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12:00 PM on 03.28.2015

Final Impressions: Shirobako

Spoiler alert: Shirobako ends happily.  Of course, that's really only a spoiler to the most stubborn and obnoxious of curmudgeons. There was really no other way for this show to end. And to be frank, it ended as it should have: Full to bursting with sappy, sentimental, idealistic, feel-good cliche. I love it. 

Josh Tolentino



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

What is this, a gambling anime?

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

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

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

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

Thank goodness Shirobako's a story, then!

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

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

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

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Annotated Anime: One Piece 684 photo
Annotated Anime: One Piece 684
by Anthony Redgrave

Over the past few weeks, I've been re-watching Avatar: The Last Airbender with a friend. He enjoys the characters, setting, martial arts, and story because Avatar is a really good show. But the last two episodes we've seen; The Swamp and Avatar Day rubbed him the wrong way as they both concluded with antagonists becoming allies. The change of heart to resolve conflict is very common in very childish shows but didn't fit the mature manner Avatar treated most themes. This intro does have something to do with this weeks Annotated Anime on One Piece and not a glorified excuse for me to talk about Avatar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 16-19 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 16-19
by Jeff Chuang

Shirobako remains my favorite anime since a long while, and since I last recapped, it continues to roll forward like an unstoppable boulder of heartful comedy. I can only apologize about the late update since you, and Shirobako, deserved better. Let's see how Shirobako's momentum knocks down the pins our ace project manager Aoi Miyamori manage to overcome to produce the Third Aerial Squad.

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

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

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

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Annotated Anime: One Piece 682 photo
Annotated Anime: One Piece 682
by Anthony Redgrave

Ahoy there Japanator! Ensign Redgrave reporting for duty. I'll be taking over the SS. Annotated Anime for One Piece so I hope you're ready. 

From last we left our heroes, the devious Doflamingo had started the hunger games within Dressrosa with the help of his string string fruit. Manipulating the natural greediness of pirates and criminals, he places bounties on our heroes with the highest amount being given to Usopp due to his God like status. 

Hit the jump to see how the Straw Hats rally to counter to Doflamingo's massacre.

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Annotated Anime: Kantai Collection episodes 5-6 photo
Annotated Anime: Kantai Collection episodes 5-6
by Josh Tolentino

Kantai Collection has an identity crisis. It's trying to split the difference between a splashy, substance-free fan-service fiesta for existing fans of the game it's based on, a more sedate genre piece featuring girls being way too nice to each other, and a weighty war drama befitting the violent and arguably tragic history of the real-life warships the characters channel the souls of.

That's been the apparent narrative of the show's in the first four episodes, as the sudden and unexpected loss of Kisaragi in episode three threw many expectations for a loop. Followed up with the overwhelming antics of episode four, no one was sure just where the pendulum would swing in the following episodes.

Now that we've approached the halfway mark, though, it seems that Kan Colle has picked its path.

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