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First Impressions: Baby Steps photo
First Impressions: Baby Steps
by Karen Mead

I really wish I was good at tennis. It's really the only professional sport that I have a lot of familiarity with, since my Mom often watched professional tournaments on TV dating back to when I was very young. I remember seeing Michael Chang score his famous, around-the-net Match Point in...what was it? 1995? Wow, I feel old, let's move on.

I've tried playing, but I just don't seem to be cut out for it. There's something wonky with my depth perception or something, so I always stick out my racket to where I think the ball is, only to be wrong and miss entirely. I don't know, maybe this is a correctable problem and I'm just too lazy to put in the requisite practice, but I've pretty much given up on ever playing seriously at this point. Now, with Baby Steps, I can explore the possibility of a world where I was not too lazy to learn how to hit that darn ball properly, and it's pretty neat.

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Annotated Anime: The Irregular at Magic High School Ep 2 photo
Annotated Anime: The Irregular at Magic High School Ep 2
by LB Bryant

When I wrote my First Impressions for the first episode for Irregular at Magic High School, I said that I was sure that the series would be building toward something and I was very curious to know what it was. Now, after watching the second episode, I'm not so sure that I'm that curious anymore if it means that we're going to be spending the next twenty-something weeks listening to Tatsuya and Miyuki casually flirting with each other. 

The story behind this week's episode is that Miyuki has been invited to join the student council. Before she accepts however, she implores all of the present members to also invite her brother, Tatsuya, to join as well because... well, I'm not not really sure why. She just wants him there. Unfortunately there's a rule in place which doesn't allow members of the reserve class to join. You'd think that this would be the end of the discussion, but a member of the disciplinary committee thinks up a loophole which would allow Tatsuya to join. This goes over well with everyone except for the vice presiden,t whose full name includes Hattori Hanzo. Yes, seriously. 

After Hattori goes on and on about how a Weed shouldn't be allowed to join, Tatsuya challenges him to a magic battle in order to prove that his sister wasn't just being a raving, brother-crushing loon when she said that Tatsuya could hold his own on the disciplinary committee if he had to.

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11:00 PM on 04.12.2014

Attack on Titan inevitably headed to Toonami on May 3

I called this a few episodes into Attack on Titan when I watched it during its original run at Crunchyroll, but FUNimation has just made it official: Attack on Titan will be airing on Toonami beginning Saturday, May 3rd. If ...

Brittany Vincent



Final Impressions: Saki: The Nationals photo
Final Impressions: Saki: The Nationals
by Jeff Chuang

The final episode of Saki: The Nationals doesn't really feature much in terms of climatic wrap-up. The series end with a giant standing nod to the other half of the story: the Episode of Side A. And maybe that's for the best.

Saki is the sort of sports-like anime where intense moment-to-moment moves turn the tides of the story, from Richii, Ron and Tsumo. Mythical powers and solid statistical play are the rules of the day. But at the same time, a large contingent of us are watching Saki for the inter-character sub-plots. Who befriended who? What's this girl's story? And in that sense, Saki tells a story no different than what you might find on a sports program on TV. So in that sense, the last episode felt like a behind-the-scenes video of what happens in this world's premium sport, appropriately.

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Shonen Showdown 4-12-2014 photo
Shonen Showdown 4-12-2014
by Josh Tolentino

Alright everyone, it's time for Shonen Showdown, the weekly fighting manga and anime recap that gets it, OK, we know about the whole duality thing in Naruto's themes. Gaawhhhd

Anyway, we've got it all for you this fine evening, including the latest from Naruto, Hunter x Hunter, One Piece and Bleach! Catch it all below after you read the latest round of First Impressions from all the new Spring anime series!

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8:00 PM on 04.12.2014

The Seven Deadly Sins manga gets an anime series

Nanatsu no Taizai, or better known as The Seven Deadly Sins, is a manga by Nakaba Suzuki. It's about a princess who discovers the truth about her king guards, and is forced to run away. She is trying to find the sins to help ...

Amber Hunt



Impressions: Bodacious Space Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace photo
Impressions: Bodacious Space Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace
by Elliot Gay

I firmly believe that Satelight's scifi space opera, Bodacious Space Pirates, is a series that deserves a better name. Even the original novel's title (Miniskirt Space Pirates) betrays the actual content of the show. Hell, I was more than ready to write this franchise off entirely because the title screamed raunchy. The only reason I gave it a shot was because Tatsuo Sato's involvement. Many of you are probably most familiar with him from his work on the fantastic Martian Successor Nadesico series and film.

I'm glad I gave Bodacious Space Pirates a fair shot, because it ended up being one of my favorite TV anime from 2012. Just the right mix of great characters and scifi edge, BSP was a show that played its subject matter completely straight. It took the time to flesh out its world and cast rather than focus on action, resulting in a wonderfully epic coming of age tale.

While it's not the sequel TV series I find myself craving, Bodacious Space Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace does give fans yet another chance to dive back into the strange universe of legal pirating. 

Does this new film soar through the depths of space, or sink into the deep dark void?

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4:00 PM on 04.12.2014

Knights of Sidonia Blu-rays releasing with additional angles

Sci-fi anime Knights of Sidonia is already set for a Blu-ray release in Japan on May 28. While the disc will contain only the first two episodes, it's going to be packing additional angles fo certain scenes. Because it's dig...

Brittany Vincent

1:00 PM on 04.12.2014

Gurren Lagann stage play hitting Tokyo in October

Just who the hell do you think Kamina is? Do you think he'd star in a Gurren Lagann stage play adaptation? I think he'd want that, don't you? Good thing, because Office Endless announced plans for Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann -...

Brittany Vincent



Jtor AM 26: All those horrible shows you love photo
Jtor AM 26: All those horrible shows you love
by Karen Mead

This week's show is longer than usual because we discuss pretty much every show that exists. Join Tim "I think this show is stupid and you're stupid for liking it," Sheehy, Ben "I'm too nice to say you're stupid but I'll just judge you silently," Huber, L. "I think I maybe liked it? Kind of? A little?" B., and your host, Karen "So maybe I am stupid, DEAL WITH IT!" Mead as they navigate the best and worst of the spring 2014 anime season. We're also joined by Jeff "Who even cares about anime, I just got back from Japan BITCHES!" Chuang.

Still, despite all the anime on our plates, we still make time to ask the insightful questions that we know the anime community depends on, like: Would Nisekoi be improved if there was an actual dead girl buried in the cellar? Was Captain Earth written with a Magnetic Poetry Set, Mecha Edition? Does Irregular at Magic High School get any points for being interesting if all the cool stuff was stuffed in the first 30 seconds, never to be seen again? Does one teenaged assassin throwing three sticks of Pocky at another teenaged assassin count as an "action scene"? And does Ben only enjoy Soul Eater NOT! due to an unusual and mysterious absence of groping? All this, and more, in a jam-packed episode 26!

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7:00 PM on 04.11.2014

First Impressions: Ping Pong

Ping Pong is one of my most anticipated shows this season. It has an all-star cast, both of voice actors and animators, backed up by a talented auteur in the industry, Masaki Yuasa. However, you can have all the skilled staff in the world, but if the show itself isn't compelling, people won't stick around. How does Ping Pong hold up? I'll tell you, friends.

Ben Huber

6:00 PM on 04.11.2014

K: Missing Kings to premiere at AX and JX

Before the film opens in Japan, K: Missing Kings will premiere at Anime Expo and Japan Expo. King Records announced this information a few hours ago.  It opens in Japan on July 12th, but will air in LA at AX from July 3r...

Amber Hunt