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Japanator Original

OP Up! Hidamari Sketch Edition

Nov 04 // Red Veron
[embed]34455:5149:0[/embed] "Sketch, Switch" Anime: Hidamari Sketch Here is the original that makes it clear of what this show is, a slice of life comedy with cute girls having fun and doing cute stuff. The colorful opening captures the look that the studio SHAFT was aiming for in this show.   [embed]34455:5150:0[/embed] "Hatena de Wasshoi" Anime: Hidamari Sketch x 365 The second season's opening features much more from the show, not to mention that their budget got bigger. We get to see more of the funny and wacky cast and even some of the lesbian undertones for the yuri fans out there.   [embed]34455:5152:0[/embed] "Dekiru Kanatte Hoshimittsu" Anime: Hidamari Sketch x Hoshimittsu My favorite opening from the series. Why? Because it features the new characters for the first time and who happen to be much cuter than Yuno. It also has my favorite song. [embed]34455:5151:0[/embed] "Open Canvas" Anime: Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb The latest season opening with a lot more of the side characters and very beautiful animation. Also that ambiguous hand holding that could be ANY OF THE CHARACTERS! SCANDALOUSSSSSS!    BONUS VIDEO: [embed]34455:5153:0[/embed] "Black and Yellow Sketch" by nakinyko Mashup of: "Black and Yellow" - Wiz Kahlifa "Sketch Switch" by Asumi Kana, Mizuhashi Kaori, Shintani Ryouko, Gotou Yuuko     Which opening from this anime (or some other cute girl anime) is your favorite? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
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Hidamari Sketch is one of those cute slice of life anime that I just ignored until a friend told me about it. I was slowly starting to like the "cute girls doing cute things" genre and this one was one of the better ones. Muc...

JapanaTen: Halloween Horror

Oct 31 // Red Veron
[embed]34430:5135:0[/embed] 1.) Blood-C A very bloody show, as the name implies, is all about teen highschooler Saya who goes around her sleepy rural town cutting down human-eating monsters that plague it. It all sounds like typical action show where protagonist fights baddies, but there is more hidden underneath along the very graphic and brutal deaths of both humans and monsters.   [embed]34430:5136:0[/embed] 2.) Tokyo Ghoul College student Ken Kaneki awakens in a hospital and finds himself becoming a monster after an accident. What follows is that Kaneki is introduced to the hidden world of "Ghouls", human eating monsters that live among humans and now Kaneki struggles with his humanity and his new monstrous Ghoul side.   [embed]34430:5137:0[/embed] 3.) High School of the Dead If there is one thing that an anime about zombies needs, is some good old fashioned T and A. HSOTD has that and a lot of zombie gore action with guns, swords, and explosions. While it has all that pervy-ness, it's still a competent zombie show with dealing with the moral issues and situations that arise in such a setting. Also there are physics defying giant boobs in this one, truly terrifying.   [embed]34430:5138:0[/embed] 4.) Shin Kamen Rider A more mature themed movie featuring the late Shotaro Ishinomori's Kamen Rider, this one features more violence and nudity. The first half plays out like a horror movie, and the way that the protagonist turns into the titular Rider is very much something out of a horror movie.   [embed]34430:5139:0[/embed] 5.) Paranoia Agent A show by the late great Satoshi Kon, this one is about a mystery about serial attacks in urban Tokyo by a juvenile in inline skates wielding a bat. What seems to be an act of assault leads to a more mysterious and sinister force at play that sets a series of strange events into motion. I highly recommend this one for those who want something surreal and dark.   [embed]34430:5140:0[/embed] 6.) Ghost Stories You don't expect much when a US anime distribution company buys the rights to a typical supernatural mystery show featuring children that didn't sell that well in Japan. But when the Japanese company gives the US company carte blanche with the show and turn it into a raunchy comedy with some ad-libbing by the US voice actors. Not scary except for those who fear crude sex jokes and being politically incorrect. Please watch the entire show and not just the clip above, it is SO WORTH IT.   [embed]34430:5141:0[/embed] 7.) Perfect Blue Another great movie by the late great Satoshi Kon, this one is about Mima, a pop idol performer who leaves her idol group to become an actress. But wouldn't you know it, she has a stalker who keeps sending her messages and as time goes on, weird occurrences start happening around her. All the strange stuff has Mima questioning what is real and what is not. A great thriller worth watching on Halloween.   [embed]34430:5142:0[/embed] 8.) Corpse Party OVAs When a group of friends perform a ritual to bind themselves together as friends forever. But things go wrong when they perform said ritual in a school building where an elementary school once stood that got torn down after some horrifying events occurred there. Now, that students that performed the ritual are now subjected to terrifying events that defy horror.   [embed]34430:5143:0[/embed] 9.) Hell Girl Have you ever wanted to exact revenge on someone who has done you wrong? How much would you pay for said revenge? In this show, people who have been greatly wronged take revenge on their wrongdoers by giving up their soul to hell. The show consists of short stories and has a great visual style that adds to the creepiness and blurred lines of what is right and wrong.   [embed]34433:5132:0[/embed] 10.) Another A show set in a rural Japanese town about a cursed high school class that tries to keep the curse at bay through a very unusual way. But one day, a new transfer student joins that class and the curse starts to manifest again and people start dying. The most horrifying part of the show? It takes place in 1997 and people rarely have mobile phones and the internet barely exists.   I hope you all enjoyed this list. Don't stare into the mirrors tonight. You might find something else staring back. Good night. [Don't be afraid to share some of your Japanese Horror-themed entertainment in the comments below!]
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Check Out The Horror
It's Halloween weekend here in the United States and around the world, so I'm sure there are plenty of you people who love all things Japanese are looking around for something to watch this weekend. So get ready for some spoo...

Week Ender - True Horror Edition

Oct 31 // Red Veron
[embed]34433:5129:0[/embed] "Taishou A" Anime: Higurashi Kai A nice ending that seems to be the opposite of what the entire Higurashi is all about. A murder mystery that takes place in the early 80's in a rural town in Japan. Truly terrifying.   [embed]34433:5130:0[/embed] "Saints" Anime: Tokyo Ghoul Stylish as hell ending with some snazzy music and nice art. There's a cool facade that hides the darkness in these fashionable looking people.   [embed]34433:5131:0[/embed] "White Hill" Anime: Paranoia Agent A sweet and gentle ending that gives that exact feeling if watched without ever knowing the show's premise and content. If you do watch this ending right after an episode, the ending takes on an entirely different tone. A mind trip of a show that is about urban legends and just a crazy premise that makes no sense at times.   [embed]34433:5132:0[/embed] "-anamnesis-" Anime: Another Continuing the theme of an ending that tries to be different than the show, this one is more bright and light in tone. Though watching it at the end of each episode just gives it an entirely different meaning. This show is a murder mystery in a rural town about a cursed class that does something strange to prevent the curse. The scariest part of the show is that it takes place in 1997 which means mobile phones and the internet are rare.   I'll be asking a question too this week, so please indulge me for a second:What is your favorite scary thing in a horror anime? It can be something serious like gore or some funny observation about something terrible in a horror anime. Is there an anime ending from a horror that I did not include here? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW (and answer the question if you like). I WANNA KNOWWWW!  
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The Hidden Horror
The scariest horror is the kind that creeps beneath, the one that hides in the shadows, the kind that hides in plain sight. This weekend's selection of endings on Week Ender for Halloween is about that, endings from anime tha...

