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anime

Week Ender - One Year Anniversary Edition

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

First Impressions: Myriad Colors Phantom World

Jan 30 // Nick Valdez
Based on a novel by Soichiro Hatano, Phantom World takes place in a future where a mysterious virus outbreak accidentally allows humanity to see outerdimensional beings that have always existed beside them. Think of any fantasy creature (like Jinn, ogres, yokai, and the like) and you've gotten the idea. Thanks to the virus, some children developed powers capable of fighting and sealing away some of the more wily phantoms. Haruhiko can draw phantoms and seal them away, but he's full of mostly useless facts since he's got a library in his house. Together with his phantom hunting club mates Mai, who uses martial arts and elemental powers she channels with her body (water from her kidneys, air from her lungs, etc.), and Izumi, a girl with a phantom absorbing stomach, they fight phantoms for sandwiches or something. First things first, Phantom World is absolutely gorgeous. KyoAni's high quality is still up to task here. There are great uses of color, the phantoms all have an interesting technological spin on them (think of them as kinda like Digimon when they appear in the real world and glitch in and out), the actual phantom sealing is beautiful as it takes on this swirling watercolor effect, the opening theme is kinda good, and the characters move with a pleasant fluidity. The character designs themselves are a bit uninspired, but everything moves well in motion so it kind of balances itself out. And despite all of Phantom World's (and my) jokes about boobs, it really lets off after the first episode. But there are a loooot of them. Almost to the point where I have to believe they gave one of their characters a large chest just to poke fun at her. That brings me to my issue with the first three episodes overall.  Unlike Kyoto Animation's tighter premises, there's a distinct lack of focus for this series. It doesn't really know what kind of show it wants to be. Is it an action show? A comedy? Because of this confusion, the pacing of each episode suffers quite a bit. With the series' set 12 or 13 episode run, any sleights are even more egregious. For example, the show has a monster of the week formula. This would be fine had there been at least some character development going on in the background or the phantoms themselves been any interesting, but so far nothing quite has any real depth. The first episode's phantom, telephone poles that force the gang to limbo (thus resulting in Mai's boob bounce weirdness), was goofy enough to work but that brought the episode to a halt. It was an encounter that didn't move the plot forward, and it was super weird seeing as how the first half of the episode dealt with so much world building. You'd figure the premiere would capitalize on it, but maybe they're trying to tell the audience they have a different type of story in mind. Although it sounds like I'm being harsh, I'm pretty sure I'm going to hang around for the rest of the series. By the end of the third episode it doesn't feel like Phantom World is any closer to finding a focus, but there were some positive developments. Episode two introduces Minase, a cool headphone wearing girl who fights phantoms by singing, Haruhiko's ability to summon super cute things, and episode three introduces a kid who probably fights using her teddy bear or something. Basically, there are enough tidbits here and there to keep me hooked through the rest of the series. If not, I'm hoping the show nails its pacing better down the line. At least it seems like its getting better at melding the comedy with the action by the end of the third episode. There's even a little bit of character development!  Myriad Colors Phantom World is definitely off to a rough start. It may be stunning to look at, but right now its best qualities are surface level. Since we're a quarter of the way into the story, it's a bit troubling there's yet to be something of true substance. But if you don't mind just looking at pretty animation and want some kind of new distraction, there certainly are worse options out there.  It's slick, some of the jokes land, and it's pretty cute. So maybe it'll get better over time? I certainly hope so.  [You can stream the myriad of colors of Crunchyroll and Hulu]
Phantom World Impressions photo
Myriad of boobs
Animation is a fantastic medium. With it you can do all sorts of otherworldly things like outlandish hair colors, crazy stories full of physical feats you can't do in the real world, and most importantly, you can really nail ...

OP Up! - One Year Anniversary Edition

Jan 29 // Red Veron
[embed]34723:5386:0[/embed] "Flyers" Anime: Death Parade A show that starts out as sort of collection stories of people ending up in a mysterious place where they play games to unveil the truth but turns into something so much more. I've only seen one episode but it is highly recommended by my colleagues here at Japanator.   [embed]34723:5387:0[/embed] "Ano More de Matteru" Anime: Yuri Kuma Arashi The craziest and weirdest show of last year (or at least that season), this one is about a world where bears gained human level of intelligence and rose up against humanity. The show takes place years after the uprising where humans won but everything is all weird and lesbians are involved and it just gets weirder from there on. Apparently inspired off incidents of bear attacks in a rural Japan in the early 1900s, which isn't surprising since the person who conceived Mawaru Penguindrum, a show inspired off of real life terrorist attacks.   [embed]34723:5388:0[/embed] "Miiro" Anime: Kancolle: Kantai Collection Based off a wildly popular online strategy game featuring cute anime girl anthromorphized World War 2 ships fighting alien water crafts, this one mostly doesn't make sense if you think too hard much about it. Just enjoy it for what it is even with the weird setting.   [embed]34723:5389:0[/embed] "Shiawase ni Tsuite Watashi ga Shitteiru Itsutsu no Houhou" Anime: Koufuku Graffiti A pretty show about cute girls enjoying beautifully drawn food that is as appetizing as the cute girls (HEYYOOOO). This also has a cute slice-of-life story too along with the food.   [embed]34723:5390:0[/embed] "Star!!" Anime: THE iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls An anime adaptation of a mobile game. ShibuRin is best girl.   [embed]34723:5391:0[/embed] "Seishun Satsubatsu-ron" Anime: Assassination Classroom An alien threatens the world's destruction in a year and the world cannot stop it, unless he can be killed by his students in a classroom where he is the teacher. Weird? Very interesting though.   So which anime did you love from a year ago? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
OP Up! photo
One Year War
So hey, it's been a year since I came back to Japanator and started these weekly features about anime opening and endings. Yes, I am also a couple of days late but life is much more crazy for me than it was a year ago when I ...

Annotated Anime: Haruchika: Haruta & Chika episodes 2-4

Jan 29 // Soul Tsukino
Episode 2 This episode amazed me right off the bat. While the first episode did so well in introducing Chika to its viewers, it didn't really delve much into anyone else. This episode you find out a lot about Haruta in just the first opening six minutes of the episode. You get a glimpse into his life including his living conditions where he lives by himself in an old apartment and that he has three sisters but doesn't seem to like being around him. There is a bit of a funny scene when Haruta invites Chika into his apartment and Chika panics about a girl going into the apartment of a boy who lives alone, but Haruta shuts that down in an instant. Haruta tends to be blunt and even poke at Chika a little bit. The rest of the episode is based on trying to get a new member into the club named Miyo. Miyo is an oboe player that Haruta has been trying to recruit but she is very standoffish. Honestly, it gets a little creepy as Haruta has this almost stalker like knowledge of Miyo that no one else seems to find a little creepy, but does give an explanation as to why the girl refuses to play her music ever again. The further Chika and Haruta dig into Miyo's past the more heartbreaking it becomes. Finally they, along with a girl who also tried to be friends with Miyo, break through her cold exterior. She presents them with a challenge in the form of an all white colored Rubix cube that she said was left to her as a punishment. She tells them they have until the end of the week to solve it and will join the club if they do. I've got to hand it to the creators of this series, whether this is from the books or not I'm not sure, but this is a moment where you start wondering what exactly is the game here? It's not some obvious answer and makes you more intrigued as to what is there to actually solve instead of just finding the answer. I won't give too much away, but it is a very emotional scene. For a character just introduced less than 30 minutes before, you feel for her when the answer is found. I will admit that I shed a few tears. This episode really impressed me with its story and layout. It accomplished a lot in introducing a new character while explaining details of one of the main characters, it had a creative and original puzzle to solve, a creative way to solve it, and a powerful and emotional story as to why the puzzle needs to be solved. Whoever came up with this particular story knew what they were doing and if this is a sign of the rest of the series, then I will be enjoying the ride.   Episode 3 Thankfully this episode is a lot lighter on the emotions than the last episode was. However, this episode really makes you think a lot more as there is no physical puzzle to solve. The focus of this week's ep is Maren, the saxophone player. Haruta, Chika, and Miyo practically stumble on him as Haruta and Miyo are helping the drama club and it seems Maren is terrible. Of course, Haruta digs more into Maren with the head of the Drama club. We get a little bit into the background of him and his life story of being adopted from China, cut in with scenes of him agonizing over a letter and a metal briefcase. This is when things start getting interesting. Haruta wants Maren to join the club but the drama club president doesn't want to let him go until Maren has performed on stage once. Haruta writes an idea for both clubs to be together in a play but it is rejected.  I REALLY want to mention the scene where we meet the "star" of the drama club, Maya. When Chika tries to greet her, the girl barks at her. Seriously. Turns out she's a bit of a method actor and the drama club instructor wanted her to be in the mindset of a wolf girl or something. The two clubs agree to an interesting challenge. They will take part in an improvised acting challenge. Each club has three people, Haruta, Chika, and Miyo for the brass club, and the drama club president, Maya, and Maren for the drama club. The challenge is for each club to try and make a certain member of the opposite club leave the scene first (Miyo and Maren are the ones picked). The plot of the play is that they are 6 counterfeiters on the run. As in previous episodes, Haruta is the star here as he takes over and tells the story and manipulates the scene. Very creatively done how he gets through this and makes it look easy. You aren't even sure what the "puzzle" of this episode is until it is solved. If there is a drawback here, Haruta once again gets scary accurate in the details of Maren's life and it isn't entirely explained how the heck he found all this out. I think he may have gotten it from the drama club president but it's not really stated. It does stick out a lot on how this kid would know the back-story and details of someone he just met. The episode was still enjoyable and it's a wonder to see Haruta solve all these puzzles, but this one felt like there was something missing in the details. It's still impressive how he solves things and the ending is heartwarming, but it feels like something has been left out.   Episode 4 This episode is a bit different than the ones we have seen. Instead of the episode revolving around introducing a new member to the brass club, this time, the episode revolves around Haruta and his living conditions. This episode delves more into Haruta's family as we meet his oldest sister, Minami, and find out why he thinks living at home is such hell. The episode gets more interesting when the explore a supposedly haunted small apartment building and hear the back-story behind it. The "puzzle" they solve with the building is again, very creative and how it is resolved is also well thought out, like the previous episodes. Like the episode centered around Miyo and the Rubix cube, you are compelled to watch this ep to find out what the answer is and it is wrap up in a nice touching story as well. It's a Christmas episode sure, but it's not your usual Christmas anime episode as it doesn't go over the top and make things too goofy around the holiday. We are at the fourth episode and it may seem odd to do another Haruta based episode, but I'm not sure if this ep would have worked as well as an episode two or three as it was. We had to get to see more of Haruta's personality and the show's rhythm in his abilities to solve these puzzles before we should see something like this. However, this episode seemed different than the others have been. There was more a sense of humor in this one with thing like seeing what has become of Haruta and why he dislikes his family, Chika's teasing of Miyo about the ghosts she's so afraid of, and especially in the flashbacks of why this whole situation is what it is. Dare I say it felt more like an anime episode if that means anything. I'm not familiar with the source material at all so I don't know if this is a filler episode or just one that is made to be a little more lighthearted and different. I'm not saying it is bad. It's certainly not. But there is a difference there, at least, to me anyway.   This batch of episodes was a lot of fun for me. The silliness didn't take over the series, the creativeness in the writing was excellent as not only were the puzzles creative but how they solved them was very creative as well. There is a problem sometimes that you get lost and Haruta does come across as a bit of a stalker, but those things don't kill the show. Still wondering why we haven't seen much from the twins and Keisuke yet, I'd like to know more about them. But, we are just getting started and have much more to go. See you next time! This episode amazed me right off the bat. While the first episode did so well in introducing Chika to it's viewers, it didn't really delve much into anyone else. This episode you find out a lot about Haruta in just the first opening six minutes of the episode. You get a glimpse into his life including his living conditions where he lives by himself in an old apartment and that he has three sisters but doesn't seem to like being around him.   There is a bit of a funny scene when Haruta invites Chika into his apartment and Chika panics about a girl going into the apartment of a boy who lives alone, but Haruta shuts that down in an instant.   The rest of the episode is based around trying to get a new member into the club named Miyo. Miyo is an oboe player that Haruta has been trying to recruit but she is very stand offish. Honestly it gets a little creepy as Haruta has this almost stalker like knowledge of Kiyo that no one seems to find a little creepy, but does give an explanation as to why the girl refuses to play her music ever again.   The further Chika and Haruta dig into Kiyo's past the more heartbreaking it becomes. Finally they, along with a girl who also tried to be friends with Kiyo, break through her cold exterior. She presents them with a challenge in the form of an all white colored rubix cube that she said was left to her as a punishment. She tells them they have until the end of the week to solve it and will join the club if they do.   I've got to hand it to the creators of this series, whether this is from the books or not I'm not sure, but this is a moment where you start wondering what exactly is the game here? It's not some obvious answer and makes you more intrigued as to what is there to actually solve instead of just finding the answer.   I won't spoil the ending, but it is a very emotional scene. For a character just introduced less than 30 minutes before, you feel for her when the answer is found. I will admit that I shed a few tears.   This episode really impressed me with it's story and layout. It accomplished a lot in introducing a new character while explaining details of one of the main characters, it had a creative and original puzzle to solve, a creative way to solve it, and a powerful and emotional story as to why the puzzle needs to be solved. Whomever came up with this particular story knew what they were doing and if this is a sign of the rest of the series, then I will be enjoying the ride.
Haruchika photo
Complete with lots of feels.
So now that we took a look at the first episode of this series, now it's time to see more of what makes this show go and what makes these characters tick. We've already seen that this series is not one of shock and surprise a...

