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Review: Boruto: Naruto the Movie Blu-ray Set

Apr 03 // Christian Chiok
[embed]35667:6197:0[/embed] Boruto: Naruto the Movie (Blu-ray [reviewed], DVD)Studio: Studio PierrotLicensed By: Viz MediaReleased: March 28, 2017 (NA)MSRP: $29.99 The Boruto: Naruto the Movie Blu-Ray & DVD Combo Pack comes with both the Blu-Ray and DVD versions of the movie. It also includes special features such as storyboards, showing how the movie was made, a clean version of the ending sequence—meaning no credits shown so you can enjoy the animation sequence, the Japanese trailers, artwork and The Day Naruto Became Hokage OVA, which debut in the Japanese limited edition of the movie, and released in North America two weeks prior this Blu-ray release.  The movie comes with an English audio track, English audio track with English subtitles, and the original Japanese audio track with English subtitles. My problem with the English with English subtitles option is that it does not match the dialogue from the English audio and most likely it's the same subtitles from the Japanese version, which is very lazy. Including the Japanese version with no subtitles would have been nice as well as there isn't a logical reason not to include it. If you're familiar with the English dub, the quality in this one is no different from the past. I personally like it.  If you missed out watching the movie in theaters (though by now you probably watched it by other means), or are a fan of the English dub and was waiting for the English release, then you should definitely get this set. The extra content is definitely a nice bonus and it will give you everything you need to know before the Boruto series debuts this anime season. 
Boruto photo
The New Generation hits Blu-Ray!
It's incredible how fast time flies. I remember like it was yesterday when I wrote my review for Boruto: Naruto the Movie, which was also my first piece on Japanator. You can read the full review here. Considering the movie c...

Annotated Anime: Tiger Mask W episodes 23-25

Apr 03 // Soul Tsukino
Episode 23 It's time for War Games! Well, not the war games long time wrestling fans think of when you use that name. This isn't two rings wrapped in a cage. This is something different. So different that everyone who is entering doesn't know what it actually is other than some sort of tournament where the winner challenges for the GWM World Title and gets a $1 million prize. The Third will be participating at his insistence and the challenge is open to anyone. Everyone else is hatching out their plans. Nagata gathers together a bunch of the New Japan guys saying they needed to work together. Wakamatsu wants to join, but Yuji says that only previous champions who have been in a GWM ring qualify. Not only do we see Gedo for the first time this series, but Naito does another one of his mysterious appearances and says he will be there, but he has no interest in working with the others. Meanwhile, Tiger is left scrambling a bit. Since he is freelance, he really doesn't have anyone else to team up with in this thing, that is until he remembers one other person. Fukuwara Mask. Fukuwara is still back in the village he helped last time and agrees to enter if he gets a cut of the money.   We then see what these guys are up against. Oh boy... we are entering Kinnikuman territory again. The rules are this. All the fighters start on the floor and fight each other. If someone scores a pinfall (being counted by Drones of all things. How Vanguard of them) they get to move up to the first ring. If you beat someone there, you move up a level. The fight goes on until there are two people in the top ring who will then fight for the money and the title. The third announces he is putting the belt on the line against anyone who beats him. Bonus! Besides the NJPW guys, Tiger, and Fukuwara, and The Third, we have Tiger The Dark and Kevin Andersen, Yellow Devil, The Metal Brothers, and a bazillion other guys.   The bell rings and we are off as everyone starts plotting and squaring off. The Third scores the first victory and walks right up to the next level. He's the guy to beat! The set up is bizarre and once again stretches the suspension of disbelief, but it does make for a good set up. With so many characters all gunning for the same thing, it makes me want to watch more. It gives us a clear path now that we are winding up season 2 and it gives us something to look forward too! Episode 24 We are still at war as everyone is still fighting it out for a shot at the GWM title and a million bucks at the Max Dome and GWM's War Game. There is a lot going on! Tiger the Dark's main goal is Yellow Devil. After a brief skirmish where Kevin saves Dark's ass, Dark finds him and start beating on him, even though Yellow Devil is not fighting back. We find out in a conversation with Miss X and her assistant Lady, that The Third was the one who ordered Yellow Devil be used in this match. That Tiger the Dark gets worked up when he sees Yellow Devil. I'm not the only one who suspects who The Third really is and that is a major plot reveal in that direction isn't it? Dark finally pins Yellow Devil and pulls off his mask.   Poor Mikasa once again. Poor guy just gets in way over his head. Speaking of, Dragon Young sneaks into the battle and scores a victory to ascend up to the next level of the fight and The Third. Feisty as Wakamatsu is, it doesn't go well.   The Third stays one step ahead as he goes on as the others fight to get to the second level. We don't see every individual advance but with The Third at the third level, Tiger, Tiger the Dark, Fukuwara, Kevin, Tanahashi, Okada, Naito are amongst those that get to the next level. Tiger and Fukuwara then get pins but as they are going to the next level, Tiger goes to save Tanahashi and Fukuwara fights The Third alone.  \ And they recognize each other?!? This is another of those plot points I really hope they expand on. Did they train together? Fight each other? Why does it seem like there is way more to Fukuwara mask than just comedy relief? The fight boils down to the Third and Naito and Tiger Mask and Tiger the Dark. Naito does a decent job and gets some offense in, but one brainbuster later and The Third goes on. Tiger gets part of his finisher in on Tiger The Dark, but Dark counters. With some help from Kevin, Dark gets the Dark Driver on Tiger Mask and ends his run to the surprise of EVERYONE. We get a break as Tiger the Dark recovers in the locker room as a lifeless Tiger Mask is carted away. Well, this certainly had action! A lot going on here but if you kept up with who was in what ring and level you did alright.  Sure, the concept is a far fetched one, but within its realm, this episode carried things out very well. I did not expect that ending and makes me want to see where this goes in the next episode. Like I've said before when this show is on track it is really good with the action and story, but it can go off the rails so easily. If they stay on point this could make for a fun season 2 finale. Episode 25 Wow. That's the best I can say about this episode. In the locker room as Tiger Mask regains consciousness. Fukuwara Mask and Haruna are there with him. During the conversation, Fukuwara Mask tells Tiger that The Third is Yellow Devil and Tiger reveals to him why he is after Yellow Devil. Tiger is pissed and goes to fight Yellow Devil but Fukuwara sternly tells him to sit down and Tiger the Dark won the right for this fight. In the other locker room Takuma is getting looked over and after a brief press conference, the Reporter tells him that the Yellow Devil of 3 years ago disappeared but that is when The Third arrived and that they are the same person. The match begins as Tiger asks The Third straight out if he was Yellow Devil. He challenges the Third for his Mask and the Third goes for it. Loser loses his Mask. Miss X doesn't want it to happen but The Third demands it. The match itself is about as you'd expect. Dark beats him for a while but it turns cut to be part of Third's plan. He uses Yellow Devil's moves on Dark and when he goes for the Devil driver (that injured Daisuke 3 years ago), Dark counters. However, it doesn't last long as the Third starts using different moves until he puts Dark's legs in a figure four and then picks him up and drives him down, breaking his legs and knocking him out. The Third rips Dark's mask off and he is revealed as Takuma to both Daisuke at home, and Tiger Mask in the stands. As he walks away The Third tells Miss X that he is actually the grandson of the original Tiger The Great from the original series and that when two tigers meet, the power is made clear of the winner. Meanwhile, as Takuma is being stretchered out, Tiger Mask runs up to him and tells him he is Naoto. Kevin then goes ballistic telling tiger Mask it was his fault that Tiger the Dark was hurt and he could have won if it wasn't for him. Takuma is whisked away in an ambulance as a crestfallen Tiger Mask stands alone.   This was an amazing show. It got to the point and didn't screw around. No more mystery and running around not knowing what is going on anymore. This is a great set up for a third season hopefully built around making Tiger Mask stronger in revenge against the Third for all he's done. Hopefully, it means the episodes fro here on in won't waste our time anymore.  
Tiger Mask W photo
The War Game!
We are nearing the end of the second season and it looks like The Third has emerged as the new power player for the GWM. Tiger the Dark is back on the active GWM roster and despite the ongoing goofiness of the relationship with Ruriko, Tiger Mask is still chugging along. As we get to another crucial point in the series, let's see where things go.