OP Up! True Horror Edition

Oct 28 // Red Veron
[embed]34425:5122:0[/embed] "Friend Shitatai" Anime: School-Live Oh look, cute anime girls in a school. You've probably heard of this one by now if you are on the internet. Don't let the overly cute and saccharin opening fool you, something much darker and depressing lurks behind the kawaii exterior. The horrors hidden are always the scariest.   [embed]34425:5123:0[/embed] "Nightmare Contagion" Anime: Another A creepy anime set in a small town during the mid to late 90's. The setting means no internet and mobile phones are very rare. Aside from the mysterious grisly deaths, no internet and phones are the true horror in this show.   [embed]34425:5124:0[/embed] "Let me hear" Anime: Parasyte True horror is when your dominant right hand gets possessed by an alien and you're not able to do your "business". Unless you're into the whole alien possession thing then lucky you.   [embed]34425:5125:0[/embed] "Munou" Anime: Tokyo Ghoul Root A This show has the protagonist turning into a monster. What's worse than becoming a creature that straddles between the line of human and monster? Food tastes horrible now for the protagonist. THE HORROR.   Is there an anime opening from a horror that I did not include here? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW (and answer the question if you like). I WANNA KNOWWWW!
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Real Horror lies within
It's Halloween this coming weekend so it's time for the first ever OP Up! opening selection about horror anime. There's always something primal about watching things that scare you or unnerve you, it might be that adrenaline ...

Week Ender - Time Travel Edition

Oct 24 // Red Veron
[embed]34407:5114:0[/embed] "The Twelve Time-Governing Covenants" Anime: Steins;Gate A cool song with very minimal visuals that still gives you that impact in a show with a lot of twists and turns.   [embed]34407:5115:0[/embed] "Honey Honey Honey" Anime: Punch Line A show where the world will end if the protagonist sees a girl's panties more than twice. A visually pleasing ending with lots of color and cutesy character design.   [embed]34407:5116:0[/embed] "Kimi ga Iru Basho Anime: Occult Academy A live action ending that is okay and it may have been a sign of some budget problems this show may have had since it felt like it had to be wrapped up in half the amount of episodes.   [embed]34407:5117:0[/embed] "Hare Hare Yukai" Anime: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Yes, there is time travel in this show. A ten year old show that any anime fan should watch, this show is one of the most influential shows in anime history. This show has a bit of everything and should please many of you.   So what is your favorite ending from an anime that features time travel that isn't on here? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
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Great Scott
Since this past week was a celebration of the date that was prominently featured in the movie Back to the Future Part II and the 30th anniversary of the first Back to the Future movie, the selection for this week's ...

OP Up! Time Travel Edition

Oct 21 // Red Veron
[embed]34401:5109:0[/embed] "Doraemon no uta" Anime: Doraemon The granddaddy of all anime that has time travel. This one involves a robot cat from the future being sent to the present to Nobita. The robot cat named Doraemon, is from Nobita's grandson because Nobita is such a screwup which led to his grandson being poor in the future.   [embed]34401:5110:0[/embed] "Unisonia" Anime: Buddy Complex This one involves time travel and potential yaoi fan art fodder coupled with giant flying mechs. Some weird time travel paradoxes but I enjoyed the first season's mech fights.   [embed]34401:5111:0[/embed] "Flying Humanoid" Anime: Occult Academy Another one of those shows that had its episode count cut in half which ruined its potential with its nice setting. This one involves an apocalyptic future sending a guy back to the past to prevent the opening of an inter-dimensional gate that lets alien invaders through and taking over the planet. It also takes place in a school where occult stuff happens. A great setting that melds science fiction and fantasy that could've been something great.   [embed]34401:5112:0[/embed] "Hacking the gate" Anime: Steins;Gate A great anime based on a visual novel that takes advantage of its visual novel format. VNs can feature multiple paths based on different choices that lead to different outcomes. The anime adaptation does choose one path from the VN and also integrates the multiple paths and "bad end"s into one story quite nicely. I highly recommend this one if you feel like getting into a time travel anime.   Is there an anime that features time travel that is not on here? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS! I wanna know!
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Make like a tree
Today is October 21, 2015. The future date most known as the date that the protagonists Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to in the1988 film Back to the Future Part II. If you've been around the internet today, everywhere...

Week Ender - Dating Sim Edition

Oct 17 // Red Veron
[embed]34382:5101:0[/embed] "Pinky Johns" Anime: Yosuga no sora A fun and colorful ending that has a ridiculous tone that does not seem to suit the show and rather make light of the heavy stuff. If you've seen the entire show, they totally make fun of the final arc's ending.   [embed]34382:5102:0[/embed] "Smile F" Anime: Photo Kano I love this ending song. Instead of each girl/voice actress getting their own song, they all sing the same song and it differs slightly but I do like them all.   [embed]34382:5103:0[/embed] "Confession (Tsukasa Ayakuji version)" Anime: Amagami SS+ This second season of this show tries something new by having the voice actress each having their own interpretation of one song. I love this style and the visuals in this ending featuring all of the girls.   [embed]34382:5104:0[/embed] "I won't forget" Anime: Kimikiss Pure Rouge I don't remember much of the endings on this show but this song sure is nice. A simple ending with cropped stills from the show goes well with the song.   Is there an ending from anime based on a dating sim on here that you like that isn't on here? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
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Harem ending is best ending
The great thing about Anime based on dating sims offer a multitude of waifus for you to fawn over (Otome game themed post coming later this month for those Otoge fans!) and use as a reason to fight random people on the intern...

OP Up! Dating Sim Edition

Oct 14 // Red Veron
[embed]34374:5097:0[/embed] "Aozora Loop" Anime: Kimikiss: Pure Rouge A super cute opening that makes you want to fall in love with the saccharine visuals and song. This adaptation tries to get around the multiple heroine routes by adding two male protagonists and even a rival. This one has it's own story and borrows some elements from the game. Totally doesn't do justice to the source material.   [embed]34374:5098:0[/embed] "Reflectier" Anime: True Tears This adaptation has nothing to do with the game of the same name. It has its own original storyline, characters, and art style.   [embed]34374:5099:0[/embed] "Koisuru Lens" Anime: Photo Kano This adaptation takes a note from the next anime featured in this selection by featuring the multiple routes in arcs with the heroines but have a common starting point with the first four episodes being a prologue to the different arcs.   [embed]34374:5100:0[/embed] "i Love" Anime: Amagami SS My favorite anime adaptation of a dating sim, this anime just devotes small arcs to each heroine. This style gives each heroine proper screen time and character development, it even adds to the other arcs in small ways. Photo Kano, the anime right above this one in this selection, borrowed this adaptation's style and this style really does justice to the source material.   Is there a dating sim adaptation anime that you like that wasn't featured on here? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
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Variety is the spice of life
Dating sims adapted into anime is nothing new. Unlike other video game genres adapted into anime, dating sims tend to offer a more structured story than most but things get complicated when the dating sim has multiple heroine...

Week Ender - BONES Edition

Oct 10 // Red Veron
[embed]34353:5091:0[/embed] "Himitsu Kichi" Anime: Eureka Seven The kind of ending with a nice song that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling with visuals to match. Not much is going on in the ending but showing off the characters just looking off into the sunset is just perfect.   [embed]34353:5092:0[/embed] "Tsuka Akari" Anime: Darker Than Black A gentle song that is badly needed for such a serious show. The kind of song that gives you a break from the show while still maintaining the look of the show.   [embed]34353:5093:0[/embed] "Heart Realize" Anime: Noragami There are two kinds of ending songs: Those that wind you down and those that wind you up. This one belongs to the latter while still being cute and showing off the cute and gentle side of the show's heroine.   [embed]34353:5094:0[/embed] "Motherland" Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist A beautiful song and IT HAS A DOGGY ON A TYPEWRITER. Also lots of Winry for you to thirst over.   Is there an ending from a BONES anime that you like that isn't on here? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
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Who ya calling a shrimp?
BONES is just one of those studios that have a wide variety of work: from fantasy to dark drama to giant robots on hoverboards, the studio has an even more diverse work than those aforementioned things. Along with that divers...

