Oh the moe

Kinoko Collection photo
Kinoko Collection

Sure, why not make game about Mushroom Girls?


Meet your new Shroom-mates!
Dec 16
// Josh Tolentino
Really, why not? The last few years have seen a Cambrian Explosion for weird games, and people are now taking notice of good ol' Japan, which has been doing weird for longer than just about anybody. Of course, I could just be...
Tekken 7 photo
Tekken 7

Tekken 7's producer is NOT happy about what you think of his idol


Great job, internet!
Dec 10
// Josh Tolentino
Another day, another teacup-sized tempest. Today's videogame drama is brought to you by Tekken 7, which began its spate of character reveals by leading with a new girl named Lucky Chloe, a blonde, twin-tailed breakdance-figh...
Happy July 4th! photo
AMERICA
It's AMERICA day today, and you know what's pretty cool and American? The United States Navy! And you know what cool American thing is grossly underrepresented in Kantai Collection, everyone's favorite strategy game &nbs...

Madness.moe photo
Madness.moe

Dream up a logo for '.moe' domains, win mad bank


And yes, there are .moe domains now
Apr 12
// Josh Tolentino
Are you ready for .moe to take over the internet? No, not "moe", that weird otaku concept. That's already taken over the internet. I'm talking about ".moe", a new domain being operated by Japanese internet provider Inter...

The Moe Files

Mar 21 // LB Bryant
What is moe? As something of a moe aficionado, the question I've been asked most often regarding the genre is 'What is moe?'. This is not an easy question to answer as everyone has a different definition of the word. For me though, the best definition that I've come across (and the one that I personally subscribe to) is this: imagine that right in front of you is the cutest kitten or puppy that you've ever seen in your life. Now, imagine how you would feel if you could pick up said kitten or puppy: the joy, the comfort, the wish to do nothing but protect this beautiful and cute creation from all of the evils of the world and keep it all to yourself for so long as you both shall live. Now imagine feeling those same feelings for an anime character. That's moe. What isn't moe? While some might disagree with me, moe is NOT a sexual thing. It's not about which character you want to turn into your plaything and it's not about which character you want to see naked. It's about which character(s) you want to love and protect from the world because they are just too beautiful to be sullied. That, in my opinion, is moe. Now, sometimes I jokingly say that I have my own tsundere harem of characters in my head, but that isn't about moe either; that's something entirely different that I should probably talk to a therapist about.  In conclusion, The Moe Files aims to entertain and educate on the wonders of moe and all that it can do to enrich your life. Moe isn't some disease that is plaguing the anime industry, it's just part of the natural cycle of anime life. One could even argue that moe has been there since long before the word even existed starting back with Minky Momo or Lum.  Regardless, moe has become a staple of modern anime and, like it or not, does not appear to be going anywhere in the near future. So I hope that you'll join me in the coming weeks and months as I go through all of the series and characters that make up the world of moe.  [Editor's Note: The opinion that there isn't enough moe on Japanator is not endorsed by Japanator, its parent company, or any subsidiaries thereof. In fact, whenever we try to have the "do we need more moe?" discussion, fights break out and sometimes people end up upside down in trash bins, so who even knows. We only agreed to The Moe Files because it makes L.B. sound like he is an awesome detective.]
Moe Files photo
What is moe?
I've now been working with Japanator for about three months and I've noticed something: There's a severe lack of moe content on this site for whatever reason, and that needs to be fixed. That's why I've decided to step up and...

Review: Blessing of the Campanella

Mar 17 // LB Bryant
Blessing of the Campanella Complete Collection (DVD)Studio: AICLicensed by: Right StufRelease Date: 2/4/14MSRP: $49.99 Let's dispense with this right away... this is a moe harem series through and through. All of the characters are designed to be cute and lovable and the fan service is plentiful. This is a series where you are meant to find at least one character to attach yourself to and feel something special about them. Not that this is a bad thing; not in the least. I'm just letting everyone know ahead of time that if you're looking for some sword-clanging Record of Lodoss War-style fantasy action, you're going to be very disappointed.  If you're going into this series realizing that what you're getting is pure fluff, you'll find that this isn't a bad release at all. It's actually quite fun once you dispose yourself of the notion that Blessing of the Campanella is going to deliver anything particularly hard-hitting or deep. This is twelve episodes (thirteen if you count the OVA episode bundled as an extra) of cute wrapped up in adorable.  As you go through it you're bound to notice all sorts of fun little treats and tidbits. For instance, this is a surprisingly musical series, filled with various theme and insert songs. None of the songs are particularly wonderful (this series isn't trying to be K-ON after all) but they are certainly catchy and so don't be surprised if you find yourself whistling or humming one or more songs from this series long after you've finished watching it.  The big complaint that I have with Blessing of the Campanella is that it relies way too much on fan service to sell the female characters to the audience. Breast shots and bathing scenes are common throughout the series to the point of being pointless and distracting. Hell, one of the extras included on each disc are various 3D animated bathing scenes of the different female characters, which are nothing more than two minute nude scenes. Seriously.  Ignoring that one complaint though, Blessing of the Campanella has a solid story progression all the way through the series. The first few episodes are dedicated to introducing the characters and developing their personalities. We eventually learn everything we want to know about where Minette came from, and why the villain named Aberdeen wants to kidnap her and use her for his own nefarious purposes. The climax has everyone coming together to fix a major problem with their world, and wraps up in a satisfying manner. Overall I enjoyed this series though. It's fun and never takes itself too seriously, which is exactly the right attitude to have when watching this. Go and pick this one up if you're looking for a lighthearted fantasy romp.  Score: 7.0 – Good. Films or shows that get this score are good, but not great. These could have been destined for greatness, but were held back by their flaws. While some may not enjoy them, fans of the genre will definitely love them.
Review: Campanella photo
Fantasy world boobies
In 2010, Funimation simulcasted a fantasy series called Blessing of the Campanella and then, once concluded, it quietly went away. For months no one brought it up again until 2013 when Right Stuf revealed at a summer convent...