First Impressions: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Jan 27 // Josh Tolentino
I've actually got a theory as to why the job of adapting this manga fell to Studio DEEN rather than the committee that decides what Shun Oguri or some other hot talent gets to star in each year, but first it'd be best to get into what Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (which I'll just call Showa Rakugo for convenience) actually is. Set during the 1960s and '70s, the show stars Kyoji, a newly-released convict who wants to take up rakugo, the old-fashioned Japanese art of storytelling. Through sheer passion and puppy-like charm, he prevails upon the reigning master, Yakumo Yurakutei the 8th, to take him in as a disciple. Kyoji meets Konatsu, the daughter of Sukeroku Yurakutei, Yakumo's old friend and fellow disciple under Yakumo the 7th (rakugo performers usually take new names as their careers bloom - think "Meijin Kawaguchi" and you've got the idea). Sukeroku died in an accident, but Konatsu's convinced Yakumo is somehow responsible. That's the gist of things as far as the core "plot" goes, but there's plenty packed into Showa Rakugo's double-length first episode, such as the fact that Kyoji (now working as name of Yotaro Yurakutei) is finding Sukeroku's style of rakugo to be much closer to his own personality and temperament than Yakumo's. And then there's Kyoji's old boss, trying to pull his underling back into the life. There's also Konatsu's own desire to perform rakugo conflicting with both the glass ceiling and her own inability to release her grudge against Yakumo and let him train her. And then there's almost sinister regard Yakumo himself holds for his departed friend. And then episodes 2 and 3 flip the script, rolling into an extended flashback of Yakumo and Sukeroku's youth, back when they were called Bon and Shin, respectively (and then Kikuhiko and Hatsutaro). Exploring their life before, against the backdrop of World War II and the postwar reconstruction, as well as against the changing fortunes of rakugo itself, not only deepens our understanding of both Yakumon and Sukeroku, but also of the mysteries in the present. How did these two guys, so close they're practically the canon pairing, grow apart? Why did Kikuhiko eventually inherit the name of Yakumo when Hatsutaro (who would be Sukeroku) was clearly the more talented and passionate practitioner? And who's the fancy-looking temptress that shows up looking for their master? And where does the "shinjuu" part of Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, which stands for a "lovers' suicide", come in? It's all tightly packed and doesn't let up or repeat itself unnecessarily, and adds more depth to the cast than whole episodes worth of world-building in a different, more genre-bound show.  That's not to say that Showa Rakugo isn't a genre program. It's definitely a historical drama, no question about that. The thing that makes it stand out from your typical seasonal anime, though, is how grounded it is. The usual thread of absurdity that runs through most anime series - even the good ones - isn't here. What I'm talking about is the way other shows often use some form of contrivance to help their hook. Think about ERASED and its element of time travel, or even Shirobako and its occasional outbursts of drift-racing and group hallucination. By comparison, all Showa Rakugo has are its human elements, and rakugo. That groundedness is why I wondered why this isn't a prestige program in live-action. Which leads to my theory, which is that a live-action show about rakugo would require too much actual rakugo. Y'see, rakugo itself mainly consists of a performer sitting in front of his audience and then reciting a story. Usually comedic, the story always involves dialog between multiple characters, forcing the performer to play every role in it with nothing more than his or her personal skill, and a fan for a prop. Add to that that the stories themselves are often well-known to the audience, and it's all up to each individual performer to put their own spin on the delivery. It's Japanese expressiveness in microcosm. That in mind, any actors seeking to play rakugo performers would have to get pretty good at rakugo themselves just to be convincing. It's easier to animate a person being a good actor, by comparison. That puts the onus on the voice cast, which in Showa Rakugo performs brilliantly. Of particular note are Akira Ishida, who plays Yakumo, and Tomokazu Seki, who plays Kyoji. Both give full-length rakugo performances in the first episode, and pull it off with gusto. Ishida in particular goes above and beyond, as his duties in the flashback include acting like a guy who's bad at acting, getting better.  Of course, it might not be for everyone. Showa Rakugo is ultimately a talky soap about an old-fashioned, arguably tedious form of Japanese performance art. But for the right audience, though, it's a particularly rare gem of an anime, one that reminds folks just what's possible for Japanese cartoons.
Showa Rakugo photo
Stand up for some sit-down
If you've ever held the opinion that the medium of Japanese anime could stand to see more mature stories for adults, you absolutely owe it to yourself to at least try watching Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu.  I'm not...

Week Ender - Anime Game Edition Part 2

Jan 23 // Red Veron
[embed]34712:5371:0[/embed] "Hanafubuki" Anime: Tokyo Majin An anime based on a franchise that dates back to a Tactical Turn-Based Strategy Role Playing Game on the original Playstation only released in Japan. This anime adaptation marked the first time the franchise made it outside Japan. I liked the show and this ending song is one of my favorite anime ending songs. Just check it out.   [embed]34712:5372:0[/embed] "Fighting Dreamer" Anime: Senran Kagura An anime based on a game created on the premise of wanting show anime boobs in 3D using the 3D display technology of the Nintendo 3DS. This ending sure has some fanservice in it for those who like the big anime boobies.   [embed]34712:5373:0[/embed] "I'll be your home" Anime: Devil May Cry - The Animated Series Based on the popular video game series, this adaptation took some liberties and didn't catch on with the fans that much. I don't really remember much about the show except that they added that little girl character to show off Dante's caring side. They should've just added a puppy or a kitten.   [embed]34712:5374:0[/embed] "Ano Kaze ni Notte" Anime: Valkyria Chronicles Based on the very gorgeous looking video game, this adaptation just wasn't as pretty and had some changes that didn't please the fans. What changes? Well, the female lead had some enlargement in the bust area. A shame this one didn't do so well since the game was absolutely brilliant.   Is there an anime and/or anime opening or ending based on a video game that you love? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
Week Ender photo
Game and Watch (Again)
This week's selection of endings is all about Anime based on video games and this is the second time I've done this theme after about doing these features for almost a year. There are enough of these anime to warrant the...

OP Up! Anime Game Edition Part 2

Jan 20 // Red Veron
[embed]34709:5366:0[/embed] "JAP" Anime: Sengoku Basara A ridiculous over the top adaptation of a game that takes some liberties in retelling the warring states period of Feudal Japan. Historical figures are reinterpreted to be crazy looking characters that are out of a video game (which it is) doing superhuman fighting moves and other things that will make a historian cry. The opening is so action anime, I want to PUT MY GUNS ON!   [embed]34709:5367:0[/embed] "Dimension Tripper" Anime: Hyperdimension Neptunia the Animation An anime based on a video game about characters that are anthromorphised video game systems based on real life video game systems. Confused yet? Well, okay. It's based on a game that is an role playing game about a kingdom where video game systems based on the real life game systems (Playstation, XBox, Nintendo) are rulers of their own nations have to band to together to fight an even greater threat. It's cutesy and some action are in there, it's not as serious as that summary I made but if it sounds and looks appealing to you, try it.   [embed]34709:5368:0[/embed] US Opening? I dunno Anime: Street Fighter II V This is the US opening and not the Japanese one. This show is remembered fondly by people and people loved this show back in the day. Brought to the US in the late 90's/early 2000's, this one isn't exactly accurate to the video games but fighting games tend to be iffy in what is canon anyways due to their nature. This is one is also remembered to NOT be the movie where Chun-li is topless in the shower for all of you wondering.   [embed]34709:5369:0[/embed] "Family" Anime: Gungrave This opening is one of those "non-traditional" openings for the more darker and "adult" anime that was common in the 90's. It suits the anime well and I vaguley remember playing the game, which doesn't hold up since we've come a long way with modern 3rd person shooters on controls and styles. Still looks really good with character designs from the author of Trigun.   Is there an anime based on a game that you love? SHARE YOUR FAVE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
OP Up! photo
Game and Watch (Again)
So I've done this theme before, it's been almost a year since I started these opening & ending features and after doing almost 50 of these things, I've learned that I might eventually have to revisit themes and topics. Go...

First Impressions: ERASED

Jan 19 // Josh Tolentino
That said, the concept isn't immediately clear in ERASED's opening scenes. Instead, we're treated to the inner voice of Satoru Fujinuma, a 29-year-old frustrated manga artist who knows exactly where he's going wrong: He's too afraid "to get into the heart of [his] own mind", that is to say, to really dig deeper and see how to put more of his soul into his work. Coming from his editor, that sounds like a load of bull, but since he's saying it himself, I'll give it a pass.  In any case, the source is some rather traumatic occurrences in his past, involving a series of kidnappings, the loss of a childhood acquaintance, and a friendly stranger by the riverbanks. I can't blame the guy for not wanting to open that can of worms. This is where the bit about addressing old regrets comes in. Satoru just so happens to have a power of sorts. Called "Revival", the power resembles a literalized deja vu: When something bad happens that Satoru is in a position to prevent, he gets rewinded back a few minutes, and needs to figure out just what's in the scene that's going to go all wrong. Revival is demonstrated in rather dramatic fashion in the first big scene of the opening episode, but ERASED quickly pulls the rug out from under assumptions that the show would turn out to be some kind of case-of-the-week program, with Satoru struggling to puzzle out the latest incident before it's too late. Instead, after being framed for the apparent murder of his (awesome) mother, Satoru gets rewound all the way back to 1988, 18 years earlier. He quickly figures that solving the case he was involved in way back then, and saving Kayo Hinazuki, the girl who was killed by his kidnapper, would be the key to preventing his mother's own death, which came at the hands of someone who may be the real killer. It sounds a bit complicated, but ERASED plays the tension high, and keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, wondering what'll happen next, and how the hell Satoru will be able to solve the central mystery, with his 29-year-old mind trapped in his 11-year-old body (think Detective Conan and you're on the right track). There's also an element of getting a "do-over" on life's old mistakes in the show, where Satoru gets to bond with the girl that he'd originally dismissed as weird, when in fact she was suffering domestic abuse. In any case, ERASED opens strong, and will hopefully continue on in that vein for the rest of the run.  [Check out more of ERASED via Crunchyroll!]
ERASED photo
You CAN go home again
If there's anything universal to the experience of being an adult, it's probably regret. Or more specifically, regretting the mistakes of childhood. Come on, you've done it before, too, I'm sure. Perhaps you've lost touch wit...

Week Ender - Mystery Edition

Jan 16 // Red Veron
[embed]34703:5358:0[/embed] "Zetsubousei: Hero Chiryouyaku" Anime: Dangan Ronpa: The Animation I love how this ending starts out like an old school Famicom (NES for y'all westerners) game and is also one of those modular endings that change over the course of the show. Plus that song is rad.   [embed]34703:5359:0[/embed] "why or why not" Anime: Higurashi no Naku koro ni Not a bad song. In my opinion, that accent actually adds to the atmosphere of the song. This is one of those songs that add to the impact of what you just watched, letting it sink in while trying to ease you out. Because you're gonna need it for this show. Watch it for the mystery and horror, the true horror in this show is that it takes place in the early 80's where they didn't have mobile phones and internet.   [embed]34703:5360:0[/embed] "For the love of life" Anime: Monster Another one of those songs with that vibe suited for serious anime. It has that somber vibe that suits the show. Watch this show.   [embed]34703:5361:0[/embed] "Kimi ni matsuwaru Misteri" Anime: Hyouka A super cute ending where the heroines are dressed up like Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, while the male leads are criminal scum that are to be apprehended by the adorable detectives. I love this one.   Is there a mystery anime and/or mystery anime opening and/or ending that you love? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
Week Ender photo
It was the butler!
I love mystery anime. There's just something about an animated medium that lends well to presenting a mystery. Live action, the written word and manga can be limited by the talent of the creators, though anime also has those ...

