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1:00 PM on 09.22.2014

Annotated Manga: Naruto chapter 691-692

If you were one of the many readers to think that this end to Naruto and Sasuke's struggle seemed a little bit too convenient, you were right to hold that view: This isn't the end. And really, how could it be?

Josh Tolentino




Annotated Tokusatsu: Garo: Makai no Hana episodes 19-23 photo
Annotated Tokusatsu: Garo: Makai no Hana episodes 19-23
by Salvador GRodiles

It looks like Garo: Makai no Hana is on a roll again. As the show begins its final arc, Amemiya and his crew have managed to remain on a solid winning streak for five episodes. Come to think of it, it wasn’t too hard for Garo: Makai no Hana to impress us, as there were a some great bits of comedy and serious moments present in these segments.

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Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 596-597 photo
Annotated Manga: Bleach chapter 596-597
by Josh Tolentino

The continuing freak-off that is the Vandenreich army persists in the latest installments of Bleach, as if we weren't yet sure who the good guys were in this fight.

Of course, being not-a-freak has never been an especially telling sign of moral superiority in this series, what with freak-in-chief Kurotsuchi being one of Soul Society's top people. And yet one can't shake the feeling that every new Sternritter revealed is another underline in the mission statement: "These Quincy guys are EVIL! Can't trust 'em!"

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Review: Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair photo
Review: Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
by Josh Tolentino

I almost don't want to be writing this review.

That's because Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is quite a lot like its predecessor, Trigger Happy Havoc. That means it's one of the few games where "spoilers" really matter, and the more I say about it, the more I risk lessening the experience for potential players. 

Here then, is the quick advice: If you played and enjoyed Trigger Happy Havoc, go get Danganronpa 2 now. It's everything the first one was, and more.

But if you're new to the series, get the first game and play through that before starting off with this one, for despite a premise and cast that's friendly to series newbies, Goodbye Despair works best when taken as sequel to Trigger Happy Havoc

And if you're still hungry for more info, keep reading. No spoilers, of course. That path leads only to despair.

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Promoted Community Blog: Break it Down: School Days photo
Promoted Community Blog: Break it Down: School Days
by MrRasczak

[Awesome user MrRasczack has a great breakdown of School Days, everybody's favorite "Nice Boat" anime. Want your deep thoughts to get on the front page? Write a cool community blog! -Josh]

When the anime adaptation of School Days, a dating sim developed by interactive fiction maker Overflow, first aired, it quickly gained notoriety for its slowly rising darkness, with an ending so shocking that it is still brought up when discussing particularly violent scenes in anime. The juxtaposition of tone and action, of wanton cruelty and emotional abuse against the seemingly lighthearted face of a common, uninspiring romance series makes School Days just as relevant now as when it first aired.

Unlike so many anime before and after it, School Days was unafraid to look at the terrible and foolish depths that teenagers could sink to when pushed hard enough, and remains one of the most subtle and powerful commentaries on dating sims as a whole and the mentality of those who play them. It is an exercise in tragedy laid out in anime tropes.

(Note: massive spoilers for School Days follow. If you wish to view the series before reading, Crunchyroll has your back.)

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Happy Kaixa Day! photo
Happy Kaixa Day!
by Salvador GRodiles

It's Sept. 13th, and it's time to celebrate an important holiday. Today marks the special day that's dedicated to Masato Kusaka, a.k.a. Kamen Rider Kaixa. Due to the fact that the guy dials 9-1-3 on his Kaixa Phone before he transforms, many toku fans have decided to turn Sept. 13th into Kaixa's special day. Hell, even Kohei Murakami (Kamen Rider 555's Masato/Kaixa) celebrates this day, as he writes a yearly blog post to commemorate this special occasion.

Aside from praising Masato, Kaixa Day is the only time of the year where you get to treat everyone like trash. Better yet, if you have a childhood crush, then you'll have the great privilege of manipulating him/her into thinking that he/she should be yours. Of course, you'll get to turn your love interest against anyone that tries to get in your way, since the point of this holiday is to make sure that everything goes well in your favor.