Monster Monpiece photo
Monster Monpiece

Monster Monpiece is heading west, losing some loli cards


Idea Factory playing it work-safe
Jan 22
// Josh Tolentino
Wow. I suppose this is truly the flipside of advocating for more diversity in videogames. After all, there's always the chance that a new type of game might not be something you're into, or even something you dislike. That s...

First Impressions: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren

Jan 10 // Chris Walden
This show, unsurprisingly, is all about the humble chuunibyou. While they appear to be seemingly ordinary eighth-graders, they actually battle swarms of demons and protect humankind from supernatural disasters that you aren't even aware of...or at least, that's what they think is happening. You and I would just consider them very imaginative kids; the kind that run around with sticks battling invisible hordes of bad guys. In the first series, Yuuta was a notorious chuunibyou, which forced him to attend a high school far away to make sure no one knows about all the embarrassing things he did. While enjoying a fresh start, he met Rikka a girl in his class who very much hasn't outgrown the 'phase', and who was dead set on drawing Yuuta into her fantasy world. While the previous series was an absolute treat with its sense of humor and colorful characters, it also finished with a solid conclusion. This was great, but it also meant that a sequel was completely unexpected; unnecessary, even. With the story all wrapped up, where could the show go from here to keep up anywhere near the same levels of interest? As funny as the main cast and their antics are, I don't think it could get very far without something of a plot to carry it along. So, do we have one? Quite frankly, it's too early to tell. The first episode of Ren was a typical reintroduction episode. Well, I say typical, but I suppose a high school student who believes her right eye wields a terrible power that can "vanishment the world" is a little atypical. We quickly discover that Rikka is the same adorable girl she was from the first season, though she's temporarily shacked up with Yuuta after the rent wasn't paid on her old room. This seems like a typically ditzy Rikka thing to do, though I wonder if she was even the one responsible for paying the rent. With all of the hints that someone significant has moved into her room already, I've no doubt that there will be screams of foul play-- even if it's the chuunibyou in Rikka shouting them. My bets are on the interloper being an old friend of Yuuta's, back from when he was a chuunibyou at his previous school.  Everyone that matters is back for the reintroduction, including both Nibutani and Isshiki sporting new looks. Interestingly, Nibutani's previous look is what shows up in all of Rikka's delusions, in particular when she is fighting with her sister. There's still the great rivalry between Nibutani and Dekomori, which doesn't fail to make you crack a smile. But let's be honest, the star of the show was definitely Kumin: not only for getting clobbered by a ladle several times, but for her constant eagerness to participate with the others. Her attempt at fighting Rikka's sister made the episode for me.  So, all in all, this was a pretty good reintroduction. We're still lacking the plot to keep us going through the whole season, but I believe we're due to get some proper story in the next episode. My only complaint thus far is with the sheer absence of Rikka's vertical butt-wiggle, with her past efforts ousted from the opening sequence, but thankfully we have Kumin making up for it in the ending. The new opening is actually really good, and I'll admit that I laughed after seeing Rikka fall over on the revolving platform. The accompanying music is a little odd, but I think we'll get used to it within a few episodes. Oh, and if you were after some fanservice, be sure to check out the ending-- I'm glad it was kept out of the show proper.
Chu2koi! Ren photo
Astonishing lack of Rikka's butt-wiggle
Wonderful, wonderful Chuunibyou, what a surprise conclusion to 2012's slate of anime you were. It's no secret that I'm quite fussy with the shows that KyoAni pumps out, but this slice-of-life/science fiction/romance/comedy wa...

Simulcast photo
Simulcast

Simulcast GET: Crunchyroll grabs Saki The Nationals


Over-the-top Mahong for everyone!
Dec 28
// Salvador GRodiles
As we're preparing for the 2014 Winter Anime Season, Crunchyroll is getting ready to play their hand in the game known as anime simulcasting. For their first move, Crunchyroll has announced that they're going to simulcast Sak...
Saki Zenkoku-hen Trailer photo
Saki Zenkoku-hen Trailer

Ron! Next season of Saki gets a teaser trailer


RIIIISING SUNNNN
Dec 23
// Chris Walden
So then folks, who has been keeping up with the Saki anime? Shame on you if you haven't, because it really is the show that caters to everyone's tastes. Moe? Check. Crazy special powers? Check. Not so hidden yuri moments? Ch...