OP Up! BONES Edition

Oct 08 // Red Veron
[embed]34352:5087:0[/embed] "Rewrite" Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist One of my favorite openings of all time, this awesome action-packed opening has great fluid animation with a rockin' song by on of my favorite band Asian Kung-fu Generation.    [embed]34352:5088:0[/embed] "Gravity" Anime: Star Driver A crazy anime that people keep recommending me to watch, this visually pleasing opening doesn't even begin to scratch the ridiculousness of the show.   [embed]34352:5089:0[/embed] "Papermoon" Anime: Soul Eater Another great opening by BONES, this second opening is a bit more action-packed and still really stylish that embodies the show's cool look.   [embed]34352:5090:0[/embed] "Days" Anime: Eureka Seven The studio's original show that made the studio even more popular with it's recognizable giant robot on a giant hoverboard.     Is your favorite BONES anime opening not on here? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW. I wanna know!
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Giant Hoverboards
If you took a look at all the shows that the anime studio BONES' body of work, you're gonna notice that they make stuff that looks a bit 'different' compared to the rest. By that, I mean they look stylish to varying degrees o...

Final Impressions: Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma

Oct 07 // Nick Valdez
Leading into the finale, the Autumn Election preliminaries were nearly over. Group B finished their turn and Alice Nakiri, Arato Hisako, Takumi Aldini, and Megumi Tadakoro are the first four to advance to the actual competition. When we last left Group A, Ryo Kurokiba made his mark by taking first place with 93 points and the rest of the Polar Star dorm, while good, struggled to reach that height. At episode's end Akira Hayama stepped up to serve his dish,  weird curry souffle looking thing that spewed all sorts of tantalizing scents when punctured (that he called a "fragrance bomb"). And with the finale, we learn why it's so effective. Thanks to a mix of holy basil and yogurt (to balance out its pungent nature) his curry throws the judges for a loop. After some reaction shenanigans, they give his dish 94 points, with two of the judges giving a max score of 20 (it's important to note the spread was 18/20/18/20/18). But right as Akira was celebrating his win, Soma revealed that he too worked on a "fragrance bomb" type of meal.  Learning from his past losses and mistakes (such as losing to his Dad a few episodes back and nearly failing the buffet task with his omelets during the boot camp), Soma slyly combines the two efforts as a way to get back at his past self. Serving curry rice inside of an omelette pocket, he's managed to learn all about spice from the few days he learned about curry from Akira. Like how Akira balanced his spice with yogurt, Soma made a mango chutney in order to give it a bit of sweetness. Unfortunately, the dish wasn't enough to earn the top spot and Soma nets 93 points. But three of the judges rated his dish higher than Akira's, however (so it's 19/18/19/18/19) thus deepening their rivalry. That brings Group A to a close, and seven students are confirmed for the finals. Then the kids all celebrate, though Soma vows to work harder in order to claim victory. There's an eighth student to be revealed later (though the episode doesn't say this), and he's such a huge part of the semifinals, I'm sure they're saving his reveal for the next season. If there is one.  Although I had a lot of fun with the series overall, I'm pretty worried about the future of the show. Community members MSJ and RoboYuji pointed out that my complaint of cutting everything short was unfounded, and I'll admit that I didn't consider that the show would need filler in order to give the manga time to get further ahead. I'd hate to see what a filler arc would like since the official filler here (whatever the heck the "Karaage Wars" was) was pretty garbage. But since the manga has gone far past the Autumn Elections already (and has a more natural endpoint) it feels like we've been shafted since we're cut off before the actual fun of the show starts. But then again, that's just me being greedy. I just like the premise so much, I wanted more of it. I mean, what's the point of having two completely different title sequences if you're going to cut it off now?  There are bigger elements at play here since the show most likely didn't have the biggest audience (and a sequel season rests entirely with secondary sales), it's been rife with budget problems from the get go (as lots of shortcuts were taken with the animation and sound design was particularly spotty early on), but the property's so much fun. It just feels like Food Wars is ending right when it hit its groove.  But given my biggest problem with Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma was there wasn't enough of it, I guess it wasn't so bad after all. 
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"Happy to serve!"
I first found Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma through manga. Although I fell out of touch with the anime for several years, I've been periodically reading manga through that time. One of my favorites turned out to be Food W...

Final Impressions: MY Love STORY!!

Oct 06 // Nick Valdez
Leading into the finale, Yamato got herself a part time job at a bakery over spring break, hoping that she'd be able to pick up some tricks of the trade. But much to Takeo's chagrin, the head patisserie Ichinose (who, as the show likes to point out, has all the qualities of a traditional shoujo protagonist) has a crush on her and vows to Takeo that he'll tell her after taking first place at his big baking competition. So Takeo spends the first half of the final episode dejected, and this is entirely a new feeling for Takeo. As he questions whether or not he should actually be with Yamato, he gets steady reassurance from all of their friends that Yamato chose to date him because he's so great. And it's not like the audience needed reassurance as we've seen his greatness throughout the entire series. It completely makes sense for the kind hearted (but not completely pure hearted, as I'll discuss later) Yamato to fall in love with Takeo, a guy who'd happily sacrifice his own well being to help someone else find happiness. And that's put to the test here in the finale, as well.  When Ichinose realizes he's forgotten his baking tools, Yamato asks Takeo for help. Being the big goof that he is, he runs all the way to the bakery and to the contest without a second thought (only reflecting on helping Ichinose win after all the craziness settles), catching Ichinose by surprise. After Ichinose wins, he confesses to Yamato (right in front of Takeo like a damn goob) but Yamato rightfully turns him down. She explains that she's never really felt the same way (thus clearing up the only major problem with this beat as we never really know what she's thinking during all of this) and genuinely loves Takeo. After some loving awkwardness, Takeo calls Yamato by her first name, Rinko, and the two clumsily shuffle off into the future.  I didn't enjoy this final arc since it was the first time it was about Takeo alone, rather than the two working out relationship stuff, but I won't really let it hinder my enjoyment of the overall package. As community member John Seiler helped point out, this show is one of the few available that reveals different types of love. My Love Story!! is technically everyone's love story as I'm sure there's any type of relationship you can cling to. There's the fast developing Kurihara and Nanako, the already established of Takeo's parents, the teacher student dynamic between Saijou and Takeo, the crippling shyness leading to idolization between Yukika and Sunakawa, the unrequited love of Suna's sister and her admirer, and the nearly asexual Sunakawa who just wants to avoid all of that together. While the focus is given to Takeo and Yamato's central relationship, we're always given little peeks into these outside loves so no one feels left out. And it's all just so it hammers the main message home, that there's never one right way to love.  My Love Story!! felt more personal than not, because for the first time, I legitimately felt that a show was trying to tell my story. As a towering man of 6'3 and 300 pounds, any girl I've ever been interested in has been smaller than me so I know all too well what Takeo went through. His awkwardness that made him stand out from his friends, his inability to believe that someone would actually have feelings for him, and being so hilariously inept at relationships that he couldn't figure out how much Yamato wanted to take their relationship further. That's also a great part of this series too. Although Yamato's meek demeanor would perceive otherwise, she's always been the more active one. You'd expect her to be fall into the shoujo traps of the "pure hearted maiden," but that hilariously went to Takeo. Neither character ever acted the way they were expected to, and that's what makes a great watch.  Couple that with the show's use of color, outrageous reactions to things (as Takeo's many faces and forms led to quite a few laughs), and its ability to hit that sweet spot of romance and comedy on more than on occasion, My Love Story!! was the best anime of the Spring and Summer seasons. It's a love story everyone'll love. 
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"Suki da"
Forgive me for sounding like a broken record, as I'm sure I've said this in the past, but I'm a sucker for good romantic comedies. While there isn't exactly a big list of films I could point to, there are definitely a boatloa...

