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First Impressions: Attack on Titan: Junior High episode 1

Oct 05 // Soul Tsukino
AOT: Junior High was first produced as a comedy parody spinoff manga that got many  people's attention for being the exact opposite of what AOT was known for. It's silly, adorable, and made for a zany side series. Could the anime version do the same? Right off the bat you know something is different when you see the familiar opening, only with more cute chibified characters with big heads standing in a stark field covered in blood. However that is only a bad dream as the main character of this series, Erin, wakes up in a field with his friends during lunch break.  That scene right there was a cute little nod that this was not the original series. We get to follow Erin, Mikasa, and all their friends as they go to the first day of Junior High. Gone is the start quasi-European world of a walled-in village and we are taken to modern (if made extremely adorable) Japan. We get introduced to more of Erin's friends like the eating machine Sasha, the friendly Christa and her over protective friend Ymir, along with Jean, who seems to be Erin's foil for the series. We also get introduced to the titans, who go to the school next door. Oh, These titans are hungry all right! But their tastes in this series tend to be a little more benign. This series is not here to make you think, it's here to make you laugh. It's a silly comedy show much in the vein of Puni Puni Poemy or The Adventures of Haruhi-chan. Although it's hard to tell how deep the writing will be from just the first episode, it seems that this show uses a lot of sight gags and spoofing of anime troupes, including poking fun at its own source series, for its humor. While that kind of humor may not play to some. I think this show is hilarious! For fans of the original material, you will get a laugh of just how adorably reimagined your favorite characters are in this series. For those of you that aren't familiar with attack on Titan can still enjoy the series as it does a good job at introducing the characters and the things they do are so silly, you won't need to have a prior knowledge of things when watching this to enjoy it. Attack on Titan is currently streaming on Hulu and Funimation's website, so go ahead and check it out!   AOT: Junior High was first produced as a comedy parody spinoff manga that got many  people's attention for being the exact opposite of what AOT was known for. It's silly, adorable, and made for a zany side series. Could the anime version do the same?
Attack on Titan: Jr. High photo
The D'awww will eat you alive!
Attack on Titan is one of those series that it doesn't matter what they do, people pay attention to it. The graphically violent and gruesome series shot to popularity first as a manga and then as an anime series. Soon all kin...

Gundam photo

Simulcast GET: Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans heads to and Hulu

New Gundam series for everyone!
Sep 30
// Salvador GRodiles
It looks like there's another good reason to be a Gundam fan this year, since the upcoming series, Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans, hits and Hulu on Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Japan Standard Time/3:30 a.m. Pacifi...
FUNimation photo

Rejoice: FUNimation plans to stream anime outside of North America

In which FUNi's streams travel to new lands
Jan 06
// Salvador GRodiles
Are you upset over the fact that FUNimation's anime streams are only available in North America? Luckily, the studio's help section has revealed that they're planning to expand their digital content to other regions this...
Cowboy Bebop photo
Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop HD will be right on time for Christmas

You know what to buy me right?
Oct 06
// Hiroko Yamamura
What is probably one of the most anticipated Blu-Ray remasters in a long time, is set to be released just in time for Christmas on December 16th. The video from FUNimation looks fantastic, with the colors and details looking...

Dragon Ball Z photo
Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods has 20 extra minutes and a new trailer

I felt like a kid again
Sep 12
// Hiroko Yamamura
Our friends over at FUNimation have shared the newest trailer for the DVD/Blu-Ray release of one of last year's surprise pleasures, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. I went into seeing this movie with very low expectations, and...
Licensing photo

FUNimation to simulcast Ping Pong

Licensing! Anime! Simulcasts! You know the drill!
Apr 05
// Ben Huber
Briefly: FUNimation has announced their latest nab this season. They'll be licensing and simulcasting Ping Pong, Masaaki Yuasa's upcoming Noitamina show, so you'll be able to catch it on their site and Hulu. The simulcast beg...
Selector Infected WIXOSS photo
Selector Infected WIXOSS

