a decade of waiting and hoping, Phoenix Wright fans finally got the TV anime adaptation they always wanted. Well, sort of. After the first episode of A-1 Pictures's...
review

Review: The Empire of Corpses

In select theaters now, The Empire of Corpses succeeds as a rip-roaring adventure story, even if its philosophical pretensions aren’t quite up to snuff. ― The easy, almost foolproof way of testing your appetite for The Empire of Corpses would be to ask: are you a fan of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman (the comics, not the film)? Does that kind of turn of the century steampunk aesthetic entice y...
review

Tokyo Ghoul Volumes 5 & 6

Tokyo Ghoul may not be subtle with its "monster vs. man" themes, but it does know how to keep you reading as we start to learn more about why Kaneki exists and what levels the police will stoop to in order to stop the ghouls. ― One thing you can say for Tokyo Ghoul – once it seizes on a theme, it doesn't look back. As the story has developed, it has continued to play with the notion of the monster ve...
ep. review

One Piece ‒ Episode 737

"This partial-filler episode pads things out just as much as anything else and doesn't aspire to do more."
ep. review

Sailor Moon Crystal: Season III ‒ Episode 29

"Okay, now I know I'm not imagining it – Sailor Moon Crystal's third season is using a lot of yuri imagery."
column

Answerman - Are Physical Anime Releases In Danger?

Common wisdom dictates that most people watch anime streaming now - are DVD and Bluray headed for the dustbin of history? Justin chimes in. ― RPGothic asks: With streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon getting exclusive rights to series and anime programming blocks, plus the recent crunchyroll/kadokawa deal, what does this mean for the home video market? I know dvds and blurays sales are on th...
column

Shelf Life - Tonari no Seki-kun

Paul kills time and goofs off with Tonari no Seki-kun, a short-form sleeper hit out on bluray now from Sentai Filmworks. PLUS: an avalanche of this week's new anime releases! ― It's rare for one single scene to sell me on an entire series, but that's exactly what happened when I watched the first episode of Flying Witch last week. Near the end of the episode, the main character wanders off into the ...
ep. review

Series Premiere: Kumamiko - Girl meets Bear (Episodes 1-3)

"It's a sharp and unique little comedy, at the very least hard to forget, an anime like nothing else out there."
review

REVIEW: Ajin

Based on the twisted and challenging hit manga, this fully-CG anime series considers the dark side of humanity. Theron Martin reports back from his binge-watch. ― One thing should be made clear up front about this 13 episode “Netflix Original” production: it was produced by Polygon Pictures, the same studio which produced Knights of Sidonia, and uses the same kind of CG animation style. Hence if you ...
ep. review

Series Premiere: Shōnen Maid (Episodes 1-2)

"If you're in the market for an amusing sitcom with a likable cast and crisp visuals, it should make a welcome addition to your spring anime list."
ep. review

Series Premiere: Re:Zero (Episodes 1-3)

"Its obvious light novel trappings might drive some viewers away, but the series has already shown more to itself underneath the surface."
ep. review

My Hero Academia ‒ Episode 3

"So far, MHA is constantly finding that balance between extremely traditional Shonen Jump property and something more."
ep. review

Series Premiere: Flying Witch (Episodes 1-2)

"It leans heavily towards the atmosphere end of the atmosphere-comedy spectrum, but it's hard to complain about a show this charming and solidly constructed."
column

The Mike Toole Show - Macross the Universe

A search for the Macross: Do You Remember Love bluray in Japan's DVD shops sends Mike on a trip through the storied franchise's history and all the weird legal problems that keep it out of American hands. ― Over a week into my Japan trip (yep, I'm still talking about that damn trip! Don't worry, it's almost out of my system), I still hadn't managed to figure out how alphabetical order worked in DVD a...
ep. review

Series Premiere: High School Fleet (Episodes 1-2)

"It's an easy recommendation for fans of cute girls doing military things, and it's approachable enough to entertain viewers outside of its core demographic."
game review

Review: Dark Souls III

Dark Souls III is a splendid rendition of the form, but familiarity often breeds contempt. Though it's a great refinement of everything that's come before, this new iteration adds little to the formula. ― It's tough to describe Dark Souls 3 without becoming mired in references, it leans so hard into what's come before that its own character feels somewhat slight. Here's the poison swamp, here's the c...
ep. review

Season Premiere: The Asterisk War ‒ (Episodes 13-15)

"Character interactions are where the series shines brightest."
ep. review

Series Premiere: Ace Attorney (Episodes 1-3)

"It's as close to the game as you can get, resulting in a show with ho hum production values that takes few if any risks."
ep. review

Series Premiere: Big Order

"Takes what could have been an interesting premise and somehow manages to make it feel both overstuffed and devoid of anything important actually happening."
ep. review

Concrete Revolutio - Episodes 14-15

"The first two episodes of Concrete Revolutio: The Last Song, especially the second one, are more cohesive than almost all of season 1."

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