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Dragon Ball Super photo
Dragon Ball Super

Dragon Ball Super's English dub airing on Toonami this January

Rock the dragon again
Dec 07
// Nick Valdez
Although you can find Japanese episodes of Dragon Ball Super streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation Now, if you're like me you've been waiting for an English version. Thankfully we won't have to wait much longer as Toei Anim...

JapanaSix: Top moments from Ajin Season 2

Nov 17 // Karishma Roy
Tosaki and Kei’s Alliance So remember how Tosaki and Kei were enemies playing cat and mouse? Not the case anymore. They form an unlikely but a mutually beneficial alliance stemming from their shared goal to defeat Satou. Tosaki is under threat from his higher ups and will be forced to quit the Ajin Research Department if he doesn’t manage to save the minister whose name is on the kill list. Tosaki desperately needs the job to pay for his currently comatose fiancée’s treatment which confirms that he does indeed have a heart underneath that icy exterior! Meanwhile, Kei and Kou require a powerful ally – an army of their own- to defeat Satou’s team. And Kei, guided by his genius intellect, threatens to kill Tosaki’s fiancée in order to buy time to make the deal that gives him the support and resources he needs. This was an intense and action packed scene.  The fear and tension when Kei orders his IBM to kill the fiancée is palpable as no one in the room was aware that his ghost does the opposite of what it is ordered. As twisted as Kei is, there is something to admire about his cold, logical way of thinking. As for Kou, he is the dumbest guy out there but he provides comic relief and reminds Kei about basic human morals so I’m okay with him being a sidekick.  Satou blowing up the plane Satou appears to be having a lot of fun progressing through his kill list. The second guy he takes out is Mr. Sakurai who despite Tosaki’s warnings decides to fly out on a business trip believing that Satou would hardly follow him all the way to Okinawa. Of course, Hatter shows up like Surprise, bitch! There’s a cool casualness to the way Satou finishes his game, saunters to the first class cabin, kills his target and wishes those who are alive "Bon Voyage" before blowing the plane up. How frickin’ cool is that? I mean, it’s totally evil but also the dude’s a bawse! Satou couldn’t give a damn about practicality so long as he can make his stunts awesome. His only regret would probably be that his game console didn’t make it out intact from the explosion. This whole scene is done incredibly well. I wonder about the secret weapon Satou is working on with Okuyama. They have a copious amount of explosives so is it a bomb? What do you guys think? The conversation between Kei and Hirasawa (aka Bald Guy) This conversation is a significant moment in Kei’s characterisation. We haven’t seen him display vulnerability publicly before as much as he does in this episode. How adorable was his blush when Kou compliments him!? I'm interested to see how his character develops over this season. The Bald Guy seems to be the first person to validate Kei’s ability to remain rational at the expense of emotions and even view it as an asset to their mission. Kei, to my surprise, recounts his father’s demise as a surgeon which came about when he took desperate measures to save a patient who lacked an organ donor by looking into the organ black market. Kei is apathetic in nature most likely because he doesn’t want to end up like his dad and this fear resonates with his humanity. Remember Mr. Nekozawa - the dealer who provides weapons to Satou in exchange for organs? I wonder if Kei's father was connected more closely to Ajins than it is let on.  Ajin with wings This IBM at the end is the sickest of them all. Move aside Kuro-Chan, this fallen angel is number one now. It will be interesting to watch it fight. We learn a lot more about IBM’s thanks to the dope Professor Ikuya Ogura. A big shout out to Kai for being a cool bro and willing to help save Kei if needed despite being abandoned by him. Tosaki’s Kidnapping Tosaki is kidnapped by American agents Douglas Almeida (aka a jerk) and Carly Myers on suspicion of having kidnapped Professor Ogura. Myers initially expresses reluctance about this as Tosaki is a Japanese official but Douglas is a misogynistic ass who treats her like scum and doesn’t value her opinion. Tosaki’s treatment of Izumi isn’t exemplary but he didn’t physically assault or torture her. I hope you kill him, Myers. Izumi tries to save Tosaki using her black ghost but it turns out Myers is also an Ajin and her IBM defeats Kuro-Chan who was weak to begin with as she had been summoned not too long ago. I’m adamant that had Kuro-chan been at full strength, Myers’s IBM would have been defeated. Also, Tosaki deserves a round of applause for some mad acting skills when he was being questioned by the American Agents. In Episode 6, he holds up under torture and doesn’t give away the hideout where not only is Professor Ogura held but the entire operation to defeat Satou is being planned and practiced. Izumi Shimomura’s past This sad tale forced my heart through a shredder. We find out that Izumi’s birth name was Tainaka Yoko. Her stepfather, a violent drunkard, tries to sell her out to the police to make money and her mother doesn’t appear to fight hard enough to protect her only daughter. Feeling betrayed and lonely, Izumi escapes and lives rough on the streets working as a prostitute to survive. She appears to have caught a terminal disease and meets Tosaki during her stay in the hospital. Tosaki reveals that Izumi’s mother had stabbed the stepfather in an attempt to protect Izumi however he had managed to stay alive long enough to pull the knife out from his body and stab her back with it. This resulted in both their deaths. Talk about dramatic! We get a clear understanding of their relationship in this episode. Tosaki enabled her to start a new life: she picked a new name and was given a new purpose – to protect Tosaki. Izumi is emotional when it comes to him because of a sense of gratitude that surpasses duty. I was surprised and impressed when she tackles Kei and shows him that he is unprepared to beat Satou if he can’t even defeat her. I hope Kou regretted trying to white-knight her before by suggesting that a woman shouldn’t do dangerous things. Kou, you were probably only concerned, but forgetting to deactivate the safety before firing a gun makes me think it is you who shouldn’t be involved in dangerous missions. Changing Kei’s mind isn’t easy but Izumi persuades him by pointing out that Tosaki is the only one who knows when Hatter will attack the minister. All I can say is, you go gurl! Tosaki is lucky to have you as his bodyguard. This season keeps getting better! My only complaint is that the ending song by CreepHyp is intolerable. The opening song, a collaboration between pop duos fripSide and angela, sounds okay but I sorely miss flumpool from season 1. Do you guys agree with my choice of top moments from the episodes so far? Will Team Kei manage to rescue Tosaki in episode 7? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! [Ajin 2nd season is available to watch on Netflix]
Ajin photo
Episodes 1 - 6
Ajin season 2 is back on our screens and every episode so far has been KICKING ASS. Check out my highlights from season 1 to refresh your memory of the story so far. This cour continues with the conflict between our...

