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12:00 PM on 03.28.2015

Final Impressions: Shirobako

Spoiler alert: Shirobako ends happily.  Of course, that's really only a spoiler to the most stubborn and obnoxious of curmudgeons. There was really no other way for this show to end. And to be frank, it ended as it should have: Full to bursting with sappy, sentimental, idealistic, feel-good cliche. I love it. 

Josh Tolentino



Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 34-35 photo
Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 34-35
by Josh Tolentino

What is this, a gambling anime?

Actually, scratch that. The better question is: Why are two episodes of a battle anime portraying the drama of gambling better than a number of actual gambling anime?

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 23 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episode 23
by Josh Tolentino

Exposition. Rising Action. Climax. Dénouement. These should be familiar, if you remember your grade-school literature classes.

Real life, however, isn't so convenient. More often than not, life is a lingering anticlimax bracketed by exposition, and for the unlucky, catastrophe. And even then to reduce a real life to those terms is to do it a disservice.

Thank goodness Shirobako's a story, then!

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Review: Naruto: The Last photo
Review: Naruto: The Last
by Red Veron

Naruto is a name known throughout the anime and manga world that stands alongside shounen action staples such as Dragon Ball and Bleach. Masashi Kishimoto’s orange-clad ninja has been around since 1999 and has grown up with a generation or two of anime and manga fans, with the manga concluding last November in Japan. The last manga chapter of Naruto offered up a glimpse into a decade into the future, introducing new characters as well as showing old friends all grown up.

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Review: Bladestorm: Nightmare photo
Review: Bladestorm: Nightmare
by Josh Tolentino

Bladestorm: Nightmare is not a Dynasty Warriors game.

That bit of information might be good or bad news, depending which side of the fence one falls on with regard to Tecmo Koei's long-running brawler series.

At the same time, though, the game does manage to capture just enough of the essence ofDynasty Warriors to drive away those who dislike it, while disappointing those who come in hoping for a more conventional entry into the franchise. 

Which is a shame, as despite being an almost eight-year-old design, Bladestorm still has a few tricks its more popular cousins could stand to crib.

 

 

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Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 20-22 photo
Annotated Anime: Shirobako episodes 20-22
by Josh Tolentino

As we roll into the endgame for Shirobako, our longtime Producer-san Jeff Chuang faces a crisis at his own day job, and called me in for support. So far, so Shirobako, and here I am to take over the weekly recap for the time being.

And just like the old, reliable fellow that steps back just far enough for the youngsters taking his place to realize how they'd taken the old-timer for granted, things get about as loud, heavy, and outright violent as they ever have in this anime about making anime.

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Annotated Anime: One Piece 684 photo
Annotated Anime: One Piece 684
by Anthony Redgrave

Over the past few weeks, I've been re-watching Avatar: The Last Airbender with a friend. He enjoys the characters, setting, martial arts, and story because Avatar is a really good show. But the last two episodes we've seen; The Swamp and Avatar Day rubbed him the wrong way as they both concluded with antagonists becoming allies. The change of heart to resolve conflict is very common in very childish shows but didn't fit the mature manner Avatar treated most themes. This intro does have something to do with this weeks Annotated Anime on One Piece and not a glorified excuse for me to talk about Avatar

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Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 21-22 photo
Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 21-22
by Josh Tolentino

Ah, whiskey and pocky: The snack of champions. Gunpla Battle champions, that is!

With the latest installments of Build Fighters Try out of the way, the road has been paved to the finals, with the buildup handled by two of the better engagements in the series' run so far. 

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Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 28-33 photo
Annotated Anime: Stardust Crusaders episodes 28-33
by Josh Tolentino

It's been a while since we last checked in with JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, but the fun thing about this kind of story is that not a lot of plot movement happens from week to week. The true character of the series really only unfolds over the course of the arc itself, which is one of the interesting ironies about these types of fighting stories. More often than not, who wins a fight isn't as important as what the fight itself reveals about the characters, and their roles in the story at large.

And for what it's worth, the last few tangles reveal quite a bit.

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Review: Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines photo
Review: Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines
by Josh Tolentino

[This review originally appeared on Destructoid]

Like many games of its type, Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines features a tiny graphic in its text boxes to remind players they can press a button to advance to the next line. Usually the graphic is of an X or O button pressing itself, but Oreshika's is of a little weasel pushing a button with its nose.

It's animated, and viewed from the side the little weasel can also look just like a person, sitting on their knees Japanese-style, bowing respectfully, over and over. That behavior's almost emblematic of the game's attitude, as it's so eager to let players do what they like (sometimes to their own detriment) that it almost comes off as desperate. 

But hey, they're gonna be dead soon anyway, so perhaps some deference is warranted.

 

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Annotated Anime: One Piece episode 683 photo
Annotated Anime: One Piece episode 683
by Anthony Redgrave

It seems wherever the Straw Hats go, there will always be chaos. It's pretty rare for them to land on an island, wait peacefully for the log pose to adjust then carry on without getting into an 8 episode fight. I'm sure it has happened before in a filler, but recently they've been doing some major landscaping an island before hoisting the main sail for departure. Dressrosa is one of their finest works as not only is it undergoing major re-construction but also mass murder on all it's citizens. With that pleasant note let's talk about this episode.

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Impressions: Gundam The Origin I: Blue-Eyed Casval photo
Impressions: Gundam The Origin I: Blue-Eyed Casval
by Josh Tolentino

Char Aznable.

In all of Mobile Suit Gundam's long history, there's perhaps no better icon of the franchise (besides the Gundam itself) than the Red Comet and his trademark mask. In fact, Char himself has become a fixture of Gundam itself, far beyond the Universal Century. Whenever a masked villain appears anywhere near a science-fiction setting in anime, comparisons to Char will ensue.

The thing is, though, that's not even his real name, which is what makes this first installment of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, so fascinating.

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