Final Impressions: School-Live!

Oct 05 // Nick Valdez
When we last left the School Living Club, they were caught in quite a predicament. As zombies flooded the school, the four were separated and feeling pretty hopeless. Yuri was dealing with an infected Kurumi and whether or not she had to kill her, Miki was trapped in the basement after tracking down a possible vaccine, and Yuki was trying to fight her way through the school after finally breaking out of her delusion and coming to grips with losing her teacher, Megu-nee. When Yuki reaches the school's broadcasting room, she's nearly attacking by zombies herself before zombie Taroumaru comes to her rescue. When she realizes the zombies still retain some of their memories (and as evident from the last episode when zombie Megu-nee is seen writing the girls' names), she broadcasts that school is out of session and all the students are to return home. And this surprisingly works! As the zombies clear out, Miki is able to vaccinate both Kurumi and Taroumaru. Unfortunately, Taroumaru's been sick for too long so he loses his life in his weakened state (but after giving Miki some closure). I've never been good with dog death in media, so this hit me pretty hard. I know it's a cartoon and all, but he was such a cute puppy!  When the girls realize the school's no longer habitable after the attack (as the generators have been fried and most of the building has been damaged by fire), they decide to leave the school toward either a university or corporate building. Either way, the girls know that the people they deal with may not be friendly. But before all of that, to bring closure to this chapter in their lives, the girls hold a makeshift graduation ceremony and it's the most heartfelt scene of the series. I guess it's because I fell so hard for the premise (and it admittedly won't appeal to everyone in the same way since I'm so fond of cutesy things), but it as great seeing the girls finally grow up. Just like a real graduation into the real world, these girls have finally accepted that their lives have changed. There's no longer a lingering grief over the past, and each of the girls have accepted their own flaws. That's a major part of growing up, and the show absolutely nailed it. The greatest thing is the show didn't have to directly say all of this. Through silent moments and great art effects that truly show how much these girls' optimism clashes with the world's darkness, the finale brings a sense of closure to the viewer as well.  But looking at the episode's ending tag, there's more planned for these girls. I'm just not sure if I want more of this. This graduation episode brought everything full circle and tied up most of the loose ends (including the fate of Miki's lost friend, Kei), but I'm not sure I care about the rest of the stuff still open. For example, one of the bigger things is probably going to be investigating how much their high school knew about the pandemic beforehand and potentially finding a cure, but that's like so much generic stuff out there already. At this point, I'm content with what we've gotten. From the opening episode, this show's been building up to a end with its tight, twelve episode arc. The girls got a happy-ish ending with one of those "driving into the future" closers, the opening theme was reused for the final scene (as is expected from an anime finale), and lots of the tricks it employed here (like the surprising clash between its bright colors and dark monsters or its slowly changing opening credits sequence) won't hit as well the second time.  School-Live! was compelling, interesting, and most importantly unique. If it ever does get that second season, it'll be ruining what makes it so special. There's nothing else out there like it right now, and it should stay that way. 
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I hope you had the time of your life
School-Live! (or Gakkou Gurashi!) nearly slipped under the radar. If you had no idea of the more sinister plot afoot, you'd probably skip the series thinking it's yet another show about four young girls doing young girl thing...

Week Ender - Macross Edition

Oct 03 // Red Veron
[embed]34334:5080:0[/embed] "Deja Vu (Soba ni ite)" Anime: Macross 2 OVA This one is from the black sheep of the Macross franchise that is not considered as part of the series when the studio behind the original, Studio Nue, didn't want to work on the franchise anymore. Big Studio West, the sponsor of the original Macross,wanted to continue the series and we got this OVA series. I would say this ending's song still makes it worthy to be in a show with the Macross name, I get the same vibe that I got from the original show with this song.   [embed]34334:5081:0[/embed] "My Friends" Anime: Macross 7 A solid ending with a song that leans more to pop than rock while still going with the J-Rock theme of the show. The ending also features the heroine Mylene, WHO IS 14 YEARS OLD SO STOP BEING  CREEPER.   [embed]34334:5082:0[/embed] "Northern Cross" Anime: Macross Frontier A really good pop song from an era where a lot of pop songs are so generic, this one stands strong and really captures the sound that the Macross Fronier heroine pop diva Sheryl Nome performs in the show. I also dig the minimal silhouette and art sketch visuals in this ending that's really done well.    [embed]34334:5083:0[/embed] "Runner (Duet Version)" Anime: Super Dimensional Fortress Macross Those who saw Macross in its original form will recognize this one, I only got to watch Macross much later when the internet enabled me to watch it in its unadulterated form. A really beautiful song that is just perfect to end each episode.   Was there a Macross ending that you like that wasn't on here? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! Tell me!!
Macross photo
Minmay Attack!
Macross is one of those recognizable anime properties around the world, though it may be in due to Robotech, the US cartoon franchise that combined Macross with two other unrelated robot anime to be able to syndicated on...

OP Up! Macross Edition

Sep 30 // Red Veron
[embed]34325:5077:0[/embed] "Seventh Moon" Anime: Macross 7 A crazy 90's J-rock infused opening that let's you know of the crazy over-the-top show you're into where a guy controls a transforming jet robot with an electric guitar.   [embed]34325:5078:0[/embed] "Macross" Anime: SDF Macross The original that started it all, this opening combines a great song with a grounded feel with the plane launch sequence that transitions into full science fiction robots and aliens with space ships.   [embed]34325:5079:0[/embed] "Macross" Anime: Fever Macross Pachinko A nice remake of the original opening of the first Macross from the most surprising of places, a pachinko machine. A nice update to the opening but not as good as the visuals from Frontier.   [embed]34325:5076:0[/embed] "Lion" Anime: Macross Frontier My favorite opening from the series, this one has a high energy song with all the good pop star and space combat action rolled into one nice minute and a half package to get you ready for more.   Is there a Macross opening that you love that I didn't feature on here? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!!!
Macross photo
So who's excited over the news of a new Macross show on the horizon with Macross Delta? I've always loved the series' mix of future science fiction transforming jet robots with pop music idols. I'm so looking forward to ...

Annotated Anime: Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma episodes 21-23