Otakon '13: An Interview with Oreimo's creators

Aug 17 // Jeff Chuang
The interview took place roughly two hours before the Oreimo OVA screening at Otakon. Present at the interview was the light novel author Tsukasa Fushimi, novel editor Kazuma Miki, and anime director Hiroyuki Kanbe. We were joined with also Aniplex's Mr. Goto and Ms. Tsukamoto. The Q&A began after exchanging pleasantries-- Japanator: How do you feel about screening the finale to Oreimo at Otakon even before the Japanese audience? Fushimi: I'm happy that lots of people are watching it. I'm looking forward to it as well, because now I can see the final episodes on the big screen. I have not seen the anime's ending yet, so this will be my first time. J: How do you hope people will react to the ending of the anime? F: I would be really happy if people can just enjoy the episodes. I would like to have fun watching everyone else having fun watching it. J: From Oreimo anime's website, there is a lot of English-translated text, to go with the "From Chiba to the World" campaign. Whose idea was it to have such an international campaign? Miki: It's the idea from Mr. Takashi Yuma of Aniplex's. He is in charge of the PR and marketing for the show. He is a dangerous man. J: How is he dangerous? M: He spends a lot of money. *laugh* J: Have you listened to the Oreimo web radio? If you did, how do you feel about the oversea fan letters? F: I didn't listen to the radio, but I am delighted to read and hear about the oversea fan messages. M: I see the fan mail for the radio come in from dozens of countries all over the world. The letters say how they love Oreimo and we're very happy about that. We're surprised even with the help of the internet, that people are able to catch the show and follow what is happening. Kanbe: I occasionally listen to the radio! J: Which countries do you think has the loudest fans and the most fans? F: Regarding the novels, Taiwan has the loudest. Then China is second. K: Maybe someone from Aniplex can tell us how the anime is doing. Tsukamoto: For the anime, American fans are probably the loudest. J: When the ending of the novel was published, there were some fan murmuring about the ending. How do you feel about it? F: First I'm surprised that you know about this! We did get a lot of feedback and I'm happy about the feedback regardless what they are. Because it is the last volume, I want to slowly savor the fan responses one by one. J: Kirino's relationship with her brother--is this something that is inspired by something you know or something you came up completely? F: That is something I came up completely from scratch. J: How about the characters themselves? F: It's not really based on any real people. J: Kuroneko or Kirino? F: If I answer this question I will probably get some threatening letters! *Everyone laughs* M: Kirino for me. K: Kuroneko for me. F: Maybe I really like everyone? They are characters that I made and gave birth to, so I love them all. J: Between Kyousuke and the girls around him, is there a particular girl that you enjoyed writing the most? F: It has to be Ayase and Kirino. J: Why are these two the most interesting? F: I don't really know the reason myself. It's just that when I started to write, the readers react strongly to them and I end up enjoy writing about them more. J: I have a question about the title of the work. First, who came up with the title? And second, there are a lot of light novels with similar structure for the name as OreImo [Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai], so why are these novel names so long? F: I came up with the title of the show with editor Miki.  M: And yeah, you are right, light novel names are really long! How do you know about them? J: There's all these anime adopted from light novels with these long names! M: Ah that is true. It's kind of like a fad. It's just how this age of light novels are. In the previous age, the names were simple. The long names are just for the current round of books. Sooner or later it will change to something else. J: How is the process of working on the anime for the script of the show? K: Every week there is a script meeting. Mr. Kurata [series writer] will present the concept of how the novel will be translated into the anime. We will work with Fushimi-san to determine the result. J: How was this changed in season 2 compared to season 1? How was editing the novel story to fit into the length of the second series? F: The biggest difference between season 1 and 2 was that the novel wasn't completed by season 2's planning.  M: We waited until Fushimi-san was done before we can go ahead with the anime. J: Why was the anime for seasons 1 and 2 both extended into the OVA episodes? K: Well, TV anime is usually one or two cours, so if it fits then it works, if not we will have to come up with another way. We originally wanted to fit in to one season irrespective to the original story but it didn't work that well. Aniplex then suggested to make more episodes so we can do a better job matching the story. The same happened with season 2. J: Of all the various marketing and promo events for Oreimo, which ones do you like the most? F: Otakon would be the one I'm hoping to like the most! K: I would hope for Otakon as well, since it hasn't been done before that the US gets something before the Japanese. Also I like Oreimo Festival, which is an event where the voice actors talk about the show. M: For me, it's the monorail promotion. The entire monorail train has a full wrapping for Oreimo characters. I was surprised that the Oreimo themes continued inside the rail cars. J: Is there anything you can tell us about new works? F: We are working on a new project. Mr. Miki and I were on this 13-hour flight from hell to here and we were working on it on the way. K: I have a few projects planned right now. I'm also going to work on other anime as an animation director. J: And to wrap it up, any final words for your oversea fans? F: Thank you for watching or reading Oreimo to the end. I would be happy if everyone has at least one favorite heroine, may it be Kirino or Kuroneko or anyone else. I hope you will remember them. K: I hope for those who has not watched the show yet, they will check it out! M: Originally, the project in Japan was just between me, Fushimi-san and Kanzaki-san [Light Novel Illustrator]. It was originally made for young Japanese people so we never expected it to be this big in America. We are glad to be able to share the same feelings about Oreimo with you! J: Thank you very much! [Special thanks to Otakon's George Endo for interpreting and Aniplex's Tsukamoto-san for facilitating!]  
Oreimo Premiere photo
Team OreImo under the spotlight
To get you ready for the world simulcast of the Oreimo OVAs on Saturday, Japanator chatted up the Oreimo guests at Otakon 2013--light novel author Tsukasa Fushimi, his editor Kazuma Miki, and the director of the anime se...