April Fools' Day photo
April Fools' Day

Here's some of April Fools' Day '17's anime and tokusatsu industry announcements


Why do they make us suffer?
Apr 03
// Salvador G Rodiles
If there's one thing about April Fools' Day that brings despair to the heart of people everywhere, it's the fake announcements that companies make on this faithful day of pranks. While we know they're not true, most of these segments can hit us hard since they'll likely never come true. In light of this yearly ritual, I posted some of the anime and toku announcements that made my day.

Review: Your Name. (Kimi No Na Wa)

Apr 02 // Christian Chiok
Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa) Studio: CoMix Wave Films Licensed by: FUNimation Release Date: August 26, 2016 (Japan), April 7, 2017 (North America) The movie introduces us to Mitsuha, a high school girl living in the fictional town of Itomori, who is tired of her life in the countryside and wishes to be a handsome Tokyo boy in her next life. Next thing we see Taki, a high school boy living in Tokyo, who wakes up and realizes that he is Mitsuha, who somehow switched bodies with Taki. When both Mitsuha and Taki realized that they have switched bodies, they start communicating with each other by leaving notes on paper or leaving memos in each other's phones. As time goes on, they become used to the body swap and start intervening in each other's lives, like Mitsuha becoming more popular in school and Taki scoring a date with his female coworker, Miki Okudera While the movie starts off comedic, it takes a more dramatic turn during the second half of the movie. After his unsuccessful date with Okudera, Taki decided to contact Mitsuha but failed. He later finds that they have stopped switching bodies and eventually decides to visit Mitsuha in her hometown in the Hida region, with no information of where she lives and relying solely on the sketches of the village's scenery he has drawn from memory. With no luck finding the place, he decides to go back to Tokyo, until a restaurant server recognizes the town in Taki's sketch as Itomori. He is then told what happened to Itomori three years ago, in which is when the movie takes its dramatic turn. [embed]35666:6196:0[/embed] Your Name is kind of complex movie that will take more than one watch to fully understand. It took me watching the movie twice — both in Japanese and English, to fully understand it. There’s so much going on in the movie that just leaves you confused. Already understanding the movie because of my first watch, when watching it a second time, a lot of things started to make more sense to me, especially everything involving Mitsuha, such as her sake, rebirth and when they kept forgetting each other. The animation was fantastic, as expected from CoMix Wave Films, who were responsible for animating 5 Centimeters Per Second back in 2007. It felt so vivid, and it was beautiful to look at, especially certain scenes with the meteor. It’s going to be a great experience watching it in theaters. Both voice work and soundtrack were nothing short of amazing, especially the vocal songs by RADWIMPS. It added so much dramatic effect that made certain scenes feel more powerful. I also had the opportunity to watch the movie in English, which features an all-new English-language soundtrack created by RADWIMPS, who also were responsible for the original Japanese film soundtrack and score. I personally enjoyed the dub but the voices were a bit too soft for some of the characters, and just didn’t fit. As for the English soundtrack, while the original versions remain the best, RADWIMPS outdid themselves. Another thing is that with any translation, whether it’s anime or live action, the jokes, references, or language rules are lost in translation. Though it didn’t affect the movie too much. Your Name was a great movie, but it wasn’t as good or sad as people publicized it to be. Coming from someone who shed tears when reading One Piece or even actual tearjerkers like Clannad, the movie didn’t affect me emotionally at all, though there were sad parts.  Still, the concept presented in Your Name was unique and captivated me all the way through.  [This review is based on a commercial screening attended by the reviewer]
Your Name photo
Can I ask you your name?
By now, many of the anime fanbase has seen the critically acclaimed Your Name, or Kimi no na wa as known in Japan, which will hit theaters in North America this April. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Makot...


Gundam Twilight Axis photo
Gundam Twilight Axis

Look forward to more Universal Century anime goodness this June with Gundam Twilight Axis


Will 2017 be the Year of the Gundam?
Mar 26
// Salvador G Rodiles
With Gundam Thunderbolt's second season launching on GundamInfo, Sunrise revealed that they have another Gundam project in store for us. Just like the current Universal Century show, their new title, an adaptation of the...

Weekend Japanatainment - Japanese Food Edition

Mar 26 // Red Veron
[embed]35658:6186:0[/embed] "These 5 Japanese Food Stories Will Satisfy Every Appetite" A collection of stories about Japanese food that serve up some interesting and appetizing morsels of information.   [embed]35658:6187:0[/embed] "Inside Japan’s Only All-Female Sushi House" Apparently, it is unusual to have female sushi chefs. Find out why in the video above!   [embed]35658:6189:0[/embed] "Japanese Vending Machine Restaurant and Food Unboxing" Only in Japan features a self service restaurant that features vending machines where you can sit down and eat food from said machines.   [embed]35658:6190:0[/embed] "How to Make GOTCHA! PORK ROAST from Food Wars, Shougeki No Sama! Feast of Fiction" Feast of Fiction, a YouTube channel all about recreating food featured in fictional works, tries to make a dish from the anime Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma. This video has them recreating "Gotcha! Pork Roast", which is an imitation pork roast as implied by the name of the dish. Notice that there are no clips of the anime are featured because of the excessive fan service nature of the show.   [embed]35658:6188:0[/embed] "KFC Christmas Japan: A Delicious Alternate Reality" Abroad in Japan tells us about the favorite story about Japan that comes up right around Christmas: The Japanese love affair between Christmas and Kentucky Fried Chicken.   Is there a Japanese food or a video of Japanese food you like? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
Weekend Japanatainment photo
Binge on these J-Food videos
Food and culture are very intertwined, and Japan is one of those countries that likes to take it very seriously (Yes, more than you) which is probably why a lot of their food is known across the world (instant ramen counts). ...

Aniuta photo
Aniuta

ANiUTa to let otaku around the world stream their favorite music


Listen to your favorite Japanese Jams!
Mar 24
// Red Veron
Trying to stream Japanese music legally is not easiest thing for those who love those eastern jams that are outside Japan. The Japanese music industry is notorious for not making it easy to stream their music but it seems tha...
Ghost in the Shell photo
Ghost in the Shell

A few minutes of Ghost in the Shell to watch and/or judge


That wall-run, though
Mar 23
// Josh Tolentino
There's just a week to go until Ghost in the Shell heads off to theaters, and Paramount is betting that at least some folks will still want to see the film, even after they give away five whole minutes of it.  Embed...
Ghost Stories photo
Ghost Stories

Did You Know Anime tells us how the Ghost Stories dub turned spooky to funny


NOT SAFE FOR WORK OR CHILDREN
Mar 18
// Red Veron
If you've been around anime circles in the last decade, you might have heard of the Ghost Stories US English dub. This English-language dub is not like your usual dub where they localize and translate the anime to be und...
Typhoon Noruda photo
Typhoon Noruda

