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Japanator Original

We brain-dove Ghost in the Shell: First Assault Online, and came back with answers

Apr 28 // Josh Tolentino
[embed]34881:5504:0[/embed] 1.) With the Stand Alone Complex subtitle, First Assault Online seems to be related to the Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex TV series. Does the game take place during a specific moment in the show's timeline, or its premise related to events in the show?   The game is inspired by the Stand Alone Complex TV series, but when we were watching the series, we were particularly excited by Episode 24 of Season One, in which Section 9 is forced to take on an opposing Special Ops team to clear their names. The episode really made us imagine what it would be like to fight together as a perfectly synchronized team like Section 9, which is what helped us decide to bring it to life in a team-based shooter. 2.) Players can choose which member of Section 9 to play as during a match, each of whom has a special ability or trait (like Thermoptic Camo for the Major). How did the team decide which special abilities to assign to which character? Were there disagreements?     We worked very closely with the anime creators and discussed what skills would match each character from the original anime. In result, the currently designed skills are in line with the original characters. We also designed these to add more excitement within the FPS game. We plan to consider these also when we design more skills in the future. Another part that we'll also consider is player feedback. We are all open to the players thoughts and would love to hear any great ideas.   3.) On menu screens and in-the game, players can view clips from the Stand Alone Complex anime series. Are there plans to add ways for player to view whole episodes or acquire the series to view on their own?   As we chose to make the game an FPS, we found that it was not easy to to deliver the feel of the original anime. Making the game an FPS might have been slightly easier, but we were most confident in making a FPS game and put our efforts into melting the original anime within our game.  We used these short cuts to give the fans something close to the anime and also make other players interested in the Ghost in the Shell story making the game more enjoyable.   4.) More recent works in the Ghost in the Shell universe have concentrated on Arise, a series set earlier in Motoko's career. Are there plans to add content related to the Arise series to the game?   We believe that both SAC and ARISE are great series. We think that more recent fans would be more familiar with ARISE and previous fans would be more familiar with SAC. If we have the chance, we would definitely like to add contents related to the ARISE series. We'll have to see what we can discuss with the anime creators. [Check out more of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - First Assault Online for free this weekend on Steam!] [embed]34881:5504:0[/embed]
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A 'major' incursion
A team-based multiplayer shooter isn't the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a Ghost in the Shell video game - the first thing is a Basset Hound simulator. But after that, Nexon and Neoples have done a p...

Week Ender - Last Season (Winter 2016) Edition

Apr 16 // Red Veron
[embed]34943:5562:0[/embed] "Junshin Always (純真Always)" Anime: Myriad Colors Phantom World A very pretty ending with all the soft colors and pretty patterns. We also get the cuteness of the characters from the show.   [embed]34943:5563:0[/embed] "Hey! Calorie Queen" Anime: Dagashi Kashi Saya and the other chick are really nice in this ending. It takes on an Alice in Wonderland motif with Saya being Alice and she looks absolutely cute. The other chick is dressed up as some other character I don't know. The song is absolutely cute as well.   [embed]34943:5564:0[/embed] "Be My Steady" Anime: Prince of Stride: Alternative I love this ending. The use of a few colors but using shapes and simple visual effects just totally give a striking effect. I really like that red and black with some white thrown in and the whole thing looks like a K-Pop boyband video.   [embed]34943:5565:0[/embed] "Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no Youna" Anime: ERASED An ending that starts out simple then gets some great visuals, though lacking in detail, the outlines and few details are brought out by the pretty colors. A lot of the imagery also has meaning behind it that relates to the show.   Are there endings or openings that you loved from last season? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know! Yo.
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All Them Colors
I am really digging the use of a lot of colors in openings and endings lately, it's a trend I am fully embracing and wish that the creativity with the new style leads to more beautiful eye candy. This week's selection of endi...

OP Up! - Last Season (Winter 2016) Edition

Apr 13 // Red Veron
[embed]34942:5552:0[/embed] "Naked Dive" Anime: Myriad Colors Phantom World I really like the pixellated square look that this opening employs as well as using it in a mosaic censorship effect that gets me excited when they use it to tease viewers with the nakedness of the characters. Also then colors, not as saturated as some of the other openings here but still great.   [embed]34942:5553:0[/embed] "one-Me two-Hearts (ワンミーツハー)" Anime: Divine Gate I don't know why but I always laugh my ass off when I see that part near the beginning of the opening when one of the main characters looking through a window with his hand pressed up against it. I know it's supposed to allude to something sad in his past but I just find it funny. Yes, I am a monster. I do love this opening's use of colors while still not as bright as other openings that tries to follow the latest trend of using a lot of hypercolors.   [embed]34942:5554:0[/embed] "Beat your heart" Anime: Bubuki Buranki This opening always has me looking forward to the part where they introduce the bad guys right after introducing the good guys. The opening introduces the good guys looking all cool and shows of a bit of their character while the bad guys are shown off to be kicking the protagonist's butts. It always makes me laugh.   [embed]34942:5551:0[/embed] "Re:Re:" Anime: ERASED An opening that instantly had me jamming after few seconds and I soon realized why: the song is from 2004 from the band Asian Kung-fu Generation and I've listened to the song for hundreds (if not thousands) of times. This opening too is simple but full of symbolism and does something super clever later. Are there openings that you loved from last season? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know! Yo.
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Last Season's Best (to me)
The new season is here and last season is sooooo last season but that won't stop me from looking back at some of the openings that I really liked. A lot of shows have taken inspiration from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure and t...

Final Impressions: Myriad Colors Phantom World

Apr 12 // Nick Valdez
One thing I could never fault Phantom World for, thanks to Kyoto Animation's style and love of fluid animation, was its visuals. Regardless of where the story didn't go, the show remained watchable due to how pretty everything was. KyoAni isn't necessarily at the top of the production game, but most of the time their style is a saving grace. For example, one of the main gags was how many times Haruhiko found himself flung across spaces. A common trope, for sure, but these throws rarely looked the same twice. It's just a shame that the fights never quite lived up to their potential. Phantom World was never really focused on fights, so when some of them end up looking super great I was starved for more. But in the same breath, anime adaptations can't rest on visuals alone.  For the entirety of its run I couldn't quite figure out what Phantom World wanted to accomplish. At some times it seemed like a show that wanted to tell a story about kids dealing with Phantoms (and to a lesser extent, deal with the destinies unwantingly placed upon them), then it became a monster of the week show, then a few episodes focused on a singular gag, and then in some sort of last ditch effort, it tried a serious and emotional arc toward the end. Like I had been fearing all along.  In the final three episodes, a super phantom named Enigma began attacking ability users and stealing their powers. Since phantoms weren't successfully built into a credible threat through the season, it seemed weird to suddenly ramp up the tension this way. It's a clearly rushed endgame ringing hollow as we're told that this particular phantom poses a threat when others were clearly treated as jokes before. But the major through line of this final arc was Haruhiko's missing mother. Apparently she walked out on him years before and suddenly Haruhiko's depressed. Even when the show had multiple opportunities to bring up this backstory (such as the episode where Izumi was afraid of what her parents might think of her phantom hunting) or invest any time in Haruhiko at all (so he could at least develop beyond the guy who delivers exposition). Anyway, as Enigma wreaks havoc across the town she accumulates all sorts of neat abilities. Including the ability to pose as Haruhiko's mother.  In the midst of all this, as the rest of the phantom hunting club believes they're talking with Haruhiko's mother, they reveal they all had a bit of a crush on Haruhiko. Once again, there was very little build up to this little development but thankfully that never quite becomes the focus. In fact, the series ends without any of those cliched romantic entanglements anyway. The final battle itself passes by without much fanfare and Haruhiko saves the day by fully summoning the cutesy phantoms he's used in the past. So I guess all the character evolution I've wanted from the series was saved for Haruhiko himself. I'll admit I'm being a bit harsh since KyoAni is at least trying to salvage the series at the end, but it's such a disappointing foray overall. Each week things just kind of happened. It's even hard to summarize the final couple of episodes because there's not much more than a logline's worth of material in each. Everything is so hollow, it's like the series wanted to embody the textbook definition of "Phantom." A lingering spirit of a good premise.  When all is said and done, there's no real reason to search out Myriad Colors Phantom World for yourself. It never quite figured out what kind of series it wanted to be and that confusion kept it from becoming something truly engaging. You can try and argue that it's some sort of "turn off your brain" entertainment without a real message, but it was clearly trying to tell a story at its end.  Besides, why would you seek out a form of entertainment that offers you nothing but background noise? If you're looking for cheap entertainment there are plenty of anime that provide that already. Shows that know you're watching them because of stuff like cool visuals and do their best to provide just that. We as an audience deserve something better than a show with an identity crisis every week. 
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Myriad of rushed conclusions
If you've been following along with my occasional thoughts on Myriad Colors Phantom World, you've no doubt noticed how many times I've gone back and forth on the series as a whole. While folks in the comments suggested that I...