Funimation acquires spring anime Selector Infected WIXOSS

Cute girls play card game from hell.
Apr 03
// Dae Lee
FUNimation is starting to show their licensing cards, and among them is the upcoming spring series Selector Infected WIXOSS. An original show, the series composition will be done by Mari Okada (Tora Dora!, Nagi no Asukara) an...
PUCHIM@S! 2 photo

Puchim@s! FUNimation streams second season of mini idol comedy

This is the kind of anime that debuts on Apriil First.
Apr 02
// Jeff Chuang
Producers rejoice! FUNimation is now streaming the second season of the short anime series PUCHIM@S. The series of 3-minute episodes is actually called Petit Idolm@ster, but nobody calls it that! Following the gag comedy anim...
Space Dandy S2 photo
Space Dandy S2

Second season of Space Dandy will air in July

In Japan, at least
Mar 22
// Chris Walden
If you're ready for more adventure, pompadours and space boobies, you'll be pleased to hear that Space Dandy has just had it's second season confirmed, and it'll be coming as soon as July. You may remember that the show was d...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

First look at Attack on Titan in English

Take your dubbing like a man
Mar 19
// Karen Mead
To build excitement for the official premiere of the Attack on Titan dub at Anime Boston -- and to tear the geekier portions of the internet asunder with talk over whether certain voices are "too deep" or "just deep enough,"...
Blood-C photo

Blood-C summed up in 60 seconds

Yep, that looks right
Mar 03
// Pedro Cortes
You may remember that I wasn't too hot on Blood-C or its sequel, The Last Dark. It really suffers from a listless plot that doesn't do much with its interesting lead character. However, it does have interesting moments, many...
Funimation photo

Funimation gets home video rights for four series

RDG, Karneval, Code:Breaker and Date A Live
Feb 21
// LB Bryant
This morning Funimation revealed via their official blog that they have acquired the home video rights to four series that were previously simulcast on their website: Date A Live, Code:Breaker, Karneval and Red Data Girl. All of the series will be released in June of 2014. What's that? You don't remember any of these series? Well that's why you have me here to refresh your memories silly!