Seeing that these actions could ruin your current lifestyle, I recommend checking out 2014's Kaixa Day art gallery instead. As a heads up, the full credit to artists' pieces can be found below as well.

[Murakami's blog via @drawnrobots]

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Annotated Tokusatsu: Ressha Sentai ToQger episodes 23-26 photo
Annotated Tokusatsu: Ressha Sentai ToQger episodes 23-26
by Salvador GRodiles

Honestly, I never expected to use the word “Super Duper” around here, since the term feels rather childish. Then again, ToQger is a children's show after all, so I shouldn't be surprised when a term like this pops up once and a while.

On the bright side, ToQger has developed in a way that has exceeded my expectations, as the show’s new direction managed to take us to an unexpected stop.

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I'm looking for some new friends, want to join the team? photo
I'm looking for some new friends, want to join the team?
by Hiroko Yamamura

Do you love Japanese pop culture, music, or anime? Are you so deep into Yuri or Yaoi that you can't look at yourself in the mirror sometimes? Perhaps you know how to do all of Summoning Hand Jutsus from Naruto by heart. If so we might just be great friends.

We're looking for some interns at Japanator right now, and hope you might want to join the team. Just to make things clear, I'm looking for people who are experts at what they're into. We don't really do casual here, we go all the way.

You'll also need some writing chops. You don't need to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, but the skill and talent to really express those hentai feelings you have deep inside is, in the words of the sages, "totes import". Some writing experience will help.

So, if you want to hang out with some of the coolest friends I've ever made, I'd love it if you emailed me via team@japanator, and tell me a little bit about yourself. Also, you'll need to write up a Community Blog entry about a kick-ass Japanese thing you enjoyed recently. It could be a recap of a show you loved, a review of a game you played, a report on an awesome meal you had, or a place you visited. The sky's the limit, and as you might have guessed, we'll be using the entry to help us determine if you're right for the site.

The most important thing is that you have a love for this stuff, as that's the glue that keeps us all together. I'm looking forward to seeing how you show it!

Hiroko Yamamura
Editor-in-Chief 

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Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 21-22 photo
Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 21-22
by Josh Tolentino

If the last couple of episodes seemed tailored towards characters who still hadn't forgiven Kakyoin for his actions way back in episode 2, this latest two-parter feels addressed to make Polnareff pay for his comparatively greater sins.

After all, dude got Avdol, one of anime's best black men, killed. He needs to suffer.

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Annotated Manga: Bleach chapters 594-595 photo
Annotated Manga: Bleach chapters 594-595
by Josh Tolentino

Now that we've reached this latest stage in Bleach's Quincy v. Soul Reaper freak-off, I'm pretty glad to see that Tite Kubo still has a good handle on how to escalate a fight. Because there's nothing quite like raising the stakes.

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Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 9 photo
Annotated Anime: Sword Art Online II episode 9
by Salvador GRodiles

As Sword Art Online II begins to imply that the Phantom Bullet Arc is coming to a close, things are starting to get intense around these parts. In the midst of this event, A-1 has fully recovered from their injuries, so that they can get ready to load up the big cannons. Since there are many important at play during these major moments, let's hope that the team hits their main target.

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Final Impressions: Kanpai Senshi After V photo
Final Impressions: Kanpai Senshi After V
by Salvador GRodiles

Back when After V premiered during the Spring Season, I couldn't help but to be excited over the fact that we were getting a sitcom about a Sentai team that spends their time in bars after battle. While the show’s premise was amusing, the series had its faults when the New Yellow episodes started to kick in. However, things managed to improve when the show started to return to its roots.

Surprisingly, After V brought up a major point that changed the way how we see the never-ending battle between costumed heroes and the forces of evil, which acted as a great element to wrap up the series.

Since every finale deserves a proper sendoff, it’s time for us to fill our favorite mugs with booze, as we bid farewell to the After V.

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