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8:00 AM on 04.15.2015

Final Impressions: Sword Art Online II

There’s something wonderful about having a show make you feel emotional-- especially when you were certain that the series couldn’t top its first half. One moment you’re expecting the program to fall apart w...

Salvador GRodiles



Annotated Anime: Plastic Memories episode 2 photo
Annotated Anime: Plastic Memories episode 2
by Josh Tolentino

Who would ever buy an android that has to go to the bathroom? 

Worse still, who would ever buy an android that, though it doesn't age, degrades in much the same way that people do when its up there in years?

These are questions I'd like to ask of SAI, the big company behind Plastic Memories' setting.

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Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episodes 13-14 photo
Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episodes 13-14
by Josh Tolentino

When last we checked in with Unlimited Blade Works, ufotable's big, fabulously expensive-looking adaptation of Fate/stay night's most beloved story arc left our heroes in the lurch. Though an adorable date opened episode twelve, the last installment before the show went on hiatus will be remembered by many as the day our heroes lost their beloved Saber (or rather "Seibaaaa!").

Unfortunately for people who aren't fans of losing, episode thirteen shows us that Shirou and Rin have a ways yet to fall before hitting rock bottom.

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First Impressions: Plastic Memories photo
First Impressions: Plastic Memories
by Josh Tolentino

There's a lot I don't get about Plastic Memories. There a few critical points that I encountered in its first episode that don't make a huge amount of sense to me, nor would they to any sensible contemporary person.

That's great!

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Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 36-37 photo
Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 36-37
by Josh Tolentino

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure may be best known in this day and age for helping define the landscape of shonen storytelling conventions, but one thing that shouldn't be ignored is ome of the sheer creativity creator Hirohiko Araki brought to those fights. 

And considering that in the wider canon of JoJo's story arcs, Stardust Crusaders is particularly straightforward, and almost dour by some comparisons. That in mind, the return - and end - of Hol Horse can serve as a landmark encounter, one that is frequently hilarious and even occasionally profound.

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Final Impressions: Gundam Build Fighters Try photo
Final Impressions: Gundam Build Fighters Try
by Josh Tolentino

In my mind, in the story I've built for myself for lack of genuine information, Gundam Build Fighters is The Little Gundam That Could, a show and concept that someone in the bowels of Bandai or Sunrise had to fight for, the staff cobbling keyframes out of Q-tips and elbow grease, sneaking new episodes away under the noses of The Suits for delivery to eager broadcasters and Youtube, and into the faces of true believers everywhere.

Of course, the reality of that couldn't be further from the truth.

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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 23-24 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 23-24
by Josh Tolentino

Welcome to the latest installment of Annotated Anime, brought to you by the Church of GunplaBattology. In the header you can see the benefits being a Build Fighter™ can bring to your life. Our two latest recruits have gone completely Clear Plastic, and their polycaps have been adjusted and audited to maximum efficiency.

And they'll need it, given that we're also up against the last big battle of the series. 

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Final Impressions: Shirobako photo
Final Impressions: Shirobako
by Josh Tolentino

Spoiler alert: Shirobako ends happily. 

Of course, that's really only a spoiler to the most stubborn and obnoxious of curmudgeons. There was really no other way for this show to end. And to be frank, it ended as it should have: Full to bursting with sappy, sentimental, idealistic, feel-good cliche.

I love it. 

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Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 34-35 photo
Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 34-35
by Josh Tolentino

What is this, a gambling anime?

Actually, scratch that. The better question is: Why are two episodes of a battle anime portraying the drama of gambling better than a number of actual gambling anime?

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 23 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 23
by Josh Tolentino

Exposition. Rising Action. Climax. Dénouement. These should be familiar, if you remember your grade-school literature classes.

Real life, however, isn't so convenient. More often than not, life is a lingering anticlimax bracketed by exposition, and for the unlucky, catastrophe. And even then to reduce a real life to those terms is to do it a disservice.

Thank goodness Shirobako's a story, then!

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 20-22 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 20-22
by Josh Tolentino

As we roll into the endgame for Shirobako, our longtime Producer-san Jeff Chuang faces a crisis at his own day job, and called me in for support. So far, so Shirobako, and here I am to take over the weekly recap for the time being.

And just like the old, reliable fellow that steps back just far enough for the youngsters taking his place to realize how they'd taken the old-timer for granted, things get about as loud, heavy, and outright violent as they ever have in this anime about making anime.

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Annotated Anime: One Piece 684 photo
Annotated Anime: One Piece 684
by Anthony Redgrave

Over the past few weeks, I've been re-watching Avatar: The Last Airbender with a friend. He enjoys the characters, setting, martial arts, and story because Avatar is a really good show. But the last two episodes we've seen; The Swamp and Avatar Day rubbed him the wrong way as they both concluded with antagonists becoming allies. The change of heart to resolve conflict is very common in very childish shows but didn't fit the mature manner Avatar treated most themes. This intro does have something to do with this weeks Annotated Anime on One Piece and not a glorified excuse for me to talk about Avatar

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