JapanaHow: How to unite with your waifu

Apr 01 // Salvador GRodiles
The most important thing to take into account during this process is that your waifu only exists in the second dimension. Since we fall into the category of disgusting 3D beings, the first step is to create a version of ourselves that could live in the anime and/or manga world. But wait, how does a real person accomplish this task? Well, the easiest way is to have yourself immortalized into a doujin manga where you and the lucky 2D girl end up hooking up in a glorious relationship that transcends all life in the entire freaking universe. If you lack the talent to create this scenario, then you can always hire a skilled artist to cover this step. To those who lack the money to pay someone to do this, you can always hold the person hostage and force them to create the award-winning romantic tale about you and your waifu. Sure, this option is illegal, but it's very important for someone to do what they can for the sake of true love. Another option is that you can believe in the you who believes in you until your hand subconsciously draws the scene in the style that’s similar to your waifu’s creator/parent. However, this might make it hard for you to capture the right lines and forms that give your girl the beautiful appearance that you adore. Since my art skills are a bit below average, I won’t be able to provide you all with the proper steps to create the right illustrations that’ll do justice to your waifu's best assets. If your comic speaks out your true feelings, then your waifu will materialize in front of you, as she gives you a huge kiss for your hard work. This will result in the two of you embracing each other so hard that she shall be immortalized on your body. Luckily, this form is temporary so your 2D beloved shall get her privacy when she needs it. If you want to summon her again, then you can activate this mode with a special figure that captures her true beauty. Best of all, it’ll come with a mecha musume feature that lets her become a weapon. That way, you can defend yourself before you call her to your side. For those who aren’t happy with this process, the next segment involves jumping into the nearest rocket or spaceship you can find, so you can head into space. Once you’re there, you’ll likely encounter a mysterious destructive alien force that’ll kill you while it’s on its course to Earth. Depending on how close you are to your waifu, there’s a chance that she’ll unite with you, which will result in your resurrection— as long as you have faith in her. Of course, the catch in this method is that you have to transform into your beloved so that you can save the Earth from large monsters and giant space invaders. On top of that, your waifu's soul will reside in your body, which might make most folks sad since they won't get to embrace her physically. For the last method, I guess you could always open up a detective agency with your waifu. When the time to apprehend the culprit arrives, you two could use your matching belts to merge into a hero that has the two of you controlling both halves. Before I forget, the only place where you can get these belts is in a suspicious building that's located in any city that resembles Chicago. Like with the first step, you’ll have to get her to join the physical plane; otherwise, you won’t be able to turn her into your special partner. With all said and done, I bet all of you're wondering why my methods involve teaming up with your waifu to become a single entity. Well, the truth of the matter is that both parties need a strong motive to strengthen the bond between a 3D person and a 2D individual. One of the biggest factors that can push someone to achieve this goal is to battle a group of evildoers who intend to ruin the world that blesses us with the privilege to interact with our one true love (a.k.a. our beloved waifu). [image by makacoon]
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Never doubt the power of 2D
Whenever things get rough, you can always count on your waifu to help you out of any rough situation. Whether you’re trying to escape from a large ruin or about to face defeat against a powerful opponent, these 2D ladie...

JapanaHow: Tips for Bathing Your Catgirl

Apr 01 // Josh Tolentino
1.) Assess your Catgirl's needs Every Catgirl or Catboy is different, and this goes for grooming as much as personality. Before beginning the bath, ask yourself a few questions: Is your Catgirl a human with cat ears or a human-shaped cat? What type of coat do they have? Is their fur confined to the head and scalp or does it extend downward into a set of clothing-like strips on the body (also known as the "Felicia" cut)? The answers to those questions can influence everything from the type and quantitiy of shampoo called for to the need to use soap or other human-targeted bathing tools. 2.) Make your Catgirl want to bathe This step may be difficult, and will depend on your Catgirl's personality, as well as your relationship to your Catgirl. Playful Catgirls may be happy to take a bath with you, and in cases where you are your Catgirl's master (or they your maid), they may be obliged to follow your commands. More adventurous or headstrong Catgirls may need more cajoling, or even a bit of trickery to get into the bathing state of mind. Try placing favored treats, precious gems, or high-level equipment in the bathing area to attract them to the location. 3.) Do not ambush your Catgirl This is important. Catgirls, like cats, have keen senses and a hunting instinct, and can become violent if shocked or cornered. It is unlikely that a mere human would be able to take them by surprise. Furthermore, ambushing a Catgirl, even with the best of intentions, can be interpreted by authorities as harassment, coercion, or even assault . A Catgirl's consent is required before any bathing takes place.  4.) Comfort your Catgirl when it's over This can be a fun and engaging activity for both of you. Catgirls may be cold after bathing, and will likely want to stay warm as they dry out. Pet or stroke your Catgirl gently (within the limits of the law), and be rewarded by appreciative mewling or cooing. [Special thanks to WikiHow, Sketcher2007, Kedama, Mako Tatekawa, and Hisashi Kawata]
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No need for a cat-astrophe
Hello, and welcome to JapanaHow, our new semi-regular How-To column covering the basics of life once you've Made Anime Real.  If you're one of the growing number of people who've Made Anime Real, you may find yourself th...

Franchises That Would Be Great With PlayStation VR

Apr 01 // Christian Chiok
Here’s a list of games that will be fantastic via PlayStation VR: Senran Kagura: I mean, the game has both Asuka and Yumi, the most waifu material compared to many characters from any franchise. If you read my Senran Kagura: Estival Versus review, you already know that the game features a Dressing Room where it allows you to play the 2D grils as you wish. Instead of rubbing your hands on the PS Vita screen, just imagine yourself actually grabbing them. Granted, you’re probably still grabbing air but since you can see yourself virtually grabbing them it would be a lot better, right? With PlayStation VR, being in Katsuragi's place will be reality.  Dead or Alive: Probably a lot more realistic than the former since the characters aren’t animu grils. With the release of Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, just imagine how great that game would be with PlayStation VR? Never again will you have to go outside since you will be able to do many things with them, such as playing Volleyball, or perhaps take them on a date. Being able to watch my waifu Honoka playing in the beach as I was with her will finally become reality. PlayStation VR will make RL grils irrelevant and will show the world how that vidya/2D grils is the true answer to happiness.  Free!: Who says PlayStation VR can only be enjoyed by men? I personally never watched Free! since it has too many naked men for my taste, but I’m pretty sure the ladies love it. I don’t think the series never has any video games so this would be the perfect opportunity to makes its debut. I mean, the series has a lot of naked men and bromance—which women love, I think. If you're a guy that enjoys Free!, which obviously is fine, you'll be able to experience the splash with your bros as well, as the GIF shows. Obviously there’s also the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, which are going to be compatible with PC gaming. With PC being an open platform and even Steam allowing all types of games, just imagine all the types of games we can enjoy, considering there isn’t an age restriction when it comes to PC games. Websites like J-List, which specialize in adult products will sure benefit from it. I mean, they already have products that will almost let you experience the real thing. How better would it be if you can visualize it? It is obvious that VR technology will take over the world, and probably lead us to extinction since it is perfectly obvious that 2D people will triumph over 3D people. For once taking care of a 2d people, whether it’s a waifu or husubando, takes a lot less effort, and secondly, they will be under your total control. 
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A Dimension Closer To 2D Girls
Ever since Sony unveiled the pricing and the release date for the PlayStation VR, many PlayStation fans were excited about this upcoming piece of technology. I mean, just imagine the entire possibilities of lewd games that we...