A Look @ Fairy Tail Volume 33 & 34

Feb 05 // Pedro Cortes
Fairy Tail Volume 33 & 34Creator: Hiro MashimaTranslated by: William FlanaganPublisher: Kodansha ComicsMSRP: $10.99 Physical / $7.99 DigitalReleased: 12/3/2013 (Vol. 33) & 1/7/2014 (Vol. 34) At this point in this large, multi-part arc, Fairy Tail is desperately behind in the Grand Magical Games. In order to stand a chance at reclaiming their place as the strongest guild, they’ll need some points and fast. That means more one-on-one fights. Now, typically this is where my eyes would start rolling. In most shonen franchises, the tournament setup is used when the creator is either stalling for time or is out of ideas. It’s a good excuse to have your characters stick around in one place and have flashy fights. This time around, the tournament conceit actually makes sense in the story and doesn’t feel out-of-place. After all of the heavy hitters disappearing for seven years, it would make sense that Fairy Tail’s reputation would take a hit and they would do anything to bring the guild back to its former glory. Thus taking us to the slate of fights across these two volumes. We’ve got a good combination of gag-based battles and serious, story-altering tussles. The Elfman/Bacchus fight manages to combine both to great effect. For one, it legitimizes Elfman, who I feel has gotten short shrift thought the entire story. Two, it forces Quatro Cerberus to change their name to Quatro Puppy. Childish, yes, but psychologically devastating. For other good, serious battles, the Kagura/Yukino and Laxus/Alexi fights need to be mentioned. The Kagura/Yukino fight adds fuel to the Saber Tooth/Fairy Tail conflict when Yukino gets the boot for losing and the Laxus/Alexi fight is just impressive, as Laxus takes on the entirety of Raven Tail and comes out on top. Speaking of Saber Tooth/Fairy Tail conflict, the biggest highlight for me across both of these volumes is Natsu’s solo-attack on a guild. It’s a mark of the fire wizard’s physical fortitude that he stood toe-to-toe with the Saber Tooth headmaster and his belief in camaraderie. One of Fairy Tail’s strengths is the bonds of friendship and family that the members of Natsu’s guild form with each other and that chapter encapsulates it. The final pages of volume 34 take things a step further, when Minerva beats Lucy within an inch of her life. With things getting more personal, it’ll be interesting to see how those conflicts become more heated as the Games get further along. My only gripe with these volumes has to be the mysterious references to Eclipse. Knowing what happens later, the way things are depicted is a bit misleading and leads to some confusion later on. Fairy Tail is at its weakest whenever Mashima relies on big doomsday devices and the later arc swerve is the result of either sloppy storytelling or poor planning. Like a lot of things in fiction, problems could have been prevented if things were presented in a succinct fashion. Oh well. Everything else in these volumes should please long-time readers.
Fairy Tail photo
Fights everywhere you turn
Before we take a look at the latest volumes of Fairy Tail, let’s take a look at where we’re at in the story. The members of Fairy Tail are in the midst of the Grand Magic Games. Held to determine which guild is th...


