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1:00 PM on 11.28.2014

Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episodes 4-7

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers, as well as you savvy non-Americans who've appropriated their holiday as an excuse to stuff your faces! You might be full of coma-inducing food right about now, but we've got a n...

Josh Tolentino


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Annotated Anime: Log Horizon 2 episode 8 photo
Annotated Anime: Log Horizon 2 episode 8
by Josh Tolentino

Ever done a raid just to kill one mob? Of course not, that's weird. But it's what the Maidens of Watermaple just did. And in doing so, they've saved Akihabara, as well as netted Akatsuki some phat loot. 

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Annotated Anime: Log Horizon 2 episodes 4-7 photo
Annotated Anime: Log Horizon 2 episodes 4-7
by Josh Tolentino

Christmas comes early to the world of Elder Tale, but the presents are far worse than any lump of coal, for the Santa Claus of this database is less a benevolent gift-giver than a violent death-bringer with a mad-on for Adventurers. What's to be done about this serial killer's depredations?! 

Call in the girls, that's what.

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Annotated Anime: Inou Battle episode 7 photo
Annotated Anime: Inou Battle episode 7
by Josh Tolentino

Yes, it is a bit odd for barely a day to have gone by since the last Inou Battle recap, but this latest episode upends the show's status quo in a great way that's hard not to want to talk about.

Better still, it casts many of my previous comments about Inou Battle's "true nature" in doubt. And in this case, I'm quite glad to be wrong.

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Annotated Anime: Inou Battle episodes 5-6 photo
Annotated Anime: Inou Battle episodes 5-6
by Josh Tolentino

Much as the header image would lead you to believe, the latest episodes of Inou Battle aren't about hard rock, starting a band, or even the chuuni value of music appreciation. No, instead the stories of episodes 5 and 6 are about Inou Battle showing its true nature to anyone hoping that the members of the Literature Club would eventually discover their epic destinies, as is the fate of all people with superpowers.

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 6 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 6
by Josh Tolentino

Shirobako continues to be an important anime series for anyone that's interested in how their favorite Japanese cartoons are made. Not to say that it's some kind of primer for how the industry works, though it goes further deeper into the production  process than virtually any non-documentary work to date.

No, Shirobako's importance lies in using 2D, animated fictional characters to humanize the 3D, flesh-and-blood people that make anime.

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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 6 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 6
by Josh Tolentino

Though we took quite a break between installments of our coverage of Gundam Build Fighters Try last time, I'm not about to let a good battle pass by, especially not as things are beginning to heat up for Team Try Fighters.

Plus, this week's engagement, though short, is a lovely treat for anyone who loved the Universal Century's more realistic spinoffs.

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Annotated Anime: Your Lie in April episode 5 photo
Annotated Anime: Your Lie in April episode 5
by Hiroko Yamamura

This is really the kind of show you have to watch alone, due to the crazy emotions that tug at you during viewing. Everything is so subtle and delicate, you feel like any distraction might take away from the experience. The music, color pallets, and those eyes! Yes, I still love Your Lie in April.

It feels weird going so gaga for a show. I'm trying to remain as objective as possible, but it just feels like new love. After Kosei and Kaori gain the adoration of those in attendance for their insane show, we find Kaori is hospitalized, claiming that this is the first time that she's fainted. She says it in such a way, that we can't help but want to believe her. Too bad we find out later, that's just not true. Tsubaki is confronted by a long time crush, but is just not having the reaction she thought she would. Ryota is still pimping his goods and scoring goals.

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 5 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 5
by Jeff Chuang

The story this week on Shirobako is complicated otaku-level hand wringing. Again. It's not particularly engaging unless you have a stake in the overall evolution of animation styles and methods in Japan. As someone who has lived through the chemical paint to digital paint transition, I'm more inclined to find the whole 3DCG discussion tiresome and I would rather talk about something else: Rinko Kobayakawa on the 3DS.

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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 2-5 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 2-5
by Josh Tolentino

It's been a while last we checked in with Build Fighters Try, but for a fan of the first season, things have been going about as well as can be expected. Sunrise has once again managed to deliver an easily digested, intricately produced action show that also manages to mine the nostalgia of Gundam fans old and young.

So far, so good.

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First Impressions: Your Lie in April photo
First Impressions: Your Lie in April
by Hiroko Yamamura

I have to admit, it's been a while since I've actually gasped while watching an anime. However, that's exactly what occurred after I processed the sheer beauty that was the first episode of A-1 Picture's Your Lie in April. I initially steered away from the show, writing it off as a bit of a comedy/cutesy version of Kids on the Slope, a show which I admired, but never really attached to, even though it is set in my home town of Sasebo. Luckily, I had some spare time this week, and crammed the first four episodes in a much needed anime escape.

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 4 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 4
by Jeff Chuang

On her day off, Aoi the animation assistant meets up with her high school buddies and keep in touch. It sounds like just the thing a 20-something female working out in the big city would do on an off day. Except these people are anime otaku; and by that I don't even mean what passes for otaku in this part of the world: these are budding pros. Shirobako's take on girl talk is probably off the beaten track, just a little.

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