Ghost Dive: Your essential primer to Ghost in the Shell

Jan 14 // Josh Tolentino
The Basics Ghost in the Shell is best known as a 1995 film directed by Mamoru Oshii, but it originated in 1989, as a manga written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow. Since then, several more sequels and adaptations have been produced, including several TV series, manga, and an in-development Hollywood film starring Scarlett Johanssen.  Though never lacking for action-packed gunfights and high-tech mecha designs - particularly the iconic spider-legged "think tanks" - Ghost in the Shell distinguished itself from its "Japanimation" peers by having a philosophical edge. Storylines in Ghost in the Shell frequently tackled larger issues of transhumanism, the nature of consciousness and perception, and the effects of networks and the internet on human society. Even today some of the arguments and dilemmas raised seem timely.  Ghost in the Shell's various works can be organized into four broad categories, corresponding to the original manga by Masamune Shirow, the feature-film adaptations directed by Mamoru Oshii, the Standalone Complex TV series, and the Arise movie series. While not related directly, all Ghost in the Shell works share common themes, and star "Major" Motoko Kusanagi, team leader of Public Security Section 9, a black-ops unit of the near-future Japanese government. The Major and her peers work in a world where cyborg technology is common and "cyberbrains" enable people to access the internet at will, as well as hack everything from senses to memories, giving rise to all manner of new challenges. The Essentials Ghost in the Shell (1995 film) If you're only going to watch one Ghost in the Shell-titled work in your lifetime, you may as well make it the one that made the name popular in the first place. Following the Major and her partner Batou as they solve the case of a mysterious hacker known as the Puppet Master, the film replaced the verbose banter and cheery pin-up character designs with stark visuals and a more realistic style to suit a borderline-dour mood. Director Mamoru Oshii's emphasis on Ghost in the Shell's more philosophical aspects helped solidify anime's reputation as a more diverse, adult medium than the traditionally child-targeted cartoons markets outside Japan.   The Ghost in the Shell (1989 Manga) There's nothing quite like source material, and Masamune Shirow's original manga certainly fits the bill. While its art style and approach to characterization definitely dates it as a product of its era, it's hard not to be impressed by Shirow's attention to detail, conveyed in part through the use of copious footnotes explaining everything from the state of the world to the reason why a gun's barrel is a certain length. Most of the cases, themes, characters and subplots used in future adaptations would also show up in one form or another throughout the series. Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex (2002 TV series) For many fans, the 1995 film and original manga exist on opposite ends of the tonal spectrum, with the manga being densely constructed and quickly paced, and the film given over to a more contemplative mode. Standalone Complex, produced by famed studio Production I.G. and directed by Mamoru Oshii's protege, Kenji Kamiyama, took a shot at blending the two approaches, and largely succeeded at it. The result is arguably the best representative yet of what makes Ghost in the Shell unique, portraying the Major and Section 9's adventures as an extended cop show of shorts, and leveraging multiple cases to address a wide swath of themes, including the titular "Standalone Complex". The show also took a more political bent, examining philosophical issues from a pragmatic, grounded position, and developed further plots through its second season, titled Standalone Complex 2nd Gig, and the feature-length Solid State Society.  Standalone Complex also serves as the inspiration for the First Assault Online shooter, with abilities and game systems inspired by the Major and Section 9's feats in the series. Further Study Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004 film) A challenging, divisive entry into the canon, Innocence is regarded by some of its critics as the sequel nobody asked for. Set years after the 1995 film, the story doesn't even follow the Major, but her partner Batou and the then-rookie Togusa as they solve a mysterious case involving rampaging androids and human trafficking. More than the lavish, almost surreal visuals and seemingly inconsequential plotting, some fans disliked the even heavier emphasis on philosophy, with long stretches where characters seemed to interact only by quoting philosophers at each other. At the same time, the film is rich in ideas, if not coherence, and serves as interesting viewing, even if it departs from expectations.  Ghost in the Shell 2: Manmachine Interface (2001 manga) If Innocence tried to tell a Ghost in the Shell story without its ostensible protagonist, the Major, Manmachine Interface tries to tell a Ghost in the Shell story using only the Major. Set five years following the events of the original manga, the story of Manmachine Interface both elevates the stakes of those events, while descending into near-incoherence in terms of storytelling. While it's worth reading for fans of the original manga, it also stands out as the closest Ghost in the Shell comes to "overdoing it".   Ghost in the Shell: Arise (2014 film series) and Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie (2015 film) An attempt to refresh Ghost in the Shell for newer, younger audiences, Arise functions as a spiritual prequel of sorts, focusing on the Major as she goes about forming Section 9 itself, and exploring her personal life in greater detail than was typically alluded to in previous works. Between a younger-looking character design, new involvement from Mardock Scramble author Tow Ubukata, and an all-new voice cast, Arise tried to signal newness at every turn, but struggled to differentiate itself in the face of Standalone Complex, failing to reach the highs of that series despite being enjoyable. The Ghost in the Shell (Manga)
Ghost in the Shell Primer photo
Hack some knowledge into your cyberbrain
It's been more than two decades since the original Ghost in the Shell film came out, and the name still resonates as one of the most well-known examples of Japanese anime around. At the same time, it's been quite a while...

OP Up! - Mystery Edition

Jan 13 // Red Veron
[embed]34693:5351:0[/embed] "Grain" Anime: Monster Based on the critically acclaimed manga of the same name, this show has garnered attention even in the west with the likes of director Guillermo del Toro because it is just that good. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, just check it out for yourself if that little piece of info intrigues you enough.   [embed]34693:5352:0[/embed] "Sekai wa Hitotsu! Janai!!" Anime: Tantei Opera Milky Holmes Imagine if famous fictional detectives from literature had cute girl descendants who were detectives with super powers that fought skilled thieves who also have super powers. Now imagine those detectives lose their powers and are really incompetent and useless without said powers. This is that show, with comedy of just how silly the characters are and the ridiculous situations they get into while trying to get their powers and reputation back.   [embed]34693:5353:0[/embed] "Mikansei Stride" Anime: Hyouka This show is notoriously slow and can put some of you to sleep. But on the upside, studio Kyoto Animation makes everything look pretty and when stuff does get interesting when stuff happens in the show with regards to the characters solving mysteries in their school.    [embed]34693:5354:0[/embed] "Never Say Never" Anime: DanganRonpa: The Animation Special High schoolers find themselves locked in a special high school where a talking stuffed bear pits them all against each other in a twisted game of survival where they have to try to murder each other and face each other off in a trial to literally get away with murder. Dark and thrilling, this is a fun show despite the grim premise and has garnered quite a following.   Is there a mystery anime and/or mystery anime opening that you love? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
OP Up! photo
Whodunnit?
The mystery genre is quite common in manga and anime, its a nice change from all the action involving swords and martial arts. The thrill and suspense rely more on the cerebral aspects and with a visual medium like anime and ...

First Impressions: Haruchika: Haruta & Chika

Jan 13 // Soul Tsukino
Haruchika: Haruta & Chika is a series that, much like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, is based off a series of light novels. Already that gets my attention as a fiction writer, but also as an anime fans since it's something about anime based off books made me tend to think it will have an interesting premise and story more than a run of the mill paint by numbers anime that was crapped out to take advantage of the latest trend and mimic another show's big success. The series starts off on a different note right off the bat as the first episode starts at the end. You see a number of high school kids getting ready to take the stage. You aren't told who they are, why they are there, not much of anything until you hear a voice talking about how they all had arrived at that point. Yes, it seems this series is told entirely as a flashback. This episode introduces us to Chika and her first day of high school. It does a really good job of introducing her as it shows not only her habits, attitudes, and interaction with people but also her goals and what she wants to do now that she is in high school. She wants to cast off her old ways and be a different person in this new environment, namely by taking up the flute.   We also get introduced to the other characters, but there really isn't a lot given out about them. Although the other title character, Chika's old childhood friend Haruta, gets a little more look into his character, it's mostly done in showing flashbacks of when he and Chika were children. Yes, a flashback in a series that is a flashback, reminds me of a joke made in Scott Melzer's fan parody Fanboy Soze Vs The Reanimators of the Otakulypes. The big plot point in this episode, and it seems the rest of the series, is that a puzzle appears before Haruta and Chika and the rest of the club as they try to figure out this musical code left on their board, painted in red paint. Chika has little training in classical music so she struggles with the clues to figure things out (at one point she confuses "Bach" with "baka"). The way they and the other brass instrument club members figure things out is really interesting, but the end of the episode gives you a big surprise that I'm not going to spoil here. After watching the first episode, I can say I am interested in seeing more. You have interesting characters, a premise that is not usually found in this type of show, and just a bit of silliness and goofy bits to make me enjoy following along. Think of a gentle mix of K-on!, Haruhi, and Azumanga Daioh mixed into a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter's day.   [Check out Haruchika streaming on FUNimation!] Haruchika: Haruta and Chika is a series that, much like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzamiya, is based off a series of light novels. Already that gets my attention as a fiction writer, but also as an anime fans since it's something about anime based off books made me tend to think it will have a interesting premise and story more than a run of the mill paint by numbers anime that was crapped out to take advantage of the latest trend and mimic another show's big success.   The series starts off on a different note right off the bat as the first episode starts at the end. You see a number of high school kids getting ready to take the stage. You aren't told who they are, why they are there, not much of anything, until you here a voice taking about how they all had arrived to that point. Yes, it seems this series is told entirely as a flashback.   This episode introduces us to Chika and her first day of high school. It does a really good job of introducing her as it shows not only her habits, attitudes, and interaction with people, but also her goals and what she wants to do now that she is in high school. She wants to cast off her old ways and be a different person in this new environment, namely by taking up the flute.   We also get introduced to the other characters, but there really isn't a lot given out about them. Although the other title character, Chika's old childhood friend Haruta, gets a little more look into his character, it's mostly done in showing flashbacks of when he and Chika were children. Yes, a flashback in a series that is a flashback, reminds me of a joke made in Scott Melzer's fan parody Fanboy Soze and the reanimator's of the Otakulypes.   The big plot point in this episode, and it seems the rest of the series, is that a puzzle appears before Haruta and Chika and the rest of the club as they try to figure out this musical code left on their board, painted in red paint. Chika has little training in classical music so she struggles with the clues to figure things out (at one point she confuses Bach with baka). The way they and the other brass instrument club members figure things out is really interesting, but the end of the episode gives you a big surprise that I'm not going to spoil here.   After watching the first episode, I can say I am interested in seeing more. You have interesting characters, a premise that is not usually found in this type of show, and just a bit of silliness and goofy bits to make me enjoy following along. Think of a gentle mix of K-on!, Haruhi, and Azumanga Daioh mixed into a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter's day.
Haruchika photo
Think Haruhi if she wasn't a psychopath.
I'm not exactly sure why I picked this new show of the winter season, really. I had no idea what it was about or the background behind it. Just a very brief description and one picture from a preview of the new anime debuting...

Week Ender - High School Life Edition

Jan 11 // Red Veron
[embed]34690:5346:0[/embed] "Glitter Days" Anime: Kuroko no Basuke There hasn't been a super successful basketball anime/manga since Slam Dunk! in the early 90's until show came along, probably due to it appealing to shounen sports fans and a lot of the female audience that loves to fantasize about the characters in one way or another.   [embed]34690:5347:0[/embed] "Shissou" Anime: Ouran High School Host Club I love this ending and I love this show, a comedy with a bit of romance, this show is all about a poor student being roped into the "Host Club" in the rich school that the student goes to on a scholarship. Mix-ups happen and this is a superfun show with good comedy, don't let the flowery and girly opening fool you, this show is worth it for the laughs.   [embed]34690:5348:0[/embed] "Bokura no Tsubasa" Anime: Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukinai A group of friend-less people in a school start a club in order to learn how to get friends. Great comedy here.   [embed]34690:5349:0[/embed] "Brave Song" Anime: Angel Beats! A student finds himself in a weird school where a club has dedicated themselves to fighting another student who seems to have super powers. Weird? Well, just watch it and brace yourself for the sad emotions you are about to feel. You have been warned!   [embed]34690:5350:0[/embed] "Ohi-sama" Anime: Daily Lives of High School Boys A great comedy about the silly and dumb things that high school aged boys do. That is the premise. The ending above does a great job in showing how this show is random and dumb but still worth a watch.   Is there an anime or anime opening/ending set in a high school that you love? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
Week Ender photo
IM LATE IM LATE IM LATE
I'M LATE, I'M LATE! Oh hello! Sorry about that, we had some technical problems and I had some stomach problems this past weekend so this was hella late. So let's just get on with this week's selection of anime endings for Wee...

