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1:00 PM on 04.24.2014

Jtor AM 28: Ping Pong, Adventure Time, and undercover Canadians

This week, Tim and L.B. reveal the dark, seedy underbelly of Sakura Con -- or they would have, if they were invited to any of the cool parties, but they were too busy waiting on lines for that. Meanwhile, Ben and I share our ...

Karen Mead


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First Impressions: M3 The Dark Metal photo
First Impressions: M3 The Dark Metal
by Dae Lee

A unique art style and mysteriously dark premise was beckoning me, telling me that this show had the potential to bring something really interesting to the season. With Junichi Saito at the helm, director of acclaimed Sailor Moon and Princess Tutu, and a script by Mari Okada of Anohana and Toradora!, there was no way I wasn't checking this out. And while this episode wasn't a home run, it established some interesting concepts and carries itself with a unique aura.

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Annotated Anime: Captain Earth episode 2 & 3 photo
Annotated Anime: Captain Earth episode 2 & 3
by Elliot Gay

I can't remember the last time I watched a mech anime with so much nonsensical techno babble.

Bones' latest stab at the genre, Captain Earth, seems to have no qualms with throwing out made-up words and leaving them undefined for the viewers at home. For some people, this is understandably maddening.

For me, this is just Tuesday.

Daichi launches into space with the Earth Engine, though things go less than great as the attacking Kill-T-Gang robot kicks his ass all over the place. With our hero incapable of piloting the massive white mech, the situation grows dire, prompting resident mysterious scientist guy, Peter Westvillage, to call in some help from an outside source: Akari Yomatsuri, Tsutomu's daughter. She helps Daichi as best as she can, though ultimately it's he who manages to get a grip on the Earth Engine's controls, and effectively drive off the intruder. He returns to back to base, and after some internal strife with Salty Dog's (the best name) representative, Daichi promptly causes some much-needed chaos. Teppei and Hana, the latter being the girl who was locked away in a weird bubble, are freed from the tight monitoring they were under, and everybody lives happily ever after, or at least for the rest of the evening.

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Annotated Anime Roundup: Winter 2014 Week 3 photo
Annotated Anime Roundup: Winter 2014 Week 3
by Josh Tolentino

Welcome to the Annotated Anime Roundup for Spring Week 3: as the weather continues to warm and the world is rife with change, there's something comforting about the fact that every single week, without fail, Yowapeda continues to stall for time.

Catch up with us on all the latest happenings in cycling bromance, Tonari no Seki-kun, Is the Order a Rabbit?, The World is Still Beautiful, Baby Steps, One Week Friends, and Riddle Story of the Devil. Damidaler The Sound Robot is MIA this week, but you know what? No one even noticed until right now, so I guess we can do without it.

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Review: Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day photo
Review: Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day
by Chris Walden

As far as bundles go, this is a bit of a strange one. Part-movie collection, part-video game, Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day is something that could only be pulled off on a home console. I suppose it's not surprising to see that Bandai Namco is the company publishing it, as it wasn't too long ago that they were offering a similar package with Tekken Hybrid, which included Tekken Tag Tournament HD and the Tekken: Blood Vengeance movie. 

Interestingly, the four films that the 'Short Peace' refers to were actually released in Japan in the middle of last year. These short films were animated by Sunrise, combined and released in theaters as a single showing. Crispy's Inc and Grasshopper Manufacture collaborated to create a game based on the Short Peace films, titled Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day, which was later released in Japan in a bundle with the four films. It only took three months to hit our shelves after the Japanese release, which is pretty impressive. 

But is this media mash-up worth a place in your game collection? 

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First Impressions: Kamigami no Asobi  photo
First Impressions: Kamigami no Asobi
by Brittany Vincent

Kamigami no Asobi is a lively reverse-harem series based on the visual novel of the same name, and if it ends up anything like the Hakuoki series, it should be a treat to follow. It's got everything: gorgeous boys (for everyone into that), fanservice, and a heroine who might actually be able to hold her own, unlike Diabolik Lovers' Yui. It's also rocking animation that doesn't prompt me to recoil in horror from the screen. I think it might be worth following!

