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8:00 AM on 12.18.2014

Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 9-10

Our "imprisoned" director finds his creative spark, while Misa finds courage to get out of a prison of a different kind. A week later Aoi might be the key to help these the two to freedom, if she can overcome the most difficult task of them all. Shirobako, finally, gears up to the final episode...of Exodus.

Jeff Chuang


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Annotated Anime: Log Horizon 2 episode 11 photo
Annotated Anime: Log Horizon 2 episode 11
by Josh Tolentino

This is the episode in which things go according to plan. Well, mostly anyway. And where things don't follow the plan, we and our heroes still come out ahead, ready for the next stage. 

So, all in all, a raid well-executed.

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Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episodes 9-10 photo
Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episodes 9-10
by Josh Tolentino

Perhaps I was being premature when I declared that Unlimited Blade Works had finally gotten over its tendency to swing between "boring" episodes and action-packed showcases, because the last two weeks have seen a return to that old see-saw.

The upshot is that with the plot picking up more steam and the more lumbering exposition out of the way, these humbler episodes serve as important breaks in the fighting, allowing character-driven moments and bursts of humor to enrich the story rather than bog it down.

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Annotated Manga: Bleach chapters 607-609 photo
Annotated Manga: Bleach chapters 607-609
by Josh Tolentino

Longtime readers of Bleach will note that this "final" arc of the series - scare quotes here because you can never trust a Jump manga to end on time - has featured a number of breaks from author Tite Kubo's established pattern.

Every series that runs as long as Bleach and its compatriots develops its own library of favored tropes, storytelling devices, pet themes, and visual language. That's natural and expected, but since the beginning of the Vandenreich's assault on Soul Society, the series has made a habit of, if not upending, at least angling the narrative tea table to let the crockery slide around a bit.

That in mind, it's almost surprising how well the last three chapters have sketched out the "typical" anatomy of a Bleach boss-fight.

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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 10 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 10
by Josh Tolentino

Survival guides teach us that a good way to deal with a bear is to make ourselves look larger, make a bunch of noise, and generally give the impression that you're no easy prey. 

But what about Beargguys? More importantly, what about Mama Beargguys?!

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Annotated Anime: Log Horizon 2 episode 10 photo
Annotated Anime: Log Horizon 2 episode 10
by Josh Tolentino

Are you a raider? Do you have the will, the drive, the bladder control to stomach the toughest raiding game in the MMO wasteland? Then join our guild! It's what we do! Just ask our guild master! Send him a tell!

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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 9 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 9
by Josh Tolentino

Y'know, I like Build Fighters Try and all, but in retrospect, it's kind of nuts that it took this long for someone to put the "Burning" in "Build Burning Gundam". 

But hey, it finally did happen, and it was awesome.

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Annotated Anime: Inou Battle episodes 8-9 photo
Annotated Anime: Inou Battle episodes 8-9
by Josh Tolentino

Oh geez. Everything you chalked up to mere chuunibyou in this show turned out to be really, truly, real.

I guess it's time to shut it down. Inou Battle is over.

.

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Annotated Anime: Log Horizon 2 episode 9 photo
Annotated Anime: Log Horizon 2 episode 9
by Josh Tolentino

Here's an MMO confession of mine: I was never much of a raider. Even as a high schooler with virtually unlimited free time, I didn't want to give that much of it to any one game, and without the social element guilds provided, the mere promise of better loot wasn't enough to get me to deal with the pressure of having to give it my all beside a couple dozen strangers repeatedly. There were other games to play, Japanese cartoons to watch, and more besides. 

Watching this latest episode of Log Horizon almost makes me wish I had done it more often. Almost. 

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Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episode 8 photo
Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episode 8
by Josh Tolentino

After harping on and on about Unlimited Blade Works "odd-numbered episode"-based sense of pacing, it seems that ufotable have seen fit to show me the boot, by implanting some of the tastiest sequences yet in this week's installment, which for all other intents and purposes serves as a pause for place-setting, punctuated by a tragedy of the highest order.

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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 7-8 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 7-8
by Josh Tolentino

When last we checked in with Gundam Build Fighters Try, "teamwork" was the name of the game, as Fumina debuted her support-specialized Winning Gundam, acting as a true leader should, to bridge the gaps between her two superstars, Yuuma and Sekai to form the trio into a more cohesive unit.

Episodes 7 and 8, on the other hand, are about setting up the pairings and rivalries that form the bedrock of Gundam character dynamics. This happens both on the individual level and team level, though in the latter case, it takes sacrifice to establish that bond. 

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 7-8 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 7-8
by Jeff Chuang

Shirobako takes a step back in these latest two episodes to talk about our individual motivations. While it doesn't quite avoid all the usual pitfalls most 22-minute episodes of anime fall into when they tackle complicated and deep topics like this, it gave us a few good interwoven examples to draw on. At the same time, Shirobako never ceases to be educational. Maybe it's the cat therapy.

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