Rejoice! Vanillaware's Dragon's Crown gets a new trailer!

That's right, the game is still coming.
Feb 18
// Elliot Gay
Vanillaware's upcoming Vita/PS3 brawler, Dragon's Crown, has seen one hell of a bumpy road. Announced back at E3 2011, Dragon's Crown disappeared for quite some time, only for Vanillaware to reveal that Atlus would be ...


Crunchyroll to stream Pandora Hearts, more to follow

Jump into Wonderland with NIS America-licensed Pandora Hearts
Oct 16
// Kristina Pino
Though NIS America released Pandora Hearts a long while back in two parts (Part 1, Part 2), it looks like now they're sharing the love with all you digital fiends. Starting now, you can load up Crunchyroll on your computer or...

Final Impressions: Lupin the Third

Jul 07 // Chris Walden
Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine serves as a prequel to the existing series, showing us how the gang met each other, and what they were all doing beforehand. This includes Lupin, the world's most wanted thief, meeting with the cat-burglar Fujiko and marksman Jigen for the first time, so it was great to finally see the circumstances. With the introduction of Goemon some way into the series, I was slightly worried that it would break canon, but they manage to give reasons behind Lupin and Jigen never meeting him. Very cool stuff.  However, unlike the existing anime, Lupin relinquishes his role as the main character to allow us to learn about Fujiko and her pretty complicated past. Each and every encounter featuring Fujiko is important, with repercussions being seen throughout the rest of the series. There are obvious changes like Lupin and Jigen showing up more often, but then there's the point where the first episode becomes incredibly important, when before it only seemed to exist to show the chance meeting of Lupin and Fujiko. The story of Fujiko Mine is exceedingly well-crafted, and I'm sure both fans and first-timers will be happy with it.  The characters are what make the Lupin franchise what it is, and I'd even risk saying that it is this series that best represents them. I admit, I've only got the original series and the film to base this on, but this is the first time I've seen Lupin as a competent, devious thief, Jigen as a fearsome gunman and Goemon as a badass samurai. Sure, that's exactly what they were meant to be, but this is the only time I've genuinely felt like that is actually true. Perhaps it's the art style helping out in a way, but whatever is doing it, it shouldn't stop. With all this praise, there can't possibly be any bad points! Not quite. There are two main qualms I have with the show, which I feel leave an unfortunate mark on what could have been a near-perfect series. The first is how it seemingly lost its way around the middle, as while it was giving us important information with regards to the climax, it almost seemed to disregard the need to be gripping itself. I mean, it was okay, but it was a bore in comparison to the episodes either side of it. The other is how they dealt with Oscar. In my opinion, he was one of the most interesting characters in the entire show, and killing him off towards the end worked tremendously well. Why is he suddenly alive in the last episode, and why have you ended the series without explaining it? Sure, it could be resolved in a sequel, but it most certainly shouldn't have to be. We know he isn't around for any of the other Lupin series, so why bother? He played no role that only he could fulfil in the final episode, so I really don't understand the reason for it. It really is a shame.  Now, I couldn't possibly write about this show without talking about the art, could I? Simply put, it looks absolutely fantastic. The amount of effort that has quite clearly been poured into making this look so visually pleasing is quite apparent, and the new style really lends itself well to the Lupin the Third universe. There were a few issues with the shadows on the 3D models, but really, it's a minor problem at best. There was so much hype about the Redline guy being involved on this project, and it's apparent why! It's noticeably his work, but there are plenty of differences to keep the two projects from looking like cookie cutter efforts.  Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine is one of the most memorable action anime from recent years, and one which I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone, regardless of whether you have dabbled with Lupin the Third before. The story, when it is in full force, is fantastic. The art goes above and beyond what you might have ever expected. It may have been let down by a few episodes in the middle of the series, but overall, this show is definitely worth your time. 