Impressions: Stella Women's Academy Class C3

Aug 06 // Josh Tolentino
For those unfamiliar with the terms, airsoft is best described as paintball's nerdier brother. Played with meticulously-modeled replica guns shooting plastic pellets, the emphasis is more on simulation rather than sport. Themed matches featuring teams doing what practically amounts to military cosplay are common. Airsoft is especially popular for doing "MilSim", basically mock scenarios using real military tactics. What does that have to do with young Yura Yamato, a high school freshman seeking her social debut at an all-girls academy? Not much, really. The first two episodes fit almost smack-dab onto early K-ON! as Yura gets badgered into joining the C3 Club - an airsoft club. The "C3" comes from the less-SEO-friendly military abbreviation "C3" for "Command, Control & and Communications", but really, it's named that way because you can pronounce it as "C-Cubed" in Japanese. You can even figure out which K-ON! archetypes map onto which characters. Yura is Yui and Azusa with a dash of social anxiety and a tendency to daydream (more on that later), while the rest of the club are mixes of Mugi and Ritsu tempered by varying quantities of Mio-ness. Club head Sonora, voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro, is the consummate badass who does real shooting and can't be bothered to wear her uniform properly. Mind you, I say these things not to be reductive, but rather give an impression of how mundane the first couple of episodes feel. It's one thing to start out slow and build up to more excitement with time, but in the saturated field of cute girls doing cute things things need to distinguish themselves right off the bat. It's a necessary thing to avoid being dropped, or say, being forgotten about until a busy blogger remembers that it exists and that he had committed to watching it weeks ago. Which is totally not a thing that happened to this busy blogger. No, sir! These episodes just barely drop hints that there's more to Class C3 than girls in a girls' club not actually doing the thing their club is for. In fact, the C3 Club does plenty of airsoft, so much so that Yura gets carried away into various action-movie references, including Rambo, The Bodyguard, and more. Yura's overactive daydreaming is something of a plot device, even, and it's implied later on that it's practically her superpower. Speaking of superpowers, perhaps the oddest aspect of Class C3 - at least, it'll be odd for the viewer that watches for the airsoft - is how readily the show steps into superpower territory...sort of.  In Class C3, airsoft, that nerdier brother of paintball and likely origin of the term "Tacticool", is treated with a level of reverence that is, well, ludicrous, even for the most hardcore hobbyists. Sonora has an airsoft "master" that taught her the ropes like it was a martial art, and has a personal airsoft policy that frankly makes no sense (though the show acknowledges that part at least). Karira has an inexplicably insane level of agility, performing spinzaku-like feats of wall-running and backflips up the wazoo. A rival airsoft team chews Yura out for forfeiting, lambasting her lack of resolve, which leads Yura to cut her hair in a show of determination. The result is something of an identity crisis, one that might be linked to the fact that it's about airsoft. One of the things that feels "off" about airsoft (and MilSim-level paintball), is that it falls into a simulation "Uncanney Valley". When you play airsoft, you're effectively simulating an otherwise deadly firefight...except you're not. Your average airsoft gun can hold far more plastic pellets than any real firearm. At regulation strength, an airsoft pellet strike at combat range impacts with less force than a rubber band, and there's no substantial recoil to speak of. Actual physicality aside you'd get a more accurate firearms simulation playing Call of Duty. Of course, physicality counts for quite a lot, and Class C3 pulls out some fun stuff. Seemingly accurate hand signals permeate the early encounters, and as far as I know, the different "Survival Game" game modes mentioned seem to be real things.  Character development is also more of a priority in this show than it ever was in the likes of Girls und Panzer or Upotte!. Though the rest of the crew is decidedly one-note so far, Yura and Sonora have their own motivations, history, and personalities, even if they are still two-dimensional (which is more than one, at least).   But the identity issues persist. Is Class C3 about airsoft? Is it a straight sports-team show? A slice-of-life-er about a girls' club? An absurdist parody? Or about a girl finding herself? It's all of these things, but doesn't quite do enough on any one front to fully satisfy. There's certainly time left to both raise the stakes and get more balls rolling, so I'll be sure not to forget it moving forward.
Stella Class C3 photo
Girls und Airsoft
Melding cute girls and an unusual activity of some kind is hardly a new thing. Hundreds of full anime, manga, and book series have been mined from the rich vein of "Girls x [Weird Pastime]", and Gainax's Stella Women's A...

OreImo 2 OVA stream photo
OreImo 2 OVA stream

OreImo 2's last episodes to be streamed worldwide


From fourteen to sweet sixteen
Jun 18
// Josh Tolentino
Oh that greedy imouto! We're already approaching the end of OreImo 2's TV run, but in true "modern anime industry" fashion, there are to be several more episodes intended to round the story out at a sweet sixteen outings...
Girls und Panzer photo
Girls und Panzer

Girls und Panzer gets the best hug pillow ever


Hugs in the night for your HE ammo
May 05
// Josh Tolentino
Ah, the dakimakura. Few things in otaku culture are more indicative of one's...*ahem* "power level" than being in possession of a large hug pillow emblazoned with the visage of your 2D spouse. That is, unless you're a fan of ...
Girls und Panzer movie photo
Girls und Panzer movie

Panzer vor! Girls und Panzer gets a movie


The lengthy wait begins anew
Apr 28
// Josh Tolentino
YES! One of the best shows of 2012 (and 2013, since we're technically allowed to count the belated final two episodes) is getting more. While I'd frankly have been content to see Girls und Panzer laid to rest in its near...
Mooooo photo
Mooooo

This milking game is udderly ridiculous.


Insert sexual reference here
Apr 13
// Eric Koziol
Mei is an ambitious girl. When her father was kicked in the head by the horse that was being hitched to take them to her mother’s funeral, Mei had two funerals to attend all of a sudden. Determines not to let the sadnes...

Final Impressions: Tamako Market

Apr 09 // Josh Totman
What I mean by "satisfying crunch" was a better story that made me want to watch more. Historically, moe anime is not really about an engaging story, but it’s about the slice of life of the characters within the show. While this is true with Tamako Market the story just didn't really fit. The entire prince story was the main problem for me. I just didn't care about him or his needing to find a wife before he takes the throne. What I can get over is the fact that Dera was a talking bird that could be turned into a projector at any time. He did bring some needed humor to the show, but not enough to make it a better show. Speaking of characters, I had no problems with the cast. Most of them I liked right off the bat for their quarks. If Tamako Market was real with these types of people running the shops, I would be there everyday buying stuff! Who wouldn't want to by their tofu from a Japanese man with an afro? Actually the flower lady with the manly voice kind of creeps me out…kind of. Also, how cute is it to go to a mochi shop where the little girl is nicknamed Anko? Very, that how much! This is one of the times I really hope that they will have Nenderoid play sets available sometime down the road. Kyoani’s production values were just as I would have expected. There was not a time where I could really see that they slacked off at all. The bright and colorful world was always welcoming in every episode. Let’s go back to the story for a bit before I wrap this up. In case you haven’t watched it, Tamako Market is about Tamako and her day to day life in the market where she lives with her grandfather, father, and little sister making mochi. Then one day a talking bird named Dera comes to the market to find a bride for his prince. From there on, we meet everyone in the market and find out little by little about everyone. We do find out that Tamako was the one picked out for the prince. Surprised, right? In the end, everything returns to normal. There is no real ending to ruin in this show because there was no real big story to accompany it. The prince part mattered so little that in the middle of the series I almost forgot about it completely. I kind of wished the creators did too because I would have rather seen the story go more towards the inhabitants of the market. That would have been more entertaining overall. As much as I didn't like how the story went, I still really enjoyed the show overall. The artwork, animation, characters, and silliness kept me around for the entirety of the show. I would sell this show as moe light or moe diet. It has the same great moe taste, but not as filling as normal moe. Hopefully, this will tide me over till the next great moe show comes along. I do have a sweet tooth for cuteness that needs to be filled once in a while. Romantic comedies only get me so far, same with harem shows.
Tamako Market photo
A market I would shop at
Moe can be a hard pill to swallow to a lot of people. For me, I put it into a bowl with sugary cereal and milk and consume in mass quantities. OK, so that was a little over the top. I do enjoy moe shows more than a grown...

