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11:00 AM on 04.18.2014

Jtor AM 27: Are they going to school with ghosts?

This week, some staff members who shall remain nameless would rather have a Game of Thrones podcast then talk about silly Japanese cartoons all day. But alas, we are Japanator, not DaenerysTargaryenator, so we must perse...

Karen Mead


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Annotated Anime: Selector Infected WIXOSS 2 photo
Annotated Anime: Selector Infected WIXOSS 2
by Karen Mead

In this episode we learn that Yuzuki's whole fixation on her twin brother Kazuki is even worse than we thought, but she gets a reprieve when the show introduces Akira, who is such an awful person that everyone else looks fantastic by comparison. Meanwhile, Ruko still doesn't have any wishes because she doesn't know that she's supposed to Become Everybody's Hope yet (what?), and card stores in this world don't know how to sell cards.

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First Impressions: Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san photo
First Impressions: Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san
by LB Bryant

Normally, I don't like reviewing shorts because it's really difficult to get a full review out of something that's less than five minutes long. Every so often though, you come across a short that manages to pack a ton of laughs, heart and potential into a bite-sized package. This is one of those times. 

In this yuri comedy, you have two main characters and a supporting best friend character. Inugami-san is a girl who likes cats despite her name and Nekoyama-san is a girl who likes dogs despite her name. They are introduced by a straight man... err, mutual friend, and thus begins their friendship. 

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First Impressions: Love Live School Idol Project Season 2 photo
First Impressions: Love Live School Idol Project Season 2
by LB Bryant

It's been around a year since the last time we saw the girls from Otonokizaka High School and a lot has changed in that time. The nine girls are still school idols, but now Honoka has stepped up to become the new student council president. More importantly though, it seems that after a successful first event there will be a second Love Live competition for school idol groups to participate in and everyone wants to enter...except Honoka that is. For the entire first episode, the girls try to figure out why Honoka doesn't want to enter the competition and how they can change her mind.

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First Impressions: Black Bullet photo
First Impressions: Black Bullet
by LB Bryant

Taking place in the not too distant future, humanity has been infected with giant bugs called Gastrea. These bugs attack humans and infect them with a virus which then turns the victims into giant bugs themselves. There is no cure. The only defense that humans have against these attacks are cursed children: young girls who were infected with the virus while still in the womb. These girls are born with superhuman physical capabilities and are able to fight off the Gastrea, with the help of their 'promoters,' or normal humans who keep them in check. This series is about one such pairing: a loli is named Enju and her promoter Satomi Rentaro, who lost his parents ten years earlier in a great war. 

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The Adventures of Ai-Fi 5 photo
The Adventures of Ai-Fi 5
by Karen Mead

When we last left our favorite humanoid Japanator android, she had acquired a DVD copy of the anime masterpiece Bible Black. After looking up the show in her extensive, internal anime database, she is faced with a difficult decision.

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First Impressions: Soul Eater NOT photo
First Impressions: Soul Eater NOT
by Jeff Chuang

When Soul Eater first rushed on to the screens and shelves of North America years ago, it brought along a fun story about Meisters with special powers who team up with Weapons who are also people with special powers. Its stylish visuals and shounen battle formula made for easy watching with some attractive characters. Soul Eater NOT, a spin-off manga-turned-anime, picks up the main thing Soul Eater left on the table: its setting.

In that sense, Soul Eater NOT is everything like Soul Eater: you have this crazy school full of people with super powers, people fight, and it's hardly what you'd expect of an everyday life sort of existence. In Soul Eater NOT, people still turn into weapons and students study to better hone their powers at school. Soul Eater NOT is, however, everything Soul Eater is not about: a few school kids getting along and growing up together, without the pressure of having to save the world.

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Annotated Anime Roundup: Spring 2014 Week 2 photo
Annotated Anime Roundup: Spring 2014 Week 2
by Josh Tolentino

Oh man, there's too many anime out! We can't handle it! This is the Annotated Anime Roundup!