Review: Kamisama Kiss

Feb 21 // Karen Mead
Kamisama Kiss DVD/Blu-Ray Complete Series (Hyb) TMS Entertainment Publisher: FUNimation Release Date: February 11, 2014 MSRP: $54.98 Kamisama Kiss is a very skillfully done supernatural romance done in the shoujo style, and really, that could be the whole review right there. If you like the combination of shoujo aesthetics and supernatural characters, you will eat this show up with a spoon like it's chocolate pudding. Mmm. Sweet, sweet pudding. What's more difficult to say is whether or not this show has much appeal outside of shoujo fans who already know what they like. While the plot moves at a good clip (no lazy filler episodes here) and the story remains engaging throughout, it's still a very shoujo-y tale filled with breathy songs, impossibly leggy characters, and plenty of luminescent blushing. Furthermore, while it's not a true reverse-harem show, the fact that main gal Nanami has several attractive, supernaturally-gifted guys vying for her attention might give some viewers cause to roll their eyes. That said, I think the strength of the main character may be enough to win over some viewers who are new to the charms of shoujo. Poor Nanami gets kicked out of her house due to her absentee father's debts, and finds herself homeless at the start of the series. Through a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger, she becomes a supernatural creature called a "Land God" and inherits a shrine to live in. Unfortunately, the previous Land God's familiar-- a silver-haired fox demon, Tomoe-- isn't impressed with the idea of having a down-on-her-luck teen as his new God. What's a newbie divinity to do? What's refreshing about Nanami is that she's very active, taking control of her own story rather than just letting things happen to her. True, becoming a Land God in the first place is something she kind of stumbles into, but that takes place in the first five minutes of the show; after that, she's all about making choices and moving forward. She makes mistakes from time to time, but her errors always feel age-appropriate rather than the result of stupidity. She's a fairly realistic heroine whose bullheaded determination is a great source of strength, yet it's often her biggest problem as well; it's hard not to root for her. Naturally, handsome fox-spirit Tomoe is more cool and detached, and while his warming up to Nanami over the course of the series was something I fully expected, the way it's done isn't strictly predictable. In true "defrosting Ice King" fashion I expected Tomoe to talk down to Nanami and treat her basically like dirt until the final episode, at which point he would reveal that he's actually in love with her. I guess that's still kind of what happens, but in practice it's a little more nuanced and interesting than I anticipated, with more give and take. There isn't a ton of action, but Tomoe is a very hands-on kind of familiar and takes insults to his mistress very seriously, so don't be surprised to see some supernatural brawls go down. The magic is all mined from Japanese folklore, so be prepared for plenty of talisman-throwing as well. As a romance primarily, fight scenes were never going to be a big draw here, but I felt the series found a good balance between action and talking-head scenes; a liberal dose of humor helps keep things interesting as well. As is my habit, I watched the series subtitled, where a lot of the usual suspects abound if you're used to watching your shows in Japanese. However, I checked out an episode or two of the dub to assess its quality, and I don't think you can really go wrong with either option here; the dub is well-cast and it seems like some care was taken with the translation. I found Tia Ballard's Nanami to be a bit too loud, but then again, if I were in Nanami's position I might find myself yelling a lot too. This set is pretty light on extras, featuring only a few commentaries from the English ADR director Jerry Jewell and members of the cast. I could complain about the lack of bonus stuff, but this is the bare bones release; fans who want the whole Kamisama Kiss experience, complete with postcards and hair pins and what have you, should pick up the Kamisama Kiss Goddess Edition box set, MSRP $129.98. But these 13 episodes are strong enough on their own to warrant the reasonable asking price here without the need to guild the lily. I've attempted to elaborate on it, but what I said at the beginning of this review still stands: this is a really good shoujo supernatural romance. If you like that, jump on this. If you're not the biggest shoujo fan, but you like your heroine's feisty and your shows filler-free, Kamisama Kiss may be worth checking out anyway. It passed "The Wilson Test"-- by which I mean, my husband actually started watching it (and laughing along with the jokes) even though I didn't ask him to, and let me tell you: not every shoujo series passes that test. Score: 8.0 – Great. A great example of its genre that everyone should see, regardless of their interest.
Kamisama Kiss photo
Doing the God thing
When I dream of becoming God, these fantasies usually don't involve a white-haired pretty boy with fox ears who follows me around and does my bidding; clearly, I've been doing it wrong. Now that Kamisama Kiss has taught me th...

DBZ Kai news photo
DBZ Kai news

New episodes of Dragon Ball Z Kai to premiere this Spring

English dub remains in question
Feb 17
// Tim Sheehy
Excellent news for Dragon Ball fans who may have felt short-changed following the decision to nix the Majin Buu saga from the recently-remastered Dragon Ball Z Kai. New episodes are finally scheduled to air this Spr...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan dub debuting at Anime Boston

It's about time.
Feb 15
// Brittany Vincent
Attack on Titan, as I'm sure we're all aware, is a pretty huge deal. If it weren't clear by our awesome valentines and Karen going back to check out the episodes, a lot of us are fans. Some of us are not, but personally, I'm ...
Ben-to Funimation photo
Ben-to Funimation

FUNimation teases us with a Ben-To website

Yes please!
Feb 06
// Chris Walden
[Edit: It seems that FUNimation have secured the streaming rights. One step at a time!] Well, who honestly saw this coming? Ben-To, the anime that depicts the atrocities of discount bento combat, might finally have been licen...
FUNimation @ events photo
FUNimation @ events

FUNimation posts up their 2014 convention schedule

Stalking that isn't illegal
Feb 01
// Kristina Pino
In case you're making your convention plans for this year already, save some room for FUNimation in your schedules. They're attending a lot of the big ones, of course, like San Diego Comic Con, Otakon in Baltimore, SXSW Gamin...