Typhoon Noruda to hit US via Sentai Filmworks


A storm is coming
Mar 18
// Red Veron
Sentai Filmworks is bringing the film Typhoon Noruda to US shores, the 2015 movie is directed by former Studio Ghibli animator Yujio Arai ( From Up On Poppy Hill, Secret World of Arriety). Its character designer and...
Eureka Seven photo
Eureka Seven

Eureka Seven shreds the skies with giant mechs again in new movie trilogy


Energy Surfing Robots
Mar 17
// Red Veron
12 years ago, Eureka Seven first introduced us to giant mecha that can surf giant waves of invisible energy waves in the sky. This year, a new film trilogy based on Eureka Seven will start with the first film named Eureka Sev...
Touhou photo
Touhou

Friendships are put to the test in Memories of Phantasm's eighth episode


Why, Reimu, why?
Mar 15
// Salvador G Rodiles
Now that Manpukujinja has sold his share of Fantasy Kaleidoscope ~The Memories of Phantasm~ disks at the last Comiket in December. the eighth episode of the group's Touhou doujin anime has officially landed on their YouT...
Ghost in the Shell photo
Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell gets carried away on its own memes


'I Am Meme-jor'
Mar 14
// Josh Tolentino
Is there anything more Ghost in the Shell than something getting utterly dragged by the memes it helped spawn? Heck, that's basically the plot of Standalone Complex, when you think about it. Of course, successful marketi...
Kino's Journey photo
Kino's Journey

Huzzah: Kino's Journey gets a new anime series


Will it be a remake or sequel?
Mar 14
// Salvador G Rodiles
There's something wonderful about an older incomplete adaptation series coming back since it increases the chances of it coming to a triumphant conclusion. With a new Kino's Journey anime, the series about a girl and her...
Sound of the Sky photo
Sound of the Sky

Bring out the trumpets: Nozomi's Sound of the Sky Blu-ray set launches this June


Music will triumph over war
Mar 12
// Salvador G Rodiles
If you've been holding out on getting Sound of the Sky, then you can look forward to the show's Blu-ray release on June 6. Of course, this new collection will include the special episodes and features from the DVD set Nozomi ...

