First Impressions

Food Wars Impressions photo
Marry me, Tadaroko
I’ve had a lot of trouble catching on to anime over the years, but every so often there’s a show that sounds so incredibly insane that I can’t help but watch it. That’s how I got reeled into a shows li... read feature

Garo photo
Ryuga is back, baby!
Back when it was announced that Ryuga from Garo: The One Who Shines in the Darkness would appear in a new Garo series, there are two possible outcomes that could come out of this. On one hand, we get to see Ryuga as a more ex... read feature

MY Love STORY!! photo
Nice guys finish first
 MY Love Story!! (or Ore Monogatari!!) is an unconventional shoujo manga that’s received an anime adaptation this season.  The story follows unlikely protagonist Takeo Gouda, an extremely tall and strong high ... read feature

Knights of Sidonia photo
The Knights Who Say 'Eeeh!'
And...we're back! Yes, it's been quite a while since the last time Japanator went in-depth with Knights of Sidonia. In fact, we're verging on a full year since the last recap. That's partly my fault. You could say I mimicked ... read feature

Plastic Memories photo
Moe Moe Blade Runner
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! read feature

Stardust Crusaders photo
Still Walking Like An Egyptian
It's been far too long, but after its season-long hiatus, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has returned to the airwaves!  And neither Joseph Joestar's Stand-user party nor the hardworking folks at David Production are wasting any time getting back in the saddle, as they dive into Egypt to hunt down Dio Brando once and for all. read feature

Kantai Collection photo
Nice Boats
The first episode of Kantai Collection kicks off with what might be regarded as an almost galling display of pretentiousness: Against a black background, a serious-voiced woman recites the Gosei, a set of five meditative... read feature

Cute Earth Def Club LOVE! photo
Magical boys, oden analogies, and the anti-Chikuwabu agenda, oh my!
Magical Boys.  As I mentioned back in our Winter 2015 Preview Guide, just mentioning the concept drives home just how golden it is. There's so much potential in the idea of a Magical Boy show, with all the trappings and ... read feature

Winter Anime Preview! photo
Cartoons to keep warm by!
Winter may be upon us, and as the weather cools, it's the perfect time to curl up by the fire or stick your legs under the kotatsu and let the Japanese cartoons roll! This is Japanator's official Winter 2015 Anime Previe... read feature

Your Lie in April photo
I can't contain the feels
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 ... read feature

Inou Battle photo
Everyday Super-Unheroics
"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 wo... read feature

Log Horizon 2 photo
Still Living in the Database
We neglected to cover Log Horizon back when it debuted, beyond first look by Karen, who came away distinctly unimpressed. That was a missed opportunity, because, like many a good show, Log Horizon was very much a sl... read feature

Shirobako photo
An anime that makes an anime
Shirobako is many things--a story about a struggling animation studio, an anime production starting to go haywire, the promise of five young women in the pursuit of their dreams, and that is just to list a few. Shirobako, ... read feature

Unlimited Blade Works photo
The Holy Grail for Type-Lunatics
These day it's hard to imagine an active otaku who isn't at least passingly familiar with Fate/stay night, Type-MOON's juggernaut of a visual novel series.  I'm sure those sorts of folks exist, though, and the duty ... read feature

Gundam Build Fighters Try photo
A Try-fecta of Gunpla Greatness
Gundam Build Fighters was a show aimed at children and designed to promote the toys Bandai wants them to build. It also happened to be the most refreshing Gundam show in years, and an love letter to Gundam's endurin... read feature

Terra Formars photo
The bugs whacked us, Johnny!
Let's get the obvious thing out of the way first: Terra Formars is not very good "Mars" fiction. The concept of Martian colonization and its myriad possibilities is just about the furthest thing from this show's mind, ev... read feature

FI: Terror in Resonance photo
Heroes or villains?
A new, original anime series directed by Shinichiro Watanabe with music from Yoko Kanno?Whose hand do I shake for making this happen? Terror in Resonance was a wildcard since it was announced,  featuring a relatively unknown studio (MAPPA) and a story that revolves around teenage terrorists with some frightening plans.   read feature