First Impressions: D-Frag

Jan 19 // LB Bryant
Growing up, Kazama was a fairly normal kid with fairly normal friends. Once he entered high school however, he and his friends changed into delinquents who were only interested in causing trouble. Oh yeah, they're bad asses who march to the beat of their own drum, play by their own rules and they think they're the baddest of the bad. What they don't know though is that compared to the girls of the Game Development club, they're small potatoes.  The girls of the Game Development club have a problem though; they do not have enough members and because they have failed to report any kind of accomplishment they are in danger of being disbanded. Throughout the first half of the episode, the story centers on these girls doing everything in their power (including torture... no seriously!) to get Kazama to join their club.   Before the season started I did not have D-Frag on my radar. I had never read the manga and honestly knew very little about the series other than what I had read in short plot synopsis' and saw in some trailers. After watching the first episode though, I am wondering how something as crazy as this ever managed to sneak past my radar. Simply put, D-Frag is the comedy that you have been waiting for. In the beginning, it's easy to mistake this series as 'just another comedy'. The elements are all there and you could easily go through the first couple of minutes thinking that the series is just setting up another rom-com but that's when the other shoe drops and the girls of the Game Development club make their presence known by setting a fire in their club room which Kazama heroically puts out. From there the episode becomes a blur of chase scenes, enhanced coercion and laughs until he finally agrees to join the club.   As much as I laughed at this first episode though, I am forced to admit that there are problems right off the bat which one has to hope are addressed in future episodes. First off, the pacing for this episode felt lightning fast to me. Don't think for one moment that D-Frag is ever going to wait for you to catch up. The jokes are going to come fast and hard and if you're not ready to keep up with their pace, you're only going to be left behind eating dust.  The other issue that I feel is a problem with this first episode is that they might have tried to do a bit too much with their allotted time. For the first 18 minutes or so, the story is completely centered on the girls convincing Kazama to join by any means necessary and honestly I felt like that could have been the entire episode. The story was solidly delivered and once he hands over the signed club application, the episode could have ended. I would have been very happy and satisfied.  Unfortunately D-Frag goes another route and decides to squeeze even more into the episode by introducing another character and a story about the boys getting antagonized into peeking into the second floor girls changing room. It's not that I didn't laugh at this second story but by the end it did feel like it was a bit too much. In an ideal world future episodes will pace themselves a bit more and let the audience take a breath here and there. Despite those complaints D-Frag is a series filled with great little moments that come together to create a fantastic whole. Is it perfect? Of course not. What it is though is funny and a very nice distraction from the real world. This first episode put a smile on my face for over twenty minutes and I'm willing to bet it's going to do the same for you. This one is recommended. 
FI: D-Frag photo
Very busy but oh so funny!
I really enjoy moe, but I also really enjoy comedy. So what do you get when you sit me down in front of a solid combination of the two? You get one happy little camper who is ready to say please sir, may I have some more!

One Piece news photo
One Piece news

Funimation snags rights for One Piece, season 6

No surprises here
Jan 18
// Tim Sheehy
Earlier today, Funimation announced that they've acquired the rights for home video distribution of One Piece, season 6. One Piece, of course, remains super popular with fans and Funimation seems to be doing a fantastic job w...

First Impressions: Noragami

Jan 17 // LB Bryant
Essentially, this is a series about Hiyori, a high school girl with a passion for watching mixed martial arts, and Yato, a minor god with not even a shrine to his name. One day Hiyori sees Yato about to be hit by a bus so she pushes him out of the way and ends up getting hit instead. Soon afterward, she discovers that she now resides in between the world of the living and the world of the dead and that her soul can and will leave her body without any warning at all. Not wanting to stay in this condition, she hires Yato to figure out how to fix her. It's unfair to say that this is a bad series or even a bad premiere episode. For what it is, it's actually a pretty decent first episode with hooks such as fights with giant phantoms, above-average character designs (Hiyori with a tail is just adorable, and I'm not ashamed to say that.) There are also some great comedic moments which made me laugh out loud, such as when Yato visits Hiyori in the hospital and appears beneath her covers; it sounds dirty and wrong, but if you watch the episode I'm sure that you'll laugh at Hiyori's reaction just as hard as I did.  Beyond the flashy action and animation however, there's a quieter side to Noragami that many people may not even notice due to how subtle it is. The background music, composed by Taku Iwasaki, is actually quite well done in this first episode. Blending into the background perfectly, it's very easy to miss these tracks but if you listen closely (or not so closely during the fight scenes) you'll find that the music to be one of the best things about this premiere. I'm not saying that I'm going to go out and pre-order the soundtrack as soon as it becomes available, but I also couldn't imagine this episode being nearly as interesting without this particular score in the background.  The major issue with this first episode is what I alluded to in the first paragraph... for some reason, it's just not that memorable. Sure, it's fun while it lasts but once it is over there really isn't a lot here to make you desperately want to see more or even remember much about it days (or even hours)later. There's just nothing to really make it stand out. I want to like Noragami and say it's going to be a fantastic ride, but at this point it would be impossible to say that and keep a straight face. Maybe it'll get better and more memorable as the series progresses, but at this point, my feelings can be summed up with a nice loud 'Meh.' If you're looking for an amazing, out of this world, supernatural action-comedy, you can probably do better than this. [See Hiyori's tail at Funimation]
FI: Noragami photo
Fun but not very memorable
For my first assignment here at Japanator, I decided to tackle First Impressions of Noragami. I had actually watched the first episode of this series right when it first premiered on Funimation's site, but in just a few short days, I had almost completely forgotten what I had seen. That's never a good sign, is it?