Annotated Anime: Tiger Mask W episodes 20-22

Mar 12 // Soul Tsukino
Episode 20  We are back to Hell in the Hole as the GWM willfully has their wrestlers kill each other to the delight of a bunch of rich people in a posh house. We pick up where we left off as Takuma (Tiger The Dark without his gear) and Kevin Anderson have teamed up against the veterans of Odin and Billy The Kidman. We are interrupted with more bullcrap concerning Naoto and Ruriko. Naoto visited Fuji in the hospital and Fuji tells Naito that not everyone in the hospital was thrilled with her as a nurse. Turns out her father is the hospital's director and while she wanted to help people, she is so well off she doesn't need to work at all. Naoto doesn't take it well for some reason as the thought of her being so well off makes him feel bad. Yeah, I don't entirely get it either. Anyway back to the real plot here as the four guys are squared off. Things are at a standstill when Red Death Mask shows up. He makes an interesting offer that whoever of the four to turn on their friend and join him would be spared and get te table while the other three would not. Odin freaks out and asks to join the masked man (whispering to Billy to trust him) and that... doesn't go well. Red Death Mask doesn't last much longer thanks to the other three, but neither does Billy the Kidman.  They are rewarded with bottled water and Protein powder to rest up for the final push that leads them to the house with all the rich people in it and The Gatekeeper, a 7-foot tall monster named Blackout. They retrieve the key from him, they get to escape the mountain. They learned very quickly that Blackout isn't entirely what he seems. Takuma and Billy try their best but Blackout just tosses them around like nothing. Odin comes back and he actually does some damage with part of the table Red Death Mask had and actually gets the key. Blackout then has him. Odin fights back with the prize he won earlier, a lighter and... Blackout goes full Terminator! He crashes into the house and immediately goes after EVERYONE! Serves them right. Odin signals for Takuma and Billy to follow him, but not before Takuma watches big mysterious tiger guy stop Blackout with a suplex. We finish things off with Takuma and Billy on a plane heading for Madison Square Garden (how specific) and we see and injured Odin return to his grain fields and his Catherine. This was a great way to conclude this story! I really enjoyed it. And while the Odin storyline was a little last minute, seeing the payoff was nice and I teared up a bit for the poor guy. It played out well and dare I say it was the best payoff to a story yet in the series. I'm not sure if it's the end for all the other GWM guys involved, but if it is, at least it ended well. Episode 21 After last week's episode where we had some storyline progression and an ending to "Hell in the Hole," I think things are off the rails again, especially bad since we are closing in on the end of the second season. We start out with a comparison to what the two kitties are up to. Tiger Mask W is in the main event of a New Japan show teaming with Tanahashi against Okada and Yoshi-Hashi. Tiger and Tanahashi win to the roar of the crowd. Meanwhile elsewhere Tiger The Dark and Kevin Anderson are in an opening match against the Metal Brothers. Wow, do those guys looks familiar! Dark and Kevin win to an anemic response and apathetic crowd. However, the real info to be gathered here is that the mysterious new Tiger guy is named "The Third" and he is the GWM World Champion. He wrestles in the main event again Bigfoot. Uninspired name aside, he looks like a discolored Kinnikuman villain. I can tell right now that NJPW will dressed some gaijin up in that getup and have him wrestle Kota Ibushi in the next live action tiger Mask W match. Mr. X then notifies Tiger the Dark and Kevin they will be going to Japan for the next tour and after Mr. X tells Miss X to make sure the Japanese takeover actually happens this time, The Third says he's going to Japan too. Once at the Max Dome, Dark accidently gets tagged in the face by Kevin during a sparring session and goes to see the doctor. The doc tells him to take off his mask so he can treat Takuma, and when he does Ruriko walks in and recognizes him as "The pudding guy" from when he visited Fujii. She swears not to spill the beans on Tiger the Dark's identity. Meanwhile, Haruna has a meeting with Miss X. X wants a full participation in the next tour, and in a funny bit Haruna jokes about it being for herself. Haruna asks for a raise for tiger and Miss X just gives it to her. Yeah, That's not how it works! We get more whining from Naoto about Ruriko before we get to the night's matches when Tiger the Dark is facing Mike Rodriguez. Miss X tells Kevin Anderson that Tiger the Dark needs to connect with the fans more or else he won't get any higher than where he is. That never stops Roman Reigns! *ba dum pish*. Takuma says the hell with that, if he beats Tiger Mask the fans will just follow him and that is that. Tiger Mask, on the other