OreImo is 16 episodes photo
OreImo is 16 episodes

OreImo season 2 runs longer than you might think


My show can't be this long!
Apr 01
// Chris Walden
Greedy imouto, Sixteen episodes before, Sixteen once again.
Vividred Operation PS3 photo
Vividred Operation PS3

Vividred Operation PS3 gets a new commercial, mini-game


Hyper Intimate Power! Also mayo
Apr 01
// Josh Tolentino
This is no joke, it's: "Hyper Intimate Power" With mayo toppings
Chuu2Koi photo
Chuu2Koi

KyoAni hints at a new Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai work


Return of the (moe)blob
Mar 27
// Josh Tolentino
Prepare to experience love, middle-schooler syndrome, and other delusions once again, because now that Tamako Market has just ended (Josh Totman's Final Impressions are pending), it's time to think of the future. And in...
Vanguard Princess English photo
Vanguard Princess English

Get yourself some Vanguard Princess in English


After four long years
Mar 03
// Josh Tolentino
Looking for another 2D sprite-based fighter to get your fix, between now and whenever Lab Zero release their Skullgirls DLC? Why not try Vanguard Princess? EigoManga have released an English-localized ver...
Vividred Operation PS3 photo
Vividred Operation PS3

Operation Vividgame: Vividred Operation getting PS3 title


Butts and Forehead Kisses: The Game?
Mar 02
// Josh Tolentino
We should definitely have expected this, given that Namco Bandai is pretty much the official hub of licensed anime games, but the positive sign here is that based on the screenshots, Vividred Operation: The Game looks mu...

Top 5 Best Eyepatch Gals

Mar 01 // Marlin Clock
Honorary Mention: Mirai (Senran Kagura)  Yes, I did say I would name five, but this girl has been recently brought to my attention, and I simply could not ignore her vim! While my introduction to this gothic loli has been brief, it has been quite an eye-opening experience. Not only does she have impeccable fashion sense, but an arsenal of adorable and hilarious implements under what can only be considered a hyperskirt. She can summon tiny F-16s that fly her away at a moment's notice. I'd like to see you even try and say that's not awesome. It's just not possible.  5. Minene Uryu (Mirai Nikki)  The story of her eyepatch is about as brutal as it can get.  In a fight to become the next Supreme Being in the universe, she sacrificed her eye in order to save her life as it was cruelly pierced by an artfully thrown dart. She would later on to become one of the most noble of the anti-heroes that inhabited her macabre tale, ultimately being the most important character in the entire story.  4. Asuka Langley Shikinami (Rebuild of Evangelion)  She's a troubled redhead who's also a pirate. What more do you need to know? Alright I'll give some more. Jeez you people are so picky.  You see, in another life this girl went about her days the way most children in this world do. She would destroy God's messengers, relive childhood trauma, get throttled violently by a wimpy teenager, all without knowing the sweet feeling of black velvet upon one's eyelashes. Thankfully, through the power of exploiting media franchises, we got to see this young lass born anew! Clad in the most traditional of eyewear, she now fights for the glory of all her kin. Now Marlin, you may be saying, have you even watched the new Rebuild? No. No I haven't, but that doesn't mean I can tell an awesome eyepatch when I see it.  3. Rikka Takanashi (Chuunibyo demo Koi ga Shitai!)  Showing us that eyepatches do not need to be the exclusive territory of badasses, Rikka brings a soft touch to our list. She is also unique as the only member to retain her eye despite it. In a tale of coping, her eyepatch was perhaps the most meaningful, representative of the trouble she has in letting her father go. While it is a pity that the removal of her eyepatch is what activates her most powerful delusions, the fact that she still uses it keeps her among the greatest to ever wear the article.   2. Mei Misaki (Another) Mei was really the standout performance of Another. While the show was clearly in the point of view of Kouichi, the main focus of every new revelation always came back to Mei. She was as mysterious as she was likeable. While much of the characters tried to get Kouichi, and subsequently us, to shy away from her, it only made us want to know more. She even became quite adorable after getting to know her and seeing her interact with him as a normal person. Plus, she definitely has the most plot relevant eyepatch, concealing Another's own version of Death Perception.  1. Nice Holystone (Baccano!) Any who don't know the story of this blonde bombshell should hold their manhoods cheap! This is a fair soul so dedicated in her passion that at the ripe age of 14 she blew herself to high heavens, and, despite losing her eye and retaining scars, held the fortitude to go back and continue to practice her precious art. She is no mere ordinary eyepatch wielder; she understands its tactical importance! Many will not take advantage of the space created when their sundered eye is relieved. Not Nice Holystone. Ever aware of the necessity of backup plans, she even keeps a bomb hidden beneath the patch, hidden cleverly in that empty socket!   Despite her fiery soul, she has the tenderest of hearts.  She is always looking out in the best interest of her love, the equally ridiculously named Jacuzzi Splot, and quick to protect the innocent with him when they come into danger. When the Flying Pussyfoot found itself becoming a shootout, she and Jacuzzi quickly made a plan that saved many lives. Truly her fire and heroics show that she is the most deserving of this number one spot.
Promo: Top 5 Eyepatches photo
A promoted article from Marlin Clock!
[How about another promoted article for this month's Bloggers Wanted? Marlin Clock is on hand to give us the low down on the best eyepatches available on the market, as well as the lovely ladies they are attached to. Hit the ...