Review: Aquarion: EVOL - Season 2, Part 1

Jan 06 // Pedro Cortes
Aquarion Evol DVD/Blu-ray Part 1Studio: SatelightLicensed by FUNimationRelease Date: 12/3/2013MSRP: $69.98 [Amazon | RightStuf] Taking place 12,000 years after Aquarion, the humans of planet Vega are being attacked by unknown assailants from the planet Altair, across the cosmos. The populace is protected by Neo-DEAVA, an organization that sorties combining robots to fight off the invaders. Neo-DEAVA is also divided by gender, consisting of separate teams of men and women. That status quo is broken after Amata Sora and Mikono Suzushiro are pulled into the conflict during a particularly brutal attack. Somehow, Amata is able to break every Neo-DEAVA safeguard preventing men and women from combining, forming the powerful Aquarion Evol. From that point on, Amata and Mikono are drafted into Neo-DEAVA, where we slowly learn that certain elements are very similar to events that occurred 12,000 years prior. This is where a familiarity with the original Aquarion would be handy. From the first episode, a movie becomes an important plot point between Amata and Mikono, and I'm pretty sure that film recreates events from the first show. Throughout this half of the show, it becomes clear that the main antagonist from the original Aquarion and is back for further nefarious purposes. While I do feel that I'm losing something, Evol has done a good job thus far in keeping me informed about the past and its connection with the present. Viewers in similar situations should be able to keep up, though those with previous experience with the franchise will likely get more out of these connections. In this half, Evol's story has remained fairly lighthearted. Much of the show has to do with these kids finally being able to interact with members of the opposite sex, which leads to the kind of teenage antics you'd expect. Story reasons prevent any sort of romance from growing, which adds more sexual tension to every interaction these kids have with each other. Most of the kids are the kind of flat caricatures you'd expect in any rom-com or mecha show, i.e. the BL lover, the hot-blooded pervert, the protective big brother, the tsundere, etc. Even so, they're stupidity is occasionally charming and I'll be damned if I'm not sold on the Amata/Mikono relationship. Barring some stupid stuff in the first couple of episodes, their blossoming love is adorable. The Altairians are an interesting set of villains, but my lack of familiarity with the original show leaves me wondering if I'm missing something. Their plight, which forces them to come to Vega and attempt to kidnap specific people, makes you feel for them, even if their methods aren't right. The thing is, I can't tell if their plight has anything to do with prior machinations or if it's something different all together. Hopefully, the second half of the show will tell us more. Evol is a damn pretty show. With male character designs from Chinatsu Kurahana (Samurai Flamenco, Uta no Prince-sama) and female designs from Ishida Kana (Ai Yori Aoshi, OreImo), all of these characters stand out. Even nonsensical elements like Mix's single portion of dyed hair and Zessica's ridiculously exposed outfit add a certain amount of charm. The verdant landscapes of Vega are gorgeous to look at, contrasted with the dying mountains of Altair looming over old cities falling apart. My only gripe with the visuals are the Aquarion's designs; I'm just not digging most of the variations of the Evol. If it's possible for a super robot to look too garish, then most of the Evol's forms are just that. The only design that I'm digging is the slimmer Spada, which resembles a fencer and is lacking in extra ornamentation and gloss. The audio is pretty solid too, featuring music from the legendary Yoko Kanno. The over-the-top insert music used during combining sequences screams of old super robot shows, which is fine by me. The Japanese and English performances are equally good, so fans of either format will be pleased. Characters that are shrill and annoying on one vocal track are just as annoying on the other, so that's more a character issue than a performance one. Overall, the first part of Aquarion Evol is pretty fun. It isn't the deepest or most nuanced of shows, but it did entertain me. To be fair, I wasn't expecting much else. Despite robot designs I wasn't too fond of, it had the kind of good, fast paced action you'd expect from a show with super robots that make their pilots climax when combined. The cliffhanger from this first part left me wanting more, so that's as about as good a recommendation as I can give. If you need some big, honking robot action, Aquarion Evol should give you your fix.   7.0 – Good. Films or shows that get this score good, but not great. These could have been destined for greatness, but were held back by their flaws. While some may not enjoy them, fans of the genre will definitely love them.
Aquarion Evol photo
They take gattai very seriously
When you think Shoji Kawamori, his work on Macross immediately comes to mind. It's been one of the most influential properties in Japan since it's debut. However, another major show that Kawamori worked on is Aquarion. You mi...