hand, is facing El Caracas, a GWM Luchador that was one of the guys the GWM snatched from The mother of Saboten from a few episodes back. Tiger wins the match, but just barely and with a Chicken Wing submission oddly. After the match tiger confronts Caracas in the locker room and tells him he needs to go back to Mexico and his home wrestling company. This gathers a crowd in the hallway, including Tiger the Dark who tells him off by saying the strong takes all and the weak lose. Tiger Mask comes back with that the man hiding under that tiger mask couldn't beat him. You kinda asked for that one Naoto. They of course fight, but it is broken up. We end with Miss X saying that this will help hype up their match in the next tour. Ugh. this one was all over the place with all kinds of storylines. It tried to establish way too much in a single episode and was like a hyperactive ferret that someone gave a ring of cars keys to. And worse of all is, even with all that, we still don't know half of what is going on. The one thing this episode did accomplish as if we didn't already figure out, is that Naoto is kind of a little bitch. He mopes and complains because his kinda girlfriend is way richer than he is, and then gets all preachy to a guy he has never even met. Considering Caracas's response, he is probably getting paid a lot more money than he would from that insane woman and he probably needs to money for a damn good reason. I'm going to give this stuff some time to see it play out since we've still got some episodes left to make things clearer.   Episode 22 This episode shows what seems to be the big trade off that shows itself in this series. We have a single clear story to be told. It is a nice story that plays itself out from beginning to end. The trade off? It's a filler episode that has jack all to do with the overall plot. It is a nice story don't get me wrong, but it is completely forgettable in the long run. This episode centers around Fukuwara Mask. The big guy is talking with the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce for a little town he likes to visit during his tours, but the town has fallen on hard times with all the shops closing and people leaving. So he comes up with the idea of holding a wrestling event called "The Fukuwara Wrestling Mishmash" and put up all kinds of posters for it. Too bad he hasn't actually asked anyone on those posters to be on the show. He basically cons Haruna by saying he knows about her being Spring Tiger and sweetens the deal with the fans voting for the MVP of the night getting 10 Million. So both Tiger Mask and Spring Tiger will be there. He then begs Yuji Nagata into getting some NJPW guys to go by promising to appear on the next tour for them. Later we see the few other wrestlers he has gathered along with them like The Candy Pair and Wakamatsu, along with a few other nameless shlubs. The guys hauling the ring are stuck in traffic, so Yuji calls up and has the IWGP ring rushed over instead. And you won't believe who is actually driving the truck! Tetsuya Naito and Evil?!? They have a weird thing with Naito as he shows up in the most random of times in this series, but this takes the cake. He is asked to be o the show, but he will only do so if he is in the main event. No problems there! We see some of the matches from the show. The Candy Pair (with Milk returning from her appendicitis from a few episodes back), take on Spring Tiger and some woman named Viper. Yuji Nagata and Wakamatsu taking on two unknown guys, and the main event of Tiger Mask and Fukuwara Mask taking on Naito and Evil. The match literally goes all over the place, but the good guys win out in the end. We wrap up with Haruna in a hot spring with the Candy Pair as she complains about Fukuwara winning the MVP of the night and the money by stuffing the ballot. Mint actually comes onto Haruna by saying she has a great body and should be a wrestler and little Haruna takes that with as much embarrassment that a comment like that would. Between that and feeling her up before Spring Tiger's debut, I'd say Mint has a thing for Haruna. Sure, this episode is pure filler. This won't lead to anything down the road. But damn if this was a fun little episode. This beat the Saboten luchador episode by a mile as it doesn't get too out there and keeps things believable. It's not trying to be something it's not. So while this is unimportant and filler, it is a nice episode to watch. The shows were enjoyable, but it showed the big weakness of the show. you either have clear stories being told, but completely useless, or you have muddled stuff where they cram in as much plot as they can into 20 something minutes. There really doesn't seem to be an end goal this season so we will have to see where all the meandering goes.
Tiger Mask W photo
We go to Hell and then a hot spring!
We are back as Tiger Mask W rolls on. The second season has been all over the place and doesn't seem to have much direction. Even though the plot advances in baby steps, we still get some storyline development. Naoto and Ruri...