JapanaTen After Dark: Our 10 Favorite Fanservice Fiestas

Feb 15 // Josh Tolentino
1. Agent Aika [embed]27970:2122[/embed] Josh Totman said it best when he nominated this fanservice classic: "This show is the king of panty shots. You can't even go more than two minutes without seeing one! It's more comical how all the girls in the series fall over in just the right way to show their panties. Even when it came over here to the states, the collector's edition came with a pair of panties. That's how laced it was with them."   2. Neon Genesis Evangelion [embed]27970:2129[/embed] This one is more relevant to me in terms of personal history than the actual content in the show, as it was my first exposure to the term "fan service" as a concept. At the time, I didn't know what it meant, but once I did, the damage was irreparable, so to speak.  Evangelion was also a true pioneer of fanservice-as-commercialization. Why settle for a tame shot of Misato bending over the kitchen table when you can slap some Eva goodness on everything from towels to racing teams to cameras to torso-shaped water bottles. If you were an Eva fan, then Gainax had something available to service every conceivable need.   3. Vividred Operation   [embed]27970:2128[/embed] The show's not even half over and it's already taken the list by storm, by dint not of "bloomer-service" or butt-shots but by the sheer comprehensiveness of its pandering. References to everything from magical girls to Super Sentai to Evangelion to Madoka to mecha musume to Gurren Lagann to military hardware nuts abound, and Vividred has somehow still managed to maintain coherence. If it manages to keep up this high standard for the rest of its run, we may have a new legend on our sweaty hands.   4. Highschool of the Dead   [embed]27970:2126[/embed] Said Hiroko: "This is one of the shows that I watched pretty much for boobs alone. I mean come on, they were the "stand out" of the show, I don't know if 10 seconds passed without some huge boob scenario. Adding some zombies and nicely designed guns were a nice backdrop for boobs, but the anime's title was misleading. It should have been Highschool of Boobs: Things that happen to make them jiggle!"   5. The Qwaser of Stigmata [embed]27970:2130[/embed] Before falling into a coma, Jeff managed to submit his nomination to the list: "Qwaser - Boobs, milk, water, toys, rope, public, fountain, super powers, candles, sucking, boobs, the matrix, sub, sentai parodies, shota, bathtub, Russian cuisine, nuns, boobs, busts (figure), aprons, lasers, flower garden, blood, hidden continent, boobs that change sizes, a song about flat chests, Big Mama, tuning fork, bronze dolls, high school chemistry, boobs, gothloli, twins, Nazi references, mind control, biting, and much more. There are a lot of boobs in Qwaser, did you know?"   6. Gunbuster: Aim for the Top! [embed]27970:2125[/embed] Gunbuster was exactly Hiroko's type, and this is why: If you didn't fall in love with Noriko and her enthusatic chest, I take back any chocolate I've offered you. It tough to really call her sexy, but like I mentioned in Kristina Pino's excellent fan service article, it's the kind of fan service I dig. The whole thing is sexy in a non sexy kind of way. Or perhaps I'm just confused. It's the whole girls and mecha combination that gets me excited once again, and Gunbuster is still one of the best examples of the genre. Determination, drive, boobs, and mecha are all I need to get me in your robot! Being penned by Haruhiko Mikimoto doesn't hurt either.   7. Bubblegum Crisis [embed]27970:2124[/embed] With a name like that, how could you not have some service waiting in the wings? Hiroko elaborates: Chicks with robotic suits are sexy. What if the suits were even sexier than the chicks? Bubblegum Crisis definitely played up its sexy angle. A few shower scenes, bouncy boobs, gorgeous designs, and of course Sexroids. What makes this a top fan service show for me, was the immaculate character designs of all the ladies, Kenichi Sonada's ability to draw women in anime and manga is just tip top. From Gun Smith Cats to Gal Force, he knows how to really illustrate jaw dropingly sexy women. Bubblegum Crisis really kicked things up with Hard Suits that accentuated the female form, yet not in a way that downplayed the mecha aspects. Everything on each Hard Suit was functional, yet feminine. The design of Priss busting out of her hard suit is what always comes to mind, when I think of sexy anime. Robots + chicks = win. An Extra Sexaroid on top just adds to the equation!   8. Dragon Ball [embed]27970:2127[/embed] If Evangelion was my fanservice gateway, Dragon Ball was Hiroko's: "Laugh as you may about this choice, but as kid, Dragon Ball delivered. Bulma served as my introduction to the concept of fan service, and hid it nicely inside an innocent looking children's anime. The purple haired trollop worked her way into my heart instantly, by flashing her panties at a totally bewildered Son Goku. It seemed like half the characters were always plotting some way to see her naked, or cop a feel. You have to understand that this was better than gold for a twisted kid like me. The show slowly moved away from the sex gags, and perhaps that's why I lost interest later on, but the original Dragon Ball was always naughty fun!"   9. Nisemonogatari [embed]27970:2133[/embed] If there's any anime out there that's managed to approach the territory of actual erotica, rather than just fanservice, it would be Nisemonogatari and its SHAFT-produced siblings. With every leering angle and disturbingly fetishistic focus SHAFT has taken fanservice to a level that's both titillating and a little bit dirty. It's sleazy without being crude, exploitative without seeming cruel, all executed with such artistry that it overwhelms accusations of being overly "pornographic".   10. Jungle de Ikou [embed]27970:2123[/embed] To be honest I didn't even know this existed until Josh Totman brought it to my attention: "The main pull of this show is the transformation of little flat chested girl to a voluptuous adult by way of interpretive dance. She also over does it to help out the town being attacked by a giant monster by growing large herself. So you can see what kind of hilarity can ensue with a kaiju battle with a overly busty female."
10 Fave Fanservice Shows photo
For your post-Valentine's perusal
Had enough of love, romance, and all that other junk? No need for all that gooey cootie-filled stuff? Well, we've got the list feature for you, an opposite number to the tender caresses of a Valentine's Day love-fest. Yes, to...

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Puella Magi Nebula Madoka!


A petition for the ages
Feb 11
// Josh Tolentino
It's like seeing Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich, but way cooler and way nerdier. In true "Ask the White House to build a Death Star" fashion, worshipers of Puella Magi Madoka Magica are seeking to impr...