First Impressions: Space Dandy

Jan 06 // Ben Huber
Dandy is a dandy man in space. He scoots around the galaxy in search of new and unknown life forms with his refurbished Roomba, QT, and the cat-like alien Meow they accidentally recruit. By now you probably know why Space Dandy is a big deal, but for the uninformed I'll give you the basics: Shinichiro Watanabe is the skilled director behind anime hits like Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. Space Dandy is his latest series, and it's airing on Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block prior to airing in Japan each week. This is the first time this has ever happened, so some people (read: me) are excited. I, in particular, hope its a sign of things to come. But enough about the hype surrounding the show -- is Space Dandy actually any good? I've now watched the premier three times, first dubbed on Toonami, and twice subbed via FUNimation's website. The second time I watched it subbed I got a second opinion as well as my girlfriend sat down to watch along. Let's just put it in no uncertain terms: Space Dandy is a blast. The first half of the episode throws us right into Dandy waxing philosophical about his favorite female body part: the booty. QT and the narrator reign him in with fourth-wall-breaking humor and establish what the pair does (hunting aliens). On their hunt for new species, Dandy often decides a detour to his favorite breasturant chain, Boobies (subtle eh?), would be a good idea, which today leads them to Meow. The variety in alien design is great, and reminds me of a more vibrant (and scantily-clad) Star Wars cantina. Dandy also macks on Honey, an attractive waitress who works at Boobies. The scene in the breasturant goes on for a tad too long given the low quality of the jokes here, but once Dandy, QT, and Meow leave and head towards alien hunting, the show leaps off and dives head first into a masterful action scene.  Weaving and dodging through a cacophony of gigantic alien monsters, Dandy and Meow attempt to capture one but honestly do a very poor job of it. You can really tell that the animators went all out here, as the pair fall between the creatures as they fight, get lit on fire, and then get crushed by falling debris. See if you can catch the Terminator reference! Other great moments here were Dandy completely missing with his gun, and the teleport gag (which had me laughing out loud). The physical comedy also didn't disappoint. I generally preferred the writing of the sub to the dub, but there wasn't anything particularly awful about the latter. FUNimation did a good job of altering the lines where needed to fit the lip flaps and keep things flowing. Obviously, the original dialogue will always have the advantage of, you know, being the original dialogue, but I've got to give FUNimation credit for their effort. You're not "missing out" on anything aside from the opening and ending songs by watching on Toonami. Actually, here's a quick complaint about the dub, though. In the subbed version, Dandy mentions that his profession is something that starts with a "U," after which Honey proclaims "A maggot (ujimushi)?" taunting the clueless Dandy. In the dub, the exchange begins with an "A" and Honey guesses "An asteroid belt." Not only does this completely change the tone of the scene, but it also completely alters how you see Honey. In the dub, she's just a stereotypical blonde ditz, in the sub, she's pretending to be a blonde ditz and is mocking Dandy. I understand things have to be modified in the transition from sub to dub, but this was a disappointing change. In a way though, that I can even have that complaint is amazing! We have a dub and a sub coming out simultaneously and that alone is awesome. Space Dandy is not subtle. It's not a stunning premier that will knock the entire non-anime-watching world off its feet. But you know what? It's still freaking great. Despite the slow first half, once it really starts, it's pure goofy entertainment that shows off why we love anime so much: creative characters, vibrant colors, and gorgeous animation. Over time, given that it has a platform no other currently airing anime has, it may become something as big as Bebop. Only time will tell -- but Watanabe might just wring it out of him. Also, everything must now have "dandy" attached to the beginning of its title. Dandy Impressions!
Space Dandy photo
So, how dandy is he?
It's a good time to be an anime fan. Right now, you can watch a brand new anime series on TV each week (dubbed, too!) several hours before it airs in Japan. If dubs aren't your thing, you can watch it subbed the following morning. Whatever your preferred way to watch your crazy Japanese cartoons, you can do it easily from any device you'd like. We're living in the future! And so is Space Dandy.