Sep 29 // Nick Valdez
Episode 21 After waking up from his brief nap teased at the end of last episode, Souma reveals he's been cooking some kind of rice and spice dish, but that's all we really see before the episode cuts to Group B and Tadakoro. As the crowd begins to turn on her due to her nervous demeanor, she pulls out her cout de grace, a difficult monkfish she showfully butchers. She learned how to cut it back home in order to help her family, and seeing them here in support has given her the confidence to nail it. But the brunt of this episode was devoted to the fierce rivalry between Erina Nakiri's aide, Arato, and her creepy stalker introduced two episodes ago, Nao. The judges in Group B have been especially tough as no chef has gotten over 20 points, but Nao and her super smelly laksa and kusaya curry manages to get 84 points (resulting in the header image). But Arato, with her focus in medicinal herbs and spices, manages a healthy curry which cleanses the judges of all previous flavors and basically got the taste of Nao's curry out of their mouths. She scores 92 points as the episode's close draws attention to the Aldini brothers.  It's a shame the show's going to end soon because I'm loving the anime's adaptation of the reactions. They're the best thing from the manga, but seeing them play out on screen adds an entirely new level.  Episode 22 As we join Group A's proceedings, Miyoko Hojo (the character who hates Tadakoro for relying on men and feels she needs to be stronger than all the men in order to succeed in the field) has started things off with a strong Chinese and pineapple infused curry and nets 87 points, Polar Star Dorm resident Yuki nets 86 points for her wild game curry, but then the Aldini brothers take the stage. Both present Italian inspired dishes with the younger Aldini, Isami serving a curry calzone scoring 87 and the older Aldini, Takumi serves a pasta curry and gets 90 points thanks to his putting cheese inside the pasta noodles. then Alica Nakiri blows the judges away (and shows her chops) with her science cooking as her deconstructed curry gets a hefty 95 points. Then, finally, we have the best girl Tadakoro. After everyone hilariously forgot about her, she serves the result of her hard work and love of her town, monkfish dobu-jiru curry.  Tadakoro manages to score 88 points (earning her new rival Hojo's respect) and earns her place in the top eight along with Alice Nakiri, Hisako Arato, and Takumi Aldini. Yay Tadakoro! Episode 23 We're back in Group A as the judges continue giving low scores (with some giving no score at all). But Ryo Kurokiba, Alice's aide with his shifting personality, manages to break that rhythm with a lobster and cognac curry (which he tells the main judge to slurp like a savage, hilariously) and 96 points. But none of the other chefs let that get to them as Polar Star residents Ryoko, Marui, and Ibusaki all net 86 and 88 points respectively with their dishes as Nikumi gets 86 with her meat don (which she's crafted thanks to her early shokugeki with Souma). But as the episode draws to a close, the arguably strongest student (since we really haven't seen his skills yet) Akira heads up to serve his dish and directly challenges Souma with his taste. As Souma begins to eat, he realizes there's a delicious scent pouring out.  Well, that's it. The final episode is up next and this is what I mean about terrible sequel series. Now we're stuck here until Food Wars 2 or something like that comes out. Hopefully it's gotten enough support overseas to warrant a second season. But until then, I totally recommend the manga. It's pretty good. But this show's been pretty entertaining in its own right (and I'll get into that with the final impressions after I see the last episode), and I can't help but love the exaggerated world. I hope there's more. 
Annotated Food Wars! photo
Sexy curry
I hate how some shonen series are handled. If a shonen manga doesn't have the audience or allotted budget of a big Shonen Jump property like One Piece or Gintama, then its anime adaptation is doomed to "seasons." Instead of c...

Annotated Anime: School-Live! episodes 7-11

Sep 25 // Nick Valdez
Episode 7 After a few episodes of flashback, we're back in the series proper. When Yuki brings up their mall outing, Miki briefly forgets she's supposed to lie about Megu-nee and Yuki nearly cracks her delusion as brief images of a grisly scene flashback. Miki thinks it's time to stop lying to Yuki since it's not really healthy, but Yuri simply states that she'll tell her soon. After Yuki stumbles on some stationary, the girls decide to take their mind off things for a bit and write some letters to folks on the outside. During all of this, Miki stumbles on a key leading to some place in the staff room but hides it from the other girls. After some shenanigans involving carrier pigeons, the girls send their letters through the sky and we find that Miki's written one for her lost best friend, Kei (the one who abandoned Miki at the mall in search of a better kind of survival).  Kei's probably a zombie, folks. It's usually how these things turn out.  Episode 8 Miki gives the key she found to Yuri as the two start searching the staff room for clues as to what it leads to. But before all of that, the girls start talking about the future. Naturally since Yuki is still stuck in her weird state of mind, all she can think about is graduation and potentially getting a job in the adult world. It's a sad conversation as the girls try and look positively toward their futures (Kurumi wants to be wife, Yuri wants to do something I forgot about already, sorry), but this all feels like it's leading up to something big. In fact, that's one of the most impressive parts of this show. Every episode feels like we're inching closer and closer to some kind of terrible end. Starting with the opening credits (which have been slowly getting more and more violent as the show progresses), helped along by the heavy amount of foreshadowing (each episode someone notes how more and more zombies are gathering outside of the school), and with happier moments like this, I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop.  And it does. The girls discover that Megu-nee's key led to a lockbox containing an emergency manual for the school when a biological weapon is released.  Episode 9 As the girls fret over the manual, which details why the school has multi-tired facilities and stuff like solar panels and gardens, Yuki takes their minds off of it with a suggestion: to turn the ugly water tank into a pool area for a pool day. Then it's a super happy, fan service heavy episode. I wouldn't think we'd get an episode like this in the series, but it sort of makes sense. It's something Shakespeare made famous. You see, back when Shakespeare was a big hit, people used to sit and watch plays for several hours. Naturally people would get bored if you kept the entirety of the play the same tone, so he'd add bits of levity every few acts in order to accomplish two things. First, it's to keep interest. If a program remained a flat, dreary tone throughout its duration, people wouldn't pay attention. Secondly, it's to make the coming bits of drama hit that much harder. And I think that's what's going on here. This episode is our last breath of fresh air before everything starts coming down. And if the episode's tag is anything to go by (as Taroumaru escapes downstairs to the basement and sees something tragic), it's going to be a doozy.  Episode 10 So here's a little trick as to how I write these annotations: I write these blurbs as I watch each episode rather than try to summarize them all at once. I only open with this because I want you to know that I was not ready for all of this chaos. At the end of last episode, we saw Taroumaru escape from his leash and run through the school so the girls wake up and go looking for him. As Kurumi follows his tracks downstairs into the basement, she finds an infected Taroumaru trying to bite her face off. After managing to lock him up in a room, she stumbles on the truly messed up thing: Megu-nee's zombie. Failing to stop Monster-nee's advance, Kurumi's bitten. As the girls try and figure out what to do now, Kurumi's condition worsens (and leads to an awful amount of screaming as the infection spreads) and the girls are split up as zombies break their way into the school. Yuki is locked in a room after zombies attack, Yuri's sitting with Kurumi and slowly breaking, and Miki is in search of the medicine (and possible antidote) the manual claims the school has but breaks down at the thought of losing Taroumaru. As the episode closes, and everything is traumatic for everyone, Yuki starts remembering the tragedy that sparked her mental breakdown.  Episode 11 Ugh, I need a breather. Deep - breath -, okay. As Yuki runs to Miki and gives her strength to go and search for the antidote, lightning strikes the school's generators and cuts off the power while starting a fire. So there's yet another thing to worry about as Yuri comes to grips with possibly losing Kurumi to the infection. We've seen Yuri as the slightly older girl who's acted as a rock, so this is the first time she's truly shown emotion. It's quite interesting watching her slowly break as she decides whether or not to kill her friend before she turns into a zombie. Then we shift back to Miki, who's fought her way down to the school's basement. As she comes face to face with Megu-nee's zombie (who still retained her memories of the other girls and evidenced by her zombie writings), she assures her they're doing fine before giving her peace. But Miki is soon cornered by zombies when she finds the medicine. Then we cut back to Yuki, who's slowly breaking free of her delusion. After some emotional resolution (and Megu-nee guiding her to the broadcasting room), she finally accepts Megu-nee's death and says goodbye. It's too much.  What started out as a cute series became far more emotional than I would've guessed. Looking at the premise of the show should've given it away, but I never thought it'd hit that hard. Maybe it's because it's so sudden. It's not a revolutionary story or anything like that, but there's so much care put into the buildup, the payoff is fantastic. The final episode's sure going to be something. 
Annotated School-Live! photo
I've got a complicated relationship with zombambos. I've gotten tired with the genre, but I can't help but stay invested in how different characters are effected in different medias. Each media provides unusual takes, and ani...