First Impressions: Tamako Market

Jan 15 // Josh Totman
This series seems so much up my alley it is amazing. It has the right character designs that I loved in K-ON, its moe/slice of life themed, and has a food element. It’s the perfect combination for me! The anticipation for this show was pretty high for me from the get go that I stopped reading anything more on it to not spoil my surprise when I finally had a chance to watch it. I get this way with most things in life actually no matter what it is, if I am excited for it, I don’t read any more into it. It’s kind of the opposite effect that most people have on things they like. But I digress, the show left me scratching my head more about why some things are in there, like that damn talking bird. OK, the bird didn't upset me that much. It just seemed out of place being a part of the story, an unnecessary character in the show. It may have some real point later but for right now I am not getting all a flutter about him. The show mainly revolves around Tamako, her friends, family, and the mochi store that they run. Nice and classic slice of life just the way I like it. Besides the bird, everything else seems like a show that I could watch all curled up with a blanket and a hot beverage, it just has that warming appeal to it. She goes to school, hangs out with friends, comes home to family bickering, rinse and repeat. All the elements are there, so why am I not falling in love with this show? To put it in food terms, it all comes down to the filling. Tamako Market has a nice candy shell that looks good in the window with all the pretty colors and such. But once you get it home, and bite into it, you find out that it’s pretty hollow inside. There is not real substance to the story so far besides the unknown story about the bird and his mission. Nothing in the show made me really laugh or giggle stupidly as I like to do with moe shows. Most of what came up in the show was cute just for the sake of being cute. For instance, in the beginning, Tamako throws her baton into the air and it lands on her head. Who couldn't see that coming from a mile away? I pity you if you didn't, I really do. Its gags like this that weight down the start of the show. If you puff up the show like this, not many will be back for seconds. This is going off of only one episode so far but it’s a show that I really want to like. I’ll be sticking to this show like mochi to a mallet, but the payoff better be more than just some hammered rice. I want some flavor in there! And some hot green tea, please.
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Less calories than regular moe
Come on in children. The water is a bit murky on the moe end of the anime pool. It’s a bit cold, not at all hot, and there may be warm spots here and there. Tamako Market from Kyoto Animation is finally on the air to ho...

Final Impressions: Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb

Jan 05 // Chris Walden
The show follows six female students and their antics inside and outside of school. That's all for a synopsis of the story, as I feel I'll only be regurgitating what I've mentioned already in the First Impressions article three months ago! The differences between this season and the three that came before it are few and far between, though there are some changes worth a mention. The biggest, I think, is that characters outside of the main six plus Yoshinoya-sensei and the principal were getting a lot more screen time than usual. Perhaps this was due a natural transition with Ume Aoki's manga and how the jokes have evolved with time, as it is certainly noticeable. Even older characters were stopping by for a joke or two. This is by no means a criticism, as it was quite refreshing to see some different faces mixing things up a little. I still feel that Nazuna and Nori still aren't getting enough screen time to themselves, and I was a bit disappointed to see them feature most often in the 'full group' scenarios. Yuno and Miyako, as the main duo, get plenty of time to themselves and as a couple. Hiro and Sae also featured plenty, as a lot of the story in Honeycomb focused on their final year of school and their future plans. Sure, there were a few scenes here and there where Nazuna and Nori were centre stage, but it really didn't feel like it was enough. I certainly enjoy their characters, and it seems that their lack of presence has been a problem since back when they were first introduced.  These last few episodes seem to have been gearing up to the end of the school year, meaning that Hiro and Sae don't have too long until they graduate and leave the school and apartment behind. Perhaps it was due to this that the episodes actually appeared to be chronological this time around. Who knows if they will ever leave, though, especially when Ume Aoki can keep placing scenarios into her already established timeline. That probably sounded way more complex than it is, but she really hasn't touched more than perhaps a month or so of the two years the duo have shared the apartments with Yuno and Miyako.  It was interesting seeing the return of Natsume in the final two episodes of the season, as she'd only briefly been involved in Honeycomb before this. Strange, really, as she seems to be more of a character than most of the irregulars. That, and she is also meant to be graduating, so you'd think she'd be around more often. Having her little tsundere moments make for some pretty funny scenarios, that's for sure.  And of course, what better way to ring out the series than with another visit to the bath house? Shaft seem to be pushing the boundaries on nudity with this series, and while I maintain that these scenes are largely in good taste rather than to push Blu-ray sales, they're certainly getting a bit more... detailed. Not enough to sell the series, nor put you off, so it's pretty inoffensive.  While I really do like the new opening music, I still feel that the departure from the clap-centric whistle heavy cheerful tunes that came before it wasn't a great decision. Opening music is the best way to get a mood set for an anime, so it sounding like a character song wasn't helping out. I love the song, I really do, but I'm not sure it was a good choice of opening music. Season five needs more whistle! The art has seen a few changes itself this time around, and while you could argue that the art was fine as it was, it is certainly turned out to be a positive. The most basic scenes are now a lot more striking with art that resembles the manga a little more, and the pastel colours stop it looking like every other slice of life you've already seen. You can also expect a little more Shaft lunacy, as their habit of dropping in photographs and crazy-looking still frames is certainly there to be seen. It makes it a little more lively, so it's very welcome. As I stated in the First Impressions write-up, Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb is the same old show we've come to love. Sure, there are a few issues here and there if you're looking for them, but at the end of the day, you already know whether you're going to be enjoying the show or not. The opening may have been an odd parting from what we're used to, but if you enjoyed the last three instalments, it's not going to be a massive issue. Just grab your own whistle and go nuts during the opening if it's a huge concern! [You can attempt to handle the wideface on The Anime Network!]
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Diabetus.
The festivities at the end of December seem to be at fault for putting off the finale of this show so long, but hey, the Hidamari Sketch ladies didn't appear to be all that fussed about it. It may have been our fourth excitin...

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Doll joints! Rozen Maiden getting another anime (desu)


Desu desu desu
Nov 21
// Josh Tolentino
Rejoice, lovers of all things doll-jointed, as the premier doll-joint property is once again returning to the anime scene. Yes, after two previous seasons and a full six-year hiatus, the saga of magical dolls with ...