OP Up! - High School Life Edition

Jan 06 // Red Veron
[embed]34675:5335:0[/embed] "Driver's High" Anime: Great Teacher Onizuka Though this one is set in a middle school but when it comes to school-set anime/manga, Great Teacher Onizuka deserves a mention. The drama can be quite heavy here that you may forget that these kids are in middle school and not high school at times. GTO is a sequel to an okay delinquent manga with the titular character wanting to go teach high school so he can hit on high school girls and maybe even lose his virginity. Though one thing is in the way: he has a conscience and a heart even with his rough ways and looks. The anime is good but watered down compared to the manga because of the heavy stuff in the manga.   [embed]34675:5336:0[/embed] "Sekai wa koi ni ochiteiru" Anime: Ao Haru Ride (Blue Spring Ride) A love story set in high school but started long ago in middle school. It's girl meets boy and they agree to hang out but boy doesn't show up. Girl goes to high school and meets boy again but he has a different name. I loved the manga but caught up to it, I've seen a tiny bit of the show but this opening is just so good and one of my fave shoujo openings.   [embed]34675:5337:0[/embed] "Kirameku" Anime: High School Girls (Girl's High) High school girls get into all sorts of stuff in this one, not a slice of life but there is fun and drama in there. I've only seen a bit and I did enjoy it.   [embed]34675:5338:0[/embed] "Kimi + Nazo + Watashi de JUMP!!" Anime: Baka and Test Here is the supernatural magic school setting anime, when I first heard of the premise--- a high school where students compete to be the best alongside having summon beasts and such. But this one is a straight up comedy where the usual main character is a dense idiot and everyone know about it rather than using dumb excuses as to why the MC just doesn't get that the ladies want him. A really fun show that will please SHAFT fans since the main staff behind this worked on shows by SHAFT. Avoid the manga, I hear it is bad.    Is there an anime or anime opening set in a high school that you love? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
OP Up! photo
High School High
High School. It's a setting often seen in anime and manga. For those of that are in that high school age, it's a time of self-discovery and that time between childhood and adultlife where new things open up. It also happens t...

Cosplay photo
Cosplay

Beat Down Boogie's newest video gives the spotlight to the kids


Prepare to go 'daw' a lot
Jan 06
// Salvador GRodiles
There's something wonderful about getting the chance to share a hobby with one's own kid. It acts as a way for the parents to bond with their children in a whole new way, and their teamwork gives off a warming aura to those ...

Let's break down the Kizumonogatari movie trailers

Jan 04 // Anthony Redgrave
Before we start, Kizumonogatari is actually the first part of a trilogy of movies. The first one coming out is called Tekketsu-hen, second is Nekketsu-hen, and finally Reiketsu-hen. Or to put it in English terms; Iron-Blooded, Hot-Blooded, and Cold-Blooded referencing Kiss-shots full name and title Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade the iron-blooded, hot-blooded, cold-blooded vampire.  If you thought the trend of splitting the last book of a series into two movies is bad, they're doing a Hobbit here by splitting a 344-page book into three movies.  [embed]34670:5332:0[/embed] Kizumonogatari I- Tekketsu Trailer (10.10.15)  One of the first shots is of a tree with narration in the background. The tree isn't actually referenced in the book at all, or at least in any significant detail. However, we do know that there is a massive tree that grows out of the Cram School which is featured heavily throughout the series and that includes Kizumonogatari. The tree grows out of a hole in the roof of the cram school that was created by Kiss-Shot once she regains her true form.  Oshino and Araragi are sitting down in a sparse room that looks like a station. While the two of them are seen conversing with one another alone it is often done in the Cram school rather than any other location so that leads me to believe that this is still the cram school. However, the cram school has always been described as abandoned and unused. This being Shaft I can always suppose it holds a cinematographic purpose more than an accurate one.  Kiss-shot is shown bloody and limbless on the floor of a train platform. While this is the basis of Kizumonogatari the location differs from the book. In the book Araragi finds her on the street illuminated by a sole street light and is able to identify her as a Vampire due to her lack of shadow. 'You aren't going to save me' is a reference to Araragi's initial hesitation to help Kiss-shot. Ah yes, the panty scene. During Araragi's initial encounter with Tsubasa, a gust of wind blows up her skirt while she is adjusting her braid causing her panties to be revealed to Araragi. The book takes a long time describing the situation in great detail for something that takes a few seconds in the trailer. Earlier in the trailer, you see Tsubasa catch up to Araragi. This takes place after Araragi sees Tsubasa pants. I know this compared to any other times Araragi meets Tsubasa throughout the book because of the line 'You walk fast, Araragi' as Araragi was trying to get away without embarrassment from seeing her pants.  Araragi inspecting a young blonde girl on the ground surrounded by chairs is just after he awakes after saving Kiss-shot. The location is supposed to be the cram school which I can see through the use of the plastic school chairs. Araragi running crazily to the right in a sort of frenzy is when he attempts to save Kiss-shot. In the book Araragi internally debates whether or not he should save her and ultimately abandons his humanity to do so hence the crazy running. Some of the last shots in the trailer have people engulfed in fire. This is because vampires are weak to certain things and sunlight is one of them. The first figure is Araragi having just discovered this weakness and the second is Kiss-shot in her now 10-year-old form saving Araragi from burning to death. [embed]34670:5331:0[/embed] Kizumonogatari I- Tekketsu Trailer 2 (12.24.15)  The second trailer doesn't have a lot more to add that hasn't already been seen in the first. But we do get a glimpse of the three vampire hunters that are after Araragi and Kiss-shot throughout Kizumongatari.  Araragi's first bites of dialogue follow the novel as he pleas with the Vampire Hunters not to kill him because he is human. Despite at this point having just turned into a Vampire by Kiss-shot. The first Vampire Hunter shown is Dramaturgy, as described in the books to be a seven feet tall man with unkempt hair held back with a hairband.  Next is Episode. Now he has already made a reappearance in the latest Owarimonogatari as part of Shinobu Mail and also earlier in Tsubasa Tiger as part of Monogatari Second Season. For the most part, he looks the same as his TV anime counterpart including the giant cross he slings over his shoulder.  Last is Guillotine Cutter. The trailer has a glare behind him so it shadows most of his clothing. In the book, he is described to be wearing priestly robes, docile face, and hedgehog-like hair. The light shining from behind him may be a reference to his holy background. Another interesting point is Araragi's duds. Araragi is never described in the books and it was character designer Akio Watanabe who had made him the way he looks now. What's interesting is that Araragi has the same sense of style as he does in the anime; hoodie, vest, and jeans but he is also rocking a peace medallion. Could this be referencing the lie he tells his sisters that over the holidays he is on a journey of self-discovery? One of the last shots is Araragi holding Kiss-shot in his arms with blood spray across the ground. From the pose and Kiss-shot's lack of limbs, I think this is just as Kiss-shot feeds on Araragi to save herself.  [embed]34670:5333:0[/embed] Kizumonogatari Movie Trailer (2012)- VERY MUCH SPOILERs This is a little bonus. Before Kizumonogatari exists as we know it now, there was a lot of talk about releasing it as a stand-alone movie in 2012. There were a lot of delays and radio silence about the project before 2015 finally revealed the trilogy. They were able to bring out a trailer for Kizumonogatari before all this uncertainty and it shows a lot more of the story than the previous two.  This section will include massive spoilers for the whole book since there are scenes from the finale featured in the trailer.  First it is more accurate than the more recent trailers having Kiss-shot actually being found on the street illuminated by a sole street lamp just as it's described in the book.  Next is Araragi's first confrontation with the Vampire Hunters. Dramaturgy is seen in the left lane, Episode can be identified in the right fork with his massive silver cross. And Guillotine Cutter appears from behind Araragi just as it's described in the book. The character designs for the three Vampire Hunters look a little rougher than their other anime counterparts. Episode looks a tad older and without his white school uniform and is instead in a generic white shirt.  Dramaturgy doesn't even look human here although his hair and physique still match his description. It could be a reference to his true form as a Vampire. We get a better shot of Guillotine Cutter here as it's obvious that he is in a priestly garb, still with a calm demeanor. No better shot of his hedgehog-like hair, though. Next we see Meme Oshino intervening against the three vampire hunters taking down Araragi. This is very faithful to the book as he adopts the same weird pose to block all three simultaneous attacks.  Episode's cross is seen connecting with Araragi with a splash of blood emitting from his shoulder. This is from Araragi's battle with Episode where Araragi discovers another one of his vampire weaknesses.  Tsubasa watches the fight from the background. This is either from the first or the second fight as she is witness to both. However judging from the previous shot referencing Episode's fight with Araragi I'm thinking it's from that fight also. Tsubasa faces away from a pair of hands inching creepily towards her. From the background, I know that it's the scene where Araragi asks to touch Tsubasa's breasts. Next is Oshino Meme holding up Kiss-shot's stolen heart moments before he returns it to Araragi. The corpse is Guillotine Cutter after he is eaten by Kiss-shot in her newly regained perfect form. The next few scenes are fairly chronological. Kiss-shot arrives on the school sports field to do battle against Araragi. Her landing destroys the ground due to her leaping from the Cram school to Araragi's school grounds. Then Araragi and Kiss-shot fight each other, completely decimating each other with each hit. Again very similar to the novel as their vampire strength is able to destroy the bodies but their healing factor can regenerate the lost flesh. Overall this trailer is very faithful to the novel it is based on. It also retains the anime style that Shaft had been using for the past few seasons compared to the style being incorporated into the films now.  Kizumonogatari I- Tekketsu Trailer (10.10.15)
Kizumonogatari photo
Did something good happen just now?
It's a very interesting time for English literate Monogatari fans. With the first officially translated Monogatari light novel coinciding with the often delayed and heavily anticipated Kizumonogatari movie set to re...