HOW TO MAKE ANIME REAL

Apr 01 // Red Veron
ANIME photo
SECRET NINJA ARTS
[Editor's note: We deeply apologize for this unauthorized post. An unknown individual identifying himself as "DJ DarkShadowEdge789" broke into our offices and made this post and video. We will keep this post up for evidence.] DJ DARKSHADOWEDGE HERE WITH A SPECIAL ABOUT TO MAKE ANIME REAL FOR YOU WATCH MY VIDEO PLEASE

Christian's Top 5 Games of All Time

Apr 01 // Christian Chiok
5. Dragon Ball Z Sagas Easily the best Dragon Ball Z game of all time, even above old classics like Dragon Ball Z: The Legend, Budokai 3, Tenkaichi 3 and the recently released Xenoverse. There’s so much depth in this game that it puts many games like Devil May Cry to shame. Additionally, the graphics were fantastic that it could have been released in the following console generation. Personally, it looks a lot better than Burst Limit. 4. Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles (& 2) These games were so great that I didn’t even finish them. During the first couple of minutes into the game, I realized that this game was too great for a pleb like me, and I should probably stick to crappy games like the Narultimate or the Gekitou Ninja Taisen series. The game adapted the Naruto series perfectly, as we know it’s the best anime of all time. 3. Naruto Shippuden: Dragon Blade Chronicles Probably the best game Takara Tomy ever made, even above Gekitou Ninja Taisen 4. The story craps all over the original Naruto series, which is the best anime ever made as I stated above. Not to mention that the game was released on the best and most powerful system of the seventh generation, the Wii, meaning that it’s graphics were fantastic, looking better than most games on PS3 and Xbox 360. 2. Dragon Ball Final Bout I take it back. This is the best Dragon Ball game of all time. I remember being the cool kid that played this game while all of my pleb friends played The Legend. The game is EVO material and it craps on games like Street Fighter. I mean, have you seen all the high-play videos of this game? The voice acting was amazing too. It's definitely the best Dragon Ball games forever. 1.  Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo Hajike Festival It was only obvious that this gem should be my Top Anime game of all time. As a matter of fact, this game is my favorite game of all time period. The depth this game has is too much for our unintelligent minds. There’s so much that you can do in this game that it puts free roaming games like Grand Theft Auto V to shame. I mean who wouldn’t want to just walk forward and press buttons and do nothing else? So yeah, this concludes my Top Anime Games of all time. Now that you learned it, you probably feel ashamed of yourself. Hopefully, you learned a lesson here and realized you need to up your taste and try these fantastic games. 
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The Best Anime Games of All Time
Since I made a Top Anime and Top Video Games of 2015 earlier this year, I thought that it would be a great idea to share my favorite Anime/Japanese games of all time. I take much pride of my list and I figure that the world needs to know how glorious it is, and that my taste in video games is better than anyone else. With no further delay, here are my Top Anime/Japanese games of all time.

Week Ender - Adapted Drama Edition

Mar 26 // Red Veron
[embed]34890:5506:0[/embed] "Last Piece" Anime: Great Teacher Onizuka This property has multiple live action adaptations which take a lot of liberties with source material. I haven't seen many of them but I did see the anime that waters down the content because there are certain things they can't show in an anime on television back when it aired. Maybe if we get another anime adaptation, it can be much closer to the manga.   [embed]34890:5507:0[/embed] "Sagittarius" Anime: Nodame Cantabile One thing I do love with the anime adaptation of this property is the great soundtrack that just wasn't live action drama. The anime was produced by JC Staff, the same studio that adapted Honey and Clover which also has a great soundtrack and beautiful animation.   [embed]34890:5508:0[/embed] "Split" Anime: Honey & Clover The only thing I liked about the live action adaptation of this show was really good ending song "Canvas" performed by Ken Hirai. I would've featured it but the overprotective Japanese music companies make it hard to have the actual ending up on the internet.   [embed]34890:5509:0[/embed] "Shissou" Anime: Ouran High School Host Club I love this anime but not the drama. To be fair, I never gave it a chance but the trailers not as good. The live action trailers made the show look like it didn't have much of a budget and for a story were rich people are involved, you may wanna make them look rich.   [embed]34890:5510:0[/embed] "Akai Coat" Anime: Arakawa Under the Bridge I remember watching the first few episodes of the anime and found the whole thing to be super ridiculous. Then a few years later, I hear a live action drama adaptation for television was developed and I just had the most puzzled and surprised look on my face. I also got the same look again on my face when I heard about a live action film adaptation the following year.   Is there an anime adaptation that you love over the source material or other adaptations? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
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ANIME MADE REAL
When they make a manga or novel into live action, there will always be differences. Either they take away something or add something, it will always be different. Then there are are manga or novels that are so insane that you...

OP Up! - Adapted Drama Edition

Mar 23 // Red Veron
[embed]34877:5499:0[/embed] "Kimi ni todoke" Anime: Kimi ni todoke Here's a show that I really love that is so beautifully made in both visual and sound. The voice acting really captured the heroine's character really well and the opening is just sooooo charming.   [embed]34877:5500:0[/embed] "Dramatic" Anime: Honey and Clover This show is one of my all time favorites and I still love it to this day. So when I heard it had a TV drama adaptation, I was overjoyed. Until I watched it and how it just changed a bunch of how the characters were and elements of the story that it didn't feel the same as the manga and anime. The anime has great music and visual so check it out if you loved the manga.   [embed]34877:5501:0[/embed] "Allegro Cantabile Sound" Anime: Nodame Cantabile If there was ever a perfect adaptation of a manga (and even anime), it would be the live action Nodame Cantabile drama. The drama version had the entire story from the manga, and even captured the slapstick comedy that was present in anime. It had the music too, and while the anime had it too, you got to see musicians "performing" the pieces themselves instead of a static picture. Both the anime and drama are indeed worth watching.   [embed]34877:5502:0[/embed] "Honto no Kotoba (My Real Word)" Anime: Gokusen This manga not only got one season for the drama, but got two more and a TV special. I loved the first season but then the second season just felt like a rehash with an entirely pretty boy cast instead of the colorful variety that was in the original show. I never really watched the anime but I think it had a dog in it that wasn't in the drama.   [embed]34877:5503:0[/embed] "Ai no prison" Anime: Prison School This is one property I never though would ever get a live action adaptation, let alone an anime. But lo and behold, it got both. The anime looked great from the little I saw and I only saw a little bit of the live action show too and it looked okay. I can't wait to see both when I have time.   Is there an anime adaptation that you love over the source material or other adaptations? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
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Anime or Live Action
Most of the anime we watch are usually adapted from either manga or novels but sometimes manga or novels get the occasional live action adaptation. However, some get multiple forms of adaptations and usually are changed for t...

Week Ender - Giant Plot Edition

Mar 19 // Red Veron
[embed]34861:5489:0[/embed] "Kimi to Taiyou ga Shinda hi" Anime: High School of the Dead This is a show where a zombie apocalypse happens and the most impossible thing to happen are breasts moving faster than bullets. Yes. Even if you're not into giant mammaries, the zombie-slaying action ridiculousness is worth the time investment.   [embed]34861:5491:0[/embed] "Kimi wo mamoritai" Anime: Freezing I've only read the manga of this show, the animation seemed decent and this ending just takes full advantage in showing off the females and their busts that is making their clothes burst at the seams.   [embed]34861:5490:0[/embed] "Dear Sweet Heart" Anime: Sekirei I've only seen the title card of this show on Netflix but never got around to watching but this funny ending makes me want to give it a chance.   [embed]34861:5488:0[/embed] "STUDY x STUDY" Anime: Highschool DxD This is the reason why I chose this theme for this week's OP Up!/Week Ender. This ending was definitely created with the internet in mind and their love for making GIF animation pictures. It's so hypnotizing and I CAN'T STOP REWATCHING.   Is there an anime/anime ending or opening that has big boobs that you love? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know (even though we know DXD is the best).
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The Bigger the Plot, The Better the Show
This has been the easiest theme to find videos for, with a lot of anime having characters that are well-endowed in the chest area. Often referred to as "plot", giant breasts are a staple in anime and manga. I could only make ...

