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12:00 PM on 01.20.2015

Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try eps. 13-14

Watching Build Fighters Try is fascinating, not just because it's a fun, well-produced piece of mecha entertainment, puppy love and Fumina reaction-face gallery, but also to compare it to the first Build Fighters se...

Josh Tolentino


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First Impressions: Kantai Collection ~Kan Colle~ photo
First Impressions: Kantai Collection ~Kan Colle~
by Josh Tolentino

The first episode of Kantai Collection kicks off with what might be regarded as an almost galling display of pretentiousness: Against a black background, a serious-voiced woman recites the Gosei, a set of five meditative precepts laid out by Imperial Japanese Navy Vice Admiral Hajime Matsushita. To this day, naval students at Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Forces are encouraged to reflect on them every evening.

For better or worse, the material that follows doesn't anywhere near that level of consideration, but if nothing else, Kantai Collection puts on a good display as a properly entertaining anime about cute girls wearing big guns. 

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 13 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 13
by Jeff Chuang

With the new year break behind us, it's time to hit the ground running at Musani. With Honda's departure and the new anime project for Third Aerial Girls Squad secured, Aoi gets thrown right in the fire as the lead production desk. How will team Musani sprint to the finish line, one which is a year away?

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First Impressions: Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! photo
First Impressions: Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!
by Josh Tolentino

Magical Boys. 

As I mentioned back in our Winter 2015 Preview Guide, just mentioning the concept drives home just how golden it is. There's so much potential in the idea of a Magical Boy show, with all the trappings and tropes that make Magical Girl shows so evergreen, that it might just be a bad indicator of the state of the industry if it took this long for it to happen.

That's not to say that Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! gets away on premise alone. True to the legacy of Director Shinji "Daily Lives of High School Boys" Takamatsu and writer Michio "Shirobako" Yokote, the misadventures of the Battle Lovers make for the funniest anime viewing of the season. 

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Lantis Fest Vegas: An Interview with Faylan photo
Lantis Fest Vegas: An Interview with Faylan
by Jeff Chuang

As a part of promotion for Lantis Festival Las Vegas, we were able to ask anison singer Faylan a few questions! Since her tie-in with CANAAN, Faylan has done a slew of rocking songs for various shows and games, like BlazBlue Alter Memory, Griasia no Meikyuu and Tokyo ESP.

Big thanks to Lantis Fest for the opportunity!

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 12 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 12
by Jeff Chuang

Last time on Shirobako, the final episode of Exodus is in trouble as Aoi cannot find enough animators to complete the complex and difficult animations needed for the climatic moment. This week, in a stroke of fortune, Aoi runs into a particular animation veteran--or god to some--by the name of Kanno, who directed a popular show called Ava that aired in 1995. 

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Lantis Fest Vegas: Interview with Choucho photo
Lantis Fest Vegas: Interview with Choucho
by Jeff Chuang

Japanator got to ask Choucho a few questions over email! The self-starting anisong artist is now attached to a bunch of great shows and her melodic tones make them all the more memorable, like Girls und Panzer and Gargantia on the Verderous Planet. Big thanks to Lantis Festival for making this interview possible!

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Japanator Awards 2014: Salís Top 3 Toku Shows photo
Japanator Awards 2014: Salís Top 3 Toku Shows
by Salvador GRodiles

Due to there being a short amount of tokusatsu airing on television these days, I was on the fence on doing a list about my favorite hero shows for the year. Compare to the 70s and 80s, there aren't that many shows airing besides the usual Super Sentai and Kamen Rider programs. While Garo has been receiving more installments lately, there still isn't enough content to warrant a special list-- even if the Ultra series releases a new series here and there. However, there are a few instances where we’re surprised with some unexpected projects like Akibaranger and After V, which means that there are some instances where the medium receives more stuff. Combined with a few original toku films that enter the scene once in a while, the tokusatsu industry still has some form of a fighting chance in this day and age; thus granting the medium the right to appear in its own special list.

Anyway, let’s get ready to transform, as we take a look at the top three toku shows that quenched my thirst for justice during 2014. As a heads-up, I’m only doing one series per franchise, since it wouldn’t be fair for the other contenders.

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Japanator Awards 2014: Sal's Top 5 photo
Japanator Awards 2014: Sal's Top 5
by Salvador GRodiles

It’s hard to believe that 2014 is almost over. While I didn’t get to watch a lot of anime shows during the year, there were still a few titles that brought joy to my life. I guess you could say that I was lucky with the choices that I made throughout the year. Also, I blame my obsession with heroes who vanquish evil while wearing spandex and/or leather suits, since I could’ve been keeping up with more anime titles instead. Curses! Just kidding.

With introductions out of the way, it’s time to get this show on the road.

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Japanator Awards 2014: Jeff's Top 5 photo
Japanator Awards 2014: Jeff's Top 5
by Jeff Chuang

It was a great 2014 in terms of the anime mill--each season offered something pretty special, and a wide variety of interesting titles. Still, a handful of titles rose to the occasion for me, and I didn't have much of a problem doing a top 5 or 6. I'll pull my hair out if you asked me to do a top 10, since there are a dozen shows that will compete for the remaining 4-5 spots; it's that kind of a year. And if my taste in anime was wider and I had more time in 2014 to watch more shows, it would have been impossible to do a top 10. There were so many solid shows in so many different categories. Anyways, let's get started.

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Japanator Awards 2014: Josh's Top 5 photo
Japanator Awards 2014: Josh's Top 5
by Josh Tolentino

It's that time of the year, everyone. That time that tells us to think back on the year that just passed us by, and see what of it was best worth remembering. Memories made, lessons learned, and most importantly, Japanese cartoons watched. It's the 2014 Japanator Awards!

Well, "awards" may be something of a misnomer this year, as we're going personal this 2014. This year, we're each picking out a handful of our favorite artifacts from Japan's pop-cultural landscape. Given what's usually covered on Japanator, those favorites are likely to be anime television series, but we could be picking movies, live-action shows, or what-have you. Whatever it took to make 2014 a year worth remembering is fair game.

So let's get on with it!

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Final Impressions: Garo: Makai no Hana photo
Final Impressions: Garo: Makai no Hana
by Salvador GRodiles

When Keita Amemiya decided to return to the Garo franchise, this gave the show's fourth season the opportunity to go back to its roots, as the detailed costumes made a triumphant return. Despite the great callbacks to the franchise's early installments, Garo: Makai no Hana suffered from a few issues where the Horrors weren't as interesting as the ones from the previous seasons. However, these mishaps were minor, since a majority of the show’s episodes featured some great themes and monsters.

Seeing that Garo and Garo: Makai Senki both featured some amazing final battles, it’s going to take a lot of work for Garo: Makai no Hana to impress us in the long run. Of course, this will determine whether Raiga is capable of becoming a great Golden Knight that'll bring hope to mankind.

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