Annotated Anime: Attack on Titan: Junior High episodes 11 & 12

Jan 04 // Soul Tsukino
Episode 11 It's school festival time (what did I say last time about anime requirements?) and the class of our first-year buddies have to run two different events during the festival. Since there are not enough kids to staff both events during the festival, they will have to take shifts at each. The events decided on, a stage play of Snow White and running a Cheeseburger stand.   The food stand, of course, gets almost all the attention. They are stuck right next to Rico and her class's rice stand (which actually is a giant rice pot) that won the award last year (In sales? Popularity? They never really say). Eren, of course, takes the competition way too seriously as he leads the team of himself, Mikasa, Armin, Mina (who has done squat the whole series), along with Franz and Hanna.   Easily the star of the burger stand scenes is Armin. He takes his role dead serious and even gives himself an internal monologue to fire him up before he's dolled up to look like a cute girl. Seeing him give out a strategy for beating Rico's class and acting like a cute girl n the same breath are hilarious.   Outside of the food stall battle we see some of the other stalls going on. We check back to the play which gets worse and worse as more of the cast disappear to help Eren. We also check in with the maid cafe with Christa and Ymir (And Ymir's attempts to keep Reiner from enjoying Christa's prepared food), along with Hitch and Annie's time in the "Cat Snuggle Cafe" (that hits close to home for me as an ardent cat person), and Hange's insane demonstrations with Sawney and Beane that have way to much of an S&M vibe to it.  The ending is either completely predictable if you have been following the series or a bit of an "Oh Crap!" moment if you have been caught up in the antics of the episode.   This series is not known for its writing and this is a good example of it. There isn't really much of a story here and it is standard fair for a "school festival" episode. It's not a terrible episode, but if you've seen enough anime and have been following along with this series, it doesn't exactly come up with anything new or surprising. Episode 12 The episode picks right up where we left off. Eren is PISSED. Nobody messes with his chee-burgs! He's rip-snorting angry and wants to go get his burgers back. Mikasa isn't going to let Eren kill himself, and soon the others join in. They quickly face resistance from the teaching staff but Eren isn't hearing any of it. He tries to get the upperclassmen on his side, but they resist. Eren isn't satisfied and decides to do this on his own. Once again, the others join him.   The rest of the episode plays out as the gang scurry through the Titan's part of the school building. It goes about as well as you'd expect from this show. They get some help from Rico and her class as they lost their rice stand as well, but after that, the episode just gets absolutely bizarre.   Featuring Titans in raver gear, A musical number by blindfolded upperclassmen, The reappearance of Jean's secret crush, and a parody of the "boulder" battle from the original series really doesn't describe how insane the episode turns. What the last episode lacked in originality, this episode makes up for in spades.   But you know what? I got into it. I know, it's a show where thought isn't a prerequisite. It's a goofy nonsense parody of a dark and brutal series, but by god I was cheering on these little guys in their quest to get the chee-burgs back. I thought the ending was heartwarming. it was like that the main series doesn't have real good endings for most of the characters, but here these little guys give you the good things the main series can't give you.   The finale really lets loose and brings some weird insanity that some of the previous episodes lacked. It started in line with the rest of the series but started getting into Excel Saga levels of crazy in the second half, but brought everything back together to give a good ending and wrap it all up in a happy chee-burgy way.   I'll wrap up the entire series in its own article, but I give this finale a big thumbs up. It was something that caught your attention, wrapped things up, and most of all was fun! It's school festival time (what did I say last time about anime requirements?) and the class of our first-year buddies have to run two different events during the festival. Since there are not enough kids to staff both events during the festival, they will have to take shifts at each. The events decided on, a stage play of Snow White and running a Cheeseburger stand.   The food stand of course gets almost all the attention. They are stuck right next to Rico and her class's rice stand (which actually is a giant rice pot) that won the award last year (In sales? Popularity? They never really say). Eren of course takes the competition way to seriously as he leads the team of himself, Mikasa, Armin, Mina (who has done squat the whole series), along with Franz and Hanna.   Easily the star of the burger stand scenes are Armin. He takes his role dead serious and even gives himself a internal monologue to fire him up before he's dolled up to look like a cute girl. Seeing him give out strategy for beating Rico's class and acting like a cute girl n the same breath are hilarious.   Outside of the food stall battle we see some of the other stalls going on. We check back to the play which gets worse and worse as more of the cast disappear to help Eren. We also check in with the maid cafe with Christa and Ymir, Hitch and Annie's time in the "Cat Snuggle Cafe", and Hange's insane demonstrations with Sawney and Beane that have way to much of an S&M vibe to it.   The ending is either completely predictable if you have been following the series, or a bit of an "Oh Crap!" moment if you have been caught up in the antics of the episode.   This series is not known for its writing and this is a good example of it. There isn't really much of a story here and it is standard fair for a "school festival" episode. It's not a terrible episode, but if you've seen enough anime and have been following along with this series, it doesn't exactly come up with anything new or surprising.
Attack on Titan: Jr high photo
Chee-burg Backlash!
The zany ride comes to an end.  We take a look at the last two installments of the most chibi of this season's anime shows of Japan, Attack on Titan: Junior High. How will our ragtag group of first-year friends wrap thin...

Touhou photo
Touhou

Here's a nice extra helping of the Memories of Phantasm doujin anime series


The new year is off to an amazing start!
Jan 03
// Salvador GRodiles
As the old year goes away, the gang at Manpukujinja have uploaded the sixth episode of their Touhou doujin anime, Fantasy Kaleidoscope ~The Memories of Phantasm~, on their YouTube page. Just like the previous episode, t...

Week Ender - Best Endings of 2015 Edition

Jan 02 // Red Veron
[embed]34662:5317:0[/embed] "believe" Anime: FATE/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works Another adaptation from this series that pretty much erases that horrible attempt more than a decade ago, this ending has a great song by kalafina and shows us some glimpses to the lives of the protagonists of this show.   [embed]34662:5318:0[/embed] "Hello, Shooting Star" Anime: Assassination Classroom A pretty ending for a show about trying to kill and alien teacher in a classroom or the the world will end. I love that chalkboard styled art with that soft rock song. I really need to finish the first season.   [embed]34662:5319:0[/embed] "Sugar Song to Bitter Step" Anime: Kekkai Sensen (Blood Blockade Battlefront) I know nothing about this show but I read Josh's description of it on his Japanator Awards list and seeing the ending above, immediately shot this show up to my top priority watch list.    [embed]34662:5320:0[/embed] "Never Say Never" Anime: Durarara!! X2 Shou The latest in the anime adaptation of this series about all the crazy stuff happening in urban metropolitan Tokyo, I am digging that song a lot.   WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ANIME AND/OR ANIME OPENING/ENDING FROM THIS YEAR?! SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I WANNA KNOWOWOW
Week Ender photo
Look back at the Best Endings of 2015
I gotta clear up one thing: The endings featured on here aren't the best endings of anime this past 2015 but the endings OF the best anime of 2015. There might be some anime from last year that may have been not so good but h...

The Japanator Awards 2015: Sal's Top 5 Anime of the Year

Dec 31 // Salvador GRodiles
5. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works Ever since I watched Fate/Zero and The Garden of Sinners, it was certain that ufotable should be the go-to studio for all major TYPE-MOON-related adaptations. When it was announced that they would be remaking Fate/Stay Night’s “Unlimited Blade Works” route, this seemed like the perfect ingredient to bring joy to the hearts of fans of the original visual novel game. In the end, the studio struck us with a spectacle that did justice to the route’s great moments. To top things off, they were able to add some nice touches that benefited those who watched Fate/Zero before diving into the original Fate/Stay Night visual novel. While my only experience with the series is the anime installments, Shiro’s sheer determination to become a true hero of justice against all odds showed us how most folks are able to accept reality’s harsh truth when they take a risky path in life. Like with most dreams, it takes a lot of guts to journey into a realm that many individuals consider to be crazy, which is one of the things that made this series worthwhile. With ufotable applying the elements I mentioned earlier, it felt like we were getting the key things of the experience that Studio DEEN denied us in their movie version of Unlimited Blade Works. Also, the pretty colors and dynamic battles acted as the cherry to complete this delicious ice cream sundae. 4. Gatchaman Crowds Insight Speaking of heroes, when a person walks the path of true justice, he/she might have to find a way to bring a resolution to both opposing parties. In order to accomplish this feat, one must undergo a major sacrifice; therefore making this path a difficult one to take. This is where Gatchaman Crowds Insight shined over its predecessor, as it challenged its main heroine in making the proper choice that would benefit society. Usually in life, there are lots of moments where people follow a certain trend or view while pressuring others to do so. The real kicker was that this happened within the team as well, which kept us guessing on how things would get resolved. With the way how the new character Gel’s abilities were used in this factor worked amazingly in creating the right conflict for the show’s main cast. Just like its predecessor, the series handled this theme without resorting to the typical good punching out evil to save the day scenario. Instead, it showed us how the media and technology affect people’s lives in many ways. Whether they were positive or negative, the effects it had on the characters made way for a ride that kept me invested throughout its run. Also, the music continues to be catchy as hell. 3. One Punch Man Despite my love for Gatchaman Crowds Insight and its special take on the superhero genre, One Punch Man knocked my expectations out of the water. Right when you felt that this show was going to focus on a hero’s unfortunate journey to find that one adversary that would give him the fight of his life, the series hits us with the message on what it is to be a good hero. To an extent, it took me back to Tiger & Bunny where you had certain people who were only in it for the fame and those who really wanted to protect those who need help. Because of this moral, the low-rank heroes (such as Mumen Rider) were the ones who expressed this theme the strongest— especially when you compare them to the show's higher ranking superheroes. When the show focuses on Saitama one-shotting his opponents, the buildup towards this moment always manages to increase the audience’s excitement, which results in a satisfying conclusion that leaves them with a burst of joy. Combined with the great punchlines thrown into these scenes, there’s never a dull moment in One Punch Man. Seeing that this show is running on an average budget, it’s amazing to see that the anime adaptation was being made by a group that placed their heart and soul into each frame of animation. That being said, the payoff from their work is shown nicely in the final product, which shows that this title packs quite a punch. 2. Japan Animator Expo I’m not going to lie. While I had a good time with this year’s offering of anime, the Japan Animator Expo was the one that stood mostly stood out for me. Each week was a great surprise as we many shorts acted as a canvas for various animators to express their full creativity without anyone holding them back. Whether it was Hiroyuki Imashi’s spiritual sequel to Panty & Stocking, Akira Amemiya of Ninja Slayer expressing his love for the classic Tsuburaya toku series Gridman, the follow-up to "ME!ME!ME!," or the perverted humor of Hiroyuki Okiura's (Jin-Roh and A Letter to Momo's Director) Robot on the Road, there were a ton of wonderful surprises that left my jaw wide open. Combined with an array of comedy and wonderful love letters to classic stuff like Ultraman and Daicon IV, this project was jam packed with lots great treats. Even though there were some pieces that would’ve worked better as larger pieces, I found the majority of them to be shining gems. In the end, most of these shorts left me with a wonderful impression in a shorter time span than the titles mentioned earlier in this segment. Seeing that it isn’t too often that an opportunity like this one drops by, this played a role in Japan Animator Expo making it on here. Also, Megumi Hayashibara (Slayer's Lina, Cowboy Bebop's Fae) and Koichi Yamadera (Cowboy Bebop's Spike, Ranma's Ryoga) deserve mad props for voicing every character in the project. 1. Shirobako If a group's dedication and commitment were to affect my decision in this year’s segment, I’d have to say that Shirobako takes the cake on this one. While I wasn’t able to catch the series when it premiered last Fall, the great things that I heard from it in the past gave me the drive to marathon it before the curtains closed on 2015. And boy was everyone right about it being stupendous. In fact, this method caused me to experience a huge joyful waterfall of tears as I rooted for Miyamori and the rest of Musashino Animation on their quest to deliver solid anime titles to the masses. Despite me being a person who gave up on pursuing the path of animation, my knowledge of the medium and my experience with going to school with other possible future animators went hand in hand in improving the whole show for me. The drive and determination behind each member of the studio showed us how they were willing to jump over all of the hurdles that would ruin the project. All in all, it was amazing to see how each character grew between each project that they tackled, as it felt like we were working with these people in real life. When the team got hit by impossible odds, Shirobako drove me into a state of rage, as the situation drove a huge stake through the staff’s objectives. However, the journey also made me feel sadness and joy when they tore down each wall. It’s not too often that a show throws me into different states of emotions during each episode, as P.A. Work’s hard work paid off with how they handled each dramatic moment in both of Musani’s productions. Most importantly, it changed the way how I view donut from now one; therefore deserving the number one spot in my heart. Honorable Mentions: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc
Japanator Awards 2015 photo
Let's go nuts!
It felt like it was only yesterday that we started 2015 with a bang. I guess that’s what happens when one loses track of time. While I had the great luck of catching more shows this year, it turns out that most of them ...

The Japanator Awards 2015: Red's Top 5 Anime of the Year

Dec 31 // Red Veron
5.) Shigatsu wo Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) So let's the get this one over with first. Many emotions were felt this year with this entry. If you haven't watched this by now and not know how the story goes, just try and watch it. The beautiful visuals and music do well to serve this story where boy meets girl. This one is where boy has gone through a traumatic experience years prior and girl helps rediscover what he lost. Sounds typical but I do indeed love this show. Though I have encountered people who thought the story was cheesy and not very dramatic but the presentation was the best part. If you've seen other sad anime or Japanese movies, you know where this will lead but this anime is just a really good way to tell that story efficiently and in a beautiful way.   4.) Yuru Yuri San Hai! The third season of a great comedy show that is framed as a parody of Yuri school anime that does way more than it should for a comedy about cute girls. Don't let the cute facade turn you away if you're immediately repulsed by moeblobs but this show barely goes into trying to woo people with cute characters. The entire appeal of the show lies in its comedy, from parodying elements in the romance genre and even archetypes to ridiculous comedy without becoming absurd, this show does a lot of that. This third season continues to be strong in its comedy and even the different studio behind the animation resulting in not so ideal visuals, the comedy shines through.   3.) Non Non Biyori: Repeat The second season to a show about girls who live in the Japanese countryside is back and it is charming as ever. No, this one has cuteness but doesn't try to the usual moe pandering with the cute girls and this one has a lot of heart. More laughs and beautiful scenery to be seen in this one, newcomers can try to watch this one without seeing the first season and just have some plain fun. The show is mostly innocent fun in a rural setting that is pretty close to reality without much contrived genre. It's a great slice-of-life comedy without resorting to crude humor or sexuality like other comedies and should be checked out for a breath of fresh air.   2. Osomatsu-san (Mister Osomatsu) How do you modernize a comedy anime from the 1960s? Well, the first episode of this show goes into just that and raises the bar so high for the rest of the show and does keep up a lot. A sequel to a comedy anime from 1960s updated to reflect contemporary humor, this show is one the best comedies in recent years (Nichijou is still best) and also features an all male cast. No trying to sell female character goods here, just plain good comedy. This sequel has the characters all grown up and are still up to their antics but now they're good for nothing NEETs (basically unemployed losers) trying to get the occasional job or just going about their day and random things.   1.) Gintama° The fourth anime series(?) to adapt the comedy action manga came back this year after a couple of years of hiatus and it is still one of the best overlooked action comedies in anime. Why is it good? It still maintains the same comedy we expect in the anime even after more than 260 episodes (skip the first two episodes, those are bad) and the action still shines when it shows up on occasion. What is Gintama? Well, imagine Rurouni Kenshin but space aliens come to Japan (and Earth) instead of the Americans in the late 1800s. Though the space aliens only serve to accelerate the technology to modern times though keeping the pre-western era Japan. The comedy part ranges from pop culture references to absurd humor while the action part that shines most in the short serious and focused story arcs. Want to get a satisfying shounen action story in 4-5 episodes instead of 50 while still packing plenty of action and drama? Gintama just has that plus sprinkle in many laughs.   Honorable Mentions: Shirobako Yuri Kuma Arashi Prison School Himouto! Umaru-chan School Live!
Japanator Awards 2015 photo
Much Laughter and Some Tears
The end of this year is here and boy, it was a fun year for anime. I should say that I didn't get to watch much because of life getting in the way but the ones I did watch are ones that I do love and thoroughly enjoy. I notic...