OP Up! - Giant Plot Edition

Mar 17 // Red Veron
[embed]34855:5483:0[/embed] "Trip -innocent of D-" Anime: High School DxD I still see gifs from this show and people liked this show a lot. Get your generic anime protag in a harem and some action with some tiddies and you got a good anime stew going.   [embed]34855:5484:0[/embed] "Stargazer" Anime: Ikkitousen - Xtreme Xecutor I only know two things about this franchise: fanservice with clothes ripping and somehow it is related to Chinese mythology. Who cares about ancient stories when you have hot anime girls with clothes ripping and big boobs?   [embed]34855:5485:0[/embed] "Errand" Anime: Seikon no Qwaser I admit that I saw about half of this first season since it had a ridiculous premise where warriors get power boosts from drinking breast milk--- DIRECT FROM THE SOURCE. Yes, it's an anime where characters get powers from breastfeeding. A friend who likes yuri and ridiculous anime recommended this to me, and it definitely delivered on the ridiculousness.   [embed]34855:5486:0[/embed] "HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD" Anime: High School of the Dead I used to wonder why almost every female in this show and manga had large breasts and oodles of fanservice, until I found out that the author also draws hentai. Normally, too much gratuitous fanservice turns me off but it seems to suit the apocalyptic zombie setting that isn't seen that much in anime and manga at the time when they came out. I love this opening a lot.   So which anime that has big tiddies that you live? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know.
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Watch it for the plot
One thing I noticed with localized anime releases in the US that has always stood strong are anime that feature females that are well-endowed in the chest region. The market never went away and I am always amazed at how anime...

Annotated Anime: Myriad Colors Phantom World episodes 7-9

Mar 15 // Nick Valdez
Episode 7 Each episode of Phantom World starts with Haruhiko elaborating on the episode's central idea. Some episodes it's a scientific theory, and others it's some sort of philosophical idea. As he explains Schrodinger's cat experiment (where a cat is stuck in box with poison and is technically both alive and dead until someone confirms otherwise), subtly all but goes out the window as a loose phantom turns everyone in the school into cats. Well, anime cats (so just cat ears and tails) anyway. As the series amplifies its cute premises and character designs, the stakes aren't as huge. And while this was a negative at first, it ends up being a comfortable groove for the series to settle into. All these cat ears also tie into the mission of the week, finding a little girl's lost cat. The Phantom Hunting club then heads into an abandoned school building where cats used to hang out in search of the Phantom and then Kyoto's affinity for crazy visuals kicks in. Crazy hallucinations, the myriad of colors the title's been promising since inception, and an awesome Phantom design (leading to a literal interpretation of "house cat"). Then the episode ends with none of the characters growing or learning anything. But that's okay for now.  Episode 8 When a hot spring suddenly appears in the middle of the school, we get a continuation of the fun from last episode. Instead of weighing itself down with things like story or character development, Phantom World decides to amp up everything that's actually working. Unfortunately that comes with a bit more perverse jokes (and finally dipping into the harem trappings), but to balance it out we finally get a look at something I've wanted from the beginning. When the show started, it said the new generation of kids got powers through mutation and I've wanted to see more of those powers since then. As student after student fights the phantom-of-the-week (a gang of perverted monkeys), it's both visually interesting and humorous. Some of the jokes were clumsy, but I laughed quite a bit. It's a shame that it took eight episodes for me Phantom World to finally feel like a complete show.  Gags were influenced by character quirks, and I finally got a good grasp of who each of these characters were. It's not a lot, to be honest, but I'm happy to even have something here. With all of that, however, Mai is developing feelings for Haruhiko and that's what I didn't want. The show's been avoiding this stuff entire series and has been great for it, so don't drop it on us now.  Episode 9 Continuing the trend of using the monster-of-the-week formula to its fullest and just having fun with it, a girl we've never seen before says she needs the Phantom Hunting Club's help with the drama club's latest play (a samurai tale). As they practice, they realize that a phantom's been lurking by. On the day of their performance, the new girl suddenly reveals she's a phantom and transforms the stage into the actual Edo era. The gang figures out they have to successfully finish the play in order to satisfy the Phantom completely. The gang finishes the play, and everything kind of goes back to normal. No big developments here like in the last few episodes, but it's still and entertaining enough story. It's just not as gripping as the past two episodes. That's alright, but we can't really afford to waste time anymore. If KyoAni wants to swing for the fence, they've got to land it. We've gotten some good examples of a lighthearted, fun romp so I definitely want more of it. Either way, it's been okay so far. 
Annotated Phantom World photo
Myriad of actually interesting stuff
I've been hard on Myriad Colors Phantom World since its inception because I went in expecting more from Kyoto Animation's effort. Their past shows have been great when they work, so I was hoping this too would be one of the b...

Week Ender - Sweaty Sports Men Edition

Mar 13 // Red Veron
[embed]34847:5476:0[/embed] "Splash Free" Anime: Free! This song is isn't like the others and is a J-Pop/K-Pop song, it's good for dancing. Also, this might be the most homoerotic ending in the show. Set in a desert for some man thirsty oasis action.   [embed]34847:5477:0[/embed] "Fantastic Tune" Anime: Kuroko no Basuke A pretty rad ending that can double as an opening, it's got some good visuals that would work as an opening if sped up a bit. That song isn't as fast but still can get keep hearts racing.   [embed]34847:5478:0[/embed] "Be My Steady" Anime: Prince of Stride - Alternative I like the use of color and shapes in the OP and ED of this show, which is one thing I love in the current trend of anime visual styles. I need to sit down and watch this show to see if the style isn't just in the OP and ED.   [embed]34847:5479:0[/embed] "Kaze wo Yobe" Anime: Yowamushi Pedal A light pop rock song here for easy listening, this song is a good way to wind down from all that blood pumping excitement for a sports anime.   [embed]34847:5480:0[/embed] "Tenchi Gaeshi Anime: Haikyuu!! Here is one of those emotional endings where you get to feel stuff but not quite the same revving up you get in an opening. I don't know how to articulate it but just watch the opening, also has a good song that would be good to have in a playlist towards the end.    Is there an sports anime song that gets your blood pumping? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
Week Ender photo
Men Longingly Stare at Each Other
It was International Women's Day last Tuesday so I took the chance to feature some anime that is loved by a lot of women. A lot of which feature sweaty sports men. What was once a genre that was for men who burn with passion ...

OP Up! - Sweaty Sports Men Edition

Mar 09 // Red Veron
[embed]34834:5469:0[/embed] "Dried Up Youthful Fame" Anime: Free! Eternal Summer Being sports anime, a lot these openings can really get you pumped up and make you want to do the sweaty sports. This opening for a show that I have no interest in got me really excited. Or maybe it's the tea I'm drinking right now. Maybe both.   [embed]34834:5470:0[/embed] "PUNKY FUNKY LOVE" Anime: Kuroko no Basuke This song doesn't pick up with the fast beat until towards the end, and then it gets all super basketball time with the characters. Not as cranked up as the other openings but still as good.   [embed]34834:5471:0[/embed] "Ah Yeah" Anime: Haikyuu!! This opening goes for a more dramatic approach with a light rock approach and soulful vocals. It does swell up to a climax like other songs and hits a great chord with those who've stuck with the show since the beginning.   [embed]34834:5468:0[/embed] "Strider's High" Anime: Prince of Stride - Alternative So this is that new anime with a made up sport called "Stride" which looks like parkour. Though I don't think the homoerotic undertones are part of the sport. I don't know, I haven't seen the show but this bright neon colored visuals in the opening outshine the song. Hopefully the second opening does better with the song.   Do you have a favorite men's sports anime? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! Enjoy!
OP Up! photo
For Women who like Sweaty Men
Yesterday was International Women's Day, and to celebrate that wonderful day for all women, I chose this week's theme to be something that a lot women like in anime. I wracked my brain a bit about the anime that is really pop...

