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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

4:30 PM on 04.11.2014

Annotated Anime: Mushishi S2 episode 2

It's so nice to be back in the Mushishi saddle. It's like a warm, cozy blanket that wraps around and comforts you with soothing music and beautiful art. We had a strong opening episode but I've got to say: episode 2 was even better. Yup, you heard me. Let's jump right in to my impressions.

Ben Huber





3:30 PM on 04.11.2014

Log Horizon author announces new classes for world servers

Mamare Touno, the 2ch/4chan-friendly light novel author, has released on his website the a list of player classes for his fantasy setting MMORPG, Elder Tales, as detailed in the Log Horizon series. It's an exhaustiv...

Jeff Chuang

3:00 PM on 04.11.2014

Final volume of Gundam Unicorn gets another trailer

It's been four long years, but we're finally at the end of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. The OVA series, extended to seven episodes from the original solicitation of six, premieres its final episode in several Japanese theater...

Pedro Cortes



First Impressions: The Comic Artist and His Assistants photo
First Impressions: The Comic Artist and His Assistants
by Karen Mead

I wanted to like this. Maybe it's just due to super-fond memories of Doujin Work, but I have a bias towards any anime that happens to be about making comic books. So even though I knew this was going to be a series about a pervy comic artist that was going to be all pervy jokes about boobs and panties, I was hoping there would be a little more to it; that the humor might somehow be universal enough that I could still enjoy it, even though I get nothing out of the fanservice. Well, the short answer is, there's nothing more to it; it's just fanservice and jokes that aren't very funny.

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First Impressions: Is the Order a Rabbit? photo
First Impressions: Is the Order a Rabbit?
by Dae Lee

You know, I can enjoy some unapologetic fluff too. Sometimes these kinds of shows can be just the palate cleanser I need between heavier offerings.

It was for that very reason that I carefully curated Is the Order a Rabbit?, an adaptation of a 4-koma comedy manga by Koi. Since White Fox was announced to work on it (Super Sonico the Animation and the hilarious The Devil is a Part-Timer!), and Hiroyuki Hashimoto is directing it (episode director for notable shows like Bakuman and Angel Beats!), I felt that they could conjure up something cute and enjoyable for me to talk about, and I got pretty much exactly what I ordered.

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First Impressions: Selector Infected WIXOSS photo
First Impressions: Selector Infected WIXOSS
by Karen Mead

While taking in WIXOSS, I couldn't stop thinking to myself, "This show really, REALLY wants to be Madoka Magica," and you know what? That's probably really unfair. After all, Madoka was a groundbreaking show; there's nothing wrong with taking inspiration from it. And just because you can tell where the creators are gleaning some of their inspiration from, that doesn't mean they aren't bringing interesting ideas of their own to the table. But even so; if I had to describe this series in three words, as of right now I would say "Poor-man's Madoka."

But whether it's derivative or not, JC Staff must be doing something right with this psychic/card battle/magical girl anime, because I'm more than willing to come along for the ride.

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First Impressions: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders photo
First Impressions: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
by Josh Tolentino

Well, this is it. This...is JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.

Of course, I'm utterly wrong on this one, factually speaking. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure started with Phantom Blood, way back in 1987, after all, as a manga. 

Then again, I'm also utterly right, because for a goodly number of folks, Stardust Crusaders IS JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. There's a reason Jotaro is the biggest guy on the cover of All Star Battle, and not Jonathan, Joseph, Josuke, Jolyne, Giorno, or Other Josuke. 

This isn't to say that Stardust Crusaders is the best JoJo's arc, or even the most well-regarded, but there's no denying that this what quite a few fans have been waiting for since David Production first started with Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency.

And now, after a brief dabbling with Hyperdimension Neptunia, they're back and ready to get down to the real thing. Was it worth the wait?

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First Impressions: Haikyu!! photo
First Impressions: Haikyu!!
by Karen Mead

If we were ranking these new shows based on animation quality alone, Haikyu!! would be king of the mountain; out of everything I've seen so far this season, only the first episode Captain Earth has better animation...maybe. Possibly. These volleyball-loving kids spike, set and tumble into the scenery with a real sense of weight and inertia, and even the characters who don't move around much are animated with a lot of care. The character designs aren't quite my cup of tea, but still, everyone's facial expressions are invested with plenty of emotion.

The shows charms aren't strictly limited to its visuals either. While this is a standard sports anime in most regards, with stock character types you've seen before, it kicks off the story from a different angle than I'm used to, and even subverts a cliche or two at the same time. Really, Production I.G. couldn't have done much better with this first episode...but for whatever reason, I just don't feel hooked.

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