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8:00 AM on 03.26.2014

Impressions: L'Arc~en~Ciel Live Concert Viewing

I've known about the Japanese singer Hyde ever since hearing his theme song to the anime Blood+ and I've known about the band L'Arc~en~Ciel since hearing their theme for the anime Moribito. Over the years, I haven't heard muc...

LB Bryant

First Impressions: Nobunaga the Fool photo
First Impressions: Nobunaga the Fool
by Hiroko Yamamura

The newest series by Satelight, created by Macross mastermind Shoji Kawamori is pretty much a history buffs dream come true, or their worst nightmare. Being that my history knowledge is quite bad, I can’t tell you all that much about the characters in play, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t an accurate retelling. With a couple shows based on the late, great shogunate Oda Nobunaga, I wonder if this season can handle so much of his presence. Odd timing on the studios’ part.

Beyond Macross, I haven’t totally been in love with Kawamori’s works, asides from his amazing mechanical designs. Nobunaga the Fool is actually just a part of a larger franchise known as The Fool, that also includes a stage play of the anime series. The show has plenty of promise, including larger than life action scenes, a well known cast of characters, and of course robots. I decided to take in the first couple episodes before sharing my impressions. So what does the ultimate Macross fan think of Kawamori’s latest outing?

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Impressions: AnoHana the Movie photo
Impressions: AnoHana the Movie
by LB Bryant

In 2011 I, along with many others around the world, discovered and fell in love with a little series known simply as AnoHana. It tells the tale of a group of estranged friends who are reunited by the ghost of their dead childhood friend in order to grant her final wish, and send her to the afterlife. By the end of the series, I was left a blubbering mess of tears. Partially because it was just that good and emotionally powerful, but partially because I had grown attached to the characters and thought I would never get to spend time with them ever again.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2014. The series I loved so much had been adapted into a feature film, and I once again found myself in that same teary state as I watched the movie in a small theater in Seattle. Was my experience as good as the first or, dare I hope, better than the original? Read on to find out.

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Impressions: Puella Magi Madoka Magica - Rebellion photo
Impressions: Puella Magi Madoka Magica - Rebellion
by Tim Sheehy

Last week, fans finally had an opportunity to attend screenings of Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion, the third and final chapter of the trilogy. Given the ending of the previous film -- or the series itself, seeing as the previous two films were merely recaps -- one might wonder what's left to tell. The confrontation with Walpurgisnacht and Madoka's choice to bring an end to the conflict in her own way seemed like the perfect, yet bittersweet, ending we had all hoped for. With that in mind, it's hard to imagine how Rebellion would continue where the previous films left off, especially without Madoka herself to contend with.

Surprisingly, Studio Shaft managed to pull it off by delivering over two hours of content aimed at tying up some loose ends by focusing almost entirely on Homura Akemi. Whether or not they ultimately succeeded remains debatable, and some might even argue -- myself included -- that the film created more mysteries than it solved. Read on for my thoughts on the film, and the premiere event itself.

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10:30 PM on 09.05.2013

PAX: General impressions

The Seattle video game epic that is known as PAX Prime is now over. All four days were loud and crowded as usual, but what would you expect from a convention that had been spawned from Penny Arcade. The total amount of things...

Josh Totman

A look at: Cirque du Freak #9 photo
A look at: Cirque du Freak #9
by Kristina Pino

A little over two months ago I looked at volume eight of this series, and things were getting pretty good. For those of you who didn't read me then, cliff-notes: Darren, main character, meets a vampire and is turned into one to save his then best friend. Years have passed and he's roped up in some vampire war with other crazy monsters, while his lover from life before vampire-ness and ex best friend are tossed into the mix.

It sounds a bit exciting, doesn't it? I mean, maybe you're over vampires. But, then again, maybe you're not "over them" enough to not be intrigued by something else, like the great art style this manga series has or, as was mentioned in comments after my previous summary, the book series this story is adapted from.

Hit past the jump (warning: the summary/impression is kind of a huge spoiler) to read about volume nine!

