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8:00 AM on 04.15.2015

Final Impressions: Sword Art Online II

There’s something wonderful about having a show make you feel emotional-- especially when you were certain that the series couldn’t top its first half. One moment you’re expecting the program to fall apart w...

Salvador GRodiles



Annotated Anime: Plastic Memories episode 2 photo
Annotated Anime: Plastic Memories episode 2
by Josh Tolentino

Who would ever buy an android that has to go to the bathroom? 

Worse still, who would ever buy an android that, though it doesn't age, degrades in much the same way that people do when its up there in years?

These are questions I'd like to ask of SAI, the big company behind Plastic Memories' setting.

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Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episodes 13-14 photo
Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episodes 13-14
by Josh Tolentino

When last we checked in with Unlimited Blade Works, ufotable's big, fabulously expensive-looking adaptation of Fate/stay night's most beloved story arc left our heroes in the lurch. Though an adorable date opened episode twelve, the last installment before the show went on hiatus will be remembered by many as the day our heroes lost their beloved Saber (or rather "Seibaaaa!").

Unfortunately for people who aren't fans of losing, episode thirteen shows us that Shirou and Rin have a ways yet to fall before hitting rock bottom.

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Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 36-37 photo
Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 36-37
by Josh Tolentino

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure may be best known in this day and age for helping define the landscape of shonen storytelling conventions, but one thing that shouldn't be ignored is ome of the sheer creativity creator Hirohiko Araki brought to those fights. 

And considering that in the wider canon of JoJo's story arcs, Stardust Crusaders is particularly straightforward, and almost dour by some comparisons. That in mind, the return - and end - of Hol Horse can serve as a landmark encounter, one that is frequently hilarious and even occasionally profound.

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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 23-24 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 23-24
by Josh Tolentino

Welcome to the latest installment of Annotated Anime, brought to you by the Church of GunplaBattology. In the header you can see the benefits being a Build Fighter™ can bring to your life. Our two latest recruits have gone completely Clear Plastic, and their polycaps have been adjusted and audited to maximum efficiency.

And they'll need it, given that we're also up against the last big battle of the series. 

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Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 34-35 photo
Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 34-35
by Josh Tolentino

What is this, a gambling anime?

Actually, scratch that. The better question is: Why are two episodes of a battle anime portraying the drama of gambling better than a number of actual gambling anime?

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 23 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 23
by Josh Tolentino

Exposition. Rising Action. Climax. Dénouement. These should be familiar, if you remember your grade-school literature classes.

Real life, however, isn't so convenient. More often than not, life is a lingering anticlimax bracketed by exposition, and for the unlucky, catastrophe. And even then to reduce a real life to those terms is to do it a disservice.

Thank goodness Shirobako's a story, then!

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 20-22 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 20-22
by Josh Tolentino

As we roll into the endgame for Shirobako, our longtime Producer-san Jeff Chuang faces a crisis at his own day job, and called me in for support. So far, so Shirobako, and here I am to take over the weekly recap for the time being.

And just like the old, reliable fellow that steps back just far enough for the youngsters taking his place to realize how they'd taken the old-timer for granted, things get about as loud, heavy, and outright violent as they ever have in this anime about making anime.

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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 21-22 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 21-22
by Josh Tolentino

Ah, whiskey and pocky: The snack of champions. Gunpla Battle champions, that is!

With the latest installments of Build Fighters Try out of the way, the road has been paved to the finals, with the buildup handled by two of the better engagements in the series' run so far. 

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Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 28-33 photo
Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 28-33
by Josh Tolentino

It's been a while since we last checked in with JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, but the fun thing about this kind of story is that not a lot of plot movement happens from week to week. The true character of the series really only unfolds over the course of the arc itself, which is one of the interesting ironies about these types of fighting stories. More often than not, who wins a fight isn't as important as what the fight itself reveals about the characters, and their roles in the story at large.

And for what it's worth, the last few tangles reveal quite a bit.

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Annotated Anime: One Piece episode 683 photo
Annotated Anime: One Piece episode 683
by Anthony Redgrave

It seems wherever the Straw Hats go, there will always be chaos. It's pretty rare for them to land on an island, wait peacefully for the log pose to adjust then carry on without getting into an 8 episode fight. I'm sure it has happened before in a filler, but recently they've been doing some major landscaping an island before hoisting the main sail for departure. Dressrosa is one of their finest works as not only is it undergoing major re-construction but also mass murder on all it's citizens. With that pleasant note let's talk about this episode.

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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 18-20 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 18-20
by Josh Tolentino

It's been a while since we last checked in with Gundam Build Fighters Try, but being able to watch the last few episodes in quick succession as I caught up to the latest developments has led me to one, inescapable conclusion:

Sekai might be the Try Fighters' ace, but Fumina is their MVP.

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