Week Ender - Universal Century Edition

Sep 19 // Red Veron
[embed]34282:5061:0[/embed] "Winners Forever" Anime: Gundam Victory Continuing with the 90's J-rock of its time, this ending song is quite good and catchy.   [embed]34282:5062:0[/embed] "Believe in the Starry Sky" Anime: Zeta Gundam The Gundam series loves using current pop music for its soundtrack and the song confirms that this one is very much form the 80's.   [embed]34282:5063:0[/embed] "10 Years After" Anime: Mobile Suit Gundam 8th MS Team A fun ending that stays true to the real "boots on the ground" angle of the show. The song compliments the ending well being about looking to the future with someone after everything currently going through the present.   .[embed]34282:5064:0[/embed] "Forever Amuro" Anime: Mobile Suit Gundam A pretty emotional ending while pretty solemn, it's captures the show's theme about being "real robot" show and leaning more on realism than fantasy like other robot shows of the time.   Is there an ending from the Universal Century that you like that isn't on here? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna see!
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Real Robots
Many people remember opening songs from the Universal Century Gundam series fondly but not many remember the endings songs as much. I admit that I am one of those many since a lot of the UC series aired before I was born or I...

OP Up! Universal Century Edition

Sep 16 // Red Veron
[embed]34276:5052:0[/embed] "Stand up to the Victory" Anime: Victory Gundam A really good song that reflects the time it was made in the early 90's with the very J-Rock song of its era. Nicely animated opening as well.   [embed]34276:5053:0[/embed] "Shine in the storm" Anime: Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team A different take on the series, focusing on the boots on the ground, this entry takes a good look at the war from the perspective of a military unit of the Earth Federation. Adds more 'real' to the 'Real Robot' genre that Gundam started.   [embed]34276:5054:0[/embed] "It's not Anime" Anime: Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ I have not seen much of this entry but I remember it fondly because of the song in the opening with the lyric saying that this "is not Anime".   [embed]34276:5055:0[/embed] "Fly! Gundam" Anime: Mobile Suit Gundam The opening of what started it all, this one has a very 70's song. Though it may look similar to all the other robot anime shows of that era, Gundam differentiated itself by not having super powered weapons that bordered the fantasy and that the robots themselves only felt like tools used as weapons along with the realities of war.   Is there a Universal Century opening that I didn't include here that you love? SHOW ME IN THE COMMENTS! I would love to see it!
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This is Gundam
The Mobile Suit Gundam has been around for generations and is a household name in many Japanese homes. It is no wonder, since there have been many entries in the series in TV, movies, and in print form. Collectively know...

Annotated School-Live! photo
Annotated School-Live!

Annotated Anime: School-Live! episodes 4-6

Zombeh -eh -eh -eh -oh -oh -eh -yaaaa
Sep 14
// Nick Valdez
Last time I talked about School-Live! (which was a bit ago, sorry), I noted how much I loved how its cutesy art clashed with its dark world. Despite how seemingly annoyingly cute it is, it grabbed my attention and never let g...

Week Ender - Cyberpunk Edition

Sep 12 // Red Veron
[embed]34264:5043:0[/embed] "Distant Scream" Anime: Serial Experiments Lain A show that has complex themes about humanity and technology sure has a nice and chill ending. Not quite light, but it offers a bit of a nice breather after each episode. It also implies a lot of things but I don't want to spoil anything. Also, there is this totally creepy french-made website about this show out there that totally freaks me out with its weirdness.   [embed]34264:5045:0[/embed] "In Time" Anime: A.D. Police This ending features a very 90's J-Rock song that goes pretty great the sexy (yet tasteful) women in sleepwear. No surprising that this show has some fanservice being a prequel spinoff to the very fanservice-y Bubblegum Crisis series. I could totally listen to this ending's song for ages being that it gives me all the warm fuzzies from being a 90's J-rock song.   [embed]34264:5046:0[/embed] "All Alone With You" Anime: PSYCHO-PASS A pretty nice ending, offering simple visuals with a nice (literally visual) twist. Great song by EGOIST to accompany the focus on Akane, the main character. Good balance with the light and dark in this ending for the show.   [embed]34264:5047:0[/embed] "Lithium Flower" Anime: Ghost in the Shell: STAND ALONE COMPLEX I am rather fond of this ending, I was exposed to it constantly on Adult Swim when I was getting back into anime around 10 years ago. A great song to contrast the opening electronic song in Russian. That static stills in the ending also offer a bit of a bit of a different glimpse into the show's characters in other settings.     Is there an ending from a cyberpunk anime that I didn't include here? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
Week Ender photo
Light in a Dark Dystopia
The science fiction subgenre of Cyberpunk can be dark and depressing but it doesn't mean that it is always in that depressing state. Humans simply cannot live in that manner constantly and there will breaks, and it also not e...

OP Up! Cyberpunk Edition

Sep 09 // Red Veron
[embed]34253:5037:0[/embed] "Guardian Angel" Anime: Texhnolyze So, does anyone know anything going on with this show? Besides the summary on wikipedia, everyone I've asked about this show has said "nobody ever knows".     [embed]34253:5036:0[/embed] "Abnormalize" Anime: PSYCHO-PASS A newer show that explores a high tech dystopia that deals with the psychological state of people. Quite terrifying.     [embed]34253:5038:0[/embed] "Y'know" Anime: Bubblegum Crisis 2040  A remake of a classic from the late 80's this one was one of the first to explore the robots gone rogue.     [embed]34253:5039:0[/embed] "Rise" Anime: Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG I love this opening. It's in mostly Russian and uses a bit of english. Quite a unique song with great visual style that has been copied a lot to this day.     Is there a Cyberpunk anime opening that I missed on here? SHOW ME IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I want to know! 
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High tech, Low Life
Cyberpunk is a great science fiction subgenre that many manga and anime have explored in the past. Summed up as "High Tech, Low Life", the genre mixes tech far more advanced than our own in a broken down world. Often having d...

Annotated Anime: Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma episodes 17-20

Sep 09 // Nick Valdez
Episode 17 When Souma goes back home to the Yukihira Diner for Summer break, he finds out his hometown has been struggling a bit thanks to a super shopping center, Mozuya, opening close by.  After re-reuniting with his childhood friend Mayumi (who has a crush on him, of course), Souma learns a little bit more about the Mozuya shopping center. Thanks to its specialty karaage (a type of meat chunk covered in different spices and sauces) recipe and ability to cater to tons of different people by the train station, Mozuya has been stealing his hometown's business. Mozuya's manager, Kinu, realized they were scoping the competition and completely revealed the recipe to Souma since she was so confident that they'd never be able to beat out her karaage. Seeing her so cocky, Souma directly challenges Kinu and states that not only will Yukihira make better karaage, but his hometown's shopping district will take back all the business.  Souma enlists the help of Ikumi Mito since she's the meat master, and must figure out a recipe that not only grabs traveler's attention but represents his shopping district as a whole.  Episode 18 After going through several types of karaage types and delivery systems, the trio devise a way to wrap the karaage into some kind of mobile burrito. The shopping district beats Mozuya and gets all the business. That's really all there is to the episode. The "Karaage Wars" arc is short, lame, and only serves to introduce a new key player, Eizan Etsuya, the ninth seat of Totsuki's Elite Ten and his mastery of the business world. It also serves to completely introduce the Autumn Elections as Souma's told he was one of the sixty chefs selected.  As you can probably tell by how brief this is, I really don't like this arc. It felt unnecessary then, and it's unnecessary now. Makes even less sense in an anime adaptation since there's very little progress involved. Characters don't move forward, the ninth seat isn't at all interesting, and Souma's just being Souma so he succeeds with little challenge. Let's just move on.  Episode 19 The Autumn Elections finally begin! Totsuki's Elite Ten sat down and handpicked sixty students, separated into two groups of thirty, to compete in front of the culinary world's elite. All of the main characters are obviously selected along with a few new rivals: Miyoko Hojo (who forms a rivalry with Tadakoro based on the news of her Shokugeki and disappointment that she was helped by Souma), Nao Sadasutka (a creepy girl who stalks Erina), Kurokiba Ryo (Alice Nakirki's right hand), and Akira Hayama (a chef with a specialty nose who can cook just be scent alone). Only the best eight dishes will make it to the next round, and with the task of making a curry dish, Souma and Tadakoro seek out the help of someone his dad recommended, Professor Shiomi, since she's good with spices. After some hilarious introductions and posturing, Hayama pretty much becomes Souma's biggest rival to date.  I love how Food Wars! pokes fun at the genre. It constantly interrupts big posturing (and has made ridiculing Takumi Aldini's rivalry a running gag) and undercuts a lot of the show's serious tone. You never forget how ridiculous all of this is, and I'm glad the anime has embraced all of this. Sure the constant chibi reactions reek of a smaller budget, but it's still good.  Episode 20 After taking a month studying different spices and curry techniques, the Autumn Elections finally, finally start up. Students are separated into two groups of thirty and only four from each group will advance. Group A includes hopefuls like Souma, Hayama, and Kurokiba, while Group B has the Aldini brothers, Alice Nakiri, and best girl Tadakoro. Nothing much else happens since this is also pretty much filler, but we at least get introduced to the judges, the Sendawara sisters, who're huge in the curry business, and there are some spots of notable prep work that'll come into play later on (like Nao's super toxic brew and Kurokiba's personality shift). It also pushes Hayama into the spotlight again since he's labeled as the strongest contender. It's a bit of a lark considering we haven't met him until now, and all this pushing rings false but whatever. It's such a shonen trope I just can't stand it sometimes.  Finally, finally, the good stuff is picking up. Next chunk of episodes we'll find out why Souma was asleep, see some crazy dishes (and their reactions), and the tone of the entire series is about to shift to something a bit quicker in pace. Can't wait. 
Annotated Food Wars! photo
Spice of life
In the last annotated recap, I couldn't stop talking about how great the next arc, the Autumn Elections, was going to be. It's the manga's best to date, and if the anime plays its cards correctly, it's going to be the show's ...