Anime Matsuri X Cosplay Gallery Part 2 of 2

Mar 03 // Red Veron
Enjoy the gallery! Which one is your favorite? Look or more about Japanator at Anime Matsuri: Part 1 of Anime Matsuri X Cosplay Gallery Japanator Anime Matsuri Video (Coming Soon!) Last Year's Galleries: Anime Matsuri 2015 Cosplay Gallery - Part 1 Last Year's Galleries: Anime Matsuri 2015 Cosplay Gallery - Part 2  
Anime Matsuri photo
30K IN ATTENDANCE
The official numbers are in and about 30,215 people attended the tenth year of Anime Matsuri, one the best anime conventions in Texas. Anime Matsuri is a yearly celebration of Anime and Japanese pop culture, taking place in ...

Anime Matsuri X Cosplay Gallery Part 1 of 2

Mar 02 // Red Veron
At the convention, I ran into the cool people from BoomSlank who helped me find a certain vendor. Check out their site for some really cool art that I regret not picking up. This year, I heard unconfirmed reports that more than the projected 30,000 people attended and some have said that this makes it the best Anime convention in Texas. I haven't been to many Anime conventions in Texas to be able to judge for myself but I do think it is one of the major anime conventions in Texas that fans of Japanese pop culture in Texas should check out. There will be another gallery tomorrow and a video that is in the works! Come back tomorrow! Enjoy the gallery! Which one is your favorite? Look out for more about Japanator at Anime Matsuri: Part 2 of Anime Matsuri X Cosplay Gallery Japanator Anime Matsuri Video (Coming Soon!) Last Year's Galleries: Anime Matsuri 2015 Cosplay Gallery - Part 1 Last Year's Galleries: Anime Matsuri 2015 Cosplay Gallery - Part 2
Anime Matsuri photo
BEST ANIME CON IN TEXAS?!
This past weekend was the tenth year of Anime Matsuri, a celebration of Japanese pop culture and other related interests, and I had a lot of fun despite trying to currently get over con funk. I ran into many awesome cosplay, which isn't surprising since I have always been impressed of the cosplay at Anime Matsuri.  

Annotated Anime: Myriad Colors Phantom World episodes 4-6

Mar 01 // Nick Valdez
Episode 4 So after some complaining over how light on story the first three episodes were, the fourth finally has some character development. Unfortunately for us, it's not very compelling. In this episode we learn that Reina's parents don't really approve of her fighting phantoms in her down time (although it doesn't make sense since we were first introduced to the character in the middle of a phantom fight), and that's caused her to act a bit weird. Thus leading to the phantom of the week, a ghost bus that takes Reina to a house with bunny parents. After some shenanigans, it turns out Reina genuinely connected with these faux parents and has a tearful goodbye. Then, all of a sudden, everything's resolved by episode end as Reina says her parents are okay with everything after all. It's sloppy and lazily handled. For one, we never actually meet her parents (which is probably a good thing since the show can't even handle getting its core characters right) and it's not really developed. This plot doesn't have any threads moving forward into future episodes, and I still don't feel like we know Reina all that well. But I guess if you wanted to see her in bunny ears, you've got your wish. It just left a bad taste in my mouth overall.  Episode 5 To follow the pattern from the last episode, the fifth episode is trying to do some character work with the fourth member of the phantom hunting club, Koito. She's a derivative character you've seen many times in the past: a stoic loner who's power isolates her. But Phantom World refuses to be dark enough to make this whole plot work. You see, the reason she's been so alone and weird to everyone else is because she once fought a phantom as a kid and caused a bunch of damage. Rather than make the stakes highly emotional, or at the very least heavier (i.e. her fight causing injury or worse), nothing really has any narrative worth. Just like the previous episode, everything feels resolved too easily. And while the show's been doing its best to avoid typical harem traps (which is why I was drawn to the series initially), it plants the seeds of one here. As Haruhiko refuses to leave Koito alone (which a typical anime protagonist is want to do), he somehow makes some kind of impact on her. You can't really tell given the episode has very little development on this end, but apparently he's done something other than cause her harm. Seriously, the two times he jumps in to help only makes it worse for her. By the end of the episode, Koito joins the group full on but she really shouldn't have. There's no evidence supporting that she'd do better with a group than without at this point.  Episode 6 During the events of the previous episode, the fifth member of the phantom hunting club revealed herself. The fourth grader, Kurumi Kumamakura, with the ridiculous name and the ability to turn her teddy bear, Albrecht, into a giant monster fighter. This episode chooses to develop her as Haruhiko and Kurumi end up stumbling into Kurumi's fantasy world of talking bears and war. Since Kurumi has been anxious about fighting the phantoms (y'know, since she's a child), she retreats to this fantasy world where her bear can talk. It's not a particularly engaging character story here either, but the episode is saved by its stylistic choices. By just being generally weird and different than the rest of the series, this is definitely a stand out episode. Mixing in this series' love of colors with Kyoto Animation's love of fluid movement and weird character design, it all came together into a pleasant package. It's hard not to love how cute all of this is, and I appreciate that Kurumi doesn't get involved with the Phantom club at the end because of a crush on Haruhiko or something.  Once again Haruhiko finds himself inexplicably involved with a character's story, but doesn't really add much of value. I have loved how the female characters are much more valuable to the series overall, and none of them seem to be pulling along because of the male protagonist. In fact, he's basically a harem protagonist without all of the skeeviness that comes along with it. So he's pretty dopey and useless, but not really perverted or even attracted to any of these girls around him or vice versa.  I may have been hard on how light on content the series is, but if this trend continues and all these characters just go on a monster hunt week after week then I'll be fine with it. The only problem is its time frame. It's not like this show is scheduled to go on forever. And with an end imminent, Myriad Colors Phantom World needs to find a reason to exist quickly.  Also, Kyoto Animation needs to work on some kind of magical girl series. Could you imagine how good that'd look?  [You can stream the myriad of colors of Crunchyroll and Hulu]
Annotated Phantom World photo
Myriad of problems
To tell you all the truth, I've been drafting and deleting this article for awhile now. The more I write recaps, and the more I start watching anime (I just finished Netflix's Seven Deadly Sins a bit ago, too), the more I sta...

Week Ender - Anime Matsuri X Edition

Feb 27 // Red Veron
[embed]34800:5455:0[/embed] Toki Tsukasadoru Juuni no Meiyaku Anime: Steins;Gate Anime Matsuri guest Yuzuru Tachikawa has directed many episodes of popular anime and one of them is Steains;Gate. Every anime featured here has been worked on by Tachikawa.   [embed]34800:5456:0[/embed] "Shinsekai Koukyougaku" Anime: Death Parade Tachikawa also directed this show and I've seen a few cosplayers decked out as characters from the show. I really need to watch more than the first episode.   [embed]34800:5457:0[/embed] "Mask" Anime: Bleach My favorite ending for this show and it happens to the last. Also, I chose this one since one of the guests at AM is Johnny Yong Bosch, the english voice actor for Ichigo. Bosch, also known for playing the second Black Ranger in Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger, played at last year's AM with his band Eyshine.   [embed]34800:5458:0[/embed] "Shinsekai Koukyougaku" Anime: Kill La Kill TRIGGER, the studio behind the show Kill La Kill, partnered up with AM last year to offer some great goodies related to different TRIGGER properties like exclusive art books. I was unable to get some since they sold out before I could find the area they sold them. SADNESSXINFINITY.jpg   So do you have a convention you love and/or something about a convention you love? It can be a memory or an event or ANYTHING. SHARE ABOUT IT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
Week Ender photo
TEN YEARS BABY
The first day of Anime Matsuri is done and the second day is here! I hope everyone in attendance of AM (Anime Matsuri) is enjoying their time. I am probably gorging on yummy food truck food when this goes live and/or running ...

