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First Impressions: Your Lie in April photo
First Impressions: Your Lie in April
by Hiroko Yamamura

I have to admit, it's been a while since I've actually gasped while watching an anime. However, that's exactly what occurred after I processed the sheer beauty that was the first episode of A-1 Picture's Your Lie in April. I initially steered away from the show, writing it off as a bit of a comedy/cutesy version of Kids on the Slope, a show which I admired, but never really attached to, even though it is set in my home town of Sasebo. Luckily, I had some spare time this week, and crammed the first four episodes in a much needed anime escape.

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 4 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 4
by Jeff Chuang

On her day off, Aoi the animation assistant meets up with her high school buddies and keep in touch. It sounds like just the thing a 20-something female working out in the big city would do on an off day. Except these people are anime otaku; and by that I don't even mean what passes for otaku in this part of the world: these are budding pros. Shirobako's take on girl talk is probably off the beaten track, just a little.

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5:00 PM on 10.31.2014

Trailer for Arpeggio of the Blue Steel DC compilation movie surfaces

While it doesn't seem like there's going to be any new content for fans of the Arpeggio of the Blue Steel -Ars Nova- anime, any chance to see my favorite battleships in action gets me giddy. I was totally surprised at how mu...

Hiroko Yamamura

12:00 PM on 10.31.2014

The Last: Naruto the Movie trailer is here!

Naruto fans rejoice! There's finally a new trailer for the highly anticipated upcoming film, The Last: Naruto the Movie. I haven't followed the story in quite some time except for the tidbits that Josh drops me once in a whi...

Hiroko Yamamura



Impressions: When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace photo
Impressions: When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace
by Josh Tolentino

"What would you do if you had superpowers?"

It's a question people love to ask each other, and the answers are usually quite mundane. They often involved finding ways to make lots of money using superpowers. Very few of us would volunteer to do what superheroes are supposed to do, namely fight crime and save the innocent.

That's OK! As virtually the entire history of popular fiction has taught us, power isn't what makes a hero heroic. And the stars of When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace are no heroes.

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Annotated Anime: Psycho Pass episode 1 photo
Annotated Anime: Psycho Pass episode 1
by Hiroko Yamamura

Psycho Pass season two is in full swing and as usual, your favorite Editor in Chief is late to the game. So, things kind of pick up right where season one left off, albeit a bit too casually. In fact, the whole episode plays off like another day at the office. The surviving members of the original team are still in tact, with Akane in the lead.

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Most notably Ginoza is now in a role of enforcers, and has gotten way more emo, and of course, Shinya is not to be found. The team is brought in to deal with an explosives expert whose Crime Coefficient is not really effected by their action. They of course come packing their sexy Dominators, and chase ensues.

Basically, Akane finds that the culprit's Crime Coefficient is just under lethal range, and tries to talk the suspect down to the point that the Sybil Systems allows him to be stunned. There's a Reservoir Dogs-esque Mexican stand-off, and the suspect is brought in cleanly, much to Akane's new partner's dismay.

I was actually ready to call the new season a complete wash until the post credit scenes appeared, adding to a bit of the original season's mystery, gore, and conspiracy ideas. There's a rouge player in the midst and once again, the Dominator system doesn't allow an enforcer to do their job, costing them their lives. The last minute or so of the show was exactly what I was hoping for, but where on earth is Shinya Kogami? I guess we have a whole season to find out.

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Production wise, the animation and designs just don't seem to be of the same quality, wether or not that remains an issue is yet to be seen. The opening and ending songs are top notch however, nicely adding book ends to the show. The same ominous, dark feeling though is present, and the feeling of the oppressive Sybil System's ever watching, flawed eye can be felt.

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Given that fact that I loved the first season, I'm going to push through the show, there's so many unanswered questions I have, and things I'd really like to know about the universe. All hallmarks of the kind of show I enjoy. If they can keep up the gritty sci-fi atmosphere, and keep the science and tech well explained, I'm  sure I'll love this season.

[Get your Crime Coefficient checked over at Hulu]

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12:00 PM on 10.28.2014

Seriously, stop pirating anime and manga

There's no denying that piracy is rampant amongst anime and manga, which is deplorable given how affordable and accessible things are now. I know this makes me sound old, but you kids have no idea how good you have it. When ...

Hiroko Yamamura



Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episodes 2-3 photo
Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episodes 2-3
by Josh Tolentino

The more I watch of Unlimited Blade Works, the more I'm convinced that everyone would've been better off if each episode were an hour long rather than the standard length. It'd work, even if the show became bi-weekly because of it. 

If nothing else, Ufotable seem to be making their own episodes seemingly with that in mind, as the last two weeks have felt like the front and back halves of a single longer production. The unintended result is a week that comes across as very quiet, and possibly boring, followed up with delicious excitement lacking in real narrative progress. 

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Annotated Anime: Terra Formars episodes 4-5 photo
Annotated Anime: Terra Formars episodes 4-5
by Josh Tolentino

When last I wrote about Terra Formars I noted its tonal and structural similarities to another of the year's darlings, Attack on Titan. That got some folks riled up for some reason, but I'm standing by those words, especially now that the show has been revealed to take a particular kind of glee in twisting the knife.

Like its spiritual sibling following a "no one is safe" ethos when it comes to character death and then savoring the righteous anger that follows every escalation of mankind's war against the roach menace. Attack on Titan is hardly the first bleak anime ever, but it and Terra Formars definitely live in the same neighboorhood, shopping for groceries at the same grimy convenience stores and wearing the same intimidating scowls on their faces.

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5:00 PM on 10.27.2014

Does Naruto end up with Hinata in the last movie?

So, it looks like Naruto is coming to a close. I haven't followed the show or manga in quite some time, but all the hoopla around the end has got me a bit interested again. I also have just found out that it seems like Naruto...

Hiroko Yamamura

8:00 AM on 10.27.2014

Megadeth helps you learn English Jojo style

Although I pretty much started ignoring Megadeth the day that lead singer Dave Mustane's public opinions started to swing to the far right, I used to be a pretty big fan. I actually had no idea that lead guitarist Marty Frie...

Hiroko Yamamura

7:00 PM on 10.26.2014

Animator Expo's trailer contains some amazing visuals

If you've been in the mood to experience some beautiful anime shorts, then you'll be happy to hear that the Anima(tor)'s Exhibition'll showcase 30 different pieces by different directors on niconico. Interestingly, Hideaki A...

Salvador GRodiles