Berserk photo
Berserk

The Real Black Swordsman returns this spring in this new Berserk teaser trailer


Not like that fake one
Mar 10
// Red Veron
I've heard mixed opinions of the latest animated adaptation of the Berserk manga, with many comparing that the suffering of fans' while watching this adaptation is comparable to (or even more than) the suffering of the B...
WTF Fridays photo
WTF Fridays
Ghost in the Shell photo
Ghost in the Shell

Take a brief tour of Ghost in the Shell history


Not the kind that would scare Scooby
Mar 08
// Red Veron
The live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell is almost ready to break through that window to shoot some murderous robo Geishas, but not many know about that this franchise has been around for a long time all starting...
Macross Frontier photo
Macross Frontier

Macross Frontier's Sheryl Nome returns to celebrate Macross Anniversary


Galactic Fairy Returns
Mar 06
// Red Veron
Screens in Shinjuku and Akihbara just teased a return by Sheryl Nome from Macross Frontier. In a video captured by Twitter user @giantrobo, a "New song" and a "New movie" are teased on March 12 at 14:30 "on screen". Now, thes...
Gundam photo
Gundam

Unicorn Gundam to replace Gundam statue at Odaiba


Hello Unicorn, Goodbye Gundam
Mar 06
// Red Veron
If you never got the chance to have your picture taken with the life size Gundam in Odaiba, well I regretfully must inform you that last Sunday was the final day to view the Mobile Suit from the titular Mobile Suit Gundam. Th...

Weekend Japanatainment - Anime Games Edition

Mar 05 // Red Veron
[Possible mature language for the videos below] [embed]35595:6140:0[/embed] GameSack - Anime and Manga Games A few retro anime and manga based games from the too dudes from GameSack. They aren't fans of anime or manga so it's interesting to hear their take on old games based those mediums.   [embed]35595:6139:0[/embed] Akiba's Strip - Super Best Friends Play If you've not heard of the cool guys from Super Best Friends, then you're missing out because they like anime and video games. They play video games and have some funny commentary and the video above has the crew playing a very Japanese video game about stripping the clothes of vampire-like creatures terrorizing Akihabara.   [embed]35595:6138:0[/embed] Bad Anime Games - Eruption Austin Eruption loves anime and video games, and he made this video about bad video games based on anime. (Direct all your hate mail to him and him alone)   [embed]35595:6141:0[/embed] Berserk and the Band of the Hawk - Super Best Friends Play Another video from the Super Best Friends as they play a game based on the original and one true "Black Swordsman".   [embed]35595:6137:0[/embed] Sword Art Online Games Suck - Eruption Direct all your hate mail to Austin. Not me. Yes, I also thought the first few episodes of SAO were good but the rest were just very different.   Is there an anime-based game you like? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW. I wanna know!
Weekend Japanatainment photo
Animu Gamez
[Possible mature language for the videos below] Video games based on anime are never in short supply, anime is a very exciting visual medium that lends well to the interactivity of video games. However, making video games is ...