OP Up! Anime Matsuri X Edition

Feb 24 // Red Veron
[embed]34799:5451:0[/embed] "Flyers" Anime: Death Parade Director of the Anime Death Parade, Yuzuru Tachikawa, will be attending Anime Matsuri. Tachikawa will also be joined by Animation Director and Character Designer of Death Parade Shinichi Kurita.   [embed]34799:5452:0[/embed] "Cras numquam scire" Anime: Dantalian no Shoka Death Parade's Director, Yuzuru Tachikawa, also directed several episodes of Dantalian no Shoka, which I enjoyed a lot. Sadly, I don't think there will be any more seasons of the show. I love Victorian era mystery anime with some mysticism and fantasy.   [embed]34799:5453:0[/embed] "Black Rock Shooter" Anime: Black Rock Shooter Black Rock Shooter is one of my favorite characters due to her design and her origins from a song and fan art. So when I saw that Anime Matsuri's Convention Chairwoman Deneice Leigh got some great BRS full body car decal stickers on her car Itasha to promote Anime Matsuri, I was beyond overjoyed.   [embed]34799:5454:0[/embed] "Motteke! Sailor Fuku" Anime: Lucky Star If you saw the pic above, Anime Matsuri's official Itasha used to have an awesome Lucky Star decal featuring Konata. Watch that show, it's sloooow at the beginning but great when it picks up. Don't watch the dub, Konata sounds like Bart Simpson.   So do you have a convention you love and/or something about a convention you love? It can be a memory or an event or ANYTHING. SHARE ABOUT IT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
OP Up! photo
Houston's Best Anime Con
I love Anime conventions, I am here today at Japanator because of some cool people I met up with at an anime convention. These gatherings allow fans to express their love for their favorite things in an fun environment filled...

Week Ender - Top Anime Edition

Feb 21 // Red Veron
[embed]34794:5445:0[/embed] "Zetsubo Billy" Anime: Death Note Pretty appropriate ending given the show's title. I don't really remember this one since I only watched the anime up to a certain point and read the manga until the end.   [embed]34794:5446:0[/embed] "Landscape" Anime: Fairy Tail  A nice and cute chibi styled interpretations of the characters that I want to have on a keychain.   [embed]34794:5447:0[/embed] "Sonna Kimi, Konna Boku" Anime: Naruto Shippuden So many emotions in this final ending for the series. You can just feel it in every frame.   [embed]34794:5448:0[/embed] "RAY OF LIGHT" Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist - Brotherhood A very minimal ending that is pretty good with its song. Them golden locks.   What is your favorite popular anime and anime ending/opening? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
Week Ender photo
Anime Favorites
So I've been having an amazing birthday celebration so far which I will end with some great gourmet ramen tomorrow night. Now I chose this week's theme since I wanted to take it easy but it's proven to be the same amount of w...

Make Anime, Not War: Itami, Abe, and GATE's take on modern Japanese militarism

Feb 21 // Yussif Osman
In the first episode, otherworldly forces from beyond the Gate attack Ginza and we see how our Self-Defence Force soldier reacts. Itami could have been written to take a primarily combat role in the ensuing chaos, taking on the invading knights and monsters. Instead, he turns his attention to the civilians, guides them to safety, makes sure they're okay and gives them comfort, makes them feel safe. And it's for this that he moves up in the ranks and takes centre stage in the world of GATE. Not for combat, but for disaster relief. Or at least, that's one way to look at it. Japan's military history is a sensitive topic in East Asia, the Imperial Japanese Army was responsible for war crimes across Asia, forced labour and mass killings included. After the Second World War, pacifism became inscribed in schools and society, the hyper-militarism which once dominated the country was displaced with a progressive culture of democracy and empathy, I believe making possible the creative culture we love today. Constitutionally, Japan cannot really take an aggressive, or even a proactive stance in global military affairs, the modern constitution is a pacifist one. The largely pacifistic mentality of the population meant for most of modern history, the SDF was not in high standing with public perception. Something worth remembering is not just how the imperial army of the Second World War did damage abroad, but that the military and its actions did damage at home too. Anyone who questioned the military or the war effort was punished severely whilst people were forced into becoming suicide attackers as kamikaze. The imperial army's aggression would be met with firebombing and famine, the consequences of which have been portrayed in such anime as Grave of the Fireflies and Rainbow. People never forgot this. That was at least until the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. The SDF played a vital role in disaster relief, rescuing people from waters and debris; for the first time, the SDF was seen as a positive force in Japan. Arguably, the focus on Itami helping civilians over fighting the enemy is in line with this. Something that receives frequent attention in GATE, is the humanitarian streak of the SDF, rescuing civilians from fire dragons, providing refuge for refugees and engaging in dialogue with their enemy in the Empire beyond the Gate. There is a story arc in the anime where the SDF protect a village from insane bandits and after winning the battle, demand that their new allies whom they fought beside treat the defeated bandits with compassion and humanity. The anime portrays the SDF more as a humanitarian organisation for the most part, rather than an army. That's at least part of it. Also and more disturbingly emphasised in GATE is the sheer overwhelming power of the SDF over the medieval Empire. Japanese soldiers slaughter the Empire's forces. Any confrontation between the SDF and an enemy beyond the Gate isn't a battle, but a massacre and in my view, if it is to glorify the SDF, it is in very bad taste. I'm encouraged by the humanitarian actions of the SDF in the show, but the frequent displays of overwhelming firepower and dominance, are a little unnerving and like the Empire itself, I hope that peace negotiations go well. So why does this worry me? Recently, Japan has been undergoing a military expansion under the direction of Prime Minister Abe. This has been controversial both in and out of Japan, with young people in particular and survivors from the Second World War era fearing a gradual return to military dominance over society. Not only has there been a drive for an inflation of military power, but Abe has been pushing for greater involvement in conflicts such as that in Syria, which commentators in Japan have actually denounced as unconstitutional. And with television commercials claiming that “all dreams can be achieved through the SDF”, in context, we've got to ask ourselves if we should actually be worried that Itami is so relatable. Well, since we're back on to the topic of our main character, it's worth actually quoting him when he says if he had to choose between his Otaku hobbies or his job, he would choose his hobbies. Hardly the hyper-nationalist soldier of days gone by. And Itami is a genuinely compassionate character; recently in the second season, he pretended to be the father of a deluded and bereaved elf who was having trouble grieving. Though I actually disagree that this was the right thing to do, this says a lot about him as a character and most vitally, it said nothing about him as a soldier. I argue that the anime is not about the SDF, but rather about a man travelling to another world who happens to be in the SDF. It may just be a coincidence that this anime emerges now, but in context, I believed it was worth exploring its implications and what it might mean. Itami is an interesting and empathetic character, and I believe rather than trying to portray the SDF as a glorified beacon of humanity or power, the creators of the light novel and by extension the show, are just trying to create a compelling story, exploring the morality of a man and what would happen if two very different worlds clashed and how we hope a modern society would react. With mercy, empathy and 21st Century humanity.    In the first episode, otherworldly forces from beyond the Gate attack Ginza and we see how our Self-Defence Force soldier reacts. Itami could have been written to take a primarily combat role in the ensuing chaos, taking on the invading knights and monsters. Instead, he turns his attention to the civilians, guides them to safety, makes sure they're okay and gives them comfort, makes them feel safe. And it's for this that he moves up in the ranks and takes centre stage in the world of GATE. Not for combat, but for disaster relief. Or at least, that's one way to look at it. Japan's military history is a sensitive topic in East Asia, the imperial army was responsible for war crimes across Asia, forced labour and mass killings included. After the Second World War, pacifism became inscribed in schools and society, the hyper-militarism which once dominated the country was displaced with a progressive culture of democracy and empathy, I believe making possible the creative culture we love today. Constitutionally, Japan cannot really take an aggressive, or even a proactive stance in global military affairs, the modern constitution is a pacifist one. The largely pacifistic mentality of the population meant for most of modern history, the SDF was not in high standing with public perception. Something worth remembering is not just how the imperial army of the Second World War did damage abroad, but that the military and its actions did damage at home too. Anyone who questioned the military or the war effort was punished severely whilst people were forced into becoming suicide attackers as kamikaze. The imperial army's aggression would be met with firebombing and famine, the consequences of which have been portrayed in such anime as Grave of the Fireflies and Rainbow. People never forgot this. That was at least until the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. The SDF played a vital role in disaster relief, rescuing people from waters and debris; for the first time, the SDF was seen as a positive force in Japan. Arguably, the focus on Itami helping civilians over fighting the enemy is in line with this. Something that receives frequent attention in GATE, is the humanitarian streak of the SDF, rescuing civilians from fire dragons, providing refuge for refugees and engaging in dialogue with their enemy in the Empire beyond the Gate. There is a story arc in the anime where the SDF protect a village from insane bandits and after winning the battle, demand that their new allies whom they fought beside treat the defeated bandits with compassion and humanity. The anime portrays the SDF more as a humanitarian organisation for the most part, rather than an army. That's at least part of it. Also and more disturbingly emphasised in GATE is the sheer overwhelming power of the SDF over the medieval Empire. Japanese soldiers slaughter the Empire's forces. Any confrontation between the SDF and an enemy beyond the Gate isn't a battle, but a massacre and in my view, if it is to glorify the SDF, it is in very bad taste. I'm encouraged by the humanitarian actions of the SDF in the show, but the frequent displays of overwhelming firepower and dominance, are a little unnerving and like the Empire itself, I hope that peace negotiations go well. So why does this worry me? Recently, Japan has been undergoing a military expansion under the direction of Prime Minister Abe. This has been controversial both in and out of Japan, with young people in particular and survivors from the Second World War era fearing a gradual return to military dominance over society. Not only has there been a drive for an inflation of military power, but Abe has been pushing for greater involvement in conflicts such as that in Syria, which commentators in Japan have actually denounced as unconstitutional. And with television commercials claiming that “all dreams can be achieved through the SDF”, in context, we've got to ask ourselves if we should actually be worried that Itami is so relatable. Well since we're back on to the topic of our main character, it's worth actually quoting him when he says if he had to choose between his Otaku hobbies or his job, he would choose his hobbies. Hardly the hyper-nationalist soldier of days gone by. And Itami is a genuinely compassionate character; recently in the second season, he pretended to be the father of a deluded and bereaved elf who was having trouble grieving. Though I actually disagree that this was the right thing to do, this says a lot about him as a character and most vitally, it said nothing about him as a soldier. I argue that the anime is not about the SDF, but rather about a man travelling to another world who happens to be in the SDF. It may just be coincidence that this anime emerges now, but in context I believed it was worth exploring its implications and what it might mean. Itami is an interesting and empathetic character, and I believe rather than trying to portray the SDF as a glorified beacon of humanity or power, the creators of the light novel and by extension the show, are just trying to create a compelling story, exploring the morality of a man and what would happen if two very different worlds clashed and how we hope a modern society would react. With mercy, empathy and 21st Century humanity.   
GATE photo
GATE & Japanese Military Build-up
[Ed. Note: Our newest contributor Yussif Osman begins his tenure at Japanator with a reflection on GATE, and this popular anime, light novel and manga's relationship to Japan's own attitudes towards military activity] I'm a p...