Week Ender - Big Sword Edition

Sep 05 // Red Veron
[embed]33794:4704:0[/embed] "Mask" By Aqua TimezAnime: BLEACH  This show has plenty of swords of all sizes, and it just so happens that the main characters has a big one as well. Pretty unique looking weapon that looks like an gigantic kitchen knife without the handle. [embed]34242:5032:0[/embed] "Waiting so Long"Anime: Berserk  A weird but pretty rad song that has its charm with the engrish singing and lyrics. It's got that 90's grunge rock going on that suits the dark mood of the show.   [embed]34242:5031:0[/embed] "Fukai Mori"Anime: Inuyasha  I never really got to watch much of this show but I do remember the big sword of the main character. I am also fond of this song because I always caught it at the end of Adult Swim and it sounded really good.   [embed]34242:5030:0[/embed] "Ruined Land"Anime: God Eater This season's newest show based on a game that has been long overdue for an anime adaptation for a long time now has some huge swords. These swords aren't just swords but are also big guns that also turn into large monster mouths that take a bite out of the enemy.   Did I miss any anime that features big swords? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
Week Ender photo
It's how you use it
Oversized weaponry is a common sight in action anime and manga, it's always fun to see large and unwieldly swords or guns be used in a manner that would be impossible in real life. Who doesn't want to feel all strong and powe...

OP Up! Big Sword Edition

Sep 03 // Red Veron
[embed]34230:5025:0[/embed] "FEED A"Anime: God Eater TV I am really happy that an anime adaptation of this game finally hit airwaves. The game has been out forever and I always loved the visual style and the designs of the game. While this opening isn't as stylish as the video game openings, this one is still catchy. I don't know, it might grow on me. I'm just super excited that I'll be able to see cosplay from this show now. [embed]34230:5026:0[/embed] "BLUE BLAZE"Anime: BlazBlue Alter Memory I love the visual style of the games this anime is based on and the characters are just really good. Well, the main character of the show has a big sword as a weapon and is voiced by Tomokazu Sugita, who is my favorite voice actor. But yeah, those are the only two reasons I put this on here. [embed]34230:5027:0[/embed] "Black Rock Shooter"Anime: Black Rock Shooter TV An anime based on a popular fan art based on a vocaloid computer program mascot that is featured on a song based on the aforementioned fan art that is used as the song in the opening. Did you understand that sentence? Yeah, it's confusing but all you need to know is that the character has a big sword gun and a long katana. [embed]34230:5028:0[/embed] "TELL ME WHY"Anime: BerserkOf course a selection of anime about characters with huge swords is not complete without Berserk. Just go read the manga. It's hella dark.Did I not feature an opening from your favorite anime with HUGE SWORDS?! SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND TELL ME ABOUT IT. 
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Totally not compensating
Yeah, I know what they say about characters with big swords and how people make that joke ALL THE TIME, and how it's totally not tired at all. Totally. But think about how exciting big weapons look on the page of a manga or a...

OP Up! Mobster Edition

Aug 26 // Red Veron
[embed]34207:5006:0[/embed]   "Gun's & Roses"Anime: Baccano! I haven't seen much of this show but this show links it up with Durarara!, another work by the same author Ryogo Narita. Set in the 1930s New York, this one features some characters in the mafia with some fantasy elements thrown in for a different twist. Totally diggin' that jazz song in the opening, totally matches the show.   [embed]34207:5007:0[/embed] "Magenta Another Sky"Anime: La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia Cool character designs, love the suits and that rockin' song to get pumped up to. Based on an otome game, I didn't really watch beyond the first episode but like the visuals of the show a lot.   [embed]34207:5008:0[/embed] "Romantic Summer"Anime: My Bride is a Mermaid An over the top comedy about a teen boy who has to marry a teen mermaid girl just so he won't be killed for knowing the existence of mermaids. Did I also mention that the teen mermaid girl's family happens to be an underwater Yakuza family? Crazy setting for a crazy show and the opening shows the craziness of this ridiculous romantic comedy.   [embed]34207:5005:0[/embed] "Renegade"Anime: Gangsta.This show just premiered this season and I haven't gotten around to see it but that opening is one super stylish one. Using minimal black in white with one color is a favorite visual style of mine. I might have stayed away from this one thinking it might be a reverse harem type of show like Arcana Familigia above but seeing this opening has changed my mind and I will check it out.   Did I not post about your favorite mobster-related anime opening? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!  BONUS VIDEO: [embed]34207:5009:0[/embed] SO EXCITED FOR THIS GAAAAAAME 
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Organized Crime
Japanese mobsters, whom we call in the west as "The Yakuza" is referred to in Japan as 'violence groups' by normal people and are not seen in a favorable manner. Though that hasn't stopped Japanese entertainment in portraying...

OP Up! Urobuchi Edition

Aug 20 // Red Veron
[embed]34182:4993:0[/embed] "Heavenly Blue"Anime: Aldnoah.Zero I love the grand epic feeling that Kalafina brings to anime openings, they've had their songs featured on previous works by Urobuchi prior to this anime and they are a great match. I work out to this song because it really gets you pumped up for action, which you probably wouldn't expect something from a group like Kalafina.   [embed]34182:4994:0[/embed] "Karma"Anime: Phantom: Requiem for the PhantomAnother show on my anime backlog or 'Pile of Shame', this one got added to my ever growing list after I found out that Urobuchi had something to do with it. I am not really into super-serious anime but have enjoyed some of Urobuchi's works so I'll be watching this one soon.   [embed]34182:4995:0[/embed] "To the beginning"Anime: Fate ZeroAnother one I need to get to watching. Performed again by Kalafina, this one still brings in that grand epic feeling that washes over you unlike no other. Having Kalafina do the opening just bumped this up on my watch list. [embed]34182:4996:0[/embed] "Enigmatic Feeling"Anime: PSYCHO-PASS 2Pretty cool opening but nothing can really top the opening song "Abnormalize" from the first season even though this one is from the same artist, but it isn't just the same. Though the stylish as hell visuals in this opening makes up for it.Did I forget your favorite anime written by Urobuchi? Don't kill me out of nowhere! SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! BONUS:Kamen Rider Gaim (Yes, Urobuchi wrote the main story. WTF [embed]34182:4997:0[/embed]
OP Up! photo
If you look at a few popular shows in the last few years, you're gonna notice that one name pops up a lot when it comes to anime that feature heavily dark tones. That name is Gen Urobuchi, whose body of work will consist of f...