[header image via Darren Shan Manga]

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First Impressions: Wakfu photo
First Impressions: Wakfu
by Kristina Pino

[Update: This article originally listed an April start date for the North American open beta, however we've been informed that this is not the case. The international open beta taking place in April will not be open to North America. The article has been changed to reflect that. North America residents may recieve an open beta of their own at a later date -- we'll keep you informed. - Tim]

Two weeks ago, I went ahead and posted a trailer for the game Wakfu. I hadn't heard about it until I got an e-mail from Square-Enix, who are publishing the game for our (well my, anyway) territory, and I was immediately fascinated by it.

Ankama seems to be a much bigger deal of a company than I knew. Wakfu and Dofus (its preceding MMORPG and story), have everything from trading cards/badges, figures to magazines, and even a TV show. It's a whole big world the French nerddom has been enjoying that I was completely clueless of until recently.

The game is currently in the closed beta phase, and I've been fortunate to get my paws on a beta key to test the waters myself! I've spent a lot of time in the past playing MMORPGs, so trying this one out was right up my alley. Click past the jump to check out how Wakfu is shaping up!

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A look at: Cirque du Freak #8 photo
A look at: Cirque du Freak #8
by Kristina Pino

When I think of Cirque du Freak, the first thing that comes to mind is that odd-looking movie that sort of came and went, with John C. Reilly as one of the lead actors playing a vampire. Mr Reilly caught my attention, but "high school kid story" plus vampires/supernatural didn't exactly do it for me in 2009 after Twilight became a film epidemic from the previous year. This manga follows the story the Cirque movie did (the story precedes the film), which basically is: kid (Darren) meets vamp and gets turned into a vampire in exchange for saving his best friend, who then turns on him, and on top of it all is hunting to kill a "Vampaneze Dread Lord".

Sounds like a sticky situation, right? Hit past the jump to see how things are going eight volumes in!  

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5:00 PM on 03.07.2011

A look at Higurashi When They Cry #11

I had the great pleasure of giving a look at the previous volumes of the Higurashi When They Cry manga last week, an arc that spun a new outlook on what the Higurashi setting is capable of providing in way of interesting and ...


11:00 PM on 02.28.2011

A look at Higurashi When They Cry #9-10

While the anime adaption of the visual novel Higurashi When They Cry gets a bad wrap because of its animation and horrendous English dub, I still highly regard the franchise as having one of the most thril...


1:00 PM on 02.05.2011

A look at Pandora Hearts #4

To summarize the story so far in two long sentences, Pandora Hearts is a manga about 15 year old Oz Vessalius, who has been dumped into a legendary "broken toy chest" of a prison called The Abyss. He escapes after b...

Kristina Pino

The Bible Black story or: How I learned to love hentai photo
The Bible Black story or: How I learned to love hentai
by OxKing

[I almost never have any stories to tell, really. I mean, I hardly ever do anything crazy each day, and even when me and other friends decide to roam about town, nothing too extreme comes out of it...just a funny experience and a good time. Since I hardly do much during my free-time outside of being on the computer and lounging around, when I find myself in some grand, elaborate story, complete with drama normally found in television shows, I begin to cherish and take the moment into heart, telling it in an unorthodox way, trying to get the listener to feel what I felt. This is going to be retelling one of those moments, where things perfectly set themselves up to be a story I can happily tell people, complete with twists and themes. And so, I'm really happy to share this one with you all for Ero Week. Enjoy!]

Not too long ago (I think it was in or around autumn time, 2007), there was an incident that happened at my school (then, I was in high school). It wasn't one that had people talking all year long or that was remembered after about a couple of weeks... you know, those kind of stories. Anyway, the story goes that a kid in his sophomore year, who I'll call Benny for now, was caught in the computer lab masturbating to hentai. He was suspended for a short time, then people went on about their lives as normal afterwards. It was a story that wasn't really that very interesting for me to care too much about, however it for some reason stuck to me for two key reasons:

1) This was at a time when anime was still peaking for me and was about to expand itself into what I do now which raised a few questions for me about anime in general later on.

2) I've talked with this kid before. He was far from the usual demographic for hentai. He was known for his school record for Track and Field. He was on ASB, and never once hinted at "geeky" or "nerdy" trends, or at least as far as I could recall.

Benny eventually graduated, and not only did no one confront him again about the incident of him and anime porn again, but it seemed as if it were taboo to even mention it at all. I mention this story not as a statement that all average people like hentai as a universal fetish, but that this incident alone got me interested, and involved, in one of the weirdest projects I ever have and probably ever will be apart of in my entire life.

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