Review: Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale

Mar 05 // Josh Tolentino
Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale Studio: A-1 Pictures Licensed By: Eleven Arts (NA), SM Cinema (PH), Madman (AU) Directed By: Tomohiko Itou Released: February 26, 2017 (PH), March 9, 2017 (NA) You wouldn't know it from that title, but it's been several years since any of the characters in Sword Art Online - the TV series - have had anything to do with Sword Art Online - the game. Over multiple seasons of television and any number of spinoff stories, Kirito, Asuna, Klein, and the rest have left behind the death game that started their shared adventure, moving into new games, meeting new friends, and having new adventures. And yet no one's really left Sword Art Online behind. The events of the "The SAO Incident" have come to define not just the cast of characters, but even the discourse surrounding the franchise. Virtually every subsequent storyline, be it based in Gun Gale Online, ALfheim Online, or any number of new games visited by Kirito and his crew, has been compared to the original Sword Art Online thread, and often found wanting in some way. There's no denying the way that that first storyline has defined the whole of the franchise, and to its credit, Ordinal Scale incorporates that very notion into its plot, which runs heavy with themes of nostalgia, memory, and the concept of the self as a sum of a person's experiences. And no one been more heavily defined by Sword Art Online than its protagonists, Kirito and Asuna, and in focusing largely on them and their relationship, Ordinal Scale finds the focus that subsequent storylines lacked. The trick is in finding a new competition for the characters to learn and excel in. The disrupting factor here is Augmented Reality. For the unintiated, Augmented Reality (AR), is a form of technology that overlays computer-generated imagery onto the real world, as opposed to Virtual Reality (VR), which replaces the real world. The Augma, an AR device that looks like a fancy take on Google Glass, is trending, enticing consumers away from VR games (like the ones Kirito and friends have been playing) with promises of greater integration with the real world, forgoing the need to be rendered a vegetable just to play video games. The Augma's "killer app" is Ordinal Scale, an AR combat game that pits players against monsters and each other in real-world locations overlaid with fantasy art projected directly into their eyes by the Augma technology. Best conceptualized as a fusion of the real-world Pokemon GO and a prototype version of Reki Kawahara's other franchise, Accel World, Ordinal Scale doesn't carry much detail as a game, but it does provide a compelling snapshot of what people might be playing in the future, as well as a new set of challenges for Kirito and the crew to surmount. Only this time time, it's Kirito that's at a disadvantage. Whereas the VR games he used to play relied on arbitrary stats or futuristic measurements of "reaction speed" to determine performance, playing Ordinal Scale is limited by the players' own ability to move about the virtualized environment. And Kirito, after years spent as a vegetable and then later addicted to VR, is not in the best of shape. Seeing him struggle, stumble, and fall while more physically fit challengers succeed, returns to Sword Art Online a long-missing sense of adversity and progress. Where other stories tended to hinge things on viewers' existing attachment to the cast to make plots about in-game activities feel compelling, the story here feels more natural, and even exciting, once the stakes are raised. That stake-raising definitely happens, as boss monsters from Sword Art Online start appearing in Ordinal Scale, resulting in odd consequences for the many "SAO Survivors" - players who were stuck in Sword Art Online during the original death game, including Kirito, Asuna, and most of their friends - playing Ordinal Scale. Asuna falls victim to one of the monsters and finds herself robbed of all memory from her time spent in SAO, including her recall of meeting Kirito for the first time. Bereft of arguably the most important - if traumatic - experience of her life, Asuna is left unsure: Of herself, of her memories, and even of her relationship with Kirito and their AI "daughter", Yui. Even if she does remember her subsequent adventures, will it be enough for her? Kirito, meanwhile, is left desperate, pained by the loss and needing to somehow succeed at Ordinal Scale, as well as investigate the game and uncover the key to restoring his girlfriend's memories.  This tension and sense of desperation in the film really does bring out some of Sword Art Online's best qualities, marrying its entertaining vision of gaming's future and the consequences facing its characters, while capitalizing on the now years-strong investment fans have in the cast and world of the series. The whole show is steeped in nostalgia for that first arc, and sometimes stoops over to nonsensical levels to throw a fan-service bone to fans that want to see the old outfits and aesthetics of the show rendered in the glory afforded to feature-length productions. Ironically, it's when the stakes are raised to their highest - when lives are at stake, and when SAO fan-service is at its most intense - that Ordinal Scale begins to crumble. The dark conspiracy propelling the mystery, and what it means for Asuna, Kirito, and the SAO survivors would've been enough, but the last quarter of the movie feels somewhat obligatory, motivated less by the need to solve the mystery than by a mandate to have a giant battle at the end featuring all the characters from every game. There's no denying it's entertaining to see, but it certainly could've been brought about in a less transparent fashion. All that's missing is a giant blue laser in the sky and it could've been the final showdown from a Marvel Cinematic Universe film, is what I'm saying.  At the same time, I can't find it in my heart to be too critical of this stumbling block. Films like these are primarily about fan-service, so I can't begrudge its presence. It helps that the action sequences are very pretty, to boot, however wooly the reasons for their taking place. [embed]35592:6136:0[/embed] Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale is best taken less as a standalone narrative and more as a coda of sorts for an era of the franchise, a break with the legacy - and baggage - of its much-lauded earlier days. In doing so it also is a welcome reaffirmation of the reasons behind Sword Art Online's sometimes-baffling popularity, effectively mixing dynamic action, inspired future-nerdery, and personal drama in a plot that reinvokes the franchise's sense of consequence and stakes.  [This review is based on a theatrical viewing of the film by the reviewer.]
Sword Art Online Review photo
Is this the (Augmented) Real Life?
What's in a name? For Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale, the name is everything. I'm not referring to "Ordinal Scale", the word from the title, though. I'm referring to Sword Art Online, the title that has, to this day, loomed large over the series it graces. Ordinal Scale - the movie - is no different, and seems to know it, too.