Week Ender - Vampires Edition

Aug 15 // Red Veron
[embed]34158:4983:0[/embed] "Walk no Yakusoku"Anime: ShikiHere's an anime I've been wanting to watch but keep forgetting. I finally looked up the synopsis and found out it's set in the 90's so I'm definitely checking it out soon. I totally dig this song.   [embed]34158:4984:0[/embed] "Strike My Soul"Anime: Strike The BloodI often refer to the studio behind this anime as "poor man's SHAFT" (but in the best way possible) and this ending shows that well. It's simple and still has creative ways to give it some visual flair even with minimal animation.   [embed]34158:4985:0[/embed] "Shine"Anime: Hellsing  This song is so 90's. I love it. Pretty great to unwind to after an intense episode.   [embed]34158:4986:0[/embed] "scaPEGoat"Anime: Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign  Cool rockin' song that starts out slow and builds up suits the post-apocalyptic along with characters doing cool poses in the rubble. What dumb song title.   [embed]34158:4987:0[/embed] "Still Doll"Anime: Vampire Knight I kinda liked the manga but never really liked the low budget anime adaptation. I did like this ending, nicely drawn and very minimal (in keeping with the budget). I like that eerie feeling song matches the visuals.   So what's your favorite anime that features vampires? IF I MISSED ANY, FEEL FREE TO SHAME ME AND SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND TELL ME I SUCK. 
Week Ender photo
They Suck
For this weekend's Week Ender, we continue to look at some Vampire-themed anime endings. Vampires have this appeal to people, with power and strength with a side of mystique So what's your favorite anime that features vampire...

OP Up! Vampires Edition

Aug 12 // Red Veron
[embed]34148:4974:0[/embed] "X.U."Anime: Seraph of the End Let's start off with one of the newest shows about the vampires and post-post apocalypse setting. A standard shounen action show with an interesting setting, this one is set after a virus kills all humans over the age of 12 and vampires have taken all the young survivors as a source of food. As these young survivors get older, many of them organize to fight back against vampires using forbidden magic. Oh and adopted brothers find themselves on opposing sides for drama reasons.   [embed]34148:4975:0[/embed] "SPIRAL"Anime: Blood-CA favorite opening of mine from a show that didn't turn out so well, this opening and its song was the best part of the show since it showed off the good stuff. We get to see the heroine Saya, show off her gentle side to contrast her bloody red monster slayer side in this opening. Couple that with the awesome song, we get a song that gets your blood pumping for some bloody action that is plentiful in this show.   [embed]34148:4976:0[/embed] "Strike the Blood"Anime: Strike the Blood   A guilty pleasure of mine, this show is a supernatural action show with light harem comedy. Also them lolis. There's some elements that I like about these supernatural action shows, organizations using magic in modern day settings along with modern technology. This show has a lot of what I like.   [embed]34148:4977:0[/embed] "Logos Naki World"Anime: Hellsing   Here's one from the early 2000's US anime boom that a lot of older anime fans remember and love. This opening has that late 90's/early 2000's serious anime opening feel with the almost minimal music video feel to it. That song is pretty great too. I totally need to rewatch this one and the new adaptation.   So what's your favorite anime that features vampires? IF I MISSED ANY, FEEL FREE TO SHAME ME AND SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND TELL ME I SUCK.
OP Up! photo
No Sparkling Allowed
What is it with Vampires? Whether they're the hero or villian (or both), the creature of the night has always had great appeal in all forms of fiction. Is it the eternal life? Is it the romanticized portrayal of these creatur...

First Impressions: School-Live!

Aug 11 // Nick Valdez
School-Live! follows the School Life Club, four girls who are living within school grounds named Yuki, Yuri, Kurumi, and Miki. The show opens with Yuki, a bright and optimistic young girl who's the typical anime protagonist. She's a bit airheaded, lazy, but genuinely enjoys school. But there's also something very special about Yuki, and that's what sets the show in motion. You see, the girls are victims of a zombie apocalypse. After an outbreak, the girls were forced to live in the school in order to survive. Within the first couple of episodes, we don't know the extent of the outbreak other than its damaged the entire school and the four girls (and their teacher, which Yuki refers to as "Megu-nee") are the only survivors. The awesome thing is that you wouldn't know all of this from the outset.  As the first episode follows Yuki, everything seems fine. There are other students, the school is pristine, and like as mentioned before, everything about Yuki screams "typical." But that image shatters fast when you realize Yuki's just living in a huge daydream. When the apocalypse is revealed halfway through the first episode (so I'm not spoiling it for you), it's actually shocking. This show's pretty good about hiding things. Although some of the hints are heavy handed (like how Miki refuses to acknowledge anyone other than Yuki during the classroom scenes), there's an attempt to save most of it for an emotionally charged finale. Seeing the delusional Yuki talking to herself in a bloodstained classroom makes for a terrifyingly gripping image. The series also adds a bit of darkness into its opening CV from episode two on. You'll have to see it just to absorb how truly jarring it is.  Like the better zombie media out there, Live! is more about the survivors dealing with a changing world rather than the zombies. It's just in place of adults, it's little anime girls. I thought the art would push me away at first (since I'm still not used to the sexualization of young girls in these shows), but the use of bright color awesomely clashes with the gritty material. It's entirely unique to the series, and I don't think I can find that aesthetic anywhere else. That's most likely why Yuki's world looked so inviting at first. There's a sense of displacement seeing these girls interact with the zombies. For the first time in a while, the zombies feel more disturbing than not because they clash so much with the character design. Seeing the cutesy frames of these characters twisted in a dark fashion is an accost to the viewer. Live! is just full of great little design choices like that.  As for the story itself, the setting is at least groundbreaking if nothing else. I'll give a lot of credit for skewing the age of these survivors (it's been a long time since I've seen zombie media focus on a child's perspective), but it runs the risk of growing stale. Yuki's delusional state is definitely the anchor of series, and the first three episodes explore this, but I want to learn more about why she ended up that way. I'm waiting for the inevitable fallout where Yuki's forced to accept that zombies are real, and that'll either be thanks to an attack or someone close to her finally breaking the news to her. I'm also curious as to how far her delusions extend. Is Megu-nee real? Does no one listen to her as a joke or is she made up in Yuki's mind as well?  I guess the overall darkness of the show took me by surprise. Although I knew it was going to be a heavier type of show going in, seeing it in action is something else all together. I got to hand it the production team, Sentai Filmworks, on this. Since this is adapted from a manga I'm sure the story's pretty much the same, but I've been taken aback by the visual choices here. It's changing opening CV, the girl's designs, the zombies highlighted by shading rather than blood, it's all so wonderful to take in.  School-Live! looks so good, it's got me interested in the story. That's never happened to me before. This is all new territory for me. 
School-Live Impressions photo
Life with the afterlife
Zombies are played out at this point. Numerous movies, television shows, comics, manga, and anime have been churned out each tackling the genre but failing to do anything interesting for a long time. Each piece of zombie medi...

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