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2:00 PM on 11.26.2014

Japanator Eats: Taste Japan video unboxing part I

There's few things that I love more than anime and video games. One of them is unfortunately my unhealthy obsession with chowing down on snacks, particularly Japanese snacks! I live in Chicago right now, and actually have a ...

Hiroko Yamamura


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Annotated Anime: Your Lie in April episode 5 photo
Annotated Anime: Your Lie in April episode 5
by Hiroko Yamamura

This is really the kind of show you have to watch alone, due to the crazy emotions that tug at you during viewing. Everything is so subtle and delicate, you feel like any distraction might take away from the experience. The music, color pallets, and those eyes! Yes, I still love Your Lie in April.

It feels weird going so gaga for a show. I'm trying to remain as objective as possible, but it just feels like new love. After Kosei and Kaori gain the adoration of those in attendance for their insane show, we find Kaori is hospitalized, claiming that this is the first time that she's fainted. She says it in such a way, that we can't help but want to believe her. Too bad we find out later, that's just not true. Tsubaki is confronted by a long time crush, but is just not having the reaction she thought she would. Ryota is still pimping his goods and scoring goals.

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First Impressions: Your Lie in April photo
First Impressions: Your Lie in April
by Hiroko Yamamura

I have to admit, it's been a while since I've actually gasped while watching an anime. However, that's exactly what occurred after I processed the sheer beauty that was the first episode of A-1 Picture's Your Lie in April. I initially steered away from the show, writing it off as a bit of a comedy/cutesy version of Kids on the Slope, a show which I admired, but never really attached to, even though it is set in my home town of Sasebo. Luckily, I had some spare time this week, and crammed the first four episodes in a much needed anime escape.

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Happy Halloween from Japanator! photo
Happy Halloween from Japanator!
by Hiroko Yamamura

Happy Halloween to all of our awesome readers. I know things have been a bit unstable around the site as we make some changes, but you can definitely look forward to some great treats in the upcoming few weeks. No tricks, I promise. Well... I can't control Salvador's pranking ways, so if he does something it's not on me.

To celebrate this day of costumes and scares, I wanted to share one of my all time favorite videos of when Morning Musume all sit around and watch the classic Japanese horror film, The Ring. I still crack up every time I see this!

So wether you are curling up to an old episode of Hellsing, or throwing on your Colossal Titan mask for a night out --make sure you have a great evening. We look forward to you visiting us again soon!

<3 Hiroko

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Japanator Interviews: Morning Musume '14 photo
Japanator Interviews: Morning Musume '14
by Hiroko Yamamura

After eleven amazing years, current Morning Musume '14 leader, Sayumi Michishige is graduating after their current tour. The super group known to fans as Momusu have been lighting up Japan's pop charts since 1997, and have absolutely no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. Michishige leaves the always revolving line-up to the other 13 girls, with new girls being added to the gorgeous line-up.

Morning Musume saw a big spike in popularity last year, after a few years of a lull. Many contribute the group's success to Michishige's unique presence and grace, as well as god given amazing looks. Before their show in New York earlier this month, Sayumi took a few moments to speak to me about her thoughts on leaving the mega-pop machine.

Japanator -  Michishige-san, thank you for taking the time to speak to your fans in the United States. What are your expectations for your upcoming show in New York? What do you think of U.S. fans?

Sayumi Michishige - U.S. fans always show such strong feelings, and it's been a long time since I've seen them face to face. They're going to see a new side of Morning Musume。with a lot more dancing.

Japanator - Morning Musume has had non-stop success since their first single, "Morning Coffee". What is the secret to the group's success and popularity?

Sayumi Michishige - Four new members were announced recently, and it's our biggest group in a long time. Morning Musume is constantly developing by adding unique and colorful members. I think that this style of group which never loses freshness grabs the heart of the fans.

Japanator - We are all very sad to hear you are graduating this year, and feel you have really been the face of the group for so long. Can you tell us about any immediate acting or singing projects you would like to announce?

Sayumi Michishige - It seems like it's coming up fast, but at the same time there's a lot of work to do until that day. I'm thinking about what I can do for MorningMusume right up until the end.

Japanator - What has been the hardest part of being the leader of Morning Musume? Are you a little relieved to be graduating?

Sayumi Michishige - The challenge is about how to treat and teach the junior members. I wanted to be in the position of a leader, but I had never actually been in that position before. So, at the beginning I agonized a lot.

Japanator - While visiting New York, is there anything you are hoping to do in your free time?

Sayumi Michishige - There are so many great places to see! New York is a place for fashion, so I'm thinking about that.

Japanator - Please give a message for your fans in the United States and the readers of Japanator.