The Japanator Awards 2015: Jeff's Top 5 Anime of the Year

Dec 31 // Jeff Chuang
5. Hackadoll & Wooser's Hand-to-Mouth Life: Phantasmagoric Arc I'm cheating here by clubbing two half-length shows together for the fifth spot, but these two shows consistently entertained me. They belong to the same anime block, so maybe it's okay?  Being half-length gave Hackadoll and Wooser huge advantages as comedies to not outstay their welcome (although I wish I could say the same for some other shorts that still ran too dry). I think what worked well in both are their ability to change up the genre every week. Even if the characters remain the same, the humor comes off differently in different situations and moments. Both Wooser and Hackadoll are also remarkable for somewhat meta reasons. Hackadoll is the first anime made to promote a mobile app that delivers news links to your phone or tablet. While the app itself is Japanese only, it isn't region limited and it works pretty well. But think about it, here you are reading a rec for a TV show promoting an app that can deliver online posts about anime (possibly like this one) to your phone. It's one of the few nuggets of meta about anime that just tickles me. Not to be outdone, Wooser's third season features a voice-over role for a certain Crunchyroll mascot. That is also a first of another type, even if watching Hime-chan on Crunchyroll seems kind of natural. I guess that's what it means when the show is co-produced with CR's involvement. 4. Saekano Saekano was hard to put a finger on while it was airing. Somehow during the spring season I noted that it was my favorite, and looking back it was hard to recall the love I had for the show until I put it on again. I loved this super-cheeky story about a nerd who blogged about light novels, tried to be ethical in her rejection of getting to know the girl of her dreams, and ends up making a visual novel. It's the most convoluted nonsense, yet it works so well to entertain. That makes this show really cerebral in a sense, and it's safe to say that Saekano can be an acquired taste. There are a lot of layers at work in Saekano, and like many harem series we have to take some things for granted--like why this guy and what's the big deal anyway. However as the narrative peels back each layer to the story, inside Saekano was a mind-blowing origami of different layers of meta that meshed with each other, creating some freakish phenomenon of fanservice that catered to not just the id, but the ego and super-ego all at once. Oh, the animation for those scenes are also top notch. And once I started watching it, all of that visual language and snappy direction just brought my affection for the show back. Lastly, while this was more timely 9 months ago, Saekano also gets bonus points for talking about ethics in light novel journalism. 3. Non Non Biyori Repeat Rather than getting sick and tired of reboots and sequels, in the year of 2015, it's about appreciating what silver lining there is left unexploited. And in that sense, what makes a good original work outstanding is how it's creative, not that it's not a sequel or reboot. For appreciating creativity for creativity's sake, Non Non Biyori Repeat is actually as good as it gets. Unfortunately I think it's a huge spoiler to tell you what is really creative about Non Non Biyori's second season, yet it's the most compelling reason to watch it. Well, maybe the head-turning gambit is just the second-most compelling reason. If you loved season one of this country-side daily-life story, season two doubles down on all those charming moments and adds somewhat more snap to its comedic timing. And even after letting up its gambit from the first episode, this reboot/sequel does not feel tiresome at all. If anything Renchon's antics really soothes that cynic spirit! If we're to get another Azumanga Daioh anime, maybe this is how it has to be done. But short of that, Non Non Biyori is the best we will get. The reboot simply keeps the good going, and that's enough for a rec. 2. Sound! Euphonium Kyoto Animation's Sound! Euphonium was one of the best youth dramas you can find on TV in 2015. I think if there were any flaws to it, it was that the story plays really typical to the East Asian form of high school drama that litters mainstream TV and movies. Thankfully, Kyoto Animation's measured and subtle adaptation speaks to us beyond the simple character acting, with its expressive character animation on full-throttle as usual. It's nice to hear some sharp brass band going at it, covering some all-time Jpop hits or even just typical recital music. A big reason why Euphonium was really good is because the animation was really, really good. The portrayal of the emotional highs and lows, how the characters read between the lines, and the feelings for each, comes through loud and clear without having it all spelled out for us. The voice acting from our heroine was even just as good. Really, this is one of the best put-together anime I've seen in a very long time. 1. Shirobako  Shirobako might be an orphan, a two-cour show stuck between 2014 and 2015, but Shirobako defined what anime is capable of doing as far as filling my heart with feelings of all sorts, and filling my mind with ideas of all sorts. It ignites my imagination and brings catharsis through both tears and laughter. As Shirobako was so good by the end of the first cour, I did not hesitate to call it the anime of the year last year. When it ended in Winter of '15, I naturally used it as a bar to measure all the subsequent works in 2015. And it's with slight disappointment that I don't hesitate to do so again to crown Shirobako my top show in 2015. I hoped all year long for some other show to whisk me away and take all my attention, but that didn't happen. Perhaps I was asking too much of every other show, but the human drama really hit a bulls eye in Shirobako, to me, as someone who watched a lot of anime over the past 10+ years. It's more than just the references or the idealized studio, it goes beyond the perfect mix of cynicism and comedy, or the reoccurring themes about finding and pursuing your dreams or what's important to you. But yeah, those too. Honorable Mentions: Blood Blockade Battlefield, Log Horizon S2, Overlord, IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls, Love Live the Movie, The Anthem of the Heart, Little Witch Academia 2, Animator Expo, Food Wars, Charlotte, Monster Musume, Gundam Build Fighters Try, Fate/stay Night UBW, Death Parade, Classroom Crisis, Maria the Virgin Witch, One Punch Man, Koufuku Graffiti (and Wakakozake), Umaru, Punch Line, Plastic Memories, Danmachi. Bonus nods to Concrete Revolutio, Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Osomatsu-san and Ace of the Diamond as on-going series.
Japanator Awards 2015 photo
From White Box to Black Box
Nothing says that 2015 was a good anime year than how I had a rough year with countless real-life responsibilities competing with anime time, and it still won. On average I kept up with at least 10 series per season, not coun...

OP Up! - Best Openings of 2015 Edition

Dec 30 // Red Veron
[embed]34655:5309:0[/embed] "Ring of Fortune" Anime: Plastic Memories [From Christian's List] A cute but still serious take on human and android relations in a world where humans coexist with human-looking androids that have emotions. The setting and the androids certainly lend well to the drama and this show has those as well as cute moments with the female lead who is just the best ever.   [embed]34655:5310:0[/embed] "Flyers" Anime: Death Parade [From Josh's List] A great show that's all about a purgatory-eque setting where people are judged to be sent to hell for their past sins. Pretty entertaining and certainly changes itself up for the better.   [embed]34655:5311:0[/embed] "I've been waiting in the forest" Anime: Yuri Kuma Arashi [From My Upcoming List] A bizarre show inspired from a series of bear attacks in rural Japan in the early 1900s which features lesbians and bears that turn into girls set in a world after all the bears gained human levels of intelligence. Still with me on this? Just watch the saccharine opening that equals the strangeness of this show.   [embed]34655:5312:0[/embed] "Kakushinteki☆Metamaruphose! (かくしん的☆めたまるふぉ~ぜっ!)" Anime: Himouto! Umaru-chan [From Anthony's List] An anime about the perfect teenage girl that is beautiful and just an all around amazing student that is looked up at school. Then she gets home and becomes just like us, who loves anime and video games while gorging on chips and soda. A lot of people hate her character. Probably because we are her and we hate ourselves.   WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ANIME AND/OR ANIME OPENING FROM THIS YEAR?! SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
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Best Openings of 2015
2015 was a great year for anime, we had anime that had bears that turned into girls set in a post-apocalyptic bear world and we even had a cute girl that was as much as a trash weeb we are in real life. Everyone has their per...

The Japanator Awards 2015: Christian's Top 5 Anime of the Year

Dec 29 // Christian Chiok
5. Plastic Memories When I read the description for Plastic Memories, my expectations for the series were entirely different from what it was.  The series started off quite interesting with its futuristic setting and the androids called Giftia, which have emotions and a life span. After their life span reached their expiration date, they basically turned into a zombie-like form, losing their identity and went berserk if not picked up by SAI Corporation. From what the series introduced, I definitely thought it was going to take a darker approach but instead the series took a more romantic route with the protagonists of the series, one being a Giftia herself. While the series didn’t really turn out to be what I was expecting, I still really enjoyed it all the way through. The characters are enjoyable and the story can get emotional. 4. Assassination Classroom I was first introduced to Assassination Classroom when Koro-sensei got revealed as a playable character for the Shonen Jump crossover J-Stars Victory VS. I thought both his character and moveset were interesting so I decided to check out the manga fight after. Almost a year later, the Anime adaptation was released and I definitely had to check it out. Assassination Classroom is one of those series that it has too many characters (mostly students) that you probably won’t remember half of them by the end of the series, except for those who really stood out. What I really liked the most about the series was that despite Koro-sensei’s goal of destroying the Earth, he helped the students gain more confidence and value themselves, since they were put in the worst class in their school. In just one season, there was a lot of character development for all the characters, especially the protagonist— Nagisa Shiota. 3. Shokugeki no Soma Something that we can all agree on is that Food Wars is definitely one of the most unique series that was released this year with its over-exaggeration when the characters appreciated the food. Aside from the amazing looking food, the series had great comedy and a simple yet entertaining story. Just like Assassination Classroom, I really enjoy series that introduces variety of characters with different personalities, especially unlike the former; the competitive setting in this series is more obvious. 2. Kuroko's Basketball Season 3 As I stated in my Extra Game review, I really love sport series, especially Kuroko’s Basketball since there’s special charm that keeps you engaged throughout the series. Just like the first two seasons, the animation was definitely phenomenal, especially the last few episodes. What made this season most enjoyable though was seeing the Teiko arc in animated. It’s definitely one of the most dramatic yet most powerful arcs of the series. 1. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Battle in Egypt I’ve been a huge fan of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure since 2007, so it was very hard for me not to make this my top series of 2015. While Stardust Crusaders isn’t my favorite arc (Diamond is Unbreakable is, automatically making it my Top 5 of 2016), both anime adaptations were highly enjoyable and it was very pleasing that it finally got the animation treatment it deserved. The animation was great and it definitely has a great set of characters. 
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A Bizarre Year Of Anime
With this being my first year writing for Japanator, this is my first time writing a “Top 5” piece for the website. To be honest, while Anime is still one of my biggest hobbies, I haven’t invested my time in...