OP Up! - Top Anime Edition

Feb 17 // Red Veron
[embed]34783:5437:0[/embed] "Cha-La Head-Cha-La" Anime: Dragon Ball Z A classic opening that I remember fondly when I first saw it in the Philippines sometime in the late 80's/early 90's. I used to think "Saiyans" had something to with science since they were they sounded alike.   [embed]34783:5438:0[/embed] "LINE" Anime: Naruto Shippuden No, the name has nothing to do with the popular messaging App in Japan but I wouldn't be surprised if it had a little bit of inspiration. Yeah, this opening is great as it has almost everyone and feels all emotional since it is the last anime opening from what I hear.   [embed]34783:5439:0[/embed] "Hard Knock Days" Anime: One Piece A super fun opening that a show like this should have, you get that feeling of adventure and excitement all in one neat package.   [embed]34783:5440:0[/embed] "THE HERO !! ~Okoreru Kobushi ni Hi wo Tsukero~" Anime: One Punch Man A super rad opening that only one band can do, JAM Project does an amazing job with this opening that shows off the badassery that Saitama does in the show.   Which one is your favorite popular anime? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
OP Up! photo
TOP OF THE CHARTZ
So it's my birthday this week so I'm taking it easy and I am also not feeling well because of allergies and sinus stuff so I'm totally phoning this one in more than usual. Please pardon the intentional poor quality of this we...

Impressions: Dimension W episodes 1-6

Feb 16 // Nick Valdez
Dimension W takes place 20 years in a future where mankind has discovered a fourth dimension, the titular "Dimension W" (as it lies across from the X,Y, and Z axis), that's full of usable energy. Harnessing that power through little devices called "coils," society eventually became consumed by their use until 2070-something and the New Tesla Energy conglomerate eventually monopolizes the devices. In response people have started making their own bootleg versions, and that led to the rise of "Collectors," people who shut down the use of illegal coils. The story follows one collector in particular, Kyoma, who hates the coils and refuses to use any of their technology as he stumbles one a young robot girl Mira whose father was some former big wig at New Tesla who commits suicide to avoid capture. Now that they're both at a loss, Mira joins Kyoma in his hunt for illegal coils.  Now there's quite a bit of jargon in that synopsis, and unfortunately that's one of the key issues early on. There's so much world building shoved into the first couple of episodes, and at such a rate, that it's kind of difficult to digest everything. That's also why W does that classic anime thing where it has a brief summary of its premise before its opening credits those first three episodes. It seems tedious at first, but by the third episode (with two weeks or so inbetween) I definitely needed a refresher on some of the world's key elements since they were kind of blazed through before. I'm also sure W has another season planned since there are plenty of loose threads that won't get satisfying resolutions within its slotted 12-13 episode run. For example, there's still the weird magical thief Loser, Kyoma's past as a super soldier, why Mira is as advanced a machine as she is, and what a certain group of powerful coils (known as the "Numbers") have to do with anything. Regardless of its early pace issues, Dimension W eventually settles into a groove. It eventually uses its science fiction premise to evoke a pretty unique style. All of the pieces form a nice package, too. The art style is slick and has a nice fluidity while character designs range anywhere from strong to middling. Kyoma's is particularly notable since he reminds of Samurai Champloo's Mugen and even moves in the same fashion. Mira's yet another robot girl, but her schtick is her cat like tail and ears. The opening and closing themes are fine, if inconsequential rock music. But all of that converges into W's intriguing world. There's a two part episode early on about some kind of ghost mystery, and for a few minutes the show becomes this odd, supernatural body horror anime complete with a nearly naked Mira hanger from the rafters by chains while a bunch of ghost monsters growl beneath her (and of course, this is also an episode where a collector who uses robotic bats and wears a gothic lolita outfit is introduced). It's a weird tone but it's a nice technological spin on stuff we've seen before. The plot itself made no sense, however.  Unfortunately, that's the issue overall. Even after watching six episodes, I really have no idea where Dimension W is going. Unpredictability is great for a series, but there has to be a rooted idea to keep folks coming back. With as stylistically weird W is, it feels like it's all over the place. You know how I mentioned it became a supernatural horror earlier? Yeah, the tone shifts like that from episode to episode. In particular, this show is one of those "gut punch" shows where every episode most likely hides some kind of darkness halfway through without really building up to it. Episode five in particular has an unusual amount of murder, sexual violence, and just all around depression atmosphere. It's all too sudden to be either enjoyable or comfortable. It's just "Oh, that guy definitely killed that guy" and we move on. It's not like the show pretended to be something other than serious, it's just a little off putting when it's so sudden.  Regardless, I'll be keeping an eye on Dimension W. I'm already halfway through the season and felt strong enough about it to write on it here, so what's the harm it watching it through the end? This definitely feels like Dimension W was trying to find its footing, and whatever its setting up next might be fun to watch.  Now that it's got all of its world building out of the way and it's found a tone to work with, it'll hopefully be less confusing going forward. If you've followed along well enough, tell me about it. Maybe there's something I missed in all the madness. 
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Dimension what?
Anime with a futuristic, science fiction setting are always a toss up. For example, another science fiction series this season, Luck & Logic, ended up being awful halfway through its second episode. So I was really nervou...