Sayumi Michishige - It seems like a long time, but now we're coming to the U.S. and the moment has come to perform live in New York. We will perform with all we've got, so please follow us!

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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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Review: Persona 3 The Movie: #2 Midsummer Knight's Dream photo
Review: Persona 3 The Movie: #2 Midsummer Knight's Dream
by Elliot Gay

Despite its pacing problems and general lack of an overarching story, I enjoyed Persona 3 The Movie: #1 Spring of Birth. As far as animated film adaptations of long games go, I think it did a novel job of compressing hours of gameplay and story into about 90 minutes. The first film had the unlucky task of handling the least interesting part of Persona 3's tale, the intro hours, but director Noriaki Akitaya and the production team managed to shift the focus enough that it totally worked. Fortunately for new director Tomohisa Taguchi and for us viewers, the next chunk of Persona 3 is far more intriguing.

Picking up after the end of Spring of Birth, Midsummer Knight's Dream begins with the crew taking down yet another large Shadow, only now with the help of Mitsuru and her powerful ice Persona. With all the hard work they've put into their after school monster hunting activities, it's about time for some R&R. Summer vacation is in full swing, which means its time for an all expenses paid island trip Yuki, Junpei, and Aikhiko go on an adventure to pick up girls, things go poorly, and the three young men are left to soak in their own self-pity. This doesn't last too long, as Yuki notices a beautiful blonde-haired girl staring off into the ocean, dress flowing in the wind. Who is she, and where did she come from...?

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9:00 AM on 07.24.2014

Japanator Eats: Green Tea Snacks Part 2

All your green tea snacks are belong to me. All your green tea snacks are belong to me. All your green tea snacks are belong to me.

Josh Totman



First Impressions: Momo Kyun Sword photo
First Impressions: Momo Kyun Sword
by Josh Totman

As the site’s official “boob anime connoisseur”, it is my duty to watch all the boob anime each season.  It’s a filthy dirty job most of the time, but there are times when it can pay off beyond the bounce and deliver a good engaging story. This season, I’m afraid to say, will not be one that I see paying off...

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6:00 PM on 05.02.2014

Annotated Anime: Mushishi episode 5

Time for another tale of the supernatural and humanity colliding, just so perfectly as to deliver a moral about life. Perhaps the best way to describe Mushishi is to call it a fable. The moral is always clear and directly tied to the mushi, but then again they don't beat you over the head with it like many other fables. Let's jump in.

Ben Huber

2:00 PM on 05.02.2014

Annotated Anime: Ping Pong episode 4

After the intense matches of last week, we get a second dose of climactic battles, this time between Peco and Akuma, then Kong and Dragon. We're still fairly early in the series, so I don't think it's much of a surprise to say that the people you might be rooting for don't get very far. Or maybe you're rooting for someone else?

Ben Huber





5:00 PM on 04.25.2014

Annotated Anime: Mushishi episode 4

Gather round, little ones, it's time for another dark tale of mystical creatures and people getting involved with strange things they don't understand. Thankfully, we have a guide to help us understand all the mushi we encounter: Ginko! Yes, his skilled hand and expert advice will guide you through the tough and bewilder land covered with mushi, all for the low price of $19.95!

Ben Huber

6:30 PM on 04.24.2014

Annotated Anime: Ping Pong episode 3

Hey, what's going on?! We finally have an opening! That's not too bad for an initial treat this week. Actually, it's a really well-done OP, with some impressive work in storyboarding and animating -- you also don't get spoiled on short bits from the episode anymore, either. It's a win-win all around! And you know, Shinya Ohira is freaking awesome.

Ben Huber

8:00 AM on 04.19.2014

Annotated Anime: Mushishi episode 3

Snow. I'm sick of of it. I'm sure most of you guys are, too, given that we on the east coast have had quite the winter. But it looks like there's plenty of snow wherever Ginko is travelling. And it sounds like the mushi he's encountering would be the worst mushi ever -- at least for me. Let's take a look at this week's episode.

Ben Huber

6:00 PM on 04.18.2014

Annotated Anime: Ping Pong episode 2

The focus switches from Peco to Smile this week, as he is about to be swept into something he doesn't want to be a part of. His coach wants to bring out his skills, but as we all know, Smile doesn't want to make that effort. Let's jump in and see where everyone is headed this episode. No matter what happens, we're going to get some Yuasa goodness.

Ben Huber

7:00 PM on 04.11.2014

First Impressions: Ping Pong

Ping Pong is one of my most anticipated shows this season. It has an all-star cast, both of voice actors and animators, backed up by a talented auteur in the industry, Masaki Yuasa. However, you can have all the skilled staff in the world, but if the show itself isn't compelling, people won't stick around. How does Ping Pong hold up? I'll tell you, friends.

Ben Huber