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Annotated Anime: The Irregular at Magic High School Ep 3 photo
Annotated Anime: The Irregular at Magic High School Ep 3
by LB Bryant

Maybe it's because I'm absolutely exhausted from SakuraCon, but this week's episode of The Irregular at Magic High School didn't do much for me. They've finally moved past the character introductions for the most part and are finally advancing into the school year proper but despite that. I'm still just not feeling pulled into this series as much as I thought I would be by this point. Oh well. 

In this week's episode the story is split into three distinct parts. In the first part, everyone is gushing over Tatsuya's victory over Hanzo. They spend a good few minutes asking him about his magic and marveling over his equipment before the opening credits roll. After some more names are dropped in the disciplinary committee's headquarters, we come to the second important scene, which features Miyuki wanting to have her CAD recalibrated by Tatsuya so that she can use another type of magic a bit easier. After a bit of fan service and sibling flirting we come to the third part of the episode, which has the disciplinary committee being sent out in squads because clubs are recruiting new members and sometimes get a little rowdy and overzealous. Naturally, a couple of the sports clubs are plenty rowdy, and it's up to Tatsuya to step in and take control of the situation. 

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Shonen Showdown 4-20-2014 photo
Shonen Showdown 4-20-2014
by Josh Tolentino

Welcome to another weekly installment of Shonen Showdown, your everyday look at the latest in battle shows. This week we're catching up on the status of our favorite anime memes, and it appears that the evergreen "Moe Moe Kyun!" remains perennially popular, even among people who themselves could be described as "perennial". Truly, a meme for the ages.

Oh, and there's also some stuff here from the latest chapters in Bleach, Naruto, and Hunter x Hunter. Those are nice, as well.

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First Impressions: Nanana's Buried Treasure photo
First Impressions: Nanana's Buried Treasure
by Karen Mead

This show probably sounds like a really good idea on paper. It's filled with cool concepts like treasure hunting and classrooms that attack you until you solve puzzles, but it's also filled with multiple girls in maid outfits and tons of stale harem humor that kills the momentum early on. It's like two different kinds of shows were crammed together: one of them is a show about a group of students embarking on an exciting treasure hunt on a mysterious man-made island, and the other one is a harem show about a pervy dude who has a beautiful magical girlfriend floating around his apartment. Two episodes in, I don't feel like these two concepts have given any indication of working together.

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Jtor AM 27: Are they going to school with ghosts? photo
Jtor AM 27: Are they going to school with ghosts?
by Karen Mead

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 persevere through a season of less-than-inspiring shows. We do however manage to discern a few bright lights of hope in the form of One Week Friends and Ping Pong, and Ben would be totally up for discussing Mushishi S2 if anyone else would ever watch it.

Notable questions of the week: Will the Gurren Lagann stage play feature giant paper mache robot heads? Is the school in Kamigami no Asobi filled with ghosts, and if so, shouldn't Yui be a little concerned about that? Has L.B. discovered the ultimate secret behind Nisekoi? And finally, what does BONES have against hiring actual writers who know how to write more than one story? All this, and more, on an exciting, conflict-filled Jtor AM 27!

...Oh and Tim of all people watched Marvel Disc Wars, seriously I don't even know where to start with that.

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Review: Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic Volume 2 photo
Review: Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic Volume 2
by Jeff Chuang

The second volume of Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic Volume 2 completes what is better known as the first season of the Magi anime. These next 13 episodes wrap up the Balbadd arc and bring the story to the end of the second dungeon for Aladdin and Alibaba. In that sense, it completes a story. In another sense, given Magi's ongoing manga, the first season of the anime is only just the beginning.

Watching the series through the second time, it gave me time to focus on some of the little things that I either didn't notice or didn't pay much attention to the first time around. The visuals are better; the animation got a bump compared to the TV airing as, presumably, the production team went back and made minor fixes. The famed Morgiana dance scene looks better than ever on home video.

Unmistakably, the first and second volumes of Magi go hand in hand. And now that we have the whole season, we can talk about the bigger picture: the way Magi the anime is trying to tell its story.

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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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