An Open Letter to the Manga and Anime Industry

Nov 13 // CharismaJustice
The idea of cute girls and fanservice has existed in manga and anime since the conception of their respective media, and yet recent trends in media show a massive increase in the number of these various techniques being used, a trend which I find alarming. While many dedicated fans enjoy tastes of ecchi in their anime, and the use of moe characters, studios and artists seem to be basing works upon these things as opposed to creating something original and story based. It's incredibly worrisome in my opinion, and if not corrected soon could cause permanent damage to the medium. [embed]27172:1837[/embed] If this problem isn't stopped soon, every series will be K-On!, and that is not anything I'd want What do Soul Eater, Haruhi Suzumiya, Berserk, Gantz, and Slam Dunk all have in common? They're all regarded as masterworks in their respective media, and all feature ecchi scenes, or even full blown nudity. Ecchi, when used in moderation, is a perfectly fine thing to add to a manga or anime. However when a series is based around that, you end up with something that's almost softcore porn, series like To Love-Ru, Rosario Vampire, Kaichou Wa Maid Sama!, etc. The issue with manga like the ones I just mentioned is that they're all massively popular, and thus more people are creating series such as these, and it is the duty of the people who release these things to stand up to imitators and allow more original media to come about. It's a more financially responsible strategy, and its the right thing to do for everyone's psyche. The most financially successful manga have always been the series that innovate, because innovative and well told stories sell for much longer than books and DVDs bought for cute girls. This is because there will never be another Akira, but there will always be cuter girls, and thus ecchi and moe manga will typically lack the longevity of a successful manga built around other strategies. Sadly, I don't see any major changes in the mass media market for a long time, because until the publishers decide to take more risks with what is released, I imagine we'll come to see a 10:1 ratio of To Love-Ru's for every quality story based work. That's not something I, as a huge fan of manga and anime, would be a part of, and I certainly wouldn't want my children (your primary audience) to be a part of it either. Not only that, but by using ecchi and moe techniques you cut out the middle ground of your audience. The middle group of consumers consists of people reading manga for the stories, and doesn't consist of people who will buy no matter what (otaku and children), and it will alienate some otaku, as not all people like moe and ecchi in their manga and anime. [embed]27172:1838[/embed] This is To Love-Ru The same could be said for moe, as I see an increasing amount of big eyed girls at school in my anime, and that wouldn't be an issue if not for the fact that the majority of them are god-awful. I call into example Hikaru no Go; a semi successful manga drawn by Death Note author Takeshi Obata about a boy named Hikaru who meets a ghost that makes him good at go (a Japanese chess type thing). The series was fairly well written and the plot was pretty interesting at times, and yet Hikaru no Go is somewhat forgotten now. An eerily similar premise is found in the ridiculously popular Saki, in which a cute girl plays mahjong, and that's about it. The difference between the two series is moe, the way the characters look rocketed Saki to fame far past Hikaru ever dreamed of. [embed]27172:1839[/embed] This is Saki's opening theme, notice all the moe, the actual series is a mess. But appearance isn't the issue with the idea of moe and moe characters, the issue is the lack of originality this passion for moe has spawned. An average manga about high school students doing funny things wouldn't get serialized normally, but tack a few moe characters on there and you have K-On!. That's the issue, that publishers are more willing to publish the K-Ons of the world, and thus mangaka and anime studios are more likely to create unoriginal moe series. [embed]27172:1840[/embed] Haruhi and Madoka are examples of plot over moe, and yet the moe is still there Finally, publishers are responsible for the media they create, and the social effects that this moe and ecchi movement could have are massive. Children growing up seeing all of this could be hooked on moe and ecchi, but that's unlikely compared to the utter social exploitation of otaku that these two ideas create. The stereotypical otaku isn't exactly rolling in the ladies and exploiting this through media that they obsess over has risen to an almost criminal level, as many otaku cannot be fully to blame for their actions. While I am a strong believer that personal responsibility is the primary factor in media exposure, the manga and anime industries have reached a point where not encountering ecchi and moe just isn't possible, and I think a lot of them can't resist. As the second largest consumer base for manga and anime, these people have been and could possibly continue the moe wave as long as publishers keep riding it, and thus, the children could be suckered into the two due to the exposure in the mass market, which just isn't fair. [embed]27172:1841[/embed] Beelzebub contains quite a bit of oversexualized characters, and moe characters, and it's serialized in a magazine for boys (meaning 18 and under.....)(I still like Beelzebub) In closing, abuse of ecchi and moe techniques is damaging socially, critically, and economically to the manga and anime industries, and while not currently apparent, if these issues are not addressed then these two industries could be in danger. I like Azumanga Daioh, its brilliantly written and really well done, and original in its own right To anyone who plans on commenting; I would love to encourage intelligent discussion on this matter, however if all you plan on doing is hating or flaming, and not giving intelligent criticism or praise (preferably praise) please don't bother commenting, also I wouldn't mind seeing other blogs with a different point of view, get writing guys! Also, I am not gay (we all know how the internet can be, and I just don't like gratuitous use of ecchi), and I am not trying to portray otaku in a negative light, however the primary consumers of ecchi and moe are the otaku of the world, otaku do very positive things for media, in supporting quality anime, manga, and video games, and I call myself an otaku of sorts as well. Finally, ecchi, moe, and the school life genre are not necessarily bad things themselves, I want to emphasize this.
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A promoted article from CharismaJustice!
[The first promoted article for this month's Bloggers Wanted! Charisma and Justice combine for a letter to none other than both anime and manga industries. Follow the jump and give it a read to see if you share the same thoug...

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Achtung! Fans make Girls und Panzer World of Tanks skins


It looks lordly now
Nov 12
// Josh Tolentino
It looks like armored-warfare-as-feminine-sport anime Girls und Panzer's making a few waves, not just in the moe crowd, but among military nerds as well, particularly players of Wargaming.net's free-to-play online tank battle...

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