The Japanator Awards 2015: Anthony's Top 5 Anime of the Year

Dec 28 // Anthony Redgrave
5. Owarimonogatari How can I not put a Monogatari series on this list? It's reportedly the best selling anime this millennium. Even if I complain about how there are exposition dumps, confusing story lines, and never enough Tsukihi Araragi, the fact is that Shaft produces some of the highest quality anime in the industry right now. Each episode looks brilliant. Cinematically and from an art direction point of view. At this point, I've grown attached to Araragi and his harem of girls so anything they do I'll want to see. I favored the first half of this series for exploring Araragi's past and personal philosophy, having one of the darkest and tragic heroines and storylines in the whole franchise and bringing the mysterious Ougi into the limelight as the central antagonist/ mysterious helper. It's not one for the newcomers or the slow readers not literate to moonspeak. 4. Durarara!!x2 Sho I actually started Durarara!! last year and dropped it after the first arc. Back then there were other things occupying my mind and watching a nerdy kid try and start a Tokyo street gang wasn't all that appealing. But if luck would have it, I picked it back up and was engrossed with the story and characters all over again. Durarara!!x2 Sho is on the list because it was like coming back to familiar territory after a hiatus. Familiar faces, familiar environment, same old with some fresh new appearances. There are few shows that are as charismatic as Durarara!! making you love every single focal character even if they are gangster scumbags, sociopathic goons, or teenage kids wanting to roll with an internet street gang. This is also one of the few shows that were actively producing the English dub version about 3 episodes behind the Japanese release which is fantastic for those wanting to stay up to date and hear Crispin Freeman shout Izaya over and over again. The second cour of the arc Durarara!!x2 Ten also saw a release this year with the dub following in Fall meaning you didn't have to wait too long to see what hijinks the characters got up to next in Ikebukuro. 3. Kantai Collection: KancolleThis was one of the few new anime I started watching this year and it was sparked from a YouTube video talking about a game voiced by a Brit. The sardonic and dry wit of the commentary was humorous and entertaining, but the character designs and interesting setting were enough for me to give the first few episodes a watch. The anime was a great mix of school girl slice of life and period war drama. This really odd dichotomy helped keep the whole show feeling fresh. Having not played the browser game before I thought it was interesting to see how the gameplay features were implemented into the anime, they weren't overt as to appear like an advert nor too subtle that most viewers would miss them. It was a surprise that I liked the show as much as I did and I think it's also down to the fact that the characters were all memorable. Maybe because they were girls posing as 10000-pound naval war machines. 2. Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade I have no idea it took me this long to discover Little Witch Academia. It's a superb blend of JK's British magical adventure and Trigger's brilliant art design and animation. Beginning as a 30-minute short film, this was the efforts of their Kickstarter campaign in 2013 and we have seen the fruits of their labor in October 2015. My highest praises go towards the art and animation department, capturing the colorful wonder of magic and adorable ambitious youths making all the characters incredibly endearing and fantastic to watch in motion. Speaking of motion, Trigger had perfectly captured the kinetic nature of free falling, high-speed chase, and acrobatic abandon. A present for the eyes and thrill to behold. It also features my waifu of 2015, Professor Ursula, a mature teacher that retains the charming flair seen in every frame of this show.  1. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders: Battle in Egypt I don't think I can give any more praises to this show. Every episode was a spectacle, having me at the edge of my seat until the final minute. I had grown attached to every character through every tribulation and it all lead to this. Carrying on the story from the first show Phantom Blood, the whole crusade felt bigger and more grandiose as the show continued. JoJo always has a way of combining humor, horror, action, and drama seamlessly keeping me on my toes at every turn. I adored the monster of the week or should I say Stand of the week format. A familiarity I grew accustomed to watching after school specials. I guess it was strong because of the base material it was based on was excellent. Having not read the manga and experiencing it all for the first time is something out this world. If I were to recommend any anime of 2015 to my non-anime watching buddies it would have to be this. Every episode was a thrill as it's never a dull moment with the Joestar family. Honourable mentionsHimouto: Umaru-chan, Bikini Warriors, The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan Stardust Crusaders: Battle in Egypt
Japanator Awards 2015 photo
The Anthony Awards for Anime
It's that time of the year to wax retrospective about the year we just had. Whether it was good or bad, we give this year a final look before looking forward to 2016. Today is my day to look back at my top 5 anime of 2015. Th...

Week Ender - Fall 2015 Edition

Dec 27 // Red Veron
[embed]34644:5296:0[/embed] "Orphans no Namida" Anime: Mobile Suit Gundam: IRON BLOODED ORPHANS A simple ending full of emotion aided by a dramatic song. I love that pretty painting with everyone on the Gundam.   [embed]34644:5297:0[/embed] "Tokimeki poporon" Anime: Is your order a rabbit? Season 2 To quote the great Travis Touchdown, "MOE~". Full of cuteness to warm your frigid winter heart (even though it has been a warm winter in the US), this lives up to the moeblob cuteness of the show.   [embed]34644:5298:0[/embed] "Hoshi yori Saki ni Mitsukete Ageru" Anime: One Punch Man A gentle and happy pop song to calm your manly macho jumping punch jets after each action filled episode. I mean, the animation studio has to calm everyone down or viewers  might go out punching stuff.   [embed]34644:5299:0[/embed] "Nirvana" Anime: Noragami Aragoto Pretty uplifiting song that swells up to that nice feeling at the end. I love the simple visuals with some nice coloring to highlight and give a different feel to each scene.   Is there an anime show/opening/ending from last season that you loved? SHARE IN COMMENTS BELOW! Embed it there if you want! I wanna know!
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Last Season, I gave you my heart.
The final season of the year is over and we transition into the new year, I know many of you busy people are using the downtime in the holidays to catch up on anime, just like I am. So to give some of you a taste of the endin...

The Japanator Awards 2015: Josh's Top 5 Anime of the Year

Dec 27 // Josh Tolentino
[Note: In order to be considered for the list, a program needs to have ended its broadcast run within the calendar year of 2015. Series that have not yet finished, for whatever reason, are ineligible.] 5. Fate/Stay night: Unlimited Blade Works Despite 2015 being a pretty good year for anime I liked, I had to work pretty hard this year to avoid just nominating Shirobako, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, and Unlimited Blade Works again, in a repeat of 2014's list. However, I had to make an exception for this, and not just because I'm a Fate fan. Y'see, 2015, for whatever reason, was something of a banner year for shows that took an alternative look at what makes a hero, from the over-strong badass that was Saitama to the everyday heroes of Gatchaman CROWDs. For its part, Unlimited Blade Works was a welcome reminder to everyone that heroism, exemplified by the bravery of people who refuse to back down from their ideals and to do everything that's needed to realize them, has a price. For Shirou, that price might be his very future, for the anime-original epilogue of episode 25 shows him ultimately committing to a path that, in all likelihood will turn him again into Archer, an unfeeling cynic that regrets everything. In light of that, Unlimited Blade Works turns its ending from the typical heroic triumph to a glance at the other side of that coin, and a sober, bittersweet nod to the reality of ideals, and the cost of sticking to them.   4. Blood Blockade Battlefront  If Unlimited Blade Works reminded us of the cost of heroic resolve, and One Punch Man showed us how winning is often the least important part of being a hero, Blood Blockade Battlefront was a triple-rad demonstration of raw-ass heroism in action. Delaying that final episode for a whole three-plus months proved to be worth it, as Bones' epic finale involved nothing less than a battle against Satan himself, while still affirming the show's fundamental, positive message about the grace to be found in being able to live normally in a place as twisted and over-the-top as Hellsalem's Lot. Add to that the combination of Yasuhiro Nightow's seemingly limitless imagination and the inimitable stylishness of Rie Matsumoto, and Blood Blockade Battlefront ended up a glorious (though uneven) gem to watch.   3. Death Parade Death Parade could have gone real wrong, real quickly. Set in what amounts a purgatorial reality show where people compete in games of chance while realizing the depth of their sins is an easy way to make twelve episodes of grotesque revenge fantasy, reveling in the voyeuristic glee of passing judgment on others. Even in a fictional setting, that wouldn't exactly be classy entertainment. Thankfully, though, the show quickly upends that notion, turning around and asking just who we are, or who anyone is, to judge a person's whole life on the few scattered moments and vignettes surrounding their deaths. This might not have been the greatest step for some folks who were looking forward to debating the relative guilt of the people who end up in Quindecim, but it made for a great, ultimately humanistic message, and an infinitely more watchable show.   2. Gatchaman CROWDS Insight Death Parade might have subverted its original, dread potential by adopting an altogether more complex theme, but Gatchaman CROWDS Insight did no less than demolish the thesis set forth in the first season of Gatchaman CROWDS, and in doing so, become perhaps the only anime to successfully tackle the internet and contemporary social media culture.  Far too often, when we talk about a sci-fi anime, we're really just talking about an anime with a mecha in it. For better and worse, most sci-fi anime are really just anime with a futuristic setting, and often exhibit stories that could've easily happened without the sci-fi trappings. Not so with Gatchaman CROWDS, whose thick, thoughtful thematic mix is so potent that it's impossible to watch without ending up thinking hard about the manifold implications of the way we communicate and form relationships in the internet age. Better still, Gatchaman CROWDS Insight refuses to offer simple solutions, instead preferring to provoke thought while emphasizing the importance of empathy, expertise, and the humanity at the center of all this progress. Now that's some good sci-fi.   1. One Punch Man Was there ever really any doubt? There were programs on the air this year that were more thematically complex, thought-provoking, narratively cohesive, and outright "better" by some measures. All the same, I'm damned lucky that One Punch Man concluded its season just a couple of weeks ago, because nothing else in 2015 made me as plainly happy to watch as Madhouse's adaptation of the Shonen JUMP mega-hit, and I'd feel like I was lying if I had to put a different show in this spot because of our new rules.  Maybe it's the gorgeous animation or the rapidly expanding world of Saitama, Genos, and the Hero Association, or the devastatingly effective storytelling or the sheer hilarity of the antics on display. It's hard to pin down besides the simple fact that I had a more rad time with One Punch Man than anything else this year, which is why it's at the top of my list.   Honorable Mentions: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc Shirobako Sound! Euphonium GATE Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn't Exist        
Japanator Awards 2015 photo
A Fistful of Honors
With this year on the wane and a new year imminent, it's time to reflect on what came before: Our life choices, the state of the world, and most importantly: The Japanese cartoons we watched! It's time for 2015's Japanator Aw...