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Annotated Anime: Tiger Mask W episodes 17-19

Feb 20 // Soul Tsukino
Episode 17 Togi Makabe has a sweet tooth. That's it! Okay okay. I suppose I'll keep going. So it's fairly common knowledge to New Japan fans that Togi Makabe has a huge sweet tooth. This episode is devoted to that. As NJPW come into another town for their rural tour, everyone is running away from Makabe for some reason. Tiger and Haruna have no idea what is going on as Makabe shows up dragging Honma with him. Turns out he likes to go to the local sweet shops in the town's they are in and he blogs about it. Haruna likes the idea of stuffing her face so the four of them go into town looking for the town's local sweets. This is the whole episode folks. So it turns out that each place they go to, the restaurants are sold out of the thing Makabe blogged about. This goes on and on a bunch of times before one of the owners tells them that bunch of beefy foreigners bought all their desserts. Miss X's assistant randomly shows up, but the GWM aren't the ones buying up the desserts. At this point, I will mention this is the first real showing for Honma and it's actually hilarious. They animated him so it seems like in every scene he just looks completely lost and not knowing what is going on. His voice, though.. It is not accurate so much as you can actually understand what he is saying! It's close, don't get me wrong, but NOTHING compares to the sandpaper-scraped across a gravel road tones that come out of that man's mouth.   So after about 15 restaurants, we find out the culprits are: Yup. The Bullet Club has been eating all these sweets just to mess with him. This leads to a six-man match that turns out is being sponsored by a food company. The idea of getting a tableful of all the food he missed out on sends Makabe in a rage, meanwhile, The Bullet Club are all slow and fatigued from eating all these desserts all day. Things go about as you'd expect. I'm just surprised poor Kenny didn't just hurl all over himself after the match was over. 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Miss X decides to jump into this because she wanted to make things even (and also wants to kick Haruna's ass). So now we have two pros and two amateurs teaming up. This match should be a real stinker.   What the hell? Despite the fact that Haruna doesn't actually have any real wrestling training she starts cracking out a bunch of leg locks and holds on Miss X. At ringside Fukuwara Mask says that Spring tiger has an "old style" offense of going after the legs and then the arms. So did Takaoka actually train her at some point or not? Anyway the match isn't as terrible and sure enough, Haruna actually gets the first real victory over the GWM by whooping Miss X's butt. Afterward, we get a shower scene of Haruna and we see all the bruises she acquired in the match. How the heck is she going to cover that up? So while this had pretty much nothing to do with Tiger Mask (Tiger and Tiger The Dark were only briefly shown), it actually forwarded a plotline in the series. It's a really bizarre episode in the timeline of things, but I wonder if this story of Haruna becoming a wrestler will continue or not. Episode 19 Hell in the Hole time! So after talking about the subject for weeks, we finally start "Hell in the Hole" that the GWM trainers have been threatening all this time. The episode cuts in some other stuff to break things up, though. We find out that Takaoka expressly promised Haruna's mother he would never let her be a wrestler when he finds the article about Spring Tiger. We get several looks at a lunch date between Naoto and Ririko that really only shows the Max Done has a big shopping mall and a bunch of restaurants in it. I guess that explains why the building looks so much bigger than the 20,000 seat arena we were told about earlier. We go down to the base of the GWM mountain to find Takuma, Odin, and others in jail cells getting mail. We actually get a touching scene with Odin (who we find out is really named Henry) where he gets a letter from back home saying his family is worried that he hasn't had any matches on TV in a while. You feel bad for the guy.   But the real point of this episode is Hell in the Hole. The concept is actually fairly simple. GWM takes it failures and rejects and lets them loose on the side of the mountain. If they bump into each other and fight, the winner of the fight gets granted a weapon. If someone dies, so be it. They are racing up the mountain to meet a mysterious gatekeeper and to challenge them. Cameras are also following them so back at the base a bunch of rich people can make bets on who is going to survive and who is going out. We are introduced to the "party" and.... What the hell? Who is that? Is that Tiger King from the original show? What in the world is going on with this? Whoever he is, he seems to be in control of the whole thing, despite Mr. X being right there. I dunno. Anyway, we get introduced to the nine competitors: Black Python, Red Death Mask, Takuma (not wearing his Tiger the Dark gear), Kevin Anderson, Ricardo (The guy Takuma threw off the mountain in episode 1), Billy the Kidman, Odin, and two other shlubs named Cox and Phantom. A funny moment as they are introduced as Black Python and Red Death Mask are given big applause while Odin barely gets anything. Poor guy just can't get a break. This is the part where the series enters that violent and unnerving area again. Much like the match with Red Death Mask a number of episodes back, the show doesn't really pull any punches here either. They don't expressly say that guys are killed, but they come pretty damn close. It gets bloody in some parts as well. The episode finishes with four of the wrestlers left face off, much to the enjoyment of the rich bastards watching the whole thing.   This episode is much needed. After weeks of goofy filler episodes, we finally get down to some real plot and moving the story forward. We haven't seen much from the GWM side of things and Takuma has been overlooked in this series for a while. Hopefully, things start getting back on track.  But wait! We have real world Tiger Mask news as well! New Japan Pro Wrestling announced that on March 6, in Ota-ku, Tokyo (get it?) IWGP Champion Kazuchika Okada will face Tiger Mask W in the main event of the NJPW 45th anniversary show! Okada laid down the challenge after the Feb. 5 show. The match will be nontitle. And as an added bonus,there will be a"preview" on March 1, Okada will team up with his manager Gedo to face Tiger Mask W and Tiger Mask IV. For the first time, old school and new will team up in a real life ring!
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