An anime that has Takeshi Koike involved, the guy responsible for the characters and animation in both Dead Leaves and Redline? You mean to say that we're going to mix Lupin the Third with ounces of style? Yeah, so this ...

Final Impressions: Jormungand

Jun 30 // Chris Walden
The premise is relatively simple; Koko is an arms dealer and she's hired a bunch of ex-military folk to help her do her job. There is also Jonah, a child soldier who joined the group after a run-in with Koko's brother, who also happens to be an arms dealer. It's about as simplistic as plots can get, but don't let that fool you! There are plenty of stories behind each of the characters, plus everyone has their own charms to add to the mix. It shows that they are a bunch of mismatched people, but on the other hand, they also seem to work perfectly together.  There have yet to be any 'arcs' of sorts, but rather stories that span one or two episodes. Valmer was the source of what you could argue was an overarching story, though it really only had two episodes dedicated to it. Some anime work better this way though, we obviously don't need to have Bleach-esque run-ins with a show like this. My opinion? It works pretty darn well. There's enough to keep you salivating for the next episode, and not too much to bore you in the build-up.   That's not to say that this show is perfect, either. The last two episodes of this show in particular were slightly disappointing to me for one main reason, and that's is how they skirted death. The rest of the series deals with death as you'd imagine an arms dealer would deal with it, and while it was sometimes gruesome, it was just another part of the show. When two of Koko's men are shown to be dead/dying at the climax of the penultimate episode, I was literally floored. Seeing the military folk caught off-guard, seeing Koko panic in the dark... it was fantastic. To have this essentially reversed without consequence at the start of the next episode was more than a disappointment. It happened again with regards to Valmer in the final episode, and put a damper on what could have been a great first season conclusion. Still, that's the source material for you, as the animation itself has been top notch all the way through. Most of the character designs are very typical of gun-centric shows, though they all seem to have very unique facial expressions. Koko has probably the most obvious of them with her strange-shaped mouth, but they all seem to have odd quirks with their smiles and glares. A good kind of odd, I might add! The music and sound was also very well done, but perhaps that's the Toaru Majutsu no Index/Shakugan no Shana side of me detecting Mami Kawada. No glaring errors either, so I think it's safe to say that White Fox put their all into animating this. If you were wondering, they also animated Katanagatari and Steins;Gate, so you can just about smell the quality already! I mentioned the Black Lagoon similarities before, so I should probably address them! Koko and her group of military personnel definitely give off the same vibes I get from seeing Rock, Dutch, Revy and Benny go about their business, but besides this, they are pretty different shows. There's obviously 'arms dealers' versus 'mercenaries' if you just want to state the differences, but the overall tones and themes are what make these shows significantly different from each other. Of course, if you like one, try the other, but know that there will be plenty more to see.  So, the final verdict! Personally, Jormungand was my favourite show this season. It may not be a deep enough anime to make all of you agree, but it deserves considerable mention for keeping itself fresh and exciting. Sure, it was a little rough in places, but man was it entertaining! I'll be jumping on the second season when that airs, so I suggest you watch this in the meantime! 

Well, there we have it. Jormungand, the show billed for two seasons before it had even started airing, has recently showed us its twelfth and final episode. While it's certainly considered to have a sizable manga&nb...


Jormungand looks more than a little bit like Black Lagoon

Mar 22
// Josh Tolentino
That's definitely not a bad thing if you're looking for more Black Lagoon-ish stuff. The lady looks like a young Balalaika, but I've yet to see this show's version of Rock and Revy. The kid with the assault rifle's still a bi...

Is Black Lagoon's manga returning from hiatus?

Mar 08
// Bob Muir
Black Lagoon has been on hiatus for a while now. The manga has been running since 2002, but only nine volumes have been collected, with the last one released in 2009. That might change soon, as mangaka Rei Hiroe recently post...

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