In case you've gleaned your first impressions from our top men and women of Spring's latest sensations in our Annotated Anime solo recaps, this is where you'll find the latest from Yowapeda, Tonari no Seki-kun, Riddle Story of the Devil, Baby Steps, Daimidaler, Keroro, The World is Still Beautiful, and One Week Friends!

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First Impressions: Mekakucity Actors photo
First Impressions: Mekakucity Actors
by Chris Walden

"Oh hey, a Shaft show! I didn't end up watching Nisekoi, so I'll be sure to watch this."

This was the only reason I decided to pick up Mekakucity Actors. I had no idea that I was diving into what seems like a reasonably well-established fandom, involving a bunch of Vocaloid songs and the stories that they may or may not be telling. 

I still haven't listened to any of these songs, or attempted to figure out what the deal is with this fandom, as I figured it'd be better to just go in blind. Or at least, as blind as the people I follow on Twitter would allow me to be. 

The hype reached a fever pitch when it aired on Saturday, and while screenshots of Vocaloid-y looking characters began to trickle onto my timeline, I was busy wondering whether this was going to be another Black Rock Shooter

Nah, I think we're okay. Shaft is handling it, after all!

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First Impressions: Baby Steps photo
First Impressions: Baby Steps
by Karen Mead

I really wish I was good at tennis. It's really the only professional sport that I have a lot of familiarity with, since my Mom often watched professional tournaments on TV dating back to when I was very young. I remember seeing Michael Chang score his famous, around-the-net Match Point in...what was it? 1995? Wow, I feel old, let's move on.

I've tried playing, but I just don't seem to be cut out for it. There's something wonky with my depth perception or something, so I always stick out my racket to where I think the ball is, only to be wrong and miss entirely. I don't know, maybe this is a correctable problem and I'm just too lazy to put in the requisite practice, but I've pretty much given up on ever playing seriously at this point. Now, with Baby Steps, I can explore the possibility of a world where I was not too lazy to learn how to hit that darn ball properly, and it's pretty neat.

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Annotated Anime: The Irregular at Magic High School Ep 2 photo
Annotated Anime: The Irregular at Magic High School Ep 2
by LB Bryant

When I wrote my First Impressions for the first episode for Irregular at Magic High School, I said that I was sure that the series would be building toward something and I was very curious to know what it was. Now, after watching the second episode, I'm not so sure that I'm that curious anymore if it means that we're going to be spending the next twenty-something weeks listening to Tatsuya and Miyuki casually flirting with each other. 

The story behind this week's episode is that Miyuki has been invited to join the student council. Before she accepts however, she implores all of the present members to also invite her brother, Tatsuya, to join as well because... well, I'm not not really sure why. She just wants him there. Unfortunately there's a rule in place which doesn't allow members of the reserve class to join. You'd think that this would be the end of the discussion, but a member of the disciplinary committee thinks up a loophole which would allow Tatsuya to join. This goes over well with everyone except for the vice presiden,t whose full name includes Hattori Hanzo. Yes, seriously. 

After Hattori goes on and on about how a Weed shouldn't be allowed to join, Tatsuya challenges him to a magic battle in order to prove that his sister wasn't just being a raving, brother-crushing loon when she said that Tatsuya could hold his own on the disciplinary committee if he had to.

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Final Impressions: Saki: The Nationals photo
Final Impressions: Saki: The Nationals
by Jeff Chuang

The final episode of Saki: The Nationals doesn't really feature much in terms of climatic wrap-up. The series end with a giant standing nod to the other half of the story: the Episode of Side A. And maybe that's for the best.

Saki is the sort of sports-like anime where intense moment-to-moment moves turn the tides of the story, from Richii, Ron and Tsumo. Mythical powers and solid statistical play are the rules of the day. But at the same time, a large contingent of us are watching Saki for the inter-character sub-plots. Who befriended who? What's this girl's story? And in that sense, Saki tells a story no different than what you might find on a sports program on TV. So in that sense, the last episode felt like a behind-the-scenes video of what happens in this world's premium sport, appropriately.

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