Week Ender - Swordswomen Edition

Feb 13 // Red Veron
[embed]34771:5428:0[/embed] "Tsuki Akari" Anime: Akame ga Kill! What's better than one female sword wielder who wears black and red? TWO female sword wielders in black and red! The sisters Akame and Kurome, just look really cool in this one and I can't decide which one I want to waifu more. I'll just waifu them both. Yes, "waifu" is a verb now.   [embed]34771:5429:0[/embed] "Yoake Umare Kuru Shoujo" Anime: Shakugan no Shana Simple ending with a great song and great art. Starts out all black and white then BAM! Full color art at the end with that great red hair.   [embed]34771:5430:0[/embed] "MEMORIA" Anime: Fate Zero An ending with a lot of stuff going on showing off the servants and masters. I love endings that give us a different glimpse into the characters that we never see in the show. We get to see the heroine Saber just being a badass in this one in the past.   [embed]34771:5431:0[/embed] "Gomen ne, Iiko ja Irarenai" Anime: Kill La Kill Another ending that shows off a different side of the character from the show.We get to see the heroine Ryuko walking around and doing stuff that a normal teenage student would do. Probably taking place shortly before the beginning of the show, it's nice to see something "normal" in this crazy show for once.   So who's your favorite swordswoman and the anime opening/ending they're in? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
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Beauty and the Blade
There's something about women wielding swords that is just really appealing to me. We see them a lot in anime and manga so I know I am not alone in my infatuation in seeing women cut up some fools with a sword. I don't much e...

OP Up! Swordswomen Edition

Feb 10 // Red Veron
[embed]34766:5423:0[/embed] "ft." Anime: Fairy Tail I went through a few openings from this series and they were pretty good. I just wished I had the time to go through the series. Erza Scarlet is the swordswoman in this show and she has multiple forms where she wields different swords and she has a pretty cool design.   [embed]34766:5424:0[/embed] "Light my fire" Anime: Shakugan no Shana Here is a show that I can really get into, Shana's character design with that red hair and sword just really appeals to me. Also, JUSTICE.   [embed]34766:5425:0[/embed] "Spiral" Anime: Blood C I've featured this opening so many times before since it is one of my all time favorites; I love the opening, character designs, and the song. So it is no wonder I feature this one a lot. I enjoyed the series but didn't like the movie.   [embed]34766:5426:0[/embed] "Liar Mask" Anime: Akame ga Kill! Of course I love the eponymous Akame's design, her design is a favorite of mine with Saya from Blood C (featured above) just ahead of her by an inch when it comes to female sword wielders. That second opening above is pretty good too.   So who's your favorite swordswoman and the anime opening they're in? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
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Women with Sharp Steel
I just noticed that all the openings I chose for this week's selection featured characters whose design featured a lot of the color red. I love that a lot, and it's also a bonus that they have swords. So this week's selection...

Week Ender - Collectible Creatures

Feb 06 // Red Veron
[embed]34748:5414:0[/embed] "One Star" Anime: Digimon Savers I never got a chance to see this show but this is a pretty rad song. It's got one of those simple running along a sunset ending and it suits the music well.   [embed]34748:5415:0[/embed] "Let's join hands" Anime: Pocket Monsters - Best Wishes Season 2 Decolora Adventures A happy ending where everyone gets together at the end. Pretty uplifting if you ask me.   [embed]34748:5416:0[/embed] "Youkai Taisou Daiichi" Anime: Youkai Watch This is one of those dancing ending things that a lot of Japanese kid's shows do a lot and I like the idea of kids jumping around getting exercise after sitting for a half an hour in front of the TV.   [embed]34748:5417:0[/embed] "Toshishita no Boku" Anime: Medarot (Medabots in the US) This ending is soooooo 90's that it's giving me super nostalgia pangs. When I see and hear stuff in this style, I am instantly transported to those days when I would watch anime on those warm, late afternoons in my youth in the Philippines. So good.   Is there an anime or anime ending from a show all about collecting sentient creatures that you love? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
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Collection Commercial
They sure did make a lot of cartoons that were secretly commercials back in the day and I gotta say that the ones from Japan were the best. The cartoons (which were secretly anime) had a different flavor compared to the US ca...

OP Up! - Collectible Creatures Edition

Feb 04 // Red Veron
[embed]34737:5404:0[/embed] "Chie to Yuuki da! Medarotto (Wisdom and Courage! Medarot)" Anime: Medarot Known as Medabots in the US, this show aired in english around the world in the early 2000s. This show is taught me all about takoyaki, which they refer to as "Octopus Balls" in english and it is appropriately weird enough that it adds to comedy of that episode. Oh and this show has sentient robots that battle each other. I regret not picking up that DVD of the first season for $5 that one time in that store.   [embed]34737:5405:0[/embed] "XY&Z" Anime: Pocket Monsters XY&Z The latest opening from the Japanese version of Pokemon, this version has male vocals unlike the original and it sounds so much cooler with that opening. So edgy.   [embed]34737:5406:0[/embed] "Geragerapou no Uta" Anime: Youkai Watch It's the new thing that the kids in Japan are into and putting up a great fight against the juggernaut that is Pokemon. A silly opening that is dumber in the US version but not so dumb that it's good like One Piece 4Kids opening.   [embed]34737:5407:0[/embed] "Butter-Fly (tri Version)" Anime: Digimon Adventures Tri The return of a favorite for those kids who watched cartoons in the late 90's/early 2000s, this show looked pretty good and I've her people should check it out now that all the episodes are out. The episodes are all from the first of six films and more are to come in the near future. It feels great to see old friends again.   Is there an anime or opening from anime with collectible creatures that you love? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
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Gotta Collect'em All!
Commercials disguised as TV shows have been around since the dawn of television and they're still around. Anime just is one of those perfect medium (it's not a genre) to sell products to children and even adults, and anime fr...

Week Ender - One Year Anniversary Edition

Jan 31 // Red Veron
[embed]34730:5394:0[/embed] "Hito ni Yasashiku" Anime: The Rolling Girls I know this is opening of the series but the show did that thing where the first episode ends with the anime opening so it still counts and I like this song a lot (this cover version and the original by Japanese band The Blue Hearts). This was a show that started with some cool action but turned out was a sort of road movie type of adventure, at least the first few episodes that I watched were just that. I like look and design and I might revisit this show down the line.   [embed]34730:5395:0[/embed] "Kisetsu wa Tsugitsugi Shinde Iku" Anime: Tokyo Ghoul Root A This is a pretty cool song and great looking ending. I'm glad I got to revisit this one so that I can be reminded to get this song for my music collection. Love that water color art, I think it's watercolor unless someone can correct me on it. I just really like how it looks.   [embed]34730:5396:0[/embed] "Jounsetsu CONTINUE" Anime: Yatterman Night A show set in a distant future where the heroes that once stood for justice and order become the villains that oppress the citizens in a police state rule. In this time, those who descended from villains that those heroes once defeated rise up to fight the injustice cause     [embed]34730:5397:0[/embed] "Colorful" Anime: Saekano: How to raise a boring girlfriend A show that I enjoyed that was harem and poked fun at the idealized elements otaku have with romance and characters. The main character wasn't oblivious to the girls but just wanted to like his 2D waifus.   [embed]34730:5399:0[/embed] "Last Train Home" Anime: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders - Egypt Hen I need to catch up to JoJo so much. Watch it as soon as you can.   Is there an anime ending/opening or anime from about a year ago that you love? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know.
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525,600 Minutes
It's been a year since I started these features and I'm still not good at it. There was a book that said that it took 10 thousand hours to be an expert at something, and I reckon I only like have 10 minutes of total effort pu...


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