Space Dandy photo
Space Dandy

FUNimation drops some Space Dandy streaming science

Where to go to get your Space Dandy fix
Jan 06
// Pedro Cortes
I don't know if you've heard, but Space Dandy is kind of a big deal. With such a big release hitting both Japan and abroad in so many places, FUNimation has gone and posted where and when you can watch it. You can watch Space...

Review: Good Luck Girl

Jan 02 // Brittany Vincent
Good Luck Girl [BD+DVD] Studio: SunriseLicensed by FUNimationRelease Date: 11/19/13MSRP: $69.98 Good Luck Girl follows Ichiko Sakura, a high school student with far too much good fortune. She's beautiful, popular, rich, and intelligent. She's also a bit of a jerk. She sits on her high horse, looking down on the helpless, ugly, and penniless peons. But she's quick to put on a facade if she believes she must to get ahead. Ichiko is ruthless, and she cares not what others think of her. That all changes when Momiji enters her life -- through a toilet, no less. Momiji is the god of poverty, and she's been tasked with taking a little bit of that good luck Ichiko has in droves and spreading it out to those around her. Little by little, Momiji draws the good luck out of Ichiko using a hilariously huge needle. If she doesn't Ichiko will continue sapping it from others as their quality of life continues to decline while hers improves. Even her butler feels the effects of her sucking the luck out of the air around her, nearly succumbing to a heart attack before Momiji can balance out the good fortune Ichiko's been hoarding. It probably sounds pretty dark, right? Sometimes it can be. It's surprisingly adept at handling sensitive situations when it comes to Ichiko and her selfish ways, but overall this is a comedy that draws from the dynamic between Ichiko and Momiji. Momiji's a quick-witted loose cannon who, weirdly enough, also likes to cosplay. Think of her as a less sex-crazed version of Panty traipsing around in Lupin the 3rd outfits. There's no plan that's too out there for her to sneakily usurp Ichiko's good fortune from her, and that's where some of the funniest situations arise. Ichiko and Momiji bicker like an old married couple, though over the course of thirteen episodes they grow to bond over a strained friendship, as one slowly begins to understand the other. While there are male supporting characters (and some particularly weird ones) to speak of, the plot progresses at a nice pace while managing to focus solely on Ichiko and her personal growth. Despite disgusting monsters posing as maids and perverted monks making for some inane moments here and there, there are heartfelt and profound times as well, and that's what kept me interested beyond the laugh-a-minute script I was impressed with. It's a surprisingly poignant mixture of slapstick comedy and outlandish situations that you might actually learn a thing or two from. There can be good in the heart of the rudest person, and perhaps they can't help their rough edges. These types of themes give me the impression that Good Luck Girl could have been produced in a simpler time, before moe blossomed into the industry-enveloping shadow it is today. Even the animation hearkens back to an earlier time, and that makes it a sort of anime comfort food for me. Good Luck Girl is a dark horse you probably haven't heard of (or will hear of in the months to come) but it's an excellent series with plenty to offer: hilarious references, thoughtful character backgrounds, and an excellent script, in both the English and Japanese versions. It may be a little slow to reach a "resolution," but the journey is worth taking, especially if you like a more traditional approach to character studies with wacky dynamics like those of Ichiko and Momiji's. And you just can't say no to characters who cosplay. It's an iron-clad rule for gals. 8.0 – Great. A great example of its genre that everyone should see, regardless of their interest.
Good Luck Girl photo
Way too much luck to go around
When I first started watching Good Luck Girl, I had just finished up the sex comedy B Gata H Kei (Yamada's First Time), which was surprisingly hilarious given its lack of actual sex. I'm a big supporter of anime comedies, esp...