FI: Momo Kyun Sword photo
Millions of peaches, peaches for me
As the site’s official “boob anime connoisseur”, it is my duty to watch all the boob anime each season.  It’s a filthy dirty job most of the time, but there are times when it can pay off beyond the bounce and deliver a good engaging story. This season, I’m afraid to say, will not be one that I see paying off... read feature

Hanayamata photo
Jersey Girl does Yosakoi
Hello there. I live in the state of New Jersey, here in the USA. Unfortunately my name is not Fountainstand and I've never heard of yosakoi until I first read about Hanayamata. After doing a few Google searches... read feature

FI: Glasslip photo
I sense drama in your future
I've become a large fan of P.A. Works in the past year or two. The Eccentric Family and Nagi-Asu both proved to be among the top shows of their respective seasons, providing grounded drama in the midst of well-realized fantastical settings.   read feature

FI: Persona 4 the Golden  photo
Welcome to the... well, you know.
Persona 4 is among the most addictive and stubborn video game properties of the past 4 years -- you couldn't get rid of it if you wanted to! A lightning in a bottle that continues to hook us in with spin-offs and now, a second anime retelling. But this time, we're going full-on New Game Plus.   read feature

Argevollen photo
War Stories
If I were a less charitable and much lazier recapper, I'd point you to my First Impressions of Buddy Complex and call it a day. Heck, nearly all of it except the basic plot description still applies! That's because Argev... read feature

FI: Akame ga Kill! photo
The "slice-a-life" show you always wanted
Like usual, I left it up to my lovely co-workers at Japanator to choose the anime I was going to watch this season. This technique has a few benefits and risks, as they might intentionally be setting me up a hellish few month... read feature

FI: Sword Art Online II photo
It's time to log back in
Back in 2012, Sword Art Online’s first season caused a huge stir in the anime community. Most people hated the show because of Kirito’s character, while others started disliking the series when SAO was in the midd... read feature

FI: Aldnoah Zero photo
Orange is the new black
On a monolithic object in space, men in colonial attire stand around with grave faces as a young princess giddily marvels at the chance of visiting the primordial blue sphere that spawned all humans: Earth. What this show doesn't tell you right away, is that these people are in fact, Martians. read feature

FI: Locodol photo
Local idols in locomotion
As an avid idol fan myself, I've always appreciated when media takes care to pay attention to details and display that they themselves are enthusiastic about Idol culture. Wake Up Girls was one such anime, and I feel like Locodol will be a similar offering. read feature

FI: Sailor Moon Crystal photo
FI: Sailor Moon Crystal

First Impressions: Sailor Moon Crystal


We are not helpless girls who need men's protection
Jul 05
I never thought I'd be on the verge of tears after watching Usagi Tsukino's very first transformation into the pretty soldier of love and justice for the umpteenth time, but here I sit wiping tears away and swallowing back th... read
Anime Preview 2! photo
It's getting hot in here!
The sun's up and it's time to get the heck into the shade and watch some Japanese cartoons! Welcome to the second part of Japanator's Summer 2014 Anime Preview Guide! Just as we did in yesterday's first part, we're here to ta... read feature

FI: Rail Wars! photo
CG trains and Butt-lines on full steam!
Rail Wars was strangely one of my most anticipated this season. The premise of a train security force fighting against railway privatization extremists sounded just crazy enough to become something worth following, but the first episode left me a little perplexed. read feature

Anime Preview! photo
In the Summertime
It's the summertime, and the weather is high. You can reach right up, and touch the sky. When the weather's fine, we've got Japanese cartoons on the mind! It's the first part of Japanator's Summer 2014 Anime Preview Guide! Th... read feature

Knights of Sidonia photo
Desperation, Despair, Death, and Deep Space
Ever see someone get physically hurt, and then involuntarily cringe, as if you feel that person's pain? That's a function of empathy, as everyone knows. Watching Knights of Sidonia is like feeling that cringe, almost every week, for nearly half an hour. It's like watching The Red Wedding on loop. Christ in heaven, can't these poor bastards catch a break? The answer, below. read feature

FI: M3 The Dark Metal photo
Get your goth eyeliner out
A unique art style and mysteriously dark premise was beckoning me, telling me that this show had the potential to bring something really interesting to the season. With Junichi Saito at the helm, director of acclaimed Sailor ... read feature







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