Annotated Anime: One Piece episodes 722-724

Dec 27 // Anthony Redgrave
Episode 722: A Blade of Tenacity - The Gamma Knife Counterattack!I will skip the first half of the episode as it boils down to the rest of Dressrosa suddenly realising that the Birdcage is slowly closing in around them. The morbid person within me wanted to see some people getting sliced up like cheese slices by the Birdcage. Doflamingo states that it will take an hour to destroy everything and that he can always rebuild a new kingdom. Marines attempt to evacuate civilians back to the centre of Dressrosa whilst Usopp panics and the rest of the cast look nervously towards the Castle where Luffy is battling Doflamingo.  Back on the roof, Luffy barrages Doflamingo with attacks and vice versa. These few shots are dynamic and energetic showing off Luffy's agility at avoiding Doflamingo's string attacks. I could do without the multicolour string as it makes his attacks look less lethal and more childish and cheap looking. As Luffy closes the gap between him and Doflamingo, Law uses shambles to plant a Gamma Knife Attack on Doflamingo. In a turn of events, Law had created a room so large that it was unable to be seen outwards by Trebol allowing him to get the drop on the Heavenly Demon. Law's supposed death was faked and just like most magicians there was a body double that took the brunt of the damage, in this case, was a nearby Doflamingo pirate. The body switch was a smart move.  Together Law and Luffy were able to bring Doflamingo to the ground. Trebol is happy not to contribute for some reason and is more inclined to shout encouraging messages to Doflamingo. The plot progression could've taken 5 minutes to do, 10 minutes if you extended it to make it more dramatic and flashy with top notch animation which they did. The rest of the episode were re-treads of old material or reactions to the Birdcage event. And despite this, those 10 minutes of Law, Luffy and Doflamingo fighting were worth watching the whole episode.  I would expect this to be near the end game for Doflamingo if it not for next episode's title. Episode 723: Haki Clash! - Luffy vs. DoflamingoLike a horror movie, Doflamingo stands tall after a bad fall. In classic One Piece fashion, there is more than one way a devil fruit power can come in handy and it's all up to the creativity of its user. In this case, Doflamingo is able to use his string powers to repair all the internal damage caused by the Gamma Knife attack. I'm pretty sure you have to be medically trained to be messing around with the insides of a human and I doubt a guy like Doflamingo is. Before Doflamingo is able to kill Law (for good this time), he is interrupted by Luffy and begins to have a Haki Struggle (the One Piece equivalent of a beam struggle in DBZ). The big reveal in this episode is that Doflamingo also possesses the extremely rare Conqueror's Haki or Haki of the Colour of the Conquering King if we were to give it the literal translation. He first demonstrated it when he and his family were being tied up and tortured showing how they were able to get out of that mess. Trebol discovered Doflamingo and took him under his wing presenting him with his signature weapons; a pistol and the String-String Fruit. Trebol's ominous narration explains that Doflamingo is the one chosen by heaven showing qualities of a king foreshadowing his lineage as a resident of Mariejois. We also see a young Vergo with a silly bowl cut. He looks like a mega dork as a kid, Finally, the episode turns into Dragon Ball Z as the action is so fast you can only see the impact from air pockets appearing in a zig-zagging line. Luffy relentlessly attacks Doflamingo as the latter defends or gets hit. Nothing really phases Doffy throughout this episode. It ends almost as it had begun with Doflamingo mocking their attempts, Law on the ground too weak to fight the Luffy struggling to keep up.  Episode 724: Unassailable! The Stunning Secret of Trebol!Misleading titles are common in One Piece so after watching this episode I'm still not 100% certain about what Trebol's stunning secret really is. The episode begins with Trebol holding down Luffy so Doflamingo could finish off Law without interruption. However, Law's provocative calling at Trebol gains his attention and proceeds to make Law the next upcoming bukkake actor. Trebol's power isn't derived from a Logia fruit. His sticky-sticky power is actually papier mache as his body is hidden within all the sticky substance making him immune to Haki imbued attacks. Could this be Trebol's stunning secret? Law's big mouth causes Trebol to recount how Doflamingo was found by him, Pica, Diamante and Vergo. They pledged their allegiance to the young Doflamingo as they saw potential in the boy due to his Haki. Every little thing that had hurt Doflamingo, the family would go on and destroy making them a very powerful crime family rather than pirate. Think Godfather instead of Pirates of the Carribean. Through this, they groomed Doflamingo into a selfish, ambitious man and the evilest person destined to be the king of the sea. Despite acting like they are under Doflamingo as one of the executives, Trebol reckons he and Doflamingo were equals since it was Trebol that gave Doflamingo his start as a powerful individual. Is Trebol being equal to Doffy the stunning secret? I would expect at this point for Doflamingo to prove otherwise and destroy Trebol and then make a speech about how he was just using the family for his own gain i.e. what Law was saying the whole time.  I think this episode was already entertaining with another flashback covering how Doflamingo was integrated into the rest of the family but then it got better. Law manipulates his severed arm (somehow still gripping his sword) and drives it into Trebol revealing a very frail old man beneath all the gunk. It was completely out of the blue as I had expected Law to do another switch a roo. Trebol's mucus is actually flammable and as a last-ditch attempt ignites everything completely destroying the castle roof. Is the flammable property of the mucus the stunning secret? Fortunately, Luffy is able to grab Law and escape with Doflamingo following swiftly behind. Apparently Doflamingo has no need for a frail old man with a massive gash over his torso. The episode closes out 2015 on a cliffhanger as bullet strings heading towards Law and Robin. I have a feeling that Luffy's fight was Doflamingo will finally begin here now that Trebol has been defeated. Law is also in the presence of Mansherry so he can get fixed up and possibly join the fight. Whether her powers extend to reattaching limbs has yet to be seen.  [One Piece streams weekly on FUNimation] [One Piece streams weekly on FUNimation] Episode 722: A Blade of Tenacity - The Gamma Knife Counterattack!I will skip the first half of the episode as it boils down to the rest of Dressrosa suddenly realising that the Birdcage is slowly closing in around them. Doflamingo states that it will take an hour to destroy everything and that he can always rebuild a new kingdom. Marines attempt to evacuate civilians back to the centre of Dressrosa whilst Usopp panics and the rest of the cast look nervously towards the Castle where Luffy is battling Doflamingo. The morbid person within me wanted to see some people getting sliced up like cheese slices by the Birdcage.  Back on the roof, Luffy barrages Doflamingo with attacks and vice versa. These few shots are dynamic and energetic showing off Luffy's agility at avoiding Doflamingo's string attacks. I could do without the multicolour string as it makes his attacks look less lethal and more    Episode 723: Haki Clash! - Luffy vs. Doflamingo [One Piece streams weekly on FUNimation] [One Piece streams weekly on FUNimation] Episode 722: A Blade of Tenacity - The Gamma Knife Counterattack!I will skip the first half of the episode as it boils down to the rest of Dressrosa suddenly realising that the Birdcage is slowly closing in around them. Doflamingo states that it will take an hour to destroy everything and that he can always rebuild a new kingdom. Marines attempt to evacuate civilians back to the centre of Dressrosa whilst Usopp panics and the rest of the cast look nervously towards the Castle where Luffy is battling Doflamingo. The morbid person within me wanted to see some people getting sliced up like cheese slices by the Birdcage.  Back on the roof, Luffy barrages Doflamingo with attacks and vice versa. These few shots are dynamic and energetic showing off Luffy's agility at avoiding Doflamingo's string attacks. I could do without the multicolour string as it makes his attacks look less lethal and more childish and cheap looking. As Luffy closes the gap between him and Doflamingo, Law uses shambles to plant a Gamma Knife Attack on Doflamingo. In a turn of events, Law had created a room so large that it was unable to be seen outwards by Trebol allowing him to get the drop on the Heavenly Demon. Law's supposed death was faked and just like most magicians there was a body double that took the brunt of the damage, in this case, was a nearby Doflamingo pirate. The body switch was a smart move. After that many bullets pumped into a guy I didn't think Law would survive. But this is One Piece so he could've managed a few more episodes slowly bleeding to death or to unleash his final ultimate attack that he's been saving for a suicidal attempt to kill the main bad guy.  Together Law and Luffy were able to bring Doflamingo to the ground. Trebol is happy not to contribute for some reason and is more inclined to shout encouraging messages to Doflamingo instead of physically helping him out. The plot progression could've taken 5 minutes to do, 10 minutes if you extended it to make it more dramatic and flashy with top notch animation which they did. The rest of the episode were re-treads of old material or reactions to the Birdcage event. And despite this, those 10 minutes of Law, Luffy and Doflamingo fighting were worth watching the whole episode.  I would expect this to be near the end game for Doflamingo if it not for next episode's title. Episode 723: Haki Clash! - Luffy vs. Doflamingo [One Piece streams weekly on FUNimation] [One Piece streams weekly on FUNimation] Episode 722: A Blade of Tenacity - The Gamma Knife Counterattack!I will skip the first half of the episode as it boils down to the rest of Dressrosa suddenly realising that the Birdcage is slowly closing in around them. Doflamingo states that it will take an hour to destroy everything and that he can always rebuild a new kingdom. Marines attempt to evacuate civilians back to the centre of Dressrosa whilst Usopp panics and the rest of the cast look nervously towards the Castle where Luffy is battling Doflamingo. The morbid person within me wanted to see some people getting sliced up like cheese slices by the Birdcage.  Back on the roof, Luffy barrages Doflamingo with attacks and vice versa. These few shots are dynamic and energetic showing off Luffy's agility at avoiding Doflamingo's string attacks. I could do without the multicolour string as it makes his attacks look less lethal and more    Episode 723: Haki Clash! - Luffy vs. Doflamingo [One Piece streams weekly on FUNimation] [One Piece streams weekly on FUNimation]
One Piece photo
Sans filler episode
And now we close on another year in Dressrosa. We had made substantial progress through the arc with most of the executive fights over and only the biggest fight to tackle now. The pacing is still slower than a tortoise and t...

Final Impressions: One Punch Man

Dec 26 // Josh Tolentino
I am, of course, kidding. Now that One Punch Man is done for the time being, I have to admit that I was feeling not deceived, but relieved. The reason for that is episode eleven, which largely functioned to deliver the setup for episode twelve.  Why would that get me stressed, you ask? It's because episode eleven simply didn't look quite as good as the rest of the show. It's a little thing, true, but for a program that's made its name by looking utterly gorgeous without breaking the bank, a few too many of the seams peeked out while Saitama infiltrated the Macross-sized alien flagship, and while Genos, Tornado, Atomic Samurai and the rest tangled with the alien Melzargard on the ground below. To be fair, even on an off day, One Punch Man puts to shame the finales of many lesser series, but I couldn't help but feel a twinge of worry whenever the camera cut to a featureless shot of the alien ship's underside, or lingered too long on Melzargard's telepathic bickering with the octopus-like Geryuganshoop. Tiny frays in the hem of the production like that spoke of cost-cutting, leading overly sensitive fans like me to worry that the money or time had run out somehow. Had Madhouse run into production problems? Would this be a repeat of The Rolling Girls finale episode, or worse? Hey, don't call me Chicken Little, but I've seen Shirobako. Shit hits the fan all the time, man!  Thank goodness I was dead wrong. And let me tell you, I've never been happier to eat my words, because the finale of One Punch Man is quality animation of the highest order. Utterly enthralling as a work of craft and visual excess, Saitama's fight with Boros even manages to top the rest of the series in ways I wouldn't have thought possible, and certainly not on the reportedly modest budget Madhouse worked with the whole way through.  Also, Saitama gets kneed into the moon. Then he comes back. When shit that amazing is going down, it doesn't even matter how many times he ended up having to punch Boros before the fool finally went down. Ultimately, the only thing that matters is that he got serious, pulling out his final trump card: A Serious Punch. There's even a little more to it than that in translation, because the way Saitama names his attack is so casually blunt, bordering on rude, that it absolutely fits his "don't-give-an-eff" attitude. For a strike of such biblical scale, its name is literally as casual as saying "Hit a guy and mean it". The man has no sense of drama whatsoever, which might even play a part in why he can't do anything but win. And though the fight ends with a punch that splits the clouds and rustles daisies on the other side of the world, perhaps the most surprising thing about this finale is that the episode itself doesn't even end for another twelve minutes. That's right, the triumphal score and second verse of JAM PROJECT's theme all took place in the first half, before even the commercial break. The rest is an extended aftermath, covering the heroes, Amai Mask's dressing down the S-classes, and a teaser for more of Genos' subplots. While it's more than a little odd for the series to end on such a mundane note after the utter triumph of the first twelve minutes, it makes absolute sense as a way to get fans slavering for a second season, which has yet to be announced. Folks hoping to see something next year might be disappointed, as the current manga content following Boros isn't quite up to supporting a full season, but given the reception to the show so far, I have no doubt that it'll happen eventually. Besides, this is exactly the kind of program I'd rather not rush. For a show that's ostensibly about a guy who wins too much, it's quite gratifying to see that this adaptation of One Punch Man has been nothing less than a victory on almost all fronts. I don't say this out of particular affection for the source (though I do like it), but out of appreciation for the craft Madhouse managed to bring to the task. You could even say it was a real knockout blow for the season, and for the year in anime. [Watch One Punch Man on Daisuki!]  
One Punch Man photo
Endless Combo
Hey, wait a minute! I think he punched that guy, like, three times! At least!  I feel deceived.

OP Up! Fall 2015 Edition

Dec 23 // Red Veron
[embed]34627:5291:0[/embed] "Hanamaru Pippi wa Yoiko dake" Anime: Osomatsu-san A sequel to a 1960's comedy anime, this one has the characters from that show all grown up and they're as funny as ever (or even funnier). Updated to appeal to today's audiences, one of the best anime comedies of the year.   [embed]34627:5289:0[/embed] "Bull's Eye" Anime: Hidan no Aria AA A sequel/spinoff to an anime that didn't get a follow up because it just didn't live up to its potential, this one is trying to pull a Certain Scientific Railgun where it exceeds the original from what I hear from my friend who loves yuri.   [embed]34627:5290:0[/embed] "Dear Answer" Anime: - Beautiful Bones - Sakurako's Investigation I've been hearing good things about this show so I will check out the day after Christmas when I have time to do stuff. Sakurako looks like waifu material.   [embed]34627:5288:0[/embed]  "Overdrive" Anime: Valkyrie Drive Mermaid Big booby warriors with girls that turn into swords and yuri stuff. Sounds like a fun time for those who like this sorta thing. I loved Senran Kagura on the Playstation Vita so if this has the same amount of care in the story, this might be good.   [embed]34627:5292:0[/embed] "THE HERO !! ~Okoreru Kobushi ni Hi wo Tsukero~" Anime: One Punch Man Go watch this if you haven't already (I read a bit of the manga, I plan on binging on this on Christmas break). A must for those who love Dragonball Z with the action and comedy thrown into the mix. One of the best of the year.   Is there an anime from this past season that you love? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
OP Up photo
T'was a Good Season
The year is ending and another season is coming to a close, we say goodbye to some anime friends we spent time with, through their good times and their bad times. Looking at the stuff I selected for this week's OP Up!, it loo...


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