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Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 8 photo
Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 8
by Salvador GRodiles

It seems that A-1 might be in the clear right now. And to think that the BoB tournament was the key to helping Sword Art Online II move in the right direction. However, my main concern right now is that the Phantom Bullet Arc won't take up an entire season. Based on the direction the show is taking, this event might be the one to determine the storyline's actual length.

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Annotated Tokusatsu: Kamen Rider Gaim episodes 40-41 photo
Annotated Tokusatsu: Kamen Rider Gaim episodes 40-41
by Salvador GRodiles

We’re at the bottom of the inning, and Urobutcher continues to hit his home-runs like it’s no tomorrow. Based on the current score board, Kamen Rider Gaim's events from episode 40 and 41 have changed the playing field for the upcoming segments. One thing for sure, the last stretch is going to be an intense journey through the fruit aisle.

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Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 593 photo
Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 593
by Josh Tolentino

Bleach is lookin' good, if you don't mind my saying. 

I don't mean that by the state of its plot or the quality of its writing, but I do think that this last chapter has put out surprisingly striking visuals, a strong contrast to the relatively lackluster panels of the last few weeks.

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Annotated Manga: Naruto chapter 689 photo
Annotated Manga: Naruto chapter 689
by Josh Tolentino

Just a couple of weeks ago - when the last chapter of Naruto hit the presses - I mentioned how it unusual it was that Kakashi got a straight-up power upgrade, thanks to dear, departed Obito. After all, the typical high-stakes Naruto fight almost never leaves the proceedings up to raw strength, and yet here's Kakashi with the only thing better than having one Sharingan - two Sharingan!

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Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 7 photo
Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 7
by Salvador GRodiles

Yikes. I never expected to be concerned about Sword Art Online II’s well-being. While there was a bit of hope for A-1 to get back on track, things are taking a slight turn for the worse with the way how they followed up on the show’s latest conflict. From the looks of it, the SAO II might be in a grim state until things pick up again.

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Annotated Anime: Hanayamata episodes 6-7 photo
Annotated Anime: Hanayamata episodes 6-7
by Jeff Chuang

When Hanayamata first introduced Yaya, she played with a band. If we logically assume the story is about the formation of a yosakoi club, then the band probably has to go. How does it happen? More importantly, how does Yaya's identity, which is wrapped up a lot around both her reputation and perception at school along with the band, resolve in such a way to further that club story?

I'm not sure if I like the way the plot resolves, but in the process there were some pretty heartful character development. Maybe it's okay for Hanayamata to keep things really simple. Let's see.

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Annotated Tokusatsu: Garo: Makai no Hana episodes 17-18 photo
Annotated Tokusatsu: Garo: Makai no Hana episodes 17-18
by Salvador GRodiles

Whenever Garo: Makai no Hana goes through a weak moment, the show somehow manages to come out strong during the next episode. That being said, a backstory and a progression segment is just what the doctor ordered to help improve the program’s quality. Thanks to a special touch, things are still looking bright for the series’ overall quality.

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Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 18-20 photo
Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 18-20
by Josh Tolentino

After a bit of a wait, we're back with more Stardust Crusaders, and things get kind of nuts. Of course, that's hardly something we should be surprised by in a series called JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.

But anyway, onward, dear readers! Rally ho!

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Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 6 photo
Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 6
by Salvador GRodiles

Right when I was feeling comfortable with Sword Art Online II’s pacing, A-1 decides to speed things up a bit. One moment, the presentation’s going smooth, and all of a sudden, the show breezes through two battles before we get the chance to take in the action. Luckily, the episode's other parts were moving steadily, which means that the studio's increase in speed might not shorten the Phantom Bullet Arc's total episode count.

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Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 592 photo
Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 592
by Josh Tolentino

When last we left the latest melee on Bleach's order of battle, Captain Kurotsuchi's revived Arrancar seemed to have GiGi Gewelle and her zombie troops in the bag. 

That is, until she brought out her trump card, a "zombie" Captain Hitsugaya, who was last seen half-dead following a tussle with Bazz-B and Cang Du. Will the frozen prince live up to his reputation as a (now-posthumous) prodigy?

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Annotated Manga: Naruto 688 photo
Annotated Manga: Naruto 688
by Josh Tolentino

Though we did just bid goodbye to the fifth wheel in Team 7's Reunion of Destiny, we were still left with a lingering question: Without the former final boss, how would the leads stand up to a risen deity? 

More particularly, what would Kakashi do, robbed as he was of his Sharingan, so long the key to all his abilities? 

This chapter answers that question, though not necessarily in the manner one might expect.

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