Anime photo

FUNimation adds Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha to line up

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Evangelion 3.0 delayed

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Sentai Filmworks licenses Familiar of Zero Season One

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Party in Vegas with Space Dandy and Otakon Vegas

Special premiere event with voice actor
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Space Dandy's English cast revealed

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Review: Wolf Children

Nov 28 // Ben Huber
Wolf ChildrenStudio: Madhouse & Studio ChizuLicensed by: FUNimationRelease Date: 11/26/13MSRP:  $34.98 [Amazon $29.73] It's refreshing to see an animated film focus on the difficulties single parents go through. Fearing the reaction of people around her, Hana moves out to the countryside, far from prying eyes and nosy neighbors. However, her new neighbors (though now separated by miles of field) are equally nosy, but offer help as well. Gardening help! The crux of the film revolves around Hana dealing with her children as they grow into their own. Is it a coming of age story? In a sense, but not from the perspective of the person growing up as per usual, but instead from that of their caretaker, who struggles with how much to allow or reign in. Do you ram it into their heads to never let their wolf side show, or do you let things come as they may? The direction is great, with lots of pulled-back static shots that let you take in the environment and watch as tiny figures dance through the forest. Generally everything is easy to read and is well-composed. There's one lengthy shot where the camera dodges and weaves between (I'm assuming) CGI trees that seemed out of place to me and pulled me out for a moment, but thankfully that was the only direction issue I had. The overall arcs of the movie felt a bit predictable to me, as I was always able to guess what was going to happen next. Yet, despite the story following certain conventions, I was still emotionally invested in the characters, which I feel is a testament to the skill of the animators. The animation is a collaboration between Madhouse and Hosoda's studio, Studio Chizu. As I'm sure most readers have come to expect from Madhouse, it's wonderful work. Ame and Yuki look positively rambunctious as they scamper around the house, changing into a wolf one second, then back the next. The transitions are natural and fluid, making them really feel like wild animals. I imagine a lot of work went into studying the movements of real wolves, and it paid off. Overall, the art is a real draw here, especially with the beautiful contrast between the painterly backgrounds and the thin lines of the characters. The only minor issue I had was with some of the wolves' faces. Giving them very human eyes and hair just results in them occasionally looking like a bad DeviantArt OC. This is in conjunction with the great lineart, though, so it left me confused. I got over it pretty quickly and I imagine most viewers won't mind it either. As far as subs and dubs go, the Blu-ray and DVD feature both as options. The English dub is perfectly serviceable, though no one really stood out to me. The sub is fine as well, and will probably be the preferred method for most fans -- just know that the dub won't embarrass you if your family or friends want to watch too. Mamoru Hosoda has completed another great film. Despite a few minor issues regarding certain designs and running just a tad too long, I really enjoyed the movie and found it heartwarming. If you're up for a bittersweet but adorable tale about kids growing up and their mother learning to let them go, then don't wait too long. Hosoda masterfully tugs your heartstrings without becoming overwrought and leaves you satisfied in the end; Wolf Children is another must-watch. 8.0 – Great. A great example of its genre that everyone should see, regardless of their interest.
Wolf Children photo
Mamoru Hosoda leads us through another adorable adventure
A girl and her werewolf. It's a tale as old as the setting sun, right? Or at least as old as the twilight. Mamoru Hosoda has had a solid career so far. He's covered a variety of subjects and each film has been released to cri...

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